Over at the Warhammer Herald, Missy from EA Mythic has posted some new information about the beta of Empire vs Chaos. We get to know what classes were available, and how they played out.
The Relentless Struggle Continues!
Early in February, the forces of Empire and Chaos clashed in bloody frays from Norsca to Nordland and beyond. Players who participated were able to get a taste of PvE and RvR content for the Empire and Chaos pairing in Chapters one through nine. Other content included Open World RvR, Evolved Career Mechanics, Career Masteries, Keep Warfare, New Battlefield objectives, and Zone capture and control.
The following careers were available to try out in this phase:
The Witch Hunter
The Empire is not just under overt assault from the forces of Chaos, but is also fighting a constant war against the creeping incursions of darkness and heresy within its own borders, and no one is more aware of this than the Witch Hunter. Tasked with digging out the taint of corruption from within the healthy flesh of the Empire, the Witch Hunter is a grim figure, looked upon with equal measures of awe and dread, for they have the authority of an investigator, a judge, and an executioner. By blade, pistol, and torch, they are determined to cleanse the Empire of evil.
The Witch Hunters are deadly fighters who seek out and destroy anything tainted by the touch of Chaos. They lay down Accusations at swordpoint until they're satisfied of their enemy's guilt, and then unleash an Execution with the booming voice of their pistol. Their combat abilities are bolstered by a variety of sacred artifacts, such as blessed bullets which add additional effects to their Executions, and potent Holy Relics which can briefly imbue them with great power.
Masteries for the Witch Hunter will be released in this month's newsletter. Don't miss it!
The Bright Wizard
Master of the Lore of Fire, the Bright Wizard is the most destructive battle wizard in all of the Empire. The Bright wizard is renowned for his ability to incinerate anything, ranging from individual soldiers to an entire hillside. However destructive fire is not the only trick in their arsenal. Bright wizards are also capable of manipulating the wind of Aqshy to cause a variety of debilitating effects ranging from thick banks of choking smoke, to withering heat that saps the strength and endurance from even the staunchest warrior. Some Bright Wizards have even been known to dabble in the healing arts, however cauterizing a wound with white hot fire is never a soldier's first choice!
Due to the volatile nature of Aqshy, the Red Wind of Fire that they manipulate, the Bright Wizard is always risking a Backlash that could incinerate himself as well as his opponent. This building-up of Aqshy is known as 'Combustion' and the greater the level of Combustion a Bright Wizard places into his destructive spells the more likely they will explode with stupendous results (Critical Hit). However even the most skilled wizard will get burned when playing with fire and pushing the combustion level too high will result in a backlash of magical energy that will damage the Wizard himself.
Bright Wizard Masteries
Path of Incineration
The Path of Incineration primarily focuses on destructive single target spells. About half of these spells have high values of Combustion allowing those who Master the Path of Incineration to focus on weaving high risk spells in with more reliable destructive magics for optimal single target Damage.
Path of Immolation
The Path of Immolation focuses on damage over time and debilitating lingering debuffs. A Master of Immolation is more patient, relying less on high-Combustion spells with explosive effect, and more on slow burns that build up into an unstoppable inferno.
Path of Conflagration
The Path of Conflagration is the most destructive of the Bright Wizard masteries with area effect spells capable of burning entire swaths of land to a crisp. However, Masters of Conflagration must exert the most self control; most of their spells build up high levels of combustion so using them recklessly will mean the Wizard's doom as well.
The Warrior Priest
The Warrior Priests worship Sigmar, the now-deified warrior who united the tribes of man and formed the Empire long ago. In honor of their legendary patron, the Warrior Priests seek to follow in Sigmar's warrior path by purifying the Empire with equal measures of prayer and might. They march into battle shouting holy scriptures even as they bring their blessed warhammers to bear in the name of their god. By proving their devotion and righteousness through valor in combat, they are rewarded with divine powers, which manifest in the form of potent healing abilities. Their presence on the front lines of battle serves as a constant inspiration to the soldiers who march in defense of the Empire.
Sigmar is a warrior god, and his priests gain divine favor only by fighting to defend the Empire that he built. The holy symbol of Sigmar is a hammer, and the Warrior Priests have adopted the warhammer as their weapon of choice in honor of their patron. The Righteous Fury of Sigmar fills the Warrior Priest with each swing of their weapon, and this divine power can then be used to fuel their healing magic. This becomes something of both a freedom and a restriction for the Warrior Priest - since all of his magic is powered by Righteous Fury, he can throw himself wholeheartedly into melee combat and then still have resources left to heal with, but at the same time, his healing capabilities become dramatically more limited when there are no enemies in arm's reach.
