Warhammer Online is a game I look forward to with great zeal. I have been a huge fan of Games Workshop for decades. Their superbly crafted game world is one of the finest settings in games or in print. The rich details of their world have been refined over decades of table top gaming, RPGs, source material and fiction. Although Warcraft may be much better known than Warhammer it does not take much stretching of the imagination to believe that much of Blizzard's world design was copied verbatim from materials published by Games Workshop. Take this rich fantasy world and put it in the hands of the enthusiastic developers at Mythic and you have everything you need to create an MMO to rival all others.
The game has both PvE and PvP elements with the majority of the focus being placed on PvP. The world is divided into two regions, one ruled by Order, the other By Destruction. Players will have the option of either staying in their own lands doing generally pve activities or of venturing into the lands of their opponent for pvp action. Either way the focus of gameplay is on supporting the war effort and contributing to the cause.
Through PvP it is possible for one side to capture the territory of the other and doing so contributes victory points to the higher level regions above it. Conquering a tier moves that faction closer to victory in the next higher tier which contributes to winning the final and most important tier which allows players to invade the most guarded homelands of the other side.
PvP aside, by remaining true to the games lore and fiction, Mythic has created a wide array of character classes for people to play. Some will be familiar and others will be very different from the usual archtypes. Alongside the standard warriors and wizards we are offered classes such as the Goblin Squig Herder, the Dwarf Engineer and the Chaos Marauder. There are 6 factions in all, three for each side and each faction has four unique classes to choose from. Each class has the potential to offer players the opportunity to do things in ways they never have before and discover new styles of game play.
The game had originally been scheduled for release in 2007 but, after Mythic was acquired by Electronic Arts and received additional funding, they decided to take an extra 6 months to further polish areas that had been done before as they completed the game. In the links section below are two particularly important videos you should watch if you are interested in the game. The first is a description of the overall campaign and how the different tiers are controlled. The second talks about the different types of RvR, the actions players can take to control an individual zone. Understanding these will give you insight into how the game is played, what kinds of things you will be doing, and the ultimate objectives.
Some of the interesting features are a new kind of advancement system where you pick and choose which skills you want to raise, quests that are closely linked to the ongoing conflict, public quests shared by all players in a region, guilds will be called companies and can rent buildings in towns, and many new mechanics for combat.