Wall of Text (WoT) warning, so grab a bucket of coffee and just forgive me the appalling grammar. There’s a joke in the first line, if you read a bit of fantasy, a cookie to the winner.
So here we are, a few days before Christmas and like a group of impatient children, we are seeking our next fix of Warhammer news, and not the limp dick stuff either, but the stuff that gives you virtual MMO wood. I honestly feel that the anticipation of something new, provides the majority of the fun, especially now that a lot of us are in a post 1.4 malaise. The buzz has ebbed away and it’s business as usual. I’ll be honest and say, I pretty much like all of what 1.4 brought to the table, bar the RvR dungeon (Thanquoul’s Ineptitude), which I still think of as a still birth implementation (Darkness Falls my ass).
I think we all want to know about the next big thing. So in an effort to guide Mythic and obviously demonstrate my greater intellect (Irony warning before you go off the head), I thought about a few suggestions for the next RvR pack. Which I hope will address some of Bootae’s and Krosuss issues/wishes.
But before I start on that, I’d like to bring up one thing. Comparing Blizzard to Mythic isn’t even close to being a fair fight, when it comes to realising new content. Blizzard has nearly 4000+ employees, for its various developments like WoW, Starcraft, Diablo III, Unnamed MMO, plus customer and tech support. That’s a lot of art talent you can move from project to project. I wouldn’t be surprised if we are looking at Mythic + Support, max 200 people, which is 1/20 of the total. I would have loved for EAlouse to have provided a proper breakdown of staffing in Mythic. It would be fairer to compare Blizzard to Bioware Mythic and that’s assuming that the new Star Wars MMO has a successful launch and manages to hang onto a reasonable portion of its initial subscribers. Blizzard is the only game development company that would have the fiscal balls to re-image their original starting zones and the herculean re plumbing of associated data that it would take. It makes my balls shrivel in fear at the level of commitment needed. Hell, that doesn’t even take into account the new crafting, re doing the armour mechanics, skill trees, new dungeons, shit the list goes on and on. You don’t compete with Blizzard, WoW’s not refered to as 400 lb gorilla for nothing.
So now I’ve got that off my chest, lets talk the next RvR pack, because I’d think we’d all agree that it needs more meat than the last offering. Mythic were very lean on new content and that’s a bit irksome. The problem with new content is the need for it to add to the whole, without stretching population out. So, I’m sure your thinking, well the zerg needs stretching out and I’d agree with you, but that’s down to the mechanics of the game. You can’t afford any new content to just take the zerg to a new location and therefore move the problem. The zerg issue needs to be solved with refinement, not a blunderbuss, best it die a death of a 1000 cuts.
My big problem with any new content to replace the ORvR zones, was, well how well-integrated everything is, that seemless flow from PvE into RvR, which is great from an immersion standpoint, but it really does tie you down from a design point of view. I also don’t think that Mythic have anywhere the resource to perform a Blizzard level cataclysm on their content, especially so soon after launch. So how to get around it? Well the Warp portals gave me the idea and the potential in from a story line, but they just weren’t grand enough for what I desired. I want to warp a whole zone 4 tier. That point when you cross into a Tier 4 RvR zone, create a shimmering wall of warp energy, where what you see isn’t completely the zone that’s normally there, but a merged overlay of the new RvR Pack zone. Every cross over point has to be mapped into a related spot in the new zones, you hit the shield and get ported. Even the existing warcamps need to be enclosed within this warp energy, even though they are not technically within the RvR zones. Stay with me.
Yep, the next pack could be a completely new tier 4 racial pairing, but without the PvE. Just 3 – 5 linked zones (Reikland, Praag, Chaos Wastes for example). It’s not always running, but phases in and out, over the top of ANY one of the current 3 racial pairings (DE vs Elf, Dwarf vs Greenskins, Empire vs Chaos) tier 4 zones . It’s random which one it picks and exists until the tier is locked. You cross the shimmering barrier and you move to a completely new racial pairing. Now this is where my lore lets me down, but say for instance it’s a Wood Elves versus the Beastmen. The whole zone is a completely new environment, where one zone is say Wood Elves, the middle is a cross over zone artistically and the last part is a Beastman stylie. So now this whole part is free, you get that for nothing.
A lot of work for Mythic. It also frees up the art department (if there’s one left) to get going and really create. Art has an impact that words don’t. What’s good about this, is that Bootae would get a bigger ORvR zone, without the encroachment of PvE, since we know roughly what the current size of a tier 4 pairing is (How many zones can you travel, without having to port, PvE & PvP?). They also don’t need to be horizontal, or vertical, you could have right angles, vertical but climbing constantly, from a desert in one zone to high mountain peaks in the last part. One zone above land, the next underground, the final one above. In fact I think it could be 5 zones, with a lake/sea in the centre. It just can’t be too large, so that populations would be lost, never in danger of finding a fight. You could even stack 3 zones ontop of each other, in an underground complex. I’m sure there are some vast caverns in Skaven lore. Just remember there are only 3 active zones, that doesn’t change. Just one will be swapped out every so often, as described above.
What it free’s us from, are the rigid castle structures of the current 3 pairings. Just because it’s a new zone and follows the BO mechanics, doesn’t mean it can’t have more flexibility. Whatever that may entail. Notice how I said that, without actually committing myself to anything, since everything I thought of, couldn’t work with the way the game is at the moment. Ho Hum.
Now this is what you pay for. A new character type for each aligned race and access to the PvE content in this ORvR zone, lets say one wood elf, one beastman. I don’t really give a rats ass what it is. Whatever it is, people will moan, because it obviously had to be x y or z. The other thing you get, is access to a dungeon(s), be it an underground one, or in tower form but the entrance moves, just to stop the camping. It’s not an RvR dungeon, its pure PvE content, however its rewards are tied into doom flayer/warp forged, with the standard lockouts. No controlling factor, it’s just there. I like the idea of a Barad-dur styled tower with a tardis factor, which moves around the landscape. Actually a bit like finding the entrance to the Beasts fortress in the movie Krull, which moved at each new sunrise.
The pricing would be similar to what we already have experienced, but the beauty is, that we could have a new pairing added every 6 months, or every year, with new character types, so that over time our battlegrounds become more varied/ sophisticated. Where technology/tools allows things the artists/designers couldn’t have realised at the beginning.
From a lore standpoint, the chaos energy from the Skaven warpstone is creating links between wars all over the world of Warhammer, but the focus point of this war is still the control of the Inevitable City and Altdorf.
I do hope I haven’t bored you witless, with my inane witterings.