Monday, February 28, 2011

A Revisit to Reforging

25 comments
Elkagorasa to the rescue! Last Friday there was a nice little post over at Elk's site in response to my Reforging for Dummies article. The article generated a lot of Twitter buzz, because, as we discovered, there is a moderate amount of confusion among Affliction 'locks about what to reforge. Some were thinking Mastery was better, and that Crit should be our prime candidate for expulsion (as opposed to my published negativism toward Mastery).

After some research and discussion, we verified that, for the most part, Mastery is going to be our least favored stat, though Crit is a close second. Still, my advice should hold from the article. Yet, I was unsatisfied. I didn't feel optimized, but I certainly didn't want to go and try to figure it all out manually. Surely there is a resource out there to do this for me.

Enter Elk and a Friday endorsement of the Ask Mr. Robot website that is even now linked in my resource area. Having been sucked in to the article by the piece of blog candy that sucks in all of us e-writers (yes, a link... and I'm jk, Elk is firmly ensconced in my reader anyway), I was rather intrigued by the site. I had been using WoW-heroes for many moons now, but find it woefully lacking for reforging advice.

Mr. Robot does it for you. Check out Elk's article for some wonderful screenies and a quick run down of what the site does. That's what I did. Then I went and tried it out for myself. Wonder amongst wonders, the site was not yet caught by the work filter, so double bonus. It loaded my character from the armory, populated it's lists, and even gave me an Affliction stat weighting that looked pretty decent with what I expected.

Click, click... optimize... and we're off! Mr. Robot crunched all the numbers for me and offered an optimized solution in a manner of seconds. Over the weekend, I decided to take the plunge and blindly follow the advice. It's only gold, right?

Reforging at the behest of the laudable Mr. Robot found me completely rearranging everything from gems, to enchants, to gear stats. When I was done, I had followed all of the reforging advice, all of the enchanting advice, and most of the gemming advice. (I will not cave and ruin my color matching OCD, though Mr. Robot even takes whether or not the bonus is worth it into account it seems.)

After dropping about 1k of gold to do all this (with some help from the guild bank as far as gems), I got a chance to run a heroic. Imagine my surprise when I found myself about 2k higher. 2k! From just rearranging stats. (Side note: I was trying to add Shadowflame when I could as well, so that may have slightly skewed things upward too, but I wouldn't call its addition successful because I have a compulsion against running into 8yd range. One which I didn't overcome as much as you'd think. Fwiw - I went from around 11/12k to around 13/14k.)

So I'm going to jump on the band wagon here. It doesn't get much simpler than letting a Robot crunch the numbers for you. For the casual among us, the default stat weightings seem to be grounded well enough that they'll be applicable (Elk notes that the devs make use of SimC for this). For the more hardcore theorycrafters, you can tweak until your heart's content to get the perfect weighting. After just a short weekend of trial and error, I love this site, and it's definitely improved my damage output. The initial investment to get on board was high, but I did replace one piece of gear after my initial foray and re-ran the optimizer. I was pleasantly surprised that I only had to shift around a few things. Carrying on like this should be minimal, especially since I really shouldn't have to re-gem or re-enchant, having obtained all my hit from gear reforges.

So, to you, Ask Mr. Roboto: Domo arigato!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Three Amigos

5 comments
"Please, Warlock, stand up and introduce yourself."

"Hello, my name is Fulguralis, and... and... my wife slapped me in the face."

"Hello Fulguralis, and who is your friend with the bruised nose there?"

"Balentis."

"Excuse me?"

"He said Valentis."

"Ah, very good. And the decaying man to my left, who might you be?"

"Melvin Brightrune, my good man. Former Captain of Stromgarde. It is a blarghlblah blargh blargh."

"Ahem, yes well. Let me just help you pick that up and reattach... quite slimy really, and that's a vicious crack... is that where she... and there you go!"

"Thank you, Goodman. Taught my daughter everything she knows about hitting."

"Gee, thanks, dad."

"Hey, it's not my fault that Deathwing showed up when he did. You can hardly blame that on me. Besides, I seem to remember it being your operation."

"I did what I had to. If Valentis over here wouldn't have pulled me into the felling Emerald Dream, we wouldn't be having this intervention."

"Blat's not flair! You know as blell as I blat ble sodding dlagons made me do it!"

"Dragons. Boy, I tell you if a dragon came up to me and asked me to do something, I'd punch it square in the face!"

"And you wonder where she gets it."

"At least she only slapped you, son."

"All right! It seems like we all just need to calm down. Let's try a quick breathing exercise. Close your eyes. All of you... well, if you don't have eyelids I don't see how you can... here, use this strip of cloth. There you go. Oh my! Wolf!"

"Balentisgrra."

"Oh dear, did it just speak to me?"

"He said Valentis."

"Yes, of course. A Gilnean. I had forgotten."

"Yeah, they do that when they get riled up."

"Sod off, Fulgurglalisgrra."

"Blarghl blargh blargh."

"Ah, uh, your jaw again, Captain... here you go... just, um... there."

"Apologies, Goodman. The crack seems to have loosened it. Won't happen again."

"So let's just all take a moment and close our eyes. Imagine we're somewhere safe and warm. Deep breathing now. In and out, focus on the... not quite that deep Valentis, more control and less slobber... focus on being calm, collected, in control."

"Why the fel are we here anyway? Medivh's beard this is pointless! Can't I just go set some critters on fire or something? That's how I deal."

"It was Minnie's suggestion, sport. And trust me, you don't want to get on my wife's bad side."

"I suppose she hits too."

"Crits, is more like it."

"Ouch."

"Ah, but you see. That is exactly why we all are here. We need to learn to channel our rage productively. Burning bunnies is not a healthy way to relieve stress. Nor is uncontrolled shapeshifting, or running into a crowd and spinning haphazardly with sharp objects."

"I didn't hit anyone, Goodman. Can't let your weapon control you, as they say. Besides, those hooligans were on our lawn."

"My lawn. You're just visiting, dad, remember?"

"You wouldn't force your dear old father-in-law into a home, would you son? Those places reek of decay!"

"Have you looked in the mirror lately?"

"What ablout me?"

"You have a tent."

"Grrrrr..."

"Don't growl at me, Gilnean."

"Gentleman! Gentleman! Let's not forget why we are here. We're trying to become one with nature around us. We must feel the el-"

"Warlock, what did you do to the Goodman? He's froze and I can see right through him."

"Banished. He was getting a bit too elemental for my tastes. What do you say we deal with this the traditional way?"

"Dlinksggrrr?"

"Yes, Valentis. Copious amounts of ale. Though you're going to have to get back to human form before they'll serve you. You in, Mel?"

"Blarghle Blargh!"

"Yeah, you're gonna wanna get that looked at."

"Aye, get me a wire and some of the hard stuff."

"Good, then let's go before the Banish wears off."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

How Has Tol Barad Been Treating You?

2 comments
The title says it all. I honestly want to know. They made some changes in that last patch, and I think we've all had some time now to experience what that means for the much maligned PvP zone. So on the topic of the changes: Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

Thumbs Up
The addition of different conditions for holding/losing bases seems to have evened the playing field a bit. I certainly feel like my efforts are a lot less futile, and there seems to be a pervasive sense of "we can do this!" People are talking strategy, trying to work together, and not just resorting to the old method of bitchfest.

The rewards currently seem commensurate with the activity. For a win, it is a nice chunk. For a loss, I avoid the feeling of having wasted time. This plops the whole experience squarely in the middle of "good fun."

Thumbs Down
I do have two thumbs, and I can't point them both up. Tol Barad, you're not getting the Roger Ebert measurement of success just yet. While the changes are definitely a step in the right direction, I can't help but feel that what's really happened is that things have just gotten a whole lot easier for the attackers. It seems that a defense has become a rarity.

Perhaps people just haven't figured out how to properly defend, but I certainly find it easier to attack. Still, I can't completely fault the zone, because there have been some rather epic battles where things really seem balanced. On the other hand, I've been party to some crazy <1 minute zergs.

I think my biggest complaint at this point is that it's still difficult to get a grasp of what you're actually doing. I understand the map, the basic mechanics, and a simple idea of what I should be trying to do, but I find it hard to draw a clear connection between when I feel like I'm executing well or poorly and what that means for our chances at victory. Sometimes it feels like we just faceroll our way to a victory, and others it feels like we've got a good amount of cohesion and are getting nowhere.

Look Ma, No Hands.
To a certain extent, I'm not sure the "thumbs down" portion can be fixed. After all, you can't really ever account for the vast varieties of situations that an MMO battle will throw at an encounter. And, like I said, the changes have achieved feelings of "worthwhile" and "good fun" where before there had just been "massively annoying and unfulfilling." I find I actually look forward to TB a bit, a la the good ol' Wintergrasp days. Still, I don't think they've quite hit the epic feel that WG had in it's heyday. So it could probably use some tweaking still (and I'm still waiting for my "kill 10 horde" killquest daily), but, in my opinion, we're getting there.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Reforging for Dummies

11 comments
Let me start this by saying that, prior to the last couple of days, I'd never really been a big fan of reforging. I hesitate to use the phrase "dumbing down," but there is such a thing as being "too customizable," in my opinion. And there's nothing the engineer in me hates more than something that is too user friendly.

Back in the day, before the fall of the Lich King, you had to be clever with your itemization, gems, and enchants. There was a rather interesting trade off where you had to decide whether to exist as much as a percentage point over the hit cap, or risk going a few scant points under. Entire posts were written debating the merits of being close to cap against being over cap. Snow fell only on uphill slopes that I, of course, walked on to get everywhere. It was a golden age of snowshoes and tough moral dilemmas.

However, what I call interesting, a lot of other people call blatantly annoying. What's worse than getting the new, awesome, super shiny upgr- Oh it has no hit on it. Damn. Burn it all to fel. Enter reforging. The salve to our irritable bowel syndrome. The panacea to our collective case of conjunctivitis.

