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Posts with tag nerfs

WoW Insider Show episode 46: When the cat's away

We had a very special WoW Insider show last Saturday. With the usual suspects out of town Daniel, Robin, Duncor and I had a blast talking about all kinds of juicy goodness. You can download the show and listen to it whenever you like.

  • I've recently gotten my new Blizzard authenticator, and I'm really happy about it. Other folks are not quite as enthusiastic about it.
  • We discussed the current state of Mages and Paladins.
  • We had a number of great emails from our listeners. Daniel told us all about Death Knight Role-Playing.

I didn't talk about my car once, but I did throw a motorcycle reference in there. I got a chance to play the role of host, sorry folks, no giggling or flirting involved. Was it as good for you as it was for me? We shall have another special guest host for the next podcast. Be sure to join us every Saturday on WC Radio at 3:30 PM.

Filed under: Mage, Paladin, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Death Knight, WoW Insider Show

WoW Insider Show served fresh tomorrow afternoon

Do you know what's brewing in World of Warcraft this week? Come dish with us on the WoW Insider Show live on the air tomorrow. We've got reservations at 3:30 Eastern on WoW Radio. As always we'll be taking on some of the spiciest topics from the past week. We're still simmering in the wake of WWI announcements, so it's certain that we'll have plenty to talk about.

With our intrepid co-lead out of town, the bloggers have cooked up quite a show. I've giggled and flirted my way to acting host for the day (or something like that). I'll be joined by piping-hot Daniel Whitcomb, the sizzling Robin Torres, and the ever-tasteful Turpster this week. What's on the menu? We'll start with a Broken Mage salad with a side of Conjured Manna Biscuits. The meat of the show will be a juicy discussion of what's happened in the past and what we expect for the future. For dessert, temp your taste buds with an array of Beta delicacies with a dash of Paladin Hope.

We'll also serve up some reader emails ( And we'll cater to the live IRC crowd (at in the #wowradio channel). Tune in tomorrow, the discussion should be delicious!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Blizzard, WoW Insider Show

Forum post of the day: A crushing blow to Warriors?

Due to itemization and abilities, Warrior and Paladin tanks currently have a greater ability to avoid Crushing Blows than Druid tanks. In the near future, this may become a moot point. Khurg of Spirestone, a Tauren Warrior, worries that Warrior tanks may become somewhat obsolete with the removal of Crushing Blows from boss mobs and a potential thirty second cool down on Shield Block. He asked "What will be the purpose of defense in WotLK ?" The following response from Rawglrlrgll of Lothar was that the defense statistic prevents critical strikes and still buffs the chance for avoidance.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Raiding, Death Knight, Forum Post of the Day

Forum post of the day: Moving moments

Since its inception World of Warcraft has been an evolving game. Someone who played only shortly after release would hardly recognize the game now. Blizzard has always welcomed feedback, but some changes have elicited more feedback than others. In a thread entitled "Epic moments in WoW QQ history," Gatsukaa chronicled some of the most upsetting events that have occurred in the evolution of our game:

Moment 1:
WoW is first released. Hunter and warlock pets could be one-shot. Hunter dps was pretty lackluster. Soulstones gave you rez sickness (I think). No soulshards from PvP. The first emo whiners in WoW were born: Hunters and Warlocks. World of Roguecraft video is released showing how a rogue in crap gear could wtfpwn people while warlocks were so gimp. Result is that warlocks went on to get buffed in nearly every patch as they were on their way to god-hood. No more world of roguecraft videos. Hunters saw substantial improvements as well, but weren't made into demigods.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Buffs, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

Totem Talk: PTR changes

Totem Talk is about Shamans. Matthew Rossi would just like to say "What the heck, did we just get buffed, did I miss a meeting where they decided that shamans get buffed now, holy Puck!" Puck is Matthew Rossi's cat. Yes, he named one of his cat's Puck and the other Aurora. Eventually he supposes he will have a whole host of pets named after members of Alpha Flight. You'll notice they have a team member named Shaman.

If you managed to miss yesterday's post about changes to the PTR, let me link back to it. Okay, now that I've done that, let me shamelessly copy and paste the pertinent information. (My apologies, Eliah.)

