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Patch 6.0 Warrior Changes

warlords-of-draenor-warrior

The class changes for Patch 6.0.2 just keep rolling. Here’s what they’ve done to the Warrior class, courtesy of Sentry Totem.

Ability Pruning
See the Ability Pruning section above for discussion of why we’re pruning class abilities. For Warriors, we focused on removing abilities that were redundant, and making some tweaks to their rotations.

– Berserker Stance has been removed.
– Cleave has been removed.
– Colossus Smash is now available only to Arms Warriors.
– Deep Wounds is now available only to Protection Warriors.
– Demoralizing Banner has been removed.
– Flurry has been removed.
– Mocking Banner is now available only to Protection Warriors.
– Mortal Strike now replaces Heroic Strike for Arms Warriors.
– Rallying Cry is no longer available to Protection Warriors.
– Recklessness is now available only to Fury and Arms Warriors.
– Shield Wall is now available only to Protection Warriors.
– Throw has been removed.
– Thunder Clap is no longer available to Fury Warriors.
– Whirlwind is now available only to Arms and Fury Warriors.

Ability Consolidation and Refinement
– Battle Shout now lasts 1 hour and no longer generates Rage.
– Blood and Thunder’s effects have been merged into baseline Deep Wounds for Protection Warriors.
– Charge no longer generates Rage when charging against a non-player target multiple times in a row. Charge will still always generate Rage when used against other players.
– Commanding Shout now lasts 1 hour and no longer generates Rage.
– Defensive Stance now reduces damage taken by 20% (down from 25%).
– Demoralizing Shout now lasts 8 seconds (down from 10 seconds).
– Last Stand now lasts 12 seconds(down from 20 seconds).
– Shield Wall now lasts 8 seconds (down from 12 seconds).
– Single-Minded Fury’s effects have been merged into Crazed Berserker.
– Titan’s Grip’s effects have been merged into Crazed Berserker.
– Crazed Berserker now increases all damage by 30% (up from 20%) while using one-handed weapons.
– Hamstring now costs 10 Rage and deals 20% weapon damage, in addition to the movement speed slow.
– Meat Cleaver’s effects have been merged into baseline Whirlwind for Fury Warriors.
– Seasoned Soldier now increases damage by 10% (down from 15%).
– Sword and Board’s effects have been merged into baseline Devastate.
– Thunder Clap now costs 10 Rage, and also reduces the movement speed of nearby enemies by 50% for 6 sec.
– Ultimatum’s effects have been merged into baseline Shield Slam.

Stance Changes
Warriors have always had stances; they’re very important to the feeling of being a Warrior. In order to make stances more meaningful, and ease keybinds, we made stances have their own action bars, and re-added stance restrictions on abilities. However, we also made it so that you’ll automatically be shifted into the appropriate stance if you try to use an ability that isn’t usable in your current stance. One important difference between this and previous incarnations of Warrior stances is that these abilities are rotational, not utility cooldowns. Stances are now more for different gameplay modes (dealing damage vs. tanking). There shouldn’t be cases where you find yourself swapping stances, use an ability, and then immediately swapping back.

– Warrior Stances now once again have their own action bars.
– Attempting to use an ability that requires a different stance will now automatically switch to that stance.
– Colossus Smash now requires Battle Stance.
– Recklessness now requires Battle Stance.
– Sweeping Strikes now requires Battle Stance.
– Shield Barrier is now available for all Warrior specializations (was Protection only) and requires Defensive Stance.
– For Arms and Fury Warriors, Shield Barrier can be used without a shield.

Arms Changes
We wanted to fix a few problems with Warriors. Prominently, we still weren’t happy with Arms’ rotation (and neither were many players), so we’ve made some more changes. The goal is to remove needless complexity while simultaneously adding more depth. As mentioned in the above section on Ability Pruning, Overpower and Heroic Strike have been removed for Arms Warriors.

In addition, we weren’t satisfied with the Mastery for Arms. The intended flavor for Arms is about hitting with few, big, and heavy weapon strikes. Strikes of Opportunity actually went opposite of that, adding frequent little hits. We’ve replaced Strikes of Opportunity with a new Mastery which accentuates their intended design.

– Battle Stance for Arms Warriors now generates 115% more Rage from auto-attacks and Critical Strikes now generate double Rage.
– Defensive Stance for Arms Warriors now generates 50% as much Rage from auto-attacks as in Battle Stance.
– Arms Warriors now generate Rage from taking auto-attack damage. Each 1% of health taken as damage will generate 1 Rage, up to 5 Rage per hit.
– Mastery: Strikes of Opportunity has been removed, and replaced with a new ability, Mastery: Weapons Master.
– Mastery: Weapons Master increases the damage of Colossus Smash, Mortal Strike, and Execute abilities by 28% (increasing with Mastery).
– Colossus Smash now costs 20 Rage, deals 225% increased damage, and no longer increases the damage of Slam.
– Enrage is no longer available to Arms Warriors.
– Execute for Arms Warriors now costs 10 Rage, and consumes up to 30 additional Rage to deal additional damage.
– Mortal Strike now costs 20 Rage (instead of generating 10 Rage).
– Overpower has been removed. Arms Warriors should now use Rend and Whirlwind instead.
– Rend is a new ability for Arms Warriors.
– Rend causes bleed damage over 18 seconds, and a final burst of bleed damage when the effect expires. Costs 5 Rage.
– Slam has been removed. Arms Warriors should now use Rend and Whirlwind instead.
– Sweeping Strikes now costs 10 Rage (down from 30 Rage).
– Sudden Death has been removed.
– Unbridled Wrath has been removed.
– Whirlwind now costs 20 Rage for Arms Warriors.

