The Next WoW Hero Class

Ages ago I wrote an article about what I’d like to see in the next World of Warcraft expansion. I never mentioned any hero classes in it though and since then I’ve been thinking about what the next one should be.

I think Blizzard have inadvertently backed themselves into a corner by setting a precedent of having hero classes start at level 55 and be available to every race. This, in my opinion, kinda kills the whole point of race selection and it’s especially jarring that Death Knights can belong to absolutely any race but other classes can’t. Are Blizzard going to keep doing the same with every new hero class until eventually we have a handful of them that are completely ubiquitous whilst the old classes aren’t? My gut feeling is that the next WoW expansion will see two new hero classes, each limited to certain races, both starting at level 55 (or 65 even).

People are predicting the next hero class to be a healer which, I suppose, makes sense. Maybe it’s my lack of imagination but I just can’t think of any decent healing classes to introduce that would offer anything new to the game that doesn’t already exist. Warcraft has caster healers, melee healers and hybrid healers already so I can’t think of much else to add. I’m sure Blizzard will come up with something though and make it awesome, as they always do.

Fire and swords, a healthy combination

Fire and swords, a healthy combination

What I would really like to see for the next WoW hero class though is DPS and, in fact, a class that already exists in the game as a form of a NPC – the Pyromancer. Something about the idea of a cloth wearing caster who hurls fireballs and wields a huge two-handed sword really appeals to me. I know, complete Herald of Xotli rip-off (but I’m gonna remind you of all the old adage “good artists copy, great artists steal”) but I think it would be quite a new and exciting class for World of Warcraft.

I like the concept of glass canon classes but I’ve never been much of a fan of finger-wigglers because they remind me too much of the old cliché wizard running around in a dress with a pointed hat. When I first heard about the HoX in Age of Conan, however, I was excited because it sounded like such a new and unique class. Why wouldn’t a mage carry a big sword, imbued by demonic spirits? It makes such perfect sense.

I’m sure Blizzard could come up with some exciting mechanisms for the Pryomancer but the talent trees themselves would be pretty obvious. One talent tree for close up melee with swords, one tree for fire spells and one for, um, I dunno, DPS buffing or something to make them useful on raids. Although I love the idea of the transforming into a demon ala the HoX,  I don’t think it would make so much sense in the context of the Warcraft lore.

Whilst the Pyromancer hero class may not truly be a work of intellectual originality, I think it would be a fun addition to WoW and something a little different from the bog-standard Warrior or Rogue. Plus let’s not forget that Sunhawk Pyromancers existed in Warcraft long before Age of Conan was ever released.

So, what hero classes would you like to see?

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44 Comments

  1. Melmoth says:

    I’d like to see a crowd control and debuff/buff support class. Blizzard have moved away from the need to crowd control by allowing groups to power through content thanks to very powerful end-game talents.

    Classes like City of Heroes’ Controller can be a lot of fun, and given a talent tree that allows them to DPS more at the expense of control, they would be viable solo as well.

    It would obviously require Blizzard to change their current dungeon strategy to allow for more tactical play, rather than the current steam-roller strategy of the tank/healer combination staving off large groups of mobs while the DPS take them down.

    It could, however, bring something fresh to the game. Rather than simply repeating one of the standard classes.

    I do like your idea of the Pyromancer class though, the Herald of Xotli was a great deal of fun in AoC.

  2. Beej says:

    I don’t really care about what the hero class is as long as it’s a healer. And the more unique its abilities and style of healing, the better.

    However, after reading MMO Champion last night, I don’t expect a hero class at all. I expect two new neutral races: Worgen and Goblin. I think both of these races will be available to both factions, which will be a very interesting way of approaching factions, especially when considering the faction change they recently announced. It would make sense that announcement would come before they actually make a cross-faction race.

    http://www.mmo-champion.com/index.php?topic=79546.0

  3. Andrew says:

    “Warcraft has caster healers, melee healers and hybrid healers already”

    Name a melee healer in WoW. WAR has melee healers, but *ALL* WoW healers stand back and heal from range by design.

    WoW’s healers are actually mostly generic now… there used to be single target healers (paladin), AOE healers (shaman), DoT healers (druids), and well-rounded healers (priests)….. but much of the differentiation went away with WotLK.

  4. Andrew says:

    Oh, and I should mention that if you like the magic/melee combination, try an enhancement shaman – they’re very similar to the core design for the pyromancer that you proposed. And they’re a pile of fun to play.

