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My "Warhammer Online - Age Of Reckoning" Review

This is my first impressions of Warhammer Online - Age Of Reckoning. I went into the Open Beta testing not expecting much, but I was strangely surprised at what I found there...

Author: kaylee

My "Warhammer Online - Age Of Reckoning" Review

Posted by kaylee Sunday September 14 2008 at 1:57AM
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One hour and thirty eight minutes to Showtime! My friends and I, we sit and wait, yes wait... for hours staring at the computer screen (Silly I know, but hey we crave for something new). Waiting for this Open Beta stage to begin for "WAR".

I count the minutes, which seem to tick by slowly... It's like watching the water drip from the faucet in slow motion... "Thud! thud! thop..." As I wait with abated breath for the Gates of "WAR" to open... anticipating for what could be expected but still not getting my expectations high; as other recent MMORPGs has left me still with an empty void.

What will this new game have to offer? Hopefully I will be able to share with you my first experiences with this new MMORPG. On ward ... CHARGE!!!!! to the open beta!

War hammer Online is about factions as most, if not all MMORPGs aren't about. There are two realms which fight or war against each other to determine the fate of nations. These two realms are:
• The armies of Order (Dwarfs, High Elves, and Empire) and
• The armies of Destruction (Greenskins, Dark Elves, and Chaos)
 

By "unleashing your inner mutation" (as the game description proudly suggests that you do), you will be able to invade enemy lands, besiege imposing fortresses and sack sprawling capital cities... all for the glory of your Realm. Of course to do all this, you will be enabled with abilities and skills that will allow you wield devastating magic and deadly weapons .

Well enough about the advertisement let's talk more about the actual game... ...

 

Well it's been a little over the estimated opening time and still no access yet... hum... tick .. tock.. tick.. tock... Finally at 09/07/2008 @ 08:23:56 EST, it's time for WAAAGH!!!

 

WARHAMMER ONLINE - My First Impressions

I went into this game thinking that it's going to be a WOW clone. I had access to a beta key and after the failure of some recent MMORPGs (in my humble opinion), I said "What the hey! Let's try this, I've got nothing much else to do." So I signed up and rolled a Magus on the destruction side.

 

On entering the game and floating on my colourful saucer, I found it packed with players; it was a mad zone. Sorcerers running here, Magus' flying there; all kinds of deformations jumping up and down everywhere. "Wow!" I thought , "at least there wouldn't be a shortage of players to do group quests."

The graphics is similar to WOW and the layout of the UI looked similar, but then all games recently have this layout. No big deal. It took me sometime to figure out how to get quests and their locators, but once I had that part solved, I was quickly running around as well in all the mayhem getting it on. I came across a Rally Master; "so... who the heck is this?"

He introduced me to the world of Realm vs. Realm at the early stage of level 1. Oh yes at level 1 !

I couldn't believe that I could participate in this at such a low level, but I was quickly proved wrong. Even at level one you can contribute to the fate of this fictional world.

So here I was on an instanced battlefield, with other players ranking from level 1 to level 11, "Crap! Anyways let's go, go, GO!"

This battle was pretty much a kind of capture the base kind style. You zerg enemy players, turn the base by interacting with the flag. Once you get all the bases before the enemy does, there is this lock down that occurs that resets the bases. Warnings are sounded and "Boom!" I was dead. "Crap! what was that all about??!!" Apparently the game wipes all players close to the bases to reset the next round. Ok cool, I got to remember that the next time.

After about 10 minutes (I think) of this the instance ends with the scoreboards being displayed. Hey, I didn't do so bad for a level 1 going in (I later realised they adjusted my level cap to compete with those higher). I think I'll still level up a bit more before attempting that again, just so I won't be easy target for a level 11 and I'll have more skills. The good part about the battle was that I always got XP even when killing the enemy players.

On the outside again, I rejoined the mayhem. I quickly continued my quests getting interesting rewards including silly titles which you can give yourself. I quickly became Terrah "The Lint looter" for looting 100 corpses and Terrah "OW My Eye" for clicking on myself 100 times. "Ha, ha, ha, this is just funny."

I looted some trophies which I could attach to my armour. Trophies allow you to customise your look. They don't add stats like your armour but they allow you to dress it up so that, although you have a similar piece like other people; by adding trophies to different areas you can achieve a different look. For example, I can have horns sticking out of my shoulder armour, a knife dangling from my belt, a pig coming out of my butt... ha, ha, ha! you get the picture (of course I'm exaggerating with the pig thing, but the amount of trophies I saw, I wouldn't be surprised that you could do this). You can also buy trophies from vendors in the major cities, but some of them requires that you to achieve a goal first before you could use it.

