Welcome back. Today I want to further address the topic of playable races/characters. I will also say something about the comments I received for my first post.
Let's start with a statement: There will be Space Marines. There should be no arguing about that if one takes into account the current marketing strategy of Games Workshop (GW). Space Marines are at the center of GW marketing and I dare to say that they are probably the most popular army list currently available. That being said, Space Marines will have to be playable in order for an W40K MMO to be successful.
Although Space Marines are that successful, there are other races in W40K (as pointed out in the introduction) that certainly have a dedicated fan base which (and that is important) spends A LOT of money for their hobby. While I admit that not all of the table top (TT) players will play a MMO, at least some of them will. So it would be a mistake to exclude all of the other races. As playable races some might have to be excluded. For example the Imperial Guard.
It was already stated, that Space Marines have to be in the MMO as playable race. This automatically excludes the Imperial Guard as playable 'race'. Why is that so? Well, obviously: balance. Let's imagine a lonely Imperial Guardsman facing a single Space Marine. Most likely the Space Marine will beat the hell out of the guardsman in ranged combat and melee alike. Some might ask why this would exclude the Imperial Guard as they would fight together with the Space Marines (at leats most of the time). Well, for balancing it will be necessary to choose playable characters from other recaes that are about equal to the Space Marines. That would lead to the situation that the Imperial Guard would most likely lose a battle if numbers are not in their favour. For a MMO this is a rather bad idea. The same is the fact for nearly every other thing one might imagine as playable for the Empire.
At first glance, the Adepta Sororitas might be an exception. But I say: they are no alternative for the Space Marines. While the standard Sister of Battle might hold herself against the standard Marine, there is a balancing issue on the broader picture: weapon diversity. Space Marines are able to field almost any weapon type with their infantry (except autocannons, iirc). The Sisters of Battle are rather fond of flames and bolts. If I'm not mistaken, they can only field bolters, heavy bolters, (heavy) flamers and (multi) meltas. So they lack missile launchers, lascannons und plasma weapons which are effective weapons against vehicles and heavily armored infantry. The meltas are effective against these too, but they only offer short range. This I judge as a serious disadvantage in comparison to the Space Marines.
MChavez suggested that the inclusion of hive world gangs would serve the game well. According to above mentioned, I don't think these will be included because of balancing. An avergae gang member on a hive world will most likely not stand a chance against a Space Marine or anything roughly equal to them.
BlindShooter mentions that there are multiple possible scenarios. I admit this is true and that I will have no influence whatsoever on which scenario will be selected. Nevertheless I will later on write about the different possible scenarios and the consequences of choosing each of them. So stay tuned ^^.
Concluding this second entry, I will shortly summarize the essentials:
- there will be Space Marines and they will be playable
- most likely no other factions/armies from the Empire will be playable