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Legion Alpha: New Build Released

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Check out the latest Alpha patch notes to be released, including changes to how Hybrids are going to be working in the future!


The first build notes came out from Celestalon, which you can check out below:

Blizzard Icon Alpha Build Notes


Hey all,

We have another alpha build going up today. This build includes a variety of revisions and bugfixes all around, but most notable changes are focused on classes:
  • Class Status – We’ve made many iterations based on feedback and testing. Here are some highlights:
  • Charm Spells – These spells are potentially very powerful when used on stronger-than-average creatures. Previously, we handled this by making any particularly strong creatures (such as most creatures in dungeons and raids) immune to these effects. For Legion, we’ve limited the amount of damage dealt by charmed creatures to what a standard outdoor creature could do, and will soon be relaxing those immunity restrictions accordingly. This way, you’ll be able to use things like Control Undead and Enslave Demon more often, especially in dungeon content, and still get a reasonable value out of them.
  • Mana and Utility for Hybrids – Most non-healer hybrids now use mana, primarily to fuel utility spells and abilities. See below for more details.
  • Interrupt Duration Reduction – We’ve added baseline interrupt duration reduction to several specializations, which should help them get casts off more often, primarily in PvP. This includes Shadow Priests, Restoration Shamans, and all Warlocks. (EDIT: To clarify, this is a reduction to the duration of interrupts used ON them, not BY them.)
  • Warlocks – Several changes in order support Warlocks being more tanky. A greatly improved version of Soul Leech is now baseline, in place of Fel Armor, and Demon Skin is a new talent in Soul Leech’s place that further enhances Soul Leech significantly.
  • Brewmaster Monks – Reigned in their overpoweredness. (Note that this is not final tuning, just getting things in the right ballpark so as not to negatively impact testing too much.)
  • Holy Paladins – Light of the Martyr design tweaked.
  • Balance Druids – Astral Power generation tweaked.
  • Shadow Priests – Insanity generation tweaked.
  • Enhancement Shamans – Stormbringer and Windfury chances tweaked.
  • Blood Death Knights – Extensive changes to many talents.
  • Arcane Mages – Arcane Missiles proc logic changed; Arcane Blast is now the optimal way to generate Arcane Missiles charges, instead of spamming instants.
  • Rogues – Tricks of the Trade has returned.

Thanks, and we look forward to your feedback!

Also, check out the design notes from the previous build, if you haven't already as well: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/20742915913

(source)


The initial post was followed up by a more in-depth post about the changes coming to Hybrids. It looks like the non-healer specialisations of hybrids will be getting their mana bars back! Check out what Sigma had to say:

Blizzard Icon Sigma on Hybrids

 

As Celestalon mentioned, this build includes a general change that affects a number of non-healing specs on hybrid classes. Resources were previously handled somewhat inconsistently across these specs: Balance and Retribution, for example, have a DPS resource (Astral Power or Holy Power) as well as a mana bar that's used only for the occasional heal or utility spell. Shadow, Enhancement, and Elemental had eliminated the mana bar, and had DPS resource costs (Insanity or Maelstrom) associated with various heal and utility spells. After discussing this, we decided to go with the mana approach on all hybrid healing classes except for Monks.

So, this build, you'll now have a visible mana bar on Retribution, Protection Paladin, Balance, Shadow, Enhancement, and Elemental. Feral and Guardian are also subject to these changes, although their mana is not visible in form by default. On all of these specs, mana regen and cost of healing spells has been made more consistent. You should have the ability to cast a reasonable-strength heal at any time as a utility option, but mana limits you from spamming it for too long, until you pause and regen. Because the mana pool on all of these classes is much smaller than a healer's, it does not take inordinately long to refill the bar--roughly 30 seconds. On classes like Shadow with a large number of utility spells, mana will force you to make some choices between using Shadow Mend and PW:Shield and spells like Mass Dispel.

The tuning will continue to be revised as we test this out on alpha, but it should give a much more consistent opportunity for hybrid classes to access that aspect of their class and make decisions about how to use their hybrid spells. Please let us know any feedback.

(source)

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For a moment there i thought that enhancement would need mana to fuel his spells again, but it's really good that they are using this system for hybrids, having free-cost heals would make things very awkward, if they made it insignificant they would not be worth using at all (besides questing) and if they made it significant we could see some enhancement shammys taking a role as healer, by spamming their free heals.

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For a moment there i thought that enhancement would need mana to fuel his spells again, but it's really good that they are using this system for hybrids, having free-cost heals would make things very awkward, if they made it insignificant they would not be worth using at all (besides questing) and if they made it significant we could see some enhancement shammys taking a role as healer, by spamming their free heals.

 

Agreed. Especially if you look at PvP, it would be a nightmare since they could just spam off-heal for their partners.

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