Cataclysm Class Updates: Warlock

Posted by on April 7, 2010 - 3 Comments »

Warlocks are serious business

Warlocks are getting a major overhaul to their class resources. Currently, they have to harvest soul shards from slain enemies, but this can become tedious while managing bag space and constantly draining souls to keep up their stock. In Cataclysm, Soul Shards will no longer be items and instead be a discrete resource, like Death Knight runes. By using the new Soul Burn skill, they consume an automatically regenerating Soul Shard to power up an ability. A bunch of these buffs are revealed in this new update from Blizzard, such as increasing movement speed after using the teleporter or making spells instant cast.

Perhaps purely to fuel the Warlock/Mage feud, Warlocks are getting a version of Frostfire Bolt. It’s called Fel Flame, and it’s an instant cast green fire bolt that does fire or shadow damage, depending on the target’s spell resistances. It also refreshes Immolate and Unstable Affliction in the process. This is an incredible ability that should make Warlocks a little bit more mobile in PvP. Another Mage spell that Warlocks get to steal is Focus Magic, called Dark Intent, which increases the target’s critical strike chance and increases the Warlock’s damage coefficient when the Dark Intent target crits.

Other highlights include Voidwalker’s Tormet generating more threat, as well as AoE threat. Warlock’s DoTs will also scale directly from Haste and Crit.

Check out the full list of changes after the break!

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Cataclysm Class Updates: Shaman

Posted by on April 7, 2010 - 3 Comments »

The Future of Alliance Shamans

The Future of Alliance Shamans

Edit: Even more info added after the break!

The first round of changes for Shaman in Cataclysm has been revealed! There is a lot of information in this post, so let’s first take a look at the changes that affect all three specs of Shamans, primarily the new spells.

Two new spells will be available to low level Shamans, the first of which will make leveling a little easier, and the second is likely more aimed at end-game healing. Primal Strike will be a melee ability that all shamans have access to, and as stated by Blizzard, the goal of the ability is to make Enhancement a more viable leveling spec.

Healing Wave, a new spell with an old name, is being added so that Shamans have  Blizzard’s desired “one fast, one efficient, and one big heal” toolkit. The current Healing Wave is being renamed to Greater Healing Wave  and the new one will fit between the Lesser and Greater versions. The addition of just this one spell should make healing as a totem-dropper more compelling, as it allows for more options in spell selection.

Leveling through the five new levels in Cataclysm, Shamans will run into three new spells from their trainers. The first new spell, Unleash Weapon, could be a very interesting ability for all shamans. It’s essentially an extra ability that will help every spec do its job. Giving Elemental and Restoration a new instant spell for their respective roles should help with their currently low mobility. Another instant attack for Enhancement, not so much.

At level 83, all Shamans will be getting Healing Rain, a spell that some people may recognize from Severed Essences on their way through Icecrown Citadel. This spell will give every Shaman a way to help out with raid heals for a two second cast. Dropping HoTs on all of the melee during a particularly intense fight should make me the apple of my healers’ eyes. Otherwise, another great addition for Restoration Shamans to expand their toolkit.

The final new spell for Cataclysm, Spiritwalker’s Grace, sounds extremely interesting. It will give shamans the ability to cast non instant spells while moving, allowing for some amazing healing or dpsing on the run. I’m still skeptical of its utility for Enhancement, since casting a spell could interrupt other abilities that are already available while moving, but these things are still up in the air. These new spells are a nice glimpse of what’s in store for Cataclysm. These new spells are just the beginning, and I’ll take a look at each spec’s specifics in future posts.

Check out the full Blizzard Announcement after the jump.

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Star Trek Online Following Footsteps Of Champions Online

Posted by on April 7, 2010 - 2 Comments »

Who wants to see a grainy version of this anyways? People starved for MMOGs, that's who!

