Monday, April 25, 2011

Patch 4.1 Review

Patch 4.1 has been on the PTR quite a long time and all indication point to it being released tomorrow. A lot of the various news sites are posting broad reviews of the changes and additions, but I thought you guys might prefer a more focused Moonkin point of view along with my thoughts on some of the more general topics I've seen discussed.

Moonkin DPS Nerfs:
  • Starsurge damage has been reduced by 20%.
  • Dark Intent: The friendly target of this ability now receives 1% (stacking 3 times to 3%) periodic spell damage and healing bonus instead of 3% (stacking 3 times to 9%). The casting Warlock still receives 3% (stacking 3 times to 9%).

The Starsurge nerf caught me a little by surprise when it was first released, but that was because I don't PvP. A lot of people pointed out right a way that this was primarily a PvP Burst nerf. While this change is about a 3% nerf to our overall DPS, I fully expected Blizzard to make up for this nerf somewhere else. Moonkin are doing quite well on DPS, but with the exception of a couple of fights we are not blowing other classes out of the water. As a result I don't see the need or an argument for a general nerf. However, my assumptions were wrong.
  • Starlight Wrath now Reduces the cast time of your Wrath and Starfire spells by 0.15/0.25 sec, up from 0.1/0.2 sec.
  • Sunfire base damage has been increased by 50%, from 372 to 558.

The two datamined changes above did give us some hope at first, but a closer look showed that they were just tooltip corrections rather then ability buffs.

On top of these changes the Warlock ability Dark Intent is getting nerfed for the target of the buff. This isn't as big of a deal as the Starsurge nerf, since not all of us got Dark Intent, and it isn't resulting in a 3% nerf on most fights even if we did, but it's fair to say that moonkin got smacked around a little in this patch for the first time in a very long time.

All that said there isn't any point to despair and rage-quit if these changes upset you. Our DPS will be smaller then it was before, but it is still very good. It's also important to remember that Blizzard has been much more prompt about making adjustments after a patch recently. The fact that they didn't make a change in the patch could be an indication that they want to see how it will play out on the live server before they make changes. Blizzard could easily buff Moonfury, if moonkin DPS is below where Blizzard thinks it should be after the patch.

Troll 5mans - Recycled Content?

With patch 4.1 the old troll raid instances Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurb are being re-released as super-heroic 5man instances. With this comes the inevitable flood of complaints about how lazy Blizzard is because they are recycling old content. I don't think I've commented on this argument yet, and I want to take a few minutes to try and put some perspective on the argument.

I personally haven't had a big problem with the content they've recycled so far, and I think a lot of the angry players are overlooking what has been recycled and how it was recycled. Let's take a quick look at the history of the recycled content.

  • Kael'thas - This is the first example that I can think of and it set off all of the "setback" jokes. In case you didn't know a "dead" Kael'thas was taken from Tempest Keep and added to Magisters' Terrace. Kael had very similar abilities in the two different versions which makes the change seem lazy to hardcore raiders, but there is different perspective as well. First, the quest event that happens after you "kill" Kael'thas it's clear that he's not dead and still interested in doing bad things. Second, he was one of the hardest bossed in TBC. Very few guilds had killed him and even fewer farmed him since you could move on to Hyjal and Black Temple once you got him down. Therefore, most players weren't tired of him because few had even seen him.

  • Naxxramas - This probably where Blizzard did the worst job of recycling content. I didn't run Naxx in Vanilla but from what I understand they didn't change the instance much other then to adjust the HP and strength of the boss mechanics. I do think Blizzard did a poor job of balancing this instance, but that doesn't mean it was a bad choice to recycle it. Very few players from vanilla WoW got to see this instance, and it fit very well into the theme of WotLK. I can understand why the hard core raiders from vanilla might be upset, but they represent a small fraction of the player base. There are many other players that were excited to see the content.

  • Five-Man Bosses - In WotLK, Blizzard took several 5man bosses and turned them into raid bosses for ToC and ICC. The complaints about these fights are particularly strange to me. First of all, the entire expansion was focused on the Lich King. It's kind his MO to raise dead allies and enemies, make them stronger, and have them fight for him. He was doing that before the original WoW was even released. So it shouldn't surprise anyone that Blizzard had him raise some of the 5man bosses and turned them into raid bosses. On top of that, the 5man fights were very different from the raid fights they became. In my opinion this is a clear example that some players just wanted to complain regardless of the reason.

