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Paragus Rants

Rants, reviews, and interviews from an MMO veteran and guild leader.

Author: Paragus1

Review: Warhammer Preview Weekend

Posted by Paragus1 Tuesday August 26 2008 at 3:41PM
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Review: Warhammer Preview Weekend

For this entry I am going to try something new and take a break from ranting about the usual MMO debacles. Instead, I am going to give my impressions of the Warhammer Preview Weekend from the perspective of an MMO veteran, guild leader, and a gamer coming off the of the AoC disaster.

As a guild leader, I and my members were recently burned badly by the Funcom bullshit.  I approach Warhammer Online with heavy scrutiny while trying to recover from the burns Funcom gave me and my members.

 

Character creation is nothing to write home about honestly.   I found it to be quite lackluster, and I could see where this could give people a negative first impression.   I wasn't thrilled about my option, but like most MMO's, my armor covered me up after a few levels and it became a non-issue to me at least.   I guess it could be justified that a lack of options helps performance in large scale PvP, I am not going to speculate to the validity of this theory, but after AoC's performance I could see it having merit.

The user interface is probably one of most glaring similarities to World of Warcraft that will catch your eye.  It literally shares an almost identical positioning and style to WoW, which could be viewed as a positive if you liked this interface.  The good news is the user interface is fairly customizable, and Mythic has left the door open to 3rd party UI mods which will surely be in abundance.

 

 

As a guild leader, I am extremely thrilled to see a real Guild Interface akin to that of Everquest 2.  Guild Functionality has always been important to me, and Age of Conan's left a lot to be desired.  The Warhammer Guild UI offers multiple tabs showing roster that is sortable, and gives me the ability to make notes next to each name to labels alts and such.   It also gives me the ability to rename all my ranks, set their permissions, an unlockable calender, a log showing me recent events, and guild battle standard options.  Guilds level up through the members PvPing and new functionality becomes unlocked.

 

 

The graphics in this game have been the subject of a lot of debate among the community.  Obviously no one will contest that Age of Conan has far better graphics, but these graphics are a lot better then WoW IMO.   Are they cutting edge?  Not be any means, but they get the job done.   Again I think some will argue that the games graphics will make it accessible to a wider audience, and help performance in RvR.  I do think some people are giving this game a lot more heat than it deserves in this department, once I turned the resolution up, it looked good, and in large scale PvP I ran smooth as a baby's ass.

 

 

Character Customization comes to you in a variety of ways.  While I found the creation process lacking, as you progress through the game will you see that there are some ways for you to tweak your looks and skills to fit your playstyle.  First you will be able to tailor your "Tactics Abilities" to suit your needs.  These are basically passive abilities that you can put into the bottom right of the screen to enhance your character.  They deliberately limit the number you can use at a given time to force you to decide what to best use in a situation.   These can be changed at any time however, and I think you can cycle through layouts of these as easy as you cycle your hotbars depending on your situation.

There are also "Moral Abilities" which remind me of TP moves from FFXI.   The longer you fight and stay alive, the more jacked up your character gets.   He is able to then perform super moves that get stronger as he gets more moral built up.  These can be interchanged again to fit your playstyle, and add another layer of tactics to the combat.

The RvR rewards come in the ways of both gear and points.  The gear is strong enough to make it a viable alternative to gear earned through PvE, and better in some cases.  The points are spent much like talent points or AA points.  If you played DAOC, you are very familiar with their PvP reward system, which is fully functional and in the game unlike a certain rival game which still has yet to give an ETA on their system.

 

One other aspect of this game in regards to customizing your appearance in the use of armor Dyes.  This was one of the better features of DAOC that I am shocked was never stolen by more recent MMOs.  It gives you the ability to make yourself look a little different and it gives guilds a chance to add uniformity to their members.  Changing your armor colors can be done very easily by visiting a merchant.   A nice dressing room screen comes up where you will be able to see the colors before you buy them.

