Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Adding new classes to World of Warcraft

One of the major points of criticism against the Burning Crusade expansion for World of Warcraft was that it didn't add any new classes to the game. I'm not sure that adding new classes to World of Warcraft would be a good idea, because I'm not sure what these new classes are supposed to do. People asking for new classes never get much further than proposing the name of the class, "monk", "bard", or "necromancer", without any consideration what the function of such a class in the game would be.

Of course it would be easy to design a monk or necromancer class. A monk would be a melee fighter, low armor, high damage, using a variety of asian-looking martial arts special moves. He would use no weapons, or fist weapons, or maybe a staff, and he would be wearing cloth armor. But if you look at his *function* in a group, he would work very much like a rogue. Adding a monk to the game would dilute the function of the rogue class, and it is hard to say why a game would really need both. The necromancer would have the same problem against the warlock class; why would you need a skeleton-summoning dot caster if you already have a demon-summoning dot caster?

Fact is that combat in WoW, as in most other MMORPG is very simple. That limits the number of possible functions in a fight. There is damage dealing, damage withstanding, healing, aggro control, and crowd control (taking an enemy out of combat for some time). Every single ability in World of Warcraft performs or modifies one of these 5 functions. A 5-man group needs one tank (damage withstanding and aggro control), one healer, and up to 3 damage dealer. Crowd control is a bonus, and often depends on the type of mob you are fighting, with different classes having crowd control over different types of mobs. Adding new classes to World of Warcraft would either not do anything useful, or destroy the usefulness of another class.

If you create a new character class, like a bard, you'll have to decide which of these functions he is going to perform. He'll probably have songs, which to be logical would be area of effect abilities. But what should these songs do? Should they damage enemies? Heal friends? Perform crowd control by making enemies fall asleep? Or all of the above? But the hardest part would be balancing: how much damage would these songs do? If a new class is less powerful in performing its functions than an old class, there won't be much interest. And if it is more powerful, the players of the old class will complain. If you make a bard whose songs deal more AoE damage than a mage can, plus has AoE crowd control and healing, nobody is going to want to play a mage any more.

If designing a new class is possible at all, you would need to do it in reverse: first decide on the classes function, and then find a name and lore to fit that function.

In the early design stages of World of Warcraft there was talk of "hero classes". Many MMORPG have some sort of system where after a certain level your character can switch to a more specialized class. But WoW already has the talent system for that. We don't need the possibility for a warrior to become a "defender", "sword master", or "berzerker", because he already has the possibility to specialize in protection, arms, or fury. And the talent system has the advantage that for a cost you can respec.

The only way to add more powerful classes to the game would be to make them a reward for playing a lot. Just like a level 60 character in full tier 3 epic gear was a lot more powerful than the average level 60 non-raider, you could open up new job titles and abilities to people who reached the level cap and performed some very hard tasks. The problem in that is that already the "leet" raiders are causing more of a negative backlash than positive attraction to the game. If Blizzard made hero classes available only to the no-lifer hardcore players, the other 95+% of players wouldn't be happy at all. Creating content only for a minority is never a good sales strategy.

So it was probably a wise idea to opt out of making new classes for the Burning Crusade. But Blizzard is probably going to have to add new classes due to popular demand in the next expansion. A new continent and 10 more levels just won't cut it next year. Their best bet is probably to design one new class each for tanking, healing, and damage dealing, and then do their best to balance them with the existing classes. That won't be an easy task, and somebody will always complain about the result.
WOW's big problem is that the game is split into PvE and PvP.
Try (as a player)to make a character useful for one, and it can throw it out of balance for the other.
Couple this with the fact that it can cost you 50 gold to respecc from one to the other game style, and you can see how inflexible the current system is.
Adding new character classes means Blizzard having to balance them out with all the other character classes, as well as trying to keep all classes useful in not only solo PvE, but also 5 man and Raid scenarios, as well as making sure they arent fodder or Imba in PvP.
Big headache.
They could add special buffers and debuffers. Buffer-types who gives their group different kind of buffs (increase healing, dps, armor and so on) to make the group stronger. The debuffers would use their magic to make mobs weaker (increase bleed effects, take more firedamage, decrease armor, slower attack speed and so on). But having 5 roles (tank, dps, heals, buffs, debuffs)would probably mean that groupsize should be increased to around 8 persons.
I kind of had a take on this issue too a week or so back on my blog.

