Tag Archives: Beta

MoP Rep Gear – Bears & DKs

25 Aug

So when writing my gear lists last week, I stumbled across something unexpected. It turns out that there are 4 factions who have rep gear, purchasable with VP, that is 489 ilvl epics. Of course, these are probably going to be gear pieces you would be interested in, but which factions have the best pieces for you? Which factions should you focus on, or ignore?

It’s worth noting that each of these factions ALSO have ilvl 450 blue gear, that is purchasable with JP at honored. It’s possible that you may run across honored without even trying, so these may be an early, good way to boost your ilvl getting ready for heroics as well. I will mention each faction, and what they offer to both DKs and bears, much in a similar way that my other lists were formatted, except they will be by faction instead of by gear slot.

Golden Lotus - In addition to some nice gear, the Golden Lotus also have mounts purchasable at exalted. Win!

Guardian Druids – Bears *really* clean up with the Golden Lotus. The 489 shoulders and chestpiece are about as nice as you can find outside of raiding (and would probably only be replaced by tier pieces. I haven’t honestly looked at tier itemization yet). Also, feel free to pick up the ring. Haste may be garbage, but jewelry has always been one of those hard to find, harder to replace pieces.

Surehand Grips – 450 gloves. Crit/Mastery, no socket.

Amulet of Swirling Mists - 450 neck. Haste/Mastery, no socket.

Mogu Rune of Paralysis – 450 trinket. 751 mastery, stun use.

Imperion Spaulders – 489 shoulders. Hit/Crit, yellow socket (60 agi)

Softfoot Silentwrap – 489 chest. Hit/Expertise, blue/yellow socket (120 agi)

Anji’s Keepsake – 489 ring. Hit/Haste, no socket.

Blood DKs – The weird itemization we saw in heroic blues continues on here for DKs. Why they have strength as a socket bonus on a clearly-tank item is beyond me. Perhaps they changed the Str-to-Parry conversion rate to make it far more attractive… I dunno. Anyway, Either 489 chest will work out for you, just depending on which you prefer to have more of. It probably would be worthwhile to pick up both and swap them out according to what feels better to you.

Serrated Forearm Guards – 450 wrist. Expertise/Mastery, no socket.

Gorget of Usurped Kings – 450 neck. Dodge/Hit, no socket.

Mogu Rune of Paralysis - 450 trinket. 751 mastery, stun use.

Cuirass of the Twin Monoliths – 489 chest. Dodge/Expetise, blue/yellow socket (120 str)

Dawnblade’s Chestguard – 489 chest. Hit/Expertise, blue/yellow socket (120 str)

Shoulders of Autumnlight – 489 shoulders. Dodge/Expertise, yellow socket (90 stam)

Alani’s Inflexible Ring – 489 ring. Dodge/Parry, no socket.

Shado-Pan – The Shado-Pan also have some mounts purchasable at exalted. The cloaks alone make these guys worth working on until revered, at the very least… besides, their mounts look effing SWEET.

Guardians – I know the “Hawkmaster’s Talon” has a kind of bunk on-use ability, but that much agi is hard for anybody to pass up, and it would be well worth a pick up on fights where you spend a lot of time DPS-bear’ing instead of actively tanking.

Tough Mushanhide Leggings – 450 legs. Hit/Mastery, no socket.

Mark of the Dancing Crane – 450 ring. Crit/Haste, no socket.

Red Smoke Bandana – 489 head. Hit/Mastery, meta/blue socket (180 agi)

Lao-Chin’s Liquid Courage - 489 trinket. 1619 stam, 15s mastery use.

Hawkmaster’s Talon – 489 trinket. 1079 agi, 15s haste use.

Blackguard Cape – 489 cloak. Hit/Mastery, no socket.

Blood DKs – Nothing special here really. I’m surprised to see such a big stam socket bonus on the helmet, but I expect that’ll be corrected sooner or later. Again, this is still beta.

Thunderstone Ring – 450 ring. Parry/Hit, no socket.

Yi’s Least Favorite Helmet – 489 head. Dodge/Mastery, mega/blue socket (270 stam)

Lao-Chin’s Liquid Courage - 489 trinket. 1619 stam, 15s mastery use.

Yi’s Cloak of Courage – 489 cloak. Parry/Mastery, no trinket.

The August Celestials - More awesome (flying!) mounts that kinda remind me of Mushu. These guys have your “stepping stone” blue cloaks before picking up the 489′s from the Shado-Pan.

Guardians – Nothing particularly noteworthy here. It would figure that somewhere along the line we would have a VP purchase with haste on it… Arginfriggin boots.

Bladesong Cloak – 450 cloak. Crit/Haste, no socket.

Refurbished Zandalari Vestment – 450 chest. Haste/Expertise, no socket.

Fingers of the Lonliest Monk – 489 gloves. Expertise/Mastery, no socket.

Quilpaw Family Bracers – 489 gloves. Hit/Crit, no socket.

Tukka-Tuk’s Hairy Boots – 489 boots. Hit/Haste, no socket.

Blood DKs – Standard valor point gear here. Nothing spectacular to see.

