EA studio Mythic Entertainment on Wednesday announced that all past Warhammer Online subscribers who return to the game between Dec. 16 and Dec. 23 will receive 10 free days of game time as well as three in-game rewards: The Libram of Insight, which offers Experience, Renown, and Influence bonuses; the Signet of Cursed Company, which turns the character into a skeleton; and Kemmler’s Arthritic Hand, which enhances hit point regeneration.
Mythic also touted other changes, including performance improvements, the removal of fortresses as a barrier to sacking cities in Realm vs. Realm play, and the Underdog System, which makes it harder for the conquering side to keep pushing into enemy territory while giving the defeated realm a better chance to strike back. In recent months, Mythic released a streaming client that requires players to download 1GB of data and then streams additional content on an as-needed basis, rather than making the player wait while several gigabytes of data download before they can create a character.
Based on Games Workshop's popular Warhammer tabletop war and role-playing games, Warhammer Online features Realm vs. Realm conflict in which characters take the side of Destruction, with its followers of Chaos, Greenskins, and Dark Elves, or of Order, with its human Empire, High Elves, and Dwarves. Players' accomplishments in completing quests, winning player-versus-player skirmishes, and other activities earn their side points that shift the momentum in the larger war. The goal is for one side to earn enough points to assault, and possibly destroy, their enemies' capital city.
WAR's Living Cities change in connection with each side's success in the overall war, looking more or less prosperous over time. As players progress through the game, they also fill their Tome of Knowledge, unlocking new information about a Warhammer storyline that is distinct from Games Workshop's other iterations of the game.
WAR costs US$14.99 per month, with cheaper per-month fees for purchasing game time in three- or six-month blocks.