Wow! WoW! What a week! After data-mining the new patch, expert cryptoarchaeologists at MMO Champion (not to be confused with cryptomuslims, who are only good at becoming President of the United States) have found out a few new changes in the upcoming “mystery” patch 3.3.4. I cannot express how unbelievably excited I am. Let us discuss!
3. A New and Improved Game Info Feedback System
One of the constant complaints on the official forums is that players often substitute math and theoretical reasoning (see: Elitist Jerks). A common rejoinder by class developers such as Dr. G.S. Ghostcrawler (who has a degree from the same institution as me! Hook ’em Horns!) is that players are not looking at the actual data that is coming out of endgame raiding when complaining about whether a certain buff or nerf is warranted.
Well, no more! Common Warcraft statistics sites like World of Logs and Wowjutsu have provided out-of-game functionality in real-time raid analysis. And now, Blizzard has added an in-game logging function so that raiders can see how their performance is stacking up without having to leave the game.
Also, your statistics can now be uploaded to developers directly in game. Simply by clicking a check box, one can now submit data post-arid automatically so that class changes can now be made with greater and greater amounts of accuracy.
2. New Hero Class Coming in 4.0!
Blizzard has been coyly denying that they would be adding a new class in the Cataclysm expansion, citing the example of Dnoob Knights and the ever-present balance issues between “hero” and “normal” classes.
However, although it is very easy to find tanks and DPS, healing still lags behind because honestly, who wants the job of having to slap bandages on the boo-boos of other raiders that cannot be bothered not to stand in fire?
Enter the new hero class, the Monk. Based on the limited information and spells managed to be gleaned from MMOC, the Monk will be a melee-based healer class that will gain her resource, ki, from unleashing chained attacks upon targets in melee range and then channeling that energy to raid members. Monks will also be able to spec into Staff Mastery, a talent that will allow them to gain ki from the other party member’s expenditure of resources and channel that through their staff into healing energy, for healing at ranged. Monks will also be able to do DPS as all three specs, but the 51-point talent available to the Templar spec monks will allow them use a portion of their ki to inflict Holy damage at range.
I know I am rerolling!
1. Free Class Changes For Warriors
Time was, Warriors were the only tank available for the game. Then, in BC, Paladins and Druids got some serious buffs and were made viable. Finally, with the release of Wrath of the Lich King, the Death Knight class was introduced, giving even greater flexibility with tanking, as a Death Knight could tank in each of its three talent trees with only a stance and gear change.
Now that others have been allowed to infringe on the Warrior’s traditional role, many Warriors are feeling left out. Similarly, Warriors are hampered in DPS with both specs with no built-in threat reduction for Arms, and a flat 10% damage tax for Fury. Warrior scaling is tied to gear, and that means that Warriors in top-flight gear will perform at acceptable levels, while lesser-geared Warriors languish at the bottom of any role. The answer is that Warrior resource generation and management must change, but no one has any workable ideas for how to best to change the Rage system.
For those of us brave and foolish enough to attempt to continue playing the class, such will be possible. But for a $10 fee, Warriors will be able to change themselves into Paladins or Death Knights. The MMOC guys have found that there are “tokens” that will be awarded to Warriors that undergo a class change operation that will allow them to change one piece per slot of tier-based Armor into that commonly used by the other class. For instance, Warriors sporting Sanctified Ymirjar Lord’s Battleplate will be able to exchange it on a one-time basis for the appropriate Sanctified Scourgelord’s piece of armor.
All in all, Patch 3.3.4, which looks like it will hit in a month or so, seems to be shaping up as one of the most controversial — and exciting! — patches of the nearly year-and-a-half life of Wrath of the Lich King!