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Warhammer Online : Age of Reckoning: Behind the Career System - Part Two

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

In Part Two of his interview with Adam Gershowitz from EA Mythic on the subject of career design, Managing Editor Jon Wood discusses the issues of balance and how the company plans to keep 24 different careers running smoothly an faily against one another.

Greetings and welcome to part two of our interview with Adam Gershowitz, the Combat and Careers Strike Team Lead on EA Mythic’s highly anticipated upcoming MMORPG, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.

In last week’s part one, we discussed the fact that Warhammer Online is taking a unique approach to class design for an MMORPG, choosing to create four unique classes (called careers) for each race rather than using a fixed set of classes that can be applied to multiple races. We also talked about the three major ideas behind EA Mythic’s career design.

Today, we’re going to expand beyond the ideas behind the design and look a little bit at the results of the design and what it takes to balance the game. To start with, I asked Gershowitz why EA Mythic decided to create race specific classes for their MMO.

Read the whole interview here.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • SagaBoySagaBoy Atlanta, GAPosts: 83Member

    Firstly, let me state outright that I'm actually a big fan of this game.  That said these interviews, both part 1 and 2 didn't really do much for me.  I suppose that if I really had to give a one line opinion, I'd state that "this seems to be similar to everything else."  I'm not saying it's a bad thing.  Perhaps it may be that I've even missed the mark all together, but as excited as I am about this game - this didn't really make me any more or less giddy about having it.

    To the writer's credit I did find myself questioning....myself many times as to whether or not these differences were actually "revolutionary."  All and all a good interview, but one I feel doesn't really tell the average WAR fan something he/she doesn't already know.  (That too is an opinion people put the flame starters down!)  For the clueless passer-by this should be extremely informative.

  • HazmalHazmal Louisville, KYPosts: 1,013Member

    While good information, it is mostly things that have been said before; but mostly splintered.  It is a good collection of various things already said, and as said previously a good article to read if you have just started researching the game/classes.

    Interviews are always good though, keep them coming! 

    ------------------
    Originally posted by javac

    well i'm 35 and have a PhD in science, and then 10 years experience in bioinformatics... you?
    http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/218865/page/8

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,189Member Uncommon

    The big challenge for Mythic is to avoid the classes that achieve fotm status.  Because they always over react and nerf the daylights out of such classes. 

    Hopefully they have learned from their mistakes in DAoC and put out an excellent game. 

    Of course it does not hurt that Funcom missed the boat on their design.  People are chaffing at the bit for any decent new MMO. 

    I expect War to do really well.

     

  • GorillaGorilla Posts: 2,202Member Uncommon

    At least it sounds as if Mythic are still one of those rare companies that actually design there games core mechanics rather than implement a bunch of neat ideas and try (usually with limited success) to sort it all out after release.

  • KhrymsonKhrymson Eorzea, MOPosts: 3,090Member

    Having the game balanced around the RvR 1st and PvE second is interesting!  Hopefully WAR will be exceptionally balanced from launch onward and there will be minimal nerfs and changes!

  • TookyGTookyG Warhammer Online Correspondent Alameda, CAPosts: 1,188Member

    Glad to know that PvP balance comes before PvE and that they're balancing monsters against players not the other way around.  It's also great that they're not trying to make all classes equal.  It's futile.  All classes have their strengths and weaknesses.

    Until you cancel your subscription, you are only helping to continue the cycle of mediocrity.

  • wjrasmussenwjrasmussen west toluca lake, CAPosts: 1,493Member
    Originally posted by Gorilla


    At least it sounds as if Mythic are still one of those rare companies that actually design there games core mechanics rather than implement a bunch of neat ideas and try (usually with limited success) to sort it all out after release.



     

    In this day and age, I really hope most game developers would do that.

  • ZanthornZanthorn Auburn, INPosts: 95Member

    Thanks Stradden, for part 2. It may not be new info to most of us,but I believe it is giving us a good look into the way the game is going to play out. At least to me.

  • elockeelocke Manassas, VAPosts: 4,205Member Uncommon

    While I liked the first part of this better than the second, the real question I want answered above all questions, is HOW MANY CHARACTERS CAN I CREATE?

    I am an alt junky, I want the choice of being able to log in a different class any time I want for a different style of play. I want what WoW has, unlimited characters(not per server, I realize this). Please, Please, Please! don't do what EQ2 and AoC have done and limit me to only 8 to 10 forever.

    image
  • JuankisJuankis Calexico, CAPosts: 166Member Uncommon

    It has been stated numerous times (just not in this article), that you will be able to create 10 character per server, with the limitation of having all characters in the same server to belong to the same faction.

  • needalife214needalife214 Moorpark, CAPosts: 1,128Member

    it was a good read and a great info piece for those who normally don't look too deep into a game

     

    Glad to know about the blance and how some classes are weaker against some others..of course thats not saying that you can't beat them....its not Pokemon you know...

