Jeff Hickman is bursting with optimism in WAR’s Executive Producer’s Letter

What is the cause for celebration?
What is the cause for celebration?

You can find and read the entirety of the letter on the Herald.  I’ll assume you’ve read it and just jump right in to what I have to say.

“The Winds of Change are upon us, but the ship and crew remain the same.” – Jeff Hickman

Uhh, no.  Why even say that?  I don’t get it.

Overall, it’s very much the standard producer’s letter.  Jeff Hickman tells the players what we want to hear but also throws in some educational tidbits on how they’ll change city sieges (for better or worse remains unseen) and how RvR in general will improve even if it means removing fortresses.  AoE is more than out of control in WAR and I fear that a few changes won’t be enough.  The situation is out of control for all AoE classes and it has really trivialized almost every combat mechanic in the game.  Crowd control itself is not really an issue in WAR, but how it operates within the limits of “annoying” and “functional” is nothing short of borked.  The immunity timers being consolidated will help.

I participated in giving feedback during Mythic’s reaching out initiative and I focused mostly on the realm war being flawed.  I really do feel that the entire way in which zones flip and push the war in one direction is too arcade, shallow, and detached from the soul of RvR.  Fortresses are absolutely part of this terrible system and only serve as the biggest and most obvious example of ‘why’.  Get rid of them and the system will improve.  Take it further though and look at why the fortresses should be removed, other than performance issues.  We’re pushing zones in one direction trying to “flip them” to earn invisible points to “dominate” a zone all in order to push open the gates of a city.  That sounds really cool and it sold well on paper pre-launch but there is a reason why WAR’s retention rate is low in T4.  Fix all the little issues that make people bitch and moan on the forums first.  Fix CC, AoE, etc., then turn a serious eye to the bigger picture.

Optimism is great, but I want to see results.  You say “We’re still working out the specifics…” but it’s those specifics we want.  Bring results, Jeff, and you’ll get the community’s attention.  We really do want to share in your optimism and see what you see.

P.S. What is this in-game celebration buff (pictured right) all about?  Hopefully it’s not what I think.

  • The celebration buff is part of thier july 4th event stuff. It’s also why fireworks are dropping on PvP kills as loot sometimes too.

  • Ah, that is neat. I had totally forgotten about July 4th and it’s my 2nd favorite holiday. Man… time is flying by this summer.

  • How is the population in this game now? The reason I ask is everyone that I know stopped playing it within 2-3 months and never came back. I played for 6 months but then left due to my friends leaving and all of the issues with the end-game.

    Is the game even worth coming back to? I see articles covering many of the same issues that I saw 4 or 5 months ago. When I left, I thought that I’d be back after a few months. However, last week, I deleted WAR from my hard drive to make room for Call of Duty 4 Modern Combat.

  • The population on some servers is dismal and on others you’ll see more people than you do on a high pop WoW server.

    Worth coming back to only if you enjoyed it a bit before you left. If you didn’t, don’t come back – it’s still the same.

  • Damage Control at its finest. After being subjected to it in its many incantations through my WoW experience, it’s awfully easy for me to spot. Which leaves me with just one question….

    How ’bout that Aion?

  • Am I the only one that feels rather insulted by all the overt “37 pieces of flair” false enthusiasm being shoved down our throats?

  • I can’t think of any other MMO in recent history I wanted to succeed and hold my interest for years to come.

    I was counting the days before release. Sadly I fit into the Stopped playing within the first few months and never returned.

    Ok… so maybe AoC too. That damn combat system keeps me resubbing once in awhile. Not to mention 1.5 patch making Loots have value.

    Anyways… I have no hatred for Mythic and hope the players still playing are enjoying.

  • “Optimism is great, but I want to see results.”

    I agree completely. Talk is cheap, actions are expensive. I imagine I will return to WAR one day but I’d need to see some big changes or an appealing expansion to make me do it.

  • To me most of the letter was just a really poor “/flex” “lookie here we’re still big, strong and good looking even if one of the key persons of our crew left which we won’t mention or honor right now cos we’re to busy showing off how good we still are”

    Seriously, look at this:
    “I, personally, have been with Mythic for almost 10 years and look forward to what the studio will build and offer fans over the next 10 years!”
    I’m reading: MJ is leaving but I’m not so don’t worry.

    “We are committed to Warhammer, Ultima Online, and Dark Age of Camelot, and have solid plans for each game.”
    I’m reading: MJ is leaving but we still will be working on the game.

    And lastly as you mentioned:
    “The Winds of Change are upon us, but the ship and crew remain the same.”
    Not even sure what to think bout this one, “the crew remains the same” ??? I guess you could stress that MJ was a captain and thus not one of the crew, but I’d say the captain IS a part of a crew and especially when we’re talking bout MJ.

    Dunno but thats my take on his letter, and I think the least we could expect was for him to mention and honor MJ as I think MJ would do if it was Hickman leaving.

  • I see all this talk about Fortresses sucking and being a big problem in WAR. It could be just because I’m only in T3, but I’m not sure what is being referred to by “fortresses.” Are these the same as keeps?

  • ha-ha, Keen, did you think celebration buff was to commemorate MJ’s departure? OMG, that would be so below the belt, but funny as hell!

  • @Benden: Fortresses are like big keeps. You need to control 2/3 (there is one per pairing for each side) in order to gain access to the enemy’s city. The entire realm war is designed around pushing keeps in order to open the fortresses in order to open the cities. It feels like one big WoW battleground.

    @Proximo: Sounds to me like the crew pulled a mutiny.

  • @ Keen: what do u mean ? u think “Hickman and the crew” disagreed with the directions MJ wanted to take WAR ?

  • Who knows really. I was just finding humor in the whole “crew” thing. The industry is just as much a business as anything else and the politics and drama that occur within it are probably among the worst. I would not be one bit surprised if people felt that Mark was in their way. He has a strong personality that puts off a lot of people and I’m sure that getting rid of him was on top of many people’s lists (including those who he probably considers a friend).

  • The entire end game was completely miserable in that game. The fortresses were a laggy, aoe fest, train wreck. The cities were the most boring part of the game and at one point on Volkmar I was logging off whenever a city siege would start… pretty sad when that is supposed to be the pinnacle of the game and people all around the game world are pleading with members of their own faction to not flip zones so they can actually have fun in the game.

    This game is going on the backburner for EA I have a feeling, especially since they just merged in with Bioware, and Bioware has this small IP that they are making an MMO out of and might take some of the best and brightest from Mythic to help make that successful instead of continuously pouring resources into WAR which has a faulty foundation to begin with.

  • It will be on the back burner for sure if it hasn’t been already. Star Wars is simply too big not to put everything EA has into it. EA will do a few things in WAR to try and bolster a few subs and keep the dedicated fans they have, but it will never grow much beyond what they have right now.

  • More corporate PR marketing fluff…….we’ve been hearing the same %$#@ since launch, same message, different messenger.

  • I wish it weren’t true, but there just isn’t anything that excites me in WAR anymore. Unsubbed. I really hope something does, but I quit kidding myself.

  • Yeah I’m sad to say I don’t miss playing WAR as well.
    It was really THE MMO I was waiting for, I so love the IP and I truly made serious attempts loving the game.
    If only they would cater for the smallscale PvP I’d be in it for that, I never gave a rats ass about forts and city sieges anyways.