Saturday, July 19, 2008

News Filter: Wrath of the Lich King Beta Opens

  • The gaming world seemed to explode yesterday as the beta test for Wrath of the Lich King, the new expansion for World of Warcraft, just opened. And since there is no Non-Disclosure Agreement in place, there is info everywhere. I've been looking over all the information released, focusing on my two primary cases, the paladin and the mage.
  • With the paladin class, it seem that Blizzard has gone out of its way to rework how the class plays, from new toys for the Holy skill tree, rebalancing the Protection and Retribution trees, and streamlining the Seal, Blessing, and Aura systems. With all the changes, it's like they are making Paladin 2.0 and I'm quite considering going back to my long neglected pally when the expansion hits.
  • But as excited as I am for the paladin updates, I am equally disappointed with the mage updates. In the most recent patch notes, there were only ten lines, the least of any of the classes. In those lines, they improved two talents and the Invisibility spell slightly, made the armor spells harder to be dispelled, and rescaled the mana cost of other spells. On top of this, the new talents and spells found in beta test are underwhelming. One talent does stand out, but it seems so open for abuse that it is destined to be nerfed before the expansion launches. And the one interesting new spell, Frostfire Bolt, is ambiguous enough that its hard to know if it will be worth using or forgetting entirely.
  • That is the problem with this entire revamp; it is entirely forgettable. As a mage, I would really like to see some new toys, not just more levels of food and water vending. Give us mages something to look forward to, Blizzard.

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