Pre-Patch 8.0. Class Changes Overview

A thourough research, alt+tab guides, was held yesterday and today. I’ve tried all the classes in the field during Army of the Light emissary quests and assaulted dummies in Pandaria hubs.

Here’s my report.

First of all, healing will not be a thing of this article. The arsenal of healers did not experience too many radical changes, and I’ll be testing its worth in group content like dungeons and raids – during the expansion itself.

While almost all of my healers are gonna be leveling as DPS, there’s one exception: Aurinko the Priest, because I’m not planning to go Shadow while Insanity mechanics exist in game. She tried questing in Holy, and her DPS as such is amazingly great. I’ve swiped out the pack of 5 mobs with ease and surprisingly quickly. Also I was able to pummel an elite mob with no trouble. It’s quite a viable leveling option. I may try Discipline too, but why care switching specs when you’re decent in your played healing one?

The second thing that can be described in few words are tanks. Tanking doesn’t differ from what we had in Legion, so there’s no worries about rotations. Their biggest flaw considering leveling is that tanks are lacking DPS in scales. I’ve engaged an elite Argus mob with my warrior, and while she couldn’t penetrate my defence, picking at her solo was the most boring thing I did during my session. I gave up after taking 20% from the demon which took ages, and then just jumped into my exosuit to burn her down. I even doubt taking my monk as Brewmaster leveling – I felt so much underpowered. In other words, if you opt for an active and quick combat, tanks are not your choice. Yes, they are supposed to aggro dozens at once to speed things up, but that’s not always possible in questing. Verdict: group content.

Now, on to DPS class by class.

CLOTH

Mage

Fire – is pretty much the same. Bombarding a dummy revealed that I have many instant Pyroblast procs, so they are pretty quick and powerful. It’s yet to try some tweaks in AoE gameplay, but overall I’m happy. It’s gonna be my Dark Iron Dwarf spec.

Frost – I’ve summoned a water elemental, and my poor Gnome drowned in its bulk. Dismissed water elemental and chose the talent where I will not summon it. Gameplay is pretty much the same, although I replace a nova instant nuke with a freeze ray. Basic Frostbolt is unexpectedly powerful. Micromantica needs to get used to the new nuke, but her rotation is almost the same. Considering there were not major issues with Frost Mage in Legion, she’s happy.

Arcane – there is much more control over Arcane Missiles, and that surely is a big improvement. If Myde someday will step forward, she’ll feel better than Legion experience. Until expansion lulls, she’s dismissed – the core idea of paying constant attention to mana pool is not my thing.

Priest

Described in healing section. Holy is Aurinko’s current choice for both solo and group content, and I’m not into Shadow.

Warlock

Affliction – Blizzard lost me in Legion when they implemented the need to apply multiple Unstable Afflictions and wasting mana for every spell. None of these issues were addressed in BfA version, so it’s time to say goodbye. I could only mention one great thing: a talent to make Corruption DoT constant without the need to refresh it.

Destruction – this is Faerella’s spec to go in every type of content. Powerful, crystal clear and logical, and with brand new animations on top. Everything stays like in Legion, and it was quite solid to proceed with.

Demonology – I’ve spent half an hour getting the idea, and I must say that this is FUN. You summon millions of demons now, and the spec name finally justifies itself! The rotation leaves some space to think, yet it’s quite easy and straightforward once you get the priorities. It’s a mere pleasure to play, yet maybe not a leveling option for me. Summoning a literal ARMY for another 10 bear asses feels a bit overdone :) It’s a viable option for raids though, ensuring a battle of epic proportions.

LEATHER

Demon Hunter

Havoc – Melaris has lost several cooldowns due to class changes, so her burst somewhat shrinked now. Otherwise everything stays as it stays – a mobile, swift and agile style.

Druid

Balance – lots of options to overload your panels with extra damaging abilities. The renewed talent tree allows me to stay in Legion style which I were more than happy with, so Helu walks into BfA largely unchanged.

Feral – Brutal Slash, despite its nerf, is still a more powerful combo builder than Shred, so it stays in solo rotation. I like that spell! Jammu feels that now you have to make use of 2 speed cooldowns, and she’s not happy with that. Outside of them she waits for abilities to be cast, so it’s an annoyance. Why not bake one of the cooldowns into basic energy regeneration and leave us with a boost we’ll never know. Haste is her gear priority from now on.

Monk

Windwalker – not so many changes for Paitsu’s DPS spec. It’s quite ok to play with, and if I feel that Brewmaster is too weak in the field, I will switch to Windwalker by all means and with pleasure.

Rogue

Assassination – something’s very wrong with my favorite spec, and this wrong is: Haste. Energy regeneration sucks so much – you spend 1-2 seconds constantly with nothing to cast, even when all your talents are about haste and energy regeneration. Dismissed for now. I’ll be missing it.

