Let’s Have a Look-See: Warhammer Online

Finally, a game that gets it right

Finally, a game that gets it right

Let’s start this post with one quick reassurance to all my fans who are aghast at today’s content: Dueg is not leaving WoW to play another game.  I love WoW, I love raiding, I love being a healer, all that crap.  But lately all I do is raid, I’m not sure what it is, but when I don’t have a 25 or 10 day scheduled, then I’m usually off doing other things such as painting my 40k minis (Black Templars/Inquisition FTW) or reading.  So I decided, hell, they just started giving out 10 man free trials, I’ll try Warhammer Online, I’ve heard good things, and I’ll even make up a post about it!  So my wandering eye is your benefit as I make a comparison post regarding these two games.

Let me start by saying that I made a Witch Hunter character for several reasons.  A) I didn’t want to be a healer because I wanted to observe the game and you can’t do that so well when you’re focused on people’s life bars.  B) I like the idea behind the Witch Hunters as a devoted servant of the Human race, seeking out heretics and enemies within it’s ranks.  The closest WoW equivalent would be a rogue, and there are similarities, such as building combo points and finishing moves, but other distinct differences as well.  And C), because it let me have a totally bitching mustache AND mutton chops.

Now, before I get into game specifics, let’s have a bit of an overview.  WoW tries to be everywhere with their game and it’s fueled by content.  They have PvP and PvE and try very hard to accommodate both types of players as much as humanly possible, which is why Blizzard has such broad appeal.  Warhammer Online is really more of a PvP (or RVR, as in Realm v Realm) game which actively encourages both Battleground and Public Realm battles with various strategic points for capture.  There is also PvE content with an interesting concept for public quests and some instances, but there’s much less of an emphasis on that.  I’m unsure if lower levels have access to the instances, but I was unable to find one.  As I said, that’s a broad generalization, let’s take a closer look.

PvP – This is Warhammer’s claim to fame and honestly, their system feels more like they get it right than Blizzard’s.  Now, I’m not a big PvP fan in WoW, I’ve run all the BG’s just to see them, but I don’t really enjoy PvP.  My main problem is that the only type of rewards you get from PvP is PvP.  Blizzard has homogenized it way too much, which I don’t really understand.  If someone spends hours and hours PvPing, how is that different from spending hours and hours raiding?  Why can’t the gear be the same for both?  Warhammer Online, on the other hand, didn’t seem to have this problem.

There’s no specialty stat for PvP, your stats mean the same in both worlds.  There is a ward system that’s necessary for PvE end game and useless for PvP, but you get that stat as a side effect from wearing both your PvP and PvE reward sets, so it doesn’t affect your play style too much.  The battlegrounds and realm battle systems are both interesting and encourage players to participate for rewards.  The best part though?  You get experience for killing other players, and you can loot them (not from their inventory or gear) for profit.  This kind of system is something I could possibly get behind.

PvE – Here is where I have to give it to Blizzard.  WoW is a deeply rich, superior PvE system that is known for the fact that it constantly releases new content that regularly tops the old.  But I can’t really make a good comparison of it to Warhammer Online because I only had the trial account, making it to level 10 and no further.  However, one incredibly interesting aspect that is different from WoW is the Public Quest system.

Basically, in this system, once you enter an area you begin the quest.  Something will pop up, telling you the goals and you can either participate in the event as a group or singly.  There will usually be about three stages where the goals change and new mobs spawn.  Once the final boss has been defeated, a small window pops up and calculates on who contributed the most to the event and then rolls, giving the top people bonuses to the roll.  The top three people each get to loot a bag that rewards a choice of nice items based on where were you were in the roll and everyone else just gets coin.  Everything else is just your basic PvE content, quests and whatnot.

Social – This seemed about the same, unsurprisingly.  The chat was generally quiet or filled with people talking about their computers or their daily lives.  It was your standard general chat nonsense except that there were at least a couple of conversations about how this was different from WoW.  Almost everyone it seemed was a WoW defectee.  One thing that annoyed me, however, was the fact that no one asked you before inviting you into the group.  I don’t know if that’s standard practice in Warhammer, but simply on principle, I declined every invitation I got because I never once got a whisper first.

