Archive for the “Wrath of the Lich King” Category

Posts specifically related to the prelude to the Wrath Expansion Pack. Shall be considered moot after release.

Waiting for the content patch to come out is like waiting to get teeth pulled.  Your mouth hurts, you know that you are going to be in for a world of pain when you get in there, but you will feel better afterwards.  I know that I am both excited and apprehensive about the content patch, and these feelings are growing stronger as the patch draws ever closer.

The biggest concern for me is not what I will spec, or how I will play, but rather how everything is going to work together in groups.  Many people are particularly excited about the upcoming ‘nerfs’ to raid bosses, and are reporting incredibly fast speed clears of raids on the PTR and in beta (something I always take with a grain of salt, because I find it hard to take the word of people who regularly indulge in massive epeen stroking).  I honestly can’t see the higher level raids becoming a great deal easier, as many people will be coming to terms with their new talents and abilities, and how they synergise with others in a group.  I know that a great deal is going to change in my play style, and it is going to take a lot of practice to perfect a new spell rotation and my threat management.  No doubt I will go from being one of the top DPS to one of the bottom.  Some people will find that their DPS or healing is better, others will struggle to adjust. 

I am also hanging there waiting for Inscription to come out.  Sure, it’s not a huge deal.  However, it is important to me, simply because I have put so much time and effort into preparing for it.  Is it silly to say that I am looking forward to it?

Finally, it will be nice to have fresh inspiration for blogging.  As Kalf puts it, it is difficult to have motivation to talk about the details of your class when they are all about to change. 

I guess the main thing here is the change to raids.  Is this really a ‘nerf’?  Or will this just be a way of allowing us to adjust to new playstyles and abilities, not actually making anything easier?  I’d like to hear some other opinions. 

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Homogenization (or homogenisation) is a term used in many fields such as chemistry, agricultural science, food technology, sociology and cell biology. Homogenization is a term connoting a process that makes a mixture the same throughout the entire substance.

- Wikipedia

I suspect that I am going to be the lone voice in the wilderness here, decrying the new way like the complainer I am. Well, it has been a long while since I wrote a rant, and I think it’s about time…

I have issues with the new gear itemisation in Wrath. There, I said it. The writing was on the wall when they had to give Warlocks a use for that stinkin’ Spirit. Next thing you know, Pallies don’t need spellpower anymore for tanking, Druids don’t need anything anymore for tanking (since I hear they currently die like flies), and what the heck, let all mail be good for Hunters and Shaman alike!

Now, I know all the arguments for doing this. It will be easier to get drops now. There wont need to be such a wide variety of items. You will be able to go into an instance without thinking ‘There is absolutely nothing here for me, this place drops SFA for my class’. All good reasons, yada yada yada. Too bad that the whole thing is utterly jinkified.

The problem with making gear accessible for all classes who are skilled in that gear type (cloth, leather, mail, plate) is that it requires a lot of tinkering with the fundamental mechanics of that class. Basic things will not work the same way anymore. This completely changes most everything that was ever thought about a class. Sure, me getting my head around ‘Spirit = good’ is not that difficult. Other classes have a much tougher time adjusting than we locks do. I have to wonder if this is really at all necessary. Why fix something that simply isn’t broken (OK – isn’t broken that badly)? Do we need to homogenise gear THAT extensively?

milk

Another major hurdle that I can see is the distribution of loot in raiding. As we all know, the most complicated pieces to handle are those which are good for multiple classes. In their effort to try and make things easier, Blizzard have actually made life more difficult for raid leaders by creating a situation where all your plate wearers will be fighting for the same pieces, and all your cloth wearers will be fighting for the same pieces. It will be more difficult to determine what pieces are best for whom, and as usual your DPSers will probably be left in the cold until every healer and tank has the gear.

Finally, I really get a kick out of the fact that different classes need different stats. It makes things more interesting, and certainly adds to the excitement of looking at a piece of gear and thinking ‘Wow, that is just great for …’ Now, everything is going to be ‘oh, yay, cloth…’ I think that will get tiresome very fast indeed. I also find it amusing that I was one of many people wanting more differences in gear for different specs, and the easy solution to this clearly was to just say ‘eh, we will just make it good for everyone instead’. Well… blah. How fricking boring.

