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Posts with tag ptr-patch-3.1

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

The Southern Graveyard is a trap


As if the Southern Graveyard wasn't enticing enough for all the scrubs out there who have no clue how to play Strand of the Ancients, Blizzard has made a tiny change in Patch 3.1 that will make the Battleground hell for players who actually know what they're doing. According to the patch notes:

"Capturing the Southern Graveyard will now automatically capture both the East and West Graveyards."

Great. Give all those scrubs an excuse to capture it while on offense. Thanks, Blizzard.

Let me explain why capturing Southern Graveyard is one of the worst things you can do for your team while on offense. You see, when you capture Southern Graveyard and your team is progressing Southwards through the Gate of the Yellow Moon and the Keep, members of your team who die during the effort will rezz near the yellow gate. Where are the tanks and charges that you need? That's right. They're downhill to the Northeast and Northwest. This means that your team will need to run down just to get a tank. In a timed Battleground, time spent running down just to get a tank is time wasted.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Battlegrounds

Insider Trader: All about flasks in 3.1


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Patch 3.1, for all of its grand changes, has also dedicated itself to imposing smaller tweaks aimed at making some mechanics more convenient, logical, and fair.

The application of applying a glyph is one of the latest in a line of positive changes that we'll be seeing on patch day. While the old (current) process is an annoying charming ritual, the new method is better for the Azerothian on the go.

Currently, applying a glyph requires that the player be standing in front of a Lexicon of Power, usually found in main cities. With patch 3.1, this will change, and we will be able to re-glyph at will.

This means that if you asked your buddy to hook you up for the raid that night, and it arrives in the mail a few minutes before go time, you can just switch it in without having to hearth and be re-summoned. Heck, I'll just be happy to be able to do it from the mailbox rather than having to ride through the city!

While some may complain that this makes the process less special, it might be wise to consider the glyphing change that is accompanying dual specs. Once we glyph our main and off-spec, we will not need to glyph again unless we change our minds on which glyph we want, or spec to our third spec.

The only hitch is that you cannot switch them during combat, in Arenas, or in Battlegrounds once the fight has started, which sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

Another major, and welcome change, relates to flasks, which brings us to our topic of the week. I will be addressing the new mechanics of flask creation, and discussing the benefits of the new system.

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Filed under: Alchemy, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Raiding, Buffs, Insider Trader (Professions), Inscription

3.1 patch notes updated

As they sometimes do, Blizzard has updated the official 3.1 PTR patch notes. Most of it won't be new to you if you've been following along with all the latest developments, but if not, there's some good stuff in there. The entire patch notes are replicated after the cut, in case you are (for instance) at work and unable to access the Blizzard forums.

General

  • All Ground Mounts may now swim without dismounting the rider. Flying Mounts still may NOT, and will dismount the rider upon entering water.
  • Ulduar is now available for limited testing. Please visit the Public Test Realms for more details. http://forums.wow-europe.com/board.html?forumId=11095&sid=1
  • Players level 40 and higher will now be able to visit their trainer to pay a one-time fee and access the dual talent specialization feature.
  • The achievement Brew of the Year has been removed from the Brewmaster meta-achievement. The achievement Brew of the Month has been added in its place.
  • Noblegarden has been redesigned into a week-long holiday with new items, quests, and more. Various achievements have been added, including the meta-achievement Noble Gardener, which is now required for the meta-achievement What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been.
  • Applying a glyph no longer requires a Lexicon of Power. The same rules for switching between dual talent specializations now apply to switching glyphs and cannot be performed while in combat, Battlegrounds (except when Preparation is up), or Arenas (no exceptions).
  • Copied Test Realm characters will no longer be copied with their achievement history in order to better facilitate the character copy process.

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Filed under: Patches

Death Knight changes in WoW Patch 3.1 PTR build 9733

Although this wasn't the biggest PTR patch in the world (they're coming smaller and faster now, perhaps suggesting that 3.1 is near), there were still some notable changes for my new favorite melee class. The changes for Death Knights are as follows:

  • Frost

    • Howling Blast cooldown has been reduced from 10 sec to 8 sec.
    • Rime now resets the cooldown on Howling Blast when it procs, in addition to its previous effects.

These Frost changes are a clear buff to deep Frost DPS builds. Which was needed, because nobody plays Frost 2h.

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Filed under: Patches, Death Knight

Paladin changes in WoW Patch 3.1 PTR build 9733

A new build was pushed to the patch 3.1 PTR yesterday, and while the list of changes wasn't huge, there are a few significant ones for paladins:

  • Seal of the Martyr/Seal of Blood now add 48% of weapon damage, up from 22%, to all your melee attacks as holy damage. However, the Judgment was changed from 16% of AP + 25% of spell power + 26% of minimum weapon damage to 11% AP + 18% SP + 26% min weapon damage.

