Archive for September 26, 2011

Quoted for Posterity

September 26, 2011 9 comments

Mythic PR at it’s best from my friend Sakurra, who helped film the Escalation of WAR series, and is also the author of the The History of WAR.

The time has come for Mythic to be called out for some of their 1.4 memorable quotes. I can only let so much slide past me before I get upset, and the recent 1.4 Booster-Pets tipped me over the edge. So lets look at some quotes brought to us by our Mythic staff in various media and bring them out into the light.

A Year of Great Expectations
First up hailing from January of 2011, after the launch of 1.4 and the disappearance of then-writer of the Producer’s Letters Ms. Carrie, we had our first Producer’s Letter written by James Casey. One particular portion I’d like to pull out of this letter is –

We have eight Live Events planned for this year. Some of these are returning favorites (like the recently completed Keg End) and the forthcoming Night of Murder in February. Others are new ones we have planned to fill in some of the calendar gaps.

Now I was gifted with eight fingers (that’s four more than my nemesis Fourfingers) and I can count up to eight. If you take the annual Keg End, Night of Murder, Wild Hunt, and Daemon Moon into account, you’ve still got room for 4 new live events. Sigmartide was one. Where are the other three? There’s still time for 3 more, but its going to be a tight crunch to fit them in the remaining 3 months of the year with the Daemon Moon and Keg End taking up spots in October and December. Plans much have changed quite a bit for 75% of the new live events to disappear.

It’s in the Animations
This time I’m turning my lazy-eye at Mr. Steven Engle. During the Blogger visit on July 6th of this year we had a chance to talk with the Devs about several points, this discussion was transcribed by Gaarawarr. At one point career balance was brought up, in particular RDPS. I brought up removing stance restrictions from some Shadow Warrior abilities, such as Acid Arrow, to bring our flexibility more in line with the Squig Herder; the response –

That, again, depends on the animations with the cast time…it just depends on the what kind of cast time and animation it’s using. It’s on a point-by-point basis on whether or not we can change it.

Now I don’t know the complexities of the game-code of Warhammer (apparently doing things like changing mail-box graphics breaks ToVL so I’m not alone), but this excuse of animations didn’t sit well with me. The animation wouldn’t change by removing the stance restriction, it would remain the same; and if the animation is tied to the stance… well Acid Arrow works in Scout and Assault, so why not Skirmish? Acid Arrow takes 1.5s to cast in Scout, Assault, and Skirmish… wheres the change in cast time? No where. Mainly what got under my skin with this excuse was that 1.4.3 was launched a week before our visit, and in this lovely act of class balance, the Witch Elf was given ranged finishers, but the animations weren’t changed… So now a WE flails her daggers in front of her and… Bob dies 30 feet away. Boomerang Daggers.

Boring Crap
This one really got the community riled up. Our dearly beloved Paul Barnett, head creative designer for Mythic, is pretty much the guy who was the face of WAR before launch. He then got shoved into a closet and re-emerged recently with the beta-launch of WoH. In a panel-discussion for WoH at the 11 minute mark Mr. Barnett said,

I think basically we went, ‘You know what, you can play the MMO, you can get all this equipment as you adventure, and you know its a neat thing to do… let’s just get rid of the boring crap.’

Wow… so you’re the guy who was in charge of designing WAR, and in part responsible for said ‘boring crap’ and now you’re taking pot-shots at WAR to promote WoH? How exactly are you still employed? O.o I’ll admit no one does the PvE anymore, but damn… unacceptable.

Milking the Player-Base
Taking a step back into the days preceding 1.4, I want to bring into the light the biggest thing that gets under my skin. In the video pod-cast about 1.4, Ms. Carrie Gouskos said –

Account Entitlements – these are items we’re making available to all players on the EA Store, but they have no impact on game balance.

You don’t say! Yet 1.4 brought out the Snotling Herald which gave players a 3% speed boost. So if you didn’t buy the Snotling Herald, you couldn’t outrun your enemy who had one. And speaking of 1.4, that brought about RR81-100 – you’re going to tell someone who doesn’t buy the Progression Pack and is stuck at rr80 fighting RR100s that there is no impact on game balance? You go roll an RR80 and fight rr100s – enjoy your game balance. It would be one thing if RR90+ was separated into its own bracket, but its not.

These things most people let slide… and then the Stat Booster Pets came out… again those who have no qualms spending more on this game buy those and reap the rewards, and they tell you ‘5% is nothing, stop your crying’. Since Mythic doesn’t take surveys of the crap they release, we turn to the lovely Charlotte of Warhammer Alliance to do Mythic’s work for them with this poll. As someone who researches and studies the psychological and sociological steps that lead to the dehumanization which allows for genocides to occur, it is easy for me to draw a correlation between the two psychological processes. Abridged version – the powers-that-be take baby steps in pushing forward their agenda and psychologically winning over the population. ‘Ah its only a 3% speed boost. Ah its only a 5% stat boost.’ ‘Ah its only name calling. Ah its only segregation. Ah its only politically approved violence.’ Slippery slope, and I don’t like slippery slopes. We let Mythic get away with selling little things like this, which apparently “have no impact on game balance,” and they’ll just keep milking the player-base for all the money they can get introducing more powerful items players need to buy to keep up with the curve.

Oh and Carrie, the High Elves know you don’t like them; that’s why they named a weed after you in Eataine. From Wikipedia

A weed in a general sense is a plant that is considered by the user of the term to be a nuisance, and normally applied to unwanted plants in human-controlled settings… More specifically, the term is often used to describe any plants that grow and reproduce aggressively.Generally, a weed is a plant in an undesired place.

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