Last week, when asked what class from PHB2 you were most looking forward to playing, the answer was resoundingly sung out: BARD! Almost exactly a year ago, we had asked what class people most wanted to see kept around in 4e, and the answer was Bard then too. So it sounds like we have a bard-loving crowd out there. I personally wasn’t too excited until I actually got to read the class, and discovered that it was going to be a really awesome leader (and master of multiclassing). However, now that the Sorcerer (Wild Mage) is out, I’d definitely change my vote to that.
In second place in our poll was the mighty Druid, and interestingly enough, the brand new Warden class comes in third. The two classes that we know very little about, the Shaman and Avenger, came in the last two spots.
While this list is mostly speculative, here’s the hints that we have so far towards what they are.
Devas: Believed to be the successors to the Aasimar with a less obnoxious sounding name, the Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide makes reference to them having lived multiple lifetimes. They may also be known for their singing voice and temper.
Gnome: Rarr, not just for monsters anymore. James Wyatt told us that his draft included reference to their friendship with burrowing creatures, and we already know from the Monster Manual that they are stealthy, predator-like critters. The Manual of the Planes also contains more information about their government and society in the Feywild. Maybe they will finally shed their reputation as being crappy Dwarves.
Goliaths: Originally introduced in Races of Stone, these guys were known for living in the mountains and being big. The information provided in the Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide seems to jive up with that, and probably is a bit easier to manage now that large size doesn’t have as many rules as it once did.
Half-Orcs: Removed from the PHB due to the “backstory implications” (I once had a DM tell me I couldn’t play one because even in those cases, the village kills the child immediately), these light-green-skinned outcasts might be making a comeback with some sort of solution to the backstory issue. Count on them being strong at the very least, and possibly getting a warrior’s surge like their orcish ancestors.
Shades: Again, all we know is speculative from the Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide, but these are Shadowfell-touched humanoids but aren’t Shadar-Kai. If that information holds true, I’d bet on them being smart and sneaky in some way, and gaining some kind of limited use insubstantiality power.
Shifters: Coming to us from the original Eberron Campaign Setting, Shifters (aka Weretouched) have some lycanthropy in their blood, and the only prescription is more shifting. The Monster Manual brings us two of the flavors: Razorclaw and Longtooth, while we may see the remainder of the aspects show up in PHB2.