Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Design the next WoW hero class

The third expansion of World of Warcraft hasn't even been announced yet, and is unlikely to arrive before 2010. But we can be pretty certain that it will contain at least one new hero class. And it will probably be a healer class; Blizzard said they designed the death knight to fix the tank shortage, so a healer hero class to fix the healer shortage would be a logical next step. We also know some other hero class design principles: They should feel epic, but be more or less equal to the existing classes in power, thus they shouldn't make existing classes obsolete. And they can be somewhat more complicated to play, as new players won't be able to choose such a class for their first character. So how would you design such a healer hero class for the next expansion?

The first question to answer is how the new healer hero class would power their heals. All existing healing classes in WoW use mana for heals. And just like the death knight doesn't use mana or rage, but a completely new mechanism, it would probably be a good idea to design a new healing mechanism for the new hero class. That would have the added advantage that you could base the power of that new healing on a stat different than spellpower, and wouldn't need mana regeneration, thus avoiding the new class to compete for the same gear as the existing classes.

A related question is what else but healing the new class should do, and what connection there will be between his healing and his damage dealing. WAR has healing classes which in various ways power their healing by dealing damage first. Something like a melee healer, who collects something similar to a warrior's rage by combat, and then uses that for healing would be one possibility. The downside of that would be that such a system would probably not be sufficient for being the main healer in a group, so maybe we need to come up with something else.

The hardest design question is how to balance that new healer hero class against the other existing classes. A lot of healers solo in a different talent branch than the healing one. But if you give the new class one or two dps talent branches and one or two healing talent branches, you risk getting a lot of new dps characters, and not as many new healers as you wanted. It took me some time to realize that Blizzard did a clever thing with death knights, enabling them to tank in any of their three talent branches, being frost doesn't make them much better tanks than being blood or unholy, it just changes the way they tank. So I think a class with some close connection of healing and damage dealing would be good, having no clear healing and not-healing talent builds.

So how would you design this class? Ranged or melee? What kind of armor? What kind of damage and healing? How would you make sure that the class heals good enough to be main healer, without being gimped for damage? And how would you make sure not every current healer deletes his character and rolls one of the new class? Go ahead, post your ideas!
Melee healer. Goes around thwacking people with his healin' mace.
Bard, melee healer. He could use some rogue mechanics, i.e. after every special attack (which costs energy) he would receive a combo "healing point". And a lots of musical instruments a la D&D CRPG. :) yay!
This Proposal is simpyl about mechanic not about lore (i'll leave this to Blizzard)^^.

I would chose something like a Runeshaper.
Armor: Mail (no Shields)
Itemization: Can Benefit on Shaman and Druid (resto/balance) Gear so they have a niche and less fighting (Can benefit on Int and Spirit).
Runceshapers are a Ranged class. Similar to the Deathknight they use a dual resource system to power their spells/abilties.

They have a Manalike Primary pool that is dermined by (Spellpower, Int, Spirit), or maybe they simpliy use Mana. They use this to cast nearly all their direct single target heals and some other basic less powerfull spells.
For each direct heal they build runepower depending on the amount healed (yes i know -.-) but overhealing isn't counted. With this second resource they can cast some of the lesser spells but just like finishers from rouges these abilities will empty the complete runepool and trigger additional more powerfull effects. Also any Groupheal Spells use this runepower so they habve to use a spell rotation and aren't forced to spam their groupheal button.

Additional they have the Ability to place a source and destination rune on targets. Depending on teh combination they place a Lifelink for instance between teh Tank and the Raidboss transfering a steady stream of Life energy from the Boss to the Tank - such working as a HoT and a DoT. Other effects can Include reversed Feral-Aura Aspects so there is a Chance that a Strike from a Mob on the enemy with the Target Rune as a Chance to deal less dmg and addtionaly heal the Target.
Keeper of the Grove, all heals are channeled due to his need to use vines to entangle people he's healing. Gets to wear an additional pair of boots but does not wear pants. Hmmm... nvm.
Bard. They are a buffing and healing class that focuses on VERY powerful, VERY short buffs as well as heals. Has no mana but generates a resource by using certain base songs and then expends them on heals. Think the direction paladin blessings original blessings were so. Not a good amount of AP for 2 minutes but "25% more damage caused for 10 Seconds. 30 second cooldown" "The next hit heals the target for however much it would have damaged it. Channeled. 6 second cooldown" "Spells cast use no mana for 10 seconds. 30 second cooldown". Etc.

For soloing they are a pet class. Using magic they create a mirror image of the target. The image has the same skills and it's HP is shared with the mob. Bosses are immune.
I took a peek at Warcraft 3's Hero Classes and this one seemed to work:

Shadow Hunter (

They have an alternate mechanic (Loa, a kind of voodoo power) that could be used for certain spells. New mechanics could involve chain heals, and putting curses/debuffs on a target to power heals. Also, if the new expansion takes place in the South Seas / Maelstrom then the troll's main island would be nearby and possibly have a starter zone for them.

