Now that the Cataclysm beta is in the wild and the playerbase, at large, is exposed to the current state of the game, they no doubt have had a lot of questions as to how the expansion is progressing. This anxiety was compounded by the announcement of the new 31-point talent trees, around which the latest Twitter-based Q&A seemed to focus. As indicated, class changes dominated the discussion, though there are a few other tidbits here or there (including, likely the biggest announcement, a major change to Paladin play mechanics).
Below is a sampling, but the original log is far too long for some basic copypasta. You can check out the full chat on Blizzard’s forums.
Q: What about some class specific quests for Cataclysm? I enjoyed them in the early levels of WoW!
A: It’s very expensive to create class-specific quests given the literally thousands of new quests we are already adding for Cataclysm; however, we are going to have class-specific dungeon quests for everyone at levels 20 and 50. These won’t be as involved as, say, the old Benediction quest line, but they will give you a way to get some blue loot that isn’t otherwise available.
Q: How much of an impact will the new medium glyphs have on the fun factor of choices in the new 31-point talent trees?
A. We hope it adds a lot. Part of the problem is that if there is, say, a Glyph of Mutilate, you feel like you have to take that as an Assassination rogue over anything else. The medium glyphs are designed to let you customize your character a little more. They are the glyphs you would take if Mutilate didn’t exist.
Incidentally, the new tiers are called Prime, Major, and Minor. Majors are the new Mediums. Glyph of Mutilate would be a Prime.
Q: Are there any plans to add Ghostcrawler in-game as a critter or elite crab?
A. Ghostcrawler would be very emo were he to gaze down from his Throne of Lies and behold the mass crustacean slaughter that would result in having more manifestations of his persona in the game.
Q: Let’s talk fashion. Any chance we could get a tophat AND monocle to display at the same time?
A. Why, yes. Indubitably. Tut-tut, my good chap and cheerio!
Q. What’s the plan to give Subtlety some pressure versus plate? A slow-ticking Rupture isn’t going to cut it. Shadow damage during Dance?
A. That’s an interesting idea. Subtlety is probably going to end up as the lowest-damage of the three rogue specializations to make up for its superior mobility, but that doesn’t mean it’s harmless, either. And no, Rupture isn’t intended to be the PvP solution to that situation.
Q. Will the ability to run while shooting affect PvP or PvE battles more? What was the initial intention of the new ability?
A. With how encounters are today, damage-dealing while on the move is becoming increasingly important. You’ll see in a lot of classes we specifically are giving new ways for players to still do damage while on the move. That said, your damage while standing still while casting or on a target in melee range should always be optimal.
Q: How is Heroic Leap working so far? Is it progressing better than your last attempt at putting it in-game?
A. We’re pretty happy with it so far. The version we have right now lets the warrior target where they want to leap, so they can use it as an escape tool as well. We all know paladins would never retreat from a battle, but warriors have been known to do so.
Q: What is the goal when re-designing the paladin class? How do you plan to change rotations, talents, etc?
A. All of the paladin specializations will make use of a new resource called Holy Power. Holy Power accumulates from using Crusader Strike, Holy Shock, and some other talents. Holy Power can be consumed to augment a variety of abilities, including:
- An instant mana-free heal: Word of Glory
- A buff to increase holy damage done: Inquisition
- A massive physical melee attack for Retribution paladins: Templar’s Verdict
- Holy Shield’s duration is now extended by Holy Power
- Divine Storm’s damage is now increased by Holy Power
We also introduced several new heals for Holy Paladins including Healing Hands (an AoE heal-over-time that is applied to all players standing near the paladin), Light of Dawn (a cone heal with a 30-yard range), as well as a new heal called Divine Light, which is similar to a priest’s Greater Heal, and the new instant heal mentioned above, Word of Glory.