World of Warcraft: Legion Class Previews Reviewed (Part 3)

Greetings, ladies and gentlemen!

Today, we continue from where we left off last week on Legion Class Previews Reviewed (Part 2). Be sure to check that post out first if you have not done so already. Before I begin, here is a little introduction:

Two weeks ago, Blizzard released information regarding class changes coming to World of Warcraft with the release of the Legion expansion. Now, these were only previews of what is to come, but there were plenty of details laid out for how the classes will improve, or change, when the big expansion update hits. In this mini-series of posts, I will do an overview of each class preview and occasionally provide my thoughts on what has been done.

Logo - WoWLegion

Note: Do keep in mind that the information that follows is only a glimpse at the capabilities of the classes in Legion. All information is subject to change.

In Legion, the World of Warcraft developers seek to strengthen the identities of the game’s 11 classes. To do this, they are putting a lot of focus on the “core fantasy” of each class and their respective specializations. This will mean that some specs will only be streamlined, some specs will be modified to emphasize their unique themes, and other specs will be redesigned to gain an identity that previously didn’t exist or was missing. The intention is to ensure that each spec has an identity, as well as fills a unique aspect of a classes core themes. For today’s post, I shall cover the Warlock, Death Knight, Shaman, and Warrior.


WoW - LegionClass MonkMonk

At the start of this final part to the “Legion Class Previews Reviewed” series will be the Monk. A class introduced in the Mists of Pandaria expansion, alongside the Pandaren race (one of my all time favorites, lorewise), the Monk has always had a unique feel of its own. The class utilizes a martial arts style all its own, and makes use of special “brews” that offer varied effects. In Legion, the WoW developers seek only to solidify these themes, and streamline the play of each Monk specialization.

Brewmaster

The Brewmaster is the unique tanking specialization available to players of the Monk class. Instead of utilizing a shield to block attacks, or generate health through bloody attacks, the Brewmaster slows down the the flow of incoming damage and evades attacks. Similar to how the Protection Paladin lost access to Holy Power, but unlike how the Protection Warrior and Guardian Druid retained Rage or how the Blood Death Knight retained both Runes and Runic Power, the Brewmaster Monk will be losing Chi in favor of ability charges on its brew abilities. Let us review some of the changes coming in Legion.

  • Keg Smash
    40 Energy, 15 yard range, Instant, 8 second cooldown
    The Monk smashes a keg of brew on an enemy, dealing damage to all enemies within 8 yards, and reducing their movement speed by 50% for 15 sec. Reduces the remaining cooldown on Brews by 4 seconds.
  • Tiger Palm
    25 Energy, Melee Range, Instant
    The Monk attacks with its palm, dealing damage. Reduces the remaining cooldown on Brews by 1 second.
  • Blackout Strike
    Melee Range, Instant, 3 second cooldown
    The Monk thwacks an enemy with its weapon, dealing Physical damage. Shares cooldown with Breath of Fire.
  • Breath of Fire
    Instant, 3 second cooldown
    The Monk breathes fire on all foes in front of it, dealing Fire damage. If those enemies are affected by Keg Smash, they’ll burn for additional Fire damage over 8 seconds. Shares a cooldown with Blackout Strike.
  • Ironskin Brew
    Instant, 20 second recharge, 3 charges
    Increases the Monk’s Stagger amount by an additional 60% for 6 seconds. Shares charges with Purifying Brew.
    Comment: This ability appears to be the sole source of Stagger generation available to the Brewmaster now. Before, this was handled by the spec’s Mastery, but no longer.
  • Purifying Brew
    Instant, 20 second recharge, 3 charges
    Instantly purifies all of your staggered damage. Shares charges with Ironskin Brew.
  • Gift of the Ox
    (Passive) When the Monk takes damage, there is a chance to summon a Healing Sphere visible only to the Monk. Moving through this Healing Sphere will heal for 25% of maximum health. This chance is increased with lower health.
  • Mastery: Elusive Brawler
    Each time the Monk is hit by a melee attack, it gains 20% Dodge, stacking, until the next successful Dodge. Also increases attack power by 20% (for reasons…).
    Comment: Changed from the Brewmaster’s primary source of Stagger generation, this spec’s mastery now provides a huge bonus to Dodge. I don’t think the Dodge mechanic has been touched in ages. I guess the developers recently remembered that it is something that actually exists in their game.
  • Talent: Elusive Dance
    (Passive) Purifying Brew also grants up to 15% Dodge for 6 sec, based on the level of Stagger damage purified.

