These are not perfect by any means. I am just throwing ideas out into the universe. I think the game would be better with #somemorechanges.
These are some class change suggestions that I have been thinking of for the Classic Season of Mastery. I am very aware that they will likely not make any changes to classes at all. This was still a fun thought experiment. My goal was to come up with changes that were relatively minor but still fix some of the holes in most of the specs without breaking the classes in other areas of the game like PvP.
Mage: Overall Mages are in a really great place in Classic. My only suggestion would be to MAYBE change the way that ignite works. Ignite is a strange mechanic in Classic. It is likely that Blizzard made Ignite work as a single communal debuff due to the debuff limit that existed back in the day. Given that there is no debuff limit it would likely be a more interesting ability if it worked as an individual ignite rather than a communal Ignite. Each mage would be responsible for their own ignite and DPS would be accurately represented by each mage. However, this would make it very difficult to keep uptime on Ignite. This could be fixed by increasing the duration of Ignite while reducing the damage slightly to balance it. Of course, this is not necessary, Ignite in its current form works pretty well for all aspects except that the DPS is represented by a single mage. It is in no way bad in its current form, I simply think it would be interesting if the mechanic worked on an individual basis.
A more extreme change that would be a huge gameplay shake-up would be to increase the damage scaling of Arcane Missiles and make Arcane missiles increase the critical strike chance of your next frost or fire spell within 4 seconds. I think this would really shake up the rotation for Mages. Each tick of Arcane Missiles that goes out could increase the critical chance of your next fire or frost spell by 1 or 2% percent making the player have to choose when they will cancel based on how much crit they want to gain in that moment.
Disc: Discipline is already very strong, and any major changes may have an adverse effect on PvP making disc even more powerful. One change that could be implemented that would help priests in all three specs would be a small buff to Inner Focus, increase the buff to effect you next two spells rather than only one. This would really help with longer fights and would also help Shadow Priests.
Holy: Holy is also a very strong spec, the only change that would be interesting change would be on Lightwell. Unfortunately, It is a dead talent in its current form. The suggested change would be “Creates a Lightwell near the priest, members of your raid or party may click the lightwell and receive X healing over 15s. Damage does NOT remove the effect lightwell lasts for 30s or 10 charges.” This change would mildly increase the effectiveness of the lightwell. The extra charges and the heal not canceling could potentially make it an interesting choice for some raid encounters without breaking the talent. A more extreme change would be to make lightwell regen health AND mana but keep the 5 charges and the cancels on damage.
Shadow: Shadow is a very complex talent spec to change because it is already so powerful in PvP. The two main issues with Shadow in PvE are threat and mana. Without breaking the class in PvP the best idea that I can come up with for shadow priests is that when there are 5 stacks of Shadow Weaving on a boss the mana cost of the shadow priest’s ability is reduced by a small amount. I’m not certain how much of a mana cost would be required but even a very small decrease makes shadow much more viable. Additionally, this would only work on bosses so that it does not work against other players.
Warlocks are in a pretty good place in Classic. Considering the removal of the debuff cap a lot will naturally change with warlocks and there is a lot that is still unknown about their potential in the meta. With that in mind, the only change that I feel could be made would be the affliction tree. The talent Dark Pact is pretty lame and likely not something that would be taken by many warlocks. My suggestion would be to replace Dark Pact with a new curse. This curse would not stack with Curse of Elements or Curse of Shadows. “Dark Pact: Curses the Target for 5 minutes, reducing all resistances by 75 and increasing all spell damage by 10%. Only 1 curse maybe be active on a target at a time.” This would make for some very interesting player choices. Every raid would opt to have one deep affliction warlock per raid. This would also help balance all other spell damage classes that did not benefit from elements of shadows. Additionally, it would free up one other warlock curse to do damage.
Balance: A balance druids main two problems in PvE are mana and obtaining hit. Moonkin druids have the potential to be very interesting in Classic fresh. Given the fact that there will not be any world buffs, raids may value the 3% crit aura from Moonkin form because reaching high crit % will be much more difficult for casters. However, Moonkins still suffer from longer fights due to mana issues. The mana issues could be solved in a few ways. The first would be to allow Omen of Clarity to also proc on spell casts. The second would be to add an Idol that reduces the mana cost of Wrath, or Starfire. This could also be made into a more intricate system where the mana cost of Starfire is reduced by X% when Moonfire, Faerie Fire, and Insect Swarm debuffs are on the boss.
It would also be very interesting to add 1% hit to the Moonkin Aura, this would make them much more valuable in raids even if the Moonkin DPS is slightly lower. Considering, gear will be much harder to obtain with the accelerated server speed, the 1% hit would be extremely valuable and make Moonkins very valuable.
