First Impressions – IronbreakerAugust 22, 2008
The final dwarf class I tried – no Hammerer for you! – was the Ironbreaker. Poppinfresh and I stared at each other across the vast distance of the character creation screen. Ugh, I thought. Tanks. Ugh, he thought. Hairy bloggers. Oh well, at least he didn’t have an eye, so I felt a little comradeship with him.
Let’s just say I’m not a big fan of tanks. I know they’re necessary, I know that Mythic’s working hard to make them just as enjoyable and fun to play as the rest of the archetypes, but tanks have a mountain of deep-rooted objections to plow through to get me to love them. So how did the Ironbreaker play?
At least at the start, fairly normal (and boring) as tanks are wont to be. He had a special melee attack, an axe throw that does piddly damage unless the target is wounded and running away from you (which might be very useful in PvP) and a skill that I could throw on an ally to garner grudges from when they got hit. Yay. The grudge system is the Ironbreaker’s little deal, where you build up a number from 0 to 100 that shows up on a little idol hovering over your action bars, and then you can spend grudge points as a special resource on certain skills. The only grudge-related skill I got was level 2 or 3, when I got a melee attack that would boost my toughness rating for a few seconds.
As I said, fairly standard axe-n-board approach to attacking. The sounds of the axe zinging through the air were fun, but I just wasn’t feeling an instant connection to the class. Nevertheless, I did stick it out to do two new things with this character that I hadn’t yet: a scenario and a public quest.
The first scenario is literally available the second you first log in a new character, by clicking the “WAR” button by the minimap. It lets you choose an appropriate scenario and throws you into the queue, telling you when that scenario is ready. Since scenarios automatically level your character up to close to the maximum level range of that battle (I think 7 or 8 here), the only thing stopping you from jumping in is your limited selection of skills.
I went through the Gates of Elkrund scenario, which involved Order and Destruction forces charging up ramps into a little Dwarf fort from both sides. The fort contained three capturable flags (I think you just captured them by standing near them in the area), and we pretty much spent the time clashing over the middle flag. This was the first time I got to see playable characters other than dwarfs, and it was a glorious mess. I had a hard time locking onto a target to melee them, since most players would try to scoot back, so I kept running and jamming the “1” key. I killed a few, they killed me, and we won. Whoopie!
What was very noticeable is that I was gaining both regular experience (garnering me a new level) and renown xp (I gained two renown ranks) as my team slaughtered the enemy. In WAR, you can level from 1-40 doing nothing but RvR combat, if that’s your deal.
I didn’t want to run the dwarf starting content into the ground (rimshot), so I decided to pump those crazy Poppinfresh legs and see what was outside. Heading out of the mountain, I had to run through a huge gauntlet of bad guys to reach a bridge and the next dwarf quest hub. At level 3, I didn’t get insta-killed, so I guess there’s that. I was going to log out when I noticed the Public Quest ticker come up on the right-hand side of my screen, kindly informing me that everyone was in the third stage (the final stage) of the PQ and what I should do. It was as good a time as any to try out the open grouping option, so I clicked the icon under my name and found a group flagged for “PQ” and joined it. Easy, simple, elegant. I ran up to them and followed them around as they attacked the PQ boss.
I felt pretty wimpy at level 3 with my initial starting weapon, so whatever I was doing wasn’t helping much. Unfortunately, because Ironbreaker attacks come with built-in taunts (at least the skill I was mainly using), eventually the boss turned his attention to me. Poppinfresh 0 Death 1. I ran back after rezzing and helped finish the guy off, then waited to see how the Vegas loot system worked. I guess it worked okay – it was more subtle that I expected, just a notice that it was going to roll, the numbers it came up with, and then if I placed high enough to get loot (I got 5th, so no).
Good as any a place to end for the night. Fare thee well, Poppinfresh!
- Snotlings’ ears twitch and I think I love them to death for that. They’re ugly little cute buggers.
- I found a “Kill Collector” NPC who awarded me with some free XP for offing an unspecified amount of squigs. So really, I got triple XP for killing them – once for a quest, once for a Tome unlock, and once for the collector. Cool!
- I noticed the characters grunt and swear as they’re hit, which is kinda funny.
- The little tinkle noise when you get a Tome unlock is an addicting sort of noise – you want it to happen more often.
- And firing a cannon FPS-style is awesome.