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Waging WAR

Waging WAR: Tapping the keg

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Warhammer Online, Waging WAR

Mythic has released the Keg's End live event in Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, and this week in Waging WAR, after falling off the wagon and bumping his head, Greg talks about all the things to see and do in-game during this holiday season. Don't worry, though -- we were able to get him to stop singing carols after the swelling went down.

It's that time of year again, and most everyone is celebrating something in some fashion. Whether it's Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or Festivus, ultimately, it's a section of the calendar that many of us can appreciate and look forward to. On that note, I would like to extend my warmest and sincerest Season's Greetings to all Massively readers out there, wherever you are. And as fun as it is with the gift giving, merriment and world-peace-wishing, the best part of the season is when we get hammered and smack-talk our families. Wait, you don't smack-talk your family at your house? You mean... the season really is all about warmth, love, and mistletoe mischief? Hmm... well, it seems as though my family missed that memo. Behind-the-back dirt-dishing has been a staple at my house for as long as I can remember. But enough about that, let's talk about Warhammer Online and the Keg End live event -- something I can relate to. Forget about religion, politics, and corporate pan-handling; let's get out the gourds, chug a frothy or two, and loudly proclaim our bravest victories in that barrel-chested manner we're all so accustomed to (OK, maybe not all of us, but play along, will ye?).

Read on after the cut to learn about all the fun things you can look forward to with WAR's Keg End live event.

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Waging WAR: White Lions ite domum

Fantasy, Classes, PvP, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Humor, Waging WAR

This week in Waging WAR, Greg shows off the rather large chip on his shoulder and talks about one particular career in Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. Despite the following column, Greg wants it to be known that he does indeed love kittens of all kinds and does not condone harming them in any way, unless it involves several Doom Bolts and a few handfuls of Flickering Red Fire, in which case he enthusiastically gives his approval.

For the most part, I consider myself pretty easygoing when it comes to scenario PvP. I don't flip out when I die, I try to not take failure to heart since the next scenario is usually right around the corner, and DPS-healers don't bug me like they bug many other players out there (I used to play one, neener-neener). But recently, I've noticed a particularly aggravating trend growing among Order players on Badlands in the lower tiers. There is an inordinate number of White Lions being rolled, and objectively, it isn't difficult to see why. They're extremely mobile, they can cause outrageous amounts of damage in a very short time, and their pets represent more than mere harassment -- they actually hurt. Sadly, objectivity comes at a pretty hefty price these days. When it has run dry and all I find myself left with is the hot, bitter aftertaste of subjectivity, the result is something like the rant that follows.

Read along after the break and enjoy my rant about White Lions.

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Waging WAR: Guide to addons

Fantasy, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Guides, Waging WAR

This week in WagingWAR Greg takes a look at the basic interface offered in Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. Well, he said he would take a look, but then he mumbled something about needing a blindfold first. Instead, he writes about all the great ways it can be changed via third-party add-ons and shows us why WAR's modding community really is just the bee's knees.

Let's be honest with ourselves right off the bat and agree that the WAR default interface, although functional, is lackluster in some respects. That's not to say that the developers of WAR made a disastrous UI for us to play with; in fact, the truth is quite the opposite. The standard UI is functional, genre-standard, and provides all the necessary information at a glance. It gets the job done. It also offers a layout editor that allows for simple, easy customization. But sometimes, someone else's idea for a UI element is simply better. Thankfully, WAR supports the Lua programming language and enjoys a strong and talented modding community.

Continue reading for the lowdown on what I consider to be the best of the best of what WAR's mod community has to offer as of patch 1.4.

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Waging WAR: On the distant horizon

Fantasy, Expansions, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Waging WAR

It's that time again! Yes, Greg's imagination has escaped its tiny 3x3 cell and is off spreading ruination and ruffling feathers across the countryside, armed with absurd notions and a not-so-surprising lack of reason and logic. This week's Waging WAR attempts to follow along in its wake as we take another look at the potential future of Warhammer Online: The Age of Reckoning.

