Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Looking at Warhammer Online...

I've been cheating on WOW...

A couple of days ago I installed WAR as most of my co-workers have started to play WAR on a regular basis. I don't want to miss out on the fun.

I bought the game from EA's online store and was able to download the client in little more than an hour. It then took almost another hour to install the client on my laptop (a crappy DELL M1710 XPS) running XP.

My experience so far:

* It crashes alot - last night I crashed 3 times over a four hour period. It seems to be related to my computer and lack of recent drivers. Thank you DELL.

* It is fugly - while it looks much better than CONAN or  games that tries to do semi-realism the animations spans from poor to bad.

* Lackluster game level design - the level design feels (judging from the starting levels of CHAOS and Dark Elves) old and more similar to EQ and Asheron's Call rather than WOW.

* Lack of connection to the game character. I think the controls feels disconnected, hits aren't looking like they connect. I don't expect miracles in a MMO but this is mediocre at best.

The good things:

* The quests are interesting and the quest descriptions are engaging.

* The environment, despite the level design, is very immersive.

* Public quests is THE SHIT. Extremely funny and cool.

* WAR's battlegrounds (the name escapes me at the moment) are great. You can always enter the BG queue - no need to visit a certain battlemaster. Best of all - when the game is over you are returned to where you started. I really really hope Blizzard takes a hint from this.

* Fresh classes (careers) - Squig Herder, Chaos Marauder, Witch Elves... Warhammer has a great lore and it uses it to the fullest.

* Tome of Lore - the tome is where all lore, character archivements and rewards are stored. It is amazing... no wonder WOW is including an archivement system in LK - they've been busy playing the WAR Beta.

All these things said ... after an evening of WAR I still had to finish my gaming night with an hour of WOW. Trying to collect the 30 WSG tokens I need for the PVP leggings. Unless EA totally devotes time, money and resources into WAR it will never compete with WOW.