Classes themselves got a reboot – as we always have it with every expansion. Significant changes to every class seemingly pursued the goal of making our basic rotations Diablo-like.
All in all most classes have now 4 to 6 buttons in their main rotations. Surely you also have an extra range of bursts, a toolkit for survival, a pair of AoE options and auxiliary stuns-interrupts which apply to certain situations. But these are optional and situational: your bread and butter to kill is packed within the range of buttons 1-5.
I could say it’s good. When questing, you shouldn’t be playing a piano concert on your keyboard. Killing a simple mob should be all packed in few hits and few spells. When there are bigger challenges which require fighting multiple foes, controls and bursting against the elites – there comes an inventive and thoughtful gameplay. Of course there’s a big performance difference between a skilled player and a beginner, but a beginner would at least be able to comprehend how to do basic stuff without guides. Easy to learn, hard to master – it finally happened.
The most drastic changes came for Hunters. A ranged class got themselves a melee spec. Having played Survival for 5 months, I could say it’s awesome and fits the pathfinder fantasy very well. You share sweat and blood with your pet. The spec powerful, it has the strongest bonds with pets, and it’s extremely mobile. I would vote for it to stay of course.
I’m also happy with significant changes to some other specs. Lots of pirates today with the new outlaw rogue option. Casting shaman feel much more powerful and flashy – I even changed to elemental because it’s so cool. Some may argue about shadow priests, but at least this madness mechanic is very exciting to play. Tanks became true bastions so you can’t even leave a scratch on their armor.
Having my artifact trees (read: buffs) almost opened, I could tell that classes are at the right place now. It’s not that I got used to them, no, they really feel cool to fight with, and I’m picking any of the twelve to kill mobs and participate in group content with pleasure.
Class Order Halls
This is probably the best part in the whole expansion.
First and foremost, it’s a very successful reboot of Draenor Garrisons. It’s a work on mistakes – and everything is fine now.
Mission tables are the third iteration after Garrison and Shipyard, and they are finally flawless.
There are few followers which you could finally learn by name. The followers are acquired through your specific class questline, so they are both important and unique. You don’t have all the same Garona at every order hall and of different item levels. Being heroes, they don’t die – and the auxiliary troops are not actually required to win the mission with 200% chance. You could have only five followers active, so it leaves you some field for follower customization depending on your likes or dislikes of certain ones.
Missions are also few, and they are useful. You could send your guys for reputation tokens, for artifact power, for gold, for experience while leveling, for their own upgrades and for quest items. Probably the most fun for me are pet tokens: pet battles is an activity I do at the very end of expansion, but meanwhile I could level and upgrade them without wasting my time. In other words, choose what you feel like the most important thing you need.
Due to follower limitations, you also can’t send them to more than 2 or 3 missions at once. That means you don’t waste half an hour every day for reassigning your missions on multiple alts. So, mission tables are fun, extremely useful, and take very little of your time: 30 seconds per alt are quite enough. And don’t forget about a mission app!
I haven’t got any big use of class hall upgrades. Monks and mages have an option to receive a hidden appearance – that proved useful. I also always choose the chance to get an upgraded item from loot – that’s proved really useful, and it does so now. Otherwise I don’t have any big desire to research the order hall traits.
Garrisons were a perpetuum mobile: followers brought you oil and resources to fuel its activity. Your toon could literally sit there and do nothing while growing in power. It’s not right – and it’s not fun. Now you have to go to the world and earn them. But see, with many options of world quests your toon could earn resources for a week worth of missions in 30 minutes through different world activities.
Lack of mail, bank and auction house also doesn’t let you to get covered with mold. Yes, it’s still a place to park. But it’s not a central point, and even if it’s limited to your class players, it’s stll more live and social than Draenor Garrisons.
And I won’t even mention the atmosphere and all the small things which perfectly convey the class vibe to you.
Everything about Order Halls deserves 10 points of 10. Well, done, Blizzard!