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Posts with tag PtrNotes

Patch 4.0.6 PTR: Justice point trade goods prices

Patch 4.0.6 will bring a new vendor who sells raw materials and resources in exchange for justice points. Many players now capped on justice points have been struggling with ways to spend them. Blizzard has added in these vendors as a kind of points dump for some extra resources, so you're not letting those points waste away into nothingness in your currency tab. Here is a current list of the resources sold and their justice point cost:
Now, if you think these prices are high, remember that these items are not meant to be bought efficiently with justice points; rather, leftover justice points are supposed to be converting into a little extra in the materials department for you. So far, I think it's a pretty good price list, but I'd love to see Maelstrom Crystals on there for 4,000 points each, which would make some of the upper-end enchants easier.

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.

Patch 4.0.6 PTR: Shaman patch notes

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.

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Filed under: Shaman, News items

PTR build 13033: Restoration shaman update

Another PTR build is on the way with patch 13033. With it, there are several tweaks and changes all over the place. Earlier today, we heard about the changes warriors are receiving in the patch -- but what about restoration shaman?

We only get one change this time around, but it is a big one. Back in build 12984, Mana Tide Totem was changed from adding back a percentage of your base mana to increasing your spirit by 200 percent for the totem's duration. This was a fairly significant change that mirrors the shift from MP5 to spirit. It placed the ability firmly in the camp of healers only, and instead of giving us a flat amount back, it increased our mana regeneration based on whatever it was at the time of casting.

The cooldown remained at 5 minutes, which was a bit long, considering the effect. In the latest PTR build, though, the cooldown is being reduced to 3 minutes. This change should also be applied to the Cataclysm beta pretty soon, as well. This is a fantastic change and one that will make us that much stronger in the months to come. An average boss fight right now in Wrath lasts roughly around the 5-minute mark, meaning that you can only use this cooldown once per fight in most cases. After 4.0.1 drops, though, you will be able to use it more than once per boss fight. Pretty sweet deal, if you ask me.

Also consider that in the Cataclysm beta, healer mana is at a premium. Every heal has a right and wrong place, and we consume mana so much more quickly than we have previously. This change allows us to use a very important regeneration cooldown much more often, and so we can keep healing for longer. This will give us a distinct advantage early in the upcoming expansion. Anything that gives us mana back is a good thing. Things that give it back to us faster are even better.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: Shaman, Cataclysm

PTR notes: You got your felhunter in my windserpent!

A humorous little bug on the PTR has hunter and warlocks spinning. It seems that while implementing the new feature where pets will despawn when on a flying mount and respawn on landing, the pets have somehow gotten horribly confused and have ended up with the wrong person. Not too bad when it's two people of the same class, but hunters have been coming up with warlock pets and warlocks have suddenly discovered they have a frostsaber.

Even more awesome, the pets are apparently usable. A mage reported being killed by a felguard with Bestial Wrath. Warlocks are able to keep cats on their victims while dotting them up. This is madness!

I presume this bug will be fixed by the time the patch comes out, though I'm kind of hoping it isn't. The confusion it would cause would almost be worth the forum complaining ...

What do you think about this bug?

Filed under: Hunter, Warlock, Patches, Bugs

PTR Notes: The first four bosses of Mount Hyjal

The lucky ducks of the guild Impervious on Stormreaver had a fun night on the public test realm Tuesday. With the help of a GM, they faced the first four bosses of Mount Hyjal. The GM deathtouched two of the bosses at a certain percent so that Impervious could test the next fight.

The first boss, Rage Winterchill, is a lich with a Death & Decay spell. Impervious got him to 30 percent before the GM deathtouched him. He dropped some resto shaman bracers and rogue boots. Anetheron is a dreadlord whose abilities include Carrion Swarm, which hits for 6k and reduces healing done by 75 percent for 15 seconds; Vampiric Aura, which causes him and his adds to get 300 percent healing from melee damage done; and Inferno, which summons infernals pretty much constantly throughout the fight. Impervious got him to 50 percent before the GM asked them to move on (sorry, no deathtouch and therefore no loots.)

