Why should you specialize?
Because you don’t have time to do everything! I could end the article here, but you might be disappointed.Â Specializing in WoW is quite possibly the only chance a “casual” player has at accomplishing anything other than some Halloween candy and maybe holiday fruity cake. The point is there are two main ways to go here, three if you enjoy wreeking havoc on the in game economy.Â However, I intend on briefly discussing PVP and PVE here and then will later write guides to help all the students, married to someone who doesn’t play wow, works five jobs, and has twenty-seven kids person(small exaggeration).
Player vs Player, Pwnzor vs Pwnzee, Nub vs n00b, call it what you will, but it is all we gamers have in the way of excising some sort of force and power over another person. In WoW PvP comes in the form of Battlegrounds, World PvP(ganking until WOTLK), and the amazing Arena.Â The beautiful thing about BG’s and Arena is that each helps the other.Â A player needs gear from both, experience from both, and bragging rights from both so play both.Â The PvP forums will become your closest ally other than maybe your fellow teammate or energy drink.Â After memorizing every forum post about your preferred class, a player must practice!
Practicing is where every PvPer casual or hardcore gets his edge and his ability to pwn nubs. However, it’s never enough to just play and play and play, a player must learn, observe, and understand why they lose a match and even why they win matches.Â It’s true a person may lose since their gear is lame and Mr and Mrs Season 4 just slapped the *#%! out of them, but most of the time it’s because they had no idea what to do against the combo they faced and just assume it was a fluke or the other classes are OP.Â ….STOP….BREATHE….Start recording your games, start doing Arena and BG’s when you would normally waste time playing on the AH.Â Lastly unless some other portion of the game is requires your attention PRACTICE! You are a casual gamer and an hour to you is a month to the hardcore.
Player vs Environment, or Player vs WORLD, OK I don’t have fun titles for this, but just the same READ THE FORUMS! Yet again gear from PvE is made for PvE, so if a player wants to raid then raid.Â No One logged into to BC one day and went to Black Temple with level 70 greens and lived. Blizzard has made phenomenal improvements on game progression.Â Please do 5-Mans, Then Heroics, Then 10′s and then the 25 MAN RAID! Oddly enough they increase in difficulty as the gear gets better.
In case you didn’t notice the same steps apply on each area, practice, do the events/games, and read the forums.Â However, you may have not noticed the part where I discussed wasting your time and gold on Epics in the AH, reading about nerfs and who is OP, jumping around IF or UC spamming trade chat, or even trying to be amazing at everything.Â THATS BECAUSE I DIDN”T MENTION IT SO DON’T DO IT!
Bill Tripod(aka Kohrin 70 Warrior-Uther)
Well, there’s no easy way to say it without enraging the fury of paladin community…but, here’s round 2 of the paladin PvP nerfs.
Retribution Paladin Nerfs
I’m attempting to post this early since the Ret community felt totally surprised last time.
We are looking at some way of making Avenging Wrath and Divine Shield mutually exclusive. This may be through Forbearance, if we can reduce the Forbearance duration through a hotfix. The bubble is intended as a defensive measure. Yet bubble+wings currently is used a lot in BGs and Arenas and helps contribute to the feeling of being destroyed by a Retribution paladin while you are unable to respond.
My apologies to the Ret paladins who already feel picked on. We are really trying hard to not overdo anything but even the last round of pretty severe nerfs didn’t seem to do enough to Ret’s dominance of PvP.
We are also sympathetic to the notion that if Ret can’t do insane burst damage, that the spec might need other tools to be viable in PvP. We’re exploring this now, possibly though the missing 11-point Prot talent, possibly through other avenues. We’ll let you know when we’ve made a decision here.
I don’t know exactly when this change will go live, but I didn’t want you to return from trick-or-treating and be shocked that we didn’t announce it, since that seemed to cause a lot of damage with the last nerf.
I’ll leave this post unlocked for now, assuming the responses stay intelligent and we don’t get too much flaming or trolling.
