In the third installment of our twice monthly Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning Q&A series, Community Coordinator Richard Duffek gets talks about lore, the kinds of quests, instancing and much more!

WarCry Q&A: Warhammer Online (#3)
Answers by Richard Duffek (Community Coordinator, EA Mythic)
Questions by Matt Lowery[/i]

Witch Hunter (exclusive)

Witch Hunter (exclusive)

WarCry: What timeline will WAR follow? Will famous characters from the WAR lore be in the game? (e.g. Emperor Karl Franz and Teclis).

Richard Duffek: Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning takes place in its own timeline, separate from that of the table top or RPG games. This allows us to pick and choose the best events and characters from Warhammer’s 25 year history to include in our game. It also gives us the freedom to add or modify things to fit within the confines of the game. As you journey through the world, you meet many famous characters from the Warhammer universe and get a chance to fight against and with many of them, including Malekith, the Emperor Karl Franz, High King Thorgrim Grudgebearer, the Phoenix King of Ulthuan, and many more.

WarCry: You have said that WAR will have public quests where we will have quests that are multi-part and different people can participate. Can you explain a bit more how public quests will work and what kinds of quests we will see using this?

Richard Duffek: Most PvE content in an MMO is geared toward solo or small group play, and the rewards only benefit that individual or group. When that quest is done, you move on to the next one, often with only the vaguest of connections between the two. With our focus on RvR, we needed to change that paradigm and allowed PvE quests to engage the entire army and make player feel as though they are contributing to the overall war efforts. Thus the Public Quest was born.

A Public Quest is a community driven, story-based, multi-stage quest open to anyone within a certain geographic region. These quests are really the PvE component of our RvR system. They give players the feeling of being in large army fighting for the glory of their realm. The first stage or two are usually solo-able, but later timed stages and boss battles require the participation of multiple players to defeat. These players don’t need to be “grouped” in the traditional sense. By just walking into a PQ zone, players will be given the goals of the quest and are automatically allied with other members of their realm to complete the quest.

Players can contribute as much or as little as they like to a Public Quest. They can spend a few minutes playing through a part of a stage and then move on, or they can play through the entire quest from start to finish. Their reward will be based on their level of participation. Those that contribute the most, sticking around to defeat the boss, will get the best rewards and loot.

Here is a simple example of a three stage Public Quest (many will have as many as five different stages) from the Chaos starting zone:

As players begin the game, they are charged with attacking a village protected by a powerful Bright Wizard. He is ensconced high in his tower and a battery of Hellcannons has not been effective in stopping his barrage of fireballs. As you join the invasion of the town, you come across a number of Chaos Magi working to summon a daemon to destroy the tower. Phase One of the PQ has you protecting the Magi from Empire soldiers attempting to disrupt the ritual. Phase Two has you collecting the souls of the dead soldiers to complete the ritual. When the daemon appears, a group of Empire Bright Wizards are called in to join the fight. The battle does not go well for the daemon, so Phase Three has you battling the Bright Wizards and defeating their leader. With the daemon destroyed and the wizards out of the way, it is now up to the players to directly assault the tower as they proceed through the rest of the level.

WarCry: Without the extensive use of instancing, how will you handle certain areas that are camped for XP or loot, how will you make sure people aren’t sitting around waiting for a spawn?

Richard Duffek: Really, the game is being built in such as way to alleviate this problem. You’ll certainly gain items from killing monsters, but the best places for loot and XP are going to be RvR and Public Quests. It is near impossible to camp in RvR and we want you hanging around to participate in the Public Quests. PQs are at their best when a group is present to complete all the stages.

WarCry: You have said that the “Orcapult”, that cool looking catapult from the trailer that launches an Orc at a castle wall, is now in game. Can you explain how it works? Can we actually jump inside it, and be launched toward castle walls, or is it more of just a fast transportation?

Richard Duffek: It is indeed in the game, and from personal experience, I can say it’s a blast. You get a great view of the landscape as you fly through the air. I don’t want to give too many specifics though. I’d ruin that ‘Oh WOW!’ moment when you come across it in the game and experience it for the first time. Anyone playing the Greenskins should get to it within the first hour of play or so.

WarCry: When players capture Strategic Points on the Battlefield they can earn bonuses for their army. Can you give us some examples of what kinds of bonuses there will be, and will they affect just your race, or your entire side?

Richard Duffek: They will vary from point to point. Some will only affect the people in the general area; others will affect your entire army. How long you manage to hold them will also come into play, making the act of defending them just as important as the initial capture.

Got any comments on this? Let us hear ’em on the board!

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