- Rallying Cry is a new ability that seems to work like Last Stand for the entire party or raid.
- Colossus Smash now only lowers armor by 70% for 6 seconds, down from 100%.
- Intercept stun is reduced to 1 second. In addition, Juggernaut will no longer increase the stun duration of Charge.
- Whirlwind will now reduce its cooldown by 6 seconds if it strikes four or more targets.
- Several arms abilities have had their damage increased, from Mortal Strike (175% weapon damage) to Overpower (145% weapon damage) to the talented Improved Slam (increases slam damage by 20/40%, up from 10/20%). These are most likely intended to compensate arms for losing Colossus Smash's armor penetration, indicating that nerf was aimed at fury DPS.
- Finally, Improved Hamstring will now also reduce the global cooldown on Hamstring by half a second for 1 point and a full second for two. Less stunning for warriors and more snaring seems to be the order of the day.
Posts with tag mortal-strike
Forget Deathwing. After the horrible start fury got in 4.0.1, it saw some buffs that have made it an extremely beefy DPS spec again. While we may not be topping the meters in all fights, we're certainly putting out some very solid DPS numbers. "Solid" depends on your gear, of course, but my mixed-geared night elf can easily push out 9-11k in a heroic, and my much better-geared draenei can easily put out more if the boss stays alive long enough. With the ICC buff, fury is once again competitive for the top spot (although much less likely to own it) and is no longer a hindrance to your raid. And if you're not a raiding fury warrior, with the change to the justice point system and the removal of ratings on PvP gear, it's never been easier to get solid DPS gear (like I did for my night elf, above).
The gearing requirements are different now, the rotation has changed and we have new glyphs to consider, so while the damage is solid again, there are some real differences to consider.
- Vampiric Touch now deals more damage when dispelled. (Max rank deals 1360 damage, previously 680)
- Devouring Plague cooldown removed, can now only be applied to one target at a time.
If you've been in the Arena during Season 5, you probably have noticed a particular change to the way gladiators fight. It can be summarized in a single word: "Damage." In the bygone days of Season 4, drain teams and Mortal Strike debuffs were all but an entry requirement to high ranked play. Without a strategy to reduce or nullify your enemy's healing, you were unlikely to produce sufficient burst DPS to actually kill anyone. A few double-DPS teams managed to thrive, but for the most part, a gladiator's number one priority was shutting down the healer.
That dynamic is all but dead in Season 5. Players output such a high level of damage compared to other players' health that healing is almost a non-factor in most matches. My friends, Ghostcrawler is aware of this dynamic, and is looking into it. (It turns out, Ghostcrawler mostly plays a healer in the Arena.) As stated by the crab himself, the Arena should not simply be about burst damage. (Nor, however, should it be solely about healing or solely about crowd control.)
Of course, Ghostcrawler does admit he has difficulty saying what the long terms plans are going to be. The design team hasn't had enough whiteboard time to say anything with complete honesty. But he also hopes that as more Resilience gear enters the PvP system, the damage might scale down to be more reasonable. (To quote, "It's mostly just math.") Still, there's hope that future teams will include more than just seeing which team can burst down the other first.
I hate Tauren cat form.
Good. I got that out of my system and can write something productive. Although, believe me, if I could get away with it, an entire Shifting Perspectives would be devoted to just how much I hate Tauren cat form. I mean, just look at it! Look at the angle on the horns! The cat can't bite anything! Christ, I just -- hi, Dan. Yes, I'm totally writing the column! Look at me go!
This week, mindful as always of American election-year politicking, I'm going to borrow a page from presidential duties and write a little something I like to call "State of the Class." Druids have undergone a number of changes in the transition to Wrath of the Lich King, and will acquire even more as they level to 80. We are one of Blizzard's primary targets for both gear and role consolidation, which raises a few questions over how comfortably we're going to scale in relation to pure classes and what we can realistically expect on the march to a new level cap.
The TL:DR version of this article -- I believe our future is generally bright, the Druid community continues to have a few concerns over certain aspects of the class, our focus in PvP seems to be changing the most, and I hate Tauren cat form. This is a three-part post, so let's get started with balance. However, if you want to jump ahead to feral, you'll find that here; and the third part, restoration, is here.
Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Instances, Expansions, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Buffs, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena
Name: Arcanite Reaper (Wowhead, Thottbot, Wowwiki)
Type: Rare (yes, it's not even Epic) Two-Hand Axe
Damage/Speed: 153-256/3.80 (53.8 DPS)
- +13 Stamina (this was before resilience was introduced to the game), +62 Attack Power (which is still substantial, but back then was phenomenal)
- And the main reason the Reaper was so nuts was because of it's slow attack, but high damage. Back in the day, before things got all normalized, Mortal Strike was the shiznit. It was an instant attack based on weapon damage, and since this weapon's damage was so high, pushed forward by the Attack Power bonus, Warriors basically owned PvP back around early level 60 times. In fact, you might even be able to trace the current population of Warriors back to this weapon alone, and for that reason, it's earned not only a place in Warriors' hearts, but in Blizzard's culture as well.
