Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Holy Shit BATMAN! Lots of WoW changes!

[caption id="attachment_759" align="alignright" width="200" caption="If you think you hate Ice now, just wait... "]If you think you hate Ice now, just wait... [/caption]

If you've recently played World of Warcraft, then you're probably aware of the new patch that just came out.  This patch primarily was in preparation for Wrath of the Lich King which is due out in stores November 13th.

This patch was massive.  A whopping 1.2GB in size.  I was pretty annoyed at the fact that Blizzard didn't provide a full compilation of the patch to release FileFront or the major websites that offer downloads for games.  I got stuck having to use the Blizzard patcher which took about an hour and a half on my freaking FIOS connection.... It was basically me capping my upload speeds 300kb/sec while downloading at a whopping fast 200kb/sec, despite my max download speed being 1800kb/sec.  Regardless, I eventually got the patch, but of course once the patch process was complete, the login servers were down so it really didn't matter.

The change in the WoW login screen is nice, everything's now frosty, and wintery (just the way I like it, GO FROST!)  You also don't hear that repetitive login music everytime you start the game, unless you're at the loading screen for more then 10 seconds.

About an hour later, the servers came back up and my server (Kil'Jaeden) was kinda laggy despite having 100ms ping.  Everybody had their talent points reset as Blizzard revamped every class, and gave them new spells/abilities.

As a Mage, one of my issues has been the lack of survivability, I'm frost specced, so I have more tools at my disposal, but prior to patch 2.0.3, things just felt subpar.  Since this patchI'm VERY happy with the changes Mages got.  Mages for quite some time were pretty behind where they should've been in damage; even the developers agreed.  They did a bunch of nice things for Mages:

  • Upped the AOE (Area of Effect) damage cap

  • Changed the spell pushback mechainc (this affects all spell casting classes)

    • When casting a spell:

      • The first and second hit will add .5 secs each to the cast time.

      • All hits after the second will have no effect.

    • When channeling a spell:

      • The first and second hit reduces current duration by 25% of total duration each.

      • All hits after the second will have no effect.

    • Reduced the fade time of Invisibility from 5 seconds to 3

    • Reduced Evocation from 8 minutes to 5

  • Increase absorption from Damage for Ice Barrier, also if you specced in Shattered Barrier, after the Barrier has been dispelled/consumed, you get a free Frost Nova from it.

  • Brain Freeze - (61 talent point ability) 5 second stun on a 30 second cooldown that can be used against targets frozen.

  • Fingers of Frost - Chilled Effects basically acts as if your target was frozen, good if you've specced Shatter, as you'll benefit from the crit.

  • And more...

These changes were much needed, especially the spell pushback as this was the one mechanic in the game that screwed me over countless times.  They also changed the way Blizzard (the spell works), you can now crit from the targets frozen.  For me this is a HUGE deal, because Mages were limited to 3 (4 if you include Blast Wave which you have to spec for) spells w/ AOE (Area of Effect), Arcane Explosion, Blizzard, and Flamestrike.  And they were lousy as a result from the AOE damage cap.

Arcane Explosion, is a mana hogging spell for starters, secondly your easily targetable because you have to be in the middle of the crowd when casting it, which means you'll most likely die in 2 seconds...

Flamestrike is a channeled spell that has one big blast, followed by a DOT if your opponent is still standing in the area where the spell was cast, it does the weakest damage of the 3 AOE capable spells

Blizzard is a ranged channeled DOT spell, if you spec Improved Blizzard, it slows down your opponents to a point where they're having to crawl out of the Blizzard.  Add permafrost to that and it can proc a root effect where you're stuck.  The beauty of Blizzard is the fact that they've changed it so that it can do CRITICAL damage to your opponent.  Before the spell was just channeled and it could never crit, now that it can, the damage has increased significantly.  In addition, since they upped the AOE damage cap, the more opponents within that radius of the Blizzard spell, the more damage you can do. I'll have a movie clip of the new Blizzard spell up shortly and you'll see the damage it can cause now, it's freakin' insane.

One last thing, since I was really excited over the changes WoW did, I played an Alterac Valley game before leaving for work.  When the game was done, I did over 500,000 damage topping the DPS chart; 200k more then the person in second place.   And the majority of that damage was from casting Blizzard.