Not More Classes - More Class Content

I've heard a couple folks complain that there were no new classes in the expansion, and while I'd like to see new classes just as much as the next guy I think something even more important in WoW (and MMORPG's in general) is class specific content.

It's just been announced that there will be an epic quest line introduced for Druids to obtain an extra flight form with the %280 speed increase. I suppose this would be similar to what Paladins or Warlocks have to do in order to get their Epic riding mounts. Looking at it more broadly it the same thing as any class having to do X to get Y - Shamans and their totems or Warlocks and their demons for example.

The only problem with this is that there isn't enough of it. One of the big problems I face with the idea of re-rolling a new class once I hit (or get near to) the end game is that I've seen most of the content before. While the idea of playing a new class excites me, the idea of mowing through all the old quests again doesn't. This could be remedied if there were more class specific content worked into the game.

I remember one day (just wandering around Stormwind exploring) coming upon the Slaughtered Lamb in the mage quarter and subsequently discovering the Warlock coven hidden in the basement. At first I thought "How Cool! I didn't even know this sh*t was down here!". It was a new facet of the game and it tempted me briefly to try rolling a Warlock. But ultimately I know there won't be enough of that for any class to make re-rolling worth it. You get a smattering of it here or there - but %85 of what you'll see is the same thing as every other class is seeing.

This is probably also the reason I never got a Horde character up past level 30. The content begins to merge for both sides. The n00b and teen-age zones for the Horde are tons of fun, but once I get into my 20's and 30's I'm seeing stuff that I already saw with my Alliance character for the most part.
RE: WoW issues

I'm getting real tired of the hit, miss, crit, resist stuff. It doesn't matter how well I equip or spec my character, I'm still beholden to the die roll. I'll admit you can minimize things but my point is the randomness still lets me down.

The grind for gear (honor), and raiding (pve) poor performing people is leaving alot to be desired.
Guild Wars Mesmer class is a nice variation. The main theme of the class is to disrupt and/or punish an opponent for doing what they want to do. This is achieved with a combination of interrupts, energy (= wow mana) denial,adrenaline (= wow energy) denial, debuff's that cripple an oponents abilities (eg for x seconds spells take longer to cast) and conditional damage debuffs (if you do this you will take damage). An example of an iconic Mesmer skill is the debuff "Backfire". An opponent under the influence of Backfire will take a major chunk of damage every time they cast a spell. The oponent can keep casting and likely kill themselves or they can stand idle and wait for the debuff to end - either outcome is good for the Mesmer.

It is a challenging but rewarding class to play. The way you play depends on the opponents you are facing. You need to learn about an opponents abilities in order to counter them effectively but with the right strategy a Mesmer can render any opponent useless. Mesmers wreak Havoc in PVP but they are also pretty useful in PVE. Tricky boss fights become much easier with a Mesmer who's skills are tuned to disrupt that Bosses special abilities.
I'd like to see a monk/martial arts class. Not sure what three talent trees would be, or how to make it substantially different from a rogue, but the obvious thought is that they can only fight unarmed or with fist weapons or staffs.
You pretty much echo my own thoughts on the matter, Tobold. I just hope Blizzard won't yield to the pressure and implement new classes just to appease the crowds. As far as we can judge from past blue posts though, it seems they're more likely to steer toward hero classes. Rolling new characters just to be able to experience new content is something you just can't expect people to do for two expansions straight.
As others have mentioned, a buffer and/or debuffer class would add a new dynamic to the game. I think a dynamic or combat buffer would be an interesting addition as there really isn't anything like that in the game. Paladins come close, but its mostly self-only.