     

    And with this game being RVR based it will be more of group VS group (or zerg VS Zerg)

    to DAoC fans: if it comes down to zergfest 2008 at least we wont have mezz...

    image

  • RaidoreRaidore Anywhere, HIPosts: 4Member

    I was noticing in the interview that Ranged DPS and Ranged Healers are Strong vs Tanks, but what about Melee Healers? Also, Melee Healers are Weak vs Ranged DPS, but what about Ranged Healers?

    I noticed that Ranged DPS, Melee Healers and Ranged Healers, were all missing the 5-th career. Is this by design or just over-looked? I thought it might be by design as there are more races that can be other classes? Any thoughts?

  • AirspellAirspell warsawPosts: 1,391Member

    LOL this is Mythic, ofc  there are fotm classes. Overpowering and nerfing is what they are best at.

    Also if they are looking for some kind of a balance they are failing so far.

    image

  • GorillaGorilla Posts: 2,202Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by wjrasmussen

    Originally posted by Gorilla


    At least it sounds as if Mythic are still one of those rare companies that actually design there games core mechanics rather than implement a bunch of neat ideas and try (usually with limited success) to sort it all out after release.



     

    In this day and age, I really hope most game developers would do that.

     

    So would I. Sad truth is they dont. Take AoC as an example, as off now statistics and attributes do.......absoloutely nothing. So many things changed compleely (active combat for example) a couple of months before launch. Key game play elements and core gameplay beeing made up as they go along. Another great example is TR, completely borked in so many areas of core gameplay. Personaly I am more inclined to forgive bugs, missing content and lack of polish than non existant design that should have taken place before a line of code was written. /climbsoffsoapbox

  • puma713puma713 Birmingham, ALPosts: 288Member
    Originally posted by elocke


    While I liked the first part of this better than the second, the real question I want answered above all questions, is HOW MANY CHARACTERS CAN I CREATE?
    I am an alt junky, I want the choice of being able to log in a different class any time I want for a different style of play. I want what WoW has, unlimited characters(not per server, I realize this). Please, Please, Please! don't do what EQ2 and AoC have done and limit me to only 8 to 10 forever.



     

    Well, let's see.  Since there are (right now) 4 classes per army, and 3 armies per side, that gives you a total of 12 possible combinations per server.  Now, if they allow you 8-10 slots, that takes up most of your professions, unless you're an alt-junky that likes to make multiples of one class (which I never really understood, but to each his own).  Now, since the servers will be like DAoC (in that you cannot make an Order class on the same server you make a Destruction class) that should give you enough slots on one server for Order and one server for Destruction, yes? 

    That, and being an alt-aholic is going to be interesting with this game.  The top level is 40 (which I think is wonderful) and that is where the real game unlocks.  While you can do all the things you want to do on the way to 40, the real game begins there (according to the literature - ie., Tome of Knowledge, real RvR and city sieges) If the game is in-depth as it is touted to be, then alt-aholics should have quite a time with it.  Every experience is supposed to be somewhat different (even your Tome of Knowledge outlines the path that your character has taken). 

    I guess we'll see.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    /played: EQ, EQ II, DAoC, WoW, LoTRO, AoC, CoH/CoV, WAR, Aion, Tera, Wildstar and many others that don't merit listing

    /playing: Clash of Clans, Hearthstone

  • valenswiftvalenswift LancsPosts: 46Member
    Originally posted by needalife214



    ...its not Pokemon you know...
     

     

    Pokemon + MMO = wow 'killer'

  • RhoklawRhoklaw Ft. Bliss, TXPosts: 3,487Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Airspell


    LOL this is Mythic, ofc  there are fotm classes. Overpowering and nerfing is what they are best at.
    Also if they are looking for some kind of a balance they are failing so far.



     

    Any time you have a game with more than 4 different types of characters, your going to have the FOTM clause included.

    Take a look at the original WoW game. They had the same types of characters on both sides, except for 2, the paladin and the shaman and Blizzard couldn't even balance that out. Instead, Blizzard gives up and lets both factions have access to their unique classes, thus creating an even more boring gameplay.

    I'll take variety and FOTM for exciting gameplay vs. no variety or FOTM with ridiculously boring gameplay.

    image

  • needalife214needalife214 Moorpark, CAPosts: 1,128Member
    Originally posted by Rhoklaw

    Originally posted by Airspell


    LOL this is Mythic, ofc  there are fotm classes. Overpowering and nerfing is what they are best at.
    Also if they are looking for some kind of a balance they are failing so far.



     

    Any time you have a game with more than 4 different types of characters, your going to have the FOTM clause included.

    Take a look at the original WoW game. They had the same types of characters on both sides, except for 2, the paladin and the shaman and Blizzard couldn't even balance that out. Instead, Blizzard gives up and lets both factions have access to their unique classes, thus creating an even more boring gameplay.

