Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Patch Notes 23-05-2014

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Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Patch Notes 23-05-2014

Post by Dynamo on Wed 28 May 2014, 3:15 am


Table of Contents


New Content



Game System Changes

















Quality of Life







Classes















Introduction
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor™ Patch 6.0.1 Alpha
Updated: 05-23-2014
Welcome to an early look at patch notes for the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion: Warlords of Draenor. The new expansion introduces a wealth of new content and changes. There's also a new patch note format, which we hope will help better convey the reasoning for many of the changes being made and what they mean for you, while providing more background into issues we're trying to solve.

Please be aware that the Alpha patch notes are preliminary and not final. Details may change before retail release and new information will be added for additional features as development continues on the Warlords of Draenor expansion. Note: Not all the content listed may be available for immediate testing or may only be available during a limited testing window during the Alpha.

For more information about Alpha testing and how you can opt in for a chance to participate in the Warlords of Draenor beta test later down the line, check out Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins. Changes since last update to the Alpha patch notes are denoted in red.

Looking for a TL;DR summary of all of the changes? Here you go!


  • Character stats have been squished into smaller numbers that are easier to understand. It's important to understand that this is not a nerf as enemies have been squished as well.
  • A new row of talents has been added for level 100, and new Draenor Perks from levels 91 to 99.
  • The Garrison is a new feature available in Draenor, where you can build a base, recruit followers, and send them on missions.
  • Balanced functionality of Agility, Strength and Intellect.
  • New secondary stats: Bonus Armor, Multistrike, and Readiness.
  • Hit and Expertise have been removed; they're no longer needed in order to reliably land attacks!
  • The pace of healing has been adjusted to allow for more tactical decisionmaking regarding efficiency and throughput, on both single-target and multi-target heals. Passive and auto-targeted healing have been reduced in effectiveness in order to emphasize the actions and choices of healers.
  • Racial traits have been rebalanced so that all races have similar combat performance.
  • All classes have had several abilities pruned, with a focus on redundant and less-used abilities, to cut down on button and keybind bloat.
  • The amount of crowd control in the game (primarily PvP) has been drastically reduced. Many crowd-control abilities have been removed, and many diminishing returns categories are now merged together.
  • Several common buffs and debuffs have been merged, or removed, where they were redundant.
  • All characters now learn a few important Major Glyphs automatically as they level up.
  • The amount of instant healing in the game has been toned down by giving cast times to several instant cast heals.
  • Vengeance has been redesigned and renamed Resolve. Resolve does not increase outgoing damage, but does now  increase tank self-healing and absorption based on damage taken.
  • Facing requirements (character position) on some prominent abilities have been loosened or removed.
  • The mana cost of Resurrection spells has been reduced to make it a little easier to recover from a wipe.
  • Professions no longer have combat benefit perks tied to them.
  • There are a multitude of class-specific changes, including things like improved distinction between different Talent specializations, and new Masteries. Consult the class-specific sections below for more information.







New Content

Level-100 Talents and Draenor Perks
A new row of talents has been added for level 100. For testing purposes, these are currently accessible at level 90.

Draenor Perks is a new feature that adds rewards for leveling. Over levels 91 to 99, you will earn these 9 new Draenor Perk in a random order. Each class and specialization has a different set of 9 Draenor Perks.


  • Level-100 talents have been added for all classes!
  • Draenor Perks have been added for all classes, earned from levels 91 to 99.


You can preview the new talents on the talent calculator at the fansites here. (Please note that the links below will take you to an external website.)







Garrisons




The Iron Horde army is massive and reinforcements from Azeroth are few. In order to stand a chance, you will need to build an army of your own.


  • Undertake an epic quest to build a permanent base of operations on Draenor.
  • Find blueprints and materials to expand and customize your Garrison.
  • Recruit followers with unique skills and abilities to your cause.
  • Send followers on missions to level them up and acquire bonus loot.
  • Begin the quest for your Garrison in Shadowmoon Valley or Frostfire Ridge.







Game System Changes

Stat Squish
Character progression is one of the defining characteristics of a role-playing game. Naturally, that means that we're continuously adding more power to the game for players to acquire. After 4 expansions and over 9 years of this growth, we've gotten to a point where the numbers involved are no longer easy to grasp. And worse, much of the granularity that's available is tied up in tiers of older content from Molten Core to Dragon Soul, none of which are really relevant anymore. It's no longer necessary for Borean Tundra quest gear to be nearly twice as powerful as Netherstorm quest gear, even though the two zones are only a couple of levels apart.

 


In order to bring things down to an understandable level, we've reduced the scale of stats throughout the game, back to as if they continued scaling linearly through questing content from levels 1 to 90. This applies to creatures, spells, abilities, consumables, gear, other items... everything. Your stats and damage have been reduced by a huge amount, but so have creatures' health. For example, your Fireball that previously hit a creature for 450,000 out of its 3,000,000 health (15% of its health), may now hit that same creature for 30,000 out of its 200,000 health (still 15% of its health). In effect, you will still be just as powerful, but the numbers that appear will be more easily parsed.

 


It's important to understand that this isn't a nerf, and we have special handling in place to preserve players’ existing ability to solo old content. Players will deal bonus damage against lower-level creatures from past expansions, and will take reduced damage from them.

We've also removed all base damage on player spells and abilities, and adjusted Attack Power or Spell Power scaling as needed, so that all specializations will scale at the same rate.



  • The amount of stats on items has been reduced to be much lower than before.
  • Creature stats have been reduced to compensate.



We've also streamlined the multitude of various types of Haste % and Crit % bonuses.


