[Review] Warhammer OnlineBy: Keishiro posted at Nov 23, 2008 12:40 pm
*Brushes off the dust from his keyboard and looks up at his beautiful MMOSite writer club banner*
It's been a while.
What is Warhammer?
If you ask this... I feel sorry for you mate. Warhammer Lore is so beautiful; it brings tears to my eyes. What started as a tabletop game by the gamesworkshop became what the franchise is today, PC games, Art, Hell; even books. Warhammer was another one of those tabletop games with complex systems and different rulesets; Very fun on its own however expensive. Then it went on to books describing more indepth details of the lore.
After the things that won't interest too many, we move on to the PC games which started as unknown companies using the name to lure people... FireWarrior and a couple other small time games came to play but never really shone itself to the world. It disappointed even Warhammer fanatics.
Then came Dawn Of War, which dawned the new beauty of the Warhammer world; an RTS game that captures much of the original warhammer concepts...
But we're talking Warhammer Online now. Created by Mythic and directed by TheGamesWorkshop; we are pretty much guaranteed that beautiful pvp-esque gameplay of Mythic's renown status with the lore directory of TheGamesWorkshop; nothing can go wrong!... right?
Warhammer Online released on September 18th of 2008 with the weary low PC requirements making many people question the graphics portion of the game.
It was promised to be a total-PVP-esque game. WHAT?! A game devoted to PVP? You know this made me drool!!
Warhammer Online became one of the most anticipated games of the year. What it promised; and what information it gave us was simply beautiful.... and then Wrath Of the Lich King was also promised this year; you know a huge competition will start out...
Now for more in-depth details!
Let's start with Graphics this time as everyone is concerned graphically of the world and what-not. The screenshots reign true mates; the graphics are no better no worse than the screenshots. To some it's ugly and to some it's not-bad. Some say WoW graphics beat the crap out of WarhammerOnline graphics; but that's highly untrue.
I recently read a fellow mmosite blog explaining the difference of the two; yes. They both do suck. I have to admit. But they both suck equally; then why is Warhammer considered way more ugly?
Their different art styles. Warhammer has the more serious- bloodshed look to them with a dark aura amongst them while WoW has that happy-go-lucky look... Well maybe not that happy. But it's more cartoonish (for lack of better word). WoW has the smooth-skins even on orcs while Warhammer has the orc's natural ugliness. They are born and raised in filth; they have to look like filth!
To be honest; I personally don't appreciate the Warhammer graphics either; it bothers me. However I don't support WoW graphics either... The world wasn't bad and amounted to any other average mmorpg out there; and there were some graphical glitch that Mythic is slowly fixing.
So will Graphics be redeemed and counterbalanced with the gameplay they so promised?
At first glance; you can easily pass it all off as a WoW clone. Gameplay, Looks, Style. Battlegrounds.Quests.
Upon further inspection though; you'll find that many things are different... Some things good some things bad.
Like stated before; this game was promised as a PVP-Esque game with leveling through PVP implemented, you can pvp endlessly and have n joy and fun.
I have the perspective of both Order and Destruction; playing all the classes of each side and trying many things. So I'll speak all this in a neutral standpoint.
So we have Order:
Empire- The classic empire under the name of the Emperor.
High Elves- The high elves of Asuryan
Dwarves- Dwarves of Gungir
Yeah I totally bull crapped that description; but its their gods so it's still valid ;p
Now we have Destruction:
Chaos: Against the False Emperor!
Dark elves: Of Khaine!
GreenSkins: Goblins and orks!
Each side has their share of career(class) archetypes: Melee DPS, Melee Tank, Range DPS, Magic, Support.
|Armies||Tank||Melee DPS||Ranged DPS||Healer|
|Dwarfs||Ironbreaker||None (formerly Hammerer)||Engineer||Runepriest|
|The Empire||Knight of the Blazing Sun||Witch Hunter||Bright Wizard||Warrior Priest|
|High Elves||Swordmaster||White Lion||Shadow Warrior||Archmage|
|Greenskins||Black Orc||None (formerly Choppa)||Goblin Squig Herder||Goblin Shaman|
|Chaos||Chosen (Male Only)||Marauder (Male Only)||Magus||Zealot|
|Dark Elves||Black Guard||Witch Elf (Female Only)||Sorceress/Sorcerer||Disciple of Khaine|
(taken from warhammer wikipedia)
So every career has some sort of mirror to them. Iron Breaker:Black Guard, Witch Hunter:Witch Elf, Marauder:White Lion
However each carrer also has their own unique aspects to them. For example:
Iron Breaker specialty is their Oath; in which they gain per hit landed on him or his oath friend.
