I’d heard about this before, maybe in someone’s report of PAX-East news, but this morning, a glaring tease of a tweet hit Twitter:
A new weapon/animation for DDO! Oh, geez! Now, look – I know my interpretation of iconic isn’t necessarily the same as Joe the DDO Player’s or production’s vision. Case in point – Gnomes. To me, Gnomes are an iconic DnD player race. All the same, I have to wipe away my tiny-loving tears with the pages of the 4e Player’s Handbook devoted to Dragonborn, Eladrin and stupidface Tieflings. Gnomes may be classic DnD, but apparently not iconic enough to keep in the core text in modern editions.
So I spake of this tweet to the denizens of A Tribe Called Zerg’s Mumble server, and there was a brief, intense flurry of conjecture.
(A brief pause)
People seemed smitten with the idea of flails. Flails are cool. Flails are sexy. Flails make slashing damage fun!
But are flails iconic DnD? Are any of our off-the-cuff answers? Let me ponder the possibilities…
- Spear – We already have spears in DDO, if Sireth, Spear of the Sky is anything to go by. It looks like a spear, it’s called a spear, but in the weapon description and animation, it’s a quarterstaff. A quarterstaff that does slashing damage. For reals, this is probably the iconic weapon we’re getting. Short and long spears are common weapons in DnD literature. What’s more, spears are generally a two-handed weapon that does piercing damage. That’s an unfilled niche in game weapons, and definitely an argument toward adding them to DDO.
- Halberd – To me, the halberd is an iconic weapon. It’s something I associate with medieval combat. I don’t think it would require its own animation, though, unless you’re emulating its piercing capabilities. In that case, well, aren’t you making spears? I’m telling you, I really think DDO is giving us spears. I’m just putting this out there, because given some snazzy halberd loot, I think this weapon could give the great axe and falchion a run for their money in terms of popular two-handers. I can see people wanting their character to use halberds for flavor.
- Flails – I have to say, I like the idea of flails. Not only is it a stylish body movement to animate, but flails offer a flexible variety of one-handed damage types. This weapon isn’t a one-trick pony. Bludgeoning and slashing types are possible drops, making them an attractive option for people to work into their build. Variety is the spice of life, so we all flail for flails!
But these are kind of expected weapon options, aren’t they? Turbine often surprises us with what they deliver. What are some classic pen-and-paper weapon options that could be attractive surprises in game?
- Whips or Spiked Chain – Lotusfly mentioned this one, and his reasoning was interesting. Intriguing animation flare, but also gives melee another option for crowd control: (reach + close combat)tripping = WIN. I like the idea of giving more options in combat strategy, so this is an exciting concept to see in an MMO.
- Nunchukas – Since handwraps are eternally broken, why not show monks a little love somewhere? Nunchukas are an iconic monk weapon, at least, and are regularly mentioned in handbooks across editions. The downside is, this is an exotic weapon, and targets one class. It’s likely the new weapon type will cover a larger game audience.
- Slings – I’ve decided this is what I wish for the new weapon type. Slings are so freaking iconic, they are biblical. They introduce unique movement. Slings are bludgeoning ranged damage. We don’t have bludgeoning ranged damage in DDO, do we? Niche filled, check. I might be going out on a limb here, because I base a lot of my logic on one question: what did Baldur’s Gate do? Considering that was grounded in 2e DnD rules, that can get me some far-fetched answers nowadays. Still, I propose that slings are simple weapons, so all classes should be eligible to use them just like darts or throwing daggers. The thought of it makes me bounce with glee. Let’s go throw some rocks!
At the end of the day, the frenzied berserker imaginings of players such as myself have to cool down and become realistic once more. The likely answer for the new weapon type is our first guess, the go-with-your-gut reaction. New weapon types, new combat moves for our characters are an exciting prospect, and a welcome addition to DDO in all forms. I still have to conclude my examination with the odds-on-favorite:
A: The new weapon type coming to DDO.
Q: What are spears, Alex?