Next up was Kaz'Rogal, a nasty-looking Kazzak thing with an interesting ability: he mana drains you for 600 periodically, and if you don't have enough mana, you take 10k damage. This ability gets sped up as the fight goes on, so it looks like you have to burn him down fast. According to Impervious, they actually did kill this boss on their own on the second attempt, receiving a nice healing mace and a tanking shield. However, they did get a bit of help from the lovely giant Tauren Flaskataur, who sold them a ton of consumables including the Flask of Flaskocity (I am not making this up.)

The final boss Impervious faced was the pit lord Azgalor. Azgalor was sort of a hyped-up warlock -- he had a Rain of Fire, a Howl of Terror, and some sort of Curse of Doom-like thing that spawns a Doomguard upon your death. His aggro was highly tetchy, so Impervious called it a night and went to bed.

Filed under: Patches, Instances, Raiding, Bosses

PTR Notes: Angry tailors vs. Blizzard

Sorry, clothie tailors -- today's not your lucky day. As Mike noted early, word from the PTR is that two of the BOP tailoring sets -- Frozen Shadoweave and Spellfire -- have been significantly nerfed, at least according to their users. As a set, Spellfire gains 29 int but loses 34 damage and 5 spell crit rating, while Frozen Shadoweave loses 34 damage and gets 24 int. The stats on the Primal Mooncloth set seem to be unchanged.

As expected, tailors are not happy about this. While it was widely acknowledged that some of the crafted sets were superior to Tiers 4 and 5, and were a big reason why mages, warlocks and shadow priests were out-DPSing melee, many tailors thought buffing the raid sets instead was the solution. Selected comments from the threads include "gg blizzard i hate you all", "this is a pathetic attempt by blizz to fix their raid game", and "This patch makes me want to kill a cat. Lots of cats. Kittens, even." However, a few casters are okay with the changes, mostly because they calculate it as a minor loss of DPS in exchange for int.

I'm not a clothie or a tailor, so I really don't have an informed reaction to this. What do you think? Is this a needed change, or is it a bait and switch for tailors who put a lot of money into their profession?

Update: Looks like angry tailors win.

Filed under: Mage, Priest, Warlock, Tailoring, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items

PTR Notes: Fixing illumination

Over at Blessing of Kings, Coriel has a great explanation of how the paladin's to-be-changed Illumination talent -- which has been happily residing in the holy tree since the game's release -- became such a thorny problem.

The talent (as it exists now) returns the base mana cost of a healing spell to the paladin when the healing spell crits. (It costs 5 talent points to bring it to this level of effectiveness and requires 15 points in the talent tree. So a fully maxxed illumination will cost you 20 talent points in the holy tree.) The end result is that, overall, the paladin receives a mana discount on their healing spells equal to their spell crit rate. Prior to patch 1.9, a paladin could boost his or her holy spell crit rate by 5% through talents (priests have a similar talent that boosts holy spell crit), but it was difficult for paladins to get any other spell crit gear. The plate itemization simply didn't exist and there was heavy competition for generic items that a paladin could use like the Azuresong Mageblade.

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

PTR Notes: Climb every mountain

It looks like the Battle of Mount Hyjal has been opened for testing on the PTR to everyone with Honored reputation or greater with the Violet Eye. Boubouille of MMO Champion, Bistustal at World of Raids, and the stalwart testers of the Elitist Jerks forums have gone and taken some lovely screenshots for those of us not on the PTR.

You start out at an Alliance base commanded by Lady Jaina Proudmoore, who is apparently both 20 feet tall and totally okay with the non-scourge undead. The Scourge come over the hill in Black Morass-like waves. Without the help of your team, the Alliance and Jaina get owned, and everything despawns.

According to the lore, after the waves at the Alliance base, you should go to the Horde base (commanded by Thrall) and the final Night Elf base (commanded by Tyrande.) You'll fight your way up the mountain until the final battle against Archimonde the Defiler. Wowwiki also suggests that you fight two other major lore figures from Hyjal -- the dreadlord Anetheron and the pit lord Azgalor.

