… Rats …

At any moment, the mysterious bloggers video could hit the Warhammer Herald and unleash a wave of info that will shake the Warhammer world! If you missed it, in the April Producer’s Letter Carrie mentioned there will be a special video announcement from four of our favorite WAR bloggers who recently visited Mythic Studios (Gaarawarr, Mykiel, Shadow-war, and Werit). Since that visit there has been a flurry of speculation about what the future holds and a compelling post by Mykiel positing the launch of a third faction made up entirely of Skaven.

Looking at everyone’s favorite ratmen, they could conceivable have the numbers to go it alone. Rats in real life breed like crazy so one assumes so would these bipedal wretches. Similar to Greenskins, the Skaven fight amongst themselves for control and the backstabbing is often. They do have some semblance of central leadership being ruled by the Council of Thirteen. Importantly, they find all other races to be inferior so alliances sound about nil.

What angle would Mythic take? Three separate tanks, MDPS, RDPS, and healer classes totaling 12? Would they go minimalist selecting only the best the Skaven have to offer? Or would they give us four archetypal classes and call it a day? Balance is such a big concern amongst players, to be fair you’d almost have to go with the 12 to give this new faction as many mirrors as exist on Order and Destruction. Besides … that number gives me the excuse to write a long-ass post!

Join me as I go off the deep end and try to flesh out 12 possible careers that could fill out a Skaven only third faction. No one else need apply … especially Chaos Dwarfs.

Stormvermin (Tank – mirror for Ironbreaker/Blackguard). This tank would utilize a similar mechanic to Oathfriend/Dark Protector called Pack Brother. The tank feels a bond to its friendly target as if they came from the same ratling brood. As depicted on the tabletop miniatures, I see this tank wielding two-handed warpstone weapons that resemble a glaive.

Pestilens Plaguemonk (Tank – mirror for Knight of the Blazing Sun/Chosen). According to the lore, Plaguemonks are tough due to their diseased bulk. This could be our first tank not laden with heavy armor. Wielding either a one- or two-handed plague censer they whip about wildly as it exudes burning warpstone smoke hampering enemies while buffing allies.

Moulder Rat Ogre Packmaster (Tank – mirror for Swordmaster/Black Orc). Would use the builder mechanic using one ability to unlock a more powerful ability to unlock a more powerful finisher. What would make this class unusual to play would be it is made up of two toons in one. I envision a lumbering Rat Ogre with a Packmaster attached to its back in some sort of harness. Imagine Master Blaster from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. They would have different wounds meters but the Rat Ogre would have the bulk of them. Should the Rat Ogre die the wimpy little Packmaster wouldn’t really stand a chance. Unlike other pet classes with this one, the pet is the dominant toon.

Moulder Packmaster (MDPS – mirror for White Lion/Squig Herder). Its pet would be a medium-sized pack of rabid rats. As the character levels they would unlock larger and more powerful rats until they eventually get a small pack of giant rats to command. A favorite ability could be named “Gnaw Their Eye Out!” The Packmaster himself would wield a whip (single or dual wield). Rather than the pet “fetching” enemies the Packmaster would wrangle them using their whip.

Eshin Assassin (MDPS – mirror for Witch Hunter/Witch Elf). This would be the only stealth character for Skaven. Pretty straightforward: stealth, unstealth, kills target with dual-wielded poison daggers. Let’s innovate and have this toon granted an ability that would allow it to climb vertical surface for short periods of time (and limited heights).

Eshin Night Runner (MDPS – mirror for Slayer/Choppa). A fanatical class with a similar rage mechanic as its mirrors. Exposure to warpstone causes the Night Runner to raise damage output while opening itself up to taking further damage. What I’d like to see is a potential backlash to friendlies who stray too close. When this toon loses control it slashes and bites uncontrollably and anything in its radius will suffer.

Skryre Warplock Engineer (RDPS – mirror to Engineer/Magus). The Skaven gadgeteer unleashes a variety of immobile turrets from warpfire throwers to ratling guns to mini warp-lightning cannons. Up close they wield a close-combat claw and a warpstone pistol.

