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Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning

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Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, also known as Warhammer Online, WAR or less commonly WHO, is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) under development by EA Mythic, licensing the Warhammer Fantasy world and characters from Games Workshop. WAR details the epic struggle between the righteous forces of Order and the evil forces of Destruction.

SettingEdit

WAR is set in the Warhammer universe, a dark fantasy universe over 25 years old. Warhammer was created by a U.K. company called Games Workshop and is much like our own world, even down to the geography, but takes a darkly humorous and brutal spin on elements of our own world, put into a fantasy context. The Warhammer Intellectual Property is extremely extensive and provides more than enough background for the game designers to draw on.

WAR is set outside of the mainstream Warhammer Fantasy timeline, and takes place in a newly developed setting known as the Age of Reckoning, which establishes the iconic Warhammer themes and imagery in an environment suitable for a MMORPG. Essentially the developers can pick and choose which events in the Warhammer Timeline have occurred in the Age of Reckoning, and can bend the background material to better suit the gameplay. Despite this, the developers have remained remarkably faithful to the background and all the elements of the game must be (and have been) approved by Games Workshop before being finalised.

See main articles, Warhammer, Age of Reckoning and Warhammer World for more information.

Game WorldEdit

The virtual Game World of WAR attempts to be a virtual, online depiction of the lands and regions described in the Warhammer setting. When starting the game, players will be asked to pick a server to play on, a server is one individual copy of the Game's World, and can support several thousand players playing various characters simultaneously.

ZonesEdit

The game world is divided up into over 30 separate Zones or regions each representing a different section of the Warhammer World and as such many iconic locations in Warhammer such as the city of Altdorf, the Chaos Wastes and the Marshes of Madness will be able to be visited by players. Zones are divided into three battlefronts which correspond to the racial pairings outlined in the next section, there being 11 zones per battlefront. Additionally zones are divided into pairs called Tiers, all tiers are connected however, and the fourth and final tier will consist of five main zones. Within a tier transition is seamless, exactly as if the virtual world were a real one, however when travelling between tiers or battlefronts, a loading time is required. This is because if all zones were connected seamlessly, a large amount of players causing the game to run slowly ("lag") in one area, would affect all zones. With the tier system, lag in one tier will not affect other tiers, allowing gameplay to continue normally. Tiers also reflect the advancement of Characters (explained below) with content being more advanced the higher the tier.

Player CharactersEdit

In war, players a create a virtual character which is able to be one of 24 "Careers" -what other games may call "classes". There are four careers per Race (aka army or faction) - (explained later). This character serves as their point of interaction with the virtual world of WAR, the "avatar" is customisable in many different ways and is the figure the players will have control of in the game's virtual world. A player's character will be unique to the server they created it on, meaning they only exist on that server, and they are unable to make Characters of the opposing Realm (explained later) on a server they already have a character on. A character can also be duplicated to a Public Test Server when available, Shifting Isles in Europe and Warpstone for the rest of the world.

AdvancementEdit

As a character traverses the game, they will gain Experience Points from various activities such as killing their enemies, completing Quests (explained later) and unlocking sections of the Tome of Knowledge (explained later). After a certain number of Experience points have been gained a character will increase in rank (level). There are 40 ranks in total and each time a player gains a rank they will become more powerful, however it will also take more experience points to reach the next rank. As a character increases in rank the storyline of the game will progress, as well as new items and areas becoming available to the character.

See main articles Career and Advancement for more information.

Races (Factions)Edit

When creating a character, players will be able to choose from one of six races or factions called "Armies" (Though many more Races exist in the Warhammer background). These six armies are divided into two opposing alliances called "Realms", not to be confused with the traditional meaning of Realm, which is a computer server. The realms are Order (Though flawed "good faction") and Destruction (The "evil faction") which are pitted against each other in unending combat. This unending combat has been the source of the phrase "WAR is everywhere".

PairingsEdit

While any character can travel to any area of the virtual game world to help his allies in their fight, various races are paired against each other and the story in-game will reflect this, The pairings are:

See main articles: Realm, Army and Races for more information.

Game FeaturesEdit

These are the main features and gameplay elements which make up Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.

Realm versus RealmEdit

Player versus Player (PvP) gameplay is gameplay where the primary focus is interaction with other players, usually hindering or attacking their characters in-game whether through combat or other means. Realm versus Realm (RvR) is a type of PvP unique to WAR and Mythic's previous game Dark Age of Camelot where entire factions of allies engage in combat with another, opposing faction of allies, or if not direct combat then an indirect form of hindering the enemy. In WAR, the Realm versus Realm system is represented by a perpetual war and struggle between the alliance (realm) of Order and the alliance of Destruction, and their constituent factions. However realm versus realm encompasses almost all aspects of gameplay and even Player versus Environment gameplay (explained later) contributes to the overall war effort.