While running about doing my quests, I came across this area on the map where I picked up a new quest automatically. "What's this? A public quest, hmmm.. . "

Public quests allow you to just join in, anyone can participate once they are in the area, it gives you XP, renown etc which can be used to get rewards from the Rally Master in that area. Aside from this, based on your contribution and your roll luck in the public quest you get a chance to vie for the end loot. I quickly joined in killing stuff, collecting tombstones etc, whatever was needed; and at the end killing a champion creature. "Woo hoo!" All stages complete now, I automatically roll. "ka ching!" I was the 3rd highest roller and contributor combined. I ran to chest and pulled out a green sack. On opening the sack, I was presented with a list rewards to choose from. I pulled out a bracer with some cool stats!

The public quest was resetting in 2 minutes, I could partake in it again! The good thing is that the reward system gives other people who didn't win priority next if they didn't get a good roll the first time, just so everyone gets an chance at getting something good. Also the stuff you win is bound to you, so you won't be able to exploit these quests and sell them at exorbitant prices to other players.

I also found out about open groups. You see, there is this little icon that is under your portrait that opens a window. In this window you see a list of groups in the area doing different things and their proximity to you. You can select a group and join it. No sending tells begging for an invite, no standing around waiting. "Cool, this just made grouping for these quests easier!" On the other hand if you want a private group, you can always make the group you formed closed, so you don't allow just any moron to join in your personal group. Good thinking!

After having my fill of public questing I began to roam about a bit, I came to some open RVR zones (actually I fell into one from off a cliff,) "Uh ooh! Good I'm not detected yet, let me get the hell out of here!"

Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a Dwarf, his name tag was all red, so I knew that this player was going to kill me. I ran for my Magus life! "Crap, he has a shotgun too!" I tried my best to slow him down so I could zip off on my saucer... no such luck, apparently he had more experience than me... so I suffered the humiliation of death. " That's it, I'm going to get him, yes I am."

After spawning in the graveyard, I hurried to remove the death penalty at a healer (a small cost), picked up some quests for the RVR area and joined the fray. "I'm going to get me some dwarf!"

 

I joined an open RVR group and that was it, I was hooked on the slaying, I completely forgot some of my quests that I took. "What the heck! I'm getting XP and renown anyway here!" I helped the group gain some bases, so the opposing side couldn't conquer it for at least for 15 minutes. I also set my summoned demon on aggressive mode and hunted me some dwarf. I few times I heard and saw some chickens in the zone, "ha, ha, what are they doing here?" Apparently there is a level requirement for certain battlegrounds and zones when flagged for RVR, to prevent players in a higher level range from attacking a low level player. Once they become flagged for RVR war, they get turned into a level one chicken which you can kill (how cool is that!)

On leveling , more attacks and tactics were opened up to me. I got some special skills that I could activate when my moral was high. I slotted a tactic that reduced the morale of those 20 m around an enemy elf when I killed it... heh, heh.

 

Wow, this game isn't so bad after all. I am actually glad that I decided to try it. I looked at the time; "Oh wow, it's 5 AM!" Time for me to get some rest! I left the group and logged off. I'll continue this later in the day, there is a lot more stuff to discover.

 

Conclusion

In the final analysis, this is a well developed, relatively bug free game at the time of my Open Beta testing. It is definitely NOT a clone but a well thought out and produced game. EA Mythic stated their objectives for the game and they have accomplished it; something which many game developers and publishers need to take note of and do. The game does not require you to build a new PC just to run the graphics and to take the processing load, any modern day PC is capable of running this game well. The introduction of public quests, open groups and other interesting game features are very promising. The character I played, also showed me that key mashing will not suffice in this game. Players will have to plan their attacks well, especially in the RVR zones and battlefields.

This game is truly about War, it is fun and interesting. So if you are looking for something new to try and you like PVP (RVR in this case), this just might be the online game for you. It may seem strange at first but give it an hour or two. Of course not everyone will like this game, we all have varying tastes and I expect to read negative reviews; but for me, this is a welcome change for the while... Until some other game catches my eye (wink).

Approximately  7.5  - 8 stars  (out of 10)
 

furnaps writes:

I already pre-ordered the game. After I tried out the open beta I fell in love and just could not resist buying the game. I've rolled about every class on the order side and a few on destruction and I like every one of them. some seem alittle un balanced but i'm sure that will be fixed soon.

I really hope this game does well because I like it alot and there are some really good features that went into this game.

I can't wait for Tuesday when I can start playing with my head start key.

Sun Sep 14 2008 4:06AM Report
kikinchaz writes:

Lack of customisation was a big big letdown for me. Classes are pretty much crafted from the get go, they dont really vary in looks. All the armour is class based which means you'll never look very interesting. If the "look" of the class doesnt appeal to you then theres never any way it will. Wheras compared to other MMOs classes dont exactly have a "look". For example, playing as a witch elf you will always be running around in pretty much underwear.

 

It seems they've traded playing the way you want to play your class for PvP balance. I'd like something more inbetween. Theres not much variation in the different "builds" you can make your class into, your class is what it is and theres no real changing it. Theres no making a "warrior" type class and being a tank or damage dealer. If you pick a tank, its a tank, no questions asked.

