Cody “Micajah” Bye, Managing Editor
The last few months have seen a tremendous surge in the overall
popularity of href="http://warhammer.tentonhammer.com/" target="_blank">Warhammer
Online. With the game slated to release in just a few short
weeks, the Ten Ton Hammer staff thought it would be pertinent to list
off a few of the reasons why so many gamers have been attracted to the
title even when target="_blank">the game is still only in the beta phase.
Without taking a breath, I volunteered for the job and concocted my own
“Top Five” reasons behind the abundant popularity
Online. None of these five reasons have anything
to with the gameplay of the actual product, but much of the popularity
of the game can be attributed to these five items.
Disagree with my list or have some additional
“reasons” to add to the list? Drop us a line in the
Barnett and Jeff Hickman (along with Josh Drescher) have really used
their personalities to enhance the appeal of WAR.
1. The Three-Headed
Monster: Jeff Hickman, Paul Barnett, and Josh Drescher
During the decade that I've been playing massively multiplayer
online games, there's really been no set of developers that have lived
the rockstar lifestyle more thoroughly than href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/311"
target="_blank">Jeff Hickman, href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/310"
target="_blank">Paul Barnett, and href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/620"
target="_blank">Josh Drescher. They not only bring
the party, but they also give excellent presentations on their
particular product, which happens to be style="font-style: italic;">Warhammer Online.
While some individuals may dislike the over-the-top antics of Paul
Barnett, I can't think of any forum post that has complained about the
conversations held by Hickman or Drescher.
Truthfully, I think these three men - along with a smattering of Mark
Jacobs thrown in for good measure - have aimed an incredibly large
spotlight on WAR. Every word that they utter is like verbal gold to the
WAR masses, and you can almost hear their followers tracking across the
Internet, scouring the world wide web for any piece of information they
can find on the trio.
Few - if any - developers have ever had this sort of rockstar status.
Will Wright, Sid Meier, and (at one time) John Romero are some of the
names that I could compare with this triumvirate in the amount of sheer
"star power" they've generated for themselves and their game. Only one
other MMOG developer - Brad McQuaid - has ever had this much influence
on a gaming populace, but I doubt that style="font-style: italic;">Warhammer Online
will meet the sort of end that McQuaid’s last project fell
Every time the Ten Ton Hammer staff went to a show that the WAR crew
was attending, we knew that we were going to get some kick ass content.
Hickman, Barnett, and Drescher were always ready to tell a tale about
the game, even if the interview was last minute or pre-planned for
months. And nothing can top the humor that each of these three
individuals brings to the table when they talk to a press crew. If you
don’t believe me, check out Josh and Paul’s trip to
Leipzig, target="_blank">parts one href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/41825" target="_blank">and
two. You may just die of a comedy heart attack.
2. Warhammer Fantasy
With all of the hoopla that surrounds the release of any massively
multiplayer online game, it’s easy to get caught up in the
vast abundance of digital offerings that spring up day after day on the
‘net. However, it’s important to note that style="font-style: italic;">Warhammer Online
really got its first fan-base through association, since it’s
based off of target="_blank">Game Workshop’s
extremely popular href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warhammer_Fantasy_Battle"
target="_blank">Warhammer Fantasy Battle.
Although I won’t go into the href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/27934" target="_blank">details
behind Warhammer Fantasy Battle, I will state that the player
base that is involved with WHFB are some of the nuttiest, most diehard
individuals I’ve ever come across. While some online gamers
bitch and moan about a paltry $15/month subscription fee to their
games, WHFB participants spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars
on miniatures and paints along with innumerable hours painting those
miniatures for hobby and tournament play.
thousands of Warhammer Fantasy Battle players are itching to play WAR.
target="_blank">pre-made fan base, it was easy to
attract other gamers to this product. When convention season rolled
around, it was the WHFB players that would travel for miles upon miles
to lay their eyes on Paul Barnett or lick Josh Drescher’s
head. The developers were creating a game based on their world, and the
WHFB players were more than willing to spread the
“gospel” of Warhammer
to anyone that was willing to listen.
3. Kicking Ass and Taking
It seems like most gamers, in some way, shape, or form, are
competitive. They like being better than their opponents, and then they
like to brag about how much better the are. While attaining the best
gear or killing the biggest boss is fun, nothing can replace the idea
of being on the winning end of a combat sequence with your enemy.
In other words….kicking ass kicks ass.
is absolutely full of ass kicking. Whether you enjoy PvE or live for
RvR, there’s enough ass kicking in the style="font-style: italic;">Warhammer Online to
satisfy any sadist’s fetish. Among the Ten Ton Hammer staff
there’s an unusually high number of individuals that really,
really enjoy PvE and never do anything close to PvP (thankfully
I’m not one of them), but even the most hardcore PvE-er has
taken a moment to target="_blank">try out the RvR in WAR and come
away pleasantly pleased.
I can’t do an in-depth look at RvR in this short amount of
space, but the target="_blank">developers behind WAR have done an
absolutely fantastic job of engendering team work in the two factions
while also keeping the balance of the gameplay at a decent enough level
to insure that almost anyone who tries out the RvR enjoys themselves.
Obviously their experience with RvR in style="font-style: italic;">Dark Age of Camelot
has paid off, because href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/39588" target="_blank">RvR
is one of the main (if not the main) selling points behind all of WAR.
People enjoy beating the snot out of each other. If you don’t
believe me, watch a little UFC.
4. The Greenskins
Do you know target="_blank">where the WAAGH! in style="font-style: italic;">Warhammer Online
comes from? Are you familiar with href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/41107" target="_blank">the
Squig Herders? Or that Orcs are actually (at least in
Warhammer 40K) symbiots with fungi and reproduce asexually?
Never before has such a strange, humor-filled race graced the coding of
a massively multiplayer online game. From the very beginning of the style="font-style: italic;">Warhammer Online
development, people were instantly href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/42771" target="_blank">attracted
to the Greenskins. Aside from their funny manner of speaking,
the Greenskins have a great intrinsic absurdity about them that just
appeals to all sorts of gamers. While the rest of the WAR races may be
serious and stoic, the Orcs could care less about seriousness.
All they want to do is eat and WAAAGH! If you haven’t already
seen the target="_blank">WAR trailers, make sure you check
‘em out simply to watch the little Goblin and the massive Orc
in the featurette. Although they still possess the same fearsome
actions as the other races, their very methods cause a laugh out loud
response out of many viewers.
WAR is the
best acronym ever.
5. WAR is the Best
Honestly, whoever came up with Warhammer
Online: Age of Reckoning as a title should be given ten
gold stars and a cookie. With an industry full of game titles that are
acronymized into oblivion (VG, EQ, DAoC, LOTRO, KOTOR…the
list goes on), something as simple and punchy as WAR really makes a
game stand out. Not only can the marketing team use that acronym in
almost all of their press releases, it even summarizes what the game is
Really, the WAR acronym would be akin to the style="font-style: italic;">Star Trek Online
coming up with a way to change STO into STAR. (Editor’s Note:
Star Trek Online: The Age of Reckoning anyone?) Whenever I mention that
I’m playing WAR to someone outside of the MMOG space, the
response is almost always a combination of curiosity and humor. The
next thing I know, my friend has pre-ordered the game and is eagerly
sitting at his desk awaiting his open beta pass.
While WoW may be a normal, every day word; the WAR acronym will win out
every time. I mean, target="_blank">it's WAR!
Do you agree with my list? Or do you think it’s total bunk
and you'd like to argue with me until I'm blue in the face? Let us know
on the forums!
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Warhammer 40,000: Storm of Vengeance Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning Game Page.