I can’t say I especially object to the changes in class mechanics that have been implemented. Raid wide buffs are fantastic. Giving many classes similar abilities? Not so great in my book, but I can live with it (although I can’t say I really think Paladins should get an AoE heal for example… but that’s just me being ‘old fashioned’). However, this combined with the changes to gear mean that everything is starting to look awfully… the same. This is not what I would deem a creative solution to any problem. Yes, some classes needed better gear itemisation – badly. Was making everyone need similar gear really the answer to the problem? I don’t think so. Perhaps a bit more work could have been put into smarter solutions:

- Intuitive drops: I don’t know if this is even possible, but it would be great if items would drop in instances which could be used by the classes inside. It is incredibly frustrating seeing plate drop on a run with no plate wearers for example. Combining intuitive drops with larger loot tables would be fricking awesome. A lot more work, but infinitely more awesome.

Looking at it now, I actually can’t think of a better solution than that. Hey, I would have been happy with larger loot tables even so that all classes and specs had a chance to get something. Improved crafting professions to benefit ALL people who choose it would also be spectacular. I have no doubt Blizzard will address that anyway. I just don’t see how making things more generic is an adequate solution.

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The content patch is hot on my heels, and to be 100% honest with you I just really do not feel ready for it yet. In some ways it has thrown me for a loop, simply because I was planning on having Hermia become my Inscriber, and that plan also included stockpiling masses of herbs before Wrath comes out to help speed the process up a little bit. Now, I am not so sure if I am going to be able to keep ahead of the pack, which does worry me in some ways.

There are a few things which are going to be introduced in the content patch. Here is a list which I blatantly stole from WoW Insider (why reinvent the wheel, right?) Obviously, only two of these really currently affect me.

  1. New class spells and talents
  2. Stormwind Harbour
  3. Barbershops in capital cities
  4. Zeppelin towers outside Orgrimmar and Tirisfal Glades
  5. Two brand new Arenas
  6. Guild Calendar
  7. Hunter pet skill revamp
  8. Inscription

The biggest concern I currently have though is that I have not planned what I should spec Saresa to in the meantime. As we are getting the content patch well before Wrath comes out by the looks of things, I really want to get in and do some testing to see which spec will become the most optimal 70 spec for raiding. I hadn’t really thought very much about this before, because I foolishly assumed that there would not be a great deal of time between the content patch and the expansion. You have to remember, I was not around for the pre-BC hubbub, and I really do not know what to expect. Even if I was around, it would have made very little difference to me as I was not raiding at the time – heck, I wasn’t even level 60. Of course, the expansion may come out not long at all after the content patch and this will all be moot. We will see.

While there will be more flexibility in raiding specs both at 70 and 80, I think it will take me some time to work out which is the best 70 raiding spec with the new talents, both in terms of math and theory crafting, and with what suits my playstyle. A great deal is changing for warlocks, but I believe that some of the greatest change in how we play is occurring in the Destruction tree. Honestly, this change is good in most ways, especially the movement away from Shadow Magery and into a more versatile and varied rotation. This just means that I need to work this rotation out! Not to mention a spec to match it!

unprepared

I honestly believe that the standard Succy Sac spec is going to go the way of the dodo (or any level 80 form of the same spec). The emphasis on using both schools for casting in Wrath means that a straight shadow damage buff isn’t going to cut it anymore (especially a reduced version of the one currently in game). I will probably refrain from re-enchanting my blade until I see convincing proof of this, simply because it was an expensive chant and I don’t like to see it gone.

The Spec

OK, from the top, here is how I have specced and my justification for each point spent. Bear with me, this is going to be one long long post. Also, please try to keep in mind that there are many other valuable talents which I could have chosen. This is a 70 spec, not an 80 spec, and so I chose things which would afford me the most benefit at the time.

Currently I have chosen to focus on damage dealing rather than stamina and utility. I may have to tweak this, depending on how it works out in game. Another issue is that this is quite difficult even to test in beta – I can’t imagine too many people want to go into BT just to test out level 70 stuff!

