I’m not interested in writing a bunch of stuff that will likely be covered by several other sites so instead I’m just going to write a little about the impressions I got from playing in the Warhammer Online beta.
First off, the game was not nearly as polished as I had hoped. It had plenty of weird bugs and glitches including the “crash to desktop”. It was not unusual to attack something and watch it run around trying to find a path to you. Messages appeared on the screen telling you that you are out of range of something even though it is standing in front of you. Many of the classes really did nothing for me at first glance. I almost felt like I had to choose the class that was the least boring. The level of graphics was restricted to a level that made it hard to enjoy at times. So all in all, it was not the perfect game ready to take the world by storm.
However, I’ve never been in a beta where each patch brought such significant improvements each time. It was impressive to see what they could do. Most of the bugs and glitches went away and the graphics seemed to get better and better.
I started playing each class up to level 5 or 6, just to get a taste. What surprised me what how each class changed in flavor as I gained skills. It was a delight to see what each new skill brought to my gameplay. At one point they restricted us to level 31 characters. I was impressed to see how many quests were available at that level, as well as getting a taste of some of the higher level skills. It gave me a lot to look forward to.
There are a few things that really sold me on this game. Public Quests, RvR, and the Tome of Knowledge. I won’t go into a lot of detail on these, but all three made me really excited to start playing for real. I will touch on them briefly.
Public Quests are areas in the game that pops a quest onto your screen. It tells you what phase it is on and what the objectives are. All of the ones I have tried are 3 phases. If you want to join in, you can just start helping. Each person contributes and the more the merrier. The final phase usually has a boss to take down – perhaps a giant. When it is all over, the game calculates participation and does a roll to see who gets loot. Even if you are not one of the winners, you get XP and influence. I have participated in several of them, sometimes even just walking into the final phase and healing the tanks and winning loot. Other times I was involved the whole time and did not win loot. Either way I had fun and felt fully rewarded. The loot is just a nice random bonus you might get. The public quests reset in a few minutes so you can hang out and do them over and over if you wish.
RvR is something I was hesitant to try as I am not normally into that sort of thing. At level 5 I took my Bright Mage into battle in one of the open RvR areas and had a complete blast. The combat was fun and I actually gained a few levels just running around and killing Destruction players. In fact, I had quests to kill them. I would sometimes take control of a canon which you could shoot at the other side and do area effect damage. It’s kind of a first person targeting situation, very cool. I participated in many kills and only died twice. Normally getting killed bothers me, it did not in WAR. I jumped up and ran back to the battle. This RvR is something totally new to me and I eagerly await more of it.
The Tome of Knowledge is pretty hard to describe. It’s kind of like a journal the game keeps for you. It has lore of people, places, and creatures you encounter. It has quests, current and completed. It has titles and accomplishments. It is really quite amazing how well it works with the game. I’m going to leave it others to go into more detail with this as I am still trying to come to terms with all that it brings to the game.
So there you have my brain dump. If you have further questions fire away and I’ll try to answer them as best as I can. Otherwise, I hope to see you on the battlefield. If you would like to fight by my side, head on over to the Casualties of WAR.