 

 

The PvE aspect of the game is pretty run of the mill from what we have seen in recent MMOs.  The game follows the same lame quest format of collecting X amount of dingleberries, killing Y amount of orcs.  Nothing to write home about honestly.  The game does break Quest mold from recent games by adding public quests.   Doing these will get you rep in that local area, and this rep can be used to claim rewards, which are usually very good if your rep gets maxed.   Luckily, maxing out your rep in a given area does not seem to take very long at all, and the public quests are always fun as long as other people are there.   They can be compared to the Besieged Mode found in FFXI where you are rewarded for your contribution, and acts a nice diversion from the collection quests.  At the end of the day, the PvE is just a means to an end, and that end is the RvR.

The RvR is where this game really shines.  Finally I feel like I am getting the RvR that World of Warcraft promised me but never delivered on.  You can PvP from level 1.  You get exp from PvP, and quests to kill people in PvP.   This helps makes PvP a viable way of leveling if you so chose.  The games does have a battleground type system called Scenarios, which honestly I am not a fan of being an overworld guy myself.   To their credit though, they are well thought out and usually contain some sort of interesting twist instead of the makeshift deathmatches we got in AoC.  I hope Mythic will make world PvP enticing enough to minimize the desire to play in these.  On the flip side, if you play on a server where the population is imbalanced, these do provide a level playing field somewhat.  If you are under leveled, the game gives you a buff to your level to help you remain useful, but a true level 10 is stronger than a buffed level 10 because he has better gear and new spells that a level 5 won't have.

The castle sieges are very well done.   Finally we have real capturable objectives to fight over, and they are meaningful in the struggle to push your enemy back to the city gates.   Siege weapons are easy to get and funner to use.  Giant cannons that put you in an FPS view with a crosshair to bark fire on the oceans of enemies inside the castle or outside.  Rocks can be seen flying through the air from catapults, and it really adds a wildcard to the battle as well as making things a bit more chaotic in a good way.  It also helps give melee something to do in situations where enemies are out of reach.  After playing these sieges, I have no desire to go into the scenarios, and hopefully the population who plays will see it the same way.

 

 

Most of the PvP is group on group.  Do not expect to be some WoW superhero 1 shotting people like a God.  Combat in this game takes a bit longer, and as such I think a bit more skill.   If I wanted to 1 shot everyone I would stick with Call of Duty 4.  You feel like you are a unit in an RTS game, no one person is so superpowerful.   This makes it a very team oriented game, and hopefully the Community will be good.  Some have complained about the combat speed and a global cool down, but honestly it never occurred to me until I started reading whining on the forums.  The combat to me felt interesting, tactical, and I was not spamming the same ability over and over like other games.

In conclusion, the game is fun even though it lacks major Innovation.   First and foremost I think that fun is why we play.  The game delivers on its promises.  Mark Jacobs at Mythic has been honest about talking about flaws and problems with the game and I appreciate his straight talk.   It upset a lot of us with AoC that they were in denial about the game's missing features and short comings. 

This game will live and die by the RvR and the endgame.  The RvR looks amazing, the endgame we won't know until we get there.  If it is anything like DAOC, then hopefully we will have a good RvR MMO that will last us a long time, made by a company that seems to be honest and competent.  I am hoping this game will help heal the burns Funcom gave me, my guild, and so many others like me.  Only time will tell.

 

Paragus

Co-Leader of Inquisition

www.inqguild.com

 

Panossian writes:

good shit

Tue Aug 26 2008 4:44PM Report
Branko2307 writes:

"Do not expect to be some WoW superhero 1 shooting peaople like a God" did u ever play WoW? ..well u forgot to say that ppl shouldnt expect to move and attack at same time in WAR...

Tue Aug 26 2008 4:57PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

In the beta I played a Shadow Warrior, I have an entire stance and tree around running and shooting at the same time.  I played WoW for years.  It was silly watching people in raid gear walk through other players like butter  Age of Conan is plagued with the same problem.  1 shot kills should be left to FPS like CoD 4, not MMOs.

Tue Aug 26 2008 5:01PM Report
Protus-AOC writes:

Nice review not sure what problem you have with AOC though. Give WAR a 6-12 months and it should be able to compete with all AOC has now.

Tue Aug 26 2008 5:03PM Report
Phynyte writes:

6-12 months for what? The PvP system that AoC DOESN'T have? So what I can't decapatate a dude. The classes are alot more balanced in WAR then in AoC and best of all with every patch the game is getting better not worse. I'm going to go out on a limb and say by day 1 this is will be better then AoC.

