Shaman Tier 10 Lodur’s Thoughts

Shaman Tier 10 Lodur’s Thoughts

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So where has Lodur been you might be asking? Well I’ve been a busy Shaman. For those of you who may not know I am now the co-host of a weekly podcast called For The Lore. We transmit every week live on Monday’s at 6:45pm EST over at our Ustream Channel. We cover all aspects of modern gaming and some of the old school, we talk about more then just the lore of these games but the story is honestly a big part of why we play these games. Needless to say I’ve been quite busy with that and keeping the ball rolling over there. If you have time feel free to check us out live Monday evening’s or download us for free through iTunes and listen to your friendly neighborhood Shaman speak his mind.

Now while I have been busy with that among several other projects, I have not been living under a rock. I did see the Shaman tier 10 models and I dare say that Blizzard put it up rather shortly after my Cardboard Samurai post because I think they realized the natives were restless ;) Lets take a look at it in it’s full glory shall we?

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This thing kicks allllllll kinds of tail in my opinion. Personally I think we won Tier 10. It’s stylish, the color scheme is awesome the placement of the ice is tasteful and well…lets be honest the shoulder effect is about as sweet as I’ve seen since Warlock Tier 6 bat wings. The only other armor set for tier 10 that comes close is the Warriors, but even that falls short in my opinion. Compare tier 10′s look to tier 9′s

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Aside from the kilt, this set is identical to the hunters tier 9. It didn’t look very shamanistic, and to be honest it was pretty ugly. I wish I could hide my t9 or have a vanity set shown over it because it’s not that great. Tier 10 feels very shamanistic, lets not forget that Ner’zhul was a shaman before he became the lich king, so the tier 10 armor has this erie shamanistic feel to it. It has the icicles around it randomly for the elemental feel of water, and the bones are that of what appears to be a Shoveltusk. Stags, Talbuk and Shoveltusk have always been representations for the Spirit of the hunt or spirit of the wild for shaman, so it seems only fitting to have not only their bones but the spirtual image of them pushing outwards from the shoulders.

I’m impressed and honestly very very happy with it. I think this was blizzards way of saying “we’re sorry for tier 9 guys, here… look awesome” and I say to them. Thank you. I’m quite pleased with how tier 10 came out.

What about you guys? What do you think about the Shaman tier 10? Think it looks good, bad, meh?

until next time, happy healing

Sig

all images courtesy of MMO-Champion.com

Oculus Gets a Facelift

Oculus Gets a Facelift

OCULUS

Image credited to Blizzard Entertainment

Since the days of Burning Crusade, we’ve seen the rise of the Heroic.  Five brave heroes banding together to take on our favorite dungeons, but the foes are much more formidable.  The badges/emblems, the epic loot, the reputation, the Nether/Orb, and the Heroic Daily.  These have become staples of our WoW community.

My personal favorite?  In BC, I loved Shadow Labs.  People whined about it taking too long, but I loved it.  In WotLK, it’s hard to choose a favorite.  Nexus, Utgarde Pinnacle, and Halls of Lightning certainly rank among my favorites.

However, as a WoW player from any walk of life, you’ve probably been a part of this conversation:

“Hey, does anyone wanna do the daily?”

“Sure, I’ll go!  I still need emblems for my heirloom piece.”

“Yeah, me too!”

“Has anyone checked what the daily is?”

“Lemme check.”

(Pause for dramatic effect)

“Oculus.”

“….F*** that.”

“Yeah, forget it.”

Oculus is the second dungeon in Coldarra, the subregion in northwest Borean Tundra.  There it sits, laughing at all of us.  It touts itself as the most hated heroic we’ve ever set foot in.  Even Heroic Shattered Halls was manageable once you got geared enough.

Trouble usually comes from coordination and orientation.  Being the first 5-man to introduce flying mounts, I’m grateful that I can’t lose my driver’s license by the horrible flying I do in Oculus.  And trying to get a PUG, or even a late-night group of post-raid guildies, into a focused mindset to handle the rotation needed to down Eregos is a chore unto itself.

Combined with a slew of other issues we’ve all come to hate, Oculus has become the least-run Heroic in the game.  People loathe it.  Forums and blogs feed the hatred.  I have yet to complete Proof of Demise, simply because I can’t stomach the thought of doing Oculus.  Even in my guild last night, I heard someone say, “I’ll run any Heroic but Oculus.”

A Brand New Day

Thankfully, Patch 3.3 is going to bring us some treats to ease our anger.  It was just announced in the patch notes that Oculus is getting nerfed.  **Pause for roaring applause**

  • Many bosses and creatures have had their total health reduced.
  • Several bosses and creatures have had cooldowns on specific abilities increased, effect durations reduced, and damage on some of these abilities reduced.
  • Ring-Lord Conjurers and Sorceresses now hang out in packs of 4 instead of packs of 5.
  • Vehicle scaling on the drakes based on the rider’s item level has been increased to make them more powerful.

Perhaps Blizzard has finally noticed the dust collecting below the portal of this monstrosity.

Oculus was by no means impossible, but it definitely was a bit too challenging for its level.  Especially now with the Emblem grind going full force, this shift puts Oculus into the mix of “Chain Heroics”.

