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Posts with tag classes

Vanish "change" coming in patch 3.3


Ghostcrawler (who decided to back off the forums, and then decided to back off that decision slightly) is now back on the forums with word of a change that Rogues will probably be intrigued by: he promises, in patch 3.3, a "change" to Vanish. That's about all we get, unfortunately -- some players assume that it's the Vanish fix they've been seeking for so long, but it sounds more to me like a reworking than a straight-out fix, considering that he points out that if Blizzard finds it's too much of a buff to Rogues (is he actually saying that Vanish working as intended is OP?) then they'll nerf it down.

Anyway, as for when we'll get to try it out, GC gives an official "soon (tm)," so look for a fix on a 3.3 PTR near you coming up quick. Hopefully they've come up with a solution that both keeps Rogues happy in terms of using Vanish the way it's intended, and also keeps the ability in line with other classes in the game.

Filed under: Rogue, Patches, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Classes

Breakfast Topic: The one-of-every-class club


A friend of mine just dinged 80 again the other day, and it put him into a community that we joked about: the "one-of-every-class" club. Like a few of our readers (including William B, who emailed us a while back), he now has ten 80s, one of every single class in the game. It's not something I'd ever do, or ever want to do, but certainly there are probably quite a few people out there who've gone all the way to the highest level with every single class.

As Turpster would say, it definitely gives you a nice overview of how all the classes work and what their strengths and issues are. And of course it'd be handy to run instances with -- you can roll into endgame instances playing whatever role you want or your guild needs to have.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Breakfast Topics, Leveling, Classes

All the World's a Stage: Cataclysm's new race/class combinations


All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one player in his time plays many roles.

As you know, the new race and class combinations coming up in the Cataclysm will open a whole new set of doors to people who want an alternative character choice that goes against the grain of their typical racial customs, to one degree or another. With the exception of a couple combinations that feel as though they should have been there from the beginning (such as blood elf warriors, which need no discussion here), each new possibility presents roleplayers with an opportunity to play an outcast of sorts, a character who has made a significant break from the traditions his or her race usually represent.

The lore behind each combination is not yet fully clear. We know tauren paladins will probably worship the sun and call themselves "Sunwalkers" for instance, but not much more than that. Some things are clear, though, and there's a lot to get the imagination going for those roleplayers who yearn to play something a little different.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Druid, Hunter, Paladin, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, RP, Classes, Alts, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying), Cataclysm

Survey: Figuring out the faction transfer numbers


I've been thinking about this ever since the faction changes went live: obviously, Blizzard will never actually release the numbers on how many server transfers or faction changes they do, just because they are notoriously guarded about the information they release, not least because riots are pretty easy to incite on the forums (imagine the reaction if Blizzard officially said that Alliance was the more popular faction). But I wonder nevertheless: how many players have transferred their characters over from one faction to another already? And lots of people seem to think that the vast majority of transfers are Alliance to Horde (not to mention I've heard many anecdotal stories of people flooding back to the Horde), but is that true?

Obviously, we don't have access to all of Blizzard's audience, and our polls are definitely much less scientific than the data Blizzard gets to look at (you better believe they're tracking transfers and faction and race choices with a close eye, just as they're tracking server populations 24/7), but just for the heck of it, we'll ask. After the break, we've got a few polls designed to give us a very general look at how transfers are playing out so far. There's a lot of anecdotal experiences flying around since transfers went live, but I'd like to know, a little more objectively, just how things are panning out.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status, Blizzard, Factions, Cataclysm

Why your (race) can't be a (class)

Kisirani is tearing it up on the forums recently -- ever since she dropped that Tauren Paladins would be called Sunwalkers, she has kicked off a round of speculation and excitement about all of the new race/class combinations soon to be available to us in Cataclysm. But the number one question on everyone's lips seems to be: "If (race) can be a (class), why can't my (race) be a (class)?"

For that, Kisirani has an answer: because Blizzard doesn't want it to be. I have to say, I'm impressed so far with how Blizzard has tied these new class and race combinations into the lore of the world. We've only seen a little bit of how they'll do it, but while these new class/race combos could have easily just fallen into fan service (and that's definitely what I thought they were when Blizzard introduced them -- they'd abandoned all semblance of lore just to give players more options to play), it definitely doesn't seem that's the case. According to Kisirani, Blizzard is still thinking seriously about what races and classes fit together, and presumably all of the new combinations (yes, even Human Hunters, can't wait to see that one) will be explained in the end.

Good to hear. Of course, the reason they're including these combinations is partly fan service, and it's likely also meant to help folks rerolling to see all the new Cataclysm content. But knowing that there'll be lore behind all of the new combos is pretty darn exciting.


