Thursday, 4 March 2010

Racials: Srs Bizniss

I've been getting a little bored of my warrior lately, so to inject some life into poor ol' Nalria I've been considering a faction or race change.So instead of dressing different races up in the gear she has, I've been looking at Racials.

First thing I saw - they've CHANGED. I have a troll hunter and was actually surprised to see Beserking was a flat haste buff and didn't scale with lost health. Quite frankly, I'm not impressed! If there was a stupidly annoying Facebook page called "The Change to the troll racial Beserking" I would not be a fan of it. I used to love my little dips in the fire™ to lower my health a bit before hitting Beserking. It was risky and if it paid off, you'd do more dps. My arrows would block out the sun they'd be going that fast. If it didn't pay off, you looked like a right fool infront of a pug or even worse, your fellow guildies! It fitted a Horde race aswell, you're backed into a corner. Maybe you've lost a limb (dont worry, it'll regenerate later - maybe even longer ;)), you're out numbered. What do you do? You turn green, nasty and start windmilling like a motherfucker.

I'd known about the change to the Orc racial back when it was made, mainly because I wasn't getting a debuff when I popped it. I wasn't impressed with that either - seeing as the racial fitted the Orc so well, especially as a warrior. You start swinging madly, taking no regard for your health but pwning extra hard? Yeah, that's proper Orcish. You can almost hear the "RUUUUUUUUUUUUUWR!" in the name - Blood Fury.

I certainly wasn't a fan of the Will of the Forsaken change - sharing cooldowns with trinkets? Screw you Blizzard.

Blood Elves get their silence/mana restoration thingy, which is pretty useful in OOM situations but I really do feel Taurens got the short end of the racial stick - 5% health is really useful, granted but going "Cow SMASH!" and being awesome at picking flowers? Not really that good. If any race deserves something that increases Strength or something, it's a massive, muscular freakin' cowmanbeast.

With thoughts of a faction change I started looking at the alliance Racials and it's pretty easy to see who Blizzards golden child is - Humans. They've got fucking everything! Racial which gets rid of movement imparing effects and fear and stuff? Check. Reputation bonuses? Check. Passive Stealth detection? Check. Increased Spirit? Check. And to cap it off, Expertise with not one but TWO weapons. Wankers.

Dwarves have that Stoneform, which is pretty nifty for a tank. Night elves have Shadowmeld and something that makes them harder to hit (okay, I kinda skipped over the nelf racials because I dont like them...) and Spacegoats are good with gems, have a little self heal and more importantly require 1% less hit, which is cool.

But then again, after all this, I'd decided that if I were to faction change. I'd be a dwarf, because they're awesome, their combat animations rock, they look good in most kinds of armour, they Riverdance, are about 4 feet tall and love to get drunk. The only down side is the terrible Scottish accents.

Looking back, I didn't really care about the racials at all. No one really does, except for the "elite." I always used to get asked - "Why didn't you roll and Orc or Troll rogue?" and my answer was simple - Undeads are cool, their combat animations rock and while you're running around getting feared in a raid, I'm stood there, hacking at whatever is in front of me.


  1. I feel quite ambivalent about racials I have to admit - I mean, I LIKE them, I think they're genuinely flavour-ful but they introduce all kinds of weird balance issues. I mean, remember when a Forsaken priest was absolutely THE way to go because it just make you way better than every other priest... racials that optimise with certain character/class combinations essentially limit player choice because although there's no *obligation* to optimise, it feels silly to essentially ignore a possible bonus.

    It's like Tam's professions are mining/enchanting. WHU? And actually everybody knows that a priest should have tailoring/enchanting. I just didn't think Tam looked like he sewed.

    So essentially you have this awkward situation where EITHER a racial is genuine meaningful and there'll be an optimal (limiting) race/class combo OR a racial is basically flavour in which everybody feels faintly cheated.

    I have to say I secretly love my 10% mana restore - I know it seems like a bit academic but in a long fight, if I hit it when I'm at 80%, by the time I'm starting to scratch for mana I can hit it again! WIN!

    Sorry, epic comment is epic and rambling.

    Oh one more thing: I think the cow racials nicely encapsulate the two sides of the tauren... happy happy dressing wearing flowering picking and then COW SMASH!

  2. Sad to see perfectly good racials go down the drain because of whines (arena whines mostly). I chose an undead female priest because undead are my number one race, wotf and something no other race had back then - devouring plague. Sure i'd look at the fear ward somewhat envious, but it was ok, i had my wotf and plus DP was an awesome noob check in mirror fights - if that priest would abolish my DP, i was in for a long mana war. She means a lot to me, my priest, it managed to re-spark my interest in wow a couple of years ago, and i loved melting faces. I didn't like what happened, racial specific priest abilities got FUBARed, everyone got fearward and devouring plague, shadowguard and star shards got removed... i was just a priest like all the others.

    But ultimately, as you say, it's the race itself that's important, not the racial. Undead rogue. Orc shaman. Orc warrior. Orc hunter. Undead warlock. Undead priest. I love undeads and orcs. There's a reasoning behind every combo. Orc warrior, because they're fierce, mean and green. Orc shaman, because the first shaman were orcs. Orc hunter, because female orc is agile and nimble without looking sissy. Undead rogue, because it's the highest level of awesomeness. Undead warlock, because locks are evil, dirty and mean. Undead priest, because of the paradox.

    However, i don't enjoy seeing some things taken away from my chars. I didn't like the hardiness nerf. I didn't like the wotf nerf. Things i took a perverse pleasure in doing aren't doable anymore. I can't drown people in underwater fights anymore. I can't take joy in seeing Touch of Weakness proc Blackout.

    I'm not saying i didn't find new things to enjoy, but i'd give most of them to have that feeling of being different. Still, no matter what they do, i'll stick to my guns. I only did one race change, my hunter went from tauren to orc (BM is dead and a tauren survival hunter didn't fit in my imagination), but i'll never give up on my undeads and orcs.

    You're right about alliance races, humans are now top dogs, but dwarves are waaay cooler. Can't help but remember how the guy from cannibal corpse went bananas over the alliance -- "i guess dwarves are kinda cool, because Gimli and stuff, but ELVES...". My kind of guy. Come Cata, i'll get rid of any sissy vestiges of my account, mage goes goblin, pally goes tauren. No offense, Tam :)

    Long live the horde, the green and rotten. I may be feared, put to sleep, healed with no penalty while going on a rampage, and others may do things better than me because of their racials, but man, orcs and undeads still run the Department of Awesome.