WoWWatch: Fun with class changes

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I will admit it; it doesn’t happen often, but once in a blue moon, sure enough, I err. A few weeks ago when Blizzard announced changes to dispel mechanics I figured that would be the last little gasp of Cataclysm information we got before the alpha started and proverbial lips were zipped. Well, it seems that I was wrong, as last week Blizzard released tentative class change previews (for all classes save paladins). How does this affect your class? And how does it affect you? Read on to find out and be intrigued.

WoWWatch: Taking one for the team

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My guild recently had a brainstorming session on how to best optimize our play. We threw around ideas of moving some tanks to DPS and healers to tanks and even some healers to DPS. This is the magic of having dual specs. One idea that was thrown around briefly was a plan to move my resto druid from raid healing to DPS as a moonkin. I was immediately appalled that the notion. Had not I suffered enough? I already had to raid as a creepy looking tree, unable to show my glorious looking gear to the raid, but now I had to be a fat owl?

WoWWatch: Bring the player not the ability

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Bring the player, not the class. Blizzard has been pushing this mantra since the days of vanilla-WoW. Burning crusade brought the expansion of many class’s roles. You didn’t have to have a warrior tanking, druids could do it too, you didn’t have to have a priest for healing, shaman, paladins, and druids could step in as well. Blizzard has come a long way with the idea that a raid should be comprised of the best players, not necessarily just the best class composition, but there is still some work to do.

WoWWatch: Living on the edge

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Last week’s influx of Cataclysm information has come and gone. We probably won’t get too much more information until right before Cataclysm hits (Blizzard is normally pretty hush-hush about these sorts of things). That means that we have one(ish) more real content patch before we enter the edge of the expansion dead zone. That wonderful time when hype for the expansion outweighs the allure of the current game, when the servers feel a little like a dive bar at 6PM – empty, except for that creepy old guy in the corner who has been eyeing you for the last half an hour.

WoWWatch: Where have all the tanks gone?

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I actually have a pretty busy schedule, so on days that I am not raiding, I have but one (WoW-related) goal – to do my daily random heroic dungeon for my two frost badges. As a resto druid with good gear this is a pretty straightforward process. I enter the dungeon queue, wait about 2 minutes, and then press my rejuvenate button a bunch of times and collect my two frost badges. It’s a pretty nice routine. So I was surprised a few days ago when I got pulled into a Halls of Stone and pulled aggro – a lot. But I wasn’t the only one; the DPS couldn’t do anything without having mobs come over to hug them either. The instance was suddenly taking far longer than I wanted, and on top of that, people were getting one and two-shotted by mobs that shouldn’t have been anywhere near them. Our tank was bad, really bad. While most tanks have no trouble holding aggro anymore (thanks to Blizzard) you might have noticed that tanks just don’t seem to be built quite like they used to.

WoWWatch: How hard is too hard?

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How hard is too hard? This is not a question normally associated with WoW. In fact many players (especially those playing other MMO’s) have critiqued WoW as being too easy. But the fact remains – Arthas, the final raid boss of Icecrown Citadel, the pinnacle of WOTLK raiding, has been active for over a month and only two guilds have killed him on heroic difficulty –and both kills were in 10 man format. If most the best guilds in the game can’t kill Arthas after a month is he too hard?

WoWWatch: Cataclysm and you: Guild leveling!

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WoW is a good example of an MMOG – but we often forget exactly what that stands for – massive multiplayer online game. Take away the multiplayer and all you have is a massive empty world, and an even harder time getting people together for group quests. In the end WoW is only as much fun as the people you play it with: your friends and your guildmates, which is why I am so excited about the changes coming to guild structure and management in Cataclysm.

WoWWatch: Cataclysm and you: Path of the Titans

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Remember how great the original Indiana Jones movies were? I am not talking about that monstrosity with Shia Labeouf, I am talking vintage Indy here, Raiders of the Lost Ark or Last Crusade style. Those movies made Archaeology sexy. I even rated archaeologist equivalent with astronaut or fireman as a profession choice after watching those movies. Unfortunately for ancient relics (and damsels in distress), I never quite made the cut as an archaeologist. In Cataclysm, however, our characters will have the chance to be archaeologists, so grab your hat and whip and let’s talk about the new profession Archaeology and the new mechanic, the Path of the Titans.

WoWWatch – Cataclysm and you: Stats!

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The equation above has nothing to do with aerodynamics, nor is it important for tax deduction purposes. It is, in fact, the equation required to calculate armor penetration cap for a given player. Confusing? Yeah, it’s about as obvious as an invisible midget. Unfortunately for us and our calculators WoW has accumulated quite a few midgets since the game first debuted in 2004. Not only do they make our heads spin trying to optimize our gear, they also make loot itemization a nightmare for developers – “Wait do we stack haste with armor pen? Or was it agility? Hold on, this is mail, do we need intellect here too?” It turns out that in addition to remodeling our zones Blizzard intends to overhaul our stat systems with Cataclysm too.

WoWWatch – Catacylsm and you: talent points

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Cataclysm will remodel old zones, create new ones, add new instances, and of course, add two new races to the game. But in the midst of all this upheaval many players will notice that their talent points have changed. This is a perfectly normal occurrence and will happen to everyone when they enter Cataclysm. There is a lot of rumor circulating so I wanted to take chance to explain exactly what (I think) is happening to talent points and what you should expect from Cataclysm.