  5. Jesse says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised to a see a Rune Keeper-like healer show up as a healer class. Warcraft does have prior art, and plenty of ’stolen’ art to work with from Warhammer for this sort of class. They could also reuse the rune system from Death Knights this way.

  6. Draxi says:

    Since I started playing NWN2 again I fell in love with monks so I would really love a cloth wearing melee dps/tank(maintained avoidance tanking) or melee dps/healer. What I would also like to see in WoW is a bard like character, part rogue, part mage, with great buffs, although the playstyle will probably be a lot like shamies. A final interesting class would be a control oriented dps caster, much like the mesmer of Guild Wars, multi target CC or single target CC and damage to boot… I really want to see clothies dominate rogues in PvP, lol.

    • Gordon says:

      I’d love to see a Monk in WoW but I highly doubt – it just doesn’t fit in with their lore and they’ve never done anything like it in any of the other Warcraft games to set a precedent for it.

      Same goes for CC. Again, I’d love to see the mechanic but I reckon Blizzard want to keep the game “simple” for folk.

  7. HamSlamwich says:

    I’d love to see a Runemaster class only available to taurens and dwarves…a monk like character that uses a similar resource system as a Deathknight

  8. Twan says:

    I think that the next WoW expansion will see one new hero classe starting at level 65. I too would like to see a CC class like the enchanter from EQ1.

    Taken from wiki:
    Enchanter: A caster class that has few hit points per level and can wear only the lightest forms of armor, Enchanters are crowd control experts and are the most proficient class at Charming, Stunning, and Mesmerizing enemies. They have the ability to Memory Blur an opponent (causing them to forget they were being attacked) or Pacify an opponent (making them oblivious to antagonists in the area), both of which may be extremely useful in avoiding unwanted skirmishes. Enchanters also have a wide range of utility spells, including the Clarity (AKA “crack”) line of spells, which when cast on a player allows them to regenerate mana at an improved rate. In addition to being able to both increase players’ rate of attack (with the Haste line of spells), and Slowing that of enemies, Enchanters may also cast Illusions on themselves and others, which may have no real benefit (other than conferring a new look) or may grant tangible benefits such as underwater breathing, flight, or a vampiric touch. Lastly, Enchanters possess the unique Rune line of spells, which creates a magical protective buffer against all forms of damage until it is has worn down.

    • Gordon says:

      The Enchanter in EQ1 was awesome although it become too necessary to have in groups. You would spend hours trying to find a tank, a healer and then CC. I can understand why Blizzard didn’t go for it. Still, would be nice to have :)

      • Jukesie says:

        Since the expansions have run on now, (only just found this blog), and more Hero classes look unforthcoming I would just like to add my 2cp worth.

        I second the idea of an Enchanter, and yes certainly plucked straight from EQ1, was and always will be my favourite class. Second to that would have to be another EQ1 classic, the Monk! I would suggest as per your suggestion, a healing monk. AoE healing, through a prayer type dealie. Yes Buddist or Hindu Monk idea. but also back to hand to hand combat, knuckle dusters, or flaming fists :) Feign death, flying kicks the works…bring back the Monkies :) shame you could add the extra cool fun or corpse dragging on those LONG runs down Sebalis :D good times!

  9. Veksar says:

    I think and hope that blizzard will not add any new classes to the game for this expansion, and hopefully they don’t add any new classes at all. They are already, having a nightmarish time trying to balance the game with the current classes.
    The way that wow is designed (talent trees) Blizzard is in effect trying to blance something like 30 classes rather than the 10 that already exist. I think adding a new class is something that is interesting and brings a certain level of freshness to the game, but I don’t think it’s worth introducing even more balancing issues.

  10. kurt says:

    An introduction of a ‘Beastmaster’ or ‘Necromancer’ would be awesome. While both of these classes would offer pet orriented DPS, they will also difer from similar classes like the Hunter and Warlock. Perhaps the Beastmaster would be a mele DPS and will be only capable of equiping two one-handed weapons, while his pet fights from a ranged perspective (opposite of hunters). The Necromancer would deal out most of his damage using multiple summoned minions. Maybe the Necro will also be able to heavily debuff the enemy, as well as support-heal by draining enemies lives and returning that health to party members (similar to priests’ vampiric embrace/Deathknights’ blood aura/etc). Just an idea, although another CCer would be nice as well.

