E3: My WAR Writeup (Part 1)

The Vault has published my writeup for the Warhammer Online preview at E3 2008!

“In light of the recent announcements that Mythic would be cutting four classes and four cities, we really didn’t know what to expect as we sat down to have a chat with the team from Mythic Entertainment. Going in with an open mind, we were taken on a guided tour of all the new features in WAR by Adam Gershowitz. First stop on the tour was The Inevitable City where Adam showed us several high profile characters from the Warhammer IP who will make an appearance in the game once cities reache a certain status rank. Next we were shown the King’s throne room and given a brief explanation of the fight. Players can look forward to more than a simple encounter. While fighting the Chaos king portals to other dimensions will open sucking players into the void while chaos explodes all around them and the pillars holding up the room will begin to fall all around them. These things are just a taste of what players can expect from the more prestige PvE encounters in the game.

We were then introduced to the incredible additions Mythic has made to character customization. Mythic has taken the approach of Macro Customization by taking a page out of the FPS genre where a character’s silhouette says it all. “We want you to feel like you can look like your class right from the beginning”, said Adam as he described the various sets of armor players can obtain for each and every class. Referencing Dark Age of Camelot where players could often be picked out of a crowd from a mile away simply by what they were wearing, Adam told us of Mythic’s plan to feature over 114 colors for dyes drawing inspiration from Games Workshop. And yes, White dye WILL be in the game!” – Read the full article at The Vault Network

I’ll be publishing my notes very soon that are more of a “Everything we learned about Warhammer Online from our Preview at E3”. It will be bullet point format and read easily like notes. You can expect that up within a few hours at most.

I will also be publishing the contents of my interview with Mark Jacobs soon. This is where you will find the details of exactly why they removed the cities and classes from the game (the best explanation I’ve heard yet) as well as information on the open group system and lots of other WAR goodies.

Enjoy! And please feel free to ask questions about my impressions of various aspects of the game. We were shown a lot.

  • It’s awesome that they have kept something at the end of the other two battlefronts and that my magus can be all kinds of colors.

  • @Keen: How does your hands on time with WAR compare to AoC? I know you where not the biggest fan of Conan but does the game feel a lot better or does it still need some work? You will get more time with it in open beta but nice to hear your thoughts.

  • My favorite part about the interview:

    As our preview came to a close we were told that the NDA is on its last leg and should be coming down in only a few weeks.

  • @Greg: Good question. I few things that I picked up on immediately were how WAR had an immediate “sense of purpose” whereas in Age of Conan it was more of a “sense of direction”. When you log in for the first time in WAR you’re met with the usual NPCs and quests but you also have the realm war to participate in immediately and a means of doing so with ease as well as visual tools and utilities at your fingertips to monitor the realm war and feel like you’re part of it from the moment you step into the world.

    In Age of Conan I felt like I had the direction but lacked the purpose. I knew that I had to hit level 80 or close to it to siege cities and hit a certain level to use my mount but I had no other aspirations or “greater sense of purpose”. If that makes sense.

    As for how the game felt, I think WAR feels much more like a typical MMORPG. Conan felt like an action game. Because of those differences I never felt like Conan’s combat was polished – it felt hectic and all over the place. WAR’s combat is solid and what you would expect from the standard mmorpg.

    It feels done. It really does.

    Does that answer your question?

  • Re: WAR’s sense of purpose.

    That’s precisely what I wanted to hear from you. The folks I’ve talked to have all said it the same way you. You log in, you first think, “Cool, it’s a lot like every other MMO, but cool…” Then you dig deeper, you try PQs, you get in on some Scenarios or RvR, and it all sort of clicks… this isn’t just a theme park like EQ or WoW — this is a bloody warzone, and you’ve got a part in the fight.

    I cannot wait for release.

  • @Keen (again) Since I have not played WAR at any demos or anything is the moment as fluid as WoW? I tried Daoc for a bit but could not stand not being able to turn with my right mouse button. Also what are thoughts comparing the two games? I know its almost apples to oranges but what feels the same? What feels different? Thanks again.

  • I think that is it. Sense of Purpose.
    Recently I was in PotBS for longer than average since I always felt like I could actually contribute to the War effort.

    However that slowly began to fade. I had not purpose to logging in other than to grind more cash to get my SoL.

    I hope that WAR will fill that need of “I am doing something useful.” other than just grinding to the next level to hopefully become useful later.

  • @Greg: Yes, it is as fluid as wow. You can use the right mouse to look around. 🙂 I’ll have to think on the compare/contrast a bit.

    @Blackwings: Yeah I saw that. The EA guys in the room wouldn’t comment though.

    @Gustavef: I hope it lasts as well. It really should given how the game is designed with Level 40 content being the “meat and potatoes” of the game as Adam Gershowitz put it.

  • Keen – Any sense of system requirements? After seeing some gameplay videos WAR looks like it may take a real powerhouse system to play smoothly.

  • @Vort: There were no situations where collision detection would have been noticeable. The fights were very all over the place.

    @Blackwings: System requirements aren’t going to be anywhere near AoC or even “powerhouse”. Mythic wasn’t ready to announce them but we know that PCs as old as 3 years should have no trouble with WAR. I’ll give more details on this as soon as they become available to me.

  • @Gompers: Sometime at the end of July or beginning of August. We have a bit of a scheduling conflict with people being/going out of town for a while. All of our Chaos Cast members will be a part of Episode #5 to my knowledge.

  • Podcast info would be cool, though I’m not sure I’d ever do one. Not much of a radio personality – but would still be nice to see the behind the scenes stuff and be in the know.

    Good to know on the system specs – maybe I won’t have to upgrade after all.

    (AoC made my system feel like a POS)

  • Is the capital city accessible early on (like in WoW), or do you not see the city until much later in the game?

  • Keen, to use a phase lifted from Scott Johnson at ELR “How were the grafrischx?” Seriously, can you help end the silly back and forth on the quality of WAR’s visuals?

  • @Josh: The game definitely looks far better than even the videos on Gametrailers or Curse. Actually, no video that I have seen to date does this game any justice at all (it’s really rather odd now that I think about it…). It runs fluid/smooth and has this “pop” to it that really draws me in.

    The environments are incredible and the attention to detail, especially in the particular areas shown at E3, is great. I’m a bit of a graphics whore and I have zero complaints about WAR.

  • This is why I say games should be cautious with the innovation — because you don’t want to learn to play a whole new game every time you buy one.

    By the way, I am loving these E3 WAR blogs and articles, you’re doing a great job.