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Posts with tag wow-ptr-3.1

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: PvP is calling you home


Zach covered my dereliction yesterday, so let's all peruse his analysis of the warrior changes currently on the PTR. I've tested things on the PTR when and where I could (haven't been on since the new patch, RL difficulties and in game commitments have kept me off) and I've discovered a bug with dual specs that allows a fury warrior to effectively ignore the TG nerf by simply having a second fury spec that doesn't have Titan's Grip in it at all. I'm assuming this will be fixed to unequip your weapons when you switch specs, because if it's not, I know a lot of fury warriors who will pay 1000g to avoid being nerfed. (And yes, I'm wearing leather gloves in that screenshot.)

I've been playing in arenas lately with a fully PvE oriented fury build and no resil gear whatsoever. My partner is a prot warrior. We actually win more than we lose, believe it or not, our only significant weak spot being if we hit a team that bursts me down before we can burst their DPS down. If I was to shift three talent points so I could get Heroic Fury and Furious Attacks, we'd probably win a lot more, so once dual specs go live I may go fury/fury instead of fury/prot like I'd originally planned. The fact is, I can count on one hand the amount of times I've not been able to find a tank for runs lately and have had to respec. Heck, I often just tank in my fury spec if it comes to that. So if the future starts to look better for warriors in PvP, I may just focus more on perfecting my fury PvP spec. On the other hand, there's always Arms to consider, especially if it gets more buffs in the future.

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

Patch 3.1 PTR build 9658 Shaman changes

Sorry for my absence from the website yesterday: I'd like to thank Zach for covering for me as he did. Since hopefully the issues that were preventing my posting have been worked out for the most part I'm here to take a look at the most recent changes to shamans for patch 3.1. So far they're all PvP oriented changes in the enhancement tree, based in part around the upcoming Frozen Power spell.

  • Enhancement
  • Frostbrand Weapon damage has been increased. (From 442 to 530 damage for Rank 9, from 386 to 463 for Rank 8, etc ...)
  • Frozen Power now Increases the damage done by your Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Lava Lash and Shock spells by 5/10% on targets afflicted by your Frostbrand Attack effect
  • Flurry now Increases your attack speed by 5/10/15/20/25% for your next 3 swings after dealing a critical strike. (Down from 10/15/20/25/30%)
These aren't terribly complicated changes. The change to Frostbrand Weapon is purely aimed at making it more desirable in PvP (since some would forgo the snare if they felt the DPS increase from WF on the main hand makes it more worth their while) - by having Frostbrand do more damage and Frozen Power make your Maelstrom procs and Lava Lash offhand strikes hit harder, the Frostbrand/Frozen Power combination becomes more likely to be used in PvP, which is pretty clearly what is intended.

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

Ulduar on the 3.1 PTR: Ignis the Furnace Master


Coming back to my post as official 3.1 PTR raid reporter after an offensive usurping by my dubiously sentient coworker Alex Ziebart, it's time for a new roundup of tonight's PTR Ulduar testing events. Last night we got a taste of the Flame Leviathan fight, which brought us motorcycles and tanks and floating pyrite containers, but tonight ... tonight we got a taste of a good, old-fashion player vs. comically gigantic dude raid encounter with Ignis, the Furnace Master.

Matt "Matticus" Low, the aforementioned plantlike Mr. Ziebart, and I formed a 10-man raid. As usual, Lead Encounter Designer Scott Mercer, a.k.a. Daelo, was around for the fun. Making travel considerably easier was last night's addition of a teleporter to different areas of the dungeon. Our trip past the large gate guarding the end of the Iron Concourse to the Colossal Forge was instant and uneventful. Then we waited for our barrel-chested braid-bearded friend to spawn.

This writeup will be spoiler-heavy. If you don't wish to know anything about this fight, don't click below. You've been warned.

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Patch 3.1 PTR build 9637 Shaman changes


So, my fellow shamans, we come to yet another PTR build. What changes are in store for shamans? Well, if you're elemental or resto... not much as yet. What's in store is two changes for enhancement shamans.
  • Stormstrike now lasts 12 sec (Up from 10 sec), cooldown lowered to 8 sec (Down from 10 sec)
  • Unleashed Rage now properly increases the expertise by 3/6/9 instead of the agility.
The Stormstrike changes are just plain buffs: more time to use the debuff properly and less time waiting for it to cool down. The only concern will be in fitting it properly into a rotation with Lava Lash, which has a six second cooldown. Frankly, it won't be that big a deal, it's still better to have access to it quicker.

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

Quests added to mob tooltips on the PTR

The Godmother over at ALT:ernative ducked into the PTR recently, and noticed something new: Blizzard is apparently testing adding Questhelper-style notes to tooltips of the quest-related mobs you come across. This looks so familiar that I thought it was an addon, but no, apparently Blizzard really is planning to tell you when a mob you're looking at happens to be the target of a quest.

