The Vale gets smashed!

New pics from wowhead’s digging on the ptr shows the Vale smashed up and broken. This is great. The baddies actually responded to us stuffing around on their doorsteps.

View all these and more on Wowhead

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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

Recent 5.3 PTR changes for DKs and Legendary reward for Blacksmiths

dk-symbolFor Death Knights the May 14 tweaks have some relevance, and the new “Reborn” style weapons can now apply the Legendary upgrade.

As I said, it was very disappointing that the Reborns were same as the LFR drops – and they still are disappointing. This brings a 30 day crafting slog up to the scale of a random LFR drop. I’m seriously contemplating dropping Blacksmithing for Enchanting or some other profession with regular solid buffs beyond Bracers and Gloves socketing.

More after the break. Continue reading

small fun ptr update for 5.2

Aside

Source here for recent update on PTR, highlights are:

Professions

  • The chance to fish up Flying Tiger Gourami, Spinefish Alpha and Mimic Octopus has been increased.
  • Reputation gains from bringing rare Pandarian fish for Nat Pagle to examine has been increased.

=> I don’t think these fish have been implemented in Prod as yet, as I’ve never seen one. Nagle’s rep is about the hardest I’ve ever seen, and that means it is fundamentally a bloody joke. Completionist only rep. This update changes nothing about my intent to ignore Fishing and Mr Nagle. It is a poor profession.

Raids, Dungeons and Scenarios

  • To encourage Raid Finder groups to persevere, each time an Raid Finder group wipes on a boss fight all players in the group receives a stacking buff that increases health, damage dealt, and healing done by 5% (up to a maximum of 10 stacks). This buff is cleared once the boss has been killed.

=> We can now get a stacking buff to mitigate fail? Cool. Might help a bit actually, and being that its LFR does anyone care if it gets up to 50% easier? Won’t stop dickheads from going AFK or entering in the role they don’t intend to play. That would have been a better fix.

But I’ll take a buff, and no way in hell I’ll be staying for 10 wipes to get the full 50% top-up. Or I’ll create a “wipe in LFR set” and wear that so that the repairs are cheap.

Death Knight

  • Asphyxiate’s cooldown has been reduced to 30 seconds (was 1 minute).

=> Good. Though this was in last ptr patch.

The Legendary Quest Continues

Wrathion must know the origin and source of Mogu power, and Azeroth’s mightiest heroes will aid the Black Prince in finding out what it is. The search for information will take players into the depths of the Thunder King’s Palace, and pit them against trials of perseverance and skill. Along the way, they’ll unlock the secrets to a new legendary metagem, Crown of the Heavens.

=> Somebody please tell Wrathion that it is Titan technology, and that he’s in good company trying to make all that power work for himself. Mogu tried, failed, beat up by pandas, now an almost dead dynasty.Old gods fusked around with it, got spanked hard and sealed in a big prison for almost eternity.

Bran Bronzebeard has a phallic collection of artifacts and discs, and he’s no better at actually surviving without us characters as an armed escort. His Panda Lorewalker replacement in Pandaria is no better. Heck Mr Wrathion’s father tried for the “ultimate power kick” and that got him a big skull full of tentacles and a gravestone. Bloody black dragons never learn. Free epix though. Weeeee.

Its too quiet on the 4.3 PTR for DKs

I’m not sure I like how quiet the news on Death Knights has been. The PTR built has seen chatter and changes for most of the other classes, set bonuses, and some spell affects, the odd tweak and change; but the DKs seem to be silent. The initial batch of information on changes was OK, and while I think the t13 bonuses were lackluster, they were posted.

Now if I was a Paladin (getting reworked) I might be happier if it was quiet, as it could be a good thing. Perhaps DKs are functioning on PTR as intended, and we’re just pending the best art design ever for the T13 Death Knight armor model (a guy can hope).

No updates, no t13 armor graphic models, no extra notes; it just feels too quiet for us at the moment. I hate waiting.

PTR Setup process successful

I’ve worked out what to do to get the PTR running. Obvious to some, or a no-brainer if you’re lucky, but it took two goes for me. My first attempt appeared ok, but would crash every time when entering the world.

  • Firstly do not have more than one copy of the game installed. I used to run two side by side sessions of wow for multiboxing, and the PTR install auto-detects your wow location. For me that location was TBC but not Wrath enabled, so it piked when I tried to login.
  • Save the auto-downloader and the directory it creates in the same parent folder as your WoW folder.
  • When you run the PTR installed, run it from the Parent folder.
  • The updater will download a 750mb-ish patch, and then config it. Seemed to be a good sign that it found and would run the updater.
  • Don’t expect much help from the official forums. The advice from there is basically (a) run as Administrator, or if on Mac expect silence. You might need system / root access to install the PTR app, but that should not be any surprise.
  • I got pedantic about the process and clicked all the Finish buttons on each of the downoaders and updaters.
  • Don’t expect the loading page to have the PTR button enabled. Mine was not available, but I could run the PTR app from inside the folder. Look for a green icon.

Next step is some basic mods, and UI setup. Then some DK testing.