Live Warhammer Online interview Finished

We were joined by an entire pack of Warhammer Online bigwigs this afternoon to answer your questions. These included creative director Paul Barnett and executive producer Jeff Hickman, plus surprise guests career lead Rob Hinkle and live producer Destin Bales.

You asked them all sorts, from what the new Tomb Kings dungeon will be like, to how the Orc Choppa and Dwarf Slayer will negate crowd control and get close to their prey. You also touched on on-going class changes, upcoming patches and the possibility of new races somewhere down the line. And plenty more.

Thank you to all who submitted questions, and apologies to those whose didn't get answered.

The full transcript of our live interview with Mythic about Warhammer Online follows. The earliest questions and answers are presented first.

Latest comments (27)

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  • iokthemonkey 5 years ago

    This site is free and gets revenues from adds from game developers, obviously they aren't going to piss a dev of.



    ----



    Nobody is saying we want questions like "why is your game shit?"



    We're asking for the mods to ask reasonable questions people would like answering and then give the developers the opportunity to address those issues. The point is that the mods ASK for users to submit questions they'd like answering. If it were an off-line interview, fine, but the point is this is the chance for the players to ask questions and the devs to speak directly to the audience and re-assure them that their comments are noted, that points are being addressed and that they're listening...
  • Nill 5 years ago

    Pretty useless interview as others have stated.



    Get a better mod next time.
  • Wellytopp 5 years ago

  • sneetch 5 years ago

    @iokthemonkey

    But you've hit upon the nub there: give them room to manoeuvre, room to answer and don't just hit them with negativity, hostility and standard issue interweb anger.



    ---



    That's the problem though - even "mildly tough" questions like that are ignored by the mods.



    I asked a very fair question about the game's use of instances and if they were going to do less instancing to help people group, but it was ignored.



    And when the AoC chat was going on, I asked - very nicely - "Can I have my money back?" and they ignored that, too...



    Yeah, I asked a couple of what I thought were reasonable and quite interesting questions in the past on these things and they ignored them too, I wonder what the selection method is and how many questions tend to be submitted. So yeah, they probably do need to "toughen" it up a bit.



    Ah damn, I need to get back to work before teh resesshun claims us all.
  • DFawkes 5 years ago

    I liked the fact my question was pretty much unedited at least. and that I even got answered, even if it was vague and hope enducing :)
  • iokthemonkey 5 years ago

    But you've hit upon the nub there: give them room to manoeuvre, room to answer and don't just hit them with negativity, hostility and standard issue interweb anger.



    ---



    That's the problem though - even "mildly tough" questions like that are ignored by the mods.



    I asked a very fair question about the game's use of instances and if they were going to do less instancing to help people group, but it was ignored.



    And when the AoC chat was going on, I asked - very nicely - "Can I have my money back?" and they ignored that, too...
  • sneetch 5 years ago

    @iokthemonkey

    "Negative questions" basically come across as hostile whining; if any developers come on and get a load of negativity and hostility then they more than likely won't be back and other developers won't be willing to come on and be bushwhacked by it either.



    ----



    True but at the same time it's possible to press somebody but give them room to answer. Yes, saying "why is your game shit?" won't get any form or response, but asking something like "a lot of people feel the combat mechanic on X doesn't work. What was your intention with it and will you be looking at what players are experiencing?" gives them the space to address criticism and pimp their game.



    Oh yeah, I completely agree, I'm not proposing that we treat them with kid gloves: "tough" questions like the examples you give are fine and should be asked (Ellie is particularly good at that, I think). Particularly because you're helping them out with your phrasing, you're giving them a way to respond positively but "why did you go with GOA in Europe?" well, it's easy to imagine that in an angry and accusatory tone and is the kind of question that sure as shit would put me on the defensive and probably encourage me to wrap the whole thing up ASAP, "I have to go now... my dog is on fire."



    But you've hit upon the nub there: give them room to manoeuvre, room to answer and don't just hit them with negativity, hostility and standard issue interweb anger.
  • iokthemonkey 5 years ago

    "Negative questions" basically come across as hostile whining; if any developers come on and get a load of negativity and hostility then they more than likely won't be back and other developers won't be willing to come on and be bushwhacked by it either.



