Patch 5.4 Guide

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Patch 5.4 Guide

Post by Noona on Fri 20 Sep 2013, 4:56 pm



  • Siege of Orgrimmar is the final raid of Mists of Pandaria. In it, players work to free Orgrimmar from the clutches of Garrosh and his Kor'kron regime.
  • Gear item levels: ilvl 528 from LFR, 540 Flex, 553 Normal, 559 Warforged, 566 Heroic, and 572 Heroic Warforged. Warforged items work just the same as Throne of Thunder's Thunderforged ones--they have a small chance to drop and are 6 item levels better than the expected loot.
  • All database pages currently show loot drops for Tier 16 bosses, organized by LFR, Flexible, Normal, and Heroic. We also show loot specialization details for LFR, Flex, and bonus rolls. To see an overview of the Dungeon Journal and each boss' drops, check out our Siege of Orgrimmar Loot Preview. We will be updating our loot tables with changes as the week progresses.
  • Tier gear drops from the following bosses: Legs from Klaxxi Paragons, Shoulders fromSiegecrafter Blackfuse, Helm from Thok the Bloodthirsty, Gloves from General Nazgrim, Chest from Sha of Pride.
  • Players need ilvl 496 gear to queue up for LFR, and the first LFR wing unlocks on September 17th. Flex mode has no item level requirement and the first wing opens on September 10th. Check out the complete 5.4 raid schedule.
  • To see what all the gear looks like, check out our Tier 16 Armor Preview, and 3D Weapon Models. We also have a detailed look at the new trinkets and their scaling details in our Patch 5.4 Trinket Preview.
  • There are also several vanity items tied to this zone. Several bosses have vanity pets, like  Kovok, Shaman can collect Kor'kron Dark Shaman transmog gear, and killing Garrosh rewards titles on Normal and Heroic, special heirlooms, and mounts ( Reins of the Kor'kron War Wolf Kor'kron Juggernaut).
  • Players can raid Siege of Orgrimmar in Flex Mode, a new type of raid difficulty that has a different lockout from Normal/Heroic and LFR. This is intended for social players that enjoy raiding together and dislike the anonymity of LFR. The rewards are better than LFR, and players can complete achievements in this difficulty as well.
  • Loot in Flex mode is personal, and is affected by Loot Specialization. Players can also win additional loot via Bonus Rolls.
  • Flex Mode requires anywhere from 10-25 players and the mobs' health and damage will scale based on the number of players zoned in. To learn more about Flex Raiding, check out Blizzard's preview A Raid For All Seasons



Vale of Eternal SorrowsGates of RetributionThe UnderholdDownfall
ImmerseusGalakrasMalkorokSiegecrafter Blackfuse
The Fallen ProtectorsIron JuggernautSpoils of PandariaParagons of the Klaxxi
NorushenKor'kron Dark ShamanThok the BloodthirstyGarrosh Hellscream
Sha of PrideGeneral Nazgrim
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Re: Patch 5.4 Guide

Post by Noona on Fri 20 Sep 2013, 4:58 pm

Season 14 is the latest PvP system, with tons of new PvP gear and rewards.

  • There are many ways to get PvP gear in 5.4.
  • Crafted Gear: There are two tiers of Crafted gear available now. The first, added in Patch 5.2, is for ilvl 458 armor sets and look like the initial Season 12 honor sets. The new set of crafted gear, ilvl 476 Crafted Malevolent gear, is learned from the set of new daily transmutes and resembles Season 12 conquest gear.
  • Honor Gear: Players can purchase ilvl 496 Tyrannical Gladiator's gear for honor. These new items look exactly the same as Season 13's Alliance and Horde Conquest gear.
  • Conquest Gear: Season 14 Grievous Gear is ilvl 522 and comes in different colors for Alliance and Horde players. Players that have earned  Grievous Conquest and a high personal rating can buy these items for  Honor Points instead.
  • Elite Gear: Season 14 Grievous Elite Gear is purely cosmetic and has no stats. Purchasing these items requires players to complete  Grievous Conquest and achieve a high personal rating.

Check out our visual previews of the Season 14 Armor Sets and Season 14 Weapons, including 3D models of the faction-specific gear.

A new mount reward has been added for players of all ranks who consistently enjoy PvPing. Winning 100 3v3 matches or 40 RBGs in Season 14 awards Grievous Combatant/ Grievous Combatant and a  Vicious Saddle.

  • For Alliance players,  Vicious Saddle can be redeemed at Necrolord Sipe for either  Reins of the Vicious War Steed or  Reins of the Vicious Warsaber.
  • For Horde players,  Vicious Saddle can be redeemed at Deathguard Netharian for either  Horn of the Vicious War Wolf or  Reins of the Vicious Skeletal Warhorse.

