Friday, August 31, 2007

More Vista Gaming Shi...Shhhhtuff. Stuff. I said Stuff.

Oy. Just... just oy. That's all I can say. Vista. DirectX 10. Cluster-GentlyCaress.


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Warhammer Online Newsletter #22

Of all the innumerable conflicts that have defined the history of the Warhammer world, there may be none as lengthy or as bitterly fought as the ongoing war between the noble High Elves and their evil kin, the malicious Dark Elves.

This ancient struggle is very much at the heart of the Age of Reckoning. Malekith, Witch King of the Dark Elves, is obsessed with reclaiming the Phoenix Throne, a birthright denied him by the High Elves millennia ago. When he learns that a new Champion of the Dark Gods is marching to war with the Empire, the diabolical ruler of the Dark Elves hatches a sweeping plan to conquer the isle of Ulthuan and install himself as the true King of all Elfkind.

Read More About the Elves >>

Watch the Elf Video from Games Convention >>

The arrival of House Uthorin's massive Black Ark at the northern coast of the Blighted Isle represents the first strike in the Dark Elves' invasion of Ulthuan. Just as the legions of Druchii warriors spill out onto the craggy, mist-shrouded bluffs of black rock, they are ambushed by the warriors of the Shining Guard. The Blighted Isle is a place of particular importance to the Dark Elves, for it is home to the dread Shrine of Khaine, the Lord of Murder that the Druchii revere.

To the south of the Blighted Isle lies Chrace, where the land rises steeply to meet the pine-covered slopes of the Annulii Mountains. Here, the legendary White Lions of Chrace make their home. They are among the fiercest and most courageous warriors in all of Ulthuan, and will show no mercy to any Dark Elf invaders they meet on the field on battle.

Like the Blighted Isle, the Shadowlands are a bleak, rocky region blanketed in perpetual gloom. Over the millennia, many epic battles have been fought in this place, and the land itself seems cursed for it. Once, in an age long past, a great Elven kingdom called Nagarythe flourished in the north of Ulthuan. Malekith inherited this realm, and during the Sundering it was utterly destroyed. The Shadowlands are all that remain, its shores patrolled by the grim and silent Shadow Warriors who watch for threats from the Dark Elves.

Read More About the Elf Zones >>

Across the vast ocean, in titanic floating fortresses of black stone, the sinister Dark Elves have come, driven by an ancient hatred. Upon the bleak shores of the Blighted Isle, legions of Druchii warriors spill forth from the dark holds of the Black Arks, their eyes filled with bloodlust and their jagged blades sharpened to a keen edge. Behind them, nightmarish beasts of war lumber forth or flap into the night skies on great leathery wings.

The intricate and insidious plans of Malekith the Witch King have nearly come to fruition. At last, after millennia of waiting, the Druchii will claim their appointed place as the rightful heirs to the legacy of Aenarion and the true masters of all the Elven races.

"Witch Elves go around with their scantily clad armor and their enormous hair and their nasty daggers, and they sneak up on people. They use potions, they use lotions, they use powders, and they use poisons. They imbibe crazy fumes and noxious joy, and that sends them into a furious craziness that allows them to dance around and slaughter people. They’re brides of Khaine, they are covered in blood, and they’ve got big hair. They look really sexy and they are incredibly dangerous. They would be on the front cover of every 1980’s rock album there ever was!”
– Paul Barnett, Creative Director

Click Here to Watch Career Video

Career Overview

  • Melee / DPS Archetype
  • Uses self-buff elixirs & debuff poisons
  • Core Mechanic: Frenzy

Click Here to Watch Career Video

“The Black Guard is the embodiment of brutish, shear bloody-minded violence. They are encased in phenomenal amounts of armor and wield the biggest, evilest, bad*** weapons they can find. Their job is to find the enemy and kill ‘em. They are basically very, very dangerous, really hard to kill, and when they get close to you they deal out tons of damage. The more they hate you, the more damage and misery they will pile upon you. And you know what? They hate everybody, all the time, forever!”
– Paul Barnett, Creative Director

Career Overview

  • Defensive Melee / Tank Archetype
  • Malekith’s personal guards
  • Wield Halberds
  • Core Mechanic: Hatred

Swift and strong, determined and deadly, the High Elves of Ulthuan will show no mercy to the treacherous invaders who would despoil their sacred island home. The High Elves are in every way the opposite of their spiteful brethren, prizing courage, discipline, honor and above all, tradition. Clad in shining Ithilmar armor, the High Elf warrior is a master of sword, spear and bow, spending decades to perfect his martial skills.