Seal & Judgement Damage Reduced
We lowered Seal and Judgement damage, changed Divine Storm (earlier) and changed Hammer of Wrath. Those all should have lowered PvP burst damage, and they did.
The JotW nerf was done because a paladin could use all their buttons quickly then go on to another opponent with no down time. On bosses in PvE, they could hit every button that was up and still have mana left to be very high on healing meters. So we do think the mana regen was too generous in both PvP and PvE cases.
Source: Blizzard – Ghostcrawler
Nothing too game breaking for this round of rogue changes, though it’s certainly nice to get some clarification. Specifically regarding fan of knives, which has been somewhat of mystery for some time now. I like the idea of giving rogues more AoE potential, it could certainly create some new and exciting changes in both PvE and PvP. We’ll have to see exactly where blizzard puts the damage at in a couple of days when these changes go live on the PTR.
When will Shadow Dance fixed?
I think I said before that changing the bar won’t happen soon. It will be after Nov 13 and Lich King ships. The change to the cooldown on the openers should be in now on beta and very soon on live.
Balance Fan of Knives
We’d love to get rogue AE higher if we can do it where Fan is only used for AE and not as a general part of the single-target rotation. Also note that comparing anyone to a Ret paladin recently, and especially at 70, isn’t going to be a great comparison. Elemental isn’t designed to have an advantage over mage single-target dps, but rogues should have an advantage over warrior single-target dps.
Combat Potency and Fan of Knives Synergy
So it turns out the Combat Potency change to nerf Shiv also keeps Fan of Knives from generating Energy. Making the cooldown zero might do weird things to PvP when a rogue stands there and throws out knives to attempt break stealth. But we can probably lower it to 10 sec or so. That’s Thunderclap / Whirlwind range.
Hemorrhage vs. Sinister Strike
But the charges are the entire point. Hemo is supposed to be a debuff, not an alternative to Sinister Strike. It in fact yields better damage per energy than Sinister Strike untalented and it’s only the talents that prop up the latter ability. Adding more Hemo talents just gives you another high dps, spammable attack.
It is true that the rogue personally may not benefit a lot from Hemo when the charges get used up correctly. I think the attitude that that is “bad” just stems from the “winning the damage meters” mentality, not whether the ability helps you beat the boss. I’m not saying that looking at damage meters makes you shallow. I understand a nearsighted raid leader may not take you if your personal dps is low, but we’re also not sure what to do about that until we can come up with some kind of “raid contribution” measurement that includes your buffs and debuffs.
There’s been loads of changes in the past few days for WotLK, specifically related to PvP. Take a look at a few of the most recent blue posts and updates regarding pvp in the last 48 hours.
WotLK PvP Recap from Zug Gaming
- Berserker Rage Change
- Season 4 End Date
- Arena Match Making System Change
- Build 9014 Class Changes
- Honor Points will NOT Reset for WOTLK
- New Honor Items for Patch 3.0.2
PvP Developer Q & A
Why is it so hard to measure skill in a battleground and have rated BGs ?
I wish it were that simple. However, for a rating system to reasonably zero in on the skill of a single player in a game with teammates it takes a number of games approximately equal to ten times the number of players participating on that player’s team.
So for example, for a rating system to have all the information it needs to know to figure out how “good” of a battleground player you are in Alterac Valley, it needs to take about 400 games to do it (10 times the number of players on your team). Unfortunately, that’s without the additional complexities of being able to queue solo versus queueing as a group, etc.
It would be kind of annoying to have to play about 400 games of AV before the system could decide what items you’re eligible for. So, there are some complexities in creating a system to work around that problem (among others).
Archavon changes (Lake Wintergrasp Boss)
We don’t plan to change Archavon, as he needs to have compelling loot that isn’t something you can’t possibly get another way. However, I think it’s important to note that Archavon does not drop the helm or shoulder slots (or weapons), which are the hardest to obtain both in pve and pvp.
Why is PvP gear available for purchase for PvE tokens with no rating requirement ?
