Monday, August 24, 2009

Losses in Cataclysm

Since the news from Blizzcon is still making its way onto the net I thought I'd cover what we're losing in Cataclysm - Apart from a really painful 1-60 leveling that is.

There's quite a few stats that are being removed from equipment: Spell Power, Attack Power, Defense, Armor Penetration and Mana Per 5 Seconds. Don't fret just yet, there's still good news.

There's a new stat still not clear to us mere mortals in its implementation: Mastery. From the panels, I gleaned that "whatever your character cares about doing" will be increased by Mastery. So, I'm guessing that tanks will get better defense and expertise, BM hunters will get better damage and better pet stuff, healers will land better heals. The details still aren't clear.

So, going away is Spell Power, to be made up for based on Intellect. Also making a departure is Attack Power, apparently to come from Agility and/or Strength. MP5 will be made up for by better Spirit. Defense, like current druid builds, will be made up for by talent spec.

And lastly with many stats falling off of current gear, the Blizzard guys noted that much more stamina would be on most gear. So all the DPS and Healers in the world won't suffer from "Tank HP Envy" any longer.

Racials - Wrapup

Well, I'm not going into the Horde side racial abilities much at all. The purpose of the racial talents preview was to attempt to divine what Worgen and Goblins (if they were the new races) would have for racial abilities.

I've been to Blizzcon since I started the article.

So here they are:

Goblin Racial Abilities:

  • +15 to Alchemy skills. Plus mana and health potions have a larger effect.
  • Rocket Belt (barrage) shoots rockets and does damage
  • Rocket Belt (charge) propels the goblin forward (these two share a cooldown)
  • Best possible gold discounts from vendors regardless of reputation.
Worgen Racial Abilities:
  • Speed Boost for the Worgen, much like a rogue's sprint or cat form prowl.
  • +15 to Skinning skill. Plus the ability to skin faster
  • 15% reduced duration of poisons and curses used against the Worgen
  • 1% increased damage from all attacks
As everything announced about Cataclysm, these are subject to change. They also seem pretty darn good compared to some of the other races' abilities. In fact, it was mentioned that some other existing racial abilities might also get some revamping.

It seems like +15 is the new chosen "magic" number for skill increases, so I wouldn't be surprised to see any race that has intrinsic skill bonuses (i.e. Gnomes & Engineering, Draenei & Jewelcrafting, Blood Elves & Enchanting, Tauren & Herbalism) get their bonus buffed to 15 as well as add some other small effect like both the Worgen & the Goblins have.

All in all, quite an exciting development on the crafting front.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Day Two

We're about to head out for day 2 of Blizzcon. The mystic reveals by Blizzard are over.

Today is less sitting down watching panels and more experiencing playing Worgen and maybe Goblin start areas.

And of course some shopping.

Since my poor phone battery was crying out in agony yesterday, I didn't get to post on any upcoming changes to classes. 

I'll just post a few tidbits and explain next week.  So in short, attack power, spell power, defense, and mana per 5 are all removed. Oh, and hunters no longer use mana. Again, more detail next week.

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Friday, August 21, 2009

Murlocs in Anaheim

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Heroic Deadmines

Nuff said

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Opening Ceremony

Goblins & Worgen confirmed.  Level cap raised to 85.  Flying in Old Azeroth. New secondary profession - archaeology. Deathwing is back

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Waiting for Opening Ceremony

-- Sent from my Palm Prē



-- Sent from my Palm Prē

15 Minutes?

I may have just been interviewed by Blizzard staff. Maybe its the shirt
-- Sent from my Palm Prē

They're already in line

Its 6 am Blizzcon time.  Four hours until the doors open and folks are already in line. I'm more sensible and am eating breakfast.

Blizzard has withheld the program until after Opening Ceremony.  Wonder what thay are keeping secret.
-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Thursday, August 20, 2009

We have landed

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

On the ground

Waiting to deplane

-- Sent from my Palm Prē


Yes. Newark. Blizzcon bound

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Racials Review - Part One Alliance

Since it seems that many races will be gaining access to new classes, one of the things that will become more important in distinguishing classes is the racial talent that is brought to bear.

In an effort to suss out the racial abilities of the new races, I thought we should start with a primer on current racials in game. This has been broken down into two sections due to its insane length.

