For massively multiplayer online gamers, nothing is more thrilling than
the addition of new classes. Not only do they often provide a
completely new experience for player, they also give new players in the
game a fresh set of faces to experience the game with.
Back before the launch of href="http://warhammer.tentonhammer.com/" target="_blank"> style="font-style: italic;">Warhammer
Online: Age of Reckoning, the developers at
Entertainment opted to pull out four of their original starting
classes, stating that they just weren't ready to see the light of
release. Since that time the developers have released two of the
classes during a "Heavy Metal" event, and now they've announced the
final two classes to make their way into the original game: href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/62250" target="_blank">the
Slayer and the Orc Choppa.
To pave the way for their upcoming content, Mythic Entertainment's Jeff
Hickman sat down with Cody "Micajah" Bye to get the exclusive scoop on
the Slayer, the Choppa, and the upcoming RvR dungeon "The Land of the
Dead." Make sure you check out the interview, then to hear more about
the upcoming classes stop in to href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/voon" target="_blank">Ten
Ton Hammer's official "Call to
Arms" vooncast tonight featuring the WAR developers talking
new classes and content!
and the Choppa are the last two of the "original" classes.
Ten Ton Hammer: We've
been hearing rumors about all sorts of things for the last few weeks.
Everyone's guessing that the Slayer and the Choppa are coming to WAR,
but what else is going on? How are you introducing everything?
How this all comes together is that we're having, what we're calling, a
"live expansion." It starts at the end of February, and we're calling
the entire arc the "Call to Arms."
Imagine that the kings of the realms have discovered an opportunity
rising in the distance, and this opportunity is a new land that has
been discovered. The kings want to check out and invade this land in
order to gain more power and help with the war efforts.
The first parts of this live expansion are really two things for the
kings, getting people to the area and then getting people in to help
win any battles that take place in the area.
So the first thing that happens in the live expansion is what we're
calling the "Bitter Rivals" event. Over this three month period of time
the event really focuses on the introduction of these two new classes
into the game. Basically, it's a week long event that allows you to
unlock the Orc Choppa and the Dwarf Slayer.
Ten Ton Hammer: Unlock
them for a head start, correct?
Yes, that is correct.
Ten Ton Hammer: Tell us
about the upcoming RvR dungeon that you're introducing. How does it
work? What are we going to see in the dungeon?
About a month after the Bitter Rivals event, we're still plotting this
out, but there's another event that chronicles the Call to Arms and
gets you closer to the final event: The introduction of the PvP
dungeon, "The Land of the Dead."
It's kind of a misnomer to call it a dungeon, because it actually comes
in two parts. In the first part, there's an external necropolis that is
outside. It's got desert sands, ruins and everything you might think of
when you think of a Tomb King related setting.
Then there's an internal part of the dungeon that is literally the Tomb
of the Vulture Lord that players can go adventure in. All of this takes
place in the Land of the Dead, so this dungeon is most definitely all
of the things we looked at when we were building the game.
When we sat down to make
Warhammer Online, we looked at style="font-style: italic;">Dark Age of Camelot
and Darkness Falls was one of those places that stood out as a shining
light. It was great, successful, and to this day it hasn't been
duplicated. We wanted to bring that to the Land of the Dead.
The area is gated by RvR, so you must fight your enemies and earn
control of this dungeon in order to enter it. Control will constantly
be flipping between Order and Destruction, so one side will have
control of the dungeon then the other side will gain access to it, and
during that time you'll actually overlap in the dungeon and be able to
fight each other.
will be an in-game event where lots of RvR and opponent deaths will
Ten Ton Hammer: When you
initially went in Darkness Falls, it was a straight shot down to the
depths of the dungeon and you had to fight everyone if you were going
in or escaping. Do you have anything like that built into the Land of
Absolutely. We call it the Purge and we play on it quite a bit more
than we did in Darkness Falls. Like you said, in Darkness Falls you
came in, ran down the hall, and killed anyone in your way.
We've got part of that in the Land of the Dead, because some of the
better parts of Darkness Falls was that you never knew exactly when
your enemy was going to get control. You were always in a hurry, always
trying to get in and kill monsters. Once you were deep in the dungeon,
you were always looking over your shoulder because you knew that enemy
players might be spilling into the dungeon at any moment.
The funny thing is, there wasn't usually that much RvR going on in the
dungeon. It just always felt like it was.
Ten Ton Hammer: There was
always a sense of dread that someone was going to sneak in behind you
and gank you while you were fighting a mob.
Exactly. There is actually a lot of PvE that goes on in the Land of the
Dead, and there are two things that can happen when control flips. One
thing is the open world RvR fighting that goes on in the necropolis
with all the ruins and crazy stuff that's happening outside.
Then there's the tomb itself, and there are actually multiple ways that
you can purge your enemies out of the tomb and get rewarded for killing
and purging your enemies out of that tomb.
