Things we love about the game: no. 42

Quality moments catching people on the toilet in Altdorf. Stand too close and you can hear straining noises. No really.

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Hints and Tips for New Beta Testers

These are little and sometimes embarrassing questions that were frequently asked by us, our friends and guildmates or by other beta testers on the chat channels and beta bboards. They mostly deal with small things, things other people think are blindingly obvious – so we list them here so you can learn the kind of things we did!

Q. Can you res in combat?

A. Yes.

Q. How do I make my group closed (open is the default)?

A. Click on a party member, go to party options and toggle the ‘open’ tag. If you open the commands list via the chat window (right-click on chat tab, select commands list) you’ll see the toggle for always opening closed groups – but think about it, because open groups are sociable and we’ve enjoyed them!

Q. How do I get to Altdorf/Inevitable City?

A. The warcamps have flight masters who will automatically have a route available to your capital city of choice, and to warcamps in other racial zones. Select the pairing of the place you want to fly (Empire vs Chaos in this instance) and it’ll show you where you can fly to. To fly to the capitals is quite cheap, but make sure if you’re going straight to a flight master to join friends at rank 1 that you kill enough to give you a little cash first!

Q. Does the Warrior Priest really say “Bollocks!” when s/he gets hit?

A. Yes, clearly Sigmar is cool with that.

Q. I have got some renown ranks from PvP? Where’s this gear I can buy?

A. There are sets of weapons/armour you can buy at renown rank 2/4/6/etc. Ranks 2 and 4 have a vendor in the first warcamp for each realm. For higher ranks, you’ll need to find the vendor of the second floor of a keep in the world RvR area. Yes that means your side has to hold at least one keep for you to access them.

Q. Tell me about chat channels?

A. As per WoW, use /1 <message> to access your local area chat. You can create a custom channel by using /channeljoin <channel name> and then getting your friends to use /channeljoin on the same name. These custom channels are not currently persistent (so will disappear after the last person on the channel logs out). Use /channelleave to leave a chat channel.

Q. So what is this chicken business all about?

A. As the chicken expert, I’ll take this one. The zones in Warhammer are divided into tiers from the start at tier 1 to Altdorf/realm keeps at tier 4. You need to be a certain level to access scenarios of the next tier up. For example, at level 12 you are level appropriate for tier 2. If you then go into a lower level tier and flag yourself for RvR, you will turn into a chicken until the flag is gone or you die. It’s to stop griefing. You will automatically be flagged for RvR if you venture into an area with world RvR objectives — these are all clearly marked on the map. If you go into a lower level tier and don’t flag yourself (eg. to help a guildie with public quests or somesuch) then you’re fine. Naughty guildmates will try to tempt you into lower level RvR areas, so they can laugh at the chicken.

Q. How do I know I’m in a Public Quest? How do I find them?

A. You can filter their display on your map. Open your map (use ‘m’) and there’s a range of things you can toggle on or off, public quests are one of these and they display as little chests. You’ll know you’ve entered one as you get some text flashing up and it leaves the current objective on your screen. They won’t show up on the map until you have discovered them by wandering into the area though.

Q. Is there an easy way to track my influence in an area?

A green bar to the right of your mini-map shows you your influence in the current area. When it reaches each bar you can get an influence award. If you click on the green bar, it will open up your Tome of Knowledge and with some more information about the storyline and rewards.

Q. In-game mail?

Mailboxes are often at warcamps, so try looking there first. After that, Altdorf or the Inevitable City! You can send money and/or items to other players, or to your alts.

Q. How do I take screenshots?

A. Shift+PrtScr (or just PrtScr). The screenshots end up in a directory directly under the Warhammer directory which is called ‘screenshots’. Shift+Z turns off the UI so you can get a clean shot.

Q. Can I turn off my hideous skullcap/conehead hat?

A. Why, yes you can. It may not be as obvious as in other games, but go to your character screen and by the hat should be a little tickbox. Toggle it to do away with the fashion disaster! It doesn’t always seem to work though, so beware the hats of stickiness!

Q. How do I buy mastery skills?

A. First you buy levels up to the skill you want. Then click on the skill and click on ‘train’. You should then get the skill to use as you will.

Q. How do the career mastery and renown abilities work?

A. Probably the best way to illustrate this is to go to wardb.com. Under the tools tab they have links to a career builder and a renown ability builder for each career. This pretty much mirrors what you will see in game so you can check out the abilities and try a few sample builds to see how the points pan out.

Q. How do I get all the party screens from a scenario team on my screen.

A. As you enter the scenario you’ll see the teams form. Use the tickboxes to get the party info up in the top left hand corner and then drag that to where you want it, click on the next party and do the same. It’s a bit like the WoW raidframes.

Q. How do I join an open group?

A. If someone tells you there’s an open group with X as leader, you can type /join X. Or you can use a little icon below your portrait to search for all open groups in the area and join them via that interface.

So I was looking at the screenshots…

There are 11 new screenshots from E3, go take your time and look through them. And then tell me what’s missing?

Yeah, where are the female characters? I counted one Warrior Priest and that was all. (On closer inspection — which involved me and Arbitrary going through the pictures saying to each other ‘I can see boobs! Oh no, wait …’ — I think there may be a female zealot too. And not sure what the class is in picture 11 but that has boobs too!)

Admittedly you can’t always be sure with elves but if it wasn’t for previous screenies I’d be wondering if the female models were in the game at all. This isn’t a push for equal rights for virtual world toons, just seeing pictures of characters I might want to play helps me decide on classes and I doubt I’m the only one. It was the screenshot of the dwarf engineer girl with the spanner that really got me interested in the class.

Also, on another note, squigs look HUGE!

Checking out Altdorf

I am really hyped by the latest set of Altdorf screenshots. The more I see of the visual design of the game, the more I like it.

The engine does look similar to an upgraded DaoC one, which I think is what they based the code on. That isn’t a bad thing, it looked good for its time and the Altdorf architecture looks great in the screenies. I’m trying not to be reminded of Camelot (or Stratholme, for the pics where the place is in flames) but there’s definitely a strong consistent visual feel to the location that fits right in with warhammer.

The other thing I am really liking is that each class and race has a strong visual style. This is absolutely key to warhammer as a game and setting, all the armies are immediately identifiable. Even from the screenshots, you can pick out the warrior priests, bright wizards, tart^D^D^D^Dwitch elves and so on very quickly.

I’m guessing and hoping that this will prove true in play also. Right now, it’s quite likely that the beta testers get given some gear and told to go fight so their visuals may be very fixed. But I like that in PvP you can run into a group from the opposite faction and take some quick on-the-fly guesses at to who and what you are fighting.

I do wonder if you’ll be able to ‘fly false colours’ though. In DaoC, I remember paladin friends who loved dressing up as casters to surprise any lazy stealthers …. or maybe they just liked the dresses. Never can tell with paladins ..