Talking About Stuff I Know Nothing About

Yesterday Blizzard released previews of the changes to shaman, warlock, and priest.  I have only played one of those classes for any length (I have an 80 priest that I rarely play).  The other two I never got past level 5.

Still, despite the fact that I’m not an authority on any of those classes, here’s some of my impressions.

They released the shaman one first, which was a good idea because it was clearly the best, in my opinion.  Healing rain is a perfect addition to the game – it gives the class a new, powerful ability that expands their role, AND it fits beautifully in with the lore of the class as a nature-based healer.  Earthquake, without having any details yet, strikes me the same way.

The warlock and priest previews were much less exciting.  There were a lot of “more of the same” kinds of abilities.  There was nothing that grabbed you and made you say “wow!”  (well, the Life Grip for priests might, but mostly it made me lol).  I do think that the proposed changes make both classes better.  However, the changes to the shaman are intriguing and might actually make someone roll a shaman to try them.  The changes to priest and warlocks may only appeal to those that currently play those classes.

Something that kind of disappointed me was the Mastery system.  We were led to believe that the top-tier Mastery bonus would be something unique and interesting for each spec.

I have always been impressed by the creativity of the Blizzard developers.  They come up with so many unique ideas – especially considering that they have to create content for 10 classes with three specs each over 80 (now 85) levels on four continents.  So keep in mind that I’m only being mildly critical here.

Look at the shaman Masteries…

  • Elemental Overload: Your direct-damage spells have a chance to proc a less powerful ‘bonus” version of the spell. This will work much like the current Lightning Overload talent, but would also apply to Lava Burst.
  • Nature Damage: This will provide a passive bonus to the Nature damage dealt by the Enhancement shaman.
  • Deep Healing: Your direct heals will do more healing when the target’s health is lower. This will scale to damage (e.g. someone at 29% health would receive more healing than someone at 30%) rather than have arbitrary break points.

Two of the three are unique and creative.  Elemental Overload and Deep Healing add real flavor to their respective  specs.

The priest Masteries…

  • Absorption: Improves the strength of shields such as Power Word: Shield, Divine Aegis, and Power Word: Barrier.
  • Radiance: Your direct heals add a small heal-over-time component to the target.
  • Shadow Orbs: Casting spells grants a chance for Shadow Orbs to be created that fly around you and increase your shadow damage. This will help lower-level characters feel more like “Shadow priests” before they obtain Shadowform.

Again, two of the three are unique and creative and interesting.  They are different rather than being just more of the same.  (Well, really just one of the three (Radiance) is unique.  Shadow Orbs is just “buff shadow damage” with a nice animation, I’m guessing.)

Now look at the warlock Masteries…

  • Shadow DoTs: The damage caused by Shadow damage-over-time spells is increased.
  • Demon Damage: The damage caused by pets and Metamorphosis is increased.
  • Fire Direct Damage: The damage caused by Fire direct damage spells is increased.


That’s a shame.  If I were a warlock I’d be bummed.  They couldn’t think of anything interesting other than passive damage buffs?

This makes me think that the rogue and mage Masteries will be similar.  Mage masteries will likely be passive buffs to arcane, fire, and frost damage.  Rogue buffs will probably be something similar.

I’m trying not to come off as complaining.  There is no doubt that Blizzard is improving the game and trying to make more engaging gameplay for everyone in every play style.  Maybe my expectations are too high, so when the changes are mundane there’s some let down.  Not everything can be flashy and shiny.  Maybe those warlock and priest changes are amazing, but I wouldn’t know since I don’t play those classes.

I’m looking forward to the other class previews, especially on the classes that I actually play.


4 Responses to “Talking About Stuff I Know Nothing About”

  1. 1 Strikyn
    April 8, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Here’s hoping you do another update on your blog once Blizzard does release the rogue changes. Wow.com and WorldofWarcraft.com are both blocked at my work. Thank goodness I can get to your blog though or I would have long gone crazy 😛

  2. 2 dorgol
    April 8, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Warlock changes are usually like that. 🙂

    Even looking at the trained spells we got in WotLK – Shadowflame and Demonic Teleport… both VERY situational, and are basically copies of other class abilities (Dragon Breath / Cone of Cold and “Blink with a twist”).

    Personally, I’m excited by some of the Warlock items. Mainly because my preferred spec since ’04 has been Demonology – and Demonology is often ignored. But seeing a new nuke designed for Demonology, getting Metamorphosis, and Demon Soul (Demonology Warlocks will have a unique buff available from the Fel Guard) makes me smile.

    Are the Masteries boring? Yeah. But do they emphasis what those trees are focused on? Yup. Maybe Blizz will spice them up some as we enter beta stage.

  3. 3 Hamacus
    April 8, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    While Healing Rain is most defiantly an uber cool addition I think both Priest and Warlocks received a lot of great additions and changes.

    Disc Group shield…yes please and excuse me while I change my pants….ok back. This is so awesome as we can stop spamming shields on single targets and get back to healing. What? Disc priest heal you say? Duh yep but Blizz is buffing that too. On the DL (down low) we were not that bad at healing but more is always better and improved raid heals were defiantly needed. Win!

    All HoTs and DoTs will benefit from Haste and Crit innately. Hasted HoTs and DoTs will not have a shorter duration, just a shorter period in between ticks (meaning they will gain extra ticks to fill in the duration as appropriate) Full of win for so many reasons. Oh and Mind Spike: Mind Spike provides a quick nuke to use in situations where the priest doesn’t have time to set up the normal rotation…thank you Blizz. Win!

    One new talent will push the Holy priest into an improved healing state when he or she casts Prayer of Healing, Heal, or Renew three times in a row. The empowered state varies depending on the heals cast. Could be the Holy form we have been begging for plus more throughput. Hope this has a cool graphic. I know that does not help in any way but come on it would be so cool : ) Win!

    No LOL well changes 😦 I want my ToC like Lightwell!

    Warlock is also full of win…..Fel Flame, Dark Intent, Demon Soul, dot haste and crit innate benefits all look so awesome that I must change my pants again. I primarily play Demo as I find it the most fun. Damage can be competitive with other specs but with the proposed we could see things shaken up a bit. I can see why Affliction or Destro locks might be underwhelmed at the moment though.

    I also play a Rogue now and then so while they have yet to announce changes for that class I know I hate the Arms Warrior changes. New Arms talent called Disarming Nature will make successful disarms cause the target to cower in fear for 5/10 seconds. Can you say OP! Ten friggin seconds!

    Oh and combine Gushing Wound (Level 83): This ability will apply a bleed effect to the target. If the target moves, the bleed gains an extra stack and refreshes its duration, up to a maximum of three stacks. The ability is currently planned to have no cool down, cost 10 Rage, and have a 9-second duration. I know that is primarily a PvP concern but that is all I usually get to play my Rouge no days so no win IMO 🙂

  4. 4 Argathne
    April 8, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I am just happy locks are getting Green flame…….Orange flames are so…..Magelike. =)

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