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Warhammer Online Open Beta To Begin September 7th

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the open-is-relative dept.

Role Playing (Games) 144

Mythic Entertainment has announced that the open beta for the long anticipated Warhammer Online will begin on September 7th, eleven days before the finished game goes live on September 18th. We've previously discussed WAR's delays and the content cuts involved in reaching this deadline. In the meantime, Mythic's Road to WAR website (which we talked about earlier this month) is still available. The press release notes, "Players can get into the North American open beta by pre-ordering Warhammer Online from select retail partners."

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Oh yes... (1, Insightful)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 6 years ago | (#24664589)

This isn't going to be a disastrous release at all is it! 11 day open beta? With half the content now removed.

Earlier this year I was really excited for this game but the release looks like it has epic fail written all over it.

Hope I'm wrong, as the game truly has some innovation going on, but man...

Re:Oh yes... (4, Insightful)

Narpak (961733) | more than 6 years ago | (#24664653)

Two four cities removed is hardly "half the content". In fact the amount of content in the game is staggering. Personally I am looking forward to the game going live with great enthusiasm.

Re:Oh yes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24664753)

Four of the character classes are also missing. I'm an elder tester and find the missing classes to be the biggest problem facing this game on release.

Re:Oh yes... (1)

blackicye (760472) | more than 6 years ago | (#24668007)

As an "Elder" Beta Tester, I personally don't see the big deal about their removing 4 classes, there are still 20 classes available. Though I admit I come from the side of the fence that is interested in WAR more because of Mythic Entertainment than the Warhammer Fantasy franchise.

The content I've seen so far in the closed beta ranks among the more complete I've seen in an MMORPG launch so far.

I was expecting the Open beta to last for at least a month, but many people who entered preorder codes were invited to closed beta shortly after registering their accounts.

I guess when you have more than 700,000 beta applicants you can get a lot of testing done in 7 days ;P

Re:Oh yes... (2, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 6 years ago | (#24664667)

An eleven day open beta. Come on kids, just call it a fucking demo and be done with it. Worse, it's going to be a demo that grossly oversells the population as everyone crams in at the word 'open' and vacates when it's time to buy the box at retail and start forking over subscription fees.

Re:Oh yes... (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 6 years ago | (#24664751)

You have to preorder to get into the 'open' beta.

Re:Oh yes... (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 6 years ago | (#24666589)

Yeah, that's not an open beta IMO. People who pre-ordered should have been in the closed beta. The open beta should be just that, no caveats. I ALMOST pre-ordered a few months back but managed to restrain myself. Glad I did as this is shaping up to be an absolute disaster. Cities ripped out, classes ripped out etc... Fairly certain they'll be included in the first expansion, which of course means those who pre-ordered before that happened will essentially be paying for the same content twice.

Really disappointed with how Mythic have done everything in recent months.

Re:Oh yes... (1)

Fross (83754) | more than 6 years ago | (#24671051)

Incorrect. You don't HAVE to preorder to get into the open beta, it's just one of the ways to get in. You can get into the open beta without preordering. You can get into the closed beta without preordering, for that matter.

Re:I'm in CE Closed Beta (4, Informative)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#24664989)

And since they just lifted the NDA I can openly talk about this.

Yes, the game has some rough edges, but damn its got a lot of content.

Way too much content so I ended up skipping a lot of it just to explore areas.

Anyways, coming from the background of a GW fan, I will say that Mythic has captured the atmosphere quite well. There is always something to do and I never found myself saying to myself "Hey... I'm just grinding."

Yeah some of it was, but it wasn't a boring grinding.

There isn't an economy to speak of, but I believe maybe that was the best design decision ever to make a game without an economy rather than a broken economy that inspires gold farmers and imbalances the game.

Re:I'm in CE Closed Beta (1)

Omega996 (106762) | more than 6 years ago | (#24666593)

can i ask how is the gameplay? All I've seen have been the videos ea mythic have occasionally released, and I have to tell you it looks decidedly unexciting. Activate Power, wait, monster activates, wait, you activate, etc.

Is the combat system a lot like WoW? From the gameplay trailers I've seen, it sure seems like it. I'm really curious, despite the content cuts. But I am not thrilled at the idea of buying the game if, despite the cool extras, at the core it's got the WoW keypress/timer-style control.

Re:I'm in CE Closed Beta (1)

Fross (83754) | more than 6 years ago | (#24671057)

It does have a global cooldown of sorts. not sure if it's totally exclusionary of other abilities, but it does stop people just spamming keypresses.

The gameplay is a lot of fun, each class has tons of abilities at its disposal, and how they interact with each other is inspiring.

Re:I'm in CE Closed Beta (2, Interesting)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672473)

I never played WoW but its a lot faster paced than EQ in my opinion. They use AP (Action Points) instead of mana which everyone has for special skills (melee included).

It also seems that you quickly regenerate HP as well quickly between battles so there isn't any down time which I found very nice. Of course the same applies to mobs so if you wail on a mob and then run away long enough to get you HP back up the mob will have his HP back full as well.

Yes, I find myself pounding the keyboard in certain orders based on certain combos of spells. I've been playing a magus which generally I start out by summoning a demon first and sicing him on the target with me hitting him with a no time cast but 10 second cool down spell and then follow up with another ranged 3 second cast by no cooldown spell and then again and then the burst spell.

Its not like playing a console fighting game with combos but its not simply click on the enemy and press auto attack either.

Somewhere in between... I personally don't find it overwhelming but its not that slow either.

Re:I'm in CE Closed Beta (1)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 6 years ago | (#24666657)

What do you mean there isn't an economy? PLease explain.

Re:I'm in CE Closed Beta (1)

blackicye (760472) | more than 6 years ago | (#24668017)

Auction houses were/are not in game yet, and there is not much of a crafting system to speak of (yet?)

Re:I'm in CE Closed Beta (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672391)

What the other person said about the auction houses and lack of crafting, but the best gear IMO is garnered through public quests and RvR scenarios rather than buying it. Most of the stuff is "bind to player" so you can't transfer it anyways.

