Patch 6.0 Patch Notes – Warlords of Draenor (Part 2)

Welcome to Part 2 of the Patch 6.0 Patch Notes. I decided to split the information up into two posts to make it easier to digest. Part 1 was posted a few days ago and covered General Changes, Button Bloat, Buffs and Debuffs and Class Changes. Part two will cover Racial Traits, Glyphs, Level 100 Talents and Perks. Part 2 covers Racial Traits, Glyphs, Level 100 Talents and Perks.

MMO Champion has the write up of all the changes for all classes and specs. The Inc Bear has the Guardian write up and there is some good discussion over at The Fluid Druid Forums for Ferals.

Disclaimer – These are notes are in alpha testing and are subject to change. Do not take them as fact or apply them to current game mechanics. Every time you use these out of context Blizzard kills a kitten AND a puppy.

RACIAL TRAITS
I’m just going to look at the races that can be Druids. Racil information was released a little while ago but I have not given my thoughts on it and it was mentioned again in his round of patch notes. The racials are not very exciting but they have done a good job at balancing them between the factions from a PVE standpoint.

Worgen
No changes planned for the Worgen.

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.

The change to Quickness is a straight buff – extra stats? Yes please! The question is, will it stack with other movement speed increases? I have a feeling that Feral’s are going to be the fastest moving class in Warlords. Assuming everything stacks as it does currently; Feline Swiftness + Cat Form + boot enchant = 155%, plus this new racial (+2%), plus the Enhanced Cat Form Perk (+5%), plus the Monk’s new Stance of the Fierce Tiger (+10%), we could be looking at 172% passively. Then add Dash, Stampeding Roar, Darkflight and Engineering on top of that. No one will catch us.

Touch of Elune has met some criticism. Some people are claiming that this racial will require raids to change their schedule to take advantage of it. Will some raids change their times? Possibly some high ends guilds, but even then the logistics of changing the raid times of an established guild of 20-30 players to fit a few small number of players seems ludicrous. Will it have an impact? No where near as much as playing better will have and it will depend on which classes benefit from them.

Having the 1% crit or 1% haste is no different to having a flat 2% bonus of a stat. The 1% is such a small different that any drawbacks could be offset by playing better for 99% of the player base. It is also less of an issue since haste caps are being removed.

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%.

Nothing to really say here. Just some changes to level the playing field and adjusting for the removal of base stats.

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).

A slight nerf to Berserking to bring it inline with the other racials. The changes to Beast Slaying are interesting. Changing it to an XP bonus is much better because most of the population is not at max level – Blizz has stated this in the past – thus impacting on the most players. This is much better design than a spell that is useless most of the time and extremely powerful in rare circumstances. Given that the level cap is only going to increase, the effectiveness / desirability of the racial and other spells that affect experience gain is going increase as well, not just for new players, but for existing players when new expansions come out and for alts.

GLYPHS
A new selection of glyphs have been unveiled. I’ve only listed the Feral and neutral glyphs here.

Glyph of Ursol’s Defense – Increases your armor in Bear Form by an additional 210%.

Ursol’s defense was originally believed to be a Guardian glyph. However Celestalon clarified on Twitter that it is only available to Feral, Resto and Balance. This is very interesting. On the Team Waffle Resto roundtable there was discussion about players missing the defensiveness that Bear Form used to offer – under fire go Bear for a while. When Feral got split into two specs and the introduction of active mitigation, Bear Form for the non-Guardian specs lost a lot of its passive defensive capability. This looks like an attempt to bring that back. Barkskin also had two new defensive glyphs added to it so this should make the Resto community a bit happier.

Glyph of Ursol's Defense Tweet.

A tweet from @Celestalon stating that the Glyph of Ursol’s Defense is only available to Feral, Resto and Balance.

Glyph of the Ninth Life – Reduces all damage taken while in Cat Form by 10%.

Ten percent free damage reduction? Yes please. This glyph is very much needed. As I mentioned above the non-Guardian specs lost an important defensive tactic. This plus the changes to Survival Instincts will improve our survivability dramatically. However at this point the Glyph of Cat Form is unchanged meaning that it plus this will most likely be mandatory given the changes to healing (more triage focus, more time spent not at full health), which is disappointing. I was hoping for some real choice in my glyphs this time around.

Glyph of Maim – Increases the damage done by Maim by 100%.

Not too sure what to make of this change. I think it may be more of a PVP change as in PVE you can just take Might Bash and not have to sacrifice dps.

Glyph of the Shapemender – Each time you activate a shapeshift form, you are healed for 5% of your maximum health.

Another PVP focused glyph.

