Well, the other day we had an influx of information from the Blizzard devs about the new racials in WoD. Most of them have been redesigned, as hit and expertise are going away, and various racial bonuses are to those two stats. Also, we have a bit of information about what abilities may be going away in order to reduce ability bloat (and also to reduce the amount of CC in the game!)
So, let’s have a look at the racial changes first shall we? Starting with:
Arcane Acuity is a new passive racial that increases crit by 1%. That’s a pretty simple bonus, and while it currently benefits Destruction only (mastery and haste benefit Affliction and Demonology WAY more than crit), we’ve been assured that ALL secondary stats will be made more beneficial for ALL specs, so this is a wait-and-see if this is a benefit.
Arcane Torrent is still a silence and interrupt (the latter only on non-player units), but the 2% mana restoration is now a 3% restoration! I’d treat it as a second life tap, I guess, though not as powerful. It’s good for the interrupt though, currently we only have Spell Lock from our feldogs (or Optic Blast from the upgraded version, the observer). Of course, Demonology also gets Carrion Swarm, but frankly I forget I have that sometimes.
Might of the Mountain is a new ability that replaces the mace specialization of old. It’s a pretty powerful new passive ability, being a 2% bonus to crit damage which Destruction warlocks will absolutely love but other specs might not be raving about. Still, any bonus is a good bonus, right? It’s important to clarify that this is crit DAMAGE, not crit CHANCE.
Stoneform removes magic and curse effects, in addition to what it could before, but you can’t use it when CC’d. Seems pretty simple to me. Something you’d use to remove a nasty debuff. Dwarves look pretty good at the moment!
Expansive Mind is unchanged for warlocks.
Escape Artist‘s cooldown is down to 1 minute. Useful for breaking out of those slows!
Shortblade Specialization has been replaced with Nimble Fingers, which is a flat 1% increase to haste. Again, a pretty simple benefit. All three specs’ll be happy with that, as haste is brilliant for Demo and Affliction, and shares honors with crit for Destro.
Time is Money used to increase spell haste, now it’s a flat 1% increase to haste. What’s the difference? Well, you’ll cast slightly faster, as before, but all the other benefits of haste will take effect, namely shortening your GCD, affecting RPPM benefits (usually trinkets), and suchlike. Haste also increases the mana regen of Destruction!
An interesting one, this. The Human Spirit used to increase the spirit stat by 3%, which is pretty straight forward, though useless for a warlock. In Warlords of Draenor, it’s a passive bonus to two secondary stats of your choice. This is pretty damn cool! The EXACT numbers are unclear, though apparently it scales with your level. Whether it’s a competitive-enough bonus remains to be seen.
Hardiness reduces stun effects by 10%. It used to be 15%. Pretty self-explanatory. They have a 2% pet damage boost, but they had that anyway. Axe Specialization is going bye-bye, but warlocks don’t use axes, sadly.
Ah, the race everyone seemed to want to be. The race that seems to have the most severe changes! Berserking sees a 5% drop in power, to a 15% boost to haste. Still good, still stacks with Dark Soul, and still useful for Affliction and Demonology. It’s not a crippling drop by any stretch. With haste breakpoints gone, it might not be a massive deal, but 15% is not anything to turn your nose up at.
Beast Slaying is changed. Trolls had a massive benefit to their performance thanks to this talent, which increased damage against beasts by 5%. A number of bosses, adds and trash packs were beast types, and though 5% doesn’t sound much, over the course of an encounter it adds up. What’s it changing to? A 20% bonus to experience gained from killing a beast. Yay for levelling, boo for when you get to max level. Does this mean we’ll see everyone race change to orcs? Maybe even DWARVES? Probably not.
Will of the Forsaken‘s cooldown has been increased to 3 minutes, up from 2. Simples.
At the time of typing, WORGEN racials are unchanged, and while the human racial Every Man For Himself sees no changes, it’s not that they’re not looking at it, it’s that they’re unsure of what to do with it. Watch this space?
WARLOCK ABILITY BLOAT
To be honest, thanks to the revamp warlocks saw at the end of Cataclysm, it’s unlikely we’ll see too much upheaval in our abilities, as our 3 specs are pretty streamlined anyway. We are seeing some changes though.
- Disarm abilties are gone. This means our Voidwalker/Voidlord’s Command Demon ability is gone. We don’t yet know what it’s being replaced with; maybe its Grimoire of Sacrifice ability?
- Pet-cast CC is more limited, and in some cases has been removed. This probably affects the Succubus/Shivarra abilities.
This is all we know for sure so far. What could we see removed from warlocks though? Bear in mind this is pure speculation on my part!
- Curse of the Elements. Perhaps it could be baked into one of our abilities, like how rogues apply it? I’d lump it in with Immolate/Corruption. While it’s active on a mob, they take extra magic damage.
- Create Healthstone. We have Create Soulwell, just summon one and click it, and watch as others try to do the same, despite not being in a group with you! Hilarity ensues!
- I’m clutching at straws here. As I mentioned before, we were pretty streamlined back when we got revamped. Perhaps Malefic Grasp could change to Drain Soul when your target is 20% health? Obviously, this would mean you wouldn’t be able to regenerate soul shards at will, so maybe introduce a passive that grants us a soul shard every 15-20 seconds or so?
Well, that’s enough speculation on my part. As a reward, have a picture of my panda!
She’s now level 90, so perhaps my next transmog post will be about her?