Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning
Release date18 Sep 2008
An MMORPG based on the Games Workshop franchise developed by Mythic Entertainment and produced by Electronic Arts. Some of the features were brutal RvR battles (Realm vs Realm) and siege warfare. Warhammer Online was shut down December 18th, 2013.
About Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning is released by Electronic Arts in 18 Sep 2008. The game is designed by Mythic Entertainment. Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning is a typical representative of the Role-playing (RPG) genre. Playing Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning is a pleasure. It does not matter whether it is the first or a millionth hour in Role-playing (RPG), there will always be room for something new and interesting. Thrilling levels and gameplay Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning will not leave anyone indifferent. The complexity of gameplay increases with each new level and does not let any player get bored.
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Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning is versatile and does not stand still, but it is never too late to start playing. The game, like many Role-playing (RPG) games has a full immersion in gaming. AllGame staff continues to play it.
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning is perfect for playing alone or with friends.
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Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning - game review
September 25, 1997 and November 23, 2004 are two very special dates for the MMO genre. The first one marks the debut of Ultima Online , the de facto progenitor of this game genre. The second - the start of the king of kings - World of WarCraft - a production thanks to which MMO ceased to be only the domain of fanatics of online struggles, and has become entertainment for millions of casual, hardcore and casual players. For months, hundreds of fans of this genre have been wondering whether the reviewed Wahammer Online will start the next chapter in the history of this type of game. Will it beat the wildly popular Warcraft ? After three months of testing the game, I must admit that the answer to this question is: NO. However, those who call WAR as bad, secondary or misfire will go astray. It is quite the opposite. The men from Mythic, the company we owe to Dark Age of Camelot , managed to create a title that is the essence of the idea of mass entertainment, full of new ideas and solutions, with a unique world structure and an equally unique system of fights between worlds. Its biggest problem is that it is an exact definition of mass gameplay, a gameplay in which the individual is practically nothing - and interested in it are not a few million ordinary, gray players who want to stand out, but several hundred thousand real MMO enthusiasts, with high skills and big experience.
Our adventure with the Mythic product begins quite standard. We buy the game. From the descriptions attached to the box, we learn that its action takes place in a fantasy universe called Warhammer Fantasy Battle, which is a world developed by Games Workshop for over 20 years. We have two sides to the conflict, Order and Destruction, one a little less bad, the other a little more. We install, fire up, download hundreds of patches and finally reach the moment of choosing between the two mentioned groups. Then we decide on the server (classic rules: Open RvR, Open RvR / Role Play, Role Play and Core), then on the race (High Elves, Greenskini, Dark Elves, etc.), and then on the character class. Each side has different classes, but here and here we will find heroes corresponding to the basic archetypes known from other MMOs. So we have DPS casters, i.e. weaknesses, but dealing with spells powerful damage from a distance (e.g. Bright Wizard for Order and Sorceress for Destruction), healers, i.e. those who heal, steel tanks designed to defend the two above, as well as characters designed to deal high damage in close combat. There are also mixed classes, such as Shamans or Dwarven Engineers that deal ranged damage with normal weapons, not spells. All this is in line with the realities of Warhammer fantasy, although not deviating from the canon of the genre.
Finally, we give our character a name and appear in the starting camp. We look around, take quests from nearby NPCs and set off for typical leveling. The first glance at the world map is surprising. Wait a minute. We should be in some zone surrounded by a few other wives, making up some continent. What the hell's going on? We have just discovered the first unusual feature of Wahammer Online - the construction of the world. At first glance, it looks quite complicated (see screen below).
The world is divided into three realms that are the core areas of the antagonistic factions, i.e. Dwarves versus Greenskini, Empire versus Chaos, and High Elves versus Dark Elves. Each of these three lands was cut into four slices, the so-called Tiery. Basically the point is that the locations included in each of them are intended for players with a given level of experience, Tier 1 for levels from 1 to 10, Tier 2 for levels from 11 to 20, etc. And so we come to the point where this whole the intricate structure becomes trivially simple for the average player. The point is that the first camp in Tier 1 with the last, the twenty-second one in Tier 4, almost under the gate of the opposing faction's capital, are connected by one road. So it is enough to follow this path between individual camps and simply complete the quests given there. Nothing more simple and intuitive. In addition, we can move between three lands and perform tasks for each faction.
