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by Published on 2010-05-24 08:13 AM

Ruby Sanctum Loot Table Update
The Ruby Sanctum loot table has been slightly updated, we're still waiting for heroic mode items and we will have to wait for the next testing to see them.

25-Man Loot Table

HTML Code:
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<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Plate</td><td>Melee.DPS</td><td>Feet</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53125/apocalypses-advance/"]Apocalypse's Advance[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Plate</td><td>Spell</td><td>Feet</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53487/foreshadow-steps/"]Foreshadow Steps[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Plate</td><td>Tanking</td><td>Feet</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53129/treads-of-impending-resurrection/"]Treads of Impending Resurrection[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Mail</td><td>Spell</td><td>Waist</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53488/split-shape-belt/"]Split Shape Belt[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Leather</td><td>Spell</td><td>Wrist</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53134/phaseshifters-bracers/"]Phaseshifter's Bracers[/url]</td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Cloth</td><td>Spell</td><td>Wrist</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53486/bracers-of-fiery-night/"]Bracers of Fiery Night[/url]</td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Cloak</td><td>Spell</td><td>Back</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53489/cloak-of-burning-dusk/"]Cloak of Burning Dusk[/url]</td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Neck</td><td>Melee.DPS</td><td>Neck</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53132/penumbra-pendant/"]Penumbra Pendant[/url]</td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Finger</td><td>Phys.DPS</td><td>Finger</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53133/signet-of-twilight/"]Signet of Twilight[/url]</td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Finger</td><td>Spell MP5</td><td>Finger</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53490/ring-of-phased-regeneration/"]Ring of Phased Regeneration[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Trinket</td><td>Phys.DPS</td><td>Trinket</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/54569/sharpened-twilight-scale/"]Sharpened Twilight Scale[/url]</td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Trinket</td><td>Tanking</td><td>Trinket</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/54571/petrified-twilight-scale/"]Petrified Twilight Scale[/url]</td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Trinket</td><td>Spell DPS</td><td>Trinket</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/54572/charred-twilight-scale/"]Charred Twilight Scale[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Trinket</td><td>Healing</td><td>Trinket</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/54573/glowing-twilight-scale/"]Glowing Twilight Scale[/url]</td><td></td></tr>

</tbody></table>
10-Man Loot Table

HTML Code:
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<tr class="vloot2"><td>258</td><td>Plate</td><td>Melee.DPS</td><td>Wrist</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53112/bracers-of-the-heir/"]Bracers of the Heir[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>258</td><td>Leather</td><td>Phys.DPS</td><td>Chest</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53114/gloaming-sark/"]Gloaming Sark[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>258</td><td>Leather</td><td>Spell</td><td>Hands</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53117/changeling-gloves/"]Changeling Gloves[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>258</td><td>Cloth</td><td>Spell Hit</td><td>Waist</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53118/misbegotten-belt/"]Misbegotten Belt[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>258</td><td>Cloak</td><td>Spell MP5</td><td>Back</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53115/abductions-cover/"]Abduction's Cover[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>258</td><td>Finger</td><td>Melee.DPS</td><td>Finger</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53110/zarithrians-offering/"]Zarithrian's Offering[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
</tbody></table>
Also, vodka (US-Alterac Mountains) released their video of Halion on PTRs and I assume that a few people would like to see the fight from another point of view.

HTML Code:
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Blue posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Totem of Wrath in Cataclysm
They are both 10% of the target's spellpower (not the shaman or warlock's). We want Demonology and Elemental (and everyone) to be brought because they have good raid synergy and meaningful dps and because the person behind the keyboard is a good contributor. Nobody should get brought because they have the mandatory buff that you can't live without. (Source)

Addon Spotlight - QuestMyMap
I had to level a few more alts lately and I was more than happy to find QuestMyMap. Also, Addon Spotlights are great because I can just copy/paste the description from the addon author!

Download

QuestMyMap is a small addon without configuration that aims to provide a nicer quest map and some fixes.

