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News & Features Discussion  » Warhammer Online : Age of Reckoning: Editorial: WoW to WAR

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Novice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 2425

OP  3/13/06 2:32:08 PM#1

Garrett Fuller responds to this month's article in PC Gamer on Warhammer Online, the recently debuted title from Mythic Entertainment. You can find the article that inspired this in their April issue.

This past month PC Gamer magazine published an article introducing Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning to the public. This was the public’s first look at what Warhammer Online will offer players and fans in the next big MMORPG from Mythic. There are a few issues that I thought the article brought up which I’d like to speak about. Being an avid fan and player of both games for some time now, it is inevitable to compare the two. Still some of the comparisons are putting Warcraft ahead of Warhammer. I’d like to try to clear some things up about what was written in PC Gamer Magazine and the history of these two organizations and great game systems.

You can read the full article here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios


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Joined: 7/02/05
Posts: 3466

3/13/06 2:35:17 PM#2
The link doesn't take you to the article


Don't click here...no2


Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/29/04
Posts: 174

3/13/06 2:42:36 PM#3
wrong link...

Novice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 2425

OP  3/13/06 2:48:11 PM#4

All fixed.

Dana Massey
Formerly of
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios


Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/30/04
Posts: 1163

3/13/06 3:29:49 PM#5
Mr. Fuller misses the mark again with an article that wanders widely, focuses nowhere, and has no hard data.  Heck, in the middle of his comparisons of WoW to WaR, he blurts out :  "It frustrates me to see writers comparing Warhammer to Warcraft.".  Well duh!  Also, Mr. Fuller needs to understand that this is MMORPG games we are talking about here.  Blizzard has been on the map with Warcraft for many years and many blockbuster games, starting with 'Warcraft: Orcs vs. Humans'.  What great games have been based on Warhammer?  All flops.  Mythic is a great, great, maker of MMORPG and much can be expected of them.  But, I think it is premature to be making any comparissons WoW to WaR.  Let's remember what happened to Mythic's last great project, Imperator, and not count our MMORPGs before they hatch.

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Joined: 2/24/04
Posts: 8

3/13/06 4:01:41 PM#6

I was a bit surprised by the tone of the PC Gamer article towards its comparisons of the two games... but I was more surprised by the candor of Mr. Fuller's response.  For the latter, I'd have to chalk it up to (from my perspective) hypersensitivity to a great product in development being compared to another great product already established on the market.  The less-informed will quickly compare the two MMOs based on the strong presence of their respective histories if the graphics are even slighly close.

One thing to keep in mind here is that WoW has a good graphics model.  They rely less on heavily detailed textures superimposed on high polygon models and seem to try and squeeze artistic representation out of simplistic renders for the sake of FPS and texture memory.  I don't really know the exact details of what it is that they do differently because I'm not a game developer, but there is certainly a distinct difference.  This style leaves their characters and creatures a bit more cartoonish, but affords their client the power to render more things onscreen and offers smooth gameplay.  It may be that the author of the PC Gamer article saw the same trend (and feel) in his trial experience of Warhammer.  If Mythic has come close to the same level of performance in their client, regardless of whether they use the exact same methods that Blizzard does, then hats off to them.  It should be noted that Mythic will probably have to go as minimalist as possible on graphic resources as they can without sacrificing game quality so they can render as many players on a battlefield as possible.  But, having said that, if you create a streamlined graphics engine similar to WoW's with green orcs and big weapons, you've got a recipe for comparison.

I know enough of the mythos behind both intellectual properties to know that Warhammer will be a very distinct beast in terms of character development, gameplay, and PvP.  Warhammer does indeed predate Warcraft (or Blizzard for that matter).  But there's no reason to get hypersensitive over it.  They're moving into a new medium of presentation, where a whole new legion of fans can take up the Warhammer flag.  But they are the new arrival to this area of gaming, and having 20 years jump on Blizzard as a game company, but not necessarily as a computer game company, does make a difference.  Time will tell.  If you think the MMO public is going to automatically consider your product inferior because they perceive that you're cloning WoW... prove them wrong.  =)

If anything ends up demanding comparison between the two games, I hope it's one thing - quality.  There's a reason WoW's got such a huge following and is so well-received.  It raised the bar for client performance, reliability, and overall fun.  It redefined the MMO genre and none so far have been able to follow the new course of this industry since they arrived.  Even Everquest (and I played it for 6 years) had a great many reasons for its success, but quality was rarely one of them.  If Games Workshop and Mythic can manage to at least come close to or surpass WoW in quality, I will be ecstatic beyond words. 

I'm already excited by the prospects.  Games Workshop's Warhammer universe combined with Mythic's RvR experience a la DAoC?  How could anyone that knew the two companies beforehand not be?