Outlaw – still not a fun of my swordplay interrupted with a clumsy pistol shot. Nay.

Subtlety – the one and only spec for me now. It’s quick, very effective, and now served with a rich talent choice. Only to think about it, I’ve never touched the spec before Legion. It is simply awesome.

CHAINMAIL

Hunter

Marksmanship – another complete overhaul of Marksmanship spec. It’s only four basic rotation buttons today, two builders and two spenders. And even this small number feels very crumpled. The major idea is to balance around ~50 focus – there, I said it. Balance, as in Druid Balance. This is strange how it largely resembles the previous Balance spec versions of druids – remember this rolling ball? I basically imagine this ball on the current Hunter’s Focus bar. Needs to be tested and tested to make a final decision about it. Maybe I will get used to it, but it’s a bit tense now.

Survival – ooh, that’s definitely a big thing going on. Some giant strides were made towards the stalker fantasy, and it’s just great. Ranged options were added, so now only a couple of strikes and auto-attacks are melee. The rotation rolls around maintaining a couple of DoTs on the target, as well as weaving in your powerful spear strikes. And yes, it definitely is exciting to play. I will make the final decision after I play it in the field a bit. For now it looks as a strong and interesting hunter option. Bravo, Blizzard!

Beast Mastery – they’ve addressed my major Legion issue. All you did in your rotation was yelling, not shooting. Now you’re a guy with a gun again. And still I quit after a couple of minutes – it’s simply boring compared to the other two.

Shaman

Enhancement – excellent. Was it GCD added, but it made the playstyle quite comprehensible. In Legion all you did was facerolling. Now ability management is present, and choices are to be made. Despite that, it doesn’t feel slow at all – another wasted second, and you’re overcapped with Maelstrom energies. Constant casting, pro-active fighting style, no time to get bored. What’s left to test is survivability – in Legion shaman were paper dolls.

Elemental – excellent. I was happy enough with them in Legion. Yet they implemented a minor tweak that improved everything greatly: Earth Shock / Earthquake now cost exactly 60 Maelstrom, not the previous range of 50-100. So basically you don’t have to manage this now: as soon as you have enough, you do the thing. It makes the spec so much more comprehensible and easier to play.

One more issue in Legion was a slow pace of acquiring Maelstrom power. You could pick a mob with your ‘plink’ abilities and never have a chance to plant your most convincing strike before they died. As a result, leveling felt slow and underpowered. Not an issue anymore. You gain Maelstrom fast enough to effectively finish out the mobs.

PLATE

Death Knight

Frost – everything is the same here. But Haste addressed, you don’t wait for abilities to come anymore, it’s very quick now. Make me able to wield zweihanders again, and we’re good :)

Unholy – not a fan of pet specs, I didn’t play it or test it.

Paladin

Retribution – everything is the same here.

Warrior

Arms – now feels like a feeble attempt to mimic Fury. And yet speed is not there. They reintroduced one more (annoying) strike in the rotation, so now it’s crammy, unsatisfying. Dismissed with no regret or intent to return.

Fury – is perfect now. A careful talent choice has turned me into a non-stop killing machine. Talent choices allowed me to exclude even the smallest gaps between attacks, so once in battle, you strike, strike and strike, never giving an opponent a chance to answer. Amazing.

My Resume:

  • I’m glad that they didn’t touch some of the classes that felt right in Legion (Death Knights, Paladins, Druids).
  • Many classes were tweaked to make them a lot more enjoyable to play (Warriors, Shaman, Mages).
  • As for regrets, there are few. My favorite Assassination and Affliction options are buried for tonight – luckily I have replacements at the ready.
  • Personally I need to test drive Hunter, Mage and Shaman in questing, but in general the changes are positive, and I’m ready for Battle for Azeroth.

 

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Pre-Patch is Live!

Battle-for-Azeroth-login-screen

EU maintenance was planned during 3 a.m. – 11 a.m. By a good Blizzard tradition, I was able to successfully login at 8 a.m. :)

First of all, the login screen. I hated the initiate sharp Legion tune chords, so I was happy to hear the new, softer one beginning of Battle for Azeroth. BfA music pieces are pretty cool, and anyways, it’s a welcome change of tune. The picture is also changed, and unwelcoming demons turned into Azeroth battlefield. If I may say so, it’s a lot more Warcraft-ish, RTS menu screens coming to mind.

Interface – it’s yay! I quickly got used to bag and system buttons in the right bottom corner. I will only need to use shortcuts more instead of clicking.

The new action panels are cool, most of the abilities were conveniently sorted out already, although I did a re-adjustment nevertheless. Mostly with convenience buttons like ranged aggro for non-tanks, warlock’s health stones, travel speed buffs etc. My main rotations remained untouched.

