Cataclysm Class Updates: Druid

Posted by on April 10, 2010 - 2 Comments »

Boomkins. Now with more "boom."

Boomkins. Now with more "boom."

We’re hitting the home stretch on class updates, folks. But that doesn’t make the last few classes any less important. In fact, I think the Druid changes might be the best set so far. Sure, there are no major mechanical changes for the class that is already sort of the “master of everything,” and Resto is getting no new spells at this point, but the other specs have a few interesting spells to mess about with.

Thrash is a new AoE tanking ability intended to add a little bit more depth to Bear form. It causes all melee-range targets to bleed every 2 seconds for a duration of 6, and the fact that talents can cause it to buff other powerful abilities such as Swipe should ensure Druids a role as a strong multi-target tanking choice.

Stampeding Roar is a utility spell that can be used in either Bear or Cat form, which buffs allies in melee range with 40% extra movement speed for eight seconds. Think of it like a Sprint you can give to your friends, which should be helpful on fights where everyone needs to suddenly run away from the boss.

The last is the most interesting as it poses a new strategic element for Balance Druid combat. Wild Mushroom allows you to place a magical toadstool on the field that disappears after four seconds. When an enemy runs past it or the Druid activates it, the fungus explodes, dealing either AoE damage to all baddies in the area or massive damage to a single foe. Maybe I’ve just been playing too much Modern Warfare 2/Bad Company 2 lately, but that sounds cool as hell to me.

Once again, there are no new abilities for Resto Druids because Blizzard thinks they’re already versatile enough (and going by those healing numbers I always see in Recount, I’d have to agree). But for everything else, hit the jump. Read more…

Cataclysm Class Updates: Hunter

Posted by on April 9, 2010 - 2 Comments »

Round three of the critical class updates started the day with Hunters. Like Warlocks, this is another class that we already know a lot about from the preview back at BlizzCon. But as a quick refresher: Hunters now use an Energy-like mechanic called Focus instead of Mana, you can stable more pets (and call one of three “active” ones in the field), and ammo has been completely removed from the game.

As for completely new content, we’ve got a fresh set of spells to look over. Cobra Shot is a Nature-based ability that is meant to be an alternative to Steady Shot when attacking heavily-armored targets. Then there’s Trap Launcher, which allows you to place any of your traps remotely from up to 40 yards away (with a 1-minute cooldown).

Finally, you’ve got a Level 85 skill called Camouflage. Like the Warrior’s Heroic Leap, this is a mechanic that Blizzard once toyed with, but removed because it proved too complicated to deal with at the time. They also want to emphasize that this is not just a name-swap for Stealth (something that is more thoroughly explained towards the bottom of the post). Instead, using Camouflage will cloak the Hunter in a Predator-like sheen (as opposed to being completely invisible), allowing them to move around and set up traps. Similar to the Rogue’s new ability, Smoke Bomb, Hunters cannot be targeted by ranged attacks in this state, but they won’t be able to fight back, either. Assaulting the enemy breaks the camo effect, but also provides a temporary damage boost.

I think that about covers it for the major changes, though there are plenty of other small mechanical and talent tweaks someone having more experience with the class than I would have an easier time parsing. Hit the break for all the juice. Read more…

Lore Hound WoWcast: Episode 2

Posted by on April 9, 2010 - No Comments »

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Join the Lore Hounds this week as we discuss tons of WoW news coming out of Blizzard. This week’s lineup is Juggynaut, iTZKooPA, Heartbourne, and pixiestixy. The discussion covers some of the Cataclysm Class Previews, a recruit-a-friend update, Starcraft II, and more. Click the player above to listen, download the podcast, or subscribe via RSS, and leave a comment to let us know how you liked it!

SWTOR – Voss

Posted by on April 9, 2010 - No Comments »

Today Bioware announced a new planet for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Voss is a planet of a utopian society society of force users, which strives to distance itself from all outside sources. Because of the existence of the force on that planet, the Sith are compelled to conquer it. Likewise, the Republic seeks to defend the planet. Setting the scene for conflict, one can only wonder what mysteries will await. Voss is the 12th planet to be announced for SWTOR, and hopefully that means a lot of content variety. For more screenshots and a video of Voss, head over to Bioware’s website.

Celebrating Dungeons & Dragons Online – Update 4 By Playing The Game

Posted by on April 9, 2010 - 5 Comments »

That’s right folks, I am simply not content with capturing zombie pirates on a camcorder, HD or not.  I must get in the game and face them myself.  The fact of the matter is that I refuse to play this game alone.  To remedy this situation I have recruited Lore Hound’s own Amatera to adventure with me.  But that only makes up one-third of a party.  Here’s an open invitation to come join me and Amatera in some barrel smashing, mob targeting, free-to-play fun.

