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Cataclysm Guide: Class Changes
Frequently Asked Questions
A Brand New World
Goblins & Worgen
Dungeons & Raids
Paths of the Titans
The Cataclysm expansion is Blizzard's chance to give all of the character
a good overhaul, and they've delivered! Every one of the classes have had some major changes made to their abilities, roles, and core mechanics.
We've broken up all the changes for you by class, for easy reference, so check them out in the tabs below!
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A full explanation of the new
Overview of the new
Path of the Titans
Clarification posts from Blizzard have been integrated into the content where appropriate.
Rune System Changes
While the current system works overall, Blizzard plans to make a few changes to help Death Knights feel a bit less constrained. Below is a rundown of the rationale behind the changes and an explanation of the changes.
Any time a rune is sitting idle a Death Knight is losing damage.
Death Knights have to wait until the runes are fully active, if they spend anytime even considering anything the rune is basically wasted. Missing an attack is devasting and it's impossible to "save" resources.
Each ability on it's own has a very low impact making Death Knights "seem weak". Players are even more heavily affected if you have high latency or your timing is even off by a little.
The new rune system will change how runes regenerate, from filling simultaneously to filling sequentially. For example, if you use two Blood runes, then the first rune will fill up before the second one starts to fill up. Essentially, you have three sets of runes filling every 10 seconds instead of six individual runes filling every 10 seconds. (Haste will cause runes to fill faster.) Another way to think of this is having three runes that go up to 200% each (allowing extra "storage"), rather than six runes that go up to 100% each.
Imagine that all rogue abilities cost 100 energy. They have to wait until they get 100 energy, and then immediately use an attack so that they aren't wasting future energy. That's how DKs play now, except they have 6 runes to watch. Now imagine the same rogue except all his abilities cost 50 energy. If he hits an attack when he has 60 energy, then 50 is consumed but he has 10 energy still left and a head start on the next attack. That's the way we want DKs to play.
Outbreak infects the target with both
at no rune cost. This ability allows Death Knights to apply diseases quickly when they are switching targets or when their diseases have been dispelled. No cost, 1 minute cooldown.
Necrotic Strike (83)
Necrotic Strike is a new attack that deals weapon damage and applies a debuff that absorbs an amount of healing based on the damage done. For context, imagine that the Death Knight can choose between doing 8,000 damage outright with a certain ability, or dealing 6,000 damage and absorbing 4,000 points in incoming heals with Necrotic Strike -- the burst is smaller, but a larger overall amount of healing would be required to bring the target back to full health. This ability is meant to bring back some of the old flavor from when Death Knights could dispel heal-over-time (HoT) effects. It also gives the class a bit more PvP utility without simply replicating a
Dark Simulacrum (85)
The Death Knight strikes a target, applying a debuff that allows the Death Knight to copy the opponent's next spell cast and unleash it. Unlike
, Dark Simulacrum does not cancel the incoming spell. In general, if you can't reflect an ability, you won't be able to copy it either.
Cataclysm will introduce massive changes to how Death Knights' talent trees work. The biggest change is in the Blood tree - it will no longer be a DPS/Tank hybrid, but tank alone, much like the Protection tree for Warriors and Paladins. It will offer more talents for threat and survivability (e.g. attack power reduction), as well as self-healing. Some fun tanking talents from Frost and Unholy will be moved to Blood, to allow Blood tanks to spend a similar number of points in their tanking tree as the other tanking specs.
In addition to this, Frost and Unholy will no longer have tanking capabilities. Both will be DPS only specs, with the main difference being in the damage focus. Frost DKs will concentrate much more on dual wielding and runic power attacks, while Unholy DKs will power their ghoul(s) and improve the diseases' damage.
Blood seemed like the best fit for tanking. Unholy has always had a strong niche with diseases, magic, and command over pets. Frost now feels like a solid dual-wield tree with Frost magic damage and decent crowd control. Blood's niche was self-healing -- fitting for a tank -- as well as strong weapon swings, which could easily be migrated to Frost and Unholy.
The plan is to move the most interesting and fun tanking talents and abilities to Blood. For example, you will likely see
will move over from Unholy.
Presences may be changed or renamed.
A lot of cooldown abilities might cost Runic Power only and not use runes.
– Every time the Death Knight takes damage, he or she will gain (up to) 5% of the damage taken as attack power. This buff will stack to (up to) 10% of the Death Knight's maximum un-buffed health.
– When you heal yourself, you'll receive an additional effect that absorbs incoming damage.
Runic Power Generation
– This will function as the name implies, and the new rune system will make generating Runic Power more appealing.
Melee and Spell Critical Damage
– Unholy Death Knights will be able to get more out of their diseases, which are integral to the tree's play style.
