Of Heroes and Villains part 1


Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last few weeks you’ve likely heard about Blizzard obtaining and copyrighting domains and trademarks surround the name Cataclysm. wow.com has been doing a great job keeping up on it .
The registering of the domain and copyrighting the name has sprung all sorts of speculation in the community. Some are calling it the name of the next expansion and a reference to the Maelstrom, the aftermath of the Well of Eternity exploding. Others speculate that it is the name of the next MMO that Blizzard has been working on (I have my own theories on what that one is, but that’s another post). All the buzz has produced one important truth. With Ulduar here and Yoggy being trampled, and with the tournament around the corner we are definitely getting ready for the announcement of the next expansion. Regardless of where the expansion takes us, one of the most talked about things has been what the next hero class will be. Today I’d like to talk about hero classes for a bit, this is the first in a series of three posts.

Back in the days of Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos many of us were marveling at our new hero units. Some of us lucky enough to be in beta got to experience them before they were level capped (A lvl 14 mountain king > scourge fyi). It added a new depth of strategy to the game we all loved. This solidified even more as we got into The Frozen Throne and saw the story unfold.

When World of Warcraft came out there were many of us that were disappointed to not see hero classes present in the game (hell, we had to wait until patch 0.6 to be able to play Druids!), but we did ok and trudged along. When the announcement for The Burning Crusade came, the community was full of speculation and hopeful murmurs that hero classes would be in the game finally! Again we were let down, but we sucked it up and kept trucking. Then came the announcement for Wrath of the Lich King, and with it the announcement of our first hero class, the Death Knight. I’ll be honest I was giddy and eagerly followed their development. When I got to play around in the beta I was not disappointed. The way they were packaged and presented to us was amazing and it had a way to immerse you into the story line. The way your character broke out from under Arthas and went back to their faction was great. The entire story surrounding them was amazing and most importantly, their arrival signified two things. Hero classes were indeed real, and their arrival has changed the story of the world we play in.

Now that we are looking for the next hero class, lets take a quick gander at the actual list of Hero units from WC3.




Night Elf


Quite a few of them right? Some of these are already in the game in the shape of NPC’s or bosses, and a few are already playable. Looking at the list above you can figure some of them out see Paladin’s are already a playable character, as is Death Knight. Archmage abilities can be found on regular mages now (with mass teleport being replaced by portals in a way). Lots of the Shadow Hunter abilities found their way over to Shaman, and various others are represented by NPC’s strewn about the dungeons and cities of Warcraft. Take a look around and see who is where.

So what do you think the next hero class will be? Do you think it’s one of the ones on the list? What do you think of hero classes in general?

Be sure to check back for part 2 of Heroes and Villains,

Until next time


Image courtesy of www.comicbookmovie.com

21 thoughts on “Of Heroes and Villains part 1”

  1. I dont really care what it’s called, as long as it’s a straight healing class and that would come with nice tweaks on the healing system. Just like they did with DKs and tanking.
    What I would like is a hero class with 3 different healing trees, taking the disc X holy priest design a bit further. Making it work in solo play would be the challenge, but I’m sure something can be arranged such as healing power coming from dps or even the same healing spells actually hurting enemies.
    But I’m not even sure we would get a Hero class in the next expansion, Blizz keeps saying we shouldnt expect that. It all seems like a diversion, and there will be indeed a new hero class, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
    .-= Wangari´s last blog ..Where have you been? Part 03 =-.

  2. Definitely needs to be some kind of healing/dps hybrid, but with a really innovative healing system that draw people to the class. Completely different resource system maybe, or a class that does raid heals by doing damage, whatever.

    I think it’s more likely we’ll see new races in the new expansion rather than a new hero class, though.
    .-= Rhidach´s last blog ..Getting back in the swing of things =-.

  3. Archdruids may be a red herring, but the fact remains that they are the only other hero class to be explicitly named from a developer’s mouth. Yeah, the remark was off the cuff and open to interpretation, hence its status as a red herring, but it was there.

    That being said, it also fits right in with Blizzard’s stated intention to overhaul healing in the next expansion in the same way they overhauled tanking in Wrath. We see the way DKs were implemented, and we know that the devs consider it an unmitigated success, so there’s another clue. The last nugget of relevant information to me is that, of course, Archdruids can’t just be Druid+. That would be asinine from a design standpoint, so we know they want significant differences.

