March 26, 2008

Warhammer Online Delayed: Picking Sides

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (WAR) has been delayed yet again. Now, for most MMORPGs, the vapourware police would be bouncing off the walls right about now. Fortunately, that isn't the case here. Unfortunately, the "WAR will suck" haters have taken their place. I don't care. I'm dead set on playing WAR, whether it is complete trash or not, and damn the players breaking the NDA (I will post about them soon enough).

With that said, I want to take some time to talk about picking sides in WAR. Literally, what side are you going to play? Destruction or Order? Race? Class?

I've struggled with this decision since I started looking into WAR. Having played a fair bit on the "evil side" for the last few MMORPGs, I figured I would just fall in line with Destruction (Greenskins, Chaos, and Dark Elves). However, I didn't want to constrain myself. I sat down and thought about what would be important to me in choosing a side.

Overwhelmingly, visual style WILL play a huge role in my choice of sides for WAR.

In Dark Ages of Camelot, I rolled Midgard with my guild. Ironically, I caught myself staring at Albion's buildings, cities, and castles. They had working doors! Also, I found myself envious of the fairly human looking races offered on the Albion side, especially considering that my Kobold Runemaster was blue and furry. To me, Albions looked the part of Epic Fantasy Hero, plate armor and sword at hand, but most importantly human.

Then, I started as a Troll Shaman of the Horde in World of Warcraft to roll with a new guild and there I have remained ever since. Aside from Thunder Bluff, the Tauren's home, there wasn't a single visual aspect of the Horde that I enjoy. The races are ugly, the main cities are depressingly drab, and not until The Burning Crusade launched, and with it Silvermoon City, did the Horde even know colors other than brown and rust existed.

Moving back to my topic, picking a side for WAR, visual style will guide me more than any other aspect. Screw class and population balance, they will be sorted out regardless of the side I choose. If a side has a class and race combo that interests me with the visual intrigue I am looking for, I am taking it.

So far, that looks like the Empire, the relative good guys of WAR. They have a very old-world European look to their world. Plus, they are humans and not since Ultima Online have I played something with a normal skin tone.

I completely accept that as the "human" faction, the Empire will attract a lot of newbs, because the human sides in MMOs usually do for some reason. I don't care, WAR is going to be about FUN for me and FUN starts with what I'm looking at as I play the game. So far, the Empire screen shots look amazing.

No, I will not be playing a Witch Hunter, probably the most hyped class for WAR.