No major news today, but there were a few tidbits I wanted to bring to your attention, particularly concerning the itemization for Restoration-based PvP in Wrath of the Lich King.
Some of you may remember that prior to Patch 2.4, Blizzard considered converting MP5 to Spirit on Kodohide gear. At the time, there was a tremendous outcry from players (myself included) that this was an intentional decision to handicap Druid mana regeneration in Arenas since MP5 was widely regarded as the superior regeneration stat in PvP. With the buff to Spirit-based mana regeneration in Patch 2.4, however, it suddenly became apparent that Spirit was no longer a stat to be discounted. In fact, the change in 2.4 single-handedly made Kodohide significantly less valuable in PvE.
According to reports from MMO Champion, this will no longer be an issue in Wrath of the Lich King. Druid PvP armor will come in three flavors:
- Feral with Agility, Stamina, Critical Strike, and Attack Power « link »
- Spell Power with Stamina, Intellect, and Spirit « link »
- Spell Power with Stamina, Intellect, and Critical Strike Rating (mmm … tastes like Laser Chicken) « link »
The Spirit-based set is obviously intended for use by Restoration, but the spell critical set could be used either by a Balance Druid, or a hybrid Restokin spec (assuming that spec continues to be viable). However, the complete absence of either Spirit or MP5 leads me to believe its itemization is as yet incomplete. After all, everyone needs some form of mana regeneration. It’s also worth noting that none of these sets include pieces with “green” armor, and the set bonuses appear to be unchanged (though the Balance set reads slightly differently, I suspect it’s a typo).
Unfortunately, there was nothing particularly earth-shattering for Ferals anxious about their relevance as a tank. Here are the changes that have been discerned so far:
- Ferocious Bite damage slightly increased.
- Swipe now hits 4 targets.
- Savage Roar now increases attack power 40% and lasts 14/19/24/29/34 sec depending on how many combo points you have up. (Previously 35% attack power and 9/12/15/18/21 sec)
- Celestial Focus (Tier 4) reduces the casting time lost when damaged by 25/50/70% when casting wrath. (Previously reduced interrupt chance)
- Control of Nature (Tier 2) reduces casting time lost when damaged by 40/70/100% while casting Entangling Roots and Cyclone. (Previously reduced interrupt chance)
The change to Celestial Focus was likely made because of the previously mentioned spell pushback changes. We can probably expect a similar change to be made to Nature’s Focus which functions in the same way as Celestial Focus on live. The Swipe change when considered with the [Glyph of Swipe] will allow Druids to hit five targets at once which is certainly good news.
There have also been bug reports that Swiftmend is not functioning at all on the Beta servers. Unfortunately, this will make healing in the new instances more difficult for Restoration Druids. Thankfully, we have a functioning version of Revive handy!
Balance Revamp Coming
Responding to a detailed and eloquent post by beta tester Ashthra, in which she details several key areas of unnecessary bloat in Balance, Developer Koraa promises that further polishing to the Balance tree is currently in the works. Hopefully she was kidding when she promised Boomkin more bloat:
Currently working on a polish pass of the Balance tree. Get ready for more bloat!
Clearly, the Developers haven’t taken a good look at Moonkin recently. They’re already quite bloated!
More Comments on Feral Tanking
Following up on the now legendary tanking thread with many blue responses, Developer Ghostcrawler made several additional statements concerning Bears in WotLK. Once again, due to the length of these responses and the fact that this is a Restoration blog, I’ll try to summarize the key points:
- Of the four tanks, two have shields and two do not. All four are intended to be equally viable through talents like Survival of the Fittest.
- Ideally, they’d like to see raids filled based on how well players are liked rather than a must-have utility or buff.
- Efforts are being made to improve the ability for Tanks and Healers to fill other roles when not needed to tank or heal. This should hopefully lead to less raid member swapping due to changing encounters.
- Blizzard agrees that it’s a problem when a tank outgears content and cannot generate enough rage to maintain threat.
Here’s hoping the aforementioned polishing pass to Balance will simultaneously include some of these promised improvements to Ferals.
Shamelessly procured from WotLKWiki, here are a few of the new names for hairstyles (replacing the placeholder names like “Female Human Hairstyle 1”): Bald, Peasant, Solider, Monk, Barbarian, Dashing, Loose, Scholar, Rogue, Fabulous, Samson, Bearded, Colonel, Duellist, Goatee, Wizard, Chops, Van Dyke, Mustacioed, Clean, Prince, Wild, Swept, Foxtail, Slicked
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