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What classes should WoW have been designed with?

One of the interesting things about converting a real-time strategy game series into a MMO is how the units of the game are converted to playable classes -- or aren't converted, in some cases. While some heroes or units are folded into the classes like Far Seers into shaman and others make it straight into the game like paladins or death knights, others will make it in more as components or abilities sometimes not even given to the thematically suitable class. Such was the case when mages gained the signature Mirror Image from the blademaster hero class instead of warriors, who would seem to be the most appropriate match.

Reading over this post on Scrolls of Lore about the Demon Hunter got me wondering again about these elements' making it into the game. Several posters mentioned that quite a few demon hunter-themed abilities have made their way into the warlock toolkit, making a separate demon hunter class redundant and unlikely. It's a fair point, and it's mirrored in other places.

Mages in WoW make a specific archmage class unlikely. Paladins have pretty much absorbed the knight unit into themselves. Warriors are getting abilities reminiscent of the Mountain King and Tauren Chieftain heroes. At this point in the game's existence, with 11 classes come Mists of Pandaria, are we likely to see any more introduced? Is it better that the trappings of the RTS make it into the MMO at all, or do they have to come packaged with the heroes and units that made us love them?

Parceling out abilities

I'm a huge blademaster fan. I wanted blademasters to exist as a playable class when I first started playing World of Warcraft, and after I got settled into the warrior, I felt it was obvious which class bladesmasters were. The fact that warriors ended up with Bladestorm would to some degree seem to indicate I was right. But we sure didn't get Wind Walk or Mirror Image, and I especially always disliked that.

Likewise, quite a few of my friends wanted to play as a sentinel, or a demon hunter, and you just can't. It's especially strange to them to see the demon hunter toolkit being pieced out to warlocks, a class night elves can't even play, when the demon hunter is so specifically a night elf hero unit. It would be like not letting humans be riflemen, a classic Warcraft III unit, which they now more or less can by playing a hunter.

It definitely seems that between the lore Montoya posted and the slew of abilities warlocks are getting that demon hunters would be a good addition to the game -- and it also seems that they've been added to the game with demo warlocks. As weird as it may seem to have a demon hunter who can't be a night elf, it's hard to say what a stand-alone demon hunter class would get to do that warlocks don't. This is pretty much the same reason I doubt we'll ever see a blademaster or far seer class; they've just been too thoroughly dissected and absorbed into the classes we already have.

Back to the days of segregation?

I do find myself wondering if it would have been better to have not had some classes like warriors and rogues and instead had blademasters, demon hunters, mountain kings and so on as classes out of the gate. Of course, the problem there is that those units are very dependent on racial origin. Would we have wanted to see non-orc blademasters? How can you even have a non-tauren chieftain? Or would we have wanted to segregate these classes by racial origin so thoroughly that the original difficulty in designing raids with either shaman or paladins, but not both, became even more acute? One can easily imagine certain fights becoming much easier for the faction with demon hunters.

So let's leave it up to you, then. What classes do you think we should have gotten? What classes do you wish the game had launched with or incorporated over the past few years, instead of or in addition to the ones it has? And do you think there's room for more? What should they be, if so?

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

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