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Warhammer Online: Mark Jacobs Responds

MikeBMikeB MMORPG.com Community ManagerQueens, NYPosts: 5,716Administrator Uncommon

In a blog post entitled "All Good Things Must End" former CEO of Mythic Entertainment Mark Jacobs speaks out about his departure from the studio.

To describe these past two months as difficult would be a great understatement as change is almost never easy. I have helped shepherd Mythic through good times and bad, through near bankruptcy and through our many successes. During my tenure there my duties have run the gamut from being CEO/GM to doing some of our legal work to acting as lead designer and even using my personal credit cards/credit to pay for the phones we used when we launched DAoC back in 2001. While I will miss doing those things (well, some of them anyway) for the studio, what I will really miss are the people at Mythic.

The full post can be viewed here.

Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB

Comments

  • SteamRangerSteamRanger Great Northwest, WAPosts: 920Member Uncommon

    Frankly, I'm surprised that EA didn't can him sooner. Insulting and lying to your paying customers doesn't get you any rewards with a company that's trying to recoup its investment. If I had been his boss, Mark would have been given the boot when he started going on forums and telling disgruntled (paying) customers if they didn't like the game, then quit.

    "Soloists and those who prefer small groups should never have to feel like they''re the ones getting the proverbial table scraps, as it were." - Scott Hartsman, Senior Producer, Everquest II
    "People love groups. Its a fallacy that people want to play solo all the time." - Scott Hartsman, Executive Producer, Rift

  • KhaunsharKhaunshar ViennaPosts: 350Member Uncommon

    Well, he all but says there is quite a lot of blame to be laid at EAs feet, by emphasizing how he will not talk about EA, because he doesnt do trashtalking :p Not that this comes as a surprise, I suppose.

    So, another one into McQuaids Bucket of fired Devs.

  • SteamRangerSteamRanger Great Northwest, WAPosts: 920Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Khaunshar


    Well, he all but says there is quite a lot of blame to be laid at EAs feet, by emphasizing how he will not talk about EA, because he doesnt do trashtalking :p Not that this comes as a surprise, I suppose.
    So, another one into McQuaids Bucket of fired Devs.



     

    It's fairly common for companies to insert a clause in severance agreements that the former employee cannot discuss the termination process. As fast as Mark was to shoot his mouth off in the past, I'm fairly certain that he has one of these floating over his head.

    "Soloists and those who prefer small groups should never have to feel like they''re the ones getting the proverbial table scraps, as it were." - Scott Hartsman, Senior Producer, Everquest II
    "People love groups. Its a fallacy that people want to play solo all the time." - Scott Hartsman, Executive Producer, Rift

  • JetrpgJetrpg Whitehouse, OHPosts: 2,376Member

    Lets be honest daoc stands as one of the top 3 mmos to date (as there are many good pve mmos and well ITs the good pvp mmo).

    WArhammer may have been good but the engine and core programing were weak. It is still not a bad game but it needs more tatical movement, which i believe doac is still the king of (tho wow movement is more smooth, it lacks in how important and skillful you have to move your toon).

     

    My friends recently said why not just make a daoc 2? Thats a great question if you ask me maybe bump the easy of camera angles, ui, movement, etc but keep keep the core doac style. I was hoping Mark would get around to it, but alast in the mmo world hopes are usually not met. Thank you MJ for DAOC i plan on playing it in a week or so,  after about a year break (you can only play a game so much).

    "Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one ..." - Thomas Paine

  • SteamRangerSteamRanger Great Northwest, WAPosts: 920Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Jetrpg


    Lets be honest daoc stands as one of the top 3 mmos to date (as there are many good pve mmos and well ITs the good pvp mmo).
    WArhammer may have been good but the engine and core programing were weak. It is still not a bad game but it needs more tatical movement, which i believe doac is still the king of (tho wow movement is more smooth, it lacks in how important and skillful you have to move your toon).
     
    My friends recently said why not just make a daoc 2? Thats a great question if you ask me maybe bump the easy of camera angles, ui, movement, etc but keep keep the core doac style. I was hoping Mark would get around to it, but alast in the mmo world hopes are usually not met. Thank you MJ for DAOC i plan on playing it in a week or so,  after about a year break (you can only play a game so much).



     

    I would have much rather seen Mythic put their efforts into this, an upgrade to what was already a good, but grossly outdated game. They've been promising for years to continue the work they started in the character graphics, but it never materialized. Instead, they focused on something new and shiny and showed the world that, despite Mark's assertions to the contrary, Mythic really didn't know how to create and run an MMORPG.