Some general changes are also coming to PvP in 5.4:

  • The item level ceiling is still in place for Arenas, Rated Battlegrounds, and Battlegrounds at ilvl 496, but Grievous Gladiator gear is exempt from this scaling. The item level ceiling will increase by one level each week until it hits ilvl 512.
  • You don't need to create or join an Arena team to compete anymore. Only personal rating remains, which increases or decreases based on rated matches. Personal rating now affects the conquest gear, gear requirements, and PvP enchantments.
  • Similar to Rated Battlegrounds, arenas will now be region-wide instead of being sorted by Battlegroup.

For a complete look at PvP changes and Season 14 gear, check out Wowhead's Season 14 PvP Preview.




Timeless Isle
The Timeless Isle is a unique zone filled with exploration rewards and rare spawns--a far cry from the daily hubs of MoP's launch. In the style of the Isle of Thunder and Battlefield Barrens, players can group up with friends to kill mobs and hunt rare spawns for vanity items without having to worry about grinding out epics for progression raiding. 

We'll have a complete guide up when 5.4 goes live, but for now here's the highlights:

  • There are literally dozens of vanity loot items, from stones that change the weather to character disguises, many of which drop from rare spawns.
  • Players working on their legendary questline are required to farm up  Timeless Coin and kill world bosses on the Timeless Isle.
  • There are numerous ways to get new BoA armor tokens on the Timeless Isle, which become epic gear with sockets and in some cases, unique transmog looks.
  • The Timeless Isle is home to the Celestial Pet Tournament, as well as several wild pets and rare spawns that drop pets.
  • The Timeless Isle has its own currency-- Timeless Coin. There are many creative ways to acquire these coins, and a variety of vanity items to spend them on.

Check back for a complete Timeless Isle guide when patch 5.4 goes live!




New BoA and Heirloom Gear
Players can get two new types of BoA gear in Patch 5.4.

  • Timeless Isle gear: On the Timeless Isle, there are Timeless armor tokens, which are BoA and can be turned into a spec-appropriate ilvl 496 item based on your character. These armor tokens can be acquired several ways: killing mobs, looting chests, and purchasing caches for 7500 each. You can upgrade armor tokens to ilvl 535 epics with  Burden of Eternity.
  • Siege of Orgrimmar Heirlooms: These heirlooms drop from Garrosh Hellscream on Flex, Normal, and Heroic difficulty--another incentive to run raids besides LFR. These items have interesting models as well--they are based on Horde PvP weapons from classic WoW. If you check them out in the Dungeon Journal (and Wowhead tooltip mouseover), they display their heirloom data, instead of epic information. The first heirloom you get will be spec-appropriate.

For more details on both Siege of Orgrimmar and Timeless Isle BoA gear, check out our 5.4 BoA Gear Guide.




Proving Grounds
Proving Grounds are solo challenges that both allow new players to learn a new role in a comfortable setting, or seasoned players to try something difficult and competitive.

  • Proving Grounds allow users to select Tank, Healer, or DPS challenges. You can queue up from class trainers, or Trial Master Rotun by the Temple of the White Tiger.
  • Proving Grounds come in Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Endless difficulties. In Endless mode, you simply go on until you fail the challenge.
  • In addition, gear plays much less of a role in Proving Grounds success--all gear is scaled down to ilvl 463, like it is in Challenge Modes.
  • There are three types of Challenges--Tank, Healer, and DPS.

    • As a tank, you must protect Sikari the Mistweaver from enemy waves, who will heal and dps.
    • As a dps, you will be killing mobs on your own--no help. You will get a ticking bomb icon over your head and have a limited amount of time to kill each wave, noted by  Timer.
    • As a healer, you get a full party of NPCs to heal: Kavan the ArcanistOto the ProtectorSooli the Survivalist, and Ki the Assassin.
    • The mobs you fight, which all have "Illusionary" names like Large Illusionary Banshee and Small Illusionary Aqualyte, come out in set waves.

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  • Rewards include achievements for completing various difficulties and spec challenges, as well as titles (The Proven AssailantThe Proven HealerThe Proven Defender) for beating Wave 30 on Endless.
    [/font][/color]

We will have a series of walkthroughs for every role and difficulty up later on patch week!




New Faction: Shaohao
Emperor Shaohao is a new faction on the Timeless Isle. There are no daily quests or "mandatory" epics to grind out for this reputation--it's all about killing Ordon on the Timeless Isle for vanity loot.

Vanity loot costs  Timeless Coin to purchase and ranges from  Reins of the Heavenly Golden Cloud Serpent to the teleporting trinket  Time-Lost Artifact.

For more details, check out Wowhead's Shaohao Reputation Preview.




Battle Pets and Celestial Tournament
Patch 5.4 introduces many new battle pets, as well as a pet tournament for players that have been dedicated to pet battling.

