No release date yet, but the patch notes are steadily coming out and they’re getting better with every day. So, without dragging on – I’m sure everyone who reads it knows all of the changes anyway, so here’s my top 3 of each category. Not going to download the PTR this time, I’d rather work on my live realm characters first.
Quality of Life
These are things that will make my life in WoW much better.
- Rebuke being availaible to all specs of paladins. This is the best change ever, and I don’t even have to play a paladin to tell you that. It’s enough that I have to play a dps warrior and do heroics with one tanking.
- A socket has been added to all crafted epic armor pieces that did not already have one. Oh yes, yes, yes.
- Guild group for dungeons starts with 3 guildies (and the associated changes to rep and experience amounts when you have 3/4/5 guildies in a heroic). Good change, getting the guild rep to honored took me long enough, and there’s still a lot of things that require it to be revered.
There’s so many stuff I like here, it’s hard to choose only three of them. There has been
a few of annoyed reactions about these in the community (oh well… actually I thought there would be more, but from my list of blogs I could only find Larisa’s post. Sorry miss Innkeeper. ;] ), but really folks, just read through them. Half of the changes are making things more visible, how can that be a nerf or a bad thing? And some things are getting fixed or buffed, like the Lockjaw fight.
- The visual for Rock Borers spawning during the submersion phase is now different from the Thrashing Charge visual. Hell yes. And all other changes that fix spell visuals – my laptop isn’t the best, and I’d really like to see things that I shouldn’t stand in. Being killed because I missed a little patch of a ground moving (because for example, there was a ton of adds running through it and their healthbars completely obscured the screen) sucks.
- Players may still use spell and abilities while afflicted by Forgemaster Throngus’s Impaling Slam. Why yes, I’d like my healer to be able to continue to heal me through unavoidable damage from the archers.
- He now knocks away players standing too close to him when he retracts his Cyclone Shield, which now inflicts Nature damage if it touches players. Good as well. Right now every group just stands there and ignores the cyclones.
I won’t do other classes (apart from Rebuke, which just ROCKS), mostly because Vrethir is still the only one with 85 and running heroics, so I don’t really feel knowledgeable enough.
- Juggernaut no longer increases the cooldown on Charge, but instead increases the duration of the Charge stun by 2 seconds. In addition, Charge is usable in all stances, however, the talent now causes Charge and Intercept to share a cooldown. This one’s cool. I never really understood what was the point of increasing the Charge’s cooldown, it was just very annoying to wait that additional 5 seconds. Being able to switch to prot and still use Charge is nice as well.
- Inner Rage has been redesigned. It now reduces the cooldown on Heroic Strike and Cleave by 50% (to 1.5 second) for the next 15 seconds. 1-minute cooldown. It still cannot be used during Deadly Calm. Cool, as I’ve never really used Inner Rage, because using Heroic Strike was enough to make me not rage capped. Maybe now I will – at least when I will need some more aoe and have excess rage.
- War Academy no longer buffs Heroic Strike or Cleave. It now buffs Mortal Strike, Raging Blow, Devastate, Victory Rush and Slam. It’s a shame that Cleave will do less damage, I use it a lot while tanking, but maybe Devastate damage buff will be enough to counter that.
While clicking around in Analytics, I’ve noticed a metric ton of visits from keywords like “solo ignis the furnace master 85” or “can you solo onyxia at 85” and similar. Well, I haven’t done Ignis or Onyxia yet, but I definitely consider these a worthy challenge.
So far, I haven’t done much solo raiding since Cataclysm launched – I’ve got the expansion pretty late in December and have been busy with leveling, putting together a decent tank and dps gear, doing current heroics and Archaeology. I did went through Outland heroics for the reputations though, and they are now all even easier than they’ve been on level 80. You pretty much breeze through all of them without ever stopping to eat. Which is obviously not surprising at all.
Even the Magisters’ Terrace, which still posed a bit of a problem when I was level 80, is now totally farmable. I’ve just done it and it took me about 12 minutes from entering to looting Kael’thas. You still should watch out for his gravity phase, as the orbs can kill you if you stand in them for too long, but otherwise it’s a joke. You can avoid most of the trash packs as well.
