Thursday, August 27, 2015

Speak Of The Daredevil : GW2

The Heart of Thorns specialization for the Thief class was officially announced today, although anyone who cares probably heard about it a couple of days back, when most of the details were data-mined and posted on Reddit. Even those of us who weren't really paying attention could hardly avoid hearing about it, since speculation and scuttlebutt about the new Elite sub-classes is common currency in map chat most days.

At The Frozen Maw last night someone asked what people thought of the new Daredevil, which is what the new spec is called. It does seem an odd choice. The conversation rapidly spiralled into a heated discussion over whether Daredevil uses a staff or nunchucks with the participants clearly at cross-purposes over whether we were talking about the upcoming addition to the game or the guy in the comics.

For me, as a lifelong comics fan, it was Matt Murdock, Marvel's blind superhero that came immediately to mind. He was created in the 1960s by Stan Lee and Bill Everett, which I remembered as Stan Lee and Jack Kirby until I fact-checked. I would have been a demon on the New Yorker back in the day! On second thoughts maybe not... they didn't have Wikipedia back then, did they? The wiki entry does mention "an unspecified amount of input" from Jolly Jack, though, so I wasn't entirely off the money.

Daredevil was always a second-string hero until Frank Miller's (and David Mazzuchelli's) seminal run on the series in the 1980s. The name has been pretty well nailed down ever since because of that, despite the best efforts to the contrary by one of the least successful Marvel movie adaptations a decade ago. That disgrace has since been largely wiped from memory by the current well-received tv show but whether GW2's thiefly version will be able to shake itself free from the baggage attached to the name remains to be seen.

Mrs Bhagpuss probably couldn't pick Daredevil out of a line-up but having read the skill set
she has her own take on where we've seen it all before. When I got into game tonight and grouped up for the Jungle Wurm daily she asked "Did you hear thieves are going to be EQ monks?".

And yes, now that I read the details, the whole thing does have a monkly sheen. This part especially:

"Fist Flurry: Strike your enemy multiple times. If all attacks hit, gain access to Palm Strike.

Palm Strike: Strike your enemy once to deal massive damage and stun your enemy, marking them with a Pulmonary Impact. After a few moments, Pulmonary Impact delivers a second blow. This ability cannot critically hit enemies".

Isn't that D&D's Quivering Palm?

Indeed, the whole staff-wielding warrior-acrobat thing pretty much screams "Shaolin Monastery" (unless it screams "Friar Tuck"... no, he was hardly an acrobat, was he?). I'm not sure it's something I'd have associated with fantasy thieves. There's a crossover when it comes to stealth I guess but then we're going to be obligated to start talking ninjas and no-one wants that.

Whether we're getting Matt Murdock or Shang Chi, it's probably all going to remain hypothetical as far as I'm concerned. I might have a level 80 thief but I haven't got the first clue how to play one. I never got on with the monk class in Everquest either, unlike Mrs Bhagpuss, who had a max level monk back in the PoP era. About all I remember was "You have fallen to the ground" ten thousand times as I tried to train up Feign Death and not being able to loot any copper pieces because of the weight penalty.

So that's thief out. Just the unnamed Engineer specialization to go now and the full details of the long-ago revealed but never codified Druid spec for Rangers, which also uses a staff. That's probably the only one I'm really interested in so sod's law says it's the last to get a full reveal.

1 comment:

  1. As a thief main, this was the reveal I was waiting for. I had been hoping for greatsword or longbow as the new weapon, but staff is a pretty cool choice, too, and overall the Daredevil spec sounds quite fun. Sounds exactly like the sort of playstyle I enjoy.

    The real question, though, is if it will be fun enough to make me drop pistols or daggers, which are my current choices and which I thoroughly enjoy.

    And I guess it'd help if I decided whether or not I'm gonna buy Heart of Thorns, too. >>


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