Warhammer Online: AoR - New Details

Warhammer Online: AoR - New Details Warhammer Online: AoR - New Details Warhammer Online: AoR - New Details Warhammer Online: AoR - New Details Warhammer Online: AoR - New Details Warhammer Online: AoR - New Details Warhammer Online: AoR - New Details Warhammer Online: AoR - New Details

EA Mythic have released some new details on the careers and environments that will feature in the upcoming Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning title. The information examins the Black Orc and Ironbreaker careers and the Badlands Zone while we get some insight into the process
involved when bringing the popular game to the PC.

Dashiel Nemeth, Designer on Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning comments on the process involved: When designing careers, we have a couple of really critical objectives. These start with character - the look, feel, and background of the career - and also encompass style and accessibility, which will make or break the experience of playing it. In essence, the career has got to be both cool and fun, and that's no simple undertaking. To do this, we've established the character of each career, along with the essential elements of its function or role, and then built towards the middle, creating the entire package as a result.

With Black Orcs this wasn't too tough. The miniatures are awesome, the art is intense, and in the end it's a Black Orc and there's a lot we know about them just from that, so character is a synch. Looking at his function, a few things are also obvious: He hurts people however he can manage, he uses weapons, even if those are his fists and tusks, and he's also damn tough to kill. Square this up with our need to create a powerful Greenskin tank, and everything starts to come together just as nice as you please.

With the Ironbreaker we had somewhat less to work with - the visuals were great, but at a glance his character seemed to be almost generic to dwarfs. It's become clear however that we'd got it backwards - the Ironbreaker isn't like every other Dwarf, every other Dwarf is like him! Thus, we elected to focus on making him the essential dwarf. Capturing the qualities of sturdiness, steadfastness, and honor above all, we built a stout dwarfen defender who can hold a grudge like nobody's business, and we dovetailed those concepts with mechanics that filled the role.

Careers - Black Orc

Now den, some times what da boyz need is a lad what can take a beating, and beat back! Dey need a lad wif a serious pair of tusks! Dem needs a Black Orc!
- Grumlok, Orc Warboss on Strategy

Da bigger da Orc, da stronger da Orc. Da stronger da Orc, da more dat's Orc's da boss. No wonder da Black Orcs is always da bosses!
- Splinta, a Goblin in the Bloody Sun Boyz tribe

Armed and armored to fight in the thick of melee as a warrior and tanker, the Black Orc matches physical hardiness with a down and dirty brawler's fighting style to make himself the heart of any war band. With choppa and shield in hand, he can face down any foe unshaken, and his unique approach to fighting makes him as deadly with his fists as with either of those tools. He'll knock you down so you can't fight back, and then kick you while you're down, because there's no honor among Greenskins, and there's no such thing as a fair fight - and that's the way he likes it!

The Black Orc Specialty
The Black Orc's fighting style might best be described as brawling. He attacks with all the tools available - fists, feet, elbows, shoulders, and assorted other spiky bits, notably including weapons. His various attacks are designed to jar, disorient, or otherwise disable his enemy, and each of these conditions makes the enemy vulnerable to yet more punishment, in the form of other attacks which deliver additional effects based on the target's condition. The Black Orc's use of these tools revolves around the philosophy that the best defense is indeed a good offense.

Playing as a Black Orc
Combat for a Black Orc revolves around engaging and defeating enemies one at a time, while weathering the fire of their allies. As a front line fighter, the Black Orc is well equipped to withstand the attacks of his enemies, protected by shield and armor, and possessing a hearty constitution, but his greatest strength lies in his ability to disable his primary opponent with jarring blows and unexpected attacks, and then exploit the openings that creates to reduce the enemy's ability to fight back.

Fighting Black Orcs
When you fight a Black Orc it's most important to know your enemy and his abilities, so that you can counter them and keep him from reaching the potential of his deadly power. He will always have the tools to engage you, so there's little sense in trying to get around him, but if you're aware of his abilities - especially the multiple attacks he can chain off of one another - you can maneuver and use your own abilities to break up his chains, denying him maximum performance. Maneuver, selective engagement, and knowledge of the enemy are key.

The Black Orc Look
- Fully armored in heavy armor (with lots of spikes)
- Large very heavy shields (also with lots of spikes)
- Choppas and great choppas (with spiky bits stuck on)

Careers - Ironbreaker

To strike an Ironbreaker is to strike an anvil. You are more likely to re-shape your weapon than to move him… and heavens forbid one lands on you...
- High King Thorgrim Grudgebearer

The Ironbreaker is the quintessential dwarf - gruff, quarrelsome and taciturn. He is also your best friend on the field of battle, as any blow struck against his allies is a Grudge that is guaranteed to be repaid in kind. Equipped with his famed gromril armor, and practicing his elite weapon craft, he is a steadfast defender, proof against even the most powerful attacks, standing by his allies and ensuring their safety amidst the swirling chaos of battle. It is said that there are few warriors in the world who can boast they are as tough as an Ironbreaker, and none that can prove it.

