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Pyramid of Settra Hands-On Preview

Previews By Michael Bitton on May 30, 2012

The folks over at BioWare took what is likely the most consistently solid feature of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning—Scenarios—and retooled them into a MOBA style format (now with three teams!). Called Warhammer: Wrath of Heroes, it's similar in gameplay style to Bloodline Champions over a game like League of Legends.

The latest map to be added to the game, Pyramid of Settra, is an interesting and chaotic map that is set, as one might guess, within the claustrophobic confines of a Tomb King pyramid. The map layout features a central room with three treasure rooms for each of the teams. Once the match starts, everyone makes a mad dash for the central room to grab as many of the six relics that instantly spawn. Returning relics to your team’s treasure chest grants your team points over time, depending on how many relics your team has in their chest. Naturally, players from the opposing teams can raid your treasure room and steal your relics, and one can expect relics to be stolen and change hands quite frequently as a result. If that weren’t enough, new relics (up to a total of 10) also spawn periodically in the center so it’s important to keep an eye (and presence) outside of your treasure room.

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Pyramid of Settra de-emphasizes kills, which don’t really count for anything points wise, though you’ll definitely have a hard time defending (or acquiring) relics if you’re dead, so killing other players is still important. Swift characters such as the Skaven Gutter Runner, Ikkrik, make for great relic thieves. Olwyn the Ironbreaker makes for a great defender. In fact, the most difficult team comp I faced was a team of nothing but Ironbreakers (sound familiar?) and a healer. Let me just say they are just as annoying in Wrath of Heroes as they were in Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.

I played a couple of matches with the BioWare team and other press as Aessa, the White Lion, and I actually had tons of fun even though we came in third in pretty much every round.  There’s simply never a dull moment in the Pyramid of Settra map, similar to the relatively tight quarters of the Arena map, but even more chaotic, if you can imagine that! The unbelievable level of chaos found in these matches is deceptive, however, as the map requires (and rewards) solid team play. While combat is fast and furious all the time, making important choices in team composition, when to defend, and when (and who) to steal from are vital. The inherent tug-of-war element of the relic gathering design allows for some amazing comebacks. Sadly, my team was never coordinated enough to pull out such a comeback; we did come pretty close once though!

All in all, if you’ve been enjoying your time playing Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes, Pyramid of Settra looks to be a solid addition to the map list and I’m definitely interested to see the evolution of strategies and team compositions play out in the live game. Pyramid of Settra, along with the Tomb King Liche Priest, Amenadresh, are now available, so what’re you waiting for?! Get in there and smash some skulls!

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