To put it simply, you can’t endlessly wipe on raid bosses and get these tokens. At some point, you have to succeed. Even then, the pvp gear you get from these tokens is 1 tier behind their pve value (ie: the ilevel 213 pve tokens from Nax 25 only get you “Hateful Gladiator” gear which is ilevel 200). It’s not possible to get the “best” pvp set items through pve.
Are there any plans of allowing us to attain PvE gear through honor/arena points?
For the most part (lack of tanking gear aside), if you have the highest-end pvp gear, you can do fairly well in a “tier behind” raid (ie: 10-man nax). So, for the most part that dynamic already exists.
WotLK Battlegrounds Changes
No Honor Points Increases for WotLK
Battlegrounds wins/losses and honorable kills will not award experience after the next patch, nor upon the release of Wrath of the Lich King. It could always happen somewhere down the road as we work to improve PvP progression, but there are no plans for changing this in the immediate future.
Battlegrounds Discussion with Tigole
Actually, we have been discussing new battlegrounds quite a bit lately. Wrath of the Lich King will feature Strand of the Ancients (attack/defend) as well as Wintergrasp (non-instanced, world PvP).
But past that, we are exploring ideas that would involve expanding our Battleground content in future patches and beyond. We believe we have some strong ideas for improving Battlegrounds and PvP as a whole in the game and we’re definitely going to focus on improvements in the future. Now, it’s very early to be talking about some of this stuff but I think it’s important for the community to know that it’s on our minds.
Our general thought is that we could provide more BG content over time. The BG content that we could provide could be of higher quality with a higher degree of accessibility. Overall, we’d like to have more content and variety. We also want the gameplay experience in the BGs to be better directed. We’re also exploring the concept of a complimentary “competitive” bg system as well. Over time, we’d like the focus of PvP to shift back to being more BG-centric and more focused on Horde versus Alliance — the core of our game.
We’re also planning on improving some Battleground and PvP features in general. For example, we want to give you the ability to queue for Battlegrounds from anywhere in the world. We’re also going to explore EXP gain through the PvP system as well as low level itemization to support that.
Please don’t take this post as a promise. This won’t be an overnight process. Not all of these things are set in stone and guaranteed to happen. It would take us a while to shift in this direction. But these are some of the current thoughts on the development team. I think it’s important for you guys to know some of our thought process in regards to PvP.
Another massive Q and A post from Ghostcrawler. She has done a great job already working with many of classes and now she’s finally making it to the mage class, particularly the information regarding the new spell frostfire bolt.
Initially I really didn’t understand the purpose of such a spell, guessing that most mages would opt for a standard fire, frost or arcane build, which still may be the case. That said, these changes and their implications do make it a much more lucrative spell and spec for mages to work with. Potentially bringing it on par with the 3 primary builds.
One of the biggest issues for mages during the Burning Crusade was the complete and utter lack of mana longevity. While it doesn’t appear blizzard has a definite fix implemented yet GC did mention they are very aware of this problem and taking steps to correct it. With renewed mana longevity in addition to the many other changes coming in WotLK should really make for a much more balanced and dynamic class in the expansion.
Torment of the Weak Explained
Some talents are just harder to implement than they appear. What we think we can do with Torment of the Weak is instead let a certain number of spells (say the ones you want to use a lot) get the damage bonus. That keeps the basic idea intact in a way that we know will work.
Frostfire Bolt Creation
We created Frostfire Bolt for 3 reasons:
- An interesting new spell that would cause a lot of exploration into which talents, gear and rotations benefited the best
- A solution for those fights in which a Frost mage shows up to a Frost-immune fight
- the keystone for a new Frost + Fire “elemental” build. If you want to go respec every fight, you can still do that. But with Frostfire, you should be able to do a lot more damage than if you hadn’t respec’d at all.
WotLK Mage Q & A with Ghostcrawler
Will mages continue to have mana issues as much as they do currently, or is something planned to help?
Yes, we are working on mage mana issues. They seem to run out too fast.