Being Catholic, my initial reaction to change was one of intense fear and suspicion. It is something that is bred into me like an overactive sex drive and a love of the "occasional" drink, as well as an affinity for the pleated skirt. What was wrong with the old ways? Doesn't too easy = bad = sin = anger = fear = the dark side? Isn't there some sort of inherent nobility to my suffering? HAS EVERYTHING I'VE EVER DONE BEEN FOR NAUGHT?!

Okay, I'm catastrophizing. But seriously, I'm the type of person that sometimes struggles with change. I had my old system worked out and working for me, and then they had to go and gunk it up. So I did not welcome reforging with open arms.

Yet, now that I'm max level and beginning to to tweak gear for raiding, I'm starting to see it's allure. No longer am I pigeonholed into lesser gear for fear of losing my cap. No longer do I develop a twitch when the new epic trinket awards me with a whole percent of wasted hit points. I simply reforge, and then I'm done. Or unreforge (isn't that just "forge"? IDK).

The beauty of reforging is that it allows you to mess around with numbers to try and hit the cap exactly on the nose. It's still a bit challenging, as you can only get so much from each piece. In fact, it sort of becomes a game within a game as you try to work the puzzle pieces together to fit perfectly (as possible). Right now I have achieved a scant 0.04% overage. I was irrationally excited by it since, after purchasing the scarily hit free Justice Point hand upgrade, I knew full well that the loss of hit from the slightly worse piece it was replacing would be a challenge to make up. In the past, I would have just ignored the upgrade, because no way would I be able to gem/enchant swap enough to make the purchase worthwhile, sinking tons of gold into the process and probably ending off with a worse itemization than when I started.

Now, though... WAHOO REFORGING!

Being still somewhat resistant to change and extreme measures for min/maxing, I wanted to pass along my simple rules for reforging. These rules are supposed to be the "basics" when you're mucking around for hit cap. Sure you could reforge everything to the best stats possible, but I'm not dealing with that right now. I'm deriving these from my current stat progression (found in the guides up there on the left), so they may change over time. I want to try to keep it simple though...

Affliction Warlock Hit Reforging Rules of Thumb
  1. If you need more Hit, try to steal it from Mastery. Mastery is the worst.
  2. If you can't steal Mastery, get it from Crit or Haste (you can get into Haste plateaus if you want, but I'm not worrying about that yet, I'm still switching gear too frequently).
  3. If you have too much Hit, unreforge or put some back into Crit or Haste. Forget Mastery.
  4. ???
  5. Corrupt things for Profit
Demonology Warlock Hit Reforging Rules of Thumb
  1. A clever Demo lock told me we should shoot for 1996 Haste. Meander around this rating if you want.
  2. Crit and Mastery are about on the same level, so steal from either of these for Hit.
  3. Too much hit? Unreforge or metamorphosize some into Haste.
  4. ???
  5. Enslave things for Profit.
Frost Death Knight Hit/Expertise Reforging Rules of Thumb
  1. Melee hit cap is 8% and Expertise cap is 25 (check your mouseovers).
  2. Steal it from Haste.
  3. Pop it back into Mastery. Bwuh? Yeah, Mastery is actually decent here. Or my fave, Crit, is always good.
  4. ???
  5. Freeze things for Profit.
And right now, that's the long and short of it as far as I'm concerned.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Satisfaction of a Successful PuG

1 comments
We see a lot of horrible, no-good, very bad PuG stories. They pretty much range from atrocious to mildly irritating. Yet, good PuG stories seem few and far between. After all, it's not all that gripping to write: "Pugged last night, tank held aggro, healer healed, CC did their thang, bosses all died." Wahoo, right?

I'll be the first to admit: I don't pug a whole lot. I wouldn't say I'm scared of it, I just put a premium on my own time. It's sort of an extension of the if-you-don't-have-anything-nice-to-say-don't-say-anything rule for me. Basically, I know I'm going to be impatient and unforgiving in a pug. I don't really want to show up and deal with people playing sub-optimally, wasting time, and wiping often. It drives me nuts when someone stands in the fire and dies, or when DPS don't drop aggro or properly use their abilities.

In short: On my toon, "the patient" title is a lie.

So I don't put myself in that situation. I don't pug unless I'm in a really good mood and prepared to be patient with people. Which means I don't pug often. In fairness to others, I can't be throwing myself into situations where I know I'll behave like an asshat. I'm not judging right or wrong here, when it comes to playstyle. To each his/her own. If you enjoy playing sub-optimally and floundering around, more power to you. It just drives me nuts. I'm an engineer. I prize efficiency and pulling your weight in a team. It's a personal thing.

However, this is something about a successful pug experience that, in my mind, makes it all worth it. It's not about gear for me. I'm skilled enough that I can hold my own on a DPS meter without the best gear out there, and gear will come eventually. We're not on the bleeding edge. Heck, at the rate we're going right now with RL intrusions, we'll be lucky to get any of the raid content down before the next major patch.

To me, those times when you zone in with completely low, rock-bottom expectations, and are pleasantly surprised... those are special moments.

Take last night. It wasn't a true pug, but we were short a healer. So four of us went in and pugged a healer. Normally my self-imposed rule is "no pugging of healers or tanks" for obvious reasons. But I said "chuck it" last night. I was in a good mood. Our tank wasn't my precious Fuu, it was our newb tank (former healer) who recently switched for the guild and is still learning the ropes. It was a less than ideal situation, but I was with four good people I knew, and I figured we could deal with a sub-par healer.

Turned out, the healer we drew was pretty solid. There wasn't a whole lot of chatter. We threw out quick strats for the bosses, and lined them up and knocked them down. We even lost the tank halfway through one fight, but recovered and finished off the boss by ping-ponging with the remaining DPS. The pulls were messy, but not one lost their head and we never wiped. Not once. The run was the picture of efficiency. We knocked out the entire thing in 45 minutes (it was the wind heroic).

When the last boss fell and the little pop-up appeared, letting us know that we'd been rewarded our VP, I felt a deep sense of satisfaction at a job well done. I remember the feeling from my days spent involved with organized team sports. It's that same feeling you get after a solid win against a good team, when you're high-fiving each other and giving the ubiquitous butt-slap. I love that feeling (Yes, even the butt slapping).

We did not win the championship. This was just a regular season win. A good one, but a win all the same. And that feeling is a large part of why I still play this game. You can't get that from a single player game. Say what you want about how the social aspects of MMOs are dying. As long as there's still a way to attain the feeling of a successful PuG, they're offering something special.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Curious Ebb and Flow of PvP

9 comments
Now, I consider myself a casual PvPer at best. I've written enough about it that long time readers are probably already familiar with the fact that I PvP on my DK. In Cataclysm, I'm finally at the point on my main toon (the 'lock) that I feel it's time to begin PvP gearing my DK. Basically, this means that I've done all the daily quests I care to to (earned exalted rep with everyone), and am ready to fill that time previously spent on questing with running random BGs.

I don't really do the whole arena thing, and we don't have enough PvPers in my guild to form a "rated" group. Thus, I simply queue up for randoms while mining or whatever, and gear up the hard way (grinding honor). It's fun for me, really, to start out feeling weak sauce and then slowly to get stronger and stronger. I feel like, by gearing this way, you learn some good strategies for survival early that only help you when you begin to out gear people. Generally speaking, I've found that running on average a BG a day will outpace the majority of the players in gearing, as well as how quickly tier patches come through. Thus, with each gear step by the devs, I'll start a bit behind the hardcore folks and then slowly catch up as they top out.

The one thing I've noticed is that the skill/difficulty in BGs varies widely depending on day and time. Like the ebbing tide, it seems that the skilled players flood the fields at certain times. In my experience, this usually means several things.

First, during the week, play is more consistent. You generally don't get as many preforms, and things seem more competitive. I tend to run about 50-50 for wins/losses (and I'm on the Alliance side, fwiw). People generally know what they're doing, though you'll always have the mid-fielders. There isn't as much shit talking.

Compare that with the weekends. Being Alliance, my W/L record plummets to probably 20-80 and I find myself awash in noobology. I mean, I zoned into WSG yesterday to see the strategy proposed: "Me and a healer will go for flag, everyone else fight in the middle." And they were serious! It was not pretty.

Now, the queues are a lot shorter on the weekends, so honor wise it might balance out. You also seem to have more pre-formed groups of guildies playing together. As a pretty much solo-random person, this can get a bit rough. I mean, any good PvP group has a healer, and I, obviously, do not. Pretty much any class vs any class with a healer will lose (unless you out gear them significantly). And shit talking is through the roof.

All this probably makes sense when you take into account that more casual folks will have the chance to play on weekends, including the immature and skilled. It's a simple fact of numbers. I suppose I just wondered what your experiences are? Do you see the same flow to the BGs? When do you think the "best" time to play is?

I enjoy the competition, so I'm a fan of during the week, early evenings. Sometimes things degenerate a bit later. I like it when people are actually trying to play smart, even if they're not the most skilled. I think there's more of that during the week. How about you?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Welcoming

5 comments
Fulguralis and Fuubaar stepped out of the portal an onto the cobblestone plaza. Other portals ringed them, swirling with an shimmering, ethereal promise of exciting adventures in far off places. Fulguralis, however, had had enough excitement for now. He was glad to be home.

As they headed away from the traveling grounds and into the city of Stormwind proper, he was struck by how different everything looked. It wasn't just that there was a charred section of the city back where the Park should have been - Fulguralis expected that much - it was just that everything seemed somehow sharper, shinier. It was as if the Titans had stopped by in the Warlock's absence to give the city a facelift and a paint job. Fulguralis brushed it off as a product of his near-death experience.

They had hardly set foot in the northern square of the Dwarven district when they encountered someone familiar. Abigora stood forlornly on a street corner, reading a book, surrounded by crates. Something shimmered inside of the wooden boxes as Fulguralis and Fuubaar approached.