It shocked me for a second -- not only is this dumbing down the questing game even further (maybe someday we will have a large red arrow pointing out a quest target from zones away), but it seems to be an awfully big break in immersion. Blizzard is basically telling you that "this is the mob you need, right here," and actually reading the quest text becomes even less necessary.

But then I realized that tooltips themselves aren't exactly paragons of game immersion -- it's already a little jump in the reality of the game to see a box with a mob's name and level whenever you mouse over it. Tooltips are already where the UI meets the road, so to speak. And as for the "dumbing down" of the game, most experienced players already had this functionality through addons like Questhelper and MonkeyQuest anyway (and if you do plan to complain that this makes things way too easy, make sure Questhelper is out of your Addon directory before you start typing). But if the tips stay in the game when the patch goes live, questing will be that much easier for people who stick to the basic UI.

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

Ulduar on the 3.1 PTR: The Iron Council

Last night was round 2 of the Ulduar encounter testing on the 3.1 PTR, and after last night's attempts at Hodir, my guildies and waste-of-a-raid-spot coworker were excited to get back into the beautiful Titan dinner party and sink our teeth into another new encounter.

And if we wanted a snack, we got ourselves a three-course meal: The Iron Council, a veritable Three's Company of dudes made of metal. Except Three's Company really had one dude in it regularly, and the other two were women. And none of the Iron Councilmen are Councilwomen. Clearly Iron society is not as progressive as ours.

As expected, the server couldn't be convinced to just let us get in and do what we needed to do, so we spent an inordinately long time logging in, stalling at the loading screen, getting in, crashing out, getting stuck in queue, swearing loudly in Ventrilo, and getting alcohol to ease the pain.

But we did manage to try the fight a few times.

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

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In the category of "finally": Raid ID confirmation windows in 3.1

The 3.1 PTR has brought a lot of wonderful quality of life improvements, but here's one that players and GMs alike will undoubtedly appreciate more than a lot of them: you finally, finally get a confirmation window when you enter an instance that would lock you to it. You get the option to accept the lockout and stay in the instance or leave the instance and save your ID for later. You have 15 seconds to make said choice.

This means no more getting screwed out of heroics by some idiot who forgot he already ran Violet Hold today or any other of the myriad ways you can lose your ID for the day (or week). It's about time.

Our good friend BRK found this feature without even realizing it, as WI reader Brandon Tilley discovered it in BRK's screenshots of a PTR raid last night. Thanks for the heads-up on this exciting change, Brandon, and way to miss the boat, BRK!


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

Ulduar on the 3.1 PTR: Hodir

Last night was an exciting night -- the first night of Ulduar encounter testing on the 3.1 PTR. Lead Encounter Designer Daelo, a.k.a. Scott Mercer, was on hand to open up the instance portal and guide us to our intended boss (the only boss in the instance for that night) -- Hodir.

I've talked about Hodir a few times; he was featured in my Ulduar boss speculation post (and I was right), and I went through some of his datamined abilities a few days ago. Getting to finally test the encounter was exhilarating, and getting back into the process of learning a strat by hitting the ground running was something to which I've been looking forward for a long time.

I brought my Elune guildies and a deadweight coworker with me for a 10-man attempt.

This writeup will be spoiler-heavy. If you don't wish to know anything about this fight, don't click below. You've been warned.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Scarce Change on the PTR


Yesterday saw me still without PTR access, followed by a massive cable outage and some computer problems that kept me offline until very late. Logging onto my Horde server (my alliance server was already dead thanks to it being on east coast time, plus I generally prefer Horde now anyway) I found myself needed to tank an Obsidian Sanctum run, which went fine. Then, I was needed to DPS in Naxx, so I respecced, but mistaken specced fury because I respec on autopilot now. So after the raid I had to respec back to arms. So basically, I dropped 150g to raid yesterday. You could argue that were I not an idiot I could have saved myself 50 gold.

So for that reason alone, even with the big, big nerfs to fury, I want 3.1 to get here.

Let's start the day with a fun quote from Ghostcrawler:

"Fury warriors who think their dps will be too low after this change in PvE are probably comparing themselves to classes or specs with inflated dps who are also being brought down (even after the Deep Wounds fix). If you are worried about the PvP ramifications, I think we can probably agree that a 10% swing in dps is not what is going to determine whether warriors are viable in Arenas or not."

Yeah, we can agree on that. People would have to be taking warriors to arenas in order for us to determine if warriors were viable in arenas or not. Since they are not... I guess lowering warrior DPS bt 10% (as Ghostcrawler has just admitted these changes intend) doesn't really matter. When no one brings your class anyway, it's unimportant if it gets nerfed or not. Good point, GC. Very good point.

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

Totem Talk: PTR Roundup

Well, my PTR transfers haven't gone through yet. I debated putting this column off until tomorrow in the hopes that they would have happened by then but the fear that they might not and I'd be late and still in the same boat caused me to decide to write about it today.

