We’re Skaven, We’re Skaven!

By Kieron Gillen on September 2nd, 2010 at 6:45 pm.

Classic period Alec design here.

Remember the above campaign we ran in the golden age of Rock Paper Shotgun? Well, in the most recent letter from the Mythic Producer Carrie Gouskos she revealed the coming of player controlled Skaven. Not as a faction, but in part of a new Skaven-themed Realm-versus-realm zone, where both Destruction and Order players get a chance to play THE MOST SPLENDID OF WARHAMMER RACES. This makes me suspect something akin to Lord of the Rings Monster-play may be in the offing. The rat-related details are found in full below…

  • We’re introducing a new Skaven Themed RvR Zone. This new zone is not designed to be the “new hotness” where everyone runs off to once it launches. Rather, the new area will integrate into the existing Tier 4 campaign, supplementing it rather than becoming a siphon. This new RvR experience will be just that…RvR. We’re building on the success of the redesigned cities and iterating on lessons learned there. The zone will be an epic struggle between Order and Destruction, with the victor reaping the rewards.
  • Skaven are coming: The RvR Pack will be introducing Skaven to the WAR. True to their chaotic nature, the Skaven will influence the battlefield in significant ways, skittering about, doing what Skaven do. Skaven will be playable by both Realms and are not an NPC “third realm”.

The rest of the letter is here. Don’t know why the Skaven are so essential to a happy existence for all humans? I direct you to the original article, where I write an impassioned love-letter to the whiskered warpstone warriors.

And, yeah, with a certain item you can transform into a Skaven already, but that’s hardly the same thing.

Thanks to Grey Seer Namos for the heads up on this one.

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36 Comments »

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  1. LordCiego says:

    I would like to know the opinion of Fred Wester, CEO of Paradox

  2. Meat Circus says:

    We are Skay-ven, we are Skay-ven…

  3. westyfield says:

    Kieron, stop painting Skaven.

  4. Freud says:

    That is a fine looking Spear of Eyepoking +1.

  5. Jimbo says:

    I would write an impassioned love-letter to Carrie Gouskos. She’s rad.

  6. Fred Wester, CEO of Paradox says:

    I am Fred Wester, and I approve this message.

  7. Nick says:

    Yay! Shame I’m not playing it anymore =(

  8. Walsh says:

    That sounds like a horrible cop out.

  9. RaytraceRat says:

    All hail the great Horned Rat!

  10. Ignorant Texan says:

    I suppose the ‘new hotness’ is a reference to the Land of the Dead debacle. Maybe they learned.

    Skaven were a hot topic with players from launch until I left. I understand why they aren’t added to either realm, but I feel they should have been added as a third realm, not the griefer’s delight or another mechanic to exploit that they are likely to become, at least from my 9 month experience with WAR. While I wish WAR well, I feel the reason it is still alive is the probable high cost of canceling the license and as a training ground for the Bioware staff in the run-up to SW:TOR.

  11. Hunam says:

    The notion that Mythic would do anything with Warhammer online makes me chuckle. They threw the towel in on launch day.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      Well, EA threw in the towel on Mythic. It’s Bioware’s responsibility/head-ache now.

    • Hunam says:

      Why bother to be honest?

      The most important time in a MMO’s life is the first year, and they did the text book definition of doing the first year wrong.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      Point taken. I didn’t make it a year, but yes, they pretty much proved your point in my 9 months there.

    • Hunam says:

      I just hope someone steals the public quest idea and expands on it. That was a stroke of genius imo. Infact, the game was amazing, just poorly run.

      Biggest shame in gaming to be honest

    • Zogtee says:

      The game is going to need a whole lot more than Skaven to pull me back in, especially with Guild Wars 2 lurking behind the corner.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      Well, GW2 has lifted PQs, and call them dynamic events.

      And, I agree with you about wasted potential. 6 months after the launch, the game was decent. A lot of people blamed EA for ‘rushing’ Mythic, but I understand why they demanded a firm date. I’m positive Mythic mislead EA as much as they did their customers. It’s sad thing when for me and a lot of players, the very public, very humiliating, and very, very well earned firing of Marc Jacobs was damn near the hight point of my time in WAR.

    • Torgen says:

      the very public, very humiliating, and very, very well earned firing of Marc Jacobs was damn near the hight point of my time in WAR.

      Guess I missed that, or was so long gone that it didn’t really register.

      A damned shame.