    I'll take variety and FOTM for exciting gameplay vs. no variety or FOTM with ridiculously boring gameplay.

    to Airspell: did you ever think about how blancing was done in DAoC a PVP HEAVY game  ...players found an overpowered spec...then after that became the big thing...players would get resists for it from spellcrafters....Then it would get nerfed but by that time the next spec for the next class was the big thing... i mean i never really felt my classes got hit that hard or that i was crazy over whelmed by others  (i always ran in groups though). it was a constant nerf fest but the classes always seemed to blance themselves out with spellcrafters and groups DAoC was a solid game untill ToA..... blancing was more in the players hands then Mythics  its just there were so many people who jumped on the band wagon it always seemed like one relm was over powered... 

    (at least this was how i saw it)

    to Rock: /agreed

    image

  • ElethonElethon San Diego, CAPosts: 122Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Raidore


    I was noticing in the interview that Ranged DPS and Ranged Healers are Strong vs Tanks, but what about Melee Healers? Also, Melee Healers are Weak vs Ranged DPS, but what about Ranged Healers?
    I noticed that Ranged DPS, Melee Healers and Ranged Healers, were all missing the 5-th career. Is this by design or just over-looked? I thought it might be by design as there are more races that can be other classes? Any thoughts?



     

    I noticed that too, and it worries me. If they can't even get a chart right then what does that say about the game?

  • GorillaGorilla Posts: 2,202Member Uncommon

    Of course one great way to have complete balance is a skills based system where charcters can pick there skills freely. Of course some builds will become popular and you would have to balance (nerf) certain skills but as stuff is available to all characters that isn't so much of a problem. Rock paper scissor only works if each player has access to all 3 pieces. Less than that makes for a much more one dimensional game.

  • OmnachineOmnachine Bryan, TXPosts: 2Member

    That list doesn't look balanced.

    Tanks:                    Strong vs 6 classes, weak vs 10 classes

    Melee dps:            Strong vs 10 classes, weak vs 8 classes

    Ranged dps:         Strong vs 6 classes, weak vs 6 classes

    Melee healers:     Strong vs 6 classes, weak vs 6 classes

    Ranged healers:  Strong vs 6 classes, weak vs 6 classes

     

     

  • SpinocusSpinocus Brooklyn, NYPosts: 17Member

    People seem to forget the one thing that separates DAOC era Mythic from WAR era Mythic... the acquisition by EA.

    Putting aside the usual but well deserved "EA = Evil Empire" rhetoric one of the many things that Mythic's producers and designers have cited as having a massively positive impact on their ability to produce WAR since the buyout is their access to EA's Q&A dept. and its powerful software tools and metrics applications.  With EA's software and metrics the daunting task of getting a handle on WAR's classes (and any other content) has gotten much easier for Mythic.

    Thanks to EA (did I just write that?) class balance in WAR is now far less problematic for Mythic.  It is reasonable to say that EA's Q&A assets will certainly allow for greater turnaround time when addressing critical issues.

  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 8,453Member Uncommon

    is my math wrong? i saw WEAK to range dps twice and same goes for melee dps.IN contrast i only saw WEAK to once for the other classes.Looks to me like range dps and melee dps have more advantages than the other classes.


    Samoan Diamond

  • Nightbringe1Nightbringe1 Bluefield, WVPosts: 1,093Member Common
    Originally posted by Omnachine


    That list doesn't look balanced.
    Tanks:                    Strong vs 6 classes, weak vs 10 classes
    Melee dps:            Strong vs 10 classes, weak vs 8 classes
    Ranged dps:         Strong vs 6 classes, weak vs 6 classes
    Melee healers:     Strong vs 6 classes, weak vs 6 classes
    Ranged healers:  Strong vs 6 classes, weak vs 6 classes
     
     



     

    There were 3 classifications, not two, and the balancing was consistant between the general types. The only imbalance being that there are more ranged healers than melee healers.

    Also, you will only be opposed to 12 classes, not the 18 you are claiming for melee dps. 4 of those fall under the even catagory, 3 under strong vs, 5 under weak vs.

    Those numbers are reversed for melee dps, with the effect that people taking ranged are still making the trade off of being strong vs one archtype at the expense of being weak vs another. Those taking melee dps so they can take advantage of the fact that there are more ranged healers than melee healers are probably going to the same ones that scream when they get owned by tanks.

    In either case, a well constructed and played group is going to own.

    Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.
    Benjamin Franklin

  • FlummoxedFlummoxed San Jose, CAPosts: 591Member

    Outstanding.  As with DAoC this system lends itself to Elite play, meaning players will HAVE to Know how to run their (and others) race/class if they hope to succeed at the high level "metagame".

    Hard to explain if you haven't experienced it personally but there truly is a dramatic synergy that takes place in a party who knows their chars. 

    I lucked out and was part of such a guild in DAoC and was genuinely amazed sometimes at what a party could accomplish, it was like this well oiled killing machine that effortlessly blew through opponents far above the party's level.  Contrast that with -identical- random pickup groups who struggled just to defeat evens and mostly ended up getting everyone killed.

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