If it’s not obvious, the focus in Warhammer Online is Realm versus Realm combat, or RvR. Players can jump into the fray immediately upon entering the game at rank 1, partaking in scenarios and capturing world objectives to name just two possibilities. Many players have come off their first foray into WAR with the recent preview weekend so it’s a good time to review Tier 1 RvR scenarios.
For those who might be unaware, here is the low down on scenarios. Scenarios are timed RvR matches between Order and Destruction. If your side reaches 500 points (which are received from capturing objectives or killing enemies) before the enemy does, or if you have the most points after the timer expires, you win. Scenarios have a cap on the number of players that can take part and this cap is usually 12-on-12 or 24-on-24. You can join a scenario queue by clicking on the war symbol near the top left of the minimap.
GATES OF EKRUND
Gates of Ekrund is the Tier 1 Dwarfs vs Greenskins scenario. 12 players on each side may take part in this battle. This is your typical hold an objective and get points scenario. Simply stand near the objective and you’ll notice a bar below your minimap moving to indicate your progress in capturing it. Up to six players can capture a single objective, the more players nearby, the faster you capture it.
Personally, I feel Gates of Ekrund is the best of the Tier 1 scenarios. Taking place inside the walls of, and on top of, the gate, this scenario provides for a fast paced, close quarters battle. The combat is so close in fact that my allies were rarely outside of my shaman’s 100ft heal range. There are three capture points within the gate. One point is on the left and another on the right of the gate and they’re both in small cubbyholes for rooms. The third, and most valuable, point is right in the middle of both of the other points and is rather exposed. There are ledges upon which casters and other ranged combats can rain down destruction while their melee counterparts are in the thick of things on the ground fighting for the objective.
This scenario seems to heavily favor Destruction. Over the dozen or so times I played this encounter with my Gobbo Shaman, Destruction only lost once. While it’s possible that this could be attributed to the server I was on that seems rather unlikely given the incredible win loss ratio I experienced.
The High Elves versus Dark Elves Tier 1 scenario is Khaine’s Embrace, which is a 12 on 12 matchup. This battle is also an objective holding scenario, however, rather than simply getting points for holding an objective, you must hold both objectives on this map for 10 seconds to be awarded points. Also, you must right click on the objective rather than just stand near it. If you see someone kneeling near the objective, attack that person right away. Once both points have been controlled for 10 seconds by the same side, Khaine’s wrath will be unleashed. If you’re around the capture points or Khaine’s altar, it’s best to vacate the area because a fireball will erupt from each of those areas, killing everyone nearby.
Khaine’s Embrace is a fun scenario. When the match begins, players must race up from their starting point toward the nearest capture point and then over to their enemy’s point. It provides wide-open areas for both ranged and melee combatants to maneuver and a small tunnel between objectives that can be used as a shortcut to the opposite objective or to break line of sight if the need arises.
In my experience, Destruction won an inordinate number of times just as with the Gates of Ekrund scenario. Each time I played this scenario (approximately 8 times), Destruction won by a very wide margin.
Nordenwatch is the Empire versus Chaos Tier 1 matchup. The battle has a player cap of 12 on 12. Like Gates of Ekrund ,this scenario simply requires you to stand near objectives to capture them. There are three points to capture which are arranged in a wedge formation. The two end points of the wedge are objectives, which are near to the player start points. The third objective is near a keep atop a hill and is the most valuable of the three.
This is a great battle. There are a couple choke points ripe for tossing out an area of effect spell, plenty of objects to use for cover, and even access to the top of the keep. Aside from those choke points the map is wide open to allow for maneuvering in combat or to bypass the obvious routes of advancement, sneak around, and ninja an undefended or weakly guarded point from your enemy.
Unlike Gates of Ekrund and Khaine’s Embrace, Nordenwatch appears to heavily favor Order. On Destruction, we never got close to a victory in any of the matches I played in. Order beat us to the keep, captured it, and would then beat us back to our start point.
The three tier 1 battles are varied enough that they don’t feel similar despite the fact that they’re all based on capturing objectives. While it would have been nice if a different mechanic was used on at least one of the three, you have to wait until tier 2 for something other than just, “Go here and capture & defend.” At first glance it may seem that the Tier 1 scenarios favor one side or the other, however, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and save a final judgment on that until the game has launched and matured a little.
Overall, scenarios are great for partaking in some fast paced RvR combat. You can jump in right away at level 1 and aid your side in the WAAAGH! while simultaneously gaining XP, renown, and even a little cash here and there.