Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning Preview

Highlights from the upcoming Land of the Dead content.

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The rollout for the ongoing Call to Arms expansion for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, which has already included the debut of two new working classes, continues with the June release of the Land of the Dead--a new dungeon zone that's designed to play off of not only Warhammer's unique attributes, but also its new approach to dungeon and boss design. Before jumping into the juicy parts from this new dungeon, here are a few of the basic facts: To gain entrance to the Egyptian-themed Land of the Dead, you need to be at least level 25--if your character falls below level 36, the game automatically bolsters him or her to that level. Additionally, some of the public quests in the area are designed so that the first portion can be done solo but others require one or two members and then eventually a party of six to be completed. With all of that in mind, let's take a look at what else awaits in the Land of the Dead.

Riding in style.

Focus on Realm-Versus-Realm Combat

The Land of the Dead is designed in such a way that members of Order and members of Destruction are constantly battling for control of the area. In fact, their camps are situated at opposite ends of the map (north and south), separated only by an impenetrable river, which means that both groups have to make their way to the temple to engage in combat. Interestingly, when control of the zone changes (from Order to Destruction or vice versa), players--even those engaged in instances--will be prompted with a new quest objective that requires you to defend (if you're currently in an instance) or attack, if you feel compelled to rid the area of players from the opposing faction. All of this is designed to happen with some regularity to keep the action within the dungeon varied and interesting.

PQs, PQs, and more PQs

The sheer variety of public quests in the Land of the Dead is staggering, and most of that variety stems from a desire at Mythic Entertainment--the developer behind Warhammer Online--to push massively multiplayer online role-playing games beyond the typical stand-there-and-fight-this-thing attitude that has been such a huge part of the genre since its inception. A brief glimpse of this occurs in one of the earlier player quests where you get scooped up by a vulture and then planted into its nest on top of a series of cliffs. Not only do you have to make your way safely down, jumping from ledge to ledge, but you also have to defeat the enemies that reside in each nest.

Other PQs require equal displays of agility. One such event pits you and members of your party against the Obelisk of Judgment, which happens to randomly "judge" your character with a bolt of lightening from its peak. Naturally, this judgment results in either a positive buff to your stats or the exact opposite, so since you don't know the outcome of the Obelisk's decision, you're better off trying to avoid its powers until it comes time to destroy the whole thing. Similarly, a PQ inside the temple itself, appropriately equipped with booby traps, has your party dipping and dodging through a series of fast-moving pendulums. Only three members of a six-member party need to make their way across to turn them off (in case other party members have trouble making it), but what makes this trap especially cool is that once you're across, you can wait for players from the opposing realm to unsuspectingly walk through the room before turning the trap back on and condemning them to death.

This wont end well.

There are plenty of other PQs that play off the theme of the Egyptian dungeon, and eight of them have a suitably menacing boss waiting at the end. While we don't want to spoil anything, we do want to point out one boss in particular--one that awaits your own party, and others, outside of the temple when you've completed the trials inside.. If anything in Warhammer Online draws influences from consoles, it's this guy--he's like the amalgamation of several bosses from prominent console games in terms of how he attacks and how you're able to attack him, so the strategy for defeating him is intuitive if you know your console bosses.

A Throwback to Dark Age of Camelot

If you've played Mythic's previous MMORPG, Dark Age of Camelot, then the setup for the Land of the Dead might seem immediately familiar. In fact, Mythic considers the Land of the Dead to be the spiritual successor to the Darkness Falls dungeon from Dark Age because the main idea is to have a single dungeon where both factions are competing toward the same objective at the same time. Darkness Falls was one of Camelot's most popular dungeons, and Mythic is hoping that the Land of the Dead receives a similar reception. But what might make it especially popular for some is the addition of an entirely new armor set called Tyrant, which looks distinctive since it matches with the overall theme of this new content.

Discussion

16 comments
The_Corinthian
The_Corinthian

Unfortunately, this game bored me to tears. Certain level set lands are completely bereft of players, you couldn't form a real castle raid to save your life, the people playing it are unengaging and the classes are completely and utterly fubar. PVP is uninspiring, although still better than most games if you don't let the imbalances get you down

Driftblade
Driftblade

I love it, best mmo i've played. only thing they need to work on is sever merges and brightwizards i think.

Gruug
Gruug

I have been playing the trail version and I must say I absolutely do not care for this MMO. The graphics are less then I expected. Gameplay is not unique in anyway. RvR just is way out of balance...at least early on. I have played two characters, one on either side, and I just can not get into this game. It is too bad as Warhammer has a fairly good amount of depth. This game is just some poorly done MMO that fails early on. My opinion anyway.

Slivlin
Slivlin

I'm so glad I got back into War, with all of those bugs fixed it's really good game, and this expansion looks like it's going to be epic!

StSk8ter29
StSk8ter29

I love this game, never am i truly concerned with leveling because i always know where to go to accomplish it. The game also makes it possible to join PvP at level 1 and play it until maxed, which makes later tiers much easier to cope with.

ahollinger
ahollinger

This game is excellent. They have been patching things a lot lately, so they're constantly trying to make things better. The only "problem" with the game is that some of the servers have low population. So, definitely, if you're thinking of playing, do it. The more people, the better it gets.

Darkstar_Sinada
Darkstar_Sinada

Yeah, I've played tons of MMOs, and most of the time I get bored real fast and find them all too similar. WAR has been the best one so far, I highly recommend it for those sick of WoW or looking for a new MMO.

CoupeD
CoupeD

The guys who put in new content have little to nothing to do with fixing bugs. They have a dedicated team that does that.

spchernandez
spchernandez

Yeah I will def give this another try. Like another poster, I also went back to WoW cuz my friends went back (after WotLK came out). Loved most of the content. Only thing that pushed me back a little was when questing alone since it was kind of boring... but then again, it's always like that with all mmos.

ShadowXStorm
ShadowXStorm

Came back to the game recently and super fun :) Still some bugs but I'm seeing atleast 1 patch a week fixing various things. Once this new expansion comes out hopefully they will polish off the little dents and see and increase in subs.

ratm247
ratm247

ya, i thought war was way better than wow, they have clearly been innovating all the things that wow got right, as well as creating great ideas on their own. i feel the only advantages wow has over this game is busier realms, and years to polish its gameplay. these are both things war can gain in time.

EdVader
EdVader

I was extremely impressed when the game first came out. They were releasing so many patches so fast... I could picture them frantically trying to give their customers their money's worth. And lately I was thinking they were being ignorant and not caring about fixes at all. Turns out they've been really busy with this content, and Mythic has once again pleased me. Hopefully the frantic patches and fixes come back :D.

ParkCarsHere
ParkCarsHere

This looks awesome. If it's as good as it looks, I'll definitely resub. I loved the game when I was playing it... I only left because my friends went back to WoW, and I didn't want to play an MMO alone :P.

Donc1967
Donc1967

I'm glad that it sounds like EA hasn't ruined Mythic. I'd learned to appreciate them as a high quality and high value game company.

gamedude1990
gamedude1990

I've heard a lot of good things about this free expansion from various blogs/other gaming websites

Staryoshi87
Staryoshi87

Maybe I should get back into this game. It wasn't bad at all.