Tuesday, January 13, 2009

[General] Prepping for patch 3.0.8

3.0.8 is upon us!

Or maybe next week!

3.0.8 isn't a full content patch, but it might as well be for all the changes to the various classes. And no one, mechanically, is changed quite so much as the feral druid this time around. I've reviewed many of these changes before in different posts, so for avid readers a lot of this will be happy and redundant - but it's always nice to have this stuff in one place, no?

Mechanics changes
  1. Feral armor in bear form (and moonkin, if you really care) is changing significantly. All bonus armor on leather and cloth and all armor on rings, trinkets, amulets and weapons will not receive any armor multipliers from Dire Bear form, survival of the fittest or thick hide. This means only base armor on leather and on cloaks will be multiplied. To compensate for this, survival of the fittest will be giving a 22/44/66% bonus to armor, making the final bear armor multplier be 8.58. This has the following big consequences:- - - most bears without armor trinkets or with not optimal gear will see their armor improve significantly
    - well-geared bears will see their armor decrease
    - the ilvl of the leather armor matters more (but not too amazingly; we're talking about 8-10 armor points per item)
    - Defender's code is no longer an 'always wear' trinket but instead should be worn situationally for hard hitting bosses; Offering of Sacrifice, Badge of Tenacity and any other marginal armor trinkets are now not worth investing in or wearing.
    - Darkmoon Card:Greatness, Valor Medal of the First War and Essence of Gossamer (among others) becomes far more valuable and usable
    - Most rings, amulets, weapons and cloaks with extra armor remain best in slot, though some dodge-heavy items and some agility-heavy items become more usable

    Actions before the patch
    : start saving up for that Darkmoon card! Also stop killing yourself running Gun'Drak and instead kill yourself running Azjol-Nerub.
    Actions after the patch: switch out your Defender's code for most bosses (Patchwerk and enraged Faerlina are the only ones I can think of that hit so hard you'd want it) and be on the lookout for sidegrades.

  2. Druids can train polearms!
    - The trainer is in Stormwind/Undercity

    Actions before the patch: see if you can get a Black Ice if you don't already have Journey's End. It drops from Malygos Normal, and it's a great kitty
    Actions after the patch: train polearms and start rolling on hunter loot!

  3. Feral Attack Power is no longer something on items specifically. Any weapon that a druid can use will have its DPS converted to Feral Attack Power when a druid looks at it automatically.
    - 2-handed maces, polearms, and feral staves all are viable weapons for cats!
    - no real changes for bears though - the high armor and stamina on the tanking staves (Origin of Nightmares, Enraged Feral Staff, Staff of the Plague Beast) stay superior
    - Inevitable Defeat is really really nice for cats - but not as nice as Black Ice
    Actions before the patch: see if you can get an Inevitable Defeat (if you don't have Journey's End or Black Ice)
    Actions after the patch: start rolling on even more hunter loot!

  4. Cats will be getting swipe!
    - it will cost 50 energy, never provide combo points and is affected by all talents that affect swipe
    - This isn't as awesome as it sounds; 50 energy (even berserked) is pretty expensive, and unlike bears you aren't likely to be able to infinitely swipe multiple mobs, since you don't get energy back on crits
    Actions before the patch: nothing special.
    Actions after the patch: First, go train this. You might consider respecing if you're primarily cat to get the swipe bonus buffs, but I doubt you should; it's really not that great. Make sure you have savage roar up before swiping in any case. Ideally you'd have savage roar up, then tiger's fury to 100 energy, then berserk for maximum damage - but those ideal states don't happen often.

  5. Mangle will do less damage/threat. This was due to a bug in how savage fury multiplied mangle. Mangle will do about 15% less now. Rake, however, should do significantly more.
    Actions before the patch: enjoy manglespam and berserking threat.
    Actions after the patch: possibly respec to get better cat dps if you're a bear, and start using swipe more. Also, this will mean that swipe will be pretty competitive with mangle in terms of threat; it may be worth it to pull the three points out of imp mangle and move them elsewhere. I'll do more math on this later :)
Gear changes
  1. The 4pT7 bonus also will reduce Tiger's Fury's cooldown by 3 seconds.
    - This is about a 2% DPS increase without taking into account anything else
    - This is probably not worth missing out on the superior other items that you can get in various slots
    - Still, it's nice to have
    Actions before & after the patch: depending on your gear, consider buying more T7 loot, but don't kill yourself doing it.

  2. Handwraps of Preserved History are going from best in slot to nice, but meh
    Actions before the patch: have some badges ready to buy the T7.10 gloves, or roll on the T7.25 gloves, or get some deadly/hateful gloves
    Actions after the patch: start using those new gloves.

  3. The Wintergrasp vendor will be selling a nice pair of Hateful boots and a good Hateful head
    Actions before the patch: run wintergrasp as much as you can until you've saved up enough shards for it
    Actions after the patch: if you need a decent starting helm/feet, these are good. Especially the helm.