I’m looking forward to trying out the new Oculus to see if I can heal through it without wanting to pull my hair out.  I also look forward to trying my hand at some fancy achievements that I never got to try before, such as Amber Void, Ruby Void, and Emerald Void!  Another step toward my goal: Glory of the Hero.

Do you agree with the negative stigma surrounding Oculus?  Are you looking forward to its facelift in Patch 3.3??

ThespiusSig

Email me: elder.thespius@gmail.com  |  Tweet me: @Thespius

Enchanting 3.3: Don’t Get Worked Up

Some enchanters are disappointed at the upcoming addition of disenchant as a loot option. I’m personally quite happy with it. I have an enchanter of my own and I sympathize with the hassles that enchanters go through in instances and the like.

The enchanting process now

Here’s the steps involved in taking an item and sharding it for the group:

  1. Need roll the item
  2. Look for it in your bags
  3. Select disenchant
  4. Find the item again because you forgot where it was
  5. Actually disenchant it
  6. Tell everyone to roll
  7. Wait an extra 15 seconds for the AFK guy to roll
  8. Open trade after closing within range
  9. Actually trade it to him

The enchanting process in 3.3

If there’s an enchanter, all the group needs to do is hit the disenchant button. The process of item sharding and trading is done for you. The sharded item goes straight to the winner of the role without the enchanter having to do anything.

Thank goodness for this feature.

Enchanters benefit because they don’t have to spend the time or effort fishing for the item, looking over the rolls and figuring out who gets the item. Is this actually a pain in the ass? No. The first few times, it’s manageable. But if you’re in a raid and you’re handing out shards at the end or if you have a lot of items to hand out, it can get annoying. Just for a streamlined process alone makes it worth it.

Everyone else benefits because there is little risk of having shards stolen or conveniently “forgotten” about. Heck, I’ve forgotten to distribute shards once or twice (or more). Right now, I just greed stuff in instances hoping to win it and keep the shard for myself. But with this in place, the group will immediately know if there’s a disenchanter present and can get a crack at the shard legitimately via the updated looting system.

The argument against

Actually, this is a stance that has gone back for a long time. The traditional argument goes something like this:

Herbers, miners and skinners get to keep their own loot that they acquire. Why can’t enchanters keep the shards?

It’s only fair right? No one rolls for herbs or for ore nodes unless they’re an herbalist or a miner. It’s assumed to be theirs with little discussion. Why then are we enchanters not allowed to be entitled to these shards? We did invest a ton of gold and time to our professions. It’s only fair that we reap more of the benefits. I know I personally experience runs where there are 4 drops and I don’t get one at all.

Why I disagree

With that in mind, an enchanter then would have every right to roll on every drop in the instance regardless of whether or not they can use it on their character. Every item is viewed as something usable that contributes to the enchanter and pays off for the time and gold they’ve invested into enchanting.

Hey, I totally understand where they’re coming from. I must’ve sunk 5000 gold into it myself just from getting from level 70 enchanting to level 80 enchanting.

But just imagine how chaotic it would be if enchanters had the right to roll on anything just so they could disenchant it.

I can’t buy into that.

All tradesmen have paid their dues in leveling up their skills and each has their own unique set of perks and benefits.

In the item’s base form, without an enchanter present, it would be greeded and vendored.

In shard form, the shards can be greeded and then sold for greater value. I just don’t quite see how the presence of an enchanter automatically means they get all the shards simply because they’re the only ones able to disenchant it and convert it into a form that can sell more.

What you can do

Remember that setting loot rules ahead of time can always be done no matter what you’re doing.

As an enchanter, I’ve politely requested asking specifically for one shard if it is determined that we’re on a shard run. Group members will usually understand. Try asking for a change.

Of course, you could always do the completely dick move and wait for everyone to hit “shard” on the loot option before hitting “greed”.

Chill of the Throne and It’s Future

Chill of the Throne and It’s Future

As Matticus has just reported, Daelo and the Dev Team have unveiled a new mechanic that tanks and healers are going to experience in Icecrown Citadel.

The new mechanic is a skill called “Chill of the Throne”, and it’s applied to all enemies in the zone:

The spell, called Chill of the Throne, will allow creatures to ignore 20% of the dodge chance of their melee target.

Healers have grown accustomed to the heart-attacks caused by massive spike damage and carefully timed cooldowns.  There is a thrill accompanied with the notion of needing to stay on top of things to an extreme degree like that.  However, the reality is “Can the dps kill the boss before the healer runs out of mana spamming their biggest heals?”  We’re pigeon-holed into praying and hoping our heals land at the right time so our main tank doesn’t eat two 25k hits in a row.

Chill of the Throne allows the size of the hits to become smaller, rather than huge hits that hit every so often (via a tank’s mitigation).  If RNG fails, a tank is dead.  We, as healers, now get to heal a steady stream of damage, instead of breaking down with panic attacks.

Where does this go from here?

Devs have been talking about introducing a way to incorporate expertise in new bosses.  Although it seems that system isn’t viable for Icecrown, we may be able to see it in Cataclysm.  The  idea is for bosses to scale in skill, not just in health and damage done.  This could definitely open up more possibilities for damage management in the future.

