Increasing the level of customization for a game can really help to keep players interested and engaged. In World of Warcraft, this has led to some wildly creative creations that have taken on lives of their own. Today’s community spotlight is on fan designed class skins and lore for class depth.
We covered a partnership between Keyboardturn, an artist, and TheLostCodex, a lore Youtuber, a few months back, who came up with a concept for class skins and new class/race pairings. Paladin skins for non-Paladin races was their most recent notion. Today’s Community Spotlight focuses on their ideas for Class Skins that would suggest a varied lore background for their appearance and skills.
A ‘Class Skin’ is a purely aesthetic overlay that alters the symbol, name, and spell FX of a character’s class. In an ideal world, your class’s name would likewise change, but there would be a clear indicator of what your ‘base class’ is for PVP or even raid-mouse overs.
The Necromancer Class Skin, obtained mostly for Warlocks and Deathknights but also useable by Mages and Rogues, is one of the most iconic and desired classes in World of Warcraft. The Class skin would modify the models of demons, spell effects, and even enable extra racial customisation in the form of skin tones and eye colors for all three specs.
Lore: The Warlocks have assembled to debate their future as well as the abilities they formerly wielded, much like the Black Harvest did during the Pandaria Campaign. The Black Harvest reflect on one of Azeroth’s most powerful Warlocks, Gul’dan, and the powers he summoned during the First War, now that the Legion has dispersed and the forces of death have been revealed to humans.
Some members of the Black Harvest go into the heart of Maldraxxus, where they meet the Primus and learn about the House of Rituals and the power they wield, accompanied by the Ebon Blade.
Drustweaver is a kind of warlock.
The odd witch magic of Drustvar has been a recurring theme in my imagination since BFA. Their magic is quite similar to that of a Warlock, and there are plenty of Wicker creatures to utilize as replacement minions. The goal of this mission is to not only make Drustvars Witch magic a viable spell fx kit, but also to make Kul Tiras Human Warlocks available.
Lore: While some members of the Black Harvest debate their aspirations to unearth the mysteries of Necromancy, others offer another source of power with Shadowlands-like origins: Drust magic. The Warlocks and Death Knights use the Drust gateways inside Ardenweald to carry the war to Thros, where stories of Gorak Tul and Gorak Zhar’s rebirth have begun to travel between the realms of Drustvar and Ardenweald.
Mages have been requesting a similar class aesthetic update since Green-fire was introduced for Warlocks, with the most popular suggestion being ‘Blue Fire’ – yet there’s no way we could provide Mages blue fire without incorporating Blue Dragons! Rather of going to the Nexus, like we did in Legion, it seemed more fascinating to visit a more recent Blue Dragonflight and learn more about their culture, burial customs, and the power they might pass on to humans.
Stellagosa considers her destiny as the successor of the Azurewings and their place within the Blue Dragonflight when Senegos passes away inside Azsuna. Stellagosa ponders her destiny as successor to Azurewings and the mission of the Blue Dragons after both heroes and other highly invited guests are invited to Senegos’ burial. Stellagosa is determined to restore the Blue Dragonflights to their original purpose, working alongside mortals as the stewards of the arcane, with the assistance of Arcanist Valtrois, Khadgar, and other powerful wizards.
Chronomancer is a kind of mage.
For a few years now, Chronomancy has been an active element of the Mages spell kit, therefore it seemed only natural to include the Bronze Dragons in this class skin. We wanted to find out what the Bronze Dragons are up to and why they are sharing their time-twisting magic with humans now, of all times and places, after the arrival of the Infinite Dragonflight in Tazavesh and the entire concept that the curtain between Life and Death had been torn.
The flow of reality fractured as the veil cracked over Azeroth. The Infinite Dragons seem to have agitated the timelines once again, for reasons unknown. The moment has come for the Bronze Dragons to entrust their magic to Mortals, while the Infinites pursue perilous and powerful items across time. The Timewalkers group seems to be recruiting!
Sinshaper is the title of a priest.
This class skin, which was inspired by the magic we see in Revendreth, would undoubtedly be accessible to a wide range of classes, but we chose Priests as an example. With the Venthyr clearly functioning as the San’layn’s forefathers, we decided it was time to return to Revendreth and tie up some loose ends. What better way to learn about the Nathrezim, Denathrius’ disappearance, and the San’layn’s mysterious origins than by unlocking a suitable class kit to go with it?
