Thursday, February 21, 2008

Progressive Whiplash (another 2.4 post)

It was said that this was a "progressive" patch and the changes are happening pretty quickly. Waiting a week to post another blog entry is proving to be not a good idea. I now have a ton to cover.

Also, I have copied both Graylo and Graypal over to the PTR but haven't checked it out yet. When I tried to download the cliant my compluter woundn't let me for some reason, and I haven't been motivated enought to figure out why. So, everything I post is second hand knowledge.

Magister's Terrace:
I said last week that I would cover the new instance and its loots. I don't have any first hand experiance but it sounds like a pretty standard dungeon and the bosses are fairly similar to other bosses we have done before. Basically, it doesn't sound all that special gameplay wise.

From a loot stand point it is looking awesome. In normal mode, all 4 bosses drop your standard blue items, but the final boss Kael will also drop a low level epic. These normal mode epics are equivalent to lower level Kara boss gear like Attunmen. In heroic mode all 4 bosses drop epics and they are equivalent to higher level Kara boss gear. The Kael drops are actually equivalent to Prince drops. I love this change. Those of us who have run Kara quite a bit know that their are wholes in the gear it provides. For example, there are no good caster shoulders in Kara. Now casters can pick up the [Fel-tinged Mantle]. There isn't a whole lot of stuff that Graylo would want but this could be a great way to gear up Graypal. Listed below are some of the loots that I am most interested in.

[Timbal's Focusing Crystal] - A heroic drop of Pure Awesomeness. This is probably the best item I have seen for both Graylo and Graypal. Most of the talk around this item as centered on Locks and Spriest but this is a pretty nice trinket for Moonkin also. Keeping our two dots rolling will give this trinket 10 chances to proc in just 12 seconds. I am not completely sold on it since there is still some debate as to how it works exactly but as long as there isn't an excedingly long internal cooldown, this trinket will be awesome.

[Gloves of Arcane Acuity] - Drops in normal mode and heroic mode off of Kael. A great pair of gloves for Graypal. Spell Hit, Spell Damage, and Sockets, what more could a new Spriest want.

[Cudgel of Consecration] - Drops off of Kael in Heroic mode. This is a great drop. It plugs one of the biggest holes in all of the T4 instance gear. Until ZA there were no raid quality Caster DPS maces, and this will be a great item for Graypal.

There are plenty of other good loots to check out. You can check them out at World of Raids, MMO Champion or WoWhead.

BT level Badge of Justice:
Some people doubted its existance for a little while because it didn't appear right away on the PTR. However, it did turn up the other day with more of the Sunwell contact being unlocked. There are 3 moonkin focused items and I am sorry to say I expected a little more. As individual items they are upgrades to T5 set items but its not huge. When you take into account the T5 Set bonus I am not sure they are upgrades at all. Here they are with a comment on each. I have also listed two general caster items.

[Barbed Gloves of the Sage] - These are a bit of a no brainer for me. They are a significant improvement over the T4 gloves I am currently wearing and have pretty good stats on them already. The real question is what do I do when I get an opportunity to get T5 gloves. Individually these are still an upgrade, but T5 may be better with the set bonus. Plus, at only 75 badges it isn't as expensive as some of the other items.

[Crystalwind Leggings] - It will probably be the last item I pick up if at all. Since I am wearing T5 legs the upgrade is slight and I have to consider the set bonuses. Plus, the are more expensive at 100 badges/

[Embrace of Starlight] - Upgrading to this chest is a little more complicated than the other items. Since I am currently wearing T4 it is an upgrade in every stat except spell hit. If I can make up for the lost spell hit with upgrades to my other equipment then this is a great upgrade. If I can't make up for the lost spell hit then the two chests are about even. Since, I would get about 19 hit from the gloves and the ring below has another 28 spell hit, I will probably get this chest eventually. However, due to the lost of hit and its cost of 100 badges, it will not be a top priority.
Edit: After reading some stuff on the forums I compared this chest to the 2.3 Badge chest. I must say that that is very disappointing. It is a very slight upgrade at best, and i would consider it more of a sidegrade for 25 less badges.

[Scryer's Blade of Focus] - First off, it does not sound like you have to be Scryers to get this item. This is an awesome item for Shadow Priest. Items with only damage are exactly what they need. Unfortunately for me, the chances of Graypal every getting it are very slim. For Graylo, it is a question of can I make up for he lost spell hit. With out making up for the lost spell hit this is actually a down grade for me. Plus, it costs 150 badges wich is way to expensive in my opinion. Why should a caster weapon cost the same as a two-handed weapon. Why should Melee classes get an main hand and and off hand for 150 badges while casters have to spend at least 175 badges for the same. It doesn't make sense.

[Fused Nethergon Band] - This is a great ring and at only 60 badges it is a great deal. I can't see why I wouldn't pick this up eventually.

New Patch Notes:

When they said this would be progressive patch they were not kidding. There have been some major changes since my last post. Also, as many other bloggers have pointed out some of these new patch notes are very similar if not exactly the same as some of the "fake" patch notes I listed earlier. I think this is a pretty good sign for me since it could mean that Moonkin will get some much needed changes. The fake patch notes didn't really go far enough for me to think moonkin would be completely fixed but it is a step in the right direction.

Here are the highlights of the PTR changes from my perspective, but I may miss some things since it is all over the place and seems to be updated every day or two. Also, If you would like a more complete list of the changes, head over to World of Raids or MMO Champion.

- Lifebloom healing coefficient has been reduced. - I think this is ment as a PvP nerf, but I don't see how it doesn't have a significant impact on PvE as well. From a lot of things I have read and heard Lifebloom is the main thing that makes Resto Druids raid viable, quite a few guilds choose not to run with them already. With out other buffs this could cripple PvE resto druids.
- Natural Perfection: This ability will no longer be triggered by taking critical strikes while sitting. In addition, it is now affected by the Subtlety talent and reduces damage by 2/3/4%, down from 1/3/5%. - This is a straight up PvP nerf, that a lot of QQers will be happy about. I can't really comment to much since I don't play as a resto and I don't PvP to much.
- Nurturing Instinct increases your healing spells by up to 50/100% of your Agility, and increases healing done to you by 10/20% of your Attack Power while in Cat form. - This sounds like a pretty big PvP buff for feral druids. The old version of Nurturing Instict increased your healing by 50% of your Strength instead of 100% Agility and there was no buff to healing recieved. I don't see how this isn't a huge change PvP wise. Agility is a much bigger stat for Feral Druids then Strenght. This change will make them much more viable healers and greatly improve their survivability. It is also a small buff from a PvE perspective but I doubt it is enough to make raiding ferals pick up the talent. If the healing received buff also worked in Bear form it would instantly be come a must have talent.


- Chastise no longer disorients the target, but now is instant cast and roots the target for 2 seconds.
- Focused Will now reduces damage by 2/3/4%, down from 1/3/5%.
- Power Infusion: Infuses the target with power, increasing their spell haste by 20% for 15 seconds.
I don't really understand these changes. Ther first two are nerfs and the last is a buff. I didn't think priests were having a whole lot of issues in PvP but then again I haven't really paid attention. These changes just seem strange and unnecessary to me, but I could be wrong.

Other Changes:
- Badges of Justice have been added to all raid bosses who did not previously have them! - Great change. Kara will still be the primary way to get badges quickly, but this will make running kara less of a requirement. It also gives better geared raid members a reason to raid old content other than gearing up new members.
- Added Shattrath Flask of Pure Death and Shattrath Flask of Blinding Light to the reputation flask vendors in Shattrath. - Another great change. This will same me a ton of money in fel lotus since the Flask of Blinding light is the best flask for me. I am already exalted with the necessary factions so it is a straight up bonus for me.

- Nether Vortex are no longer Bind on Pickup and can now be purchased from G’eras for 15 Badges of Justice!
- Primal Nether are no longer Bind on Pickup! - These are great changes for Graypal and pretty good ones for Graylo. It will save me money and I will be able to get some great hear for Graypal easily. However, it will destroy the economy for both items. It sucks for people that make a lot of money off of nethers but I don't really care right now.
- Jan’alai will now only teleport players to him if they are too far away. - This isn't a huge change but I see it as nerf that I am in favor of. As it is now caster DPS looses a little bit of DPS every time he teleports people because we are disoriented and have to find a safe spot. We will still have to avoid the bombs but it should be a little easier since we will already know where we are. Plus we can finish that last spell before we are teleported.
- Druid Balance PvP Sets: The bonus movement speed for Bear, Cat, and Travel Form has been removed and replaced with a new bonus to Wrath and Starfire. - From what I've heard the new bonus is your Wrath has a chance to reduce the casting time of your next Starfire to 1.5 seconds. Basically, this gives you Starfire type damage in a Wrath casting time. Not a bad change, but not as good as it seems. I think most PvP moonkin use Wrath for its push back resistance if you have celestial focus. The reduced casting time and higher DPS are nice also, but being able to get the cast off while getting hit has to be a major attraction. Since Starfire has no push back resistance this change doesn't help a whole lot if you are getting hit.
- AV now has a Join as Party option. - A good change, but not huge. I always hated having to time my queue to get in with friend. I know that there are addons that help, but not being able to join as a group was kind of stupid to begin with.

Guild Update:
Things are going pretty well. We have recleared Gruul's and Mag, and got VR down to 2% on Monday. Recruiting has slowed down quite a bit but we obviously need some more of most classes. Some of the people we have recruited are turning out to be duds but most are doing pretty well and taking the time to work on their performance. As I said before we could still use a few more people, but we are much more able to look for quality now and don't have to blindly take anyone.

Overall, I am happy with the guild. I wish what the split hadn't happened and the new WA is a little more Casual then I would like. However, we are making progress. Hopefully we can get back to where we were quickly and I can see some of the higher end content.

Toon Update:
Graylo - Not much to say. Just raiding and getting badges.
Graypal - I worked on him a bit more. I did a lot of quests in Netherstorm over the weekend and got him the second Kara Key fragment. Now I just need to get an Arc run and a BM run. This is taking a little longer than I had expected but oh well.
Grayfel - I can't remember if I dinged 27 or not. If I didn't I'm very close. Leveling does seem to be easier now with the 2.3 nerfs but these first 30 levels weren't that hard to begin with. We will see how it goes when he gets a little higher.

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