Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning
Warhammer Online is almost upon us. I've been a beta tester for the past month though, I'm ashamed to say, not a very active one. I've been too busy at work for any gaming (miniatures, computer, or otherwise) so I've only scratched the surface of what Warhammer (or WAR, as Warhammer: Age of Reckoning is abbreviated) has to offer.
For those not familiar with WAR, it's a massively multiplayer online role playing game, of the genre most recently epitomised by World of Warcraft (which I've been playing for the past 3 years). Those of us from the demographic that used to play Dungeons and Dragons will have a starting reference point: those who don't , think of it as adventure gaming in a alternate universe.
As I said earlier, I've been playing WoW for the past 3 years, but will be making the switch to WAR as soon as it goes live. This is not a move to be taken lightly - for most people, the investment in time to level up a character in either Warcraft or Warhammer is heavy, and to start playing a second game is to lose ground in the first. I have no complaints about WoW, but there are several things that have attracted me to Warhammer.
First and foremost, the sheer joy evidenced by its makers. This is hard to explain, but if you go to the Warhmmer website and watch the video posts by the game makers, their enthusiasm for the game is palpable and contagious. If they're having so much fun making the game, then it bodes well for how much fun I'll have playing it
Secondly, it's all PVP (player-versus-player). Over the years, I find myself increasingly only playing those elements of WoW that are PVP anyway, and it makes sense to transit to a game that's designed from the ground up for PVP.
Lastly, it's had time to learn from the various mistakes and rough edges of WoW, and smooth them out. The Tome of Knowledge is one example of such a good idea, as are Public Quests and a better Guild system. In fact, these ideas are so relevant and good that Warcraft themselves have begun to retroactively add these features.