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Default Warhammer Online - Hands On @ Eurogamer

August 10th, 2008, 10:47
Oli Welsh writes up his experience in the WAR beta.
Open-world player-versus-player - always a failing of WOW's - works well enough, when we finally encounter it in Nordland. The tightly limited size of the RVR areas in the game does help focus the action on a single battlefront, even when there are multiple bases to capture; with this, as in Public Quests, Mythic's world designers deserve a lot of credit for their carefully funnelling players into the action through the landscape design.
WAR's dense and linear nature does mean that simple exploration isn't the unalloyed joy it can be in the best MMOs. This is a game for fighters, not adventurers. The game world is a good deal more handsome than we first thought, but even a bit of flight-hopping around later levels reveals that it's not particularly varied. The Elven areas have some startlingly beautiful architecture and lush meadows, but overall are the most boring of the three.
The Dwarfs and Greenskins make their way through craggy mountains littered with ancient relics and siege engines; dramatic and well-executed, but rather clichéd. Once again, Empire and Chaos come off the best by far, making excellent use of the less familiar reference points of the Warhammer licence in their vision of a 17th-century pastoral idyll gone horribly wrong, a sort of occult English Civil War.
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August 10th, 2008, 10:47
Don't believe a word… not from him or Mythic. Most people will be utterly disappointed by this game.
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August 10th, 2008, 23:14
Just like AoC I think the game has a certain amount of potential, but that won't help one bit. Near Christmas, Wrath of the Lich King will be out, and will probably flatten all competition.

As with LotrO, AoC etc, Warhammer will probably get a relatively small (but loyal) community.
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August 12th, 2008, 01:13
That article was a pile of steaming hype. On the other hand Gamespy's first impressions were full of personal stories about their writers' low level characters. Some of the user comments in both articles seemed more level headed though.

It's surprising this game is scheluded next month in both US and EU and EA isn't pushing a more showy PR campaign for the title. It will be interesting to see what kind of initial reception this game receives.
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August 12th, 2008, 02:58
Originally Posted by Ionstormsucks View Post
Don't believe a word… not from him or Mythic. Most people will be utterly disappointed by this game.
Can you expand on this please? I played DAoC at release and beyond and the RvR was pretty revolutionary and fun at the time.

The problem was that Mythic just gave up on evolving the gameplay as subscribers decreased. All their resources went to Warhammer.

So, without getting into Camelot's gameplay failings, how does War compare to Camelot?
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August 16th, 2008, 19:44
Originally Posted by Reyla View Post
Can you expand on this please? I played DAoC at release and beyond and the RvR was pretty revolutionary and fun at the time.

The problem was that Mythic just gave up on evolving the gameplay as subscribers decreased. All their resources went to Warhammer.

So, without getting into Camelot's gameplay failings, how does War compare to Camelot?
I have to admit that I've never experienced the DAOC RvR so I really cannot comment on that. It is not primarily the RvR part that troubles me. Combat responsiveness is a bit screwed up at the moment, but they'll hopefully fix that until release. It's more the rest of the game… it's hard to put my finger on it, but somehow the game feels "empty" and to a certain extent boring. But I'm biased anyway, so you can as well ignore me. I'm a disappointed Warhammer fan who thought this game would actually have something to do with Warhammer…

Mein Warhammer Online Review auf
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Last edited by Ionstormsucks; August 17th, 2008 at 14:32.
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August 18th, 2008, 10:26
From my point of view, RvR just won't cut it. I've seen statistics on PvE/PvP, and the majority of players lean towards PvE more than PvP (often just casual PvP, if at all).

A game will have to offer a whole lot more than RvR to stand a chance of stealing some of WoWs customers, especially considering Wrath is out a few months after Warhammer launches.
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August 18th, 2008, 12:18
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
From my point of view, RvR just won't cut it. I've seen statistics on PvE/PvP, and the majority of players lean towards PvE more than PvP (often just casual PvP, if at all).

A game will have to offer a whole lot more than RvR to stand a chance of stealing some of WoWs customers, especially considering Wrath is out a few months after Warhammer launches.
I agree. I mean, it's not like RvR is bad or anything - the idea is actually quite good (in a way it's a mix of pve and pvp). The problem is that in WAR everything is developed with RvR in mind and strangely enough that leads to a gameplay that destroys both pve and pvp. Mythic is always talking about having 20 different classes… in reality they have four different classes (tank, healer, ranged dps, melee dps) and even these classes are not very different from each other. Imagine they would cut out everything from wow that somehow defines classes (shamans without totems, warlocks without fear, hunters without traps, mages withour sheep, paladins without their bubbles, etc.). On paper that might make sense since all these abilities are aspects that can unbalance the game, but the problem is that if you cut them out (and WAR did that) you get classes that do either do just damage or a mix of damage and healing. PvP should consist of measures and counter measures, but in WAR it only consists of action, but no reaction. You run up to your enemy, you fire all you got - that's it. It's boring in pvp and makes pve even more boring than it is anyway. I seriously doubt the majority of players will accept that kind of gameplay.
So what I'm saying is they cut out all crowd control and stuff for the sake of RvR (which in this case means pvp), but surprisingly this didn't improve PvP, but hurt it. It's simply not as dynamic as in WoW Where you actually have to react to what your opponent is doing.

