WoW Class Updates: Warrior, Death Knight, Rogue
Our coverage of the upcoming WoW class updates that we will be seeing in Cataclysm continues. Yesterday we saw shaman, warlock and priest classes given some love, today we’ll give you our thoughts on a few more. If Blizzard holds to schedule, we’ll see more in the coming week. Last, but definitely not least, the Paladins will have to wait until next Friday for their info. Sad face, let’s see them!
Inner Rage (level 81)
Blizzard’s Explanation: “Whenever the character reaches a full 100 Rage, he or she will gain a buff that causes attacks to consume 50% more Rage and do 15% more damage for a short amount of time. This is a passive ability so it won’t need to be activated by the player. The goal for this ability is to provide a benefit for hitting max Rage instead of it feeling like a penalty. However, we also don’t want warriors to feel like they’re supposed to pool Rage and do nothing until they hit 100, so we’ll be closely monitoring how this plays out during the beta testing, and making adjustments as needed.”
Chad: This seems a bit odd – so there is no way to NOT do this? What if I don’t want my attacks to “consume 50% more Rage an do 15% more damage”? I think it should be an activated skill, not a passive one.
Gushing Wound (level 83)
Blizzard’s Explanation: “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 Rend with one stack, but better with three stacks, which will be reached when fighting a moving target.”
Chad: Interesting mechanic. So much for hitting Sprint and running away, right? Although, I can’t see it being made so powerful that even three stacks would do a person much harm if they can get out of melee range of the imposing warrior quickly enough.
Heroic Leap (level 85)
Blizzard’s Explanation: “This ability makes the character leap at their target and apply the Thunder Clap ability to all enemies in the area when they land. Heroic Leap will be usable in Battle Stance and shares a cooldown with Charge, but the Juggernaut and Warbringer 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.”
Chad: Perhaps, if they allow this to be used in combat, the druid Feral Charge ability might get a similar mechanic? Even so, I fail to see how this could be very useful for anything other than initiation combat. Perhaps I’m wrong.
For more on the new talents, mechanics changes and new passive mastery abilities for Warriors, check out the full post on the official WoW forums.
Outbreak (level 81)
Blizzard’s Explanation: “Outbreak infects the target with both Frost Fever and Blood Plague 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.”
Chad: What would be the point of applying the diseases individually, then? I realize a huge part of a DK’s damage output – especially with certain specs – is dependent upon having diseases up on the target, but perhaps just getting rid of the previous abilities and starting this way earlier (say, in the late 50s) would streamline things a bit more.
Necrotic Strike (level 83)
Blizzard’s Explanation: “Necrotic Strike is a new attack that deals weapon damage and applies a debuff that absorbs and 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 of 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 Mortal Strike-style effect.”
Chad: A poor man’s Mortal Strike? I get it, but it will take way too much strategic thinking for me when I just want to pummel someone with an axe.
Dark Simulacrum (level 85)
Blizzard’s Explanation: “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 Spell Reflection, 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.”
Chad: This is actually pretty cool. However, I’m seeing a disturbing trend here, and it is something that has happened before, not only with this class but with others – they’re giving way too many classes way too many “similar” abilities that have typically always been “core” abilities of another class. Mortal Strike, Spell Reflection, whatever. Sure, they’re tweaked slightly to give a bit different mechanic in the end, but for all intents and purposes it could be considered a very similar rendition of another class’s ability.
Blizzard is also making changes to the rune mechanics for death knights, which will likely result in a complete overhaul of many of the class’s core abilities and change up the way it is played a bit. For more information on this, as well as other mechanics and talent changes, check out the entire post on the subject on the WoW forums.
Redirect (level 81)
Blizzard’s Explanation: “Rogues will be getting a new ability to help them deal with changing targets. Redirect will transfer any active combo points to the rogue’s current target, helping to ensure combo points aren’t wasted when swapping targets or when targets die. In addition, self-buff abilities like Slice and Dice will no longer require a target, so rogues can spend extra combo points on those types of abilities. Redirect will have a 1-minute cooldown and no other costs.”
Combat Readiness (level 83)
Blizzard’s Explanation: “Combat Readiness is a new ability that we intend rogues to trigger defensively. While this ability is active, whenever the rogue is struck by a melee or ranged attack, he or she will gain a stacking buff called Combat Insight that results in a 10% reduction in damage taken. Combat Insight will stack up to 5 times and the timer will be refreshed whenever a new stack is applied. Our goal is to make rogues better equipped to go toe-to-toe with other melee classes when Evasion or stuns are not in play. This ability lasts 6 seconds and has a 2-minute cooldown.”
Smoke Bomb (level 85)
Blizzard’s Explanation: “The rogue drops a Smoke Bomb, creating a cloud that interferes with enemy targeting. Enemies who are outside the cloud will find themselves unable to target units inside the cloud with single-target abilities. Enemies can move inside the cloud to attack, or they can use area-of-effect (AoE) abilities at any time to attack opponents in a cloud. In PvP, this will open up new dimensions of tactical positional gameplay, as the ability offers a variety of offensive and defensive uses. In PvE, Smoke Cloud can serve to shield your group from hostile ranged attacks, while also drawing enemies closer without the need to rely on conventional line-of-sight obstructions. Smoke Cloud lasts 10 seconds and has a 3-minute cooldown.”
Chad:I have nothing even remotely intelligent to say for these new rogue abilities, because it is one of the couple classes I haven’t touched at all in my years playing WoW.
As usual, for the rest of the information coming out of Blizzard for the rogue class, head on over to the WoW forums.
In the coming days (probably next week), we’ll examine the final four classes – mage, hunter, paladin and druid.