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Posts with tag hero-class

Lichborne: 3 popular death knight requests that won't (or shouldn't) be fulfilled

Lichborne 3 popular death knight requests that won't or shouldn't be fulfilled TUES
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

Death knight complaints and requests can change with patches, dealing with current issues or balance problems, but there are other death knight requests that come up time and time again, and will probably be asked about until the day they finally shut down the servers for good.

This week, we're going to look at three requests that probably will be around that long, just because it seems very unlikely Blizzard will ever fulfill them.

The power of the hero class

The "hero class" moniker has a long and storied history. It comes from Warcraft III, where hero units like paladins and death knights towered over the rest. By design, you only had a few of these every game, and they had more powerful skills that allowed them to dominate the battlefield when deployed.

When WoW came around, rumors of the hero classes spread throughout beta, but in the end, Blizzard went away from the model. Paladins, a hero class in WCIII, were made a regular class, for example, while other hero class mechanics, such as the Far Seer's Chain Lightning, went to regular classes.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Would you want to see another hero class?

When World of Warcraft launched, we were told that one of the features that would make it into the game was the hero class, although at the time there was no definition of what, exactly, a hero class would be. We ultimately found out when Wrath of the Lich King gave us the game's first hero class, the Death Knight, a class that started at level 55 and had unique mechanics, blue gear to start with, and a starting experience unique to the class.

Neither Cataclysm nor Mists of Pandaria have introduced another hero class. The former instead chose to bring us two new races, the goblin and worgen, while Mists of Pandaria added the pandaren race and the monk class, but the monk starts at level 1 like any other class. Forum poster Lobster asked point blank if monks were a hero class, and the answer was a definitive no from Ghostcrawler.

Ghostcrawler - The Term "Hero Class"
"Hero class" meant that the DK started at higher level (and also with a lot of blue gear and so on). We thought it made sense for the DK story because you're treated as a high-level character and veteran of past events. We didn't think that made as much sense for the monk, especially when there were so many low-level pandaren running around, and the (perhaps flimsy) justification for non-pandaren monks learning how to be monks from the pandaren. We might very well use hero classes again if it makes sense for a future class though.


This got me thinking: do we want another hero class? Clearly, Blizzard isn't ruling it out. As the game continues, max level increased, and we all find ourselves having to get from 1 to an ever increasing number, the idea of starting at level 55 (as per the DK) or perhaps even higher starts to have some serious appeal.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

The Queue: Digital aspirin

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

As I write this, it's 1:00 a.m., it's hailing outside, and I'm awake with a skull-shattering headache. I could be asleep, but I love all of you too much to leave you Queueless. So here I am.

Today we'll discuss love, hero classes, WoW Insider raiders, and more.

Rai asked:

What is love?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

The Queue: Hard mode is hard

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mat McCurley will be your host today.

Ow. Ow, ow, ow. The pain, oh, the pain of it all. Heroics, my friends, are hard. Trash is hard, the bosses are hard, and my spirit was jostled from its happy Wrath of the Lich King foundations. Images of Shadow Labs darted through my mind. Heroic Mechanar called to me. Remember me, it spoke, remember me and weep the tears of a thousand failed runs. You are mine, it would proclaim. You have returned to the unhappy peninsula of the soul.

No, really, heroics are hard. I expect some tuning, but on the whole, there are challenges ahead for us in Cataclysm. On the one hand, I'm excited. I like challenge! On the other hand, I will never use the dungeon finder tool again. No offense.

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Filed under: The Queue

Will WoW ever have a 'DPS to heal' model?

We were just talking about it on today's podcast (thrill to the sound of three people barely awake trying to coherently discuss World of Warcraft) and hey, look, Ghostcrawler reads my mind from across the interwebs. Well, okay, no, he responded to a forum thread, but it's still interesting. Yes, interesting enough that I'm going to replicate the post here before discussing it. I am out of control, a renegade, I should hand in my posting badge and keyboard.

Ghostcrawler - Re: What's wrong with an Active Mana Regen Model?
I'm not sure we'd ever do a "deal damage to heal" model. It might work for new classes, but feels like a big change to existing classes that players know and love.

Having choices to get mana back is good. Standing around to regen mana is bad.

However, we still ultimately need a way that healers who are playing badly, trying to keep alive an undergeared / underskilled tank, or just tackling content that they're not yet ready for, can run out of mana to the extent that the encounter is over.



