So its PTR time again, and the 3.1 Patch Notes are out. I’m not going to go over everything. WoW Insider has done that extremely well, and you can go read their analysis here: 3.1 patch notes.
There are a few things that I want to talk about however, which mostly affect the toons I play. First up, the Dual Spec and Gear Manager are here. I’m working on a separate post for those, since that is a topic of its own.
Raise Dead: Duration lowered to 60 sec. and cooldown lowered to 3 min. The cooldown on this ability now begins when the pet dies rather than when it is summoned.
Master of Ghouls: Now also reduces the cooldown on Raise Dead by 60sec.
Night of the Dead: Redesigned to grant a flat reduction on cooldown to Raise Dead and Army of the Dead instead of a reduction from using abilities.
Raise Dead is a nerf. Despite the cooldown being reduced, it only starts ticking after your pet dies rather than when you summon one. I think this is meant to affect Blood and Frost DKs (are there any Frost out there?) but I think what this is gonna do is truly hurt Unholy.
Unholy DKs use their pet full time. If it’s killed, you now have a mandatory cooldown on this ability, utterly killing part of your dps. If the pet dies part way through a boss encounter, you likely won’t be able to resummon it until the boss is dead. What the Fudge Blizz? Master of Ghouls will reduce the cooldown to 2 minutes. But Night of the Dead doesn’t list how long it will reduce the cooldown to. If it is even a minute, it is still going to seriously hurt UH damage.
Unholy Aura: Replaced with Improved Unholy Presence. Allows the Death knight to keep the movement speed bonus of Unholy Presence in any presence, and increases run regeneration rate while in Unholy Presence.
This is a nice buff for a lacklustre talent. On a Pale Horse has been much better, but the rune regen rate might make this worth it. It’ll be nice to see how it plays on the PTR.
Unholy Blight & Gargoyle: Have swapped places in the Unholy tree. Gargoyle is now the 51-point Unholy talent.
This is fine with me, as both talents are worth it to me. It’s more of a good to know.
Improved Water Elemental: Renamed Enduring Winter. Instead of the Water Elemental increasing mana regen for the Mage’s party, casting Frostbolt now has a 33/66/100% chance to provide Replenishment to up to 10 people in the party or raid.
A very nice buff to Frost Mages. Since I normally only play frost, this will make levelling much better in terms of mana efficiency and longevity.
Auras: Now persists through death.
Blessing of Kings: Now trainable at level 20.
Now available to all specs of Paladins. Very nice.
Divinity: A new talent in the Prot tree in Tier 1 (to replace BoK). Increases healing done by and to the Paladin by 1/2/3/4/5%.
This is a good change. I’ll likely try this out as a Protadin. There are a number of other changes that should free up some points in the Prot tree. Having healing done to a Protadin is always a good thing, and this may help with survivability while you’re still gearing up (like I am >.>)
Exorcism: Can now be used against all targets, guaranteed to crit against undead targets.
A very nice buff. Retadins now have a ranged pull as well!
Shield of the Righteousness: Now deals 130% of block value + 540 dmg at the highest rank. It no longer causes a high amount of threat.
This is a buff to the ability’s damage and a nerf to its threat to compensate. Not sure how it’ll work, but looking forward to testing it.
Shield of the Templar: Gives your Avenger’s Shield a 33/66/100% chance to silence the target for 3 sec.
An amazing buff to AS for pulling casters.
Avenger’s Shield: Damage increased for all ranks.
/Yoink… Thank you kindly…
Guarded By the Light: Reduces spell damage by 3/6% and gives 50/100% chance to refresh Divine Plea when you hit an enemy.
So this should eliminate any oom problems that Protadins ever had ever. Did I mention ever? Hit DP before you pull, pull then hit the mob. /Refreshed. Continue hitting mob. /refreshed. Niiiiice… To be honest, if that is how it works out, I can see this getting nerfed.
There are a bunch more Prot changes, and I don’t want to make this too long, so if you’d like to see a great analysis of them all, go visit WoW Insider’s article.
Shadow Dance: now opens a new action bar when used.
This will be a nice change. Right now I have to select specifically which talents I want to use when I pop SD and keep them elsewhere on the action bar. This should alleviate that aggravation.
Bloodlust/Heroism: Cooldown reduced to 5 minutes, but Sated and Exhausted now lasts 10 min.
This is a straight up nerf. By the way Blizz, there isn’t much point in having Bloodlust/Heroism cooldown after 5 min IF I STILL CAN’T USE IT FOR ANOTHER 5 MINUTES! I suppose in the rare instance that someone else didn’t get the first one it could be recast, but that isn’t even really worth considering. A terrible change in my opinion.
Cleansing Totem: Poison and Disease Cleansing Totems have been combined. The new totem pulses every 3 seconds instead of 5.
A straight up buff. 1 less totem to worry about and it cleanses faster.
Spirit Weapons: This now reduces all threat generated by 30%, not just physical attacks.
Another great buff for Enhance. With all the spells that get worked into our rotation, reducing our own threat generation is very nice.
Stormstrike: Charges increased by 2 and cooldown reduced by 2 sec.
This is basically incorporating the improved stormstrike talent into the baseline ability. I was a bit confused until I read the next one.
Improved Stormstrike: When you Stormstrike, you have a 50/100% chance to immediately grant you 20% of your base mana.
Not sure exactly what 20% of base mana is at level 80, but this is clearly intended to address any mana issues that Enhance Shaman have been experiencing. A great buff since we have all the ability of the old talent built into the baseline, and new mana regen abilities built into the reworked talent.
Toughness: No longer increases armor, now increases Stamina by 2/4/6/8/10%.
Looks like a buff to me. Armor has only ever mitigated physical damage, while the extra stamina will provide increased survivability all the time. Not sure if it’s worth taking even now though (for PvE).
Unleashed Rage: Reduced to 3 points, down from 5. Each point now also increases your total agility by 1/2/3%.
This is an amazing buff. Not only are they refunding 2 talent points, but they are also giving us 3% more agility for it. This may be intended to counter the Bloodlust/Heroism nerf for a Shaman’s personal dps, but I’ll definitely be using this ability.
Booming Echoes: A new (Elemental) talent that reduces the cooldown of Flame/Frost Shocks by an additional 1/2 sec and increases the direct damage done by both of them by an additional 10/20%.
Definitely a nice buff for Ele. Although, since I don’t play Elemental, I’m not sure if it’s worth it.
Blacksmithing: Most of the recipes in the 1-300 skill range have had their stats updated to be more useful.
A nice buff to BS for levelling with it, instead of just powerleveling it at 80.
Blacksmithing: Titanium Plating now reduces disarm effects by 50% as well as increasing your block value.
Another nice buff. Since I use this for my Protadin already, I’ll be enjoying the disarm reduction.
Enchanting: Several recipes in the 250-300 skill range have been rebalanced.
Not sure what they mean by rebalanced. I’m hoping it means that material costs have been reduced since I’m levelling a second enchanter and I’m stuck in this range at the moment. We’ll see.
Glyphs: Glyph of Sprint no longer reduces the duration.
I noticed this one cause I just put it on my Rogue for the speed increase. A nice buff and I’ll probably keep it around for levelling.
So those are some of my thoughts on the patch note changes that concerned me the most. As I said, I’m working on another post talking about the dual-specs and the gear manager, so look for that in the next couple of days. I’m going to try to get onto the PTR to test some of this stuff out, but we’ll see how that goes with my current schedule.