New racial abilities for Wrath

Zach Yonzon
Z. Yonzon|09.06.08

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New racial abilities for Wrath

It looks like Blizzard isn't done tinkering with everything for Wrath of the Lich King. This time, they've turned their attention to racial abilities, which many have pointed out to be imbalanced. Kalgan dropped by the forums to answer a good question regarding the Orc racial Hardiness, which grants a passive 15% resistance to stuns. It's been nerfed a long way from its original 25% resistance, but the poster made a good point about the game's direction towards reduced durations instead of resistances.

Kalgan responds by saying that Hardiness was being changed into exactly that -- an effect duration reduction of 15%. He also goes over all the other racials, some of which were changed, others of which were buffed, and yet a few others of which were inevitably nerfed. The changes should make it into the next Beta push. Check after the break to see the complete list. [CLARIFICATION: This isn't the complete list of racial abilities. Abilities not listed here are unchanged or, if they will be changed, will be mentioned in the future.]

  • Hardiness now reduces the duration of stun effects by 15%

  • Racial Passive "The Voodoo Shuffle": Reduces the duration of all movement impairing effects by 15%. Trolls be flippin' out mon!
  • Berserking: no longer has an activation cost of energy/rage/etc

  • Gift of the Naaru: now scales based on the higher of either the caster's Attack Power or Spell Power
  • Shadow Resistance: reduces the chance to be hit by Shadow spells by 2%
  • Frost Resistance: reduces the chance to be hit by Frost spells by 2%
  • Racial Passive "Mace Specialization": Expertise with Maces and Two-Handed Maces increased by 5.
  • Shadow Resistance: reduces the chance to be hit by Shadow spells by 1% (yes, this is lower than the other resistance racials)
  • Will of the Forsaken: removes any fear, sleep, or charm effect (no longer has a lasting immunity).
Night Elf
  • Quickness: reduces the chance to be hit by melee or ranged attacks by 2%
  • Nature Resistance: reduces the chance to be hit by Nature spells by 3%
  • Endurance: now scales based on base health, to be tuned to approximately a 5% heath increase if the player were wearing green quality gear
  • Nature Resistance: reduces the chance to be hit by Nature spells by 2%
  • Escape Artist: the freeing effect can no longer be resisted
  • Arcane Resistance: reduces the chance to be hit by Arcane spells by 2%
Blood Elf
  • Mana Tap: ability removed (partially integrated into Arcane Torrent)
  • Arcane Torrent: restores 15 energy, 15 runic power, or 6% of mana to the Blood Elf (along with the current 2s silence effect)
  • Magic Resistance: reduces the chance to be hit by spells by 2%
  • Perception: changed to a passive, now grants one character level of passive stealth detection
  • Racial "The Fall of Humanity": Feign death which may trick enemies into ignoring you. Any threat is restored versus enemies still in combat upon cancellation of this effect. 5min cooldown
  • Racial Passive "Human Supremacy": The dominance of Humanity is evidenced by having one more racial bonus than normal. Actually, make that two counting this one. (just a tooltip, no actual functionality)
There are probably a few more changes in the works, but there are already a few standouts from the list. The Trolls' Voodoo Shuffle is a fantastic ability for a race that's had the short of end of the racial stick for a long time. Perception has been rebalanced into a permanent, passive effect that is significantly lower than the current one. Although always active, it now only grants a mere 5 points of stealth detection (one level) versus the old 50 points. Undead got the nerf bat to two abilities, particularly to the PvP-staple Will of the Forsaken, which now only works to break crowd control.

It's also good to see resistances to magic by percentages rather than flat points of 5 or 10, which is an effective buff. Some abilities now also scale, which is a significant change -- Gift of the Naaru scales with either attack or spell power, while Endurance scales with gear. The better your gear, the better those abilities get... it sounds almost too good to be true. We're likely to see the full changes in the next build, and it'll be pretty exciting to see all these abilities at work.
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