Novice Member

Joined: 7/15/03
Posts: 51

3/13/06 4:33:38 PM#7

comparisons of WoW to Warhammer, lol well non of us know how good or bad Warhammer will be.

All I can say is I love what Mythic has done with DAOC, and I like  Games Workshops and the 20 years of deep storys and lore that come with them. On the flip side  love it or hate it Wow is king for now, they have made a fine MMORPG.  Gratz to Warhammer you have our attention, now dont let us down.


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Joined: 12/03/05
Posts: 65

3/13/06 4:59:50 PM#8

Warhammer's yet to have a game that satisfies me (Dawn of War is exception but its 40k) but Warcraft has had many that have. Warhammers lore and world though absolutely owns Warcrafts and if they create the warhammer world of the lore and world they will have a game that will be giant compared to WoW.
Both have there ups and downs which makes both of them very different but I my opinion I honestly think Warhammer Online is going to go big (not wow big)

"Those that run away will fight another day" - Vegitus


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Joined: 8/10/04
Posts: 1532

3/13/06 5:24:32 PM#9

Point 1: If people did their research they would know that the models used for warcraft were based on the Warhammer miniatures.

Point 2: Blizzard makes ok games. Nothing spectacular and little to nothing new. RTS? Well, strip command and conquer/dune down to its most basic gameplay elements and you have warcraft. Change the models and the backdrops and wala you have starcraft. Take Baldur's Gate, strip out the party mechanic, turn it into a click fest where the player doesnt have to maintain a single thought for longer than 20 seconds and you have diablo. WoW may have 5+ million subscribers, good for them. Millions of people watch the Jerry Springer show. Does that make it good? Umpteen millions of people read magazines like the Enquirer, does that therefore make for good literature? I have tried warcraft... long enough to level 2 characters to 60. Been a part of many firsts in that game but it's not something that can engross me as a player for as long as other games had in the past. UO and SWG to name two.

Point 3: I believe the two games will appeal to completely different players, which is a very good thing imo. I believe that W.A.R. will attract a more mature and stronger overall community than warcraft. Warcraft is riddled with wanna be leet kiddies and their bastardized form of leetspeak that went out of style before they were even done drinking from sippy cups.

Point 4: one of the posts above this mentioned Imperator. It looked like a fascinating game. Warhammer was being developed by someone else at that same time. That deal fell through, Mythic got the rights and shelved imperator. Makes good sense in my eyes. Who knows? There is a chance that it could still be in production with a very small team that will ramp up after W.A.R. ships, or alot of the gameplay mechanics that they had set up for Imperator are now the heart of W.A.R. with the lore and history that has been compiled over the past 20 years backing the game. Sounds good in my book.


Advanced Member

Joined: 2/18/04
Posts: 1390

3/13/06 7:46:58 PM#10

The only here that do a complelty uneducated comparisson between Warhammer Online and World of Warcraft, is the writer of the editorial.

So he plays World of Warcraft now, good for him, that does NOT mean everything that is developed including Humans and orc has to be compared to World of Warcraft, like that is someoriginal the rest of the world need to live up to. WoW is the copy, a copy of among other things Warhammers tabletop and RPG. The graphics of Warhammer comes from.. Warhammer tabletop and RPG, it has NOTHING whatsoever to do witht he graphics of WoW. Now, the otherway around might be true!


Please... Its ok if you live in your own little WoW world, tons of kids do. But WoW is not the original, WoW is just another copy of preexisting games...

Warhammer is sticking to their original look and feel,t he same look and feel they have had since the 80s.. They should be credited for that, not dragged into some uneducated gutter for singleminded fanbois.

"This is not a game to be tossed aside lightly.
It should be thrown with great force"


Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/14/04
Posts: 79

3/13/06 9:14:34 PM#11

Originally posted by Harafnir

The only here that do a complelty uneducated comparisson between Warhammer Online and World of Warcraft, is the writer of the editorial.

So he plays World of Warcraft now, good for him, that does NOT mean everything that is developed including Humans and orc has to be compared to World of Warcraft, like that is someoriginal the rest of the world need to live up to. WoW is the copy, a copy of among other things Warhammers tabletop and RPG. The graphics of Warhammer comes from.. Warhammer tabletop and RPG, it has NOTHING whatsoever to do witht he graphics of WoW. Now, the otherway around might be true!


Please... Its ok if you live in your own little WoW world, tons of kids do. But WoW is not the original, WoW is just another copy of preexisting games...

Warhammer is sticking to their original look and feel,t he same look and feel they have had since the 80s.. They should be credited for that, not dragged into some uneducated gutter for singleminded fanbois.