Burst Damage Cooldowns
As with other classes, we wanted to reduce cooldown stacking. Cutting Skull Banner did a ton to help that across the whole game. But for Warriors specifically, we needed to make further changes, including merging some of the personal benefit of Skull Banner back into Recklessness. Also, to make up for Throw being removed, we modified Heroic Throw to be more frequently usable.

– Heroic Throw is now a high-threat ability, generating 300% extra threat, has a 6-second cooldown (down from 30 seconds), but now has a 15 yard minimum range.
– Recklessness now increases Critical Strike chance by 15% (down from 30%) and increases Critical Strike damage by 10% (up from 0%).
– Shattering Throw no longer reduces the armor of the target; it only does damage and breaks immunities.
It also is no longer learned via any specialization, but instead through a new Major Glyph, Glyph of Shattering Throw.

Haste for Warriors
Haste has long been a problematic stat for Warriors, usually being of little value. As part of our commitment to ensuring all secondary stats are valuable (except Bonus Armor for non-tanks and Spirit for non-healers, of course), we’re making a significant change to Warriors, to ensure that Haste has strong, competitive value. We’re giving all Warriors a new passive, which lets haste affect their global cooldown, and the cooldowns of their very-short-cooldown rotational abilities.

Headlong Rush is a new passive ability for Warriors:
– Headlong Rush: Haste reduces global cooldown and the cooldowns of Mortal Strike, Bloodthirst, Shield Slam, and Thunder Clap.

Protection Changes
Protection Warriors have received a few notable changes. First, we removed Dodge and Parry from gear, and expect Protection Warriors to value Haste and Critical Strike as important secondary stats. In order to achieve that, we made Riposte give defensive value to Critical Strike. The aforementioned Headlong Rush also helps for valuing Haste.

– Mastery: Critical Block now increases critical block chance by 12% (down from 17.6%).
– Blood Craze is a new passive ability for Protection Warriors.
– Blood Craze causes Multistrike auto attacks to trigger a Blood Craze, which regenerates 3% of the Warrior’s health over 3 seconds. When this effect is refreshed, the remaining duration is added to the new effect.
– Riposte has been redesigned.
– Riposte now gives the Warrior Parry equal to their Critical Strike bonus from gear.
– Shield Block now regenerates a new charge every 12 seconds (up from every 9 seconds).
– Unwavering Sentinel no longer increases Armor, but now also reduces the chance for attacks to be parried by 3%. (See also: Hit and Expertise Removal.)

Talent Changes
A few Warrior talents also were in need of revision. First, Second Wind was problematic; it was sometimes too weak, and sometimes too strong. We chose to change it from a passive health regeneration effect to the new Leech effect, so that low-health Warriors have to maintain combat in order to benefit, instead of kiting, hiding, or otherwise playing defensively. Enraged Regeneration was changed to account for the removal of Enrage from Arms.

The level-45 talent row was removed for crowd-control disarmament reasons, and also wanted to allow you to choose more rotational complexity through talents. We replaced the row with new talents, many of which are specialization-specific, giving you a variety of playstyle choices for your Warrior.

For the level-60 and level-90 Talent rows, certain combinations were proving problematic. We decided that Stormbolt would better compete with Shockwave and Dragon Roar, and that Bladestorm would better compete with Avatar and Bloodbath, so swapped Stormbolt and Bladestorm’s positions. We also adjusted the effects of a few talents in order to make them more competitive with the talents on their row.

– Bladestorm is now a level-90 Talent, swapping places with Stormbolt.
– Bladestorm no longer allows use of Shouts except Demoralizing Shout while active. It does still allow the use of Taunt, Enraged Regeneration, Shield Wall, and Last Stand.
– Enraged Regeneration now heals for 100% more but the amount healed is no longer increased by being Enraged.
– Dragon Roar’s damage is no longer reduced when hitting more than 1 target.
– Mass Spell Reflection’s cooldown has been reduced to 30 seconds, but it now replaces Spell Reflection.
– Second Wind no longer directly heals the Warrior while active. Instead, Second Wind grants the Warrior 10% Leech while active, which causes the Warrior to heal for 10% of all damage and healing done by the Warrior while active.
– Stormbolt is now a level-60 Talent, swapping places with Bladestorm.
– Staggering Shout has been removed and replaced with 3 new talents that vary by specialization.
– Arms: Taste for Blood: Each time Rend deals damage, gain 3 Rage.
– Fury: Furious Strikes: Wild Strike costs 25 less Rage.
– Protection: Heavy Repercussions: Shield Slam deals 30% additional damage while Shield Block or Shield Charge is active.
– Piercing Howl has been removed and replaced with a new talent, Sudden Death.
– Sudden Death causes auto-attack hits to have a 10% chance to make the next Execute free and useable on any target, regardless of health level. These Executes do not consume additional Rage to deal additional damage.
– Piercing Howl is now available to all Fury Warriors as a baseline ability.
– Disrupting Shout has been removed and replaced with 3 new talents that vary by specialization.
– Arms: Slam: Slam an opponent, causing 100% weapon damage. Each consecutive use of Slam increases the damage dealt by 50% and Rage cost by 100%. Requires Battle Stance.
– Fury: Unquenchable Thirst: Bloodthirst no longer has a cooldown.
– Protection: Unyielding Strikes: Devastate reduces the cost of Heroic Strike by 5 Rage for 5 seconds, stacking up to 6 times. Once this effect reaches 6 applications, its duration will no longer refresh.