Features:
  • Resizes the quest map to full scale
  • Drag border of the quest list to resize it (or shift-click / rightclick to toggle)
  • Quest levels on quest titles
  • Hides quest log and quest rewards on world map
  • Moves quest selection frame to a transparent overlay
  • Paste quest links from the world map with Shift-Click
  • Rightclicking a selected quest opens the quest log
  • Difficulty coloring for tooltips (make sure you activate the Interface option "Quest Difficulty Color")



The MMO Report
It's monday, and it's time for your weekly dose of MMO Report

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Comics
Dark Legacy Comic #239 and Teh Gladiators #134 are out! Also added an extra strip from Questionable Content.



by Published on 2010-05-22 10:20 AM

Patchwerk (25) Solo Kill by a Rogue
Jider from Impervious (US-Stormreaver) had a lot of time and a lot of (very) smart ideas to kill Patchwerk (25) alone. It took him quite some time but it's definitely a smart use of game mechanics, see the description below.

HTML Code:
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Description from the Youtube video
Soloing Patchwerk 25-man version was something I had been meaning to do for a while. The main reason I did not attempt it sooner was because of all the trash leading up to him. I had no idea how to handle trash re-spawning or if any of my ideas would even work. I spent a great deal of time thinking about how I would handle every aspect of the fight but I had to resolve numerous issues during the thought process and had to overcome various things which I thought would make the fight impossible. Eventually, I came up with 2 and in most cases 3 ways of handling every problem Patchwerk could throw at me. However, I also came into this fight with a technique I figured out elsewhere, a Shadowstep technique I dub Jiderstep. This technique involves an Unconscious Dig Rat which is considered a critter and it is just like any other rat/critter in game except for the fact you can drop it where you like and it stays put and lasts until it is killed or the server is restarted. You can shadowstep to it just like any other critter. Due to the significant increase in his health pool I tested my methods successfully on live servers in 10-man before moving on to kill it on 25-man live server.

The fight takes places in two positions, one in the tunnel past Grobbulus, the other on the floor along Patchwerk's patrol path. The setup begins by Shadowstepping to Grobbulus on the platform he tosses his slimes from. I then go into the poison tunnel that leads to Gluth to drop an Unconscious Dig Rat at a key location inside the tunnel where there is a hole that leads back to Patchwerk's room. This position and the floor position are important as they are beyond the leash points for Grobbulus and they allow me to Shadowstep up and drop down whenever I need to. Once the Unconscious Dig Rat is in the right position I jump down and buff and get ready to pull Patchwerk. I execute the pull by pre-potting and launching a Hand-Mounted Pyro Rocket. The use of a ranged attack to pull is important as it will require him to path all the way to that point to reset/full heal after a Vanish or Shadowmeld.

After that, the fight basically becomes a repetition involving a few key ideas. Firstly, I never engage Patchwerk without Evasion. Anytime I am attacking and Evasion is about to wear off, I either Shadowstep up to the tunnel or drop down to the floor. This forces him to spend a great deal of time pathing which enables me to wait for the Evasion cooldown and to heal myself. Another key point is using Vanish and Shadowmeld appropriately. On the initial aggro of Patchwerk, his trash is also put into combat which requires me to Vanish it off but I also use it during the fight to reset his enrage timer which eliminates the need to deal with the increased damage and slime bolts. To do this, I wait for Preparation to come back up, and then I wait until Patchwerk reaches the poison tunnel position. I jump off and immediately Shadowmeld which gets me out of combat and gives me time to eat and/or rebuff as needed. My potion timer also resets. Since I am no longer in combat Patchwerk is in evade mode and begins his pathing back from the tunnel through Grobbulus' room. This is where the pull positioning comes in to play as I am already waiting to intercept him well before his final reset point which would heal him to full. When I engage him his trash aggros again which forces me to Vanish. I watch carefully and if that Vanish fails to reset the trash I burn Preparation and Vanish again. This cycle is repeated until the boss is dead which resulted in a fight lasting 4 hours 45 minutes on my kill.

