Tag Archives: changes

What Hunters Need to Know for 5.4

It’s kind of late to post this, but I learn better when I write things down so I’m doing this for my own benefit as much as anyone else’s.

Damage Abilities

  • Arcane Shot now deals 125% ranged weapon damage (up from 100%) and had its focus cost increased by 50%.
  • Explosive Trap had its overall damage decreased by 30%. Proportionately, more damage has been removed from the initial damage than the periodic effect.
  • Stampede damage dealt by pets when the ability is used outside of an Arena or Battleground is no longer reduced by 75%.
  • Beast Cleave’s range has been increased to 10 yards (up from 8 yards). (BM)
  • Kill Command damage has been increased by 34%. (BM)
  • Aimed Shot  now deals 450% ranged weapon damage (up from 350%). (Marks)
  • Explosive Shot damage has been increased by 27%. (SV)
  • Explosive Trap no longer shares a cooldown with Black Arrow but can no longer activate Lock and Load. (SV)

Other abilities

  • Counter Shot is now a baseline interrupt ability learned by all Hunters at level 22.
  • Deterrence now has a 3-minute cooldown (up from 2 minutes) but has 2 charges.
  • Disengage now has a cooldown of 20 seconds (down from 25 seconds).
  • Hunter’s Mark now has a duration of 20 seconds while in PvP combat (down from 30 seconds).
  • Readiness has been removed.

Pet Stuff

  • Dash, Dive, and Charge no longer cost focus.
  • Revive Pet no longer requires the Hunter to have line-of-sight to their pet.

Talents

  • A Murder of Crows now deals 40% more damage.
  • Aspect of the Iron Hawk now reduces all damage taken by 10%, down from 15%.
  • Glaive Toss no longer initiates auto-attack.
  • Lynx Rush’s damage has been increased by 30%.
  • Narrow Escape’s root effect is now a nature spell (was a physical spell).
  • Silencing Shot is no longer a talent and is now an ability that replaces Counter Shot for Marksman Hunters.
  • Spirit Bond now regenerates 3% of total health every 2 seconds while the Hunter’s pet is active (up from 2%).
  • Wyvern Sting now has a range of 40 yards (up from 35 yards).

Glyphs

New Major Glyphs

  • Glyph of the Lean Pack: Reduces the range of Aspect of the Pack to 7 yards.
  • Glyph of Enduring Deceit: Camouflage also reduces spell damage taken by 10%

Major Glyphs

  • Glyph of Mend Pet now has a 100% chance of cleansing 1 Curse, Disease, Magic or Poison effect from the Hunter’s pet on each tick (up from 50% chance).
  • Glyph of Mending now speeds up the periodic effect of Mend Pet to restore health to the pet every 1 second doubling the total amount healed over 10 seconds.
  • Glyph of No Escape now increases the ranged critical strike chance against targets affected by the Hunter’s Freezing Trap by 100% (up from 20% chance).

The Seven Year Itch

I started playing World of Warcraft on June 18, 2006. That very first day of playing I created Jasyla, the Night Elf Druid. For over 7 years, she’s been my main – the character I most relate and am attached to. She’s healed in everything from Zul’Gurub to heroic Lei Shen and everything in between.  I always said I would quit the game before I ever changed this.

But I guess I was wrong.

In 5.4 I’m going to be switching to playing my Hunter in raids. I’ve raided on my hunter before, as an alt, in tiers 4-6, and 8-10. I’ve found myself less and less interested in healing on my Druid recently and decided it was time for a change to reinvigorate the game for me. Unfortunately, our healing roster isn’t quite set for me to change today, but I should be officially making the switch in time for next week’s raid. On the bright side, I finally got a bow upgrade last night (I had been using one from Terrace forever) so I my dps shouldn’t be that of a total scrub when I start raiding.

There are a few reasons I’ve lost interest in healing. My biggest issue with healing is smart heals. Healing used to be something I found challenging and engaging, but with 7000 smart heals flying around all the time, being a smart healer matters a whole lot less and I don’t like it.  So it’s time for a change. I’m going to leave the healing to my excellent team of Apotheosis medics and join the ranks of the dps. I do really miss competing for ranks and seeing big numbers. 

What does this mean for the blog?

I’ll probably play my Druid in my guild’s alt run, but since I won’t be putting a ton of effort into the class anymore, I won’t be writing a lot of Druid related posts or guides.  I’ll probably start writing about hunters again though, and I’m looking forward to that.

Good hunting.

To the Ground

I really, really didn’t want to write this post. I hate to be a part of the WoW angst machine that gets upset about any change that gets introduced. But this time, I just can’t help myself.