Tue Aug 26 2008 5:07PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

My problem with AoC is that it was a far better game at launch than it is now.  I wouldnt expect any less from you Protus, you are like the AoC PR champion :)  Where is Direct X 10?   When the PvP system coming?  Did you see Erlings Interview with Jon Wood?  Funcom has prmosed everything and delivered nothing.

Comparing Age of Conan to any game will be a useless arguement soon, because no matter how good the graphics are, and unique the combat is, the game will be dead or on life support in 6-12 months.   Massive PvP that has be scheduled is a joke, especially since it's on European time.  Go read my last 2 Blogs if you want to know my beef with AoC. 

WAR has the PvP system TODAY, AoC said launch, then late June, then late July, then July 30th, then August, now they don't even know when the hell it is coming.  Gaute is ruining AoC the same way he ruined AO, and like AO, it won't have a chance to turn around until he is gone.

Tue Aug 26 2008 5:10PM Report
Mapes writes:

Spot on...AoC failed badly for me.  Granted I was a little to hyped for it.  Warhammer has options for all types of players but mainly its just fun to play...I played till they shut me down Monday monrning.

Tue Aug 26 2008 5:10PM Report
Protus-AOC writes:

Well AOC still has way more subs now than WAR does so that says alot

Tue Aug 26 2008 5:13PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

Because comparing a released game to an unreleased on is a legit argument?   You have AoC in your name for God's sake, no wonder you are bitter clining to your Conan ;)

Tue Aug 26 2008 5:15PM Report
Phynyte writes:

It's not that hard to beat a game in subscriptions when it's not even out yet. Good work Tex keep it up

Tue Aug 26 2008 5:32PM Report
DarthMech writes:

war rocks aoc fails nuff said!! see you on the field bring your bodies and i will steal your souls!!!!!

Tue Aug 26 2008 6:10PM Report
Soraellion writes:

Well written review, haven't played this weekend (or at all actually) but your review and comparisons to other MMO's make sense and strngthen my idea that WAR just might be the MMO I'm looking for.

 

 

Tue Aug 26 2008 6:13PM Report
star writes:

Awesome review Paragus, I <3 your blog.

And Protus, you're just... Nuts? How the hell can you compare the subs from a released game to one still in CB?

Tue Aug 26 2008 7:29PM Report
SteamRanger writes:

I'm curious as to your impression of the High Elf starting areas in general. To me, they feel unfinished in comparison to the Dwarf / Greenskin and even the Empire / Chaos area. i hope Mythic finds the time and the resources to give them a little more attention and make them as interesting as the other lands. Right now, the Elf areas feel like the kind of home the kids can't wait to get out of.

Tue Aug 26 2008 7:37PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

Actually the only character I played all weekend was the Shadow Warrior, so I don't know what the other starting areas look like.  I wanted to see if my home area had enough quests and content for me to level there exclusively, and it did for as far as I got.  I did have a chance to PvP in the other races areas, but they didn't strike me as any better or worse than the elf area, just different.

Tue Aug 26 2008 7:51PM Report
markyturnip writes:

Dear dear Protus-AOC.

I am glad you think AoC is a better game.

Because that means you and others like you will continue to pay Funcom to develop it to a point where it is actually a game.

Tue Aug 26 2008 7:57PM Report
Bruticus_XI writes:

Protus makes me laugh so hard. Give this guy a cookie, seriously!

Good review Paragus. It's nice to see everyone at least giving WAR a shot.

Tue Aug 26 2008 8:07PM Report
khartman2005 writes:

Protus, I like you devotion to a game but AoC is lacking and they have a long way to go to prove themselves. I have not played Warhammer Online nor will I till I get a trial key or they have an open trial but to blindly say that AoC has more subs when Warhammer hasn't even been released yet is pathetic at best.

 

 

Tue Aug 26 2008 8:29PM Report
URNotMega writes:

I like AoC, it just needs another year or two worth of development before it's worth playing.  So... like markyturnip said... thanks protus!

Anyway, good review.  I can't wait for launch - played all PW, had a blast, can't wait to get in a good guild and have a ton of fun.

Tue Aug 26 2008 9:12PM Report
gan3f writes:

All the AoC subs is a great thing, you guys keep paying for a busted ass game until they get it right. Then the smart people will sub 1-2 years from now and enjoy what was promised at launch. 

