Age of Reckoning, or officially abbreviated as WAR, is an MMO developed by Mythic Entertainment. The game met with a pretty decent launch, but slowly tapered off as the subscriptions died down. Now it seems the game is getting some life with new players, but most of those left are only the die hard fans, or those that don’t want to give up on a game they played for so long. The base mechanics of the game are good and functional, although the end game content is somewhat lacking.
The world of Warhammer is dark, gritty, and in a state of constant warfare. Each race having its own hated foe, and alliances being strenuous at best. For WAR the developers chose to place the game before a point in the actual Warhammer lore, setting it into a somewhat alternate timeline than the general accepted continuity. This was to set the game apart from the tabletop lore and to make it so that the end result of the game wasn’t a predetermined event, therefore making the game seem like the ending was decided by the winning players.
The game splits the factions into Order and Destruction. Order consists of Humans, Dwarfs, and High Elves. Destruction has Chaos (Think Vikings with a twist), Greenskins (Orcs and Goblins), and Dark Elves (High Elves that are essentially just evil, sadistic, and twisted in nature. Not dark skinned). Each race is paired with another race. Humans versus Chaos, Greenskins and Dwarfs, and High Elves and Dark Elves. The pairings are essentially just themed zones, each having different quests and their own PvP area. Each race also has four “unique” classes to it, though the mechanics are shared by a counterpart on the opposing realm. Each class has a mechanic mirror, and a role mirror and most times those two are not the same. For example, the Dwarf Ironbreaker’s mechanic mirror is the Dark Elf Blackguard, but it’s role mirror is the Greenskin Black Orc. If you ask some of the experts and experienced gamers of this awesome game, they would tell you that it is one of the best games they have every played. Just like QQ Online, this game provides a lot of positive features and aspects to gamers.
When it comes to PvP, or RvR as Mythic calls it, WAR does it right even if the system is buggy and a little lacking. Some issues are present with server-client lag causing people to be a little behind or ahead of where you think they are. Another issue is the main way they do the buff-debuff system. Each effect is applied and then looks at the attackers stats when ticking on the one effected. This doesn’t seem like it would cause issues, but when you apply this on grand scale that WAR likes to do with the massive fights they have it can cause some more lag. Take that effect you applied on that player, and now apply that effect to five more people and it’s being applied by ten other people at once. Now that has to reference you, and the ten other people when looking at those six people the effect is on. That’s a lot of calculations that have to be done at once, and that’s only a minor example.
Mythic provides you with an “RvR Lake” (Realm vs Realm area) in each zone to head out and take the objectives in such as points and Keeps. You’ll fight with the enemy faction if any happen to be out while attempting to take these objectives, and eventually if you take them and rack up enough points or wait for the long timer, the zone will lock and reward your efforts by giving you some renown and flipping the campaign to the next zone in that pairing. There is also the Scenario system. You can queue up alone, or with a party, to take part in scenarios. These are instanced fights that are at least semi-balanced in terms of numbers, and each has a set objective to complete that helps your side to win the scenario. Such as delivering a bomb to the drop off point, or a game of capture the flag. If you don’t have time to get in on the larger RvR action, grabbing a few scenarios is easy to do.
The end of the RvR campaign is a city siege mechanic. This mechanic has already been changed once before since it didn’t work well, and the new system doesn’t work that much better. Apparently another new system is in the works for patch 1.3.4 that is going to change it once more, and hopefully make the end game content that much better. As it is now once the city siege happens most people log off, or level alts since scenarios are no longer available and the city is just boring overall.
The game has your usual PvE in terms of quests and killing mobs, but that’s to be expected from every single MMO on the market. The end game dungeons require things called Wards. These are acquired numerous ways, the easiest way being by getting the piece of gear that unlocks it from the previous dungeon. Example being Dungeon A requires no wards, but drops Lesser Ward gear. Dungeon B needs Lesser Wards and drops Greater Wards. So you have to do dungeon A to get the Wards to do Dungeon B to be able to do Dungeon C. If you attempt to do the dungeon without having the Wards it won’t end well since they are required to reduce the damage that the mobs in that dungeon deal to you. Currently the best end game gear drops in the PvE instances, but the developers are supposed to be fixing that a little with later patches and trying to make the game far more RvR oriented since that is the games basis and most successful portion.
Look and Sound
The game has a nice look, the graphics being better than most games but starting to fall behind with the release of other games. The game visually looks better than Everquest 2, or World of Warcraft, but doesn’t look as nice as Aion. The sound effects and music are pretty good overall. The soundtrack for the game is nice, but is rarely ever heard. If it had more use then it would be better, but as it was since I rarely heard it I just turned it off and played my own music in the background.
I would give the game a chance if you a haven’t played it. They offer an endless free trial with some major limitations, but it’s a very good way to pick up the game and play to see if it’s a good fit for you. If you have played it and quit, then give it some time and try it out again, they have some things in the works that should improve the game as a whole, but only time will tell.