WoW patch 5.4 looks good thus far

There is a stack of new material to read for patch 5.4, and what I’m reading at the moment makes me think that it will be a good patch. Why? Because a lot of the material is further along that what we saw with the early v5 patches, which means I think I am getting a better view of things to come.

Linkage of interest (spoilers and opinions follow):

My highlights so far are:

  • There are new temporary titles for the people completing the realm best challenge modes, and the character only has the title while they hold the record. To keep the title you need to keep the record. That is so darn cool! i.e. “Darkmaster” for Scholomance. What warlock does not want the title Darkmaster?
  • DK have a change to Blood spec where Dancing Rune Weapon does not cost runic power anymore. Cool! I’m going to macro that puppy in now and use it all the time.
  • Interesting that Fel Armor for Warlocks, Shadow for priests, and Moonkin form for Druids no longer reduces damage taken, from 15% to 0%. The Hunter talent was reduced from 15% to 10%. Why the difference? Do Hunters still need protection from standing in bad and raid damage, but the casters are meant to know better?
  • Pvp Season 14 Armor for Warlocks is awesome looking. I want a t16 Warlock now.
  • Pve T16 for Mages is very beautiful. The glasses are a little odd, but the overall effect is stunning.
  • Flexible Raid will be interesting and I can see a huge potential for guilds to use this.
  • The “virtual servers” acting as realm combinations is a new feature which is interesting. Does this mark the unavoidable merge of low pop realms? It depends on how it is added, and what the effect is. i.e. If I join a guild on a different server using this virtualisation and then that realm becomes high pop, do I get unjoined?
  • The new solo content in the Proving Grounds is something I like to read about. Will the rewards be cosmetic (like Brawlers and Challenge modes) or gear-ups like Heroics and Scenarios?
  • The Siege of Ogrimar / Garrosh encounter is going the way I didn’t like, but hey – can’t have it all. Garrosh is corrupted/empowered by Y’shaarj who is one of the old gods, and gains all sorts of boosts from it. Reading the summary thus far the end fight in SoO might feel similar to the end of Ulduar. Not a bad thing, I would have preferred that Garrosh was a nasty bastard without having him “corrupted”. Why must our evil villains be corrupted to be evil?
  • Apparently support for dedicated sound hardware has been nurfed in WoW, and this makes the shitty chopping sound I’m getting since patch 5.3 make sense. I’ll have to research how to alter my sound config to not stutter now.
  • We have new item levels as:
    • 521 for Raid finder, 527 for Flex raids, 541 for Normal raids, 547 for Thunderforged, 554 for Heroic raids, and 560 for Heroic Thunderforged gear.
    • That means that the Normal mode gear you might have now (522) will be upgraded slightly by Flex, no real upgrade except the Tier bonuses for LFR.
    • Unless you’ve also already upgraded your 522 to 530, and then even Flex offers nothing except Tier gear. The numbers seem well thought through.
  • The Engineer’s SkyClaw mount might be in this patch.
  • Blacksmiths get another new daily transmute – the Balanced Trillium Ingot. I’m still transmuting the other stuff. Hopefully this is a useful waste of Trillium bars.
  • Les excited by a new Celestial Tournament, which will likely be the new daily quest hub. Probably also another bloody faction to grind up with. For pitty’s sake.

yshaarj-window

Lastly we have the Death Knight new Tier bonuses…

T16 PH – Death Knight DPS
2 pieces: Item – Death Knight T16 DPS 2P Bonus – Killing Machine and Sudden Doom grant 500 Haste or Mastery, whichever is highest, for ($hnd * 2 + 4) sec, stacking up to 10 times.
4 pieces: Item – Death Knight T16 DPS 4P Bonus – Death Coil increases the duration of Dark Transformation by 1.5 sec per cast. Pillar of Frost increases rune regeneration speed by 100% while active.

T16 PH – Death Knight Tank
2 pieces: Item – Death Knight T16 Blood 4P Bonus – Dancing Rune Weapon will reactivate all Frost and Unholy runes as Death Runes, and make your next 4 Death Strikes free.
4 pieces: Item – Death Knight T16 Blood 2P Bonus – Every 4 Heart Strikes, Rune Strikes, or Blood Boils will add one charge to your next Bone Shield.

For Blood I can see DRW being a bloody awesome Boom tool. It becomes a burst effect for either recovery or threat/dps. I really like that idea. The 4x set is also clever in terms of quality of life improvement where Tanks need to think about refreshing Bone Shield less.

For DPS the 4x set looks nice in terms of boosting dps on use, which is better than the current 4x set which I think is situationally great or average. Not sure on 2x set as yet.

GarroshKillEverything

Thoughts from 5.1 patch notes

Some odd stuff:

Spirit of Harmony can now be purchased for 600 Conquest Points at the Conquest Quartermaster.

Can I convert the other way please? Please? And to VPs not Conquest? That would be bloody wonderful. 1x SoH granting 600 VP would be like Christmas. I know, dream on.

Portal Shards grow into consumable items which can be used to open a portal from Sunsong Ranch to a major faction city.

That’s handy. Although I’d say just buy yourself the Stormwind cloak and use it to teleport. Less farming and it never runs out.

A search bar has been added to the mount section of the Mount and Pet Journal. The Mount and Pet Journal remembers which tab you were last using.

Good. It needed it.

Banquet of the Steamer and Great Banquet of the Steamer now correctly provide Intellect to damage based casting classes. Healers will continue to gain Spirit from these foods.

This will make a huge amount of raiders happy. Bravo.

 

 

No dk updates, harumph!

Aside

I just read the summary of the beta changes for the recent beta release for MoP. It contains nothing about DKs (except in relation to non-account wide mounts, duh). Now that might be an over statement, except that 9 other classes are represented, many questions and tweaks are outstanding for Death Knights, and I think this is not the first beta update with nothing for DK characters. It’s odd.

Many of the updates are correcting balance issues (for everyone and balance druids) so perhaps its a blessing in disguise. There are some switch-around on which mounts are account wide which really can’t be taken as final, some changes for Druids and Hunters which look like downward tweaks, and changes to Shadow Priests which look like even more serious nurfs if you believe the comments.

In the recess of my mind I can recall that DKs were near last out of the gates in the Cata expansion beta process too, and their final form (particularly for Blood/Tanks) was innovative and is powerful in the current game. This post is not doom and gloom, but an observation based upon a fixed release date and very little information about what they will be like, given the questions that remain. I’ve mucked about in beta with the DKs to see what is different, but have not tested at 90, so perhaps a relaxed attitude is needed. I am sure that greater minds than myself, such as the folks on the EJ-DK forums would like some clarity and adjustment. BloodTap in particular seems odd, and adding abilities which require Death runes specifically makes my brain hurt.

Perhaps (ahem) a future patch will be all about the DK – to the point where instead of using a version number (like build 15952) it will contain the release version info of, “there DKs I fixed it”. The Death Knight Rises! /dry

Initial 4.3 patch notes for Death Knights

The first set of patch notes for 4.3 have been released, and there are some interesting things for Death Knights (source, mmo). A lot of things will likely change between now and the release.

Noteworthy is:

  1. Healing from Death Strike is automatic, and the damage is subject to a successful hit.
  2. Abom’s Might has the melee attack power increased, all other affects are the same.
  3. Blade Barrier is a base % damage soak reduction, which is a change away from being dependent on rune usage.
  4. Howling Blast’s base damage has increased, while the scaling from attack power has been slight reduced.
  5. Veteran of the Third War now also reduces the cooldown on Outbreak by 30 seconds.

For DK Tanks this is a change toward a more consistent inbound damage, a reduction on replacing our diseases. The change in Abom’s might will be reflected elsewhere in identical buffs, so that melee dps is bumped. I am not sure if the HB change will increase or decrease the damage. Overall its good, I feel that we’ll be less spikey.