Brewmasters and Chi: All I am seeing here is one mechanic needlessly being removed for another mechanic. The developers haven’t removed Chi altogether, as you will later on, but have taken it away from the Brewmaster spec because, like the Protection Paladin, they aren’t smart enough to make it work for the playstyle. Why hasn’t this been done to any of the other tanks? There are still three tanks, soon to be four with the Vengeance Demon Hunter, who utilize resources that need to be generated, but don’t have ALL of their defensive abilities tied to it. So why couldn’t the Brews be the only thing that requires Chi for this spec? Or maybe Purifying Brew and Blackout Strike/Breath of Fire?

Mistweaver

The Mistweaver Monk is the other spec to lose access to the Chi resource. So, the playstyle of the spec is being rebuilt to focus solely on healing. This means that those of you who were deeply engaged with the famed “Fistweaving” playstyle will have to learn how to be “real” healers again. Let us review.

  • Soothing Mist
    (Passive) The Monk’s Effuse, Enveloping Mist, and Vivify abilities also trigger Soothing Mist. After casting these spells, the Monk will continue to channel healing mists into the target, healing them every 0.5 sec, until another action is taken.
    Comment: Now, the channeled, single-target healing ability that Mistweaver’s once had is now a passive that triggers off of other abilities. An interesting idea.
  • Effuse
    1.8% Mana, 40 yard range, 1.5 second cast
    A fast and efficient spell, healing the target for a minor amount.
  • Enveloping Mist
    6.0% Mana, 40 yard range, 2 second cast
    Wrap the target in healing mists, healing them for a huge amount over 6 seconds, and increasing healing received from your spells by 30%.
  • Renewing Mist
    3.5% Mana, Instant cast, 6 second cooldown
    The Monk surrounds the target with healing mists, restoring health over 20 seconds. If Renewing Mist causes any overhealing, it will travel to the most injured ally within 20 yards. When Renewing Mist heals, it has a 4% chance to increase the healing of the next Vivify by 50%.
  • Essence Font
    8.0% Mana, 40 yard range, Channeled
    Unleash a rapid twirl of healing bolts at up to 6 allies within 25 yds, every second for 3 seconds. Each bolt heals the target, then heals for an additional amount over 8 sec.
  • Vivify
    5.0% Mana, 40 yard range, 1.5 second cast
    Cause a surge of invigorating mists around the target, healing them and their 2 nearest injured allies for a moderate amount.
  • Mastery: Gust of Mists
    The Monk’s targeted heals also cause a gust of healing mists, instantly healing the target for a minor amount.
  • Talent: Mistwalk
    40 yard range, Instant, 20 second recharge, 2 charges
    Instantly dash to an ally, and heal them.

RIP Fistweaving: Personally, I think the spec should have been focused more on the Fistweaving playstyle, because it was something that made the spec unique. There is no Melee Healer in the game. Every healer is a caster-based healer, and that is pretty boring. The Holy Paladin could have been made into a Melee Healer, too, and it would have worked well with the use of the Beacon. Oh, well.

Windwalker

The Windwalker spec will now be the sole user of Chi, but has been modified to provide more depth by reducing the spec’s complexity. The spec has a new mastery which is intended to make ability use more deliberate and compelling. Let us review.

