There has been a great deal of concern about the potential changes to racials coming in Warlords of Draenor, with players worried about changes to passives and active abilities. EU Community Manager Takralus has taken to the official forums to quell the fires of panic with some comforting information:
There aren't plans for any broad, sweeping changes to racial abilities in 6.0. We'll probably tune some numbers so some racials feel less mandatory in certain cases. Also, due to the changes we announced at BlizzCon, there are several hit and expertise-based racials that will need to be replaced with something new-hopefully we can use those new racials to help shore up racial balance overall :)
Of course, it makes perfect sense that, given the removal of hit and expertise, racial passives such as Draenei's +hit racial and variousexpertiseracials would need some reworking. Takralus' assertion that there aren't any broad sweeping changes will likely put people's minds at ease. Hypothesizing here, but her phrasing of "tune some numbers" implies to me that racials like Every Man For Himself are going nowhere, but ones like Beast Slaying, Berserking or Blood Fury might see some changes.
It should, naturally, be noted that those are just my assumptions based on what might be an excessively close examination of Takralus' post, but it would make sense, especially given the Horde's current dominance as a choice for hardcore raiders.
The game's history shows us that racial abilities have always been a subject of contention. Since warriors are at present the only class that all 13 races can play (pandaren can't be DK's, worgen and goblins can't be monks) we're the only class that has to consider all racials. Some racials are stronger in PvE than PvP, and the inverse is also true. Still others (Arcane Torrent, Stoneform) are fairly good for both. I have over the years race changed between various options, usually for purely aesthetic reasons, but at least twice I became a night elf entirely for the night elf racial Quickness, which is astonishingly good for a tanking warrior.
Now, does that mean you can't tank on anything but a night elf? No, not at all. For one thing, in our active mitigation system, hit and expertise racials are also fairly solid, but more to the point, no racial ability is so good that it must be chosen for any role. This isn't to say that some racials aren't fairly dominant in PvE or PvP, especially the latter - Every Man For Himself is always going to have a high representation among PvPing warriors. It would be foolishness to argue otherwise. My point is don't treat racials as must haves and force yourself to play a human if you'd rather play a gnome, or a forsaken when you want to play a troll.
Let's take a look at all the racials and see where we end up.
When I first log in with the default UI, I always enable all four extra action bars on my screen. I then drag every possible spell I can onto my bars. I figure out what's important later as I beat up various quest mobs, reading tooltips mid-cast and dragging abilities around mid-fight. I suppose I'm just too excited (or impatient) to sit with the spellbook for five minutes.
Yet I still noticed the spellbook changes in the beta. My racials, guild perks, and flying licenses were jumbled up in the same tab as my spell passives, talented abilities, and regular abilities. Without even a search box up, I had to flip through all the tabs multiple times to make sure I hadn't missed anything.
Ghostcrawler posted two weeks ago about the pros and cons of the new beta spellbook design. I don't quite know what four to five tabs he's talking about -- to me, everything appears to be one big mess in the same tab.
Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. The stunningly handsome Fox Van Allen will be your host today.
I'm sure some of you are already familiar with my travels, but I've been in California since Tuesday. The last few days, I've been checking in at the Venice Beach offices of Tecca (my new day job), and yesterday afternoon, I went down to Irvine to get lunch with Mike Sacco.
Of course, no trip to southern California would ever be complete without a trip to The Price is Right. I met up with actress Michele Morrow in Hollywood, and after a few mimosas, an afternoon of pricing games, and a cocktail at lunch, we went back and recorded a brief vlog. (What a terrible word that is. Vlog.) Enjoy.
Oh, wait -- what's that? I have to answer your questions today, too? What nonsense is this? I'm supposed to be vacationing.
Do you think Blizzard will take a few minutes while working on Mists and reduce the level requirement for the Outland cooking and fishing dailies? Its kinda dumb that they arent available until you character is already in Northrend.
Our friends over at Wowhead News (who helped us throw a heck of a party) also have been posting all sorts of Mists of Pandaria information. One of the tidbits they have for us are what, exactly, our new Pandaren brothers and sisters will have for racial abilities. It's interesting to see that these racials are pretty strong for leveling.
Bouncy: reduces fall damage by half.
Inner peace: double rested XP.
Gourmond: +15 to cooking.
Epicurean: double stats to food buffs.
Quaking Palm (from the live stream): Puts a target to sleep for three seconds.
Some of these (the Epicurean racial in particular) seems pretty strong, maybe even too strong. They're interesting in terms of how they touch on the Pandaren's lore and personality. Keep reading our coverage, including liveblogs of each panel.