Glyph of Travel – Travel Form grants an additional 60% movement speed, but can no longer be used while in combat. This effect is disabled in battlegrounds and arenas and cannot be combined with other temporary speed bonuses.

The “This effect is disabled in battlegrounds” just kills this glyph for me. Luckily I already have my Ironman achievement. That said it would have been too OP if left unchecked.

Glyph of Savagery – Now grants a free 5 combo point Savage Roar when leaving Prowl, instead of allowing Savage Roar to be used with 0 combo points.

There is some debate over on the Fluid Druid Forums about whether this glyph would buff your first attack out of stealth. The point of the glyph is to help stop doing stupid things to get Savage Roar up before combat. There is a general consensus that it will buff the first attack and if it doesn’t at first, it will be changed to do so. Personally I don’t see why they had to change the glyph. Making the old glyph baseline would have been a better solution. With the change the glyph is only usable once per fight (assuming no changes to Incarnation) while the current glyph can be used on demand. It would be interesting to hear the design decisions behind this change.

Also a small selection of glyphs is now learned automatically while leveling. I have only listed the Feral glyphs.

 At level 25, the following Glyphs are automatically learned by characters of the appropriate class:

  • Entangling Roots, Fae Silence, Ferocious Bite, Maul, Omens, Cat Form.

At level 50, the following Glyphs are automatically learned by characters of the appropriate class:

  • Might of Ursoc, Nature’s Grasp, Rebirth, Rejuvenation, Savagery.

At level 75, the following Glyphs are automatically learned by characters of the appropriate class:

  • Dash, Faerie Fire, Healing Touch, Master Shapeshifter.

Good for new players, not so good for scribes. However as we saw in Mists of Pandaria inscription has been given other craftable items to supplement income from glyphs such as shoulder enchants and weapons. However, with fewer items requiring enchants in Warlords we can’t confidently say that shoulder enchants will still exist.

LEVE100 TALENTS

Lunar Inspiration (Feral) – Moonfire is now usable while in Cat Form, generates 1 combo point, deals damage based on attack power, and costs 30 energy.

Potentially a forth dot to manage. It is interesting that it can be used at ranged which helps with target swapping. A tweet from @Celestalon answered some questions we still had about the talent; Moonfire will be affected by melee crit rates as there will no difference between melee/ranged/spell crits in 6.0 and crits will trigger Primal Fury granting two combo points.

Moonfire tweet from Celestalon

A Tweet from @Celestalon confirming that Moonfire crits will trigger Primal Fury and that there will be no difference between melee, ranged and spell crit.

Bloody Thrash (Feral) – Thrash now also applies the Rake bleed effect to all damaged enemies and awards 1 combo point if it strikes your current combo target.

I think Thrash was given to Feral’s originally as an AOE attack. But some people much smarter than I realised that if you used on Omen of Clarity procs or at times of high energy, it was a single target dps gain. As gear got better we can now hard cast it and get decently high up times. A talent that applies both Thrash and Rake will just replace Rake in our rotation. As Scyms’ says on the Fluid Druid Forums;

Bloody Thrash seems way too strong in the current state of the game. Insane cleave potential, and we could even replace Rake by Thrash on single target (50 energy Thrash+Rake vs. 35 energy Rake). Though, if this proves to be better on single target we’ll be energy starved A LOT early on (Mangle gone, Thrash instead of Rake, stats at xpac start)”.

Savagery (Feral) – Savage Roar is now passive.

Originally was not very good for PVE because you would get less Predatory Swiftness procs for Dream of Cenarius. But now that DoC has been changed it may be more appealing for some people. It means that we will be generating combo points faster than we can spend them on Rip, which would mean more Ferocious Bites. Currently this wouldn’t do much as FB is underpowered and requires energy in addition to combo points to do its maximum damage. However FB is getting buffed as one of the Feral Perks in Warlords so once again, we will have to wait and see. Some people are critical of the talent because they feel it removes game play instead of contributing to it. Maybe, but I see it as more of a “beginner” talent as it reduces the amount of things to track – which given the default UI, would be good for a new player.

PERKS

Level 91-99 perks, to be granted to the character in a random order upon leveling.