Dwarf Racials:

Mace Specialization: Mace Specialization grants expertise with maces. This is useful for any class that will be face-to-face with mobs -and- using a mace. This makes sense for DKs, most Paladins, Rogues and Warriors. Sorry Priests, Holy Paladins and Hunters--this racial is not for you.

Gune Specialization: Increases critical strike with guns. While three of the six possible dwarf classes can use guns, this racial really relies on using a gun to deal most of your damage. Clear winner here is Hunters. If a rogue or warrior (the other two dwarf classes that can use guns) are dealing much damage with a gun, you need to replace them in your group.

Frost Resistance: Good for all classes, assuming you're fighting bosses who deal frost damage. While it's important when dealing with frost damage, it's not a big enough deal to swing you into a particular class.

Stone Form: This is very good situationally and equally good for any class. It used to be one of the ways out of Moroes' garrotte ability, and still has some utility for bleeds, poisons and charm. On the whole, unless it's a PVP situation, your group probably has another way out of this.

Find Treasure: This racial used to be a lot more useful. It was one of the ways to tell the "good" chests in Stratholme from the traps. It also allowed you to zero in on the randomly spawning chests. However, since WOTLK, we've lost the random chests in instances and I don't recall seeing one hanging out in the world at large. Good for all classes but not game changing.

Final Word: The classes that get the most out of these racials are DKs, Hunters, Rogues, Paladins (Retribution or Protection) and warriors. Holy Paladins and Priests don't match the racials as well.

Draenei Racials:

Gift of the Naaru: This heal over time can be a true lifesaver at lower levels, giving access to a heal to those classes who typically can't. At higher levels, this skill scales with spell power so can be useful situationally at all levels. It is probably least useful to shamans, paladins and priests as they have access to better healing spells.

Heroic Presence: This ability buffs members of your group with 1% hit chance. This is never going to really shine until you're raiding end game. Once you've reached that point, you (AND YOUR RAID) will be able to spend less of your gear budget on hit rating and more on other stats. Again a win for most classes.

Jewelcrafting: +5 to jewelcrafting is again useful for all classes that draenei can play. But, it's really useful for reaching crafting boundaries a few steps ahead of other races. Not truly a consideration for any class.

Shadow Resistance: Like all the "resistance" racials this is useful when dealing with monsters that use that school of magic and not useful at all outside of those encounters. Good for all classes.

Final Word: All classes fare pretty evenly here. The racials are a good fit for any of the classes playable by draenei.

Human Racials:

Every Man for Himself: This racial mirrors the ability of PVP trinkets to remove effects that result in loss of control of your character (charm, crowd control, fear, etc.) While some PVE content will be made easier by having this trait, it is by and large a PVP thing.

Perception: This passive racial makes you more likely to detect stealthed enemies. While some PVE mobs do utilize stealth (Assassins in Shadow Labyrinth anyone?) this again is mostly a PVP ability.

Diplomacy: Ah the mother lode. Ever since reputation became so important with the advent of Burning Crusade, this racial has become a gold mine. 10% more reputation means doing approximately 10% less grinding of Sons of Hodir reputation. And since reputation seems to be here to stay, having to grind less of it overall can be very worthwhile.

The Human Spirit: The primary use of spirit is for mana regeneration and buffs to certain damage or healing by spell. Thus, this racial is essentially of no use to the DKs, Paladins, Rogues and Warriors. Even holy Paladins don't receive much benefit as spirt has almost no impact on their healing. This racial has become even more lackluster with changes to spirit based mana regeneration and is essentially only for flavor (and the cool name).

Mace (and Sword) Specialization: These two racial traits are essentially the same trait twice (applying to two different weapons). Usefull for those that will be smacking things in the face, not at all useful to the casters in the bunch.

Gnome Racials:

Escape Artist: Roots and nets cannot hold the wiry little gnomes. However cool it is to think about, however, this remains mostly a PVP talent. Like many of the thinly disguised PVP talents, this can be useful in PVE content, but not very often.

Expansive Mind: This is a very hand talent for exactly half of the classes available to gnomes. In general, warriors and rogues don't even care a little about increased intellect.

