Apr 172013
 

Well, might as well say something definitively; between the changes in WoW’s mechanics making it more alt-unfriendly and my lack of personal time (increasing work requirements + recurring family issues), I’ve barely touched my monk, and don’t feel qualified to write about it for the time being. If I have a chance, I’ll try to pick him back up again in 5.3, but it’ll likely be 5.4 before I have a chance to really give him another good go. Apologies, and definitely check out MMO-Champion’s forums for up-to-date info.

 Posted by at 2:49 am
Mar 052013
 

I’ve been neglecting WoM a bit, but it’s time to get back in the saddle and review the patch changes!

General

  • To get to the new island with the dailies/raid instance, you take a quest from the Shado-Pan Offensive camp in Townlong Steppes. Subsequent trips are via a portal in the same location. You must have completed the 5.1 intro questline, Landfall, to receive the Thunder Calls quests.
  • Two new factions are being added with VP gear; the Shado-Pan Assault (rep gained by raiding) and the Kirin Tor/Sunreavers (rep gained by dailies).
    • SP Assault gear is all ilvl 522, and costs from 1250-2250 VP. Neckpieces are available at neutral; trinkets, wrists and rings  at friendly; cloaks, legs and hands at honored; chest and waist at revered; and shoulders at exalted. As of right now, it is not known how much rep is granted per boss (or from trash), but a blue post has stated that “a single boss kill should get you mostly to Friendly.” Bosses can only be killed once a week for rep, in any difficulty.
    • Kirin Tor/Sunreavers provide ilvl 476 belts at Honored, ilvl 496 cloaks at Revered, and ilvl 496 rings at Exalted. The 476 gear costs a small amount of gold; the 496 gear will cost VP, presumably at the same price as 5.1 VP gear. Icy Veins has an awesome guide to all the new dailies and stuff to do on the Isle of Thunder, so I won’t recap that here.
  • Apart from the new raid, there’s two new world bosses that drop ilvl 522 gear. Nalak is roughly equivalent to the Sha of Anger; however, he will not be unlocked “until Lei Shen is defeated.” (It’s unknown whether that means progression in the server-wide daily events, or raid progression.) Oondasta is found on the Isle of Giants, and is reportedly very difficult; that said, the new Tap-to-Faction system means you can grab a ton of people (multiple raids) and just zerg him down, presumably.
  • Throne of Thunder gear that goes unused can be DE’d and will reward one Haunting Spirit per item. New crafted ilvl 522 boots and helms are available that require 6 and 8 Haunting Spirits, respectively.
  • The 5.2 legendary questline will require 40 Trillium Bars (buy them now if you can), 20 Secrets of the Empire (aka Sigils of Power), exalted with Wrathion (kill stuff on the Isle of Thunder), and 12 Titan Runestones (aka Sigils of Wisdom). It will reward a very strong metagem that will replace your current meta. The Eye of the Black Prince from the 5.1 legendary questline can be repurchased and used on 5.2 weapons to add an additional socket.
  • All the old VP gear was reduced in price (5.0 by 50%, 5.1 by 25%), which will help considerably in getting alts geared for Throne LFR (ilvl 480 requirement).
  • Item upgrading is going away, so today’s the last chance. (That said, it’s likely best to hold on to your VP at this point to buy new gear.) Ask Mr Robot’s Item Optimizer is now updated for 5.2, so go check them out if you’re unsure. (Actually, go check them out anyway, they rock.)

For all the other stuff (pet battles, profession changes, etc) go check out MMO-Champion.