  • Tiger Palm
    50 Energy, Melee Range, Instant
    The Monk attacks with the palm of its hand, dealing damage and generating 2 Chi. Tiger Palm has an 8% chance to make the next Blackout Kick cost no Chi.
  • Blackout Kick
    1 Chi, Melee Range, Instant
    Kick with a blast of Chi energy, dealing Physical damage.
  • Rising Sun Kick
    2 Chi, Melee Range, Instant, 8 second cooldown
    The Monk kicks upward, dealing damage, and reducing the effectiveness of healing on the target for 10 sec.
  • Fists of Fury
    3 Chi, Melee Range, Channeled, 20 second cooldown
    Pummel all targets in front of the Monk, dealing damage over 4 seconds. Deals reduced damage to secondary targets. Can be channeled while moving.
  • Spinning Crane Kick
    1 Chi, Channeled
    The Monk spins while kicking in the air, dealing damage over 1.5 seconds to enemies within 8 yds.
  • Storm, Earth, and Fire
    Instant, Toggle
    The Monk splits into 3 elemental spirits, suited to attacking 3 or more enemies. Each spirit deals 50% of normal damage and healing. The Monk directly controls the Storm spirit, while Earth and Fire spirits mimic the Monk’s attacks on different nearby enemies. Lasts until toggled off, or either Earth or Fire are destroyed.
    Comment: This is probably the most iconic ability from the Monk class from Warcraft III. I like how this ability is meant to work. I’m a little disappointed that it cannot be used for one-on-one purposes. Though, it would probably need to do something other than just deal less damage per spirit for it to be cool.
  • Mastery: Combo Strikes
    The Monk’s abilities deal 25% more damage when they are not a repeat of the previous ability.
  • Talent: Hit Combo
    (Passive) Each successive attack that triggers Combo Strikes in a row grants 1% increased damage, stacking up to 10 times.

WoW - LegionClass DruidDruid

Next up in today’s post is the Druid, the purest hybrid class to ever exist in the game. Capable of taking on any role (Melee DPS, Ranged DPS, Tank, and Healer), the Druid has always had a place in any group whether they are rushing into the fray or supporting their allies from afar. One of their defining features has always been their ability to shapeshift. Each specialization (save for Restoration) either gains access to or places emphasis on a single shapeshift form that suits the role they fill. In Legion, the WoW developers are creating a new set of talents that will allow Druids to make better use of another specs abilities, and gain additional benefits for their main spec.

  • Balance Affinity
    Astral Influence: Increases the range of all spells, abilities, and autoattacks by 5 yds.
    Comment: This affinity talent will also grant access to Moonkin form and a few Balance specific abilities. Not available to Balance.
  • Feral Affinity
    Feline Swiftness: Increases movement speed by 15%.
    Comment: This affinity talent will grant access to several Feral specific abilities. Not available to Feral.
  • Guardian Affinity
    Thick Hide: Reduces all damage taken by 10%.
    Comment: This affinity talent will grant access to several Guardian specific abilities. Not available to Guardian.
  • Restoration Affinity
    Ysera’s Gift: Constantly heals the Druid, or allies when the Druid is at full health.
    Comment: This affinity talent grants access to a few Restoration specific abilities. Not available to Restoration.

Balance

BOOMKIN!!!

The Balance Druid has seen quite a few interesting changes in the last few years. The first being the introduction of the Eclipse resource that gave the spec a new and compelling way to play. The second was the idiotic change to the Eclipse bar that removed any control over its progression from the players hands. In Legion, the Eclipse bar has been replaced with a rather unimaginative resource called Astral Power that functions like any other resource bar; you fill it up, then empty it out, and repeat. I’m not saying this change is awful, it should be implied, but the original Eclipse resource was unique, was fully in the control of the player, and had different options for slowing down, speeding up, and pausing its progression (iirc). Anyways, let us review.

