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Posts with tag cataclysm-class-changes

Cataclysm Class Changes: Mage Analysis

Man, you go out of town for a few days and look what happens: Mages get Bloodlust and a warlock adulterates the mage column. Remind me never to do that again.

We'll look at the Cataclysm class preview in more detail in the coming weeks in warlock-free (I promise) verisons of Arcane Brilliance, but for now, let me unload some of my initial reactions on you.

New spells

Three spells were announced, and only one is a mechanic we're really familiar with.

Time Warp, which enters our arsenal at level 83, appears to be akin to what is arguably the single best raid buff in the game: Bloodlust/Heroism. One key difference exists, though, and that is that Time Warp will also turn mages, briefly, into rogues. Rogues in silly dresses. I really, really hope that this speed increase:
  1. is significant enough to make mages into truly mobile casters, both in PvP and PvE. I don't want a rehash of Blazing Speed, which was a fun mechanic that simply wasn't powerful enough,
  2. doesn't share a cooldown with Icy Veins (or whatever that talent's Cataclysm equivalent ends up being), or better yet, stacks with it, so as not to render that beloved spell redundant,
  3. and lasts long enough that it's worth blowing the cooldown either during the burndown phase of a fight (if somebody else isn't already using Heroism/Bloodlust) or during a high-mobility phase of a fight, simply for the haste bonus.
I'm incredibly excited about this spell, because of the three new ones, it's the only one we can safely say (with what we know now) will actually be awesome. We already know this spell's core mechanic works, and if the movement speed increase is worthwhile, this could truly be the defining spell of the expansion for mages.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

More Cataclysm change details for druids

Fear not, my fellow druids; your feral analysis post is going live later tonight, and resto sometime tomorrow. Daniel Whitcomb and I have been talking about the incoming changes to the spec, and particularly the decision to change the tree of life from a constant form into a cooldown. I honestly didn't know how to feel about it at first. But before we get to that, Ghostcrawler stayed up hellaciously late last night to answer questions from druid players about the Cataclysm changes currently planned, and we've collected all of them here for you.

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Filed under: Druid, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Class Changes: Death knight analysis

I'll be completely honest: If I were to describe the death knight update with three words, it would be these: We need more. PvP-focused death knights will likely be pleased with the new revealed skills, but for PvE death knights, all three hold little to no PvE applicability. The new rune system's original explanation is somewhat convoluted, and while I think I have a handle on it after some extensive testing and theorycrafting, we really can't say much about how well it will work until we know more about how our abilities will be rebalanced. The talent discussion mostly focused on telling us what we learned a few days ago when we were told blood will be the only tanking tree.

Essentially, given this update, a large part of me wishes they had just held off until the beta. Right now, we just don't have enough information to make anything more than vague educated guesses about how the new rotations and abilities will play off of each other. That said, it's still worth a look at what's going down, so let's start it up and see what we can surmise.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Class Changes: Feral druid analysis

Last night, Blizzard made the druid class announcement for planned changes in Cataclysm. For all those of you who were around for the Burning Crusade or Wrath of the Lich King betas, you'll already know that what we think is going to happen to the class and what actually winds up happening are not necessarily the same thing. For the moment, however, it's a safe bet that we'll see most of these changes around for the Cataclysm beta when it goes live and then tweaked further as testing continues.

As an aside, if any Blizzard employees reading this take issue with my analysis, I welcome any questions, comments or criticism enclosed in the post-script to a beta invitation, which I will totally read.

Resto druids, fear not; your analysis article will go live soon too! I split the articles up for better organization, especially because so much discussion broke out after the announcement concerning Tree of Life form.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Class Changes: Mage

As we've been expecting, we now have the first glimpse of what the mage class will be like in Cataclysm. These changes are straight from Blizzard, and they provide great insight into where the designers want to take things. Please remember that these changes are for the beta and will very likely be modified as the expansion nears release.