ThespiusSig

Patch 3.3 Makes PUGing Easier

Patch 3.3 Makes PUGing Easier

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Back at Blizzcon we received an announcement from the devs that they were implementing new ways to reduce the wrath of the “additional instance” boss, which was already in place on many realms at the time of the convention. As many of you may have noticed this seems to have gone off pretty well and I think at least for now the instance door boss has been put down. Lets hope his respawn timer doesn’t come back up anytime soon, but so far so good. People have been able to farm Headless Horseman to their hearts content and daily heroics don’t see us spending 45 minutes waiting to just zone in.

At the con they also announced that they were going to refine the LFG system as well as add in cross server LFG capabilities to the game. Well in patch 3.3 PTR we are seeing the beginnings of the system. I for one am incredibly excited and can’t wait to see how this feature shapes up. As it stands you can use the system to go into a completely random group, or you can party up with a couple people and random the rest. You can choose your spec or role that you can fill just like in the current LFG system, but now you have the option of assembling a completely random group from different servers, and you get an option to sign up to lead the rag-tag band of misfits you aquire. As a reward you’ll receive a number of Frost Emblems and a helping of gold for your time and trouble. That alone is a good incentive to use the system as money and badges are always a good thing.

For me the biggest draw of this is the cross server interaction. They put that together for us back in an attempt to balance out Battle Grounds (which more or less worked but that’s a topic of debate for another day). Now the idea of being able to go directly to the instance with people pulled from the other servers of my battle group excites me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a group ready to go but missing a tank, and there were none to be found. I just imagine a tank on another server unable to find a group kicking his can around wondering why no one wants to play with him. With this new system, the problem is lessened in theory. With the amount of badges we’ll likely need when Icecrown drops this will help ensure you’re able to find a group.

In a nutshell this will help eliminate those times where you’re sitting around for hours waiting for a group to do something. Just hit a button and shortly thereafter you’re off on a new adventure.

This is also important because there are also plans to use this for raids as well, at least the random group part, but not the cross realm part. Right now the interface for it is buried in the PTR (you can dig and find if you like). This is good for people like me with an army of alts. There are a ton of raids I would love to run on my hunter, like I would love to run her through naxx, but I can never find a group. This would also help struggling guilds that are having trouble filling in the last couple slots of their roster for a raid, just pop open the tool and find a few more folks to join in the fun.

I’m really excited about this feature and I think it will open up a lot more of the game for many people. It will allow greater accessibility to the content of the game for people that otherwise might not have been able to see it.

What do you think? Like it? Hate it? What do you expect from it? Will you use it?

That’s all for today, until next time Happy Healing!

Sig

Image borrowed from wow.com

3.3 PTR update

3.3 PTR update

Just a quick post today on the recent changes to the PTR.

Patch 3.3 Build 10596 is up and here are some of the changes you can look forward to right now

Reputation

* The following reputations have been sped up by roughly 30%:

  • Argent Crusade
  • Alliance Vanguard
  • Horde Expedition
  • Kirin Tor
  • Knights of the Ebon Blade
  • Sons of Hodir
  • Wyrmrest Accord

* Sons of Hodir quests now give more reputation overall.

* Top-level helm and shoulder faction-related enchants are now available as Bind-on-Account items that do not require any faction to use once purchased (they still require the appropriate faction level to purchase).

* Reputation commendations can now be purchased for 1 Emblem of Triumph each.

This is a fairly sizable upgrade for us. Not only is rep grinding reduced greatly but once you get someone exalted with sons for example they can buy the shoulder enchant and send it to another character of yours. As an alt-aholic I love this idea.

Spells and Talents

Druid

  • Rejuvenation: The base duration on all ranks of this spell is now 15 seconds.

Shaman

  • Reincarnation: The cooldown on this spell has been lowered from 60 minutes down to 30 minutes.Restoration
  • Improved Reincarnation: This talent now reduces the cooldown of Reincarnation by 7/15 minutes, down from 10/20 minutes. Reincarnation cannot be used in Arenas.

The change to rejuvenation is great for players who are leveling. It adds 3 seconds pretty much across the board. The Shaman changes to reincarnation and the improved reincarnation talent make me very, very happy. I might actually find 2 points to put in it. Being able to self resurrect every 15 minutes is a great boon for progression night raids as well as just leveling. Toss in a Glyph of Renewed Life and you’re pretty much gtg.

Glyphs
Druid

  • Glyph of Rapid Rejuvenation: This glyph allows for the druid’s haste to reduce the time between the periodic healing effects of Rejuvenation.

This is interesting to me because they announced they were looking at allowing haste to affect HoTs and DoTs. Link here for forums. So I’m curious if this is some form of experimentation on a smaller scale to see the effect of adding haste to HoT’s

General / UI

Interface

  • Any party member may mark targets (this does not apply to raid groups).

I can’t thank them enough for this. I was terrified that this would apply to raid groups. I run 25 mans mainly with my guild and last thing I needed was someone freely moving markers around on a trash pull *shudder*

That’s some of the major changes this build. Hope you get a chance to play with the PTR a little bit.

What are your thought’s on the PTR so far? How do you think patch 3.3 is shaping up?

Until next time.

Sig

Also be sure to follow me on Twitter for up to the minute updates as they filter through.

Give Me Patch Notes and I’ll Give You Totems!

