Impressions from the Blizzcon Class Panel

These are my impressions from watching the Blizzcon Class Panel, things that caught my eye. I guarantee 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.


11 thoughts on “Impressions from the Blizzcon Class Panel

  1. The in-laws arrived, the house was clean, reaction to the new kitties was limited to a grimace and then calm acceptance, the dinner I cooked was well-received, and they are now safely back at the motel, so I am looking through all this info now with shock and delight and “how are they going to do THAT?” and “omg, what will I do without THAT?”

    Eagerly awaiting further details, but I am stoked as well! This is all very exciting. 🙂


  2. I’m sure there will be epic crying in regards to “They are dumbing down the game” with the stat removal. Honestly, though, I think it’s a very good idea that will help them get back to basics, so to speak. Early on in the game, they had fewer stats and it worked just fine. Now, there are LOTS of stats that are very needlessly complicated – armour pen is the most significant of those. One can work out the math, but for the lions share of players, they just rely on others to figure it out and tell them what to do. It’s just not a good way to go.

    Fewer various stats, in my opinion, make for a better game – in any sort of game. I’m a long-time pen and paper RPG player, and it’s something I’ve learned years ago. You’d initially think ever more stats makes the game more interesting, but it doesn’t. The content of the game makes it more interesting. Really complex stats don’t really enhance enjoyment at all, they just make theorycrafting more interesting.

    In a game where balance (while impossible) is important, however, the variety of stats coupled with all these different classes benefitting differently from each is a gearing nightmare which contributes to balance issues. If one class benefits a LOT from a common stat, and other classes don’t, it’s much more difficult to gear up those other classes leading to what is, for all intents and purposes, an overpowered class.

    Seriously, every single thing I hear makes me think “Hey! I’ve been wanting them to do that for YEARS”. Everything. It’s shocking, stunning, and making me dance with joy.

    I’m intrigued about the mastery thing. I’m really, really excited to have more customizability, and the mastery thing not being class restricted is fascinating. I long dreamed of a talent tree shared between all classes (though I recognized it would be impossible to really work right given how warcraft worked) but allowing further customization aside from Race>Class>Spec. It’s annoying to be a carbon copy of every other player of your class/spec (as race has very little real impact)


  3. that is partially the problem imo, they are dumbing down the game.

    Believe me, I am a supporter of getting everyone to see the content. but really, if you only need to track like 2 stats, (Stam and AGI) how long before we see everyone wearing the same stuff in Dalaran?

    I am not saying its game breaking, But I liked how I could max out my hit gear, start plugging in AGI gems and or Arpen gems to up or lower my DPS.

    WoW is so big, it needs to cater to everyone. but as a druid, why woulnt a hunter roll on leather gear now? really its going to be easy!

    same with pally’s and boomkin or resto leather. its got 10 more int thats 100 SP. thats an UP!

    complexity drives diversity.


  4. Them getting rid of spellpower is a dream come true for me. I always thought caster classes were at a major disadvantage for relying on what’s always been a secondary stat to increase their damage output. Before they put spellpower on some low-level items at least, you could pretty much level to 60 as a caster without ever increasing in power other than through new ranks of spells, while melee benefitted from strength and agility all over.
    .-= Shintar´s last blog ..So… Cataclysm is official. =-.


  5. The stat simplicity isn’t too bad. Not needing the math that the majority of us don’t do for ourselves will simply change to everyone needs to do some much more manageable decisions over whether a gear drop with specific stats could be changed into an overall up over other drops. So, that ilevel drop wasn’t an up because it doesn’t have haste? Except wait.. if I take points out of stamina/hit rating/etc. all of a sudden it’s BiS.


  6. I did a happy dance when I heard about Defense being removed. Literally danced. Same with hunter mana; I always wished it were more like a rogue’s energy. I don’t play a lock, so can’t comment too much about that but it does look interesting.

    Oh, and I’m totally doing a faction transfer on my hunter to have him be a worgen; I’ve got a friend Ally side on Kael’Thas so you may see me poke around a bit over there. 🙂


  7. Thanks BBB for making these changes easier to understand. It’s a lot to take in and it’s great to be able to come here to get a clear idea of what’s going on. So thanks again 🙂


  8. I stopped playing 7 months ago, but I’ve been reading about changes and I very like much both the changes they made and those that are planned for the expansion. I’m very disappointed that they still didn’t add new textures for trees and oomkins though :/
    .-= Pies´s last blog ..The Invention of Lying =-.


  9. I was at Blizzcon, and wanted to ask a question of the same vain. I wanted to know with all stam/armor being equal between tanks, with parry and block being buffed, and dodge being nerfed (it was nessassary), would there ever be a time in this Bear Tanks life that a Block/Parry trinket/neck would drop that I wouldn’t die a little inside. Problem was I never got to the front of the line to ask. Tried during both class panels and the wow Q&A panel. After failing at the first I was in line before the second two panels even started, and still didn’t get to ask what I wanted. Guess we will have to wait to find out.


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