Posts Tagged “Wrath of the Lich King”

Man has it been a while. Sorry for not having posted in a while but work has been kicking my ass something fierce. We’re just over 2 weeks until Cataclysm hits and I don’t know about y’all but I’m very much looking forward to it. Doesn’t look like I’m going to meet my ultimate goal for Wrath, which was to down the Lich King, but I’ve very much enjoyed this expansion. A while ago I made a couple of post about leveling and instancing in WotLK but I never got around to talking about my favorite part of this expansion, raiding. I have a lot to say about the raids in Wrath, some good and some not so good, so I’m going to split this conversation up into a few parts to spare you all the giant wall of text. Today I’m going to talk about the first raiding tier.

I first started playing World of Warcraft midway through The Burning Crusade expansion. As a result, I was WAY behind on the progression scale once I finally hit max level. The guild I was in was never able to clear anything past Gruul’s Lair. We were able to get through the first three bosses in Zul’Aman before all the raids were nerfed into the ground. It wasn’t because of a lack of desire that we were never able to see higher end content, it was because of attrition to further progressed guilds. Try as we might, we could never quite sustain a full 25 man roster to progress past Gruul and into Serpentshrine Cavern. Two things stopped me from leaving my guild and trying to get a spot in a further progressed guild. First, I formed way too many friendships with people in my guild to just up and leave. Secondly, I played a Balance Druid and there was no way I was getting a raid spot as an oomkin. So I just stuck it out until Wrath.

The expansion put all guilds back on equal footing progression wise and also introduced 10 man raiding as a very viable option. Thanks to this, I was finally able to do some real progression raiding and loved it. Having never seen Naxxramas before, I was blown away by the raid. Each wing had a very unique feel to while still maintaining its overall fight against the scourge theme. I felt the difficulty, especially in 10 man was perfectly tuned for an entry level raid. Without trying for achievements, none of the bosses were overly difficult and each introduced mechanics that were needed to be understood by new raiders in order to be successful in future raids. I also found the instance to be very fun for the first few months of running through it. There were a few bosses that challenged your ability to coordinate your raiders and others where DPS could flex their muscles and fight for bragging rights. Many a fun time was had on Patchwerk where my fellow boomkins and I were constantly upstaging the mages and warlocks in the raid.

Obsidian Sanctum and Eye of Eternity where the other two raids that shipped with Wrath of the Lich King and both were drastically different from Naxx. Where Naxx was a 15 marathon of a raid, OS and Maly were one boss sprints. After having cleared Naxx and obtaining the key that unlocked the Eye of Eternity, it was very realistic for a group to clear both raid in one night. Obsidian Sanctum also introduced the concept of “hard modes” to raiding. By choosing whether or not to leave any drakes alive when engaging Sartharion, raiders could up the difficulty of the raid from delightfully easy (no drakes up) to “Oh dear gods why?!” (3 drakes up) to suit their tastes. I loved being able to dial up the difficulty of the raid and push myself harder as a raider, even if most of my guildmates at the time did not. Because of this, I found Obsidian Sanctum to be a very successful raid. Eye of Eternity on the other hand can go die in a fire. The idea behind the this instance was pretty cool. Take on the Aspect of Magic while riding on the back of a dragon? Who hasn’t wanted to kill something riding on a dragon? The execution of said idea missed its mark. The controls and abilities of the dragons felt clunky and they’re power didn’t scale with gear level of the rider. Once I completed the instance, I had very almost no reason to want to back in there.

Overall, I felt that Blizzard was largely successful with the first tier of raiding. It allowed novice raiders a good opportunity to get their feet wet in end game raiding while still providing ways for experienced raiders to challenge and push themselves. The encounter designers would take what they learned from these raids and craft what was one of the most widely loved raids in Ulduar.

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So, we’ve all had a couple of weeks now to play around with the new talents and abilities the patch has dropped in our laps. Let me just say this, Affliction is the freakin’ bee’s knees! Soul Swap is my new favorite spell. I didn’t think anything would overtake Seed of Corruption but I’ll be damned if I don’t love the instantly applying all my DoT’s on a new target. When I first looked at this spell, I figured it would only see situational use on trash mobs and in PvP. Thanks to the Soul Swap glyph, this spell is pure freakin win. For those of who don’t know what it does, the Soul Swap glyph allows you to transfer all your DoT’s onto a new target while still leaving the original ones on the target in exchange for a 10 second cool down on Soul Swap. I shed a tear when I first discovered the glyph.

