Archive for the ‘Patches’ Category

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Blogging senior moment

February 24, 2009

With various sources springing up with information related to the new 3.1 patch a lot of players are going through these notes and what they mean. I’m going to break from that and not really go into them at all until we get nearer a release. One thousand gold for the dual spec seems a bit steep but I know that for level 80s it’s not that much work to grab that kind of cash. As for the rest of things though it’s not worthwhile idly speculating as it is still early days and things are liable to change day to day.

I need to stop diverting myself and get my ass to 80, last week seemed to be a disaster for levelling and this week I am coming down with a cold, if I can keep my motivation I’ll need to hit the Shamaning hard and am hopefuly of level 75 by the weekend. I have a habit of setting goals that are always seemingly slightly unobtainable as time progresses though.

I did have a proper blog topic all worked out for today as well, however, due to various work issues (well, one work issue that is currently destroying my will to live) I have completely forgotten what I was going to say. All I can remember is that it was pertinent and insightful, I should have written it down.

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Patch Day Ponderings

February 10, 2009

I am finally going to be able to make some kind of analysis on the patch notes that have been released regarding 3.1, only to have a few things appear for the 3.0.9 patch that is supposed to hit tomorrow. Nothing really ground breaking there though except the Priest community is quite excited over the changes to Inner Fire, 30 mins timer on the buff and no-dispelling. I’m not sure it will improve the survivability of the class in PvP but not having to refresh it half as often on a timer seems good to me, especially when so much of our armour comes from having it up, not to mention the bonus spellpower.

Ok, so, let’s look at 3.1, firstly I’ll delve into the Shaman side of things, it’s a class I’ve been enjoying way more than the Priest and one I plan to be playing more of.

  • Chain Lightning – now jumps to 4 targets but does less damage. We wanted to make the distinction between Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning more clear.
  • Storm, Earth and Fire – this talent now increases all damage done by Flame Shock, not just periodic damage.
  • Spirit Weapons – now reduces all threat, not just melee threat.
  • Unleashed Rage – reduced to 2 ranks, now also increases your critical strike chance with melee attacks by 1/2%.
  • Totem streamlining: The Mana Spring and Healing Stream Totems have been combined. The Disease Cleansing and Poison Cleansing Totems have been combined.
  • We are also working on giving Enhancement and Elemental more PvP utility.

Chain lightning bouncing to another target seems OK, on the 4th bounce it’ not really going to be doing any real damage and I already think that the difference between LB and CL is quite clear, one is single target, one is multi-target, don’t see the problem there. I like the change to Storm, Earth and Fire, I use FS a lot and have the Glyph at the moment, sure spamming LB works and stuff sometimes dies before getting close for the shock but I’m happy to accept any damage boost that the devs are willing to throw my way. Spirit weapons and Unleashed Rage really don’t do anything for me as I don’t spec that way so can’t offer any proper feedback on those changes. The totems I’m happy with, there has been some QQ on the forums about how this “dumbs down” the class but I personally think it makes sense and means my Totem Timer bars get shorter, I don’t have any of the totems saved to my normal hotbars. The PvP stuff doesn’t bother me but I also know from class forums that Shamans are considered underpowered and have a lot of problems in PvP, I’ve taken my Priest into PvP and that has never turned out well but Lekktra has not even looked into a BG at all so no idea, I have been owned by Shamans on occasion though but that was way back pre and post TBC. It’ll be interesting to see if there are any other changes coming in that patch too, I suppose we’ll wait and see.

Onto the Priest then;

  • Divine Spirit – this spell is now a core ability available to all priests.
  • Discipline has access to a new talent, Power Word: Barrier. (Think of it as Power Word: Shield for your whole group).
  • Several area of effect (AOE) heal spells have been improved:
    • Prayer of Healing can be cast on any groups in your raid party.
    • Holy Nova’s mana cost has been reduced.
    • Circle of Healing now heals for more.
  • Shadow priest PvP survivability has been improved: Shadow Form now reduces magic as well as physical damage. Dispersion now removes snares.
  • Penance – this spell can now be targeted on the priest.
  • Serendipity – this talent now reduces the cast time of Greater Heal and Prayer of Healing when Binding Heal or Flash Heal are cast.
  • We are also working to give Holy additional PvP utility.

Making Divine Spirit a core ability for all priests is a good move, for many specs it’s too high up in Disc to be used and not of enough bonus to bother throwing all points into it. I’m interested to see whether it’ll be the fully buffed Improved Divine Spirit that makes it onto the spell bar or the standard version and more talent points freed up to improve it in its tree. Power Word: Barrier, not sure how much use that’s going to be, although if it works with the PW: Shield glyph then it could be hugely overpowered, imagine giving half your raid Divine Aegis by popping that spell, I doubt it’s going to work that way though. I like the AOE healing buffs, I rarely use CoH because it heals for so little and I have thought about trying to use Holy Nova to do the same kind of jobs that CoH and PoH do but it does tend to drain you of mana. Playing the Shaman of course will mean I may not get to make use of these changes. Shadow Priests and PvP don’t concern me but I don’t think range is their problem, melee eats through Priests no matter the spec, especially with a DKs ninja pull that likes to grab us from the safety of ranged groups and drop us in convenient range to get burst into the ground. Penance castable on yourself, awesome, I wasted a lot of time when first speccing Disc before I realised it wasn’t going to work. Anything that make me heal more faster is welcome, we’ll see how fast it gets once the changes to Serendipity are live. The only way I can conceive of adding Holy utility to PvP is to increase survivability, we get nuked in next to no time so can never heal if we’re targeted (which is normally all the time). I remember pre-TBC when a Priest was awesome, I loved running alongside one when I was playing my first proper character (an Orc Hunter called Urdrek).

I think these changes will be welcomed in the most part, at least for the classes I am concerned with, I haven’t really read up on anyone else but have heard whispers that all is not well in Warlock land. I haven’t even seen the entrance to Naxx yet am not too concerned with Ulduar, I’m sure the Bin Collectors will get there soon enough.

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Game On

February 5, 2009

Tabard of the Explorer

I had a plan and it started with getting these baby’s. Roop,  our now level 80 Death Knight, used his version of the Heirloom shoulders to speed up his levelling which will now see Fermat the Warrior relegated I believe. Although I’m a little further behind with my main class swapover I only needed one shard to get this gear (and let’s face it, I have an almost level 50 Hunter that could get a agility enchant and use them for the XP bonus). Getting this one shard proved somewhat trickier as it meant grabbing Bo. So, I did, hit up the Priest and went to get the Wintergrasp quests, firstly I got gimped by a Rogue (I hate them) and then it took a group of two Death Knights and the same Rogue, apparently Holy Priests need that kind of pewpew to be seen off (needless to say I went down fast). Unperturbed I logged off and had dinner, then went back in got in the raid for the Wintergrasp battle and we retook the zone (Horde controlled it when I logged in so couldn’t just do an instance to get the shard). I grabbed the Shoulders and mailed them away to Lekktra.

Equipped with her fancy new gear I hit Terrokar forest like a Draenei possessed, eating through mobs and quests to hit 64, which I did, at which point (around about 10pm) I settled her down for some rest XP after getting the training I wanted and finally grabbing her a shield to go with her Diamond Core Sledgehammer from Blood Furnace. I’m looking forwards to Nagrand tonight and going to 65, it’s a zone I skipped when levelling Bo so haven’t really seen it properly. Between the priest and shaman I also now have enough for the regular flying mount, although due to Northrend I’ll not be doing a thing until I hit 77 and then I can hopefully go straight for the Epic.

After hitting 64 I logged Bo back in and decided to go grab some more Elders and do some exploring, I finally finished off the explore Northrend and have been granted my Tabard of the Explorer which is nice to have for sure. I still have some way to go to get the Elder title and am trying to weigh up in my mind whether I should be levelling the Shaman or using Bo to finish the event. I’ve looked at some of the achievements for Love is in the Air and am despairing that it’s unlikely that Lekktra will be able to complete it despite the fact she is levelling quite quickly. I want to be in Northrend by next weekend so we’ll see if I can get into Dalaran and maybe get more done that I might otherwise be able to.

In other news some of the ideas for patch 3.1 have been released, but I think looking at those warrants a post of its own rather than being tagged onto the end of my “Look at my levelling prowess and achievements” post.

Tonight it’s 65 or bust and the wife is out for the most of it. Yes I am just going to shove a pizza in the oven and not move from my PC until she gets home, how’d you guess?

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It’s Alive…..

January 21, 2009

… or should that be “it’s live”?

Patch 3.0.8 hit live servers today, I know this because of the site EU WoW site being down over lunchtime robbing me of my forum browsing time. Shouts of “The sky is falling” resound from the Hunter community due to some large changes there. However, I thought I’d take a look at those changes that specifically affect the Priest class. There are also some changes to Shamans but until I’ve got Lekktra through Outland (at least) I’m not going to be commenting until I am better acquainted with the class.

World of Warcraft Patch 3.0.8

Priests

    • Abolish Disease and Cure Disease can now be cast while in Shadowform.
    • Holy: Circle of Healing now has a 6 second cooldown.
    • Levitate is now castable on others.
    • Mana Burn: Now burns a percentage of maximum mana.
    • Shadow
      • Shadowform: You can now shift into Shadowform while mounted or sitting.
      • Vampiric Embrace- Mana cost of this spell has been removed.

As I’m not currently Shadow the first few changes don’t affect me, but I’m sure that being able to sling around a few cleansing spells amy come in handy now and again, although I would ahve thought and raid worth it’s salt will be quite well equipped to remove diseases, perhaps this is more for 5-mans and even PvP to challenge Death Knights. The Circle of Healing change is personally welcome. After all, Bo isn’t Holy, but I’ve seen bad things from a raid healer spamming this spell to climb up the healing charts. Priests have a large number of spells to enable a versatile healing capability, hopefully people will use the tools given them rather than trying to render the class down to being a Paladin. The change to levitate really isn’t anything that’s going to affect the game, although I was explaining to a friend about the hilarious potential for Path of Frost jokes on our friends. The escape from Utgarde Keep sees you drop down into some water, I levitate, cast it on a few other people and then we jump down, the Death Knight casting his “walk on water” and we wait for the splat.

Mana burn I imagine is largley a PvP thing, I have never actually weaved it into any DPS spell rotation for any of the PvE things I have ever done. The only times I have used it is when something Mana Burns me and I just do it back out of spite. The final two changes to Shadowform actually make sense as well. Not really much to comment on except I’d like some kind of “Holy form” for healing priests. This could even combine the various powers from other talents (a priest floating in the air with a golden halo similar to PW: Shield would be awesome). But that’s just what I think and I’m not a Blizzard developer. So, nothing really affects Bo out of anything of this. There are more sweeping changes to Hunters and Shamans, one those affects me and if I play my Hunter more I may experience the changes to the other as my level 46 Hunter is currently specced as BM. For a better view of the Hunter changes check out someone more in the know.