  • Enhanced Berserk – Your maximum energy is increased by 50 while Berserk is active.
    Help with energy capping. Good change.
  • Enhanced Cat Form – Your movement speed in Cat Form is increased by an additional 5%.
    As I mentioned previously, will this stack with other speed increases? Potentially 159% passive movement speed from Feline Swiftness (15%) + Cat Form (25%) + Enhanced Cat Form Perk (+5%).
  • Enhanced Tiger’s Fury – Increases the duration of Tiger’s Fury by 2 sec.
    Buffs, yes please. Also gives us more time to get a buffed Rip / Rake up.
  • Enhanced Prowl – Removes the movement speed penalty from Prowl.
    I think this might replace the current Glyph of Prowl which is good if we are going to be opening from Stealth due to the buff to Pounce and the new Glyph of Savage Roar which gives us a 5 CP duration Savage Roar after leaving Prowl.
  • Improved Shred – Your Shred deals 20% additional damage.
    More buffs. We don’t know if Shred will still get the 20% when used on a bleeding target, but I think this perk “replaces” that.
  • Improved Pounce – Your Pounce deals 100% additional damage.
    More buffs.
  • Improved Ferocious Bite – Your Ferocious Bite deals 20% additional damage.
    More buffs.
  • Enhanced Rejuvenation – You can cast Rejuvenation while in Bear Form or Cat Form.
    More survivability. I think this, along with the changes to Survival Instincts are to help offset the loss of defensive capability from Symbiosis. Since we are not a GCD locked spec and the new healing model in Warlords letting players spend time not a max health, we could spend some time healing ourselves and even splashing some Rejuv’s around the raid.
  • Improved Healing Touch – Increases the healing done by your Healing Touch by 20%.
    More buffs, but I think this is a replacement from the 20% we got from DoC.

The whole perks thing feels like a red herring to take the light away from the fact they aren’t getting anything new. The idea that you get them randomly is to make each players leveling experience unique.

HOLY INFORMATION DUMP BATMAN! That was a lot of information, and there is more to come. I am a little disappointed that we have a spell removed and didn’t get a new one.  Be sure to check out Part 1 of the notes if you haven’t already.

What are your thoughts on all of these new changes? Did you like Symbiosis? Will you be changing race? If you are a scribe do you think you will be missing out on a gold making opportunity? Let me know what you think.

~Elamari

Patch 6.0 Patch Notes – Warlords of Draenor (Part 1)

I’m going to try my hand at some news / patch notes posts and what better place to start than with the next expansions alpha notes. I will be focusing on the Feral Changes. Since there is such a large volume of information I have split it into two posts. Part 1 covers General Changes, Button Bloat, Buffs and Debuffs and Class Changes. Part 2 will cover Racial Traits, Glyphs, Level 100 Talents and Perks.

MMO Champion has a write up of all the changes for all classes and specs. The Inc Bear has the Guardian write up and there is some good discussion over at The Fluid Druid Forums for Ferals.

Disclaimer – These are notes are in alpha testing and are subject to change. Do not take them as fact or apply them to current game mechanics. Every time you use these out of context Blizzard kills a kitten AND a puppy.

GENERAL CHANGES

“Agility no longer provides an increased chance to critically strike with melee and ranged attacks or abilities. 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 commentary we have heard from the Dev’s thus far is that they want to move away from primary stats as a gearing strategy and focus more on secondaries. These changes to agility are inline with their thinking. The changes with crit are to fix the problems with removing the base values for stats. The plan is what you see on your character sheet is what you get.

“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 20%. 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.”

Like I said above a lot of this is to do with the removal base values for stats. Weapon damage has been our top stat for this expansion. I’m not sure how these changes will affect our stat priority, I’ll leave that for the theorycrafters. I’m also not sure if the changes to attack and spell power will affect schools of spell damage. This is the reason why the level 100 talent that lets Ferals cast Moonfire was bad – Ferals get a bonus to Nature spells not Arcane spells which is the school Moonfire belongs too. The notes do say “entire” but don’t mention schools. Time will tell.

Strict facing requirements can be frustrating to deal with, especially in hectic Raid combat or PvP environments. In order to ease this frustration, we decided to remove or significantly loosen the facing requirements of all attacks that required the player to be behind their target.

  • Druid: Shred no longer requires the Druid to be behind the target.

To be expected. I am going to miss the flavour of Shred but it will be good to not be the only class penalised by another Kolgan/ Ultraxion / Tortos encounter.

We reduced the mana cost of all resurrection spells to 4% of base mana, so that mana isn’t an inhibitor on the Raid or Party’s ability to recover from a wipe. Cast time already functions as the primary cost of these spells. Note that Priests’ Resurrection spell was already at 4% of base mana, so it remains unchanged.

  • Druid: Revive, Monk: Resuscitate, Paladin: Redemption, and Shaman: Ancestral Spirit now cost 4% of base mana (down from between 10% and 50%).

This means I wont have to Innervate myself in order to cast only a single Revive. That being said I wont be able to Innervate anymore anyway. See the Button Bloat section below for more information.

