Daily Archives: August 26, 2008

WAR – A Touch of Classes

I decided to indulge my alt-itis and make a bunch of characters over the course of the Warhammer Online Preview weekend just to get a sense of how they look and how they play.

How they look?

Let’s face it, the phrase “looks don’t matter” will be earning a place among the common lies people tell any day now, thanks primarily to the explosion in personal ads. We’re all going to spend a lot of time looking at our character, so it had better look okay.

I ended up making at least one character from each race and I played each a few ranks (ranks being the word for levels in WAR). That was just enough to get a taste of the classes I picked. Every class seems to start with two basic skills, some sort of ranged attack and one special melee attack, but after a few levels some of the class specific skills start to kick in. Plus you can see the skills that further ranks unlock.

The impact of Mythic pulling four classes from the game really struck me as I went through making characters. When you say a game had 24 classes planned, but four had to be pulled, that does not sound so bad. Think of EverQuest II, where any race can be any of the 24 classes (though you might need to betray). Pulling four classes would still leave a pretty rich set of choices for your character.

But when the race you want to play only had four choices to start with, having one yanked is something of a blow.

I did not worry so much about, say, the dwarf hammerer being removed from the game until I sat there at character creation screen looking at my other dwarf options. Of course, the dwarves were so ugly that having that additional class might not have helped much. Similarly, I felt the pain of the missing Empire tank, the Knight of the Blazing Sun, after I played a couple of the other tank classes for other races.

Still, you work with what you have. So, in descending order of fun, here is what I played.

(Disclaimer: All rating are superficial and subjective, your opinions may vary.)

1 – From da Greenskins, the Black Orc – The orc tank. For looks and the visceral feel of just beating the crap out of things, this guy is “the gud plan.” I just wish he wasn’t the only orc class, since the goblins just don’t work for me.  If the Choppa looks half as cool as this guy when he is done, I will have to have two orc alts. WAAAGH!

2 – From The Empire, the Witch Hunter – I played this guy the most. The best looking Empire class by far, he has a gun, a sword, and an attitude. A melee class that can take a punch, this will probably be the guy I play if I go Order.

3 – From Chaos, the Chosen – The tank of the Destruction humans, this guy looks like a tank. Not as badass as the Black Orc, but in the same ZIP code, he has a great big shield, a great big axe, and a lot of great big muscles to make ’em all go.

4 – From the High Elves, the White Lion – The second guy I rolled, I wanted to try this guy because pet classes are usually fun. However, pets were broken during the preview, so things were pretty erratic. Plus every single pet, as the name indicates, was a white lion. That, and their obvious popularity, drove the sameness factor to 11 and I had to move on. It was like being at a Johnny Winter/Kimba fan convention. Still, I could see the potential.

5 – From the Dark Elves, the Witch Elf – A female only class, and the one all the 13 year old boys (in years or in spirit) will play because she is hot. Nice animations when she fights, this is a class that somebody worked very hard on… heh. Of course, when my daughter saw me playing one, she ran off and told my wife I was playing a girl. Time to move on.

6 – From the High Elves, the Shadow Warrior – The ranged guy for the elves. Okay looking for a skinny, pasty white humanoid with rocker hair, he is pretty cool on the attack, but the special ranged attack he starts off with has to have one of the lamest animations I have ever seen. He draws back his bow and aims for the sky like he is shooting for the moon, then the arrow flies in a slow arc, made more comical if your target is close, that just breaks immersion completely. The arrow from that attack should have a little red, rubber suction cup on the tip. Perhaps it isn’t fair to judge based on that single attack, but can I afford to take that chance?

7 – From the Dwarves, the Iron Breaker – The dwarf tank. Would be okay if I could get past the looks, and I am not sure I can. I played him after having played the Black Orc and, frankly, I can see why the dwarves are doomed. He has the attitude, but that orc is so money.

8 – From the Dwarves, the Engineer – The ranged guy for the dwarves and the class I thought I would play. Then I saw the guy. How to describe him… If you crossed Rip Taylor, Herve Villechaize, and a warthog then had him run around in my grandmother’s night gown carrying a bronze pipe wrench… that is about what I ended up with. Oh, I am sure he looks better after he gets some more equipment, but here is where that Tabula Rasa “look cool from day one” idea sure seems like a winner.

So those were the classes I played. You can probably tell something about me from what I chose. Not a lot of casters in that lot, right?

In all likelihood, when the game goes live, this will be my class.

Witch Hunter for The Empire

Witch Hunter for The Empire

But there is still nearly a month to go. Plenty of time to change my mind.

What classese did you play in the WAR?