Soul Swap isn’t the only new cool toy we got. We got a completely overhauled Soul Shard system. Gone are the days of carrying around 20 or more soul shards for all our spells. Now we have 3 soul shards for use primarily during combat. I’m not sure how it’d working out for the other specs, but I’m underwhelmed by this new mechanic for Affliction. There’s not really a whole lot for us to benefit from with this. Instant cast Soul Fire is nice when you’re on the move but chances are you’ll be using this time to reapply a DoT so it’s a situational ability. My favorite use for Soulburn is to enhance Seed of Corruption. It’s like Blizzard said to us affliction warlocks “yo we heard that you guys like DoT’s so we’re putting a DoT inside of your DoT’s to give you more DoT’s while you’re casting a DoT.” Gotta love instantly applying Corruption to every target in sight.

Our rotation remains pretty much the same, the main difference is that now Haunt is the main method for refreshing Corruption and not Shadow Bolt. Making sure we’re casting Haunt when it’s off cooldown is a bigger priority than it was before. Bane of Agony lasts longer so we’re having to reapply it less often. Aside from that, our rotation remains pretty much intact. All in all, I’ve been very happy with the changes Affliction has seen in the new patch.

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I’ve forgotten how long it was between levels when you hit 70. Between 50 – 70 it was very easy for me to gain 2 or 3 levels per day. Now in Northrend I find myself going 2 or 3 days between leveling. I forgot how much Blizzard nerfed the experience requirements for all the pre-Wrath levels. However, I’m not really minding it all too much because questing through Northrend is pretty damn fun. Today I’m going to take a look back at the leveling experience and see how it compared to BC and Vanilla.

I absolutely hated leveling in Burning Crusade. Hellfire Peninsula was a barren waste land that sapped the energy right out of me. It felt like an absolute chore leveling through that area and the first time through almost ruined the game for me. I never really felt engaged at all while leveling and the constant abuse I got from max level Horde players did not help in the least. Hellfire being the only place for level 60 characters to quest made it a gankers paradise until the introduction of the Isle of Quel’Danas. Another chief complaint I heard from players who were around at the start of the expansion was that the huge volume of players each vying for the same quest mobs or quest items made leveling a cut throat experience. It was dog eat dog on the road to level 70.

The quest designers at Blizzard learned their lesson and Wrath of the Lich King brought with it to two unique starting zones. By not having the entire player base funneled into one starting area, the competition for quest mobs was drastically reduced which resulted in a much calmer leveling experience. The other benefit of having two starter zones was that if one of the zones was currently populated with griefers, you could make your way over to the other zone and continue with your leveling. Score a win here for Wrath.

My other chief complaint about leveling in BC is that I never really felt involved in the storyline. Aside from a handful of quests, it didn’t really seem as if I was taking the fight to the Burning Legion or to Illidan. It wasn’t until Shadowmoon Valley and the Akama quests that I even remember seeing anything about Illidan and by that point I was already close to level 70. Unlike in BC, the quest chains in Wrath got you involved with the main story lines right from the get go. In the Borean Tundra, one of the two starter zones, you get involved in a quest line that leads you face to face with the Lich King. By the end of the Thassarian quest chain in Borean, I was completely hooked. And it only got better from there. the pinnacle of questing in Wrath may have been the chain of events leading up to what unfolded at the Wrathgate. That was the first time I could honestly say I was blown away by an event in game. Personally, I was never bored while questing in Northrend nor did I ever find it to be a chore. Each new zone promised a new and exciting story arc with quest chains that helped build upon them. From the Worgen in Grizzly Hills to Freya in Sholazar Basin, there was always something new to explore.

For me, Wrath hit a home run in the leveling department. Some folks complained that they saw Arthas way too much and were kind of burnt out on him by the end of the expansion. I whole heatedly disagree. His presence and subsequent defeats made it feel as if I really were an important cog in the fight against the Scourge. And it was certainly a vast improvement over the invisible Illidan. The best part of leveling in Wrath however, was that it continued to improve the more we progressed into the expansion. Later patches would add Heirloom items that could be passed onto lower level characters to improve the early leveling experience and they would also introduce the Dungeon Finder tool, making it much simpler to find a group for an instance run. Overall, I was extremely happy with the changes Blizzard made to the leveling game in Wrath and I’m looking forward to what changes they have in store for us come Cataclysm.

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The end of Wrath is just about here and most of us are tying up a few loose ends in preparation for Cataclysm. For some this may be finishing off some last raid achievements and for others it could be getting an alt to 80 so that you can switch mains come the expansion. With the end of the expansion rapidly approaching, I thought it might be fun (if not entirely over done) to look back at Wrath of the Lich King from a couple of different angles and see what I did and did not like about it. Today, I’ll be taking a look at the new dungeons and that shipped with the expansion and at the change in philosophy they brought with them.

Anyone who played WoW during the Burning Crusades expansion should be very familiar with the bulk of instances we had to play with. From Hellfire Ramparts to Magister’s Terrace, I think it’s safe to assume we all spent a good deal of time in each and every one of those instances. In my opinion, it was probably too much time. I remember on more than one occasion spending upwards of two hours in any one BC instance due to the size and complexity of the trash mobs within. I absolutely dreaded running those dungeons and I was left with such a bad impression of them that I flat out refused to run a single one when I leveled my Death Knight through Outlands. Having to spend an hour in an instance carefully orchestrating trash pulls for little to no reward was not my idea of a good time. This is to say nothing of having to run an instance multiple times on regular mode to grind the faction reputation necessary to unlock heroic modes. Needless to say, instancing in Burning Crusades required a crazy amount of time commitment.

Wrath of the Lich King saw a totally different approach to dungeons. While at first, many of us were indeed taking the time to mark targets and organize crowd control, it would not be long before each instance would become an AOE pullfest that could be completed in under half an hour. Dungeons in Wrath were drastically smaller than the ones in BC. Even if a group were to take the time to organize crowd control, a Wrath instance could be completed in half the time of one in BC. For those of us with limited opportunities to play, this was a very welcome change. It became very possible for some folks to log on during their lunch breaks and crank out a quick five man dungeon. This also made it possible for small groups of friends to run multiple instances in one night and experience a variety of different environments.

This not to say that instancing in Wrath was not without its faults. As I alluded to earlier, once you got past a certain gear level there was very little thought involved in clearing a dungeon. Grab yourself an over geared tank, have him grab up every mob in sight, then fire up your AOE. Repeat a few more times and the dungeon is cleared. Many veterans were left wanting more of a challenge out of the dungeons and had to wait until patch 3.3 and the introduction of the Icecrown dungeons to get their fix. Wrath also brought us one of the most hated instances in the history of WoW with The Oculus. The Oculus was so hated in fact, that Blizzard had to introduce additional rewards at the end of the instance just to keep the majority of players from dropping the group should they have had the misfortune of being placed into it using the dungeon finder tool.

Give me the choice of which expansions dungeons to run and I’ll pick Wrath’s everyday of the week and twice on Sundays. Wrath had easily the most visually appealing dungeons in the game to date. I still get all wide eyed at all the beautiful Celtic and Norse imagery in the Utgarde Keep and Utgarde Pinnacle. The introduction of achievements gave me a reason to continue running the same dungeons over and over despite out gearing and not needing badges from them. Cataclysm looks to build on everything I feel Blizzard did right by dungeons and improve upon them. There have been numerous posts from the developers about toning down AOE and bringing back the crowd control element into dungeon runs. Should Blizzard be able to find the right balance between the strategy of Burning Crusades and the speed of Wrath of the Lich King, I would consider dungeons in Cataclysm to be a huge success.

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OK, I know it is naughty to sit reading my subscriptions when I should be preparing for work, going to work, doing work even. However, I am sure you will thank me when you clicky on the linky and have a look. Remember a little while ago I did my usual whining about Spellstones and Firestones? About how much they suck? Well, check out this!

I sure am excited – Spellstones and Firestones potentially useful? No longer taking up a valuable spot usually occupied by my wand? Yes Please!

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When you only have 60g between both of your characters in beta, you really should be careful in how you spend it.

1. Don’t blow 7g on a haircut! While Herm looks undoubtedly prettier with her nice new hair… it really wasn’t a wise investment!

2. Train your crafting profession before your gathering one: Sar is a miner and a tailor. Stupid stupid me trained up her mining well before her tailoring… way to go, me! So, until I get a mule copied over (with gold stolen from friends and guildies)… I can’t learn tailoring. Siiiigh.

3. Try to quest, as much as you hate it: OK, so I am in the beta, I should really quest, right? After all, how else am I supposed to level/find bugs/whatever else I am MEANT to be doing in there. Will get around to that, I swear, once I am past the ‘OOOOOOH shiny!’ phase.

4. Have fun entertaining people with your new abilities. It’s cheap (ie – free), and everyone gets a kick out of it. I had several requests for screenshot poses for my shiny new demon form… and yesterday I took it one step further and scared the pants offa everyone with my awesome leap-like ability. I would say what it is called… but I can’t remember, and when I tried to log in to check the beta needed another patch. I know, frustrating, isn’t it? I am sure one of my friendly commenters will fill in the gap for me.

My only complaint about this?? Why can’t I be a GIRL demon?

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OK, so the picture is kinda small… but you get the point!

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I have been advised by many many people that I should create a death knight… at least to play the ‘how to play’ quests. I have been fairly steadfast in my refusal to play a DK (mainly because I want to focus on my mains, and I don’t like the idea of a new tanking class – I know, I hate change). Anyway, since I have been told I simply HAVE to do the quests, that it’s what all the cool kids are doing, well… I suppose I will.

With one caveat: it has to have the cutest, most sickeningly super sweet name that is possible. I figure there are going to be lots of pink pig tailed gnome DK’s out there, so I might go for a Draenei. Or maybe for the total scariness of a male Dwarf DK… with a name like Cuddles. The point of this is:

I want YOU guys to help me think of a name! Make it the most repulsive, cutesy name you can think of. It can be male or female, I don’t much care, but I think I will go for a male Dwarf.

The future Schnookums? Cupcake? Pie even?

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I am sure that you have all heard that itemisation is going to be radically different in Wrath of the Lich King with the removal of +damage and +healing to gear, and the introduction of +Spellpower. There seems to be some apprehension about this in the community (or maybe I am the only one who is feeling a little apprehensive, who knows?), so I am going to try to clear some things up. Oh, and don’t think I am doing this for you! As usual, my motives are purely selfish… by working this out on ‘paper’, I can get a better understanding of it, and feel better about it. My mind just works like that.

Please note that this is all based on available information so far, and I can not test it myself unless Blizz pony up with a beta invite *scowls*.

So, first things first:

What the heck is Spellpower?

Spellpower is the new term used for the damage or healing on an item. Lets take a look at a current item in WoW and break it down, shall we?

On this item, the essential stats would stay the same. It would still have +34 sta, +35 Int, and +31 Spi. However, the healing and damage done would be removed, and replaced with 26 Spellpower. This would mean that a caster class would get 26 damage, while the healer class would get the scaled healing of 77. Now, these numbers are clearly not going to be the same as what is on the item, because I doubt that many casters would like to have 26 damage on their chest piece! (If I HAD to take a stab at what the spellpower would be, I would guess maybe… 30-40?) I am just using them as examples to explain what the item will look like.

It makes a little more sense when you look at a non-healer piece of gear:

The 62 Spell Damage and Healing on these robes becomes 62 Spellpower. Easy!

So, will items be better for healers now, or casters?

In theory, all items are meant to be of equal value for either healers or casters, thanks to the scaling of spellpower to the various spells, as well as to damage and to healing. Something that would give me great damage as a warlock would also give a priest great healing. This means that there is a ‘one size fits all’ approach to spellpower.

How can the item ‘tell’ if you are a caster or a healer?