  4. A new +50 stamina enchant to weapons is coming out for a ridiculously expensive cost! The cost will be (currently) 4 dream shards and a bar of titansteel, which isn't so bad - but the cost of the enchantment itself is 5 abyss crystals. Ouch.
    Actions before the patch: save up on enchanting materials
    Actions after the patch: go get Mongoose! Mongoose comes out to be about 42 agility, which is almost always better than 50 stamina. The sole exception I can think of is Sarth3D right now, but it's probably not worth getting a second weapon and enchanting it just for that.

  5. Inks of the Sea can be used to buy snowfall inks
    Actions before the patch: buy up ink of the sea for cheap if you can and you've not already gotten your DM:G

    Actions after the patch: cash in on those snowfall inks and get yourself some darkmoon cards

  6. Leatherworking patches will require a frozen orb in addition to the current mats
    Actions before the patch: if you're a non-leatherworker, buying a couple patches now is a good idea. If you're a leatherworker, making a few patches now is a good idea.
    Actions after the patch: if you're a leatherworker, selling those patches you made is a really good idea :)

  7. Emblems of Valor can be turned in for Emblems of Heroism
    Actions before & after the patch: I honestly don't know why you'd want to do it, but at least you can do it. Maybe for Mirror of Truth? There just aren't that many things outside of the chest/gloves that I'd want as a bear or a cat from emblems of heroism.

  8. Strength is being removed from all 2H staves to make it nicer for hunters
    Actions before the patch: if you're a bear, pass that Journey's End to the hunter since it's best in slot for 'em
    and it's offspec for you. If you're a cat and a hunter wants to roll on it, beat them with a tire iron.
    Actions after the patch: watch hunters start rolling on druid loot! (or if you're like my guild, cry yourself to sleep a bit as two hunters have already gotten it)

  9. For you stamina freaks, Greater Inscription of the Gladiator (30 stam to shoulders) is being added for 10k honor
    Actions before the patch: start getting that honor
    Actions after the patch: for Sarth3D (or if you're lazy with Hodir rep) this might be a good alternative shoulder enchant. Otherwise, stick with the Hodir dailies.
There are of course a lot of other changes, but those were the ones I felt were most relevant for everyone. Make sure to check out the profession changes in particular - there are a ton of changes there that may make you happy.


Deathoak said...

hi kalon,

at the moment i´m wearing defender´s code an these JC crab (with 2x 41 stam gems) as trinkets. shall i change it for the valor trinket while waiting for the darkmoon card?

greetings D´oak

an thx for your blog, i love it ;)

Kalon said...

Hey Deathoak - thanks for coming by :)

Depends on the fight; for something like Malygos or Sarth3D you'd want to go for Essence of Gossamer. Valor Medal is a pretty good standby for normal times though.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a great summary!

Quick clarification: when you say bonus armor on cloaks, for example, does that mean if the armor value is in green? And does that mean if the armor value is NOT green, it will get multiplied? Meaning a cloak with a non-green armor value is probably better for bears than one which is in green?

Trent said...

Kalon - you got #7 backwards I believe. You can actually exchange 10 Emblems of Heroism for 1 Emblem of Valor - not the other way around. You;re right, that wouldn't make any sense at all if it were the case.

Looking forward to your article discussing Mangle mechanics post-patch.

Trent said...

Wait - I did some more research and I am wrong - this is stupid! EoHs are damn near useless for bears. Back to spending them on offsets I guess.

Kalon said...

Anon1 - thanks for coming by.

The cloak thing is confusing. Basically, all cloaks have a base armor that's set by the cloak's item level. (For instance, the Durable Nerubhide is level 200, and like all level 200 cloaks has 150 base armor). That base armor is multiplied with the bear bonus.

Any additional armor beyond that base is NOT multiplied. So that Cloak of the Shadowed Sun has 490 armor, but only 154 of it is multiplied. The rest is put on after all multiplications are taken care of.

Any cloak of the same item level will give the same multiplied armor. It's just that if it has green armor, it'll give just a bit more. In the above example, the cloak would give 356 additional armor.

Trent - thanks as well. They were talking about doing an upconversion, but they ended up not doing it. Or maybe it was wishful thinking. In any case, you can buy one emblem of heroism for one emblem of valor. I don't know why you can, but you can. You can find more details at MMO Champion.

Phil Jackson said...

Thanks for the right up. It's good to know I'm pretty set tank wise for post patch. I just need my drops. What trinket do you think you'll use for your general tanking? Will it be a stam/dodge combo or a dodge/armor? I'm going to wait and see where my armor level is and go off of that. If I somehow have more armor post patch (which I don't think I will) I might stick with a couple of armor pieces.

Anonymous said...

I've been teasing the hunters that I'll ninja all their Black Ices, and then invited them to roll against me when Journey's End drops. They all DECLINED! Saying they'd never roll on it, blah blah blah.... they must not realise yet that it'll be best in slot for them... I've got my fingers crossed I get one before they realise and roll against me!

(main-spec always gets preference over offsped, as it should be)

Kalon said...

Hey Phil, thanks for coming by.

For my general use I'll probably go with DM:G and Essence. Essence is most useful for heroics, I think (the proc is nice and you don't have to think about actually using it). The armor from Defender's Code won't help tremendously. Valor Medal is also nice.

