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CoverItLive Q&A: Class Design & Balance notes

Raylan13 November 10, 2011 User blog:Raylan13
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Earlier today the Blizzard class designers, along with Community Managers Zarhym and Bashiok, sat down with Warcraft players to reveal some interesting tidbits about upcoming class changes with Mists of Pandaria. In a nutshell, here are some of the highlights. The full transcript can be found here.

MistsofPandariaLogo

Death Knights

  • Changes are on the horizon for Runeforging, but nothing shared as of yet.
  • The new ability, Gorefiend's Grasp, will allow Death Knights to [Death Grip] multiple targets. As if there needed to be another cool factor: the area pulled to can be focused on an enemy, an ally, or yourself.

Druids

  • Trying to make all forms useful, regardless of spec.
  • [Nurturing Instinct] will be base ability for Feral and Guardian druids.
  • A new base ability will be given to Restoration and Balance druids that grants Attack power from Intellect.
  • [Infected Wounds] will go to Feral druids and not Guardian druids.
  • [Mangle] no longer causes a bleed debuff. It is usable from any facing - usable by both Feral and Guardian druids.
  • [Shred] will be Feral only, offering slightly more DPS than Mangle, but useable only behind a target.
  • [Feral Charge] and [Stampede] will be rolled into Wild Charge.
  • Incarnation for Balance druids will transform them into Chosen of Elune, increasing spell damage and Solar/Lunar power generated.

Hunters

Monks

  • Can choose to melee DPS-heal or heal from range.
  • For healers, Roll may cost mana and receive a cooldown.
  • Brewmasters will stand in a "drunken stance"; drinks will provide short-term buffs that replenish Ligh/Dark force/Chi
  • Windwalkers (healing spec): maybe able to summon health globes (up to 5) to position in an area; allies can run through globes to replenish health.

Paladins

  • [Word of Glory] cooldown will be removed.
  • [Judgement] will have a six second cooldown, 30 yard range, and generate one Holy Power.

Priests

  • Will get "Spirit Shell", apparently a sort of shield intended for tanks, that won't result in Weakened Soul.

Shamans

  • The totem buffs that are being removed will be changed to something like auras instead.

Warlocks

  • Infernal Embers: the resource for Destruction locks, will be built up by [Incinerating] an [immolated] target. Infernal Embers increase the power of the next single [Conflagrate]/[Soul Fire] by 10%, consuming all Embers. As the lock gains more Embers, they slowly ignite.
  • Unknown what other abilities will consume/generate Embers.
  • Soul shards: will passively regenerate out of combat at a rate of 1 per 45 seconds, but also generated by [Drain Soul].
  • [Soulburn] will have a 15 second cooldown; each ability can only be soulburned once a minute; new Soulburn abilities will be added, such as Soulburn: Curse - curses apply to all targets within x range of the target
  • Grimoire of Supremacy will allow the upgrading of a Felguard into a Wrathguard
  • [Shadow Bolt] is given to all locks at level one; at level 40, it changes for each spec: Affliction (Malefic Grasp), Demonology (Demonic Slash, in [Metamorphosis]), Destruction (Incinerate).

Warriors

  • Looking at stances, specifically making Battle Stance for single-target and Berserker Stance for AE target
  • Some core rotational abilities may generate rage.
  • Fury spec will gain Wild Strike, an off-hand attack without [Slam]'s cast time. Bloodsurge proc would allow three Wild Strikes on a one-second cooldown, also having the [Mortal Strike] debuff.

Glyphss

  • Not happy with Prime Glyphs and may remove them.

Mana

  • Intellect will no longer directly increase the size of the mana pool
  • Spirit will remain pure regen stat for healers

Ranged weapons

Talents

  • Want talents able to be changed out. Considering turning the Dust of Disappearance into a "training manual" to work for both talents and glyphs.

Tanking

Blizz
Celestalon
We're currently investigating a form of 'Active Mitigation' for each tanking class. This means that tanks will continue to do similar damage (relative to DPS specs) as they do today, but that their skill usage in combat will directly impact their ability to survive and mitigate damage. We aren't firm on any of these mechanics yet, but we're considering options like no longer generating rage from damage taken, only from ability usage and white swings. For example, Shield Slam could generate rage instead of costing it, and Shield Block could cost a large amount of Rage, but have no cooldown. This would lead to offensive stats (such as haste) increasing rage generation, and therefore increasing mitigation.
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