Cloak of the Silent Mountain – 450 cloak. Parry/Expertise, no socket.

Leggings of Ponderous Advance – 450 legs. Crit/Mastery, no socket.

Battle Shadow Bracers – 489 wrist. Parry/Hit, no socket.

Gloves of Overwhelming Swarm – 489 gloves. Parry/Mastery, no socket.

Yu’lon Guardian Boots – 489 boots. Dodge/Parry, no socket.

The Klaxxi - This appears to be one of the few factions that has level 90 weapons for sale with rep, and the only place that the Alliance can get a scorpion mount. They do have the 489 necklaces for sale as well, so they’re definitely worth sinking time into.

Guardians – The belt is weird, with a crit rating socket bonus, but whatever. Drop whatever kinda gem you like in there.

Cruel Mercy Bracers – 450 wrist. Crit/Mastery

Choker of the Klaxxi’va – 489 neck. Hit/Crit, no socket.

Dreadsworn Slayer Legs – 489 legs. Crit/Mastery, red socket (60 agi)

Klaxxi Lash of the Borrower – 489 belt. Crit/Mastery, blue socket (60 crit)

Blood DKs – The Klaxxi are weird, in the direction of tanks. They have mastery on two pieces of plate that are clearly meant for DPS. Take your pick, I suppose.

Chestplate of the Stone Lion – 450 chest. Hit/Mastery, no socket.

Klaxxi Lash of the Consumer – 489 waist. Parry/Hit, blue socket (60 parry).

Kovok’s Riven Legguards – 489 legs. Dodge/Expertise, red socket (60 str).

Paragon’s Pale Pendant – 489 neck. Parry/Hit, no socket.

In general, this is your basic, JP/VP gear list, with the added oddity of needing rep to buy these items as well. In addition  to that, the JP pieces are lower ilvl than what you get from heroic dungeons… VERY weird if you ask me, but whatever I suppose. I’m not sure how it’ll work out, by and large, but I assume either people will buy these items or they won’t. I suppose it doesn’t much matter anyway, because when the second full content patch of MoP comes out, we’ll be largely ignoring these items anyway.

Did Blizz really screw up DKs for MoP?

12 May

It never fails to surprise me that every time I look at my dashboard, generally my highest searhced pages are my DK posts. I figure it’s time to update my talent analysis for some of the newer beta builds that have come out… BECAUSE YOU ASKED FOR IT! :D As always, I preface this with my notification that again, this is still BETA information, and is subject to change on a regular basis. Blowing a gasket will not help anything, as Blizzard tends to be 3 or 4 patches ahead of what is currently on the beta. THAT SAID, however, constructive criticism and helpful feedback will go a long way, keeping well in mind that Blizzard is well within their rights to disagree with you and go a completely different direction.

Now then… if you’ve stopped by the beta forums, you may have noticed a lot of animosity between die-hard DK lovers and Blizz at the moment, because they feel like there’s a distinct lack of direction for MoP. Generally I stay away from extreme hyperbole (the class is unplayable! they fucking suck now! neutered my class! etc etc etc), because it’s usually ridiculous. However, I *do* feel like Blizz is uncertain what they want to do with DKs for 5.0. I’ve played my DK a little bit in the beta, and found that both unholy and 2h frost play *exactly* the same as they do on live. While I am appreciative of “don’t fix what’s not broken”, there’s a LOT to be said for giving people something newer than what they’ve been playing for the last couple years. DKs are liable to see a significant exodus if nothing changes between 4.0 and 5.0, just because you can only play the same thing for so long before it gets stale.

Here’s the rub though. Blizz HAS given DKs a few new buttons to push. First is “Control Undead” (woo-fucking-hoo /sarcasm), and the second is Soul Reaper (goddamn bloody fantastic, AND fitting into the DK lore). On top of this, we were given a couple new utili-damaging abilities in the level 90 talent tier in the forum of Gorefiend’s Grasp, Desecrated Ground and Remorseless Winter… And then, they went and pulled the blanket off of what could’ve been the most anticipated talent selection… to make them all impotent. Or, to phrase it better, none of them deal damage anymore.

Now… before I get into a rampaging obnoxious rant about things, I would like to point out something. EVERY other class has a damaging talent or output (damage or healing) increaser, SOMEWHERE within the tree.

Warriors: Bladestorm, Shockwave, Dragon Roar, Avatar, Bloodbath, Storm Bolt

Warlocks: Archimonde’s Vengeance, Grimoire of Supremacy, Grimoire of Service, Harvest Life*

Shaman: Echo of the Elements, Elemental Mastery, Elemental Blast, Primal Elementalist, Unleashed Fury

Rogues: Deadly Throw, Shuriken Toss, Versatility**

Priests: Archangel, Twist of Fate, Power Infusion, Halo, Divine Star, Cascade

Paladins: Sanctified Wrath, Divine Purpose, Execution Sentence, Light’s Hammer, Holy Prism

Monks: Chi Wave, Zen Sphere, Chi Burst, Rushing Jade Wind, Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger, Chi Torpedo

Mages: Presence of Mind, Scorch, Ice Floes, Nether Tempest, Living Bomb, Frost Bomb, Rune of Power, Incanter’s Ward

Hunters: Wyvern Sting, Thrill of the Hunt, Readness, Fervor, A Murder of Crows, Dire Beast, Lynx Rush, Barrage, Powershot, Glaive Toss

Druids: Force of Nature, Incarnation, Soul of the Forest, Nature’s Vigil

Death Knights: Death Siphon

*Harvest Life replaces Drain Life, which is already a part of the warlock’s toolkit, so this may or may not “count” as far as we’re concerned. Even if we eliminate it from this list, they still have plenty of others.

