I’m pissed cos there are two classes I’m interested in and they’re both popular.
I’m interested in a Shadow Warrior, but I’m not sure if I should roll a healer so I can get a group
It doesn’t matter who said these things. It really doesn’t. The fact is, many of us who’ve played a few MMOs (and some who haven’t) will recognise the sentiment, and have probably said something similar at some point. We’re all a little more intrigued by the underplayed classes. We’ve got to a stage where we actually take into account something more than just the class that genuinely appeals to us most. Why?
Well, we have some experience of this whole genre, so it must be based on some of the following:
- underplayed classes means other players will recognise us faster
- underplayed classes can often mean more grouping potential
- we can feel we’re really championing an underdog
- it makes us all feel a little more special
- not competing with as many people for class-specific loot
- the chance to become something of an expert on our class and recognised as such
- we can feel like we didn’t follow the crowd with our class selection
- we learned our lesson in a previous game where we picked a fun-sounding class that turned out to be unwanted in end-game play
- bragging rights (the controversial one ;p)
- for some of us, the class sounded more appealing (yes, we don’t have to have any ulterior motivation)
Now, obviously if a class is underplayed it didn’t sound as cool or interesting to the player who bought a box, loaded it on their computer, read through the classes and went straight into the game. Underplayed classes also tend to be support/healers or tanks – two of the vital roles when it comes to group play. Which again raises the chances for grouping. Or maybe from races that aren’t as appealing to the masses.
So, popular classes. What’s wrong with them? They’re popular which means they obviously sound appealing to many people. It’s a game, it’s a game you pay a monthly fee for. From a completely objective perspective I want to say, log on, read the descriptions, play whatever sounds the most fun ignoring all other information.
And let’s not forget that Warhammer Online is a different from games we’ve played before. The design ethic has been to create interesting classes. Thus we have healers with mechanics to allow and expect them to dps as well as stand at the back healing, or tanks with twisting. The massive class poll on WHA suggests that both tanks and healers are going to be fairly popular. That already bucks the trend somewhat, but you still hear ‘underplayed’ as one of the criteria which people are using to pick classes.
The vast majority of us haven’t yet been able to test the game at all, so we’re still coming at this without having tested/played any of the classes. It’s fairly well-known that there will be no open beta as such, the NDA will get lifted, those who pre-ordered the Collectors’ Edition will get to play a segment of beta. More class information will come out at those points. But will it be enough to stop us seeking the underplayed classes and just go for what feels most fun for us (for some of us, that will be an underplayed class).