RPS Impressions: Warhammer Online Beta

By RPS on August 22nd, 2008 at 6:10 pm.

This is not a review. It also isn’t a verdict, or a judgement, or a rating, or anything of the sort. WAR isn’t released yet, there’ll likely be a fair few changes in the final game, elements of it won’t be up and running properly until the servers are jam-packed, and without a doubt none of us have played enough of it to make a really definite judgement. Apart from Jim, who knows full well he won’t be playing it until they put some spaceships in.

What it is a discussion. We’ve been on the WAR closed beta for a few weeks now, and it’s certainly a game we’ve desperately wanted to talk about here. And not simply because we’re British, hence playing Warhammer is fairly synonymous with puberty for us. Also because, well, it’s potentially the most interesting MMO this year. Despite… ah, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s see what we’ve got to say…

Edit – a little context. The European closed beta differed significantly to the US closed beta in that players were split onto different servers dependent on their language. The net result was four fairly quiet servers instead of one busy one, and that mean the PvP/RvR elements of the game were barely operable. That’s why we don’t discuss ‘em as much as we do the PvE and Public Quests. If you think we shouldn’t be talking about the game at all given that, well, that’s your prerogative, but we disagree. We’re writing about what the game’s European publisher presented us with. Additionally, WAR is far from being just a PvP game – the PvE is substantial and omnipresent, and the reason many people want to play the game. And again – this is not a review. It’s just a cheerful, informal discussion of our experiences on the closed beta.

Jim: Come one, come all, back from your tea and masturbation, to discuss Warhammer: Rage Of Eckoning! First, let’s talk about how much we’ve played. I have created three characters, and played nothing
John: I’ve played a High Elf to 10, a Chaos to 8 and an Orc to 15.
Alec: I’ve made a few characters to poke about with, mostly on the Destruction side
Kieron: I’ve played my Witch Elf up to Level 14 or so. A couple of other really low alts. And some messing around with the level 31 stuff. I haven’t done much of the PvP or RvR stuff yet. Those areas have been quiet when I’ve been playing, it seems.
Jim: John, how do you feel about playing another MMO? Your first since City Of Heroes?
John: I’ve played a bunch of WoW between the two. But it’s an interesting thing. It’s a comfortable place to be, but sometimes I feel like WAR was a bit too comfortable.
John: WAR is good. It’s really, really good. I think they’ve done a stunning job. But it’s also the same as another game.
Jim: What game?
John: WoW.
Jim: Goodness, how dare you.
John: I know! Who’d have thought this would come up?
Alec: They are genuinely trying to take that model further, though
Jim: I’m sure it’s completely different.
Alec: It tries quite hard to make its classes distinct, and your every action is that much more tied into the ongoing struggle
John: That’s true. And the endgame is very different. And the Public Quests, and the instanced Scenarios, and the whole RvR thing – that’s all different. But it feels like a different topping on the same ice cream.

Jim: Alec, how is this making you want to play MMOs again? Aren’t you burned out after months of WoW?
Alec: I took a while to click with WAR precisely because of the initial crushing familiarity, but after a while you pick up on how it’s more focused on giving you what’s fun, not what’s a pain in the arse
Jim: The familiarity is a good thing though, right? In the same way that MMO’s ease of play and comparative lack of skill demands are a good thing? Get people playing…
Alec: I’ve yet to decide entirely about this. There are times when I want to throttle everyone involved for being so cynical, but other times when I entirely appreciate that yes, it’s bringing people in, and is an entry point to hopefully experimenting with stuff outside of their WoW comfort-grind zone. But at the same time, it turns some people off, and it paints them into a corner. Plus it’s depressing that what’s likely to be the biggest MMO of the year – and the biggest step-forward MMO of the year – is hanging on to someone else’s coat-tails
Jim: =But does the game offer enough new shit to keep time-hungry beasts like me interested?
John: I think its physical similarity has an astounding effect on you. A housemate walked in and said, “How come you’re playing WoW again?”
Alec: No, it’s not going to appeal to anyone who’s completely done with the WoW model. It goes beyond it in many ways, but you don’t ever think you’re playing a different sort of game

