Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Guest Post: 1.3.4 Opinion

Today we have a first for this site, a guest post!  Rancid, from Back to the Dark Age, had some thoughts on the new WAR 1.3.4 patch.  Since his site doesn't deal much with WAR, it seemed like a good idea to have him post it here.  Thanks Rancid!  Continue on for his take on 1.3.4.

For some reason, there’s something that emotionally ties me to WAR.  It might be the fact that I've tracked it since I played DAoC back in the day.  It might be the fact that DAoC brought me into the MMO world, and I feel a certain attachment to the company that made it.  It could also be the fact that I was a Core Tester and got to see a little bit more of the Devs than the average WAR player.  To me, it really doesn't matter.  The attachment is there.

I believe that attachment is what is causing me to speak up about a game I no longer play.  I want the best for Mythic.  I really, really do.  They're still developing and maintaining the love of my life, DAoC.  A failure in WAR is a failure for the players of WAR, Mythic as a whole and really...the entire MMO Community.  Whether you're a fan of WAR or not, competition breeds better games.  And there's no doubt that other games have borrowed from WAR, just as WAR has borrowed from other games.

Looking over the 1.3.4 notes, it is quite disheartening to see how many resources aren’t being used.  “How can you tell this?” you may ask.  Well, the meat of the entire patch is four features: Scenario Currency, Scenario Structure, Contested City state and T2 Dwarf Quests.

As I don’t work for Mythic, I can’t speak to how much time it takes to implement some changes.  Based on prior history, lets look at some of the features:

  1. Scenario Currency.  The groundwork for this system is, as I’d guess, probably already been laid by Mythic in the 1.2.1 release that had the first Token system in it.  That entire patch took 1.5 months to roll out, compared to a full two months for 1.3.4.  There was also quite a bit more meat in 1.2.1, too.
  2. Scenario Structure.  I think this title is fanciful and misleading.  This is not a new SC structure.  This is the combination of Live events.  We already know Mythic can turn on and turn off SCs at their own free will, so what dev work actually went into this?  Also, going from 27 SCs down to 6 is…. it hurts.  It hurts me as I’ll never get to play some of my favorite SCs again, save the random weekend binge on whatever they decide to spotlight.
  3. Contested City State.  This really just boils down to when does Mythic flip the switch.  Again, knowing nothing of the architecture…it would be hard to argue this was a significant development task.
  4. T2 Dwarf vs Greenskin Quests. Making the game accessible for new players is a good thing.  I think keeping the game interesting for the existing players is…more important.  That’s just my personal opinion though.  Many, many, many people made it past T2 just fine as it was.  And really, how long do you spend in T2 anyway?  This screams bad opportunity cost and diminished RoI.

    After those set of changes, we move onto Combat and Careers, or C&C.  Fifty-five bug fixes and nine balance changes.  And of the most disheveled classes (Magus and White Lion) one didn’t see any sort of balance tweaks.

    Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad about this patch.  Nothing in there is bad for the game.  The problem I have is the stagnant feeling that has been going on since I’ve left.  There’s nothing in here that changes that.  In fact, things just appear to be slowing down even more.  I think everyone needs to be asking the question….

    Mythic:  Where’s the beef?