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Hypothethical WAR is Back!

Greetings one and all! I have returned from my sabbatical ready to take on Mythic and the minds of dreamers! Did I leave WAR while I was gone? Most certainly not. In preparation for my upcoming project I was toiling away on the PTS daily, diving into the intricacies of every class, and exploring the uncharted realms of the PvE world. So, I have still kept up with the goings-on of Warhammer Online.

Recently, the community got two updates as to the thoughts of the developers. The first was the May Community Update (gone are the days of the Producer’s Letter?), which left me with mixed feelings. The main focus of the Community Update (CU because I grow lazier with the typing) was to whet our appetites for the upcoming Live Event “Sigmar Tide”. As I posted months ago when the title of the event was first put out, the lore of the event focuses on the Summer Solstice, so it makes perfect sense to assume this Live Event will go live just around June 21 – an assumption confirmed by the CU. Past live events have had focuses on different realms or races, that is undeniable: Keg End with all its beer and explosives screams Dwarf, Night of Murder is a feast of Khaine so we link it with the Dark Elves, the Wild Hunt is a Wood Elf event so we might as well associate it with the High Elves, and the Daemon Moon has a focus around the realm of men and their chaotic ways. Even with these focuses, the Live Events were written well enough for them to mesh with both factions. Sigmar Tide however is an Empire holiday which is somehow being corrupted by the forces of Destruction, and all the awards scream Empire/Warrior Priest. I’m having a little bit of trouble buying this tale and one thing which particularly doesn’t sit well with me is Destruction getting the same awards as Order.

Also coming out with the Live Event will the the introduction of a new scenario called the College of Corruption. It would probably be safe to assume that this scenario will take place within the Bright Wizard College and will in fact just be the same template as the former Warlord instance. My hope is that I am wrong, because this structure is rather narrow and will once again prove to be a killing-field for the MDPS trains. Another thing the scenario has tied into it are the Aspects of Fire, something which looks a whole lot like ‘monster-play’ – controlled units with 4 unique abilities. If there is one thing Mythic should have learned from the Skaven, it is that monster-play is none-too-popular.

Connecting to this thought we leap to the thread started by James Casey asking the community for feedback regarding the implementation of the Skaven as ‘monsters’. The results thus far have proved pretty conclusive that the community is not pleased with the Skaven. Perhaps Monster-play contained within a scenario as part of the objective to win is a more viable approach to the theory, but so far the responses to Mr. Casey’s thread have shown that the community wants no more cheap gimmicks. Hopefully Mythic will take these responses to heart and halt any plans to introduce new monsters.

Personally I am not against the concept of Monster-play, I stated as much on the thread. However, I am against the concept of using entire armies and degrading them to the roles of ‘monsters’. The Warhammer Community is hungering for new classes, new armies, new places to fight. The Skaven are among the most popular armies among tabletop fans; the implementation of the Skaven as monster-skins was thus one of the gravest errors Mythic could make. Could they atone for this? Yes. Returning to the concept of Monster-play I would once again like to re-state my point that the concept is not entirely bad, just its current implementation is not well thought-out. My suggestions for monster-play were for the developers to flip through the army books of the existing armies and find units within them that would be more suited for this role, units such as: Chaos Giants for Chaos, Steam Tanks for the Empire, Trolls for Greenskins, etc. These units could be used to enhance the nature of current sieges with different functions. Monster-play could work, just not as it currently exists.

With this sum-up of the May scene, I briefly will comment on my project. For the most part I am ready to start publishing my ideas, but I am still missing a few components. Tomorrow I will begin the first foray into my ideas, with the aim of launch the ship come Sunday. My hope is to show that growth is not unrealistic for Warhammer Online. WAR still has potential, it just needs the right ideas behind it to breath new life into it.

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