Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Welcome to our World of Warcraft: Legion class preview series. In this entry, we’re exploring the Warrior—to find out what’s in store for a different class, check out the overview.
We continue our early look at class and specialization design with the Warrior. In these blogs, we’ll be exploring class identity, discussing Legion’s new designs, and presenting core combat abilities for each specialization—laying the foundation upon which talents and Artifacts will build further. With that in mind, let’s delve into what it means to be a Warrior in World of Warcraft.
Warriors are the quintessential fearless fighters on the battlefield, and their pure martial prowess inspires courage in allies and despair in enemies. Experts in all manner of melee weaponry and possessing incredible physical strength and skill, Warriors are perfectly suited to serve as frontline combatants and battlefield commanders.
Warriors are thematically informed by our own history, dating back to ancient clashes when close-quarters, shield-and-sword combat was the backbone of battlefield strategy. Warriors in WoW are steeped in this tradition, with each specialization filling distinct niches.
One notable goal we have for Warriors in Legion is to significantly expand their customizability through talents, especially for Arms and Fury. If the below core abilities seem sparse, it’s to leave room for more from talents than ever before. Both specs now have five rows of core throughput talents (mostly different between Arms and Fury, too), with a strong mix of active rotational abilities, passives, procs, cooldowns, and other interesting effects. You’ll find old favorites like Overpower, Heroic Strike, and Opportunity Strikes, returning classics like Avatar, Dragon Roar, and Storm Bolt, along with a host of brand new talents. We look forward to seeing the combinations that you put together.
Across culture and kingdom, men and women who demonstrate great physical aptitude are transformed into mighty warriors through tests of strength, endurance, and fighting capability. Their friendships are forged not in the classroom, tavern, or workshop, but in the dueling pits and on the arena floor. As a childhood of sparring defines a warrior’s destiny, so too does one’s choice of weapon determine their role on the battlefield. Arms warriors gravitate toward two-handed weapons instinctively. It’s more than a matter of preference—it speaks to the character of the wielder. Arms warriors are patient in a fight, waiting to capitalize on moments when an opponent is left exposed. Two-handed weapons allow them to deliver devastating, overpowering blows, fully exploiting their enemies’ weaknesses.
"Arms warriors are patient in a fight, waiting to capitalize on moments when an opponent is left exposed."
The defining character traits of Arms Warriors already mesh well with their gameplay, but there’s room for more flavor. In Legion we’ve opened up a wider variety of potential gameplay styles based on your talent choices, as discussed above. We also replaced their Mastery with Colossal Might, which increases the effectiveness of Colossus Smash, playing into their theme more directly. As before, Arms Warrior Rage generation comes from auto-attacks.
Here’s a basic look at the core combat abilities for Arms Warriors:
20 Rage, Melee Range, Instant, 6 sec cooldown
A vicious strike that deals strong Physical damage and reduces the effectiveness of healing on the target for 10 sec.
15 Rage, Melee Range, Instant
Slam an opponent, causing moderate Physical damage.
Melee Range, Instant, 45 sec cooldown
Smashes the enemy’s armor, dealing massive Physical damage, and increasing damage you deal to them by 20% for 6 sec.
10 Rage, Melee Range, Instant
Attempt to finish off a foe, causing strong Physical damage to the target, and consuming up to 30 additional Rage to deal up to massive additional damage. Only usable on enemies that have less than 20% health.
Slam, Whirlwind, and Execute have a 20% chance per target hit to reset the cooldown on Colossus Smash.
Mastery: Colossal Might
Increases the damage of your Colossus Smash by 50%, and causes it to increase damage taken by an additional 50%.
Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Arms-specific talents:
Increases the duration of Colossus Smash by 200%, but halves its effectiveness.
On the battlefield and in the arena, the most feared combatants are often the furious berserkers who lust for battle and thirst for blood. Through a lifetime of training and sparring, these merciless warriors have become masters of carnage—often wielding a weapon in each hand to maximize the destruction. Even without the protection of a shield, the fury warrior leaves little opportunity for an opponent to strike without suffering grievous wounds in return—delivered in a whirlwind of blades that dooms anyone its wake. Brute force becomes a breathtaking display when fury warriors relentlessly dive into the fray.
"Brute force becomes a breathtaking display when fury warriors relentlessly dive into the fray."
Fury is a thematically grandiose take on the classic warrior archetype, and in Legion we want the gameplay to convey this better. To help deliver on the fantasy of a relentless death-dealer, we’ve bolstered their gameplay around quickly building Rage and then going wild with Rampage. In particular, Enrage is now considerably more powerful, doubling your attack speed (and thus Rage generation, since the majority of Rage is still generated by auto-attacks), along with increasing damage based on Mastery. Similar to Arms, a multitude of talent options will expand your combat abilities in a wide variety of ways.
Here’s a basic look at the core combat abilities for Fury Warriors:
Melee Range, Instant, 4.5 sec cooldown
Attack the target in a bloodthirsty craze, dealing moderate Physical damage, generating 10 Rage, and restoring 5% of your health.
Bloodthirst has an additional 40% chance to be a critical strike.
Bloodthirst critical strikes or activating Berserker Rage will Enrage you, increasing attack speed by 100% and damage taken by 30% for 6 sec.
10 Rage, Melee Range, Instant
A mighty blow with both weapons that deals a total of strong Physical damage.
Only usable while Enraged.
50 Rage, Melee Range, Instant
Unleash a series of 5 brutal strikes over 2 sec for a total of massive Physical damage.
Rampage always deals damage as if you were Enraged.
30 Rage, Melee Range, Instant
Attempt to finish off a foe, causing a total of massive damage Physical damage. Only usable on enemies that have less than 20% health.
Mastery: Unshackled Fury
Increases damage done while Enraged by 28% (with Mastery from typical gear).
Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Fury-specific talents:
15 Rage, Melee Range, Instant
Furiously slash at the target, dealing moderate Physical damage, and increasing your Haste by 5% for 10 sec. Stacks up to 5 times.
Like their counterparts, protection warriors are virtually bred for physical dominance, having been raised in the art of close-quarters combat—but their measured approach to battle is what distinguishes them from their comrades-in-arms. They demonstrate an uncanny knack for blade and shield, nullifying an opponent’s advances and creating opportunities for counterattacks. For the protection warrior, being the toughest soldier on the front means nothing if allies are left vulnerable to the enemy’s attack. Stalwart defenders are integral to the success of any military campaign—the protection warrior seeks to be an unbreakable wall.
"For the protection warrior, being the toughest soldier on the front means nothing if allies are left vulnerable to the enemy’s attack."
Protection gameplay ties strongly to Warrior lore and exemplifies the very foundation of the tank role in the game, so we’re primarily focused on fine-tuning their mechanics. Shield Block and Shield Barrier in particular often created a trap choice for players. We’ve replaced Shield Barrier with a new ability, Ignore Pain, which massively reduces damage taken (up to a cap based on maximum health) and functions as your primary defensive Rage-spender. It doesn’t compete as much with Shield Block, and thus provides you with distinct tools in your arsenal to apply to different situations. In terms of Rage, Protection Warriors now primarily generate Rage through taking damage, supplemented by a baseline Rage income from ability usage. This plays well with Ignore Pain as their primary Rage-spender; it’s most useful when you’re taking a lot of damage, which is also when you’ll have a lot of Rage to use on it.
Here’s a basic look at the core combat abilities for Protection Warriors:
Melee Range, Instant
A direct strike, dealing moderate Physical damage.
Devastate has a 30% chance to reset the cooldown of Shield Slam.
Melee Range, Instant, 9 sec cooldown
Swing in a wide arc, dealing strong damage to all enemies in front of you.
Generates 4 Rage.
Your successful dodges and parries reset the cooldown of Revenge (cannot occur more than once every 3 sec).
Your Devastate and Revenge cause the target to bleed for strong Physical damage over 15 sec.
This effect is cancelled if the target reaches full health.
Instant, 6 sec cooldown
Blasts all enemies within 8 yards for moderate damage and reduces their movement speed by 50% for 10 sec.
Melee Range, Instant, 9 sec cooldown
Slam the target with your shield, causing strong Physical damage.
Generates 6 Rage.
30 Rage, Melee Range, Instant
Instantly deals moderate Physical damage.
This ability is not on the global cooldown.
10 Rage, Instant, 12 sec recharge, 2 charges
Raise your shield, blocking every melee attack against you for 6 sec. These blocks can be critical blocks.
Shield Slam deals 30% additional damage while Shield Block is active.
