Jeff Hickman, the executive producer at Mythic, spoke at Game Developers Conference Austin yesterday. Gamasutra has a nice article summarizing the points Hickman made on WAR in his talk, which was titled “Out of the box(ed product) thinking for an Online Age,” according to the GDC Austin Web site.
Hickman outlined three of Warhammer’s biggest mistakes, which you can view in more detail in the Gamasutra article. In a nutshell, game’s beginning PvE is too easy, “the game gave players ‘little reason to socialize'” and the game’s economy lacked importance.
Honestly, I can’t say I’ve ever seen someone’s reason for unsubscribing attributed to starting Player vs Environment play being too easy. There’s been plenty of noise made regarding end game content, though, but I don’t see that mentioned anywhere in the article.
I understand why Mythic would consider those to be mistakes, but I don’t agree that they are the biggest. I was also very surprised to see that Hickman made no mention of character imbalance, or the uneven population distribution. Go to the forums and you’ll see any number of people complaining about those issues and unsubbing because of them.
With all the server merges and closures happening lately, how could Mythic not see these as being major problems? Just this week the European server Karak Eight Peaks began transferring players into two other servers, as documented by Skarbd on his blog.
On an interesting and unrelated note, the last bit of the article dealt with how Mythic is modifying the game for audiences in Korea. Hickman says there are 78 pages of adjustments and that animations specifically are up for changes. Also, he mentions in the article that Mythic is “looking at core gameplay elements where our Korean partners are saying ‘these don’t work for Koreans.'”
I am quite intrigued to see how different Warhammer will be for Koreans. I just hope Mythic doesn’t get too caught up in another release to fix what’s already going awry.