  • The Celestial Tournament is open to players that have 15+ max level pets. Players fight three teams (randomly selected from nine preset ones), and then move onto fighting the four elite Celestials. Players also cannot heal their pets, or else they will be disqualified. For winning the weekly tournament, players get a  Celestial Coin which can be used to purchase special battle pets and supplies.
  • Many new battle pets are coming in Patch 5.4--check out our preview for their unique abilities and models! Many are from Timeless Isle, but others are from Siege of Orgrimmar.
  • Battle pets from Throne of Thunder can now be one via bonus rolls in LFR.
  • Several battle pet families have had their passive effects buffed.
  • For more information, check out our battle pet tools, or check out the great collection resources at WarcraftPets!

We've also recently added a new battle pet tool, the Battle Pet Team Calculator for players to import their in-game pet teams, create their ideal teams, and compare their teams against other player and trainer teams! The Celestial Tournament teams will be added when 5.4 goes live.

For more details on new battle pets and the Celestial Tournament, check out Wowhead's 5.4 Battle Pet Guide.

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Re: Patch 5.4 Guide

Post by Noona on Fri 20 Sep 2013, 4:58 pm

The 5.4 reward for  Chapter V: Judgment of the Black Prince is a legendary cape with a powerful proc and unique visual effect. Offspec capes can be purchased for 10,000.

  •  Qian-Le, Courage of Niuzao Qian-Ying, Fortitude of Niuzao Endurance of Niuzao: The Endurance of Niuzao fully absorbs the damage of one attack that would normally kill you. This effect has a 2 min cooldown. Does not function for non-Tank-specialized characters.
  •  Xing-Ho, Breath of Yu'lon Essence of Yu'lon: Your damaging spell casts have a chance to empower you with the Essence of Yu'lon, causing you to hurl jade dragonflame at the target, dealing 1 (+ 200% of Spell power) damage over 4 sec. This damage also affects up to 4 other enemies near the burning target. (Approximately [2.61 + Haste] procs per minute)
  •  Jina-Kang, Kindness of Chi-Ji Spirit of Chi-Ji: Your helpful spells have a chance to grant you Spirit of Chi-Ji, increasing all healing done by 5% and causing all overhealing on players to be redistributed to up to 5 nearby injured friends, for 10 sec. (Approximately 0.58 procs per minute)
  •  Fen-Yu, Fury of Xuen Gong-Lu, Strength of Xuen Flurry of Xuen: Your damaging attacks have a chance to trigger a Flurry of Xuen, causing you to deal 1 (+ 20% of Attack power) damage to up to 5 enemies in front of you (hunter: current target and up to 4 enemies around them), every 0.3 sec for 3 sec. (Approximately [1.74 + Haste] procs per minute).

If you have the previous quest cape upgraded to 2/2, your legendary cape will automatically be ilvl 608. In addition, the cape's RPPM details change per spec, which we display as radio buttons underneath the tooltip on item pages.

As for older parts of the legendary chain,  Eye of the Black Prince will not be usable on Siege of Orgrimmar weapons, but the legendary meta gem will work on Siege of Orgrimmar helms. 

Patch 5.4 also introduces a catch-up mechanism for players behind on the legendary questline. The first eight bosses in Siege of Orgrimmar have a chance to drop a  Sigil of Power Sigil of Wisdom Secrets of the Empire, or  Titan Runestone. In addition, all bosses in Throne of Thunder can drop  Sigil of Power and  Sigil of Wisdom.

For more details, check out Wowhead's Mists of Pandaria Legendary Quest Guide.

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Re: Patch 5.4 Guide

Post by Noona on Fri 20 Sep 2013, 5:04 pm


Each class has ability changes coming in Patch 5.4, as well as some new glyphs.


  • For a look at the most interesting cosmetic glyphs coming in 5.4, check out our 5.4 Cosmetic Glyph Preview.

  • Shamans also have a neat perk in the form of Kor'kron Dark Shaman cosmetic armor they can loot from Siege of Orgrimmar mobs in Flex, Normal, and Heroic difficulty.

  • In the tabs below, we have also linked to noxxic and other fansite resources.


    Originally posted by Blizzard (View Original)

    Most of our core changes were to Blood DKs. We added the  Riposte passive to DKs (and Warriors) to allow them to increase their damage using the avoidance stats that naturally occur on their tanking gear. We also removed the Runic Power cost of  Dancing Rune Weapon to allow it to be used more as a cooldown when needed. Finally, we changed  Scent of Blood to also be proc’d by avoidance, to make sure avoidance stats can help provide more active mitigation.