  • Moonfire
    45 yard range, Instant
    A quick beam of lunar light burns an enemy, dealing Arcane damage, and then additional Arcane damage over 18 seconds. Usable while in Bear Form.
  • Sunfire
    45 yard range, Instant
    A quick beam of solar light burns an enemy, dealing Nature damage, and then additional Nature damage over 14 seconds to the primary target and all enemies within 5 yards.
    Comment: With all this talk about putting more focus on each spec’s unique themes, why is a spell called SUNFIRE dealing Nature damage? Shouldn’t it be dealing FIRE damage? I think the Balance spec’s themes became bass-ackwards when the Eclipse resource was introduced…
  • Lunar Strike
    45 yard range, 2.5 second cast
    Call down a strike of lunar energy, causing Arcane damage to an enemy, and Arcane damage to all other enemies within 5 yards. Generates 15 Astral Power.
    Comment: Formerly Starfire, this spell has been changed into Balance’s primary AoE damage spell and Astral Power generator.
  • Solar Wrath
    45 yard range, 1.5 second cast
    Hurl a ball of solar energy at the target, dealing moderate Nature damage. Generates 9 Astral Power.
    Comment: Solar Wrath, as in wrath from the sun, deals Nature damage…
  • Starsurge
    40 Astral Power, 45 yard range, Instant cast
    Launch a surge of stellar energies at the target, dealing Astral damage. Grants the Druid Lunar and Solar Empowerments, which increase the damage of the next Lunar Strike or Solar Wrath by 30%, respectively. Up to 3 stacks of each Empowerment can accumulated.
    Comment: So, even without the actual Eclipse mechanic, the WoW developers have opted to retain the Eclipse mechanic through Starsurge, except not. The original version required the Druid to be under a certain state to benefit from either an Arcane damage or Nature damage buff. Now, the Druid receives both which makes it sort of redundant. The Balance spec will be using Lunar Strike and Solar Wrath anyway to generate Astral Power, so why bother with the Empowerments?
  • Starfall
    60 Astral Power, 45 yard range, Instant cast
    Calls down waves of falling stars that damage enemies at the targeted location. Deals Astral damage over 8 sec. Enemies in Starfall take 30% additional damage from Moonfire and Sunfire.
  • Mastery: Starlight
    Increases the damage of Starfall and Starsurge, and the effects of Lunar and Solar Empowerments, by an additional 30%.
  • Talent: Blessing of the Ancients
    Instant cast
    The Druid gains a Blessing of the Ancients, activating or swapping between one of the two following beneficial effects:
    Blessing of Elune – Increases Astral Power generated by Solar Wrath and Lunar Strike by 50%.
    Blessing of An’she – Grants 3 Astral Power every 2 sec.

Feral

The Feral spec is not receiving any drastic changes to its gameplay. Players are more likely to find some streamlining done to rotations and ability use. However, do expect to see more interesting talent choices in Legion, because the WoW developers are set to provide more options than Feral is likely to have had available to them before. Let us review.

  • Shred
    40 Energy, Melee Range, Instant
    Shred the target, dealing Physical damage. Awards 1 combo point. Damage increased by 20% against bleeding targets. While stealthed, Shred deals 20% increased damage, and has double the chance to critically strike.
  • Rake
    35 Energy, Melee Range, Instant
    Rake the target, dealing Bleed damage, and additional Bleed damage over 15 seconds. Reduces the target’s movement speed by 50% for 12 seconds. Awards 1 combo point. While stealthed, Rake will also stun the target for 4 seconds.
    Comment: Is it me, or is this ability a little too powerful? It reminds me of Avenger’s Shield, dealing damage to multiple foes, interrupting and Silencing, and having a high chance for its cooldown to reset. In other words, there are too many damn things happening with one ability. Slim it down now.
  • Rip
    30 Energy, 1 to 5 Combo Points, Melee Range, Instant
    Finishing move that deals Bleed damage over 24 seconds. Damage increases per combo point.
    Comment: I’m Torn. Rip Torn.
  • Ferocious Bite
    25 Energy, 1 to 5 Combo Points, Melee Range, Instant
    Finishing move that causes damage per combo point and consumes up to 25 additional Energy to increase damage by up to 100%. When used on targets below 25% health, Ferocious Bite will also refresh the duration of your Rip on the target. Critical strike chance doubled against bleeding targets.
  • Omen of Clarity
    (Passive) Your autoattacks have a chance to reduce the Energy cost of your next Cat Form ability by 100%.
  • Primal Fury
    (Passive) You gain an additional combo point when you critically strike with a combo-generating attack. Damage over time effects cannot trigger Primal Fury.
  • Mastery: Razor Claws
    Increases the damage done by your Cat Form bleed abilities by 60%.
    Comment: Mmmmm, I love me the sweet smell of “lame as fuck” in the morning.
  • Talent: Jagged Wounds
    (Passive) The Druid’s Rip, Rake, and Thrash abilities deal the same damage as normal, but in 33% less time.

