Skaven or Bust

Skaven’s addition to RvR is pretty deliberate. It seems that to be effective in the new RvR campaign, the Skaven will be a necessary evil whether you want them or not. Is that a good thing?

Knock, Knock
As we’ve learned, the only way to knock down doors will be with a ram … or by employing Rat Ogres. So unless you’re okay waiting to acquire resources for that ram … it’s Skaven!

An industrious group will already have more than a few Rat Ogres going bonkers all over that keep. As tough as those Rat Ogres will be, I’m sure hot oil dropped on their heads will have an effect. Better plan for a few Packmasters — the only class that can heal those big rats. The rest of you healers can take a break. Again … it’s Skaven!

Guns … Really Big Guns
The rest of us will need something to do — so we’ll be shooting siege weapons. Who doesn’t like to shoot big guns? Unfortunately, only siege weapons can damage siege weapons. WTF? (That seems odd considering we can destroy cannons in a city siege.)

Who wants to shoot at guns with guns? You want to flatten enemy players with your howitzer — not some catapult or somesuch. So they must be sabotaged!!! Here’s where the invisible Gutter Runners come in. Skaven!

But what if that Destro stooge likes shooting my guns? Now it won’t shoot! Perhaps my friend the Dwarf Engineer can work his magic? Even though that should be a logical assumption … NOPE. You’ll need a Warlock Engineer to fix it. That’s so Skaven!

Folks Did Want the Rats, But …
The new RvR campaign sounds like the makings for a good fight … and that’s what we’ve all been clamoring for. But the new mechanic sounds a bit too Skaven reliant. If you don’t use them you will be at a disadvantage. You WILL play Skaven!

I wonder, was Skaven the best idea for both sides? Andy’s explanation aside, there were other viable options at BioWare Mythic’s (BWM) disposal to give each realm interesting enhancements to RvR without such a big stretch lorewise. While not normally a hardcore lore purist, on this one I’m feeling more and more like I should be.

I’m to believe that the Age of Reckoning has gotten so dire that Order had no other choice but to employ Skaven. Really? How did that conversation go down between Karl, Thorgrim, and Finubar?

Karl: I know the war is going badly …
Thorgrim: Aye.
Karl: … but I have an idea that will turn this around.
Finubar: Please, enlighten us.
Karl: … Skaven …
Thorgrim & Finubar: … ? …
Karl: Just hear me out!
Finubar: Have you lost your mind, man?!?! Do you have the Red Plague or something?
Karl: Listen … they’ll work for rocks! ROCKS!!!
Thorgrim & Finubar thinking: (( Stupid human. ))

The Alternatives
The Forces of Order need brutes to knock down doors? Hello … Ogres! I’d have just as much fun smashing Destro as the Butcher as I would being Brauk the Rat Ogre. And when the Ogre gets a boo-boo? Use those pesky little Gnoblars we see palling around with them … make them interesting and I’ll play one.

We need BIG GUNZ! How lucky can we be? The Dwarfs are on our side! All those guys do is dig, drink beer, and make helicopters and guns. Did you see those big-ass cannons they got sticking out of the mountains in Ekrund? We need some of those! Can they fix them if they break? Of course they can, they’re Dwarfs. Will they be like Engineers? No … they’ll be Thunderers.

But how can we counter the stealth of those Gutter Runners? Can’t the High Elves call in a favor with their cousins, the Wood Elves? Yes, their Scouts would love to climb walls for us. They’ve got nothing better to do except play harp and flute music.

It wouldn’t have taken that much work (easy for me to say). Many of the models could be reused from elsewhere in game. And in the end it would have made more sense and been a unique experience for each side.

Groundwork for More?
There is a lot to be excited about with 1.4 and the RvR Packs. I’m hopeful that once all this is implemented and forts finally come back, the WAR revitalization should be complete. Then the devs can focus solely on new content as opposed to fixing the crap that didn’t work.

I feel this stuff will be good but for those who really wanted to own and play Skaven … they will be disappointed. What should’ve been a slam dunk could well be an air ball. BWM has surprised us before so hopefully there is something up their sleeves.

Perhaps this little Skaven tease is the gateway drug to actual, playable Skaven somewhere down the line. I mean, new classes and/or races should be next on the horizon. You don’t need tea leaves to see what the player base wants. If not it would be a huge, missed opportunity. And the tease that this batch of Skaven are might leave many players unamused.

The only thing that makes me believe that, is the Skaven “classes” used for this endeavor might not have translated into interesting or viable playable classes. Fortunately, Skaven as RvR tools doesn’t appear to lock them out of ever becoming a new race to play. We could still see Stormvermin (tank), Eshin Assasssins (MDPS), Poison Wind Globadiers (RDPS), and Plague Monks (Healer).

Wishful thinking? Perhaps. But if we’re to believe Andy when he says they are profitable and making money for the studio … now it’s time to make some real money. That road is lined with new races, classes, zones, loot, and all the trimmings. But I guess we should get past this one first.

7 Responses to “Skaven or Bust”

  1. A war player Says:

    I really want to like the whole skaven thing, but it’s honestly not really clicking with me. Having skaven work with order rubs me the wrong way from a lore buff perspective, but it also just feels like a missed opportunity for a third faction (even if it was a orvr-only monsterplay like one). The skaven abilities are cool, but seems like they should could have revamped the current class baseline abilities (like bulwark) and renown abilities to include these.

    On the other hand I do like the sounds of the orvr changes.

    • The RvR changes rock. It will make for some interesting fighting, strategy, and should do a nice job of splitting the zerg. I really want to fly around the zone and bomb Destro from above.

      I’m sure with the resources being few and so many items in the game needing a revamp, any chance at a Third Faction went away. Although, with these RvR changes that should be it. New classes and new races better be coming next. Skaven could still be added.

      As for the lore stuff … I agree. This will be odd when they could’ve used the races I mentioned above.

  2. Lmao. I love that little dialog from Karl.

  3. Castamere Says:

    Not crazy about Skaven being relegated to a temporary buff that happens to change your appearance and changes up your abilities. I’m currently not subscribing to WAR and was actually ready to be ‘all in’ once again but the news has soured the prospect for me.

    As more news unfolds I may change my tune but I’ve gone from being ready to hop back into the fray to uncomfortably straddling the picket fence for more info to be revealed.

    • The changes to RvR will be pretty good and may be worth your time to return. And the way it seems, players won’t be forced to play as Skaven. I will probably give it a try (so I can blog about it) but that doesn’t mean I’ll entirely like it.

      I like your reference to it being a temporary buff … that sounds about right.

  4. I good counter to Skaven could have been Lizardmen; although, I am not the first to suggest this. The classes could be mirrored between the two.

    • Agreed … Skaven playing both sides to me just seems like corners were cut. Which they probably were due to the limited resources at hand. Here’s hoping to some success that leads to more.

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