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Care Bears, warmongers need each other in Warhammer Online

By Heath | April 10, 2008 at 10:01 pm

During a chat with fans at the Stratics House of Commons, Warhammer Online‘s Associate Producer Josh Drescher shed some light on many things, including a need of participation in both player-versus-player and player-versus-environment gameplay. (Entire dev chat pasted below.)

On this, Drescher noted, “In terms of the end-game, PvE and RvR are actually closely connected. The RvR campaign relies on other players actively participating in all the other areas of the game — PQs, questing, tome unlocks, etc. — all of these help contribute to zone control and the overall war effort. So a realm with a serious PvE-focused contigent will also have an advantage in RvR.

“Now, the PvE players actually need the RvR campaign to succeed in order to give them access to the highest level encounters in the game. You’re not going to get to fight Karl Franz unless the RvR players have marched to the enemy’s city and broken into it. So there’s an intimate connection between the two areas. Obviously, we think the best method of play involves participating heavily in both.”

And hey, what the hell, here’s the whole thing:
<[WAR]Josh> Hey all.
<[WAR]Josh> I?m Josh Drescher, Associate Producer.
<[WAR]Wheeler> <?Brian Wheeler. RvR and Systems Design
<[WAR]Gersh> <? Adam Gershowitz, Combat & Careers Lead
<[WAR]James> Good evening ladies and gents! I?m James Nichols your chipper Community Coordinator. You may have seen me on the WAR Boards trolling as James_EAMythic. Please – don?t feed me
<[WAR]Robert> Robert Mull – Community Relations Director and please, don?t feed James particularly at night.
<[WAR]Gabe> Gabe Amatangelo – Public Quest, Encounter and Dungeon Designer

*Giff* You?ve stated that guilds have their own levels in the game. How is the leveling done exactly? Is a % of the member?s exp given to the guild or do you need to specific things to level the guild up
<[WAR]Josh> Giff – Everything a player does in the game contributes to the leveling of the Guild. RvR kills, PQs, questing, ToK unlocks – everything. The XP is not drawn from your personal XP gain, however. It?s an independent, parallel line of XP that ONLY goes to the guild.

*[A]Nike* Can you talk about character creation/customization apart from what?s been revealed? Ie, trophies
<[WAR]Josh> Whoops.
<[WAR]Josh> *I?M* supposed to answer that one.
<[WAR]Josh> Sorry.
<[WAR]Gersh> Slacker
<[WAR]Josh> Customization begins from the moment you create a character – obviously.
<[WAR]Josh> You choose a faction, then a race, then a career, then a gender (if applicable), then your own unique appearance.
<[WAR]Josh> From there, your character advances in levels and eventually enters the mastery system.
<[WAR]Josh> Mastery offers three distinct lines for each of the 24 careers, offering 72 total, unique spec lines.
<[WAR]Josh> THEN, there?s tactics and morale abilities – again, customizable by you.
<[WAR]Josh> VISUALLY, you have numerous unique armor sets for your career, each dyable (dye-able?).
<[WAR]Josh> Then on those armor sets, you have trophy slots where you can slot numerous different trophies to trick yourself out even further.
<[WAR]Josh> So each character will be extremely specialized and unique.

*ybstudyin* When are we going to get more info on the black guard? Any chance you can talk a little about them?
<[WAR]Gersh> Black Guard is a ball of burning hot boiling rage that eats casters for breakfast.. Thats All I?ll say right now.. More info to follow after we?ve had him in BETA for play testing a bit.

*[M]Tree* How many Career Mastery abilities/skills/spells are there in each tree? Also is there only one Moral ability per tree? If not what ranks will the moral abilities be?
<[WAR]Gersh> So remember the first thing Career Mastery does is effect some baseline abilities you get normally while leveling.
<[WAR]Gersh> Each Mastery Line will effect around 5 – 7 of these base abilities.. Increase the mastery level and the level of that ability will also go up.
<[WAR]Gersh> Beyond that each of the 3 Lines have additional rewards.
<[WAR]Gersh> 3 Specialized Abilities that are more focused and more powerful then base
<[WAR]Gersh> 3 Specialized tactics
<[WAR]Gersh> and one Tier 4 Uber morale
<[WAR]Gersh> Best morale abilities in the game come from mastery

*Sigi* Will there be an external database, like Turbines Lorebook for Lord of the Rings Online, with items, quests? in it, or will there be a possibility for players to build up such a database, like Thottbot/Allakhazam for WoW did?
<[WAR]James> We will provide some great services for our players. Including item and character information as well as detailed updates on RvR action and stats on your server. We?ll be talking more about that in the coming months happy