No reason to hate on other games since your bitter and willing to be screwed dry from Gaute.

Tue Aug 26 2008 9:28PM Report
Firedorn writes:

Paragus, great review.  You pretty much shared my sentiments with the game.  I also feel burned by Funcom...AoC is a great solid bone with NO MEAT around it.  WAR will be time well wasted =D

"Well AOC still has way more subs now than WAR does so that says alot"

Protus, you made me LOL!  Thanks, everyone needs a good laugh here and there.

Tue Aug 26 2008 10:02PM Report
Nevek writes:

branko 2307 dont know what u were playing but u can move and attack at the same time...its called instant casts or moves with no casting time...i was doining it alot with dok...lots of moves dont require you to stand still...

next time try the game and not look  and newbie videos

Tue Aug 26 2008 11:18PM Report
Jobble writes:

2 quick comments : 1) the graphics are not at full resolution yet.  They look good now but if you can find screen shots of it running at full res you will be very impressed.  2) in the color selection screen there is a primary and secondary color, right click for the secondary color.  I think Mythic has a winner on their hands.  That is if, like you said, the end game is good.

Tue Aug 26 2008 11:25PM Report
Greenfeen writes:

Thanks for the review. I'm going to give War a go.

Lol Protus,,, Once again your wrong, for sure Warhammer has more closed betas testers playing and enjoying War than the miserable lot of subscribers left in AoC.

Tue Aug 26 2008 11:44PM Report
tikovoo writes:

Tried it didnt like it, its failhammer - no staying power whatsoever, just wait till all the "I AM BORED AFTER... 3 months" posts.

Wed Aug 27 2008 1:52AM Report
Bruticus_XI writes:

Yeah tikovoo because you're so important that if you don't like it, its failhammer.

Perhaps you need to learn some social skills and go back to single-player games until then. Because, believe it or not, your opinion isn't fact.

Wed Aug 27 2008 8:47AM Report
Myrdek writes:

Jobble: You should read what they said not long ago on Warhammeralliance

because it sounds like they won't have time to optimize the high quality graphics before launch, that talisman making won't make it and that the Auction house has very little chance of making it in time as well

Wed Aug 27 2008 8:58AM Report
Venga writes:

Hey man, great review!  If Mythic can keep hacks and exploits out, I think this game will be very successful.  It looks like this game will be massive sieges every night, just like people were praying for in AoC.  I've had a battlekeep for a couple months now, and have only been attacked once.  It's a joke.  Can't wait for Warhammer.   

Wed Aug 27 2008 9:24AM Report
Mitnal writes:

good job fella

Wed Aug 27 2008 1:22PM Report
pslydel writes:

nice review

Wed Aug 27 2008 2:30PM Report
Mister_White writes:

I have to agree with the OP...  this game (if continued to be updated correctly) will prove to be a fun and worthwile time and money investment. I played this weekend as well, and was very happy with the stability .  great review and thanks for making this blog section worth reading :)

Wed Aug 27 2008 11:54PM Report
orionprime writes:

"Tried it didnt like it, its failhammer..."

Good, don't want you people in my game.

"...Because that means you and others like you will continue to pay Funcom to develop it to a point where it is actually a game."

Yeah! Thanks for funding the Age of Conan Pay-to-Play Open Beta for us, Protus!

"Perhaps you need to learn some social skills and go back to single-player games until then. Because, believe it or not, your opinion isn't fact."

Social skills are best developed in a social setting. His parents need to get him off the family computer and into the light.

Thu Aug 28 2008 3:47AM Report
Finbar writes:

Rock Steady Review. Somebody for gods sake pay this man.

Thu Aug 28 2008 1:55PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

Thanks Finbar, was my first ever review.   Definitely a lot harder to write a review than a rant.  If you know someone willing to pay for my dribble let me know! :)  In the mean time I'll just try to stay afloat in the Blog section here.

Thu Aug 28 2008 2:03PM Report
Hinden writes:

Kick ass review, I would expect nothing less from you. See you on the battlefield.