40 Rage, Instant
Fight through the pain, ignoring 90% of the next massive amount (based on maximum health) of damage you take.
Instant, 25 sec cooldown
Raise your shield, reflecting spells cast on you and reducing magical damage taken by 30%. Lasts 5 sec or until a spell is reflected.
Mastery: Critical Block
Increases your chance to block by 10% (with Mastery from typical gear) and your chance to critically block by 30% (with Mastery from typical gear).
Also increases your attack power by 20% (with Mastery from typical gear).
Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Protection-specific talents:
Shield Slam extends the duration of Shield Block by 2 sec.
Shield Block increases the damage of Shield Slam by an additional 30%.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this early preview of our approach to Warrior class and specialization design in World of Warcraft: Legion. We’ll continue our series later today with a look at Monks and Druids.
Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Welcome to our World of Warcraft: Legion class preview series. In this entry, we’re exploring the Shaman—to find out what’s in store for a different class, check out the overview.
We continue our early look at class and specialization design with the Shaman. In these blogs, we’ll be exploring class identity, discussing Legion’s new designs, and presenting core combat abilities for each specialization—laying out the foundation upon which talents and Artifacts will build further. With that in mind, let’s delve into what it means to be a Shaman in World of Warcraft.
For millennia, since the primitive tribal cultures of Azeroth and Draenor, the natural elements of the physical universe have been celebrated, feared, and even worshipped. Mystics sought communion with the earth, air, fire, and water, and learned to tap into their raw power. In time, these spiritual guides came to understand that nature’s elemental forces aren’t wholly benevolent, but have, in fact, been locked in an unending conflict of chaos and primal fury that once consumed the physical realm. So began the calling of the Shaman, to bring balance to these volatile energies, leveraging their intensity to mend wounds . . . or inflict them.
The use of totems is integral to the Shaman archetype, and we’re addressing some persistent issues with their mechanics. For a long time there have been significant constraints associated with totems, like the fact that they can only be dropped at the Shaman’s feet, or that they only have 5 health, or that no more than one of the same elemental type can be active at one time. While these constraints were intended to ensure that totems felt unique, they ultimately drove us to creating strange tools to allow the Shaman to bypass such constraints, such as Totemic Projection or Totemic Persistence. In Legion, we’re eliminating this awkwardness and simply removing the constraints.
Totems of the same nature type can now be summoned together, allowing you to have Healing Stream Totem and Healing Tide Totem up at the same time. Elementals are no longer tied to totems, but are guardians that follow and assist you. Totems’ maximum health will always equal a percentage of your maximum health. In addition, totems that need to be placed at a specific location will be directly placed using a targeting reticle. If you want to place Earthgrab Totem in the middle of a big pack of nasty orcs, you can do that without having to run into that nastiness or use a separate spell to throw the totem there. In general, totem mechanics are concentrated around temporary effects (either beneficial or hostile) in a localized area, as opposed to “maintenance buff” cooldowns you need to make sure are up at all times.
Finally, we’re bringing needed clarity to Shaman resources, particularly to move away from disguising a couple key resources as buffs. Lightning Shield charges for Elemental Shaman, Maelstrom Weapon charges for Enhancement Shaman, and Mana have all been replaced for Elemental and Enhancement with a new resource: Maelstrom. Mana is a fitting Restoration Shaman resource and will remain for that spec.
Certain shaman have dedicated themselves above all else to forging a deep bond with the elements. They have peered beyond the Elemental Plane, gleaning visions of an ancient past where manifestations of volatile energies once raged unimpeded across primordial Azeroth. Through careful study and dedication, the elemental shaman is able to channel such power into destructive magical surges. Through the body of the shaman flows bolts of lightning, as if from storm, and bursts of fire, as if from molten earth. They manipulate the land itself and summon spirits of earth, fire, and storm to their aid. To battle an elemental shaman is to taunt the very forces of nature.
"Through the body of the shaman flows bolts of lightning, as if from storm, and bursts of fire, as if from molten earth"
Elemental Shaman already have a strong, thematic ability repertoire. We’re retaining much of that existing gameplay in Legion, while smoothing the rough edges. The previously mentioned switch to Maelstrom as a resource is most significant. Elemental Shaman will build Maelstrom through their Lightning Bolt, Lava Burst, and Chain Lightning, and spend it on abilities like Shocks and Earthquake. This change also allows us to remove the cooldown on Shocks, since they instead compete for resources. Shock usage is now more flexible for Elemental Shaman, such as using more of their Maelstrom on Flame Shock to DoT multiple targets. Another notable change is the return of Elemental Overload as their Mastery; Molten Earth never lived up to our hopes, being too non-interactive and confusing.
To give you an idea of the Elemental Shaman in action, here’s a basic look at their core combat abilities:
40 yd range, 2 sec cast
Fires a bolt of lightning at the target, dealing moderate Nature damage, and generating 15 Maelstrom.
40 yd range, 2 sec cast, 8 sec cooldown
Hurl molten lava at the target, dealing strong Fire damage. If your Flame Shock is on the target, Lava Burst will deal 50% additional damage. Generates 15 Maelstom.
0 to 20 Maelstrom, 45 yd range, Instant
Sears the target with fire, causing minor Fire damage and then an additional minor Fire damage every 2 sec. Lasts 10 to 30 sec based on Maelstrom spent.
10 to 100 Maelstrom, 45 yd range, Instant
Instantly shocks the target with concussive force, causing massive Nature damage, based on Maelstrom spent.
Your Flame Shock damage over time has a chance to reset the cooldown of Lava Burst and cause your next Lava Burst to be instant.
Mastery: Elemental Overload
Grants a 40% (with Mastery from typical gear) chance for Elemental Overload to occur. Elemental Overload causes a Lightning Bolt, Chain lightning, or Lava Burst spell you cast to trigger a second, similar spell on the same target that causes 75% of normal damage and Maelstrom generation, and no threat.
Additionally, to provide a glimpse at how some talents may build upon this, here’s one example of an Elemental-specific talent:
40 yd range, Instant, 30 sec cooldown
Summons a Maelstrom Totem near the target for 15 sec that repeatedly attacks an enemy within 30 yards for moderate Nature damage. Every time the Maelstrom Totem attacks, it will generate 5 Maelstrom for you.
Intense communion with fire, earth, air, and water isn’t exclusive to the elemental shaman. In many ways, enhancement shaman similarly bond with nature and leverage its power on the battlefield. What distinguishes them in their training—and in their connection with the elements—is their combat methodology. These shaman favor empowering their physical attacks with elemental energies and facing their adversaries up close. They don’t shy from the frontlines, wielding magically augmented weapons, potent elemental attacks, and totems that shape the tide of battle.
"These shaman favor empowering their physical attacks with elemental energies and facing their adversaries up close"
The identity of the Enhancement Shaman is cool, but we don’t feel that the mechanics do well to establish that. We want this spec to be more than a melee-range Elemental Shaman, while having a distinct “Battle Mage” feel. Enhancement’s niche focuses on dishing out devastating spells and punishing strikes at melee range to destroy their enemy. Rather than leaving you with a multitude of buttons, many of which are inconsequential, we’re emphasizing empowering your weapons and allies in the fray. Enhancement Shaman become increasingly deadly as they build their power through Maelstrom generation. They must be careful not to let it overflow, while maintaining enough to utilize their most dominant attacks at critical moments.
To give you an idea of the Enhancement Shaman in action, here’s a basic look at their core combat abilities:
10 yd range, Instant
Assault your target with earthen power, dealing moderate Nature damage, and generating 15 Maelstrom.
10 yd range, Instant, 12 sec cooldown
Scorch your target with fiery power, dealing moderate Fire damage, and enhancing your weapons.
Each of your weapon attacks cause up to minor additional Fire damage, based on weapon speed. Lasts 16 sec.
Each of your main-hand attacks has a 7% chance of triggering three extra attacks, dealing minor Physical damage.
30 Maelstrom, Melee Range, Instant
Charge your off-hand weapon with lava and strike your target, dealing strong Fire damage.
Energize your weapons with lightning and deliver a massive blow to your target, dealing heavy Physical damage.
When you deal damage with a melee weapon, you generate 5 Maelstrom.
Each of your attacks has a 2% chance to cause Stormfury, resetting the cooldown on Stormstrike, and causing your next Stormstrike to cost 50% less Maelstrom and to trigger no cooldown.
Mastery: Enhanced Elements
Increases the chance for Stormfury and Windfury to trigger by 5% (with Mastery from typical gear), and increases all Fire and Nature damage done by 40% (with Mastery from typical gear).
