Warhammer Online executive producer Jeff Hickman has outlined what he feels were the biggest mistakes Mythic made with last year's high-profile MMO launch in an Austin Game Developers Conference seminar.
"It's been an interesting year for Warhammer," he admitted, according to Gamasutra.
The "three things that have haunted us for a year with Warhammer," said Hickman, were making the game too easy, not giving players enough reason to socialise, and a poor model for the in-game economy.
"There's a big difference between easy play and ease of use," he said. "But Warhammer, in PVE, in the beginning, is too easy. It doesn't make you thrilled to do it... The game has suffered immensely for it."
This had a knock-on effect on the second failing; the game is so solo-friendly that it gives players "little reason to socialise". "We had great ideas for all of these really cool social tools, and we built them into the game. But the game doesn't require friends. Part of it is that it's too easy," Hickman said.
Finally, Hickman confessed that the way in the in-game economy had been designed, albeit for good reasons, wasn't compelling.
"Our economy... we just missed the mark," he said. "If you look at the reasoning behind the economy, you'll see things like, 'Hey, we're not going to let gold farmers in our game.' 'We're going to try to make sure we have controlled inflation.' We had all the best reasons in our game, but what it caused us to do was build a game where economy is not important enough. Economy brings people together." Fixing the economy would be essential for the game's upcoming Korean launch, he noted.
Identifying the game's successes, Hickman picked out the public quest system which allows players to jump in to rolling live quests together, and open grouping, which allows players to slide in and out of groups automatically depending where they are and what they're doing.
Read our recent Warhammer Online re-review to find out whether we agree with Hickman's analysis.