Feral is a solid class as it stands in Classic. Bears make great tanks and Cat is decent DPS. Similar to the Moonkin Aura, Leader of the Pack will likely be very valuable in raids without world buffs. Again, it would be extremely interesting if the buff also gave 1% hit.
My only other suggestion would be to address the Manual Crowd Pummeler meta. Rather than requiring druids to farm MCP in order to be viable, why not create a Druid Quest that would give druids access to a staff that would essentially do the same thing as MCP but without the charges that is good for both Cat and Bear. This on use would help with bear threat and cat DPS additionally making it a 20 second buff with a 30-second cooldown would add some interesting choice into the rotation. This item combined with having some stats and armor would make it an effective item for feral druids to use and negate the necessity for MCP. This would likely have to be combined with some sort of nerfing to MCP to avoid weapon swap min-maxing or make the on-use effect not work at level 60.
The quest could start in Moonglade and require the druid to kill several Dungeon Bosses in Stratholme, Scholomance, and LBRS. Once they have collected an item of each of these bosses, they would return to moonglade where the druids would combine the pieces of the staff to create an item that gives the druids a viable weapon choice.
(Just an example, numbers would need balancing)
Feral Druid Staff
Equip: + 100 attack power in Cat, Bear and Dire Bear forms only.
Use: Increase melee attack speed by 50% for 20 seconds. (30 seconds cooldown)
The Druid staff quest could also continue with each phase and be “upgraded” through additional quests. The next step would be to obtain a quest item the drops from Major Domo. Then turning the previous staff and the quest item would reward a better staff.
Feral Druid Staff v2
+20 Fire Resistance
1% Critical Strike Chance
Equip: + 150 attack power in Cat, Bear and Dire Bear forms only.
Use: Increase melee attack speed by 50% for 20 seconds. (30 seconds cooldown)
With each new phase, there could be an upgraded version that gets added making the Staff relevant throughout the duration of the server. Another option could also be that in AQ the staff would be broken down and turned into an Off-hand to accompany the weapons available in AQ and Naxx.
Resto druids would be in a pretty great place if Healing over time effects could stack and there is no player buff cap. Additionally introducing an early phase Restoration Idol would be nice or an Idol that buffs Innervate would be interesting.
I am not an expert on Rogues as they are pretty much the only class that I have never played. Considering my limited experience these are my suggestions. Rogues are going to be in a pretty great place in Classic. Their DPS will likely be relatively even without world buffs. My only suggested change would be to allow rogues to get weapon skills for daggers, and fist weapons to allow a wider variety of weapon choices considering the scarcity of loot. This might also increase the viability of Hemo rogues.
Hunters will likely be in a strong place without world buffs. It will be interesting to see if T2 8/8 stacking will be effective for hunter DPS. My suggested changes for hunters would be that hunter pets scale with hunter stats like in TBC and to allow hunter pets to train Avoidance. This along with the changes made in late Classic, allowing attack power buffs to affect hunters will keep them viable without breaking their DPS potential.
Protection: I am hoping that the bosses will do enough damage that tanks will be required to spec into protection to survive the damage. Protection is a pretty great talent tree with 1 exception. Shield Slam has a very poor threat scaling. Shield Slam scales primarily with your shield block value. The issue is that block value is very hard to come by in Classic until very late in the game. To fix this problem the talent “Improved Shield Block” should increase the warriors shield block value as well as allow your shield to block a second attack. In its current form, no one ever put more than 1 point into the talent because the duration is meaningless but if the talent also increased the warrior’s shield block value it would have both defensive purposes and would increase the threat output of Deep Protection warriors. I am not certain if it would have to be a static value or a percentage-based increase however this would significantly help protection warriors.
Fury: Fury is still going to be very strong. However, the limitations would come down to the availability of weapons. The only change that I would like to see would be to Improved Slam. Reduce the number of points required to gain the full benefit, this could make for some interesting builds with two-handed weapons.
Arms: Arms could be a viable spec with MS being able to be applied to the boss. With the faster cadence of the servers and loot scarcity, 2H will likely be very sought after and a great option to spread loot around the raid especially for the Horde with WF totem. Ideally, I would love to see Blood Frenzy added to the Arms talent tree. Add the increased physical damage to the talent Impale and this would increase the viability of Arms in raid. Additionally, changing Axe Specialization to Polaxe Specialization and then changing Polearm Specialization to Weapon skill specialization, adds weapon skill for two-handed swords, axes, maces and polearms up to 5. This will help compensate for the lack of ability to obtain weapon skills with two-handed weapons and will also allow people to play races other than human and orc.
