So, Mark Jacobs announced, as I pointed out in my last rant, that 4 capitol cities and 4 classes were to be stripped from Warhammer pre-launch.
This is what he had to say about the classes:
"Do we put in some non-great careers just because they are iconic, or we cut them out and put them in post-launch if we can get them right, or do we not put them in at all?"
Another option would be: Replace them with classes that do in-fact, work.
The four classes they are taking out are:
Knight of the Blazing Sun (Empire Tank) - This class is based on one of the knightly orders, albeit one that I don't think I've ever heard about in Warhammer lore. Why not stick to the core material folks? Why not use the knights panther, or the reiksguard? Why create an order just for this game when so many flavorful and interesting classes already exist?
Blackguard (Dark Elf Tank) - This guy wasn't really impressing me at all, so I've paid very little attention to him so far. Also, it's an elf. Meh.
Hammerer (Dwarf Melee DPS) - This guy, wields a big hammer, and keeps on attacking. The longer he attacks, the harder he hits supposedly. Nice mechanic. Honestly tho, in the lore Hammerers are bodyguards. They protect the king, and the thanes, and their families, etc... This would be a great group of guys to be guards, NPCs that is, not players, but I'll get into my suggestions more later on.
Choppa (Orc melee DPS) - Their mechanic was supposed to be similar to the Hammerer. The longer the fight lasts, the harder these beserker-ish guys hit.
So, with the basic descriptions out of the way, here's what I want to focus on. Melee DPS. Hammerer and Choppa. The most recent info I could find on these two was from June 4th on Massively where they interviewed some of EA Mythic's staff regarding the different classes. Here's the blurb about these 2 classes:
"We're not really talking about their mechanic right now," says Adam. They're still "under the hood", but the general class role is that of the momentum berserker-brawler. They build up fury, bounce from target to target, destroying all in their paths."
Okay, sounds great. Can't wait to see em on the BETA. Oh wait, they aren't on the beta. In fact, I haven't seen them at all, the whole time I've been in the beta.
What the hell? Mark Jacobs said that the testers and the devs agreed these classes weren't working. Well, how the hell could the testers agree if they couldn't have tested the classes? Hmmm? Ok great, a year ago, before they had a decent sampling of testers, someone had a problem? I dunno, the whole thing smacks of skullduggery and shady practices. Also, on the idea of a focused beta, wherein only certain things are tested for a short span of time, sounds great in theory. But... wouldn't you want someone testing all aspects of the game, all the time. If you have the testers, why not collect the data. Sure, you can find out a lot about and area of your game by having everyone focus on it for a while, but you are going to have multiple servers at some point (at least by retail release) so why not start early, pick a sampling of your testers, and set them aside on a server that runs continuously. Allow them access to 100% of the game 100% of the time. It's only through prolonged testing and scrutiny that some of your bugs/problems will crop up.
Here's where I give my 2 cents on what I think would be cool.
Melee DPS: Replace the hammerer and choppa. What new classes should take their places?
Slayer - They've been in the screenshots, hell, he's in the cinematic, but nope, not gonna let us play him. Wth Mythic? One of the most highly visible icons attached to the warhammer world, and we can't play with it. Missing a gold mine.
Savage Orc - Tattooed, andgry, wait, isn't that the slayer's description. Oh, hold on, could that be the shared mechanic? Dual wielding, Tattooed maniacs. Depending on which tattoos you activate, you can be more defensive, or more offensive. You can have weapon styles like the beserker did in DAoC. Give them some positional stuff, and bring back left axe.
Tanks: Replace the 2 they've got. Why go with them in the first place?
For the elves, give them the executioner, make him like the swordmaster, and bam, good to go. Or even, Cold One knights. You start out as a squire or novice, or w/e and you wear the heavy armor, tank, take the hits, etc... Eventually you get your mount (Cold One) and bam, you look the part.
For the empire, use the knights of the white wolf. These guys can fight hammer and shield, or go with their cav hammers to bash people's heads in.
Both of these would segue nicely into mounted combat, if ever such a thing rears its ugly head in WAR.
Dark Elves in general:
The sorceress would have worked just fine like the archmage, remove the disciple of Khaine, and give the ranged dps slot to the city guard. How cool would a repeating crossbow be to use? Hmm?
I would have given the dark elves the following lineup:
Cold One Knight - Tank
City Guard - Ranged DPS (crossbows of repeatyness!!!)
Sorceress - Caster DPS / Healing
Witch Elf - Melee DPS
Although, another interesting option for melee dps would have been the executioner, which honestly, the black guard looks like it was modeled after.
And why is the Swordmaster a tank, why not melee dps. Give the light elves dragon princes or something. Then, when they get older, they get to ride little drakes that look like less-dinoish cold ones.
But, for now, that's my 2cents. I'll be cleaning up this post sometime this weekend and submitting it all to the beta boards. Lets see what the devs think of this stuff, eh?