I'm not an MMO player. Well at least I wasn't. I played WoW and Star Wars Galaxies for a few months. That is the extent of my MMO experience. I wanted to get into an MMO and thought it would be cool to get in at the ground floor so I picked up Warhammer online. After leveling my Warrior Priest to level 10, these are my first impressions.
A WARRIOR PRIEST
Warhammer is great so far because there is so much to do. On my way to level ten, I would guess that less than a quarter of my XP is from quests. Or at lest traditional quests where you get an objective from an NPC, complete it and return to the NPC for XP. In Warhammer those types of quests have been interesting distractions. Instead i've been engaging in the Public Quests, Scenarios, and contested areas.
First the Public Quests. Each area has a War Story with chapters. In the opening area for the Empire, I started near Chapter one. (makes sense) Each area is split up into about 3 Chapters. With-in each chapter area there are public quests. Public quests are recurring scripted events that anyone can participate in. They usually have a story that goes along. The Public quests also have three parts. The first part will be killing a large amount of lower level enemies, the second fewer tougher enemies, and the third part a boss type enemy. Often each part has a time limit, so if you don't meet the objective then the quest will start over. This all takes place with-in a contained area.
One Public quest i participated in was set on a farm. The farmers had become possessed by tainted crops. The first part of the quest was to kill a certain amount of possessed farmers. the second part was to burn wagons full of the crops (while fighting off tougher enemies) and the last was to kill the warlock that possessed them. The public quests are difficult without a larger group. Depending on the quest and the levels you usually need at least 5 to 10 players.
The motivation to participate in the Public quests is Influence points. Each Chapter area has an influence meter with three levels. As you participate in the quests you get regular XP and influence points. At each influence level in each chapter you get a prize. the first level is usually some kind of buffing or healing potion, while the 2nd and third are armor, weapons, or accessories. Most of it is useful stuff. Also at the end of each Public Quest is a loot drop. Only part of the group that participate gets loot. There is a dice roll and depending on how much you contributed you get a bonus for your dice roll. Usually the top 4 or 5 get a loot bag. If you get a loot bag you will get the choice of one of six or so items out of the bag.
The Public Quests are a blast and a brilliant addition to the Game and mmo's. The best part is you don't have to worry about finding people and getting into a group to do and instance. You just show up and everyone is working together and making progress.
Warhammer is about a struggle between good and evil, called Order and Chaos. the areas are built around this. There are contested areas that border the lands of the two factions. In the contested areas are specific landmarks each faction tries to control. If you enter a contested area you are automatically flagged for pvp (on a normal server). If your side captures a landmark, the other side can't attempt to capture it for 15 mins. There is a meter on the top of the screen that indicates which faction in control on the most areas. If your faction gets an advantage, it provides minor advantages to all members of that faction (like extra %5 influence points gained, etc).
There are also scenarios, which are pvp. These are individual battles that are separate from the main world. To enter one you click a button and you enter a queue. soon after, you enter this separate battleground. The ones I played are set up with three control areas. Your team gets points the more areas they control. The first team to 500 points wins. After wards you just appear in the main world wherever you were when you entered.
Whenever you participate in any pvp you earn Renown points. These are special type of experience that can only be gained from pvp. you have two levels, your normal level, and your renown level. they are independent. Renown leveling provides separate bonuses from the normal xp. so far most of the renown levels have allowed me to increase stats of my choosing.
Overall I've had a blast with this game. There are so many ways to advance it keeps things interesting. I would warn those who are going to try the game. I found the first few levels to be a little slow, but after that the game really took off.
also, I obviously have only experienced a tiny amount of the content and only with one class. Keep that in mind. But with that qualifier, So I far I highly recommend you join the WAR.