Apparently patch 3.0.2 is going live today in a semi-incomplete state. Very disappointing.
The build going live right now has a lot of class changes. But it doesn’t have all of them. Some changes, particularly those that affect high level abilities and some of the changes we made more recently won’t be in today’s build. But you will get them all on or before Nov 13 when Lich King goes live.
While we have done some balance testing at level 70 with the changes, we tested at level 80 a lot more, since so many players are focused on Arena combat and endgame raiding. Balance at 70 is going to feel different from 80.
If you played WoW at the 2.0 version before Burning Crusade shipped, you’ll remember that this can be a crazy time. You have new abilities through talents, but not new core abilities, and not enough talent points to get everything. There are major gear changes, major mechanic changes, and a lot of class changes. Some of those are going to take some getting used to, and despite our best efforts, it’s entirely possible we’ll find something broken that needs to be hotfixed right away.
The game should start feeling a little more normal again when Lich King ships. It’s cool to keep providing feedback and testing things out. Just try and be a little patient and understanding over the next couple of weeks as players learn about the changes (especially players who weren’t in the beta), get all of their broken mods working, and we make whatever fixes we need to make on our end. (source)
In a very uncharacteristic move Blizzard dropped the ball on several pretty big content patches, which are slated for release following the launch of WotLK. Here’s a quick break down of what’s coming up in the next several months of patches.
This patch is the bridge between the Burning Crusade and WotLK. There is no official scheduled release date yet, all we know is it won’t go live until S4 ends, which is this 10/14/08. In my opinion it will launch 10/21/08. This patch includes major talent changes, class balances, and other features in preperation for WotLK. Check out the compiled list of changes and updates here. Patch 3.0.2 Compiled.
This minor patch will go live 1-2 weeks after patch 3.0.2 releases, it’s only real purpose will be to retroactively complete the C’thun achievement quests. This patch will likely be the last patch prior to WotLK launch and should include any final bug fixes or other minor changes
Tigole Regarding Patch 3.0.3
We just added the C’Thun BP’s to the retro list. Previously, we were checking the quests but the quests were not recorded because they are repeatable.
This fix won’t go in the upcoming patch but one that will follow that patch by a week or two. So hang on to those C’Thun BP’s and you’ll get credit.
The first major content patch of the expansion, major highlights include
- Uldar Raid Instance 10 man
- Uldar Raid Instance 25 man
The second major content patch for expansion. Currently the features in this patch have not been announced. However, we do know that that this patch will…
…add a new and still unknown raid instance to the game (source)
The third major content patch for the expansion, major highlights include
- Ashbringer story resolved
- Icecrown Citadel released
Additional New WotLK Features
- New Guild Ratings based on PvE / PvP accomplishment
- New Guild Achievements
Not a whole lot is currently known regarding these new guild ratings, it’s something that’s been talked about for some time. Prior to the Burning Crusade blizzard had considered putting a system for rated Warsong Gulch in, but scrapped the idea. Personally I think this would be a great idea, particuarlly for PvP guilds, as it adds a whole new level of accomplishment for those groups of players.
Blizzard has been talking about the issue with mage mana longevity for as long as I can remember. It has been a crucial issue for the class throughout burning crusade, specifically in PvP. Now, it looks like the class may finally be getting the buffs it has been asking for.
We think mages are still having mana problems and don’t want to reduce Evocation’s cooldown anymore. Nor do we want to buff mage armor too much more or using e.g. molten armor seems pointless.
Instead, we reduced the mana cost on Fireball, Frostbolt, Frostfire Bolt, Arcane Blast, Arcane Missiles, and Arcane Explosion. (source)
There’s been tons of changes during the patch 3.0.2 PTR, but I think this one eclipses them all. So long as an appropriate reduction is implemented this should solve many mana problems for the mage class. No exact value reduction has been announced yet, but I would expect to see a finalized version on the next PTR build.
The big discussion regarding druids the past few weeks has been heavily centered around the tanking situation. Quite frankly, druids are the most dominating tank in WotLK. They are on par as far as avoidance and threat generation go, but the overall damage mitigation is simply too high. The 30% decrease should bring feral druids back in line with other tanks.
The restoration changes are quite good, particularly wild growth which will likely become a staple for druid PvE healing, an area that druids have been anything but stellar in for the Burning Crusade.
- Typhoon - Max rank damage reduced to 735 Nature damage. 3 ranks added for a total of 4.
- Insect Swarm – Wording changed to “decreasing their chance to hit with melee and ranged attacks” from “decreasing their chance to hit”.
- Moonkin Form – Now increases armor contribution from items by 370%. Down from 400%.
- Predatory Instincts – Now reduces the damage taken from area of effect attacks by 10/20/30%. Up from 5/10/15%.
- Dire Bear Form – Now increases armor contribution from items by 370%. Down from 400%.
- Growl - Now has a 20 yard range. Up from 5.
- Nourish - Mana cost reduced to 18% of base mana, down from 22%.
- Wild Growth – All ranks saw healing increase and mana cost reduction. Now 23% of base mana, down from 35%. Max Rank: Heals up to 5 friendly party or raid members within 15 yards of the target for 1442 over 7 sec. The amount healed is applied quickly at first, and slows down as the Wild Growth reaches its full duration.
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.
In a surprise move Blizzard announced earlier today that the damage on hunter’s aimed shot will be reduced. This after revealing just yesterday that aimed shot will become an instant cast in in patch 3.0.2.
