With less than a week left until Gamescom, I find myself more and more excited by the potential of what Mythic could be set to reveal, regardless of the fact that it's given me nothing to chew on. I am hyped by the anti-hype. What follows is the result of that hype. There are no facts, rumours, hints, or tips to back up what amounts to totally unbarred speculation. I have organized the aftermath of my brainstorm in terms of what would excite me, from most to least, followed by why I believe these additions could make sense, and how they might be implemented. Keep in mind that some of what follows could simply be passed off as madness; it might be totally unfeasible, even by the most adept and well-financed of development teams. I'm fully aware of that. The point here was to just "let it go." And I did.
Crazy, or uncanny -- you decide. Follow along after the break.
As far as lore is concerned, the motivation for those armies to become involved in WAR would be as follows: The Skaven, led by the Council of 13, have decided that the Age of Reckoning in the lands above their underground home of Skavenblight has brought with it an excellent opportunity to unleash the Red Plague, as forseen by Lord Kritislik in a vision of the Great Horned Rat. At the same time, the Beastmen are called forth by Khorne and amass a great army to counter the Host of his most hated nemesis, Tzeentch. Meanwhile, the VonCarsteins, led by Vlad -- who, until now, has remained hidden from the prying eyes of mortals -- see another opportunity to smash the Empire, and mobilize their fearsome Black Coaches for war.
Finally, to top the expansion off, it would release with 12 new careers. The armies, archetypes, and mirrors (as I envision them) are outlined below:
- Skaven. This army appeals to me to be one steeped in duplicity and betrayal, and as such, it would feature a stance-based approach to combat.
- Stormvermin: A stance tank, mirroring the swordmaster/black ork
- Grey Seer: A stance healer, mirroring the zealot/runepriest
- Warlock Engineer: A defensive, ranged, pet-based DPS career, mirroring the engineer/magus
- Assassin: A stealth-based melee-DPS career, mirroring the witch elf/witch hunter
- Beastmen. I see the careers in this army being consumed with Khorne's eternal rage and bloodlust, and I imagine the careers looking something like:
- Bestigor: A Bloodlust-based tank, mirroring the Hatred and Grudge of the black guard/iron breaker.
- Bray Shaman: A melee healer, mirroring the warrior priest/disciple of khaine
- Gor: A berserker melee-DPS career, mirroring the choppa/slayer
- Ungor: A short-bow-wielding, physical ranged-DPS career, mirroring the shadow warrior/squig herder
- Vampire Counts. This army appeals to me as one driven by cunning, necromantic immortality. The careers could be:
- Blood Dragon: This would be the anti-magic aura-tank, mirroring the chosen/knight
- Lahmian: Using Seduction or Repulsion, this female-only healer would mirror the High Magic/WAAAGH! mechanics of the archmage/shaman
- Strigoi: These feral vampires would be a melee-DPS career, mirroring the white lion/marauder
- Necrarch: These wizened immortals would possess the dangerous black magic of Necromancy, and would mirror the bright wizard/sorceress
- Saurus (or temple guard): This would be the tank archetype, and would feature a mechanic that allows them to switch to unarmed feral combat.
- Slann: These mage-priests would be the caster healers for the army. Their mechanic would feature their ancestors and the sun as a theme.
- Skink: Those choosing this career would wield blow-pipes or spears and would fill the role of ranged-DPS.
- Kroxigor: These brutal monsters would fill the role of melee-DPS and would feature a disarm mechanic similar to the berserking mechanic of the slayer or choppa, except the penalty for going feral would be that the Kroxigor would drop his weapon (luckily they have weapon chains) and become unable to wield it until control is regained.
But just for the sake of argument, let's consider reality for a moment and take a look at the past and what the competition has done. Blizzard introduced The Burning Crusade, a full, paid expansion pack for World of Warcraft in January of 2007, only two years and three months after its original retail release. It featured two new playable races, a raised level cap, a new crafting profession, arenas, a new battleground, outdoor world PvP objectives, and an entire new continent of zones filled to the brim with quests. Funcom released the Age of Conan expansion, Rise of the Godslayer, on May 11th of this year, almost exactly two years after its launch in 2008; it also contained several new zones, a new race, faction gameplay, and a considerable amount of other assorted endgame content. If we take this 2.00- to 2.25-year trend to have any meaning, then the Gamescom reveal from the Mythic booth should have something along the lines of a paid expansion pack complete with races, zones, and endgame features ready for release sometime around December of this year or January of 2011, two years and four months after WAR's launch on September 18th 2008.
Maybe my original wild ideas were not so far off. Will Mythic be outdone and give us only a single zone? Or less? We'll have to wait a few more days to find out. What do you think? Leave a comment and tell us.