Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Warhammer Online Delayed: Picking Sides

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (WAR) has been delayed yet again. Now, for most MMORPGs, the vapourware police would be bouncing off the walls right about now. Fortunately, that isn't the case here. Unfortunately, the "WAR will suck" haters have taken their place. I don't care. I'm dead set on playing WAR, whether it is complete trash or not, and damn the players breaking the NDA (I will post about them soon enough).

With that said, I want to take some time to talk about picking sides in WAR. Literally, what side are you going to play? Destruction or Order? Race? Class?

I've struggled with this decision since I started looking into WAR. Having played a fair bit on the "evil side" for the last few MMORPGs, I figured I would just fall in line with Destruction (Greenskins, Chaos, and Dark Elves). However, I didn't want to constrain myself. I sat down and thought about what would be important to me in choosing a side.

Overwhelmingly, visual style WILL play a huge role in my choice of sides for WAR.

In Dark Ages of Camelot, I rolled Midgard with my guild. Ironically, I caught myself staring at Albion's buildings, cities, and castles. They had working doors! Also, I found myself envious of the fairly human looking races offered on the Albion side, especially considering that my Kobold Runemaster was blue and furry. To me, Albions looked the part of Epic Fantasy Hero, plate armor and sword at hand, but most importantly human.

Then, I started as a Troll Shaman of the Horde in World of Warcraft to roll with a new guild and there I have remained ever since. Aside from Thunder Bluff, the Tauren's home, there wasn't a single visual aspect of the Horde that I enjoy. The races are ugly, the main cities are depressingly drab, and not until The Burning Crusade launched, and with it Silvermoon City, did the Horde even know colors other than brown and rust existed.

Moving back to my topic, picking a side for WAR, visual style will guide me more than any other aspect. Screw class and population balance, they will be sorted out regardless of the side I choose. If a side has a class and race combo that interests me with the visual intrigue I am looking for, I am taking it.

So far, that looks like the Empire, the relative good guys of WAR. They have a very old-world European look to their world. Plus, they are humans and not since Ultima Online have I played something with a normal skin tone.

I completely accept that as the "human" faction, the Empire will attract a lot of newbs, because the human sides in MMOs usually do for some reason. I don't care, WAR is going to be about FUN for me and FUN starts with what I'm looking at as I play the game. So far, the Empire screen shots look amazing.

No, I will not be playing a Witch Hunter, probably the most hyped class for WAR.


  1. Anonymous2:11 AM

    why no witch hunter? heres your chance to get on the OP bandwagon from the starting gate heartless.

  2. Doesn't interest me in the least :P

  3. Anonymous10:23 AM

    I'm with you. This is the perfect game to move my wife to from her first MMO, WoW. She is playing in the battlegrounds 100% of the time now, so I think she will really enjoy the gameplay of WAR.

  4. Yeah, I also do nothing but battlegrounds and arenas in WoW nowadays so I'm thinking I should like the finished Warhammer. I'm glad they delayed it though since every beta leak I ran across said everything about it sucked currently except the RvR.

    Me and my friends have prety much decided to play the evil side simply because of the trends we've seen with the alliance in World of Warcraft. We'll probably play a mixture of greenskins and chaos. The dark knights look very cool.

  5. Relm, take the beta leaks with a grain of salt. Most of them are just opinions tossed out, not actual "beta leaks" with information about the game.

    It is quite funny to read someone say "OMG kill X of that quests suck" for WAR and then two words later tell me how great WoW is, even though WoW is filled with "kill X of that" quests.

  6. I've been playing MMO's long enough to read through the leet speak and exaggeration that makes up most beta breaking posts.

    Taking the summary of all the leaks it's pretty obvious that Age of Conan is in better shape then Warhammer at the moment. Most of the beta breakers admitted they love the RvR zones and public quests but hated the combat. Numerous sources say its clunky and doesn't flow very well. It's apparently hard to know if an ability has actually gone off or not which is making PvP hard.

    I hoping that in five months EA Mythic can make the combat more responsive and flush out some PvE dungeons for the game. Age of Conan will be a nice distraction while waiting even though it looks to have a combat system which could favor twitchy 13 year olds. At the moment the biggest complaint I hear about AoC is that you can't really level on PvP servers without friends because of all the ganking.

  7. Relm I'm not sure what beta leaks you are reading, but I've tried AoC and been within a foot of someone playing WAR beta. AoC sucks so bad that I honestly wonder if it will be Anarchy Online's launch all over again.

    Honestly, AoC's combat has console written all over it. I don't see it translating to PC well at all. It is a lesson in frustration and sore wrists. Plus AoC has pretty stringent hardware requirements for a game I did not feel in the least looked that great.

    I wanted AoC to be a great game, something to compete with WAR. Something to fallback on if WAR failed. So far, AoC doesn't fit that role and I doubt it ever will. AoC did a great job talking to talk, showing me what I wanted to see, but it will be a mediocre success at best.

    WAR, aside from a networking code issue with the UI, is shaping up to be good.

    What the beta leakers for WAR are whining and bitching about has nothing to do with "beta leaking". All they do is bitch about stupid shit like how a tank class sucks at RvR at level 10 or how ranged DPS rulez. Not to mention, that the WAR beta leakers are playing a fraction of the game that will eventually be WAR.

    Wait to make a call on WAR until the beta testers are doing city sieges and leveling whole sale from 1-40 and have access to the entire game, not just a piece at a time.

  8. With the way Blizzard is piece mealing content out with patch 2.4 it looks like their expansion won't be out until the end of the summer. Warhammer now has an October date set on which might actually be accurate. It pretty much looks like Age of Conan is going to be handed a pretty good opportunity to try to build up a player base without any competition for awhile.


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