Well, obviously I have some thoughts on the upcoming expansion, I wanted to wait a few days to post them because normally the first response to anything like this is emotional, not mental, and I wanted to have a clear head when thinking about this.
On removal of certain stats:
Attack power and spellpower: gone. They seem to be going back to vanilla where most things are there and just derived. It has a couple effects. It makes it easier to pick gear for your characters, but it also makes things a little more boring. What it looks like you'll end up with is strength and stam for tanks, Int and spirit for healers and casters, agility for other DPS. I think that makes it easier for them than what has basically become a crazy mix of what is best for who. I was pretty against this at the beginning because I like being able to customize characters, honestly I think it will help overall playability while leveling and at endgame gear varies widely anyways. I also think it's cool that they said they want to bring back proc abilities on gear. Lets be honest, Ret pallies are stacking strength anyways, it just looks like other classes will be moving to that model.
What I am interested to see is how that will impact say jewelcrafting. No more defense, are they getting rid of parry and dodge as specific ratings also? No more attack power and spell power, but they haven't mentioned crit. I could see this realistically eliminating about half my gem cuts, and I really don't think thats a bad thing. How much easier would it be if I could just gem my druid int and spirit? Now I have this crazy juggling act of mage who wants int, crit and spellpower, druid who wants spellpower, spirit and int, and warlock who wants stamina and spellpower. All that is just for my casters.
Worgen and Goblins:
They took the "easy" path on this one. Goblins for horde, worgen for alliance. Looks like we're gonna see an assload of goblin rogues. Personally I will probably roll a goblin warlock and a worgen druid (I'm intrigued by new feral forms for both worgen and trolls), with the caveat: if I buy the new expansion at all.
How I feel about the expansion:
Well, I feel like Wrath had a lot for me. TBC was basically when I started playing the game, so that wasn't new to me, it was just a part of the game (even though I spent most of my time in the vanilla world, I have always had blood elves and draenei around). The two things that I like the most are crafting and making alts of different classes. They added a new one of each in wrath, and although inscription is terribly exhausting on resources, I like it a lot. In Cataclysm they're adding Archaeology. Great, another secondary profession I won't use. Now, while I love all the primary professions (even the gathering ones), I barely ever level the secondary ones. Fishing is not fun at all. First aid I see as a waste of cloth (as most classes I play can heal themselves in some form or another, the exception is my warrior and DK who do have first aid). Cooking I want to level, but its just such a pain in the butt! I don't see myself leveling Archaeology. Worgen and Goblins are cool, but if they don't give me new character slots, it's going to be hard finding space for them.
Another thing that I've been fighting recently is the thought that eventually I'm just going to be done with the game. I might be motivated to give raiding a shot once I have a caster at the level cap. Healing seems pretty stressful as does tanking. I also don't really want something that requires a high degree of situational awareness. I kind of just want to feel badass and blow stuff up. I have no problems running heroics over and over again because I still get to blow stuff up and the easier it gets, the more fun it is. My primary goal is to level other characters. I guess thats my lifespan in wow. When I don't have any new characters to level, I'll be done with the game. Thats why the new expansion doesn't hold too much appeal to me. Yes worgen and goblins are semi cool. However, will a worgen druid play that much different than a tauren druid? Probably not. If they would have given us a new "hero class" I'd probably be a lot more excited. I understand it would be hard balancing another class in the game, and honestly, I don't really see a niche that needs filled (making heals OP is not going to make people want to heal, how many DK's actually tank?). I think blizz saw that the influx of DK's really created more melee DPS, not really more tanks, so coming out with a healing class that can be a caster DPS will really just be making more problems for mages, and locks.
The long and short of it is more raids don't appeal to me, more levels don't appeal to me, unless there are abilities coming out that just seem ridiculously awesome (ok, I can be bought with really cool new abilities), I think I will be finding a new game to play in 2010. . .like maybe Star Wars, the Old Republic (Somebody go get my lightsaber. It's the one that says Bad Motherfucker on it. )
2 years ago