New patch, new tears

The first version of the patch notes for 3.2.o have been released and the forums are drowning in nerf driven tears already. So here is my take on what we know so far.

The good:

  • Isle of Conquest, the new 40 vs. 40 player siege-style battleground is now available for testing. – I love big battlegrounds and I love Sota and wintergrasp so I’m hoping for big things from this.
  • All new Silver Covenant and Sunreaver daily quests and rewards have been added for players exalted with these factions. Rewards include tabards, new ground and flying mounts, and a new pet. – Whilst I hate the principle of dailies, I’m a complete and utter sucker for anything that offers vanity items. Just need to farm my way to exalted before the patch.
  • New druid art for cat and bear forms has been added – Yay, dayglo girly kitty for me.
  • Northrend Children’s Week has arrived in Dalaran! Players can find out more by visiting the Eventide District. – More mini pets :O
  • When standing at a capture point that you control, you will gain a buff called Honorable Defender. This buff grants +50% honor gained from kills. This currently affects Arathi Basin, Eye of the Storm and Isle of Conquest. – Might actually have some company whilst defending the Lumber Mill now.
  • Chain Heal: Jump distance increased to 10 yards. In addition, the amount of healing now decreases by 40% as it jumps to each new target, instead of 50%. – Whilst I think this is a start, I really don’t think it will fix shaman problems completely. Its cast time is still clunky, so there is the risk of lots of overheal. 10 yards really isn’t much either as people tend to use the range checker on DBM which means that everyone bar the melee are likely to be 11 or more yards apart.
  • Ghost Wolf: Can now be learned at level 16. While in this form, snaring effects may not bring the shaman below base normal run speed. – More reasons to bounce around in dogform.
  • All stackable potions now stack to 20. –  Finally bag space.
  • Non-Combat Pets: 8 new pets have been added (not including Argent Tournament rewards). Raptor Hatchlings can be found on rare and elite raptors throughout the game world. In addition, an Obsidian Raptor Hatchling can be purchased from Breanni in Dalaran. – Oh happy days.
  • The Nexus: The Oculus & The Eye of Eternity – Vehicles (drakes) used in these instances now scale with item level. – The gnomeling and I might actually manage to two man the final boss in the Oculus now. Yay, something new to try.
  • Ominous Clouds in the Yogg-Saron encounter are now more vocal about touching players. –  Wonder if this means they are going to yell out “X touched me” or words to that effect. Makes me glad we have the fight on farm already so I’ve had lots of practise at dodging them.

The bad:

Priest Nerfs :O (not that I’m biased at all.

  • Prayer of Healing: The percentage of spell power this spell gains in healing (per target) has been reduced from 80.7% to 52.6%. – Although looking at parses from our recent raids, I’ve been noticing I use this less and less. Unless we are running with hardly any healers at all, it just ends up as overheal due to the number of smart heals bouncing around. As an example tonight we did Razorscale, Ignis, Deconstructor hardmode, Kologarn, Mimiron, Hodir hardmode and the Cat Lady whose name I can not spell. Now thats fights with lots of aoe damage yet prayer of healing made up less than 10 percent of my effective healing. If thats the only real nerf that holy  priests receive I really don’t see my raid role disappearing just yet. In fact if used carefully, it might end up still contributing a similiar amount of effective healing just cutting down on the overheal component. I would like to see a mana reduction however especially since replenishment is also being nerfed.
  • Penance: Cooldown increased to 12 seconds, up from 10 seconds. – I find this nerf a lot harder to understand than the Prayer of Healing one to be honest. Having to glyph to stay in the same place you were before the glyph was introduced in the first place seems like a rather large slap in the face.

The ugly:

  • Any dungeons that previously dropped Emblems of Heroism or Valor, such as Naxxramas or Heroic Halls of Stone, will now drop Emblems of Conquest instead. Emblems of Conquest can still be converted to Valor or Heroism. – So the gnomeling and I can two man badges of conquest, the same reward we get for doing hardmode Ulduar with 23 other people. Ok, unless they add new rewards its not like I need more of them, but this does seem a little crazy even though they are adding a new tier of badges for the new content.
  • The newest season of Arena gear can only be purchased if you meet the requirements with your 3 or 5 player team rating. Rating requirements from 2 player teams can still be used to purchase the previous season of gear. – Oh well, no point in us arenaing then. Its not that I’m particularly antisocial just that I really don’t like committing to anything outside raids. I did 5 v 5 for a while back in season 3 and trying to get everyone available whilst all of us raiding 5 nights a week was virtually impossible. I really don’t want to go back to that which is a shame since thats exactly what our priest/warlock combination were going to be for.
  • Crusaders’ Tribute: Active on heroic difficulty only, the tribute system will limit players on the number of attempts the raid is allotted each week. Additional rewards can be earned depending on the number of attempts left in the tribute run each week when the final boss is defeated. – If I’m reading this correctly, I hate it. Things which limit the amount of tries you have on a boss per week are not fun. They cause all kinds of guild drama and emoness which is really unpleasant for everyone concerned. Especially when your server is best described as unstable and some nights you have people dcing on every single try.

Its a mixed bunch really. Have to say I’m glad I’m not a tanking death knight as Blizzard seem to be gutting everything tanky about their class at once. Priestwise I’ll be glad if we escape without any more nerfs but some new glyphs would be nice, unless of course the nerf to replenishment forces me back to using glyph of flash heal. The whole concept of the Coliseum raid instance doesn’t fill me with excitement, sure the Ring of Blood was fun the first time around and ok the second but since we will be able to run it 4 times a week, I think the novelty value will wear off pretty fast.

Full notes can be found at: Blizzard.

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