More or less, my action panels are now arranged this way:

Panels

The major thing is that there are still 3 options for core action panel. This is vital. Take Aurinko the Priest: her default core action panel is healing, one click switches her to DPS mode, and yet another grants her fishing on key 1. The fishing option is also used for quests with extra button like TBC bombing dailies.

Class talent changes are plenty. The choices were made, I tend to choose the passive abilities to make it a minimum of buttons. I am not a fan of having 5 extra cooldowns to remember about. Yet passives are pretty powerful, so it doesn’t look like compromise at all.

All in all I am pleased to say that all options are really great now, and offer a drastically different gameplay. I didn’t spot any useless ones throughout 12 classes. So it all comes down to the style of gameplay you prefer. Hardcore raiders will scrap out the smallest DPS crumbs out of the “best builds”, but who are we to judge them, right?

I’m not sure about several options yet, but I just need to try them in battle. Conveniently the emissaries are reset, and Army of Light is up, so I expect a very productive evening of class changes trial.

As for rotation changes, there are not many. Affliction Warlocks and Marksmanship Hunters got drastic overhauls, that needs to be tried and tested. As far as I get, Marksmanship will be focused on build-spend calmer gameplay rather that frantic clicking based on procs – this is good, and this serves class fantasy better.

There is an unpleasant talent change with Frost Mages: dismissing a Water Elemental and my favorite instant nuke are on the same tier now, so I can’t get both. I still go petless, and there is some channeled freeze ray instead of nuke which looks awesome. We shall see how it will work in the field.

My resume is: the changes were long expected and very welcome. Now on with field tests.

Dark Iron Dwarves and Mag’har Orcs: Class Choice

Blizzard’s official announcement about new Allies – Dark Irons and Mag’har Orcs – is up! Most importantly, the list of classes and racial abilities is published too. And it is high time to think about our new alts.

Dark Iron Dwarves

Dark-Iron-Allied

The Dark Irons can boast this set of classes:

  • Hunter
  • Mage
  • Monk
  • Paladin
  • Priest
  • Rogue
  • Shaman
  • Warlock
  • Warrior

The variety of classes is really stunning. Of course you could expect the darker and brutal options like Hunters (with bombastic guns), Mages (notably Fire), scheming Warlocks, Shaman (no race is THAT bound to Earth and Fire element), of course Warriors and Rogues. It is surprising to see Paladins… and Priests!

It’ll be really hard to choose the one class and spec from all.

Hunter – no option, it’s Marksmanship with my Gnome Baisa, and I’m not currently happy with the other specs.

Mage – I have toons for every mage spec: Frost – Gnome main, Arcane – Void Elf and Fire – lol, a Dwarf girl. Fire fits so well – but I prefer my Fire Mage to be a cheerful and adventurous ginger girl. Her lighter skin tone contrasts with the coal singed colors.

Monk – sorry, but I still think the idea of giving away monks to every next race is quite silly. Frankly I’d cut the class from most of them, dwarfs and dark irons too.

Paladin and Priest – mmm… nope. The Light thing doesn’t ring a bell with Dark Irons, although it could be justified with them joining Ironforge and learning these paths. Well, it just doesn’t. And as I’ve renounced shadow priesthood with my Gnome priest, shadow is not an option too.

Rogue – is just what we’ve seen the Dark Irons throughout questing in Khaz Modan lands. It fits so well, but I have two Rogues already which cover both specs I like – a highly competent elite criminal human Berringer currently in service of SI:7 (assassination), and a shadow blade political assassin nightborne Arkeona.

Shaman – both Elemental and Enhancement fit so good. As long as my Schlitzchen the Goblin drifts now into restoration, I would consider giving it a try. Most probably it will be Agility’s Enhancement, as Schlitzchen will share Intellect in Restoration/Elemental.

Warlock – probably no chance for me, spawning more pet classes :) I just don’t like pets. Although all the three specs are perfect options for a Drak Iron in my opinion.

Finally, Warrior. This is an awesome and solid option equal to Shaman. My warrior today is Oulu the Draenei girl, which I roleplay as a swift-blade rangari from alternate Draenor. She dual-wields twin axes, so Arms and Protection are opened options for my brand new Dark Iron Dwarf.

To sum it up, a Dark Iron toon is:

  • A must for me, I want this alt for roleplay sakes
  • It will be a brutal melee girl, just what it says on the picture above
  • I will choose between an Enhancement Shaman or Arms/Protection Warrior
  • If other class/specs weren’t already covered, my second best choice would be all kinds of rogues, all kinds of warlocks, or a fire mage.

Mag’har Orcs

Maghar

Them, and Zandalari are not what I’m excited to play. Still let’s see what Blizzard offers us:

  • Hunter
  • Mage
  • Monk
  • Priest
  • Rogue
  • Shaman
  • Warrior

In short, Mag’har orcs are alternate timeline orcs which come under Grommash Hellscream’s command, and they obviously lack the hated fel option: Warlocks. The list of classes is as pure and close to nature as possible.

