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Warhammer Online has “five years” of content

I know what you’re thinking. I thought it too. Five years of content… say what? Well, according to an interview that Josh Drescher gave to Gameindustry.biz it’s true… somewhat. Here’s a quote from the sneak peak of the incomplete interview:

“All the under-the-hood numbers all actually scale through the next five years,” he said.

“What you don’t want is when you launch the game you’ve got 40 levels – and it takes however long it takes to get to level 40. You then launch an expansion and it now takes two weeks to get to level 40 because now we need everyone to spend six months to get from level 40 to 50,” Drescher added.

“So you need to spec the game out in such a way that you actually have those progressions in mind for later – so you don’t wind up trampling all over the earlier experiences every time you expand the game.”

“We have actually five years’ worth of numerology out in front of us in terms of all that,” he explained.

How I understand this is… I think… the game is designed to accommodate five years worth of content. The math is there. The mechanics are there. Everything needed is there and ready to accept future content smoothly. But the game does not actually have five years worth of content. I think what Josh is getting at here is that WAR won’t be like, for example, WoW. WoW was not designed to have all the content of TBC added to the original game. See what happened as a result? Well, a number of things: Mudflation with items, raids and other content (like 1-60) suddenly being trivial and not the part of the game that the player or the devs focus on. Many times it’s obstacles like this that make expansions so difficult to design and release. How do you design content in such a way that it won’t make the past content obsolete? Basically you design everything from the beginning to scale up with an idea of where you want the future content to go.

We’re coming up on an age where developers are able to tell players now how much content we can expect and how long we can expect it to last. That’s not something they could or even would tell us ‘back in the day’. The true meaning or even validity of such claims is still very much up for debate. Look at Vanguard for example. It was designed to scale over 10 years up to level 200! Yeah, that will happen.

At least I can feel comfortable knowing that they have a plan. They’re not going to scramble to accommodate new mechanics. WAR isn’t going to die off from lack of content. It should be a smooth and comfortable five years.

The rest of this article should release sometime next week. Should be interesting!

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Comments

  1. Saueriz says:

    I am not wut u would calld a WAR fan im open to all games in a sence i have been keeping up with ur updates on WAR just because it is another MMO an i have heard alot of mixd things about it. The more i have been reading an watching vids this game seems very interesting, it almost sounds like Aoc took WARs idea of the city pvp an tried to pump there game out befor WAR now i have no idea if this is the case but just something that popd in my head. the content for this game an the consept are very nice one thing that turnd me off right off was the cartoonie look WoW has. Looking forward to your futur WAR updates.

  2. I don’t like WAR…i think they are cocky ppl..AoC interviews, arent as “OMG WE ARE AWESOME”….but imo from what i have read and heard from both theses games..AoC should be much better…..WAR i think is full of SHIT…5 years…BS..they are just twisting the truth to sound good.

  3. suddenly this quote makes more sense to me.. thank you Keen :)

  4. I don’t think anyone should make claims on which game is better until both products are actually out and playable. And it may not necessarily be that one is better. Some people like different things. It doesn’t devalue your game at all.

  5. Thor123 says:

    To compare any game and say one is better then the other is like comparing apples to oranges. AoC has mounted combat, player built cities, a different style of combat. WAR has living guilds and cities, keep sieges, and city raids. Sure the games may have similarities but they appeal to different kinds of people. WoW is a PvE game, AoC is a PvP game and WAR is an RvR game. So you can not say one is better then the other since that is just opinion. Also I am glad they have a plan or at least an idea on how much content they can add. It is refreshing to see a company know what they want to do with their game and where they want to go with it.

  6. Graktar says:

    I’m glad to hear clarification on that quote as I’m sure it’s one that’s going to get bandied about on forums a lot completely out of context.

    ForumFlamerTroll1: “Zomg, WAR claims they have 5 years of content in their game!”
    ForumFlamerTroll2: “Lolololol1!@! Il bete al there cotnent in 2 wks an then du ther mom too. Haha”

    Sigh.

