Tobold and WAR: The other possibility

Tobold wonders today if the WAR Open Beta is capped at rank 20 because Mythic is trying to hide unfinished higher-end content. Gee, I wonder where he got that idea? I mean, is there some sort of track record where a MMO developer puts a ton of effort into levels 1-20, but levels 30 to level cap are kind of devoid of content, and we listen to endless developer promises that new content is coming?

Yeah, I can’t blame him for wondering. And I’m not just taking shots at Funcom and AoC. There are plenty of MMO’s that fell into that situation. I can’t break NDA to argue the point about WAR; actually, I haven’t done enough PvE at higher levels to even be able to judge WAR yet. I’ll be finding out with everyone else, although I have a pretty good feeling about it from Little Bird chatter around me.

However, I do have another explanation for why Mythic would cap progress at Rank 20, and it doesn’t have anything to do with unfinished content.

WAR’s selling point is going to be RvR, and just how much flippin’ fun RvR is with a huge group of people. Again, I can’t break NDA, but Mythic has to convince open beta players who are on the fence about buying the game that WAR includes something unique, something enjoyable enough to pull them away from another MMO, or to convince them to pull the trigger on trying WAR.

By concentrating all the beta testers into the first two Tiers of the game, Mythic is going to improve the chances that testers will encounter RvR in large numbers, which is where the fun of of WAR really kicks in. The same is true of Public Quests, to a lesser extent (PQ’s don’t have to have a ton of people to be fun, they work as well with one group as much as a whole raid group), and RvR Scenarios (instances) will fill up faster with everyone in similar level ranges.

If players could progress past rank 20, it would become incrementally tougher to gather a critical mass of players for RvR. There’s only a few weeks to play, most likely. Imagine the spread of player ranks from 10 to 40, and consider what it might be like to find a huge group of players around your level. It’s going to be a lot easier with a cap at 20. I think the potential for great gaming moments is going to be increased.

If you do get into the open beta test, join Open Groups for PQ’s. Join warbands. Queue up for the instanced scenarios. Head out for open-world RvR with friends, or by joining an RvR open group. Whatever you do, make sure you do it with a lot of other people. The magic of WAR really starts to reveal itself when you find yourself surrounded by lots of other players, both friend and foe, and the mayhem, bloodshed, and sheer fun factor blossoms. With a cap at level 20, it’s going to be a great preview of what to expect from ranks 20 to 40, and we’ll have plenty of time to see that after the 18th of September πŸ™‚

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10 Responses

  1. Speculating that the cap is in place to hide content at this point is nothing more than speculation for the sake of speculation. Drumming up this type of reaction is unnecessary for anyone to do. Let’s call a spade a spade. AoC’s content was not finished – FACT. Funcom hid it from even their beta testers.

    WAR content has been tested in beta. City sieges and T4 content have been tested thoroughly. Players are being allowed access to the stuff that needs testing. There is nothing to hide.

    And as you said, it’s a RvR game and capping the advancement of a smaller group of people from breaking away from the pack is necessary to ensure the foundation of the realm war is strong from the moment the game goes live.

  2. DOH I just posted about this.

    There are two beta tests folks. Regular testers cant see what the others are doing. That is all I have to say

  3. Argh, no comment. As Hudson says.

  4. The NDA is pretty stupidly restrictive in this case, but let me calm any fears by simply saying that the end game IS being tested.

  5. I generally enjoy Tobold’s posts, but sometimes I feel like *he* feels like he needs a certain number of posts a day, and we get posts like this πŸ™‚

  6. I can’t tell whether it’s harder for me not being in the beta and knowing what’s going on, or harder for those in beta who can’t say anything. It’s certainly more fun for those in beta, but I’m almost glad that I never made it in… I think? πŸ˜‰

  7. Kanthalos, I’d rather be able to see it for myself, and keep my mouth shut πŸ™‚ But really, I haven’t tested end-user PvE much at all.

    And WAR’s a different game than WoW, anyway. DAoC wasn’t known for extensive PvE content. I don’t think we can expect the same level of dungeon/raid content we saw in WoW at release. There’s still going to be a lot of PvE content outside, though, and I guess that’s where we really have to hope it’s zone-complete, and not stretches without level-appropriate content.

  8. See, I think it’s perfectly fair to speculate as to why the beta is level capped and wonder what they’re hiding.

    But tbh I think Tobold is in the Euro beta, and he knows what they’re doing (or not doing) about testing high level content there. So I bet he’ll have more to say about whether or not he thinks it has been tested when the NDA goes down.

    I know we will πŸ™‚

  9. Oh, I think it’s fair to speculate, sure. I just think there’s a better reason for a rank 20 cap than the tinfoil hat brigade invasion πŸ™‚

  10. a very astute observation

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