Mein Warhammer Online Review auf
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August 18th, 2008, 16:38
Ionstormsucks is mirroring my thoughts, unfortunately.

The whole game is setup like a giant evolving sports game, really, and it seems they went WAY overboard in terms of class balance. For one, they've made stealth almost completely useless for traditional stealth classes (high damage, low survivability) which is very indicative of wanting to balance everything until it's "fair". I can sympathise with people not liking stealth classes, but there's a reason for the ability. It's the same with traditional CC abilities, which they've also tamed and turned into rather weak tools.

I have no problem with a game being balanced or "fair", but it has to make sense and fit the classes. They have 20 classes, but if you take a look at their abilities you'll find an extremely limited amount of "signature" abilities - which means that we've only got the 4 archetypes.

I guess you could call it Battlefield Warhammer or something, but it certainly doesn't appear to have anything to do with an actual war. Everything is too restricted and guided by limited rules - which makes any kind of surprise difficult to experience, and it SEVERELY curtails the idea of individual excellence. It's a mob game.

Also, if you want PvE, there are several games out there that handle that aspect A LOT better, except for the rather brilliant concept of Public Quests.

Naturally, there are many other neat ideas and I have no doubt that it will appeal to a big crowd - but I don't see it overtaking or even challenging the mammoth of WoW.

The very core of the game is just not good enough - in my opinion.
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August 19th, 2008, 01:46
I've got high hopes for WAR and I like what I've heard from the beta so far so I hope that's what'll meet me at launch, even though all your criticism sounds valid as well… Although, from what I can gather, they have actively made the choice and motivated many of the gameplay elements you see as flaws but which I am not sure are.
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August 19th, 2008, 10:32
Just for clarification, I'd like to add that my comments were indeed based on my own personal tastes and wants related to an MMO.

I actually have a feeling that the RvR structure and design will be quite appealing to a large portion of the MMO audience. It's simply a matter of my "design philosophy" conflicting rather strongly with that of WAR's developers. At least, that's how I feel so far.
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August 19th, 2008, 12:35
What's RvR ?

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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August 19th, 2008, 13:04
Realm vs. Realm I guess - you could choose one of 3 "Nations", each with its own Races and Classes in DAoC. One nordic themed, one "arthuristic" and the other celtic ? I can't remember anymore

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August 19th, 2008, 13:52
I think it's Order v Chaos in Warhammer since they're only having those capitals at the start.
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August 19th, 2008, 14:27
RvR = Realm versus Realm

In this case, it's Order versus Destruction - each having three races/factions. Unlike DAoC, we're not talking actual geographical realms, but rather just two opposing forces fighting over various strategic resources, including control of the two major cities currently implemented.

Order:

Empire
Dwarves
High Elves

—-

Destruction:

Chaos
Greenskins
Dark Elves

It's a concept that can otherwise be defined as structured (clearly defined goals and rules) and team-oriented open world PvP. As far as I know, it's all open in the sense that it won't be instanced, except for the actual keep/city sieges - as in the very end-game. I'm not really sure about that, though, and is probably subject to some changes. I don't think you'll have much luck running around without backup, which is the primary difference between this and traditional open world PvP - where the individual player CAN make a difference in many cases. You get nothing done without a team - in PvP terms - basically.

I'm sure there will be exceptions, but the combat system and pace are such that you can't really do much by yourself, because numbers rule. Gear and invididual player performance/skill will matter less than is traditional- except for the individual skill of working well in a team and having a basic understanding of your class, which will be easy as they're extremely clearly defined.
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August 19th, 2008, 16:38
Originally Posted by Toaster View Post
I've got high hopes for WAR and I like what I've heard from the beta so far so I hope that's what'll meet me at launch, even though all your criticism sounds valid as well… Although, from what I can gather, they have actively made the choice and motivated many of the gameplay elements you see as flaws but which I am not sure are.
Yes, they did indeed deliberately cut out all crowd control abilities or abilities that could be unbalancing to pvp. But as I said - what sounds good on paper, turns out to be rather boring in reality. For a game which aims primarily at a pvp crowd that could become a major game killer. I am not convinced that a large part of the playerbase will actually like this system of unified classes. This really is criticism that repeatedly pops up in the forums.
Personally I don't even see why such boring classes were necessary. As DArtagnan explained this is team based pvp, so individual strength does not mean anything. Therefore class balancing is really a minor concern as long as the game is fair in terms of both sides having the same strength.
After having played the beta I'm utterly disappointed by WAR - in theory the game has everything that a game needs to win a large audience, but the developers did not use the huge potential that comes with the license. I'm a Warhammer fan and I like pvp, but at the moment I cannot imagine to actually pay a monthly fee for WAR. There is a lot more that's wrong with WAR which neither the press nor Mythic is willing to admit. Mythic have obviously convinced themselves that they have a great game - I am more than just sceptical that this is really the case. World setting aside - at the moment I don't see on what particular area WAR really excels.

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