1UP has kicked up a brief preview of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, focusing entirely on the game's public quest system.
So I have to give it up to creative director Paul Barnett and the rest of the Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning team for including a feature that, among other things, is perfect for the 20-minute play session. Barnett explains: "Here's the problem with MMOs: I just don't have the time. I have to do things, like wash the car, pay the rent, fill that same car with gasoline, have my partner yell at me, see that the children are upset.... I'm just tired. Do I really want to go online, spam 'looking for group,' and hope that I find four other people who don't immediately type 'loser' in response? I don't want to get into a raid that'll take an hour and a half, because I only have 20 minutes before I have to give the kids a bath. Well, public quests are for you."
I jump right into a public quests, where, under the guidance of associate producer Josh Drescher, I have my Chaos Chosen (a sort of evil Paladin, with a heavy emphasis on auras and really evil-looking heavy armor) running around killing bad dudes called "wolf chargers" and the like. As I'm mowing these fools down, alongside a bunch of other players from the event (and possibly from Age of Reckoning's closed beta), I'm noticing that the overall goal is to kill something like 60 wolf chargers and 10, well, whatever enemy is middle management above the wolf charger. This illustrates that public quests are dynamically joinable encounters; just being in the area and fighting dudes makes me a contributor. Or maybe I could've just left. Well, that would've made this demonstration even shorter, so not only do I wade in to fight, but I also try to take on some fancily named guy on a horse -- who knocked me down a lot.