Jim: Let’s get away from that for a bit, and assume everyone knows what they’re getting themselves in for on that count. John, can you explain those public quests for me.
John: Right, well, you’re toddling along, probably killing ten of something, and then you’re alerted to a quest that’s happening in the area. You can join in without joining a group (although there’s a very smart system that lets you join an impromptu group with others taking part, should you wish to), and what you contribute to the push defines the XP and rewards you receive. They’re generally three stages, and often end in killing a powerful boss, and they’re really rather a lot of fun. They are, without question, WAR’s best feature.
Jim: Alec – public quests?
Alec: The public quests do make a big difference
John: They really do. Every MMO from now on is going to do them.
Alec: It terms of it’s what you want to play a fantasy MMO for – big fight, nice reward, grouping, but without any of the hassle. It’s just there, and instant, no talking required. You get your big monster in about 10 minutes
Jim: That sounds like a great way of getting away from the “massively single-player ” trap
Alec: My concern is it’s overwhelming the game a little. That’s what everyone piles into, and the best rewards only come from doing them multiple times.
Jim: That’s something for patch/tweaks though, right?
John: It really is getting away from that. Mucking in to a general effort – that’s a great feeling.
Alec: But at the same time it’s organically bringing about group play, in the very clever way of dangling a personal carrot in front of you
John: It pushes you into teamplay in other ways too. You’re given quests that are simply to take part in a Scenario.
Alec: That may be at the expense of the standard quests, though. Possibly the RvR stuff too, though it was hard to get a good sense of that from the stuff we were playing a couple of weeks back

[Kieron returns from his tea and masturbation]
Kieron: Hullo!
Jim: Kieron Gillen, we’re talking public quests
John: The standard quests, that I’ve played across all races, are pretty poor. Kill 10 of this, gather 5 of those, and then go tell that guy.
Jim: Girren: public quests?
Kieron: That’s the thing – I agree entirely with the guys that the public quests are the really nifty PvE component.
Kieron: I mean, I’m a level four Witch-elf and I’m already involved in a mass brawl with a bloody dragon.
John: When I spoke to Mythic and asked them what would be the thing that stood out, they said PQs.
Kieron: Yes, but the game is being hyped as a RvR thing. We haven’t done much of that, man.
Kieron: Something Tim E said to me seems relevant – with Warhammer, to have the most fun with it, you have to kind of go with the flow.
Jim: Do you think RvR will matter to the majority of gamers?
Kieron: I suspect it may actually.
John: I think it will have to. The game passionately funnels you into taking part in it. And with a level cap at 40, it’s what the game becomes about.
Kieron: Which is what I mean – rather than in WoW where at a similar part of the game I generally stuck my head down and carried on doing my own thing
Alec: I think the PQs are pushing you into it to a significant extent
John: They very quickly set PQs in RvR zones.
Kieron: In Warhammer, you see what’s happening. Is there a big RvR scrap going down? I’ll go get involved. passing a PQ on the way to something else? Well, why not muck in.
Alec: Yeah, that “well I’m here anyway, and I don’t have to anything other than start hitting things” sentiment pervades
Jim: Will making the MMO *more* multiplayer, be the lesson of Warhammer?
Kieron: The ONLY WAR thing

Alec: It’s the reason it’s important, and not simply A WoW Clone
John: Yeah, it really means that. You CAN skin animals, but really you’re meant to be hitting stuff.
Kieron: (Hell, I was amazed there was crafting in it at all. And I’m also disappointed that Witch Elves can’t skin elves to make clothes out of it)
John: I think it’s going to be a huge success primarily because it apes familiar MMOs enough that people instinctively know what they’re doing, but it also is a game that’s deliberately built around that endgame world of epic battle. Rather than sticking it on the end so the hardcore have something to do.

