Straight Talk Warhammer: Realm vs Realm

Hey, welcome back to the second in our exclusive series about the exciting innovative gameplay of Mythic’s Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.

Public quests, open groups, the excitement of the Tome of Knowledge, all things never seen before the evil geniuses at Mythic brewed them up in charmed cauldrons on some fog-shrouded Scottish moor, with the witch-goddess Hecate shrieking over it.

It’s a well-known fact that the color red in the game packaging is made from blood.

It’s true. Look it up. Because that’s just how hardcore they are. They do it for YOU.


Simulated Warhammer screenshot

What IS Realm vs Realm and how is it different from PvP?

How about seventeen factions, any of which would happily crush the throats of the others? You can only trust your own kind. Maybe. That’s war everywhere. That’s Warhammer… the miniatures game. Oops. Wrong one.

Well, imagine FOUR factions, at each other’s throats. In their own lands they are only somewhat safe, but step outside or into a contested zone and BAM! Constantly shifting alliances, places you just can’t go and… oh wait, that was EverQuest. Evil vs Humans vs Elves vs Shorties.

Okay, but with four factions you get stalemate, so that’s pretty boring. Three factions, though — the two weaker against the strong one so nobody can ever rest at the top, never able to rest, that’s… oh, never mind. That’s Dark Age of Camelot — or Planetside.

Well, how about two sides? Good vs Evil? Horde vs Alliance? That’s the Realm vs Realm difference. That’s why it’s not simply “Player vs Player”. That’s what you can only find in Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. Along with public quests, the Tome of Knowledge, and open groups, the fight of good vs evil, free people vs the minions of Mordor, it’s your realm against the other realm.

And the stakes are incredibly high. Everything you do moves the battle to one side or another. And when you finally have done enough to tip the balance forever to your side — that’s when the whole thing resets because it’s WAR FOREVER! WAAAAAGH!!!!

Thanks for stopping by for our second exclusive look at Mythic’s Warhammer Online: The Age of Reckoning. No game has ever done PvP, er, RvR, in quite the same way. Not exactly.

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Tipa

Web developer for a Connecticut-based insurance company that's over 200 years old! Also a bicycler, a blogger, a kayaker, and a hunter of bridges.

33 thoughts on “Straight Talk Warhammer: Realm vs Realm”

  1. “World PvP in WoW was incredibly fun. I was sad when the emphasis shifted to the battlegrounds.”

    Thats why I like what WAR brought back, OPEN WORLD PVP that is cool. I like Alterac Valley in WoW, and always wish it was just OPEN.

    Trust me you played WoW back in the best times. I havent liked it since BC, and doubt I ever will again.

  2. @Tipa: You are reading ir wrong. Or I wrote it wrong.

    PvP (or RvR) if far MORE fun when it has a purpose and yes, selfish gains to be had. I want to feel like I’m working towards something. That’s a personal taste, sure. But I like that in WAR my actions both help develop my character AND help my Realm in an ongoing war.

    In WoW, back in Pre-BC days, there was only selfish reasons for PvP and to really excel there you had to be on a crazy ass WoW binge to raise your honor rank. WoW PvP now does have plenty of player rewards, but WAR has it beat between Ranks, Renown Ranks, Renown Tactics and Skills, Tome Unlocks, Renown Gear, etc. Plus at the end of the day, aside from having helped yourself, you’ve helped your Guild (via the leveling) and your entire Realm on your server.

    That clarify my point a bit more?

  3. Jonathan Blow, I think it was, was on a tear about MMOs the other day. He said some games are just fun because the game itself is fun, and other games are kinda repetitive and the basic mechanic was dull, but repetitively doing boring tasks led to rewards that were fun.

    Pretty much every MMO, he felt, belonged to the latter category. His own game, Braid, presumably belongs to the former.

    If the game mechanics are fun, you’ll do them even without reward, right? There was no purpose to world PvP but fun — but it was REALLY fun! Even from my very first Crossroads defense in my low teens when I’d die all the time. It was so much fun.

    I mean, I guess it’s good that WAR rewards you for it, but then you have stuff like people in WoW only doing PvP because they get paid to do it, not because they want to. Just like working a job in the real world.

    I have to constantly force myself away from turning games into work. I deliberately put aside games I enjoy so I don’t burn out — like Wizard 101 and Spore. Haven’t even played EQ2 much for awhile. If it’s not fun, I’m wasting my time.

    Remember, MOST games in the real world and even most computer games, give you no reward BUT fun. Like Chess or Space Invaders.

    I shouldn’t mention Chess. My sister kinda was peeved at me because I was coaching my son and her daughter at chess. Her daughter was moving her pawns down the board, hoping to somehow promote a pawn to a queen in the first few moves of the game — which wasn’t going to happen, so I was explaining to her about the three phases of a chess game, and how the point wasn’t to promote a pawn quickest, but to control the greatest area of the board, the benefits of keeping your knights near the center, the rooks paired and the bishops free, and my sister said, I should just leave her alone, because she was having fun.

    Did she have a point? The fun in chess for me is seeing my pieces not as pieces, but as a living creature, carefully moving itself into a position from which to attack and defend — like that Chinese black ice in Gibson’s Neuromancer. Seeing my niece’s pieces scattered raggedly across the board just looked like a torn-up corpse to me.

    It isn’t about winning or losing in chess. It’s about coming up with a pleasing position, and seeing what your opponent comes up with. If theirs is more beautiful, or more deadly, maybe they’ll win.