Additionally, to provide a glimpse at how some talents may build upon this, here’s one example of an Enhancement-specific talent:
60 Maelstrom, Instant, 20 sec cooldown
Shatter a line of earth before you, causing strong Physical damage and knocking enemies to the side.
Some shaman find a serene affinity for the restorative properties of water. These shaman do not necessarily seek the Light or turn to the divine, yet they feel a profound spiritual connection with the source from which all mortal life took root. So strong is their connection with water that the shaman is able to restore life and heal afflictions. They balance this with a command of the other elements, finding harmony in nature and purifying their allies as a tidal surge washes across a sandy shore.
"Restoration shaman feel a profound spiritual connection with the source from which all mortal life took root"
Restoration mechanics are informed well by the themes of the spec, and we want to avoid disrupting what healers already like about it. What has changed has primarily been in terms of tweaking their gameplay in more fun directions. There’s now slightly more emphasis on targeted healing, and slightly less on Chain Heal spam. We’ve also significantly improved their talents, offering more impactful and varied options. Additionally, Restoration gains the most from the removal of totem restrictions.
To give you an idea of the Restoration Shaman in action, here’s a basic look at their core combat abilities:
2.1% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
A slow but efficient wave of healing energy that restores a moderate amount of a friendly target’s health.
4.1% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
A quick but expensive surge of healing energy that restores a moderate amount of a friendly target’s health.
5.6% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
Heals the friendly target for a moderate amount, then jumps to heal the most injured nearby party or raid members. Healing is reduced by 30% after each jump. Heals 4 total targets.
1.5% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 6 sec cooldown
Restorative waters wash over a friendly target, healing them for a moderate amount and an additional moderate amount over 18 sec.
Blanket the target area in healing rains, restoring a moderate amount of health to up to 6 allies in the area over 10 sec.
Healing Stream Totem
1.7% Mana, Instant, 30 sec cooldown
Summons a Water Totem at the feet of the Shaman that heals an injured party or raid member within 40 yards for a minor amount every 2 sec. Lasts 15 sec.
When you cast Chain Heal or Riptide, you gain the Tidal Waves effect, which reduces the cast time of your next Healing Wave by 40% or increases the critical effect chance of your next Healing Surge by 40%. Stacks up to 2 times.
Mastery: Deep Healing
Increases the potency of your healing spells by up to 60% (with Mastery from typical gear), based on the current health level of your target (lower health targets are healed for more).
Additionally, to provide a glimpse at how some talents may build upon this, here’s one example of a Restoration-specific talent:
Create a surge of water that flows forward, healing all friendly targets in a wide arc in front of you for a strong amount.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this early preview of our approach to class and specialization design in World of Warcraft: Legion. We’ll continue our review tomorrow with a look at Warriors, Monks, and Druids.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Character / Items Also, will fist weapons be visible when sheathed now? Because that's the one downside to Fists as a caster
We have some special-handling in mind for sheathing for things like the fist weapons. They won't be invisible (craig_amai)
I remain afraid of how Sheilun actually looks on a Monk
What are you fearful of? Bell or cloth physics? Or how it plays with monk sheathing? (craig_amai) Monk sheating!
Ah, definitely. Don't worry, we're already on it =) (craig_amai)
The shadowpriest weapon looks .. underwhelming. Will there be an offhand or anything?
Yeah, it has an off-hand. It's also very present in gameplay through some of its abilities. (craig_amai)
The feedback on first impressions is very appreciated though. Daggers have a way of feeling underwhelming very easily. (craig_amai)
Is the Balance druid artifact Scythe of Elune the same item as the Worgen starting quest item of the same name?
PvP In Legion, will there be different spec templates for the various PvP venues (e.g. duels, 2s, 3s, 5s, bgs, rbgs, wPvP)?
Lore These Pillars of Creation are interesting, but where's Brann Bronzebeard in all of this? Will he get his hands dirty in Legion?
you'll see Brann. (Abrosiabi)
One great mystic question! Why could Horde + Alliance play together? Why must I make a choice for a fraction?
We always thought having 2 factions was key part of the Warcraft experience. Wherever you go, the other guys are out there... (DaveKosak)
Happy for Sylvanas fans & that there's progress for her but I wonder about Vol'jin in Legion, is he getting something to do too?
Of course! He's the Warchief!! (DaveKosak)
is the entire zone of Gilneas plagued, or just cities and towns mainly, slowly spreading overtime? (rp purposes)
Much of the zone is still plagued, but there are pockets of safety for careful travelers! (DaveKosak)
Tyrande involvement Alex?
Seems like a reasonable expectation. (Abrosiabi)
UI / Addons Through out the years WoW has gone through many various changes, but yet the quest dialog has remained unchanged. Any plans?
It was combined with the map, and we added chapter headings for the zones, but yeah, the main dialogue hasn't changed much. (craig_amai)
We've talked about it several times. The appeal of the familiar vs. various improvements. Hard to say, maybe someday(craig_amai)
Reputation / Questing how will Broken Shore scenario work after launch when less people there?
New grouping functionality lets us create an experience for both solo players and groups by adding NPC allies. (WarcraftDevs)
I hope this new zone leveling tech is put in place for all zones in game! This has been needed for a long time!
We agree with you that it's a cool idea. We'll see what we can do down the road sometime. (WarcraftDevs)
scale the world, not the player, will we see that tech applied to pre legion overworld content at some point?
That could be a possibility, however, there are no plans to do it at this time. (WarcraftDevs)
Blizzcon Do you know why there are some discussion panels not available for Virtual Ticket holders for #BlizzCon ?
Lots of smaller, more informal events have been created in the last couple of weeks for people at the convention. (DaveKosak)
When you are a designer, it is incredibly inspiring to see players enjoying something you made. Makes you want to do more, and to do better! (hwoome)
Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Welcome to our World of Warcraft: Legion class preview series. In this entry, we’re exploring the Death Knight—to find out what’s in store for a different class, check out the overview.
We continue our early look at class and specialization design with the Death Knight. In these blogs, we’ll be exploring class identity, discussing Legion’s new designs, and presenting core combat abilities for each specialization—laying out the foundation upon which talents and Artifacts will build further. With that in mind, let’s delve into what it means to be a Death Knight in World of Warcraft.
The first new class introduced to World of Warcraft after its launch, Death Knights came into the fray with an identity unmistakably tied to the Wrath of the Lich King story. The Death Knights of Acherus, their cold bodies lifted from the grave in the Scarlet Enclave, were commanded by the Lich King and Highlord Darion Mograine to slaughter every villager in Tyr’s Hand, New Avalon, and Havenshire, and to sack Light’s Hope Chapel, decimating both the Scarlet Crusade and the Argent Dawn.
Ultimately, as a result of such uncompromising ambition, the Lich King was betrayed by Highlord Mograine in an act that freed the Death Knights from their servitude. Under Mograine’s leadership they formed the Knights of the Ebon Blade and began joining the ranks of the Horde and Alliance forces bound for Icecrown Citadel to end the reign of Arthas, the Lich King. Though now free from the Lich King’s grasp, these once virtuous champions remain knights of darkness, wielding runeblades of death and destruction and mercilessly stealing the very life essence of their enemies.
We always want to reflect the Death Knight origin story and identity in how they play. The biggest area where we see room for improvement is in their resource system. Runes are a very iconic resource, but their functionality has always been convoluted. In Legion, we’re making Runes more straightforward by removing their division into separate Blood, Frost, and Unholy types. Death Knights now have six unified Runes to spend, with a maximum of three recharging at any one time.
With this change, it’s also important that we preserve the existing gameplay familiarity of Death Knights by making mostly minor changes to core ability functionality and cost—we don’t want the Rune change to create a situation where the best Frost rotation is just Obliterate, Obliterate, Obliterate. Finally, we’re reducing ability overlap between specializations, giving each a single disease with a unique trait and creating a talent tree that’s largely populated with spec-specific talents to better distinguish them.
In undeath, some death knights find a special affinity for the blood and bone of the living. They carve into their enemies, sustaining themselves with deadly sanguine strikes, while using the bloody, shattered remains of the dead to fortify their own defenses. These crimson-soaked knights bend the very rules of mortality to control the frontlines of the battlefield.
"These crimson-soaked knights bend the very rules of mortality to control the frontlines of the battlefield"
The core abilities for Blood should be familiar, though we’ve touched them up to bring added clarity to the specialization. Each core ability now better leverages that sinister command of blood and bone to fuel your survivability. In particular, we’ve changed Death Strike to cost Runic Power instead of Runes. This results in a more clear choice of resource expenditure; you can’t lock yourself out of being able to heal if you spend a Rune at the wrong time, and also gives Runic Power generation a bigger impact.
