Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning

Reviewed by Arep | 10 September 2008
Genre: MMORPG | Publisher: Electronic Arts | Developer: Mythic Entertainment
TOG Score
Members (av.)
The Good
  • Appears much more refined than games that have been live for months
  • Slew of interesting classes and features
The Bad
  • Possible lack of end-game instances/raids may limit long-term appeal unless Mythic adds more
  • Some lingering bugs (though no more than usual for a pre-launch MMO)

* Originally authored by Omorgma *

First and foremost I need to describe my MMO gaming experience and likes/dislikes as my opinion of this game is based on my likes/dislikes.

My Playing Prefs: PvP ‘lite’ (can do pvp, lesser penalties for losing), fast pace with minimal downtime, character uniqueness. (More details of gaming prefs at end if desired)

Summary: Overall this is a great game that is different than other MMOs, yet includes many of the best features/functions that are in other MMOs. WAR presently appears much more refined than AoC and the game most likely will have a smooth launch that doesn’t leave players wandering why the game still isn’t in beta. WAR does not have the graphic appeal potentially available in AoC on a sweet system, yet it lacks all the bugs/memory leaks that AoC has (or at least had as of a month ago). The game isn’t flawless, but feels ready for release and money spent on a monthly subscription will be well spent if your MMO gaming likes are similar to my own. The lack of a slew of instances/25-person raids (based on what I have seen there are few, could be inaccurate) may limit the game’s long-time appeal to many MMO players. One can only do RvR for the same objectives so many times before it starts to get old.

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Details
Tome of Knowledge: Contains all there is to know as you learn it/do it. A truly great interface that lets you track how many dwarfs you have killed, how many crits you have done, the places and people you have seen, and a lot more. About anything you do can and will open up titles (Similar to LOTRO) and get you a touch of exp. Really easy to use.

Hotbars: 1 to 4 bars, plenty of room to tab all you want.

User Interface: Extremely customizable.

Pace: Great. Quick non-food based replen, combat is quick and engaging, characters don’t need to do a full replen each and every battle with a mob, and a very quick respawn rate avoids having to camp and wait for a named to be ‘their’ kill.

“Replen" time: Replenishing from combat in WAR is rather quick, providing for a reasonably fast-paced game with minimal downtime. Currently replen time in WAR seems slightly longer than AoC and about the same as WoW (when sitting down and consuming peak food/water, with WAR not requiring actual consumption of an item) with one caveat: WAR’s replen begins to occur 3-5 seconds after combat is completed and a person can move about while they replen, no sitting/standing still required.

Taking mobs down: Varies by class/spec naturally, but all classes/specs appear to take mobs down quicker than similar classes/specs in other MMOs.

Damage* (*health and action bar) to character when taking a mob down: Generally a person will take less damage* when taking mobs down further reducing the need to stand around and replen. Tanks tended to be able to move from mob to mob without stopping due to taking minimal damage (and the time to move the short distance to another mob being sufficient to allow the small amount of damage to replen mostly), healers tend to have more than adequate AP to be able to heal and pull another mob without stopping with a small (3-8 secs) break needed after chain pulling 6-10 mobs.

Spawn Rate: Incredible. Mobs respawn quickly in WAR allowing a person to snag the named mob quickly, even when a slew of players are after the same mob. No MMO’s spawn rate compares. The only downfall is that a player needs to go in, get what they want, and leave or be respawned on.

RvR and how quick you/the other person goes down: One on one and grouped RvR battles are very enjoyable allowing certain classes to down an opponent ‘quick’ while not allowing ‘one-shotting’. One on one player vs player battle takes anywhere from 20 seconds (rogue class getting the jump on a cloth wearing dps class with the rogue class doing everything right and the clothie doing it all wrong, I was the clothie) to a potentially unending fight (two melee healers duking it out without interference, both balancing damaging abilities and healing abilities, we fought for 15 minutes or so until one decided to stop trying). All in all a great pvp system that always makes a person feel like they have a chance.

Class balance in RvR: Not level, but this is a good thing in my opinion. Some classes seem to have an easier time taking others down, yet a class that is disadvantaged in one fight seems to have the advantage in another pairing. All classes seem to have the ability to escape or at least delay their demise (if played well) until help arrives.

RvR rewards: Gear Rewards from RvR is based on Renown Rank, not points. Truly great as it allows a person to purchase a few sets to meet whatever needs that player might have. Get the renown rank and the merchant allows you to buy what you want. Buy one set to play as a team and another to just destroy other players when you want to. Truly great as it removes the need to grind PvP for an alternate set.

