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Posts with tag class

Breakfast Topic: Talented

Warrior talents
With the release of the first set of patch 6.0 patch notes--I'm certain there will be many variants to come--talk is buzzing about all the major changes and adjustments we'll be seeing come Warlords of Draenor. In addition to reading about all this, I've been doing some perusal of the level 100 talents (as they currently stand).

In particular, I think all three of the new feral druid talents sound great, though Lunar Inspiration is my favorite just for concept alone. The restoration druid options aren't quite as exciting, in my opinion, though they certainly aren't anything to sneer at. The other classes I play regularly are my frost mage and my retribution paladin, and a few of their talents strike my fancy as well--Comet Storm for the mage and Empowered Seals for the paladin in particular sound fun and useful, respectively.

Have you looked over the talents in detail? Some haven't changed much since BlizzCon, but some haven't been documented publicly until now. What do you like? What don't you like? What do you wish were there?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

No new class, no new race, no problem

This is one of those title says it all posts, but I'll elaborate: the fact that there is neither a new class nor a new race in Warlords of Draenor isn't a problem. First up, there's the obvious fact that we're getting redesigns for the eight original races plus draenei and blood elves. In terms of art design, that's an incredible amount of work, far more than designing one or even two new races. Racial abilities for each race are also being redesigned, meaning each will play differently. Moreover, by not introducing a new race or class, we don't need to have a starter zone designed for them, meaning that content design can focus on content for the 90 to 100 player, especially since thanks to the level 90 boost, it can be assumed that anyone who picks up Warlords and wants to play it can.

As has been said elsewhere, new races and classes are not content in and of themselves. They consume time and development resources to create them, and often they have content associated with them, and that content is usually only playable when you create one of them (although the monk did not actually get that treatment - save for one location in Pandaria that offered monk only quests, as a kind of home base, monks didn't see the death knight starter zone style experience) but by themselves a new race or class is just a different way to experience content. This is not to say they are not important. New classes offer new gameplay options, new abilities and spells, and sometimes new roles for players who did not enjoy, say, tanking or healing on previous classes.

But I think it's fair to say that World of Warcraft doesn't need the added complexity of three new specializations to balance right now. There's going to be a lot of work needed to balance out new spells and abilities, adjust item levels, change the way healing works while ensuring it does still work, implement entirely new gameplay like garrisons without also figuring out how to keep another class in the mix with the other 34 specializations we already have. Similarly, while I mourn for my alliance ogre paladin and horde arakkoa druid, do we need two more groups of racials to balance out?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Community Blog Topic Results: New WoW classes

Dwarf in the wild
Our latest Community Blog Topic asked you to pitch a new World of Warcraft class. Many commenters suggested that WoW did not need another class, but that misses the point. Several classes with very detailed designs were blogged and commented about. I've only excerpted a few here, so follow the links to see the full descriptions.

AedanBlounsø at SnobGoblin describes the bard class in full detail, including specs like the Heartmender:
Primary Abilities

Song of Hope - Restores an allys health and increase their damage done

Unearthly Affection - Convinces an enemy to redirect their attack to another ally.

Pure of Heart - Melee attacks against the Heartmender causes an aura of protection to slow the attacking enemy while healing the Heartmender.

Hymn of Heresy - Waves of mystical energy emerge from the Heartmender, causing allies to increase their critical strike rating while damaging enemies.

Arrows of the Soul - Heartmenders convert agility to intellect.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Community Blog Topic: Pitch your new WoW class

Everquest Bard
When we recently asked readers to pitch their expansion ideas, a few people came up with new classes. Some of them were so interesting, we'd like to see them fleshed out a little bit more. So pitch us a new World of Warcraft class.

In old school Everquest, I played a bard: Eponyne Songtart. Goodness, those graphics are so bad by today's standards, and I never noticed how she looks like her leg is amputated in that picture. Now it's all I can see. Anyway, the bard class was very buggy for a long time, but I still loved playing her. I'd like to see a similar class in WoW.

Class name: Bard
Maximum armor class: Mail

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: What defines your class?

