There is a fantasy archetype that we are totally missing in our ten classes. I would propose adding an 11th hero class (along with a bevy of TC20 heroes) to address this lack.
The bard is above all a singer, poet, loremaster, and entertainer. In fantasy literature, they are typically jacks of all trades, surprising with their obscure knowledge or skills at precisely the right moment. Thom Merrilin in the Wheel of Fire series would be a prime example. But there are a lot of historical (and non-copyrighted) possibilities to fill up this class with members.
As noted in Healers needed at each * and color, there are some colors that have more members than others in the different star levels. I am suggesting members and colors partly in answer to this.
Some example heroes
When bards are released, there should be approximately 2 5*, 2-3 4*, 3 3*, and one each in 1* and 2*.
Because of the current distributions of TC20 heroes, the four-stars should be blue, purple and yellow, suggesting green and red for the five-stars. 3-stars should be red, yellow and (blue or purple). The 1 and 2 stars can be any color but red. This distribution won’t completely perfect the balance of colors, but should still be a help.
Brigid - Irish deity connected with fire, poetry and war : RED 5* - Ability: Fiery Shield: Absorbs all damage inflicted on caster and nearby heroes for 4 turns. At the end of the four turns, 95% (scales with ability) of the absorbed damage is spread out across the enemy team. If the effect is dispelled, the absorption works only to 50% of damage inflicted. A second dispel removes the effect entirely.
Sheherezade - Poet of the Arabian Nights - GREEN 5* - Ability: Hold Time: Reduces all enemy mana to zero and reduces the “attack” ability by 95% (scales with ability) for 3 turns.
Semimaru - Japanese blind lute player - YELLOW 4* - Ability: Selfless healing - heals all allies except self for 45% (scales with ability). Cleanses all allies of debuffs. Character is blind, so misses on 30% of his own slash attacks.
Meret - Egyptian goddess of dancing - PURPLE 4* - Ability: Baleful dance - All enemies have attack reduced by 20% (scales) and lose some number of HP over four turns
Maîtresse Délai - Haitian loa of tambourine players - BLUE 4*
Will Scarlet (and/or Alan-a-Dale) - Members of Robin Hood’s merry men - RED 3* - Ability: Song of Inspiration - Increases attack of allies 25% (scales with ability) and increases mana generation by a small amount for 4 turns.
Arion - Greek Kitharode - BLUE 3*
Amergin - Irish Mythological bard - YELLOW 3*
Will - Looks something like Shakespeare - BLUE 2*
Walter - a minstrel - GREEN 1*
Some that I didn’t use:
Thoth - Egyptian god of learning -
Lono - Hawaiian god of music and fertility
As the 5* offerings here were just beefed up, I am offering 4* bards to increase those offerings a little.
Taliesen - Bard of Avalon - PURPLE 4* - Curse Breaker - removes debuffs from allies and randomly distributes them on enemies
Mock Turtle - Wonderland
Guardian Anaconda - Guardians - Hypnotize: Target is silenced and his attack stat is reduced to 1 for 3 turns.
Smitty - Boatswain’s Mate of Corellia -
Pied Piper - Steals all minions from the enemy team (he only keeps the best three). Possibly give him a rather small hit all attack as well.
While not necessary, a few bards would fit in well here.
Halloween: Banshee - Marks a character for death. (Death’s door status effect, which includes a scaling defense debuff that stacks with other debuffs) If the effect is not dispelled within 2 turns, the character dies.
Sand Empire: A harlequin figure with Chessboard motley
Orpheus - Revives all fallen allies with full hitpoints, but with the Death’s Door debuff (defense penalty, and if debuff is not removed in x turns, the character dies again)
Mime - 4 or 5 * blue (dwarf) - CRAFTSMAN OF THE GODS - Speed will depend on the number of stars. Essentially, this power “creates” a battle item that you can immediately use. I suggest that a selection comes up, with say one healing item, one antidote item, one banner, one attack item, and one miscellaneous item selected from those that the player has constructed the proper buildings to be able to craft. Healing, antidotes and attacks would probably always offer the highest one you can craft, while the others would have some randomization involved.
Bragi - Norse god of poetry
My idea here is a little bit radical, and could of course be changed. Fitting in with the “jack of all trades” archetype, I wanted to make the “bard” nodes in the middle into the ones that increase abilities, and this always in a “balanced” way (say +6 attack, +5 defense, +10 hits). The branched options (at least some of them) would give the option to gain the special for other classes, though at a reduced percentage of success. Here the classes are probably somehow grouped related to the trials (first node, you can go down “Strength” - Fighter and Barbarian; or “Fortitude” - Cleric and Druid). As a result, a fully emblemed bard could have 0, 1 or 2 nodes of each other class. As an example, “revive” might give only a 2% chance, “evade” might give 4%, etc. Thus a Bard who has two nodes open has the ability only slightly better than the actual class with two open nodes. Of course, there would be choices for critical chance and mana bonus and the like at other points in the tree.
If we look at the current trials, each one has a pair of classes. One of those determines the “symbol” of the class and one could argue that that class is the principal one for that trial. I am going to suggest that for two trials in a particular cycle, Bards “replace” the secondary class for the trial.
For example, in the first cycle, we might see the Trials of Strength (usually fighters and barbarians) permit fighters and bards, while in the Trials of Piety (monks and clerics) we have monks and bards. In the following cycle, the Trials of Mysticism (sorcerer and wizard) would have bards instead of wizards, while the Trials of Nature would be druids and bards this time around.
In each cycle, two classes miss one chance to get emblems. To offset this, at the end of the cycle I would suggest adding a “Rare” trial featuring the two who were left out. So in the first example above, we would see barbarians and clerics in the “Trials of Tribalism” (or something). A rare trial would have four levels, and be calculated to give a few more emblems than normal. Normally a trial gives 18 emblems, so the rare one might give 3-5-7-9 emblems for a total of 24. There would be room to play with offering extra trainer heroes as well.
When the whole cycle has run (that is 5 times through), we would have a cycle where bards are not included in any of the trials. This means that the bards have missed out on 36 emblems. So we would have the “Trials of Adaptability” at the end of this round, allowing ONLY bard characters. This is an “Epic” trial with 5 levels, giving 4-6-8-10-12 or 40 emblems, and probably a couple of trainers.
Upon launch, there are suddenly a bunch of TC20 heroes that no-one has. Perfect excuse to add once a month “Class summons” in place of the elemental summons. This would give improved chances of getting a hero in a particular class. I was thinking they could be organized by the trials pairings - to commemorate the launch of bards, we would start with “Adaptability”, giving mostly bards. The following month, there could be a summon for “Strength” - fighters and barbarians, then in the following month clerics and druids, and so on. This is not a necessary part of the idea, but I suspect that there are many people who are “hurting” for one or more class. One could even go more radical and give a small chance of getting a featured past HotM of the featured class, to add further incentive to pull.