    In terms of DK talents, as with all the classes, our primary goal was to open up some more talent choices and address some underpowered talents. While  Anti-Magic Zone was capable of mitigating a lot of damage when used at precisely the right time, it was also easy to not gain the full benefit of the cooldown. We changed it to just be damage reduction similar to  Power Word: Barrier. We also buffed  Death Siphon and  Plague Leech, which were underutilized.


New Abilities

  •  Riposte, Blood, 76: When you dodge or parry any attack, you gain 75% of your Parry and Dodge as additional Critical Strike for 20 sec.

Resources

  • Noxxic Class Guides:

    • Blood
    • Frost
    • Unholy

    [color][font]
  • Elitist Jerks Forums
  • Son of a Lich
    [/font][/color]

Patch Notes
General

  •  Death Gate now returns the Death Knight to a location near their original departure point when the spell is cast while in Ebon Hold.
  •  Icebound Fortitude no longer costs Runic Power.
  •  Necrotic Strike now deals 100% weapon damage (down from 150% weapon damage).
  •  Rune of Razorice now causes 3% extra weapon damage as Frost damage (up from 2%), and each stack of Frost Vulnerability now causes the target to take an additional 3% damage from the Death Knight's Frost attacks (up from 2%).
  • Soul Reaper's initial damage component has been increased by 30%. If the target is below 35% health after 5 seconds the amount of Shadow Damage dealt has been increased by 20%.
  •  Unholy Presence now grants a flat 10% Haste to all things, up from Haste for melee (attack speed and Rune regeneration) only. The movement speed buff remains unchanged.

Blood

  •  Riposte is a new passive ability learned by Blood Death Knights at level 76. When the Death Knight dodges or parries any attack, they gain 75% of their Parry and Dodge as additional bonus to Critical Strike for 20 seconds.
  • Glyph of Dancing Rune Weapon no longer costs Runic Power.
  •  Sanguine Fortitude no longer reduces the cost of  Icebound Fortitude.
  •  Scent of Blood now also has a chance to activate when the Death Knight dodges or parries a melee attack.

Frost

  •  Frost Strike now deals 115% weapons damage (up from 105% weapon damage).
  •  Howling Blast now deals 15% more damage.
  •  Might of the Frozen Wastes now increases all melee attack damage by 30% (up from 20%).
  •  Obliterate now deals 250% weapon damage (up from 230% weapon damage).

Unholy

  •  Master of Ghouls now reduces the cooldown of  Raise Dead by 60 seconds.
  • Ghoul's Leap and Gnaw abilities are no longer on a global cooldown, and no longer cost Energy.
  •  Unholy Might now increases the Death Knight's Strength by 25% (up from 10%).

Talents

  •  Anti-Magic Zone has been redesigned. The talent now reduces magic damage taken in the area-of-effect by 40% for 3 seconds, and the ability no longer scales with strength.
  •  Death Siphon had its damage increased by 10%.
  •  Plague Leech now tries to convert 2 fully-depleted runes (up from 1) into a Death Rune based on specialization.

    • Blood: Restores 1 Frost Rune, 1 Unholy Rune
    • Frost: 1 Frost Rune, 1 Unholy Rune
    • Unholy: 1 Blood Rune, 1 Frost Rune



Glyphs

  • New Major Glyphs

    •  Glyph of Festering Blood: Makes  Blood Boil treat all targets as if they have been infected with  Blood Plague or  Frost Fever.
    •  Glyph of Regenerative Magic: If  Anti-Magic Shell expires after its full duration, cooldown for the ability is reduced based on the amount of damage absorbed.
    •  Glyph of Swift Death: Haste effect granted by Soul Reaper now also increases the Death Knight's movement speed for the duration.
    •  Glyph of Loud Horn Horn of Winter now generates additional Runic Power, but the cooldown is increased.

    [color][font]
  • Major Glyphs
    [/font][/color]

    •  Glyph of Enduring Infection now reduces damage dealt by diseases by 15% (down from a 30% reduction).
    •  Glyph of Mind Freeze now reduces the cooldown of  Mind Freeze by 1 second, and raises its cost by 10 Runic Power (down from 2 seconds and 20 Runic Power).
    •  Glyph of Outbreak now causes  Outbreak to cost 30 Runic Power (down from 40).
    •  Glyph of Pillar of Frost now reduces movement speed by 70% instead of freezing the Death Knight in place.

    [color][font]
  • New Minor Glyphs
    [/font][/color]

    •  Glyph of the Long Winter: The  Horn of Winter ability now lasts for 1 hour.
    •  Glyph of the Skeleton: The Death Knight's  Raise Dead spell now summons a Skeleton instead of a Ghoul.



