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Blue Posts Roundup: Apr 19

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Class Mount requirements are likely to change soon and Blizzard discussions on Patch 7.2.5 changes continue for Brewmaster Monks, Discipline Priests (following the redesign) and Enhancement Shamans.

Class Mounts

Players shared their disconcerns about requirements for obtaining Class Mounts. Currently, players must finish Breaching the TombBreaching the Tomb and Armies of LegionfallArmies of Legionfall to unlock Class Mount quests. It seems the requirements will be reconsidered in the future.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Appreciate the feedback here - I'll pass it along as always. Class mounts are a bit away still, so I would expect to see more information coming as we get closer to the point they are obtainable.

Let's make sure to keep the discussion here civil and on topic.

Brewmaster Monks

The discussion continues and Celestalon talks about latest changes brought with the second build of 7.2.5.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Today's PTR build has Blackout StrikeBlackout Strike reduced to a 12sec cooldown, so that two Tiger PalmTiger Palms are enough to reset it, speeding things up noticeably. Please give that a try (in a variety of talent builds if you can), and let us know how that feels.

EDIT: Oh, and today's build also has Rushing Jade WindRushing Jade Wind's duration increased to 9sec/Haste for Brewmasters, making it more flexible on your GCDs, and less swingy on GCD utilization.

---

And continuing the curtain backpulling (Is that a word? It is now.), here's where our thoughts are right now:

We hear the feedback that the Tiger PalmTiger Palm -> Blackout StrikeBlackout Strike CDR mechanic isn't adding interactivity so much as restrictiveness and complexity, even if we get the tuning of it right. I last mentioned that we were considering a design that required (1 Tiger PalmTiger Palm + 1 Anything) between Blackout StrikeBlackout Strikes. That's still an option, but we're actually planning to try (2 Anything), between Blackout StrikeBlackout Strikes for next build, i.e. back to just a plain 3sec CD but unaffected by Haste.

We're also considering letting Blackout ComboBlackout Combo reduce the CD of Blackout StrikeBlackout Strike even further, along with buffing the other talents on that row to compensate. There's some hesitance with that, due to how much power that would put in that row, but it's not totally unreasonable.

EDIT: Oh, and we're also leaning towards SpitfireSpitfire replacing Chi WaveChi Wave instead of Chi BurstChi Burst. If you love Chi WaveChi Wave, please speak up now!

Again, none of this is set in stone at all, and your feedback is really helping; keep up the focused and constructive posts!

One point of confusion that I've seen about the new Rushing Jade WindRushing Jade Wind change: The tooltip isn't showing its increased damage, but the total damage per cast has gone up. The damage per tick didn't change. We'll get the tooltip fixed for the next build.

Discipline Priests

Are getting are getting a lot of changes in Patch 7.2.5 and Blizzard shared their thoughts about current problems with the specs and plans to address them.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

As with other specs, we'd like to get some discussion early in the PTR process about our goals for any significant changes, so that people giving feedback have context for what we're expecting.

First, some problems with live Discipline:
--The mana cost mechanic on PleaPlea is clumsy and makes the spell require a complex evaluation to use at all.
--Relatedly, Power Word: RadiancePower Word: Radiance is a no-cooldown AtonementAtonement applicator that is better than PleaPlea in almost every way, and is basically limited only by total mana.
--So the spec is now balanced around very high AtonementAtonement count in raids (from using Power Word: RadiancePower Word: Radiance as much as possible) being the only time Discipline is strong. High-end players have gotten used to this as a playstyle as well.
--The spec is very dependent on mana, since more mana turning into more Power Word: RadiancePower Word: Radiances is virtually the only thing constraining your healing.

We understand that toppling any aspect of this situation gives alarm to high-end raiders, mainly related to power level of the spec. There was one way to make the spec "work" in raids, and the dedicated Discipline players have learned to optimize it to get good performance. And we can probably start assuaging some concerns by saying: without using all nearly your mana on concentrated Power Word: RadiancePower Word: Radiance usage, and without using focused Innervates to push that even further, we understand the power level of the spec would be clearly impacted absent other changes.

It is our intention to have fewer average AtonementAtonements out in raids after the patch, which will likely involve an increase to either AtonementAtonement transfer or simply to damage dealt. This, among other results, should result in an increase in power in all situations other than mass spread raid healing. And even in that situation, there's no overall reduction in power intended, other than perhaps in extreme cases of Innervate stacking. Ideally, Discipline will more regularly and stably be near that level of performance through a normal playstyle.

