Warhammer Online : Age of Reckoning

Mythic Entertainment undertook a major challenge when they announced a new MMO online rpg to dethrone WOW, this happened several years ago and now we finally got a finished product, and without further delay I will start to tell you what they brought new to the game. We are all familiar with the other MMO games so let’s see what this title brought new to the table.
The basic story follows the ongoing war between the forces of Destruction, composed by the Greenskins (Orcs and Goblins) the Chaos (a race of humans possessed by demons) and the DarkElfes and on the other side we have the forces of Order, composed by Dwarfes , Empire (Humans)and HighElfes (sworn enemies of the DarkElfes).
Races and Factions

Main Selection Screen

Main Selection Screen


Each of the factions were carefully made and they have a selected race to be their biggest enemy, for example for the Dwarfs we have the Greenskins , Empire-Chaos, HighElfes-DarkElfes each race will start on a land controlled by their race and the thing to admire is that from level 1 you can start and help the ongoing war by entering a scenario, but will talk a bit later about this.

Empire Selection Screen

Empire Selection Screen

Another thing that in my opinion was very well thought throw is the selection process, meaning that if you pick the Empire Class you will be able to choose for each class its female counterpart but if you choose for example chaos you will not be able to choose Female Warrior, since frankly it didn’t make any sense, so for chaos you will be able to choose female but only as a sorcerer. This is a small thing but it adds to the universe they created and it gives an extra authenticity.

Chaos Selection Screen

Chaos Selection Screen

PvP
Now that you know the races it’s good to say that Warhammer is mainly focused on PvP encounters, with some exceptions like: it doesn’t focus on gear so much also you can enter a PvP scenario from level 1 and you can do it from anywhere on the world. Yes we don’t have any more fixed spots where you could join a Queue but now you have a quick queue button that will join you for some PvP madness.
The idea behind this is that if you normally have about 20-30 minutes to play, the producers didn’t want you to spend that time locking for a group and moving around from 1 town to another just so you can finally queue and have like 5 minutes to play. All action in warhammer is fast paced and wants to offer the most experience for anyone that join even for a short while.
This being said you should know that apart from usual MMO where you can level only if you do PVE and kill monsters here you pretty much get experience for everything, even in PvP battlegrounds you can level your char if you don’t fancy killing mobs. Yes you heard it right you can level if you do PvP, and the most funny thing is that you can also get loot from PvP, when you kill a enemy there is a chance you can get something from him, I personally got a blue drop from one of the battlegrounds I was in. I can only say this is a perfect move from the producers because it offers for both PvP and PvE junkies alternatives so they will not get bored of the game by forcing them to do something that they do not want.
RVR
This is a new notion introduces by Mythic and it implies Realm Versus Realm action, you can actually sign up with other realms in fights, but what makes this different is that all the action that happened in the certain battleground will reflect in the real world. For example Order wins, they will control a part of the map for the time being, enforcing their dominance over the land.

Player Vs Player Action

Player Vs Player Action


This is a typical Scenario battleground. One of the first ones that you can immediately join, its objective is to gather 500 resources by capturing and holding different key positions on the map. It can house up to 25 players on each side. This is considered to be a small one because as you will see the final battle will probably take over 1000 on each side to complete it.
Warhammer is all about massive battle so you need to be ok with dyeing a lot, because if you get caught by 20 people you will not survive 3 seconds, also it helps a lot in team building, because most of the fight and in battlegrounds you will somehow depended on the other team mates.
Character Mechanics:
Once again Mytic tried something new and thus they proposed the Multi-Functional roles, where a class is not made just to do 1 thing and 1 thing only. This is very nice because no more you will be bound only to healing or to dps, you now have a choice and that choice throws the different things they implemented is a MUST.
Let’s take for example the Shaman, from the Greenskins, he is mainly a healer but what Mythic thought of was to make Damage/Healing a must for every healer for example here in the picture below:

Greenskin Fight vs Dwarfes

Greenskin Fight vs Dwarfes

You have in the middle 2 Heads 1 Red and 1 Yellow: they symbolize the Waaaagh!!! Metter which is a kind of Devil & Angel on your shoulders and it works in this way, the more Healing spells you use the more the Red Waagh meter will go up, it is marked between 1 and 5 and it basically boosts your next Damage Offensive spell, same for the Yellow one, the more it goes up your next Healing Spell will do more healing. In this way you will always have to think and balance your healing and offensive spells.
Almost all the classes have something like this witch will allow you to improve your game stile and not stick to one thing for ever.