*zellogs* How much of a part will gear play in the role of fights rvr & pve also will it be separated into pve/rvr gear or will there only be one set? f you could wiegh up gear vs skill in WAR, what % would you give to each? Or if you want to be a little less accurate perhaps elaborate on how many levels of gear there are when your max level.
<[WAR]Gersh> Gear is important but not hyper critical in WAR
<[WAR]Josh> And Gersh types FURIOUSLY.
<[WAR]Gersh> end of the game the diffrence between the average set and very best uber OMG armor you can get ranges between 40 – 60% overall power atvantage
<[WAR]Gersh> depending on the career, stats etc
<[WAR]Gersh> You can earn said gear in both PvE and RvR
<[WAR]Gersh> though the very best sets are from Capitol cities which means you need to be involved in both the campaign and PvE to get the full sets
<[WAR]Gersh> On average most players will see a 15 – 25% diffrence in gear between good and average gear at a given level?
<[WAR]Gersh> how that relates to skill is basically a smart player with good tactics can overcome most gear issues, but may still have a challange if they are just entering RVR facing off against the biggest bad ass there is

*[UL]Firefly* Witch elfs are said to have Elixers and Potions. WIll you have to farm these or will they be like a spell is to a caster and use up mana? If you have to farm Items to make Potions then it could be a little unfair.
<[WAR]Josh> Witch Elves? elixirs are not item-based, so you don?t need to farm for them or purchase them from a vendor. We want you out killing people – not shopping for cute jars of evil liquid.

*Vivi* I have seen Witch Hunters with weapons that look like shotguns. Do they only get pistols or different weapons with different purposes?
<[WAR]Gersh> The shotgun witchunter shots were early BETA shots
<[WAR]Gersh> where we had some mis-scaled guns
<[WAR]Gersh> long story short their more reasonably sized now =)
<[WAR]Gersh> Witch hunters will have abilities and tactics to load said pistols with diffrent nasty stuff but won?t have to rely on item gathering for components

*Zeak* How hard is it to travel from one ?newbie? area to another? Say I want to travel to a friend and level up with him but I am a Dark Elf and he is a Greenskin.
<[WAR]Gabe> Players will be able to travel to and from the various parings via mass transit available at the war camps. War camps are in each zone and reachable along the main roads.
<[WAR]Gabe> So yes a couple levels in you will be able to travel to and fro pretty easily

*logslez* I have a guild of about 30 people, will we be able to prominantly be able to take keeps? Or this kept solely for large guilds? In your eyes, what?s the average size of a guild going to be?
<[WAR]Wheeler> Keeps without outer walls will be able to be taken by 2-3 groups if it is undefended by other players. Keeps with outer walls will take approximately the same amount of people, just more time. This all is dependent on other factors too like Battlefield Objective ownership as they dictacte how many guards a Keep has?
<[WAR]Wheeler> Now if you factor in players defending a keep?those numbers escalate?fast
<[WAR]Wheeler> Keeps are the big thing to do in open field RvR and it?s not going to be a cakewalk if you come across one that?s defended.
<[WAR]Wheeler> But 30 people?yeah you should have a good scrap on your hands

*Jageto* What will the balance be of PvE vs PvP in endgame Warhammer?
<[WAR]Josh> In terms of the end-game, PvE and RvR are actually closely connected. The RvR campaign relies on other players actively participating in all the other areas of the game – PQs, questing, tome unlocks, etc. – all of these help contribute to zone control and the overall war effort. So a realm with a serious PvE-focused contigent will also have an advantage in RvR.
<[WAR]Josh> Now, the PvE players actually need the RvR campaign to succeed in order to give them access to the highest level encounters in the game. You?re not going to get to fight Karl Franz unless the RvR players have marched to the enemy?s city and broken into it. So there?s an intimate connection between the two areas. Obviously, we think the BEST method of play involves participating heavily in BOTH.

*Dadi* Collision system in RvR is a pretty nice feature but? don?t you think that some players will have advantage? I mean you can?t pass over a Chaos Chosen but maybe you can easily jump over a dwarf or goblin. If a Chosen can jump over a dwarf, shouldn?t dwarfs be able to dock and cross between Chosen legs?
<[WAR]Gersh> We?re being pretty careful with collision, as such regardless of size all players will have roughly the same collision width? Height wise we ensured that the jump height was not high enough to even clear a Goblin =)
<[WAR]Gersh> Keep in mind those shamans can get some pretty damn tall hats
<[WAR]Gersh> =P

*talamin* when will you release the final HE class
<[WAR]Gersh> Once Uwe Boll stops making movies so I guess after that petition reaches 1 million?
<[WAR]Gersh> In all seriousness, it?s going to be reasonably soon, and it?s worth waiting for