Other races could become Shadow Hunters, I guess... perhaps they are cursed in some way (similar to the Death Knights).
This is a difficult question to answer. I would suggest that instead of being a very good healer, they would be a very good debuffer/buffer, so they would be able to heal 5 mans, via debuffing mobs and using weak heals, and will not replace current healers in raids but augment them, by debuffing bosses or buffing the healing received by a person. I think WoW needs a very good debuffer class, think it would make for an interesting dynamic. For soloing it could have a very weak pet, mainly for dps, and debuffing the mobs to keep the damage on the pet low/healing it. Or they could just solo via mellee, with the same principal, debuffing their targets to do less damage. Just some thoughts.
I'd go with something like a druid, Keeper of the Grove being an obvious choice. I think the 3 healing talent trees are also a safe bet, with HoTs/AoE/Direct being a good split. The new healing class would wear leather, would be interesting if they could duel wield as well. or a mechanic I think something that ties into the phasing tech that bliz has been using well in Wrath. I also wouldn't be surprised if this new healer worked like a Archmage from WAR, in that when the use damage spells it makes your heals better and vise versa when you heal it makes your damage spells better. I also think it would make sense that instead of mana they had a power source that was tied to the emerald dream in someway.

I also think we will see this new hero class before the next expansion.
Although WOW doesn't have a melee healer at the moment, I think there are a lot of melee around and probably another caster/healer would be the best way to go. I'd be happy if they nicked the Archmage mechanics from WAR, I just don't really know how they'd differentiate it from existing caster/healer type classes.
I think making the next hero class designed with a dedicated healer in mind would be a bad idea. What I think would be ideal is to have a class that with 5 people could take on any instance. Last week my death knight and 4 other death knights made a group and went through Hellfire Ramparts. We had a couple of deaths but no wipes and we were able to complete the instance. The fights were completely different than most fights. Instead of having a "tank" trying to get the focus of all the enemies we were able to each choose a target and take them down. Since in most cases there were only 2-4 mobs in any pull we would put two people on certain targets and once they got their kill they would help people with mobs left. Bosses were a little more difficult but with death grip we were able to give the person taking the most damage a break.

The main advantage of having it designed this way was that we choose not to wait around for a tank and healer. If every class in WoW was self-sufficient enough then you wouldn't have to worry about fixing the tank-healer shortage, people would be able to group up with whoever they wanted and run an instance. I think that's how the next hero class should be designed. Have a class that can take a hit as well as heal themselves a little while they fight.
Topping up 25 different health bars has been done to death already with both HoT and direct heals. Melee-based heals is what a paladin should be like in my opinion, their current gameplay is too close to priest core design. The same goes for dealing spell damage to heal (ie shadow priest). What does that leave that would be a fresh mechanic and add something to the game? I'm thinking something based around linked health bars, using health as the primary resouce (no mana at all) and building the class around Spirit and Stamina gear. For offensive capability and ease of levelling they will need a spirit companion to tank and do damage for them (draw on the very succesful Hunter beastmastery design here). To add the powerful heroic feel, lore link and 'wow factor', use the old Troll culture that we have seen in the various Zul's and make the new heroic class the Aspect Healer, with Serpent, Panther and Spider forms.

Core mechanics would be as follows:

- Health Link. Establish one or multiple simultaneous friendly target links where a percentage of the damage the target takes instead is deducted from the Aspect Healer health instead. Allow multiple links on a single target so there is a choice between protecting many to a moderate degree or one to a great degree.

- Powerful self heals, based around Spirit for continous regen and with various abilities (with cooldowns) such as long channeled heals, HoT and 'feedback' heals which also top up linked targets. Add in lifetaps which sacrifice own health to reset cooldowns, provide buffs etc.

- Bloodletting. Regular combat abilities which bleed the enemy (damage over time) and debuffs them.

- Sacrificial magic. Finishing moves usable only on low health targets, sacrifices target soul in return for healing or buffs.

- Add unique abilities for each aspect form such as calling spider swarms, adding venom effects to Serpent aspect Bloodletting and strong pet buffs and stealth in the Panther tree.

With three cloth and three plate classes in the game, the Aspect Healer should instead wear leather (basic choice) or mail (talent option).

To protect the relevance of the old classes, the Aspect Healer could lack in debuff removal.
A Warlock!! oh wait.
OK .. Necromancer:
Three specs: pet | melee | debuff CC
If there was a class that did debuffs instead of healing, groups would simply take both a debuffer and a healer.
Has anyone else done "The Occulus" instance and started to think that the Green Dragon may be a test case for how Blizzard does a new Heroic healing class. Debuffs and direct heals via LAZERS!!

