Archive for Lizardmen

PvP’s Expansion Limpness

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on December 21, 2010 by krosuss

There are sooooooo many other things I’d like to be posting about, but it seems the expectations and hope for Patch 1.4 are a resounding clunk. I was reluctant to even post my comments on Thanquol’s Incursion but as I take a gander around the WAR blogs … I am not alone with bad feelings. Many WAR bloggers have been accused of being too happy shiny about the game so they’ve been posting items that are taking a critical look at this MMO.

And the most recent post from Bootae has hit on something I’ve been thinking for quite a bit of time … the lack of actual new content. I feel that’s the biggest problem with a PvP game. How do you give new content to a playerbase that wants to fight other players?

The big dog WoW is easily expanded as we’ve just seen. Forget that they destroyed Azeroth via the Cataclysm, forget that they did a redo and “improved” the graphics … they went in and did this:

  • Two new playable races (Goblins, Worgen).
  • Each race was given their own starting zone to get players to Level 6.
  • Expanded use of flying mounts.
  • Seven — yes 7 — new dungeons.
  • Three new raids.
  • Two previous dungeons revamped.
  • New battlegrounds and PvP zone.
  • And more …

Easy, right? PvE is much easier to add to and those who love PvE are somewhat easier to cater towards. Call them carebears or whatever, serving up new quests and dungeons is what they want, what they need. You can build a quest chain with story, some loot, and lead them all over the map finding things, talking to NPCs, and killing mobs. And if you’re WoW that could entail taxiing mobs from one side of Gobbo Land to the other. Same with new dungeons … add a portal to some underworld cavern with elaborate architecture, increasingly difficult bosses, and epic gear to be won. That particular path really doesn’t seem possible for WAR since RvR and PvP are what keeps us here. So what can be done?

Patch 1.4’s zerg-busting, RvR-stalling intentions haven’t really come to fruition. Every server is different but on the whole, the zerg still rules and getting into your opponent’s city is still a frequent occurrence. Hey, Mythic tried and what looked good on paper didn’t pan out. Where do we go from here?

If us PvPers can’t be satiated in the same way as WoWophiles, what will fit the bill? We need more territory to fight over, more zones to explore, some more scenarios to clash within, and yes … more gear of all kinds to win. That’s the easy stuff that can be added in. The “hard” stuff referenced above therein? How about new classes, races, and pairings?

Forts … Forts … Forts
They aren’t expansionworthy since they currently reside in the game as pretty scenery and they definitely better not charge us for doing something with them. These need some sprucing up to put a little speed bump in our paths to city siegedom. This post isn’t about specifics so I won’t go into ideas for how to bring these back … all I know is they are needed. Get on it.

Change Your Mind … Add Missing Capitals
When asked directly at a Q&A session, Carrie conceded that completing the missing capitals was off the table. There are other things to focus on. Fair enough but those other things better be freaking good. Going along with my theory that we need more places to fight, four new capital cities with different mechanics, Warlords, and Kings would be cool. Throw in a special set of armor only available from each of the cities all with different appearances and stats. A rotating “city to siege” would be in order rather than capturing one pairing to enter. You’d still need to lock two pairings to get in with the second one locked opening up that pairing’s cities. You wouldn’t fight to lock Dwarf/Greenskin second for a chance at the Grudge set?

More Zones, Please
As others have made mention, it is a bit stale to be fighting it out in the same zones over and over and over again. New is good and despite the hardcore who play WAR, even we are getting tired of the same old Dragonwake and the same old Chaos Wastes. Yeah! Praag again! There are four Tier 4 zones just sitting there not being used. What a waste. And I’ll bet there are players who don’t even know they are in the game.

These are West Praag (Empire/Chaos), Isle of the Dead (High Elf/Dark Elf), Cinderfall, and Deathpeak (Dwarf/Greenskin). I posted a Q&A question on the forums that Andy Belford actually answered. I asked if they considered repurposing these existing PvE-only zones for RvR? He said it was a good idea and something they would consider. Okay … do it. It’s as low a hanging fruit as you’ll find with them just sitting there waiting. Give us a reason to fight there.

