World of Warcraft: Shadowlands should be released later this year - if everything goes according to plan. The eighth expansion will take us to the Shadowlands. On board: A level squish, new mechanics (like the pacts), numerous new instances, raids and of course: class changes en masse.
The philosophy of classes has changed many times over since World of Warcraft came into existence. We've seen new classes, new talents, removed (and re-added) abilities, new mechanics, and revised class resources. In short, after 15 years, no stone has been left unturned.
The call for class individuality has been echoing through the hallowed halls of Azeroth for some time. In Shadowlands, they want - according to Blizzard Entertainment in an official blog post from April 2020 - to return to the conscious decision. A specialization should therefore also hold what the name promises: a strengthening of a certain aspect of the respective class. Well, we are curious.
Today I would like to talk about the one specialization that has accompanied me my entire WoW life: The Balance Druid. I've never played any other specialization with such continuity, and I've never felt so comfortable with any other specialization - even though my dear little owl has had to endure more design changes than any other specialization.
Therefore, a new expansion always means a fundamental reorientation for me (and my beloved fluffy feathered bird) - and Shadowlands is no exception. Below I'd like to introduce you to a few mechanics and justify why I'm looking forward to getting it back. The numerous current discussions about damage as well as the scaling of individual abilities don't interest me too much here - because in my opinion, the mechanics themselves have to be fun first and foremost.
Finally, this talent that was beloved in Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor returns. Thanks to Heart of the Wilds, you actually felt like a true druid, as the hybrid aspects of a druid were greatly enhanced. Aside from the powerful Serenity... WoW: Shadowlands: Which class changes are you most looking forward to? (3) Source: Blizzard ...remember Ko'ragh in Highrock? The boss with the magic immunity shield? I'll never forget beating that boss with my cat claws in the final shield phase of our Mythic first kill, thank you very much Heart of the Wild. The puzzled faces of all the mages, warlocks and co. was probably the icing on the cake.
Since the introduction of Wrath of the Lich King, we owls had experienced several variations of the darkness phase: Sometimes as a procc, sometimes as a static (and auto-moving pendulum), sometimes as a build-and-spend resource. The focus has always been on the mutually reinforcing bonuses of alternating spell use.
One thing I've learned over the years is that as much as I hate RNG-based loot mechanics, I like RNG-based class mechanics. This is because they introduce a certain element of excitement to what would otherwise be fairly static combat. That's why I personally liked the playstyle from Wrath of the Lichking as well as Mists of Pandaria the best.
Whether the new classes, specializations, talents, and abilities will be fun in the context of the new world is, of course, hard to say at this point. But one thing I can definitely say already: For me personally, the Shadowlands Owl looks like a return to some cherished mechanics and I'm really looking forward to that.
How do you feel about the upcoming class changes in WoW: Shadowlands? Of course, I'm most interested in why you're looking forward to certain changes, and why you think some changes don't make sense at all. Write me in the comments - I'm looking forward to it!