Cataclysm Race/Class Combinations
Another Cataclysm mini-reminder today! The expansion adds more race/classes combinations to the game and will let you play a Gnome Priest, a Dwarf Shaman, or even a Troll Druid! See the two tables below for a complete list of the combinations.
WoW Magazine Preview
A preview of the World of Warcraft Magazine is now available on its official site. So far it doesn't look like there will be anything new announced here but it's still 144 pages of WoW related articles with a nice layout.
ComicsOriginally Posted by Blizzard EntertainmentBattle.net Authenticator and multiple accounts
One authenticator will be enough for your Battle.net account, regardless of how many WoW accounts you have attached to it. You can even use the same authenticator on multiple Battle.net accounts. (Source)
Players wave the “doesn’t scale” flag a little too often in my humble opinion, but the block mechanic is one in which we do agree it's a problem. Because you block for a flat amount, the damage reduction from block can be enormous when the hits are small and trivial when the hits are huge. I think it’s overly simplistic to just say that damage intake needs to be similar though. Nobody would care how much damage a tank took if the tank had an excessive amount of health, at least until “mana sponge” is a concern once more.
We also don’t think block is a mechanic that every tanking class needs to be successful. Remember we gave druids their version of block not to solve a mitigation problem but to make the dps stats that were largely unavoidable on their leather gear more attractive for tanking. There are many times when the shield-using classes laugh at block as a serious tanking advantage (say Sartharion and Ulduar). I think it's the subject of so much focus now because of Anub’arak adds.
Stats changes in Cataclysm
Agility, Strength and Intellect all need to be of about the same value for their respective target classes.
I don't want to shut down all speculation on the topic, because it's interesting stuff, but do keep in mind that if you think you've noticed a horrible, glaring flaw based on the limited info we've released, chances are it's something we've already discovered and / or discussed. (Source)
Getting rid of Defense in Cataclysm
The reason we want to do away with defense isn't because it is a "cappable" stat. Hit is interesting in that you need a certain amount but no more and have to make gear choices accordingly rather than just gemming and enchanting your best stat everywhere and using the highest item level piece that drops without other considerations.
There are several reasons to get rid of defense:
1) It's a confusing stat with its "cap" that isn't really a cap.
2) It contributes to avoidance inflation.
3) It's not of the same value for all 4 tank classes.
4) If you have a bunch of dps that can't hit, you'll probably just progress more slowly. If you have a tank that can be crit there's a chance you can't progress at all.
5) It contributes to tank scarcity. Ideally an Arms warrior should be able to go Defensive Stance and grab a shield to tank a 5-player dungeon (though not a raid). When every dps warrior (though the same is true of all tank classes) needs a full set of tank gear to tank even easy heroic content, it's harder to fill your Dungeon Finder groups. (Source)
200% crits for casters
Consider that one of the reasons casters must talent into 200% crits is to offer more distinction between the damage and healing specs.
We don't think high crits are a problem. The problem is really that crit chances have gotten so high (in part because we ended up making higher item levels than we initially thought we would when we came up with the rating conversions). (Source)
Death Knight (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Tanking in 5-man
I think there is one place where DKs noticeably and unfortunately take more damage, and that is when overgeared characters tanks 5-player dungeons. The reason is the way block works, where a paladin or warrior can almost literally take no damage because so many attacks are blocked and nothing is hitting for that hard in the first place. One of the reasons we want to change block for Cataclysm is to make it useful when just starting out, when on challenging content and when overgeared.
I'd be surprised if your choice of tank class really made much of a difference on e.g. Marrowgar. If your tanks seem to be taking an excessive amount of damage, there are probably a lot of things you can be doing differently. None of the current Icecrown bosses present a huge obstacle in tank survivability, though Deathwhisper may challenge your ability to manage adds.
Now, your choice of *player* tanking may have a big effect. (Source)
Warrior (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Tanking without defense stat in Cataclysm
Without a defense stat there should not be a huge gear requirement to tank 5-player dungeons. It would be ideal if say an Arms warrior could go Defensive Stance, maybe use a shield, and be able to fill the tank role in any normal dungeon or even the easier heroics.
You will still likely need a Prot-spec warrior (or the equivalent of other classes) to MT actual raids. (Source)
Protection in PvP
Prot in PvP is something we're keeping an eye on.
So far, it doesn't seem like Arena teams are stampeding towards Prot the way they did Ret and Unholy when those specs were overpowered. Now, representation is not a great way to balance, but it can be a good red flag. We're also likely to nerf specs even if they aren't highly represented when they are just really annoying to play against or are capable of success without a great deal of skill.
Nerfing Prot isn't something we'd do without a lot of thought. There are no easy knobs to tweak. We'd have to be very careful about nerfing their survivability to avoid PvE consequences. We could nerf their damage, though we've also taken great pains to boost tank damage overall as a way of making the dps stats on tank gear more attractive, letting tanks feel like they are contributing more to their group, and just because it's fun. (If you are asking yourself why tanking needs to be fun, you might want to ponder that question next time you're waiting for your Dungeon Finder group to fill.) Finally a lot of the utility we added was to make tanking more dynamic so that tanks were doing something besides just spamming their defensive and threat moves. Sure Warbringer doesn't have a big role on many boss fights, but it can be really useful on all of those encounters leading up to the boss fights. We don't want the tanking trees to be 25-30 talents of nothing but "you take less damage."
Furthermore, it's clear some players' reaction is just that "Prot has no place in PvP" even though we've been pretty consistent about saying we'd like to get all 30 specs viable. Make sure you're commenting on the actual effectiveness of Protection PvP and not just complaining because you see people using the spec at all.
[...] It's okay to use a PvP strategy based on survivability. It's only a problem if you aren't giving up much damage to go that route. Giving up utility is a trickier thing because we want everyone to have a lot of utility, and in fact the Cataclysm talent tree design is to give players many utility options. Giving up utility almost always leads to a more boring play style.
[...] I used Prot warrior examples, but I was really talking about tanking specs in general. (Source)
Teh Gladiators #106 is out, no Dark Legacy this week.