Thursday, September 4, 2008

An Introduction to WAR

So, last weekend I got to try out Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.

To sum it all up as quickly as possible.... I was fuggin' impressed.

And now to the longer version....! I've played several games over the last 10 years from Myst and Zork to Diablo, Maplestory, EVE, WoW and more. And last weekend was the first time I was reduced to giddy bouncing and bright-eyed wonder at a game since I first picked up World of Warcraft three years ago.

I've decided to write a bit about the game as I have seen it thus far; first I will cover a few of the surface things I noticed, as well as a surface-breakdown of the playable characters... so, here goes!

The game itself plays very similarly to World of Warcraft; enough to the point that anyone who's played the one will recognize bits of MMO glory from the other. They do have a few noticable differences however.

Whereas WoW has a 1.5 global cooldown, WAR has 1.4 so the combat timing is nearly identical. However, to my eyes the biggest difference combat-wise is that WAR provides Collision Detection during RvR combat. Basically what this means is, you cannot run through your opponant... OR your allies! You must actively move around them as opposed to through them as you would on a real battlefield.

This lends a realism to the game that immersive players like myself will enjoy. It also adds to the skill level required, because unlike other MMO's you can't simply step through your opponant to complete attacks that require you to be behind or to the side.

Another basic difference I have noticed is that the way you obtain gear in WAR is much less important than in WoW. If you complete PvE objectives, participate in public quests, or recieve gear off of looted corpses, that gear will serve you in all aspects of the game, not just the PvE areas. And of course, the reverse is true - the gear sets are comparative, allowing you to use the same set for pve AND pvp.

The final immediate difference I noticed was the difference in focus. WoW has always seemed to me to be more of a Player vs Environment type of game. Until recently (with the advent of arenas), World of Warcraft was more about the end-game dungeons and boss encounters than fighting other players. In Warhammer Online, the opposite holds true. The end-game desire is in fact PvP contact; your entire goal is to take over the opposite faction's city! I was able to participate in RvR/PvP at the ripe-old level of 2. I had access to scenarios and RvR areas from nearly the moment I stepped into the game. And for me, that was one of the best parts.

Anyway... on to the breakdown I promised!

WAR has 2 realms and 6 factions, and each faction has it's own career paths. There are a total of 20 careere paths in the game, with each career containing three separate trees in which to build your career, as well as what are called Morale skills and Tactical bonuses. I will go into more about both of those in a later post.

Here are is the most basic breakdown of realm, faction, and career.

  • Dwarf
Ironbreaker (Tank)
Engineer (Ranged DPS)
Runepriest (Healer)

  • Empire
Warrior-Priest (Melee Healer)
Witch Hunter (Ranged DPS)
Bright Wizard (Fire Caster DPS)

  • High Elf
Swordmaster (Tank)
White Lion (Melee DPS)
Shadow Warrior (Ranged DPS)
Archmage (Healer)

  • Greenskin
Black Orc (Melee DPS)
Squig Herder (Ranged DPS)
Shaman (Healer)

  • Chaos
Chosen (Tank)
Marauder (Melee DPS)
Magus (Arcane Caster DPS)
Zealot (Healer)

  • Dark Elf
Witch Elf (Melee DPS)
Sorceress (Frost Caster DPS)
Disciple of Khaine (Melee Healer)

So. 2 realms, 6 factions, and 20 careers. As you can see, this is a massive amount of variety. If I tried to go into it all in one post, my ass would fall asleep. So I think I'll cut it off here. Next post I will go into a bit more detail about the careers. Until then!

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