Speaking of prot spec, I have a slightly different one for soloing – 2/3/36, with points in Blood Craze, Field Dressing and Impending Victory. Out of all of these, the Impending Victory is the most useful talent here – because the mobs I’m killing are so low level, they don’t give experience and don’t normally enable Victory Rush to be used. Generous spam of Devastate fixes that, and Victory Rush procs from Impending Victory heal me for about 13k. That’s plenty. Blood Craze is less useful, healing for some 2.5 – 5k health at a time, but it goes off often enough to be around half of healing done – it’s just hard to proc Victorious on old mobs that have very small health pools. Oh, and of course don’t forget the Victory Rush minor glyph, since you’ll be using that a lot. Rest of the glyphs are standard, and the minor glyph is not necessary – since you don’t have to sit and wait for mana, you just charge to the next mob and heal up.
Gear is also more or less standard. What I’m using is a mix of my prot and arms gear from heroics, but it doesn’t matter much at this point and you don’t need any fancy healing trinkets – at least not until we get to the harder parts.
Which will come in a few days, when I’ll finally go through Wrath heroics and see what’s possible there. See you in a few days after I’ve done it.
Lately Blizzard is publishing a lot of information about the classes in the next expansion. It’s a good thing, but if they happen to drop some of these new and awesome features, I’d be really disappointed. So, here’s a quick preview of some I’m most interested in. I won’t write about all of them, as you can read them by yourself and I have no doubt you’ve already done so. ;)
The warrior changes are so awesome I’m starting to think it’s a late April Fools joke. They looked at everything that is annoying in playing a warrior right now, and changed it for the better. The few highlights below doesn’t really show that, but I’ve read the preview and I’m really excited about tanking on my warrior in Cataclysm.
- Heroic Strike will no longer be an “on next swing” attack, as we are removing this mechanic in Cataclysm. And all the Protection warriors around the world rejoiced at a thought that their wrists will be (somewhat) saved from the RSI, and their mousewheels saved from dying an early death from overuse. Seriously.
- Talents and abilities – Heroic Leap sounds awesome, and I really hope it will stay in the final version – even if the healers already hate me for charging into the mobs, now I will be able to do it with style. The Furious Sundering will be a nice thing to have for dps warriors when there’s no warrior tank around, and I really hope it won’t be buried deep in the tree so Arms will be able to get it as well.
The rogue class was pretty much fine in Wrath, except for the Subtlety tree (which I don’t really care about anyway). The changes we’ve seen so far make it from being just fine to cool.
- Changes to the combo points system. This includes such things as an ability to transfer unused points to a new target when you change targets – something that was quite annoying in any fight with more than one mob. Making passive abilities like Slice and Dice use points on a recently killed target (rather than wasting the ones on the current one, which could be used for dealing damage) is the big thing here. We’ll see how it plays, but it looks like it will be not as annoying to play a rogue.
- The rogue drops a Smoke Bomb, creating a cloud that interferes with enemy targeting. Enemies who are outside the cloud will find themselves unable to target units inside the cloud with single-target abilities. Enemies can move inside the cloud to attack, or they can use area-of-effect (AoE) abilities at any time to attack opponents in a cloud. This new ability is something absolutely new and awesome, even more than the warrior’s Heroic Leap, which is just a more awesome Charge.
While I still haven’t leveled my little Priest above level 28 or so, these new things in the preview make me want to do it before the expansion. The highlight here is the Leap of Faith, which is basically a Death Grip used on a friendly target. Sounds very fun. ;) Changes to healing and a group Power Word: Barrier are also cool.
The Shaman changes were a bit disappointing, as there isn’t much awesome things there. A new AoE heal is nice I guess, some fixes with Elemental as well, but it seemed like they were focused on Enhancement the most, which I don’t play at all, so meh.
Warlocks and Death Knights – no real comments here. It will be nice for DK’s to finally get a single tanking tree, at least from my raid leading point of view. Warlocks are all about the soul shards, just like in the Blizzcon preview – I’m not really interested in them right now, but after the expansion hits I might as well roll one if it’s not as annoying as I hear it is now.
All in all, it’s a lot of cool and exciting things in one. I will be really disappointed if they decide to not do some of these, and I really hope to see all of this in the game.