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Update: On another note, if you are in the game but are getting a "hanging" loading screen, DO NOT close the game, it will load eventually, it's just taking a while longer!
It seems many players are having problems with WoW this Saturday evening/very early Sunday morning, as there's been many disconnects and players being unable to log back in. With dozens upon dozens of posts on reddit and the official forums, most players got the WOW51900127 and WOW51900123 and similar errors when trying to reconnect, as well as some getting simply disconnected.
Blizzard are aware of the issue and working on it, but just in case, if you're in-game right now make sure not to disconnect (like I'm trying not to do right now as my AFK timer kicks in while writing this)!
There's more goodies to line your Warcraft shelves and collections, as the Blizzard Store has been updated with a brand new Thrall statue! As spotted by AsprosOfAzeroth, it seems he shomehow got his hands on Doomhammer again, and his look is more old-school Thrall, but the statue description makes it clear it encompasses all his experiences:
There are two versions of the statue, the Premium and Limited editions and both will set you back quite a bit, coming in at $600 and $750. Apparently both also feature interchangeable hands with or without weapons and it a little unclear what the limited edition has to offer additional (aside from not being painted). Here's a closer look:
Update: the Restoration pre-patch guide is ready and you can check it out here:
Restoration Druid Shadowlands Guide
Shadowlands is less than 2 months away so it's time we took a look at the highlights for the classes and specs of WoW, to make it easier for players to choose which class to pick or return to, and just get a good general overview of the changes coming. We've already covered the specific changes themselves, but now it's time we turned to our experts for this, with each overview penned by our guide writers for the relevant specs. We're starting with Restoration Druids and to also note, other than the Covenants and legendaries, all the rest is relevant for the pre-patch as well, which is coming even sooner.
Our resident Resto expert Torty takes a look at the Covenant choice, new baseline spells, talents, spell changes and legendary highlights, focusing on PvE, so let's get to it!
Exciting Changes for Restoration Druids in Shadowlands
One of the best new features in Shadowlands is Covenants, but Restoration Druid unfortunately has no real choice in the current state of beta. However, we do get a handful of new abilities: most of them returning from previous expansions, with some of them only having been available for other Druid specs, or were locked behind PvP talents.
Covenant Choice: Night Fae
Druid Ability - Convoke the Spirits - 2min CD
Call upon the Night Fae for an eruption of energy, channeling a rapid flurry of 12 Druid spells and abilities over 4 sec.
The Druid ability granted by the Night Fae is Convoke the Spirits. This 4 Second channeled ability can be cast while moving and will rapidly cast 12 random Druid spells, mainly focused on the form you are currently in. It will cast 8 or 9 spells from your current form: healing spells in caster form, damage spells in Moonkin form, and melee abilities in Cat form. The other 3-4 will be used from a selection of spells from other forms. This makes Convoke the Spirits an extremely flexible ability to use. Need that healing burst for a big AoE? 1-2 Wild Growths, a couple of Swiftmends and a few Rejuvenations make it an insanely strong healing cooldown, even if you do not use anything else with it. Want to absolutely destroy a boss in a dungeon? Convoke with Heart of the Wild can make any DPS player jealous with the burst it does. Convoke even has a small chance to cast Flourish, Full Moon or Feral Frenzy as a bonus. Swiftmends cast by it do not consume HoTs, but they do proc Soul of the Forest.
In general, it is a very fun ability to use. Seeing raid frames fill up with your HoTs or enemy health rapidly deplete from machine gun ability spam is extremely satisfying.
The power of Convoke is such that it makes any other Covenant not competitive, at least in PvE content. While other Covenant abilities put limitations on the amount of targets they hit, have longer cooldowns, drawbacks or even straight up poor numbers, Convoke has virtually no downsides. It does damage, small group healing, big group healing, has relatively low CD. While the generic ability is admittedly the weakest out of all, the power of Convoke more than covers for it and then some.
Generic Ability - Soulshape - 1.5min CD
Turn into a Vulpin, teleporting 15 yds forward and increasing your movement speed by 50%. You may reactivate Soulshape every few sec to teleport again.
Lasts 12 sec, or indefinitely while in a rest area.
The generic ability from the Night Fae is Soulshape. Unfortunately, it duplicates a lot of things that Druid already has in its toolkit. Increased movement speed is basically the same as Cat form and the blink distance is short enough that you could use Wild Charge with less hassle. You might find this useful to jump over mechanics that would be otherwise impassable, but that is about it.
New Baseline Spells
Cyclone. This ability used to be baseline before it got locked behind the PvP talent system. You can make mobs immune to everything, including healing and receiving Bolstering keystone affix stacks. It might not be as useful in PvE as it is in PvP, but it has its uses. Nature's Swiftness. An old favourite returns. This time it is restricted in use to only 3 spells: Regrowth, Rebirth, or Entangling Roots. Still, it provides us with an incredibly powerful instant healing tool on a short 1 minute cooldown. Stampeding Roar. At different points of the game's history it was available to Restoration Druids or locked only to Guardian and Feral Druids. A fantastic tool in Mythic+ and Raiding. There is even a Finesse Conduit that increases the radius of the speed increase and prolongs the duration. Changed Spell Functionality
Innervate. If cast on somebody else, you gain the effect at 50% effectiveness. While Innervating other healers is not particularly exciting, especially at the cost of your own power, this might come in very strong in a progression environment. Regrowth. 40% increased chance for a critical effect if the target is already affected by Regrowth. A very nice change for both Mythic+ healing and tank healing in raids. Swiftmend. Now consumes Regrowth, Wild Growth or Rejuvenation. Cooldown changed from 25 seconds to 15 seconds. Prosperity (talent) removed. This change makes Swiftmend less of a rotational ability and more spot healing and/or combo ability. Soul of the Forest will be available for use more often, making it stronger.