Holy: Holy is very powerful without any changes. The only true issue with holy is that there is a lack of true plate healing gear until later in the game. I don’t think that this breaks the game, although the gear distribution with fewer lockouts will be interesting. Additionally, I would be nice to see a functional holy Libram added to the game in Phase 1.
One change that might be suggested for the Holy tree would be to increase the spell power scaling of Consecration to be like TBC however this could create some different power issues for non-Protection Paladins. Alternatively, change the threat scaling in Improved Righteous Fury to have a higher threat modifier for Consecration. “Improved Righteous Fury: Increases the amount of threat generated by your Righteous Fury Spells and increases the amount of threat caused by Consecration.”
Protection: I would love to see protection paladins be at least somewhat viable in Classic fresh. However, there are some glaring issues that would need to be addressed. One is their mana, this could easily be solved with a Libram that gives the Paladin back mana either when they are healed similar to the way it works in TBC. An alternate option would be a libram that gives that paladin mana back when they consecutively use Judgment on the same target. These Librams would likely not work in PvP as players could find ways to abuse them. This version of a Libram would mean that the Paladin could still get mana back when they are the off-tank and still be competitive on threat even though they are not taking damage. The amount of mana given back to the Paladin could be based on the Paladins Defense so that Holy and Retribution Paladins can’t easily benefit from the Libram and abuse it.
First the talent Redoubt needs to be changed so that your chance to block happens on hit rather than on crit. If a Paladin is tanking, they should be aiming to be crit immune which would make the talent completely useless in its current form. Second, Holy Shield would need to be buffed slightly to increase its value. In its current form Holy Shield is not quite powerful enough to warrant going that deep into the protection tree. Consecration would gain increased threat from Righteous Fury as mentioned above in the Holy section.
Reckoning could be changed as well to the TBC version where it has a 10% chance on hit to proc a second attack. This might cause some issues as Reckoning is a very popular talent used in some Retribution builds. With that in mind this change I am unsure about.
Lastly, Paladins do not have a taunt. I think there are a few different ways to approach this problem. One is simply not to give them a taunt. Hopefully, with the other changes suggested Paladins might be good enough tanks that every raid would bring one to each raid and on fights where a taunt is required you would just lean on you Warriors and Bears. The second option would be to give Paladins a taunt like in TBC. I’m not sure how this would change the game in the long run but it could be the correct option. Perhaps putting the taunt on a much longer cooldown than warriors and bears could be the way to go so that Paladins can taunt but it is not as reliable and regular.
Retribution: Changes to Retribution are complicated in a similar way to Shadow Priests as their main issues revolve around mana. Significant buff to a Retribution Paladins mana could have an adverse effect in PvP making them too powerful. A similar system where the Retribution Paladins Spells have a reduced cost when a boss has a Seal on them. Another option could be to have Sanctity Aura return a small portion of mana based on holy damage dealt while in raids. Any changes to Paladin’s mana would help their dps output significantly.
The second problem for Retribution Paladins is their Potential DPS output. It is less than optimal at best. Once again, a Libram could solve this problem. It could increase the holy damage of the Paladins seals against bosses. This could help buff the Paladins boss fight DPS without breaking them in PvP. Finally, the Warlock Dark Pact changes that I mentioned could also work for Holy damage and help to bring Paladins DPS up.
Elemental: This was an interesting spec in Classic as elemental was able to put out some decent DPS numbers given the right gear and raid composition. Elemental will struggle with longer fights as their mana will not last. The talent Elemental Focus could be buffed to have a higher proc chance to help compensate for the mana issues. Additionally, a early phase Totem(equipped) could help with it mana or damage output.
Enhancement: Enhancement is already gaining some benefit due to the debuff cap being removed as they can now use Stormstrike. My suggestion would be to make the Stormstrike debuff either only be able to be consumed by the Shaman who put it on the target so that it will not get stolen by Rogues Poisons, Druid Wraths, or Shaman Lightning Blots OR to reduce the duration of the Stormstrike debuff to 5 seconds but during that time all nature damage on the boss gains the damage increase for the whole duration. This would make for some very interesting gameplay between the enhancement shamans and other nature dps classes. Not only buffing the enhancement shaman but those other classes as well. If there were more than a single enhancement shaman in a raid it would also become strategic to time your stormstikes to have maximum uptime. I’m not certain how enhancement DPS will be, they will likely need a buff perhaps a Totem(equipped) that increases the damage of Stormstrike on bosses.
Restoration: Restoration Shamans are incredibly powerful in raids. Mana is once again the classes main issue and on longer fights they may suffer. A small buff to Mana Tide Totem either in the form of a cooldown reduction or increasing the amount of mana regeneration could make for an exciting change.
A totem(equipped) that increases the healing of Chain Heal by a small amount would also be a great change.
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