With Wrath of the Lich King on the horizon, no body was expecting significant changes until the expansion is ready to release. While additional patches were expected, most people expected them to be fairly small bug fix patches. That is why this new patch caught me a little off guard. It is by no means a major patch like 2.4 or 2.3, but there are some significant changes in there that will change the way we play. Here are my highlights and thoughts.
* Haris Pilton has launched a new line of bags and jewelry. Check her out in the World's End Tavern! - With all of the new daily quests there is a lot of money laying around in Azeroth. So Blizzard has provided a new money sink to take some gold out of the market and prevent inflation. There isn't a lot of news from the PTR but it sounds like most of her items are expensive novelty items that few people will be interested it. However she will be selling a 22 slot bag for 1,200 gold. Not a huge deal for me because I can't see myself shelling that much gold for two bag slots, but I know that others will.
* Mounts at 30?! Yes, it’s true: Apprentice Riding and mounts are now available at level 30. Training costs 35 gold. - A nice change but nothing huge. As some one with several alts I have always found the first few levels frustrating because running is so slow. So, I am happy that I will get a mount for my shaman a little bit sooner.
* Equipping an item will now cancel any spell cast currently in progress. - This is huge for moonkin. I have not been on the PTR to test it, but I assume that this will mean the death of Idol swapping macros. I had stopped using them for a couple of reasons, but I know that they are still popular with quite a few moonkin. This of course prompts the question: "Which Idol should I use?" The answer depends on a couple of things and I will address it in a future post.
* Barkskin: The cost of this spell is now reduced by Tree of Life Form. - While this makes sense it honestly doesn't go far enough, and I have thought it for a while. They are Trees, Trees have bark, therefore Druids in Tree of Life Form should always have Barkskin up. Period.
* Curse of Shadows: This spell has been removed. / Curse of Elements: This spell now applies to Arcane and Shadow damage, as well as Frost and Fire. - Another huge change for moonkin, and it is a fairly significant change for raiding in general. From a moonkin point of view having CoS is not guaranteed in smaller raids, and if you have only one Lock with Malediction then you don't know which curse he is going to cast. This change should increase our personal damage and will make it more beneficial for all group situations. From a raid perspective this is awesome. Even if you currently have two locks with Malediction casting the curses, this will increase raid DPS because one of those locks will now be able to cast another curse like Agony or Doom. Great change. I'm a fan.
* Magisters' Terrace is being nerfed. - There are two many changes to list them all. Basically all four bosses were nerfed in some way. They either had their damage reduced or their health reduced. Even some of the trash was nerfed. To be honest this isn't that much of a surprise. I lot of people have felt that this instance is significantly harder then the other level 70 instances. It will be interesting to see how big of a difference these changes make.
* The most exciting change isn't in the patch notes - On PTR, the first parts for Stormwind Harbor are showing up, you can find the Harbor entrance at the northern canal wall between the Park and Cathedral districts in Stormwind.
We have spent the last three nights in TK and on Kael. Tuesday we cleared the first three bosses relatively quickly and got a couple of attempts in on Kael. Wednesday and Thursday night we focused all of our attention on Kael with the exception of a quick trip to Mag on Wednesday after the Kael attempts were done.
Kael is going pretty well, and we have made progress each night.
In phase one we are consistently killing the 4 advisers in the correct spots. Thaldred kiting could improve a little bit, but that is being picky.
Phase two is going much better. We are consistently getting at least 4 (usually 5) of the weapons down before the advisers respawn and are starting to manage the Phase two to Phase three transition pretty well. Despite our successes I personally think our phase two can improve. I am sure that we can get the weapons down quicker and make the transition to phase 3 easier. The main reason I say that is I am beating some of the AoEers on DPS as a moonkin. Yes, I do out gear a couple of them but they should at least be closer to my damage and probably beat me by a little bit.
Phase three has been very up and down for us and is the phase where we currently need the most improvement. Since we usually have a couple of weapons still up the transition to phase three has been fairly chaotic and some people have had trouble picking up the weapons in before they despawn. Also, the kiting of Thaldred is much more complicated now that the other 3 advisers are up as well. The raid in general needs to work on their positioning so they don't get one shotted when he pops and kiting him north instead of towards the other advisers.
We did however have one really good attempt last night were we had two advisers down before Kael popped and a third was down soon after he popped. Unfortunately our inexperience showed after that and a lot of people made mistakes in the confusion.
We are getting to phase 4 consistently, but don't have the advisers under control enough to make a serious attempt at it.
Graylo - I have something to say about Graylo for a change. We started a ZA run on Wednesday night and did the first 3 bosses on timed loot. Luckily for me the [Mana Attuned Band] dropped and I won the roll. It is a very nice ring that should do quite a bit for my DPS.
Graypal - Nothing to say.
Grayfel - I did a little questing with him but no big changes. He is still level 57 but about 4 bars away from 58. I will say this though. Now that I am getting closer to level 60 I am wondering if Affliction is really the best way to go. I don't have an overall problem with Affliction but my goal is efficient leveling. If any of you have some suggestions as to how I should level to 70 please let me know.
Graytom- Just gathering rested XP.