Variety of Classes: More than other MMOs WAR’s classes play differently than other classes in WAR. A healer requires being in melee to heal effectively, a healer that has to damage with ranged spells to heal, a ‘stock’ healer similar to other MMOs, a ranged DPSer that regularly hurts himself/herself when going all-out on DPS, a tank that has an aura, a tank that uses ‘ability a’ to progress to being allowed to use ‘ability b’ in order to use ‘ability c’ once prior to having to resort to ‘ability a’ again… WAR’s replay-ability with another class (and it actually feeling different) is one feature I truly appreciate. More on classes later.

Scenarios: (ie: A ‘battleground’ for those that played WoW) Lots of variety here. There are quite a few different goals, fields of play, and guaranteed ‘balance’, truly unlike WAR’s predecessors. When entering a scenario in WAR you enter as near equals, with the low levels having their levels temporarily adjusted to near maximum level for the scenario. For example, a tier 1 scenario is for players level 1 to level 11. If a level 1 enters a tier 1 scenario they become level 8 for the duration of the scenario, at least in hitpoints and the ability to cause damage/healing with their learned abilities. The temporary leveling does not provide new abilities that would be gained from proper leveling nor does it provide ability scores/armor that would normally be had if one actually gained the levels. The fact that the temporarily leveled are not max level for the scenario still allows a person that is max level to be stronger than their freebie level counterparts.

Massive scale RvR: Not quite there. At least not when 150-200 are present in the same small battlespace. The one time I participated in a battle of this scale my abilities were near unresponsive and enemy players blinked about the map. Checking with other players I was told this was common to all (WAR problem, not a user’s system). Due to the scale of the problem and Mythic’s responsiveness so far in beta I’d wager the problem will be minimized or non-existent come release.

Public Quests (PQ): A truly awesome addition to MMOs, one that will be cloned in games to come. Public quest areas are open to anyone and allow all players the option to jump in and potentially get a reward/prize. PQs tend to have three stages, all of which culminate in defeating some kind of greater threat. Phase one typically requires killing ‘x’ many mobs (usually 100-150) and does not have a time limit, phase two tends to require knocking down a few hero class mobs (stronger mob, something like a weaker WoW elite and has a timer, and phase three tends to require knocking down a boss type with a timer. These mini-‘instances’ (not an actual instanced zone, but it has the feel of participating in a group of players to accomplish a shared goal) are truly enjoyable and are quite diverse in what the players have to do to progress through the phases. By participating in accomplishing the PQ’s goal each player gets ‘contribution points’ which are added to a random roll upon completion which in turn gives the winners valuable loot useful once again by that specific character class. Also available as prizes are various tradeskill items and money making PQs are corner piece of WAR’s PVE experience. Unlike other MMOs a person does not need to be in the group/groups completing the PQ’s shared goal, contribution is contribution. The ease of entry and lack of having to spam “LFG” prior to participating make PQ easily accessed fun places to gain loot and friends. A person gains influence while doing PQs (next section)

Influence (ie reputation): Each chapter has an associated influence to gain for rewards (three levels of stuff to gain, all gear is as usual in WAR, useful to the character being played). The influence is quickly gained (3-4 PQs typically to max out that chapter’s influence) and the rewards are good. Each chapter has three PQs to complete for influence (choose one or all three, your choice, all same influence; but different prizes for contribution for each PQ).

Open party: Something to get used to, but it is a very good thing. Ganking of mobs is greatly reduced as parties are ‘open’ by default. You enter an area and join a party if you feel like it via a button on your screen that displays all open parties in your area. Open parties greatly facilitated completing tougher quests/joining PQ groups by removing the necessity to ask to join/invite the person interested. For the anti-social or people that just want specific people in their group the option to close the party is available, but a party always defaults to open. I found myself grouping with strangers quite frequently due to forgetting to close the party with my wife. The open party concept is truly great as it made the game a lot more social and I met many friendly players just by grouping with them a few minutes to accomplish a shared goal.

Exp/Renown: If you do something you and your realm gets rewarded. Complete a PVE quest and your realm gets that much closer to taking control of the zone, kill an enemy player and you get both exp and renown (pvp points), etc…

Chicken aka How to avoid bullies: Tier 1 is for players level 1 to level 11. Period. So what happens when a level 12+ decides to go terrorize a tier 1 open RvR area you ask? He literally becomes a chicken. I was a 12th level sorcerer with 1650hp and when I became a chicken I dropped to 160hp, all of my abilities became unusable, and I flapped my chicken wings. One shot later by a member of the Order and I knew it was time to move to another zone. I love it.

Death: Death is WAR, RvR or PvE, is another manner in which Mythic has ensured minimal downtime. You respawn in the nearest camp, RvR flag removed, and at full health. If you want to reattempt what you were doing you just need to work your way back in or you can go do something else. No flags to worry about and no sitting and replening.