Every option has a strong bond with elements and/or is about good honest steel. Priest option is highly surprising though… I really need a lore explanation for this. Holy Light and Orcs are like… strawberry and fish. You can eat them together, but it’s not natural or tasty.

I’m not planning to roll a mag’har toon yet, but if I were, I would go for the honest Shaman, Warrior or Hunter. The basics.

What are your thoughts?

Class Changes in BfA: Your Wishes?

There’s one more topic which is pretty vital, and this is class changes.

We already know that there’s gonna be tweaks to class rotations as several artifact perks would be blended into talents or baseline spells, we know that raid buffs will be back and stuff.

I’m not gonna discuss any raiding environment, partly because I’m an LFR seasoned player, and partly because many sites are focusing solely on endgame, hardcore calculations. I’ll be talking about open world.

So, the question is: are you currently happy with how your class feels itself in the open world via world quests and leveling? Are you happy with the pace that you fight the mobs? Do you feel squishy? Do you feel slow or underpowered? What would you like to change when you operate without groups and any backup? Would you remove certain abilities or add something? 

Here’s my list of required class fixes:

1. Fury Warriors and Enhancement Shaman are as squishy as an origami. For hell’s sake, they’re chain mail and plate armor toons! It merely must be fixed.

2. I hate global cooldowns. And some classes must have built-in haste bonus not to feel bored to the bone.

Notably it’s Rogues and Death Knights – there’s a haste threshold where I immediately become bored to the bone, waiting for global cooldowns. It has nothing to do with DPS – but it has everything with enjoying my gameplay.

3. Survival Hunters should tank, the fantasy of sharing blood & sweat with your pet should be maxed here.

4. Beast Mastery Hunters are ridiculous today, because out of 4-5 major abnilities there is only ONE shot. The other abilities are YELLING. So you yell at a boss, and it dies. Silly huh?

5. I hate Shadow Priest insanity system. Activating the void form feels like a waste of power in the field, but without it you’re picking on mobs forever. One option is increasing the power of major spells while making the insanity less nuking: that way it’s still gonna be useful in raid environment, but you won’t feel like you’re a baby in the field without it.

Also empowered Void Form should be the only option when my priest is violet/blue – when dealing insane damage. I never liked the void looks, and it was actually one of my reasons that I didn’t play a priest for a long time.

Also need AoE – have you tried picking one-shot dozens of mobs in older content one by one? Takes forever.

6. Discipline Priests are surely inventive, but very exhausting in group content. I like that I can heal myself in the field while dealing damage, but juggling healing and damaging in raids requires some insane concentration.

7. The Legion Warlock revamp requires applying the long-casted Unstable Afflictions in numbers. Remove the need to apply multiple Unstable Afflictions for Affliction Warlocks. I was fine at WoD!

8. Demonology Warlock fantasy of calling many demons by your side is fine… But you don’t see a single demon, because they are small, they have bleak and dark models, and they all hang out by your foes rather than you. So you don’t feel like leading a demon army. You feel like you press a button and nothing happens, the foe healthbar just drops by itself. Solution: make the demons brighter, and at least put the imps by your side!

9. Add more damage options to healing specs, leveling and world questing is super slow. They lack AoE at large, so there’s no way out in aggroing many mobs and self healing in the process – as you are picking them one by one! And 3-4 damage buttons are not enough: it’s simply boring to level with them.

10. Add a bit of damage to tank specs (except paladin, paladin feels awesome): we’re supposed to AoE mobs, but when you need to take them out one by one, it takes forever, exhausting you.

11. Make the open world rotations for all class of 5 buttons (saves, cooldowns, interrupts etc. not included) – some specs lack buttons for this ideal number, but some have too many. Work out synergy between these 5 major abilities to make the specs interesting to play and put a gap between a newbie and a seasoned class player.

12. Finally make players choose assigning pets of pet classes behind your left hand or right hand :) I don’t know about others, but I hate when someone hangs by my left hand – both IRL and in game. This is not a minor thing, because that’s my reason of dislike of pet classes. And opting for specs/talents which allow to dismiss a pet.

That’s quite a list :) What’s yours?

P.S. And I also want a healing mage spec :) It’s the easiest to implement among all other new spec ideas, and I’m talking Time-Walking. Bronze dragons teach mages to alter the course of time, so imagines the yellow-colored time magic! Clocks and clockwork effects, and sands of time, and everything. The range of spell options is really stunning here.

Argus: Week 2

Anibell-Paladin-Aggramar

*Spoiler alert: the post is mostly dedicated to the second part of storyline. 

The second part is available now, and is roughly divided in two parts.

