Tuesday, July 29, 2008

WotLK Beta - Random Notes

Quick bullet points:
  • As predicted, Art of War was changed. Overall, Ret is still awesome, but no more 20K crits.

  • Seal of Righteousness is really strong at the moment. It's scaling a bit too well with AP. In full Ret gear, with a Ret spec, SoR is looking like my highest DPS seal. Unfortunately, it's our levelling seal for 1-60, where we don't have any SP, so Blizzard will have to be very careful with it. The only solution I can think of is to have a breakpoint in the AP scaling. I.e. the first 1000 AP gets 10% scaling, but all AP after that only gets 5%.

  • Divine Storm's graphic is awesome! It's pretty much the single best spell effect in the game. It's like a storm of hammers swirls around you.

  • Seals now last for 2 minutes. However, Judgments now invoke a global cooldown, as they should.

  • Pets and mounts are sort of spells now. At least, right-clicking the pet or mount causes you to "learn" the pet/mount and puts it in a pane on your character sheet. This is pretty neat, and frees up a ton of bag space. Plus, it's really easy to review your collection. The pane has a display so you can see what each pet looks like.

  • There's a built-in calendar now. You can schedule raids, and do sign-ups. It's somewhat bare-bones, but it covers all the basics. In my view, this is a huge step forward for new guilds. In many ways, this simple change has the potential to be the best change for endgame that Blizzard has introduced.

  • Potions grant a debuff now that prevents you from drinking another potion until the end of combat. This puts an end to chain-potting, and returns potions to an emergency-use item.

    One interesting thing about this change I found is that a lot of casual commenters are predicting that the hardcore would be unhappy with this change, as it makes the endgame more accessible to casuals (no more farming for pots). Meanwhile, at EJ, pretty much everyone is cheering the change. The point is that a lot of the things that the casuals don't like about endgame, the hardcore also do not like. However, the difference is that the hardcore is willing to put up with these negatives, to do whatever they deem necessary to be successful.

    On the one hand, that's good, as they're willing to work hard for a goal. If killing a boss requires chain-potting, they will chain-pot. On the other hand, they do lack a sense of proportion about things, and things end up balanced around the extremes, rather than closer to the center. Raid encounters end up balanced assuming that everyone is chaining potions.

  • Back to paladins, apparently Consecration and Exorcism now scale with AP as well as SP. The biggest problem with current prot gear is that there is very little strength on it, and that makes it hard to judge how good the the Protection tree is. I'm strongly considering junking all my Prot epics and trying the new Cobalt blacksmithing armor (+Str, +Sta, +def). I also need to find a good DPS 1H weapon. Maybe I'll try Ret Gear + 1H/Shield, and see how that works for general soloing.


  1. You have to remember that Elitist Jerks did criticize the reliance on consumables back when the difference between an unbuffed and a buffed raid was one full tier of gear.

  2. Also let's not forget that they hit our stats HARD this patch.

    A brief rundown of the losses:

    Spell Power : 16% loss
    Spell Crit% : 33% loss
    MP/5 : 3% loss

    That potion change is interesting.. So that means they're going to change the boss encounters as well then I would hope? Maybe this will lead to a bette balance. I for one would gladly give up the endless farming for mats routine.

  3. That's great about the potions having a cooldown till you're out of combat, but... in all honesty, mana and health pots were the only one that are emergency only.

    Think of all of the other potions - destruction, ironshield, haste, etc. Those aren't emergency only, and they've become the standard chain-chugging potions for dps classes. The thing about these are that fights last for 10 to 15 minutes sometimes. Would anyone really use a haste potion that lasts for 15 seconds to improve dps on a 15 minute fight? That doesn't make much sense and in the long run seems like it won't help at all.

    So, potions-spec alchemists will go away completely.

    I'm definitely for reblanacing so that the casual player doesn't have to farm mats endlessly just to be able to raid for 2 nights a week for a few hours each time. I'm just not sure how Blizzard will do this simply by changing the cooldown on potions like this.

    I believe that the entire discussion is on full consumables - and they're actually ADDING consumables in WofLK with inscription (if inscription can make scrolls, I don't have the beta, so I'm not sure).

    Think about every consumable used on a boss fight -
    2 elixirs (or 1 flask)
    1 piece of food
    3-4 potions
    1 or 2 scrolls

    Is changing 3-4 potions down to 1 potion really going to make a huge difference?

  4. Rayn, that's the point I think Blizz is addressing finally.. The fact that boss fights have become tuned with the assumption that everyone will be fully raid buffed, to include every available consumable.

    As Blizzcon '07 that was a major point of contention brought forward by a large portion of the crowd in attentance and it looks as though Blizz may have actually listened.

    If they put this potion limit in place and re-tune the encounters at the same time then all is well. That last part is what yet remains to be seen.

    I would have to believe if theyre taking that part out of the boss encounter equation, there are other modifications that are, or will be made, prior to going live.

  5. Yeah, call me just a bit skeptical that blizzard will well tune the new fights around this new potion mechanic. At best it will take them 6 months post launch to get it right if they keep this change in.

    I honestly just dont see it as a worthy or wise idea. It makes them have to change a lot of class mechanics for mana regen and while it might make some fights easier to design/less consumable usage/shorter is it worth the hassle? Is it on all pots as well? Use a haste pot, can't use a mana/health? They're making healthstones unique right? So you get one max instead of say 3 if you have 3 locks with different stone levels. As sometime healer, I'm not looking forward to that pressure to keep the raid up that much more. Or its just an advertisement to reroll a resto shaman.

    We'll see how it goes, its only beta but so far I'm not impressed with this idea.