Sunday, 31 July 2011

Warhammer Online - Age Of Reckoning

It's not often that I find any kind of inspiration in a computer game. I've played many over the years and apart from the obvious console games like Fallout and Mass Effect, games that would would make great RPGs, I've never really been inspired by them. I'll rob ideas, sure, but I've never actually thought, 'I'd love to game in that world!'

I played Warhammer FRP extensively in the 1990s/early 2000s and so it might seem strange that I would draw inspiration from a computer game of a world that I'd already been playing in. The thing is, this was the new updated version of Warhammer's Old World, and as I'd also bought the collector's box I also got a gorgeous hardback book filled with artwork for the game.

I saw Warhammer in a whole different light, this highly stylised and atmospheric game far removed from the pseudo-historical low-magic games I'd been running more than a decade before. The PvP was the best I'd ever played and the huge battles were incredible. It was wonderful and gave me a whole new outlook on and drive to run Warhammer FRP.

It also gave me the chance to physically design my characters as well as create their WFRP stats. I played each of these characters extensivley in the online game world. First, there was Salmonius, the human Witch Hunter melee DPS:

He was my first experimental PC for the game - I never take my first toons seriously and just use them to get a grasp of the world. He turned out pretty good, mind.

Then there was Beerswiller, my dwarf Warrior tank:

He did a little better and I got him the furthest, but as a tank I have to rely on too many other players to have my back and... well... let's just say I couldn't count on anyone, especially in Tier 1.

Then there was the cream of the crop, Hellfeur, my human Bright Wizard ranged DPS:

Definitely my favourite, and his AOE attacks were devastating. He was maxed to the... well, max.

For each one I created a past and a backstory, and created their stats for WFRP. The artwork book gave some imagery that sent me into giddy giggling fits, I was so excited about opening the book to show the players different characters or locations. I even had the strategy guide book filled with more art and maps! It was going to be... AMAZING!!!

Of course, it was going to be, but it never happened. Pisser. I still want to do it!! DO YOU HEAR ME, GAMING GROUP?!

Oh, and I stopped playing Warhammer Online about three months after I began. Why? Well, the game was excellent, far better than most MMOs I'd played, but the gaming world felt small and limited and once you'd fought everywhere in every tier you'd pretty much covered the game. Also, the business minds behind the game had rubbish support and customer updates, and they kept dangling teasers in front of our faces as if something huge was about to happen - you know, game-changing Warcraft Cataclysm huge. But no, it never happened. Shame. Warhammer Online could have been huge, but I think EA/Bioware's new Star Wars: The Old Republic might give it that final push into an undeserved grave.

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