  • Onyxia - From what I understand the Onyxia fight was virtually unchanged from Vanilla WoW to when it was re-released in WotLK. If it was a progression target then I would have been pissed at Blizzard's laziness as well, but it was made pretty clear that she wasn't a progression target. He was re-released as a part of WoW's anniversary, and was completely simple. The progression target was clearly still ToC, and no one spent a lot of time on Onyxia. Again, this one feels like some people just wanted to complain.

  • Cata 5mans - Yes, Blizzard re-released Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep as heroic instances, but they also completely revamped the fights. The only thing these two instances have in common with the older versions is the map. Not to mention that these were great instances that I am glad to be able to run again.

  • Cata Raid Bosses - Since I didn't play Vanilla WoW I didn't kill Nefarian or Ragnaros. I don't know how similar these fights are to their original versions, but I haven't heard of any obvious similarities either. Once again, new fights are new fights no matter the name of the Boss.

I haven't been on the PTR to run the new instances. I don't know how they compare to the original versions, but I'm looking forward to trying them out. ZA was a great raid and it should be fun to get back there and do it again. I never got to do ZG at level 60 so it should be more fun for me as a level 85 dungeon. If they rework them as they did Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep, I don't see how anyone will be disappointed.

Other Changes:

  • Gear List Update - With the new five mans comes new gear. I've updated the gear list to reflect these additions. I made some other changes by deleting the blue gear and updating the stat rating.

  • Weekly VP for Randoms - Love this change. I typically don't have a lot of time to run randoms during the week. I love the flexibility this provides.

  • New Archy Rewards - I'm a little surprised by the amount of attention I've put into Archaeology. None of the new rewards are of any interest to Moonkin, but I'm glad to have a few more projects to get while trying to farm some specific items.

  • Bind on Account - Since I have changed guilds servers several times lately it's great that we will now be able to send BoA items across servers. I hate that I have toons on my original server that I can't send BoA gear to because I don't have a guild on that server anymore. This is a bit quality of life improvement in my opinion. Apparently I'm confused. A couple of commentors have corrected me to say that the BoAs still will not be transferable across server, which sucks.


Rohan said...

Regarding Bind-on-Account stuff, transferring items across servers is not in 4.1, as I understand it.

Rather, you can have several WoW accounts linked to a single account, and now you can shuffle items among them, as long as all the characters are on the same server.

So pretty much the same as before, unless you have multiple accounts.

Shannara said...

Exactly, BoAs are not real BoAs yet. Blizz did a real screw up with that... again.

Xaktsaroth said...

"Cata Raid Bosses - Since I didn't play Vanilla WoW I didn't kill Nefarian or Ragnaros. I don't know how similar these fights are to their original versions."

Now I have not tried the new Raggy fight only read about it but those 2 bosses has became very revamped when it comes to abilities they do.

Nefarian was a dragon add hell with random elements kicking your raids balls over and over again (ye I got kinda tired of wiping to him back on lv60 :) )

I did raid already back in the lv60 in zg and experienced up to first boss in AQ40 and some fooling around in Naxx I must say I am personally fairly pleased with theire re use of bosses so far.
Except for Naxx that was a bit undertuned as you said.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for updating the Gear List. I use it all the time!

Genaro said...

Ditto - the Gear List is so useful !

One item you may want to add is the BOE dagger 'Vitreous Beak of Julak-Doom' that will drop off the eponymous rare world boss according to MMO Champion et al.

Looks like that will be a decent addition to the Boomkin options list, especially for those who don't get to raid a lot (or are unlucky with drops!)...

Anonymous said...

Burst lol ?
So a +/- 2 sec cast spell or a rng proc is considered "burst" in PvP?
I wonder what else "they" come up with next.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or did the Honor and Justice Point items not halve in cost? It is on the patch notes, but no change in game so far.

Also, whatever happened to letting us LFD cue for any specific dungeon (regardless of level bracket) once we hit 85? I remember seeing it on beta patch notes a while ago but it dissapeared and seems to not have been implemented.