Updated Mon, Dec 07, 2009 by Medeor
Cataclysm is as close to a complete “Do Over” as I could ever imagine. Every aspect of the game will be modified when Cataclysm launches. Blizzard appears to be reversing...
Cataclysm is as close to a complete “Do Over” as I could ever imagine. Every aspect of the game will be modified when Cataclysm launches. Blizzard appears to be reversing its two year trend of adding more and more stats and character values such as Defense, Spell Power, Block Value, MP5, etc. With the removal of these ancillary systems, new ways of scaling will be employed through base stats (intellect, strength, etc.). We don’t know much as yet, and what we do know is likely to change prior to launch, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do some window shopping does it!?
As the world of Azeroth is torn asunder, we really want to know only one thing; What does this mean to my Paladin? I hear you friends, that was my first thought too. Re-vamping of the whole world, great. Allowing more classes to be Paladins (i.e. Tauren), I say bring it on.
So far, information is sparse, but there are a few things we can glean for our beloved class. As one of the only classes not specifically discussed (unlike Hunters and Warlocks who got all the love this time!), we have to dig around the edges of the different panels and see what we can scrape out. There will definitely be class specific changes in areas like the talent trees and the new Path of the Titans. For now we’re going to focus on the changes to the major roles (DPS, Healer, Tank) we can play, namely all of them! Following are some brief discussions about what we know so far. Of course everything is subject to change and it will prior to the launch of Cataclysm. We’re not ones to shy away from some speculation though are we?
After reviewing the information it appears that Blizzard Is not only slimming down the number of stats we’ll have to keep track of, but they may be reducing the amount of gear that we will need to carry around. In many of the panels they discussed the goal of using talent specs to change the effects of armor. This could mean that a tanking helm could turn into a DPS helm with a quick dual spec-changeroo. I like this theory a lot and hope I can stop carrying around 4 sets of gear (DPS, Holy, Protection, PvP).
Tanking is changing completely in terms of optimal gear and stats. Defense is out the window along with attack power and as discussed above we may be able to make one piece of gear work for many talent builds. With so many options of how the new tanking models will evolve it is difficult to guess where we will end up. Many times AoE tanking was mentioned so I’m a bit nervous of the seeming over-powered nature of Paladin tanks. I also hope we aren’t pigeon-holed into trash tanking. The net effect of what I’ve seen so far makes me quite optimistic about the changes. Sticking with the simplicity theory, it makes sense that shield-bearers are losing block value since the other two tanks can’t use that stat. It should simplify gear allocation a bit between the three plate-wearing tanks. From the realm of the unknown, we have no idea how re-forging and the professions will change the formulas either. There is so much to look forward to!
As with some of the defense statistics, MP5 and spellpower are both going away. MP5 was largely ignored by Paladin healing so it won’t be missed, but spellpower is an easy benchmark to view and improve. Instead of watching these two off-stats we’re back to stacking Intellect and Spirit (if needed). At first glance the changes aren’t too game changing, but the discussions on haste had my spidey senses tingling. Haste may be one of those oft-ignored stats that become critical in the future. One last interesting tidbit was the health of healers, it seems the clothy and leather versions are going to get additional health. If Paladins can get more health in healing gear Arenas could get a whole lot more fun!
We just got our first taste of the new expansion. Thankfully it doesn’t taste like Mountan Dew. There are some sweet changes in store for us, but so much is unknown. Blizzard doesn’t typically talk about something unless they are fairly confident it’s going to happen (save your Ghost comments), so I am cautiously optimistic about the changes we’re seeing so far. No specific news was delivered about Retribution, but bet your bottom copper we’re on the watch for it.
Stay tuned for many months of predictions, guesses, outrage and joy as we learn more about Cataclysm.