Guardian

Next, we have the big, fluffy, durable bear – the Guardian Druid. Probably the specialization that truly exemplifies the shapeshifting nature of the Druid class, the Guardian is often an unstoppable force on the battlefield. In recent years, the WoW developers feel like the playstyle of the Guardian spec hasn’t truly matched up with the themes it presents. In Legion, Guardian Druids will now be more focused on surviving damage through massive health pools, durability from armor and damage mitigation, and recovering through regeneration. Let us review.

  • Mangle
    Melee Range, Instant, 6 second cooldown
    Mangle an enemy, dealing Physical damage, and reducing the target’s movement speed by 50% for 12 sec. Deals 20% additional damage against bleeding targets. Generates 5 Rage.
  • Lacerate
    Melee Range, Instant, 3 second cooldown
    Lacerates an enemy, dealing Bleed damage, and additional Bleed damage over 15 seconds. Stacks up to 3 times. Lacerate has a 25% chance to reset the cooldown on Mangle.
  • Thrash
    Instant, 6 second cooldown
    Strikes all enemy targets within 8 yards, dealing Bleed damage, and applying Lacerate for additional Bleed damage over 15 seconds.
  • Ironfur
    40 Rage, Instant
    Increases armor by 100% for 6 seconds. Multiple uses of this ability may overlap.
    Comment: The Guardian Druid’s main source of damage mitigation is simply a big boost to Armor at the cost of Rage. Nice.
  • Mark of Ursol
    40 Rage, Instant
    Reduces magical damage taken by 30% for 6 seconds.
  • Frenzied Regeneration
    10 Rage, Instant, 20 second recharge (2 charges)
    Heals the Druid for 100% of all damage taken in the last 6 seconds over 6 seconds (minimum 5% of maximum health).
    Comment: Again, just like the Blood Death Knight’s Death Strike, why can’t the healing be something more straightforward?
  • Mastery: Nature’s Guardian
    Increases the Druid’s maximum health and healing received by 40%. Also increases your attack power by 20% (for reasons…).
    Comment: I wonder what the Guardian Druid health pools are going to look like when players start stacking all of the Mastery in the world. Lawls.
  • Talent: Rend and Tear
    (Passive) Lacerate’s bleed effect now also reduces the target’s damage done to the Druid, and increases damage the Druid does to the target, by 3% per stack.

Restoration

The Restoration Druid isn’t seeing a massive change in Legion. Instead, their mastery is being modified to put a greater emphasis on layering their periodic healing effects to bolster their overall healing. From the list of abilities on display in the preview, the Restoration spec has a lot of tools on hand. Moreso than many other healing classes, or so it would seem. Let us review.