Buffs: Drums of Forgotten Kings, Drums of the Wild, Runescroll of Fortitude, Scroll of Agility VIII, Flask of Endless Rage, Blackened Dragonfin. Jewel-crafting and Engineering professions. Gear used can be viewed here. Both weapons are enchanted with mongoose and Instant poison main-hand and Deadly poison off-hand. The reason behind using Purified Shard of the Flame was to counter the significant nature damage from the tunnel (ticks added up to ~2 million damage) and provide extra healing. Other methods of healing included eating, bandages, and Dense Stone Statues. The talent spec used was 0/18/53 and glyphs were Hemo/evasion/ghostly strike. Besides Shadowstep, many of the talents chosen are very useful for this encounter by providing extra survivability (Enveloping Shadows, Cheat Death), increased damage (Dirty Deeds, Setup), or both (Sinister Calling, Lightning Reflexes, Endurance).

Song #1 Velvetine Safe [Wherever You Are] (Rank 1 Remix)
Song #2 Delerium Truly (Signum Club Mix)

-Jider
www.impervious-guild.com


Blue posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Remote Auction House Beta Test - Update 5.21
The Remote Auction House beta test is now available to players on all U.S. realms. (Source)

Jay Mohr at BlizzCon 2010
Comedian and actor Jay Mohr will be returning to BlizzCon this year to serve as master of ceremonies for the live costume contest and other contests on the first night of the show. Jay is the star of the popular television show Gary Unmarried, and is known for his roles in movies like Jerry Maguire and for creating, producing, and hosting the successful TV series Last Comic Standing. We'll have more info to share about the Friday-night contests and other events at BlizzCon in the months leading up to the show, so keep your eye on BlizzCon.com for more details. (Source)

Blizzcon on the east coast?
We're always open to the idea of hosting BlizzCon elsewhere. Consider though that every BlizzCon and Worldwide Invitational in the past took place in cities where we have local Blizzard offices.

The primary issue with hosting BlizzCon on the east coast is one of logistics. A large number of people helping to set up and run BlizzCon are actually Blizzard employees. Set up and rehearsals begin days before the start of the event. Sending at least 75% of our Irvine staff to the east coast for at least a week could easily cause major logistical issues with maintaining daily operations, in addition to the substantial extra costs. (Source)

Multi-Boxing
There's no support for multi-boxing on our end. We tolerate it. For now. (Source)
by Published on 2010-05-20 06:16 PM

Ruby Sanctum PTR - Halion Kill Video
EF BIE EI (EU - Dalvengyr) released a video of their kill of Halion on the PTRs. Don't forget that US PTR testing is tonight!

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Cataclysm Screenshot of the Day
A new screenshot has been added to the Screenshot of the Day Gallery.



Blue posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Female Worgen hair styles
They will have hair styles to choose from. The model is still a work in-progress and the pictures provided to our fan sites show her with no hair style. (Source)

Larger health pools / AOE Damage in boss fights
The first part is definitely a goal. The second part has been taken out of context a bit. I was saying that I was sure we would still have *some* fights with raid-wide AoE damage because that mechanic is one way to make healing feel different from encounter to encounter. But it is not a design to have persistent damage auras as part of every encounter. It's also not a design goal to have crowd control part of every encounter, but overall we expect you'll be doing more CC (and therefore less group tanking) than in Wrath. (Source)

Is Remote AH an ingame advantage?
First off, no correlation can be made here between the idea of releasing a Remote Auction House feature and that of releasing epic equipment for sale. The ground is still quite firm on that slope.

Second, a player who has more time in a week to play the game than you has an advantage over you by this same standard. Someone that has an hour or more a day to use the Auction House than you do has an advantage, and they're not even charged extra for it. The Remote Auction House provides no in-game functionality that isn't already available to every single player as often as they can or want to use it. The only difference now is that, for an additional monthly fee, players can use the Auction House in a remote fashion without having to log into the game client.

