This post isn’t complete, and I never will finish it now. However, in the previous Warcraft post I mentioned this and I figured I would get it out of my draft folder.
There are eleven classes in Warcraft right now. Three are complete hybrids which can tank, heal and dps (paladin, druid and monk), four are partial hybrids which can either tank and dps (death knight and warrior) or heal and dps (priest and shaman), then there are the four pure classes which can only dps (warlock, hunter, mage and rogue).
The game started with nine classes, eight of which were available to each side (paladins for Alliance, shamans for Horde) and two more have been added since release (death knight and monk) in Wrath of the Lich King and Mists of Pandaria respectively.
There is no hard and fast rule as to what blizz adds in each expansion box. TBC brought two new races and unlocked the ninth class for each faction, Wrath brought the death knight class, Cata brought two new races (goblin and worgen) and unlocked more class/race combinations. Mists had a new race (pandaren) which was available to both factions and a new class (monk) and Warlords brought nothing but new character models.
So what’s the class I have in mind?
Triple spec has been datamined in patch 5.3. Ghostcrawler has tweeted about it saying that it’s “not announced yet” and to “take anything datamined with a pinch of salt”. So I’m trying not to get too excited. However, I’m pretty sure that on one of these site posts I put a wishlist, and triple spec would have definitely been on it. It’s something I’ve been wishing for ever since my paladin became my main. Towards the end of Cata I was respeccing multiple times a week as I maintained gear sets for all three specs. It wasn’t the gold cost that I objected too, rather the pain of changing my ui each time. I kept a screen shot of each spec for easy reference, so it was doable, but a real pain. Not to mention needing to do it within a raid, and, if I respecced the spec I then had to change back too, I’d then have to hearth out and do it again.
So I’ve wanted triple spec for a long time. Every time I ever mentioned it I’d be told that it would never happen, that it was unnecessary, that a line needed to be drawn and dual spec was good enough. If blizz changes this, what does that mean? What does triple spec mean for the game?
The Grumpy Elf did a post recently where he talked about what he loved about being a hunter. I thought that was a great idea for a post, only of course I’ll do it about my favourite class – the paladin. The idea is to pick one ability that no other class has, or that this class does best, that you really love. Grumpy had trouble picking one ability, well in fact he couldn’t, and I suspect I’ll have similar trouble. We wouldn’t pick the class as our main if we didn’t love it after all.
Paladins are a hybrid class, they can go 3/4 of the available roles. As a hybrid they have access to abilities from the other roles which is really useful. I mean I’ve come to appreciate my warrior more, but the lack of any healing abilities aside from Victory Rush, is a problem. So what is the paladin ability that I love the most?
Not really hero but zero to normal capability doesn’t sound as good. A couple of weeks ago I nearly gave up being a paladin. I’d tanked a couple of dungeons, and probed the Mogu’Shan Vaults trash, and I was in trouble. I couldn’t hold threat, my dps was in single digits and my survivability was poor. I started to wonder whether protection paladins had been killed, whether they were no longer viable. It didn’t help that two of the best prot pally’s that I know swapped to death knight and brewmaster. I love my paladin but I love being useful more, I seriously considered swapping classes myself.
However, before I took such a step I took to the theorycrafting world. I combed Theck’s posts and read Elitist Jerks till I thought my eyes would bleed from all the numbers. I talked with the paladin turned brewmaster, who despite class swapping had some useful tips. I discovered something quite monumental.
My warrior was the first alt I rolled, it quickly got shelved in favour of the paladin alt I rolled soon after. It made it to around level 30 before Cataclysm hit. I liked the melee nature of it, but I didn’t like how it played. I’d specced prot as I thought that my warrior would be my tank alt. It was so unbelievably boring, I spent every fight just hitting Devastate, I didn’t have enough rage to do anything else. I’d made it my gatherer so I had to level it, I did it mostly through gathering so I wound up with lots of herbs at least. Once about level 74 I tried Arms as it was taking so long to kill everything. My survivability promptly disappeared and after a dozen corpse runs, over the same pack of mobs, I went back to Protection.
I’ve mentioned a few times that I liked the warrior changes on beta. With the announcement of no flying, I had to try my warrior out, to see if it would be viable for gathering. I copied it over, Outland gear and all, and checked it out. It was more than viable, I didn’t break a sweat as Protection even with packs of 6 mobs at a time. Plus it was more than just hitting Devastate, there were more buttons, I actually had rage. However, killing things in a tank spec is so slow so I decided to see if I could live as Arms. I made Arms my levelling spec and began the trek to 90.
I decided I needed to check up on my blogroll today so I went for a read through posts that I’d missed. Confessions of an Altoholic had one updated entry that I found really interesting. It talked a bit about impressions of 5.0.4 and then wondered about fourth specs for classes. In 5.0.4 druids got a fourth spec, they are the only class in the game with one. In practical terms they’ve always had one but bear and kitty shared the feral tree.
Now I’ve read blue posts on the forums, where people have suggested potential fourth specs for classes, that say that they aren’t interested in implementing them. I think one blue post, quite correctly, pointed out that it would be like introducing lots of new classes. It’s hard enough to balance one new class, let alone a lot of them. However, let’s play let’s pretend and think about what these fourth specs could be.
I decided it was about time I had another good look at protection paladins. The beta is winding down now, so I wanted to get a good look at the spec changes that will be live in just a few weeks. I wrote about my first look on the beta, and about prot pallys, in April. I’ve not written about them since as, in all honesty, I’ve not taken a good look. It’s long past time where I need to do that as in just a few weeks this’ll be the new reality.
So let’s compare what I wrote a few months back and see how much, if any of it, is still valid.
This is a continuation of the previous post looking at the remaining five classes. I’ll cover the Monk class in a separate post. Anyway, now this overview is done, and I’ve got a feel for how the classes are in Mists, I’ll look at specific classes in more detail.
I mentioned in the previous post “What are you playing in Mists?” about the changes in classes between expansions. I have one of every class on live, not all at max level, but I have a feeling for how most of them play. I haven’t played all specs of course therefore not all of these will mention differences. If I’ve not played it on live I won’t know what the differences are. However, some classes have changed a lot so even though I loathe them on live they look like they could be a firm favourite in Mists.
It’s all about how they feel and I say how they feel because I’m not one of the super smart theory crafters. I don’t know whether changes are good or bad in terms of the numbers, I just know how the class feels to play. So this is about how I think the classes feel. Might be light on details, this is not a class guide for Mists, this is just a what I like and what I don’t I guess. I’m not including the healing specs as unless you level by dungeons they don’t come into play until the end game. Even if you do level using dungeons most people quest a little which requires an offensive spec, that’s what I’m covering here.
It’s funny how things change over time. When I first started playing (January 30th 2010) I rolled a mage, as the friend who introduced me to the game played one and if he played it then it must be the best. I didn’t do much with them in wrath but I did eventually roll a couple of alts: Vladamir a warrior who I decided would be my tank, Alverez a paladin who would be my healer and Zoya a rogue who I’d play if I wanted to pvp. Now two and a half years later things are very different. All three of them have different names, I’ve levelled but loathe the warrior and rogue, and my paladin spends more time as a tank than a healer. If that can happen over the course of one expansion, what will happen in the next?