Without a doubt the biggest departure from the World of Warcraft experience is the role of Player vs. Player combat. Where competition with other players is a sideline activity to inject some differentiation into your experience in WoW, it's one of the primary things to do in Warhammer Online. That's not to say you have to PvP, of course, but it's a much more important part of the WAR experience. Players who choose to engage in PvP will gain experience, money, and a sort of PvP experience called renown for doing so. Gaining levels in renown allows player the opportunity to select tactics, slottable improvements to your character that change and shape your play experience.
The most familiar WoW PvP element is probably the battleground, known in Warhammer Online as RvR Scenarios. Scenarios are short, 15-minute long directed experiences in instanced maps. They're joined by entering a queue, something that's as easy as clicking on the tiny Warhammer symbol to the left of your mini-map. Each Tier of content in each racial pairing has its own Scenario, and you automatically join the Scenario associated with the tier you're in and the zone you're in. Low level Greenskins and Dwarves join the Gates of Ekrund, for example, and a high elf, human, chaos or dark elf in either the dwarven or greenskin zones would join the same queue.
RvR also takes place in the game's open world, in what are called "RvR lakes". These are special areas of the map, highlighted in color, in which RvR combat is always enabled. Within these lakes are special objectives, including huge landmarks like fortresses and keeps. Warhammer features a full-fleshed out siege gameplay component, and capturing these landmarks is all a part of the game's ongoing struggle between Order and Destruction.
The 'end-game' activity for Warhammer Online is entirely focused around this struggle. At level 40 players compete over the highest tier zones, seeking to control them for their faction. By pushing the enemy back on all fronts, players open up the possibility of invading and sacking the opposing side's capital city! This elaborate endgame scenario is discussed in full in yet another of our in-depth articles. Despite some changes to how this mechanic works (there being only two capitals in the game at launch), the gameplay is still compelling and a very different experience.