My BlizzCon Wishlist: Technomage Hero Class
I’ll admit it, I’m more than a tad envious of those of you who will be heading out to the big show this weekend. The Pink Kitty and I had a semi-serious discussion yesterday about whether we could swing a trip to California next year, with cautiously optimistic results. Now, with BlizzCon less than 2 days away (and with me something like 2000 miles away from BlizzCon), I’ve begun to consider what exactly I’d like to see revealed about World of Warcraft over the next few days.
Call me crazy, but I think it’s time for another hero class. Burning Crusade saw two new races, Wrath of the Lich King saw a new class, Cataclysm saw two new races … guess what’s next in that pattern.
Maybe it’ll never happen again, given how many issues Blizzard had with balancing Death Knights at the beginning of WotLK. But if it does, here’s what I want to see:
NEW HERO CLASS: THE TECHNOMAGE
Like WoW’s first Hero Class, the Technomage will start at level 55, and will be available to all races for both the Alliance and Horde. The Technomage will be a plate-wearing class with tanking, healing, and damage-dealing trees. The tanking tree will use Strength based plate, whereas both the healing and DPS trees will use Intellect plate. The DPS tree will have a Spirit-to-Hit conversion talent similar to those of Balance Druids, Elemental Shaman, and Shadow Priests.
The Protection Tree
The “class-defining” ability of the Protection Tree will be the Battle Suit, which is a stance that increases threat generation and decreases damage taken when it is active. The stance will alter the Technomage’s appearance, encasing her in a metal suit so that only her weapon and shield are visible.
“Zap” is the Technomage’s taunt ability. The Technomage shoots an electrical charge at an enemy forcing it to attack her, but has no effect if the enemy is already attacking her. Choosing the Protection talent tree will automatically grant this ability to the Technomage, along with her Battle Suit.
“Eye beams” shoot from the Battle Suit’s eyes, blinding an enemy target for 6 seconds. While “blinded” the target is unable to move or attack (closer to a stun that a Rogue’s Blind). This is the Protection tree’s first activated ability and it has a 1 minute cooldown.
“Ignite Shield” encases the Technomage’s shield in flames, causing it to hit an enemy target and burn them for fire damage over 16 seconds. This DoT, “Burning” can stack up to 3 times and causes a high amount of threat.
“Inoculation” is the second activated ability in the Protection tree. It increases all healing done to the Technomage by 30% for 20 seconds, and also instantly heals the Technomage for 15% of her maximum health. Inoculation has a 3 minute cooldown.
“Charged Shield” fills the Protection Technomage’s shield with electrical energy, increasing her attack speed and causing her Ignite Shield ability to hit up to 3 nearby targets, applying the “Burning” DoT to all targets hit. Charged Shield lasts for 15 seconds and has a 3 minute cooldown. This is the final activated ability in the Protection talent tree.
The Electrical Tree
The Electrical Technomage’s “class-defining” ability is the Battle Bot. The Battle Bot is a ranged pet, which can be summoned once every 3 minutes. The Battle Bot requires a resource called Charge to use its offensive abilities, and Charge is built through damaging attacks the Technomage casts on her enemies.
“Drench” is an ability used by the Battle Bot which places a debuff on the enemy target. The Battle Bot soaks its target in water, causing increased spell critical chance (a debuff which is, currently, painfully difficult to find in most raids as it is only provided by Warlocks and Fire Mages).
“Bombshell” is the Electrical Technomage’s damage over time spell, and also does initial damage to the enemy target it hits. This is the Electrical tree’s first activated ability. The bomb explodes on impact and causes the target to burn for fire damage over 12 seconds. It does not have a cooldown, and can be talented to spread to additional targets within 10 yards.
“Electrocute” is the Technomage’s primary nuke. It does not have a cooldown and does electrical damage, which checks the lower of the target’s resistances to nature and fire spells. Electrocute also grants charge to the Technomage’s Battle Bot. This attack will do additional damage against targets with the “Drenched” debuff.
“Detonate” consumes all applications of the Bombshell DoT on enemy targets, causing a giant explosion and hitting all other enemies within range for area of effect damage. This will be the Electrical tree’s second activated ability, and will have a 20 second cooldown.
“Overload” is the final activated ability in the Electrical talent tree. Overload is an ability the Technomage casts on an enemy target, dealing Electrical damage, causing her Battle Bot to gain charge, and forcing the Battle Bot to Overload itself. While in an Overloaded state, the Battle Bot will do double its normal damage with the Charge cost of its spells reduced by half for 20 seconds. At the end of those 20 seconds, however, the Battle Bot will die. Overload is instant cast with no cooldown.
The Medical Tree
Choosing the Medical talent tree grants the Technomage an additional resource, called Repair. The Technomage gains Repair by casting her direct healing spells which will include a slow small heal, a slow large heal, and a fast expensive heal. The Medical Technomage’s special healing spells will consume Repair, and will increase healing done based upon how much Repair she has at the time of casting.
“Bio-bots” is the Medical tree’s “class-defining” ability. Bio-bots is a physical (i.e. non-dispellable) debuff/buff which can be placed either on an enemy or a friendly target. The Bio-bots leech a very small amount of enemy health and convert it to Repair. If the Technomage chooses to cast Bio-bots on a friendly target, the target will be healed for a small percentage of his health every 3 seconds, but Bio-bots will no longer grant the Technomage any Repair.
