Game Update 1.3.2 is now live in Warhammer Online and includes the removal of Fortresses from the campaign, a new Keep difficulty system, and the introduction of the New User Journey and the Apprenticeship system. You can check out the full patch notes in our wiki section. Also, don't forget that the Daemon Moon Rising Halloween event is set to kick off on Oct. 23.
In addition, Producer Jeff Skalski has written a letter about 1.3.2 and beyond. Skalski said the focus of 1.3.3 will be "on career balance, RvR campaign enhancements, and performance, but if I had to pick a theme for 1.3.3, I would go with 'Bugs and Polish.' " For example, players will finally get the ability to walk and sit. Skalski also touches open the upcoming underdog system, which "kicks in on any server to help aid the Realm that’s consecutively being pummeled." You can read the full letter after the jump.
It’s been one week too long for me pulling together this letter. The team has been pounding away at making sure our upcoming 1.3.2 patch is not only full of great features and improvements, but is set up to be one of our smoothest version deployments to live yet. By now you should have had a chance to check out the 1.3.2 patch notes for our Public Test Server. If not, check them out here. I’ll still be here when you get back!
Now, I don’t want to spend too much time talking about those specific features since you can go check them out yourselves directly on the PTS, but I will answer a few common questions I hear in chat channels and on various forums.
First, let’s chat about a feature we’ve coined the New User Journey. Now I know some of you veteran players out there are wondering, “Why did they even spend any resources on this? This has nothing to do with career balance, performance, or the RvR campaign…” Honestly, every day we have many new players coming to WAR for the first time, and we wanted to give them an even smoother transition and introduction into WAR to get them hooked. We reitemized Empire vs. Chaos Tier 1, cleaned up the quest flow, introduced tutorial windows, and tweaked the RvR lake to make it even more intense. This is a win-win situation for everyone. For me, the more players coming into the game means the more Renown Points I can harvest off their character corpses when I’m done with them.
Another key feature in update 1.3.2 is the new Apprenticeship system. We wanted to help bridge the gap between friends who wanted to play together, but weren’t similar Ranks, and that’s exactly what this system achieves. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had friends and family come into the game and I wanted to play with them with my main character, but simply couldn’t. Well, now we can.
Also in 1.3.2, we have four big RvR improvements going live.
- Fortresses no longer gate ownership over a pairing. LET THE INCREASED CITY SIEGING BEGIN! Don’t worry if it’s your capital city under siege—rewards await you and your Realm for putting up a good fight.
- A new and improved Keep difficulty system is in that truly rewards players for fighting enemy players, regardless of whether you’re on the defending or attacking side. Reference your map to see each Keep’s Rank (indicated by the small gold stars below each Keep on the map).
- We’ve made big performance improvements in large-scale RvR situations. Our |\|1|\|j4 (r3\/\/ of Engineers have been hard at work for quite some time on our new texture managing system, and we’re now happy to place it in your hands. You may notice slightly longer zone load times, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s well worth the increased performance you’ll see when in the center of the action.
- Server response time optimization. From mounting/dismounting to abilities to moving things in your inventory, all response time has been improved. We'll have a detailed Dev Diary for you about this on Friday.
Oh, and we’ve also made a few additional tweaks to the city end-game to further compliment the fixes we made back in update 1.3.1. City VP’s are now solely gained by completing the main city PQ to bring clarity to what’s pushing the battle for control. No longer are cities captured for 18 hours. The new value is set to 6 hours, and defenders still have the opportunity to take back their city sooner and reset the campaign by successfully completing the main city PQ. And lastly, city dungeons are no longer gated by city rank—they’re always open!
Before I jump into 1.3.3, I’d like to give props to the Player Systems team who have been working extra hard to get in as many fixes and as much polish as possible for the careers for you guys. Keep the feedback coming on the forums. This is an especially great time for it as we make last-minute tweaks and adjustments and to all of the systems before we go live.
Alright, let’s talk 1.3.3 and what we’re thinking of, and playing with, at the moment. Now of course no promises, but I know everyone is always wondering what’s next. First and foremost, we’re focusing on career balance, RvR campaign enhancements, and performance, but if I had to pick a theme for 1.3.3, I would go with “Bugs and Polish”. I don’t mean adding bugs (=P), but removing them. And more importantly, removing bugs and adding polish into the game in places that haven’t been on our top of our list for quite some time because of other priorities. A few examples, you ask?
- Ability to walk and sit. (RP players rejoice!)
- Various UI fixes, such as making sure timers synchronize properly on PQs.
- Graphical enhancements (Bloom, improved weapon trails, heat shimmer, etc…).
- Pet and monster pathing improvements.
Now, beyond bug fixes and polish, we have a few new systems coming online. The one I want to talk a little bit about today is the underdog system. You may have heard me mention this before in a prior letter, and asked yourself, “What is this Underdog System all about?” Basically, it’s a system that kicks in on any server to help aid the Realm that’s consecutively being pummeled. It’s a handicap system, so to speak, for the T4 campaign. VPs needed for zone control and domination timers will lessen for the losing side. What’s nice about this system is that it ramps up and down on the fly, thus opening up opportunities for the losing Realm to get back on its feet. In my next letter I’ll go over this in more detail.
Beyond some of those items I’ve mentioned thus far, we start getting much farther down the development roadmap for WAR, but here’s a recap of where we are heading.
- Continue focus on career balance fixes, RvR campaign enhancements, performance and server stability.
- Knock out bugs and introducing more polish across the board.
- Ready WAR for launch in new regions.
Before I sign off, your feedback on the Hunter’s Vale dungeon for recent The Wild Hunt Live Event was so overwhelmingly positive that we’ve decided to not retire the dungeon with the end of the Live Event. Instead, the Hunter’s Vale dungeon will now have a permanent home in EvC Tier 1 as a new low-level dungeon experience for everyone to enjoy. Keep the feedback coming, and rest assured the team wishes we could squeeze everything in with every patch, but we’re listening and making progress.
I’ll see you in your city,
WAR Producer, Mythic Entertainment