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Posts with tag patch-3.1-ptr

Triple specs appear to be at least possible

Many people have mentioned this before in conversation about Dual Specs – why not just allow triple specs? We've all speculated for a while that the technology is already there and is just a matter of further implementation.

Today Bornakk, a blue community poster, said that right now all Blizzard intentionally wants is to have two specs be available, but that they "...want to see how the system works out first," before considering triple specs. I think it's pretty safe to read between the lines here and take it to mean that it's possible and has at least been discussed by Blizzard to some extent if community people (and not a developer like Ghostcrawler) are already talking about it. Remember here that community folks usually don't talk about development related things without running it by or hearing it from a developer first.

Triple specs would offer even more flexibility to play the class in whatever way is possible. A druid would be able to switch between a healer, tank, and caster role in a single instance / raid. A paladin would have the same amazing flexibility. While each class right now has at least two specs that can really shine in specific situations, triple specs would allow three-role hybrids to become amazingly powerful characters.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Okay, now I like spirit

Each week Arcane Brilliance glances around to make sure there are no Death Knights in the area, then daintily tiptoes out from cover long enough to throw together a column about Mages. Usually, this ends badly for Arcane Brilliance. Out of nowhere, a big purple rope-looking thingy wraps itself around Arcane Brilliance's neck and drags it backward into a big stabby implement of some type. Arcane Brilliance tries to fight back, but finds it has been silenced three different ways and the Death Knight that just jumped it has enclosed them both beneath some kind of ugly anti-magic igloo. So, Arcane Brilliance no longer want to hear any complaints about misspelled words or grammatical errors. Arcane Brilliance is simply too busy getting ganked by Death Knights to proofread. I swear.

When I posted on Wednesday about the giant Mage Q&A session hosted by the developers, I was cautiously optimistic. The developers repeatedly assured Mages in that Q&A thread that they were keeping a close eye on our performance on the PTR, that a lot of our concerns would shake themselves out as we continued along through the testing process. Chief among these concerns of late has been the nerf to Molten Armor and its glyph, a change that tied the formerly static 5% crit buff those offered to spirit and turned out to be a nerf to the large majority of Mages and a slight buff to only the most well-geared among us. As nerfs went, it wasn't the most devastating one in recent memory, but was disproportionately reviled by Mages because it forced us to pay attention to a stat that was otherwise of little value to us. In the Q&A thread, we were told that the developers were aware of our concerns and would consider upping the spirit-to-crit conversion rate if they felt it necessary. I remained positive, but wasn't exactly holding my breath.

It appears I needn't have been skeptical. The latest PTR build already reflects a few very nice changes for those of us who like to wear robes, waggle sticks in the air, and hurl large flaming orbs of magical death at Warlocks. That's right, my fellow Mages: It appears the nerf-train has at least temporarily run itself off the rails. Follow me after the break, and we'll go over the specific changes.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Features, Classes, Buffs, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Making flasks in Patch 3.1 to give double the reward

There is a new build out on the Patch 3.1 PTR tonight (Build #9722 for those of you keeping track). MMO-Champion is already data mining the stuff, and fresh from this build comes a rather important change that everyone will need to know about:

All flask recipes will now create 2 flasks for the same amount of ingredients, but flasks will only last half the amount of time.

This means where you used to make one flask of awesomesauce, you now get two flasks of awesomesauce. That's a lot more awesome for the same amount of sauce.

We can speculate that this change is in part to due to the difficulty ramp-up that will occur in Ulduar. We know that Ulduar is going to be harder, and so this change will help soften the time required to come prepared. And as someone who flasks and eats food religiously, this is a welcomed change.

Of course the downside to this change is that flask prices will drop on the AH, meaning people will earn less money off them. But at the same time, raw materials will likely go up a bit since folks will be wanting to have their flasks made for them now more often. We'll have to wait and see to be sure, however.

Edited on 3/23/09 at 9:40 p.m.
: Updated with more recent information.
Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.

