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!
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. ;-)