Choose My Adventure: An intriguing but PvP-free first foray into Warhammer Return of Reckoning


I promised that this month’s CMA column would feature my attempts at getting into some PvP MMO action. Sadly for you (but mercifully for me), the opening steps I’ve taken in to Warhammer: Return of Reckoning were not so active in that regard. Still, I’m beginning to slowly appreciate what makes this game beloved by folks.

Full disclosure, first off: I actually despise the Warhammer IP. It reads too much like some edgy teen’s idea of hard-bitten fantasy fiction that they posted on a personal blog. My selection of race and class most certainly didn’t do this feeling any favors because I elected to go with a Dark Elf Disciple of Khaine. This wasn’t necessarily because I like Dark Elves, wanted to join the Destruction faction, or gave a toss who Khaine is, but because the class is a healer that requires me to get in the mix and slash at people with two swords like some kind of confused Drizzt Do’urden. And since the polls told me to go with my heart, that’s the choice I’m going to live with.

Despite the issues I have with the setting, I absolutely feel like I’ve made the right choice in terms of career. The Disciple of Khaine not only dishes out some tasty damage in the early going, but it also has this outstanding toolkit that sees me winning by attrition, which is one of my favorite ways to win fights in MMOs. I’ve already unlocked several skills that dish out heals when I complete attacks, and combined with some full-on damage attacks and a HoT skill, I’ve been given the sense that I can stand up to most threats. Admittedly, this hasn’t really been put to the proof yet, but at one point in a public quest I was able to solo a pretty stingy Hero-level foe as I slash-healed my way from the edge of defeat to victory.

Speaking of public events (and gameplay in general), WAR ROR definitely has some fun things going for it. It’s mostly been an on-the-rails paint-by-numbers themepark MMORPG experience, but along the way my quests have guided me in to public quests that have three stages’ worth of objectives to complete, all for the opportunity to be at the top of a leaderboard and get shinier rewards from a chest at the end. Think Destiny 2 public events but with a very angry Elf woman and all of the dark fantasy visual tropes one could ask for.

As for the main questing itself, it’s middling to boring at best. There are a couple of weird design choices in the game that rankle, such as the minimap not doing a particularly good job of highlighting quest objective areas, “glowies” needed for certain objectives not being too terribly glowy, and nearly every questgiver NPC having three or four different quests to do, which seems like a weird complaint but considering the previous two complaints it just makes them stand out that much more. There are also a couple of visual oddities in the game as well; more often than not, enemies I attack will scuttle backwards to me in a very Japenese horror film manner. It’s a simultaneously funny and unnerving bug. Even so, no game is entirely perfect and none of these issues have ultimately bogged down my enjoyment of my class.

Of course, this all sort of misses the point for this month’s objective. I have not gotten into a single PvP fight yet. Considering I’m low level that does make perfect sense and I would rather not have some high level bored person steamroll me every time I tried to complete a quest objective, but I also get this distinct impression that the guided tour is simply setting me up for failure down the line, with no real exposure to at least on-level PvP fights to try and temper me in the crucible of combat.

With that in mind, that leads both in to my plans going forward and the first poll for this week. I want to give WAR ROR one more shot to see how its PvPing feels, but I turn to you fine readers for advice and direction. I am currently Rank 10, which according to the map seems to be enough to get me into the first open PvP area, but I’m also reasonably sure that the themepark breadcrumb trail is leading me the way it is for a reason. Or is it? Let’s plan it out with poll one:

Should I start picking fights or stay on the path?

  • Pick fights. Head to a PvP area and see how things shake down. (75%, 93 Votes)
  • Stay on the path. The game's PvE questing is guiding you for a reason, doofus. (25%, 31 Votes)

Total Voters: 124

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As for poll two, since I plan on giving this game one more week at least, I suppose it’s not a bad idea to plan the next PvPing destination. So I’m bringing back last week’s poll options to plan ahead on the next PvP title to go to. This does come with the asterisk that I may continue with WAR ROR for another week if things turn out well or if I have new polling choices come to mind. Even so, let’s plot our course.

What PvP title should I try out next?

  • Darkfall Rise of Agon. If themepark isn't working out, try a sandbox. (45%, 46 Votes)
  • Blade & Soul. Yes, it's themepark, but it has flagging! (14%, 14 Votes)
  • Guild Wars 2. Get into the structured PvP scene. (41%, 42 Votes)

Total Voters: 102

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As usual, polling will wrap up at 1:00 p.m. this coming Friday, February 5th. Until then, I’ll once more be very curious to see what the polls look like as well as any good ideas from the game’s community on where to go next. This is wholly new territory from an old game, which is kind of awesome; it’s nice that even classic titles in this genre can still surprise you.