For time beyond reckoning, the guardians of Ulthuan have defended their homeland from enemies of every kind. In this task, they have never failed. But this is the Age of Reckoning, where nothing is certain.

“Swordmasters are, well, masters of swords. They are so over-the-top in the way they have learned to use their swords that they basically do dances – sword dances – that allows them to build up energy and build up super brilliant attacks. They are all about doing an awful lot of damage very, very quickly and using show-offy little bits of magic to show how super cool they really are.”
– Paul Barnett, Creative Director

Click Here to Watch Career Video

Career Overview

  • Defensive Melee / Tank Archetype
  • Centuries of training
  • Swords, swords, swords!
  • Core Mechanic: Martial Prowess

Click Here to Watch Career Video

“The Archmage is spell casting madness gone bananas. Like everything the High Elves do, they are the best at it, no matter what. Thus the Archmage is not just good at magic; they are super good at magic. This is a Healer / Caster. To be good at his job, the Archmage must taste combat, draw in Chaos energy, control it, then fire it back at the enemy or mold it into positive magic to unleash on his allies.”
– Paul Barnett, Creative Director

Career Overview

  • Healer / Nuker Archetype
  • Most powerful magic users
  • Master of all Winds of Magic
  • Core Mechanic: Drain Energy

Several months ago, we teased you with the mention of a new lighting system being implemented in WAR. The team now has that system up and running, and the Tier One zones in the game are fully lit. This month, we bring you some stunning in-game screens of the lighting model in action. Take a look at the dramatic difference lighting can make in these “before and after” images.

Watch the Lighting Video from Games Convention >>


Additional Lighting Screens

EA Mythic and BL Publishing are pleased to announce that work is under way on a new novel, EMPIRE IN CHAOS, based on Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.

In a land ravaged by plague and swarming with mutants, a young woman and her companions become swept up in an epic battle to save the Empire from its most ferocious foes - the forces of Chaos.

When Annaliese Jaeger's village is overrun and destroyed by mutants, she and an injured elf captive are the only survivors. As the two unlikely companions fight their way towards Black Fire Pass, Annaliese discovers within herself powers of courage and faith that inspire all around her. With a grizzled Witch Hunter and a Dwarf Ironbreaker, the heroes battle alongside the armies of the Empire and the Dwarfs, above and below the earth, against greenskin tribes and the hordes of Chaos. Together, they must find their courage and help turn back the tides of darkness, lest all of the Empire be lost.

In the eternal fight against Chaos, we must all become heroes

Penned by noted Games Workshop writer, Anthony Reynolds, EMPIRE IN CHAOS will be available in all major bookstores and on the Black Library website in early 2008. Stay tuned for more information and exclusive preview selections from the novel!

The Chaos Wastes, also known as the Umbra Chaotica, lie far to the north of the Empire of Men, near the top of the world. Found beyond even the farthest reaches of Norsca and the Sea of Swords, the Chaos Wastes are comprised of terrain both frigid and desolate, wherein few natural things grow and only the most desperate or highly mutated creatures can hope to survive for long.

The Chaos Wastes exist as a buffer between this world and the Realm of Chaos. While the outskirts of the Chaos Wastes are analogous to the tundra-like conditions of Norsca or Troll Country, the landscape changes dramatically further to the north. Inland from the shores of the Sea of Chaos, the land is rife with the corrupting influence of the Ruinous Powers. It is here in the birthplace of magic that the breath of the gods blows more strongly than anywhere else in the world. From here, the blasphemous promises of power and glory are carried on the winds to all who can hear them.

Read More About the Chaos Wastes >>

Located deep within the icy Chaos Wastes of the north, the Inevitable City is a beacon and gathering point for the mortal forces of Chaos. Worshipers and servants of Tzeentch, also known as the Raven God, are drawn to this brooding ancient city, a city older and fouler than any other in the known world. The Inevitable City is located on the brink of an enormous crater; one that has never been measured by any living creature. Entrance into this menacing metropolis can only be obtained via a cavernous pass carved through the crater rim.