  • Spell Haste %, Melee Haste %, and Ranged Haste % have been merged into a universal Haste %.
  • Spell Crit %, Melee Crit %, and Ranged Crit % have been merged into a universal Crit %.






Primary Character Stats and Attack Power (Updated)
The "primary" stats, Agility, Strength, and Intellect, are foundations of a character’s power. But they have not been created equally, making it difficult to properly balance them against secondary stats. The leading reason for this is that Agility and Intellect also provide Critical chance, in addition to Attack Power or Spell Power, whereas Strength does not. In order to achieve better balance, we've removed the Critical chance increase from Agility and Intellect. Still, it felt like Agility-based characters should critically strike more often, so we've raised those classes’ baseline Critical Strike chance to compensate.


  • Agility no longer provides an increased chance to critically strike with melee and ranged attacks or abilities.
  • Intellect no longer provides an increased chance to critically strike with spells.
  • The base chance to critically strike is now 5% for all classes. There are no longer different chances to critically strike with melee, ranged, and spells.
  • There is a new passive, named Critical Strikes, which increases chance to critically strike by 10%.

    • It is learned by all Rogues, all Hunters, Feral and Guardian Druids, Brewmaster and Windwalker Monks, and Enhancement Shamans.
       




"The "primary" stats, Agility, Strength, and Intellect, are foundations of a character’s power. But they have not been created equally, making it difficult to properly balance them against secondary stats."

We've consolidated the way that Attack Power and Spell Power function and scale, to make those values clearer and correct some scaling issues regarding caster weapons relative to physical weapons.


  • Each point of Agility or Strength now grants 1 Attack Power (down from 2). All other sources of Attack Power now grant half as much as before.
  • Weapon Damage values on all weapons have been reduced by 50%.
  • Attack Power now increases Weapon Damage at a rate of 1 DPS per 3.5 Attack Power (up from 1 DPS per 14 Attack Power).
  • Attack Power, Spell Power, or Weapon Damage now affect the entire healing or damage throughput of player spells.
     


Active mitigation has worked very well as a tanking model. So, moving forward we want to keep the amount of Dodge and Parry on tanks on the low side. This helps prevent encounters from causing very spiky damage on tanks, which generally isn't much fun. Dodge and Parry gains from Strength and Agility are being reduced to help accomplish this. Additionally, items in Warlords of Draenor will not have Dodge or Parry on them as a stat. Some Dodge and Parry can still be gained through class-specific effects.


  • The amount of Dodge gained per point of Agility has been reduced by 25%.
  • The amount of Parry gained per point of Strength has been reduced by 25%.






Itemization Changes (Updated)




We’re making a number of changes to itemization based on a single philosophy: We want to increase the chance that any given item drop is useful to someone in your group. To support this philosophy we’re making a few changes to stats. Most items found in Draenor will work for all specializations within a given class, so that you never have to grumble when you see, for example, Intellect plate drop in a group that lacks a Holy Paladin.

We’re also reducing the number of role-specific stats: Hit and Expertise are gone, as are Dodge and Parry as stats on items, replaced with a single tank stat of Bonus Armor. Armor and Spirit will be specific to tanks and healers respectively, but all other secondary stats will have universal appeal.

Because of the magnitude of this change, we’re retroactively applying this philosophy to items in Mists of Pandaria. After the pre-expansion patch you may find that some of your items contribute different stats, but they should still be good for your class.

General


  • New secondary stats added:

    • Bonus Armor: Increases armor.
    • Multistrike: Grants a chance for spells and abilities to fire up to 2 additional times, at 30% effectiveness (both damage and healing).
    • Readiness: Reduces the cooldown on several abilities with long-cooldowns for the class. The tooltip for Readiness displays a list of affected abilities.


  • Hit and Expertise on all items have been replaced with a universally useful secondary stat.
  • Stats that are not useful to your current class specialization will be grayed out in the tooltip rather than green, and will not be counted on your character stat sheet.

    • Spirit for non-healing specializations
    • Bonus Armor for non-tanking specializations
    • Strength for Agility/Intellect-users
    • Agility for Strength/Intellect-users
    • Intellect for Strength/Agility-users
    • For example, Intellect on a cloak will be greyed out for all Warrior specializations and they will not receive an increase to Intellect if equipped. However, if the same cloak is equipped by a Mage, Intellect will show up as green and they’ll receive the increase to their Intellect.




Mists of Pandaria and Future Items


  • Dodge and Parry have been replaced with Bonus Armor. If an item had both Dodge and Parry on it, it has been replaced with an additional useful secondary stat.
  • Head, Chest, Hand, Wrist, Waist, Leg, Feet, Weapon, Shield, and Off-hand items that had tanking stats (Dodge, Parry) or healer stats (Spirit) have been replaced with a different universally useful secondary stat.


Warlords of Draenor Items


  • Plate Armor pieces will always have Strength and Intellect on it.
  • Mail and Leather Armor pieces will always have Agility and Intellect on it.






Hit and Expertise Removal
Hit and Expertise were not fun stats. They acted to remove a penalty, instead of making you stronger. Most players treated Hit/Expertise caps as mandatory (rightfully so), with failure to reach those caps as a trap of sorts. After adjusting, gemming, and reforging gear to meet that cap, players could then go after the actual damage-increasing stats. We decided to remove Hit and Expertise, and make it so you don't need them. We still want melee specializations to attack creatures from behind when possible, so attacks from the front will have a 3% chance to be parried that cannot be eliminated for non-tanking specializations.