Re:I'm in CE Closed Beta (1)

uofitorn (804157) | more than 6 years ago | (#24668943)

I've played them all. And the most boring thus far has to be LOTRO because of its lack of economy. I was enthused about LOTRO for sure, but I became disillusioned with it faster than any other game after reaching the level cap. Sure, there's tradeskills and "money" but it doesn't really mean much (much like WoW, just to get the negative mod points). The more games head towards "NO DROP" items, the less they interest me. I guess that's why I keep heading back to EQ -- not that that holds my interest much any more either (Blah, blah, yes: EQ came up with NO DROP, but IMO it's much less pronounced than any proceeding MMORPG). Which is sad because it promotes trading between players. Global auction houses are what lead to -- and note this -- widespread gold farming. At any rate, it's pointless talking about cutting "half the content" when you don't know what the original amount was.

Re:I'm in CE Closed Beta (1)

uofitorn (804157) | more than 6 years ago | (#24668957)

Oops, I failed to make my point clear. I think that economies are important to MMOs to increase their enjoyment. IMO of course.

Re:I'm in CE Closed Beta (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672607)

Well I'll agree to some extent. A well designed economy can make a game enjoyable (well I'm personally thinking about Ultima Online but I think that was an accident more than a well planned design).

However, I don't think WAR is trying to fit a mold of anything that I can compare it too. I mean, Team Fortress 2 is fun but it doesn't have an economy to speak of. So I think the same concept is here as well. Its not as gear oriented as some other games so I think that helps with the lack of economy.

Re:Oh yes... (1)

LiquidFire_HK (952632) | more than 6 years ago | (#24666297)

The WoW European open beta was exactly the same thing - it began about 10 days before the release of the game (and ended with the release). Served as a demo to me (and I imagine everyone else).

Re:Oh yes... (1)

milamber3 (173273) | more than 6 years ago | (#24669685)

Except with WoW you did not have to buy the game just to get into the open beta! Having an "open" beta where only pre-orders can play is absolute crap. The Warhammer people must think we are all idiots that will fall in line for their idea of open. I hope they go down in flames with every other designer who thinks they can redefine words to promote their game.

Re:Oh yes... (2, Informative)

Dracil (732975) | more than 6 years ago | (#24669797)

You realize you never have to actually buy the game right? Preorder from EB, get your beta card, cancel the preorder. Done.

Re:Oh yes... (3, Interesting)

Deadfyre_Deadsoul (1193759) | more than 6 years ago | (#24667129)

For the haters, why not play the game before you trash on it, you know, don't judge a book by its cover.

So they removed some content, guess what. The other 95% of the game is still there.

Inevitable city and the Order version of Inevitable are pretty damn big, especially with the ranked content that is available to a ranked city (3-5 stars).

The game itself is very fun, and from the getgo (level 3) your into scenario pvps, with regular rvr by level 8. It is not meant to be a standard pve mmo. It is a pvp mmo with a little bit of pve content tossed in, which is there mainly to align the story line for each of the 6 races. As far as exploration goes, it has quite a great deal of content.

As a Closed beta person, I don't crash, I don't lag, I don't get dc'ed (except to patch). I have fun, and there are not that many bugs to actually report. For a 'beta' product, this is almost unheard of. Especially having done several other beta's (9 or so) over the past few years. Most beta's are terrible products (wow, hellgate, several of the uo's, shadowbane, to name a few).

And yes, the lack of economy is a very, very, good thing. Crafting is in, but its not an important aspect. If you need something, you can either quest for it, via the Public Quest (great damn feature), or you can kill folks in rvr to nab your skills and loot.

Blizzard best hope that WotLK is damn near perfect and has some great pvp, if not, they are gonna loose quite a bit of clientele.

Re:Oh yes... (3, Interesting)

CougMerrik (1221450) | more than 6 years ago | (#24668433)

Having played in closed beta, I can say that the game (from a PvPers point of view) is in a much more completed state than any MMO I've seen, including WoW.

It's all live, and ready to go day one. You won't have to wait a year for battlegrounds, pvp ranks, or pvp gear. There are already more than 15 battlegrounds in the game with variations on objectives and scoring. There are realm ranks (pvp ranks), which not only allow you to purchase pvp gear, but also give you access to something like a pvp talent point system. Sieges are in and have been stress tested for days.

Battles are epic and because of the design choices they made with regard to player clipping, push backs, and knockdowns, you will find that position matters a lot more in this game than others you may have played. The "tactic" system is very good and adds another level of depth to the game. Tactics are like passive abilities that might improve certain skills or resists, but you can only have a few active at once while in combat. Combining tactics with talents and the pvp renown points makes for a high degree of variety in what build you want for your character.

Lingering issues are some class imbalances and the graphics, plus the cities and classes they took out. The game as it is is very, very enjoyable for a beta.

Re:Oh yes... (2, Informative)

Fross (83754) | more than 6 years ago | (#24671105)

What he said.

I'm in the closed beta too, and while I've not played as extensively as I could have (got in the day before going on holiday, how cruel...) I've had a hell of a lot of fun.

It does lack some polish in some areas, but given it's competing with a title that's been out what, nearly 4 years, it seems very complete. The various ways RvR takes place are all good. My particular favourite aspect is the lack of one-shotting in PVP, you'll never get close to that, so battles are more strategic, and a good positioning/formation makes a huge difference.

Re:Oh yes... (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 6 years ago | (#24669647)

I have a good number of friends in the beta for this, and they do not seem to be complaining in the LEAST about the amount of content. I seem to actually hear nothing but good things about the amount of possibilities.

The capital cities have been removed (1, Troll)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 6 years ago | (#24664599)

The bean counters with their MBA's came in and removed 4 of the 6 major cities citing to move this project out by christmas rather than doing it right.

I think I will be sticking with Wow for awhile after hearing this.

Re:The capital cities have been removed (4, Insightful)

immcintosh (1089551) | more than 6 years ago | (#24664733)

Yeah, WoW really did a good job when it was released with all of its end-game content complete and in place... and now back to reality-land where WoW didn't have most of its end-game content at release either.

Re:The capital cities have been removed (1)

duckInferno (1275100) | more than 6 years ago | (#24665027)

WoW was missing some major features: hero classes (STILL not in yet and only partially implemented in the upcoming expansion), endgame content, etc. that took time to get put in the game (and there was some due whining). But it wasn't missing anything as major as 4/6 cities or four core classes.