      Maybe they will jump on the “F2P+store” bandwagon Turbine brought to mainstream MMOs and is being copied by others now. Might lure me to poke around with the magus a bit, though all I can really remember is dying quickly once someone on the other side noticed me.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      While he had to see the writing on the wall, a press release from EA was how he and the rest of us became aware the shit-hammer squashed him. I believe it was when he was contacted for his response that he knew it was official, although ‘anonymous’ sources at Mythic said he hadn’t been seen in a month, and began the inevitable shit-flinging(i.e., he was a complete dick-head, unapproachable, abusive, etc…, about what’d you expect when it’s safe to fling shit).

      At this point, I view WAR as nothing more than training ground for Bioware for SWTOR. The Skaven may be to see how the introduction of the Reapers, er, whatever neither Sith nor Jedi faction is introduced. While I have fond memories of WAR, the negatives so grossly out-weighed the positives that I rage-quit with 3 months left on my sub. So much potential, so little delivered.

  12. Plinglebob says:

    RPS had a golden age? That must have passed quickly :)

    OT: Nice, but not enough to get me to play again. I enjoyed the game and the RvR was fun, but it wasn’t enough to keep me interested.

    • Sarlix Wester says:

      Not enough for you to play again!? Did you not see the man sized rat donning a spiked helmet and spear of Eyepoking +1!

    • Nick says:

      it only lasted 12 turns

  13. Kirian says:

    Wot now needs to happen: Lustria needs to open up as a new area, with Lizardmen and Amazons as neutral factions. Their job is to defend their lands from the bonuses that invaders would provide, as in they’re not interested in taking major cities (but can help either side as the Slann see fit).

    Bonus points if the Norse/pirates are introduced as the third ‘true neutral’ faction. I mean, they’re Norse and the other two are Old One servants so it makes sense.

    Plus, Lizardmen are the semi-official Skaven enemy aren’t they? For various lore reasons? Or is their enemy Dark Elves? I know in the vast majority of campaigns they’re on the disorder side, but I’ve also seen Tomb Kings as an order-type side.

    If the above, or something that shoehorns in Lizardmen happens, then it’ll be tighter than the the chastity belt on a Grail Knight.

    Quick aside: I don’t think Slann would work as a playable class. They’re ancient, basically immortal and too powerful. Skink priests, Saurus and/or Temple Guard, Kroxigors, Skink runners and Skink herders (salamanders and other jungle gribblies) make the most sense to me.

    • Kirian says:

      Aaaagh, I meant that Lizardmen are on the order side in the majority of campaigns.

  14. Bizarro Stormy says:

    I am Fred Wester, CEO of Paradox

  15. Fred Wester, CEO of Paradox says:

    I am Bizarro Stormy

  16. The Codicier says:

    This is obviously a month of unparalleled joy for all worshipers of the rat god.
    Especially since GW are releasing the new Island of Blood core set this weekend with some of the best Skaven models they have ever produced.

    I played WaR back when it first came out & the warfare in tier 2 was gloriously chaotic too & fro, sadly it didn’t last. As soon as the power leveling players hit max level & started laying claim to it, all life was slowly chocked out of the game as people started running PvE instances to get armor rather than actually defend their realm.

    I’ll be very interested to see what they do with the Skaven in WaR, ive been play-testing a rule set for using Skaven in Fantasy Flight’s brilliant Chaos in the Old World boardgame as a 5th faction.
    So much of Skavens appeal to me at least comes from the fact that they are a wonderfully cowardly race, and yet also almost neurotically antagonistic towards absolutely everyone.
    Its been a really challenging exercise translating that to a concise set of rules which work with the existing factional conflict that occurs in the game.
    It sounds like Mythic seem to have taken a similar attitude, almost separating the Skaven of into a strange little mini game they were always far to selfish a race to be part of any alliance, but in the Warhammer lore have a history of causing a huge amount of destruction inadvertently (They essentially destroyed the Dwaft civilization when a science experiment went wrong).

    Sadly i doubt even it will be enough to draw me back to WaR which is sad because there was alot i liked about the game but it fell apart due to server issues & incentivising behavior which was completely counter productive to the things which made the game fun.

    • Kirian says:

      That was a Slann, I think. Possibly Kroak or Mazdamundi. If some serious, cataclysmic event there’s normally a grinning frog-person behind it.

  17. SubterraneanRivers says:

    Weird, I just impulse bought ‘The loathsome ratmen and their vile kin’ , no one does fluff like warhammer. Even so, I just want them to make a warhammer fantasy rts that isent mark of chaos. Damn you, mark of chaos.

  18. fashion hangbags says:

    Skaven is a katoon.

  19. Scythe the Deadly says:

    The players did not ask for a ZONE too play as Skaven we Asked for them as a playable race, not this cheap cop out. Wonder why your loseing player Mythic this BS would be a good reason. Skaven playable by both Order an Chaos come on way to mess up the lore. Make them a Playable race not just in a zone.