Refresh the Weekend Warfronts
We have yet to cycle through all of the retired scenarios that were to be repurposed for the Weekend Warfronts. Some of these gaps can be explained with resources working on other things. But I’m also guessing some of it is a lack of knowing just what to do to make some of them better. To make my point, here are the retired scenarios that have yet to make a reappearance:

  • Gromril Crossing
  • Grovod Caverns
  • Maw of Madness
  • Reikland Hills
  • Thunder Valley

All but one of those are bottom-of-the-barrel in the fun department. Grovod’s is a Phoenix Gate clone only underground. Gromril and Thunder Valley are near clones of one another with multi-flag captures and ranked near the bottom of players’ fave scenario lists. Reikland Hills is similar with multi-cap BO’s for players to run between. The Maw of Madness really doesn’t need any rejiggering. It’s a death match that’s actually a lot of fun. Let’s bring these back some weekend, spruce up the rewards (a longstanding issue for all WWs), and perhaps surprise us with some new scenarios (War Quarters, Undercroft, Bright Wizard College, The Monolith).

Beyond the Warfronts the issue of pops also needs to be addressed. Many have thought that with scenarios removed from the campaign that cross-server matchups would soon follow. Let’s hope they do.

Easy Said …
Those are the easy things that could pump some new life into WAR. I say “easy” from my armchair but some of them are easier than creating a ton of new content from scratch. Much of what I’ve listed is there already either in game or hidden code currently hidden.

The hard stuff? Yeah, now that would take some effort but I feel that’s where the path must go despite the limited resources. You could probably hold back the dogs by simply adding in missing mirrors for the races. Mr. Meh actually listed some intriguing options. Wouldn’t it be cool if every race had a glass cannon? What about a melee-healer for all?

New races with a whole new pairing is definitely pie-in-the-sky but it’s what’s truly needed. The Skaven implementation of 1.4 has been lackluster at best. Thanquol’s Incursion is not widely embraced nor is it much fun. Talking with those who’ve actively played the new Skaven “classes” say other than the Gutter Runner and Warlock Engineer … they really are only so-so. I don’t see too many people using them.

Suck it up and finally — FINALLY — load that silver bullet into your gun and pull the trigger. I know the RvR Packs have sold pretty well by all the players I see running around with their trinkets. There’s a lot of new people playing (or some say). Take that momentum and capitalize on it. Bring Skaven to the game for real with actual classes and zones. Match them with the Lizardmen for double the win. That’s your silver bullet, trump card, sure thing. I wrote about a possible pairing before and Ekalime wrote an epic post on both of these races (and a ton more … shame on you if you don’t read his blog!). It’s right there! Go head down and do it!

Closing Thoughts
It’s a tough road ahead to say the least. Are we coming to the end of the line or is there something worthwhile on the horizon? A patch that on paper sounded fairly solid has landed on its face. Instead of slowing the campaign it’s been accelerated more than ever. The anticipated addition of Skaven has been a dud. We’re tardy on a Producer’s Letter by nearly a month. Guess there’s either nothing to say or is Carrie at a loss for words? I don’t buy that … she’s always got something useful to write. What’s going on?

I know a ton of work went into the RvR Packs and Patch 1.4. And there is some good stuff there just not as substantial to truly enthrall subscribers for longer term. Taking a step back to recover on Mythic’s part is warranted. However, with some of these glaring issues at a time of year when a good chunk of WAR’s playerbase is off from work and school, all ears are open awaiting some word on what is planned to resolve these problems and any hint of what the horizon holds.

The conspiracist in me sees the quickening of the game and the raining of gear on the playerbase as a precursor to no good. Have we been kidding ourselves the past year thinking that if we turn the corner all will be well? I don’t see WAR closing down but can it grow beyond the meager subscriber base it currently has? Where are we … 100,000 – 200,000? More? Less? Who really knows? Is it possible to take the EVE route and grow this thing slowly to where you can gain momentum or are we staring at the eventuality of a F2P model?

