Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Races and their Racials

Worgen: So we finally get more info on this interesting race. Maybe possibly having them tied into the future or past of Azeroth is an interesting thing (was implied that the Worgen aren't from a "Where" but a "When").

I'm interested in seeing how they introduce Druidism to the Worgen. It doesn't look like they are taking the "Worgen can change shape, so of course they are Druids" approach... They showed the Night Elves so maybe they will learn Druidism from them. Though I seem to recall mention about "old allies" or something? Maybe they plan on trying to connect the Worgen in Ashenvale to the ones in Gilneas (wait... what?).

Interesting side note: Go take a look at the Cataclysm teaser video again. Go ahead, I'll be here when you get back. ... Back? Okay, you saw that cool scene where the human starts turning into a Worgen? First one arm becomes wolf-ish, then the other and he stares at it, then he fully Wolfs out!

Looks kinda cool, right? Some of you probably think that it's just there for the teaser, but you'd be wrong. In the demo I got to play at BlizzCon, if you went through an out-of-combat transformation, then you'd got through that exact animation. Sweet, eh?

Anyway, for those who don't know, when you aren't fighting you can choose between staying in your normal human form or staying in your full Worgen form, or swap back and forth as you see fit (maybe you think you look awesome with a certain helm looking a certain way depending on form). Though no matter what, when you engage an enemy, you'll change into your Worgen form, though the transformation is instantaneous instead of a couple second animation (thank god on that regard...)

Goblins: While I'm still a bit bothered by this, Blizzard is good at crafting a solid story, so I wouldn't be surprised if they gave a decent reason (though I question if it will stand up to the test of time being that Goblins are quite mercenary and very rarely tugged by their heartstrings...) for them joining the Horde.

As far as the range of classes go, I'm pretty happy with them. The closest thing that comes to something that I'd have issue with is the Goblin Shaman, but at the same time I could totally see them making deals with the Elementals, thus binding them to their will. There's no give and take here in Goblin Land.

Racials: First I'll list the new racials available to the Goblins and Worgen:

  • Rocket Jump: This sorta works like a reverse Disengage, jumping you forward. Could be handy in PvP for quickly closing the distance to a target or running the hell away, or for charging into melee if you're not a Warrior (could definitely see the value for Goblin DK tanks). Shares a two minute cool down with Rocket Barrage (see below).
  • Rocket Barrage: Launches a volley of rockets at your current target, dealing fire damage that should scale (with level? AP or SP? Not really sure). Shares a two minute cool down with Rocket Jump
  • Time is Money: Goblins are always on the go. Time wasted is money not gotten, so of course goblins would always want to go a little faster than everyone else. This manifests itself in a passive 1% haste boost to their attack speed and cast times.
  • Better living through chemistry: Goblins are the iconic alchemists and this takes the form of a 15 skill bonus if the Goblin is trained in Alchemy. Additionally they will also gain a bonus (unknown amount) to any healing and mana potions they use.
  • Pack Hobgoblin: Introducing a new "race" in Cataclysm, your goblin will be able to summon, every 30 minutes, a "Pack Hobgoblin" which will give you access to your bank. While the time limitation are strong, you're essentially doubling or tripling your inventory space. This is going to be great for going out and farming for extended periods of time. No more need to throw away all those grays and whites to make room for the stuff you'll make a profit with. Now you can stuff them in your bank and sell them later. Forget to grab a quest item or piece of resist gear out of the bank for that boss fight? No problem! Definitely an awesome racial.
  • Best Deals Anywhere - Best possible gold discount, regardless of reputation. This one is just HOT! Still want to do some of the rep grinds for the rewards, but imagine how much money you'll save!

  • Shapeshift: Doesn't give any racial bonuses or anything. Purely cosmetic, changes you from a Human into a Worgen and back again.
  • Aberration: Reduce duration of Curses and Diseases by 15%. Certainly handy, especially in PvP against Warlocks and Death Knights.
  • Flayer: Skinning skill +15, skin targets faster and you use your claws (don't need a knife). Much like the Goblin alchemy bonus, this takes the normal skill bonus and adds a little extra to make it worthwhile.
  • Viciousness - Increase damage by 1%. Kinda like a counterpart to the 1% haste bonus the Goblins have, the Worgen get a straight up 1% damage bonus. In high endgame, this will be quite powerful (as of right now, it'd be worth 30-50 DPS in most cases, which is awesome).
  • Darkflight - Activate your true form, increasing movement speed by 70% for 6 sec, 3 minute cooldown. Sorta like a shortened, more powerful dash or sprint. Will be handy for getting around in the 1-19 range, plus fantastic for BGs like EotS and WSG.
So there they are. The first thing that stands out to me is how ridiculously overpowered they are compared to the racials of the currently available races. So they'll be brought in line, right? Well, kinda... as long as you define the "they" in this case as "all the other races". Yes, Blizzard has stated that they intend on boosting all existing racials up to similar levels as exhibited by the two new races.

A couple things that are likely to be added, using these two races as templates:
  1. 1% passive combat bonuses. These won't all be simple stuff like "1% bonus to damage". I'm sure Blizzard will figure out clever ways to alter this, but still have it be a 1% bonus that makes the race fun and unique. Additionally, don't expect all of them to actually be damage bonuses. Consider the Goblin bonus is 1% bonus to haste, which includes spell haste. This makes Goblins better healers than Worgen since the Worgen bonus is only to damage. Additionally, there's nothing saying that it has to be a damage bonus... I could totally see them giving peace-loving, tree-hugging hippy races like the Draenei, Tauren or Night Elves a 1% passive bonus to all heals cast (this would definitely work well for the Tauren as after Cataclysm goes live they will be the only race in the game that has access to all four healing classes).
  2. Crafting skill bonuses will be given a passive minor bonus. Keeping in line with the bonus given to Worgen on skinning, I could see Tauren being able to pick flowers faster or maybe an increased chance to get an additional herb (like the Lotuses or Swiftthistle). Other race's bonuses will be minor as well, but still helpful. I could imagine a Gnome being given a passive bonus that lowers the chance of a critical failure when using their engineering devices. Draenei maybe are given a 1% bonus if they make their socket bonus or something. Blood Elves could be given a chance to get an additional enchanting material when they disenchant items or maybe they can just disenchant more quickly. Nothing too powerful, but a nice bonus if you are playing that race.
  3. I'd also expect an overhaul of other outdated racials. Endless Breath? It's nice and all, but now that you can hold your breath for 3 minutes, it's value is much diminished (but still handy, just not as handy...). Things like that I expect will be given the once or twice over to see if they can't be improved or replaced (Wisp Form and Cannibalism also spring to mind...). Heck, maybe they'll even replace the racials based on specific weapons (i.e. the ones for Humans, Dwarves, Orcs and Trolls) and give them ones which are always active!

And for those wondering about it, I'll give my thoughts on the new race/class combos in a different post.

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