August 2008


“In the past, D&D has been a scapegoat for neglectful parents with absurd claims of occultism and violent behaviour, although fashion has shifted most of this blame to computer games in the last 10 years.”

Brian Tinsman – The Game Inventor’s Guidebook

Which is an absolute must-read, if you have any interest whatsoever in creating games. That particular line just sang to me.

With the beta of Wrath of the Lich King in full swing and info pouring out on a daily basis, I’ve taken to reading WoWInsider.com pretty much everyday. While reading a piece on hunters, I found a link to the beta talent calculators, and after messing around with the hunter trees for a bit I found myself looking at what the Shaman trees are going to look like.

All I could say after looking through was dayum. In my current setup on my shaman I get pretty ridiculous amounts of melee crits anyway, so I would imagine that getting to the point of insta-cast chain lightning isn’t going to be hard at all. Then, all you need is a crit on a spell to add another 9% to your melee crit chance, which should keep the insta-casting of lightning bolts and chain lightning going pretty much until the mob is dead. I’m thinking most stuff isn’t going to be lasting very long in one-on-one PvE, but as an Adrenalin Rush/Blade Flurry Rogue type of person, for me it’s always about the one-vs-many situations.

So I’m thinking: I plop down Earth Elemental Totem, Magma Totem, pop out the spirit wolves, cast Chain Lightning, then go into melee while chain lightning refreshes. By the time the cooldown is up, I’m imagining a couple of crits have gone of at least, maybe more. With a little luck, it’s only a few more seconds before I can insta-cast chain lightning. At this point I don’t think there is going to be much of anything left alive. This is pretty similar to what I do in present WoW with my shaman, minus the second chain lightning and the spirit wolves. But then, I can only really do this 2 times every half an hour or so – once for the earth elemental, once for the fire elemental. Spirit wolves every 2 minutes is likely going to increase how often I can AoE (beyond what my rogue can do with Evasion + Adrenalin Rush + Blade Flury), since the Spirit Wolves cooldown is 2 minutes, compared to Adrenalin Rush’s 5.

All of that adds to the doubts I’m having about playing my rogue, who has been my main since the game came out, pretty much. Murder Spree (the 51 point rogue Combat talent) looks interesting, but the fact that shaman AP is going to be weighted equally from Agility and Strength means that Rogues have another class that is likely to roll on DPS leather. While this might not be a problem to rogues who run with guilds, I don’t usually get that luxury. Since most of my dungeoneering is with PUGs, I’m not looking forward to dreading grouping with yet another class because chances are they are going to roll on the only type of gear I can use.

More on this later.