World of Warcraft previews the class changes arriving in Shadowlands

    
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Time for you to learn how to play your max-level characters yet again!

If you had hoped that perhaps now you weren’t going to need to learn how to play your class all over again with the arrival of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands… well, that was always just wishful thinking. Of course you expected that because that’s always what happens. And yes, as part of the whole un-pruning of abilities, lots of classes and specs will see new things changed, new abilities rotated into baselines, and new basic mechanics implemented. Fortunately, you can find out about much of that now, as the developers have put out the initial set of plans and changes.

Among the bigger changes are Holy Power coming back for all Paladin specs while Shaman loses Maelstrom on Enhancement and Elemental. Several specs also see a return to allowing a choice of arsenal, like two-handed Frost Death Knights or dual-wielding Brewmaster Monks. There are also several returning abilities that either have fun uses (Eyes of the Beast for Hunters) or have long been missed (Touch of Death for Monks or poisons for all Rogue specs), and you’ll want to read carefully to see how your particular class will be changing once the expansion rolls out.

In smaller but significant WoW Classic news, free server transfers for select realms are being opened up so you can move your character from one of the higher-queue servers to a smaller one if you’d like.

Source: Official Site, Icy Veins; thanks to Utakata for the tip!

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Loopy

I hate hate hate the build->spend system that majority of classes use nowadays. It makes sense for certain classes (like rogues and warriors) but nowadays every spec seems to have a variation thereof. What i dislike the most is that instead of finally getting rid of Holy Power mechanic for paladins, they decided to instead give it to all specs. It’s great that they’re bringing auras back, and i’m digging the Ret Aura redesign (at least on paper), but what i wished for the most was them bringing back the seals and old blessings, and it just doesn’t sound like they’re coming back..

This is a huge bummer for me and unfortunately one that may be a deal breaker for the new expansion.

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Alt+F4

blackknights drowning in salt… let me serve some cheese to the wine:

(major) artefact abilities finally baseline
(some) azerite abilities talents
+covenant and soulbinds
+potential new PvP talents

+unpruning

my sincerest hope is (competitive) build diversity (or at least competitive variance), but probably not in the age of META. (cuz i love Iris major, but r bound by META to use VoP, or suffer substantial dps loss)
major issue is as always class balancing, more talents more interactions more spread, its gonna hurt exponentially.

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agemyth 😩

I like the priest changes so far.

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Carebear

Lets see: Shadow priests still have the insanity mechanic which is super dull when soloing in open world. They bring back Holy power for all paladin spec instead of remove it from Retri as well. All rogues have poisons? couldnt care less… bring back the burst of speed ability.. (they dont).

All classes still seem meh and some of them even worse than currently. I had doubts for current wow devs, if they have the slightest idea… seriously these guys need a Nobel on how to get something fun and make it as dull as possible.

another lost expansion… thankfully we have FFXIV and TBC (when it comes).

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Utakata

I think the big call after WoW Classic was to bring back the class feel of things as it was back in Vanilla through to MoP. So in this respect, they are only doing what players asked of them. How this will all turn out in practice will be likely another matter though. >.<

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Bruno Brito

o in this respect, they are only doing what players asked of them.

Not in the right way, tho. There’s a severe lack of progression in leveling, and some mechanics are outright counter-intuitive for it.

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Utakata

That’s covered in my last sentence. :)

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Bruno Brito

Ok, but does it have to be, tho? Because when the changes are in a state to be tested, it’ll most likely that it’s how the final product will be.

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Carebear

class feel is when a priest gives me fortitude and I gain like 30% more HP.. when Paladin gives me might with 55 attack power before even I have a single item that gives me AP.. etc.

if I put some feathers on my hands doesnt mean I am an Eagle now :P. Who asked for Holy power to paladins? Who asked for the same class mechanics on all classes.

build resource -> spent resource, Save resource to ~cap, hit a damage bonus -> burn resource. That describes all specs. They could just copy / paste classes from WotLK or MoP that the vast majority if not all players agree that classes were most fun.

instead they try to trick us with illusions for fouls and more so bring the responsibility to us, that we asked for this. No we didnt. Sorry.

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Utakata

You have a point. As I said, and I should of qualified more…the difference between their philosophy, plans and execution of it. So in effect I agree the latter part doesn’t appear to be anything like what we’re where expecting. It’s like we where asking for Bernie Sanders, and they gave us Joe Biden… >.<

“if I put some feathers on my hands doesnt mean I am an Eagle now :P. “

Great analogy, btw. I should of been able to give you 2 /upvotes for that! <3

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Carebear

thanks :P Yeap I also got what you meant now.

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memitim

I don’t think you’ll need burst of speed since from the sounds of these changes everything and everyone is going to be permanently snared. :S

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Giggilybits

I guess they are not doing anything with stats. Is this a roleplaying game or a kids cartoon. They are just covering up the problem. There is a reason why Classic is so popular.

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Bruno Brito

To prepare for the fight ahead, all Hunters will have their stable size significantly increased to hold many companions including the new creatures they discover and tame in the ethereal wilds of the Shadowlands.

