We're rather excited about Mythic's MMORPG Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning here in the office. Partly because it's Warhammer, partly because it's infused with some great humour, but mainly because, well, it's looking bloody great. So we were giddy as a kid at Christmas when we were recently handed the opportunity to sit down with the game's executive producer Jeff Hickman and vice president of marketing and business development Eugene Evans to uncover more juicy morsels of info on this epic massively multiplayer online RPG...
What's going to distinguish this from other MMOGs?
Eugene Evans: Age Of Reckoning is all about the PvP. Dark Age Of Camelot was the leader when it came to implementing PvP play. After most people have completed other MMOGs like World Of Warcraft, they stop playing. But with Camelot, after you'd finished playing the quests, you'd still keep playing, as there were always new players to compete with. We're going to be expanding on that idea in Age of Reckoning.
What new features will we see that weren't in Dark Age of Camelot?
Eugene Evans: The way that the PvP and RvR [Realm versus Realm] battles are integrated. On the same zone map you'll have both forms of battle taking place. That's going to be a real innovation from Camelot. The career advancement system and UI will also be far more accessible. Camelot was all about keyboard controls and slash commands, and while you'll still be able to play Age of Reckoning this way, the user interface has been improved so much that it's now far more accessible than Camelot's.
Can you tell us about the game's background and plot?
Jeff Hickman: War is everywhere. You find yourself in a massive conflict that's taking place. It's a battle for territory and control between different races. We've taken six races, Green Skins (Orcs and Goblins), Humans, Dwarves, Chaos, High Elves and Dark Elves, and put them into their homelands from the Warhammer universe. These races are paired against each other in two realms. Residing in the Realm of Order are the Humans, Dwarves and Elves. Residing in the Realm of Destruction are the Green Skins, Chaos and the High Elves. They're pitted against each other in racial pairs, so the Green Skins' natural enemy are the Dwarves. The zones that they start out in are right next to each other so that they're interacting - hopefully in conflict - with each other straight away.
How are you handling PvP and RvR combat?
Eugene Evans: When taking part in PvP and RvR in Dark Age Of Camelot, you almost always needed to be in a group - then you'd need to find another group to take on - before you could fight. In Age of Reckoning, if you go into a certain type of RvR battle and if your group isn't up to the complete points requirement of the group you're going to attack, we'll give you NPCs to help match your team with the opposing side. This way you'll always be able to find an RvR battle that you can participate in.
Can you give us any more details about how RvR will work?
Jeff Hickman: RvR is a tiered system. The first layer is Open Field Combat, where a certain portion of each zone is reserved for open combat. If you win you gain some points. The second layer is called Battlefields, which are just focal points for conflict. There may be a farmhouse on a hill and if you run over to it and raise your realm's flag over it, then you'll capture it. You get a reward for doing that, but then the enemy will want to take it back, which will cause further conflict.