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.