First, we storm the Legion’s fortress. We assemble an ultimate doom weapon during our first part, actually a tank, and then grind the Legion’s defenders to dust along with their commander.

The epic thing was Legion’s marine – a fallen titan Aggramar – who chased us away. There’s some stunning moment of glory during a small cinematic, and all Twitter is full of shots, because this angle fits for character portraits like nothing else. I’m glad I’m gonna see the event with 11 more classes :)

Speaking about classes, I went with my rogue as a storyline pioneer, and it appeared to be the best strategy if you’re leading multiple alts. Rogue is capable of exploring the unknown terrain and paths without attracting extra attention, so when other alts would follow its path it’s gonna be way easier. Works for druids in feline form too I guess :)

The most interesting moment in the first part was when we were sent to slay a couple of shivarras. One of them says a perfect phrase, like “Dudes, you don’t understand! We must fight the void, or it devours us all, it’s the only way”. It was like: wow. It sounded perfectly normal and sensible! Not your normal Legion talk like “You will all burn”. Could they just start with talking to us about their purpose rather than trying to scorch us like maniacs? :)

The second part is about collecting a crown of the three dudes: Archie, KJ and Velen. I just like the plots when something whole is assembled out of several parts, it’s my favorite thing in any game, movie, or anything else, so I enjoyed it very much. The introduction to Mac’Aree was pretty boring, as I know the draenei history and this is how I imagined it all to happen, so no revelations here. The next thing where we obtained a piece from Archimonde was awesome! I particularly enjoyed the riddles, fighting with eredar version of Archimonde, and the voice of the sentinel robot… sounded very-very familiar, who’s the voice actor? It couldn’t be Cumberbatch, but it was very alike him or Alan Rickman…

Then they sent me to Legion “invasions”. I landed at some elvish platforms, lit by moonlight. It appeared to be easy enough, in fact, it seems you may not even participate and just stand in the corner after entering the portal – but it’s boring. It’s a fun thing to do, I’m gonna run them when I have a chance. The only thing is: could they make invasion portals somewhere closer to the main roads?

And I finished the first part of Argus questline (of the last week) for all alts. As expected, for shaman it was pain incarnate. I don’t care about PvP balance, it should be NOT that squishy. Running with 10% health and eating after every fight is not fun at all. I died and died in Elemental, then I switched to Enhancement which fixed things a little, but not much.

Z & Cinder’s Blog Challenge: Class Fantasy, Yay or Nay?

zcbc_contributor_rectangle4

Tell us how you are finding the fantasy of the class and the world we live in. Has Blizzard nailed it on the head, or is it just leaving you cold and wanting to re-write the way your toon’s class is portrayed.

Legion encourages us to play every class in the game – which I do. My range of toons is exactly 12, one for each class, delivering every possible experience. So let me crawl one by one.

Legion has also presented a very distinctive view upon classes, so I would talk of how it played out in my case.

Warrior 

You could play any warrior type possible. Could it be the guys craving for PvP – especially arena type – a berserk? A decent good-hearted defender of his village/town from wild beasts and thugs? A knight in shining armor which forms the ranks of regular army? Name it.

Legion f*cked it all up imo. The vrykul business hit us as a truck, including a complete zone and its subzone, world quests, two dungeons and a raid. Not that Valhalla is bad for warriors, it just didn’t leave us any options but be a bloodthirsty, selfish berserk which cares about personal glory only and ready to die. Besides, the repetition sucked: all the same shit about valor all over and over.

My warrior Bons ranges from being a decorated Alliance soldier to a sort of a ravager type you find in highwayman hideouts in the forest (depending on transmog). Anyways, she cares much about her community – saving her local settlement, fighting for Gnomes, Alliance, Khaz Modan and Azeroth rather than waiting for dying in battle and getting a praise from some bearded Santa she never heard of.

Mage

Blizzard loves mages, so there’s little option it could have been failed. We got an Order Hall in Dalaran, heavily inflicted by arcane stuff. Not a total fan of arcane version of mages (Micromantica is an ice adept like her mentor, Jaina), I can’t help but acknowledge that this is perfect.

Paladin

Actually paladins have so little options when exploring their class fantasy, so no wonder it was done perfectly. We got an Order Hall in Eastern Kingdoms, where paladins were initially created, and in the most iconic place ever which even managed to repel even the Lich King himself – so holy it is (see Death Knight 55-60 starting questline).

The Order Hall is awesome, it’s basically a cathedral, which also serves as a training ground and base of operations. It’s a war camp, but also very serene and suitable for a prayer and divine moments. I can’t think of how could it be done any better.

Priest

Blizzard really did it well introducing some inter-dimensional temple of enormous size. It’s nice having enclaves both for Shadow and Light, although most of the space in the temple is not really used, so it doesn’t feel any cozy and at the same time doesn’t bring this feeling of being in a sacred place.