If you’re profitable as stated earlier this year … if you have all these “cool expansions” planned … we better see a roadmap or are you guys moonlighting on Star Wars The Old Republic. All I do know is we’re coming to a real crossroads with this game and the directions aren’t looking too rosy. I want Doomflayer and Warpforged gear but am staring at 10 tough renown ranks for each with nothing truly new in between to keep me happy or engaged. It’s just an extension of the grind that isn’t that appealing for me at this moment.

Two years in and we have no new zones … no new races … no new classes … and all the hard work and effort put in to fix the game is quickly forgotten with this recent patch. The work put into WAR to fix its innumerable wrongs does not go unnoticed but for how long can that be the excuse that holds us back? What do you think should be done?

My Xmas wish is for clarity.

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When Lizards Ruled the Earth

Posted in Warhammer Online with tags , , , , , , , on August 16, 2010 by krosuss

My second post on possible new races for WAR will focus on the Lizardmen. Not only are these reptiles the second most-popular race being asked for by players, they also fit nicely into my vision as an adversary for the Skaven — the focus of my prior post. Reptiles vs. Rodents sounds like an intriguing feud that would satisfy the masses of players asking for both these races.

They truly are an odd looking fit for the Forces of Order. However, researching their history it seems looks can be deceiving. Secluded to the far off continent of Lustria the Lizardmen are not pulled into the conflicts seen across the Warhammer world. They will fiercely defend their jungle homeland having successfully beaten back attacks by the Dark Elves from the north, purging most of a Skaven invasion, and repeatedly defeating assaults by the Vampire Count Luthor Harkon who lives on their eastern shores. Preferring to be left alone the Lizardmen exist within their jungles at peace.

B A C K G R O U N D   &   L O R E
The story begins with the arrival of the Old Ones — godlike beings from beyond the stars. They settled in the lands now known as Lustria where they first created the Lizardmen. The race of Slann came first followed by the Saurus, the Skinks, and the Kroxigors. Laying claim to the planet their newly created followers purged all original inhabitants to pave way for their master plan. The world purified, the Old Ones created the races of Elves, Dwarfs, and Men.

The specifics of their master plan remains unknown, and as they furthered along this path they created incredible warp gates at the north and south poles. These would act as gateways to their home in the stars. Chaos soon came to the world, whether of their own accord or through the warp gates, posing a grave threat. All the races created by the Old Ones united to fight back the coming tides of Chaos. Victorious, the Slann cast mighty spells and wards to contain the polar gates and to hold back the daemons of the ether. Chaos was defeated but the Old Ones … disappeared.

Since that time the Lizardmen faded into myth. Their presence remains hidden from most of the world as they remain isolated in Lustria. Through the years, various small settlements of men have taken hold along the Lustrian shorelines. Those living peacefully there go about their lives unmolested while those with evil intent are soon met with force by the continent’s original inhabitants.

R A T I O N A L E   F O R   J O I N I N G   T H E   W A R
The Age of Reckoning rages in the Old World and Ulthuan, this does not go unaware in the jungles of Lustria. The united Forces of Destruction pose the gravest threat known since the great war with Chaos. After so many years of isolation the Lizardmen join forces with their allies of old to try and stem the tide of evil sweeping the land. If they don’t join now, all could be lost.

Is this great war a sign that the Old Ones will return?

C L A S S E S
Unlike the Skaven, the Lizardmen have fewer choices for potential classes. So it makes things easier for me to pick and choose some interesting options that might make good additions to the game. With the Lizardmen society being molded after real-world Aztec / Mayan / Incan societies … the look of these toons could be pretty cool and colorful.

Tank
The logical choice for this class would be the Kroxigor due to their size … but they tend to not be the most intelligent of their race. So let’s hold them for later. Tanks are not lumbering beasts rather they are protective damage absorbers who are there to defend those around them. In the Lizardmen society, that sounds like a Saurus Temple Guard. These were bred to protect the Slann and come armored with the thickest and stronged armor. Sounds like a tank to me.

