18
Jul
08

Random Renders and Class Reth

With the Wrath of the Lich King expansion comming up, my own local community within World of Warcraft – myself included – have suffered some level of indecision about class. All classes get some added tricks up their sleeve, some get some much needed gaps filled in and some even get significant tweaks to their play style. Add to this the new Tank-and-damage class offering in the Death Knights and there’s a whole soup of roles and classes to mix and match with, and some of us really only want one main and nothing else.

Though I spent a long time wanting to reroll to a Death Knight myself as soon as I took notice that it was a class that got to tank without the whole damage taken equals resources for threat malarky. I consider the rage mechanics of Warriors (and thus druids in bear form) and obstacle at best and the healing-dependent mana of tanking paladins is even less enticing. By comparisson, the Death Knight mechanics sounding very roguelike (though not as in the game genre) appealed to me – Energy points and Combo bar instead of Energy bar and Combo points. Though I found the direct class concept a little bit more of an obstacle.

In the end though, I wasn’t looking at the Death Knight for the sake of wanting a.. well.. Death Knight, I wanted a tank without rage!

Alas, Blizzard dashed my carefully laid plans the moment unofficial channels started suggesting that in Wrath of the Lich King, rogues would get the ability Fan of Knives.

Fan of Knives!

When I started playing in World of Warcraft retail (after having spent brief times in both of the open betas they ran), my choice of character ended up being a Night elf rogue – it wasn’t that I was thinking assassin or thief or whatnot, it was that this was a race that had the ability to shadowmeld, a quick and agile warrior that uses reflexes and acrobatics to avoid harm instead of layers of heavy plate seemed to me far more in tune than the regular warrior class which at the time was.. not all that, and really didn’t seem to have all that many specifically elven openings to me. I had a significant fallout with the rogue class during the wait towards the Burning Crusade expansion because I felt Bilzzard was very set on making rogues nothing but thieves and bastard assassins which left my interpretation hanging in the water. At the time I went priest instead and found a new frustration in that the priest class in World of Warcraft is very human, and very much nothing like the Priestesses of the Moon that Warcraft III and a few NPCs in World of Warcraft inform us the Night elven clergy actually are composed of.

When I finally found my home – as such – again in the World of Warcraft class system.. it was once again with the rogue class – the Shadowstep ability would no longer require stealth and my first and automatic reaction was something along the lines of “Yay, I get blink!. Since then, I managed to find my own little niché in this odd little concept called roguetanking, (or perhaps that should be rogueofftanking due to the lack of area threat) which has its problems, but can be quite satisfying when you go up against huge, dangerous stuff and hardly take any damage to speak of. Sure, I only do tanking occasionally, but being the secondary tank through Karazhan or saving a wipe because I simply don’t die is very empowering and satisfying.

And now I get Fan of Knives. One step closer still to the Warden hero unit in Warcraft III, and one step closer to being some sort of iconic epitome of how a Night elf warrior is. It’s no accident that Hani Foonmall is the way she is – her character roots lie in a roguetank.

So on to the actual render part of the title – a friend in my local community hit a wall with some of the announced class changes – despairing over how warriors lost their shield-block-based nigh-invulnerability towards lower damage foes since shield block would no longer be up constatly. She seemed pretty set already where she wanted to go, or at the least try to head – paladins – but with alot of past acomplishments with previous characters holding back the attempt to switch. Deciding that pictures indeed say more than a thousand words, I decided to throw together a gentle nudge (read: supersonic flying tackle) suggesting that if a particular character image felt spot on, it was if nothing else worth a try.

Wether she’ll stick to the paladin class for Wrath or not I can’t say, but the assembly did seem to help, so I got to feel pleased with myself regardless. As for why Hani of all people is in that picture, she’s essentially the only somewhat regular size character with a poseable skeleton I have that has legs and not a skirt. Figured it’d be much easier to have a poseable counterpart than trying to kitbash together a wounded character from bits and peices of regular poses from modelviewer – which’s how the paladin in this case was created. You don’t technically need a poseable skeleton to repose a character, it just makes it so much easier.. 😉

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