Give Me Patch Notes and I’ll Give You Totems!

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As I’m sure many of you know by now, the PTR is live bringing with it a wonderous amount of changes to pretty much everyone. I’m going to focus today on a few things, Shaman changes and tier 10 set bonus for Restoration Shaman. First let’s take a look at the set bonuses for tier 10 Restoration shall we?

Shaman T10 Restoration 2P Bonus – Your Riptide spell grants 20% spell haste for your next spellcast.

Shaman T10 Restoration 4P Bonus – Your Chain Heal critical strikes cause the target to heal for 25% of the healed amount over until cancelled.

Hmmm, interesting set bonus. Two piece gives you more haste very much like how Tidal Waves reduces the cast time of your Healing Wave by 30%. Personally I love haste, and rolling Riptide should be a part of any Shaman’s normal healing arsenal so this set bonus really appeals to me. The four piece bonus is also very intriguing. The wording is a little weird and so it will have room for interpretation. Is it placing a HoT on a target for 25% of the amount healed similar to how Earthliving Weapon places a HoT on the target? Will it give an instant heal for 25% of the total? My moneys on a HoT. Personally I like these set bonuses. I think they are solid additions to our repertoire. Looking at them though we can take a guess at what type of damage we’re going to be seeing… I’m guessing lots of raid damage. Giving us haste, adding an additional heal component to our chain heal this just screams to me tons of raid wide damage (thoughts of Sun Well suddenly jump to mind). Now I’m looking forward to the aesthetics of the set. Hopefully we wont look like a mix between bugs and sand people.

So our set bonuses are shaping up nicely (which is pretty par for the course for us at this point). Lets swing our attention over to the patch notes shall we?

Not much is changing as of yet, of course as you know that may or may not change. For now though here are the bits though.

Orc and troll shamans now have their own unique totem art.

Shamans

* Fire Nova Totem: This totem has been replaced with a new spell, Fire Nova, which is available at the same ranks as the old Fire Nova Totem. Existing characters will automatically learn this new spell in place of the totem. With a Fire Totem active, shamans will be able to use Fire Nova (fire magic) to emit the same area-of-effect damage as the old Fire Nova Totem from the active Fire Totem, not consuming the totem in the process. Fire Nova will activate a 1.5-second global cooldown when used and has a 10-second spell cooldown. The caster must be within 30 yards of the totem to use this ability, but does not need to be within line of sight of the totem.

I’ll leave the totem art aside for a second, first lets talk about Fire Nova.

This one is… interesting. Basically getting rid of a totem that some of us were using to help with AE damage in fights like Thorim’s arena. It lets us not have to cast a different totem, but instead we can center an AE spell off our current fire totem. This still requires you to run into melee and drop said totem, but it’s a nice touch. I can run in set my totems and then when needed blast out some AE damage to help thing the gaggle of bad guys we’re killing. I’ll have to play with it more, but so far so good.

Now, onto totem art. Orcs and Trolls it has been long overdue that you guys get your own. Lets take a look at them real fast

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The Orc one is pretty gnarly. Not only is it a totem but it can double as an axe! It seems to fit to me.

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Trolls are pretty cool too. Troll fetish hung from the totems looks like the shadow hunter’s totems in WC3.

All in all pretty good job. Now if I may I’d like to take a second to rage about another set of totems. The Dwarf Shaman Totems. Now I know that Cataclysm (or at least 4.0) is a while away, they… bother me.

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I understand the concept behind it. It’s a hammer with Gryphon feathers. I’ll be honest though, as someone who is going to race change into a Dwarf Shaman I’m a little disappointed. I mean I can see the correlation between axes and Orcs, fetish masks and Trolls and I can understand the correlation of hammers and Dwarves… kinda. When I was at blizzcon and they were talking about bringing Dwarves into the fold of Shamanism, they mentioned making sure they had unique totems. They said they wouldn’t be kegs (which made us all sad) but that they were looking at maybe rune stones. I look at the above totems and that doesn’t scream Dwarf to me. Had they been chunks of stone with glowing colored runes in them I’d have been content. I mean look at the Draenei’s totems

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They pretty well scream Draenei. They have holographic rings around oddly shaped stone with the element present above it. Even the *Now* Tauren Totems fit their race

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So… why can’t Dwarves get something stone related? I mean think about it. They live in the mountains, they have a racial ability called Stoneform, they are known for their Gryphons, but only one clan (Wildhammer) and they aren’t playable, but we hear about is how they are awesome miners. Sure we hear about their forges and smithy’s but I think the totems could be a bit better suited to the race (read more metal/stone and less wood please).

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy I can finally be a Dwarf Shaman. I’ve wanted to be a Dwarf Shaman for a long long time. I thank Blizzard for that, but that doesn’t mean I won’t weep a little bit every time I drop a set of hammers on the ground. Trolls and Orcs won out with some pretty good totem design and Tauren get to be unique snowflakes again with theirs. Overall I’m happy with it. Giving each race’s Shaman’s a unique totem is a good step. But if Goblin Shaman get cool looking gear totems, I don’t know what I’m going to do. Maybe throw my hammer at them. Maybe cast Wrath of Carpentry.

