Return to War?

Standard

Warhammer Online Logo

Warhammer Online seemed poised to be the next big “WoW Killer”. Believing the hype, I bought my copy of the game and was quickly immersed into a world constantly at war. I was hooked. The ability to effortlessly join a Scenario, unlike the time needed to simply que for Battlegrounds in World of Warcraft, was a true innovation. However, Scenarios were greatly influenced by the game world population (ie lack of players playing equaled longer que times) which eventually began to kill the game. No longer in the spotlight as a potential “WoW Killer”, Warhammer Online now has the ability to refine itself in semi-obscurity.

Recently, the Warhammer Herald (10/14) had 2 interesting bits of information regarding Warhammer Online‘s 1.3.2 patch.

1. The Apprenticeship System:

The new Apprenticeship system allows players of differing Ranks to play together, whether battling it out in RvR, or aiding your Realm’s war effort in quests and Public Quests. Just click on another player’s portrait in the group or Warband window and choose the “Make Apprentice” option, and that player will be scaled up to your Rank, no matter how much lower of a Rank they are. Check the patch notes for full details on this exciting new system.

2. New Player Guilds:

New players will automatically be placed in a ‘new player guild’, one for each Realm, to facilitate communication among those new to the game, or those who are rolling up an alt character, and to make finding a group a bit easier. The guilds are called the ‘The Forces of Order’ and the ‘The Forces of Destruction’.

First, lets talk about the Apprenticeship System. Currently in World of Warcraft, I have gotten to a point to where I am 20 levels behind a good friend that I play with. 20 levels! This ends up causing my friend to help me level while he gains zero experience points. The two of us have no problem with this arrangement but why make someone waste their game time? Final Fantasy XI already uses a “Level Sync” system that allows players of different levels to party together at a matched level. The Apprenticeship System addition to Warhammer Online is a victory dance for everyone! Now if only World of Warcraft would employ a similar system…

Moving along.

Forcing new players to automatically be placed in a “new player guild” is a stroke of genius on Mythic’s part. I would call this “forced community”. Reminds me of freshmen orientation in college. After saying goodbye to mom and dad, suddenly you are forced to “make friends” with others in an attempt at survival. Time will tell how Warhammer Online players react to this forced match up, but I think its a good thing.

Do you currently play Warhammer Online? If so, how have these changes impacted the game? Let me know in the comments below!

Mythic Entertainment and Bioware Merge

Standard

Mythic Entertainment Logo

Today we have important news to share with the community. EA is restructuring its RPG and MMO games development into a new group that includes both Mythic and BioWare. This newly formed team will be led by Ray Muzyka, co-founder and General Manager of BioWare. With this change, Ray becomes Group General Manager of the new RPG/MMO studio group. BioWare’s other co-founder, Greg Zeschuk will become Group Creative Officer for the new RPG/MMO studio group. Rob Denton will step up as General Manager of Mythic and report to Ray. BioWare’s studios remain unchanged and continue to report to Ray.

Mark Jacobs, current General Manager of Mythic will leave EA on June 23, 2009. We thank Mark for his contributions at Mythic and wish him the very best going forward. Mark played a major part in the success of Mythic with his contribution as General Manager and Lead Designer of WAR.

Mythic retains a strong team led by Rob who co-founded Mythic in 1995. Rob played a critical role in the development of Dark Age of Camelot. In his previous role as COO, he was responsible for all day-to-day management of the studio including all development, operations and support.

Please join us in celebrating the union of these two award-winning studios.

(As posted in the Warhammer Herald)