When detailed info about the patch came out all was looking good. Mythic announced changes, communicated and showed willingness to change the game according to player feedback. Adjustments were proposed, which were not always what players thought was needed, so they gave feedback in hopes of getting the fixes they really want to see. But on most changes Mythic decided to stick with them. I guess player feedback is of secondary concern. Regardless, let’s have a look at general changes first:
- I have to commend Mythic on the work they did with the Sovereign sets. They listened to the feedback and the result are solid, powerful and desirable endgame sets like they should have been from the launch. I hear the appearance changing system is working perfectly but the revamped set models are not on the test servers. Hopefully we are getting them this patch, they’ve been long overdue.
- It really depends on how you look at the new Close Quarters and Expert Skirmisher. They seem bad for Magi, Engineers, SWs and SHs because they don’t have many abilities with long cast times. Looks like an indirect nerf to them, with having to spec for the old Close Quarters. But it is a nerf for bombing, which I consider to be good. BWs and Sorcs practically lose 25% of their AoE damage but instead gain the ability to fire off 1.5 sec Fire Blasts and Shattered Shadows. You may say that’s even worse, and you would be right if you were talking about PuG environment. In organised play abilities with cast times can be countered easier than insta cast AoE. People seem to forget how much damage from multiple enemies sets back spells. Additionally, interrupts and disorients will gain in value. Unsurprisingly destruction has the advantage here with Chosen’ Corrupting Horror and Marauder’s Insane Whispers. But no one should complain about that until they mirror Shatter Limb (holy hell, why is it still in the game?).
- I almost missed auction house changes on my first pass through the notes. They don’t look like much, as I’d need to see them in-game. But is standardisation of all auctions to 48h necessary? Why not properly fix this and increase the down-payment for putting items in the auction house based on the duration. Are they trying to dumb down the last remnants of the economy?
- Against all Odds won’t be the be-all, end-all some people make it to be. Sure everyone and their grandma will try to screw a dom lock now, but isn’t that what we wanted? For it to be harder to achieve a city siege? The real problem is that Mythic are digging themselves a hole with this. The people profiting from this change the most are organised warbands. I’m pretty confident that most people who intend to achieve RR80 and do so run in such warbands. Making it easier for them to get to max rank perpetuates the problem of players being bored, rather than spicing up ORvR. Useless band-aid that makes the wound fester.
- T3 and LotD changes sound good to me (you can read about them here, on the new forums *shudder*). With players needing to enter T4 before they can fly to LotD and with summoning disabled, we should see a major increase in T3 activity. Not that it wasn’t active. At least on Azgal and Norn there was still RvR during peak hours. But wait, there’s more. T2 and 3 are getting LotD-esque fast respawn mob points which will serve as grind spots for those in a hurry. It’s a great idea in theory and takes the concept of fast high risk leveling a step further. Not only does it serve as a replacement for LotD, with the constant threat of getting ganked, but it also provides a focal point for ORvR in the off hours. However, if you read this post by Sargis over at WAR Aura, there seem to be some problems with the placement. Still, I’m looking forward to ganking me some PvE warriors. Their tears are sweet as sugar.
- The /assist function has been disabled for addons, which means the only way to assist now will be by using the default assist function. I guess Orz and Unnamed scenario wins are about to take a dive. ;)
Those changes don’t sound half bad really. Most of what I’m looking forward to is in the above pile. But if we go over to what is supposed to be the main focus of the patch, career balance:
- Good for Blackguards, they are now pretty much on par with the Ironbreakers. But if the Choking Fury bug hasn’t been fixed, I’ll rage. Seriously. Another issue is that IB heal debuff is on a 5 sec cooldown. Could we remove the stacking on Mind Killer and put a cooldown on it now? It’s a bit OP as it is, no other career has a spammable heal debuff.
- Black Orcs and Swordmasters are now officially permitted to rage. If Sudden Shift is the revamp those two careers have been waiting for, you’re better off just removing them. With BG damage being buffed I’m pretty sure the SM and BO are now the bottom of the barrel. And when I say the bottom of the barrel I mean the inescapable pit of doom and obsoleteness.
- Still no word on Can’t Stop Da Chop and No More Helpin’ stacking? Will Choppas be able to debuff healing by 75% or am I missing something?
- Resist aura on Chosen and Knight getting nerfed is a good change, but I do hope they keep the amount the aura buffs for the same.
- I honestly can’t comment on Engineer and Magus part of the notes, but it seems that they aren’t really happy with them. The changes seem minor at best, so I can see why they would be disappointed after waiting for a fix for so long.
- I’m still bewildered by Runepriest and Zealot changes. They didn’t even take much of a look at our spec trees and abilities, so I guess that healing Runies and Zealots will stay as they are, while the damage potential of both careers is getting a boost. I honestly don’t know what to make of this change. It looks like a band-aid fix at best to me. A bone thrown to the dogs to occupy them. The trees are still a mess and RPs are still the blandest career in WAR. I guess I need to test the changes for myself before I can make a verdict.
- Shadow Warriors are getting some heavy-duty changes. A mirror to Shooting Wif Da Wind has been asked for a long time and it’s finally here. I’m not sure about the loss of Charge Forth. It wasn’t a good tactic, but could have been if only the devs ever took some time to fix it. The melee power and crit conversion has been long overdue aswell. I’m almost certain that removing the minimum range wasn’t a change SW or SH needed. Both of them have the means to either engage in melee combat or to gain distance. I reckon this is another band-aid fix to the problem of positional desynchronisation. When kiting you would often get the problem of melee being able to hit you while you were unable to hit them with melee or ranged attacks due to being too close, and at the same time too far away. Regardless, I’m contemplating dusting off my SW to see how they fare after the patch.
- As far as I gather, the more experienced White Lions and those who can see past the shiny factor of the new armor debuff are unhappy with the change. I agree with them. The career specialities are mobility and burst. Adding even more burst and damage to a career needing other fixes (pet AI and AP problems) is an ill thought out distraction. Guess what happens if a Warlord or so geared WL specs armor debuff/Cull the Weak, slots Loner, Flanking, Pack Hunting and pounces a clothie. If you guessed the clothie dies in 3 global cooldowns you were probably right. After a few weeks of this Mythic will obey the nerf calls and either nerf their mobility or damage. To all White Lions; enjoy your brief stay on the top. I fear you’ll be disappointed by the devs knee-jerk reactions, that you’ve come to hate, soon enough.
- As for Marauders, the joke is on you. Now that you are officially deemed the kings of WAR and are the best career out there, you can officially retire. Surely you’ve had enough of easy-moding and will now want to roll a hard to master career, like a Bright Wizard, Sorcerer, Slayer or a Choppa. (Not even a fix for Tainted Claw.)
What is the end result? A bunch of band-aid fixes and shiny novelties there to distract from the real issues. Only a few careers can be genuinely interested in seeing the upcoming patch go live. The rest can only wonder what happened to the Mythic of 1.3.5. Why did they stop listening and resort to underhanded tactics to get paying costumers off their backs? I thought they were done with that. Call this 1.3.6a and roll out much improved 1.3.6b, and you’ll save a lot of subs. After all, you’ll need a rock solid base to build your expansion on, and this patch is not it.