Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Warhammer Online, after one month of play

My Black Orc has reached rank 26 after about a month of gameplay, which is slow by the standards of the hardcore players out there, but perfectly fine by me.

Game play is excellent, and becomes progressively more interesting at higher ranks. The PVP element is well managed, with a seamless move from PVE to PVP. There's less of a difference in gameplay between PVE and PVP than in World of Warcraft: whereas a WoW player specced for PVP might find himself unable to PVE effectively, and vice versa, in Warhammer Online, a simple change of tactics sets is often all that's needed.

At Tier 3 now, the main irritation seems to be that the only Scenario that's popping is Tor Anroc - or Tor Punt-roc as some call it (summary: skills and stats don't really matter for this scenario - the only thing that matters is whether you can knockback your opponents into the lava). This seems to be the only scenario that the Order side has a chance of winning, and there seems to be a concerted effort by them to only queue for that Scenario. In all the Scenarios I've run, something other than Tor Anroc has only popped 3 times - and once was a walkover for us, as the Order players simply quit the scenario en masse.

The quest system is excellent, and the provision of multiple sources of gear and rewards means everyone can build up a good set of equipment. Questing gets you rewards, but Public Quests (which are really just a sophisticated form of grinding, with a boss thrown in at the end) also offer a separate set of gear rewards, and PVPing gets you renown gear. I haven't even stepped into the instances yet (which have to be unlocked), but those will also have their set of rewards. All in all, the reward system is generous, and almost everything you do that feels like you've put in effort for something is recognised by the game and rewarded accordingly.

I look forward to trying to reach rank 40 before the end of the year, but for casual players like me, it's tough. Having said that, because the game makes it so easy to log in and play a limited amount of time (a quick Scenario, or a Public Quest) it's much easier than Warcraft in this respect.

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