Mythic made several mistakes when making Warhammer Online.Â If you believe there is nothing wrong with the game then stop reading now because we already disagree greatly and I will not entertain yet another discussion which goes back and forth debating the issue.
What I want to present to you is a mistake they made and have not learned from because they’re about to repeat it again.Â I’m talking about the purpose behind why things are done in Warhammer Online — the reason for players to participate in or perform certain activities.Â This stretches beyond player action into the general feel of the game and into the spirit of the game and into the design as well.Â Let’s just get right to it so that this starts to make sense.
Thanquolâ€™s Incursion is an instanced, Skaven themed, 24 v. 24 RvR dungeon planned to be available in Tier 4 for players of Renown Rank 65 and above.
I like dungeons, especially ones with RvR.Â That’s why I was so disappointed when Mythic did not bring along one of the most important ingredients from DAOC: Darkness Falls.Â They attempted to remedy its absence in WAR by adding the Land of the Dead.Â It didn’t do crap to fix the RvR in the rest of the world and thus had little purpose except being an isolated RvR lake with some PvE bosses.
Alright, so what’s so bad about this new dungeon?Â I’m going to shoot some quotes your way from this article explaining Thanquol’s Incursion.
One very important thing to keep in mind: While there are Skaven Bosses in the dungeon, they do little more than â€œget in your way.â€
That sounds like such a … stupid way of selling us on new boss fights.Â Why would I want to go into a dungeon to kill bosses if they’re meant to just “get in your way”?Â They go on to say that the bosses just stand their ground and from the sound of it are nothing but damage sponges.Â Â It must be because it’s all about the RvR! Let’s look at how they plan to handle player vs. player interactions.
During Boss fights, you will see a new UI element; something we, in the office, lovingly refer to as the Win-o-Meter. A horizontal bar represents the total number of points possible in the current boss fight. Shields above and below this bar indicate your realmsâ€™ progress: the farther to the right the shield is, the greater number of points your realm has earned. At the end of a Win-o-Meter enabled fight, the side with the most points wins!
Am I the only one facepalming after reading that?Â Win-o-Meter?Â That sums up 50% of what’s wrong with Warhammer Online.Â They’ve made it all about getting points and emphasizing point gain over a greater purpose such as realm pride or territory control.Â It’s always just about accruing points to flip a zone or points to get into LotD or points gained in a BG or now points to win a boss fight.
I do not understand the reasoning behind it.Â Mythic, are you sitting in your meetings and actually getting excited about this stuff? “I have an idea! Let’s have a win-o-meter!”Â You guys just do not get it at all.Â What’s even worse is that you’re gating your content to level 40’s with RR65 and above and maxing it out at 24 v 24.Â It’s not just that the dungeon isn’t DF though.Â The entire idea lacks depth, purpose, and shows that they’re not learning anything.
Here is where I once again try and provide feedback that will improve Warhammer Online.Â I’m not just complaining.
Mythic desperately needs to create an area in the game with territory that has some meaningful reason to be fought over.Â Fighting for PQ bags or just for slaughtering other players in an arcade-like way isn’t enough.Â Look at how GW2 is creating a system where players within the servers (translates well to Realms) will want to care about and help each other because they’re all fighting for a common goal — the key word being goal because it plays into realm pride when you obtain it.Â Consequence of loss is also important.Â If the enemy takes your territory they not only push you back but owning the land/relic/whatever confers a bonus.
Right now there are no social dynamics.Â Since it’s all about your individual points and not about the other players or the land, no one cares about anyone outside their circle of friends or guild.Â Â Even when participating in city and keep sieges it’s so compartmentalized and put into such an autopilot mechanized procedure that you can simply watch TV and follow along tab targeting and pressing 1-2-3.Â I know because I’ve done it!
Ideally, Mythic would scrap their entire game world and make the world contiguous.Â Since that won’t happen, we need a very large land mass added to the game that resembles DAOC’s original Frontiers.Â An Emain macha combined with a Yggdrasil Forest maybe.Â Heck, to be honest I think a DAOC Caledonia/Thidranki type Battleground would solve it all.Â You guys remember that, right?Â DAOC was the first and last to get Battlegrounds right.Â They were teleported to (just like everything in WAR) but instead of being instanced and temporary fights that could be “won”, they were persistent.Â A keep was in the middle and it was fought over by all three realms.Â Each realm has a big border keep where players can stage with 1 shot guards so no spawn camping occurred.Â Fighting over the center keep seems simple in concept, but with a moat, bridges, all the amenities of a castle (walls, corridors, etc) it made for some pretty epic battles.
In fact, that sounds like an awesome idea.Â Forget trying to make a contiguous world with meaningful RvRÂ (slap in the face: I don’t think they’re capable) and just give the game a DAOC Battleground.Â They’re fairly large, having areas for players to PvE (make it really worthwhile), and provide an isolated way of providing a meaningful fight.Â Let this battleground provide the realm that controls the center keep a really nice bonus that will get players wanting to work together — it has to be worth owning if it’s going to be worth fighting over!Â Ideally this is where a dungeon like Darkness Falls comes in as a reward or even their new dungeon (if the bosses were worth killing).