Thrash deals damage and causes all targets within 10 yards to bleed every 2 seconds for 6 seconds. The intent here is to give bears another button to hit while tanking. Talents will affect the bleed, such as causing
to deal more damage to bleeding targets. 5 seconds cooldown. 25 Rage.
Stampeding Roar (83)
The Druid roars, increasing the movement of all allies within 10 yards by 40% for 8 seconds. Stampeding Roar can be used in cat or bear form, but bears might have a talent to drop the cooldown. The goal of this ability is to give both bears and cats a little more situational group utility. 3 minutes cooldown. No cost.
Wild Mushroom (85)
Grows a magical mushroom at the target location. After 4 seconds the mushroom becomes invisible. Enemies who cross the mushroom detonate it, causing it to deal area-of-effect damage, though its damage component will remain very effective against single targets. The Druid can also choose to detonate the mushroom ahead of time. This is primarily a tool for the Balance Druid, and there will be talents that play off of it. No cooldown. 40 yard range. Instant cast.
Changes to Abilities & Mechanics
Druids will be able to dispel defensive magic, curses, and poisons. The Restoration tree will have the talent to dispel defensive magic.
Restoration Druids will not be receiving any new spells, the challenge will be making sure they have a well-defined niche. A Druid should tank-heal with stacks of
, spot-heal with
, and top off targets with
More depth to cat and bear, adding a reliable interrupt and bears need a few more buttons to push.
will innately be undispellable.
Large damage buff to
so when you can't use
the dps loss isn't too great.
will be removed, but Restoration Druids will gain Dispel Magic (on friendly targets) as a talent. All Druids can
DoTs and HoTs will benefit from haste and crit.
will be able to be used without a target, and feral druids will receive a new UI element to tell how many combat points you have amoung all targets.
Considering changing the levels around where you get bear form and cat form.
There might be a minor glyph that kept the visual of the old tree form in some fashion even when not using the
Incarnation: Tree of Life
may last longer and
's bonus may be changed so it's not as big of a dps loss if it drops off.
Moonkin and Tree Form are on the list to be updated but may not make it, there is always 4.1!
Balance Druids will be receiving a a new talent named
, similar to
's ability where it instantly silences the target and they have to move out of it to remove the debuff.
Incarnation: Tree of Life
will be changing from a passive talent to a cooldown similar to
. Tree of Life won't be able to be banished and the model for Tree Form will be updated.
Feral cat rotation will be more forgiving. It's not that they want to remove what people like about the gameplay, but want it to be less punishing if you miss something, such as a
Balance Druids will gain a new ability called
, which will strike for Nature or Arcane damage depending on which will do more damage and moves the
meter. (More below!)
Restoration Druids will have a new talent called
, which causes a bed of healing flora to sprout beneath targets that are critically healed by Regrowth.
Feral Cats and Bears will gain an ability similar to
We want to make sure Feral and Balance Druids feel like good options for an Arena team. They need the tools to where you might consider a Feral Druid over an Arms Warrior, or a Balance Druid over a Mage or Warlock. Remember that the PvP landscape will probably look pretty different for Cataclysm with a focus on rated, competitive Battlegrounds.
– Balance Druids will have a new UI element that shows a sun and a moon. Whenever they cast an Arcane spell, it will move the UI closer to the sun, and buff their Nature damage. Whenever they cast a Nature spell, it will move the UI closer to the moon, and buff their Arcane damage. The gameplay intention is to alternate Arcane and Nature spells (largely Starfire and Wrath) to maintain the balance. It will have some kind of decay to make you want to switch back and forth.
Melee Critical Damage
– Increases damage done by bleed effects.
– Every time the Druid takes damage, he or she will gain (up to) 5% of the damage taken as attack power. This This buff will stack to (up to) 10% of the Druid's maximum un-buffed health.
– Savage Defense is the current bear mechanic for converting crits into damage absorption and will be improved for bears.
– Increases mana regeneration in combat.
HoT Scale Healing
– HoTs will do increased healing on more wounded targets. The mechanic is similar to that of the Restoration Shaman, but with HoTs instead of direct heals.
New Resource: Focus
Hunters will be shifting from using mana to using focus as their resource. Focus will function very much like energy - it will fill quickly and have a cap of 100. Hunters will regenerate focus slower than rogues do - ~6 focus per second vs. ~10 energy per second.
To compensate for this difference, Hunters will be able to use various abilities to regenerate their resource much faster for a short period of time. For example, Steady Shot and Cobra Shot will cost no focus, but will give focus instead. On top of all this, the new redesigned
stat will increase the rate of focus regeneration.
Here are some of the core abilities a Hunter would use, and how much focus they will cost:
, Cobra Shot
These 2 will abilities generate 9 Focus per shot (effectively increasing Focus generation by 6 per second).
Cobra Shot (81)
A new shot that deals Nature damage instead of Physical damage. This ability will be on the same cooldown as
, and will (like Steady Shot) regenerate focus instead of eating it. This will give Hunters an alternative to Steady Shot on heavily-armored targets, and we will have talent incentives in the Beast Mastery tree to make this a signature shot.