Flight Masters: Air travel is quick and only entails a short animation showing you leaving. No having to afk while you fly the span of the continent in real time. I do wish there were more flight masters as finding one/getting to one can be tedious after the pace WAR sets for everything else.

Mailboxes: Not presently functioning in beta. There are too few currently in my opinion. There is a 20 second ‘cooldown’ on mailbox usage which I both like and dislike. The cooldown can be irksome when mailing crafting mats to alts, but it should prevent a great amount of spam from jerks selling gold/powerleveling a rapidly growing problem in MMOs. For an example of how bad this can get talk to someone playing AoC and as long as people keep giving real money for in-game items the problem will only grow. All in all the cooldown on mailboxes seems to be a good thing.

Living Guilds: Similar to EQ2’s system for those that played. Basically you do things that make you stronger and your guild gets nifty abilities/levels. Unlike EQ2, your help to the guild is passive and all actions help the guild grow. No having to take guild quests to help the guild. The only problem I see is a living guild can be detrimentally affected by casual players if more active players are trying to make the guild grow quickly. I haven’t seen it in writing, but I am told the individual player’s contribution to the guild’s growth depends on guild size. More guildies means the individual’s impact to the guild is less. No ability to assign specific contributors last I saw.

Guild Event Planning/Management: The tools available in WAR rival the best add-ons/plug-ins available in other recent MMOs. Easy to use and available without a download from an external site, truly great.

Dungeons/Instances: I had a quest to hit one at around 20th level and saw another at 31st. It appears that WAR is not heavily instanced and a majority of great gear will be gained through RvR, questing, and random drops. I didn’t try to get into a group to do either instance/dungeon and do not have insight into the enjoyment/rewards of the aforementioned, yet they do appear to be infrequent.

Balance: According to this poll, It looks like we will have some semblance of balance (unlike DAoC on some servers). The addition of the queue/recommendation on which server to go should help us have a fun, balanced fight.

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Character Customization
Character Creation: WAR is truly lacking when compared to other MMOs. At character creation a person’s choices of how their character looks are marginally better than WoW with approximately double the choices available in WoW (and WoW players know doubling that few of options still leaves little variety). I believe I read somewhere that not all options of character appearance customization were made available in beta, yet the manner in which a person selects their character traits makes it more than obvious that WAR will not allow the level of customization seen in games such as EQ2 or AoC. A minor downfall in my opinion as the choices allow a person to create a decent variety of looks.

Abilities/feats/those character spec choices that make your character different than another player’s: WAR characters have 3 trees to drop points into. A person begins to receive points at level 11 and seemingly sporadically after that (I am sure there is a system, I am just unaware of what it is). In the end the points don’t allow for a terrific amount of customization for most classes, as compared to other MMOs. A person can drop points into a line and buff that line’s abilities as well as open new abilities that can be gained through assigning another point to learn that specific ability. In WAR a person gains a small (and I stress the word small) bonus to the damage/healing of that line’s abilities for every point assigned. The small bounces do add up and make a difference after many levels/points assigned to that line. For example my clothie DPSer did a lot better at direct damage, single target nuking or DoTing if points were all assigned to the line in question. For example one instant DoT did around 200 and was stackable 3 times with no points assigned or 400ish per application at 31st level with max points assigned. Some classes did not feel truly unique with more/less points assigned to certain lines, while others (the White Lion comes to mind) looked to be truly different with points assigned differently. The abilities available in the spec lines were generally not particularly sexy and frequently seemed to just be a minor deviation of abilities gained by all members of the class. In the end the ability to customize with these points felt to allow less customization than WoW (as an example since so many have played it recently).

Gear Uniqueness in Appearance: Mythic did some great work here. A cloth wearing mage looks like a cloth wearing mage, not just a person in a bathrobe/dress. Generally speaking a character’s appearance tells the person’s class, although in most cases by the time an enemy is close enough to ID through their clothes it is time to fight for your survival. Staffs, bows, swords, plate armor, etc all have look different and your end game beater stick of greatness will look nothing like the starter stick you received for free when you started. WAR doesn’t just change the color of gear, it actually changes the looks.

Gearing and how it affects you: Gear varies widely and is available. A mage can focus solely on causing damage, surviving while causing damage, or just staying alive. The best part is the gear is easily attainable through questing and RvR (next section).

Quest/RvR rewards: Quest rewards are for you and the class you are playing. When a healer class finishes a quest and receives his/her reward the loot is all equip-able and generally will come in three flavors: healing gear, dpsing gear, survival focused gear. This is true for all classes and a person can quickly compile a set for whatever they want to do. No more receiving the option to select three pieces of gear with one of more of the pieces not even being equip-able. The only negative I have seen was a failure to support all classes properly in other races’ zones (ie a dark elf sorcerer in greenskin land got wearable gear, just the stats seemed more shaman focused than sorcerer focused, the gear was equip-able though).

