Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Hero class rumors

Crowelf alerted me to an article on Tales of an Addict about a purported leak on the design of hero classes for World of Warcraft. Well, it's just a rumor, could be fake, and even if it was true it might get changed beyond recognition before it is finally implemented. But the basic idea is so incredibly boring, that it sounds real: Every class splits into three hero classes, with each hero class being equivalent to one talent tree. So a shadow priest could develop into a Dark Cleric, and protection warrior into a Guardian.

Besides being blindingly obvious as an idea, it would also incredibly bad game design. The catch is in the phrase "specializing in a Hero Class is like specializing in a profession - you're stuck with it forever". Now who would want to be stuck on one talent tree forever, with no possibility to change? Imagine you specialize as frost mage, and the next raid dungeon that opens is full of frost resistant mobs, making you as useless as a fire mage in Molten Core. Or you specialize as feral druid and Blizzard decides to nerf feral druids and make them less viable as tank. Or you specialize as holy priest and your guild decides that from now on they will only have paladins healing, and priests only allowed to be shadow as mana batteries for the pallies. This is all things that happened in the past and can happen again, and if you'd be stuck on a talent branch based hero class you'd be screwed.

So I'm hoping that this is just a well-made fake. The more likely story is that Blizzard has a folder labeled "hero classes" somewhere collecting dust in the back of a drawer, and nobody is really planning to work on it, until the marketing department decides that hero classes will be the selling point for the next expansion. But as so many MMORPGs already have this "each class can specialize into subcategories" concept, I sure hope that Blizzard comes up with something a bit more original and playable. I'd rather have *less* hero classes than current classes, for example bundling all spellcasters or all melee fighters.
I believe I read this text quite awhile ago, before any info about TBC was made public. Getting locked inside one tree is unlikely to happen, it just doesn't go along with the current talent system. So, most likely a fake.

How many people actually remember the Blizzard's promises to implement hero classes and siege weapons in battlegrounds?
I see your point, but remember, the game is getting older. Is there anyone left out there who doesn't have a few 60s? Most people have a couple of 70s.

Specializing your char may have been a huge deal when it was your only level 60, but at this point if they nerf feral druids, you simply pick a different path with your [i]other[/i] 70 druid, or you level one up in 6 weeks.

I read this text nearly a year ago, I remember the "I'm a senior at Concordia University" opening line distinctly.

Orestus, 60 Tauren Druid, Mug'Thol
I bet its fake, but if its not this would be an epically bad lack of design sence.

Even worse than locking people into a talent built, is simply the marginalization of a really cool potential feature.

Hero Classes should ne be a fancy title to an already implimented game feature. They should be a quest based advancement into a slightly more powerful specialization ala Alernative Advancement (AA Points) in EverQuest.

So for instance my Warlock, after long quests dipping into the demonic realm, begins to exibit features of the corruption I wield and slowly (as I earn these AA points) my physical shape changes to a grotesque blend of gnome and demon and I gain special attributes of my demon side. In the end, My warlock is no longer a warlock, but rather a Shadow Lord or a Deamon Lord or some such...

Something like that
Here's something even weirder that I heard...

First off, I teach middle school, and there is a substitute teacher that comes here. He claims to be a GM, and only sometimes subs to supplement. He has mentioned some things which make me believe him.

He told me about hero classes a month or two ago.

I do not know how realistic it is, or the pros and cons if it is realistic.

He claims... that hero classes will be based on race. For example, for the forsaken, the hero class will be rogue, allowing forsaken rogues unique abilities.

For humans, it might've been priest.

For Tauren it might've been a warrior.

I remember the Forsaken bit, since I am a rogue, but the last two examples are merely that, examples.

Now, if there was any truth to this, I would be happy. But I could see millions of angry subscribers who do not meet the prerequisites.

If the Hero class is as you say it might be, I think it would be great. Yay, for new trees. Except of course, the idea that they are permament... ewww.

I remember reading a blue post a while back that said, assuming they ever do anything like this (an advance class system), it will not be called Hero Classes, because the concept has been built up so much, to the point that whatever the real deal is, it would be a let down.

Anyway, I think Blizzard has realized by now that, assuming this concept was ever going to be implemented, it's not a good idea. Because making a one time decision like that would eventually come back and blow up in their faces.
I think this is not likely - these kind of long-term rumors seldomly deliver.

But if it did it would be a good thing - more specialization would help us differentiate between characters. At a certain point I'd like to be able to say "I'd rather reroll than change my spec" and actually mean it.
Using Google, found it on a German blog from back in November

Sounds like Alternate Advancement in WoW. Whenever I mention AA in guildchat my former-EQ playing guildmates run in fear.
Well, I kind of doubt that this is real, or if real will ever be implemented. However, to address some concerns/points:

The description states that the 'hero class' essentially adds a 4th talent tree of hero talents that you can only buy with hero points. It does not say that if you choose 'Guardian' you have to be a prot spec warrior forever. There was no indication that you couldn't spec fury while having the Guardian hero class -- you'd essentially have a hybrid that could (hopefully) tank fairly well without respeccing while still allowing for solo play.

Overall the idea is drab, I agree. The final blurb in the rumor was more interesting though, the 'shared' hero classes such as Demon Hunter that are not based on a specific class/style of play.

Also, it was mentioned that trainers for the shared classes would be 'hard to find' and 'likely require a quest to even speak to'. This suggests that there must be a way to change and/or drop hero classes (like a profession). Why? The regular hero classes are trained at the class trainers. If hero classes were released, the vast majority of players wouldn't even know about the 'hard to find' trainers and immediately train a hero class. If there was no way to drop that hero class blizzard might as well not even implement the non-class ones as all it will do is create thousands or millions of GM tickets of people upset about their hero class choice.

I would expect it to work much like a profession - you can drop it and get a new one, but you start over from the beginning.
Rotz, your substitute teacher is obviously full of it. You've already pointed out the reasoning, so I think you're aware of it as well. The idea of allowing a fraction of players to buff themselves for no real reason other than dumb luck that they chose a certain race/class combination 2 years ago? Blizzard is entirely too smart to knowingly shoot themselves in the foot like that. It's an insultingly bad attempt by this guy to sound legit.
An added independant talent tree that enhances one of the roles that people play in groups that allows for both increased specialization and hybridization, which is something that Blizzard would actually consider. For example, they could add four specializations: Tank, Healing, Melee/Ranged DPS, and Spell DPS, having each specialization grant a few new spells/abilities, and greatly enhance existing ones.
The end result would be an amazing tank/healer/DPS for specialization.
For hybridization, increased damage potential for healers, small healing abilities for DPS classes, or better survivability (tanking) for everyone.

This would be good for all players because they could enhance their characters in whatever way they chose. (Magetank ftlol)
Can we please have a Shockadin as a hero class? I would like my holy shock to crit for 4.5k. I'll specialize. I don't care if its my only spell. Yes pls. Take that Roger Ebert! Die by my holy shock you scum!
@ At albatross...

Aye, I couldn't figure out how that would work, the substitute's claim.

On a side note, I am a teacher, and glad that I do not have such substitutes and their claims forced upon and influencing me.

As my Avatar oftem exclaims after a successful battle, "Cackle cackle."

I like the ideas of the hero trees better; much, much, much...

Sounds a lot like Master Levels in DAOC. That was painful. :(
Heyyyyyy! I was a fire mage through MC, and I was 2nd or 3rd on the damage meters at all times! :(
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