"Gems, Abi?" Fuubaar asked.

The Priest looked up from her book and blinked. "Fuubaar! You're all right. And what's more, you've brought back a Warlock. The Warlock, if I may say so. Most curious that. By my calculations, he should be dead."

"Nice to see you too, Abi," Fulguralis nodded. "You might sell more of those gems if you, you know, actually tried to sell them."

Abigora frowned down at the boxes, and then back up at them. "Aho. A Gilnean too it seems."

"'ello there," Valentis said, stepping out from behind the couple. "I'll just be, ah-"

"You!" A shrill voice screeched through the air.

Where before there had been the constant drone of background conversations, vendors hawking their wares, and the general bustle of the city, now it was as if the voice had sluiced the sound out of the very air. There was silence. Even the usual clang of hammer on anvil in the Dwarven district was absent. The denizens in the square were all turned, staring at the source of the sound.

"You!" Decedereful repeated.

She stomped across the placid plaza toward where Fulguralis was standing with his wife, the Priest, and the Gilnean. With each step, it seemed like an entire dune of sand spilled out onto the stone pavers that made up the street. The Death Knight didn't seem to notice the fact that she was leaving an entire beach behind her. Her burning blue eyes were boring holes in the the group, even narrowed as they were.

Fulguralis could only stare stupidly as she clomped up. He mouthed a single question - me? - when she was only a half dozen steps away. She didn't answer. Her eyes were fixed... passed him?

Even as Fulguralis mind struggled to put the pieces of the scene before him together, his sister strode confidently past him with a raised fist. She punched Valentis squarely in the face. Fulguralis gaped. He pointed as his fuming sister, then at his wife, then at himself, eyes flitting between them all. Fuubaar and Abigora had no answers for him, they both stood with shock written plainly on their faces as well. Finally, Fulguralis turned back around and pointed at the Gilnean, who was even know picking himself up off the cobblestones.

"Dece, um, I'm over here," Fulguralis said.

Decedereful whirled to regard him with smoldering orbs, "Oh, I'll get to you in a second, but first..."

"Dece, if you will just..." Valentis began.

"No. You don't get to explain," Decedereful raged. "A big, bad dragon shows up... and... and off you go! Not even a good bye kiss! I thought Gilneans were supposed to be charming and thoughtful and romantic and sweet. Not to mention the fact that you lied to me. That you pretended to be just an ordinary solider. No! Not. Even. A. Kiss."

Valentis had stood up. He struggled for words, "Yes well, you see... I was just... and then... Ysera...." He trailed off staring blankly ad the Death Knight. "Oh, toss it," he said. Then he grabbed her around the waist, pulled her in, and kissed her.

Decedereful fought for a moment, but it was obvious her heart was not in it. Especially not after the punch she'd delivered. Instead, she rose up on her toes into the embrace.

"H-hey," Fulguralis objected, quietly at first, and then more strenuously. "Hey! That's my sister you beast!"

Fuubaar and Abigora giggled.

Protection Paladin: 4.0.6

2 comments
Hey Gang!

I wanted to touch on some of the changes that Paladins have seen since the Shattering (4.0.3 & 4.0.6). To be quite honest, Paladins haven't really seen any major changes. Shocking, I know!

Fuubaar is currently sporting all blues & epics 346+ ilevel at the moment and has only set foot into one Raid thus far (Concave of 4 Angry Elementals). She's feeling really good survivability & threat wise. Fully buffed, I'm flexing 160k+ health with little to no threat issues. Overall, I'm extremely happy with where Paladin tanks are right now.

CURRENT SPEC:

I'm using the 0/33/8 spec that really has a nice mix of survivabilty and threat. It works really well for heroics and I can't see much of a change for Raiding either. I only left out two spells in the Prot tree. Hallowed Ground because I rarely if ever use Consecrate so why waste the talent points. I also didnt invest any talent points in Hammer of Justice because I only use it on occasion to stun annoying mobs.

I picked up Rule of Law, Crusade, and Improved Judgement in the Ret tree. I did not put any points in Pursuit of Justice because I didn't feel that anything was worth giving up points in to pick up minor running speed. If I were to have to give anything up for it though, it might be Grand Crusader. I, personally, really enjoy the procs for the extra Avenger's Shield option.

CURRENT GLYPHS:

Prime Glyphs:
- Threat:
        * Hammer of the Righteous (AoE)
        * Seal of Truth ( Huge boost in Expertise)
        * Shield of the Righteous (Single Target)
- Survivability:
        * Seal of Insight (Replacement for SoT)
        * Word of Glory (Replacement for SotR)

Note: I use the three threat Glyphs because I don't really notice myself as having survivability issues. I'm close friends with my two healers... they would let me know if I felt squishy.

Major Glyphs:
- Recommended:
        * Focused Shield (Threat but remember to keep an eye on surrounding mobs as they wont be recieving any threat at all)
        * Holy Wrath ( Stun to mobs that we are seeing quite often in Cata)
- Optional:
        * Dazing Shield (This just gives you back your Daze from the good ol' days)
        * Lay on Hands (Shorten the Cooldown)
        * Divine Protection (40% magic reduction/ 0% Physical)

Note: I use the top three in that list. Personally, I enjoy the Dazing Shield effect. I've also tried not using the Focused Shield because it gives me more AoE threat. I just have to be more picky when I use my Avenger's shield.

Minor Glyphs:
Just pick three that you you the most.

NEW CHANGES:

One of the minor changes that Paladins have seen thus far into the Shattering is that during the 4.0.6 patch drop, Paladins got their very own basespell interupt that's off of the Global Cooldown!

And the peasents rejoice!

Rebuke has been a welcomed addition to my party. There are many many many interupt fights in cataclysm and my Hammer of Justice and Avenger's Shield just weren't cutting the Mustard. I didnt realize how much I would use this spell until they finally gave it to us. This also made me realize how much I love DPS who actually interupt! <3 My DPS Interupters!

The other, "stealth change" that we recieved was in regards to Holy Power still being aquired regardless of the outcome of a Crusader Strike or a Hammer of the Righteous be it a miss, dodge, parry or block.

There was a recent Blue Post on the offical Forums: mainly saying that this was intended and that we should not generate Holy Power if our attacks dont land. Needless to say, Paladins of all specs were up in arms about this. It really hit Prot the hardest though. Since ret is suppose to be hit capped anyways, they shouldnt be missing Crusader Strike. Thus, not really noticing a difference. The thing is, it is extremely difficult to be hit capped as prot without giving up a lot in return. Many tanks feared that this would not only screw up their rotations but hinder their threat generations greatly.

When I got home to test it out, I did notice the change in my rotation from the missed Holy Power. It was rather jarring at first but you got used to having your rotation be just a bit longer to get 3 Holy Power or to choose not to wait for all three and use the weaker ability anyways. After reading both the Offical Forums and my Maintankadin Forums, it wasn't as bad as it was made out to be. The Sky was not falling....

I believe that the biggest issue that people had with this stealth nerf was that it was... stealthed... and you know how much we hate stealthed rogues. If Blizzard would have come out and said,

"Hey Pallies, just wanted to let you know that if your Crusader Strike misses, you wont get Holy Power from now on. Calm down folks, I know that we said that we wouldn't do this because it would make Prot Paladins feel RNG but we had to change something about you to piss you off! The Mages were getting upset. We had to give them something. Suck it up Paladins, we haven't nerfed Word Of Glory yet..."

I would have shut my mouth in an instant :-)

So yeah, nothing too terribly exciting.


Here's an LOLCAT because this post is boring.


<3 Your Friendly Neighborhood Fuubaar

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Enchantment List Updated

2 comments
With great gear comes great responsibility. That responsibility is in the form of gemming and enchanting your gear. Being an enchanter m'self, I've always tried to have the best 'chants on. I may not always grab the exorbitantly priced epic gems, but I will have the good enchants, by the Light. Or Shadow, in my case.

I've made an exact copy of this post as a static page on the left. That is the one I'll keep up to date as I get more information, but I'll point comments back to here.

Affliction Warlock Enchantment List (remember, spirit is useless)
DPS Death Knight Enchantment List (Nitro Boosts go on your belt now)
Paladin Tank

I was going to get Fuu to create a similar list, but she informed me that it's already been done better elsewhere. So I'll just pass along the link instead.
    Don't forget to grab an Ebonsteel Belt Buckle for your belt as well!

    Did I miss any?

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    DK PvP/DPS Guide Update

    8 comments
    As promised, a look at what I'm doing on my DK for a Frost PvP/DPS type spec and playstyle. I'll copy the changes into this post like I've done for my other guides, and post the entire thing as a page linked on the left side. Comments will point to here.

    The Spec

    With that in mind, I went with a 3/31/7 spec.

    It's important to note that my aim is to be able to do two things well with this spec. The first, I'd like to be able to DPS in a PvE environment competitively. The second, I'd like to feel useful in PvP Battlegrounds. Thus, some points are chosen for that sort of utility, even though I know it makes my spec not "the best" raiding spec or "the best" PvP spec. It's a hybrid spec. For instance, my PvP needs are what entice me to spec into Chillblains and use the Glyph of Hungering Cold. You may want to go another route if you're wanting a pure raiding spec.

    In the Frost tree, I laid off Icy Reach, Chill of the Grave, and Endless Winter. I may swap the points I spend in Butchery for CotG just to see which generates more RP. I'm happy with Butchery right now though and don't feel RP starved. I ignore the 2H Might of the Frozen Wastes since I'm DW, and also put a point in On a Pale Horse. It's nice to be just a bit faster in BGs.

    In the Unholy tree, I extend my disease length and put two points in Unholy Command (mostly in order to get to T2 but it doesn't hurt for PvP). In the second tier I pick up Desecration. My playstyle in PvP revolves around controlling and slowing the opposing players. With the combination of Desecration and Chillblains (Plus Hungering Cold and Chains of Ice thrown in), I've found it pretty effective. Especially when protecting siege vehicles and such.

