"Warhammer Online has some of the most potential of any RPG game and is the best title in the emerging RvR-MMO game genre."-Judgent

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Goodbye WAR! - Family Portraits

     Since the Warhammer official servers are shutting down tomorrow, I wanted to get one last family picture of the characters I have played over the years. It is sad to see them go for good, but I know I am about to start a new adventure on the new Warhammer Online: Private Server.

I am going to be playing a Marauder on the private server.

Good bye stunty, it was nice knowing you!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Warhammer Online: The Private Server

     By now I am sure everyone has heard that Warhammer Online is closing down the official servers on December 18th. However, this was not a surprise, because the server's population had been dwindling for quite a while. As sad as it is to see the game being shut down, there is a ray of light in the darkness.

The website is well made, and looks very similar to the official WAR site.
     Fellow WAR veterans, all hope is not lost! A group of skilled developers have been hard at work for the last month putting together all of the data, and trying to make a functional private server. The server is planning on launching on December 18th; the same day the official servers shut down. Keep in mind this server is only entering open beta, with many core features still not finished.

You can check out the private server here.

     The server sports a powerful  Xeon Quad core (35Go ram, 300Mbps)  and the rates for the private server will be the same as the official servers. Players can help contribute towards the new server by inviting their friends and spreading the word. Also, players can log onto the official Warhammer server and collect data for the developers to use in the new private server. Information on using the data sniffer can be found on the forums here.

     I will be updating my blog over the next few weeks and informing readers about the servers launch date, future progress, and my experiences within the game. I will also be releasing a trailer for the private server over the next week. It feels almost as if Warhammer is being launched all over again, and this makes me very happy.

Play smart!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

An Afterthought: WAR: AoR Review

Title: Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning
Genre: MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game)
Platform: PC

      Warhammer Online or WAR is an online roleplaying game published by Bioware (part of Electronic Arts) and developed by Mythic in September of 2008. It is set in a fantasy setting predefined by the Warhammer lore created by Mythic, who is originally known for Warhammer, the tabletop game. In the online version, there is an ongoing war between the forces of Order and Destruction. The world is torn as the races align and prepare for battle. Join the Dark Elves, Chaos, and Greenskin as they fight for the Realm of Destruction, or the High Elves, Empire, and Dwarfs in the Realm of Order. The game features Player versus Environment (PvE) and Player versus Player (PvP). It’s basic features are similar to generic MMO’s core concepts, but it stands apart through incredible customizability for your character and naturally rewarding and engaging gameplay in Realm versus Realm combat (RvR). There are twenty four total classes to play that fall into four general archetype categories. Each realm has 12 classes, four per race, which fall into one of four archetypes, resulting in 24 total classes. The four archetypes are Tanks, Melee Damage, Ranged Damage, and Healers. There are up to 40 levels for players to progress through as they gain more skill, gear, and riches. There also 100 renown ranks which are gained through killing players in Realm versus Realm combat.

Game Rules:

      The rules of engagement between the two realms are extremely lengthy and complex but I am going to elaborate on the most prominent features that make the game work. The RvR is only one half of the game, but it is the most defining feature. First, the players are only able to engage in conflict amongst online users in a set locations with very specific and varying rules. There are four total tiers that players will participate in, each adding more complexity, gear, and areas for discovery. Each tier corresponds to a level bracket, to ensure that powerful players are not able to wreak havoc on new players. Tier 1 is for players level 1 - 15, Tier 2 is for levels 16 - 25, Tier 3 is for levels 26 - 39, and Tier 4 is for players level 40. The game used to have brackets for every 10 levels but that changed a few years after release. There are rules to when a player is able to engage in realm versus realm combat. There are RvR "lakes" where players flock to in order to be able to attack the other realm's players. In these lakes there are Battle Objectives to fight over and, in later levels, keeps to attack and defend. Another way to ensure players are facing up against enemies of similar difficulty is by raising all player’s level to the top for the bracket that they are in (ie. level 15 for tier 1). This way players can contribute to the battle even at level 1, without any prerequisites to jump into an RvR lake or queue up for a scenario (instanced RvR battles).
      The actual combat is based upon location of the player as well as the use of skills and talent trees. Throughout the game, players level up and gain access to new skills, morale abilities, and talents as well as become stronger. Each class has unique abilities and armor to use in battle. Mythic tries to balance the classes as much as possible but the large amount of classes and skills provide a very difficult challenge. Most MMOS have less than 8 classes which many times share armor, skills, and appearances. In Warhammer, every class has a unique appearance and gameplay mechanics. The game also features the "Tome of Knowledge" which contains achievements, lore, titles, and information about the game. It also displays statistics on activities such as scenarios, crafting, and combat. This allows players to track their performance and display their achievements to the world. Another interesting feedback system is the Realm versus Realm ranking system. Players gain ranks in addition to levels through realm versus realm activity only. This rank allows the player to purchase and equip RvR gear which improves strength and other attributes. As stated above, there are 100 renown ranks that yield stunning armor and weapons with beautiful graphics. These renown ranks let players see how well they are doing against the opposing faction and how strong their enemy is. In online combat, players can find these items from random drops or loot them from treasure chests. This gives the player the feeling of uncertainty which encourages repeated completion of tasks in order to obtain necessary items and rank. In addition to armor and weapons, players also receive currency from killing, which can be spent on better items and or additional amenities (mounts, potions, vanity pets). This reward system keeps players coming back to increase the power and appearance of their characters.
      The actual Realm versus Realm battles are visually stunning and incredibly fun to participate in. Imagine protecting a keep from the hordes of evil players while fighting alongside your friends. Playing against real people provides endless possibilities for gameplay situations which decreases repetition and boredom. Knowing when to use certain skills and avoiding death are the main goals of combat. In order to become skilled at Warhammer, it is essential to understand each class and work with other players to defeat the enemy legions. The community has developed strategies to succeed in online play; some of which are unfair and could be considered an exploit. Many times in RvR gameplay, large groups of players will roam around killing any smaller groups they can find. This is called zerging and is defined by the act of using sheer numbers to defeat the enemy. This is not illegal but is considered unfair and a shameful strategy to deploy on the lesser populated faction. In order to combat this issue, Mythic has three different RvR pairings which split up the action so players can always find a fair battle to fight in. The three pairings are Empire versus Chaos, High Elves versus Dark Elves, and the Dwarfs versus Greenskin. Each pairing has two zones for each tier and an additional 4 zones for Tier 4. There are also two capital cities which can be captured in the instance of a city siege.

Game Play:

      The core mechanic behind the different classes in Warhammer is essentially the same. Using varied types of magic and weapons, players must destroy the opposing enemies and avoid death. Skills are arranged at the bottom of the user interface in a horizontal fashion. Each class will unlock around thirty different abilities which have various effects, cooldown timers, and energy cost. It is vital to constantly keep the characters health up while depleting the enemies health pool until death at 0%. Characters may be resurrected by any of the Healer classes but most characters are able to protect themselves with personal healing and helpful boons. The goal of the game is to level up to the highest level and obtain the best weapons and armor in order to become as strong as possible and lead the realm to victory. No realm ever really wins, because once a faction has been wiped out, it resets after a certain amount of hours. Players fight over towns and quest hubs in order to ultimately defend their capital city. No one ever really reaches the end of the game because, in most MMO's, there is always a new goal, or a need to improve. In order to level up, players may kill NPC's (Non-Player Characters), battle real online people, or participate in quests and instanced dungeons. Rewards for these activities include gold, various currencies, crafting materials, gear, consumables, titles, achievements, trophies, vanity pets, and new transportation methods. In order to obtain these rewards, players must complete predetermined tasks that require various levels of skill and certain amounts of players. These tasks condition players to participate in daily activities to claim these rewards for character improvement. Repetitive and slow progression is an important element in MMO's that keep players addicted to the game.
      Aside from the general lore, the overall plot in Warhammer Online is pretty terrible. There are many quests and dungeons to complete that provide short term storyline elements, but the general game is based around the improvement of the players character and abilities in RvR combat. The lore sets the basis for all conflict in game through the use of a never ending battle between enemy factions. Players fight for their side in order to prove their dominance in this never ending struggle. The game world is treacherous and filled with amazing discoveries and powerful enemies. The Order is devoted to protecting the citizens and the land from the clutches of the realm of Destruction, bent on destroying everything. Players find themselves in various environments such as the desert, snow capped mountains, and lush countryside. Each faction has towns and outposts in each zone which provide services to the player and offer quests for completion. These towns have many descriptors which keep the theme of the world consistent. The game is set in the stone ages, with basically no technology except for guns and inventions created by the ingenious Dwarfs. Certain classes even reference various time periods in actual history. For example, the Empire is steampunk themed with religious elements thrown in there. Additionally, dwarfs reference Irish culture through their accent, interest in beer, and fun loving demeanor. These types of descriptors and fictional environments keep the player immersed in the setting and storyline and focus on the core gameplay. The game leads the player through the fictional world and slowly introduces them to new concepts which add complexity. Leveling and ranking up can become a slow grind, especially when getting close to the level cap. This causes many players who become bored with this repetition to stop playing. Aside from this, the game flows well, but forces players to remain in the same place for too long in the later levels.


      I started playing Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning at release in September of 2008, and fell in love with the game. Aside from the initial launch lag, server issues, and never ending bugs, the game’s community was strong and this allowed the game to thrive. After a year or two, many players were upset with the state of the game and lack of developer support, and decided to leave. This brought the player population on all servers to very low levels. Warhammer relies on consistent and high population in order for players to achieve the goals that involve realm versus realm combat. These goals usually require killing players on the opposite faction, so population became a huge key in the gameplay. For a long time now, the developers have neglected the game and the community, which has continued the decline of the player base. In the end, only the hardcore players remain on the last merged server, however many gamers have hope that it could bounce back. Even after four years, there are still daily players and many users who are trying the game for the first time (since it recently added free to play elements). With the new content that was added over the four years following launch, and the fixed bugs and performance issues, it has grown into a very good looking game. However, with a lack of population, there is no chance that WAR will combat industry leaders like WoW and Guild Wars 2. However, Warhammer Online players can proudly claim that it is the best game ever made in the RvR MMO niche.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Four Fantastic Classes

   Since I have played Warhammer Online from the beginning, September 2008, and have tried every class there is to offer, I was starting to think about my favorite classes this morning. I was around when they first added Knight of the Blazing Sun and Black Guard and also Choppa and Slayer. I have seen the class balance issues in the past, so I know which classes have been overpowered and/or overlooked.  My criteria is slightly biased because it mainly deals with which classes were the most fun for me to play (fun is the point of the game, right?).

    Below is the list of my four favorite classes, one from each archtype; Tank, Melee Damage, Ranged Damage, and Healer:

1. Favorite Tank: Ironbreaker
I really love playing my 40 Ironbreaker for more reasons than just smashing things. Ironbreakers are very friendly Dwarves that are capable of protecting and bolstering his allies. He can select one target to guard, which takes 50% of their damage and throws it on the IB (along with other guard moves, the Ironbreaker can literally be a healer's meat shield). He can also buff a group mate by selecting them as his Oath Friend. Ironbreakers have many skills that damage an enemy while providing a temporary buff for himself and his Oath Friend and debuff on the enemy. In this way he is able to contribute towards his teams success more than most classes. Its also very pleasing when you annoy the hell out of destruction because they can't seem to kill you.