Tipical Chaos Outpost

Tipical Chaos Outpost

Another thing, beside the usual spells you learn you will be given on certain levels a Spell, that can be used only throw the gain of morale. Now let me explain, this works quite easy, the more you fight the more morale you gain, there are 4 steps of morale and each one will activate a certain spell, the first levels are usual spells while the final rank will allow you to do a devastating attack. And it’s up to you to decide if you need to hold on to that morale until you can use the best attribute or use the lesser ones.
It’s all up to how much you will fight , because the morale will go down once you stop fighting so you will need a constant am ought of action to get to the highest abilities. Also in addition to morale abilities you will have also Tactics, these will be mostly passive abilities but also active ones that you can use. The trick is that you can only have 1 tactic on at one time. So you will need to choose it wisely according to what fight you will encounter.

First Greenskin Scenario

First Greenskin Scenario

Even the Tank class has a role in PvP here, nothing is like usual MMO in PvP the tank is a “soaker” he needs to stand in the front lines and take as much damage away from the other team mates as possible while de-buffing the other opponents and staying alive. Thaw I would say a major drawback of being a melee character would be the thing that casters have a HUGE range advantage over you but I’m sure they will fix this in a future patch.
Guilds and Fortresses:
Yet again the usual note of a guild doesn’t stand so in Warhammer, here the guild gets a totally new aspect. For one the tabards are a sign of your guilds power they will influence things like morale and abilities in combat. Also you guild banner will allow you to be known across the realm. Also the guild will grow in level with all the players. For example there are many fortresses in Warhammer that can be controlled, they are called Keeps and they represent key points in the maps. Some of them can be taken with just a hand of people but some need siege weapons and other things to get throw the defenses.

Cannon View

Cannon View

These Keeps can also be captured by a guild, the advantage to that is that your banner will appear on the certain keep signaling you guilds power and influence across the realm. Also if you have successfully defended a keep you can also put up your guild banner on to it, all these things help the progress of your guild and level also. And yes if you think that you can just go like in wow and solo capture a keep you are mistaken, these are fortified positions that require more than 5 players to take control of and also sometimes siege weapons, because once you capture a keep the design will change to you race design and also guards will spawn, and those guards will lay down their life to keep the keep safe.

Greenskin Outpost

Greenskin Outpost

Cities and Lands:
Well it is important to see how Mythic thought of the lands. They made 4 Major Zones called Tier’s you will start in Tier 1 and advance to Tier 4, the last one 5 is actually the Capitol of the whole factions The inevitable city and the Order one.

The Innevitable City

The Innevitable City

Now I can say that they did a splendid job with the scenery and they worked a lot on creating these cities, the inevitable city is the Destruction main capitol and it really is a BIG one not to mention very scary. It is exactly how you would expect a city like this one to be, full of horrors, cages, shady dealers, a lot of factions, arenas and a million other things happen there, you just need to be careful because I for one died in this city more times then I died outside, it truly is a dangerous place to be, full of obelisks and also all the 3 factions have a quarter of their own for everyone in which you can for specific quests and faction related ones also.

Chaos Main Capitol

Chaos Main Capitol

The amazing part about it is that the whole city will gain levels also and as it gains levels new parts of it will be available to the players. This is amazing but even more amazing is the way it grows along with you, for example if you are successful in the AH (auction house) and if you Side Destruction or Order is also good on that specific realm, the whole city will flourish with you, you will see taverns open up in places you didn’t see them before, new quests will become available lot of nice things, but if your side is sloppy doesn’t do pvp nor pve the city will be grim, dull, shops will close you will see more rats, garbage, victims of the plague and things like that. I think this was a tremendous challenge to do because we are talking of a whole enjoinment changing according to what the players do, and this is no small change at all, I alone spent about 2 hours when I first got into that city. I even died a lot of times in the cities arena

The Main Capitol Arena

The Main Capitol Arena

,which is like a death place, where all players can go, small or big to try their luck. It is good to say that the mobs there will drop nice loot but you need to be careful since you can easily end up as a target to multiple enemies and as in a real arena everything goes there.
Ok now let’s go back to the Tier Idea, as you can see down here you will have 4 Tiers and the final one is the Capitol Itself:

Tier Map

Tier Map

Now here is the basic work method, you will need to take control of the different Keeps in the Tiers, for example you will capture both points in Tier 1 you will be allowed to capture the Tier 2 and so on. This is very good because always it encourages people to do PvP and help out so no matter what level you are you can still contribute to the “big picture”. Once you complete stage 1 and capture all 3 Tiers you will be allowed to siege a major city, one of the 2 available in every land if you are successful with capturing this also you will be allowed to siege the Main Capitol. Off course that here as like in the small towns you will be allowed to defend it, so expect major resistance in the Capitols. Also there are different stages in the conquering of the capitol once you get throw the defenses with the siege weapons and troupes you will enter the city. Now the second phase begins when all the troupes round up to defend the main citadel, if they lose the battle then the third phase will begin, this is when all the treasuries will open and players will be allowed to loot & pillage everything here but there is a catch you will have to do it in 30 minutes because the troupes will re-gather in that time and they will be able to do a push once again. The main objective is to enter the citadel inside the capitol and kill the main boss. In the Destruction case it’s Tchar’zanek.