Personally, I hope that 'it might work for new classes' statement means we'll finally get something like a Warhammer Warrior Priest. I'm still jazzed from seeing Diablo III's version of the Monk and I'd be thrilled if they created a cloth wearing, staff wielding, spirit and intellect utilizing melee healer. I'm sad that they've ruled it out for any current classes (man, it would rock for paladins in my opinion and would single handedly make me like that class) but I'm very hopeful we'll be monking it up in an expansion or two.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Tom Chilton retrospective interview on Wrath of the Lich King

There's an excellent interview with Tom Chilton, the World of Warcraft lead game designer, up on GameInformer. Lots of stuff we've heard before, but there are some interesting talking points. For example:
  • They are looking into extending the dungeon finder to 10-man content.
  • Chilton hinted that we may see a new boss in the Ruby Sanctum before Cataclysm launches
  • They have a "general philosophical approach of getting the hybrids to where they're close to the DPS classes when it comes to DPS roles. Otherwise, those specs just turn into joke specs."
  • They feel warlocks could use a boost to their DPS.
  • Tol Barad, the Cataclysm equivalent to Wintergrasp, will be more of a Isle of Quel'Danas style daily quest hub instead of a farming zone.
  • Before settling on death knights for Wrath of the Lich King's hero class, they specifically debated necromancers and rune-masters.
  • They feel that with all the accessibility work they did on end game PvE in Wrath, end game PvP has become harder to get into by comparison.
It's a three page interview, so click through to read the whole thing! What really struck me reading this was that comment about hybrid DPS compared to pure. This "hybrid tax" concept has been harped on by posters on the official forums for a long time now, and this is a fairly straightforward way of putting it.

Filed under: Blizzard, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

The Queue: Puppies


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

Puppies. Puppies.


Aliceness asked ...

"Where might Blizzard go in terms of (maybe) implementing a new class for the next expansion? What kind of class haven't we seen?"

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Filed under: The Queue, Cataclysm

If Cataclysm were to include a new class, what would it be?


This morning I want to play the hypothetical game a bit and talk about what would happen if Cataclysm included a new class. Not only what it would be, but how it would fit into the overall balance of WoW. And just to be clear, there won't be a new class in Cataclysm. Numerous Blizzard employees have stated that doing one new class an expansion would be too much work (paraphrased, don't go complain to your favorite blue that this was a direct quote).

The Death Knight in Wrath of the Lich King was the first class introduced to WoW, and it's inclusion in the game has had mixed reviews. Most folks agree that the class provided a great new element to play in the game, however its balance in raids and PvP is something that is constantly under the microscope. Ghostcrawler has mentioned numerous times that the Death Knight has taken up more time to balance in Wrath than any other class. This is problematic for numerous reasons, but has been able to be handled nicely by the designers and programmers (I'm sure there'll be some who disagree, however show some restraint in your disagreement).

So now for the hypothetical part -- if Blizzard were to introduce a new class in Cataclysm, I would suspect that it would be the healing counterpart to the Death Knight. Mechanics of the class would probably operate similar to the Death Knight's rune system: each small heal or heal over time would be castable based on an available rune, which would in turn generate runic power for larger heals. The class would rely less on spam type heals (such as the Paladin, to some extent), and more on preventative heals (such as the Druid, to some extent).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Cataclysm

The Queue: RaF'd dailies are delicious


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

I have to admit, o' faithful Queue readers, that I considered pawning off answering questions today to someone else so I could have more time to catch up on other work. Patch days can get quite busy around the WoW.com head quarters.

Last night for example. Alex, Mike Sacco, and I had heard that there was a new raid lockout extension feature in place, so we rushed onto the Patch 3.2 PTR to grab some screenshots. Of course that meant we had to deal with the thing crashing every few minutes. And once we finally did make it into ZG to get a quick boss kill, Sacco disconnected and the server announced a shutdown in 5 minutes. But hey, we got the kill off and the screenshots captured with 15 seconds left until the shutdown. We won!

Aideros asked...

"When are more "hero classes", like the Death Knight, coming out? What are the speculations? Has anything been said about them since WotLK?"

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, The Queue

GC's happy with healing in Ulduar

Ghostcrawler has appeared in two different threads talking about healing today, and the gist of it is that he's happy. He's happy with healing and the way it works in Ulduar: there's a good variety between boss fights and phases, there are intense moments and pauses in the action, and he says they've got things to a point where they like them. Later, he says that while in Naxx, you don't really have to warn the healer too much (you can basically tell them to heal the MT and leave it at that), Ulduar requires healers to get into the rhythm -- sometimes go all out, and sometimes hold back. He does say that too much mana is still an issue for them, and if anything gets nerfed in that department, Replenishment will. But he doesn't expect too many nerfs for a while.

That doesn't mean, of course, that the big healing update is out the window -- GC still hints that there are more changes in store for healing, and we'd bet coppers to gold that there are both mechanic changes and possibly even a hero class due for healers soon. But for now, healing is where they want it in the current content, and it sounds like most players agree.

Now, there's just PvP...

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Bosses

The Queue: That's a lot of J names


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

Last time on The Queue, I answered a question about potential hero classes. Zoidberg asked about Archdruids, but there wasn't a whole lot to say. It's a rumor, and a rumor without much weight behind it, just an interview comment taken out of context as the WoW community (yes, even WoW Insider sometimes) likes to do. Since answering that question, I've been thinking about it a little myself.