I'm not sure how many time Blizzard has to say they won't sell gear before people will believe them.
It's a legitimate concern. I'd share it if I weren't confident about our commitment to our players and our ultimate goal of creating epic games with incredible support and bonus features. Some players fear this happening so much though, that they almost wait for it to happen. With nearly any announcement we make about additional features or flavor items which have a cost associated, this is then seen as a sign of the slippery slope, no matter how large the leap to an adequate assertion may be.

Our core philosophy has not changed and we feel we're being very reasonable about the products and premium services we're offering. They allow us to maintain a strong company, afford and maintain state-of-the-art tools and hardware, keep some of the most talented staff in the gaming industry around, and continue making great games. (Source)
by Published on 2010-05-19 04:00 PM

Update - Added PTR Schedule at the end of the post

Female Worgen Preview Pictures
Blizzard just released a couple of screenshots of the ... female worgen! That's not really what I asked for my birthday (yes, it is!) but I guess that works.

Important - These models are a work in progress and they might not reflect the final appearance of female worgens in game.



US PTR Testing Schedule
The US PTR is testing again tomorrow.
[blizzquote author=Daelo source=http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?sid=1&topicId=24702035046]Now that the 3.3.5 patch is available for PTR testing, we wanted to have a round of focus testing for Ruby Sanctum. Only normal mode will be available, with Heroic testing to occur at a later date.

Everything related to this zone is implemented for this test, please note any issues with the trash creatures and sub-bosses, loot, achievements, and quests.

US Testing Schedule:
Thursday, May 20 starting at 19:00 EDT.

We plan to allow testing for an extended period. However since this is the Test Realm, unforeseen issues could delay or cancel testing at any time.[/blizzquote]
by Published on 2010-05-12 04:13 PM

Cataclysm Professions Preview
[blizzquote author=Wryxian source=http://blue.mmo-champion.com/t/13200229268/cataclysm-professions-preview/]While the Cataclysm updates to many of the professions are still deep in development, we wanted to share some of the work that's been going on, as well as a high-level look at any lessons learned or changes to their underlying philosophies during the design process. Please be aware that not all professions have the same extent of information available right now, but each is receiving the same love and attention as the next.

Take heed of these teasers as you look forward to your new rank of Illustrious Grand Master!

Please enjoy!

General
  • Perks will continue to exist across all professions, and will upgraded appropriately.

Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, and Tailoring
  • Many of the green (and possibly some blue) items made during the process of leveling these professions will contain random stats. In most examples, two stats on these items will be set, and two will be random. The idea with these items is to mix up the skill leveling items so you're not just, for example, creating 10 pairs of boots that are all exactly the same.
  • Superior-quality items that require more materials than other recipes in the same skill range provide multiple skill-ups. For example, if a recipe takes three times the reagents, it will give you three skill-ups.
  • We didn't feel like we were getting much flexibility from specializations, so they have been removed for all three of these professions. The intent was to help people diversify their profession to feel different from that of other players, but through other professions we've found systems that work better to this end, such as simply making recipes available that you can earn over time.
  • To follow up the previous change, all items that required a specialization are now useable by anyone.
  • Tailoring the high-end Cataclysm items will center around a single cloth type that can be crafted through five different recipes -- each with their own material components and a long cooldown.
  • All three professions will create their starter sets of PVP gear, which will be upgraded with new recipes every season. In general, these are meant to keep pace as an entry-level PvP set below whatever the current Hero Point set is.

Alchemy
  • New elixirs will be about 75% as strong as flasks. So you can get more total stat points with two elixirs, but flasks will still be the best at giving you a single offensive or defensive stat.
  • New unique material used by nearly all high-level recipes will be created by alchemists on a one-day cooldown.
  • New Mysterious Potion created with common materials restores health and mana in a massively random range, as well as sometimes granting the benefit of another potion. The health and mana range is from 1-20,000 and is able to crit. The minimum amount restored, however, is scaled upwards by the Alchemy skill, making it a great choice for alchemists to keep for themselves.
  • All potions and elixirs now use the same basic vial type. Flasks still use a fancy vial.
  • New Alchemist Stone.

