Warhammer Wrath of Heroes
Luckily I had the chance to be part of a press event for the upcoming new Warhammer game, Wrath of Heroes. In this event we were able to play some games with the developers and we were taught some of the scenarios. Together with JamesBl0nde who also offered up his video impressions yesterday, we played three scenarios on three different maps. In my write-up I'm going to focus on my impressions of each of these scenarios.
In the first game I teamed up together with some other members of the press to play versus the other teams. My first thought on the game was Wrath of Heroes does things differently. Unlike many other games in this genre there will always be three teams on the battlefield and each team consists of six players. At first I was hesitant that with 3 teams and 18 players the entire bout would just be a free for all orgy in the middle of the map. To my surprise this works out quite well and character builds, player skill, and team composition really has a stark contrast on the outcome. It was a lot more exciting having to worry about a third party gank while in a vicious struggle to hold an objective or protect our flag.
In the first game the objective was to capture one of the surrounding flags, there are in total three flags and once you take over one of the flags you are able to go to the middle building and take over the artifact. When capturing these flags the team automatically receives points; after your team has taken over a flag it is possible to take over the artifact, leading to an even faster accumulation of points. Each kill that is made by your team will also earn you points, so even if your team is full of rogue vigilantes out for revenge instead of a cohesive objective focused team there's still a chance you can come out on top. The scenarios are relatively short and capped by a 15 minute time limit as well as a mercy score limit. The game is surprisingly intuitive if you've ever played Warhammer Online or MOBAs, and I had no problem topping the scoreboard in my first match just through learning the mechanics on the fly!
Black Fire Pass
In the second game we played a new game mode that I actually haven't seen in any other game before. In this scenario the point was to collect as many coins for your base as possible out of the three coins in the field. Once the game starts each one of these coins will automatically spawn in the middle and you have to try and get as many as possible. Once one of these teams has taken one of the coins back to their temple their job is not done. It is always best to have the three coins in your temple but you will have to attack and defend at the same time, since the other teams are able to snatch that coin back and capture it as their own. So unless your team doesn't hold any coin yet I would advise you to always have someone overlooking your precious coin. I haven't seen this game mode before, but I must say that I think it is the most awesome scenario of the three we played.
The last scenario is none other than the Arena! In the Arena three teams will have to fight against each other in order to win the game. There are no rules whatsoever, and it requires some real team play in order to win this scenario. As a lone soul I had been successful sniping down opponents in the other scenarios. However when killing your opponents is the primary objective, I found most teams moved in packs. After two quick deaths I learned my lesson and regrouped with my faction. The Arena is definitely not my scenario of choice if I'm planning to play solo.
Since Wrath of the Heroes is a free to play game you will have to purchase some of the heroes in the store. In the store you can find a lot of other heroes with all of their own unique abilities, and if you don't really like their default skin you can purchase a variation. In the store you will also find some items that will boost your experience or your money income.
If you played Warhammer Online you may feel a bit of nostalgia seeing some of the familiar skills reused in this title. Many spells that are used by some of the heroes are actually a direct copy from Age of Reckoning and even some of the heroes look like characters that you were able to make. Personally I don't really mind this transition since Wrath of Heroes is a free game.
Although I only had a short period of time to test the title, I was impressed by what has been put together. The developers seem to take community feedback seriously and have demonstrated that they are still masters of PvP scenarios. I seriously hope they will also try to add a competitive side of the game, like some sort of team league or a ladder system for the real die-hard fans that are as much into e-sports like I am.