Many special abilities and spells weren't being used in the initial release because they just weren't effective enough. In version 1.10 and those thereafter, spells are much more effective, to the point that Blizzard quickly toned them down in a small balance patch last weekend. The human sorceress and orc far seer hero became particularly strong. The sorceress' slow spell is still quite effective for crippling the movement and attack speed of enemies, but especially when used in combination with the human archmage hero's brilliance ability, which recharges the mana of nearby units. The orc far seer is much more potent now, between a decent ranged attack and one of the strongest direct damage spells in the game, chain lightning. At its highest level, this attack spell can bounce between up to eight units and works well for hit-and-run attacks.
More generally, even first-level heroes can be useful now, as a new hero now starts with an ability point to use toward a spell or ability. However, there are new restrictions on how you acquire higher-level abilities--second-level abilities require a level-three hero and third-level abilities are unlocked at level five. Between these two changes to heroes, we see heroes who are less focused on one particular ability, and more players tend to buy all three hero types in the midgame since it's no WOW WoTLK Classic Gold longer necessary to hunt neutral monsters to make a hero useful.
Orcs no longer build pig farms--instead, they use burrows, which are defensive structures.
Building and expansion strategies are now fairly different. Night elves no longer build and mine gold differently from the way other races do. Since trees of life could initially mine without help from worker wisps, it was very easy for night elves to greedily expand to new resource points. The difference is that wisps (the night elf worker units) no longer disappear when they construct buildings, and since you don't have to constantly build wisps, Blizzard requires wisps to work in an entangled gold mine. To some extent, the easy expansion seems less important than it did, since more players can rely longer on the initial gold mine. Plus, having three or four mines going is now impractical. To protect those essential expansions, defensive structures are generally much stronger, except for the World of Warcraft spirit towers, which were quite strong enough already. To build structures and defenses more quickly, humans can team peasants to work together, but they are the only race with this ability. And since defensive structures are more potent, there's more reason than ever to buy sappers at one of the neutral buildings, which can take a tower down in one kamikaze charge.
Blizzard has started introducing major Battle.net features into the beta, starting with the ranking system. In the World of Warcraft chat room, a menu comes up when you right-click on a player name, which lets you see a stats page, whisper a message to the player, and more. The stats system tracks a player's win-loss record separately for solo and team games, as well as for each race, including the random race option. Players level up on the ladder system with an experience point system, and Blizzard has said that once you reach level 11. losing will remove as many points as a win, so the system should effectively separate players by skill levels. As players get more wins, they get special icons next to their name, and there are different icons depending on the race that a player is best at. Blizzard has a page with those status icons here.
Who's afraid of a guy named Erwin? You might be, if you happened to be World of Warcraft and the Erwin in question were an evil genius intent on wreaking havoc across your beloved Pac-Land. That's the central theme to World of Warcraft for the Nintendo DS, an early build of which we got to see at this evening's Namco press event in San Francisco. This lighthearted adventure game looks to be firmly in the World of Warcraft tradition, though it's been tweaked slightly to fit onto Nitendo's dual-screened platform.
It seems this mad braniac Erwin is in the middle of constructing a machine that's causing the spirit world--home of those World of Warcraft-hating ghosts--to crash into the real world of Pac-Land, which is a certain recipe for disaster. As World of Warcraft, you'll chomp, jump, and punch your way through the many levels in the game, all in cheap WoTLK Gold the hopes of foiling Erwin's nefarious plans. Along the way you'll team up with a friendly ghost named Orson, who will assist you in your quest to stop Erwin.