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Choppa. Slayer. So what's the big deal?

Brooke Pilley

With today's announcement that the Slayer and Choppa careers will be added to Warhammer Online, you may be asking yourself, "So what's the big deal?" Most of the people asking this probably aren't WAR followers, which is understandable. There are, however, people who play WAR that don't really think these two careers should be a priority for Mythic right now given all the other issues. I'm writing this article to prove the non-believers wrong and shed a little light on why the Choppa and Slayer are so cool for the Warhammer novice.

First, let's look at the main similarities between these two careers. The Choppa and Slayer were both tested back in WAR beta. Actually, the Slayer was called the Hammerer back then, which was basically a cheap knock-off because Mythic and Games Workshop couldn't work out lore issues. The basic concept of the Hammerer was quite Slayer-esque in that it was a surly dual-wielding melee DPS dwarf. Mythic decided that the Hammerer and Choppa weren't quite on par with the other careers so they were cut (along with the Blackguard and Knight of the Blazing Sun) from release. Note: the BG and KotBS were added shortly afterward.

Continue reading below the cut where we'll continue to look into their similarities and specific characteristics.

Both careers were supposed to mirror each other using a similar berserk/rage mechanic that made them extremely offensive for a short period of time. Apparently, this is still the case, with some minor tweaks. Today, Jeff Hickman told us that the more these careers fight, the higher they will build their berserk/rage meter. The higher this meter gets, the more damage and abilities they will be able to unleash. To offset this, they are penalized with a scaling defense debuff as their berserk/rage reaches and surpasses a certain point.

Some people believe Mythic should balance the other 22 careers before confusing things by adding two more. I'm of the mind that it's very difficult to balance something if you're missing pieces of the puzzle. By adding the Slayer and Choppa, Mythic will finally have all the classes they originally designed WAR around in front of them. My hope is that this will paint a clearer picture for balancing purposes.

Finally, the Slayer and Choppa have legions of fans... seriously. I've heard of people who refused to even play WAR because they weren't put in the game at release. Many others grudgingly rolled alternative careers at launch, which may account for some of the player loss after WAR's free month ran out.

Now that we know what they have in common, let's take a deeper look at each career specifically.

Greenskin Choppa

Did you know that a "choppa" isn't technically a career in Warhammer lore? Choppas (and bashas/smashas) are actually weapons that orcs wield to slaughter their enemies. But hey, orcs are far from technical so let's just just keep things simple and call an orc who wields two choppas a Choppa! That way nobody gets hurt.

Most importantly, I believe Choppas will provide the greenskins with a much needed second orc unit. Currently, the greenskins are made up of Black Orcs (orc), Shamans (goblin), and Squig Herders (goblin). Anyone who wanted to roll an orc up until now had to play a Black Orc (tank archetype). Adding Choppas will increase greenskin diversity and cut down on the amount of Black Orcs running around.

Finally, if the rumours prove to be true, Choppas will give us even more comedic relief in WAR. Keen players recently hacked some data files to reveal the full (and unlikely final) ability list. Some the the skill names include: Can't Stop Da Chop, Go For Da Soft Spot, Git To Da Choppa, and Don't Wanna Live Foreva. For any WAR novice raising an eyebrow at this... orcs are just weird that way.

Dwarf Slayer

Imagine you're watching the original Warhammer Online cinematic and you get to the glorious battle scene between an orange mohawked axe-wielding dwarven maniac covered in tattoos and a gigantic green monster clad in scraps of heavy metal. Now imagine that iconic dwarf finally making it into the game. I think that's reason enough to get excited!

Slayers are easily the most recognizable dwarven unit from the Warhammer Table Top game, unfortunately, they're also tragic loners who wear little to no armour and have a death wish. Luckily, Mythic and Games Workshop were able to settle on some lore precedents that would allow them to fit in the MMORPG version of the game.

Lastly, if you've followed WAR at all these past few months, you may have heard about the dreaded and sometimes overstated population balance issues. The gist of it is that the realm of Destruction is simply cooler than Order, which means more people play Destruction. I have a strong feeling Slayers will shrink the population gap because they're likely to be the most popular career in the game, not just on the side of Order.

In Summary

It's hard to argue against both new careers adding a lot of value to to the game. Their inclusion will finally complete the 24 careers WAR was meant to have at the start and the rage/berserk mechanic sounds like it will give players even more interesting tactics to use on the battlefield. The greenskins finally have another orc career and Slayer fans can toss back a final mug of brew before stalking off in search of that glorious death.

My only question is, which one will you roll?

Warhammer Online Coverage Mythic has announced the first expansion to Warhammer Online! Check out the announcement itself, the two brand-new classes coming to the game, and the enormous new dungeon/zone slated for a few months away! Plus, don't miss any of our ongoing coverage as Massively goes to WAR!

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