This week in Waging WAR, Greg shows off the rather large chip on his shoulder and talks about one particular career in Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. Despite the following column, Greg wants it to be known that he does indeed love kittens of all kinds and does not condone harming them in any way, unless it involves several Doom Bolts and a few handfuls of Flickering Red Fire, in which case he enthusiastically gives his approval.
For the most part, I consider myself pretty easygoing when it comes to scenario PvP. I don't flip out when I die, I try to not take failure to heart since the next scenario is usually right around the corner, and DPS-healers don't bug me like they bug many other players out there (I used to play one, neener-neener). But recently, I've noticed a particularly aggravating trend growing among Order players on Badlands in the lower tiers. There is an inordinate number of White Lions being rolled, and objectively, it isn't difficult to see why. They're extremely mobile, they can cause outrageous amounts of damage in a very short time, and their pets represent more than mere harassment -- they actually hurt. Sadly, objectivity comes at a pretty hefty price these days. When it has run dry and all I find myself left with is the hot, bitter aftertaste of subjectivity, the result is something like the rant that follows.
Read along after the break and enjoy my rant about White Lions.
First of all, I can handle being killed a bunch of times in a scenario. I've seen some pretty rough scenes in my time, and I've been spawn-camped enough to know that a little patience goes a long way. The randomness of scenarios means that the next queue could very well be the exact opposite, and all that stands between this humiliation and that glory is a tacit application of conscious sublimation. But things get sketchy when chance and randomness get thrown out the window due to a population skew. I mean, it can't be considered coincidence that White Lion numbers have grown to such a point that there are at least two and sometimes as many as four of these players in any given scenario. I think I even saw five of them once. And that's not including the pre-made groups featuring a pair of White Lions and a Slayer or two.
Basically, my point is simple. Facing a White Lion in a scenario is almost a guaranteed fact, and since I generally play cloth casters, I can usually count myself at the top of a Lion's hit list. Let me tell you, being focused by more than two of these guys is not what I would describe as fun. Add their pets to the mix, and every encounter automatically starts off as a 2v1 in their favor. It's not like one can simply ignore a battle cat the same way a squig can be ignored. No, the truth of the matter is quite the opposite. White Lion pets have been known to make Sorcerers run for their lives, to cause Zealots to completely lose their minds in what seems like a kiting, bunny-hopping, frenzied panic of "GET THIS THING OFF ME" that one could only compare to the image of a chicken that's just recently been separated from its head. Now add to that image a whole wave of these feline horrors, and you'll understand what I'm talking about.
But even alone, a White Lion is essentially cone-headed death incarnate. Some other players may scoff at the White Lion, claiming they have no issue with the class while completely ignoring the fact that they've never encountered one as a cloth caster. Since I play a career that relies on kiting strategies to win, I think I can safely say that White Lions are completely un-kite-able, and that simple fact can be attributed to one ability. A single, spammable button press is all that stands between the White Lion, me, and doom. Yes, I'm talking about Pounce. This low-AP, instant-cast, no-cooldown ability represents the death of any cloth-wearing caster caught within its range. More to the point: If I'm lucky enough to see a White Lion on the horizon, the only strategy I've come up with that has met any measure of success when it comes to dealing with these monstrosities is to run -- to turn tail and leg it as fast as I can. I can't count the number of times I thought I was being sneaky enough to pick on a White Lion who was otherwise engaged, only to draw his attention and quickly find myself eating axe.
But Pounce is only the beginning. The real issue is the severe amount of damage these guys can cause in a very short period of time. Sundering Chop has become the bane of my virtual existence. If I'm not dead after being Blindsided by one of these Pounce-spamming freaks, then I'm at least half-dead. A Sundering Chop and Coordinated Strike later, I find myself face-deep in the ocean-swept beaches of Nordenwatch or grazing the wild grasses at the Lost Temple once again. By my count, that's four button presses. At least I'm not being one-shot, right? Well, even though technically it isn't a one-shot deal, it certainly feels like it. I rarely have enough time to react after being Pounced, and none of my defenses seems to really have any effect. I can't get out of range, and I may as well be naked thanks to their armor debuff. The only chance I have is to receive immediate and focused healing, and sadly, there are few healers out there with the attention span needed to get the job done. And by "attention span" I mean targeting and following me as though I'm the center of their universe, which is usually not the case.
This article is not a qq-faced, tear-stained cry for balance. Neither is it a nerdraged question of whether or not "umadbro." I am not your guy, buddy, nor your buddy, guy. This article is a simple rant about White Lions and the apparent trend in WAR
's lower tiers that has these guys spawning in litters. Every career has its day in the sun, and eventually mine will too. It's just a matter of time for the flavor of the month swing in my favor, and once again, patience goes a long way; coincidentally, it's about the same distance as the range of Pounce.
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Every Saturday afternoon, Waging WAR hits the cover of Massively with the latest and greatest in all things Warhammer Online. From patch news to career reviews, Greg Waller writes about it all. Email comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.