Closed Beta announced, NDA lifted

It seems that Soon ™ came sooner than expected. Today the announcement was made that the NDA is lifted on the Alpha material, as the Closed Beta will begin. This means that for many of us, the tense time approaches to watch for a message on our battle.net accounts whether or not we will be entered into the Beta and see all the cool new stuff first-hand.

Things Shadowpriests have to look forward to

So far, a new nuke that gets more powerful as its stacks a debuff, shadowy copies that chase down opponents, and having a mastery that resembles the old Shadowguard racial. Who knows however, what Blizzard has been keeping secret and will surprise us yet once the Beta goes live?

I for one enjoy the new depth of lore, the return of more Old God meddling in Azeroth, and the chance to finally level myself a Troll Druid. I am also warming up to the idea of rolling a Goblin (most likely a hunter) for some roleplay on the Horde side. These guys get all the good lines!

New racials are announced as well, but what they will be is still unclear. What we can extrapolate from the currently released Worgen and Goblin racials is that we will receive:

  • A bonus on one Trade skill fitting to the race (like Jewelcrafting for Draenei, Engineering for Gnomes)
  • A passive 1% bonus on one trait (like Haste, Damage done, Crit, Miss chance, and so on)
  • A slight resistance to something (like Shadow, Nature)
  • One or two “utility” abilities (like a bonus on effects of potions, bank access, bonus to reputation)
  • One or two “combat” abilities (like a rocket pack, Shadowmeld, Gift of the Naaru, Will of the Forsaken and such)

With a listing roughly like this, it wouldn’t be too hard to imagine what each race would get, but only the Beta will tell for sure. For myself, I will likely lose the Hit bonus as a Draenei (it was too clumsy for Blizzard and most Hit bonuses are removed to make the stat more valuable) so imagine for Draenei a list like below:

  • +10 bonus on Jewlcrafting skill
  • 1% additional Crit
  • Slight Shadow Resistance (10-20)
  • Gift of the Naaru, Vengeance of the Naaru (say a self-cast buff with retributive Holy damage)

Now, the real kicker would be the two abilities that should be utility, but have limited use in combat. Examples could be decreased time to do Jewelcrafting, not needing a kit for Jewelcrafting, some sort of flashy light display that heals for a slight bit but can only be used out of combat, or the ability to resurrect faster.

Note that some of these actually wouldn’t work, because these utility abilities should be useful and balanced across all classes. This is what makes it so tricky.

Conclusion

I will be keeping a close watch, hoping to receive a Beta key and test out the Shadowy goodness that creeps forth in Cataclysm. Because let’s face it, we all want to be cool right?

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4 Responses to “Closed Beta announced, NDA lifted”

  1. Thommas Says:

    No kit for Draenei JCs? What, are you grinding gems on your hooves and horns? :)

    • Well, that certainly would be an option. I mirrored it a bit from the Worgen, which will get the ability to skin without a knife. They have claws, and Draenei can probably use their claws as well (just check the unarmed attack animation).

      It’s a bit throwing a wide ball here, but I am sure the Blizzard development team is trying to find abilities that make at least a minimum of sense and add value as well.

  2. Some of the concerns I am having at this time:

    * Will mana management be an issue without Meditation, increased Haste and no Improved Mana Tap. Will Replenishment be removed (ouch for us) or changed to at least benefit us?

    * Improved Shadow Form seems to indicate we get a Crit aura (blegh) while previous incarnations showed Haste. Other sources indicate we might get a Crit as well as Haste effect. If so, I am breaking out the ponpons.

    * Some people say our 30% threat reduction in SF no longer applies and we are forced to take the threat reduction in talents to be able to DPS properly (and our threat is HUGE currently as well). This will be a weak way out for Blizzard to force us to spend points on a talent we never took except maybe for PvP.

    * Shadowy Apparitions are fun, but slow and seem more of a passive filler talent than something we can use without severly limiting other ways of generating damage.

    * Mind Spike now seems to have a “reserve” component; some of its damage is stored in a debuff, and triggered when casting Mind Blast. This, in combination with Mind Melt, would be a huge “burst on demand” ability when we need to shatter stuff.

    * However, the “triggered” damage from the Mind Spike debuff causes high threat. Which is not cool, since threat might be a giant issue as it is, if we lose out inherent threat and need to talent for it, effectively losing 6% threat reduction.
    I know that in 10mans I have to stop flasking or I will peel Sindragosa off a tank in 10mans after 3-4 seconds, unless I pre-fade or a Hunter is on the ball.

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