Cataclysm Class Updates: Death Knight

Posted by on April 8, 2010 - 2 Comments »

Dual-wielding DKs are no joke

Death Knights have a bunch of great changes coming down the pike in Cataclysm. For starters, the rune system is changing slightly. Haste will now cause your runes to regenerate faster, and runes will regenerate sequentially in pairs. That is, if both of your blood runes are on cooldown, the second one will not begin to regenerate until the first one is up. Abilities will be re-tuned to deal with this, but the long and short of it is there will be less urgency to use runes right away, as your total time spent regenerating runes when not using them is higher overall, giving the Death Knight more flexibility when they are not able to be on their target 100% of the time.

The new DK abilities include an spell called Outbreak that instantly applies both Frost Fever and Blood Plague for no runes. This allows DKs to quickly ramp up their attack after switching targets. It will probably have a decent cooldown or require runic power to balance it out. Necrotic Strike is a modification to the old Plague Strike mechanic of removing HoTs. Instead of removing HoTs, it essentially puts an opposite Power Word: Shield on the target that will absorb incoming healing. Its damage output is low, but the overall healing required on its target is much higher, making it a great PvP skill.

Last, but not least, is Dark Simulacrum, which allows the Death Knight to copy the next spell a target casts. Unlike Spell Reflect, this does not negate the effects of the initial cast.

Click through for the full text, including the Blood tanking change we reported about earlier in the week.

Read more…

Cataclysm Class Updates: Warrior

Posted by on April 8, 2010 - 1 Comment »

Though taken out of the game, Heroic Leap eventually found its way into the CCG.

Though once removed from the game, Heroic Leap found its way into the WoW CCG.

The second day of updates began with a list of changes for the Warrior class, arguably the tanking class most in need of improvements. It’s also arguable as to whether or not Cataclysm is going to deliver on that front. But, hey! New spells! You know the drill…

Unlike most of the other classes so far, the Warrior will get no new lower-level abilities, but they’ll have the customary post-80 stuff to play with. The first is Inner Rage, a passive skill that makes capping out on Rage less of a detriment by temporarily buffing the player. However, it’ll be under the microscope for the duration of the upcoming beta to determine whether or not people are purposefully capping Rage just to take advantage of it.

The second spell in the Warrior’s expanded arsenal is Gushing Wound, which is a new bleed-effect attack that stacks up to a max of three and applies every time the target moves. This will undoubtedly be beneficial for fights in which the boss or mob needs to be kited, and it can almost go unsaid how important it’ll figure into a PvP rotation.

Finally, we’ve got the triumphant return of Heroic Leap. If you’ve been playing World of Warcraft for a long time, then you’ll know this is an ability they tried to implement back in the beta for Wrath of the Lich King, but cut due to people messing about with it. Ultimately, it was too much of a pain in the ass for Blizzard to get it to work the way they wanted it to at the time, so it was removed from the game. It’s unclear whether or not Heroic Leap will work just as it did back then, but it does provide Warriors with a new means of initiating a fight (it shares a cooldown with Charge), casting Thunder Clap when they land.

Something else that should be noted is a new mechanic called Vengeance. This is the second Mastery stat that will appear in all tanking trees, so expect to see it have an effect on other classes, as well. Basically, every time the tank gets whacked by the enemy, they gain a stacking buff to their damage (and, subsequently, their threat generation). It’s a little complicated, but a more comprehensive explanation (as well as the rest of the Warrior changes) can be found beyond the cut. Read more…

Global Agenda Windows 7 UI Bug

Posted by on April 8, 2010 - 3 Comments »

When I encounter some unusual user interface (UI) bug in an MMO, the first thing I do is disable all the add-ons I have.   Well, in the case of Global Agenda that’s not needed, as the game lacks add-on support.  So, I moved on to the next step, grabbing new video drivers.  After applying the latest Catalyst package from AMD, there’s absolutely no change.  Stumped, I went back into the game and began playing with video settings.  Resolution changes, fidelity modifications, window mode toggle, nothing made a difference.  The bug won’t go away.

