Blizzard is planning to change the abilities for many World of Warcraft races with Warlords of Draenor. Today they gave a run-down on most of the tweaks they're making.
Every race other than Worgen or Pandaren is being altered in some way. The passives granting Hit and Expertise have been removed because those stats no longer exist in Draenor. Weak passives (like Stoneform) have been strengthened somewhat while overpowered ones (Berserking) were brought down to earth.
The best aspect of the changes is that they make each race more versatile. Take Gnomes for example. Their racials were previously slanted toward Rogues and Mages. However, now Expansive Mind increases maximum Mana, Energy, Rage, and Runic Power by 5% instead of just Mana so it's a great passive for any class. The Expertise bonus for one-handed blades has been replaced by a flat 1% haste bonus which, again, makes it desirable for a variety of characters.
One noticeable omission from the list of changes is Every Man For Himself. EMFH, a human ability, allows players to remove a wide range of status effects from themselves. As a result, it's extremely effective for player-versus-player battles. Blizzard said in a follow-up post that EMFH could still be changed.
"Unlike the other racials that provide some type of CC-dispel, Every Man For Himself actually replaces a CC-Break PvP trinket; it isn’t in addition to it. So what you gain with EMFH is actually a trinket slot. Thus its power is very much related to what trinkets there are available. We're still determining our plan for PvP trinket itemization, so haven't decided on what to do with EMFH quite yet. It’s quite strong, and we agree that it looks unfair from those patch notes; we just haven't decided what to do with it yet. So, don't take that list as a statement that EMFH won't be changing somehow."
Blizzard adds that even with these changes, there's still going to be plenty of variation between the races. There's bound to be a race that's better for x class and worse for y class if you're insistent on min-maxing. However, their goal is to make sure that these differences in performance aren't so huge that players feel like they're "making the wrong choice" by choosing a race with less optimal racials.
The full list of changes announced so far are below.
- Arcane Acuity is a new racial passive ability that increases Critical Strike chance by 1%.
- Arcane Torrent now restores 20 Runic Power for Death Knights (up from 15 Runic Power), 1 Holy Power for Paladins, or 3% of Mana for Mage, Priest, Warlocks (up from 2% of Mana). Other aspects of the ability remain unchanged.
- Heroic Presence has been redesigned. It no longer increases Hit by 1%, and instead increases Strength, Agility, and Intellect, scaling with character level.
- Gift of the Naaru now heals for the same amount over 5 seconds (down from 15 seconds).
- Crack Shot has been removed (was 1% Expertise with ranged weapons).
- Mace Specialization (was 1% Expertise with maces) has been replaced with Might of the Mountain.
- Might of the Mountain is a new racial passive ability that increases Critical Strike bonus damage and healing dealt by 2%.
- Stoneform now also removes magic and curse effects in addition to poison, disease, and bleed effects, along with reducing damage taken by 10% for 8 seconds. It remains unusable while CC'd.
- Expansive Mind now increases maximum Mana, Energy, Rage, and Runic Power by 5% instead of only increasing maximum Mana.
- Escape Artist’s cooldown has been reduced to 1 minute (down from 1.5 minutes).
- Shortblade Specialization (was 1% Expertise with one-handed swords and daggers) has been replaced with Nimble Fingers.
- Nimble Fingers is a new racial passive ability that increases Haste by 1%.
- Time is Money now grants a 1% increase to Haste (up from only attack speed and spell haste).
- Mace Specialization has been removed (was 1% Expertise with maces).
- Sword Specialization has been removed (was 1% Expertise with swords).
- The Human Spirit has been redesigned. It no longer increases Spirit by 3%, and instead now increases two secondary stats by an amount scaling with character level. You can choose which two secondary stats it increases. This has not yet been implemented.
- Quickness now also increases movement speed by 2% in addition to increasing Dodge chance by 2%.
- Touch of Elune is a new passive ability which increases Haste by 1% at night, and Critical Strike Chance by 1% during the day.
- Axe Specialization has been removed (was 1% Expertise with axes).
- Hardiness now reduces the duration of Stun effects by 10% (down from 15%).
- Brawn is a new racial passive ability that increases Critical Strike bonus damage and healing done by 2%.
- Endurance now increases Stamina by an amount scaling with character level, instead of increasing Base Health by 5%.
- Berserking now increases Haste by 15% (down from 20%).
- Beast Slaying now increases XP earned from killing Beasts by 20% instead of increasing damage dealt versus Beasts by 5%.
- Dead Eye has been removed (was 1% Expertise with ranged weapons).
- Will of the Forsaken’s cooldown has been increased to 3 minutes (up from 2 minutes).
Warlords of Draenor is expected later in 2014. Blizzard plans to announce beta details soon.
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