Jul 21st 2009 1:38PM I read the column on the Druid of the Sun/Moon when it was up, and after reading this, I still fail to see how it would constitute enough of a change to justify being considered a new class. Giving a different lore explanation for a suite of powers doesn't make a new class. What mechanical differences would Druids of the Sun have over current Druids? None. If they did, how far could we push it before they're no longer recognizable as Druids? What would happen to all those people who play existing Druids? I just don't see any changes to Druids along these lines as being in the works, as it would essentially overwrite and render obsolete existing druids. Another whole class that can tank, spell, and melee using nature-flavored abilities? Doesn't seem likely. If the mechanics of the Sun Druids would be that different, then how are they still Druids? The heart of the Druid class is that it's the uber-hybrid (along with Paladins); if the Druids of the Sun can't fill that role, then are they Druids, and if they can, why do they exist?
Although it's fun to speculate about new Hero classes, I don't believe we're getting a new one for the expansion. Blizz has said in the past not to expect new classes/races with each expansion, and that's actually a good thing if you think about it. We're almost a year into Wrath now, and DK's are still not balanced to everyone's satisfaction, nor are they fully absorbed into the community. Does anyone - does Blizzard - want to create a whole new class to balance already? Further, who benefits from the new class? DK's were a breath of fresh air and were a boon to altaholics, but it's difficult to imagine what more a new class could add to the game without rendering the older classes obsolete.
Races present some similar challenges as to balance and such but as they're on the whole a cosmetic rather than mechanics choice, I could see races being added more frequently than Hero classes. The problem with additional races is that you would need to re-roll to take advantage of it, until/if Blizzard implements same-faction race changes (something long overdue). Me, I'd love to play a Worgen but I already have the maximum number of toons on my home realm and I'm a bit reluctant to delete any of them to start over. A possible solution is the make new races "Hero Races" of a sort, with their own high-level starting zones, similar to DK's.
As to the identify of the new races, the whole Worgen/Goblin thing has been beaten to death, so all I'll say is that the evidence, while not conclusive, is fairly strong circumstantially. Certainly the strongest we have as of yet. (To those who argue that Goblins and Werewolves are simply common Halloween masks, I defy you to go to a store and find a "goblin" mask. They don't exist because there is no culturally uniform conception of goblins. Have you EVER seen anyone dress up as a Goblin?) I agree with Alex here that if Worgen are added, they're more likely to be "actual" Worgen than cursed Gilneans, unless the curse has rendered them permanently in worgen form.
Playable Vyrkul? Really? You realize that when scaled down they're just slightly more buff humans, right? Vyrkul are undeniably cool but as a new character race they're boring and lack real differentiation from existing races. I guess you could leave them a bit bigger than the other races but it doesn't change the fact that model-wise (and lorewise, for that matter) they're basically just feral humans.
Lastly, can people please get over the "neutral faction" obsession? Really. It's not going to happen. Get over it. Whether or not you think it's important, Blizzard thinks that you need to be able to tell friend from foe at a glance (not their class, just whether or not they may be hostile). Yes, having nameplates up does this, but Blizz has a point. I think neutral factions or being able to choose a faction is a nice idea but Blizz is very conservative on things like this; while it may happen SOMEDAY don't hold your breath this expansion. I'm just sick of people posting about it all the time when Blizz has indicated time and again that it's not on the table.
Jul 17th 2009 1:43PM On the PTR, all PvE heirloom items - including shoulder, chest, weapon and trinket items - are available from a new Argent Tournament vendor. Chest and Shoulder slots cost 60 Champion's Seals, trinkets are 75, and weapons are either 90-ish or 60-ish (can't remember exactly) for two-handed weapons and 1-handed weapons.
Jul 16th 2009 4:57PM I agree that Wild Hunt is much better than many of the talents included in this build. The main issue I have with the build espoused by the column is that it's too much of a true tank build and skimps heavily on your pet's dps. The build includes some things that might be useful in an instance, but for serious instance work you'd be running with your Ferocity pet for the greater damage.
