Fun question: How come when MMORPG interviews a dev, it gets mentioned on WAR's home page, but when I interview two devs, nada? Carrie and Josh might be conspiring against me. Must remember to check up on that later.
Anywoodiddle, since I'm such a sucker for those semi-meaningless in-game exclusive items that you get one way or another, I thought I'd do a quick rundown of all the ones I have unlocked for my account so far along with my ratings for them. Starting a new character in Warhammer means that I have to endure a five-minute stopover at the mailbox to retrieve item after item, which is kind of like Christmas for a rank 1.
Skaven Skin Cloak - My friend Risca gathered up about six or seven codes for these while shopping on the EA store prior to launch, and handed them out like candy. By far, it's my favorite rank one item -- an awesome-looking cloak (that includes a big horned Skaven skull) with a special function. Click on it, and once an hour it turns you into a Skaven, who is shown carrying your weapons and even has some emotes (like /cheer) that are functional. Emotes and movement aside, the second you hit any skill key or go into combat, you drop the disguise and have to wait an hour. That kind of stinks, but I understand why. 'Twould be a little overpowered when it comes to RvR.
Adventurer's Handbook/Libram of Insight - One of these I got through the CE, and the other through the poorly-thought-out purchase of the Warhammer Guide/Atlas. Both, however, do approximately the same thing -- they give you an XP boost for a set amount of time, that you can use three times apiece. It's nice for that "over the hump" push when you need it, which is why I save mine until the late 20's or late 30's.
Kossar's Helm - AKA "The Bear Hat". Obtainable by buying Red Alert 3 (or pre-ordering it or something), my friends Stacy and Mike gave me their code when they got RA3. Like the Skaven Cloak, it can be worn for decoration -- although its Russian appearance is completely out of place in WAR, so I usually choose not to -- and can be clicked on to transform you into a giant polar bear. Although big bear is cool, the animations associated with it are stiff as a board, and the fact that it wears off when you click on anything or go into combat means that you can't experience the joy of bear calvary. Nobody messes with bear, is all I'm saying.
Rivenstaff's Deck of Eight - This came from PC Gamer's Ultimate Warhammer Guide, which about peed itself by pronouncing "EXCLUSIVE IN GAME ITEM!" Perhaps it could've saved its urine if it realized that this item was a complete piece of crap. It's simply a once-an-hour clickable that gives you a simultaneous buff and debuff, boosting one of your stats at the expense of another for five minutes. Oh, and it does this randomly. How this might be remotely useful, I have no idea. I don't like the idea of playing roulette with my stats, and yet the buff/debuff is so minor as to make it not worth doing at all.
Sentinel Amber's Band - Another Collector's Edition item, this is a nice rank one purple ring that boosts stats by +2, and gives you three charges that throw up a pain shield, hurting people who attack you. It's nice to have a ring right off the bat, but by the time you're rank 7 or 8, you'll have upgraded all four of your jewelry spots, meaning that this goes by the wayside.
Exclusive Titles - Being a beta tester gave me "The World Shaper", doing the e-mail verification gave me "The Validated", and one of the two CE quest items eventually grants me a title based on the race of the character I'm playing (I think the Dwarf one is "Brewmaster"). Titles, always welcome, even if they aren't super spiffy.
Quest Reward Item - The CE includes a quest for each character that eventually nets them an item -- again, different according to race. My dwarf got this absolutely hideous ring thing that clipped through everything, my goblin got a dwarf head to lug around (neat!), and my humie netted a damage shield that could be used on a timer. I'd be interested in finding out what the other races get.
Rittenbach's Portable Camp - This came from the CE pre-order, and man did I have visions of tents, bonfires and suckling pigs a-roasting before I saw what it does: plop down a tiny fire that pulses "heal rays" (as fires are wont to do) to you and your party. I don't use this a lot, but it has saved my bacon a few times, and is especially welcome to groups defending an objective.
Custom Character Heads - Also from the CE, and my approval of them dips and rises depending on the race. Long story short, Dwarfs, Orcs and Goblins got the good ones, and everyone else's needs to be trashed ASAP.
Big Apple and Slayer/Choppa heads - I know this is a sore point with some of our European friends, so I won't rub anything in anyone's face by saying I GOT THE APPLE AND SPIKES AND YOU CAN'T NANANA because that would just be rude. Y'know what I'm saying here? Anyway, it's great to have a trophy right off the bat, and since this comes from the era of Mythic's new philosophy on trophies (Let's Make Them Visible era), I don't have a problem hanging this on my belt. As for the spikes and chompin' teef... yeah, they're pretty sweet. I cannot lie.