E3: Everything I learned about WAR from my E3 Preview

My second piece for Warhammer has been published over at the Warhammer Vault. It’s actually my notes that I took during the preview that the Mythic dev team gave. Keep in mind that these are just from the preview and my interviews and discussions with other devs (Mark Jacobs specifically) are not included. That stuff is still to come.

Graphical Improvements
• Adding lighting by hand and polishing the graphics
• Finishing the entire world before going back and touching up

Macro Customization
• They’re taking a page out of the FPS book by having silhouettes be the main identifier. (Think back to DAoC when you knew who someone was just by looking at them from a distance)
• Over 400 armor sets in the game
• “We want you to feel like you can look like your class right from the beginning” was said in reference to armor sets and various outfits your characters can wear.
• Metallic dyes will be in the game using full spectrum of color
• I asked and Adam confirmed: WHITE DYE will be in the game! They have finally figured out how to get this working properly.
• Over 114 different dye colors based on Games Workshops paints for the miniatures.

Inevitable City and general city notes
• Special NPCs will appear from the Warhammer lore as capital cities increase in status rank. We got to see a few of them and they look absolutely amazing.
• The King encounter (he looks cool by the way) will be more than simply a “tank and spank” encounter. While fighting the Chaos king you’ll see voids opening around you and the floor breaking apart with chaos swirling all around and the pillars in the room falling. Adam sounded really excited.
• Cities have level 20 and level 40 dungeons

• There are no instanced raid dungeons.
• Most dungeons are public where anyone can enter and fight but the bosses are instanced. (Adam made mention of Darkness Falls here though the details evade me)
• Most group content is designed for 6-12 people. King encounters are “one of the only” encounters that require a larger group of people. Adam expressed Mythic’s sentiment again that raiding isn’t the direction they’re going.

• Players can get a mount of their own at level 20.
• “Rent a Mule” mounts with charges available pre 20.
• We were shown the Chaos horse (Looked freaking amazing)
• Summoned just like mounts in WoW. Open bags, clicky, poof you’re on the mount.
• Mounts can be customized with armor, colors, and that sort of thing. Think macro customization like I talked about earlier.
• Mounted Combat and Flying Mounts are not completely ruled out but they’re not something Mythic is thinking about doing right now. Definitely not at launch (duh).

RvR Notes
• NEW ADDITION TO THE GAME: RvR Fortresses. These “uber keeps” (quote from Adam) of “RvR Goodness” (quote from Mark Jacobs) act as an additional barrier between players and capital cities. They have also replaced the Capital cities in the battlefronts that had theirs taken away. These will offer very interesting RvR encounters.
• A realm must capture 2/3 Fortresses to make the enemy Capital vulnerable.
• Sets of gear will be spread throughout these fortresses so players will have yet again additional sets of armor to strive for from various locations in the WAR world.

• We were shown Nordwatch and got to see the game in action as Adam played with real beta testers.
• The combat looked fluid, polished, and extremely fun.
• In this particular scenario Adam played a Zealot and we got to see the role of a healer in action as he healed and cast offensive magic at the enemy players.
• Adam’s Zealot was only level 2 yet he was able to hold his ground against level 7 players because of how scenario’s work – they boost player’s abilities so that everyone feels on equal footing. It was working quite well.

The Open Group System
• A new feature just introduced that will allow players to open a window and see who in their region wants more players in their group.
• Joining a “open group” is as simple as clicking the “join button”.
• The Open group window shows how far you are from the prospective group in real-time travel time.
• Can see who is in the group
• Currently no filter for groups to use (IE: Only want healers) but that is more of something you would see in the regular LFG window. Open groups truly are “open”.

• Completely modable with LUA still
• Default layout editor comes with the game so that players can adjust the layout of their UI to their liking. This will never break with patches. (Hotbars are currently being worked into this system)
• UI Mods are all local to your computer
• I pushed for more information on whether or not UI mods could change the functionality of the default game and Adam went into details:

– Certian “Hooks” (modding lingo) will not be allowed
– It is inevitable that some people will get around these hooks but they’ll be taken care of.
– Nothing like WoW’s “Click to cure this automatically” or “cast this based on that”.
– “Nothing that automates gameplay at all” will be allowed.
– There will be basic macros allowed in-game.

Final thoughts

Warhammer Online looks amazing. The gameplay that we were shown would take up several pages of explanation just to do it justice. It has come a very long way since we were last shown the game at a convention. Mythic Entertainment is passionate about the game and it’s showing in the final stages of production. WAR is coming sooner than later. The NDA will drop here within just a few weeks and, baring any problems with the guild beta, open beta/release can’t be too far behind.

  • Good work Keen. It is nice to see your enthusiasm paying off is spades. I am also continually impressed with how Mythic operates in regards to their fanbase, this fact alone makes me jump into my fanboi suit and genuinely wish that WAR will take down WoW a notch, and show all the neophyte MMO gamers that everything does not need to operate like the Blizzard God.

    You have done an excellent job keeping notes – most glad to hear that the combat seems fluid. My worst fear is that this game will seem sluggish. I like FURY and AOC for their more frenitic pace. I don’t mind it a little slower if the trade off is bigger/better battles.

  • @Jadawin: Yes I bought the CE a while ago.

    @Jaspr: The ranking system is actually really detailed. I’ll upload a video that shows Adam Gershowitz describing how his healer did in a scenario.

  • Great write up…

    Quote: “Nothing that automates gameplay at all” will be allowed…

    Keen, You have no idea how happy I am with this.

  • It is really sounding like everything we want. This is so sweet. Now, if they could only put some murlocks in the game. . . =)

  • I like the mount customization – that sounds cool. I also like how everyone will be fairly equal in scenarios. I’m a little disappointed that it sounds like there won’t be any instanced PvE dungeons for groups at all – besides bosses.

    It’s sounding really good. The excitement is really beginning to mount!

  • “Keen, how exactly do fortresses work? Do you have to win the zone to be able to attack it?”

    – Fortresses are only open once the preceding zones in the racial pairing have been captured. Zones are captured by earning points through a series of battlefield objectives, scenarios, and possibly keeps. Once captured, it is on to the next tier zones, up to the Fortress.

    The Fortresses are really the “big epic battle” that players will be looking for. The Fortresses will really be the test of a realm, with the city siege as the potential prize.

  • “Adam’s Zealot was only level 2 yet he was able to hold his ground against level 7 players because of how scenario’s work – they boost player’s abilities so that everyone feels on equal footing. It was working quite well.”

    Lvl 2 Zealot(or any other class for that matter) is a complete fodder. Did you see that 100021102 White Lions and Witchunters ripping the zealot a new one in 0.00001 sec? 🙂

    If you did not then it was not real beta server but a setup.