Are the other cut cities ever going to be introduced?
They're not off the table. There are two pieces to the city: it's a whole lot of stuff to do, and we weren't even completely satisfied with the two that we had. Now that we're taking a look at the new city gameplay, we might go and say "this is great, we can find an interesting way to reintroduce those cities for sure." That's the core piece of it -- the other, well, I was going to cast aspersions and ask "would you rather have some awesome new zone or another city?" But I think they could be interchanged. So, no, they're definitely not off the table.
It's interesting that people always ask that question. It will come back if you mention anything... people will say "well, what about the cities?" It's fun, because the players keep us honest.
Where do you think the game is currently the weakest, and what's being done to address it?
When we look at our game, the major thing we want to do is take whatever part of the game has the biggest impact on players -- how can we improve that quality? Sometimes, that means bugs, but usually it has something to do with some kind of core system. The cities are a good example of how we took a big part and just said we were going to tackle this, it's going to have a large impact on a lot of players. In particular, because more players are going to have a chance now to try the cities out, and that's really cool.
I think the next big thing that I mentioned is open RvR, that's something we really need to tackle. That's going to have the most impact on the largest number of players in our game. That's always the focus, the most impactful thing.
What is the game's biggest strength?
Because we just really highlighted those two -- we looked at scenarios, we looked at cities -- we're really, really satisfied with the movement in both of those directions. I think those are really shining right now. There's so much RvR in our game that you're always going to find one piece or another that people prefer, and so it will almost always answer both of those questions. Just because we're so focused, we really want to focus our game on RvR.
Can you give us any hints about what's coming with 1.3.6 and beyond?
This is my least favorite question, because we want to give you and your readers something valuable. One of the things I'm very passionate about -- and it's gotten us into trouble -- is saying "this new thing is coming, it's going to be awesome," and then for one reason or another it's not panned out the way we wanted, or it had to get cancelled. So I'm really careful about teasing the future.
We've talked a little about 1.3.6, such as my producer's letters talking about how we're working on improvements to auction houses and items, various things along those lines. I've got nothing else, but I think I would highlight that we do have some really awesome stuff coming -- and 1.4 is a patch that I'm very excited about.
Is a boxed expansion still in the cards for Warhammer Online?
Absolutely not out of the question, that's certainly something that I would like. Expansion is a funny word, and it sets expectations in a certain way, but we also don't plan on only doing specific patches going forward. That's probably the best answer I can give you. When people ask "oh, when are you going to do more content?" -- we do content in every patch. "When are you going to do an expansion?" We are planning on running the game as much as we possibly can, as long as we possibly can, and definitely more than just patches.
What would you like to say to the often-vocal portion of the population who claim the game is in maintenance mode or dying?
It's funny -- there are certain outlets on the internet, like forum threads and comments on blog posts, one thread where someone called me "the Sarah Palin of Warhammer Online", for example -- where people are really negative. I mean, really negative. And not just about MMOs, you see it about everything. YouTube comments, people can be really negative. In the case of WAR, it does feels like it comes from people who used to play the game, but don't currently. And I'm not sure why those people care.
That being said, I really do hope that our current playerbase doesn't feel that way, and they understand that we're doing quite a lot. We run the game all over the world, we have weekly maintenance, mostly where we do major crash fixes, bug fixes, and exploit fixes, things like that. We have a weekend warfront every weekend - - sometimes we recycle them, but we have new ones far more often than we have repeat ones, and so we're always coming up with things to do on the weekends. Some of those we're going to change the rules around a little bit, more and more. We do a major patch every couple of months. We do major live events several times a year. And there's always more that we're working on.
So we're doing quite a lot, so it baffles me when I see it -- and I definitely see it when people say this -- but we're really happy right now. We're in a really good place, our playerbase is really happy -- but if anyone out there is really concerned about whether we're dying or not, they're more than welcome to get a subscription and come help us out.
On behalf of the Massively team, we'd like to thank Ms. Gouskos for her time and her responses.