- I should also mention Shaman and Windfury weapon here, because back before all the changes were made to Windfury, and even before Shammies could dual wield, one Shaman with Windfury and this weapon could one-shot almost anyone. Nowadays, everything's mitigated, with nerfs and resilience and all the changes to endgame and Arena PvP. But back then, the Arcanite Reaper ruled the roost.
- Which explains why it's everywhere -- the Arcanite Ripper is a direct rip, if you will, off the old weapon, and brought many a tear to a Warrior's eye when it returned to the game as a guitar. The skin has also been reused a few times, as with the Spinal Reaper. And in the next expansion, there'll be an heirloom item bound to account called the Bloodied Arcanite Reaper, so all of your two-handed melee characters can relive the old days as they level up.
- Oh, and take a close look at that summoned Felguard running towards you while the Warlock's DoTs are ripping you apart -- he's carrying an old Arcanite Reaper as well.
But maybe you can find a Blacksmith with the plans already -- in that case, you'll need 20 Arcanite Bars, six Enchanted Leathers (made by an Enchanter from a Rugged Leather and a Lesser Eternal Essence), and two Dense Grinding Stones. Not a tall order, actually (yet another reason why this weapon was so popular). Melt it all together, and voila, you've got a classic weapon. Won't do much good these days, as mechanics and upgrades have rendered the once great Reaper into a not very attractive blue. But don't tell any grizzled old Warriors that -- they'll make you remember the old days whether you like it or not.
Getting Rid of It: Sells to vendors for 6g 57s 36c. Disenchants into a Large Brilliant Shard. Has killed more Mages than you'll ever meet, consarnit!
Gallery: Phat Loot Phriday
Ftoomsh of Aman'Thul is hopping mad that Shamans will be getting Hex in Wrath of the Lich King. Green with envy, she feels that Mages are already being rendered obsolete in PvE. Polymorph as a unique ability should not be added to a pool of skill for more classes to draw from. The original poster jumped to the conclusion that giving this ability to Shamans make Mages completely useless.
Baah, I say. Hex is similar to Polymorph, but is definitely not the same spell. You might even say it doesn't go the whole nine yards. Several of the responding post reminded Ftoomsh that the Hex ability in its current form only lasts ten seconds. On top of that it set to a one-minute cool down while Polymorph has no cooldown but diminishing returns. The frogged character will be in control of their movement, but ill not be able to cast with the debuff. I'd like to add that Hex does appear to lack the healing mechanic of polymorph.
If you're like me, you're looking forward to June 24th with almost breathless anticipation. New season, new ratings, new competition. And like hundreds (thousands?) of others, we have a Warrior sitting patiently at the stables, prepping for the gates to open. He sits there, foaming at the mouth, smiling nervously at his partner Druid or Priest, with Mortal Strike almost literally visible in his pixellated eyes.
Build Shop has discussed Warrior hybrid builds previously, but that 28/33 build was focused on actual hybrid play - a mix of PvP and PvE. The classic Arena-based "Mortal Strike Hybrid" starts off with at least 31 points sitting in the Arms tree -- you can't have a "Mortal Strike Hybrid" without Mortal Strike. Mortal Strike is a foundation of the Arena build. While there's leeway earlier in the Arms and Fury trees for this build, the deeper in the trees you get, the more certain talents become "mandatory."
After the break, let's talk about the talents and whirligigs that make the Mortal Strike Hybrid so popular and powerful in the Arena.
In all seriousness, we've got a great team of people getting together that are starting to learn to play with each other. Our record will improve, and we'll have some fun while playing some great matches. So if you haven't already signed up for the Arena Tournament (it's only $20), go do so now and come over and fight your favorite authors!
Also, I'll be frapsing most of our matches tonight, so if you get lucky, you might just find yourself in a WoW Insider video.
What? Arena Battles
Where? Arena Tournament Server One
When? 10:00 p.m. CDT, tonight
So what are you waiting for? Grab your sword and fight the Horde!
We've been at this before on the Tournament Test Realm server, which was the "beta" version of the Arena Server. There was only one server and everyone could make a character, so it was often crowded and slow. On the Arena Server, you have to register to enter the Arena Tournament, which costs $20. Only then can you get on the Arena Server. This makes things a bit more manageable in terms of population and server stability. There wasn't much lag or other issues.