**Versatility doesn’t offer a direct damage or stat increase, but giving Redirect no cooldown is definitely an overall damage increase for any fight with more than one target ever, so I think it counts.

It’s worth noting that some of the abilities I mentioned used to be in the talent trees as they exist on live currently, but a lot of THOSE cases make a difference because now they’re accessible to ANYONE who plays that class, regardless of what spec they are (Presence of Mind is no longer restricted to arcane mages, for example). Now then, after looking at all of that mess, do we see something a little bit out of balance here? Yeah. DKs have *one* ability that does damage, and it’s not a button most DKs are going to be hitting for the sake of DPS right now, it’s more a survivability/PvP ability (although, admittedly, not a bad one). I will freely admit that Rogues are the only ones who are probably as boned as Death Knights are in the form of damaging talents. I mean honestly, two ranged attacks, one of them a finisher? Urgh. BUT i’m not here to write about rogues, because I am mostly unfamiliar with them on the whole.

When the other 10 classes have extra buttons they can hit to deal damage or increase healing (or both, in some cases), and Death Knights are shown these really damn cool new talents at level 90, only to have their damage component cut off, it’s easy to see where a lot of the vitriol is coming from. I don’t think the DK community wants an entire overhaul of the class like Warlocks are getting, I just think they want a bit of variety and fairness. Add the damage components back to the level 90 talents, and that will bring things about equal with the other classes. A little bit of freshness can REALLY make a difference to a DK. Soul Reaper, while a *damn* cool ability, just isn’t enough when nothing else is different from how it’s been the last year or so.

Will the REAL Fuzzbutt, please stand up?

10 May

If you’ve been following me on twitter or my blog for a while, you may’ve noticed that I am somewhat impulsive. I tend to make rash decisions based on very little, empirical data… mostly relying on hearsay or VERY minor anecdotal evidence. I’ve spent a lot of talking about monks lately, and a tiny bit of time talking about DKs, but i’ve not spent a lot of time talking about druid-type things, because well… I wasn’t overly impressed with where they were taking the class for MoP previously. Since playing the monk so much, I figured it would be good to have a basis for comparison when it comes to tanking, so I dusted off my copied-over druid and shoved him into a few dungeons.

Keep in mind, first off, that this druid is considerably better geared than my monk is… he is at a 398 ilvl whereas premade toons start with a 378 ilvl, so that’s a relatively significant difference. Even with that in mind, holy shit on a cracker, what a difference there is in how the two tank. Right now, the monk’s rotation is panicky and spastic, and requires on a 100% uptime of one ability to even THINK about surviving (shuffle via BoK). When I took my druid into Temple of the Jade Serpent, it was like slipping on an old glove again. Bears on the beta feel smooth, and powerful and…

Wait, what the fuck is this? Lacerate is on a cooldown? Pulverize is gone? Swipe is (situationally) back in our single-target rotation? Wat the hell?

And what are these two new buttons i have? (Well.. actually only one is a new button, but Frenzied Regen has taken a SIGNIFICANT redesign from what it currently is on live.) Holy shit does that say 45% dodge? HOLY SHIT DID THAT JUST HEAL ME FOR 80K? /drool.

As you may have guessed, i’m starting to feel comfortable with the druid again (as it were). I may have been pretty rash in my earlier write-off of the class for Mists. Don’t get me wrong, i’m not writing off monks either, but right now they have a lot of work to do, and maybe I would do better sticking to what I know and simply adjusting… I mean it is kind of the druid way really. Take what we’re given, and make it work awesome.

So, let me take a brief minute and discuss what’s going on with bears in the beta.

Glyphs are in a decently fun place. There’s lots of actual CHOICE involved here, instead of “OH MY GOD YOU MUST TAKE THESE OTHERWISE YOU’RE BAD AND YOU SHOULD FEEL BAD”

Except of course the Glyph of Rebirth. Seriously… I don’t care what role you are, you *have* to have this glyph. My other major glyphs are Maul (an old standby, and probably one that most bears WILL take), and Survival Instincts. SI glyph provides an interesting form of choice here. Reduce the cooldown & reduce the duration via glyph? It’s worth testing, at the very least. Of course, there are plenty of other glyphs that are worth considering. I won’t go into each and every one, but feel free to check out the list and decide for yourself what may work for you.