Will mages be expected to be dominant AoE DPS? Or is AoE DPS also being flattened across the board?
Great AE damage isn’t a good niche in a game with so many single-target fights. Your AE will be good, but so will that of warlocks and moonkin. We won’t keep your single target dps down in order to justify high AE dps.
Will Frost be able to dps as strongly if not more strongly than Arc/Fire in PvE? Or is that still the PvP spec?
We would like to see similar dps from all 3 trees. However, if you go for a heavy PvP build (in any tree), you will probably sacrifice some dps to get there.
Will Arcane Blast be modified so it can be used as a main nuke? Or is that ship sunk?
We want Arcane Blast to be used a lot. It’s not Pyro.
Scaling plagued mages throughout BC, will this be closely examined so it doesn’t repeat in WOTLK?
Yes. We aren’t happy with what happened to mages in BT and Sunwell.
Will Evocation ever be updated? Lowered Cooldown? Made like Innervate instead of channeled?
I don’t know the answer to that yet. I think Evo is fine if mages don’t run out of mana in 5 seconds. Evo could be part of that solution or not.
Will Frostfire bolt be given a purpose, now that double dipping is gone. Is it simply an “immunity” fight fallback?
No, we want it to be the kind of spell you can use all the time. But we want to get Frost, Fire and Arcane feeling good first.
Will ignite ever be fixed (ignite “munching”)?
We are aware of the problem (of course). It’s just not easy to fix.
Will the Water Elemental get more survivability? More resist? More +hit? More scaling?
All pets should inherit the hit of the master now.
Will mages have purpose other than dps in raids so that so called “hybrid” classes won’t fill in the mage spots after the single obligatory Winters Chill/Food/Scorch mage has been invited?
Just be better / do more dps than those other classes and you’ll earn a spot. We’re not going to give you a reason other than that that someone HAS to take you.
Is the numbers pass starting soon? We’re worried that you may be running short (5 weeks) on time to properly see data regarding the dps passes.
We’ve been in the middle of it for weeks. Don’t worry about the time. We don’t. If we looked at the ship date as a deadline, then we’d get sloppy and do dumb things. The truth is that in an MMO, game balance is a process not a destination. Even after the patch goes live, we’ll have opporunities to make changes before you can head to Northrend. With all the changes we’ve made, there are going to have to be some quick patches to fix things we missed. And overall we’d like to address balance problems that do erupt in a more timely fashion – consider, before we could always say “Eh, they’ll still take the X for his Y buff even if his dps is low.” We can’t say that anymore. Now we just have to get stuff fixed.
Unless I’m mistaken this is the first time we’ve really seen confirmation that the idea of the “utility” class is going away. Personally I say good riddance. Utility class for always just seemed like a subtle word for “bad”. More from a design perspective than actually being a waste of space during a raid.
Assuming you are a Shadow priest, the answer is you are a dps class. We’re trying to back off the whole utility class thing, which is absolutely what you were in BC. While the mana battery functionality is still something every group is going to want, there are more ways to provide it now. The tradeoff for losing that unique niche is your dps going up.
Why are shadow priests being out performed by other classes who, in terms of functionality at this point in time, fit into the same niche as shadow priests do?
Because we’re not done.
A few weeks ago Blizzard announced vampiric touch is being reduced from 5% to 2.5%. A change which at the time left me wondering just what Blizz was thinking. Though, based upon this recent post it looks like there are still some major buffs imminent for the shadow priest.
The general feeling I get from all these changes is a complete shift in what a DPS class is. More and more these changes seem to lean towards a “leveling of the playing field“, so to speak, in the way that each PvE DPS spec seems like they are all going to do around the same damage. Prior to the Burning Crusade there was this notion that rogues always had to be the highest DPS class no matter what, since they brought zero utility to the raid. This type of thought process was still present in BC, note Sunwell geared rogues doing close to 2700 DPS while equally geared shadow priests were lucky to break the 1500 mark.
