A small warning for anyone gearing up an alt or grabbing those last few pieces of Ruthless this week: a new set of honor gear will be added next week. It won’t be a massive upgrade on Ruthless, but it’ll still be superior. In that regard, maybe take a break and wait until next week to farm any gear. However, if you want to jump straight into arena or RBGs next week, then you won’t be at a huge disadvantage if you do choose to farm Ruthless.
Of course, any honor points above the 4000 will be converted into gold next week. If you don’t want the gold, spend it on Ruthless or enchanting mats for the new season.
If you want to grab a few pieces right away next week then make sure to stockpile Honor and Justice Points (convert honor if you hate dungeons). That’s 6667 honor points and three set pieces or a few more pieces if you buy offset.
The first change to discuss here is this:
Spells which have an effect broken by taking damage past a threshold (Entangling Roots, Fear, Frost Nova, etc.) now count damage that was prevented by damage absorbs or other damage reducing effects.
This is great to hear and there’s really nothing else to say on the matter. Frankly, CC on you or your partners been lengthened due to use of your own abilities was something that should have been fixed quite some time ago.
Melee MS Effects have been buffed to 25%:
Monstrous Bite now reduces the target’s healing received by 25%, up from 10%.
Widow Venom now reduces the target’s healing received by 25%, up from 10%.
Wound Poison now reduces the target’s healing received by 25%, up from 10%.
Mortal Strike now reduces the target’s healing received by 25%, up from 10%.
Furious Attacks now reduces the target’s healing received by 25%, up from 10%.
Blizzard has stated their reasoning for this:
We dropped the healing debuff from 50% to 10% some time ago, but were convinced at 10% that it was hard to appreciate the effect at all. We want to try Mortal Strike et al. at 25% to see if it feels useful but not mandatory. If 25% is too much and 10% is too little, then it may mean the entire mechanic may not have much of a future. We decided to only change the debuff for the warrior, rogue, and hunter, restoring the original relationship between “strong” and “weak” MS that we had in Lich King.
10% MS was certainly quite insignificant and unnoticeable. The threat of removing the mechanic is probably meant in terms of MoP. Indeed, based on what they’ve said about Restoration Druids (see druid section), we’re unlikely to see many changes at all until MoP.
In my opinion, casters will still remain dominant in season 11. Indeed, 50% MS did very little to diminish the power of Wizard cleaves in Season 8. The strength of Warlock/Shaman/X comps, while taking a hit with the Wind Shear nerf, will still remain dominant throughout the season. In fact, the nerf to Wind Shear was effectively a buff to casters. Although whether Shaman will be willing to drop instant Ghost Wolf for 5 second Wind Shear remains to be seen. Furthermore, it’ll be interesting to see how damage scales compared with resilience this patch. Casters are already capable of awesome damage and that’s just going to grow next season.
Regardless, this change will provide the biggest buff to any Rogue comp. Hunters will still remain retarded on Ring of Valor and Jungle Cleave and PHD didn’t really need the buff. Burst comps are dumb. In terms of Warriors, they only seem to be viable in Cataclysm when their damage is absolutely retarded. In fact, the MS buff is likely to benefit DKs more than warriors. Indeed, with any of the MS melee, the interacting between MS and NS is going to be interesting to see.
We’ll have to see how things play out next week to get a definite answer on how Season 11 is going to progress.
While normally I’m vehemently against any sort of DK buff, the change to Death Strike was a good move. RNG should be limited as much as possible in PvP. Unfortunately though, this change had nothing to do with reducing RNG and was, in fact, intended to be a buff for DK tanks. However, they should certainly consider doing this for other abilities in the future. Expertise does somewhat limit the occurrence of dodges and parries, but not entirely. In terms of hit—and providing there’s no remaining chance to hit reduction talents in the game—this should remain something DKs and every other class has to gear for or be potentially punished for if they fail to do so.
The extra armour in Blood Presence is unlikely to provide much of an increase in survivability against melee.
The Unholy Might buff and Gargoyle change should hopefully encourage even more DKs to move away from the brain dead spec known as Frost and play the more skilful spec of Unholy.
Presumably Blizzard is still “keeping a close eye” on Feral Druids. It’s only been four months since they made that statement!
Their potential fix of nerfing Predator’s Swiftness (instant Cyclone) was nowhere to be seen in 4.3 and so we can assume they believed Feral to be balanced after the Unheeded Warning nerf. However, Predator’s Swiftness is still far too powerful in my view and needs an internal cooldown.
