Racial Analysis: Human

19 Aug

Classes and Starting Attributes
Humans have seven different classes to choose from: Death Knight, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Warlock, and Warrior.

Starting Attributes Base Mage Paladin Priest Rogue Warlock Warrior
Strength 20 20 22 20 21 20 23
Agility 20 20 20 20 23 20 20
Stamina 20 20 22 20 21 21 22
Intellect 20 23 20 22 20 22 20
Spirit 21 23 22 24 23 23 21

Racial Traits
Perception (Passive)
Increases stealth detection by 5 points (equivalent of 1 level).

The Human Spirit (Passive)
Spirit increased by 3%.

Diplomacy (Passive)
Faction reputation gains increased by 10%.

Every Man for Himself (Instant cast, 2 minute cooldown)
Activate to remove all movement impairing effects and all effects which cause loss of control of your character.

Sword Specialization (Passive)
Expertise with One-Handed Swords and Two-Handed Swords increased by 3.

Mace Specialization (Passive)
Expertise with One-Handed Maces and Two-Handed Maces increased by 3.

General Assessment
Here I go over each class with an analysis based purely on stats. A lot of people on forums like to ask what race their should pick for a certain class, and the answer they receive is always the same, “go for whichever race appeals to you most visibly”. But these people aren’t asking which race looks the prettiest, they are asking which one will help them the most with the character. The answer they receive is pretty valid, it really doesn’t matter. But, that doesn’t mean it can’t help as well.

While your race does not make a huge difference in the overall scheme of how powerful your character will be at end game, it can impact how well you do early on. Oftentimes a player will start a character and then decide within the first 10 levels whether or not they like the character. So, it’s important to start off with a solid race/class combination if you’re not one for sticking it out for a while to really give the character a chance.

If you ignore the long term and start out looking just at the base starting attributes then I find the following.

As is typical with most games that include other playable races alongside humans, the human receives a few extra little perks so that everyone doesn’t just grab the extraordinary races and leave the humans behind. The excellent thing about the Humans is that their attributes all start out at 20 or higher, so every class choice that they have is great. It might not be exceptional like some of the other races that have base attributes above 20, but they don’t fall into the trap that those races do in having less than 20 for another attribute.

The Human racial ability of Perception is good for all classes, though it’s not exceptional. It has more use in PvP than it does in PvE, but even then it’s not all that great as the only class that’s going to be using stealth against you (Rogues) is likely to have spent talent points to raise their stealthing ability as well. But, not every rogue will be spend their talent points the same way, so this could very well save your life. There are some instances that use stealth in them as well, so it does have PvE uses, just not a whole lot of them. Spell casters will find the most use out of The Human Spirit, and priest and warlocks tend to love it.

Their racial bonus from Diplomacy makes quite an impact on anyone who plans on doing any reputation farming. I’m not usually a big fan of farming rep, but here lately I have had to do just that with my paladin so that I could get Enchanting formulas for him. Unfortunately, I’m a blood elf so no +10% bonus for me (/frown). If you have any plans to spend a good deal of time with end game content or raiding, the time that you save from having Diplomacy make it one of the best racial abilities in the entire game. You will not see much benefit from it for the first part of your character’s life, but it will certainly pay off in the long run.

Gaining Sword/Mace Specialization gives some of the melee classes a bit of an edge. While the bonus from these isn’t spectacular, every little bit helps.

And the strongest of Human racial abilities is Every Man for Himself which has applications in all aspects of the game. Gnomes can escape snaring effects, Undead can remove effects that cause the loss of control, but only Humans can do both at once. Again, this is an amazing ability for PvP, but it also has great potential in PvE as well with how many mobs are able to use the very effects that this protects you from.

Class Breakdown
Mage: As I mentioned before, the Human’s high starting attributes make them good for all class choices, and with Intellect and Spirit both starting at 23, Humans get an excellent start on the mage class. From a racial ability stand point, the mage’s only real benefit for being a Human is going to be the increased Spirit to help with mana regeneration.

Paladin: Being a hybrid class the paladin’s attribute points are a bit more spread out than other non-hybrid classes. But again, since Humans start with such high scores in everything they are still exceptional in all class choices. With Strength, Stamina, and Spirit all starting at 22 a Human paladin is a perfect choice for the class and specifically for the Protection Paladin spec (I have quite a bit of Prot Pally info here). If you do happen to be playing a tank, then Every Man for Himself becomes an excellent tool for helping you stay in control.

