Does World of Warcraft need a new Class Archetype?

The short version? Yes.

I admit it. There are things I miss about being a Priest. There are things I’m loving about my baby mage alt. There are things I really (no, really really really) miss about being a Mesmer. They all have to do with indirect (not damage-based) problem-causing for the enemy.

“Wait, wait, you miss being a what?”

Confession time. I played Guild Wars for a year. Had Guild Wars Factions not been so terrible, I’d likely still be playing it. Because the plain truth of the matter is, despite how shiny it was to heal people as my monk… I dearly loved my Mesmer. He started out a Mesmer/Elementalist and ended up a Mesmer/Necromancer because- here’s where it goes off the deep end, kids.

There is something I enjoy even more than healing.

Yes. Really. There is. I call it Denial. The Mesmer class was focused around Denial wholesale. The Necromancer also had a fair chunk of Denial skills.

A handsome devil!

It’s time to explain what the Mesmer does, because it’s a truly alien concept to most (not all) Warcraft players.

The basic premise of the class is very simple, and it can be stated like this:

“I am willing to forego having many directly offensive abilities in order to recieve abilities that can hinder, drain, prevent, deny, halt, disrupt, drag out, slow down, interrupt, leech away, nullify or in any other way make it much more difficult for you to perform the role assigned to you.”

Mesmers had counterspells– some were just counter-spells, some caused damage, some transferred energy (the GW equivalent to mana) to the Mesmer on a successful spell stop.

Mesmers had ‘backlash’ spells– Backfire placed a debuff on the target that caused heavy damage each time the target cast a spell until the debuff was gone, Empathy placed a similar (lower-intensity) effect on physical attacks.
Mesmers had one or two DoTs.

They had debuffs that caused a miss chance with physical attacks, debuffs that caused physical attacks to drain energy, or that increased casting time, or that increased the cost of spells.

They had snares, one or two snares that were coupled with DoTs. They had the equivalent to Mana Burn. They had an upgraded version of mana burn that burned mana off one target and dealt the burn damage to that target and surrounding hostiles.

There were others– a light-damage AoE that damaged both health and mana; a spell that could remove a magic-based debuff and cause damage to hostiles around the target; a spell that could suck a buff off a target and convert it to mana for the Mesmer or, a perennial favorite, a spell that could pop off a buff from the target and smack down a goodly amount of damage unto them for the audacity of daring to buff themselves.

Mesmers also had beneficial skills- they could extend the duration of debuffs caused by allied characters, increase a skill’s cooldown on its next cast in exchange for making it cost less mana (or even be free)… even put a self-buff on that would have no benefit until it expired and then grant mana.

So let’s look at the period in my gaming career when I made the transition.

Well… let’s see… Rogues can do a little disruption. Priests have a Fear ability and a mind control, that’s sort of Mesmerish… Warlocks can mess with people… uh…

I almost rolled a Rogue. I didn’t because, as it turns out, I hate playing them. But I admit it: If this new class came up, I would switch so fast your head would spin. I’d keep Llanion around, but I would be so very in to a Denialist.

I want to see a spellcaster who can sit back and drop conditional DoTs, or skills that punish the target for being healed, or that cause a backlash when spells are cast. Mobs get this sort of skill- why can’t we? I want to be able to apply blinding effects, snares, to be able to ‘lock off’ a chunk of mana in a buff and get it back later. I want the ability to….

Well, I want to do what I could do as a Mesmer. What I’d really love to do in WoW.

I want, without doing much damage, to be able to tie my enemies in knots and make them cry while my teammates beat the snot out of them.

(Granted, finding a group as a Mesmer was always harder than a traditional role until people figured out just how scary you could be. I wouldn’t mind. I want a Denial class.)

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