I don't want to go into too much detail, but that's a good overview.
Ten Ton Hammer: Back in
Darkness Falls, you had a separate currency that players were awarded
with after killing the monsters in that dungeon. Are you planning on
implementing something like that into the Land of the Dead?
don't want to answer that question directly, but I won't say no.
Honestly, there are five things in Darkness Falls that you can point at
as being "really cool" and any of those things you will see in the Tomb
Ten Ton Hammer: I never
got high enough in levels to venture to the end of Darkness Falls, but
when you get to the end of the Tomb of the Vulture Lord, is there going
to be a big, epic boss mob?
There are definitely some surprises that you'll see in the Tomb of the
Vulture Lord. If you think about how Darkness Falls was, it was also
set into two different regions. There was a sort of "upper" area, which
you have in the Land of the Dead as the necropolis. It's a bit lower
level - you can get in at low level 32 and stay there till around your
mid-30s - and there's lots of interesting things going on.
But just like in Darkness Falls, the really experienced players can
venture into the next level. The Tomb of the Vulture Lord is a super
intense, super high level dungeon that caters to people that are
looking for something even more difficult than the Lost Vale (their
most dangerous PvE adventure). This is a little bit higher level with a
little bit higher level rewards.
It has a lot of crazy encounters including a possible run in with the
Tomb King himself at the bottom of the dungeon then a surprise that
happens outside in the necropolis when you defeat the Tomb King.
Ten Ton Hammer: Are the
Tomb Kings going to have a possible expansion race, because you're
delving so heavily into the Land of the Dead and the Tomb King.
could, but I'll tell you frankly that we don't have that intent right
Ten Ton Hammer: Will the
new dungeon have new monsters and model and animations? Or is it a play
on stuff you've already created in the world?
yeah. Lots of new stuff.
Ten Ton Hammer: Let's
move onto the new classes, because I think that's what players are
really looking forward to. What can you tell me about the Slayer? What
kind of mechanics does he use?
Since the Choppa and the Slayer both use the same mechanic, I'll just
explain them both at once. There are definitely differences between the
two classes, but at the core they have the same mechanic. Let's just
call it "Berserker Rage."
If you look at both the Choppa and the Slayer, they're both guys that
have been designed to be super lightly armored, close-in melee DPS
fighters. These are guys that build up Berserker Rage, and as they're
in combat and their Berserker Rage builds up, they get stronger.
Their abilities do more damage, their weapons hit harder, they might
swing faster, and as they're filling their Berserker rage they're also
unlocking more abilities. But that's only good until a certain point.
At around fifty percent, they actually start to overextend themselves
and while they're still doing more damage they become much easier to
kill. They start taking more damage and their defense start going down.
It really becomes a balancing act for these classes to use their
abilities that use up their rage while still keeping their berserk at
the point they want it to be at depending on their current situation.
picture of the Choppa in the beta phase of WAR.
Ten Ton Hammer: Are these
two going to be the highest melee DPS classes in the game? Where do
they fit in with other melee DPS classes?
hesitate to answer the question because I don't have good numbers in
front of me, but I can tell you what the goal is. The goal is that
these guys put out a lot of damage. Are they going to be the highest
melee damagers? They're going to be close.
When you compare them to the Witchhunter and the Witch Elf and the
Marauder and the White Lion. they're all going to be similar in the
damage they put out. It really depends on the situation you're in and
which class fits best.
Ten Ton Hammer: So where
do you see these two classes excelling?
These are the guys that we want to see hit the back lines of the enemy.
They're going to have a hard time standing toe-to-toe with anyone that
can absorb damage. The Slayers don't wear any chest armor at all! He's
Ten Ton Hammer: Is there
going to be anything that goes in that equipment slot?
Potentially, we might see runes and tattoos going in that slot. That
said, you're definitely not a heavily armored guy. You want to avoid
damage as much as possible. His skills are all about damage avoidance
or mitigating that damage in other ways, and he's all about taking out
the weaker opponents quickly.
Ten Ton Hammer: So the
Choppa was in the original beta, but it's obviously been a few months
since then. How much has changed with this class? Will people that
played the Choppa in the beta feel like the class is completely
different? Or are they going to be pretty comfortable with that
There's obviously a few differences in the way he plays and his
abilities, but the feel of the career and the way he fights are very
very similar to the way he played in beta. He's a savage brawler that
wants to kill his enemies as quickly as possible.
Ten Ton Hammer: Are you
putting anything into the two starting areas that are specialized for
the Choppa and the Slayer? Something for players that have already gone
through those areas to go back and try?
have a couple things planned around the Bitter Rivals event that have
to do with both of these classes and have interesting new things that
have to do with the Choppa and the Slayer, but those things aren't
necessarily going to be permanent in the starting areas.