Re:The capital cities have been removed (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24665207)

Partially implemented? My ass. The Death Knight is, in no way, partially implemented (unless in the sense of not being firmly balanced yet). A hero class is whatever Blizzard defines it to be, and they say that the Death Knight is a hero class. Thus, hero classes are implemented in WotLK. Should there be more than one? Possibly, but to say it's partially implemented is quite untrue.

Re:The capital cities have been removed (1)

duckInferno (1275100) | more than 6 years ago | (#24665549)

Hero classes != Hero class

Re:The capital cities have been removed (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24666107)

The fact that there is only one hero class does not mean that the concept of hero classes isn't fully implemented.

Re:The capital cities have been removed (1)

duckInferno (1275100) | more than 6 years ago | (#24666221)

That's cool man, but somewhat off topic.

Re:The capital cities have been removed (3, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#24665975)

Of course, WoW never tried to put out 24 classes either. SO when they implement another 10, that's a good comparison. At their rate, if they add it to the next expansion, it will have taken them 5 years. I bet WAR does it faster.

As for the capital cities- it may actually come out for the best. With 3 cities it was going to be very much 3 separate wars with no effect on each other. Now it will be a series of interconnected battles- someone fighting on Empire/Chaos cares about Dwarf/Greenskin and Elf/Dark Elf, because if any 2 of the 3 are captures the city can be sieged.

Re:The capital cities have been removed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24666503)

actually yeah wow was missing a lot at release. those cities you mention that are missing are the equivalent of raid instances, Wow only had one massively buggy raid instance at release MC, it was horrendeously bugged to the point of unplayable. Some classes were almost completely useless at release with talent trees that were a complete and utter joke and were not fixed for many many months. endgame content in WoW was basically non existant for the first 3 months due to not much content and what content was there was so badly bugged that doing an instance was near impossible.

Re:The capital cities have been removed (5, Informative)

illumin8 (148082) | more than 6 years ago | (#24664877)

The bean counters with their MBA's came in and removed 4 of the 6 major cities citing to move this project out by christmas rather than doing it right.

When you play the game and realize that those cities are not just static cities like WoW, with NPCs that stand there and don't do anything, you'll understand why.

Each one of those cities is a full raid type environment designed for end-game players to capture, defeat several bosses within the city, and finally defeat the king of the city himself.

What happens is this: If one side, order or destruction, controls the keeps in all 3 pairings (dwarves v. greenskins, empire vs. chaos, high elves vs. dark elves), they have the ability to challenge the opposing side's capital city. This involves completing massive public quests within the city such as burning down buildings, killing champions (elite mobs), ransacking libraries, overtaking the sewer system, etc. The entire time, you're not only trying to complete these public quests in the opposing capital city, it's being defended by the opposing faction.

So, they chose to leave out 4 of 6 of the capital cities because it was just too much content to balance, especially because the content is not just PvE raid level bosses and the King himself, but also PvP content, essentially trying to kill the bosses and King while you're tackling PvP at the same time. It's just a lot to balance and tune effectively, and they decided it would push the release off too much.

They may release the cities later. I applaud them for wanting to make sure that the parts of the game they do release are of high quality, and not completely full of bugs.

Re:The capital cities have been removed (3, Interesting)

Kelz (611260) | more than 6 years ago | (#24665215)

I'm in closed beta, and the NDA was just lifted: The scale of the cities and the depth of tier 4 (highest RvR tier) is huge. Far, FAR bigger than the endgame content released with WoW (Western Plaguelands and MC, still took most guilds many many months to even attempt MC).

I'm having a blast playing. My biggest problem right now is that I'm spending too much time in it. Seriously though, play the game before you make any judgments (but I suspect you are just looking for reasons to dump on it regardless).

Re:The capital cities have been removed (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24665401)

I played WoW at release, and it always amazes me how many people either forgot how crappy it was or pretend they know how it was, even though they joined a year after the game was out.
1) The servers were unstable and it was often impossible to summon pets, access the bank or the auction house.
2) At peak hours, the servers would crash about once an hour.
3) Somethings were incomplete, for example, getting your mount as a paladin involved talking to an NPC in IF instead of the quest line it was supposed to be.
4) Parts of the game were horribly unbalanced or obnoxious. Some classes had talent trees that were a joke. Etc.

It was still a good game, but don't pretend that WoW set this "High standard for the release of an MMO"

Re:The capital cities have been removed (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#24665999)

At WoW release my server went down for a week with no ETA of coming back up. After a day my guild rerolled on a new server. Ended up being a great move, turns out the Goons were on our server, I'm happy not to play with them. If you're on their side they up the moron count by 50%, if you're on the other side you need to deal with their zergs.

Re:The capital cities have been removed (1)

Fross (83754) | more than 6 years ago | (#24671159)

I agree with you 100%. I was in the open beta for WoW, and played it a lot at release too (still do play, casually. Got 4 70s). At launch it was a bit of a mess, lots of downtime and lots of placeholders as you mentioned.

However, an MMORPG that comes out these days has to compete with WoW, even though it has a 4 year headstart. And that's a very difficult thing to do. I love WAR so far, I hope it does very well. I just don't envy them the task.

Re:The capital cities have been removed (2, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#24665837)

Having played beta- the content in this game is PvP, pure and simple. If you like PvP, there is no competition. Wow is a sorry, sorry joke at it. If you like raiding- keep playing WoW. *Please* keep playing WoW, I don't want your everquest wannabe ass ruining another MMO.

Re:The capital cities have been removed (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 6 years ago | (#24667117)

The bean counters with their MBA's came in and removed 4 of the 6 major cities citing to move this project out by christmas rather than doing it right.

And the know-it-all geeks pout because they don't realize more doesn't equal better.
"But you said you were going to start with 6 so your game can only be 33% as good!"

Re:The capital cities have been removed (1)

Fross (83754) | more than 6 years ago | (#24671115)

You don't understand how RvR works, how the city hierarchy works, and you haven't played the game.

Have fun raiding karazhan, again.

Re:The capital cities have been removed (1)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 6 years ago | (#24671271)

Have fun raiding the same capital, again. And again. And again, because it's the only fucking town there is.

Re:The capital cities have been removed (1)

Fross (83754) | more than 6 years ago | (#24671901)

Oh yeah, aside from the 3 race cities on each side. And the 4 tiers before them. And the different scenarios within each.

