WAR Beta Impressions

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.

– Ethic

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I own this little MMO gaming blog but I hardly ever write on it any more. I'm more of a bloglord or something. Thankfully I have several minions to keep things rolling along.

10 thoughts on “WAR Beta Impressions”

  1. Did you have a chance to experience the living guild features? That was the other thing that got me exited for the game, but haven’t heard much about.

  2. @Sphexish: I did not get involved in any guilds at all. I too am curious to learn more about that feature.

  3. I’ve never been in a beta where each patch brought such significant improvements each time

    Do you remember the DAoC beta? They did a remarkably large number of changes right at the end, including more or less making an entirely new Theurgist class with a unique quasi-pet feature. This was good, in that a lot of really interesting stuff came in, and bad, in that there was not a lot of time to get it working properly, and some of that “working properly” was pushed into live. (I assume all the beta bugs have been fixed by now.)

    I mention that to wonder about precedent: lots of big changes, but will there still be big changes two weeks before live?

  4. I think, perhaps, that since I missed out on DAoC I am really excited about WAR. I mean, when I gained a level while doing some RvR I was totally shocked. I did not even notice I was getting XP I was just fighting with a small group of people against impossible odds and smiling the whole time.

  5. Bugs are kinda expected in mmos when they are new especially in beta. Crashes to desktop are better then game freezes you have to reboot your computer for. I had a lot of those with AoC. The mob glitches are probably server side which they are still working on hopefully it will be fixed before launch. Graphics were probably set low so they had a controlled test of the game and get data without having to worry about it being related to the graphics on individual pcs. Doesn’t sound like any of these problems were so bad they broke the game. Hope they get fixed.

  6. “It was not unusual to attack something and watch it run around trying to find a path to you”

    I will find out tomorrow but that’s the thing that absolutely drove me crazy in LOTRO. I never noticed it levelling my Guardian up to 50, or even my minstrel. But once I played a Hunter and was relying on pathing that made some sort of sense to trap and predict where they’d go, I was defeated time after time by LOS and mobs running all over the darn place. I hope WAR is not as bad. I won’t be able to stand playing ranged if it is.

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