Although maybe I can rename myself Captain Hammer and invite people back to my Hammer Cave to show them my Hammer….

So what do you guys think so far? Like the new totems, dislike the new totems? Like the set bonuses?

Until next time, Happy Healing

Sig

Images courtesy of Dr. Horrible sing along blog, WoW.com, and WoW guru

Raider Nostalgia: Patch 3.2.2

Raider Nostalgia: Patch 3.2.2

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As most of you have heard today patch 3.2.2 is going live. With it marks the triumphant return of the Brood Mother and her many whelps. So what’s in store for us?

The Brood Mother Returns
After years of lurking in her lair battling the many brave adventurers who travelled from afar to challenge her, Onyxia returns stronger than before to commemorate World of Warcraft’s five-year anniversary.

  • Onyxia has been scaled to offer new challenges to level 80 players and is now available in 10- and 25-player modes.
  • Adjusted for modern raiding, but with the fundamental experience of fighting the Brood Mother still in effect, including the horrors of her Deep Breaths!
  • Onyxia will now drop level 80 item versions of some classic loot items from the level 60 encounter.
  • Brood of Onyxia, a very rare 310%-speed mount modeled after Onyxia herself will be available for the luckiest of challengers

This has gotten me very excited. For many of us, Ony was our first real raid experience. I know it was for me. I had done some molten core, but my first real raid with my guild (same one I’m still with today) was Onyxia. Of course my first ony raid tale is a little bit different then most. I happened to have participated in this raid from a bar. My then girlfriend worked at a bar that happened to have really good wireless Internet. I hoped on my laptop while waiting for her to get out of work and wound up getting invited to an Ony raid. We killed the Brood Mother, I got a shiny new helm and I did this while having a frosty cold pint. When we heard that they were updating her for the anniversary at Blizzcon, I definitely joined in screaming at the top of my lungs in excitement. Along with this announcement also came the news that in Cataclysm Rangnaros, Nefarian and a few others will be back again! This announcement even got me to dust off my hunter and level her to 80.  This type of boss is something that many of us remember fondly and I think it was a good call on their part to update her to level 80 and bring us back some favorite loot updated for level 80 as well.

Let’s not forget this is a patch though, so some things are changing for classes and abilities. Healers this patch are largely untouched. Shamans however get a nerf of sorts, not as bad as it could be but bad enough.

Shaman

Cleansing Totem: No longer purges instantly when dropped

Like I said could be much worse, this change will require Shaman to change tactics slightly. On fights like the Faction Champions in ToC, dropping a cleansing totem was a great way to get 5 people cleaned from poisons and diseases very quickly. Now we have to use this totem more proactively rather then reactively as once you drop it you have a good 3 seconds to wait before it starts doing it’s thing. Complete Patch notes can be seen HERE

More Patch Notes

Dungeons & Raids

  • Shadowfang Keep
    • Wailing Guardsman: Screams of the Past will no longer have multiple applications on a target. Recast time has been increased.
  • Ulduar
    • Increased the cooldown on Immortal Guardians’ Drain Life ability in the Yogg-Saron encounter.

Achievements

  • The Achievement “Iron, Dwarf Medium Rare (25 player)” now requires 25 kills, down from 50.
  • The Frostwolf Howler and Stormpike Battle Charger Achievements will now be awarded when a player learns the respective mount spells.

Professions

  • The blacksmiths of Orgrimmar grew tired of running to the rear of the city to craft items and have installed a new anvil & forge at the General Store in the Valley of Strength.
  • Engineering
    • The Mind Amplification Dish no longer changes the appearance of your helmet.
  • Inscription
    • Added a recipe for Runescroll of Fortitude. This item grants a stamina buff equal to the highest rank of Power Word: Fortitude (untalented) to all players in the raid. The effect of this runescroll is exclusive with other stamina scrolls and Power Word: Fortitude.
  • Leatherworking
    • Added a recipe for Drums of Forgotten Kings. These drums increase all stats by 8% for all players in a raid. The effect of these drums is exclusive with Blessing of Kings.
    • Added a recipe for Drums of the Wild. These drums grant a buff equal to the highest rank of Mark of the Wild (untalented) to all players in a raid. The effect of these drums is exclusive with Mark of the Wild.

Items

  • The Black Heart: This item’s animation has been changed and no longer resembles Hand of Protection.
  • Death Knight Tier-9 Tanking 4-Piece Set Bonus: Now decreases the cooldown on Vampiric Blood, Unbreakable Armor, and Bone Shield by 10 seconds instead of 20.
  • Druid Tier-8 Healer 4-Piece Set Bonus: The amount of healing this set bonus grants on the initial cast of Rejuvenation has been reduced by 50%. In addition, this set bonus no longer has strange interactions with Harold’s Rejuvenating Broach.
  • Glyphs
    • Glyph of Bone Shield: This glyph now grants 1 additional charge instead of 2.
    • Glyph of Flame Shock: Redesigned. This glyph now makes Flame Shock periodic damage able to be critical strikes.
    • Glyph of Mind Flay: This glyph no longer reduces the magnitude of the movement reduction on the Mind Flay victim.
    • Glyph of Scourge Strike: Redesigned. This glyph now causes Scourge Strike to extend the duration of Frost Fever and Blood Plague by 3 seconds each time Scourge Strike is used on a target, up to a maximum of 9 seconds.
    • Glyph of Typhoon: This glyph now increases the range on Typhoon by 10 yards in addition to its current effects.
    • Glyph of Unbreakable Armor: Now increases the armor gained from Unbreakable Armor by 20%.
    • Glyph of Vampiric Blood: The glyph now increases the duration of Vampiric Blood by 5 seconds instead of 10.
  • Libram of Obstruction: The buff to block value from this relic is now exclusive with the buff to block value from Libram of the Sacred Shield; it is impossible to have both buffs at once.
  • Libram of the Sacred Shield: The block value buff from this relic has been increased to match its item level.
  • Relics: All buffs provided by relics (idols, librams, totems and sigils) now share an exclusive category such that gaining a buff from one of these items will remove all other buffs gained from items in this category.
  • Totem of Quaking Earth: Attack power value increased to 400.

