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Posts with tag build-8885

The Tuesday Morning Post: Treadmills, Bambi, and keyloggers in space

Good Tuesday morning, everyone! Most of us will be getting away just a quick set of rolling restarts at 5AM PDT today, but there is a handful of servers that will be going down for extended maintenance from 3AM PDT to 11AM PDT. Those servers include Azjol-Nerub, Bloodscalp, Bonechewer, Boulderfist, Bronzebeard, Crushridge, Daggerspine, Darkspear, Draenor, Dragonblight, Dragonmaw, Dunemaul, Eldre'Thalas, Feathermoon, Firetree, Frostmane, Gurubashi, Nathrezim, Perenolde, Scarlet Crusade, Shadow Council, Shadowsong, Silvermoon, Skywall, Smolderthorn, Spirestone, Stonemaul, Stormscale, Suramar, Terenas, Uldum, Windrunner.

As always, for those who play on the affected servers, or those who are unable to play WoW at the moment, let me suggest some articles from the past week. There was certainly a lot of news to discuss, with build 8885 going up on the Wrath Beta servers and a good smattering of con news as well. Let's check it out:

Hot News and Features

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

The new Misery

Many Shadow Priests are not feeling very good about the state of the class in LK right now. Yes, buffs to DPS are promised. But a lot of our utility has tanked, from Shadow Weaving not affecting other players, to Vampiric Touch being dialed down and given to other classes, to Misery. It's sad, but amusing that a talent named Misery would get nerfed this hard.

Currently, in live, Misery gives 1/2/3/4/5% increased spell damage for all players against targets affected by your Shadow Word: Pain, Mind Flay, and Vampiric Touch. Pretty sweet. As of the latest beta version, it's +1/2/3% spell hit for all players against targets affected by the same spells. The reason this is especially bad (besides that the last two ranks of the talent were removed) is that most casters are hit-capped when they raid, which means that additional spell hit doesn't help them at all.

So either players are going to start gearing assuming Misery will be up – which defeats Blizzard's stated goal of making it so no class is truly essential for a raid – or Misery is going to be worthless most of the time (outside of leveling maybe). This seems like a good case of a broken talent, and so I have every hope that it will get addressed during the beta. But as of right now, Misery is pretty miserable indeed.

Filed under: Priest, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Rogues in 8885: Tricks of the Trade


Most of the shiny gifts that were given to Rogues in the latest beta build were previewed last night in an unusually large post by Blizzard, but there is one that they were coy about, and it's the new level 75 skill: Tricks of the Trade. Fortunately, MMO-Champion is resourceful, and has found it out:
  • The current party or raid member becomes the target of your Tricks of the Trade. The threat caused by your next attack and all actions taken for 6 sec afterwards will be transferred to the target. In addition, all damage caused by the target is increased by 15% during this time.

As many people have mentioned by now, this is basically an amped-up Misdirection for Rogues. The damage increase gives it some utility in PvP, where threat is meaningless, and of course it doesn't hurt in PvE. Rogues don't usually have problems with threat, but we do have problems occasionally with not bringing much to the group besides DPS. This will certainly help change that; we can now help cement aggro onto the tank whenever needed (the word is that the cooldown on this is 30 seconds). And the way it's shaping up these days, pretty much every class brings something special; why not rogues? Even if, in true Rogue fashion, we've stolen that "something special" from the Hunters -- I love it.

Filed under: Rogue, Wrath of the Lich King

8885 is not entirely kind to Priests

My favorite class was certainly not left out of the party when it came to this beta build. The most interesting changes to me:

  • Inner Fire works on spell power now, not just healing spell power as was the case in previous builds. This only makes sense, given that spell power is unified now.
  • Penance has been buffed for all ranks, but I need to see proper numbers before I can make any conclusions. MMO-Champion is noting that it now ticks twice instead of thrice; I'm hoping that's a bug related to lowering the channel time to 2 sec.
  • The new Disc talent Grace got the stuffing nerfed out of it. It now reads as follows: Your Flash Heal, Greater Heal, and Penance spells have a 50/100% chance to bless the target with Grace, reducing damage done to the target by 1%. This effect will stack up to 3 times. Effect lasts 8 sec. Yikes. It was a very strong talent, but I'm not sure it deserved to be hit quite this hard.
  • Focused Power reworked to increase your total spell damage and healing by 2/4%, and reduce the cast time of Mass Dispel by 0.5 sec. Anything that makes you 2% more Priest per talent point is practically a must-have talent.
  • New Disc talent: Renewed Hope (Tier 8): Increases the critical effect chance of your Flash Heal, Greater Heal and Penance spells by 3% on targets afflicted by the Weakened Soul effect.
Our Shadow brethren were not left out either, though perhaps they will wish they had been (this is all stuff that had been previewed in the big "raid stacking" post).
  • Vampiric Touch changed to implement the new mana battery model ("cause up to 10 party or raid members to gain 0.5% of their maximum mana per second while you are dealing shadow damage").
  • Misery changed to 3 ranks, now gives 1/2/3% spell hit.
  • Shadow Weaving changed to 3 ranks, and now only increases the shadow damage you deal.