Overall I think these changes are going to make for a very interesting raiding dynamic in the Wrath of the Lich King. Each class will bring a certain degree of utility, but more than that each archtype (tank, healer, DPS) should be very similar in overall effectiveness.
Before we get into all the rogue Q and A below, I think it’s worth giving an e-high five to the best damn blue poster there’s ever been, Ghostcrawler. GC has gone well beyond the call of duty to help answer questions and concerns for every class. She’s meticulously explained the reasoning behind changes, received feedback, and truly listened to player concerns regarding WotLK balance.
Without his fine work and dedication I don’t think we’d have a WotLK looking nearly as good as it is. That said, let’s get into these rogue changes!
Rogue Raid Utility
In terms of the big raid buffs, the ones we consider rogues bringing are Expose Armor, Wound Poison and Mind Numbing Poison. There are plenty of others more along the lines of Kick and Sap that are harder to quantify.
It’s really great to see blizzard is taking a serious look at improving raid utility for rogues. I could definitely see expose armor stacking with sunder armor in WotLK, and potentially being changed to a percentage armor reduction…a change which nearly made it into TBC.
There are lots of ways Blizzard can add raid utility to the class and I’m very excited to see how they work poisons, EA, and other rogue abilities into future lich king encounters.
With that in mind can you tell us any plans that you have to better close this PvE to PvP gap that we’re seeing with certain trees? How do you plan to make all three trees viable across the board?
Yes, this is definitely a priority. It is a lot harder with classes in which all specs are still focused mostly on dps. We understand that some specs are just going to be better for 5-mans, for PvP or for raiding. We’re trying to equalize as much as possible, but we’re also trying to be realistic about our chances.
How do you plan to deal with talents which were still considered all too needed by rogues, particularly in the case of Relentless Strikes? Is there any possibility of making Relentless Strikes a core class ability we can all train?
Mandatory talents are tricky. There are certainly plenty of them in every tree. Every warrior spec without Cruelty is pretty experimental, as is every druid spec without Omen of Clarity. Part of the problem is we keep offering new character levels along with new talents, so each expansion ends up constraining you more and more to one tree. The real red flag, for me at least, is when a spec has so many truly mandatory talents (which is a funny thing to say, since it’s still a little subjective) that they don’t have any optional talents. Instead of a cookie-cutter build being something like 20 plus your choice, they become you must get these 24 talents. If that makes sense.
I wish GC would have just answered the question here instead of beating around the bush. To me this sounds more like a cop out for…no, we aren’t making them core abilities, deal with it until we figure out what to do later in the expansion. Either way, all 3 talent trees are looking pretty damn good.
It is IMPOSSIBLE to create anything but carbon copies of abilities in each of the 3 trees and not have SOME variance. If you want the highest DPS there will ALWAYS be a max DPS…even if by 1 or 2% one spec will ALWAYS be better.
I think it is very likely there will be a theoretical max dps build. However:
- It will probably vary from boss to boss.
- It might depend a lot on the skill of the player.
- Because there are so many variables (by design) it may be really hard to “solve the equation” for which actually is the highest dps build.
- For 90% of players (maybe more) that kind of damage difference is in the noise. Very few players can do 2500 dps one night and then 2525 dps another night (a 1% difference). Usually the delta is much larger than that because of random elements including things as non-gamey as Internet lag, how tired you are and just bad luck. If taking the most optimal build can’t guarantee you dps higher than the random element in the equation, it may very well not be worth taking. Now if the dps gain is significant by taking the best build, then I agree with you.
Rogue Talent Tree Conclusions
Rogue talents are hard because the class is ultimately very mathy. Without a finite resource like mana, it’s easy to analyze every possible move for its cost efficiency and ultimate damage delivery. This is coupled with the fact that it’s really easy for a rogue to move among trees. By contrast, before the advent of Frostfire Bolt a fire mage could mostly ignore frost. A shadow priest wants almost nothing in Holy. But having an emphais on poisons or stealth in a rogue tree doesn’t make a tree unattractive to a Combat rogue. I’m not trying to make excuses, but perhaps more than any other class, I find that rogues can evaluate a talent’s utility pretty easily. It’s a cool thing about the class, but it makes talent design challenging.
