Warhammer Online

( 3 votes, 3.33 stars ) 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
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UPDATE: This game has been shutdown and is no longer available

Free Trial Restrictions: Limitless Free Trial. Level Cap of 10. Cannot trade or use auction system.

Overview

Warhammer Online Overview

Warhammer Online is a game that focuses heavily on large scale PvP skirmishes. Players can join instances battlegrounds right after character creation and even sections of the beginner zones have open PvP enabled between the two warring realms. The graphics and gameplay are similar to Blizzard’s mega hit World of Warcraft but have a much more realistic feel. The game’s story centers around the ongoing conflict between the realms of Order (Dwarves, High Elves, The Empire) and Chaos (Dark Elves, Greenskins, Chaos.) Each race has its own version of the four class archetypes*:

Tank - The tank’s main role is to adsorb damage and keep the enemy’s from focusing on less fortified allies. Tanks use heavy armor and either a one handed weapon and shield or a two handed weapon.

Melee DPS - The classic Rogue archetype. Melee DPS classes have less armor and health than tanks but can dish out far more damage in a given amount of time. They often have abilities that disable, slow, or hinder their target’s mobility.

Ranged DPS - This category encompasses both classes that use magic and those that wield magic. These classes generally have low armor and health and must stay at a safe distance to be effective. Often Ranged DPS classes rely on the protection of melee oriented archetypes.

Healer - Healers are the supportive classes of WAR. They possess the ability to heal and buff their allies but can also cast offensive spells. Healers excel in large scale fights but are less effective in solo combat.

* Some classes are gender specific for certain races.

Warhammer Online Screenshots

Warhammer Online Featured Video

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Full Review

Warhammer Online Review

By Erhan Altay

When I first heard that Mythic was developing a new MMORPG based on Games Workshop’s Warhammer franchise back in 2005, I remember getting very excited. Mythic’s previous game, Dark Age of Camelot, was one of my favorite MMORPGs and while I never played the tabletop Warhammer fantasy game, I was a fan the science fiction version: Warhammer 40,000. Games Workshop has always been great at creating detailed fictional universes and Mythic is a master at the craft of building MMOs so it was almost taken for granted that combined they would finally dethrone Blizzard’s World of Warcraft. On September 2008 Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning was released and looked set to fulfill the prophecies but then experienced a huge decline in active subscribers. Recently, in an attempt to garner more players, EA Mythic (as it is now known) has made available a 10 day free trial.

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Limited Time Offer

It’s not often that such a recently released big-budget subscription based game offers a free trial so I was a bit suspicious from the start. Turns out I had cause for concern since this 10 day trial is very restrictive. Firstly, trial players can only play on one of two servers, they cannot send in-game mail or use the auction feature. So far so good, but the deal breaker is that free players cannot advance past rank (aka level) 10. Not even the most casual of gamers will need all ten days to max out their trial character but luckily players can continue to participate in RvR, or realm vs realm, battles even after hitting the rank cap. Hopefully as time goes by the terms of WAR’s free trial will improve. Mythic’s older title, Dark Age of Camelot, has a 14 day free trial with none of the restrictions found in Warhammer Online’s . Before we delve and deeper, I recommend anyone still interested in trying the game to download the installer and start patching this massive game, at over 5 GB it will take even those of us on a broadband connection some time to finish.

The Realms at WAR

The first phase of character creation involves joining the either the realm of Order or Chaos which are in a state of perpetual war with one another. Each realm is composed of three races and each race has its own version of the four class archetypes. So for example a Dwarf tank is called an Ironbreaker while a Dark Elf tank is referred to as a Black Guard. There are subtle differences between the classes of the six races and some classes are only available to members of a certain gender of a race. There are fewer races in WAR than in WoW but the level of appearance customization is much higher in Warhammer Online. Players have multiple face styles, eye colors, hair styles, and hair colors to chose from along with race specific options such as scars or jewelry. I’ll be comparing this game to WoW more as I go on since it’s obvious that WAR borrows heavily from the previous title and competes directly with it in the fantasy pay-to-play MMORPG market.