    I think we will see Archdruids as a healer/dps/utility class with healing main specs as a part of all of their trees in the same way DKs have tanking. Blizzard has outright stated preference to this spec style over the “one spec=one role” style that the other hybrid classes were designed with.

    We also know that whichever expansion contains the emerald dream will probably introduce the Archdruid, and speculation is mounting that’s the one we’re looking forward to now. (I will always weep that Demon Hunters missed Burning Crusade…)

    What will the trees be, and how will they be different from existing druids? There are good answers to these questions, and I don’t know ’em!

  4. Perhaps something similar to the “Priestess of the Moon” hero class. A healer with ranger type offensive abilities.

    Also, wtb Amazon. I’m a girl, and I love playing strong female characters. I played an Amazon in Diablo II and loved it. I know her abilities are similar to a Rogue’s, but I’m sure they could expand on it. Maybe a cross between a Rogue and a Vrykul?

  5. A conversation between Tahu Sagewind and Aponi Brightmane on the PTR may be hinting at a future Hero class, one which melds Elf druidic teachings with those of pre-Cataclysm Tauren. Lorecrafted has a good run-down on the convo and some speculation on how it relates to future in-game events.

  6. @ColinSFX: Actually, the Archdruid is not the only one. I have a magazine at home from 2003 or 2004 (EGM, I think) where it has a quote that one of the original hero classes was intended to be a Mountain King and that the original plan was to have Dwarven Paladins and Warriors eventually “ascend” into the new class, kind of like D&D prestige classes.
    .-= Beej´s last blog ..The X-Files Minireviews: S3x21 to S4x02 =-.

  7. I’d like to see a Healer / DPS caster that uses mail armour for DPS (soaking up leftover ele shammy gear) and has a talent in their healing tree allowing them to use plate armour (to soak up leftover holy pally gear).

    The idea is that this kind of class would give 2 unique gear types a second class to go to, the reason i have mail as a default is because the spell plate dosent have hit rating on making it useless for DPS.

    I wouldent be too sure what to name it though.
    .-= Koushirou´s last blog ..Best EotS match ever =-.

  8. As much as I’d love to see more people play healer, I think a healer hero class would be a terrible addition to the game, particularly if implemented in the same manner as the DeathKnight. Flooding the game with overpowered healers surely contradicts Blizzards own attempts to make healing a challenging and rewarding past time? Innovative healing methods I welcome, but there are already 4 viable classes to implement them in.

  9. Personally I’d love to see the Demon Hunter. It could be integrated very easily into the story with them being able to be played by night elves or blood elves and they could start out at level 65 in Black Temple as Maiev is attacking Illidan. This would end with Illidan biting the bullet (giving a definative ending to that chapter) and the Demon Hunter being level 68 and moving to northrend the same way Death Knights went straight to outland.

    In reality I think it will be the archdruid as it fits the emerald dream theme. Guessing they will do all their training in the emerald dream setting up the expansion (the same way the liberation of the Death Knights gave you a lot of the backstory to WotLK) with it culminating in them waking up in moonglade in Barrow Dens or whatever it’s called.

  10. i’d like to see a support healer that sacrifices his own health for others’ health. his dps has a sort of lifesteal component. maybe he can also lifelink with a member of the party to take some of their damage as his own and also provide that person with health from his lifesteal abilities.

    he would have abilities to mitigate a percentage of the damage received through his lifelinked target and similar abilities to amplify the health he gives to that target. he could have a 51 pt talent that allows him to use his lifelink on all party members with pretty huge mitigation for the dmg he receives and nice healing.

    i dunno, just some thoughts…

  11. I doubt it will happen, but I would LOVE to see the Goblin Tinker added as a Hero class. Speculation is that Undermine (the Goblin Capital) will be a neutral city in the Maelstrom expansion when that comes. It seems an ideal place to add the Goblin Tinker, but I worry there would be too much overlap between the Tinker Class and the Engineering profession.
    .-= Honorshammer´s last blog ..Me and 24 of My Best Friends =-.

