WoW Discussion

Cataclysm Class Preview (Part 1)

So far Blizzard has released 6 updates with the other 3 coming out soon and us having to wait on pallies a bit longer.
The classes previewed so far are:

  • Priests
  • Warlocks
  • Shaman
  • Rogues
  • Death Knights
  • Warriors

Some interesting and game changing modifications are being made some of the biggest are that warlocks are getting their new shard system, nothing really new, since we heard it at Blizzcon 2009, but the fact that haste and crit will affect DoTs definitely is a game changer, particularly for the Affliction spec.

Priests are going to have an ability to pull people out of danger (i.e. people who don’t get out of the fire).  This one is a bit more controversial than others, as it seems it promotes the wrong behavior.  Before healers complained about players not paying attention to their surroundings, but now it seems Blizzard has said, well its the healers job to compensate for a player’s lack of self awareness.  Also how does this affect those who need to make the choice to take that damage or unleash a potential wipe?

Blizzard also seems to be making Priests more into tank healers again.  Though with some of the changes to the discipline spec, it may seem they are making them more into tank shielders instead, either way the play style for healing on the priest is going to change.

Not to say Shadow Priests are getting a little something, with shadow orbs and additional damage abilities, Spriests are getting some love, particularly those who are just leveling up for the first time without shadowform yet.

Shaman are getting an AOE heal over time, which honestly just sounds awesome.  Many Shaman friends are very stoked about this new ability and what it means for them as raid healers.  Also being able to unleash their weapon enchants is a very cool new mechanic.

Warriors are changing a good bit, it appears that Sunder which has always been a 5 stack debuff on bosses and mobs is changing to a 3 stack.  I am not a warrior, but man this has been a staple since Molten Core.  I am not understanding the need to change this.  Also with the removal of “on next swing” mechanic from the game, heroic strike is going to become an instant strike.  Shouts are changing slightly but nothing major, just moving to more of a DK’s horn of winter ability.  Another notable change is the mastery ability to help not only warrior tanks but DK’s as well scale their threat with higher gear levels.

Rogue changes, with the exception of a few, seem more tailored to PVP style gameplay.  With a smoke bomb ability that doesn’t allow someone to target you while in the smoke cloud, reducing damage coming in and transferring combo points to a new target.  Now the last has some cool PVE implications as it will reduce combo ramp up time for a rogue, but still I can’t help but feel that these three scream PVP.  Slice and Dice is losing its “target” requirements, but seems it will still need combo points (possibly) and energy to enable.  Perhaps this means the target can be dead where you had combo points, or maybe its just an energy ability.  Also Rogues get a HoT at low levels to improve the leveling experience, downtime when leveling is one of the things I hate most about my rogue.

Death Knights…my class of choice seems to be getting a fairly large overhaul.  So where before DK’s could be a tank in any tree, Blood will be the go-to spec for tanks.  Frost will remain the dual wield tree fo choice and the Unholy tree diseases and pets.  The biggest change is how their rune system is going to work.  No longer will each rune be on its own cooldown, but the second rune will be a “storage tank” for the first.  The concept seems a  bit confusing, and will probably remain so until we see it in action.  The intent Ghostcrawler said was to slow down the DK’s hits, but make them bigger.  The thing is if they slow us down, I am worried there will be a lot of down time until we wait for runes to come back up.  So it will be interesting to see how Blizzard fills out those gaps.

To be continued with Hunters, Mages and Druid in part 2, Pallies in part 3