Just like WotLK, Cataclysm brings awesome new models for elementals! The picture below should give you a good idea of what to expect in Cataclysm, each elemental has a "Bound" (Armored) and "Unbound" (Unarmored) form and is extremely detailed. Only the Unbound Air elemental is available for the moment, I'm still working on getting decent shots of the Unbound Water/Earth. (No fire yet)
Stormwind Stockades in Cataclysm
Interesting changes were made to the Stormwind Stockades in the latest build, the dungeon has been fully revamped and now features 3 different "Wings"
- The "Human" wing, when you enter the instance. (Boss - Randolph Moloch)
- The "Elemental" wing, when you go down the stairs on the right. (Boss - Lord Overheat)
- The "Gnoll" wing, when you go down the stairs on the left. (Boss - ... Hogger!)
Just like most of the low level Cataclysm dungeons at this point, new NPCs have been added to the starting zone and will give you all the quests related to the dungeons there to make questing through the Dungeon Finder easy.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
As it is now, it's worthless. If you like keeping Holy Shield up, there is zero chance of using Word of Glory. The heal for Word of Glory is still insanely gimpy, even with the buff, so it's unlikely that it will be used. It's still impossible to keep Holy Shield up with great consistency.
I'd buy that if Holy Shield gave you 20% damage reduction or something, but it's 15% block -- at best. You won't even really know if you would have blocked that hit had Holy Shield been up and you could easily keep Holy Shield up and still fail to block. Because it's not 100% dependable, letting it lapse sometimes shouldn't be the end of the world. Sometimes it might make sense to delay that block and heal yourself.
As far as rotations go, something I mentioned in the live forums is we are trying letting Shield of the Righteous (or whatever we decide to call it) consume Holy Power for more damage *and* refresh Holy Shield. So you would need to get Holy Shield up, but then you could just use your shield hits instead. If you were ever in a position where you couldn't hit the boss, you could always fall back on just casting Holy Shield itself. We'll see how that feels. (Source)
Priest (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
I predict Chakra is going to be the reason players play Holy priests. It's going to be the kind of thing where you try out Disc for a few nights but decide you miss Chakra too much and go back. It's just not there yet. (Source)
So... Discipline is boring?
No, you're reading things into my words that I didn't actually say.
In LK, we would hear a lot how Disc was fun to play because of the shields and especially Penance. Priests would switch to Holy for a fight, but say that they missed the way Discipline felt. We think Holy needs something besides CoH that is a really fun mechanic that kind of sets the whole talent tree. Serendipity and Surge of Light can be fun today, but we think the tree needs more. Chakra has a ton of potential. Like I said, it's not there yet, but we have a lot of ideas for it.
Disc will be fine in Cataclysm PvE. It is going to be more well-rounded than it is today, but still have excellent absorption mechanics. (Source)
Shadow in Cataclysm
Mind Flay -- This is a technical explanation, but basically we had to rebuild it for Lich King to get it to benefit from haste correctly. Now that we have tech to let all periodics scale correctly with haste, we can change Mind Flay back to the way it used to work. The "latency" issues you experience today should be gone. You can just mash the Mind Flay button and the periodic won't clip.
Mind Blast -- With some increases scaling and the Shadow mastery, Mind Blast should always be your highest damage button (other than SWeath).
SW: Pain -- Pain and Suffering refreshes SW:Pain with your current haste, crit etc. values. All damage-over-time refresh mechanics and talents should do this now. You shouldn't have to recast a dot to benefit from a temporary buff or proc or whatever.
Spec options -- We have some plans to make early Disc more attractive to Shadow. There are probably fewer of us than you imagine, and we just can't work on every class at once. (Source)
Shaman (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Why does a DK not have to choose between horn of winter and desecration?
Because that is pretty much all the DK gets.
The shaman on the other hand gets to choose among Strength of Earth Totem, Windfury Totem, Wrath of Air Totem, Flametongue Totem, Tremor Totem, Healing Stream Totem, resistance Totems and Earthbind Totem, which doesn't even count Bloodlust / Heroism, and things like Unleashed Rage or Elemental Oath. If your buff was as competitive as theirs and you had so much versatility, we fear we'd see raids with many, many shaman in them. As it is, there's still a good chance for 3 shaman in a 25-player raid, while the DKs might get 2 slots if they're lucky.
