Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning Updated Impressions - New PVP Details, New Areas

We take an updated look at the massively multiplayer game that Mythic Entertainment is developing with its new corporate owner and publishing partner, EA Games.

Nothing says "summer" quite like having a bunch of video games in one place. At a recent press event at which publisher EA Games showed off a great many of its upcoming games, we had a chance to take an updated look at Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, the upcoming massively multiplayer game from developer Mythic and its brand-new publisher and corporate owner.

According to Mythic's Jeff Hickman, much of the content for the game's first "racial pairing," the dwarves versus the "greenskins" (a faction of orks and goblins), is complete, including many of the lower-level areas and items. In addition, though we were unable to see it in action, Mythic has begun production on the game's high-level player-versus-player content, such as capital city raids, which will offer multiple types of treasures (including open, undefended loot and special items that can be obtained only by defeating specific enemy characters, such as merchants, barkeeps, and kings). These raids will let you capture enemy dignitaries and hold them hostage (and for some cheap humor) until they can be rescued by players from the opposing side.

In addition, the game's expansive "Tome of Knowledge" journal system is now nearly complete. The Tome not only offers up an encyclopedic reference of Warhammer lore, but it also tracks each player's battles and accomplishments, which makes the system a virtual trophy case for players and a powerful feedback system for Mythic to track which content is most popular and which isn't. The Tome will expand as players further explore the game's vast online world, encounter new monsters, accept and complete new quests, and meet key characters. As Mythic has told GameSpot previously, this feature is intended to be completely comprehensive in order to render external information sources, such as fan sites and item databases, obsolete. This bold move may seem alienating to players who create such resources, but Mythic has stated that the idea is to keep players in the game and playing, rather than making players feel as though they have to quit playing every 15 minutes to look up the solution to a quest or to consult an item table.

We also had a chance to see one of the game's "public quests" in action. As we've mentioned in our previous coverage, the game will have many different types of quest content, including traditional quests given out by key characters to perform basic tasks, like killing a set number of monsters or delivering an item. However, the game will also have player-versus-player-focused quests, larger-scale "scenario" quests that may culminate in the aforementioned capital city raids, and public quests, which are essentially communal, cooperative quests that any player belonging to one faction can take on. The quest we saw was a greenskin mission that required all players in the area to aid a friendly (but exceptionally ugly) giant who stamped about the greenskin encampment, pursued by annoying "squig" monsters (Warhammer's wormlike vermin with a bite like a snapping turtle). All greenskin players were allowed to contribute to the quest to kill a total of 20 of the little varmints--and any players who contribute to such quests will apparently be able to reap shared rewards.

In other news, the Mythic team seems to be cranking away at all aspects of the game, constantly adding new content and tuning and tweaking existing content. For instance, the game's unusual character advancement system is apparently more or less in place and will be developed further as new character classes are rolled out for new races. The game's character advancement system, as we've mentioned previously, will make much more use of "lateral" advancement--that is, adding new skills and abilities that give your character flexibility rather than raw power--over the course of your character's career.

Aside from letting players create highly distinctive characters with unique combinations of abilities, this approach will (hopefully) go a long way toward keeping players with different preferences more or less in line. After all, Warhammer Online will focus heavily on PVP combat (though as Hickman pointed out, the studio is committed to making sure the game offers an enjoyably competitive experience, rather than an unpleasant one marred by "griefing" from obnoxious players who use underhanded and abusive tactics to ruin PVP). In fact, the game's emphasis on PVP is so heavy that it's Mythic's goal to let player characters spend their entire careers, from level 1 onward, doing nothing but fighting PVP battles, gaining experience and even loot over time. The task of keeping players who prefer PVP combat in line with players who prefer the more-traditional player-versus-environment gameplay that pits players against monsters and quests, rather than other players, will most likely be exceptionally challenging, and Hickman concedes that the team has allotted many months in its schedule to hammer away at that potential balance issue.

Otherwise, the game's vast and colorful environments look like they're coming along fine. If all goes well, Warhammer Online will take all the strengths of a traditional massively multiplayer game and combine them with new and exciting ideas and a distinctive emphasis on head-to-head competition. We'll have more updates on the game, which is planned for release in 2007, as we get closer to beta this fall.

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Discussion

31 comments
graavigala
graavigala

i just hope that this game doesnt turn out be endels gear grinding like World of Warcraft, meaning that you have to run some 25men insta 40times to get one piece of gear... oh what the helll am i thinking.. of course it will end up like that! too bad... witch hunters look cool :D

tajoo6
tajoo6

There are futuristics MMORPG's like EvE and Space cowboy, you just have to know where to look. And I can't wait to play this game!!!

