Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Third faction and a single vision.

Over at ‘Warcry’ there is an interesting article about ‘World of Warcraft’s’ 5th year anniversary. The interview comes across as quite honest and open. Something I’d expect from ‘Mythic’ rather than top of the heap ‘Blizzard’ (remember when Jeff Hickman talked about War’s mistakes).

It was interesting how ‘Warcraft’s’ vision has changed since development in its launch and even up through its 5 year life. This seems to be shifted due to time constraints, player demand and the market.

Even in War’s short life span we can see this in a magnified way, from the loss of cities due to release schedule. Too the inclusion of RvR influence system and players dropping tokens in an effort to entice more players into RvR while they level.

What I think we are yet to see is ‘War’ changing due to other MMO releases. I am not sure how many times it has happened in ‘Warcraft’s’ life cycle. The only contributing effects I think have been the release of ‘War’, (please feel free to point out others) with inclusion of PvP experience and battleground queuing from anywhere.

This might be the fact that when the likes of ‘Darkfall’ and ‘Aion’ were released 'War' was too young and had only just been launched. Or as with the release of ‘Aion’, ‘War’ seemed almost glad not to be in the spot light so they could concentrate on none sexy improvements.

The article also mentions the decision to take ‘Warcraft’ in the e-sports direction and the problems they faced. I wonder if ‘Mythic’ ever wished they had stayed with the three faction model like ‘Dark Age of Camelot’.

What I also took out from it that an MMO’s vision and direction can be quite fluid. I remember the sales pitch ‘Warcraft’ had with inclusion of world PvP. Could ‘Warcraft’ been a better product if they had just stuck to PvE content. Maybe the constant balance issues and efforts taken up by PvP might have been used in improving its world and PvE offering. I imagine we might have seen more classes and even more hero classes.

If I was ‘Mythic’ I would take these lessons and pick a vision and stick to it. Forget PvE and focus on RvR and add variety. Even with the inclusion of a third faction, would this improve RvR as this later stage in ‘War’s’ life? Could effort wasted in creating a new faction and new zones associated with this go into creating a more varied experience. Does ‘War’ need siege weapons and realm balancing? Would it be better to hone the city sieges and make fortresses a key part of the campaign rather than a third faction with new classes?

I know the third faction seems important at the moment. But as an existing player, do I want another side to reroll as, or just more to do with my level 40 characters. Even if we got the third faction what would all those returning players once they hit 40 in the new faction find? I guess the same game but with more sides. ‘Mythic’ has shown us in the past they can think out of the box, maybe it is time they show us a new shining light which is not the third faction.


  1. Thanks for the link to the interview.

    To be honest I'm not sure that a 3rd realm in itself would be enough to help Warhammer. But it would surely raise it's profile back above the general melee of other games.

    This would allow people to experience the other changes that have taken place over the last year. I'm not sure that there is anything else that would do the job as well.

    The 3rd realm is the PR silver bullet.

  2. I think the third faction is only viable once the end game and variety of RvR has been sorted out. Otherwise the PR silver bullet would only be a blood clot in Warhammer's death. :)