Red Plague / Red Herring

Mentioned rather nonchalantly in the Patch 1.3.5 notes is a tidbit about the Red Plague. On the surface it sounds like a bit of NPC maintenance/shuffling to relocate all these vendors into their respective capital city. Queue players complaining that they now must fly to Altdorf or the Inevitable City to do things. Mythic does routine maintenance all the time. If this was for some technical or other reason, a mere mention of the consolidation would serve nicely to let the playerbase know where to train abilities, dye armor, or buy items. Why the theatrics of this Red Plague?

Mykiel has a nice post about this over on his blog that can get one’s imagination going. He references Warhammer lore when the Red Plague was last unleashed by none other than those stinking rats, the Skaven! Mykiel continues to postulate on the viability of Skaven being their own, third faction. I see his logic. It would be easy to introduce them that way and to incorporate them into all the existing zones as an underworld. Then as the Red Plague spreads, new caverns and holes could open in the earth around the various maps unleashing the Skaven upon the unsuspecting world above. If this happens, there must be an NPC human traitor in one of their warcamps named Willard … who will be a Kill Collector.

Let me admit … I’m not gaga to play Skaven. (Although I love using my Skaven Skin Cloak for laughs!) But the thread on the WAR forum tells a story: people want them some playable ratmen. I’ve read far and wide from those who’ve left WAR that they would come back if a third faction were added or if the Skaven became playable. If we’ve learned one thing … it’s that Mythic does read the forums and the blogs. They may not act as quickly as folks want … but they do read. The Skaven could be the boost needed to get WAR back into the spotlight. Mykiel’s take assumes the Skaven would be the sole race in this third faction and that the four different clans could be whittled down to make up the three separate “races” needed to fill out a faction to match Order and Destruction. (I think there could be two other races to fill this out … but that’s for another post.) If the Skaven are to be added to Destruction, why would the Destro NPCs need to vacate the lands for the safety of the Inevitable City? Mykiel’s third faction ideas sound feasible from that standpoint. Or is Mythic being all even-steven by moving all NPCs to the urban safe havens?

Over at Blurring Shock there’s a post furthering the speculation. It’s a terrific read where Aeo puts forth the idea of adding Wood Elves to Order. This, under the assumption, that Skaven would also be added to Destruction. The inclusion of Wood Elves would bring a nature aspect to Order and could introduce some interesting new classes. WAR needs a druid class, right? I love Aeo’s dryad tank idea … real out of the box and different! The knock against elves is they are too upper-crusty, snootish, arrogant … you get the picture. You either like Elves or you don’t (for the record I’m not a hater). The grit and less refined nature of the Wood Elves might attract folks who otherwise wouldn’t even considering a pointy-ear. They are the “blue-collar” elves, the “get dirty” elves, the “eat with your hands” elves. Dare I say, the “enter our woods and we’ll kick your ass” elves.

Let’s not stop there! The ideas keep flowing as Bootae puts up a similarly compelling and thorough post discussing the other realm involved in the Red Plague … Bretonnia. When you think of knights, chivalry, and honor in the Warhammer world, it’s them. Bootae’s morningstar-wielding Paladin is a different take on the tank that could be a lot of fun to play. In addition, imagine the helm progression for these guys as you level up.

And you thought the Knights of the Blazing Sun were flamboyant. Bootae doesn’t forget to mention that Bretonnia is known as a cavalry force on the table top. How would they translate into a game that doesn’t currently have mounted combat? Could an expansion introduce this concept to all armies?

Looking at this another way, maybe the Wood Elves and Bretonnians might be good together … like peanut butter & jelly. Unfortunately for both, neither would be overly “new” to the game. (Bretonnia = Empire) and (Wood Elves = High Elves) to the casual observer. One could argue we already have humans and elves for Order. Why add more? Sure, as fans we wouldn’t argue, I’d roll a couple of these suggested classes. But as far as a new and cool attraction to bring back the old and invite the new … I don’t see them boosting Order nearly as much as the Skaven would boost Destruction. I guess that’s why Lizardmen enter the conversation so often when it comes to bolstering Order’s forces.

