These are my impressions from watching the Blizzcon Class Panel, things that caught my eye. I guarantee WoW.com covered things in greater detail, so go there or to MMO Champion for line by line details.
First, they talked Warlocks and Hunters. They did not go into detail on any other classes. I’m not covering them much, so off to MMO Champion you go!
Yes, we Feral Druids got boned with a lack of info.
So, no specific Feral Druid news, really.
First, the stat changes that are coming.
They are simplifying the way stats work, to make gear easier to understand.
- Armor Penetration is GONE.
- Defense is GONE.
- Attack Power as a stat is GONE.
They broke it down that for some classes (like Rogue, Hunter, Druid, Enhancement Shaman) you would get 2 Attack Power per point of Agility. No more just Attack Power.
They did NOT say whether the stat change applied differently to Bear and Cat. They DID say they wanted Tanks to not fight with DPS over gear, so DPS was going with Agility. Since Bears use DPS Rogue/cat leather gear, maybe Bears truly are going to 100% Agility, and Strength is going away for Druids. Nobody asked during the Q&A (yes that would have been my question, “Will Bears be using BOTH Agi AND Strength like now, or only Agi in the revamp?), but the question didn’t arise, and they did not say anything about that situation.
They’re adding Stamina to a ton of gear, so everyone will be less squishy. Just FYI.
- Spell Power as a stat is GONE.
- MP 5 is GONE.
They’re making Spirit be the mana regen stat for everyone, and Intellect be the Spellpower for everyone.
There will be a new stat or ability or function, called Mastery, that seems to be a way for you to follow a path you choose, that let’s you be better at what you choose to do. One example they used was to become a better Beasty Hunter you could follow a path of Mastery to buff your pet damage.
Oh yeah… and Hunters? Mana is GONE, you get Focus instead. It’s like a Hunter’s Energy, max 100, regen 6 energy per tick, and cost 30 or so Energy per shot, and Steady Shot will increase your Focus regen rate from 6 per tick to 12.
Oh, and if Defense is gone, what do Tanks do?
Why, all tanks will get a Survival of the Fittest style ability that eliminates crits. And Block goes to a percentage of mitigation, and Shield Block is GONE.
Plate wearers may now rejoice.
Haste will be changed to increase the rate of energy regen, rage regen, and focus for classes that use those stats, that have no real use for Haste now. More utility from haste to all classes, not just instant cast GCD spell casters.
They mentioned that Ret Pallies would have to spec into a talent to make full use of Haste.
Moving on, they are adding Archaeology as a Secondary Class, like Cooking. You’ll be able to seek out and find neat artifacts throughout the world, and finding them can give you Vanity Pets, Instant Travel to an instance, perhaps (from finding a hidden entrance only you know), Unique recipes for other professions, and also special Titles, and even more, like items and gear. Those are the exmaples they gave specifically, there may be more.
Cassie and I were really excited at their description for Archaeoloy, it sounds a LOT more fun than Achievements to us, don’t ask why.
Also, Reforging is being added, that will let classes with crafting professions modify gear to shift Stat points around a little.
The way they described it, it sounds like you’ll be able to have one stat on gear halved and the points used to add a stat that does not exist on that item, not increase an existing stat on the gear.
So, you could as an example, if you were under the hit cap with your current gear, reduce Stam on some items by half and ADD hit rating on those items that did not have it… and they said you could do this as often as you want, so it’s not a permanent change to the item. So if you then get uber drop with hit, you could change the other items back to compensate.
I’m sure that you can immediately see the implications. When trying to gear up for content, you can gimp other things to reach important stat caps, like Hit or Expertise, or to hit a preferred level of an ability, like Crit, and then when you get a drop that gives you that stat your existing gear can be changed back to be worth more to you than it was. Very smart. Very smart.
Blacksmiths can Reforge their own OR OTHERS plate and weapons, Engineers can Reforge trinkets and Ranged Weapons, Tailors cloth, JC and LW undefined, but you can probably guess.
Multi-Gain was mentioned for crafting leveling… that if you are leveling crafting profession and you’ve got mats to make 5 cheap items, or one blue item that would be worth having but was really expensive to make… they would make the blue item worth maybe 5 profession points on crafted skillup. So a multi-gain of class leveling points, to make it more useful to actually MAKE those low level blues.
There was a lot more, of course. They talked a lot about Hunters and Warlocks, and there were a lot of good questions.
My thoughts in general are, it sounds like they are still in the theorycrafting “what if we did this…” stage in planning. Strong on ideas, weak on specific plans for execution. So don’t panic.
It felt more like they know what direction they intend to go. They intend to simplify the stat system so it’s easier to understand when an item is a direct upgrade or not, and they intend to modify things in talent trees so that it’s easier to plan a spec based on things that sounds fun, rather than things that are marginally useful and no-brainer necessary.
Things like removing talents that improve existing buff spells like Improved Mark of the Wild.
It sounds like they want a spec choice to be based on cool factor, and they will encourage this by taking out basic buffs to existing abilities and just factoring that in.
There was a cheer when they revealed Armor Pen was gone, btw.
The stat changes, as I said, sound like they are driving towards simplifying gear choices, making upgrades more transparent, and keeping things about playing your class.
They did specifically answer one young mans’ Feral Druid question, saying that Ghostcrawler LIKES the way Feral Cat DPS rotations works right now, very much, they do NOT want to mess around with it and possibly piss players off, and that rather than change it, they are planning on UI refinements to make it easier to track Combo Points and Energy without addons.
Personally, adding this in with the changes to old world instances, revitalizing the old world, adding new questlines, bringing old isntances to heroic 80 level, and the gear clarity to easily identify upgrades….
I think this just means Blizzard reads my blog for ideas on how to improve the game.
What? I can dream, can’t I?
Seriously though, very stoked.