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Warhammer Online Information by the Truckload 96

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the massively-goes-to-war dept.
Last week Massively.com got the chance to head over to EA Mythic's Virginia lab to clock some hands-on time with Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning . As a result they were pumping out loads of review content, everything from hardcore PvP info to dungeon crawling to crafting. The culmination of all this hard work was a summary post with clickable navigation to all of their review resources. Definitely worth a look if you are at all curious about this upcoming behemoth.
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Warhammer Online Information by the Truckload

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  • Zonk at Massively? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Monday June 09, 2008 @01:17PM (#23711943) Journal
    I haven't seen a post from Zonk since April 17th [slashdot.org] and now I see that this blog at Massively is by none other than Michael "Zonk" Zenke.

    Is there a reason why this wasn't hosted at games.slashdot.org? Is it a sign of Zonk moving on like other editors/authors or is he merely helping other sites out?

    Either way, an unparalleled score of information on Warhammer Online by EA Mythic! Well done, Zonk!

    I wish there was word on how stable and balanced the game is currently at. I remember playing some MMOs back in the day that were more than a bit glitchy.
    • by Zonk (12082) * Works for Slashdot on Monday June 09, 2008 @03:01PM (#23713481) Homepage Journal
      Aprils 17th was actually my last day with the site.

      I'm just another Slashdot user now. :)

      My primary gig is over at Massively, but I'm also writing at places like Wired, Gamasutra, and 1up.

      As for stability, unfortunately I can't really speak to that. They're still very much in a Beta phase. It was a lot less glitchy than I've seen some games at that stage, but it was (of course) a setup specifically designed to give me the best impression of the game possible.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        So why does your user name still have the Slashdot indicator next to the friend/foe dots?

        Good luck on you r current gig(s).
  • by Bobtree (105901) on Monday June 09, 2008 @01:23PM (#23712039)
    the players have real agency. What's the point of being online with lots of people if everybody's quests are identical and no player's actions really impact the world at all? Maybe Warhammer will be the one to do that. Time will tell.
    • by plus_M (1188595) on Monday June 09, 2008 @01:28PM (#23712097)
      Sounds like you're asking about Eve Online [eve-online.com].
    • by elnico (1290430) on Monday June 09, 2008 @01:42PM (#23712321)
      The jewel of Warhammer Online will be it's Realm Vs. Realm (RvR) combat. One of the main tenets of RvR combat, as Mythic implements it, is that all PvP actions contribute towards the war effort. Entire zones will change control as the result of events in RvR. Believe me, Mythic is very much trying to avoid the solo-MMO paradigm that was made popular by (parts of) WoW.
      • So, basically... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Moraelin (679338)
        So, basically, they're trying to avoid what made WoW so successful? I'm sure they can ask the fine developers of Vanguard how well the plan went to avoid everything that made WoW fun.

        I mean, seriously, even Sony had to grudgingly give up and demote most NPCs from heroic (think "elite" in WoW lingo) to make it more soloable, plus give all classes enough firepower (e.g., via "heroic opportunities") to solo.

        Now I'm not commenting on Warcraft Online specifically, since I don't have enough info for that. I don't
      • Mythic has developed RvR in Dark Age of Camelot and has tested most of the concepts there. The whole concept of RvR as an endgame is mostly neglected by other MMOs, most have a PvP-ruleset or limited arenas with gameconcepts taken from Shooters like CTF. In my opinion RvR is the best concept for an endgame, as opponents are evolving, developing new tactics and counters and introducing human creativity to the game.

        Unfortunately (but not entirely unexpected...) it has shown, that players behave like ordinary
    • by pragma_x (644215)
      As far as I'm concerned, it won't be a *real* warhammer MMO until there's a game mode where you can go head-to-head against another player at the army vs army scale. I suppose this could function as a kind of "commander mode" super-imposed onto a traditional MMO PvP framework. After all that's a big part of what makes Warhammer distinct from other Tolkien-like storytelling frameworks.

      Of course to make it true to Warhammer, players will have to sit idle for hours while the commanders argue with an admin ov
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Spudds (860292)
      Dark Age Of Camelot (also created by Mythic) was somewhat like that. WAR is basically DAOC v2.

