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Hypothetical Expansion 2: A New Racial Pairing

Today’s announcement in the Developer Roundtable of the official forums actually fits perfectly with the scenario I intended to propose today. Technically speaking this is sorta Scenario 1a because of the similarity but it deserves its own special section.

Scenario 2 : New Racial Paring(s)

The Possibility: So with our aforementioned statements “the Red Plague had come” and “we want to shout it from the rooftops…but not just yet” and today’s announcement in the 1.3.6 LotD changes thread that plague rats are in the RvR lakes we delve further into the possibility that a new race will be tacked onto the two existing realms.

Skaven?: These references made by Mythic are big clues shouting ‘Skaven!’ mainly because Plague Rats are well… rats (presumably from Clan Pestilens) and so are Skaven… and the reference to the Red Plague, which some Warhammer Lore-masters have cited refer to either the plague in Lustria where Red Crested Skinks won the day or the Red Pox in Bretonnian history – the Lizardman theory being the longer-stretch in an attempt to drag two beloved races to WAR. Mykiel made a great post back in April about the Bretonnian theory and other people have been pondering the 1.3.4 grab bag which had curiously placed red dots on the screen behind the developers, the main concentration of which are in Bretonnia. I’ll do some cross referencing on my maps later to try and label all the dots, for the most part they coincide with the capitals of the Bretonnian provinces.

The Requirements: One of the key requirements in my mind is the necessity for more than one pairing. If you look at the existing pairings you will notice that no racial paring mirrors its archtypes directly across. For example take the Dwarves: the Ironbreaker’s mechanic-mirror is a Dark Elf; the Rune Priest’s mechanic-mirror is from Chaos; the Engineer’s mechanic-mirror is from Chaos; and the Slayer’s mechanic-mirror is a Greenskin. Although they are paired with Greenskins, the archtypes span all the Destruction races. So unless Mythic was being lazy, should a race be added, say Skaven, then the mechanic-mirrors wouldn’t coincide directly with their opponent in the racial pairing. This could potentially mean the introduction of 2 or more racial pairings in installments to balance the mechanics.  Or if Mythic was truly out of ideas they could use existing mechanics and limit their expansion to one racial pairing.  A secondary requirement would naturally be the construction of zones for all the tiers.

The Pros: Any new content would be gladly accepted, but new playable races would most likely be swallowed up with great glee. Depending on the races released, this type of expansion could be a second chance at life for Warhammer Online.

The Question’s to be Raised:

  • How would additional pairings work in T4? Our current campaign requires 2/3 pairings captured for access to the other faction’s city. With more pairings how would this ratio be reworked?
  • Who do we get? Games Workshop has 15 armies, 6 of which Mythic already uses. Of the remaining armies only three are conceivable as ‘Order’ – Bretonnia, Lizardmen, and Wood Elves, and if you fudge enough you can squish the Ogre Kingdoms for ‘Order’ although they would work best as mercenaries in my proposed solution for a third realm in my prior post. The remaining 5 armies are undeniably ‘Destruction’ – Vampire Counts, Skaven, Beastmen, Demons of Chaos, and Tomb Kings; although, the Tomb Kings were introduced in LotD as an unplayable Dungeon zone and the Demons of Chaos are more or less already in the Chaos army and in dungeons.
  • Would new maps be constructed for them or would they be orphans without a home? It would seem only fair that they received 9 zones (plus 2 forts) like the other pairings but this seems like a lot of work for what is perceived as an undermanned Mythic Staff
  • How do you bend the lore to mesh some of these remaining armies into existing alliances? In my prior post I cited how the blue team sometimes fights the blue team and always fights the red team, and the red team sometimes fights the red team and always the blue team, but some of the guys on the blue team never fight together. Take the Wood Elves for example, they sometimes fight against Bretonnia, sometimes with them (like in the Red Pox) but they almost always fight against the Dwarves and not with them. However, considering the lore-bending Mythic has done I’m sure anything is possible at this point.
  • Class Balance – A lingering and touchy subject in the world of WAR. Considering there are 24 classes which are still considered unbalanced, how would an influx of ‘x’ more help the situation?

The Finances: As with the introduction of a third realm, the introduction of new races for Order and Destruction would bring a wave of new players to the game. If Mythic did the financially right thing this could potentially bring in large profits. If you use my mechanic-mirror theory and assume that any introduced pairing would require additional pairings to balance out the mirrors then we can hypothetically say that Mythic can release three pairings as three separate expansions. How does this make money? What Mythic can do is announce the expansion ahead of time and make a program that goes as such “Monkey’s now available as a playable race in WAR in September!”. If you are a subscribed player for three months prior to release you get the content for free (that’s three months of subscription so re-subbing players will pay $45 thinking they’re getting the expansion for free and those of us already playing are rewarded with free content); you play a month prior to release  you get early access and then can pay to upgrade at a lower price, say $15; you play at or after release you have to pay for the expansion.  Three months after this they can announce pairing two with likewise stipulations (giving them roughly 6 months to tweek issues with pairing1 and develop pairing 2). This way players wanting new races are hooked subbing months in advance to get ‘free’ content.

Conclusion: Adding new races to Warhammer into the existing factions would give players a new reason to play. For many like myself, we’ve already been playing for over a year. That’s a year fighting over the same zones and doing the same scenarios day after day. People are leaving because there isn’t any new content. This is the type of expansion to give WAR a second chance. With the city instances polished, lag issues brought under control, and more and more bugs fixed WAR is shaping up to be the game it should have been at release – now many would argue that what it needs is more bodies to kill!

Eka’s Carrot: If Mythic is allowed to dangle carrots in front of people’s faces then so am I! So a few months back with the “Red Plague” comment a few of my guildies and myself have taken up the project to design our dream racial pairings. We’re working on three pairings and all four archtypes for each pairing so mayhaps after I’m done with my Hypothetical Expansion Scenarios chain I can begin to post up some of our archtypes =) And yes, we do have Skaven.

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