Yesterday the following was posted on the WoW site:

With the final showdown against Deathwing approaching, we’ve been keeping a close eye on players’ progress through the current Firelands raid content. Before patch 4.3 is released, we want groups who are working on Heroic-difficulty content to be able to get as close to Ragnaros as possible, and we want players who are tackling normal progression to be able to experience as many of the encounters as they can. To achieve these goals, we’ll be toning down the difficulty of both normal and Heroic raids through hotfixes in the coming weeks. In general, we plan to reduce health and damage of all raid bosses in both normal and Heroic Firelands by around the same percentage we brought difficulty down for the original Cataclysm raids when Rage of the Firelands (patch 4.2) was released.

We’re looking forward to seeing more groups of players face off against the firelord in the weeks ahead. However, before we make these changes, we want to give everyone a final shot at the bosses at their current difficulty level — so this is a heads up that we’re planning to apply the difficulty hotfixes beginning the week of September 19.

Stay tuned to the Patch 4.2 Hotfixes blog for these and other live updates to the game as they happen.

What the hell?

This, to me, is both puzzling and infuriating. Puzzling because it’s coming at a very strange time. Tier 11 didn’t get nerfed until after Tier 12 came out (and it was only the normal modes). Tier 6 got nerfed just before the Wrath of the Lich King expansion came out. Why are they nerfing all T12 content only 3 months in? When the PTR for T13 is nowhere in sight? I don’t get it. And we’re getting a whopping 1 week notice before the nerfs happen.

Infuriating because this is a lazy, inelegant way of making the content more accessible. I think my guildie Majik said it best on this week’s episode of Blessing of Frost when he said they’re using a machete instead of a scalpel to fix things.

I’m not against nerfs altogether, but there are better ways to do it.

Where are the progression problems coming from? Do most guilds get stuck on Alysrazor because of tornados? Reduce the damage on those, or slow them down a smidge. Is the biggest sticking point on Ragnaros killing the sons before they get to the hammer? Reduce their health, slow them down or remove one or two of them. Make the biggest problem areas just a little easier – don’t make sweeping damage and health reductions to everything.

Another option would be doing it the ICC way. Use gradual nerfs (or buffs to players) over time. It is possible this is the way the T12 nerfs will go since the post mentions hotfixes over the coming weeks. However, there’s still the problem that no one knew this was coming. The fact that we’d be getting the Strength of Wrynn buff in ICC was known before the raid was even released. I don’t believe the specific date of the first buff was revealed, but everyone knew that buffs were coming.We knew we had a certain amount of time to complete the fights as they were created before they’d get a little easier.

These nerfs are completely unexpected. I assumed (and I’m sure many others did as well) that normal modes would be nerfed when T13 was released and hard modes would be left alone, just like they did for the last tier. Learning that everything will be nerfed while we’re still in there feels like I’ve been hit by Sulfuras.

I really don’t understand the obsession with accessibility and seeing content. I want to see the content, but I want it to be challenging. The normal and hard mode dichotomy was supposed to address the rift between those who just wanted to see the content and those who want to have to work hard to complete it. It certainly hasn’t been a perfect system, but now it’s becomming even worse.

I personally don’t have a strong opinion on nerfs to normal modes – they don’t have much of an effect on me – so I’ll leave that argument to those who are affected. But leave the hard modes alone. I want to wipe on fights until the mechanics are perfected. I want to have to put 100% effort into a new boss kill. I want a challenge. I don’t think a 20% nerf to everything will make all the heroic bosses complete push-overs but it will make them easier than they are supposed to be. Every new kill I get will feel like a pity kill. I’d feel more accomplished with 4/7 hard heroic modes than 6/7 nerfed heroic modes. (*paragraph edited to reduce jerkiness factor – original quoted in comments*)

Last night when the nerfs were announced my guildie Sara said something on Twitter that made me feel extra awful (though I’m positive that wasn’t her intent):

I don’t get why people get mad at nerfs – if we hadn’t been so slow on normal FL we’d be well into pre-nerf heroics.

The first thing I thought was, man, I hate being slow. Though I do think Blizzard is making a mistake pushing unexpected nerfs onto heroic content mid-way through the tier, what she said was true. I’m only at 1/7 heroics in both my guilds. To me, based on what I hope for and expect of myself, that is slow. I’ve always considered myself a very good player, but maybe I’m not so great. And if I’m not so great, I feel like a giant asshole for writing this blog and telling others how to play. Or maybe my expectations based on the amount of time I’m willing to put into the game are too high. Either way, this is the first time in a long time (maybe ever) that an announcement about a video game has made me feel this shitty.

I hope Blizzard will reconsider nerfing the content that is supposed to be challenging by so much.

