Posts with tag PTR-4.0.6
Have you ever read Blizzard's patch notes and wondered exactly where the developers are going with certain changes? We're all familiar with the fact that subtlety has been lagging behind the other rogue specs in DPS. It's actually still seeing some use in top guilds on healing-intensive encounters, due to Enveloping Shadows giving us nearly permanent Feint on top of 30% AoE damage reduction. The fact remains that subtlety has largely been a PvP spec outside of very specific situations, although it's a quite potent PvP spec. The patch notes show us that the developers obviously want for subtlety to be more competitive in PvE -- no surprise here.
What I don't understand is the new Blade Flurry mechanic. On the PTR, Blade Flurry no longer has a fixed duration, meaning that you can have it up 100% of the time. While yeah, it sounds awesome, it also opens up huge balancing issues. It means that any time there's a raid encounter with more than one target, we're stuck swapping to combat. There are plenty of other classes with similar Cleaving abilities, but none as powerful as Blade Flurry. While I'm all for spec diversity, I'd rather not waste development time on something that's certain to be cut once it makes it to live.
Every Monday and Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. Frostheim of Warcraft Hunters Union uses logic and science (mixed with a few mugs of dwarven stout) to look deep into the hunter class. Mail your hunter questions to Frostheim.
The patch 4.0.6 PTR process has been a volatile one for us hunters. We went from gentle nerfs and buffs to OMG HORROR nerfs and WHEE BUFFAGE buffs, then had those scaled back a bit. And I have to tell you, I don't think the ride is over yet.
Any time Blizzard announces changes, there's always a very reactionary response, and I suppose that's just part of the game. But lately I've been getting more and more emails and comments from hunters complaining about how the PTR is run or clearly not understanding the purpose of the PTR.
Why does Blizzard release clearly buggy abilities? How can the designers not see that this is OP/useless now? Don't they even play the game? Well, I'm going to suggest that these are not problems with the PTR or the designers but instead a problem with expectations. Join me after the cut for some clarity on the PTR process and why hunters have had such a crazy ride recently.
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, a magical journey awaits ... a fantastic voyage through a mystical realm. I speak, of course, of the Public Test Realm, and the wondrous patch notes that dwell therein.
Now before we begin, I should make it clear that mages aren't getting anything even remotely earth-shattering in patch 4.0.6. It's not like Blizzard is letting us autofire while moving or anything. But a patch is still a patch. Things are going to change, and though mages have been left largely un-fiddled-around-with (at least in comparison to many other classes), we do have some incoming alterations to be aware of.
So with our expectations in an appropriately subdued state, let's peek beyond the jump for an annotated look at what be happening, yo.
With all the changes up on the latest build of the PTR, something that wasn't documented is happening, and it is pretty awesome. Restoration shaman spells are now getting a different animation. Until now, our casting animation was very similar to that of druids. Green energy would glow around our hands and small leaves would form within that power. While it was nature-related, it wasn't very shaman-esque. A healing shaman's element has always been water, and now our spells are accompanied by that very element.
Gone are the leaves and green; instead, our hands our now encapsulated in glowing blue orbs of water as we bargain with the element to heal our allies wounds. When Greater Healing Wave lands on a target, it has a water splash animation very similar to Riptide, and for now, Healing Surge and Healing Wave have had their leaves replaced with sprite-like things that fly up in a circle around the target. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if Healing Surge and Healing Wave get similar animations on target to Greater Healing Wave.
I don't think anyone quite expected an update like this, but it certainly a welcome one. It gives us just a little bit more of a unique flair and really fits our style of healing. It also shows that even now, Blizzard is looking at all of those little things that make the game so awesome, like cool casting animations. What do you think?
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids.This week, I'm going picture hunting. If you happened to send any in last week, chances are I didn't get them. Our emails over here recently changed, and I can now be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. So send your pics!
Okay, okay, so I know that I had originally promised to start doing the raiding guide this week, and I was so totally going to do that, but the information that's currently up on the latest PTR is just too juicy to pass up. Like the mythical GC pony, the raid guide will come next week, I promise.
The PTR doesn't hold a lot of information for balance druids overall, but what it does hold is amazingly amazing. (Props to those who know where that one comes from.) There are a few nerfs, and they come in areas where we really needed buffs instead, but there are quite a number of buffs out there as well that can certainly whet the palate. There are also some important profession and general changes that will help everyone, including balance druids. I'm normally not a fan of huge balancing patches such as these that come out so soon after an expansion is released -- rage, what good was beta, and all that -- but at least we are finally getting these changes now.
And what changes are those? Oh, why, I'm so glad that you asked.
I'm sure many of you thought that shaman were not getting much attention in patch 4.0.6 -- I know I was among those who thought we dodged a bullet. The absence of any shaman notes on the first official patch notes list would have seemed to reinforce this. Late last night, however, community manager Zarhym posted a list of shaman changes that are making their way into the latest PTR build by this evening.
Since this is still the PTR, these changes may or may not actually make it to the live game. Still, it is interesting to note exactly the type of things that Blizzard is looking at and the steps it is taking to try and balance the game. Cataclysm really did reshape the world -- not just the aesthetics but the mechanics for pretty much everyone and almost everything. With that big of an upheaval, it is expected that there is going to be a period of balancing relatively early in the expansion's cycle, and at just barely a month in, we're already starting to see some significant changes.