They weren't kidding when they said war is all around you. Unlike most fantasy setting MMO's where hobbits are talking about pie and villagers are happily going about their business, here it's all about war. Buildings are burning everywhere, guards are fighting onslaughts of mobs, and angry peasants are joining in. This was my first impression as I entered the open beta of Warhammer Online.
I generally am never happy playing evil, so I looked to the Order side for options. I started off with an Empire Warrior Priest. I had only done a few quests when I came across my first public quest. I saw a message flash on my screen that started a timer on a public quest. I looked around to see what I should be doing and decided to follow some other folks I saw running around. I won't go into too much detail to ruin the experience of those who haven't played, but it was a bit of fun. It is pretty much every man for himself though, as people are trying to do the most damage to rack up the most points. I tossed out heals here and there but when I got into trouble, I was left to my own defenses. I died quite often in public quests.
The leveling rate at the low levels is slower than most other MMO's, but that's not a bad thing, particularly for an RvR-based game. From a PvE perspective, I ran into a bit of a snag at level 7. I had completed all the quests, and the next quest hub only offered RvR quests taking me into open PvP areas. I ran further up the road and found another quest hub; however the mobs in the area were 10-12. The public quests at my level didn't have enough people to complete and we kept wiping, so I went back to the lower level ones and did those over and over until I reached level 8. I found the flight master and thought I'd visit the main city. The cut scene of the dwarf flying me over there was pretty funny. I thought about maybe heading over the High Elf area and running through their quests, but decided to start something new instead.
So onto the High Elves. This time around I picked the White Lion class. I always gravitate towards classes with animal pets. I was getting annoyed that she kept staying in combat stance with her legs spread far apart and crouched. And when she ran, her head was always turning like she was peeking around a corner. I finally figured out that after you kill a mob, if you still have the corpse in your target, it keeps you in combat stance. So after every kill I had to hit escape to clear target. Also, there was a bug where I kept losing the pet command bar. It would just vanish from my screen. I'd have to resummon my pet to get it back. Aside from that, I did like the class. However, I didn't enjoy the High Elf area as much as the Empire. Some quests I never did figure out and I found myself at level 6 in the same boat as my Warrior Priest.
My husband, in the meantime, had been playing a Dark Elf Disciple of Khaine and enjoying himself. Despite my goody two shoes nature, I decided to have a look at Destruction. The Chaos caster I created slouched around in that undead manner so I didn't stick with her for long. I created a Goblin Squig Herder, but the constant jumping up and down of the squig on the right side of my screen cut my play time short with him as well.
I started a Dark Elf Witch and found myself surrounded by nothing but females. I guess it's possible that many were actually females. But considering how scantily clad they were, I'm guessing that guys that enjoy playing females are more likely drawn to this race than others. Also, the Witch Elf which is a rogueish type class, can only be played as a female.
Despite some bugs where mobs are hitting you but you're getting this message that you can't attack them or you can't see them, I think the game is very well put together. Classes are interesting and it was nice seeing long hair options for females which seems to be a rare thing in MMO's. However, it's not a game that I feel compelled to log into and not one I intend to purchase at this point. I'll keep grinding away some levels this week while I have the opportunity to and see if my feelings change. But for those that enjoy RvR, I think they will have a great time here. That really is where the game shines.