World of Warcraft PTRs are always a sort of playground or sandbox for the devs to try out new things, and as such, are often slightly crazy places where designs don’t quite work out as intended. As a result, the PTR class changes will regularly come thick and fast, and often won’t be covered in patch notes. This means that they will invariably generate huge amounts of bug reports and issues, simply because players who don’t know about class changes have no clue what’s happening with their character!
So Blizzard’s Lead Systems Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street has stepped in, creating a thread to lay out these small class changes, which are constantly in flux, and not included in the patch notes.
What are the current highlights that we can draw from the information provided?
- Holy Paladin CC is being nerfed – it was felt that this is far too strong in arena. Blinding Light will have a cast time for Holy Paladins, but, so far, not for retribution or protection.
- Druid’s cyclone will have its duration increased by the PvP glove bonus, by two seconds, but the heavy, heavy DR is working well.
- Healing Priests get an amazing looking Golden Apparition from their 4-set bonus, which is not dissimilar to a Shadowy Apparition, but healing rather than doing damage.
- Monks get awesome-looking new spirits to aid them in their damaging ways
- Warriors may be getting more healing, as part of their 2-set bonus
- Blizzard are struggling with Discipline priests, which are too strong in PvE and too weak in PvP. A Divine Aegis nerf to Prayer of Healing is incoming.
What do you think of the class changes? Is your class affected? And are they getting it right or wrong for PvP and PvE?
– On live, PvP Power grants 0% healing to Balance, Feral, Windwalker, Retribution, Shadow, Enhancement and Elemental. In the next 5.2 build, this number will be 25% (or half of what a healing spec gets). We agree that PvP healing feels too weak for these hybrid classes. We also don’t think Shadow really needs this buff, so we will likely offset it in other ways.
– We are working on a blog (hopefully next week) to explain some of the other changes to PvP gear in 5.2. We hear your concerns and are trying to address them.
- The Protection 2pc is additive. It’s duration is 5sec per Holy Power. We realize there are concerns about this enabling block capping, and are keeping an eye on this, and will adjust if necessary to make sure it doesn’t happen, even later in the expansion.
- The Protection 4pc does incentivize Unbreakable Spirit. We’re considering possible revisions but want to try it like this for now. It’s currently “You gain 1 Holy Power for each 20% of your health taken as damage while Divine Protection is active.”
- The Retribution 2pc is a debuff on the target, and does not stack or roll. With Glyph of Mass Exorcism, the debuff will be applied to all targets hit by the Exorcism. It affects all of your Holy damage. Yes, that includes Seal of Truth, Censure ticks, and Hand of Light. Censure ticks are affected per tick — whether it was up when Censure was applied doesn’t matter. It functions similar to the increased magic damage taken raid debuff, except is Holy-only and self-only. Clipping some debuffs when you get back to back Art of War procs is expected, and balanced around.
- The Retribution 4pc does grant a self-buff that is consumed by the next TV, and does not stack. Wasting some procs is expected, and balanced around. Yes it is a single-target benefit that won’t increase DPS on AE fights. We don’t want to be in such a limited design space (we’re talking about the 15th tier here after all) that every set bonus must be super generic and work in every situation. If anything, we’d rather the Ret bonus be even higher for single-target and paladins will just be stronger at single-target and weaker at AE once they have the set bonus than they are in other tiers. Set bonuses are one of the few chances we have to change what your character does (within reason) aside from all of your numbers just getting bigger.
- We changed the Repentance cast time to make it consistent with other cast time crowd control. A 1.5 sec cast time (reduced by haste) gives little opportunity for interruption.
- During Shuriken Toss, your auto attacks are replaced with throwing Shurikens, which do 80% weapon damage, but are on the ‘yellow combat table’, meaning they don’t glance, and don’t suffer the dual wield miss penalty. The 80% number was chosen because that approximately offsets those other benefits.
- In our above description of Blade Flurry, ‘normal’ means the same as it previously did; that is to say, the damage that the ability would have done had it hit the secondary target.
- The 2pc does encourage using Rupture as Combat.