Some of the major highlights:
  • Flame Orb (available at level 81): Inspired by Prince Taldaram's abilities in Ahn'kahet and Icecrown Citadel, this spell allows the mage to cast a flaming orb that travels in front in a straight line, sending beams that cause fire damage to passing targets. Once it's cast, the mage is free to begin casting other spells as the Flame Orb travels. While the spell will be useful to any spec, Fire mages will have talents that improve it, possibly causing the Flame Orb to explode when it reaches its destination.
  • Time Warp (level 83): Grants a passive Haste effect much like Bloodlust or Heroism to party or raid members. It also temporarily increases the mage's own movement speed. Time Warp will be exclusive with Bloodlust and Heroism, meaning you can't benefit from both if you've got the Exhaustion debuff, though the movement-speed increase will still work even when under the effects of Exhaustion.
  • Wall of Fog (level 85): Creates a line of frost in front of the mage, 30 yards from end to end. Enemies who cross the line are snared and take damage. The mana cost will be designed to make Wall of Fog efficient against groups, not individuals. This spell is intended to give mages a way to help control the battlefield, whether the mage is damaging incoming enemies (Blizzard can be channeled on top of Wall of Fog) or protecting a flag in a Battleground. 10-second duration. 30-second cooldown.
  • Arcane Missiles is being redesigned to become a proc-based spell. Whenever the mage does damage with any spell, there is a chance for Arcane Missiles to become available, similar to how the warrior's Overpower works.
  • We are planning to remove spells that don't have a clear purpose. Amplify Magic, Dampen Magic, Fire Ward, and Frost Ward are being removed from the game, and we may remove more.
The full Blizzard announcement after the break.

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Filed under: Mage, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Class Changes: Druid

As we've been expecting, we now have the first glimpse of what the druid class will be like in Cataclysm. These changes are straight from Blizzard, and they provide great insight into where the designers want to take things. Please remember that these changes are for the beta and will very likely be modified as the expansion nears release.

Some of the major highlights:
  • Thrash (Level 81): Thrash deals damage and causes all targets within 10 yards to bleed every 2 seconds for 6 seconds. The intent here is to give bears another button to hit while tanking. Talents will affect the bleed, such as causing Swipe to deal more damage to bleeding targets. 5-second cooldown. 25 Rage.
  • Stampeding Roar (Level 83): The druid roars, increasing the movement of all allies within 10 yards by 40% for 8 seconds. Stampeding Roar can be used in cat or bear form, but bears might have a talent to drop the cooldown.
  • Wild Mushroom (Level 85): Grows a magical mushroom at the target location. After 4 seconds the mushroom becomes invisible. Enemies who cross the mushroom detonate it, causing it to deal area-of-effect damage, though its damage component will remain very effective against single targets. The druid can also choose to detonate the mushroom ahead of time. This is primarily a tool for the Balance druid, and there will be talents that play off of it. No cooldown. 40-yard range. Instant cast.
  • Unlike the other healers, Restoration druids will not be receiving any new spells.
  • Restoration druids will have a new talent called Efflorescence, which causes a bed of healing flora to sprout beneath targets that are critically healed by Regrowth.
  • Tree of Life is changing from a passive talent to a cooldown-based talent, similar to Metamorphosis.
The full Blizzard announcement after the break.

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Filed under: Druid, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Class Changes: Hunter

As we've been expecting, we now have the first glimpse of what the hunter class will be like in Cataclysm. These changes are straight from Blizzard, and they provide great insight into where the designers want to take things. Please remember that these changes are for the beta and will very likely be modified as the expansion nears release.

Some of the major highlights:
  • Cobra Shot (level 81): A new shot that deals Nature damage instead of Physical damage. This ability will share a cooldown with Steady Shot. This will give hunters an alternative to Steady Shot on heavily-armored targets, and we will have talent incentives in the Beast Mastery tree to make this a signature shot.
  • Trap Launcher (level 83): When used, the next trap can be shot to a location within 40 yards. This provides the current Freezing Arrow treatment to all traps and, as a result, we will be removing the current ability Freezing Arrow.
  • Camouflage (level 85): The hunter enters an obscured state that prevents him or her from taking ranged damage.
  • Hunters will no longer use mana; instead the class will use Focus. A solid look at focus is after the break.
  • Ammo removed.
  • Pet storage changed, 3 pets you can carry around and use (only one out) -- many more able to be stored.
The full Blizzard announcement after the break.