Priest: Priests rely pretty heavily on their Spirit to regenerate their mana for them, and The Human Spirit is a perfect fit for that. With 23 Intellect to establish a solid mana pool early on and 24 Spirit to help with the regeneration of that mana, Human Priests will have less downtime to worry about regenerating their mana. Every Man for Himself also allows a healer (or dps) to stay more focused their roles in a group. Nothing sucks more in an instance than having your tank die because something took out your healer, and the Human has some great tools to prevent that from happening.

Rogue: If you look at the table above with the starting attributes you will find that most race/class combinations have an overall +6 bonus if you count the number of attribute points above 20 and subtracting those below 20. The Rogue is an exception to this as they receive an overall +8 bonus. Humans make great Rogues with a starting 23 Agility, and while it’s not the highest in the game it is certainly a solid choice for a rogue. Being able to slip out of your enemy’s hands is always a rogue’s job and Every Man for Himself helps with that a lot. The increase from The Human Spirit will also help you to regenerate your health while stealthing around your enemies. Rogues also benefit from both Mace & Sword Specialization, though you don’t see a lot of mace rogues these days. At early levels swords are a stronger choice for rogues than daggers, and these racial bonuses can help you even more.

Warlock: Human Warlocks do not get quite so optimized attributes starting out as other classes do, but 22 Intellect, 23 Spirit, and 21 Stamina help Human ‘Locks to do what they do best. The biggest benefit that a Warlock is likely to get out of this deal is The Human Spirit to help with life/mana regeneration as well as spell power if the warlock specs to receive the bonus.

Warrior: With 23 Strength, 22 Stamina, and 21 Spirit, a Human Warrior again is able to start off with a solid set of attributes. The same general trend we’ve seen in other classes above apply here as well: The Human Spirit will help with regeneration and by doing so reduce downtime a bit, Every Man for Himself helps to keep you in control of your own character, and the Mace/Sword Specialization abilities work very well here.

Psynister Preferences
With such a great array of starting attributes and solid, though not spectacular, racial abilities the Human can easily perform well in every class. My personal preferences for Humans is either Priest, Rogue, or Paladin, but as I said they make excellent choices for all of their available classes. If I were to pick a single class that I feel is a perfect fit for the human it would be Priest, but I put the Rogue and Paladin close behind.


Posted by on August 19, 2009 in Races



2 responses to “Racial Analysis: Human

  1. Roger

    August 29, 2009 at 8:19 AM

    I would argue (simply because I like to do so with you) that Diplomacy is not simply the most powerful racial for Humans, but in the game.

    The fact is, it is indispensable for hardcore players to allow them to get exalted faster with a multitude of factions, while allowing casual players to spend less time grinding the few factions they need or want.

    And so much of the end game now is all factions based.

    • Psynister

      August 29, 2009 at 2:37 PM

      Rather than rushing right into a response, I decided I would take a moment to ponder the issue here.

      Now, EMfH is a very useful ability that does what it takes two other races combined to accomplish in just a single spell. That’s pretty significant in my book and I have seen it used to great effect. However, that comes strictly from a combat perspective, as out of combat it does absolutely nothing for you at all.

      This being a leveling blog I have focused primarily on lower levels, and while I have looked at it from an end game perspective as well, my thoughts went more towards combat, instances, raiding, etc, where EMfH is again a very strong ability. But, Diplomacy probably did get the short end of stick on this one.

      Early on Diplomacy doesn’t “do” much for you, but that’s really only because of how much rep it takes to get any kind of return out of the deal. It’s something that builds up over time and pays off in the end rather than right away (silly Americans and our desire for immediate returns). So I sat here and thought about it for a minute, and passed it by my wife as well since I know she’s got more experience with Alliance than I do, and sure enough a shift in thought occurred.

      Her reply, “Well, everyone I know who takes Human says they do it for the Rep.” I thought about rep grinds that I’ve been in so far, and none of them really bothered me. Another few minutes of pondering and I realized that there’s one that I’m grinding right now that’s taking forever, Thorium Brotherhood, which looking at the numbers tells me I would almost be done if I were a Human.

      I then carried that thought over to my 80 Mage on my old server and the various rep grinds he did for the Northrend factions, and that was certainly a headache not to be glossed over. While Diplomacy in itself gives you no benefit in combat, the items, enchants, gems, etc that you get from having those reputations do have a direct impact on combat and the gear-aspect of your performance in end game raids and instances.

      So, to wrap all of that up, I would say for the most part that you are actually correct in that statement. You don’t see the benefit of it until later in the game, but it is definitely there and worth taking note of it.


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