*Lep* I understand that some things in captured capital cities will be first come first serve, what does this include, will things like that bright wizard college and kings be first come first serve, or is it more house looting and statue smashing?
<[WAR]Wheeler> There are two major PQ?s in the city that are only open during the first few stages of a City Assault. This is obviously the biggest of the first come first serve situation. The Kings however are not first come first serve as once you have access to the King instance, you can attempt it as many times as you want as long as you own the city?however you can only defeat the King once per capture?
<[WAR]Wheeler> As time goes on and an enemy realm hangs on to a city though, there needs to be incentive to keep that city held so we?re looking into having alternate rewards creep up and various other treats to entice you to stay and defend a captured city.

*Wuiske* Are there plans for instanced dungeons in lower Tier area?s or are they only available in the city?s for the rank 40 players?
<[WAR]Gabe> Dungeons will be available in the open world and in cities.
<[WAR]Gabe> Both of which will have content for mid level to high level players.

*Nicho* Will Chaos maurauder mutation arms level up in appearance as your character levels, Or is there some sort of gear mechanic in place so that you can obtain new arms?
Chaos Marauders Arms will randomize between diffrent appearances based on the mutation. As you level higher you may unlock additional random options. Less frequently will this be a new model, the most common variants are mutations that move farther up your arm and shoulder, and diffrent variants in color etc
<[WAR]Gersh> So as a low level Marauder expect to have one or two models and a few colors and the mutation may cover the forarm only

*MattKoosh* My Question! Will there be any death penalty? repair bill, exp dept/loss, or will it be a get up and go kinda deal?
<[WAR]Wheeler> There is a death penalty and we?re constantly analyzing it to see how serious or not serious it should be. Death has to be a defining moment for players that force a decision to make pause, or throw caution to the wind and possibly take another death penalty?
<[WAR]Wheeler> We?ll be paying close attention to the Death penalty and how it effects players in WAR =)

*Zvyr* Are offensively spec?ed tank classes given abilities and styles that are conducive to them being a main assist in RvR? If so, can you elaborate on some of those abilities?
<[WAR]Gersh> Offensive Tanks never loose their defensive abilities (taunt, Guard, Sheild Wall type things etc) they just may not be as effective as a defensive tank. The biggest advantage a defensive tank has is his sheild which in general will absorb around 20% or more incoming damage. Offensive Tanks Get abilities that improve parry and dodge rates with great weapons but nowhere near the bonus of a sheild
<[WAR]Gersh> In a nutshell when an offensive tank combines some of these abilities with some of the weaker non spec tank abilitys they can make a good single group tank, or even small raid tank
<[WAR]Gersh> So yes they can be main assist, but the rest of your group has to be more careful then they would be with a D tank

*Inko* will king encounter require PvE gear or will it be just as doable in pure RvR sets?
<[WAR]Gersh> Like I said RvR and PvE will have similar gear sets
<[WAR]Gersh> so you can do it either way
<[WAR]Gersh> Nice thing being is we are specifically giving some bonuses for dealing with the king in both PvE rewards and RvR rewards

*Gnarg* How will you prevent higher level players from coming into lower player zones and griefing them by haulting their advancement in the game?
<[WAR]Josh> If a high level player enters a low level RvR area, we turn them into a chicken. Unless they?re a member of the Destruction faction.
<[WAR]Josh> Then we turn them into a CHAOS chicken.
<[WAR]Josh> The chicken has one hit point and one ability – ?Peck? – that does one point of damage.
<[WAR]Josh> I look forward to the day when WAVES of chickens cluck their way onto the battlefield, exploding in massive clouds of feathers and goo.

*Kilrogg* You recently announced that Guild Taverns in Capital Cities will act as private instanced Guild Halls. This sounds great and a clever way to implement a sort of guild housing in the game. How will a guild?s level affect that guild?s hall? Will there be any DAoC-housing style customization of interiors (Fitting with the WAR IP obviously), guild banks, guild merchants etc?
<[WAR]Josh> Uh oh. Lock the doors and hide the good silverware, kids. Kilrogg?s in the house! wink
<[WAR]Gersh> Mommy!
<[WAR]Josh> To clarify – it?s not an individual guild hall belonging to each guild. It?s a MASSIVE hall accessible only to guilds and guild members – one in each city. It?s intended to be a major social hub for guild players as well a location where guild leaders and officers can meet and form alliances, plan major attacks, form strategies, bicker, etc.

