Welcome to week four of our play logs for Warhammer Online. Excitement abounds in the world of Warhammer as the open beta comes to a close, the head starts begin, and the full game launches later this week. With the head start, countless players will be rushing to out-level the competition in the hopes of establishing an early foothold in RVR, but I'd like to take some time to talk about one element of the game that players shouldn't pass up as they blaze through content and skip quest text altogether. That element is the Tome of Knowledge.
The Tome of Knowledge is a multi-purpose in-game directory which houses a plethora of detailed lore and background information about the world in addition to some interface elements for the actual gameplay itself. At the least, you'll need to get to know the Tome in order to manage your on-going quests, manage PQ rewards, and select your titles.
The Tome of Knowledge cover page, with kill counts and more.
But there's so much more lying in wait within the Tome. There are numerous types of content that can be found in the world to populate your Tome. Just by coming across new locations and key characters, you'll receive new lore entries which detail the given encounter. Hidden artifacts and items scattered around the world can also be located and clicked on for further information, which fills in blank pages of your Tome with even more rich detail about a given area or worldly entity.
For all players, the Tome is also an invaluable resource of a bountiful number of quests that supplement the raid-style encounters of Public Quests with individual goals that have no time restrictions, which makes it all the more attractive for PVE players looking for more content. The bestiary, in particular, will be one aspect of the Tome that most PVE players will adore. For each and every creature you encounter—whether it be a legendary NPC or a simple squig mob—has an according Tome entry. In addition to details about it, most mobs have a number of Tome quests related to that mob.
A sample bestiary entry for a Dwarf, with associated quests.
Pictured above is the Tome entry for a generic dwarf. As you can see, there is a small bit of lore about the race and the number of dwarfs that my character has killed. However, there are a number of tasks related to dwarfs, and these are quests that the player can actually complete that are solely contained within the lore: you don't have to visit an NPC to begin these quests, and they're also active. Most of these quests net modest rewards, such as XP and gold, but some have more interesting rewards, such as rare titles and even special items.
All of this culminates in the overall achievement system, which tracks everything you do and awards you with various types of bonuses based on what you've completed. Though some of these achievements deal strictly with PVP-related metrics, like number of kills and number of point captures, most are directly related to PVE-related activities like exploration, quest completion, and so on. Best of all, all Tomes unlock reward experience points, so those who prefer to play slowly and explore the world won't be wasting their time while their friends advance past them.
Just one of many lore-focused pages detailing the racial divide.
Really, though, that's only just scratching the surface of the Tome. The book-like interface is appropriate because there's just so much to read through and take in with the Tome, and that amount of content continues to increase as you progress through the game. You'll also find detailed maps of every area of the world with landmarks noted, a detailed armory section which contains all discovered armor sets for your given class, and more.
It's often all too easy to get caught up in the grind and the fast-paced lifestyle of MMORPG worlds (as ironic as that sounds), especially now that instant quest text is the norm and quest-related cut-scenes are a rarity, but elements like the Tome of Knowledge really make it hard to ignore the rich world that surrounds the grind. Warhammer Online, more so than any other MMORPG before release, has so much rich lore instantly accessible from right within the game, and in a largely legible and well-written form. There are hundreds of pages of text explaining in detail nearly every facet of the world, its landscape, and its inhabitants. In the unending quest for experience points and loot, don't miss out on this involving aspect of the game.
As I mentioned, this week in Warhammer was a busy one. The beta roared over the weekend as countless newcomers shuffled in and out for a taste of the action. I myself spent a large portion of my play time this week playing each and every class for hours to get a feel for the breadth of combat experiences in the game. With the game's launch this week, all the last-minute tweaks have been made, and the red carpet been laid out with just one final patch to go before the game is live. By this time next week, we should have a pretty good idea of how the launch went, so expect the first post-launch report from the field next Monday.
On combat and WAAAGH! (Week one)Public questing, parties, and wargroups: oh my! (Week two)Trophies, dyes, and being a unique flower in a sea of green (Week three)
Climbing the core and mastery skill treesApothecary and Talismans: crafting with WAAAGH! RVR: from greenskin to general in scenario combat…and more. Stay tuned.Posted on