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MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Cancelled  (est.rel 09/18/08)  | Pub:Electronic Arts
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Previews: First Look, Hands-On

By Dana Massey on April 04, 2006

First Look, Hands-On

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning Preview (Page 4 of 5)

Quests, Quests, Quests

On day one as a new greenskin, you’re fighting dwarves. The first quest finds the starting town invaded with NPC dwarves who’ve apparently gotten drunk, jumped into barrels, thrown themselves over a massive waterfall and landed on a nearby beach.

They breached a wall, and instantly, new players are involved in the war. The opening comments from Steve Perkins were evident here.

While the world did have an array of creatures to fight, it seemed like the primary thing players do battle against are either other players or NPCs of those races.

For quests, they’ve taken the classic and created several variant types players will find throughout the game.

  • Public Quests: Occasionally during gameplay, a player will enter an area and be met with a UI display letting them know a public quest is going on. These are open to everyone and have larger goal. For example, the dwarves may need to feed a giant beer so that he’ll go on a rampage against the orcs. Everyone can contribute and everyone who does gets a reward.
  • Conflict Quests: These are like public quests, save the other side has an opposing goal. For example, the dwarves have found a battlefield full of injured. Their public quest is to save all the dwarves, while the orcs must kill them all. It is either a race to victory (kill X dwarves before they save X dwarves) or a tug-of-war scenario.
  • Branching Quests: They’ve also made it a goal to ensure that a quest is not always the same. One way is branching quests where players can make a choice that alters the outcome. For example, you can decide to deliver the item for experience or steal it for gold.
  • “Christmas Quests”: These quests are hidden, large reward quests that are very easy. The goal is to encourage players to explore and find these gifts. The example Paul gave is a lost ranger with a starving wolf who needs to be fed. He asks you to find the wolf food. You simple kill the ranger and feed him to the wolf. Boom! Experience!
They’ve also subdivided quests into three kinds, tentatively called “green”, “yellow” and “red”. In the green quests, players are only asked to go to PvE areas; in the yellow, there are optional PvP elements; while in red quests players must participate in PvP.

RvR: The War

PvP in Warhammer Online is all about the war. There are PvP areas you can enter and battle the enemy. When you leave, your character is given a decaying PvP flag. Not until this flag decays are you safe from PvP. They did this to prevent old-UO border jumping.

There are three major types of PvP situations in WAR:

  • Skirmishes: These are incidental fights that happen when you enter a PvP area. From them you get money, experience and items. Although, while you can loot the enemy, you’re not actually looting their real items.
  • Battlefields: These are objective based battles, such as capture the tower.
  • Scenarios: These are point based instanced battle areas. Each player is assigned a point value they are worth and the game matches them together. To avoid queuing, they’ve added in “Dogs of War”, which are NPCs who join one side or the other to balance things out. Scenarios are intended to be quick action.
  • Campaign: This is the end game. In the high level areas are five zones. At the extreme ends of each land-area are the capital cities for each race. Players wage war to push each other back and forth. The goal is to lock down a zone and advance closer to the enemy’s capital city. Once there, you can sack the city for great rewards. The campaign system uses the above three to allow advancement. You cannot cut around your enemy and skip a zone, the front is the front.
The Career System

Advancement in WAR follows a relatively strict class based system. Each race has four classes, for a total of roughly twenty-four classes. However, while all races have a few basic archetypes (healer), the classes are distinct to each race.

“What we need is a rule system we can follow,” said Barnett. “A race is defined as much by what you leave out as what you leave in.”

The only concrete example available was the dwarves. They have two fighting and two academic classes.

  • Ironbreaker: These are heavily armoured defensive tanks.
  • Hammerer: These guys use giant hammers and are offensive tanks.
  • Runepriest: Using rune magic, the Runepriest is the spellcaster and healer of this group. He can also enchant items with runes.
  • Engineer: These guys are inventors and use technology for ranged damage per second attacks.
“[We allow you] to customize your ironbreakerness,” added Barnett. He made it very clear though that while you can be an ironbreaker who likes pistols, you cannot be an ironbreaker who is secretly a speced as something else entirely.

“Beard, stick, pointy hat. Wizard!” Barnett yelled from time to time during this presentation. What he was attempting to emphasize is that Mythic fully believes in silhouetting, which is to say that if you walk up to a guy in a full platemail, he will be what you expect him to be.