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Aug 22

I was going to title this post “Goodbye, Azeroth”, and then I realised that might sound as though I were leaving. No fear; I’ve been busy lately (although things have improved now), but I’m still here.

However, Azeroth won’t be for much longer – at least, not as we know it today. That’s right; in news that came as a complete surprise to absolutely nobody, this week’s BlizzCon has seen the announcement of the third WoW expansion pack, Cataclysm.

There’s some huge changes afoot – which are, of course, all over the blogosphere already.

The biggest general changes are:

  • A big revamp to Azeroth – many zones will be changed or destroyed, and the political landscape will shift for both factions.
  • Revamped Azeroth will finally allow flying, huzzah!
  • Revamped Azeroth will also include a number of new zones, which will cover levelling to the new level cap – 85.
  • There’s a new profession, Archaeology. It’s a secondary profession like fishing or cooking, so everyone can train it.
  • Two new races: Goblins for the Horde, Worgen for the Alliance.
  • New class options for existing races!

…oh man, I can’t keep up. Seriously, there’s a lot of information coming out of BlizzCon; I recommend watching MMO-Champion and World of Raids for all the news.

Of particular interest to paladins, I’d like to draw your attention to the following changes:

New Class/Race Combos

Human hunters, gnome priests, orc mages – lots of changes here. This handy image from MMO-Champion sums it all up nicely. The big one for us, of course, is: tauren paladins! Welcome aboard, beefy brethren!

Stats Changes

Spellpower? Gone. Attack Power? Gone. mp5? Gone. Defense? Gone. (Ditto Armor Pen and Block Rating.)

Instead, uncrittability will be handled by talents (as it is now for druids), and stats like Spellpower and Attack Power will now derive directly from Intellect and Strength respectively. (Hunters, Rogues and Shammies will get their AP from Agi.) Mana regen will be handled by Spirit, and all healers will get a regen-mana-in-combat ability a la Meditation.

Still, if you think this is a big change, think how hunters feel – they’re getting turned into a mana-free class!

I’m optimistic at this point, but cautiously so. The world changes and storyline progression both look awesome, and I’m getting that rush of “omg must see it must play it must test it whee!” that I always get when an expack is announced. I’m more cautious about the mechanics changes – the higher degree of homogenization in gearing is a bit disappointing – but I’m certainly prepared to Wait And See ™.

Obviously, if I’m fortunate enough to get into the beta again, I’ll be providing all the guides and sneak peaks you’ve come to expect. ;-)

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8 Comments

Comment by jeffo

Made Saturday, 22 of August , 2009 at 9:40 pm

Well, Ghostcrawler said they were looking at getting rid of spellpower plate, and they did! Of course, now they’ll have the ‘problem’ of Intellect plate, assuming that we Holydins will still be allowed to wear plate.

These are some big changes. I wonder if they’ll do what they did for Wrath and have a pre-release patch that gives us our ‘new’ abilities/mechanics, so that we can get used to it. I also wonder what the timeline is here, it looks like it might be further along than I would have thought.

Comment by galian

Made Sunday, 23 of August , 2009 at 1:01 am

I watched the live feed of the announcement and it was quite exciting.

Off topic slightly, No bubble of hotness spec? Still running 51/2/18 on Salian? Im curious if you have switched back to crit or just haven’t had a chance to try the other.

Comment by ecartman

Made Sunday, 23 of August , 2009 at 5:39 am

Well I am really looking forward to the new changes, the point you made about hunters bothers me as my alt is a hunter and I heard there will be no mana but now energy like Rogues, which is why I hate playing rogues. Sure am glad my main is a holydin

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Comment by Paldasan

Made Sunday, 23 of August , 2009 at 12:58 pm

I’ll certainly be back playing if they also fix the reverse blink ‘feature’ that mages have had since time began.

Comment by adam

Made Tuesday, 25 of August , 2009 at 3:04 am

Attack Power isn’t gone.. it’s gone from itemization. Was sorta confusing the way they presented it on MMO-champ I think.

Comment by BitterCupOJoe

Made Tuesday, 25 of August , 2009 at 5:07 am

I really wish they would get rid of spell plate. Now’s about the right time to do it, too, particularly with the new mastery system that will mean we only get big benefits from the tree we spec into. So put +200% healing as the “you’ve filled out holy” mastery, then adjust mana pool and AP to scale off of strength and mana regen to scale off of crit (maintaining the flavor of the class). I know it’s a big overhaul, but it’s a net positive for all involved.

And as to the hunter regen, it’s not quite like rogues. There’s a lot more subtlety to it, with certain powers (notably steady shot) increasing focus regeneration, with others acting as a drain on focus. It sounds like a really neat system.

Comment by Vorian87

Made Wednesday, 26 of August , 2009 at 2:07 am

@ bittercupojoe

that would require holy paladins to roll on dps gear (armor specifically). Which brings up the total specs rolling plate gear to 7.

and as a healer, it is sort of mind numbing that my “strength” makes me heal better.

getting rid of spell-plate (or int-plate what have you) is a tricky undertaking.

you cannot scale it off mail or other gear because then one spec of one class rolls on a completely different armor level gear, as opposed to same armor level gear but the most unique itemization. giving holy paladins an “armor-conversion” talent might make sense to a degree but why is a healer worried about armor again.

i apologize if any of this is redundant information that is already out there.

Comment by ArchDruid Angela

Made Friday, 28 of August , 2009 at 1:49 am

I have to admit some of the changes scare me a bit. But looking back I probably said the same thing before BC and WOTLK came out :) Now, I just have to decide if I’m re-rolling worgen or just making another alt!

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