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?

16 thoughts on “New Classes, Alts, and Grinds

  1. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    I thought of trying to push the analogy to EVE, since CCP does not charge anything for any expansion. Beat that value for subscription dollar.

    However, EVE doesn’t really have classes the way WAR does. When salvaging came along, you just had to train the skill rather than roll a new character and start off back in an Ibis of Doom.

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  2. tenfoldhate

    I had my heart set on a KoTBS when I first started following WAR’s development. Never cared for playing humans in RPGs, but WAR’s humans are so entertainly bizarre. You’ve got bald-headed religious fanatics, pistol-wielding pilgrims, day-glo Eraserhead casters, and now fruity looking conquistador tanks? Now that’s just awesome.

    Alas, when they weren’t available at launch, I rolled a WP as my main and a Swordmaster alt to get my tanking fix. I’ve grown attached to tanking in a bathrobe, so I don’t think I’d roll a KoTBS at the moment–though I’m happy the option will be out there come December.

    But c’mon Wilhelm, how could you NOT have a KoTBS in the “Twilight Dandies.” I mean, could you name a more dandy looking class–let alone tank–in any MMORPG?

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  3. Relmstein

    Well since humans are usually the most popular race I have a feeling the empire tank will quickly become more common then Ironbreakers and Swordmasters. I know a lot of players who for some reason only player humans. Anyways I just hope the Orc choppa isn’t the class that is going to be replaced.

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  4. Gunner

    I’d say Eve wins buy default since it provides all of its expansion packs (which have been quite significant over the years) for free.

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  5. p@tsh@t

    Yay a Human tank. Boo, probably one of the hardest to powerlevel if the pop curve is skewed to T3/T4.

    I hope they do something to foster open RvR to make it worth playing.

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  6. Saylah

    Hmm, I think it’s great news on one hand but on the other people are saying that the lower tiers are empty. I wonder how many people will be ready to re-roll this early in the game. I think some how did wish they were in upper zones now where the action seems to be occurring. :-)

    I had alt plans but honestly, I decided against it for now because T3 is too much fun.

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  7. Cow Nose the 50 Pound Cat

    Well if you mention EVE, you gotta mention Lineage 2. Lineage 2, like EVE, has free expansions and has added a whole new race as well as 4 new classes. However, even though they are free I still consider Lineage 2’s “expansions” to be just that and so Lineage 2 could not really be considered as having added a class or race without being included in an expansion.

    However, I’m just against expansions all-together. This is an argument that I have made since I was like 12 and I’m still making it! We pay a subscription fee, so WTF are they charging us for expansions? I know, this doesn’t affect people who have jobs, but for poor students and kids this means a lot. That subscription fee should go towards running the servers, customer support, etc etc, AND development costs! (Which of course it does) It just pisses me off that they double dip us for expansions… Oh well, at least not everyone is as bad as sony, omg adventure packs for EQ2 and so many other things… Just drives me crazy. XD

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  8. Melmoth

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

    Waiting for the Hammerer/Slayer option; that will be the one thing that tempts me back to have another crack at the game.

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  9. Kinless

    One of each, adding two more characters to my collection. I won’t need six tanks. But I’ll want them just to check out the play style, graphics, and feel.

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  10. Melf_Himself

    The Black Orc’s original class description sounded a bit broken (increased damage for hitting people? Hmmm, ok!), which means I’ll definitely be rolling one if they’re keeping that mechanic the same ;)

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  11. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Yeah, the Black Orc, which can even heal itself a bit, seems to be the ultimate tank for the side of Destruction. The Black Guard will have to have some pretty interesting skills, or some pretty skimpy armor in female form, to get many converts I think.

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  12. Graktar

    The Blackguard will probably be male only, so I wouldn’t expect any skimpy female outfits :p Certainly lore-wise they should be male only, but they allowed both genders on the Sorceress so who knows.

    KotBS should be popular, because it will be a larger, bulkier, more imposing tank than the Swordmaster or Ironbreaker, which have been the primary complaints against Order tanks. Many people playing tanks want to be the big bad-ass, and it’s hard to do that when you’re 4 feet tall or a willowy elf wearing a dress. The Knight will be (visually) a traditional tank type (despite the foofy feathers) and that appeals to a lot of people.

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