WarCry recently had the opportunity to chat with Warhammer Online Associate Producer Josh Drescher about the game's first year and things to come. Take a look back and sneak a peek.
Please introduce yourself and tell about your position on the WAR development team.
My name is Josh Drescher and I'm an Associate Producer. That basically means I do whatever our Executive Producer - Jeff Hickman - tells me to do, from press to design to project planning and management. APs throughout the studio act like "utility" players.
Now that WAR is a year old, would you say that it is a "better" game than it was the day it was released?
Absolutely. We were pleased with WAR at launch, but seeing the game "in the wild" helped us to see areas that needed improvement. We've been working very hard - especially over the past 6 months or so - to respond to the constructive criticism we've received from our fans and to really improve the experience players have in WAR.
Approximately how many significant changes have been made throughout the past year in terms of content and fixes?
Too many to count. We've run numerous Live Events, added four careers, launched a free Live Expansion - all while constantly tweaking and fixing and improving the game overall.
What would you say have been the five most significant changes in the last year? Why those?
- Server stability improvements - We've managed to improve server stability my whole orders of magnitude over the past year and we're continuing to improve it as we move forward.
- Client performance improvements - Especially in terms of large-scale battles, we've been unhappy with client performance since launch. Our client programmers have made some serious improvements, but there's still work to be done.
- RvR changes (many of which are still ongoing) - We've taken a hard look at the RvR experience (particularly in the 4th tier of the game) over the past four months and have found it unsatisfactory. We've made changes to encourage open field keep sieges (and defense) by enhancing rewards and adding things like a second set of ramps in keeps. We've made major changes to the campaign - like pulling out the need to take fortresses - to improve the flow and performance of end-game RvR. We've got a lot more in store - especially for cities - in the coming months.
- Addition of new careers - The Choppa and Slayer have become two of the most popular careers in the game.
- Land of the Dead - What can I say? I love RvR dungeons.
How has the WAR community responded to these five?
I would say generally quite positively. You can never change anything and have that please every player, but I think our fans - even in cases where they don't totally like a change - understand WHY the changes are being made. They get that we're committed to improving WAR and understand that sometimes that takes a bit of "tough love".
Of all the things that might have changed but didn't, which would you put as first priority on the list of "must fix/add"?
There really aren't many areas that need attention that we HAVEN'T started at least working on. Long term, I think that the Tier 4 campaign and server/client performance and stability will be things we're constantly working to improve.
How much community input does the team 'listen to' when it comes to prioritizing changes/additions?
Quite a bit. As I said earlier, constructive criticism has been what's made it possible for us to recognize some of our weaknesses and then to address them.
What plans does Mythic have for the community to celebrate the first anniversary?
Shameless bribery! XP and Renown bonuses, special weekend events, Live Events and more (keep an eye on the WAR Herald).
When do you anticipate the next content addition to launch? Any 'sneak peek' information you can give?
When (and what) Jeff Hickman says so. No sneaking or peeking just yet.
Keep reading for information about the next patch to hit the PTS and more!