Seriously though, that Green Dragon has a neat healing mechanic. Having to "give" one's own health to other people but having to put a DOT on a mob to restore your health is an interesting system and requires a lot of micromanagement. This would fulfill the requirements that Tobold talked about in his post above. Not everyone would be able to play it and it would require a new mechanic to learn and manage.
Monk – think of that acrobatic chick (Azula’s friend) from “Avatar the First Air Bender”

• A”Chi bar” that works similar to an energy bar.

• Moves that paralyze a target (pressure points) and/or push target backward
• Finishing moves that kill a wounded target
• Moves that disarm a target and reflect spells
• Moves that instantly kill a target that has been subjected to 5 [chockra moves] (2 minute cool down)

**Also, ability to instantly (and temporarily) convert Spirit rating to other stat to affect ability. For example: convert spirit to stamina to increase health, or spirit to resistance to increase resistances, or spirit to agility to increase dodge or melee crit).

• Steal someones soul for special ability (speed boost, or super punch, or temporary invulnerability, requires a (concentration kill – special move) (think how necromonger leader pulls spirit out his victim.

Cloth Armor only, spirit most important stat. Stamina and int stats have no effect.
A pet class that heals via the pet. I don't think that has been done before.
I believe Morthandeus and Anonymous (/eyeroll) are on the right track in terms of mechanics. For one, Blizzard is already testing a health transfer mechanic with the drakes (although they're also testing a healing combo points mechanic in Malygos). We have two nature-based healers and two Light-based healers, so a darker fluff for the next healer class makes sense. While the Aspect God healer seems too Troll-centric to be applicable to everyone, I can see how that fluff could be expanded. Perhaps an otherworldly spirit has possessed the character and thus grants the new abilities? The use of one's own health as a resource to heal others makes sense, as the spirit parasitically drains resources from its host to do whatever it needs to do.

Which opens the doors to the possibility of not having a new class at all, but rather a prestige class (D&D term). Allow players to use the spirit in one of their dual-spec slots, allowing everyone to have access to a healing class if they so desire. Players can solo like normal using whatever class they originally chose, and then jump to their second spec, switch gear, and heal. It also gives Blizzard a little leeway with making the new spirit class more specialized, since everyone would have other options. And they would only actually need one or two talent trees for the new class, since it really represents adding talent trees to everyone else's existing class.
I came here to suggest what turns out to be the very popular enemy-to-ally health transfer mechanic, so I'm going to throw out another idea.

I'd really like to see a class based on summoning minions for all its effects. If it's to be a healer, lets call them spirits. Plays like a cross between a GW-Ritualist and a totem-twisting shaman.
Already sort of ahead of you (The necromancer and Geomancer weren't thought of specifially as "healing hero classes", but are included anyway since they do have healing and could possibly be adapted to be hero classes.): (The witch doctor does fit the closest to what the post is asking for, though some of the mechanics I am a bit unsure about.)

Also, as a side question, how do I actually set up the links as links in these comment sections?
To make in link in the comment section you actually need to speak HTML, as in <a href="">WoWWiki</a>.
I know it was a lifetime ago but does anyone remember the Bard class from EverQuest? Oh how I miss my Bard and maybe WoW will see fit to bring this multi-talented concept to its future Hero class considerations.

First off the power/ability concept is completely different from every class presently in game. A Bard (or Ballard, Mistral, whatever name) could have skills tied to a spread of attributes (Agi for playing nimbleness, stamina for playing length, intelligence for playing diversity, strength for the power added to one's voice/playing for greater effect). The introduction of instruments would minimize the competition over gear across other classes. Instruments can me specialized to range, AOE, Buff/Debuff, whatever based on the principles of the song and musical experience.

Then there's "Twisting." This phrase was coined in EQ as a Bard' ability to cycle through multiple songs/tunes where the effect of one song played lingered after switching to a different turn. Good Bard's became known for their player abilities to "twist" upwards of 5song effects providing all kinds of Group benefits (+AC, +Mana Reg, +Healing, +Atk Spd, - Mod Debuff). There was soloing benefits to a good twister where running +spd coupled with AOE dmg and mob spd debuff invented the Bard kite (different from Druid SOW kite or Necro reverse kit or now WoW Mage kite).

I'm starting to ramble and I’m hopeful there are others on this thread that remember the EQ Bard fondly enough to add thoughts should you deem the idea has merit.

