New Zealand's Gameplanet is next to review Mythic's Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, giving the newly launched MMO an 8/10.
Installation for our copy of the game was a nightmare, and an inexcusable nightmare at that. The long load time (during which the progress bar appears not to move at all) had us looking at the task manager to see if in fact it was working, and the very business-like load screen was nothing compared to the absence of an executable file at the end of it. Yes, you got it, the only file that looked anything like an executable was the patch file, and unfortunately this crashed. A trawl through the internet revealed that this was not an uncommon problem, and after a new version of the patch executable together with a 200MB update we were finally into the game. The absence of a robust game loader is inexcusable. We understand this is a problem affecting only Australasian copies of the game; regardless, it's a right royal screw up.
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The game starts up with the already released trailer intro (which hung on our review machine) after which you're dropped into the game proper. The first order of business is to select the server you wish to play on. Kudos to EA Mythic for including at launch a bunch of Oceanic based servers, which was something that WoW has managed to do in name only. You have a choice between RPG, Core and PvP (no realm is safe). You are then given the choice of the Forces of Order (Dwarf, Empire and High Elf) or the Forces of Destruction (Green Skin, Chaos and Dark Elf). Each of these differing races has three distinct character types which in total gives you 18 different character classes, add to this the different talent trees in each class (these kick in at level 15) and this has to be the most varied character selection in any MMO we have seen.
This has its problems of course, as although some effort has been made to differentiate each class, some do have a level sameness about them. That is to say they have different abilities, but the same effects.