WAR released with an impressive lineup of playable armies and careers, setting the stage for the Age of Reckoning with a 3v3, two-sided RvR layout. In the summer following the official release of WAR, we got our first free content expansion featuring the Tomb Kings in the Land of the Dead. Just recently, we finally, at long last, got our Skaven wishes granted. In the spirit of the holiday season coming up, I've decided to look ahead at what may come in the future as we approach new horizons in WAR. Even if we discount Brettonia as another flavor of civilized human (akin in many ways to the Empire), the Daemons of Chaos as being already represented in some form or another as a part of Tzeentch's Warhost, and the Ogre Kingdoms (and other assorted Dogs of War) as being more-or-less an NPC army, we're still left with some excellent offerings from Warhammer lore as far as where WAR can go in the foreseeable future.

Follow along after the break as I take another look at what's left on the table to play with for future packs and expansions for WAR.

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Waging WAR: Inside patch 1.4

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Patches, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Waging WAR

The Verminous Horde game update aka patch 1.4 for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning is pretty much old news by now. Despite that, Greg takes a look at some of the highlights from the patch as well as the RvR Packs in this week's Waging WAR.

Wow! What a patch! There are so many new little tidbits, toys and tweaks in this patch that it's really sort of hard to describe them all in the space of a single issue of Waging WAR. On top of all the free content in the patch itself, there are also the progression and personality packs available on the EAStore ($10ea/$15combo). In fact, there is so much new content in WAR right now, it's going to take quite a bit of time for us to exhaust it all and start complaining about stagnation again.

Follow along after the break as I talk about some of the highlights from the patch.

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Waging WAR: Battle for Badlands season 3 finale

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), PvP, Warhammer Online, Waging WAR

With so many awesome things happening for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning lately, with the Verminous Horde expansion, the new store, patch 1.4 and all the rest, Greg has decided to turn his all-seeing eye sideways, to a land called the Badlands, and take Waging WAR along to explore a community-driven event that has been held there for nearly a year now with great success.

Since launch, WAR has enjoyed a great community. With every great community, a great event is inevitable. I've been around the block since WAR was released and have experienced the game on several different servers. I originally rolled my first character, a Swordmaster named Xiimmel, on Iron Rock. Later, I rolled an Archmage named Feiyen on Dark Crag, who I eventually moved back to Iron Rock where she was renamed Veeo. I never did get a chance to explore Phoenix Throne, which was collapsed along with Dark Crag some time ago. Recently, I joined the Badlands community on the side of Destruction with a variety of new characters, and the community there has been good to me so far. Part of that experience the last few weeks has been the opportunity to participate in a community-driven phenomenon known as the Battle for Badlands. Since this is all quite new to me, I decided to do a community spotlight on the event in today's Waging WAR.

Read on past the cut where I play 6Qs and deliver the details about the Battle for Badlands while I try to answer your 5Ws and maybe an H.

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Waging WAR: Warhammer's new online store

Fantasy, Warhammer Online, News Items, Opinion, Waging WAR

This week's Waging WAR catches a whiff of recent happenings on the internet and with Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. Greg dives in face-first, grabs a fist-full of the news, and delivers a fast-ball rant on the issue.

Well, apparently the RMT has hit the fan, and the resulting spackle is starting to plaster the proverbial walls of the blogosphere and beyond. Recently, some information was released about what players can expect to buy at EA-Mythic's new store. Although only a few items are actually available now, there's a pretty extensive FAQ on the server transfer service, and we'll have to wait a little longer for the Progression and Personality packs, as they're set to be released along with patch 1.4. Naturally, the drama is building up some nice momentum, and it will be interesting to see how the whine will affect this particular cheese over at the Mythic official forum.

For now, you can read past the break and enjoy my rant.

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Waging WAR: Guide to defensive stats

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Guides, Waging WAR

Greg takes us through to see the dark side of our character sheets, and explains the various defensive stats found in Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. He trudges through this week's Waging WAR with the stubborn stoutness of an Ironbreaker, and the cunning pre-determination of Tzeentch's Chosen to bring us this guide...

For every 10 tanks running around with gigantic two-handed weapons and the Focused Offense tactic slotted, there is one tank with a shield. And for every 10 of those tanks, there's that one who will step onto the battlefield and shake its very foundations with his/her ability to soak incredible amounts of damage and survive. What makes those tanks so indomitable? It is their preference for and understanding of defensive statistics. Sure, they may not hit as hard as others, but their ability to stand defiantly in the face of an entire warband is what makes them so fearsome. With confidence, these rare titans stride onto the battlefields knowing they could put up a fight against death itself and stand a chance to win.