Affliction

1. Improved Corruption 5/5: I think that Imp Corruption is once again going to be a bread and butter ability for all locks to have. The reason I decided that this was going to be important was because of the Molten Core talent in the Destruction tree, which I will outline shortly. It’s also a pretty nice talent all round anyway.

Demonology

2. Demonic Embrace 4/5: Simply because a little bit of stamina can go a long way. I really wish that I could invest more in the Demonology tree, but I just love too many talents in the Destruction tree! I would be willing to shuffle these around some dependent on raid needs (so into imp healthstone or imp imp).

Destruction

1. Improved Shadow Bolt 5/5: Hasn’t changed, pretty much the same talent as before. It will be interesting to see how this holds up in Wrath and whether it will be a mainstay anymore. For now, I plan to keep it, because I can see it being useful still.

2. Bane 5/5: Also the same as before. Shorter cast time? Yes please! Also shortens the cast time of Chaos Bolt, which is jinkieriffic.

3. Molten Core 3/3: Your shadow spells and damage over time effects have a 15% chance to increase the damage of your fire spells by 10% for 6 seconds. This is the reason why I specced into Improved Corruption. From my tinkerings on beta, this also seems to proc fairly frequently. A nice talent, and one which makes me love my Immolate and Incinerate again.

4. Cataclysm 3/3: Same as before, but with an added bonus: increases the chance to hit with your Destruction spells by 3%. Squee, a hit talent!

5. Devastation 5/5: More crit? Yummy!

6. Destructive Reach 2/2: Same old same old.

7. Improved Immolate 5/5: While this is the same as before, I see it as being more important now for two reasons. It allows you to get to Conflagrate, which apparently will no longer be useless, and it will help cancel out the effects of the new Glyph which will affect Immolate.

8. Ruin 1/1: It’s the same as before, still tasty!

9. Conflagrate 1/1: While the tooltip hasn’t changed, I will be interested to see what role Conflag plays in WotLK

10. Backlash 3/3: Also hasn’t changed much, but I like it just the way it is.

11. Shadow and Flame 5/5: A nifty talent

12. Backdraft 3/3: When you cast Conflagrate, the cast time and mana cost of your next three Destruction spells is reduced by 30% This is why I will now be including Conflagrate in my spell rotation. While the reduced mana doesn’t really excite me, the reduced cast time is very nice.

hit_me

13. Fire and Brimstone 5/5: Increases the damage of your Immolate spell by an amount equal to 25% of your spellpower, and the critical strike chance of your Conflagrate spell is increased by 25% if the Immolate on the target has 5 or fewer seconds remaining. This is pretty clever on Blizzard’s behalf. By giving us quite a chance to get extra damage out of a Conflagrate, they stop us from over casting it or casting it too early to reap the benefits of Backdraft. It will be interesting to see how it works out

14. Chaos Bolt 1/1: Sends a bolt of chaotic fire at the enemy, dealing 1012 – 1278 Fire damage. Chaos Bolt can not be resisted, and pierces through all absorbtion effects. 12 sec cooldown. That is an absolute motza of spell damage. I can see this spell being cast whenever the cooldown is up, because it looks pretty nice to me.

As I am sure you are now aware (and may even be screaming at the computer) there are many great talents there which I could have taken. ‘Why didn’t you choose Soul Leech and Improved Soul Leech!?!” “Why do you not have Empowered Imp?” (that one was a tough one to resist indeed). As I stated before, I went for the talents which maximised my damage to the greatest degree at level 70. If I do see a need for better survivability as I raid, I will change it. It is a very difficult (and ultimately personal) decision in this case, because there are so many variables. I will be sure to let you know how it all works out, anyway!!

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Actually… why bother? Truly, most of the warlock glyphs that I have seen come out of the beta are a massive pile of poop. I won’t go into a great amount of detail about them, as they are listed on WoWInsider and YAWN (btw Horns, you aren’t banned, but are certainly on probation!! :P), but I will mention how disappointed I am in the quality of the glyphs Blizzard have given us so far. Many of them seem to be tuned to PvP, which is a real share for us raiding Warlocks who would love a little more oomph to our spells. The PvE tuned ones are seemingly aimed at improving our crowd control to a small extent (such as Glyph of Banish and Glyph of Succubus), and decreasing mana costs of spells such as Shadow Bolt and Conflagrate. While reduced mana costs are nice and certainly mean less tapping, all in all I would really rather see something different!

