I finally got around to answering an e-mail from Josh Drescher that he sent out to a number of bloggers/journalists/WAR community members. He was asking for some frank feedback on the game, which I gave off the top of my head (not having really considered much about WAR lately), and thought that I might as well go ahead and post some of my answers here as well.
Based on your interaction with the WAR blogging community and your own experiences, what are the top three things players, bloggers, you enjoy the most about WAR?
1. Great community and communication/relationships between the devs and the players
2. The Tome of Knowledge
3. The concept of the game — so many of WAR’s concepts and ideas are intriguing and solid
And what are the top three things that disappoint players, bloggers, yourself? Please don’t include client/server stability or performance on this list as we know it needs more love and is already our #1 technical priority.
1. If the concepts were great, the execution often was lackluster. It’s hard to put a finger on it, so I’ll use the trophy system as an example. Great, great idea. You sold it to us through the podcasts. But the implementation felt very half-hearted — trophies were small and almost unnoticable, and a bulk of the trophies were for late-game players, meaning that you went through most of your initial career without picking up many of them.
2. RvR as a whole felt completely pointless and way, way too chaotic.
3. The combat never felt totally right… the sounds were weak, the damage somewhat slippery. It’s one of those things again that you know doesn’t feel right but it’s hard to identify specifically.
If you’ve stopped playing WAR, what was your primary reason for doing so?
Mostly due to the pointlessness of the end game and the feeling that I was disassociated with the game world. I didn’t feel “in” the world, just visiting, for some reason.
You’ve been given a magic wand and can change three things in WAR as you see fit in order to improve the WAR community’s opinion and enjoyment of the game. What would they be?
1. Stop adding new content before going back to fixing and polishing a lot of the older systems — trophies, scenarios, new player experience, quests and Public Quests (fewer of these but much more interesting, polished and varied).
2. Make character development a LOT more fun than it is. The mastery paths simply don’t evoke the same sort of character building fun that WoW’s talent trees have. Perhaps scrap the paths and rely wholely on tactic builds (but make the builds bigger… I like how these were put into the game).
3. Remove 99% of the CC in the game.
Moving forward, what should we add MORE of?
1. Utilize the Tome of Knowledge more, especially beyond it’s current functionality as a piece of fluff/kill counter. I still feel quite strongly that a lot of the unlocks in the Tome should be visible (or at least have the option to be) so that players have something to shoot for.
2. Dungeons, especially polished, instanced ones that players frankly want.
3. Better crafting with a wider variety of gathering/crafts.
4. UI polish.
Anything else you’d like to say? Positive, negative or otherwise – just let loose!
I’ve certainly praised WAR and criticised it as well, and right now I feel pretty ambivilent toward it. I wish that wasn’t so — I had very high hopes for the game, and really felt like it was promoted to be a certain type of game that it really never reached in reality.
That said, you guys have a great team and some awesome ideas, and I’d love nothing more than to see WAR experience a renaissance due to finally getting a lot of broken things fixed, meh things polished, and new content added.