Aimed Shot Damage Reduced
We’ll have to tone down the damage of Aimed Shot actually, probably in the ballpark of less than what it is now but more than what multi-shot does to a single target or arcane shot. We have not yet settled on the appropriate number.
In terms of their duration and cooldown, I think those are pretty in line with the Warrior variant. The idea behind this change is that the Hunter was intended to be a source of the “mortal strike wound” in group PvP, but keeping up the debuff is too difficult with a cast time. (source)
After blizzard’s initial post announcing instant cast aimed shot I was left thinking…what the hell, how can it possibly be balanced! Turns out there is a God after all, and it’s good to see Blizzard taking appropriate action to balance the new aimed shot. Overall I think this will be a very positive change for the hunter class, allowing them to function more like a warrior or a rogue, at least from the aspect of healing debuff utility.
In other hunter news, there were a few more changes announced by blue posters this afternoon.
Pet Health for WotLK Increased
We still are working on bumping the base health of the pets up. (source)
WotLK Beta Hunter Bugs
We’ve actually fixed that bestial wrath bug recently, should be in the next build.
Lock and Load
It isn’t 100%, its more around 2/4/6% on periodic damage from Serpent Sting. Its proc chance is in the ballpark of Shadow Trance (Nightfall) for Warlocks, though 2% higher (since Nightfall is 4%).
Seems like a tooltip bug.
Edit: Nm, seems like its really bugged.
All in all things are looking more promising for the hunter class. Blizzard has a much better vision for the class now than they did during the first half of the Burning Crusade and I believe they will be a much more engaging and balanced class come wrath of the lich king. I really would like to see the class take more of a damage and snare role, as opposed to just mana draining and running in circles.
The title pretty much sums this up, and everyone’s suspicions were officially confirmed by a blue poster earlier today. All accumulated honor points will be reset to zero when the wrath of the lich king expansion is released. No word yet if marks of honor will also be removed.
Additionally, in case you missed it arena points will also be reset to zero at level 71. Arena points to reset.
As many of you know we will be featuring a new Battleground, a dedicated world PvP zone and all new PvP items in Wrath of the Lich King. In order to make the transition from The Burning Crusade to Wrath of the Lich King flow as smoothly as possible, all accrued honor points will be reset at the launch of the expansion. We do this to ensure select players do not have an unfair advantage at level 80 from stockpiling honor to instantly purchase the newest Wrath of the Lich King PvP rewards. For those with unspent honor points prior to the release of the expansion, we will be offering a few upgrades and special rewards in next content patch solely for purchase via the honor system.(source)
Quick update for marks of honor, which are also going to be reset.
Marks of Honor will be wiped as well. (source)
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.
All you shamans and warlocks out there are really going to like this. Blizzard has finally done away with the bland beams of the burning crusade and added new graphic animations for both chain heal and soul drain. Not exactly the most game breaking change in the most recent WotLK patch notes update, but I’ve got to admit…they do look pretty cool.
As many of you may have expected there are going to be a host of new daily quests in Northrend once wrath of the lich king releases. Just like with the burning crusade’s daily quests these will have a variety of awards, including:
- New Token System
Daily Quests Token System for Professions
Now before we get into all these new daily quests let’s talk about the new token system. In order to really do anything with your professions up to this point you had to.
- Grind reputation to buy patterns
- Farm / purchase very rare patterns
- Join a raiding guild and be fortunate enough to be given rare patterns
These were really the only ways you could get any long duration use out of your profession, but blizzard is chaging this random success factor quite a bit. In the expansion many professions will have daily quests associated with them, these daily quests will award you a specific token for that professions. These tokens may then be turned in for various patterns, formulas, schematics, etc.
Profession Daily Quests
A few of these new profession daily quests have already been revealed.
Cooking Daily Quests
Once you train grand master cooking you’ll get a set of base line cooking recipes, these recipes use a variety of fish and meat that you’ll get in Northrend. In addition to these baseline recipes you also have the option of acquiring the upgraded versions of these recipes.
You can get these improved cooking recipes by completing the cooking daily quest, which will award you 1 Dalaran Cooking Award. You can turn in 3 of these to get 1 new recipe.
Jewelcrafting Daily Quests
- 1 Token = Uncut Jewelcrafter’s BoP Gem
- 2 Tokens = Low Level Designs
- 5 Tokens = High Level Designs
- 8 Tokens = Meta Designs
I really think this is a great change, it will create a very interesting dynamic as far as supply and demand are concerned with designs amongst jewelcrafters. I’m very interested to see how this system is adapted for the remainder of the professions, but overall I feel it’s a great and welcome change.
Other Daily Quests
Quite honestly, none of the other daily quests were really all that exciting. So far only a handful of the new Northren dailies have been implemented. Most of which are designed around the time honored formula of collecting X of some item or killing X of what ever mob, you know the drill. That said, the group of daily quests located around Venture Bay in the Grizzly Hills does look pretty awesome.
There are 4 total daily quests here, of which include objectives such as…
- Slaying Goblins
- Killing player’s the opposing faction
- Taking down the opposing faction’s captain
Ideally this area will become the location of some really good world PvP. Genreally when there’s gold + pvp glory in the same area it’s going to be good times for all. On top of the 15g you get for every quest here you also receive 10 venture coins for every quest. These coins be turned in for various PvP’ish items, check out the full list of venture coin item rewards here.