MDPS
Now let’s talk about the Kroxigor. These huge lizards were bred to be laborers — perfect for building their massive pyramid cities. When used in battle, these hulks are set loose as line-breakers to shock the enemy forces with ferocious attacks. To boot, they also sport a huge mouth filled with razor-sharp teeth.

RDPS
Let’s change the standards a little and try something different … I gave the Skaven a stealth class and immediately those in favor of balance would say: “Order should also get another stealth class.” I agree. For the Lizardmen, this will be the RDPS archetype using the Chameleon Skink. They have the ability to blend in with their surroundings which fits well with stealth. Their weapon of choice is typically blowguns or javelins. It would need to be worked a bit so as not to transfer the devastation a Witch Hunter or Witch Elf can unleash coming out of stealth to a ranged class. In this case, the stealth could be more a survivability tactic rather than a quick-burst damage dealing mechanic.

Healer
When one thinks magic-user and Lizardmen … the Slann come to mind. They are simply too powerful to be a playable class. That and the fact they are carted around on pedestals make them not really viable. So the Skink Priest gets this slot.

Z O N E S
The Lizardmen’s addition would bring with it some intriguing new landscapes. Fighting in a tropical jungle would provide an interesting environment with all sorts of thick cover and obstacles to make traversing Lustria more challenging (quicksand, man-eating plants maybe). For their inclusion, the Lizardmen are coming to the aid of their ancient “brethren” who are under attack by the Forces of Destruction. So I’d envision some of their zones to be in the Old World but not a total invasion like how the Dark Elf zones are depicted. Once their assault is launched, it would only be a matter of time before the Skaven fought back bringing the battle to the shores of Lustria.

Tier 1
Lizardmen hatchlings are recruited to Cape Cinno where an assault is underway against the Skaven. The powerful Slann have ascertained that with the Skaven’s release of the Red Plague the Age of Reckoning might be lost. Working with the region’s Greenskin inhabitants, the Skaven uncovered the locations of key magical relics that grant near limitless power. These long lost locations are in the southern tips of the Apuccino Mountains. The Gems of Amenemhetum and the Organza Crystals must not fall into Destruction’s clutches or all is lost.

Tier 2
Three small islands along the Scorpion Coast make up Tlencan … the launch point for the Lizardmen raids on the Skaven stronghold of Fester Spike. Several mystical portals instantly transport Lizardmen forces from Tlencan to the unground River of Echoes west of Fester Spike in the mountains known as the Vaults. Fester Spike is the key hub sending rats south to gather magic relics that will turn the tide of the war. This underground assault takes the Skaven by surprise and have caused them to capture a few of the Lizardmen portals for a counter-attack.

Tier 3
The Lizardmen temple city of Xlanhuapec houses the Slann Priests who concentrate keeping the transcontinent gateways open allowing the Lizardmen instant access to the Old World. As the Skaven quickly gain access to Lustria through the Gwakamol Crater, it doesn’t take them long to lay siege to Xlanhuapec in an attempt to shut the gateways down once and for all.

Tier 4
The Marks of the Old Ones are amazing line drawings of symbols only visible from high in the sky. They are amazingly carved into the earth of winding mountains peppered with jungle and tropical foliage. These ravines, mountains, and chasms provide excellent defense for the Lizardmen capital of Itza.

The neutral zone splitting the pairing is the Tarantula Coast. In an awe-inspiring display of sheer will and magical might, the Slann have opened a gateway the width of the entire zone. On one side of this gateway stand the shores of the Tarantula Coast … looking through this massive feat of mysticism can be seen a landing in the Isles of the Sirens. War rages across the ether in these two locations at once.

L O O T !
In similar fashion, what would all this be without all the goodies to go along with it. More loot to win and more things to do are a good thing. There are many possible locations that could house an interesting high-level dungeon … Vampire Coast, Chasm of the Condor, Piranha Swamps, Amazon Island. Or perhaps a portal to the isle of Albion where the Lizardmen currently work to build the temple city of Konqata.