The idea behind this post, and Tenacity pets in general, is solo work, whether leveling or farming. The column's build includes too much that's unnecessary for those tasks. Taunt and Last Stand in particular are pretty superfluous. Not to say that Tenacity pets can't or don't tank for groups, because I know they do occasionally, but that's almost certainly going to be for certain group quests or other elite-type encounters. Between a few of the mitigation/survivability talents in this tree and your Mend Pet, your pet should be able to take care of all that stuff. If the mob you're fighting is easy enough to be soloed, then you can do it without Taunt and Last Stand, and if the mob is so hard that you need those, you're much more likely to be in a kiting situation rather than a tank-and-spank one. Taunt and Last Stand both have use as emergency skills, but pets don't get many talent points, so you're much better off using those two points to up your pet's damage output. Seriously, Taunt is only useful in a group. Feign Death has the same effect and doesn't waste a talent point.
For similar reasons, Great Resistance and Avoidance are not great soloing talents. Very few mobs put out any sort of serious magic damage; they typically have small mana pools and besides, a hunter can rip through most caster mobs pretty quickly. Likewise, AOE is pretty uncommon. These are instance or PvP talents, and as far as instances go you should be doing that with a Ferocity pet since you're there to DPS, not soak up damage.
Wild Hunt is a much better use of those talent points talent, since it enhances both survivability and damage (even though you need to get the meh talent Roar of Sacrifice to get it). Either Cobra Strikes or Spiked Collar will help you more than Taunt or Last Stand, or even the armor enhancing talents. I don't find that my Crab suffers much from lacking those armor talents, I use him to AoE grind on mobs all the time and as long as I pay attention and use my cooldowns properly he's just fine.
Silverback also seems like a good talent worth taking, the healing doesn't sound like much on the face of it but apparently it has some synergy with the other Tenacity talents for a fairly nice healing effect.
Of course one of the nice things about Draenei hunters is that we get a back-up Mend Pet of our very own. Slapping GotN on a pet can really keep it going through some serious business. ;)
Jan 22nd 2009 9:33PM I just have to comment on the picture: that is one of the most disturbing things I've ever seen. Seriously, has the guy who painted that ever seen a Draenei? For the first time, I understand what all the "space goat" hecklers must be feeling. I'll be charitable and assume that this >ahem< painting is of a shaman with a totem, not some homeless guy in a shower curtain lighting a trash can fire. Draenei tails are kind of stiff and fairly short - unlike this one, which drags limply on the floor for about 6 feet. I must concur with a previous poster who noted the disturbing similarity to Mel Brooks. He looks like an angry Mel Brooks, perhaps realizing what torments await him as retribution for his post-Spaceballs career. And those tentacles - a little Draenei of the Carribean, don't you think? Is the key to the chest holding Prophet Velen's heart hidden away in those neck folds somewhere?
Seriously. This picture sickens me.
Dec 18th 2008 2:13PM I'm a former raid healing pally who switched to a dps class for Wrath. I was just burned out, and I found pally healing in particular to be more and more frustrating as time went by. Wrath didn't do much to fix the situation for Pallys. Not a qq, Pallys still do just fine, merely saying that Wrath didn't do much about any of the things I'd grown unhappy with as a Holy Pally. I'm much happier now that I'm an Enhancement Shaman.
It seems to me that Blizzard alleviated the tanking problem, in part, by introducing a class which essentially tanks while DPS'ing. This is true in a sense of all tanking now but as I've played my DK up as a tank it's seemed to me that aside from talents there's not a lot of difference between what I do as a DPS from what I do as a tank.
So, could the same approach work for healers? A Hero Class that heals by DPS'ing? This is kind of the holy grail for healers I guess, it's an idea that's been tossed about a lot. The big disadvantage is for existing healing classes: they'd be stuck with the old whack-a-mole mechanics while the new class would get to be all sleek and sexy. The end result might be a furtherance of the "sameness" we're experiencing to different degrees in Wrath. It may be worth it though if it means groups can actually get together.
Nov 7th 2008 5:24PM A few things to consider:
First, while a lot of people are going to be pretty unhappy about this move, those of you who think it's safe to drop a profession and just buy everything may be disappointed. After all, if everyone takes that attitude, there won't be any crafters out there to make these BOE's.