Nourish. Replaces Prosperity in the first tier. Heals a friendly target for a moderate amount. Receives triple bonus from Mastery. Probably not a good button, at least with the stats we have in the first season. On top of that, we have 2 different legendaries that significantly buff tank healing. Typhoon is now locked behind Balance Affinity. Feral Affinity gets Maim and Guardian Affinity gets Incapacitating Roar. On top of that, Balance Affinity gets the Eclipse system from Moonkin druids instead of empowerments we had in Battle for Azeroth. Heart of the Wild. Replaces Typhoon in the fourth tier. Another old favourite. Significantly increases your damage using Balance and Feral Affinities and provides extra Stamina for Bear form if you are using Guardian Affinity. Overall, a very strong ability that offers good shapeshifting opportunities. Coupled with Convoke the Spirits, this talent is an absolute power house. Who doesn't want to outdamage actual DPS specs on pull? Overgrowth. Replaces Stonebark in the sixth tier. A very expensive healing spell that applies Rejuvenation, Lifebloom, Wild Growth and Regrowth to the target. Unfortunately, it does not provide a Regrowth instant healing effect, which makes it a lot weaker than it looks at first glance. The mana cost and restrictive cooldown (1 minute) make it unusable in raids, but it very well might see use in the Mythic+ environment. Legendary Effects
While there are way more Legendary effects than we list here, we tried to focus on the more interesting ones that you might use in Shadowlands.
The Dark Titan's Lesson. You may Lifebloom two targets at once, but all of Lifebloom's healing is reduced by 10%. This Legendary effect has obvious strong synergy with Photosynthesis. Yes, you can get both single target and self effects at once. This is a very exciting power to possess in Mythic+. Furthermore, two Lifeblooms proc Clearcasting twice as often. Unfortunately, this legendary is pretty mediocre in raids. Circle of Life and Death. Your damage over time effects deal their damage in 25% less time, and your healing over time effects in 15% less time. This is another power that you will only use in Mythic+. Your DoTs will start doing their damage faster, making your DPS global cooldowns more efficient. The same is true for HoTs, but to a lesser extent. Mostly, this is going to be used for extra damage, although healing increase is not trivial either. Memory of the Mother Tree. Wild Growth has a 50% chance to cause your next Rejuvenation or Regrowth to apply to 3 additional allies within 20 yards of the target. This is an excellent legendary for raiding. It allows you to ramp for damage events better, it makes your Wild Growth more Mana efficient, and gives overall good throughput.
Restoration Druid has not received many rotational changes in Shadowlands from BFA or Legion, so if you haven't played Restoration recently or are getting back into it make sure to check out our current Restoration Druid Shadowlands guide. The baseline is mostly the same, you will only have to adapt to a Covenant ability instead of Essences and add a few keybinds for the new utility buttons we are going to receive.
The changes overall make the class more fun. We get new buttons to help the group, use our forms more and even get an extra raid cooldown with an ability to use it for burst DPS. These are extremely powerful tools to have both in raiding and in dungeons.
Other Spec Highlights:
Balance Druid Restoration Druid Beast Mastery Hunter Arcane Mage Outlaw Rogue Elemental Shaman Enhancement Shaman Shadow Priest Protection Warrior
Item levels have been squished down in the pre-patch, so we're looking at the item level of gear currently rewarded by the Weekly Mythic+ chest.
Grand Challenger's Bounty will be replaced with the Great Vault in Shadowlands.
The Mythic dungeons interface said I would receive a reward of higher level than what I got Opened the weekly Mythic+ cache and received a lower level item than I should have The item level of gear rewarded by the weekly Grand Challenger's Bounty is based on the level of the best keystone dungeon you completed the week before as shown in this chart:
BEST KEYSTONE IN DUNGEON WEEKLY CHEST Mythic 1 85 0 Mythic 2 90 95 Mythic 3 90 100 Mythic 4 95 105 Mythic 5 100 105 Mythic 6 100 110 Mythic 7 105 115 Mythic 8 110 115 Mythic 9 110 115 Mythic 10 110 120 Mythic 11 115 120 Mythic 12 115 125 Mythic 13 115 125 Mythic 14 120 125 Mythic 15 120 130
Exorsus has recently transferred all their characters to the Alliance.
Castle Nathria is full of bleed effects, and they are effectively countered with the Stoneform (Dwarf Racial), which is why the Exorsus decided to move all their main characters to the Alliance for the race.
Many players will also be going for World First Level 60s, so the 25% Alliance War Mode Bonus is mandatory to give them a head start.
The transfer is probably just temporary, and the guild will move back to the Horde when the race is over. Other guilds will likely follow.