WAR: inactive
DAoC: inactive
RIFT: Lvl60 Kelari Rogue
GW2: Lvl80 Norn Ranger
TSW: Illuminati


Novice Member

Joined: 6/28/05
Posts: 9

3/13/06 11:22:35 PM#12


though they are somewhat graphically similar, along with similar aspects of gameplay that are kinda hard to get passed:

WAR is not warhammer, or vise versa. they are to compleatly different entities. but just to make sure and to drive this point to being mute:

warhammer was here long before warcraft ever was, and a lot of the warcraft art looks like they borrowed ideas from warhammer....

at anyrate im just looking foward to trying my hand at chaos.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/03/03
Posts: 448

3/13/06 11:57:26 PM#13

Blizzard is a company that has made games I have enjoyed. Warcraft is my favorite. I expect good products from them. That does not make them a top contender of my list on games but as a company.

Games Workshop is a company that has made games that I loved and thoroughly enjoyed. I did not like the cost and so did not play much other unless I borrowed from someone else. I expect great games from them. They make the top of list as game contender but not as a company.

Mythic is one company that I have only really experienced with DAoC and I have to say that it does top my MMO list. It is always in the top three. I am not saying that there is stuff I don't like they have done with DAoC but overall is one of the most enjoyable to me.

I respect the companies and what they bring. I will not make comparisons or really look at discussions of such. I don't think of the two games as being the same. If W.A.R. stays true to Warhammer then I can't believe they will be alike.

It would be awesome to that battles could be set up in W.A.R. though. I always enjoyed the way the tabletop worked but I accept would be difficult to really put the same thing in the MMO.


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Posts: 36

3/14/06 6:15:45 AM#14

Originally posted by Shoal 
What great games have been based on Warhammer?  All flops.

Warhammer 40K: Dawn Of War <- CGW Game of the Year 2004

Warhammer 40K: Winter Assault <- Widely acclaimed expansion pack for DoW

Both of these are very successful, enjoyable and fast paced games based on the Warhammer universe! Great online and offline, I highly recommend them if you like RTS and multiplayer games    



Novice Member

Joined: 11/19/04
Posts: 332

3/14/06 6:35:23 AM#15

Also keep an eye for the forthcoming fantasy RTS.

Anyway I'm happy someone has spoken out about these unfair comparisons, yes WoW and WAR are looking similar in the screens, but for god sake this is the new character area, its bound to be lighter - the Warhammer world is a very dark and I doubt Games Workshop would let them make a world this fluffy...

Keep your eyes pealed and don't get yourself locked into a position where you slate the game for the first few screens!!!

Currently Playing: GW2
Currently Following: Elder Scrolls Online
Games in my wake: Anarchy Online, Archlord (beta), Asheron’s Call, Asheron’s Call 2, City of Heroes, Dark Age of Camelot (SI to Catacombs), DDO, EVE Online, EverQuest II (beta), Guild Wars, Horizons, Lineage II,LORTO, Rift, RF Online (beta), RYL, Saga of Ryzon, Shadowbane, Star Wars Galaxies, Vanguard, WAR, WoW


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Posts: 9

3/14/06 7:26:11 AM#16

There actually were some good Warhammer Fantasy games, but those were some years ago - Dark Omen for example, which does not run well on Windows XP - which is a shame.

What i can not understand is another thing: There are many, many MMO with mor cartoony/exaggerated styles, most of them from asia - do those get compared to WOW, too - just because they are not done in a hyper-realistic style like the one EQ2 uses?

Sure: WOW and WAR are both using the old Citadel Warhammer Miniatures as inspiration, and both have very similar orcs and dwarves - Blizzard were sure great fans of GW games. If you look closer, they do have a lot of differences - Mythic is not such much into animation-inspired style elements as Blizzard is, they have more detailed textures, too.

The game however, seems completely different . Apart from the fact that both are using some of the races tolkien also used in LotrR.::::40::

Warhammer Mystics
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est. 2004


Advanced Member

Joined: 12/21/05
Posts: 1134

3/14/06 12:49:18 PM#17

Originally posted by rpgmachine

Originally posted by Shoal 
What great games have been based on Warhammer?  All flops.

Warhammer 40K: Dawn Of War <- CGW Game of the Year 2004

Warhammer 40K: Winter Assault <- Widely acclaimed expansion pack for DoW

Both of these are very successful, enjoyable and fast paced games based on the Warhammer universe! Great online and offline, I highly recommend them if you like RTS and multiplayer games    


I actually picked up Dawn of War because I've always been curious about Warhammer, and this new WAR mmo has peaked my interest. I haven't played a RTS game in 6 years, but I'm enjoying this one.

I wish WAR was being set in the 40k era, I like it alot.

