Gimme a stuntie ta smash!
Well, last week we took a look at the Slayer, for those who couldn't make it onto the Public Test Server to try one out for themselves. The Slayer, a half naked, red haired, mohawk wearing carnival freak, is the newest addition to the Dwarfs repertoire of careers, filling in the Melee DPS category. However, he's not alone. Along with him comes the latest addition to the Orc's career group, also in the Melee DPS category, the Choppa! For those who don't remember, the Choppa was a fan favorite during the beta testing and there was much disappointment to be had when it was one of the four removed classes prior to launch. He's back, however, and ready to kick some serious butt... but is the butt the Choppa will be kicking serious enough for you to decide to take the time to play one? Well, let's find out.
The Choppa lacks things that the Slayer has, like a flaming red mohawk, desire to run around half naked, and the prodigious Buddha belly that the other Order classes rub for good luck before a fight. Instead, the Choppa looks like a giant hairless, rabid, green, mutant gorilla... in other words, like an Orc. One of the things that the Choppa will be bringing with him to the world of the Greenskins though, is the introduction of body paint. No, not that sissy henna/celtic knotwork garbage the stunties have. Think more Lord of the Flies/Clan of the Cave Bear/Mrs. Henderson's Kindergarten class' "Wall of Finger painting Excellence", style of body paint. It's a nice edition for the Choppa, but don't take too much time hemming and hawing over which one to choose because the Choppa wears armor unlike his short, sausage fingered counterpart, so after a few levels, it won't be as visible. You still have your standard Orc stuff like scars and shades of green, so there aren't many aesthetic changes other than the tattoo.
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Only good stuntie is a DEAD stuntie!
The other thing your Choppa won't have are unique little sayings like the Slayer does. See, the Choppa is an Orc, and Orcs do one thing from the time they spawn (they're grown from spores, so they're not really "born", per se) to the times they die. They fight. So you won't hear your Orc yelling stuff like "The SHAME!" as he pummels his foe or "Give me death!" because they never feel shame and they don't really care about death so much, just as long as they get to fight, something they do surprisingly well. Get a group of Choppas running around together and it's as if someone unleashed a pack of really pissed off, rabid gorillas on you and you're holding a bushel of bananas. There'll be slaughter, blood, and banana peels (or flesh. With everything covered in the aforementioned blood, it's hard to tell sometimes) all over the place. If you're on the battlefield, and you see a pack of these things coming at you, then you've just become the odds on favorite for who'll be taking the big dirt nap in the next 30 seconds.
In fighting, Choppas are very much like Slayers. Both work off the "Berserk" mechanic. The more rage you have, the more damage you do, but get too angry and you begin to sacrifice damage mitigation for more DPS. They have the same style "Berserk" gauge that looks like a speedometer, so you can track your rage and keep it within optimal levels. The ability sets are very similar with just minor alterations. A Slayer ability may take down your Armor score while a Choppa ability works on your Toughness score. Just like the Slayer, you get no rage management until level 2, and then you get "Reckless Blow" which drains your "Berserk" meter. Also like the Slayer, you get your first snare at level 3 in "Don't go Nowhere" and your first AoE with "Lotsa Choppin'" at level 4. "Go For Da Soft Spot" is you first positional attack at 7 and gives your opponents just one more reason to add to the list of why you never let an Orc get behind you.
Clothes really do make the Orc
As tough as the Choppa are, they're far from indestructible. While there was an issue early on with their starting hit points, make no mistake that you are Melee DPS and that makes you squishy. Your Berserk meter fills up quick, and once you hit that 75%+ phase, you'll be dying more than the new Sorceress who just joined your scenario if you're not careful. Don't let that deter you from jumping right in the mix though. Whether you fight in the front or fight in the back, you can plan to get killed often, so be what you are and charge into battle screaming and yelling and foaming at the mouth. Remember, you're an Orc, and you've got things to kill!
As a class, the Choppa will make an excellent addition to the Greenskins, who've only had the Black Orc as their only Orc choice so far. They match up well against the Slayer, and you can expect to see seas of green swarming towards your Order characters in the very near future.
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