This week we are going to take a look at all things ORKY! Classes, Free to Waaagh, weapons, armor, culture, all of the things that make Orks the soccer hooligans we love to hate.
First a quick glance at the race. Orks are green-skinned humanoid-ish fungi. What? No, it's true, Orks are grown from spores, that's why there are no sexes. They just grow. And grow. And grow. The bigger they get, the stronger they get, and the more likely they are to have a place of importance in the “might makes right” world of Ork society. Every Ork emits more spores throughout their lives, so it's incredibly difficult to eliminate Orks completely from any world that they infest.
Orks also generate the power of the Waaagh!, in fact, the more of them there are, the more power they generate. It is this power that allows the Weirdboyz, Ork Psykers, to manifest their powers, and it also this power that allows Orks to throw together random conglomerations of parts and construct working devices. Devices that only work for Orks, by the way, because they believe that they will work. Other races look at these devices and recognize there is no way they should work, and so other races cannot use Ork gear.
In Eternal Crusade we are going to see four main classes of Orks, Stormboyz, Painboyz, Shootas (who can likely be kitted out as Sluggas or traditional Shootas) and Lootas (there is speculation that Lootas might turn into Flash Gitz, based on the layout of the new 7th edition tabletop codex). All of those classes are available to Free to Waaagh! Players. Beyond those classes, for those Orks players who unlock the entire faction, we will see Nobs, Weirdboyz, Mekboyz, and potentially Mega-Amrored Nobz, which are the Orky equivalent of Terminators. There are also a couple of Ork hero sidegrades available in he RT store, the Cybork and the Skar Boy Kommando.
Ork weaponry is really rather simple. As a largely melee-based race, due to their relatively poor accuracy and slip-shod ranged weapons technology, the Choppa is the basic hand-to-hand weapon. A Choppa is literally any heavy edged chunk of metal that can have a handle taped or bolted to it. If a Choppa is big enough to require both hands it then becomes a Heavy Choppa, and deals a ton of damage in the right hands. The heaviest hitter of the Ork melee weapons are the Power Klaws, which can tear through the heaviest of armors.
Ork ranged weaponry, as we spoke of earlier, is a mostly cobbled-together collection of cast-offs and spare parts from other races weapons, so there is little to no uniformity, just a commonality of usage.
To the common Ork the most important traits of any weapon are how much noise it makes, and how much damage it does, and every Ork is constantly taking his weapons to the Mekboyz demanding more modifications to increase these traits. Sluggas are the handguns of the Orks, large-caliber, single-handed pistols used in conjunction with a Choppa. Shootas are bigger, two-handed versions of the Slugga that deal more damage, but preclude the use of a melee weapon. Big Shootas are even bigger than the Shoota, and make a lot more noise. The deal good damage, and usually have better range as well.
Burnas are the Ork version of the Flamer, but Orky ingenuity has made the Burna a very unique and flexible weapon. The flaming part of the Burna can be used in two ways, firstly, to fire a gout of flaming Promethium that hits several targets at once, but it also create a very concentrated blue flame that is used as a melee weapons, and can cut through even Space Marine armor with relative ease. Note that Behaviour has been cagey about committing to flame-based weaponry, as it is not easy to do flames well in games with as many potential players on the field at one time as Eternal Crusade is shooting. I think that they will try to get them in there for release, of course, but if the timing and the finances are too constrictive we very well see these weapons added post-release.
The Ork equivalent to the grenades used by many races is the Stikbom, which looks very much like the World War II- era German Potato-Masher, essentially a grenade on a stick. These come in several varieties, anti-personnel and anti-vehicle and REALLY anti-vehicle. Orks also favor Kombi-Weapons, which are usually the standard Shoota with a one-shot Rokkit bolted on for anti-vehicle use, or a small flame reservoir for an anti-personnel flame burst, or even a second Shoota, making a Twin-Linked Shoota, that puts a lot of lead in the air and makes a tremendous noise, making it a favorite of Warbosses everywhere.
There are also a number of special weapons used by the Orks, weapons that really don't have any analogues to the weapons of other races, like the Shokk Attack Gun, the Kustom Mega Blasta, the Deff Gun. These weapons are really only used by very specialized Orks, they will likely only turn up in the hands of elites or heroes in Eternal Crusade, and thus are beyond what we are talking about his week.
With such a diverse collection of weapons, and their innate toughness, plus the very broad appeal that Orks have always had in the culture of 40K, I expect the Ork faction to be very numerous and competitive on the battlefields of Eternal Crusade.
Remember to hit the website and sign up on the forums, so your opinions can be heard and you can help shape the future development of Eternal Crusade. Like SOE, and other recent developers, it's really nice to see BHVR trying hard to listen and react to players' needs and wants. Be a part of the game!