Originally, we liked the fact that dots didn’t crit. It’s one of the things that made them different from other types of spells. In turn, it meant that classes and specs that focused on dots cared about different stats than other classes. We think it’s interesting when say a ring drops, and the group has to speculate about who would get the most benefit out of it.
We are changing our minds about that design though, because it does make it hard to keep everyone scaling well with gear. A lot of raid buffs are based around adding things like crit and haste, which not everyone cares about to the same degree
Inscription Glyph Implementation
Glyphs are the product of a trade skill so we want to slowly release more over time.
Balance…70 vs. 80
L80 is our first priority, but we’ll respond to anything that we think needs attention at L70 over the next few weeks. No need to fill up the rest of this thread with what *you* think needs attention.
Experience Rewards for Battlegrounds?
No answers available. These are features we would like to implement in the future. Queuing from anywhere would likely be the first to come, though I could not say when at this point.
Paid Character Transfer News
The paid character transfer and name change services have been temporarily taken offline to relieve database stress. We hope to reactivate them in the next few hours.
Brewfest Achievement – Binary Brew
It will remain a part of the meta-achievement for Brewfest. As I said, some achievements take time to complete. This is one of them.
Heroic Violet Hold Fixes
The issue where Xevozz would hit the party for huge amounts of arcane damage has been resolved. We also added a behind the scenes spell that will give the tank of Ichoron some additional threat to keep the healer from pulling aggro quite so easily.
All in all very minor changes, not unlike the other class changes for beta build 9038. I like the change to sudden death, which should certainly help to further solidify the talent as a key choice for arms warriors. The rage kick back will really improve its utility in arena, as dropping to zero rage without an assured killed is rarely a worthwhile.
More than anything I’m very excited to see the final result of all these protection buffs, specifically from a PvP view. The increase in taunt rage from 5 to 20 yards should really make for some interesting arena and world PvP situations. I haven’t heard any major feedback regarding protecting PvP specs, but theoretically it looks like it may be a viable solution for more defensively oriented warriors.
- Strength of Arms – Increases your total Strength and Stamina by 2/4% and your Expertise by 2/4.
- Sudden Death – In addition, you keep 3/7/10 rage after using Execute, was added to the description.
- Unending Fury – Increases the damage done by your Slam, Whirlwind and Bloodthirst abilities by 2/4/6/8/10%. Changed from reducing rage cost.
- Execute – All ranks had a slight damage increase. Max rank: Attempt to finish off a wounded foe, causing [1456.0 + AP * 0.2] damage. Up from [1266.0 + AP * 0.2].
- Taunt – Now has a 20 yard range. Up from 5.
No big surprises here, earlier this week Ghostcrawler announced the enhancement shaman changes. There’s no question, the change to maelstrom weapon is a nerf, but one which needed to be implemented. The underlying isseue with enhancement was its incredible synergy with several elemental abilities, lava burst namely. This caused many enhancement shamans to consider wearing elemental gear.
Blizzard recognizes this mistake and has begun shifting some of this synergy out and providing additional melee specific buffs to the tree. It may remove some of the overall utility from the enhancement build, but I would expect the damage should remain approximately the same.
- Improved Fire Nova Totem – Changed to 50/100% chance to reduce movement speed for 2 seconds. (Old 50/10% chance to stun for 2 seconds)
- Flurry - Haste increased by 5% (Now 10/15/20/25/30) (Old 5/10/15/20/25)
- Dual Wield Specialization – Chance to hit while dual wielding doubled (Now 2/4/6%) (Old 1/2/3%)
- Maelstrom Weapon – Chance to reduce cast time changed to 100% for all ranks (Likely a tooltip bug and was changed to PPM)
Well, pretty big day today with loads of changes across the forums, beta, and here at Zug Gaming. To make sure you didn’t miss anything I thought this occassion calls for my first WotLK wrap up post.
Title pretty much sums this one up. Blizzard reversed their earlier decesion to reset honor / honor marks prior to expansion. Honor points will not be reset prior to the expansion.
New / revised glyphs for all classes.
Nothing major here, most of the changes are pretty minor and focus more on balancing. Never the less, some interested and positive adjustments to every class.
Season 4 will end October 14th, 2008, additional information regarding details and patch 3.0.2 speculation.
Berserker rage change may be used in any stance now, confirmed by blue.
Gold tip #6 from yours truly, check out the tutorial video regarding jewelcrafting, prospecting, and the auction house.
Unless I’m mistaken this is the first time we’ve really seen confirmation that the idea of the “utility” class is going away. Personally I say good riddance. Utility class for always just seemed like a subtle word for “bad”. More from a design perspective than actually being a waste of space during a raid.
Assuming you are a Shadow priest, the answer is you are a dps class. We’re trying to back off the whole utility class thing, which is absolutely what you were in BC. While the mana battery functionality is still something every group is going to want, there are more ways to provide it now. The tradeoff for losing that unique niche is your dps going up.
