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Reader Comments (26)

Posted: May 26th 2009 7:36PM (Unverified) said

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This guy is pretty experienced and has some open mind. Maybe I don't like WAR, but I like to hear / read what he has to say.

Posted: May 26th 2009 8:14PM (Unverified) said

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I am really tired of him. He's becoming the new Garriott only without any substantial experience.

Posted: May 27th 2009 2:06PM Aleforge said

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I am starting to feel the same way. I use to really like the guy and loved his enthusiasm during the production of WAR. But he is starting to get old, and seems to hold himself up at celebrity status now. If WAR was a complete success I might be easier on him, but the game ended up really mundane.

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Posted: May 26th 2009 8:26PM (Unverified) said

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HAHahahaha ROFLMAO This guy builds/ helps build a subpar MMO and all of sudden he is the Warren Buffet of the MMO world. HAHAHAHaha Good luck with that. There is always going to be a WOW or an Everquest or Planetside. To feed the addiction of some poor sap who hasn't got anything better to do in his life or so he feels. This guy needs to STFU and spend more time clinging to the 5 or 10 subscribers WAR has left............

Posted: May 26th 2009 8:43PM (Unverified) said

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Its like all the developers that are getting ready to ask for start up funds, their new idea is the new direction the industry is going. I will not be surprised if 6 months form now he announces his new game based on short mini-games in an MMO atmosphere.

They all do it. The browser based MMO guys got alot of press about declaring it the next big platform a few years ago. Roper used to talk up giving people choices to how much commitment they wanted before he talked about how wrong it was to do it with Hellgate.

Bottom line is, whatever the developer is gathering startup money for, is where the industry is going next, and they'll trumpet it at every developer outing they can.

Posted: May 26th 2009 9:10PM Abriael said

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jumping on the bandwagon of "casual gaming" is a tad too easy.
Casual game = little money spent = lots of money earned
Too bad that consoles like the wii are the perfect example on how that reasoning is inherently flawed.
The casual gaming market may be profitable for a few, but in the end it's also too easily saturated. A few best sellers (less than in the actual AAA gaming market), normally from the companies that spend a TON in marketing (there goes the little money spent factor) and a truckload of crap that doesn't sell for squat.
Casual gaming is simply the gaming flavor of the month, or fad of the month to be precise.

Posted: May 26th 2009 9:48PM Tom in VA said

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Translation:

Warhammer Online didn't do that great, not because it was a so-so, mediocre MMO, but because it was "asset-heavy" and "asset-light" games are the wave of the future.

Ummm.... I don't think so, Paul.

Posted: May 26th 2009 10:23PM Crsh said

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The trouble with asset-light games is that they barely offer any content; it's good enough when you're on the go with any sort of portable device you use, but at home I'd much rather experience rich stuff with tons of content and pretty graphics on a large screen, be it on a PC or console.

Posted: May 26th 2009 11:46PM (Unverified) said

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EEEEEEEEEH, WRONG.

Heavy asset producing investments always get simplified with the improvement of technology, JUST LIKE OUR OLD COMPUTERS, WE LOVED THEM SO MUCH, WE MADE THEM EASY.

Same for computer software, and thanks to Blizzard Unifying the need for detailed games, there will always be 11million+ people in demand of this software. Which brings us to the question, where do we get this software when there is no Blizzard?

Innovation, invention will produce simplifications to software design and production. Dont believe me? Go read about the "Hero Engine"
How many games were made on the Unreal Engine, and the Half-life engine.

Just, take a history on developing sciences class, in any tech study, and re-think your hypothesis.

Posted: May 26th 2009 11:58PM deluxe2000 said

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I cringe every time I read a Paul Barnett quote considering he and Mark Jacobs' propensity for foot-in-mouth syndrome.

Posted: May 27th 2009 12:19AM (Unverified) said

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Looks like a lot of you don't like this Paul guy... but one, WAR didn't "fail" by a long shot, two, he probably knows a lot more about the industry trends then you do, that's why he is on that side of the fence being paid for his time and opinions on the subject and you are not.

Posted: May 27th 2009 12:48AM (Unverified) said

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He does know a lot about the gaming business, and yes, despite the "AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" cries from many WOW-douchebag-fanboy-jackoff idiots here, Warhammer is a very successful and sustainable game. Don't pay much attention to the loudmouthed contingent that loves to comment negative belches of nothing on EVERY Warhammer-related post. Barnett's comments make a ton of sense.
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Posted: May 27th 2009 1:07AM Distaste said

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Paul doesn't have a damn clue and Mythic certainly doesn't know what gamers want because the game they produced dropped dropped tons of customers. By Mark Jacobs own standards(over 500k subs and adding servers after 6 months) the game isn't doing well. For the amount of money, experience, and the IP they had yes they did FAIL. In another interview someone from Mythic said the game wasn't doing well because of the economy and here Paul is saying it's because people want asset light.