Bug Fix

  • Fixed a bug that caused  Improved Blood Presence and  Runic Corruption to incorrectly increase activation rates of some trinkets and effects.
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Re: Patch 5.4 Guide

Post by Noona on Fri 20 Sep 2013, 5:08 pm

Originally posted by Blizzard (View Original)

We buffed Guardian spec Stamina outright because we felt the spec needed it. Druids have less reliable damage reduction, which isn’t a problem itself, so long as they have the health pool to compensate for it. For Feral Druids, we reverted an earlier nerf to  Cyclone’s cooldown but removed  Cyclone from  Predatory Swiftness. We felt like this ability had become a PvP problem that was too unpredictable to counter. We also lowered the PvP duration of Faerie Fire to make it less of a hard counter to stealthed players. We changed  Innervate to scale with Spirit so it would scale with gear better. We also made a few changes to the Restoration healing toolkit. Our change to Efflorescence is an attempt to get  Swiftmend back to its original design of being a potent single-target heal. We’re making that change slowly by having the 5.4 Efflorescence glyph move the ground heal from  Swiftmend to  Wild Mushrooms. We further tweaked  Wild Mushrooms for Restoration by limiting it to a single mushroom.

We had several specs whose passive damage reduction we felt was starting to cause balance problems, and Balance’s  Moonkin Form was among these. Originally we converted the physical damage reduction to spell damage reduction at a time when the spec needed a PvP buff, but we felt like the fact that Balance required less healing in PvE was causing raids to favor them over other casters.

Most of the changes to Druid talents were because of the situation where certain specs leaned heavily on certain talents in a row and tended to ignore the others— Dream of Cenarius Force of Nature Nature's Vigil, and  Soul of the Forest fall into this category. We changed  Nature's Swiftness to be a core Restoration ability because we felt the healers were dependent upon it. We replaced it with a new passive talent,  Ysera's Gift.
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Re: Patch 5.4 Guide

Post by Noona on Fri 20 Sep 2013, 5:09 pm

Originally posted by Blizzard (View Original)

We had three main issues we wanted to resolve for Hunters this patch:  Silencing Shot, Readiness, and Stampede.

The problem with  Silencing Shot is it’s just too powerful as a talent. No self-respecting Hunter is going to choose any talent but  Silencing Shot, especially in PvP, but in PvE as well. At the same time, we think Hunters, especially Beast Mastery, have proven really powerful in PvP this expansion—and frankly the game has too many blanket silences already, so we didn’t want to just give  Silencing Shot to all Hunters. Our decision was to give  Silencing Shot to Marksman, who needed a PvP buff anyway. We did give all Hunters a base interrupt with the new  Counter Shot, which can interrupt a spell being cast, but can’t pre-silence a caster.

Readiness has been another problematic ability for us to solve. It started as a talent, but was too good compared to the other choices. We ended up giving Readiness to all Hunters, but we were never happy with this implementation. For PvP, it made Hunters really difficult to balance with the ability to reset so many offensive and defensive abilities. For PvE, we felt like Readiness wasn’t doing anything interesting besides making the opening attack sequence twice as complicated as it needed to be. If Readiness was an ability that a clever Hunter would bust out at a clutch moment, then you could argue it would be an interesting ability, but of course it was never actually used that way. Given that Hunters already have a lot of cooldowns, situational abilities, and just buttons in general, we didn’t think Readiness was worth saving. We did make small buffs to  Deterrence and  Disengage and we will make sure DPS is where it needs to be (which, if I had to guess, will be relatively higher than it was in Patch 5.3).

We felt like  Stampede had been nerfed too much in PvE for PvP reasons. It’s the intent that  Stampede is a potent cooldown for Hunters, so we increased its damage back to an exciting level and just had it do less damage in PvP. Finally, we made a change that some (though to be fair not all) Survival Hunters had asked for a long time, to remove  Explosive Trap from  Lock and Load (and therefore from the shared cooldown with  Black Arrow) so that they could use  Explosive Trap (typically with the knockback glyph) without interfering with  Black Arrow/ Lock and Load.

Hunter talents were in a pretty good spot overall after a bit of iteration throughout MoP. We did nerf  Aspect of the Iron Hawk, because as with Shadow Priests and Balance Druids, we felt like the damage reduction was just too potent. We changed  Narrow Escape to be dispellable as a PvP nerf. We buffed  Spirit Bond, which has felt particularly weak, and we buffed  A Murder of Crows.
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Re: Patch 5.4 Guide

Post by Noona on Fri 20 Sep 2013, 6:56 pm

Originally posted by Blizzard (View Original)
We didn’t think Mages needed many changes overall. One goal of ours was to fix Frost Mastery, which we felt was increasingly making them difficult to tune in PvP. When you take a spec with high burst and good control and then give them Mastery that links the two together, you’re bound to have trouble. The new Mastery, called  Mastery: Icicles, spreads the burst out over a few seconds but in a novel way that doesn’t feel too similar to, say,  Mastery: Ignite. As a consequence, we removed the mechanic where  Frostbolt buffs other spells and just let those spells do higher damage to begin with. As of this writing, we haven’t made any mechanical changes to Fire, though if you saw any earlier patch notes, we experimented with a few. Long term, we still have concerns about the interplay between  Alter Time and  Combustion, and we still have concerns about Fire scaling with Critical Strike, but we’re not convinced either of these problems is so egregious that it needs to be fixed in Patch 5.4.

