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Posts with tag wow-ptr-3.1

Totem Talk: 3.1 Shaman Gear Part 1

I guess I'm gambling that the patch won't be next week. Because there's no way I can cover all the gear available for shamans in 3.1 (both set and otherwise) for three specs in anything like two weeks of this column. In addition to discussing sets for resto, elemental and enhancement there's quite a lot of non-set gear to discuss, rings, trinkets, and so on. We know that Flametongue Weapon will be changed to reassert the superiority of the slow/slow combo for enhancement, for instance, so there's also weapons to discuss. Since I know that's not possible for me to cover in one column and probably not in two, we'll just take it as it goes. This week, we'll discuss the Tier 8 sets from Ulduar 10 and 25, the Valorous and Conqueror's Worldbreaker sets. As is usual for shamans, it comes in Battlegear for Enhancement, Garb for Elemental and Regalia for Restoration. As was the case for Tier 7, the 10 and 25 man sets have the same set bonuses and will work with each other, so if you have two pieces of Tier 8 from 10 man raids and 2 pieces from 25, you'll get both set bonuses.

First up, let's look at the Conqueror's and Valorous Worldbreaker Battlegear.

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, (Shaman) Totem Talk

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: PTR Arms

I wanted to do an April Fool's column. The fact that this column is being posted three days after April Fool's isn't the reason I decided not to do it, though. No, I ended up not doing it because I couldn't think of anything particularly funny to say about the class. Not that it isn't a funny class at times, because it is. Any class where you spend a lot of time trying to get trolls to give you teeth, elementals to give you lucky charms (they weren't Marshmallowy Delicious, either) and finally get a fine 2h weapon just in time for everyone to get mad that you're not a tank is comedy, of a kind.

Anyone who remembers when warriors were rage starved due to us being bugged so that we were being given way too many misses, or when a missed execute ate all of your rage, can attest to the warrior class being really funny sometimes. My wife used to laugh and say that Blizzard had done a wonderful job of transferring the sensation of building rage to the player. Your character might be rage starved, but you? Oh, you'd be screaming at the computer as if you could yell your rage bar into red.

That's why I've decided to move away from talking about fury in 3.1 and to spend the next two or three columns discussing tanking and arms spec, especially as they're going to be. This week, we'll talk about Arms as PvE and PvP.

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

Tevri of Shandris royally screws us

Well, say goodbye to patch 3.1, guys. Tevri of Shandris has made sure that the developers will never release it. All those who say Blizzard never listens to its customers, well, here's your proof you're wrong. 3.1 is cancelled. Forever.

In a thread innocently asking when 3.1 would be coming out, Blizzard CM Crygil remarked that it would be out soon. Tevri, in his infinite wisdom, decided that this was, in fact, too soon, and told Crygil as much. Crygil immediately responded that he would inform the devs to cancel 3.1 development.

So, great job, Tevri! Way to royally screw us! My dream of not being able to cast Slow Fall on NPCs has completely disappeared, and it's all your fault.

Tomorrow's Breakfast Topic: How are we going to gank Tevri?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: You Will Be Forced To Conform

Yeah, I took the cow fury. I now have two fury warriors I raid with. HELP ME.
If you've been paying attention to the latest PTR changes, you know that among them is a change to fury that alters the talent Improved Berserker Stance. Instead of providing 10% of AP, it now will provide 20% of your Strength. (It's been buffed since it was first introduced, it was 15% then.) When I saw this I thought it was the greatest change ever... until I remembered there are no strength enchants to gloves in Wrath level content, but just AP. Massacre? AP enchant. Berserking? Provides AP. Blessing of Might? AP. What about most of the rings and almost all of the cloaks and neck pieces available in current Wrath raiding? AP. And of course, what about leather gear you may have been wearing because it's the best in slot, like say the Frosted Adroit Handguards? No strength on those.

In short, I went from ecstatic to that sinking feeling you get when you realize that lovely Everglades condo is in fact just swamp. I'd just told everyone how awesome this change was, and here I stood on test with less AP than I had on live. Was it a huge loss? No, about 70 AP or so. But I still felt that lovely combination of chagrin and slight anger that comes from not only being wrong, but being wrong and finding yourself worse off than you'd been.