Talents, at the moment, are a bit less ambiguous for bears, in my opinion. The level 90 talents have been under EXTREME amounts of discussion, dissection, and dissertation on the beta forums, and there is probably an entire blog post I could devote to just those talents… but I will leave those discussions to people far more eloquent and well-versed in theorycrafting than myself. With the exception of the level 60 talents, the ones that I picked are pretty much no-brainers for bears. I picked “Incarnation” because it’s basically a second berserk, without the added gigglefits of hitting 3 targets, but that’s neither here nor there. Force of Nature is pretty amusing… it’s basically a bear’s “Army of the Dead”. Drop treants, watch them run around taunting everything in combat, profit. Soul of the Forest is a hard talent to skip over, but it’s also hard for me to give it a place right now, as well, simply because mangle giving me rage in GENERAL is bloody fantastic… I haven’t felt myself overly starved for rage when in any 5-mans, so I don’t predict raids to be much different.

OH MY GOD WE'RE ALL GONNA DIENow, I fully expect this is going to change in the future, but hitting Incarnation and then having Kiril proc (making me DOUBLY HUGE) is worthy of mass amounts of giggling. I had to screenshot it while it was still a thing.

NO HE'S NOT OVERCOMPENSATING THANK YOU VERY MUCHIn other news, i’m considering making my druid back into a night elf. You may remember that I race changed him the very day that Cataclysm dropped, and i’ve been modestly happy with that decision. (Oh darkflight, you made Atramedes *POSSIBLE*) But as i’ve gone on through Cataclysm, i’ve noticed that capes and helmets all look like absolute shit on worgen. Night elves, on the other hand, look 84 kinds of awesome with both of them on. If I were to go out with no transmogged gear (except for the weapon, because Kiril is an ugly son of a polearm), this is what I would look like, on the left over here. Damn… that’s kinda hawt. Maybe i’ll race change him back to his original elven self.

The problem with brewmaster monks…

28 Apr

So, my brand new monk hit 84, and promptly got stuck when trying to do the quest chain that takes him into Twilight Highlands… and since I would rather rub sandpaper on my nipples than level 84-85 solely in Uldum and Deepholm, I went ahead and made a template character. First thing I did with my brand new panda monk (spooneristically named “Metabonkey”) was to spec him brewmaster and queue for one of the new dungeons. Queue popped instantly and I was taken to Stormstout Brewery, where I promptly realized the big issue with Brewmasters in their current iteration

They are fucking squishy. Here’s why: My druid tank, in bear form, in ilvl 397 gear has 58422 armor on the beta. My monk, in 378 gear (admittedly worse, but not DRAMATICALLY so) is sitting at 11381 armor.

Now baseline, that’s roughly a 30% difference in damage reduction mitigated by armor. Per swing. Brewmasters DO have a lot of tools to combat this between Guard and Staggering damage, but therein lies the problem. NO one tank class shouldn’t have to use a minimum of 4 global cooldowns for his damage taken to be similar to that of the other tanks. 4 global cooldowns is the MINIMUM… That’s providing you start a fight with full chi and are talented into having a maximum of 5 chi. If you’re going in blank it could take as many as 9 global cooldowns (Keg smash, Jab x2, Tiger Palm x3, Keg Smash, Guard, Purifying Brew) . And that is IF every single blow lands.

That’s a long damn time for you to be getting your face pounded in while trying to be “just as good” as the other tanks. Now the guard gives you a bit of breathing room, and purifying brew will cleanse off any Staggered damage you took in that time frame, but unless you throw a blackout kick (2 chi, which means you need to generate 2 MORE chi somewhere in that 9s string of nonsense) somewhere in there, there isn’t any guarantee that you will stagger ANY hits. Which means you took at *least* 3 swings from a boss at “full strength” with your monk’s piddly little 30% armor. Which means your healers are panting and going “what the fuck y u so squishy!??!”

All things being equal, this is a problem in and of itself. I don’t think anyone will argue that, but here’s the rub. Keg smash has a cooldown. If you miss with it either time in those 9 seconds then you wasted a cooldown and now have to jab TWICE for two chi, instead of KS’ing ONCE. On top of that, your keg smash/jab cost 40 energy. Energy is kind of a funky resource overall because baseline it regenerates at 10/sec. Of course haste will change that, but the amount it does so is SO miniscule (10% haste = 1 extra energy/sec. HARDLY worth the hassle when you could look for so many better things on gear).

So, let’s look at this from another way, where energy actually comes into play in the above rotation (starting a fight with zero chi). Keep in mind, I am no hardcore theorycrafter, but all of this makes sense even to me, so it should be simple enough to understand. We are assuming 0 haste on your behalf (which we know will not be the case, because we’ll ALWAYS find SOME gear with garbage stats on it). e = energy, c = chi.

Keg smash (-40e) Jab (-40e) Jab (-40e) = -120 energy. Right off the bat, you’re ALREADY waiting for energy to regenerate. Now admittedly, you can throw your three tiger palms in after the first jab, so it would look like this. Keep in mind that the base regeneration rate is 10 chi per second, and the Brewmaster monk’s have a 1s global cooldown instead of 1.5 baseline like everyone else.

