Druid class changes in Legion from class Q&A

Today was “class info release day” at Blizzcon. I will need to spend more time over the next few days writing about the Blizzcon announcement, but here are some major highlights from the class-specific Q&A that happened in the DMF area (that wasn’t available on the livestream):

All specs

  • Baseline, you will get fewer abilities for specs outside of your main specialization. So, balance won’t have a bunch of mostly useless bear, cat, and resto healing abilities. Instead, balance will pick a talent where you choose to have a secondary specialization in resto, feral, OR guardian. That secondary spec would be slightly weaker than the first. This allows Guardian druids to shift into moonkin form or cat form (depending on the talent choice they made) and do useful amounts of damage when their tanking partner taunts the boss off them. This same choice applies to cat and resto, as well.

Moonkin

  • Eclipse is gone. Playing the UI by watching the bar go back and forth just wasn’t a good playstyle. Never really worked well.
  • Balance has a focus on DOTs. Also gains and spends resources in a new way than Eclipse. This means balance gets a different mastery. Will keep existing DOT spells (moonfire, sunfire, starfall).
  • Balance will get Innervate as a specialization exclusive ability. Can cast innervate on other people: increase mana regen of your healer (or arcane mage!). No one else gets the ability to give mana to other players. This replaces Stampeding Roar which wasn’t thematically appropriate for balance.
  • The planned class blog will go live some time between Sunday and Tuesday, where you can learn a lot more details about these changes and more! I will work really hard beta testing balance along with the other balance theorycrafters. Once the info is live, I will work at collecting feedback and organizing it.

Restoration

  • They will reduce the rejuv spam feel of the spec, but overall the spec is in decent shape in terms of the overall toolset.
  • Resto will get a single-target “mark of the wild style” buff they can put on another player to boost them. No specific details on this. (this is in place of stampeding roar, which is guardian/feral exclusive. Turns out trees can’t actually roar.)
  • Changes to the talent system will impact how you specialize your heals for a fight. The talent changes will impact rotational play.

Guardian

  • Bears no longer dodge as their core tanking mechanic. It didn’t make sense that bear was all about dodge. That was really a mechanical thing that came from using Agility as the primary stat due to how gear worked. Magical dancing circus bears that dodged attacks is thematically inappropriate and won’t be around in Legion.
  • Bears will focus on armor and health instead – big beefy bears can take a hit and keep on going.
  • Vengence is gone. They will make the abilities and core mechanics of tanking classes work better without vengeance.
  • Tanking-related things in general will undergo some changes that are better discussed elsewhere by people who understand tank mechanics better than I do.

Feral

  • They didn’t announce much in the way of specific changes on the Q&A. There will be tweaks that fix some core problems, but no major overhaul like guardian and balance. They mentioned a couple little things like not casting rejuv in cat form. Details coming soonish.
Posted in Blizzcon, Druid - General, Legion, Moonkin Balance DPS, Written By Lissanna
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Blizzcon Day 1 Legion info wrapup

With all the WOW announcements at Blizzcon, I wanted to highlight a couple really important things. For more info, see my twitter that I’m live updating from the convention hall!

First, moonkin and sealion (Swim) forms are being updated. This is in addition to the polishing pass for bear/cat. Note that the moonkin graphic is still in development. This is obviously a night elf form with the tauren coloring that they showed in the demo that is unlikely to be the version that goes live. Keep in mind that the animations here are what will really matter: Your feathers are going to move like actual feathers and the animations will need to be updated along with the higher resolution models.

Updated Moonkin Form

Sealion Swim Form

Artifact Weapons Released

Blizzard released more info about the druid artifact weapons. See the blog post over at the official forums.

Bear and cat form are the only forms that dynamically update with your artifact weapon. However, they have given moonkin and resto druids really awesome weapons you can display proudly.

Balance druids will earn the Scythe of Elune.  Resto druids get a staff called G’Hanir, the Mother Tree (a branch taken from the first tree). As released at Gamescom, feral has a set of dual-wielding daggers (fang of ashamane). Guardian is dual-wielding fist weapons (claws of Ursoc).

For weapons that have less initial lore, there will be quest chains where you will go and discover their history and story. There are also lots of color variations for the artifact weapons, where you can show off your achievements across the various types of content for end-game legion.

How do artifacts work if you have multiple specs? We don’t have a ton of details about how the weapon leveling system really works. As of now, it looks like you will have to level up each of the weapons via the storyline quests (plus any other activity that awards points towards leveling your weapon at end-game). There are catch-up mechanics when one weapon is significantly behind another weapon. It will likely be time-consuming to keep two weapons at the same level of progression, but not impossible. It would be easier and more possible to keep one slightly behind the other, though. The catch-up mechanic should make it easier for you to swap to a different spec later in the expansion and still have a chance of progressing the weapon.