  • General

    • All players now have a 100% chance to hit, 0% chance to be dodged, 3% chance to be parried, and 0% chance to glance, when fighting creatures up to 3 levels higher (bosses included).

      • Tank specializations receive an additional 3% reduction in chance to be parried, so tank attacks have a 0% chance to be parried vs. creatures up to 3 levels higher.
      • Creatures 4+ levels higher than you still have a chance to avoid your attacks in various ways, so as to discourage you from attempting to fight enemies that are much stronger than you.
      • Dual Wielding still imposes a 17% chance to miss, so as to balance it with two-handed weapon use.


    • Hit and Expertise bonuses on all items and item enhancements (gems, enchants, etc.) have been converted into Critical Strike, Haste, or Mastery.


  • Death Knight

    • Veteran of the Third War now also reduces the chance for attacks to be parried by 3%.


  • Druid

    • Balance of Power has been removed.
    • Nature’s Focus no longer increases the chance to hit with Moonfire and Wrath.
    • Thick Hide now also reduces the chance for attacks to be parried by 3%.


  • Monk

    • Stance of the Wise Serpent no longer increases Hit or Expertise.
    • Stance of the Sturdy Ox now also reduces the chance for attacks to be parried by 3%.


  • Priest

    • Divine Fury has been removed.
    • Spiritual Precision has been removed.


  • Paladin

    • Holy Insight no longer increases the chance to hit with spells.
    • Sanctuary now also reduces the chance for attacks to be parried by 3%. 


  • Shaman

    • Elemental Precision has been removed.
    • Spiritual Insight no longer increases the chance to hit with Lightning Bolt, Lava Burst, Hex, or Flame Shock.


  • Warrior

    • Unwavering Sentinel now also reduces the chance for attacks to be parried by 3%.








Player Health and Resilience
We’re planning several interconnected changes designed to provide better-tuned gameplay for healers and improve the healing dynamic in PvP.

The high amount of base Resilience and Battle Fatigue in Mists of Pandaria caused characters to feel much weaker in PvP than they did in PvE. To address this disparity, we’re approaching Warlords of Draenor with the goal of shrinking that gap as much as possible. To reduce dependence on Resilience, we needed to increase player survivability against other players, and we chose to do this by essentially doubling (post-squish) player health.
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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Patch Notes 23-05-2014

Post by Dynamo on Wed 28 May 2014, 3:18 am


On its own, that increase in health would make players more survivable in the world at large, so we’re also increasing creature damage and the effectiveness of healing spells to balance things out. The net result of these changes is that individual attacks will knock a smaller chunk off of a player’s health pool in PvP, but your survivability in PvE remains unaffected.

Doubling player health gave us room to reduce Resilience and Battle Fatigue, but our goal was to be able to remove them entirely. In order to achieve that, we’re also reducing PvP spike damage across the board by lowering Critical Damage and Critical Heals against players in PvP to 150% of their normal effect (down from 200%). Our hope is that these changes allow us to reduce Base Resilience and Battle Fatigue to 0%. It’s possible that we’ll still find a need for some minor amount of Base Resilience and/or Battle Fatigue, and we’ll be testing these changes extensively and adjusting as needed.


  • Base Resilience has been reduced to 0%.
  • Battle Fatigue has been removed. PvP combat no longer reduces the amount of healing received by PvP participants.
  • Critical Damage and Critical Heals in PvP combat now deal 150% of the normal spell/ability effects (down from 200%).
  • The amount of health per Stamina has approximately doubled. The curve on this calculation has been smoothed out as well, so the exact amount varies slightly by level.
  • Maximum mana has been approximately doubled at all levels to keep pace with the expected health from new Stamina values.
  • All consumables have had their healing and mana regeneration values approximately doubled.
  • All creatures have had their melee damage doubled. Most creature spells and abilities have had their damage doubled as well.
  • All player-cast healing and absorption effects have been increased by approximately 50% in effectiveness. If they heal or absorb a percentage of maximum health, they are instead reduced by 25%. All other noted changes are in terms relative to that.

    • For example, if another noted change is that "Mega Heal now heals for 40% more," that means that Mega Heal now heals for a total of 210% of what it used to, which is relatively 40% higher compared to other heals.





Retuning Healing Spells
One of our goals for healing is to tone down the raw throughput of healers relative to the size of player health pools. Currently, as healers and their allies acquire better and better gear, the percentage of a player’s health that any given heal restores increases significantly. As a result, healers are able to refill health bars so fast that we have to make damage more and more “bursty” in order to challenge them. Ideally, we want players to spend some time below full health without having healers feel like their groupmates are in danger of dying at any moment. We also think that healer gameplay would be more varied, interesting, and skillful if your allies spent more time between 0% and 100%, rather than just getting damaged quickly to low health, forcing the healer to then scramble to get them back to 100% as quickly as possible.

To that end, we’re buffing heals less than we’re increasing player health. Heals will be deliberately less potent compared to health pools than before the item squish. Additionally, as gear improves, the scaling rates of health and healing will now be very similar, so the relative power of any given healing spell shouldn’t climb so much over the course of this expansion. For those concerned about what this means for raiding, don’t worry—we’re taking all of these changes into account when designing Raid content for Warlords of Draenor.

It’s also important to note that spells that heal based on a percentage of maximum health are being effectively buffed by the massive increase to player health pools, so we’re lowering those percentages to offset the effect. That may make them appear to have been nerfed—however, the net result is that those percentage-based heals stay about the same as before relative to other heals.

