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Posts with tag nerf

Spiritual Guidance: The ups and downs of the 4.0.1 shadow priest

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Your shadow-specced host Fox Van Allen encourages you to enjoy this, the Wednesday shadow version of Spiritual Guidance, for the world may end tomorrow night when he and Dawn Moore meet in person for the first time. Matter and anti-matter will collide, but with what result -- complete annihilation ... or karaoke?

For a few brief hours on Oct. 12, when patch 4.0.1 first went live, shadow priests were gods.

That's what it felt like, anyway. It was an interesting aligning of the planets: Shadow priests (and really, most spellcasting classes) were churning out impressive DPS numbers. Melee classes were lagging far behind, underpowered. Such imbalance was destined to be short lived, but it was damn nice while it lasted.

Patch 4.0.1 was -- and still is -- an unpolished work in progress. There's still a lot of rebalancing going on, and that often means, unfortunately, getting hit with nerfs. We got hit with a couple of them, and they both concern Shadow Word: Death. We'll talk about that -- and about the reality of 4.0.1 mana regen -- just beneath the fold.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Cataclysm

The cynic's guide to World of Warcraft

We tend to be very careful while composing articles here at WoW Insider. We're always mindful that not everyone plays the game in the same way, or has the same experience on different servers or factions, but every so often a certain madness seizes us and we feel the urge to ... tell the truth. In that vein, I am pleased (sort of) to present The Cynic's Guide to World of Warcraft.

This article owes a heavy debt to Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary. If you want to see a real master at work, read that.

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Filed under: Humor

Upcoming Adjustments announced for Old Kingdom, Nexus, Culling of Stratholme

Zarhym popped into one of the many official forum topics complaining about the seemingly inordinate amount of times Old Kingdom pops on the Dungeon Finder to offer some welcome news for exhausted dungeon runners: Old Kingdom and Nexus alike will be receiving some adjustments meant to bring the dungeons in line with other Wrath heroics.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Instances, Bosses

Breakfast Topic: The effect of nerfs and buffs

A question for the readership this morning (well, two) -- is a recent nerf to a specific class a strong incentive against playing it for you? Conversely, does a buff to a class make you more likely to play it?

Blizzard's observed in the past that there's often a correlation between the perception of a class as overpowered and the number of people who choose to play it (witness the proliferation of rogues in classic WoW, for example), so it seems fair to say that at least a portion of the player base's class choice is impacted by the conclusion they reach on design decisions. Then again, my own experience in-game -- and the pattern of comment votes here on WoW.com concerning class changes -- leads me to believe that yo-yoing between classes based on which one is doing "best" at any given time is not the overwhelming trend. The Warcraft Census' numbers on class population also seem to be evening out, slowly but surely, from a little bit over 6 months ago (which was itself an improvement over very lopsided numbers in favor of death knights and paladins shortly after Wrath went live). This would seem to suggest that, over the long term, people continue to play the class they like most for reasons that survive design changes. Or is it just that each character represents such a significant time investment that most people don't think it's worth it to switch mains?

I'm sure that arena and PvP as a whole wind up driving a portion of this, but what impact do class nerfs and buffs really have? If your main was ever nerfed, did you wind up playing a different toon, or did it just not matter that much to you? If your main was buffed, was it genuinely more fun to play?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Hotfixes incoming for some DPS and tanks, not hunters or priests

Ghostcrawler has dropped information on the forums about a few incoming hotfixes to patch 3.3. The first three changes are posted over on the DPS role forum:
  • Hunger for Blood will increase damage by 10% instead of 15%. Assassination rogues needed damage, but they got too much, and this will bring them back. Sorry rogues -- the tooltip, we're also told, might not change right away.
  • Scourge Strike will crit only once, not on the shadow portion of the damage. "This change just proved to be too bursty in PvP and provide too much sustained damage in raids." He also gives lots more explanation of the change on the forums -- this one will be discussed quite a bit.
  • Rolling Corruptions will no longer use the initial haste value indefinitely. More of a bugfix than a change, says GC -- the haste value should drop out to normal after a few ticks of the spell.
Elsewhere, GC says that there are no changes planned for the new hunter epic ammo, so find a friendly engineer and stick to them like glue. There is a hotfix incoming for the bug that causes tanked mobs to move around randomly -- thank goodness on that. And SW: Pain's immunity from the haste change for shadow priests will probably stay right where it is.

Filed under: Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Patch 3.3: The Oculus receives a welcome nerf

Ah, the Oculus. The bane of every PUG's existence since Wrath launch. Not a bad instance, just loaded with too many gimmicks and not exactly friendly to ... less erudite players. But, I mean, I have a bunch of 80s and even I still hate running Oculus. And I would never PUG it in its current state. In fact, upon hearing about the new Dungeon System and its daily random dungeon, I thought "well, bad news if you get Oculus."