    • Gordon says:

      I’ve love to see either a Beastmaster or Necro too but I doubt we’ll see them as they are just too similar to the Hunter and Warlock. I really want to see a Berserker for instance but it’s too similar to a Warrior. I think the Talent Trees are a double edged-sword. They give a lot of class flexibility but also mean don’t leave much else left to cover.

  11. Cody says:

    For a new class i would like to see a Pole-arm wielding, dragon taming, jumping, BAMF. Much like dragoons from the final fantasy series. If you look in your history books, you will see that actual dragoons irl, were infantry trained to ride in on horses and jump into the fray, they were also trained in mounted combat. Think of it a low damage dps class that can attack while mounted, but also has a dragon pet to help his dps out. In terms of race (and on the subject of dragon) I want to see the Red dragon flight, as turning into a dragon would be epic. If they do an emerald dream expansion, adding the red dragonflight would be perfect! Because they are the protecters of the ED.

  12. LOL says:

    “A cloth wearing caster that weilds a huge 2 handed sword and hurles fireballs”. LOL, besides the sword, its called a mage dumbass.

  13. LOL says:

    and btw a necromancer is basically a death knight…seriously makes me want to cry and laugh at the same time…

  14. Suburbankid says:

    I would like to see something like a “elementalist”. A class that can summon all forms of elementals, such as fire, ice, earth. This class will have the ability to summon multiple elementals (around 2-6). The only thing is they would have different warrior/death knight stances, where they boost their resistances to that elemental type, and can only summon elementals of that stance.

    As for the damaging aspect, I think all their abilities would revolve around buffs that can buff the group, and buff their summoned elementals. Buff like this (+300 fire damage on each attack) or (+400hp) but most likely will be used for buffs like (+20 ice resistance).I also feel they should be able to have access to 2 healing abilities (a hot and FoL type heal that ONLY heals their elemental). But back to the damaging part, they will have NO damaging spells, mostly buffs, and their elementals will do all the damage.

    Im still kindy “iffy” about the armor. I think it would be appropriate for them to have high armor considering they have no damaging spells, and will mostly be used for buffs and crappy heals.

    For talent trees, have one tree for each element, simple.

    Raiding is where they really shine. They will have many buffs, their pets will dps and they will be great OTs or MTs. This is why elementalists should be able to wear mail or plate because (like the DK) they will probably have a passive ability that gives 30-40% of the players stamina/strength/intellect to their pet.

    This also brings me to another topic, what type of resources should they use (mana, energy,rage). I believe they should just use mana but since they only use buffs, the only reason you would want to stack intellect/SP would be for their elemental’s benefit.

    In BGs I can imagine them being useful, but since im not much of a PvP guy I haven’t thought about it alot.

    Ok now im gonna go into extreme detail about their elementals. The elementalist’s elementals will have a LARGE range of spells. They will be able to cast and use melee abilities. Abilities like frost bolt, fire bolt, and earth shock will cover the range aspect. Melee abilities like Lava Lash, Icy touch, Earth Strike (<—— made that one up ^^) will cover the melee aspect. But what about tanking abilities? Well I believe they should have something like runestrike and an ability spell like Righteous Fury. Also, since you will summon multiple elementals, you might think multiple petbars. But I think there will be 2 different spell types, one for melee, and one for a range elemental, resulting in 2 petbars. Elementals should also have a mana tap ability when they run out of mana, so they can retrieve mana from you, or an enemy (another reason to stack intellect).

    Anyway, this is my veiw on the elementalist, a class I COMPLETELY MADE UP! I realize my grammar/spelling and my sequencing was quite bad, but it got the point across. Share your ideas with me, or improve my ideas.

    • Gordon says:

      Very interesting :) Sounds a bit like the Magician in EQ – a very fun and unique class who was all about summoning pets and items.

      The issue WoW has now is that it’s combined a lot of classes into one. Like a Mage = Wizard + Magician or Hunter = Ranger + Beastmaster.

  15. cody says:

    How bout the spell stealers from, WC3 they had huge shields double edged swords and used magic only for defence, debuffing, etc.

  16. Emryn says:

    Let’s hope the new hero class is the dragonmage! They’re already present in the literature, and we’d be able to choose which flight we came from

  17. Wolfshead says:

    Here’s a link to an article I penned earlier in 2009 about the next WoW hero class:

    http://www.wolfsheadonline.com/?p=1294

    • Gordon says:

      Great article, thanks for the link. And very apt analysis! I’m inclined to agree with you. I think we’ll see 2 new hero classes in the next expansion to try and combat this idea of hero classes being available to every race.