    ----



    True but at the same time it's possible to press somebody but give them room to answer. Yes, saying "why is your game shit?" won't get any form or response, but asking something like "a lot of people feel the combat mechanic on X doesn't work. What was your intention with it and will you be looking at what players are experiencing?" gives them the space to address criticism and pimp their game.
  • sneetch 5 years ago

    @spimmy

    no doubt no questions will get through about why they went with goa in europe will be asked



    Because it's irrelevant to most people, the decision was probably nothing to do with these guys, the answer would be "because we have had a long and fruitful working relationship with them with very few problems" and finally it would come across as bitching rather than as a real question.



    the staff here have no guts to ask any negative questions



    "Negative questions" basically come across as hostile whining; if any developers come on and get a load of negativity and hostility then they more than likely won't be back and other developers won't be willing to come on and be bushwhacked by it either.
  • mikeck 5 years ago

    Well I'm going to stop playing now that I know anomagnus doesn't like the game...what was I thinking ;)
  • DFawkes 5 years ago

    Oh, I'm not sure I can live with knowing me (and I'm assuming most of those 300,000 others) are getting so much enjoyment out of WAR when anomagnus doesn't like it.



    You do know it's based om the Warhammer tabletop wargame, right? you can hardly blame Paul Barnett of being a shit artist when he's just making a game verison of lot of existing material.
  • sneetch 5 years ago

    @anomagnus

    they fucked up a game i should have loved



    While simultaneously producing a game that a lot of us love: now that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.
  • anomagnus 5 years ago

    pity i missed this one



    i'd have asked paul barnett why he was such a bullshit artist



    they fucked up a game i should have loved
  • Kremlik 5 years ago

    Hugely dissapointed that most of the interview covered old ground, most of that info could be found on the main WAR sites and a few of the forums if you go looking, only a little bit of insight to the slayers/choppas given that was useful..



    Small tip for next time - If you want to have an interview worth being hyperlinked to all, ask questions to things we don't know about..



    and 'Safe Zones'? Please... I'm after blood why would i ask about wanting to be safe :)
  • spimmy 5 years ago

    one thing ive noticed is alot of the questions are asked by people with 0 posts :S
  • JediMasterMalik 5 years ago

    Not very detailed answers one some of te games biggest issues. (loot drops and player base)
  • Lemming81 5 years ago

    "Do you ever do a spot of cosplay around the office? What does Paul Barnett dress up as?"



    What a waste of a question. Can someone get rid of this mod please? Some of us actually want to find out useful information. Leave the jokes to Barnett and his videos.
  • JediMasterMalik 5 years ago

    Well my questions weren't negative but still haven't been asked. :(
  • spimmy 5 years ago

    its nothing new like with the age of conan Q&A

    Super Censoring Hero was editing peoples questions and just asking pro age of conan questions



    the staff here have no guts to ask any negative questions
  • Benno 5 years ago

    ask my question damit

  • Lemming81 5 years ago

    Well, i've submitted two questions: one about GOA and one about any hints for the first paid for expansion. I'm not holding out any hope though.
  • JediMasterMalik 5 years ago

    Why does the super moderating hero get so many questions in where we don't? :(
  • spimmy 5 years ago

    no doubt no questions will get through about why they went with goa in europe will be asked
  • spimmy 5 years ago

    so will there be as much Censorship as the last Q&A had ?
  • JediMasterMalik 5 years ago

    Submitted my question about player numbers, it's a long one but hopefully it'll get asked. :)
  • Azazel 5 years ago

    Did the Horrrned Rat swear long ago,

    Never to walk in annnyones shadow!



    /kills self

Our live coverage has now ended. Here's what you missed: Updating...

17:37 By Robert Purchese

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Super Moderating Hero: And we're away! Hello Paul and Jeff, could you tell us who you are and why you're so famous, please?



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Jeff Hickman: I am the executive producer for Warhammer Online. I started work with Mythic on Dark Age of Camelot over 8 years ago. I am handsome and have great hair.