User Interface

  • Battleground Queuing
    • Players may now only queue for no more than two Battlegrounds at a time.
    • The dialog box for entering a Battleground match has been changed to reflect the following options: “Enter Battle,” “Leave Queue,” and “Minimize.”
    • The time a player has to enter a battle when selected has been reduced to 40 seconds when not already in a Battleground and 20 seconds when in a Battleground.
    • Players already in a Battleground can now choose “Enter Battle” for a new Battleground under any circumstance (i.e. while dead, in combat, falling, etc.).
    • A new Battleground will not launch until the maximum number of players on each side are in the queue (i.e. 40 players per side for Alterac Valley).
  • The size of the Focus Frame can now be adjusted via the Interface Options menu.
  • Mail System Auto-Complete Feature
    • The inline auto-complete feature for the mail system has been added back into the game. The mail system will now have both the pre- and post-3.2.0 auto-complete features available.
    • Added a label to notify players that the Tab key will allow players to navigate through the character names listed via the auto-complete feature.
  • For additional notes on Lua and XML changes please visit the UI & Macros forum.

Bug Fixes

  • Death Knight
    • Rune of Razorice: The frost vulnerability granted by this enchantment will now increase the damage done by Frost Fever as intended.
  • Druid
    • Balance of Power: Misleading tooltip reworded. The tooltip previously reported an incorrect value for the increased chance to hit with spells. The actual benefit of the talent is unchanged.
  • Hunter
    • Master’s Call: This ability now correctly removes the snaring component of Infected Wounds, Frostfire Bolt, and Slow.
    • Trap Mastery’s (Survival) tooltip now states the correct amount of snakes summoned.
  • Mage
    • Arcane Missiles: Ranks 12 and 13 will now properly cause players to enter combat.
  • Paladin
    • Hand of Freedom: This ability now correctly removes the snaring component of Infected Wounds and Frostfire Bolt.
  • Priest
    • Divine Aegis: Ranks 1 and 2 will now work with Holy Nova.
    • Glyph of Power Word: Shield now correctly uses the Priest’s spell critical chance instead of the target’s.
  • Rogue
    • Vanish: This ability now correctly removes the snaring component of Frostfire Bolt.
    • Honor Among Thieves: This talent will now work properly again if two rogues with different ranks of the talent are in the same party.
  • Shaman
    • Grounding Totem will now properly protect against the Death Grip spell.
    • Lava Burst can no longer deal critical damage to targets who are immune to critical strikes (due to, e.g. Roar of Sacrifice, Blessed Resilience).
    • Lightning Shield: This spell will no longer set off some trinkets when it is cast.
    • Stoneclaw Totem’s pulses will no longer break stealth on nearby hostile units.
    • Thunderstorm and Shamanistic Rage can no longer be used while Frozen, Cycloned, Sapped, or Incapacitated.
  • Warlock
    • Demonic Circle: This ability now correctly removes the snaring component of Frostfire Bolt.
    • Fel Armor: This spell was unable to set off trinkets and other effects. That has been corrected.
    • When using Shadowbolt or Incinerate while having Backlash and Backdraft active, only Backlash will now be properly consumed.
  • Coliseum Trinkets: Some spells that should have triggered these trinkets will now trigger them (such as Holy Nova and Fel Armor).
  • Death Knight Tier-9 DPS 4-Piece Set Bonus: Now grants the correct chance for disease damage ticks to be critical strikes.
  • Hunter Tier-9 2-Piece Set Bonus: Critical damage from Serpent Sting will now work properly with the Mortal Shots and Expose Weakness talents.
  • Lightweave Embroidery: This tailoring item enhancement will no longer trigger from the periodic healing granted by the warlock spell Fel Armor.
  • Mote of Flame: Corrected a typo in the tooltip.
  • Paladin Tier-9 DPS 2-Piece Set Bonus: Now grants the correct chance for Righteous Vengeance ticks to be critical strikes.
  • Shard of Flame: Corrected a typo in the tooltip.
  • Val’anyr, Hammer of The Ancient Kings: Healing from Prayer of Mending now triggers the shield from this item. In addition, a bug was corrected which would cause the shield points to be overwritten rather than stack up as intended.

So, how do you feel about the patch? Excited or angry that it seems like it came too soon? Does it make you think back on your time in early raiding? What was your first raid? Any other bosses you want to see ramped up to 80?

