Mages, ten-man raiding, and other things that are awesome.

Posts tagged ‘patch notes’

Patch 4.3 Notes: This Just In

The news about patch 4.3 is coming fast and furious! I have a few posts in the works at the moment, none of which seem particularly relevant in the face of so many announcements. So instead, you’re going to get me doing a bit of rambling.

Tier Sets and other Fashion Concerns

First of all, for the most part I really like the tier sets they’ve previewed thus far. I even like the mage one, with a caveat. I do not want to wear it, but I like it. I think it’s going to look amazing on a gnome mage. I think it would not have looked amazing on my mage, but I’ll look forward to seeing it modeled by the esteemed Fsob. I think the other tier sets are strong, but there’s something they said that worries me.

Most of this tier was attempting to play off a new ability the class got in Cataclysm, so for instance Time Warp for mages and Wild Mushroom for druid, in some cases (like warrior or warlock) there’s playing off of the raid and those themes, and then for others it’s a bit more just doing something we think represents the class in a more abstract manner. We’re putting them up as soon as they’re done, essentially, so from here on out they’re likely to be posted rather randomly.

I read this blue post and I cringed…Does this mean that this is what the paladin tier set is going to look like?

I mean, it’s… I guess it’s not… It could be worse, but it’s just SO YELLOW. This may sound funny coming from someone playing a paladin, but I don’t even like yellow. Fortunately (as Voss reminded me) if I hate the tier set, it’s coming out when Transmogrification is coming out, so it isn’t going to matter!

I am happy to hear that there will be a “dungeon set” for the three new five-mans. Dungeon sets were something I really enjoyed from BC and Vanilla; it was nice to have a cohesive set of visually matching gear to pursue even if you weren’t a raider, and even now these remain some of my favourite sets. Everyone likes to match their gear, right? Well, some people might not, but that’s a whole other concern.

New Five-Person Content

Yes. This cannot come soon enough for me. If I never see another troll again in-game (sorry, my Berserking friends) it will be too soon. I looked at the armory of all my heroic-running characters to add this up and illustrate my point. I have run Zul’aman fifty-four times. I have run Zul’Gurub fifty-five times. That’s a total of one hundred and nine troll instances since they were released. I am done with trolls, and I don’t think the idea of having an “upper” tier of heroics was necessarily a great one, either. Sure, it was fun initially because the troll heroics are pretty tough, require CC and coordination. But since maxing VP every week is the model for the fastest gear acquisition (and being in a progression raiding guild, I made the choice to maximize mine each week), there was definitely an obligation to do troll heroics, often. I still find that I can sometimes enjoy them – the fights are interesting, pugs can be just inept enough to keep things tense – but I will be greatly relieved to go do some other instances for awhile.

And the new instances look great! From a lore perspective, I am fascinated to go to the Well of Eternity. The End of Time also has an awesome hook. Post-apocalyptic Azeroth? Fighting shades of faction and other leaders? Sign me up!

I only hope that because she is going to be a dungeon boss, that Tyrande gets a much-needed model upgrade. Not a lazy upgrade, either – an honest-to-goodness model made just for her. After the art debacle, she surely deserves that much!

"You know, I've been dead for AGES and I still have better textures than you."

(Above wallpaper image compilation is by Jujin on Deviantart). Another aside, because I can’t help myself – why not Echo of Velen? You know he could be scary! Heck, Eredar are scary, aren’t they? Yes, I know, draenei aren’t getting any love this expansion. I can only hope they remember we exist in the next.

My talking chandelier and I are going to **** you up! Aw, man. The Naaru have not forgotten us, but Blizzard has.

Random Other Things

Tier 13 will not be available at all from valor points.

It’s an interesting departure from the previous models. I’m a bit leery of this change if only because of the fact that drops for tens are so fickle. We had the same token something like four weeks running. There are still people on our token (our priest, myself) who don’t have shoulder or head tokens. At least if my armor looks like the most terrible mishmash of random Firelands stuff mixed with whatever T13 off-set will be, I’ll be able to Transmogrify it to look halfway decent. Unless there IS no T13 off-set. Hmm. I’ll have to reserve judgement on this for the time being.

