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Season of Discovery Phase 4 PTR Notes: July 3rd

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Blizzard has pushed what appears to be the final big round of class tuning ahead of the Phase 4 release next week!

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Greetings,

We’ve pushed another round of adjustments to PTR this afternoon with some additional
changes to Mage, Warlock, Paladin, Warrior, Shaman, and Rogue. At this point we are going to be slowing down major changes to stabilize the build in preparation for the patch launching next week. This PTR cycle has been incredibly useful and we really appreciate all of the feedback we’ve received. While not all individual suggestions have been directly implemented, we’ve spent a ton of time reading your thoughts and it’s been a very helpful tool to allow us to focus on addressing some of the root causes of the feedback you are providing. Thank you!

Mage

  • Pyroblast now has no mana cost if cast using a Hot Streak proc.
  • Brain Freeze now also makes Balefire Bolt instant and have no mana cost.
  • The base damage of Frostfire Bolt has been reduced by 16%
    • Developer’s Notes: We’ve seen extremely high performance from mages on the PTR and while we are comfortable with mages doing lots of damage, we wanted to tone down Frostfire Bolt slightly while making Hot Streak procs even more satisfying and also giving Balefire Bolt a better interaction with Brain Freeze.

Paladin

  • Malleable Protection now grants 4 Attack Power per excess point of defense when Holy
    Shield is used instead of Spell Power.
    • Developer’s Notes: Many paladins have pointed out that they would like to see the
      additional benefit from defense when using Holy Shield to increase attack power rather than spell power and while we aren’t going in that direction for now, as a compromise, we are allowing Malleable Protection rune to essentially grant the same desired effect in addition to the baseline spell power benefit that Holy Shield grants from defense. This should make this rune more attractive to tanking paladins who it is designed for and still allow paladins using holy shield to gain a chunk of the Spellpower they would lose when not using Sheathe of Light.

Rogue

  • Mutilate’s damage reduced from 100% to 80% weapon damage, and it’s bonus damage decreased by 20%.
  • Envenom’ base damage reduced by 20% and Attack Power contribution to
    damage reduced by 20%.

Developer’s Notes: Similar to Mages we are becoming concerned about the overall damage output of rogues in relation to other classes going into Phase 4. Mutilate has dominated the last few phases and while its still likely to slightly edge out other choices such as Saber Slash, this should help tone Rogues ouput down slightly while also helping to bring mutilate more in line with other Rogue options.

Shaman

  • Way of Earth now reduces to the range of Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Lava Burst,
    Healing Wave, and Chain Heal by 20 yards.
    • Developer’s Notes: Shaman has become quite opporessive in PvP and the usage of
      Way of Earth by Restoration and Elemental shamans contributes heavily to this. This
      change should not lower the overall output potential of shamans in PvP who are using this rune, but it should make applying that damage significantly less flexible and more dangerous for the Shaman themselves. We will continue to monitor shaman performance in PvP and make additional adjustments as needed.
  • Molten Blast now gains additional damage equal to 14.3% of Fire Spell
    Power. Please note that this extra damage is not reflected in the tooltip at this time.

Warlock

  • Shadowflame has seen several adjustments:
    • Shadowflame is no longer mutually exclusive with Unstable Affliction.
    • Shadowflame now triggers improved shadowbolt.
    • Shadowflame also increases the number of Improved Shadowbolt charges to 10.
  • The Demonic Pact effect now applies to the raid group rather than just the party.
  • The amount of bonus spell damage provided by Demonic Knowledge is now 3% (down
    from 10%)
  • The damage and stamina of the Felguard have been increased by approximately 20%
  • Grimoire of Synergy has been adjusted and now has a 10% chance to proc and grants a 10% damage bonus.
  • The damage penalty of Shadow Bolt Volley has been reduced to 5% (was previously 20%)
  • A New ability has been added to the game via a spell book: Fel Armor
    • Surrounds the caster with fel energy, increasing spell damage and healing by 60 plus additional spell damage and healing equal to 50% of your Spirit. In addition, you regain 2% of your maximum health every 5 sec. Only one type of Armor spell can be active on the Warlock at any time. Lasts 30 minutes.
  • The Mark of Chaos rune has been moved to the feet slot and now activates when any
    Curse except Curse of the Elements or Curse of Shadow is used.
  • The Soul Siphon rune has been moved to the back slot.
  • Immolation Aura has been redesigned:
    • Immolation Aura now triggers from being attacked rather than as a periodic effect. This cannot occur more than once per second, and does not require the attack to hit.
    • Immolation Aura now also increases fire damage by 10%.
  • The Incinerate Rune has been moved to the wrist slot.

Developer’s Notes: After our previous round of adjustments to Warlock, many players correctly pointed out that Shadowflame was still mutually exclusive with Unstable Affliction which was an unintended oversight. We’ve fixed that and additionally added an interaction with Improved Shadow Bolt to allow Shadowflame crits to also proc the increased damage effect. Improved Shadow Bolt wasn’t utilized heavily prior to this change as the amount of free time for Shadow Bolt filler was relatively low. Lastly, the low number of charges on Improved Shadow Bolt didn’t make it very usable, so we are increasing the number of charges gained from 4 to 10 with Shadowflame which should increase the overall usefulness of the talent in group settings. We also hope to see this create some synergy that Shadow Priests in particular can see benefit from as well.

Warrior

  • Thunder Clap now gains additional damage equal to 5% of Attack Power. Please note that this extra damage is not reflected in the tooltip at this time.

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