Second, the crafter-only bonuses are not all bad. For Blacksmiths, the ability to add sockets is really killer. Yes, one gem in isolation isn't much of a stat increase. But with 3-4 extra sockets, that can add up to quite a bit of stacking that won't come at the expense of another stat. I can gem for whatever I want in those slots without gimping other stats or being super-selective about my gear.
Third, while the new BOE's are not quite on the same level as the crafter-only items from BC, many of them are still really great for new 80's or beginning raiding. For example, on the BS side, the Titansteel Bonecrusher and Titansteel Guardian are both very nice items for entering Naxx.
As an Enhancement Shaman who ground out BS solely for the craftable mace - one of the few weapons really suited for that spec - I was initially disappointed with this change. I thought about switching to leatherworking and skinning. Now I feel that it's going to work out in the long run. It's still much easier to find Enhancement suitable armor than weapons, and it's still going to be more efficient on the average to make my own BOE weapons than to buy them off the AH for what other people think their time is worth.
I still feel that it should be possible to do both, to continue with the upgradeable weapons while increasing the ability of crafters to seel their wares. BC had entirely too much BOP stuff. Wrath may have too little. To be honest, I'm more disappointed that there isn't such a big jump from BC to Wrath gear-wise. Reports from beta have been that T6 or Sunwell geared folk are keeping the same gear halfway through Naxx. My shaman started life as an alt so he's only in Kara gear, but having checked the loot tables I don't see him changing most slots until about 76-78. Part of having new content is having new gear - I don't want to be wearing the same stuff all the time!
Also, I'm just going to throw this out there - I find the new Northrend armor models to be impossibly dull. Also, it looks like most armor just reuses the same 4 basic models. BC may have been clowns on parade but at least it was colorful and varied.
Nov 6th 2008 4:18PM I should win because I actually read through all of the 4K+ comments in here.
Aug 22nd 2008 1:50AM Something I'd still like to know about is how itemization for Enhancement is coming along, not in terms of the stats, but in terms of the availability of desirable items. In TBC, good weapons in particular were few and far between. Is this going to be a problem in Wrath as well? When the Utgarde Keep walkthrough came out, I was disappointed to see that the only weapon drop usable by Shamans was not all that great for Enhancement. I believe it had a 2.4 weapon speed, not awful but not really close to what we want for Windfury. Will we at least have quest rewards that are relatively tuned to our needs?
May 23rd 2008 12:32PM This, like all things, may change, but what Blizzard has says is that while you need only one 55 character on a realm to create a DK on that realm, the DK MUST be the same faction as that 55 toon. People planning on rolling opposite faction need to keep that in mind. If you've not leveled at least one character in that faction to 55, no DK for you.
Feb 18th 2008 1:04PM @ 11:
God, Sparti. Way to deepen the credibility rut Ret Pallys already have. I think it's fairly clear that BRK's Ret crack was a good-natured jibe at Ret Pallys, the way most classes knock each other. Even if it wasn't, this response just makes his point, doesn't it? And responding with an even greater heap of hyperbole doesn't help anything.
Yes, Ret is an unfairly maligned spec, especially in raids. The widely shared contempt for Ret is a little unfair and mostly uninformed. So inform, don't snark! Calling Hunters - whether you meant BM spec or not - one of the least useful classes out there is simply preposterous. It may be true that a Hunter is easily replaceable in the sense that there seem to be 10 Hunters for every 1 player of another class, but having a Hunter - whether in a 5 man or a raid - is pretty invaluable. It's not just because Hunters provide sustained DPS, or that they do it at less risk to themselves than melee classes (who I think get the short end of the stick in a lot of raid boss fights), but because of the buffs and crowd control they offer. Ret Pallys can bring a lot to a raid, but it's much easier to conceive of hitting up SSC without a Ret Pally than it is to do so without any Hunters.
Oh yeah - nice column, too. The stuff on Lurker was interesting; I'm a Pally, so wasn't aware that there was a pet problem on that boss, but I'll bring this to our Hunters' attention next time we do Lurker.