      In DAOC, you captured keeps. The more RvR keeps you had, the more advantages you had in PvE.
      For example, with x keeps, you had more gold dropped from mobs. With x + 1 keeps you had more gold drop and bonus XP when you killed mobs. With x + 2 keeps you had more gold, more XP and did more mele dmg.

      Those aren't exact, they're examples from my diminishing memory, but you get the idea.
      There was also a special dungeon sh
      • by Andy Dodd (701)
        I am praying that WAR doesn't get FUBARed by EA (like every other MMO EA has been involved in).

        DAoC had a lot of good aspects of its fundamental design, but a few screwups (namely Trials of Atlantis) were able to kill the playerbase before Mythic could fix them.

        Many friends of mine and I were hoping for WAR = DAoC V2, but now that EA is involved it's far more likely that WAR = crap. :(

        Hopefully I'll be wrong, but EA's MMO track record is awful.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by truetorment (919200)
      What you're asking for is impossible for any MMO developer to create while also pursuing a large customer base. Letting ONE person irrevocably change something in an MMO isn't fair to the hundreds, thousands, or even MILLIONS of other players who will now no longer be able to do the same event, quest, etc. You're asking for a herculean development task that just isn't possible.
    • Everyone playing WoW says "No, thanks". The key to all of the nostalgia for UO and its ilk is the presence of an underclass of gankees that the nostalgiac could prey upon... but these days the gankees have other outlets where they can have all the socialization and grind without getting their face pounded at least once a play session.

      "Player agency" means the ability to inflict yourself on other people. Thanks, I'm going to take a pass on that one.

  • Truckload? (Score:5, Funny)

    by spun (1352) <(moc.oohay) (ta) (yranoituloverevol)> on Monday June 09, 2008 @01:29PM (#23712113) Journal
    I'm unfamiliar with that unit of measurement. Could someone convert that to Libraries of Congress, or failing that, to metric buttloads and I can convert from there to LoCs.
  • DAOC 2 ?? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by setrops (101212) on Monday June 09, 2008 @01:46PM (#23712383)
    When they put the game on hold some months back and stopped the beta program I was a bit intrigued on what they may doing. It looks like they took feedback from the beta players (mostly DAOC players?) and implemented siege warfare, keeps, realm abilities and other features directly ripped out from DAOC. This could be bad, really bad.

    Well let's hope Mythic learned their lessons from the mistakes that they did with DAOC and not repeat them. Who know it may be a great game.
    • "This could be bad, really bad."

      They're not just listening to old DAOC players, they're listening to people who play all kinds of MMOs. The #1 thing that they're doing is looking at what WoW does wrong and they are trying to avoid repeating the same mistakes.
      • Wrong approach (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Shivetya (243324)
        They should first concentrate on what WOW did right. Looking for mistakes in WOW is going to devolve into being saddled down with personal nits. In other words if they look for what WOW did wrong they will not get a good picture simply because what was done wrong is so overshadowed by what went right.

        I have nothing wrong with trying to make a better WOW, but you don't do that by trying to find out what is wrong with it. The only thing really wrong with WOW is that its size hobbles other companies trying
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Except that WoW has never handled PvP well. That's one of the major things that the fine folks behind WAR have looked at and made sure to get right.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Phrogman (80473)
          All that WOW seems to have done right is rehash all of the concepts present in earlier games in a new format with very few problems. I tried it at release and didn't last the first month because it offered nothing new, just old concepts redone in an easy but boring format. Its been marketed to a massive audience of former Blizzard customers and done extremely well I admit, but most of those customers have never played another MMO to compare it to.They will get bored and move to a new game when the right one
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DerWulf (782458)
        judging from the disappointing (not bad, but not on par with expectations) Age of Conan I'd advise developers to look at what WoW does right first if they want to have a fighting chance. RvR could be a clusterfuck if the realms are not balanced. Then everyone will suddenly cry for instanced PvP because open is just so damn unfair (the reverse of what people crying about on the WoW forums). WAR and meaningful PvP? I'm not convinced until I see it ... and if it is truly the case the devs should be prepared be
    • I must say Mytic did pvp correctly in DAoC for the most part. None of this guild v guild crap or mini games. They let anyone join at any time. No waiting in line. Somethings they did do wrong though, for example hooking Realm points (bounty points) to the pve world via artifacts. I would love for a game to mimic DAoC's style of RvR I think they did it right. However this is my opinion so people have the right to disagree. It all depends what games you have played in the past.
    • Re:DAOC 2 ?? (Score:4, Informative)

      by ferat (971) on Monday June 09, 2008 @02:19PM (#23712865) Homepage
      The only real mistakes that mythic made with daoc were the atlantis expansion and crafting.