Fight: (100e 0c) Keg smash (60e 2c), Jab (30e, 3c), Tiger palm x3 (60e, 0c) Jab (30e, 1c)–and right here your stuck. The next thing you SHOULD do is keg smash again, but you don’t have the energy to do it. You have to wait a full second to get enough energy to fire off your keg smash… or even another jab. At this point the boss has swung at you roughly 2 times (we’re assuming a 3 second swing timer. Of course this could be higher or lower, but 3 is a nice round number, it’s an “average” boss swing timer, and it suits our purposes here). So at this point, we’re waiting for enough energy to keg smash, where we’ll have the chi to Guard and Purifying Brew.

Again, this is ALL assuming that you have enough hit and expertise to never miss, and never be dodged or parried. And all of this is to get our survivability up to where EVERY OTHER TANK is back at the beginning of the pull. This is a little messed up right now.

I feel like I should say this (as I always do), but this is BETA. I know things will be changed. Numbers will be tweaked. Blizzard doesn’t want ANY tank going underrepresented, especially not their new class for this expansion. I understand the point of not wanting to repeat their mistakes with Death Knights at the beginning of WotLK (where they were soloing raid bosses at level), but I feel like they swung the pendulum too far the other direction for now. Of course, this is a GOOD THING. Having a class that starts out feeling weaker and gradually bringing it up to everyone else’s relative position makes us feel more powerful. This is MUCH more preferable than having us feel like gods among men, and then feeling neutered when we’re actually IN LINE with the other mere mortals (again, see DK’s in early Wrath).

I’m not writing this as a bitchfest post or anything like that. I am writing it so that those of you without beta access, or those simply unwilling to get in the beta for your own reasons, have an idea of what’s going on and where things lie for the “newcomers” to Azeroth.   If Blizz balances Brewmasters out like I am *certain* they will, then I am about 75% that the Brewmaster monk becoming my new main for Mists. I’m excited by the potential of the Monk class as a whole… but it’s still pretty early in the day. I look forward to seeing the class evolve as Blizzard starts tightening the screws.

Roly Poly Patch Day

25 Apr

This is a beta patch, so don’t get excited. I wanted to discuss the new beta patch rolled out late last night/this morning. Actually, to be more specific, I wanted to take a look at the monk changes, since that’s pretty much the only thing i’ve spent any time on in the beta. So, away we go! (As per usual, I will focus on brewmaster, and maybe touch on some windwalker stuff… mistweaver doesn’t exist to me, as I don’t heal haha)

Baseline changes:

Blackout Kick - Now costs 2 chi, up from 1 chi. Base damage increased by 20%

Pretty good change, imo. The extra chi makes it feel more like a finisher, which is what it’s SUPPOSED to be (sub-50% health), and the damage increase helps offset the extra chi cost. Well thought out change for an ability that was in a bizarre place beforehand.

Crackling Jade Lightning – Now costs 1.5% of base mana, down from 3%. When dealing damage, you have a 15% chance to generate 1 chi.

The mana change is clearly directed more at misweavers, clearly, so it doesn’t matter to me. The chance to generate chi though is nice. Maybe this is starting to take a direction more towards Mistweaver, since it really seems useless for Brewmaster and Windwalker.

Detox - Now removes disease effects instead of bleed effects.

I saw this change coming from the moment I looked at the tooltip of this ability. Only having one class that can cleanse bleeds would cause all kinds of balance issues in pvp.

Fortifying Brew - Now increases your health by 100%, and reduces yoru damage taken by 20%. Lasts 20 sec.

A good change for an ability that really made no sense before. However, it’s another tanking cooldown for a class that, right now, is LOADED THE FUCK DOWN with tank cooldowns. I’m not sure I understand what’s going on there.

Grapple Weapon - Now grabs non-ranged weapons. If you steal a better main-hand weapon, your damage or healing will be increased by 5% or damage taken reduced by 5%.

The first part was most likely a pvp change to keep from making hunters and casters useless. The second half is most likely a clarification of what the ability does, because the previous tooltip didn’t make any damn sense.

Healing Sphere - Now costs 2% base mana up from 1.5% base mana. Now instant cast down from 1.5s cast. Now has a .5s cooldown.

A curious change. I can’t imagine they’ll want tanks casting this on themselves in the middle of combat all the time, so I don’t quite understand why they removed the cast time. IMO, if they’re going to nix the cast time, they should make that a mistweaver-only passive. 

Spinning Crane Kick - Now costs 2 chi, down from [sic] 1 chi. During Spinning Crane Kick, you can continue to dodge and parry.

I’m not particularly surprised by this change. SCK felt too powerful and spammable at a cost of 1 chi. Keeping the ability to dodge and parry just lets tanks use it to solidfy aoe threat. All the other tanks have aoe abilities that don’t remove their dodge/block/parry ability, so it only makes sense that this one wouldn’t either.

Tiger Palm - Now deals 50% additional damage if the target is above 50% health.

Another good change, probably made to counterbalance the change to blackout kick. They definitely want to make sure you use one above 50% health, and one below 50% health.

 Transcendence - Now has a 45s cooldown, down from 3 minutes.

I haven’t played at level 87 so I can only comment on this ability in speculation, so… Sure thing, alright then. lol

Talents:

Charging Ox Wave - Now affects all nearby enemies within 5 yards, down from 40 yards.