Up next … let’s pull this whole Skaven/Lizardmen pairing together.

Skaven Were Here …

Posted in Warhammer Online with tags , , , on August 5, 2010 by krosuss

With the Third Realm chatter shutdown, let’s focus on what might actually happen should an expansion come our way. Mythic deserves some vindication … they’ve taken a lot of heat for the two factions in WAR over the three that made DAOC successful. How much of that decision was Games Workshop’s knowing what they had in store for Fantasy Battle? At this point, keeping the game to two opposing forces is the easiest and least expensive route (even if not the best). Adding new races is far simpler than an overhaul of the Realm War mechanic.

I begin my new race overviews with the hands-down, most popular possible addition: 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 rid of … so there’s more to discuss … they won’t go away. Even though they are not at the top of my list, I can see some coolness that would entice me to give at least one rat toon a try. My two previous posts went through their ranks outlining potential classes … let’s take another look at them overall.

B A C K G R O U N D   &   L O R E
Little is known of the true origins of this foul race. It is believed they were born as a result of mutation from large amounts of Warpstone which showered down from the sky in a torrent of meteors. Whatever made these rats the size of men, there’s no doubt they are abundant in number and equally evil in their pursuits of power.

Unlike other realms, their leadership structure is not as defined. They are ruled by the Council of Thirteen, a body of 12 leaders and a vacant 13th seat representing the Great Horned Rat (their deity). It’s safe to say the Council’s rule is tumultuous as there is much infighting, secret alliances, betrayals, and assassinations that breed mistrust amongst their various clans. Skaven are found all across the old and new world but Skavenblight is considered their political center.

R A T I O N A L E   F O R   J O I N I N G   T H E   W A R
The Skaven have been hired as mercenaries to hit the Forces of Order when they least expect. While Order fights the combined armies of Chaos, Dark Elves, and Greenskins … the Skaven strike like a thief in the night by unleashing the Red Plague in the lands of the Empire, on the shores of Ulthuan, and throughout the Worlds Edge Mountains. They may be mercenaries but behind the scenes they plot their own little coup for power should the opportunity arise.

C L A S S E S
We’re going into unknown territory … current classes each have a mirror. Adding new races poses a challenge: link new race classes to existing mirrors or create new variants to set them apart? I hope Mythic goes with the latter. Does the thought of simply playing a ratman outweigh playing the same class mechanic that already exists on two other toons? Or would players want a totally new mechanic — different from what is already available? I vote different. That’s an open item, so I won’t get into what mirrors the Skaven would, should, or could match up with, rather I’ll focus on what class will fit each archetype.

What might be interesting is a race-specific mechanic. It’s assumed that all Skaven would wield some sort of Warpstone weapon. It’s repeated use could have interesting effects both positive and negative and be utilized in different ways depending upon the archetype.

Tank
I really liked my “Moulder Rat Ogre Packmaster” idea but it’s probably too different and non-traditional to be considered. Most people seem to mention Stormvermin as the best candidate for the Skaven tank. I’ll acquiesce. They fit the mold pretty well … big, armored, tough.

MDPS
I’m sure those who enjoy the pet mechanic drool over the thought of controlling a pack of rabid giant rats, or better yet, some lumbering rat ogre. Then again, the Eshin Assassin is simply too obvious a choice to overlook. I give the nod to the Assassin as the Skaven wouldn’t seem right without a stealth class.

RDPS
Warplock Engineer or Poison Wind Globadier? I can see potential with both. The only downside to the Engineer is its potential similarities to the Dwarf equivalent. Personally, if the Globadier gets the nod, this Skaven is the one I would want to play. Who wouldn’t want to be a rat in a gasmask lobbing glistening glass globes of green doom at people?

Healer
I wrote previously of three possible candidates for this slot. The Grey Seer seems more a caster than healer and there is the Plague Priest. But the Plague Censor Bearer sounds like it could be a pretty mean DPS-Healer. We can never have enough OPed DPS-Healer classes so let’s add to the fun.