You seem to not understand the RvR hierarchy either..

Just because it says "capital city" doesn't mean it's stormwind. It's the endgame pvp scenario. Which is only open when everyone pushes that far.

Open Beta? (5, Insightful)

RockClimbingFool (692426) | more than 6 years ago | (#24664627)

"Players can get into the North American open beta by pre-ordering Warhammer Online from select retail partners."

How can it be called an "open beta" when you have to basically purchase the game?

Re:Open Beta? (2, Insightful)

Narpak (961733) | more than 6 years ago | (#24664675)

Well it is amount 100.000 players world wide. So it might not be "open" as such, but it is a significant increase to the amount of testers they have had in the beta up to this point.

Re:Open Beta? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24665417)

Large != Open

Re:Open Beta? (1)

rtr1212 (1192941) | more than 6 years ago | (#24664721)

I'm glad every PC game beta these days involves me giving money in order to test. I don't buy these games on principle. Which would be why WoW was the last MMO I ever bought. There hasn't been a decent MMO since that didn't make you buy the game to get into beta (or at least have a decent shot). I think most of these developers realize their game has no chance so they try to grab as much money as they can before the playerbase realizes what a pile of shit it actually is (Age of Conan/Hellgate London/Tabula Rasa).

Re:Open Beta? (1)

rhathar (1247530) | more than 6 years ago | (#24664933)

Yes, because WoW was certainly the best MMO in memory /sarcasm

Re:Open Beta? (1)

rtr1212 (1192941) | more than 6 years ago | (#24665135)

You obviously missed the point. I was saying that WoW was the last AAA MMO to be released with a true open beta. Whereas the others were all either part of a fileplanet membership or preorder to get into beta. Please learn to read next time before you comment. I never mentioned anything about how the gameplay is in WoW.

Re:Open Beta? (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 6 years ago | (#24666851)

(sigh) sometimes I miss Everquest.

I hope Warhammer is a little careful about the bug levels at release. The level of adoption of say, Vanguard, was deeply crippled, despite the high resolution landscape and graphics, by too many incidents of falling through the world or waking up inside a rock. If people get browned by frustrating play dynamics, simply moving around, there will never be enough revenue in subscriptions to allow it to grow past that point. Sometimes it's worth waiting to get it right.

Of course, there are a lot of ways to fail, but -- a game has to be relatively bug-free or it isn't immersive. You want customers to shout "more content!", not "fix the bugs!". The former you can handle, the latter will kill you without hope of rez.

Re:Open Beta? (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24665243)

I was in open beta for LotrO, and PotBS. I didn't have to pay anything to be in either of those, and both were high-profile games.

Re:Open Beta? (2, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#24665637)

There hasn't been a decent MMO since that didn't make you buy the game to get into beta (or at least have a decent shot). I think most of these developers realize their game has no chance so they try to grab as much money as they can before the playerbase realizes what a pile of shit it actually is (Age of Conan/Hellgate London/Tabula Rasa).

Bottom line: The demand for those beta slots is significant enough that they can 'restrict supply' to the level needed for a full on stress test, set the price of entry at 'full retail', and still have enough people signed up.

There is no reason whatsoever for the game publisher not to capitalize on this situation.

I don't blame you for not wanting to participate in these idiotic frenzies, but your contempt is misplaced, it belongs squarely on your 'fellow gamers'. They are the ones falling for this nonsense in droves.

That said, 'open beta' has multiple purposes:
1) Its good advertising, part of the hype
2) Once the game is 'done' it gives you some final stress testing before launch.
3) Because these games can't really have 'demos' the 'beta' is the best chance of getting a preview.*

* Its not usually until well after launch that you can create 7 or 14 day trial accounts. And this is for a few reasons, the biggest one is straight up pragmatic capacity. They want to provide a playable game for the paying customers, and having everyone dogpile on with a free trial account will overload their capacity, without providing any revenue to increase capacity. During the beta, its ok for the servers to be down, for logins attempts to be rejected because its 'full', etc, but you can't do that to paying customers.

As applied to Warhammer Online --given that we already know the content has been stripped down for launch, the short open beta window and pre-order arrangement to get in suggests the following to me:

1) They are running behind and over budget, and can't afford to delay launch. Meanwhile just getting the what they are still committed to getting done for launch is still squeezing them for time, and the open beta window is as long as they can make it. This does singal trouble, but isn't necessarily a disaster. That explains the short window, but not the cost of getting in...so

2) The hype machine has done its job well, and the number of people lined up for open beta and anticipated at launch already exceeds their launch capacity, so they don't really need or want to offer any 'freebies' to grab more people. It doesn't say anything about the quality of the game, but from the business side of things, it means the game is going to sell well.

Your alternate explanation, that they are desperate for cash, and the game is shit, so they are making getting into the beta a pre-order situation to extract some cash before the world catches on to the fail is needlessly complicated. All that is required for this to happen is for their to be massive enough demand. The game can be simply 'ok' or even 'good' and the massive demand to be in the beta would enable them to link it to pre-ordering and capitalize on the hype.

Soney did this first with Everquest2, as I recall. They had a variety of contests and whatnot to get into the eq2 beta, but the one sure-fire method, was to buy a copy of "Heroes of Norrath" or whatever their idiotic EQ related RTS [real-time-strategy game] was called, which came with a 'beta slot' for EQ2. Personally, I think more people bought the RTS for the EQ2 beta slot than for the actual game.

And EQ2, while it wasn't "awesome", it wasn't "epic fail" either. And the selling of beta slots via their RTS wasn't indicitive of them trying to cash in on EQ2 before people caught on that it was shit, but rather it was simply because there was enough demand for the beta, that, in their case, by bundling beta slots to a game that nobody really wanted, they were able to sell a LOT more copies of that game, and capitalize on the demand. They phrased it as a bonus for buying the RTS, because like you a lot of people would have been offended if they'd tried to out-and-out sell beta slots... but gamers are sucking it up, and Warhammers 'deal' is even more thinly veiled.

I fully expect that we will see beta slots for sale separately soon, or included with the 'collectors edition' tin can version of the game, so that players actually pay EXTRA to be in the beta. And hey, if they want it that bad, why shouldn't companies charge them?

