WC: Okay. The RvR content, the racial pairings ... I think that, that is the core of the game. I think it's easily the game's strongest suit - deservedly so. Would you say that you would like to maybe implement ... you have a very strong core there, you would add more, more High Elf/Dark Elf, Dwarf/Greenskins ... would you also add more PvE content, in addition to the RvR?
MJ: Oh, absolutely. Oh my God, of course. We've always talked about WAR, even though it's an RvR-centric game, of having a very strong PvE component. Otherwise we wouldn't have the Public Quests, the Tome of Knowledge, all the other things we're doing for PvE. For us not to improve or add on to, or substitute PvE content with more PvE content, that'd be kind of foolish. We make mistakes, but we are generally not foolish. ...other than Trials of Atlantis.
WC: *laughs* You live and learn!
MJ: Yep. Exactly!
WC: I was talking to Spyke Alexander at PAX, and he mentioned that exact same thing: you guys pretty much have the hardcore PvPers in the bag - they were going to play this game anyway. So you do want to ensure that a player who may not like PvP all that much will still be able to play Warhammer and feel at home?
MJ: Absolutely. We really, really, want to add as much as we can do this game - both in PvE and RvR. It's still going to be an RvR-centric game, just as it is at launch. It would be stupid - it would be very stupid - of us to go, "Oh, we're only going to do RvR. Sorry all you PvE-ers who bought this game for PvE; we're not going to do it." It makes no sense. So, expect us to put a lot of resources into development.
WC: Will, say, high-end PvE encounters still be tied to RvR - the city raids? That's where the cream of the crop is... will there be other stuff, or will the prime stuff be there, still tied together? How I understand it is that currently, the top-end PvE content is tied to the RvR: when you sack the enemy city, when you attack Altdorf or The Inevitable City ... is that going to continue?
MJ: Oh yeah. Look, the idea was that you're RvRing all the way up until you sack the city, and then you sack the city. We want people to enjoy the fruits of their victory. *laughs* One of the best ways we can do that is by putting in lots of things as a reward that you can go in and stomp. It doesn't mean that it's not going to be challenging, but it's there for you to stomp.
Whereas, if it was purely RvR, as the sacking of the city, post-sacking of the city, then people could find themselves outnumbered because there were more defenders now from the other side who were real players, and then you don't feel so good about it, do you? Then you go, "Damn it Mythic, I spent three weeks helping my guys to take the city, and then at the last minute fifty guys from this guild showed up and knocked us out, and everybody else got the goods but my guys didn't, you suck!"
WC: You'd end up with lots of frustrated players.
MJ: That's what'd happen, exactly! We don't want that! *laughs* If you've done your job all the way to get to the sacking of the city, and you sack the city ... there you go guys, have fun. Just play smart and you're going to win! Don't play smart? Well, that's a whole different story. But at least you know if you play smart, like any PvE encounter, you're going to have a very good chance of winning.
The nice thing about NPCs? They don't have hurt feelings.
WC: *laughs* This is true!
MJ: So we can make sure that it's nice and fair and balanced and you have a good shot at winning. Whereas with RvR, if you do that and go, you know, the defenders have a worse chance of winning, the defenders get pissed. If you make it so that they have an advantage, then the attackers get pissed. On the other hand, with the NPCs, if we err a little bit on the side of making sure that if you play smart, you win, it's good for us - because it's good for the players.
WC: I do want to say ... in the Open Beta, I had a High Elf Swordmaster, now I'm playing a Sorcerer, so I got to check out both of the cities. I have been very impressed by Altdorf and The Inevitable City. They're huge! And they're great! My question is, and I'm sure you've been asked this tremendously ... what about the other four?
MJ: So, first thing: when you look at the cities, we made the decision not just to cut cities, but to cut cities and make the other cities better. So it wasn't just a question of, "We're going to cut four cities and leave these two as they were. We cut four, and made two so much better than they were originally. We were able to add so much more content, polish them so much more. So, you know, these two cities are really, really cool.
In terms of the four other cities... well, one of the problems with the approach was - my fear towards the end was, "Boy, if we have too many cities in there, are people going to get distracted? Are people not going to be able to sack the cities because, well, these guys don't want to sack that city. Or if you wanted to defend Altdorf, but somebody else doesn't because they don't want to defend your city, because they're being jerks. Or they just don't feel the need to help the Hu-mons! Well, with two cities that's not a problem anymore. You only have one city to sack and one to defend.
Are we looking at putting the other cities back? Absolutely. We're looking at different ways of getting them in, we're looking at different solutions. The only thing that I won't allow is a solution that will make it harder for people to RvR and enjoy RvR. That's the endgame for us: the endgame for Warhammer is the RvR sacking of the cities. If you can't do it, then it's not much of an RvR-city-sacking-thing, now is it?