Cut Out the Fat
But even as I jumped into and out of various scenarios, I began finding
other elements of WAR that were in stark contrast to various elements
in other popular MMOGs. After I found my race's war camp, I found that
I could instantly fly between the various realms with the click of a
button and the short segue of a "flying" cut scene. My bag space grew
as I leveled up, giving me more space right when I felt like I needed
more bags. Mailboxes litter the landscape and quest hubs are stocked
with enormous numbers of quests. Death penalties are basically
non-existent. Item degradation does not occur ever. You don't need to
sit down to regain health and action points.
Many of the
annoying elements of MMOGs have been cut out of WAR, leaving just the
Yet I didn't even realize that these elements existed until I paused
and really took account of what I was doing in the game. The developers
really didn't make a big deal of these new elements; there was nothing
in the game stating that "You don't need to buy bags!" Instead, the
inventory spaces just appear as you level up.
What does this mean for the gamer? As Mark Jacobs said in href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/44816" target="_blank">his
interview with our staff, it really just cuts out all the
elements that players had gotten used to in their games. Rather than
keep these elements in as a "traditional" option, Jacobs and staff cut
them out. It was that simple, and it really makes the game feel *much*
Setting the Pace
Speaking of pacing, I found the pace of style="font-style: italic;">Warhammer Online to
be absolutely optimal for a game focused around competition. While most
massively multiplayer online games are loaded with various time sinks,
WAR is chuck full of things to do and easy ways for you to do them.
Want to go RvR? Simply jump in a queue. Feel the need to do some
PvEing? Go run out and get it done! Want to do both? That's absolutely
On top of all that, the leveling in the game is frenetic. In just a few
hours each day, you can easily progress your character up to the midway
point with two weeks, and it's entirely possible to move to the high
end of the game - the level 40 areas - within a month with only a few
hours spent each day. In a game focused on competition, it makes sense
to really give players the feeling that they're driving towards a
competitive level, and the quick way players earn ranks is a great way
to accentuate this competitive environment.
The pace of
WAR is very fast; there are lots of things to do.
As an example, at the end of this week of gaming, I had a level 15
Archmage, a level 6 Squig Herder, a level 8 Swordmaster, a level 4
Shaman, and a variety of other characters dotting multiple other
servers. And I certainly don't play that often compared to most
hardcore gamers; I get in a few hours every few days at most.
But all of this fun doesn't mean that there aren't some frustrations
with the game. I have to admit that there are a variety of early points
in the game where new players can easily become confused and
sidetracked with their gaming. That said, tutorial windows aren't
always the best option for this sort of thing either. For example, the
first time I encountered a public quest, I was eager to see if I could
get it completed and see what I would earn. I had heard great things
about the public quests, but I was in an area that was devoid of other
players. I began grinding through the monsters, only to eventually
reach a point where I couldn't complete the quest on my own. It was
frustrating to spend all the time plowing through the monsters, only to
reach a point where I couldn't get any further simply because of the
lack of players online.
I also found that figuring out the crafting system in the game is a
relatively touch-and-go sort of experience. Even with my tutorial
windows turned on, I never quite figured out how to go about making
talismans and the rest of the crafting professions weren't much easier
to discern. I'll certainly spend some time looking at this element of
the game for my review, but it's hard to make any sort of judgement on
a piece of content when a player can't figure out the ropes.
the WAR developers find time to bring the cut classes back into the
Finally, there are a number of elements that I still need to
participate in before I can pen my full review of style="font-style: italic;">Warhammer Online.
By all accounts, keep sieges seem to be a very enjoyable experience for
everyone involved, but they seem to be limited to players that are at
least level 20. The high-end RvR game still needs to mature quite a bit
before any reviews should be issued, especially with the capital city
attacks apparently being the highlight of the style="font-style: italic;">Warhammer Online experience.
After that, it's basically trying to get a grasp on whether many of the
technical sort of issues of the Warhammer
Online experience will be leveled out or not. Server
queues and scenario wait times are of particular concern to players,
but it's still incredibly early in the game's life span and a few more
weeks of maturation are certainly in order.
For all intents and purposes, Warhammer
Online looks to be an incredibly enjoyable game. Every
player that I've talked to has been really impressed with the RvR
experience, and almost every gamer wants to try their hand at multiple
classes. If you can judge a game by the "buzz factor" alone, WAR would
be winning awards left and right. But what will a few more weeks hold
for the game?
We'll just have to wait and see.
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