Well, it looks like all of us are in luck. In the latest Patch 3.3 PTR patch notes update, the Oculus got its very own section! Check this out.
  • Many bosses and creatures have had their total health reduced.
  • Several bosses and creatures have had cooldowns on specific abilities increased, effect durations reduced, and damage on some of these abilities reduced.
  • Ring-Lord Conjurers and Sorceresses now hang out in packs of 4 instead of packs of 5.
  • Vehicle scaling on the drakes based on the rider's item level has been increased to make them more powerful.
Heck yes! Smaller trash packs, HP nerfs, and even an increase the drake scaling that they already implemented to make them not as much of a pain in the keister. Will it make people not complete abhor the Oculus? Let's not get too ahead of ourselves. But maybe it'll stop people from willingly giving themselves the Random Dungeon deserter debuff just to get out of the place.

Oh, and quick thing. "Oculus" has one C in it. Just the one. Spread the word.
Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Patches

Vanish "change" coming in patch 3.3


Ghostcrawler (who decided to back off the forums, and then decided to back off that decision slightly) is now back on the forums with word of a change that Rogues will probably be intrigued by: he promises, in patch 3.3, a "change" to Vanish. That's about all we get, unfortunately -- some players assume that it's the Vanish fix they've been seeking for so long, but it sounds more to me like a reworking than a straight-out fix, considering that he points out that if Blizzard finds it's too much of a buff to Rogues (is he actually saying that Vanish working as intended is OP?) then they'll nerf it down.

Anyway, as for when we'll get to try it out, GC gives an official "soon (tm)," so look for a fix on a 3.3 PTR near you coming up quick. Hopefully they've come up with a solution that both keeps Rogues happy in terms of using Vanish the way it's intended, and also keeps the ability in line with other classes in the game.

Filed under: Rogue, Patches, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Classes

Patch 3.2.2 Hunters see changes to Bestial Wrath



Ghostcrawler has reached into his mysterious bags of tricks and drew out the Hunter card once again it seems. Last week we discussed the recent change to Armor Penetration. While we all agree that it is a nerf to Marksman Hunters and will reduce their DPS. The jury is still out on whether it is a game mechanics correction (which I tend to believe) or some evil plot to cause Hunters to spend more gold.

Well the changes continued to happen. Last Thursday we heard more from Ghostcrawler regarding a new change that will be hitting Beast Master Hunters in Patch 3.2.2. The interesting thing about this recent change is it is both a buff and a nerf. To help explain what I mean let's take a closer look at how Ghostcrawler explained the change on the Damage Dealing Forums.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Classes, Buffs, Forums, Battlegrounds, Arena, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Hunter thoughts on the Patch 3.2.2 Armor Penetration nerf


Well folks, we recently heard that Ghostcrawler announced the upcoming nerf to Armor Penetration in Patch 3.2.2.

I'll be honest with you. I'm not sure why this is turning into such a big deal is to everyone. I'm not saying I don't understand the mechanics of the change. And I do see the impact to us Hunters, especially endgame raiding Marksman Hunters. But really, let's take a step back and look at the reasoning behind the change.

Ghostcrawler said that they implemented this change after noticing everyone was picking up Armor Pen at the expense of their core stats. Really? And somehow we're surprised that when a secondary stat becomes more important than a class' primary stat and it forced a nerf? It seems more of a correction in my opinion.

If you're a raiding Marks or Survival Hunter you should be focusing on picking up as much Agility (Attack Power if you're a Beast Master) as possible. Hence why in Cataclysm we're seeing things like Armor Penetration removed from the itemization.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

The dying Hunter?

The folks over at Ten Ton Hammer have a post with some anecdotal data about Hunters -- they claim that Azeroth's ranged DPS pet class is on a decline lately, and they've got only some guild application numbers to back the theory up. Mem over there says that there are a few diehard Hunters still floating around, and lots of alts, but that as a class, it's fallen off in terms of popularity for sure.

Is he right? Fortunately, there's a site that tracks numbers (as reliably as you'll find for public information, anyway -- certainly Blizzard has access to much more information) on exactly that. WarcraftRealms' list of classes over time does prop the "declining Hunter" theory up -- as you can see (from both Alliance and Horde totals), Death Knights took a nice bite out of all the classes for a little while, and Hunters have been on a pretty steady slope down since mid-January, when patch 3.0.8 hit the realms. That, of course, was the harsh Beastmaster nerf, and ever since then, Hunters have had some real trouble recovering (not to mention that all class playtime is declining in general -- despite their slope downwards, Hunters are still in the top three classes played anyway).

Is this the end of Hunters? Not at all -- Blizzard has already said that they are cyclical about balancing classes, and a heavy set of nerfs on one side of the cycle is usually accompanied by a burst of buffs on the other. Not to mention that the most interesting Hunter changes, the ammo revamp, hasn't yet found its way to the game. Reworking of ammo (in addition to some likely buffs there), will probably bring lots of Hunters back to the stables, so to speak. But it's true, Hunters are on a downward turn lately.