2. Favorite Melee Damage: Marauder
Marauders look like someone who you wouldn't want to meet in a dark ally. But when you first try one out in tier 1, you may notice it is difficult to do well in RvR. Most Melee Damage Careers have trouble earlier in the game because they get targeted first and don't have much survivability at low levels. Once you get past tier 1, Marauders begin to shine. If specializing the in the path of Brutality, you get skills that temporarily improve your damage output or critically hit your opponent if they are under 50% health. In this way, along with the high damaging Morale rank 1 ability, you can do major burst damage and shut down players with low health. My character is now in tier 3 and he is finally looking really cool and getting even better.

3. Favorite Ranged Damage: Squig Hunter
The Squig Hunter career is considered over powered in the current state of game. But even before  that, I liked how they played. Their spunkyness and cuteness drew me in, and their pet mechanics and damage made my heart melt. They also have very interesting and fun survival abilities but they are not the most effective. I find their armor and two weapons (bow and spear) look really cool, and the ability to turn into a huge Squig is a unique trait that sets him apart from the rest. Plus the wolves that they get as mounts at level 20 are awesome.

4. Favorite Healer: Archmage
I have a certain place in my heart for the classic "caster" character. Besides the sorcerer, Archmages  are the only other class that really completes the look; cloth robes, staff, and minimal head armor. When dying their robe, the color changes in a huge portion of the armor, instead of just a little strap or small section. The Archmage's mechanics are very similar to the Shaman but their spells look much different and vary slightly. I would admit that Archmage spells may not be as quick as a Runepriest/Zealot, but playing it is just as fun.

     Don't get me wrong, every class has a special place in the game (well maybe not Sword Masters -- just kidding). However, it doesn't look like we are going to be getting any more class balance any time soon; the programmer who works on balancing issues left and no replacement has been announced. Fortunately for us players, the careers currently are pretty balanced, though I will admit some are more powerful than others.

Post a comment below on your favorite class and why!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tier 3 Open-RvR Time

     After a short four month break I am back and playing Warhammer Online again (I truely missed WAR). I have also been very busy with work and have not had much time to play, but circumstances are changing. I have been playing on my Level 27 RR 34 Marauder in tier 3 more recently and will continue to level him up. I recently got the basic influence reward for Empire pairing Tier 3 ORvR (which was a purple level 27 belt). I've noticed its a lot harder to get into Warbands in tier 3 than ever before, probably because the groups reserve spots for higher level character over lowbies. Also the level gap is much greater than any other tier. Levels 22-39 can participate in tier 3 but most come at levels 25-27. The players that are in their late 30's have armor and weapons unmatched by that of a level 27. Thus, I have concluded that finding a active and inclusive RvR guild in tier 3 would be the best way to get into warbands and level up.

Loving the new appearance armor I've found (in High Pass)

     Four months ago I was playing and the current Badlands population was anywhere from 50-200 players on each side at a single moment. Now there's anywhere from 175-325 players on each side online at a time! The increase of player base may be due to Warhammer: Wrath of Heroes, or maybe some of the additional web marketing. Either way, its a promising sign in the games future. Most likely it was because of the recent server merges that are putting all of the US player base into one big server; sounds great to me.
    So for now I will be roaming the battlefield looking for fights. I have fixed my videos and re-uploaded them on Youtube. Feel free to view the videos on my Youtube Channel.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Thoughts Exactly: Wrath of Heroes


     War: Wrath of Heroes looks amazing. It is basically a simplified scenario with three factions. You can choose which class you want to play which will feature the classes in WAR already. The scenario maps will be from the actual game. In my mind, War: WoH will serve as a marketing tool for War: AoC, one of the first in a long time. This game will still have a player base but it will lead players in the direction to our MMO, that needs players badly. I'm not sure if this is going to be more like DotA or revamped scenarios, but I am ready to try the beta. You can sign up yourself here.

