Ten Ton Hammer's Four Great Reasons to Look Forward to WAR
by Brock "Brokain" Ferguson
Warhammer Online: age of Reckoning has received a lot of hype over the last year. The game has recieved awards, it's recieved great reviews, and it even recieved a short lived scare, when EA Mythic announced that they would be pushing the release date back. However though it all, the buzz about WAR has been positive, from both the gaming community and the industry. With the release date of Q2 2008 coming up quicker than we think, we here at Ten Ton Hammer decided to take a look at some of the best qualities WAR has to offer and what makes it such a great game even before its release.
A game is only as strong as the community that supports it. The game’s community can and will often make or break that game. One of the most recent and best examples of this would be Vanguard. All throughout beta, Vanguard had strong community support. Thousand’s of players were begging for a beta invite. I remember when I got mine, I was excited as hell. This game was supposed to be the second coming of the MMOG Christ and everyone was talking about it and wanted to be a part of it. Then, they announced the release date for it and we were all shocked. The game was FAR from ready for release. It was buggy, laggy, and didn’t even have anything pumped into quests over level 35 at release. I remember a few weeks after launch people getting frustrated and leaving the game in droves. I gave it a few months and quit playing.
The overall community feel at the time was “the best game that never was”. Vanguard has suffered for angering the community. Even though SOE took over the property and has been slowly fixing things and breathing new life into it, the gaming community’s reaction when “that game” is mentioned is usually a look of sad disgust and the response of “I’m never going to play that game again.”
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning has a huge community following, one that rivals that of Vanguard at its peak (before launch, when it was still being touted as the second coming). Even though they don’t have an official community forum, they still swim in daily support, accolades, and buzz. People are selling their souls for a chance at the beta and any illegal whisper you hear from beta is positive. What’s more, the community loves the fact that EA Mythic has decided to take the “We’ll release it when it’s ready” approach. Sure, there’s grumbling that the game has been pushed back, but there’s also a sigh of relief as the community realizes that this is the best thing that could happen for the game.
EA Mythic is listening to the beta community and fixing the things they find wrong (most recent change would be the RvR change, adding sieges, keeps, etc), releasing a ton of information for the WAR community at large (the monthly newsletter is always full of pictures, new information, videos, etc), and in the process is building a stronger game community that is only going to make the game better at launch. By catering to WAR's fans/community, they're ensuring the success of their game.
Integration of PvP and PvE into the same server
I think this is phenomenal. I think this is fantastic. I love this plan. I’m excited to be a part of it! I personally like the integration of both aspects of gameplay on the same server. Star Wars Galaxies had a similar concept and it was fun. You register with your faction, choose to go full out PvP, ran around Naboo (or another part of the galaxy) for a bit killing and being killed, then went back to your faction and dropped out of PvP. You could experience both sides of the game with your main character, without committing to either if you didn’t feel like it. Sure, there were “hard core” folks running around and “care bears” all over the place, but PvP wasn’t required and it allowed you to dabble to see if you liked PvP, PvE, or a mix of both better.
Games like Everquest II suffer, in my opinion, by forcing the PvP folks onto a separate server. In order to engage in PvP, you have to create a new character, go through all the leveling, spend all that time building up a character you may not even want to play. Add to that the amount of beatings you take from characters so far above you in level that you have a hard time making it to 20 let alone 30, and you get a system where only the hardcore PvP player actually accomplishes anything.
The ability to pop in and out of PvP play allows those of us who aren’t hardcore PvP players to get our taste of the action and go back to our “care bear” world of PvE. It's also is a great way to introduce players to the rigors of PvP, because that style of play reaaally isn’t for everyone. It takes a lot of work and a whole different mindset about how you play your character to succeed.
Disagree with the things I think make WAR so great? Let me know about in the Ten Ton Hammer Forums.
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