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Paul Barnett: I am the Senior Creative Director at Mythic. An animated, British monkey. I do videos on YouTube and you can follow me on twitter - "thatbarnettblok".


17:37 By Robert Purchese

Q%jamesjlee%141027%
You announced 300,000 subs for War recently. It's a big drop from the 750,000 you originally announced, but was it expected?



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Jeff Hickman: We are super proud of our subscription numbers. We expected a hit from our competitors launch and the economy is tough right now. But our subs are growing, especially as we see people return from "That Other Game" (tm).


17:40 By Robert Purchese

Q%jamesjlee%141027%
Do you think releasing a Russian version of the game will boost subscribership and, if so, how significant do you think it will be? And what about a Chinese/Asian version?



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Jeff Hickman: We are really excited about all of our international opportunities. We think that Russian players will love WAR and have been really enthusiastic about the game. We launched last night and the servers are filling up fast!



Asia and other areas are very attractive to us and we have big plans for them. We will be in Korea and Taiwan shortly and are exploring all options for China.



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Paul Barnett: Paul and Josh both love Nixon, as a result, they will no doubt be sent to China.


17:45 By Robert Purchese

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Super Moderating Hero: Tell us about Tomb Kings! How is it similar to Darkness Falls from Dark Age of Camelot? How big is the boss at the bottom? What sort of loot will there be? Token hand-ins? Lots of PvP? The latter and the thrill of being rolled by Hibs or Mids added loads. Will we be sectioned into instances here?



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Jeff Hickman: I think that is 10 questions, but we will try...



Tomb Kings or The Land of the Dead is a massive zone which is broken up into two parts - The Necropolis and the Tomb of the Vulture Lord.



It is RvR-gated. In other words, each realm must fight for ownership and the dungeon is expected to change hands nightly...



It is full of new and interesting PQs, new lairs, refreshing game mechanics, new rewards and loot and generally awesome new stuff.



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Paul Barnett: It is the ultimate sandbox zone!



I just saw some early footage (which I videoed) and if evil marketing is not looking, I will sneak it into the Comic-Con presentation this Saturday.



Many of the great things from Darkness Falls will be built upon. Tokens, other loot methods, wide level range, and the thrill of your enemy always breathing down your back. Lots of opportunities for RvR within the dungeon itself.


17:48 By Robert Purchese

Q%Mendoras%60245%
Will the new "Tomb Kings" dungeon be a dungeon in a classic sense, or will it contain instanced areas? The charm of DF was that you could be attacked always and everywhere, will this also be a danger in the WAR dungeon?



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Jeff Hickman: You can be attacked anywhere in the Land of the Dead. There is a huge open-world area, but also some instanced areas. In ANY of these areas, your enemy can hunt you down and fight you (as long as they gain control of the dungeon while you are in it). Even the instances are not safe.


18:01 By Robert Purchese

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Super Moderating Hero: What level range are we talking about? What's the earliest I can get in there? And will it scale right up to the top end and beyond (endgame)?



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Jeff Hickman: It is accessible from around levels 25 and up. The Tomb of the Vulture Lord is actually a super high level area designed to supplement our end game content after Lost Vale.



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Super Moderating Hero: And how big will the bosses be at the end of that? Will Tomb Kings have a Legion-style encounter at the bottom? And how many people will we need to beat the Tomb of the Vulture Lord?



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Jeff Hickman: We are not prepared to answer too much detail on the bosses, but there are many within the Land of the Dead and the bosses in the Tomb are absolutely amazing.



Like most of the content in our game, the number of people to complete the Tomb itself will be fairly low - no greater than a Warband for sure.



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Paul Barnett: I just saw one of the bosses - it shoots lasers from its eyes and slams things. It is quite unlike anything in our game and very big.


17:57 By Robert Purchese

Q%Mendoras%60245%
To attract people to discover the new Tomb King dungeon, I think there will be some nice loot to get. Can you classify the power of the new objects or their equivalent? Similar to those in Lost Vale and City PQs? Are you introducing any new loot types?



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Jeff Hickman: As you can imagine, there is a wide variety of loot to match the wide level range. Their power varies from Rank 25 gear all the way up to gear that is comparable (or a little better) than Lost Vale.