Poison Wind Globadier (RDPS – mirror for Bright Wizard/Sorcerer). Overpowered glass cannon who lobs lethal glass-globes of doom. Mainly for show they would carry a warpstone dagger and with the other a throwing arm that  hurls globes filled with toxic slime, warpstone concoctions, and other foul mixtures. If the clunk of a glass ball hitting you in the head doesn’t kill you the gunk inside surely will.

Warpfire Jezzailist (RDPS – mirror for Shadow Warrior/Marauder). A rifle specialist who would utilize the stance mechanic sometimes cursed by Shadow Warriors and Marauders. Brandishing an oversized warpstone musket the Jezzailist can shoot at range or run in close to rap you over the head with its gun like a club. I envision a Rank 3 or 4 morale ability that when used their jezzail has so much kick it knocks them backwards. Using this would mean don’t stand near the edge of a cliff.

Grey Seer (Healer – mirror to Archmage/Shaman). Balance is key here similar to the AM’s use of Force/Tranquility and the Shaman’s Gork and Mork. As with those careers there will be a DPS tree but the Grey Seer is a healer through and through.

Pestilens Plague Priest (Healer – mirror to Rune Priest/Zealot). Rather than the use of runes or marks, the Plague Priest would anoint friendlies with warpstone. How does one innovate the healing class? I see this miscreant using lifetap abilities to tap strength from enemies to fuel its healing spells. I’d like to see it have an ability called “Turn the Page” that has them closing their book on opponents’ faces.

Plague Censer Bearers (Healer – mirror for Warrior Priest/Disciple of Khaine). More a melee-healer these would carry two-handed plague censers like flails to build warpstone force to provide healing ability. The tabletop miniatures seem to always carry two-handers so sorry, no dual-wielding.

Would 12 classes from the same race pool work? Would players feel short-changed if it was anything less? I’m not crazy over this idea but players really seem to love these guys. Who wouldn’t want a Doomwheel as a mount? Skaven could be a lot of fun if done correctly and put into play as closely balanced to their adversaries as possible. A quick glance at the Warhammer world shows these creeps are all over the place. And in game, it’s not too difficult to find them in many zones already. An underworld third realm has possibilities.

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12 Responses to “… Rats …”

  1. I think playing any of the new classes would be fun if its true. From my MMO experience every new class starts out OP.

  2. I think a skaven-only third faction (maybe limited to T4/rvr only?) is the mostly likely way a 3rd realm gets added. My thoughts would be you might have less than 12 classes so that each is really distinct:

    highly likely:
    Stormvermin/Warlord- tanks, IB/BG mechanic
    Pestilens Plague Monk- MDPS slayer/choppa rage mechanic
    Eshin Assassin- MDPS, WH/WE mechanic
    Skryre Warplock Engineer- BW/Sorc combustion (my pref), or the Engi/Magus turret

    possibilities:
    Moulder packmaster- healer with pet rat ogre
    Gray Seer- healer with AM/shaman mechanic

    could also see moulder packmaster as pet DPS, and Plague Monk become a plague priest with the WP/DoK mechanic

  3. This post is pure excellence, I would love to play a Moulder Rat Ogre Packmaster.

  4. Castamere Says:

    Would love to see a Pet/Healer dynamic. It would kind of put the tried and true pet class on its ear. Come to think of it, I can’t think of any other game that has a pet class serving as some kind of healer… Although I’m sure it’s just escaping me at the moment.

  5. Gottfreyd Says:

    Excellent write up, once again! I am really enjoying your musings on factions in this game. Good solid foundation in the Warhammer world really makes all of this very exciting! I dearly hope Mythic has something along these lines in mind.

    • Thanks for the feedback!

      I have a few more ideas up my sleeve. The Warhammer world has a lot to offer. Hopefully Mythic will use some of the recent momentum to expand the game. Right now there really isn’t anything close to WAR in its kind of PvP. They should take advantage.

  6. […] though I devoted a post to this a week or so ago, I’m not sold on the Skaven being the lone race of a new third […]

  7. […] Skaven. I’ve written about them before (as part of a new Third Realm and as their own faction). The thing with rats is once an infestation of vermin arrives … it’s tough to get […]

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