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A lowdown on the Cataclysm Class Changes

April 11, 2010

Repent ye whiners!

Some of you may be a little confused at the deluge of information about all the different classes. Most people only tend to follow the one or two classes they’re interested in. For the benefit of those people (and to be honest, a list for myself to refer back to), I shall now outline the major changes to the classes. I would first like to remind you all that these changes are not set in stone, it’s a sketchy rough idea block being thrown out by Blizzard. They probably won’t NOT implement what they’re showing, but it might go through a lot of mechanic changes as they try to implement it, and feedback from the user community makes a lot of difference. I have also bolded the stuff you should really bare in mind.

Massive PvE changes:

  • Lvl 85 Priest: Leap of Faith – Pull a party or raid member to your location. (or “Life Grip”) is intended to give priests a tool to help rescue fellow players who have pulled aggro, are being focused on in PvP, or just can’t seem to get out of the fire in time.
  • Lvl 83 Shaman: Healing Rain – An area-effect heal-over-time (HoT) spell that calls down rain in a selected area, healing all players within it. There is no limit to the number of players who can potentially be affected; however, there are diminishing returns when healing a large number of targets, much like the diminishing returns associated with AoE damage spells. This should give Restoration shaman another healing tool that improves their group-healing and heal-over-time capabilities. 2-second cast time. 30-yard range. 10-second duration. 10-second cooldown. Not channelled.
  • Lvl 85 Rogue: Smoke Bomb – The rogue drops a Smoke Bomb, creating a cloud that interferes with enemy targeting. Enemies who are outside the cloud will find themselves unable to target units inside the cloud with single-target abilities. Enemies can move inside the cloud to attack, or they can use area-of-effect (AoE) abilities at any time to attack opponents in a cloud. In PvE, Smoke Cloud can serve to shield your group from hostile ranged attacks, while also drawing enemies closer without the need to rely on conventional line-of-sight obstructions. Smoke Cloud lasts 10 seconds and has a 3-minute cooldown.
  • All Hunter’s Resource changing from Mana to Focus.
  • Tree of Life is changing from a passive talent to a cooldown-based talent, similar to Metamorphosis. Mechanically, it feels unfair for a druid to have to give up so much offense and utility in order to be just as good at healing as the other classes who are not asked to make that trade. We are exploring the exact benefit the druid gets from Tree of Life. It could strictly be better healing, or it could be that each heal behaves slightly different. You also will not be able to be banished in Tree of Life form (this will probably be true of Metamorphosis as well). Additionally, we would like to update the Tree of Life model so that it feels more exciting when you do decide to go into that form. Our feeling is that druids rarely actually get to show off their armor, so it would be nice to have at least one spec that looked like a night elf or tauren (and soon troll or worgen) for most of the time.
  • Lvl 83 Mage: Time Warp – Grants a passive Haste effect much like Bloodlust or Heroism to party or raid members. It also temporarily increases the mage’s own movement speed. Time Warp will be exclusive with Bloodlust and Heroism, meaning you can’t benefit from both if you’ve got the Exhaustion debuff, though the movement-speed increase will still work even when under the effects of Exhaustion.
  • The Burnout talent will allow mages to cast spells using health when they run out of mana.

Massive PvP changes:

  • Lvl 85 Shaman: Spiritwalker’s Grace – When this self-targeted buff is active, your spells are no longer interrupted by movement and possibly even by your own attacks. This will give shaman of all three specs another way to heal or do damage when it’s necessary to move in both PvE and PvP. Instant cast. 10-second duration. 2-minute cooldown.
  • Lvl 85 Rogue: Smoke Bomb – The rogue drops a Smoke Bomb, creating a cloud that interferes with enemy targeting. Enemies who are outside the cloud will find themselves unable to target units inside the cloud with single-target abilities. Enemies can move inside the cloud to attack, or they can use area-of-effect (AoE) abilities at any time to attack opponents in a cloud. In PvP, this will open up new dimensions of tactical positional gameplay, as the ability offers a variety of offensive and defensive uses. Smoke Cloud lasts 10 seconds and has a 3-minute cooldown.
  • Lvl 85 Mage: Wall of Fog – Creates a line of frost in front of the mage, 30 yards from end to end. Enemies who cross the line are snared and take damage. The mana cost will be designed to make Wall of Fog efficient against groups, not individuals. This spell is intended to give mages a way to help control the battlefield, whether the mage is damaging incoming enemies (Blizzard can be channeled on top of Wall of Fog) or protecting a flag in a Battleground. 10-second duration. 30-second cooldown.
  • Lvl 85 Hunter: Camouflage – The hunter enters an obscured state that prevents him or her from taking ranged damage. The character would still be subject to melee or area-of-effect attacks, and dealing or taking damage will break the Camouflage effect. The hunter can move and set traps when under Camouflage, and will receive a damage bonus when attacking while under Camouflage (which will then break the effect).
  • Lvl 85 Death Knight: Dark Simulacrum – The death knight strikes a target, applying a debuff that allows the death knight to copy the opponent’s next spell cast and unleash it. Unlike Spell Reflection, Dark Simulacrum does not cancel the incoming spell. In general, if you can’t reflect an ability, you won’t be able to copy it either.

Now, I’ve probably missed a few. I have however been watching these posts with an eagle eye, and these seem like the changes that will be the gap between endgame raiding and PvP as we know it now, and as it will be at 80. In terms of PvE, people seem to be getting a lot of conveniences and other class inspired moves. In terms of PVP, a lot of abilities to make things more difficult to attack or kite your target. That about wraps it up! And of course, the best class is yet to come. Unsurprisingly, these changes have kicked up a lot of QQ. This is silly! It’s not even in the final stages of planning yet, these are proposed plans! (That’s not to say I wont go hunting Ghostcrawlers if Paladins don’t get a new heal.)

Fret ye not, ye worriers. I bet a lot of this will be overhauled anyway.

-Zal

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 11, 2010 10:40 am

    “Fret ye not, ye worriers. I bet a lot of this will be overhauled anyway.” Here here.

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