Choppa Thoughts

I put in a decent amount of playtime this weekend on the WAR PTS and gave the new patch and classes a go.  I decided to play the Choppa over the Slayer because the Choppa just sounds like more fun to me and I already have a Slayer who can wear plate armor and CC the heck out of people.   Before I go into some quick thoughts on the Choppa, I want to make a few observations about the new patch.

I can’t even begin to speak to the end-game changes because I wasn’t able to transfer my character over, but I can speak to what I saw immediately and what I can predict will be based on what I saw in Tiers 1 and 2.  Right away when you get the 1.2 patch you’ll notice a few new goodies on your UI.  There’s a new rally button that teleports you to warcamps when a rallying cry has been issued and a new button and a redesign of the open group/warband management section.   I like.

Maybe it’s just me, but I noticed several audio changes.  Characters sound different in combat, especially the Shaman.  It could be all in my head, or maybe I missed it in the patch notes, but when the Shaman slams his staff on the ground it sounds a lot better now.

The Choppa class feels very similar to my Savage in DAOC.   Mythic wasn’t joking when they said these classes are all about damage.  This class can really, really wreck people 1v1 – but then again, WAR isn’t balanced for 1v1.  The damage they’re putting out (if you look to numbers to tell you how well you’re doing) is very good, although not better than my IB could do at that level.  Their survivability is really, reeeaaally, bad without a dedicated healer especially when they go berserk (+50%  chance to be crit and -50% resists i think).   Where this class feels different than everything else is the abilities.  The “random” element to their damage really makes their AoE’s decent, but unreliable.   I found that I did MUCH better when I avoided the random AoE’s and focused purely on my single target abilities and my finishers (abilities that dump the rage, or whatever).  Some of the Choppa abilities are down-right-fierce!   One ability in particular is the Weaklin’ somethin or another that does +75% damage when berserk and requires a great weapon.  The crits on that make you giddy if you’ve brought a squishy to around half – it’ll take them the rest of the way easily.

Choppa’s also have several group/team buffs and some decent utility abilities.  I like what they have in their arsenal and, assuming there aren’t any major balance issues for or against them, think Mythic has done a pretty good job with this class’s “design”.  The Savage in DAOC rocked and I hope the Choppa rocks too.

I’ll say it again though, the entire game needs to feel like T1 and T2.  People are constantly clashing and battles can go either way.  Things just ‘feel’ better in these lower tiers.  Combat flows better, and classes feel more fun and polished.

  • I totally agree with, “I’ll say it again though, the entire game needs to feel like T1 and T2.” I stopped playing WAR because T4 just isn’t as fun as the early tiers. It gets all too repetitive and the battles are too one-sided most of the time.

    Thanks for the update on the Choppa. Even though I don’t play anymore, I still keep an eye on the game and may come back when enough new content is released.

    I have always enjoyed your blog. Keep up the good work.

  • The release of Slayers and Choppas is something this game needed. The classes are downright awesome so far and will rekindle a lot of peoples interest. I’ve only tested Slayer and all I can say is that the class is fun and will be enough to keep me thinking about Warhammer.

  • So what you’re saying is, if the level cap was lowered, and balanced around this lower cap, the game would be better?

    …kinda like Darkfall? ;p

  • @FenixStryk: Nah, two different games with totally different feels. T2 RvR is closer to the ‘ideal’ pvp than any other tier. Roaming 6 man groups can be successful, you can repel zergs with fewer numbers with skill, gear means much less, gear is easier to obtain, combat flows better, and RvR is much more exhilarating and ‘active’ rather than ‘passive’.

  • Yep, I played the Witch Elf in beta quite a bit actually (T4 mostly). The Choppa feels much different. It really does feel like a blender running out there waving axes like a crazed loon and hoping something dies. The Witch Elf definitely feels a lot more methodical. They feel differently, it’s tough to explain, but their same overal goal is the same: MDPS.

  • Tier 2 also lacks most of the more annoying AoE spells and CC that people whine about. The only real downside is the disparity between level 20-21 characters (who typically have mounts and some of their elite influence gear) and others (occasional guild banner speed).

  • I really enjoyed T1 and T2 when I played WAR when it first came out but I found that after that PVE become a real grind and PVP was limited to scenarios. Sounds like its improved a lot though and I might check it out again.

  • The Choppa and Slayer sound awesome. The Choppa was the character class that I was originally going to choose and it was a bit sad to hear it not making it in to the game by launch. I think I’ll have to resub for some RvR action now :D.
    I agree that the game is at it’s best in tier 1 and 2 (I got halfway to tier 3 on my Squiggie).

  • Cool, the Choppa may get me to come back.

    I always said Tiers 1/2 were the best and 3/4 sucked in comparison.

  • @Leper: I agree. There is way too much CC in the higher tiers. In T1/T2, most classes have maybe 1-2 CC abilities and most of those are just knock backs (not stuns, disable, knock down, silence, single pulls, AoE pulls, etc). A knock back is pretty easy to get over as long as you don’t land in lava 😉

    I would be all for removing/changing a lot of the current T3-T4 CC abilities. I will still die mostly to Witch Elves (being a squishy RP), but at least I’ll be able to cast most of the time.

    Another major annoyance I’ve seen recently is the fact that MDPS can apparently hit me multiple times from greater than about 20 feet. That’s just wrong. If I’m out of their melee range, there is now way they should be able to continue hittng me with their skills. Someone needs to add a simple distance check to their code. 😉

  • Except Savages in DAoC suck donkey balls nowadays. In times where you got bodyguard, a offensive tank without access to banelord or any other instantrupt has no place to be. 10L4 Svg here and shelved it 2 months after ToA came out, when groups with masterlevels became the rule. Since then I used it only to put some solo-raep out on some bridge humper-stealthers.

  • Just thinking about WAR makes me sad. The hard changes that need to be made to improve it never will be made. You have 300K people who still play it and enjoy the game as it stands.

    However you could potentially lose 100K if you made some drastic changes. However those changes could net you another 200K new users. So is 100K more users than what you currently have worth it?

    Probably not. I don’t see Mythic making the hard changes and rather leaving, good enough alone. WAR will survive but it will never be what it should have been.

  • Tempted to Re-sub just so I can play a Choppa. It was always my class of choice, and by the sound of it, they actually are enjoyable to play (I found my Black Orc very boring).