Trap Launcher (83)
Allows the Hunter to launch the next trap to any location within 40 yards.
, which currently provides the same functionality for Freezing Trap only, will be removed from the game.
1-minute cooldown. Off the GCD.
The Hunter enters an obscured state preventing him or her from taking ranged damage. The character is still subject to melee or area-of-effect attacks; dealing or taking damage will break the Camouflage effect. The Hunter can move and set traps when under Camouflage, and will receive a damage bonus when attacking under Camouflage (which will then break the effect). This is not a true stealth; players will have a water-like effect, which will obscure you. Players will receive the error when attacking the hunter, "Target obscured."
Changes to Abilities & Mechanics
Ammunition goes away completely - ranged weapons will simply do damage, like melee ones do. Arrows and bullets will become gray items come Cataclysm, and quivers will be transformed into large
bags (this change will affect only Hunters!). No more ammo pouch patterns will be added to the game.
Hunters will be able to have 2 types of pets - active and stored. The active pets will be much like how pets work now - every Hunter will have 3-5 of them, which he or she will be able to call when out of combat. Stored pets will be a lot more, but will only be accessible if the Hunter visits a Stable Master. There he or she will be able to replace active with stored and vice versa.
Rejoice, Spirit Beasts collectors!
Pets will scale much better with Hunter level and stats, which should improve BM Hunters' performance in raids, as well as the overall value of the pet.
To integrate pets even more, Hunters will start with a race-specific pet at level 1, which they will be able to replace at 10.
Some Hunter pets will have their family-specific special abilities redesigned. Some pets will provide weaker versions of raid-wide buffs and debuffs that can only be brought by certain classes. Here are some examples:
- Debuff the enemy, causing them to take more spell damage (weaker
- Debuff the enemy, causing them to take more physical damage (weaker
- Debuff the enemy, causing them take more bleed damage (weaker
To further reinforce the Hunters as ranged class, some melee abilities are being removed (e.g.
), and some ranged ones are giving to Hunters as early as level 1.
Stings and other periodic effects (e.g.
) will now benefit from haste and critical strike ratings. Hasted damage-over-time abilities will not lose duration, but will instead add additional damage ticks.
will restore 9 focus every 3 seconds.
Most ability cooldowns will be reduced or completely removed.
will no longer miss or resist.
will reduce healing by 20%, down from 50%.
, a new Beast Mastery talent, will increase the damage and cast time of the next
and Cobra Shot. This, along with the new Camouflage, should allow for some powerful opening moves.
Beast Mastery will have talents that make Cobra Shot better than
. One such talent will be
, which reduces the cast time of Cobra Shot down to 1.5 seconds.
to instantly regenerate 20/40/60 focus, and
to regenerate 3 focus every second.
will reduce the focus cost of
grants focus when the Hunter lands a critical strike.
will increase the Hunter’s focus regeneration when his or her pet is snared, stunned, or rooted.
– Increases the damage done by pets.
– Gives the Hunter chance to fire a duplicate shot for 50% of the original damage.
Ranged Critical Damage
– Improves the Arcane, Fire, Frost, Nature or Shadow damage of abilities like traps,
Flame Orb (81)
Similarly to Taldaram's
, Mages will be able to conjure a ball of flame that flies in a straight line. Enemies near the path of the ball will take damage. It is possible that there will be a Fire talent that makes the ball explode when it reaches its destination.
Time Warp (83)
Grants a passive haste buff to party and raid members. The buff will be similar to
and will be exclusive with either one, sharing the
debuff. Time Warp will also give the Mage a temporary movement speed boost, which can still be gained while
Wall of Fog (85)
Creates a 30-yard wide wall of fog somewhere in front of the caster. The wall will slow down enemies that try to trespass it, and will do damage on them. Since the spell is not channeled, Mages will be able to use it slow enemies down while Blizzard-ing them. More like a trip-wire then something the size of a
. 10 seconds duration. 30 seconds cooldown.
Changes to Abilities & Mechanics
is being redesigned to become a proc-based spell. Whenever the Mage does damage with any spell, there is a chance for Arcane Missiles to become available, similar to how the Warrior’s
works. The damage and Mana cost of this spell will be reworked to make it very desirable to use when available. This change should make gameplay more dynamic for the Mage, particularly at low levels.
, and other spells that serve no clear purpose will be removed from the game.
The ability to conjure food and water will not become available until higher levels (likely around level 40), as mages generally won’t run out of mana at lower levels. Once mages learn how to conjure food and water, the conjured item will restore both health and mana.