Fury Changes
To better separate the playstyles between Fury and Arms Warriors, we’ve made several significant changes to Fury Warriors and make them a better fit for the specialization’s theme: a relentless, bloodthirsty berserker. In particular, Colossus Smash and Heroic Strike was removed, since those abilities resulted in gameplay that was the complete opposite of that intended style. Wild Strike was modified to fill the role of a quick excess Rage dump. We also felt that auto attack damage had become too high and moved some of that damage into Execute. Execute has been changed to now deal damage based on Weapon Damage instead of just Attack Power. Finally, we’ve updated some to spell alerts to improve usability.

– Bloodsurge’s effects have been merged into baseline Bloodthirst and no longer reduce Wild Strike’s global cooldown. Its spell alert has moved to the top slot instead of the left and right slots, and now has 2 charges (down from 3 charges).
– Bloodthirst now replaces Heroic Strike for Fury Warriors.
– Wild Strike now has a 0.75 second baseline global cooldown, and costs 45 Rage.
– Bloodthirst now has 30% additional Critical Strike chance (instead of double the normal Critical Strike chance).
– Crazed Berserker no longer increases auto attack damage. Instead, it also causes Execute to hit with the off-hand weapon.
– Raging Blow now extends the duration of Colossus Smash by 2 seconds, and has a spell alert on the left and right slots.
– Glyph of Colossus Smash is a new glyph available to Fury Warriors. The glyph increases the duration of Colossus Smash’s effect to 20 seconds, but reduces its effectiveness.

Enrage and Deep Wounds
We also expanded Enrage to affect all damage, not just Physical damage, and increased its duration slightly so that it can cover burst windows like Colossus Smash adequately. We’re also making a change to the design of Deep Wounds, to try to limit is effectiveness in PvP, without hurting its effectiveness in PvE.

– Mastery: Unshackled Fury (Fury) now increases all damage (up from only Physical damage).
– Deep Wounds now lasts 15 seconds, or until the target is healed to full health.
– Enrage now increases all damage (up from only Physical damage).

Patch 6.0 Monk Changes

warlords-of-draenor-monk

The patch notes over at Sentry Totem read like an obituary for many classes. However, WoW’s newest class got by with not too many painful edits. This is what it had to say about the Monk Class.

The brand-new class for Mists of Pandaria, Monks, turned out to be a ton of fun. Brewmasters stayed fairly solid all expansion long. Windwalkers needed a few tweaks here and there, especially to their Mastery, and still have a few shortcomings that we hope to improve, but overall worked quite well. Mistweavers had a bit of a rollercoaster ride, veering between weak and strong over the course of the expansion. Most of our changes to Monks will focus on Mistweavers, to try to get them just right.

Ability Pruning
See the Ability Pruning section above for discussion of why we’re pruning class abilities. For Monks, the pruning focused on niche abilities. One removal of note is that of Healing Sphere. The active ability to place a Healing Sphere was particularly awkward to use, but overpowered if used perfectly. So we removed it, and replaced it with Healing Surge for Windwalkers and Brewmasters.

– Avert Harm has been removed.
– Clash has been removed.
– Dematerialize has been removed.
– Power Guard has been removed.
– Sparring has been removed.
– Spinning Fire Blossom has been removed.
– Stance of the Sturdy Ox now replaces Stance of the Fierce Tiger for Brewmaster Monks.
– Stance of the Spirited Crane now replaces Stance of the Fierce Tiger for Mistweaver Monks.
– Swift Reflexes has been removed.
– Zen Meditation is no longer available to Mistweaver Monks.
– Healing Sphere has been removed. Abilities that can summon Healing Spheres, Mastery: Gift of the Serpent (Mistweavers), Gift of the Ox (Brewmasters), and Afterlife (Windwalkers) can still summon Healing Spheres.
– Surging Mist is now available to all Monk specializations. It costs 30 Energy in Ox or Tiger Stance, and continues to cost mana in Serpent Stance and Crane Stance. However, it only generates Chi for Mistweaver Monks.

Ability Consolidation and Refinement
Monk ability consolidation is fairly straightforward. It includes merging of some passive abilities, and removing unneeded abilities that didn’t create the gameplay depth they had been intended to.

– Teachings of the Monastery has been removed. Its effects modifying Spinning Crane Kick has been incorporated into Stance of the Wise Serpent.
– Brewmaster Training has been removed. Its effects have been incorporated into Stance of the Sturdy Ox.
– Desperate Measures has been removed. Its effects have been incorporated into Stance of the Sturdy Ox.
– Combo Breaker has been removed. Its effects have been incorporated into Stance of the Fierce Tiger.
– Combat Conditioning has been removed. Its effects have been incorporated into Stance of the Fierce Tiger.
– Fortifying Brew now lasts 15 seconds (down from 20 seconds).
– Power Strikes now triggers every 15 seconds (up from every 20 seconds), and also triggers from Surging Mist (for Mistweavers only), but no longer triggers from Crackling Jade Lightning.
– Resuscitate’s mana cost has been reduced by 80%.
– Spinning Crane Kick now always generates 1 Chi, and no longer reduces movement speed.
– Paralysis now always lasts 60 seconds against creatures, regardless of facing.
– Disable is now available only to Windwalker Monks.
– Uplift now follows standard area-of-effect capping rules, diminishing in effectiveness beyond 6 targets.
– Zen Meditation is no longer available to Mistweaver Monks, and no longer redirects harmful spells cast against party and raid members.
– Zen Sphere no longer has a target limit.

