Friday, March 7, 2014

The Willful Warrior: Personal Strength

“When all magic fails, rely on three feet of steel and a strong arm…” -Diablo I Manual

Gaius Caster: Warrior (Art by Sushi)
THE WARRIOR: Featuring guest commentary from Gaius Caster (OC for Evion of WSRP and awesome artist!)

The warrior has long been a beloved figure in both our past and in the gaming world. From the annals of history to the stories of today and from tabletop to cyberspace, the idea of the strong, indomitable individual has long charmed the hearts of the people.

As a stereotype that has appeared again and again, why is it that we still love the “simple” idea of the warrior? Because the warrior represents an avatar of self-empowerment. Whether they are a young individual learning the art of the blade or an old veteran striking out on a quest of revenge, the warrior represents an individual who relies on their own personal strength and will to see things through. In a crazy world where our lives may often time be plagued by uncertainty and chaos, the concept of the warrior who heads into the fray with confidence and the strength to back it up is an attractive pull.

Gaius: "An' don' forget our winnin' personalities! Charm AN' face-beatin'!"

With one fell swoop, a warrior can completely change the favor of the battlefield.

WildStar has certainly not overlooked this old favorite, adding some unique and interesting sci-fi touches to this class. Before I delve into some roleplaying ideas and food for thought for the warrior, let’s take a quick look at this powerful class!

First of all, if you haven’t seen the official warrior class video, check it out here! As well as this link to the official class page.

And a quick breakdown:

Weapon-Power Sword
Resource-Kinetic Energy
Innate Ability-Juggernaut/Bulwark
Armor Class-Heavy
Tools-Arm Cannon

The Warrior is one of the two heavy armor classes who runs on a resource known as kinetic energy. This energy is built up by the warrior’s basic attacks and depletes over time. Many of the warrior’s more powerful moves consume this energy, taking all that stored rage and focus into a terrible weapon of mass destruction. Wielding a formidable power sword which is the loving and deadly union of the traditional blade and a fusion accelerator, this class proves that it isn’t about to be left behind in the technological arms race for the control of Nexus.

Gaius: "Ya ain’t wantin’ to neglect proper care’f yer sword. A bad fusion core usually results in stories gettin’ told ‘bout ya that begin with “So, I used t’ know this warrior…”

But the warrior isn’t limited to just their sword. A powerful and versatile arm cannon lies as their disposal, adding a variety of lethal skills to their arsenal. Pissed that your opponent is out of your grasp? Why not shoot them with a shot of pure plasma and take them down from afar?

Or maybe yank them in with your 40M retractable battle harpoon and pull them into your welcoming embrace?

Or pull them into your welcoming...buzzsaw of death? Awww yeah!

Gaius: "The best part is the look on their faces when they see ya whip out those blades!"

And these aren’t your only tools of the trade! In the end the warrior is, themselves, a powerful engine of vengeance. Slap foes aside with your mighty fist. Kick them to the curb with your ferocious feet! You didn’t get this far by having tea parties and picking flowers, oh no! You got here through blood and sweat and tears and a little bit of TLC. Tender Loving Carnage.

Gaius: "Kickin’ ain’t just for Dominion goons neither! It works on all sorts ‘f stuff like turrets, rock monsters, vendin’ machines…."

Use these strengths to wade through your enemies or protect your allies. Set yourself up for massive damage as DPS and use your innate ability for a burst of frenzied strength, or play as an impenetrable fortress as a TANK and use your innate ability to give yourself a surge of threat and reduce your energy drain. Or mix and match your favorite skills on the fly and play however you like.

Remember, you are the Warrior. Nexus is your battlefield. YOU are in charge. Everyone else is just. In. Your. Way.

Examples of some Warrior-like RP personalities: Master Piandao: Avatar, Space Marine: StarCraft, Donnel and Lon'qu from Fire Emblem Awakening

So now that we have an idea of what the warrior is in terms of gameplay, let’s explore what the warrior means in terms of roleplaying. To start, I’ll share a couple of stereotypical personalities that I have found through my years of reading and roleplaying, talk about some ideas for character building specific to the WildStar universe and share some food for thought, for some more unusual personality/background ideas.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to be 120% unique in order to have a good character. Stereotypes are there for a reason and sometimes that can be a good thing! What is truly unique is the way you play your character. There can be hundreds of people playing the dumb as nails, strong as an ox type but no one out there will play them quite like you will. So choose what is fun, take a little time to explore and round out your character and maybe even do a little research to add some more plausibility to the mix and you will be the most beloved of the battlefield in no time!

In my opinion, there are six main stereotypes to the personality of the Warrior: The Loyal Brick, The Scarred Veteran, The Path of Vengeance, The Noble Knight, The Wise One and Dog Eats Dog. Keep in mind that these are not exclusively all there is and can certainly be mixed and matched. They’re simply the most common stereotypes that I can think of.

The Loyal Brick- This stereotype is not that bright, but that doesn’t take away from their strength of character. While not necessarily as dumb as rock, intelligence was most likely their dump stat, cast aside in favor of their impressive strength. But even more important than their physical strength, is their strength of character. The Loyal Brick is loyal to a fault, coming to the defense of their allies and loved ones without hesitation and always willing to defend what they believe in. Sometimes this can result in a narrow minded view that can get them into trouble when more complex politics and situations arise then simple black and white. While gentle to their companions, their rage can be terrible to behold when you hurt that which they care about. Easily contented with good drink, hot meals and good company, they can teach other characters to respect the simple things and to enjoy life to the fullest. Their simple minded goodness often inspires and humbles those around them.

