Warcraft: Four Point Oh Point One

11102010

Death Knight tanking: The long cooldown on Death and Decay makes stuff frustrating. Lost a melee dps who did not assist. Need more practice.

Paladin healing: Required some acclimation and practice. More like learning to walk again, only much easier.

Hunter leveling: No mana? No ammo? No problem. Kill Command is less Damage per Focus than Arcane Shot? As Beast Mastery? Probably needs fixing.

Reflective water surfaces are awesome. The rippling effect is nice but wanting.

Prime glyphs, as predicted, are super boring. Major glyphs are terrific. Minor glyphs remain pretty stupid.

In every case so far, I am set in my first 31 talent points. It is the remaining five that I sometimes am unsure about spending…I expected more choice given the proclamations. I’d love an additional 2- or 3-point talent on many tiers. Still want more variance between individuals playing the same spec.

I’m starting to feel like the game would be better as either PvE or PvP. I feel like the developers, forced to fit the abilities/talents/glyphs into both is hurting the game. It is honestly amazing that they’ve done as well as they have but I would be in favor of sacrificing one for the sake of the other. (In my case, PvP for PvE.)

Overall I am in favor of the changes brought on by this patch. That said, I’ve hardly been playing, and am eagerly awaiting the expansion set to come out in less than a month.


Warcraft: Cataclysm For Some

07232010

The Cataclysm expansion is bringing about some changes that will affect certain classes on a very basic level. Hunters, for instance, will no longer use mana as casters do; they will use focus, a mechanic similar to energy. Paladins are getting Holy Power (I will agree with Blessing of Kings and World of Matticus guest poster Rykga concerning the name, “Zeal” sounds much better and allows us not to use the abbreviation HP); I’m not sure how it’s fitting into the UI, but they’re similar to combo points on the caster. Druids will have a built-in Eclipse bar; as they cast Nature spells, they will move closer to a Lunar Eclipse, which will grant them bonus arcane damage, and vice-versa. The runes used by Death Knights will regenerate differently, and the class will only have one dedicated tanking tree (Blood). Warlocks’ soul shards will work similarly to DK runes, but will regenerate verrrrrry slowly on their own, and can be used to amplify certain abilities. Some of the other classes’ trees are being more refined in order to separate them from each other: the Fury tree for warriors is going to place a heavy emphasis on Enrage mechanics to differentiate it further from the Arms tree.

However, some classes are not receiving any of this extensive treatment. Mages, Shaman, and Priests especially do not really seem to have much in the way of new stuff to look forward to. There are some fun-looking talents for sure and they will all be enjoying the new masteries system, but will yet just be using mana to keep casting many of the same spells as before. Rogues, too, while their combo points, energy, and stealth are already quite unique (aside from cat-spec feral druids), will not be getting a lot of the same new-and-shininess bestowed unto other classes.

I don’t blame Blizzard for this in the least, and the changes are of course not yet final; we may see something new for all of those “left-behind” classes. I just hope that they are all just as fun to play as any other, in the end.


Warcraft: Blizzard Twitter Q&A

07162010

Link.

They answered one of my eight questions.

Q. If every specialization is intended to take their 31-point talent, why is it not baseline at the level you could acquire it?
A. Those talents are a good “brass ring” to work towards. They often change your character pretty dramatically when you get them, so it’s a fun moment. There is definitely an interesting philosophical discussion about talent trees and how many talents should be mandatory vs. optional. Some players would like a model where everything is on equal footing with everything else. Others want to make sure there are some safe decisions so that they don’t have to do tons of theory-crafting research every time they talent their character. We are trying to shoot for something in the middle where we have some expectation for how a particular spec will play (for example, we don’t want to have to develop and support the non-Chaos Bolt Destruction rotation) but players can still decide if say Blitz is something their Arms warrior will use or not.