At this point you’re probably wondering what bug could be so annoying, and so persistent.  Rather than write a treatise on the topic for the forums I decided to create a video for Hi-Rez’s  QA team to gawk at.  Check it out after the jump. Read more…

StarCraft II Collector’s Edition To Contain WoW Companion Pet Code

Posted by on April 8, 2010 - 3 Comments »

Damn Blizzard’s marketing people.  Even if a WoW player isn’t interested in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty at all (that would be kind of odd in the first place) they are likely to take a hard look at buying the game.  Scratch that.  Buying a Collector’s Edition of the game.  Big Download is reporting that the $99.99 (wow!) Collector’s Edition will feature a code to unlock a mini Thor vanity pet.

Hit the jump for all the details that makes the $30 premium worth it. Read more…

A Priest’s Thoughts On Leap of Faith

Posted by on April 8, 2010 - 7 Comments »

Leap of Faith was introduced to the world yesterday as part of April’s extensive dump of class change information for Cataclysm.  Here’s how Amatera put it (Blizzard description here):

Leap of Faith (a utility spell that allows you to pull party/raid members towards you to get them out of trouble). I love utility spells like that because, when encounters are built around them, it means the game is a lot more about skill and less about chewing through numbers.

I do believe that adding skill to World of Warcraft is the appropriate direction, but I disagree that Leap of Faith has anything to do with that.  In fact, it’s just a crutch.  One that will simply piss off healers.

Check out my thoughts after the break. Read more…

Dungeons & Dragons Online – Update 4: Sentinels

Posted by on April 8, 2010 - No Comments »

Turbine has announced that the latest update for Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited is now live. The update is called “Sentinels” and introduces a new adventure pack involving zombies and pirates. The Sentinels Adventure Pack is available for levels 6 through 8 and requires a level 20 character to complete on Epic difficulty. The new update also tweaks several bugs, improves the UI, changes a few quests, skills and traps, improves the crafting system, adds a pack of new monsters, and more. You can view the entire changelog here. Turbine have also released a trailer for the add-on, which you can watch here.

For the Hoard 1.3: Killing Dinos and Stalking Devilsaurs

Posted by on April 8, 2010 - 1 Comment »

Journey with me as I head back into Un Goro Crater with a slightly larger Venomhide Hatchling to score him some yummy dino meat. I may even run into an old nemesis…

Grow up quick, Venomhide Ravasaur!

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Class Previews – Round One

Posted by on April 8, 2010 - No Comments »

While it does seem as if I’m reporting on something related to World of Warcraft all the time at the moment, that’s just the way the news winds are blowing information to me. The first three sets of the upcoming Cataclysm expansion’s class changes have been posted by Blizzard, specifically including those related to the Shaman, Priest and Warlock classes. The complete posts are fairly lengthy, so I’ve included links on the class names below to the official information rather than bring them to you in full – but I have cherry-picked the new spells lists from all three class pages here. If you’re anything like me, your main interest is in entertaining new methods of inflicting horrible death upon your enemies anyway.

New Shaman Spells:

Primal Strike (available at level 3): Primal Strike is a new weapon-based attack that every shaman will learn very early in the game. Our goal with this ability is to make leveling as Enhancement rather than as Elemental more viable, since many key Enhancement talents become available at fairly high levels.

Healing Wave (level 4): While the shaman already has an ability called Healing Wave, we’re adding another spell to the class’s direct-healing arsenal and giving it a familiar name. The current Healing Wave will be renamed Greater Healing Wave, and the intent is for the ‘new” Healing Wave to be the shaman’s go-to heal. Lesser Healing Wave and Greater Healing Wave will be used on a more situational basis.

Unleash Weapon (level 81): Unleashes the power of your weapon enchants for additional effects (see below). A dual-wielding Enhancement shaman will activate the effects of both of their weapon enchants. Instant cast. 30-yard range. 15-second cooldown. Undispellable.