Z O N E S
Each race in WAR has their own zones so it’s assumed that when Skaven are added, they will be given their own lands. So for the 9 zones in each pairing, 4 are Order, 4 are Destro, and 1 is a neutral zone. For example, in Empire/Chaos … the Order-centric zones are: Nordland, Ostland, Talabecland, and Reikland. The Destro-centric zones are: Norsca, Troll Country, High Pass, and Chaos Wastes. Praag is the center zone of Tier 4 and starts off as neutral.

To truly flesh out the pairing, we’d need to partner the Skaven with an adversary. I’m of the mind that this race should be the Lizardmen. This could be the first pairing that spans two continents — the Old World and Lustria. The map below shows you the vastness of the Skaven’s underworld empire (click to enlarge). There’s a lot to work with but like other pairings, I feel the focus of these zones should be nearby to the Skaven’s capital.

I’m left wondering how much effort will be put into PvE. At times it’s a necessary evil to supplement PvP. PvE offers quest storylines, XP, items, gold, dungeons, and mobs to grind for loot, crafting, and currency. I don’t envision any new zones being given the old treatment but I also don’t see them as wide open RvR zones.

The New Player Journey starts everyone in Nordland (Order) or Norsca (Destro). This is good for funneling players to near non-stop RvR in New Emskrank. The other Tier 1 zones … crickets … crickets … crickets. The layouts on the Blighted Isle and Chrace are terrible. You spend more time running to the BOs than capping them and I’ve never experienced a massive battle there. The same can be said of Ekrund and Mount Bloodhorn. Keep it simple with an interesting layout that encourages more fighting and less running.

For this post, I will only focus on the Skaven-centric zones.

Tier 1
The Skaven’s “starter” zone would be in the Sussirio Wood at the end of the Apuccini Mountains in southern Tilea. It is here that new ratlings are platooned to hold back an advance by the invading Lizardmen who’ve arrived via a mystical gate near Cape Cinno in the south. The Skaven have dug long and hard under the mountains to gain access to the Tomb of Amenemhetum and the Organza Ruins. Knowing the unimaginable power residing there, the Lizardmen launch an invasion to impede the rats’ plans and to join the fight against Destruction.

Tier 2
The Skaven find their stronghold of Fester Spike under assault. Lizardmen attack from the west having brashly taken ground along the River of Echoes, an underground river that splits through the mountains. A vast mystical portal acts as an instant gateway from the jungles of Lustria to the gloomy underground caverns of the mountains known as the Vaults. The Spike is the launching point for the Skaven’s plans in southern Tilea.

Tier 3
Taking the assualt to the lands of Lustria itself, long-sealed cross-ocean tunnels have been opened allowing the Skaven entry through the Gwakamol Crater in the heart of the Lizardmen’s realm. The rats meet resistance as they seek to push deeper into Lustria and destroy the mystical portals allowing the Lizardmen access to the Old World.

Tier 4
Standing before the Skaven capital of Skavenblight are the Blighted Marshes. Also known as the Zombie Swamp, these dank, putrid bogs stretch for near endless miles along the Golfo di Fordore. They provide the ideal buffer of protection between the capital of the Skaven and potential foes.

The Isles of the Sirens is a neutral ground for this pairing’s Tier 4. The Skaven seek to hold back more advancing Lizardmen forces across the numerous small islands of this region. A massive portal stands open with the war being fought halfway in the Old World and halfway in Lustria. A massive push towards Skavenblight is underway as the Lizardmen seek to destroy the rats once and for all.

I S   T H A T   I T ?
Of course not. Adding a whole new race with a new pairing should mean more loot, more armor sets, more weapons, some new scenarios, and perhaps even a new dungeon. For those on the Skaven bandwagon, much of this would be enough. But for those who could care less and just want more fun for their existing toons, there needs to be more than the simple newness of some new maps to explore.

Next post … Lizardmen.

