First Impressions – Witch HunterAugust 23, 2008
“Burn her at the stake!” “She turned me into a newt!” Hm… what to name… my… witch hunter… NEWTACULAR! Born of fiery newts and raised in a field of fluffy cotton, Newtacular is the hero we all wished we could be. If we were a computer game character.
This being the second newbie zone I’ve seen, my eyes were first attracted to a large statue of Death (or perhaps Joan Rivers), and then a little horsie nearby. I tried to speak to the horse. You laugh, but I saw Mr. Ed when I was a kid, and that guy was a loadmine of advice. Alas, he didn’t talk, but the guy next to him did – an influence vendor. Guess I needed more influence – what, blogging isn’t enough?
So, a crash and a 9.6 gig download later, I was back up with Newtacular in the Beta 3.2 patch. She seemed no worse for wear, all ready to go tackle the innocent and force them to sign confessions for her blog.
Witch Hunters are fast, burst DPS melee fighters, which means that time spent away from a target that’s attacking you is bad for you. The first skill you get, Snap Shot, is a two second pistol shot… that you can fire while you’re running. I can’t tell you how weird that is, in a cool way, to use a skill with a cast time while you’re running. I ended up charging a baddie while firing, closing distance to hit him with my other skill, Razor Strike. Razor Strike built up “Accusations”, as evidenced by spikes shooting out of a skull on top of my hotbar. Accusations are basically combo points that fuel other skills, as well as creating opportunities for Executions (which require 5 Accusations). I got a chance to use Accusations with my level 2 skill, a point-blank pistol shot that did more damage the more Accusations you had built up (plus, the more you had built up, the cheaper the skill was to use).
I found I went out of action points (OOAP? We’re going to have to invent some new terms here) pretty fast with the Witch Hunter, but I can’t complain. The combat was fast and looked wicked cool, with meaty thunks of the rapier coupled with dirty blasts of the old fashioned pistol. If you went into auto-attack, your character adds pistol whipping into the mix. Yay! As I fought, I saw a little notice in my chat window that let me know I had entered into a “Killing Spree”, which awarded me +5% experience temporarily. More kills, and I was at Killing Spree stage 2 (+10% XP). That wore off pretty fast, but it’s a cool idea. I just wish it’d pop up in the middle of the screen instead of all the way over in my chat window.
On my way to my third quest, I stumbled into yet another Public Quest, this once surrounding a farmhouse and some burning piles of hay. It was in stage 1, which required the killing of 25 bad guys, so I shrugged and happily slaughtered 25 of them in record time. With no one around, stage 2 was a bit more difficult (defending and/or killing a guy… it was vague to me), but I saw my green area influence meter on the right of my minimap had shot all the way to the top. A level 9 Ironbreaker came by and helped me get to stage three of the PQ, where I had my first genuine “HOLY CRAP!” moment of the game.
I’m sure you know the moments of which I speak.
So we get past stage two, and then I hear thudding. Like, Jurassic Park T-Rex thudding. I look up and two trees suddenly bow out in the middle and disintegrate, followed by the bellow of a three-story giant who plows through another pair of trees (ripping both of them up) and into the field. I was too much in awe to really think of my own safety, it was that cool. We gave it a good try with just the two of us, but with no heals and my level 3 meager DPS, we couldn’t get him down without dying, and then running out of time. Oh well, I still had a full bar of influence to spend (the screen notifies you when you’ve earned enough for this), so I grabbed one reward from each influence tier at the village vendor, including a green pistol. And that was that for Newtacular! I definitely like the Witch Hunter… will have to revisit that class in the future.
- With patch 3.2, the minimap has been retooled and reskinned, making it so much more useful and less obtrusive than the old version.
- “Shirt” armor is the one piece of armor that takes up most of your character’s profile – chest and pants – so I reckon it’ll be the one piece that will be the most sought-after for looks.
- Another new 3.2 change is the backpack, which can now switch between “Icon” view and “List” view. Icon shows all 40 slots like normal, and List lets you filter between different categories. Kinda neat!
- Another thing I noticed – if you click on the quest name over on the right sidebar, it opens up the quest in the Tome of Knowledge.
- I appreciate seeing the little red health bar above enemies’ heads, it keeps me from flicking my eyes up and away from battle.
- Action points are great, I love not having to worry about slow-generating mana.
- I found my first green drop, in the form of mangled green boots that needed repair before being able to equip (but they were for my class, so that’s great!)