In other words, the bonus damage per attack was roughly doubled, while the coefficients of AP and SP on the judgment were cut by 30% (approximately).

The general expectation is that this will keep overall damage pretty much the same, while reducing burst damage. This makes the seal play a bit differently in PvP – it's no longer going to hit like a truck when you judge, but you'll get more consistent damage out of it (edited). A benefit of the change is that you won't see quite as big hits on your health when you judge the seal: more survivability in PvE, which is something the blues have shown concern about with respect to this seal.

There was one other change: a new talent called Divine Guardian was added, at tier 4 in the Protection tree. Note that this is not the same as the old Divine Guardian, which was reworked and renamed Divine Sacrifice. I do really like the icon, so I'm glad they're reusing it, but the naming is slightly confusing.


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: Paladin, Patches

The Queue: The Scantily Clad Edition

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Hello, everybody! I'm going to jump right into things today because I'm sure at least a dozen people will want to shiv me for my answer to our first question, and I'd like to give everyone time to do that.

Andrew R. asked...


"Why do the females in WoW always wear such scantily clad gear? I don't see how plate armor that exposes half your upper body will do you any good when someone wants to stab you. Isn't it kind of degrading to real women who play the game?"

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Death Knight goes insane (in the membrane)


A Gnome Death Knight appropriately named Nutshell from Mug'thol reported on the forums that he had completed the requirements for the upcoming Achievement Insane in the Membrane. The Achievement, to be implemented in Patch 3.1, requires a character to gain Exalted reputation with the Steamwheedle Cartel (Everlook, Booty Bay, Ratchet, and Gadgetzan), Darkmoon Faire, Ravenholdt, the Shen'dralar, and Honored with the Bloodsail Buccaneers. Unlocking this Achievement also rewards the fitting title 'the Insane', arguably one of the cooler titles in the new patch.

Most of the faction reputations listed aren't easy to grind, particularly the little known Ravenholdt faction in Hillsbrad Foothills. Most players who have been playing for years are unlikely to have considerable reputation with them nor the come-and-go Darkmoon Faire and the Dire Maul-based Shen'dralar. It's an impressive feat for any character, and even more impressive for a Death Knight -- Nutshell might possibly be the first one to complete it. Considering Loremaster Nutshell has 5870 Achievement points to date, it's probably not that surprising the player made the grind. To all of this, Bornakk simply responded, "you're insane."

Filed under: Death Knight, Achievements

WoW Insider streams from the PTR tonight

We're going to be heading out into the PTR tonight again to see what there is to see, and we're inviting you to come with us. Tonight at 9pm Eastern, we'll be streaming live video from the PTR over on our Ustream page, as well as chatting live with you and anyone else who stops by.

We're planning to check out the Argent Tournament first, and probably run through a few of the dailies there, though there's a VoA boss to test and we may get some PvP testing in as well. It should be a good time no matter what we end up doing.

You can see the stream over on Ustream, or just click through to the second half of this post, where we've placed an embedded stream for you to watch and chat with. We'll sign on to the server around 9pm Eastern (don't worry, you can DVR Lost -- we will be), and it'll go until we're done for the evening, whenever that is. See you there!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds

The Queue: Close the floodgates again, please


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Hi again, everyone! I may be covering The Queue for the rest of the week while Adam Holisky flees from a righteous flood. We usually trade off days, but he's kind of a wuss and can't take a little water, so I'll spare him the tragedy of needing to toddle through a puddle or whatever.

pants asked...

"I know that they are taking away the proto-drakes for the raid achievements in 3.1, but will the title "Champion of the Frozen Wastes" be gone as well for it's respective achievement?"

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Developers call for focused PvP testing on the PTR

The calls for focused testing on the PTR continue, this time with a focus on PvP and the arena. This Thursday, March 26th, the developers are asking volunteers to queue up for any rated arena bracket and give it a go. They'll be observing (and possibly participating?) throughout the day to see how things look on the PvP side of things right now. This appears to be happning both on US and EU test realms.

The devs have stated repeatedly in the past that PvP is one of the hardest parts of the game to test and receive feedback on before a patch/expansion goes live. Not many people do Battlegrounds or queue for the Arena on the test realms. This looks like an attempt to get as much testing as possible in a somewhat-controlled environment, where normally they wouldn't get much useful data at all due to simple lack of participation.

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Filed under: Patches, Blizzard, PvP, Arena

The Queue: Glory of the Hero


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Hey, everyone. I just wanted to take a moment to remind all of you that Adam and I are not the same entity, even if we both have A names and contribute to the same column. There's been a lot of confusion over the last year, so let me repeat: Adam Holisky and Alex Ziebart are two different people. Adam is not Alex, Alex is not Adam. And when you throw Allison into the mix, Allison is neither Adam nor Alex and they are not she. Are we on the same page here? Great.

