Thursday, October 11, 2007

2.3 Patch Notes

The 2.3 Patch Notes are out. Some first impressions follow.

Expertise: We have added a new stat and associated rating called expertise and expertise rating. Expertise rating converts to expertise at the same rate that weapon skill rating formerly converted at. Each point of expertise reduces the chance for your attacks to be dodged or parried by 0.25%.

Weapon Skill: All items and abilities that granted weapon skill have been changed. In most cases, they were converted to expertise or expertise rating. Ranged attacks do not benefit from expertise, so ranged weapon skill has generally been replaced by critical strike bonuses or hit bonuses. In a few cases, talents have been changed to other effects to avoid granting players excessive amounts of expertise

Bah, I have to go rewrite my +Hit Caps guide. Basically, this removes the disparity between the first 5 points of weapon skill and the subsequent points, which is a good thing. Hit caps will generally rise across the board for physical damage classes. At first glance, expertise rating is roughly equal to hit rating for melee dps classes, and twice as good for tanks. It also raises the possibility of capping out both hit rating and expertise rating, and always hitting/critting the mob.

Healing: Almost all items and enchantments that provide bonus healing now also provide a smaller number (approximately 1/3) of bonus spell damage. There are a few items and enchantments where this was not possible, such as random-stat items and Zul'Gurub enchantments, but this is now the case on virtually all other items.

Awesome! Simply awesome. I can solo in my raiding epics, and even add extra damage in between heals. Heck, I might even be able to disenchant my spelldamage set now and free up a entire bag worth of bank space!

Blessing of Light: Lower ranks of Flash of Light and Holy Light are now properly penalized when used with this Blessing.

This nukes downranking Holy Light pretty hard. Which is how it should be. In my opinion, costs are what maintain balance, and messing around with costs leads to degenerate gameplay. To be honest, I think Blizzard should do away with down-ranking entirely, not even offering it as an option. I think the game would be better for it.

Cleanse and Purify range increased to 40 yards.

Another great change. No more healing and then finding out you're out of range of a Cleanse.

Crusader Strike (Retribution) cooldown reduced from 10 to 6 seconds.
Exorcism mana cost reduced.
Hammer of Wrath mana cost reduced.
Holy Wrath mana cost reduced.
Improved Seal of the Crusader (Retribution) benefits folded into the base spell. This talent now gives the benefits of the Sanctified Crusader talent instead.
Judgement of Light: The combat log will now show the mana gained from rank 5 of this ability as Judgement of Light instead of Seal of Light.
Pursuit of Justice (Retribution) is now 3 ranks and increases movement speed by 5/10/15% and also reduces the chance you'll be hit by spells by 1/2/3%.
Sanctified Crusader (Retribution) renamed Sanctified Seals, which now increases your chance to critically hit with all spells and melee attacks by 1/2/3% and reduces the chance your Seals will be dispelled by 33/66/100%.
Vengeance (Retribution) duration increased from 15 to 30 seconds.
Vindication (Retribution) frequency and duration increased and now reduces all attributes by 5/10/15%, not just Strength and Agility.

Various Retribution buffs that seem aimed at PvP for some reason. I'm sure that it will help there, but threat reduction seems a curious omission, given that DPS warriors and Enhancement Shamans got extra threat reduction.

Weapon Expertise (Protection) renamed Combat Expertise, now increases expertise by 1/2/3/4/5 and total Stamina by 2/4/6/8/10%.

Solid change. I predict that the standard Protection build will drop Reckoning for Weapon Expertise. As well, with the changes to Improved Seal of the Crusader and Pursuit of Justice, the new challenge will be bleeding enough points from Protection to fill out Retribution.

Corpses that belong to someone in your party, but that you cannot loot will say in the corpse mouseover who has loot rights on that corpse. This will help skinners who want to know who to talk to in order to skin their corpse, as well as master looters when special loot drops on a normal monster. Everyone will then see that there is a monster that the master looter has loot rights on.

It comes late, but no raid shall ever be faced again with an unlooted Core Hound. Let us mourn the passing of the defining experience of Molten Core: "Loot the Hound!"

Lowered the fireball damage of Defias Pillagers.

Their unholy reign of terror has finally come to an end.

Elite mobs outside of pre-Burning Crusade dungeons have been changed to non-elite.

The burning question of 2.3: Has Hogger been nerfed?