Most group castable buffs are static - +43 stamina, +31 intellect, +12 all stats, whatever. These are long duration buffs that have a non-interactive and generally invisible effect on gameplay. A dynamic buffing class would cast its buffs during combat, short duration buffs on the group that have a strong impact. Yes, so far I've pretty much described the EQ bard, but I don't think bards have any place in Warcraft Lore -- and that's the problem.

Blizz isn't going to add a class that doesn't have at least some resemblance to a monster or unit from the warcraft games. That doesn't leave them much room to add new classes that won't play a redundant role.

I understand taking aspects from other games and incorporating them into WoW or whatever. But maybe expanding secular thinking in this area would be the good idea. You mention 5 roles and only 5 roles so may classes that fit into these 5 roles. BLAH.


It is totally possible that I'm wrong about the 5 roles. I invite everybody to come up with more. Buffing / Debuffing is a good idea in general, but it falls under the category of modifying the other functions.
I play on a RP server so probably have a different viewpoint and I think you’re addressing the issue too mechanically.

If all your interested in is tanks, healers, and damage dealers then why not just have square, round and triangle blocks on a grid surface instead of character models in an environment. Are you getting burnt out already that you’ve lost sight of why you started wow in the first place?

Variety adds to the fun factor.
> why would you need a skeleton-summoning dot caster if you already have a demon-summoning dot caster?

That’s like asking why add elf warriors when you already have human ones. Because maybe some people enjoy playing elves more than humans.
Now if you add a monk class, sure they will have similar functions to a rogue but you know what, for some people they may be more fun to play. Why backstab somebody when you can kick box them in the head type of thing…. Different quests, armor, moves, emotes, it all adds to the attraction.
Sure class balance is an important issue and I agree it needs to be consistent but, so what if people are strumming around the battle field or shooting fire balls. If they’re having fun and helping to take down a boss then bring it on.

There is damage dealing, damage withstanding, healing, aggro control, and crowd control

I think you're stuck thinking about the game in terms of the class roles that already exist instead of stepping back a bit.

Even in simplistic combat like WoW's, there are a bunch of variables that can be affected. Just off the top of my head, there's 1) Mob damage done, 2) Mob health, 3) Mob mana/energy/rage, 4) Mob movement speed, 5) Mob aggro table, 6) Mob resilience, 7) Friendly damage done, 8) Friendly health, 9) Friendly mana/energy/rage, 10) Friendly movement speed, 11) Friendly resilience, plus a ton of ancillaries like special effects (fear, poison, etc). Now that you have 15 or so variables that can be affected, you add in the circumstances under which they can be affected and ratios for affecting 1 target vs multiple and you have literally 100s of possibilities.

Here are a couple random examples:

Concept: Melee AoE DPS and melee buffing.
Name: Barbarian
Desc: Distributes melee damage around him, with leather-level protection. Against 1-mob, significantly less damage than a rogue, against 2 roughly break even, and against 3, superior damage to a rogue (less to each mob, but more total). Also, inspiration buffs to self and other melee classes.

Concept: Buffer, Debuffer, Dotter based on party and enemy composition
Name: Synergist
Desc: Can distribute buffs to party members based on party variety and composition (e.g. +10 mana / 5sec / unique class in the party) and mob composition (e.g. for every Beast in combat, a buff gives +50 attack power to everyone in party).


Once you step back from "1 tank, a healer, and 3 DPS" and think about the underlying numbers, there are a ton of possibilities.
Interesting post, yet again!
You got the old gears turning...

Personally, with the BC (once things settled down a bit) I started a toon with a new race (BE), new profession (Jewel crafting), and new-to-me class (Warlock). By contrast, my wife is entirely content to have three virtually identical toons...