  • Flametongue weapon puts a 50% healing reduction on the target for 5 seconds, refreshing with every hit.
  • Toughness: each point in the talent now reduces the duration of movement-impairing effects by 10%, in addition to the previous effect of increasing armor. This means 50% reduced duration at 5/5.
  • Shamanistic Rage changed; now reduces all damage taken by 30% and gives a chance to regenerate mana equal to 30% [was 15%] of your AP. Lasts 15 s [was 30 s].
  • Global cooldown on dropping totems reduced from 1.5 s to 1 s.
Okay, now take a look at that. The first thing that jumps out at me is that Flametongue buff. Now, I play both a shaman and a warrior. So speaking as a warrior, I'll tell you now that's going to be nerfed - there is no way on this planet that there is going to be a five second duration healing debuff that costs minimal mana to apply to your weapon and which can be constantly refreshed with no additional cost. Especially when it doesn't require any specialization or talent selection: if this went live, all shamans could apply this debuff. (Granted, elemental and restoration shaman don't want to melee with you.) As a shaman, I don't think it's enormously imbalanced, but I doubt highly that it will stand as it is now. Still, it made me go ooh when I saw it. (The warrior in me also kind of wants it to stick around so that MS won't get nerfed.) It also made me giggle to imagine my poor resto shaman running up to whack someone with his Hand of Eternity to apply the debuff. (Also, according to some folks, it's currently bugged in an amusing fashion.) Apparently it also works for Flametongue Totem.

Obviously the flametongue change is aimed at arenas and other PvP venues. But what about the rest of the changes? Are they good or bad and who are they good or bad for?

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: A deep discontent

Totem Talk is the column for shamans. Matthew Rossi currently has a level 70 resto shaman amidst the Horde and a level 70 enhancement shaman in the Alliance, and is working on leveling up an elemental shaman. This week did not exactly make him feel good about that decision. Seriously, you're nerfing elemental shamans again? Really? You're not kidding about this?

I really didn't see this coming. Perhaps I'm naive. Perhaps I simply don't keep track of these things in a sufficient manner. But if you'd told me that shamans were going to be nerfed again in patch 2.4, I honestly would have laughed. No way, I would have said confidently, there's no way they'll nerf shamans again. Clearly, I underestimated the capacity for nerfing inherent in the shaman class. Now, I've already heard all the responses... that it's a PvP nerf to keep elemental shamans from outputting crazy burst damage. Yes, I've heard tell that Kalgan promises buffs as well as nerfs in 2.4 and that's good. But the bare fact of it is, yet again, a specific shaman spec gets a direct DPS nerf. By themselves, these nerfs aren't any major deal. But when you see a series of them popping up like this, it's extremely disheartening and all the nebulous promises of incoming buffs (with no specifics or concrete details) don't counter the disappointment and in some cases outrage of seeing your talents and abilities become less useful.

Now, every class has been and will experience changes like this, it's the nature of attempting game balance between wildly disparate classes with varying abilities. There's no conspiracy here. Rob Pardo's daughter does not hate shamans (to my knowledge). And yes, I still enjoy the class myself and like playing a shaman. I think we bring a lot to raids and instances. But I also worry for the future of the class, especially when I see veteran players getting ever more frustrated, angry and fed up with it.

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Instances, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Battlegrounds, Arena

Counting up 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 more Shaman complaints

There's a new chapter in the ongoing saga of Shaman disappointment with patch 2.4, and it's this: "1, 2, 3, 4... 6?" As you may have noticed in the patch notes, Call of Thunder (an Elemental Shaman talent that increases the crit strike chance of Lightning spells) had five ranks that gave 1%, 2%, 3%, 4%, and 6% respectively. But patch 2.4 will bring it in line with standard arithmetic, and have rank five give 5% crit chance.

An obvious nerf, right? Blizzard doesn't seem to be so sure. Players say that there was a reason rank five gave 6% chance to crit, and it was probably to balance the ability with other abilities in endgame. But Neth says that though it is a nerf, the devs did it just to bring the values in line with other similar ranked talents. Even giving Neth the benefit of the doubt on the devs' decision, that seems really unlikely-- no one would "accidentally" count 1, 2, 3, 4, 6. Clearly the extra percentage crit chance was in there for a reason, and the devs shouldn't change it back unless Shamans really are critting too much (and by all accounts, they are not).

It seems like a lot of whining over a small issue (and yes, that could be said about all of this Shaman business), but once again not only is Blizzard not clear on their communication, but they continue to mangle Shaman relations-- in a patch where Elemental Shamans are finally hoping for a buff, the devs decide instead to nerf one of their biggest talents, supposedly to fix a mathematical bug. If the devs suddenly said that Fel Concentration was getting nerfed to 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, and 50% (rather than the 14%-70% it's at now) because those numbers were more "in line," Warlocks would throw a fit. And that's exactly why Shamans are so unhappy right now.