*Grinor* Watching the videos from the visit to Paris, I was wondering what happens when an attacking force loses the offensive in the instance battle to capture the city? Does the offending team get kicked out the city, resulting in battering down the walls again?
<[WAR]Wheeler> Without going too indepth with numbers, population ratio and various other City details?I?ll simply say that if defenders successfully defend their City, the campaign resets back to the starting Tier 4 Central zone.

*Shawnzy* War-camps, and warcamp raiding was recently mentioned. I?ve not heard anything about this particular feature, if it?s a feature in the game at all, can you elaborate on it? What is warcamp raiding?
<[WAR]Wheeler> Warcamp raiding is a mini City raid for the open world
<[WAR]Wheeler> When a Realm takes over a zone, they have the opportunity to assault the opposing warcamp for loot and obvious bragging rights of ?we stomped your guts in HA HA!?

*ASC-Shadddow* From pictures and videos it appears that RVR areas are a lot smaller in comparison to DaoC, how is this going to affect population size in WAR?
<[WAR]Wheeler> Our RvR areas, when you take into account that we have three pairings to fight in, actually have quite a bit of room to play around.
<[WAR]Josh> Actually, the overall persistent world RvR territory in WAR absolutely DWARFS DAoC. While some locations are compact, that?s usually done to offer a sense of ?urban? warfare – fast-paced, hard to predict, skirmish-heavy. Fighting house to house in a small town SHOULD feel more claustrophobic than fighting in the middle of a vast wasteland (we?ve got those too).
<[WAR]Wheeler> We expect players will focus on specific zones and hot beds from time to time

*Shalaa* Can you modify your statistics such as strength, intelligence etc when you gain a level or are they pre defined for each class?
<[WAR]Gersh> Stats will go up as you level but based on your career, players cannot choose to modify this through normal leveling. However in RvR you can spend your Renown points to buy up stat packages which may focus on increasing one stat, multiple stats or things such as % Crit rate, Block Chance etc
<[WAR]Gersh> The reason why we restricted Stats to RVR is specifically b/c we wanted a noticible power boost between a character with low to moderate Renown
<[WAR]Gersh> and one with very high
<[WAR]Gersh> and this was the best way to allow players to choose where and how they wanted to level their power curve in Rvr

*[1]Cazey* My Question – At what level will players gain access to mounts?
<[WAR]Gersh> We?re not talking much about mounts yet
<[WAR]Gersh> but here is what I can say
<[WAR]Gersh> Early on players will have acess to mounts but they may not own them
<[WAR]Gersh> mid range they get their first my little pony of their own
<[WAR]Gersh> end game they get a much more intresting customized mount to call their own
<[WAR]Gersh> more juicy info to come later

*[Sanctuary]Mara* Are all items from the Collector edition pre order available for every character you make?
<[WAR]Robert> All items from the Collector?s Edition are available to all of your characters. However, you will still need to complete the quest that grants the item with each individual character.

*talamin* how long will a city siege take and last if the attackers win?
<[WAR]Wheeler> The initial capturing of a City has no preset timeframe on it, however we expect the capturing or defending of a City when it?s pushed into the contested stage to take roughly an hour or so (if feverently fought over) once the War has gotten to that point. We want the capturing of a City to be server wide event where plenty of players have time to participate if they choose?
<[WAR]Wheeler> If the attackers win..there are several gates that determine the length of time they have it ?Safely?
<[WAR]Wheeler> ?Safely? meaning that the Realm which originally owned it can?t get back in. After that time however, the city will be available for recapture?and at that point it?s purely up to the players to get their City back or defend it to the bone from the original owners.

*Lusk* When a Marauder reaches level 40, will said Maruader be able to just pick what form there arm will be?
<[WAR]Josh> The Marauder can always pick the CLASS of mutation they want. The different types gate specific abilities, so we want the player to have basic control there. What?s randomized is the visual component and players will never be able to fully control that. It?s CHAOS, after all.

*[UL]Venom* is there any more you can say about chosen and the rumoured twisting, im wondering if chosen will be painful to play/and or spend all day looking at your buffs or auras?
<[WAR]Gersh> Chosen Twisting? Hmm well you could choose to play that way. The chosen has a few options in terms of playing .. Curse Auras have an always on effect and they also unlock diffrent special abilities? So you can juggle the auras for a big set of debuffs in an area.. Or you can use an Aura , unlock your best moves pound away at a target. For the most part chosen activation patterns look somthing like Curse Aura, Abili
<[WAR]Gersh> Now I have seen support Chosen Just choose to hang back and twist effects
<[WAR]Gersh> and obviously this is subject to change based off beta feedback.. we are still not 100% where we want to be but that holds true of most careers

*LeetPwnsorz* Alright. In ?that other game? there are situations in instances where an item will drop that absolutely nobody can use. Quite often there are no plate wearers and plate drops, or something that is usable by one class only that isn?t there so it?s wasted. Is there going to be some intelligence to the instance loot tables?
[17:50] <[WAR]Gabe> Yes. Though I can?t elaborate on the specifics atm. We are going to have a loot system for the instances/dungeons etc. that is ?intelligent.? Players will be rewarded for their efforts appropriately.
[17:50] <[WAR]Josh> There are instances in ?Pong??

