By Garrett Fuller
The Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning team has been very open about the feedback they have received in beta testing regarding open world Realm vs Realm combat. When they initially designed the RvR scenarios for Warhammer Online they started putting more instances into the game based on the current MMO market. After beta feedback the team has re instituted Keep sieges and expanded the open world RvR for players. These two features were an important part in Dark Age of Camelot; EA Mythics other MMO that has become known for its high level of RvR in the game. Warhammer Online looks to capture all that was fun in DAOC and bring players to an even stronger level of RvR combat.
Deputy Content Director Yvonne Bridges and Game Designer Brian Wheeler were on hand to show us some of the feature in open world RvR keep sieges that will be a part of Warhammer Online. Each tier that players go through will have a stage of open world RvR to go with it. Think of a tier as about ten levels in a normal game. The Tier One RvR zone will have four objectives for players to fight over and be a straight open world environment. There are no keeps in the first zone to give players a chance to get used to RvR itself. Tier Two will have keeps for players to siege. Tier Three will offer players keeps with outer walls and defenses. Finally, Tier Four will be similar to attacking a fortress and give players loads of options for combat.
Each racial keep will be very distinct for the race that is protecting it. Just because the orcs take over a dwarf keep does not mean the whole look of the keep will change. Simple the banners will change, also having orcs hold the keep will make it a bit messier.
Each keep siege has about three to four levels of play. Players can fight outside the keep, break in through various entrances (there is not just one door - the same back passages that bring reinforcements to the keep defenders might be held and used by attackers), fight inside the keep, and finally climb the walls and tower to take on the keep lords. If you are familiar with DAOC you will clearly remember charging up the ramps to take down the keep lord. Yvonne explained that it will take about two to three groups (six in each) to take down a keep lord. Keep lords also will drop very good RvR loot. Brian explained that the chest pieces for RvR armor sets will come from the keep lords. The loot system for RvR mirrors the random roll system for public quests.
Not only will you be charging up the ramps and breaking down the doors, but you will also have various siege weapons available to defeat your enemies. Players will have the chance to plant their siege weapons in various spots around the keep and target walls, doors, players, or other siege engines. The siege weapon mini-game is fun and gives the player a first-person view, complete with a reticule, of what they are shooting at. Different engines will do different damage. We got to see a dark elf bolt thrower in action, but Brian also explained that there will be orcapults, cannons, and various other weapons of mass destruction.
Once you take over a keep and defeat the lord plus other players defending it the guild banners will fly and everyone will know your guild is now in charge. This is a great feature that ties into the guild system in the game. Expect guilds and players to fight it out constantly in open world RvR. The great part is you do not have to be in the end game to enjoy taking keeps and fighting in open zones. You can start early on and battle your way up the ranks.
Keep sieges may seem like a throw back to DAOC, but Yvonne and Brian both agreed that it worked so well in that game, they would be crazy not to enhance it for Warhammer Online. Players who enjoy small group, solo, or large PvP combat will certainly get their fill in RvR combat. By the way did we mention the city sieges?
This exciting content promises to put groups of players in an objective based contest for control of a Keep. How much cooler can you make Player vs Player combat? What do you think this will do for RvR? Let us know on our 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.