- Burst of Speed saying “movement-reducing” means that it no longer breaks roots, but does break snares.
- We are experimenting with allowing Smoke Bomb to reduce the damage done to allies by 20%. We agree that rogues are lacking in the group utility department and we’d like to see less use of Smoke Bomb strictly as an offensive ability in PvP.
- We are going to reduce the PvP set bonus from +50 energy to +30 energy.
- Storm, Earth, and Fire does not affect Xuen’s damage. The spirits benefit from your Tiger Eye Brew. We agree that a spell with “storm, earth and fire” in the name sounds like a shaman spell, but Warcraft 3 established it as a Pandaren monk ability.
- The Mistweaver 2pc is multiplicative. The first target gets normal healing, the second gets 115% of normal, and the third gets 132.25% of normal.
- The 2pc and 4pc both can crit.
- Direhorn Stampedes are everything you dream them to be.
- Please note that Restoration Mushrooms are currently incorrectly absorbing 33% of overheal each, instead of 25%.
- The Elemental 4pc does trigger from Overloads.
- We’re still iterating on the cooldown/potency/duration of Elemental Mastery. In the next PTR build, it will likely be a 90 sec cooldown.
- We are experimenting with removing the attenuation of Chain Lightning. This means Chain Lightning won’t do less damage on subsequent targets.
- The Shadow 2pc does impact Shadow Word: Insanity, which we’re working to resolve. It extends existing effects, preserving their same damage (not recalculating).
- We are considering making the glyphs of Desperation and Inner Focus passive for Discipline.
- We are considering giving Focused Will to Holy as well as Discipline.
- We did not buff PvP Power for healer damage as we did for DPS healing. However, we believe that Discipline specifically might need more damage. One potential solution is to nerf Atonement healing but raise damage so there is no net healing change.
- With the 2pc, an Incinerate crit has an 8% chance to generate 4/10 of an ember. Yes, this will apply to Fire and Brimstone Incinerates.
- We are strongly considering allowing Dark Intent to provide Stamina so that warlocks don’t feel like they must use their imp.
- A Prot Warrior using 2 pieces of the DPS set will get 1.0 RPPM of the enrage.
- We agree with concerns that the new Arms rotation doesn’t involve much rage management. We are considering a small rage cost for Overpower. Arms will likely need some additional retuning of damage because of the changes to Overpower, Taste for Blood and Slam — we haven’t completed tuning yet.
- We made a change to warriors to double the effect of haste for them. This is similar to the shaman Flurry benefit, but is passive and not tied to an ability. We want to make haste a better stat for warriors without it eclipsing stats like crit — we aren’t trying to force every warrior to reforge.
- Storm, Earth, and Fire: The spirits will not mirror non-damaging abilities like Leg Sweep or Charging Ox Wave. They will mirror damaging abilities like Chi Wave. In the cases of damaging abilities that also heal (Chi Wave, Zen Sphere, and Chi Burst), their healing and yours is reduced. But for other heals which aren’t mirrored (like Healing Sphere, Blackout Kick from the front, or consuming a Healthstone), it won’t reduce the healing. In the case of Zen Sphere, the spirits will cast it on themselves when you cast it on anyone. Note that many of these things aren’t working yet, but should in the next PTR build, or perhaps the one after that. Also, in the next PTR build, attempting to cast it on a target that already has one of your spirits on it will recall that spirit.
- The Enhancement 4pc triggers each time Windfury procs, not for each attack it generates.
- If you have the Protection 2pc, casting Word of Glory again when you already have the block buff will replace the existing buff, if the new one is longer duration. It won’t extend.
- The Protection 4pc will not count for Holy Avenger.
- The Healing 2pc causes each Prayer of Mending heal to heal for 10% more than the last; it’s multiplicative. 100%->110%->121%->133%->146%.
- The Restoration 4pc causes each Rejuvenation tick to heal for 6% more than the last; it’s multiplicative. 100%->106%->112%->119%->126%->134%->etc.
