A while ago Mythic devs wrote a small blurb on the state of RvR in the game. You can read it here. I was planning on posting my response to it but managed to forget. Read my (belated) thoughts below.
I have three issues with the dev’s thoughts.
1.) They talk mostly about things they’ve changed in the past. I guess it’s a way of reminding players that Mythic is capable of pinpointing problem areas in the game and fixing them. Which is usually fine, if a bit unnecessary. But in a game where most of the real issues the community wants resolved are stubbornly ignored, new features are introduced very later or not at all (compared to similar games) and the changes made rarely fix the intended problems, it comes across as self-back patting. I don’t think a developer on a game that has had mediocre sales, then plummeted in subs and stayed there, can be proud of their product. I know I wouldn’t be. It seems as if Mythic is saying: “Look wankers, stop whining about the development. We’ve been fixing the game for the last few years, we obviously know what we’re doing.” Which is a bit of an oxymoron. If you’ve been fixing the game for the last few years, surely it would have been a marvelous MMO by now?
2.) Nowhere in that text can any admittance of guilt be seen. It’s as if Mythic got this screwed up game and have been trying to turn it around for the past few years, and doing that successfully. While in reality, they’ve been trying to fix their own screwups and introducing a few more during the repairs. I guess that taking a stance of “everything in the game is working as intended, but we’re still polishing” works from a marketing point of view, but when your playerbase has first-hand experience of the results of said polishing, you just come across as ignorant and insincere.
3.) There’s very little talk of future changes. There is a small but crucial blurb about how they’re looking at power scaling past RR80, which is one of the bigger problems WAR has right now. But there is nothing about fixing the biggest problem that will potentially kill the game: no new content. The game is becoming extremely stagnant and no implementation of new dungeons, ORvR revamps or any other smaller changes will reinvigorate the game and bring back old players. WAR needs a full-blown expansion with new areas and new things to do. You can only kill so many players in the same 9 zones before it gets boring (there are very few people playing non-stop since launch for that reason).
Now I realise that the latter two complaints could be swept away simply by saying “that wasn’t within the intended scope of the original text, the dev’s thoughts only concerned the past changes, state of RvR and balance”. But honestly, considering how little information regarding the game’s future players get (most of Mythic’s communication is limited to small short-term changes), it’s only to be expected that they scrutinise whatever information Mythic does release and complain if it gives away nothing of the future plans.
I also find it funny how shortsighted and ignorant the two dev’s seem to be. Citing the “great AoE blanket nerf” that gutted some of the careers and was full of silly nerfs (nerfed range on AoE detaunts and buffs) as one of their successful changes and saying how WAR is perfectly balanced around 6v6. The latter might be true to some extent (ask Magi or Engineers), but the scope of the game is and always has been warband vs warband gameplay, in which some careers are absolutely useless. Boasting that the game does smallscale well isn’t saying much when its focus is on largescale. But I guess if you’re talking about balance in small organised groups and larger PuG warbands, I guess the things are balanced. It really doesn’t matter what composition a random unorganised warband has, as the numbers are the only factor. You are trying to blow smoke up our asses if you’re saying that the game is perfectly balanced in organised largescale play though. Bad habit, that.
Keaven Freeman talks about how the ORvR system is set up to allow freedom in choosing where and when to fight, while he clearly states that “The campaign leads you down this path…”. I’d put it even stronger, the campaign forces you down a path. You really don’t have much of a choice when trying to further the campaign. The game funnels players into a few hotspots where the action is. You want to go into a less crowded zone and help the war effort there? Sure, but running around an empty zone setting off resource carriers is fucking boring. You want to roam with your small party? Well that’s a shame, because you’ll get roflstomped by big zergs or be forced into empty zones. Yeah, there is a choice. It’s a choice between laggy, zergy action and smug “at least I’m not zerging” boredom. When the game sets you a few nearly identical goals that you can either try to accomplish or fuck off, there is clearly very little choice involved.
Developers writing that little retrospective/advertisement was probably pointless. It serves no purpose, hidden away in the herald, and will potentially anger or demoralise the playerbase even more. It seems that Mythic is blissfully unaware of not only the game’s problems, but of the communities needs as well. Any smart developer would find the time after almost two and a half years to write a reassuring letter, instead of boasting how good they are doing and pulling off an obvious market ploy.
Lastly, let me emphasize something. I have nothing against the two developers that wrote the post in question. I have nothing against any developer that has worked on WAR. I’m just responding to what I consider stupidity by Mythic as a whole. I’m blaming the ones responsible who don’t (and didn’t in the past) go: “This won’t work, it’s shit. We can’t release this and expect people to be happy with it.”. I’m fairly certain that the paragraphs were written as an order from (and under supervision of) the marketing department and/or EA.
Frankly, I’m probably overreacting in posting this. It seems very few people care at this point.