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MMO Bickering Pits Warcraft Against Warhammer In A Fun New Way

Dueling comments from EA Mythic's Mark Jacobs and Blizzard's Jeff Kaplan in a pair of MTV interviews make for fun, weird reading.

While we're on the subject, I heard 50 Cent was going to claim that his next record and video game would outsell Kanye, Warcraft, and Warhammer COMBINED. Either that or he'd threaten to retire... again.
I thought you might be interested in checking out a pair of stories from MTV Multiplayer with comments from World of Warcraft's game director, Jeff Kaplan, and Warhammer Online's head guy, Mark Jacobs, on their respective games. Actually, I guess most of the talk is specifically about Warhammer. But it's interesting to watch them sort of poke and jab back and forth.

The original interview with Jeff Kaplan took place during Blizzard's annual BlizzCon and seems to be focused on who was in who's beta. Apparently Blizzard reached out to the great uniter, Paul Barnett, to allow Mythic's posse into the Wrath of the Lich King beta. But Mythic's policies prevented any sort of official reciprocation with the Warhammer beta.

This brings us to rap beef in video game interview form, where Kaplan is quoted by MTV as saying "I’m always fascinated by betas in general and [non-disclosure agreements] and how tight-lipped they tend to be. It’s Blizzard philosophy that if you’re really confident in your game, then you have nothing to worry about. So I guess that would be my big take away from that."

OH SNAP SON NO HE DIDN'T IT AIN'T BEEN ON LIKE THIS SINCE 'KISS WAS ON THE PHONE WITH GREEN LANTERN, REAL TALK FAMILY... ahem... sorry.

Kaplan then goes on to talk about his experience with Warhammer, which sort of mirrors mine, though I haven't been able to play very much (or at all, really) over the past two weeks. He claims he's on a server with 30-45-minute wait times to get into the game's PVP scenarios and that a lot of the public quests are empty. Sure sounds like Mordheim to me.

MTV got a post-publish response to the article from Mark Jacobs, leading to a second story. His responses are what led me to write this in the first place, because it sounds weirdly defensive for a game that, by most accounts, seems to be doing just fine. Heck, I like it, anyway. Take this bit from the MTV story, for example...

Referring to Kaplan’s mention of the 30-45 minute wait times for battlegrounds (called “Scenarios” in “Warhammer Online”), Jacobs said that “World of Warcraft” also had long queues just to get into the servers to play the game when it first launched in 2004.

So... your defense against wait times is that a game released four years ago also had the same problem? Shouldn't your game be, like, evolving and fixing the problems that have plagued previous games in the genre?

Then there's this one...

I think you’ll find that if you’re actually going to compare the two products, I would say ‘WoW’ is certainly a more polished game now than ‘Warhammer is — of course they’ve had four years and billions of dollars — but if you look at the innovations in ‘Warhammer,’ you’d be hard-pressed to find as many in ‘WoW.’

You've been working on Warhammer for three years, haven't you? And you've had the benefit of seeing what Blizzard is up to for that entire time period. And you're owned by EA. They... aren't exactly broke. The aside of "of course they've had four years and billions of dollars" is totally Crazy Town from where I'm sitting. Butterfly. Sugar, baby. All of that.

I don't know, maybe it's the jet lag talking, but reading these stories reminds me of the Presidential debate with all the somewhat-petty bickering, except we don't get incredibly creepy footage of a guy constantly blinking and sort of looking like his head might explode.

  

Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
34 Comments
Posted by Jeff
While we're on the subject, I heard 50 Cent was going to claim that his next record and video game would outsell Kanye, Warcraft, and Warhammer COMBINED. Either that or he'd threaten to retire... again.
I thought you might be interested in checking out a pair of stories from MTV Multiplayer with comments from World of Warcraft's game director, Jeff Kaplan, and Warhammer Online's head guy, Mark Jacobs, on their respective games. Actually, I guess most of the talk is specifically about Warhammer. But it's interesting to watch them sort of poke and jab back and forth.