Since they mentioned in a Q&A that the artifact potentially impacting your rotation in the game, we can assume there are effects on the weapon that would make it highly sub-optimal to use an artifact weapon from the wrong spec, even if they share the same primary stats (e.g., int/agi). Artifacts will help give you something to focus on at max-level, as they will provide an “interesting long-term progression system” across the expansion. So, the goal isn’t to have something you level up in the first week of the expansion and then forget about. We should learn more about artifacts in Day 2, along with other changes.

Scythe of Elune

Scythe of Elune – Balance weapon

Resto druid weapon art

G’Hanir – Resto weapon

Posted in Blizzcon, Legion, Written By Lissanna
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Moonkin form updated in Legion

Update from Blizzcon, preview image of updated Moonkin form.

Updated Moonkin Form

Updated Moonkin Form

 


 

At a Q&A today, there was some conflicting information about moonkin form. So, we got some clarification from Lore:

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 8.28.07 PM

“Sounds like there’s been a misunderstanding somewhere here. Our current plan is that Moonkin Form will indeed receive a high-res model update in Legion.”

This update suggests that moonkin will have a model update in Legion. However, the Q&A suggested that these updates wouldn’t be “major”. So, the model will likely look similar, but no longer look like it was made back in 2004. In addition, we probably shouldn’t expect the moonkin model to change with the artifact weapon (as you can see your weapon in moonkin form, and this may be more likely to reflect the original quote).

So, we’ll have to keep an eye out in Beta. This is the most specific news we’ve heard about moonkin yet.

cake

 

Posted in Legion, Moonkin Balance DPS, Written By Lissanna


New expansion: Druid class halls & form reskins

The new World of Warcraft expansion (Warcraft: Legion) brings with it a flurry of new features. A few of the changes are particularly interesting to the druid class. The new expansion overall looks amazing – with tons of different lore progression on a bunch of different story threads. This story is for all the WOW lore fans who want to see the main story’s progression back at home in Azeroth.

Artifact weapons – Clarification for kitties

First, the new Artifact Weapon system will allow for customizing legendary weapons, with awesome new skins and lore. However, feral and guardian druids can’t see their weapons. So, instead, your cat and bear skins will change based on the weapon customization.

Updated cat druid models

Note that they did not say ANYTHING about restoration or moonkin druids. I’m seeking clarification on what is happening with moonkin/resto (mostly by spamming everyone on twitter). For cat and bear druids, we know that the choices you make about your artifact weapon change your skins. However, moonkin and resto druids can already see their weapons – so we need more specific clarification on whether moonkin keep their 1.0 models while cats get to be fangs of the first nightsaber.

The other thing they didn’t talk about was whether or not you could have more than one artifact weapon. We don’t yet know how artifact weapons interact with Dual Specs. If you run two different specs and actually use them – are you locked to only one spec due to the weapon system, or can you progress more than one weapon? Overall, the idea of artifact weapons sound neat, but we’ll have to see how the practical implications work.

UPDATE: The press kit came with pictures of what we believe to be the Fang’s weapon graphic you would see outside of your feral form:

WoW7.0_Artifact_Fang_TF_03_PNGWoW7.0_Artifact_Fang_TF_00_PNGWoW7.0_Artifact_Fang_TF_04_PNG

Druid Class Halls – Druids are for fun times with friends

In the announcement, they talked about a class-specific hall where members of your class will come together. This builds off the concept of garrisons, but are seemingly more social hubs for activity. This means for druids that we will be able to host frequent dance parties. I expect to organize druid parties periodically for hanging out in our druid class halls. This has a chance to be a really fun feature, if done correctly. If anything, however, the druid hall will be the best hall. Druids are for fun times with friends!

Emerald Dream raid and druid lore

Not to be outdone by features, this expansion will have a significant amount of druid lore (including the site where Malfurion first learned about druidism). This includes a long awaited raid where we will venture into the Emerald Dream. Thus, for people who thought Warlords of Draenor fell short in terms of lore, there will be tons of lore for everyone to look forward to!

WoW_7.0Zones_ValSharah_EM_017

Talents specific for PVP

They are making a change to the PVP system that will include talents designed only for PVP. This will change how your druid plays in PVP compared to PVE. This expanded PVP system includes a lot of different features that will be relevant to everyone. However, a different set of talents for PVP may ultimately give more flexibility in balancing the class.

I will definitely be here blogging all of the new expansion news, views, and changes – particularly those relevant to druids. At this point, given the heavy class-focus, I may even consider going back to my druid  for my primary character. I look forward to what the future brings!

Posted in Druid - General, Feral DPS Cat, Legion, Player Versus Player, Written By Lissanna


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