  18. riganomic says:

    So 2 ideas I have for hero classes at this point are as follows:

    1: The Witch doctor: I imagine this class specializing in all sorts of hexes and aoe damage but with a twist. For a fun combat system I think it would be cool if there spells worked like the canon fire targeting system off of a siege vehicle. A class that didn’t lock on but did pure aoe healing and damage would be a great new addition to the game. It would be original and fun! I can see them now hurling there mad concocions into area’s of the battle to create haste clouds, mana regen clouds, poison clouds, exploding potions and all sorts of cool abilities.

    2. The illusionist: If you have ever played a recent final fantacy game, think green mage. These masters of trickery would make the mind games of a shadow priest seem like child’s play. With there powerful sway over the human mind, ths powerful caster could have misdirect abilities, mind control workings, and all sorts of other interesting spells that confused the enemy.

    • Gordon says:

      Great ideas!

      I think the problem Blizzard faces is that their classes cover too many roles. This makes them hard to balance and also hard to introduce new ideas. For instance, one could argue that The Witch Doctor is too similar to the existing Shaman and the Illusionist too similar to the Mage or Warlock. Nice ideas though :)

      • Andrew says:

        I agree, with duel spec now there is almost no room for new material, I think they should’nt have added duel spec, and they should have respecs cost like 100g and for the next hero class i would like to see a mail wearing tank/healer, also it comes to mind that Blizz might want the runic system to be consistent and unique to hero classes, so all hero classes might use them.

  19. Ezra says:

    please World of Warcraft………..I want to see a new hero class…plsssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. dsfsdf says:

    i would like to see a Demonhunter as a new hero class

  21. Jared Briggs says:

    I would like to see a Naturalist class, where you can still the soul of the enemies you fight. After stealing their soul, you can then shapeshift into that creature. It would be like when you control your pet as a hunter, but instead on controlling, you become the pet. The talent tress would mimic pet trees, but more detailed. Also, depending on what tree you choose you get different armor. If you choose the tank tree, you get mail/plate (lvl 40), if you choose the dps tree, you get cloth/leather (lvl 40), and if you choose balanced you get leather/mail (lvl 40).

  22. Mr Idea says:

    I believe that the illusionist idea owuld be great. It could work like the rogues stealth, the victim has a chance to see through the illusion, but will likely fall for it. They could summon illusionary pets, make themselves stronger and alsmost tank like while a certain illusion works, and could clone themselves (only an illusion). The clones wouldn’t do any damage, but it would trick the target into attacking the worng one!

  23. suckfish says:

    I was playing 7 this morning fightin a bomb, I want something of an Animist from DaoC but with the good ol’ ff bombs, instead of phosphorescence, hell yeah, boobs

  24. james says:

    i would like to see a necro, i think guild wars did a nice job with thier necro. If not a new hero class then maybe give each existing class a new talent tree to play with. locks could summon multiple demons to fight which would cancel out my necro idea. mages could get a lightning tree. i would also think it would be interesting to see a dk heal through dark magic, dks started out as a pally so i think should be able to heal. just some ideas don’t know how well bliz could incorporate them with the existing game but give ppl something new to try.

  25. Limes says:

    i think a rune-master type of caster/healer with melee dps would be cool though i want a pirate class in the game….add a new weapon type…pistols hell yeah lol can use fist weapons swords and pistols

  26. Limes says:

    another cool class would be like a mime or something that mimics other classes like have the talent trees one has the ability to mimic melee classes the other healing the other dps that would be cool and weird like have abilities close to a judgment then use warriors spin after using divine storm… yeah kinda op i would make it not as good as any specific class its strength is it can be everything or “more” than what a druid does and its weakness it doesn’t do anything as good as the specific classes kinda like druid in that flaw..

  27. Yarrrggghhh says:

    PIRATES !!!! yes plz pirate class pirate class I LOVE IT !!!

  28. my pick says:

    personally i think they should add a necromancer like class you know they have sorta a hunter like ability where after they kill a humanoid then they can raise it as a minion and keep it i think it would be real cool they would have a talent tree that focuses on making your minion a super strong near invincible bad a@! a tree that would be ment for the necromancers curses to make it easier to take enemies down and a tree that would focus on their own survivability and they would only be availible to two races the undead (for obvious reasons)
    and the worgen (dont have a reason other than i want the class to be availible to alliance too) i think it would be a bad a!@ class i know cataclysm already came out and we didnt get a hero class but im talking about the next expansion it would make the game feel fresh again

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