Two It Is … Es Sind Zwei … Est Il Deux …

Posted in Warhammer Online with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2010 by krosuss

No matter the language of the WAR server (assuming my translations above are correct) … Games Workshop has officially ruled that their Fantasy Battle gaming universe is a struggle between two factions — Order and Destruction.

This alignment pretty much seals the deal on a Third Realm — there won’t be one. It doesn’t get any more official than GW putting it into their Fantasy Battle rulebook. Sour grapes aside, let’s focus on what we have and what may come.

To recap, the Warhammer universe is now defined by a constant battle between these two competing forces:

ORDER
Bretonnia
Dwarf
Empire
High Elves
Lizardmen
Wood Elves

DESTRUCTION
Beastmen
Chaos
Dark Elves
Greenskins
Skaven
Vampire Counts

Granted, no official announcement has come out declaring anything from a WAR sense … but with the game already a two realm matchup and this clarification it’s clear where any sort of racial expansion could go. The only oddity is the Lizardmen aligned with Order. Imagine tossing back some ale at the Blowhole Tavern with a Kroxigor … or inviting a Skink to help clear Crypts. I mean, snakes and reptiles aren’t to be trusted. My phobia of cold-blooded creatures notwithstanding, we can discuss lore every which way. Would they have been a more interesting neutral party along with the Ogre Kingdoms and Tomb Kings? Perhaps.

The deck is heavily stacked in Destro’s favor in terms of coolness. My former post on the Forces of Disease looks pretty good right now having the Vamps on board — except for the whole third realm assertion … and that I didn’t mention vampires. Should WAR expansions start rolling out with new races, Destro has it made and should see a surge in numbers.

  • Skaven are by far, the most requested race players want added to the game. People would sell their children for a chance to play as a rat. Honest, they would. Read the forums … if you can find the threads … which I sort of can’t … because they’re new and sort of suck. Oh wait, you can’t! All the old posts appear to be gone!
  • Vampires, in general, are popular. Whether you like Twilight or not (I think it’s lame plus those aren’t real vampires), the aristocrats of the undead, rule. I mentioned the lame-o movie series, there’s also True Blood, The Gates, and The Vampire Diaries … vampires have never been more cool, hip, and mainstream. (And that’s why they will fail.)
  • Chaos, in a sense, is four armies in one. Current Chaos players all follow Tzeentch … whether they like it or not. That still leaves Khorne, Nurgle, and Slaanesh. Would we see a future expansion that simply allows players to select their mark? And in doing so would each class become different depending upon the mark?
  • The Dark Elves are already one of the most popular races having two of the most popular and powerful classes in the game (Disciple, Sorcerer).
  • Greenskins are zany, hulking, sneaky, and also contain some nasty classes (Choppa, Squig Herder).
  • And lastly the Beastmen … well … they’re beasts … who walk like men. Destro can’t have all the stud races … they can manage one dud.

Order needs some sexy. So I suppose as some sort of consolation … they get the Lizardmen. Which have also been mentioned a great deal on the forums (try and find those posts … YOU CAN’T! THEY’RE GONE!). The other two additions to the Order tent are lackluster on the surface. Dwarfs and High Elves are population miscreants … lowest in the game. And if not for the Warrior Priest and Bright Wizard, how awesome would Empire be? So to boost their numbers they get Bretonnia … more humans, and Wood Elves … more elves. Does that WOW you? A new army of polite, well-mannered humans on horses and redneck elves. I mean, feral elves who have an affinity for nature.

If Skaven are to be the first new race we see, Order needs something added in order to keep them viable. And the only race I see as being sexy enough to draw new players for them are the Lizardmen.

A Skaven/Lizardmen pairing makes a lot of sense from the rodent/reptile perspective. And Bretonnia with all its grailing, questing, and chivalry make them the goodie-goods of WAR and therefore should be paired with the evilest of evil, Vampires. And where no one should argue, Beastmen/Wood Elves make sense.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll devote a post to each of these new races promising to take a positive outlook on their viability and potential if added to the WAR as well as some other thoughts this official grouping could mean for the game.