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Character Classes
My background for classes, which surely skews my opinion to an extent: Playing prefs/norms, overall for MMOs in general (first to last): Healer, tank, ranged or stealth dps, and finally melee dps (a distant last).

First and foremost: Create your character, log in, and go to the “Career Trainer”. Scan what they get and you will get a darn good idea of what the class is and will become. Make sure to check both the core abilities and the specialized line abilities (Bottom of the specialized mastery trees has flavor text to explain what the mastery focuses on). All classes are fun to play; just some are more ‘you’.

Offensive and Defensive Target:
In WAR you get both, at the same time. Truly outstanding for the healer type as the healer can damage and heal the main tank without having to swap targets all the time. WAR does have quite a few abilities where the offensive target gets hurt with ‘X’ detrimental effect while the defensive target receives “Y” positive effect. The only negative? Your character ‘faces’ your defensive target and it takes some getting used to after playing years of games without this feature.

Healing
Healing in WAR is accomplished in a variety of manners and the classes capable of healing are unique and fun to play. As usual in MMOs a well-played healer can make or break an RvR fight and players on both sides seem extremely aware of this fact. Luckily all healers have a few tricks up their sleeves to avoid some of the impacts of unwanted attention (roots, snares, heals over time, damage shields, knockbacks). Few healers felt as invincible as a well equipped holy spec’d pally in WoW, but all had decent durability/survivability.

Note: I primarily played Destruction and while my take on healers is centric to that side, Order’s healers used the same game mechanics to accomplish their tasks. Order and Destruction healers are not mirrors of each other as they appeared to have some differences in spells/abilities.

Morale Abilities: Healers seem to share many tier 1 (T1) through 4 abilities. The standout, in my opinion, that reflects Mythic’s desired healer role is a T2 Morale ability where the healer causes a decent amount of damage to all unfriendlies at short range while healing allies for the same. Healer go boom! I love it.

Disciple of Khaine (DoK): A melee based healer who must actively engage in melee in order to gain ‘heal points’ (different term used in game, using a neutral term for clarity). The class has an ability to ‘sacrifice’ action points (AP, general pool common to all classes similar to stamina/mana in other MMOs), yet this healers capability won’t be realized without engaging in melee combat. A very fun class to play for someone that wants to be in the middle of the fray while keeping his/her allies alive. On a side note, the DoK does a reasonably good job at tanking ‘elite’ (boss/champion) mobs early on by filling both the main tank and main healer role.

Shaman: Ranged damage abilities reduce the casting time on heals and heals do the same for ranged damage abilities with a repetition of 5 nukes reducing a 2 second cast heal down to near instant. Lots of fun balancing between the two and playing this class well or not will make a huge difference in enjoyment and effectiveness. AP regen in game readily allows a primary healer the chance to nuke/dot while providing proper healing support to the group.

Zealot: A ‘stock’ healer as seen in other MMOs. This isn’t to downplay the fun of playing the class as the zealot is one of my favorites. The zealot does good damage and seems to be the healer with greatest healing potential. Probably the healer with the most survivability, a zealot is not a free kill when caught alone.

Ranged DPS
Sorcerer (Bright Wizard): Big nukes, great dots, and Area of effect damage. A snare for getting out of trouble. WAR’s clothie nuker is separated from other MMO clothie nukers by wielding so much power that he can and will kill himself if not cautious. It isn’t hard to avoid killing yourself, if you watch your health and the easily monitored bubble telling you your current level of power; but it is fun to just unleash and deal with the repercussions. These two classes build a power (unique name for each) that builds up resulting in increased crit damage and chance, but entails a risk of backlash which hurts the caster (backlash effects increase as the power built up increases). This power can be released to cause damage to an enemy, but this of course reduces the rate and effects of crits. A class easily enjoyed by the cautious mage (through regular releases) or the frenzied destroyer of enemies who will frequently destroy himself/herself (I found myself to be the latter after playing it awhile).

Squiq Herder (No order equivalent): A ranged pet class truly focused on the disposable nature of pets. If you get hurt snag a bite of your pet (Tastes like chicken!) or if your pet has lost your love make it explode on your enemies and summon a new one (both instants). The squiq herder is fun to play and has some good survivability, but for me is too focused on survival and not enough on killing (currently not enough ‘pow’ for me to really like playing as much as other classes).

*Update* Squig Herder, at least as of rank 9, is an effective and enjoyable class. I had a hard time logging off. Frequently one of the top contributors in PQs. Another TOGer (Rumbak, forum name Othalion) had the same experience.

