… and the other classes

13 April 2010 § Leave a comment


Given I’m an altoholic, I thought I’d comment on the changes for other classes – at least the ones I play at 80. Keep in mind that my grasp of the mechanics of the other classes is much more superficial than priests’, so there’s a high chance I may misinterpret stuff. MMO-Champion has a nice compilation of all the class changes here.

Druid

Very unexciting, if  you ask me. I like the Eclipse change: although I’ve become better at not missing procs (thank you Quartz), I can understand that in raid situations having an Eclipse proc at the wrong time can be really frustrating. Leaving the control of the proc a bit more on the player sounds like a good idea. I really cannot get excited about Wild Mushroom – or Efflorescence. I do agree however that druids had WAY too many tools already, so it’s a good idea to focus on rebalancing them all, rather than adding new unused icons. Sadly, though, that does take away some of the excitement off this preview…

Shaman

On the enhancement side, the biggest improvement is for low-levels shamans, it seems, with the introduction of Primal Strike. All good for them, because levelling enhancement is really boring until lvl 30 (Windfury) and 40 (Stormstrike and Dual Wield) – but kinda pointless for me, given my shaman is already at 80. Unleash Weapon is interesting, but I’m a bit worried about the addition of yet another action to a rotation that already watches five different short cooldowns (shocks, Stormstrike, Lava Lash, Maelstrom, Fire Nova), two longish ones (Feral Spirits and Fire Elemental) and a buff (Lightning Shield). Not that I’m complaining about the rotation, mind you – it’s a lot of fun when you get into it. I’m just not sure about adding yet another element to it. The good news is that it seems Blizz is aware of this, and is planning to do something (maybe increasing Lava Lash cooldown to let us do other things). I would have liked to have a reworking of Shamanistic Rage: currently it’s a defensive cooldown, that also regens your mana – and becomes offensive with the 2T10 bonus. Seems a bit overcharged to me.

For Elemental, the big news seems to be the introduction of Earthquake as a new channeled AoE – and the baking in of the spellpower bonus into any Fire Totem. This latter thing is nice and something shamans have asked for a long time – and they could probably use an AoE, although I don’t particularly like channeled ones.

Resto gets Spirit Link, Healing Rain and Spiritwalker’s Grace – and a nice mastery bonus. Spirit Link and the bonus have potential, though it seems they would move shamans towards tank healing. If Spirit Link is a cooldown, it could actually be what they badly needed: an “ohshit” button to push.

All in all, a bit vague, but actually not too bad.

Warlocks

Dark intent seem interesting, if very derivative of Focus Magic. Fel Flame could be quite nice, especially given that it’s insta-cast. Demon Soul needs more detail, before I can form an opinion – but yes, I can see this as something that at least makes sense for warlocks. The new soul shards system will definitely add a new layer to the game, although I think I’ll need to play with it to get a feel.

I definitely like the fact that they will phase out the Metamorphosis special abilities, as I really wasn’t a big fan of those. Demon Bolt leaves me kinda unexcited – Demonology is already unique in juggling three different nukes (Incinerate, Shadowbolt and Soulfire), and we still have 3 DoTs (Corruption, Immolate and the curse), so, once again, I’m not sure I want to add more stuff to do on either side.

The change of Curses is a nice idea – freeing up the utility from the additional dps is welcome, and consistent with the shaman fire totem change.

Mage

I saved the best for last. This is by far the most exciting preview I’ve seen – I don’t think there’s anything I DON’T like.

Mage bloodlust is definitely going to be awesome for 10-man raids. We actually have multiple shamans in our raid (although we recently lost one, we’re still left with an enhancement and an elemental one), so we didn’t have the problem ourselves, but I know other raids have, and it’s nice to have options. Flame Orbs sound really cool, with some great potential in PvP and PvE. Wall of Fog seems more geared towards PvP, but is generally a cool spell, so yay for that too. Most importantly, they all sound very appropriate to the mage class!

I also think the mastery talent for Arcane is really intriguing. The developers said that they tried out the whole gamut of possibilities for mastery talents, from boring damage/healing increases to more active stuff, because they want to see which ones feel better. Honestly, I hope they go for the more active stuff: things like Eclipse for Druids and Mana Adept for Mages sound a lot more exciting than “additional nature damage”.

Well, that concludes the quick tour of classes – except of course for paladins, which will be unveiled tomorrow. In general, I think the developers have the right idea when they say it’s better to rething some mechanics and simplify the game, cutting off the useless clutter, than to add “new stuff” that will either make old stuff obsolete or create endless balancing problems. Hence the reduction in totems for shamans (but the increase in utility of the fire ones) and the lack of new spells for druids. Shamans will hurt from the loss of Cleansing Totem, but that’s really due to a different design choice, and that’s the rethinking of dispelling in general.

I think some of the classes seem to have better direction or to be more progressed than others – or simply are going into directions that shine more when it comes to previews like this. All in all, though, this definitely sounds like a game I want to still play!

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