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Posts with tag patch-3.0

PvE winners and losers in patch 3.0

I'm putting together a class-by-class prediction post on how the changes we'll see in patch 3.0 and beyond will wind up affecting PvE gameplay in Wrath, but it's probably a bit premature to make specific guesses while talents and skills are still being overhauled in the beta. Still, I think a few general trends (at least for 3.0) are pretty clear.

I'm calling it now; Paladins will fare best, but Shamans will be the hardest hit by the upcoming changes, especially with respect to raiding. I think this change is driven in no small part by Blizzard's realization that Sunwell-level raid guilds are hugely dependent on the party-specific buffs like totems and Heroism/Bloodlust that Shamans bring. The problem is that Shamans are still the least-played class, which has left raiding guilds desperate for a high-end population of Shamans that simply does not exist (especially Alliance-side). Making Shaman totems and Heroism/Bloodlust buff the entire raid (but heavily nerfing how often the raid can benefit from the latter) means the days of stacking Shamans (or trying to) are effectively over.

Paladin changes, especially for holy and retribution, are equally driven by Blizzard's experience with Sunwell. With absolutely breathtaking amounts of raid damage occurring, encounters were disproportionately weighted in favor of: a). healers with more raid-healing capacity, like resto Shamans and CoH Priests (something we heard from SK Gaming months ago) and b). DPS who brought raid-wide DPS buffs to kill the boss as fast as possible (e.g. Retribution Paladins on Brutallus and M'uru). Given the new skills I'm seeing on other healing specs, I'll make another prediction; prepare to see that same level of raid damage rear its ugly head in Naxxramas again.

I'll be launching a more extensive prediction post once talents and skills are finalized for Wrath, and then I'd like to do a follow-up post at some point after guilds start conquering level 80 raid content to see whether they were any good.

Filed under: Paladin, Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Raiding, Classes

Naxxramas gone from Plaguelands in 3.0.2

You've already heard that the Amani War Bear is disappearing from the live servers ahead of schedule in 3.0, but here's one more thing for you to hurry up on: 40-man Naxxramas. As of now on the 3.0 PTR, Naxxramas is gone from Eastern Plaguelands.

The whole of the Eastern Plaguelands has already changed, in fact. When you open your map, you can already see Archerus looming ominously over Light's Hope chapel and the remains of the Scarlet Crusade's holdings in Eastern Plaguelands. As a result, the entire map has shifted, but I still combed the Plaguewoods looking for the entrance to Naxxramas.

Due to the map shifting, the old locations for Naxxramas are rather off. At the original location coordinates for Naxxramas stands one of the old ruined villages that dot the area. The area where Naxxramas used to be relative to that Scourge ziggurat on the map is now marked by a plague cauldron. Regardless, It looks like the entrance is gone. Come 3.0, it looks like Naxxramas will have retreated to Northrend, and we'll have to bide our time before we can follow it.

So if you've been waiting on getting those last few splinters, or you've been thinking about picking up a Corrupted Ashbringer or what have you, you'd better get on it fast. When the 3.0 leaves the PTR and goes to live servers, 40-man Naxxramas will be gone indefinitely.

Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Items, News items, Raiding, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Patch 3.0 PTR round-up

The public test realm has just gone live, and if you've got any characters on it (or if you'd like to go copy some), you can head on over to enjoy all of the patchtastic frivolity likely to descend sometime soon.

In case you're catching up to the rest of us, patch 3.0 is another large content patch specifically designed to transition the player base to the upcoming expansion Wrath of the Lich King. We won't be seeing Death Knights or Northrend (or at least, we're pretty sure we won't, unless they're planning on a big surprise). We will be seeing all of the 1-70 class changes, new features added to the default UI, barbershops, Inscription, a raid buff system overhaul, and more, in addition to four European servers closing due to Russian player migration. Read on for a quick guide to what you can expect:

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Patches, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Expansions, Mounts, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

Blizzard seeks PTR feedback

If you're testing on the PTR to try and determine what changes patch 3.0.2 have on your character, take some time and give some feedback on these specific issues. Blizzard is specifically asking folks to note if they've lost any abilities they should have or gained ones they shouldn't, if the new token panel is functioning correctly, if mounts and pets are being properly learned from their respective items, if all of your bags and bank slots are working properly, and if you're gaining all of the Achievements you should have.