One thing which I would be VERY intrigued to see the math for is the Glyph of Conflagrate, which gives you a 10% decrease in the damage done by the initial damage of the spell, but then adds 20% to each tick afterwards. Unfortunately, I suck really badly at math, but I am hoping that TeePee is kind enough to perhaps look into it for me. Please??

Horns wrote at the bottom glyphs that he would like to see, and I also have a couple to add of my own.

1. I will repeat his request for a glyph which gives us green fire!

2. Glyph of Shattering – increases the threat reduction of Soulshatter by a further 25%. A total threat wipe would be considered to be overpowered by many, and I don’t know if I can survive the QQing that would follow. 50% on a 5 minute cooldown is absolutely ridiculous though – and it costs a shard! Another acceptable version would be to reduce the cooldown to 2 minutes.

3. Glyph of Impishness – gives your fire spell critical strikes a chance to allow your imp to cast while Phase Shifted for 5 seconds. Honestly not sure how well that would work out in terms of power and class balance, but it would give my imp a use besides a stamina buff. That and it sounds kinda neat!

4. Glyph of Soulstone – so I am kinda cheating here, since it is an existing glyph. I would change it though to a chance to gain accelerated mana regeneration or some such thing – MUCH more useful for both wipe recovery and healers popping back up mid fight.

5. Glyph of Rickroll Vision – grants the Warlock the ability to spot a rickroll on the forums straight away, rather than being sucked in for over ten pages.

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So, if I was a good blogger, I would write a nice meaty post today since I just wont have time tomorrow (probably). Of course, you all know me better than that!!

I logged onto the beta today to spend some quality time levelling. Unfortunately, my brain somehow managed to invert the amount of XP that I have, and I was crushingly disappointed to find that I was only 4 bars in, rather than having 4 bars to go! Lots of this would have to do with the fact that I am a horribly lazy person. It would also have to do with the fact I just don’t have much time at the moment as well. But yes, I was totally crushed. I was then totally confused, as I am one of those nitwits who is really bad at finding their way around places, and I couldn’t find a way to jump up upon this island that I had to kill some dude on. Perhaps this is a good thing – I had to kill some guy and take his golden trident, and give it to a naga. It reminded me just a little too much of The Little Mermaid (if Ursula was in WoW, she would be a naga for sure!)

Some of the super slow levelling I am sure also has to do with the fact that I am insanely levelling destro. I know, I know, I counsel against it ALL the time. Lets just say that I suck at taking my own advice, and I am doing it just to remind you all – repeatedly – how crap it is, how hard it is, how much food and drink I go through, how people look at me like I am a total psycho… You get the point.

I suppose I could have also made a video today. I was tempted to do one on the weekend, but prior commitments make this basically impossible. We shall see what happens!

Now, I am sure that by now all of you are thinking ‘Sar, this post is a pile of jinkified garbage. I could write better than this!’ Well, someone (not me, I am notoriously possessive of my work) is offering you the chance to make me look bad. Head over to Matticus’ site, and take a gander at the event he is running – offering you the chance to become the third writer on his wonderful site. Imagine, sharing screen space with Matt and Wyn! Just thinking about it makes me jealous of the person who doesn’t even exist there yet! What are you waiting for already?

Just so you go over there even faster, I’m going to stop writing now. So NER.

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When you only have 60g between both of your characters in beta, you really should be careful in how you spend it.

1. Don’t blow 7g on a haircut! While Herm looks undoubtedly prettier with her nice new hair… it really wasn’t a wise investment!

2. Train your crafting profession before your gathering one: Sar is a miner and a tailor. Stupid stupid me trained up her mining well before her tailoring… way to go, me! So, until I get a mule copied over (with gold stolen from friends and guildies)… I can’t learn tailoring. Siiiigh.