To be fair, the change to 20% has brought the AP back up to close to where it was. My warrior on test is lacking a couple of best in slot items that I've picked up since transfering him, which means that to compare them I have to take off bracers and neck and look at the AP from there, but we're talking a 20 AP drop now. The real issue is buffs like Blessing of Might/Battle Shout and procs like Berserking. On the other hand, Blessing of Kings, Gift of the Wild and Horn of Winter/Strenth of Earth just got better for us.

Now Ghostcrawler has waded into the fray, and what he says confirms it: this change is purely meant to force warriors away from wearing leather.

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Filed under: Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items, Talents, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

Totem Talk: Patch 3.1 and Shamans - The PvP patch

So far, if you look at every PTR round up for shamans we've done here at WoW insider, you'll note that the changes are primarily aimed at PvP balance. There have been a few tweaks to resto aimed at mana regen (like Mana Spring going exclusive with Blessing of Wisdom) but in general, it's safe to say that 3.1 will be the shaman's PvP patch.

The most recent PTR build has a confusing bug fix to Totem of Wrath (Okay, so it's not changing to 30 yards, because it was 30 yards anyway and now it will be the 40 yards the tooltip reads) and a nice buff to Storm, Earth and Fire. Each new tank reduces the cooldown on Chain Lightning, meaning that at max rank the six second cooldown will be reduced by 2.5 seconds. Combined with Lightning Mastery, you will be able to cast a Chain Lightning every 3 seconds. While shorter cast times are always good for PvP, this change will affect PvE just as much by giving shamans more casts of chain lightning during AoE pulls. It doesn't really match true AoE, not even with the glyph on, but it's something to add to dropping Fire Nova or Magma Totem. And unlike those, it won't cost you Totem of Wrath to use. There was also this nice discussion of Totem Stomper macros, which I call a nice discussion because it's blatantly in favor of destroying them and scattering their virtual ashes across the wide and bitter plains.

So then, if we're patching shamans to be better in PvP, what then is the current status of the class therein? We know that the arena isn't actually setting many people's hearts afire lately, where do shamans fit into this decline? Well, actually, better than some folks... if you're resto, anyway.

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, PvP, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Battlegrounds, Arena

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

Warrior changes in Patch 3.1 PTR build 9722

Well, the changes, they keep being incremental, but they are happening. This latest PTR patch has one change that proves even in these times of nerfing Titan's Grip damage that, some times, just some times, good things happen for fury warriors. Like what, you may ask? I'm glad you did.

Improved Berserker Stance now increases strength by 3/6/9/12/15% instead of increasing attack power by 2/4/6/8/10%

I honestly can't gibber at that change enough. It's flatly astonishing. If the change was merely AP to Str and the percentages didn't change it would make the talent twice as good. But by having it increase strength by 15% instead of AP by 10%, it's now nearly three times as good, and will be even better when raid buffed. (Note: without raid buffs, this will be an AP decrease unless you are very lucky with rings to have STR in both slots. Any AP gear you have will detract from the benefit of the talent, making it stronger when grouped/raiding but weaker solo.) I think I had a small squeegasm when I read this change. But wait, there's more! It's not all this good.

The folks at MMO-Champion dug up the goods Let's take a look, shall we?

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

Totem Talk: When things go off the rails

Yesterday, a new PTR patch dropped with changes for shamans. We'll be covering them. But first I wanted to talk about the change to the Windfury Glyph that I've frankly been avoiding discussing for weeks now. I've avoided it because, frankly, I haven't wanted to discuss it until I could come up with something to say that wasn't a lot of cursing. Amazingly this change was so extreme that the highest damage an enhancement shaman can get right now is to use the Torch of Holy Fire in your mainhand and a fast offhand with flametongue on each weapon.

Yes, that's right, a healer/caster weapon is the highest DPS an enhancement shaman can get. This is the sound of me banging my head against the desk. My forehead's got splinters. Honestly, I still don't know what to say about this. When the attack power was taken out of WF glyph they might as well have just removed it from the game.

