Jun 272013

How in the hell is it June 26th? Anyway, I got a surprise pulling of the wisdom teeth this week (surprise!), which has actually given me an opportunity to consolidate all the half-written drafts sitting on the server into one long ramble while I sit here and self-medicate with ice cream. Today, I’ll talk about the current Patch 5.4 developments on the PTR.

PvE changes

Feral didn’t get much in the way of changes (unlike the mana specs, who got big fixes), so what’s here is mostly PvP nerfs. The few PvE changes:

  • Nature’s Swiftness is gone (becomes resto spec innate) replaced by Ysera’s Gift, which is a passive 5% heal every 5s. Ugh.

    First, that talent is terrible. Good for leveling, sure, you’ve already got a lot of other buttons to worry about when learning, and this keeps you topped off from mob to mob. In any type of endgame content, though, what kills people is burst damage, which this is NOT a preventative tool for. Renewal is, but most fights with damage spikes occur more frequently than every 2 minutes  Second, the loss of NS hurts a lot for off-healing potential. I’ve saved plenty of raiders with a clutch NS+HT when they drop low (or myself, heh). Can’t do that anymore on command; sure, you still get PS procs, but that’s not guaranteed when you need it.  Finally, no more using it to help power Dream of Cenarius, so that’s a DPS nerf (albeit minor).

  • DoC got redesigned to be for all specs, with the Feral version being nerfed to 15%. Then, they reverted the Feral change back to what it was originally. No idea what the hell will happen at this point.
  • The glyph of Ferocious Bite is doubled in effectiveness, which means I’ll think about it twice as long before rejecting it. Still, there’s not a ton of good third-glyph options, so you may as well select it if you don’t use the Glyph of Shred.

PvP changes

  • Cyclone no longer has the 20s CD for feral, but can also no longer be instacast with Predatory Swiftness. Overall, I’m okay with this change from a PvP standpoint; since they’re moving away from a design that focuses on instant casts, I was sure that wasn’t going to stick around,
  • Faerie Fire’s duration reduced to 20s (was 40s) in PvP. This is actually a buff, believe it or not, as you can always re-FF someone, but there’s not much you can do when YOU are FF’ed.
  • The Force of Nature treant now casts Entangling Roots instead of Bash. No comment on duration, but this is another PvP nerf, albeit a needed one.
  • Innervate is tweaked and restricted to resto/balance. Not really a big deal, as the only time I use Innervate now is right after a spec switch so I can rebuff a few seconds faster.

There’s a few other minor changes as well, hit the notes for the full details.

Set bonuses

The 2piece bonus is interesting, but I expect it’ll get nerfed for PvP reasons. Remember, you still keep the effect of the OOC proc (free next ability). That combined with 50%+ Mangles? Burst city, Batman. If this stuck around, you’d definitely see an ICD get put on the buff. The 4piece is less interesting, and frankly, pretty terrible from a game design perspective, as it forces the player to make a choice with no good answers. “I’m at 3CP, low energy, TF just came off CD. Do I waste CP by hitting TF now, or waste TF uptime and energy and wait until I can drop a finisher and pop TF with 0 CP’s?” Do not like.

Either way, I’m certain we’ll see the numbers get moved around (for both talents and set bonuses) as the PTR develops. It’s not time to panic yet; set bonuses get redesigned all the time.

T14 agility trinkets

Wowhead datamined the initial drafts of the agility trinkets in the last patch. Here they are (please ignore the numbers, let’s just talk about the effects for the moment):

  1. Equip: Increases the cooldown recovery rate of six of your major abilities by 39%. Effective for Agility-based damage roles only. Equip: Your attacks have a chance to grant you 11759 Agility for 20 sec. (AFAIK, it’s TF that would get the CD reduction, along with SI, Barkskin, and Ursoc.)
  2. +1959 Haste Equip: Your attacks have a [99 / 10]% chance to trigger Multistrike, which deals instant additional damage to your target equal to 1/3 of the original damage dealt.
  3. +1959 Crit Equip: Your attacks have a [161 / 100]% chance to Cleave, dealing the same damage to all other nearby targets.
  4. +1959 Mastery (3.27 @ L90)
    Equip: Your melee and ranged attacks have a chance to grant you [1068 * 20] Agility for 20 sec. Each melee or ranged attack you make reduces this effect by 1068 Agility.
  5. +1959 Agility
    Equip: When your attacks hit you have a chance to gain 11759 Mastery for 20 sec.

#1 is the most interesting one from a design perspective. Reducing TF from a 30s CD to a 20s CD “feels” like a major buff, vs. all the others which are just bigger numbers. More TF’s means more energy means more abilities means more active time, which is fun. (DPS wise, it’s not bad either, since you’re increasing the TF buff uptime from 20% to 30%.)

#2 is fairly boring, since there’s no real way to strategize it and it’s just random extra damage.

#3 is cool because they’re clearly trying to incentivize switching trinkets around on a per-fight basis.

#4 could be extremely OP for ferals if the agility reduction only happens on specials (yellow), but I seriously doubt that. As such, I think this’ll be our least valued trinket due to our high white attack speed.

#5 is also boring, but likely very strong due to the mastery proc.

Still nothing about them nerfing Rune of Reforg…err, Re-origination. It’ll happen, but hopefully it’s before people start passing on drops.

Legendary cloak procs

Included in today’s datamine was the procs for the legendary cloak – here’s what the agility one looks like. (As above, ignore numbers.)

Flurry of Xuen: Your damaging attacks have a chance to trigger a Flurry of Xuen, causing you to deal 60% weapon damage to all targets in front of you, every 0.5 sec for 3 sec.

Hmm, where have I seen this ability before..let me think…oh, right! Fists of Fury! The windwalker ability that is generally despised because it locks down your mobility! Hopefully, it’s not quite that bad; I’m assuming it keeps going if you move, otherwise it’ll be insanely frustrating. I mean, it’s a free proc, there’s no reason NOT to put it on your cloak, but let’s add another thing to the “annoy me because it procs right as I’m running out” list. Yay. Have we gotten anything to look forward to yet? Other then the fact I can now be Alaron the Crazy Cat Man?

As an aside, raids  tend to have a mechanic that the designers are focusing on. Dragon Soul was movement; MV/HoF/ToES was interrupts; Throne was avoidable damage (arguably, haven’t seen heroic). I have a feeling Siege is going to be “add killing and personal survivability,” which is going to be…fun. We’re good at one of those, and it’s not the one that raid leaders focus on.



 Posted by at 11:46 pm