In terms of talents, we increased the damage of the bomb tier, and buffed  Ice Floes and  Temporal Shield, which were underutilized. Long term, we still think the level-90 tier needs some work, but we were concerned that attempting to replace two or three of these talents for Patch 5.4 would lead to a lot more iteration before they felt good again. 

But we did ease the restrictions on  Rune of Power. Since it didn’t feel like a crisis, we think more dramatic change is better saved for an expansion, when we have more time to consider new visuals, test, and get feedback.

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Re: Patch 5.4 Guide

Post by Noona on Fri 20 Sep 2013, 6:57 pm

Originally posted by Blizzard (View Original)
Earlier in the PTR cycle, we attempted to solve Mistweaver mana problems, by which I mean Mistweavers didn’t have to stack Spirit to the extent other healers did. We became concerned that it would take quite a number of changes to solve this problem, resulting in a lot of relearning for players, so we agreed to accept the current status quo and balance Mistweavers around the fact that they have less Spirit (and therefore more of other secondary stats) compared to other healers. For Windwalkers, we redesigned their Mastery (yet again) and buffed the  Storm, Earth, and Fire ability so that the cleave aspect of the cooldown would feel really potent. 

Brewmasters were in pretty good shape, but we did feel like  Keg Smash made their damage too high compared to other tanks.

Several Monk talents were underpowered or difficult to use. We buffed  Chi Brew Zen Sphere Power Strikes, and  Healing Elixirs. We made Xuen easier to control by providing him with a true pet bar. We changed  Chi Burstto require no target.  Ring of Peace has a better visual that’s more representative of the affected area, and we tweaked its numbers. We didn’t think we could solve  Rushing Jade Wind’s problems, namely that it was too similar to  Chi Burst, so we redesigned it as a replacement for  Spinning Crane Kick.

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Re: Patch 5.4 Guide

Post by Noona on Fri 20 Sep 2013, 6:57 pm

Originally posted by Blizzard (View Original)
Most of our core changes were to Holy Paladins. Specifically, we felt like the healing style of blanketing a group with Eternal Flame to proc absorbs from  Mastery: Illuminated Healing had become too widespread, and didn’t fit the healing style we wanted for Paladins. When some Paladins choose to use a heal-over-time spell, that’s the kind of diversity we want the talent tree to deliver. However, when every Paladin uses heal over time spells, then it’s just the way Paladins work.

In this case, we didn’t want to make  Eternal Flame a core ability. Unlike Restoration Druids, Mistweaver Monks, and to a lesser extent Holy Priests, we don’t think every Paladin should be extensively using heal-over-time spells. The only change we made was to have  Eternal Flame’s periodic heal not proc the  Mastery: Illuminated Healing absorb. It can still be used the way any HoT is used, to provide a buffer that can be layered with other heals, but it will no longer be an efficient way to blanket many targets with long-lasting absorbs. We made significant changes to  Sacred Shield and  Selfless Healer as well to help offset this nerf, which I’ll discuss below.

We also felt like  Seal of Insight had a design problem. When Holy Paladins could melee targets, they had no mana problems at all, but when they had to heal at range (which we wanted to at least be an option, if not the default healing style), they suffered for mana. We thought it best to unshackle Holy Paladins from the pressure of having to stand in melee, so we removed the mana return from  Seal of Insight and buffed  Divine Plea. We had to provide more mana to Protection Paladins as well, since they typically tank using  Seal of Insight. We also buffed  Guardian of Ancient Kings for Holy, because we felt like it was too focused on single-target healing at a time when most healers are required to do a lot of area healing. Finally, we allowed the  Sanctity of Battle passive to also affect  Holy Shock, with the intent of making Haste slightly better for Holy.

Aside from the mana buff mentioned above, we changed  Crusader Strike to also provide Weakened Blows as a quality of life improvement. We also changed  Grand Crusader to proc from avoidance instead of attacks. We aren’t trying to make Dodge or Parry a Paladin’s best tanking stats, but those stats are going to appear on tanking gear, so we want to make sure they can tie into active mitigation. We’re happy with how active mitigation is working out overall and we want to put even more emphasis on it, for all tanks, in the future.

Retribution didn’t need much attention overall in our minds, but we did make  Inquisition require less maintenance overall, and we reduced the cooldown and strength of Guardian of Ancient Kings, so that Retribution could use the cooldown more frequently. Retribution players had concerns that their damage was too tied to long cooldowns.