Fri Aug 29 2008 8:59AM Report
Marontann writes:

Great review, it answered alot of important question i didnt knew i had

Fri Aug 29 2008 11:40AM Report
Gurtelrose writes:

OMG, Paragus1. You was that guy there spent months on saying that Warhammer Online was the game to avoid and praised Age of Conan. I remember that you made tons of post on you own guild forum trashing Warhammer Online so they would focus on Age of Conan. Hmm, what do we have here after a couple of months?. A lost AoC fanboy there final realised that WAR is maybe the better mmorpg?.

Sun Aug 31 2008 8:41AM Report
Paragus1 writes:

I sure was.  I based my previous opinion based on my guild mates in the beta test going back months and months, as well as other information I ahd gathered at the time.

A few weeks ago my members in the beta gave me a completely different feedback, and after the mismanagement of Conan we as a guild decided to take second look at Warhammer and see how it had progressed.  It has come a long way since then, just as AoC has come a long ways in a bad way since it launched.

As a guild leader I need to be objective when I look at games, and I stand by my opinions I had at the time.   I also stand by the fact as someone who is intellectually honest, I am amn enough to admit when things have changed.

Sun Aug 31 2008 12:15PM Report
Desalbert writes:

Great read! I too have been wondering whether or not I should take a run at WAR (of course, running it on a laptop kind of scares me) given that I've been a player of the Warhammer Table Top game and their entire universe for many years.  

More to the point though, I do need to ask if we should be at all worried about the lack of full class sets for every race. I mean, the only Orc one can be is a Black Orc? No Orc Shaman, or anything of the kind? And as far as I've heard Empire doesn't have a toe to toe damage dealer? Should I be concerned that this will cause a lack of some balance in the experience? Don't get me wrong, I'm excited for this game, but I most certainly have my wonderings.

I Appreciate any replies,

-Des

Sun Aug 31 2008 2:44PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

The Order team does have the White Lion, which is the good teams best non-stealth melee DPS.  You can't look at it on a race by race basis, you need to look in terms of team vs team.   Even with the classes that have been removed, you will see noth sides still have the same number of classes when you stack it up by archtypes.

Sun Aug 31 2008 3:16PM Report
Desalbert writes:

That's a good point, I guess its just the warhammer player in me that thinks in terms of races :P. Good point though, I suppose I shall simply have to play the CLASS I want, rather than a race focused desicion. Say, on a similar note, would anyone be bable to point out to me, the difference between a Choas Chosen and a Black Orc? Are they both tanks,  do they have different archetypal functions, or, are they simply different takes on the same archetype?

(That sounded confusing haha)

Anyway, thanks.

Sun Aug 31 2008 4:02PM Report
kwade writes:

You can get to any of the other racial zones very easily (10 or so minutes from initial character creation if you're so inclined), and I noticed in the Destruction zones that people would bring the 'missing' archetypes over from other races.  It will be awesome when Mythic patches in whatever will take those 4 spots (either the original classes, or replacements), but I think everything will be okay until then.

Black Orcs and Chosen are both tank archetypes, but are really different in how they work.  Every class has some special mechanic - for Black Orcs it's a combo builder type system (so a move advances your builder to the next stage, which unlocks new moves that move you to the next stage, which unlocks the best moves that reset your builders).  For Chosen it's their special auras (most simultaneously buff your group and debuff the enemy, some are just debuffs) which you can twist.  All tanks share some abilities, but they all have unique aspects as well which make them very different classes (and yes, Blorc and Chosen are the 2 Destruction tank archetypes).

I think my favorite aspect of the game is going to be PvP tanking.  Tanks have abilities to actually protect their allies, and abilities that will make your opponent really hate you being there.  It's not about forcing the enemy to kill you - they really will want you gone so you stop messing up their plans. : )

Mon Sep 01 2008 2:19PM Report
Gurtelrose writes:

I am glad that you final have found a game for guild, Paragus1. I hope you will like it. I would almost say that you was lucky (With the release of war in 2008) because, its sound like a lot of guildmember seems outburned of wow.

Tue Sep 02 2008 10:26AM Report
Toddv1 writes:

Myrdek- Wed Aug 27 2008 8:58AM 
"it sounds like they won't have time to optimize the high quality graphics before launch, that talisman making won't make it and that the Auction house has very little chance of making it in time as well."
 

Can't say much without violating NDA, but I can tell you that you're 100% wrong on this.

Wed Sep 03 2008 2:04PM Report

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