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Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning - Creative Director speaks

The public quests also come into play in the Realm vs Realm combat that is one of AoR's key features. Even when you're not in a zone where direct player combat is allowed, there are public quests where the two sides act antagonistically towards each other, with competing rewards.

RvR is best shown in the full campaign game, powered by player vs player combat. It centers on the six races in the game, divided into three warring pairs. These are The Empire and Chaos; Orcs versus Dwarves; Elves versus Dark Elves.

When you enter the PvP areas, there's a string of five zones between the two capitals. Depending on the number of victories in an area, zones will be annexed under the power of one side. These points are accumulated from everything from individual confrontations in the zone, to the elaborate instanced games where opposing teams work against each other in scenarios built around domination and CTF mechanics. Eventually, you'll reach the capital city. Victory there will lead to a mass sacking of the city- a huge free-for all, with rewards aplenty - before the loser is empowered to push the armies back to the central zone. And until the losing side does something about it, their ruler is kept in the winner's capital city, in the stocks, to be humiliated with everything from tomatoes to farting on their head. Bragging rights really do matter.

Mythic is fully aware that in a post-World of Warcraft world, everything has changed. From acceptable aesthetics, to the entry bar, to everything: it all has to be re-examined. As such, Age of Reckoning is a clear post-WoW game, but still manages to maintain its own voice. "They're the modern-day equivalent of the Beatles. They've redefined the music industry," Paul argues. "We're not going to outsell them. What are we going to do? We could try and clone them, which would fail. Instead, we're going to be Led Zeppelin."

"We're going to choose one element we really like - in their case, hard rock, in our case, war. And we're going to go hell for leather on that." Hell for leather, straight to hell, looking for a fight with weapons in both fists and both in your enemy's face... the Warhammer world may be a nightmarish place to actually live, but for an online game's second life, it's looking increasingly appealing.