Instead of Rune Tap, we’re positioning Bone Shield to be the primary complement to Death Strike for active defenses to better tie into the fantasy and provide more flexibility. Marrowrend is a new attack which allows you to rotationally generate Bone Shields. To provide gameplay contention between Runes of a single type, Blood Strike now generates additional Runic Power on top of the standard amount gained for spending a Rune.
Here’s a basic look at the core defensive and offensive combat abilities for Blood Death Knights:
1 Rune, Melee Range, Instant
Instantly strike the enemy, causing moderate Physical damage and infecting the victim with Blood Plague.
Generates 10 bonus Runic Power.
A disease that deals minor Shadow damage and heals the caster for 1% of their maximum health every 3 sec for 30 sec.
2 Runes, Melee Range, Instant
Smash the target, dealing strong Physical damage and generating 3 charges of Bone Shield.
Surrounds you with a barrier of whirling bones that reduces all damage you take by 25%. Each damaging attack consumes a charge. Lasts for 30 sec or until all charges are consumed.
40 Runic Power, Melee Range, Instant
Focuses dark power into a strike that deals strong Physical damage and heals you for 50% of all damage taken in the last 6 sec (minimum 7% of maximum health).
If you are below 35% health when this is cast, all Runic Power is consumed, increasing the potency of the healing effect.
Mastery: Blood Shield
Each time you heal yourself with Death Strike, you gain 40% (with Mastery from typical gear) of the base amount healed as a Physical damage absorption shield.
Also increases your Attack Power by 20% (with Mastery from typical gear).
Death and Decay
1 Rune, 30 yd range, Instant, 30 sec cooldown
Corrupts the ground targeted by the Death Knight, causing moderate Shadow damage over 10 sec to targets within the area. While you remain within the targeted area, your Blood Strike will hit all nearby enemies.
Your successful autoattacks on targets infected with your Blood Plague have a 25% chance to reset the cooldown on Death and Decay.
To give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this core rotation, here’s an example of a Blood-specific talent:
15 Runic Power per sec, Instant, 1 min cooldown
A whirl of bone and gore batters nearby enemies 3 times per second to deal minor Shadow damage, healing you for 1% of your maximum health per strike.
Combining martial prowess with supernatural cold, frost death knights leave their enemies chilled to the bone—and broken of the will to fight. Unlike mages who learn to harness frost magic to great effect, these death knights are born of it, rime gripping their decaying hearts. These frozen undead warriors wield dual blades to strike with ferocity and inflict deathly cold upon anyone who would stand against them.
"These death knights are born of frost magic, rime gripping their decaying hearts"
The mechanics of the Frost Death Knight are quite solid and we don’t want to do too much to change that. You’ll notice that the core combat abilities listed below are largely familiar. One small area where we found room for improvement, however, is in Killing Machine’s passive interaction with the core rotation. While the automatic critical strikes it provides feel good, it’s often better to ignore its proc in favor of spending resources as fast as you can, as your damage output suffers if you wait for the different resources required for using Obliterate and Frost Strike to become available. Killing Machine now only affects Obliterate, and making wise use of its effect should feel more meaningful.
Here’s a basic look at the core combat abilities for Frost Death Knights:
1 Rune, 30 yd range, Instant
Blast a target with a frigid wind, dealing minor Frost damage to that target, and minor Frost damage to all other enemies within 10 yds, infecting all targets with Frost Fever
A disease that deals minor Frost damage and has a chance to grant the Death Knight 5 Runic Power every 3 sec for 30sec.
2 Runes, Melee Range, Instant
A brutal attack with both weapons that deals massive Physical damage.
20 Runic Power, Melee Range, Instant
Chill your weapons with icy power, and quickly strike the enemy with both weapons, dealing massive Frost damage.
Your Obliterate has a 45% chance to cause your next Howling Blast to consume no Runes, generate no Runic Power, and deal 300% additional damage.
Your autoattacks have a chance to make your next Obliterate automatically critically strike.
1 Rune, Instant, 30 sec cooldown
Radiate extreme cold, dealing moderate Frost damage to all enemies within 10 yards of you over 10 sec.
Mastery: Frozen Heart
Increases all Frost damage done by 40% (with Mastery from typical gear).
To give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this core rotation, here’s an example of a Frost-specific talent:
1 Rune, Instant, 12 sec cooldown
Summon glacial spikes from the ground that advance forward, each dealing moderate Frost damage to enemies near their eruption point.
While free from the Lich King’s grasp, some death knights still embody the ever-corrupting nature of the Scourge plague that once threatened to consume Azeroth. No matter their allegiance or cause, they remain defilers of life; and nowhere is their callousness more on display than when threatened. Inflictors of the most aggressive of diseases—and masters of raising unhallowed minions from the ground—these unholy death knights are vicious melee combatants, capable of striking with the force of an undead legion and unleashing pestilence that would bring their foes to ruin.
"Unholy death knights are vicious melee combatants, capable of unleashing pestilence that would bring their foes to ruin"
Unholy is receiving slightly more mechanical changes than Blood and Frost, to better realign with their unique identity. We want to ensure that Unholy continues to be the spec with the most active use of diseases. In this regard, we recognize that Festering Strike lost its luster over time and have developed a new mechanic to ensure the ability remains integral in the Unholy rotation.
Here’s a basic look at the core combat abilities for Unholy Death Knights:
1 Rune, 30 yd range, Instant, 6 sec cooldown
Deals minor Shadow damage and surrounds the target in a miasma lasting for 6 sec that causes the target and all nearby enemies to be infected with Virulent Plague
A disease that deals moderate Shadow damage every 3 sec for 21 sec. It erupts when the infected target dies, dealing moderate Shadow damage, split evenly between nearby enemies.
The disease also has a 30% chance to erupt each time it deals damage.
2 Runes, Melee Range, Instant
Deals massive Physical damage and infects the target with 1 to 3 Festering Wounds.
A pustule-ridden lesion that may be burst by Scourge Strike, dealing moderate Shadow damage and generating 3 Runic Power.
1 Rune, Melee Range, Instant
An unholy strike that deals strong Physical damage and strong Shadow damage. Triggers a single stack of Festering Wound, if it is present on the target.
30 Runic Power, 40 yd range, Instant
Fires a blast of unholy energy at the target, causing strong Shadow damage to an enemy, and restoring 10 Energy to your Ghoul.
Your autoattacks have a chance to make your next Death Coil cost no Runic Power.
Instant, 1 min cooldown
Transform your Ghoul into a powerful undead monstrosity for 20 sec. The Ghoul’s abilities are empowered and take on new functions while the transformation is active.
Death and Decay
1 Rune, 30 yd range, Instant, 30 sec cooldown
Corrupts the ground targeted by the Death Knight, causing moderate Shadow damage over 10 sec to targets within the area. While you remain within the targeted area, your Scourge Strike will hit all nearby enemies.
Increases all Shadow damage done by 50% (with Mastery from typical gear).
To give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this core rotation, here’s an example of an Unholy-specific talent:
All Will Serve
Your Raise Dead spell summons an additional skeletal minion, and its cooldown is removed.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this early preview of our approach to class and specialization design in World of Warcraft: Legion. We’ll continue our review later today with a look at Shaman.
Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Welcome to our World of Warcraft: Legion class preview series. In this entry, we’re exploring the Warlock—to find out what’s in store for a different class, check out the overview.
We continue our early look at class and specialization design with the Warlock. In these blogs, we’ll be exploring class identity, discussing Legion’s new designs, and presenting core combat abilities for each specialization—laying out the foundation upon which talents and Artifacts will build further. With that in mind, let’s delve into what it means to be a Warlock in World of Warcraft.
Warlocks are the most volatile and insatiable of spellcasters. Though they often pledge themselves to the service of noble causes and are not innately evil, their desire to understand darker magics and exercise unwavering command over demonic forces breeds mistrust among even their closest allies.
Warlocks peer into the Void without hesitation, leveraging the chaos they glimpse within to devastating ends in battle—their greatest abilities are fueled by the souls they’ve harvested from their victims. They exploit powerful Shadow magic to manipulate and degrade the minds and bodies of their enemies. They employ Fire magic, dropping hellish rain from the sky, to immolate the opposition. They summon and command indomitable demons from the Twisting Nether to do their bidding, or even to be sacrificed as the Warlock sees fit, empowering and protecting the dark caster from harm.
