As those of you who follow the MMO scene may have heard, I think it has been mentioned once or twice in the blogosphere, Warhammer Online is fast approaching and the song of the Hype Harpy is reaching a fever pitch, and with her siren melody she has driven many bloggers mad in a frothing frenzy of fanboyism
To me WAR is looking like it might be some form of game, one that could be played for some measure of time, and that will perhaps involve a modicum or more of entertainment. Anything else would be fancy and speculation, even with beta experience, because no beta that I’ve ever been involved in has ever represented or accurately reflected the experience that Joe and Jane Normalplayer will see when they enter the game on its official launch, much less a beta buried beneath such a writhing groping horde of intertwined fanboys, like some sort of bastard chaos child of Tzeentch’s hope, ambition, scheming and lies, and Slaanesh’s self-indulgence and excess, all arms and legs and salivating biting groaning heads.
Having said all that, I don’t think it hurts for normal people to get somewhat interested in events per se, and a little forward planning avoids hasty decisions come launch day and the inevitable regret and re-rolling that shortly follows; well, it avoids it for most people, alas I am a lost cause and I expect several character re-rolls have already been soothsaid for me by the Oracle of Delphi.
It appears that some very organised souls on the colonial side of the pond have already started on the initial formation of a guild, and I suppose it is worth staking an initial flag (Do you have a flag? No flag, no country.) in the ground atop Mount OrganisationalShambles and seeing if there are any EU bloggers or blog readers who are interested in forming a guild. We’ll need a name and a flag, I shall offer forward ‘The Sodality of the Tankard-and-Sword’, ‘The Gentlemen Scoundrels’ or ‘Guardians of the Golden Gourd’ as an initial salvo for a guild name, and let counter offers, abuse or just plain ambivalence follow.
Other than pondering on the shape and form of a guild, I’ve been trying to work out which class I’m going to play at launch. I mentioned before that I’d narrowed it down to either the Ironbreaker or the Warrior Priest, but was very much torn between the two. I usually play healer to the merry band of adventurers (consisting of Zoso, Elf, another of our friends who is a blog abstainer, and anyone else who happens to want to tag along) and it’s a role that I enjoy and one where I can often be found ‘rocking the socks’, as I believe they say on the street. However, I loves me a good dwarf, if you know what I mean (and I think you do), but they never seem to be of a class that I fancy playing; that is, they never usually have an appealing healer class.
So what is it with race/class restrictions in MMOs these days, why does there have to be this somewhat arbitrary ruling that dwarves, picking an example entirely at random of course, can’t be Warrior Priests. I mean, of all the types of healing classes that I would see as fitting with the concept of a dwarf, a plate-wearing, hammer-wielding religious nutter in the midst of battle would pretty much sum it up perfectly. I know that Lore (Huh. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing, say it again now…) is often cited as the reason that, say, Gnomes can’t be Druids, and Dwarves can’t be Shaman in WoW, for example, but then the developers will throw all Lore (Huh. What is it good for? Etc.) to the four corners of the world when it suits them. Death Knights and Blood Knights and retcons, oh my. So Lore (Huh. What… stop that!) is a fairly weak excuse, and other than that, it seems to be nothing more than a way to differentiate races a little. And this is ‘the suck’, as I believe they say in the brothels.
Isn’t it time we dropped these arbitrary restrictions that force players to make choices that have no worth in terms of game-play or balance, and could otherwise allow them the freedom to play the race and class of their choosing?
Anyway, bearing in mind that I’ve no beta experience so only have the website information and various YouTube beta videos of game-play to go on, I was generally resigned to the fact that I’d roll one of each of the classes I’d decided on and try them for a few levels and see which one took my fancy the most. And the Oracle of Delphi laughed maniacally as the Prophecy of Alts came to pass.
Or so it thought.
However, Fate decided to poke the Oracle in the eye with a spoon or something, because I read some information the other day on the ever informative, if not entirely accurate at all times, Warhammer Online Wiki. It was whilst browsing around the site that I stumbled across the page pertaining to mounts, and more specifically the page for the dwarf mount.
Let me express to you, in one syllable, my hatred for cutesy faux-steampunk impossible-to-build machines of utterly stupid design that are crammed into fantasy settings because the designers and artists couldn’t bothered to try to create and animate a bear, or wolf, or ram or any other decent bloody animal mount that they could have picked:
Sorry, that was more than one syllable, I sort of choked on my own bile at the end there.
I know that Paul Barnett apparently didn’t want WAR’s designers ripping-off WoW, but did they at least investigate mounts and their popularity? Do you know how many pages there are out on that wide web o’ the world that are dedicated to getting a different racial mount for a Gnome in WoW, so as to avoid the embarrassment of riding around on an metal ostrich that has second stage heroin withdrawal symptoms. Let me tell you, it’s a lot of pages, there’re probably more pages than you can see stars in the sky at night. Those hideously naff motorised mounts, and yes I acknowledge that there are three of you out there that do actually like them, are just the most stupid, the most ridiculous, the most obviously contrived attempt at being cute outside of the dancing murloc with the top hat.
I’ve got nothing against Steampunk you understand, when crafted with care it’s a fantastic genre and an acceptable addition to a straight-laced fantasy world, but by the seven gods these wibble-wobbling, smoke-puffing, clattering contrivances are not Steampunk.
Is Arsepunk a genre yet? Because I think these mounts would fight right in.
It’s a fickle decision I know, but it at least leaves me free to pick my initial choice, the Warrior Priest without too much regret, and although a horse is utterly boring as a mount, it’s a thousand fold better than a moronic deity-damned helicopter bloody backpack thing. Graaarrrgh!
I do regret that I can’t play a dwarf warrior priest with an armoured bear mount, but MMOs aren’t about what the players want, they’re about what the developers are willing to let them have.
I have to wonder, though, if there are many other people like me (with regards to MMO decisions like this, not whether there are other moderately insane people blathering to themselves on a public blog), or are the majority of players like Zoso, who tends to pick a race and class that they think they’ll get on ok with, and then settle into it regardless of whether certain aspects of the race/class might not appeal quite as much as those from another race/class later on. Whether I’m in the minority or the majority, I have to confess that I envy the easy commitment that those on the other side of the picket fence of character creation enjoy.
So this time I’m determined to follow in the committed footsteps of those others, and it’s the Warrior Priest and no alts for me.
Why do I hear the Oracle of Delphi laughing so?