I agree the shortage of primary group/raid healers continues to place challenges on the way we build groups and raids. I imagine the concept of a Singing/Musical class could bring a broad diversity to WoW and be tailored easily in a manner that address gap in the player base (healers) while fitting a concept of a healing class that could do more than hero-heal. Thoughts?
Healing class with NO RANGED HEALS (everything would take 1 meter casts), power shield, wears plate.
Just a quick thought: Splash Healing. When a mob is damaged, players near it are healed for some percentage of the damage dealt. I'm not a WoW nut, so I don't know if that sort of thing already exists, but to my mind, this could well combine DPS and healing in an interesting way.
I doubt that the music-based "bard" abilities would work for Warcraft. First, the setting is divorced enough from classic high-fantasy and D&D-ish stuff such that the image doesn't fit. Who are the famous Warcraft bards? The WC3 Horde Kodo Riders with their battle drums and thrown spears? Unlikely. Other than that, music is used as background, with almost no mention of its importance in the rest of the lore.

Second, the game technicals ultimately cater to provide the full (albeit minimalistic) experience to people who don't run all the snazzy features. Turning the sounds off disconnects the player from the central fluff of any music ability. There's a significant difference between not hearing the Warrior roar (while still seeing him yell to the sky) versus not hearing a Bard sing/play (while just watching him strum a lute). Finally, how do you make the visuals of a Bard look epic? Does an Orc Bard savagely play the kazoo? Does a Forsaken bard sinisterly blow his tuba? Does a Night Elf Bard mystically pound away on his snare drum? No. Blizzard has already used both the Bard and music as a joke - they are not going to turn around and make it serious.
It is kind of funny how many people posted Bard as an idea. for some reason, Bard, Barbarian, Berserker, and martial arts monk show up any time someone writes a new class ideas forum post, blog post, etc. sure enough, on this post we get lots of bards, and someone even managed to sneak in something that sort of resembles the martial arts monk in a distant way.
I think we've seen the direction of healing that a class is going to have from some of the dragon quests/events in T7. I suspect we're going to have a combo-point centric healer. Using small useful heals and buffs to build points to cast big AoE heals, big heals or big dispels. It's a dynamic juggling type of mechanic that appeals to a lot of people already and is familiar to them, allows a lot of submechanics (such as using DPS abilities to build combo points to generate large heals), and is different enough from other healing mechanics to make it work.

I think they're going to introduce the archdruid as the class. They've hinted at it enough.

As to their trees: I agree - they will almost certainly have all three trees able to heal in some form well. My suspicion is that we'll see two ranged DPS trees and a melee DPS tree. All of which can generate combo points, all of which will have some different form to cast in.
How about reusing the Deathknight power mechanism for a Runemaster type class.
Heh, Bard and Monk sound like interesting new hero classes..:D When playing solo rpgs i usually go as one of these, if available. A Monk could be fashioned into a melee healer i guess, while a Bard would be more of a ranged character, with the emphasis on a strong buff/debuff repertoire.
I'd like to toss my thoughts in here and point out that you don't specifically need a "healer" class. What you need is a class that improves the survivability of the group and allows them to continue fighting.

Let's start by considering that some players just don't like healing. The "stare at the green bars" game isn't fun to them. Making a new way to fill the green bars does NOT change the fact that you are doing the same thing.
WoW is not lacking good healing classes. There are just more players attracted to the other roles for a group. Instead of trying to fit a square peg (dps player) into a round hole (healer), create a new option.
Get rid of trying to refill the bars, focus on not letting them drop in the first place.

What do I mean by that? Well, the goal of healing is to allow the group to survive longer than the monster. This is typically done by refilling the health bar as it steadily drops. However, refilling the bar is not the only way to out-live a monster.
Let's look at other ways to prevent players from falling over dead.

A class that reduces the total damage taken would be a very nice addition to a party / raid.

Perhaps this class has tons of health and soaks up some of the damage taken by group members but only has a self heal.

Or has short duration curses that cause the enemy to heal its target for x per hit, or a lifetap for group members.

Or all of this character's attacks add points to a sort of Power Word Shield around the target/party.

Add in a huge buff to out-of-combat regen for the group and you are all set. A class about surviving while in a fight, not healing through it.

If tweaked properly, none of these would break encounters. They would not have your group at full health all the time, but they would allow you to take down reasonable challanges before your health reaches 0.

Yes, the class I'm talking about is considered a buffer/debuffer.

Tobold, you said that players would want a buffer AND a healer.
To counter that, I'll point to City of Heroes.

Back when I played CoH, I was a force field defender. That is, I was a buff class that put force fields on my group to mitigate damage.
The damage mitigation from these buffs was great enough that a healer wasn't needed at all. In fact, the group would prefer a dedicated dps instead of the half baked dps from a healer we had around "just in case."

How do you address the solo-ability of this class? Same way the other classes do, talents. A tree for high survivability / low damage, one for higher damage / lower survivability, and one around the middle for both with added utility.

If done right, buff/debuff classes can definately fill the void we have in game while giving players a new archetype not just a rehash of the dps/tank/healer we have now.

Finally, an advantage to playing all those betas!

