Posted by: Rank-n-Vile | June 14, 2010

The Skaven are coming, The Skaven are coming…

Or not…

Lately the big rumor around Warhammer Online is the discussion on the “Skaven” making an appearance, most likely in an expansion, or a live content update. But, it has come to the point that most discussion on this has turned into being related to others as “fact”.

The start of this debate is centered on MykielWars blog and a post he created called “A Method to the Madness”. As of the launch of patch 1.3.5, a major change was made to the NPC trainers and Renown gear merchants due to something known as the “Red Plague” (hidden away in the patch notes). As Mykiel states…

“Warhammer Online is based off of the Games-Workshop Warhammer Fantasy Battles, and boy does it have a crap ton of history.  History that changes periodically depending on Edition of the game, Army Book, or White Dwarf Magazine Issue.  So much information is out there and having to weave through it is the biggest problem, and so that is why I am putting this out there mainly for thought and discussion among the community.

…The Red Plague is commonly referred to as The Red Pox has an interesting story, although small in comparison to other historical aspects within the lore, it seems though that The Red Plague (Pox) seems to have the most consideration from the flavor text.”

According to Warhammer IP lore, this is also known as a sign that “Skaven” appear.

Now, I could go into the fact that it actually can be various “plagues” or “poxes” where Skaven appear. For example, I am reading through the Witch Hunter novels released by the Black Library (a subsidiary of Games Workshop, set in the Old World), and there is a special pox that had appeared due to a Chaos Wizard experimenting, and it has attracted the Skaven for some reason (still not that far into the story)…but, it is not exactly Red (seems “Black” in nature). But, the “plague” in this town, Wurtbad, is being caused by another entity and the Skaven are just helping out.


A pox upon your house...but, can we make it pink or green today??

So, can these rumors be true though? Well, we have looked at how WAR may be in maintenance mode at this point…but, is something else going on behind the scenes? All I DO know is that the rumor mongers have truly tried to paint this story in a light that many may be disappointed in if it ever comes to be.

I think one part of the rumors circulating needs to be nipped and budded. I do not see Skaven as a “Third Faction” race to be played. Several points come to light about this. First, to redo the game in such a way that a third faction is even playable, would take at least a year, if not more. Especially seeing we do not know what resources Mythic has at hand. And with SW:ToR getting main focus of most of EA/Bioware, Mythic is definitely short handed. Also, to make this a third faction would call for some major changes to the current line up. Chaos based characters were integrated into Destruction, and Skaven are considered a Chaos based race. How would classes be done…and more.

Yet, we can go another direction and see the reasons why the Skaven WOULD be a third faction. Warhammer Online Wiki [Hammerwiki] states “For if Human society were to truly ever learn of the Skaven’s precense beneath their feet, the Rat-kin would have to react. This would only unite both sides into a war of cataclysmic proportions.” – That is rather cryptic, yet telling at the same time. There is no source noted for this except the Liber Chaotica. Not exactly a real person or source for the game, per se. Anyways, another argument for it is the skins already exist in game. They could just mess with some of the classes of Destruction or Order and create new systems…and make them playable.

All of this I think will not go through.. my bet would be that the Skaven could be a major event. And it COULD be a third faction, but PvE styled AI. For example, Skaven could cause a ruckus during City Sieges or Keep takes for example. They could be a specific battle, where both sides must team to defeat, like say an elongated Scenario or two? Tell me a keep siege would not be wild as both sides are vying for control, and then the Skaven appear to muck up the works, attacking whoever they are near? Or joining a side with the most Victory Points (or least to throw a wrench into a ZERG going downhill for the losing side to give them a boost)?

Skaven could roll like that. And I think a PvE based third faction would create a new aspect to Warhammer Online, not seen previously. I know it would solve a major complaint we have been seeing about population balance and issues with either one side or the other having total control of all objectives.

How are you feeling about the rumors? Voice your opinion in the comments and how you would dream this could go.



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by RanknVile, RanknVile. RanknVile said: Skaven coming to your hometown? Or is it all just a rumor? You decide. – #WAR […]

  2. I can see an RvRvE type situation coming in to balance out the 2 realms. What does a third realm do? Keep the other 2 in zerg-check.

    It would be a good amount of scripting and a LOT of testing, but a third faction via NPCs could very well be done, and would only add to the experience.

  3. Hey Rank! I just came across your blog and have added you to my blogroll!

    • Great. Thank you. I have also added you as well.


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