Big class changes in next WOW patch

Blizzard sets house in order.

Blizzard has outlined some major changes coming to every World of Warcraft character class in the next major content patch, known only as patch 3.1 for now. The announcements came via a series of posts on WOW's official forums.

Although every class gets some serious attention, the headlines are: no more consumable ammunition for Hunters; a substantial boost for Protection-spec Paladins; major improvements to the Priest class, especially in group healing; general buffs for Rogues and Shamans; efficiency improvements for Warriors and Warlocks (with the penalty for Warriors changing stances being much lighter); plus, mana regeneration is being reined in across the board.

It's all a bit technical to go into in detail here, so let us instead point you to the original posts: Priest, Rogue and Shaman; Warlock, Warrior and Druid; Death Knight, Hunter, Mage and Paladin.

You can find some analysis for each class, together with a round-up of all other patch news, over at WOW Insider.

The overall aim seems to be a bit of streamlining for every class, bringing the tanking classes into line with each other, levelling out imbalance in the damage-dealing classes (it'll never happen), and making healing through big boss fights a bit more of a challenge with the mana changes.

Also coming in patch 3.1 will be a new raid dungeon, Ulduar, and - with luck - the introduction of dual talent specialisations.

The new content update hasn't gone into testing yet, but is expected to do so soon, with a release to follow in the next couple of months. We'll update you with more information when we have it.

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