I think that my path with my BE 'lock is about to 'expose' the problem with encouraging a new start, be it with a new race or new class: The question of content.
I have really enjoyed the Ghostlands -- only the crowning "Traitor" Group [5] quest is left. And now I have to face the impending reality of a return to "old content". The same problem will present itself with any addition of new race or class -- they have to trek through the same-old progression, and it may be a bit much to expect the players to replay the existing content for the 8th time.

That is probably one reason that Blizz favored a lot of new content over a new class. There are already, as you've pointed out, several classes with multiple trees for customization. If I was presented a new class I might not enjoy it because of a lack of new content, but if new content is offered, I would be content to play a familiar class again, or try rogue or pally for the first time.

To sum up, in my case, I personally would favor new content over new class by a big margin.

That said, if you want a class that feels "new and fresh" you might have to break out of the "triad mindset".
A new class - let's call it "Sage" - that has greatly limited combat and spell ability, but can learn four primary professions rather than two. Perhaps one part of the talent tree could be manipulation or customization of recipes (for example, an ability to add a specific chosen suffix like "of the Bear") to a crafted item). Another tree might be speedy learning of crafting (maybe items retain tan or yellow skill-up status longer, or have a percentage chance to give two skill points rather than one). A third might be mats conservation & substitution (such as reducing the mats from 3 Bronze bars to 2 Bronze bars, or the ability to substitute a Citrine for a Jade).
Maybe the class could learn to transfer the stats from one item to another, thus allowing you to get both the look you want AND the stats you want.
And we might allow this class to gain some experience through crafting rather than only by combat and questing.

The possibilities are there -- if nothing more than what I did just now:
Recombine existing game elements in a new way.
"Asian women, on the other hand, are gorgeous from teens to their late 30s, then suddenly metamorphose into terrifying wrinkled hag-demons."
Got a guy in my clan on WoW named sidereal. ^^

I dont think there is room in WoW for new classes, My suggestion for making WoW feel fresh would be to make mini-games for existing chars such that they can do some sort of ladder ranking system on a 1-2month restart cycle. This can be wide open when i talk about minigames... anything from economy games/ social games/ single/group type of games.

The mini games could even be similiar to carnival Bat-the- snake / throw the basketball / break the plates / jump through hoops etc and just make them a lil more complicated and put a Warcract theme on them and make the reward something besides a "vanilla" remake of an existing item. In terms of keeping peoples interest in endgame WoW, you have to have the quick paced, short played, yet fun stuff . . . unlike long lasting early morning raids that just aint cutting it for the people who been playing WoW awhile.

I also would suggest some sort of tournament for people to design their own Warcraft Lore instance and make it a competition. Or even have a design a new mob contest for a permanent upgrade to your specific server.

And to kind of compare what works and what doesnt... take a look at diablo 2 and WoW. D2 doesnt add much content, has a good share of repetitive things you can do and actually is pretty limited on what you can do ingame yet there always are full games of ppl playing currently.

Why is this ? ? ? it is because the game gets broken down into mini-games that you can do . . such as farming for pgems in cow lvls, finding complete sets of armor, collecting and trading rare items, and pvping with new and different or perfected builds (zealer palidan duals or zerk barb duels). The game is soo simple yet still very entertaining, and the spark that keeps ppl playing is that the game doesnt result in everyone doing the exact same thing endgame. It also doesnt bottleneck all the players at a certain lvl at any point, people remake/rebuild/reequip chars all the time.
Dude, raising skellies in Diablo II was the best part of the game. I'd love to be able to do that now in the battlegrounds. Raise the Horde dead and send them against their friends. I'd pay to be able to do that.
I would like to see a Monk / Bard class,

1. cloth amour
2. unarmed (not one class uses this skill in the game unless they are de arm'd)
3. buffs / debuffs