Re:Open Beta? (3, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 6 years ago | (#24664975)

Because everyone can join, whereas a "closed beta" means that only selected testers can join.

Re:Open Beta? (1)

blackicye (760472) | more than 6 years ago | (#24668077)

"Players can get into the North American open beta by pre-ordering Warhammer Online from select retail partners."

How can it be called an "open beta" when you have to basically purchase the game?

When over 700,000 people apply for all stages of your beta?

Preordering != Purchasing (1)

Dracil (732975) | more than 6 years ago | (#24669805)

Never shopped at EBGames/Gamestop? All preorder deposits are refundable.

Test the waters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24664657)

Could this be to test the waters of their server capability. If they are shooting high, they could expect thousands of people online at launch day, but with the beta they can test their system by putting a handful of people on and checking to see if their systems can handle what people may throw at it, and if they system can't, they say "Hey, it's still in beta..."

I doubt this will get my WoW money though :P

Re:Test the waters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24667415)

I doubt this will get my WoW money though :P

Dunno about you fellow AC but Warhammer is going to get my WoW money for at month or two. I heard good things from a WoW buddy in the Warhammer closed beta and I'm going to give it a shot for the RvR if nothing else.

No free trial? (1)

r2rknot (1102517) | more than 6 years ago | (#24664669)

Bummer. I was kinda hoping I might avoid buying a another failure of a MMO by trying the open beta when it came out. Guess I'll leave crashing the servers to someone else.

Re:No free trial? (1)

duckInferno (1275100) | more than 6 years ago | (#24665067)

Open beta's aren't very indicative of quality. Very rarely is an MMO playable when it's released; it's almost always riddled with bugs and server problems... so imagine how bad it is with several times the expected population crammed onto a stress-test server.

Case in point: the WoW open beta stress test. Three minute loot lag, constant server crashes and rollbacks, 10 players for every monster in existence. You couldn't play that and come away feeling like it's something you want to buy (although you couldn't really play it to begin with ;)).

Re:No free trial? (1)

halsver (885120) | more than 6 years ago | (#24665639)

You can usually pre-order a game for $5. So you get a 11 day trial for $5. Not free, but cheap if you are a serious MMO player.

Truly open betas are always horrible anyway. There are usually way too many players for server capacity. Servers are designed generally for less than 10k players, less or more for certain games. Open betas tend to trash the performance of the game and give you an incomplete feel for the game.

Re:No free trial? (1)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 6 years ago | (#24666719)

Not to mention you can pre-order, get your beta key, then ask for your money back. Probably all during the same trip to the store. You may have to stop off at the local wifi hotspot and sign up your account before you head back to the store to get your 5 bucks back.

Re:No free trial? (1)

Fross (83754) | more than 6 years ago | (#24671189)

I'm sure they will have free trial/guest passes available in time, just as every MMO has. Age of Conan just released theirs a few weeks back.

Heaven forbid you don't get free access to something before it's even launched. Life is hard.

The NDA is lifted, as well (5, Informative)

illumin8 (148082) | more than 6 years ago | (#24664693)

Folks,

      As of now, the Non Disclosure portions of our North American Beta Testing Agreement are now officially lifted. From this point on players may now freely talk about their experiences in the game as well as post screenshots, videos, etc. We will be sending an email out to all our current players with full details about the lift over the next 24 hours. Players with access to our forums can also see the letter there. Players may not talk about nor reprint posts from our forums and our Test Servers (currently Deathsword) are still fully covered by the confidentiality portions of our Beta Testing Agreement. So, other than that, free feel to talk about and share your experiences in WAR.

My thanks go out to everyone who has beta tested and continues to beta test WAR. It has been with your help and feedback that WAR is where it is today. We really appreciate your effort.

WAR is almost upon us!

Mark Jacobs
VP, GM Mythic Entertainment

I'm an elder beta tester, and here is my review:

The poor graphics gave me a really bad first impression, but the graphics are honestly better than WoW (not saying much), and we all know that graphics aren't everything, gameplay is king.

So, I decided to give it another shot with the 3.2 patch and jump into RvR.

So far I'm having a blast. You can level and XP in this game through either PvP or questing; you don't have to quest or grind at all. For me this is a major plus because I love levelling through PvP.

I wanted to talk for a second about some of the unique mechanics I noticed, which you might have already heard about before. The archmage I'm playing has a mechanic known as high magic, which the shaman also has, but it's called Waagh!. Basically, how it works is like this: If you cast damage spells, your healing counter goes up from 1 to 5, by a point for each damage spell you cast. If you cast healing spells, your damage counter goes up from 1 to 5, by a point for each healing spell you cast. This counter is like a charge that can be saved, but if you stop casting spells for 10 or 15 seconds you lose all the charges you have. If you cast a bunch of damage spells and build your counter up to 5, your next healing spell that normally would take 3 seconds to cast will be instant, and will heal for more. Likewise, if you build your healing counter up to 5, your next damage spell will hit harder. This unique dynamic encourages people to not just be healbots, but to be in the fray of battle, dishing out damage, and tossing out heals constantly. Every class has a similar unique mechanic, which will be refreshing for those of you used to filling a simple role (like healbot).

The RvR minigames are really well done and I jumped right into a queue with a level 3 archmage (healer, DoT archetype) and was able to contribute to battle right away. Think of instanced battlegrounds, but more fun because there are events that happen during the battle. For example, the RvR I was playing had 2 control points. If Empire or Chaos captured both of those points and held them for 10 seconds, a fireball would shoot out of the points, engulfing everything within about 100 feet and insta-killing everyone that was in it's path. It made things very dynamic because you could capture both points, and everyone would have to run out, resetting the points and allowing them to be captured again by you or the opposing team.

There are also keeps to capture in open RvR (world PvP), and with siege weapons such as catapults, burning oil, doors to break down, etc, it can be very epic. I've been in battles with over a hundred people on each side and the performance is pretty amazing considering how many people are participating.

