“Valhalla” and why it doesn’t work for Warriors

Before I say anything, I feel I need to disclose that I am not in the Alpha/Beta, so my opinions are essentially second hand: based off of commentary, screenshots, and videos that others have taken from either a sandbox realm or the test realms. And if someone from Blizzard happens to be reading this and wants to change that, then please feel free to toss me access – I would love to jump on there and give first hand impressions.

Now that that’s out of the way… I don’t like the warrior class hall, but unlike the rogues and monks, I don’t have an alternative idea for where we could be. I mean, it’s not like I’m demanding to return to Fray Island, because let’s face it, that would be horrible.

 

photo courtesy of mmo-champion.com

 
The problem is, and I covered it a bit in my last post, is that Warriors until recently did not have a class fantasy outside of the few words used to briefly describe each spec. We don’t have an organization like almost every other class that we could lean on for lore development: we are, to put it quite simply, fighters.

So when I heard at Gamescon or Blizzcon (pretty sure it was the former) that each class would get their own base of operations and that it would be unique to the class, I was curious about where we would be based. The very nature of us being “soldiers” for our respective factions means we don’t really have a main base as we move to where the fight is, and our lack of a warrior version of the Silver Hand or Cenarion Cirlce meant that we couldn’t fall back on where our NPC counterparts were hanging out.

So when the Alpha launched, and photos started getting passed around, I didn’t know what to think about our location. The idea was intriguing, but the images I was seeing just didn’t do it for me – it doesn’t feel warrior-ish. Valkyr and the bright colours made me think of Paladins, and despite assurances that there would be some really cool warrior stuff (fighting pits was a specific example that I can recall), I just can’t get into it based on what I’m currently seeing.

But part of the reason why is because it’s still a work in progress: allegedly it’s only half built with lots of placeholders currently in place and no NPC’s.

Which leads to my next question: who is going to be in our CH? Shaman will prolly have Nobundo or some other famous shammy, Paladins will have Liadrin and other Blood Knights, and rogues have Garona, Veleera, and Vanessa VanCleef, but who will the warriors have? The “Greatest Human Champion” (Anduin Lothar) has been dead for thirty plus years (I’m not positive about that, but the point still stands) and the two great warriors that the Horde has is either so old that it’s questionable if his cleave could still cut into a loaf of bread or is our timelines version of Warlord’s box art villain – and let’s face it, even I am getting burnt out on Orcs, and I am an unabashed “Horde4Life” supporter.

But the fact that we will be basing our warrior antics out of the “Halls of the Dead Heroes” offers some unique options and some problems. I mean, how cool would it be to get to see “The Lion of Azeroth”, or Grom, Doomhammer, Cairne, or any other of the awesome warriors of the past? 

  
But there lies the problems: first and foremost being, if we have the ability to call upon the great warriors of battles past, why aren’t we pulling a Return of the King moment and taking the dead into battle with us? The second big problem I see if we get to pal around this rendition of Valhalla is who is allowed in? The Vrykul have a strong tie to the Norse theme, so it’s safe to assume there will be lots of Vrykul, and by extension, Humans (they are descendants of the Vrykul). But what about the other races? Only natives to Azeroth, or would the Orcs and Draenei be allowed in? What about those that have died on other worlds?

See? Not so clear cut. 

But let’s take it back a step, and look at what I said earlier: “The idea was intriguing, but the images I was seeing just didn’t do it for me – it doesn’t feel warrior-ish. Valkyr and the bright colours made me think of Paladin…

It doesn’t feel warrior-ish, and I think Architmos over on the Warcraft forums hit the nail on the head:

It’s never been the game where Warriors hail and kill, hoping to be worthy of going to Valhalla, it’s not a game where we look forward to seeing our honored dead in the afterlife… but that’s the theme being pressed in Legion. Again, these aren’t bad concepts, but it’s completely different from the theme we’ve been living, and that’s what causes the disparity.

I’m sure once they toss in some more of the art assets (tier armor sets and weapon racks) it might start to feel a bit more like home, but color and theme-wise though, it’s not martial enough. What I mean by that is we aren’t some silly, frou-frou Paladin who needs light and fire glowing from everything nor have we ever glorified an honourable death and the afterlife. All we warriors have been concerned with is completing our armor and looking for the next upgraded weapon so we can hit our foes that much harder.

But thanks to 11 years of Lore neglect, I don’t think anything will really feel right, and that’s just the sad state of things.

Next time, Artifacts and why Blizzard missed the boat (specifically talking about Fury).

Warrior’s in Legion and the biggest challenge that they have faced to date

No, I’m not talking about Demons, Nightmares, or Dragons: the biggest challenge that Warriors everywhere are facing in Legion is the fantasy that they have been living under for the past 11+ years. Or to be more precise, the lack of class fantasy and the sudden force feeding of what has been suddenly invisioned for us.

What I’m referring to is the fact that for the longest time, the warrior was the everyday man who picked up a weapon, any weapon, and defended his home. We ranged from the raging berserker to the conscripted soldier, and everywhere in between. We didn’t channel magics, or commune with the wilds – we hit stuff and we got hit – end of discussion. And over the years, we made our own stories and class fantasies, and the fantasy we built for ourselves grew with the specs as they changed over the years.

Take my warrior, Bulliwyf as an example: he’s not a soldier, but just a Tauren that picked up the biggest sticks he could find to protect his home and his allies. He’s considered a berserker by others, but he also makes sure that his party members are protected at all times, even when he’s not tanking. And when he does tank, he’s the stalwart veteran, the first to leap into combat and the last to retreat. To be fully clear here, I do NOT RP, but I do have a base idea about who my warrior is when I play the different specs. When I’m fury, yes I’m a raging madman, but I don’t give into the bloodlust so much that I ignore what’s going on around me: I can’t begin to recall the amount of times that I have noticed an add running wild, attacking the healer, and I peel it off, knowing that I will die, but the group will succeed. And when I’m Prot, I jump in without looking, and if we are retreating, I make sure I’m the last through the door and that my group is covered.

This fantasy I have built for my main warrior is one I cultivated on my own – we (warriors) don’t really have very many “role models” for us to base ourselves off of (which is a topic I will address when I tackle Class Halls) nor did we have very much direction from Blizzard outside of our 5 or less spec descriptors.

With Legion starting to peak over the horizon, our Developer overlords have decided to finally step in and tell us what we should be, and to be honest, it’s a mixed bag. A lot of it is the same thing we have been working with ourselves over the years (Prot is the Last Defender, Fury is the wild man, Arms the precise striker) but at the same time it’s not. No more SMF (well, at least at lvl 100-110), no more Gladiator Stance, and Arms playstyle will all depend on the talents you take.

But it’s not just the spec’s spells and how they play that is the issue, it’s also the artifacts and the class hall that is at odds with the fantasy we have cultivated for ourselves. And as much as I would like to discuss it now, I will tackle Class Halls and each Artifact in its own post so that each topic gets the proper attention it deserves. 

What worries me he most though about all this is that no matter what we say, no matter how many of us cry out against what’s being served to us… That it will fall on deaf ears or be used as feedback for the next expansion. And I have to seriously wonder how many of us will still be around when the Legion has been pushed back and the dust settles.