The foundation of the Warlock class has been long and well established in Warcraft lore. However, while Affliction and Destruction Warlocks have maintained consistent, distinguished fantasies, the core identity of the Demonology Warlock has strayed too far from its roots in recent years. A primary goal for Warlocks in Legion is to accentuate the existing motifs for Affliction and Destruction, while returning Demonology back to its roots of summoning, utilizing, and empowering demons.
Warlock resources have also become too cumbersome, causing confusion that outweighed their depth. To this end, we’re going to once again standardize Warlocks on their most class-defining resources: Mana and Soul Shards. Finally, demons have always served various utility purposes, but most of them are very niche, while the same one or two demons see the vast majority of limelight. We want to re-incentivize demon variety, strengthening the various utilities that each demon supplies, and causing some demons to be favored based on the Warlock’s spec.
Affliction warlocks are masters of shadow-touched powers, but unlike shadow priests—deadliest when pushed to the brink of insanity—these warlocks delight in using fel forces to cause intense pain and suffering in others. They revel in corrupting minds and agonizing souls, leaving enemies in a state of torment that would see them undone in due time. Even the most battle-hardened warriors can be deceived, landing blow after blow against the warlock, only to succumb to their suffering as their very vitality is siphoned away by the dark spellcaster.
"These warlocks delight in using fel forces to cause intense pain and suffering in others"
Affliction Warlocks’ gameplay has always aligned well with their character, but in terms of abilities, we want to avoid the feeling that DoTs are amplifiers for your channeled single-target damage. Applying spells that do damage over time is very core to Affliction, so we want to reinforce these spells as the primary source of damage, with other “filler” spells feeling more secondary. We’re adjusting the Affliction rotation so that DoTs are stronger, and your focus is more on figuring out how best to juggle those DoTs to maximize damage output.
Mechanically, we’re altering how Soul Shards are generated and spent, in part to better deliver on the more DoT-driven damage. Soul Shards are now generated by each Agony you have up on your targets, instead of only by your most recent Corruption cast, to favor placing DoTs on several targets rapidly (multi-dotting). You’ll then spend Soul Shards on an extremely strong DoT in Unstable Affliction, reinforcing the focus on DoTs.
Finally, in keeping with the Affliction theme, Drain Life serves as the main filler spell, instead of Malefic Grasp or Drain Soul. This better matches the Affliction identity because its damage stays secondary to the DoTs, which should be the primary focus of damage, instead of dwarfing them. It also adds significant self-healing, further playing to the Affliction motif.
To give you an idea of the Affliction Warlock in action, here’s a basic look at their core combat abilities:
3% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant
Corrupts the target, causing moderate Shadow damage over 14 sec.
3% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant
Inflicts increasing agony on the target, causing up to a huge amount of Shadow damage over 18 sec. Damage starts low and increases over the duration. Refreshing Agony maintains its current damage level.
When Agony deals damage, you have a chance to regain a Soul Shard.
1 Soul Shard, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
An especially insidious affliction that deals strong Shadow damage over 8 sec.
If the target dies, the Soul Shard will be refunded.
If Unstable Affliction is dispelled, the dispeller suffers strong Shadow damage and is silenced for 4 sec.
3% Mana, plus 4,800 per sec, 40 yd range, Channeled
Drains life from the target, causing moderate shadow damage and restoring 18% of the caster’s health over 6 sec.
Drain Life’s damage is increased by 50% for each of your Corruption, Agony, and Unstable Affliction effects on the target.
Mastery: Potent Afflictions
Increases the damage of Agony, Corruption, and Unstable Affliction by 62.5% (with Mastery from typical gear).
Additionally, to provide a glimpse at how some talents may build upon this, here’s one example of an Affliction-specific talent:
After you cast Unstable Affliction, you can cast a second one for free, within 3 seconds.
By their very nature, demons are leeches on the living universe—but the demonologist has mastered harnessing the power of these malefic beings on the field of battle. Warlocks harvest the souls of their defeated enemies; those specialized in the ways of demonology use this life essence to tap into the Void, pulling all manner of abomination from the chaos of the Twisting Nether. While such a practice is often considered by outsiders to be wicked and reckless, the demonologist maintains absolute control over the summoned creatures. These malignant entities are fully beholden to—and empowered by—the will of the warlock, until banished to the realm from whence they came.
"The demonologist has mastered harnessing the power of malefic beings on the field of battle"
While all Warlocks maintain the power to summon demons, Demonology is distinguished by the ability to call forth waves of demons to overwhelm the opposition, and also to further empower the demons they summon. Over the years we strayed too far from this design, to the extent that Demonology gameplay was defined more by the Warlock becoming a demon. Legion provides a fitting opportunity for us to realign the spec around its core function of mastering control of demons, not transforming into them.
We also recognize that Demonology had a large array of intertwined mechanics that weren’t intuitive, and they’ve undergone a greater degree of redesign as a result. For those who played Demonology during Warlords of Draenor, the gameplay will feel quite different in Legion. Beta test feedback will be essential in helping us to ensure that the new spec feels strong and enjoyable and that we’ve accomplished our goal of returning Demonology to its foundations.
To give you an idea of the Demonology Warlock in action, here’s a basic look at their core combat abilities:
6% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
Sends a shadowy bolt at the enemy, causing minor Shadow damage. Generates 1 Soul Shard.
Summon 2 ferocious Dreadstalkers to attack the target for 12 sec.
Hand of Gul’dan
1 to 5 Soul Shards, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
Calls down a demonic meteor full of Wild Imps which burst forth to attack the target for 12 sec.
Deals up to a strong amount of Shadow damage to all enemies within 8 yds and summons up to 5 Wild Imps, based on Soul Shards consumed.
6% Mana, 1.5 sec cast, 12 sec recharge, 3 charges
Empowers up to 3 of your active demons with dark energies, increasing their Haste and health by 50% for 12 sec.
Prefers stronger demons first.
Mastery: Master Demonologist
Demonic Empowerment also increases the damage of your demons by 50% (with Mastery from typical gear).
2% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant
Inflicts impending doom upon the target, causing absolutely massive Shadow damage after 20 seconds
Generates a Soul Shard when it deals damage.
2.5% Mana per sec, Channeled
Your demons crackle with demonic energy. Every 1 sec, all enemies within 10 yds of any of your demons take minor Shadow damage.
Each time Demonwrath deals damage, it has a 15% chance to generate a Soul Shard.
May be channeled while moving.
Additionally, to provide a glimpse at how some talents may build upon this, here’s one example of a Demonology-specific talent:
6% Mana, Instant
Causes all of your Wild Imps to be violently yanked toward the target, and then explode, dealing moderate Shadow damage to all enemies near them.
Warlocks who command the power of destruction favor incantations of pure chaos and aggression in battle. In this regard, they’d find a stronger kinship with fire mages than warlocks of other disciplines—if not for their propensity to make use of magic deemed detestable by all mage orders. The destruction warlock is well-versed in discharging a dizzying array of shadow, fel, fire, and chaos magics upon opponents that rattle souls and conflagrate bodies. They require little motivation for the havoc they wreak, happy to revel in the destruction they cause—thrilled at any opportunity to watch the world erupt in discord around them.
"Warlocks who command the power of destruction favor incantations of pure chaos and aggression"
Destruction mechanics are in a solid place overall and are already a good match thematically, so we’re taking the opportunity in Legion to provide additional polish on existing gameplay. While resource mechanic functionality isn’t being drastically overhauled, we’ve changed Burning Embers back to Soul Shards. Not only does this return consistency across all Warlock specs, it also reestablishes the Soul Shard as the iconic source of Warlock power.
To give you an idea of the Destruction Warlock in action, here’s a basic look at their core combat abilities:
6% Mana, 40 yd range, 2 sec cast
Draws fire toward the enemy, dealing moderate Fire damage.
6% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
Burns the enemy with fire, causing minor Fire damage and an additional strong Fire damage over 15 sec.
Immolate critical strikes have a 30% chance to generate a Soul Shard.
Triggers an explosion of fire on the target, dealing moderate Fire damage and generating a Soul Shard.
Also causes Backdraft, reducing the cast times of Incinerate and Chaos Bolt by 30% for 5 sec.
2 Soul Shards, 40 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
Unleashes a devastating blast of chaos, causing huge Shadow damage. Chaos Bolt always critically strikes and your critical strike chance increases its damage.
8% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 20 sec cooldown
Mark a target with Havoc for 8 sec, causing your single target spells to also strike them. Limit 1.