Tanks:
All seem to have good mechanics to allow for a variety of impacts on the battle, more so than other MMOs in my opinion. Good abilities to control aggro in PvE and while they might kill slower they also die a lot slower than things they are killing. Tanks are also capable of picking a defensive target which will receive less damage and aggro gain. Some tanks come with auras (for example the Chosen has one aura that hurts things around him and I have seen Chosen with top or near top damage in scenarios) while others have abilities which make them enjoyable to play as unique contributors to the fight, not just meat shields.

Rogue Types:
Witch Elf/Witch Hunter: Very enjoyable ‘swashbuckler’ style class. Becoming stealthed and the frequency in which you can stealthed is quite different in WAR. A player cannot feasibly stealth attack every single mob when questing due to a longer cooldown, unless of course someone is extremely patient. The cooldown is something like 1 minute. Also, unlike many MMOs becoming stealthed takes a few seconds. These classes are still very rewarding to play as proper use of these skills results in very effective attacks when applied. Both classes have positional attacks (back, side) as well as an ability to ignore the positional requirement (yet get the benefit of being in position). These classes both have a point system, similar to WoW’s rogue, yet the points are not mob specific (allowing the rogue to open up on the next mob with a large attack (points are lost after 15 seconds or something). WAR’s stealthers are fun to play, just be prepared to normally be visible with stealth being the exception (being stealthed also uses AP so a person cannot remain stealthed forever).

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Crafting
The trades in WAR, at least the few opened in beta so far, are fun and useful. Gathering is a part of fighting (loot what ya kill a second time with your gathering skill) that truly makes the gathering trade less tedious. Cultivating is the exception, but many will find it enjoyable (use the items and wait a set time for the results). Skills are raised fairly quickly and with the items generally coming from mobs you are already fighting for exp/quests the ‘grind’ to get the items needed for crafting isn’t bad at all.

Four gathering skills: Butchering, Cultivating, Salvaging, and Scaveging
Two crafting skills: Apothecary and Talisman Making.

Apothecary
Gained parts for this with Scaveging, Butcherng, and Cultivating.

Cultivating
Every result up to 49 skill ( a few hundred plants) has yielded an Apothecary plant

Scavenging
Apothecary, Culivating, and Talisman Making (only the curio compont ) results

Butchering
Apothecary results only so far, haven’t used it enough to be very sure though.

Talisman Making
I haven’t had any luck creating/finding a ‘fragment’. Uses a Container (merchant sells), Fragment (I’ve seen many players claim these come from magic items, yet to be proven), Curio (found a good amount from Scaveging, requires 30ish points of skill to be found), an Essence (essentially sold by merchant), and [missing one].

- Fragment - I’m told these come from breaking down magic items and from what I have seen this is partially true. I could not breakdown a few items of equipment when I tried removing them from wear and breaking them in my inventory. I haven’t received enough (requires more than 1) of the green con Shattered Armor (or other similiar name) with the text specifically stating that it can be Salvaged to see what it yields. Reality is this says alot as I currently have a rank 10, rank 8, and a rank 6… and I still don’t have enough parts. The parts are green con resulting in your average PuG member thinking they should need/greed it without seeing it is just a crafting component (something they probably don’t care about.

- Curio - Gained a good amount of these with scaveging. Decent variety of types of curios even with a very limited spawn variety (ie bag fillers). This is due to the curios ranging from green to blue to purple con. It appeared that a specific curio from a specific mob had the chance to be any of the aforementioned cons making just the curio result from scaveging take 3 slots in your bag. The con of the curio seemed to have no impact on its value to the merchant, I am sure it will be different on the auction house though.

- Essence - The only essence I made with salvaging was the result of 50 magic wisp essence (or whatever the salvaging part sold by the Tier 1 mechant is called). Ten of the merchant sold things could be salvaged into a part, 5 of which made an essence.

Observations:
Crafting skill and player rank has no relation, a person could send components to an alt and craft away without limitations.

Salvaging doesn’t appear to skill up, it just does its thing.

For Talisman Making a guild of TOG’s size and stability would most likely be best served by a guild talisman maker/salvager. The parts for Talisman Making are not easily came by (limiting skill growth) and come from numerous gathering/random loot drops. Lots of items with enchancement slots, no enhancements from loot for me so far. Due to the 20 second cooldown on sending mail, parts could be stored in an individual’s vault/directly handed to the guild crafter until the guild bank becomes accessible. The crafter would need to frequently empty this space as the parts are very varied, eating up space faster than Pacman.

Apothecary on the other hand is very user friendly, parts are all over. Potions are rather varied and can eat up space, but a person can go through potions very quick in WAR. Unlike Talisman Making a person doesn’t require parts from every gathering skill to advance.

Great Info on changing gathering skills [Butchering, Scavenging] (Thanks Sanjiyan): A person can change gathering skills at any time without having to go farm level 1 mobs. Merely change your skill at a trainer, losing all points in the lost skill, and begin gathering whatever level of mobs you are at. Initially the mobs will drop low skill req components (while your skill is low) and work its way into the things you normally would get from the mob once your skill catches up to the mob level (unsure how many points of gathering per mob level).