This would be a really interesting class for both sides to have and I see no reason they wouldn't be able to balance it out eventually. Them not intorducing a class because of balancing issues comes across as lazyiness to me.....Thats like saying I won't fix this bug because its to hard.....when your running a MMORPG like WoW you just can't do that...
Considering the current druid situation should wipe out any thoughts for new classes added into the game. Even if some magical day we see class balance in WoW, there would be zero reason to add a new class, cause even Blizzard only cooks with water too e.g. designs with tank, dps, healing and CC in mind. Any of those tasks is filled with more than one class. Blizzard is not Sony, they do not add new stuff just for the sake of it. Want to add new classes into the game? Just make respeccing free of charge and your done. The game already offers the creation of sub-classes, this game does not need a monk, wich would be a CC-stripped rogue with different weapon regulations, it would add no value at all. Just look what they did with the Shaman enhancement tree. This is EQs zerker design all over again, just hidden as a subclass, no reason to seperate it. There is a nice read about WoWs hybrid aspect of all classes. I advice you to read it, with this topic here in mind. Just shuffeling armor type and class roles to design something new totally destroys their paper-scissor-rock pvp design, won't happen.

There are enough problems with their class design already. Class rolls already blur into each other, we do not need more of that. For the people with this "think outside the box" attitude. This isn't a niche game wich developes the genre further, it takes what worked for years and finetunes it for the masses. You will not see any outside the box thinking it terms of class design in WoW ever. The core of this game is pve design and from the look of their current pve content and how they further develop class advancement, they have enough pieces to shuffle around for a long time., before coming up with some new ideas.

Take a look at the people who right now lead WoW's design. These gamers first, designers/innovators second. It looks and feels to me, that all of todays WoW content is like what Tigole and Co. looked for in other games but did not found it there. It does not look like they pull magical new stuff out of there hats. This is happening in every other gaming genre too. Innovations, "outside the box thinking" never happened in the most successfull examples first.
Sidereal said:
"Once you step back from "1 tank, a healer, and 3 DPS" and think about the underlying numbers, there are a ton of possibilities."

Indeed. And the more possibilities, the more balance issues you have, particularly when you're trying to balance such disparate scenarios as large scale PvE raiding and PvP from 2vs2 in the arena to world battles.

Take City of Heroes as an example. In many ways, it breaks away from the "Holy Trinity" brilliantly; you don't have "healers", you have eight types of Defenders. One of these, the Empath, could be said to be a "healer", but the other seven have varieties of player buffs and mob debuffs which AFAICR covered pretty much the gamut of sidereal's variables. It works really well; you can get an Empath to heal you of damage, or a Force Field Defender who increases your defence so you don't get hit in the first place, or a Radiation Defender who infects the mob reducing its accuracy for the same effect, or a Kinetic Defender who reduces the amount of damage the mob does while increasing the damage you and your team put out. But! It works because City of Heroes is a very simple game. PvP is sort of afterthought, really; there are no raids except the Hamidon, a weird sort of super-encounter which amply demonstrates the balance issues they have by rendering about 70% of characters bit-part players at best in the snooze-fest that it takes to beat him.

I'd love to see innovation, and something that really breaks the MMOG mould, but World of Warcraft isn't the place for it. WoW got where it is by Keeping It Simple, Stupid.
Wow's current class system will not allow for additional classes. There are 9 classes total. 4 classes can heal. 3 classes can tank. 9 classes can dps. 6 classes have some form of crowd control(can we get some shammy/pally love?)

For example I will take the idea of a "monk" class. It would be very close to a rogue, yet different due to weapons, no stealth, etc...etc....Varity is the spice of life, but as a rogue, I'd feel pretty ticked if a monk did more DPS then me. I am also talking about overall consistant dps, not the same thing as being out dps'd a couple of times by a well equiped fury warrior or feral druid.

Now with that being said blizzard would have to choose to limit the dps of a monk(why would anyone want to be a monk?), or let the monk do more dps then a rogue because rogues get stealth.

Bottom line is the monk is gonna get three talent trees and one is gonna be for better damage, which makes the monk just like a fury warrior, feral druid, shadow priest, shaman, mage....etc....

