Home > Uncategorized > WAR’s 12 Days of Christmas – Day 9

WAR’s 12 Days of Christmas – Day 9

Skaven
Ah the time has come to address this issue… 1.4 brought us Skaven… sort of. When most people asked for Skaven ages ago they wanted a playable army. The skaven bundle came in two flavors: Thanquol’s Incursion – a PvPvE dungeon I’ve already discussed; and 4 new ‘classes’. More precisely we got 4 rat skins with 6-8 abilities each. When you look at the average class which has about 25 abilities this is a rather slim comparison. In my opinion the skaven are nothing but a cheap gimmick. They hardly add to the RvR experience (both due to limited numbers and class utility) and are all in all pretty bland. Most people who subbed hearing ‘Skaven are coming!’ probably unsubbed already disappointed with the product. Those who have stayed are staying for reasons which are most likely not the skaven. I have little doubt in my mind that if the skaven in their current form were removed not many people would cry. That is in fact what I am asking for – get rid of the rat skins and give us a playable skaven army.

For those who think I’m jumping on my lore bandwagon again, I am not. Allow me to explain why the classes don’t really fit/work out so well.

  • Gutter Runner – Probably the most popular class, but why? Well simply put it is too strong. More often than not you see players running around as a GR who usually fulfill the role of healers or tanks, classes that lack burst killing power. And burst killing power is exactly what the GR has too much of. Healers critting me for 1.5k? Something isn’t quite right here. Aside from the stabbity stab combo the GR also has a snare net which makes kiting classes handicapped, can leap far away and subsequently stealth mid combat. Killing these guys is a pain in the ass because most of the time they are the most cowardly players who pop on you from stealth, snare net you, stab you, get down to 50% health, jump away and stealth. Having failed to kill you they stalk you in stealth indefinitely and seek to fulfill their vendetta once fully healed up. Aside from these dps abilities they have a radar which broadcasts the location of all enemies for like 100 feet and a siege weapon booby trap. All in all most of these abilities seem very potent to the degree they would be upper level mastery tree abilities. If anything this class could be balanced more by giving the stealth a timer and preventing stealth while in combat.
  • Warlock Engineer – This class has a powerful burst damage but two of its abilities are group buffs… yay… and another is a siege weapon repair… yay. The lower range (at lower RRs) makes this class frustrating to play and virtually useless in keep sieges since, yeah you can fire off a lucky shot here and there, but I’m guessing until you hit rr100 and the range improves this class won’t be so grand.
  • Rat Ogre – I’m not entirely sure what to say about this class. It has a lot of health but can’t really do much. It can bang on doors which hardly anyone does. The one reason many people pick up this class is to charge through the enemy and knock them all back (and these people are no doubt the same people who troll SMs on the forums for AoE punting). The only other ability which sticks out is the ability to hurl friendlies up onto walls, but then the Rat Ogre is left lonely at the bottom picking flowers. There is something lacking here but I don’t know what.
  • Packmaster- Now this one is just plain boring. So you can summon rats which do shit for damage, jump to a rat ogre… who I guess can throw you in the air, or you can heal, a crappy heal at that.

There is definitely a balance issue with these four classes. The Gutter Runner is too strong and in general a ganking class; the Warlock Engineer is a ranged class with no range and a buffer; the other two are just gimmick classes which are rather bland. These classes are more or less pigeon-holed into fulfilling one duty and one duty alone. If this is the best version of Skaven Warhammer Online is going to get, then it is complete crap.

What Mythic gave us in 1.4 with the Skaven army could have been achieved just as well and with less discontent from the player base if the Tomb Kings had been used. Yesterday I wrote about LotD and how it can be expanded but not easily manipulated into a 4-archtype playable army since they are all mindless undead. Well who better to control than the mindless undead? If you’re going to play this off as a “I’ve got something you want so I’m going to control you” mechanic, while it works for Skaven, it would work just as well for the Tomb Kings and allow you to save the Skaven for a more fleshed out expansion. The fight in Thanquol’s could have been just as easily implemented using a tomb of a grand scale, perhaps a grand temple, and the four classes could have been confined to the mindless undead – say Bone Giants, Ushabti, Lich Priests, and Tomb Guards… I don’t know, I’m sure someone who knows more about the Tomb Kings could provide much better feedback here. The point is that this implementation of Skaven is not only a disappointment, but a grand disappointment on the scale of LotD. When we got LotD Warhammer fans knew that the Tomb Kings would never be a playable army in WAR. When we got Skaven a la 1.4 the same message was received.

Get rid of the rat skins and if you want to keep the gimmick then do it with an army that is more suitable and give us fleshed out Skaven.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. December 21, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    “Healers critting me for 1500?”

    YOUR WELCOME! 🙂

    Oh, and the only reason i use rat ogres is to join random warbands and toss people into the order zerg to… “Help them gank” 😀

    Oh.. eka I have a challenge for you… rant about http://www.whalliance.com/forums/showthread.php?t=337167

    • December 21, 2010 at 2:46 PM

      Tru, you get the torches, I’ll grab the pitchforks!

  2. December 21, 2010 at 8:56 PM

    DOING IT NOW ! 😀

  3. Drag
    December 22, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    these clases are adition to you battle strategy, not just toy for solo players. You sure are joking about warlock as it is the weapon of mass destruction on every siege. And rat ogre ability to toss people is so fking op. 2 rat ogres are able to send wb behind enemy in no time so they canunleah inferni in their lines wjile their try to hold enemies in gate. I agree on packmaster as its realy only a ogers buffer. which is sad.

    • Drag
      December 22, 2010 at 3:22 PM

      but anyway you relly did miss the point of this classes ekalime

    • December 22, 2010 at 9:44 PM

      A warlock is a weapon of mass destruction? It has two offensive abilities. TWO. If your attention span can only handle two abilities, then that’s perfectly fine (I can see people who play WPs and only spam group heal or Chosen who only spam Ravage loving these classes because you have only 2 abilities to choose from so no one will blame you for spamming them). This is not a class that requires brainpower to assess the situation. All of these classes are pigeon-holed into fulfilling one function, however good or poor it is – THAT is my point. These are not classes, they are skins with a few abilities.

      No sir, I believe you missed the point of the post. The point was that these are not classes, they are gimmicks, little toys. The player base did not want skaven skins, they wanted a fleshed out Skaven army.

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