Greenskin: Finally I can kill this stuck up elf.
     Lately, In WAR, I have been playing on my Marauder who is now level 25 renown rank 32. In tier 2 he is able to do 1v2 and sometimes 1v3! In tier 3 he is a viable asset with heals, otherwise I survive for short amounts of time. I have been switching back and forth from t2 to t3 while I still have the chance. I am a bit worried about my renown rank because it is a bit low for my level. Maybe this is because I have been doing random quests and Public Quests.
     Trippedoutfish and I have been exploring PQs and finding amazing Public Quest loot for appearance gear. You can view this appearance gear and how to get it on my next post. We also finished a Quest to unlock the Crimson Cloak for Destruction classes. You can view the video here or the Order Crimson Cloak Video Tutorial here. The video was set to 15 FPS so its a bit laggy, and also shows trippy playing and talking, which is pretty funny. You might have to scroll through the PQ's on the video to find the quests which are in chapter 11 Chaos, Talabecland.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Video Coming Soon - Keep Sieges

     Hey guys, recently we finished up creating a video tutorial on keep sieges. It should be posted tomorrow so be on the lookout for that. It will include a full review on how to run a warband and take a keep most effectively.  

Still playing my Maruader: Judjent, level 23 rr 30 on Gorfang. Message me in game for some RvR action!

Poll: Which tier is most enjoyable?


Tier 1: 7 (25%)
Tier 2: 7 (25%)
Tier 3: 6 (21%)
Tier 4: 7 (25%)
All are equal: 1 (3%)

Looks like all the tiers are equally enjoyable... Although it seems no one agrees with that!
Leave a comment with your ideas for a poll in the comments section.

Edit: Video is being reuploaded to my new Youtube Channel. Expect it up in February 2012.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Video Tutorial: Pelt of the Dark Young Cloak

     I have been extremely busy lately but I still find the time to play my Marauder in tier 2 on Gorfang (you can check him out on my Toons page). I had been using the Shawl of Spring since level 8 and I was ready for a new cape. As a level 21 rr 27 Marauder, I traveled to Avelorn in search of the mob that would unlock a  cloak. The mob is named Khurraak Might-Horns and is a normal level 26. He is sometimes accompanied by another random level 26. This tome unlock should be available to all players level 20+. The mob is a running beastman that spawns on the path just south of the Order Chapter 12 High Elf quest hub. Before finding the mob, I was killed three times by a pesky level 55 Order guard that seemed to spot me from extremely far away. He would 2 shot me and then I would re-spawn on the other side of the map; this would force me to run back because there was no flight master. Below is a quick tutorial video:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Killing Trolls - Public Quests

Die troll!
     Public Quests have become all but useful in the current version of WAR, as we all know. This saddens me, but I understand why EA is doing it. They need to make all their players go into the RvR areas so there is constant PvP action. I agree with this, but I still enjoy doing Public Quests with my guild. There are still are a few reasons on why you should look into doing a couple Public Quests:
  1. Chapter 5 Public Quests give blue and green shoulders for level 10 and 11 respectively; perfect for twinks or players trying to get an edge up in Tier 1. Not to mention shoulder armor looks badass!
  2. Public Quests have their own unique looking gear for Advance Influence rewards. Stand out from the crowd and look epic.
  3. Farm Repairable items. Certain PQ mobs have really high drop chances for repairable items. These items can be equipped by any class or sold quickly for hefty amounts of gold.
  4. Gain experience, influence, money, talisman, crafting materials, and gear.
  5. Breaks up the Renown grind, but you still get renown from the zone flips!

40 Black Orc - Moggahlub (Gorfang)
     On my 19 Marauder I have been doing more Public Quests than usual. Instead of farming rats in Ostland, why not farm Public Quests? We decided to head to Chapter 8 and 9 in Troll Country. I really enjoyed doing some solid PvE content with my guild. Many of these PQ's I have never completed before and didn't realize how fun Public Quests can still be. I wish the gear from the influence and drop rewards were better so I could actually use them but RvR armor remains on top.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Video: Judgent's WAR Report Intro

     Hi everyone, my names Trippedoutfish and I will be contributing to the blog from now on in many ways. Editing videos is something I like to do in my spare time, and I'd be happy to make tutorials if there is enough interest. Check out the new intro I made for all the videos we post from now on: