WAR May Newsletter: Crafting info and more!

The Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning May newsletter info has leaked out which means it’s time to find the bib! *begins drooling*  This month there are several interesting bits of information which you can explore on your own in the links below, but the big feature of this newsletter is definitely the video podcast.  Mark Jacobs himself takes the reigns of this month’s podcast and delivers a ton of information regarding the crafting and gathering professions that we will see in WAR. 

Here’s the video link because I can’t get it to stop autoplaying.  Watch it then read my comments below.

Woah! I’m really pleased to hear the emphasis placed on 1) useful items and 2) something other than grinding.  Crafting systems in other recentely released mmorpgs have been infamous for being exactly like the two negatives Mark explained.  LOTRO for example had me making hundreds of scrolls that no one would use or buy just so I could reach the higher level.  I also had to find rare recipes.  Well, as Mark said, in WAR these two tediums are no more.

Of the two crafting systems I think Talisman Making sounds like my style. I really enjoy breaking down magic items and using them to imbue others.  From what Mark said it sounds like certain items will have slots or sockets of some sort, and these talismans will go into them.  (It does sound a bit like Spellcrafting in DAoC).  Picking a gathering profession to go along with the main profession is a common theme but it sounds different enough with a slight twist to be interesting.  Apothecary does sound intrigueing as well, but I’ve grown weary of making potions because of their limited usefulness.  Maybe potions will come with some great buffs for RvR, in which case I might reconsider leaning toward Talismans.

Great job on the video Mark!  I enjoyed hearing you explain your vision firsthand and your sincerety shows.  I hope you’ll take the opportunity to do more of these in the future.  Oh, and by the time the video finished I was like.. Josh who?  (I kid!)

Here are some links to the rest of the May Newsletter:

Dragonwake Zone Overview – More cute elf crap.
Scenarios 101, Part 5 – Doomfist Crater and Black Fire Basin – *finds his bib*
Paul’s Video Blogs – Classic Paul.  Watch the “more cows” one!
May’s Grab Bag – All about cities.  Interesting read.
Crafting Video Blog – Impressions above.

And in case you are waaay out of the loop, the last HE class was revealed as the White Lion.

Dwarf Mount and Dark Elf Mount concepts:

Great stuff!  If I find any links that I missed I’ll add them in tonight.

What do you guys think of the crafting system?  Anyone here as impressed and excited as I am?  This might be the first time in a mmorpg that I ever stick with crafting long term.

  • I’m aware of it. 🙂 That’s why it was removed 2 minutes after the post went up. Trying to figure out why this one video out of dozens I’ve embedded decides to ignore the false autoplay.

  • Hmmm, so no Blacksmithing? Weapon making? no Siege equipment made by players?

    They are going in the right direction, but they really need to add more diversity.

  • Hmm, I hope that’s not a picture of the dwarf mount. I’ve been leaning towards the Dwarf Ironbreaker after seeing some skills leaked from the latest beta build, but if that was the dwarf mount (and the only dwarf mount) . . . well, that’d put me off dwarfs altogether.

    Yes, I am shallow enough to not play an entire race because of their mount choice . . . did it in WoW all the time before they made it possible to get other races’ mounts.

  • @Dismantled: I wondered that as well. I think there will be more revealed later since he did make mention of more systems and content to come at a later date. Having just those two professions would really saturate the market with any goods they produce.

    @Graktar: It does look a bit wonky and not quite as cool as driving a steam tank contraption like originally planned… but it’s a far cry from a goat. 😉

  • Loving thew new info.

    Although I doubt i’ll be playing one, the White Lion looks like a kick-ass class, love that the lion has 4 different visual levels and the concept art is awesome!

    Love the new Dwarf mount concept art, looks really unique although i’m sure it doesn’t perfectly fit into the WAR lore, but i’m not one to care.

    Mark did a great job in the crafting video. I’m loving the crafting and gathering concepts, hopefully it plays as good as the initial concepts.

  • I just received the full newsletter in my gmail and it looks to be confirmed that these are concepts for DE and Dwarf mounts. They upgrade in tiers. The picture in my blog post is the middle tier. The top tier looks a bit more blinged out.

  • If the dwarf mount is going to be a gyrocopter then they have become a lot more appealing to play.

  • Ugh. That crafting video is depressingly horrid. It sucks any idea of fun out of the universe.

    Warhammer should not have crafting. It should be endless slaughter.

  • Everyone always forgets to link the fan art. 🙁 But that section is up as well, though not offering new jewels of information.

    As for the dwarf mount, they changed it after hearing many complaints from dwarf fans to the gyrocopter. I kind of like it, I think it will look hilarious, but in a good way. I think people just wanted an animal or something to be like all the other races, but this seems like it fits the dwarfs well.

    Crafting, I agree that there needs to be a bit more diversity, though I can understand if they don’t add more. Potions and talismans seems like items that players could continuously craft for people at the highest crafting level, rather than something like blacksmithing, where you would probably only create a piece of armor or weapon very rarely – there’s not the constant demand for it.

  • Keen, dont forget to mention that new High Class has been released. WHITE LION!!!!!! RAwWWr!!!!

  • While I think there needs to be more crafting profs than just the two mentioned, I am definitely excited. I think experimentation/combination > static recipe crafting, and it will introduce a new mini-sub game as people try to figure out the best combos for items and potions.

  • The more i play AoC, the more i get excited for WAR. I still havent even scratched the surface of what its about, but i cant wait for it.

  • I like it a lot! Crafting sounds like a pleasant twist on a few already good systems.

    Any element of experimentation in crafting is welcome.

    It does seem to need a couple more crafting professions though. Just making potions and ‘trinkets’ doesn’t feel full yet (unless there’s some serious DEPTH to each one).

