Community Spotlight: Fan Designed Class Skins and Lore for Class Depth
A few months ago
a collaboration between Keyboardturn, an artist, and TheLostCodex, a lore Youtuber, who came up with an idea for class skins and new class/race combinations. Their last set of concepts was Paladin skins for non-Paladin races. They have now
shared their concepts for Class Skins
that would evoke a different lore background for their look and abilities, and that is today's Community Spotlight.
The idea of a 'Class Skin' is a purely cosmetic overlay that would change the icon, name and spell FX of ones class. Ideally, your class 'name' would also change but for the sake of PVP or even raid-mouse overs, there would be a clear indication of what your 'base class' really is.
Probably one of the most iconic and requested classes in WoW, the Necromancer Class Skin is primarily unlocked for Warlocks and Deathknights but will also be usable by Mages and Rogues. The Class skin would affect all three specs and change the models of demons, spell fx and even unlock special racial customization in the form of skin tones and eye colors.
: Much like the Black Harvest did during the Pandaria Campaign, the Warlocks have gathered to discuss both their future and the powers they once called upon. With the Legion now scattered and the forces of death unveiled to mortals, the Black Harvest reflect back on one of Azeroth's most powerful Warlocks and the powers he called upon during the First War: Gul'dan and Necromancy.
With the Ebon Blade serving as their guides, some members of the Black Harvest delve into the heart of Maldraxxus where they meet the Primus and uncover the origins of the House of Rituals and the magic they wield.
An idea that I've had in my mind since BFA revolves around the strange witch magic of Drustvar. Their magic aligns pretty similarly with Warlock Magic and there are more than enough Wicker creatures to use as replaceable minions. The idea with this quest would be to not only unlock Drustvars Witch magic as a playable spell fx kit, but also unlock Kul Tiras Human Warlocks in the process.
: While some Black Harvest members discuss their plans to uncover the secrets of Necromancy, others propose another source of power that also has Shadowlands-like origins: the magic of the Drust. Using the Drust portals within Ardenweald, the Warlocks and Death Knights take the fight to Thros where rumors of both Gorak Tul and Gorak Zhar's rebirth had began to circulate between the lands of Drustvar and Ardenweald.
Ever since Green-fire was introduced for Warlocks, Mages have been asking for a similar class visual change with the most common idea being 'Blue Fire' - and there's no way we could give Mages blue fire without involving Blue Dragons! Instead of returning to the Nexus, which we did several times in Legion, it felt more interesting to visit a more recent Blue Dragonflight and get a closer look at their culture, their funeral rites and the magic they could pass on to mortals.
: Following the passing of Senegos within Azsuna, Stellagosa contemplates her future as heir of the Azurewings and their role among the Blue Dragonflight. After both heroes and other special invited guests are invited to attend Senegos's funeral, Stellagosa reflects on her future as heir to Azurewings and the purpose of the Blue Dragons. With the help of both Arcanist Valtrois, Khadgar and other influential magi, Stellagosa is determined to return the Blue Dragonflights to their original purpose and this time, work alongside mortals as the custodians of the arcane.
Chronomancy has been an active part of the Mages spell kit for a few years now, so it seemed only fitting to incorporate the Bronze Dragons in with this class skin. With the appearance of the Infinite Dragonflight in Tazavesh and the whole idea that the veil between Life and Death was shattered, we wanted to explore what the Bronze Dragons are up to and why now, of all times and places, they are sharing their time-twisting magic with mortals.
: When the veil shattered above Azeroth, so too did the flow of reality. It is not known when or why, but the Infinite Dragons appear to have stirred the timelines once again. With the Infinites seeking dangerous and powerful artifacts throughout time, the time has come for the Bronze Dragons to entrust their magic in the hands of Mortals. It seems the Timewalkers organization is hiring!
Inspired by the magic we see in Revendreth, this particular class skin would obviously be available to a whole variety of classes - but for the sake of example, we featured Priests. With the Venthyr obviously serving as the progenitors to the San'layn, we felt it was an appropriate time to return to Revendreth and tie up some loose ends. The Nathrezim, the loss of Denathrius and the unknown origins of the San'layn, what not a better way to uncover some of those answers while unlocking an appropriate class kit to go with it.
In addition to almost allowing players to become Venthyr, this class-skin could double as a secondary spell-kit for much of the blood magic wielders we've seen across Azeroth (in Humans, Trolls and more).
