10
Jul
09

Predicting the next wow Expansion: Hero Class Time!

rodney_dangerfield

So in my last post I went into a pretty long loregasm about Cataclysm and the races that might be included in a watery Maelstorm endeavor. This time around I’m going to suggest some classes and other thoughts on what I think could make it into a third expansion for World of Warcraft. First we’ll start off with the basics.

What are the requirements for a new Hero Class?

  • Must be connected to the lore of the expansion. This one is a given, just like a new race, a new class must be involved with the story of a new expansion, just as death knights are a major part of Wotlk whatever new class must join the fight against Azshara for a reason.
  • Must be playable by all races. This one isn’t definite, it could just be for Death Knights. However, I don’t see Blizzard not allowing certain races be certain things if they didn’t do it for death knights I don’t see them doing it for anything.
  • Must have a starting quest hub. The Death knights set a precedent for this and it’s expected of all future hero classes. More than likely the class will start at at least level 55 and will have it’s own area to ‘learn’ how to play it. They won’t be released into the world as high level with no training grounds and its doubtful they’ll start at level 1 either.

These requirements are not very stiff, in fact most classes could fit into these with relative ease. There’s a lot of other problems though that aren’t set by death knights but more by Blizzards current vision for the game. First, what type of class will it be? Looking at the talent trees and the outcry for more healers these days the new class will almost certainly be able to heal. The death knight was created to fill a vacant hole of tanks that players experienced at the end of Burning Crusade because at that time most players found tanking boring or too hard, depending on the class. DKs made tanking exceptionally fun I mean my mains a DK tank for cryin’ out loud, but it also proved their plan worked. Players still need tanks and can at times find a shortage but the discrepancy between healers and tanks is growing larger especially in the pugging/casual area.

This means the new class will more than likely not be a tank. There’s no reason for them to add two tanking classes in a row. The new class instead will be able to heal. I don’t see them allowing every tree of the new hero class to heal. It seems like a mistake they’re still trying to correct with every patch that they allowed every dk tree to tank, a healer would have a similar problem. The new class will probably have a single healing tree and it also won’t be a pure healing class as all healing specs have at least one dps spec. The conclusion is that we’re looking for a dps/healing hybrid much like a priest or shaman.

Now we know it will be able to heal we can try to figure out the armor it will wear. I don’t see any chance it will wear cloth as that tier is already packed (priest mage warlock) and while plate has only paladins with no other plate wearing spellcasters I doubt the new class will wear plate simply because there aren’t many in the lore that do. That leaves either leather or mail as they each have one spellcasting class (druid and shaman) vying for their loots, just like plate but both are more likely to be worn by healers. Plus for dps gear theres already 3 classes going for plate and another would make it 4 which would be absurd.

Another addition with Death knights was the brand new runic power/rune system that only they use. It’s pretty obvious if they do include a new hero class I doubt it will simply use a mana bar or energy it will most likely have some ‘gimmick’ like the dk’s system. I doubt it will be anything new or groundbreaking but it will be something different that attracts players who never heal to give it a second thought, just as DK’s did for tanking.

Alright so with these stipulations which hero classes qualify? Let’s have us a looksee(I’ve included links to wowwiki’s descriptions which do a fine job, I’m just adding my own thoughts):

Runemaster (http://www.wowwiki.com/Runemaster)

ultimatesinister

Ahh, the Runemaster, WoW’s version of the Monk from other fantasy settings, these guys have a pretty solid fanbase and are actually my front runner for a new hero class. They basically fit every criteria except for perhaps the leather/mail one, they almost exclusively wear cloth, but I can see them fitting into leather if need be. They are honorable protectors who can heal and would have a new way of combat, mainly martial melee combat with their fists or a staff. Their ‘gimmick’ would involve invoking various runes, like the death knights as well as possibly using a combo point system to heal opposed to mana. The only problem with something like this would be a rune master would never worry about going out of mana, something that is necessary to keep fights hard on healers and challenging for raids.

Other abilities include laying giant ‘rune fields’ on the ground that buff allies and hinder enemies that stand in them. I can see them easily getting a rune that does the same as heroism as long as you fight within it or a rune that does moderate area damage while the enemies are inside it. Their dps trees would involve melee with one more focused on buffing and debuffing while the other on pure damage. If balanced correctly they could recieve a bulk of friendly buffs only weaker and only able to be cast one at a time giving them a good niche, “we dont have a certain class tonight so you do ‘x’ buff”.