Playing perhaps too much Hearthstone -- in which each class feels very much like its World of Warcraft counterpart -- has me musing about just what defines each of WoW's classes. They have different spells and abilities, of course -- but is a class defined by any particular spell or ability? You might say, for example, that priests were defined by their healing skills, but in doing so you overlook the category of shadow priests. And you might be tempted to say that both hunters and warlocks are defined by the pets -- beast and demonic -- that they summon and control, but not all specializations rely heavily on their pets. And if you do define hunters and warlocks by their ability to summon pets, just how do you explain how very different the two classes are?

Each class, of course, is more complicated than that -- there's more depth to any character's gameplay than a single ability. But what I'm wondering today, readers, is what you feel really defines your class -- whether it's one thing or several things. Is your class about the skills you use? The armor you wear or the weapons you wield? Which skills and what gear makes your class your class instead of something completely different?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Your least favorite class

We all have our favorite classes -- classes that we love to play and always seem to go back to. Classes in which we have multiple characters -- even multiple max-level characters. It can be hard to explain our fondness for our favorite classes, which we sometimes cling to even as class changes turn them into something new.

And, similarly, most of us have at least one class that we just don't get. A class whose playstyle is alien to us, that we can't understand even after several attempts to play it, a class that we dislike at least as much as we like our favorite. Perhaps your least favorite class is even a class you used to love, but the patch cycle changed it into something you detest.

So tell us, readers -- which World of Warcraft class is your least favorite and why?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Should you play a druid in WoW?

Should you play a druid in WoW
Just getting started in World of Warcraft and not sure what you want to do? Or maybe you've been playing for a while but aren't sure which class you like best. We're here to help by taking a look at what each class can do and leading you to the right one. Today, we're talking druids.

Druids harness the powers of nature to help their friends or harm their foes. They can wield magic to harm like a mage or heal like a priest and can shapeshift into animal forms to dive into melee fighting. Like the monk and paladin, druids are a hybrid class that can fill any role in the game they wish: if you play a druid, you have the flexibility to do whatever you please. But are you up to the task of wielding the raw elemental power of nature? We'll take a look at just what druids can do and try to decide if it's the right class for you.

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Filed under: Druid, WoW Rookie

Why do you play what you play?

Why do you play what you play
Life is complicated. There's no simple answers to most of our problems, and even if you think there are, there are lots of people who disagree with you. Life is fraught with tension, with situations that require tact and even diplomacy to navigate.

This is one of the reasons I enjoy playing warriors. I enjoy their straightforward approach to problem solving. In the real world, my troubles are usually things that simply can't be dealt with via the application of a gigantic axe to their heads (my bills just refuse to die no matter how much I try and stab them) but I face no such difficulty in World of Warcraft. To me, the game is escapism, a couple of hours in a world where the stakes are larger than life, but the solutions are much more primal and basic. Sometimes you just want to yell Hulk smash.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Class guides and resources for Mists of Pandaria

Class guides and resources for Mists of Pandaria
In the interest of providing a fast, easy-to-use resource for every class, we've gathered up our favorite guides, best lists, and most relevant posts into a convenient list. Check back often, because we'll keep these resources up to date throughout the last days of the Cataclysm and deep into the Mists of Pandaria.

Check back as we add more guides, more resources, and the best links. If your favorite is missing, we'll be adding it soon.

Death knight Druid

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Death Knight, Monk

Breakfast Topic: Will you miss your class as it is now?

warrior changes
No matter what class you play, it's going to change in Mists of Pandaria. The talent system alone is so different that you're going to have to reassess some basic ideas about your spec. Some classes are changing more than others, and this fact is making people dump their mains once the expansion launches.

Cynwise at Cynwise's Warcraft Manual is playing his warlock. He writes
I want to enjoy playing a Warlock as they are now, flawed yet challenging, before they go away.
I can understand this sentiment. For many, it's like their classes are changing so much that it's not the same class. Even if the changes are for the better, it can be hard to accept so many differences from the character you know and love.

Personally, I'm impatient. Now that I've seen what's up in the MoP beta, I want it. I want it now. I love my red panda and mistweaver monk, and I don't want to play anything else. I think that my attitude is unfortunate; however, as I'm not taking advantage of the game I'm paying for as much as I should.

Are you savoring the now-ness of your main? Will you miss your class as it is? Or are you anxious for the changes that will come in Mists of Pandaria?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

What classes should WoW have been designed with?