Alec: My concern with the PQs and the RvR both is that it really messes up the game’s geography. It’s not a world filled with events – it’s more like wandering around a science museum, and stopping off at the exhibits that have pushy-buttons and flickering lights. It’s really unconvincing as a place – it’s these pockets of activities within their own weird, insular bubbles, but far too close too each other. There’s really no sense that you can explore.
John: I didn’t find that at all. I found the PQs occuring naturally between towns, or in contested zones.
Kieron: I disagree too actually, though I know what Alec gets at. Thing is, for me, it’s not meant to be a world. It’s meant to be a warzone. Those pockets of areas on the maps are individual skirmishes going on, and in terms of giving character to individual conflicts – at least for the Dark Elf stuff – it does it well.
John: There’s these old ruins at the bottom of a hill, near a town in the Greenskin area, and on the border of a RvR zone. It has an epic PvE PQ going on, occasionally with enemy players getting mixed up in. It’s an awesome site, and feels like it makes sense to be there.
Alec: That’s the thing – you can’t wander anywhere without some message popping up on screen. It feels artificial to that extent. I want to feel like I’ve found this stuff, not that it’s dropped in my lap.
Kieron: Like – say – this whole forest area off the main path where the elves are counterattacking via these traps, and there’s a low level skirmish going on between the two. perpetually, as it’s a standard PvE MMO, but decently enough.
Alec: It’s not a critical failing, but it’s made it hard for me to get a sense of place.
Kieron: I’ll give you that those messages can be intrusive. But I think the alternative is worse. “Where’s the public quest again?”
Alec: I’d make them further apart and shown on the map, or shown on a map once you speak to an obvious NPC in town
Kieron: Wow – lots more walking. That’s the thing – I like its tightness. I like things like not having to kneel and eat food to recover health.
John: All praise the super-fast healing!
Alec: No, not lots more walking, just a bit more breathing space
Kieron: Stuff like that absolutely stopped me playing WoW. I have a very low threshold for boredom.
Alec: Yes, it’s identified a shedload of WoW annoyances to get rid of – whilst retaining plenty of others

John: What about the Tome of Knowledge? That was the other Big New Thing, and was the thing I was most looking forward to.
Kieron: The Tome’s neat, but I honestly haven’t used it much.
Alec: I’ve used the Tome to check quest details, and that’s it
John: I’m really let down by the Tome. For me it’s become one of those irritating things that flashes on the screen that I just click on to clear it.
Kieron: What’s it actually *meant* to do?
John: And it makes getting at quest details a real fiddle. I assume a hotkey for going straight to quests will be added eventually. It was meant to be this alternative to RvR.
Alec: It’s an awful lot of text for a game that’s about cartoon characters stabbing each other
John: It was there for the person who wanted to SP the game.
Kieron: Right.
John: It would provide a coherent narrative, and offer its own quests.
Kieron: It’s a step on from Middle-Earth’s similar thing, I think, in that way
John: But I’ve not had a single tome quest offered. There are 10,000 Tome Unlocks in the game, and they’re fun to get, but then a confusion mess to understand. I think that’s what will happen – the Tome will become a fiddly quest journal, with an achievements page.
Kieron: It’s a very big achievement page. Anyone got a favourite character class? I like my Witch Elf a lot. Which surprises me, as I despise elves.
John: Okay, I have one other worry, and it’s that question.
Jim: Has anyone got to the squig tank? that sounds amazing
Alec: Yeah, I’ve enjoyed my Chaos Magus, though the floaty disc isn’t floaty enough. I get stumped by small hills and puddles.
John: I played as a High Elf first, and it was just so dull. I thought the game was doomed. I played as a Chaos, and I thought: meh. Very standard MMO. I then played as an Orc, and I thought: Woo! Best MMO ever!
Jim: Tell me a bit more about the classes – is there anything specifically unusual?
Alec: Most of the classes are a bit more hybrid than you’d have expected. Still fit into the standard boxes, but generally feel a lot less like you’re just Tank or DPS or whatever.
Kieron: Yeah. The thing with the classes is *there is a lot of them*. And they’re not just the same with the names filed off.
Jim: Why are orcs so good John?
John: It seems like a squillion times more passion went into that zone. You’re immediately firing yourself off Orcapults to reach distant castle roofs. You’re having these really funny quest givers talk in grunts. You’re a real character.
Kieron: I haven’t played the Dwarves, but I’ve heard similar things
John: Whereas a High Elf is like being a bloody librarian. “Go and find 8 of this plant, for no reason.”
Alec: The comedy races were always going to be easier to achieve that with. Which WoW sort of failed at by lumping Gnomes in with Dwarves and Trolls with Orcs in its starting zones
Kieron: And I really enjoyed the DE. Even the “Kill X” quests were often turned into something a little more interesting. Like – say – the one where I collected heads and stuck them on spikes in front of an enemy base to try and lure a hero out to fight.
John: There’s an Orc quest similar to that. It makes a big difference.
Alec: There’s a lot of head-pole action. I’ve done that almost half a dozen times
Kieron: Yeah – I used it as an example. there’s certainly been mroe pole-head sticking.
John: But even if it’s just an aesthetic on the end of a kill quest, it makes it feel like narrative.
Kieron: Yes – exactly.
Alec: It was funny the first time, etc. I just hope they can sustain that kind of thinking without running out of ideas. Having seen some of the l30 stuff, I’m not convinced yet, but there’s much I’ve not done yet.
Kieron: You know, I’m going to go and roll a new High Elf alt after this and see what I make of it
Jim: Speaking of aesthetics – how good looking is it?
Kieron: It’s acceptable.
John: It looks like a polished WoW. There’s no escaping that comparison.
Alec: you stop noticing what it looks like – it’s like a genetic memory of playing an MMO. Though the Inevitable City looks incredible, if horribly confusing to navigate
John: The Inevitable City is utterly brilliant.
Kieron: I haven’t been yet. I may go there instead of forming a HE.
John: It’s a stunning piece of design. Visually wonderful.