Monk Changes

All Specs

  • Talent Changes:
    • Level 15: Tiger’s Lust no longer has a Chi cost, which it makes it much more competitive with Momentum and Celerity at Level 15. Even if you leave the CC break effect out, a free 70% speed buff for 6 seconds with only a 30 second CD is pretty nice. Unless you’re specifically using Roll on a certain fight, I’m now recommending this talent for all specs.
    • Level 30: All of the healing talents were redesigned from “no cooldown, but uses chi” to “free, but has a cooldown.” This means you’ll likely use them more often; see the spec-specific sections for recommendations.
    • Level 45: No changes.
    • The level 60 AoE CC talent tier was rebalanced significantly.  Deadly Reach has been removed and the effect permanently added into Paralysis, and a new talent has been added; Ring of PeaceCharging Ox Wave’s cooldown was also dropped to 30 seconds. Both of these talents are now more competitive with Leg Sweep, but I still prefer LS.
    • Level 75: Healing Elixirs was buffed to 15%, while Dampen Harm now can be used while stunned (and the CD begins on-use). No effective changes; you’ll still use HE for soloing, and DM/DH where they make sense in groups.
    • Level 90: Chi Torpedo was buffed by 15%. Still hard to use effectively as it’s tied to Roll, so I expect it to be little-used.
  • A new ability, Nimble Brew, was added for Brewmasters and Windwalkers. Mostly for PvP, but put it on your bars for the semi-frequent times you get CC’ed in instances.
  • Path of Blossoms is gone. I’m sorry for all three of you who used it regularly. The glyph now affects Paralysis, and causes Paralysis to no longer be broken by DoT’s, which has a minor benefit.

Brewmaster

  • Mastery’s effectiveness was buffed by 25%. Not enough to make it worthwhile.
  • The amount of damage needed to activate Sanctuary of the Ox (the shields put out by your Black Ox Statue) was doubled. This is a big nerf, but mostly for your group, not for you; the amount of shielding that thing could do at high damage was pretty overkill.
  • For a level 30 talent, I’m still going to stick with recommending Chi Wave, with Zen Sphere getting an honorable mention. I love the detonate on low health part of ZS, but I don’t see it healing enough to be worthwhile. Chi Burst may come in handy in certain situations.
  • See Sunnier’s Brewmaster Patch 5.2 Survival Guide for a full rundown.

Windwalker

  • A new ability,  Storm, Earth, and Fire, was added. This thing is totally sweet. Use it on a target, and a clone of you spawns and starts attacking; the clone mirrors your abilities. You’re both reduced to 60% damage, so it’s not massively OP like the old Blade Flurry, but it’s still nice. (You can also put out a second clone, which puts all of you to 45% damage.) Note that you can’t use this on single-target fights; if your clone is attacking the same target as you, he won’t mirror attacks.
  •  Combo Breaker, the old mastery, has become a passive ability with a fixed procrate.  Bottled Fury is the new mastery. This makes Tigereye Brew (and mastery) much more powerful.
  • Rough guess on stat weights: Hit/Exp = 1.05; Agi = 1; Haste = 0.50; Mastery = 0.48; Crit = 0.46.However, it’s a bit more complicated then that. While the removal of Combo Breaker helped with energy capping, you’re still likely to hit a haste softcap somewhere around 6-7k haste. Also, mastery directly scales with crit, and is much better if you can line it up effectively with other damage increasing procs and abilities. Bottom line:
    • Heroic-type windwalkers: hit/exp to cap > haste to 6k > agi > mastery > crit > haste above 6k
    • Normal/LFR-type windwalkers: hit/exp to cap >agi > haste to 6k > crit > mastery >haste above 6k
  • Touch of Karma no longer has a Chi cost, which is handy.
  • Gear list: While I haven’t put together a windwalker specific one, feel free to check out my feral druid gear list, which should be roughly comparable.
  • For a level 30 talent…pick what you want. At high gear levels, you’ll be close enough to GCD cap that you won’t have much time to use anything. Chi Wave likely wins by default.
  • See Mihir’s WW guide at MMO-Champion for more info.

Mistweaver

  • Healing Sphere orbs (both cast and mastery proc) pop after 30 seconds and smart-heal those around them. This sounds great; unfortunately, the heal is only for 50% of the original effect, which sucks.
  • Jab now costs 8% mana, which makes it not worth using as a chi generator. Only Jab if you’re fistweaving.
  • A new proc was added, Muscle Memory, which causes TP/BK to do more damage and regenerate mana after a Jab/SCK. This isn’t a mana regeneration tool, this is used to offset the cost of Jab while fistweaving. Overall, fistweaving’s DPS was buffed considerably.
  • Soothing’s chi generation rate was increased.
  • The Level 30 healing talents all got changed dramatically; I’d recommend Zen Sphere for constant damage fights, Chi Burst for raid-stack fights, and Chi Wave otherwise.

