Working in Excel all day sometimes leaves me a little…bored. One day I decided to lay out the races of WoW and chart them against the schools of magic available to those races. Here’s what I ended up with:
Here are a few quick disclaimers:
1) I’m excluding DKs from the magic damage in the lower half of the Race/Magic table. I left those squares in gray though. Since DKs can be any race, this made frost and shadow magic available to all races. For this purpose, I’m leaving them out for now.
2) Hunters. What a mess. I am also not going to count hunters traps or special shots. They are marked in the class section, but not the race section.
3) Poisons do nature damage, but are not going to be counted as nature damage.
So right away we can see a few clear and obvious things. Fire is the only school of magic available to more than two classes. If we include DKs then fire, frost, and shadow are available to 3 classes each. The reason I mention this is that perhaps a future hero class might avoid those schools of magic in order to keep balance? Perhaps this new hero class will use arcane, holy, and/or nature?
Mages and Shaman are the only classes that have 3 types of magic available to them. And Trolls and Draenei are the only two races that have all schools of magic available to their race. Dwarves have only 2 schools of magic available to them (excluding DKs). Nature magic is the least represented school of magic across all races, only 50% of the races have nature magic affinity.
Only hunters deal ranged physical damage, this sets them apart from all other classes into their own niche. This also creates some balance issues when designing boss encounters.
Okay, so those are the obvious things, but what does it all mean? Well, frankly, I have no idea. But here’s what I’m seeing, maybe.
1) The next hero class may have magical affinity with arcane, holy, and/or nature. Some sort of religious zealot, monk, archdruid?
2) The next hero class could be another type of ranged physical damage. In order to help keep encounters balanced, another ranged physical class might be key. Perhaps one without a pet and some sort of nature/arcane affinity as well. Ranged physical/caster combo?!? What is that, like a tracker, ranger, or marksman?
3) Seven of the 10 classes CAN have physical damage as their primary source of damage. Three of those really are physical damage dealers all the time. Another ranged or melee physical damage dealer may be overkill? This leads me to believe the next hero class will be a type of caster.
4) Cloth. Three of the five DPS casters wear cloth, toss in two healer specs that wear cloth as well and there are many people after that cloth. Leather and mail only has two specs after the casting gear. Perhaps a new caster class will be a leather or mail wearing class.
And last just a few more random comments. If dwarves have so little magic affinity, how are they not more resistant to magic? Holy, Arcane, and Nature seem exclusive by school of thought. You’re either powered by the Light, the ley lines, or nature itself, with little overlap between these. Is it possible to entertain a class that could use two or three of these? Nature and arcane seem opposite as frost and fire. And philosophically nature and holy are opposites as well.
What it all means, again, I claim to not know. But given what is currently available to different classes and races and how common the different schools of magic are, my best conclusion is that we’ll see some sort of leather or mail wearing spell casting class appear, they will use all or some of the holy, nature, and/or arcane schools of magic to round out the numbers and not end up heavy for shadow, frost, or fire. What this class is? God only knows what they will dream up, there are certainly plenty of classes out there to choose from, didn’t they have something like 28 class ideas for Lich King anyways? I’ll be curious to see if the current magic, class, and/or race combinations have any influence.
But then again, they could always just make a Pirate and/or Ninja class. People love that crap. Of course Ninjas would have to be able to haxx up walls.