Welcome to Choose My Adventure, the column in which you join Chris each week as he journeys through mystical lands on fantastic adventures – and you get to decide his fate. Which is good because he can often be a pretty indecisive person unless he’s ordering a burger.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

WAR was the first MMO with open public events. I remember the awe of stepping into a public event area and not having to ask for an invite. I could just start killing stuff. That was the beginning of my love affair with public events.

My other most abiding memory of WAR was having my video card literally blow up during a siege battle because of all the intense flashing FX from me and other magic wielders. It took two weeks to get a new computer (those were the days) and by the time I got back in the game, the peak had passed.

Gloriously fun. So yes, go find some PvP.


Personally, I’ve always loved the Warhammer IPs. It feels more like real life, where everything is terrible, and bad people fight other bad people to see who can do the most terrible things.

Bruno Brito

Full disclosure, first off: I actually despise the Warhammer IP.

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Bruno Brito

Real talk tho: Get to PvP. Warhammer actively punishes you for not PvP’ing. You have a second “exp” bar, which is the Renown Bar. You WILL want that bar to level with you, because you’ll get passives that are of extreme importance to your character.

So, get some levels, go join a PvP warband on the UI and travel to the RvR warcamps. Enjoy the zergy mess.


I would recommend stopping PvE in WAR and start getting stuck in with the PvP.

First off, try out the scenarios (instanced pvp). You can queue up using a button near your mini-map. I would recommend Nordenwatch first, its the easiest to understand, fairly quick and quite fun. I personally love Gates of Ekrund too, though it doesn’t pop up that often.

After you’ve done that for an hour or two (and most likely spent some time re-organising the terrible UI!), then you can go try out the RvR lakes. You’ll need to head to the Empire vs Chaos Tier 1 pairing as that is where all the action usually is. Join an open warband and have some fun. Tier 1 isn’t the best for RvR, it’s always active but it’s little more than bashing each other near the objectives, most classes don’t have enough skills yet to open up more interesting tactics.

Also, be aware of your level.

Original game was split into 4 tiers (1-11, 12-21, 22-31, 32-40) and the PvE was designed to support those tiers. RoR reduced it down to two tiers: 1-15, 16-40.

This means you can stick around in tier 1 for longer and have some fun with easy, simple PvP, but then as soon as you hit 16, you’re playing with the big boys (in RvR anyway, in scenarios, 16-39 is separated from the level 40s).

As you’re just testing the game out, it might be worth trying to push to 16 and then head to the RvR lakes just to see what it’s all about. With the scaling in the game, you won’t be completely useless, and it’s quite an experience to see 100s of players all battling it out over a keep.

Good luck and have fun!


Looking forward to seeing how Darkfall goes, assuming it wins the vote.


WAR – the game i really wish i loved more. In same aspects it hit all the right notes, and yet it some it failed miserably. World design was top notch, and i felt that all races had a very distinct feel and personality. Classes were also really well designed, each with its own niche and appeal. However, PVE content was very lackluster and PVP combat felt too rubbery and unimpactful. I felt like i was swinging wet noodles at enemies, and the visual lag made the dynamic combat feel almost comical. I just couldn’t get into it in the end.

IronSalamander8 .

As someone who did play WFB on the tabletop years ago, I agree on the setting not being my favorite (and 40K’s is even more obnoxious to me). But, I did like the Chaos Dwarves, Khemri, and greenskins quite a bit despite that. I quit GW games many years ago though.

I tried all the destruction classes and some of the order ones when the game was live but made Magus my main, despite the issues that class had in PvP. I’m not a big fan of PvP in games with an RP bent like most MMOs I’ve played, but in WAR, it’s to be expected.

The PvE stuff was indeed quite boring and I ended up running a lot of scenarios when the game was live, mixed with some open world PvP, but when I played on RoR, I focused on open world stuff to keep my RvR rank close/ahead of my level.

I really don’t think it’s hard to see why the game was shut down, but I also had a good time with it despite its flaws and my own dislike/indifference towards WFB. It’s one of the only MMOs where I PvPed much at all, and enjoyed a fair chunk of that.


I’m not a fan of the settings in either game (everything is grimdark, and basically every faction is evil because even the ones that oppose Chaos are openly racist, oppressive dictatorships, where free will is punishable by death. And any attempt at individuality is heresy, punishable by mandatory torture, and *then* death.) But I like the aesthetics of many of the factions. And the “everyone is basically some degree of evil” lets them lean into fantasy versions of some interesting historical / cultural inspirations that would normally have to be glossed over or ignored.

Basically, I like skeletons, and I just enjoy that I can build an elaborate army of Tomb Kings with lots of skeletons and living statues and gold and lapis and jade details. And I try not to think too much about the lore of the setting they’re from. I’m never going to play the tabletop game anyway, I just like the models.