: When mortal heroes are summoned back to Revendreth to witness the rise of the two vacant Harvester roles, the Nathrezim emerge once more. As schemes and plots are unveiled, a long forgotten crypt belonging to the first Nathrezim is uncovered. Within, mortals and Prince Renethal discover many long-lost texts and relics, including the blueprints for the first Sinborn San'layn and the role Denathrius originally intended for them before their first appearance on Azeroth during the Northrend Campaign.
Serving as a mirror to the Sinshaper Concept, the blue magic kit of the Kyrian seems like a fitting class-kit for not only Priests, but Mages, Monks, Paladins and more. We wanted to explore the magic the Kyrian use, but also talk about the very 'first Kyrian' the Archon appointed and sort of explain why mortal races would be allowed to use a Shadowlands-bound magic.
Designer note from KBT: Kyrian customization which essentially consists of "tattoos" for hair, eyes, and other special facial options. These would of course be optional and aren't really intended to be locked to these skins (so you could be a demon hunter with these options despite the class skin not being available). What's interesting is that these textures actually work well, particularly with hairstyles, as hair UV is mostly uniform similar to how most races share the same body texture UV for armor. Minor adjustments would need to be made for some particular things like tusks, but nothing that's especially difficult.
: The future of the Kyrian looks as bright and promising as ever as the Forsworn rejoin the Ascended and the tenets of Compassion and Devotion make their mark. Searching the archives, inspired mortals uncover a series of scriptures that predate the Trials of Bastion with texts describing how the Archon imbued the first Kyrian with the ability to traverse the Veil. With each Paragons' help, the most devoted and compassionate of Azeroth's children are granted the very essence of the role of the Kyrian Watchers.
This idea was actually inspired by some Hearthstone art and as we discussed it more and more, the idea really took shape.
At some point during our planning, KBT mentioned Thori'dal which sort of highjacked the entire concept and created the whole backstory that built upon the lore-less weapon from the Sunwell.
: Much mystery surrounds the bow of Stars' Fury, Thori'dal. Resurfaced texts indicate it was first crafted on the shores of the Well of Eternity by an ancient order of Highborne archers known as Arcane Fletchers. With the help of the Kirin Tor, hunters will accompany the Silver Covenant and the Farstriders in their mission to uncover the weapons mysterious history. Travel to Eldre'Thalas, Suramar, the Sunwell, and beyond to learn of its past and decide its future.
Designer note from Jesse
: Since the weapon itself has next to zero story or lore, we really wanted to expand upon it. After coming with the idea for Arcane Fletchers I began to wonder who the bow would rightfully belong to: Was it High Elven in origin? Or was it like the Sunstrider blade and predate the exodus to the Eastern Kingdoms? We decided that it was actually forged within the Elun'dris, on the shores of the first Well of Eternity, by the ancient Highborne. This eventually lead to the idea that both Kaldorei, Nightborne, High Elves and Blood Elves all had an equal claim to the weapon, which was a cool way involve all of the playable Elves. Our final note was the idea that the player got to empower the weapon further by choosing which well or font of magic was worthy of empowering such a weapon. Players could choose to use the Hyjal Well of Eternity, the Nightwell within Suramar (or what remains of it) or the Sunwell itself.
Hunter: Dark Ranger
Definitely the most popular and sought after class-skin idea with an absolute butt-load of potential, the Dark Ranger class skin was a given for Hunters. In addition to Hunters, we also decided to give Rogues and Death Knights the option too (Melee rangers and the role of DK's in the questline) since we've seen a few Dark Ranger-style characters within the Ebon Blade.
: Blood Elves, Forsaken and Night Elves are the only races that unlock the special racial customization that come with the Dark Rangers. This includes dead-skin tones, various red eyes and more! These options would only be usable if you're using the Dark Ranger Class Skin so sorry Humans or Vulpera - no red eyes for you! (Unless you're using the Sinshaper Skin!)
: Two undead factions clash in the wake of the Shadowlands War as the Dark Rangers seek to free the minds of any feral Scourge that remain on Azeroth while the Ebon Blade seeks to dominate any feral undead they may come across. With the Ebon Blade seeking to reduce the scourges numbers and bolster their own, they realize the Dark Rangers methods have more merit as they seek to give these mindless undead something the living never gave them: a second chance.