No one knows what the gamers want except the gamers. There is a reason in WAR's beta that people kept asking for radical changes. Mythic didn't listen to the MMO gamers and they put out a mediocre game that a majority of the PvP crowd didn't want. Even Paul's own system of "vegas" loot was hated because he didn't think about beta people not caring about loot and live players craving loot.

Asset light games will soon over saturate the market because they are easier to make and take less time. So their popularity will drop or become a run of the mill deal. Asset heavy games will remain exactly the same.
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Posted: May 27th 2009 3:18AM (Unverified) said

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It's time to do something different. The concept of a time heavy game is good, if nothing else WoW proves that in black and white with player numbers, no escaping it. Your product is not original and good enough Paul to make enough people jump from one game to another. Sorry that's all there is too it. For most it's a case of why start a new elf there when I got two elves, a dwarf and a Tauren here. And yes it probably has improved massively, but again, even if it works why go to all the effort to start again if people change?

At least Eve and Darkfall are doing something a little different in their own ways. The next big thing will probably be an original concept by a small operation who need to be creative; I'm sure Blizzard will be there to be 'inspired' by them when it crops up for their new game. My betting is a dumbed down version of the excellent looking Earthrise will be the result of this inspiration. Really would bet you money on that.

Posted: May 27th 2009 3:39AM (Unverified) said

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He's right about one thing, mmos becoming more mainstream are pushing the industry to make them all less time consuming and easier to get in a play, why?

Because humans are becoming lazier and lazier as time goes by. They want everything handed to them with little to no effort put in on their part. So to please these people you need to drop the risk waaaaaaaaaaaay down and push the rewards up through the roof.

Posted: May 27th 2009 4:09AM J Brad Hicks said

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This is the closest thing I've seen to honest introspection come out of Mythic in almost a year. I don't know if "casual games" are the wave of the future or not, but I do know this: he, like a lot of recent veterans of the MMO industry, knows fully well that if his game had the same subscribers it has now but had cost 1/3 or even 1/2 of what it had cost to develop, it'd be considered a runaway success.

He doesn't see any way to create as many art assets as WAR has on 1/3rd to half the budget. With the tools we have today, he's probably right. That means either better tools, or less art, for any game that's going to be profitable.

And I don't know that he's wrong. Consider this: suppose they had dumped ALL of the PvE content in WAR, years ago, and the scenarios, both early in the development cycle, and concentrated ONLY on the open RvR lake content: three tiers of tier 1 control point capture, the same three tiers of tier 2 control point and small keep capture, the same three tiers of tier 3 control point and large keep capture, the same three tiers of tug-of-war zone control. And instead of spending huge sums of money trying to develop NPC models and NPC AI and writing public quests and writing regular quests and building dungeons and creating vast numbers of competing armor sets, imagine they had spent the money they saved from that on polishing the living heck out of open RvR, gotten it to the state it's in now only even less buggy.

It would have still cost less than what they spent, and all of it would work well, and less of it would be manpower intensive to maintain because there'd be fewer exploits to police, and, most importantly, it would be offering entirely new and interesting gameplay. A game like that might have a lot more of a market than a game that's too much like WoW.

Similar comparison: suppose that Tabula Rasa had done something similar with all of its (frankly, awful) generic PvE quests and instances and ONLY concentrated on making a game that was all about control point fights. That game would have been cheaper to develop, and a whole heck of a lot more fun than the one they ended up with.

Less art. More focused, more innovative, less "checklist focused" (gotta have everything!) game play design. Better tools. Or shorter games overall. Any of a lot of things might work, but one way or another budgets MUST come down. Right now, the MMO industry is right where electronic commerce was in late 1999: the sick sinking feeling is settling in with investors and potential investors that almost none of these games has an even minimally plausible business plan; most of them are engineered in ways that flat out guarantee they will never be able to pay off their loans, let alone return a profit.

Posted: May 27th 2009 4:17AM Graill440 said

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This guy is an non issue, like those he represents. The nifty phrases he employs, asset heavy verse asset light (chuckle) what will the desperate create next. (no the terms arent new, just the contextual useage)

There are far more legit reasons MMO's need to worry about the future, and this is not one of them.

Posted: May 27th 2009 6:53AM Crsh said

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It's not marketing speak, "asset" is a common expression used in software development.
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Posted: May 27th 2009 7:29AM (Unverified) said

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He is crying because WAR is bleeding subs, just look at the forums and the massive QQ rage quiting thats going on.

The game is fundamently broken, and the devs just dont know how to fix it. In T4 the game consists of running to a mob of people getting CC or disabled and then dying.

It took them months to fix the massive AoE problems ( its still not fixed mind you, waiting for the next patch) , the WP and DoKs are finaly getting pegged down to the other healers level ( instead of brining the other healers up) The gap between WH and WE will grow even bigger now ( proof of the devs dont really know whats happening in-game)

I've played this game and quit it now for like 3 times, make the mistake to subbing up after a major patch to see if things where finaly fixed, and just keep getting disapointed. Im now just waiting for Aion to come out and praying that it isn't broken when it arrives.

Posted: May 27th 2009 10:09AM (Unverified) said

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People still play Warhammer?

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