    In the Blood tree I just take Butchery and put my last point in Bladed Armor. I may eventually take points away from Desecration and fill up Bladed Armor (maybe even just one point) if I feel that I'm overdoing the "slowing" approach. For now, though, I like it.

    The Glyphs

    • Major Glyphs - Pillar of Frost, Chains of Ice, Hungering Cold- Here's where it gets a bit murky. Hungering Cold for free is good stuff in a BG. It works as both an interrupt and a freeze. I find it incredibly useful. After that, I didn't find myself using Pest as much anymore and went with Pillar of Frost instead for an extra escape. I also didn't find myself needing the extra Strangulate seconds (and wondering how many times I actually procced it since I use Mind Freeze as my interrupt), so I went with Icy Chains, which I use all the time. I contemplated Dark Succor for the healing, but, again, I just don't find myself using it enough. Your mileage may vary.

    The Rotation

    Intro: Howling Blast > Plague Strike > Necrotic Strike > Blood Strike > Obliterate > Frost Strike

    Added NS into my "setup" phase. Also added a bit about DS:

    You also get Dark Simulacrum, which is a very neat spell to use, especially in PvP. Basically it lets you steal any spell that uses mana and then use it. Cool stuff and the possibilities are endless. Have fun with it and throw it in when you can. I like to steal heals in PvP and heal myself. One little bug I've noticed is that DS doesn't really work inside of a macro. I had to have it on it's own key to get the second spell to work, or it'll just tell me that "I haven't learned that spell." It'll do the original cast of DS well enough, just not the "borrowed" cast. I don't know what it is about being in a macro that messes this up, so I've just put it on it's own key straight from the spellbook.

    The Stats

    Strength > Hit (until melee cap) >= Expertise (until cap) > Mastery > Crit > Haste > Agility > Hit (to spell cap)

    Wrap Up
    I've been having a blast with this chica in BG's. Having leveled this later as an alt, I find myself a bit behind the gearing curve of the general PvP public, but I can still hold my own. With the changes in 4.0.6 we retain our ability to eat mages for lunch, and also gained some added protection against stuns (and rogues). Good stuff.

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Demonology Guide Update

    24 comments
    Today is Demonology update day (I know I'm going a bit out of my planned order). I'm going to summarize any changes here, and also note that I will need to do some linking when I get home today (I'm blocked from a lot of research sites at work). Like the Affliction specs, I'm transitioning this guide from an old post to a static page. Shouldn't affect a whole lot on the reader end of things, but there you have it. With that said, here we go.

    Spec
    Caught your eye yet? Well, here's the spec: 0\31\10. (Link Fixed).

    Basically I'm filling up the first tier of Destruction and then taking Emberstorm. It helps decrease cast time for both Soul Fires and Incinerates (which we should be using a lot of).

    Glyphs
    Prime Glyph of Lash of Pain (raiding) - Apparently the Succy outranks the Felguard in single target DPS right now. I'm not going to use the Succy, so I'm going with Felguard. He's still good in AoE situations, and a bit more hardy when doing dailies.

    Rotation
    Not really a change, but a bit more info:
    Bane of Doom > Corruption > Immolate > Curse of the Elements > Shadowbolt Spam; Use Hand of Gul'dan to refresh Immolate and whenever it is off cooldown; Use Incinerate during Molten Core proc. Pop an instant Soul Fire when your Soulburn is off cooldown. Don't forget Demon Soul.

    If you're in a movement heavy fight, you may want to make use of Fel Fire to refresh Immolate. With Hand of Gul'dan having a cast time for a refresh, you can use this to extend your time. It is never worth using when you can stand and cast HoG, however, so I find myself using FF very sparingly as Demo.

    The patch changes have made it a lot easier to refresh exclusively with HoG by making Immolate last longer. It's not really a change, but it is a bit nicer I've noticed. Otherwise, everything is pretty much the same here.

    Stats
    From the same thread as my Affliction post, I nabbed:

    Warlock_Demonology_T11_359 - Int=2.8297 SP=2.1983 Hit=1.9831 Crit=1.0709 Haste=1.0385 Mastery=1.2021

    Thus, Stat priority isn't all that different from Affliction, except for one notable change:

    [See guide... updated with haste soft cap]

    Where before Crit was big for Demonologists, Mastery has become the bigger stat now. Gem, enchant, and stack accordingly. Still, apart from those considerations, you still have to hit cap (at 17%), and those other stats are still pretty good for you. Nothing earth shattering here.

    Wrap Up
    There was a short mention about the Succy out DPS'ing the Felguard right now. I believe it to be true, but, like with Affliction, I haven't seen the numbers to say how by how much. I can't believe that Blizz wants Demo 'locks raiding with the Succy and not with the Felguard (it seems like one of the staples of the spec, right?), so I wouldn't be surprised if a change comes along. For my purposes, I'll be sticking with the Felguard.

    Also, keep in mind that you have the Doomguard and Infernal to use. EJ says in its demonology thread that the DG is better in single target situations, yet in the Affliction thread it says Infernal all the way. This confuses me as I'm not sure what is different about the specs that would cause a change like that. I've also heard where the DG is easier to control, while the Infernal tends to do his own thing. I will probably continue to use the DG in single target situations as a result.

    And that's it for the updates. As always, let me know where my goofs are :-).

    Friday, February 11, 2011

    4.0.6 Guide Updates

    14 comments
    All right. I did a whole bunch of reading last night and want to update the guides while it's fresh on my mind. Like I did last time with the Affliction guides, since there's three of them, I'll just summarize/copy the changes into here so y'all can skim them. If you want the full story, they will be at the same links on the left. I'm also going to plop the guides onto pages of their own. That should be transparent to you guys, it just makes them easier for me to keep track of (Instead of going fishing in my archives).

    Today will just be the Aflliction guides. I'll get to Demonology pretty soon. Same with my DK spec. I'll use separate days/posts for each of those updates. I also really need to get that Enchantment list up to date as well. A lot depends on when I get the time to at least do a modicum of research so that I don't look like an idiot (I don't mind being imperfect and having you guys call me on it though. A lot of times this generates good discussion). I poured through EJ last night for several hours, trying to understand why they're doing what they're doing and I think I've come up with my own logical slant on things. So here we go (remember, I'm just posting the changes straight from the guides, so they may seem a bit disjointed and they certainly do not cover everything):

    Spec

    The spec I'm using at 85 is 32/3/6.

    I dropped my last points into the Demonology tree. I diverge a bit from the EJ suggestions here, and put all three points into Dark Arts. This talent will improve both my Imp and Felhunter. EJ will suggest that we use the Succubus, since she provides the most DPS. I will discuss my decision more in the pet portion of these guides, but my plan is to go with either my Imp or my Felhunter depending on the situations. I have my reasons, and they mostly have to do with utility, so we'll discuss this more later. The take home for now is that I'm speccing to back up my planned choice. If you go with the Succy, you'll probably want to put two points in the Stam buff and then one in Fel Synergy. That represents the EJ spec.

    So the last three points in your spec should reflect your pet choice, but otherwise the rest are pretty standard. Pared down trees make it pretty easy to spec, removing a lot of the old pros and cons we used to discuss. That could be a bad thing or good thing, depending one your point of view, but either way, this spec should serve you well in a raiding environment.

    Pet Choice
    1. Infernal - Flat out best, even in Single Target Situations.
    2. Doomguard - Poor guy won't really be used though because of the Infernal.
    3. Succubus - Especially if you glyph her. (DS: S-bolt buff)
    4. Imp - If you talent him with Dark Art, he can be pretty decent. Also, Singe Magic is a highly useful dispel. (DS: Increased crit)
    5. Felhunter - However, remember what he may lack in pure DPS... he does provide a buff and a silence effect. (DS: Dot buff)
    I mentioned in my spec post that I'm diverging from EJ as far as pet choice goes. You would think from the list above that the choice is simple: go Succy. It can be that simple, especially if you want to glyph for her, but I suppose I want to make it needlessly complex. You see, "go Succy" doesn't take any sort of utility into account. Also, you can see I noted the basic Demon Soul buff that each of the pets grant. This should also be taken into account. The Felpup's bonus can be really good under 25% in the "execute" phase, the Succy's buff is good whenever you are able to cast a lot of bolts, and the Imp's bonus is nothing to scoff at, though it's not the best for Affliction 'locks. A lot just depends on the fight and your playstyle.

    If I want to go with my Imp for dispels or my Felpup for silence, now I've totally wasted a Prime glyph. So what I did was choose glyphs that had nothing to do with my pets. The problem I have is that I can only find comparisons for a glyphed Succy. How close are the pets unglyphed? What if I take Dark Arts? How much does that help? I can't find the answers to these questions yet (and would encourage links from anyone that has), so my solution is simply going to be to hit up the dummy and see what it looks like for me. I'll post the results in a comment on here when I get around to it. Until then, I'm going to stay specced into Dark Arts because it buffs two of my pets as opposed to glyphing for one. Not to mention that the two pets it improves are two of the most useful in a PvE environment. Dispels and Silences can be a huge help.

    Both of those pets also provide a nice buff. The Imp is a buff to health that does not stack with a Warrior's Commanding Shout, a Priest's Power Word: Fortitude, or a Hunter's Qiraji Fortitude (from an exotic and probably rarely seen pet). The Felpup provides and Intellect and Spirit buff that I believe is overwritten by the combination of Priest and Mage. Let me know in comments if there are any overwrites I'm missing.

    Now, I'm pretty sure all my buffs will be overwritten in a raid environment with the folks we have, but in five mans that's not usually the case. Thus, I feel like speccing and glyphing like I do allows me more choices amongst my pets. I would still probably pull out the Succy when I might need her CC, but otherwise I'll probably run with my pup or my imp. I sort of like the idea of being able to dispel, and my tanks like when I can silence the odd caster mob. This, however, is a personal choice. If you want to make it simple, follow EJ's advice.

