This post will be updated as the patch notes are changed.
Well, with patch 3.3 looming ever closer I’ve decided it’s finally time to do a review of the patch notes and take a look at what we can expect, both as Warlocks and in general. Today, we’re going to look at the new features (from a Warlock point of view) that stand out to me as well as anything notable to do with other classes, and tomorrow we’ll examine the actual (much more exciting) Warlock changes themselves in detail. Here we go!
- Meeting Stones: To use any Meeting Stone, it is only required that the character’s minimum level be 15. There is no maximum character level requirement for any Meeting Stone.
This is a very useful change for people who want to boost lower level characters, or even for people who previously would have been just slightly too low or high to use the stone when in a normal group and would keep the others waiting. I can also see the meeting stones being used as a method of transportation now – “Hey mister, can you summon me using that stone for two gold?”. At least it might relieve the pressure on us Warlocks to do it!
- Area-of-Effect Damage Caps: We’ve redesigned the way area damage is capped when hitting many targets. Instead of a hard cap on total damage done, the game now caps the total damage done at a value equal to the damage the spell would do if it hit 10 targets. In other words, if a spell does 1000 damage to each target, it would hit up to 10 targets for 1000 each, but with more than 10 targets, each target would take 1000 damage divided by the number of targets. 20 targets would be hit for 500 damage each in that example.
This is pretty self-explanatory, but simply put, they’re preventing AoE damage spells from doing too much damage by giving the spells a damage cap. If you’re attacking 10 mobs or less, you’ll see no change from how it works currently, but if you’re attacking more than 10, you’ll only do as much damage as if there were 10, and the damage will be divided equally up between the mobs. I can see why this change is needed – Rain of Fire, for example, does some pretty crazy damage sometimes, and the dps does spiral out of control.
- Pet Resilience: All player pets now get 100% of their master’s resilience.
Fantastic change for us! Our pets will be significantly less squishy in PvP now, making them harder to kill and reducing the time we’ll have to spend re-summoning them.
- Lay on Hands: This ability will place Forbearance on the paladin if used on his or herself. It will not place Forbearance on others.
This Paladin change is going to be great for those of us who hate fighting them – Forbearance is the debuff which prevents Paladins from using their bubbles or wings, meaning we’ll no longer have to effectively kill one three times since they will need to choose between a bubble and a LoH. So we’re just killing them twice now.
- New option – Castable Debuffs: Enabling this will cause only debuffs you have cast on an enemy target to appear.
Really, it depends on how you like your debuffs (read: DoTs) to be displayed, or even if you have them displayed at all, as to how major this change is for you. For those of us who do use the default UI to manage their ticking spells of doom, this change should help quite a bit, because unless you really care as to whether that Warrior has Sundered, you can now turn off all debuffs except your own. They should be much easier to find amongst the many with this change enabled, and indeed they should also show up larger so they’ll be easier to see, too.
- New option – Consolidate Buffs: Enabling this adds a buff consolidation box near the mini-map. Very short term buffs (e.g. Replenishment) and very long term buffs (e.g. Prayer of Fortitude) are filtered into the buff box. The icons are stacked here, but they can still be seen by moving the mouse cursor over the buff box. Long term buffs will move out of the box when they are about to expire. Buffs such as important procs (e.g. Art of War, Maelstrom Weapon), cooldowns (e.g. Bloodlust / Heroism, Combustion) or limited in range (e.g. totems and paladin auras) are always displayed.
- Players will be warned when their talents are reset due to a new patch.
You’ll never be without your beloved Metamorphosis ever again.
- Enchant Weapon – Black Magic: This enchantment now sometimes increases haste rating for the caster rather than inflicting the caster’s target with a damage-over-time effect. It is also now triggered by landing any harmful spell rather than inflicting damage with a spell.
I’m unsure as to the exact nature of this change (how much haste, how often, etc), but I do have a feeling it will be a dps increase for anyone out there using it. Putting another DoT on a target is nice, but it only affects that one creature, and I don’t think it’s affected by your spell power or anything like that. A haste increase will raise your dps against anything that you’re attacking, even if you change targets, and benefits all of your spells.
- Target Effects: When this UI feature is activated, Fear, Silence, Frostbolt, and Hamstring will all now display text over the target’s head indicating what type of effect has been applied.
Nice and easy now to see who you’ve sent screaming in Fear, and who’s still to go.
- Warlock T10 2P Bonus – The critical strike chance of your Shadowbolt, Incinerate, and Corruption spells is increased by 5%.
- Warlock T10 4P Bonus – Each time your Immolate and Unstable Affliction spells deal periodic damage, you have a 15% chance to gain 12% spell haste for 10 sec.
These are the two set bonuses from the Tier 10 (Icecrown Citadel raid) items. The two piece is nice, with a simple 5% damage boost to all our staple spells for each spec, and the four piece is perhaps aimed more towards Destruction and Affliction Warlocks, with some tasty hasty. However, Demonology specs which use Immolate will still benefit here, and most of them do, so this ain’t a problem. You can see what the set itself looks like at the top of the post, in case you were blind and missed it on the way down.
Overall? I’m pretty happy with all of the above, and I can’t find much to complain about. Let’s hope the same is true of next time, when we examine the fun and exciting Warlock class changes!