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Ask a Beta Tester: Priests, Retadins, and the Black Dragonflight


In case the perspective in the above screenshot confuses you, I'll give it away: that's me riding a magic flying carpet. No, not the tailored version (though I'd expect the tailored version to be the same sort of thing), but one you ride for a quest. (I was assured before I took flight that these were the safest way to reach my destination, though the things seemed pretty flimsy to me...) However, now, on to your questions!

Tridus asked....

Priests in general seem pretty underwhelming. You look at the flashy things some classes are getting, then take a look at Holy Priests... I mean did we really need a third talent to increase healing of some spells by 10%? Especially since the second one (Empowered Healing) was nerfed to always be weaker then the first one (Spiritual Healing). Yet another one for a different set of spells just smells like "we needed a talent to fill this spot but had absolutely no ideas."

The way it looks right now I expect that I'll be healing pretty much exactly the same way at 80 as I am right now, except without down ranking. Has anything really changed for Holy Priest healing?

Priests, like Rogues, are looking a little unfinished in the beta right now. The existing talents don't have anything that screams "pick me!" and there's only two new skills on the path to 80. (One of which -- Divine Hymn -- you don't get until level 80. The other -- Mind Sear -- shows up at level 75.) Matticus recently talked a bit about healing as a Discipline Priest in Wrath, but didn't go much into the Holy spec. However, despite my lack of enthusiasm -- and the possibility that Priests just aren't finished -- there are some interesting options in the talent trees right now that could be good for the healing Priests out there. [Updated with a couple of corrections.]

For more on Holy healing ability -- and other questions -- 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.

Serendipity restores mana from overheals (...though with the current system preventing downranking, mana restoration options strike me as necessary), Improved Holy Concentration gives you a greater chance of entering Holy Concentration plus a haste buff, Test of Faith increases healing and crit chance on targets below half-health, Divine Providence adds additional healing to some of your heals (honestly, this one feels weak -- it's pretty much the same as Empowered Healing, only for different spells), and Guardian Spirit prevents death. Let me repeat that last one, in case you missed it: for 51 points in the Holy tree, Priests will be able to buff a member of their party with a spell that prevents them from dying. (Once every 3 minutes, anyway.) Also, in the low end of the Discipline tree, Wand Specialization has been replaced with Twin Disciplines -- and any Priest should be able to find five talent points to free up for an extra 5% spell damage and healing.

Blizzard seems to have strengthened Holy's focus on raw healing output with additional increases to healing, crit, and haste, as well as providing a bit of needed mana regeneration. Is it exciting? Not terribly. Will we be using all new and different spells in Wrath? So far, it doesn't look that way. (Though Discipline does have Penance.) However, they will have talents to support their role... and, well, it is still a beta and there are chances there's more polishing to come.

Eternauta asked....

Are Retadins becoming a desirable DPS class for raids/dungeons/etc?

Retribution Paladins will absolutely be desirable for groups post-Wrath. With Divine Storm they'll be healing their group and with Judgements of the Wise they'll be restoring their groups' mana. Even Repentence looks like it might be worth a talent point! Though I'm a Holy Paladin through and through, I see nothing wrong with Retribution these days (and my talent spec of choice has changed from a Holy/Prot build to a Holy/Ret build on the beta realms, breaking my 5-man tanking build in favor of some tasty DPS options). Retribution Paladins will be the new Shadow Priests -- everyone's going to want one in their party.

LibbyKino asked...

You say all four of the other dragonflights are fighting against the Blues? This surprises me because as I understand it the Blacks still hate everyone and everything. Are they really helping out in the fight, and if so... why?

The Black Dragonflight does have a presence at Wyrmrest Temple with the rest of the Dragonflights. (It is worth noting that the temple has long been a place of peaceful meeting between the flights.) Whether they're really there to help is up to question -- the Black Dragonflight is, well, the Black Dragonflight. When you talk to their ambassador, Nalice, she says:

Does being in the presence of a Black Dragon make you nervous? Good. It should. It makes these dragons nervous too. They cling to their ancient virtues though -- they wouldn't dare attack me here. Fools.

Natus asked....

Is there any starting or mid-level content appearing in Wrath, or is it almost all 70+? I'm a casual player and an alt-a-holic, so I don't have a 70 yet. Is Blizzard planning to add any new dungeons, raids, quest hubs to the old world at all, or is it silly to buy Wrath if you don't have a 70 already?

Wrath's content is all for levels 70+ (including the ability to level above 70), Death Knights (the class itself and their starting zone), and Inscription. If you aren't interested in any of those things, there's probably no good reason to buy Wrath. Thus far in the beta, there's no sign of new lower-end content.

Alex asked...

Are there any other ways to leave to the Death Knight starting area other then through Tyr's Hand?

The only way to leave the Death Knight starting area is by finishing the starting quest chain. When you do that, you will be at Light's Hope Chapel -- you don't have to touch Tyr's Hand.

Milkgas asked....

You've talked before how the events and quests of the Death Knight starting area is instanced, but at the end I understand there is a quest chain which includes laying siege to Light's Hope Chapel. Does this mean that Light's Hope Chapel, its quests, and flight point no longer exist in the world? Does the same apply to Tyr's Hand?

All of the areas you enter as a Death Knight under control of the Scourge are instanced, and the events within them occur some period of time behind the rest of the world. (Though your Death Knight will have reached present day Azeroth by the time you finish the starting zone.) Light's Hope Chapel, Tyr's Hand, and all of your other favorite Eastern Plaguelands vacation spots, are exactly as you know them on the live realms.

Doch asked....

I was looking at DK and really like the Unholy tree and was thinking about tanking, but noticed that the Frost presence is where you get bonus to armor and threat. Does being in Frost Presence affect the Unholy talents/spells like a Warrior's stance affects which strikes he can do?

Think of the Death Knight's "presences" more like Paladin auras (or at least, auras that only effect one person) than Warrior stances. There are no abilities, at least not at present, that require you to be in one presence or another in order to use them -- they're merely passive buffs.

Scipio asked....

What happens when a Warlock in demon form dances?

Sadly... nothing! The demon form has few animations. In fact, I couldn't find anything fun animated. Their hands wave a little bit when they talk and that seems to be it.

Warvanov asked....

In the Burning Crusade we say a lot of the old school armor sets reused as new items in the BC dungeons. IE, the purple Paladin Judgement set, etc. Any sign of this in Wrath? Will we be wearing the same armor dyed a different color again?

At this point, I haven't encountered any recycled graphics. None of the quest rewards or crafted items I've run into shares a graphical look with previous armor sets. However, the new end-game sets and highest level content have not yet been added to the beta, so there's still a chance we could wind up with rainbow-colored Judgement.

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!

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