Is this meant to be in here?

[Alec leaves on a secret mission. It may or may not involve milk.]
Jim: Anyone got something else to add? We can conclude otherwise
John: One thing. I want to make it clear that this is one of those occasions where you’re deducting marks from 10, rather than adding them on from 0. They’ve managed it – they’re the first to create an MMO that compares to, and goes beyond, WoW. And that’s an absolutely massive deal that shouldn’t get lost in the (very valid) nitpicking.
Kieron: Yeah. God knows how it’s going to do long term, but given a choice between the two, I’d play this.
John: I think it’s best summed up as: they’ve created the WoW that Kieron wants to play.
Kieron: And I do wonder how much I’ll play it – after all, I’m the one of us who *didn’t* burn out on WoW. I didn’t like it enough to burn out on it.
John: Kieron I use as an example of someone’s who entirely immune to grind hypnosis.
Kieron: Heh. of course, it’s also the one MMO I’ll never review due to conflict of interest stuff (He’s writing a comic set in Warhammer at the moment. Out September, Comics peeps – Ed). To conclude: What’s your favourite chaos god?
John: God.
Kieron: Slanesh.
John: What’s a funny answer to attribute to Alec?
Kieron: The Horned Rat

[Fin.]

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278 Comments »

  1. Fleethoof says:

    Oh god, I want this game… I’m just coming off of a 3 year non stop wow session though, so maybe I shouldnt…

  2. Walsh says:

    Uh that looks like a World of Warcraft shot at the end there.

  3. MisterBritish says:

    Horace the Endless Chaos-bear?

    It does sound interesting that there is a solid competitor to WoW (at least on paper).

    People saying nice things about it and the lovely cinematics were weakening my defenses, then I saw the third screenshot down and remembered everything I dislike about MMOs.

  4. Fumarole says:

    I hereby nominate this site’s name be changed to Tea and Masturbation.

  5. Noc says:

    A quick question about minutae that interests me:

    Do players block other players’ pathing? Or do players clip through each other WoW style?

  6. Sal says:

    “from Jim, who knows full well he won’t be playing it until they put some spaceships in…”

    Agreed. No blasters..well im still going to play anyways even though there is a lack of Xwings

  7. Spludge says:

    @Noc

    Word is that it has full player clipping, to allow tanks and such to prevent people charging through them to hit the weaker classes, and other similar tactical gameplay.

    I still haven’t heard of the Australian subscription price. For me, it’s kinda essential information.

  8. The Hammer says:

    Hey, nice article, guys.