Here are a few examples of effects we’re considering for this ability:

    • – Windfury Weapon – Hurls a spectral version of your weapon at a target, dealing 50% weapon damage and increasing the shaman’s Haste for the next five swings.
      - Flametongue Weapon – Deals instant Fire damage and buffs the shaman’s next Fire attack by 20%.
      - Earthliving Weapon – Heals the target slightly and buffs the shaman’s next healing spell by 20%.

Healing Rain (level 83): An area-effect heal-over-time (HoT) spell that calls down rain in a selected area, healing all players within it. There is no limit to the number of players who can potentially be affected; however, there are diminishing returns when healing a large number of targets, much like the diminishing returns associated with AoE damage spells. This should give Restoration shaman another healing tool that improves their group-healing and heal-over-time capabilities. 2-second cast time. 30-yard range. 10-second duration. 10-second cooldown.

Spiritwalker’s Grace (level 85): When this self-targeted buff is active, your spells are no longer interrupted by movement and possibly even by your own attacks. This will give shaman of all three specs another way to heal or do damage when it’s necessary to move in both PvE and PvP. Instant cast. 10-second duration. 2-minute cooldown.

New Priest Spells:

Heal (available at level 16): While priests already have a spell called Heal, the existing version becomes obsolete at higher levels, which is something we intend to change in Cataclysm. Introduced at a low level, the “new” Heal spell will functionally work much like a down-ranked Greater Heal did in the past, adding more granularity to your direct-healing arsenal. If you need to heal someone a moderate amount and efficiency is an issue (making Flash Heal the incorrect spell for the job), then Heal is what you want to use. Heal is intended to be the priest’s go-to direct-healing spell unless they need something bigger (Greater Heal) or faster (Flash Heal). We will be following a similar philosophy with all the healing classes.

Mind Spike (level 81): Deals Shadowfrost damage and puts a debuff on the target that improves subsequent Mind Spike damage. The intent of Mind Spike is to fill a niche missing in Shadow DPS, though it may be occasionally useful for healers as well. Mind Spike provides a quick nuke to use in situations where the priest doesn’t have time to set up the normal rotation, such as when adds are dying too fast or you have to swap targets a lot. Spamming Mind Spike will do about as much damage as casting Mind Flay on a target afflicted with Shadow Word: Pain. The idea behind the debuff is that when you cast Mind Spike, we expect you to cast a lot of them; we don’t intend you to fit it into an already full Shadow rotation. It also provides Shadow with a spell to cast when locked out of the Shadow school. (School lockouts will no longer affect both schools for multi-school spells.) 1.5-second cast. 30-yard range. No cooldown.

Inner Will (level 83): Increases movement speed by 12% and reduces the mana cost of instant-cast spells by 10%. This buff will be exclusive with Inner Fire, meaning you can’t have both up at once. Inner Fire provides a spell power and Armor buff; Inner Will should be useful on a more situational basis.

Leap of Faith (level 85): Pull a party or raid member to your location. Leap of Faith (or “Life Grip”) is intended to give priests a tool to help rescue fellow players who have pulled aggro, are being focused on in PvP, or just can’t seem to get out of the fire in time. Instant. 30-yard range. 45-second cooldown.

New Warlock Spells:

Fel Flame (level 81): Quick-hitting spell dealing Shadowfire damage. This is similar to the mage ability Frostfire Bolt, in that the lower of the two resistances (in this case shadow and fire) on your target will be used for calculating its damage. Additionally, Fel Flame refreshes the duration of Immolate and Unstable Affliction. Our goal for Fel Flame is to provide a spell that’s good for mobility and for use by Destruction and Demonology specs. Also, did we mention it uses green fire? Yep. Instant cast.

Dark Intent (level 83): Increases the target’s chance for a critical effect with periodic damage or healing spells by 3%. When the target lands a crit, you get a buff to your damage for 10 seconds. This effect stacks up to three times.

Demon Soul (level 85): Fuses the warlock’s soul with his or her demon. This provides warlocks with a self-burst cooldown to use. The specific effects granted by Demon Soul depend on the demon chosen. Demon Soul lasts for a certain number of charges or until it expires (around 20 seconds), depending on the demon used. 2-minute cooldown.