And? Cool, except that the Hunter pets in this game are but a shadow of their former selves. Would be nice if they brought the pet system back.

As for the rest? Eh. Not bad, but bringing iconic abilities just for the sake of it doesn’t strike me as “must play”. I don’t live in nostalgia land. I want a game to grab me by the balls and keep me there, wanting to play.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Took a peek. I liked what Ive read about classes I played

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Dug From The Earth

I think secretly the people at Blizzard are laughing at us.

Why?

Because so many (I guess? Im not one of them) have been asking for all of our classes abilities back, regardless of spec. While in some cases, like maybe with paly auras and shaman totems, it makes sense. Or for the more roleplay/fun things that arent about class performance, but for others? Its just trash and bloat. Skills that will probably not end up on peoples bars unless they are the types to have 5 hotbars clogging up their screen (In which case, just go play swtor :P ).

For example:

Giving Arcane Shot to all hunter specs. Lets see how useful this is….

BM Spec – You are gonna be focusing on Cobra shot instead, because its more beneficial to your DPS rotation and resource generation/conservation.

Survival Spec – You are 95% melee ranged, and thus, all your attacks are buffed to hit harder because you have to be up in the thick of it. You already have a medium ranged attack or two, as well as the ability to close a distance gap. If you want to run around kiting someone with a weak (you get no bonuses to the attack) ranged attack, why not just go Marks or BM?.

Marks – Yup, you already use this. No change for you.

So what exactly is so great and exciting about this ability now being available to all specs? The illusion of choice?

That seems to be the theme this expansion. Blizzard selling the illusion of choice.

Here is the thing. Its not really a choice if the options arent equally comparable.

GOOD choices come from there being multiple things to choose between where each is equally as appealing as the other. And this is something all these new “choices” Blizz is offering this expansion lack.

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Lucky Jinx

It has always been just illusion of choice with WoW. Even back in the day of having talent trees, speccing anything but predetermined best talents seriously crippled your performance as the given class. People have spoken– they want more buttons on bars, so they’re giving them back. I can’t speak for all classes, I’m sure there’s some absolutely useless crap coming back that’s only going to be ignored, but as a big fan of affliction warlock, I liked the changes.

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Koshelkin

There will almost be a most optimal build in any game and any genre. Even if it’s averaging out with only a couple of percent more, there will be fotm/cookiecutter builds and classes. It’s up to you if you want to adhere to trends set by other people or just do what you want with your game time. In my experience you can always make much more work than just the current consensus of what is best.

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Bruno Brito

Yes, but if it isn’t well balanced, it ends up being a uphill battle in the mounts of frustration.

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Oleg Chebeneev

People dont know how efficient some abilities gonna be, yet people already complain

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Bruno Brito

Yeah, you wanna know why? Because this cycle has been repeating itself for years now. We complain because we have reason too, Blizzard releases it anyways, it’s complete garbage, they make it go live, we have to deal with this shit for months and then Blizzard finally realizes they have to do something and Ion comes with his “we’ve went too far in some places” crap.

There’s nothing you can do to erase that history.

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Danny Smith

“B-but they’ll sort out artefacts!”
“B-but azyrite gear will be fine!”
“B-but corruptions going to be fun!”

I can’t remember the last time i saw a down with the ship diehard say why a system is good, rather than just try and make people questioning their master shut up because of the good old “b-but they’ll patch it!”.

Anyone not expecting the same shit different time gated sub retention trap is clearly not capable of basic pattern recognition at this point or is fully indoctrinated to the brand.

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Bruno Brito

History repeats itself, and fools don’t read history books.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Yes, Blizzard is experimenting and learning. Its how they find out what works and what doesnt. It also makes the game fresh. Instead of just leaving the same old shit for 15 years like EQ2 or whatever any other MMO did with their class abilities.

((Edited by mod to delete sexism and ad hom. Stop.))

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Ben Stone

Now is pretty much the time to complain, if you wait til its out the door its too late. Especially for things like making Balance druids use eclipse again. Gross. No.

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Paragon Lost

Yeah I read the bringing back eclipse for balance druids and thanked Blizzard for making it easier for me to pass on coming back to play.

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Utakata

I want the green lightening bolt back! If I wanted this sun business, I would roll a Pally. >.<

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Ben Stone

YES.

I did a post on the forums in response to these changes and said the same thing. Eclipse was when they introduced this whole solar thing, and it never felt right. Why are they solar mages? I get the Elune / moon link, but the sun always felt dumb to force this eclipse thing.

I want them to put nature spells back in. They should be nature based casters, not solar.

The cool new entangling root animation is sadly underused since roots are useless in almost all content outside of PvP. They should repurpose that for a damage skill. They need damage spells that use plants and nature again, like the old mushroom explosions we had.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Its only time when classes are playable and we know how changes turned out for them.

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Utakata

The preamble from the source states devs are looking for feedback. Good time to start now. Non?

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Bruno Brito

To be fair, AS allows you as a Survival Hunter to poke from afar. Which isn’t bad, by any means.

But yeah, this xpac design is lacking.