  • Healing Touch
    2% Mana, 40 yard range, 2.5 second cast
    Heals a friendly target for a moderate amount.
  • Regrowth
    3.7% Mana, 40 yard range, 1.5 second cast
    Heals a friendly target, and heals for an additional amount over 12 seconds. Regrowth has a 60% increased chance for a critical effect.
  • Rejuvenation
    1.9% Mana, 40 yard range, Instant cast
    Heals the target over 15 seconds.
  • Lifebloom
    2% Mana, 40 yard range, Instant cast
    Heals the target over 10 seconds. When Lifebloom expires or is dispelled, the target is instantly healed. Lifebloom can be active only on one target at a time.
  • Efflorescence
    4.3% Mana, 40 yard range, Instant cast
    Grow a healing blossom at the target location, restoring a moderate amount of health to three injured allies within 10 yards every 2 seconds for 30 seconds. Only 1 Efflorescence can be placed at a time.
  • Swiftmend
    1.6% Mana, 40 yard range, Instant cast, 30 second cooldown
    Instantly heals a friendly target.
  • Wild Growth
    7.5% Mana, 40 yard range, 1.5 second cast, 10 second cooldown
    Heals up to 6 injured allies within 30 yards of the target for a moderate amount over 7 seconds. Healing amount starts high and declines over the duration.
  • Living Seed
    (Passive) When the Druid critically heals a target with the direct healing portion of Switmend, Regrowth, or Healing Touch, a Living Seed is planted on the target. When the target is next attacked, the Living Seed will bloom and heal for 50% of the initial amount healed.
  • Omen of Clarity
    (Passive) The Druid’s periodic healing from Lifebloom has a 4% chance to trigger a Clearcasting state, causing the next Regrowth to be free.
    Comment: I think it goes without saying that Regrowth is the bread and butter spell for the Restoration spec. It gets special treatment from Omen of Clarity. It’s the most likely spell to trigger Living Seed due to its high crit chance. It has direct healing AND periodic healing. It’s just the boss of Druid healing.
  • Mastery: Harmony
    The Druid’s healing is increased by 12% for each of your Restoration heal over time effects on the target.
    Comment: I think what would be cool is if the bonus healing affected only direct healing. So, if you wanted to maximize your healing on one of the tanks, you simply cover them in DoTs. Then again, with all those DoTs you would likely not have to worry about direct healing as much. Druid periodic healing tends to be pretty overpowered.
  • Talent: Flourish
    Instant cast, 1 minute cooldown
    Extends the duration of the Druid’s heal over time effects on friendly targets within 60 yards by 10 seconds.
    Comment: I can’t tell if this is a buff granted to the Druid or something placed on nearby friendlies. If it is the former, the wording is idiotic. However, if it is the latter, then the mechanic is idiotic. Either way it’s a lose-lose situation for the WoW developers.

WoW - LegionClass RogueRogue

Now, to bring this post, and this blog series, to a close, I will cover the Rogue. A mainstay in most fantasy RPGs, the Rogue in World of Warcraft is a master assassin, connoisseur of poisons, and highly proficient with daggers. Unfortunately, Rogues have suffered a similar fate as Hunters in recent years (according to the preview). Each of their specializations lack an identity of their own, and sort of blend in with each other. In Legion, however, the WoW developers are making some changes to what players have come to know about these denizens of the shadows, especially the Combat spec.

Assassination

The Assassination Rogue has a pretty straightforward theme that is closely tied to their name; kill all the things. The WoW developers are looking to deepen the theme tied to this spec. First, Assassination will now be the exclusive user of Poisons and Bleed damage effects. This means that the bulk of the damage done by this spec will be periodic. That isn’t to say that Assassination will lack any sort of burst power, but it will not be their strongest aspect.

  • Garrote
    45 Energy, Melee Range, Instant, 15 second cooldown
    Garrote the enemy, causing bleed damage over 18 seconds. Generates 1 combo point. While stealthed, the target is also silenced for 3 seconds.
    Comment: If I recall correctly, this ability could only be used from stealth. Now, it appears that this is no longer the case. I think that is a pretty good change considering the gameplay that the developers are going for.
  • Mutilate
    55 Energy, Melee Range, Instant
    Attack with both weapons, dealing Physical damage. Generates 2 combo points.
  • Envenom
    35 Energy, 1 to 5 Combo Points, Melee Range, Instant
    A finishing move that drives poisoned blades in deep, dealing Nature damage, and increasing poison application chance by 30%. Damage and duration increased per combo point.
  • Rupture
    25 Energy, 1 to 5 Combo Points, Melee Range, Instant
    Finishing move that tears open the target, dealing bleed damage over time. Lasts longer per combo point.
  • Seal Fate
    (Passive) When the Rogue critically strikes with a melee attack that generates combo points, generate an additional combo point.
    Comment: In the preview, it is stated that this passive can proc off both weapons from Mutilate. This means that Mutilate could potentially generate 4 Combo Points at one time. With enough Critical Strike rating, this could occur A LOT.
  • Venomous Wounds
    (Passive) The Rogue regains 10 Energy each time it deals Bleed damage to a poisoned foe.
  • Mastery: Potent Poisons
    Increases the damage done by your poisons by 70%.
    Comment: Not only is this mastery really high on the snor-o-meter, but it’s no longer special, and rather redundant. The Assassination Rogue is the only one that uses poisons anymore, and they are going to deal poison damage anyway. Why not come up with a mastery that is more inspired?
  • Talent: Elaborate Planning
    (Passive) The Rogue’s finishing moves grant 20% increased damage for 4 seconds.

