Folks, just another long night but hey, since the Yankees are actually winning tonight I’ll take some time off and catch up on some mail,

Grunkaz says “Just curious, how’s the relationship with Games Workshop going right now just before release? Do you see any changes a year down the track? I for one am a HUGE GW fan so being able to get the collector’s edition with an awesome looking miniture was great marketing idea. I hope to see more WAR -> GW minis. Keep up the awesome work with WAR (and this blog) and don’t burn yourself out” Couldn’t be better. I love working with GW professionally and on a personal basis, I consider them good fellows and good friends and I don’t throw either term around lightly. As to changes, I hope that the relationship continues to deepen and strengthen because working with and getting to know the guys at GW has been one of the absolute highlights of my professional career.

Brian R says “Firstly, the trend in the MMO playerbase as of late is what I refer to as the ‘WoW test’ where any title slated for release in the MMORPG market is excruciatingly compared to WoW’s current state. My question is this, What is your opinion on the subject. Do you feel that its fair to new titles to be compared to the behemoth that WoW has become in its current form or should new titles be compared more relistically to what WoW at tis initial release state?” It is not only fair but realistic. If you are going wade into shark-infested waters you can’t whine when you get bit. When we created DAoC we knew we would be compared to EQ so we tried to play up our strengths (RvR). Different day, same tune.

Brian R says “How do you feel micro-transaction MMO’s inpact the subscription based MMO model?” Badly in most cases (free-to-do-nothing-fun-games) but in the right hands and the right country, it can be a successful model. As long as the MMORPG is just not a “Quarter Sucking the Life out of its Players” model, some of them will do well I’m sure.

Brian R says “thanks for taking the time to communicate with the community Mark, it really is refreshing to see a development company who’s employee’s deal directly with the players in so many ways. In 20 years of gaming I can’t recall a single company that talks to the players in such a straightfoward down to earth manner as Paul, Josh and youself.” Oh no, not you again! Don’t forget Jeff “the” Hickman and everyone else at Mythic who are creating WAR who make this part of our jobs easier. If we were ducking rotten fruit and lettuce all the time it would be a lot harder for us to talk to the players through our sealed survival suits.

Ccoa says “So, as an aspiring game developer I wanted to ask you what do you think it would take to become a next-gen MMORPG game developer.” If you mean by next-gen MMORPG game developer someone who starts their own company, I would say a ton of money, 2-3 years out of your life, a ton more money, lots and lots of aspirin, another 2 years to correct the errors you made in the beginning and a ton more money. If you meant how do you break into the MMORPG industry, there are lots of ways depending on what you do. Lots of developers at Mythic and other devs have come through our CS program, internships and by continually asking for jobs. The bad thing about MMORPGs is that they take a lot of time and money to make. The nice thing about them is that we are always looking for talented people.

SteveE says “If you’re ever looking for topics, I’d love to hear the thoughts/history/poop on Aliens Online. First MMO I ever played, and still quite a forward-thinking game.” I should do a piece on it and probably will. It was one of my favorite designs of all time and I loved to play that game.

Tom says “I’m sure it’s been asked before, but since we’re on the topic of questions… What class are you going to play MJ? Is there a side you favor, or are both destruction and order your beloved children?” I personally favor destro (Suddenly the Net lit up, Mythic Devs favor Destro, Order become red-haired stepchildren, news at 11!) but I’ll play both I’m sure.

Bael says “I had three questions: given the goals and objectives you had when you first set out to build WAR, how close do you think you’ve come to fulfilling them all? What are the biggest regrets you have about cuts made to the game, and what element are you proudest of?” LOL, WAR will never fulfill my goals and objectives because I’ll never be truly happy with the way it comes out just as DAoC. I’ll always think about what we could have done differently. Biggest regrets about the cuts is the loss of the Choppa and the other cities, I really wanted to see those cities come to life but that’s the nice thing about a MMORPG, time. I’m proudest of the PQ concept. Of all of my design elements for the game, this is the one that is going to have the most effect on MMORPG design going forward.

Teljair says “Hey Mark, nice blog so far! If you would ever consider giving us a bit of your time for an Interview over at http://www.waaaghhammer.com let me know! We would love it!“ Love to.

Scarybooster says “Nice start on a blog Noob. Jk” Why just kidding? When it comes to blogging, I’m a total noob. Now, when it comes to writing or talking to people online, well, I’ve been doing that since the BBS days so I expect I’ll get the hang of this someday.

Myrdo says “On the subject of DAoC… knowing what you know now, what’s one or two of the big things you would change, decision wise, if you could go back? I’ve been a sub since basically release, so I saw the ups and downs… and I’m interested, from the BMOC’s standpoint, what changes you would make with hindsight being 20/20.” The easy answer is ToA but if I could make another change, I would have insisted that we had better metrics and survey tools for Mythic back in the day it would have saved us a lot of grief. Other guys like Dave Rickey also thought we needed them but we always had something else to do that sucked up time. Lesson learned.

Sunny says “Will you be miring yourself further in people’s comments or be keeping this blog more for your personal musings? Cause I loved the post on the success/failure of WAR as it relates to the market and want more, more, more.” Love the name, it was the handle of someone very special. As to what I’m going to do, well, a bit of everything I hope.

Melissa says “Seriously, you guys are the best – thanks for making a girl’s weekend!” OMG, I should frame this. Usually we get the “Thanks for taking my friend/boyfriend/husband out of my life because of the game. Damn you Mythic!!!” I do appreciate the kind words, I hope we make you feel that way for a long, long time.

Seb says “Please never do a ToA like expansion in WAR ! ” I think I’d rather shoot myself in the head than do another ToA.

Matth says “I’d love to hear your thoughts on these MMOs (eg: Darkfall) that are trying to bring the sandbox PVP model back into the genre, and are really trying to take the genre into new directions.” I’d love to see more sandbox PVP MMORPGs out there. I love PvP, RvR, SNL and I hope that developers bring different MMORPGs out into the marketplace, we need it badly.

Don says “And I lied, I really also want to know why you guys decided to go monthly sub instead of free2play+pay2win and what it says about the future of WAR. I also thank God you chose monthly sub ” Free2Player + Pay2Win = DesignToLose in NA I think and Europe as well I hope for MMORPGs.

Capt Caveman says “I loved DAoC and I’m hoping I’ll love WAR. I have my OB key and my bottle of CabSav so I’m a happy bunny. If I win the 92 million in the Euro lottery tonight I might even hire you to make my own mpog.” Well, I didn’t get your offer in the mail so I guess you didn’t win, sorry about that Cap. Well, on the plus side, making MMORPGs are a quick way to make a multimillionaire into a stark raving mad poor man so don’t feel too badly.

James says “I’m just wondering on how you came to this industry ?” In a reed-covered boat floating down the Hudson River in NYC. And if you believe that, well, the oceanfront property is still available! In truth, it all started with a FORTRAN Monrobot, a paper tape roll and a nice hack or two. I think I have my next column…

Well, that may do it for the night. Time to watch “The Shield” and then call it a night. Gad, I’m going to miss that show when it goes off the air.

Mark