What the heck would the other trees do?

Some idea's I'd have to seperate the monk class(Yes, I know this goes against my original premise, but I'd love to see more classes in wow)

-Make the combat different from any other melee class. Get rid of auto attack. Make all attacks use mana. Monks can heal in guild wars, lets give the warcraft monk a heal, but lets keep it to a self heal so it doesn't impose on other healing classes. Lets not give the monk a counterspell because every class has one...but lets give the monk a spell ward, one for each class of magic, all on the same cool down.

I could brainstorm cool ideas all day. Bottom line.....its just a new way to play a current class, which I wouldn't be against, but I don't see it happening, ya piggy.

Well I can't play WoW on an airplane, so I spent my time coming up with alternative classes, alternative battlegrounds, and new tradeskills. Yes, I'm obsessed and more than a bit addicted, but I'm creative, first and foremost.

It's odd you mention that for new classes to be implemented, one should think first about roles, and how playstyle would be afected... becasue that's exactly where I started as well. One tank, one DPS, and one healer class coming up.

First up is Necromancer, by popular demand. Whereas warlocks summon a single pet with an indefinite lifespan, necromancers can raise an indefinite number of undead with a limited lifespan. While warlocks are dependant on “soul shards” as a means of currency, necromancers have nothing of the sort. Instead, they rely on fresh kills and humanoid material to generate “pets”. Demons each have several abilities, minions raised as undead have only one purpose. Skeletal warriors are sword and boarders, skeletal priests pop renews. Spells for necromancers are cold and disease-based, as opposed to fire and curse-based. Lastly, while they cannot heal, necromancers can ressurrect dead players. The three trees available to Necromancers are Plague(nature-based effects and summonables), Ritual(shadow-based effects, and summonables), and Frost(cold-based effects), and would be open to Humans, Gnomes, Draenei, Undead, and Blood Elves.

Secondly is the suggested crowd control-oriented class of the Bard. While CC is an important part of thier spellbook, it’s only one of their possible specs. “Performace” bards are those that excel in controlling enemy comabtants, through numerous effects that impose animated responses on enemies, like /cry /dance and /sleep. Some control spells are casted, some are channeled, some are instant. “Poetry” bards can be considered the Holy spec of the bard class, as that is where the HoTs and health regenerative buffs can be found. Poetry also offers the bard the ability to remix buffs, adding different buff components together to achieve a more substantial effect. The third spec available to bards is “Noise”, the DPS tree. Noise consists of broken notes, pulses of damage, killer echoes, and vertigo. Bards are available to Gnomes, Dwarves, Tauren and Trolls.

The new tank class, Champion, isn’t really a tank class, as it begins and remains in mail armor. Though the champion can easily tank early game instances, and if geared, buffed, and played sufficiently, can tank later instances, it is more of a straight-up DPS hybrid, mixing in various abilities of the warrior, rogue, and hunter. What distinguishes the Champion is that though it is another pet class - partnered to a humanoid child to serve as the champion’s squire at level 10 - the squire is NOT expendable. Should the squire die in battle, the champion and any grouped party members suffer a substantial and lasting “mourning” debuff. A Champion can use a sheild or dual wield, generate and maintain threat with certain actions, use poisons, and autoshoot, as well as detonate AOEs or launch mortar shells. To make up for the lack of plate armor, the champion can “share stamina” with their Squire, effectively doubling the combatant’s points. A champion can spec “Destruction” to maximize his or her DPS output, “Protection” to specialize in reducing the melee capacities of enemies, or “Leadership” to utilize the Squire’s abilities in better synchronicity to their own.

Similarly to a Hunter’s combat pet, a Squire can learn various skills, like auto-shoot the champion’s target, auto-poison the champion’s weapons, auto-heal the champion and his or her party, repair the champion’s gear out of combat ...and progressively more and more skills until the Squire becomes a threat in his or her own right. Squires have a character screen to allow for armor and come with an additional slot for a bag.