This class-skin might serve as a supplementary spell-kit for many of the blood magic wielders we’ve seen around Azeroth, in addition to virtually enabling players to become Venthyr (in Humans, Trolls and more).
The Nathrezim reappear when mortal heroes are brought back to Revendreth to witness the rising of the two empty Harvester posts. A long-forgotten crypt belonging to the first Nathrezim is discovered as machinations and conspiracies are revealed. The plans for the first Sinborn San’layn and the function Denathrius had planned for them before their initial appearance on Azeroth during the Northrend Campaign are among the numerous long-lost documents and artefacts discovered there by humans and Prince Renethal.
Priest: Healer of Souls
The Kyrian’s blue magic kit, which serves as a mirror to the Sinshaper Concept, seems to be a suitable class-kit for not just Priests, but Mages, Monks, Paladins, and others. We wanted to look into the Kyrian’s magic, as well as discuss about the Archon’s very first Kyrian and explain why mortal races would be able to employ Shadowlands-bound magic.
Kyrian customisation primarily comprises of “tattoos” for hair, eyes, and other particular face features, according to KBT. These are, of course, optional and aren’t meant to be tied to these skins in any way (so you could be a demon hunter with these options despite the class skin not being available). What’s fascinating is that these textures really work well, especially with hairstyles, since the UV of hair is largely consistent, similar to how the UV of most races’ armor is uniform. Some minor changes, such as tusks, might be required, but nothing that would be too difficult.
Lore: As the Forsworn rejoin the Ascended and the tenets of Compassion and Devotion make their imprint, the Kyrian future seems as bright and hopeful as ever. Inspired mortals searching the archives discover a series of pre-Trials of Bastion writings explaining how the Archon gifted the first Kyrian with the power to cross the Veil. The most committed and caring of Azeroth’s children are bestowed the exact essence of the function of the Kyrian Watchers with the guidance of each paragon.
This concept was sparked by some Hearthstone artwork, and as we talked it more, it began to take form.
KBT suggested Thori’dal at some point during our planning, which kind of hijacked the whole notion and constructed the entire history based on the lore-less weapon from the Sunwell.
Thori’dal, the Stars’ Fury bow, is shrouded in mystery. It was initially made on the banks of the Well of Eternity by an ancient order of Highborne archers known as Arcane Fletchers, according to resurfaced documents. Hunters will join the Silver Covenant and the Farstriders in their quest to learn more about the weapon’s strange past with the support of the Kirin Tor. To learn about its history and choose its destiny, go to Eldre’Thalas, Suramar, the Sunwell, and beyond.
Jesse’s designer note: We really wanted to flesh out the weapon’s narrative and mythology since it had so little. After I came up with the idea for Arcane Fletchers, I started to question who the bow belonged to in the first place: was it of High Elven origin? Or did it come before the evacuation to the Eastern Kingdoms, like the Sunstrider blade? We came to the conclusion that it was fashioned by the ancient Highborne inside the Elun’dris, on the banks of the first Well of Eternity. This subsequently led to the concept that all of the playable Elves, including Kaldorei, Nightborne, High Elves, and Blood Elves, had an equal claim to the sword. The concept that the player may further boost the sword by selecting whatever well or fountain of magic was worthy of enhancing such a weapon was our last point. The Hyjal Well of Eternity, the Nightwell inside Suramar (or what remains of it), or the Sunwell itself were all options for players.
Dark Ranger Hunter
The Dark Ranger class skin was a given for Hunters since it was the most popular and sought-after class-skin design with a ton of potential. Because we’ve seen a few Dark Ranger-style characters in the Ebon Blade, we decided to offer Rogues and Death Knights the option as well (Melee rangers and the role of DK’s in the questline).
Designer Note: The Dark Rangers’ particular racial customization is only available to Blood Elves, Forsaken, and Night Elves. This contains skin tones that are lifeless, different red eyes, and more! These settings are only available if you’re wearing the Dark Ranger Class Skin, so no red eyes for you, Humans or Vulpera! (Unless, of course, you’re wearing the Sinshaper Skin!)
Lore: In the aftermath of the Shadowlands War, two undead groups clash: the Dark Rangers strive to liberate the minds of any remaining wild Scourge on Azeroth, while the Ebon Blade intends to rule any feral undead they come across. The Ebon Blade realizes the Dark Rangers’ tactics have more value as they strive to offer these mindless undead what the living never gave them: a second chance, as they aim to lower the scourges’ numbers and reinforce their own.