Continue after the break as I explain the defensive character statistics of WAR.

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Waging WAR: Hands-on with Thanquol's Incursion

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Hands-On, Waging WAR

This week, Waging WAR brings you Greg's hands-on impressions of the new RvR 24v24 instanced dungeon coming soon to Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. With true grit, determination, a staff, sequined robe and his trusty wizard hat, Greg brushes the dust off of his Archmage skills and reviews Thanquol's Incursion.

I was able to put together everything needed on Wednesday evening, so setting up for Friday afternoon's scheduled test of Thanquol's Incursion didn't take long at all. I didn't want to get tied up in learning a new career along with testing completely new content, so I decided to stick with what I know best and roll my Archmage on the PTS. Luckily, I tend to go light in the add-on department, so after getting my keybindings ready and scattering my UI all over the screen in my own (olympically) special way, I flew to Praag and found a warband in no time flat. Friday's event started up right on time, and the testing was under way. The warband headed out to one of the various instance gates and we zoned in.

Follow along after the break as I discuss my first-time hands-on experience with the new RvR gated 24v24 instanced dungeon: Thanquol's Incursion.

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Waging WAR: Chaotic zeal, part two

Fantasy, Classes, PvP, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Hands-On, Waging WAR

In this week's installment of Waging WAR, Greg returns to the Chaotic Zeal series and peels back another layer or two of the Zealot career in Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. He tells us about his experience through tiers 2 and 3 and talks about what makes the zealot stand out in the chaos crowd. If only we could get him to eat his onions with the same fanaticism...

At the end of the first issue of the Chaotic Zeal series, I left off by saying that I was happily looking forward to playing through tiers 2 and 3 and the promise the Zealot would bring. I'll kick off this second article in the series by saying that I wasn't disappointed in the least. The Zealot is an absolute pleasure to play as a PvP healer, despite the settings and circumstances I was presented with. The career's growth is robust and meaningful with a variety of attractive tactics and morale abilities, while the playstyle becomes more and more refined over time. I could fill an entire column with anecdotes and memories of my time with the career through the middle tiers, as the Zealot is a career experience that tends to be quite engaging and memorable. Instead, I'll focus on my impressions of leveling through them. Thus, with my Zealot poised on the precipice of tier 4 at level 30, I'll look back and recall the issues I faced getting there.

Follow along after the cut as I discuss the middle tiers with the Zealot career.

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Waging WAR: The new RvR... Are we there yet?

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Expansions, Patches, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Hands-On, Waging WAR

This past week was an exciting week for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning as the new RvR systems were released for testing on the public test realm of Warpstone. Greg took part in both the Wednesday night and Friday afternoon sessions, and writes about his experiences and impressions in this week's Waging WAR.

When Mythic said that testing would begin in October, I don't think anyone expected to get his hands on the new changes to the RvR system so soon. Wednesday night was the first focused test, and I made it a point to take part. I also took part in the European-friendly session scheduled for Friday afternoon. Both events took place in the Tier 3 (Chaos vs. Empire) pairing across the zones of High Pass and Talabecland. There are certain issues that I feel are important enough to discuss regarding the way the new battlefield dynamics will bring about a golden age for melee careers, but this week, I want to focus on the RvR itself. Things have well and truly been shaken up, and this fresh experience is going to take some serious adjustment for veteran players as well as newcomers to the game.

Continue along after the break for more discussion on the topic.

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Waging WAR: Coming soon, to a theatre of WAR near you

Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Waging WAR

We interrupt this week's scheduled career spotlight on Waging WAR to bring you Greg's impressions of the latest and greatest news from the floors of GamesDay: UK regarding Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning and the new RvR content coming soon to a theatre of WAR near you.

OK. So. Take everything you know about the Tier 4 RvR Campaign in WAR and press the "Delete" button right now. In fact, press it a few times. Actually, keep going. Keep pressing it until all you're left with is three pairings with three zones each, each zone containing four battlefield objectives and two keeps, and two cities as the capstone for each realm. OK. Now access that part of your brain that stores silly words and euphemisms regarding "the problem with WAR." See that entry for "Waithammer?" Delete it. "PvDoor?" Press the button. Actually, just go wild. Take every criticism you've ever had for WAR's endgame and just throw it out. We're talking total tabula rasa here (and not the ill-fated game). OK, stop. That should do. With an open mind and absolutely no knowledge of in-game mechanics, you're now primed to understand what I'm about to describe regarding the changes that are on their way, and more importantly, why I believe those changes are so critical to the glorious future of WAR.