    So for me it's going to look something like:

    • Infernal - Once a fight
    • Imp or Felpup - Depending on what effect I want and what DS I plan to use
    • Succy - If I'm feeling lazy

    Stats

    Pulled from EJ:

    So update your Pawns accordingly.

    Glyphs

    I didn't change anything here. The significant deviation from the norm is the lack of Lash of Pain. It simply does not synergize with my planned pet choice.

    Rotations

    You're also going to want to cast Dark Intent on someone if you're in a group. Since DI requires us to basically "link" with one other player, and it's usefulness hinges on dot crits, it's important that we choose wisely. There are two routes you can go here.

    First, if you believe your healers might need the most help, you can DI them. Go this road if the fight is particularly healing intensive, or you're just feeling squishier than usual. In this case, you're looking for a resto druid, holy priest, or resto shaman... in that order. If your group isn't sporting one of those three, I'd go with route two.

    For our second choice, we can pop DI on another member of the DPS community. This direction is obviously for when you might need a little extra help killing things, or you just don't feel like blessing your healers. Here, we want to go with a Shadowpriest, a fire Mage, a feral or balance Druid, or a survival Hunter. After that it drops off a bit, and you'll just want to probably ask around at who's using DoTs the most.

    I think that about does it. Let me know if I missed something.

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    It's 5 o'clock... Quittin' Time.

    2 comments
    Sorry for the late note today. I'm nearly done updating my Affliction Warlock guides and have place a little placeholder line in the links on the left side to let you know where I'm at. I'll publish a summary post tomorrow to go out to feed readers and just to let you know what change (so people who have been around don't have to wade through everything again). Thus, just a quick status post today and check out the site if you're viewing this in a reader and want to see where the guides are at.

    I'm shooting roughly for this sort of schedule:
    - Summary post for Affliction and all guides up tomorrow.
    - RP Friday will get a break this week, sorry. I've just been too busy.
    - DK PvP Monday.
    - Demo Tuesday.
    - Enchantment List Wednesday.

    We'll see if I hit all those. Since I have to do a majority of my research at home (and we're traveling this week), it could be dicey. Such is life though, and I want to get them up not just for you guys, but also because, believe it or not, I like to reference my own stuff and it needs to be done. (I'm not sure if that's a deep blogger secret, but yeah, I check my own lists... wanna fight about it?)

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    They Called Me "Imp Lover"

    20 comments
    A quick follow up on yesterday's posting bonanza... Was breaking it up into separate posts easier on the eyes? Easier to skim? Those notes were huge!

    I got in some good play time last night after patching. Just enough to give my 'lock a test run in the Halls of Origination. My first thought? Ouch!

    Is it just me or does everyone else feel about 3k lighter on short lived mobs? I was pretty panicky at first (where'd mah DPS go?!), but after getting a couple boss fights in (and dealing my usually respectable, though perhaps a bit subdued, amount of damage), I was less jittery. I guess I just didn't realize how much we'd miss the front loading of an instant SB and haste for helping get numbers on stuff that dies quickly. Apparently, it's back to the old days where we can afk through the trash and just show up for bosses.

    Now Soul Swap still helps to relieve some of this. So if the groups are large enough, we can get up to speed and transfer appropriately. However, this does place even more emphasis on soul swapping properly. I wish they'd lower the CD a little bit, because a lot of times I struggle to case Corr, BoA, UA.... dead. SS only works if it lives for longer than 4.5s (variable with haste, of course).

    So yeah, it hurt a little more than expected. I'm not preaching doom and gloom though. What I am doing is advocating a respec to put 3 points into the low hanging fruit on the demo tree, improving your Imp, and busting the little guy out. Trust me, there is no one that finds this idea of being shoehorned into becoming an Imp-lover more abhorrent than I. After all, he's Destro. And they're just that side of the grave from being . Not like us pure warlocky aff'locks. Furthermore, why have us all use the same pet? Ugh.

    But let's look at the facts:
    • Imp can DPS - With the talent, he's rumored to be better than the Succy, though I'll need to keep an eye out for updated numbers
    • Imp can Dispel - Singe Magic is a pretty useful PvE ability to have at your disposal. Even better probably than Devour Magic or even Seduction (especially if you're fear glyphed).
    • Imp can Phase Shift - I daresay he's a bit safer in PvE than any of the other pets. (Edit: Sadly, I believe this has been removed. Stupid Imp. Thanks Kinz.)
    • Imp can Buff Health - Though I think mine will be getting overwritten (does anyone know for sure which classes/buffs overwrite the Blood Pact?), it's a pretty nice buff when you need it.
    • Imp is ranged - This makes him less likely to get hit by random crap and die or need heals.
    It's hard to ignore. The Imp has a lot of upsides. He's annoying as fel, but if my DPS is going to feel a bit like wet toilet paper, then I'd better bring some other utility to the table, and I need all the help I can get.

    So yeah, I'm going to go with my Imp and I've already respecced to support that. I'll be updating the guides soon to reflect this, but I wanted to bring it up today. Any other 'locks out there feeling the same thing? I haven't gotten any replies to the question on Twitter yet, but I did see that @Nibuca thought something was off with hit rating and percent. Maybe something is a little bugged, I don't know. I didn't even look at that. With a round of hotfixes already coming through today, I didn't see anything that indicated we were broken. Certainly not to the tune of ~3k on trash like I felt.

    I guess if nothing else, the pressure is on again. Aff'locks are going to have to know what they're about and play extremely well to even be competitive. I can wish they'd offer some more affliction-friendly talents lower in the other trees, but then I'd just have a handful of demon poop. To me, in an ideal world, the pets would all DPS the same basically, and the choice would be between the various buffs/extra abilities that they have. (Maybe that's what we're heading for?) Also, I think I have a fundamental dislike for feeling like I need to use the first, basic pet we got for end game raiding. Shouldn't the natural learning curve of a 'lock mean we figure out more powerful demons later in our leveling path? (I realize this contradicts the "ideal world" I just described).

    I'm not sure there's a great solution and we'll likely see more changes, but for now... this patch sorta hurt. Locks have avoided the heavy hand of dev changes for a long time (getting mostly minor tweaks here and there), I'm not sure if I'm terrified or simply intrigued at seeing the Great and All Powerful Bloz turn my way.

    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    Perky Paladin Patch Notes: 4.0.6

    0 comments
    Hey Gang!

    Wanted to get these out there for my Die Hard Paladins! /flex
    This is going to be a HUGE WALL OF TEXT THAT WILL CRIT YOU FOR 3 BILLION! you have been warned. I've Bolded the headers of each section so you can find them easier if you only want to look at specific stuff. I've made a few Italic comments next to the notes themselves. Not all have them because not all are really revelent to me. *Looking at you Holy Paladins and your Intellect ways*

    Enjoy :-)

    Paladin Notes:

    •The mana costs of Blessing of Might and Blessing of Kings have been increased by approximately 217%, making them roughly equal to the cost of Mark of the Wild.
    •Crusader Strike weapon damage percent has been increased to 135%, up from 115%. woot! That helps out both Ret & Prot
    •Divine Light mana cost has been increased by approximately 10%.
    •Divine Plea now lasts for 9 seconds, down from 15. It grants 4% mana per tick, instead of 2%, for a total of 12% mana, up from 10%.
    •Flash of Light mana cost has been increased by approximately 10%.
    •Forbearance Oh Forbearance. When will you get your act together and stay consistant for one damn patch?!
         ◦The duration has been lowered to 1 minute, down from 2.
         ◦Lay on Hands now causes Forbearance on the target. It used to only cause it when cast on the paladin.   This was an old design from when Divine Protection caused Forbearance and the paladin didn't want to prevent a tank from using their defensive cooldown.
         ◦Lay on Hands cannot be a critical effect and will not be affected by most abilities which modify healing (such as Beacon of Light). In addition, Lay on Hands is no longer on the global cooldown. Fine for tanks since the health scaled off of us. I highly doubt that a dying mage has a bigger health pool than you. If so... you're doin it wrong. Also, why are you doing it to a mage?! WTF is wrong with you!
         ◦Since only Divine Shield, Lay on Hands and Hand of Protection cause Forbearance, the tooltips have been adjusted to better explain the mechanic. Well, thanks? Mainly, I just cast it when needed and if I get yelled at, I keep that in mind that I can't do that for this instance. Perhaps they'll change that tomorrow...
    •Holy Light mana cost has been increased by approximately 10%.
    •Holy Wrath no longer counts nearby critters when dividing damage among its targets. I use this as a critter killer ;-)
    •Inquisition is no longer dispellable.
    •Rebuke can now be trained by all paladins at level 54. Existing characters will need to visit their trainer, even if they had talented Rebuke before. I'm actually rather excited about this Spell. Being able to interupt people quickly will make my life so much easier. Now to make sure that I'm hit capped...
    •Seal of Truth: All single target attacks (including Judgement, Hammer of Wrath, Exorcism, and Templar's Verdict) can now trigger this seal. The quicker that this stacks, the faster I can get threat. I'm totally ok with that!

    Talent Specializations

         ◦Holy

    ■Aura Mastery: This ability no longer increases the benefit granted by Crusader Aura.
    ■Denounce now has a spell overlay.
    ■Protector of the Innocent heals for 30% less.

         ◦Protection

    ■Eternal Glory: The chance to not consume Holy Power from this talent now also applies to not consuming the clearcasting effect generated by Divine Purpose.
    ■Vindication no longer allows Hammer of Justice to interrupt stun-immune targets. With Rebuke baseline, this functionality is no longer necessary. I'll be replacing Rebuke as my go to Interupt. Hammer of Justice can hang out with Turn Evil and have themselves a pitty party.

