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.
But there is still nearly a month to go. Plenty of time to change my mind.
What classese did you play in the WAR?
Ahhhh yes…the turkey hunter. Good choice.
Didn’t know you were into puffy sleeves though ;)
In the CE closed beta I played… several classes up to 11 or 12.
The Black Orc, Iron Breaker, and Marauder were the best of that lot.
– The Dwarves ARE oogly, but their attitude and humor make up for it. And the IB mechanic, that the more he gets hit, the stronger he hits back is so very Warhammer. ;)
– The Black Orc is nice and stompy, and the skill-chain mechanic starts to get much more interesting once his hotbar starts to fill up with alternative effects.
– The Marauder just looks damn cool. ;)
In Preview, I played a Warrior Priest up to 16. I found him to be extremely durable and completely viable as a stand-in for the Knight of the Burning Sun in PvE. RvR… maybe not so much, but I’d just reached the point where I was going to have to decide between being specing as a healer, defender, or DPS tank.
I really liked the class, and will probably play it as my main Order character.
But we’ll see… in Open Beta, I want to try the ranged DPS classes.
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.
That sounds great. I am totally making one of those.
Warrior Priest….always…played…same guy…..cant….anymore….must try….others….
@Darren: Of course he likes puffy sleeves, he played Pirates of the Burning Sea didnt he?
I played Chosen, and I have to agree the Orc looked exactly what I think of when I think of Warhammer. Chosen was fine tho, and I imagine the armor sets will look great.
@Darren – Turkey hunter… yes… is there an option to hide your hat/helm? I don’t want to crowd your “hat with a feather in it” demographic.
@Grimjakk – Admittedly, the Iron Breaker was the last guy I played on Sunday night, after having played a Chosen and a Black Orc. That probably diluted his appeal some.
And, it isn’t like I expect pretty dwarves, I’ve played some really ugly ones. But they just aren’t the “right” ugly. I hope there will be a few more character customization options at release, because I just couldn’t get there.
@Zubon – Glad I could help you out there, though the effect is really strange when you are in an area with 20 more pretty much identical bronze pipe wrench wielding cross dressers.
Now I am just waiting for somebody to complain about my characterization of high elves in general and the shadow warrior’s animation in particular.
“but the special ranged attack he starts off with has to have one of the lamest animations I have ever seen.”
Finally, someone else mentions this ridiculous animation! Same thing with the Squig Herder’s “plink’ skill.
I feel the same way about the removed classes. The Dark Elf male has only 2 choices….
I was digging the Shadow Warrior concept.
A hybrid range / melee dps that can change stances to enhance
different aspects of his attacks.
That until I made one , and witnessed the 1st bow attack animation.
The shadow warrior pulls back the bow string to fire , yet i don’t see no string and no arrow . and like you said Wil , he aims at the freaking moon . comical ,and badly broken to be honest .
A total turnoff .deleted this char and moved on .
I spent most of the time playing a Chosen,which was fun, but towards the end I got a taste of khain and man, it was lots of fun. That might be the class I am leaning towards.
Course, haven’t tried any Alliance other than the Rune Priest. I think the pistol and sword suit you Wilhelm…too bad you can’t get a whip later on.
Wha? I thought you always played a dwarf . . .
The Shadow Warrior animation doesn’t bother me so much (I only ever used that attack at really long range anyhow, and at long range that’s exactly what you have to do with a bow) but the lack of a bowstring or nocked arrow was really aggravating. Is it 1999 again or something? Adding an arrow and a bowstring can’t be that hard.
You must be thinking of Brasse. I almost always start off with a dwarf… though it used to be half elves back in the day… but what ends up being my “main” over time… that is often a completely different story.
Yes, you do that at long range, but if the mob is bugged, as so many were this weekend, and just sits there, the next ranged attack off the bow has a flat and much faster trajectory.
I didn’t find any viable ranged+pet classes, so I went pure ranged DPS starting with a Chaos Mage. Seemed very solid in PvE, not so much in RvR. Next up was a Sorceress – mmmm – yummy! Very viable for PvE and RvR. Most likely this will be my main, but also will probably be first to be hit with the nerf bat. Next I tried a Bright Wizard – very good at PvE, and respectable in RvR, just gotta pick your targets carefully, namely you’re only going to do real damage to other casters or lightly armored, tanks will just laugh at you.
I also created a Shadow Warrior, and ya, really was left flat on that one – I was really hoping for a more DAoC archer mechanic here, oh well – maybe they’ll fix it eventually. Next was a Elf Witch – pretty and distracting and sorta fun to play, but I never got her to an RvR area – really not my favored play-style. Oh well.
nice rundown wilhelm
@oakstout yeah the witch hunter reminds me of indiana jones too
I felt the same way about the Black Orc. It just doesn’t seem right that’s the only orc option.
Appearance is the only reason I tried a Chosen. Melee DPS has always been my ideal role, but Chosen look cooler to me than Marauders at the high levels. It only took a short trial of each, though, to realize that I’m going to enjoy Marauder much more.
I also liked playing as a Sorcerer, but Marauder’s still my choice for main.
I played a Sorcerer to about level 10, then I rolled up a Squig Herder. He was big fun and I played him until R12, RR8. He owned in open RVR and in some of the scenarios.
Plus they have a ton or personality. Great fun.
Naw, I was referring to this http://potshot.wordpress.com/2008/02/04/how-rumors-get-started/
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i love orders wizard type
thay do insane damage and are perfect for rvr while the tanks gett the agro