Well, the item can’t really. From what I can gather from Blizzard’s notes (stuck way down at the bottom if you want to see), it is the spells themselves which are affected, not the actual caster. Respeccing into a healer spec doesn’t suddenly grant you a massive amount of healing. Instead, I do believe that the spells themselves are affected. Your damage spells would do a certain amount of damage based upon spellpower, and your healing spells will heal for a certain amount based upon spellpower. This does NOT mean that people are going to be able to spec into a healing tree and do immense amounts of damage, or into a damage tree and also be great healers (once again, in theory). Blizzard are also putting the usual talents in which increase your damage or healing accordingly. So Holy Priest X and Saresa could be dressed in the exact same gear, but Holy Priest would not be able to out-dps Saresa (unless she was being a super-noob, or the Priest was absolutely fantastic!).

My understanding of what Blizzard have written is that the spells themselves are going to change. So, if a spell’s tooltip currently says ‘heals for 100′, it will say ‘heals for [insert number larger than 100 here]‘. I am still not sure how this works exactly, and I definitely do not have the math on hand. Once again… beta invite Blizz! Beta invite! This plus healing will of course be increased and buffed by the talents in the holy/restoration tree, ensuring people have to spec to heal to heal well.

Edit – thanks the the knowledge that I have now, I can clarify this.  My initial supposition was incorrect, and the way Spellpower works with healing is that the tooltip stays the same, but the coefficient between spellpower and the amount healed has changed, so 1 point of Spellpower packs a lot more punch than 1 point of +Healing.

What about other stats? Spellpower is great and all…

Yep, I was confused by this as well. Sure, we may share Spellpower, but we all know that certain stats are more desirable for some classes than others. Warlocks do love their Stamina (as well as certain Mages who steal Lock gear for PvP *mutters*), Mages love Intellect, and Priests like Spirit. Pieces could still be determined to be better for some classes than others based entirely on stats (as was done much more in Azeroth than Outland, where massive arguments could occur over a cloth piece with Stamina and Intellect on it!). However, I think that Blizzard are going to itemise all their items with every stat that could possibly be applicable to a cloth wearer, or a leather wearer, or a plate wearer. So cloth will have Stamina, Intellect, and Spirit, almost all the time. Why do I think this?

Mainly because they are giving Warlocks talents based upon Spirit. We have never had a use for Spirit. Sar’s spirit is currently at 145. The base Spirit for a level 70 human is – 145. She has NOTHING with Spirit on it. Why should she? It is completely useless for locks. Soon however, she will be stuck with the afore mentioned Spirit through the new itemisation. What Blizzard have done is given us a use (arbitrary as this is, I think) for Spirit through Fel Armor now being improved by it.

While this sounds like it has massive implications for healers, who all stack stats differently according to class, I think that they will be the ones who are most benefited by this. Why? No healers compete over basic armor (unless they wear the wrong thing!) Priests wear cloth, Druids love their leathers, Shaman mail, and Paladins wear Plate. They can continue to itemise these items appropriately for each healer. It will more than likely be the casters who get the short end of the stick. Mages and Warlocks get stuck with Spirit. I would be very interested to see how they blanace leather for Resto Druids, who use very little crit, with Boomkin, who live off crit. Paladins? I don’t know enough about them I am afraid, ask Siha (who has a beta invite BTW, and would be much more reliable than me anyhow)! There are only a couple of ways around this that I can think of:

- Itemise somewhere in between the caster and healer extremes, pleasing no one.

- Amend talents for all classes so that everyone is benefited by everything (some evidence of this already – Warlocks using Spi, Resto Druids having better access to direct heals, making crit more attractive). Probably what they will do, although I think it removes a lot of flavour from the classes and the game. I enjoy having loot that’s specifically good for locks!

- Still have gear which is better for some than others. A possibility, although I really think this removes the purpose of the Spellpower in the first place.

So Why Introduce Spellpower?

It’s been a while, and I am bad at hunting down comments made by Blues. From memory, there were two reasons given:

- Make it easier to gear up. People do get frustrated with farming an instance for that one elusive drop (Sonic Spear, anyone?) Less items, higher drop rates, much easier. The only issue I have with this is that demand is also going to go up. I take Sar into an instance after item X. It has a 35% drop rate off Boss A, so there’s a pretty good chance it will drop. Unfortunately, Mage and Priest are also interested in Item X, so I now only have a 1/3 chance of winning. I still forsee a lot of instance grinding, especially with my bad dice!