    "Soloists and those who prefer small groups should never have to feel like they''re the ones getting the proverbial table scraps, as it were." - Scott Hartsman, Senior Producer, Everquest II
    "People love groups. Its a fallacy that people want to play solo all the time." - Scott Hartsman, Executive Producer, Rift

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,181Member Uncommon

    Mark is one of those executives you both respect and at the same time wonder what the heck he was thinking at times.

    Going with Warhammer was a bad move by Mark because your company is limited by the IP.  I think Mythic was in trouble then and he knew that they would not have the time to get Imperator out the door so he went for Warhammer because he believed that funding would come with that IP.  We all know that board game rules don't translate well into a computer game and it rather shackles a companies creativity.  Even the decent job that Turbine did with D&D, considering the constraints, was not enough to attract a supporting population.  Warhammer is better than D&D, as it offers pvp, but it has too many issues at this point to be considered a good game.

    I thought that Dark Age of Camelot showed Mark's brilliance.  No one had tried a heavily pvp based game before and using three factions worked out superbly.  It had some of the best pvp I have experienced in a MMO.

    My "what were you thinking" moment in DAoC came with the "Trials of Atlantis" expansion.  the staff had to be aware that this had gone awry with the screams of the outraged playerbase.  Players that undertook the huge grind for the expansion riches established a huge gap between them and the rest of the players.   To give you an example, on the shard I was playing on, a group of 8 players owned the pvp frontier of the faction I was on for 3 days despite the efforts of 5 to 6 times their number.  The devs response was  a few minor changes that did nothing to recify the gap.  We don't know who made the decisions, but the buck stopped at Mark's desk.  The playerbase made a rapid decline when no action was forthcoming from Mythic's staff, basically making the game an afterthought.

    I still have mixed feelings about some of his decisions, but he provided many of us with many hours of fun, so I wish him well on his next move in this genre. 

  • ElikalElikal ValhallaPosts: 8,063Member

    I am sure the man failed some times. But only those who do nothing can never fail. I didnt like the way WAR was, myself. But shame on those hyenas, who only dare to bite the fallen lion, and kick on him who is already down.

    People don't ask questions to get answers - they ask questions to show how smart they are. - Dogbert

  • FlummoxedFlummoxed San Jose, CAPosts: 591Member

    As someone on his blog suggested -

    Given EA's history of raping devs, you must have known this would eventually happen when you signed with them,...

    and Bioware will be the NEXT group to be stripped of it's executive level creative talent.   :(

     

    I imagine the up-front money is really nice, but damn, it's like selling your soul to satan - you KNOW it's a losing deal long term.

  • DrowNobleDrowNoble Trenton, MIPosts: 1,296Member

    I'm not surprised by this and I'm also not sorry to see him go.  I feel he sold out DAoC a long time ago to EA for a fat paycheck. 

    Before when rumors were swirling that EA was going to buyout Mythic, he publicly said that it wasn't true and never would be.  Various online blogs, forums, etc cheered his decision to avoid EA and remain independent.  Not too much later he then did a total 180 and proudly announced that EA and Mythic were "merging" to form EA Mythic.  Shortly after this "beneficial" merger, many top Mythic people suddenly left.   Coincidence?  Doubtful.

    Bioware has produced a lot of top RPG titles.  Mythic has done DAoC (good) and WAR (poor).  Not surprised EA sacked Mark for a someone that may actually (1) care about RPG's and (2) knows how to make a good one.

  • AntariousAntarious Greenville, SCPosts: 2,802Member

    The thing with DAoC was... the launch was pretty good.  I would say the launch was about perfect.  There were things not finished like after a bit dungeons didn't drop items (yet) just coins etc

     

    The issue was the design decisions later in DAoC were at time borderline retarded.  You can see much of what happened later in DAoC... with WAR.  At some point somebody left Mythic... and the result is obvious.

     

    or...

     

    Management stopped doing its job.

     

    I'm not sure which but the result was bad regardless.  I was in WAR beta for a very long time.  I was very quiet on this forum because I respected the NDA, when there was one.  I didn't try to involve myself much in talking about it after the NDA was lifted... I certainly took part when things were going bad.  Mostly because I didn't think anyone would believe what I would say.