Filed under: Alchemy, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Making money

Wowhead's 3.1 PTR site

With all this patch 3.1 PTR news and speculation flying around, it's useful to have a place that simply accumulates hard information on spells, items, talents, quests, and so on. Wowhead's new PTR site is that place. This is the first time to my knowledge that they've done a PTR-specific site; there was a site for the WotLK beta as well, which was very handy.

On the PTR site you can find a page for basically everything as it is in the latest PTR build. I find the talent calculator especially useful. There is also a nicely formatted page listing everything new in patch 3.1, which some people may find helpful in building their Ulduar wish lists. My Ulduar wish list is something like "Please, oh great RNG, give me something without a ton of Armor Penetration on it for my Unholy DK" (actually, I'll probably just give in and respec Blood+MoG).

We've been using the PTR site since it went up to provide tooltips for new and updated spells and items. If you need some 3.1 information, take a look.

Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.

Filed under: Patches

Ulduar testing schedule for Tuesday and Wednesday

There is another Ulduar testing update today. And since there will be testing already schedule for Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, that mean Patch 3.1 will not be coming out tomorrow. So don't ask. /smile

For the North American PTR:
  • Flame Leviathan – Tuesday Night March 24th, starting at 7 p.m. EDT
  • Hodir (Hard Mode) – Wednesday Night March 25th, starting at 7 p.m. EDT
For the European PTR:
  • Flame Leviathan – Tuesday Night March 24th, starting at 19:00 CET
  • General Vezax (Hard Mode) – Wednesday Night March 25th, starting at 19:00 CET
Also, the Shirt of Uber will be available from Ursula McWeaksauce for hard mode testing. Ursula will be making her appearance near the Ulduar entrance. The Shirt of Uber will give you stats that are equivalent to you having obtained Ulduar gear.

We'll have some more information on the Shirt of Uber once we're able to get our unuber hands on it.
Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.

Filed under: Patches, News items, Raiding

Arcane Brilliance: I still don't like spirit

Each week Arcane Brilliance delivers a column about Mages to you, and you, in turn, deliver Mages to the column. Thank you, Mages. Some of you deliver Warlocks to the column. Screw you, Warlocks.

Wow. Just a warning: I got done watching the series finale of Battlestar Galactica like 5 minutes ago, and I cried like a little girl like 12 times throughout. I'll try to keep it together long enough to successfully complete this column, but holy crap. That was some pretty stirring stuff right there. Let it be known that I'm not too big a nerd to completely lose it during the final episode of BSG. Wait...maybe that actually makes me a bigger nerd? I don't know. I'd like to think there are bigger dorks than me out there, and they're probably twittering about plot holes and scientific inaccuracies and how Ron Moore is the antichrist or whatever as we speak. At least I'm not doing that. I'm bawling like a baby, but I'm not nerd-raging about a sci-fi show on the interwebs, right? Now if you'll excuse me, I have to write a column about the latest nerfs to the Mage class in World of Warcraft.

Seriously, patch 3.1 can't come soon enough, as far as I'm concerned. You know why? Because when it arrives, it'll mean Blizzard is finally done nerfing us.

Now, granted, Mages on the live servers are definitely on the good side of the class-balance pendulum right now, so it makes a certain amount of sense, given Blizzard's never-ending quest to make everything in the game identical, that we were going to see a few nerfs. Knowing that doesn't make watching it happen any more fun. It's sort of like having a gangrenous limb amputated, only having to be fully awake throughout the operation, and having it take place bit by bit over the course of several months. For frak's sake, just knock us out and don't wake us 'til it's over. You can find the details on this week's chopping--along with my feelings on it--after the break. Bring some novocain, won't you?

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Classes, Talents, Buffs, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Priest T8 set bonuses clarified

As of the latest PTR build we now have access to most of the set bonuses for the tier 8 gear that's going to drop in Ulduar, including the bonuses for both priest sets, shadow and healing. In case you haven't seen them before, the bonuses are as follows:

  • Healing:
  • Shadow:
    • Two-piece: Increases the damage done by your Devouring Plague by 15%.
    • Four-piece: Your Mind Blast also grants you 240 haste rating until cancelled.

