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

Bubbles and Crits: Paladins from 3.0 to 3.2

This is a guest post by jeffo, a Paladin blogger from Looking For More.

Before there is Cataclysm there was a cataclysm – a massive overhaul to WoW that patch 3.0.2 brought to the game. From this Holy Paladin’s perspective, these changes were more than welcome and, once I got used to 40-yard judgments, a spell that would let me heal two(!) targets at once and a greatly streamlined judgment system, I was in good shape. The road to level 80 also brought us a shield and a new mechanism for regenerating a lot of mana over a short period of time. The revisions to all three Paladin trees made many Holy Paladins rethink where their non-Holy points should be invested.

Prior to 3.0.2 most Holydins would go into Protection tree, primarily with the aim of picking up Blessing of Kings. With Wrath out most Holy Paladins decided to dig instead into the Retribution tree, picking up talents that increased spell crit by 8%. Although Kings remained in the same location in the Protection tree, the shuffling of talents around it made this build pale in comparison to a Holy/Ret spec. The crit talents took advantage of one of our key talents, Illumination, and enabled Holydins to stack Intellect, load up on crit gear, and Holy Light-spam our way through Naxxramas into Ulduar. Even as we watched a shameful moment in paladin history (Arthas disbanding the Silver Hand and sending Uther home in disgrace in Old Stratholme), healing Paladins seemed to be entering into a Golden Age, topping meters and putting out prodigious amounts of healing while our fellow healers were running dry.

Storm clouds appeared on the horizon in May when Ghostcrawler dropped the first hint that Blizzard was looking at nerfing Illumination. This touched off a vigorous debate on Plusheal.com (as opposed to the O-Boards, where it spawned much QQ from Paladins, and much ‘lol, nerf pallies, QQ moar’ from everyone else) about what this would mean if the change went through, though many seemed to believe that it wouldn’t.

It did.

On June 18, the news was announced, and it was even worse than we had imagined: Not only did the mana return from Illumination get cut in half, one of our key talents, Divine Intellect, was also getting cut by 5% at max level. Combined with an across-the-board nerf to Replenishment, it appeared that Holy Paladins were getting nerfed ‘to the ground, baby’ (sorry, can’t resist borrowing that quote from our favorite crab). Anguish and anger ruled the day on the O-Boards. We were going to be crippled, we were going to be benched. Never mind the huge buff to Beacon of Light (and it is huge), never mind the Flash of Light over Time effect on Sacred Shielded targets: Rerolls were incoming, subscriptions were being canceled. The Golden Age of the Paladin was over.

Or was it?

April’s Patch 3.1 introduced some new wrinkles that may well have been designed to lure healers out of the Ret tree: Divinity and Divine Sacrifice. With the nerfs incoming in patch 3.2, a number of Paladins began eyeballing and experimenting with Holy/Protection as an alternative. Siha at Banana Shoulders predicted on July 21st that a Holy/Prot spec would become the favored spec while other Paladin deeper in Ulduar than I were looking at this spec as a way to mitigate some of the high raid-wide damage seen in fights like Mimiron. Sadly, despite the theorycrafting that was going on, few people who were actually IN the PTR were posting their experiences with any real numbers. Instead, we got a mix of ‘it’s not too bad’ and ‘it sucks, I’m re-rolling’, so we were left to wait, wonder and speculate. Much of the speculation focused on whether or not the sky would fall when the patch went live.

Patch Goes Live, Sky Does Not Fall!

Just before the patch hit I dropped my 1000 gold on dual-spec training and created…a second healing spec. I went with a 51/20/0 ‘Bubble spec’, figuring there was no getting around the nerfs and that I was going to have to get used to it. A funny thing happened to me: I’ve been using the bubble spec almost exclusively ever since. A one-minute Sacred Shield is nice, and Divine Sacrifice is a very strong talent (provided I don’t inadvertently kill myself with it). I do miss not seeing quite as many BIG, GREEN NUMBERS as I used to, but with raid buffs I’m still typically critting well over thirty percent of the time, and have hit 40+% on some fights.

But what about the mana? Prior to 3.2 in my Crit spec, I was getting around 40% of my total mana regeneration from Illumination; Replenishment was a distant second at ~30%. Both were getting cut drastically in the patch, and switching to a Bubble spec would make my crit drop by another 8% or so – would I be able to heal, or would I find myself starved for mana?

In short, my mana is fine! Despite the fact that in bubble spec Illumination now only makes up 15-17% mana return, and Replenishment returns now seem to fall in the 25% range, I have had virtually no issues with mana to date. Even on fights where I find myself having to bomb Holy Lights, I’m not the healer that calls ‘Out of mana’ over vent – that doesn’t happen for me unless something’s gone very, very wrong in our raid. How can this be? I believe it’s due to a combination of the following:

  1. High crit rate: Despite the loss of 8% crit through my respec and the 50% Illumination nerf, I’m still regaining plenty of mana through crits. Unbuffed I stand at 27% Holy crit; with full raid buffs, I’m still typically critting on 40% of my heals.
  2. Guardian, Sacrifice and Shield: With 2 points in Divine Guardian, Sacred Shield lasts one minute (as opposed to 30 seconds untalented), and absorbs 20% more damage per hit. Divine Sacrifice can eat up a pretty high amount of damage every two minutes. Fewer shield refreshes, more damage absorbed = mana savings.
  3. Play Style: Three big things in this category: First, I’ve become better about finding safe spots in fights to use Divine Plea; second, I’m getting back into the habit of using Divine Illumination whenever I can (I used to use it pretty much every cooldown, but got out of the habit since the expansion, simply because I didn’t need it); third, where I’ve traditionally done my healing from 40 yards away, I will now be found a little more often around the bosses’ feet. A single swing with Seal of Wisdom active can get you enough mana for your next Holy Light, depending on the size of your mana pool.

Based on my experience, Bubbledins seem to be faring pretty well so far: we can still put out very large numbers and our mana seems to hold up well over long, healing intensive fights. I think that it actually makes us a more well-rounded healer than we were heading into the patch. But what about the holdouts? The nerfs seemed to be aimed pretty squarely at Int-stacking, Crit-bombing, Holy retadins, and there’s still a lot of them out there. For my next act (Matt willing) I will take a look at some numbers and reports from my critting cousins. A bit more research is in order, and it may mean taking the Crit spec back out of the garage and into Ulduar again – should be fun!