Other than that there's a lot of UI cleanup changes, new low level content, a new 10-man, and guild banks. There's also some crazy Arms/Fury warrior changes which I don't really understand. All in all, a very full content patch. I don't think PvE Retribution paladins are going to be too happy, but it looks fairly decent otherwise.


  1. Yes, hogger has been nerfed down to a lowly normal mob. It is a sad day for WoW players everywhere.

    So far for 2.3 I think Blizzard has:
    -Done well with prot, 10% more stam will put us on par or better than most warriors. Still a few kinks that could use some work, but overall a very nice addition.
    -Done amazingly well with new items. Check out the new heroic reward librams on WoR and you'll see what I mean.
    -Shafted retribution, what was promised as the grand fix to ret to make it raid vaible has instead both expounded on our problems and made the one redeeming buff that ret gives (SC) available to all paladins for little investment.
    -Shafted Holy, with the nerf to our downranking and the buff to other class' regen its going to be a lot harder to justify bringing a great and efficient single target healer rather than a priest who get 350 mp5 while casting.

    I refuse to believe that these are the full notes until they actually go live though, so hopefully some things will be fixed (TR for ret, switch SC with some other deep talent so it remains exclusively ret, and rollback the nerf to Illumination now that all classes except pallys are getting their regen buffed).

  2. "Elite mobs outside of pre-Burning Crusade dungeons have been changed to non-elite."

    That sucks and was completely uncalled for! All they could have done was remove some elites that are a considerable level higher than the mobs for the zone! Every player can handle an outdoor pre-tbc elite, but being ganked by a red elite mob when doing some quests, now that was another question! They could have just lowered the level of some elites to fit in the area they are in!

  3. All I can say is, "Wow".

    I knew about the changes to XP for levels 20-60 and addition of new level 30-40 quests, but there are a lot of other good changes.
    There are a lot of good changes to interface and playability, from PvP to the mail and AH systems to the inclusion of new daily quests.

    As one who plays a shadow priest, Fear Ward, and the buff to PW:S, piqued my interest.

    Can't wait! (Well, actually, the knowledge about 2.3 changes has put my alts on hold...)

  4. 14% stamina from talent's seems like a lot, but I'll take it and be happy.


  5. I'm quite excited about the buffs to prot itemization in patch 2.3! Not only do we get more stamina from talents but now we get some heroic badge rewards that give us some real main tank gear that is geared toward paladin tanking. I love it, can't wait to get on the PTR and check it all out.

  6. and you get a lot of good gear...

    hunters got the shaft, especially dwarf and troll hunters, with the major nerf to their racials. And the new gear for hunters is crap compared to what pallies get. I might be playing my pally a lot more.

  7. for the LOVE OF GOD! why cant they just make righteous fury a 10-20% threat redux if weilding a two hander?!?!

    you know what... i figured it out. they dont want healers benefiting from the additional threat redux because you already get one as a pally and having more would be imba vs other healers in terms of threat, hence why they are prolly so hesitant to actually address the issue by not addressing it!

    This would probably be better then since only ret pallies could get it:

    pascifism- dispel a vengeance effect. Reduces total threat by amount of damage added.


    reduces your threat by x% to affected creature for the next 30 seconds

    either make it just one charge, and useable every 19(20) seconds. Or sacrifice all three and have a 1 minute cooldown so you dont have to be so johnny on the spot with it during your rotation, although the initial transmutation of the idea would be more effective for "riding the red line." No GCD of course ;D And obviously... the more stacks you have up the greater the effectivness.

    Sure they upgraded my potential dps... but im ALREADY freakin threat capped!!!

    At least bg stomherald fun will be increased exponetially... ok, ok, four seconds :P

    -the formdoggie

  8. To be honest, I'd just tack Threat Reduction onto Sanctity Aura. Make it reduce the paladin's threat by X% or something.

    Reducing the threat of everyone who is affected by Sanctity Aura by X% would be really awesome for raids, but I don't think it would work out in 5-mans.

  9. "I don't think PvE Retribution paladins are going to be too happy, but it looks fairly decent otherwise."

    I don't know much about the raiding game, but for Paladins who are leveling/questing with a Ret Spec, the changes to Crusader Strike and Vengeance are fantastic.

  10. To be honest, I'd just tack Threat Reduction onto Sanctity Aura. Make it reduce the paladin's threat by X% or something.

