Before you get to take down capital cities, however, there’s lower-level PvP to fill your hours. In everyday world skirmishes, players are left to their own devices by the servers. Battlefields aren’t like WoW’s instances – they’re free-for-alls with reinforcements potentially arriving at any time, depending on who’s online. If you want a more controlled environment, you can play a scenario, in which teams are balanced using a point system, distantly akin to that used in setting up a game of tabletop Warhammer. Any player imbalance is adjusted automatically by NPCs joining the fray, a feature that’ll also reduce waiting times for these instances.
The looks, meanwhile, are as important to Warhammer creators Games Workshop as they are to fans, and Mythic is working closely with the RPG gurus to get the visual feel right. Like WoW, your character’s basic “look” will depend less on 50 cheekbone sliders and more on race, class and level. Getting the look right isn’t obvious; Warhammer lore has been drawn in many different styles, and now needs to be tailored to work within an MMO. “WO ’s art style,” explains Perkins, “is definitely influenced more by the miniatures than the cover paintings. This makes sense - the miniatures are crafted to be recognizable as you look down at them from the table. We need the same effect to aid in RvR grouping and combat.”
Whatever you do, just don’t call it cartoony. One of the prototype designs for the dwarf train was rejected last year because it looked like a demonic Thomas the Tank Engine, and Perkins is acutely aware of the balance to be struck between dirt, blood, struggle and an enjoyable play experience. “Just wait until you see how Chaos is coming along,” he insists. “No ‘cartoony’ demons there…”