Until next time, Happy Healing!

Sig

Image from pewpewlazers.wordpress.com

Resto Shaman Tier 9 and More!

Resto Shaman Tier 9 and More!

By now I’m sure you’ve all heard about the tier 9 sets that have been released. Unlike Tier 7 and 8, instead of having two different levels of gear, there are three levels.

Conquest (ilevel 232)

Triumph (ilevel 245)

Heroic Triumph (ilevel 258)

This is kind of nifty. It adds more opportunity for raiders of all levels to gain tier set pieces. There is no artwork for it yet, but you can click the link and check the stats. The big thing here is the set bonuses.

Instant cast
Increases the healing done by your Riptide spell by 20%.
Instant cast
Increases the critical strike chance of your Chain Heal spell by 5%.

These might not seem like a lot, but these are quite nice as it stands. Lets take a look at the 2 Piece. Riptide already seems to have received a little buff in it’s healing come the patch but lets use the value of the Rank 4 Riptide and according to the 3.2 talent sheet, the current rank 1 Riptide

The spell has two parts we’ll make the assumption that the set bonus affects both parts. The spell initially hits for 1604 to 1736, a 20% increase on that 1925 to 2083 on the front end. After the initial heal it places a heal over time for 1670. With the set bonus that HoT becomes 2004 over 15 seconds. While that might not seem like a lot consider a couple things. First it’s an instant heal and HoT for Shamans, never a bad thing. The new ranks for the spell haven’t been released yet (that I can find, if you see them please link them to me) so you can imagine those numbers will be higher. Secondly combine the 2 piece with Glyph of Riptide which increases the duration of the HoT by 6 seconds (or with these numbers should be another 800 healing if my math is right) and 2 piece Tier 8 , which lowers the CD of Riptide by a second and you have an instant heal that places a 21 second HoT on your target, and it only has a 5 second cool down. I can see that being extremely useful. Oh, and it still buffs chain heal on the target by 25%.
Let’s take a look at the 4 piece bonus now. Increasing the critical strike change of Chain Heal by 5% might not seem like a lot either, but you have to keep in mind a couple things. Before raid buffs I’m packing close to 27 % crit, maybe more depending on what pieces I am wearing. I suspect the vast majority of the Shaman Healing community falls between 25% and 30% before buffs (cursory glace at armory seems to support that theory) in a raid environment you can already get close to 40% crit. Adding another 5% to that is just insane, it will definitely increase our throughput quite a bit. It will also work hand in hand with changes to Improved Water Shield which now procs off of chain heal without consuming an orb. This will do wonders for our mana regeneration along with our healing throughput.

The newest item I’m probably most excited about though so far is not the Tier 9 set (while it is nice) but we have a new Totem. The Totem of Calming Tides is, quite simply put sexy. When you cast Chain Heal you have a chance to gain 234 spell power for 15 seconds. That is just nice any way you slice it. Combine that with the increased crit chance and the fact we’ll most likely be packing enough haste to have 2 second or sub 2 second chain heals and I suspect more often then not we’ll have the buff. There is no information on proc percentages yet, but it’s still very early in the PTR.  It should also be noted that this so far does not just affect your chain heal spell power, but your overall spellpower, meaning when it procs Earth Shield, Riptide, our various Healing Waves and even Healing Stream Totem will gain a benefit. Personally I can’t wait to get my grubby little Shaman fingers on this one.

Along with the Tier Sets we were provided information for Badge Goggles andBadge Shoulders. While they are pretty good I just find myself hard pressed to get excited about them. Maybe after the models are released for Horde / Alliance.

The new totem and the Tier set fits very nicely with the talent and spell changes for Shamans in the coming patch, you can read my initial thoughts on them Here.

For those who don’t remember here they are again.

  • Call of Air – Simultaneously places up to 4 totems specified in the Totem Bar. Can call different totems that Call of Fire or Call of Water.
  • Call of Water – Simultaneously places up to 4 totems specified in the Totem Bar. Can call different totems that Call of Fire.
  • Call of Fire – Simultaneously places up to 4 totems specified in the Totem Bar.
  • Totemic Call has been renamed to Call of Earth -     Returns your totems to the earth, giving you 25% of the mana required to cast each totem destroyed by Call of Earth.
  • Tidal Waves has been changed to -     When you cast Chain Heal or Riptide, you have a 100% chance to lower the cast time of your Healing Wave spell by 30% and increase the critical effect chance of your Lesser Healing Wave spell by 25%, until two such spells have been cast. In addition, your Healing Wave gains an additional 4/8/12/16/20% of your bonus healing effects and your Lesser Healing Wave gains an additional 2/4/6/8/10% of your bonus healing effects.
  • Nature’s Guardian now give you a 100% chance to increase your maximum health by 15% for 10 sec instead of 50% chance to heal for 10% of your total health. Cooldown increased from 8 second to 30 second.
  • Mana Tide Totem now has 10% of the caster’s health. (Up from 5 health)
  • Nature’s Swiftness now has a 2 min cooldown. (Down from 3 min)
  • Improved Water Shield no longer consumes a Water Shield Orb when you gain a critical effect from your spells, now also has a 10/20/30% chance to proc from Chain Heal.
  • Ancestral Healing now reduces your target’s physical damage taken by 3/7/10% instead of increasing its armor by 8/16/25%.