Warrior Priest Masteries
Path of Salvation
The Path of Salvation focuses on divine magic, primarily healing abilities. A player who specializes in Salvation will become a much more powerful healer, although they will still need to place themselves into the front lines of a melee combat in order to build up their Righteous Fury.
Path of Grace
The Path of Grace is centered around melee attacks which inspire and bolster the Warrior Priest and his allies. A Master of Grace will be able to simultaneously wreak havoc upon his enemies with his warhammer and improve himself and his companions, making him an especially valuable player when standing side-by-side with other allies.
Path of Wrath
The Path of Wrath is focused on crippling melee attacks which weaken, hinder, and harass the player's opponents. Someone who specializes in Wrath will certainly be the most offensively-focused type of Warrior Priest, as they will be both damaging their enemies and weakening them with each swing of their warhammer.
Do not be misled by appearances, for they are the first weapon of the Chosen. Covered from head to toe in unholy armor, wielding massive weapons capable of rending enemies limb from limb, the Chosen are hulking figures of dread and terror on the battlefield - but woe to the enemy who dismisses them as simple brutes! Tzeentch's Chosen are cunning warriors who can bring forth a whisper of the Ruinous Powers into this world, dooming their enemies to a fate that is, perhaps, worse than a simple death.
The Chosen have been blessed by Tzeentch with several dark gifts, powers of Chaos which they can grasp and pull into this world through their very bodies. These powers pour forth from within their massive armor, and spill out as profane auras. In additional to causing an immediate effect when they first burst out from the Chosen's grasp, these lingering effects will continue to empower the player for several moments, allowing them to unleash melee attacks fueled by the unholy power of Tzeentch himself.
path of Dread
The Path of Dread is focused on directly and brutally crushing your foes. A master of Dread will be likely to favor a Greatweapon instead of a shield, greatly increasing their offensive power at the cost of sacrificing the protections that a shield would otherwise offer. They will be easily capable of picking up a shield when the situation calls for it...but they won't be happy about it.
Path of Corruption
The Path of Corruption is a cunning Mastery for those who prefer to outlast their enemies, letting their foes beat in futility on a massive shield until they're exhausted, and then crushing them with deliberate and vicious attacks. A specialist in Corruption will be the person who defines where the lines of battle will be drawn, since they -are- the front lines.
Path of Discord
The Path of Discord is one that delves more deeply into Tzeentch's gifts, and masters of Discord more fully understand how to manipulate the Chaos forces that swirl within them. They can unleash blasts of magical power, or twist the magical energies to unnaturally enhance their melee attacks. Their understanding of the nature of magic is still relatively shallow, however, and they can not hope to approach the skill or power of a true magus, but even their brief flashes of otherworldly energy are enough to empower them as potent melee combatants.
The Marauder is Tzeentch's favored agent of destruction, and has been granted the simplest and purest gift that the Raven Lord can give: change. The Marauder changes his very blood, bone, and body to reshape himself into a perfect warrior, capable of wreaking havoc and mayhem upon any foes who dare to cross him. He is, by necessity, only lightly-armored, since any more solid protection would merely be rent asunder as his warped and corrupted flesh distorted within it, but he ensures victory by simply slaughtering his enemies before they can react.
There are three different mutations that the Marauder can reshape his body into, each of which serves a specific purpose and offers its own benefits. By changing his very body as needed, the Marauder is capable of dispatching most any enemy, but he must always be aware of the flow of battle and ready to mutate into a different form as necessary. A Marauder who chooses poorly will find his punishment to be swift and immediate, for he is helpless and vulnerable during the few moments that it takes his body to flow into a new form, and a perceptive enemy will leap at the chance to take advantage of this brief window of weakness.
Masteries for the Marauder will be released in this month's newsletter. Don't miss it!
The Zealot is a fanatical orator, intent on spreading the glory of the Raven God throughout the land and serving the will of the Great Changer. Draped with ritual vestments and tools of sacrifice, the Zealot can imbue various talismans and potions with the primordial power of Chaos. These items become potent magical conduits though which he can mend wounds, enhance his allies, and plague his enemies with unholy scourges.
Zealots are some of the few mortals who can call forth a Mark of Tzeentch upon living flesh, branding their allies as sanctified soldiers of the Changer of Ways. These Marks will not only bolster their holders far beyond normal human limitations, but also serve as direct conduits to the powers of Tzeentch himself, allowing their bearers to gain entirely new abilities. A Zealot can also desecrate a patch of land with a Dark Rituals & Rites, marking that spot as claimed by Tzeentch and crippling any unbelievers who dare tread upon it.
Path of Alchemy
The Path of Alchemy is the Zealot's primary healing mastery. A specialist in Alchemy will become a mighty healer, capable of mending the most grievous wounds and ensuring that Tzeentch's armies live to see their enemies fall before them. While a player who selects this Mastery may not necessarily gain the most powerful offensive capabilities, they will have absolutely no problems finding allies to protect them and do their bidding.