The pushback change was a decent move and should help Restoration out a tiny bit. It was somewhat frustrating to hear Blizzard state that healers should only have pushback protection for heals and DPS for damage in their explanation of balance changes. The aim of PvP should be to be to encourage players to use their full arsenal of utility, not to push them down this single mentality mindset of do nothing but heal or damage. In that regard, spell pushback talents should be done away with and pushback should simply be 30% of what it currently is.
As to the nerf to Wild Growth, it’s frankly a kick in the teeth to an already downtrodden spec. Although the change was made for PvE reasons and won’t likely impact much on PvP, it’s still disappointing to see such a nerf take place when nothing was done to fix the state of Restoration in PvP. What’s worse though is Blizzards decision to answer a question about their weak state with this statement:
We will definitely be addressing some of the PvP weakness of Resto Druids in 5.0
Err… there’s at least five months left until the next expansion, possibly more.
This statement is ridiculous and raises the question if they’ll bother to address any other issues that arise in 4.3. Working on releasing faster expansions is one thing, but doing so at the expense of the current game is retarded to say the least. It’s an awful attitude and makes you wonder if they’ve thrown in the towel on Cataclysm.
Well there’s always a silver lining. At least we didn’t have to put up with infinite mana druid vs. druid borefests at BlizzCon this year. I still haven’t fully woken up since watching Talbadars triple healer comp last year.
According to Elitist Jerks Marksman is still ahead of the other specs, but not by a great margin. However, these changes are unlikely to encourage Hunters to switch from Marksman and lose Silencing Shot and Readiness. Furthermore, Marksman is still superior for switches.
In a nutshell: nothing to see here, moving on.
To state the bleeding obvious, this does nothing to make Fire competitive with Frost. However, even though they’ll remain Frost where it matters, quite a few people do enjoy the spec so expect to see a few more Fire Mages from time to time.
Hey I had to say something! Wait until we get to Rogues.
The Holy Radiance sprint is now triggered solely by Divine Protection, which has a 30 second cooldown. This is interesting and will see Paladins having to choose between using the sprint offensively and risk not having Divine Protection up or having the damage reduction available. These types of choices are always interesting in PvP.
The change to Judgment will depend entirely on how much spirit each Paladin possesses. If they have too little, this will be a nerf to their mana regeneration. Those with a decent level of spirit though aren’t likely to notice a difference. Its unfortunate they’ve made this change though because having to use Judgement more frequently added an extra layer to the spec. It gave them something other than healing to manage.
The Retribution change presumably is intended to say Sanctified Wrath. This is a good change. Regardless of how represented Ret was last season, they easily had the highest burst potential by far. Unfortunately, they’re overpowered with cooldowns and abysmal without them. Blizzard needs to balance their damage out.
Divine Hymn will now be more useful in 5v5 and Rated BGs and Divine Aegis has a new spell effect. Yes I’m clutching at straws here.
As to atonement, it’s only mentioned for the purposes of a small rant. The talent is useless. Rather than promote our offensive play style as Blizzard intended, it, along with all the other Smite talents, is a waste of talent points. Firstly there’s the range issue, frankly it should be 40 yards from the casting Priests position. Secondly there’s the fact, for some unbeknownst reason, Blizzard decided to reduce the amount it heals the casting Priest for by 50%. But those flaws are minute in comparison to the fact Atonement is reduced by resilience! Crap talent for PvP, not going to be useful unless changed and it’ll be an excuse for Blizzard to keep the damage of Smite low in MoP.
Rant over, moving on.
Unfortunately time is scarce and I will not be able to cover the overwhelming number of Rogue changes.
The change to Wind Shear will have an impact, but Shaman will still remain the strongest healer and have, indeed, been buffed in the healing department. In fact, the Wind Shear change is just a continuation of Blizzard assault on utility. They couldn’t nerf the real issue and reduce Shaman healing because of the PvE implications, so instead nerfed their utility.
Of course, all Shaman specs can pick up Reverberation. However, the loss of instant Ghost Wolf is likely to be deemed too costly by some. The indirect nerf to Enhancement Shaman is also an issue here, but Blizzard didn’t seem to care when questioned about it at BlizzCon. If they do select Reverberation, they’ll also be able to pick up the 12% magical damage reduction and receive a 5 second Wind Shear.
The most amusing part of this “nerf” though has to be this:
We buffed Riptide outright and gave Ancestral Healing a new mechanic of boosting the target’s max health. These buffs are also intended to help offset some of the loss of Wind Shear for PvP.
Err… Best PvP Healer with the best PvP Mastery in the game.