All of these changes apply to damage-absorption shields as well. Additionally, we're toning down the power of damage absorption in general. When they get too strong, absorption effects are often used in place of direct healing, instead of as a way to supplement it. We will, of course, take these changes into account when tuning specializations that rely heavily on absorbs, such as Discipline Priests.

"We want healers to care about who they're targeting and which heals they're using..."
We also took a look at healing spells that were passive or auto-targeted (so-called "smart" heals). We want healers to care about who they're targeting and which heals they're using,so that their decisions matter more. To that end, we're reducing the healing of many passive and auto-targeted heals, and making smart heals a little less smart. Smart heals will now randomly pick any injured target within range instead of always picking the most injured target. Priority will still be given to players over pets, of course.

Another of our goals for healing in this expansion is to strike a better balance between single-target and multi-target healing spells. We've taken a close look at the mana efficiency of our multi-target heals, and in many cases, we're reducing their efficiency, usually by reducing the amount they heal. Sometimes, but more rarely, raising their mana cost was a better decision. We want players to use multi-target heals, but they should only be better than their single-target equivalents when they heal more than two players without any overhealing. This way, players will face a meaningful choice between whether to use a single-target heal or a multi-target heal based on the situation.

Finally, we're removing the low-throughput, low-mana-cost heals like Nourish, Holy Light, Heal, and Healing Wave, because we think that while they do add complexity, they don’t truly add depth to healing gameplay. (We’re also renaming some spells to re-use those names. For example, Greater Healing Wave is being redubbed Healing Wave.) However, we still want healers to think about their mana when deciding which heal to cast, and so the mana costs and throughputs of many spells are being altered to give players a choice between spells with lower throughput and lower cost versus spells with higher throughput and higher costs. Here are some examples from each healer class.


  • Druid Higher Efficiency: Healing Touch, Rejuvenation, Efflorescence
  • Druid Higher Throughput: Regrowth, Wild Growth



  • Monk Higher Efficiency: Soothing Mist, Renewing Mist
  • Monk Higher Throughput: Surging Mist, Spinning Crane Kick



  • Paladin Higher Efficiency: Holy Light, Holy Shock, Word of Glory, Light of Dawn
  • Paladin Higher Throughput: Flash of Light, Holy Radiance



  • Priest Higher Efficiency: Greater Heal, Circle of Healing, Prayer of Mending, Holy Nova (new Discipline-only version), Penance
  • Priest Higher Throughput: Flash Heal, Prayer of Healing



  • Shaman Higher Efficiency: Healing Wave, Riptide, Healing Rain
  • Shaman Higher Throughput: Healing Surge, Chain Heal
     

All of this discussion of efficiency may cause most healers to start worrying about mana regeneration and their mana pool. To allay those concerns, we’ve increased base mana regeneration a great deal at early gear levels, while having it scale up less at later gear levels. This will make all of these changes play well even in early content such as Heroic Dungeons and the first tier of Raid content, and also play well in the final Raid tier without mana and efficiency becoming irrelevant due to extremely high regeneration values.
"...we’ve increased base mana regeneration a great deal at early gear levels, while having it scale up less at later gear levels."

That’s a lot of big changes for healers: reduced throughput, a more deliberate pace, less powerful “smart” heals, weaker absorbs, fewer spells, and a new focus on efficiency decisions. We’re confident that we can apply lessons learned from previous expansions to make this the best healer experience yet: more dynamic, less punishing, and frankly a lot more fun.

General Changes

  • Smart heals will now randomly pick any injured target within range, instead of always picking the most injured target. Priority will still be given to players over pets.
  • Long-cast-time single-target heals, such as Greater Heal and Healing Touch, now cost roughly half as much as fast-cast-time single-target heals, such as Flash of Light or Healing Surge, and heal for roughly the same amount. 
  • Every class has multiple area healing spells available, some low throughput and efficient, others high throughput and inefficient.
  • Area healing spells are tuned to be less efficient than single-target healing spells when they heal 2 or fewer targets, and more efficient when they heal 3 or more targets.
  • Spells with cooldowns or limitations may have higher efficiency than the no-cooldown equivalents.



Active Mana Regeneration
Another part of the changes to healing is providing a way for them to better manage their mana. There are ways to spend more mana for more healing but we’re also adding methods for healers to trade extra time, healing, or more mana to use later in a fight when they really need it.

  • Druid

    • Innervate has been redesigned to now have a 2-second cast time with no cooldown, and restore 2.5% of the Druid's maximum mana every 4 seconds for 8 seconds. Spending any mana on a healing spell will cancel this effect.


  • Monk

    • Crackling Jade Lightning's channel duration has been reduced to 4 seconds.
    • Stance of the Wise Serpent now also causes Crackling Jade Lightning to cost no mana, and restore 2% of the Monk’s maximum mana if the ability is channeled for its full duration.


  • Paladin

    • Divine Plea has been redesigned to be instant cast ability with no cooldown, and consume 3 Holy Power to immediately regain 7% of the Paladin's maximum mana.


  • Priest

    • Atonement is no longer triggered by Penance.
    • Chakra: Chastise in addition to existing effects, now also causes Smite and Holy Fire to restore 0.75% of the Priest's maximum mana each time they are cast instead of costing mana.
    • Penance now also refunds 1.1% of the Priest’s maximum mana each time it deals damage.


  • Shaman

    • Telluric Currents is now a passive ability for Restoration Shaman and causes Lightning Bolt to restore 1.25% of the Shaman's maximum mana each time it is cast instead of costing mana.
    • Glyph of Telluric Currents has been removed.