The parts listed in bold up above are new; these numbers are just placeholders in the PTR client right now, but Ghostcrawler has clarified that the intended values are somewhere along those lines. No word yet on what "is cancelled" is supposed to mean, as far as I know.

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Filed under: Priest, Patches, Items, Raiding

Updated Ulduar testing schedule

The Ulduar testing is continuing for at least another week, and the blues have posted the testing schedule along with a few other tidbits. And since those tidbits are going to be of more interest to most folks than the testing schedule, let's cover them first:
  • All trash will now be in place – that means we'll get to see the trash we have to deal with when Ulduar goes live.
  • All loot should be in place, except for some trash loot – that means look for updated and complete loot tables soon.
  • Many achievements are active and functional – many placeholder achievements have been removed, but a few are still there.
Since things are being finalized, keep an eye out on WoW Insider and around the internet for more Ulduar information.

The complete testing schedule for this week is after the break. We'll continue to carry live streams when we can (or when the PTR cooperates with us)

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Filed under: Patches, News items, Raiding

Live on the US Patch 3.1 PTR: XT-002 Deconstructor

Tonight from the Patch 3.1 PTR we bring you the Alliance Area 52 guild Symbolic Logic fighting against the XT-002 Deconstructor, a new Ulduar boss. They are scheduled to attempt it on hard mode, and we'll have to watch and see how it goes. You can watch it on the above stream or head over to their UStream page.

For more information on the XT-002 Deconstructor fight, you can check out some great details over at World of Raids.

Stream is over for the evening. Thanks for coming out everyone!

Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.

Live on the US Patch 3.1 PTR: Hodir

Tonight on the US Patch 3.1 PTR we bring you Symbolic Logic of Area 52 as they attempt Hodir. You can check them out above and at their UStream page.

You can read more about this patch at WoW Insider's Guide to Patch 3.1 (including the latest patch notes), and read some impressions of Ulduar fights. We've also covered the initial release of Hodir.

Hodir has been tested a couple other times on the PTR, which means the fight is getting more and more refined now. This does not mean that patch 3.1 is close to being released on the live servers, but just that some of the fights are getting a good workout.

Update: The live stream came and went, and the PTR testing is over tonight. Stay tuned for more tomorrow!

Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Arcane Brilliance: Q to the power of Q

Each week Arcane Brilliance runs out of mana halfway through a column about Mages. Seriously, Arcane Brilliance is terrible at managing its mana. And then every time it Evocates, Arcane Brilliance manages to get interrupted before it gets any mana back. It really sucks. Yep, Arcane Brilliance spends a lot of time wanding. To be honest, Arcane Brilliance is probably about one more wipe away from getting kicked out of its guild. LTP, Arcane Brilliance...LTP.

I tried my best to be optimistic last week, to look at the changes to Fiery Payback and Impact (especially Impact) as semi-good things. The Fiery Payback-disarm effect will be marginally positive, I told myself, and at the very least, Impact being triggered by Fire Blast will make the spell less random and more controllable, right? We Mages get such a reputation for being whiners that I try to steer clear of pessimism as much as a can just to avoid being lumped in with that lame generalization. I try, and most of the time I fail, but I award myself an "A" for effort.

The comments section set me straight last week. Fire Mages are not happy with Blizzard's attempt at improving their survivability in PvP. You guys were brutally frank in your comments, and I have to admit that I see your point. Nobody likes dying, but as a Fire Mage you sort of expect it, similar to the way nobody likes getting tackled, but as a football player you know it comes with the territory. All Fire Mages want is to be able to dish out an acceptable amount of pain before they explode. In fact, a lot of you proposed the idea of allowing Fire Mages to literally explode upon death, making killing one a dangerous proposition. Several of you commented that this was a Fire Mage's idea of survivability, to die, but leave a smoking crater behind. Seriously, this is an idea I can get behind.