    Reducing the threat of everyone who is affected by Sanctity Aura by X% would be really awesome for raids, but I don't think it would work out in 5-mans.

    Please no. Sactity Aura is a great boon to a Protection Paladin. Having +10% to your Holy damage, (which is where almost all your threat is) makes things much easier. A large percent threat reduction (it would need to be 20% minimum for it to be useful) on that aura would destroy it's value to Prot Paladins.

    I'm not saying that Ret Paladins don't need a threat reduction ability, but don't make it something that affects others unilaterally. Things like BoSalv are good because they can be aimed at certain targets. Auras cannot. Having either a talent or a way to increase the potency of BoSalv would be a very good option for Ret Paladins.

  11. I pretty much respec my pally retribution during the weekends for pvp so these changes seem great. For those who wanted better raid utility and less threat from lucky burst damage crits it looks like nothing new.

    All in all I still don't see retribution paladins being desired in raids. I say we blame Jeff Kaplan and call it a night maybe after egging his house.

  12. +5 weapon skill currently gives +3% hit, along with something like +1% crit. Each additional skill gives +0.1% hit.
    +5 weapon expertise will give -1.25% chance to dodge and parry. Each additional skill will give +0.25% hit.

    Looking only at chance to hit, you'd need to get +17 expertise to beat out the current weapon skill ratings (17 expertise = +4.25%, 17 weapon skill = +4.2%.) 17 skill = 66 rating. So if you have <66 weapon skill rating right now, this is a nerf.

    The only people this benefits is tanks. They get the benefit of the reduced chance to parry, so expertise beats out weapon skill for them at +7 (27 weapon skill rating.)

    Graph of Skill vs Expertise (Blue = current weapon skill, pink = melee dps expertise, yellow = expertise for a tank.)

  13. Yes, it is a nerf. So is the change to BoL. But the previous way was silly, and it made various weapon racials unbalanced.

    Should the dwarf/troll racial really be equivalent to spending 3 talent points in Surefooted?

    This is cleaner and simpler. No more discontinuity at 355 weapon skill. No more vast variance in value for weapon skill.

    As well, it depends on how they itemise expertise. Right now, it costs the same as hit rating, which is much less than crit rating. Getting 66 hit rating is trivial. Once expertise starts being put on gear, and maybe Blizzard adds an expertise gem, it will be fine.

    Not to mention that expertise is much better in PvP and on non-boss mobs. And you get a benefit for fractional expertise, while with weapon skill you only got a bonus once you hit the whole skill number.

  14. True, at least now it's a constant increase.

    A couple other minor things I thought about:
    1. It affects dodge/parry instead of miss. Dodge and parry cap out at 5.6% vs a level 73 npc. This makes expertise >22 for dps and >11 for tanks do absolutely nothing.
    2. Small nerf to Overpower to arms warriors. Less dodges = less overpowers ;).

  15. It affects dodge/parry instead of miss. Dodge and parry cap out at 5.6% vs a level 73 npc.

    I'm not so sure about that. I know that there are bosses who have a very high parry rates (tanks have reported 15% parry rates before).

    Second, 5.6% sounds suspiciously like 8.6%, which was the previous believed hit cap. I'm willing to wait for some of the EJ theorycrafters to experiment and determine true caps.

  16. I believe the dodge/parry chance is like crit chance. It's linear based on your weapon skill vs opponent's defense skill. At even level it's 5%, each 5-skill difference is +0.2% (so 5.6% at level 73). You'd have a 5.6% chance of having an attack dodged, 5.6% chance of a parry, and 5.6% chance of being critically hit.

    I've never looked into npcs having +dodge/parry skill, but that would still be situational and you wouldn't want to be above that cap all the time.

    And back to the topic of 2.3 patch: RITUAL OF REFRESHMENT! /dance! :)

  17. his deserves its on comment.

    I was wrong earlier, Hogger is still elite. Let his campaign of terror continue to haunt our dreams.

  18. Hogger is indeed still elite. A blue post on the test realm forum confirms that this is intentional.

  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  20. dominic, your post was deleted for being insulting. Feel free to comment without the insults.

  21. "Loot the Hound!"
    Reminds me the good old times as I was the skinner of my guild :D

  22. Darn, I didn't even think Hogger would be nerfed. That would be sad. :/