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Blue Posts Round-up: Apr 7

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Blizzard's discussing balance changes in Patch 7.2.5. Wild CallWild Call will be changed for BM Hunters. Nighthold and the tanking discussion has forced the removal of Mark of UrsolMark of Ursol for Guardians and there are also plans to make Soul Shard regeneration for Destruction Warlocks more granular.

Beast Mastery Hunter Changes

Wild CallWild Call will be changed in 7.2.5  to reduce cooldown instead of resetting it.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

In 7.2.5, we are changing Wild CallWild Call from a cooldown reset mechanic to a cooldown reduction mechanic.

The base proc chance will be doubled and the cooldown reduction per proc will be 3.0 sec (affected by haste), roughly half the average expected value of current live Wild CallWild Call procs. Baseline, the amount of total Dire BeastDire Beast casts and Dire BeastDire Beast uptime should be roughly the same as on live, except the changes should result in smoother Focus regeneration from more well-paced Dire BeastDire Beast casts.

Additionally, these changes have the desired side effect of bringing the power level of The Mantle of CommandThe Mantle of Command more in line with other legendaries.

How is this going to affect One with the PackOne with the Pack? If the proc chance is doubled, then One with the PackOne with the Pack seems to be getting we

One with the PackOne with the Pack's proc chance increase to Wild CallWild Call will also be doubled. With the talent, Wild CallWild Call will have 100% chance to proc.

Guardian Druid Changes

In the first PTR Build of Patch 7.2.5, Mark of UrsolMark of Ursol will be removed. MaulMaul will cost 30 Rage, the 3 second cooldown will be reduced to a GCD and the damage will be increased by 400%.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

In my earlier post on this thread, I mentioned we were already considering what the right changes to Guardian would be going into Tomb, but that it was likely going to be for 7.2.5 and not 7.2. In the first 7.2.5 PTR, you can expect to see the following changes to Guardian:

--Mark of UrsolMark of Ursol removed
--MaulMaul costs 30 Rage (from 20), is now on the GCD, can now proc Gore, and damage increased by 400%.

I imagine the first change is most pertinent to those focused on the broader issue of tank balance. It may seem rather extreme, and that's part of why doing it mid-tier wasn't the plan we went with. But two factors that were important were 1) Mark of UrsolMark of Ursol's design (trade your physical AM for a magical AM) was somewhat incompatible with any use of magic damage other than an occasional threatening spike, and 2) Druids had little in the way of identifiable weaknesses or things that potentially scare them. Even without Mark of UrsolMark of Ursol, they have a mastery that's fully effective against magic, multiple medium to long cooldowns, Frenzied RegenerationFrenzied Regeneration, and some passives like Adaptive FurAdaptive Fur. While we'll be continuing to watch this in 7.2.5 development, our expectation is that they will not struggle to complete content that involves magic damage--which the clearest test of why a button that allows them to mitigate it so much further is not needed at all.

Upcoming Destruction Warlock Resource Changes

Changes to the the resource model of Destruction Warlocks are coming in 7.2.5 with the purpose of making Soul Shard regeneration less random and Chaos BoltChaos Bolt more impactful.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

As we've mentioned before, we’re making a number of changes to the resource model for Destruction Warlocks in the next patch. The goal is to create smoother, more granular, less random Soul Shard generation and make Chaos BoltChaos Bolt casts feel more impactful.

First, for Destruction Warlocks, Soul Shards are being split into parts of 10, which we’re currently calling Soul Shard Fragments. Mechanically, this will be similar to the Mists of Pandaria resource system of Burning Embers, except we want to go with a consistent Soul Shard visual, updated Soul Shard UI (work in progress), and name for the resource across all 3 Warlock specs. Some relevant spell changes:
  • IncinerateIncinerate generates 1 Soul Shard Fragment. Doubled on critical strikes. Fire and BrimstoneFire and Brimstone (talent) will cause IncinerateIncinerate to generate 1 Soul Shard Fragment per target hit, also doubled on critical strikes.
  • ImmolateImmolate periodic damage has a 50% chance to generate 1 Soul Shard Fragment. 100% chance on critical strikes.
  • ConflagrateConflagrate generates 6 Soul Shard Fragments.
  • Dimensional RiftDimensional Rift (artifact active) generates 3 Soul Shard Fragments.

The net result of these changes is that every baseline rotational damage spell will contribute to Soul Shard generation, pushing your resource forward at a steady pace.