“Sanitize” is the Technomage’s dispell ability. This spell will be trainable by all 3 specs, and will remove one Poison or one Disease effect. Medical Technomages will be able to talent this ability so that it can dispell one Magic debuff from a friendly target as well.
“Mana draught” reduces the mana cost of the Technomage’s healing spells by 30%, but slowly drains Repair while activated. Lasts for 9 seconds, and has a 3 minute cooldown. This is the Technomage’s first activated ability in the Medical tree.
“Cauterize” is a 2 second, channeled, single-target heal which consumes Repair and reduces incoming damage on its target by 10% for 10 seconds. This is the Medical Technomage’s second activated ability, and it has a 12 second cooldown.
“Immunize” is the final activated ability for the Medical Tree. This spell heals its target and up to 4 additional friendly targets and places a buff on all players it heals. This buff, Immunized, will absorb up to 30% of what the initial spell healed for and lasts for 20 seconds. Immunize has a 2 second base cast time, and an 8 second cooldown.
“Teleport: House of the Arcane Contraption” will return the Technomage to their phased starting area in the Northern Barrens (which will be explained in greater detail below). This spell will be available to all specs at level 55.
“Master’s Influence” is a party/raid-wide buff that all Technomages will be able to cast. This buff will increase the group’s Critical Strike chance by 5% and will also increase mana. (Again, looking to increase the number of classes which can bring some of the less common buffs.)
“Reanimate” is the Technomage’s resurrection spell. It will be available to all talent trees.
Lore and Unique Starting Area
The concept of the Technomage exists in WoW lore, though only in the Warcraft RPG (and, thus, is not canon). Technomages seek to combine their magical prowess with technology – sometimes with disastrous results. Because their primary goals are discovery and technological advancement, Technomages do not affiliate themselves with either the Horde or Alliance, and invite skilled members from all of Azeroth’s sentient races into their ranks.
Or, at least, that was the plan …
In the starting area for the Technomage, your new character will be a fresh recruit to the House of the Arcane Contraption, located in the Northern Barrens just below the border to Ashenvale. Working with some of the most skilled (and psychotic) engineers and mages the world has to offer, you will slowly hone your skills and choose a specialization. After your first few quests, you will become aware of some dissension among the ranks of the Technomages, and disagreement between its founders – the Cabal of 5.3. Before long, a disaster in the Stonetalon Mountains will change everything.
The Cabal has learned that certain Technomages were recruited by the Bilgewater Cartel Goblins in the creation of an unimaginably giant bomb that destroyed a peaceful settlement of young students at Thal’darah Grove. In the past, the House of the Arcane Contraption has always looked the other way when its members chose to supply their talents to one faction or another – so long as a portion of the member’s proceeds made its way to the organization’s vault. But such a clear act of war could not be ignored.
As a newcomer to the House, the Cabal believes you are still unbiased enough to lead the investigation into which members were involved in the Bomb’s creation. You will follow a series of clues and interrogate the other members of the House to eventually find the guilty Technomages, who will be executed. Unfortunately, you will miss one of the conspirators during your investigation. Mememgen, an orc warlock and a member of the Cabal of 5.3, has betrayed the House.
When you realize your mistake and head deep into the underground tunnels below the House of the Arcane Contraption to confront Mememgen, you will find the orc waiting for you. He tells you that he is ready to join “Those Who Discovered the Final Answer,” and is surrounded by more bombs and ammunition than you’ve ever seen. You engage him in battle, but it’s pointless … Mememgen detonates the explosives and leaves a castle-sized crater where the House used to be, killing himself, the other members of the Cabal, and many other Technomages in the process.
Fortunately, a Technomage is always prepared. The blast sends you nearly a mile into the air – but your parachute cloak deploys automatically and, unconscious, you float slowly back to the ground. The disaster has left many of your order dead, and those who remained decide to return to their home cities. A few Technomages do remain behind to rebuild the destroyed House and continue to train worthy scholars.
I mean, I realize that Blizzard would probably never put a class with so much technology into a medieval-esque fantasy game, but the framework is certainly there with engineering and some of the Titan technology we’ve seen. I also realize that we’re unlikely to see another hero class thanks to the issues with DK balancing. I can dream, though, right? Right?!
I should give a few additional credits, because this article was a beast to write. WoWpedia was essential for teaching me about the Technomages in the Warcraft RPG, and for providing thousands of spell and ability icons I could choose from to illustrate each of the talent trees. WoWhead is just awesome – like you don’t all know that already – and made searching through existing talent trees and abilities a breeze. The Pink Kitty was a freakin’ champ when it came to listening to me obsessively brainstorm about how the talent trees would work, then explaining to me why they wouldn’t work that way, and then helping me figure out how they actually would work. The concepts behind the Electrical tree, particularly the way Overcharge works, were ALL him.
I suppose the worst part of designing and writing this monster is that now I really want to play this class. And, of course, my Technomage would be a gnome. Don’t you know me at all?
So come on all you budding lore theorists. What amazing new things do you hope will be announced for WoW at this year’s BlizzCon? Who will be the next huge villain? What new places will we explore? Will new races join the Horde and Alliance, or will we see a new class instead?