What do you think of the Firelands nerfs?

Tranquility and the Elusive New Druid Cooldown

I wasn’t originally going to write this post. A number of my fellow druid bloggers have already said what I’m going to say, but I think it’s an important issue and I wanted to show some druid solidarity.

Mid-Febraury Blizzard said something that caused the excitement of healing druids and shaman everywhere.

We agree with the sentiment among some players that Restoration druids and Restoration shaman are lacking in the healing cooldown department. The shaman buff and Power Word: Shield adjustment above should bring all healers reasonably close in terms of throughput. The decision on who to bring then might end up being dictated by the strong cooldowns offered by paladins or priests. This isn’t the kind of thing we can address via a hotfix, but it is something we are looking at for the next major content patch.

And there was much rejoicing. The druid community was all aflutter thinking about what kind of cooldown we’d get. The consensus seemed to be that it would be a damage reducing cooldown, since we are not lacking for output cooldowns but have absolutely nothing to offer in the way of mitigation.

The new shaman damage mitigation cooldown was recently revealed. Druids have not received even a hint of a new ability. What we have gotten is a talent change that reduces the cooldown of Tranquility from 8 minutes to 3 minutes. So druids have been wondering – is this our “new” cooldown ability? I sincerely hope not, and until Blizzard tells us “sorry trees, that’s all you’re getting” I will hold out hoping that a new spell is still coming, just hasn’t been worked out quite yet.

The problem with the Tranquility change (if this is in fact our new cooldown) is twofold:

1. It does not address our biggest issue. Druids have absolutely no problem with output. We have a few very good output cooldowns and don’t need anymore. What we lack is mitigation, which plays a huge role on some fights. We have absolutely nothing to offer the raid on the final phase of Chimaeron. When things go wrong (say Cho’gall gets multiple stacks of Twisted Devotion), damage mitigation is much more valuable than straight healing.

2. As I mentioned in a previous post, if Tranquility has a 3 minute cooldown, the output is going to get nerfed. If I use Tranquility at the right time in a 25man raid it can do ~400,000 healing in 8 seconds. Imagine if I can do this twice, even 3 times in a fight? Druids rocket up the healing meters, everyone complains about how overpowered we are, Tranquility gets nerfed. I would much rather have an awesome output boost usable once a fight than a mediocre one usable a bit more often.

So, my plea to Blizzard is that we get a real, brand-spanking new damage mitigation cooldown (even if it means reverting the Tranquility change). Druids are a little light on healing abilities in general (we didn’t even get a new spell for Cataclysm) and I’d really love something new to work with.

Crying Tree of Life

Don't make the trees cry, Blizzard.

Now, I have to say (because I’m an eternal druid fangirl and optimist): Though I’m concerned about the cooldown situation, I don’t think druids are in a bad place. In my (so far not hard-mode) Cataclysm experience, resto druids are capable of doing very well. I have never felt in danger of losing my raid spot because I’m a druid. I do not think we will be unwanted in raids because we lack damage mitigation, because there is something to say for straight output. If I were a raid leader, I’d want a balance of healers in my raid: some that mitigate tank damage, some that mitigate raid damage and some that are capable of healing through a metric ton of damage. So don’t think that I’m saying that druids are broken. We’re really not. We just have one glaring omission in our toolset that Blizzard has a chance to fix.

Here are some other takes on the druid cooldown situation:

Falling Leaves and Wings – I’m Growing Nervous about Tranquility
Feral Tree – Balancing Healer Raid CDs in 4.1
Restokin – Efflorescence and Tranquility Updates
Tree Bark Jacket – Patch 4.1 and Resto Druid Desirability

Patch Fever

Is it just me, or is patch 4.0.3a the best thing to ever happen to World of Warcraft? I haven’t been this excited to play in a long time. My only problem: I don’t have enough time to do everything I want to.

I want to get my priest up to 80. I want to do all the new quests on my druid. I want to level a new, Horde druid. I want to level up my new prot warrior (but I have to wait for all my goblin-rolling friends so we can level together).

I love the updates to the old zones and the new starting area questlines. I love the fun little mini-games like Plants vs. Zombies and spider wrangling. Everything flows better and some of the new visuals are stunning. Okay, I’m gushing, I’ll stop. Suffice it to say, I am pumped for Cataclysm.

Speaking of Cataclysm, I’m going to be away the week of the release. Anyone out there want to do a guest post here between December 5th and 13th? I know it’s a long shot. I’m sure people will be busy playing and writing their own posts, but I thought I’d throw it out there. Drop me a comment or send me an email at cannotbetamed@gmail.com if you’re interested.