In the above post Blizzard hightlights their intention for the class (slow MH/slow OH with WF/FT), the problem here is not what they intended but what they did. By reducing the WF glyph and removing the attack power bonus it was giving, the glyph became inferior to double flametongue with a caster MH/fast OH, due to how Flametongue Weapon works.

Right now, the base damage on each Flametongue proc scales with weapon speed, but the percent of spellpower that affects the damage that the imbue does is always a flat 10%, meaning that until 3.1 flametongue does more damage on a faster weapon. The enhancement playstyle that takes advantage of this is an anomaly, in that we know it will be much less effective in 3.1, but as of right now we know that if you are an enhancement shaman, you will do more damage with a caster weapon and a fast offhand.

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

Season 6 PVP sets are a true upgrade

Here's a really interesting followthrough by Blizzard I never thought I'd see. You may remember a thread a few months back where the OP complained that the PVP sets were boring-looking or visually uninspired; Zarhym responded matter-of-factly replied that the looks of the armor sets would improve over time. While PvE players receive loot that was (ostensibly) culled from the sinewy piles of continually larger and more powerful foes, PvP players receive gear crafted by their faction's tailors, smiths, and leatherworkers -- gear made to get the job done. As one became more and more renowned, their gear would reflect said prestige. I imagined that statement meant that the new models for Season 6 gear would be (subjectively) cool-looking and (objectively) different.

Well, MMO Champion has put up a mostly-complete preview of Season 6 gear models pulled from the seedy underbelly of patch 3.1's data files, and I'm a little surprised and a lot impressed.

Yes, you're probably having the initial reaction that I did upon clicking the link above. "These sets look like what's available now," you're saying, brows furrowed, lips pursed. They do look quite similar, but take a closer look. Things have changed!

We talk a lot about upgrades here, but these new sets go beyond stat increases -- the armor has been visibly beefed up, more parts of your body covered, more adornments added, more magic seeping from its seams.

The shaman head and shoulders appear to be morphing from the pebble-smooth surface into something far more menacing. The paladin's armor has become adorned with glowing gems and the neck protected. There's a gradual metamorphosis going on here that really shows what Blizzard was talking about when they said that the PvP set models would improve over time, and I can't wait to see what Season 7 looks like.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King

Warrior class changes in patch 3.1 PTR build 9684

From our friendly official patch notes for the PTR, we now have some news on new talents for Arms, which I complained about this morning:

  • Improved Intercept and Weapon Mastery have once again swapped places in the talent tree.
  • New Talent: Juggernaut: Grants the warrior the ability to Charge while in combat.
  • Unrelenting Assault: Now also increases the damage of Overpower and Revenge by 10/20%, and causes Overpower (when used to attack a casting target) to decrease the effectiveness of all the target's non-physical damage and healing by 25/50% for 6 seconds. Tooltip and visual updated.
Pretty obviously they switched Imp Intercept and Weapon Mastery because arms will not be expected to use intercept at all now that they'll be able to charge in combat, similar to the protection ability Warbringer. We've basically now seen two out of the three warrior specs given the option to dispense with Intercept altogether. In addition, fury warriors have lost the only 'expertise compensation' talent they had. While for warriors with sufficient expertise this is a non-issue, if you were using Weapon Mastery to fill a lower than necessary expertise stat, get some exp gear fast.

Unrelenting Assault sounds like a promising buff. I won't know how promising until I get back onto the PTR tonight, but a damage buff and an anti-caster function? Yes please. It does PvP and PvE duty, can't complain about that. All in all, it's a trickle, but a trickle is better than nothing. Not too thrilled about the loss of Weapon Mastery for fury warriors, but it's survivable.

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: Warrior, News items

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Arms waits and waits and waits

Remember those arms changes we keep hearing about? They still haven't dropped yet on the PTR.

In fact, the whole state of warriors on the PTR is pretty static. They've decided not to change stances and how rage interacts with them although I can attest that yes, they've added armor pen to battle stance (I was running around Un'Goro on my tauren looking for the Ravasaur trainer) and they've already fixed the potential TG bug I mentioned so that there's no way you can switch specs and have both 2h weapons equipped. Shattering Throw is indeed fun in mass PvP: I haven't had a chance to test it yet outside of a few melee's around a summoning stone, though.

