Patch 1.3 seems interesting!

Nazgum evokes Darkness!

Nazgum evokes Darkness!

Before I go into patch 1.3 let me first say, I finally got my Conqueror shirt!!  Mythic reduced the medallion prices for the RvR gear which meant I finally had enough to purchase it, allowing me to wear 4 conqueror and 2 bloodlord as my set, providing set bonuses of +138 Intelligence, +66 Willpower and +66 Toughness.  Woot!  Not too shabby for a DPS shammy!

Now on to patch 1.3, which is a pretty monster patch!  This will surely shake up Warhammer when it goes live.  I’m only going to cover the parts of the patch which affect or interest me, so if you haven’t yet go read the notes!

To start with, and perhaps the most needed change coming with the patch, is the near global reduction in power of AoE abilities.  AoE completely dominates the game at the moment, both in damage and healing.  I sometimes group heal myself even when not grouped, because it heals for just as much and casts faster!  AoE needed a reduction and this is a very welcome change!

To offset the AoE reduction, Mythic is making a bizarre move however.  They are increasing single target DPS for nearly all classes.  Witch Hunters are perhaps receiving the most benefit, with 18 of their abilities going up in damage!  As someone who sees a lot of 1vs1, I think single target DPS is already too high.  As a DPS shaman I can burst down most classes in less than 20 seconds, and I consider that quick.  But I don’t kill fast, not in comparison to witch hunters, slayers or other true dps classes.  I’ve been hit for over 4000 from a single ability by a witch hunter, and I only have 5000hp (6000 with the +100 wounds potion).  I lose over half my life if a slayer gets in melee range of me for 2 seconds.  Scooter, an engie on Phoenix Throne once caught me and dropped me from full to dead in 5 seconds.  Personally, I think this game would be far better if both healing and damage were toned down some so you had more time to react and use abilities before pressing respawn.

Now for the real goodies!  Shamans are getting their mastery trees shuffled this patch and the possibilities sure look exciting!  Hybrids are being crippled, and Mythic is making you choose to be either a DPS shaman or a healing shaman, but both options each look excellent.  Here’s a few of the changes I’m excited to see:

First up is Eeeek!  This ability is being changed to now snare the enemies it knocks back, and no longer knock yourself back.  There is mixed feelings on this in the forums, and I’m sort of torn over it too.  On one hand, the snare is awesome, and I have way more control with it in combat now.  On the other hand there will be no more amazing escapes by eeeking off cliffs or bridges.

And then there is the tree changes.

Personally I think this looks awesome.  Gork is receiving few changes, but Mork and Green are getting a good shuffle.  The two popular choices for 1.3 will likely be Mork/Green and Gork/Green, and Gork/Green will be Nazgum’s choice!  The healing power of a hybrid is getting nerfed, so willpower based heals won’t be so useful, but Green is receiving our shield and we’ll have 3 lifetaps, which heal based on the damage dealt (intelligence based), so I’m hoping those 3 lifetaps + a shield will be enough.

The final thing that interests me in the patch notes is of course the Land of the Dead.  I’m not very excited about it however, the more I read the more it sounds like a giant PvE zone where PvP may occur, but likely won’t be too common.  I hope I am wrong.

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Patch 1.2.1 goes live tomorrow!

Tomorrow is patch day!  The 1.2.1 patch is coming tomorrow morning and bringing in some very nice goodies with it.  A few of the more general highlights include:

  • Keep Upgrades: Claimed keeps can now be upgraded with a variety of additions and enhancements
  • Ordnance: To counter upgraded keeps, attackers can now purchase more powerful siege weapons with a new resource, Ordnance.
  • Combat Responsiveness: Combat will suck less… hopefully (Mythic has stated this in previous patches before yet it persists)
  • Tokens:  You can now receive tokens in RvR, allowing you to buy armor sets such as conqueror or invader!  sweet!
  • Special Scenario: A 6vs6 version of the Gates of Ekrund scenario will be added for players level 19-24

Overall, I like some of the highlights of this patch.  The combat responsiveness is by far the biggest highlight for me.  The current state of it is inexcusible, especially 7 months in now, and I really, really hope it is actually, for real, fixed this patch!  I’m also excited about the tokens, I dislike Mythic’s endgame; I went to a city siege once, never again.  I also find fortress takes extremely dull.  Tokens now allow me to continue playing the way I enjoy (solo or small group skirmish) and still slowly progress in gear.

In addition to the highlights, this patch has a lot of extra goodies for my career, the shaman!