There are two obvious classes to copy (errr ... I mean draw inspiration from) from Vanguard - the blood mage who combines DPS with healing and the disciple who is (in loose terms) a melee healer who builds healing points through combat that he can use on his comrades. I'd also like to see paladin healing reworked to be closer to the WAR Priest of Sigmar, which feels more like a paladin than the WOW version.

Alternatively, I'd like to see something completely new. Assuming that the next expansion is the Emerald Nightmare, my suggestion would be the "Dreamer". This would be a temporary pet class, able to summon "dreams" and "nightmares" for appropriate purposes, supplemented with (relatively weak) base direct damage and healing from the character itself. Think anti-warlock.

The dreams could be assigned to particular players to heal them/ cure diseases etc. The nightmares could be used for crowd control (e.g. being attacked by an unkillable, but zero damage illusion) or for direct additions to DPS. Talent trees would be Serendipity (increase direct healing), Dreaming (increase pet effectiveness & CC) or Discord (increased direct damage). Soloing would probably work with the player tanking and DPSing (with a dream to heal them) or player tanking & self-healing with a nightmare attacking. In groups, the Dreamer would fulfill the following roles:
Serendipity: Primary heal/ Secondary CC
Dreaming: Primary CC / Secondary DPS or heal as needed
Discord: Primary DPS/ Secondary CC.

Healing as serendipity with your dream on the MT supplemented by your own healing should be comparable to other hybrids. In against multiple foes, the Dreamer could heal one target and the dream the other. Discord DPS should be about comparable to a shadow priest, given the CC options. Dreaming CC should be better than all other classes, with a range of tools to control all different classes of foe and CC multiple enemies at once. Both healing and DPS should be ok at best.

If only I weren't too lazy to do a full class design.
Have you ever looked at Vanguard's healers? There's the "Blood Mage" that improves its healing as it casts lifetaps/transfers. Then there's the Disciple, which is a melee healer that does heals from melee attacks. VG's cleric and shaman are more "plain vanilla" but the DSC and BLM both are quite popular due to their originality.
I'd rather not see a Bard in WoW. That class just doesn't seem to fit in warcraft.

hm....unless we can play guitars like L70ETC, lol not really

Traditional Bard mechanics also seem quite boring. They turn on their buffs and that's about it. Sometimes "twisting" but is that really fun? Perhaps it is and just wasn't a class for me.

If Blizz did go with that, I hope that they would spice things up just a tad.

But please, re-theme the mechanic, don't go with the bard. *puke*

I think a cool mechanic would be to have the hero healer become more powerful as their party or raid becomes lower on health. They could have a skill that ramps up proportionally to the total amount of health lost by the the raid.
An idea I've had for a healer hero class after reading some Blizzard posts on their observations of the state (and drawbacks) of the current healing environment was a healer whose core mechanics relied more on their positioning relative to other party members.

So the basic sketch would be something like this.

Class: Spirit Weaver (or Druid or ***insert evocative healer name***)
Armor: leather and possibly mail
Core mechanics: The Spirit Weaver's spells are powered by their "spirit link" with their targets, a resource that at the most basic level rises inversely with the distance to the target. The Weaver starts with a weak "connection" with party members at a certain maximum range that gets stronger as the Weaver gets closer to the targets. The class has several spells to strengthen the connection, some of which locking the Weaver to a certain party member (or enemy npc) allowing for very strong connections at the expense of AoE healing/damage. Possible spells could transfer the strength of a link between the raid boss to friendly party members (ie introducing a risk/reward component - the closer you get to the boss, the stronger the link with that boss which then via this talent/spell allows stronger links with party/raid members and thus bigger heals). Others possible spells might be an AoE spell which links several players together, forming a bond between them that allows you to chain heal them more effectively. Since positioning would be paramount for the class, healing would hopefully amount to whackamole with 3rd party mods.
Runemaster, based on the Runemaster Vykrul (And, dare I dream, introduced via playable Alliance Vykrul?).

They would be leather wearers, maybe with mail later, wielding staves, maces, axes, and shields. They would work by casting runes on enemies and players. These would absorb massive amounts of damage and provide heal on hit or being hit similar to the DK Mark of Blood talent, or might provide extremely short-duration buffs or debuffs meant to prevent or mitigate damage. They might also have some minor HoT or regenerative abilities a bit below what Druids have.

You could also go more with the "Skald" idea, and just make this class into a full flung Bard with tons of "song" auras and the ability to wield bladed weapons as well.
death knights were flawed from the beginning. The last thing wow needed was more melee dps. The tank shortage would of been eleviated with "dual spec" implimentation. There are plenty of warrior/druid/pallies that love to tank, but want to be the dps spec for leveling. Now at the top level, your seeing the warriors/pallies/druids come back, but the influx of melee dps has totally shown it's face.

