I picked up Warhammer Online this Monday and so far it’s been pretty good, although not breathtakingly innovative compared to what’s already out there on the market. The game mechanics are what you could expect from a game from the makers of DaoC and the setting is one that a lot of my generation are very familiar with and fond of – which is the major reason for getting the game. If it wasn’t based on the Warhammer trademark, I’m pretty sure that the game wouldn’t have cut it for me considering every single class is a carboncopy of previous MMO classes and not that new to play. That being said, I’m still having a good time leveling up a few toons (Already brought one of each Order race to around level 8’ish) and the leveling curve seems pretty stable. The only gripe I have so far (due to playing on an Open RvR server) is the fact that you often see high level characters in somewhat low level public quests, which completely ruins the fun and any chance of a fair battle – it seems that Destruction is most prone to this behaviour, though it’s probably natural as Destruction is overpopulated on every single server, meaning there’s little opposition for them at higher levels as the Order players are too thinly spread through the various tiers to provide much “content” for them.
As for the content there’s plenty of things to do in terms of questing with both regular quests (run somewhere and collect or kill stuff), public quests (run in a localized area and kill stuff) and scenarios (run in a closed area and kill other players) – all of which can be done in three different environments. I find the public quests particularly well done as they bring people together in completing the objectives rather than different groups having to wait their turn at doing the quests as you’d see in a lot of other games – the fact that some of the quests are veritable contests between the two different factions makes them even more interesting providing that both sides actually have a decent turnout of troops.
The classes I’ve tried so far all feel pretty well done without “broken” aspects to them or skills that don’t work which I’ve experienced in a lot of other MMOs even months after launch. My only real gripe on the subject is that Mythic really have taken class role distinction seriously – healers and tanks can’t really kill other players in a one on one fight and the only way to actually bring down other players is bringing enough DPS characters to outdamage any incoming heals on the target. At low levels (my highest char is level 10 so far) there’s only few tools for disruption and crowd control, meaning the only way of winning a fight is damage, damage and more damage all which is reserved for a few classes on each side – this means that if you are in a group or in an public quest against the opposite faction and you don’t have a botload of DPS characters around, you can forget about actually winning and completing it. Of course if you have a few friends or guildies in the same level bracket, it’s not that big of a problem but without them you’ll miss out on a lot of content.