Why are shadow priests being out performed by other classes who, in terms of functionality at this point in time, fit into the same niche as shadow priests do?
Because we’re not done.
A few weeks ago Blizzard announced vampiric touch is being reduced from 5% to 2.5%. A change which at the time left me wondering just what Blizz was thinking. Though, based upon this recent post it looks like there are still some major buffs imminent for the shadow priest.
The general feeling I get from all these changes is a complete shift in what a DPS class is. More and more these changes seem to lean towards a “leveling of the playing field“, so to speak, in the way that each PvE DPS spec seems like they are all going to do around the same damage. Prior to the Burning Crusade there was this notion that rogues always had to be the highest DPS class no matter what, since they brought zero utility to the raid. This type of thought process was still present in BC, note Sunwell geared rogues doing close to 2700 DPS while equally geared shadow priests were lucky to break the 1500 mark.
Overall I think these changes are going to make for a very interesting raiding dynamic in the Wrath of the Lich King. Each class will bring a certain degree of utility, but more than that each archtype (tank, healer, DPS) should be very similar in overall effectiveness.
Before we get into all the rogue Q and A below, I think it’s worth giving an e-high five to the best damn blue poster there’s ever been, Ghostcrawler. GC has gone well beyond the call of duty to help answer questions and concerns for every class. She’s meticulously explained the reasoning behind changes, received feedback, and truly listened to player concerns regarding WotLK balance.
Without his fine work and dedication I don’t think we’d have a WotLK looking nearly as good as it is. That said, let’s get into these rogue changes!
Rogue Raid Utility
In terms of the big raid buffs, the ones we consider rogues bringing are Expose Armor, Wound Poison and Mind Numbing Poison. There are plenty of others more along the lines of Kick and Sap that are harder to quantify.
It’s really great to see blizzard is taking a serious look at improving raid utility for rogues. I could definitely see expose armor stacking with sunder armor in WotLK, and potentially being changed to a percentage armor reduction…a change which nearly made it into TBC.
There are lots of ways Blizzard can add raid utility to the class and I’m very excited to see how they work poisons, EA, and other rogue abilities into future lich king encounters.
With that in mind can you tell us any plans that you have to better close this PvE to PvP gap that we’re seeing with certain trees? How do you plan to make all three trees viable across the board?
Yes, this is definitely a priority. It is a lot harder with classes in which all specs are still focused mostly on dps. We understand that some specs are just going to be better for 5-mans, for PvP or for raiding. We’re trying to equalize as much as possible, but we’re also trying to be realistic about our chances.
How do you plan to deal with talents which were still considered all too needed by rogues, particularly in the case of Relentless Strikes? Is there any possibility of making Relentless Strikes a core class ability we can all train?
Mandatory talents are tricky. There are certainly plenty of them in every tree. Every warrior spec without Cruelty is pretty experimental, as is every druid spec without Omen of Clarity. Part of the problem is we keep offering new character levels along with new talents, so each expansion ends up constraining you more and more to one tree. The real red flag, for me at least, is when a spec has so many truly mandatory talents (which is a funny thing to say, since it’s still a little subjective) that they don’t have any optional talents. Instead of a cookie-cutter build being something like 20 plus your choice, they become you must get these 24 talents. If that makes sense.
I wish GC would have just answered the question here instead of beating around the bush. To me this sounds more like a cop out for…no, we aren’t making them core abilities, deal with it until we figure out what to do later in the expansion. Either way, all 3 talent trees are looking pretty damn good.
It is IMPOSSIBLE to create anything but carbon copies of abilities in each of the 3 trees and not have SOME variance. If you want the highest DPS there will ALWAYS be a max DPS…even if by 1 or 2% one spec will ALWAYS be better.
I think it is very likely there will be a theoretical max dps build. However:
- It will probably vary from boss to boss.
- It might depend a lot on the skill of the player.
- Because there are so many variables (by design) it may be really hard to “solve the equation” for which actually is the highest dps build.
- For 90% of players (maybe more) that kind of damage difference is in the noise. Very few players can do 2500 dps one night and then 2525 dps another night (a 1% difference). Usually the delta is much larger than that because of random elements including things as non-gamey as Internet lag, how tired you are and just bad luck. If taking the most optimal build can’t guarantee you dps higher than the random element in the equation, it may very well not be worth taking. Now if the dps gain is significant by taking the best build, then I agree with you.
Rogue Talent Tree Conclusions
Rogue talents are hard because the class is ultimately very mathy. Without a finite resource like mana, it’s easy to analyze every possible move for its cost efficiency and ultimate damage delivery. This is coupled with the fact that it’s really easy for a rogue to move among trees. By contrast, before the advent of Frostfire Bolt a fire mage could mostly ignore frost. A shadow priest wants almost nothing in Holy. But having an emphais on poisons or stealth in a rogue tree doesn’t make a tree unattractive to a Combat rogue. I’m not trying to make excuses, but perhaps more than any other class, I find that rogues can evaluate a talent’s utility pretty easily. It’s a cool thing about the class, but it makes talent design challenging.