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

Spiritual Guidance: Mind Vision of 2007

Every Sunday, Eliah or Elizabeth will bring you their thoughts on the Priest class with Spiritual Guidance. Whether it's keeping your fellow players alive or melting their faces, you can read about it here! One of the first things you'll notice is I'm neither Eliah or Elizabeth. My name doesn't even begin with "E". It's probably not even be Sunday, either. Crazy? Yep, but that's how we roll.

It's been quite the year for Priests, just like most other classes. About this time last January, the big ol' Burning Crusade expansion rolled out, essentially taking WoW's most loved clothies (ok, maybe just mine) and turning them on their ears. Been a while since you thought about BC: The Early Months? Let's take a stroll down memory lane...

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Filed under: Priest, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

2.3.2 patch notes updated

Earlier today, Salthem posted updated patch notes on the European WoW site and Teza has reposted them at World of Raids with all the changes highlighted. From my quick scan of the list, it appears that resto druids are getting nerfed, mages' Mana Emeralds as well as rogues' Hemorrhage ability are receiving some rather neutral changes, and rogues' Shadowstep is getting buffed.

From my understanding, tree druids are currently able to maintain a high level of healing per second through careful upkeep of Lifebloom on their targets. This is due to the fact that a druid can pop all his trinkets to maximize his +healing and then cast the spell. As long as he keeps refreshing the HoT before it "blooms", it will maintain that maximized level of +healing, thus making for a very efficient and powerful spell. As I understand the new patch notes, this will no longer be possible since the incoming Lifeblooms will overwrite the +healing value of the previous ones. I don't play a tree druid, but I'm sure some of my guild mates will be ranting over this in tonight's raid.

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Filed under: Druid, Mage, Rogue, Patches

Totem Talk: The Endangered Shaman

Totem Talk is the column for shamans. Matthew Rossi plays a shaman, and he wants more people to play them. Why? Well, if as many people played shamans as play, say, hunters, maybe we would see some better mail for shamans out there. He's a selfish jerk, that Matthew Rossi.

Why are there so few shamans in the game? If you look at the numbers we first saw in Mike's post this week, it's glaringly obvious that there are fewer shamans than any other class in the game by a huge margin. The next two lowest classes, fellow hybrids both in the form of druids and paladins, each have 2% or so more of the player base both in general and at level 70 than do shamans, roughly 40 to 50 thousand players at level 70 per class. Why is this? Why are people staying away from the shaman in droves?

Part of the problem might lie in the original class balance: shamans were the horde only class, and paladins were the alliance only class, so it makes sense that fewer people played either class than classes that either faction could make use of. Similarly, while druids (the third hybrid) also had a low population, to some degree that was caused by the fact that they had such a limited racial selection. If you want to play a druid, you're a night elf or a tauren, and that's it.

Similarly, since shamans and paladins were originally faction limited, that meant that dungeons and raids had to be balanced around the idea that there would either be a shaman or a paladin, but never both, and that a large percentage of the player base would be unable to have one or the other on a run. You can't make a boss who is practically unbeatable unless you can Earth Shock him reliably when there's no way an alliance raid can bring a shaman along.

Still, since the release of The Burning Crusade, shaman population clearly hasn't taken off. Why? It may be true that there's always going to be a class at the bottom of the totem pole (ouch, sorry, that was bad) is there a reason beyond simple demographics to explain why shamans are dead last? If they're so amazingly overpowered (as people still maintain from time to time) then why isn't anyone playing them? Are those of us playing shamans at 70 just stubborn? Why are shaman players so upset that they riot on their forums and start guilds that have every class but shamans?

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Classes, Buffs, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Forums

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: What the heck just happened?

The Care and Feeding of Warriors is confused and irritable this morning. Matthew Rossi does not understand the purpose of the changes to warriors in 2.3 and, like all warriors, his first response to confusion is to hit things. Well, okay, that's also his first response to most situations. Hey, it works surprisingly often! Anyway, this time he has decided that today's column will be discussing them, as perhaps out of our shared discussion will come enlightenment. Or at least an idea of how he's going to have to respec.

So, yeah, I am at a loss for words. Go ahead and check out the changes and then come on back.

I'm going to reprint the warrior specific changes here and then start discussing them.


