I play Mythic's current MMO Dark Age of Camelot and, like a bad relationship, I love it and hate it and can't leave it. The addictiveness and superior PvP make me optimistic that Warhammer will be the WoW killer that EA hopes for. Almost everyone who plays DAoC considers it a superior game to WoW. But some glaring flaws in the game design and underlying game engine concern me that the same type of mistakes and flaws will be in Warhammer. How are the Warhammer designers and programmers working to avoid the well-know problems with their current game, Dark Age of Camelot?
The abilities of the three realms in DAoC are unusually asymmetrical for a game of this type which does make it interesting . But it seems like over and over and over one of the three realms gets buffed. I know Hibernia had low population in the first years of the game (probably because the newbs usually picked Albion and the Hib characters looked freakish). So you gave Hib mages baseline stun which renders their opponent helpless as they get nuked to death, while you gave mages from the other two realms root which freezes the targets feet to the ground but does not render them helpless. That flaw is still in today and is a constantly given reason for quitting the game after people get stun-nuked one time too many. Hib baseline stun has driven thousands of people away from the game. And the carebear type players who love WoW will head for the doors after experiencing that a few times.
You gave Hibernia Group Purge exclusively - since removed from the game as too powerful. You gave them Thornweed field first - a mistake that was corrected when you gave it to all three realms. Hib primary healers have pets programmed to make a beeline to the enemy healers which completely shuts them down until the pet is killed - the other two realm's primary healers do not have pets (still in the game today). When New Frontiers came out you put the boat docks on the other side of the river for two realms (to make players vulnerable to attack while going to the boat) but not for Hib - another mistake since corrected. It goes on and on and on.
What were your game designers thinking and are these kinds of mistakes going to be made in Warhammer?
The technology used in DAoC was impressive when it came out in 2001 and has been updated successfully and looks pretty good by today's standards, but has some glaring problems that your programmers can't seem to fix. Is the game engine fundamentally flawed or are there no programmers at Mythic skilled enough to go deep into the engine and fix this stuff? I don't expect you to have a John Carmack on the payroll but some of these problems seem beyond your ability to correct.
Walls in keeps stop most spells and all arrows but certain kinds of spells go right through them. Again, the worst offender is in Hibernia - the Bainshee - with the highest damage and the longest range of anything that penetrates keep walls. The people who play that class know this and exploit it shamelessly giving them huge advantages in siege. The Animist who casts a turret in the form of a cute little mushroom has the only turret in the game which gives (surprise surprise) Hibernia another advantage, this time in siege warfare. Animists place these "shrooms" all over the place while sieging keeps in spots where the shroom can attack enemies who cannot attack the Animist which infuriates the other two realms. Bad design or bad programming? Probably a little of both.
Necromancers cannot cross certain bridges without losing their pets (bridges are focal points of PvP and losing the pet makes the Necro absolutely vulnerable. Why is that so hard to fix?