The original interview with Jeff Kaplan took place during Blizzard's annual BlizzCon and seems to be focused on who was in who's beta. Apparently Blizzard reached out to the great uniter, Paul Barnett, to allow Mythic's posse into the Wrath of the Lich King beta. But Mythic's policies prevented any sort of official reciprocation with the Warhammer beta.

This brings us to rap beef in video game interview form, where Kaplan is quoted by MTV as saying "I’m always fascinated by betas in general and [non-disclosure agreements] and how tight-lipped they tend to be. It’s Blizzard philosophy that if you’re really confident in your game, then you have nothing to worry about. So I guess that would be my big take away from that."

OH SNAP SON NO HE DIDN'T IT AIN'T BEEN ON LIKE THIS SINCE 'KISS WAS ON THE PHONE WITH GREEN LANTERN, REAL TALK FAMILY... ahem... sorry.

Kaplan then goes on to talk about his experience with Warhammer, which sort of mirrors mine, though I haven't been able to play very much (or at all, really) over the past two weeks. He claims he's on a server with 30-45-minute wait times to get into the game's PVP scenarios and that a lot of the public quests are empty. Sure sounds like Mordheim to me.

MTV got a post-publish response to the article from Mark Jacobs, leading to a second story. His responses are what led me to write this in the first place, because it sounds weirdly defensive for a game that, by most accounts, seems to be doing just fine. Heck, I like it, anyway. Take this bit from the MTV story, for example...

Referring to Kaplan’s mention of the 30-45 minute wait times for battlegrounds (called “Scenarios” in “Warhammer Online”), Jacobs said that “World of Warcraft” also had long queues just to get into the servers to play the game when it first launched in 2004.

So... your defense against wait times is that a game released four years ago also had the same problem? Shouldn't your game be, like, evolving and fixing the problems that have plagued previous games in the genre?

Then there's this one...

I think you’ll find that if you’re actually going to compare the two products, I would say ‘WoW’ is certainly a more polished game now than ‘Warhammer is — of course they’ve had four years and billions of dollars — but if you look at the innovations in ‘Warhammer,’ you’d be hard-pressed to find as many in ‘WoW.’

You've been working on Warhammer for three years, haven't you? And you've had the benefit of seeing what Blizzard is up to for that entire time period. And you're owned by EA. They... aren't exactly broke. The aside of "of course they've had four years and billions of dollars" is totally Crazy Town from where I'm sitting. Butterfly. Sugar, baby. All of that.

I don't know, maybe it's the jet lag talking, but reading these stories reminds me of the Presidential debate with all the somewhat-petty bickering, except we don't get incredibly creepy footage of a guy constantly blinking and sort of looking like his head might explode.

  

Staff
Posted by griefersstolemykeyboard

huh and here I thought you all at the giantbomb loved warhammer and hated wow with a passion (referring to the article about a vanity mount in wow taken far to serious) Anyway, ye I agree with you a 100%

Posted by Milkman

It seems that Mark Jacobs should probably think a little more before he says these kind of things. Or better yet just let Paul Barnett do all the PR for Warhammer.

Posted by GalvanizedNails

lol nothing to really do with the article but the videos sound isnt working for me. i would love to see a gang war between mythic and blizzard. should be awesome

Posted by Tarsier

I don't understand this. Why is this news worthy? It hurts my brain.

Posted by Kohe321

Mark jacobs owns hard!! GO MYTHIC!

Posted by Bmasterlord

It seems you guys are throwing in little political jabs ( targeted at McCain specifically, or talking up Obama) whenever you can I for one find it distasteful and it is turning me off quite a bit.

Posted by GalvanizedNails

Bmasterlord said "It seems you guys are throwing in little political jabs ( targeted at McCain specifically, or talking up Obama) whenever you can I for one find it distasteful and it is turning me off quite a bit." I agree with you about throwing in the politcal stuff and that its focused against McCain but Jeff is entitled to his opinion. Im fine with that as long as the site doesnt officially endorse obama or anything.

Posted by Kraznor

Yeah, McCain sure blinks a lot. Probably the one thing I took away from last night's debate.