So, what to do now? Well, first, keep RM up, and use your L30 healing talent and Expel Harm on CD. From there, if fistweaving, Blackout Kick/Tiger Palm to spend Chi, Jab to generate. If healing normally, Uplift/Enveloping Mist to spend Chi, Soothing Mist/Spinning Crane Kick to generate. Keep stacking spirit until you figure out the new rotations and skills, then start backing off for haste (likely better than crit now due to Soothing buff). Dayani should have a 5.2 mistweaver guide up soon at healiocentric with more detailed info; if our recommendations clash, listen to her. :)

That’s it! I’ll be updating all the guides as I get a chance. Have fun in the Throne!

Feb 042013
 

Sadly, I got nothing. As I mentioned over on TFD, I’ve been pushed for the last month with increasing work responsibilities and an unplanned household move, which has pushed WoW time to the wayside. The little time I get, I usually end up on my druid main, so my poor monk’s been chilling in the Shrine of Seven Stars for a month or so. :(

Once 5.2 hits, I’ll set to updating all the guides; the damage buffs for mistweavers look extremely interesting, as does the new windwalker cleave, so that’ll probably catch my attention for a while.

Jan 082013
 

Holidays are over! Let’s get back into some hot monk action.

Ring of Peace

Everybody’s talking about the new monk talent, Ring of Peace, that’s replacing Deadly Reach in the talent tree. Yes, that is what you’re reading; an AoE silence and disarm effect. What’s more, it’s currently freely targetable; you can cast it on yourself, an ally, or an enemy, and it moves with them. It’s not actually a “ring,” either, like a mage’s Ring of Frost; there’s no safe zone with this puppy.

Monks needed PvP buffs; they got one. Holy crap, is this powerful. Let’s see: 1) An 8 second silence, which would be the longest silence effect in the game if it went live. (Solar Beam is also 8 seconds, but you can move out of that.) 2) An 8 second RANGED disarm, which effectively neuters all melee classes. 3) A shortish cooldown. Yeah, this thing’s OP. Normally, I’d say it’d be in line for a nerf, but seeing the current abysmal state of monks in PvP, they may overcorrect for a while. (Hi, Nimble Brew!)

For PvE, though, it’s not a clear-cut talent choice. It’s probably the talent of choice for mistweavers looking for trash/add cooldowns, but WW/BM will have to decide if they’d rather have the 5 second damage removal or the 8 second damage reduction. Personally, I love the knockdown effect, so I’m sticking with Leg Sweep; we’ll see how the talent progresses through PTR, though. Right now, it’s bugged to affect boss mobs, which makes for some interesting scenarios.

Windwalker mastery change

In case you missed it, WW’s will no longer have the silly Combo Breaker mastery that totally screwed up stat scaling. Combo Breaker is sticking around as a passive 12% chance that’s granted at level 15 (which also makes leveling WW less tedious) and they’ve implemented a new mastery, Bottled Fury, which improves the effectiveness of Tigereye Brew. Combine this with the other changes to TeB (doubled rate of charge gain) and TeB turns from ‘meh’ to ‘whoa’. TeB was capped at a 2% increase per stack before (20% damage increase at max stacks, cue the fanfare) but a full mastery reforge could push that up to a 6% increase per stack. That’s…pretty significant.

More to come on stat weights and such later.

Storm, Earth, and Fire

Not yet implemented. Guess we have to start taking Ring of Peace for granted?

 Posted by at 12:53 am
Dec 222012
 

Patch 5.2 PTR notes are here tonight! (What, you were going out/on holiday tonight? Psh. Priorities, man, priorities.)

As always, datamined data is datamined.