*Shalaa* Does the game have its own voice chat option for groups?
<[WAR]Wheeler> There is a long and fabled story about Integrated Voice Chat hiding in the depths of my files and stacks of designs?but the short answer is that voice chat will not be integrated into WAR at this time.

*Tapela* Previously I recalled developers mentioning that crafting and RVR loot (equipment specifically) would be the best items you can obtain and it would be through RVR mainly with pve availability optionally. But recently it has been revealed that you had to progress through PvE loot that was actually geared for pve encounters and being better at pve. Why was pve raider mindset ?progression? chosen over the equality in g
<[WAR]Gersh> As I stated before, you can pick up gear in both RvR and PvE? That being said your never going to reach the highest teirs of gear without RvRing.. PvE gear definately ends earlier. The one kicker to the whole RvR only thing is the fact that the best gear comes from the city which means you?ll have to participate in some PvE city events such as the king to unlock them.. Well at least if you want to get to them faster
<[WAR]Gersh> Your not going to need PvE gear to progress in PvE
<[WAR]Gersh> you just need BETTER gear
<[WAR]Gersh> you can get that either way

*Elthrai* A lore question which never got answered: Why did you choose for DoK to get their powers from Khaine (which is lorebreaking) and not let?s say from the convents. Have you ever thought about the alternatives about the Background of the DoK (with still maintaining the look and mechanics but not being lorebreaking)
<[WAR]Gersh> Loaded gun here eh?
<[WAR]Josh> DUCK!
<[WAR]Gersh> So short story long.. I got put in a room with Mr Allen Merrit
<[WAR]Josh> Merrett
<[WAR]Gersh> the defacto God ruler of gamesworkshop lore
<[WAR]Gersh> Merrett
<[WAR]Josh> THE Alan Merrett.
<[WAR]Gersh> oh god please forgive
<[WAR]Gersh> I shall be slain
<[WAR]Josh> *ahem*
<[WAR]Gersh> And the disciple was a really good comprimise in new lore vs old lore
<[WAR]Gersh> remember Khaine is granting you favors for the sacrifice of the souls and life energies you gather
<[WAR]Gersh> this is similar to witch elves bathing in the blood of sacrifices for power and eternal life
<[WAR]Gersh> etc etc

*Condemnation* Can we fly at any point in the game?
<[WAR]Wheeler> Fly? No? Get hurtled in the air from an Orcapult in Gates of Ekrund or knocked back off of a Keeps highest parapet?you bet!!
<[WAR]Robert> You don?t fly so much as plummet

*Oromea|Valroth* What does Warhammer Online have to offer players who enjoy risk and challenge in PvP? What can possibly be lost or gained from a PvP match?
* [WAR]Josh points at THE HICKMAN.
<[WAR]Josh> He?s watch us, guys.
<[WAR]Hickman> Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
<[WAR]Josh> er
<[WAR]Josh> watching
<[WAR]Wheeler> If you?re referring to Scenarios?players have everything to gain in a Scenario match! Scenarios contribute heavily to the Campaign and Zone control so if you abandon a Scenario mid game, you?re not doing yourself or your Realm any favors.
<[WAR]Josh> so much typing

*Ekredem* We know there is some mirroring of classes. How closely will classes be mirrored? Will the Dwarf Hammerer play exactly like the Orc Choppa?
<[WAR]Gersh> Mirroring goes so far as sharing a similar Mechanic, playstyle, and role?. We wanted to make sure if sombody liked the way a Glass cannon Bright wizard played (Big damage but I might blow my own head off) they would have a choice of the same on destruction. That being said the abilities are not the same Visually each Career is unique.. and in terms of function some abilities are closely related
<[WAR]Gersh> But rarely 100% Carbon copies
<[WAR]Josh> By ?rarely? he means ?never.?
<[WAR]Gersh> most of the time we mix up things like Debuffs, effects and secondary effects across an entire realm
<[WAR]Gersh> so frequently you?ll see similar stuff on one career mechanic and play style etc.. but a more close replica of a debuff or buff on another career
<[WAR]Gersh> entirely

Sources: Stratics, IGN

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