Thursday, September 17, 2009

Warhammer Online Review

Me and WAR

I have played this only for a few months, started in late August and cycled through a few classes to decide which one i liked the most. Being as I prefer the tank role but don't really like 'pure' tanks and have a preference for more interesting tanking options I have chosen a chosen as my main to take past tier 2.

I have played the tabletop version of most of GW's games for about 14 years now (crikey I feel old, and incredibly geeky, saying that) and have always had an interest in WAR, just saw it on amazon for about a fiver ( cant remember how much) so that's about eight dollars to you fellows.

The landscape of WAR

This is poor. The graphics are pretty much terrible. They are only just better than WoW which is quite a feat as I didn't know that such engines were still available for developers to purchase any more. The reason for this becomes clear later on however. There are some really pretty areas and the whole game is built like a simpletons gaming board which is cute but doesn't really look that good. Model and surface texture is actually rendered really well but it is blurred at an incredibly short range so if your 'camera' is more than about a foot away from the surface the texture is the crap version.

The Starting Areas.

Quests are interesting and the public quests are absolutely inspired. They provide a good way to get very good kit early on and allow people to level up and group at will. There is hardly any waiting for groups in this game as people join a PQ if they fancy and if no-one is bothering there's always the usual quests to level up on.

The whole game is split into tiers which is really based upon your rank (level). Tier 1 is rank 1-11, tier 2 is rank 9-21, 3 is 19-31 and 4 is 29-40. There are also renown ranks which are dependant on your killing other players, capturing objectives and winning scenarios. There is a little starter area in each tier that really bumps you up to the minimum required rank to go into the rvr lake comfortably. Some people dive straight in to the rvr and die loads but gain tons of exp and renown.

Also the renown rank cap is set at 80 whereas the rank cap is 40. Your renown rank cannot be higher than your rank until you hit 40 therefore the renown rating is merely an end game pvp thing. There is a twist here though, if you get your renown rank up then you gain access to better epix which can be got from drops, chests (capturing a keep acts like a public quest), tokens (which drop from all players and can be bartered) etc. The renown rank 80 armours aren't just the most effective armor in the game but they look the coolest too so are well worth getting.

Gameplay - leveling

This is okay, you reach rank cap in a few weeks, 3-4 as a casual gamer, but the renown rank is what matters, this is a pvp based game. There are traits but these are easy enough to get, some are trained and some you buy with your renown rank. Some you have to adventure and find certain things, but for the most case you can gain traits relatively easily if you know what you are doing.

The tome does explain it all to you however so if you ignore not just your game manual but your characters manual too then really you are a numpty and shouldn't be at a pc, should be digging a ditch somewhere.

Gameplay - not levelling

There is no housing, there are no hobbies, this is WAR. The tome is brilliant, there is a short story comprised of vignettes about each chapter you pass through (quests are aimed from a hub in an area called a chapter, this is for a specific range of rank, rather than ranking quests the areas of the game are very specifically ranked and it tells you on the map). There are tome unlocks and you can get a massive amount of xp from simply completing tasks in the tome. Some are really frustrating like 'kill a specific troll champ in troll country' I must have killed about 15 different ones there but still have yet to find the correct one.

Crafting is very easy, you must do it as you level up or you will find yourself back in previous areas killing mobs for the right loot to rank up your crafting. The stuff that you make with crafting is brilliant however. Talismans to beef up your kit (epic kit has talisman slots) and potions to beef up you. Both of these you can get from quests but the quest items are no way near as good as the master craftsmans items.

PvP or RvR

PvP cannot describe what goes on here. I remember the other night we had about 4 raids and the enemy about 2 but we were besieging a rank 6 keep ( a keep owned and paid for by a guild, the npc guards are all elite, the doors regen etc etc etc- mega hard keep). We were battering it down for about an hour and a half and finally broke in.

You remember I would explain why the graphics are crap earlier, here is why. There can be approximately 200 players fighting around the same area and there will be very little lag. You'll miss certain special effects but you wont care, it is absolute chaos in there. I was a pvp fan before but now I am an RvR addict. The city seiges are really something else, a massive pvp public quest where both sides are fighting over objectives to push one side out or take the city, the loot in there is incredible, not just end game type stuff but tons of cash and everything you would expect. They are still working on improving it so those 200 players can enjoy a seamless gameplay experience which would be nice (note to devs, when population is a little high turn off some effects) but it doesn't really matter.

RvR is a amazing. There is no better game for pvp. Even the classes seem balanced apart from two. Ironbreakers can get an exceptional mod that makes them uber efficient and bright wizards are stupidly good if they choose the AOE damage options. Apart from those two everything is sensibly balanced.


I forgot about guilds. The game is not set up for role play really so guilds are an RvR thing. They have standard bearers and if your guild has a good enough rank your standard is amazing, carrying that will pretty much guarantee victory. Again only guilds can own keeps and upgrade them (for phenomenal continuous cost) but the reward of that is the besiegers really have to outnumber at least 2:1 before they can take it (which is only proper). They also have unique heraldry. At certain ranks your cloak and standard is upgraded so your heraldry shows on everyone's cloak. A player can choose to have the heraldry or the design on the cloak but the design is unique. The WAR team have created a few thousand options here so guilds can pick and choose whichever they like and as soon as that is theirs then nobody else can have this.

At a certain rank the officers get access to a special room but that is actually only for founders and co-founders, not all officers can enter it, which does seem odd.


  • Terrible graphics.
  • Interesting intro.
  • Intriguing story quests.
  • Good quests.
  • Good system for Traits.
  • Crafting proficiencies are simple and easy.
  • Ingredients for top-end crafting stuff is very hard to find.
  • Grinding RvR for epix.
  • RvR is a grind by nature but doesn't feel like it thanks to the mobile war-front.
  • Guilds are great for RvR but poor for everything else.

For a PVP gamer 9/10 for a PVE gamer 7.5/10 and for a roleplayer 2/10.

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