     

    They may have limited themselves with the IP (I would personally NEVER work with a 3rd party IP).  However, they started to cut their throat by screwing over the installed player base in DAoC.  People didn't leave DAoC because a better RVR game came along... and they continued that right into WAR.

     

    Things should have been very different for Mythic... or at least they could have been.

     

    I'm actually suprised Jacobs is talking at all... I do remember when Garriott left EA he said there was a 1 year NDA and pretty much vanished.  Of course I guess he is not good to bring up because of Tabula Rasa.  Yet Origins Systems AND Richard put out MANY good titles....  Then they ran short of money and EA came into the picture.

     

    Yes there is a trend there.

    Moderator's on this site allow certain posters to create endless troll threads. Yet "warn" people for giving recommendations... account *pending* deletion because.. why bother.

  • VinterkrigVinterkrig BOSTON, MAPosts: 1,672Member
    Originally posted by Ozmodan


    Mark is one of those executives you both respect and at the same time wonder what the heck he was thinking at times.
    Going with Warhammer was a bad move by Mark because your company is limited by the IP.  I think Mythic was in trouble then and he knew that they would not have the time to get Imperator out the door so he went for Warhammer because he believed that funding would come with that IP.  We all know that board game rules don't translate well into a computer game and it rather shackles a companies creativity.  Even the decent job that Turbine did with D&D, considering the constraints, was not enough to attract a supporting population.  Warhammer is better than D&D, as it offers pvp, but it has too many issues at this point to be considered a good game.
    I thought that Dark Age of Camelot showed Mark's brilliance.  No one had tried a heavily pvp based game before and using three factions worked out superbly.  It had some of the best pvp I have experienced in a MMO.
    My "what were you thinking" moment in DAoC came with the "Trials of Atlantis" expansion.  the staff had to be aware that this had gone awry with the screams of the outraged playerbase.  Players that undertook the huge grind for the expansion riches established a huge gap between them and the rest of the players.   To give you an example, on the shard I was playing on, a group of 8 players owned the pvp frontier of the faction I was on for 3 days despite the efforts of 5 to 6 times their number.  The devs response was  a few minor changes that did nothing to recify the gap.  We don't know who made the decisions, but the buck stopped at Mark's desk.  The playerbase made a rapid decline when no action was forthcoming from Mythic's staff, basically making the game an afterthought.
    I still have mixed feelings about some of his decisions, but he provided many of us with many hours of fun, so I wish him well on his next move in this genre. 

     

    what server, your name sounds familiar o_O

  • qombiqombi Unknown, LAPosts: 1,180Member

     It is sad to see one of the great devs leave. I hope he will not quit making games. DAOC and EQ were great games. Brad McQuaid and Jacobs are great game makers. I guess there is no room for great game makers now days, only people who can put out the crap that is released presently. All the games now are nothing but shallow flashy garbage. 

     

  • JadarJadar Spanish Fork, UTPosts: 300Member

    Hey, let's trash the guy, since he's the one getting the boot. EA's cool now, right? They've put their evil ways behind them, so Jacobs must be the douche here. (yeah, right)

    image

  • JetrpgJetrpg Whitehouse, OHPosts: 2,376Member
    Originally posted by Antarious


    The thing with DAoC was... the launch was pretty good.  I would say the launch was about perfect.  There were things not finished like after a bit dungeons didn't drop items (yet) just coins etc
    The issue was the design decisions later in DAoC were at time borderline retarded.  You can see much of what happened later in DAoC... with WAR.  At some point somebody left Mythic... and the result is obvious.
    or...
    Management stopped doing its job.
    I'm not sure which but the result was bad regardless.  I was in WAR beta for a very long time.  I was very quiet on this forum because I respected the NDA, when there was one.  I didn't try to involve myself much in talking about it after the NDA was lifted... I certainly took part when things were going bad.  Mostly because I didn't think anyone would believe what I would say.
    They may have limited themselves with the IP (I would personally NEVER work with a 3rd party IP).  However, they started to cut their throat by screwing over the installed player base in DAoC.  People didn't leave DAoC because a better RVR game came along... and they continued that right into WAR.
    Things should have been very different for Mythic... or at least they could have been.
    I'm actually suprised Jacobs is talking at all... I do remember when Garriott left EA he said there was a 1 year NDA and pretty much vanished.  Of course I guess he is not good to bring up because of Tabula Rasa.  Yet Origins Systems AND Richard put out MANY good titles....  Then they ran short of money and EA came into the picture.
    Yes there is a trend there.