Turn to WoW Insider for all your BlizzCon 2011 news and information. Look for our liveblogs of the convention panels, interviews with WoW celebrities -- and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!
Rejoice, brethren! Since the Cataclysm, the shadow priesthood is more accepted than ever before. A full 11 of the 12 races can now be priests. (Orcs are the holdout, which is a shame -- they have a terrific plus-spellpower racial.) We have a wealth of options when starting a new shadow priest or when dropping some coin on a faction or race change.
I was thinking about starting this particular column with some kind of bold statement such as "Fox Van Allen is a racist," but that could hurt my future political career. (Van Allen for Vice President! Call me, Mitt.) Still, there's no escaping the fact that in WoW, some races are just plain better than others. And some -- gnomes -- are clearly inferior.
Eventually, our analysis will take a look at all the Horde and Alliance races. For now, though, we'll focus on Team Blue. Which Alliance race is best? Which gnome recipe is the tastiest? Can I manufacture a reason to reuse that picture of Taylor Lautner staring with lust at John McCain? All questions will be answered ... after the jump.
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.
With all the upheaval regarding death knight abilities and DPS happening right now, it's sometimes a good idea to go back to the basics and figure out some of the stuff that underlies a good, solid death knight.
One of the most basic cornerstones of choosing a death knight is choosing your race. Since every single race can be a death knight, you have your pick, and since there's a race change service, you don't even have to stay the same race forever. Personally, I tend to say that you choose whatever race feels right for you -- but for those who want to pick a race (or change your current race) based on what racials are "best," this guide is for you.
So 4.0.3 is out now, and all the little Holycows are running about Mulgore, grazing on the succulent young grasses. Pocketheals the gnome priest is strafing across Dun Morogh, avoiding those who would punt her.
If you haven't heard, 4.0.3 has made it so that tauren and gnomes can become priests now. In another week, we'll also be able to play worgen and goblin priests too! That means every race in the game but orcs (poor orcs) can now be a priest. That makes it a good time to talk about racial traits for priests then, doesn't it?
So if you want some extra insight on making that new priest you've always wanted, hit the jump. And if you don't want a priest, maybe you should reconsider that, huh?
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Your host for the shadow-flavored Wednesday edition is, as always, Fox Van Allen -- an indestructible specimen of draenei might. In fact, there are only three things that can even dent his armor: saccharin hugs from his holy counterpart Dawn Moore, caramel corn and that stupid bug that kills you every time you try to enter the Maelstrom in the Cataclysm beta.
I've noticed that an awful lot of people seem to be playing shadow priests these days. Way more, it seems, than back in the days of Ulduar. Now, that can mean one of two things: Either Blizzard has gone the distance and finally made shadow priests competitive enough and fun enough to draw in large numbers of new endgame raiders, or -- and I'm going out on a limb here -- my columns here have been just so popular that record numbers of priests are forsaking the light just to be more like Fox Van Allen.
You can probably make a stronger argument for the "Blizzard fixed our class" reason, but that doesn't really do much for my ego or make a good segue into today's article. So, for the purposes of today's Spiritual Guidance, I shall be the shadowy beacon that made a spec popular through naught but the raw power of his own charisma.
As you can imagine, such a shadowy beacon gets asked an awful lot of questions. Occasionally, in between all the people asking, "Can I buy you a drink?" and "Can I have your babies?", a shadow priesting question gets asked. They're seldom involved enough to write a full article about, but I feel like I have a responsibility to shadow priesting kind to answer them, regardless.
And so today, I'm taking on a few questions about patch 4.0.1 and Cataclysm. Let's jump right in.
Now that patch 4.0.1 is live, what's going on in the Cataclysm beta for shadow priests?
Human Perception is gone? My poor dwarf will have extra reason to be Cannibalized? Gnomes becoming experts with daggers and one-handed swords? And the change no one could have seen coming, taurens can pick flowers faster? Anyway, enough with the amazement. What do you guys think of these changes to racials so far?
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.
Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women? Blood Sport investigates the entirety of all-things arena for gladiators and challengers alike. C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in WoW.com's arena column.
Listening Music: Fix You, the author's favorite Coldplay song. The best part of this performance, the "crowd run," happens 3 minutes into it. Watch it, if just for that.
Last Week: Last week, we discussed the racials of blood elves, undead, and trolls, oh my! The last two Blood Sport articles look at racial abilities from a perspective of effectiveness in the arena.