Cultivation
Key Facts:
Cultivation is a gathering skill (taking it prevents taking Scavenging/Butchering), one gathering skill per character.

Cultivation is the most involved gathering skill, requiring a player to add things to the window instead of just clicking on a body on the ground (can’t have loot remaining on it, doesn’t matter if you killed it) to get the goods

Cultivation is a timed process. At skill level 1 it takes 2 minutes for the plant to be ready to ‘harvest’ (get the goods from your ‘work’)

At skill level 1 you have 1 spot to plant a seed. With skill-ups you can have as many as 4 spots to plant seeds. I’ll try to level it up and see when the additional spaces become available.

Process (for seeds, spores is another matter)
Throw a seed in the seed spot (2 minute timer starts counting down, 40 sec per phase)

(2:00 to 1:20) You can add soil
(1:20 to 0:40) You can add water
(0:40 to 0:00) You can add a nutrient

Buying 20 (skill 1 req’d) basic seeds at the merchant near the trainer (along with seeds I had looted) got me to 25 then I hit a soft wall.

The seeds are cheap enough so I used them to get to 30 before planting green con skill 25 req seeds.

Now just under 40 and the going is very slow. Still using skill 1 req seeds as seeds don’t seem to drop very often. I am still just using the seed with no additional material. Will try to add other parts of the cultivating process to see if it helps with skill up.

Can you add them all at once you ask? Absolutely not! (grr). I am guessing this will be a good thing later when a cultivator is working on growing great things and I believe the addition of the stuff past the seed increases (or maybe even guarantees, like Alchemy, that something better will be grown)

At skill level one and for as long as possible I highly recommend just buying a pile of seeds from the merchant and nothing else. I’ve only planted about half a dozen seeds so far and swapped with doing just the seed and adding anywhere from soil all the way up to a nutrient and the results were always 1 common alchemy item.

The process occurs passively, short of throwing the stuff in and ‘harvesting’ the plant. Set the seed in and do what ya want and yank it out anywhere after 2 minutes. Of course if you want to add soil, water, and a nutrient you will have to watch and add these things when their turn comes. You can add 1 or all of these things. Just soil or just water or just a nutrient. Just watch for that part’s ‘turn’.
Soil/Nutrients/Water has no appreciable effect on 40 and lower skill. Harvest results and skill ups the same.

Mats for Cultivating at the site where you can first train it (Da War Maker, Greenskin in my case):
One seed costed 5cp;
Other mats costed 5cp;
Other (skill 1 req) seeds/spores costed 20cp.

Mats at first warcamp o/a rank 6 character:
4cp for mats
18cp for all seeds/spores

Does Cultivating eat money (Initially)?
No. If you just plant a seed (no other mats with it) you are spending 5cp (possibly 4, unsure way price at camps is different) the plant typically produced (some 80-90% of the time) sells for 37cp [buy for 5cp, sell for 37cp= 32cp profit per 2 mins for minimal work]

Highly recommend holding onto any 25 skill req seeds you find until skill 40 or so. Water, soil, nutrients may increase the likelihood that the you get seeds back after harvesting; unsure as I haven’t tested it enough.

After growing a few hundred plants it seems like cultivating won’t eat too much time, unless you add the separate parts in which case you will have to interact with the process every 40 seconds. I’d guess the higher skill levels will require a person to be involved the whole time.

As it is, since I am only throwing the seed in and nothing else the impact is extremely minimal. A message pops up in your chat window telling you the process is complete (of course it starts out the same color as the other messages making it hard to catch at times).

Butchering/Scavenging
The other two gathering skills. Both skills are used by clicking a corpse after the loot is off of it (or immediately if no loot fell with the body). These two skills seem to be the big money makers in WAR. At least initially. No need to try clicking every corpse. Your icon will become a set of pliers and the body will have flies buzzing over it if your skill is usable on the corpse.

Butchering
Usable on the the bodies of beasts. As Mythic puts it, non-sentient critters.

Gets you parts used in the Apothecary skill.

Scavenging
Usable on the bodies of humies and things like them. The bodies of players are scavengable if there is no loot on remaining on them. Thinking critters are the scavengable things.(I guess Mythic made an exception in the case of Order bodies here… kiddin!)

Gets you the parts used in Talisman making (note: during previous versions a great amount of apothecary items came from scavenging, unsure if this remains true to some extent)
As of rank 8 I found plenty of talisman making ‘curios’ (not all of what a person needs to do talisman making), apothecary items, and the non-seed parts of cultivating.