- We will reword the 2pc to be more clear about how it works. “Your Shield Slam and Revenge have a 10% chance to activate Victory Rush or Impending Victory as if you had killed your target.”
- Some have asked why the 2pc procs more often for Survival than Marksmanship. Marksmanship typically has more haste than Survival, such as from Steady Focus. (Remember, RealPPM proc rates scale with your haste).
By Ghostcrawler yesterday at 5:08 AM (Patch 5.1.0) Source
- Aimed Shot’s cast time has been lowered from 2.9 to 2.5 sec.
- The Elemental 4pc does count Lava Bursts cast while in Ascendance.
- The Protection 4pc counts damage after all mitigation, and does count absorbed damage.
- The Retribution 4pc set bonus has changed. It now has a chance for Hammer of the Righteous or Crusader Strike to cause your next Divine Storm to cause extra damage to your target. The idea being that you might swap from TV to DS when you get the proc, so that the RNG is something you can actually do something with rather than it just being RNG for extra damage.
- Retribution now does 50% extra healing with Flash Heal. The Selfless Healer talent has been reduced to 20/40/60% bonus healing.
- Sacred Shield’s absorb effect is now dispellable, but the periodic effect is not.
- Blinding Light has a 1.8 sec cast for Holy only. We think Holy’s CC chains are too strong at the moment, but we don’t think Ret or Prot need the nerf.
- I said above that the Zandalari from the 2pc benefited from Unholy mastery. That was a bald-faced lie. It deals physical damage, like the ghoul.
- There is a good chance we’re going to redesign the 4pc DPS bonus.
- The Golden Apparition from the Healing 4pc heals the lowest % health friendly target within 40yd. Note that it has no visual yet, but will not work like Shadowy Apparitions. It is a simple missile, not a summoned unit.
- Further clarification on the Healing 2pc: the Glyph of Prayer of Mending will only boost the first heal. The glyph effects won’t be carried over due to the set bonus. It will be 160% -> 110% -> 121% -> 133% -> etc.
- We are going to redesign Shadow Word: Insanity.
- We are going to nerf Divine Aegis for Prayer of Healing, but also lower the cost of Power Word: Shield (for Disc only) and increase the healing and damage of Penance. In 25 raids, Disc is using Prayer of Healing almost exclusively and we don’t think the Spirit Shell change will be sufficient to change that. We actually want Disc to get back to using PW:Shield a little more, along with Penance. Disc’s throughput is overall too strong in PvE, not even counting the fact that absorbs are often more beneficial than heals.
- Angelic Bulwark and Spirit Shell can no longer be dispelled.
- The 4pc PvP bonus for healing priests has changed: Reduces the cooldown of Chakra by 25 sec and during Spirit Shell, Flash Heal costs 50% less mana.
- The Guardian 4pc is currently a 50% increase to rage generation while Enraged.
- We are going to slightly increase Resto druid healing across the board.
- We still like the DR change to Cyclone, but we are going to increase its range to 30 yards, and the PvP glove bonus for Balance and Resto will be to increase Cyclone duration by 2 sec.
- Spinning Fire Blossoms’ damage now scales from weapon damage rather than attack power. This will result in an intended nerf.
Keep in mind with those changes you haven’t seen yet that they may change again before they reach the PTR.
By Ghostcrawler yesterday at 7:01 PM (Patch 5.1.0)
- New Ret 4pc reads in totality (i.e. there is no mention of Templar’s Verdict): “Your Crusader Strike and Hammer of the Righteous have a X% chance to cause your next Divine Storm to also strike its primary target with a Lightning Bolt for Y Nature damage.” Y is about a Templar’s Verdict.
- Obviously, I meant +50% Flash of Light not Flash Heal. Those spells are tooootaly different.
- We’re changing the Enhance 2pc from 3 charges on Unleashed Weapon to 1 charge on all Shocks.
- Our current though on Solace is that it will provide damage and healing for both Disc and Holy. So Holy could use it for some Atonement-like healing, as could Disc, but Disc won’t double dip and shouldn’t feel like it’s mandatory. That could change (all of this could change) as we try it out and iterate more.