Ten Ton Hammer: Why did
you decide to go with the Slayer over the Hammerer? Personally, I
always felt like the Slayer was a much better concept and much more
iconic. Why'd you initially go with the Hammerer class and why did you
decide to switch that class to the Slayer?
always wanted it to be the Slayer. We always talked about having him in
the game. Unfortunately, there were always problems with putting the
Slayer into the game from the fact that it partially goes against the
lore to the fact that the class will be so popular that nobody will
play anything else. There were all sorts of different reasons.
But the biggest reason was really the lore. When we were in the beta
and looking at the classes, we realized that we needed another
dual-wielding DPS guy and we went back and forth with GW on the lore
and how we could do the Slayer and there was so much argument about the
class that we decided to go with the Hammerer instead.
We were never really satisfied with that answer. When we were given the
chance to go back and really focus on the class and examine what we
were doing, we decided to go back to the drawing board and really
figure out a way to make the Slayer work. We went back to GW and back
to our lore books and looked for precedence in how a player could
actually play of these guys.
Finally, we went to the masters at GW and asked them how they'd do it
and they plotted out a way to do it and that's exactly what we did.
That's when we said, "Let's do it."
Ten Ton Hammer: What was
the lore problem with the Slayer, for those people that aren't
incredibly familiar with the Warhammer IP?
Mostly, it had to do with what a Slayer is. A Slayer is a disgraced
Dwarf. he's a Dwarf who has had some great shame come down on him. The
reason these guys become a Slayer is that they want to die gloriously
in battle. They're searching for the biggest, baddest monster, the
biggest, baddest fight so that they can fight, lose, and die.
The problem is is that Dwarfs never give up, never say die, and so they
try their hardest in these battles and sometimes they survive. So in
some ways it's difficult to have a Slayer player character because
Slayers are essentially there to die.
It's one of those things where you ask, "Wow...how's that going to
We worked through the lore, and there are definitely precedents of
Slayers that live a long time. These guys are so powerful that they
live a long time and can't find anyone that can kill them. While it
definitely has some little stumbling blocks and the lore enthusiasts
will poke at us about it, we felt that the Slayer was so awesome and so
iconic for the game that we just couldn't pass it up.
in WAR will definitely stand out from other Dwarfs.
Ten Ton Hammer: The
Slayers in the lore have a pretty iconic look. Will players still be
able to change their look enough to feel different? Or are there going
to be massive armies of red mohawked Slayers running around?
think we have enough variation in the game that people will feel fine
about it, but we will definitely be sticking with the way Slayers look
in the lore. There will be variations in the types of haircuts that
they have. It's often a mohawk but there will be different types of
crazy haircuts for players to choose from. Lots of crazy hair color.
Tattoos and runes will also be included.
We'll also be doing plenty of things with axes and shoulder pads and we
can tell you that they'll really come out looking pretty awesome.
Ten Ton Hammer: Is there
anything else that's going to be included in this big expansion? Maybe
destructible keep walls or things of that nature that players have been
Don't forget about all the things that we've been finishing up over the
last four or five months. We love our game, but there are so many
things that we can still tweak here and tweak there. That's what we've
been doing the last few months.
We introduced two new careers, lots of balancing, itemization
improvements, lots of XP adjustments, smoothing out the client, lots of
different new content that we've done. We have no intention of backing
off on that, even with all the other stuff that we're doing.
Leading up and even while we're doing our stuff with the Call to Arms
event, there's so much that we're going to continue to do along those
lines. The zone domination and override system and the supplemental
system that's coming in a couple weeks allows guilds a different method
and a supplemental method of capturing zones.
Things like new and interesting rewards for guild claiming holding
keeps. All sorts of new guild rewards are coming into the game very
soon. A load of continual RvR benefits and rewards for going out into
Open RvR and calling other players.
Ten Ton Hammer: What are
you guys planning on bringing to the Ten Ton Hammer panel at the New
York Comic-Con for players to see?
don't want to ruin anything that we're going to do, but we've got a lot
of great things planned for that event. Paul's going to be there, and
there's going to be blood involved. We've got a ton of great stuff to
show everyone including some imagery and hopefully some in-game stuff
with the Slayer and the Choppa and maybe some info on the Land of the
Dead. Definitely lots of great stuff is planned for Comic-Con.
Ten Ton Hammer: Finally,
is there anything else you'd like to tell Ten Ton Hammer readers and style="font-style: italic;">Warhammer Online
want to highlight just how interesting and "big picture" the Call to
Arms live expansion is. It's going from the end of February basically
into May and there're so many things that are going on. It's going to
be an amazing sight to behold for players of the game.
With our new recruit-a-friend program and free trial program coming up,
we can get more people to come into WAR. The game just keeps getting
better and better.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Warhammer 40,000: Storm of Vengeance Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning Game Page.