         ◦Retribution

    ■Act of Sacrifice will no longer cause Cleanse to remove movement impairing effects from vehicles the paladin is riding.
    ■Divine Purpose: The chance for applicable abilities to generate Holy Power has been reduced to 7/15%, down from 20/40%, but instead of generating 1 Holy Power, the next applicable ability used consumes no Holy Power and acts as if the paladin has 3 Holy Power.
    ■Divine Storm weapon damage percent increased from 80% to 100%.
    ■Hand of Light (Mastery): A percentage of the damage done by Templar's Verdict, Crusader Strike, and Divine Storm is done as additional Holy damage. This Mastery now grants a 2.1% increase to Holy damage per mastery, down from 2.5%.
    ■Repentance is no longer broken from damage done by Censure (Seal of Truth).
    ■The Rebuke talent has been replaced with a new passive talent, Sacred Shield. Paladins who had Rebuke before will automatically have Sacred Shield. Sacred When reduced below 30% health, paladins gain the Sacred Shield effect. The Sacred Shield absorbs X damage and increases healing received by 20%. Lasts 15 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once every 30 seconds. Undispellable.
    ■Seals of Command will no longer trigger twice on each swing with Seal of Truth.
    ■Zealotry is no longer dispellable.

    Glyphs

    ◦Glyph of Divine Plea now adds 6% mana, for a total of 18% over 9 seconds.

    Paladin Bug Fixes

    ◦The Silence debuff from Avenger's Shield was using the Dazed visual effect, and its Daze debuff did not have a visible effect. This has been remedied. K? I just figured that if I hit someone with Avenger's Shield, that they were silenced and if they walked slow, they were Dazed. It's not Rocket Surgery!
    ◦The damage bonus from Communion is no longer applied even when the paladin has no paladin auras active.
    ◦Divine Storm no longer incorrectly highlights when Hand of Light procs.
    ◦Exorcism no longer re-targets whomever it does damage to when it finishes casting.
    ◦The healing amount in the buff tooltip for Holy Radiance is now accurate.
    ◦Pursuit of Justice is now providing Holy Power when the paladin gets stunned by the Fire mage talent Impact. Conversely, Pursuit of Justice is no longer granting Holy Power when the Paladin is hit by Holy Wrath.
    ◦Repentance tooltip now states that it does not break Censure damage.
    ◦Rank 1 of Shield of the Templar was reducing the cooldown of Guardian of Ancient Kings by 45 seconds, which is inconsistent with the scaling of ranks 2 and 3. This has been adjusted.
    ◦The tooltip for Tower of Radiance indicated that Holy Light would generate a charge of Holy Power. This has been fixed.
    ◦Word of Glory no longer resets the swing timer.

    Glyph Fixes

    ■The damage-over-time effect of Exorcism added by Glyph of Exorcism is now correctly affected by Exorcism's damage.
    ■The tooltip for Holy Wrath is now updated to reflect changes when Glyph of Holy Wrath is active.
    ■The Glyph of Light of Dawn is now updating the tooltip for Light of Dawn.
    ■The Glyph of Seal of Insight now requires level 32 to be consistent with when Seal of Insight can be learned from the trainer.
    ■The Glyph of Templar's Verdict is now updating the tooltip of Templar's Verdict.

    And there you have it. Overall, nothing to write home about. We get a new useful spell, Rebuke, for interupts which will be crazy handy with all of the interupts that are required in heroics and a few little buffs here & there. I'm quite happy with where Fuu is right now as prot. My threat is decently high, my DPS is around 5-6k and I've got a large toolbox to help out where ever I can to minimize incoming damage to everyone, give a little HoT to nearby injured folks, and have plenty of ways to get myself out of near death experiences.

    How do you feel that this patch is treating your Pally?

    <3 Your Friendly Neighborhood Fuubaar

    Miscellaneous 4.0.6 Patch Notes

    0 comments
    I'm going to try to cut this one down a bit to just what I feel are the important parts. Again, I'll add my own commentary in italics, but the meat of this post is poached from the full notes that I nabbed from the Zam feed. If you want to see the full thing, go there or subscribe.

    Dungeons & Raids

    • Level-85 players can now choose any normal dungeon via the Dungeon Finder. Choosing Random Dungeon will still not add Blackrock Caverns or Throne of the Tides into the rotation.
    • Level-85 dungeon bosses in Lost City of the Tol'vir, Grim Batol, and Halls of Origination now drop 30 Justice Points each when killed.
    • The daily Random Dungeon reward on normal difficulty has been increased to 140 Justice Points, up from 70.
    • Players no longer need to discover Cataclysm dungeon entrances in order to access them via the Dungeon Finder.
    • The Bastion of Twilight
      • Halfus Wyrmbreaker
        • Shadow Nova is now cast less frequently in 10-player modes to account for fewer available interrupts there.
        • The captured drakes in this encounter now apply Dragon's Vengeance when they are killed instead of when they are freed. To account for this change, the health and damage of the drakes has been reduced, and the damage bonus gained from Dragon's Vengeance has been increased.
    • Blackrock Caverns
      • Beauty now spawns with only two pups in Heroic difficulty. Not to worry though, the missing pup has been adopted by a wonderful, if not insane family.
    • Blackwing Descent
      • The Dwarven Golem Council will now go berserk after 10 minutes in Heroic difficulty.
      • Atramedes will now go berserk after 10 minutes in Heroic difficulty.
      • Maloriak
        • Increased the cast time of Release Aberrations.
        • Heroic: Decreased the health of the Vile Swill by 15%.
        • Heroic: Dark Sludge can now only target players.
    • Deadmines
      • Foe Reaper 5000
        • Foe Reaper 5000's health has been reduced slightly. In addition, he now enrages at 40%, up from 30%.
        • When enraged, Molten Slag spawn 33% faster.
      • Ripsnarl
        • The ship teleporter now activates when Ripsnarl is first engaged, rather than when he is defeated.
      • Vanessa VanCleef
        • While in Helix's Nightmare during the Vanessa VanCleef encounter, Helix is now larger and a little easier to see.
        • The final rope swing while fighting Vanessa VanCleef has been removed. Players no longer need to swing off of the boat at the end of phase 3.
        • Some boat fires will now go out when Vanessa VanCleef is defeated, making it easier to get back onto the ship from the cavern entrance.
        • Vengeance of VanCleef has been redesigned. It is now a stacking buff that increases damage dealt, size, and attack speed, and stacks up to 40 times. Vanessa will begin casting this as soon as she jumps back onto the boat after detonating charges.
    • Grim Batol
      • Faceless Corruptors now move 10% more slowly.
      • Players may still use spell and abilities while afflicted by Forgemaster Throngus's Impaling Slam.
      • Valiona's Devouring Flame damage has been reduced by 20%.
    • Halls of Origination
      • The duration of the Flame Wardens' Raging Inferno has been reduced by 80%.
      • Anraphet's Nemesis Strike now does 75% of weapon damage, up from 50%. In addition, the damage-over-time effect applied by this ability does 15,000 damage every 2 seconds, up from 9,000.
      • Earthrager Ptah's Flame Bolt now deals more damage per second on Heroic difficulty.
      • Setesh seeks a portal every 25 seconds, up from 20.
    • Lost City of the Tol'vir
      • Lockmaw no longer tolerates fighting in his treasure room.
    • Shadowfang Keep
      • Baron Ashbury
        • Sadly, in his hubris he has forgotten how to Mend Rotten Flesh.
      • Lord Godfrey
        • He should now face a random target when casting Pistol Barrage.
      • Lord Walden
        • Conjure Poisonous Mixture now deals more initial damage.
        • Frost Mixture is now area-of-effect damage.
        • Toxic Catalyst now deals less damage over time.
    • The Stonecore
      • Stonecore Earthshapers' Dust Storm does slightly less damage.
      • Corborus
        • The warning time for Thrashing Charge has been increased by 1 second. In addition, Thrashing Charge now happens 4 times, down from 5.
        • The visual for Rock Borers spawning during the submersion phase is now different from the Thrashing Charge visual.
      • High Priestess Azil
        • She grew! She's now 175% the size of a human, up from 125%.
        • Gravity Wells should kill Devout Followers more quickly.
        • The cast time of Force Grip is now 1.5 seconds, up from 1.
        • The size of the warning visual for Seismic Shard has been increased to more accurately reflect the area it affects.
      • Slabhide
        • The ground phase lasts longer and has fewer stalactites.
      • Ozruk
        • He now does more melee damage.
        • There is now a precast visual on the ground to make it clear how far away a player must get to be clear of Shatter.
        • The cast time of Shatter has been increased to 3 seconds, up from 2.5.
        • Shatter damage is now reduced by armor, but has been increased by 33.3% (repeating, of course) as a result.
    • Throne of the Four Winds
      • Al’ Akir
        • Al'Akir's Electrocute can no longer be interrupted by Spell Reflection.
      • Conclave of Wind
        • Heroic: Slicing Gale debuff reduced from 10% per stack to 5%.
    • Throne of the Tides
      • Commander Ulthok now does more melee damage.
      • The damage done by Lady Naz'jatar's Shock Blast and Naz'jar Tempest Witch Chain Lightning has been reduced.
      • Gilgoblin Poisoned Spear impact damage has been reduced slightly.
      • Tainted Sentries Swell damage has been reduced.
      • The damage of Blight of Ozumat has been reduced by 25% per stack.
    • The Vortex Pinnacle
      • Creatures
        • Desperate Speed cast by Temple Adepts has had its duration reduced significantly.
      • Altairus
        • The visual effects in this encounter have been adjusted to make the wind direction easier to read.
        • Cyclones now knock players straight up, and players hit by a cyclone cannot be hit again for a few seconds.
      • Asaad
        • Skyfall Stars are now summoned to help him defeat players.
        • Static Cling has had its cast time increased to 1.25 seconds, up from 1.
      • Grand Vizier Ertan
        • His health has been reduced slightly.
        • He now knocks away players standing too close to him when he retracts his Cyclone Shield, which now inflicts Nature damage if it touches players.