This makes a lot of sense. Having an ability that knocks back all enemies within 40 yards is a little ridiculous. 5 yards makes more sense.

Chi Torpedo - Chi Torpedo replaces roll.

I feel like this was most likely a pvp change, because having 2 rolls, with a movement speed increase, and then chi torpedo, and then flying tiger kick (or wtfever it’s called that windwalkers have) means WAYYYYYYYYYYYY too much mobility for monks. Just sayin.

Dampen Harm - Moved to level 75 from level 60. Now has a 1.5m cooldown, up from 30s.

30 seconds of the cooldown for this talent was WAY too good in pvp and for tanks. This makes a lot of sense. The change from level 60 to 75 is pretty much an indifference as far as I care.

Healing Elixirs - Moved to level 75 from level 60.

My guess is this was moved solely so you had it to compete with Dampen Harm. The two of them mixed together would just be too powerful.

Karma *new* - Reduces all spell damage taken by 90% and clears all magical effects on you, reversing them back to their original caster if within 40 yards. Lasts for 6s. 1 chi, instant 1.5m cooldown.

This is an interesting new talent (the tooltip shows at level 75 as well, so it makes sense to choose between this, Dampen Harm, and Healing Elixirs). I could see the cost being increased to maybe 2 chi at some point in the future, because this could be ABSURD in pvp against classes like DKs, warlocks, and shadow priests. I am also imagining the cooldown being increased, but it looks to be a fun addition to the toolbox.

Leg Sweep - Now lasts 5s, down from 6s.

Meh. An aoe stun is an aoe stun, and 5s vs 6s is really not that big of a difference if you ask me. 

Zen Sphere (Formerly known as Rolling Force Globe)Summons a Zen Sphere at the target location. Deals (x) damage to the 3 lowest health enemies within 20 yards of the sphere every 1s. If the enemies die from the Zen Sphere, they combust, dealing (y) damage to enemies within 8 yards. Use Zen Sphere again while active to detonate it, instantly dealing (y) damage to all enemies within 20 yards. 1 chi, 40 yard range, instant.

If i’m reading the tooltip changes correctly, instead of having the Force Globe be a boomerang that combines healing and damage to anyone in it’s path, this is instead a stationary object that is strictly for damage dealing. Losing the healing aspect of this is a bit sad, as it could’ve been a fantastic little ability for monks of all specs to throw out on high-AOE damage times. Overall, not a terrible change.. 

Rushing Jade Wind - has been reworked and now has a 30s cooldown, down from 45s. Summon a whirling tornado that travels 0 yards in front of you, dealing 5454 nature damage to all targets in it’s path and increasing damage taken bu your Spinning Crane Kick by 30%. For 8s after you cast Rushing Jade Wind, you move at 200% speed while using Spinning Crane Kic, and reduces Spinning Crane Kick’s chi cost by 1.

This has “AOE fight” written all over it, and I really like the way it’s been reworked. It’ll probably be a staple for trash on dungeons, and on fights with lots of add phases. I’m certain this will see some good use.

Tigereye Brew - Now costs 3 chi, up from 1. Now has a 60s cooldown, down from 90s. Now increases your damage and healing done by 15%. (Level 60 talent).

3 chi seems like a pretty steep cost for a moderate dps/hps increase. It doesn’t show a duration in the tooltip, at this point, but that doesn’t mean anything. I’m sure it HAS a duration, because a stacking buff like this would just be way too strong to ignore otherwise. I’m betting it drops to a 2 chi cost at some point, because 3 is just.. a lot.

Tiger’s Lust - Now has a 30s cooldown, down from 60s.

I hadn’t paid much attention to this, but this seems wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too strong to be on a 30s cooldown when compared to similar abilities like Will of the Forsaken and Escape Artist. I don’t know what they’re playing at here.

Brewmaster abilities:

Avert Harm - Now reduces damage taken by 50%, up from 20%

This is, most likely, to keep monks from getting exploded by large amounts of damage re-directed from everyone else (half of 80% is 40%, the old way. Now half of 50% is 25%, so it’s a net damage reduction for the entire raid)

Brewmaster Training - Blackout kick portion reworked – After you Blackout Kick, you gain Shuffle causing the 3 attacks taken to become staggered within $115307 (that’s really what the tooltip says atm lol).

This is a *fantastic* change. Blackout Kick was really just another way to deal damage before, and having it be chi-free when parried made it fit really oddly in the brewmaster’s toolbox. This makes a LOT more sense in the grand scheme of things. BOK will still cost 2 chi, but now it’ll be another form of “active mitigation” that Blizz is so into these days, and I think it’ll fit nicely into the toolbox.

Clash (formerly Clashing Ox Charge) – You and the target charge each other, meeting halfway and stunning all targets within 6 yards.

This still seems kind of like a wonky ability, due to the whole “meet halfway” mechanic. I haven’t actually been in the beta since patch yet to see whether they’ve fixed the bug of it not always working with casters, so we’ll see. The aoe stun portion is pretty nice though.

Dizzying Haze - Now costs 20 energy, up from 10. Now reduces movement speed by 50%, up from 15%. Misfire chance now stacks up to 3 times.