So, please help our blue overlords determine that everything is working smootly for the launch of 3.0.2 so that we don't all end up with abilities we shouldn't have or tokens lost in the ether. I would, but beta testers aren't able to.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Odds and ends, News items

3.0 PTR Character Copy open

In a sign that the 3.0 patch may be nearly upon us, the US PTR Character Copy utility is now up and running. There are no sign of premade characters yet, but it does allow you to transfer 4 of your existing characters to the US PvE or PvP Test realms. As usual, you must have an active Burning Crusade enabled account to participate.

The 3.0 patch, as you may recall, is the harbinger of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, and will include many of Wrath's new features, including the new class talents and spells, barber shops, and even the Inscription trade skill. This is a huge step toward the release of the expansion itself, and we'll keep you updated on any further news we receive on the 3.0 PTR and everything beyond it.

[Thanks to Shawn for the heads up!]

Filed under: Patches, Realm Status, News items, Wrath of the Lich King

Background downloader working as planned

Lots of people have been pointing out the activity of their background downloader. Yesterday Zarhym announced that the download would startup soon, delivering the first part of the 3.0.1 content patch.

The downloader is running along for many of us – both the North American and European versions. The patch files it is downloading are between 821 and 992 megs. Be sure to let it run only overnight if you don't want any problems while you run your groups or raids.

To exit the downloader, Windows users can click the Blizzard icon near the clock on the taskbar and choose "Cancel" when the window appears. Macintosh users can go to the file menu and choose "Quit" when the downloader application is in the foreground. The download will restart the next time you launch WoW.

Patch 3.0.1 will bring about a ton of changes in preparation for Wrath of the Lich King. There is no announced release date yet for WotLK, nor is there a date for when 3.0.1 will go onto the live realms. However most people expect 3.0.1 to hit the live realms in a month or so, and Wrath to be released in early November. Some of the major highlights of 3.0.1 include:

Filed under: Patches, News items, Wrath of the Lich King

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: The Great Divide part 1

Warriors, at the heart of it, only do one thing.

They hit things. And that's it.

Everything warriors do is in terms of hitting things, ultimately. An argument could be made that some warriors spend an awful lot of time trying to make it so things that hit them don't kill them as fast as they could and that argument would have merit. But I'd argue that those warriors are merely attempting to optimize their hitting things time. Generally speaking, most things won't hit themselves, so if you die when they hit you, then they'll go off and hit someone else. You have to keep upright if you're to keep hitting anything.

Well, okay, I suppose warriors do two things. They hit things and they yell a lot. They yell at the mobs, they yell at their fellow adventurers which somehow makes them feel healthier (I admit that I'm not terribly sure why my shouting can have all these variable effects. I must have amazing vocal control. Like Don LaFontaine, may he rest in peace.) Well, it seems to me in reading the various posts by Ghostcrawler in the warrior beta forums that the intention for prot warriors is to emphasize their hitting of things.

Read more →

Filed under: Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Wrath of the Lich King

Warrior Update Incoming

Blue poster Gamnin posted to the warrior forums a list of changes that either came in on the last patch or which are intended for an upcoming patch. Later in the thread he posted to answer questions and clarify a few things. We can assume that we will be seeing the effects of all this when patch 3.0 goes live.

Now, some of these changes are at least potentially very nice... I especially like where the designers are going with the talent Vigilance. I've always believed that warriors should have a form of threat transfer, so getting 10% of target threat with this ability is definitely a step in the right direction. Other changes, such as the ability Warbringer in the prot tree (the ability to charge in combat that's had us all scratching our heads) don't do much for me. Since it's only usable in Battle Stance, you still have to risk stance dancing over, losing a huge chunk of your rage, getting back some rage from the charge and then dumping most of it to switch back to defensive again... it's just an odd ability right now, very deep in prot for a minimal benefit. If you could use charge in defensive, then I'd be more exacted about it, but Gamnin confirmed in his clarification that they intended the current design and don't want charge used in defensive stance.