    I think your forgetting Daoc is basically as old as EQ and still running. At some point it is hard to add new content ... more so when everyone bitches about it.

    The added content to daoc was GOOD people saying it was bad are just dumb. The only thing that was a mistake maybe was catacombs private/instanced dungeons.  TOA was a GREAT x-pack, think about it realistically. It added Great pve raids, somethign that was missing from the game. The issue was you needed to do them to be equal to others in pvp , that was its mistake. Mater levels should have been weaker (like champion levels), and the equipment also weaker, for the pvpers. HOWEVER IF YOU LIKE PVP AND PVE  there to date has not been a better x-pack other than maybe SWG JTL (which people also hated on, but was a wonderful idea as it expanded the game more than just more content and truely gave the players NEW CONTENT).

    WAr IS A WONDERFUL GAME thats what people miss its good. However, there are a few points on it that are unforgivable.

    The MAIN fault of war is that its engine / movement and combat coding sucks. Its bad. This is unforgiveable. DAOC to date has thee most tactial and tactile combat and movement system (its old , no auto camera centering, movement its self doen't glide like newer mmos). when i move my toon in daoc back im back you need to move forward to hit me , to the side and through you are the same. People love insta fast mouse turning, becuase it takes no skill, daoc makes you turn the correct direction, it makes caster have to fight with out melee on them, it makes melee have to catch the casters, it makes healers strong and pack a ton of cc and it makes stealth capabile of killing one target then getting rape if solo. All great things that lead to a very side verse side system with a ton of classes.

    War however, doesn't do any of this other than a small amount of archatype verse archatype side balancing. That is the downfall of WAR.

    The ip doesn't even matter, in what way has the IP limitation hurt WAR... (you cannot name a real way, becuase GW worked with mythic a ton , i seen male sorcs so i know this to be true.)

    PS. TR was a really bad game for the same reasons and even more it had nothign but an idea, everything else was trash.

    "Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one ..." - Thomas Paine

  • OzrykOzryk Dallas, TXPosts: 88Member

    Save the nerdrage people... we all know EA is a heartless corporation bent on a singular purpose: to make money.

    But Jacobs dug his own grave long ago.  He was neither the sole reason (nor even close to the main reason) DAoC was a success.  There are dozens upon dozens of people who made DAoC, influenced it, and created the world you love.

    After money started flowing in, and Jacobs got a taste of real power, he proceeded to immediately destroy his company's prized game with such gems as Trials of Atlantis - which he was almost exclusively in charge of design decisions for.

    Then, still riding this wave of insanity, EA threw MORE money at him and MORE power ... did they expect some sort of different result?  Did they even do research on DAoC's current player base before buying Mythic?  Jacobs is a tool, infected with insanity, and bent on living in a dream world.  Nearly every terrible decision that helped gut WAR before it was released, was at his behest.

    He has one way of letting things happen - his way.  He takes no criticism, no suggestions, and no dissent.

    DAoC is on lifesupport because of him, and WAR soon will be too after Land of the Dead loses it's "newness".  Bashing Mark isnt bashing DAoC.  Mark ≠ DAoC.

    Mark was canned because he made a terrible game.

    Stop the hero worship.

     

  • DrowNobleDrowNoble Trenton, MIPosts: 1,296Member

    I have to agree with Ozryk about Trials of Atlantis.  DAoC original and Shrouded Isles were both very good.  It was SI in fact that finally pulled me completely away from EQ1 (which I started in 6/99).  Unfortunately ToA was so awful it almost by itself ruined DAoC, so bad that they actually made "classic" servers that had NO ToA content. 

    Mark should of known selling out to EA was a bad idea.  EA already had a lot of bad press at that time.  Not to mention they had 2 failed MMO's.  One had so many problems with bugs and hacks (Motor City Online) and the other one was never supported with advertising or new content (Earth & Beyond).  WHY he would hand DAoC over to a company with that track record mystifies me.  Unless, of course the check had enough zeroes on it.....

    Mark would be better suited working for a smaller company in a (non-head) developer position.

  • ClawzonClawzon PitePosts: 192Member

    This guy failed miserably!

     

     

    :)

  • QuailmanQuailman marlborough, MAPosts: 165Member
    Originally posted by Clawzon

    This guy failed miserably!

     

     

    Uh, you're 3 years too late Clawzon.

    Consume. Be silent. Die.

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