World of Warcraft

How to improve each spec’s base kit.

wow6 - How to improve each spec's base kit.
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Classes in BfA suck. I have played every DPS spec a fair amount, and felt the issues that they have firsthand. Here's how I think each one could be improved, very easily, while avoiding class homogenization. Bear in mind I am only talking about the basic kits of each class, not necessarily taking into account talents, and definitely not talking about azerite gear. Also worth noting that I don't think all classes need baseline changes. Disclaimer: A lot of these changes are blaringly obvious, I'm not trying to act like I'm clever for coming up with them.

Frost DK: Breath of Sindragosa moved to a baseline ability. Some of the spec's best high's come from a well executed BoS, and that gameplay should be a part of the base kit.

Unholy DK:

Lack of a true offensive CD really hurts this spec imo, Apocalypse is too short CD/low impact, and Army of the Dead is too high CD. Either add back baseline Gargoyle with Dark Arbiter functionality, or add Unholy Frenzy as a baseline ability with a higher CD, and a stronger effect/higher duration.

Havoc DH:

This spec suffers from a lack of depth, even with talents taken into account it boils into a high APM spamfest with little thought put into what you're pressing. Demonic and Momentum both add a bit of depth, but both are easy to play with and don't feel particularly rewarding. My suggestion is a new baseline ability: Felrend. Inspired by the Arms Warrior's Rend. 30 Fury, short duration (8-12 sec), high damage DoT. Can be snapshotted with Momentum and with the haste buff from Meta. This gives another single target fury dump other than chaos strike, a debuff to manage, and increases the skill cap of the spec. Can also fit well into the DH momentum/refund-driven style by refunding half the cost if the target dies while affected.

Balance Druid:

It's honestly pretty stupid this even has to be said, but bring the moon spells back. The change that allows spell empowerments to proc was fantastic, but overshadowed by the loss of the moons. Overall the spec is in a pretty good place, but it would love some variety in the way you generate astral power.

Feral Druid:

I think this spec is in a pretty good place after the 8.1 changes. The change to Rip was very good, and a long time overdue. The only thing I'd like to see go is Bloodtalons, as I don't think it's a satisfying ability to make use of, but I could easily accept that being only my own opinion and avid feral users enjoying it.

BM, Survival, and MM Hunters:

Honestly, I think that all 3 specs are pretty good baseline, and one of the few classes that actually improved from Legion to BfA. Especially after the 8.1 changes to MM. Most of their failings come from the azerite system.

Frost Mage:

Also in a good place. Ebonbolt should still be baseline. The only mage spec in my mind that isn't a straight downgrade from its Legion counterpart.

Fire Mage:

Another shameful example of Blizzard's pruning. Give Phoenix Flames back baseline. With just that one change the spec would feel far better.

Arcane Mage:

Revert back to Legion Arcane. Give Mark of Aluneth, and the legendary effect of Arcane Barrage returning mana, back to the spec baseline.

It says a lot about how good Legion mages were that the only real changes necessary to fix the specs is to revert some id*otic changes that shouldn't have been made to begin with.

Windwalker:

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If every spec in the game was as well done as Windwalker the game wouldn't be failing nearly as hard. Outside of some GCD issues in the opener, very few standout issues. Baseline kit and talents are great. Also the only DPS spec in the game I'm aware of that the azerite system actually works, and works well. Bravo, Blizzard. Now do it for the rest.

Ret Paladin:

Another spec that suffers from a lack of depth. Very little thought is put into what buttons you're pressing. The spec needs another way in which to spend Holy Power outside of Templar's Verdict and Divine Storm. Luckily the perfect ability already exists, adds some depth to the classes resource spending, and is never being used as a talent anyway. Add Execution Sentence to the baseline kit.