The visual look of the Inevitable City is a reflection of its inhabitants, drawing elements from their armor design as well as general qualities from their cold, destructive demeanors. Early inspiration for the core look came from the Chaos Warriors themselves who wear heavy plate armor adorned with spikes and horns, and decorated with skulls and symbols of Chaos. The Inevitable City, likewise, has an architectural strength and weight that feels suitably oppressive, accented with sculptural details portraying various representations of the Raven God and the watchful eye of Tzeentch. In real world terms, the city draws from a mixture of Gothic and Aztec design. With its heavy stonework, claw-like metal crenellations, visages of the Raven God, and arcane carvings and rune-work, the Inevitable City feels as evil and dangerous as its corrupted occupants.

The Age of Reckoning draws near and the armies of Order and Destruction are filling their ranks. More than 400,000 willing participants have registered so far, making this one of the largest ever beta tests for an MMORPG. However, we are always looking for new recruits so sharpen your sword, unleash your mutation, and prepare to meet your destiny on the battlefields of Warhammer Online.

Sign up for the WAR Beta at:

WAR is coming! Are you ready?

Scenes from the Beta

Thanks to our beta testers for sharing these screens from their time in WAR!

The stories of WAR are full of substance and contain rich details that make role-playing easy. The special effort that has gone into the writing of quests and the journal within WAR is just one of many things that make this game truly special and enjoyable, particularly for role-players and anyone who loves to get into their character!

Read This Month's Beta Journal Entry >>

Warhammer Online Podcasts are now available on iTunes! Subscribe today!

Click Image to Watch Podcast

In this month’s Production Podcast, Josh Drescher takes time from his design duties to give you another glimpse into the underlying design philosophies that have shaped Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. This time, in a recap of the presentation he and Adam Gershowitz gave at last month’s Fansite Gathering, he’s talking Archetypes. What are Archetypes, you ask? Get to clicking and find out!

Each newsletter, the Video of the Month brings you a fresh, new look at WAR in action! These videos are not highly polished marketing trailers, but clips of raw game footage showcasing many of the cool features of WAR.

Video of the Month #1 – Giant Knocking Down Trees

This is a great example of the attention to detail being paid by the team and how little things can really bring a game to life.

Video of the Month #2 – RvR Scenario Sneak Peek

This is a work-in-progress sneak peek of the new Empire and Chaos RvR Scenarios currently being built.

Video #3 – Scenes of WAR

More great footage of the game to share!

Join Creative Director, Paul Barnett, and his trusty video phone for a truly unique look at the making of WAR. This month, Paul offers up what would have been the first glimpses of Dark Elves, High Elves, and the new lighting system if the evil Marketing Overlords hadn’t held them for a couple of months so as not to ruin the big surprise unveiling at Games Convention, Germany. In addition, he’s got Red Shirts, sewer explorations, dog killing, a giant beer mug, and a sumptuous sandwich suggestion. It just doesn’t get any better than that!

View the Video Blog >>

New WAAAGH! Shirts Just Added!

WAR is coming! Are you properly dressed?

Now you can show the world that you are ready for WAR with these exclusive t-shirts and hats available only at the EA Mythic Store.* Supplies are limited so order now and start your WAR collection today!

Visit the EA Mythic Store!

* Offer valid for U.S. residents only

The 2007 Road Show is in full swing and we are bringing WAR to a town near you! Visit our booth for a chance to go head-to-head with other attendees in one of our new RvR Scenarios. Or join the army of your choice for some exciting PvE action in one of the game’s starter zones and see for yourself that war really is everywhere! Plus, meet members of the development team and walk off with cool giveaways.

• Festival du Jeu (Paris) - Sept 21-23
• Games Day UK - Sept 23

Just Added
E FOR ALL EXPO – Oct 18-21, 2007


Chicago Games Day:
San Diego Comic Con:

Games Day LA:

Gen Con Indy: "We've been pretty high on this game since we first saw it and the chance to go hands-on for an extended period and really dig deep into the game was just irresistible. It turned out to be time well-spent." Zonk takes another look at WAR"What a difference a year makes." "I attacked an NPC my character and was turned into a chicken. How many flavors of awesome is that?" Lead Animator, Jeremy Dale talks about WAR and sacking cities – "Everyone’s going to be doing it, and let’s hope that you’re gonna be in the front lines and not caught in the privy when it happens." New podcast overview of the tactics system in WAR.