Druid healing: Post-raid thoughts

I had my first post-4.0.1 raid on Friday. The healing style did change a bit, but overall everything is feeling really good. The biggest problems I had were due to bugs and broken mods (no GridStatusHot counters, ah!) rather than difficulty with any of the class changes.

Here are my impressions of our new and mostly improved spells:

Spell Use
Rejuvenation
Rejuvenation is still getting a lot of use. Not 50%+ of our healing like it used to be, now it’s closer to 30%. We have a ton of mana right now so there’s no reason not to use rejuv liberally. The reduction of the duration by 3 seconds is a bit of a bummer, but the instant tick from Gift of the Earthmother does help make up for it.
Regrowth
The changes to Regrowth are great. I was worried about the short duration HoT, but it fills the flash-heal type role Nourish used to have very nicely, with the added benefit of being swiftmendable. Instant Regrowths during ToL are amazing.
Wild Growth
Wild Growth fills the same role as it did before, just with a longer cooldown.
Swiftmend
Swiftmend should be used every time it’s available in most cases in order to proc Efflorescence. Make sure you’re using it on tanks, melee or someone else who has lots of people nearby. Swiftmend was woefully underused by a lot of druids before, now it should get a lot more love.
Lifebloom
Lifebloom should be kept up on one tank – or someone taking a lot of damage – at all times. It gives mana return for yourself and your raid (not like that is super important right now, but may as well get used to it for Cata). This is the one I’m going to have the most trouble with. With the exception of the Lich King fight lifebloom didn’t get a lot of use. Until Cata comes out I’d suggest refreshing Lifebloom with another application rather than trying to refresh it with Nourish.
Nourish
Nourish is our cheap heal and it’s going to be largely ignored right now because we have no mana problems. It depends on having HoTs up on the target and is a very small heal without them. Faster, larger Regrowths can be used instead of Nourish.
Healing Touch
Healing Touch also isn’t getting a lot of use. I think it will be used more in Cataclysm, but for now it’s still a big, slow heal with no extra benefits and is best used in combination with Nature’s Swiftness.
Tree of Life
Tree of Life is awesome. Hit it when things get hectic, use Wild Growth on cooldown, which will hit 8 people at a time, then spam the raid with instant Regrowths. So much fun. Since the cooldown is only 3 minutes you should be able to use ToL at least twice a fight. Time it well.
Efflorescence
Efflorescence doesn’t provide a huge amount of healing but it’s still a nice addition. It provides a nice healing buffer when people are grouped up.
Living Seed
Living Seed did 3x as much healing as it used to due to the increased use of Regrowth. It now seems much more worthy of three talent points.
Tranquility
Tranquility is now a great spell. We just need to remember that and use it on every fight.

The druid changes are amazing. Once I get my UI back up and running the way I like it, I think druid healing will be not only fun but also extremely dominant.

Yay druids!

Patch 4.0.1 – First Impressions

I had an hour or so to play around on my druid last night after downloading the patch.

I haven’t had a chance to do any raid healing yet but I did run around a bit in a heroic dungeon and I have to say…I love it!

Effloresence is amazing. I like that it’s given new purpose to Swiftmend. It’ll be even better in Cata when Swiftmend is less likely to be needed as an emergency heal and you can really focus on placement.

Critting HoTs are great. The small HoT on Regrowth will take some getting used to, but it’s not bad. I was worried that Healing Touch and Nourish would take forever to cast but with my current haste and spec they are both at 2 seconds which  I can handle.

Healing in the heroic felt good and completely natural (even with 0 mods). I was pleasantly surprised. Raid healing will take some adjustments but I think we’ve got a good kit to work with.

Here’s the spec I’m currently using. I’ve skipped the talents that are strictly for mana (Furor and Malfurion’s Gift). With my 43k mana pool, I don’t see mana being an issue. I spammed (over)heals through the whole dungeon and never even put a dent in my mana bar. I may change my tune after I’ve had a chance to raid on the weekend, but I think speccing for throughput will work well at level 80.

The one thing I didn’t try out was Tree of Life. For one thing, it really wasn’t necessary at any point. Also, I just didn’t want to see myself as a tree again so soon after perma-tree was taken away.

Speaking of trees, mmo-champion has posted the new skins for Tree of Life.

New druid tree of life forms

It’s not the best model I’ve ever seen, but I think it’s an improvement. These trees have a healthy amount of leaves and nice colours. They’re a little masculine for my taste (goatee, really?), but I like them.

I also had a chance to sit in front of a target dummy for 10 minutes on my hunter. I really don’t like focus. I don’t like playing rogues or feral druids, I don’t like the switch to the same energy model for hunters. I will be changing my Horde main in the xpac. To what? I have no idea.

How are the class changes treating you?