The new legendaries are two daggers (main hand and offhand) that are only usable by all three Rogue specs. Combat Rogues will be made to use these daggers as well without a DPS loss. The questline will revolve around the pure black dragon (from the egg in the Badlands) and features several Rogue-centric elements.

Good. I’m happy for our rogue (our ONE rogue). A legendary that doesn’t cause guild drama is okay in my books.

Melee classes will be getting a buff that is only active in the new raid to help them compete with ranged classes.

Now this is interesting. They obviously know that ranged DPS is strongly favoured over melee, and has been for quite a few tiers. Without taking into account the interrupt requirements of T11, in almost all cases it was a no-brainer to stack ranged DPS. Now that my offspec is a melee DPS I’m definitely feeling it. It’s like, I COULD go retribution for this fight but that would bring us up to x number of melee and probably hurt us in the fight overall. It’s frustrating. This is a bit of a bandaid solution, but at least it says that the issue is on their radar.

The new Looking for Raid tool is going to have lockouts separate from “regular” raids. Functionally, this probably just means I’ll have a new way to torture myself with belligerent strangers. I’ll probably try it out once or twice just to see what the difficulty is like, and possibly garner some pug stories. (The things I do to gather blog fodder…)

Epic Gems

For raiders, this will be an interesting move from epic gems of previous expansions.

Epic gems will drop in the new raid in Normal and Heroic only. Each player gets a geode when a boss is killed which has a small chance to contain an epic gem, most will have rare gems. It is rare enough to take all of 4.3 to replace all of your red rare quality gems with red epic gems.

Even with limited gem availability, it’s always been our policy to put the BEST available gems in your gear, regardless of item level. If it was available, and an upgrade – you had to swap them out. It doesn’t sound like that’s going to be a viable option here, depending on how truly rare they are. If there are never any on the auction house, you can’t very well buy them to put in your gear. This may lead to some careful consideration about just what gear you put your fancy new gems in, when you can get your hands on them.

Will any of them be prospectable? Will they still drop from fishing bags? Will they be buffing Jewelcrafting gems to be on par with these new ones? (I suppose not, considering that the 81 Intellect advantage a JC currently has is equivalent to the other profession’s bonuses).

Firelands was nerfed so that players could see the content and continue progression instead of hitting a wall in heroic modes.

“Quite a few” new profession recipes will be added.

Northrend will require 2/3rd of the experience it does now, making leveling alts faster.

Old PvP armor will come back for transmogrification.

I should look more closely into the stats about not only who has been downing heroic bosses, but also who has been trying and failing to down them. Other than that, “quite a few new” profession recipes should be good (and may or may not determine whether I drop engineering), quick Northrend leveling will be nice for people leveling alts or new characters, and more Transmogrification options are always welcome.

Besides all of that, don’t forget that this patch also includes the new and improved Darkmoon Faire. There should be quite a bit going on when the patch comes out!

The New and Improved Darkmoon Faire

Screenshot taken from MMO Champion.

New patch 4.3 news hit today with another doozy – the Darkmoon Faire is getting a revamp! I think this is fantastic, because the DMF is something that’s been ongoing for years but I never really knew what to do with it. I mean, I knew you could buy a few things there, get rep with them or something, turn in decks of cards, etc. but it always felt like something that was from another age.

I’ll be honest with you, I love the gypsy and fortune-telling carnival tropes. Back when I played Ultima Online (a billion years ago) I played on a player-run server and my character was actually a fortune-teller. One of the GMs made me a special item that was a deck of cards, and when you clicked it, it became a spread of cards as an accessory for fortune-telling! I had a lot of fun playing that character (and dressing her up in outrageous clothes) so it’s no surprise that a decade later I am excited to transmogrify a carnival outfit and explore the new Darkmoon Faire.

Things have changed ‘round here: we’ve got an island all to ourselves now, and what an island it is. Mist-shrouded Darkmoon Island is a conundrum wrapped in an enigma.