Posted by Chocobo_Blitzer

I dislike Kaplan's comments, Mark's response, and Jeff's post. All the text I read seemed hopelessly out of touch. Also, political thing at the end. Sweet....

Posted by Lingxor

It started out somewhat promising but eventually I discovered that the really time viable way to progress in the game is to grind scenarios over and over... Which is exactly what I would be doing in WoW.

Yawn.

Posted by Torb

Yea, I agree with Bmasterlord....

I don't mind if you include some politics, but one post featuring Obama and the other dissing McCain in such a short time seems kind of unnecessary. At least keep it looking unbiased. I really don't like either candidate, but just try and keep it fair if not professional...

Posted by Jeff

Let's just say that if you are taking "McCain blinks a lot" and "there are Obama ads in video games" to be positive or negative political statements on my part then you have become far too wrapped up in the minor sideshows of these campaigns and should probably turn off your television to think harder about whatever issues you actually care about.

Staff
Posted by Sgt_T1bbs

the Jeff has spoken!...and i agree.

Posted by GalvanizedNails

jeff just put me to shame. looking back at my comments i have been digging a bit too deep into this. sorry guys :(

Posted by goodlucktj

so now this is run like a bar in hell's kitchen? no politics, no religion?!?


i'm pretty sure the giant bomb crew can say whatever they like about whatever they like. if you want to cry about jeff linking a youtube video of mccain looking weird, dry your eyes at huffpost.

get back on point people. warcraft and warhammer. post what you know.
Posted by CodeMunki
Posted by TheHT

omg, politics in the gaming world. :O

Posted by Bmasterlord

At the end of the day it isn't the end of the world, I still love and will continue to use this site, but come on don't say it isn't there. Saying "incredibly creepy footage of a guy constantly blinking and sort of looking like his head might explode" is not just saying dude blinks a lot, it has a much more negative tone to it. I think it is fairly obvious who you guys are backing and it is showing in some of the stories comments, which as I said I find distasteful.

Posted by Crono

this was one action packed article!

Posted by jersoc

2 companies in competition dissing each other? Shocking, simply shocking.
Hey Blizzard, at least we can loot in warhammer at launch. So they have that on your game.

Posted by makari

its sorta funny that both a person of interest in the news post and people in the comments are both jumping to conclusions, albeit at totally different things. *hands around the :tinfoilhat:*

on topic, i dont know about the american servers, but the oceanic servers, even the high pop ones, havent had any wait times for a while now. i think the 'four years and billions of dollars' thing is sorta viable if you look at it in a dev standpoint. the initial product was under a publisher placed time constraint to push it out for a certain market bracket, was rushed out missing some content, and it is still leaps and bounds over the initial product of a company with no such pressures, and comparable to their game thats been out for four years. i guess the bottom line is, it definitely wont take warhammer nearly as long to reach wows polish after its initial (and admittedly rushed) product was released. now if they could only fix the problem with the population spread on servers (without the artificial fix of 'everyones at max level so they gotta do the same stuff')

Posted by warhammer
Posted by floodiastus

McCain supporters are way too fanatic, and it tells by the comments you guys make here.

.....and im from sweden.
Posted by Fawk

Hey Jeff, why don't you actually play an MMO to level cap before you try to critique one.

You aren't qualified to be making comments on this frankly.

The Warhammer guys have very valid points.  The immature way you dealt with them doesn't really surprise me but it's irritating.

For your information WOW was in terrible shape at launch.  You couldn't loot, there were 2 hour queue times just to log into the server, disconnects, etc.  Warhammer has been pretty much spot on since day 1.  So that's progress right there.

Warcraft HAS had 4 years and billions of dollars to polish their game.  What do you not get about that?  What is sad is that after that long there are still some really bad mechanics that just don't work well in WoW.

As a whole Warhammer was more polished at launch than Warcraft was.  So get your facts straight smartass before you bash a company that was around making MMO's before Warcraft ever came out. 

The PvP is MUCH better in the first month in Warhammer than is has been in 4 years in WoW.  That's also progress and evolution.

