Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning Preview

GameSpy shares their impressions of Mythic’s Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning after spending quite a bit of time in the game’s ongoing closed beta test.

Xbox LIVE’s Achievement system proved some time ago what kind of gameplay knots people will put themselves in for a score beside their name and a few virtual medals. This lesson wasn’t lost on game developers who have since developed any number of fascinating ways to use Achievements to change the way players play games. The Lord of the Rings Online took that idea and integrated it into gameplay as a sort of substitute talent system called the “Book of Deeds.” Warhammer Online’s Tome of Knowledge may eclipse them all, though.

Warhammer Online’s Tome of Knowledge is absolutely huge. There’s virtually no aspect of gameplay that it doesn’t track and record. There’s a kill counter for every type of creature (and player) in the game, exploration unlocks for finding specific locations in the game, well-written story snippets as a reward for following the PvE questlines, titles, new skills and much much more. In fact, while playing through the beta it seemed like there was a Tome unlock for almost everything. Clicking on your own character 100 times equals a Tome unlock. Going through a public quest naked merits a Tome unlock. Adding five players to your friends list is an unlock. And so on.

The impact of the Tome of Knowledge on gameplay can’t really be underestimated. While it’s tied intimately into the rest of the game, the Tome itself is a major piece of game content. There will certainly be a large contingent of players who take as their goal to unlock everything in the Tome. For everyone else, the Tome is a sort of goad for players to experience everything in the game. It’s worth playing that PvP Scenario one more time to finish an obscure Tome unlock. It’s worth going through low-level PvE quest lines in the other race’s areas and doing public quests that one has outleveled just to get the unlocks. One of the key benefits of the Tome is simply to keep the players circulating throughout the world and participating in all of its content.

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