Beastlord Beastlord Beastlord

Beastmaster

Probably not the Beastlord you were thinking of

BEASTLORD!!!

Yes, I’m perhaps a little too excited by the news that the next Everquest 2 expansion will feature the Beastlord, one of my favourite classes from the original game. Of course, this fantastic news comes after years of SOE saying that they have no plans at all to add the class. Goes to show not only how easily companies give in to public demand (especially when faced with faltering popularity) but also how what they often say is never actual, unequivocal and permanent fact (and exactly why I think Titan is actually World of Starcraft… but that’s another blog post).

Now I haven’t played EQ2 in quite some time not only due to burning myself out after a solid three year stint when it was first released but also because SOE’s F2P model annoyed me somewhat. Still, I’m willing to let bygones be bygones and give EQ2 another shot just so I can get my hands on the beloved Beastlord. Oh fickle thy name is Gordon.

There’s not a lot of information about the Beastlord class yet except that are DPS classes from the Scout archetype (when will designers learn that class archetypes are exceptionally dull, restrictive, inflexible and downright boring to play?), wear leather armour, utilise brawling weapons and have a pet by their constant side, in a rather sleazy and suggestive way. Yes, EQ2 seems to be truly embracing the classic monk/pet hybrid that made the original class so fun and original.

Apparently there will be different pets aka Warders with different abilities and benefits a lá Hunters in WoW although it’s still not clear how you obtain them. Personally I don’t see a need to go out and tame them as it just turns everything into a Pokeman-esque farce and, to be honest, I did kinda like how in the original Everquest each race had their own, fixed pet that suited their vibe and personality. However, I can see how this would infuriate modern players plus it wouldn’t really fit in with the fact that there are no class/race restrictions in EQ2.

Another thing that’s not very clear though is whether or not the Beastlord will come as two separate sub-classes to maintain the concept that EQ2 originally had of archetypes (Fighter, Scout, Priest, Mage), classes (Warrior, Brawler, Bard etc) and sub-classes (Guardian, Monk, Dirge etc). I suppose it’s not really necessary given how SOE have simplified everything over the past years and I’m guessing they won’t bother although it would be cool to see two subtle variants of the Beastlord, perhaps one good and one evil. It would also help spread out what no doubt will be the massive and insane rush of thousands of people all rolling the same class at the same time. (The archetype, class, sub-class system really was crap though and I’m glad they ditched it… boy, I really do need to write an article about that).

Anyway, I’m very excited at the news about the Beastlord and will certainly be checking out the expansion come November. Now only if SOE would bring back the proper Berserker class (i.e. a chain wearing, DPS class that could only use two-handed weapons and not the plate tank that currently exists) and I’d be a very happy bunny indeed.

-Gordon

P.S. I’ll give it about 30 minutes after the expansion launches before we hear the first calls of “Beastard”.

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20 Comments

  1. Wodge says:

    SOE need to cut back on the amount of classes, not add more. Get rid of the subclasses (keep paladin/SK, ranger/assassin and elementalist/necromancer separate, obviously). Can’t see it being more than a dual wielding warden who is pet/melee specced, who’ll be cruelly ignored for raids (like rangers and paladins were).

    I loved my EQ1 Beastlord, but this won’t be enough to get me back in the game

    • SirOccam says:

      I agree. This is also why I liked the old system of archetypes and sub-class and whatnot. There are way too many classes, and since they all have to bring something unique to the table, people get really really picky.

      “Oh, you’re a ranger? Sorry, we need a Dirge. No, not even you, Troubadour, even though you’re pretty much the same thing, but, like…play more upbeat songs or whatever.”

      Like bhagpuss says below, maybe if we had today’s ease of leveling for the first twenty levels, we could still use the old system. It was pretty clever, and I liked how it almost made you RP a little bit, like you’re really growing in your powers/abilities. Unfortunately they felt they needed to make the game just a little more generic.

      But of course, in spite of all that, I’ll definitely be making room for a Beastlord (or maybe buying an extra character slot).

      • Gordon says:

        My big issue with the archetype system was the length of time it took to discover the class and get the feel for it. You basically had to wait 20 levels before you decide to be a Shadowknight or a Paladin, for instance, and then if you decided you didn’t like it, you’d just wasted days of your life :(

        • Geoff says:

          LOL SoE Loves those hamster wheels, its all the can think about, how can we trap people in this subscription longer?
          i think its the basis of the changes for planetside 2, i didnt read anything about their plans to fix the problem of player populations and zergling wins, but hopefully they do have a fix for that in the pipe to go with all the wheels they are adding

          Geoff

    • Gordon says:

      Yeah, I do concede that the idea of having “good” and “bad” versions of classes didn’t really work. Unfortunately though there’s nothing they can really do about it now :(

  2. bhagpuss says:

    Finding and taming your warder should be an absolute requirement imho. Should have been that way in EQ1. I’d also like to see that involve some chance of failure, where the animal spirit doesn’t see you as as quite as impressive as you see yourself and rejects you as an inferior master!

    I also disliked the archetype/class/subclass mechanic EQ2 used at launch, but it has to be acknowledged that a substantial minority seemed to like it. If it hadn’t taken 20 levels, and if 20 levels hadn’t taken a month to get, maybe it would have worked better.

  3. catinglasses says:

    I would so play World of Starcraft! A science fiction mmo is so needed.

    • vortal says:

      I totally agree. I would totally be a Protoss High Templar. I wonder how they would implement the Zerg, or armor for that matter. Maybe an appearance tab like in DC universe Online?

  4. Fumbles says:

    I liked the mechanic for the first one or two go through, the problem was it was mandatory for every character you made and level restricted.

    What are your thoughts on the other new features coming in November’s Expansion-

    Mercs and Dungeon designer and the stat shifting of items?

  5. vortal says:

    I have a question probably somebody who has never played EQ or EQ2 would ask. Why Does Everquest have so many Classes?

  6. Wolfshead says:

    The Beastlord is the perfect class for the typical MMO gamer of 2011. No need to group with other players as they are completely self-sufficient and easy to play with almost no weaknesses.

    It will take more than the addition of an over-powered class to get me to play EQ2.

    I’m holding out for EverQuest Next. SOE has one more chance to get it right.

  7. Myxx says:

    They’re herrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrree =D
    Beastlords and mercs rolled out today
    Come check em out , everything up to
    level 80 is free to play now

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