Mastery: Chaotic Energies
Your Destruction spells deal up to 40% (with Mastery from typical gear) additional damage, randomly.
Additionally, to provide a glimpse at how some talents may build upon this, here’s one example of a Destruction-specific talent:
4.8% Mana, Channeled, 12 se cooldown
Launches 15 bolts of felfire at Immolated enemies within 40 yds, over 3 sec. Each bolt deals moderate Fire damage.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this early preview of our approach to class and specialization design in World of Warcraft: Legion. We’ll continue our review later today with a look at Death Knights and Shaman.
Challenge Mode Recap
Lots of people are excited about the new challenge mode, so we put together a recap of what we know so far. You can also find it on the Legion menu on the front page.
Changes from Warlords
Challenge mode dungeons will no longer scale players down to a fixed power level.
There are no longer Bronze, Silver, and Gold timers, just one timer that is roughly the same as Silver would have been.
The leaderboards will focus on the highest difficulty level you have cleared, not times.
There won't be unique cosmetic items this time, but instead different Artifact appearances.
A charged Challenger's Keystone is used to start the Challenge Mode dungeon.
Keystones come from world quests, with everyone able to obtain one each week. There may be opportunities to get additional ones as a bonus.
Keystones have a power level that determines the difficulty and reward.
The higher the power level gets, the more damage the enemies do and the more health the have.
Higher level keystones will have some additional affixes. For example:
Enemies enrage at 30% health remaining, doing 100% increased damage.
Additional enemies appear in the dungeon.
Enemy corpses explode and do damage shortly after death.
The party takes constant damage over time in the dungeon.
Keystone affixes will be the same for the entire region each week, so there is no need to try and find an optimal keystone.
When you successfully clear the dungeon before the timer expires, your keystone is upgraded to the next level.
If you fail to clear the dungeon before the timer expires, your keystone is depleted.
Depleted keystones can still be used to start additional runs, but those runs won't give a loot chest at the end.
If you do beat the timer on a depleted keystone run, your keystone will be upgraded and empowered again, so you can attempt the next difficulty level for loot.
For example: if you are trying Level 6 Halls of Valor and just barely fail, you will get a Level 6 quality reward chest for your group at the end of the run, but you now have a depleted Level 6 Halls of Valor keystone. You can try again and if you manage to beat the time, you will upgrade your keystone to a fresh empowered Level 7 keystone that will give you loot.
Dungeons and Loot
The system will start slightly above Heroic Dungeon difficulty.
The difficulty of challenge mode dungeons should be able to scale endlessly.
There will be a cap on loot quality being increased from difficulty:
For example, if a Tier 20 challenge mode dungeon is very hard to complete, they may cap the loot potential there, even if there are a couple of groups that can go a little higher.
This is somewhat like how current challenge modes have a gold timer that is designed to be attainable by virtually any reasonably balanced group. Players can try for even faster times for prestige or leaderboard ranks, but there aren't any more rewards.
You get a jackpot at the end of the week with loot quality based on your best run, which will be significantly higher than loot from regular runs.
There is a possibility of getting a lucky upgrade from the regular runs, but at some point your main goal will become the weekly chest.
If you are a skilled fully Mythic geared player, you will be able to do a very high tier challenge mode dungeon and they want to give you a chance to get loot comparable to that.
Loot will be in a range of item levels, somewhat like what Mythic dungeons offer in Patch 6.2.3. While there is a chance to get items equal to the best ones from Mythic raids, that is not the default expectation.
Challenge mode dungeons complement high end raiders gameplay, not replace it.
For players who do Normal difficulty raiding, but actually prefer a smaller group setting, this could replace raiding.
Challenge mode dungeons won't be part of the random matchmaking system.
Guilds, social circles, and group finder will be where you find players.
Having an unused keystone is a desired commodity, so people will be lining up to use your Keystone on a Sunday.
Blizzcon - Legion Developer Interview Vanion had the opportunity to speak with J. Allen Brack at Blizzcon.
The WoW team has never been larger, there are 250 people on the team now.
The team really wanted to decrease the amount of time between expansions, so in Warlords they went with one major content patch. Not having the breadth of content and different patches like they had in previous years ended up being a mistake and is something they are going to change with Legion.
Legion should have a cadence of content that makes the game feel like it is changing a little bit more than it has in the past.
The Broken Isles intro will release 4-6 weeks before Legion.
The storyline will explain why Ashbringer and Doomhammer end up in the player's hands.
The Prestige system will reward hardcore PvP players with cosmetic rewards that allow them to show off how hardcore they are about PvP.
The early Demon Hunter access should let people try it out and decide if that class is for them and if it will be their main.
Legion Class Preview Series: Paladin
Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Welcome to our World of Warcraft: Legion class preview series. In this entry, we’re exploring the Paladin—to find out what’s in store for a different class, check out the overview.
We continue our early look at class and specialization design with the Paladin. In these blogs, we’ll be exploring class identity, discussing Legion’s new designs, and presenting core combat abilities for each specialization—laying out the foundation upon which talents and Artifacts will build further. With that in mind, let’s delve into what it means to be a Paladin in World of Warcraft.
Paladins have deep roots in Warcraft lore as holy knights, protectors of the people, and dispensers of justice. Where a Holy Priest serves as voice of the Light, preaching to the downtrodden and disillusioned, the Paladin serves as hand of the Light, defending the faithful and enforcing divine law like a righteous hammer.
The niche of the plate-wearing holy crusader is well established in Paladin gameplay, with one key exception. Whether Paladins are mitigating enemy attacks, aiding their ailing allies, or delivering punitive justice, it’s in their nature to serve in the thick of the battle. But while Holy Paladins possess the heavy armor and strong defensive ability themes, in practice they spend most of their time behind the frontlines with the more fragile healers. In addition to shoring up the identities of Protection and Retribution Paladins, we’re adjusting Holy Paladin gameplay to bring them closer to the front, where they belong.
Like priests who serve the Light, holy paladins are devout in their faith. After spending much of their lives in hallowed halls studying divine doctrine, those who pledge themselves to a holy order become beacons of the Light for their allies in conflict, taking up the heavy armor and weaponry of justice. Holding the unwavering belief that any battle waged to eradicate evil in the world is righteous, these paladins stands on the frontlines in service to all others dedicated to the cause. The truth and virtue of the Light imbues these sacred knights with the power to revitalize their comrades. If necessary, they even lay down their own lives to serve as martyr for the greater good.
"The truth and virtue of the Light imbues these sacred knights with the power to revitalize their comrades"
We love the unique identity of the Paladin healer and are modifying the gameplay to better support it. Single-target healing from Beacon of Light remains their marquee ability, but other abilities and talents have been adjusted to encourage Holy Paladins to be near the people they want to heal—including melee characters, when necessary. This is incentivized by Lightbringer, a new Mastery, which increases healing on allies near you. This is further reinforced by the addition of a row of Aura talents that provide a variety of localized beneficial effects, and refinements to some spells, such as Light of Dawn returning to being a cone.
Talents will also provide players with options to incorporate offensive capabilities while healing. When allies are in need, Light of the Martyr allows the Holy Paladin to rapidly heal them by sacrificing personal health. Finally, we’re addressing gameplay restrictions caused by Holy Power—in which players often feel forced to use abilities in specific orders or ratios—by removing it in favor of making Mana the primary resource.
To give you an idea of the Holy Paladin in action, here’s a basic look at their core combat abilities:
2.0% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
A slow but efficient spell, healing a friendly target for a moderate amount.
Flash of Light
4.0% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
A quick but expensive spell, healing a friendly target for a moderate amount.
Light of the Martyr
2.5% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant
Sacrifices a moderate amount of your own health to instantly heal an ally for a moderate amount.
Cannot be cast on yourself.
Light of Dawn
4.0% Mana, 1.5 sec cast, 12 sec cooldown
Unleash a wave of healing energy before you, healing up to 5 injured allies within a 15 yd frontal cone for a moderate amount.
1.5% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 10 sec cooldown
Instantly trigger a burst of Light on the target, dealing moderate Holy damage to an enemy, or moderate healing to an ally.
Holy Shock has double the normal critical strike chance.
Infusion of Light
Your Holy Shock criticals reduce the cast time of your next Holy Light by 1.5 sec or increase the healing of your next Flash of Light by 50%.
Beacon of Light
0.5% Mana, 60 yd range, Instant, 3 sec cooldown
Place a Beacon of Light on a friendly target.