Arms had the new armor penetration effect of mace spec highlighted (totally on the fence about this, no idea if it's good or not), while Fury's big changes are the removal of the cooldown component of Improved Whirlwind (which is bad, in my opinion, Imp Whirlwind was used to make the ability more friendly to damage rotations, but with the greater number of possible abilities that's no longer as crucial) and the note that they believe Titan's Grip still needs a counterbalance but they haven't decided on one yet.

I'll admit to being mildly underwhelmed: I really feel like Prot has given away most of its best abilities to other classes (Last Stand, Shield Wall, Shield Slam) and hasn't gotten much of anything. The reworking of Enraged Assault to either include or become Enraged Regeneration is a nice step. but if we're going to have parity between tanking classes, then all four tanks need to be able to do the same jobs and that means more love to the prot tree, in my opinion. But go check it out for yourselves, you may love what you see.

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

Breakfast Topic: I like gold

If you're the type of player that always wants to be prepared, this pre-Wrath/3.0 period is a pretty good time to get started on that. The big thing most of these types are concerned with is gold. It's more or less been proven to be true that even if you're completely broke going into Wrath, you'll be just fine in the end regardless. Still, gold is on a lot of people's minds looking towards the future.

Everyone has a different opinion of how much gold is 'enough' gold. I tend to hang out with players that are pretty big on min-maxing, the people that are always prepared, so my sense of what's 'enough' is a bit inflated. I'm sitting on roughly 10,000 gold right now, and I only recently started feeling like it was 'enough.' I'll be hemorrhaging gold at level 80 leveling professions and getting my gear up to par, so I'm sure most of that will be gone in no time. I could also get the gold very, very easily once I've hit level 80, and not have any issues. I just had that urge to be extra prepared that wasn't sated until I hit 5 digits. It actually wasn't too hard to get. I just farmed herbs here and there, and it just sort of accumulated.

How much gold do you think is enough gold, especially when we're heading into an expansion? Are you content to sit down in the single digits, and go out and run a daily quest if you need to repair your armor? Do you gather up as much gold as possible and sit on it?
How much gold do you have?
Less than 10218 (1.6%)
11-100609 (4.5%)
101-5001712 (12.8%)
501-10001745 (13.0%)
1000-50004796 (35.7%)
5001-90001569 (11.7%)
Over 90002776 (20.7%)

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Expansions

Breakfast Topic: What are you looking forward to in 3.0.2?

So we're expecting the new pre-Wrath content patch any week now, and with it a whole flood of new mechanics and abilities, such as raid buff stacking. It should be interesting to see how all this new stuff fits in to the current Burning Crusade end game, and how people adapt to it as they prepare to plunge into Wrath. Of course, many will probably get a head start on Inscription, while others may already have a new haircut picked out.

Myself, I'm looking forward to playing around with the new changes to my Hunter. Disengage and the new Freezing Trap mechanics are looking delicious enough to me that I may just see if I can get back into Arenas for a few weeks to check them out. I'm also pretty interested to see how the Aspect of the Viper changes feel on some big boss battles. It'll be nice to have to essentially have no mana regeneration worries ever again, assuming the current version stays as is.

What about you? Given everything we'll likely see in patch 3.0.2, what are you looking forward to doing while you wait for Wrath?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, The Burning Crusade, Classes, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

The Light and How to Swing It: Paladin 3.0

It's pretty exciting, isn't it? Patch 3.0 is coming, well, "soon™" according to Blizzard. Considering that our favorite class hasn't gotten a second pass, it might be a bit premature to talk about Paladin changes when the pre-Wrath patch finally hits. That said, it looks like more than a few new talents will make it at least into the PTRs more or less intact. Hopefully and changes we'll see during our second pass will be tweaks to numbers and some mechanics refinements but hopefully no major changes.

Assuming that most of the changes push through, we should expect a completely different Paladin in the coming months. Even without taking the new talents into account, there are baseline changes that should make gameplay technically different. The most significant change, of course, is in the way Judgements work. This is the one change that will take some getting used to. First of all, there are now three Judgements and they activate the GCD. This means no more macros for Seals and Judgements, which is actually fine because of two things: first, Judgements no longer consume Seals; second, Seals now last for a micromanagement-light two minutes.