I think I mentioned this in another thread, but our team has a really amazing rogue theorycrafter who stays really in touch with the community (anonymously). We have a surprising number of really good players on the team in general, but I always feel really safe about his conclusions on rogues. But that has also meant fewer blue posts than you deserve, so I’m trying to make up for that.
Pretty big changes on the Death Knight front today as Blizzard poster, Ghostcrawler, announced a major change to death knight melee and spell critical damage earlier today.
Death knights now do double damage on melee and spell crits. Normally spell crits are only 1.5x damage.
This was an intended change. Death knights derive a lot of damage from spells, but not so much that it made sense to give them a talent to increase spell critical damage. It’s just a passive bonus for them.
We were worried about certain specs not scaling as well with high levels of gear. (source)
I find this change somewhat worrysome, simply because it puts the class on a whole tier ahead of any other caster class. Esspecially considering the amount of damage death knights are capable of doing with their single target, and particuarlly AoE nukes. Of course, this can all be scaled properly with appropriate adjustments to each individual spell.
These adjustments to spell damage may have already started. Death and decay recently received reduction in it’s overall damage output.
Crypt Fever was removed from its damage, though apparently not for everyone?
That shouldn’t have affected the damage for Blood and Frost though. We’ll try to figure out what happened. We had no intention to nerf it. (source)
Major hunter aimed shot changes – Now Instant Cast!
I have some good news, and some bad news. First, the bad news. Unfortunately we won’t be able to do the Aspect of the Viper change I discussed yesterday (passive instead of requiring you to attack the target) at this time because of technical limitations and its potential to shake up our current balance goals. However, we will evaluate it as an option for a future patch.
Now, the good news.
- Aimed Shot – This shot will now be instant cast, its damage/effect/cooldown will remain unchanged.
- Scatter shot – This will now be an 11-point Survival talent.
- Readiness – This will now be the 21-point Marksmanship talent.
- Trap Mastery – This will now be the 41-point Survival talent. Granted, not very sexy for a 41-pointer but we’ll do some changes there in a future patch (after WOLK ships).
These changes will be live in an upcoming beta build.
Wow…just wow, I’m at a loss for this change. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with buffing hunters for wotlk. There are certainly some areas where the class needs some help, but making aimed shot an instant cast seems “excessive” at the very least.
6 second cooldown, mortal strike debuff, and instant cast? I just don’t see how this can ever be balanced for PvP without some additional and major adjustments to hunter shot rotation.
PvP consideratios left aside, I think this will be a great buff for marks hunters in PvE. Hopefully bringing the spec closer to that of beast mastery once all the changes are finalized before wrath of the lich king.
There’s been some pretty big changes to the rogue class during this wotlk beta, none larger than the change to mutilate and positional attacks, but blizzard just tossed out yet another curve ball…take a look at the rogue changes for beta build 8992.
- Focused Attacks changed to : Your melee critical strikes have a 33/66% chance to give you 1 energy. (Old – 100%/100% , wasn’t implemented)
- Find Weakness damage increased reduced to 2/4/6%. (Old – 3/6/9%)
- Killing Spree cannot hit invisible or stealthed targets anymore.
- Opportunity now works all the time. (Old – Only increased the damage of attacks from behind)
Not quite as major as taking the positional requirement off mutilate, but certainly close. With this change mutilate and backstab rogues will enjoy the benefit of both opportunity and dual wield spec 100% of the time. This is a pretty huge change as it firmly places mutilate at the top of all rogue specs in my opinion, certainly for PvP purposes.
Combat still may , and in all likelihood will, remain a narrow first as far as PvE DPS is concerned, but considering all the buffs mutilate is receiving it won’t be far behind. It’s great to see a virtually unused rogue talent build such as mutilate getting some love for expansion, but I can’t help but wonder if they’ve taken it to the other extreme.
What do you think about the mutilate changes? Too much too quickly or just a generally bad build getting some much needed improvements?
Wow, so I definitely did not see this one coming. Apparently inscription will be doing the shoulder enchants for wrath of the lich king! This is huge, as it adds a whole new realm of possibilities for the profession. I’m not going to lie…I’m pretty damn pumped to level up inscription. The profession is just stacked! You get the bonus glyph slot just for being an inscriber, shoulder enchants, spell / ability buffs and who knows what else by the time they are said and done with it.
As good as jewelcrafting was when the burning crusade came out…I think inscription is going to be even better. Better stock up those herbs now!
Inscription Shoulder Enchants
- Master’s Inscription of the Axe
- Master’s Inscription of the Crag
- Master’s Inscription of the Pinnacle
- Master’s Inscription of the Storm
Not a gauranteed discovery like the northrend alchemy research, but still gives you a chance for a discovery as well as creating some random inscriptions.