So it’s been a good 4 months since we’ve had any updates on DMO’s progress. And since I’m a big WAR player, that means that I need constant hand holding or I’ll QQ. So … QQ QQ QQ, I need some more THQ, don’t you understand?
Back to a point, what we know about 40K online is fairly minimal. We have very small game play trailer, some screenies and some art, and a little bit of developer discussion. Overall we are probably 2 to 3 years off a release and probably another year off any closed betas. But that doesn’t stop me from day dreaming.
Ultimately, we don’t know what they are building. We have an idea based on statements like “if you like WoW, you’ll like DMO” (paraphrase off my head). Now that statement alone is already being twisted. Some take it as, Vigil/THQ are going after trying to beat WoW. I would say that’s not really how I see the statement. It sounds to me that they were trying to describe their MMO gameplay type. Someone asked “will I like this MMO, what’s it like?” And WoW was their reference MMO.
When you say WoW style, I don’t think that’s unfair. I mean it is a genre setting style that obviously gave the formula for success. It’s a balance of all types of game play, along with balanced low risk advancement. That’s a big statement; not building the EQ 1 system with losing items from dying, or the EVE system with losing … everything you own and trained for. It’s quite a broad statement, yes, but it’s the easiest way to say, ‘my game is going to be risk free level advancement with PvE missions, crafting, Scenario PvP and having mad crazy lootz.’
Does that mean they want to position to take down WoW? I really don’t think that’s what that statement means. If that’s their goal, get the dream hammer ready to smash that to pieces. Now do they want to build an MMO that will make the average 40K fan happy and exciting for those that are not? I hope so.
You have a studio that has produced ‘a’ game; one game. It hasn’t done that well so far. And a publisher that has also never been apart of an MMO developement. They have, however, an incredible relationship with Games-Workshop. As we can tell from their success with Dawn of Wars series and their upcoming Space Marine RPG/shooter. THQ’s partner in success is becoming more and more the 40K system. I wouldn’t expect DMO to not succeed.
Definitions on success seem to be the separation in each gamer’s point of view. I don’t know exactly what THQ’s goal maybe. They have stated “if they could take a 1 million subscriptions, they’d be happy” (again paraphrase, due to being too lazy to lookup the exact reference point). Seems like a high goal if you are just trying to please the genre lovers of 40K. You have to be offering something else in that mix to bring in the ‘outsiders.‘ (That’s what I call you non-warhammer nerds playing my games)
What is going to make 40K online different in the MMO world? Wild guesses and assumptions are at best what we can go on. Something’s we have good idea about, like the idea of Cover, a classic 40K table top game rule. As well as vehicle use, as we can see from a couple of the videos. And from there, we go on guessing. No ideas on combat variance, or crafting, or the leveling system, or even if there will be PvP. To not have a well thought out PvP model would be insane. It’s held back so many in today’s MMO releases. It does not want to be an after thought.
Though it maybe very earlier, it be nice to know some focused aspects of where they want to go with this game. What is the PvP implementation goal; what are special features that they want to separate them; how are they going to keep the warhammer fan base happy; class archetypes; playable factions; tier progression or leveling. There is so much that we want to know, but so much they probably can’t share. As a Warhammer Online continued fan, long time Warhammer 40K tabletop fan, and just overall a gamer that wants the game that sucks up their life for a matter of time, I have my desires in what DMO could be. Of course, I don’t have ways to execute them, and no way to test whether we will even like it until we get there, but each gamer probably could care a living crap less how successful a game is, just so long as it’s something they can constantly look forward to playing and it’s always an advancement for them.
There are some things I would love to see out of DMO, that I’ve wished we could get out of other MMOs.
The first want I have, would be the elimination of teir levelling. I like the idea of levelling. It is a clear progression to the user, but as for leveling adding more and more to your overall stats is what keeps us separated, and that causes teirs. I think levelling should be to gain abilities or to master in some aspect, not make me a demigod in comparison to a brand new player.