We’re going to play Dungeons & Dragons Online starting around 11:00 AM EST on weekends (Saturday and/or Sunday) starting Sunday, April 11th on the Khyber server.  That means you have just a few days to make an account, grab the client, research which class you’d like to play and get out of the tutorial zone.

Perks from Turbine and Lore Hound after the jump. Read more…

Zhevra Still Available for Recruit a Friend, For Now (Plus a Special FTH Tribute)

Posted by on April 9, 2010 - 3 Comments »

Earlier this week, we heard the unexpected news that a sensational X-53, dual-passenger Touring Rocket that scales up to 310 percent speed is soon to become the new reward for recruiting a friend to play WoW.  The only downside – this means the retirement of the Swift Zhevra mount that until now has been the reward.

But not so fast! We just got word that you may still have time to get your own Zhevra, if you haven’t yet. Blizz Blue poster Nethaera just gave some of us reason to celebrate.

While we had originally announced the new Recruit-A-Friend X-53 Touring Rocket reward would be coming in just a few short days, it turns out there are still a few bolts to tighten, some loose wires to tuck inconspicuously under the upholstery, and a handful of parts leftover that we’re going to ponder and then assume we can safely throw away. As a result, we’ll be releasing this beauty a bit later than we’d first anticipated. This will also give anyone interested in the current Zhevra mount reward some extra time to claim one. While we don’t have an exact release date nailed down yet, we’ll make an announcement once the new mount becomes available.

Unfortunately, this also means that we’ll have to wait a bit longer to see the X-53 in action. But it’s not a bad idea for those of us who want it as soon as it comes out to go ahead and start the Recruit-a-Friend process so when it does come out, you’ll be ready.

And now in tribute, a special short episode of For the Hoard in honor of the Zhevra mount, one of my faves now and always.

How many of you were lucky enough to get your own Zhevra? Those of you who haven’t, will you still try? And who’s already planning for that X-53?

Cataclysm Class Updates: Rogue

Posted by on April 9, 2010 - 7 Comments »

Fear the Ragu!

Rogues are receiving a slightly smaller overhaul than most of the updates we have seen so far. The biggest change is being made to combo points. A new level 81 ability, Redirect, will allow rogues to take combo points they have an the last target and transfer them to the current one on a 1 minute cooldown with no cost. This should allow for better target switching, and it works on recently deceased targets, as well. In addition, Slice and Dice and a new ability called Recuperate no longer require a target. Abilities like this can be used as long as you have combo points on some opponent, alive or deceased.

Recuperate is a new low-level ability that allows rogues to put a heal-over-time (HoT) on themselves based on combo points. This should be great for leveling, as you can use your leftover combo points from recently killed targets to keep the pace going.

The last two new abilities are more PvP-oriented. Combat Readiness is a 2 minute cooldown that lasts for 6 seconds. When struck while this skill is active, the rogue will gain a stacking buff that decreases all damage taken by 10%. It stacks up to five times, but the 6 second duration doesn’t make it a huge game changer. It’s really just a second Evasion. Smoke Bomb, on the other hand, is a bigger deal, creating a smokescreen for you and your buddies to hide in. Targets within the smoke cloud cannot be single-targeted by enemies outside of the smoke cloud. AoE still works, and two targets inside the smoke cloud can still attack each other. This will create a lot of opportunity for strategy in PvP and will likely annoy casters to no end.

Click through for the full details!

Read more…

Icecrown Citadel Raid Buff

Posted by on April 9, 2010 - No Comments »

Roughly two months ago Blizzard gave us the first tier of the Icecrown Citadel (ICC) raid buff. This buff, if you choose to use it, increased health, healing/absorbing and damage by 5%. Blizzard announced that in future patches and updates the ICC raid buff would go up 10% then 20% and finally be capped at 30%. The reasoning behind this buff was that as time goes on the Lich King would lose power and the Horde and Alliance would get stronger. The buff also goes along with the new World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (WotLK) policy which is to ensure that everyone gets to experience end game content.

Recently the ICC raid buff has been increased from 5% to 10%. Hopefully this will help some of the guilds that are currently on the Lich King encounter be able to defeat him and move on to hard modes. There is no time table for when the next increase to the buff will be but I assume it will be around when the last raid content of WotLK comes out which is the Ruby Sanctum.