Scorch will provide a damage bonus to the Mage's fire spells. Scorch will also provide the Mage with more specific benefits, which can also be improved through talents. This way Mages will still be able to use Scorch, even if somebody else in the group is providing the benefits of
Pyroblast Clearcasting Driver
, with lower crit rates all around, we hope that it will feel more like a bonus when it’s up rather than a penalty when it refuses to stay up.
will return mana for each spell that fails to hit the target, including Arcane Missiles that fail to launch.
will reduce the cooldown of
when hit by a melee attack, instead of its current effect.
will grant haste when three or more targets are getting damaged by the effects of the Mage's damage-over-time (DoT) fire spells.
will allow Mages to cast spells using health when they run out of mana.
– Causes the Arcane Mage to deal damage based on how much mana he or she has at any given moment of time. A Mage with 100% mana will do more damage than one with 50%.
– All direct-damage Fire spells will add a damage-over-time (DoT) component when cast.
Spell Crit Damage
places a buff on the Mage that increases the damage for all Frost, Fire, and Arcane spells. The only damage spell that won't be affected by this buff is Frostbolt.
Blinding Shield (81)
Damages and disorients nearby enemies, possibly only the ones facing the paladin's shield (similarly to
). Holy paladins will have a talent to increase Blinding Shield's damage and critical strike chance, while Protection will have one that makes it an instant cast. 2 seconds cast. Requires: Shield.
Healing Hands (83)
The paladin radiates heals from him or herself, almost like a
. The spell has a short range, but also relatively long (compared to the instant healing spells) duration, which should allow paladins to use this when they expect to see AoE damage and continue using their good ol' heals.
Guardian of Ancient Kings (85)
Summons a guardian that works differently depending on the paladin's spec (it also looks like the winged angel-like creature from WarCraft III's Resurrection spell). 30 seconds duration. 3 minutes cooldown.
Holy: Heals nearby wounded targets, preferring the ones with lowest health.
Protection: Absorbs a portion of the incoming damage.
Retribution: Attacks nearby enemies (like
Changes to Abilities & Mechanics
will become an ability available to all paladins at level 1. Retribution paladins will get a talent that either improves it, or completely replaces it with a more powerful version (like
is being redesigned to work with the new dispel system. It will remove poisons, and diseases from friendly targets and harmful magic effects from friendly targets when talented.
is being redesigned a little. It will provide only 5% increase to strength, agility, stamina and intellect (no spirit), but it will increase all magic resistances with amount identical to the one given by Mark of the Wild. Its duration is being increased to 60 minutes. Greater Blessing of Kings goes away.
will have their effects combined. Greater Blessings are going away. Paladins will have only 2 Blessings - Might (AP & mana regeneration) and Kings (stats & resists). Both will last 60 minutes and if cast on a player who is in a party/raid, will affect the entire party/raid. Rejoice, brothers and sisters of the Light, buffing a raid will no longer require PhD!
will become a passive talent that gives its benefits only to paladins who spec into it.
will become a core ability available to all paladins.
will be the ability that makes paladins immune to critical hits. In addition to its old effects, it will reduce the chance to be critically hit by 6%.
Paladins will be able to dispel defensive magic, diseases, and poisons. Dispelling defensive magic will be unique to the Holy talent tree.
Retribution and Holy paladins will most likely see a nerf in their defensive capabilities.
may have its duration reduced by a few seconds (good-bye, bubble-hearth, it's been pleasure knowing and using ye!).
may or may not see a change in their effects.
Retribution paladins will likely get another mechanics, where if they press the wrong button at the wrong time, they will be punished somehow. They may also get more PvP utility.
will have its duration increased to 30 minutes. This way Holy Paladins won't need to worry about keeping it up, since it's just a GCD eater right now. Another goal for healing Paladins will be to improve their toolbox and niche, so they don't feel like the strongest tank healer and weakest group healer.
The new design for Holy's spell arsenal will be:
will be fast and expensive,
will become the on-the-go heal (so its healing capacity and mana cost will likely be reduced), and a new heal will be added to be the strong and inefficient heal.
Beacon of Light
will be changed to work only with
. Free doubling of all healing is a no-no :)
Holy Paladins will use spirit as their mana regeneration stat.
Protection Paladins will use different rotations for single-target and multi-target threat generation. In addition this, they will need a new cooldown to use in each one of those situations.
will have no charges. It will increase block change when active (so it probably won't have 100% uptime, like it does now). It will continue providing minor amounts of damage/threat.
- Increases mana regeneration in combat.
Crit Healing Effect
– When the Paladin gets a crit on a heal, it will heal for more. Think of it like the Warlock talent
– Every time the Paladin takes damage, he or she will gain (up to) 5% of the damage taken as attack power. This buff will stack to (up to) 10% of the Paladin's maximum un-buffed health.
– Increases the amount of damage blocked. While Warriors will sometimes critically block for double the normal amount, Paladins will block more frequently for their normal amount, which will be generally higher than the base 30%.