Not only do you get XP for fighting in RvR, you also get RP, which are like PvP XP. You have two different levels, your Rank which is like your PvE level, and your Renown Rank, which is like your PvP level. When you get to certain Renown Ranks, you get access to buy gear that is very good. So this is similar to the WoW arena point system, except you don't have to save points for weeks to afford anything. Once you reach a certain rank, you can buy all the gear that's available to that rank, which means a full set of armor and weapons. This means you can gear up your characters very quickly. I was able to get RR7 just playing for a few hours in about 10 minigames. I hear that at RR10 you can buy some really nice gear that gives you a huge advantage in the Tier 1 PvP minigames. To make things even better, you get drops through PvP. Players don't lose gear, but sometimes when you kill a player and loot their corpse, you can get quite nice green or epic items. I got a staff that had +16 int on it which is quite good for a rank 7 weapon.

On the PvE side, you can level through questing, which is pretty standard "kill X and come back to me" or "collect X and come back to me" or "talk to so and so over there", but they also have public quests which are quite fun. These are quests that are on a timer and reset about every 10-15 minutes. Usually they involve killing champions, which are similar to elite mobs in WoW, so they take more than one person to do it. Usually, the PQs are in stages, like "Chaos is trying to summon a demon" and if you're chaos you have to kill the empire soldiers that are attacking the mages trying to summon the demon. Then, in the next stage, you have to collect all the tombstones of the soldiers you killed in stage 1, then in the third stage, the demon is summoned and they lose control over him, so you have to kill the demon. When the final stage of the PQ is complete, everyone that contributes rolls on loot. Those characters that contributed the most damage, kills, and heals, get priority over the loot. You can get quite good green or even purple items from the public quests. It gives you something to do with your buddies if you're in a zone just hanging out, or just with random people that happen to wander by. Also, in any zone, they have what are called "open groups", which are like a party where the party leader has decided to let anyone join. So, if you're questing in an area, you can just join a random open group and have a few people to quest with. It makes things a lot more social than what you find in WoW where most people are just questing solo and don't talk to each other much.

So, essentially what they've done with this game is that you can play it however you like. If you like PvP, jump right into a realm vs. realm minigame and level your character entirely through PvP. You never have to do a quest in your life if you don't want to. You can get great gear, XP, and renown entirely by realm vs. realm combat. Participate in city battles similar to what would happen if the horde tried to take over Stormwind, or the alliance tried to take over Orgrimarr.

On the PvE side, you don't have to PvP if you don't want to. You can level entirely through quests if you want. Public quests and open groups make for a more social and interactive PvE environment.

In short, although the graphics are a little dated and some textures look like bad DAoC graphics, the gameplay is really top notch and especially players that like balanced, challenging, and rewarding PvP will find a lot to like.

Re:The NDA is lifted, as well (1)

Narpak (961733) | more than 6 years ago | (#24664783)

I agree with what is written above. Warhammer is great fun, and the Public Quest and Group system is a mechanic I have no doubt will be replicated by others soon.

Also Shaman is fantastic class to play, for me, the Waaagh! system combined with the fact that you have an Offensive and Defensive target makes it easy to go between DPS and healing in a group/warband.

Having played Shaman, Black Orc and Marauder mostly I would say that they all feel unique, challenging, yet fairly easy to get into. The fact that the ability list gives information about if it is an "Damaging/Healing/Buff/Debuff" ability, and what Path it falls under, makes oversight very easy.

Re:The NDA is lifted, as well (1)

Kollin (134152) | more than 6 years ago | (#24664963)

I am also an Elder and I have got to say that this game has all of the magic that WOW had when I was playing the WOW beta.

The real significant difference is the ability of RVRing no matter what level you are. In the scenerios and some of the RVR areas your character is brought up to what is concidered the minimum level for that zone. So in a tier 2 zone I would be brough up to level 16 (from 11) so I would be an equal opponet on the battlefield. Also there are safe guards in place to deture higher level players from killing lowbies in a lowbie area. Players that try to join in RVR in areas below there level are warned and given 10 seconds to leave, if they do not they are turned into chickens.

Over all I love this game, will it be a WOW killer? Maybe, maybe not. But when WOW first came out there were plenty of people that swore that WOW was not better that EQ.

I think it is definatly worth a try.

Re:The NDA is lifted, as well (1)

merreborn (853723) | more than 6 years ago | (#24665087)

I wanted to talk for a second about some of the unique mechanics I noticed, which you might have already heard about before. The archmage I'm playing has a mechanic known as high magic, which the shaman also has, but it's called Waagh!. Basically, how it works is like this: If you cast damage spells, your healing counter goes up from 1 to 5, by a point for each damage spell you cast. If you cast healing spells, your damage counter goes up from 1 to 5, by a point for each healing spell you cast. This counter is like a charge that can be saved, but if you stop casting spells for 10 or 15 seconds you lose all the charges you have. If you cast a bunch of damage spells and build your counter up to 5, your next healing spell that normally would take 3 seconds to cast will be instant, and will heal for more. Likewise, if you build your healing counter up to 5, your next damage spell will hit harder. This unique dynamic encourages people to not just be healbots, but to be in the fray of battle, dishing out damage, and tossing out heals constantly. Every class has a similar unique mechanic, which will be refreshing for those of you used to filling a simple role (like healbot).

Sounds an awful lot like the way rogues (combo points [wowwiki.com] )/warriors (rage [wowwiki.com] ) work in WoW.

And I'm sure WoW borrowed those mechanics from another game as well. There's an awful lot of "borrowing" in the MMO industry.

Re:The NDA is lifted, as well (1)

illumin8 (148082) | more than 6 years ago | (#24665927)

Sounds an awful lot like the way rogues (combo points)/warriors (rage) work in WoW.

And I'm sure WoW borrowed those mechanics from another game as well. There's an awful lot of "borrowing" in the MMO industry.

Not exactly, because combo points are just ways to do more damage. High Magic/Waaagh! is different because you can only increase the potency of your damage spells by healing, and you can only increase the potency of your healing spells by damage. They reward you for playing both roles equally, and believe me, it requires a lot of skill to dps while you're keeping your party healed as well!

Re:The NDA is lifted, as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24667121)

... and believe me, it requires a lot of skill to dps while you're keeping your party healed as well!

Anyone who has healed in a WoW instance with a pub party knows this ;-) ...especially if you have a crappy tank!

Re:The NDA is lifted, as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24666031)

Sounds an awful lot like the way rogues (combo points [wowwiki.com] )/warriors (rage [wowwiki.com] ) work in WoW.

And I'm sure WoW borrowed those mechanics from another game as well. There's an awful lot of "borrowing" in the MMO industry.