Anyone who thinks putting another melee class in, just doesn't get it. Blizzard is now forced to create a new ranged/healing class that can dps. Sounds alot like a shadow priest.
i'm certain the next class will be some sort of "lich-gone-good" character, and they'll heal through vampiric attacks, much like the healer dragon in oculus, where they funnel health from
themselves to the target, and then dot up mobs, draining life from them back to the healer.
Perhaps something that augments the tank but has weaker heals than that of the current group. Say for instance something like a Soul Link, transferring damage at a reduced amount but also weakening heals to the tank by anyone other than the caster of Soul Link (or maybe the class). This way the class can't be used to OP proportions as to augment the tank and then have a mainstream healer heal the tank.

This class might have lore something similar to druids and shamans. The connect to the spirit world and can augment or seriously debuff someone. Blizzard would have to be careful in not making the class too similar to existing classes like the priest or warlock.

Casting mechanic: Something like a scale, tip it too close to one side and you start damaging/healing them and if you get too far to one end YOU start to lose hp due to the fact that you are lose part of yourself. Becoming too attached to their essence or whatever.
Maybe in addition to mana or something like runicpower/rage. Maybe a soul source. The very essence of themselves.
Main stat would be spirit/stam

Some core abilities perhaps (Names modifiable):

Soul Link: Augment or debuff the target makes heals/dots more powerful against the target. Yes I have decided dps will be off of dots.

Life/soul essence draining abilities. If it is soul essence the character deals damage and gains soul essence.

Sacrifices: Take portions of one's own health to boost anothers. Maybe even taking the health of other's to boost your target.

Soloing: Quite simple. Or not so much because the mechanic itself would be hard to specifically design... You have the scales tip closer to the damage side so you heal less but you do more damage and you drain more health/soul essence.

PvP wouldn't be too difficult as you could balance the scales and maybe take considerably less damage. Call it Equilibrium of Souls or whatnot. Tipping the scales in your favor as you decide to come out of your safe place ad do a little damage or heal a friend. A debuff called Slugging of Mind can be used to prevent people from spending an extraordinary amount of time in this form. Whoa... this thing could perhaps tank... But thats for devs to decide.

I apologize if the ideas waver over the course of my class description. Some compromise (or all of it) of all these drifting thoughts would be ideal.
The main issue is Main healers, right? But if this so-called Hero class is going to have to level up, they need some form of DPS. Priest have shadow spec, druids have balance/feral, pallies have ret spec, shamans have elemental/enhance. Unless they decide that you don't have to level it.

Maybe you'll have to take one of your possible healers and transform him/her into this heroic healer class. Change into an angel knight or something. Course, all DPS abilities would be gone forever, and you'd be left with healing. Like what another poster said, have all three spec branches divided in HoT/AoE/Direct heals. What cool spells this heroic healer can cast? That's another issue for another time.

Though, this hero class needs to some way fit into the WoW mythology. It was cool with the Draenei, but for god sake, don't come up with... "Well, there was this other race that came from the deep waters of Azeroth (evolved murlocs) and they were known to be the best healers and gurgle...blah blah blah..."

This new heroic class needs an appropriate name:
-Angel Knight
-Holy Murlocs

Just a couple things I was thinking.
So, everyone's saying that we're going into the Emerald Dream for the next expansion. So why not something called a Dreamwalker or some other such awesomeness? I was thinking about a way around the lore (when's the last time you saw a human protecting some Druids?), but dreams can take any shape, amirite?

So, what abilities would this guy have? A lot of people have already said something about mob debuffs/channeling/etc. Then I remembered my old Red Mage from FFXI. Enhancement, enfeeblement, some weak damaging spells and really good heals. Why make an entirely new mechanic? Runic Power is the same as energy/rage with a slight twist. It isn't really all that different.

So for the enfeeblement tree, you'd have all kinds of crazy mob debuffs, weak-ish damage and CC. This would be a super utility spec, which would help any group. For enhancement (which would probably need to be called something else, wouldn't want to step on the shammies' toes), you'd have group buffs based on spells (Red Mage Refresh, anyone?), melee damage and spell damage. For the healing tree, someone already mentioned the drakes in Oculus, and a setup like that would be awesome. I'd certainly roll a utility/heal spec for sure.
ok doing this post zero-punctuation style

