A friend of mine’s over at Comic-Con at the moment, and of course, I asked him to look into the Warhammer Online stuff for us (hopefully not too traumatic as he does like MMORPGs!!). This is his first report from the show, and I thought I’d quote it verbatim for you.
Warhammer First Impressions… by a n00b
On behalf of my long time friend arbitrary, I’m proud to report to you live from the show floor of the 2008 Comic-Con International in San Diego, California. On the first day of the con, I went to the Warhammer booth to get my first tastes of WAR. Keep in mind that I knew nothing about Warhammer, neither its lore nor the game. I’m familiar with some MMORPGs, mostly WoW, so I mostly focused on why I would like WAR over the competition. During a quiet lull in the booth, I managed to get a few minutes of one of the reps’ time and barraged him with questions. Also, I’m not equipped with a tape recorder or proper “interview” gear, so please forgive my paraphrasing.
Having been raised on WoW, my first impression was “this looks gorgeous”. I know not everyone uses the crappy animation that WoW has, but this looked very detailed and very smooth. No doubt they had optimized hardware, but even still it looked very good. But looks does not a game make, so I started talking to one of the reps:
My number one complaint with WoW is that endgame is a pissing contest about who has more time to play. What’s endgame like in WAR?
You still need to gear up to enjoy endgame, but it won’t be as bad as having to run the same instance 100 times. There will be 6-man and 24-man instances with a good LFG system that filters for roles. There will also be public quests. You also get leveling experience for PvP, so if your play style isn’t about questing, you’ll still find it easy to progress. The best gear will come from a balance of questing, raiding, and PvP.
What are public quests?
There will be numerous public quests that allow you to participate at your schedule. These are quests that go on perpetually in a zone. Anyone can join in and leave. When the quest completes and the loot drops, everyone who participated are notified and are given the chance to roll.
Do the public quests restart? i.e. if I don’t get in on a public quest, can I eventually try it some other time?
The public quests put the zones into different states, which trigger different public quests. It’s possible these will be cycled, but more likely it depends on how people are playing the game. For example, suppose one side is moving to attack the other side’s city. Zone after zone, the attacking side takes over… these are effectively public quests in each of these zones. This effects the people in those zones too. Suppose you’re in the city that gets taken over. You get the option to join the rebellion or get booted out of the city.
I plan on attending the Warhammer session with Paul Barnett and trying to get an interview. I’ll keep you folks posted.