In other news:

  1. A few enchants for Tanks are slightly increased, not overly huge change, but welcome.
  2. You’ll be able to dethrone an inactive GM, so play nice.
  3. GC has posted a summary and some background thoughts on the patch changes.
  4. And yes, the artwork for the Priest and Hunter gear has been released. The Priest helm looks incredible. Where are the Death Knight models?
  5. Archaeology areas of interest will now show on the mini-map, in addition to the World Map.

Happy killing, Typhoonandrew.

Comments on hold for Patch 3.1

I’m waiting before commenting on the Patch 3.1 notes. Why? Because the changes are very broad at the moment for Death Knights, and I’d rather see what they are a week from now. Commenting now just seems like jumping the gun to me.

The class notes so far for most classes are worth of a read though. Go find your favpourite source and drool away.

Knowing that Frost and Blood will get re-worked and Unholy gets some switching around – all ok imho. Lets see what Blizzard can do for Death Knights. It appears that dual wield killing machine procs are reduced, so maybe dual wield will become a flavour choice not a must do. Not that I did, I like Frost dps at the moment, but will look hard at each tree again shortly.

The huge one is that dual spec will be for level 40s and above, and not have a materials requirement. Booja! That is excellent. The 1000 gold cost is nothing compared to what that offers multi-role toons. Not just hybrids get a boost here, you could have a pvp and pve spec for a dps’er.

Patch notes 3.0.3

The 3.0.3 patch notes are out – and the best thing in there is “The war against spelling errors continues”. Hehe.

Highlights for me are:

-refund of Druid talent points, as I love a good free re-spec opportunity.

- Warlock/Druid/Paladin mount quest removed and now a trainable skill. Great for my warlock, as I’ve been lazy, and I feel good that I did the Druid quest a few days back.

- Bash now has an interrupt regardless of creature being stun immune.

- Paladin changes: I have no idea there are too many things switching to know the degree of change, or the severity of the impact. QQ aside, the future will tell.

- Priests have Devouring Plague’s coefficient increased which is good, and Vampiric Touch also increased and refreshed by Mind Blast. I see now a reason to apply VT at the start of a mid length fight. Short is still a waste, long is still mandatory. I love the linked synergy in VT+MB, and PW:P+MF, it makes sense and will help with mana and rotation (although I don’t have a real rotation yet). VT as pull happens, PW:P, DP, MF(?), MB, MF…nice.

- Warlocks appear to have had a slight buff overall, the affect remains to be seen. Destro looks like it is getting a significant part of the increase.

- Gathering professions no longer have a level requirement. Wow thats huge, now just the same for crafting professions too please (?).

Wrath Beta on, patch notes up

The NDA is lifted and Alpha test is closed so expect a flood of conjecture and comments about the expansion.The Beta is also open and emails from Blizzard will be sent to the lucky few. Feels very much like a golden ticket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – I wonder if somebody will have a transporter accident like in the old film?

My quick summary of the Wrath update is as follows:

  • Its all hearsay and rumor, and even the official patch notes are subject to major changes. So take everything with a huge bucket of salt.
  • Paladin’s Seals are getting a major overhaul, which I don’t like the sound of, but will watch with interest. The change to Salvation in particular seems to be a huge screw-up, and I have to wonder out loud if Salv is actually hated in its current form by the Devs. You don’t make Salv into a 10 second affect, which also reduces dps and healing without something being really odd.
  • A massive list of spells have had their cooldowns altered, or been tweaked. Its really worth scanning the class list to see whats affected and of interest to you. You’ll say holy-cow at least once I promise.
  • Enchanters will be able to use Scrolls created by Inscription to share enchantments between your own toons, or sell them in the AH. That is awesome.
  • Toons can change hairstyles, so you can finally opt away from that bad hair day that might have been funny for 10 days, then got tired.
  • Paladin Auras affect everyone now in a raid. Good.
  • All Pet powers for Warlocks are automatically known.
  • Professions will go to 425, but I’ll wait to see the actual items and gear before getting excited about that.