Racial Analysis: Dwarf

08 Sep

Classes and Starting Attributes

Starting Attributes Base Hunter Paladin Priest Rogue Warrior
Strength 22 22 24 22 23 25
Agility 16 19 16 16 19 16
Stamina 23 24 25 23 24 25
Intellect 19 19 19 21 19 19
Spirit 19 20 20 22 19 19

Racial Traits
Stoneform (Instant Cast, 3 minute cooldown)
Removes Bleed, Poison, and Disease effects. In addition, Armor increases by 10%. Lasts 8 seconds.

Gun Specialization (Passive)
Your chance to critically hit with Guns is increased by 1%.

Frost Resistance (Passive)
Reduces the chance you will be hit by Frost spells by 2%.

Find Treasure (Instant Cast, No Cooldown)
Activate to see treasure chests on mini map. Lasts until canceled.

Mace Specialization (Passive)
Expertise with One-Handed Maces and Two-Handed Maces increases by 5.

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.

Having the ability to cleanse yourself of Bleeds, Poisons, and Diseases is certainly beneficial to you at any level in the game, and Stoneskin does all of that in one ability. The 10% bonus to armor is a nice benefit, but I don’t find that to be the strength of the ability.

Any time you manage to get a straight bonus to your chance to crit, you know you’ve found a gem. Dwarves get +1% crit when using guns from Gun Specialization which makes them excellent hunters. Warriors and Rogues are also able to take advantage of this, but since it is not their primary form of attack it will not benefit them nearly as much as a hunter.

Having Frost Resistance can help in Northrend, and in small patches around other areas in the game as well. The percentage of course is small, so it will not be a huge benefit to you, but every little bit helps when the time comes to put it to use.

One ability that I always found fun is Find Treasure. It works like any other Find ability like Find Minerals or Find Herbs, but it looks for items that can be looted like chests, barrels of milk, weapon boxes, etc. It’s surprising just how many of those things you can find sitting around in Stormwind. It’s also surprising just how many chests you can find tucked away in a cluster of trees or behind a distant bush and such when you have this turned on. There are a lot more chests in this game than I thought there were.

Having Mace Specialization gives you a nice bonus to your expertise, making maces one of the better options for Dwarven Ret Paladins. Other classes can benefit from it as well, of course, and any class that attacks with a one or two handed mace will find it beneficial.

Class Breakdown
Hunter: While your 19 Agility could be higher, you still have a solid start on your primary stat. With 19 Int and 24 Stam you’re going to have a good pool of resources for keeping you alive and being able to use your mana-based attacks more often. As mentioned above, the +1% crit provides a great boost to your burst damage when using guns as well.

Paladin: With 24 Strength, 25 Stamina, and 19 Intellect you have a good start on any type of paladin you want to play. The 16 Agility hurts somewhat for a Ret build, but the high strength balances that out nicely. Mace Specialization can come in handy if you happen to be using a mace, and Stoneform can be used in place of some of your other spells without requiring mana.

Priest: You get a good start on your mana pool with 21 Intellect, and you have strong support for that with 22 Spirit and 23 Stam. Priests are well known for being hard to kill and that high Stam along with Stoneform make it even harder.

Rogue: Your 19 Agility could handle being a little bit higher, but 23 Strength and 24 Stam helps you to pack a harder punch (stab?) and gives extra survivability as well. One of the Rogue’s major annoyances is not being able to stealth due to various DoT effects, and while Stoneform doesn’t get rid of all of them it does take care of some of the more common ones while also adding a bit to your already low armor.

Warrior: Starting with 25 Strength and 25 Stamina, it’s no wonder why this is the most common class I see among Dwarves. Stoneform provides great utility that your class does not otherwise have and you can probably benefit a bit more from the increased armor from Stoneform than any other class save possibly the Rogue.

Psynister Preferences
My personal preference for the Dwarf is a toss up. I don’t particularly care for dwarves, but when I picture one they’re always holding a gun. So my three-way tie for preferred class for a Dwarf is going to be Hunter, Rogue, Warrior. Dwarves are a good fit for all of their available classes, but if it were up to me then that is how I would rank them. I’ve never been a fan of Dwarves being spellcasters, so I don’t know that I would ever roll a Priest even though they have good stats for them. Dwarven Paladins are great options as well, and you see them frequently in PvP environments, but if I’m going to play an Alliance Paladin then Human or Draenei are my top choices.


Posted by on September 8, 2009 in Races



2 responses to “Racial Analysis: Dwarf

  1. Fynralyl

    September 9, 2009 at 1:22 PM

    You’d never roll a Dwarven Priest huh? Who is Velvetcloth again?

    • Psynister

      September 9, 2009 at 2:18 PM

      He’s the only option for getting a priest that would start out in the same area as you so that I wouldn’t have to spend 20 minutes running over to where you were just to play with you. :P

      And, these posts are directed at helping someone get started with a class/race combination that’s strong so that they get a solid start on a race/class combination instead of picking one at random and then getting disappointed and giving up on the class when overall it was just a weak setup for starting out.


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