Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Playable races: idle speculation

At some point I think we can hope to see additional playable races. Not soon probably, but at some point. So just out of idle speculation, here are some thoughts on race expansion.

Destruction races:

The obvious choice here is skaven I think. Skaven are chaos worshippers and have a variety of interesting classes ... plague monks, assassins etc. Everybody loves a good rat-man right? I hope we see skaven as a playable race, but at the same time, I hope they get a design overhaul. Games Workshop skaven are quite a bit more impressive and sinister looking than the much more authentically rat-like skaven currently in WAR. You give me a good redesign of the skaven, and I'll roll one.

Other possibilities: well, you have the other chaos factions. Probably a long shot but you could develop some interesting dynamics by making say slaanesh worshippers playable, or even nurgle. Khorne is probably right out, given the single-minded bloodthirst of that faction.

Other than chaos factions and nurgle, you have ... maybe the undead? People like undead, particularly vampires, and Mark Jacobs has indicated some interesting in developing at least content in that direction, so I think that's a definite possibility.

Very long shot: chaos dwarfs. Chaos + dwarfiness = weird fun? I guess. Wouldn't count on it though.

Order races:

A little bit trickier here. Some people are guessing lizardmen. I think that would be a smart move, but might take a bit of lore jiggering. Lizardmen are, if I recall correctly, heriditary enemies of the skaven, but they aren't really part of the civilized races gang. Would be a nice move that could help to boost order population quite a bit, if they're done well.

Other possibilities are basically variations of what we have now: other human kingdoms, particularly Bretonnia, which is pretty well developed and is a nice counterpoint to the Empire. Bretonnia is a bit weak as a faction for a couple of reasons though: not much magical or religious tradition that I can recall, and even more poofy and flamboyant than empire folks.

The other race variant order could see is Wood Elves. Could be order-elves done right, but might end up feeling very similar to high elves.

So that's how I'm handicapping it at this point. Am I missing anything obvious? Any lore pros out there have thoughts on these races and what they could bring to the table? For some detailed analysis of undead, skaven and lizardmen armies, check out the nice thread at Warhammer Alliance.


  1. There are a lot of Human races they could add that would be very distinct from the Empire, for example Cathay and Nippon are based on Asian Cultures (ninjas, samurai anyone?) and Araby is based on Arabian cultures.

    As for Destro, I agree with Skaven, they're just so cool. But don't rule out Ogres, they're big and they're nasty. I personally am against Chaos Dwarfs, similiar to the Blood Elves from WoW, it just seems like a cop out :\

  2. I'd say the asian themed peoples are a longshot for a couple of reasons:

    1. the concepts for these are a little weak, imo. Might come off as a little imperialist or lazy. I mean the names are all actual names for the real world cultures.

    2. Pairings. Assuming that new destro and order races will be set up as a pairing, who do you pair these with. This is also an argument in favor of skaven/lizardmen as it has a built in pairing.

    I love ogres as they're presented in WAR, but I see them as a stretch as a race: not enough variety of type, I suspect to stand on their own.

    I could see ogres added as a chaos class, if they went the route of adding classes to existing races.

  3. I'll bet on beastmen as a destro race. I'd love Skaven, but aren't they really fighting only for themselves? They want all the surface dwellers gone so they can take it all, if I remember correctly.

    Of course, they could make me really happy by adding a third faction and making this a 3-way fight. Maybe skaven as a HUGE faction with more classes than any other single race(yay for balance issues). That would fit the lore due to the skaven's insane numbers.

    If skaven are playable, I'm rolling a gutter runner/assassin/whatever mdps they go with.