Just days after finding out that there are “no current plans” for the previously announced Xbox 360 version of Champions Online comes a status update for Cryptic Studios’ other MMORPG.  If you were holding out on the Xbox 360 version of Star Trek Online, you may want to give up.  Like Champions Online, Cryptic is putting console ports of the trekkiest MMORPG on hold. Read more…

A New Reason To Recruit Yourself As A Friend

Posted by on April 7, 2010 - 1 Comment »

Take a wild guess where the image came from. -1 Sight if you get it wrong.

Amatera called it.  A scant few days ago he prophetically said that we’d be seeing World of Warcraft news" href="../wow/all-quiet-on-the-azerothian-front/">an influx of World of Warcraft news in the near future.  It has already come true.  Just a mere 24 hours after his bold claim came the announcement of incoming news (I really hate that).  Buried in the spur of speculative activity was a new reason to recruit a friend to the game.  What this actually means is the mount collectors will have a new reason to recruit themselves to pay an extra $15 a month until they score the new mount: the X-53 Touring Rocket. Read more…

And The Winners Are: Haiku Contest Results

Posted by on April 7, 2010 - 4 Comments »

Last night wrapped up submissions for our first ever contest, and the turnout ended up being more than we expected.  Lore Hound has been available to the avid fanbase for a few weeks now, but as many of you probably noticed, the crew is still hard at work on the overall presentation.  The tweakage and PR blitz lead to many last minute submissions.  Some good, some not so good.

See all the winning haikus after the jump.  There’s even an extra prize! Read more…

Death Knight Tanks Locked Into Blood

Posted by on April 6, 2010 - No Comments »

Wrath of the Lich King started with an experiment. Class design up until that point had been steadfast and rigid. Sure, you’d put a couple points in another tree on occasion, but generally each set of talents was dedicated to a particular role. Death Knights, as the first Hero Class (what does that even mean these days?), broke that mold.

Different trees often afforded multiple advantages and basic tanking could be accomplished in any of the three, though of course, the community would always gravitate towards the more obvious and efficient setups. With Cataclysm, that paradigm will be shattered. No longer will players of other classes have to be jealous of the Death Knight’s flagrant flexibility, for their roles, too, will be shuttered into specific trees. From Cataclysm onwards, if a Death Knight shall tank, they shall do so as Blood.

Ghostcrawler felt this change was big enough to warrant its own post, separate from the list of other changes coming to the class later this week, and extensively details their reasoning behind it in a post you can find after the jump.

For the tl/dr crowd, here’s the gist of it: Death Knights were originally a test-case for a more open talent tree system. It worked alright, but with the introduction of new mechanics throughout Wrath‘s lifespan, it is perhaps proving too fruitful. This, combined with the more rigidly-defined Mastery elements of the talent system coming in Cataclysm mean that it’s more optimal to shove tanking into Blood, and allow the other specs to focus on different kinds of DPS. Read more…

Incoming Hotfix to Buff Enhancement Shamans

Posted by on April 6, 2010 - 3 Comments »

Ghostcrawler announced via WoW’s official forums that the developers think Enhancement Shamans don’t do enough DPS. I, for one, could not agree more. The buff comes in the form of a tweak to Flurry, a talent that was nerfed earlier in the expansion because Enhancement was supposedly doing too much DPS. I disagreed vehemently with that decision. The entirety of GC’s post follows:

We agree with some of the recent discussion about Enhancement dps. We are going to hotfix a change to the Flurry talent to increase it from 25% to 30% attack speed with 5 ranks.

We also agree that Enhancement may have survivability problems and understand that players don’t necessarily feel they can afford the bonus Stamina from the Toughness talent, at least in PvE. We don’t have an immediate change to deploy here, but it’s something we’d like to fix and a candidate for future patches.

Read more…

Fallen Earth: Lead Game Designer Lee Hammock Departing

Posted by on April 6, 2010 - 1 Comment »

Coming out of left field yesterday was the announcement that Lee Hammock, the man who helped shape Fallen Earth into the burgeoning MMOG that it is today, will be leaving the company.  Lee was a part of the Fallen Earth team for over four years.  He was staple in community shenanigans, helped shape the humor of the title, and is just a friendly guy to have a beer with.  “The Beard Man” gave his soul, hell, even his beard, to the game. Read more…