Champions of the Alliance include Humans and Dwarves, with Human orphans as squires. Champions of the Horde include Orc and Taurens, with Orc orphans as squires. A champion cannot choose the gender or name of thier squire, but are randomly assigned one through the fostering system.
I think that the Rage mechanic adds a great deal to WOW which hasn't been exploited for some of the roles.

For example, healers that improve in performance as the fight progresses, making them excellent for bosses that last for ages, but no good for ones that hit in damage spikes, or excellent for saving clothies who have been aoe'd
I agree with the concept of a new class diluting other classes. My thoughts are that the new class should be either a solo class that might be versatile but not super sought after in groups. My best idea so far would be similar to the FF Blue mages. Several skills off the bat, but many main skills that you would get (lvl 6, 10, 14, 20, 30, 36, 40-etc would simply be an additional "Slot". Similar to the soulshard ability for warlocks, a channeled spell can be cast on an enemy that if it dies you can learn a spell depending on the enemy type. This would take a new level to the game and also keep the class at somewhat of a hybrid though still being able to excel if worked on hard (a blue mage could pick up pure healing spells/warrior spells/anything-making it similar to a druid except shapeshifting and major changes in skills wouldnt happen in a button click but by seeking out various types of enemies simply to learn their skills. What do you guys think? At lvl 70 blue mages could take various rolls and not cheaply replace any other class, and i think being able to completely change up strategies throughout the game just by replacing an old ability with a new one would be fun, (i'll be a DPS class from 10-20, then start looking for some healing spells, and ...etc-
I think that there should be a bard class added able to crowd control, heal,buff,and damage but I think that most, if not all, his or her attacks should have to be channeled. I also think there should could be a class added that had a healing pet almost close to the idea about champions and squires but a little different. Lastly I think the idea about how necromancers should work is a great idea, and i believe that necromancers should kind of function like in Diablo 2 having spells to raise different kind of undead rather than the raised undead being determined by the dead mob. An idea would be like at level ten necromancers did a quest to learn Raise Skeletal Warrior (up to 3) (warriors die after 30 sec, health =30% of necromancer's), and then at 20 a quest to learn Raise Skeletal Mage (1) (mages die after 30 sec, health=15% of necromancer"s mana=50% of necromancer's) and so on, and that the number of undead of each kind aloud to be raised could be altered through a talent tree and that the percentage of health or mana the undead get from you can be raised through talents as well.
I don't think the Necromancer or Bard classes have the "WoW feel" unless you took the Necromancer elements from the previous Warcraft games. Like the Dark Ranger... a ranged Necromancer that has a chance of creating skeletons upon killing, or the Death Knight like Arthas, life sucking and able to res allies for a short period of time for revenge.

Personally, I feel there's PLENTY of new classes that can be done, that just need to be thought of outside of the traditional mold.

One I would love to play would be a cloth wearing Tank. Rely on magic for magical shields of fire, frost, earth or whatever you decide you need. Another talent tree would be to use magic to stealth and perform more of a Rogue type role with magical invisibility and fast DOT curses (like Rogue poisons). Then the third would be the buff/debuff type. Buffs or Debuffs applied to weapons, much like poisons once again. Except they take mana on hit, until it hits 0 and then acts like a normal weapon. That's is very different from the current classes and yet still has a role.

The problem with making new variety in classes is that we're missing weaknesses. If you look at a game like Guildwars, they have 10 different classes now with the three chapters. Every class has its own function and weakness and it still relies on the Tank/DPS/Healer triad for PvE. New classes can be done, it's obviously just not needed at the moment.

