Ask a Beta Tester: Rogues, Druids, Malygos, and more!

Let's start the week out right by diving straight into some juicy questions!

Gilgamesh asked....

With Hunters getting Exotic Pets and Warriors getting Titan's Grip, is the Rogue getting anything interesting?

Though I do know a thing or two about Rogues (in that I have one at level 70), I'm no expert (it's very much an alt). I don't personally find the new talents to be all that thrilling -- the trees seem to continue much the same as they are now, without any big talents that scream "pick me! pick me!" And I have to say, Rogues on the beta forums don't seem particularly excited, either. Beyond new talents, they're picking up only a couple of new abilities on their journey to level 80: Dismantle (which, by the way, is considered a "replacement" for the disarm mechanic currently in Riposte -- in the Wrath beta, Riposte slows your target's melee attack instead of disarming) and Fan of Knives. Yes, you'll get additional ranks of existing skills, but not much new. For a full rundown on the changes in store for Rogues in Wrath, check out our beta patch notes writeup.

I consulted our resident Rogue expert, Jason, who unfortunately has not made it into the beta, but has been analyzing what's what on paper, and from what he sees, "Rogues are doing just fine. I think the crux will be how the changes in Hunters, Mages, and Warlocks work out. PvE-based we still do crazy damage if we are spec'd right so that's not changing. But will we be number 1 or 2 on the meters? I don't know." For a more thorough rundown of changes, check out Jason's analysis of the Assassination tree -- Combat and Subtlety to come soon!

For more of your questions -- and our answers! -- read on! But if you're the sort who wants to avoid spoilers, turn back now. We're aiming to avoid major story spoilers, but this feature is all about beta content and we can't talk about the beta without giving a few things away.

Aeryk asked....

If only 1 target is in range, will the new Murder Spree talent use up all 5 charges on them?

Right now Murder Spree is bugged and does... well, nothing. (It does have a puff of smoke animation like you're vanishing, but those extra attacks don't happen.) Blizzard, however, is working on it. This is a beta and bugs are not uncommon at this point.

Raukus asked....

I really want to hear some news on how Shadow Priests are shaping up. It seems like they're just getting glossed over by Blizzard so far, what's up with that?

I only have a passing knowledge of the inner workings of the infamous Shadow Priest (despite playing one on occasion), so I asked Alex what he thought of the Shadow tree in Wrath:

Wrath is giving them a couple PvP buffs, but Shadow Priests around the world are disappointed with what they're giving us in PvE. Due to the nature of Shadow Priest DPS, it's hard to tell where we'll stand at level 80, but we still scale for crap [because VT and VE restore mana and health, respectively, they receive less of a bonus from spell damage gear] so it's likely we'll be in the exact same spot we are in BC, casting the exact same spells. They're considering making VT effect the entire raid, but even doing that doesn't make up for terrible spell scaling, lack of new abilities, issues with our old ones, lack of direction for which stats we should use...

I don't get the feeling Blizzard understands Shadow Priest issues: they put a band-aid on PvP concerns and called it a day. I think Shadow Priests are in for a lot of disappointment unless Blizzard changes some things.

Drad asked....

I have rarely heard Druids being talked about: all the big news about them is their glyphs. So I've been wondering... what's happening to them?

Daniel had some thoughts on this question: I've mentioned it in a previous article that for Ferals, the big problem is with Bear itemization. They've pretty much got rid of the high armor high stamina feral gear, and are expecting Druids to use Rogue gear. Right now, that means Bears are a lot more flimsy than they should be. We'll need talent changes to make up for it, or new gear. It's not clear right now which Blizzard will give us, if either. Otherwise, Feral is okay. Resto and Balance, from what I understand are pretty happy, though I haven't directly experienced it myself. There's been some rumbling that Blizzard wants to get Resto Druids away from Lifebloom only healing, so we may see some changes in that arena to make Healing Touch, et all, more desirable.

Vanadesse asked....

I'm a Resto Druid, and while in most cases Resto druids use Balance gear for soloing, I like to use feral gear (plus a few feral talents, I don't like to respec). Will it be reasonable after the healing power to spell power change or will DPSing in my healing gear (it's always about a tier higher than feral) become more efficient?

Again, Daniel: It depends on your gear. If you have a good, solid Feral set, there's no reason it shouldn't continue to be adequate, but if you have a high amount of spell power on your gear, Balance might end up being quicker per mob. It's something I'd personally believe everyone has to decide from themselves. If Feral's how you enjoy soloing, I say stick to it.

Helasmoth asked....

