Some kind soul recorded a presentation given by Jeff Hickman and Josh Drescher, two of Warhammer Online’s producers, from the recent WAR Paris Press Event and put it online for the rest of us. The video clocks in at just over an hour in length, but Jeff and Josh remain funny and engaging from start to finish, and highlight the ways in which WAR differentiates itself from the WoWs of the world, making it required viewing for anyone even remotely interested in the upcoming MMO.
After a brief description of some of the classes available to the elves and dark elves – Warhammer online features six different races, each with four unique classes – the producers began an in-depth explanation of Warhammer Online’s clever living capitol city mechanic. As players of any given race grow, level up, and accomplish deeds throughout the world, their capitol city will grow and level with them. New areas, quests, vendors, and even dungeons are automatically added to the cities to keep pace with its evolving populace.
Of particular note are player monuments, statues depicting players who have contributed the most to the ongoing realm versus realm (RvR) campaign. Everything in the capitol cities serves a purpose for those that call them home, but also serve as targets for any invaders. Besides serving as fabulous ego boosts and cool reminders of in-game history, these player monuments can also be desecrated by invading players, who can capture the statues’ heads as trophies of their own accomplishments.
This back-and-forth, RvR gameplay is a real focal point for Warhammer Online. Depending on their race, each player fights either for the forces of Order or Destruction, and EA Mythic wants players focusing on the success and well-being of their realm rather than their own personal advancement. All aspects of the game, from small PvP skirmishes and PvE encounters to full-on raids feed this RvR campaign. The game is all about “taking what the enemy has and making it your own.”
The most direct means of bringing glory to your realm is through confrontation with your enemy, and Warhammer Online promises to provide plenty of variety in that regard. The most basic and easily accessible form of RvR combat are scenarios, instanced battles between even teams that should last about 15 minutes—think World of Warcraft’s battlegrounds. Players can also expect to run into enemy players in the open world, and EA Mythic has placed capturable objectives throughout the world to act as the focal point for these incidental skirmishes. Defeating enemy players in scenarios or in the world of WAR not only benefits you personally, but also furthers the cause of your realm.
Players will also be able to participate in epic, large scale battles against opposing realms through keep battles and city invasions. Keeps are large castles dotting the landscape that give dominion over the surrounding land to anyone fortunate enough to hold them. Wrestling keeps from enemy control and invading their cities both require siege weapons, and each race has their own arsenal of siege engines ranging from battering rams, orcapults, and even giant trolls. Should your realm manage to invade an opposing realm’s capitol city, not only do you gain access to the city itself, but you also open up special PvE encounters against the leaders of your enemy’s realm.
Ultimately, both PvE and RvR players need one another in order to access the upper tiers of content for either playstyle. RvR players need PvE players to build up the capitol cities and complete public quests – cooperative zone-wide quests that offer special rewards – to boost the strength of their realm. At the same time, PvE players need the hardcore RvR players to invade enemy keeps and cities and unlock new PvE content. It’ll be interesting to see if EA is really able to cater to both types of players without alienating either.
The video also covers Warhammer Online’s living guilds, which level up over time and have in-game calendars and news feeds, as well as the Tome of Knowledge, an extremely clever metagame feature that tracks your character’s personal history with the game. Jeff and Josh cover a great deal of content in relatively little time, and while they may not provide a tremendous amount of depth on any one subject, it’s clear Warhammer Online is a feature-rich game that may actually put a chink in World of Warcraft’s seemingly unchinkable armor.
War in Paris – PrÃ¤sentation [Trailerwelten via NeoGAF]