  12. My guess would be a Demonhunter as he seems to be the most unique on the list after a quick glance. Most of the other classes are all present in some class or another and so look too much like them imho. Like someone said, DK is melee, so casterhero is imminent. A Lich springs to mind but he is just as (un)dead as a DK is, so I give that little chance.

    The problem is (in my eyes at least) that most of these are just souped-up versions of regular classes that already excist and don’t seem worth the while to recreate as heros. Blizzard will probably find something to make the unique though.

    The class I would like to see? Wc3 Warden meets Wc2 Ranger. Although this would seem to be a rogue/hunter combo without stealth and a pet I loved the Warden in Wc3 and the Ranger is just one of my fav classes in any fantasy world 🙂

  13. I think the big problem Blizzard are going to have is how they work in the races with the hero classes. The Death Knight is really an evil class imo although they did a good job working it in with the lore but if every hero class from now on can be played by any class it’s going to diminish the point of having race/class restrictions in the first place.

    Personally I’d like to see 2 hero classes in the next expansion and give them race restrictions.
    .-= We Fly Spitfires – MMORPG Blog´s last blog ..Exploring EVE Online =-.

  14. Shadow Hunters don’t sound at all like Shaman. I’d like to see some playable Shadow Hunters–possibly with shape shifting abilities similar to Druids.

  15. A new class? Or maybe a new race(s)? Sure they’ve done both before, but do Blizzard really want to trot out some more of the same for their next (cataclysmic?) expansion? DKs brought a fairly different playstyle with them (runes+runic power vs rage, combo points, or mana). That takes a bit of dev time. How could a new healing class (for example) really feel different to the current ones? Blizzard seem to have a hard enough time to balance encounters to make all healing classes useful in most situations.

    So far we have:
    3 plate wearing classes (all can DPS/tank, one can heal)
    2 mail wearing classes (one healer/melee DPS, one ranged DPS)
    2 leather wearing classes (one DPS, one hybrid)
    3 cloth wearing classes (one healer/ranged DPS, the other two ranged DPS)

    I know it’s an over-simplification but bear with me.

    This adds up to:

    4 tanking classes
    4 healing classes
    5 melee DPS classes
    5 ranged DPS classes

    Remember that some classes can act in multiple roles (such as our Druid friends). Pre-WotLK we saw a definite lack in tanks, since only 3 classes could fill that role. Currently, though, they all seem fairly evenly spread. Adding another pure DPS class would seem unlikely; adding another tanking class so soon after DKs became the scourge of Dalaran seems unlikely too. Which leaves us with a healing class *or no new class at all*.

    Only time (and possibly BlizzCon 09) will tell…
    EDIT: spelling
    .-= rusquel´s last blog ..Clothies are *hard* =-.

  16. At the moment, there is only 1 ranged physical class, the hunter. What if there was another, say like a swashbuckler/bard. With a focus on the Great Sea most likely in the next expansion, having a pirate like class could fit a possible nautical theme. You could model the class to require a mix of both melee *and* ranged attacks to help pull off attacks or buffs. Rapid firing throwing weapons, combined with *Offensive* auras, so as to preserve paladins with their defensive ones. Auras that only affect enemy targets, you could call them rowdy songs, that lower casting time or make them more vulnerable to certain types of attacks. Leather to chain transition for its armor system would be logical.

    Other possibilities are monk, which, based of a D&D model would be using staves (hooray for melee stave), throwing weapons (skuriken anyone?) 1 handed weapons , such as daggers or swords (no duel wielding). You could possibly make some abilities require a 2h sword/staff, other abilities only able to be used with a 1h weapon (sword, dagger), to bring variation and balance to the stats difference between a 2h and a 1h. Their resource system could be ki or chi (whichever you call it), it could fit the bill of offensive attacks to buff / debuff as a support class, to help as dps, tank or heal.

    It could be unique in its armor, either cloth or leather only, relying on a unique avoidance threat system (could call it Frustration: for each attack dodged, causes increased threat, uses both passive and active abilities to enhance its avoidance). Low armor class tank? Totally left of field, but we need something exciting like this to make them unique.

    Also could do healing too with Chants or Mantras/Sutras, with focuses on channelled healing as its niche, the longer it channels the stronger the heal becomes.

    Anyhow, I often muse over how Blizzard will take this game, and think back to the older Warcraft titles to see if something will be reborn. There’s my rant, make of it what you will


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