All in all, Mount Hyjal looks like a fun instance. Too bad I'll probably never see it until level 80. What kind of instances would you like to see in the Caverns of Time? Do you wish you could run Hyjal?

Filed under: Patches, Instances

Twink changes in 2.1.0

I never really understood the popularity of the twinking phenomenon. A lowbie character, horribly expensive, never growing or changing but only there to own unsuspecting level 22s venturing to WSG for the first time ... meh. But a lot of people seem to like them, and those people might be upset about some of the undocumented changes in 2.1.0.

According to Xarim on Battleground Forums, several items have been changed to make very low-level twinking more difficult. The Lucky Fishing Hat was a cheap way for level 19 twinks to get 15 stamina, but it now requires level 30 to equip. The herbalism-gathered Nightmare Seeds, which give you a temporary boost of 2000 health, have been changed to be 60+ only. The biggest change for twinks, though, is the fact that the blue leg armor and spellthread leg enhancements can only be placed on items of level 35 or greater, as can shoulder and helm enchants. For some reason, the epic spellthread and leg armor can still be placed on anything. Go figure.

Do you have a 19 or 29 twink? How will these changes affect you? (Thanks to firefly for the tip!)

Filed under: Patches, PvP

Daily quests for casual players irk the hardcore

As you may have heard by now, the faction rep grind for the Netherwing epic mount will require players to complete "Daily" quests-- that is, short collecting quests that can be done only once per day. When players first heard about that, a lot of them felt the same way that Oddig of Skullcrusher did-- they saw the time limits on the quests as just another way Blizzard was trying to turn WoW into a timesink, in order to make spend more time playing less game.

Which is not exactly wrong, if you're a hardcore player who usually grinds rep for hours every day. But as Drysc says, the Daily quests are meant for players who don't have a lot of time to invest all at once. They're meant "to provide greater reward for smaller investments of time." Basically, this is their answer to giving the casual players their own content. Just like rested XP (which is a great idea that rewards you for not rushing through content), the rewards at the end of these "Daily" grinds can't be rushed to by hardcore players who play in huge chunks of time.

When you put it that way, I'm all for it. Hardcore players still won't be happy, but it's there's plenty for them to grind away already-- if you guys have already grinded every single reputation in the game so far that these daily quests are the only ones you have to do, then try playing another game for a bit (I've been liking Titan Quest a lot lately). Some players argue that the casual players expected to do these quests probably won't have the 5,000g needed for the epic riding skill to even start them, to which I say-- err, good point.

Of course the other note here is that, as players have noticed on the PTR, the quests seem to reset every time the server restarts. So if you're really hankering to get to that mount quickly, you don't really have to wait for every day-- hotfixes and restarts can give you a few more quests to do every week.

Filed under: Blizzard, Quests, Factions, Mounts

PTR notes: Up on the roof

It's always nice when Alliance pay a diplomatic visit to Orgrimmar. The ambassadors -- usually of the night elf variety -- tend to sit on the bank's roof, naked and dancing, until the point when some brave Hordie decides to attack the dancer. Then out come the stealthed rogues.

But Alliance are no longer welcome in the Horde capital. As of the 2.1.0 test realm, there are Troll Roof Stalkers on top of the Orgrimmar bank. These level 70 elites are apparently intended to keep Alliance out of Org. Many people are angry at what they consider a new chapter in Blizzard's war on fun, but it's unlikely that enough Alliance enjoy hanging out in Orgrimmar to mount serious protests. Heck, I'm Horde and I don't even like hanging out in Orgrimmar. It looks like it was designed by the army surplus tent store.

Personally, I don't consider this a game-breaking nerf -- but then again, I'm Hordeside. I do understand why it seems unfair, so I will accede to the placement of Gnome Shin Kickers in the Deeprun Tram if this change goes live. Also, I agree that Troll Roof Stalkers would be a great band name. What do you think about this change?