3. Try to quest, as much as you hate it: OK, so I am in the beta, I should really quest, right? After all, how else am I supposed to level/find bugs/whatever else I am MEANT to be doing in there. Will get around to that, I swear, once I am past the ‘OOOOOOH shiny!’ phase.

4. Have fun entertaining people with your new abilities. It’s cheap (ie – free), and everyone gets a kick out of it. I had several requests for screenshot poses for my shiny new demon form… and yesterday I took it one step further and scared the pants offa everyone with my awesome leap-like ability. I would say what it is called… but I can’t remember, and when I tried to log in to check the beta needed another patch. I know, frustrating, isn’t it? I am sure one of my friendly commenters will fill in the gap for me.

My only complaint about this?? Why can’t I be a GIRL demon?

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OK, so the picture is kinda small… but you get the point!

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Hi, my name is Saresa, and I have Writer’s Block.

Since I actually logged on to WoW for the first time in four days, I figured I would find something interesting to blog about. Unfortunately, this was not the case – unless I do a dull as old biscuits “We killed Solarian, and guess what dropped? Nothing at all pertinent to a Warlock!” style post. Not much happened at all, apart from a very short discussion where I (with the help of Siha - thanks!) had to clarify that Warlocks are NOT losing our Death Coil spell. There seems to be a rumour going around that we are losing that spell (one of our bread-and-butter PvP spells, and one of our only defenses against melee!) I would like to state here, for the record:

THIS IS NOT TRUE. At this point in time, you are still able to learn Death Coil from the Warlock trainers in the beta. The only thing that I can come up with to explain this is that Death Knights are also getting an ability called Death Coil, which is completely different to the Warlock version of the ability (for starters, there is no fear component). Death Knights get this ability because they had it in the lore – I have not heard anything about Warlocks losing it (and honestly, I do not believe Blizzard would do that). Stress less locks, all is well so far!

Now, let us hope I can find something to break this Writer’s Block (Blogger’s Block?) With Elune’s help I’ll overcome this terrible affliction.

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So, the WotLK talents have been popped up on WI. Now, I still have a good mad on, but oh well, I am going to write about them anyway. I am sorry that this post is now going to look a touch Christmas-y, but I am going to highlight what I consider to be good changes in green, and bad ones in red. Of course, as always, keep in mind that these things can and will probably change before release! These are apparently 100% legitimate, but I am a cynic and still have reservations. If I am lucky enough to get a Beta invite, I guess I will know for sure!

