The Grab Bag of Questions #3
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Welcome to the Warhammer Online Grab Bag, where your friendly neighborhood community manager will answer the most popular, and most interesting, questions in a new regular feature. Many things aren't yet certain, so try to be patient with us. Trust me - we're as eager as you are to see the features finalized, so that we can hear what you've got to say.

Q: (Insert question here about GOA.)

A: Questions related to our just-announced WAR partnership with GOA would have killed me in a dramatic landslide if I'd printed out each one and stacked them all on my desk.

Guys, I'm dead serious when I say every single thing we know for certain is in the FAQ we sent around. As more is determined, we will let you know right away.

Our plan is that players in North America and Europe will get patches at the same time. We also are planning to standardize customer service and online content so your experience will be the same no matter what servers you play on. We will host and manage servers in North America, and GOA will host and manage servers on their side of the ocean. You won't be able to cross back and forth, but you should have exactly the same experience.

This is not at all the same setup we have for Dark Age of Camelot. We got to know GOA in Camelot, they got to know us, and we're all ready to take that collaboration to the next level.

A bunch of the GOA people were just here visiting Mythic HQ, and they were really, really great. They are very excited about Warhammer, and they are totally aware that the fans in Europe are among the most passionate in the world. Especially in Germany. You guys are crazy. ANYWAY, you all will have a front row seat in watching GOA and Mythic build the new relationship, because the public stages of beta will be in many ways a joint production.

Q: (Insert question here about the squig herder design)

A: As much as I would like to comment on the squig herder, what you've been reading are the very cool *ideas* for the class. Not one line of code has been written, so I don't actually know what is and is not possible yet!

In fact, the only thing I know for certain is that the heavy tank career will, in the Greenskin army, only be available to Orcs. Even the name "Black Orc" may not be final. (Regular internet surfers will recall that the Black Orc was called "Warboss" at E3, one short month ago.) Well, I do know one other thing for certain - the Squig Herder will be available only to Goblins.

Side note - I just had to add "squig" to my laptop's spell check dictionary. How cool is THAT.

While I'm on the topic of Greenskin Army careers, some of you noticed that some E3 articles said you could be a Goblin Battler, and others said you could not be a Goblin Battler. ("Battler" has since been replaced with “Berserker” as the tentative, placeholder name for the light tank/ranged damage dealer for the Greenskin Army.) The discrepancy is entirely our fault. Some demonstrations at E3 were being conducted by folks who sit in (or run) the design meetings. Some were being conducted by, well, people like me. When the playable demo was "locked down" for E3 (meaning we stopped tinkering with it), the Battler/Berserker was a perfectly acceptable class for a Goblin. However, in the design meetings that happened between demo lock down and the trade show, the career design evolved to a point where it would not really be appropriate for a Goblin to be a Battler/Berserker. We're going to be sticking closely to what Games Workshop thinks a race should and should not be able to do.

But there is a long road ahead of us, and the design may well evolve BACK to a career a Goblin could choose.

Short version: Anything's possible, but try not to fall in love with any one thing until next year!

Q: No, really, where are the beta signups?

A: Nothing's changed since the last Q&A;, I swear. We have no signups at this time.

Sending emails and forms won't increase your chances, guys. However, fresh pints of ale… no! No! I'm kidding, that won't help either. Just hang out on the different forums and wait for the announcements that will blanket the entire internet when we're ready to sign up you bloodthirsty maniacs.

Q: Will collision detection work on friends, enemies, or both?

A: Questions like this were the second-tallest stack on my desk. We are trying all possible combinations of collision detection as I type this, including the dream we all have of "both." Of course we want it. In an RVR game, there are many strategies that are only possible with collision detection. Can we do it in such a way that allows for strategy but not for grief? I think we need to do some serious play testing of collision detection in the world that we've built. But there's no way I can say for sure what the final result will be in June 2006 for a game that won't launch until Fall 2007.

I cried a little, inside, when I went over this month's questions. There was almost nothing I could answer. This is the best time to be a developer, with a world of limitless possibilities. This is the worst time to be a community weenie, with hundreds of great questions and no solid answers. As Richard the WAR Minion put it when I asked him for the big themes on the forums, "If we haven't answered it yet, we can't answer it yet..."

That burning smell you're detecting is the sound of the WAR team burning the midnight oil. Those ladies and gentlemen have a major milestone coming up. As you know from E3 coverage, there are four tiers of ranks for your characters, with ten ranks in each tier. Each zone in WAR has content appropriate for a particular tier. Our milestone is "Tier One." And of course, there's all that design we're doing on the economy and the careers. It's no lazy summer here in Fairfax, Virginia.

I can't hardly WAIT for everyone to see the results!

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