  • Big Waaagh!: Reduced this ability’s cost, cooldown time, and range.
  • Bleed Fer Me: Increased this ability’s damage.
  • Brain Bursta: Increased this ability’s damage.
  • Bunch o Waaagh: Increased this ability’s damage.
  • Geddoff!: Increased this ability’s damage.
  • Get’n Smarter: This ability will now also deal damage over time.
  • Gork’s Barbs: This ability has been redesigned, and now has an
    entirely new effect. It will now reduce incoming healing on the victim,
    and damage the person who healed them.
  • I’ll Take That!: Increased this ability’s damage.
  • Life Leaka: Increased this ability’s damage.
  • Scuse Me!: Increased this ability’s damage, and increased the amount
    that the victim’s resistances that are reduced by.
  • Shrug it Off: This ability has been redesigned, and now has an entirely
    new effect. It will now place a buff on the target that will restore
    their health if they fall below 15% Hit Points.
  • Yer a Weaklin: Increased this ability’s damage.
  • You Got Nuthin!: Increased this ability’s damage.

Buffs are nice I suppose, though I expect shaman will be a little overpowered after this; but we’re getting our mastery trees and mechanic adjusted the following patch so they can adjust us back down then.  In addition to all these notes there is one bugfix I am extremely happy to see go live:

  • Bright Wizard’s Playing With Fire: Fixed a bug that allowed the healing debuff applied by this ability to stack with other healing debuffs. Now, only the largest healing debuff will apply.

I’ve been burned by this a few times, most notably while trying to fight Vivx (BW) and Shinobi (SW), tough opponents who play well and would constantly double heal debuff me; with no healing and two ranged dps on me I quickly melt from shaman to fungus =p

Upcoming Shaman Changes

In case you haven’t heard yet, shaman’s are receiving some pretty major changes over the next 3 patches, including revamps to our Masteries and our Mechanic.  As my main is a shaman, I’ll share a few of my thoughts on the proposed changes.

Patch 1.2.1: Balance Changes
The first of the shaman changes are already up on the Public Test Server and will likely be going live soon; perhaps even late this week!  These changes are almost entirely buffs!

  • Our damage is being increased by 25% for almost all of our nukes
  • Get’n Smarter, which steals Intelligence from our target, is now also a DoT
  • Big Waaagh! will cost less AP (30) and have a shorter cooldown (5 seconds)
  • Gork’s Barbs is being redesigned to be like Playing With Fire
  • Shrug it Off: Changed to a 30 second buff that instantly heals the recipient when their life drops below 15%

This next patch alone should make shaman a lot more fun to play!  But Mythic isn’t stopping there, we have more goodies incoming!

Patch 1.3.0: Mastery Reshuffle
The second round of updates will focus on changes to the Mastery Paths.  The biggest change is the Path of Da Green is being refocused from Buffs/Debuffs to Lifetaps/Survival; and along with that some of our spells are being reshuffled:

That is a pretty thorough reshuffling; nearly half of our spells are being moved around!  What are my thoughts?  Sounds awesome!  I’ve never been overly fond of the current mastery trees.  With 1.2, a Gork/Da Green mix is just terrible, and our other choices are limited: Mork/Da Green for groups, Mork/Gork for solo.  Patch 1.3 seems like it will bring more spec options, as mixing any of the three trees together seems to have potential.  I’ll definitely be trying a Gork/Da Green spec when this goes live.

Patch 1.3.1: Mechanic Revamp

Perhaps the most exciting news is we may be getting a mechanic revamp.  This is badly needed!  Our current mechanic is terrible and adds little to our career.  In patch 1.1 it was used purely to make our AP drain instant cast.  Now, I pre-build it before a fight for one instant cast nuke and then mostly ignore it.  Our current mechanic needs to go and the new one sounds like a great replacement!

So how will our new mechanic work?  It’s basically a scale from -3 to +3, with the following values:

+3:  160% Mork  /  70% Gork  /  100% Da Green
+2:  130% Mork  /  85% Gork  /  115% Da Green
+1:  115% Mork  /  92.5% Gork  /  130% Da Green
+0:  100% Mork  /  100% Gork  /  160% Da Green
-1:  92.5% Mork  /  115% Gork  /  130% Da Green
-2:  85% Mork  /  130% Gork  /  115% Da Green
-3:  70% Mork  /  160% Gork  /  100% Da Green

Each time we cast a Mork spell, it rises, up to the max of +3.  Each time we cast a Gork spell, it lowers, down to a minimum of -3.  Each time we cast a Da Green spell, it gets closer to 0.

The idea behind this new mechanic is to reward you for continuing to use spells from just one Mastery.  This definitely seems better then our current mechanic, as shamans who heal will do their job better; and shamans who deal damage will do their job better.  The mechanic also helps prevent shamans from becoming over-powered, as nukes and heals will be much less effective if you try and do both; which is good.

However, one side effect seems to be that Da Green will always be a Mastery path you use.  A Mork/Gork shaman would not be as viable as the mechanic works against you too much, bouncing between 70%-160%.  But a Mork/Da Green or a Gork/Da Green shaman would work well, bouncing only between 100%-160%.  I’m ok with this though, as the Da Green line seems to offer quite a bit of flexibility, and it definitely would add more spec options then what we currently have.

My final thoughts?  I like the whole bundle, exactly as described, cannot wait for it to go live!