Read more →

Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Wrath of the Lich King

Vaneras announces closure of four European servers

European CM Vaneras made an interesting announcement just the other day: Four EU realms will be closing entirely with Patch 3.0. The EU realms Molten Core, Shadowmoon, Stonemaul, and Warsong will be closing up shop, and free character transfers will be offered to other, currently unannounced EU realms. The destination options will be announced within the next week.

Don't worry, though. These realm closures have nothing to do with any dips in WoW's popularity. It's actually due to the launch of WoW's Russian localization. A vast majority of the players on those particular realms were Russian players, and they migrated to the new Russian servers when they opened up, leaving most everyone else high and dry. The equipment these four servers run off of will likely just be used elsewhere, since Vaneras stated they'll be prepped for Wrath of the Lich King's launch after being taken down. Most likely they'll need to launch a few more realms when Wrath rolls around, but it was just far easier to fold these four into larger communities at this point.

[ Thanks, Swarfy! ]

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: The Climb to 80

It took several days longer than I expected, in part due to there being one less zone than there would be live, but last night I managed to level my tauren warrior to 80 in a mix of blues and greens, all of his PvP epics and Karazhan gear having been finally replaced. Admittedly, in some cases I deliberately chose a sidegrade merely to be able to say that I'd changed my gear or to try and preserve my crit rate from level degradation, so it's safe to say that if you have Kara epics or better they'll certainly last you into level 74 - 75, but by 80 I had only one piece of gear from before the beta still intact. And that was a really nice trinket that I kept mostly for the proc.

I figure, with the new talents and abilities stated to be coming before Wrath, I should discuss my experiences to some degree.

Based on the leveling experience, I can tell you various things about gear and spec in Wrath that I would have felt premature talking about before now. However, since it would be spoilertastic, it will go behind the jump. Just imagine me flapping my giant white arms now. Also, while it's not the subject of today's post, I am kind of concerned that Battle Shout won't stack with Blessing of Might anymore. That seems like a nerf. We'll see how it plays out.

Read more →

Filed under: Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Instances, Expansions, Leveling, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Wrath of the Lich King

Bornakk clarifies Achievements and Feats of Strength

Bornakk drops some serious knowledge about the difference between Achievements and Feats of Strength (both of which, apparently, are showing up as of patch 3.0). Achievements grant points, and are apparently things that you can accomplish in the game while they're given out -- if there is an achievement on the list, you can earn it. But Feats of Strength are different; not only do they not give points, but "some of them may no longer be possible to do." So Feats of Strength may include things like opening the AQ gates, and so on. The good news is that if there's an Achievement for something in the game, Blizzard will make sure that it's possible to jump through the hoops you need to do it.

But the bad news is that there's really no way to know whether you'll get credit for either Achievements or Feats of Strength until the system shows up on the live realms. As we've heard, Blizzard is going to try to be as retroactive as possible -- they'll be looking at quests and maybe even equipment to determine who's killed which boss in the past. But nothing, as Bornakk says, is guaranteed -- you may get one achievement for an old boss, but you may need to redo another old boss again.

There's one more great thing coming out of all of this as well -- hopefully, Achievements and Feats of Strength both will drive traffic back to the old content, and people who've never run Naxx or AQ, for example, will be able to find regular groups for "Achievement runs." Even people who've already downed the content will want to do back if their Feats of Strength don't register, so lots of people who didn't should have new chances to see it.

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard, Expansions, Raiding, Achievements

3.0 won't break everything

A lot of people (including some folks here at WoW Insider) are super concerned that when Blizzard does release a 3.0 patch early, it'll basically break everything we're doing now. Potion sickness on the live realms? Shield Block cooldown extended? With those changes, it seems bosses like Illidan would be basically unbeatable.

But Blizzard says, as they always do: don't worry. The latest word is that 3.0.2 is heading to the PTRs, and it's pretty clear that if 3.0 is going to break everything in the game, that's where Blizzard will find out. Don't forget that we've got months until the expansion comes out (and likely even a few months until the actual patch hits the live realms), which means there's tons of time to tweak and twist and get all of the new changes working with the old content.

This doesn't mean that things won't be broken -- we're curious to see, especially in even older instances like AQ and Molten Core, what things are like with all of the 3.0 updates. But it does mean that they'll likely be broken on the PTR -- in a few months from now, when this patch finally goes live, Blizzard should have most of the wrinkles evened out.

Filed under: Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items

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