Like a lot of World of Warcraft players I wasn’t sure about my class choice for cataclysm with all the changes between classes. What better time to start a new than when all classes get a considerable overhaul? Sure, it is an excellent moment but it also means one has to know what exactly has changed with all the classes while figuring out what you really want to play. In this article I will give you a short rundown of some key class changes to either give you an idea of what all classes are now capable off, or even help you on your way to rerolling.
There are a few classes that got a considerable overhaul which are very worth mentioning. As such my main focus will go out to these classes: Death knights, Paladins and Priests
Death Knights got a considerable overhaul, whether you prefer playing them as a DPS class or a tanking class you’ll be feeling the changes. First of all, Blizzard decided that Blood will be the only tanking tree from now on, leaving Frost and Unholy to be unique damage dealing trees. This means a lot of the tanking talents from frost and unholy got either removed, or swapped into the Blood tree, while damage talents were largely removed from this tree.
Another significant change is the altering of the Death Knight’s unique “rune” mechanic. The thought process behind this change was that in the current implementation a player had very little time to do other things than keeping their runes on cool down. This also caused the abilities to seem relatively weak as you were constantly hitting buttons whereas other melee classes usually had other things tying them up. As such instead of every rune regenerating as it is used it is no longer possible for 2 of the same runes to be coming of cool down at once. So if you use 2 blood runes it will take 10 seconds for the first rune to come of off cool down and then another 10 seconds for the second one. This allows death knights to gain new mechanics to be added into their rotation, while also being more forgiving when you don’t have a rune used.
Another class that saw significant changes is the paladin class. To add more “flavor” to the three specializations Blizzard introduced a new mechanic called Holy Power. Every tree has a baseline ability to generate this new resource (crusader strike, holy shock) on top new talents to generate more at random. Each talent tree then has abilities, each useful depending on the situation you’re in, where the more holy power you spend (scaling from one to three) the abilities become more powerful. Retribution paladins can unleash their holy power in a strike called Templar’s Verdict, which is a very powerful single target strike. Holy paladins on the other hand have the choice of either spending the holy power on a instant, free of manacost heal or a heal which heals up to 5 targets. Lastly protection paladins can spend their holy power to unleash a powerful shield attack.
Beyond this new mechanic paladins also gained some buff consolidations. As such blessing of might and blessing of wisdom got merged into one buff. Furthermore blessing of kings and gift of the wild (druids) got combined to now be the same buff.
Lastly the priest got some interesting changes in regards to healing as well. Blizzard decides to make discipline more than just shielding bots and are boosting their single target healing as well meaning one has to choose between shielding the raid or healing targets singularly. A more interesting change came to the holy tree though, in the form of an improved healing state. What it comes down to is that whenever you cast a specific heal (think renew or prayer of healing) it gives you a bonus to those types of healing spells. As such casting prayer of healing gives you benefits in regards to raid healing, increases the healing done by your area of effect spells while reducing the cool down on your circle of healing by two seconds.
If you’re looking for a detailed overview of all changes you can find more in the resource box.