As Mythic Entertainment’s Warhammer Online celebrates its two-year anniversary, I decided to download the “Endless Free” trial to see how far along the game has come since I covered the game in the early days of beta. Endless free is exactly how it sounds; You can download and play the trial for as long as you’d like, which is a nice touch for a guy like me that is currently playing two betas as well as a slew of games that I purchased during Steam’s big sale back in July.

Of course, the endless trial is capped at tier 1 and includes the tier 1 scenarios, but you’re going to miss out on the capital cities as well as the usual anti-spamming measures like no sending mail or using the Auction House.

Character creation was rather straight-forward as I choose my realm, class, as well as a number of cosmetic options. I like the number of class options for each faction, but the facial and body features did seem lacking. Take a look at the creation of the mighty Sprawletta in the following video. Back in beta, I played as a part of the Order. This time, we are going to explore the game as a member of Chaos, which has darker overtones and comes with a bit of a morbid sense of humor.

One thing worth noting about the trial is that you are not playing on the same game servers as players with full subscriptions. So if you were planning on checking out the game to play with a buddy, he will need to create a trial account as well. Throughout the starter zone, you are occasionally asked to subscribe to the game. I didn’t find it too intrusive to the playing experience, but I did find it funny that they were asking me to subscribe as soon as I logged in, before I had tried playing the game itself. I had a bit of issue with finding the perfect video settings because with the resolution pumped all the way to the max, I was unable to play the game, even with all other video settings reduced to their lowest settings. I had to settle for a middle ground 720p resolution for the experience, which wasn’t really noticeable once I got going.

Sprawletta’s adventure begins coming out of a portal into the thick of the war against the Order. You vow to slay humans, dwarves, and high elves as a part of your duty as a member of the Chaos. This game really does scream war right from the start. That is, if you can hear the screams among the shouting gold spam. I had to block five players upon logging in, and an additional two over the next hour to keep my chat relatively clean of spam; No different than most other MMOs. As expected, the starter area is used to teach new players how to control their characters and manage the user interface. Through very clear instruction that occasionally included voice-overs, I completed a couple of quests that had me running around performing errands and using a rather detailed game map. This was a pretty fun experience, but I was a bit disappointed in a few of the quests. For example, one of them had me kill four creatures that didn’t even appear to fight back. They were all slaughtered in a matter of 30 seconds, and I was back at the NPC turning in the quest for a reward. Likewise, I was given a really cool quest to use a rather large cannon to shoot dwarven-made copters out of the sky. I shot two of them and then the quest was completed. I didn’t even have to really aim to hit either one of them in the first place!

Completing the first batch of quests in the starter town was overly simplistic until I picked up my very first public quest. Now the idea behind these is pretty dang cool. You just show up in an area that a public quest is happening and participate. The more you participate, the better chance you will receive a reward at the end. The basic concept sounds really cool, but you will see in the video below that I struggled to participate. The public quest area was so crowded that I couldn’t even really get in a hit before an enemy would fall at my feet. I’m not sure how this should be addressed, or if this is a wide spread problem in the game, but for my first experiences as a new player, I couldn’t claim this to be a fun one. I really feel like the number of enemies really should scale based on the number of participants in the public quest.

Don’t get me wrong though, I am having fun exploring a new world. I vow to continue the endless trial as I really want to see how the tier 1 scenarios turned out. My recollection of them back in early beta was of crazy fun! So stay tuned for our next update in the coming days with my adventures in Warhammer Online.