Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Witches, part 2 (Electric Boogaloo)

So with all of the supposed weaknesses of the witch guild (see previous post), I started my character with the goal of mitigating those weaknesses somewhat. This is an approach I have tried in the past by making two of my previous witches as fomori, which offset the inherent squishiness of a mage class with supernal durability access, natural armor, natural weaponry... Of course, fomori also don't have much charisma to start (a key attribute for witches), as well as a bunch of strength in a guild with essentially no specialty access in strength. I think the highest I ever got a fomori witch was somewhere around level 20.

I started off this time with the decision to make a new witch who was a little bit more of a finesse fighter, so I decided to go with a zenun. Zenunim, amongst other things, get flight spec access (for better dodging), bonus specs in stamina and recuperation, and access to regeneration. They also get ungodly levels of charisma, good dexterity, and good mental stats, so they seem a bit closer to ideal witch. Plus, they're demonic, which is a good bonus. I joined spearmaidens for the combat skill access (although I had considered wandslingers, as well), so at the very least, I would have a decent melee combatant with an aura that hastes me, finishes off morted opponents, and offered a bit of protection. Plus, I would have a character that was able to turn invisible and use some damage-dealing spells.

Using this build, I found myself advancing relatively well, although I really didn't take off until after I discovered just how much the guild's curses can make the difference in a fight. Now, I'm used to playing guilds whose primary powers focus on popping in and unleashing a world of hurt in the form of lightning bolts from eyeballs (ELF, RW, OZM, RM) or else unending amounts of slashity-stabbity (Kensai, Knights, Brutes, Rangers) -- after all, most of the guilds on the mud are built on the model of allowing one to perpetrate extreme amounts of damage upon an unsuspecting world in the quickest time possible. This is generally a good model, and I have no real problem with it. But it's also a model that the witches don't squarely fit into, since witches, more than anything else, seem to be debuffers. Witches get a lot of traction not by being able to out-damage the competition, but by being able to make their opponents just as squishy as a witch. It's really a different way of doing things from the way most guilds operate (although lots of guilds get debuffs, there are really none that seem to work them as well as witches do). Hex an NPC, and suddenly they're dodging less often, attacking less often, hitting less often... In short, they're turned into as poor combatants as the typical witch.

Now, while the debuffer role would seemingly be most effective in a group, where their powers would allow the other members of the group to inflict Satanic amounts of rape upon the unwashed masses, the very act of grouping with a witch appears to violate the basic ethos of the guild. After all, witches are supposed to maintain secrecy about their membership in the guild (to the point where they're listed as 'adventurer' in their whois profile, despite the fact that it really doesn't fool anyone, and makes everyone assume that any adventurer over the mid-teens in level is secretly a witch). So, grouping sort of kills the whole secrecy thing. After all, who's dumb enough not to suspect that the lady in the corner -- you know, the demonic-looking one surrounded by a shroud composed of the stolen souls of her victims -- who keeps whispering to herself for some reason, is in actuality a witch? And to a certain extent, the secrecy is completely justifiable -- after all, they're hunted by the church of Yehovah, which has a really nice cathedral and masses of homicidal knights, while all Samael's followers get is a grotty old shack in the middle of the woods. So, for the most part, I tried to build a witch who could go it alone, which means getting some combat ability apart from what the guild offered -- a 'pure' witch would be pretty cool in a mixed group, but unfortunately, that just doesn't seem to fit the whole idea behind them.

Anyhow, that's about where I am with my witch now... Sort of pondering whether or not I want to take her to hero level or beyond. What I really hope for is to get a few other people together to play witches, so I can get some groups going now and then.

1 comment:

  1. I took away the "adventurer" thing just now. I don't think they are supposed to be that secret. The original witches were, but the new ones Den intended to be less "officially" secret (i.e. not enforced secrecy), and also have an element of more run-of-the-mill satanistic element. Knights will know who they are now, but the hunting thing doesn't seem to keep many people's interest at the moment, and anyway, witches know who knights are. And there's always closing one's atman info. (It's not like being an adventurer into high levels is very subtle.)

    Like the analysis of Witch play btw. That's how I remember playing them, way back before I devved. Heavy reliance on aura, hex/pox, and oculus malum (sp?). The haste buff+constitution debuff is quite nice too if you can get the blood for it.