Racial Traits
We want races to have fun and interesting perks, but if those traits are too powerful, players may feel compelled to play a specific race even if it doesn't suit their aesthetic preference. For example, Trolls' Berserking ability was extremely powerful, and their Beast Slaying passive was often irrelevant, but occasionally tremendously powerful compared to other racial passives. On the other end of the spectrum, many races had few or no performance affecting perks. We also needed to replace or update a number of racials that previously granted Hit or Expertise, since those stats have been removed.


We decided to bring down the couple high outliers, then establish a fair baseline and bring everyone else up to that. We achieved that by improving old passives, replacing obsolete ones, and occasionally adding new ones where needed. Our goal with these changes is to reach parity amongst races.

  • Blood Elf

    • Arcane Acuity is a new racial passive ability that increases Critical Strike chance by 1%.
    • Arcane Torrent now restores 20 Runic Power for Death Knights (up from 15 Runic Power), 1 Holy Power for Paladins, or 3% of mana for Mages, Priests, and Warlocks (up from 2% of Mana). Other parts of the ability remain unchanged. 


  • Draenei

    • Gift of the Naaru now heals for the same amount over 5 seconds (down from 15 seconds).
    • Heroic Presence has been redesigned. It no longer increases Hit by 1%, and instead increases Strength, Agility, and Intellect, scaling with character level.


  • Dwarf

    • Crack Shot has been removed (was 1% Expertise with ranged weapons).
    • Mace Specialization (was 1% Expertise with maces) has been replaced with Might of the Mountain.
    • Might of the Mountain is a new racial passive ability that increases Critical Strike bonus damage and healing dealt by 2%.
    • Stoneform now also removes magic and curse effects in addition to poison, disease, and bleed effects, along with reducing damage taken by 10% for 8 seconds. It remains unusable while the Dwarf is under the effects of crowd control.


  • Gnome

    • Expansive Mind now increases maximum mana, energy, rage, and Runic Power by 5% instead of only increasing maximum mana.
    • Escape Artist’s cooldown has been reduced to 1 minute (down from 1.5 minutes).
    • Nimble Fingers is a new racial passive ability that increases Haste by 1%.
    • Shortblade Specialization (was 1% Expertise with one-handed swords and daggers) has been replaced with Nimble Fingers.


  • Goblin

    • Time is Money now grants a 1% increase to Haste (up from only attack speed and spell haste).


  • Human

    • Mace Specialization has been removed (was 1% Expertise with maces).
    • Sword Specialization has been removed (was 1% Expertise with swords).
    • The Human Spirit has been redesigned. It no longer increases Spirit by 3%, and instead now increases 2 secondary stats by an amount scaling with character level. You can choose which 2 secondary stats it increases. This has not yet been implemented.


  • Night Elf

    • Quickness now also increases movement speed by 2% in addition to increasing Dodge chance by 2%.
    • Touch of Elune is a new passive ability which increases Haste by 1% at night, and Critical Strike chance by 1% during the day.


  • Orc

    • Axe Specialization has been removed (was 1% Expertise with axes).
    • Command now increases pet damage by 1% (down from 2%).
    • Hardiness now reduces the duration of Stun effects by 10% (down from 15%).


  • Tauren

    • Brawn is a new racial passive ability that increases Critical Strike bonus damage and healing done by 2%.
    • Endurance now increases Stamina by an amount scaling with character level, instead of increasing Base Health by 5%.


  • Troll

    • Berserking now increases Haste by 15% (down from 20%).
    • Beast Slaying now increases XP earned from killing Beasts by 20%, instead of increasing damage dealt versus Beasts by 5%.
    • Dead Eye has been removed (was 1% Expertise with ranged weapons).


  • Undead

    • Will of the Forsaken’s cooldown has been increased to 3 minutes (up from 2 minutes).
    • Undead can now breathe underwater indefinitely.





Ability Pruning (Updated)
Over the years, we've added significantly more new spells and abilities to the game than we've removed. This has led to the complexity of the game increasing steadily over time, to the point we're at now, where players feel like they need dozens of keybinds. There are many niche abilities which could theoretically be useful in some rare case, but usually are not. There are many abilities that we'd be better off not having. We decided that we needed to make a strong push for paring down the number of abilities each class/spec has. That means making some abilities restricted to certain specs that really need them instead of being class-wide, and outright removing some other abilities. It also includes removing some Spellbook clutter, such as passives that could be merged with others, or with base abilities.
However, this doesn't mean that we want to reduce the depth of gameplay, or "dumb it down.” We still want there to be interesting decisions during combat, and for skill to matter. But, that doesn't require complexity; we can remove some needless complexity and still retain the depth and skill variance.

One type of ability that we focused on is temporary power buffs ("cooldowns"). Removing those also helps achieve one of our other goals, which is to reduce the amount of cooldown stacking in the game. In cases where a class/spec had multiple cooldowns that typically ended up getting used together, often in a single macro, we merged them, or removed some of them.

What abilities and spells got cut is a very, very difficult question to answer. Every ability is vital to someone, so we don't take this process lightly. We hope that even if we cut your favorite ability, you can see it in the context of our larger goals. It's important to remember that the point of these changes is to increase players' ability to understand the game, not to reduce depth of gameplay.


  • General

    • The levels at which you learn class abilities have been revised to provide a smoother leveling flow.