Definitely a bittersweet moment in the Priest development cycle. I really hope Shadow gets some major buffs soon.

[via MMO-Champion]

Filed under: Priest, Wrath of the Lich King

Paladin changes in Beta build 8885


Three major changes were implemented for Paladins that affect all three specs in the latest Wrath Beta build. Beacon of Light was reworked, Blessing of Sanctuary was buffed, and Retribution was nerfed through changes to Blessing of Might and Judgements of the Wise. The nerfs aside, the two other changes make a significant difference in gameplay, particularly the change to Beacon of Light.

Beacon of Light
The target becomes a Beacon of Light to all targets within a 40 yard radius. Any heals you cast on those targets will also heal the Beacon for 100% of the amount healed.
The promised rework of Beacon of Light is finally here and it's absolutely amazing. It fits better with the Paladin's kit, which is -- still -- cast heals vs. HoTs and single target healing. Paladins are the best single target healers in the game and the new Beacon of Light capitalizes on that by adding a secondary target to the primary heal. It's not quite the group heal we've been asking for, but it does the job quite nicely. In fact, it's like the now retired Blessing of Light's great granddaddy for heals because when you heal the Beacon of Light's target, the heal is doubled. I don't know if that's intended or a bug because when you cast Beacon of Light on yourself, it won't work.

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

8885 for Hunters: AotV reworked

There is a surprising amount of new and interesting things in the latest beta version, build 8885, for the Hunter class. Let's start things off with a bang:

  • Aspect of the Viper changed to: The hunter takes on the aspect of the viper, instantly regenerating mana equal to 100% of the damage done by any ranged attack or ability, but reduces your total damage done by 50%. Only one Aspect can be active at a time.

That's a total reworking of the skill. Now it's sort of a cross between Evocation and Shamanistic Rage, but with no cooldown. If you need some mana back, just turn it on and go crazy for a little while. Your DPS will suffer a bit, but you'll have full mana by the end of it. I like the idea.

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Filed under: Hunter, Wrath of the Lich King

Mage changes in Wrath beta build 8885

Mages certainly weren't forgotten in beta build 8885. Did they get everything they could have hoped for? No, not really, they didn't. There are some nice things mixed in with the handful of changes though.
  • Hot Streak has been changed. After two Fireball, Scorch or Frostfire Bolt crits in a row, you have a 33/66/100% chance for your next Pyroblast within 10 seconds to be an instant cast.
  • Improved Scorch now does the exact same thing as Winter's Chill. Yay?
  • Improved Water Elemental now makes your Elemental regen mana to all party or raid members equal to 0.2/0.4/0.6% of their total mana every 5 seconds.
  • Fingers of Frost now lasts 15 seconds, but only affects you next two frost spells.
  • Slow received a straight buff, reducing movement speed by 60%, and increasing casting time and time between ranged attacks by 60%, all up from its original 50%.
  • Focus Magic now buffs the entire raid's damage.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Death Knights receive unique voices

The fine folk over at DeathKnight.info have posted a video of the unique Death Knight voices we've all been promised. They don't have an entirely new set of voice emotes (at least not yet), they took a slightly different route. There's actually a sound filter over the voices, making them sound echoey and spooky. The females have been described as sounding like banshees, which is pretty accurate I think. If you're not a fan of the voice effects, you're allowed to turn them off in your Sound control panel so you won't have to hear it. Other people still will, unless they do the same.

I'm definitely a fan of this for most of the race/gender combos. Some of them are lackluster (in my opinion) such as the Female Dwarves. The best? Male Blood Elf by far. That laugh? Awesome. Just awesome. I'm sure we'll see a couple of tweaks to this before the end of the beta period, but they're definitely on the right track, I think.
Do you like the new Death Knight voice effect?
Yes2225 (49.4%)
No377 (8.4%)
It needs work, but it's okay1901 (42.2%)

Filed under: Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Druid changes in 8885

The latest beta push, build 8885, had changes for pretty much every class. Druids, of course, were no exception. Balance received the bulk of the changes, though it's mostly on the level of small tweaks. A few talents were moved around in the talent tree. Notably, Insect Swarm has been pushed down two tiers and correspondingly buffed up to 5% reduced chance to hit.