Black Guard however uses Hate, in which they gain every time they hit someone.
In this way; no two classes are the same providing a more versitile world of classes that you can join into.
I'm not going in depth with the classes; as that wouldn't be reviewing the game but giving my own personal input on the classes; So onward we move.
Skills are similar to WoW talents. You have your Core skills, your general skills, and then your Tactics (which can be related to Talents). You gain one tactic point every odd level after 10 and it can be placed in either of three skills in every class (each tree focusing on something different, Offense, defense, Support).
Along with the active skills; we also have Tactic skills which are passive abilities you can equip. You may use one tactic at first, and gain one tactic slot every 10 levels.
Tactic passive.. what does that mean. Well; things such as "Monsters will do 25% less damage to you but you deal 10% less damage" and so forth. Their passive advantages that you don't need to activate to use; not to be mistaken by buffs.
Yeah; the terms do mix alot.
Other than the core skills and whatnot; you are also offered Morale Skills. You gain morale per attack your group does against people. It's pretty much your limit break from final fantasy, your musou from dynasty warriors. A special attack (no it's not rigged, but it is far superior to your regular skills). This skill can give you the upper hand in a fight however it has a long cooldown.
Alright; so enough of the careers and skills right? Gameplay! RAHH!! What makes War different from any other game?! What makes it different from WoW that would steal it's community?!?
Warhammer has the following to do:
Questing. Killing. Public Quests(explained later), Scenerios(Battleground equivilant), Keep wars, territory war.
Questing and killing, their your regular PVE aspect of the game.
Public Quests were introduced in Warhammer and are quite fun. You gain influence per public quest you complete in which you can gain special items from. Public quests are story-arc quests that occur every 5 minutes after the previous has been completed. Anyone can join in on the quest, you just have to walk into the quest area. don't even have to be in a party.
Once the quest is completed. you are entitled to a grab bag; in which is determined by how much you contributed to the group that public quest and a lucky roll(which is totally bullshit because top contributors can get knocked down to the bottom because of luck) (this is also promised to be fixed later by Mythic)
There are gold Bags, blue Bags, Green Bags, giving better items at gold bags and crappy items on the green bags. This has no relation to the influence prize I spoke earlier; this is just a reward for finishing the public quest.
The influence reward is claimed at a rally master. Prizes varie in quality.
Scenerios need no introductions. Their queued up for; and entered. Each scenerio has their own objective (capture the flag, hold the territory etc) and are usually in groups of 15vs15. Brackets are every 10 levels or so (with the possibility of a low level entering the tier 2 zone.. so it is possible for a level 9 to go to a tier 2 game which is 11-20) (however it is not possible for a level 12 to goto a tier 1 (1-11). Games are fairly balanced. Yes some games but be outweighed in terms of who has the most healers and support and whos better; but generally; if assuming that everyone in that game is good; the game is fairly balanced out.
Keep wars; the famed Open Realm Vs Realm. This isn't server vs server, just Order vs destruction. Scattered across the map are Keeps(castles) in which each side can claim. This keep war goes from storming the front, battering down the gate, to killing to the lord of the keep and capturing the keep.
Keep advantages? Well, you get a renown trainer and seller there. And you also do your country good overall (explained later)
(renown trainer and sellers explained later too)
Keep wars would be fun; but they are often deserted and also often deemed "musical keeps". Lose one, Keep one. Just a circle that doesn't seem to be getting anywhere. (also explained at the last part)
These are fun... Also your main source of renown leveling.
And last but not least; territory wars. This sums up everything basically. Order and Destruction are fighting over land in which you gain through everything you do. for every quest you finish, every public quest, every scenerio and every keep captured; this contributes to the global status of the territory of the map. If Destruction wins over a land, it will mark it on the map. The overall goal of this is to reach the opposing team's main city to kill the Emperor/Chaos Lord. (which hasn't been done yet so sorry, nothing on that =\ It's pratically another keep war on a more massive scale apparently).
Alright so I summed up basically everything you do in warhammer online; quite different from WoW right? settles your uneasing minds and doubts.