Designer Note from Jesse
: The idea to include the Death Knights came pretty late in the game and was 100% inspired from the short story 'We Ride Forth' when the Four Horsemen realize they have to dominate the crew of Acherus before they're overrun. In BFA, we see many of the Dark Rangers going with Calia and Derek and this scenario plays off that continuation as she seeks to help as many undead as she can. The idea here is that Calia, Derek and Alonsus Faol are helping many of these recently awakened Scourge and helping them come to terms with their fate - something Calia herself is still learning about, while keeping the original nature of the Dark Rangers intact. We didn't want to explicitly name Calia as leader of the Dark Rangers, but they do follow her out of Tirisfal in BFA and we wanted to continue that storyline.
The idea for this skin was fun to work with. The concept was 100% inspired by some old art pieces belonging to Samwise from back in the day, even though back then we didn't have nearly as much clarification on power sources or magic types like we do nowadays.
The idea with this skin would be to steer away from the Panda element of monks and focus on a more multi-sourced power type of monk.
: After detecting an unknown surge of power somewhere north of Uldum, the Uldum Accord, the Reliquary, and the Explorer's League have rallied heroes and archaeologists alike to delve into an unexplored vault. Uncovered within are the origins of titanic runic magic, an undiscovered workshop of Highkeeper Ra-Den, and a mysterious tribe of rune-wielding Tauren who've settled within the cliffs between Un'goro and Thousand Needles and Uldum.
Monks use Chi or Spirit - the 'fifth element' in the Warcraft universe, so why can't they use the other elements? Both Monks and Shamans can call upon the elements (Monk abilities are even elemental in name) and unfortunately, Monk class fantasy is so restrictively tied to the Pandaren they haven't had much room to grow. The Elementalist class-skin allows for a break in that narrow design!
: As the planet reels from the Blood War, the Elemental Lords seek assistance in calming their restless kin. Determined to tap into the largely-absent element of Spirit to calm the four planes, the Earthen Ring calls upon the Monks, masters of the element of Spirit, to guide them in their quest. As monks embark on this quest to further their connection to all elements, shamans accompanying the monks discover the long-hidden secrets of Azeroth's most finite element: Spirit.
The Dragonsworn is very much on par with the Azuresworn and the Chronomancer class skin, but includes the other Dragon flights on a more unified level. The Dragonsworn idea here is one of those multi-class skins but we wanted to highlight the Warrior here and build on the idea of the Vrykul dragonriders of Stormheim. In addition to themed abilities, mounts, tattoos and various weapon mogs would be unlocked with the quest.
: Much has changed since Deathwing ravaged the world. Now, in the years following N'Zoth's defeat, his own progeny seeks to unite two of Azeroth's greatest protectors: the disparate Titanforged races and the scattered dragonflights. With the mortal races called to serve as intermediaries, those who answer Wrathion's call will learn of Azeroth's earliest Dragonriders and the order that was founded by Tyr in the days following the blessing of the Aspects.
Blademasters - the iconic representation the sword-wielding monk-like clan of Orcs from Draenor. I've often argued that Blademasters would work as both Monks and Warriors, but we also opened up the options here for Hunters and Paladins. In addition to new blademaster themed weapons - of which there are very little in game - tattoos felt most appropriate for the class skin, which may feel similar to other classes but we realised that there are pretty much an endless pool of tattoo ideas and why not separate them between class-skins.
: Legendary are the skills of Blademasters throughout history, though up until recently it was thought that much of their heritage and teachings had been lost when Draenor was torn asunder. With only a few trace remnants of their culture left in tact, the Blademasters have hoarded their knowledge and kept their blades and weapon techniques a secret - until now. With the introduction of the Mag'har into the Horde, an old half-draenei half-orc blademaster has agrees to teach both Alliance and Horde not only how to forge the special fiery swords of war, but also the weaving of magic and blade. Only the truly resilient and prepared warriors will pass his training.
Once again, the amount of thought and work that
put into these is amazing. They promise more...
For all you Druids, Rogues, Demon Hunters, Shaman and Death Knights:
We decided to break up this type of post on twitter in order to prevent too large of an image/info dump. Because reddit threads have a very limited number of pictures (and let's be honest: half of you wouldn't still be here if it wasn't for the pictures), we'll be posting the other concepts once they're live over on Twitter!
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