The energy cost of this was never the issue. Nor was the movement speed reduction. The fact that it’s still a 3-stack still is all kinds of weird to me, and I don’t understand why that’s the one thing that DOESN’T get changed. I just don’t understand.

Summon Black Ox Statue - Now instant cast, down from a 1.5s cast.

Brilliant. Having a tank cast in the middle of combat to put another one of these up is a surefire way to get his ass gibbed, and this is the perfect solution to that. Bravo.

All in all, a lot of these changes are really good. A couple of them don’t make any sense to me, but getting some insight in where Blizz wants to take the monk class is always helpful. My only complaint, really, is Dizzying Haze still. Argh.I really wish they would make DH just a 5% misfire chance with 1 stack, that way using the targeting reticle wouldn’t be so damned awkward. BUT i think i’ve ranted enough about that already. Also, this post has gotten a lot more wordy than I was expecting. Overall, I see a lot of things monks have to rejoice over right now. Running forward for 30 seconds and then taking a couple steps backwards (or more like sideways, in all honesty) is still a net gain in the end.

ETA: A few addendums i’ve noticed after playing in the beta for 5 minutes or so.

Shuffle, as an active ability has been completely removed. Instead it is entirely worked into Blackout Kick. Holy fuckberries you guys. If it weren’t for Tiger Palm increasing our Guard amount, this might eliminate it from our rotation altogether. Holy crap.

In regards to Dizzying Haze: They have reworked it slightly to where it DOESN’T stack, unlike how the tooltip (as per mmo-champion) reads. Instead it is indeed just one stack. Also, the reticle will stay up on your screen from DH allowing you to quickly throw it where you need without having to hit a button, click, hit button, click again. It now works like the Wild Mushrooms. Good change Blizzard. Very good job. I stand completely corrected regarding Dizzying Haze.

Breath of Fire has also been reworked. Instead of dealing more damage based on the stacks of Dizzying Haze (since it doesn’t stack anymore), it now deals a DoT over 8 seconds when it hits them. Whether or not they’ve fixed the conical aspect of the spell remains to be seen. Also, the cooldown appears to have been removed. *thumbs up*

All in all, this patch is a complete effing win for Brewmaster monks. Thanks be to the game designers.

DK Glyph Madness

23 Apr

I realize I have been basically babbling on endlessly about my monk for the last couple weeks… but damn if it isn’t a lot of fun! However, this isn’t a classist blog, and I can’t imagine it ever BEING a classist blog, so I will take a look at the DK (since I can actually *play* her on the beta right now)… more importantly, I will take a look at the glyphs they’re offering in the beta right now.

First thing’s first: If you didn’t know, glyphs are being redone completely. There aren’t going to be any more glyphs that are no brainers. Also, Prime glyphs are going the way of the dodo. Everything in the glyphs, much like the way talents are turning out, is just for the sake of flavor and cool shit. And as always…. THIS IS BETA. SHIT WILL CHANGE. /ahem. Some of the glyphs are the same (right now) in the beta as they are on live, so I won’t mention every single glyph. Anyway, on with the show.

Majors:

Anti-Magic Shell – Causes your AMS to absorb all incoming magical damage, up to the absorption limit.

(Absorption limit is half of your health. Without the glyph, I think it absorbs 75% of all magic damage. This may be as close to a no-brainer for glyphs as tanks get, depending on the fight.)

Dancing Rune Weapon – Increases your threat generation by 100% while DRW is active, but reduces it’s damage dealt by 25%

(Live version increases threat gen by 50%, with no damage penalty.)

Dark Simulacrum - Reduces the cooldown of Dark Sim by 30s and increases it’s duration by 4s.

(Pretty damn cool glyph… I always felt that the CD of Dark Sim made it way too wonky to be used properly. Also… the lack of spells you can copy)

Death Coil - Your death coil spell is now usable on all allies. When cast on a non-undead ally, DC shrouds them with a protective barrier that absorbs up to (x) damage.

(VERY cool little change to death coil. Situational, but still offers some nice utility)

Enduring Infection - Your diseases are undispellable, but their damage dealt is reduced by 30%.

(Could have interesting PvP ramifications)

Icy Touch - Your Icy Touch dispels one helpful magic effect from the target.

(Huh… this could be useful in pvp and on certain pve encounters too. Very interesting)

Mind Freeze - Reduces the cooldown of Mind Freeze by 2s, but raises it’s cost by 20 runic power.

(I haven’t played with DKs much, so this could come in handy for clutch interrupts, but the RP costs could prove… interesting, as it’s now RP free, baseline)

Shifting Presences - You retain 80% of your runic power when switching presences.

(I could see this having some benefit situationally. Nothing spectacular though, of course)

Minor Glyphs

Geist - Your Raise Dead spell summons a geist instead of a ghoul.

(No real benefit one way or the other, but some interesting flavor. However, the geist isn’t actually in the game yet. Just a way to differentiate yourself, I suppose. I wonder if it would look different under Dark Transformation)

Horn of Winter - When used outside of combat, your HoW causes a brief, localized snow flurry.

