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