Following on from an earlier article, I’ve still been thinking hard about which class and spec I want to choose as my main for Legion, and perhaps beyond.
I’m not one for rapidly changing classes or specs, having played my Prot Paladin for over 6 years before changing to my Hunter last year.
However given the all-encompassing changes that Hunters are seeing in Legion, which may or may not result in an enjoyable experience for me, another change may become inevitable.
So, given that it’s a bit further on in the previously Alpha and now Beta process of changes, let’s see where my thoughts lie now.
As per the previous article, Rogue, Shaman, Mage, Warrior and DK are all fairly much out of the running due to intrinsic feeling of “meh” I have towards them.
Warlock (completely forgot about this in the last article!)
So, let’s go through them all…
As per usual, Blizzard look to be nerfing abilities and utility of older classes in order to bolster take up of their newest class. It happened when DKs came along in Wrath, Monks in Mists, and now DHs in Legion.
They’re looking completely OP, certainly in terms of mobility with passive double jump, slowfall, gap closers etc, but they are as yet very untested in a live environment, and without beta access and final tuning still to come, it’s next to impossible to make a definitive call on this class.
I’m still really enjoying Holy and to a lesser degree Shadow on my Priest. It’s the spec I’m playing in mainly atm in Thunder’s recent raid resurrection (yes, we’re back and Heroic raiding again!), but sometimes still have to jump on the hunter if we’re loaded with healers, to help out with DPS.
A solid choice, but not a lot of utility and having more removed in Legion, particularly in terms of mobility.
I’ve gone off Mistweaving slightly since the last article. No real reason why, I’m just finding other classes and specs more intriguing.
Holy & Ret are right out the door straight off. No interest really in either spec, so that leaves my old comfort spec of Protection.
Whilst nerfed slightly in terms of self-healing from where it was when I wrote the last article, this is still looking like a strong spec overall in Legion.
However Legion changes to active mitigation (the best thing to ever happen to tanking IMO), and the fact that my reasons for quitting tanking on her haven’t changed since, I doubt this will be an avenue I’ll be pursuing in Legion.
Again, a lack of general utility, being a pure dps class in a similar manner to Mages, means that this is not a class I’ll likely choose for Legion.
In contrast to…
I’ve recently begun levelling a Tauren Druid named Lifebinder, and was enjoying it, so I decided to dust off my old Nelf Druid and faction changed her, again to a male Tauren, this one named Sarcrux.
I was very undecided on this one in the last article in March, but having played it a bit more, I’m really liking the utility Druids offer. Not least the fact that I can semi-tank in bear form, and semi-dps in cat form, both while in Resto Spec.
If I were to choose a druid, Resto would likely be my Main Spec, with an open choice of off-spec.
But given we’ll be getting tri/quad spec in Legion, Off-specs will be an open choice anyway.
This one is a very strong candidate now.
I’m a lot happier about where Hunters are now, in comparison to a few months ago.
MM have their pets back for example, with Lone Wolf being a talent choice again, albeit a level 15 choice rather than 100, so Lone Wolf lovers can essentially level all the way without a pet.
Hati and BM in general have also seen improvements, both in terms of Hati’s basic model (looks gorgeous now), and the ability to have her look like one of your other pets, so you can truly dual wield pets of your choice as BM now. Dire Beast has also been given the option of using stabled pets, rather than randoms from your current zone.
I know what you’re thinking. I dislike Mages, Warlocks and Rogues because they’re pure DPS classes and offer little in terms of role variety, so why do Hunters, another pure DPS class get a bye?
Hunters have the pet collection aspect that ameliorates this complaint to a significant degree. For me at least, because I love pet collecting. So ner.
So that’s where I’m at atm, and presently it’s looking like a straight choice between Hunter/Holy Priest/Resto Druid.
Certainly there’s a decidedly healing based skew on those choices, but I’ll only truly be able to make a decision if or when I finally get access to the Legion Beta…
No, still no access.
There are changes to talent swapping that have been made in a very recent build that I’ll be expounding on more, but that’s another article for another time…
Or, what happens when an Atheist joins the Clergy…
So, with Hunters seemingly still in a rather disturbing place on Alpha, you’ll probably already be aware that I’ve begun to look further afield for my next class.
I’ve decided that I wanted to give full-time healing a go, as it’s the only role I’ve never main specced with during all my years in Azeroth (it’ll be 8 years this year).
I’ve obviously done the whole DPS & Tank thing, even at one stage thinking of playing all 5 tank classes.
Then I realised how boring Warriors & Druids were to tank with…
As I’d tanked so long, familiarity it seemed had bred discontent. Even tanking on the Paladin had become too easy, boring even, which is why I switched to my Hunter a month or so prior to 6.2 landing.
Crushingly, if Hunters had been left as they are right now on live, albeit with the normal expansion-launch-sized tweaks, I’d probably still be maining a Hunter in Legion.
But, that didn’t happen, so to the class roster I go!
Rogues are dull to me. I can’t get any excitement out of them at all, and, in fact, I deleted my level 90 rogue (please, it was a boost, I wasn’t levelling that up all the way!) for a 3rd Hunter.