Melee Crit Damage
– Any attack that does Holy damage will have its damage increased.
Not exactly new spell, the new
will remain the same spell, only significantly redesigned to fit a new niche. It will work very much like a downranked
- less expensive, and less powerful, while still stronger than
. It will be Priests' "default" heal - the one they can use for a very long time in stress-free situations when nobody needs massive healing (Greater Heal) or quick healing (Flash Heal). Expect to see similar setup with the other healing classes.
Mind Spike (81)
This is going to be Shadow Priests' "nuke" spell - ability they use on short PvE encounters, when fighting adds, and generally when the player cannot afford to keep DoTs up and sustain proper rotation. It will do Shadowfrost damage and will increase the damage of subsequent Mind Spikes. Spamming Mind Spike will do about as much damage as casting
on a target afflicted with
. Keep in mind, the idea behind it is that if you will Mind Spiking, you will be Mind Spiking a lot - the spell will only reach its optimal damage if it's spammed; you won't be able to fit it in your normal rotation. In addition, the fact that it belongs to two schools (Shadow and Frost) will make it harder to resist and impossible to interrupt-lockout.
Inner Will (83)
Increases movement speed by 12% and reduces the mana cost of instant cast spells by 10%. Inner Will will be an alternative to Inner Fire, and you will only be able to have one of those active. Movement speed stacks with runspeed to boots but not
Body and Soul
Leap of Faith (85)
Pulls a friendly target to the Priest's location. The spell works similar to Death Knights'
. Blizzard hopes that Priests will use "Life Grip" to save a friendly player from a potentially dangerous situation, such as having pulled aggro accidentally, being focused in PvP or standing in fire. 30 yards range. 45 seconds cooldown.
Changes to Abilities & Mechanics
All HoTs and DoTs will benefit from Haste and Crit innately. Hasted HoTs and DoTs will not have a shorter duration, just a shorter period in between ticks (meaning they will gain extra ticks to fill in the duration as appropriate).
We want to bring back
as an "execute" -- something you do when the target is at 25% health.
To improve Priests' tank healing capabilities, Greater Heal may receive some value changes, so it becomes the "tank heal". In addition to this, Discipline may get a second, much stronger and much more expensive shield.
will be removed from the game. As Spirit will be the primary mana-regeneration stat, we don't want it to vary as much between solo, small group, and raid play.
will not boost Spirit either.
Mana will be a bigger consideration for all healers. We aren't trying to make healing more painful; we're trying to make it more fun. When the cost of a spell isn't an issue, then casting the right spell for the job is less of an issue because you might as well just use your most powerful spell all of the time. We are, however,
getting rid of the five-second rule
, because we don't want to encourage standing around doing nothing. We're also going to cut back on the benefits of buffs such as
so Priests (and all healers) don't feel as penalized when those buffs aren't available.
will have have charges.
Priests will be able to dispel defensive magic, offensive magic, and diseases. Although, in Shadowform, a Priest will not be able to remove diseases.
Body and Soul
mechanics will remain the same.
Discipline's single-target healing capacity will be improved. One key is to make sure shielding isn't always a more attractive option than healing.
Holy's PvP healing will be improved. One way to do this is to make sure that Heal's throughput is similar between Discipline and Holy.
Shadow will become more viable in shorter fights. It will also suffer less from interrupts.
Power Word: Barrier
may come back! It was a spell in LK beta, which got removed after some time. Think of it like
, only for the entire group.
Holy will be getting a system of "empowered states" through the Chakra talent. Every time a Priest with that talent casts the same healing spell (for now only
) 3 times in a row, he or she will enter a state where that healing spell has improved efficiency. There is a chance that more spells will be affected by this talent.
Shadow Priests may be able to consume their Shadow Orbs (see the Mastery bonuses below) to either increase Mind Flay's damage or decrease Mind Spike's cast time.
will no longer affect spell Hit chance.
– Increases mana regeneration in combat.
– Improves the strength of all of the Priest's absorption shields. This will not affect shields produced from items (e.g.
Blessing of Ancient Kings
– Increases mana regeneration in combat.
– Direct heals add a small heal-over-time on their target.
– Every spell cast will have a chance to generate a Shadow Orb that increases Shadow damage done. These may be consumed by talents in Shadow.
Redirect will allow Rogues to transfer combo points from one target (even a recently killed one) to another. Since self-buffs like
will no longer require a target, players will be able to use any any combo points they are not able to transfer (i.e. when Redirect is on cooldown) to refresh them. 1 minute cooldown.
Combat Readiness (83)
Another defensive cooldown enters the Rogues' repertoire. For the duration of this buff, every hit the Rogue takes causes him or her to gain a stack (and refresh the duration) of Combat Insight. If not struck within 6 seconds the buff will fade. Maximum duration of 30 seconds. Combat Insight decreases all damage taken by 10% per application, up to a maximum of 50%. 6 seconds duration, 2 minutes cooldown.