Another positive they have going for them is Blizzard has admitted they considered and even devoloped the Runemasters up during Wotlk’s start but decided to stick with death knight instead. They obviously already have a foundation. The only major problem would be connecting them to Maelstorms lore. It wouldn’t be as obvious a connection as death knights to Arthas but being that they’re good and have huge connections to the earth from which they draw their runes they could easily seek to stop the seeking “tide of war” that Azshara is leading against the solid ground. They also have a similar skin tone selection that death knights have when you create them, as you could give them rune patterns in the same way death knights got pale skin.

Chance they’re in the Cataclysm Expansion: 75%

Shadow Hunter (http://www.wowwiki.com/Shadow_Hunter)

scorpionking

The Shadow Hunter is another possibility as they fit almost all of the requirements. They can heal, wear leather or mail and are a ranged/new type of class. They’d probably share upgrading bows with hunters which is something Blizzard has mentioned as a concern in the past but also they’d bring another physical ranged dps to a raid. There are a few problems though, the Shadow Hunters are exclusively trolls, theres really never been any other kind, so fitting them into the “can be every race” clause would be quite the stretch. They also don’t really care for outsiders at all so saying they train other races would be far fetched as well.

They do have a major connection to the Maelstorm as the troll capital is on an island in the South Seas so there are bound to be shadow hunters. They would also bring a solid gimmick in the use of voodoo as their energy source. Theres quite a few ways this could work I’d probably stick with a do damage to gain voodoo use voodoo to heal/buff your party. This would make them feel less like a healer and more like a dps but also give them an ability to heal. Their trees would probably be two ranged dps trees and a healing tree, one of the dps trees focusing on nature damage and the other on physical, one more dot oriented the other more burst oriented.

The chances Blizzard adds them to the game are very high, but the chances they’ll be playable aren’t so much. If it weren’t for them being exclusively trolls I’d put them at least as high as Runemasters but because they are quite reclusive and seeing them run around as any race would be fairly confusing I doubt they’ll make it in as a playable class this expansion.

Chance they’re in the Cataclysm Expansion: 30%

Dragonsworn (http://www.wowwiki.com/Dragonsworn)

kain

The Dragonsworn are more of a dream of mine than anything. I can see them as mail wearing knights, much like Dragoons of Final Fantasy lore who use pikes, spears, staves, and warhammers to battle evil with valorous zeal. To me they’d be much like a paladin but instead of swearing to the light they swore to the Dragon Aspects and their talent trees would reflect that. It’d be best if each aspect could have a tree but because they can only have 3 and theres 5 aspects that’d be a bit much. What I would do instead is make a healing tree that’s red/green together, a ranged casting tree that’s just blue and a melee/debuff tree thats black/bronze. If you really wanted just 3 aspects then I would make it a red tree for healing, a green tree for melee/dot, and a bronze for ranged caster, but I like to include all 5 aspects, even if ones ‘evil’ and ones without a leader. Technically the blues should have a leader by next expansion and though the blacks leader is evil it doesn’t make all of them inherently evil so they could be included as well.

The problem with this class is that the Maelstorm, unless it includes a lot of dragon lore involving Deathwing as well as it’s island fun, won’t have enough about dragons to make this a very viable choice. There won’t be much connecting them to Azshara, but a reason could be made simply that Alexstrasza sees her as a huge threat and has rallied her greatest champions. Regardless of how they are included i would love to play as one. Their playing style would probably involve some sort of combo point energy plus something new like maybe charging abilities to do more damage or healing.

If it were up to me I’d jump on this class in a heartbeat for a new expansion but considering they aren’t very prominent and don’t have a huge connection to the Maelstorm, I doubt it will be included for the next expansion. I can dream though!

Chances they’re in the Cataclysm Expansion: 25%

Tinker (http://www.wowwiki.com/Tinker)

isaac-asimov

Tinkers! Yeah! These guys are what gnomes everywhere have been waiting for, a healing class they can be! A Tinker is different from an Engineer in that they’re not just doing it as a job, they’re doing it as a lifestyle. Every tinker builds their own bot or ‘mech’ and has it as a pet. This pet would change depending on the talent trees but also you could customize it with things you find and build, much like runeforging for death knights. The trees would probably revolve around a pet dps tree, a ranged physical dps tree and a healing tree that uses potions and gravity shields to ‘fix’ damage. I imagine their healing tree to be like a disc priest with powerful single target heals and maybe a few bursty ae heals but nothing like a holy priest.

They would be a ranged pet class for their dps trees but there’s only two of those right now and I figure they could use certain magics and physical abilities depending on their choice of attacks. A flame thrower for instance would do fire damage while shooting a gun would be physical. For the pet tree I’d focus more on the bot than the character itself,  maybe even have it do more damage than the Tinker. There are quite a few players who miss the pet classes of old mmo’s who were known for their pets, not for the damage the player does and would love to return to a class like that. For their ‘gimmick’ I’m not sure exactly what would set them apart from hunters, maybe a combo system that exploits weaknesses. The pet tree could have a lot of neat pet buffs maybe even letting the Tinker ride the bot for a short duration and other things of that sort.