(flurry!) Oh look... it's snowing... /apathetic cheer

 

 

 

Tranquil Grip - Your death grip spell no longer taunts the target.

(Thank the sweet merciful lord, it’s about time this glyph was added. Holy hand grenade of Antioch is this obnoxious as a DPS DK)

All in all, as you can see, a lot of these glyphs are just there to give you extra choices in how to play. Do you want Mind Freeze on a lower CD at the cost of some runic power? Do you want Dancing Rune Weapon to double your threat at the cost of some extra damage? Do you want to have a geist or a ghoul as your summoned minion? It’s really all up to you. That’s the beauty of this new system. Mix up your playstyle without fucking up your damage output or survivability or whatever.

Brewmastery Goodness

21 Apr

 

If you’ve follow me on twitter, or have been paying any attention to my youtube channel, then you probably know that I have been enjoying the ever living shit out of a monk on the beta. Of course, numbers need to be tweaked, abilities need to be tinkered, and the hamsters running the wheels on the beta servers may have hit the pipe a few too many times, but it’s a beta… that’s part of the whole experience.

I’ve switched back and forth between the brewmaster (tank spec) and windwalker (DPS spec) several times since I hit level 30, but I always find myself back in the tank spec, just because it seems… much more me. It’s like i’m just meant to be a tank, for better or worse (probably worse) so… we’ll see. Anyway, here are some of my thoughts on the Brewmaster spec as I powerlevel the fuck out of it.

  • At first, I tried a pre-made 85 monk. I promptly looked at the spellbook to start placing my abilities, stared blankly at it for about 10 minutes, and then logged out to roll a brand new one.
  • The first 5 levels or so are a bit slow. Jab, Tiger Palm and Blackout Kick are good abilities, but only having Jab for the first 3 levels feels *really* weird. Doesn’t take long to get over, however (especially if you use heirlooms).
  • 1 second baseline GCDs are effing AMAZING.
  • Dizzying Haze is a fun mechanic, that’s implemented weirdly. However, the fact that the missfire chance doesn’t apply to raid bosses (and possibly may not apply to 5-mans bosses) makes this less of an issue, for me personally. I still think DH should be a targeted ability instead of using the AOE reticle.
  • Breath of Fire is *fun as shit*, if a bit on the overpowered side right now. I have been regularly 1-shotting mobs with Breath crits (on a 3-stack of Dizzying Haze) all the way up to level 73 (where my monk is currently).
  • Brewmaster has a metric shit ton of health. 73 and i’m sitting at 16-17k. When I was level 60 I had over 10k health. I’ve levelled all 4 other tank classes and never had that dramatic of a health pool… it’s a bit of an odd feeling.
  • Because of the high health pools we have, Touch of Death is way stronger than it probably should be. Of course, it probably won’t work at all on raid bosses, regardless of respective health pools.
  • Spinning Crane Kick is a much cooler than it should be. I mean seriously. Just awesomesauce.
  • Crackling Jade Lightning doesn’t fit very well into a tank or melee DPS’ toolkit. I’m not sure what the plan is for it… I haven’t tried Mistweaver, so it could be much more prevalent with them.
  • Some of the talents related to monks are pretty amazing. Every tier thus far has had a choice that I could legitimately see individuals having a need for. VERY well done thus far. (And there’s still two “Mystery Talents” left in the trees)
  • Blackout kick feels weird to me, as a tank. I’m sure it will find a much better place once I get into content that isn’t being blistered through by heirloomed monks all over the place, but it just feels… awkward right now. I think it’s far more useful for DPS monks as a whole, whereas tanks may only use it when it’s chi-free.
  • Chi and Energy as a dual resource system isn’t nearly as confusing as I initially thought it was going to be. Once you get in and play with it for 5-10 minutes, it makes sense.
  • Conversely, I *AM* confused about the concept of Chi spheres, especially from the perspective of a tank (I touched on this in my level 70 video, about the 5:45 mark, if you’re interested)

Now, I say this a lot (and it STILL bears repeating), but realize this is still pretty damn early in the beta, so a lot of these things may be changed completely. Numbers (such as how much damage an ability is doing, or how much health I have) could change almost every day if Blizz were so inclined. BUT, i think they have the general feel of how the class will play, and I enjoy it a lot. Hell, in about a week’s time i’ve made it up to level 73… on the beta… yea, i’m a bit crazy.

Initially, I didn’t plan on doing the post-85 content, but with my monk levelling as fast as he is, I may try out some of the first zone anyway. I honestly haven’t decided at this point. My main reason for staying out of the new content has been “OMG MILLIONS OF EVERYONE EVERYWHERE AUGH”… but as the beta wears on, people are going to out-level that area, and some will just lose interest in the beta altogether for not wanting to spoil content before launch. Both of those factored into my decision to play a dwarf monk instead of a panda. I’ve seen little bits and pieces of the new areas, and good lord are they crowded. Crowded areas in the beta are not very conducive to actually TESTING OUT a class (which was my intention from the moment I received my beta invite), so I went with somewhere I knew would not be crowded… Besides, the idea of a dwarf monk is just damn cool. If you can’t be a panda brewmaster, why not be a dwarven brewmaster right?

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