The opening announcement in-game tells us that there will be maintenance tomorrow from 3:00 a.m. PDT / 6:00 a.m. EDT until 11:00 a.m. PDT / 2:00 p.m. EDT. Hopefully this downtime won’t be a repeat of the patch 3.1 downtime we saw last week where the servers were offline for most of the day and evening.
There is a lot of recent announcements about events happening in the game in the near future. There will be a talent reset accompanying a client-side patch soon, a long list of in-game fixes, and the likely start of season six.
If there is a patch tomorrow, we’ll keep you updated on the site with the latest.
World of Warcraft
Sure, you know about dual spec, the Argent Tournament, and Ulduar. But patch 3.1 was a patch of many changes, and some of them seem to have flown under most people’s radar. Here are a few changes that have been surprising some people recently, judging by the tips we’ve been getting.
Siphon Life is no longer a separate spell. The talent now adds a self-healing effect to your Corruption, as well as boosting the damage on Corruption, Seed of Corruption, and Unstable Affliction.
Emblems are now automatically distributed to everyone upon the first person looting them, similar to gold. This means no more forgotten emblems, and no more rush to the corpse as everyone goes to get theirs. It will also make loot chests much less unpleasant.
Many spells with ground effects, such as Rain of Fire, Blizzard, and Death and Decay, are not showing the same as they used to. This is because there is a new video effects option, “Show Projected Textures,” which controls whether things like the rune circles from RoF/Blizz/DnD are rendered on your client. It also appears to control my framerate in 25-man raids.
The 10% experience bonus from heirloom shoulders now applies to quest experience as well as experience gained from killing mobs.
World of Warcraft
Bornakk posted a tentative date for the announced end of Arena Season 5, indicating that the season can end “as early as April 14″ or a week after. It should be noted that the first four Arena seasons had no breaks in between, with one season beginning immediately after the last ended. Arena seasons were only suspended upon the release of Patch 3.0 leading up to Wrath of the Lich King, with the first season of Level 80 Arena play beginning on December 16. This time around, however, Bornakk makes it clear that the next Arena season will not begin immediately but have at least a one week break before Season 6 begins.
This should also be taken as an indication of when Patch 3.1 will be released. Blizzard has stated that they plan to unleash Season 6 almost simultaneously with the new raid content, so if Season 5 ends within two or three weeks, it should be expected that Patch 3.1 is just around the corner. It might even come sooner rather than later, as Blizzard has noted that Season 5 would “end with or shortly after” Patch 3.1 goes live. All of the necessary files such as Season 6 items are contained in the patch, so this only makes sense.
Bornakk reminds all players who feel they will be eligible for end of season rewards, such as titles and the Deadly Gladiator’s Frostwyrm, should refrain from transfering their characters to another realm until after Season 5 ends (or until rewards have been handed out to be safe). During the break between seasons, all ranked matches will be disabled and all Arena points and ratings will be wiped [EDIT: Arena points and ratings will continue to be available during the one week break to allow players to spend their points, but will be wiped when Season 6 begins.]. However, players will retain their matchmaking ratings and Honor points.
World of Warcraft
The devs have been telling us for some time that they’re not happy with the current state of (most) healers having infinite mana, and it looks like the reckoning is going to come in 3.1. And make no mistake, we’re getting hit hard.
Outside-of-5-second-rule regeneration is decreasing. They think the combination of HoTs and clearcasting let us stay OO5SR too long and get too much mana back.
Mana regenerated by Spirit is being decreased “across the board.”
However, talents that boost while-casting regen (specifically, Arcane Meditation, Improved Spirit Tap, Intensity, Mage Armor, Meditation, Pyromaniac, and Spirit Tap) are being buffed.
Since Paladins don’t really use Spirit for regen, they’re getting a different nerf: the healing penalty on Divine Plea is getting raised from 20% to 50%. Spiritual Attunement is also going to be nerfed for Holy paladins somehow.
They’re “taking a close look” at clearcasting abilities. “One likely outcome” is changing them so they restore mana instead of making spells free to cast, which would still give you mana back, but would not kick you OO5SR.
It has finally been spelled out that they balance around even 10-man raids having Replenishment. Although I think this is silly (why not just remove it from the game, if everyone should have it all the time), it makes me feel a bit better that they said they are “likely to offer this ability to additional classes” (it’s already been announced for Destruction warlocks, for instance).
Overall, although this feels very “sky-is-falling,” it’s important to remember that Blizzard is not trying to make healers sad, or break the game, or ruin your class. As they spell out at the bottom of the post, this is for the purposes of giving encounter designers more room to play. If healers can’t run out of mana, they only way to make the encounter hard for them is to throw huge amounts of raid damage around, which is not always the best choice for an encounter.
This will be going up on the PTR, of course, so we’ll get a chance to see exactly how it plays out. But I know a certain Holy paladin who will probably want to stop completely avoiding gear with MP5 on it in the near future.
World of Warcraft
Curse is running an excellent story about their time spent last evening with Blizzard developers Jeff Kaplan and Tom Chilton. There’s a few things we didn’t know before that are in the article. The major ones are:
Patch 3.1 is already done (says Kaplan). Will release Ulduar 10-man and 25-man raids.
Patch 3.2 will contain a yet to be announced raid instance. Hopefully more on this over the next two day. Release date / timeframe is unknown.
Patch 3.3 will continue the Ashbringer storyline. Release date / timeframe is unknown.
Dance studio to be released after WotLK.
Guild ratings, where guilds get a rating based on PvE/PvP achievements. The idea is being “tossed around.”
The other interesting note is that the development team is three patch cycles ahead of the live game. That’s amazing, in my opinion. And beyond that, they’re also working on the next expansion. Doesn’t that raise your eyebrow just a bit? Perhaps we’ll hear something major in the next few hours…
World of Warcraft