The Eternal Citadel

The Eternal Citadel


Tcharzanek - King of Destruction Side

Tcharzanek - King of Destruction Side

There are also mounts in the game and they vary from race to race, nothing special, the Humans have Horses, the DarkElfes Raptors, the Greenskins Boars.

Greenskin Defender on Boar Mount

Greenskin Defender on Boar Mount

Public Quests:
Now this is a UNIQUE feature implemented by Mythic and I must say it’s a splendid idea and a very good one also in attracting and inspiring game play. Basically you can be just going around doing something in the world and POW you enter a zone with a public quests, you are alerted that there is a ongoing public quest there and if there are any parties in the area you will be invited. The public quests are mainly composed of 3 parts : first one is easy, you can even do it solo the second one usual is a bit harder and also in a time frame and the third is a Boss witch you will need a party or warband to accomplish it. These quests give reputation on the server and also experience, not to mention the loot. Also its good to know they implemented a loot system also witch is very good in preventing the unwanted “ninja stealer” from tacking your hard worked item. So at the end of the battle each player will be judged by how much he contributed to the team how much healing , how much damage he did , how much damage did he take and by these measures you will be awarded a Bonus + on his roll , and the roll is next so if you roll a 800 + a 500 bonus you might get the first place and win the best loot. This is perfect because if someone just joined the party and/or they didn’t do anything they will not be able to steal other peoples loot.

Windridder

Windridder


Items

Items

Tome of Knowledge:
This also is considered to be a Unique feature in Warhammer, this is a book containing basically the whole game and as you might imagine it will also grow with you, it will become more and more dense with materials along the way when you level. It will also explain the different chapters from the factions it actually has a lot of chapters foe many things like bestiary, quests, history, achievements, ranks…

Tome of Knowledge

Tome of Knowledge


Tome - Bestiary

Tome - Bestiary

The bestiary will provide you with information about each and every monster, creature and critter you encounter along the way. You can also see their weak spot and their abilities here, and almost all the things you need to kill them more easily. You also get bonus experience for killing lots of mobs of the same kind, as you can see in the picture up the achievements can be completed once you kill 25 or 100 and there are a lot of them a very big variety of achievements indeed, I got one even for trashing objects in my backpack. So you can say the Mythic team worked a lot to give you a bit extra things for our smooth game-play.

Tome - Race Wars

Tome - Race Wars

Also the quest system is one of the most advanced I ever saw in an online MMO, it basically knows what you did and rewards you for it. Let’s take an example, you go into a wood and you see a NPC with a ! mark on his head but he is surrounded by millions of bears, you start killing all those bears and when you finally get there the NPC says “I want you to kill me some bears !”, and at that point you start to wonder, like you just killed bears you are all covered in bear blood but still the NPC didn’t know that so that was a major problem and set-back for all the classic MMO’s but not here in Warhammer the same example only when you reach the NPC he will know you killed so many bear and he will hand you a reward for killing those bears something like “I don’t like bears, and I see you don’t like them either , so let me reward you for your hard work.” This was a really goo thing to implement since it saves a whole bunch of time and countless hours in doing the same thing.

Tome - Quests

Tome - Quests


UI customization

UI customization

Another beautiful thought thing is the Customizable UI, where you can customize everything to the last detail. This is a good thing since it cancels the need for add-ons that in most of the cases become obsolete with an upcoming add-on and only damage the game files. So you can basically customize everything, you even have quests trackers and even on the map they quest location will appear with a distinct red spot so you won’t waste time wondering about where the hell to find a specific item or monster.
Conclusion:
I can honestly say this is a great game indeed and it has been worked on a lot, there are still some few drawbacks but the bulk of it it’s very nice bringing new ideas to the world of MMO’s and setting a new bar for the upcoming title to reach. And this is also a MMO that will not require you to stay day and night on it to be good, so I will decently recommend it for people who have 30 minutes to spare and want to have PvP experience and interact with other people.

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