I think I mentioned this in another thread, but our team has a really amazing rogue theorycrafter who stays really in touch with the community (anonymously). We have a surprising number of really good players on the team in general, but I always feel really safe about his conclusions on rogues. But that has also meant fewer blue posts than you deserve, so I’m trying to make up for that.
Major hunter aimed shot changes – Now Instant Cast!
I have some good news, and some bad news. First, the bad news. Unfortunately we won’t be able to do the Aspect of the Viper change I discussed yesterday (passive instead of requiring you to attack the target) at this time because of technical limitations and its potential to shake up our current balance goals. However, we will evaluate it as an option for a future patch.
Now, the good news.
- Aimed Shot – This shot will now be instant cast, its damage/effect/cooldown will remain unchanged.
- Scatter shot – This will now be an 11-point Survival talent.
- Readiness – This will now be the 21-point Marksmanship talent.
- Trap Mastery – This will now be the 41-point Survival talent. Granted, not very sexy for a 41-pointer but we’ll do some changes there in a future patch (after WOLK ships).
These changes will be live in an upcoming beta build.
Wow…just wow, I’m at a loss for this change. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with buffing hunters for wotlk. There are certainly some areas where the class needs some help, but making aimed shot an instant cast seems “excessive” at the very least.
6 second cooldown, mortal strike debuff, and instant cast? I just don’t see how this can ever be balanced for PvP without some additional and major adjustments to hunter shot rotation.
PvP consideratios left aside, I think this will be a great buff for marks hunters in PvE. Hopefully bringing the spec closer to that of beast mastery once all the changes are finalized before wrath of the lich king.
The new death knight hero class is the only class which can be created with any race. This will lend itself to a wide range of variablity in the class, particularly based upon your unique racial abilities and traits. So what is the best knight death race? Well, it’s a very difficult question. There are many factors must go into answering this question based upon what you want to do with your death knight.
Do you want to focus on PvE and raiding? PvP and Arena? or a combination of the two? Knowing what you want to do with your DK will help you make the most informed decision for your death knight’s race. Let’s start with the horde races.
Best Race for Death Knight?
note: non-combat abilities such as +profession skills, underwater breathing, etc. were not considered for this analysis. Also, make sure you check out the alliance and horde racial abilities and traits guide for the updated list of racials.
Best Horde Death Knight Race
- Blood Fury – Excellent ability for both PvP and PvE death knights.
- Hardiness – A solid ability for PvP, fairly useless in PvE. Not quite as good as it once was, but still worth the mention.
- Command - Another bonus for the class, which benefits from it’s undead summoning. Will have great value in both PvP and most PvE encounters.
- Axe Specialization – Great if you’re using axes, so long as there are high end 2 handed axes available this will be another bonus to the class.
All in all orc receives solid bonuses which help augment the death knight’s natural abilities. A very solid choice for PvP and PvE.
- War Stomp – A very nice ability, personally I think this is more for healers than death knights though. That said, it’s still a solid ability and will be beneficial for both PvP and PvE.
- Endurance – It’s yet to be determined exactly how this will be scaling, but on what I’ve seen and read it will be a nice HP boost, but not as crucial as it once was.
- Cultivation - Fairly pointless, no real application in both PvP or PvE. Don’t choose your death knight because of cultivation.
- Nature Resistance – Solid 2% nature resist, good for both PvP and PvE.
Overall just not that impressive. Hardcore tank death knights may opt for Tauren anyway as endurance does have the potential be significant. We won’t really know for sure until we see how it scales at level 80. The other racials are decent at best.
- Berserking - Will be a huge benefit for PvE death knights, particularly those who are tanking. Since you’ll always have life spiking up and down you can get a full 30% attack speed increase.
- Regeneration - Since death knight’s won’t have much health regeneration to begin with this racial is fairly useless.