All I have heard about Death Knights so far has had to do with the Blood and Unholy specs. What does the Frost spec have in store for us? Is it a tank spec like the Pally's in that is doesn't do much damage but causes a lot of threat?

Daniel, also our resident Death Knight expert, had this to say about the Frost tree:

The point of Death Knights is that no one tree is the "tank" tree or the "DPS" tree. Frost is more focused on Crowd Control, though: a few freezes, lots of ways to apply slows. They also have the ability to buff the whole raid with a Windfury-like haste buff through talents (though it won't stack with Windfury totem itself). Frost is also the popular tree for dual wielding, since they have some proc abilities like Killing Machine that go off more with dual wielding.

Any tree can tank. You will have to take certain talents, but in the end, all trees should have significant styles of tanking. Frost Presence is pretty much mandatory for the extra AC and Armor. You will also need decent defense gear, don't expect to tank in your DPS gear. 2-handers are probably better for tanking just because they require less hit rating and aren't parried as often. As far as tanking, you can actually probably get away with using your normal DPS damage rotation on a single mob. For multiple mobs, laying down Death and Decay establishes some nice AE threat, then you'll want to apply Frost Fever and Blood Plague and use Pestilence to spread them around. If you have mobs aggro on the DPS, you can use Death Grip to get one back on you easily, or Blood Boil to gather them all back, although after Blood Boil you need to be able to reapply your diseases of course, since it wipes them. Then you look to your tank talents for avoiding damage, Bone Shield, Unbreakable Armor, and the like. Icebound Fortitude as well. Those all have relatively long cooldowns tho, and require runes, so you have to be careful about when to use em. Only when you really need 'em and all.

Darxide asked....

From what I can see from Lake Wintergrasp, winning depends on using the machines and vehicles scattered around the map. Does this mean that level is irrelivent here? A level 77 can have a fair fight against a level 80 if they are both in the same machines? Or is this a sort of endgame area restricted to level 80's?

You can't enter the Lake Wintergrasp zone until you have Cold Weather Flying and can fly in Northrend -- at level 77. So in that way it's naturally restricted to a fairly high level-bracket (a more restrictive level-bracket is currently enforced in any other battleground). And while siege weaponry is important, there are also going to be matters of individuals fighting and DPSing back and forth like in any other battleground or PvP situation. (Sometimes siege weapons are little more than moving vehicles from which Mages can cast fireballs and Hunters can fire arrows.) So sticking near to max level is probably a good idea.

IvanZephyr had a lore question for us, and abandon all hope ye who enter here, because lore spoilers are below....

With the four remaining dragonflights banding together against Malygos, there seems to be some shady things going down, even on the "good" side. I understand that the forces at Wyrmrest Temple captured, tortured, and killed Malygos' Prime Consort in an effort to force him to stop this war against magic users. My question is: How can Alexstraza the Life-Binder explain this horrible event? There is nothing to suggest that Malygos' mate posed any threat to the forces, she merely was the consort to him. Alexstraza is suppose to protect all life, and killing Malygos' consort is completely opposite of everything she is suppose to stand for. How does Blizzard explain this?

I consulted our lore team (read: those of us who have leveled far enough in the beta to do that quest chain) to figure out what's happening here. Alex tells us, "They didn't capture or torture anybody. They did kill Malygos' consort to draw him out of hiding. Malygos in turn captured the red dragon that asked you to do that, and is brain-washing her to be his new consort. The Red Dragonflight hasn't tortured anybody though. They have killed Blue Dragons. Malygos is doing the kidnapping and brainwashing and such."

Alex also gives us some back-story on the Blue Flight's Malygos (check out Know Your Lore on Malygos for the full story): apparently he went bonkers when his flight got all but destroyed at the Sundering. Fell into a 'coma' of depression. He has recently been pulled out of it, and his last memories are of mortals totally screwing things up using magic, which is what he was empowered to prevent to begin with. And now he's been pulled out of his lethargy and sees mortals are still screwing with magic! And decides to stop it once and for all. Alexstrasza and the Kirin Tor agree that magic is getting out of hand, but Malygos is being too extreme. Stopping the Blue Dragonflight will end in less loss of life than sitting back and letting Malygos do what he wants.

Mages, beware of Malygos!

The Wrath of the Lich King beta is in full swing, and the WoW Insider crew is here to sate your curiosity with Ask a Beta Tester! Leave your beta questions in the comments and we'll do our best to answer 'em! And if you can't get enough Wrath, don't forget to check WoW Insider's Wrath Roundup page for anything we haven't answered here!