Path of Ritual
The Path of Rituals is focused on warping the entire balance of power across a battlefield, skewing the fight to bring about the inevitable triumph of Tzeentch's followers. They are just as proficient at enhancing their allies as they are at stunting their enemies - and, in fact, can do both at the same time.
Path of Witchcraft
The Path of Witchcraft is for a Zealot who chooses to make himself into a talon of Tzeentch, reaching out to slaughter his enemies through magical attacks. These manifest themselves as deadly portents of chaos. Flocks of shrieking ravens may fall upon a Zealot's foe to consume their flesh, or strange demonic manifestations may appear out of thin air to lash at his foes.
The following letters and writings, bloodied and torn, have been intercepted by various factions throughout the fields of battle.
Glory of the Raven God
You would not believe the wonders I have seen, dear father.
The glories of the Raven God have been revealed before me! I have felt his touch upon me, and I now bear a sliver of his power.
His heralds have bid me to go forth with his favored, the Raven Host, to bring glorious corruption upon the weak men of the south and to reveal the truth of their false gods.
I have walked the cold plains of Norsca and seen his works in their full magnificence. I have seen the splendor of his armies. Even the land itself molds before His touch.
But the fools of the Empire, in the name of their false man-god Sigmar, deny the Raven God's glory. In their ignorance and hypocrisy, they call my kind 'zealot'...and yet they are blind to their own zealotry in their man-god.
The Raven God and His emissary, Tchar'zanek, have bid us to free the souls of these southerners from their false gods. Though I am but a single woman in the untold numbers of his armies, I am honored to serve Tchar'zanek in his holy task.
Marching alongside fellow warriors of the Raven Host, I have met the Imperials in battle. I have tested my new-found sorceries in the crucible of battle, and have sent my share of souls to the Raven God. I have seen the blades and spears of the Imperials shatter before the mighty armor of the Chosen of Tzeentch. I have witnessed the Raven God grant the gift of change and mutation to our warriors, and seen them use these gifts to rip through the armor and shields of our enemies.
I have even matched my will and the sorcerous gifts Tzeentch has granted to me against an acolyte fire mage of the Imperials and triumphed. The Raven God is mighty indeed, and the petty magics of the southlands cannot contend with the mystical might of Tzeentch.
The Raven Host marches ever onwards, pushing the Imperial fools out of Norsca, and soon we will penetrate into their lands, to the ripe fields of the land they call Nordland.
None shall stop us. Tzeentch's will cannot be denied.
Your daughter in the service of Tzeentch,
Fire and Ash (Empire)
For nearly a month had we traveled, taken from our studies within the walls of the Bright College. The threat of war from the north would wait on no man. Over the past few years many of our fellow apprentices had burned out; or simply vanished in the night, taken by the order and never seen again. One could not always live in fear of failure though, for our path as weapons of war was long since charted. Well past the apprentice stage we were deemed suitable enough for the task at hand. Taken by river and by road to some distant part of Nordland, a risky gambit to stave of the advance of the warhost as long as we could.
Some of us were taken further to the north, into Norsca itself, by one of the Wizard Lords who lead us. The handful that remained were to shore up the defense of one of the coastal villages, Neues Emskrank by name. The day of our arrival all was calm, though a great number of ravens and other winged creatures were gathering in the skies and fields. Some of us were put to the task of reading the townsfolk and I drew the short straw and assisted for a while in this endeavor.
It is horrifying to know that the corruption and fear of chaos may run so deep in our lands. Many of the villagers sought to turn against us, siding with the oncoming horde in vain hope of survival. Their deaths served to warn all others of the fate of any who dared truck with the Ruinous Powers.
One night when all was quiet, we were dragged from our tents and rushed into the village square. A great cry and sound of conflict by the coast had alerted the sentries. Fleeing fishermen and sentries from the docks gave news of the come of the longships, bearing the marauders of the north. Fires had been lit to cast their light upon the homes and buildings of Neues Emskrank. The dark wind of magic blew strong from the north tonight, yet the searing gush of Aqshy was near at hand. With the others who still were with us we stood, drawing upon the heat and flame that burned and striking down upon our enemies.
Bolts of fire we rained upon their reckless advance, searing the life from an untold number of them before their charge met the soldiers. With all the fury of a daemon they tore into the ranks of men, seeming to care little for the deadly wounds inflicted upon them. While followers of the Ever-Changing the fury these warriors showed in their mad rush almost echoed to me the cries of the Blood God. Yet these horridly mutated warriors fared no better, even those that broke free of the skirmish line were brought low, little more than ash on the wind.
