Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning is the latest offering from EA Mythic – the developers of the hugely successful MMORPG Dark Ages of Camelot. Regarded by many as the leading developer of online games, EA Mythic have now teamed up with Games Workshop to produce a persistent online RPG set in the Warhammer Fantasy world.
The official, and catchy, abbreviation for the new game is WAR – certainly less of a mouthful that the full title. The game is set to be released during the second quarter of 2008 amidst much hype and anticipation.
As the title suggests WAR is a combat focused MMORPG. Players are able to decide if they want to fight for the good guys or the bad ones. In the world of Warhammer this translates into two major factions.
The Armies of Order recruit Humans, known as Empire, Dwarfs and High Elves. Opposing those who seek peace are the Greenskins (Goblins and Orcs), Dark Elves and follows of Chaos. These less moral races form the Armies of Destruction
The entire game is set around Realm vs Realm combat. Those familiar with EA Games Red Alert series may recall the global map which tracked faction victories and losses for each game played online. Expect a similar system with WAR, albeit a much prettier and more in-depth version.
PvP and PvE
Many MMORPG players do not enjoy the Player vs Player aspects of games so, in a bid to keep everybody happy, it is possible to contribute towards your armies overall progress through extensive PvE (Player vs Environment) scenarios.
Interestingly Warhammer Online will feature extensive use of instancing in the game. Instancing is where a virtual sandbox is created just for you and your friends, meaning that outside interference from other players is eliminated. Many people enjoy this system and it has been used to great effect in recent titles such as Guild Wars. However there are those who oppose instancing, claiming it reduces the realism that MMORPG’s claim to offer.
There will definitely be a crafting system as well. The exact details of this system are a still closely guarded secret, with the only solid information being that it will be something completely new – never seen before in an online game – that the system will allow you to repair your own items, and that crafting will somehow contribute to the overall WAR effort.
Exploration and Advancement
A very appealing feature is the planned system of players exploring in order to unlock further information about the WAR world. Not only will this information be useful to a player, it is designed to aid players in unlocking plot lines within the game. Hopefully these will be important to the overall plot rather than an endless stream of meaningless quests.
Mythic certainly have the pedigree, EA have the publishing expertise and Warhammer is the richest interactive world of the modern age. This combination look set to shape the future of MMORPG’s as we know them.