Plenty of gameplay things have changed -- more on that in a minute -- but one thing almost immediately transformed the game for me. I was killing my fourth Kobold Vermin (sorry guys, I'm taking those candles) by auto-attacking it and waiting impatiently for my lone ability to light up, when it struck me: This was going to be slow. Really, really slow. And, after another minute, I realized that was okay.
The primary goal of Conflict and Strife is to provide an interesting choice in PvP by allowing access to an extra PvP Talent. It’s not necessarily going to be a strong option for PvE. The acquisition of this Essence is via PvP, and is totally optional for PvE-focused players. While there may be interesting PvE uses for some of the choices, it is not expected to be a strong competitor on usual PvE criteria (like total throughput) on every spec.
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