Except in your WoW examples the combo points and rage are applied to a mode which you used to gain them in the first place. It sounds like WarHammer is applying them orthogonal to your usage mode. i.e, you get heal points when you attack, and attack points when you heal.

This difference sounds like it could provide a very different gameplay experience to standard WoW party roles.

It definitely does (1)

Fross (83754) | more than 6 years ago | (#24671233)

Orthogonality is a good way to describe it.

With the shaman, you cast damage spells to increase your healing power and vice versa, but other classes have different configurations.

For instance the chaos healer, Disciple of Khaine, has something akin to a mana store for casting healing spells. The way they replenish that is by doing (primarily) melee attacks. So the more they attack in frontline combat, the more healing they can do.

I've played both these classes, and while it starts being difficult due to being an old WoW player and not being used to this, it really is a challenge and rewards using more than one button continuously.

Re:The NDA is lifted, as well (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#24666045)

Not really. The Action Point system (their replacement for mana) is similar to rogue energy. Waagh isn't really like rage though- its not relative to damage/healing done, its constant per spell cast. Nor is it like combo points- its not bound to a given target, and there's no finishers.

Witch elfs and witch hunters do have a more rogue like system- combo points with finishers, although they have a few other twists and stealth is nowhere near as powerful.

There were supposed to be two tanks with a rage-like mechanic, but they were the two dropped from release.

Re:The NDA is lifted, as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24668239)

While there are mechanics similar to the Rogue's combo points in WoW (specifically the Witch Elf and the Witch Hunter, who also have a limited form of stealth), the Archmage/Shaman mechanic is quite different. In order to maintain maximum effectiveness, you need to strike a balance between combat magic and healing... doing one for a while will make the other more effective when you switch, but if you only do one or the other, you get no benefit. It's quite an elegant mechanic.

Queue the personal opinion checklist (1)

duckInferno (1275100) | more than 6 years ago | (#24664695)

1) The gameplay video looked like nothing special. But then, neither did the early WoW one... it could still be good I guess.

2) You'd have to turn in your geek card if you actually paid and played an MMO without waiting a few months for it to be playable.

3) If you're the type that enjoys MMOs, you're probably already playing one. And if you're paying for one MMO, and you enjoy it, what's the point in paying for another? In this case they have a fanbase rabidly gnashing their teeth already but I wonder if that's enough to bite into a very well established market?

Re:Queue the personal opinion checklist (1)

gnarlyhotep (872433) | more than 6 years ago | (#24664787)

Judging by the success of other quality games based on the Warhammer franchises, I'd say it's enough to at least establish them. Taking WoW off it's #1 podium is doubtful, but it certainly has the chance to be successful. And an mmo isn't like a marriage, just because you've got one to play now doesn't mean you aren't looking for something new. Or maybe it is just a marriage, depending on the individual situation...

Re:Queue the personal opinion checklist (1)

duckInferno (1275100) | more than 6 years ago | (#24664953)

True - if you're getting bored with an MMO you could be looking for a new one. But how often does that happen? I'm a WoW player and have had a few 6-month breaks from it before getting back into it, and during those times I'm definitely not looking to get back into an MMO.

Although if, after said 6 month break, there's WoW and next to it is WHO... and if you're currently playing an MMO and are bored of the game but not the formula... okay, I guess I can see migration happening. :)

Re:Queue the personal opinion checklist (1)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 6 years ago | (#24665289)

You might not get bored with your current MMO, you might just be looking for an alternative play stile. I've been end game raiding in EQ for six years, and still enjoy it. But for the casual gaming experience I level Wow toons. Having a true uber character in a game (to me) makes playing alts kind of useless; no challenging play if you know you can plow all this in 10 min if you really want to. Having a second MMO for the real newb feeling makes that much easier.

Re:Queue the personal opinion checklist (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 6 years ago | (#24664843)

In answer to question 3, I would say that I really can't keep playing the same game non-stop. It's nice to have two going and flip between them, especially if the way they play differs radically. For example, I couldn't play WoW and DnD Online at the same time because they feel like the same game, but WoW and City of Heroes is fine.

ADD? What's that? Some kind of OH MY GOD THERE'S A KITTEN OVER THERE.

Re:Queue the personal opinion checklist (1)

duckInferno (1275100) | more than 6 years ago | (#24664983)

I guess people are built differently in that regard. I can focus all my attention on one game just fine, but if I start playing another game, all my attention quickly shifts and I forget the first game.

That said, kittens are pretty awesome.

Re:Queue the personal opinion checklist (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#24665887)

Because this game offers something different from the others- gameplay based around PvP. SOmething Blizzard claimed it would do, then totally fucked over with raiding, killed with instanced battlegrounds while making world pvp valueless, and desecrated its corpse with Arena. WoW isn't even an option for people wanting real PvP, and the only other options (DAoC, SB, UO) are a decade old and some are dead (SB dead due to being buggy as hell, UO to age, DAoC to age).

"open" beta? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24664705)

Why are people calling this an "open beta"? This is hardly open.

WARDB (2, Informative)

biquet (932262) | more than 6 years ago | (#24664811)

For info on all the class abilities and zones, http://www.wardb.com/ [wardb.com] is up :-)

This coming weekend is Preview Weekend. I gather the idea is to stress-test the servers, not actually start the beta early.

I too have been in beta. (1)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 6 years ago | (#24665433)

While I find the game easy to level because there is almost no feeling of the grind. Overall I had a poor experience.

I find the PvP aspect of the game poorly balanced. There are no abilities that would allow few good players to overcome the zerg of the opposing realm. Basically most RvR consists of constant pushing back and forth until the side with more players prevails. To top that off on EVERY server they put up, Destruction outnumbered Order by good 50%. Sprinkle that with few abilities which are clearly overpowered, and you only exacerbate the imbalanced population problem, as only one class of one race may have such ability. This all to me is a recipe for disaster.

However, a casual player may not care if the game is balanced, since they only want to play an hour here or there. But they might care about the bugs which were not a priority it seemed in Beta. They may also care about the constant server reboots, and whole zones crashing...