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A Running Start

Warhammer Online starts off with a bang, the starting areas are alive and very much in the thick of the ongoing war. Plenty of quests are available and clearly marked on the mini map. These quests are worth completing since they act as the game’s ‘running tutorial.’ There are no surprises in the game’s controls but the interface is an improvement from previous titles. During the first few levels, you’ll be running around completing the typical quest types: kill quests, fetch quests, fed ex delivery quests and so on. Eventually, you’ll run into areas with what are called ‘public quests’ which have a set of objectives that all players in the area can contribute to. By completing public quests, your realm gains more influence in that particular map and helps your realm claim it. Unfortunately , the starting areas tend to be nearly empty and even if that were not the case, the time it takes to complete these quests makes them pointless unless you’re a completionist.

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An Obsessive Dream

Warhammer Online is often criticized for not having enough PvE content, this may be true towards the late game but during my free trial I felt like I was in a completionist’s dream. The single greatest interface improvement in the game is the Tome of Knowledge which acts as the quest log and general logbook for each character. It tracks every monster you encounter, how many times you’ve killed each type of monster, your total play time, the bits of lore you’ve unlocked, short biographies of famous NPCs you’ve met, and so much more. There’s a whole section dedicated to achievements that players can complete. Some are simple such as ‘loot 25 items’ or ‘die x amount of times’ but others involve traveling out of your way to accomplish. Clicking ‘m’ opens up a map of the current zone and, just as inWoW , players can continue to walk while this map is open. WAR takes it a step further by marking areas where players have quest obligations to fulfill. The tome of knowledge combined with the map and mini map give Warhammer Online the best default user interface I have ever experienced.

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No Need to Grind

What really sets Warhammer apart from WoW is just how focused it is on PvP. Players can actually get to the max rank purely through PvP though acquiring the best late-game gear requires raiding high level dungeons. Player vs Player, or Realm vs Realm as WAR prefers, can take several forms: open world, (called skirmishes) scenarios, Battlefields, and Campaigns. Each and every zone in Warhammer Online has open pvp areas and forts or territories that can be claimed by one side or the other by completing public quests and repeatable events. Scenarios are small instanced areas similar to WoW’s battleground. Players can enlist in scenario queries from anywhere in the game world starting at level 1. When enough players within a certain level range from each of the realms signs up, those players are teleported to the scenario battlefield and the games commence. There are various types of scenarios but they all require the two teams to take and hold a number of strategic points across the map. Holding these positions causes your realm’s points to increase faster and the team that hits a certain number, usually 500 is declared the winner. By participating in these scenarios, you’ll receive a great deal of experience not to mention renown points which can be used to purchase special gear and unlock RvR specific abilities.

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Behind The Veil

There’s much more to Warhammer Online but sadly it is currently inaccessible to free trial players. Besides only being able to a progress to rank 10, players can only explore ‘tier 1′ maps leaving 3/4 of the game world locked away. I’ve read that with enough planning and a large enough raiding party, it’s possible to conquer the opposing realm’s capital city A 10 day trial sounds impressive but with 2-3 days worth of accessible content, the 5GB download becomes difficult to swallow. The game constantly reminds you to upgrade your account and those who wish to will need to purchase a retail copy of the game and start paying the $15 monthly fee after the first month that comes free with the retail purchase.

Final Verdict: Good

Warhammer Online is a solid MMORPG and in many ways a step up from WoW but has many shortcomings. It can only be enjoyed when there are a large number of players online and the trial only offers a dim view of what the game has to offer. PvP fans have plenty to like and so do solo adventurers but players mainly interested in rich end game PvE content may need to look elsewhere.

Screenshots

Warhammer Online Screenshots

Videos

Warhammer Online Videos

Warhammer Online Character Creation

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Warhammer Online Gameplay Footage

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Warhammer Online Cinematic Trailer

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Warhammer Online RvR Scenario

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Warhammer Online Boss Battle

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Links

Warhammer Online Links

 

Warhammer Online Wikipedia Entry

 

System Requirements

Warhammer Online Requirements

Minimum Requirements:
OS: Windows XP / Vista
CPU: Pentium 2.5 GHz P4
RAM: 2 GB
HDD: 8 GB
Graphics Card: 128 MB video card

Recommended Specifications:
OS: Windows XP / Vista
CPU: Pentium 4 2.4Ghz / AMD Athlon XP 2400 or better
RAM: 2 GB or more
HDD: 15 GB
Graphics Card: 128 MB video card or better

 
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