I Like Big Swords

Big Swords in Rift

Size matters

I can just imagine my Dad face palming as soon as he reads this headline. Oh how proud he must be of his well educated son who now spends his evenings coming up with childish innuendos and sexual euphemisms to write blog posts about. Still, if you’re having dirty thoughts then they’re probably your own as I’m being deadly serious. When I play MMOs I immediately pick melee classes and then go out of my way to find the biggest, meanest looking sword I can possibly find in order to proceed smacking the living daylights out of everything whilst giggling with glee. Does that make me weird? That was a rhetorical question by the way.

I don’t know why I have such an infatuation with large weapons of destruction. Maybe it’s a male compensation thing? Maybe it’s a slightly psychotic thing? Maybe it’s due to my Scottish heritage and growing up with the image of Highlanders lugging five foot claymores into battle? Yeah, let’s go with that one. Regardless, I always pick the MMO classes that allow me to satisfy my slightly disturbing urge. The Berserker was my favourite class in Everquest, I loved the Fury Warrior spec in WoW purely due to the ability to dual wield two handed swords (why don’t more games let you do this?!), I played a Herald of Xotli in Age of Conan and thought it was the most original and awesome thing ever, and now I’m thoroughly enjoying the Champion class in RIFT.

Of course there’s something quite intoxicating about playing traditional fantasy roles that let you wield these monstrous excuses for blades as well. Usually they are characters that run head first into battle, physically overwhelming their opponents with little or no thought as to their own safety. For me, there’s something incredibly visceral and satisfying about this image perhaps because it’s such a countenance to my mild-mannered, controlled and sophisticated self. Perhaps deep down I just yearn to tear off the shackles of society and run free with my brothers, wild and untamed.

Or maybe I’ve just got a Freudian thing about size.


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  1. This almost makes me want to get Rift just so I can roll a Champion out of whatever the shortest race is in the game.

    Carrying a honking sword is classic awesomeness.

    Being 3 feet tall and running around with a honking sword, is classic comedy.

  2. flosch says:

    Hah, I have a similar thing. I might not go for the absolutely biggest sword, but still for something mean, and some impressive plate armor, please!
    For me, there’s an additional twist there, though: I’ll look for the most intimidating and dangerous-looking race, and then roll a female warrior-berserker-dreadknight-champion. That ties in with one of my major pet peeves, the plate bikini. If I have to wear that for longer than the absolute starting equipment, the game collects negative points.
    I assume I do it for the same reasons as you – to play something different from what I am when I’m at the office: fearful, bash-on-the-face – and female. ;) I also like investing the classical role/gender distribution that goes with it. It seems at least in many MMOs, the majority of healer characters is still female, and the majority of warriors, tanks especially, male.

  3. flosch says:

    inverting, not investing…

    Note to self: bested by phone again, even after proofreading.

  4. Nils says:

    Funny, it’s the other way round with me. I always go for the mages; the ones with the really big fireballs. Or the ones that can conjure the biggest demon or can become the most powerful lich.
    I usually try to stay behind and take pleasure in defeating enemies with as few actions as possible. I prefer to let other character or my pets do the dirty work.

    Now, that might actually be very similar to my motivations in real life. So, it seems I am more in tune with my soul that you are ;)

  5. Bronte says:

    Size may matter, but what truly matters is how you use it. DPS plz?

  6. Shadow-war says:

    My favorite careers have always been those that are akin to Shadowknights/Deathknights. My character in Rift is a Champion/Reaver mix. Big swords and evil = FUN.

  7. Epiny says:

    I’m the same way but I love Polearms… and it seems Polearms are the bastard weapon of every RPG and MMO I play. In Diablo 2 I played a Barbarian Polearm and loved it.

    I typically play healers, not because I love them more but because my first choice of playstyles typically don’t exist… or they don’t operate in the way I enjoy. I want a melee DPS that uses 2H Axes, Swords and Polearms and I want to be able to use any of those weapons, not just a best in slot one.

    Now I’m playing a Cleric in Rift… but my Cleric is a Druid/Shaman mix with a Warhammer that looks alot like a polearm. I can also switch to my healing spec very easily. I’m loving it, best of both worlds.

  8. Maybe you don’t have a complex, Gordon, maybe being able to wield big-ass swords is just damn cool! :P Heck, I played a warrior in Dragon Age 2 and delighted being a two-handed specialist just so I could carry around a greatsword that’s even taller than I am!

  9. Ish says:

    This is exactly the reason my have been playing my Knight of the Blazing Sun in War recently. The sizes of swords you can get for that class are both spectacularly awesome and rather unnecessary at the same time.

    Doesn’t stop me buying them though.

  10. SmakenDahed says:


    What does rhetorical mean?

    I’m the same way. When playing a game I usually go for the biggest and baddest looking dude and weapon. EQ1? Ogre. EQ2 Ogre. DAoC? Firbolg. WoW? I wish I was playing Horde so I could be a Tauren but I’m playing a Dwarf at the moment – he does have a big hammer, though, it’s somewhat comical. I really wanted to level a Gnome Fury Warrior to the point of Titan Grip for the same reason but never got around to it.

    I have a Champion for my Warrior class in Rift. It’s decent. I love the jumping chop/charge-like ability.

    • Gordon says:

      Hah another person with an Ogre fetish like me eh? :) I pretty much only went Ogres in EQ and EQ2. Such a shame we don’t see more Ogres in MMOs these days. Everyone seems to focusing on human classes. Would love them to add the Ogre as a playable race in WoW for instance :)

  11. Epiny says:

    I sort of glossed over it in my last post but I don’t like how weapon’s, and itemization, is handled in MMOs. There is always one best weapon for you given level… it could be an axe, sword, hammer, whatever. The problem is what if I don’t want to use an Axe, but a hammer, however the best item for me stat wise is an Axe. This is a major reason why I quit my Fury warrior in WoW… I didn’t want to use a 2H Axe… I wanted to use a Polearm.

    • Gordon says:

      WoW has serious issues with Polearms and Fist Weapons so, yeah, you are pretty much limited in what you can use as a Fury Warrior. EQ2 had a nice system were you could equip vanity weapons so you could pick one for the stats and one for the look.

    • Arieltalia says:

      I have the same problem with weapon restrictions. (Btw, female tank player here, I suck at healing.)

      I prefer “magical” tanks, and the Justicar is right up my alley. Problem is, I want to use a SWORD, not a mace, so I settled for a Warrior and then a Rogue. But when I realized that Clerics can use daggers, I rerolled. Most of the daggers look like shortswords. :)

  12. Tesh says:

    I’m still waiting for a Valkyrie Profile MMO. That game has some honkin’ HUGE swords.

  13. Thac0 says:

    I think when I start Rift again in a few weeks I will roll a new Warrior. I have always liked big swords and Chain Bikinis so I’m all good.
    Do you guys feel the GCD is a bit slow on Warriors? I felt I was a little more slow than I’d like but not a deal breaker? So who looks better in Warrior Gear on Defiant side Eth or Bhami? I’m all about being a fashionista.

    • Gordon says:

      Yeah I do think the GCD is a bit slow on Warriors although it gets better with the Champion class as you level because you unlock reactive abilities that can used immediately if your opponent parries/dodges or you gain a crit. Plus you get one that you use right after killing an enemy. It makes the class a lot more interactive and you notice the GCD less.

    • Shadow-war says:

      GCD is faster on the rogue (~1.0sec) than any other career. The rest are all the same (~1.5sec) iirc.

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