    Things they nailed perfectly:

    1) When a craft fails, you do NOT lose the ingredients.
    2) Much more flexibility in the aspects of what you make (duration, effects…) instead of X+Y = “Sword of Z” every time.

  • […] More NDA blues, and MMO evolution Posted on May 28, 2008 by Rick I’ve been posting comments on various blogs concerning Warhammer, and I have to be careful not to let thoughts about the beta slip in to my comments. One drawback when that happens is I fear I sound like a WAR fanboi. I can’t offer an even assessment of the game, because I’m not allowed to talk about it. I can kind of talk around it, or comment on what Mythic’s released about the game, but even then I have to be careful. For example, Mark Jacobs released a video talking about crafting in WAR that I watched over on Keen and Graev’s site. […]

  • The crafting system sounds awesome. That it’s not bound to crafting stations is a huge step forward, as is experimentation.

    I think I’ll probably go with Apothecary for now. It seems like the Talisman Maker will be valuable to high-level characters (didn’t he say talismans can only be used on high-level items?), but Apothecaries will be useful throughout. Regardless, making consumables like potions is something you can do all the time while adventuring. Talismans won’t be switched out as much.

    Of course, if they add weaponsmithing, I’ll be forging giant mauls and halberds. 🙂

  • @ Eric

    I’ve lessened my expectations concerning MMORPG since WoW and that helped me through the demise of Vanguard.

    back to the topic :

    I like what they’ve done until now in terms of game mechanics.As long as they make the journey fun i`m good to go.The White Lion is indeed awesome and unfortunaltely many will choose this class for it’s cool(itude) and will find it hard to master.

  • the idea is nice, I do like it.

    But its to limited. You need more then 2 crafting skills to keep at least some nice recourse trade going. Also limits improving your gear.

  • The no-grinding based system is brilliant. Crafting in LOTRO put me off crafting for life – as a woodworker I had to grind solidly for weeks to get to Grand Master and it literally got me fed up with the game.

    I’m also concerned about the lack of diversity in crafting – it seems to me, there’s nothing a butcher can do with their wares? But definetly, I think the heart is in the right place with this system, and that’s a great place to start.

  • Finally we learn about crafting, and i see my future in potions 😀

    And what’s better than growing WEED !

  • How do you increase your skill in these gathering or crafting professions. It doesn’t say that. So it will be grinding I bet.

    Also the talismen sound suspiciously like gems in AOC and I bet you can’t get the higher talisman slots without getting the uber weapons, probably from higher level raids or RvR. So not much innovation there.

    This system will probably be grindy, how else are you going to improve your skill other then doing the same potion or something over and over again. Also not recipe based, isn’t putting ingredients together a recipe? You may have an illusion of non recipes in this game but i bet you internally they have a recipe system that tells them what happens to the ingredients when you put them in.

  • I’d seriously doubt they’d make a crafting system based on grinding when the whole aim of the crafting system when they concieved the idea, was for it not to involve grinding! I think it’ll probably progress naturally along with your (combat) level.

  • Experimentation will be fine for the first few people in – but eventually a ‘thottbot-like’ website (and forum posts) will pop up and nobody will do any experimenting.

    @Aaron – it did sound like Talismans were the realm of high-end items so probably not viable until later levels?

    @Gordo – wouldn’t a butchers items be similar to cooking in other MMO’s (buffs to specific stats) which is probably an apotecary’s focus also.

  • Not having craftable weapons and armor is a good thing. This way you don’t have the whole loot/crafted issue. Sounds like crafted items are portable buffs and upgrades, and not the base object itself.

    Also this means everything that is crafted is consumed when used. Unlike when you make a sword it stays in circulation almost for ever. Since Magical Salvaging will destroy looted equipment and the fact player don’t create junk items, means more meaningful items being traded.

  • They didnt put craftable weapons and armor because they dont want the game to be very Gear base.

  • @silo – while it may be true that alot of the ingredients will be ‘known’ quantities for certain items.. there will still be surprise and leeway…

    i can see a potion with 4x known ingredients having a table like: 60% is potion1, 30% potion2, 7% fail, and 3% SUPER cool potion3.

    So while yes people can always find a way to shortcut and thotbot their way through the game, the mechanics are such that there is always an element of surprise even for the veteran crafter.

    no recipes = fun in my book. no more grinding faction for 1 silly recipe that will be nerfed in the next patch = priceless!

  • The White Lion looks positively fantastic from an artistic standpoint. He’d be worth leveling to 40 just to see the end-result.

  • @Sylar

    “How do you increase your skill in these gathering or crafting professions. It doesn’t say that. So it will be grinding I bet.”

    Grinding isn’t just repeating the same action to reach a goal. It’s repeating a boring action to reach a goal. It’s when you’re only performing an action for the goal and not for the experience that the action becomes grinding.

    So there’s hope. Combine the experimentation with the concept that your items are actually useful, and it’s possible that this isn’t a grind… that you’ll enjoy creating each item, rather than just focus on the goal the whole time and wish you were done with it.

    But even if it’s a good system, whether or not it’s a grind will depend partly on the willingness of each individual player to abandon the expectations they picked up from previous MMOs (which definitely have all encouraged grinding).

  • And how do you think the players are getting the ingredients to make the potions or trinkets? This crafting system from WAR is not different from other games in the sense you need to kill mobs in order to get the ingredients you need for crafting.

    At low levels you may buy some ingredients from merchants, but for high level you will be required to grind and grind and grind. Isn’t it grinding a basic element of MMOS? I am not saying it’s a bad thing, but let’s get the facts, crafting is all about grinding. The fun starts when you actually created the items and use them lol