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Patch 5.2 PTR: More class and set bonus iteration from Ghostcrawler

As testing continues on the patch 5.2 PTR, so dose the iteration from the design team. Some of the highlights from this round:
  • Druid Maim damage has been increased by 100%
  • Druid Cyclone range nerfed a bit due to PvP
  • Warlock 4pc bonus now increases Demonic Fury from all spells by 10%
  • Some changes with Arms warriors were rolled back
Ghostcrawler and his team also note at the end of the piece that these design iterations are typical for a PTR. Moreso many of the changes they make on their internal builds never go live, so even though this list is large, in some respects, it could be a heck of a lot worse. Ghostcrawler is right when he says this is pretty normal; since they started making directed design comments after each downtime, this level of iteration is par for the course in just about every aspect of the game's design.

Ghostcrawler's full post after the break.


Ghostcrawler
Druid
- Cyclone range reduced back to 25 yards. (It was 30 yards in an earlier PTR build.)
- Glyph of Cyclone - increases range by 5 yards (rather than 4 yards which was an odd number left over from when it was a % increase).
- Maim damage has been increased by 100%.
- Feral PvP 2pc - now also increases Bear Hug duration by 1 sec.
- Feral PvP glove - has changed. It now increases Maim damage by 100%.
- Balance / Restoration PvP glove - changes have been reverted and once again increases the range of Cyclone by 5 yards.
- Feral PvE 4 pc - now also affects Ravage and Swipe (in addition to Mangle, Shred and FB).
- To explain our Cyclone logic a bit more, we wanted to nerf the ability for PvP. The DR change is a big nerf, but we think it's important. We had previously experimented with increasing range or duration of Cyclone, but were concerned those offset the intended nerf too much.

Rogue
- PvP gloves - changed to increase healing by Recuperate by 1% of health.

Death Knight
- DPS 4pc - Causes Soul Reaper to deal additional Shadow damage to targets below 40% health (instead of 35%). Additionally, Killing Machine increases the crit chance of Soul Reaper and its additional damage to low health targets.

Warlock
- 4 pc - now increases Demonic Fury from all spells by 10% (up from 5% on certain spells).

Warrior
- We were concerned that our buffs to haste and mastery were enough to get Arms warriors to regem or be angry about passing on drops to say DKs. That's not the goal. We just wanted to make some of the stats better. We think the changes to Taste for Blood for Arms already make mastery slightly better for them, so we are reverting the change back to 55% for Strikes of Opportunity. (It was 75% in an earlier PTR build.) We also reduced the haste buff from +100% to +50%. It's still a big increase over live.
- Similarly, we were concerned that the changes to Taste for Blood devalued expertise too much for Arms. We changed the Overpower granted by dodge to 1 charge. It's still 2 for using Mortal Strike. However, we also reverted an earlier change that let Mortal Strike proc Overpower even if the Mortal Strike missed.

Editorial note
This may seem like a lot of design iteration, but it's not at all atypical for us. Trying out lots of things is how we narrow in on what we hope are the best changes. We are attempting to expose you to a bit more of the design changes that are normally behind the scenes, as only a minority of our internal 5.2 builds ever make it on the PTR realm. If the constant change gives you heartburn, that's understandable and I advise you to just wait then for the final 5.2 patch notes.

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Death Knight
- Clarification on the 4pc: It means that if you have a Killing Machine proc up and hit Soul Reaper, that Soul Reaper will be a guaranteed crit, will consume the Killing Machine Proc, and the future Soul Reaper Shadow detonation will also be a guaranteed crit. Basically, Killing Machine will function for Soul Reaper, just like it already does for Frost Strike and Obliterate.

Paladin
- For Retribution, we were trying to emphasize what was once the most awesome spell in the Ret arsenal (Divine Storm) while reacting to some of the initial feedback that the first set bonus wasn't exciting. As often happens in cases like this, the players who liked the first set bonus and not the second have now offered their feedback. I want to stress that when this happens it's not a poll or a contest to see who can yell the loudest. We evaluate the feedback we get, weigh the strengths of the various arguments, and come to a decision. For 5.2 we're going to go back to the initial 4 pc set bonus of Templar's Verdict sometimes hitting for Holy damage. I also want to stress that anyone expecting said bonus to be a 20% DPS increase or something are going to be disappointed, so I hope that's not why you liked the bonus. :)

Incorporating Divine Storm into the single-target rotation, sometimes, is still a neat idea and the kind of thing we might do as a glyph or something in the future.

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Tuning DPS numbers is one of the last things we do, because it's dependent on all of the other changes being stable. The problems we are trying to solve now are stuff like "How to make Arms use Slam more?" and "How to make rage matter?" Once we get those issues resolved, we can tune up all of the numbers at once (because we'd agree Arms is a little low in PvE).

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