Eararaldor
Eararaldor

Warhammer Online promises such a great game. If your after a guild look for "Shadowsofsin.com" Were going to be a guild for the Destruction side and include the races of ORKs, Dark Elves and Chaos!

dedshaw
dedshaw

im new to the info about this game but wat ive seen so far, correct me if im wrong but this seems like large-scale diablo game to me. diff plot but ppl can point and click, go where they want, get quests, and upgrade their charcter, cept that instead of allicances u join an army. am i rite?

Edvin76
Edvin76

I played WoW until level two. Why? Because of that idiot wolves standing in the forest in every 10 square meters doing nothing. How stupid is that. What are those wolves or (goblins or any other dumb monster) doing there standing and doing nothing, waiting for butcher and reappear 2 minutes later???? This game is a dumb sh*t. I hope it will b different in Warhammer online. Anyway why dont they make Warhammer 40.000 online???

OverKillSteve
OverKillSteve

Woah, this looks fantastic. One of the bad things about WoW was the colourfullness and lightheartedness of most of it, where as this looks ALOT Darker, which is definately a good thing! :D

MightyCowM
MightyCowM

WoW is a great game, but DAoC was a lot of fun, and if they can take the good points of DAoC, improve upon them, and throw in all the complexity of the Warhammer world, I may have to dump WoW for this. I guess I'll have to hurry up and hit 70 after the expansion comes out, so I can jump to Warhammer as soon as it's ready :)

joaand
joaand

Can't wait for this game!!!11

tom_7991
tom_7991

well, happy to say i'm really looking forward to this. there are so many gaps in MMOs these days. WoW - varirty/choice/freedom/unique . . .ness. Guild Wars - social/pvp purpose/varity. EQII - FUN!! BUT THIS COVERS ALL THESE POINTS MYTHIC DID A GREAT JOB WITH D.A.O.C. BUT THIS LOOKS LIKE IT'S GONNA BE ONE HELL OF A GREAT MMORPG

radioactive1wiz
radioactive1wiz

Theres hardly any sci-fi mmorpgs cause they have a tencancy to go wrong in many ways and not many skills really it wont make wow die though

Seth6666
Seth6666

HOLY CRAP!!! WoW will look so bad compaired to this game i got bored of WoW so fast! but this sounds like i wont n it will keep me wanting to play it more =D im so gonna get this game! its a shame tho that the relese date is so far from now =( oh well more time they spend making the game better i guess!!

Alvarooooooo
Alvarooooooo

woohoo, looks great. But why havent i seen any futuristic MMORPGs'?

bitmap
bitmap

Warhammer Online is based on a solid long-standing franchise (the Warhammer name has been around for 25 years) and Mythic seems to be doing an awesome job at making this game seriously great. Warhammer is a more raw, bloody, gritty, and full-on experience unlike a lot of other light-hearted fantasy adventures........Warhammer Online is going to make WoW look like a puppet show.

Destroyeron13
Destroyeron13

If they can pull off that PVP leveling system so you can level like that forever then WAR will definitely be awesome, and win my subscription.

DogOfDeath
DogOfDeath

Mythic, as anyone knows, made DoaC. I think they deserve the respect of the MMO World.

robinsky
robinsky

If the crew that is working on it now will not change, the game is gonna be next BIG hit. WoW pvp will not even come close to what WAR will bring. Yeah, baby!

roams
roams

EA is not making the game... Mythic is... Mythic is a sound company that has made it's mark in the mmo world and has proven it's self. Warhammer is a long lived franchised that, though perhaps not as widely known as D&D, is still very well known and rich in material and color.

Mephistroth
Mephistroth

EA Making an MMORPG.. Im sorry but Im just gonna hafta assume its terrible few games EA makes are good and judging from the trailer its a typical EA game shows lots of action.. but can it back it up with core game-play?

Erebus
Erebus

If this wasn't Mythic, I'd probably be thinking, "Wow, another MMORPG based on a franchise I know nothing or care little about." However, this IS Mythic, and therefore I will be purchasing this game. I still think DAoC was a better game than WoW is currently. =)

SilverDeath
SilverDeath

I'm really looking forward to the journal, it's like wikipedia/thottbot/idiot's guide to warhammer all packed into one small file.

Atroxy
Atroxy

And we haven't even seen the Empire, Hordes of Chaos, Dark Elves and High Elves!

warkrusher
warkrusher

Tbh i think this is the MMorpg im waiting for.. currently playing daoc.. but still Toa has left its marks, still i think mythic has learn from it and to me its without a doubt one of the most experienced teams out there, i also played UO, so i know what happened to it.. i just hope that the story doesnt repeat.. Crossing Fingers :>

trigun3x
trigun3x

it looks good, but knowing EA they'll stuff it up

ZhadowShadow
ZhadowShadow

It's WAR. Warhammer online: Age of Reckoning. WAR.

Zombie2k
Zombie2k

All of the stuff mentioned is pre-EA, we'll see what kind of disastrous turn things take in the near future.

TENTHROW2
TENTHROW2

OHHH YEAH!! WoL is gonna rock the house.