All throughout the past 7 months or so, I’ve been entering competitions on WoWHead, MMOC, MMOG etc etc in order to win a beta key.
So with the expansion about 4 weeks out from the time of writing, and after the pre-expansion patch has gone live, now would of course be the most useless time to get a key to check out the changes.
So OF COURSE…
A Winnar is me!
I went and finally got one, didn’t I?
Got it from a WoWhead comp, and I’m pretty pleased in all honesty. It at least means I get to check out Demon Hunters ahead of their going live in about a week from now.
I’m also able to check out the artifact quests ahead of Legion’s launch, as well as check out the Broken Isles and decide what route I want to take from 100-110.
So far I’ve done the BM one (as well as the Guardian Druid & Prot Paladin quests), as you can see above, and got Hati, the pet bound to the BM weapon, Titanstrike.
The chain itself is interesting, pleasantly short enough (about an hour or so all round), and takes me back to some of my favourite places in WoW.
I’ll be running through the MM & Resto Druid chains before launch, but given that the below represent the characters & specs I’ll level first, they were my first choices.
I have found the limited questing I’ve done so far to be a lot of fun. Quite a few quests, surprisingly, are fully voiced, which is a huge QoL change.
BM’s chance to finally shine…
But the biggest thing for me has been finally seeing how BM plays with Hati at your side. BM probably misses its artifact weapon more than any other spec in the game at the moment. It’s not only missing a significant chunk of damage (from Hati) on top of the other DPS increases that all specs will see once they fully max out their artifacts over the first few months, but its playstyle and feel is entirely different to what you’ll get once Legion launches.
Playing as BM with Hati is really fun. For the first time last night I got a proper glimpse of what Blizzard are aiming for with BM, and I have to say I found it really enjoyable. The ping-ponging of mobs between your main pet and Hati is very fun, and means it’s that much easier to keep your main pet healed whenever it’s taking half the damage it currently does on live, as that damage is split between your two pets.
Playing with dual pets means you feel like you and your pets are truly part of a small team, working in concert to take down mobs. It really shines however when taking on elites, and the mob doesn’t die in 5 seconds flat, because it’s here that you get the real feeling of teamwork between your pets.
It looks like my Horde hunter will be shelved for a significant portion of Legion, which at the moment is fine with me. I’d rather concentrate on one hunter at a time, especially given that neither will be my main raiding character. Although that may change if BM continues to shine. Speaking of raiding specs…
The Guardian Druid artifact chain was the most fun out of the 3 I’ve done so far. It actually made you tank for some NPCs, and it wasn’t a walk in the park either!
Imagine Proving Grounds on Gold, that sorta difficulty. You’ll get through it ok, but you won’t afk your way through it either.
It again brought you back to Northrend, and involves re-uniting with some old friends, and that’s all I’m saying on that 😉
This, honestly, was pretty disappointing. Nowhere near as long as the other two, in fact it felt like it finished at the halfway point of the others, and like there’s something missing, some part of the chain, as it’s all over so very quickly in comparison to the others.
But it is complete, and you get your Sword & Shield, Truthguard at its completion. And I have to say they look absolutely beautiful. And they work really well with my MoP CM Set!
My old stomping ground, revisited.
As it happens, today was the first I sat down and had a really good look at the changes to my Prot Paladin and Mistweaver…
Prot Paladins seem to be a very high-maintenance class now. With lots of low cool-down abilities, you’re constantly having to chain stuff together in order to survive.
Most abilities come back off CD within about 8 seconds, so it can be very frantic trying to monitor things like Consecration, Blessed Hammer, Shield of the Righteous, Judgement, Avenger’s Shield etc etc and keep them all up and used appropriately. The sound effects though? Christ. It sounds like you’re working in a metalsmithery, with the amount of loud *clanking* and *clanging* going on now.
And the sole instant cast heal a Prot Paladin has now (outside of the obvious Lay on Hands), Light of the Protector, is frankly terrible. It heals for a percentage of your missing health, so of course the lower in health you are, the more it heals for. But the percentage it heals for in my pally’s current gear is between 25% and 33%. Which, on an 8 second CD, feels bad in use because it’ll never ever heal you to full and you need to be nearly dead to get a decent sized heal out of it. And it’s only boosted to 33% when you stand in your consecration, so if you forget to consecrate after taking a huge hit and use LotP? GG, not.
Ditto Shield of the Righteous, it’s damage reduction (which now handles all damage, not just physical) is boosted when you stand in your Consecration.
In fact a lot of the Prot Paladin toolkit is built around Consecration buffing various things, including a talent where it’ll heal any team mates for a risible amount if they stand in it too.
Relaxed and soothing Mists.
Mistweavers though, they are so chill right now. Honestly, they feel really relaxed to play, certainly in a 5 man at least. They’ve become largely a HoT class, akin to a druid, but with bigger up front dump heals followed by HoTs rolling on the target afterwards.
And of course Soothing Mist isn’t actually directly usable, it will now automatically channel on the last person you healed with one of your main heals. This means during periods of low damage you can stop actively healing, let Soothing Mist heal up your current target and recover mana, as it has no resource cost.
Plus there’s a talent that lets you run around while channelling Soothing Mist, which is both awesome and fun
Another final wee bonus I’ve noticed from Beta?