    Whilst there is no way I am getting Warhammer Online, as a WOW player, I’m certainly gonna feel the effects, both good and bad. I know a few friends that are leaving to play WoAoR, so that’s a kick in the balls and makes me curse any coverage of it, but at the same time, these new innovations might end up in some form in WOW, and also Blizzard will probably be working harder to maintain their playerbase. And that’s going to be strange, as Blizzard has never been in that predicament before. For all the talk that WAR won’t surpass the subscriber numbers… Warhammer Online has a very popular franchise behind it. I mean, it’s what Warcraft: Orcs and Humans was gonna be before Games Workshop ditched Blizzard.

    It does look pretty and fun, but ONLY WAR doesn’t appeal to me as much as WOW’s startingly mature and developed (these days, anyhow) world. That, and I trust Blizzard more than any other developer in the industry to deliver solid, great content.

  9. Weylund says:

    @MisterBritish: yes, the third screenshot got me as well.

    That said, this sounds more awesome every time I hear of it.

    @The Hammer: Warhammer has an incredibly developed world. Not quite as awesome as 40K in my humble opinion, but I’d be willing to bet there’s hundreds of thousands more words published by GW about the Warhammer “story” than pretty much any other computer-game-basis world out there.

  10. Paul S says:

    Interesting stuff. Thanks chaps.

    It sounds better than I had feared – and as a horribly obsessive Warhammerer, I desperately want this to be good. I really can’t see it having anything like the mass market success of WoW though.

    Then again. Did we expect WoW to be as big as Everquest?

    Actually, thinking back, yes…

  11. ZENO says:

    To hell with being “comfortable” with it. A WoW by any other name, eh?

    Show me something new, something revolutionary, then you can have my $15 a month.

  12. phuzz says:

    I don’t play WoW, and I generally had good feelings towards this, but apart from occasionally spotting familiar characters I can’t tell it’s not WoW from those screenshots. I mean, did they have to use the exact same font?

    Still, it’s about time I gave up smoking again and Eve didn’t do the job last time. If this looks like I won’t have to socialise too much to get engrossed in it I might give it a month or two…

  13. arbitrary says:

    I think this is one of the best reviews I’ve read of it. It captures all the points – that the game is simply fun, but yeah of course it follows in WoW’s footsteps. Really nice work, and very much appreciated, all!

  14. Mark Stephenson says:

    Two Trolls decide they want Smoked Gnome for dinner in the last picture!

  15. Carlo Zottmann says:

    @Walsh: Yes, because it is a WoW shot. :)

  16. Weylund says:

    @ZENO: As I think I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I agree with you. However — these are MMOs we’re talking about. This isn’t Norm Koger creating a nifty new wargame engine where he could be “okay” with selling 2500 copies.

    They’re games that need to sell millions of copies, and retain at least a few hundred thousand subscriptions over a lengthy period of time, to even in part recoup their development costs, provide server maintenance, and develop expected future updates. I think you’ll see developers choosing “accessible” over “innovative” pretty much every time they’re headed down that road.

  17. mysticsika says:

    I know the warhammer/warcraft connection has been done to death but I do love how ironic it is WAR copying WOW.

    Blizzard cant really complain heh.

  18. neoanderthal says:

    thank Grod that someone has finally discussed the mechanics of gameplay, as opposed to wossname’s endless rambling about orcs farting and so forth.
    I’m disappointed it’s WoW +, because I’m not a WoW player, but I’ll manage.
    Great revie- uh, impressions article.

  19. Abe says:

    Why are MMO players so determined to create an entirely new language? I worked out what PvE and DPS means, but I’m still not quite sure about RvR. Now PQ is the latest to get added to the lexicon – at least I’m in on the ground floor with that one. I’m “in the know.”

    EDIT: Also, when you guys do give your final judgment on the game, I hope you rate it on a scale of Monkees to Led Zeppelin.

  20. Andrew says:

    Damn, but this sounds enticing.

  21. The Poisoned Sponge says:

    Bleh.. it’s still a mildly more interesting WoW… just counting the days till Champions, APB and World of Darkness.

  22. elias says:

    Warhammer comic?