Looking at those and looking at the set bonus I’m definitely starting to get excited. I’ll report more on it after I get some time in on the PTR, Lodur is transferred over on the PvE server for the PTR and will be getting some play time tonight after my raid and tomorrow for sure. I’ll update this when I get some more information on how the talents are working and how it feels in a raid environment, particularly hard modes.

What do you guys think of the Tier set and the Relic? Are you going to transfer over onto the PTR and try the new talents out? Are you looking forward to hard mode as a Shaman healer?

Until next time, Happy Healing.

Sig

Official 3.2 Patchnotes for Shamans

Official 3.2 Patchnotes for Shamans

Ok so yesterday I posted what the Devs were saying, but now they are officially up on the forums. Lets see what shamans have cooking for the patch and PTR

Shaman

  • A customizable totem bar will now be available for shaman allowing the storing of 4 different totems. These totems can be placed on the ground at once in one global cooldown for the combined mana cost of all 4 totems.
  • All Shocks now have a default range of 25 yards, up from 20 yards.
  • Base health increased by approximately 7% to correct for shamans having lower health than other classes.
  • Chain Heal: Jump distance increased to 10 yards. In addition, the amount of healing now decreases by 40% as it jumps to each new target, instead of 50%.
  • Ghost Wolf: Can now be learned at level 16. While in this form, snaring effects may not bring the shaman below base normal run speed.
  • Talents
    • Enhancement
      • Shamanistic Rage: Cooldown is now 1 minute, down from 2 minutes. Successful melee attacks now have a chance to generate mana equal to 15% of the shaman’s attack power, down from 30%.
    • Restoration
      • Ancestral Healing: The buff from this ability now reduces the physical damage taken by the target by 3/7/10% instead of increasing the target’s armor.
      • Cure Poison and Cure Disease: Combined into a single spell, Cure Toxins.
      • Earth Shield: Dispel effects will now remove charges of Earth Shield rather than the entire aura.
      • Healing Way: Redesigned. Rather than providing a chance of increasing Healing Wave spells on a friendly target, this talent now innately increases the effectiveness of the shaman’s Healing Wave by 8/16/25%.
      • Mana Tide Totem: Totem health now equal to 10% of the shaman’s health.
      • Nature’s Guardian: Redesigned. Now has a fixed 100% proc rate, has a 30-second internal cooldown and increases the shaman’s maximum health by 3/6/9/12/15% for 10 seconds.
      • Nature’s Swiftness: Cooldown is now 2 minutes, down from 3 minutes.
      • Tidal Waves: No longer reduces the cast time of Lesser Healing Wave by 30%. It instead now provides +25% critical strike chance to Lesser Healing Wave, along with the previous 30% cast time benefit to Healing Wave.

Lodur’s thoughts:

Oh my! We knew about the totem bars, and we knew an increase in health was comming. 7% increase will be very nice for our survivability in PvE as well as PvP

Nature’s swiftness – We already knew about but it’s nice to see it in print

Ancestral Healing – Great googly moogly thats awesome. I have to say reducing incomming damage by 10% that’s just amazing! And it scales ridiculously well with content. I mean Disc priests used to only get 3% from grace.  This change has made me excited (I hope this one stays! think of this with chain heal!)

Cure Toxins: With us having Cleanse spirit this change is kindda meh for restoration Shamans, but really awesome for odd PvP specs.

Earth Shield: More of a PvP buff but still pretty slick.

Healing Way: This is very handy. The change to this talent will let you roll your Healing Wave around a bit and I’m certain more people will use it now as a result. Maybe not much more, but a bit.

Nature’s Guardian: Also more of a PvP fix, but I’ve seen some Shaman pick it up for progression fights, which isn’t a half bad idea. The change to it could see more use esepecially in hard mode fights with lots of raid wide damage.

Tidal Waves: A lot of Shaman I’ve been talking to haven’t taken a shinning to this one yet. Personally I think it’s a great thing. The extra crit will let you get Ancestral Healing out there and its a fast heal to begin with. I like this change.

Improved Water Shield: 30% change to be triggered by Chain Heal is nice. Not losing an orb is even better. There have been too many hectic fights where you forget or just can’t spare the GCD to toss Water Shield back up. This takes care of that and lets you keep it up a bit longer, which will help your overall mana regen.

Chain Heal: We new the increase in range as well as the lower number on the healing reduction, but seeing it there is a comfort for sure

I can’t wait to test these out!

*edit*

I forgot to mention the replenishment nerf.

Replenishment: This buff now grants 1% of the target’s maximum mana over 5 seconds instead of 0.25% per second. This applies to all 5 sources of Replenishment (Vampiric Touch, Judgements of the Wise, Hunting Party, Enduring Winter Frostbolts and Soul Leech).

Also at the same time MP5 gear will be getting… more MP5

I do <3 me some MP5

Who wants to do some hard modes? What do you guys think so far?

I’ll update this post as needed, but until then, Happy Healing,

Sig

  • Improved Water Shield: This talent now has a 10/20/30% chance to be triggered by Chain Heal, and the charges of Water Shield are no longer consumed by this talent.