It’s a brand New Year! For many, this is a chance to reflect, for others a time to look ahead. Some make resolutions. Sometimes they stick to them, sometimes they don’t. Regardless of your personal view of the New Year and what it brings, it marks a time for change.
This month’s Producer Letter is being brought to you by James Casey. James has been a Producer on the project for some time and has run a number of WAR initiatives (New User Journey, Endless Trial, Verminous Horde, etc.) in tandem with Carrie. Carrie is still working on WAR, but is looking at a different aspect of the game. This new focus will be revealed in due time.
The actual numbered patches for this year (1.4.1, 1.4.2 …) will follow a similar cadence to last year. Our first patch for the year (1.4.1) will be a smaller version dedicated to bug fixes and a few new features. Amongst those features will be a new way to claim account entitlements (such as the Snotling Herald Pets). This new interface will replace the current method of delivering account entitlements via the in game mail system. We did this for a number of reasons. The primary reason is that in-game mail expires by necessity. The new claim interface will allow you to claim the items anytime. The second reason is that we wanted to give you an easier method to recover lost items that you may have misplaced over time. For items that don’t have charges or function as a ‘currency’ item, such as War Tract scrolls, players will be able to reset those account entitlements at their leisure without having to contact customer service. This new feature will cover all item based deliveries from account entitlements whether they are paid items like you can purchase on the EA Store or marketing rewards from events or the collector’s edition.
Another feature of the patch is a re-structuring of our Scenario line-up. We’ve monitored feedback and statistics over the last year and decided to shake up what scenarios are available all the time for each Tier. The current structure of the Scenarios will remain unchanged, but the Scenarios themselves will be different. Some scenarios stayed where they are, some changed what tiers they are available at, and some are gone and replaced by other classic scenarios. For example; The Maw of Madness will be making its return to the Tier 4 scenario Queue. We’re going to be closely monitoring the scenarios when 1.4.1 goes live and will make further adjustments in later patches as go through the year based on your feedback.
We have plans for major features for each of our numbered patches this year. The plans include expanding existing areas and features as well as new concepts to the Warhammer Online experience. With each subsequent producer letter I plan to share more of these plans.
Shifting gears a bit, I’d like to tell you about our plans for Live Events. We have eight Live Events planned for this year. Some of these are returning favorites (like the recently completed Keg End) and the forthcoming Night of Murder in February. Others are new ones we have planned to fill in some of the calendar gaps. Along with the Live Events, we’ll continue to support Weekend Warfronts with plans to introduce some scenarios that haven’t made their debut in the Warfront format. We also have some very special plans for Grovod Caverns.
Along with the patches and live events, we also have plans to expand our services and Account Entitlement offerings this year. This includes introducing paid name changes, more pets, and more ways to personalize your character.
Finally, I’d like to address a topic that I’m sure is close to everyone’s hearts; server population. We’ve been monitoring the situations on each of our servers in every market. Our current situation on most of the servers shows us numbers that fall within traditionally acceptable parameters, notably our peak population values. Peak population is where we see the most activity on the server; during what is considered prime-time for the server or ‘peak’ hours. However, we understand that population is a key component to enjoying the game. As part of an effort to ensure off-peak hours are as enjoyable as peak hours can be, we are actively discussing our plans for lower population servers. If you haven’t heard anything to this effect by the time this letter sees print, you should see something very soon. We are committed to ensuring that we do what is needed to make sure players enjoy their experience in WAR.
As we close out this producer’s letter, the first of many for the year, we’d like to take a moment and thank all subscribers; past, present, and future. Thank you for your patronage, your support, and your feedback on Warhammer Online over the past year and we hope to continue to provide you an unparalleled RvR MMO experience into the New Year!