I used to play Warcraft for about a year.. I left because that game is taking too large of a PvE Endgame focus, and I've already been-there-done-that in EQ. I bought it hoping for a  Dynamic PvP Endgame, but then the Honor System and Battlegrounds turned out to be a wretched grind.

I'm hoping WAR will deliver where WoW failed. I want a dynamic world pvp system where players need to take control of area's by capturing castles/keeps in order to access certain content within the area.

In most games you have to PvE just so you can PvP... I want a game where you have to PvP to be rewarded with PvE.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/12/06
Posts: 119

3/14/06 3:52:50 PM#18

As we see more information about W.A.R. emerge I'm sure that most straight comparisons will just show how completely uninformed whoever makes the comparison is.

The graphics will have some similarities (green orcs, similar armor style inspirations etc.), partly because WoW was inspired by GW miniatures but also becuase they have many other sources of inspiration in common (Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné for one, gotta love those armor styles) but will diverge pretty heavily when it comes to the darker parts of Warhammer, the engines also have different strengths which undoubtedly will make things look different once in movement.

The games may have similarities in so far as being fantasy MMO's with dwarves, elves, orcs etc. but WoW is a designated EQ killer PvE raid game with a little PvP thrown in to throw a wider net and where gear and level is god. W.A.R. is and RvR game which with a focus on PvP with PvE added to round out the game (yeah, I might be wrong), because of the focus on RvR it is very likely that a fully geared out character won't be 3-4 times as powerful as an equally seasoned character with more mediocre gear.

I will keep telling guildies that doesn't use numbers instead of letters and enjoy PvP about W.A.R. and Age of Conan but I guess I have to add every time that they need to look past any surface similarities between WoW and W.A.R. and look at the potential for a working and stimulating end game instead :)

The one thing I do hope W.A.R. takes after WoW in is that hopefully it will allow me to just jump in and play and hopefully let me get to the end game without investing years in the game.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/04/06
Posts: 3

3/14/06 10:13:07 PM#19

I am looking forward to Warhammers W.A.R. I've been playing the miniatures for 7 years and have had a blast with it and I'm really curious how they are going to take the PvP. Never played DoAC, I played EQ and then went to WoW and still have fun with it.

You really can't compare the 2 games really. True maybe the graphics looks similar, but the PvP will be greatly different. According to WoW lore, there is a treaty between Horde and Alliance that is degrading fast. So basically its kinda like the Cold War, except skirmishes taking place all over. Where as in W.A.R. treaties are almost like a joke. Everyone and there mother is at war.

As a big fan of Warhammer, both fantasy and Sci-fi, I really hope they make this one a hit so they can bust out with the 40k version.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/24/06
Posts: 20

3/15/06 9:04:37 AM#20

Quote form a previous post:

<<<<<What great games have been based on Warhammer?>>>>>

Well - The whole Warcraft Series!!!!!!

 I don't know this - but its seems a reasonsable hypothesis that there was a warhammer fan working for Blizzard (ok maybe a general Fantasy fan familiar with a whole range of fantasy wolrds and game systems - DEFINATELY including Games Workshop's (GW)offerings), who siad lets make a cool command and conquer like game based in fantasy - and clearly boorowed form the fantasy images he was already familiar with. Definately the look of the ORCs were borrowed from GW art.

Then look at this in the context of the next release - Starcraft. GW was quite unusual in trying to set it's fantasy wargame in the future - originally with Space Dwafs, Space Elves, and Space Humans, oh yeah and Space Orcs = Orks!, now with Space Dark Elves, and Space Undead!

The same Blizzard guy said - right let's do likewsie - we've done the fantasy, now let's do the future, and again borrowed from a variety of sources for inspiration - apparently including GW games.

I haven't actually played Starcraft (wish I had I'm about 10 years behind on my computer games playing), and only played a bit of warcraft on a friends computer. - So I can't really go into details, but i've heard that a t least one race was quite close to a Warhammer 40k rafe (Tyranids?).

Of course Blizzard did a great job of computer game design, but if we are talking about pure concept, we must credit Games Workshop with being the bigger innovators here (and of course they in turn borrowed from Tolkein etc...).

And no doubt Blizzard thourgh their work have created something that is now Warcrafty and not anything else.

But the point is that Warhammer fans anticipating this game are keen that it holds true to the Warhammer universe they know and love - and given the history I've put forward above, people who only know the Warcraft Series of computer games, might well see the realisation of the Warhammer Universe being done for WAR, and say that Warcraft has been copied, when really the WAR developers are just trying to make things faithful to thea lready existing Warhammer Intellectual Propoerty out there.

In fact every time some points to WAR being so similar to the Warcraft Series, they are just adding more evidence to the hypothesis that one series of great games that has been based on Warhammer (Fantasy and 40k) has been the whole Warcraft and Starcraft Series.

Yours truly.

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