Your heals on other party or raid members will also heal the Beacon of Light target for up to 50% of the amount healed. Your Flash of Light and Holy Light on the Beacon of Light target will also refund 40% of their Mana cost.
Proximity to your target causes your spells to heal for up to 30% (with Mastery from typical gear) more.
Additionally, to provide a glimpse at how some talents may build upon this, here’s one example of a Holy-specific talent:
Beacon of the Lightbringer
The maximum bonus from Mastery: Lightbringer is increased by 24%, and it now increases your healing based on the target's proximity to either you or your Beacon of Light, whichever is closer.
The paladin’s tools of war lay bare their motivations. Clenched in one hand is the weapon, a deadly device for exacting righteous judgment. Locked in the other hand is the shield, a symbolic and literal barrier protecting good from evil. Stalwart and steadfast, these protectors are ardent defenders of the Light and all that it touches, and are rejuvenated by its radiance in return. So dedicated they are to their cause that they consecrate the very ground upon which they battle corruption.
"Stalwart and steadfast, these protectors are ardent defenders of the Light"
The Protection Paladin arsenal is already closely aligned with its theme. The primary change is the removal of Holy Power, which didn’t have a lot of depth and mostly amounted to limiting use of only a couple of abilities. Instead, these abilities now have cooldowns to allow for better interaction with other abilities.
We’re also addressing an awkward control issue with Crusader Strike and Hammer of the Righteous. To improve control and depth, instead of two functionally identical (apart from the AoE) abilities, we’ve switched to one that conditionally triggers the AoE while standing in Consecration. Judgment is a good example of an ability that is staying simple—baseline—so as to provide a strong platform for talents and other effects to build upon. For defensive buttons, we’ve replaced Word of Glory with a self-focused spell, Light of the Protector, allowing it to be much more interesting and impactful.
To give you an idea of the Protection Paladin in action, here’s a basic look at their core combat abilities:
Shield of the Righteous
Melee Range, Instant, 12 sec recharge, 3 charges
Instantly slam the target with your shield, causing huge Holy damage, and reducing damage you take by 25% for 4.5 sec.
Light of the Protector
Instant, 15 sec cooldown
Calls down the Light to heal yourself for 50% of your missing health.
Your autoattack critical strikes cause you to gain a charge of Shield of the Righteous or Light of the Protector.
Mastery: Divine Bulwark
Increases the damage reduction of your Shield of the Righteous by 10% (with Mastery from typical gear), and increases your chance to block melee attacks by 20% (with Mastery from typical gear).
Also increases your attack power by 20% (with Mastery from typical gear).
30 yd range, Instant, 15 sec cooldown
Hurls your shield at an enemy target, dealing strong Holy damage, interrupting and silencing the target for 3 sec, and then jumping to 2 additional nearby enemies.
Also increases the effects of your next Shield of the Righteous or Light of the Protector by 20%.
Hammer of the Righteous
Melee Range, Instant, 3 sec recharge, 2 charges
Hammer the current target for moderate Physical damage.
If you are standing in your Consecration, Hammer of the Righteous also causes a wave of light that hits all other targets within 8 yds for minor Holy damage.
When you avoid a melee attack or use Hammer of the Righteous, you have a 15% chance of refreshing the cooldown on Avenger’s Shield
30 yd range, Instant, 6 sec cooldown
Judge an enemy, dealing strong Holy damage.
Instant, 9 sec cooldown
Consecrates the land beneath you, causing strong Holy damage over 9 sec to enemies who enter the area.
Additionally, to provide a glimpse at how some talents may build upon this, here’s one example of a Protection-specific talent:
Instant, 3 sec recharge, 2 charges
Throw a divine hammer that spirals outward from the Paladin, dealing moderate Holy damage to enemies it passes through.
Replaces Hammer of the Righteous
To serve as instrument of the Light is to hold an unshakable faith. Oftentimes the most dedicated paladins become fanatical in their devotion, instruments of retribution against those who dare defy the laws of the divine. These paladins are vengeful guardians of the weak—crusaders judging and punishing the wicked. Their resolute conviction in the divine order of all things assures them that victory is inevitable—but they will fight to the end to ensure that the Light prevails.
"Oftentimes the most dedicated paladins become fanatical in their devotion"
We’re making several tweaks to Retribution to amplify their character. In particular, we’re refocusing most of their core abilities on short-range combat. So many of the Retribution Paladin’s abilities were ranged spells that they started to feel more like a caster than a melee crusader. A new ability, Blade of Justice (along with several new talents) will impact gameplay significantly, bolstering the inherent Retribution themes. Separating them from the other types of Paladins, Retribution Paladins continue to use Holy Power, serving as a strong mechanic for building interesting gameplay.
To give you an idea of the Retribution Paladin in action, here’s a basic look at their core combat abilities:
Melee Range, Instant, 4.5 sec cooldown
An instant strike that causes moderate Physical damage and grants 1 Holy Power
Blade of Justice
12 yd range, Instant, 12 sec cooldown
Strikes an enemy with the Blade of Justice, dealing strong Holy damage and generating 2 Holy Power
30 yd range, Instant, 12 sec cooldown
Judge an enemy, dealing moderate Holy damage and causing the target to take 30% increased damage from your Holy Power generators and consumers for 6 sec.
3 Holy Power, Melee Range, Instant
A powerful weapon strike that deals massive Holy damage.
3 Holy Power, Instant
A whirl of divine energy, dealing strong Holy damage to all enemies within 8 yds.
Your Crusader Strike and Blade of Justice have a 20% chance to generate 1 additional Holy Power.
Mastery: Hand of Light
Your Crusader Strike, Blade of Justice, Divine Storm, and Templar’s Verdict deal 45% (with Mastery from typical gear) additional Holy damage.
Additionally, to provide a glimpse at how some talents may build upon this, here’s one example of a Retribution-specific talent:
30 yd range, Instant, 30 sec cooldown
Flings a blade of holy light to the target location. Reactivating will teleport the Paladin to the blade and strike nearby enemies for moderate Holy damage.
Replaces Hand of Hindrance.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this early preview of our approach to Paladin class and specialization design in World of Warcraft: Legion. We’ll continue our review tomorrow with a look at Warlocks, Death Knights, and Shaman.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
WoW is a huge game full of quests, dungeons, raids, crafting, PvP and more. The game provides great content for a wide variety of people. (holinka)
The expectation is that WoW PvP will be as good as any standalone PvP game. It's a great challenge and I love it! (holinka)
The popularity of our PvP is often compared to standalone PvP games like MOBAs or shooters. This is evidence of a very passionate community. (holinka)
Ultimately, we want you and your friends to come together over your enjoyment of WoW. It's the reason we work so hard to make the game. (holinka) The truth now, how awesome will Legion be exactly?
We will do all we can to make it as fun as possible but you will be the ones who decide how we did. (holinka) Surely, what's your personal opinion though if you were to compare legion in it's current form to all the pervious expansions?(PvP)
blech, I don't like judging my own work. Fees weird. (holinka)
Lore Hello Mr. Kosak, maybe you can answer my question: If Malfurion is the first druid, does that mean Cenarius isn't a druid? What about green dragons? They're mortal, and Malfurion has been described as the first druid but also the first mortal druid.
Green dragons were immortal until the events of Cataclysm and the unmaking of Deathwing, as I understand it. (DaveKosak)
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Welcome to our World of Warcraft: Legion class preview series. In this entry, we’re exploring the Mage—to find out what’s in store for a different class, check out the overview.
We continue our early look at class and specialization design with the Mage. In these blogs, we’ll be exploring class identity, discussing Legion’s new designs, and presenting core combat abilities for each specialization—laying out the foundation upon which talents and Artifacts will build further. With that in mind, let’s delve into what it means to be a Mage in World of Warcraft.
In terms of spec definition and overall design changes, Mages lay in contrast to the classes we’ve talked about so far in this series. Mages are in a very strong place compared to most classes, both thematically and mechanically. There’s a lot of distinction among Arcane, Fire, and Frost Mages, with each type of caster specializing heavily in a single school of magic, and each of the three schools having strong themes and consistent properties. Arcane magic warps time and space, and controls the flow of mana; Fire magic unleashes destructive force that spreads chaotically; and Frost slows and controls, setting foes up for devastating strikes.
The changes we’re making are more to prop up existing gameplay for all skill levels and provide some quality-of-life improvements. As a simple example, Summon Refreshment now automatically provides you with a stack of food if you’re adventuring out on your own, or a table of refreshments when in a party or raid.