My time in the game should give me more learned abilities, my accomplishments should gain me better access to equipment, and my levels should give me only slightly better stats. Meaning that as a veteran I should have a distinct advantage in combat, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be killed by a newb, or rather a group of newbs.
In the tabletop game, elites and heroes are nice. But that hero only has to roll 1 dice roll with a 1 to lose it. So having a Hero worth 250 points that has 2 wounds, 2+ save throw, 5 toughness and can strike 5 enemies in close combat with a power weapon is nice and all, but if he walks in the open infront of 12 Fire Warriors valued at 15 points each, then most likely atleast 8 of those 12 shots will hit, to which the likelihood the hero will survive not rolling atleast one dice roll under 2 to take away a wound is not likely. In retrospect to MMOs, a level 1 wouln’t even be able to beat the auto health regen of a level 40 that is afk.
In this respect I like to see ranks instead of levels to acquire gear. In the tabletop game certain equipment upgrades are dependent on the rank of your character. Heroes can take almost anything they want, while Sergeants of squads generally have a much finer list to choose from.
Almost all MMOs have a pet class. And I want to see a break of having a pet class in this game for substitution of squad control. Working on the rank system I suggested above, as a player levels, it would be neat to me that the player can choose a path of leadership in that level progression. As warrior becomes more veteran and gains experience, opportunities arise. This could be in becoming a veteran warrior of an elite squad, or maybe becoming a sergeant over seeing you own squad, or maybe becoming independant hero on the battlefield.
The advantage is, that each idea is an existing part of the tabletop, and it gives each player a better way and style to enjoy the game. So like a pet, as a player levels/ranks they can add more troops/companions to their characters, rather than boast their own individual stats like a hero would have. Essentially becoming a squad leader. In the beginning they lead 1 to 3 troops, and if successful in gaining more ranks, they have access to even more troops. These troops are essentially basic soldiers and are controlled like a pet would be.
I would like to see a real advancement in this respect. Most games have PvE down. Some instance PvP, others might instance PvE. And almost every time a new game is release we are promised PvPvE, as if they mingled the two ideas together and mated them to breed the offspring of an awesome MMO. We get this grand idea that we have not open PvP areas, but the PvE aspect is within. Our imagination travels and we invent this dream that the PvE AI is smart enough to then adapt to the PvP occurring around it.
In most respects, you get into the game, you find your way to this PvPvE area, only to find out it’s just an open PvP area with NPC missions sending you into there. I guess that’s technically PvPvE. But it’s not at all what we imagined.
It’s a hard task, and great deal of AI and server management, but … wouldn’t it be awesome if we could have the giant Warhammer 40K battleground and Wars always taking place by NPCs, and we as small little beings are just apart of that grand scheme? Where if one side has 40 players and the other has 10, it wouldn’t mean much because there is still about 300 NPC duking it out regardless with a constantly moving battle ground.
That’s right, no static camps, the battlefield focal points move as the battle rages. Your involvement helps, but is not the end all.
No Repeatable Dungeons
I don’t want to learn cookie cutter dungeons that we have to grind for gear. It’s probably the most frustrating progression to boredom you can have. I mean, there can only be so many times that I defeat Tza’ranorak the Magnificent. I pretty sure it should be once, but here I am, cleaving his face for the 18th time trying to gain my Cod Piece of Iron Testicles. Puzzle solving is fun the first time, not the 11,000th time. Sure if you are the first 6 man team to solve the dungeon, you have a monopoly of grinding for the next month or so, until a member gets pissed off, and joins another group and reveals the secrets. That’s totally a good way to keep subscribers, offer elitism to 6 people. 6 people totally pay the server maintenance fees, right?
If we need an aspect to dungeons, and you most certainly will, I hope it’s unique changing instances. For example, instead of raiding the Temple of Ulkair, you could be assigned to a rescue mission on this orbiting moon. Though you may have done many rescue missions before, they are always slightly different and random. Keeping all members, constantly on their toes. The rewards can be the same, but the grind is always different.
I’m just dreaming out loud though. But, wouldn’t it be neat?