Shadow Priest:

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My baby. In BfA this spec's major pitfall is that the core gameplay mechanic, Voidform, just doesn't feel particularly impactful. The focus these days is no longer on how long your Voidform lasts, but rather just on your Voidform total uptime. Voidform stacks need to matter again. It is also a sin that Shadow Word: Death was removed as a baseline ability. So: Add Shadow Word: Death and Twist of Fate to the baseline toolkit. Allow spriests to be the execute caster. Add Mass Hysteria back, in a different way. Instead of increasing DoT damage by 2% per stack of Voidform, instead increase Void Bolt, Mind Blast, and SW:D damage by X% per stack. This keeps our cleave from getting out of hand, but gives some potentially big hits to be excited about at higher stacks, and most importantly makes stacks matter again.

Assassination Rogue:

Overall, in a decent spot. One glaring issue: Bring Kingsbane back. It makes no sense this ability was removed in the first place.

Subtlety Rogue:

Great spec. A lot of depth, punishing to mistakes, satisfying, overall just a joy to play. Death from Above was much cooler than Secret Technique in my opinion, but even so, the spec is one of the few good ones.

Outlaw Rogue:

In a good place. Some of the worst azerite traits outside of one (Deadshot), but the base kit is solid and well designed to me.

Elemental Shaman:

Please just make Echo of the Elements or Elemental Blast or both baseline already. They've both been mandatory talent picks for so long they practically already are baseline. Free up some talent rows for actual choices. Even worse, in BfA they're on the same tier. This choice does NOT feel good. Also bring back Stormkeeper. It was INCREDIBLE having Stormkeeper Chain Lightnings go off into a big pack of enemies, having your resource bar instantly jump to full and your damage take a massive spike, not to mention insanely visually awesome. It was enough to carry the spec almost singlehandedly. And you're going to take that away?

Enhancement Shaman:

Oh boy. I think the biggest issues this spec suffers from is that it feels difficult to play to maximum efficiency with the Maelstrom cap being so low combined with chained Stormbringer procs causing you to not be able to dump your Maelstrom. All too often you're stuck at max maelstrom and you can't do anything about it, because Stormbringer keeps proccing back to back. This should feel good, but it doesn't, because any decent player is staring at that maxed out resource bar and their eye is twitching that they can't spend it. My proposed solution, at least a small one to start, is to raise the Maelstrom cap to 150, and to also had a 3 second internal cooldown to Stormbringer. This lets you pool resource more effectively, and gives you a 3 second window where even with maximum favorable RNG on Stormbringer, you can spend some maelstrom.

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Affliction Warlock:

So much more interesting than Legion Affliction. The loss of Soul Flame really sucked but overall they still come out the better for it. Well done.

Demonology Warlock:

A direct upgrade over it's Legion counterpart, the spec makes far more sense to play, has a much more interesting feedback loop in Demonbolt and Molten Core procs, and overall just feels better. The only thing I think it is missing is some AoE method to generate Soul Shards. It doesn't have to be a GOOD Soul Shard generator, but it doesn't feel great having a pack of 6 mobs and still casting Shadow Bolt on one of them to generate.

Destruction Warlock:

I don't have much to say on this one, as I can't stand playing this spec. That being said, it SEEMS like a pretty well designed spec, though just not for me. Very vanilla, very boring, but a great, flexible spec for newer players, with just enough depth to allow room for them to grow. I could be wrong and the spec is just hot garbage, though.

Arms Warrior:

This spec is SO MUCH BETTER than what it was in Legion. Overall I think it's a pretty great spec, though not personally for me. The one thing I would want to see changed is perhaps a buff to Mortal Strike damage along with a cooldown increase, to 8 or 10 seconds. Mortal Strike could stand to feel more meaty and impactful.

Fury Warrior:

Another spec that is in a good place. It's completely brainless, but sometimes that's OK. Smash buttons in whatever order you want, go crazy. Well done on this spec.

I'm posting this mostly just because I've been thinking about it a lot lately, and also because it's crazy to me just how easy a lot of these changes would be for Blizzard to make, and yet we still got classes in the shape that we did. I can see no instance in any of the above suggested changes that causes design problems for a spec, but of course I would be wrong. I would love to hear your thoughts on these, and class design in general.

Thanks for reading.

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