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.

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