- Make it easier for some classes to respec and not have to worry about offset gear. Great for Druids (balance and resto, still need to farm a feral offset!), Shaman (elemental and resto), and Priests. Too bad if you are a Paladin I guess, unless plate is going to be good for prot, holy, and ret!

Blizzard’s notes on Spellpower

These will probably make much more sense than what I have written!

Spellpower

  • All items and effects which grant bonuses to spell damage and spell healing are being consolidated into a single stat, Spellpower. This stat will appear with the same values found on items which grant “increased spell damage and healing” such as on typical Mage and Warlock itemization.
  • For classes which do not heal, they should see no change in the character sheet other than new tooltip wording.
  • Healing characters will see their bonus healing numbers on the character sheet decrease, however, all healing spells have been modified to receive more benefit from spellpower than they received from bonus healing, with a net effect of no change to the amount healed by their spells. Some talents have had to be rebalanced to accommodate this change, but the amount healed will remain roughly the same. In addition, some talents will provide only healing spell power.

Of course, someone out there probably has a much firmer grasp on this than I do, so be sure to keep reading up. How do you think Spellpower is going to affect you?

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So, the WotLK talents have been popped up on WI. Now, I still have a good mad on, but oh well, I am going to write about them anyway. I am sorry that this post is now going to look a touch Christmas-y, but I am going to highlight what I consider to be good changes in green, and bad ones in red. Of course, as always, keep in mind that these things can and will probably change before release! These are apparently 100% legitimate, but I am a cynic and still have reservations. If I am lucky enough to get a Beta invite, I guess I will know for sure!