Second, Soul Shard generation/refund rate is being reduced overall, mainly for the single-target rotation. However, this is coupled with major damage increases to both Soul Shard spenders - Chaos BoltChaos Bolt and Rain of FireRain of Fire. Combined, this means that Chaos BoltChaos Bolts will be cast less frequently, but they will hit much harder:


For the AOE rotation, Fire and BrimstoneFire and Brimstone (talent) will cause IncinerateIncinerate to generate Soul Shard Fragments per target hit, which would largely push ImmolateImmolate out of the AOE rotation with enough targets. Alternately, if you want to go down the route of maintaining ImmolateImmolate on all targets in a clumped AOE situation, CataclysmCataclysm (talent) will have reduced cooldown (30 sec) and slightly reduced cast time, making it easier for you to do so.

As usual, everything discussed here will continue to be iterated on during 7.2.5 PTR and may change based on further playtesting and feedback.

Any chance you can tell us whats happening with Wreak HavocWreak Havoc? It's probably holding destro back more than almost anything else. It has way too much power in it.

We generally agree with this.

In 7.2.5, Wreak HavocWreak Havoc will no longer remove the cooldown of HavocHavoc- it will only increase Havoc's duration to 20 sec. HavocHavoc baseline will have a 10 sec duration, 45 sec cooldown (subject to tuning).

HavocHavoc's cooldown has gradually crept down over the years, resulting in very high uptime, and culminating in 100% uptime via Wreak HavocWreak Havoc. This has made HavocHavoc a pretty forgettable button in a multi-target situation. You take Wreak HavocWreak Havoc, apply HavocHavoc once every 20 seconds, then go about your single-target rotation as usual. Instead of being an important actual cooldown that you planned your casts around, it became a button you always had to just apply first, in order to start doing your rotation.

With HavocHavoc not having 100% uptime, gameplay-wise Destruction will care more about when you generate Soul Shards, how you bank them, and how you prepare to spend them with HavocHavoc coming off cooldown. Additionally, with Chaos BoltChaos Bolt casts becoming relatively rarer but dealing more damage, those times when you do have HavocHavoc available will be even more meaningful.

Despite these changes to HavocHavoc, I want to state that we still want Destruction to stay among the top several 2-target specs. Destruction has a clear niche of being great at 2-targets, especially 2-target spread out (which some specs can't handle as well) and we don't intend to disrupt that.

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I am pleased with the idea behind the change to Soul Shards for Destro Warlocks. They could probably go the extra mile to actually change the visuals back to Burning Embers since they're already changing the visuals, but meh. Mechanically it sounds like this will work pretty much the same as Burning Embers did and that's -mostly- what mattered.

(To be fair though, any decent add-on author could just make an addon that replaces the Soul Shards visuals with the old Burning Embers look and replace all mention of Soul Shards to Burning Embers, heh.)

Just gotta see how well the increase in Chaos Bolt/Rain of Fire damage makes up for the reduced Shards generation... and if they actually improve on it in a significant manner should it be revealed that it's not working as well as it should.

 

(lol Blizzard not changing Guardian Druids mid-tier because "that would be too extreme", but nerfing Ignore Pain to the ground just a few weeks into EN was just fine.)

Edited by Ammako
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Destruction having "shard fragments" makes me think that Affliction and Demonology will have something along the same vein in 7.2.5.

Also love the idea that Destruction will be getting meaty Chaos Bolts at the cost of less casts of it. That's why I enjoy Destruction, because it's the caster that launches a giant ball of fel energy at the target for massive damage, no other class does that. With that said, I feel that it should be a talent, just so people can get the weaker/more frequent Chaos Bolt if they want it.

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14 hours ago, Stan said:

this means that Chaos BoltChaos Bolts will be cast less frequently, but they will hit much harder:

Like they didnt hit that hard already ;)

It's nice seeing some attention payed to the spec.  I do like its current form, but am not entirely against changes...  They call Wreak Havoc forgettable, but Afflic already gets a literally forgettable buff in Corruption if you talent for it - no cooldown at all.  Zero.  Up once and could last for hours.  

I say leave it as is.  It still has to be reapplied.   

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38 minutes ago, PatrickHenry said:

I say leave it as is.  It still has to be reapplied.   

Yeah honestly, all three talents in that row are more-or-less competitive at the moment so I don't know why they go out of their way to mess with that balance.

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