You should get a slot because you are a good player, not because your buff rules. (Source)
Shamans are Mandatory
Throughout the history of WoW, the problem has typically been that shaman (and paladin to be fair) bring too much utility and are therefore considered too mandatory. They started out in vanilla as buff classes -- the guys you bring who don't really do much themselves but bring buffs and debuffs that make every other class perform better. You couldn't for example just stack your raid with rogues and mages because their performance would be low without the shaman and paladins -- and before LK you had to bring enough to stick one in every group.
Now, we decided to change that design because we didn't think it felt very satisfying to be the buff bot spec who got brought along as if the player were some kind of scroll or flask to improve the "real players" performance. On the other hand, we knew it would be really brutal to the shaman and paladin to just rip away all of their utility and give them the typical 2 or so raid buffs that most other classes or spec get.
But we've definitely eroded it a little, and I'm not going to apologize much for that because we want to give players flexibility -- and flexibility means you can do a raid, especially a 10-player one, without a shaman or paladin. Nobody should be mandatory, except for a tank and a few healers. Nobody should be left out either, but the specs who got left out in LK did so because of low dps -- Arms, Frost mage and Subtlety rogue. Shaman did fine.
Believe me, I have thought long and hard about scrapping the entire buff / debuff system because players focus on it too much. But I know that if we did that, players would then focus too much on damage per second and healing per second of the best players out there. We also think it would be unfortunate to lose that sense of being so much more powerful in a group than you are solo.
For now, in Cataclysm, we are just sharing even more of the buffs and debuffs across a wide gamut, especially very powerful ones like Bloodlust and Battle Rez, and chilling out the impact of some of the more potent ones, say Sunder and Curse of Elements, while also cutting back on the sheer number of buffs brought by say the Ret paladin and Balance druid.
I am much more interested in discussions about say shaman dps totems and healing totems than I am about buff totems, because we believe the latter have much less to do with either your getting to raid or your raid being succesful. (Source)
Enhance does fine on stationary fights like Saurfang and Festergut, but drops behind on heavy movement fights, and unfortunately the fight that counts the most has a lot of movement.
But that's not a totem problem. That's because so much of Enhancement's dps is tied up in getting procs on quick attacks. If a warrior has to move, it may not hurt them as much because their abilities are on longer cooldowns anyway and they can even store up on the rage. For energy classes it's even better because they can just unload when they do get back in range. But Enhancement just lost out on those procs, and they aren't coming back.
We're okay with some specs doing better on some fights than others, but we think Enhancement suffers a little too much when they have to move (and they aren't the only ones - Balance druids and even Elementals are in a similar bucket). We're trying to address this in Cataclysm without removing what it is that players like about Enhance.
But again, this doesn't have a lot to do with totems. They might have to drop their totems again, but that dps loss is arguably neglibile compared to the loss of not being able to deal damage for short times. (Source)
Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Tanking Talent in Fury Tree? (Die by the Sword)
I play with this Fury warrior. His dps is quite high to the extent that he pulls a lot and then generally dies before anyone can respond. This talent is dedicated to him. (Source)
One potential solution to Slam for Fury is to make the proc more predictable (like Overpower for Arms). With Enrage -> Raging Blow as the major mechanic Fury needs to pay attention to now, watching for that Bloodsurge proc may be a little too much. (Source)
Also, does anyone else feel like Inner Rage is more or less pointless now? It doesn't really seem to add anything to the class other than unnecessary complexity. It feels like our rage gain is stable and well-balanced enough that the balancing doesn't need to fall back on such an obvious crutch and making the cost of your abilities fluctuate is just annoying.
Nobody is raiding and there isn't a lot of PvP on Beta (yet). Simply using an ability like Raging Calm will probably trigger Inner Rage (which was part of the idea behind it). (Source)
The MMO Report
The MMO Report is back this week!
Dark Legacy Comic #249 and Teh Gladiators #154 + #155 are out.