Looking through the caster loot list from level 80 heroics, there is some seriously nice iLevel 200 gear. I have filtered out as many items as I can to narrow down the following mage wishlist. Where possible, I disregarded items with Spirit on them, as this stat is still next to useless for a mage.
I decided to post a few glyphs that interest me for each class. Bearing in mind that you can only have three major and three minor glyphs active at any one time, there may be the occasion where you choose to swap glyphs out, as some are very situational. I'm sure that the cost of major glyphs will help to determine just how often you swap them out (ie. replace them) at any given time.
Yes, I decided to continue playing my priest as holy. I may yet level as shadow, but I enjoy healing too much to switch to shadow full time at 80. Besides, it is harder to play PvE shadow than it is to heal -- too many DoTs to keep track of. :o
I did a quick search around the place and couldn't find much information about Glyphs, which are crafted through the new profession, Inscription, and alter spells and skills in some way. So here is my self-gathered information from beta.
Your character has three major and three minor glyph slots. There is a tab in your Spellbook which switches to your glyphs. To equip a glyph, you must be near a Lexicon of Power. Just ask a guard in any city where you can find one. The one in Ironforge is in Thistlefuzz Arcanery, floating above the table on the first floor.
When you click your glyph to apply it, the Spellbook opens automatically to the glyph tab and the appropriate glyph slots begin pulsing -- ie. if you click a major glyph, the three major glyph slots will pulse.
To apply the glyph, just click on the appropriate glyph slot. You will cast for about three seconds to apply it, then the grid will light up and the new glyph will appear. You can Shift Right Click to remove any glyph. Once removed, you will have to buy a new glyph to replace it because the glyphs themselves are consumed upon application.
My recommendation is to choose wisely what glyphs you wish to use, unless you are an inscriber and can craft your own. I have no idea what any given glyph will sell for when the expansion goes live, but because they are consumable, they shouldn't be too expensive -- at least after the initial boom in the market dies down and prices normalise.
It's also great that you can essentially have six glyphs equipped at any given time (seven, if you are an inscriber). This allows for great flexibility in the dynamics of any class!
I think that glyphs will affect how people spec -- at least, to a degree. I know that the Glyph of Fireball is going to be a priority choice for me, considering the advantage of proccing Hot Streak. Losing Fireball's bonus DoT is no big deal in the face of gaining more chance to proc Hot Streak and throw out a Pyroblast, which with World in Flames has a greater chance of critting in itself and throwing up a bigger DoT than Fireball ever could. That, plus you have more chance of getting an Ignite, which in itself makes this glyph very worthwhile. XD
Two final things of note: you cannot equip the same glyph in two sockets -- you will get an error message telling you that it is already equipped; also, tooltips are updated to reflect the changes to skills and spells, so there is no confusion as to the effect that each glyph has.
I've been testing a level 80 mage recently. My initial impression of fire was a bit off for some reason. Maybe because I didn't stack up Scorch on the target dummy...
Anyway, you can read about my tests and conclusions over at the MMO-Champion forums. I am still weighing up Frost vs. Fire. I will do a little more testing of the two tonight, under real circumstances if possible (ie. a heroic instance).
Also, I came across a funny blog, which I am adding to the side bar. It's called Angry Raid Leader and it is something that I can totally relate to, to a certain extent, having been a raid leader myself in the past. He needs to extend his bandwidth limit though, having advertised to various sites and pulled in a reasonable following!
Ok, I just worked out that with the current mounts plus the new flying carpets, my mage can have a total of 49 epic mounts, both land and flying. 50, if I was to grind the materials to get a Dark Riding Talbuk, or 51 if I am able to get the Brewfest mount next time it comes around. This also includes PvP mounts, which will be a total of 90 WSG and AB, and 140 AV tokens.
That leaves a minimum of 26 new mounts from the expansion. This shouldn't be too hard to get, considering there are new factions and will be new drops. And if I somehow managed to get a rare drop from somewhere, that would be one less mount to grind for or purchase. ;)
Of course, if by 75 mounts they also mean rare mounts, and rare mounts are not overwritten by epic mounts, then those 26 are already there for the taking. I would think that they mean all mounts and that you can have both rare and epic, even if you were to never use the rare ones.
I look forward to gaining Leading the Cavalry and my rare Albino Drake! IMO, it should increase flight speed by 310% and the mounts that count towards your 75 should have to be of epic quality -- provided there will be enough new mounts in the expansion; otherwise it will be impossible for anyone to get this achievement, considering how many more I -- a tailor with more mounts available to me -- must achieve.
There is way too much stuff to list that has been added in this latest patch. Check out MMO-Champion for the new faction rewards, craftable items, bind on account Heirlooms, mounts, dungeon drops, and arena gear (Deadly Gladiator -- iLev 213).