Mistweaver Changes
About midway through the expansion, it became clear that mana was not valuable for Mistweavers. We tried some adjustments to solve that, but it proved too large of a change to make at the time. We chose to just live with that problem for the time being, and tune them around not really caring much about Spirit or mana (once they reached epic gear).

Now that we have the time to tweak things for Mistweavers to acquire new gear, we’re making changes to get them in the right spot. Initially, we experimented with giving Mistwavers a 1-second global cooldown (GCD) akin to that of the Rogue to give them a faster combat feel. However, it’s proven difficult to balance. Haste is attractive to healers because it lowers not just cast time but GCD as well. Therefore, Monks valued Haste much less than other healers. We explored a few options, but ultimately landed on changing the core GCD for Mistweavers from 1 second to the standard 1.5 seconds, which you will be able to reduce with Haste. This will feel jarring at first, but we’re confident that it’s for the best, long-term.

– All abilities available to Mistweavers now have a 1.5-second global cooldown (up from 1 second).
– Stance of the Fierce Tiger now reduces the global cooldown of the Mistweaver Monk’s abilities by 0.5 seconds.
– Stance of the Sturdy Ox now reduces the global cooldown of the Mistweaver Monk’s abilities by 0.5 seconds.
– Focus and Harmony is a new passive ability for Mistweaver Monks, causing Haste to reduce the global cooldown, and causes Attack Power to be equal to 100% of Spell Power.
– Stance of the Wise Serpent no longer provides this Spell Power to Attack Power conversion.
– Crackling Jade Lightning’s throughput has been increased by 100%, but it no longer generates Chi for Mistweaver Monks. Additionally, it is free in Stance of the Wise Serpent.
– Chi Brew now grants 1 charge of Mana Tea (down from 2 charges).
– Ascension now increases maximum Mana by 20% (up from 15%).
– Detonate Chi is a new spell available to Mistweaver Monks, instantly detonating all Healing Spheres, and causing each of them to heal a nearby ally within 12 yards of the sphere with a 15-second cooldown.
– Healing Spheres now heal an ally within 12 yards (up from 6 yards) for 100% (up from 50%) of their normal healing, when they expire.
– Gift of the Serpent chance to trigger has increased significantly for various Mistweaver spells, conferring a larger percentage of the maximum value.
– Renewing Mist now jumps to the most injured target in range.
– Soothing Mist’s healing has been increased by 100%, its GCD has been reduced to 0.5 seconds, but no longer heals immediately, and no longer generates Chi.
– Stance of the Wise Serpent no longer increases Haste from items by 50%.
– Summon Jade Serpent Statue now has a 10-second cooldown (down from 30 seconds).
– Thunder Focus Tea no longer costs Chi, causes the next Renewing Mist to jump up to 4 times (instead of causing the next Uplift to refresh the duration of Renewing Mists on all targets). Its effect on Surging Mist remains unchanged.

Jade Mist is a new passive ability for Mistweaver Monks, causing them to gain 5% more of the Multistrike stat from all sources, and also causes Renewing Mist and Rising Sun Kick to have a chance equal to Multistrike chance to not go on cooldown when used. This effect cannot trigger on the next Renewing Mist or Rising Sun Kick.

Another issue with Mistweavers is that of Eminence, which has never really played out how we had hoped. The intent with Eminence was to create an alternate play style to fulfill the fantasy of healing through dealing damage, since we knew a lot of players had that fantasy, and a new class was the perfect opportunity to satisfy that.

Having two play styles in one spec (Eminence, and traditional Mistweaving, healing primarily through casting heals) proved challenging to balance, because we don’t want players to take the best parts of both and stack them into an unintended superior spec. The most notorious of these cases was “Jab-Jab-Uplift”. In order to solve this problem, we’re giving Mistweavers two stances. Stance of the Wise Serpent will continue to be the stance from which to do traditional Mistweaving. The new Stance of the Spirited Crane will be the stance to use for Eminence. You can swap stances at will, with only the cost of a GCD and any current Chi that you’ve accrued. The intention is that Crane Stance allows Mistweavers to trade healing for damage; it should fall somewhere in the middle between being a full healer, and being a full damage dealer.

Stance of the Spirited Crane is a new ability for Mistweaver Monks, which replaces Stance of the Fierce Tiger, and provides the following effects.

– The Monk gains Eminence, causing all damage dealt to also heal nearby allies.
– Eminence now causes a nearby target to be healed for 50% of all damage caused by the Monk and includes auto attacks.
– Stance of the Wise Serpent no longer provides this benefit.
– Crackling Jade Lightning channels 150% faster, generates 1 Chi each time it deals damage, but costs 300% more mana.
– Blackout Kicks grants Crane’s Zeal, increasing Critical Strike chance by 20% for 20 seconds.
– Blackout Kick causes Eminence to heal 5 allies instead of 1, but heals for only 20% of damage dealt instead of 35%.
– The Monk gains a stack of Vital Mists for every Chi consumed. Vital Mists reduces the cast time and Mana cost of the next Surging Mist by 20% per stack up to a maximum of 5 stacks.
– Muscle Memory has been removed.
– Serpent’s Zeal has been removed.
– Vital Mists has been removed.
– Rising Sun Kick is now available to Mistweaver and Windwalker Monks. However, it does not cause Mortal Wounds for Mistweavers.
– Stance of the Fierce Tiger now causes Rising Sun Kick to cause Mortal Wounds, instead of it causing Mortal Wounds naturally.

