Can't get excited about Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. Sorry. I tried.
I'll grant you that I haven't seen the thing in motion. I've seen screenshots, and that's about it. But they're such ugly screenshots.
Is it so hard to make an MMO that looks nice? The Koreans have practically turned good-looking MMOs into a cottage industry. And yet iteration after iteration of the Western-developed flavour seem to involve piloting skanky witches around endless plains of brown.
I enjoyed Guild Wars, and that was a fine looking game even during its blasted-brown-plains levels. I spent a lot of time with World of Warcraft which was known to flirt with the occasional poo-brown wasteland but was mostly breathtaking.
I've also played City of Heroes, which, I'm sorry, doesn't have an artistic bone in its body. Never have I been more conscious of my surroundings having been designed by human hands. (My brief experience with Tabula Rasa was similarly underwhelming.)
This is the reason I'm not touching Age of Conan, no matter how much you beg. With the lifetime artistic output of Boris Vallejo to draw from, it's unacceptable for that game to be anything less than stunning.
If you're expecting me to sink hundreds of hours of my life into your MMO, you'd better offer me a world that is at the very least more interesting to look at than the inside of my lounge room. With games like Braid raising the bar for artistic excellence on a shoestring, it's just not acceptable for big budget MMOs to look like they're set on the mud planet.
By the way, all you WAR players out there, if I've done Age of Reckoning a disservice please feel free to direct me to the good screenshots. I'm sure they're out there. Try looking behind your couch.