Ten Ton Hammer continues it's look at the Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning beta with an examination of those stout earth dwellers, the Dwarfs. Known for their industrial strength and ingenuity, this race of workers toils tirelessly to defeat their natural enemies, the Greenskins. What exciting adventures await players who wish to commit their blood and sweat to this sturdy race of fighters? The answer is simple: war, and lots of it.
Deep in the heart of Ekrund I began my journey which would take me into the heart of the Dwarf home to fight against innumerable Greenskins. This isn't a distant conflict where soldiers are trained and sent into battle, the enemy forces have infiltrated the city itself. In Modrin's Anvil I grabbed my first quest requiring me to hunt down some Ravenous Squigs who were spilling out from the mines. If you haven't seen a Squig it's hard to describe how disturbingly ugly they are. To see a dozen of them scurrying around is unsettling but killing them was fairly quick work. They had infiltrated the mines so thoroughly they were in everything as later missions would show. Mine shafts, coal piles, and even hiding stealthily in crates of cannon ammunition escaping them seemed impossible.
Don't Mess With Him
After closing a tunnel with nifty explosives and operating some machinery for the legendary cannon Big Bertha I entered the tavern which apparently comes with every mining operation. Filled with solemn, battle weary men and women trying to drown their sorrows in ale, it provided the opportunity to grab a few more quests. The mines barely began to feel claustrophobic when I was given objectives pushing me to the outside through steady invasion forces. Reaching a large bridge called the Bitterstone Span, I was delightfully able to light and shove powder kegs down on unsuspecting Orcs below. A small fort was situated on the opposite end of the bridge clearly under siege from Dwarven artillery and this would provide my first foray into a Public Quest.
If you are unfamiliar with how a Public Quest works, imagine a large area which is frequently the center of a battle between good and evil. Players enter this area and automatically pick up the objective being shared by everyone else nearby which seemed to fall in three stages. The first stage has requirements which are generally obtainable by anyone solo (although it is slow going) and with a few others it goes quickly. The second stage is considerably more complicated, involving an attack on much more difficult creatures and requiring the assistance of at least 3 or 4 people. The final stage, in classic videogame style, is the boss fight bringing a fairly challenging battle with a tough NPC to the table. This day, we would be victorious as I helped six others repel an impending attack and walked away with a nice loot bag.
Do Dwarfs Smile?
After a few more rounds in the Public Quest, it was time to move on through a nearby tunnel to the next area. Although the next staging ground was a lot more primitive, it did have a fully functional tavern so the lesson here is, if you are in war you need alcohol. At this point my Dwarf Engineer not only has a bullet turret but a grenade launcher version, so I spend the next 45 minutes causing havoc in a different Public Quest. Pulling entire teams of catapult crews not only annoys your fellow players but causes them to let them try and kill you. Dwarfs might be short be we fortunately can run away just like every other class. After determining the grenade launcher turret was not necessarily the best idea I switched back to the bullet one and moved on to completing a few quests.
It appears the Greenskins are trying to sabotage any and everything mechanical, likely from jealousy. You are sent out to repair and eliminate these saboteurs and there are plenty around for the killing. After I proved myself I was eventually be sent into a mining operation which helped find yet another Public Quest for enjoyment. Wrapping these up it was time to follow a set of railroad tracks deeper into the zone which I expected to end at another quest hub. About halfway there I ran across the ruins of an attacked train and was pulled into a pitched battle to protect it's survivors. Once the battle was completed I moved through to the main hub of the area which provided transportation, training, tons of quests, and very close access to the first RvR area.
As you can see, the Tier 1 area has tons to do in the form of quests, grouping, and progressing story. Once the NDA drops it's understandable the floodgates will open and information will come rushing in but for now we have to be content with what we're allowed to discuss. While I've provided just a brief glance, rest assured the surface has only been scratched and there is so much more to behold. Keep checking back as we continue our coverage of Mythic Entertainment's Warhammer Online Age of Reckoning beta.
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