Enchanting
In general, material component costs for most recipes are more moderate in how much they require, while the highest-end recipes will still require large quantities. The goal of this change is to make the leveling recipes more consistent and not create unintended roadblocks in getting to the higher skill levels.
An enchanter vanity pet is being added.

New Cataclysm weapon enchantment preview:
  • Avalanche -- Chance to deal Nature damage on melee hit/spell hit.
  • Elemental Slayer -- As expected, this enchantment helps players deal devastating damage to elemental creatures.
  • Hurricane -- A stacking haste proc.
  • Heartsong -- Mana regeneration through increased Spirit when chain-casting spells.
  • Many more maximum-level enchantments are still in progress.

Engineering
  • Engineering is still being designed, but expect new unpredictable gadgets to use on yourself or enemies. Toys, explosives, and even a new vanity pet or two. Oh, and powerful mechanical bows and crossbows in addition to guns.
  • In general, we want Engineering to remain a tradeskill mainly focused on creating fun or useful gadgets for the engineer, but we are exploring options for items that can be sold to other players for profit.

Inscription
  • With the large number of class changes coming with Cataclysm, many existing glyphs will see new functionality.
  • Minor glyphs are woefully uneven from one class to the next right now, so they're a focus for us to clean them up and try to ensure that everyone has minor glyphs they're excited about.
  • New Darkmoon Cards will be added, with hopes they'll all be as awesome as the Greatness card.
  • We'll be adding more major glyphs as well, but in the hopes of making them as balanced as possible, we'll likely wait until after the expansion ships to add any for the new abilities in Cataclysm.
  • New and more desirable off-hand and relic recipes will be added.

Jewelcrafting
  • Some gem colors have changed! Hit is now blue. Mastery and Dodge are yellow. Intellect is now red. These simple changes have created a much more diverse matrix of gem cuts.
  • New Jewelcrafting dailies will be introduced.
  • Many cuts are being added to support the new Mastery stat.
  • Some new Cataclysm jewelry recipes have completely random properties, and can sometimes create superior and epic versions.
  • Jewelcrafters will have some fun new (and potentially lucrative) vanity items, including fist weapons, rhinestone sunglasses, monocles, and stardust (sprinkle on players for entertainment).

Herbalism, Skinning, and Mining
  • All Cataclysm herbs have the chance of containing Volatile Life.
  • There won't be a new Lotus equivalent in Cataclysm. Alchemists will use the more reliably-found Volatile Life to create the new high level flasks.

Herb Example:
  • "Heartblossom -- Named for its deep red color, this delicate flower grows close to the ground, and always in pairs. If one blossom is taken, the other flower begins to wilt immediately and dies soon after. It is considered very unlucky to disturb a Heartblossom without blessing it first."
  • Savage Leather, the basic Cataclysm leather, can be gathered from most creatures found in the expansion areas and can be converted to Heavy Savage Leather at a 6:1 rate.
  • Pristine Hide, the rare Cataclysm hide, can be found when skinning creatures in the expansion areas, or be converted from Heavy Savage Leather.
  • Obsidian is the new common mineral found when mining in Cataclysm, and can contain gems, Volatile Fire, and Volatile Shadow.
  • Elementium is the new uncommon mineral found when mining in Cataclysm, and can contain gems, Volatile Fire, Volatile Water, or Volatile Earth.
  • Pyrite is the new rare mineral found when mining in Cataclysm, and can contain gems and Volatile Fire.
  • Previous Elementium Ore and Bar used for classic quests will be renamed to Elementium Ingot and Hardened Elementium Bar.
  • We like the gathering perks as they are; not a game-changing bonus but something themed and fun. But as all tradeskills are in the design stages these are still being discussed to a degree.

Cooking
  • Cooking is still in the early stages, but we plan on continuing with daily quests, feasts, and some fun new recipes.
  • We liked the cooking dailies that had players picking up items that spawned in the world near the quest giver, so most if not all new cooking dailies will work similarly.

First Aid
  • Bandages will have a short cast time and put a heal over time effect on the target for 8 seconds. This effect is broken by damage.
  • Three new bandages! That's right: THREE!