The following abilities now require Stance of the Wise Serpent for Mistweavers:
– Enveloping Mist, Renewing Mist, Soothing Mist, Uplift

The following abilities now require Stance of the Spirited Crane for Mistweavers:
– Blackout Kick, Jab, Rising Sun Kick, Tiger Palm
– Healing Spheres

Healing Spheres have been improved. You’ll no longer waste them when running over multiples at once when you only need a little healing. We significantly improved the Mistweavers’ Healing Spheres effect when they expire. We also made Afterlife’s Healing Spheres consistent with the rest of the class.

– When a player runs through multiple Healing Spheres at once, only as many as needed to heal the player to full health will be consumed (instead of all of them if the player is injured at all).
– Healing Spheres summoned by Mastery: Gift of the Serpent (Mistweaver) now heal an injured ally within 12 yards (up from 6 yards) for 100% (up from 50%) of their normal effect when they expire, and scales with Spell Power instead of Attack Power.
– Healing Spheres summoned by Afterlife (Windwalkers) now heals for the same amount as other Healing Spheres (instead of healing for 15% of maximum health).
– Healing Spheres generated from Gift of the Ox now heals the Monk if they are within 6 yards of the sphere when it expires.

Shared Ability Changes
There were several changes that affected multiple Monk specializations. We’d like to see Monks using Transcendence more often, so its usability has been improved (some baseline, and some in a Draenor Perk). For Touch of Death, we like that it’s a unique execute being usable only once, but found it impractical to use on bosses and have improved its usability. For Tiger Strikes, we buffed it to grant Multistrike ability which it was similar to already, and extended it to work with all Monk specializations. To better balance the damage of Brewmaster versus Windwalker where both share many of the same abilities, we removed the damage increase provided by Tiger Stance, and increased the damage of melee abilities to compensate.

– Chi Brew now has a 60 second recharge time (up from 45 seconds).
– Stance of the Fierce Tiger now also includes the benefits of Combo Breaker and Combat Conditioning, and is replaced by another stance for Brewmaster and Mistweaver Monks.
– Brewmaster: Stance of the Sturdy Ox replaces Stance of the Fierce Tiger.
– Mistweaver: Stance of the Spirited Crane replaces Stance of the Fierce Tiger.
– Tiger Strikes is now available to all Monk specializations, and has a chance to trigger on successful auto attacks and their Multistrikes. It has a 10% chance to trigger while using a two-handed weapon, and a 5% chance to trigger while dual wielding.
– When triggered, Tiger Strikes now grants a 25% increase to Multistrike for 8 seconds instead of a 50% increase to attack speed and double attacks for 4 attacks.
– Touch of Death is no longer available to Mistweaver Monks, and is usable on targets that have 10% or less health remaining, or have less current health than your maximum health. The rules against players remain unchanged.
– Transcendence: Transfer no longer has an energy or mana cost.

Windwalker Changes
For Energy-based gameplay to function well, the primary limitation on ability usage should be Energy, not time. That breaks down when a rotation becomes limited by available GCDs, rather than by Energy. Windwalkers were hitting this “GCD-cap” too easily, causing scaling problems as they geared up, and removing rotational choices. To solve this problem, we’ve made a few tweaks that will slow down their rotation slightly; but still allow Windwalkers who enjoy the GCD-capped playstyle to have options available to focus on Haste and Energy regeneration. Individually, these may sound like significant nerfs, but Windwalker damage has been adjusted to compensate for these changes. The goal is to address the issue with GCD- capping while not reducing DPS.

– Combo Breaker now has an 8% chance to trigger, per effect, per Jab (down from 12%).
– Jab now costs 45 Energy while in Stance of the Fierce Tiger.

There are a couple of additional changes for Windwalkers. Storm, Earth, and Fire, got buffed to make it smoother to use. We also buffed Fists of Fury because we felt that the ability wasn’t giving a strong enough damage boost given its restrictions and impact on the Monk’s rotation.

– Fists of Fury now deals 100% increased damage, and always deal full damage to the primary target; additional targets are still affected by the damage split.
– Storm, Earth, and Fire no longer has an energy cost, and is off global cooldown.

Brewmaster Changes
For Brewmasters, Gift of the Ox has been modified to allow it to scale defensively with the new Multistrike stat. The Black Ox Statue has been modified to aid Monks in establishing threat on new enemies instead of shielding allies. We also removed the Misfire effect, as it did not live up to its original idea, and was unnecessary.

– Black Ox Statue no longer casts Guard on allies and now has a 10-second cooldown (down from 30 seconds). – – Black Ox Statue now passively attracts the attention of all enemies within 30 yards, causing a minor amount of threat each second.
– Dizzying Haze now has no Energy cost, but no longer causes the target’s melee attacks to sometimes misfire.
– Elusive Brew now increases dodge chance by 45% (up from 30%).
– Gift of the Ox now has a chance to trigger only from auto attack Multistrikes, instead of from all auto attacks. It has a 100% chance to trigger while using a two-handed weapon, and a 62.5% chance to trigger while dual wielding.
– Stance of the Sturdy Ox now increases Stamina by 25% (up from 20%), reduces magic damage taken by 10% (down from all damage taken by 25%), and grants a 50% increase to Armor, but no longer increases Energy regeneration.
– Shuffle now increases Stagger and Parry by 10% (down from 20%).