That's not all. A key feature of Wahammer Online is the Realm vs. Realm, as was the case in Dark Age of Camlot, the previous game by Mythic studio. Unlike her, however, we do not have to wait here until we achieve a high level of experience to participate in a global war. The tiers are constructed in such a way that some of them are occupied by PvE Destruction locations, some of the Order's PvE, and some of them are RvR, where we can struggle with players of the opposite side from the very first level. In an extreme case, we can not only earn Fame Points this way, but also simply level up, almost completely skipping quests and fighting monsters. As you can easily guess, the higher the level we reach with our character, and thus with Tier, the greater part of the maps are occupied by RvR areas.
Although I have already mentioned RvR combat, the topic of building the game in the context of PvE has not been adequately described. We find here other interesting and at the same time unprecedented solutions. The first is related to everything that has the word "Public" in its name, from quests to war groups. The idea is simple and is based on the assumption that no player should play alone if there are any more or less organized people in his location.
In the case of public quests, which are available in virtually every Warhammer location, after entering the territory covered by this type of task, we automatically become the person who performs them. If the group of heroes gathered in the area manage to complete the task, everyone is credited with experience depending on their individual contribution to success, and the best ones receive additional rewards in the form of items. In turn, public groups are available to everyone. We enter a new area and we can immediately see in the menu how many public groups are active there, and we can join them as we want. I do not have to tell anyone familiar with the MMO genre that the consequence of these treatments is the lack of people running around and begging to join the singles groups.
Another novelty is called Tome of Knowledge, which is our Tom of Knowledge. At first glance, it is nothing more than a regular quest log. Upon closer inspection, however, we begin to see that it is in fact a gigantic center of knowledge about what we do and did, and the world of WAR itself . Every monster killed, every quest, every place or NPC encountered has an annotation here. What's more, the number of entries in this volume is also important for how we overcome successive locations filled with hostile monsters. For example, killing 1000 undead, undead bosses, as well as performing other related activities (e.g. quests), is treated as an extraordinary exploration of knowledge about them and rewarded with a special skill, called a tactic, which can, for example, increase the damage dealt to such monsters by 5% or to reduce their sensitivity to our presence, etc. There are dozens of such tactics and they are still being discovered by players traveling the game world. And believe me, although the very construction of the world, and especially the main road connecting the first to the last camp, may lead to erroneous conclusions that Wahammer Online is a disaster in the context of PvE content and quests, the world prepared by Mythic is full of flavors that are worth discovering and praising get them through Tome of Knowledge. Everyone who breaks away from the main road for a moment and goes to explore the nearby areas will find there new quests, camps of various groups (e.g. cultists), where, with a bit of luck, after a moment of observing, e.g. a boss, they will learn about unique rituals etc., etc. There is a lot of it.
RvR - a term informing the customer that the game has a world versus world combat system. Cool, but what does it mean in practice? How is it different from typical PvP? Basically, it is about the scale of the enterprise. If 40 enemy players meet in a typical MMO, they just start to massacre each other and then the one who survives tells stories of what the battle was like - ho ho. And since it had no tactical sense other than just fucking for a few experience points, that's another matter. In WAR , as in DAoC , 40 people are a tiny picnic. The fun begins when there are hundreds on both sides of the conflict. And it is not an inertial mass. Each site is organized in a certain way and with specific goals. It is the defense of the fortress, it is the seizure of a strategic point, here called Battlefield Objective (colloquially BO), etc.
Yes, my friends, the goal of the war in WAR is to sack the main city of the opposing faction in Tier 4 and this cannot be achieved by flying a swarm of people ahead. There are three large locations on the road between one city and another. To get to a hostile metropolis, we have to take full control over them, i.e. in WAR terminology, lock them (this means that the enemy cannot occupy anything on them). It's just about getting so many victory points for the fight to move to another location, one closer to the enemy's capital. This is done in several ways, but the most important of them are slaughtering opponents, capturing strategic points, keeps, and finally taking part in scenarios. The latter is nothing more than a small bow to the fans of the popular PvP carnage, i.e. instances for a dozen players (straight from WoW ). There are over a dozen of them throughout the game, and the goal, apart from the obvious - the death of the opponent - is, for example, to get the flag or places that score winning points. So nothing that we would not know from typical multi games.
