Monday, September 13, 2010

Soon, the point of no return...

4.0 (actually 4.0.1) is on the test realm. That translates to it hitting live servers soon. I'm really looking forward to it, although there's a few things I'll miss.

I'm not a fan of whining and complaining about changes. I believe that Blizzard does what they think is best for the game, even if that includes nerfing the class I currently play. When I stop believing that, I'll probably stop playing the game. However, so far it has worked out fine. Thus, I consider all change "good" in the broad sense that they'll over time make the game better and better.

I'd just like to list what I look forward to. I think it'll be fun looking back at it in a half year's time.

I look forward to practically every overhauled talent tree. It's just exciting to see the new possibilities and combinations, and test out various new or overhauled talents. Some specific highlights.

Before we start, I just got to say I really love that Mortal Strike and the similar abilities no longer halve healing, but reduce it by 25%. It'll be balanced in the end, but I think I like the balance that I can heal a bit more consistently no matter what enemy I'm facing.


First and foremost, the dedicated Blood tanking tree for DKs. I'm going to test something like this for tanking. I'll also test a modified version, for example this, for PVP as blood.

The other two DK trees look... fair enough. Good thing they're overhauled, but no super-changes I'm all wired up about.


Generally, I'm looking forward to the overhauled Thorns. I hope it'll be castable on yourself while tanking.

Bothersome Bear Boredom

The first two steps towards more entertaining tanking for bears: Pulverize and Skull Bash. Thrash is obtained at 81. Going to a bear-tanking spec like this for tanking.

Coming out of the closet... or bark

Druid healing without tree form, yay! Unlike a lot of other druids, I'm super-excited about it. This is how I PVP as a resto druid already. The resto tree is so full of awesome that I'm having a very hard time figuring out what to spec. Most likely a case of repeated respecs. I'll probably try a PVP-oriented build first, and see how well it works for PVE as well.

Just let me see if I got this correctly: Fury of Stormrage reduces the mana cost of Wrath by 100% at all times? So I can chain-gun wraths like there's no tomorrow, if noone is in need of healing? Oh, I'm so excited that I just can't hide it!

Ability to remove magic, fantastic!

The new spell costs will take some time getting my head bent around. The speedy healer, Regrowth, and the big healer, Healing Touch, costs almost the exact amount of mana. Meanwhile, Nourish, which heals for about the same as Regrowth, costs only a fifth as much mana. Hm. Interesting.

However, with talents, Regrowth is an almost guaranteed crit for 150% healing (an additional 60% + 4% from talents), and then provides both a Living Seed for an additional 30% of the critted amount, meaning about 45% of the normal amount, and a bed of pretty flowers under your feet for another 30% of the critted amount, or 45% of the normal amount. So assuming it crits, which it will do often, it can potentially heal for 240% on the main target plus a heal over time, and 45% of everyone else who happen to be standing in it. Given at least three targets in the zone, its approaching the efficiency of Nourish.

Finally, I'm all excited about the new Tree of Life, now on a cooldown. All the enhanced spells... so much fun.

Sailor Moon... kin!

I'm not going to test it straight away, but I am looking forward to the balance changes as well. Ranged knockdown and spell interrupt, great! I'm just not as excited as the other trees.


I've never had a hunter before, but I'll probably make a Worgen one. Both to test out the starting area and story, and the class itself. It's rather low priority, though.


I have a low-level mage, which I'm intending to pick up just to test the various new mage specs. Pretty low priority as well, though.


So many great changes here. I'll definitely test them out, to see if paladins may actually suit me now. It'd be great to have a single character that can both tank and heal, and so far I've found paladins lacking due to general boredom.

The new resource system, holy power, looks really neat. Now, finally paladins will have to make some choices about how to use their resources as opposed to earlier (where holy paladins spammed a single spell, tanks just used a rotation, and retribution paladins just mashed whatever button came off cooldown first). Not just what to spend it on, but whether to spend it at one, two or three charges of holy power.

