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Ask A Beta Tester: Spirit, AoE, and raid loot


I'm going to start off this AABT by stealing a question that Alex actually took last time, mostly because I started laughing when I read it yesterday. I have, oh, conservatively, billions of Wrath screenshots on my hard drive at this point, but there's one I remember all too well.

Marathan asks...

Some time ago, there was a talk about new player character models for Wrath - and even some bugged pictures. So the question is, are they going live? Are we finally going to get improved graphics on our characters?

As Alex wrote, Blizzard used one beta build to test the ease of implementing new skins and some of them...didn't turn out too well. Imagine you're me and you get a beta key. Budget a few hours of anticipatory excitement while your main copies over. She's a 70 Tauren Druid who has been with you since day one, your sole 70, and you think she's the most beautiful thing in the game even if to everyone else she's an ungainly 8-foot heifer. Now imagine booting up the Wrath beta for the first time and being horrified to see your beloved character with a Glasgow smile, like the developers had seen the Joker in The Dark Knight and thought, "Hey! We could make that work!"

Holy water did nothing. Neither did crucifixes, garlic, a wooden stake, waving the Bible in the direction of the laptop, or sobbing quietly in a corner.

On the plus side, here was finally something in the game to which Tauren cat form was an actual graphical improvement.

Runstadrey
asks...

When I start WoW after installing the WotLK dvd, will my addons already be there, or will I need to do some manual moving?

You should find Wrath of the Lich King installing in your parent World of Warcraft folder on both the PC and Mac versions of the game.

Nevermindz
asks...

I heard that spirit will be more useful for both DPS casters and healers in Wrath that it is now, is it true? How?

Blizzard is trying to make spirit more useful, yes. They already took a big step in that direction in patch 2.4 by allowing spirit's mp5 mechanic to scale with intellect, but it's still not quite where they want it to be. As Ghostcrawler wrote, "Spirit is something that all casters are going to need a lot more of," mostly because they thought the mana regen mechanic from shadow Priests in Burning Crusade was too good. They want casters to take a more active role in their mana management, rather than dumping and relying on the Replenishment buff.

Personally I find spirit to be a very underrated stat even now. My main is a Druid who is often Resto, and we got gobs of mana regeneration from it with patch 2.4, to the point where I continue to find Bangle of Endless Blessings fairly useful even in Tier 6/Sunwell. A Mage friend of mine found that with sufficient Spirit he could actually gain mana spamming Frostbolt, which greatly amused him. But I don't think spirit's really gotten to the point where most players consider it necessary or desirable to stack, and that's what Blizzard is trying to change.

Exordius asks...

I know that the beta is actually closed, but before it shut down was there any hope at all for us shammies so desperately in need of a ranged AOE?

There are plans afoot to give elemental Shamans a viable AoE. We didn't see anything before the beta closed, but I did confirm with shamans doing Naxx that their single-target damage was excellent. Blizzard's currently toying with a few possibllities for how best to implement an AoE. Enhancement will probably not be getting it, however; Blizzard compares them to the weak/nonexistent/erratic AoE damage done by most other melee classes/specs.




Filed under: Druid, Features, Expansions, Analysis / Opinion, Tailoring, Mining, Priest, Mage, Hunter, Wrath of the Lich King, Shaman

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