The clash of steel upon steel, the cries of the dying, the smell of
fires from countless burning buildings filling the air, all these
represent the awesome appeal of Warhammer Online. The lure of Chaos led
me to join my Dark Elf brethren to bring about the downfall of our
hated cousins, the High Elves. Since then, I have drifted away from
Warhammer Online, but Mythic has recently created a free-to-play
introduction to the game. The pertinent question is how good is this
free introduction? Is it fun to play, and what options are available to
players in it? Does it guide new players through their first foray into
the harsh world of Warhammer? Like a crow drawn to a bloody
battlefield, I was drawn once more to WAR to get the answers to these

To be honest, I’ve always liked WAR a great deal. I loved the
almost non-stop combat and the relative lack of missions to collect
“sissy-herbs” or kill “x number of stupid
woodland creatures” that permeate so many other MMOGs. While
the crafting system sucked, I didn’t care because I played
the game to split skulls with my ax, not embroider some doublet. The
PvP action was incredible, but the end-game content was somewhat
lacking and the city sieges were not up to snuff, in my opinion. That
being said, I enjoyed my time playing before I eventually drifted to
other games.

The lure of WAR is hard to resist, especially when it is free. Now
anyone can play the first tier in WAR for free, which means that you
can play a character up to level 10. So, what can you accomplish in 10
levels ?

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First, some great news. You can play all of the races and classes. This
time around, I decided to be a Dwarf Slayer. Bald is beautiful, baby!
Anyway, while you are not limited to a few classes or races, you are
limited to a specific starting area. No
matter what your race is, you will play in the Empire versus Chaos
starting areas, Nordland and Norsca. You can freely roam through the
starting area, but you cannot travel to any other zones or the capital
cities. If you decide to upgrade to a full account, which you can do by
purchasing the game or renewing your subscription, your character has a
scroll in their possession at the start of the game to transport them
to their own native starting area.

Limiting players to a specific starting area is a good thing. With the
addition of new players trying out the game, there was an abundant
population to adventure with. I played the first few public quests (one
of the best things that WAR created), and there were plenty of other
players also taking part. It was refreshing not having
to try to finish
a public quest on my own.

Mythic has also redone some of the missions in the intro tier. There is
a definite strategy of quickly moving the characters along through the
zone. I remember spending a great deal more time in the first village
when I played originally, but I didn’t mind the game moving
me along at a pretty good pace. In addition, you can queue up anytime
for any of the tier 1 PvP scenarios. I had a blast playing those
scenarios again. WAR’s PvP scenario system is still second to

Mythic does their best to help new players through the intro by having
a tutorial pop up on your screen from time to time. These pop-ups have
some narration helping to explain the various topics such as public
quests, guilds and grouping, or combat. While I didn’t need
them, they were presented extremely well and were clear and concise. If
you don’t want to view them, you do have the option to turn
them off. I hope other companies will use this method of explaining
their game system to new players. The way the information was presented
made it easy to understand. I got to give props to Mythic for this

When you hit the second chapter of the storyline, Mythic pulls another
ace out of their sleeve. At this time, you are automatically entered
into a guild (one for Order, one for Destruction) and the help tutorial
pops up with information on guilds and parties. While being forced into
a guild might not sound like a great thing, Mythic makes it extremely
helpful by having a mod online and in the guild to answer questions and
help new players with information. Having new players getting their
questions answered by a mod and not some snarky player calling them a
noob every ten seconds is a stroke of genius. Again, this is a feature
that other MMOGs should look into for implementation in their games.

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There are a few drawbacks to the free-to-play introduction. First,
you’re handicapped to level 10. Once
you hit level 10, you
stop gaining experience, but you can continue to gain renown through
PvP. The items you can earn in the intro are also restricted. Playing
for free, you can’t get purple, blue, or gold bags in public
quests, nor can you get or use rare or higher level items. Every time
you gain a level, you’ll also get bombarded with an option to
upgrade the game. However, these drawbacks are minor considering
you’re getting to play the game for free for the first 10
levels. Quit your whining, sissy-boys!

Overall, playing the free-to-play introduction to WAR made me realize
all the things I loved about the game originally. The almost non-stop
brutal combat, the incredible PvP action, and the awesome public
quests, all while playing within one of the coolest game worlds ever
created, puts a big smile on my face and seriously tempts me to renew
my subscription. Perhaps my Witch Elf needs to pick up her blades once
again to carve her hate on the bellies of the weak.

If you haven’t player Warhammer Online before, or if you left
a long time ago, you owe it to yourself to try the free-to-play
introduction. It’s free, ya bastards, so get out there and
start kicking butt and taking names! WAAAGH!!!!

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016