Smoke Bomb (85)
Rogues at level 85 will be able to drop a Smoke Bomb, that creates a cloud of smoke to interfere with enemies' targeting. Players and monsters outside the cloud will not be able to target and directly attack players inside - AoE abilities on the cloud will still work though. Creatures inside the smoke cloud will be able to attack each other normally. This ability has an obvious use in PvP, but it can also be used in PvE to force mobs to run to the group.
Changes to Abilities & Mechanics
Rogues will become less dependent on "stun-locks" in PvP and will get more passive survivability. One step in that direction is include
to the list of stuns that share diminishing returns.
The portion of Rogues' damage that comes from auto attacking and poisons will be lowered. The majority of the damage should come from active abilities (such as
), not from passive ones.
To improve leveling experience, positional attacks and DoTs will be de-emphasized on lower levels, and re-introduced on higher ones, when group setting is more likely. In addition to this change, al rogues will be getting a new low-level ability -
- which will allow them to convert combo points into a small heal-over-time.
Non-damage abilities that require combo points (such as
) will be usable without their target requirement. In addition to this, those abilities will consume combo points from recently killed enemies as well. So if you finish a mob with 3 combo points left on it, then build 2 more on a new target, you will be able to refresh your Slice and Dice with full 5 points worth of duration! The default UI will also change to make it easier for Rogues to know how many combo points they have between all targets.
will work with all weapons, but have reduced coefficient when used with non-daggers.
Most abilities (and talents) will have their weapon requirement removed. Players should be able to use the ability they find most appropriate for the situation without having to switch specs and weapons.
is one of the few that will still require a specific weapon.
Fan of Knives
will now use the weapon in the ranged slot. In addition, rogues may be able to apply poisons to their ranged weapon.
Tricks of the Trade
will likely receive some nerf to lower the amount of threat transferred to the target.
Assassination will be more about daggers, poisons, and burst damage.
Combat will be all about swords, maces, fist weapons, axes, and being engaged toe-to-toe with your enemies. A Combat rogue will be able to survive longer without needing to rely on
The Subtlety tree will primarily be based around utilizing Stealth, openers, finishers, and survivability. It'll be about daggers, too, but less so than Assassination.
In general, Subtlety rogues needs to do more damage than they do today, and the other trees need to have more tools.
Weapon-specialization talents (for all classes, not just rogues) are going away. Interesting talents, such as
, will work with all weapons. Boring talents, such as
, will be going away.
The Assassination and Combat talent trees currently have a lot of passive bonuses. Critical strike rating will be cut a little in those trees, so that rogues still want it on their gear.
– Increases poison damage.
Harder-hitting Combo Point Generators
– Increases the damage done by abilities that generate combo points.
– Increases the damage done by finishing moves.
Primal Strike (3)
Primal Strike is a new weapon-based attack. As it is learned very early in the game it will make Enhancement more viable for leveling, since many key Enhancement abilities (
) are not learned until very high levels.
Healing Wave (4)
While Shamans already have a spell called
this new Healing Wave will replace it. The current Healing Wave will be renamed to Greater Healing Wave, and this new Healing Wave will be the Shamans new go-to heal. While, both Lesser and Greater Healing Wave will be more situational based heals.
Unleash Weapon (81)
Unleashes the power of your weapon's enchant for additional effects. A dual-wielding Enhancement Shaman will activate both effects of their weapon enchants. Instant Cast. 30 yards range. 15 seconds cooldown. Undispellable.
: Hurls a spectral version of your weapon at a target, dealing 50% weapon damage and increasing the Shaman's Haste for the next five swings.
: Deals instant Fire damage and buffs the Shaman's next Fire attack by 20%.
: Heals the target slightly and buffs the Shaman's next healing spell by 20%.
Healing Rain (83)
An area-of-effect (AoE) heal-over-time (HoT) spell that will call down a relaxing rain on the selected area, healing all players standing in it. There is no limit to the number of players healed by the rain, but it is affected by diminishing returns when healing a large amount of targets. This spell is not channeled.
Spiritwalker's Grace (85)
When this self-buff is active, your spells are no longer interrupted by movement or your own attacks. This will allow you to move while still doing damage or healing when it is necessary. Instant cast. 10 second duration. 2 minutes cooldown.
Changes to Abilities & Mechanics
Restoration Shamans, along with the other healing classes, will need to pay more attention to their mana and Spirit will become the Shaman's primary mana regeneration stat.
will only remove curses, to enhance this there will be a talent in Restoration which will allow you to remove magic debuffs. Shamans will also no longer be able to remove poison.
will be removed.
for all Shamans, and dropping this totem will increase spellpower by 4%. Elemental Shamans will have a talent that will allow any Fire Totem that is dropped to increase spellpower by 10%. This effect will be exclusive from the Warlock's
so they will not be up at the same time. Will scale the same as Demonic Pact.
may have its cooldown increased so Shamans have more time to use other abilities.
will meet it's end and finally be removed.