    Guilds

    • The guild reward Armadillo Pup now requires revered faction instead of exalted.
    • All guild banners now reward bonus reputation in addition to honor and experience.
    • Guild bank vouchers that players unlock as guild rewards now correctly state that they can only be used by Guild Leaders.
    • Once a guild hits level 23, the daily cap on experience gained is removed.
    • Additional animations have been added to the Armadillo Pet guild reward.
    • The guild faction requirement on the Guild Herald has been lowered to Revered reputation.
    • We have redefined the definition of a Guild Group for 5-player dungeons.
      • If 3 out of 5 players in a group are members of the same guild, they will now be able to complete guild achievements and earn guild experience at 50% of the normal rate.
      • If 4 out of 5 players in a group are members of the same guild, they will now be able to complete guild achievements and earn guild experience at 100% of the normal rate.
      • If 5 out of 5 players in a group are members of the same guild, they will now be able to complete guild achievements and earn guild experience at 125% of the normal rate.
      • Also note that Heroic dungeons offer a 1.5x multiplier on all guild experience earned.

      Professions


    • Find Herbs, Fish, and Minerals are no longer canceled upon entering an Arena or rated Battleground.
    • A socket has been added to most crafted epic armor pieces that did not already have one.
    • Alchemy
      • Alchemist's Stones for Agility, Strength, and Intellect have been added.
      • The number of herbs required to create flasks has been reduced, while the Volatile Life needed has been increased slightly.
      • The drops from Tiny Treasure Chests have been improved slightly.
    • Archaeology
      • Archaeology fragments now have a hard cap of 200 per race. Players will not be able to collect additional fragments until they complete artifacts to take them down below 200 fragments. Players with more than 200 fragments will not lose additional fragments in 4.0.6, but in a future patch we may remove any fragments above 200.
      • Archaeology finds now grant a guaranteed skill point up to 50 skill, and then no longer grant skill gains, as opposed to granting up to 100 skill very slowly.
      • The sell value of all common artifacts has been doubled, while a small subset of common artifacts have had their sell value increased far beyond that.
    • Cooking
      • Multiple spawn locations now exist for the Confectioner's Sugar (daily quest item) in Stormwind.
    • Enchanting
      • Three new bracer enchants are available. They increase Agility by 50, Strength by 50, or Intellect by 50 respectively. Item level 300 or higher required. These new recipes are rare world drops.
      • Enchant Off-Handed - Superior Intellect now increases Intellect by 40, down from 100.
    • Engineering
      • The Electrified Ether recipe now creates 2 to 3 Electrified Ether instead of 1.
      • The Heat-Treated Spinning Lure buff duration has been increased to 15 minutes, up from 5. In addition, the recipe now creates 2 at a time.
      • Mystic Cogwheel is a new Engineering Cogwheel gem which provides resilience rating and can be purchased from the Engineering vendor for 55 Honor Points.
      • Synapse Springs now increase Agility, Strength, or Intellect (whichever is highest for the character). In addition, the effect now lasts 10 seconds, down from 12.
      • Volatile Air now has an increased chance of dropping from rich mining nodes and Pyrite with the Electrostatic Condenser.
    • Fishing
      • Rare fishing poles now have a chance to be found in the Bag of Fishing Treasures earned via the Stormwind and Orgrimmar Fishing daily quests.
    • Jewelcrafting
      • Meta gems with the Chaotic and Relentless prefixes now have a requirement of 3 red gems.
      • New meta gems have been added: Agile Shadowspirit Diamond (Agility/3% critical damage), Reverberating Shadowspirit Diamond (Strength/3% critical damage), and Burning Shadowspirit Diamond (Intellect/3% critical damage). These new recipes are unbound and can drop from any Cataclysm creature. The new meta gems have a requirement of 3 red gems equipped.
      • Vivid Dream Emerald (new gem) provides resilience/spell penetration and can be purchased for 3 Illustrious Tokens.
      • Wrath of the Lich King purple, green, and orange gems have been increased in cost to match red, blue, and yellow epic gems (220 Justice Points). Burning Crusade epic gems have been increased in cost to match the most expensive Wrath of the Lich King gems.
    • Leatherworking
      • The 500 to 510 skill-up range for Leatherworking has been improved.
    • Tailoring
      • Darkglow Embroidery (Rank 2) now increases Spirit instead of restoring a flat amount of mana.
      • Illusionary Bag now has 26 slots.
    • Profession Bug Fixes
      • See the fixes listed under the Items section.
    Tol Barad
    • Attacking forces will receive a 200% capture speed bonus when they control 2 keeps.
    • Defending forces will receive a 200% capture speed bonus when they control all 3 keeps.
    • Daily quest creatures, herbs, minerals, etc. will only spawn when Tol Barad is in the quest phase between battles. There will be 5-minute and 1-minute warnings before the quest phase ends. The quest phase ends 15 minutes before the battle for Tol Barad begins and queuing is made available. At that time any players in the daily micro dungeons will be ported just outside. This does not apply to Tol Barad Peninsula or the daily quests there.
    • The weekly PvP quest "Victory in Tol Barad" now awards 200 Honor Points and 3 Tol Barad Commendations.
    • Players can now see the status of Tol Barad on the World Map no matter where they are. The time to the next battle is displayed by zooming into the Tol Barad section of the map. The current controlling faction can be seen on the Eastern Kingdoms map.
    • Quest turn-in NPCs have been added to Baradin Base Camp and Hellscream's Reach in Tol Barad Peninsula for the Tol Barad bonus quests. This will allow players to turn in these quests if the original quest givers in Tol Barad are not available.
    • Kill credit for the Tol Barad bonus quest bosses will now be granted to players who have helped attack them, even if they are not in the same group. These bosses include Problim, Archmage Galus, Warden Silva, and Svarnos.
    The Take Home
    There's a lot here, so I'm going to keep it simple:
    • Heroics got tweaked to be less brutal, but I would hesitate to use the word "nerf" since the majority of the changes seem to be well thought out. In addition, they made them a bit more rewarding in terms of JP (I wish we'd see a similar uptick in VP rewards).
    • Guild Rep got a bit easier to earn with the redesign of group definitions.
    • There were a couple nice things added to various professions, and some dependence on rarer materials was lessened.
    • They've tried to make Tol Barad more compelling and fair. We'll see how it shakes out. In addition, they've made the questing better, especially with regards to the "quest bosses." You now just have to help kill them, even if you're not in a group.
    Some nice changes, overall, I think. If I missed any big ones, hit it up in comments.

    Patch 4.0.6 DK Patch Notes

    0 comments
    Here are the Death Knight patch notes for 4.0.6. I'll add my own commentary in italics, but the meat of this post is poached from the full notes that I nabbed from the Zam feed, same as in the Warlock post. There are a lot more notes here but I probably won't comment as much since I don't really min/max on my DK.

    Death Knights

    • Death Coil damage has been reduced by roughly 10%.
    • Icebound Fortitude now breaks stuns when used, in addition to providing immunity to them. - Totally huge for PvP. Rogues beware!
    • Necrotic Strike's absorption effect is now reduced by the target's resilience. In addition, its debuff duration has been reduced to 10 seconds, down from 15.
    • The spell hit bonus previously given by Virulence (Unholy) has been rolled into the Runic Focus passive effect that all death knights possess.
    • Talent Specializations
      • Blood
        • Bone Shield now has 4 charges, up from 3.
        • Crimson Scourge has been redesigned slightly. Instead of a 50/100% chance to make the next Blood Boil free when Plague Strike is used on a target with Blood Plague, the talent now gives a 5/10% chance to provide a free Blood Boil when the death knight lands any melee attack on a Blood Plagued target.
        • Heart Strike now deals 175% weapon damage plus 15% per disease, up from 120% plus 10% per disease.
        • Improved Death Strike now increases the damage of Death Strike by 30/60/90%, up from 15/30/45%.
        • If Death Strike is used while a Blood Shield is already active, the new absorb will stack with the old one instead of replacing it.
        • Scarlet Fever now applies via Blood Plague, rather than Blood Boil.
        • Will of the Necropolis no longer refunds a Blood Rune when it resets Rune Tap's cooldown. Instead it makes the next Rune Tap free while Will of the Necropolis is active.
      • Frost
        • Chilblains now also causes Chains of Ice to root the target for 1.5/3 seconds. - Another awesome change for PvP. I'll be posting my spec soon, and it revolves around slowing/rooting type of gameplay, so this is awesome for me.
        • Howling Blast now deals 40% less damage to all targets other than the primary target of the spell. - A bit of a nerf, but honestly I was a bit sick of pulling aggro with this by sneezing on the key.
        • Hungering Cold now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
        • Might of the Frozen Wastes now also increases all melee damage by 4/8/12% while wielding a two-handed weapon. - I DW, so w/e. :-)
      • Unholy
        • Blightcaller (Mastery) has been redesigned and renamed Dreadblade. It increases all Shadow damage by 2.5% per point of mastery.
        • Dark Transformation now increases pet damage by 80%, down from 100%.
        • Death's Advance (new talent): While both Unholy Runes are depleted, movement-impairing effects cannot reduce the death knight below 75/100% of normal movement speed.
        • Desecration is now also triggered by Necrotic Strike.
        • The ratio of runic power return from Magic Suppression has been reduced by roughly one third.
        • Rage of Rivendare now increases strike damage by 12/24/36%, down from 15/30/45%.
        • Runic Corruption procs while the aura is already active now add 3 seconds to the existing aura duration, instead of simply refreshing/overwriting the existing aura.
        • Shadow Infusion now increases pet damage by 8% per stack, down from 10%.
        • Sudden Doom is now triggered only from main-hand auto attacks, and is normalized according to weapon speed rather than having a fixed percentage chance.
        • Unholy Might (passive) has been reduced to a 5% Strength increase, down from 10%.
        • Virulence has been redesigned. It now grants 10/20/30% additional disease damage. - I can see a lot of DK's speccing into this now. I'm going to have to see what I'm doing with my points, this might trigger a respec.
    • Glyphs
      • Glyph of Dark Succor (new glyph) raises the minimum healing done by Death Strike from 7% to 15% of maximum health, but only while in Unholy or Frost Presence.
      • Glyph of Death's Embrace no longer refunds Runic Power when self-healing via Lichborne.
    • Runeforging
      • Swordbreaking and Swordshattering now reduce disarm duration by 60%, up from 50%. - I still won't be using these for DPS/bursty PvP.
    • Death Knight Bug Fixes
      • Blood of the North is no longer incorrectly increasing Blood Strike damage by 10%.
      • The tooltip for Blood Presence was giving an incorrect value and has been corrected.
      • The amount of bonus damage Blood Strike was receiving per disease was inconsistent with its tooltip and has been amended.
      • Crimson Scourge will no longer proc if Blood Plague is not present on the target.
      • Death Grip has a minimum range requirement of 8 yards against players, but this was not stated in the tooltip. The tooltip has been updated.
      • Desecration should stay in place while on the Alliance Gunship in Deepholm.
      • When a character is raised as a ghoul with Raise Ally, there is no longer a considerable pause after losing control of the ghoul before being returned to the corpse or graveyard.
      • The Scourge Strike tooltip is now correctly augmented by Rage of Rivendare.
      • The shadow portion of Scourge Strike was receiving more than 10% increased damage from Frost Presence and has been corrected.
      • The shadow portion of Scourge Strike no longer incorrectly still receives a 13% spell damage increase from Earth and Moon.
      • Glyph Fixes
        • The Chains of Ice tooltip is now correctly augmented by Glyph of Chains of Ice.
        • Glyph of Raise Ally now correctly affects the risen ally's health.
        • The Vampiric Blood tooltip became awkwardly worded after applying Glyph of Vampiric Blood. We made the words less awkward.
    The Take Home
    Overall, I think Blizzard is still struggling a bit with the design identity of DKs. With Cata, we've just recently been shoehorned into trees, and now we should expect to see a lot of tweaking as a result. Still, I think there was a lot of good news in this patch. Blood tanks should be a bit more hardy, Frost a bit harder to kill in PvP, and Unholy a bit stronger (along with trying to make mastery relevant for this tree). I will probably be tweaking my PvP spec again before sharing it, but like I noted in the commentary, these changes play right into my hands. The fun part for me has always been being able to slow, control large groups with HB and Chillblains, while being the bane of magic casters. These changes only reinforce that while faring me a bit better against melee stunning types (Rogues).