It is important to remember that the King gear and the gear found in Capital Cities is still much better than any of this.



There are no new gear types, but we are doing some cool stuff with new accessory types and sets.


17:59 By Robert Purchese

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Super Moderating Hero: Jeff Hickman needs to head out now and will leave Paul with Rob Hinkle (Careers team lead) to answer more questions.



Hello Rob Hinkle!



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Rob Hinkle: Hi guys, Jeff has given over the chat to me for a bit. As he mentioned, I'm a senior designer with the careers team. I'm also joined by the Live Producer, Destin Bales.


18:05 By Robert Purchese

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Super Moderating Hero: These live events that introduce the new areas - do the server factions need to complete them to get access to the new content? How do they work?



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Destin Bales: So we are working on multiple events as part of the Call to Arms campaign, two of which specifically revolve around eluding to or gaining access to The Land of the Dead.



What you are specifically referring to is our race for access, the main plotline behind the Rise of the Tomb Kings (Live event #3). This event represents a race to first access (limited time exclusive access) to the dungeon. This will be an Order vs. Destruction race for superiority.



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Super Moderating Hero: So the content will open up to everybody at some point regardless of the outcome? This is just for early access?



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Destin Bales: Absolutely!


18:09 By Robert Purchese

Q%Greblok%306907%
Seeing as we've got the Careers lead, let's talk about the new classes! How different are they going to be to what's out there? Will they become the defaul melee dps of choice? Are you worried they'll start smashing the snot out of stuff in the way Berserkers did back in DAOC?



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Rob Hinkle: Obviously we hope that the Choppa and Slayer bring a different style of melee DPS play than exist with the current careers. They are going to be hard-nosed and brawling. A very up in your face kind of class.



We don't intend for them to supplant any of the previous careers in pure power, we want to see all of the melee DPS careers out there. This will help those players who REALLY like the Orc and Dwarf races, but feel like the existing options just aren't quite brutal enough for them!


18:12 By Robert Purchese

Q%Greblok%306907%
What will Choppas and Slayers get to close the distance between them and foes and avoid crowd control? Will there be the first "leap" ability for destruction or will we get something else? We like leaps.



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Rob Hinkle: Everyone likes leaps! The Choppa and Slayer will have some of the styles of movement that have appeared in a few places already, quick bursts of speed, that kind of thing.



They're also going to have a few unique abilities that will help prevent enemies from running from them. As for the specifics, well, you will just have to wait and see!


18:14 By Robert Purchese

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Super Moderating Hero: Which of the Choppa and Slayer would you play? And you have to make a choice!



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Rob Hinkle: Who doesn't love the mohawk of the Slayer?!



I think it's a fair assessment that we are looking forward to both the Slayer and Choppa, but I think a lot of people lean towards the dwarf.


18:17 By Robert Purchese

Q%Mendoras%60245%
What other upcoming class changes are planned on a wider scale? Is there one in particular that needs work? What are your plans with CC and immunity? Many players are of the opinion that there are too many knock-backs, or that skills like Fetch! have a way too low reuse timer. Any Comments about that?



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Rob Hinkle: We are always looking to improve the balance of the game, it's an endless job! Patch 1.2 has a pretty good amount of career changes that are really going to excite the players.



CC is definitely something we talk about almost on a daily basis. We will continue to talk and then tweak the abilities to get as close to perfect as we ever can.


18:20 By Robert Purchese

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Super Moderating Hero: Can you give us a taster of the exciting career changes? One of the more dramatic ones?



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Rob Hinkle: Sure! One of the things we saw on forums and in our feedback was that Swordmasters didn't feel like some of their 'Perfect Balance' attacks were up to snuff. We took a pass over the whole bunch, and ended up improving nearly all of them.


18:22 By Robert Purchese

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Super Moderating Hero: Are you going to keep adding more classes at a similar pace now that the four you originally cut have been reinstated? What about those cities you axed?



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Destin Bales: For now our focus is in version 1.2, the Slayer and Choppa, and the Call to Arms campaigns. Although no current development is underway for additional careers at the moment, they are of course discussed around the office.