Do I, personally, think Archdruids will be the next hero class? Nah, I don't think so. Just the name is the big issue for me. Archdruid suggest Druid+ or Druid 2.0 and that's just not cool. You can differentiate them from Druids as much as you want, Archdruid still suggests that it's a better Druid. That's pretty awful. Even if the new hero class (if there is a new hero class) has all of the features we'd expect from an Archdruid, it'll probably be called something else. Maybe a Keeper or something like that.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue

The Queue: Archdruids? Nahh. Okay, maybe.


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

Apparently I missed a Doctor Who reference in one of the questions I answered yesterday. Maybe? Heck if I know. If you're looking for our resident Doctor Who nerd, direct your references to Elizabeth Harper. They go way over my head.

Zoidberg asked...

A while ago, we heard some rumors about a new hero class called archdruid. (Or something like that.) What do we know about these guys? Is this a possibility for the 4.0 hero class?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, The Queue

Death Knight's Death Grip as crowd control


I haven't played a Death Knight on the live realms yet (I leveled one through the starting experience during the beta, and am only 79 so far on my main), but I have grouped with quite a few of them now, and the ability that real stands out to me and others seems to be Death Grip. A lot of the other Death Knight abilities are just new versions of other classes' spells, but Death Grip is a pretty new mechanic -- instead of charging or jumping away from a mob, you're bringing the mob to you. And with all new mechanics, players have found new ways to play with them. As you can see in the video above, Death Grip, when chained by a few Death Knights, can even be used as crowd control.

I've seen it used in a few other wild ways, too -- it works great as an interrupt, and when combined with a Hunter trap, it's finally a reliable way to trap ranged attackers and casters. And most of the Death Knights I've seen use it for pulling -- they suck the caster in from a group, and the rest of the mobs come with, and group right up for AoE. And I haven't even been to any PvP matches with Death Knights yet -- I imagine the uses there are even more hilarious, not to mention that I'd be yelling "Get over here!" every time I hit it. Very fun mechanic for the new Hero class.

Thanks, Michael!

Filed under: Fan stuff, PvP, Humor, Raiding, Classes, Buffs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: Don't you mean the *healer* shortage?

I wrote a Breakfast Topic recently concerning the somewhat ambivalent effect that Death Knights were having on the usual tanking shortage, but wasn't too surprised to see a lot of people (perhaps most) write in to note that the healer shortage on their realms was even worse. Leveling as a healer -- even with all the changes to spellpower and shared gear -- is an unattractive proposition for most, and a lot of people who healed at 70 want the chance to do something different. Past a certain point you'd give anything to be doing something that doesn't involve staring at a series of dropping health bars, and that doesn't lend itself to a large and willing population of healers cheerfully offering their services for 5-man use in LFG.

My main's a Druid and I PuG a lot, so I have the luxury of being able to observe which spec is the most wanted for 5-mans (at least on my realm). As soon as dual specs become available, I'm going to have a PvE tanking and PvE healing spec set up and ready to go -- and after that, I'm going to keep a little notebook and tally how many times I get asked by a group to heal, and how many times I'm asked to tank ("But what if someone wants you to DPS?" you ask. What is this "dee pee ess" you speak of, strange one?). With an increasing number of Death Knights reaching 80, I'm willing to bet that the demand for healers is going to be even greater than it is right now, and that increasing pressure is going to be exerted on hybrid tanks (i.e. Druids and Paladins) to maintain a healing spec and gear in order to ensure that groups get off the ground faster than they do right now. I could be wrong, but I'd also be lying if that wasn't the dominant trend back on Wrath's beta with respec costs at 1c and a ton of Death Knights at 80.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Features, Leveling, Classes

A Death Knight with pink pigtails

Ever since we heard way back at BlizzCon last year that Death Knights would be available for all races, the lament has been heard: Gnome Death Knights will ruin it for everyone else. Death Knights are, by their very nature, supposed to be pale and scary and imposing, and given the fact that there are bound to be a ton of Gnome Death Knights out there just for hilarity's sake, the Death Knight starting area is going to look more like a nursery than a gothic bed of evil.

But will it really ruin the lore? Daniel already pointed out very insightfully that Gnomes definitely have a dark side -- we all seem to overlook the fact that Gnomes can be Warlocks, and that doesn't make the Felguard they send after you any less scary. And while yes, on launch day, there'll be a lot of Gnome DKs running around (the starting areas will be chaos no matter what gets rolled), after that it should settle down for sure. After all, if Gnomes were all people wanted to play, we'd never see Humans or Dwarves on the realms, and there are plenty of those.

So I'm all for Gnome Death Knights, pigtails or otherwise. If nothing else, it'll give us Horde something to laugh at -- right before we go in for the kill.

Filed under: Gnomes, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Humor, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

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