It has its own island! I love islands. I liked the Island of Quel’Danas (actually known as the “Isle of WTF” in local parlance). It was my first experience with dailies, and I liked the look and feel of it and the self-contained nature of the dailies. You went to the island, you did the dailies, you were done. Tol Barad has been a pale shadow by comparison, although I like it too. Will this island have dailies? I guess they won’t be dailies because it’s a once-monthly thing, but I still like the idea of there being quests.

Of course, there’s more to the Darkmoon Faire than just fantastic shows and culinary delights. You can still turn in your Darkmoon Cards, but you wouldn’t just come here for measly ol’ cards when there’s so much more to see, experience, and win. Yes, win! You like dancing bears, right? Everybody likes dancing bears. Even bears like dancing bears. How about a dancing bear… you can ride!

That’s not all! We have adorable companion pets includin’ a fez-wearing monkey, a plethora of profession recipes, toys, balloons, souvenirs, delectable carnival snacks and beverages, heirlooms for the little ones, and even replicas of long-lost suits of armor that we’re offering for your Transmogrification needs. You can also make your mark with new achievements and titles. All it takes to earn these fabulous rewards is a few Darkmoon Faire Prize Tickets and a good reputation with the carnies. How do ya get your grubby mitts on some tickets? I’m glad you asked!

I read this, and all I see are: mounts, pets, achievements, titles. Yes, I can’t help that I am an achievement hunter and an avid collector. Something new to chase? I’m there. Also, not to be overlooked: long-lost suits of armor. Blizzard had said they wanted to make available some sets that were no longer obtainable in the game. I think this is an elegant way to do that; it still works within the game world and it makes sense that the DMF may have acquired that kind of thing in their travels. Expect to work hard to obtain them (or pay out the nose), though. I don’t think they’ll be willing to part with their collection easily!

You won’t have to go too far out of your way to get ‘em and each month you’ll get a new opportunity to seek out an Artifact for us. What do you get out of the deal? Don’t you worry, you’ll get your cut. When you bring a Darkmoon Artifact back to us, you’ll get valuable experience (it builds character, you know!), earn a better reputation, and possibly earn precious Darkmoon Faire Prize Tickets too!

Oh, did I mention that you can use the Field Guide to get to Darkmoon Island whenever the Darkmoon Faire’s monthly extravaganza is up and running?

Artifact collecting? Well, it’s obviously going to be part of the rep grind with DMF, and that’s okay…I just hope it isn’t a bunch of random junk that will clutter up my bags. I have enough of that already.

Maybe you’d like a little peek behind the scenes, eh? Want to see what it takes to run the greatest show on Azeroth? Well, it’s not all sunshine and cotton candy, my friend. There are beasts to heal, food to cook, and buildings to fix. If you’re willing help keep the show going and put your skills to work, you’ll not only impress us, but you can get experience, Darkmoon Prize Tickets, and even polish up your skills — up to five skill points per profession, per Faire week, if you’re good at what you do!

This is a little bit random, but I really hope that this isn’t going to include the “seedy underbelly” of the DMF. Disreputable carnivals and circuses are generally known as places where animals are poorly treated, suffer rough conditions, cruel training, etc. I haven’t been to an actual circus since I was really little. Maybe I’m basing too much of my bias on scenes from Dumbo, but they do give me an iffy feeling. (With the notable exception of the Cirque du Soleil, which only has human performers that chose to be there). Anyway – I just hope there are no bears in tiny cages. I doubt it’s something Blizz would take a chance on, but I suppose you never know.

Darkmoon Mages in capital cities and on Darkmoon Island will also be around to help you get between the Faire and various capital cities. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, so naturally you’re obliged to compensate them for their services.

No mage comes free, but you knew that, right?

Overall, I think that the new and improved Darkmoon Faire sounds like fun! I’m looking forward to seeing it, playing some silly games, adding some mini-pets to my collection, and hopefully having a new island that I enjoy as much as I once enjoyed the Isle of WTF. I enjoy things like torch tossing, juggling and throwing, though – and also the Plants vs Zombies mini-game, so this is right up my ally. Your mileage may vary!

