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Posts with tag Beta-build-8926

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: The Great Divide Part 2

I had intended to talk about the new paradigm for Arms warriors in the Beta and, presumably, patch 3.0 when it goes live. I had intended this, but I'm not going to, because as of beta build 8926, I don't really know where either DPS spec is going. I've taken my human warrior into a very heavy prot spec and, quite frankly, am doing more damage with far higher survivability than I would have in arms or fury.

When I talked about how I felt prot was going to develop last week, I had no idea how far I was understating it. Talents like Damage Shield, the changes to Shockwave and Devastate, and how much crit you can get on your special abilities with Critical Block, Sword and Board and Incite make prot a remarkably strong tree for soloing/grinding/leveling. With 600 block value or more (not terribly hard to get now that 2 str = 1 SBV) Damage Shield and Shield Slam can rip mobs in half. 2000 point Shield Slams are far from rare with an extra 15% crit on your slams, and with full Improved Defensive Stance you can sit in D stance and have a 100% chance to enrage on any successful block, parry or dodge, giving you the option to do more damage or to spend the enrage to heal yourself for a significant chunk of your total health.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Wrath of the Lich King

Show your pet some love with Happy Pet Snacks


Ok, this is getting silly. Breanni from the pet store in Dalaran seems to be widening her offerings and now sells Happy Pet Snacks for 47 silver and 50 copper for a stack of five. While we're not exactly in the habit of promoting every little product she's peddling, it's really hard to resist something this cute. It's not quite the Papa Hummel's Old-Fashioned Biscuits I hinted at over at my last post about the Pet Grooming Kit, but it's a pet snack you can give to non-combat pet to make them love you more. Literally -- when you feed them, a tiny heart pops up over their heads, just like when Love Is In The Air. The coolest part? It stacks with the grooming kit! So we can actually have sparkly pets that show us just how much they love us.

Unfortunately, this won't work on Hunter pets to get their mood up -- you'll have to give them real food for that! Vanity pets have always been one of small things in the game that I enjoyed, even if I didn't obsessively collect all of them. I even have my Mini Tyrael key bound, although I have yet to install the MiniPet AddOn that reminds me when I don't have him out. Even though this build was loaded with nerfs, the developers managed to insert a lot of happy things, too, like lots of new icons for items and spells, including a proper one for my Captured Firefly!

While it's easy to notice huge changes like world zones, class nerfs, and whopper talents, it's little touches like these that keep the game light and fun for me. Blizzard always manages to keep a sense of humor about the game, and it just works. When Mumper talked about having vendors sell more interesting stuff in Dalaran, I'm sure he was thinking of Breanni, too. When Wrath of the Lich King finally goes live, a trip to her little store is definitely on my agenda. As usual, thanks to Wietkop for the heads up!

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Wrath of the Lich King

Warlock changes in Beta build 8926


The nerf bat swung low and hard. Did it hit Warlocks? Well... yes and no. This is the stage in Beta where things are tuned downwards -- notoriously labeled the nerf patch -- and Warlocks are big, fat nerf targets. On the other hand, some spells got buffs and others were reworked. This is just Beta, so don't panic. Classes are buffed and nerfed throughout the testing process until everything is finely tuned.

Without further ado: they nerfed Death's Embrace to grant 9% crit to all Shadow Spells when an opponent is at 20% or below health, down from 15% crit. Eradication can no longer be a permanent buff now as it now notes that, "This effect cannot occur more often than once every 30 sec". On the other hand, Death's Embrace and Eradication got cool new icons. Dark Pact, which I raved about when I talked about the Felhunter, has been nerfed back to its current form of granting 100% of the mana drained from pet (down from 200% in previous builds).

Curse of Exhaustion was nerfed to a 30% movement speed reduction, down from 50%. It's now back to the live realm's value but without the benefit of Amplify Curse, which was reworked in Beta. Fel Armor's mana regeneration was removed and replaced with a health regeneration rate of 2% per 5 seconds. I'm not too sure how to feel about that, but since Warlocks treat health as mana, anyway, it's not such a substantial nerf but merely a mechanical change. More nerfs and a few pleasant surprises after the jump.

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Filed under: Warlock, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Totem Talk: Curses, foiled again


Okay, you're going to hear a lot of anger and hostility over the latest beta pass for shamans. You won't hear it from me, mind you, because I try not to get angry or hostile in this columns, it's just not my style. But I will say this: if you're playing a shaman in live, you'd probably prefer that these recent changes not go live.

They're not all bad... Maelstrom Weapon now will also reduce the casting time on healing spells as well as DPS spells, allowing you to throw an instant cast heal on yourself or even someone else... but when abilities like Shamanistic Focus get nerfed (45% mana cost reduction instead of the current 60% on live) then I have to ask myself if these changes seem at all rasonable, and in most cases I'm not coming up with a yes. It's possible I'm biased... actually, scratch that. I am biased. If I wasn't biased I wouldn't be playing a shaman in the first place. I play the class because I love the class and I want to see its talents and abilities give it the means to be competitive in its chosen role, be it DPS or healing. While I've never been a large proponent of things like dot shocks or reroll protests (you guys remember those) I do understand being frustrated, and I would even say that if this beta pass went live I'd be frustrated too.

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Expansions, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Wrath of the Lich King

Paladin changes in Beta build 8926 part II


So, where were we? Right. Paladin changes. While everyone and his mother got whacked by the nerf bat this build, Paladins got little more than a love tap from the devs, making me think that the Light, indeed, is watching over us all. As I mentioned in an earlier post, while seal damage got nerfed, the new talents and tree shuffles are shaping up to be good for the class.

Holy was left mostly untouched, leaving many Holy Paladins feeling distraught and apprehensive. As I've learned throughout the whole Wrath Beta experience, it's always just best to... chillax. Don't worry about it. Blizzard changed Beacon of Light last build and it's somewhat overpowered, but even though they've already said they'll tweak it a bit more, they left it as is this build. Everything will balance out in time. For this build, however, Retribution gets a chance to shine -- but so does Protection, and boy, does it shine bright. If you thought Retribution got some love, wait til you see what Protection got.

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

[UPDATED] Paladin changes in Beta build 8926 part I


This is one of the biggest patches to hit Paladins in a while, and it's a mixed bag. Let's get the bad news out of the way first -- all of Seals have been nerfed. All of them. Seal of the Martyr / Blood, Corruption / Vengeance, Wisdom, Light, Justice, Righteousness and even Command have all had their damage reduced. The formulas are tweaks of the values of attack power, spell power, and weapon speed -- a bit complicated to explain in detail -- that result in an overall damage reduction. Now, before everyone gets their panties in a bunch, let me say one thing: don't panic.

We can probably consider this patch the nerf patch, which is an essential part of the tuning process. The developers traditionally start from a high power scale and fine tune it downwards -- I mean, look at the poor Death Knight. This is still the Wrath Beta, and while there is a chance these numbers might stick through to live, testing these lowered numbers are vital to getting everything right for release. If you're in Beta, log in, play with it for a while, and give feedback. If you're not in Beta, hold back a bit from making a ruckus and exercise a little patience until the testing is done. Let's take a deep breath. Now where'd I put my inhaler...

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

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