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Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning
Information about Warhammer Online: Age of ReckoningWarhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (officially abbreviated as WAR) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game based on Games Workshop's Warhammer Fantasy setting. It was developed by Mythic Entertainment and simultaneously released in North and South Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand on sep. 18, 2008 (5 years ago). The game revolves around the continual worldwide conflict that the Warhammer Fantasy setting is known for, and the game is geared toward ongoing, constant war laced with dark humor.
GameplayWarhammer Online: Age of Reckoning features Mythic's Realm versus Realm (RvR) combat system, originally developed in Dark Age of Camelot. This takes place within three different racial pairings: Dwarfs vs. Greenskins, Empire vs. Chaos, and High Elves vs. Dark Elves. Although there are only two races per pairing, players may travel to either of the other two pairings to help fight with their friends and allies. There are four types of RvR combat: Skirmishes (random world encounters), Battlefields (objective-driven battles in RvR-specific areas), Scenarios (instanced, point-based battles against the opposing faction), and Campaigns (invading enemy lands and capital cities). RvR contribution includes both Player vs. Player (PvP) combat and (to a lesser extent) Player vs. Environment (PvE) quests so that you can assist your realm in their victory, regardless of preferred play-style.
All activities in WAR contribute to the campaign, as it is the primary focus of the game. Each of the aforementioned activities generate Victory Points (VP) which measure a realm's progress in capturing a zone. When one realm reaches a designated amount of Victory Points in a particular zone, that zone falls under their control and the war pushes deeper into enemy territory. This back and forth struggle for zone control continues until one side holds two racial pairings, and the attacking side may sack, loot, and pillage the enemy's capital city. The capture of a capital city is the pinnacle objective of the campaign. Once a capital city is taken, the attackers are given a period time to loot the city. When this period expires, the defeated players receive increasing support from NPC guards until they are able to force the attackers out of their city and close the gates. At this point the campaign then begins anew, restarting the cycle.
Keeps and Keep Sieges were introduced into WAR’s Realm vs Realm combat system during the Closed Beta phase of testing. Keeps can be captured for Victory Points towards your realm and can be claimed by the capturing guild. NPC guards are stationed at all keeps (claimed or unclaimed) to ensure that a certain level of difficulty is maintained and that, at minimum, six to twelve players are required for capture. Should players decide to defend it, the difficulty in capturing the keep will increase greatly. Keeps are decorated according to the aesthetics of the race that currently controls it; however, the basic layout will stay the same. If a keep has been claimed by a guild, it will display the heraldry of that guild. Siege warfare includes four types of siege weapons: rams for destroying keep doors, ballistae for targeting enemy players or destroying enemy siege emplacements, cannons, catapults, and trebuchets for AoE splash damage, and boiling oil to use from keep walls. Emplacements located around the keeps, known as siege pads, are used to determine where siege weapons can be constructed. The pads themselves can be destroyed by players of the defending realm, inhibiting the siege process.
Mythic also prevents the ganking of new players by more experienced players. For example, in Scenarios, low-level players may be boosted to an average level of play to ensure a more level playing field. Also, if a higher-ranked player enters an RvR zone specifically designated for lower level characters, they will be penalized by being temporarily transformed into a chicken. The lower-level players within those areas can then ignore the higher level player, or dispatch the chicken with one blow.
WAR features a "Tome of Knowledge" (ToK) that is an extension upon similar mechanisms in many other MMOs. The ToK is a multi-purpose reference tool that is designed to provide the player with a great deal of information about the game world. It is also meant to serve as a reduction in the need for players to feel like they have to rely upon third-party sources of information pertaining to the game.
The Tome of Knowledge keeps track of all information pertaining to an individual character and their progress through the game. This progress unlocks lore-related information about quests, the gameworld itself, NPCs, and defeated mobs. For example, upon first encountering a mob within the game, a basic entry is added for that creature in the Bestiary chapter of the ToK. However, with increasing contact, kills, and associated activities involving any specific creature, the information available about those encounters will be added to the Tome of Knowledge. Likewise, the ToK keeps track of the story and progression of the character through the gameworld as they complete quests, explore the map, and otherwise accomplish activities within the game.