Examples- Country Born Fighter, Simple Soldier, Gentle Giant

The Scarred Veteran-This stereotype, while not necessarily exclusive to the warrior, is certainly commonly seen with this class. The Scarred Veteran is a survivor of many battles, who has grown world weary and hardened. Perhaps they are a higher rank in the military, teaching the fresh-eyed recruits about the reality of war, smacking those stupid grins off their faces in the hopes that they might actually listen and that they might save a few of them with their wisdom through experience. Perhaps they are simply an old tough warrior, who’s traveled and fought their way through their entire life. Many times this veteran started as a wide-eyed soldier of fortune and has become hardened by the struggle of survival. While not necessarily humorless or a total killjoy, the scarred veteran tends to be overly practical, dry and often times is difficult to get close to. They tend to carry about a mysterious air that invites others to ask them about their past experiences and stories of their former glory.

Examples- War Commander, Guard Captain, Ex-Soldier

The Path of Vengeance-While many characters may have a reason to seek vengeance for a past wrong, this character is entirely consumed by this. They will never forget that tragic event that happened long ago, whether it be the death of a loved one, humiliation at the hands of a rival, the loss of their squad or even simply the history of their faction and they will not rest until they have defeated this enemy. Often time their goal is difficult, or even impossible and they are weighed down with bitterness and restlessness. Sometimes they defeat their tragedy, only to find a sudden lack of purpose in their lives. Sometimes they realise their goals are simply part of their driving force and while they never forget their calling, they use that energy to aid others on the way.

Examples- Wandering Warrior, Relentless Hunter, Avenging Angel

The Noble Knight-This character is strong of heart and noble in deed. They use their strength to defeat evil and defend their comrades. Similar to the Loyal Brick, they tend to be slightly more intellectual but not always so. Brave to a fault, they may often rush into overwhelming odds without thinking and are prone to attempting to solve the problems of others. While some people may be in awe of the Noble Knight, others may often find them annoying and overly bothersome. While the Loyal Brick tends to contain a simple and gentle strength, the Noble Knight can often be boisterous and chivalric to a fault. Even so, their intentions are good and their heart is set in the right place. While the companions of the Noble Knight may occasionally roll their eyes at their presence, they certainly appreciate their strength and dedication.

Examples- White Knight, The Noble Noble, The “Hero”

The Wise One-This warrior tends to be more a warrior of virtue then of pure power. Often depicted as a wise old hermit, hiding away in the wilds to meditate on the wisdom of the sword, this character tends to draw their weapon only as a last resort. They can be spiritual and meditative, often focusing on art like poetry, paint or music to calm their temper and gain tranquility. In roleplay these characters might offer up their wisdom to fellow warriors or a new generation, attempting to teach balance and peace in a world of war and chaos. Sometimes they may be eccentric and might even be viewed with a bit of suspicion or even fear from their people or they can be viewed with awe and respect for their well honed skills.

Examples- Holy Warrior, Wise Hermit, Warrior-Poet

Dog Eats Dog-This warrior is not noble, gentle, simple or kind. They are ruthless and greedy and put their own personal gain and survival over any other’s. Perhaps they had a rough upbringing that taught them to fend for themselves or they simply prefered to look out for Number One, but these warriors tend to inspire fear and unease wherever they tread. They use their strength to bully, extort and savage those who oppose them, perhaps squeezing protection money out of small villages for protection or waylaying travelers on their journey. Or maybe they run a small gang who run frequent raids on anyone they can steal supplies from. Maybe they are ruthless bounty hunters who care not who they are hired to kill. While these characters are not always evil, they are typically resigned to their life. Those that are not necessarily mean or cruel, may still be coarse and selfish, such as a neutral hunter-for-hire or a wandering fighter who takes care of themselves before any others.

Examples- Selfish Mercenary, Highwayman, The Bully

These are just a couple ideas that could be used with the warrior class, but they are not the only ones! WildStar alone has an incredible pool of lore to pull from. Instead of something more generic, why not try something straight from the world of Wildstar?

  • -Perhaps your Granok Warrior still seeks to uphold the “Way of Stone” the best they can, even as an exile from their home planet.
  • -Maybe your Mechari Warrior constantly seeks to improve themselves into the perfect weapon that ever existed.
  • -Your Cassian Warrior wishes to keep the tradition of the legendary Sword-maiden Tresayne Toria in honor of her sacrifice for her people
  • -Maybe your Exile Warrior is a loyal soldier who signed up to fight the Dominion and protect their people so they can finally find a place to call home.
  • -Perhaps your Mordesh Warrior uses their strength as a way to prove that they are still a force to reckon with despite their crippling fear of the Contagion stealing their mind away once and for all.
  • -Your Draken Warrior loves the thrill of the Hunt! Swinging around a massive sword and beating their foes to a pulp is the only way to truly live!

And how about some additional food for thought that breaks the mold a bit?

  • -Your warrior is actually a very intelligence scientist. They just preferred to rely on their own might rather then hire some foolish bodyguard who would only get themselves killed.
  • -Your warrior has picked up a sword and cannon more so because every hand is needed in the war for Nexus. They are really more at home busing tables at their faction’s restaurants or mucking the stables.

Gaius: "We're more'n just a bunch'a meat-heads. Well, yeah, our heads are made'f meat an’ stuff... Unless y'er a Granok or Mechari... But I mean, there's thinkin' involved in our fightin'! Just some folks do more’f the thinkin’ than others."

The Warrior is as versatile and moldable as they are powerful, lending a wide variety of personality types and career paths to consider when building your very own character. However, as with all classes, remember that your class choice does not have to strictly influence every single part of your character. If you just plain enjoy warrior, but you rather focus on your character’s path, or even something else entirely, that’s okay!

Otherwise get out there, have fun and kick some ass!

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