  23. elias says:

    @Abe: RvR is Realm vs. Realm, first done in Dark Age of Camelot (also by Mythic).

  24. NNeko says:

    This pretty well confirms my expectations:
    1) WAR reduces the amount of time I waste trying to join a group or soloing by my lonesome. Good.
    2) Greenskins got more development love than the other races, sometimes embarassingly so, with the general tilt being towards the Destruction armies. Good to know.
    3) Other than that, it’s like WoW — except without a lot of the “organic development” blunders that Blizzard inflicted over the duration on players who were there since Day 1 and eventually caused me to give up and sell my WoW accounts and buy a Wii instead. Mythic might get to the bolted-on expansion-pack-pushing eventually (and I’ve far less tolerance for it now), but I’m willing to give ‘em a chance…

    Need a name for a goblin healer… hrm…

  25. John P (Katsumoto) says:

    wow (!), that was a lot more positive than I thought it was going to be. Initially excited, then meh-ed out, I shall now move to “mild excitement” and await reviews with a modicum of anticipation

  26. Sahagin says:

    It’s kinda odd, but I disagree with every “bad” point they made. I didn’t find it ghastly similar to WoW. I love my High Elf character, I’ve already gotten him to level 20. I tried making a character with all the Greenskin classes, and just couldn’t get into it. The Tome of Knowledge is a blast to mess with (although I’m a collection junkie, so maybe that’s why I like the Tome). Also, I think WoW has more of a cartoonier look to it than WAR. Even with the graphics stuck at minimum I can put a keen difference between the two graphic-wise.

  27. rehashbodash says:

    Thanks for the impressions. This one enjoyed this read. How could you let Alec leave at the end hes so dreamy in text? Usually ends up masturbation then tea with cream.

  28. Konky Dong IX: When Midgets Attack says:

    I’m in the preview weekend and so I’m fairly impressed. Is it better than WoW? Well the PvP certainly is but beyond that, it’s a toss-up.

  29. Grey_Ghost says:

    I’ve never played WoW, so that won’t effect me I guess. I was initially totally uninterested in this game till I saw screens and concept art for Witch Hunters 2 years (?) ago. That and this article may just be what sways me.

  30. roBurky says:

    I was glad of the descriptions of the public quest stuff, but it would have been nice to have a similar description of this Tome feature – I got completely lost when you started talking about that.

  31. Riotpoll says:

    Darn, I may have to set aside some of this uni years beer money. Also I love how the destruction seems so much better than the poncy good side (how it should be!). And PvP focus = win, fighting AI gets boring and stale imo.

  32. Kevin Lee says:

    @Noc & Spludge: To my understanding clipping only affects enemy players. Players on your *side* can move through you and vice versa, but enemies cannot (so casters can hide behind a wall of tanks, etc.). I may be wrong though, that information is several months old…

  33. Stromko says:

    Personally I was glad to hear the dwarves got some dev love too, between orks and dwarves there’s really not anything else I’m all that keen on playing. Well maybe a witchhunter, because they get guns, and somehow I’m always intrigued by getting a f**king gun in a fantasy game. :) (Oops, almost left it spelling ‘ork’ as ‘orc’; these aren’t the empathic noble savage wussbags we’re familiar with, these are ORKS! I far favor them)

  34. Riotpoll says:

    @Stromco; *dons hat of geekiness* it’s actually Orcs in Fantasy, and Orks in 40K *remove hat*

  35. mechazawa says:

    After playing the beta for 9 months, my opinion about WAR is a glorious .. meh.

    The PvE is dull and boring. The PvP is slightly better, but really not that good either.

    Public quests are a gimmick. It’s fun the first time, but then you realize that if you want the really cool reward, you’re going to grind the fuck out of the PQ, which is never has much fun as it could be.

    The loot ? It’s boring. To get good loot you have on choice : PvP a lot (and i mean, a lot) to be able to buy the PvP gear from 2 or 3 levels under you, which vastly outperforms the PvE gear of your level you’ll get from completing PQs.

    The only part of the game i really enjoyed was Altdorf. Glorious, glorious city. Here you’ll see some of the finest use of PQs, like the bar brawl one near the docks.

