Playing Warhammer
Online: Age of Reckoning
( href=""> style="font-style: italic;">WAR) for
the first time is kind of like going on a date with target="_blank" href="">Angelina
Jolie. It promises to be sexy and exciting, but you have to
wonder how much of it is just hype, and will you get to the goods on
the first try?

Well, the game has
been live for seven weeks now and it's safe to say that it's a pretty
sexy beast. A focus on PvP combat (or Realm
vs. Realm, to use WAR
terms) has shown the industry that without a
doubt, a MMOG designed from the ground up with focus on RvR combat will
have gamers lining up to play, even if a high fantasy genre may be
viewed by some as a tired motif (but hey, some would accuse our dear
Angelina of the same thing). More than that though, the game has
delivered on its promises, and, the majority of gamers are content
(woot on rounding third base!). Anyone who enjoys a well-constructed
PvP game will not be let

src=""> style="font-style: italic;">Warhammer
Online offers a whopping 20 classes, with two more being
added in a few weeks. That's more classes than the average American
dropout will see in a lifetime. This can be a little overwhelming.
Thankfully the character creation process
simplifies the choice categorizing the href="">classes
into archetypes: Healer, Melee DPS, Ranged DPS, or Tank. The
rest is all flavor. No single class greatly outshines others of the
same archetype, so really it's just a matter of personal preference and
style. Once your class is selected, character customization begins.
It's not quite as detailed as some other games. Maybe we can talk
Mythic into adding a cosmetic surgery clinic. Dwarf boobs ftw.

style="margin: 10px; border-collapse: collapse; float: right; width: 200px;"

href="" target="_blank"> title="Character Creation" alt="Character Creation"
style="border: 2px solid ; width: 200px; height: 125px;">

creation lacks a few choices

Once your character is created you'll start your new life in the
world. The game starts off with some fairly intuitive gameplay -
combined with the
standard fare for a AAA title. The interface is pretty self-explanatory
and takes little to no adjustment for anyone who has played a modern
MMOG. For those who are just beginning with MMOGs, however, the
standard help tips seen in most games pop up from time to time to
ensure an easy introduction to the game world and its interface.

The game feels a little bland to start. It's not British
cuisine bland, but it could use a little less tea-and-scones and a bit
more Hot Sauce and Red Bull. All the components that one would expect
from a new game are present, and the polish on the game
is quite real (yummy to the dynamic shadows and pixel shaders), but
there's little innovation at the start to make the game
stand out from the rest of the many, many high fantasy titles on the
market. To whisk us back to our Angelina fantasy, the first few hours
are akin to meeting up with Ms. Jolie to find her dressed in a track
suit. You know there's a lot more under the surface of those gray
flannels, but you were really hoping to see leather and lace. Leveling
seems to move at a good pace, but initially there
is little to nothing to do in groups, or anything that offers much
incentive to keep playing. However, and this is a big "but" that would
have even target="_blank">Sir Mix-A-Lot quivering, the game
gets a lot better very
quickly after the brief initiation period.

your piecemeal quest grinding will lead you into areas where
you'll begin having a lot more interaction with other players. This is
graduation where you move on from junior-high dances to full-throttle
dorm parties. Even though
you can start RvR scenarios as early as level one (more
on those later), the game doesn't introduce you to its true strengths
until you begin your first Public Quest or step into your first RvR
fight. After either of those experiences, you're likely to be as hooked
as the other 800,000 players playing the game.

A Public Quest (PQ, or maybe more aptly named "Pubic Quest" as that's
really when the fun starts) is a unique quest mechanic that encourages
community building. (Check href="" target="_blank">here
for my article on community building through PQs). The goals
for these quests will display
automatically on your screen when you enter a designated area, and
the goals will update as players complete tasks - whether you're in a
party with them or not. For instance, one Public Quest might require
players to kill 100 orcs. Everyone in the area can contribute to the
killing of
the orcs, and the more you contribute, the higher your chances of
loot at the end (again, not unlike a dorm party). This kind of mechanic
is simply brilliant. It brings
back an element that has been somewhat lacking in recent games: the
element of player cooperation and community. Even if you don't know
anyone in
the area, you can simply click a button and you'll see a list of
parties in the area that have room for more. Click the name you want to
join, and "Presto!" you're in a group. Now if soirées in my
old dorm would have been that convenient to hook up, I'd know a lot of
fellow gamer geeks that would have had a lot more fun (wink, wink,
nudge, nudge).

PQs aside, the game's primary potency comes from its Realm vs. Realm
game play. Other games often include player vs. player aspects to
their games as well, but few games put as large a focus on the mechanic
WAR does.
And even fewer do it as well as WAR
does with its Scenarios, Open RvR and Keep Sieges. (Check href="" target="_blank">here
for an article on how WAR has converted a carebear to a PvPer).

are instanced combat fields set up with specific victory goals that a
realm must achieve within fifteen minutes. Some playfields
include objectives like Capture the Flag, "Murder Ball" or
and Defend. Unlike other games, you can queue for these scenarios from
anywhere in the world (as long as you're in an appropriate zone for
your level). Once in, you'll be put in a group automatically and will
work as a team
with others of the same realm to defeat the other realm. You can also
join these scenarios as a group, which is good. If style="font-style: italic;">Natural Born Killers
has taught us anything, it's that killing is more fun in a group.

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.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016