[via WoW LJ]

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Classes, Talents, Buffs

Mimiron hard mode nerfed

We've been seeing sporadic reports today that the Mimiron hard mode was nerfed via hotfix at some point during the night, and it appears those reports were correct. Bornakk just posted in the "recent in-game fixes" thread that the following changes were made to the hard mode of Ulduar's ingenious keeper:

  • Flame damage reduced.
  • Damage/health gained from Emergency Mode reduced slightly.
  • Range of Emergency Fire Bot's Deafening Siren reduced in heroic; no longer cast on normal.
  • Damage from Heat Wave in phase 2 reduced.
  • Damage from Plasma Blast in phase 1 reduced.

That's a pretty wide array of nerfs. I haven't tried the hard mode - my guild is still working on getting the normal mode down consistently. I do love the fight on normal, though; it's not easy, but it is super-fun.

Hard-mode raiders, what do you think? Does this fall in the category of "why would you nerf a hard mode," or was he simply ridiculous before?

Filed under: Raiding, Bosses

Replenishment's wild ride

Ah, Replenishment. No buff might be more welcomed in raids and reviled in theorycrafting. Ever since Ghostcrawler told us it was a necessary buff earlier this year, Blizzard seems to have twirled it around and around, taunting us like the proverbial carrot on a stick. It's been passed out to many classes, buffed a few times, nerfed even more (that Arena nerf was particularly strange), and in patch 3.2, soon headed to the PTR, it's getting nerfed again, even while MP5 (mana per five seconds) is getting a boost. What's the deal?

Merlot, the Shadow Priest behind the Misery blog, has a good breakdown of just why Blizzard is so schizo with Replenishment. The whole point of the buff was to have Blizzard have some control over mana during fights -- instead of worrying about each class' mana separately, they'd just have this buff that gave mana like a big spigot, which they could then control as they saw fit. But players are so different across the board that putting them all under one big buff umbrella hasn't worked so well: a buff to Replenishment helps some and hurts others, and a nerf does the same, meaning Blizzard is flipping back and forth on turning the spigot on or off nearly every patch.

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Filed under: Paladin, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Buffs

Yogg-Saron and Flame Leviathan nerfed tonight

It looks like some pretty big nerfs to the Yogg-Saron fight tonight. Ulduar's big bad (well, one of two) will have a much easier first phase, as the Guardians of Yogg-Saron have ceased mind-controlling players, as well as becoming "more forgiving" in their spawn rate. Additionally, flash-frozen players that touch a cloud will no longer bring forth a Guardian.

Flame Leviathan's hard mode was hit as well. The amount of extra health he gets per tower up was reduced and the snare effect of Hodir's tower removed. Additionally, vehicles caught in a flash freeze will be freed with a single shot from a Demolisher or Siege Engine cannon. Players will also not go quite so high when ejected from Flamey following a stun, which should make them a bit easier to pick up.

Oh, and XT-002 Deconstructor won't make people into bombs quite so often (and his heart's health was reduced a touch on 25-man). Overall, it seems Yoggy will be significantly easier. My guild isn't there yet, though (next up for us is Mimiron) - people who have done the fight, how big of a deal will these changes be?

Filed under: News items, Raiding

Tuesday's in-game fixes


We love in-game fixes, right?

Blizzard blue poster Bornakk has announced a couple new in-game fixes. The updates are as follows:

First, the nerf to the Paladin's Vindication talent that set the Pally community on fire yesterday is now live. The nerf removed stamina and intellect from the 20% reduction that Vindication gave. All other primary statistics are still affected by Vindication.

Secondly, Maim, Bash, and Hammer of Justice will no longer cause a player's spell to be interrupted when they're immune to stun. They will still interrupt the NPC's spells however.

There have been a handful of other hot fixes that we've covered the past few days, and those are recapped after the break.

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Filed under: Paladin, News items

Vindication hotfixed, no longer affects Stam or Int

A hotfix is in the works for the Retribution Paladin talent Vindication. When the fix goes live ("as early as this afternoon"), Vindication will no longer reduce the Intellect or Stamina of affected targets. It will continue to reduce Agility, Spirit, and Strength. As usual, tooltips will not immediately update to reflect this change; the tooltips will be incorrect until they can be fixed in a content patch.

Bornakk says this fix was put in place to address Retribution paladins being "very prominent" in PvP, "especially in the lower Arena brackets," without hurting Ret PvE DPS. Nerfing a class based on performance in lower brackets seems a little weird to me, but whatever. We did have some rumblings that something like this was coming - a PvP nerf that doesn't affect PvE. This certainly covers those bases. It leaves Vindication a pretty lackluster talent, though. Will you still keep it in your talent spec?

Filed under: Paladin, PvP

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