Returning, however, to BO or fortresses, the quintessence of RvR, as I said before, the winner will be who is better organized, commanded and more effective. WAR is a field for guilds and long-standing alliances made up of old-timers. A well-commanded 100 players is able to defeat even twice as many opponents and this happens in the game almost every day. Why attack the opposing but more numerous enemy, how you can withdraw, take the distant BO before he has time to react, then - when the inert mass of opponents rushes to take the BO - quickly, with the help of rams, capture an undefended keep, and then organize a real defense of Częstochowa , with cannons and boiling oil. And, by the way, send 2-3 teams of aces into the field, so that they cut down the stretched and chaotic lines of the enemy. Just like on a real battlefield. Impressions and fun from playing amazing. This is the RvR and the basis of WAR. Additionally, the feeling of the battle is intensified by one particular function - the collision of characters. Here it is impossible to penetrate a tank or another hero and kill the healer behind him. Seemingly, this is a minimal difference from, for example, WoW, but in practice it radically changes the face of the fight. The best proof of this is the feat of my friends from the Allies, when in 3 groups (about 20 peasants) we literally barricaded in one house and almost two warbands (over 90 people) of opponents did not manage to get us out of there. The reason - the wall of the tanks at the narrow entrance, with proper treatment - impassable.
Everything I have covered so far does not end the WAR content list. These are just the things that are nowhere to be found elsewhere, things that largely affect the image of this game and set it apart from today's MMOs. In addition, of course, we will find here also dungeons, where we will go for fancy items and whole sets of armor, we also find crafting options, various character development trees, character development points earned in RvR combat, RvR rewards, guild development system and a lot of other curiosities about which the next several hundred thousand characters could be written. However, I am to rate Wahammer Online , not to write a pocket gamer guide. Almost every day from the moment of its premiere I move to this fantasy world, I visit it, fight it, discover it and I find that in my opinion it is the most interesting and addictive MMO I have ever played. Unfortunately, I cannot call it perfect. And it's not about minor bugs and imperfections in quests, character balance and the like, which, as usual in the new MMO, there are a lot. First of all, in its classic form (Core servers), it is a game dedicated to rather experienced people with considerable skills, who, in addition, derive their main pleasure from constant fun in large communities (and contrary to appearances, there are hundreds of isolated individualists in MMO worlds).
In addition, now all the fun with RvR is spoiled by technical problems related to the functioning of the servers. Is that a game code? Or the inept French from the GOA company, dealing with the distribution and administration of servers on our continent (yes, these gentlemen spoiled the European DAoC). I don't know, and frankly speaking, that doesn't interest a gray MMO fan. A gray MMO fan is flooded with blood when, during an enemy city attack, almost one step away from the dangling head of the opposing king, the server overloads and restarts ... and so on three more times. Then, a few weeks later, it turns out that something has broken and the gates of our fort, protecting access to our city, are simply open to the enemy. And how to defend yourself ?! That I will not mention the unmerciful laaaaagu of the server accompanying the bigger sieges of the keep.
The last critical problem is the balance on the servers. In the title, where the goal of the game is the constant fight of worlds, the balance and maintenance of the Destruction and Order populations on the servers should be a key issue. Meanwhile, the honorable GOA allows a situation in which the server of some is half more than the other, and the entire Warhammer Online convention begins to crash.
In this way, a game designed and made above average, a game that could actually conquer the world, is destroyed by technical matters and inept administration. Unfortunately, in the current situation, this title does not deserve a higher grade than 8/10, but be aware that the concept is not a bad one. And thus, after some time, when the problems with the servers disappear, practically all the cons that I mentioned will also disappear. Then my note is 9/10.
Przemysław "Łosiu" Bartula
Screenshots will help you evaluate the graphics and gameplay of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.
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