Mythic on WAR’s Problems

Executive producer at Mythic Entertainment, Jeff Hickman, has talked about the problems the company has faced with its MMO, Warhammer Online.While speaking at GDC Austin, he identified three major issues with the game, which the company has been trying to rectify in the year since the game launched. Firstly, Hickman admits that PVE gameplay was just too easy which, in turn, make grouping and social interactivity, a staple in MMOs, unnecessary.”There’s a big difference between easy play and ease of use. And one of the lessons that we thought we learned from ourselves and other games, was that it’s important to have ease of use, and it’s also important to hit the right balance between easy gameplay, challenging gameplay, and too difficult. We thought we hit that, but Warhammer, in PVE, in the beginning, is too easy. It doesn’t make you thrilled to do it.”He also goes on to explain how the social side of WAR didn’t work to plan because of this,“We had great ideas for all of these really cool social tools, and we built them into the game. But the game doesn’t require friends. Part of it is that it’s too easy.”Lastly, Hickman revealed that by controlling the economy too harshly, they trivialised it,“Our economy… we just missed the mark. If you look at the reasoning behind the economy, you’ll see things like, ‘Hey, we’re not going to let gold farmers in our game.’ ‘We’re going to try to make sure we have controlled inflation.’ We had all the best reasons in our game, but what it caused us to do was build a game where economy is not important enough. Economy brings people together.”Mythic are taking care to fix these issues before the game launches in Korea, which is slated to happen later this year.

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