well as we are still in WotLK the hero class would need to fit the exp lats say we go with what i have herd from others but not so much in depth the good old Necromancer yes other MMOs have them but susses leaves clues no as far in D&D goes which i feel all MMOs like WOW EQ EQ2 WAR AoC and (insert name of fantasy MMO here) all get there roots from the healing spells are all in the Necromancy school so why not have Necromancer as a healer and like the green drake in Ocules works on a health funnel heal but would heath be there only resource NO there nothing wrong with using mana for one it works well for other hears so why do some thing like combo points that leaves you to there u save up those combo point for boss that do a BIG raid smack as u use weak spell to heal player and suffer on heal meter for it cause your waiting on raid wipe spell from the boss only to be out healed by the other heals and your combo heal just dose a lot of over healing yes yes a lot of good that dose for you to to begin with most rouge player don't give a shit about the group and would just be a DPS class that can keep it self healed sounds like what happened to DK how 90% of them are DPS but i digress why not have the Necromancer use mana for he drain HOT/DOT and health funnel for his big direct/AOE heals and maybe a having more health the other healers why not have a healer that has health close to a tank's is there some unspoken law saying that all healers have to die to the first time a raid boss looks at them in a bad way and for those that say look at a holy pally but there health is no more higher then the rest and yes a pet class or semi pet class how about a healing pet i have seen undead mobs heal like Dark Mending think a few of u have seen that spell being cast yes it wont be that strong but then again destro lock dps with imp cause of the new talents why not do the same with Necro not that much but the bottom line is it help in the long run and it would be just what ever one here is looking for a healer/debuffer/CC/DPS and as for trees that is EZ Necromancy for healing/pet Frost for CC/utility and Affliction for life drains HOTs/DOTs

part 2
so lest recap Necromancer uses mana and health as a resource and a few pet for healing or DPS or even solo tanking witch is worlds apart from other healers and would give a feeling of some thing new and for gear it would seem cloth is not a good idea cause we have Mage Warlock Priest and plate is the same problem and it would be just silly at that so there is Mail or leather and back to the plate being silly that leaves us with leather gear and that is not too bad is it but lest get to the more practice Bliz can make it work i would leave the finer details to them cause they have done a good job so far but they would start at 55 like the DK and way not the same start zone? just add the leather gear to quest rewards it would be like Necromancer is to Death Knight as Priest is to Paladin come on you can't really think that all the heroes killed and brought back to work for the Lich King where all melee had to be some casters like priests Mages etc. and its something that can be rolled with any race so if you really look at it Necromancer would make a good chose
I think Monk would be a good idea but not in the way that you were suggesting.
I like the melee idea, but maybe instead of a chi bar, a holy energy bar ( white colored bar ).
Monks could cast different Prayers in order to give them different fighting abilities.
They could maybe have an AOE prayer heal, and maybe 2-3 different single target heals, all varying in holy energy cost.
The problem arises what armor would they use? Well they would be the first melee cloth wearing class. But if this were to happen they would need some sort of 400% Armor buff.
So to recap:
* Holy Energy (works like Rage)
* Prayers to give player different effect (ex. Prayer of the Enraged Fighter, Prayer of Group Regenration, etc,)
* Cloth Wearers with 400% armor
* Heals based on Holy energy which is produced by melee attacks
I also think that in higher levels they could recieve Strong buffs, such as a buff that would heal them a certain amount of how much damage the monk generates. This could be considered.
Another idea could be powerfull melee abilities or spells that could be used with full holy energy, some sort of finishing move. Many moves come into my head when thinking of this such as Summon Monk Scholar. This move could be used to summon another Monk for a short duration (2-3 minutes) that is similar to the Mage's mirror image, but only one Monk appears and you control what that Monk does. Your summoned Monk would be as equally geared as you are, but for example, you could heal while your summoned Monk damages.
These are my ideas, please comment.
Witch Doctor !!!
Naaru Champion. outlands
A character that has studied under the etherials race. orphined in shattrah taken in by the naaru and trained under the naaru.
A manna based toon no health only a mana bar utilizing the awesomeness of the Death Knight's blood, frost, unholy runes once the mana is gone the toon dies it regenerates fast like mana so you really have to screw up to die. They boost group mana/rage/focus/ruinic power. stamina and intellect both boost the main mana pool spirit only speeds up the mana regen. Characters are covered in watery tattoos like the intellect users from fable 2 except curved rather than boxy. They only wear organic materials cloth to leather. The runes are arcane/dps. psycic armor/defence basic 2nd tanking high aggro. contemplation/ massive raid utility boosts to mana/rage/focus/ruinic power. mana boosts are utilized to "self healing" and really help the caster classes submitted by knil/labinnah of the terenas realm ally/ maoyîn/kaets of the cenarion circle realm wisp me if there r questions. these toons have NO healing spells other than self "heals" so priests can be happy :)
I remember playing Ultima Online there was a bard class in that game that was very different than any other game. If I were to make a healer class for wow it would have to have the same Abilities as the Bard in UO minus some. There was a spell called enticement that worked on beasts and demons you play a song to them on your lute and click the person or mob you wanted them to fight. I would also have to say I would like to see these characters due to balancing use only fist weapons or daggers as far as melee but be able to use a gun or crossbow like a hunter. They would have to wear cloth or at most leather. The songs you played would could act also much like a shaman giving group buffs but also dishing out group heals and large heals meanwhile staying behind the scenes and hitting with arrows. As far as the meter goes it should probably use something similar to the rune system where one rune can add buffs one rune can add healing and one rune could dish out a little aoe damage and dual uses maybe there are some songs that do holy damage to mobs much like consecration but also heals those who stand near enough. That I believe would be a class everyone would want to play also they should have a little humor behind the questing...after all your playing as a bard!
Of everything I've read, the most viable idea that keeps comeing up is a healer that gives up its own health in one way or another if for no other reason then to offer a different mechanic to healing than what already exists. What about a mitigation class? Like a master off-tank...kinda. A class that could rerout damage to itself and that might heal itslef realtive to the amount of damage it takes? It might redierct X damage to itself for y amount of time, or have an ability that redirects damage done to it to a target with a debuff. Maybe it heals, but thats a seccondary characteristic. it wouldn't be a true dps, or tank or healer even. It'd be the first utility class. It'd be closer to a Disc. preist then anything else, but a class thats primarily deffensive. Alot of people suggest that the class will be spririt based which could be used to flush something out of the lore. idk