 

 

Patch 4.0.6 for Mages

We interrupt the regularly scheduled Tuesday Art Day for more pressing matters. First, here’s a video from the genius of Greyfoo to make you laugh while you’re waiting for the servers to come back up. What do mages have to look forward to? I’ve cut the relevant part of the patch notes out here. A few of them are mostly relevant to me (unless you’re also a draenei mage, in which case, draenei solidarity!) I’ve put commentary underneath most of the things. (TL;DR – most mages are going to be pretty happy today, and we’re going to hope things work out well for Frost). Gazimoff wrote an analysis of 4.0.6 worth checking out a little while back, with more explanation. If you’d like to read the full list of patch notes, they’re available here.

Mages

  • Arcane Barrage mana cost has been reduced by 8%.
  • Arcane Blast mana cost has been reduced by 12%.
  • The mana costs of Arcane Brilliance and Dalaran Brilliance have been reduced by approximately 16%, making them roughly equal to the cost of Mark of the Wild.
  • Counterspell lockout duration reduced to 7 seconds, down from 8.
  • Fireball mana cost has been reduced to 9% of base mana.
  • Flame Orb now ignores critters.
  • Frostfire Bolt mana cost has been reduced to 9% of base mana.
  • Mage Armor now reduces the duration of magic effects by 35%, down from 50%.
  • Molten Armor, Frost Armor, and Mage Armor no longer cost mana.
  • Polymorph now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
  • Ring of Frost: Radius shrunk to 8 yards, and inner “safe” radius is now 4.7 yards (exactly matching graphic). Dispelling the effect of Ring of Frost will now make the target immune to being refrozen for 3 seconds. If a second Ring of Frost is cast by the same mage while the first is still active (via Cold Snap), the first will now disappear and cease functioning. In addition, Ring of Frost now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
  • When a mage uses the Invisibility spell, it will now also cause their pet Water Elemental to become invisible.

Most of this stuff is great news – mana reduction, mana reduction – Flame Orb gets marginally smarter, and Ring of Frost gets a predicted nerf. Also, when I’m questing in Frost I won’t have to abandon poor Speak to certain death because he’ll go invisible when I do. Good stuff overall! There’s a nerf in here for Mage Armor too, but in the grand scheme of things it’s not too terrible.

Talent Specializations
Arcane

  • Slow now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.

Fire

  • Firestarter now allows the mage to cast Scorch while moving (regardless of which armor spell is used), and no longer eliminates Molten Armor’s critical strike chance reduction.
  • Flashburn (Mastery) benefit per mastery has been increased by 12%.
  • Living Bomb mana cost has been reduced by 22%.

Frost

  • Deep Freeze damage done has been reduced by 20%.
  • Fingers of Frost can no longer be dispelled and now also increases Ice Lance damage by 15%.
  • Frost Specialization now only grants 2 base points of mastery (instead of 8), reducing all Frost damage to frozen targets by 15% from previous values. However, Frost Specialization now increases base Frostbolt damage by 15%.

More PvP adjustments for Arcane. Firestarter is greatly improved and now we can cast scorch while moving regardless of armor (“I’m casting scorch while mooooving guys!”, my guild hears this pretty often) AND Molten Armor will now grant crit. So that’s a straight-up buff, enjoy your new crit! Flashburn also gets a 12% increase which is pretty substantial. This along with the mana cost improvements to Fireball and Frostfire Bolt means Fire mages should be  pretty happy with these changes.

As for Frost, I had read that they claimed what looks like nerfs is actually a normalization and that Frost and Fire mages have been performing similarly on the PTR. We’ll have to see how this plays out – if anything it should save our frost mage from a heart attack when he uses Deep Freeze a few seconds into a boss fight.

Mage bug fixes

  • Arcane Power now has its tooltip updated when Glyph of Arcane Power is active.
  • The attachment point of Cone of Cold was too far left and has been adjusted on male troll models.
  • Evocation was returning less mana than the tooltip stated it should. This has been corrected.
  • Flame Orb’s tooltip should now state how much damage it will explode for after the Fire Power talent is chosen.
  • Rank 1 Frostfire Orb is no longer applying a debuff that incorrectly states that it snares its target.
  • The Hurricane weapon enchant should no longer proc when Polymorph is cast.
  • Molten Armor tooltips now display the correct information.
  • Nether Vortex was causing Arcane Blast to yield a string error when Arcane Blast was reflected. It shouldn’t do that.
  • When Presence of Mind was active, Conjure Mana Gem was not becoming an instant cast spell if used to refresh a stack of 2 or less Mana Gems. This has been fixed.
  • Presence of Mind is no longer consumed when Flame Orb is cast.
  • Ring of Frost can now be cast and works properly on transports (this includes elevators, trapdoors, etc.).

