I'm usually not much for hyping up a company, but from day one, Mythic has listened to its fan base, and the latest batch of announcements proved no different.
Instead of releasing a mass notice to the "internets," Mythic sent a few bloggers a special Valentine's Day notice, which hinted at a dark elf-themed holiday event. And lo and behold, the Night of Murder is upon us.
While Thursday, Jan. 29 hit the mmo community with some big news, I can't help but tip my hat to the job Mythic has done with their live events. These live events are more than just simple holiday events that other mmos partake in. These events are enriching to the Warhammer IP, serving as crucial — and exciting — introductions to content updates.
Before I continue, let me first line out Warhammer's free expanded content — titled "Call to Arms" — for the next few months:
• Bitter Rivals — slated for March, Bitter Rivals will allow players to begin their quest for the famed Orc Choppa and Dwarven Slayer. Much like Heavy Metal did with the Reikland Factory scenario, Bitter Rivals will feature an all new Chaos-themed scenario, Twisting Tower. If it's even half as good as Reikland Factory was, then Mythic will have succeeded.
• Beyond the Sands — slated for April, Mythic still has yet to release information regarding this event. It is safe to say, however, that it will serve as a nice precursor and introduction to the Tomb Kings.
• Rise of the Tomb Kings — while many fans thought they would have to wait until a paid expansion was released to experience the lore of the Tomb Kings, Mythic has outdone themselves by including this live event in May. This event will be a heated and bloody race between the armies of Order and Destruction to see which faction unlocks the Land of the Dead first.
• Land of the Dead — opening in June, players will gain access to the deserts of Nehekhara, as well as a new RvR-gated dungeon. Even Mythic admits that this is the spiritual successor of the widely popular Darkness Falls in Dark Age of Camelot. The event will also feature new public quests and new lairs.
But before all of that, players will have to battle it out in the Night of Murder (Feb. 6-Feb. 15).
The Night of Murder is another Warhammer holiday, but not anything like Valentine's Day. Instead of hearts, candy and roses, Mythic describes the night of murder like this:
"As darkness falls on the Night of Murder, the worshippers of death bathe the land in blood, each intent on proving his or her devotion to the Elf god Kaela Mensha Khaine. It is a time that the forces of Destruction are all too willing to exploit. Assassins infiltrate the cities, while on the battlefield the differences between Good and Evil fade beneath the crimson haze of bloodlust. None are immune to the will of Khaine during this dark holiday."
Not really what you would consider romantic Valentine's Day fair, now would you? That is unless you are talking about the St. Valentine's Day massacre.
While other mmos, such as World of Warcraft, only recreate real life holidays, Mythic is busy creating holiday events that are themed around the game's IP, not real life. It makes Warhammer Online all the better of a game for it.
The game isn't littered with pop culture references and holidays that don't fit the world. Why experience the same busted real life holidays in a video game, when you can have murder plots and assassinations, drunken ogres and goblins and Nurgle beasts running amok.
This is what separates Warhammer from the rest of the herd. It's the loyalty to the original IP's lore and heritage, as well as the continued innovation of how that lore is revealed to those new to the Warhammer universe, that allows WAR to flourish. But more so than anything, it gives us what games do best and that is something other than real life, an escape.
Well done, Mythic. The next few months will be a very exciting time to be battling it out in Warhammer Online.