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BioWare Mythic
MMORPG | Genre:Fantasy | Status:Cancelled  (est.rel 09/18/08)  | Pub:Electronic Arts
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Warhammer Online - Tell Us About the War in WAR

Recently, Staff Writer Carolyn Koh had the opportunity to speak with Brian Wheeler, a Designer on EA Mythic's Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. The questions this time revolve around the overarching war taking place in the game. Koh also presents an example of how the city siege component of the game works.

MMORPG.com:

What is the group size in Warhammer and what mechanisms are there for communication in RvR, especially for the larger campaigns?

Brian Wheeler:

Group size is 6, but players can form a Battlegroup (basically a group of groups) up to 24 players. Obviously, these will have their own unique chat channels for player communication, but we'll also have RvR specific chat channels that anyone can join.

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MMORPG.com:

Can you elaborate further on balancing RvR Scenarios, in particular in reference to balancing the use of NPC Dogs of War: Are they employed anywhere else besides in the Focused Instanced Scenarios?

Brian Wheeler:

RvR Scenario balance is simply a matter of making sure that both sides have equal opportunities to win. This involves equalizing run times from starter areas to key locations, as well as providing access to choke points and ways around those choke points. Whether that's a super secret ninja path around the backside of an island (cough, Nordenwatch, cough) or simply stepped vs. ramped terrain depends on each Scenario. All players will also be within a set level range for each Scenario and each side will have roughly the same number of combatants. Though we envision Scenarios as instanced combat between players, if necessary, we will introduce NPC Dogs of War to speed up the queue so players from both sides won't have to wait forever and a day to get into a fight. We're looking at other methods of getting players into Scenarios quickly as well, but we can't let the cat out the bag on them yet.

MMORPG.com:

There are PvE type quests that relate to the war efforts. Does this mean that completion of these quests will also count towards the war effort?

Brian Wheeler:

Any quest you do, whether it's a starter quest to take out a band of Orcs with a cannon or a massive PQ, will contribute to the ongoing war effort. Our Realm vs. Realm system is not limited solely to player vs. player interactions. Shouldn't killing a Dwarf contribute to the Greenskins' efforts regardless of whether it was a player or not? We think so, and that's why every quest you do will contribute towards zone control and winning the war.

MMORPG.com:

Do all levels of RvR count towards the war effort and control of the map?

Brian Wheeler:

As noted in the last question, any level player will contribute to the war. From the moment you take your first quest to the final push into a Capital City, from levels 1 to 40, you will be contributing to the war.

MMORPG.com:

Besides bragging rights, what benefits does control of the map convey to the army that holds it?

Brian Wheeler:

Lots! We can't disclose all of the treats you'll get, but I'll share a few with you. When you control a map your morale will instantly shoot up to 100%, you'll get a buff that increases your damage output, you'll be granted a hefty chunk of Renown, and to promote the sense of absolute chaos and bedlam...well...we'll save that one for later...

MMORPG.com:

Are there any cities (starting cities perhaps) that are inviolate? Or will there be certain areas that are not subject to RvR? Or could level ones spawn in the path of an invading army?

Brian Wheeler:

Cities are safe by default until the campaign pushes the war to the cities' doorsteps. At that point, the City is up for grabs and goes into RvR mode. At this point, the City is no longer safe. Now in terms of the open world RvR areas...nowhere is safe...but War Camps on the border of these areas are heavily guarded by NPC's that will attack enemy players on site giving players a safe place to rest without being too far from the action. Outside of the RvR areas, unless you are specifically flagged for RvR, you will be safe and free to explore the PvE areas of the game world at your leisure.

MMORPG.com:

Is that "group-based" loot rewards for winning an RvR scenario?

Brian Wheeler:

There are no group-based loot rewards for Scenarios, however we do reward all players that complete Scenarios with Renown points. These Renown points are based on the score of the Scenario, how long you've been in the Scenario, and whether you won or lost. Winners AND losers get Renown points in our Scenarios.

MMORPG.com:

There has been some information about capturing the King of a city (we presume an NPC) but we'd like to know more about the consequences of that action? To the victors and the losers

Brian Wheeler:

At this point, the killing/capturing of a King is slated to temporarily give both offensive and defensive bonuses to the winning Realm (Order or Destruction) when fighting again a member of an opposing army (Dwarf, Chaos, etc.) that just lost its leader. This is designed to help spur on that racial hatred we want in WAR. If you're a Chaos or Dark Elf player, you'll get these bonuses against Dwarfs when the Greenskins kill/capture Thorgrim Grudgebearer. As for the losers, it is time to rally the troops for a fight to win back your honor!

I was also given an in-depth example by Mythic of how the city siege component of the game currently works. I was reminded that the game has not launched and it would be misleading to make any claims of 100% certainty at this point in time.

In this case, the Armies of Destruction are attacking the Empire capital city of Altdorf...

  • When the Tier 4 zone of Reikland falls, the city of Altdorf becomes "attack eligible"
  • Destruction can then enter the Outer City, which is an RvR zone, to fight against players of Order and capture control objectives.
  • Players on both sides will respawn in the Outer City until the battle is won or lost.
  • If Destruction wins, the Outer City closes and they advance to the Inner City to fight NPCs and other Order player that may have survived the initial battle.
  • Order players still in the Inner City will not be able to respawn once killed.
  • Destruction will then have several hours of uninterrupted time to loot, pillage, quest, fight the king, etc.
  • After this period of time has ended, the Outer City will re-open for RvR combat and the forces of Order may attempt to retake this area
  • Should Order succeed, they can then enter the Inner City to clear out the forces of Destruction (who will no longer respawn in this area once killed)
  • The city will then revert to its original state of peace.

Please note that the city siege itself will be population limited (size to be determined) and could play out over several different instances.

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