I know what you're thinking. "Didn't we have a class panel yesterday?" Well, of course we did, but as exciting as it was we had to come back for a second helping. We're live on the BlizzCon show floor, bringing you the latest class news and information straight from the developers' mouths and starting... right now! For the details as they happen, read on.
Q: Many people don't like the 51-point Shadow Priest talent. Do you have any changes to that?
A: No. (Crowd boos.) We totally buy that it's not really reasonable for PvE and it's kind of a bummer it's not cool for PvE awesome.
Q: Any plans to increase totem health beyond what a level 1 character could kill?
A: We will double it!
Q: In Wrath, one of the new inscriptions will allow exorcism to cause a spell interrupt. Will that be usable on non-undead targets?
A: ...that's a good idea. (Crowd applauds.)
Q: Will Shamans get a talent that boosts spell power by spirit like other classes have?
A: If they need it. For a lot of classes, Spirit isn't mana regen anymore, it's something people stack for the spell damage bonuses. We've been adding more things of this type as needed.
Q: The tank role doesn't carry over into PvP. Are there any plans for "defender" type abilities in arenas or battlegrounds?
A: If you look at the protection tree for Warriors, we've added a lot, more than we've ever had before. I'm not sure we'll ever make taunt work in PvP, don't like taking control of the way from a player.
Q: Homogenization of Paladins. We keep seeing our tools getting transferred to other classes. So our tools aren't holding up as much value anymore...
A: It's a really narrow bridge we walk on, and you can fall out either way. Like Paladins don't have a single-target taunt like Warriors do. Does it make it harder for them to tank? Is it such a fundamentally powerful ability that more classes need it or is it something that makes Warriors particularly cool?
A: It's always difficult for us to decide. Is the flavor we get from having resistance fights worth ...
A: ... there are a lot of things that can be affected by diseases and poisons now, and it's ultimately something we need to monitor.
Q: On DK tanking. Are we still going to need so much of our threat coming from runestrike with the recent change to rune cooldowns on dodges/parries?
A: In an ideal world, you wouldn't get so much from a single ability but more from doing damage. We're monitoring it.
Q: Really happy we'll be able to do 10-man raids all the way up. But in 10-mans losing one class can hurt. What about giving another class an in-combat rez?
A: ... which class specifically?
Crowd: Warlock! Rogue! (etc)
Q: Amplify Curse, live, increases damage, beta, reduces GDC. How is this not a wasted talent point since you can only use it, maybe, once in a fight?
A: For PvP more than PvE.
Q: As a Shadow Priest, are we going to have our DoTs tag a mob to us on spellcast, or are we going to have to wait a few seconds?
A: That's definitely something we'd like to do.
Q: You put up on the slide that you're looking for more utility in raids for Discipline Priests, but I haven't seen that in the beta. Penance is great but you still rely on Greater Heal and you run out of mana way before other healers/specs.
A: That's good feedback. When people ask for more mana, it's hard for us to tell... everyone wants more mana! We want to play up distinct styles, but you'll never get rid of your Greater Heal button.
Q: I love the fact that DKs start at level 55. Is that a possibility that you might add to other classes? (LOTS of applause.)
A: Not planning on changing the other classes as it is. There's lots of great content out there. Done things like refer a friend to help you get through that content more quickly. There's no doubt in our minds that the old content isn't the same quality level as the new content and it's playing in our minds.
Q: The combat tree is my basic focus... I know daggers and poisons have been brought back, but I think of it more as a fix than a buff... and we really need more raid utility. We need to do a little bit more damage to be more viable. (Scattered applause.)
A: The buff thing is definitely... it's a huge overhaul. We don't want any one class to have the king buff that always gives them a raid slot. We definitely made some changes to combat recently, trying to make sure there aren't as many dead holes in the combat tree overall.
Q: How do you balance Hunter arena DPS with Hunter raid DPS?
A: I agree that they're at the top of the list for sustained raid DPS. Definitely jives with what we've seen. Think it can be balanced with PvP. We're keeping an eye on it.
3:35PM You'll have a second spec. You'll be able to flip to it whenever you want. If you want to raid and do a little PvP, you can just flip your spec. Your hotkeys and glyphs will be linked to your spec so you won't have to reset hotkeys or apply new glyphs.
