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Posts with tag classes

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

Five features I really want from the next expansion

So everyone's handily speculating on just what the next expansion will be, and what it will have and not have. That's pretty awesome. I love speculating. So in the spirit of things, I've decided to throw my hat in the ring and natter on about what I'd love to see from the next expansion, whatever it ends up being.

Let's just jump right into it. What stuff do I think would be awesome?

An overhaul of the leveling/alt process

I definitely think we need to reconsider how we deal with alts. I'd love to see a system that reduced the time you had to spend getting them leveled once you got the first one to max - heirlooms work for that, but that long-rumored heirloom tab would make it a lot easier. Another thing which would definitely help are more heirlooms like Hellscream's Decapitator - our current heirlooms don't take us all the way to max level the way it will, and it's also useful now as a raid-level item an alt can make use of. It's an experiment I hope they continue.

I've seen some arguments that we should be able to start a high-level alt to skip over a lot of the leveling process, especially as we get closer and closer to the likely new level cap of 100. If that was implemented, it would need to be done carefully, but I'd definitely support some way to preview a class at or near max level so you could figure out if you'll like it or cut down on having to do the full 1 to 100 (or whatever it ends up being) march again.

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

Yes, we need no new classes

classes
In The Queue the other day, an intrepid reader asked about opinions on a new type of mail-wearing class. I can see the appeal of certain types of new classes, for sure -- one to wear mail armor, as suggested, or another one to wear intellect plate -- but to be perfectly honest, I really, truly hope that we are forever done with seeing new classes added to WoW.

I've talked about this with a few other people, and as expected, opinions are mixed. Some people are horrified at the idea of never having a new class again in WoW, and other people, like myself, are relieved. I really, truly do believe that adding more classes to WoW would only create headaches for everyone, developers and players alike. I'd much rather see the required resources in design, development, and maintenance go to other aspects of the game such as dungeons, raids, scenarios, quests, and events, than to creating and continuously balancing still more classes. So, without further ado, I present three arguments as to why there should be no more new classes in WoW.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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

Community Blog Topic Results: Favorite class and spec

Community Blog Topic Results Favorite class and spec
Last week, we asked "What is your favorite class and spec?" We got many answers from altoholics who couldn't choose to enthusiastic odes. Here's what everyone had to say, listed in order of popularity.

Hunter

AlternativeChat over at ALT:ernative says
If it's Hunter shaped, I'm going to play it.
She favors the Beast Mastery spec due to its utility in soloing and farming as well as its pet buffs granting access to all DPS and crowd control abilities.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Talents and abilities you never use

mage talents
Any given class in WoW has a ton of different spells and abilities. More than I can reasonably hotkey to my decidedly un-fancy two-button mouse and $5 thrift shop keyboard, in any case. I do my best with keybinding and click modifiers, but inevitably there are some things that just aren't going to make the cut. Fortunately, these abilities usually present themselves without a whole lot of deliberation.

For example, on my druid, I don't remember the last time I used Soothe. The other ability I find gathering dust in my spellbook is Hibernate. I know I used Hibernate to help with crowd control for trash packs in Ulduar and Ruby Sanctum during Wrath of the Lich King, but since then? Nope. Hibernate does not live on my bars.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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

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

Of monks, mains, and the ability to change

I've changed my main exactly once in all of my years playing World of Warcraft. It wasn't out of need or necessity for a guild -- in fact, I was guildless at the point I decided to switch. And I wasn't really planning on switching so much as I really wanted to play a rogue. I wasn't tied down to a guild, and I figured I could simply have fun with the experience. Over the course of leveling that rogue, I met a group of friends in a raiding guild, and once I hit level 70, they encouraged me to apply.

Going from a healing class to a pure melee DPS class wasn't as much of a stretch as you'd think. In fact, I think I almost fared better than most because as a former healer, I keenly understood the importance of staying alive. More importantly, I understood that as a pure melee DPS player who was not a tank or a healer, my priority on most heal lists was fairly low. So it was up to me to keep myself alive and happily stab things.

I don't think, however, that I could ever make that switch again -- although honestly, I've thought about it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: What class will you never play?

We all have one. Some of us might have more -- two or even three, she says, whistling nonchalantly. You all know what I mean: the class you think you might have a go at yet never get out of the starting zone, or the class you look at time and time again and just can't quite bring yourself to try.

These classes often look good on paper. I like tanking on my paladin. I know it's not exactly challenging, but I enjoy it -- so other tank classes should sound fun too, right? Wrong. I cannot bring myself to roll a warrior. I don't know why, exactly; I don't have a good reason for it. It's clearly a deeply personal thing, but I just can't find any appeal in that class.

I have two healers already, a priest and a shaman, so adding a druid should be good. After all, they can tank, too! But druid is my #1 rolled and deleted class. If I had stats for that, I reckon I've rolled and deleted maybe five druids. Maybe six. Most of them don't make it out of the starting zone. For some reason, I just find them uninspiring. The spells seem dull, not exciting or engaging. I'm sure they're great if you give them a chance, but the sulky teenager in me doesn't want to!

Of course, these tastes are incredibly subjective and personal, and I am under no illusions that there is a right answer or even a majority opinion! But I want to know what classes are the ones you will never play? What are the classes you roll and delete in their infancy? And, dear reader, why?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What is your class theme song?

In a past edition of The Queue, evoxpisces asked,
If each class had its own theme song, what would they be? Or at least what genres would each represent them?
Some commenters answered with their opinions, but I didn't read them because I wanted to form my own list without anyone's influence. What do you think of my list? What theme song or genre would you choose for your class or all classes?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

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