Tuesday, March 17, 2009

First Impression: Warhammer Online

I'm a long time player of WoW, and every once in a while, I'll get through all the current content that there is, and get bored. I've reached that point currently, and I'm looking for something to replace Warcraft until the Ulduar patch comes out, and brings me back for some more boss-slaying goodness. When I reach this point, I normally look for open betas, and free trials on other MMOs to pass the time.

This time, I took up the main competitor to Warcraft, EA/Mythic's Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. Signing up and downloading the trial was easy enough, and the "realm vs. realm" zone battles seemed intriguing. As I was downloading the game, I read up on the classes a bit, and knew immediately which one I wanted to play. From the description, the Chosen class on the Chaos race seemed awesome, like a melee dps class that could wreck hell on the enemies. The character creation in-game seemed to disagree, labeling them as a tanking class. I was very disappointed, as I hate being a tank, and instead rolled a Marauder. Very early on, the game lets you know that it's focus is PvP. The second quest I got was to participate in a "Scenario" (Battleground for you WoW players) that was pretty much a carbon copy of Arathi Basin with three flags. The UI felt completely like a ripoff of Warcraft, as did the way the marauder class played (mutations = stances for warriors). From the bit of PvP experience the game allowed me to play, it became evident that the tank classes are indeed tanks... but less like the "stand behind me while I take the brunt of damage, but deal little myself) and more like an Abram's Tank. Or a Deathknight... or ret pally.

The plate classes can both take a ton of damage, and equally dish it out, which brings to question why even have the light armor melee class at all? The quest system was also uninspired, and the game as a whole currently feels rather flat. The graphics are low-scale, run on any system like WoW's, but they don't have that stylized feel that keep Warcraft's graphics from aging. Unless the game itself picks up in enjoyment, Warhammer will probably get a Last Impression, and not a Review. I expected more out of Warcraft's chief competitor, but I guess that's why they just merged servers.