Cataclysm Information – Shaman Talents Included.
As most people are undoubtedly aware, Cataclysm friends and family testing started a few days ago. Normally this period of testing is covered by a very strict no disclosure policy. However for whatever reason, Blizzard have decided to ease the restrictions on this somewhat (exactly how much is probably only known by those in the testing). Considering Blizzard debated scrapping the friends and family testing phase entirely after it was held accountable for so many leaks in Wrath of the Lich King testing, this is arguably a sensible move. Whether this signifies a very short friends and family testing phase and a fast move to closed beta or not could be debated. For the masses, let’s hope so.
In addition the massive amount of Cataclysm information becoming available, there have been some significant announcements made regarding the future of battle.net.
The talent trees have been made available and can be seen here. It should be stressed that it’s still very early in the testing and there is a high chance that these will be changed before launch.
New Elemental Talents
Our new persistent AoE spell, earthquake. As previously thought, this is indeed channelled which makes sense to keep it consistent with most other class AoEs.
Another amazing change for the elemental shamans. Wrathful totems finally frees us of needing to use totem of wrath to boost party or raid spell power and allows us to use our arsenal of DPS totems. This buff scales with our own gear, exactly as the warlock’s demonic pact currently does. Our buff is no longer sub-par.
Previously un-reported, this talent gives the damage over time portion of flame shock a chance to reset our lava burst cooldown. Not only is this a great change in terms of DPS but hopefully, will make for slightly more dynamic game play as you’ll need to pay attention to this occurring rather than hammering out a relatively static rotation.
Another nice DPS increasing talent buffing our elemental overload spells.
There’s an absolute plethora of screenshots becoming available of the various areas and cities in their altered state. I’m not going to attempt to keep up with the speed at which they’re released but I will suggest interested parties spend some time browsing the front page of mmo-champion.com as the updates are coming thick and fast over there.
I will pick out the following though as it’s currently suspected to be the new totem graphics for the goblin race.
(Image courtesy of mmo-champion.com)
If so, I have to say that personally, I think it’s by far the best looking of any of the totem sets.
There have been two huge announcements regarding the future of battle.net. Firstly, when Starcraft 2 launches it will do so with facebook integration. Initially, this will allow the mass importation of contacts from facebook into your battle.net friends list. This should allow for individuals to find friends who are also playing very simply. I do have Starcraft 2 beta, so I’ll update this with more as soon as the feature is up and running there. We can assume that this will also apply to WoW in the future, most likely as part of Cataclysm’s launch.
Secondly, is the launch of battle.net real ID. This is boasting some amazing features such as:-
- Cross-Game Chat –
Whether your friends are playing Starcraft or WoW, you’ll be able to speak with them. In addition, their realm and faction within WoW will be irrelevant
- View All Characters –
Rather than needing to add every single alt of your friends (and then trying to keep track of who’s alt is who’s), adding someone as a real ID friend will automatically show all their characters both present and future
- Real Names for Friends –
Related to the above, real ID will use real names rather than in game character names or handles. This prevents you needing to remember which character belongs to who or exactly what the game nick of your friend playing SC2 actually is.
- Broadcasting –
You can broadcast status messages to all your real ID friends.
- Rich Presence –
You can see what your friends are actually upto, whether they’re raiding, playing a ranked SC2 match, PvPing or idling in a city.
This is a huge change in regards to opening up communication. For friends who have been separated in WoW by server or faction, real ID will allow them to chat in game again. Equally you can safely go and take a game of Starcraft 2 or play another character without missing an all important raid.
The Launch of Starcraft 2 and the WoW Vanity Pet
As was previously reported, the Starcraft 2 collectors edition will feature a new vanity pet for WoW players.
The official release date for Starcraft is now available as the 27th of July.
(Image courtesy of mmo-champion.com)
The availability of collector’s editions will be limited so those interested need to start sourcing their pre-orders now.