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Filed under: Hunter, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Class Changes: Rogue

As we've been expecting, we now have the first glimpse of what the rogue class will be like in Cataclysm. These changes are straight from Blizzard, and they provide great insight into where the designers want to take things. Please remember that these changes are for the beta and will very likely be modified as the expansion nears release.

Some of the major highlights:
  • Redirect (available at level 81): Rogues will be getting a new ability to help them deal with changing targets. Redirect will transfer any active combo points to the rogue's current target, helping to ensure combo points aren't wasted when swapping targets or when targets die.
  • Combat Readiness (level 83): Combat Readiness is a new ability that we intend rogues to trigger defensively. While this ability is active, whenever the rogue is struck by a melee or ranged attack, he or she will gain a stacking buff called Combat Insight that results in a 10% reduction in damage taken.
  • Smoke Bomb (level 85): The rogue drops a Smoke Bomb, creating a cloud that interferes with enemy targeting. Enemies who are outside the cloud will find themselves unable to target units inside the cloud with single-target abilities. Enemies can move inside the cloud to attack, or they can use area-of-effect (AoE) abilities at any time to attack opponents in a cloud. In PvP, this will open up new dimensions of tactical positional gameplay, as the ability offers a variety of offensive and defensive uses. In PvE, Smoke Cloud can serve to shield your group from hostile ranged attacks, while also drawing enemies closer without the need to rely on conventional line-of-sight obstructions. Smoke Cloud lasts 10 seconds and has a 3-minute cooldown.
  • Weapon specializations are gone.
The full Blizzard announcement after the break.

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Filed under: Rogue, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Class Changes: Death Knight

As we've been expecting, we now have the first glimpse of what the death knight class will be like in Cataclysm. These changes are straight from Blizzard, and they provide great insight into where the designers want to take things. Please remember that these changes are for the beta and will very likely be modified as the expansion nears release.

Some of the major highlights:
  • Necrotic Strike (level 83): Necrotic Strike is a new attack that deals weapon damage and applies a debuff that absorbs an amount of healing based on the damage done.
  • Dark Simulacrum (level 85): The death knight strikes a target, applying a debuff that allows the death knight to copy the opponent's next spell cast and unleash it.
  • Our plan is to move the most interesting and fun tanking talents and abilities to Blood. For example, you will likely see Vampiric Blood and Will of the Necropolis remain, while Bone Shield will move over from Unholy.
The full Blizzard announcement after the break.

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Filed under: Death Knight, Cataclysm

Analysis of the priest Cataclysm class preview

You've probably seen the summary of the upcoming priest changes for Cataclysm, and now we're pleased to bring you our columnists' analysis of what these changes might mean.

Our resident priests put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) as soon as the changes were announced, and you can check out the analyses below:
If you haven't seen them yet, make sure to check out the list of upcoming changes. We'll continue to analyze these class changes as they're released, and don't forget that we're also looking for guest posts on these subjects.

Filed under: Priest, Cataclysm

The Art of War(craft): What the new Cataclysm dispel mechanics mean for PvP

The world as we know it is going to change. We're taking a break from our soon-to-be-obsolete (but still ultimately useful until Cataclysm comes out, at any rate) introductory guides to focus on something that will shake the foundations of World of Warcraft PvP. A few days back, Zarhym took to the forums to explain how Blizzard was going to change dispel mechanics in Cataclysm, and boy, were they big changes. So big that we have to simply set aside whatever it is we're doing and try to wrap our heads around how it's going to affect PvP. Here's some of what Zarhym said:

Zarhym
  • Druids will be able to dispel defensive magic, curses, and poison.
  • Paladins will be able to dispel defensive magic, diseases, and poison.
  • Priests will be able to dispel defensive magic, offensive magic, and disease.
  • Shaman will be able to dispel defensive magic, offensive magic, and curses.

While he goes into detail a lot more in that post and through several other posts on the forums, that small nugget of the planned changes in Cataclysm should already give us an idea of where they're headed. PvP is going to change. All healing specs -- not classes -- will gain defensive dispels against magic, the most common debuff type in the game. Most team compositions will have at least one member capable of removing magical debuffs and capable of dealing with almost all forms of crowd control. That's huge.

