GameSpy had the opportunity to sit down with several members of the Warhammer Online development team and discuss the newly launched v1.1 patch, among other things.
"When we look at game balance, we look at it in terms of realm vs. realm balance," said Jeff Skalski, Warhammer Online's RvR Strike Team Lead. "As long as we're hitting that realm balance, we're happy. Factional, racial or career population imbalances aren't as critical." In fact, the team asserts that one of the biggest criticisms and fears around launch time -- the potential for population or class imbalance -- hasn't really materialized. While there is a perception among Destruction players that there are too many Bright Wizard players and amongst Order players that there are too many Destruction players, that perception simply isn't borne out by Mythic's own numbers. While they wouldn't discuss specifics, Drescher said that population imbalances on servers are usually within single-digit percentages.
Drescher is quick to add that even such low percentages are a cause for concern for the team, but rather than taking a reactionary stance, they believe in getting ahead of the problem as quickly as possible. "We're very proud of the incentive structure we've built to encourage players to spread out. Every time you log in, you'll be greeted with a message that, say the High Elves on a particular server could use some help and we're offering incentives such as extra experience points to join." The team also takes message board and player feedback very seriously and will address issues when they reach certain critical thresholds. A recent shift to healers, for example, occurred because the complaint by healers that their big healing spells were essentially useless in combat was backed up by internal data that showed how often such spells were used. As a result, many big healing spells were jazzed up to become more attractive for players.