Re:I too have been in beta. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24665565)

While I have only been in the closed beta a few weeks I must say I have yet to experience a single zone crash in the 20-30 hours of game play I have had. The PVP is great for the exact reasons ou hate it, a few good players cannot overcome overwhelming numbers as gear and experience cannot combat a overwhelming odds nor should it. I played destruction initially and yeah it was overpopulated, then I switched to order and tried rune priests and witch hunters and the fast Queues to battlegrounds made up for the less population. I also didn't find any particular race or class overpowered as they all seem to have there counters, it is not perfectly balanced yet but it is already a good deal better than WoW and a thousand times better than the disaster that is Age of Conan at the moment. Being in the closed beta took me from a might think about buying it to a definite buy. I love being able to level in PVP.

Re:I too have been in beta. (3, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#24666115)

I've seen plenty of places where skill overcame numbers. In the open field just last week my group beat a bunch of order who outnumbered us 2:1- by flanking them and hitting them from behind in their casters, while they engaged a small group of destruction running from them.

We won a keep battle the other day by skipping the lord and running through to the roof. When the order stupidly followed us up, we had everyone with a knockback use it to get them off the roof, and killed the remainder. WIth half the forces they couldn't stop us from taking the keep.

I won a scenario for Destruction yesterday pretty much by myself. In a capture the flag scenario, we were 12 minutes (out of 15) in and down by 20 points, neither team had captured yet. I saw their flag carrier slightly apart from the group on the right, with their group concentrating on the left side of the battle. I got 100 DM, ran in and gibbed him, expecting it to be a suicide mission. They ran at me with 5 melee dps/tanks. I hit them all with the AoE root spell, hit sprint, and got out of their safely. I then helped guide our carrier to the cap zone for the only cap and win (having to kill a few DPS who were attacking him).

Plenty of room for the good to beat numbers in open world and scenario based combat. Perhaps you aren't actually as good as you think you are?

Platforms? (0, Troll)

Onan (25162) | more than 6 years ago | (#24665839)

I'm guessing this thing is Windows-only? Usually when a company can't even be bothered to say on what platforms their software will run, it's because they're under the impression that Windows is the only one that exists.

Ah, well. Any bets on whether the couple million people who play WoW on macs will outnumber the total number of players this ever achieves?

Re:Platforms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24666255)

if you think there is a couple of million that play WoW on macs your living in a dream world, a few hundred thousand would be the absolute maximum. The initial preorders alone are many times the number of mac users in wow lol.

Re:Platforms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24666429)

I would SOOO take that bet. People who read slashdot to much really manage to delude themselves.

Re:Platforms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24668299)

I'm glad WAR players won't be inflicted by whiney, bitchy, self-righteous mac users.

More like WoW-hammer (1)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 6 years ago | (#24666393)

I just saw this game at Gen Con over the weekend. I was really, really unimpressed by it.

When I first saw it I was really confused, I turned to my friend and said, "Why are these people playing WoW underneath a Warhammer Online banner? That just doesn't make any... ooooooh."

If you're currently a WoW player, you might as well just stick with that, if you're not then this game probably won't interest you either. (Champions Online on the other hand...)

Re:More like WoW-hammer (1)

andolyne (1342935) | more than 6 years ago | (#24668941)

The main differences are: public quests (if you don't know what they are, checkout something like www.warhammeralliance.com) and the game is built for PvP from the ground up (taunt's work on players?! but not like you think)...

I'm an Elder tester as well, and the game is really good fun. There is currently a population imbalance (in favour of destruction), but we'll see how that works out in the long term.

Re:More like WoW-hammer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24669641)

1/10

Re:More like WoW-hammer (1)

elnico (1290430) | more than 6 years ago | (#24669915)

You're seriously putting forth a review based on briefly watching someone else play?

Re:More like WoW-hammer (1)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 6 years ago | (#24671769)

You're seriously putting forth a review based on briefly watching someone else play?

Yes, and let me be the first to welcome you to Slashdot.

But can we trust Mythic? (1)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 6 years ago | (#24667159)

After the Bonedancer debacle, followed by the castable endurance buff + left axe or quad hit fuckup, can we really trust mythic to have the judgement to balance the game properly? Early results suggest that destruction is OP and order is underpopulated, will mythic figure out how to fix this? And when will an MMO developer realize that tf2 style red vs blue factions is the only way to have true balance?

Re:But can we trust Mythic? (1)

Fanboys_Suck_Dick (1128411) | more than 6 years ago | (#24668937)

I think in the retail game you will see the population balance change, with Destruction being outnumbered. The makeup of people in beta doesn't reflect what will be seen in retail. Most people prefer to play as humans and Destruction has too many ugly races. With a combination of normal looking humans and high elves, Order will dominate in population. I think the best you can hope for is that Order only slightly outnumbers Destruction. My fear is that Order overpopulation will completely unbalance the game.

Re:But can we trust Mythic? (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#24670311)

Destruction OP? Hardly. I think order wins a few more pairings than destro. SHadow Warrior>squig herder, warrior priest>DoK, engineer>magus, runepriest==zealot, archmage==shaman (or perhaps a shaman mild favor due to Gork Says Stop), bright wizard==sorcerer, witch hunter>witch elf. Destro tends to dominate the pvp zones in beta due to numbers, but there's no pairing that really favors them.

The current population imbalance is due to tabletop fans preferring destruction. In release it always tends to be the pretty races that are overpopulated, so we'll see.

Getting in without a pre-order (1)

Fulminata (999320) | more than 6 years ago | (#24669139)

The "pre-order" deal at Target isn't actually a pre-order. You pay $1 and you get a box with a coupon for $5 off the game along with all the benefits of pre-ordering, including beta access. So if you don't like it then you're only out a buck. If you do like it then you can get it for $4 off.

Been in closed beta since last month (1)

malf-uk (456583) | more than 6 years ago | (#24670457)

I must say I've had more fun in the past few weeks in this game than the 6 months I spent in WoW and can't wait for it to go live.

Both PvE (especially Public Quests) and RvR are a joy to play and the way RvR is handled in this is much improved over DAOC's where you saw very little action until higher levels.

I'm not sorry if I sound like a fanboy!

Preview Weekend (1)

BoredAtWorkWhatElse (936972) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672029)

While the open beta only starts September 7th, there is a Preview Weekend starting August 22nd to August 25th for everyone who pre-ordered the game.

I haven't played the game yet but by reading the comments in this thread I'm now really excited to try it this weekend.

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