    All in all, i’m not really dissapointed because my hopes were never that high, but it’s still far from what you’ll hear from the fanbois everywhere. Blame the funny guy who did all the PR videos, he’s ten times more entertaining than his game :(

  36. Bluto says:

    I understand that this isn’t a conversion of the tabletop game – which I haven’t played in a decade or so – but one of the most appealing elements of the tabletop game was the strong narrative. It wasn’t always about winning, it was about a puny goblin with a massive iron ball-and-chain, off his face on mushrooms, killing half of his own army before a mutually fatal collision with the enemy general. The stuff of legends. Sure, some people take it too seriously and build armies for the sole purpose of winning – but those games were always dull (and not because I usually lost to them – I usually lost regardless – under my leadership my army couldn’t win a fight against a unit of halfling grannies with pointy knitting needles). I really hope there’s some scope for ripping yarns hidden away in this game.

    I still buy White Dwarf from time to time, but I keep copies well hidden, along with the few miniatures I kept – if any of the rugby lads saw them I’d get a good ribbing for it, I shouldn’t have to feel shame for enjoying painting tiny rat figures! Though that’s a topic for a different comment box…

  37. cyrenic says:

    Expect to see variations of their Public Quest and Open Group systems in most future MMO’s (including a WoW update). They’re that good.

    I’m really happy with how well leveling through PvP works, at least in the initial levels since that’s as far as I’ve gotten in the beta. Instanced PvP can be joined from anywhere in the world, and puts you back where you joined, so it doesn’t interrupt questing. The game also buffs you to a competitive level for the level range of the instanced PvP you’re doing.

    Things like that make WAR worth playing for me. It’s an evolutionary step from WoW, as the developers themselves have admitted. But the leveling feels a lot different than WoW’s, a lot less grindy. If you like PvP in MMO’s I’d say give this a try, even if you’re sick of WoW.

  38. Eyemessiah says:

    A beetle just landed on my keyboard and crawed down in between the keys … idont want to sqash it and have beetlemash insid my keyb forevermore(using on screen keyb just now) what should i do??

    oh yeah war looks like wow!

  39. Eyemessiah says:

    Beetle problem resolved. I had to remove most of the keys. Oh well.

    It actually sounds like WAR has addressed most of my main gripes with WoW. The level playing field PVP & not having to visit a battlemaster to enter PVP & and also the simplified ‘drop-in’ style grouping would have been a godsend a year ago. I’m not sure they will be enough to get me back into MMOs now though. I’m intending to skip a generation or two.

  40. accez says:

    This read was ridiculous. You guys sound like fanboys and quite simply talk like the average casual gamer that never really enjoyed anything that WoW had to offer but still played anyways.. just because. I’ve played both Eq2/WoW to the endgame and enjoyed both quite a bit for varying reasons. I’m currently in both WotLK and Warhammer betas and really Mythic is lucky that Blizzard takes their sweet time to make games. It’ll afford them maybe a few months of subs from people before they all leave for WotLK..

  41. Mark says:

    Frankly, “WoW, but less stupid” sounds like the perfect way to sell me on an MMO. Or, at least, on an MMO without spaceships.

  42. Jash says:

    DAoC popped my MMO cherry. I played the hell out of that game. I have fond memories of screwin around in the old frontier of midgard, defending against a numerically superior foe. I also have less than fond memories of all that Mythic did to destroy that game.

    I piss on the mythic developers that killed daoc. But this trailer is relevant to my interests none the less. We shall see.

  43. Gurrah says:

    I’m sorry Paul Barnett, you won’t get my money to buy that ‘food stuff’ you were talking about at the LIFT conference. I would love to though. I know developers want to make money with their games, and apparently WoWs visuals are the way to go. I’m not going to talk about game mechanics, or storyline or content, but the visuals, because they are very important. MMOs consume a ridiculous amount of time, and if I’m willing to invest that ridiculous amount of time, I want the visuals to be appealing, at least to my taste, because I will be staring at them for an awful lot of time. Now here’s the thing: Call me narrow minded, but I honestly don’t believe that the majority of potential customers want visuals like WoW in another MMO. The ones that like that particular style are probably all playing WoW anyways, but WAR looks so familiar that I can’t shake off the feeling that Mythic are actually trying to lure customers away from WoW. But I can’t understand how anyone who claims to be a Warhammer fan or someone interested in the franchise can agree with the looks of WAR. It’s Warhammer for christs sake, have Mythic ever flipped through a rule book and looked at the illustrations? I don’t think so.