* Charge will work more often when targets are up against unpathable areas like walls and poles.
* Defiance (Protection) now also grants 2/4/6 weapon expertise.
* Devastate (Protection) now combines the effects of Sunder Armor into its effect. It is also now affected by all talents and items that affect Sunder Armor.
* Disarm is now subject to diminishing returns in PvP.
* Improved Berserker Stance (Fury) now also reduces all threat caused while in Berserker Stance by 2/4/6/8/10%
* Improved Intercept and Weapon Mastery have swapped locations in the talent trees.
* Intervene will no longer place you in combat.
* Hamstring now has a 10 second duration when used on PvP targets.
* Mace Specialization (Arms) now has a reduced chance to occur but generates 7 rage instead of 6.
* Pummel: Interrupting a channeled spell with this ability will now always properly prevent casting spells from the same spell school for 4 sec.
* Shield Bash: Interrupting a channeled spell with this ability will now always properly prevent casting spells from the same spell school for 6 sec.
* Shield Slam (Protection) now always tries to dispel one Magic effect on the target.
* Sweeping Strikes and Deathwish have swapped locations in the talent trees.
* Sweeping Strikes (Fury) now lasts 10 seconds and affects your next 10 swings.
* Tactical Mastery: This talent also now grants greatly increased threat from Mortal Strike and Bloodthirst when in Defensive Stance.
* Weapon Mastery (Arms) now reduces duration of Disarm effects against you by 25/50% rather than giving you a 50% chance to avoid or full immunity to Disarm effects.
* Whirlwind: This ability now strikes with both weapons when a Warrior is dual-wielding.

Some of these are just plain upgrades. The change to Devastate is especially welcome - when I'm tanking I'll probably never bother to hit the Sunder button again. Threat reduction in berserker? Can't see anything bad there. But the changes to the arms and fury trees leave me shaking my head in confusion. Buff or nerf? Honestly, I really can't tell you.

But of course I'm going to try, because otherwise this column is just me going huh? over and over again for a while.

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Filed under: Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Buffs, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

Breakfast Topic: Why do you keep playing?

Some people call them "nerfs." Some people call them "balance." (And usually this is exactly proportional to how the change impacts your own class.) But however you want to phrase it, gameplay in World of Warcraft changes -- and it doesn't always change for to the benefit of your playstyle. So how do you keep yourself playing when you seem to have hit the bottom of the nerfing/balancing cycle? Reroll? Play alts? Explore areas you've ignored in the past? Tell us, why do you keep playing?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Step number two appears to be rioting

Here's an interesting bit of devil's advocacy for you. It seems that the best way to get what you want for your class is to hold a riot. Observe:

First, nerfs are announced to the priest class that hit Vampiric Embrace and Prayer of Mending hard.

Then, priests riot across the servers, as Blizzard promises to ban those involved.

But a few days later, priests profit, and un-nerfs appear in the patch.

The Inciter (Time for fun!) inside me says the evidence is clear: riots are how you get your way. Of course I'm sure that's not the message Blizzard wanted to send (has anyone heard of any major bans that went down because of the priest ingame and forum riots?), but, as Relmstein hints, the evidence kind of speaks for itself.

I should point out that priests didn't completely get what they want-- Vampiric Embrace, a staple of facemelting, is still getting a fairly harsh nerf, and PoM is still feeling that cooldown. But it's not nearly as bad, and while I'm sure Blizzard will claim the changes came down as a result of playtesting, it makes you wonder. I don't condone rioting or any kind of griefing, but as I said, this is devil's advocacy. Maybe the only conclusion Blizzard should take from this is simply to not release the patch notes (as they would say) until they're done.

Filed under: Priest, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Is there hope for the priest class?

After seeing the latest patch notes, there are plenty of unhappy priests out there. Not only was Vampiric Embrace -- a key talent for shadow priests attempting to maintain group utility and solo viability -- reduced in effectiveness by a forth (and its ability to crit removed completely), but shadow priests also lost threat reduction and holy priests lost Prayer of Mending -- a low-cost instant-cast heal that was excellent for priests trying to heal in PvP combat that is now rendered mostly useless by its new 20 second cooldown. Many priests seem to think that these changes are the death of PvE shadow priests and PvP holy priests.

Is there a reason for priest players to have hope? Well, Nethaera says there is. On the priest forums she's reassuring players that their feedback is important and saying that Circle of Healing is being looked at and Lightwell may be looked at. And while I'm happy the class is still under review for possible tweaks, I wonder if they don't need a little more than what Nethaera says Blizzard is offering. And like the many other players who have attempted to post well-reasoned and constructive feedback on the priest forums, I feel ignored, despite Nethaera's assurances that all feedback is read. But if that's the case, I have to wonder why abilities that made life easier for priests are nerfed while complaints on countless other topics produce neither response nor result. Thank goodness I've been leveling a paladin -- with strong healing talents and great PvP survivability, they're everything I used to think my priest could be.

Filed under: Priest, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

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