      I have high hopes for WAR.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BlowHole666 (1152399)
        Amen. It was a slap in the face when mythic made crafting easier and let everyone craft everything on the same character. It just said to the hardcore players who started playing in the beginning that we do not care about you anymore. Atlantis... well i have mixed feelings on that. It went from very hard and needing large groups to complete to needing only a 4-8 man group, or just RvRing the whole thing.
        • by Gernok (977745)
          The time sink for leveling Artifacts, scroll drops, artifact drops, completing ML's.... Painful!

          Then I think back to pre-NF and just the sheer amount of people it out to take a relic (above 300 per side)and when I left there wasn't even combined those numbers in the Frontiers. That was insane!

          I've still got a screen shot of nearly 300 albs on a keep my guild had... That aside, I still preferred to hunt outside of Emain (to much zerging) or in C-Forest (though old frontiers it was one nasty run to ge
      • by setrops (101212)
        I do agree with you that Atlantis was by far the worse expansion for an MMO ever. It was made even worse by Mythic's attitude towards the players. You have to remember doing that ML9 and not getting credit on phoenix because someone's pet had the killing blow. Mythic's answer was do it again!

        WTF was that !! Are you serious? So you had to gather another 40+ people and do the whole thing over again and it took anywhere form 4 to 8 hours.

        Atlantis was bad but the awfulness of it was increased one hundred folds
    • by Andy Dodd (701)
      I think most DAoC fans will agree that the basic fundamentals of keeps, RAs, and such were pretty good.

      The problem was that Mythic screwed up some of the little details, in some cases in ways that killed the playerbase before Mythic fixed it. For the most part, it wasn't any particular part of RvR design even - it was a PvE expansion.

      For those who played DAoC, I'm sure I don't need to say more and you know exactly which one I'm referring to.

      For everyone else - Mythic's second expansion was a pure PvE grind
  • How much PLAYER SKILL does it take to compete?

    World of Warcraft is very cookie cutter -- X class will beat Y class, armor and weapons make a HUGE difference, etc.

    I have been waiting for Darkfall Online for 6 years (and am still optimistic), but it seems like that will be the only game that fulfills the idea that an individual player can beat somebody else because of innate ability rather than what class you played.

    That said, the only other good PvP game has been Ultima Online. I've tried EVERYTHING since th
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by effigiate (1057610)
      You missed the other game by Mythic that was focused on PvP - Dark Age of Camelot. If Warhammer is as good at PvP as DAoC was, it will be great.
    • by The-Ixian (168184)
      You apparently have not play DAoC, the other Mythic MMO.

      That game's PvP was very much skill based since everyone could spec the same way and gear was basically accessable to anyone (unlike WoW which forced high-level raiding for the best gear) since very few items in that game are bound to the player.

      I am really looking forward to Warhammer. DAoC has been the only MMO to-date that has held my attention for more than a few months, let alone the 5+ years I have been playing.
      • I signed up for the beta... let's see :)

        I am willing to give it a chance, but at least you understand my frustration on lack of PvP options.
      • by alisoul (923488)

        since everyone could spec the same way and gear was basically accessable to anyone
        otherwise known as cookie cutter - fotm filled pvp really isn't that great. nothing has held a candle to mmo pvp since UO.
    • by AuMatar (183847)
      People are still waiting for Darkfall? You haven't all realised that it's a Dawn styled hoax yet? Heck, the original website was an almost 1:1 ripoff of the Shadowbane site.
      • The optimist in me says it's real, and I hope that it is.

        The realist in me gave up a long time ago -- but it doesn't mean that I don't still want a game LIKE what it has promised to come out.

        Either way, I will count myself in the camp of "a believer" -- since well, there's no harm in thinking that way.