All shamans will start with
Totem of the Earthen Ring
will be simplified so spells have a more consistent range.
will be added as a deep Elemental talent that will provide a targeted and constant AoE dps. Most likely channeled.
, which you may remember from the Wrath of the Lich King beta, might be making a come back. Basically the spell allows you to link two targets together and they share damage taken, however this they think it might be hard to balance and a little confusing.
Elemental will have a deep talent that will convert Spirit (which will appear on gear shared with Restoration Shamans) into Hit Rating. Will be bundled with another attractive talent like
will increase your mana pool size and not Intellect.
will be replace by Focused Strikes which will increase damage done by Primal Strike and
will increase the Mastery Elemental Overload.
– Direct-damage spells have a chance to proc a less powerful "bonus" version of the spell. This will work much like the current
talent, but would also apply to
– Increases all Nature damage done.
- Increases mana regeneration in combat.
– Your direct heals will do more healing when the target's health is lower. This will scale with health levels (e.g. someone at 29% health would receive more healing than someone at 30%) rather than have arbitrary break points.
Soul Shard Revamp
Announced at BlizzCon 2009,
will no longer be an inventory item. Instead it will become part of your resources - much like Death Knights' Runic Power. Warlocks will have 3 shards that can be used in anyway they like during combat and will not be able to regenerate them until combat ends. Soul Shards will also no longer be used out of combat.
A new spell,
, will be introduced. When used in conjunction with another spell, it will produce interesting effects. Soul Burn will also be off the global cooldown. Some of the effects you could see:
+ Soul Burn = Increases movement speed by 50% for 8 seconds after teleporting.
+ Soul Burn = Reduces cast speed by 60%.
+ Soul Burn = Increases total health by 20% for 8 seconds.
+ Soul Burn = Increases the crit chance of Searing Pain by 100%, and subsequent Searing Pain spells by 50% for 6 seconds.
+ Soul Burn = Instant cast.
+ Soul Burn = Summons the demon instantly.
+ Soul Burn = Instantly deals damage equal to 30% of its effect.
Fel Flame (81)
Fel Flame is a fast-hitting spell that deals Shadowfire damage, much like the Mage's
in that it will pick whichever is the lower resistance to calculate the damage. In addition to this Fel Flame will refresh the duration of both
. Instant cast. Did we forget to mention it is GREEN FIRE?!
Dark Intent (83)
Increases the target's chance for a critical effect with periodic damage or healing spells by 3%. When the target lands a crit, you get a buff to your damage for 10 seconds. This effect stacks up to three times.
Demon Soul (85)
Fuses the Warlock's soul with his or her demon. This provides Warlocks with a self-burst cooldown to use. The specific effects granted by Demon Soul depend on the demon chosen. Demon Soul lasts for a certain number of charges or until it expires (around 20 seconds), depending on the demon used. 2 minutes cooldown.
Changes to Abilities & Mechanics
All Warlock damage-over-time spells will benefit from crit and haste innately. Haste will add extra ticks to the DoT instead of decrease its duration. Also you will no longer clip the last tick of a DoT but instead increase the duration.
will no longer be curses, but instead will become a Bane. Banes are considered magic instead of curses. This will allow both Bane of Agony or Bane of Doom and
to be up at the same time.
no longer deals damage to the caster.
Imps will lose
but gain a new ability called Burning Ember, which is a stacking DoT.
The succubus melee range will be increased. Also the succubus will lose
but gain a new ability called Whiplash, which knocks back all enemies within 8 yards.
will be increased in damage and do a lot of AoE threat.
will become the single-target taunt.
Re-skinning demons is something Blizzard would like to do, but they are thinking of a way to implement it.
Soul shard bags most likely will be reduced in size and made into normal bags.
will now cause
Bane of Agony
on targets below 25% health.
will be removed as it is integrated into Soul Burn.
Demonology Warlocks will receive a new direct-damage spell called Demon Bolt, it will add a debuff the increases damage done by demons to the target. This will only effect the caster's demon not other players.
A new talent in Demonology called Impending Doom will allow certain spells to decrease the cooldown on both
Bane of Doom
will no longer be effected by demonic crowd control, such as
. Also, the demon abilities that are available in demon form will be altered to put more emphasis on the Warlock's own spells.
will now do additional damage to targets below 25% health.
– Increases the damage done by Shadow damage-over-time spells.
– Increases the damage done by Metamorphosis and pets.
Spell Critical Damage
Fire Direct Damage
– Increases damage done by direct Fire spells.
Blizzard plans to make several changes to the Rage mechanics in Cataclysm. Below is a rundown of the rationale behind these changes.
