Massively goes to WAR: An overview of Melee DPS Careers for Destruction


Warhammer Online offers two takes on melee DPS classes for Destruction at this moment in time. One of them is the slightly traditional Witch Elf, who's kind of like a rogue with a thirst for unrelenting murder and on heavy doses of mind-altering drugs. The other class is the Marauder, who is more irregular with his very flexible and cool looking mutation mechanic -- he can grow all sorts of disgusting stuff out of his body. So which one will you be playing come launch day? We've put together this class overview for exactly that question.

All careers in Warhammer Online use Action Points (AP). Most abilities drain action points when used, but each career also has a special mechanic that allows them to do their own special thing.

Dark Elf Witch Elf

Mythic has had a tenuous relationship with the idea of stealth as it's typically presented in most MMOs. Which is why we're going to carefully and cautiously say that the Witch Elf is more or less Warhammer Online's rogue class (as is the Witch Hunter, her mirror career), complete with a fairly restricted stealth mechanic called Shadow Prowl.

A Witch Elf is a blest bride of the Dark Elf god, Khaine. They find rapture in combat and drive themselves into a crazed Blood Lust (BL), which can only be made into satisfaction through a frenzied attack to finish their enemy. This is the Witch Elf mechanic at its heart. You use attacks that build your BL to a level between one to five, then use one of your Frenzy abilities. The strength of the Frenzy correlates directly to how much BL you've built up.

There's also the Witch Elf Kiss abilities, of which you can only have one active at a time. A Kiss is a powerful ability that lasts over a period of two minutes and typically both damages and debuffs a target in some fashion. There are three Kisses in total and they're each tied to one of the Mastery paths offered, so they become stronger as you stack points up in a matching path.

Finally, there's the Shadow Prowl ability. With a two second cast, a 60 second cool-down and the cost of draining your AP while in effect, this stealth mechanic is nothing like most other popularized MMOs stealth. There are abilities that can only be used from behind an enemy while prowling, but the nature of Shadow Prowl forces the player to choose the time and place of its use wisely. If you mess it up, you'll find yourself with little-to-no AP and one or more more pissed off enemies ready to chop up your barely-clothed butt.

Meet the Witch Elf
Abilities learned during levels 1-5
Meet the Witch Elf levels 6-10
Abilities learned during levels 6-10
Meet the Witch Elf levels 11-15
Abilities learned during levels 11-15

Witch Elf Mastery paths

  • Path of Carnage
    Specialize in toe-to-toe combat.
  • Path of Suffering
    Specialize in poisons and weakening effects.
  • Path of Treachery
    Specialize in surprise attacks and positional combat.

Chaos Marauder

The Marauder is a Northman exceptionally touched by Tzneetch and because of this, he has been granted the undiluted gift of change by the Raven Lord. They wear little armor, as it would only be rent to pieces by the Marauder's blood, bone and flesh constantly changing in battle. Your left arm can take the shape of a mangled, almost demonic claw, a savagely mutated blade or a heavy, spiked bludgeon of gory flesh and bone. One of the cool touches to the mutation mechanic is that there isn't just one visual representation of the three mutations. By our count it seems like there are three that you could end up with each time you mutate. Although there could be more at the highest levels, too.

Tossing aside the idea of sneaking, this Melee DPS career revels at charging into combat with the right strategy at the right moment. Sure, it's still effective -- and easier -- to throw all your Mastery points into a single path like Brutality and then hammer down on single opponents. Actually, the career is designed to be played in such a manner. However, if you want to spread your Mastery points across the board and setup your Marauder to be more flexible, you'll be able to strategize for strong single targets, multiple targets and heavily buffed/healing supported enemies. Just be sure you don't make a mistake in front of an observant enemy, or they'll take advantage of the time required to switch from one mutation to another.

Marauder Mastery paths

  • Path of Brutality
    Specialize in lingering effects and weakening foes.
  • Path of Savagery
    Specialize in dealing heavy damage to a single target.
  • Path of Monstrosity
    Specialize in fighting multiple opponents at once.
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This article was originally published on Massively.