BUTTON BLOAT

In my Warlords of Draenor Wish List I discussed and somewhat predicted some of the changes seen here. Enrage being removed was a surprise initially but understandable given Guardian’s rage generation overhaul. All mana regen abilities have been removed so Innervate follows suit. Called the Mangle / Shred change which leaves us with Symbiosis.

I had planned to dedicate an entire post to why Symbiosis was poorly designed, however I’ll give a brief overview of my thoughts. The problems with Symbiosis include;

  • Having to be in a party to use the spell and no benefit when not grouped up. This limited its usage in solo content such as the leveling, Brawler’s Guild, Proving Grounds and soloing old content.
  • Initially it had a 6 second cast time. This was just ridiculous.
  • The spells gained were very polarising either being completely useless like Death Coil or game breaking in certain encounters, especially when it granted immunities to the Druid like Divine Shield or Dispersion.
  • Group size limited choice.
  • Not to mention the PVP ramifications which I am not qualified to discuss.
  • It was very buggy – not lasting through death as it was meant to, it would get cancelled when ever you or your target changed specs, talents of glyphs, and it was easily forgotten. It is common for some Druids to simply not use it.

It’s only redeeming feature was Soul Swap gained from Warlocks.This gave us Ferals some much needed target swapping capability after the removal of the old Stampede talent. I’m not sad to see it go.

CROWD CONTROL

Cyclone was a special snowflake for so long. This brings it inline with other crowd control spells. No one takes the Disorientating Roar talent so it’s not really important.

BUFFS & DEBUFFS

Weakened Armor and Physical Vulnerability were effectively redundant, both filling the role of increasing Physical damage taken by the target. So, we removed Weakened Armor and widened the availability of Physical Vulnerability a bit. The following abilities no longer apply the Weakened Blows effect.

  • Druid: Faerie Fire now applies Physical Vulnerability, increasing Physical damage taken by 4% for 30 seconds.

Just some debuff consolidation. It’s still easy for us to apply the debuff as Feral’s aren’t GCD locked.

CLASS CHANGES

Druids have seen a few significant changes. The loss of Symbiosis (see Ability Pruning above) will primarily impact druids’ survival, as many of the abilities received through Symbiosis were defensive cooldowns. To compensate for that change, we buffed Survival Instincts significantly and the ability is now available for all specializations.

  • Survival Instincts is now available to all Druid specializations. Survival Instincts now reduces damage taken by 70% (up from 50%) with a 2-minute cooldown (down from 3), and for Feral and Guardian specializations can have up to 2 charges (up from 1).

Holy over-powered buffs Batman! This change seems quite ridiculous at the moment but I’m not complaining. We will have to see what changes are happening with other classes. It may work out to be on par with other class spells like Dispersion or Cloak of Shadows. Still unclear if it will be affected by the glyph – 70% damage reduction on a 1 minute cool down with two charges is insane!

Feral Druids received a few tweaks beyond what’s been mentioned above in Ability Pruning and Facing Requirements. Pounce was buffed significantly, in order to bring it up to par with Ravage. Primal Fury was changed to let it affect area attacks as well. Glyph of Savagery was reworked to better achieve its intended effect.

  • Pounce’s damage has been increased by 100%.
  • Primal Fury now also grants a combo point for area attacks that critically strike the Druid’s primary target.
  • Glyph of Savagery now grants a free 5 combo point Savage Roar when leaving Prowl, instead of allowing Savage Roar to be used with 0 combo points.

Pounce may become our new opener depending on how well it scales with mastery and if the buff is enough. The changes to Primal Fury will help our AOE dps from Swipe which currently only gives a combo point if you are in range of your current target. I’m on the fence about the new Glyph of Savagery. It appears that it would only be useful for the beginning of a fight and no where else as we have no wait to exit combat to reactivate the glyph. Incarnation doesn’t count because it is bad as pointed out in my Soul of the Forest vs Incarnation post.

In addition to the huge info dump the devs have been answering questions on Twitter. One important class change came from Celestalon who said that combo points are now on the Druid rather than on the target.

Combo points on the Druid

Celestalon tweeting about the change in Combo Points from being on the target to on the Druid.

I’m not a fan of this though it is probably a change for the best. It will help new players and bring the resource inline with Holy Power and Chi.

This post is long enough as it is. I will leave racials, level 100 talents and glyphs for a second post. It looks like the information flood gates have been opened and there is bound to be more info released over the next few days. Be sure to check out Part 2.

~Elamari

Warlords of Draenor Wish List

I am going to be very busy of the next few weeks to months with uni work so unfortunately posts may be few and far between. Hoping to churn out a few ideas I’ve got back logged. Here is a quick list of some changes I’d like to see for Feral’s in Warlords of Draenor.

