Daily Archives: October 20, 2008

New Classes, Alts, and Grinds

Over at the Warhammer Herald Mark Jacobs has put up a State of the Game post reviewing how things are going so far and what Mythic’s plans are for the near future.

Of particular note to me was this item:

Let’s start with what we know is some truly exciting news.  I’m happy to announce that in December, the Black Guard and the Knight of the Blazing Sun will officially be part of WAR.  We have very special plans around their appearance and in our next newsletter we will provide full details about that exciting and rather novel event.  When they were cut from the game launch plans earlier this year, I said that the Black Guard and the Knight would be part of WAR only when they were great and deserved their place alongside all of WAR’s other compelling classes.  I also said that we would not charge any additional fees for this new content or put it in a separate expansion pack; that’s not how we operate.  We’ve kept to that plan and with the introduction of these two classes, Mythic shows that once again we are happy to keep giving players more value for their subscription dollars than any other MMORPG developer.

The Black Guard and the Knight of the Blazing Sun are the tanking classes for the Dark Elves and The Empire respectively.  Given that I have moaned in the past about not enough tanks in the Empire scenarios, I certainly can see this as a win.

Mark Jacobs has been tooting that horn in other forums as well.

Please show me another MMORPG which has added new classes to the game without charging the players through an expansion pack.

And while it is not quite so cut and dried as he presents it… after all, this isn’t brand new content but content originally planned for the release, and it is reasonably common for MMORPGs to cut content to make a release date then patch it in later for free… at least two of the four cut classes will be coming back to the game.

When it comes to adding a character class at any time outside of a release though, it does not seem to happen very often.  Scott Jennings came up with an example in his post reviewing the state of the game with the addition of the Monk class to Dungeons and Dragons Online, but I could not find another example.

Of course, I have a suspicious mind.  When somebody says, “Well, nobody does this” I look for the reason.  The reason might well be greed, as Mark implies.  Shiny new features sell expansions.

But could there be other reasons?

Does a new character class need to content to drive people to play it?  For somebody who has alt-itis like me, that probably is not true, but to somebody who has ground their way up to tier 3 or tier 4 RvR does the prospect of starting anew seem palatable without other incentives?

And, to add on to that, it is not as though there were not other tank archtypes to choose from.  If somebody was determined to play a tank for Order, for example, then they probably rolled a Swordmaster or an Ironbreaker.  Similarly, for Destruction, if you wanted to tank, you have probably already rolled a Chosen or a Black Orc.

Which leads me to wonder how popular these two classes will be, at least in the short term.

I hope the “special plans” to which Mark refers will be enough.

Is there a Knight of the Blazing Sun or a Black Guard in your future?