It’s Launch Day

Warhammer Online launches today. And there was Drama in the MMO blogsphere.

Wall of Text has a lengthy WAR review: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. If you’re still on the fence about the game, he also has a large number of narrated gameplay videos taken during the Beta; these did a great deal toward selling me on a game I was planning on trying but not necessarily getting into at launch.

That aside, I’m having a lot of fun with WAR. As Tobold points out today (and I think this is the first time I have both completely agreed with him and written about it,) the claims of WoW-clonedom are coming by comparing the feature lists, and that doesn’t really give you the whole picture; the experience of actual play is notably different right from almost the very beginning. As I and others have said in the past, if WAR can change the thinking of the MMO community toward grouping, it will have performed a very valuable service to that community. Grouping is good, and if you refuse to group at all in WAR you’ll be making a big mistake.

Casualties seems to be going very smoothly thus far, with the biggest issue coming from the Destruction server change due to overpopulation – and Mythic is working on a solution to that. I may try to put in some time of that side of the fence tonight – it’s about time to fire up that Black Orc and start really exploring the Greenskin area – I didn’t get past Chapter 2 in Open Beta.

Last night I ventured for the first time into Troll Country, a Tier 2 zone. I did this at level 10, which is a little low, but I figured I’d do Public Quests and gain XP fairly quickly. This turned out to be true but I got myself killed quite a number of times in the first PQ, which is right next to the first Empire quest hub but wasn’t well-populated when I arrived. But that soon changed, and I ran it successfully a couple of times, and got the first two chapter 5 Influence rewards, including very sharp new garb (of which I hope to provide screenshots tomorrow.)

I also tried out the Tier 2 scenario (there’s only one for each pairing – in Tier 3 there are two,) Stonetroll crossing. Basically you take the flag and carry it to three points, which did not successfully happen for either side, but even at rank 10 (bolstered to 18) I did very well, earning rank 11 and renown rank 10. Outfitted in Tier 2 gear, I headed back down to Nordland to get into some open-world RvR with some of the Casualties. Order had pushed Destruction back to its Warcamp, and they were desperately trying to break out. This isn’t much like ‘camping’ – you can only get so close before the badass NPC guards will grease you, and there’s a belt of territory around the camp where you’re best advised not to go, lest their siege weapons make short work of you. Much of the action, then, is Destruction, lacking the manpower to make a vigorous push, trying to goad Order folks into the range of the siege engines. Which often works, but for whatever reason I have yet to see this situation occur outside an Order Warcamp.

I am enjoying World RvR more than the scenarios, for reasons I’m still in the process of pinning down. I’m sure I’ll talk about that at some point. I plan to keep doing it in Nordland until level 12, when I’ll turn into a chicken; hopefully as we push more characters into Tier 2 we’ll be up for an attack on a keep soon, in which I will be delighted to participate.

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