Penny Arcade Expo (PAX)
Latest and greatest on the Tome of Knowledge
Interview and podcast
New game play video / Interview

The Games Convention, Germany:
Video Interview - Jeff & Paul Present the Elves and Lighting
Interview with Jeff & Paul / Feature / Elf Debut Presentation Video / Video Interview with Jeff and Paul
Feature 1 / Feature 2 / Game Play Video / Game Play Video 2 / Game Play Video 3

Videos and More

Elves and RvR Feature / Podcast

Feeling creative? We know we have some talented fans out there and now is the time for you to demonstrate your skills. Send us your WAR-inspired art and we’ll showcase the best submissions in upcoming newsletters. Plus, featured artists will be invited to join us in the closed beta test!

Dark Elf City
David Mills

Orc Shaman
By Justin Kimball

Devotion to Sigmar
By Nate Barchus

Dark Elf
By Lloret Elise

No one is perfect…
By Lloret Elise

Upon the Battlefield
By Nicholas Blackie

Dark Queen
By Steve Beaulieu

Marauder vs Bright Wizard
By Maximilian

Visit the Fan Art Gallery >>

Submit your artwork >>


Have a knack for creative writing or a story you are dying to tell? We are looking to “publish” the best WAR-inspired fan fiction written by our readers. We will choose our favorites and feature them in upcoming newsletters. Plus, featured writers will be invited to join us in the closed beta test! Submissions must be no longer than 2000 words.

This Month’s Featured Stories

Song of the Forsaken, Slki Kim
Blade of Vengence, Chris Bergen
Taking a Hold, Ezekiel Provokhost

Fanaticism, VideoXPG
More Kindling for the Fire, Alluvian Est-Endrati
The History of the Fallen Order, Sam Moore

The Legends and Lore section of the WAR Herald is only as good as the community can make it! Check out the stories from the Armies of Order and Destruction, and let us know how many mugs of ale each tale is worth. (Votes do not immediately display.) Think you can do better? Submit your own!

Submit your WAR Story >>

Welcome to the WAR Grab Bag, where our friendly neighborhood community team answers the most pressing, the most popular, and the most interesting questions from fans. Keep those questions coming, as we’re eager to hear what you have to say!

Check out this month’s Grab Bag >>

Send us your questions about the game >>

If I was going to recommend seven ways to prepare for WAR… it would be the following:

1. Get onto beta. (yeah, I know,
easier said than done)
2. Watch the movie Jabberwocky. It’s
very Warhammer.
3. Play Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay
2nd Edition (shameless plug over)
4. Listen to the Conan the Barbarian
soundtrack. (works well with 3)
5. Read the ‘Trollslayer’ series of
6. Paint up an Empire Spearman.
Then smash him to bits while
shouting ‘Noob! Destruction Rulez!’.
Or an Orc if that’s your preference.
7. Eat pies. Drink Beer.

Developer Profile >>

"I'm really hoping Scenarios give people a wide choice of how and where to fight, while providing balanced, tactical and (most importantly!) fun PvP combat situations. On top of that, fighting over capital cities is an incredibly cool concept that will give people a large battle to enjoy."

Developer Profile >>


WAR has entered into Beta and now is your chance to secure a spot in the test. Each month we'll randomly select 20 names from the newsletter subscriber database for entry into the Beta Test.* If you are a current Warhammer newsletter subscriber, then you're automatically entered into the drawing every month. If you are not yet a newsletter subscriber, visit to register for the Beta and subscribe to the monthly newsletter.

August Winners:

R. Kaul/North America H. Vartiainen/Europe
P. Trudel/North America P. Amadeuf/Europe
T. Jackson/North America J. Hölsche/Europe
N. Thomas/North America M. Lesquereux/Europe
G. O'Hara/North America G. Pluy/Europe
J. Angelini/North America J. Koster/Europe
V. Erickson/North America J. Labedade/Europe
M. Miller/North America H. Msherbesh/Jordan
M. Eckes/North America A. Benfell/New Zealand
B. Zagami/Australia A. Sklyarov/Russia

This month decorate your desktop with more images of WAR.

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