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: Human, Gnomes, Tauren, Hunter, Paladin, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Lore, Classes, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: What do you think of new race and class combos?

One of the big things announced at BlizzCon were the new class and race combinations. These were originally datamined from patch 3.2.2 and include everything from Gnome Priests and Goblin Rogues to Worgen Druids. I'm especially excited about the last one.

For years, the race you played has been indelibly linked with the class and defined how you play the game. Say, for example, you like playing Night Elves, you're limited class-wise to rolling Druid, Priests, Hunters, Rogues and Warriors. On the other hand, if it's a specific class then you are sometimes limited to a particular race. So Draenei are the only Alliance race which can current become Shamans while the same is true, Horde-side, for Blood Elves becoming Paladins.

From a lore perspective, there is little preventing any of these combos. This is especially true as Azeroth expands and the game evolves. But readers, this is new territory for us, as WoW becomes more open. What do you think of the possibility of lore-centric or even playable class and race combinations?

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Shaman, Patches, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Draenei, Blood Elves, Lore, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

BlizzCon 2009: Class panel #2, the good parts version

The second and final class, item, and profession panel has concluded. Disappointingly, the presentation part of the panel was mainly a re-run of yesterday's, but the Q&A, of course, was all-new. There were even a few new tidbits in the presentation. Here are some parts of the presentation that are not repeats from yesterday:

  • They didn't give any new classes to Draenei because there are too many of the space goats already.
  • There's a chance that Hunter Aspects will go away entirely.
  • New tidbit on Archaeology: putting pieces of artifacts together sends you to "face some sort of challenge" out in the world.
  • They like the way fishing works in Animal Crossing, and might look to that for inspiration on how to rework the process.

And here are the good parts from the Q&A:

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Filed under: Fishing, Draenei, Classes, BlizzCon, Cataclysm, Archaeology

WoW Insider Show today at 3:30pm Eastern


Gonna be a great podcast this afternoon -- we'll welcome two familiar voices to the show, including the great Zach Yonzon (have you seen his new Battlemasters comic yet?) and the talbuk Mike "Belfaire" Sacco, as well as Turpster and I as usual. We'll be talking about (what else?) patch 3.2 and what we think so far, including the new 5-man instance, bugs that have appeared so far, and everything else we like and hate about it. And if we have time, we'll also talk about classes and what they get invited to groups as (you know Turpster will love seeing that big slice of Warriors on the tanking chart).

And of course we'll answer your email as well -- you can send us whatever you'd like us to read or talk about at theshow@wow.com. It all kicks off at August 8, 2009 3:30 PM EDT over on our Ustream page, or, as always, you can find the embedded stream below. Be sure to stop by this afternoon and give us a listen live -- you'll enjoy it, or your money back*!

Note: As the podcast is free to listen to, you will not be receiving any money back. But you will enjoy the show. If not, you can blame the Ret Monkey. That's what we do.

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Filed under: Patches, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Instances, Humor, Bosses, Classes, WoW Insider Show

Behold, the power of macros

I don't PvP that often (especially not with my Hunter), but I still found this list of Hunter macros over at Huntman's Lodge really awesome. Whether you just want to make some common tasks easier (the one-button target/Hunter's Mark/pet attack/start attack is a macro every single Hunter should have), or you want to cut out some keystrokes (the /use [target=player] Heavy Frostweave Bandage is a macro that's great for every class out there), macros can provide a lot of solid support to your game in any situation. For some reason, we all use addons, but macros are generally overlooked, despite the fact that the system Blizzard has built in for macros can be pretty powerful all by itself.

Garwulf has even more macros for Hunters on a special page, and of course there are lots and lots of suggested macros and macro guides available online. Especially since macros started being saved to the server instead of your individual machine at home, if you're still using regular abilities on your bars, looking over the available macros for your class should help you out a lot.

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Fan stuff, PvP, Leveling

Blizzard to focus on battlegrounds more

Ghostcrawler has posted a little paragraph on the forums, reaffirming something we've already heard from Blizzard: that in the past, they've spent more time on Arenas to the detriment of battlegrounds, and that battlegrounds are going to be gaining a little more focus in the future. They've already started, actually, with the Isle of Conquest in 3.2, but GC says there's even more on the table, and that future plans will be revealed at BlizzCon.

He also brings up another good point, however: in terms of class balance, Arenas are a much more striking example of imbalances than battlegrounds are. Battlegrounds have all sorts of things going on, and so you don't get as good a picture of just how the different classes work with and against each other as you do in Arenas. And so, if you're a dev trying to figure out class balances, of course you'll spend more time looking at the Arena gameplay than the BGs. GC also says that the majority of issues in BGs tend to be map-based rather than class imbalances, which is really a whole other science. Not that BGs aren't relevant to how the classes work, just that there are many more variables in there than the relative vacuum chamber of Arenas.