Now let's explain what I said I'll explain.
Renown Training and sellers? Renown leveling? WTF?!
Alright guys; so there are 2 levels. Your rank (your general level you find in every game) and also your Renown rank (your PVP level basically). Both levels contribute to stats. Although there are 40 Ranks, there are 80 Renown ranks to obtain in which the grind is tremendous (but also fun since its through PVP)
Every level you get in your renown you also get a renown skill point in which you can invest at any Renown Trainer. For the first half of your levels also you get renown gear; in which you need to hit a particular renown and rank to get.
Renown rank is grinding pvp practically and is also the bane of everyone as it is also massively slow...
So will this end up being a good long-term game?
In my view; Yes. yes it will. I'll explain it in the end in modern thoughts section.
Clans: It's bloody alive! DEAR GOD!
Yes, even your clan has a level. But it's fun. Everytime you contribute/pay for it, you get skills for your guild which is activated throguh a standard. There are about 3 standard in a guild in which someone holds a damned flag up and rush into battle with your guild (disabling their ability to use skills mind you). These skills in the standard range from increase healing to increased xp; it's really useful when you find a sacrificial lamb willing to do it :P
Standards can also be plopped down on the ground and still have its aoe effect on your group; however it can also be stolen by the enemy player... it's a pain to steal back, trust me... They don't want you to have a flag. :P
Controls and Interface:
Ah the good ol control and interface. It's not as flexible on all the interface as WoW; the addons are strictly tight-assed at the moment (Mythic plans to release a more open community to addons... but its only a thought)
There's a built in UI interface modifier in which you can move your portrait, enemy portrait, etc to wherever you like. So yay; you dont need total dependency on addons. There are addons to change the way numbers fly out of the enemies and so forth though (since the warhammer default bothered me to hell; i loved it...)
Controls have full flexibility with keybindings. You have 5 bars that you can utilize and there are addons to make these bars vertical and so forth.
Morale skills (promised to be fixed) do have some major delay; sometimes even the animation would spark but you dont atually use the skills.
Modern Disturbing thoughts that personally pulled be away:Despite the long title; this is actually pretty short...
Alright.. Sigh. So I quit Warhammer I admit it. But why if It's as fun as I make it sound?
Well. First of all. A good 25-50% of the community died from warhammer because of WrathOfTheLichKing(Damnit!!!)
This is also bad timing because Mythic has finally fixed the queue problems of getting in the server (had massive wait times).
Basically; The servers were cut in population due to pop fixing; and then cut again due to another popular game.
Queue times for scenerio's went from FRIGGIN GREAT, to Alright 5 minute wait, to WTFISTHIS 30minutes ZOMGWTFBBQ?!?!?! ***K!!!!
It's really bothersome, especially for a pvp freak like me. Others argue you can quest while you wait for the scenerio to pop. That doesn't make me hot at all; I play War for the pvp; and they stole that away from me (unintentionally I think)
Well I can't say completely unintentionally; they are now making a limiter to the scenerios to balance out the overall territory war. (Since each scenerio is specific to a map and only contributes to that map's territory) which kills queue times more on specific scenerios (which is fixed by queueing on scenerios instead of just one specific one)
So great; the pop is gone. That's one thought that pulled me away
Then there was the lack of cross-server interaction (that WoW featured in their bgs). I think everything would be alot faster if they just crossed the servers; yeah we might have to tweak some things so that it balances everything out but geez =\
There are currently many glitches yes; most of them are promised to be revised around december (the big patch). Honestly; noone knows how much they'll fix nor how little... but much is promised in that month. I can't say much else about that.
Well... Overall a good game. I quit because of my time restrictions and unability to pay for the darn game. It's 45$ to buy and 15$ a month. There are obviously many glitches in the game; but they will all eventually be fixed. It's the bane of all mmorpg's, and if you think WoW is better just because it has less glitches; just think. When woW first started, they were just as glitchy as any other game you all might have played.
Graphics: 6 | Sound: 6 | Gameplay: 8 | Controls: 9 | Replay Value: 7
I would have loved to play this game... However, I couldn't grasp the look at all. The lore is quite accurate (some tweaks in it but eh) and would make me stay just for the lore.
Gameplay is 'smooth' to the sense that I love pvp, but there is still many flaws in it in terms of flow.
That's my two cents :P
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