Mages? Been there, done that back in Wrath. Ditto Warlocks even further back (my first ever class back in 2006 history nerds!), and more recently at the back end of Mists.
Shaman don’t really vibe with me too much, although they’re fun enough to play, and at least have varied roles across their specs.
Warriors are too bland, too vanilla for me. I like a bit of mysticism, some magic, some flair, a certain “je ne sais quoi” to my class, and Warriors really don’t fit into that theme.
That said, Hunters got a bye on that front simply because of the pet collection aspect.
DK’s are hard for me to quantify. For a pure melee class, they don’t feel particularly visceral, or weighty like a melee class should IMO. A lot of their abilities are more “swish swish swish” and less “smack bash thump crunch”, and it doesn’t sit well. Plus that and I’m godawful at, and in awe of well played, Blood DKs.
Druids are fun, I enjoy playing mine, and for a while a Resto Druid was up there, but I decided against it. No real reason, but I’ve played my druid plenty, and have no real desire to main it. Maybe one for a future expansion?
Holy Paladins are sadly boring as well. If Warriors had a healing spec, this would be it. There’s no…spice to the spec? IMO at least. It’s all single target heals with very little flair. It’s hard to explain, and I realise my thinking could quite easily be countered, but that’s how the spec feels to me. I’ve off-specced as Holy in Mists just for laughs during the long long Siege of Orgrimmar, but it never really felt like an exciting spec to play.
The other side of the coin, Retribution, to me seems like a perennial under-performer. Never regularly topping DPS sims, it always seems very middle of the road at best.
And I’m not touching Demon Hunters other than as an alt as new classes tend to undergo massive changes the expansion after, similar to the clean-slate approach to Hunters in Legion. I wouldn’t want to get too attached again…
So it really came down to the two classes left: Monk & Priest.
This is a class I’ve played as both Brewmaster and Windwalker. Mainly WW, because as I’ve recently been forced to admit, I’m a terrible Brewmaster player. For similar reasons as Blood DKs, mainly that when the shit hits the fan it always seems to end up with me as a puddle on the floor, rather than doing what I did on my Prot Pally, and surviving through sheer determination and ability.
Maybe the toolkits didn’t gel with me all that well.
Yeah, maybe that’s it.
Anyway, having made the decision to main a healer, first up was Mistweaving. I enjoy Mistweaving, but presently on Live it has a real problem with gear. Unless you’re at the “I’ve cleared Heroic several times” level of geared, your ability to heal is very limited in terms of sheer throughput. But when you are geared to that level?
You rocket through the HPS meters, even beating out the seemingly unbeatable Disc Priests. It’s not for no reason that a MW was the first spec to solo heal Mythic Archimonde (seriously though, that’s a real fucking thing). MW really bloom late game, and unless you’re a Mythic raider, then it’s easier and quicker to get better results from other classes. So at least until Legion, I’m left with one class.
The quintessential healer. The original healing class. The healers’ healer. The grand-daddy of them all. The only class in the game with 2 (count em, 2!) very different healing specs, and I went into this one and completely changed my mind about my intentions.
I loved faffing about with Atonement on my Priest, Sarenity, in previous expansions. Nothing too serious, maybe the odd dungeon late expansion etc, but I loved Atonement style healing. Probably why I love Mistweaving so much, that choice of the optional play-style of dealing damage to smart-heal your allies.
Atonement is back big style in Legion, and I was all set to main spec a Smite bot…
Then I tried Holy, and I fell in love.
This is the first time I’ve ever really gelled so totally with a healing spec. It seems like it’s the Swiss Army Knife of healing toolkits, with something in the drawer to handle any situation. And they don’t need tonnes of gear to do their job, unlike WoD-era Mistweavers.
One great aspect of Holy is that it’s just so damned efficient on Mana. Seriously, unless shit really hits the fan, I leave most fights on 100% mana or thereabouts. At worst, I’ll either have 50%+ mana at the end of an intense fight, or I’ll be dead. And that’s spamming flash heals and AoE heals aplenty.
There are very few smart heals in Holy’s bag of tricks, Prayer of Mending and Cascade are probably the only ones. All the other healing you do is utterly reliant on either single target or AoE heals, specifically and purposefully cast by the player.
Even spells like Circle of Healing require you to select the target based on their physical location, as it will heal up to 5 other people within 30 yards of where they’re standing. Put it on that Hunter standing out by the door? You’ve wasted 80% of the heal. Derp.
As a plus for me, there’s the whole Religious iconography associated with the class and this spec in particular, even moreso in Legion.
Yes, I am a hardcore Atheist, and will be until I die (but not after! :P), but this is one of the many reasons why I chose to stick with my Paladin for nearly 7 years as my main. The main reason of course was their sheer survivability, but the religious overtones and imagery the class evokes was great to me.
So it looks like Holy Priest is going to be The One.
Only thing now is deciding a race and faction for Legion!
I still have nagging doubts about Thunder’s ability to get back on our feet come Legion, purely because of the length of time off, and I sincerely hope those doubts are not well founded, but if the worst does come to pass and we go purely social?
Then all bets are off and it may not necessarily be a Horde-only future!
That said, she looks great as a Belf, doesn’t she?