Although I wasn't able to get any sort of recount system to function, I was able to test out both my rogue and priest. I specced my priest into shadow and headed to Howling Fjord. I didn't do much, as I haven't got any mods running and it was very laggy. What I did find out is that a. Shadow does decent damage; and b. Healing is still pretty good because of the addition of the attribute, spellpower. It will take me a while to get used to playing a shadow priest again. I look forward to levelling on live.
Next, I specced my rogue to mutilate. Some things have changed, and some things have been added. Gouge and Kick must be relearned, as these have changed in some way. Also, you can no longer make poisons; you have to purchase them from a vendor. Crippling and Mind-Numbing are no longer ranked, either.
I went to Borean Tundra this time. It's where I took my mage when I first tried the beta. I must say, mutilate does pretty amazing damage. There's a lot going on at once, and the change to mana / energy / rage regeneration makes things a little tricky at first, but I do know that with mutilate, poisons are just crazy. Also, Hunger for Blood and Cut to the Chase are just amazing talents. You can keep the Enrage effect up pretty much indefinitely. It refreshes to a 3 stack of 30sec if you do it once while the three stacks are still active -- and you don't even notice the 30 energy cost. You don't even have to attack the target you select to refresh it. ;)
I think that with the change of dynamics, if I was to stick with mutilate, it would take a wee bit to get used to, in terms of energy management and skill rotations.
I headed back to SW and respecced combat. I don't have very good weapons, but even taking that into account, there was a noticeable decrease in DPS. I think that either I fail at being a combat rogue or it just isn't as good as mutilate. Once I have tried out a Shadow Dance build, I will have a better idea of what I want to spec when the expansion goes live. For now, I am strongly leaning towards mutilate.
For now, I want to continue levelling my paladin on live and maybe explore a little bit on beta. I don't want to do a whole lot of quests because then they won't be as fun when it all goes live. Also, the default game interface is very lacklustre. It's hard to play without my addons and ui customisation.
I have yet to try out frost or arcane on my mage, and still have to try some level 80 builds with the premades I transferred. So much to do, so little time!
There is a new build with a few changes here and there. I won't list them all. However, I want to try and test out a few builds on a few classes. If I can get Recount to work or can find a replacement for it, I will do some testing on the beta realms and post results somewhere.
Last night, I did a Slave Pens run with my paladin and did a few quests in Zangarmarsh. Questing solo as a protection paladin is incredibly tedious. You take a long time to kill anything, and you have to drink after just about every fight. The advantage is that you can take on three mobs at once, but even that can be intense in "dps" gear.
Today, I sent everything from my bank toon to Gaiwyn, sold all her bags, sent the gold over, and proceeded to delete the toon. She had ten days, fifteen hours of play time.
With my free slot, I reserved my Death Knight name: Mordreth. I can't wait to roll on the live servers and level him! And yes, he will be an Aerthas clone:
They call him Mordreth
Well, back to sorting through everything that was once stored in my bank toon's many slots. :/
And thus concludes my Death Knight testing. There really is no point in continuing to level him at this stage. I will wait until they go live. I will roll a premade level 80 one if there are many significant changes between now and when the beta ends.
Level 60, yo
I will stick with blood when I create a live DK. I like the tree in terms of DPS, and it is fun. I will look into possibly dual-wielding at level 80, but am not quite sure yet. I better understand the class dynamics now, though. It will be great to level one from 55 to 80. ;)
Once you get to Stormwind and speak to the King, you become friendly and it is the end of the Death Knight quests. This leaves pretty much the whole world open to you. Since you are now level 58, you could step through the Dark Portal and level through Outland. There's nothing like experiencing old content with a new class. ;)
Also, each time you get a new sword, don't forget to forge it with a new rune! I flew all the way from Ebon Hold to IF only to port back to Ebon hold to forge the sword I picked up in one of the later quests. :/
Essentially, the starting quests for the Death Knight class are amazingly done. It is all very smooth and very cool. It is also very easy to level from 55 to 56, as you begin with rested XP and the quests give you a decent amount. You also receive talent points from particular quests along the way, to ease you into your role as a DK.
I look forward to playing some more. Just don't expect a whole lot more screenshots than this. I kinda got carried away as I quested.
Also, of note, is the announcement that the release date for the expansion is the 13th of November, so mark that down in your calendar, book three days off work or school, and be prepared to launch into Northrend in just two months time!
Some items have been added to the beta that bind to your account (meaning you can mail them to your other toons), are not unique and scale according to your level. They are purchasable with raid tokens. This is a cool idea. I hope that they keep it in! First they change enchanting so we can make items to either auction, sell directly (or give to friends) or send to our alts. Now we get weapons and armour that are account-bound. Good stuff. ;)