- Beast Slaying – Is amazing for dungeons that have lots of beasts, namely bosses that are beasts. Also nice for PvP vs. hunter pets and druids in animal forms. This talent is very underestimated.
- Throwing Specialization – Pointless as death knights cannot wield throwing weapons.
- Bow Specialization – Pointless as death knights cannot wield bows.
- The VooDoo Shuffle – Great for PvP due to the importance of snare application and breaking, also should be beneficial to some degree in PvE. Will be dependent on the encounter.
I really like the idea of the berserking as a tank death knight, and of course it’s going to be great in PvP. Certainly in the running for best PvE tank. When you add beast slaying, berserking, voodoo shuffle on top of amazingly good hair cuts it’s not hard not to choose them!
- Will of the Forsaken – Always crucial for PvP, not so much in PvE.
- Cannibalize - A very solid ability, but more of a grinding / utility type of racial as opposed to an actual combat racial. Once again, more of a PvP ability.
- Undeadwater Breathing – No real combat application, don’t choose your death knight based on this.
- Shadow Resistance – A nice addition, but very minor, especially as it’s only 1% compared to the other resistances which are all 2%.
Overall I feel undead will be better suited to PvP players who are very concerned about being fear. Traditionally, undead racials have been the end all be all for PvP, but after the wotf nerf in addition to the other “meh” racial abilities, I don’t think undead are all that great.
Blood Elf Racials:
- Mana Tap – Solid PvP talent, minimal PvE application.
- Arcane Torrent – Great racial ability for both PvP and PvE.
- Arcane Affinity – Non-combat talent, don’t choose your death knight based on +10 enchanting skill. It’s just not worth it.
- Magic Resistance – 2% for all spells is pretty big, certainly makes up for arcane affinity.
Overall pretty solid here as well, a nice mix of PvP and PvE utility.
Best Death Knight Race for Horde Conclusions
- PvP Pick: Orc / Undead
- PvE Pick: Troll / Tauren (tank)
- All Around Pick: Orc
- My Preference: Troll
Perhaps I’m a little biased since I play a troll, but just based on the talent changes…well, trolls are looking pretty damn amazing. If we just compare troll / orc to the other races there’s not really much to mention. All tauren really have is the war stomp, as endurance is quite negligable after the change.
If we look at undead all we’re really considering is will of the forsaken, which is still great for PvP, but the other racials just don’t cut it for me. Blood elves are in a similar boat. Overall I feel orc is the best overall package. All 4 racials are work to directly increase damage / survivability, where as the other racials are mixed / indirrect / non-combat at best.
Personally I’d still opt for the troll, due to my natural affinity for the race in addition to their recent racial improvements and multi-faceted PvP and PvE application.
Best Alliance Death Knight Race
- Stoneform – More of a PvP talent, but also very nice during raids and other PvE encounters.
- Gun Specialization – irrelevant, death knights cannot use guns.
- Frost Resistance – A nice 2% resistance, solid for both PvP and PvE.
- Find Treasure - pretty pointless as it’s a non-combat talent, do not choose your death knight based on this.
- Mace Specialization – like any specialization, it’s great if you’re using the weapons for which you have bonus expertise for. Solid for both PvP and PvE purposes.
Quite frankly not all that great. If you have a 2h mace and do nothing but PvP against frost mages you might could make a case, but I’m not impressed by the racials here.
- Escape Artist - amazing for PvP, especially now that it can no longer be resisted. Solid for many PvE encounters as well.
- Expansive Mind – pointless as death knights gain nothing from intellect
- Arcane Resistance – Like any of the resistances, this will be a solid trait for both PvP and PvE.
- Engineering Specialist - non-combat trait, don’t choose your race based on this.
Much like dwarves, pretty bad. With the exception of escape artist every racial ability is either “meh” or not used at all.
- Perception - Some PvP application, not nearly as good as the old perception.
- The Human Spirit - death knight’s have no real spirit application.
- Diplomacy - non-combat, do not base your racial choice on this ability.
