Nothing better than sitting on your couch doing the two things you love the most: watching NHL Playoff Hockey and writing about WoW. Blizzard held one of their (in)famous dev chats on Twitter today and answered some interesting questions about the soon-to-be-in-beta Cataclysm Expansion.
Q: Will relics and wands be getting any new attention in Cataclysm?
A: With relics, the plan is to make them class agnostic. In other words, there might be a +strength relic that a death knight or paladin might want to equip. We think that will let us add more of them to the game without them being so specialized. They will feel more like wands.
How to make wands and relics a bigger part of gameplay is something we’ve had many, many discussions on. Ultimately though we’d rather see warlocks, mages and priests casting their spells, not zapping someone with a wand. In Cataclysm we don’t expect to see much wanding, even at lower level.
A bittersweet change that has been long overdue. Relics have been an enigma since their inception; wasting spots on loot tables and basically having raiders question their value every tier. Through Wrath of the Lich King their usefulness definitely increased (some specs even had a couple situational options), but until ICC they remained on loot tables. Every time a relic dropped instead of a weapon you wanted to kick a small animal.
The double-edged sword of relics was also, as the Blue pointed out, the necessity of having the buff on you. If you aren’t using it with the intended spell (i.e. proc on Chain Heal, or stack with Riptide), then it’s value drops to nil. Gear dictating your play-style is poor design.
Calm down, rogues, this isn’t the same as having to use daggers or swords. It would be more like having a rogue-only bow that provided a best-in-slot advantage to fist weapons. Even if you wanted to use daggers and liked mutilate, you would be have to use fist weapons or use an inferior ranged weapon. This never got that extreme with relics for Shamans because I don’t think anyone ever refused to use Chain Heal. The Riptide totem really pushed this to the limit though. Having a 3 stack buff on a tightly-cooldowned ability puts pressure on you to keep that buff up instead of focusing on your job (ya know, healing).
The new relics will be focused on a stat grouping, bringing them more in line with wands. I’d suspect that the relics that are actually focused on class abilities will be obtained via quests or at low levels.
What makes this change to a more “agnostic” relic style bittersweet is the overall value of the relic itself. In many cases, the procs that some relics provided were actually better than their wand counter-parts. For those of us using relics, it’s a sucky change, for our cloth wearing raid mates, it’s a nice balancing act.
Neither wands or relics really add anything more than what a ring or neck does so that whole “Blizzard is making everything the same” argument looks rather silly. The goal of Cataclysm is clear: make playing the game fun by actually playing the game. That’s redundant, but having to battle spreadsheets to get the most out of your character is not fun. Sorry.
Other than the relic news, this was a fairly innocuous chat. Things like 310% mount speed for all your mounts and a new raid healing UI were all announced at Blizzcon.
The waiting game for Cata-Beta has begun.
(Blizzard still has yet to repay me for not allowing Worgen to become shaman and making new totem graphics for everyone. New totems to replace my warped plastic lamp bases would be nice)
What a game played by the Nashville Predators! I’m a big fan of Patrick Kane and the ‘Hawks, but Barry Trotz’ frustrating, patient system paid off and a janitor-style goal near the middle of the third sealed the upset away victory for the Preds. The Predators are looking to win their first playoff series over conference favorite Chicago. Things could get verrrryyyy interesting.
As I sit here writing this the Wings are down by 1 to Phoenix, who is looking to take a 2-0 lead. As we all know, a playoff series hasn’t started until the home team loses. The Joe is a very tough place to play and we’ll see how the young ‘Yotes do in the D.
Update: In the time it took me to finish up this post, it’s now 3-2. Wolski answered Zetterberg. Lombardi answered Datsyuk. I love playoff hockey.
Update 2: They wouldn’t even let me publish. Filppula scores to tie the game at 3. Ridiculous
Sidney Crosby Does It All.
The Devils, expectedly, even up their series with a win over Phily. Now they make their way across the Delaware River into the Insane AsylumWachovia Center. Powers Booth needs to go all Sudden Death on that place this Sunday (Coming soon on Video Cassette and LASERDISC!).