        Besides it seems like a lot of effort (movie, media, etc) to perpetuate a hoax, and they don't even have any Google ads up to let them make money off of it.
    • Player skill actually takes a bit. Some people think it is just click one button and win (ok some encounters with certain classes are like that). For instance healers are hectic to play, heal the group, heal the MT if you are assigned to him, debuff those with afflictions, conserver mana, don't cast too high rank heals, make sure your heals over time are refreshed, battle rez if you need to, rebuff tanks that die and come back, run away from the giant monster that is chasing you now. And thats only PvE, Pv
    • UO Gamers Hybrid join the party ultima online for free :) If you choose to let me know I'll check for reply, I can assist getting started(hooked) again, lol.
      • I'm past UO right now ... I did a bunch of different 3rd party servers, but for now I'm just trying to spend my time wisely :)
  • by merchant_x (165931) on Monday June 09, 2008 @02:00PM (#23712587)
    WoW hit the sweet spot for MMO's in that they made it challenging enough to keep hardcore types interested but easy enough for their casual friends to get into and experience quite a bit of the content with them. I'm hoping WAR can do the same thing and perhaps improve the experience a bit. WoW is starting to feel a bit long in the tooth and seems to have lost it's focus a bit. If WAR can deliver what WoW is missing before Blizzard gets out the next expansion, they could have the makings of a very successful launch.
  • includes exclusive 'dump grits' ability (+10 dmg, +10 stun)
  • heh (Score:3, Funny)

    by thatskinnyguy (1129515) on Monday June 09, 2008 @03:11PM (#23713669)

    Warhammer Online Information by the Truckload
    Don't they know that the internet isn't a big truck you can throw stuff in?! It's a series of tubes!
  • by kenp2002 (545495) on Monday June 09, 2008 @03:13PM (#23713713) Homepage Journal
    In full disclousure I am a former DAOC player:

    Warhamma' has one major, GLARING, OUTSTANDING, AND IDIOTIC failing that Mythic has time and time again told us the players is not an issue, yet we complained over and over (and still do to this day).

    In Warhammer, there are only two factions (sides.) And I played BETA for 3 months I NEVER SAW A SINGLE, NON-CHAOS player. EVER. With only two sides the oldest problem MMO's face crops up, un-balanced populations.

    Every 10 year old kid is going to "roll" Chaos. All the hard-core PvP'ers will roll Chaos. So for every 10 Chaos we'll get 1 person playing a dwarf for about a week; subsequently the dwarf cancels because they're outnumbered 30 to 1. DAOC had 3 factions so even if Midgard outnumbered Hibbies (Hibernian) the combined populations of bucket heads (Albion) and Hibbies outnumbered the fatties (midgard). A three-way battle provided an excellent mechanism for preventing population imbalances. (And isn't a three-way better then a two-way anyway?)

    Faction stacking is going to be a serious issue with Warhamma, enough to kill the game at launch if not addressed and as usual, egotist know-it-alls claim they are smarter then the players, and in this case, smarter then basic statistic and math. They denyed population imbalances for years prior to and post Atlantais in DAOC. Time and time again we would show them the population problems (on one server there was an 4 to 1 ratio of Mid's to any of the other two. The other two combined only equaled 1/2 the number of mids.) Their arrogance keeps their head in the sand and with Warhamma, unless they fire some of those twits are gonna bury their own product at launch (reminds me of Star Wars....)

    We see it already in WoW with battlegroups (clusters of servers) starting to stack as people transfer to "the horde or alliance dominated" battlegroups.

    At least WoW instanced the majority of PvP\RvR to control population imbalances but as far as Warhamma is sizing up, failure is written all over it before it even launches... Hell the gearing imbalances still linger from the AV debacle. On Stormstike I have both alliance and horde (Archimonde and Scilla) and When I queue up for WSG I am standing next to 70's with an average resilience (a key PvP gear statistic) of 70. When I log into my horde on Scilla and head into WSG the average is 200. Most in full s3 gear and very few without at least 4 pieces of s2. Full BG rewards because they had such an advantage during the AV transition (now fixed but the damage is done.)

    Basic math doesn't lie and without major re-work I see no future for Warhamma.

    When you paint a situation with only two clear cut sides, even the foot steps of a moth will break any hope of balance.
    • I thought it was a shame they didn't choose Skaven. Chaos seems like a relatively weak faction from a story point of view.
    • by dreddnott (555950)
      http://www.massively.com/2008/06/07/warhammer-onlines-realm-imbalance-fears/ [massively.com]

      Some interesting thoughts there.