Mages of the arcane are diviners of secrets, balancing the ebb and flow of incredible mystic energies. Unparalleled skill is required to manipulate the volatile forces of the universe. These practitioners push their magical knowledge to its very limits—often to the brink of their own exhaustion, and at great risk to the world around them. Those who master this craft are capable of releasing a barrage of unrelenting power upon their enemies, drawing upon replenishing energies to maintain their assault for as long as the battle demands.
"Mages of the arcane are diviners of secrets, balancing the ebb and flow of incredible mystic energies"
Arcane Mage abilities and gameplay already deliver on the spec’s fantasy quite well, so most changes are in the vein of polishing what’s already there. First, for added mechanical clarity, Arcane Charges are now an actual resource located underneath your Mana bar instead of a stacking debuff. The functionality is still very much the same, but this change should make their accumulation and use more distinct. The one significant gameplay change is that Arcane has a new Mastery, which increases your maximum Mana by a percentage, and increases the damage bonus from Arcane Charges. This should make the Mastery feel a bit more interesting by allowing more aggressive Mana usage as your Mastery improves, and feel more empowering, ultimately giving you much more control over your rotation.
Here’s a basic look at the core combat abilities for Arcane Mages:
5% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.25 sec cast
Blasts the target with energy, dealing moderate Arcane damage and generating an Arcane Charge.
Arcane Blast’s damage is increased by 50% per Arcane Charge, and its Mana cost is increased by 100% per Arcane Charge.
40 yd range, Channeled
Launches five waves of Arcane Missiles at the enemy over 2 sec, causing minor Arcane damage per wave. Generates an Arcane Charge.
Arcane Missiles’ damage is increased by 50% per Arcane Charge.
Arcane Missiles has a chance to be activated after each of your damaging spell casts. Limit 3 charges.
0.5% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 3 sec cooldown
Launches bolts of arcane energy at the enemy target, causing strong Arcane damage. Consumes all Arcane Charges.
Arcane Barrage’s damage is increased by 50% per Arcane Charge, and it hits 1 additional nearby target per Arcane Charge for 50% damage.
Channeled, 1.5 min cooldown
Gain 25% of your total Mana instantly, and another 75% of your total mana over 6 sec.
Increases your Mana regeneration rate and maximum Mana by 20% (with Mastery from typical gear).
Arcane Charges increase the damage of affected spells by an additional 10% (with Mastery from typical gear).
Instant, 1.5 min cooldown
For the next 4 sec, casting Blink will not trigger its cooldown
Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Arcane-specific talents:
Arcane Blast and Arcane Missiles also grant 2% Haste for 6 sec, stacking.
This effect is cleared when you cast Arcane Barrage.
While any worthy mage is an unparalleled expert in the use of magic and heavily dedicated to their craft, those who master the forces of fire tend to be a little more audacious than their peers. If a threat stands before them, the answer is always to neutralize it in a glorious blaze. A lifetime dedicated to the study of fiery forces only fuels their pyromania, and these mages take pride—even pleasure—in igniting their enemies in wild bursts of flame. Mistake their affinity for watching things burn as a lack of self-control at your own peril.
"These mages take pride—even pleasure—in igniting their enemies in wild bursts of flame"
Similar to Arcane, Fire already exudes its core identity, so our changes are focused on gameplay adjustments. Ultimately, you will have more freedom in what buttons you press and more control over the Heating Up mechanic, which is core to Fire Mages. In particular, the Inferno Blast ability was trying to fill two roles: spreading Ignite, and forcing a Hot Streak from a Heating Up. We’ve opted to move the spreading to an innate property of Ignite and have taken Inferno Blast off the global cooldown so that you can more freely and intuitively use it to trigger a Hot Streak.
Another major change is the redesign of Combustion. It’s an incredibly complex skill, hard to understand for most people, and has the potential for either ridiculous success or critical failure, with the odds being extremely random and very hard to gauge much of the time. We’re redesigning it into something that fits into the Fire rotation in a clear and consistent way.
Here’s a basic look at the core combat abilities for Fire Mages:
4% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.25 sec cast
Throw a fiery ball that causes moderate Fire damage.
Getting 2 direct-damage critical strikes in a row will make your next Pyroblast or Flamestrike spell instant cast, and cause double the normal Ignite damage.
You may not start a new streak (aka, gain Heating Up), while a Hot Streak is already active
It was never our intention for players to sit with a Hot Streak active, then keep fishing for another Heating Up before throwing instant Pyro out—in general, we don’t like the game telling you to press a button when you shouldn’t
Blasts the enemy for moderate Fire damage. This damage is always a critical strike.
Inferno Blast is not on the global cooldown, and can be cast while casting other spells.
5% Mana, 40 yd range, 4.5 sec cast
Hurl an immense fiery boulder that causes massive Fire damage.
10% Mana, Instant, 2 min
Engulf yourself in flames, increasing your critical strike chance by 100% for 10 sec.
Also grants you Mastery equal to your Critical Strike stat.
Your target burns for an additional 30% (with Mastery from typical gear) over 9 sec of the total direct damage caused by your Fireball, Inferno Blast, Scorch, Pyroblast, and Flamestrike. If this effect is reapplied, any remaining damage will be added to the new Ignite.
Every 2 sec, your Ignites may spread to another nearby enemy.
Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Fire-specific talents:
Throw a spread of 6 cinders that travel in an arc, and each deal minor Fire damage to enemies they hit.
Frost mages stand apart from their colleagues, in that their chosen school of magic focuses on maintaining supreme control over the capabilities of their enemies. Mages who command frost perform chilling displays on the battlefield, rendering foes immobile as they bombard them with ice. Often, the blade never reaches the caster before the bitter cold takes hold. The frost mage exudes frigid power as icicles form around them, foreshadowing the wintry demise of those who stand opposed on the field of battle.
"Mages who command frost perform chilling displays on the battlefield, rendering foes immobile"
Frost Mages are very effective casters, and there’s already a lot to like about this spec. Frost’s defining traits and abilities are cohesive, the mechanics are understandable, and there are plenty of opportunities for players to explore unique gameplay at a variety of skill levels. Rather than making any dramatic changes to how a Frost Mage plays, we’ve focused more on fixing one particular outlier in their Spellbook: Frostfire Bolt. After removing the fire portion of the spell, it began to feel like just another Frostbolt, and we started to wonder how a spell supposedly combining frost and fire wasn’t just producing a puddle of water at the feet of the enemy. We’ve removed Frostfire Bolt and made Frozen Orb part of the core spell kit in its place, which better lends itself to the identity of the Frost Mage.
Here’s a basic look at the core combat abilities for Frost Mages:
4% Mana, 40 yd range, 2 sec cast
Launches a bolt of frost at the enemy, causing moderate Frost damage and slowing movement speed by 30% for 15 sec.
10% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 1 min cooldown
Launches an orb of swirling ice forward, dealing minor Frost damage every 1 sec to all nearby enemy targets for 10 sec. Grants the Mage 1 charge of Fingers of Frost when it first reaches a target.
Targets damaged by the Frost Orb are slowed by 30% for 2 sec.
1% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant.
Quickly fling a shard of ice at the target, dealing minor Frost damage.
Ice Lance damage is doubled against frozen targets.
Your Frostbolts have a 10% chance to reset the cooldown of Frozen Orb.
Fingers of Frost
Your successful Frostbolt hits have a 15% chance, and your Blizzard and Frozen Orb ticks have a 5% chance to grant you the Fingers of Frost effect.
The Fingers of Frost effect causes your next Ice Lance to act as if your target were frozen, and deal 140% increased damage.
Multiplies the critical strike chance of your spells against Frozen targets by 1.5, and adds an additional 50% chance.
When you damage enemies with Frostbolt, 45% (with Mastery from typical gear) of the damage done is stored as an Icicle with you, for 30 sec. Also increases the damage that your Water Elemental deals by 45% (with Mastery from typical gear).
Up to 5 Icicles can be stored at once. Excess Icicles that are generated will be automatically launched. Casting Ice Lance causes any Icicles to begin launching at the target.
Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Frost-specific talents:
1% Mana, 40 yd range, 3 sec cast
Conjure a massive spike of ice, and merge your current Icicles into it. It impales your target, dealing massive damage, plus the damage stored in your Icicles.
Requires 5 Icicles to cast.
Also freezes the target in place for up to 4 sec. Damage caused may interrupt the effect.
Passive: Ice Lance no longer launches Icicles.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this early preview of our approach to Mage class and specialization design in World of Warcraft: Legion. We’ll continue our series next with a look at Paladins.