Combat Outlaw

Whenever I tried playing a Rogue in World of Warcraft, the one spec that I was always drawn to was the Combat Rogue. Just by the name, I was always given the impression that these Rogues were prone to fighting in the forefront of battle, unlike their Assassination and Subtely brethren. Combat Rogues always seemed to be more in your face, than sneak-and-stabby. Well, this long lived specialization is getting a facelift in Legion.

Introducing the new Outlaw specialization! Themed after roguish swordsman who have learned to duel foes toe-to-toe, but not always in the most honorable fashion. Outlaws embody what I have imagined a Combat Rogue would be, but bring with it some added flavor. Unlike Assassination and Subtlety, the Outlaw spec will rely much less on Stealth to maximize its damage. Additionally, this spec will employ a concealed pistol for mid-range attacks. Let us review.

  • Saber Slash
    50 Energy, Melee Range, Instant
    Viciously slash an enemy, causing Physical damage, and generating 1 combo point. Saber Slash has a 35% chance to strike an additional time, dealing additional damage and generating another combo point, and making the next Pistol Shot free.
    Comment: The more piratey version of Sinister Strike, Saber Slash is a unique ability that has a lot going on. It makes me think about the fights that one Captain Sparrow might have in a certain set of Pirate movies.
  • Pistol Shot
    40 Energy, 20 yard range, Instant
    Draw a concealed pistol and fire a quick shot at an enemy, dealing Physical damage and reducing movement speed by 50% for 6 sec. Generates 1 combo point.
    Comment: This is that bit of extra flavor that I was talking about earlier. The addition of the concealed pistol is pretty cool, and fits the pirate theme that I am getting from the Outlaw.
  • Slice and Dice
    25 Energy, Instant
    A finishing move that consumes combo points to increase attack speed by 40%. Lasts longer per combo point.
  • Run Through
    35 Energy, 1 to 5 Combo Points, 8 yd range, Instant
    Lunging finishing move that causes damage per combo point and has increased range.
    Comment: Pirate theme. Totally feeling it.
  • Combat Potency
    (Passive) The Rogue’s off-hand attacks have a chance to generate 15 Energy. Slower weapons have a higher chance.
    Comment: I’m not sure that I like mechanics being reliant on auto-attacks, but considering that Haste and Attack Speed buffs don’t really affect anything else of merit for a Rogue, it may not be too bad.
  • Ruthlessness
    (Passive) The Rogue’s finishing moves have a 20% chance per combo point spent to generate a combo point.
  • Mastery: Main Gauche
    The Rogue’s main-hand attacks have a 44% chance to trigger an attack with the off-hand that deals Physical damage.
  • Talent: Quick Draw
    (Passive) Free uses of Pistol Shot granted by Saber Slash now generate 1 additional combo point, and deal 50% increased damage.

Subtlety

While Assassination is being made more assassin… ny, the Subtlety Rogue is being pushed deeper into the shadows. This spec will make the best use out of Stealth and stealth-only abilites due to a redesigned Shadow Dance mechanic. Though, the functionality of this new passive makes little sense (especially with it not functioning the same in PvP), but the purpose is the important thing. Subtlety Rogues will also be a bit more in tune with shadow magic due to a new finisher. Let us review.