Tanking without a rotation, oh, how I look forward to that. Dps with a more depth than just cooldown-mashing, great. AoE healing and more choices while healing. Without even testing it, I am 100% sure that this is a great step in the right direction for paladins.

Interestingly enough, paladins can now (finally?) chain-cast a dps spell, Exorcism.


(That was intentionally misspelled, by the way)

Lots of neat stuff here. However, priests where already a pretty well-rounded class, so I look at the changes are more of rounding off an already great class, with a few exceptions.

The ability to heal by damaging enemies looks interesting, particularly when combined with a stacking buff and an mana restoring and healing increasing effect. I really wonder how it'll work out. At least healing in 5-mans needn't be boring when you're overgearing the place.

The priestly version of Anti-magic Zone looks neat, not least because it reduces all damage and not just spells. Pretty much superior to AMZ, in fact.

Blizzard is trying to make Holy priests viable for PVP now. Or, more viable, this is probably their third attempt or something. Chastise is back. I never got a chance to test it while it was a racial spell.

Chakra looks like it could be real fun, particularly with Chastise morphing to other spells while chackra'ed. By the way, I can't stop thinking of Naruto each time I hear the word Chakra.

The shadow tree looks polished and neat, but apart from the Shadow Orbs doesn't strike me as anything really new. However, it worked well before, it'll probably work slightly better now.


(This, too, was intentionally misspelled)

I've got three RL friends who play rogues, so I keep an eye on the changes here so I can discuss it with them. However, I don't have a rogue, I've never had a rogue, and I'm not even remotely planning on getting one myself.

It does, however, look to me that rogues will be completely and utterly overpowered until the health pools increase. Bypass 50% armor for 10 sec after an opener? Probably a bit broken in combination with the health pools and dps of level 80 characters.

Ehm... lightning-huggers?

Sadly, I don't know any pun on shammies.

I think the changes here will be great. However, I'm not sure how I feel about the class. I do have a 80 which I've had a lot of fun with, and I will probably level her at some point, not least since Jewelcrafting is a great profession for all my characters.

However... I'm not sure I want to spend too much time as a shammy anymore. With that said, if the changes are good enough, I might. In particular, Elemental and Enhancement never agreed too well with me. Resto was good. I'm certainly going to test out the new talents and stuff.

Interestingly enough, I look forward to buffs getting lowered. Shamans had, in my opinion, too many buffs, and they're balanced around having all those buffs. Now that the buffs aren't quite so powerful, they'll need to be balanced around that, which means that they'll be more powerful when buffs are present... translate that to most PVP action.

For Resto, I'm in particular excited about the ability to remove magic, restore mana by casting lightning bolt, improving healing by shocking and 15% improved speed at all times.

I'm wondering if they have or will change Mana Tide Totem. I did read that they intended to change it, but can't see it anywhere. In PVP it's way less effective than every other mana-restoration ability for healers.

I'm still not sure I'll be a great fan of Elemental. I'm not sure how well Earthquake will work. Time will tell how well it'll work.


I've got my level 34 alliance lock which I stopped levelling about two weeks ago. Will test out stuff with her. Honestly, the changes look really great, particularly after annoying myself to death with the old soul shard mechanic... lack of bag space, anyone?

As a low level lock, I'm also excited about getting the specialization spells now instead of having to wait until level 60.

Meat shields

I do have a warrior, retired a loooong time ago at level 34. ... how come I abondon several classes at that level?

However, come Cata, and I intend to make a goblin warrior. Since I don't have too much experience, I can't really tell what changes are good and what's not. But it looks quite interesting.

... and that's not all, folks

I'm also looking forward to the non-class specific changes. Too many to list here, but the spell alerts look particularly good.

Until 4.0, I've decided to get Crusader on my DK, to get the "bank access anywhere on a cooldown" thing. Lacking 5 days of dailies. You may also call me sir-fish-a-lot. So far, some 1200 fish and no turtle.

There's one thing I'll miss, though... the ability to tank as an Unholy DK... but oh well, can't have it all.

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