    Good stuff, and look for me to squeeze in a PvP spec while I'm updating all my 'lock guides. I don't think I'm going to get back into tanking again (recall my exit with the demise of the DW tanking), so don't expect anything there. Frost is just what I love about my DK. 'Nuff said.

    Patch 4.0.6 Warlock Patch Notes

    11 comments
    I'm going to try to do something different and two different posts, one with the DK patch notes and one with the Warlock patch notes. I'll try to convince Fuu to do the Pally notes too. Then I'll probably also do a miscellaneous post as well. That's potentially four posts in one day, which is crazy I know, but I think it'll make things easier to read. For instance, if you only want to see the DK stuff, you can skip this article and go to the next one, and so on. We'll see how it goes and feel free to give me feedback on whether you like or hate this approach.

    With that said, let's go directly to the Warlock notes. I'll add my own commentary in italics, but the meat of this post is poached from the full notes that I nabbed from the Zam feed. Big fan of that one since they RSS it out in full, unlike other news outlets.

    Warlocks

    • Curse of Exhaustion now reduces movement speed by 30%, down from 50%. Its range has been increased to 40 yards, up from 30. - I'm not using this, so doesn't matter to me
    • Demon Armor and Fel Armor no longer cost mana and last until canceled. - Wahoo! No more refresh (who cares about the mana).
    • Devour (Felhunter) cooldown has been increased to 20 seconds, up from 8. Devour is no longer able to be auto-cast. - Pup nerf... I heard this was coming. Its time to go back to the Succy anyways.
    • Drain Mana has been removed from the game. - Dumb, but expected.
    • Fear now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds. - Is this up or down? I don't really PvP on my 'lock enough to notice.
    • Fel Armor has been redesigned. It now surrounds the caster with fel energy, increasing spell power and causing the warlock to be healed for 3% of any single-target spell damage he or she deals. - Awesome. I think we were all worried about how this change would flesh out with the initial proposed mana crap. Love this change, feels more warlocky even though it might be a bit of a nerf (straight healing to percentage based... hard to crunch the numbers off hand).
    • Seduction (Succubus) now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds. - See fear change above.
    • Talent Specializations
      • Affliction
        • Soul Swap can no longer be dispelled (the aura given to the warlock between swapping). - To me, this is almost a "bug fix" but good all the same.
        • Unstable Affliction's silence effect has been reduced to 4 seconds, down from 5. - Small nerf... meh.
      • Demonology
        • Demonic Aegis now increases the healing effect of Fel Armor by 50/100%. - This is cool, makes the talent a bit more fun. Can't say whether it's a buff/nerf though.
        • Demonic Rebirth now highlights summoning spells when active. - From my limited play as demo, this is really nice. I'd always forgotten I had this ability.
        • Demon Soul: Imp redesigned. It now increases the critical strike chance of all non instant cast Destruction spells by 30%, rather than increasing critical strike damage. Duration reduced to 20 seconds. - Don't care. I'm not Destro.
        • Felstorm (Felguard) damage has been reduced by 20%. - Boo, nerf. Felguard was pretty much a beast in PvP though.
        • Immolation Aura damage has been reduced by roughly 30%. - Boo, nerf.
        • Inferno no longer increases the radius of Hellfire, but instead increases the duration of Immolate by 6 seconds in addition to its existing effect. - This should help with some of the challenge with getting your Hand of Guldan off... effectively giving you a larger window.
        • Master Demonologist (Mastery) benefit from mastery increased by approximately 33%. - Struggling to make mastery relevant. Also a very easy way to buff just one tree. Should see more raid parity as a result.
      • Destruction
        • Burning Embers damage has been reduced by 15%.
        • Fiery Apocalypse (Mastery) benefit from mastery increased by approximately 8%.
        • Improved Soul Fire now increases Fire and Shadow damage done by 4/8%, rather than 7/15% spell haste. In addition, this talent has been moved to tier-3 Destruction, switching places with Aftermath. - This will be the cause of much respeccing tonight. I haven't really looked at what I'm going to do yet, but so much for the ISF mechanic for Aff'locks. This will probably result in an across the board nerf.
        • Shadow and Flame can now proc from Incinerate in addition to Shadow Bolt.
    • Warlock Bug Fixes
      • Rank 2 of Backdraft should no longer have charges consumed when casting Immolate.
      • The spell animation for Demon Circle: Summon no longer persists through death.
      • Demon Leap should no longer cause players to pass through the environment at the entrance/exit of Orgrimmar. - lol Wish I would have done this one.
      • Drain Life cast when under the effects of Soulburn no longer has higher damage than the normal version of Drain Life. - Well that sucks if you were trying a drain spec.
      • Empowered Imp can no longer proc if the warlock does not have the talent. - Ha, oops.
      • Hellfire will not proc the Muradin's Spyglass buff without hitting an enemy target.
      • Warlocks with the Jinx talent who have an active Curse of the Elements on a target should no longer be interrupted while eating or drinking. - This is a good thing, though never really been an issue for me.
      • Nether Protection should now proc properly from all associated abilities.
      • Rain of Fire now remains at the same location it was cast at while on a moving transport.
      • Ritual of Summoning should no longer yield graphical issues with the created portal. - Yet still flashes you in a risque manner. :-D
      • Casting Soulburn during the global cooldown of a Soulburn ability, and while under the effects of another self-buff, was sometimes causing Soulburn abilities to be non-functional. This has been corrected. - The wording here makes my head hurt, but okay.
      • The UI fly-out for a warlocks' summoning spells now updates in real time based on the warlock's available mana. - I'd never noticed this issue.
      • The tooltip for the armor value in the Character pane should now be showing the correct amount of armor granted to pets.
      • Glyph Fixes
        • Glyph of Voidwalker's tooltip has been updated to the new pet scaling system.
    The Take Home
    Warlocks escaped relatively unscathed from this patch. I think the lot of us were worried at some of the early PTR changes, but it's all good in the hood (or cowl). The Fel Armor change seems to be fun, though I can't say what the maths tell us for nerf/buff. The ISF change looks to be a pretty big nerf, but I'm hopeful that it's offset by the combination of the other things they've done here. Aff'locks are definitely going to want to switch to a Succubus if you haven't already and we're going to need to respec since I believe ISF is going to be out of our reach now. I'm hoping that our numbers stay around the same. Demo locks should see a bit of a buff with the mastery change. Check on EJ for updated Demo pawn values soon, mastery may have jumped up a bit in the stat priority. I'll be double checking on this when I get to the guides, but despite some of the AoE nerfs (demo was a bit OP when it came to AoE), I think this patch will increase raid parity as far as numbers go. As for Destro locks, I'm not the expert there, but it looks to me like they're going to be in about the same boat as Affliction, though they don't really lose ISF. Like I said, my guess is that all specs will be raiding at pretty close to the same DPS.

    I'll be updating specs and guides as the week progresses, so stay tuned. Also, this is just my first glance, gut reactions here. I encourage anyone to comment on things I may have misunderstood or misread... discussion is always good. Otherwise, if they didn't refund my talents... meet y'all at the trainer tonight for a respec! :-)