Patch 6.0 Death Knight Changes

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Patch Day today, and brother it’s a game changer.

Sentry Totem posted the Patch 6.0.2 Blue Notes that outlined all the changes. It was a big patch, and there was much to say. Here are the changes for Death Knights.

A number of changes were made for Death Knights. Several cooldowns were made spec-specific. Frost and Unholy’s rotations remain unchanged for the most part. Blood received revisions to their Active Mitigation design to bring them up to par with changes to other Tanking specializations. Runic Power generation of Anti-Magic Shell was standardized, to make it more understandable and balanced.

Ability Pruning
See the Ability Pruning section above for a discussion of why we’re pruning class abilities. For Death Knights, this focused on removing abilities that were redundant, cooldown reduction, or abilities that were not used often.

– Blood Parasites has been removed.
– Blood Strike has been removed.
– Dark Command is now only available to Blood Death Knights.
– Dual Wield is now only available to Frost Death Knights.
– Frost Strike replaces Death Coil for Frost Death Knights.
– Obliterate replaces Blood Strike for Frost Death Knights.
– Necrotic Strike has been removed.
– Raise Dead is now only available to Unholy Death Knights.
– Rune of Cinderglacier has been removed.
– Rune of the Nerubian Carapace has been removed.
– Unholy Frenzy has been removed.

Ability Consolidation and Refinement
The biggest change here is the merger of Blood Boil into Pestilence. This change effectively turned Roiling Blood into a passive ability; which we replaced with a new talent, Plaguebearer. For Blood specialization, we removed Rune Strike and are adjusting the cost of Death Coil so that it can be used in Rune Strike’s place.

Another change was to polish up the effect of diseases on the damage of other abilities. Diseases now do enough damage on their own to warrant using them. Having diseases act as multipliers on the damage of other abilities became extraneous and cluttered up the tooltips of those abilities. Those multipliers have been removed, and consolidated their benefits into the corresponding base spell. These changes also results in a slight reduction to ramp-up time.

– Horn of Winter no longer generates Runic Power, has no cooldown, and lasts 1 hour.
– Blood Boil has been removed and its effects have been merged into Pestilence.
– Pestilence now deals damage to all enemies within 10 yards, and spreads any diseases on targets hit to the other targets hit.
– Army of the Dead now deals 75% less damage.
– Master of Ghouls has been removed and its effects have been merged into the baseline Raise Dead ability for Unholy Death Knights.
– Threat of Thassarian has been removed and its effects have been merged into Might of the Frozen Wastes.
– Rune Strike has been removed. Blood Death Knights should now use Death Coil in its place.
– Dancing Rune Weapon now lasts 8 seconds (down from 12 seconds).
– Death Coil now costs 30 Runic Power (down from 40 Runic Power), and has a 40 yard range for both hostiles and allies.
– Sudden Doom no longer reduces the cost of Death Coil.
– Icebound Fortitude now lasts 8 seconds (down from 12 seconds).
– Boiling Blood has been removed and replaced with Plaguebearer, a new Level-56 talent for Death Knights.
– Plaguebearer causes Death Coil and Frost Strike to extend the duration of Frost Fever and Blood Plague, or add a stack of Necrotic Plague.
– Pestilence now deals 50% more damage, but no longer deals additional damage for diseases being present on the target.
– Pillar of Frost now increases Strength by 15% (down from 20%).
– Obliterate now deals 25% more damage on both main and off-hand weapons, but no longer deals additional damage for each disease present on the target.
– Rune of the Fallen Crusader now increases Strength by 20% (up from 15%).
– Scourge Strike no longer deals additional damage for each disease present on the target. The ability now deals 100% Physical weapon damage, and 50% Shadow weapon damage. These two effects can independently critically hit.
– Vampiric Blood now increases the amount of healing received by 15% (down from 25%).
– Glyph of Vampiric Blood now increases the amount of healing received by an additional 10% (down from 15%).

Frost Changes
In Mists of Pandaria, Frost Death Knights suffered from rotations that were designed to allow flexibility in ability usage, so that you could pool some resources in order to make decisions about which ones you spent and in which order. Dual Wield vs Two-Handed had different rotational priorities, with different strengths and weaknesses. However, tuning ended up such that you reached a point where you just had to spend all of your resources as fast as possible to avoid wasting any, and all of that depth went out the window. For Warlords, we’ve adjusted the tuning of several abilities and passives, to ensure that that doesn’t happen again, and the rotational decisions and skill are maintained.

The goal is that Two-Handed Frost Death Knights favor their physical damage, slicing through their enemies with heavy Obliterates, whereas Dual- Wielders favor blasting their foes with frost damage, but both overlap considerably to maintain a cohesive specialization.

– Frost Strike’s damage has been increased by 100%, but its Runic Power cost has been increased by 5 (up to 25 Runic Power in Frost Presence, and 40 Runic Power in other Presences).
– Icy Talons now increases attack speed by 20% (down from 45%), and haste by 5% (up from 0%).
– Might of the Frozen Wastes now increases the damage of Obliterate by 50% (up from 40%) and melee damage by 35% (up from 30%) while wielding a two-handed weapon, and increases the damage of Frost Strike by 50% (up from 35%) while dual-wielding.
– Razorice now deals 4% additional weapon damage (up from 2%), and increases Frost damage by 2% per stack (down from 3%).
– Obliterate’s damage has been increased by 30%.

Unholy Changes
In order to better balance the scaling rates and value of secondary stats for Unholy Death Knights, we reduced the power of their passive Unholy Might ability, and added a new passive ability to make Multistrike more effective.

