It is a question that has allowed us to push forward towards the future.  Constantly seeking more info as we traverse the unknown.  “What lies ahead, and what can we expect to see?”Recently I have asked this question like so many within the community, and today I have some answers that can help shed some light on Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning and Wrath of Heroes.  The answers I received have me more than excited for the future of WAR and the coming of WoH, and from the looks of the possibilities of what is coming down the pipe, I think that the community will be excited as well.

The interview with James Casey and Graham Bennett covers both WAR and WoH.  Feel free to join us to discuss this interview here.

Q:  With WoH Beta 3 fast approaching what can the player base expect to see?

A:  Expect a ton of Heroes returning, more new Heroes and a new Scenario (MMORPG Exclusive: Black Fire Pass)!  Plus there are a ton of new features to boot.  Oh, I’d be remiss to not mention that our Beta site now has news too so people can stay up to date on what’s coming!

Q:  In WAR, the focus right now seems to be heavy in the upcoming reintroduction of forts.  What can the players expect to see?  Anything exciting?

A:  We are actively working on finalizing the patch for PTS in December.  I’ve started some preliminary dev discussions when I’ve had that rare spare moment on the forums, but I’ve also given some insight in interviews with your fellow bloggie Werit.  As a summary though, it’s a new mechanic to aid your realm and have a blast in ORvR.  Defend your relics or attack the enemy fort and steal theirs for a realm wide bonus.  It’s going to be a challenge and fun and ultimately that’s why people play right?

Q:  There is concern between WoH and WAR, about one taking the place of the other.  Some feel that they may be integrated with each other.  Others feel that they will not have anything in common, except for both being part of the Warhammer Online Franchise.  I really like the idea of integration of the two.  If this is the case, can you shed some light on possibilities, or ways to do it you currently have in discussion?

A:  I love reading people’s thoughts on this and there are some many good and conflicting ideas out there.  The plan is that they complement each other in that they are from the same Warhammer Online universe and they share Scenarios in common.  However, there is no direct link currently between your WAR and WOH characters.  That being said, we plan on giving WAR subscribers benefits in WOH.  We can’t give you details until legal, accounting, and all those big-wigs sign off, but it’s in the works and it will be worth it.  We are also looking at other ways to connect them and have the benefits go both ways, so any great ideas and suggestions are always welcome!

Q:  Will we be seeing an increase in the level cap for the Endless Free Trial for those who want to try WAR out?

A:  This is something we are considering.  The key to this is how we do this and ensure that it gives both Trial and Subscribers a good experience without negatively affecting how the game plays.

Q:  Any plans on implementing an XP off feature for WAR?

A:  Like the above, this is on our short list of ideas on how to help with the gap between Tier 1 and Tier 4 that a player can experience.  Once we finish the 1.4.5 stuff we will see how we can work on the ideas above and see if we can improve everyone’s experience all around.  They may be inclusive or exclusive of each other once everything is considered though.

Q:  WoH for the most part seems to be a hit among those in Beta.  What kinda of feedback are you getting, and what hurdles are the WoH Dev team experiencing while addressing concerns from feedback?

A:  Actually the feedback has been great.  We gather it in a number of ways.  First off, you’ll likely catch some of us just actively reading the chat when Beta is up.  With our beta going to a much longer session, this is less likely… (We have to sleep and develop the game…)  But, we still have chat logs to search.  More useful and direct though is our survey and email addresses ([email protected] and [email protected]) that are linked both in the patcher and in game.  These are direct, constructive ways for us to gauge how players react to the Beta and changes we make.  Finally, we have metrics.  By analyzing key data from the game we can make changes based on concrete evidence and validate what is being said by players in various venues.  All of those methods mean we have plenty of external feedback to go with the internal feedback and guide our decisions.

Q:  With Steven Engle’s recent departure, can you shed some light on when the community will be introduced to the new C&C developer?

A:  We’ll be letting the new person come out to play eventually, but it will take time for them to get accustomed to the community.  In the interim, expect myself and the others to pop up as we have time.  It’s been quite hectic recently as you can imagine.

Q:  Just an estimate, but when do you hope to have Forts on the PTS for players to look at them and give them some good testing?

A:  If all goes well internally, we hope to have it on PTS in December to get peoples first reactions and let them get a chance to make the epic runs across Tier 4!

Q:  After forts are tested, tuned, and implemented, what will be the next item you all plan on working on?

A:  I have a number of slated things in the plan for after 1.4.5. Notably, finishing off the teased appearance armor and getting them in the game.  I’d also love to get the Ironclad back in the mix.  As well, we have some ideas on how to make ORvR more dynamic.  In other words, we have plans for WAR, so stick around and enjoy the ride.