Bandage preview:
  • "Dense Embersilk Bandage" Heals for 34,800 over 8 seconds. Requires 3 Embersilk to create.

Fishing
  • Lots of new fish and other fun items to catch! Fish are still used to make premium food.
  • New fishing dailies.
[/blizzquote]
by Published on 2010-04-08 07:04 AM

Cataclysm Class Preview: Priest (Priest Forum)
And we finally have the last class preview of the day! Tomorrow we will have the previews of the Warrior, Death Knight, and Rogue classes. The amount of posts on the front page has been increased to 8 to make the browsing slightly less painful this week, but I'll eventually figure out something more convenient to post everything.
[blizzquote author=Zarhym source=http://blue.mmo-champion.com/t/24038432151/cataclysm-class-preview-priest/]In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, we'll be making lots of changes and additions to class talents and abilities across the board. In this preview, you'll get an early look at some of the changes in store for the priest class, including a rundown of some of the new spells, abilities, and talents, as well as an overview of how the new Mastery system will work with the different talent specs.

New Priest Spells

Heal (available at level 16): While priests already have a spell called Heal, the existing version becomes obsolete at higher levels, which is something we intend to change in Cataclysm. Introduced at a low level, the "new" Heal spell will functionally work much like a down-ranked Greater Heal did in the past, adding more granularity to your direct-healing arsenal. If you need to heal someone a moderate amount and efficiency is an issue (making Flash Heal the incorrect spell for the job), then Heal is what you want to use. Heal is intended to be the priest's go-to direct-healing spell unless they need something bigger (Greater Heal) or faster (Flash Heal). We will be following a similar philosophy with all the healing classes.

Mind Spike (level 81): Deals Shadowfrost damage and puts a debuff on the target that improves subsequent Mind Spike damage. The intent of Mind Spike is to fill a niche missing in Shadow DPS, though it may be occasionally useful for healers as well. Mind Spike provides a quick nuke to use in situations where the priest doesn't have time to set up the normal rotation, such as when adds are dying too fast or you have to swap targets a lot. Spamming Mind Spike will do about as much damage as casting Mind Flay on a target afflicted with Shadow Word: Pain. The idea behind the debuff is that when you cast Mind Spike, we expect you to cast a lot of them; we don't intend you to fit it into an already full Shadow rotation. It also provides Shadow with a spell to cast when locked out of the Shadow school. (School lockouts will no longer affect both schools for multi-school spells.) 1.5-second cast. 30-yard range. No cooldown.

Inner Will (level 83): Increases movement speed by 12% and reduces the mana cost of instant-cast spells by 10%. This buff will be exclusive with Inner Fire, meaning you can't have both up at once. Inner Fire provides a spell power and Armor buff; Inner Will should be useful on a more situational basis.

Leap of Faith (level 85): Pull a party or raid member to your location. Leap of Faith (or "Life Grip") is intended to give priests a tool to help rescue fellow players who have pulled aggro, are being focused on in PvP, or just can't seem to get out of the fire in time. Instant. 30-yard range. 45-second cooldown.

Changes to Abilities and Mechanics

In addition to introducing new spells, we're planning to make changes to some of the other abilities and mechanics you're familiar with. This list and the summary of talent changes below it are by no means comprehensive, but they should give you a good sense of what we intend for each spec.