Fire and Ash (Chaos)
Out from the Sea of Claws we came, riding the winds of storm and fury. Blessed was I among the Raven Host, for the Great Mutator had shown me his favor. The sight of the shore came into view as our longships broke the back of the waves, already the young among us were shouting out and giving cry to the song of battle. A few weak folk of this southern land greeted us upon the shore, their own docks serving to speed our landing upon their soil.
Little resistance met our rush into battle, those who did not flee had their bones and blood trodden into the sand. In the thrill of battle I unleashed the power within me and watched the horror in my enemies eyes as my flesh bubbled and tore free in new and deadly forms. With claw and with blades of bone and flesh I tore at them, tearing their souls out for the glory of the Changer of Ways.
Upon their docks we toppled the monuments of old and raised high a cairn of stones, piled high with weapons and the bodies of our fallen foes. A feast of death still awaited, for upon a hill in the dimming light we could see the watchfires burning. News of the advance of the host had spread before us, carried by the swift wind of cowardice. No matter, for none may resist the coming of Chaos and the world shall soon be swept away, remade by our master's whim.
We marched along the shore, our numbers lessened but our spirits raised by the victory already won. Up the long slope we charged with wordless cries to meet our readied enemy. Fire bloomed among us, ripples of flames fell from the sky to scorch our numbers, yet still we ran. The burning pain we felt now would be as nothing compared to the hellish fate awaiting those who fell in failure. The gods hungered for their due and we marched and fought, hoping to catch a glimmer of their notice.
Most of those who faced us were little more than peasants, ill-trained for battle. Yet among them stood also knights in great armor and more cunning folk, skilled at arms. Upon their shields and armor my claws and teeth tore, ripping from all I could reach the sweet wine of life. All about our charge crashed into their ranks and still the fire fell from the sky. I tore through with great abandon those who stood before me, a dire need pressing me further into their ranks. Many of their number fell or fled in terror, yet with their parting I beheld the source of the flame and rushed to meet it even as the fires once again lit the night alight before my eyes.
In the end though, naught was left of the ruinous horde save for a swath of scorched earth and the ash blown away on the ocean's wind.
Dietrich von Haus
I had first met Dietrich von Haus several years earlier in Middenheim. He was of an age similar to mine and we shared several interests, mainly those of drinking and womanizing. In fact, that is how I had met him.
The Gilded Bridle was a well known house of ill repute run by a bawdy woman named Jolene. I had arrived there with several comrades-in-arms who were looking to wet their whistles (among other things) and quickly lost them in the throng of young soldiers and soon-to-be wealthy girls. Dietrich was lounging at a low table and called me over when he noticed I had nary a girl under either arm.
Once it was established that neither he nor I were looking for companionship that night, we fell into the conversation like old friends. Dietrich explained to me that he was heading north past Ostland in search of riches as part of a mercenary band. It seemed there was money to be made hunting trolls and selling their various vittles to the half-mad alchemists that populated the countryside. Upon seeing my poorly hidden looks of disgust, he laughed so heartily that several nearby patrons thought he was choking.
"Mayhaps there's gold in one of those brute's bellies!" he sputtered around the rim of his tankard.
Once these good Samaritans were waved off, he asked me about my own business. Not wanting to divulge the Emperor's orders in such an unseemly place, I merely stated that I was a pikeman out of Marienburg. My careful and deliberate wording made it quite apparent I was not comfortable discussing my current situation. Dietrich, true to his charismatic nature, steered the conversation back to his exploits across the Empire.
Soon enough, sunlight began to creep through the dirty windows of the Bridle. A tide of girls hobbled out of their rooms followed by the flotsam of hun gover customers. Jolene was making her rounds of the tables, beating the drunkards out of their chairs with leather strap. Catching the eyes of my compatriots, and realizing my captain would rather have my skin still be attached to my back, I said my farewells to Dietrich and wandered out into the morning air.
That was seven long years ago.
I now lay on my back outside Felde Castle. A band of cultists rushes past me, assaulting the walls anew. They have been at it for the better part of fours days. Our water low, and food nonexistent, the castellan had sent out me and my band out to find reinforcements. The wizard, Erek, incinerates himself with a misplaced conjuration of flame. The priest joins Sigmar willingly as he holds off four armored daemons to ensure our escape. The plate-clad knight is no where to be seen.
There was only me and the shadow. Long and gaunt, it belongs to some skull wielding madman with bloodstained feathers about his neck and biceps. Looking down with his hollowed eyes and crooked smile, he calls back over his shoulder...
"Mayhaps there's gold in one of these brute's bellies!"
Sighing heavily, I aim my wheel-lock. I set my pike down years ago so I could take up my pistol, along with the responsibility to exterminate the heretic.
Powder and shot rip out the throat of Dietrich von Haus.
You can see the entire article over at the Warhammer Herald.