Because the spec is so complex, there will surely a lot of tuning of mana costs and damage amounts and the like throughout PTR, to get everything into the right place. But for some further goals on the changes that are in so far:
--The damage increase is on SmiteSmite (I believe this PTR build only has a small damage increase, but the internal build has a much larger one) moreso than PenancePenance. So that your incentive is not to spam out as many AtonementAtonements as possible and then convert them to healing with PenancePenance. A decision of more AtonementAtonements vs. more damage should be more relevant than it is now, when more AtonementAtonements are essentially always right.
--For similar reasons, reducing mana costs to free up overall mana on the spec was done to SmiteSmite rather than PleaPlea. SmiteSmite should never feel wrong to cast, whereas shifting to cast a heal spell is an expenditure of mana to get an AtonementAtonement, very similar to any heal on a typical healer.
--Power Word: RadiancePower Word: Radiance going to more, shorter AtonementAtonements rather than fewer, longer AtonementAtonements is to allow a quick payoff on a lot of targets (5 or 10) through a PenancePenance and some SmiteSmites. Cases such as group damage in dungeon healing should have a tool that's a smoother fit for them now.

These details are very much open to feedback like anything else, but the main point at the outset is: we're very aware we're poking at the one trick of a spec that is a bit of a one-trick pony in raids. And that requires making sure that all the other parts of the toolkit are up to snuff in the same process. Our hope is that it's not only a clear upgrade for everyone outside the high-end raid setting, but also that those players have a less degenerate and more varied rotation while still performing at the right level.

Thanks for the post. Any thoughts on making PenancePenance heal untalented again? IMO the spec is way hard to play in most situations for the average player. I found myself having a hard time keeping up tanks spike damage in 5 mans, even when out gearing the content.

This is in the current PTR build--PenancePenance can be used in either mode baseline.

Also, the problem of the time used to apply Power Word: RadiancePower Word: Radiance is an issue, because the casting time has to be considered into how long you actually get to make use of those AtonementAtonements.

Yes, the current cast time and duration might be a little constrained--both are potential things to look at as we see how it plays out. The payoff from a Power Word: RadiancePower Word: Radiance shouldn't feel like it's overly conditioned on getting an exact sequence of a few spells with no interruption.

Yeah, sure, makes sense, except one crucial point... you removed the SmiteSmite absorb per-cast. That was the one feature about the spell that actually favored having fewer AtonementAtonements. A SmiteSmite that heals 5 people now does actually even less healing than before, and while it's nice and all that it costs almost no mana, it's the time constraint on Disc now to actually cast SmiteSmite that creates a problem.

It's true that works against lower-AtonementAtonement healing somewhat. Overall this effect should work as a talent since it's somewhat situational in a way that contrasts nicely to CastigationCastigation, but there could be something different here if it becomes a problem. The PenitentThe Penitent is definitely better baseline since it's an option that is rarely a net power increase to use, but allows some important convenience/flexibility in some cases.

Lack of mana is not why SmiteSmite is not cast. SmiteSmite is not cast because by the time you're done doing everything else in the spec that costs a GCD, nobody with AtonementAtonement is still damaged unless you're on a fight that has literally constant damage every second from start to finish or your fellow healers are really, really bad at the game.

If nobody in the raid is damaged, then basically no healer has anything to do other than 1) set up something like a HoT (analogy: apply an AtonementAtonement), or 2) do some damage. So that's not unusual, and favors making sure that SmiteSmite is near-free or free and the mana decisions are on applying the heals (AtonementAtonements).

There are various things still being discussed, so it will be better to talk about it after some changes settle down more, but one good point of feedback was about the targeting on Power Word: RadiancePower Word: Radiance. We're going to try smart targeting of some sort in the next PTR build. Details TBD, but potentially: "true smart" (lowest-HP) targeting while maintaining the current behavior of favoring targets without AtonementAtonement.

Enhancement Shamans

Some inconsistences between Patch Notes and 7.2.5 PTR shown up regarding LandslideLandslide.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

That was an error in today's PTR build. LandslideLandslide should be in the third slot in L15 (as the patch notes described).
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