  • All HoTs and DoTs will benefit from Haste and Crit innately. Hasted HoTs and DoTs will not have a shorter duration, just a shorter period in between ticks (meaning they will gain extra ticks to fill in the duration as appropriate).
  • We want to bring back Shadow Word: Death as an "execute" -- something you do when the target is at 25% health.
  • While we want to keep the priest's role as a well-rounded healer, we also want to make sure the class is a viable tank healer, which is something priests moved away from a little in Wrath of the Lich King. Greater Heal will probably be the tank-healing spell of choice, though we've also discussed giving Discipline a second shield so that they have a small shield to cast on lots of different targets, and a big, more expensive shield to cast on a tank or anyone else taking a ton of damage.
  • Divine Spirit and Prayer of Spirit will be removed from the game. As Spirit will be the primary mana-regeneration stat, we don't want it to vary as much between solo, small group, and raid play. Blessing of Kings and Mark of the Wild will not boost Spirit either.
  • Mana will be a bigger consideration for all healers. We aren't trying to make healing more painful; we're trying to make it more fun. When the cost of a spell isn't an issue, then casting the right spell for the job is less of an issue because you might as well just use your most powerful spell all of the time. We are, however, getting rid of the five-second rule, because we don't want to encourage standing around doing nothing. We're also going to cut back on the benefits of buffs such as Replenishment so priests (and all healers) don't feel as penalized when those buffs aren't available.

New Talents and Talent Changes

  • We want to improve Discipline's single-target healing capacity. One key is to make sure shielding isn't always a more attractive option than healing.
  • We want to improve Holy for PvP healing. One way to do this is to make sure that Heal's throughput is similar between both specs.
  • We want to improve Shadow for short fights and reduce its susceptibility to school lockouts.
  • Discipline will finally be getting Power Word: Barrier as a talented ability. Think of it like a group Power Word: Shield.
  • We want to make Holy a little bit more interesting to play. One new talent will push the Holy priest into an improved healing state when he or she casts Prayer of Healing, Heal, or Renew three times in a row. The empowered state varies depending on the heals cast.
  • Since the Shadow tree has a lot of passive damage-boosting abilities -- something we're trying to avoid in Cataclysm -- we will need to replace several of the tree's talents. One idea is to play off of the new Shadow Orbs mechanic (see Mastery section below), possibly allowing you to consume an orb to increase damage from Mind Blast or reduce Mind Spike's cast time.
  • Misery will no longer affect spell Hit chance. We want players to be able to gear themselves around a Hit cap that isn't variable depending on group composition.


Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses

Discipline
  • Healing
  • Meditation
  • Absorption

Absorption: Improves the strength of shields such as Power Word: Shield, Divine Aegis, and Power Word: Barrier.

Holy
  • Healing
  • Meditation
  • Radiance

Radiance: Your direct heals add a small heal-over-time component to the target.

Shadow
  • Spell damage
  • Spell Crit
  • Shadow Orbs

Shadow Orbs: Casting spells grants a chance for Shadow Orbs to be created that fly around you and increase your shadow damage. This will help lower-level characters feel more like "Shadow priests" before they obtain Shadowform.

We hope you enjoyed this preview, and we're looking forward to hearing your initial thoughts and feedback on these additions and changes. Please keep in mind that this information represents a work in progress and is subject to change as development on Cataclysm continues.

[...]

A few quick clarifications:

Neither Inner Fire nor Inner Will has charges. The decision is on which armor you want up at the time.

Preventing dot clipping is something we want to do in general. It obviously benefits Shadow priests just as much as warlocks.

The idea behind Mind Spike is that you can't always settle into your normal, and high-ramp up rotation. It's also useful when you have to move or get school locked.

The closest analogue to PW:B is the DK Anti-Magic Zone, but it has some important differences, such as a way to counter it in PvP (since it absorbs all damage, not just magical damage).

The idea behind the Holy "cast three in a row" talent (it's called "Chakra") is that we've always positioned Holy as a versatile healer. This talent lets you shift into different modes. If you need to be a tank healer, cast three single target heals and your single-target healing is now better. Cast three area heals, and you can be a temporarily specialized group healer. We're going to try to play this mechanic up with a cool UI to try to get that "I'm almost in the zone" feel. We'll let it apply to as many types of spells as we can, perhaps even Smite for those times when nobody's taking damage.

We pulled Misery because we are pulling every group benefit that improves hit. It's annoying to have to swap your gear in and out depending on who shows up for your group. In general we're going to push even harder in Cataclysm for bringing people you like to play with, not bringing people who have awesome buffs. The answer to almost every question of "But why would they bring me?" should be "Because you know what the hell you're doing." [/blizzquote]

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