Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Weapons for the WAR: Realm War website.

If you folks are like me, you like to know about all the tricks you possibly can to keep your character and/or group running at peak efficiency. To that end, I'm taking this opportunity to kick off a new recurring feature that I'm going to call Weapons for the WAR. Here we'll be featuring some tool or addon to help improve the Warhammer Online experience. And what better way to start than with a little helper in the crown jewel of Warhammer, open RvR.

When it comes to open RvR and taking or defending keeps, there is one maxim that I have found to hold true.
"The in-game map lies."
Almost every night, while rolling with the warband in open RvR, the group will get into a confused mess over whether or not a certain keep in another pairing is under attack or safe, or even Destruction or Order controlled. It's frustrating when the map gets bugged for half of the people playing because it slows down the action. Scouts must be sent out or risk running the whole warband to the wrong location. Wouldn't it be great to have some idea of what was really going on?

Well, we can. The Realm War portion of the Warhammer Online website doesn't suffer from the sort of lying habits the in-game map seems to indulge in. Plus, it has more information about which Battlefield Objectives (BOs) are currently controlled by whom. This can help your warband make informed decisions and maximize the effectiveness of your group.

Unfortunately, every silver lining has its cloud. The Realm War map isn't quite real-time, meaning that it doesn't serve as a rapid alert system capable of warning you the moment that the enemy shows up on the keep's doorstep. If you want that kind of early warning, you'll need to set up a network of scouts. Also, trying to switch between the game and your web browser can have, shall we say, adverse effects on system performance. I wouldn't recommend switching back and forth on a regular basis unless you have a dual-core computer and a dual monitor setup. Fortunately, just having one person in the warband able to check Realm War can save a lot of blood, sweat, and gold.

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