 

I definitely think its a game to watch, but currently as it is its just not that appealing to me. The combat is clunky and the world is bleak and uninteresting. I think over time this could become a very interesting game thanks to player feedback but not in its current state for me sadly. And to think i've been wanting to play it for years since announce!

Sun Sep 14 2008 4:44AM Report
rhialto writes:

 The game looks nice and plays well for the little it offers. I had honestly hoped for a much deeper and more well thought out gameplay. 

I had an enjoyable time in the open beta and felt the classes where interesting.  However as another stated before me, they lack any semblance of individualism. It is definately true that if you are a Tank then that is all you can be. Also the customization is incredibly lacking and I hope they somehow fix this. I for one prefer to be able to differentiate between individuals on their looks and not have to read their name just to know who they are. Of course with the way it is right now, you know what character is what class just by a glance. So picking out the healer in RvR is almost an instant thing. 

But of course it is a game about RvR at it's core and the main driving force for the game to succeed. I hope it does though I am not getting it for now.

Sun Sep 14 2008 11:04AM Report
Emeraq writes:

I agree with the last two posters, it's sad that there is no variation in classes. However, this is true for most MMO's, granted WoW's talent tree allows you to follow a certain path with characters, but you still have clones running around the world.

I would like to see a true skill based MMO, a lot like a modernized UO, where you determine what 'class' you are by the skills you use. You also determine which weapons and armor your character can use by using specific skills that will build your str, dex, stamina, intelligence, etc.

It would also be nice to be able to wear robes over armor, to hide what 'class' you are. Think aobut it, it would be interesting to run into a PvP setting and target a person wearing robes, just because you are guessing they are a mage or healer, and then be totally caught off guard that they can take a hit or two, and then they pull out an axe and whoop your ass.

Sun Sep 14 2008 11:57AM Report
Starbear writes:

Well you've only made me happy to have the Collectors Edition Preordered.

At first I was iffy about your review seeing as your playing a beta build but since you put it so close to the launch of the game I ignored it and read on. I remember Beta testing AoC and not much changed from open beta to launch in regards to gameplay, so I'm glad that when writing your reivew you avoided any topics on graphics gliches or bugs but rather stuck to the core gameplay, which is whats important.

Good stuff, see you on WAR if you plan on sticking with it.

Sun Sep 14 2008 4:14PM Report
Huggas writes:

Nice review

Sun Sep 14 2008 5:35PM Report
Shoal writes:

Welcome to the WAAAAAAGGGHHH !

Sun Sep 14 2008 6:56PM Report
cosimusta writes:

Sounds like they have a finely polished game that would be fun for maybe a whole a month.

Sun Sep 14 2008 7:47PM Report
spawnlod writes:

If you can experience the whole game in a month... theres definetly a issue with you, not getting outside enough. Theres a ton of stuff to do between Order and Destruction realms.

Sun Sep 14 2008 9:15PM Report
zonzai writes:

This is a good review for beginners to read.

One thing though, you gain Death Penalty for dying in PvE combat, but not in PvP.

Mon Sep 15 2008 12:39AM Report
cosimusta writes:

 @spawnlod

Maybe if their open beta was cheaper than actually buying the game, I might be able to try and see for myself.

Until it becomes free, and before Darkfall's open beta starts, I'll continue thinking it's what it looks like to me.

Mon Sep 15 2008 1:07AM Report
Gobsied writes:

Updated character customization.

Character specializations add variations to gameplay. Characters that can be tanks (eg Dwarf ironbreakers) can by equiptment be heavy damage dealers or buff support classes. ALL WARRIOR TYPE CLASSES CAN PICK BETWEEN TANK AND DAMAGE DEALER. change ur dps armor to tank armor, ur specialization to tank specialization and boom, ur attack dwarf is now a heavy tank. I'm rather confused about specialization.  Sure beats tree's and stat points that have a pre set list of non gimped combinations.

Every race in the game has several classes and each class has several specialization.

Engineer can choose to be sniper specialists, turret/close range and mid range specalization.

 

Mon Sep 15 2008 10:28AM Report
Marontann writes:

Great review, very entertaining to read. i havent played the game and i must say that the lack of customazion others have commented on is worreing. To many games out there seems to skip the whole character development and visual customization thing, witch in my opinion is what a mmo is all about (coupled with great pve and pvp offcourse). Great grafix dont mean shit if your warrior looks exactly like every other warrior of that lvl, great spells and skills are boring if you cant chose them as a part of a larger tactical picture. Take wow for an example, you cant chose anything in that game ( the skilltrees are a joke).

Although i will buy WAR and try it out the game im really looking forward to is "the cronicles of spellborn" no ironmolded toons, all palyercreated hybrids, and from what i read the AI is really something, (i hate stupid mobbs, made me quit EQ2).  Oh and Tcos is skillbased, no point and click, no autoattack. check it out!!

Mon Sep 15 2008 3:35PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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