Insight into the White Lions of Chrace's Pets with Mark Jacobs
A few weeks ago EA Mythic finally granted the wishes of the WAR Faithful everywhere and revealed the final High Elven class for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, their Melee DPS, the White Lion of Chrace. In a way, it was a belated announcment as there were several indications (some of which were explained in a previous article) that the White Lion would be the final class, going as far back as last year. Through out all the specualtion however, questions remained. "How does the class work? What sort of mechanic will they use? Will it be different or the same as most pet classes in other games?" Well, we here at Ten Ton Hammer were lucky enough to get a bit of insight from the General Manager of EA Mythic, Mark Jacobs himself, on specifically the pets of this highly anticipated class during an interview last week.
One of the main questions on everyone's mind is, of course, does the White Lion of Chrace differ from other pet classes in MMOg's today? Mark Jacobs' thoughts on this were:
"I think the number one difference with the White Lion is that it is a pet class with only one pet. You level that pet. One of the things, and I cannot take credit for putting this in for the White Lion, that was the class team, I always believed in the idea of pets that really do level."
A pet class leveling a pet isn't ground breaking by any means. WoW's Hunter class also allows your pet to level. However, leveling a single pet, one companion that stays with you the entire span of your character's life is unique in today's MMOG's. This means that there's no going out to train multiple creatures, having to retrain new pets over and over, or discarding current pets for newer pets in order to learn new abilities. You have one companion who fulfills all roles and is with you from start to finish. This reflects Mark's idea of the types of pets he likes to see, as supported by this quote:
"I just like the dynamic of having a pet that is more than just a pet. The idea has been around for decades. I like this dynamic. I like the idea that this is something you should care about much more than just your average, you know, "summon in and if it dies it dies" type pet. Back in the old days, I liked the idea of a pet dying and the owner falling into a quivering mess."
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The idea of "a pet that is more than just a pet" is one that is long overdue. Any pet class should be a team effort, but most pets for pet classes these days are treated as expendable assets. With this aspect making the White Lion's pet more than just a simple pet and more like a needed companion, one wonders how that mechanic will actually work? While we weren't given that amount of detail, I think the answer lies in the Career Mastery paths of the White Lions themselves. When you look at the three different paths, they all reflect on how The White Lion and his companion work in harmony. Whether it's the pet taking the brunt of the damage or the pet maintaining the majority of the DPS, the Paths of Mastery for a White Lion of Chrace all rely on there being a pet present. If not, the whole dynamic falls apart, possibly leaving you in a quivering mess.
At the end of the day, the White Lion of Chrace and their pet are a team, an idea not alien to pet classes in MMOG's of course, but slightly distanced by a few variations of the concept... or as Mark Jacobs put it:
"So it is not an earth shattering change to the dynamic, which is okay. You dont always have to do that."
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