Friday, March 13, 2009

WAR, PotBS, Skaven

One criticism of WAR, often by DAoC vets, is that the game needs a 3rd realm. I think this argument does hold some water when it comes to population balance. When you have only 2 factions, and no self-balancing system, the strong will just keep getting stronger. If Order was dominating a server, the other two realms may be able to join forces and oppose them. In WAR, this is not an option, the losing side really has nowhere to get help from.

So where does Pirates of the Burning Sea come into play? In PotBS, there are nation factions (i.e. England, France) and a pirate faction. The nations can capture and hold ports, while the pirates can only capture them for a short period of time. The pirates also get more PvP privileges and can capture ships.

Warhammer was built around the Order and Destruction pairing (mechanics, zones etc) , so the introduction of a traditional third faction seems highly unlikely. However, it may be possible to introduce a 'pirate' faction.

This would be a perfect place to introduce the Skaven. Lore wise, it seems they are a Chaos race, but I'm not sure how much of an ally they are to Destruction. They are rats... pirates... get it? It's early.

The Skaven would not have a capturable city. They may have a home area which provides basic services, but no city ranks or anything. Skaven would live in the RvR lakes. As they are rodent type creatures, they could have warcamps underground with several entrances exits. If the developers were so inclined, they could give them underground PvE areas (no need to do much work to the existing zones).

Some sort of mechanic would be needed to allow them to pick which side to fight on. As I never played DAoC, I'm not sure how that worked in the pvp areas. Were the 2 other factions always red (attackable)? This would also allow the skaven to join their allies in a fort/city siege. However, there would be no keep/BO captures for Skaven in this system, unless they are able to capture it for Order/Destruction.

So the existence of the Skaven is mostly dedicated to PvP. They fight who they want and can switch sides. On the downside, they don't have much (if any) PvE content. There is always a risk that this side would become too popular as well, causing another kind of imbalance.

So what do you think, could a 3rd faction like this fit into Warhammer?


It's an interesting idea to have a 3rd realm, with no homeland.

The problem has always been in my eyes, the PVE map is so tightly integrated into each other.

However the 3rd dimension has never been exploited. We could have a 3rd realm running underneath the maps.

Now it wouldn't be as big as the others, since I would like to see them partially intergrating the content of order and destruction into this 3rd realm (Say Skaven).

I think I would like them to be totally independant of the other 2 realms. They are a 3rd factor in the fight, emeny to both Order and Des.

The problem is that they would never really become a 3rd power, since they would be starting from the start. But I think it would make things very very interesting.

I would make their realm intergate with say Empire vs Chaos in tier 1, dwarf vs Orc tier 2 etc, so they are jumping from one to another all the way up to 40.

Those are my thoughts.

I still have a hunch that Skaven will end up in game as a Destruction race with Lizardmen added to Order, but putting that aside, this concept could really work.

Its actually the most lore acceptable way of brining them into the game. The Skaven are essentially anarchists, they really don't belong with Order or Destruction. They are children of Chaos in that it is responsible for their existance, but they are in no way tied to the armies of the major gods. They'll really fight anyone.

The entire Skaven empire is underground, so giving them areas like that makes perfect sense. The Under-empire could make for some useable new PvE areas for everyone too.

I think I could see giving them a capital, but not being capturable. They have a main city, Skavenblight, but it exists 90% underground and at the center of a poison swamp. No body else would want to take it from them, its a rat warren, literally.

If you borrowed the mechanics from DAoC the other factions would be red at all times.

I've got a hunch on a basic 4 classes for them.

Melee DPS - The Assassin - dual or even triple wielding, stealthy, focusing on poison effects.

Ranged DPS - The Warlock Engineer - Combining magic and tech, focusing on lightning, with some kind of backfire mechanic.

Healer - The Plague Monk - DoT based damage, maybe alot of HoTs, but also thinking heals that hurt the caster

Tank - The Beast master - A pet based tank, borrowing alot of ideas from the DAoC necro where the player operated largely through the pet directly, using a Rat Ogre to tank.

Wow, that was probably way too much text. Needless to say, I really want Skaven in WAR.

I've been pretty skeptical of the addition of a third realm, for many of the reasons everyone has listed. However, I think that you have outlined a very reasonable way to implement skaven (or another race, perhaps) into the game. I especially like the idea of the skaven being a "pirate" or mercenary race that has shifting loyalties and operates solely within the RvR aspects of the game.

The skavens are exxactly what I have been thinking too! Skavens would be easy enough to introduce to existing areas as they do not need any surface areas occupied, only tunnels. Lorewise Skavens would be perfect 3rd faction as they rarely form alliances with anybody else (they consider themselves superior). But if we stretch lore a bit we might bundle vampires / other undeads to the same faction. That would make the faction a bit more diverse.

I really hope mythic has something like this in development :-)

But..but..what about Lizard men, or the Vampire Lords??

Skaven are definitely a fan favourite and I've been meaning to post a Lore article about them for months, but I'm not sure if they'd be a faction all on their own. Unless Mythic could actually build Skavenblight, I don't really see them taking on "faction" status.

One army however that could in fact be a third faction could be the Tomb Kings. We know they're not affiliated with neither Chaos or Order and we know Mythic is busy working away and building the zones for them. My guess is we see them "pop up" throughout the Old World in a few months and for Mythic to give us a true reason lore-wise why we're suddenly trekking south into the sands.

Undead are not a viable option as a playable race in WAR, they have no free will. You can't have a zombie shopping at a merchant and chatting to people ;) And vampires have a bit of an issue with the whole sunlight thing :D Skaven would be perfect though and this could be an interesting way to bring them in. There are also other options for them to have allies as a full on third faction, Ogre Kingdoms, Beadtmen and Chaos Dwarves for example, though again there are some issues. But most things can be worked round though with some imagination I err imagine ;)

I say we could have the ratmen crash a spaceship near Altdorf...wait that doesn't work for lore...didn't bother blizz.

Thats blizzards crappy lore mate, Games Workshop are far more protective of theirs. Obviously there's lots of things they let people bend, but the key make up of their races is fairly set. For GW this game is just a side project, but they are as agressively protective of their IP as always.

surely it would maek sense to have khemri as the 3rd realm with the new area coming soon?

Most undead wouldn't make sense for PCs, but there are enough with free will: Wights, wraiths, liches, necromancers, mummies, vampires (power level issues, but they're there), ghouls, banshees, etc. I've listed 8, that's 2 sets worth, 2/3 of a realm. Shame Khemri and VC don't get on, so it makes little sense as a realm, but then neither does greenskins/DE. Maybe they could finagle the Chaos Dwarfs in somehow for the other 1/3 of the realm? With 3 factions there'd be much less of the overwhelmingly storng faction problem on servers.

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