As for cities, we continue to invest time and energy on our existing capitals. For example - the rewards given for invading and defending IC and Altdorf are being revised at the moment.


18:24 By Robert Purchese

Q%DFawkes%18896%
Any plans for any new races? I know the game is set up for the races being paired up, but you could have Wood Elves in with the High Elves, or the Skaven in with a Chaos faction.



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Destin Bales: One of the most exciting aspects of the Warhammer IP is the breadth of available content. A day doesn't pass where we pour over GW books and material, and I'm certain - at some point - we'll see new races enter WAR.


18:26 By Robert Purchese

Q%Lemming81%49533%
How many more live expansions like this will we see this year? Are you going to do boxed expansions as well? When?



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Destin Bales: For now our focus is on Call to Arms, however we are committed to expanding our world and delivering new content whether through Live or retail expansions (or both!) moving forward.


18:28 By Robert Purchese

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Super Moderating Hero: Do you ever do a spot of cosplay around the office? What does Paul Barnett dress up as?



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Destin Bales: One thing that you may not know about Paul is that he is an enormous Halfling buff. In fact, his recent special order of hairy-feet slippers just arrived today.



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Super Moderating Hero: Does that mean we'll see Halflings at some point?! Those NPCs in Altdorf keep banging on about them?



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Destin Bales: You never know!


18:35 By Robert Purchese

Q%Benno%13184%
There are widrespread reports of many servers appearing "empty" making leveling quite isolated and PQs impossible. Are there any plans to merge servers to consolidate the user base?



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Destin Bales: We evaluate server population data on a daily basis and are committed to making any and every adjustment to make gameplay in WAR fun and compelling. Examples include previous access to free character moves, and the recent addition of Easy PQs. We'll continue to monitor and adjust as needed.



We recognize that WAR is a blast when you are surrounded by friends (and enemies!) so this is a focus for us each day.



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Super Moderating Hero: How much more aggressive will you go in order capture, or recapture, an audience?



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Destin Bales: As part of the Call to Arms campaign we have our free trial coming out, as well as other programs aimed towards players who may have left for one reason or another. Since launch we have made numerous updates and upgrades to the game and we are excited for people to come back and see how much better the experience is now. We know that they will be impressed.



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Super Moderating Hero: What are those "other programs"? Can you give an example?



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Destin Bales: We will be releasing information on this within the next few weeks.


18:37 By Robert Purchese

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Super Moderating Hero: We've only got time to ask two more questions! Onto loot drops and sieges, then.


18:40 By Robert Purchese

Q%Freigeist%306916%
Will we see some changes in the current dungeon item drop system (for example in the Sigmar Crypts or the Warpblade Tunnels in Altdorf)? I am thinking about replacing it with a token hand-in system, repairable items or loot bags instead of the current system. And have you considered taking the random element out of PQ loot?



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Rob Hinkle: We are looking at ways to improve the systems for all the dungeons in the game. We've made some small improvements in how things are distributed in the upcoming patch, but that isn't the final step that we want to take.


18:43 By Robert Purchese

Q%Kremlik%35719%
Any thoughts in extending the Keep/Fort Seige situation for non-range classes, more along the lines of adding seige towers and ladders as alternate methords of gettng in the keeps/forts? Or extra safe spots?



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Destin Bales: I can say that we recognize that ramps, as an example, are an aggressive choke-point - especially in fortresses - and we are discussing ways to alleviate that issue. This could result in any number of adjustments to these structures, but it's too early to say exactly what that may be.


18:44 By Robert Purchese

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Super Moderating Hero: Oh and one final question before you go! We ask everybody this - would you rather be able to turn invisible or have lasers for eyes? And why?



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Destin Bales: Invisibility - for the obvious reasons.



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Rob Hinkle: I would have to go with lasers for eyes! Everyone would ALWAYS choose invisible - the followers! Besides, traffic would be less of a problem.


18:45 By Robert Purchese

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Super Moderating Hero: Lovely! Thank you Paul Barnett, Jeff Hickman, Destin Bales and Rob Hinkle for your time. And thank you readers for asking your questions.