Also priests are bound to pray the naaru – as good as it could have been for draenei players, I don’t feel too much devotion to them from every other priest race. Moreover, my Gnome Aurinko uses the Light very practically – she’s simply a battle medic like all Gnomes.

Shaman 

What could have been cooler for a shaman than returning back to the Cataclysm times when Earthen Ring ruled out the whole business of elements?

The Maelstrom porch is rumbling with raw energies, and you really feel the power of elements. This is awesome.

Again, I don’t feel too enthralled by this all – but due to race choice only. Schlitzchen is a goblin, so her approach to the elements is very practical. She’s not your normal cash-by-all-means type of goblins, she got into the whole elements business as she saw Thrall mastering them when goblins fled from Kezan. So she saw the shaman path as a powerful thing to help and save her kin. But her good heart draws the line exactly here: balance the elements powers to protect herself and her people, but not to save the whole world. So the Earthen Ring to her is like: eh, whatever.

Druid

It’s very easy to nail the druid experience: throw in a lush location and wooden huts carved in trees – there, you have it. Still, Blizzard went even farther than that. We learned that Broken Isles was the initial Malfurion’s training grounds, we got ourselves a piece of Emerald Dream, an ability to travel the long forgotten portals (finally!), and there’s also a whole druidic location – Val’sharah – and with druid-specific storyline (Xavius).

Works perfectly for night elves and worgen (who also got a nod in Val’sharah with Brandensbrook village). Maybe not that perfect for trolls and tauren. Trolls are a jungle type. And my druid – Tauren Helu – is obviously a Sun druid, all about steppes and lush meadows of Mulgore. She’s not much into the thickets and groves. Although she doesn’t feel any bad in Val’sharah.

Hunter

I don’t know if you noticed, but hunter’s class lodge has exactly the same model as a Night Elven training building in Warcraft 3. So thanks for a nod to the past :)

Otherwise, it’s a nice spot. I like how Blizzard address every hunter’s aspect: beast pens, target practice grounds, different things for hunting. It’s always been a class of loners, trappers, pioneers, survivalists. They just needed a place to hang out – nothing to pompous, but very homely. I think it’s very good what they did to hunter fantasy here.

Yet again, if you’re roleplaying a rank archer/steamgunner/musketeer from Alliance or the Horde, it’s not your place to be. But I guess these players are few.

Rogue

Rogues, like Warriors, have big diversity in roleplay. You can be an assassin, a pickpocket, a spy, a ninja, or a pirate.

Despite what every rogue asked – a Ravenholdt manor for the class order hall – I think that Blizzard managed to create a class order hall very good. It fits every role you could possibly pick for yourself. Besides, they managed to deliver the Ravenholdt’s elitist, noble style too in order hall meeting room and give ravens as class mounts. They gave you assassin training grounds, black market corridors, a bar to discuss deals, a goblin managed treasury, a noble-manor type of dining room for negotiations… what else would you want?

What people who asked for a manor don’t understand is that EVERY rogue role is acting in shadows. But to act in shadows… there must be a proper “light” world nearby. Where would you train you skills – spying, pickpocketing, brawling, assassinating – surely not among your fellow rogues? So giving a shadow world as an upside of the major city is awesome. And we also have three access points to our hideout in the city. What pleases me most, one of them is cheese traders, the family with very dark bandit history ever since the earliest Stormwind leveling times.

The only bad thing about rogues was basically introducing a proper pirate spec in the expansion – and your pirate representative in the order hall is a damn annoying idiot admiral Tethys. Would prefer a Barbossa-type character of course.

Warlock 

Getting an outlandish world for an order hall is not so fun. I can’t come up with an alternative solution… I just don’t like being there with so many demons around – even if enslaved. I guess I’m just fed up with demons. Yes, nailed it and all, but not a place to have fun at.

Those candle clusters though.

Death Knight

Acherus is an obvious choice for Death Knights, it’s a perfect keep addresssing whatever spec you play. It’s a chill, cozy necropolis – harsh, brutal base of operations for undead warriors. Not many options to vary your class fantasy in the whole death knight business, but still there’s a gory altar for Blood vampiric knights, Ice quarter for lich-type cold-blooded warriors and corpse resurrection sickly ground for plague bearers, as well as forges and training grounds. I don’t know… It’s all good.

Monk

There were just two options to settle monks: either it be Kun Lai Summit or Wandering Isle. Both are viable, although Wandering Isle is of course more fun. It has villages, cool nature (Kun Lai is snow-covered mountainside), and it has this temple in the middle. It’s good to be back here and recycle the Pandaren starting zone.

Pandaria-heavy in every aspect, it’s easily fitting the only monk roleplay option. Whatever race you are playing, if you’re choosing a way of the monk, you’re a fan of dumplings, thick ropes, sakura blossoms and all the corresponding stuff.