  • Death Knight

    • Army of the Dead now deals 75% less damage.
    • Blood Boil has been removed and its effects have been merged into Pestilence.
    • Blood Parasites has been removed.
    • Dual Wield is now only available to Frost Death Knights.
    • Horn of Winter no longer generates Runic Power, has no cooldown, and lasts 1 hour.
    • Necrotic Strike is now learned only by Frost and Unholy Death Knights.
    • Raise Dead is now only available to Unholy Death Knights, summons a ghoul as a permanent pet, and has a 1-minute cooldown.
    • Master of Ghouls has been removed.
    • Rune of the Nerubian Carapace has been removed.
    • Rune Strike has been removed. Blood Death Knights now use Death Coil in its place.
    • Frost Strike now replaces Death Coil for Frost Death Knights.
    • Obliterate now replaces Blood Strike for Frost Death Knights.
    • Unholy Frenzy has been removed.


  • Druid

    • Bear Hug has been removed.
    • Enrage has been removed.
    • Innervate is now available only to Restoration Druids. Mana costs for Druids have been adjusted accordingly.
    • Mangle (Cat Form) has been removed. Mangle (Bear Form) remains unchanged.
    • Nourish has been removed.
    • Pounce has been removed. Abilities which modified Pounce now modify Rake instead.

      • Rake now also stuns the target for 4 seconds when used while stealthed.


    • Ravage has been removed.
    • Shred is now available to all Druid specializations and now deals an additional 35% damage while stealthed.
    • Swipe (Bear Form) has been removed. Swipe (Cat Form) remains unchanged.
    • Symbiosis has been removed.


  • Hunter

    • Arcane Shot is no longer available to Marksmanship Hunters.

      • Thrill of the Hunt now also reduces the cost of Aimed Shot when active, to preserve its value to Marksmanship Hunters.


    • Aspect of the Hawk has been removed.

      • Aspect of the Iron Hawk has been renamed to Iron Hawk, and now passively provides 10% damage reduction.


    • Cower has been removed as a pet ability.
    • Distracting Shot has been removed.
    • Hunter’s Mark has been removed.
    • Kill Shot is no longer available to Survival Hunters.
    • Lock and Load has been removed and its effect has been incorporated into Black Arrow, which now has a chance to cause the effect.
    • Stampede is now a level-75 talent, replacing Lynx Rush.

      • Lynx Rush has been removed.


    • Rabid has been removed as a pet ability.
    • Rapid Fire is now available only to Marksmanship Hunters. has been removed.
    • Rapid Recuperation has been removed.
    • Serpent Sting and Improved Serpent Sting have been removed.

      • Serpent Spread has been renamed Serpent Sting, and remains a passive for Survival Hunters. It causes Multi-Shot and Arcane Shot to also apply the Serpent Sting poison, which does instant and periodic damage.


    • Widow Venom has been removed.
    • Revive Pet and Mend Pet now share the same button and changes based on whether the Hunter has a live pet.


  • Mage

    • Arcane Barrage now replaces Fire Blast for Arcane Mages.
    • Arcane Blast now replaces Frostfire Bolt for Arcane Mages.
    • Arcane Explosion is now available only to Arcane Mages.
    • Blizzard is now available only to Frost Mages.
    • Combustion now replaces Deep Freeze for Fire Mages.
    • Deep Freeze is now available only to Frost Mages.
    • Dragon’s Breath now replaces Cone of Cold for Fire Mages.
    • Evocation is now available only to Arcane Mages.
    • Flamestrike is now available only to Fire Mages.
    • Frost Armor is now available only to Frost Mages and is now a passive effect.
    • Ice Lance now replaces Fire Blast and is only available to Frost Mages.
    • Mana Gem has been removed.
    • Mage Armor is now available only to Arcane Mages and is now a passive effect.
    • Molten Armor is now available only to Fire Mages and is now a passive effect.
    • Polymorph's cosmetic variants are now all learned as spells instead of having some as a Minor Glyph that alters the visuals of Polymorph: Sheep. All of these variants (except for the automatically learned one, Polymorph: Sheep) are now grouped in a Polymorph variants flyout in the Spellbook.
    • Pyromaniac has been removed.
    • Shatter is now available only to Frost Mages.


  • Monk

    • Adaptation has been removed.
    • Avert Harm has been removed.
    • Clash has been removed.
    • Disable is now available only to Windwalker Monks.
    • Healing Sphere (the spell, not any other sources of healing spheres) has been removed. Mistweavers' Gift of the Serpent, Brewmasters' Gift of the Ox, and Windwalkers' Afterlife still summon healing spheres.
    • Power Guard has been removed.
    • Spinning Fire Blossom has been removed.
    • Stance of the Fierce Tiger is replaced by another stance for non-Windwalkers. (See Monk class section for additional details.)

      • Brewmaster: Stance of the Sturdy Ox replaces Stance of the Fierce Tiger.
      • Mistweaver: Stance of the Spirited Crane now replaces Stance of the Fierce Tiger.


    • Surging Mist is now available to all Monk specializations. It costs 30 Energy in Ox or Tiger Stance, and continues to cost mana in Serpent Stance and Crane Stance. However, it only generates Chi for Mistweaver Monks.


  • Paladin

    • Art of War has been removed.

      • Exorcism's cooldown now naturally has a chance to be reset on auto attacks.


    • Avenging Wrath is no longer available to Protection Paladins.
    • Divine Favor has been removed.
    • Divine Light has been renamed Holy Light.
    • Divine Plea is now only available to Holy Paladins. Mana costs for Paladins have been adjusted accordingly.
    • Guardian of Ancient Kings is now only available to Protection Paladins.
    • Hand of Salvation has been removed.
    • Holy Light has been removed.
    • Inquisition has been removed.