– Necrosis is a new passive ability for Unholy Death Knights.
– Necrosis causes Multistrikes from Festering Strike, Pestilence, Plague Strike, Scourge Strike, and Soul Reaper to also deal a burst of Shadow damage. The amount of burst damage is based on Attack Power, not the damage from the triggering Multistrike.
– Unholy Might now increases Strength by 10% (down from 35%).

Blood Changes
Active Mitigation was a very successful design that was inspired by Death Knights’ tanking style. However, it went beyond that, and Death Knights themselves were somewhat left behind in that regard. We made several changes to bring up the interactivity of Blood combat. This includes making Death Strike cause healing based on attack power, but be affected by the new Resolve passive (see Tank Vengeance and Resolve above), which gives it the traditional increase from recent damage. Plus, Rune Tap is being significantly improved, to become a strong Active Mitigation button.

Additionally, we removed Dodge and Parry from gear, and expect Blood Death Knights to value Haste and Crit as important secondary stats. In order to achieve that, we made Riposte give defensive value to Critical Strikes, and Scent of Blood give defensive value to Multistrike. To solve GCD- capping issues and increase the value of Haste, we also removed the passive rune regeneration increase from Improved Blood Presence. Finally, we tweaked the targeting AI of Dancing Rune Weapon, and fixed it up to properly copy most Talents that you know.

– Blood Rites now also causes auto attack Multistrikes to generate 15 Runic Power. The Death Strike damage increase it provided has been moved to Veteran of the Third War.
– Blood Presence now increases Stamina by 20% (down from 25%), and armor by 30% (down from 55%).
– Bone Shield charges can now be consumed at a rate of once per second (up from once every 2 seconds).
Crimson Scourge now increases the damage of Pestilence by 50% (up from 10%) and now also increases the damage of diseases by 30%.
– Dancing Rune Weapon’s summoned Rune Weapon now remains fixated on the Death Knight’s target at the time of summoning, and copies the effects of Talents that are tied to the Death Knight, such as Blood Boil, Frost Fever, or Asphyxiate. Should the original target be dead or otherwise unavailable, the Rune Weapon will switch to assist with the Death Knight’s current target.
– Death Strike now causes healing that scales in effectiveness with attack power, instead of based on damage taken in the last 5 seconds. This healing is affected by Resolve.
– Heart Strike has been removed. Blood Death Knights should use Pestilence in its place.
– Improved Blood Presence now increases all damage dealt by 15%, instead of increasing rune regeneration rate.
– Rune Tap has been redesigned. It now reduces all damage taken by 40% for 3 seconds. It also now has 2 charges, with a 40-second recharge time.
– Will of the Necropolis has been redesigned. It now automatically triggers an immediate, free Rune Tap when you take damage that reduces you below 30% health. This effect cannot occur more often than once every 30 seconds.
– Glyph of Rune Tap has been redesigned. It now reduces Rune Tap’s recharge time by 10 seconds, but reduces the damage reduction it provides by 20%.
– Scarlet Fever has been removed. Its effects have been merged into Scent of Blood.
– Scent of Blood has been changed. It now causes Pestilence to refresh diseases, and increase the healing of your next Death Strike by 20%, stacking up to 5 times.
– Veteran of the Third War now increases Multistrike chance, and haste by 10% (instead of 9% to Stamina), reduces the chance for attacks to be parried by 3%, increases the damage of Death Strike by 100%, and grants 1 Runic Power per second while in combat.

Death Pact
Since the Ghoul pet is now Unholy only, that presents a problem for Death Pact. We revised Death Pact to not require an undead minion, but work a little differently. We left it at 50% heal, which is effectively a 33% buff to it from before (see Retuning Healing Spells and Player Health and Resilience above), and added a healing absorption shield for 50% of the amount healed instead. It should now be a more effective heal for staying alive immediately, but with the downside of needing to heal through the healing absorption shield before being healed any further.

Death Pact no longer requires an undead minion, and instead places a healing absorption shield on the Death Knight for 50% of the amount healed.

Miscellaneous
There were also a few other miscellaneous changes. The Runic Power generation of Anti-Magic Shell was standardized, to make it more understandable and balanced. Level-60 and Level-75 talent rows have swapped places, so the important rune regeneration talents could be acquired earlier. Conversion was changed to cost different amounts by specialization, instead of reducing Runic Power generation differently by specialization. This way, Runic Power beyond what you spend on Conversion is not penalized.

– Anti-Magic Shell now restores 2 Runic Power per 1% of max health absorbed.
– Desecrated Ground now also makes the Death Knight immune to Roots and Snares.
– Conversion no longer has an initial tick, and now costs 30 Runic Power/second for Blood, 10 Runic Power/second for Frost, and 20 Runic Power/second for Unholy.
– Level-60 and Level-75 talent rows have swapped places.
– Level-60 rune regeneration talents can now be triggered by all Runic Power spenders
– Blood Tap now generates one charge for every 15 Runic Power spent.
– Runic Empowerment now has a 1.5% chance to trigger per Runic Power spent.
– Runic Corruption now has a 1.5% chance to trigger per Runic Power spent.

Good thing we’ve got a month before Warlords of Draenor is released. There’s a bit of a re-learning curve that needs to be addressed.

Patch 6.0.2 Tomorrow

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Yep. Everything changes tomorrow.