This Week: We'll be discussing racials, for the third (and last) week straight. A lot of arena players would rather play without racials entirely. On ArenaJunkies, there are lots of people who subscribe to a nerf movement every few weeks and add a little signature or avatar in to say "nerf Will of the Forsaken" or "nerf Every Man For Himself." What if racials got removed? Would WoW be better or worse because of it?
I have an opinion on it that I'm going to share with you -- hopefully you'll agree. So let's weigh some arguments for removing racials...
Cons (removing racials would be bad):
The forsaken just wouldn't be the same without those three translucent exclamation points. Before I played WoW, I saw a video of an orc using Blood Fury, and I was amazed. The animation looks so cool, and you can get it at level one! Every time I see a tauren shaman run to me, I instinctively jump behind a pillar. It'd be hard for me to get it out of my system that he can't War Stomp anymore.
The possibility of changing your character's race was indicated at BlizzCon 2009, during one of the panels. But then the news about it really got hot when Faction changes were officially announced, because eagle-eyed players noticed the following damning question in the new program's FAQs: Can I use this service to change race on my existing faction? The answer was confirmation enough for most folks: No. We will be releasing a Race change service in the near future for this purpose.
But, this wouldn't be the first time a bit of miscommunication or other confusion has occurred. The final confirmation of upcoming race changes came today, confirmed by Neth again in an official forum thread. All she was actually doing there was referencing the original thread about Faction changes, which had already said Race changes were coming. The announcement even showed up on the official Warcraft Twitter account. So this isn't exactly a brand new thing. Still, it's nice to have it confirmed all over again.
Race changes, of course, subtly differ from Faction changes because you'll still stay Alliance if you're Alliance, or Horde if you're Horde. Race changes might be performed for aesthetic reasons -- you might just prefer the look of a sexy little gnome. Still, I bet most Race changes will be to get access to "better" racials. Especially if racialsdo get revamped in Cataclysm, a lot of players will see the grass a little greener on the other side. Every Man For Himself, anyone?
A week has passed since BlizzCon 2009 and we're still digging up more news, getting clarification from the blues, and analyzing all of the panels. Last week, Insider Trader discussed some of the major professions-related features coming up in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the next expansion pack.
Pass through the break to learn all about:
Profession racial abilities and how they will be changing.
The new direction for Alchemy.
A totally revamped Fishing system!
Archaeology details and speculation about the leveling process.
The evolution of Inscription.
Then, continue on to part three of this discussion to learn more about:
Reforging and (not) repairing our own gear.
Profession specializations and the new direction for differentiation.
The WoW launcher was updated this morning, and just now what was behind that curtain was revealed: Character Re-Customization. What does that mean? In short, for a fee of $15, you can rebuild your character, with some restrictions. You can change your gender, face, skin, hair, and name, but not your race or class. You can do hair in-game already via the barbershop, so I imagine the ability to do those via this service is just for convenience. The real draw is the gender and face options.
Don't want to play your Female Undead Warlock anymore because they move funny? It's okay, turn them into a way awesome Male Undead Warlock. Sick of looking at your Male Draenei? Try out something more... pleasing to the eyes. This is a feature people have been asking for since WoW launched, so I'm surprised it took so long for it to happen. If you're taking full advantage of the feature, it's really not a bad deal considering a paid name change is $10. For an extra $15, you can more or less have a new character. Well, sort of.
Racials received a significant revamp recently in the LK beta. But it looks like they're already dissatisfied with "The Fall of Humanity," a new human racial that basically mimics Hunter Feign Death (but without the threat drop), and will be mostly giving it to Night Elves in the form of a Shadowmeld rework instead. The racial that will be replacing it is called Every Man for Himself, and reads as follows: Removes all movement impairing effects and all effects which cause loss of control of your character. This effect shares a cooldown with other similar effects, such as the PvP trinket.
As Vaneras notes, this now gives you the chance to not equip your PvP trinket, essentially giving you an extra trinket slot in PvP. But isn't this basically an amped-up Escape Artist? Doesn't seem very fair to the poor gnomes. I guess Escape Artist doesn't share a cooldown with the trinket, though.
Even as a PvE player, this will come in handy quite often, I expect. I certainly make liberal use of shapeshifting breaking movement impairing effects on my Druid. And hey, as long as they're not removing Diplomacy like I originally thought, they can do whatever they want with the other human racials as far as I'm concerned. Just let me stay diplomatic.
Edit: Shadowmeld now works as follows:Activate to slip into the shadows, reducing the chance for enemies to detect your presence. Lasts until cancelled or upon moving. Any threat is restored versus enemies still in combat upon cancellation of this effect.