Saturday, April 10, 2010

News Filter: Cataclysm Class Changes

  • If you are at all interested in World of Warcraft, chances are that you've been eagerly following the class preview for Cataclysm. If you somehow missed them, you can find them all over at MMO-Champion. Of course, my two main classes are mage and paladin. The mage was the last class announced and the paladin will have to wait until next week when Blizzard is done messing around with it. Since my main character is a mage, I was most eager to see what changes would be made to her.

  • The coolest thing about leveling a mage is the variety of new spells you can access. I remember the excitement of leveling my first mage (a blood elf) so that I could get Invisibility and Spellsteal. Then in Wrath, Frostfire Bolt and Mirror Image gave me fun new things to do. I could only imagine what Cataclysm would bring.

  • For new spells, mages are getting Flame Orb, Time Warp, and Wall of Fog. My quick impression is something along the lines of "Oh, that's cool."

    • Flame Orb is a missile spell the does AoE damage to enemies that it passes. It's kind of hard to get too excited about this without seeing it in action. If you could time this to hit when Living Bomb goes off, that would be something to get excited about.

    • Time Warp is (most likely) the mage's version of Bloodlust and Heroism. (There are shamen contemplating pixelated suicide as I type this.) It also looks like it will cause Exhaustion so you can't use them together. And it even gives the mage a personal movement boost. Of the three spells, this is the one I'm most interested to get my hands on. (The word passive is making people wonder if this is a haste aura of some sort. There isn't anyone on the Blizzard forum dishing up the blue text yet to confirm one way of the other.)

    • Wall of Fog places a thirty foot line of frost on the ground that will snare and damage all enemies that cross it. I'm kind of fascinated to see it in use. Putting a battlefield control ability like this could be interesting. Or it could be just another mage AoE. We shall see.

  • There were a number of proposed spell changes as well:

    • Arcane Missiles becoming a proc-based spell might make it something I'd be interested in casting. I haven't cast one since level 15.

    • They're pulling a lot of boring spells like Amplify Magic, Dampen Magic, Fire Ward, and Frost Ward. They're each highly situational and rarely worth the space on the toolbar. I won't miss them.

    • They are bumping the minimum level for Conjure Food and Water to level 40 and combining them at all levels. If that clears things up, sure. No arguments.

    • Scorch will grant a personal fire damage buff. Blizzard wants you to weave it into your rotation even if you don't need the Improved Scorch buff. Anything that keeps me from spamming my main nuke has to be a good thing.

  • They also announced some talent changes, but there wasn't much there. The only interesting change was for Burnout. That spell let you cast spells with your health if you run out of mana. For some reason a bunch of warlocks are annoyed that mages get a Life Tap-like ability. My feeling is that if you are cannibalizing health to keep casting, something has gone terribly wrong.

  • The mastery bonuses (Mana Adept, Ignite, and Deathfrost) are nicely thematic, but nothing to get excited about.

  • Like any of the previews, there is too little information available to know what all of this means. Bringing a version of Bloodlust to instances will be nice, but we don't know if a level 85 mage will be all the different from a level 80 mage. At the same time, it is cool to get a peak behind the curtain. That will be enough at least for the next month or two.

© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.


  1. My first serious toon in WoW was as gnome mage. Leveled him to 60. Plan to level a Goblin Mage whenever cataclysm hits, and likely start over on a new server (all my old guilds are dead as a doornail these days).

    In any case, I'm not sure how I feel about the changes described (apart from the new spells). For example, dampen magic is extremely useful in some situations. If you are fighting casters you sure as heck want it up. Amplify magic, I will admit I rarely used. Not having to stop and drink every five kills pre-40 at least sounds like a good change.

  2. @ Yeebo - All those spells they're pulling did have their uses. Of course, I only seriously used Amplify on the Gruul fight. My problem was I never thought to use anything until it was too late, usually. And the buffs wore off so fast that I'd forget to reapply them. I'll be glad to have the space on my bars again.

  3. I never liked Mages. Just not my play style. I got 3 80's and only made it to 28 with a Mage. I need to look up the Rogue, or Priest talents to see if I should resub

  4. @ Scarybooster - Mages aren't for everyone. It takes a rarified personage to undertake the rigors of such an undertaking.

    Either that or you really have to like PEW! PEW! PEW!