Legionary Everything Else
While I have moderately informed opinions on Hunters, Warlocks, and (Disco / Shadow) Priests, I’m less well-studied on the other classes. I have characters in all classes, but most of them are simply so I can walk a mile (or a few levels) in the shoes of my fellow travelers. With that in mind, my opinions of these classes are far less meaty and/or informed than my opinions with regard to my main three.
You can find the full catalog of class previews on Blizzard’s website. My comments on these changes (other than Hunter, Priest, and Warlock) take no particular order.
Though my mage started out as Fire (my first PvP kill was, in fact, as a fire mage) and dabbled in Arcane, I’ve settled in on Frost as my favorite. Just looking at the overviews, I’m feeling fairly good about the changes, which both further differentiate the three different specs and improve on their abilities and rotations.
A lot has been made about the removal of Frostfire bolt, but I feel a lot of people lack context on that spell. To wit: that spell came about in Wrath because there was, at the time, a lot of ‘resistance’ mechanics in place, and FFB was seen as a way to give Frost and Fire mages ways to be effective against bosses that had resistances in their primary schools.
In the modern day, with switchable specs (and apparently a third spec slot in Legion), and with no fights that actually have clear resistances of this sort implemented, FFB is a relic of a time when you had to pay attention to that sort of thing. We lost frost/fire resist enchants (etc) a couple of expansions ago. Getting rid of FFB just marks the end of the final throes of a living fossil – whether you liked that kind of mechanic or not (I actually did, except when it annoyed me – looking at you, Viscidus).
The whole “class fantasy” thing has actually convinced me to change my DK’s spec. She’s been running around as a Blood tank spec. But I realized that Faiella, the DK, was originally Faiella, the Survival Hunter (Experiential), who was slain and raised into service to the Lich King during the pre-WotLK event. My internal headcanon therefore inquires as to why she isn’t Unholy, with a pet. In response, I grunted “good question!” and reconfigured her in the new image.
I felt that Blood spec for soloing was kind of weird and unwieldy. We’ll see how Unholy fares. Honestly, I wouldn’t know a good spec from bad in this case.
As much as I hate to admit it, the new Outlaw spec looks pretty interesting to me. My internal headcanon for my rogue has him as more of a Subtlety player than anything else, and my internal lore has pretty much put him on an unsavory path. I’m wondering if I can work the Outlaw spec into a “redemption” story-line for my own internal RP. Or maybe kill him off and bring back Effington as an Outlaw Worgen.
Even though I didn’t play it, I was very sad to see the Gladiator sub-spec go away. Such (seemingly arbitrary) decisions make me yearn for the old days of multi-layer spec trees that let you roll your own in terms of spec. A Protection build with DPS elements specced in would give us more or less the same thing.
I’ve always felt the Pally spec’s rotation to be unwieldy. I’ve tried Ret and Protection with equal dissatisfaction. Removal of Holy Power as a secondary resource is a step in the right direction in that regard.
And then ….
I just don’t have enough experience to draw a conclusion on the Druid and Monk classes. My Druid is currently Boomkin spec, and I hope to pervert the new talents to make it even more boomkiny. I am glad, as all are, that the secondary resource is gone.
As far as Monks go, my Brewmaster (2H) monk feels weird, but I’m coping. I hope that the new BM spec makes the rotation feel more natural. Maybe it “feels” better in an actual dungeon or raid, but right now I’m working hard to level my level 38 Monk, and nobody wants to raid with me for some reason. So most of the changes are just noise to me.
The Gamer’s Creed
Here’s the thing for me. I’m a gamer. Present me with a game, and I treat it as a puzzle to solve. Every class in WoW is, in fact, a new game for me. So when you change things around? I’m all in. I love change, because it keeps the game fresh. Maybe Blizz digs this, or maybe it’s just me. All I know is, I’m looking forward to the new New.