Buffage the Vampire King Slayer

July 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:

  1. 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?
  2. Slayers are not team players. Slayers only like to stick around with other Slayers, according to the lore.
  3. They don’t wear armor. Just tattoos.
  4. They’re self-exiled, so they can’t go “home” — aka their capital city.
  5. 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!



  1. Looking at the model range the Slayers do indeed seem like best choice. They are more iconic then the Hammerers and would most likely be insanely more popular. The problem is what you’ve already touched upon: Mythic would need to bend the established lore backwards at least a few spins. Seeing as we already have male Sorcerors for the DE’s though I’d say that stranger things already have happened.

  2. Bets aren’t off…you’re just crazy.

    Slayers are out, they already stated that there was no way around the lore.

    However, there is something IN the lore that might allow a slimeball, backhanded, dirty way of cheating. Can you find it?


  3. I liked the whole runes replacing the Tattoes thing….I also think that you could say that the now Dwarf King decrees no Slayer fight for death while Karak Eight Peaks still needs to be retaken, and that their city exile is post-poned till afterwards as well…

  4. I wonder how many people were turned off by the title lol. Na, what we need for a dwarf class is half robot half dwarf; they have been so obsessed about their hobby that they make it a part of the. They can be called Dwarbots.

    Man, I should get paid for ideas like that…

  5. I’m still new to the lore, so I primarily see the market-benefit here.

    But I do sympathize with the lore too. I’ll be interested to see where they go with this. I wonder what other dwarf classes there are that could fulfill this melee role?

  6. I don’t see it happening,

    But the slayer seems like the perfect fit for melee/DPS

    I never thought i would play a dwarf, until i saw the engineer in action, now if they add the slayer i may be joining the dwarfs for my main order character

  7. It seems like a mini-narrative of death, with slayer names being assigned on becoming a slayer might make it work. So every time your slayer dies another takes his name and place, and then the lore is, as far as I’m aware, not necessarily in conflict, but slayers are playable. You would just need to set up a system other than corpse runs for slayers, if that is the current rez system.

  8. Lore…

    I love lore i really do…but not when it gets in the way of my fun.

    You don’t have to throw the lore out the window…just tweak it a little bit. Only the lore junkies will get ticked..and they will just roll destruction so they can crush your stuntie head

  9. While flimsy, I could see the Slayer being res’d to fight on. Slayers are always looking for the biggest challenge they can – hence why there are Trollslayers, Dragonslayers and even a few Daemonslayers.

    To agree with Brotik, despite being exiled they are still Dwarfs with a great sense of honor and duty. And damned if they’ll let Karak Eight Peaks stay in the hands of anyone but themselves!

  10. My biggest problem is that no ones character really dies despite the simulation of it. You come back same name, same equipment etc so you could easily get round that with the Slayer.

    I’m not a fan boy, don’t really care either way though putting a slayer down would be fun. PR wise it would just be immense.

    I like the idea of a decree that for honours sake Slayers must survive to fight for the Dwarven people at their time of need.

  11. So tantalazing the slayer career would be.. so bad would it be lore-wise.

    As Laffe said.. they already broke the lore with the DE male sorcerer. Another “bending” of the lore would turn off the warhammer fans.

    The result? Some people would play it, because such a class has some charme, others would not (maybe even leave) because this isn’t anymore warhammer.

  12. Lore-Lawl

  13. Gameplay > Lore

    Mythic is the one that kept saying early on that they are making a game and not a world and that many developers try too hard to make a world at the expense of the game.

  14. I think Mythic’s going to be going back to the board on all of these four class slots, and that means at least another look at Slayers, even if they discounted them before.

    I agree with the gameplay > lore sentiment… as long as it doesn’t *break* lore, just bends it, fans might grumble but the majority will be fine with it. After all, Mythic has (as been said) already bent traditional Warhammer lore to fit the purpose of their game.

  15. Ok I know very little about Warhammer lore so keep that in mind.


    Long Drong’s Slayer Pirates

    “Long Drong’s Slayer Pirates are a Regiment of Renown. The slayer pirates will follow their captain to the end of the world and back again, so goes their loyalty.”

    They are listed as a Dogs of War Unit which tells me that lore wise they aren’t quite with the other Slayers.

    n the 5 minutes on Google I couldn’t find any mention of them in a story or lore context to figure out what their deal was, but I am sure someone here can figure that part out.

  16. well dwarfs do have an intent hatred towards orcs which is there natural enemy in Warhammer.

    Surely if orc and goblin leaders by the name of grumlok and gazbag sent the bloody sun boyz out to do such unspeakable acts against the slayers then surely thats enough reason for them to get there hatred to such a level that all slayers want to stay alive until both orc and goblin leaders die!

    That would keep to the lore of warhammer as well as making the class an extremely attractive addition.

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