Overall:
Gathering’s ‘involvement’ in the combat process makes it extremely easy to do, no having to run in circles for hours looking for that accursed last few nodes so you can create the glowing widget of doomage.

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Omorgma’s MMO Gaming history:
2 ½ years on Asheron’s Call starting in 98. I loved this game since characters were amazingly customizable, gear was amazingly diverse, and I could do a lot without a group.
A few short forays into EQ and UO. Good games I am sure, didn’t really find out due to the aforementioned ‘addiction’.
Asheron’s Call 2: Blah, didn’t last a week.
Dark Ages of Camelot: Great game, picked the wrong realm on the wrong server (tremendous unbalance in realms on the server I chose and I really hope WAR doesn’t have this problem). Speed hacks also ruined what RvR enjoyment that could be found. I really dislike cheating and companies that aren’t very strict against cheaters. Capped level and quit with release of Atlantis expansion.
Shadowbane: Fun game, but widespread pvp combined with the amount of stuff a person dropped when they died made it so I lost interest after 2 months. Added to that was stand-off between guilds that resulted in a few monster cities that didn’t get destroyed/rebuilt often (effectively ‘removing’ the city vs city warfare)
Star Wars Galaxies: Two months. I like a goal to work towards, not 10 goals that I can quickly max and swap over and over.
EQ2: Liked it a lot, but didn’t like the seeming dependence on grouping.
LoTRO, DDO: Played for a short while. Great for playing once. Replay-ability is questionable in my opinion.
World of Warcraft: 2-3 years. Maxed characters of all but the mage. A fun game to play, decent to group in, and the raid instances added to the goal of trying to accomplish all the game had to offer; however, a few months of knocking down pre-BT content with random gear dropping that wasn’t what we were looking for really reduced my enjoyment of raiding (became more of a chore than fun, particularly with the driven guild I was with). Dependence on 24 other people to not lag and do what they were supposed to do at the right moment (or it’s a wipe) in a guild with a high turnover also contributed to my lessened enjoyment of the game’s raiding. The game’s pvp ‘honor’ system also left a lot to be desired in my opinion, too much grinding over and over for ‘honor’.

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Member reviews

Great Work - Vaiai |
| 10 September 2008

Really enjoyable read - I just got in to OB last night and leveled a Marauder up to lvl 5. I am playing AoC just now but although initially put off by the WOW like graphics I am warming to the game - it's actually fun and the instant hit of BG-type pvp in the Scenarios was great fun. The PQ are a genius idea and a great addition to the MMO genre. After AoC the combat feels a bit static to me in PVE but felt a bit more fun in PVP for some reason. Thanks for putting in the time to produce this article m8!

Waaagh!! - Varthus |
| 10 September 2008

Been playing MMOs since EQ back in 1999. Never have I seen a game with so much immersion as Warhammer with the exception of Dark Age of Camelot. Mythic does a GREAT job balancing RvR and PvE. They do an awesome job maintaing the "Even playing field" feel without making the classes all watered down. Very much a rock-paper-scissors balance. Great Review Omorgma!

- Varthus |
| 10 September 2008

Burn Baby Burn! - Braunfelt |
| 10 September 2008

I have been playing since the preview weekend. Tried out both Order and Chaos classes and most of them I have gotten up to about level 11. The game is very addicting. Graphics are a mix of WOW and LOTRO which is nice on the eyes. The sound is very well done with 5.1 support good music too. Performance is good if you have a mid ranged system it should run fairly smooth. The server's do have abit of strange lag going on which started since last patch (seems to be more in PVE then PVP) The game play is very well done. The public quest system is perfect. I think that many new MMO's can learn from this system. The PVP Scenarios are alot of fun and remind me of Battle field with swords and magic. the RVR opens that up alot more and allow for large scale battles over objectives. Last night we had around 100 order vs alot more Chaos in the Empire RVR it was a blast. Balance of the sides seems to sway alot which is good considering that Chaos seems to be played more. As a member of Order I was worried that one side would dominate more, but based on the realm meters various times of day it swings from one side to another. But during core hours (5-12pm) the balance on our server seemed to be more stable in the middle. PVE combat is the same as most MMO's with the exception of AOC which had the best interactive combat I think. It does seem like the PVP does stand out more in combat perhaps its the running away and chasing that makes it alot more action packed. Gear is good, seems there are alot of diffrent random gear drops. The gear all in all looks better as you level however most people will look the same which is where Dye comes into play. You can dye almost every part of your outfit. Also there are trinkets you can get that will show up on your character which makes you stand out more. As to classes there are alot of good choices but the one thing that I must instist on is that healers really need to heal more and focus more on every one in the RVR then fighting. Seems that if you have healers that are doing healing you will prevail in most cases. Cheers, Braunfelt.

