So I've been thinking a lot about bards after that thread asking how one would work in WoW. This is a sort of response to that question, but I felt it was too detailed to just be a regular post. While my first choice for a new class would be a Tinker, the concept of a class that fights with music interests me enough to try to figure out a way to make it acceptable to the naysayers. Today I hit on this idea while this song popped up on my ipod on my way to work.
New Class: Lorespinner
The Lorespinner is a pure support class. However, it does not support other players. It supports a pet. By playing certain songs on race-specific instruments (tauren war-drums, night elf harp, etc), the Lorespinner conjures up an image of a hero of Warcraft to fight on his behalf. Once summoned, the image becomes the player-controlled character, while the movements of the Lorespinner himself can be controlled by a pet bar. Lorespinner spells are woven into the rotation of each image, playing music that attenuates the listeners, both friend and foe, thus infusing greater power into the image by making it more real.
The Lorespinner's image shares a health pool with the Lorespinner himself, and all stats from gear are copied as-is to the image. The image's gear appearance cannot be changed, however, unless a minor glyph is used to copy the look from the Lorespinner. Summoning an image is instant cast, though the newly-summoned image has no attenuation and needs to be ramped up via musical abilities. Different images use different resource mechanics, but the Lorespinner uses mana. The Lorespinner wears mail and can equip guns, bows, crossbows, staves, daggers, one and two-handed axes, maces and swords, but can't dual wield. Instruments are used in spell animations, but are not equipped items, and don't change from level 1.
Specs are based around three songs, which are defined based on the Lorespinner's faction. A Lorespinner of any spec can play any of his faction's songs, much like how a druid of any spec can shapeshift into cat or bear form, or a warrior can change stances. Each spec enhances a specific song, however, so the others will not be effective at their given roles. The Lorespinner's musical ability also changes to suit his chosen role, giving tanking, healing and dps cooldowns, as well as additional temporary summons from various legends.
Warcrier is a tanking spec. Images fight using two-handed weapons and have enhanced defensive capabilities. The spec uses agility mail. Abilities for Warcrier images are derived from, among other things, the Blademaster hero from Warcraft 3. The songs of a Warcrier both damage and soften the blows of his enemies, but only against the Warcrier's image. Horde Warcriers play Hellscream's Warsong to manifest a memory of Grom Hellscream, while Alliance Warcriers play the Epic of the Lion to invoke Anduin Lothar's shade.
Windsingers use ranged dps images. Images fight using ranged weapons, and the spec uses agility mail. Abilities for Windsinger images are derived from, among other things, Elven Rangers from Warcraft 2. Horde Windsingers play the Song of Sylvanas to summon an image of Sylvanas Windrunner, a memory from her time as the Ranger General of Silvermoon. Alliance Windsingers play the Memory of Alleria to summon an image of Alleria Windrunner.
Harmonic Lorespinners use healing images. Their images have no offensive capability, though the Lorespinner's songs are capable of dealing light damage to enemies as well as both healing their allies and increasing the effectiveness of their image's heals on their allies. The spec uses intellect mail. A Horde Harmonic Lorespinner can play the Witch-Doctor's Legacy to summon an image of Sen'jin. Alliance Harmonic Lorespinners play the Legend of Justice to summon an image of Turalyon.
So what do you think? Does this make a Bard-type class more palatable?
There's been no replies...yet. I just wanted to add that this sort of thing is already in the game, in the form of the Lorewalkers. Like Bards, some Lorewalkers follow adventuring groups in order to chronicle their deeds. One of these is at the Shado-Pan camp in Townlong. In addition, they are able to physically manifest the stories they tell. Lorewalker Cho does this for entirely educational purposes, but the Lorewalker fight in the Temple of the Jade Serpent demonstrates that these narrative constructs are capable of gaining enough reality to do damage in the physical world.