There was an interesting thread on the WoW forums the other day, speculating about a new hero class. Believe it or not, it was actually a mostly constructive post, with many cool ideas. It got me thinking about what a Her Healer Class could be like, and I came up with some ideads for one.
IT WOULD NEED TO...
Every class in WoW has to be able to solo content, and do respectable damage. This class would be no different.
The playstyle should be highly involving and immersive. Death Knights are the precedent. They are easy to play badly, but quite involved to play extremely well.
It can not be a Frankenstien of existing healing classes. A new class that drops totems, shifts forms, and has a bubble would not work. It has to be something very very different than current healers.
I have no idea what to call this thing. Rumor at one point was that the next hero class would be the ArchDruid. That name won't work, sounds too much like Druid.
- It would be a melee class. This is not so much for any raid or overall game class balance reason, but for the style of game play. As you read more about it, you may agree that the playstyle would be nicely suited for melee.
- It is not a tanking class, and would have no tanking abilities per se. It would be viable for soloing the same as any other non-tanking class/spec. Mages for example can't really tank, but do just fine leveling up.
- There would be no 'dps tree', 'healing tree', etc. This is somewhat like Death Knights now. With DKs, although one tree or another may be favored for DPS or tanking, all contain workable DPS and tanking talents. The Hero Heal Class would be simliar in that respect.
- All damage done would also do an amount of healing. Perhaps a 1:1 ratio for 'white damage' would work, with specials doing larger amounts of heal per damage.
- Play would involve building combo points of a sort, with 'finishing moves', or specials, resulting in larger specific heals. Some would heal over time, sone would be instant direct heals. Some would heal a single target, others would heal multiple targets.
- Heals would directed by use of 'Marks'. A single player can be marked, such as a tank, to recieve the full benefit of each heal. Or up to a specific number of players could be marked, perhaps 3, in which case each would recieve 1/3 of the total healing output. Or, if nobofy is marked, either the entire raid or 10 closest players recieve an equal portion of the healing output.
Again, none of these talent trees would be a 'heal tree', a 'dps tree', etc. Unfortunately, I have not come up with good descriptive names for each without using terms that already mean something else in WoW. Halp meh!
I hate to call this Restoration. That makes it sounds like 'the healing tree' which it would not be. I can't think of a better name for it though.
The idea behind this tree is that everyone in the raid can do more of whatever they are doing as a direct result of the Hero Healer.
- This tree would include talents that restore not health, but other players' mana, runic power, energy, and rage.
- There would be a talent giving an ability that temporarily increases the regeneration rate of each, perhaps as a finishing move.
- There would be a talent that restores a flat percentage of each, again perhaps as a finishing move, and/or as a static 'aura' type of buff.
Well, Enhancement sure would be a good name for this tree, but that has already been used, and means something else.
The purpose of this tree would be to enhance other players' dps/healing/mitigation, etc.
Permanent passive auras would provide buffs in the same way that other auras do, such as Moonkin aura, etc. These buffs would have to be something new, something we don't already have. Things like spell power, haste, etc, are already in the game. I have not worked out what exactly these buffs would be.
This could be the hardest tree to get creative in designing.
Some buffs would be for specific selected targets. A buff on a tank would increase their threat, where the same buff on another target would decrease it.
Other talents could buff baseline attributes, like giving rogues another 5 max energy for 105 instead of 100, or mana users a flat percentage increase to their mana pool, or rage users another 5 max rage.
This would be a bit like the Priest Discipline Tree. The talents here would generally reduce the effect of bad stuff on the raid, and/or individuals in the raid.
- "Phase Shift" would probably be the big one here. It would phase shift one or more people, making them immune to pretty much everything for a few seconds, whille still able to heal/dps/tank. One version would be used on a tank, as sort of a super bubble. Another version would be used on the 10 closest players. Each would only last a few seconds.
- Another talent, "All For One", would cause damage taken by the target to be equally distributed across all players in the raid. Tank takes a 100k hit in a 10 man raid for example. Instead, all 10 players get hit for 10k. This would be on a significant cooldown, and only last maybe 3 seconds.
Much like the current hero class Death Knights, our new Hero Healer class would operate under a multiple bar/status system. There would not simply be a mana bar, or an energy bar.
In a blatant ripoff of the Death Knight rune system, there would be a crystal system. There would be a number of crystals that discharge with use, and gradually restore themselves with time. There would be perhaps 10-12. Talents would increase the number to maybe 16. These would be required to use many key abilities. They would all be the same, unlike the Blood/Unholy/Frost runes a DK uses. Talents would also increase the regen rate, as well as player stats (like spirit increases many players' mana regen rate).
In what looks like another blatant DK ripoff, but actually isn't, there would be a bar that charges up as other abilities are used. The "Potency Bar". Many abilities would become more powerful at higher levels of potency. This bar would quickly decay when not being recharged, and would have no upper limit (like 100 energy). Perhaps it wouldn't even be a bar, but something like a gauge. The Potency Bar would also not be a direct source for any abilities; there would be no 'Potency dump'. Its sole purpose is to amplify abilities, not to power them.
Our Hero Healer would build combo points. Max points would be much higher than 5, because we are going to get in to some razzle dazzle here. Many abilities would add combo points like a rogue does. However, combo points also decay at a preset rate of perhaps 1 every 2 seconds. Use it or lose it! Combined with the Potency system and it's decay, this would make for a very active, involved playstyle.
STATS AND GEAR
This is where it starts to get weird, and maybe very interesting.
Does WoW need another plate wearing melee class? Probably not.
Does WoW need another cloth wearing mana user? Definitely not. Heck this new class doesn't even have a mana bar.
So then, what type of armor should they be able to wear? Well, it is a hero class. Let's say for now that they can wear any type of armor. Which is the same as saying they wear plate. However, the stats desired by the class would very likely lead to many gear choices that are not plate. Since they can not tank, and have strong heals, they wouldn't *need* plate for anything. ZOMG TEH HEROO ROOLT ON MAH GAERS! Relax.
What stats would be useful to this class? Here is where it gets interesting... Any base stats would provide some type of usefulness! And I don't mean like how Intellect is useful to a rogue if they are leveling a weapon skill, but actually really useful. After all, this is a HERO class we are talking about!
Stamina: Increases hitpoints of course. Also effectiveness increases any health-related abilties, including all healing.
Strength: Increases attack power, which in turn means more healing output. Also enhances some shielding type abilities.
Agility: Increases chance to hit, the hero is more agile thus less likely to miss. Also slightly decreases the global cooldown of some abilities.
Intellect: The hero's increased mental faculties result in slower decay of Potency and Crystals.
Spirit: Increases the chance of abilities that cause gains to Potency or Crystals to 'proc'. Also increases the effectiveness of restorative abilities that grant other players mana/rage/energy/runic power.
Armor: Increases the effectiveness of many damage reducing abilities.
This would make for some interesting and complex gear choices. Lets ignore for a minute the potential drama of other classes getting bent out of shape because someone is rolling against them for 'their' loot. Please.