The really interesting part of the Balance tree changes is some great synergy for Resto druids. For instance:

  • New Talent Nature's Splendor (Tier 3): Increases the duration of your Moonfire, Insect Swarm, Rejuvenation, Regrowth, Lifebloom and Flourish spells by 10/20/30%.
  • New Talent Genesis (Tier 1): Increases the damage and healing done by your periodic spells by 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • Focused Starlight renamed Nature's Majesty and now affects Nourish and Healing Touch as well.

Looks like yet another step in the new quest to open up the talent trees and give us more options. Oh, and the Moonkin Aura now hits any raid member within 45 yards. Edit: Nature's Grasp now trainable, 100% chance to hit.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Wrath of the Lich King

Priest glyphs from Beta build 8885

A new batch of glyphs has come with the latest Beta push, and I can't really say the Priest ones are impressive. They're pretty boring, but not every batch of glyphs can be mind-blowing. They're not even implemented yet. Still, they're there, and it's usually some indicator of things to come so let's take a look, shall we?

Glyph of Fading - Reduces the mana cost of your Fade spell by 50%.


Well, I'm willing to guess this is a Minor Glyph. It's not that great and Fade isn't something you spam, though you'll be using it a lot more in PvP than PvE for sure. In the Wrath beta, Fade currently costs 13% of your base mana, according to Wowhead. At level 80, Fade will cost you around 470 mana, give or take a couple of points. With this glyph, it will cost 235 mana. If you're using a talented Fade every 24 seconds it will be equivalent to roughly an extra 50 mana per 5 seconds. According to a friend of mine, 48.95 mp5 is the exact amount. I didn't really feel like getting that crunchy about it, so I'll take his word for it. You probably won't use it immediately every cooldown, but eh.

As a minor glyph, that's fairly decent, really. It sounds underwhelming, but assuming it is a minor glyph, it's likely not a terrible choice for a PvP Shadow Priest. It'll come down to whether or not vastly better glyphs are available.

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

Cooking recipes in Beta build 8885

The latest beta patch brought a fantastic assortment of Cooking recipes, finally getting started on implementing that profession in full. Throughout The Burning Crusade, they really stepped up Cooking as something you want to learn. Wrath of the Lich King seems to be expanding that. Many of the cooking recipes are great for battle as usual, but they've also expanded on the Delicious Chocolate Cake bit and made some things that are just for fun, and there are also some cool things like gaining Tracking abilities from eating a specific food. Food for your pets has returned as well, bigger and better than ever, supplying Stamina and Strength instead of just one or the other.

Honestly, despite all of the awesome stat food, I have to say my favorite recipe I've seen so far is Critter Bites. The description states, "Throw a critter bite to a critter to control it. Critters are small non hostile level 1 creatures." By 'control it' I suppose they could mean it becomes a pet like if you were to Mind Control a mob as a Priest, but it's more likely it becomes a temporary vanity pet. I haven't had an opportunity to try it yet, but you can be sure I'll run out and do it as soon as I get a chance.

The unfortunate part of this is that... a lot of the recipes are totally inaccessible, such as the Critter Bites I mentioned above. Like the Jewelcrafting gem cuts, there are daily quests implemented that award tokens, which in turn are exchanged for recipes. The quests are implemented, but the quest items are not, and thus the quests can't be completed. You can't buy anything from the vendors, either. The basic recipes are there for all to see, though, and for those of you not in the Wrath of the Lich King beta we have a Wrath Cooking gallery started up for you!

Edit: I forgot to mention, all of the recipes in the gallery I was able to learn with 375 Cooking. You can learn everything here essentially straight out of BC, so there's likely a lot more on the way.

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

Warriors and Beta build 8885

I'm warning you now, any further reading will contain spoilers for talents and skills for warriors in Wrath of the Lich King. You cannot say you were not warned, if not by the title of the post, then by me now.

Overall, the changes are deceptive. They look small at first, until you really stop and think about them. The biggest changes are also a little baffling, but not necessarily bad. You can't really expect sweeping changes two builds in a row, so it's really not terribly surprising that prot didn't get the big review we've been waiting for to date. On the whole, the changes aren't anything to get worked up over, but they do seem to be heading towards a desire to balance threat generation, and so I applaud them even if I don't think they were entirely successful.

I've dithered enough: on to the changes, concealed from view behind the jump.

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

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