Jesse’s Designer Note: The Death Knights were added late in the game and were entirely inspired by the short narrative ‘We Ride Forth,’ in which the Four Horsemen realize they must rule the crew of Acherus before they are overwhelmed. Many of the Dark Rangers join Calia and Derek in BFA, and this scenario continues that trend as she tries to assist as many zombies as she can. The premise is that Calia, Derek, and Alonsus Faol are assisting many of these newly awakened Scourge in coming to grips with their destiny – something Calia is still learning about – while maintaining the Dark Rangers’ original essence. We didn’t want to label Calia as the Dark Rangers’ commander outright, but they do follow her out of Tirisfal in BFA, and we wanted to continue that narrative.
Runemaster is a monk’s title.
It was a lot of fun to come up with the concept for this skin. Even though we didn’t have nearly as much clarity on power sources or magic kinds back then as we do today, the notion was entirely inspired by some old art works belonging to Samwise from back in the day.
The goal with this skin is to get away from the Panda aspect of monks and concentrate on a monk with several sources of strength.
The Uldum Accord, the Reliquary, and the Explorer’s League have gathered heroes and archaeologists to investigate an uncharted vault after sensing an unexplained spike of power north of Uldum. The roots of enormous runic magic, an unknown workshop of Highkeeper Ra-Den, and a mystery tribe of rune-wielding Tauren who’ve landed between Un’goro and Thousand Needles and Uldum are all revealed herein.
Why can’t monks utilize the other elements? They employ Chi or Spirit, which is the ‘fifth element’ in the Warcraft world. Monks and Shamans can both summon the elements (Monk skills are even named after them), but the Monk class concept is so tightly bound to the Pandaren that they haven’t had much chance to develop. The Elementalist class skin provides a welcome departure from the restricted style!
The Elemental Lords seek aid in settling their restless people as the world recovers from the Blood War. The Earthen Ring summons the Monks, masters of the element of Spirit, to assist them in their quest to tap into the mainly missing element of Spirit to calm the four realms. Shamans accompanying the monks uncover the long-hidden mysteries of Azeroth’s most finite element: Spirit, as they undertake on this mission to strengthen their connection to all elements.
The Dragonsworn class skin is similar to the Azuresworn and Chronomancer skins, but it incorporates all of the Dragon flights on a more unified level. The Dragonsworn skin is a multi-class skin, however we wanted to emphasize the Warrior here and expand on the Stormheim Vrykul dragonriders’ concept. The mission would unlock themed skills, horses, tattoos, and numerous weapon mogs, in addition to themed powers.
Since Deathwing wreaked havoc on the globe, a lot has changed. In the years after N’Zoth’s fall, his descendants are attempting to bring together two of Azeroth’s most powerful protectors: the various Titanforged races and the dispersed dragonflights. Those who heed Wrathion’s invitation to serve as intermediates will learn about Azeroth’s early Dragonriders and the order that was created by Tyr in the days after the Aspects’ approval.
The archetypal portrayal of the sword-wielding monk-like clan of Orcs from Draenor is the Blademasters. I’ve always contended that Blademasters can serve as both Monks and Warriors, but Hunters and Paladins now have more choices as well. Tattoos seemed most fitting for the class skin, which may seem similar to other classes, but we noticed that there is pretty much a limitless pool of tattoo possibilities and why not differentiate them amongst class-skins.
Blademasters’ abilities have long been legendary, but it was considered that much of their legacy and teachings were lost when Draenor was split apart until recently. The Blademasters have hoarded their expertise and kept their blades and weapon skills a secret until now, with just a few traces of their society remaining. With the Horde’s introduction of the Mag’har, an elderly half-draenei half-orc blademaster has agreed to teach both Alliance and Horde not only how to create the particular flaming swords of battle, but also how to weave magic and blade. Only the most tough and well-prepared warriors will be able to complete his training.
Once again, Keyboardturn and TheLostCodex have put a lot of thought and effort into them. They guarantee there will be more…
Druids, Rogues, Demon Hunters, Shamans, and Death Knights, take note:
To avoid a massive image/information dump, we opted to divide up this sort of post on Twitter. We’ll share the additional ideas once they’re available on Twitter, since reddit threads have a limited amount of photos (and let’s be honest: half of you wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the pictures).