3:33PM Finally implementing dual specs! 3.1
3:33PM Four main tank classes. We didn't want people to need a Warrior for the first fight, a Druid for the second fight, etc. Upped threat (removed Blessing of Salvation).
Threat's not going out of the game, but the fight should be more about keeping the tank alive, moving around, less about "oops, I accidentally passed the tank on threat."
3:32PM More shared gear. For example, spell power. Healers might not need secondary gear sets. (And healers still have to solo, amirite?)
3:31PM We've downplayed consumables. Potion cooldown (once a fight!), gg drums. Encounters should be less about the buffs.
3:31PM Because of the result of not stacking buffs, we had to look at reasons why you would bring, say, three Shadow Priests to a raid. So we had to bring hybrid DPS up.
3:30PM Bring the player, bring skilled players, bring people who are good for your group, not just the best classes. (Lots of applause from the crowd.)
3:29PM Group flexibility
30 specs... but only 25 raid slots.
We felt like buffs in general were getting out of control. Complicated, crazy stacking problems. Curse of Shadows, gg mages! Bloodlust rotations... etcetc.
So we totally overhauled buffs and debuffs. Most buffs now affect the whole raid, there are multiple ways to get the same benefit, but there's no stacking.
This leaves you with plenty of room to bring different players and classes.
Completely overhauled the seal and judgement system, feeling pretty good about that. (Crowd applauds.)
We want the protection Paladins to share gear with Warriors, not run around with Mage swords anymore. Shields more important.
Holy: needs heals for movement and groups. They've always been good healers, but we've tried to strengthen these areas.
Retribution: working as intended.
Wanted to give them slightly more interesting rotations, not just shadowbolt, shadowbolt, shadowbolt.
Wanted pets to be more useful, more diverse. Not the imp that you summon and keep phase shift the entire time, not the pet you never summon...
Metamorphosis for all the Warlocks who want to be Illidan. Now you can use your spells and the special demon form spells in Metamorphasis. Warlock tank!
Big overhaul to Protection tree. More toys, fewer mitigation talents. Don't want anyone to say "I have to take all of these talents to be a good
Arms: Overpower, Bladestorm, Sudden Death. We like having a certain amount of abilities for each class that are decisions. Not going to always hit this button when it's up, but you have to think about it.
Fury: Titan's Grip. Currently has a penalty, smaller than it was a few days ago, but felt it needed some sort of penalty to keep Fury DPS from getting out of control.
Fan of Knives, an attempt to give Rogues some AE damage.
Added more Sap targets to make it more useful.
We thought poisons and daggers were being neglected, so buffed both poisons and mutilate spec.
Totems. there were some that were just too useless, too easy to get rid of or dispel... we've tried to consolidate them.
Lava burst, Riptide
Hex as the crowd control ability Shamans have wanted for a long time.
Entangling roots can now be used indoors... (Crowd applauds.)
Restoration gets nourish, to act as a flash heal type heal, wild growth as a chain heal type heal. Not just HoTs!
Feral, wanted them to be less of a hybrid, with an ability to MT. But it's a hard choice, you have to sacrifice to get tanking talents, just like any other tanking class.
(Crowd: Thank you for the out of combat rez!)
Frostfire Bolt, an alternate attack that could still benefit from your talents, elementalist spec
Ghostcrawler: It's kind of fun to watch your healers panic when your mirror image is about to die and they think you're about to die.
3:14PM More DPS for priests, the spell power change will help with that.
Racial abilities scrapped. Decided to just give all priests the core abilities.
3:13PM Discipline: we want Discipline Priests to be able to raid heal, not just be a spec to go into for Divine Spirit.
When you talk about utility classes, shadow Priests are the textbook advantage. Their DPS wasn't that great, but helped restore mana and health. Now we want them to be DPS... (Crowd: THANK YOU!)
3:12PM Clean up shot rotations.
Disengage. Trying to get this to be what you hit when you get involved in melee.
Freezing shot. Trying to help with trapping, so it's not so laborious to get things into traps.
3:11PM Hunters: pet overhaul: talent trees, training stable slots. Pets felt random. Didn't know what you were going to have until after you tamed it. Now each pet has talent trees, each pet has a unique ability. And we gave them more stable slots because how could you have more pets, otherwise?