Tuesday, 30 July 2013

RETROspect - Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning


I recently started thinking about games I have put too many hours into, and even though I came up with a number of them, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning has to be my most played.  I honestly can’t tell you the amount of my life I have invested into this game; mainly because I can’t access the details, but also because I’m not sure whether I want to actually know myself.  

WAR (as it is abbreviated to) was released back in 2008, when I was still in high school and I got into it at the start of 2009 when I had some free time.  My main character has to be one of the most scantily clad races of all time; of course I am talking about the Witch Elf, who fights for the Armies of Destruction with Chaos, the Greenskins and other Dark Elves, against the Order.

The Witch Elf is a Melee DPS archetype that focuses on stealth, speed and a lot of damage, so naturally she (only playable as female) isn’t going to wear much armour…  Dual wielding daggers and doing massive damage appealed to me greatly back then so she was perfect.  In PVE areas I could either take out enemies easily, or just sneak past them with her stealth ability and continue on my way.

PVP, or RVR (Realm Vs. Realm) as WAR calls it, was where it got more complicated.  I didn’t actively participate until level 40 because in earlier tiers it was harder to get into a Scenario (WARs instanced PVP) and I didn’t often get into parties for other PVP based activities.  At 40 though, I realised my horrendous mistake and started trying to correct it; I became a part of Open RVR, taking Keeps, killing
Kings and trying to open Orders main City up for an attack.  This was when I realised just how much fun it was to be in a massive Warband, and how great a guild could be (even if I wasn’t in an awesome one).

My absolute favourite thing about WAR though is the lore and how it covers everything.  I am a massive fan of story and WAR had it in excess for me.  Not only are there a bunch of characters to play as, with different story lines per race, but you can roam through other race’s lands and do their missions which I found fascinating.  Exploring the Greenskins zone as a Dark Elf was hilarious and I will always have a soft spot for the Orcs and Goblins in the Warhammer Universe.  The Chaos area is also a lot of fun, even if some of the humour is ridiculously dark, and I actually ended up playing a Chaos Chosen once I realised I was better at Tanking.  I also played for the Order for the sake of seeing the opposite side of the story, playing as a Human seemed bleak; the High Elves were that bit too fancy for me; and, even though the Dwarf story was as great, I just couldn’t play as a Stunty.

WAR was my first MMO; it gave me my love for RPGs and taught me how to play in a team and by myself.  I can’t say I made friends in WAR, but it showed me how much you can miss out on by not being a team player.  I also realised that I was not cut out to be a light DPS character, unless the game is completely PVE, and the Tank class was much more suited to me.  Unfortunately I don’t play WAR anymore (I would if it went Free-to-Play, Mythic!) as the player base dwindled massively and because of this, the community was no longer full of humour and fun.  Even so, I will always remember WAR fondly.

 - Steff Webb

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