by Gina Dunn, Onrpg writer
Is this the next generation MMORPG?
WARHAMMER online: Age of Reckoning was coined as”the next generation MMORPG” by its creators and launched on September 18th to be precise, to the waiting arms of a huge number of fans. Just a few weeks before the launch, the open beta began with a staggering number of beta applications toping at over a million. I was lucky enough to participate in both the closed, open beta, and headstart live launch to get a better feel for this highly anticipated game. As a solid MMORPG player, I was excited to check it out and see what all the fuss was about.
In general, the game feels and looks great, even did in its beta form. However, I had thought that when the live “headstart” servers opened it would be patched and some of the obvious bugs in the beta would be patched. But, to my surprise there was no patch for the US servers at launch. However EU servers got an initial patch. I imagined it would only get better when the final patches were released and the game itself went live but that didn’t happen.
In the time I’ve played the game I had a great experience with races and classes (known as careers) in the game. It was surprising how many races and careers there are in the game, making me wonder how it will effect the character balancing in later levels. But more to that later. The general style of the game looks realistic, and not cartoony for the most part. This was a welcome change to my experience in other MMOs of late. The art style is something that immediately caught my attention, much more dark and what you’d expect from Warhammer.
There are some items of note that I originally thought were beta / early start bugs, but in the end where not. May things don’t work properly in the graphics, including spell effects. For example, some party casts on you are not shown on your own character. I was able to see this by playing in a party with someone which I was sitting side-by-side in real life. I was able to see that as a healer, my heals where not showing on the tanks screen on his character. Settings for “show party spell effects” were set to – all – so either this is how it is supposed to be or its still buggy. Guess we’ll see in the future, but it is extremely frustrating for my tank to not know he’s getting heals. As far as far off terrain is visibly of very low graphic quality, I am still hoping this is something that they fix with a patch in the future.
Ever wondered what would happen if your favorite addons from other MMORPGs were automatically built-into the release of a “next generation” MMO? Well WARHAMMER ONLINE would be it. It has some fantastic UI features including the ability to fully customize the layout, how it funtions, how it looks, and so forth – completely putting you in charge of your screen layout. The editor is extremely intuative and easy to use and I was able to customize in a matter of a minute. Other interface features I enjoyed were some of the quest tools, while at the same time some of these exact same tools seemed to make the game simply too easy. Those who are still unhappy with the current addons can still grab some additional addons online and try them out.
The gameplay is not rocket science and ground breaking compared to other top MMOs, its a fair amount of grinding to level and I noticed that its very hard to level past 20, just seems to take forever. I played primarily healers in my testing, but even healing classes are interestingly able to do considerable damage too. Its a bit of a different game mechanic then but one that is also fun.
But what else? There’s a lot more to talk about and divulge from my testing but you’ll have to wait until Part 2 comes 🙂 Some teasers.. Part 2 includes RVR and PVP, Siege, Chickens, and Careers! So keep on the lookout next week.
by Gina Dunn, Onrpg writer