Button Bloat
The dev’s have said that they would like to address button bloat by pruning abilities that are not in your core rotation, are not fun abilities and don’t see much use. For Ferals I think this could mean that abilities like Innervate and Hurricane could become Resto / Boomkin only and I think Soothe could be removed from the game, but there are other options as I discussed in my enrage effects post. Additionally with the removal of spells requiring positional requirements I can see something happening with Shred and Ravage.

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Cat Nap #7 – Final Boss TV Talks Guardian Druids

While I have been predominately in a DPS roll as of lately, I still tank from time and time and try to stay up to date on all things Guardian. As such, Final Boss TV episode 33 will feature Guardian Druids Arielle and Buraan from The Inconspicuous Bear. The episode will air on March 16 at Final Boss TV and I have some questions I have sent into the show for them to discuss.

Final Boss TV logo

Final Boss also did a Feral Druid episode. I sent in some questions and you can view the episode on YouTube. Most of my questions were answered in the after show.

Unfortunately my questions were not directly answered. However they were used to build the show notes and are answered during the main show and after show. I Tweeted @FinalBossTV and they explained what happened and all is good.

Final Boss TV Twitter reply

Final Boss TV’s reply to my question on Twitter.

1. How much utility would you like to be able to cast in form e.g Tranquility in Bear Form?

2. Suggestions to smooth our rage generation? Currently it’s tied to crit and very spikey. Poor generation at low gear levels, crit capping at high gear levels. Soul of the Forest helps with this now but are there any changes you would like to see for “smoother” generation?

3. Button bloat – I feel that Bear Hug is “useless” and unnecessary. Thoughts on this spell and any others that may contribute to button bloat / spells that could be removed e.g. Innervate.

4. Thoughts on Symbiosis? I found that Bone Shield was probably the best defensive CD. The Monks dodge one felt like it made no difference. Consecration was good for adds and DPS and we all know lightning shield was the best passive dps increase. Suggestions to make it more appealing to Guardians? Should Guardians receive a defensive CD from all classes? Evasion would have been better than Feint, especially given its rage cost from Rogues for example.

5. Are there any abilities you would like to see baseline? I would like the Glyph of Stampeding Roar baseline – It seems stupid that a raid wide CD has such a short default range and that we have to use a glyph for it to be effective. Combining this glyph with the spell to be baseline (probably Feral and Guardian only) would free up a glyph slot for more interesting choices.

6. New mastery. Thoughts on what we might see? Something that interacts with Maul or something that scales / interacts with SD or FR? Additionally, do you think that the Tooth and Claw proc will stay in or be removed?

If you have questions you can submit questions through their website or email questions to them at FinalBossWoW@gmail.com.

Hope you are feeling refreshed after our Cat Nap.

~Elamari

Brawler’s Guild Ranks 8 & 9

Patch 5.3 changed the existing structure of the Brawler’s Guild by removing the old rank 8 bosses to their own rank and adding two additional ranks. There is a comprehensive guide written by kaiadam on the Fluid Druid Forums for ranks one through to the old rank 8. However there isn’t a guide for the new rank 8 and rank 9. Today’s post I will aim to offer some insight, hints and tips into these ranks. WoW Head has a good summary of each bosses abilities that is worth reading. I won’t be explicitly explaining all boss mechanics here.

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Feral Druid Guide to Farming Bloody Coins

The end of expansion doldrums are fast approaching. One of the goals on my bucket list is to collect 200 mounts before the end of the expansion. The first one I tackled was collecting 500 Bloody Coins for the Ashhide Mushan Beast mount. My logic being that it is going to be easiest while the content is current. I can’t image many people hanging out on the Timeless Isle once Warlords of Draenor arrives. I live tweeted my final 10 coins a few weeks back when I earned the achievement. Today’s post is a bit of a guide as to how I went about collecting the Bloody Coins.

Censer tool tip

Are you prepared for the grind? Make yourself familiar with this bad boy. [Image modified from WoW Head]

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Druids of the Beast – Guest blog by all Druid guild, guild leader Monsterbaby

I go by the fabulous name Monsterbaby. I am founder and leader of the Druid only guild Druids of the Beast Shadowsong [EU] Alliance. My guild has been featured in various articles, podcasts and been spotlighted over the years. Here is my story of how it began, who is behind my character, where it is at and how I managed the guild over the years. I started playing WOW in 2005. but jumped a bit from one character to another for the first two months, until I finally settled for this particular Druid, with quite specific looks.

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