Patch 6.0.2: The Iron Tide is scheduled to crash into Azeroth on Tuesday, October 14. Featuring new content heralding the Iron Horde incursion, updates to the skills and abilities for every class, and a host of gameplay adjustments, this overture to Warlords of Draenor is coming at you armed to the teeth.

Treacherous Developments

The Dark Portal in the Blasted Lands has turned blood red. Hundreds of strange-looking orcs are violently pouring into Azeroth, killing everything that stands in their path. Nethergarde and Okril’lon have already fallen, and while the Horde and the Alliance moved as quickly as they could to get reinforcements to their people, they are too late. The Iron Horde invasion has begun.
In this desperate hour, King Wrynn and Warchief Vol’jin have called upon their greatest champions to join the front lines in the Blasted Lands and do whatever they can to stop the Iron Horde . . . before the rest of Azeroth falls before them.

Word of this surprise attack sends players rushing to the Blasted Lands to reckon with the barbarous infiltration. After the fall of a high ranking Iron Horde general named Gar’mak Bladetwist, you’ll report what you’ve witnessed in the Blasted Lands to King Wrynn or Warchief Vol’jin. It’s apparent to both the Horde and the Alliance that this is only the first salvo in a much larger conflict, and the only way to win is to take the fight directly to the Iron Horde . . . by journeying through the Dark Portal into Draenor.

The Infiltration of Blackrock Spire

An advance party of Iron Horde forces has barged right out of the Blasted Lands and pushed all the way to Blackrock Mountain, where they found refuge and supplies in Upper Blackrock Spire. There can be only one response: the Alliance and the Horde of Azeroth must face this iron incursion head on.
Available to level-90 characters for a limited time, this specially revamped five-player version of Upper Blackrock Spire sets the stage for the coming counterstrike against the Iron Horde. Here, you will face Orebender Gor’ashan, Kyrak, and Commander Tharbek as you begin to take the fight to the enemy and sharpen the skills—and swords—you’ll need to succeed on an unwelcoming alien world.

Prepare yourself. Draenor is waiting.

I had a few things I wanted to accomplish before 6.0 but some will have to wait post-patch:

– Exalted with the Anglers so I can snag the very unsexy (but very water walking) Azure Water Strider (Done)
– Get the Brawler title without having a rage seizure. (With the Brawler’s Guild going away tomorrow, this won’t happen. I lost count at how many times I’ve died fighting the Rank 7 GG Engineers.)
– Sock away 100,000 gold so I’m ready for whatever money-sink Warlords has for me. (Between 6.0 and WoD, I may get close.)
Raid at least once. Probably end up doing a LFR because abuse is fun. (May still reach this for WoD.)
– Pick up the Battle Pets roaming the lands of Pandaria. (Probably get this before WoD.)

Best Mount for Warlords of Draenor

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I’m not exactly what you’d call a mount collector. Oh sure, I picked up most of the easy faction mounts to grab a few achievement points back in the day. But these days, I’m not about to camp a rare mob for hours just for bragging rights. If I’m going out of my way to get a mount, it better be for more than just eye candy.

Take the Traveler’s Tundra Mammoth for example. It’s got vendors you can sell to, buy a Tome of the Clear Mind to change glyphs, and carry multiple players on (if you so choose). I still have it hotkeyed on my action bar. I don’t ride it, but if I need Tomes at least it’s handy.

Try finding a parking spot for this beast.

Not that handy when you’re trying to find a parking spot at the mall.

I’d been hearing chatter from the Warlords of Draenor beta, regarding mounts. It’s common knowledge that there is no flying in WoD. This information comes as a complete shock to no one. Blizzard never allows flying for a patch or two, before eventually making it available at level cap.

However there is a mount that has been suggested as one of the better ones until flying becomes available. Since many of the questing hubs and zones are separated by water (or so I’m told since I’m kinda beta-light), having a mount that can cross water should help to speed up the leveling process.

That means it’s time to grab the Reins of the Azure Water Strider.

Bringing sexy back.

Bringing sexy back.

The catch (har har) is that you need to have Exalted reputation with MoP’s favorite fishermen, The Anglers. According to my math (and by match I mean I plugged in a name for the rep calculator in Wowjutsu) it would take approximately 21 days to go from zero to Exalted. This is assuming you only do the three daily quests available.

Fun fact: You need at least a single level in fishing to get this started.

There’s a questline in Dread Waste that can also get you started. If you are a freshly boosted 90, or didn’t bother starting quests there, you’ll have to unlock it to grab a few thousand rep.

Aside from the three daily quests (1500 rep a day), there’s three other things you can do to speed up the rep gathering.

1) Daily Dungeons – Set the Anglers as your bonus rep, and run the daily Dungeon and Scenario. That’s good for about 500 rep between the two.

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2) Hozen Peace Pipe – Farm or buy this bad boy for a one-time buff of 1000 rep for every MoP reputation.

3) Magic Fish – Every day, you have the chance to fish up a, well, a fish. It’s marked as a quest, sending you to Nat Pagle to hand in. You get rep with him (but who cares because screw that guy) and 300 with the Anglers.

Bonus: Commendation with the Anglers – At Revered, you can buy a Bind on Account commendation for the Anglers from Nat Pagle. It gives every character on your account a 100% buff to Angler rep. That makes the final push from Revered to Exalted a little easier. Actually, 100% easier.

My Ambassador is currently sitting at Revered, and I’ve picked up the rep buff commendation. Hopefully I can knock out Exalted and grab the bug mount before Patch 6.0 hits sometime this month. The patch brings class changes, and I’ve got enough on my plate without having to worry about what does what with my class.