In the last blog, I went in to some of my experiences so far in Warhammer Online, talking a bit about the regular quests as well as the amazing public quests. But one of the biggest draws to WAR is the Realm vs Realm (RVR) combat. Click onward for more…
Anyone who’s played DAOC will know most of what they’re in for with this, and in a lot of ways WAR is DAOC 2.0 in terms of the RvR approach. Back in the day, DAOC was king for this kind of thing. You wandered (or rode) to a RVR keep, payed someone for a special signet, and waited for a ring of wizards to whisk your group off to one of several tiered battlegrounds. Or, you made your way to the single massive battleground itself, largely meant for the higher-end players, where capturing keeps and relics afforded various bonuses to your realm.
For those who are new to this concept, and there surely are many, this meant that you always had your entire realm’s PVPers (one third of the game’s three realms) to team up with and roll into battle. The concept of battlegrounds and team play is something WoW borrowed liberally from, and with much success.
Now with WAR, things are a bit different. In your initial forays into the game, you’ll be presented with the option of going on a Scenario Quest. WoW players will be most familiar with these, as they require you to queue up for the match which will start when enough players toss their names in. These quests are usually pretty short, and involve a series of objectives to accomplish with your thrown-together party. Typically involving zone control and variations on capture-the-flag, you’ll be rolling with your party vs another group of players, and coordination is definitely key to success.
Regardless of success or failure, you can still claim quest rewards for taking part, and the experience is a lot of fun. It’s easy to jump into while doing your normal questing, and you’re brought right back to where you were. There’s no travel involved in having to select a queue either, you just do it right out of the main interface with a couple of mouse clicks.
But the full RvR experience is to be had with the contested areas of the game. Each map zone has some areas which are actually conquerable by either Order or Destruction. You can make your way to these areas, and if it’s uncontested you can claim it. If the other side owns it, you have to destroy the guards keeping watch over the area, and defend the spot for a few minutes before it flips side to your realm’s. This isn’t always as easy as it sounds, as there will inevitably be players from the other side trying to claim your areas and thwart your ability to take theirs.
Conquering areas and working to kill off members of the opposing realm gains you Renown points, basically another type of experience points but dealing primarily with the RvR content. Renown Levels give you access to progressively better Renown gear from specific vendors in war camps located near contested zones.
There are other tangible benefits for conquering areas, as the more contested areas your realm holds, the more bonuses are afforded to the players of your realm. These can include bonuses to Renown collected from player kills, for instance.
The open party system is present here as it is everywhere in WAR, and you can easily find RvR parties to join up and work together with.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of all of this is how well integrated it all is with the PVE portion, as you’ll occasionally get quests which bring you near to or inside these contested zones in order to complete them. You don’t have to take part, but if you want to it’s almost instantly accessible. If you ever get tired of doing normal questing, you can just hop right into a RvR party and go nuts.
I know I’ve only scratched the surface of the RvR experience here. Continuing to play, I keep finding more conquerable zones, all strewn throughout the regular questing areas. It’s almost a challenge to quest, when there’s that constant distraction of RvR, drawing you over to help recapture a spot.
Very addictive. :)