    This is the standard I want to set MMOs to. Not to worry so much about winning or losing or rewards or such, but making a space where you can set free your own creativity and see what others do. There is definitely an element of that in raiding, or in Open PvP. I was reading a wonderful story from one of the CoW members about a cool point defense that was creative and fun. Heck, that right there made me want to buy the game and jump right in.

    It’s when people say, well, you gotta grind away at this here, whatever it is, in order to advance or because you need loot that I start losing interest.

  4. See, then that could be why I find WAR so MUCH fun. It’s WoW’s (and many others’) basic tried and true combat mechanics wrapped up in a whole lot of purpose. It’s fun, with benefits. :)

    Spore, is aside for me as well at the moment, mainly because I tend to always spend more time in my MMOGs which is how I prioritize my usually lack of gaming time. But then, I wouldn’t ever compare the fun of Spore to the fun of any MMOG. They’re both entirely different experiences.

    Without people, even if you’re a soloer at heart, MMOGs fail to be fun in my eyes.

  5. Bah, you can edit yours, but alas… I cannot.

    “It’s when people say, well, you gotta grind away at this here, whatever it is, in order to advance or because you need loot that I start losing interest.”

    Again, what works so well in WAR that is lacking in a lot of games is that it’s not hard at all to get into the fun. That is of course, if you find the basics of an MMOG as we’ve had them so far as fun. If you don’t, then you likely won’t find much to like in WAR.

    If however, you still remember fondly the times spent in our older MMOGs, you’ll love your time spent in WAR. I’m sure a lot of this comes from having a good guild to play with. But that’s something anyone can have, provided they’re willing to do the searching or work creating one.

    If anything I’d say that the fun of an MMOG truly does depend on the people in it. Without the people, as in life really, none of it really matters.

  6. Yeah, that edit kinda got away from me. I didn’t mean to talk about Chess, but then I realized why I thought of it in a discussion about MMOs.

    I definitely agree that the people with whom you play are the most important. I find soloing very boring and I can’t take much of it before I log off and do something else. This was at the heart of my dislike for EQ2’s Rise of Kunark expansion. I didn’t WANT to solo to level, but then they FORCED me to, just like WoW.

  7. It’s funny, because I was sort of turned into a solo-er via WoW once my guild disbanded. I kept playing the game with my friends and family, but our schedules differed so much that it was mostly solo-ing to the cap.

    WAR brings back that feeling of shared experience. It explains a lot of the reason I’m enamored with it. I know that. But it helps that its systems are so finely tuned. Much like Blizzard refined the DIKU MMOG, WAR has done so again with a slant towards PvP over PvE.

    Now, not everyone agrees that it was needed, but I for one am happy it happened.

  8. I called you a carebear because you played EQ1, and that’s what UO players called those that ‘jumped ship and went ezmode with EQ’. Yes, part of me still hates EQ for what it did to UO PvP, and no I’ll never really get over that, no matter how often people point to the rose glasses on my head…

    Another funny point, WoW had PvP unofficially in south shore, then Blizzard ‘added’ PvP with battlegrounds, and south shore died. Fast forward to 2008, and we have the awesome ‘lets download the AFK bot to grind epics in PvP’ game that is WoW at 70. Instead of a Horde town battling an Alliance one, we have 5 Horde power rangers fighting 5 alliance power rangers in a magical arena.

    Yay for added content…

  9. I didn’t play Ultima Online, I was playing a game called Nexus: Kingdom of the Winds before EQ. And I thought TRAMMEL killed UO PvP, not EQ :)

  10. I have a feeling I’m stepping into territory I shouldn’t be in, but why doesn’t your sister want you to teach her kids about the intricacies of chess? Won’t her daughter enjoy chess even more if she’s winning consistantly?

  11. You can’t expect me to argue her side of this, can you?

    I think, for one, that my niece had never played against someone who knew how to play chess, as opposed to someone who knows how the pieces move, and she didn’t think it was my place to do anything but be encouraging. My stepmother had been playing chess with her, and when my niece saw her do a pawn promotion in a game, she got really excited about that — and it is a pretty exciting move. And so making that exciting move was what she wanted to do. And here I was saying something different.

    The lesson for MMOs is absolutely the same. You can learn pretty much everything unique about an MMO in a couple of hours. But until you’re deep enough into it to see how all these arbitrary rules work together — almost always in ways the developers never intended — it’s hard to learn how to enjoy it.

    It’s way too early for anyone to see how WAR’s collection of rules will come together. The WoW players have to stop being WoW players, the EQ players have to give all that up, the AoC players likewise, and actually let themselves become WAR players, and stick with the goddamn game long enough that they leave behind the surface trappings and start playing the game beneath the game.

    That’s WoW’s secret. The game itself is derivative and childish. The game beneath the game is hypnotically fascinating. The surface game keeps you just long enough to let the deep game grab hold. EverQuest was the same way. Lots of people call EQ a punishment to players, an ugly game, a historical relic and not even an important one. That’s because they don’t know the real EQ.

  12. Oh no, ALL EQ players were carebears, regardless if you did jump ship from UO or not. Why try to apply logic to internet rage in 1999?

    And the Trammies were just players not able to run EQ as far as I’m concerned, lets not mention those dirty bastards again. :)

    Oh and the above has an error, you said “the AoC players”. Can’t divide by a negative number and all that.

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