Herumor asked...

"As things are now without the Maelstrom, is there any point to adding the upcoming water mounts without a large water based area? I don't really see a use for them other than showing off, and even that's kind of difficult to do."

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Filed under: Mage, Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Breakfast Topic: The titles of Patch 3.1


Patch 3.1 is a hefty content patch that will introduce a massive new raid zone, the Argent Tournament, as well as Arena Season 6. Of course, along with all those are new Achievements and consequently, titles. Some of the titles have been around since the Beta, where the realm's first Level 80 of a particular race was awarded an 'of the <major city>' title. This was widely criticized and Blizzard pulled the titles long before Wrath went live, but are now set to return with the Argent Tournament. Soon, dedicated players can append an affiliation with their favorite racial cities for all to see.

Of course, there are more titles that are coming with the next content patch, and yesterday it was revealed that the titles for the Ulduar versions of Undying and Immortal were going to be Champion of Ulduar and Conqueror of Ulduar respectively. Is it just me or does Champion/Conqueror of Ulduar not have the same 'oomph' as being Immortal or Undying? First of all, Champion and Conqueror are both existing Horde PvP titles, which lessens the impact. Secondly, the cool factor of 'the Immortal' and 'the Undying' are just off the chain as well as being perfectly appropriate for the Achievement.

There are also the Celestial Defender and Death's Demise titles for realm first Algalon and Yogg-Saron kills in their hardest modes. I think those are much cooler, but are about on par with, uh, Magic Seeker. Sometimes, titles just don't roll of the tongue very nicely. We usually ask for your opinion on these, and we're doing the same today for Patch 3.1's batch of titles. In fact, we're putting up a poll to get your take on all the titles of Patch 3.1. Click on a radio button to kick off your day!
What do you think of the new titles in Patch 3.1?
Awesome! I can't wait to become The Conqueror of Ulduar!644 (8.3%)
Champion and Conqueror AGAIN?1725 (22.2%)
I'm pretty happy with the city titles.1737 (22.4%)
The only thing that matters is THE INSANE!3652 (47.1%)

Filed under: Polls, Breakfast Topics

Paladin changes in Patch 3.1 PTR build 9722


A new Patch 3.1 PTR build went up earlier and while there aren't any official patch notes, our data-mining friends over at MMO-Champion have dug up some goodies as usual. There aren't too many changes for Paladins in this build, but there are interesting stuff in there, not least of which was the unintended revelation of the internal testing on Crusader Strike. The more down-to-earth changes are as follows:

Holy
Divine Plea - now only reduces the amount healed by your Flash of Light, Holy Light, and Holy Shock spells.
This properly reflects Blizzard's intention of nerfing Divine Plea for Holy Paladins. The change allows healing from Seal of Light and Judgement of Light to go unimpaired, the latter particularly useful to Protection Paladins and Retribution Paladins. Considering that Protection is now designed to have maintain a 100% uptime on Divine Plea, this is an important distinction.

Aura Mastery - tooltip has been modified to properly reflect its 10 seconds duration.
The excellent new ability confused a lot of players who thought it was a permanent, passive ability. Don't freak out, people! It's an activated ability that lasts for 10 seconds and has a two minute cooldown. The tooltip should help dispel the cloud of confusion.

The rest of the changes after the jump...

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

New Crusader Strike is in the works


I've said it before -- Crusader Strike is the most boring key talent out there right now. It's vanilla 110% weapon damage strike, a 41-point talent that all Retribution Paladins pick up. It's simply not optional. Despite its lackluster nature (its original seal-refreshing feature was utilitarian but ultimately boring), it has held a firm place in every Retadin's arsenal since its inception. Imagine the elation of Paladins everywhere when the latest PTR patch notes revealed a shocking change that made me run for new boxers: "Crusader Strike is now An instant strike that causes 110% weapon damage. In addition, if you strike a player while they are casting, their magical damage and healing will be reduced by 50% for 6 sec."

The bad news is that this change isn't going to happen. Ghostcrawler was quick to prevent mass hysteria by saying that this change will not make it into Patch 3.1. This thankfully saves the world from an epidemic of Retribution Paladin players dancing naked on the streets in ecstatic celebration. He says that they are merely experimenting and that they wish to make Crusader Strike "more exciting," but ultimately feel that some sort of reverse Mortal Strike wasn't the way to go about it. Crushed Retribution hopes and dreams aside, the good news is that Crusader Strike is going to be improved. Blizzard is working on it, and the change sneaking unintentionally into the PTR gives players a sneak peek into the developers' thought process. Even if we don't see the change happen in Patch 3.1, I think it's safe to say that Retribution Paladins have something to be excited about. The rest of you who play another class, you can put down your pitchforks now.

Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

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