Buffage the Vampire King SlayerJuly 15, 2008
With four classes yanked — perhaps forever — from the tomes of Warhammer Online’s playable races, four big questions arise: if these classes aren’t restored, what will Mythic choose in their place?
For the dwarfs, the answer might appear blindingly obvious. What if I told you there was already a class that Mythic’s mulled over, a class which is one of the most notorious and beloved dwarf career to date, a class which would provoke a swarm of players to funnel into the (presumably) underdog dwarf race?
A lot of you old timers are shaking your heads right now: “Not this again…” Meanwhile, you young pups might have no idea: “If it’s so popular, why didn’t Mythic put them in the game in the first place instead of the mediocre Hammerer?”
Let me introduce you to our subject for today: the dwarf Slayer. According to dwarf lore, the short, stubby race is notoriously proud, honor-bound, holds eternal grudges, and so on. If a dwarf dishonors himself (or herself), he exiles himself from the dwarf society and becomes one of their most fierce warriors: a Slayer. The Slayer is noted for his brightly dyed hair (mohawks!), blue tattoos, and a penchant for seeking death on the battlefield. They’re balls of muscled suicidal lethality, and they’re immensely popular in the Warhammer tabletop game. The Slayers see their mission as a sort of twisted reality game, where they continually hunt larger and more deadly opponents until someone finally lops their heads off.
So what’s the holdup? Considering that the dwarfs just lost a melee dps class, the Slayer seems like the perfect fit, right?
Well, there’s a good reason why Slayers never made the final cut in WAR’s initial roster, and if you’ve been around long enough the “Slayer question” pops up over and over like a prairie dog on various WAR forums. Actually, there are quite a few good reasons:
- Slayers seek death. They go into battle wanting to die. Death releases them from their honor burden or whatever. So how can a death-prone dwarf — who, in the lore of the game, just dies once — fit into an MMO where characters die over and over again?
- Slayers are not team players. Slayers only like to stick around with other Slayers, according to the lore.
- They don’t wear armor. Just tattoos.
- They’re self-exiled, so they can’t go “home” — aka their capital city.
- Games Workshop will not let Mythic bend the lore so far out of place just to make a class work. It has to make sense in its setting.
Yet the thought of them in the game is just too tempting — again, they’re melee DPS, they’re incredibly well-liked, and they would give the dwarf race a serious boost in its population. So the question is, if Mythic decides to go back to the drawing board and reconsider Slayers, how could they work?
Tattoos could replace armor, sure. Instantly I’m thinking of the Nameless One from Planescape: Torment, who made that whole “tattoo armor” thing work. They might just be exiled from the Dwarf capital city, but not the other two (however, that would be a serious limitation not seen in any other career).
But how do you work around, or with, that pesky “one death” thing? I mean, it’s kind of odd that all MMOs feature unlimited resurrections, but the Slayers would consider being rezzed a fate worse than death. You could fudge it and call the Slayer’s demise “fainting” or being “knocked unconscious”, but that’s pretty flimsy. You could make WAR’s Slayer career a subset of the main Slayers group, a new branch of Slayers okay with being rezzed again and again to seek the one, true glorious death they’re looking for.
Personally, I think there’s hope for the Slayers yet. Let’s not forget that Mythic already chose to feature them in part of the official trailer. At this hour, all bets are off!