For Paladin talents, we tried to improve  Selfless Healer for Holy by allowing Judgment to provide Holy Power, and we tried to improve  Sacred Shieldby removing the target cap and having a cooldown and charges instead. We’ve come to the conclusion that the same talent choices for healers and other specs just won’t always work, which is why you increasingly see talents work slightly different for healers in the case of Paladins, Priests, and Druids in particular. We replaced Burden of Guilt as a talent (and made it a slightly weaker glyph) with the ability to use Turn Evil on players. We hope that this will open up some PvP comp choices for Paladins, since fears are not always easy to get. We buffed  Hand of Purity so that it will still have some benefit on boss abilities that can’t be prevented from immunities. We buffed  Sanctified Wrath for Holy and Protection. We also simplified Unbreakable Spirit by just having it apply the cooldown all the time rather than having to be “driven down.”

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Re: Patch 5.4 Guide

Post by Noona on Fri 20 Sep 2013, 6:58 pm

Originally posted by Blizzard (View Original)
We made a few changes to each Priest specialization. For Discipline, while we don’t think the shields,  Atonement, or potent cooldowns are overpowered individually, we felt that having all three in one spec gave them too much versatility compared to the other healers. We know  Atonement is fun, and while it’s useful, it doesn’t truly compete with a dedicated healer or DPS, so we think it’s in a good spot. We like Discipline to have a strong shield kit, and we’re happy to see more  Power Word: Shield use in 5.2 than in 5.0. That left the cooldowns as targets, and we felt like  Spirit Shell was the right one to nerf. We also felt like  Rapture scaling so well with Spirit turned what was originally supposed to be a mechanic offering a discount on  Power Word: Shield to reward smart use had instead become a bona fide mana regeneration mechanic. For Holy, we buffed  Chakra: Sanctuary and  Serendipity to help keep Holy in mana a little longer. We also finally gave in and reversed  Lightwell and Lightspring, so that the more passive (and popular) totem-like use of the spell became the default. We reduced the damage reduction of Shadowform as we did for Hunters and Balance Druids, because we felt like it offered too much of a passive benefit. We also completely rebuilt  Shadowy Apparitions so that it keeps the kit of a delayed source of damage, but won’t get stuck on terrain or objects or struggle with bosses that move or fly.

For Priest talents, we are trying one more time to make  Angelic Feather compete with the other movement talents, and let  Mindbender and From Darkness, Comes Light compete better with Solace and Insanity. We also buffed  Divine Insight for Discipline and  Twist of Fate for all three specs.

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Re: Patch 5.4 Guide

Post by Noona on Fri 20 Sep 2013, 6:58 pm

riginally posted by Blizzard (View Original)
We buffed  Evasion for Rogues outright to increase their survivability against melee. We also buffed  Recuperatebecause we agree that it went from being a potent heal in Cataclysm to a more middling one in MoP. The other core changes were really focused on Combat. We increased the cost and damage of  Sinister Strike in order to help address Rogues having too much energy with high Haste values, which led to a spammy, RSI-inducing style. (It’s fine for Combat to feel fast-paced, but it had gotten out of control.) To offset the loss of combo points from less frequent Sinister Strikes, we added (or returned, depending on your point of view) the  Ruthlessness passive. The other Combat change was to redesign the targeting system of  Killing Spree Killing Spree now hits a single target if used without  Blade Flurry. During  Blade Flurry, it continues to work as it does on live.

For talents, we were worried in previous patches that we had overbuffed  Burst of Speed, but clearly that is not yet the case, so we lowered its cost. We buffed the numbers on  Cheat Death Cloak and Dagger Paralytic Poison Paralytic Poison, and  Shadowstep, since they were seeing less use than other talents.

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Re: Patch 5.4 Guide

Post by Noona on Fri 20 Sep 2013, 6:58 pm

Originally posted by Blizzard (View Original)
We’re happy with Enhancement and Elemental performance overall, but we are keeping an eye on their burst in PvP. We did feel that Restoration wasn’t really delivering on healing when grouped and stationary, which should be a Shaman’s strength. To remedy that, we changed  Chain Heal to no longer decrease effectiveness per jump and buffed  Healing Rain’s radius and healing. We also gave  Healing Tide Totem to all Shaman, because we felt like Restoration was never going to choose another talent so long as they had the option to choose a group healing cooldown.