Finally,

Demon Hunter

Blizzard went with an obvious decision as to stealing a battleship off Legion. I don’t like it at all. They’re nailing the class fantasy of course, but to my liking it lacks any lighter options than go around frowning and being tortured with demon inside. Basically you are settled in a demon base, surrounded by demons, and with no hope for the best. Not that it’s not fitting the demon hunter fantasy, but it’s very depressing.

Besides, they are all in awe with Illidan – which I’m not. Surely there could be at least some demon hunters who see him as a failure? Walking like that around, I feel kind of traitor :)

This is it for class fantasy for tonight!

Class Specs in Legion 7.2.5.

As I’m exploring the least played specs – due to investing the artifact power in them, it’s time to revise my thoughts and feelings about them.

Legion is encouraging me to try every spec which I do, so by the end of expansion I’m becoming a natural in each and every of them. I’m quite capable now of telling my likes and dislikes as my artifacts are fully – or almost fully developed by the moment. It’s time for revision.

Demon Hunter – Melaris the Night Elf

Havoc – the DPS spec is one of the best melee DPS due to its extreme mobility. I’m a whirlwind of blades, and it’s still awesome.

Vengeance is powerful and cool for tanking. I praise it for perfect self-heals, pro-active gameplay (no cooldown waiting), and very cool AoE damage and aggro.

Death Knight – Mindebad the Gnome

Frost – is yet my favorite DK spec. I like winter, I like how powerful it is, excellent against a single target and not bad for AoE.

Unholy – is a very strong spec, maybe even more powerful than Frost. But the gameplay feels slow, cooldowns are often there, there’s debuff tracking involved, and an ugly pet to guide. Not my piece of cake, not playing it whatever the numbers it delivers.

Blood – the slowest tanking spec of all. I like the vampiric fantasy of the spec very much, but imo it should be a hurricane, now it’s a very slow doom type. It just doesn’t fit.

Druid – Helu the Tauren

Balance – is still a mortar, but it’s feels more channeling now. Very powerful, very comprehensible, perfect for raids, although maybe not for the field.

Feral – vice versa. Perfect for the field gameplay to quickly slay all the mobs if you have enough Haste not to wait for cooldowns, but I’d prefer a caster in raids.

Restoration – a new and enjoyable healing spec for me. I like the HoTs rolling on, but I think that massive healing is not its strong side.

Guardian – with all the range of other druid specs, I’m rarely playing it, but it’s one of the easiest tanks. Nothing bad to say about it.

Hunter – Backston the Human

Marksmanship – once you learn the synergy between abilities, it becomes the most enjoyable spec to play. It benefits from pets, massive damage, ranged gameplay and what not. Excellent one, and once again my choice in every situation.

Survival – I haven’t played one much or even at all before Legion. Its fantasy nowadays is awesome, I can’t help repeating that. It’s definitely more dangerous to play than ranged specs, but it’s effective enough and has this trapper’s vibe. Haste is very drastic, or it just turns into pile of shit if there are cooldowns to wait for. Should be very swift.

Beast Mastery – is hell. Again, I’m not sure what has it been before, but it’s just awful in Legion. Naturally you don’t see your pets much, because they’re somewhere there in the fray of battle. You have ONE shooting ability in your single target rotation. You, a hunter with a gun, have ONE shooting ability. The rest of the time you’re YELLING. No kidding, three of your basic rotation abilities + artifact special trait are YELLING OUT LOUD. And you’re supposed to be immersed about that. Imagine you’re in raid, and what you do is just crying at the boss, then it dies. Besides, the spec was probably designed for kindergarten. I stood in raid and just pressed the abilities when they went off cooldown. It’s faceroll, there’s no depth, no nothing. You faceroll and shout at the bosses, and this is Beast Mastery. Very immersing (not).

Mage – Micromantica the Gnome

Frost – is the best spec, but to my liking, I have a soft spot for snow and ice magic. You need to be cool, let the ice flow through your palms and let it do the job. Every iteration in every expansion is enjoyable, albeit very different from its predecessor.

Fire – feels more devastating, and offers excellent bursts.

Arcane – I grew to enjoy it in general. Although I hate that mana runs out which slows you down for 5 seconds to replenish. Quite unnecessary. The spec is not convenient in the field, but excellent for AoE mobs in older raids.

Monk – Paitsu the Gnome

It had some changes from Pandaria and Draenor, although everything is pretty fine with it.

Brewmaster – tanking spec offers excellent AoE options, including aggro. The major mitigation mechanics of the delayed damage is perfect to ease up the job for healers. Yet it feels a bit slow and clumsy.

Mistweaver – is a brand new spec for me, and I like the clever mist spell as well as other healing options. Probably one of the most enjoyable healers for me with lots of opportunities.