CampaignEdit

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The campaign is one of the most important aspects of the game with regard to PvP and PvE. In tier four (ranks 31-40) players have the oppertunity to try to 'lock down' zones in their favour and so advance to the enemy's capital city. Once one side has advanced sufficiently then the enemy's capital city will come under attack and may become taken. This is the pinnacle of the end game.

See main articles: RvR, PvP, Scenario, Keeps and Capital city for more information.

Player versus EnvironmentEdit

Player versus Environment (PvE) is a type of gameplay where the player's character is primarily interacting with the computer controlled virtual environment of the game, and not the characters of other players. Unlike PvP gameplay, interaction with other players (let alone hindering them) is not the main focus of this type of gameplay. All activities in Player versus Environment gameplay still contribute to the control of Zones and the Realm versus Realm war effort, however, and players are still able to participate in PvE with other players -but only from their realm for the most part. The main form of PvE content will be Quests, tasks given to the player by NPC's, Public Quests, a feature unique to WAR in which people undertake a Quest together that constantly runs in a certain area -and the exploration of Dungeons (semi-instanced areas to explore, full of danger, typically underground or inside a structure). Some Public Quests are set as a competition against the other realm, but it is not neccessary for any enemy players to be present.

The Tome of KnowledgeEdit

The Tome of Knowledge or ToK is a virtual record of all the player's progress through the game, various entries in the ToK are "unlocked" and expand to add more information about something as the player's character experiences them. The Tome of Knowledge is presented as a vast book which appears on the Player's screen. The ToK contains entries for the Background of Warhammer; a complete log of Quests the player is on or has completed; a complete bestiary of all mobs in the game - and how many of each the player has killed; a complete list of all NPCs in the game and information about them; and even unlocks for trivial things such as finding an out-of-the-way area, or clicking on yourself 100 times.

See main articles: PvE, Quest, Public Quest, Bestiary and Tome of Knowledge for more information.

CombatEdit

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In Warhammer Online: Age of Reconing combat occurs between player and monsters (PvE) and between other players (PvP). The combat occurs in real time with hits occuring and being allocated in real time with people also taking Damage over time and healing, warhammer online also features knockbacks.

See the main article Combat for more information.

TravelEdit

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Travel occurs in three ways in Warhammer Online: foot, mounts and flight.

First there is walking. This is how most of the normal traveling is done before rank 20 e.g. getting around zones, moving into and out of RvR etc. Each career also gets the Flee skill, which increases movement speed by 30 for a short amount of time (10 seconds). Fleeing has a long cooldown (30s) and has the additional detrimental effect of disabling all skills during its active phase (the 10 seconds you're actually running) and reducing your Action Points to zero. Players in PvP situations must time their use of this skill so that they don't find themselves running into a skirmish with no skills and action points.

Then there is mounted travel. All players at rank 20 have the opportunity to purchase a mount from their capital city (see Mounts). Standard mounts increase the players movements speed by 50% (of the base 100%, i.e. running) and cost roughly 15 gold. Players in a sufficiently-ranked guild may purchase upgraded mounts that have a faster movement rate than the standard mounts. EA Mythic also provides a premium upgraded mount to players who have recruited sufficient friends using their Buddy system.

Finally, all players may pay a Flight Master to transport to and from Flight Paths. These allow players to get from any camp where there are flight facilities (all warcamps have flight facilities, as well as some PvE Chapter hubs) to any other camp with flight facilities of their tier or below very quickly. All players may fly to and from their Capital city. Players at the "cusp" of their tier (ie: r9, 19, 29) will unlock travel to the next Tier above. After a brief animated cutscene, the loading screen is shown and players are "teleported" to the location of the Flight Master at their destination. As such, the actual journey is not 'seamless' like other games. See Travel and Mounts for more information

Other InformationEdit

System requirements and Game PlatformsEdit

WAR is developed exclusively for the PC (Personal Computer), at least initially. And while developers have hinted that they are considering an XBOX 360 version, it is beyond dispute that no servers will ever be available to host players from more than one platform at a time. The minimum system requirements for WAR can be found on our System requirements page.

Release ScheduleEdit

WAR was released on September 18 worldwide. WAR's release date was pushed back twice in it's development history (ie: the game was "delayed") however this is not unusual for a game of it's type, it will still have taken less time than other popular MMO's to develop.

RatingEdit

Warhammer Online's rating reflects who will be allowed to buy and the game in a certain country according to local laws, and who it is appropriate to allow to play the game. WAR has been rated T for Teen by the ESRB - see the previously linked page for full international ratings information.

Monthly FeeEdit

Warhammer online will require a Monthly fee to play, this can either be paid per month, per 3 months, or per 6 months. Pre paid game cards for 1 and 2 month periods are also available. See the previously linked page for full information.

External linksEdit

Official WAR websites:Edit

Unofficial fan websitesEdit

For a list Fan websites see Fansites.

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