To be fair the healing changes were made due to the lacklustre PvE state of Restoration Shaman in 4.2, but there was no need to add this line about offsetting the Wind Shear change in PvP. Indeed, they’re likely to remain the best healer in PvP and there was little need for this change in that regard.
As to new portion of Ancestral Healing, apparently it’s all heals (not just crits) and Riptide refreshes the effect which suggests it stacks. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to learn much about the talent and whether the effect is dispellable like the physical damage reduction portion of the talent. Regardless, if it really does stack then we might start seeing Shaman pre-heal in order to create a damage buffer on any viable target. This isn’t something they needed, but this is the type of crap you get when Blizzard can’t be bothered to balance PvE and PvP separately.
They’ve also offset the crapness of this new spell effect by buffing Demon Soul by 20%.
There are also a number of buffs to Demonology and Destruction, but nothing that’s going to make either spec superior to Affliction.
While the Charge change is perfectly justified, there’s a part of me that enjoyed predicting and jumping the ability. It wasn’t exactly the most skilful activity in the game, but nonetheless it was fun. However, the ability to jump charge was always a bug and this change should have been implemented quite some time ago. If it ends up actually working…
They’ll award 100 conquest points for the daily (up from 25) and 50 for every win up to the cap:
In patch 4.3 we’re changing the daily battleground (BG) to reward 100 conquest for a win (up from 25). In addition, every non-rated BG that you win will also give you 50 conquest. There is no limit to how many BGs you can run this way, up to the normal conquest cap.
Our intent is to start acting even more on our Mists of Pandaria philosophies of encouraging players to approach the content they want to, how they want to, and be able to work toward meaningful player progression. Arenas and rated battlegrounds will still earn Conquest faster, but with this change you can now work your way up by running normal BGs, if you so choose.
Arena and RBGs will still be much faster. Indeed, it’ll take at least 30 wins or so to cap Conquest Points in BGs. Furthermore, anyone who doesn’t participate in arena or RBGs will be stuck at the base conquest cap.
On this matter though, Blizzard should take note of their “Mists of Pandaria philosophies” and balance the Conquest point acquisition in Arena and RBGs. It’s absolutely fine for RBGs to cap points faster (say 3 wins or so), but it certainly isn’t fine to provide a higher conquest point cap per week than arena for the same rating. Indeed, RBGs and Arena cater to different people and should be different roots to reaching the same conquest point cap.
These stunning Legendary Daggers will be making their way to an arena near you:
No need reinventing the wheel here:
Did the Warglaives not give you a slight clue that making another legendary useable in arena might just be a bad idea? Did Shadowmourne not give you inkling that well allowing that damn there staff in PvP might just be a bad idea? It’s arguably the most powerful legendary to date.
It has yet to get to the Shadowmourne or Warglaives level (one person has it…) so scrap it now! Prevention is better than cure, keep that in mind Blizzard.
Oh wait, wrote that months ago, now the staff is everywhere and overpowered as expected. It has received a nerf in 4.3, but that barely fixes the issue.
There’s a bunch of retarded PvE trinkets in the Dragon Soul raid as well.
Implement it Blizzard.
“Hey let’s raise the cost of PvP weapons so PvE players don’t feel obliged to PvP”
Vice versa? Morons.
The way we’re hoping to set it up, and we kind of have this working but things could change before we go live, is when you kill a boss on normal or heroic mode, each player gets a geode, and when they open the geode there’s a chance they may find an epic gem inside…They’ll be somewhat rare. It may take the entire content cycle before someone has replaced every red gem they have, but they won’t be so rare that you won’t see them.
As stated in the 4.3 Spot a PvP Change Extravaganza:
“Firstly, I will admit we’re in the early days of 4.3 [PTR] and Blizzard has ample time to correct this stupid decision. However, the mere fact they completely disregarded the PvP community when first deciding on this issue says enough.
A solution to this could be to mail a number of these geodes to players who cap their conquest points. If you receive more geodes for heroic encounters, then everyone above say 2.2k rating should receive extra geodes as well. If they want to keep these gems rare, they should cap the number of geodes you can receive per week. This way the PvP community wouldn’t feel obliged to do PvE and vice versa. It’d be fair for everyone.”
The PvP community is still waiting for Blizzard to act on this matter and others are still waiting for the Dance Studio. Good luck to both parties.
If Blizzard truly believes in this Mists of Pandaria philosophy of playing the game how you want to, then they’re implementation of it is quite poor to say the least. They need to act on this issue and provide the PvP community with a method of obtaining epic gems. The solution suggested above would be adequate.