We've talked about the most recent changes on the PTR here and here. As of right now these are the changes we're working from in terms of speculating about what the class will look like in 3.1. It's fairly clear that most of the changes are aimed either at shaman viability in PvP. I'm disappointed to see that Frozen Power, the talent aimed at giving shamans a snare/root in PvP is 25 points down the enhancement tree, but not surprised, as it seems to be aimed more at giving enhancement shamans an anti-kite than in giving other shamans a kiting ability.

To be honest, none of these changes really makes me want to take an elemental or enhancement shaman into PvP. They're incremental improvements, changes that could in the future form the basis for something exciting for shamans (the new Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem has real potential, even though yes, it does use up your earth totem so that you can't be fear immune when you use it... this is and has always been a drawback of shamans in PvP and I don't think Blizzard is ever going to entirely remove it, although with Frozen Power you at least have a replacement for Earthbind) but at present it still feels somewhat unexciting. The way the changes affect PvE seems more positive, which is odd in a patch aimed at PvP tweaks for the class.

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

Datamined Ulduar boss information, with analysis

Yes, yes, we know you're curious about what the Ulduar boss encounters will be like, loyal readers. With 14 bosses, 11 hard modes, and an optional heroic boss, we wonder, too! We'll be able to test some of these encounters on the 3.1 PTR soon, but there are, of course, those of us who just can't wait to know anything about what's going on in Ulduar.

Luckily, ever-resourceful players and dataminers have acquired information about spells and abilities related to bosses in Ulduar from the 3.1 PTR files. There's a lot of of stuff in here -- some of it may make it into the live game, some may not, and some may be related to vehicles or other sundries involved with encounters. I'm going to go into detailed analysis of those encounters for which detailed spells exist.

It goes without saying that these will be huge spoilers to anyone who doesn't want their Ulduar experience to be anything but pure, so don't read past the jump if you don't want to know!

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

Tier 8 Ulduar weapon models previewed, Val'anyr included

3.1 and Ulduar are coming soon. No doubt a lot of you have been looking forward to seeing what your reward for hacking apart a variety of priceless Titan artifacts and servants of the Old Gods would be. MMO-Champion, as always, has your back! They've released a preview for the weapon and accessory models that'll be in Ulduar, and they look fantastic. The theme of the instance seems to carry through into all of its gear, and I'm going to love just how good my guild and I will look after a bit of time in there.

The image above is a paladin holding one of the Ulduar shields and the much-touted Val'anyr, Gavel of Ancient Kings, and that's just the tip of the iceberg from MMOC, who promises a video of it in action very soon.

Bear in mind these are still tentative models and the art may change, but even then, what are you waiting for? Santa won't get mad if you peek. Go go go!


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.

WoW Patch 3.1 PTR: Warrior glyph and undocumented changes


We covered the changes (including the undocumented ones) to warriors on the PTR, including the new Titan's Grip 'damage tax' on fury warriors. Yeah, it sucks, I'm not happy about it, but it's probably not going to go away.

The idea of Titan's Grip being too powerful is too entrenched in too many minds, so we basically have to hope that the damage penalty only comes into play while you're actually dual wielding and is not just a flat penalty on all of your abilities while you have the talent, which would make offtanking or tanking five man instances quite painful for fury. We'll see how bad it is. Dropping fury warrior DPS by a full 10% seems pretty extreme and it hurts those warriors doing their absolute best the most (if you're putting out 4.4k DPS now, you're losing 440 DPS with this change). I guess it's a good thing I specced my tauren Arms when I did.

But enough grumbling. What about the changes to glyphs?

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Filed under: Warrior, Patches, Odds and ends, News items, Talents

WoW Patch 3.1 PTR: Shaman glyph and undocumented changes


So in the cold light of day we have yet more changes than the PTR notes indicated for our beloved shamans. Both glyphs and general changes need to be discussed, and so I drag my exhausted hinder forth to dig through the vast and sprawling PTR hoopla to determine what is up for the totem dropping set. What's good, what's bad, what's head scratchingly confusing? We talked about shaman class changes in the PTR notes early this morning, so we'll start there, because it's short.
Everything else was covered in the original patch notes, so... yeah. Fire Noval Totem costs less. It's still a fire totem, so elemental shamans will have to decide between it and Totem of Wrath. But at least the decision to drop one and lose the benefits of Totem of Wrath will cost you less mana.

Luckily, we have quite a few glyphs to discuss as well. Let's talk about those.

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Filed under: Shaman, Odds and ends, News items, Talents

WoW Patch 3.1 PTR Warrior changes

I want you to try and remain calm, okay? I know as warriors you're crazy excited for all the twists and turns for the class on the PTR. While I can't hit all of the highlights, I can give you a taste.

Warrior
And we're done.

Now's a good time to remind everyone that these patch notes are not in any way, shape or form complete, and that there will almost certainly be more changes. We've already seen posts from Ghostcrawler indicating that a lot more than this was in the works, so we can consider these changes just preliminary.

So why just roll these two out for warriors? Both are good changes, it's true, but when some classes are seeing major overhauls these look rather paltry. What's going on?

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Filed under: Warrior, Patches, Talents

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