  7. This isn’t really anything special. All of the MMO developers draw up a 10 year prospectus, it just doesn’t always work out like they plan. If they didn’t have a well thought out business plan for the longevity of a “subscription” based game they wouldn’t get a publisher. Think of it like business plan/prospectus and investors, its exactly that.

    Developers find more and more ways to feed bullshit to the industry and try to market their product. I dunno about anyone else but I’ve heard just about as much about new games as I care for in terms of irrelevant information meant to sell a game.

    It seems like Mythic is becoming famous for saying stuff that is meant to give confidence to their potentials, but in terms of info it means jack squat. Its like that last interview. When I see an interviewer ask a question I don’t wanna read a paragraph to tell us why you think you know what your doing, I wanna know what your doing to prove you know it. Its not exactly a fine line.

    Before anyone jumps on the fanboyism bandwagon just take a second to realize I’m not slamming game, I’m just tired of bullshit marketing.

  8. Here’s where I disagree kmxs. It would be BS marketing if Josh were to say “Our game has 5 years of content!!” but he didn’t. He said that they have put the mechanics and necessary systems in place to cover five years worth of content being added to the game.

    I think that’s definitely special. To the best of my recollection Blizzard never made any statements like this and they certainly never implemented a future plan. TBC made previous content obsolete and set the focus of their game completely on 60-70.

    So long as Josh isn’t spouting off nonsense (I highly doubt he is) then I think it is a great sign for WAR’s future that Mythic has a plan.

  9. Xaanin says:

    I don’t see his point at all. If you want it to take 6 months to go from 40-50, it will take that long to go from 40-50. If you then want it to take 6 months to get to max level, you will have to speed up leveling from 1-40. The only other option I can see is to have 1-50 take much longer.

    Lets not forget, EQ2 was supposedly designed to allow for up to 100 levels, didn’t prevent them from causing severe mudflation and making old raids more or less obsolete.

  10. It sounds like marketing rhetoric to me. I don’t think it’s B.S., I do believe they’ve been working on the details of the progression of the game, it’s important that they do that. I just think they’ve tried to word it with help from the PR department.

    It is kind of odd, these games (WAR and AoC in particular) are under a microscope like nothing before. They have to be so careful every step of the way, it’s almost like *ugh* politics, heh.

    Nice explanation / interpretation of it though Keen, astute and clearer than the original article’s soundbite.

  11. TroyTanning says:

    Keen, I agree wholeheartedly with your point, stating “I think it is a great sign for WAR’s future that Mythic has a plan.” This is the first piece of information that has actually gotten me excited about WAR. I must admit, I truly disliked DAoC, and Mythic hadn’t done anything else that I’d been particularly fond of either. The only draw to WAR was the actual warhammer license; considering I’ve been playing Warhammer and using their figs for table top rpgs for quite some time.
    This is why the “five year plan” made me turn my head: having that sort of mindset or “plan” is a way of saying, “Yeah, we’ve seen expansions and new patches throw original game content down the shitter, but we’re not going to let that happen this time.” At least, that’s what I hope they are saying. Word up.

  12. Lawrence says:

    Im with kmxs on this one seems to me that its just marketing fluff. I would hope that any MMO would have at least a 5 year plan for expansion. Just because WoW didnt announce it doesnt mean they didnt have it planned.

  13. If you think every MMO doesn’t have the same plan your kidding yourself. It takes major investment to get a 250 employee project that takes 5 years to create going with major financial support.

    EQ stated the same thing when they launched but stated it was a 10 year lifespan for content advancement. Of course these companies are thinking ahead as to how and what content they are going to add.

    I don’t think he’s BSing at all, he’s telling the truth. The bullshit in it is that we as a gaming community should think there is anything special about this at all. Its not like some special privledge that we should expect 5 years of expanded content, its a fucking expectation for any company that is making an MMO. The ones who “don’t” aren’t just making a half rate game, they make a total failure, as been proven.

    I don’t feel like I’m going to far out of the park here to assume that any of the major title launches that were successful have 5 – 10 year plans. Generally companies that profit in the 100′s of millions of a single title sale aren’t “flying by the seat of their pants”.