  44. Noc says:

    Gurrah, we all know that you won’t be spending much of that time looking at the visuals when you’re playing. Whenever anything’s going on you’re looking at progress bars and cooldown timers; when you’re traveling you’re watching the minimap.

    Visuals do serve a non-trivial role in an MMO but that role, I think, is one of vanity; of looking at the awesome loot your character is wearing. We haven’t seen many close-ups of the character models themselves, but what we’ve seen doesn’t look very WoWlike. The WoW aesthetic only looks like it takes over when you zoom out, which is the point where you’re not paying attention to the graphics anyways.

    This might be a marketing problem, and contribute to the “WAR has nothing new to offer” school of thought, but I’m not sure how much affect it will have on playing the game itself.

    Also:

    This read was ridiculous. You guys sound like fanboys and I’m going to all fanboy out over WoW because it’s fun and you don’t see that and Blizzard is going to kick all your game’s asses you’ll see.

    I’m all for dissenting positions, but the internal irony of this statement is a little too much.

  45. Russ says:

    I’m with Noc here. If they made a game with awful visuals (like Everquest 1 would be now) but had endless options we’d all play it because who cares about visuals when you can have an undead army?

  46. Meat Circus says:

    Needs less KILL X OF Y thx.

  47. Adam says:

    The reason WAR appeals to me is because, fundamentally, I enjoyed the mechanics of WoW. Everything up until the content they added after I started playing (basically everything after the first couple battlegrounds, which were meh) was quite fun.

    But MMOs need content infusions to survive, and I’ve either been ambivalent to or hated everything they’ve added since then. It doesn’t go anywhere near the direction I’m interested in.

    WAR has the same basic mechanics, so I enjoy it. Only time will tell with the content infusions, but because of the philosophy of WAR (RvR not PvE), I have hopes.

  48. Gurrah says:

    Maybe that’s the way you play your games Noc, but I do care an awful lot about visuals, hell I zoom in and out of battles at least 10 times a minute in EVE because I like to be as close as possible to my ship. But that’s just a sidenote. Seriously, why make a game in a very similar setting, with very similar game mechanics and on top of that very similar visuals when the base material is so much different. I couldn’t care less basically, I just won’t play it, but I don’t understand how they could pass on an opportunity to make the game stand out visually at least, apart from the public quests and focus on RvR. But I do have to remephasize, I haven’t played the game yet and my opinion is based on screenshots, videos and the information I get from blog posts like these but the fact that WARs biggest contestant is mentioned in the first paragraph, and not ‘WoW is done for’, but saying how similar WAR is to WoW, speaks volumes.

  49. Mr. Softpants says:

    “John: It seems like a squillion times more passion went into that zone. You’re immediately firing yourself off Orcapults to reach distant castle roofs. You’re having these really funny quest givers talk in grunts. You’re a real character.”

    This is one of the many things I disliked about the Warcraft and WoW world in general. Even when Warhammer did what I call “dumb races” it felt earnest because GW would build a whole world around it. In WoW it always felt way too tongue-in-cheek and they really would make the races feel sort of like a Disney-fied version of what they took from Warhammer.

    Which is ironic since Blizzard puts so much energy into their cinematics to really sell the Warcraft world as this “dark” and very “epic” sort of story-telling world. But I never got that from WoW at all. Even with it’s sheer size.

  50. Psychopomp says:

    I’m still waiting for the day we get an RPG with more “Role Playing Game” and less “Rarely-Productive-Grind.”

    Still, I’d be happy if they’re was the number “40,000″ tacked to the end of this MMO…

    Also, if TF2 has taught us anything, every Tank class needs a Sandvich as optional equipment.