Trade Skills – I took the trade skill of talisman making which is similar to jewel crafting from WoW except for the components parts.  The way it worked is that you have to get a container to create the talisman in, which will be consumed with each creation.  You then have to place a fragment, which you can get from humanoid corpses through a secondary profession called Scavenging.  Scavenging will allow you to get a fragment, curio or very rarely a gold essence from already looted humanoid corpses.  You must have a fragment for every combine and you can also add curios, gold essences or magic essences, resulting in more powerful talismans.

Here’s the catch: As I’ve said, Scavenging will yield a fragment, curio or gold essences, but will not yield magic essences.  Magic essences can only be obtained through another profession called Salvaging, that is basically a disenchant system.  That’s a very broad comparison, btw.  The most powerful talismans need magic essences, but it’s quicker to level the profession using Scavenging since that’s where fragments come from.  There are also three different rarities that all produce better results, with the rarest being the most powerful.

Character Customization – This is another spot where Warhammer has an edge over WoW.  You get four trophy slots where you can place an item that’s purely decorative, but you start with three locked.  They unlock every ten levels after that.  You can also dye your gear with a majority of colors.  There’s a fair amount of choices and ways to customize your character at creation with extra choices such as scars, facial hair, jewelry and other things to go along with standard face and skin tone options.  It’s not too difficult to get your character to look the way you want it to.

Would I buy a month? If I weren’t playing WoW, yes, I’d prolly get a month in order to try to see what it was like at higher levels.  But honestly, I’m not looking for a second MMO right now and I want to down Yogg-Sarron and get better gear and eventually slap Arthas around as well.  This was a fun distraction, but that’s all it was and I knew from the start that it would be fleeting.  It’s fun and interesting, but in the end, it’s not what I’m looking for in a game.  But I think we all know where I can find that.



8 Responses to “Let’s Have a Look-See: Warhammer Online”

  1. 06/16/2009 at 2:37 PM

    Channels smartypants: it’s dye that colors your gear, not die. ❤

  2. 2 Jov
    06/16/2009 at 2:45 PM

    *taunts happy-fun Dueg*

    I’m curious about the 10-man free trials myself >.>

  3. 06/16/2009 at 2:50 PM

    @Amber: Uuuuh… that’s what it always said, yeah, that’s right >.>

    @Jov: I just find it fun to try out new games every once in a while

  4. 06/16/2009 at 2:52 PM

    Not going to lie. That game is fun for about 3 hours, and then you get higher leveled and it… goes kind of downhill. 😦

    Public questing kind of sucks because even the easy ones take a while to do by yourself. The lack of players and the strange active times (a Core server that was EST had people online at 3 AM, but not at 8 PM…)

    But I played a Chosen, so that was fun while it lasted!

  5. 06/16/2009 at 3:00 PM

    @KittsL Yeah, Warhammer’s biggest problem is that it has too many servers for the population. They need to combine some of them so that the fighting becomes more ferocious.

  6. 6 Daria
    06/16/2009 at 10:12 PM

    Funny you would make this post today as I just canceled my sub again. I played for a month for the initial launch of the game, and they were allowing old accounts to play for 10 days free. The old issues are still plaguing the game especially in the lower tiers. If you are unlucky enough to be on a lower population server as I was there are very few scenario pops, no action in the RvR areas, and trying to PvE as a healer is abysmal. I couldn’t stand the thought of rerolling again so I didn’t see the point of playing.
    The game had some good ideas but they didn’t come to light since it requires other people playing with you to make it work.
    Now I’m thinking about trying Aion.

  7. 7 Light
    06/17/2009 at 8:36 AM

    PVP is easier than raiding. You don’t get a repair bill when you die, you don’t need to farm for food and flasks, you don’t even need to spec for it or have PVP gear.

    I did four battlegrounds in 30 minutes yesterday, plus WG for over 10k honor. That kind of investment in time I’ve never seen in a raid.

    The down side is that PVP gear is very very expensive.

  8. 06/17/2009 at 5:17 PM

    I got a Chaos Zealot to about level 2 before deciding that it was too much like WoW. If I want to play a WoW-esque game, it may as well be the original, with all my guildies.

    But mostly I just posted to say: on non-raid nights, I work on my tiny ork army. /wargamer handshake

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