Continuing with the World of Warcraft: Legion class previews, Blizzard have given us a little look at the changes coming to Mages, Warlocks, Shamans, Warriors, and Death Knights (following on from Hunters, Priests, and Paladins). Sadly we couldn’t possibly fit in everything for every class so here’s a quick rundown of the class overhauls we haven’t covered yet.
Looking at Legion’s Demon Hunters, even compared with the Monks of Mists of Pandaria, really makes the other classes in World of Warcraft pale in comparison. Sure, it’s a hero class, but it is not the first. That honor goes to the Death Knight, who has been around since Wrath of the Lich King, more than 3 expansions ago.
In Legion, Blizzard plan to streamline the Death Knight’s play-style by removing the division of their Rune resource into one unified resource. Thought Blizzard don’t want this to mean that Death Knights will be able to simply spam their main ability, as such, their will be some minor changes to core ability functionality and cost. There will also be a reduction in ability overlap between specs, so each spec will feel more distinguished and unique.
World of Warcraft’s Mages are actually in a pretty good place as far as class fantasy goes. Arcane, Fire, and Frost Mage specs all feel pretty distinct already, thematically and mechanically. Therefore, the changes coming for Mages in Legion will only really seek to compliment their current gameplay styles, as well as providing some quality-of-life improvements.
Totems are an integral part of Shaman gameplay, and Blizzard are seeking to obliterate the ‘awkwardness’ and constraints that they currently possess in Legion. This means that totems of the same nature type can now be summoned together, meaning you can place two healing totems simultaneously, as an example. What’s more, Elementals will no longer be bound to their respective totems but will instead follow the Shaman as guardians. A totems’ maximum health will now always equal a percentage of the player’s maximum health, and if they need to be placed somewhere specific, they will now have a targeting reticule to allow Shamans to more easily do so.
As with Death Knights, the Shamans’ resources will be streamlined. Lightning Shield charges for Elemental Shamans, Maelstrom Weapon charges for Enhancement shamans, and mana will be replaced with the Maelstrom resource for both, though it will remain for Restoration Shamans.
Perhaps contrary to the Mage, the Warlock has undergone many changes over the years to improve playstyle and determine its class fantasy. As it stands right now, Blizzard feel that Demonology, in particular, has kind of run away from what its identity should be. As such, in Legion, Demonology will be moving away from Warlocks being able to become demons, and back towards the spec’s roots as demon summoners, utilizing and empowering demons to do their bidding. Affliction and Destruction will merely be accentuated.
Warlock’s resources will be streamlined, returning once more to their class-defining resources of mana and Soul Shards.
Demons will also become more varied, with incentives for using different minions, which will now have different strengths based on the spec the Warlock is wielding.
The bread-and-butter of any fantasy MMO is always the Warrior. Sometimes by a different name, but always present. World of Warcraft’s Warrior, in particular, hearkens to the close-quarters, shield-and-sword combat of battlefield strategy and each of the Warrior’s specs has its own distinct niche to represent.
Blizzard plan to expand the Warrior’s customizability through talents in Legion, adding “more than ever before.” Particularly for Arms and Fury, as Protection of course already has a very strong identity as the tank, and as such will just be a little fine-tuned. Whereas Fury will be bolstered around brute force gameplay, and Arms for exploiting their enemies’ weaknesses.
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