- Sword Specialization – Great if you are using swords, worthless if not.
- Mace Specialization – Great if you are using maces, worthless if not.
- Every man for himself - Awesome for PvP as it allows you to use another trinket, also solid for many PvE encounters.
So far the best of any alliance race. Having the double weapon specialization at least gives you some leeway as to your weapon selection. Once again nothing all that stellar though.
Night Elf Racials:
- Shadowmeld - Not crucial, very minor PvP application for death knights. Some PvE application for DPS death knights.
- Quickness - Solid for PvP and PvE.
- Wisp Spirit – Pointless, do not choose your race based on this.
- Nature Resistance – Solid for PvP and PvE.
No useable racials, quite frankly pretty bad. Quickness and Nature resistance are nice additions, but considering they are really more situational uses at best…these are pretty bad.
- Gift of the Naaru – Excellent ability for PvP and solid for PvE as well, especially now that it scales with AP / spell power.
- Heroic Presence – Solid 1%, nothing major but certainly a nice addition.
- Gemcutting – non-combat, do not choose your race based on this.
- Shadow Resistance – Of all the resistances shadow is the one to have, especially since it’s a 2% compared to the undead’s 1%.
Overall, draenie is pretty solid. The gift of the naaru is pretty huge in my opinion, you toss some nice passive resistance and +hit on top of that you’ve got a pretty solid package.
Best Death Knight Race for Alliance Conclusions
- PvP Pick: Human
- PvE Pick: Human / Draenei
- All Around Pick: Human
- My Preference: Human
Looking at the alliance racials for the death knight…well quite frankly they all just suck. Besides escape artist, stoneform, and gift of the naaru there really isn’t much worth mentioning. The other racial abilities are cenetered around passive or non-combat traits which aren’t going to really make or break your character. I strongly feel humans will make the best all around death knight.
You’ve got weapon specialization on both maces and swords, the novelty of diplomacy, perception…and to top it all off you’ve got the real clencher for me, every man for himself. This is huge, particuarlly for PvP. For PvE it’s not as big of a deal, hence why I’ve listed draenei as another option. Heroic pressence and gift are very nice, but when compared to the human’s weapon specs and free trinket I think the 2 races come up pretty even.
If you’re a druid and not using focus macros then you’re not not playing at your maximum potential. Focus macros are the easiest way to quickly improve your play, both from PvP and PvE perspectives. If you aren’t already up on focus macros I strongly encourage you go ahead and read my fundamentals for focus macros guide, this will teach you how to setup and use focus macros.
Additionally, make sure you check out my druid macro guide for non-focus druid macros.
Crowd Control Druid Macros
Focus Cyclone Macro
/cast [target=focus] Cyclone
Focus Root Macro
/cast [target=focus] Entangling Roots
Focus Feral Charge Macro
/cast [target=focus] Feral Charge
Focus Hibernate Macro
/cast [target=focus] Hibernate
In my opinion the above 4 macros are absolutely crucial for all druids, particularly PvP druids. These will allow you to efficiently crowd control and / or heal multiple targets since without having to worry about constant target switching. At the very minimum you should be using the focus cyclone macro or arena / pvp purposes.
Modifier Crowd Control Macros
Focus Cyclone Macro + Modifier
/cast [target=focus, modifier:shift] Cyclone; Cyclone
Focus Root Macro + Modifier
/cast [target=focus, modifier:shift] Entangling Roots; Entangling Roots
Focus Feral Charge Macro + Modifier
/cast [target=focus, modifier:shift] Feral Charge; Feral Charge
Focus Hibernate Macro + Modifier
/cast [target=focus, modifier:shift] Hibernate; Hibernate
I prefer this second set of focus cc macros above the first. These will allow you use the focus version of the spell with a regular button press, or a standard target=target spell with a shift modifier. Note: you can change the “shift” to control or alt, or any combination of these three.
Healing Druid Macros
Nature’s Swiftness Focus Macros
/cast Nature’s Swiftness
/cast [target=focus] Healing Touch