I’m not sure how great the discrepancy was between actual mana and the tooltip, but evocation will give a bit more mana. Now, I don’t see it mentioned here but I’m sure I read it elsewhere. There was a bug where putting only one point into Pyromaniac was granting a flat 5% haste all the time. This is being remedied and will no longer be the case.

Glyph fixes

  • Glyph of Arcane Power should correctly reduce the global cooldown of Blink, Mana Shield, and Mirror Image to 0.
  • Ice Barrier’s tooltip is now correctly updated by Glyph of Ice Barrier.

Items

  • Bell of Enraging Resonance can now trigger from any damage spell instead of only critical strikes.

Worth noting if you have this trinket from Atramedes – it seems it just got better!

Alchemy

  • Alchemist’s Stones for Agility, Strength, and Intellect have been added.

If you’re an alchemist, in which case you already get twice as long for your flasks and rub my face in it during raids and…why in my day we used our normal flasks and we liked them, too! Grumble, etc. No really, enjoy your fancy new trinket, alchemists.

Enchanting

  • Three new bracer enchants are available. They increase Agility by 50, Strength by 50, or Intellect by 50 respectively. Item level 300 or higher required. These new recipes are rare world drops.
  • Enchant Off-Handed – Superior Intellect now increases Intellect by 40, down from 100.

If you’ve been using Crit or Hit to your bracers, you’ll be wanting to find this new enchant when you can! Meantime, good-bye 60 intellect. I loved you.
Engineering

  • Synapse Springs now increase Agility, Strength, or Intellect (whichever is highest for the character). In addition, the effect now lasts 10 seconds, down from 12.

I’m not an engineer, but this sounds good if you are a one.

Jewelcrafting

  • Meta gems with the Chaotic and Relentless prefixes now have a requirement of 3 red gems.
  • New meta gems have been added: Agile Shadowspirit Diamond (Agility/3% critical damage), Reverberating Shadowspirit Diamond (Strength/3% critical damage), and Burning Shadowspirit Diamond (Intellect/3% critical damage). These new recipes are unbound and can drop from any Cataclysm creature. The new meta gems have a requirement of 3 red gems equipped.
  • Vivid Dream Emerald (new gem) provides resilience/spell penetration and can be purchased for 3 Illustrious Tokens.
  • Wrath of the Lich King purple, green, and orange gems have been increased in cost to match red, blue, and yellow epic gems (220 Justice Points). Burning Crusade epic gems have been increased in cost to match the most expensive Wrath of the Lich King gems.

What we have all been waiting for! Take note, if you’ve been using a meta other than Chaotic (and it wasn’t worth using Chaotic) you will now want to switch to Chaotic immediately until you can get your hands on the Burning Shadowspirit Diamond. Unfortunately the recipe is a world drop. When you’re able to obtain it, it will be the meta of choice and I am very excited.

As for the other changes, no more swapping Justice Points for cheap and resell able Burning Crusade gems, and a new spell penetration/resilience gem available for PvPers. But did I mention the new meta gems? Because there are these new meta gems…!

Races

  • The draenei racial trait Gift of the Naaru now heals 20% of the target’s health over 15 seconds, rather than a scaling value.

For me this translates to approximately a 21K heal. It used to scale with my spellpower, and I think it heals for less this way, but I’m still going to be using it pretty much on cooldown.

Character info window

  • The Haste display on the Character Info window (C) now shows the total haste percentage, rather than only haste from haste rating.

A minor quality of life improvement so you can see your total haste. Not a big thing, but worth noting.

Have fun burning, freezing, and… er…blasting some things, fellow mages! Do you have a better idea for the arcane verb: to kill things with targeted magic? Feel free to share it in the comments!

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