    I’d think with Mythics inability to complete end game in DaoC and a total failure of an expansion would make you skeptical, your original article stinks of fanboyism.

  14. I think all mmo devs have a plan similiar to this. Blizzard also had one that got leaked to the net. It was a plan from level 60 (original game) all the way up to 120.

    This next one was called Northrend (wrath of the lich king) and the one after this was listed as maelstrom level 80 etc.

    Not really sure if I like the idea Blizzard/Mythic have of showing down simply more levels every fucking expansion.

    How about taking the existing stuff in the games and expanding on that instead of making most of it obsolete every damn release.

  15. @Anders

    I couldn’t agree more.

  16. five years of content. but no game…

  17. http://joshdrescher.com/2008/05/10/five-years-of-what/

    Not five years of CONTENT, but scalable under the hood mechanics.

  18. Additionally, I really hope their expansion model isn’t to add another 10 levels ever 1-2 years. I’m thinking that will be a possibility given the level cap of 40 right now and I’ll be quite pissed off if they take the WoW approach.

    Just because it’s a feature in the most successful MMORPG to date, doesn’t make it a GOOD feature… It’s a friggin’ lazy feature!

  19. Pellious says:

    So much for this article since Josh explained it was taken or given improperly, however you wish to see it.

  20. WOW!toWAR says:

    In my understanding, they state, WAR is built in a way, allowing them to add to the games content for 5 years, without the initial content loosing it’s meaning, value and viability.

    Best example is WOW. All pre BC content, especially level 60 endgame, is more or less dead weight. Same will happen to the TBC endgame, when WotL hits the shelf. Heck, even all the leveling content from 60 to 70 feels pretty dead already, since all endgame happens in instances. The world is essentially empty, except for a few twinks leveling up to disappear in some instanced endgame content.

    So yeah, I know for sure, they ain’t bullshitting, when they say, that WAR will do it’s content updates in a better way than the market leader. They will offer one new WAR-campaing, 2 new races and 8 new classes each addon. At least.

  21. Nice explination WoWtoWar, I can deffinately get behind that concept.

  22. Kmxs… I said the exact same thing as WoW!toWAR *puzzled*

    “I think what Josh is getting at here is that WAR won’t be like, for example, WoW. WoW was not designed to have all the content of TBC added to the original game. See what happened as a result? Well, a number of things: Mudflation with items, raids and other content (like 1-60) suddenly being trivial and not the part of the game that the player or the devs focus on.”

    For those saying that devs have been doing this all along you’re right and wrong. Yes, devs have internal plans. That’s a big fat “DUH!” But how often do developers share with the customers the longevity of their product currently being developed? It used to be not at all. Only recently have developers been releasing estimations on the lifespan of current mechanics and content in their games. Example: Blizzard said that TBC would take “x long” and it pretty much did.

  23. dwmaster says:

    I’d love to play an mmo that could guarantee gameplay linearity for five years. Im my personal opinion, the world of changing doesnt give much opportunity of enjoying the game as a role.

  24. @dwmaster: Exactly! And that’s what I think Mythic is shooting for right now. They’re setting out to create five years (or more as Josh says) of gameplay linearity. I think a lot of people want this and it’s something we’re going to (hopefully) see more developers doing in the future.

    For me this is one big reason why I never feel like I can get into an older mmorpg. It’s one of the biggest reasons why I never felt that I could go back to EQ2 or even WoW now. Their past content feels completely disconnected from the rest of the world.

  25. WOW!toWAR says:

    Like all other parts of WAR, it seems the devs have put in just a little more thought into content progression than its contenders.

    I hope, WAR will be better than the sum of it’s parts. Since all parts seem to be better, than what I’m used to, it will rock my world like led zepplin!

    Praise to the muse! May you bless EA Mythic with some more awesome!

  26. @Keen Must have overlooked that, I do agree with that aspect of Mythic’s progress plan.

  27. Ravenlof says:

    THANK YOU GOD FOR WAR!

  28. Come on dude, these facts* and proof* i mean who is posting* lol :P

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