With Shaman talents, we still had the problem that some talents were only attractive to some specializations. We buffed Astral Shift Stone Bulwark Totem, and  Unleashed Fury for this reason. We had to replace Healing Tide Totem, so we introduced  Rushing Streams, which allows Healing Stream Totem to heal two targets at once. We redesigned Conductivity to make it more useful for all Shaman by having it increase the duration of  Healing Rain, saving GCDs (global cooldowns). We were convinced that Totemic Restoration was just a problematic talent. It saw little use in PvE, but was really annoying to deal with in PvP, since a Shaman could just drop totems for a split second and benefit from their effects. The replacement talent,  Totemic Persistence, allows Shaman to summon a second Water, Earth, or Air totem without destroying the first one. (Including Fire Totems would have been a non-trivial DPS increase, making this the only talent attractive to Elemental or Enhancement.)

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Re: Patch 5.4 Guide

Post by Noona on Fri 20 Sep 2013, 6:59 pm

Originally posted by Blizzard (View Original)
Because Warlocks had so many changes coming into Mists of Pandaria, we had to iterate on a lot of these new mechanics throughout the expansion and tried to not change things too much for Patch 5.4. We did nerf  Fel Armorfor the same reasons we lowered the passive damage reduction of Balance Druids, Shadow Priests, and Hunters. We increased  Fel Flame’s damage but removed its DoT extension, which had become a liability for  Fel Flame in PvE rather than letting it provide damage on the move as it was intended. For Affliction, we shifted more damage to DoTs and away from  Malefic Grasp Malefic Grasp is a cool spell, and we like channeling it to increase DoT damage, but we felt like too much damage had been shifted away from DoTs, which hurt Affliction in PvP and made all Affliction locks have difficulty moving. We also simplified the  Soul Swap mechanic slightly by removing the glyph and the initial damage component. For Destruction, we changed  Rain of Fire to not be so essential to the single-target rotation by reducing its Ember generation. We made  Howl of Terror baseline for all Warlocks because we thought they had lost too much of their fear-based control package.

Our biggest challenge with Warlock talents was the level-90 tier, where most Warlocks chose  Kil'jaeden's Cunning (often to the frustration of raid leaders forced to deal with slow-moving Warlocks). We removed the snare from  Kil'jaeden's Cunning but reduced the number of spells it affected. The talent should help with movement but not guarantee characters never need to stop moving. We buffed  Mannoroth's Fury by allowing it to increase the damage as well as radius of area-effect spells, but on a cooldown so the Warlock has more control over the effect and so it’ll feel more potent when active. We decided we could not safely balance Archimonde’s Vengeance in its “damage reflection” kit, so we redesigned and renamed the talent to emphasize the Dark Soul cooldowns (with the intent that one talent needed to be attractive in fights with no movement or area damage).

In addition to these substantial changes to the level-90 row, we wanted to buff several unattractive talents.  Harvest Life never had a strong niche, so we made it improve  Drain Life rather than act as an area-effect  Drain Life. We replaced  Howl of Terror (now baseline) with a talent inspired by the Cataclysm version of Shadowflame that many players asked for.  Demonic Breath is a cone-based snare.  Soul Link was also returned to an older design which is easier to use and more powerful.

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Re: Patch 5.4 Guide

Post by Noona on Fri 20 Sep 2013, 6:59 pm

Originally posted by Blizzard (View Original)
Most of our Warrior changes were to increase Protection Warrior damage, try to improve the area-effect and cleave damage of Arms, or to address PvP quality-of-life issues. Buffing  Blood and Thunder helped both Arms and Protection. Changing  Enrage and  Ultimatum for Protection Warriors provided both more damage and active mitigation by making Critical Strike a more valuable stat. We don’t expect Prot to heavily stack crit, but they’re going to have some anyway just from core stats and group buffs, and it does open up the possibility of using crit gear.

We also gave Protection the same  Riposte ability we gave to Death Knights, to make sure the avoidance stats that do show up on tank gear provide some active mitigation.

For Arms, we reduced the cost of  Thunder Clap, buffed  Sweeping Strikes, and gave Slam a cleave ability. We didn’t think Fury needed much attention overall, though we did change the animation system to allow them to dual-wield polearms. For the PvP changes, we reduced the cost of  Shattering Throw, gave the Safeguard root break to  Intervene baseline, took Hamstring off the global cooldown, and reduced the cooldown of swapping stances. We also made a change to allow  Shield Wall and  Spell Reflection to not require a shield to be equipped, but to still provide the visual cue that a Warrior was using these abilities by having a shield visually appear even if one was not technically equipped.

For Warrior talent changes, we buffed  Bladestorm Enraged Regeneration Impending Victory Storm Bolt Vigilance, and  Warbringer in addition to the  Safeguard change mentioned above to open some more choices for Warriors, especially in PvP. We understand that  Shockwave is hard to live without in PvP, but we didn’t think that was easily fixable without nerfing  Shockwave—and probably speaks more for to the relative strength of stuns compared to other forms of crowd control, which is something we’d like to address long term. (Perhaps stuns need to be shorter, dispellable, or break on damage so they aren’t quite so game-changing.)

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