NOTE: One alternative would be to just add a 4th talent tree to every existing class.... which would almost make perfect sense considering the next expansion might just boost the level cap to 80 and let people take advantage of of extra talent points.
Maybe a Death knight would work or a monk, but essentialy a death knight would be a shadow using pally who couldn't heal, and a tank that uses magic to tank would be like a mage with mana sheild and abosrt fir and frost damage. I believe that in a group there has always needed to be a tank/healer/ and the rest dps maybe their should be a class that couldnt really heal but could make the party strong kind of like what other people were saying about the buffer class. So now the average group would be tank/healer/buff/dps/dps. Maybe this buff class would channel a spell that added +50 attack power to everyone in the group, or a channel a spell that resotred mana every second, and maybe even give this class the ability to clone him or herself, basically giving that person a pet.
I know this is an old thread and no one will probably ever read this. But here it goes.

WoW needs new classes. The existing ones are getting stale. By this point most folks who play a lot have one or 2 70's and have at least tried each of the other classes.

While I agree that there are some roles that could be fleshed out a bit (i.e. Buffs) overall if you look simply at roles the game is fine but what about style.

Someone Mentioned City of Heroes. That is a great example. Take their Blaster class (ranged DPS) whatever type of blaster you roll with certain minor differences you fill the same type of role in your group. Ranged DPS. The choice of Fire, Ice, Energy, Electicty etc is simply a style choice.

If you take the Hybrid classes you could add new classes by simply making some style changes to the current roles.

Monk and Rouge - Melee DPS. One has stealth the other has say buffs (only difference)

Why are mages limited to only Fire/Ice/Arcane. Why not open up Shadow and Nature to a new mage-like class (Sure there are Boomkins and Elemental Shammys but that isn't the same thing)

Lots of people mention Necromancer, sure it's basically a Warlock who summons undead instead of demons, but what's wrong with that. You could add multiple pet classes this way. One that is elementals, Maybe even an Officer class that summons troops for a limited time (such as 3 Human pikemen, or 2 Dwarven grenadiers)

Tactics are important, but so is play style. I love my mage, But it would be fun to throw something other than fireball for 70 levels.
Everyone seems to have a vague idea of a what a roles a monk can actually play. Yes unarmed which would give it a feel for an unused skill in your skill tree that until now is only for when you get disarmed and only cause you have hands and anyone in a fight would be using them. Monks in previous games have had other abilities too, like final fantasy tatics monks there had an version of an AE and a heal. One of the biggests problems with wow is your five man group is put together well until the instance gets abotu half way through and you find out your healer isnt geared enough to handle the back half, or your tank is so poorly geared no one healer could keep him up. A dps class that could actually do some dps as well as heal,and not the ret pally dps bs that everyone keeps whispering me if they can go with, could actually have a place in wow. Yeah ret pally's can heal and feral druids can to but if you've ever grouped with either of theses they usually dont wanna get behind on the damage meters to actually throw off a heal, so maybe a monk class that could throw out a heal with little pause in dps would work. As for a monks ae again in FFT it was all directional so some form of a cone of cold shaped earth quake could provide a difference to the game that wouldnt be over powered. Now there is three trees of talents better healing better melee dps and better aoe of course thats a druid or pally again but i guess the difference would be instead of tanking it could aoe better.

Now as for the new content i dont know if anyones brought it up but all new classes in the next expansion start off as lvl 60 after completeing quests so that should take care of have to reroll persay.
I think that a monk class would be the best possible thing for WoW. but the talent trees would be: self regens, wrestling moves, and then combat, a.k.a martial arts.

I dont know why a monk having more dps than a rogue is a bad thing. monks would NOT have lockpicking or poisons. monks could prolly have jump attacks, or special attacks for stunning, tripping, or just standard, making mobs unable to do anything, so the rest of the party can smack the mobs around without having to worry about the possiblity of reprisial. I could easily see a big tauren, or draenei doing a full nelson to a mob while everyone else pounds on the mob >:D not to mention suplexes, piledrivers, etc etc.
I like the ideal of the monk class, but don't see way everybody assumes they would be unarmed. If you look at actual history monks used nearly all types of weapons. Yes they were renowned for the hand to hand skills but you would never see one with out some type of weapon even if only a staff.
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