Filed under: Patches, PvP

PTR notes: get your epic BoEs crafted now

Wow, I sure am glad I came across this in my internet travels yesterday, since I seem to have missed it in the patch notes. But there it is: when 2.1 goes live, "The Epic bind on equip Blacksmith weapon recipes now require more materials to make." How much more, you ask? The image above (via World of Raids) shows the new recipes. Here's how they compare to the old:
Guess I better get a move on farming the mights for my Hand of Eternity. The price impact of this change will vary depending on the crafters you know, but based on the rates I've seen should be a few hundred gold. Fortunately, it doesn't look like the patch is going up today, so we have at least a week to get our mats together.

Filed under: Blacksmithing, Patches, Items, Tips

PTR notes: Exalted with Netherwing

Wondering what exactly happens when you get exalted with the Netherwing faction to get that neat flying drake? Joni of Malygos has done the grind on the test realm and has some information for all would-be dragonriders.

After pretending to work for (and sabotaging) the Fel Orcs, she had to race six netherdrakes at honored reputation. On the way to exalted, she could complete 9 daily quests for reputation with the Netherwing. Finally, she hit exalted and got her "reward" from the Fel Orcs ... a personal audience with Illidan. Oops. Looks like those magical eyes can see through your disguise, and you'd be pretty much boned if the Netherwings didn't come down and save you.

Joni ended up being flown to Shattrath and getting to pick a free netherdrake from a number of available colors. The questline also gave her a nice trinket that summons a netherwhelp as a combat pet! She says the grind will take a non-human about two weeks if you do all the daily quests each day, and she plans on writing up a Netherwing guide to help those of us who are a little less motivated to do the whole thing on the PTR. Congratulations, Joni, and may you fly your dragon proudly through the skies of the test realm.

Filed under: Patches, Factions, Mounts

PTR notes: Not-so-Clearcasting for Shamans

By now, you've probably at least heard (perhaps in haiku form) that shamans are facing a serious nerf in the upcoming patch. As a Resto/Elemental shaman, I figured I'd take a few minutes to lay out for you just what we, your trusty totem-dropping buddies, will be facing.

Y'see, there's this ability called Clearcasting. Mages, priests, shaman, and druids can all get it under certain specs-- it basically gives you a mana-free spell every few casts, the percentage of which changes by class. Mages at full spec get a 10% chance, Druids get it as a chance on melee attack, and priests get it as a usable ability (with a 3 minute cooldown).

Now, this talent is especially useful for Shaman, since we are notoriously mana inefficient-- supposedly, that's our tradeoff for being able to melee, heal, and cast damage spells. Way back when, the Clearcasting talent (in the Elemental tree) had a standard rate of 10%, but just recently, in 2.0.10, it was changed to anytime we got a critical spell hit.

That's huge. But it's also what the devs apparently didn't like.

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding, Talents

PTR notes: Welcome to Ogri'la

Along with the Skettis Skyguard, there's another new faction to grind for in 2.1: Ogri'la. In my search for the elusive ogres, I was sent down to the Lower City by a quest giver in Shattrath's Terrace of Light; from there, the next step is to zip up to the Ring of Blood in Blade's Edge and talk to an ogre there. (Side note: the journey was hilarious, as epic flying mounts on the PTR are currently bugged to flutter their wings insanely fast when you fly forward.) I didn't follow through after that, because all the "real" quests to gain reputation with the Ogri'la ogres appear to be 5-man, and the thought of pugging with four other random PTRers was a little daunting.

Never fear, though, I did go over to Ogri'la to snap the above shot and check out the rewards, which you can see in the picture after the cut (not composited by me; my pic was much worse). The prices of all the gear are in Apexis Crystals and Apexis Shards, which I assume drop from whatever it is you have to kill to get Ogri'la rep. If it's anything like the Sporeggar, getting the required reputation level is much more difficult than getting the turn-in tokens. Oh, and there's a repair vendor there, which is always pleasant. Ogri'la is located in the west of Blade's Edge, between Forge Camp Terror and Forge Camp Wrath.

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Filed under: Patches, Leveling, Factions, NPCs

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