Monday, March 7, 2011

Patch 4.1 Doom or more doom?

Well, the patch is on the PTR, so I figured I'd talk about the latest patch notes from MMO Champion and how I feel about them. And yes, I am kinda bitter about the disc stuff.
  • Divine Aegis duration has been increased to 15 seconds, up from 12.
  • Dispel Magic can only be used on the casting priest as a baseline effect.
  • Holy Fire damage has been increased to be approximately 30% higher than Smite.
  • Holy Word: Sanctuary has a new spell effect.
  • Inner Will and Inner Fire now last until canceled.
  • Mind Sear damage has been doubled.
  • Power Word: Shield duration has been reduced to 15 seconds, down from 30.
  • Talent Specializations
    • Discipline
      • Absolution (new passive) enables priests to use Dispel Magic on up to 2 harmful effects on friendly targets.
      • Atonement now works with Holy Fire in addition to Smite.
      • Power Word: Barrier's cooldown has been increased to 3 minutes, up from 2, and its effect has been reduced to 25%, down from 30%.
      • It is now possible to remove Weakened Soul effects that were a result of another priest's Power Word: Shield through Strength of Soul.
    • Holy
      • Absolution (new passive) enables priests to use Dispel Magic on up to 2 harmful effects on friendly targets.
  • Glyphs
    • Glyph of Divine Accuracy now also affects Holy Fire in addition to Smite.
Okay, yay more Mind Sear damage. But let's talk about the disc changes. First, okay, nice that Holy Fire is now Atonement-friendly. Of course there is the problem that Atonement isn't really horribly usable in raids, but um yay Atonement? Now, PW:B nerf, owie but not OMG HALP NERF BAT! bad. But PW:S? Really? 
I'm not spamming bubbles, and as far as I can tell, the only disc priests capable of doing so are in 25 mans and are stacking druids for innerviates and are mostly in heroic raids. So... why is Blizz balancing around a small minority?  There's other alternatives to this, ones that aren't going to hurt leveling and 5 man running priests. How bout a max of 5 shields on at once? When one breaks, you can cast another, but you can only have 5. 
Honestly, I wish Blizz would give up on the bubble spam bugbear. If you design a large portion of a tree and a mastery around one spell, players will *SHOCK! HORROR!* want to use that spell fairly frequently. I'd rather have them give us alternatives to bubble spamming for raid healing rather than hit us with a nerf bat. That said, here's a thread on the forums calling for Blizz to sit down and tell us what they want Disc to be, complete with loads of ideas, some QQ, and blue posts. I'd love to see that, since right now all I know is that they don't want us bubble spamming. 

As far as the dispel stuff, I'm not thrilled, but I'm not sure how much that'll affect me as a raider. 

  • New dungeons available for partial testing.
    • Zul'Aman has returned as a level-85 5-player Heroic dungeon featuring a revamp of the original dungeon and improved loot!
    • Zul'Gurub has returned as a level-85 5-player Heroic dungeon featuring all-new encounters, achievements, and improved loot!
    • Both dungeons will be in a new Dungeon Finder difficulty tier above the current level-85 Heroic dungeons and offer epic-quality item level 353 loot.
    • These dungeons may only partially be available for testing at this time. Stay tuned for additional updates.
  • Blackwing Descent
    • Flash Bomb (Golem Sentry ability) now has a more clear warning visual.
    • Magmaw now triggers a raid emote when summoning Lava Parasites.
    • Further improvements have been made in the Maloriak encounter to avoid Flash Freeze targeting the tanks.
  • The gold amounts on the following encounters have been substantially reduced: Flame Leviathan, Magtheridon, Gruul the Dragonkiller, Doom Lord Kazzak, and all encounters in Karazhan.
Yay new dungeons, and I'm happy they aren't putting in the new raid yet. Since only one guild on my server is 12/12, we're not running out of content in a hurry, and I don't want to see a repeat of the Ulduar/Trial fiasco.
  • The Guild Perk, Cash Flow, no longer prints out text to the Chat Log. Instead, the daily amount deposited is shown in the Guild Vault Money Log. In addition, players can view the weekly contribution in a new window at the bottom of the Money Log.
  • We have added two new custom guild tabards as Guild Rewards. The tabards are account bound and offer a bonus to gaining guild reputation.
Yay less chat spam, and huzzah for tabards that help you gain guild rep!
  • Item Sets
    • The current damage-dealing death knight 4-piece raid set bonus now also grants increased attack power when Killing Machine triggers, as well as when the death knight gains Death Runes).
    • The current Holy paladin 4-piece raid set bonus now grants 540 Spirit for 6 seconds after casting Holy Shock.
    • The current healing priest 4-piece raid set bonus no longer requires a target to be under the effects of Weakened Soul for the priest to receive the Spirit bonus. Instead the benefit will be granted each time the priest's Penance spell heals a target.
And here's another point about that bubble spam thing. If our 4 piece bonus depends on it, that might be a reason we're spamming it. Glad they're changing it, still don't think it's a worthwhile bonus.

Well, I'm not happy, but I'm not ready to say the sky is falling yet. I think we need to see how things play out on the PTR, and in the meantime I'd suggest people who have not yet tried Holy should try it, especially leveling players. 

Me, I'm going to start powerleveling my shaman so I have another enjoyable ranged dps/healer just in case disc gets nerfed to the ground.  Only 19 levels to go to 85....

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