This class actually would fit very well with the lore of Maelstorm, what with the introduction of Undermine, the only problem is they aren’t usually known outside Goblins and Gnomes. That problem however is not a big deal as either race could easily teach these things to the rest of their faction, as they’ve taught them engineering already. That would be another glaring issue, distinguishing the Tinker from the Engineer tradeskill but I think if you focused on what a Tinker can do that an engineer can’t the differences should be obvious. I like the chances of this class making it eventually but probably not this time around.

Chances they’re in the Cataclysm Expansion: 20%

Other Random Thoughts:

Alright so thats a good amount of new Hero Classes that could be included in a Maelstrom expansion. There are quite a few other ones that I don’t know as much about that are being tossed around, like Sea Witch (Vashj?), Brewmaster, and Blademaster. I see these as maybe being included at some point, especially blademaster, but I don’t particularly see it for this expansion. Another melee would just be overboard. Some players believe there won’t just be one hero class introduced but two or three. I don’t see them bringing more than two in but I’m fairly certain there will be at least one as they will not leave Death Knights as the only ‘hero’ class. They’ve already set a precedent, I doubt they’ll break it. So what else can we expect besides these races classes and zones?

Well with Burning Crusade Blizzard announced paladins and shamans would be available on both factions, something months before they’d said would never happen. Did they know they were going to do this? Probably not, as no other MMO had tried what they’d done. You can’t keep a game balanced in pvp or pve with a completely different class on two warring factions. It wasn’t as bad as say giving one side a healer and the other a dps or something but they realized they couldn’t keep the game even at the rate it was going and it made perfect sense to put the classes on both sides. So will there be anything as game breaking and shocking as this? I think there will be. I believe that Blizzard will allow cross faction communication and even grouping and raiding with the next expansion.

The hippo seems pleased.

The hippo seems pleased.

Now now read me out, I’m not insane. Currently with the ongoing story of Wotlk they’re building up a war between the two sides again, a rivalry that’s really based on nothing but two obnoxious leaders who are angry for no reason. I believe that something devastating will happen in Icecrown Citadel, maybe Jainas death? This would galvanize both sides into realizing who the true enemy is and lead them to defeat him. This would be a complete 180 turn around from how things appear now and the devs have mentioned that the next expansion will have surprises that will be unbelievable or that we’ve never experienced before. I think that the Goblin city of Undermine at the very least will allow cross faction communication and if not certain raids and grouping, then at least an AH and the ability to communicate in certain areas. This would easily fit the devs ‘shocking revelation’ and be a fairly surprising twist after the way the game appears to be headed.

Many people argue that this will never happen because the game is called World of Warcraft. I realize the title has war in it but that doesn’t mean it must be a war between the two player factions. Technically in the game right now the players are at war with like 10 different world shattering evils, any one of them can fit the war motif. It wouldn’t change pvp as really pvp isn’t really included in the lore anymore, none of the characters who die in a pvp instance stay dead and since you can fight and kill each other in ranked arenas on the same faction its the same as fighting in a battleground. Some players think that this would be the end of WoW, when they have to team up with the “dirty” other faction but I think it’s something they’ve been building up to for quite some time. Only recently did they start sparking the war again with Varian’s blatant orc hatred and Hellscreams stupid kid who thinks hes a badass or something spouting off all the time. It’s obvious they’re leading this somewhere and i think its to crossfaction communication…I could be completely wrong and instead the next expansion will have like 12 battlegrounds for an all out war because of the events of Icecrown.

What else will they throw in? Almost definitely a tradeskill, they’re 2 for 2 so far but for the life of me I can’t think of anything they could possibly add. If anything I’d like to see some customization options added to spells, more stuff like the dalaran arcane brilliance and things like that just for visual flair. I don’t know that a tradeskill is what can achieve this but if they let mages shoot pink frostbolts or felhunters wear sunglasses I’d totally be down. If they wanted to start working towards player housing they could add some kind of new gathering skill like lumberjacking where you go collect wood and make sweet patio furniture and stair rails or something.

Alright thats probably good for this one, if you made it this far you’re quite the trooper. I appreciate the readsmithing you just endured and if you have any comments feel free to leave em, I welcome ’em all.

Breedo much like the King Beetle plans to fly headlong into the blazing unknown.

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1 Response to “Predicting the next wow Expansion: Hero Class Time!”


  1. March 6, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Hey! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give
    a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading
    through your posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same topics?
    Thanks!


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