Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Patch Notes: 3.1

We all know about the big things coming in patch 3.1. Obviously Ulduar is what I find most exciting since I am a raider. It will also be interesting to play around with Dual Specs and the in game outfitter should make life a little easier.

However, with all content patches we see small (and some not so small) tweeks to class balances and such. There isn't a hole lot of changes that affect moonkin directly in the patch notes but there are some interesting things I would like to discuss.

Balance: Owlkin Frenzy is now properly considered an Enrage effect. Now also does not trigger from spell hits, only physical ranged and melee attacks.
This is a straight up nerf that PvE moonkin won't care about, but PvP moonkin will probably horrible. It is now also dispellable by a hunter using Traq Shot. From my PvE perspective this isn't a big deal. This change firmly plants this talent in the PvP category, but very few moonkin picked it up now anyway. Owlkin Frenzy might have become valuable in higher levels of raiding but you can't miss what you didn't have.

Resto: Improved Mark of the Wild: Now also increases all of your total attributes by 1/2%.
For a little while now I've been debating if I should put two points in Improved Mark of the Wild or Nature's Focus. With a resto in raid there was no need for Imp MotW, but my 10mans don't always have one and the benefit of Nature's Focus is small. So I've kept Imp MotW for utility. This change reinforces that choice, but it is a minor benefit at best. In moonkin form it means I will have a about 20 to 25 more Int and Stam, and even less spirit. This is not a big deal.

Shadow Priest: Vampiric Embrace duration increased to 5 minutes, up from 1 minute. PvP duration is now 60 seconds. Cooldown removed.

I bring this one up to focus on the mechanic. The argument given for not increasing the duration of Faerei Fire is that the preventing stealth portion of it would be to overpowered with a longer duration. This change now indicates that it is possible to change the duration for PvE and PvP. So why not implement this for Faerie Fire? I still wouldn't be opposed to adding a minor Glyph that extended the duration of FF but removed the stealth prevention, but a change needs to be made some way. Now Blizzard has no excuse not to.

Shadow Priest: Shadowform: Bonus damage from critical strike chance removed and replaced by the ability of those periodic damage spells to generate critical strikes.

Affliction Lock: Pandemic: This talent has been reduced to a 1-point talent, now grants your Corruption and Unstable Affliction the capability to critically hit.
If there DoTs can crit why not ours? I don't think Moonkin are far behind in DPS, but I would love to have a talent similar to this.

Shaman: Bloodlust/Heroism: Cooldown reduced to 5 minutes, but Sated and Exhausted now last 10 minutes.
Maybe I'm missing something here, but this appears to be the dumbest change I've seen Blizzard make for a while. I could understand increasing Exhaustion to 10 minutes, I could understand reducing the cooldown to 5 minutes, but combining the two makes no sense at all. Blizzard has said repeatedly that they don't want raids switching players in and out of raids between bosses and that is the only way this change could be useful.

However there is a way that they could change this to make it awesome. Have Exhaustion last 10 minutes or until you leave combat. I can't calculate how much time has been wasted in my raids waiting for the Heroism cooldown to come back up when we are attempting Sarth3D or 6min Malygos. If they changed Exhaustion in this way then Blizzard wouldn't have to worry about guilds chaining Heroism, and guilds could have it available for every encounter and attempt.

Affliction Lock: Eradication re-designed: Eradication: When you deal damage with Corruption, you have a 2/4/6% chance to gain the Eradication effect. The Eradication effect increases the critical strike chance of your Shadow Bolt spell by 30%. Each critical strike reduces the critical strike bonus by 10%. Lasts 30 sec.

I flip flop on my opinion of Eclipse's randomness. I love when the RNG gods favor me but hate when the ignore me. That said if Blizzard did decide to reduce some of the randomness this is definitely a possible way to do it. However, I worry that it would nerf our DPS to much.

Enchanting: Added a recipe for enchanting staves with spell power.
Interesting. I don't use staves so I haven't tried putting a SP enchant on one lately, but I assume that the current 50 SP and 63 SP enchants can be applied to two handed weapons. If my assumption is correct then we can assume that the new Staff SP enchant would give more SP then the enchants currently available.

Caster DPS has long favored MH/OH combos because they always provide more DPS stats then equivalent Staves, but this change has the potential to upset that assumption. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Edit: WoWInsider has two screenshots of the enchants (link1 , link2). They offer 19 more SP then the MH enchants. Ultimately I don't think this will change behavior much.


Anonymous said...

first off
<3 your blog

@the exhaustion change

If I am not mistaken exhaustion doesn't persist through death
making heroism usable again after a wipe etc. but still keeping it from being doubled up

Anonymous said...

Crits on DoTS. Wonderful. Just what warlocks need, more DPS and big numbers flashing on their screen keeping them from getting out of that void zone..

Anonymous said...

how about...

when they remove the random stun chance from Celestial Focus...

they replace it with the ability for our dots to crit... ??

<3 ur blog man, quite handy

< Warlord > of Caelestrasz

Kring said...

If exhaustion would be removed upen leaving combat...

Think hunters, mages, rogues and every night elf...

You would create night elf only raids (plus some shamies) because then you could have a heroism every 2 minute.

What I like about this change is. Hunters/Rogues/Mages can now decide. No heroism on the next try or rep bill like everybody. :-)

And, the ability to crit for DoTs. Only affliction locks have the talent, not every lock.

The spell power for staff enchant is for healers. But, I wonder how long it takes them to introduce an "enchant off-hand item - Spellpower] or something like that...

Merlot said...

The crit effect for spriest dots isn't necessarily a buff. If the crits do double damage then it's a net dps change of zero from the current mechanic, discounting anything that might proc off crits (currently dots do increased damage based on your crit percentage). Worryingly, it could even be a nerf.

But locks and druid (via talents) and fire mages (via glyph) are also getting dot crits, so I don't see why moonkins shouldn't.

Nir said...

First commenter is correct. Sated/Exhaustion does not persist through death.

This change eliminates the disproportionate advantage raids had of bringing more then one shaman (especially for 10-men), and will allow raids to have BL available after every wipe.

This is also a clear nerf to BL. You will only have it once per fight (where today you can have it twice on longer fights), and for farm raids you might only have it every other boss.

Overall, good change.

Kiliani said...

What they said re: exhaustion/Heroism cooldown. :)

Also, re: Imp MOTW change - you may have missed this (like Lunarsoul on the druid forums did yesterday), but it says "also" - meaning that you won't lose SPI, the 1/2% stats buff is a personal buff in addition to the current increase your MOTW gets. They did the same thing for priests with Imp Fort - if you take the talent you get even more of a personal benefit, while everyone else gets the improved buff.

Anonymous said...

Enchanting: Added a recipe for enchanting staves with spell power.

I think this is a good idea because right now nobody uses staves because a combination of 1hand + offhand is better in almost any cases. Using a staff currently would cost about 50 spellpower and often other important stats as hit, crit and haste.
Back in the old days 2hand weapons always had more spellpower than 1hand weapons. With a good offhand item usually a 1-hand weapoen was often as good or slightly better. In Wotlk every staff only has as much spellpower as most 1-hand weapons. I never got why they did that.

I always loved staves for their style and I would really like to wear one again if it wouldn't mean losing that much spellpower. So I would really like a staff-only enchant that gives 90-100 spellpower. This would be the number required to make staves a reasonable alternative.