  • Aftermath (Destruction) – Now a 2-point talent, down from 5 – definitely good for those of us who choose to spec in it, it was an absolute waste as a 5 point talent. I may even consider taking Aftermath now!
  • All demon abilities and spells will automatically be learned as pets gain levels. Demon Master trainers will be removed – Good I guess, although I did enjoy going to the Demon Master and purchasing my grimoires. I just think this takes a bit of flavour away from the class, and is completely unnecessary.
  • Blood Pact now works raid-wide (not just in party) - great for the poor lock who gets stuck with the tanks. However, this may not have such a significant impact with so many buffs becoming raid wide.
  • Cataclysm (Destruction) – Now also increases your chance to hit with Destruction spells by 1% per point – finally, a hit talent for Destruction locks! However, I do believe (in the current state of affairs) that this now advantages Destro locks more than Aff locks (since Aff locks do still use Shadowbolt, and thus need to be hit capped, while most Shadowmages don’t use Aff spells often). This could change though after release, with the game play changes – after all, play styles change significantly after expansions!
  • Curse of Recklessness will no longer prevent Fear effects, only prevent NPCs from fleeing (e.g. at low health) - makes fear kiting in instances much more difficult, and makes it an unreliable form of CC.
  • Dark Pact: Tooltip updated to be more consistent with other similar effects – eh, new description.
  • Demon Armor – Now increases healing done by spells and effects by 20%, but no longer has in-combat health regeneration – I don’t know to be honest if this will make Demon Armor more appealing or even less appealing!
  • Demon Skin, Demon Armor and Fel Armor are no longer Magic effects and cannot be dispelled - excellent!
  • Fel Armor – Now increases your spell damage equal to 30% of your total Spirit, but no longer increases healing done by spells and effects by 20% - URGH, Spirit! Why this focus on Spirit!!! My healer friends were sad, because they liked to test on me for cheating personal best heals :) *MASSIVE NEW EDIT!!! I have heard rumours that the Spirit aspect of this merely replaces the +healing taken, not the plus damage component. If that’s true, it would be fricking awesome!*
  • Fel Stamina (Demonology) has been merged with Fel Intellect into Fel Vitality – logical in my opinion. Much better use of talent points.
  • Howl of Terror now costs 15% of base mana – currently costs 200 mana for rank 2. A Warlock’s base mana value is 2615, which makes this spell now cost approximately 390 mana (392.25 to be exact, but will no doubt be rounded). So, approximately doubled.
  • Improved Curse of Weakness (Affliction) is now “Frailty” – Increases the amount of attack power reduced by your Curse of Weakness spell by 10/20%, and increases the amount of armor reduced by your Curse of Recklessness by 10/20% – Two for one!
  • Improved Enslave Demon (Demonology) is now a Tier 5 talent, up from Tier 4 – More of a meh change in my opinion. I have never had Imp. Enslave, and have always gotten by just fine, so I am not sure how useful the spell is anyway.
  • Improved Lash of Pain (Destruction) and Improved Firebolt (Destruction) have been merged into one talent, Demonic Power – Great if they put something worthwhile in its place!
  • Improved Shadow Bolt (Destruction) – Now increases damage by your next Shadow damage spells by 3/6/9/12/15%, down from 4/8/12/16/20% – The wording of this makes me feel very uncomfortable indeed. Does the use of the word YOUR mean that this is going to become a caster-only debuff? Of course, less damage is not nice, but I suppose they want the other classes to catch up! :)
  • Mana Feed: Tooltip updated to be more consistent with other similar effects – Eh again… just the change of the words.
  • Master Demonologist – Felguard (Demonology) – Now increases all damage by 1/2/3/4/5%, and reduces all damage done to you by 1/2/3/4/5% – much nicer than all resistances!
  • Master Demonologist – Imp (Demonology) – Now increases Fire damage by 1/2/3/4/5%, and critical hit chance with Fire spells by 1/2/3/4/5% – an interesting change… the reduced threat was nice, but I am sure this will be considered equally nice!
  • Master Demonologist – Succubus (Demonology) – Now increases Shadow damage by 1/2/3/4/5%, and critical hit chance with Shadow spells by 1/2/3/4/5% – hmmm… very interesting indeed. I am not sure if it will end the Sac build, but the crit is nice. It is a large damage loss though (formerly 10% to all damage done, and if you sac’ed her, 15% to shadow damage).
  • Master Demonologist (Demonology) – Most effects have been altered – see above!
  • New Talent: Demonic Empowerment (Demonology) – Grants your Summoned Demon power for a short time – How much power? More details please!
  • New Talent: Eradication (Affliction) – Your Corruption, Siphon Life and Curse of Agony ticks have a 5/10/15% chance to increase your spell haste by 20% for 8 sec. This effect has a 10 second cooldown - That is a nice buff to the Affliction tree, with haste = more DoTs cast!
  • New Talent: Molten Core (Destruction) – Your Shadow spells and damage over time effects have a 5/10/15% chance to increase the damage of your Fire spells by 10% for 6 sec – A great way to get us to mix it up a little, and use more than one school. The end of SB Spam? We can only hope.
  • Pyroclasm (Destruction) – Now also includes Conflagrate – I never really bothered with Pyroclasm, and probably still wont.
  • Shadowfury (Destruction) – Can now be cast while moving. Stun duration increased to 3 seconds, up from 2 - a nice buff for PvP locks.
  • Soul Link (Demonology) is now an 11-point talent (used to be a 31-point talent), but the 5% bonus damage from this talent has been removed. In addition, the damage absorbed by Soul Link is now 15%, down from 20% – I suspect this may have been done to provide us with more versatility in our PvP builds. The damage loss is justified by its higher positioning.
  • Soul Siphon (Affliction): Now also increases the damage of your Drain Soul – makes sense!
  • Suppression (Affliction) is now a 3-point talent, down from 5. Now increases your chance to hit with Affliction spells by 1/2/3%, down from 1/2/3/4/5% – not sure about the reason for this change, although I still don’t find Suppression to be overly useful.
  • Unstable Affliction (Affliction): Silence effect reduced to 3 seconds, down from 5 – Not so great, but… oh well.

There is a fairly healthy mix of green in there, which looks promising. However, alot of the improvements seem to be fairly minor, while some of the nerfs are pretty huge. Things which I haven’t coloured I view as either insignificant, or I just can’t really make my mind up whether it is good or bad! I am still VERY disturbed by the mention of spirit. I am also concerned about the loss of the Paladin blessing Salvation. The new version looks to be fiddly, and altogether poor. Not sure why Blizz would nerf Salv… like it isn’t hard enough to pull aggro! Maybe tanks will be made uber in the expansion…

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