  • Aftermath (Destruction) – Now a 2-point talent, down from 5 – definitely good for those of us who choose to spec in it, it was an absolute waste as a 5 point talent. I may even consider taking Aftermath now!
  • All demon abilities and spells will automatically be learned as pets gain levels. Demon Master trainers will be removed – Good I guess, although I did enjoy going to the Demon Master and purchasing my grimoires. I just think this takes a bit of flavour away from the class, and is completely unnecessary.
  • Blood Pact now works raid-wide (not just in party) - great for the poor lock who gets stuck with the tanks. However, this may not have such a significant impact with so many buffs becoming raid wide.
  • Cataclysm (Destruction) – Now also increases your chance to hit with Destruction spells by 1% per point – finally, a hit talent for Destruction locks! However, I do believe (in the current state of affairs) that this now advantages Destro locks more than Aff locks (since Aff locks do still use Shadowbolt, and thus need to be hit capped, while most Shadowmages don’t use Aff spells often). This could change though after release, with the game play changes – after all, play styles change significantly after expansions!
  • Curse of Recklessness will no longer prevent Fear effects, only prevent NPCs from fleeing (e.g. at low health) - makes fear kiting in instances much more difficult, and makes it an unreliable form of CC.
  • Dark Pact: Tooltip updated to be more consistent with other similar effects – eh, new description.
  • Demon Armor – Now increases healing done by spells and effects by 20%, but no longer has in-combat health regeneration – I don’t know to be honest if this will make Demon Armor more appealing or even less appealing!
  • Demon Skin, Demon Armor and Fel Armor are no longer Magic effects and cannot be dispelled - excellent!
  • Fel Armor – Now increases your spell damage equal to 30% of your total Spirit, but no longer increases healing done by spells and effects by 20% - URGH, Spirit! Why this focus on Spirit!!! My healer friends were sad, because they liked to test on me for cheating personal best heals :) *MASSIVE NEW EDIT!!! I have heard rumours that the Spirit aspect of this merely replaces the +healing taken, not the plus damage component. If that’s true, it would be fricking awesome!*
  • Fel Stamina (Demonology) has been merged with Fel Intellect into Fel Vitality – logical in my opinion. Much better use of talent points.
  • Howl of Terror now costs 15% of base mana – currently costs 200 mana for rank 2. A Warlock’s base mana value is 2615, which makes this spell now cost approximately 390 mana (392.25 to be exact, but will no doubt be rounded). So, approximately doubled.
  • Improved Curse of Weakness (Affliction) is now “Frailty” – Increases the amount of attack power reduced by your Curse of Weakness spell by 10/20%, and increases the amount of armor reduced by your Curse of Recklessness by 10/20% – Two for one!
  • Improved Enslave Demon (Demonology) is now a Tier 5 talent, up from Tier 4 – More of a meh change in my opinion. I have never had Imp. Enslave, and have always gotten by just fine, so I am not sure how useful the spell is anyway.
  • Improved Lash of Pain (Destruction) and Improved Firebolt (Destruction) have been merged into one talent, Demonic Power – Great if they put something worthwhile in its place!
  • Improved Shadow Bolt (Destruction) – Now increases damage by your next Shadow damage spells by 3/6/9/12/15%, down from 4/8/12/16/20% – The wording of this makes me feel very uncomfortable indeed. Does the use of the word YOUR mean that this is going to become a caster-only debuff? Of course, less damage is not nice, but I suppose they want the other classes to catch up! :)
  • Mana Feed: Tooltip updated to be more consistent with other similar effects – Eh again… just the change of the words.
  • Master Demonologist – Felguard (Demonology) – Now increases all damage by 1/2/3/4/5%, and reduces all damage done to you by 1/2/3/4/5% – much nicer than all resistances!
  • Master Demonologist – Imp (Demonology) – Now increases Fire damage by 1/2/3/4/5%, and critical hit chance with Fire spells by 1/2/3/4/5% – an interesting change… the reduced threat was nice, but I am sure this will be considered equally nice!
  • Master Demonologist – Succubus (Demonology) – Now increases Shadow damage by 1/2/3/4/5%, and critical hit chance with Shadow spells by 1/2/3/4/5% – hmmm… very interesting indeed. I am not sure if it will end the Sac build, but the crit is nice. It is a large damage loss though (formerly 10% to all damage done, and if you sac’ed her, 15% to shadow damage).
  • Master Demonologist (Demonology) – Most effects have been altered – see above!
  • New Talent: Demonic Empowerment (Demonology) – Grants your Summoned Demon power for a short time – How much power? More details please!
  • New Talent: Eradication (Affliction) – Your Corruption, Siphon Life and Curse of Agony ticks have a 5/10/15% chance to increase your spell haste by 20% for 8 sec. This effect has a 10 second cooldown - That is a nice buff to the Affliction tree, with haste = more DoTs cast!
  • New Talent: Molten Core (Destruction) – Your Shadow spells and damage over time effects have a 5/10/15% chance to increase the damage of your Fire spells by 10% for 6 sec – A great way to get us to mix it up a little, and use more than one school. The end of SB Spam? We can only hope.
  • Pyroclasm (Destruction) – Now also includes Conflagrate – I never really bothered with Pyroclasm, and probably still wont.
  • Shadowfury (Destruction) – Can now be cast while moving. Stun duration increased to 3 seconds, up from 2 - a nice buff for PvP locks.
  • Soul Link (Demonology) is now an 11-point talent (used to be a 31-point talent), but the 5% bonus damage from this talent has been removed. In addition, the damage absorbed by Soul Link is now 15%, down from 20% – I suspect this may have been done to provide us with more versatility in our PvP builds. The damage loss is justified by its higher positioning.
  • Soul Siphon (Affliction): Now also increases the damage of your Drain Soul – makes sense!
  • Suppression (Affliction) is now a 3-point talent, down from 5. Now increases your chance to hit with Affliction spells by 1/2/3%, down from 1/2/3/4/5% – not sure about the reason for this change, although I still don’t find Suppression to be overly useful.
  • Unstable Affliction (Affliction): Silence effect reduced to 3 seconds, down from 5 – Not so great, but… oh well.

