Warhammer Online: The Very Basics

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (WAR) is now in Beta. There are a lot of people out there who like the look of the game, but know next to nothing about the setting or the game itself. So here are the very basics:

There are two factions in WAR, Destruction and Order. There's a sharp good/evil dichotomy here: Destruction is evil. No messing around with "just misunderstood". Mind you, it's a dark setting, and a lot of what passes for good in Warhammer wouldn't do so in any other game. The map has rough analogies to Europe, and some of the human kingdoms are a bit like Germany and France. Very, very vaguely, mind.

So, Order has three races: Humans (Empire), High Elves and Dwarfs. Likewise, Destruction has three: Greenskins, Chaos, and Dark Elves. Each race has four classes, so there are 3 x 4 x 2 = 24 different classes in the game. The classes don't divide, generally speaking, quite as strictly into the tank/healer/DPS categories of other games, and the roles I've listed below are more a rough stab than a definitive listing.

The Empire are humans. They're very approximately German. Their classes are Bright Wizard (DPS, runs a risk of blowing himself up), Warrior Priest (healer/buffer/debuffer, must be in melee), Witch Hunter (Positioned DPS), and Knight of the Blazing Sun (Tank/buffer).

The High Elves are like Tolkien's elves, although they're also militant and aggressive. Their classes are Swordmaster (Multi-target melee DPS/Tank - I think) , Archmage (Ranged DPS/Healer), Shadow Warrior (Ranged DPS/Stealth) , and White Lion (Melee DPS/Pet).

The Dwarfs are Norse-style. Their classes are: Hammerer (Melee DPS), Ironbreaker (Tank), Rune Priest (Tank/Healer), and Engineer (Short-Ranged DPS).

On the Destruction side... the Greenskins are orcs and goblins. Technically, they're neuter plant-creatures, but they look male to most people. Their classes are: Black Orc (Single-target Tank), Choppa (Melee DPS), Shaman (Ranged DPS/Support), and Squig Herder (Ranged DPS/Pets).

Chaos are basically humans who serve the god Tzeentch. Their career options are: Chosen (Tank), Magus (Ranged DPS), Zealot (Healer/buffer/debuffer), or Marauder (Melee DPS).

And finally, the Dark Elves are corrupted High Elves. They can be: Witch Elves (Melee DPS), Disciples of Khaine, (Melee DPS), Sorceresses (Ranged DPS, may injure herself with too much power), or Black Guards (Unknown, as yet).

The basic premise of the game is, well, war. You can advance through PvE just as well, but the whole story focus of the game is on the conflict with the other side. There will be a crafting system, which will involve putting together stuff from things you kill into useful stuff.

The backstory pretty much comes down to: The forces of Destruction attack the Empire, who call in their Elven and Dwarven allies. Each race has its principle opponents: Dwarfs vs. Greenskins, Empire vs. Chaos, and High Elves vs. Dark Elves.

It looks, from initial impressions, as though a majority of people will be playing Destruction. I'll be going for the Order side, probably either a Bright Wizard or an Archmage. Yes, I likes my DPS.

For further information, check out the WAR site. The "Game Overview" section is a good place to start.

Posted by Drew Shiel at May 29, 2008 12:29 PM

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I have actaully been interested in this game as a WoW replacement, the only bummer is that I have a mac and need windows. I have it on my machine but it is a pain to always reboot into windows when I want to play a game.

I really like the sound of magic chars that are powerful enough to hurt themselves. Even though it would suck it makes more sense kinda like some fantasy books I have read. I think I might try it, or just wait for the free trial to see if it is something I like.

It also sounds like there are many more different party combinations than WoW, and that would be really fun to play with. Which in turn I would think would make the game more rich. Good review thank you for sharing.

Posted by: New Jersey Realtors at June 13, 2008 7:16 PM

Warhammer is really a game for me.
I love it.
WoW is also good, but Warhammer is a game, with what I can be hours and hours in front of the PC.

Posted by: Jens at July 15, 2008 2:01 PM