Well, okay. Assuming it works as advertised, I'll probably be trying out Living Root of the Wildheart. For heroics, it should have a really nice uptime.

Defender's Code will likely only be used for really hard-hitting guys like Faerlina or Patchwerk. Maybe Sarth once we've gotten the 3d down.

Hey, SecretAgentcat -

Yeah, it's dropped twice now, and the first time I had to practically beg the hunter to take it. The second time I wasn't there. I'd really like it, but it's certainly nothing essential at this time. Origin of Nightmares is pretty nice for DPS.

If you want to 'convince' them, tell them about the strength->AP conversion. If you don't...mwahahaha.

Kheldar said...

will al LW patches require the Orb or only some of them ?

Phil Jackson said...

@Kheldar I believe all of the LWing leg patches will need an orb. Which makes sense since the epic level ones in BC needed a nether if I recall correctly.

But I just got off of the PTR and I'm looking better by a small margin than where I am now. Granted I'm still progressing through Naxx 10 but that's good news to me that the good gear I have now is just as good post patch. I can get to use a different ring which lets me get roughly .6% more dodge with only a ~260 armor loss. So until I can get the RNG to give me my raid drops I'll welcome this patch.

Mitch said...

The 10 EoH to 1 EoV ratio was a total snafu on wow insider's part. There was nothing on mmo-champion saying it, nothing on the official patch notes, and the PTR wasn't even up when they said it. ::shrug::

Anyhow, I used some EoH for the bind to account items for leveling my pally. The stats aren't super super awesome, but definitely better than the leveling greens you get. And the 10% experience on the shoulders are nice too.

Mekias said...

The ink of the sea change is going to make it cheaper for bears to get their Greatness Card. I've got enough inks and eternal life to make 21 cards, I just hope I'm lucky. If everyone else is doing that, prices on individual cards should go down as well.

I didn't know about the Hateful Helm from Wintergrasp. I'm still wearing the UP quest helm and am getting really frustrated at not being able to upgrade. I was about to buy the Savage Helm with badges but I'll definitely look into WG first.

I was hoping the Preserved History gloves would make it one more patch before being nerfed. I don't have anything to replace them right now.

Tangal said...

What about the new Titan-forged boots ... do they make it into either of you Cat or Bear pre-Naxx lists?

Kalon said...

Hey Kheldar -

To my knowledge only the epic leatherworking leg patches will require a frozen orb. That means the two current ones and the new resilience one. The blue versions will not, nor will the cheap ones that LWs can make for themselves.

Mitch - that's a good point. The BoA gear makes a new alt really trivial, especially if you can put the no-level requirement enchants on the stuff. Still, there's enough PvP valor items alone that I can't imagine going for Heroism pieces.

Mekias - I hope the cards will go down in price. Right now they're super scarce in general, and it's just such a crapshoot when you make them that no one wants to spend the time. I only managed to do it by herbing a ton when I couldn't raid for a bit, and either having inscriptionists make it for me or selling the herbs and buying the specific cards. They should decrease in price soon. If you can though, buy up those cheap inks of the sea.

Tangal - I think I mentioned the Titanforged boots as part of the 'run wintergrasp' part. They're basically as good as the Hateful pieces of gear in the bear gear list for tanking, and are quite reasonably priced.

Anonymous said...

So.. Black Ice or Journey's End for kitty purpose ?(post patch ofc)

Megalis said...

The Titanguard enchant has been lowered to +50 stam. Also apparently the mats are now 4 Dream Shards and a Titansteel bar.

Kalon said...

Anon - Journey's End is still going to be #1, and it's not going to be all that close. It's a higher ilvl item (it's Ulduar-grade) which means it has more itemization points and more base DPS. Between the two, nothing else can really touch it.

Megalis - thanks for coming by. I'll update this post shortly with that info. The long and short of it is that titanguard goes from being marginally useful depending on how good your gear is to really subpar compared to Mongoose.

Anonymous said...

Yeah titanguard has to win the prize for the least exciting weapon enchant of all time, does it not? Don't we really need a new mongoose, especially for bears who have way too much health already? Are players asking for something different on the official forums?

Megalis said...

I agree that +50 stam is subpar to Mongoose, but the enchant doesn't specify that it requires a 2H weapon.

I assume this means they are leaving room for a greater version that does require a 2H.

Be on the lookout for +100 stam to 2H weapon :D

Kalon said...

Anon5- Titanguard isn't all that exciting, no. It's a good starter enchant or a good enchant if you can't afford +35 agi/mongoose, but it's not anywhere near what it should be for a 2h enchant's itemization. It's pretty unspectacular.

Megalis, Mongoose was balanced around being a 1h enchant. The new mongoose is berserking. I would really like to see a new enchant that worked well for 2h tanking for bears, but I doubt we'll get it.

Anonymous said...

Would you mind commenting on what we should be looking at as far as ring's in the next patch? i'm toting the rings from heroic dtk and oculus (band of torture and keystone). and i'm curious what choices will be the best post-patch.

it will feel *really* weird equipping rings with little to no armor.. i've really gotten used to looking for the same stats there.