Sunday, 26 September 2010

Beta builds 13066 and 13033

There's been a lot of beta updates this past week, along with lots of changes for druids!



  • Thrash affects all targets within 8 yards. (Tooltip clarification)

  • Tiger's Fury now increases physical damage done by 88.8% for 6 sec. (This one is weird, might want to wait before theorycrafting)

  • Pulverize base additional damage increased by 66%.

  • Stampede now affects your next Ravage. (Tooltip clarification)

  • Fury Swipes - When you auto-attack while in Cat form or Bear form, you have a 5/10/15% chance to cause a Fury Swipe dealing 200% weapon damage. This effect cannot occur more than once every 3 sec. / 5 yd range, Instant

  • Restoration

    • Rebirth no longer costs mana.
    • Rejuvenation now costs 20% of base mana, down from 25%.
    • Mastery: Symbiosis (Revamped) - Increases the potency of your healing spells by 10% on targets already affected by one of your heal over time spells. Each point of Mastery increases heal potency by an additional 1.25%.
    • Lifebloom can now be cast on an unlimited amount of targets while under the effect of Tree of Life.
    • Omen of Clarity (Passive) - If specialized as a Feral Druid, Omen of Clarity will also have a chance to occur from your auto-attacks. (Tooltip clarification)
    • Tree of Life now lasts 30 sec, down from 45 sec. Costs 6% of base mana, down from 13% of base mana.
    • Efflorescence no longer procs from Regrowth critical heals, now procs when you heal with your Swiftmend spell. Now heals all nearby friendly targets within 8 yards (up from 4 yards) for 10% of the amount healed by your Swiftmend over 7 sec.
    • Blessing of the Grove no longer increases the damage done by your Claw and Shred.

    Some interesting changes there. Predatory Strikes and Stampede changes are a bit of a boost for cats, giving us more opportunities to work Ravage in. Hopefully damage itself is still being tuned up, as feral dps on the PTR recently has been pretty horrible. Blessing of the Grove in the Restoration tree had some changes for ferals as well, as it no longer increases Shred damage. The feral spec has some interesting options at the moment with that change, as you now only really need to spend six points in the Restoration tree. The points that frees up means you can pick up Thick Hide as a cat, which will give you crit immunity. There are also a couple of other points you can shift around - Brutal Impact may be a nice option for making interrupts reliable (and more on par with rogue kicks etc), or Natural Reaction if emergency off-tanking is needed. To really maximize dps or tanking though it is still looking like you will need two separate specs like you do in live at the moment.

    Lots of changes for the Restoration tree, all looking pretty positive still. The mana cost of Rejuvenation was decreased, which is a nice little boost. The duration of the Tree of Life was decreased to 30 seconds, though that doesn't seem like a massive problem, as the duration was really quite long to begin with. Reports are that it seems the cooldown on the ability has decreased as well, so it will be nice to be able to use it more often. The Lifebloom changes in ToL form should have some good utility as well.

    The biggest change in this build is to the Efflorescence ability, which now procs off of Swiftmend. It looks like this is a 100% proc from using Swiftmend. This is a very nice change actually, as it should encourage druids to use Swiftmend more and discourage Regrowth-spamming, which seemed like a potential problem (particularly with instant-cast Regrowths in ToL). It should also discourage any crit-stacking (as opposed to getting in a balance of crit, haste and mastery) as it doesn't seem it will proc off of crits. The crit proc could also be quite unreliable for the old Regrowth proc, so the guaranteed proc from Swiftmend should be a lot more reliable and helpful. The range was also increased which is a nice little buff.

    The new mastery is slightly old news (mostly due to changes being so quick!), you can see some more information on it in my old post here. The new mastery sounds excellent, though, both right on par with our healing style, a nice incentive to use all of our spells. The concept is very much in line with our Nourish spell and seems to be a logical direction for us to go. 

    My only disappointment is still Nature's Grace in the Balance tree, which I wish would be swapped with Genesis or Moonglow, as it really does not seem to be useful for Resto druids (at least from a strictly high-end raiding perspective). Even if we're able to cast a few Moonfires during a fight, which in itself will likely not be the difference between a win and a wipe (unless it's a Princes-type fight and we can Moonfire a Kinetic Bomb), the haste increase has a one minute cooldown. This cooldown can be instantly reset - but ONLY by achieving a Lunar or Solar eclipse. Which we will never have as Resto druids. So, it's 15% haste for 15 seconds every minute for a GCD throwing out a Moonfire. Arguably - this might end up useful in fights if we know there'll be some fast incoming damage coming up, and we can fire off a MF and have the haste boost for, say, 10-15 seconds of having to spam-Nourish a tank, perhaps. Assuming the GCD use of the MF is not costly in terms of a tank death (which Blizz seems to suggest they are trying to avoid in Cata, but that CAN happen in Wrath), that could potentially be useful. It does appear to be 'after you cast Moonfire', and not upon MF actually hitting the target, so if we miss it shouldn't be costly as we will not need to recast it to gain the buff. 

    Ultimately this will likely come down to actually seeing this ability in fights to see just how useful it actually is. I can already see needing an internal cd timer watching the cooldown on this ability though so as not to waste GCD and mana spamming out moonfires too early in an attempt to gain the haste buff. If the ability remains where it is, it will most likely have very situational usage. In heroics fights it likely will only be ever used once, in a raid boss fight though it could likely be used a few times. It will be far from our most useful stat, though, and I still find it to be a waste of talent points.

    I have been itching to post some talent trees, though with how rapidly they keep changing still in the beta it seems a bit futile to do so. I have decided, though, at least for end-game raiding, to take all three points in the new Revitalise to provide replenishment and three points in Genesis (for the HoTs and Swiftmend boost) and forego completely Moonglow. Given gear levels, raidwide replenishment, etc, the reduced mana cost from Moonglow will not be critical and so I think that can be discarded safely. It may be for leveling and dungeon running that Moonglow may be preferred to Revitalize, particularly with lower gear levels. I do hope that either Moonglow or Genesis will be swapped to Tier 1 in Balance, though, as that should allow us to pick up both talents!

    All in all though, interesting changes. Resto changes look to be positive. The feral tree and abilities have always looked pretty positive in my opinion, just hopefully their actual damage done will be boosted up as they suffered quite a big loss on the PTR (most likely from the loss of armour pen on stats coming with 4.0 and Cata; Warriors are facing similar issues). also posted today that Amazon has sent emails out about the Cataclysm Release Date, putting its release on 23 Nov - HOWEVER, they were keen to stress that Amazon has gotten release dates wrong before and that this has NOT yet been confirmed by Blizzard. I think you can take from this announcement though that Cataclysm is likely going to be released in November.

    Edit: o.O I just saw in my email that I just got a beta invite! I didn't even think these were still going out. Off to install, updates to come!

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