Anyways Blizzcon '09 is going on as I type and all sorts of reports are pouring in. Lots of changes are going to happen. Some I like, like flying in Azeroth, But I'm not a fan of a lot of the major changes.
Quote from Blizzard staff
* Casters will finally get a Legendary item in one of the first raids of the expansion.
* Cataclysm will change the ways abilities are learned. Abilities ranks are gone and ability will just scale progressively with levels instead.
* Most of the Talent Trees will be changed dramatically, a lot of the passive bonuses will be removed and talent trees should be more fun. (No more "Hurray! Level up! I just got 1% more hit!)
* There is no plan to allow players to train more than 2 profession.
* There is no plan to allow more than 2 specs with the dual-spec system.
* Bags might get slightly bigger with Cataclysm.
* You will never be able to cleanse the Corrupted Ashbringer.
* Developers want shaman to be good AE healers and might buff Chain Heal even more.
* Multi-passenger flying mounts could be added in the future. They might also allow crafters to craft 310% flying mounts if they already completed an achievement rewarding one.
* Every healer class can now dispell magic, the niches will other debuffs.
* Engineers might be able to craft bows in the future.
* If you already own a 310% mount, you might be able to boost the speed of all your 280% mount to 310% just to let you use the one that you prefer.
* Hunter's new ammos might drop from bosses or bought with emblems, nothing is decided for the moment.
* Shadow Priests will most likely get a nuke without cooldown in Cataclysm.
* Shamans (Elemental) looks like "turrets" in PvP for the moment, the idea is to make totems funnier in the future ("put a totem down and something cool happens") but not a lot of details for the moment.
* Warriors won't be as affected as other classes by the itemization changes, the goal is to make other classes gears look a lot like what warriors have.
Funny totems is our big change. I hope it throws a pie in the mobs face. (rollseyes)
Professions are getting some changes as well and I kind of like them
Archaeology is the new secondary profession that will be joining the ranks of cooking, fishing, and first aid in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Archaeology allows the player to unlock new abilities and rewards by discovering ancient treasures throughout the world. Each archaeologist uses the profession to uncover clues hidden in the world around them, such as troll relics or map fragments, and decipher their meaning, enabling the clever archaeologist to manipulate pieces of the past, learning the location of a treasure cache or valuable artifact. Such artifacts are highly sought after by the Archaeology Society, and they pay in gold and items for their return. Those who have mastered archaeology can find Titan artifacts, earning special currency used to unlock character paths and allowing the player to further customize their character.
* Reforging is another way to customize your gear.
* It will be relatively cheap, you will need a Blacksmith / Leatherworker / Tailor / Jewelcrafter / Engineer to do it. Each profession get to reforge a type of items.
* It lets you reduce one stat for another. Some restrictions will apply, you can't put the extra stat on something that is already on the item.
* Multi-gains will be added, while you level up your trade skills, rare items will give you more points as you skill up. (Rare items will give you 5 points for example, while green bracers will only give one)
* Gathering should be a little more fun.
* Engineering is a very fun tradeskill, but it's either amazing or it sucks and everybody drops it. More convenient items like Jeeves or Wormhole Generator will be added to the profession in the future to get back to the roots of Engineering.
* Fishing will also have some big changes, no details yet but it's going to be more fun.
Itemization is getting a huge overhaul.
In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, there are plans to streamline the statistics found on items. We want to remove all unnecessary stats, make all existing stats understandable, and make all "core" stats more appealing. Here are some examples of such plans.
* MP5: This will be removed from items and replaced with Spirit. All healers will be given a meditation-like ability.
* Spell Power: Spell Power is being removed from items as well. Don't panic, we'll be improving Intellect so that it provides mana and Spell Power.
* Attack Power: We're removing Attack Power from items as well. Instead, we're allowing Agility to provide the necessary Attack Power for leather and mail wearers. Strength will provide the appropriate amount of Attack Power for plate wearers. This means leather and mail items will no longer be desirable for plate wearers.
* Defense: The Defense statistic is also being removed from items so that players no longer have to worry about juggling around "the cap." Tanks will receive the necessary anti-crit from talents, like Survival of the Fittest.
* Armor Penetration: This ability is too confusing and "mathy." It is being replaced with Mastery, a stat that makes you better at what you do. More on that later!
* Haste: Will also increase the rate at which you gain energy, runes, and focus. Retribution paladins and Enhancement shaman will have a talent that allows them to take advantage of this benefit.
* Block: Block Value is being removed. Blocking will now always mitigate a percentage of damage.
* Stamina: Players will notice more Stamina on gear as Defense, Spell Power, Attack Power and Armor Penetration are removed.
This is just dumbing the game down. Taking away choices, and I HATE this idea.
* Shadowmourne - You won't get Frostmourne in Icecrown but Death Knights and Hunters will get a Legendary Axe named Shadowmourne.
* Rocket Jump - Activate your rocket belt to jump up to 20 yards, every 2 min
* Rocket Barrage - Fire your belt rockets at an enemy within 30 yards, every 2 min. (Shared cooldown with Rocket Jump)
* Time is money - Cash in on a 1% increase to attack and casting speed.
* Best Deals Anywhere - Best possible gold discount, regardless of reputation.
* Pack Hobgoblin - Calls in your personal servent, allowing you bank access every 30 min.
* Better Living Through Chemistry - Alchemy skill +15, Your potions give more health / mana
* Goblins can be all classes except Paladin or Druids
* Darkflight - Activate your true form, increasing movement speed by 70% for 6 sec, every 3 min.
* Viciousness - Increase damage by 1%.
* Abberation - Reduced duration on Curses and Diseases used against you by 15%.
* Flayer - Skinning skill +15, you skin creature fast, and you don't even need a knife.
* Worgens can be all classes except Paladins or Shamans
* The Worgen Form is cosmetic only
* out of combat you can pick between Human or Worgen.
* In combat you will be a worgen.
Hunters get a Legendary STAT STICK? WTF Blizzard? WTF!
Worgen are OP. a sprint, a skill bonus, and 1%dps bonus? Goblin bonuses are pretty cool, but not overpowered.
More class changes
* Hunter's mana is GONE!!!
* Hunters now use focus, no longer care about intellect or mana regen.
* Focus regenerates contunously, Steady shot improves the rate of getting focus bag.
* Rogue energy comes back at a 10 / sec rate, Hunter focus comes back at 6/sec (12/sec with steady shot)
* A shot costs 30 to 60 focus.
* Hunters will have fewer cooldowns on abilities
* Ammos will become an item, not a consumable.
* Soul Shards are no longer in your bags. The goal is to make them fun, not a hassle.
* Soul Shards will be integrated to the user interface. (Just like Death Knight runes)
* You get three shards per fight, they will regen very quickly out of combat.
* It will be possible to get more for long fights or mistakes through Drain Soul.
* Soul Burn (New Spell) : Cost 1 Shard, 30 sec cooldown, off the GCD. Empowers your next spell, many (not all spells) behave differently when empowered.
* Empowered Searing Pain : Next 3 Searing Pains crit
* Empowered Summon Demon : Instant Cast
* Empowered Soulfire : Instant Cast
* Empowered Fear : Instant Cast
* Empowered Death Coil : Longer Horror, more healing received.
* They are only used in combat, summons or demons won't use your shards.
The hunter changes make sense. But, now they will need armour itemized differently from shamans again. A smell a dearth physical dps mail a mile away.
I know the expansion is a long ways off, but man, I am not liking what I see so far.
Don't even get me starting on the Lore changes. Screw that whiney baby Hellscream right in his ear!
At least Deathwing looks bad ass. :/