Class balance in WAR

Fact the first: everbody whines

Fact the second: WAR careers are balanced more for RvR than PvE

Fact the third: bad news is more whineworthy than good news

Visit any relatively large forum, especially one where game devs are known to stop by, especially ones with class sub-forums, and it won’t take you long to realise that every single class in a given game is crap, not worth playing, has been horribly nerfed, and that evert single other class is much, much better.

Don’t look for logic here. This isn’t Moebius land, it’s Vhineland.*

I can’t speak for the Destruction side much, not having played enough characters to high enough levels over there — though I have played enough to note, with some amusement, that all the “Order are so weak! Destro are too strong!” complaints in scenarios are also heard on the destruction side… with the names reversed.

On Order side, however, I’ve played everything except an Engineer (why bother, when Syp does it so well!) and a Rune Priest to at least 10. Here’s what I thought when I played 80% of Order’s available classes. Disclaimer: subjective, my impressions, YMMV (but I really don’t give a stuff), yadda yadda.

Archmage — to steal quite blatantly from a fellow CoW, “Talk to the hand — and die!” If anyone needs to be convinced of the usefulness of healers in WAR yet, I suggest going back to Puzzle Pirates. Also the only High Elf career not burdened with the godawful, sartorial-nightmare inducing conehead hat. It looks SO much better on minatures.

Bright Wizard — sure, they burn themselves up while they’re burning up the countryside. But they sure do roast a nice bad guy, too. Vast amounts of firepower is never crap; though arguably, blowing yourself up before you get to the fight and then saying “Dude, where was my healing? Screw the tanks, I’m the DPS here, you’ll get more points from healing me” is.

Ironbreaker — this one’s easy. “Stop beating on my friend.” Smack-smack-knockdown. “I said, stop beating on my friend!” Smacka-smacka-PUNT. Wet smush. “I told ya to stop beating on my friend.” Short & stout looks more businesslike as a tank than willowy in a skirt, but don’t be fooled. Order *may* lack tanks, but the ones it has are both more than capable of doing the biz.

Shadow Warrior — the secksay High Elf, and probably why everyone and their dog makes one… then gives up on them. Lowish survivability. Less damage than a Bright Wizard, so what’s the point? Well, a tasty choice of debuffs, damage, snares, DoTs, and self-buffs for one. The SW won’t always be at the top of an RvR DPS list, but trust me — they very likely turned the battle once or twice and you never even noticed.

Swordmaster — wears a bathrobe, so get over it already. Has a little breastplate thing to make you feel better about wearing a bathrobe. Looks can be deceiving. That huge-ass shield will stop a lot of damage. That huge-ass sword (instead of said shield) will do respectable damage. Grown zealots and sorceresses run from me when I run at them. Witch elves bounce off my huge tracts of (plated) land.

Warrior Priest — they get to wear medium armour, swing big ‘ammers, AND heal. When played by tools, they do indeed suck. When played well, they’re that one player you just. can’t. kill… no matter how hard you try. Just like those DoKs I sometimes have hissy fits about. Die already!

White Lion — A pet class. Now that they work, the really FUN pet class. A really fun, put out lots of hurt pet class. Say no more. Just pounce and slice.

Witch Hunter — a paper cut in the wrong place will kill these guys. On the other hand, when the stars are correctly aligned, the rest of the team is good, and healers have time for the odd spell thrown on the guy in the cool hat & greatcoat, witch hunters own like bastards. Another career that benefits greatly from being played smartly and well.

While I haven’t played RP and Engis, I’ve seen them played well, and am proud to count both on the Order side. Yes, certain careers are more effective in certain situations, but that’s true for ALL of them. A Bright Wizard is NOT a Shadow Warrior is NOT an Engineer, for all that they are all three classified as ranged DPS. Get over the damage numbers already — winning in WAR is not about who gets the highest damage, it’s about who plays the most effectively with the rest of their side. Okay, and who has the higher numbers in battle, but that’s true in most battles.

* Oh, oblique Thomas Pynchon reference, I’m so clever. Also in a whimsical, late 80s mood it seems. I just Googled Labyrinth. DB in tights and big hair was a lot hawter when I was… a lot younger. Speaking of 80s, here’s a Moebius side-reference for your linking pleasure.

4 responses to “Class balance in WAR

  1. It’s a shame that one of the most interesting things about WAR (pretty unique classes, each with a role to fill) gets turned into a flaw with people who think every class should have a 50% chance to kill any other class at the same level.

    Perfect balance is dull. The Rock/Paper/Scissors aspects of War make team-play rich and interesting.

    T’other day I fought 3 different classes 1 on 1. I beat one that was two levels higher than me. Beat one that was the same level as me. And got my ass kicked by one two levels lower than me. I think that’s pretty cool, myself.

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  2. Yup, everyone one playing a MMO will complain about their class. They’re not human if they don’t. Even grossly overpowered classes have things that their players would recommend to improve the class.

    There will always be possible improvements but in most of these cases, the customer is wrong.

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