Sunday, June 26, 2011

Warhammer Online - What I would like to see done



I've mentioned Warhammer Online (WAR) a lot in my blogs. I was an early BETA tester, a respectably long time player, and a part of me still wants to go back and hope the game has gotten better... I've been around long enough though to know that it just won't happen with the current developers running the show. Honestly, WAR deserved far better then this, heck even the graphical upgrade mythic did to UO was rather subpar in almost every aspect.

WAR should have been a great game, but was plagued by a lot of problems, most of which the developers were warned about during the BETA, but instead of listening to the testers, they banned and threatened them. Even when a good idea was put out on the table, the horde of Mythic fanboys in BETA raged as soon as you so much as thought Mythic might not know best.

Anyways, I am going on a tangent not meant for this post. I want to talk about what SHOULD have been done with WAR right from the get go.

The PvE in WAR is terrible, just down right terrible. The Warhammer World is extremely rich and deep, and yet Mythic's version is an unused expanse of largely bugged or abandoned content. just because PvE isn't the main focus of the game, is no right to neglect the PvE part to such a large degree. There are players that would much rather see a working story evolve with working content rather then PvP. This means mobs AI needs to actually work and stop rubberbanding, falling through the ground, not animating properly, and for all that is holy, the pathing needs to be better.

The classes in WAR are far more... fatty for a lack of a better term, then they need to be. You want to do two realms, that is fine, give both realms the exact same abilities on the same class types. None of this 'Marauder is the class type equal of the White Lion, but the mechanic equal of the Shadow Warrior' BS that has gotten the game into so much trouble. Make the White Lion and the Marauder equals in every respect. Forget about the war lion gimmick, as they never got it to work right anyhow. Same with the Shadow Warrior and the Squig Herder or any other equivalent classes. Mythic made balance far harder then it had to be in this aspect. the main difference should come from how those races interact with each other as synergy. of course I am also in favor of removing levels as a whole, but will get to that soon enough.

The Realms should have been in an all out brawl like the Warhammer World is renown for. Instead of two realms, make six distinct realms all after separate goals. This of course leads to RvR having to be completely reworked, and the scenarios being made to cater to RvRvRvRvRvR battles, but honestly it wouldn't have been any harder then the all the current work Mythic has been putting into RvR to try and make the RvR work and rewarding enough for players. All six races wouldn't have even needed to be released at once, instead used as bounding points for patches, to introduce new areas, dungeons, storylines, ect. Which dovetails into next topic.

Instead of the bad zoning mechanic WAR currently has, which makes you magically teleport all over a map, the entire area should be open. You want to go to Ulthuan, then make the entire Elven Isle open for exploration. It should have an expansion worth of content available to do. Same thing with the World's Edge Mountains,  Lustria, or anywhere else. Instead of the horrible Skaven Monster Play, Mythic could have made a huge patch introducing both Lizardmen and Skaven, along with the Lustrian jungles as new content for players to explore. Land of the Dead could have easily added Tomb Kings as another playable realm taking to the field of battle against the other six release realms. So much potential, just completely wasted.

Graphically... Honestly, the over all tone of the graphics is almost on par with what I would expect of Warhammer. I really don't like the fact that even after 2.5 years, Mythic still hasn't even managed to fix the Elven hair clipping through the White Lion shoulder armors... That is just laziness. I was not expecting miracles when I put in a graphical bug report shortly after release, but to have the same issue present literally years later is unacceptable.

Gear of course is another thing Mythic completely boned up on. When the game first came out it was easier to gear up through PvE because PvE was so stupidly easy to complete compared to Forts/Keep and City sieges. Now it is the exact opposite, where higher and higher levels of gear bloat is thrown into the game through PvP. I honestly would do a complete revamp of the gear system in WAR. instead of making better tiers of gears, following the WoW/EQ raid progression style, I would like to see damage completely removed. Make it something much closer to combat in Spiral Knights, where weapons have bonuses and weaknesses, but in general a sword is a sword. One may do piercing damage while another does slashing, but they would do they same amount of damage regardless. Same thing with armor, instead of focusing on increasing stats, focus instead on increasing resistances. Instead of players going up in levels, instead they can have gear level up. This also goes to help the next area I am going to talk about.

Crafting in WAR is currently very... weak. Even compared to PvE content which I have already given my opinion on. With the above change to gear, this opens a wide range of crafting potential. players now can get gear crafted that has difference properties. A tank player could easily carry a suit of armor for fire resistance, then swap out for max physical resistance if needed. There can be general armor that can perform well enough in all circumstances, but certainly not the best. Tons of options start opening up at this point for players to equip themselves. Add in the wardrobe, and now you also give the players a big chance to really design their characters the way they want with crafted gear.

As you can see, I have a lot of opinions in regards to how WAR should have been made. I would have loved to have a much deeper PvP and PvE system then Mythic gave to us. A much deeper crafting system. I would have just loved a much better game in general. I have not even fully hit on all my ideas, but the above are certainly the more important things that really hammered home for me throughout BETA and after release.
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