One thing that I found was the queue times were very fast. We didn't have to wait more than 10 seconds to get in a game. We were playing 3v3 matches, so this might have had something to do with it; as I'm sure the queue times were higher for 5v5 or 2v2.
If you're wondering, and I'm sure you are, our team name is "WoW Insider" on server one, and we're named "insideradam", etc... How many matches did we win?
Those of you who are fanatics of the WoW TCG have probably heard of the new Servants of the Betrayer expansion already, but even if you have, it's worth checking out this new article on the official Upper Deck TCG site. It goes into greater length about the philosophy behind the new cards, and introduces the basic ideas, mechanics, and lore behind the new Traitor Heroes. While "Servants of the Betrayer" rightly assumes you'll be able to control Vashj and Kael, they decided that they did not want to make those two central to deck building, since they already plan to release a new Black Temple raid deck later on. Instead, they will be possible allies of a new series of "Traitor Heroes."
A player called Macrospamftw (yeah, I laughed) insists it's because Megatf was posting content and links that contained keyloggers, which sounds a lot more plausible than mere criticism (let's face it, if CM's banned people for that, the official forums would be a ghost town). But the player Guinevere counters by saying there were no links in the banned posts. Poking around a little more resulted in additional details: Megatf often posted while tipsy and was prone to foul language. That's certainly more than enough for a forum ban, but a permanent one?
Megatf does seem to have vanished from the forums completely. Not only are the threads in question gone, but according to the hunters, Megatf's popular post on Hunter PvP has also disappeared. Do any of our readers know what's going on?
What in the world is causing such a huge discrepancy between hunters and other classes when it comes to high-rating arena representation? When I play in Arenas and Battlegrounds, I don't feel like my class is somehow deficient or underpowered. My team's Arena rating is average -- we're not the best, but not the worst either. When I get beaten, I usually feel like the other team actually played better (or outgeared us, at least), so it's rather hard to see what's so messed up about hunters.
The most obvious issue I can think might be the issue is that of Line of Sight. Hunters obviously have a rough time shooting at things behind sort of obstacle. In battlegrounds there are more wide open spaces, so it seems less of an issue there, but in Arenas it can get fairly annoying. Classes like warlocks and shadowpriests can just put a damage-over-time spell on you, and then hide behind a pillar, while druids can move freely around obstacles to give them plenty of time to heal themselves between your attacks. Warriors and other melee classes can hide for a bit, then get in so close that you can't use your best ranged abilities on them for a few seconds until you can somehow get away.
Possibly the most interesting change is the fact that the Warlock Life Tap nerf seems to be currently completely reversed. The spell is restored to its 2.3 status, with the highest rank swapping 580 health for 580 mana at the base value.
In addition, the Mortal Strike debuff appears to have been removed from the description of the Flametongue weapon and totem for Shamans.
Priests will now also be able to dispel up to 10 friendly and 10 hostile targets using Mass Dispel.
Also added this patch were the musical files for the Sunwell, as well as a handful of new effects with names such as "Quest Complete," "Summon Festival Scorchling," and "Guzzle Beer," which look to most involve the seasonal content for the Midsummer Fire Festival.
Welcome to progressive patching, folks. This is an incredible turn of events for sure. Not only is one of the most controversial nerfs in WoW history completely reversed, but it seems that Shamans can't quite celebrate their re-ascension to PvP power just yet. These could be temporary, of course, and we'll see what happens when the dust settles. If Blizzard has simply decided to revert these changes in the short term, how will they tackle the underlying issues of Warlock mana usage and Shaman PvP viability? Will they put it off for another patch, or take a different angle as testing continues? We'll be eager to find out!
Enter Patch 2.4 in the PTRs. When Kalgan finally descended upon the Shaman forums, he said that Shamans were definitely getting buffed just in time to quell the wake of an uproar to the nerfs made to the Elemental spec. Along with the reversal of the Nature's Swiftness and Elemental Mastery shared cooldown, the current iteration of the progressive patch is seeing a change to the Shaman's Flametongue Weapon and Totem, which happens to be -- surprise, surprise -- a Mortal Strike-style debuff. Yawn.
While it's certainly a welcome change, considering that Shamans get so little love, frankly it's getting a little boring. Allie mentioned calls for putting the buff on every class (Mortal Sheep or Mortal Portal for Mages is a classic), so this begs the question... is a Mortal Strike-type ability the only way to make a class or spec viable in the Arenas? Aside from the fact that Mortal Strike Warriors are conceivably the most popular class & spec, healing debuffs are clearly one of the game-breaking abilities in Arenas. With Resilience making crit-based and burst damage specs less and less viable, is there really a need for another Mortal Strike? Can't Blizzard make another buff to make a spec Arena-viable without using the same old trick? What do you guys think? How much more creative can you be?