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Don’t expect Warhammer to start off in a time of relative peace. This isn’t Middle-earth, and living memory doesn’t have much in the way of peace, even among relatives. For a start, Chaos Marauders have been threatening the stoic warriors of Nordland for centuries, but with their plague tearing through the town of Grimmenhagen, they seem closer than ever to taking control.
Meanwhile, The Bloody Sun Boyz, the vintage band of greenskin hooligans led by the performance-enhanced Orc Grumlok and his shoulder-mounted goblin Shaman Gazbag, have taken over and vandalized Eight Peaks, traditionally dwarf country. Still hungry for bloody conquest, they’re looking to take over Karaz-A-Karak, the Dwarven capital. Why? Pretty much because they hate dwarves as much as they love fighting.
That so many areas are on the brink of collapse isn’t just hollow, scene-setting drama. As EA Mythic’s Steve Perkins says: “In our game, you’re joining an ARMY.” His capitals - he totally means it. Mythic invented realm vs realm (RvR) combat with Dark Age of Camelot, and have had years to develop and refine the experience. The battlefields of World of Warcraft, for all their frantic point-capturing, feel like little more than a distracting side-game in areas kept artificially on the brink. In WO:AOR (or WO to its friends) you’ll capture whole areas, plunder cities - even capital cities - for loot uniquely available to the RvR players. You can play old-fashioned player vs environment (PvE) if you like, but the war will find you in the end.
Moreover, players of Camelot had to wait for this kind of combat as a high-level endgame; in WO, you’ll be able to take part in the faction power-play from an early level. You’ll even be able to build your character entirely from RvR missions. You’ll miss out on some similarly unique PvE rewards, but at least no-one will come up to you and emote like a clucking chicken.