WoW Factor: So let’s talk World of Warcraft’s Evokers


I should have a bigger opinion of Evokers than I actually do.

Maybe that’s an overreaction at this point; the latest hero class to be added World of Warcraft hasn’t been released to players in anything remotely playable yet, and as such my experience with it will be largely driven by what’s available in early previews at this point. Understood and recognized. Also, there are… well… lots of other things getting in the way dragonflight that feels more urgent to me.

Still, you know, we’ve been talking about these things for the past few weeks and we’ve been examining where we stand in terms of the overall design and aesthetics of the game. So now seems like the perfect time to step back and delve into this new hero class to some degree. what looks good what looks bad What looks questionable?

Actually a lot of things. But let’s go one step at a time.

First and foremost, I want to address two things that are at least personal pain points To me. I don’t mean that in a sense that these pain points are, in a sense, things that everyone should or must deal with; They’re just stuff that grinds my Gears specifically, and if you don’t care about them, well, hey, that’s great.

Start with, I don’t like the lack of a melee spec. I understand it, even apart from the fact that this chain-wielding class, with ranged magic, melee magic, and healing specializations, is again all shaman. But I also don’t think it really addresses the core issue there that needs to be addressed. Impressive doesn’t lack magic ranged damage specs (by my count there are nine out of 36 total specs, so exactly a quarter). What it lacks is reach physically specifications (there are two), and that doesn’t change anything.

Also, you know… I just like melee combat. I like to wade within striking distance and hit things. I personally find that more interesting. (Continuing the math from earlier, there are 13 such specs in the game, so we’re not is missing in those.) My interest tends to go in those directions. but personally It’s harder for me to get enthusiastic about “new casters”. Your mileage may vary.

Second, and more pertinent than my personal trivia, we also still don’t know if the split between dragon form and humanoid form will be a purely cosmetic toggle, or if it’ll be more like the worgen you’re dealing with to have to fight in your animal form. This seems relevant because the Dractyrs in dragon form are… I’m sorry, they just are ugly.

we have au ra at home

Obviously this is from the Salt Grain Zone and for some people the Dractyrs will surely do it for you. There is no judgement. But in my eyes the Dractyr can look good in humanoid form, but not only look unfinished unattractive in her dragon form. It’s possible another interview clarified this one way or the other, but right now this isn’t a class where I’m looking at it and thinking, “yeah, this is going to look so cool.”

That’s… sort of a problem! It’s not a problem demon hunters had. Sure, Demon Hunters look exactly like asking a 15-year-old anime fan to design the coolest class ever (missing only the part where she teleports behind her target while saying “nothing personal, boy ‘ whispers), but that’s not a Poorly Thing. It’s honestly a very Impressive thing, even; It’s a strong aesthetic that’s essentially youthful.

(There’s actually a whole column about the youthful element of Impressive that can’t be overlooked, but that’s for another week and a general feeling of “would anyone even be interested in reading this” first.)

In any case, that’s the main thing standing in the way of my enthusiasm for Evoker (and Dractyr, but they’re not separate issues). It doesn’t make me think, “This looks silly but cool”; it makes me think, “This just looks silly and isn’t something I really wanted.” Not a good place to start a new class!

so what is cool about it? What is is it worth rejoicing? Well, for one, dragons are just inherently cool. Yes, they are played out too, but again, it is Impressive. That’s kind of part of his natural appeal. And the ability to attack your foes with a range of dragon breath and draconic spells is appealing on a fundamental level, so it speaks for itself, especially since the game has had 17 years to build a fairly robust picture of how dragons operate in this universe .

It also has the benefit of being just two specs, both of which are primarily magical in nature. Instead of having three competing specs with wildly different focuses, we’re going to have two, and both specs can maintain a universal set of tools that differ in gameplay quirks, and that can help with identity and avoid design cruft. It also means there’s no need to hold back a set of tricks for one particular DPS spec and another for the other spec; All neat damage tricks occupy the same space and play off each other.

Here you evoke.

Force spells definitely sound interesting to boot. Whether they perform very well or not obviously depends on a number of factors and their overall execution, but Impressive In general, it’s a “push every button as fast as you can” game, so it’s always invigorating to see something that lends itself to a different combat design. Yes, it can be argued that “Hold this button as long as possible” isn’t wild different, but it could lead to a very different feel in combat.

Also, I’m a sucker for charging things over time.

I don’t mind that the class isn’t “for” me, so to speak; that’s really a value-neutral suggestion for anything but my own personal enthusiasm. While I haven’t seen many people very excited to play a Dractyr, that doesn’t mean those folks aren’t out there, and if you are below please tone down in the comments. It seems to hit the key notes a new class needs to have, in that it asks players to do different things than previous specs and classes, even while using some of the common language.

But I can’t help but be at least somewhat curious as to where the ultimate direction for the class is going. There are things here to get excited and interested in, things that are engaging and neat, but there are also things that feel immature or otherwise unthought out. Only time will tell if this is a major addition to the game, bringing new life to the gameplay through its inclusion… or if it’s a short throw because the developers knew the game needed a new class and it fits thematically.

Hopefully it’s the first.

blankWar never changes, but World of Warcraft does, with a history spanning decades and a huge presence in the MMORPG industry. Join Eliot Lefebvre for a new installment of WoW Factor each week as he examines the massive MMO, how it interacts with the larger world of online gaming, and what’s new in the worlds of Azeroth and Draenor.

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Lindsay Lowe

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