I did get to make that one ret pally very unhappy, so yes that's nice. But all in all, I'm still waiting for arms to get, well... buffs. Yes, all three stances got small to medium buffs, and there's talk of removing the penalties altogether on stances. I won't pretend I won't welcome the day where stances don't have penalties aside from the rage dump aspect of switching, but that's hardly a buff to arms warriors.

We've been told repeatedly that arms warrior DPS is too low in PvE. And I know that they can't think that changing Taste for Blood to a 100% chance to proc with a built in 6 second cooldown is going to do it. Buffing Blood Frenzy? Not really enough. There have to be arms changes somewhere at least going internal testing.

So when do we get to test them already?

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

Totem Talk: PTR Build 9684 undocumented changes

Well, I had a long rant about the Mana Spring change and some more about the leveling process and then Blizzard chose to drop a new PTR build on us, so we'll be talking about that instead. Some of these changes are holdovers from previous PTR builds and some are totally new. We'll be covering them step by step here and discussing them all as they are the state of the art for what's coming for the class, but to avoid deluging anyone with information they'd prefer not to see yet (since it is all of course subject to change before going live) we'll do so behind the jump.

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

Ulduar achievements unveiled

Wow. MMO Champion, long trusted to datamine anything that's not nailed down to the floor, brings us the complete (to date) list of Ulduar achievements added to the 3.1 PTR, and yeah. It's long. Blizzard promised us some new achievements for Ulduar, but I wasn't expecting a list THIS long. Or this hilarious.

There are the expected "kill these bosses" achievements, the inevitable "kill these bosses while doing something hard" achievements, silly achievements you'll get without trying, and more. Bear in mind that many of these numbers, and even some achievement criteria, are either incorrect or placeholders. Don't freak out.

The full list is after the jump and is, of course, quite spoiler-heavy, so stay away if you want your Ulduar experience to be as pure as driven snow.

The rest of you, though? CLICK. DO IT. COME ON.

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

Ulduar on the 3.1 PTR: Kologarn

Intrepid 3.1 PTR reporter Michael Sacco here, reporting for duty and giving you the skinny on all that Ulduar has to offer you. The developers have allowed players into Ulduar to test some encounters, usually one at a time, and they've been steadily gathering feedback each night. Prior to this engagement, the boss that was up was Flame Leviathan, but we've seen him a few times already. I was ready for something new.

Flame Leviathan may give me guns, but I want to go to the gun show. What do you say, Blizzard? How about you give me a boss who exercises his right to bear arms?

Kologarn? Why yes. This will do. This will do nicely. Let me grab Matt "Matticus" Low and my other, less important coworker Alex Ziebart.

This writeup will be spoiler-heavy. If you don't wish to know anything about this or any Ulduar boss, don't click the link below. You've been warned.

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

Patch 3.1 PTR Ulduar/Emblem of Conquest Gear for Warriors

Patch 3.1 is starting to reveal loot from Ulduar bosses as well as items that can be purchased for the new Emblems of Conquest. Thanks to MMO-Champion, we can look at these items and each class will be looking at these items differently. For instance, the new 2h weapons available from 10 and 25 man Ulduar have stats that will be more or less popular for various classes. For warriors, these new weapons may herald the return of Armor Penetration, especially with incoming changes to Deep Wounds and Battle Stance as well as upcoming buffs to armor pen itself. "Armor Penetration Rating: All classes now receive 25% more benefit from Armor Penetration Rating."

With all of this in mind, we're looking at a situation where a warrior could pretty easily reduce armor by 10 to 15% depending on spec and stance. (An arms warrior in battle stance would gain 10% actual armor reduction from his tance and around 5% actual armor reduction from his weapon, while a fury warrior dual wielding these weapons could easily reduce armor by 10-11% just from the weapons.) Mix in the effect of a trinket like Grim Toll, and you're looking at nearly 50 to 55% armor reduction during a proc. That's pretty substantial, and it's not even counting the effect of other armor pen on gear.

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

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