The Ironbreaker Specialty
Nobody holds a grudge like a Dwarf, and no dwarf is dwarfier than the Ironbreaker. Every blow struck against him or his allies serves to fuel his ardor, and this in turn influences his every action - the greater the grudge born against a particular foe, the greater the effect of the Ironbreaker's attacks. The means by which the Ironbreaker exacts justice vary according to his choice of attacks, but one thing is constant: The only escape from his vengeance is death!

Playing as an Ironbreaker
As an Ironbreaker, your goal is to get between your friends and your foes and use your defensive abilities to absorb and deflect attacks. If you can't immediately claim a foe's attention, your grudge bonuses begin to make you a problem foes can't ignore as you grow more and more potent in your defense of your allies. Obviously, Ironbreakers truly shine in groups but even solo they are quite capable as long as they can get close enough to wear down foes with their axe or hammer.

Fighting Ironbreakers
Fighting an Ironbreaker calls for some tough choices: do you try to wear away the anvil or do you attack his friends and hope that the anvil doesn't fall on your head? The best approach is probably to remove the Ironbreaker through magic and ranged attacks, aiming to eliminate him before he can bring his power to bear. Barring that, a concentrated melee attack on the Ironbreaker may be your only hope to avoid creating an indestructible melee monster that knows your name and holds a grudge for a very long time.

The Ironbreaker Look
- Fully armored in heavy Gromril armor (shiny and ornate)
- Uses large heavy duty shields (elaborate and well crafted)
- Wields an axe or a hammer (also in the fancy dwarfen style)

The Badlands is the name given to the arid, rocky country that lies between the Worlds Edge Mountains and the Dragonback Mountains. To the north of the Badlands lie the Black Gulf and the Blood River, and to the south, the Blind River and the Marshes of Madness. Thorny scrub brush and gnarled, ash-grey trees are all that grow in the dusty, barren wastes of the Badlands. What water can be found is a foul and stinking brown, thick with mud and unfit for any creature to drink. Contributing to the dismal mood are twisting formations of jagged rock and the omnipresent ruins of the Mourkain Empire, still adorned in leering skulls and other emblems of death and decay.

This desolate land is home to some of the most vicious and brutal tribes of greenskins to be found anywhere. These tribes war constantly with one another, and many of the most successful greenskin leaders in the history of the Old World emerged from the Badlands to lead their tribes on a path of destruction and conquest. The harsh environment and constant state of conflict weed out the weak and unworthy. In the Badlands, only the strongest survive.

It is hard to imagine a less hospitable place for a Dwarf to visit, and yet they have come to the Badlands in force to carry out an important mission. In response to the fall of Karak Eight Peaks and the resulting blow to the morale of his people, the wise High King Thorgrim Grudgebearer has proclaimed that the Dwarfs will forge mighty weapons, more powerful than any the world has ever known. These weapons will be crafted from the best and rarest materials in the Old World, and one such ingredient is the gem called Brynduraz, or 'Brightstone' in the language of men.

In an age long past, the Dwarfs mined Brightstone from the tunnels beneath Mount Gunbad. It was in the Time of Woes that a horde of Night Goblins attacked the gold-rich mines and drove the Dwarfs out. Many years later, Mourkain Necromancers divined the existence of a powerful intersection of magical ley lines beneath the Gunbad mines. Determined to reach this nexus of power, they used their undead laborers to dig a great tunnel joining the mines with their own Empire, which at that time stretched across the Badlands. In the deepest hollow of the Gunbad tunnels, they built a great obsidian henge to channel the potent energies of the ley line convergence. The Mourkain never had the chance to use this power, for their great empire was destroyed soon after the completion of the henge.

Rumors of the existence of the Mourkain tunnel eventually reached the Dwarfs, but the tale was widely dismissed as a fanciful legend. Interest in the story was renewed when the High King announced his ambitious plan. Because the Gunbad mines were the only known source of Brightstone, the Dwarfs had tried many times to reclaim it. All such attempts had failed disastrously, for the Night Goblins were too well entrenched. A secret tunnel leading into the depths of the mines, however, might just give the Dwarfs a chance.

Even if the Dwarfs can find the tunnel, shipping cartloads of Brightstone safely back to Karaz-a-Karak will be a monumental undertaking. Like the nearby Marshes of Madness, the Badlands are tainted with the warping power of Chaos. All manner of predators both living and dead prowl the barren, rock-strewn hills and valleys. Ghouls stalk the craggy bluffs while packs of ravening Chaos Hounds hunt for easy prey under the light of the green-tinged moon, Morrslieb. Black-feathered carrion birds circle high above, searching with greedy eyes for their next feast. In the southern reaches of the Badlands dwells a great tribe of Ogres, and they will suffer no trespassers to enter their territory.

It will take every ounce of courage the Dwarfs can muster - and no small amount of good fortune - if they are to complete their task in the Badlands. If they can find the legendary Gunbad tunnel, they will bring much-needed hope to their people, and that alone may be enough to turn the tide of the war in their favor.