If your curiosity is even remotely piqued, click the "Read more" button.

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Waging WAR: Chaotic zeal, part one

Fantasy, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Waging WAR

Continuing in the tradition of the Nagarythe Chronicles, Waging WAR moves forward this week with the first issue of another multipart career spotlight for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. This time, however, Greg has defected to the velvet darkness of Chaos. Brandishing a skull in one hand and a twisted dagger in the other, Greg rolls a zealot and starts down a road of uncertainty, where the only constant is Change by the will of Tzeentch.

It has been a long time since I've played the game on the side of Destruction. Actually, truth be told, I've never really been serious about any Destruction character I've ever rolled at all, with my highest level being somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 or so on a blackguard when the class was first released. It has also been quite a while since I've done any career spotlights for the column. With those facts in mind, I've decided to do a multipart series for the zealot and to take a look at how they play and what makes them tick through the various tiers of growth up into Tier 4. The reasons I chose the zealot for the series are simple and few. First of all, the last time I had my hands on the zealot career was long before the new Harbinger mechanic was released, and I want to try it out for myself. Second, I have a considerable amount of experience healing (and DPSing) with my archmage, so I have a baseline for comparison. Finally, I thought a defection would be fun as I level and discover new areas, quests and storylines that I never gave myself a chance to become familiar with.

Follow along after the break as I take a look at the zealot through levels 1-11 in Tier 1.

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Waging WAR: The blame game

Warhammer Online, PvE, Opinion, Humor, Waging WAR

In this installment of Waging WAR, Greg flips the world all upside-down-like and examines the soft, warm underbelly of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. The PvE side. He holds a mirror to some of the questions he's found himself asking in bad situations involving mean, unforgiving bosses, and he shows us all how not to play The Blame Game. Oh, and HAPPY SECOND ANNIVERSARY, Warhammer Online!!! Ahem, we now return you to our regularly scheduled Waging WAR content.

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning is primarily about the RvR. As such, we don't often discuss some of the things in the PvE instances throughout WAR that we've all experienced at least once (or at least most of us, anyway). Whether you're heading into Hunter's Vale in Tier 1, setting up for a boss in the Tomb of the Vulture Lord, or preparing for any number of instances in-between (I can name five major ones off the top of my head), we've all been there and done that. Things have inevitably gone south for all of us at least once. For some of us, things have gone south repeatedly, on the same boss, with the same group, in the same instance. Frustration and enmity start to set in, and people start wondering, "What is going on here?" What follows then is usually a series of questions tracing a certain pattern that we ask ourselves as we try to figure out what the problem is. I guess it is only human nature to enter into this type of internal dialogue when faced with problem solving in social situations.

Follow after the break to see what I'm talking about.

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Waging WAR: Taking the stand

Fantasy, PvP, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Waging WAR

In this installment of Waging WAR, Greg makes it personal and sticks up for himself and Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. He draws his sword and board, holds the line, and explains in no uncertain terms why he still enjoys the game.

Recently, a few readers have suggested that my columns have essentially been slanderous. And while I'll admit that my writing about WAR hasn't exactly been all kittens and rainbows, imagine if it were. Would you be able to take me seriously if every week I came across as though I were a starry-eyed, adoring fan wearing rose-tinted glasses and playing the game through an internet connection made out of candy?

Although I recognize my responsibility for the game as a relatively well-exposed writer, I also recognize the ability of my readers to think critically about the things I say and to avoid knee-jerk reactions to the first sentence that doesn't exactly fit with their particular jigsaw puzzles of expectations. The simple truth is that, like many of you, I am simply a long-term player who cares very much about the future of WAR. I am affected by the same things that you are when you get frustrated by the games you care for. Sometimes, that care becomes concern or frustration. Sometimes, the truth hurts. Either way, all I ask is that if you choose to read this week's column, stick around to the bitter end, and save your comments until then.

So, in my defense, I'll take the stand and try to explain why I still enjoy the game, regardless of my recent frustrations.

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