Also, I haven't had trouble at ALL doing the public quests.  There have always been people around doing them.

You aren't an MMO gamer.  You have stated that you don't really get into them.  So why you felt you had to make the asinine comments you did is beyond me.  Stick with console games guy.  It's your forte.  PC gaming just isn't.  You are well respected in that field and apparently well liked.  No need to try and cross over into a genre you don't understand and embarrass yourself.

Posted by frsty13

I think one of the big differences between the wait times to get into WoW's Battlegrounds and Warhammer's Scenarios is WoW's PvP is cross server while Warhammer's is all on the same server.  I remember before the whole cross server PvP thing, it took just as long for a BG to start up, sometimes longer if you were waiting for the big ones like Alterac Valley. 

While doing the same thing would help Warhammer's queue times, there's a number of reasons I'm sure they couldn't do it and I'd almost venture that they won't do it.  For one, they couldn't have known how the population would spread at launch, so it isn't like they could group them before hand.  The main reason I don't think they would is that you lose some of the rivalries on the server.  Before the cross server BGs, people could really make a name for themselves in PvP.  Even if you didn't PvP and weren't on the same side, you knew their name.  It's a kind of hatred/respect that I think / hope Warhammer will try to foster instead of WoW's "Free Epix For All" PvP philosophy.

Posted by darkjester74
warhammer
on Oct. 17, 2008
Oh,Do you play warhammer online?
Do you want buy Warhammer gold and Warhammer Power leveling?

Who let the gold farmer in here?  Be gone vile pest!

Also, I don't really care what those two say to each other, I am having WAY more fun with Warhammer than I ever did with WoW.  And in the end, thats all that matters to me.
Posted by Coldbrand

Sure is one sided in this article.

Posted by Media_Master
Posted by jakob187

Well, hey, if Blizz wants to point fingers about this and that...maybe they should start answering why their most recent game update before Lich King featured achievements...like Warhammer has...or titles from achievements...like Warhammer has...and the expansion will have Wintergrasp - an RvR-styled area...like Warhammer has TONS of...

Essentially, having played WoW for three years, everything being offered in Lich King is too little, too late.  Sure, the game may be "polished"...and I understand the "well, they've had 3 years of developing" mentality that you present, Jeff...but that's 3 years of BUILDING the game, not EXPANDING upon it like WoW has done.  Therefore, it's hardly fair to compare a game with a million users to a game with 11 million users...which is where the billions have come from in the first place.

You give Warhammer a solid 6 months, and you'll see a DRASTIC change.  They have patched almost EVERY SINGLE DAY...and it shows, as the performance of the game, as well as the general features, have been greatly improved.  I think it's sad that WoW has to rag on Warhammer whenever they are stealing all the same ideas...

...I mean, let's all remember when Blizzard had a crack at the Warhammer license...and once it was pulled, they created Warcraft to try and spite Games Workshop...

Blizz = rip-off company.
Posted by Loupgarou216

I've always found Mark Jacobs and Mythic Entertainment community relations in general to be overly pretentious and at times even cocky. The only reason WAR is half as successful as it is, is because it has Warhammer on the cover and EA's cash for marketing. If this was a purely Mythic project ( DAoC 2), it would be a small blip on the MMORPG radar, just like DAoC was. Mark Jacobs needs to take his head out of his own ass.

Posted by Spankmealotus

I agree with DarkJester74, I played WoW for 3 years and have been having far more fun in Warhammer than I did playing WoW. Makes no difference which one has been out longer and has more money or polish put into it. When it comes right down to it, the one that is more fun is better. Afterall, it is a game, meant to be fun. WoW always seemed like more work, something to fill your free time with. My 2 cents.

Posted by Pop

lolz this is the wow vs warhammer page xD... who cares which is better!!! pick one :D

Posted by Valiom

I think the time Jacobs is referring to is the fact that game has simply been out longer.. having a game in production for 3 years and having the game out are two very different things.. the game has not been in beta for 3 years.. the fact that WoW's launch was a disgrace and the WAR launch wasn't are enough for me to never wanna play WoW again..