  • Shadowstrike
    40 Energy, 30 yd range, Instant, Requires Stealth
    Strike through the shadows, appearing behind the target, dealing Physical damage. Generates 2 combo points.
    Comment: While not an actual “Shadow Strike” per se, this ability embodies the theme of Subtlety Rogues being capable of entering stealth and appearing elsewhere in a flash.
  • Backstab
    35 Energy, Melee Range, Instant
    Stab the target, dealing Physical damage. Damage increased by 30% when behind the target. Generates 1 combo point.
    Comment: Does Ambush still exist in the game? Will it be another Stealth-only ability available to this spec? I’m starting to doubt it.
  • Nightblade
    25 Energy, 1 to 5 Combo Points, Melee Range, Instant
    A finishing move that infects the target with shadowy energy, dealing Shadow damage over time and reducing movement speed by 50%. Damage and duration increased per combo point.
    Comment: This is the new shadowy finisher that I mentioned earlier. While not a poison or a bleed effect, it is a unique periodic damage effect for the Rogue class.
  • Eviscerate
    35 Energy, 1 to 5 Combo Points, Melee Range, Instant
    A finishing move that disembowels the target, dealing increased damage per combo point.
  • Shadow Dance
    (Passive) The Rogue’s finishing moves have a 20% chance per combo point to activate Stealth. For 3 sec, this Stealth will not break when you autoattack or take damage. When this effect occurs, a Shadow Decoy will appear nearby, confusing your enemies.
    Comment: In the preview, it is stated that Shadow Dance will function differently in PvP. When triggered, the Rogue will gain access to stealth-only abilities, but will not be put in stealth. My question is, why couldn’t this have been this effect for both types of gameplay. Instead of triggering stealth, why couldn’t the “Shadow Dance” effect be triggered? For instance, the Rogue would have access to Shadowstrike, and their other assorted stealth-only abilities, but only for a short time after using a finishing move. It makes way more sense, and reduces the development time needed to create different effects for two types of gameplay. It would be smarter. Then again, Blizzard doesn’t always do smart.
  • Shadow Techniques
    (Passive) The Rogue’s autoattacks have a chance to generate a combo point.
  • Mastery: Executioner
    Increases the damage done by your finishing moves by 55%.
    Comment: I’ll skip the part about how this is a “lame as fuck” mastery, and move straight onto asking, why isn’t the Subtlety mastery increasing the damage of stealth-only abilities like Shadowstrike? Isn’t the whole theme of Subtlety to be focused on Stealth-based damage even when not actually in stealth? It’s almost like the developers lost that imaginative spark that spawned the Outlaw when rebuilding this spec.
  • Talent: Relentless Strikes
    (Passive) The Rogue gains an additional 40 Energy when entering Stealth.
    Comment: This could be another mechanic that could benefit from the smarter Shadow Dance change. It could read, “gain an additional 40 Energy after triggering Shadow Dance.” It reads better, and makes more sense for PvP players, because the current version of Shadow Dance doesn’t actually put them into stealth. See why its smarter now, Blizzard?

What do you think of the direction these classes are taking? Are you looking forward to Legion? Do you remain unpersuaded to play WoW? Join the discussion below.


You can find “Legion Class Previews Reviewed (Part 1)” right here. It covers the Hunter, Priest, Mage, and Paladin.

You can find “Legion Class Previews Reviewed (Part 2)” right here. It covers the Warlock, Death Knight, Shaman, and Warrior.

I created a Facebook page, be sure to click the like button in the sidebar, or you can head straight to the page.

If you have any questions for me, or have some ideas for topics you’d like me to cover, you can leave a comment below or head over to my shiny semi-new-ish Contact page.


Thanks for reading to the end. I hope you’ll be back for the next one.

War Fist out.

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About The War Fist

I am an aspiring writer and gamer designer who enjoys the act of creating something from nothing. Typically, my creations are stories, characters, and concepts for game mechanics and/or features. I've been developing my own philosophies of storytelling, game design, and , to an extent, filmmaking, and would eventually like the opportunity to put them into practice.

Posted on November 27, 2015, in Gaming and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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