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Fighting Talk: DAOC vs WAR

Column By Adam Tingle on September 09, 2010

Since the creation of this series of versus articles, my life has changed. Just last week I made an almighty mess in the Kitchen when Tomato Ketchup faced down Barbeque Sauce; a few days previously I offended my girlfriend by forcing her breasts Into a Thunder Dome “two boobs enter, one boob leaves” type of affair. So to keep within my current mental state, here is another article offering my meager, inflammatory, and often mistaken opinions. Enjoy it you delicious bastards.

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In the MMORPG.com ring this week, is BioWare Mythic and its creations: Dark Age of Camelot and Warhammer Online. Just which one is the better game I hear you scream, just which game deserves your hard earned dollar? Today’s battle sees young versus old; the elderly, incontinent DAoC versus the snot nosed and chocolate smudged cheeks of WAR. Grab hold of your genitals in preparation, unhinge your jaw, and turn your comment status to rage.

In the red corner

Veteran and classic of the genre, Dark Age of Camelot is still remembered by many as one of the greatest games ever created. Mythic’s debut was one of the first MMORPG’s truly to embrace PvP, and as such, we still have the nations of Hibernia, Albion and Midgard battling for Arthurian domination today. With many concepts still unrivaled by this generation of MMORPG’s, DAoC is still a challenge to any game. Stripping to the wrinkly waist and baying for blood, Dark Age of Camelot is ready to bring the 2H critical damage.


In the blue corner

When the MMORPG genre and the Warhammer franchise engaged in sexual congress, Warhammer Online was born. Mythic’s newest game should conceivably be one of the greatest MMORPG’s made; however, the game has divided audiences since its release. With a number of server merges, and some scathing forum activity, WAR is on the metaphorical ropes and the only way out is to come out punching. Offering some of the greatest PvP in any game, WAR has a lot to prove to its development predecessor. Only time will tell if this game can step up like Oedipus and slay Dark Age of Camelot…and then marry its own mother.

Both games will be scored out of ten in a number of categories; the highest scoring will be deemed “awesome”. Sit back, relax and remember these are just the opinions of a simpleton with a word processor.

Game World

The game world of Dark Age of Camelot is primarily split into three continents: Albion, Midgard and Hibernia. Each land mass represents a certain faction and the border zones between each are usually open RvR grounds. The individuality to each continent is what gives the game world of DAoC such rich lore and identity and there is nothing like exploring from Snowdonia to Salisbury Plains and further. There are various mounts on offer and Mythic have never really patched in anything that has ruined the immersion (except maybe ToA). While the game world has aged a little, Camelot still looks great, the world still functions as it should and it hasn’t been brought to a crippled mess of teleports and gold sellers just yet. 8/10

If I could add audio here of me sighing, I would. The Warhammer franchise is so rich with lore it seems almost impossible to sculpt a world so boring and unengaging. I am not going to be one of those people who compares the art style to WoW, (to do so would see me shot possibly) but the game really lacks that identity that Warhammer dictates. The world is nothing more than a linear theme park style path through various scenarios, and it just doesn’t feel wordly enough. The game offers three different paths to begin from and while each starting point is a campaign complete with story- it isn’t nearly engaging enough. Boring, unengaging, and poorly designed, the only up-side is some awesome sights and barrel Dwarfs. 3/10


Player Character

Dark Age of Camelot is a saucy one for choice, and if you are excited at the prospect of 20 classes like me, set your eyebrows to arousal. The game offers three starting areas, a multitude of classes, sub-classes, customization, and I could go on. Dark Age of Camelot delivers what only old-school MMORPG’s do, oodles and oodles of choice and direction in which to play. The only down side to all of this is that the graphics on characters are now not quite as sharp as they used to be and there’s an alarming use of the color lime green. 8/10

Warhammer Online takes a slightly different approach to its character creation in that it is firmly rooted in lore and license. When creating a character, the player chooses an existing class of the board game. And while this basically boils down to your average tank, DPS and healer system, it adds a layer of uniqueness to the game. The visual appearances of the avatars themselves are pleasing and there is nothing like rolling a fire haired, eye scarred Bright Wizard. If there was a little more flexibility on race and class within the game WAR would be almost reaching top marks. 9/10

Newbie Experience

While Dark Age of Camelot is a very old game in MMORPG standards, the newbie experience is surprisingly refreshing. The game brings players through a tutorial island in which every aspect of the gameplay is taught, the pacing is pitch perfect, and you will leave full of Dark Age knowledge. The only negative I have is that the game is very archaic with its UI which may be off putting to new comers. With games such as WoW and even WAR out, the UI is now a feature awash with color, violent cartoon imaginary, and idiot proofery. While some will argue that it is full of customization, the fact is that it needs an overhaul if new players are really going to love the game. Great newbie experience but certain aged elements of the game bring the tone down. 7/10

Warhammer’s newbie experience I must admit is pretty fun. The game throws the player into the beginnings of slightly promising storylines (which slowly fades to boredom) gameplay mechanics are taught through quests and from the off, players are engaged in PvP and public quests. WAR’s ability to include players in slightly more difficult gaming concepts from the beginning make for a very enjoyable experience. The Tome of Knowledge which acts as a sort of journal too helps familiarize new comers to the games mechanics and is a unique way of delivering some of the games content. If the starting areas were a tad more immersive and interesting, this would be the best beginning experience in any game period. 9/10


Solo Play

Back in the good old days, solo play meant finding a pleasant enough zone wall and kicking the crap out of the local wildlife for days on end. Sadly times have changed and so too has Dark Age of Camelot, unfortunately, for the worse. It feels as If have replayed DAoC a few years too late as the game boasts a fully usable and enjoyable quest system, however, the game's difficulty has been reduced from a journey to the level cap to a hop, skip, and a jump. The game feels like it just wants to push you to the level cap and therefore has given up on its earlier content which is a shame. I would like to see BioWare Mythic take another look at the game, start new players at the cap and add some exciting gear and attribute awarding quests. In short, solo play will see you to the level cap in a few days so therefore merely passable. 4/10

Warhammer Online is a game that I want so much form. The solo experience in WAR is rather one dimensional as you will basically be progressing through different hubs completing the dozen or so available quests. For one reason or another, you will always feel like you are playing a themed scenario and this seems very counter-productive to genre it claims to be. The game never really captures that MMORPG’ness that is all important and while solo play will see you easily and enjoyably to the cap, you can’t help but wish the game felt more like its Mythic predecessor and less like a single player RPG. 6/10

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