Windwalker – is less enjoyable than before, with trademark stuns gone, although quite cool and powerful. Not so fast as expected from a martial fighter, although very much pleasurable to play.

Paladin – Anibell the Human

Protection – is one of the most solid tanking specs with excellent movement and aggro, sturdy, powerful, designed to stand on your ground. It’s so stout that I rarely even use the most powerful cooldowns – because basic rotation is normally quite enough.

Holy – is my least favorite healing spec of all. You have to be in close proximity to the healed players to be the most effective (based on mastery), so when the raid is spread wide, you just suck. And despite the strong single target heals, AoE is a problem for you, so whenever massive AoE damage, you struggle, and your fingers are steaming to keep up.

Retribution – has always been the easiest build – spend damage dealing spec. It has some abilities’ synergy to think about, but it’s not quite interesting to play nowadays.

Priest – Aurinko the Gnome

I’m quite new to the whole priesting business, as I started my first serious priest toon only a month prior to Legion.

Shadow – the new madness mechanics is nice. I did a trick in my latest raid run, juggling my panel a bit to make it more accessible, and carrying out DoTs a bit farther, now I’m a killer machine.

Holy – is the best healing spec in the game, period. Direct heals and HoTs, a range of spells for every situation and in their own niches.

Discipline – I guess it was mainly shields before. It was very nice to play (I believe I played a Disc priest once until level 40). Now it’s a frenzy! You have to think in two ways at once: thinking about delivering lots of damage and thinking about delivering heals. It’s the most pro-active spec in the whole game, and not only healing ones. I’m enjoying healing with it because it’s super fun, but I doubt it would compare in effectiveness with Holy – at least in my hands. Yet :) Maybe I need a lot more practice.

Rogue – Hexen the Goblin

Assassination – my love. Heavy hitting poisons and bleeds which continue to work their way in enemy’s veins even if you had to step away from him are precious. Nuff said.

Subtlety – I’ve never tried this spec before Legion, but it’s a killer. You dive in and out of the shadows, almost no DoTs (strange for a rogue, huh), but the strikes themselves are mighty. Literally two hits to slay a mob. I’m trembling at the sight of its power. Super effective, and a very enjoyable rotation.

Outlaw – is a spec with a face turned to people :) No hiding and sneaking, you step proud and start a saber slashing game. I’m not a fan of this pirate thing – well if I were, there’s nothing wrong with it.

Shaman – Schlitzchen the Goblin

Enhancement – is super squishy nowadays. This is why I’m not enjoying it, although it’s well fitting to questing, because mobs die fast enough. Seriously, mobs keep taking off health very quickly, and you have very few self-healing options now.

Elemental – is a mortar which is very enjoyable, fun… but slow. You have to collect enough firepower for the most powerful spells, and you can’t do that with common mobs. So you just plink them chip by chip, and it’s tedious. Killing 10 wossnames bores you to the bowels – NOT good for questing. When you have enough time – like fighting a raid boss – it suddenly shines.

Restoration – is my second favorite healing spec after Holy Priest. I’m enjoying the major Chain Heal for being a clever heal, and it’s quite spectacular too. Excellent AoE utility.

Warlock – Faerella the Goblin

Affliction – my favorite spec. The two new things in Legion are these: one of the DoTs now can and has to be implemented multiple times (the more of this DoT, the more the damage), two, mana is being depleted nowadays – which is just an extra nuisance lingering you. These are irritating in raids, but you kill everything in the open world super fast.

Destruction – is a mortar type thing which makes it hell in the open field. When you want to rush into a fray of battle, you start caaaaaaaaasting. Yikes :) Although it has no mana troubles, and thus perfect for raiding.

Demonology – I have as many issues as possible. It’s not complex to comprehend, but many of your spells are summoning packs of demons which deal damage. Fantasy-fitting approach, the only problem being: you don’t see any of those demons. They are dark, small, and even casting imps are summoned not beside you, but near your enemy. So you can’t tell them even in the field, save the raid environment. You keep clicking your ability buttons, and enemy health just drops – you don’t feel like you control anything. You’re just clicking buttons. This is awfully discouraging.

Warrior – Bons the Gnome

Protection has excellent saves, yet it feels very slow. I think I enjoyed the previous Draenor version more.

Arms is a heavy weapon swinging, everything’s ok with how it feels and spec fantasy. Although… not so powerful. That’s the rarest case when I want less frequent actions compensated by more powerful blows.

Fury is really furious, but very squishy – again. I don’t know how, but a warrior manages to get it all even in its plate armor. And I’m not quite happy with the ability range – one of the blows must be there in rotation yet it feels so out of place.

Generally every warrior spec is not fine for 100%, it’s a solid 70%.

So, this is my spec review for Legion 7.2.5.