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Blue Posts Roundup: Apr 26

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7.2.5 Class discussions continue for Holy Paladins, Holy Priests, Brewmaster / Mistweaver Monks. Blizzard explains the latest changes of PTR Patch 7.2.5's Build 23993. Enhancement Shamans received a flat 4% damage increase.

Holy Paladin

Fervent MartyrFervent Martyr had its health / mana costs reduced. 

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Fervent MartyrFervent Martyr has a few updates on PTR that aren't correctly reflected yet in the tooltip. In this iteration, it 1) no longer has the Beacon of LightBeacon of Light requirement, and 2) reduces the health cost of Light of the MartyrLight of the Martyr as well as the mana cost.

Holy Priest

Changes to DivinityDivinity's bonus will be reverted in next PTR build.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

The reduction toDivinityDivinity's bonus is reverted in the next PTR build. That actually wasn't meant to go to PTR after the buffs to HaloHalo and Divine StarDivine Star (if we'd kept the DivinityDivinity change, we'd likely have buffed the spec flat at the same time). Sorry about the confusion.

Brewmaster Monk

Blackout StrikeBlackout Strike cooldown has been reverted back to 3 seconds. Breath of FireBreath of Fire was moved to the level 90 talent row. Blackout ComboBlackout Combo now reduces the cooldown of Blackout StrikeBlackout Strike to 2 seconds.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Today's PTR build has a number of changes for Brewmasters. Continuing to iterate based on feedback, we've done the following things:

- Removed the Tiger PalmTiger Palm -> Blackout StrikeBlackout Strike interaction, and dropped Blackout StrikeBlackout Strike back to a 3sec cooldown (but still unaffected by Haste). This should provide a simple BoS - X - X rotation that is extremely flexible.
- Returned Breath of Fire to a 15sec cooldown. There's enough room in the rotation for it to be back at its previous usage rate.
- Moved Breath of FireBreath of Fire down to the level 90 talent row, preserving the level 15 talent row as is on live, replacing Niuzao instead. The level 90 row is a DPS row though, with no direct survivability value. To offset the increased usage of Breath of FireBreath of Fire that SpitfireSpitfire allows, the Hot BloodedHot Blooded artifact trait now provides half as much benefit when you have SpitfireSpitfire. Yes, this makes SpitfireSpitfire directly incompatible with the legendary chest, and that's OK.

It also has one highly experimental change: Blackout ComboBlackout Combo now also reduces Blackout StrikeBlackout Strike's cooldown to 2sec, and the other level 110 talents have been adjusted to preserve talent balance. I say highly experimental because this is something we were trying out internally, but didn't work out too well. 

We found it to be too frantic, too much pressure to not miss any BoSs due to BoS having a survivability benefit now, and too restrictive on the rotation. It also meant that you had to avoid all of the talents that add anything to your rotation, because your GCDs are completely full, even with no talents that add GCDs, even with no Haste, etc. 

There are enough ways to customize your GCD utilization now that you can fill up nearly all of your GCDs with the 3sec Blackout StrikeBlackout Strike if you want to (and it doesn't require a ton of Haste). As such, we're planning to return to a 3sec Blackout StrikeBlackout Strike (both with and without Blackout ComboBlackout Combo), and let you fill up however much of that time that you want. I think you'll find that you can fill that time (or not) pretty easily. Regardless, the 2sec version made it into this build, so give it a try and let us know if your experience matches ours or not.

As always, feedback on any of this is welcome and appreciated. 

P.S. One tweak to High ToleranceHigh Tolerance and Elusive DanceElusive Dance that we're likely going to keep is raising their benefits at Light StaggerLight Stagger, so that you still get most of their value even when not getting smashed.

The Ironskin BrewIronskin Brew duration, we've listened to a lot of feedback about.

It's definitely a significant change for high skill players. It's definitely a nerf, on its own, for those players, in some situations. However, it's a good nerf. And I don't just mean in terms of a theoretical 'better game', I mean it's a nerf that is in your personal benefit. 

In simple terms, Brewmasters are currently strong in situations where they can exploit this, and weak in situations where they can't. By reducing your ability to exploit this, we can then also tune you up across the board (and have, if you notice the rest of the changes), so that you're strong in both situations.

TL;DR: The Ironskin BrewIronskin Brew duration change is a nerf in some situations for some players, that is compensated for with buffs in all situations for all players, resulting in a net gain for you. in a net gain for you.

Mistweaver Monk

Refreshing Rushing Jade WindRushing Jade Wind will have its mana cost reduced in the next PTR build.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Refreshing Rushing Jade WindRushing Jade Wind also has a mana cost reduction that didn't make it into this build, similar to other talented heal spells mentioned in a recent PTR note.

Enhancement Shaman

Enhancement ShamanEnhancement Shaman receved a 4% flat damage increase.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

The flat buff to the spec's damage to account for the talent changes is a very rough number on current PTR. As always, total DPS tuning gets its closest look at the end of the process, but we often put in some loose compensation for changes along the way to keep things in the ballpark (which facilitates testing/feedback).

The same is true for the new talents, which haven't had much of any look at tuning. New TempestTempest may well be a little low--that said, possibly reducing the power of that row and buffing the baseline spec instead would be worthwhile, since part of the point was reducing the importance of StormbringerStormbringer procs. New BoulderfistBoulderfist is mostly tuned based on pacing--it's a talent that makes the rotation quite full and a little more hectic in terms of GCDs. If its DPS value is too low, it will probably have some sort of damage bonus added.

Both new TempestTempest and new BoulderfistBoulderfist intentionally are relatively simple passive talents. This is because the overall potential rotational complexity added in the Enhancement tree is rather high (also because they are replacing effects that were quite passive in the first place--old TempestTempest, and BoulderfistBoulderfists 100% uptime damage bonus).

The overall goal is somewhat surgically fixing a few core rotational problems that affect nearly all players of the spec, without opening up a huge number of changes or causing much disruption. Longer-term, I wouldn't be surprised to see iteration on ideas like StormlashStormlash, but there's not a specific plan yet, and this patch isn't the right time for it. Of course we will try to adjust isolated talent/trait balancing issues as we can, especially ones that have gameplay impact (for example, I believe there was a good comment somewhere in these threads, that Wind StrikesWind Strikes contributes to the chain-proccing feel of StormbringerStormbringer because of its huge short-duration boost).

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