I came across this video interview a couple days ago and didn’t think much of it until recently when I was reading up on WoW’s cross-server pvp queues. In the interview Mark Davis and Josh Drescher answer a few questions that I personally have not heard much about at all. One of those questions being, of course, cross-server queuing. When asked about the possibility of cross-server queueing Josh answered:
“The final version is not definitive. It’s one of the potential solutions that we’re looking at for mitigating queues for scenarios. We’re not taking anything off the table at this point because we’re looking at getting people into scenarios quickly and efficiently in a way that guarantees the most fun in the smallest amount of time in terms of waiting.”
Well I guess I can’t fault them for their goal. I’m glad their goal is to guarantee fun and I’m glad they want to minimize waiting but I’m skeptical when they are say that cross-server queuing could be a solution. I was never subjected to the cross-server queuing in WoW and from what I read, that’s a good thing. To me, it takes away from the intimate community and rivalry that servers have among themselves. Back in Dark Age of Camelot we hated our enemies but we also grew to know them and respect them… those dirty Albion scum. I knew the names of my enemy and I knew what to expect. Although I sought to kill them I also was glad to know they were my enemy; does that make sense? If scenarios are indeed going to cross-server queue then I fear that, at least for this aspect of pvp, the community will be lost and it will feel very without a soul. But in the end there’s little to worry about. Scenarios are only one of many ways to enjoy pvp in Warhammer Online and it’s not even been made official that they will cross-server queue.
Next topic! Guild stuff. Once again looking back at Dark Age of Camelot, guilds could customize their shields with guild emblems and their cloaks and such. Will this be in Warhammer Online? Josh did a great at, admittedly, dodging the question but he gave us a bit more. Josh said that they are going for what’s called the “living guild” system. In short, yes there will be customizations. When asked to explain more about guilds Josh said that from the beginning Mark Jacobs wanted something that was really organic that had purpose. Something with vitality that’s alive. “Living guilds”. Guilds start out and grow not just in terms of membership but what they’re achieving, how visible they are in the world, and show what it means to be in the guild and be working with the guild. The types of things that would draw people to want to look at that guild can be seen in the Tome of Knowledge. To see what the guild does, has done, and what you as an individual can bring to that guild, all this will be in the Tome of Knowledge. So it seems the Tome of Knowledge really is going to be an integral part of the game, as discussed in one of my blog entries previously this week.
The topic of competitive “league” sport type PvP, as seen in WoW, was brought up. Josh answered this so perfectly that I want to just worship him. RvR IS fundamentally competitive gameplay! “It would be weird to say that in addition to the fact that we are always at war with a specific group of people we also go out and play beach volleyball”, said Josh. He commented that it was “an interesting structure, but the competitive nature will come from RVR; WAR IS EVERYWHERE!” So there you have it. No stupid league sport play!
Now a very important and dear topic to my heart: Item Balance. How will it be balanced between PvE and PvP? Josh’s answer? “Very carefully”. Josh goes on to say that there is an entire team that focuses solely on this very subject – and they have gone bald from it. “It takes brute force effort. It’s the reason we’re having such a long beta period”. He talked about working with beta testers and that this is the reason there’s patching. Mark Davis, who was quiet up until this point, then spoke up and revealed that they have a behind the scenes metric that analyzes all of this and gives them information on how everything works. They don’t just have to just listen to people on message boards, they can see it in data. Beta players are “metrics” but not the only system for measuring balance. Warhammer is NOT a game about loot grinding! Josh said that in the end the best items come from the things that are the most fun! Great loot will be a side effect of the awesome group quests and other things that are fun.
I can’t even relate in words to you all how awesome this game sounds. From everything I hear in interviews, posts of boards, and from the blogosphere I am slowly losing the ability to wait patiently. So let me in beta already!!! *ahem* Sorry… momentary lapse of self control…