Here's the thing, though: If you weren't happy with the changes last week, you really aren't going to like the latest PTR build. Follow me through the break and we'll talk ourselves through the changes. I'll try to keep the tears to a minimum.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Features, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Live Mimiron testing on the Patch 3.1 PTR

Tonight on the US Patch 3.1 PTR Mimiron will be tested, and we're bringing you the live stream of Alliance guild Symbolic Logic on Area 52. You'll be able to watch them (hopefully) down the boss.

Mimiron is a mechanical boss with a slew of abilities for players to deal with. He has two phases: one where he's in his Levianthan MKII tank, and one where he's got a VX-001 Anti-personnel Assault Cannon.

While in his tank Mimiron will toss napalm out dealing AoE damage, fire a plasma blast, drop some mines, and chuck about rockets all while causing a blast wave. With his cannon he will deal fire damage to players within 80 yards of him, do some frontal cone damage, and charge up his lasers for a big ol' blast that puts the BFG to shame.

You can read more about him at WoWWiki.

I should be a fun fight to watch!

Edit: Comments are disabled for this post.

Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.

Filed under: Patches, Raiding

Live on the Patch 3.1 PTR: Ulduar's Iron Council

Tonight we're pleased to bring you a live stream of the Iron Council as presented by the Area 52 guild Symbolic Logic. You can just click "play" on the widget above to play the stream, or head over to their UStream page to watch it and participate in the chat.

We've covered a lot of the patch information lately, and you can take a look at our comprehensive Guide to Patch 3.1. We've also covered the Iron Council fight in particular when the encounter was available on the PTR last week.

There was a new build deployed on the PTR tonight, so stay tuned throughout the evening for the latest.

Update 8:40 p.m. EST: PTR servers are having problems tonight. No word from Blizzard, but hopefully they'll be up again soon.
Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion

Patch 3.1 PTR build 9658 Druid changes

As far as druids are concerned, Build 9658 is a Balance build. Sure, there are a few token changes for the other two trees, but Boomkins get by far most of the attention here. I'll get the lesser builds out of the way first:

  • Faerie Fire and Faerie Fire (Feral) now reduces the armor of the target for 5 min. (Up from 40 sec) I am actually really pleased with this. Having my FFF fall off the mobs is simply irritating, and I don't always have space in my rotations to re-apply it.
  • Restoration: Tree of Life mana cost has been changed from 28% of base mana to 13% of base mana. Can't complain about that.

On to the main substance of the Druid changes: Balance.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches

Patch 3.1 PTR build 9658 Death Knight changes

Evidently, this is the build where they noticed that Death Knights could tank competently, and decided to do something about that. Where by "something" I refer to the six seven separate tanking nerfs that have ensued. Oh yeah, and they cut Fallen Crusader in half.

  • Rune of the Fallen Crusader - Affixes your rune weapon with a rune that has a chance to heal you for 3% and increase total Strength by 15% (down from 30%) for 15 sec. I may be too invested in my class - I actually feel physically ill about this. FC was overpowered, yes, but not that overpowered.

  • Frost

    • Howling Blast damage has been doubled (from 259-281 to 518-562 for max rank), cooldown changed from 5 seconds to 10 seconds. So I guess we're meant to obliterate when HB is on cooldown, and just use HB once per rune set?
    • Frost Presence now reduces spell damage taken by 10%. (Down from 15%) This is reasonable on its own. Unfortunately, it gets considerably worse.
    • Guile of Gorefiend now increases damage done by your Blood Strike, Frost Strike, Howling Blast and Obliterate abilities by 5/10/15%. (Old - Critical damage only, 15/30/45%) Simple math: if your crit change is greater than 33%, this is a nerf; otherwise, it's a buff. I'm guessing that means it's a buff for most players.
    • Lichborne doesn't increase the chance of your enemies to miss you anymore. Heyo! Goodbye, defensive cooldown.
    • Update: Ghostcrawler has just posted that Unbreakable Armor is getting the same cooldown doubling that all our other analogous defensive cooldowns got. Awesome.

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Filed under: Patches, Death Knight

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