I really enjoy playing the Shadow Warrior — not nearly as much damage as Bright Wizards, but we aren’t quite as squishy, either, and we’re a lot less visible on the battlefield when we work at it. I like to hide behind and to the side of BWs, so Destruction thinks all the damage is coming from Carrot-Top and aims at him. Even at 21 Ysharros has some decent debuffs and snares, though deploying them all can take a bit of stance dancing and our couple of bigger burst abilities don’t seem to be all that — that may be partly due to the fact that one is a morale ability, and by the time the damned thing has fired and the client has realised I’m buffed, the buff is half gone. A 6 second buff that takes 3 seconds to register, and then you have to wind up for 3 seconds on one of your slower shots… yeah. I’m only halfway up the ranks, too, so we’ll see how things progress.
I rather like being the Order career Destro tend to overlook (along with Engineers, I imagine, until their enemies start looking like swiss cheese wrapped in razor wire). I do, however, understand why many people who start Shadow Warriors appear to abandon them somewhere in the mid-teens. That’s probably partly due to the much less than awesome-sauce Elven T2 pairing, and partly due to a period during which you (well, I, certainly) feel like Destro’s punching bag in scenarios. (The Shadowlands and Ellyrion are amazing-looking zones, but the quests and general inhabitants are far more lifeless and stiff than EvC or DvG; as others have said, you can tell they were done last. Immortal doesn’t mean staid, you know! Oh well, ok. Not always!)
— Tangent alert! —
Looking at the WARdb SW ability listing, I’m seeing some abilities I certainly don’t remember getting. Now, it’s entirely possible that I have them, but because most of the abilities work in at least two stances, and since you have to manage each stance bar individually, I may have it on one bar and not the other. Much as I like the SW, this bar-changing mechanic is pretty crap. I can’t think of a better one right now, but I really dislike having to micromanage my abilities every single time I level, and sometimes in between just to make sure my various bars have all the skills they should have. And while we’re bitching, since SWs have NO benefit from being stanceless (unlike Marauders who, I think?, can make a case for being mutationless), can we please have a change so that Scout is the DEFAULT stance and it’s not possible to turn a stance OFF? Hitting those by accident in the middle of an RvR fight is a royal pain in my pincushion ass. Kthx.
— End tangent —
So, yes, horns, dilemma.
I am also bringing up a Warrior Priest. What I really wanted, right from my first day in beta, was to play a Disciple of Khaine, but I held back for several reasons. In beta I held back because I didn’t want to spoil release. Later in beta I held back because the spousal unit made a Swordmaster, and SM/DoK romances always end tragically so I made an Archmage, who I ended up really enjoying also. In release, I held back because I’d been made a CoW Order-side officer, and that kinda meant I should play Order — and see previous comment regarding spousal units.
Oh, and somewhere along that line I sadly put away my DoK ambitions because they became flavour of the month and if there’s one thing I don’t like, it’s being identified with a FOTM class in any game. When that happens I’ll wait till the flavour changes and then go back.
Now, while I can’t find much time to play a DoK (I have one, she just doesn’t get logged in much), I can sort of justify spending time on a Warrior Priest and the mechanic is pretty similar, minus the wicked-bad looking spiky blades. I miss the spiky blades and the severe dominatrix look. On the bright side, I get a BHH (Big Honkin’ Hammer) and when I clout people around the head with it, they notice! I indulged myself a little the other day when Orlando the WP hit 11, and played some Nordenwatches. Beating shamans around their nasty heretic green ears while they ran around whimpering was oh, so satisfying. Rinse repeat with maguses, sorceresses, marauders and even the odd tank, and certainly unwary witch elves who thought my healing couldn’t keep up with their stabbiting. Won’t be making that mistake again soon now will ya, darlin’? SMACK.
Ysharros takes some work to play, but is extremely rewarding for the style of play I’ve had since my college-based D&D days: always be ready to run or avoid, but when you have to hit, hit hard, stay mobile, and hit some more. (Unsurprisingly, I rather like WE and WH mechanics too.) Orlando is fun in a slightly more secure way — she doesn’t hit all that hard, but she can heal like a bitch, she can buff/debuff, she can snare, and I happen to like the sound of people’s smaller bones crunching when hit with BHHs. Did I mention I’ve always liked hybrids? (Of course most of my AD&D chars were dual-classed. Cmon!)
The actual dilemma part, if you read this far, comes from the fact that Ysharros is 10 levels higher than Orlando, those are 10 fairly long levels, and both the guild AND the Order-side on Averheim could use a few higher level chars. So while I really really really want to play Orlando at least as much as Ysharros, the voice of duty is telling me I should level just the one, at least for now.
Then again, I’m an admitted altoholic. Who do I think I’m fooling?