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Video Game / Warhammer Online

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Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, usually abbreviated as WAR, is an MMO set in the world of Warhammer, the second of its kind. An earlier Warhammer MMO made by Climax was in development around 2003, but that first version fell through spectacularly when it tanked at the E3 and Games Workshop pulled its funding. Several years later, the license was acquired by Mythic Entertainment, who chose to develop it in a graphically brighter, more accessible format than their predecessor. It was released in late 2008 to record breaking sales, and received great critical acclaim. Unfortunately, early issues in server stability and a population thinned out over too many, combined with the release of the second World of Warcraft expansion at the height of these problems, led to it losing much of its early subscriber base and having large reductions in its development team.

Like in Mythic's previous MMO, Dark Age of Camelot, the emphasis is in Player Versus Player and their trademarked Realm versus Realm system. There are two sides with three races each: Order (the human Empire, the Dwarfs and the High Elves) and Destruction (Chaos, specifically Tzeentch's followers, the Dark Elves and the Greenskins). Every race has four unique classes open to them, leading to quite a bit of variety and some serious Alt Itis.

Unfortunately, the game was shut down on December 18th 2013, as the licence agreement Mythic had with Games Workshop came to an end at that time.

Fortunately, it is being saved from Lost Forever by the folks at Return of Reckoning; it is still very early in testing however.

Most of the universe's general tropes can be found on the main Warhammer page.

This game provides examples of:

  • 20 Bear Asses: Of the "kill X number of monsters" in disguise variety, since in this MMO every bear actually has an ass.
  • Achievement Mockery: There's a series of titles unlocked by failure, including dying via mobs up to a million times ("the Tragic"), being killed up to 100,000 times by enemy players ("the Feckless") or falling to your death 5,000 times ("the Pancake"). In addition to this there are specific titles for being killed by each enemy class, drowning in lava and several other dubious rewards that people nonetheless wear with pride.
  • An Adventurer Is You: Every race has a tank, a ranged DPS, a melee DPS and a healer.
  • Age of Titles: "Age of Reckoning" is used as a subtitle.
  • All Webbed Up: Several quests go into a town overrun with "Silkens", giant mutant spiders that wrap victims in cocoons. One of them is to burn the cocoons of marauders who have proven too weak to the cause by being cocooned as food/gestation units and need to be destroyed to ensure the weakness is purged. Another is to gather the blood of a prominent villager and anoint a banner with it — the villager happens to have already been cocooned, so you need only stab him and gather the blood from the twitching, prone cocoon.
  • Barbarian Hero: Every Chaos character would be this in some fashion, as they are essentially a society of demon-worshiping Vikings. While not really in the game itself, but one of the tie-in novels has Kormak, a Chaos Marauder that is the living, breathing personification of this trope.
  • The Beastmaster: White Lions and Squig Herders, who go into battle accompanied by their namesakes.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: The Greenskins faction leaders, Grumlock and Gazbag, are a hulking Orc warboss and a diminutive Night Goblin shaman who rides on his shoulder.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: How the Witch King is controlling the Orc leader, Grumlok, and his goblin shaman lieutenant Gazbag. He also increased their power tenfold while he was at it, so it's not all bad. That said, it's implied in the Greenskin story arc that he may not be as in control of Gazbag as he believes.
  • Burn the Witch!: Witch Hunters. Especially the "Burn Away Lies" ability which has that picture as the tooltip.
  • Canon Foreigner: Of the Destruction leaders, only Malekith the Witch King is a preexisting character in Warhammer canon. Tchar'zanek, Grumlok and Gazbag are wholly original characters created for the game.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Mostly averted since the armor for both genders is almost identical, but played straight with Witch Elves (which are female only) and Sorcerers which have far more revealing armor models for females. To lesser extent, Dwarf Slayers who are bare chested but in practice have 'medium' armor. As comparison, Witch Hunters' longcoats are considered 'light' armor. At least we're not expected to believe that the skimpy clothing of the Witch Elves and Sorceresses actually provides protection — both careers are lightly armoured and die if you poke them.
  • Combat Medic: The game has a liking for this trope. While both Warrior Priests and Disciples of Khaine can heal from a distance, their abilities work best when they can smash shit up to power their healing.
  • Death Seeker: Slayers, Dwarfs who failed at upholding an oath and found the shame unbearable enough that they relinquished everything they had, dyed their beards a bright red and swore an oath to die in battle. They go into battle wearing no armour, and because of the darkly humorous nature of the setting, tend to survive.
  • Developer's Foresight: Invoked in what was dubbed the "plungers of the world" during dev-vlogs. Plungers, in this case, referring to Looney-Tunes style explosive detonators. When play-testers find secrets like "If you jump from exactly this spot, aim yourself so you hit that tree on the way down, slide through the gray patch of dirt, and use a dash right before you land, you can run around on an infinite field of nothingness," most game designers put up an Invisible Wall or Insurmountable Waist-High Fence rather than make it reasonably unreachable. These guys put in little do-dads like said plungers, an achievement for getting there, and (if you were lucky) a pretty explosion that blew your corpse all the way back to the graveyard, since that was the only way to get out of the glitch-hole. Why exploding you instead of say, teleporting? Because big explosions are awesome.
  • The Engineer: The Dwarf Engineer, obviously, who can build gun turrets.
  • Evil Counterpart: Nearly all of the playable classes for each side have a counterpart on the other who shares their gameplay gimmick, usually with some mechanical tweaking to alter the playstyle involved. For example, the Knight of the Blazing Sun and Chosen are both tank characters with support auras; but while the Knight's auras are usually buffs for teammates, the Chosen's auras are debuffs that apply to surrounding enemies.
  • Femme Fatale: The Witch Elves. Being married to a psychotic God of Murder and ready to treat any man who lays a finger on them to an agonizing death doesn't stop them having special abilities to reduce incoming damage just through their massive hotness.
  • Flaming Sword: Knights of the Blazing Sun and Chosen have these in some variations. Bright Wizards can also buff party members with this.
  • Glass Cannon: Many of the ranged DPS classes, especially the Bright Wizard and Sorcerer. The Witch Hunter and Witch Elves have the highest single target damage in the game, bar none, but die at the drop of a hat.
  • God Is Evil: The "Faith is Madness" questline for the Empire has you meet the (implied) avatar of Sigmar himself. He is a very... extreme guy. An avatar of a god, however, is simply a piece of the god and only represents certain aspects; there's another confirmed avatar of Sigmar who is one of the only completely good characters in the setting.
  • Hand of Glory: One of the destruction quests in Ostland is making a Hand of Glory from a candle sacred to Sigmar and the severed hand of a Ghoul, Faethel the Ragged. Being a MMORPG, the Player Character has to go out and gather the parts themselves.
  • Horny Vikings: Much like their tabletop counterparts, the Chaos faction is an entire race of bloodthirsty daemonic Vikings. Chaos characters even start out in south Norsca as tribesmen.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Cold Ones (giant lizards) for the Dark Elves, wolves for Goblins, boars for Orcs. The other races just get horses (Chaos Steeds for, er, Chaos, Elven Warhorses for the High Elves or plain horses for the humans). Dwarves get a horse of a VERY different color, steam-punk personal helicopters that allow them to hover a few feet off the earth but act as a mount in every mechanical way.
  • Master Swordsman: Swordmasters, the High Elf mêlée damage class, are elves who have trained for centuries to master the use of the two-handed greatswords and have become some of the most skilled swordsmen in the world.
  • Ninja: Shadow Warriors are ninja elves.
  • Not the Intended Use: The "Flee" ability is most often used to get from point A to point B faster.
  • Orgasmic Combat: Present and quite over the top. If those kind of screams disturb you, do not roll a female character.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains:
    • Armour for female characters of the Order faction is invariably practical, or at least not revealing (most of them are exactly the same for both sexes). Female Zealots wear a skirt and bra thing, Dark Elf Witch Elves run around in their underwear and Sorceresses (just the females) wear revealing robes. Two aversions in the Chaos Magus and Dark Elf Black Guard careers, where both sexes are pretty well covered and definitely villainous, as are Disciples of Khaine.
    • Male Zealots go shirtless; ironically, females have more covering due to this.
  • Pistol-Whipping: The witch hunter's gun will also be used as a melee weapon in melee combat. There is even an ability called 'Pistol Whip'.
  • Playing with Fire: Bright Wizards. Let's see, for your three mastery paths you have "burn stuff more quickly", "burn stuff more effectively over time" and "burn lots of stuff at once". Yeah, they're one of the most popular classes. The core mechanic of the class also involves improving your ability to set other things on fire by setting yourself on fire (as in, actually adversely affecting your own health pool).
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender:
    • Most Order classes (except Slayers) and a few Destruction ones.
    • Averted with Chaos Chosen and Marauders; mostly because in the former, they're horrifically mutated and covered in unholy armour (though in the greater background there is at least one case of a female Chaos Chosen). It's odd why Marauders can't be women, though. Female Marauders are even present as N.P.Cs.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A couple to World of Warcraft. One of the Scenarios is "The Guns Of Nordenwatch", named after either the World of Warcraft quest "The Guns of Northwatch" or the book The Guns of Navarone (or both), and the '/charge' emote in this game is something like 'X orders you to charge. Who does he think he is?' to Warcraft's 'X orders you to charge'. Also, Stop Poking Me! is present.
    • A quest in one of the Greenskin tier 4 zones is called "I Smish on your Grave", presumably after the infamous "video nasty" I Spit on Your Grave.
    • The Greenskin Choppa ability Git To Da Choppa is a reference to Predator.
    • The Choppa also has a career mastery called Red Goes Faster! which is a reference to Warhammer 40,000, where orks would paint their vehicles red. Because of their psychic powers, red vehicles actually do go faster just because the orks believe that they should.
    • In Norsca you meet a sorcerer named Majere who happens to have golden-hued eyes with slit pupils. Not hourglass-shaped but still close enough.
  • Squishy Wizard: The Bright Wizard class is probably the squishiest in the game. Sorceresses/sorcerers for the Destruction side fill the same role.
  • Stop Poking Me!: Aside from the annoyed dialogue ensuing from clicking on other characters repeatedly, clicking your own character enough times unlocks titles.
  • Sword and Gun: Witch Hunters, who use a flintlock pistol in one hand and a sword in the other.