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Filed under: PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

Cataclysm Class Changes: Warrior analysis

Well, hey, how about that Inner Rage, huh? I seem to recall asking for something like that a couple of weeks ago. Maybe I can see the future. In which case, where are these insights when big lottery jackpots are on the line?

So far, looking over the warrior changes I see some good, some bad, some very good and some we don't know yet. So let's get down to brass tacks, as it were.


Bornakk
Heroic Leap (Level 85): This ability makes the character leap at their target and apply the Thunder Clap ability to all enemies in the area when they land. Heroic Leap will be usable in Battle Stance and shares a cooldown with Charge, but the Juggernaut and Warbringer talents will allow Heroic Leap to be used in any stance and possibly while in combat. The cooldown for this ability might be longer than the Charge ability, but it will also apply a stun effect so you can make sure the target will still be there when you land.



I really have nothing negative here. I hope they can make it work out, since in Wrath the biggest issue with this ability was its targeting. I assume they're getting around that by making it require a target to work, as the language seems to indicate.

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Filed under: Warrior, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Class Changes: Warrior

As we've been expecting, we now have the first glimpse of what the warrior class will be like in Cataclysm. These changes are straight from Blizzard, and they provide great insight into where the designers want to take things. Please remember that these changes are for the beta and will very likely be modified as the expansion nears release.

Some of the major highlights:
  • Inner Rage (Level 81): Whenever the character reaches a full 100 Rage, he or she will gain a buff that causes attacks to consume 50% more Rage and do 15% more damage for a short amount of time.
  • Gushing Wound (Level 83): This ability will apply a bleed effect to the target. If the target moves, the bleed gains an extra stack and refreshes its duration, up to a maximum of three stacks.
  • It's baaack! Heroic Leap (Level 85): This ability makes the character leap at their target and apply the Thunder Clap ability to all enemies in the area when they land.
  • "...we're planning to try out a talent called Single-Minded Fury that is parallel to Titan's Grip and will provide a large boost to the damage of a pair of one-handed weapons."
The full Blizzard announcement after the break.

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Filed under: Warrior, Cataclysm

Analysis of the shaman Cataclysm class preview

Now that you have the basic upcoming shaman changes for Cataclysm, we're happy to bring you detailed analysis of what the changes mean to your class and spec.

Our class columnists have been hard at work and have put together a series of posts detailing exactly what the changes mean for you, what's good and bad about them, and how they're going to shape the future of the game. Check out the analyses below:
Don't forget to read over the entire list of upcoming shaman changes as well!

Other classes will have their analyses come out in a similar fashion soon. And don't forget, in addition to commenting, we're also looking for guest posts on the shaman changes.



World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Call for posts: Upcoming Cataclysm Class Changes

Unless you've been living under a rock you know that Blizzard is getting set for a major Cataclysm info dump over the next week. This kind of information sparks a lot of comments and intelligent discussion, and WoW.com wants to feature it prominently. To that end, we're looking for short guest posts on what you think about the changes to your class.

We're going to operate this guest posting opportunity much like we did our BlizzCon 2010 opinions. Write a paragraph or two, sign up for Seed, and then go and submit it on the Seed project page. If it's something we like we'll post it and you'll get paid $10! Easy and awesome.

You can find out more about the guest writer program in our announcement post and at our Contributing to WoW.com page.

A couple things to note:
  • If you write a really great comment here, feel free to submit it through our Seed page too! No penalty for leaving a comment and submitting it through Seed.
  • We're expecting to get a ton of submissions for this, so we're not going to be able to publish all the great thoughts and opinions we get, even though we want to.
  • If you'd like you can include a short bio about yourself, things like your character name, guild, server, blog, etc... Totally optional, though.
  • The sooner you get these in the better! We'll be publishing our first batch of guest posts in the next day or so, and will continue to do so every couple days for the next week or so. This project closes on April 19th at 11:59 p.m. EST.
We hope that you all keep this in the back of your mind in the next few days as all this info gets released. So many of you know this game so well, we're excited to be able to feature your knowledge and opinions to the masses!

If you have any questions, just leave a comment here or email seed@wow.com and we'll get back to you.

Edit: Please note, this submission should be based off the upcoming Cataclysm class changes, released April 7th through April 16th.

Filed under: WoW Insider Business, Guest Posts

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