One of the interesting things about converting a real-time strategy game series into a MMO is how the units of the game are converted to playable classes -- or aren't converted, in some cases. While some heroes or units are folded into the classes like Far Seers into shaman and others make it straight into the game like paladins or death knights, others will make it in more as components or abilities sometimes not even given to the thematically suitable class. Such was the case when mages gained the signature Mirror Image from the blademaster hero class instead of warriors, who would seem to be the most appropriate match.

Reading over this post on Scrolls of Lore about the Demon Hunter got me wondering again about these elements' making it into the game. Several posters mentioned that quite a few demon hunter-themed abilities have made their way into the warlock toolkit, making a separate demon hunter class redundant and unlikely. It's a fair point, and it's mirrored in other places.

Mages in WoW make a specific archmage class unlikely. Paladins have pretty much absorbed the knight unit into themselves. Warriors are getting abilities reminiscent of the Mountain King and Tauren Chieftain heroes. At this point in the game's existence, with 11 classes come Mists of Pandaria, are we likely to see any more introduced? Is it better that the trappings of the RTS make it into the MMO at all, or do they have to come packaged with the heroes and units that made us love them?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

GuildOx player analysis highlights the warlock decline

Image
The folks at GuildOx have gone through their database and done some simple filtering that reveals some fascinating things about who is raiding heroic Dragon Soul. GuildOx started with level 85 characters, filtered for characters with ilevel 400 gear, and then filtered out anyone with PvP gear. What you see in the chart above is the result of that work -- a representative sample of who out of the over 13 million level 85 characters in the GuildOx database is raiding heroic Dragon Soul.

If you remember the post about the complexity of systems and player retention that I made a couple of weeks back, you'll remember that I mentioned Cynwise's excellent posts about the warlock decline. Well, here it is again reflected in GuildOx's data. Warlocks are the least played class in heroic raiding.

Warriors aren't doing much better, really. Most other classes seem fairly healthy, with classes that have healing specs doing fairly well and rogues absolutely ruling heroic raiding despite being one of the least-played classes in the game overall. It gets even more interesting once we get to look at the GuildOx spec-by-spec breakdown.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Death Knight, Cataclysm

Raid Rx: An overview of druids in Mists of Pandaria

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Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

Last week, we covered some of the more notable monk abilities along with the expected playstyle. Recently, the level cap on beta has been raised to level 87, allowing every class access to their new level 87 spell. Much of the talk this week on the major sites and blogs is about Symbiosis. We touched on it several times, but now we get to take a closer look at it in further detail.

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Filed under: Druid, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Ol' Grumpy and the crushing disappointment of roles

There are no pure DPS classes in World of Warcraft that use two-handed melee weapons to deal damage and only one pure DPS class that can even equip them. There are literally hundreds of two-handed melee weapons in this game. This has always annoyed me, because I love big weapons. I know you know this about me.

One of the reasons I hate the argument that pure DPS classes should have dibs on top DPS weapons is that in order for me to play a character that uses a two-hander, I have no choice but to play a hybrid. In fact, in order to play as melee DPSer at all, I either have to play a rogue (all three rogue trees dual wield small, fast weapons) or a hybrid. Those are my options. If I wanted to play ranged DPS, I could pick from one of three possible pure classes, but if I want to melee, I'm forced to either give up the weapons I enjoy and take up a playstyle I don't like or accept that I will be forced to DPS at a penalty and be expected and/or pressured to tank.

This to me is asking me to pay twice, and it's unacceptable. Last week, Ghostcrawler posted an excellent discussion on class and role that I highly recommend everyone check out, and it seriously has me pondering what design I'd prefer for World of Warcraft and indeed how I feel about classes and roles entirely.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Raid Rx: Can healing be diversified further?

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street (lead developer) published a developer blog post a few days ago and shared thoughts about roles within the game. DPS classes tend to have multiple specs that can be switched to in order to provide a different set of damage spells and utilities. Some of the examples cited included warlocks and rogues, since they're straight DPS classes. Would it be possible to hypothesize and think about single-role healing classes with varied specs? While I don't think it is unheard of, I can already think about the different logistical and gameplay difficulties that are going to come with it.

For DPSers, you have that role divided between those players in the ranged group and those belonging to the melee. With healing, you're limited with just being purely at range. There isn't a classified melee-only healer (and we don't know entirely how the monk will play out).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

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