Archive for the Interview Category

The War Reporter: Interview with Snafzg of The Greenskin

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , on September 9, 2008 by Ullric

    Recently i sat down with Snafzg of The Greenskin to get his take on a few of the PVP issues facing Warhammer players as they prepare for the launch of the game.

Ullric: Ok Snafzg, the big question right off the bat. I would like your thoughts on the Open RVR ruleset.

Snafzg: I’m quite torn on Open-RvR right now to be honest. I sway back and forth daily! I like the concept of being able to kill people anywhere, anytime but Mythic hasn’t been very forthcoming with the specific details of how they plan to deal with the all the potential issues people are bringing up (and there are quite a few). I can’t get into any specific details around this due to the NDA, but I’m starting to fall into the camp of those who believe the game was designed for the Core ruleset and the Open-RvR concept was an afterthought.I think we have so much fun because we’re so easily amused. My niece could be entertained by an empty water bottle for hours when she was an infant. Give us a snotling to kick around and we’ll remain happily occupied just the same.

Time will tell I though! I only have a few more days to decide.

Ullric: Do you agree that people should be chickened in lower tier zones if they are higher level? Basically, what is your stance on ganking “lowbies?”

Snafzg: I would say that I don’t think people should be chickenized when entering lower level zones except for one huge reason: keeps. If highbies weren’t chickenized for entering lowbize zones, they’ll end up dominating the lower tiered keeps and battlefield objectives. Can you imagine trying to take a T2 keep as a bunch of 12-21 people with only a few level 40s defending it? You’d have no chance. Levels in WAR make a huge difference and for a game that is designed around zone control for the purpose of unlocking cities for siege, highbies overtaking lowbie RvR lakes will make open-world RvR meaningless unless you’re at max rank to feel competitive. It will basically mean the only place you can find remotely balanced RvR will be scenarios… and that will turn the game into WoW.
 
Ullric: Do you feel that Warhammer has captured what PVPERS really want in a game?

Snafzg: Well, you’ll never please everyone but I think the average PvPer will have a great time in WAR. You can find arena/battleground-style matches in the form of scenarios if you queue up with friends or guildmates. You can compete in meaningful open-world RvR. Your guild can actually claim things and you can boost your ego by gaining notoriety as dominant forces in PvP (statues in cities and competing against other guild groups). Everyone who loved DAOC should be an instant fan of this game.

The only type of PvPer who may not like WAR is the soloer. You might find the odd 1v1, but because of the lengthy time-to-kill (some fights are upward of 90 seconds) theres a good chance someone will spoil your fun. If you’re a soloer, I suggest playing a Witch Elf/Witch Hunter with their semi-stealth and rolling on an Open-RvR server so you can seek out 1v1 fights in enemy PvE zones (hump major travel routes and quest spots).
 
Ullric: I know most of us want to feel part of epic battles, do you see that happening on a regular basis in Warhammer?

Snafzg: If you consider zerg vs. zerg to be epic, you’ll find no shortage of epic battles in WAR. If you consider 6-20 man guild groups/warbands vs. other 6-20 man guild groups/warbands to be epic, you’ll find no shortage of epic battles in WAR. If you consider 12-18 vs. 12-18 goal-oriented RvR scenarios to be epic… You get the idea.
 
Ullric: Do you believe that Mythic should open scenarios such as Khaine’s Embrace to ALL levels? Why or why not.

Snafzg: I see pros and cons. The biggest pro is that you can always experience your favorite scenarios even if you outlevel them. The biggest con is that the queues will take much longer to pop if the scenario-hungry population is spread out over more scenarios. Also, I think the scenarios will lose their exclusivity and it would stymie alt creation if you could always play your favorite T1 scenario at rank 40. I guess my answer would be no.
 
Ullric: Should combat be slow and very tactical like it feels now, or fast paced and almost fps-like? Strategy vs. twitch and your thoughts on the matter.

Snafzg: Sometimes, I feel like the 1v1 battles are too slow because people tend to ruin the fun by adding, but overall I’m a fan of the increased TTK (time to kill). There are several other MMORPGs or FPS games you can play if you’re looking for fast-paced PvP. Let WAR stand out from the crowd imho. It’s also worth mentioning that you can still bring in a bit of twitch play by using the environment to your advantage and remaining mobile while attacking.
 
Ullric: Ultimately, how do you see Warhammer succeeding as a game catered toward pvpers.

Snafzg: I think the PvP in many other games lacks purpose. RvR in WAR is more than just PvP. In WAR RvR, even the PvE plays a big part.  It’s the sum of everything your realm does vs. the sum of everything else your enemy does. The hardcore PvPers in WAR will be able to play alongside the PvEers without looking down their noses at each other because they’re both working toward the same ultimate goal and neither can accomplish it by themselves.

In terms of PvP combat mechanics, I think people will find many similarities and differences between WAR and other MMORPGs of the genre. For me personally, I think they kept all the good parts and got rid of all the bad ones. Also, the  PvP in WAR isn’t only about killing enemies. It’s also about capturing their control points, taking and claiming their keeps, and eventually sacking their city. What’s not to like about that? I call it PvP with depth.
 
Ullric: Mythic says that population imbalances will not be an issue. Can you give me your reasons why you agree or disagree?

Snafzg: If their realm queues work as intended, population imbalance won’t affect the gameplay much, however, it will affect how many people can actually get in to play the game. Do you want to be on the more popular side and sit in a queue for 5, 10, or 20 minutes? Realm caps are a way to deal with imbalance issues but they don’t resolve the issue. For that, Mythic needs to market the heck out of whichever side needs a population boost.

This can’t be done before launch because you never really know how the numbers will play out, however, once the dust settles after launch, they need to figure out which realm needs a boost and promote it like crazy.
 
Ullric: Some community members are worried that balance issues will affect the game negatively. Do you believe the game will have balance issues? If so, which archetypes will offer the most problems.

Snafzg: Theoretically, career balance in the game should level out if everyone mixes the way Mythic is hoping they will. By that I mean, allied melee DPS should run to both the Greenskin and Dwarf starting areas to provide that missing archetype. Surplus tanks should also run to the Dark Elf and Empire lands to lend a hand.

I find it really hard to call out individual career balance issues in beta because things are constantly shifting. I guess all I can say is this: take a smart tank and a smart healer and send them at a group of somewhat decent, but not as skilled player enemies and watch how long they stay alive. I’ve seen a Runepriest and Ironbreaker take on tons of enemies without ever worrying about getting killed. The IB will rush in and gain the aggro of several enemies and if the Runepriest is unaccosted, the IB will stay alive forever. No joke. I think this is an archetype issue, so I guess it would be the same for any of the healers and tanks who partner up. If the enemy was smart, they would CC the tank (root, snare, knockdown, knockback, etc.) and focus fire the healer. Even if that happens, a good healer will prove to be quite durable as well.
 
Ullric: Whew, almost done Snafzg. One more question, and it’s a big one. Do greenskins get to have all the fun?

Snafzg: I think we have so much fun because we’re so easily amused. My niece could be entertained by an empty water bottle for hours when she was an infant. Give us a snotling to kick around and we’ll remain happily occupied just the same.

When I started my blog, it was one of the very first and I really did feel like I was having all the fun. Now that the game is so close to launch, new blogs are sprouting up like watered seeds in a cultivator’s pot, so I’m happy to see that fun being shared with a wider audience. The community is growing daily and it’s nice to see all the new excitement they’re bringing with them.

Ullric: Well thank you Snafzg for your time and I hope we get this opportunity again some day.