on a side note, one of the best ideas i've read was about creating a system that can allow the races to move across faction. Some people suggested haveing a way to betray your faction inorder to gain loyalty with the other and being "outcast" in the transition. While i doubt it'll be implimented, it could be alot of fun and would add alot of creativity to personalizing your character.

Fire (Magic DPS / Debuffs)
Water (Healing / Buffs)
Earth (Melee / Buffs)

Fire would cast fire based spells, where either a small flame would follow a char on the ground, a char would get set on fire, or a fireball would be thrown at the char.

Water would create a sort of stream in the air, that would either wrap around one char or be set around a group, and would give HoTs, instaheals, supplemental buffs (non combat based).

Earth would augment the char's own melee abilities and would eventually be able to transfer some of the bonuses to other chars. A sort of summonable rock armor, and a transformation into a rock golem that just bulldozes.

Eh, it would be interesting, but the visual effects would need some more thought.
In response to slowerobjects' post... "..a healer that gives up its own health in one way or another if for no other reason then to offer a different mechanic to healing than what already exists." (and the other stuff too)
I think that could be a fun character!
But I do like to fight also.. front and center. I'd like to be a Mail Armored Cleric with a Big Weapon, who can suck up a lot of hurt through a reverse life tap, resurrect others DURING Battle, all the while holding my own, and limping away to heal up when I'm at 5% health. Now thats the Toon I want.
I think next class should be necromancer, since WoW lack of debuffer.Instead making a new healer class, why don't they make a class that reduce incoming damage?( even warlock affliction cannot reduce much)
This is some of my imagination talent tree.
First talent bone(enhance undead pet and some self buff for survival?).
Unholy talent . (focuse on drain life, debuff, and buff with some exchange).
And the 3rd talent could be posion? :)( haven't think of any possibility).
you are all crazy man i think that you should make a ranged dps/heal class but their heals go directly to a target/group/raid w/e but they still do damage but its not super op like say a druid boomkin for instance does 10k dps the character im thinking do 5k dps with same gear and like 5k heals do you get it?
Class : Mechanic - Energy Recource
-Engineering(Battleground Spec..More of a teamplayer Spec)
-Ranger (Hybrid)

"Engineering" (20% more durability and effect on players)- Builds things such as Aid stations (lightwell) Repairs Vehicles (Strand of the ancients and so on) builds barriers for flag defending that have 15% of the builders health (30% with talents) , Puts traps on the ground similar to a hunters except these traps DoT and Some Entangle them for 10 seconds, Some Trap them Secretly and when the Mechanic Hits "M" it shows exactly where the person is and all their stats (class,armor,health, mana,ETC), Can set up Turrets that shoot people automatically (again 30% more dmg with talents + 20% with talent passive) can develop sentry lines when a rogue/druid passes it you can see where they are. Is capable of Building Trucks/Cars Anywhere that can hold a Player Gunman, a Missleman, And a driver

Melle Combat(20% more damage using melle 10% engineering and 8% ranger) Uses "Changing" Weapons that You can acess new forms for your weapon as you further into melle combat Talents, Such as a "Scalpel" Which when you do damage on someone it Gives you a HoT, Defilibrator things that electricute you, stun them, ETC so forth. But this is like a "StanceDance" Type where the changing weapon Is much like Changing Stances/Druid forms/ And totems,

Ranger(25% Better with Ranged attacks) Uses Recources such as bombs (Unlimited like hunter arrows) That do medium damage a DoT, Can Throw Static Charges that expolode after, Can be a Sufficient Healer by Throwing Health packs that can heal (at the cost of energy) And AoE health packs and so forth, For their main ranged weapon is Throwing Bombs/Axes
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