This post has been sitting in my drafts folder since February and seeing how I’m probably not going to finish it, I decided to go ahead and publish it. Originally I was going to post it once I dinged renown rank 80 on my Slayer, because I wanted to add screenshots of my character’s journey from his infancy to the final rank. That never happened (my Slayer only got to RR78 before I quit), but I still think the post is decent.
Keep in mind that I haven’t done much editing besides spell checking and deleting the unfinished parts. Also, it’s an unfinished piece (even the last screenshot of Sovereign and RR75 hammers is missing), so don’t judge it too harshly.
I had a dream. That dream was an unstoppable killing machine that is a decently geared Slayer. Or so I thought. That dream has long since been realised, although not in a way I suspected and it turned out to be an easy and fleeting thing to achieve.
Ever wondered how it feels like to play a Slayer? Or why they seem so deadly yet at times harmless? Want to know why I think they’re an epitome of a melee damage class? Read on.
Do you know the feeling of seeing a Slayer charge into the enemy ranks, appearing to be twice as tall, all screaming, flailing madly and with a blood-crazed look in his eyes? The feeling of watching the same enraged embodiment of fury lay waste to the enemy lines and soon begin to drive all of the enemy force, bar the most stout of tanks, before him, like sheep before the wolf. I know that feeling. It is victory.
That’s how allies feel. The Slayer himself, on the other hand, is most likely in a state of battle frenzy. Driven by adrenaline, hatred or pure bloodlust, the Slayer will be completely focused. Oblivious to anything but his weapons and the objects of his rage. His fury only seething when the last of the enemy is either dead or out of reach, sense gripping him just in time to avoid being killed by the guards.
The Slayer’s enemies will be afraid for their lives and frustrated by their futile attempts at retaliation. You see, even if you are to kill him or render him incapable of fighting, there won’t be any respite from his anger. The opposite, you will make him angrier and deadlier. You need to understand that he is never taken by despair and knows no pain, for no feeling can coexist with rage. Rage that enables the Slayer to be relentless, unforgiving and unstoppable.
The above can be made reality, and frequently is. You may have seen it or even experienced it. But what the above descriptions fails to mention is the tank standing beside the Slayer, guarding him, keeping him from harm and assisting him, and the healers standing behind the Slayer, healing his wounds and making sure he is swiftly back on his feet should he fall.
You see, support makes or breaks a Slayer. Never has there been a class more reliant on his allies, but never has there been a class more potent with solid support. A Slayer alone has many strengths but just as many weaknesses, his weak points counter-acting his strong ones.
- Great damage – but no ability to bypass armour.
- Superb damage enhancing mechanic – but with a drawback of halved survivability.
- Tons of damaging abilities – but poor action point management.
Add a guard, an armour debuff, an AP battery, healing and support dps, and you’ve got yourself a demon.
It took me a while to realise. You don’t need amazing gear to perform heart-stopping charges. You don’t need a hundred people charging with you to drive the enemy before you. All you need is a good group. A good Slayer isn’t just a good player. He is a good team-player.
All of the feelings described in the first section do, in some way, manifest on the battlefield. And I don’t mean the virtual battlefield on the screen, but the mental one inside the player’s heads. A good player controlling a Slayer will be insanely focused, have adrenaline coursing through his veins, see and smell only blood when in the zone. The description might be exaggerated, but the feelings are still genuine*.
*I realise that I might be especially susceptible to those, since I get easily immersed into gameplay. But from what I’ve seen these feeling manifest in almost all good Slayer players, varying in form and intensity, but always present. They are most likely incurred by the type of gameplay the Slayer career requires in order to make for a succesful character. I dare say that a player not giving in to those feelings or going against the gameplay suggested by them, makes for a poor Slayer.
The biggest pain the Slayer can suffer is frustration resulting from being in a bad team. A team that doesn’t understand your career or your role, can’t play the game as good as you can, or is a victim of numerous other issues a team could be facing (poor communication or unbalanced setup being one of them). This will either result in the Slayer dying without achieving anything, or him having to alter the way he plays into a more subdued style that does not fit the class at all.
If you see a Slayer in a bad team know that he has it the roughest and forgive him any bad behaviour as a result of frustration. Chances are he is a perfectly well-mannered being when not on his wit’s end.