Sunday, January 30, 2011

Reading Between the Lines of the New Producer's Letter

The new Producer's Letter for WAR is out. I took a few days to let things sink in before writing about it to try to figure out some of the hidden meanings in the letter.

Please note that these are simply my predictions based on information Mythic has released publicly. If you have any concerns with anything I say, please do not complain to Mythic about it. You can direct all complaints about these predictions to their source, namely my ass.

With that out of the way, I'll break it down after the break

This month’s Producer Letter is being brought to you by James Casey. James has been a Producer on the project for some time and has run a number of WAR initiatives (New User Journey, Endless Trial, Verminous Horde, etc.) in tandem with Carrie. Carrie is still working on WAR, but is looking at a different aspect of the game. This new focus will be revealed in due time.
The first part I bolded is about new content that was added to the game recently. Carrie is now working on a different aspect of the game. What other parts of the game are there than content development? Well, there's customer service, server and code management, and financial management to name a few. The big question that jumps to mind is could WAR being going free-to-play? Carrie has stated in Q&A sessions before that they'd like to learn things from the free-to-play model.

The issue with WAR going F2P is how to make money selling stuff in a cash shop without grossly imbalancing combat. If that can be solved, then sure, why not? The game is only fun with other players to play with...or kill. F2P would bring a LOT more players into the game. More players makes the game more fun for everyone.
The current structure of the Scenarios will remain unchanged, but the Scenarios themselves will be different. Some scenarios stayed where they are, some changed what tiers they are available at, and some are gone and replaced by other classic scenarios. For example; The Maw of Madness will be making its return to the Tier 4 scenario Queue.
I liked Maw of Madness, so I welcome that change. Classic scenarios seem to suggest no brand new scenarios. I have to figure Nordenwatch and Reikland Factory are staying in Tier 4. I figure the 3 6v6 scenarios will be added to Tiers 2 and 3 to help with queue times. Those are Gates of Ekrund (a 6v6 bracket existed for ranks 19-24), The Ironclad, and the Eternal Citadel. Lost Temple of Isha has to be getting the boot for sure since approximately zero people take the queue for it. I'm going to say that the other 3 Tier 4 scenarios will be Black Fire Basin, Battle for Praag, and Serpent's Passage. I would love for Ironclad or Eternal Citadel to be in Tier 4, but I doubt that will happen.
We also have some very special plans for Grovod Caverns.
Grovod Caverns is a capture the flag scenario. The flags in this case are Warpstone. This screams Skaven scenario to me and would be quite ingenious if I'm right. Players complain about the power gap, a lot. Skaven have the same stats regardless of the rank/renown rank and gear of the controlling player. Also players complain about lack of group balance in scenarios. Allowing players to choose which Skaven to play in the scenario avoids the issue completely. Andy did mention wanting to improve the group support ability of the Packmaster. Could this be why?
Along with the patches and live events, we also have plans to expand our services and Account Entitlement offerings this year. This includes introducing paid name changes, more pets, and more ways to personalize your character.
More support for the F2P argument perhaps?
However, we understand that population is a key component to enjoying the game. As part of an effort to ensure off-peak hours are as enjoyable as peak hours can be, we are actively discussing our plans for lower population servers.
Free server transfers have already been mentioned, but this could be even more support to the F2P argument. Or it could be something else.

That's all I've got for the Producer's Letter. The TTK calculations I've been doing just got a wrench thrown into them with the healing changes being discussed. I get the feeling more is coming that will cause me to have to redo them completely. I'm going to hold off on that for now to see what's coming before I go further on that series.

1 comment:

  1. You know what just might work, if there was a single server that was dedicated to T3 and the R1-39 experience, then all other servers were dedicated to T4. Essentially on hitting R40 you would be given a free server transfer in your account management. All the old zones could stay behind on the T4 servers for that handful of unlock hunters of course.