ZAM had the chance to sit down with Mythic Entertainment community manager James Nichols during the San Diego Comic-Con for an interview about the current state of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.
ZAM: Class balance is one of the biggest issues that players bring up. Is there a difference between what players expect and what Mythic intended when it comes to class mechanics? Many of the class changes throughout the past six months have struck players as blatantly counter-intuitive.
James: There's perception, and then there's the actual reality of things.
ZAM: Tell us the actual reality.
James: Like I said, career balance is an ongoing thing. There's definitely room for improvement in a lot of areas we're aware of that. But we're also working on helping players to understand how their class actually is effective. One of the ways [we're] doing that is through toning down the over-burdening effects of AoE and crowd control, like I mentioned. What this really shows is that there are careers that have pretty strong single-target abilities that were kind of overshadowed, but there are other careers that do need additional adjustments, besides that. There's no real simple answer to it. We listen to the feedback, we analyze it and we see what we can do to best affect the game in the amount of time we have.
There's the constant question of, 'Why can't you do this now?' But we can't do everything now it's impossible. We don't have the time or the manpower to do that. So what we do is look at what would be most beneficial to help the most people, without negatively impacting others. It's always hard to take power away from people; there are several classes that players think we've toned down too much and we do look at feedback and try to analyze that. But when you're on top, it feels good to be king you know? When you come back down, it's always hard to accept the fact that you're not as powerful as you once were. We try to avoid "flavor of the months," but in any MMO, career balance is probably the most controversial and complicated thing you can have.