There is a fairly healthy mix of green in there, which looks promising. However, alot of the improvements seem to be fairly minor, while some of the nerfs are pretty huge. Things which I haven’t coloured I view as either insignificant, or I just can’t really make my mind up whether it is good or bad! I am still VERY disturbed by the mention of spirit. I am also concerned about the loss of the Paladin blessing Salvation. The new version looks to be fiddly, and altogether poor. Not sure why Blizz would nerf Salv… like it isn’t hard enough to pull aggro! Maybe tanks will be made uber in the expansion…

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So, I am sure that you have read all the changes to each of the classes already (I am a bit behind here, seeing as I got out of bed about 2 hours ago!). However, I think it is only fair that I subject you to MY view of all the fun and exciting things that Blizzard have done for us!

Warlock

First and foremost, there is no plan to make any changes to shard farming as we know it. Do I have an issue with this? Heck no! I have never had an issue with farming soul shards, based on the following principles: A) Free reagents people! How can we complain about something which is ‘free’? B) As a raiding warlock, it is really not difficult to ensure that you have a sufficient amount of shards. I always try to enter a raid with 30-40 shards (I like to be prepared! I also know warlocks who go in with over 50) based on the principle that each death will cost me up to 3 shards. However, if I do run low, it’s pretty simple to farm more on trash as we go. I also know that there is NOTHING worse than that sinking feeling when you pull aggro, mash Soulshatter… and realise you have no shards. Jinkies!

However, this is not to say that I would not like to see changes to the soul shard system. First and foremost in my opinion is providing soul shard bags with an enhancement. Shard bags not helping the class in any other way is patently unfair. We are essentially forced to sacrifice a bag slot, just as hunters are. However, we do not reap any benefit from this apart from a slightly larger shard bag. Bring our bags in line with quivers!

The two announced class changes are very interesting indeed. The first of these is an ability called Demonic Circle, where we can scribe a circle in the ground and teleport back to it later. While it does sound interesting, I would really like to know more about it before I judge its viability in a PvE situation. How long does the circle last? Does it have ‘charges’, or can we only return to it once? I will admit I didn’t even consider the PvP applications initially (I just don’t think that way), but Daniel Whitcomb has that well and truly covered I believe over at WI. The only initial PvE use that I could think of was for bosses like Shade of Aran, if you were too slow/lazy to run to the outside. I suppose it could also be useful on fights like Prince, allowing you to place a circle in a common ‘safe spot’ and then zip over to it when necessary.

Demon Form is the other announced change. A Demonic Form will be the 51 point Demonology talent (makes sense, hey?), and the big news is that they will have an AoE shadowbolt ability. I am still a little dubious about this myself, and once again I really do want to know more before I make an adequate assessment. Initial impressions have me seeing this as a PvP talent, but this could change as more abilities are discussed. One major question is ‘Is it banishable?’

Druid

The changes to Druids are covered in much better depth than what I could ever aspire to across the Druid blogosphere. So, I will just say the one thing I am excited about:

Dire Cat! Huzzah!…(oh… and the Dire forms will look a little different). Dire Cat might add some viability to kitty DPS in raids (well, maybe it IS viable, and I just suck at it. Although, I was impressed with Hermia’s DPS output yesterday when she was catting it up – 480DPS! I think it’s nothing to sneeze at based on her gear!)

Other Classes

Some of the changes to other classes also are great buffs to every class (especially Shaman changes!). The two most notable ones are Shaman Totems providing a raid wide buff (as opposed to being party based), and Windfury no longer being a weapon buff (advantaging Druids and Rogues notably). Huzzah!

Best change overall: Best in show goes to the Hunters. Yay for Pet Talents!

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