Friday 28 October 2011

Wrath of Heroes - NDA gone, so some words

OK here's my take on Wrath of Heroes...

It's exactly as Mythic said: fast, furious and fun. But what they didn't say is it's not aimed at a gamer like me or probably you if you're reading my blog. It's a shallow game that requires no real thought or planning, as there is no real depth or character development in WoH, it's just a drop straight in and play thing with barely anything else to care about. That's not necessarily a bad thing, many folks will see that as a huge benefit, but for me after the initial new toys phase wore off it became a little dull as an overall experience and I have no motivation to log back in. Which meant I just couldn't be arsed with the last few beta events, so I've not tried out the latest heroes and maps added and as such can't pass judgement on those fine details and the current state of balance between the heroes.

The core game itself is just instanced scenarios, which according to Bioware Mythic are "the best bit of WAR", which is obviously complete bollocks as WAR's scenarios are nothing but the standard instanced stuff from PvE MMOs with bolted on PvP. Wrath of Heroes has no relation to WAR's real character and defining feature; open world RvR. So a better statement would be "we took the best bit of WoW".

Harsh? Maybe. True? Definitely.

They have however made the excellent improvement of having 3 teams and that does make for much more dynamic and interesting gameplay, particularly when in a match with multiple premade groups. Apparently this was learnt from DAoC, though really we know this was learnt from WAR and almost everyone that played it over the last few years saying why the hell did you not learn from DAoC? :P

However Warhammer lore fans should note that it is 3 teams and NOT 3 factions, so you will get Chaos, Orcs, Elves and Dwarves all on the same team. A bit shite, but really I don't think they had much choice, as restricting it into proper factions would make it harder to balance and would present problems for a game that requires 3 equalled numbered teams for it to function. Whilst ORvR campaigns work very well with 3 factions of varying population, alas instanced PvP is not very flexible in that regard. So gameplay wins over style, theme and atmosphere. If that's a good or bad thing is totally down to individual preference.

Visually the game looks better than some screenshots suggest and it runs extremely well, though I do think some of the characters are a bit dull and they look like the most basic of their WAR equivalents. That is possibly contributing to the excellent performance, which was impressive and if so is certainly justified.

The heroes only have 5 abilities, which does make gameplay rather shallow, but I think the key here is it's 5 per character and with so many characters to play you can mix it up to keep things fresh. I personally enjoyed playing the Skaven Gutter Runner the most, closely followed by the Black Orc and Marauder.

So we have a fun game, that runs very well, but is just not  ticking my boxes. I quite liked it, I just don't care about it. It is NOT an MMO in any way or form and I like MMOs, arena games leave me a little cold. WoH is an ok game and will do reasonably well, but it is not good enough to stop me being disappointed, disenchanted and irritated by the whole situation with this and WAR. If as suggested it will benefit WAR, with more than just jpegs on Facebook teasing people, then I wish it well.

The problem is I just don't believe it will. Mainly because the timing is all off, with 2012 being all about SWTOR, GW2 and even WoW's panda bear bollocks. WoH doesn't compete with those games, but WAR does and I simply can not see how it will find a time slot, let alone the content required, to force itself back in to people's gaming schedules. Unless of course something really drastic happens and unfortunately that is extremely unlikely.

Which I shall say again just doesn't matter for WoH, it's going for a whole other audience and I'm not included.


  1. I came up with kinda the same conclusion as myself after playing in for a few betas. Its so shallow.

    And the anger I have against Mythic for putting money in a crappy project insteed of putting efforts in WAR, isnt doing things better for my part.

  2. Panzer Corps and the upcoming DLCs are excellent though quite expensive. Maybe it will entertain you when MMOs and spin-offs like WoH fail. It might not fail but as pointed out you are not the target audience. That's the MOBA/DOTA crowd.

    The thing is, how is this supposed to save/improve WAR itself. It's rather like salvaging the art assets of the game.

    This said, I have little PvP hopes for 2012. GW2 seems to have a really well done "Arena" mode, but guess what, PvP in GW never worked for me because especially very smallish Arenas just don't do it for me.

    So let's see if the upcoming World vs World vs World will manage to be more than a Battleground type of PvP with a longish name.

    Do we really have to put all open world pvp hopes on Prime BFD?

  3. ReakTootzi - Basically, yup. Stuff IS coming for WAR, but it's just happening so slowly that for the first time I'm a little worried about it's survival at all. Server status reports from the few people I know still playing are not good. Patching speed needs to be dramatically increased.

    Longasc - I couldn't justify the cost of Panzer Corps tbh. I know I'd like it, but I find their prices slightly offensive considering how much I can get boxed copies of other games for.

    Plus I'm busy at the moment with Spacemarine multiplayer for my main PvP hit, mixed in with a bit of RIFT warfronts and of course I'm properly stuck into FM2012... Oh and Skrim arrives in 2 weeks :)

  4. Hammer + nail connection right here. WoH is for the LoLers and a slap in the face of all WAR subscribers.


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Half man half pixel. Music obsessive, likes a drink, occasional bastard.