By Ghostcrawler yesterday at 8:40 PM (Patch 5.1.0)
Purge, we’ll take that under advisement and consider a new iteration.
Khendra, we have no objection to using Prayer of Healing when you need to heal a bunch of people. That’s what it’s for. But when you’re using Prayer of Healing in preparation for future damage because DA and SS make your AE heal better at shielding than actual Power Word: Shield, then that even further reduces your options. (In 10s, Disc tends to use Atonement more, so they’re doing something more than just PoH spam. In 25s, we see some Atonement use, but it’s fit in when possible and healers in 25s are just always going to be able to specialize more.)
We might in the future add another AE heal for Disc (I think you can make a compelling argument that in this day and age, healers need a variety of interesting AE heals and maybe only a couple of ST heals, while healer design for years went in the opposite direction) but that’s not the sort of thing we want to drop on you in the middle of an expansion. In the meantime, if Disc uses Penance and PW:Shield some more (and Flash Heal in PvP) and doesn’t trounce all the other healers, we will be satisfied and hopefully so will priests.
By Ghostcrawler today at 1:17 AM (Patch 5.1.0)
- Sword of Light now reads +30% Word of Glory and +100% Flash of Light. We wanted to reward Flash of Light more, because it’s harder and riskier to use.
- For Divine Storm, several years ago, we got on this kick that thou shalt not use AE in single target fights. Ret paladins (Divine Storm) and warriors (Whirlwind) were particularly affected (and perhaps bummed out by it). The game has changed a lot since that time and now we have cleaving Arcane Barrages and core abilities like Howling Blast. We think the Ret toolkit is in a better place with separate single-target and AE finishers, but we get requests all the time to make Divine Storm more prominent. This set bonus is one way to do that. We also saw some complaints about yet another set bonus affecting TV, and thought maybe we could play with DS. We also saw complaints that TV randomly doing more damage would be frustrating. The new bonus allows you to take advantage of a proc to increase your damage. We could change the proc to Holy damage, but we would have to nerf it to account for the 2pc and Inquisition.
- For Blinding Light, we don’t think it changes much that it’s used at the end of a CC chain. It’s still trickier to get off a cast time spell. You have to stop moving and risk interruption. Yes, you may use it defensively less often, but the net result will still be less being CC’d by a Holy paladin. No, the CC target can’t stop the cast time, but we balance PvP around group play. During MoP development, we wanted to make sure paladins had more offensive pressure. Holy ended up getting plenty with higher nuke damage and access to Repentance. With the recent changes to shaman, Holy paladins are the most dominant healer in high-end PvP. We think this change along with the set piece bonus change will help bring that down a little.
- The 2pc bonus does not affect Crimson Tempest, because Crimson Tempest’s duration does not scale with combo points.
- As previously mentioned, we chose 80% as the damage for Shuriken Toss, as that made it balanced with white attacks, to offset the dual wield miss penalty and glancing. However, that neglected to consider that it also triggers poisons more often due to not missing 19% of the time. So we’re lowering its damage slightly, to 75%. That’s intentionally under-compensating, so that the extra poison procs are still a gain, rather than just neutral. Additionally, to make absolutely clear that you do not want to run out, Shuriken Toss, and run back in, to get the Shuriken auto attacks, we’re making the auto attack override end when you get back in melee range.
- For the Enhance 2pc, we’re going to try Storm Strike gives you 2 charges on Maelstrom Weapon, for the reasons mentioned.
- We are changing the 4pc Frost / Unholy set bonus from Army of the Dead to Killing Machine and Sudden Doom proc more often. We don’t have numbers yet and it’s possible they won’t work out. In addition to all the concerns mentioned, it was a really valid point that Army of the Dead is hard to use in Raid Finder, where most of our players experience raids. You rarely get countdowns before a pull and players in general are used to yelling at DKs who use Army because they had a bad experience at some point with the ghoul taunt.
- For PvP, we’re considering just making the Cyclone duration buff the bonus for all druid specs. We’d likely just give Feral cheaper interrupts (their current glove bonus) baseline.