Warriors can find themselves to be Rage starved at the lower levels.
In the highest levels of gear, Rage becomes an infinite resource.
As gear improves, Warriors lose Rage income due to taking less damage.
The Warrior play style loses its depth when Rage no longer needs to be managed.
has proven effective, but a tedious ability for using up extra Rage.
In order to optimize Rage in Cataclysm, several changes will be made:
Auto attacks will generate a set amount of Rage. Off hand weapons will generate 50% of the Rage of the main hand weapon. This will help smooth out the generation between both fast and slow weapons.
Critical strikes will generate 200% Rage.
Haste will accelerate swing times, and will help generate Rage more quickly.
Rage from damage taken will be based on the Warrior's health.
Warrior shouts will function more like
, causing it to generate Rage. More forms of 'emergency' Rage generation will also be implemented.
will be revamped from a 'on next swing' ability. It will cost a variable amount of Rage. It will become available for use at 10 Rage, and consume up to 30. The ability will not leave a Warrior with less than 10 Rage when used. For Example: A Warrior has a total of 30 Rage. The revamped
is used, consuming 20 Rage so the Warrior is not left with less than 10.
Inner Rage (81)
Increases rage cost by 50% and all damage by 15% for a short amount of time whenever the rage bar hits 100. This is a passive ability so it won't need to be activated by the player. The goal for this ability is make sure that hitting 100 rage is neither a must (the +50% rage cost), nor a hindrance (the +15% damage).
Gushing Wound (83)
This ability will apply a bleed effect to the target. If the target moves, the bleed gains an extra stack and refreshes its duration, up to a maximum of three stacks. The ability is currently planned to have no cooldown, cost 10 Rage, and have a 9-second duration. Gushing Wound is designed to be weaker than
with one stack, but better with three stacks, which will be reached when fighting a moving target.
Heroic Leap (85)
Yet another flashback from Wrath of the Lich King beta, this ability makes the character leap at their target and apply the
ability to all enemies in the area when they land. Heroic Leap will be usable in
and shares a cooldown with
, but the
talents will allow Heroic Leap to be used in any stance and possibly while in combat. The cooldown for this ability might be longer than the Charge ability, but it will also apply a stun effect so you can make sure the target will still be there when you land.
Changes to Abilities & Mechanics
will no longer be an on-next-swing ability, since that particular mechanic is being removed completely. It will still be a rage dump, but work in a redesigned manner. Heroic Strike will be "grayed out" if the Warrior has less than 10 rage; once at 10, it will consume up to 30, converting it into damage. To make sure it never eats all of the rage, Heroic Strike will never leave the Warrior with less than 10 (so if you have 11 rage, it will consume only 1; if you have 40 or more, it will use the full 30).
, and possibly
will work similarly to how
works now. They all be free of cost, generate some rage, and have a short cooldown (likely 15-30 seconds).
will hit an unlimited number of targets, but only for 50% of weapon damage. This will make it an AoE ability instead of a strong melee and string, but limited AoE one.
(and other classes' healing reduction effects) will reduce healing by 20%, down from 50%.
will now stack 3 times for 4% armor reduction per stack, down from 5 stack for 4%. This should make sure that a group missing Sunder Armor, or an encounter where it may fall if, doesn't suffer a great DPS loss.
Warriors will not be competing with rogues and enhancement shamans for weapons. Rogues and shamans will be wanting agility on weapons while warriors will want strength.
not lose rage but cause you not to earn any for a short time.
, a new Fury talent, will make the
ability cause 25/50% weapon damage and reduce the threat generated from it by 50/100%.
will be removed.
will stay, but it will provide its bonus to all weapons (and will be renamed, of course).
will increase the rage generated by all shouts.
will be the counterpart of
. The new Fury talent will allow Warriors who spec into it to use two one-handed weapons and not lose DPS, compared to those who use two two-handers.
Several talents that reduce the Rage cost of abilities will be changed to focus on increased damage for those abilities instead.
, a new Arms talent, will make successful disarms cause the target to cower in fear for 5/10 seconds.
, another new Arms talent, will make
hit for more damage. The bonus damage may vary on the distance between the Warrior and the target before the Charge.
Improved Pummel will cause
to generate 10/20 Rage.
– Gives a chance to proc an additional melee swing for 50% weapon damage. All attacks and abilities can trigger Bonus Swing.
– When the Warrior is under an Enrage effect from one of his or her abilities, all effects caused by that ability are increased. This includes increased damage and healing from abilities like
– Every time the Warrior takes damage, he or she will gain (up to) 5% of the damage taken as attack power. This buff will stack to (up to) 10% of the Warrior's maximum un-buffed health.
Critical Block Chance
– Increases the chance for a critical block. Critical blocks will still block for twice the normal 30% - so 60% for a critical block. There is a good chance that there will be talents that increase this amount even more.
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