  • Priest 

    • Binding Heal is no longer available to Shadow Priests.
    • Greater Heal has been renamed to Heal.
    • Hymn of Hope has been removed.
    • Heal has been removed.
    • Inner Fire has been removed.
    • Inner Focus no longer provides any mana cost reduction.
    • Inner Will has been removed.
    • Rapture has been removed.
    • Renew is now available only to Holy Priests.
    • Shadow Word: Death is now available only to Shadow Priests.

      • Discipline and Holy Priests can add a self-damaging utility to Holy Fire through a new Major Glyph.


    • Void Shift has been removed.


  • Rogue

    • Ambidexterity has been removed.
    • Disarm Trap has been removed.
    • Fan of Knives is no longer available to Combat Rogues.
    • Redirect has been removed.
    • Rupture is no longer available to Combat Rogues.
    • Shadow Blades has been removed.


  • Shaman

    • Ancestral Awakening has been removed.
    • Feral Spirit no longer has the Spirit Bite ability.
    • Flametongue Weapon is no longer available to Restoration Shaman, and only causes damage on weapon swings for Enhancement Shaman.
    • Frostbrand Weapon has been removed.
    • Greater Healing Wave has been renamed to Healing Wave.
    • Healing Wave has been removed.
    • Lava Burst now replaces Primal Strike for Elemental and Restoration Shaman.
    • Magma Totem is now available only to Enhancement Shaman.
    • Rockbiter Weapon has been removed.
    • Static Shock has been removed.

      • Stormstrike and Stormblast now deal 30% more damage when Lightning Shield is active.


    • Searing Flames has been removed.

      • Flametongue Weapon damage has been increased by 40%, and Lava Lash damage has been increased to 280% weapon damage (up from 140%) to compensate.


    • Water Shield is now available only to Restoration Shaman and replaces Lightning Shield.


  • Warlock

    • All of the various Soulburn effects are learned together with Soulburn, instead of at different levels.
    • Curse of Exhaustion and Curse of the Elements now affect all enemies within 10 yards of the target, and are no longer mutually exclusive.

      • Metamorphosis: Cursed Auras has been removed.
      • Curse of Exhaustion and Curse of the Elements no longer gain a benefit from Soulburn.
      • Fire and Brimstone no longer applies to Curses.


    • Demonic Breath has been removed.

      • Howl of Terror is now a Level-30 talent, replacing Demonic Breath.


    • Drain Life no longer gains a benefit from Soul Burn.
    • Drain Soul has been removed.
    • Fel Flame has been removed.
    • Health Funnel no longer gains a benefit from Soul Burn.
    • Malefic Grasp has been removed. Its effects have been merged into Drain Soul, which Affliction Warlocks should use in its place.
    • Metamorphosis: Void Ray has been removed.
    • Metamorphosis: Carrion Swarm has been removed.
    • Pyroclasm has been removed. The altered behavior it granted for Chaos Bolt is now baseline to Backdraft.
    • Seed of Corruption now replaces Rain of Fire for Affliction Warlocks.
    • Soulshatter has been removed.
    • Unending Breath no longer gains a benefit from Soul Burn.


  • Warrior

    • Battle Shout now lasts 1 hour and no longer generates Rage.
    • Berserker Rage no longer Enrages the Warrior, generates Rage or increases Physical damage dealt. It now functions to break and provide immunity from Fears, Incapacitates, and Saps.
    • Berserker Stance has been removed.
    • Cleave has been removed.
    • Commanding Shout now lasts 1 hour and no longer generates Rage.
    • Demoralizing Banner has been removed.
    • Hamstring is now a passive ability that causes Mortal Strike, Bloodthirst, Revenge, and Raging Blow to also reduce the target’s movement speed by 50% for 15 seconds.
    • Mortal Strike now replaces Heroic Strike for Arms Warriors.
    • Overpower has been removed.
    • Rallying Cry is no longer available to Protection Warriors.
    • Recklessness is now available only to Fury and Arms Warriors.
    • Shield Wall is now available only to Protection Warriors.
    • Throw has been removed.
    • Thunder Clap is no longer available to Fury Warriors.
    • Whirlwind is now available only to Fury Warriors.





Crowd Control and Diminishing Returns (Updated)

Another big takeaway from Mists of Pandaria is that there was simply too much crowd control (CC) in the game.  To solve that, we knew that we needed an across-the-board disarmament. Here's a summary of the player-cast CC changes:

  • Removed Silence effects from Interrupts. Silences still exist, but are never attached to an Interrupt.
  • Removed all Disarms.
  • Reduced the number of Diminishing Returns (DR) categories.

    • All Roots now share the same DR category.

      • Exception: Roots on 'Charge' types of abilities have no DR category, but have a very short duration instead.


    • All Stuns now share the same DR category.
    • All Incapacitate ("Mesmerize") effects now share the same DR category, and have been merged with the Horror DR category.


  • Removed the ability to make cast-time CC spells instant with a cooldown.
  • Removed many CC spells entirely, and increased the cooldowns and restrictions on others.

    • Pet-cast CC is more limited and often removed.
    • Cyclone can now be dispelled by Immunities and Mass Dispel.
    • PvP trinkets now grant immunity to reapplication of an effect from the same spell cast, when they break abilities with persistent effects like Solar Beam.
    • Long fears are now shorter in PvP, to account for the target also needing to run back afterward.




Additionally, we've significantly reduced the number of throughput-increasing cooldowns and procs, in order to further reduce burst damage. Please keep in mind when reading the specifics of the patch notes that some classes may have lost abilities, or had the power of select abilities reduced. These changes were made in the context of the above goals. Other classes have a reduced crowd-control ability overall. We believe that this entire package of changes will make PvP a more enjoyable experience for everyone.

