Pictures by: Tallika
When we last left Sayu at Games Day Chicago 2008, he was just beginning to get a feel for gameplay in Mythic Entertainment's Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. We continue in part two discussing Realm vs Realm (RvR) combat, the Disciple of Khaine class and how the game works. Read the experience of someone who braved a Warhammer event, met a few of the Mythic team, and returns to tell the tale.
Most importantly (to me anyway and most difficult to explain) are the smooth control and feel of the characters. There are a few proper-MMO's which are stellar at this (WoW being a good example), and these seem to be the long-lasting successful ones. Then there are what I like to call pokemon-MMO's. Characters follow your commands, but there's a soft discordant feel. They glide around following orders, but you aren't connected nor is your character (however you need to look at it). WAR is in no way a pokemon-MMO. The character-connection is there. Months past release you will be driving home from work and a Cure song will come on the radio which will instantly take you back to your Chosen sieging a keep last week. Later that night you'll be logged in and the swing of your two-handed sword will make you think back on a lost-love or a friend you haven't spoken to in ages. Synapses will cross and it will be a beautiful, beautiful thing.
Later, I got to experience the RvR side of things, and along with that was the experience of being on a team of seven players who haven't the first clue about their characters versus another team who are equally ignorant of their abilities (and Heerobya standing around filming as I try to act like I know what I'm doing). It was for the RvR scenarios that I stood waiting for my next two trips through the Destruction line (once again randomly, or accidentally, whichever is more believable). I ended up playing a Disciple of Khaine both times. Initially I was looking for a Witch Elf and settled on the only Druchii I could find, and the second time it ended up being the only computer open (surely a sign from Khaine that I am his bloody-handed champion).
I'm typically not a fan of support-classes, but the Disciple was quite fun, and one thing I came to realize playing one (and squaring off against a Warrior Priest a few times) the healers in WAR are going to be a force to be reckoned with. Truly gone are the days of hanging in the back and being hopeless without the backup of others. As a Disciple (or Warrior Priest) it's very easy (and fun) to wade into a swarm of your enemies, weapons swinging, and retain survivability. Many times I found myself with multiple foes beating down on me, and through their cascades of steel, fire, and bullets I continued to slaughter my chosen foe, the ability to keep myself (and others when I remembered) alive easier the more carnage I brought down upon my target. The times I found myself in most trouble, in fact, was when I tried to switch off into a more pure healing role (my powers of healing eventually fading completely until I got back into the fight).
My experience in the RvR scenarios also enlightened me to other aspects of the game. One somewhat commonly voiced concern is that the combat in WAR seems somewhat slow. This is true at lower levels when your abilities and skills are limited, but as the level 21 Disciple combat moved at a good satisfying pace. You have time to be tactical and rely on skill over twitch-reflexes, yet at the same time things can start to feel hectic (and that is when the flee ability pays off).
So This is How it Started?
My sole disappointment at Games Day was the cancellation of the WAR seminar. Due to Games Day Chicago falling on a date in the middle of Comic-Con, none of the usual Mythic heart-throbs were there. The Mythic employees who were there, and who I called (in my head) Not-Paul, Not-Jeff, and Not-Josh, were very helpful, however, and Heerobya and I managed to get a few questions answered (unfortunately not many).
When asked about the September 23rd release date, it was stated that until Mythic announces it, it is not an official release date. This isn't to say that it isn't the release date, but at the moment it is still unofficial.
When a question came up if European players could play on U.S. Servers (and vice versa) I was told that there will be two different versions of the game (European & States), and the only way to play on the servers across the pond from you would be to obtain their version of the game (which of course is quite possible).
Next, I asked about the Tome of Knowledge and if it would A) be linked across all characters on your account and B) include racial and class-related unlocks I was answered that A) It would not be linked across characters and B) It will contain unlocks for specifics careers/races.
I believe this is where I begin closure on this article. Hopefully you enjoy what Heerobya and I have been able to present to you. Games Day Chicago was definitely a blast, and absolutely worth the horrible drive (especially since I had a Skaven Skin Cloak to shield myself from the sun on the drive back). I'm really at a loss to think up any problems with the game or complaints. This really speaks for itself if you know how negative of a person I actually am. I'd have an ex-girlfriend vouch for that fact, but, you know, restraining orders and all...
Blood and Souls for Khaine!
Thanks again to Sayu for his impressions of Chicago Games Day 2008.
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.