Friday, October 10, 2008

Blizzcon '08: WoW Class Panel impressions

I just finished listening to the World of Warcraft Class Panel, and I didn't really hear anything interesting. To start, they talked about the design of the Death Knight, and the progression of Runes and Runic Power, and stuff like that. Then they moved on to go over each class one-by-one, and what problems they're trying to fix with each class. I didn't hear anything new at all. Granted, maybe if you didn't read the beta forums and blue posts all day like I did, this would be more interesting, but I'd like to think the kind of people who would make the investment to attend Blizzcon are like me.

Granted, what was I expecting? Announcements of new abilities? They've already got the level 75/80 skills plotted for every class, and the 51-point talents are pretty much in place; the talent trees themselves have slowly been fitting into the niches Blizz wants them to (ie making "PvE" specs work in PvP and vice versa)... maybe they're isn't actually much new to talk about.

The one thing everyone was waiting for was an update on dual talent specs, especially after Ghostcrawler (who is a dude!) semi-teased it on the beta forums:

"The dual-spec feature will shine more light on talent design (more on that at Blizzcon) and we'll have a better idea of what we want to do with trees when that goes live. Some talent trees are nice and lean, and some probably have some points we could trim here and there." (source)

Pretty much they said "we're still doing it." Chilton did note that you would be able to spec-swap in, say, a raid dungeon, so it won't require a trip to the class trainer. But so much for extensive info, or shedding light on talent design. They've been doing that all alpha/beta, and that's all been interesting to read and learn about, but if there's anything on their minds that we haven't heard, we didn't get to hear about it.

But, with the new patch less than a week away, and the whole game out in a month, there's no time to make sweeping announcements concerning gameplay mechanics at Blizzcon.

Some bits from the Q&A sessions:

- A lot of questions like "is x going to be viable in y?" I like the especially obvious ones, like "WILL MAGES DO LOLDPS WUT" as if they're not going to make sure every class works in some capacity. Ghostcrawler! You're not a girl, but will Warriors be good tanks?

- Also, a lot of answers like "yeah, we're working on/thinking about/planning on that." In some cases maybe there's no other answers, but it's funny to hear super specific questions about using Windfury vs. using Flametongue in your Off Hand and the answer is "pretty much."

- I was surprised to hear a name (character name, of course) I recognized: Lisana off the Druid beta forums. Hey, a girl who plays World of Warcraft! There were actually two girls who got to ask questions on-stage. I expected to hear from Jayde, since he said he's going to Blizzcon. Maybe he'll show up somewhere later today or tomorrow.

- A lot of Balance Druids complain that the Moonkin "style" of PvP is nuking a fool and then running and healing. Someone came up and asked if Boomkins may get better survivability, lessening the need for healing (and leaving MKF). The answer given was "your spells do more damage now. Also, Typhoon." Woo!

- Lastly, tons of Warlocks. Three 'Lock questions in a row.


Next post: revisiting Eclipse, because in all my babbling and nonsense I had forgoten about the talent's 30 second cooldown. Spamming Wrath for half a boss fight? Not really. I'm going to actually "test" this best I can with my Druid on the PTRs.

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