  • Death Knight

    • Rune of Swordbreaking has been removed.
    • Rune of Swordshattering has been removed.


  • Druid

    • Cyclone now shares Diminishing Returns with Fears, and can be canceled by immunity effects (i.e. Divine Shield, Ice Block, etc.), and can be dispelled by Mass Dispel.
    • Disorienting Roar has been renamed to Incapacitating Roar, incapacitates enemies instead of disorienting them, and its effect now shares Diminishing Returns with other Mesmerize effects.
    • Nature’s Swiftness can no longer turn Cyclone into an instant-cast spell.
    • Solar Beam no longer Silences a target again more than once per cast. Additionally, the Silence effect from this spell now shares Diminishing Returns with other Silences.


  • Hunter

    • Hunter pets no longer have crowd-control abilities.

      • Basilisk: Petrifying Gaze; Bat: Sonic Blast; Bird of Prey: Snatch; Crab: Pin; Crane: Lullaby; Crocolisk: Ankle Crack; Dog: Lock Jaw; Gorilla: Pummel; Monkey: Bad Manners; Moth: Serenity Dust; Nether Ray: Nether Shock; Porcupine: Paralyzing Quill; Rhino: Horn Toss; Scorpid: Clench; Shale Spider: Web Wrap; Silithid: Venom Web Spray; Spider: Web; and Wasp: Sting have been removed as pet abilities.


    • Entrapment’s Root effect now shares Diminishing Returns with all other Root effects.
    • Scare Beast now has a 6-second duration in PvP (down from 8 seconds).
    • Scatter Shot has been removed.
    • Silencing Shot has been removed.
    • Traps and trap launchers no longer have an arming time and can instantly trigger.
    • Traps can no longer be disarmed.


  • Mage

    • Dragon’s Breath’s Disoriented effect now shares Diminishing Returns with all other Mesmerize effects.
    • Ice Ward’s Frozen effect now shares Diminishing Returns with all other Root effects.
    • Improved Counterspell has been removed.
    • Presence of Mind can no longer turn Polymorph into an instant-cast spell.


  • Monk

    • Fists of Fury no longer stuns a target more than once per cast.
    • Glyph of Breath of Fire’s Disoriented effect now shares Diminishing Returns with all other Mesmerize effects.
    • Grapple Weapon has been removed.
    • Ring of Peace no longer Silences or Disarms enemies. It now incapacitates targets in the area for 3 seconds, or until the target takes damage. The ability now shares Diminishing Returns with all other Mesmerize effects.
    • Spear Hand Strike no longer Silences the target if they’re facing the Monk.
    • Spinning Fire Blossom’s Root effect now shares Diminishing Returns with all other Root effects.


  • Paladin

    • Blinding Light has been removed.
    • Repentance's cast time has been increased to 1.7 seconds.
    • Turn Evil's cast time has been increased to 1.7 seconds and now has a 6-second duration in PvP (down from 8 seconds).


  • Priest

    • Dominate Mind now shares Diminishing Returns with all other Mesmerize effects.
    • Holy Word: Chastise now shares Diminishing Returns with all other Mesmerize effects.
    • Psyfiend has been removed.
    • Psychic Horror now shares Diminishing Returns with all other Mesmerize effects.
    • Psychic Scream is now a level-15 talent, replacing Psyfiend, and has a 45-second cooldown (up from 30 seconds).
    • Rapture no longer has any effect beyond removing the cooldown of Power Word: Shield.
    • Void Tendrils’ Root effect now has a chance to break if the target takes sufficient damage.


  • Rogue

    • Dismantle has been removed.
    • Paralytic Poison has been removed and replaced by Internal Bleeding.

      • Internal Bleeding: Causes successful Kidney Shots to also apply a periodic Bleed effect for 12 seconds, with damage increasing per combo point used.




  • Shaman

    • Ancestral Swiftness can no longer turn Hex into an instant-cast spell.
    • Earthgrab Totem now shares Diminishing Returns with all other root effects.
    • Maelstrom Weapon can no longer reduce the cast time of Hex.
    • Bug Fix: Glyph of Shamanistic Rage should no longer cause Shamanistic Rage to incorrectly dispel Unstable Affliction or Vampiric Touch that has been modified by the PvP 4-piece set bonus.




  • Warlock

    • Blood Horror’s cooldown has been increased to 60 seconds (up from 30 seconds) and now shares Diminishing Returns with all other Mesmerize effects.
    • Felhunter: Spell Lock now only interrupts spell casting and no longer Silences the enemy.
    • Mortal Coil now shares Diminishing Returns with all other Mesmerize effects.
    • Observer: Optic Blast now only deals damage and interrupts spell casting. The ability no longer Silences the enemy.
    • Sear Magic’s cooldown has been increased to 30 seconds (up from 20 seconds).
    • Succubus: Seduction and Shivarra: Mesmerize now have a 30-second cooldown.
    • Terrorguard no longer casts Terrifying Roar when it dies.
    • Unbound Will’s cooldown has been increased to 2 minutes (up from 1 minute).
    • Voidwalker: Disarm and Voidlord: Disarm have been removed.


  • Warrior

    • Charge now Roots the target (instead of stunning). The Root effect does not share a Diminishing Return with other Roots.
    • Disarm has been removed.
    • Intimidating Shout now has a 6-second duration in PvP (down from 8 seconds).
    • Warbringer now causes Charge to stun the target for 1.5 seconds instead of rooting it.



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