- Dressy |
| 10 September 2008

Going to keep this short and simple. Last night I got on and began playing OB around 19:30. I didnt realise how the hours had flown by until I actually took a breather and noticed it was after midnight. There is so much to do and the action just keeps dragging you through for the ride of your gaming life.

Rvr > Pvp - Deadfyre |
| 11 September 2008

Very good review of a very great game. Mythic has done a bang up job, just as did this review. :)

Fun - m0j0NL |
| 11 September 2008

great review, and one more the more fun (less serious, more humor) MMO`s ive played in a long while. Hopeing to put some serious time into it (but only started playing yesterday, thanks to GOA)

RvR - Aaluria |
| 11 September 2008

So far this game has all the right elements! You can do a little PvE a little small scale PvP and RvR. Team based objective capture! Controlling your tier is the name of the game. It gives your side buffs and leads to eventual city siege. I think Mythic has done a great job involving the player from level 1 to 40 in the event's that take place. While getting to max level is wonderful, but to be sure you can find action at every level! There are small elements that I hope will be taken care of before launch. Some graphical errors etc. Some responsiveness issues. And some gear tuning that needs to be done. But all in all for a open beta its looking real good, and did I mention fun!

- Benicio |
| 12 September 2008

Very well balanced review which reflects my thoughts on the game too.

- Sytes |
| 14 September 2008

Great review Arep! :) Thanks for the plentiful comments on just about anything one would want to know! I pre-ordered Warhammer after reviewing your thread! Best Buy better keep my copy in a locker til I get there - Those darn emps can sometimes be bribed to snag a copy one has preordered if the "price is right". Top notch and VERY extensive review - had it not been for amuch anticpated MMO, I would think the write up was too much... Though being this is the hit topic - you chose right to give it all! Thanks for the time you vested to bring this article to us!

- Jaglavak |
| 14 September 2008

I fall in line with then others and say, Great review! Very detailed and for anyone not familiar with the game its the only review they need to read.

- Flaskpost |
| 14 September 2008

Great review! Very interesting read!

Warhammer....DAoC? - Tumtuk |
| 15 September 2008

I have been playing MMO's since 1999 with the start of EQ. I have played just about every mainstream MMO that has come out. Will WAR be another DAoC? I liked the game but it was tiny in scope. I hope that WAR is a bit more "epic" that DAoC was. DAoC was probably the best and smoothest launch of any game to that point in MMO's, it was fantastic! In closing I hope that this time Mythic remembers to add more end-game content and not just center on RvR. Over all I feel it will be a compelling game.

WAAAAGH - Durus |
| 16 September 2008

Been playing in beta for ages Now that it's gone live i'm having a great time still The biggest challenge is finding a favorite class as they're all great!

Great Job! - Day |
| 16 September 2008

What an outstanding review. I'm completely sold .. thanks for taking the time to do this!

New flesh - moberg |
| 18 September 2008

hay all....Name is Matt....looking to play with you old farts.....What say you? LOL Playing warhammer. Invited by a member to beg for your support....;p

Well done - msiferret |
| 22 September 2008

Great review mate, I like how you've split it up into a multitude of different headings. Makes it seem not so much like a wall of text :) Awesome game, i've played WoW since launch and i'm seriously considering making the switch. AoC lasted about 2 days, and even then it was already crappy from the get-go. Everything in WAR has impressed me so far. Seems like abilities -> enemy player's HP seems a little weak but that makes for some lasting combat. I'm a warrior priest and I was facing off against three destruction players a level or two lower than me. I couldn't be killed but I couldn't kill any of them either - it was lots of fun. Then I played with another warrior priest against 4 destruction players, and we managed to kill one and send the others fleeing after we were forced to retreat early on (frogleaping our heals).

The Epic Factor - Dragonwyst |
| 3 December 2008

This last week-end was my introduction to the "epic" factor on Warhammer. It has given me a taste of what the end-game may look like - and I like it! For eight hours straight I fought with the "fewer-in-number' ranks of T4 Order on the Phoenix Throne server to avert Destruction's determined bid to lock the Reikland zone. Zone-locking is achieved through victory points which are earned by RvR scenarios, talking battle objectives and keeps, and doing Public and individual quests. It allows either Order or Destruction to reduce the scoring benefits the opposite side receive in that zone. when certain zone locks are achieved within a certain time limit, the victors have a chance to attack the the capital city of the the losers. In the end, sheer dogged determination saw Order avert a potential disaster. It was awesome stuff, with two or three warbands of 24 people each keeping the up the battle. This is truly WAAAGHH! Now, the times are changing with the arrival of the Knight of the Blazing Sun for Order and the Black Guard for Destruction. The drama intensifies, the battle rages on.... Dragonwyst (Wystara Silvanstrike - Guild Leader, Testament of Glory)

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