Scenarios are instanced battles that match even numbers of opponents from Order and Destruction against each other. They are typically 12 on 12, but some scenarios are 18 on 18. They generally last 15 minutes, and the winner is the team with the highest score at the end of that time or the first to score 500 points.
CharactersIn Warhammer Online character customization is available in many forms. The initial character creation process allows players to select the race, career and basic look of their character, including facial features and accessories. In addition to the original name that the player chooses for their character at creation, the player has the option to add a surname to their character for a small fee at rank 20. Surnames are received from the naming commissioner in Altdorf, for Order, and The Inevitable City, for Destruction. Dye is available at NPC vendors for recoloring armor and accessories. Players are able to decorate themselves with trophies, such as the heads of fallen enemies, which are equipped and displayed at various points on the character model. Other forms of customization include Tactics (customizable sets of bonuses that players can adjust while out of combat), as well as Morale Abilities (increasingly powerful abilities that become available as morale is generated during the course of battle). Customizable armor and visual guild heraldry also aid in allowing a player to make their character visually unique.
In addition to visual character customization, Warhammer features an achievement system, similar to that of Steam. As achievements are unlocked, players may apply custom titles that appear beneath their names.
DevelopmentThe second online game development began under the company Climax Online. The project was officially canceled in Jun. 2004 (9 years ago) when Games Workshop determined that the roll-out costs would be too high. However, work on the game never actually stopped as Climax Online continued the project using their own funds until the company reported in late 2004 (9 years ago) that the Warhammer Online project was shut down due to difficulty in securing a publishing agreement.
With the license available again, Games Workshop was approached by Mythic Entertainment, who were interested in acquiring the license and starting a new project from scratch. A long-standing relationship between several Games Workshop managers and the CEO of Mythic Mark Jacobs ensured that a deal was quickly reached. The Warhammer Online license was acquired by Mythic on May 18, 2005 (8 years ago). Mythic would soon cancel its original follow-up project Imperator Online after gaining the Warhammer License.
Though Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning is being developed by Mythic Entertainment, Games Workshop is also involved with the ongoing development of the project. Their role is not only to ensure that the project remains true to the Warhammer Fantasy IP, but also to work with Mythic to allow for the appropriate development and extension of the IP as necessitated for the MMO. Mythic has previously created MMOs, including Dark Age of Camelot.
On Jul. 30, 2009 (4 years ago), Mythic Entertainment announced that Warhammer Online was being ported to the Mac OS X platform in the fall of 2009 (4 years ago), with a beta version becoming available immediately. Like other Electronic Arts Mac games, Warhammer Online for Mac utilizes Cider technology by TransGaming Technologies.
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning is not purely derived from either Warhammer Fantasy Battles or Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay or any other source alone, but rather from the Warhammer Fantasy universe as a whole.
Players who purchased Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, also developed by EA, were given a code that rewards them a special in-game item, Kossar's Helm. Called a Kislevite, this fur cap looks like a Russian Ushanka. The helmet was sent to all characters on the player's account. It also grants a character wearing it the ability to transform into a bear for five minutes, but the disguise is broken upon taking damage. This offer lasted only until Apr. 30, 2009 (4 years ago).
ReceptionWarhammer Online initially received favorable reviews. GameSpy gave it 5 out of 5 stars and claimed, "[it] has hit the ground running with one of the best MMO experiences we've had in a long time." Gamespot gave it a 8.5 out of 10 and said, "Questers and explorers may not find what they're looking for, and certain gameplay systems don't mesh as well as they should. Nevertheless, there's more than enough exciting PvP content here to keep newcomers and veterans alike immersed in the perpetually violent tug of war between the forces of Order and Destruction." Warhammer Online has an aggregate score of 86% on metacritic.com and 87% GameRankings.com.
As of sep. 30, 2008 (5 years ago), WAR had sold 1.2 million copies and had 800,000 registered users.
As of Oct. 10, 2008 (5 years ago), Mythic Entertainment announced that 750,000 people were playing Warhammer Online.
As of dec. 31, 2008 (5 years ago), the number of active WAR subscribers had decreased to "over 300K paying subscribers in North America and Europe."
As of May 5, 2009 (4 years ago), EA execs confirmed in an investor conference that they have 300,000 subscribers as of the end of Mar. 2009 (4 years ago), shortly after the company reported an FY2009 loss of $1.08 billion.
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