Looking at the Warhammer map, the Bretonnian Provinces and the Loren Forests of the Wood Elves collectively make enough geography combined with the lands to the south where Skavenblight is found — there’s your new pairing: Skaven/Bretonnian Alliance (see map below). Maybe Mykiel, Aeo, and Bootae are all on to something. Order and Destruction each get some interesting new classes, some new zones, new imaginary capital cities we can pine for. Perhaps some other new goodies.

Or could the Red Plague just be a red herring? Are we stepping into a series of Live Events that culminate in a Live Expansion a la Land of the Dead? We are overdue a live event as our event items have long since expired. Remember how we were told that we’d always have a new event item to replace the expiring one? I hope somewhere amongst the speculative smoke is some actual fire. All of Mythic’s hard work to improve the city siege experience have probably dominated their reduced resources. But with those exciting new changes near fruition … it won’t be long before the honeymoon is over. Then the natives get restless.

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9 Responses to “Red Plague / Red Herring”

  1. Thanks for the mention Krosuss and that’s an awesome overview of the Red Plague info so far. It is fun to speculate 🙂

    I’m starting to wonder if Mythic will pull a big rabbit out of the hat and add more than just 2 new races and actually add 4!!! I don’t think they will add a third faction just yet though. I think they are working at tweaking the current game and adding new content, but new content based on the current content if you get what I mean. Adding a third faction will be very hard to get right straight away and at this point in the game they would probably be best to build on what they’ve already got. I do hope for a 3rd faction though.

    I think you are bang on with the zone/pairing and I gather from your post that you’ll soon have some thoughts about some new races/classes so I will look forward to that!!

    • The realist in me understands how difficult it would be to implement a third faction … but that can’t stop us from dreaming.

      In the next week or so I will be posting an idea I’ve had for quite a while.

  2. theerivs Says:

    Until i hear something more concrete about another faction/races from Mythic I’m done speculating. I’ve been hoping against all hope they come out with something since month 3 of this game, with whispers of an expansion, I would hope they spill some beans at least.

  3. I hear ya! But being new to this blogging gig I am going to speculate away. Aeo might be closer to the truth in that new content might be coming … but a third faction might be a pipedream for the foreseeable future.

  4. I played Ultima Online for the better part of 10 years and when Mythic took over one of the things they started doing regularly was these long drawn out epic live events. This is exactly how they started and the point was to speculate these elaborate tails based on the Ultima mythology. Usually we’d get a new part of the story every week or so and it would lead to mini live events like scavenger hunts or huge city invasions that could only be defeated by doing champ spawns. Though I would like to see new content to bring people back to the game This comes across more as a new live event then anything else in my opinion. but great write up and speculation by all the bloggers and I hope the devs listen to your ideas.

  5. I did a couple of drafts of what a 3rd realm would entail, but always struggled with the zone capture. Scenarios were easier to sort out.

    From my point of view, if you are going to add a 3rd realm, now is the best time. The longer you leave it, the more content would have to be reworked.

    • @Beithe — I enjoy Live Events a lot. So if this is the precursor to one I’ll be happy. Just hoping there are some really big things on the way.

      @Skar — I remember your write up … it was awesome! The whole zone mechanics and such are for the analyticals. LOL I’ll just think up some pie-in-the-sky ideas and let others figure out those details.

      I agree, now would be the time. WAR will go live in Korea fairly soon and where the game is now it should do fairly well. Take that hype and announce and expansion … third realm or no. Like many I see so much potential with WAR … and I want it to be successful.

  6. Gottfreyd Says:

    Excellent wetie up Krosuss! I like a number of your thought on this. I had personally thought that each race being its own faction made the most sense, I mean, why stop at 3? The Warhammer lore had been designed from the outset to explain why any miniature army could fight any other. Of course, Mythic has put a lot of work into creating the Alliance of Order and the Alliance of destruction, so that ship has sailed, but a third faction of the Skaven, complete with the different clans (and I don’t see why they couldn’t just use all four, if they are going to be fighting on their lonesome) would be a very neat fit.

    Keep up the dreaming, this is good stuff.

  7. […] made an interesting comment on my Red Plague / Red Herring post about having the six current races as distinct, separate factions. And a post over at One […]

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