All good points. I'm a fan of battlegrounds much more than Arenas, but I don't particularly feel that Blizzard has ignored them necessarily. The real problem, to my mind, with BGs is simply how faction imbalanced they are: it seems like on every realm in every given BG, one side always seems to have the upper hand, for whatever reason. Sometimes it's a population problem, sometimes it's a map issue. But GC is right: those problems are more pressing than class balance in the BGs.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, Classes, Battlegrounds, Arena

Ghostcrawler on class representation and balance

Ghostcrawler has a nice exchange on the forums (and it's not marked "Not Tracked", so you know he wants us reading this one) about how much of a role class representation actually plays in class balance. Obviously, balance itself plays the biggest role in class balance -- if (using GC's completely hypothetical example) Feral Druids are overpowered as tanks, then Blizzard would have to look into nerfing Feral Druids.

But what if Feral Druids only make up a small percentage of the tanks in Ulduar? Should Blizzard nerf the 5% of tanks that are Druids down until they're only 2% of the population? Just because classes are overpowered doesn't mean that actual class populations are, and all of these things go into the mix when Blizzard makes decisions about how to balance the classes.

Look at Hunters as well -- just last week we talked about how the class population is falling off, and yet they're one of the top three classes played on both factions. So should Blizzard buff or nerf them?

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Classes, Death Knight, Forums

15 Minutes of Fame: Learn to game, to game to learn


15 Minutes of Fame is WoW.com's look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes - from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

Fun is a great motivator for learning – but you knew that, didn't you, World of Warcraft player? Think of all the math you've used poring over DPS charts and gear stats, all the reading you've done deciphering terse quest instructions ... the research you've put in to decode what you need to know and then where to find it ... the tactical analyses you've ground out figuring out how to get that last boss to fall ...

Peggy Sheehy and Lucas Gillispie came to our attention in the comments of a previous 15 Minutes of Fame about a player who teaches a college course inside the World of Warcraft. "My middle school will be starting with an after-school club (always the gateway)," wrote Peggy, "but others joining us will be implementing it with the 'at-risk' student population, the 'gifted' student group, as well as mainstream classes for specific content-area projects." This is no upstart project; Peggy established the first middle school on the Teen Grid in Second Life three years ago, while Lucas has established an online wiki where educators all over the world can collaborate on a standard-aligned curriculum for using WoW in the schools.

As Darkmaster Gandling would say, "School is in session!" 15 Minutes of Fame pulled up a chair to chat with Peggy and Lucas on using WoW as a platform for teaching.

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Filed under: Virtual selves, Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Patch 3.2 PTR data file class changes


Achievements aren't the only thing that can be datamined. MMO-Champion has the new class changes, some of which were not listed in the patch 3.2 PTR notes. Of course these are all subject to change, and some game file changes never even make it to testing, but here's what I've noticed that's new.

  • Druid: Restoration: Lifebloom now heals the target for 480/616/776 (down from 600/770/970) when Lifebloom complete its duration or is dispelled.
  • Hunter:

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Filed under: Patches, News items

The limits and possibilities of Bind to Account

Aeuis brings up an interesting point over on the forums: even though some of the items we get are called "Bind on Account" (or, more properly, Bind to Account, even though most people use BoA as shorthand) they're really not that, because you can't actually send them across factions or realms. Of course, that's pretty obvious to people who've been playing the game for a while -- Blizzard has never really encouraged cross-faction interaction at all (you can "send" items through the neutral AH, though even that is a bit of a hack, not really the intended purpose). So BoA items are actually bound to account, server, and faction.

But Wyrxian is surprisingly open about "future possibility:" he does say that while Blizzard could allow us to send items between factions if they wanted us to, they also wanted to leave things open just in case the functionality came into view in the future. That doesn't mean we can expect a change in the next patch, but it does seem to mean that Blizzard is still open to the "possibility." You'd think it be tough technically (character inventories are all over the place, especially cross-server), but considering that we can now have cross-server battlegrounds, all it would probably take is a tweak to the in-game mail system. One character sends an item, another character receives it.

And really, the only possibility that might come open is just ease-of-use -- that's why BoA and Heirloom items are in the game already, and if Blizzard determines that it would be easier to have you share items between your characters' factions and servers (perhaps if they upgrade the character re-customization feature to include a faction change?), then it will likely happen sooner or later.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard

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