Arcane Resist: Like all the "resistance" racials this is useful when dealing with monsters that use that school of magic and not useful at all outside of those encounters. Good for all classes. (Yup, I cut and pasted that)

Engineering: A whopping +15 to engineering. Gnomes used to be very popular twinks when you could get to 165 engineering with this little gem. As cool as it is, engineering is not cheap to level and generally makes you very little money in return.

Night Elf Racials:

Fast Wisp Form: This is most useful for a Night Elf who spends lots of time running back to his or her body. If you don't die, this never comes into play.

Shadow Meld: Making this usable in combat has significantly increased its usefulness. Even if it is resisted, there's a chance to save a raid or group from a wipe. For that, obviously Druids and Priests will find the most use. Coupled with engineering opens that up to the rest of the classes. However, for a hunter, it's almost useless. Hunters have a better removed from combat trick. I guess if Feign Death were cooling down, it might have some use.

Nature Resistance: See what we said about the OTHER resistance talents.

Quickness: This passive talent makes it less likely for you to be hit by ranged or melee strikes. It doesn't appear that this applies to spells. However it's useful for every class.

And that, my friends is the Alliance Racial Review. Next up, the Horde.

Monday, August 17, 2009

What Classes for the Worgen & Goblins

We all want to know what classes we'll be able to choose for our new Worgen and Goblin alts. I'm just the sort of player that NEEDS to have one of every race in my stable of characters, and if Worgen go live, they'll be no exception. (Okay, those who know me well will be quick to say "But Brem, you have no Night Elf!" They would be right too. I hate the ears, I think.)

As the game currently stands, the Alliance has:

5 Death Knight Options (all races)
1 Druid option (NE)
3 Hunter Options (NE, Dwarf, Draenei)
3 Mage Options (Human, Gnome, Draenei)
4 Priest Options (Human, Dwarf, Draenei, Night Elf)
4 Rogue Options (Human, Dwarf, Gnome, Night Elf)
1 Shaman Option (Draenei)
2 Warlock Options (Human, Gnome)
5 Warrior Options (all races)

Compare this to the Horde:

5 Death Knight Options (all races)
1 Druid Option (Tauren)
4 Hunter Options (Orc, Blood Elf, Troll, Tauren)
3 Mage Options (Blood Elf, Troll, Undead)
1 Paladin Option (Blood Elf)
3 Priest Options (Blood Elf, Troll, Undead)
4 Rogue Options (Blood Elf, Troll, Orc, Undead)
3 Shaman Options (Troll, Orc, Tauren)
3 Warlock Options (Blood Elf, Orc, Undead)
4 Warrior Options (Tauren, Orc, Troll, Undead)

Based on what MMO Champion has "leaked", we're getting

1 Druid for the Horde (Troll)
1 Hunter for each faction (Human, Undead)
2 Alliance and 1 Horde Mage (Dwarf, Night Elf, Orc)
1 Paladin for the Horde (Tauren)
1 Priest for each faction (Gnome, Tauren)
1 Shaman for the Alliance (Dwarf)
1 Warrior for the Horde (Blood Elf).

If those MMO Champion "leaks" are correct, this leaves us with the following inequities:

Alliance short 1 druid
Alliance short 1 hunter
Horde short 1 mage
Horde short 1 paladin
Horde short 1 priest
Alliance short 1 shaman
Alliance short 1 warlock

I don't think Blizzard is intending to "fix" the inequities in shaman and paladin. I believe that it'll remain a 3/2 and 2/3 for shamans and paladins. If it is Blizzard's intention to otherwise equalize the class possibilities between the factions, then the worgen will have access to druid, hunter and warlock while the goblins will have access to mage and priest.

I believe each race will also have access to warrior and rogue (both currently equal between factions.) This leaves us with the DK conundrum. Will the new races have access to Death Knights. I honestly can say that I hope not. However, there isn't really compelling evidence either way. I hope not because I'm afraid that all we'll see in game are worgen and gnome DKs. And the game is too overrun with them (IMNSHO) right now.

So, my predictions for class options for the new races are:

Worgen - Druid, Hunter, Warlock, Rogue, Warrior and maybe DK
Goblin - Mage, Priest, Rogue, Warrior and maybe DK.

And We're Back...

/target Bremm's Musings
/cast Resurrection