I'm back again! Because I'm crazy and only half-heartedly persistent!
Ok, I'm a realist, I know that my blogs don't necessarily get many reads or responses. That's not going to stop me from trying to bring some attention to a game that I feel is kind of cool and has some decent potential but hasn't really gotten much recognition thus far (possibly because it's still only in Open Beta, but, all the same.)
This time, I bring you...
I suppose the place to start is telling you what Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes is, because most of you probably don't know what it is.
What Is It?
Wrath of Heroes is a free to play PvP game created by EA Mythic and Bioware 's soemwhat newly merged Bioware Mythic that is currently in open beta. In it three teams of six players (that's 6v6v6, for the record) compete in short (15 minute time limited) PvP matches that resemble Battlegrounds (WoW), Warzones (TOR), Scenarioes (Warhammer Online), etc. Unlike an MMO's instanced PvP games, however, there are three teams (as previously mentioned), you don't have to worry about gearing up your character (not exactly, anyway), you only have 5 abilities, and you can change characters between deaths. As a result, it may be best described as the Call of Duty of MMO PvPing (thanks to for that one!)
The game has a growing array of heroes from the Warhammer universe (I'll get to the heroes later, but some examples are a Black Orc Greenskin, a High Elf White Lion, a Skaven Gutterrunner, and so on.) Three heroes are freely available for play each week (as I write this, the Ogre Irongut, Human Brightwizard, and Chaos Marauder are the current free to play heroes.) While these heroes are free to play, you don't get the full experience out of their free to play versions. Their skill trees are not accessible, you cannot assign Perks, Tactics, or Abilities to them, and you cannot change their skins. To unlock the full potential of a hero you must purchase them using either in game gold that is earned from logging in daily and for participating in matches or with real world money buying gems that can be used to purchase them.
Once a hero is unlocked you can assign points to a Mastery Tree that is unique to each hero. Mastery points are earned as you gain levels by earning experience from playing matches. Mastery Trees will allow you to unlock load out buffs for that specific hero (such as reducing the duration of negative effects on your hero, increasing the range or damage of certain attacks, and so on.) Each hero that is fully unlocked has three load out slots that you can fill with abilities, perks, and tactics that are unlocked either from the Mastery Tree or as rewards from wooden chests (that are either bought with gold or earned randomly at the end of a battle.) I won't get into too deep of specifics because I don't want to bore you and it's probably best if you just check it out for yourself as I'm sure I won't do it justice.
There are three different game modes in Wrath of Heroes. When I say game modes, however, I mean three different maps, each with a different objective. All modes share a few things. One, there is a fifteen minute time limit. Two, the objective is to reach 250 points before either of the other two teams. Three, there is a list of six bonus objectives you can complete during the match for bonus rewards (which I'll get to later.) When you start a game of Wrath of Heroes, one of the three maps is chosen at random for you to play on.
The current game modes are
Arena - an all out fight between three teams with no objective other than killing enemy opponents.
Mourkain Temple - a point capture style map with three flags and a relic. The more flags your team has control of, the more points you earn per kill. As long as you control one flag, you can take control of the relic in the middle of the map which gives you points over time.
Black Fire pass - a capture the flag style map where the goal is to collect and hold 3 runes within your teams base to quickly earn points over time.
In all three maps you gain points for killing enemies, but the game mode determines just how beneficial killing enemies is to reaching the 250 point objective.
Right now, with the game in Open Beta, there is a limited number of heroes that slowly goes up every few weeks. At the time of this writing there are 10 heroes in the game. Heroes range from melee to range, physical to caster, offensive to defensive to support, and so on, offering an array of different play styles to choose from.
Each hero has 5 abilities available to them - one basic attack that has no cooldown associated with it, and then four others that range from offensive powers to utility powers to stuns and buffs and debuffs, growing in power the closer to number 5 you get. While there are only 5 abilities, it still takes a fair amount of skill to use those powers to their full potential and just hammering on every ability when it goes off cooldown will only get you so far.
Aessa, for example, gets more powerful when using her abilities on players that are attacking her allies rather than attacking her, so it takes good timing and a good eye to use her abilities to their best effect.
For a full write up of all of the heroes and their abilities, check out the Wiki entry for the game! (It's easy work for me to update it with each new hero, but it's easy points and hopefully will be informative to someone other than me some day.)
I feel like there's probably something more I could put here, but I'm not sure what it is, and I may cover it when I get down to my experience with the game thus far.
Rewards! Everyone enjoys being rewarded for their time spent playing a game, and Wrath of Heroes rewards you with a slot machine.
As I mentioned earlier, each game mode has 6 challenges that you can do during the match to earn bonus rewards. This is best explained with a picture -
Some of these things are the same across game modes, and you always earn at least one slot just for playing in the game you completed. The challenges shared across modes are competing in the scenario, winning the scenario, placing in the top 3 scores, and queuing for the scenario in a warband (a premade group.) The other two challenges are unique to the scenario, such as getting a certain number of captures during the game, getting a certain number of kills in a single life, and so on.
The slot wheels reward gold most of the time, in varying quantities per slot, but the wheels can also reward wooden chests (which contain perks or tactics) and xp boosts.
The game also gives you the same slot machine type reward layout for logging in consecutive days, starting at 1 wheel and maxing out at 6 days logged (but as long as you keep logging in each day after that, you will continue to get all 6 wheels spinning.)
The gold that you are rewarded with can be used to buy heroes (which are, currently, between 30,000 and 60,000 gold - which periodically go on sale in the store), treasure chests, xp boosts, and hero skins.
Ok, I'm probably forgetting something. Those that have played the game, please feel free to let me know what I happened to forget or what I should add to this. I'm going to do a follow up to this blog documenting my experiences with the game thus far (the game is in open beta and still has a long ways to go, there are some flaws that I feel really need to be addressed in the game in the near future, but, as it's in open beta and not actually completely live, I don't hold those things against the game that much as they're things that will get better over time - namely the hero selection.)
If you haven't checked the game out yet and you like MMO PvP but want to try something with less of a serious investment (leveling to max level, gathering pvp gear, learning talent specs, so on, so forth) I highly suggest you check this game out. If you don't know if you like MMO PvP but you like PvP games, I may also suggest you check this game out. It's free, so you have nothing to lose but time by checking it out, and the worst that happens is you think it's bad and you never pick it up again - or you get hopelessly addicted to it and spend way too much money on it.
The action in the game is fast paced, matches are quick, and (in theory) there should eventually be something for everyone in the heroes to choose from.
I'm hoping that since Jeff briefly mentioned the game a few weeks ago on the bombcast that maybe once the game leaves Open Beta he, or someone else from the crew, will do something to get the game some more attention, but until then, I suppose it's up to me to try and get the word out on this game. So go, give the game a shot! You can check out more of the game, and download it, from the official site at wrathofheroes.warhammeronline.com
I also have a topic going for players to post their IDs so GBers can play together and another one for people to just talk about the game. Neither one has gotten many responses yet, so, hey, shameless plug to encourage people to go check those out!