      As a Warhammer fan (40k and Fantasy) I find myself torn between picking a Chaos Chosen or Dark Elf Sorceress as my first character, but I know a lot more casual players will pick the 'good guys', as long as they look awesome/hot.
    • by Achoi77 (669484) on Monday June 09, 2008 @03:48PM (#23714401)

      That's never going to change.

      In almost all mainstream MMOs, the most dominant race played are the 'most normal' ones. And then after that you have the most 'hardcore' races played by the 'serious' gamers.

      In WoW, while NE were popular, humans were clearly the most commonly played race on the Alliance. Dwarves and Gnomes the least played. On the Horde, it was the undead, them being the most 'human' looking, but in a hardcore eeevil fashion. The trolls being the least played race.

      EQ had the same pattern - humans being the most commonly played race, trolls and gnomes/dwarves the least.

      Also keep in mind that a lot of people were afraid that everybody was going to roll undead during launch - and at first it was true, but as more and more people signed up to play the population evened out after a while, with humans at the top.

      But when this game launches, I wouldn't be too suprised to see when a bunch of wow expats playing the opposite faction that they have played in WoW. I myself am looking forward to rolling a dwarf.

      • by Chris Burke (6130)
        In WoW, while NE were popular, humans were clearly the most commonly played race on the Alliance.

        All the stats I've seen put Nelves and Humans as being roughly as popular (within a couple percent), and together they represent roughly half of all players in the game. Still, I'd call them both "normal" races, or more to the point "pretty", one just has pointy ears for a tiny bit of escapism and fantasy.

        That was pre-expansion, I haven't really looked (cus I don't care) about the new situation. Obviously the
    • A lot of the cool RvR is isntanced in WAR. Also, I don't buy for a second chaos will outnumber empire and co. The same "evil" wins ruled pre WoW thoughts too and Alliance outnumbered them by quite a bit. The side with "normal" looking races will get a majority of the pre-existing guilds coming over, a trend that just doesn't show itself in betas.
    • You clearly have some experience with this game as it currently stands so...

      Is it true that it uses a *turn* based combat system??

      Thanks!
    • I find the "2 sides" thing horrid as well, but for a different reason.
      This is WARHAMMER! Everyone hates everyone else. Why have these stupid "alliances" when you can KILL THEM? Any guild/player should be able to group with any other, but should also be able to kill any other. This would also solve the population imbalance problem.
    • He's either trolling or crazy. Or one other I'll leave till later.

      Given that most of the beta has shifted across race dynamics (dwarf vs greenskin, chaos vs empire, elven factions), with only certain races available at certain times, he has certainly seen members of the other race in the three months he's beta tested. If he didn't he played with his monitor off.

      Second, his WoW numbers are totally fabricated. His experiences there of "average" numbers are made up. That's painstaking research to try and
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by joelpt (21056)
      I believe they are trying to address this problem by adding NPC 'helpers' to the weaker side in PVP/RVR battles where the population is unbalanced.

      That won't help the "ghost town" phenomenon that can result from population distribution problems, but it should hopefully make RvR "fair".
    • In Warhammer, there are only two factions (sides.) And I played BETA for 3 months I NEVER SAW A SINGLE, NON-CHAOS player. EVER. With only two sides the oldest problem MMO's face crops up, un-balanced populations.

      While I agree with you on that point, I doubt instancing is a good solution.

      To add to your statement: The playerbase has often provided Mythic with creative and balanced ideas on how to adress population imbalance (and relogging to the winning team) by relating the numbers and strengths of NPCs in R
    • by wheeda (520016)
      I have a solution to the population imbalance: Give balance modifiers to newly created characters. So if there is too many horde, new characters would get a couple less stamina points and alliance would get a couple extra stamina points.
    • Warhammer....not warhamma' Flamer
  • Excellent game will turn out.
  • Will it run in Wine? Age of Conan has taken every step possible to ensure it wont run in Wine. WoW runs great in Wine which keeps me playing it. If Warhammer plays nicely with Wine I'm sold, regardless of imbalances and bugs. God knows WoW has had more imbalances and bugs than any game in history, I sincerely doubt Warhammer could be any worse.
    • by Andy Dodd (701)
      Sadly, Mythic has a pretty bad track record here. With DAoC, a given engine (most expansions came with an improved graphics engine) would not be supported by WINE or even Cedega until it was 1-2 expansions out of date.

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