EDIT: Official (draft) patchnotes went live as I was writing this. Rewriting patch notes to make analysis sense and adding links as appropriate.

  • Deadly Reach has been removed.
  • New Level 60 Talent: Ring of Peace
    • Ring of Peace forms a 8 yard sanctuary around the target for 8 seconds, causing all enemies in the area of effect to be silenced and disarmed.
  • Paralysis is now a physical, non-magical effect, and can no longer be dispelled, grounded or reflected, and its base range has been increased to 20 yards.
  • Charging Ox Wave now has a 30 second cooldown (was 60 seconds).

Ranged. AoE. Silence. Holy crap. Leg Sweep just got a contender, and COW got a nice buff too.

  • New Windwalker and Brewmaster ability added at level 30: Nimble Brew. Nimble Brew removes all stun, fear, and root effects, and reduces the duration of those effects if they are re-applied by 60% for 6 seconds. It has a 2 minute cooldown.

Remember how windwalkers were supposed to be mobile in PvP? Yeah!

  • Chi Wave now does 100% more damage and healing, and no longer costs Chi, but now has a 15 second cooldown.
  • Zen Sphere now has a limit of 2 (was 1), now detonates when either the recipient reaches 35% health or the Zen Sphere is dispelled, and no longer costs Chi.
  • Chi Burst now does 100% more damage and healing, no longer costs Chi, and now has a 30 second cooldown.

DAMN. The no-chi cost completely changes the calculus on these things. Chi Wave still does pretty much the same thing, except WW/BM is much more likely to use it now. Chi Burst becomes a mini-group healing cooldown of sorts. Free Zen Sphere detonations? Have to think about that one, but pretty sweet for PvP.

  • Tiger’s Lust and Touch of Karma no longer have a Chi cost.
  • Tiger’s Lust can no longer be used on targets that have other temporary speed increases active.

So much for super-speed TL, but the Chi cost removal makes it a viable choice in Tier 1. Chi cost removal for ToK makes my windwalker so, so happy; no more pressing it as an oh crap button and not having the chi to use it.

  • Dampen Harm can now be used while stunned, and its cooldown will now begin when used, not when the effect ends.

“This is how I frustrate Rogues.”

  • Healing Elixirs now heals the Monk for 15% of maximum health (was 10%).
  • Chi Torpedo now deals 15% more damage.

Needed buffs. More useful now.

  • Path of Blossoms has been removed.

What spell was that again?

  • Mistweaver
    • Healing Spheres will now heal for 50% of their original value if they expire without being picked up. This healing will factor in relevant Mastery.
    • Healing Spheres now have a duration of 1 minute. Healing Spheres generated by Mastery: Gift of the Serpent now have a duration of 30 seconds.

Well, mastery just became relevant again. 6 yd radius on the autoheal; have to see how smart it is.

  • Life Cocoon can no longer be dispelled.
  • Zen Focus, the 4-piece Mistweave set bonus, is now more responsive.
  • It is no longer possible to use Thunder Focus Tea while silenced.
  • Xuen will now fixate on the Monk’s original target.

No more lolcocoon! Also, yay bugfixes.

  • Windwalker
    • New Level 75 Ability: Storm, Earth and Fire
      • The Windwalker can summon up to two elemental duplicates that mirror damaging abilities that the Monk uses while they are active. For each spirit summoned, the Monk’s damage is reduced: 1 spirit causes the Monk and the spirit to deal 60% of the Monk’s normal damage, while 2 spirits will cause the Monk and both active spirits to deal 40% of the Monk’s normal damage. Each spirit lasts until the ability is canceled, or that spirit’s target dies or otherwise becomes unavailable.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. First, awesome, windwalker needed some more complexity. Second; this appears to be a cleave type ability: I’m assuming you can’t use it on a single-target fight (else you always would, 120% > 100%). Third, three copies of Xuen? AWESOME!

  • Combo Breaker is now a passive ability granted at level 15 that grants a 12% chance to make the Monk’s next Blackout Kick or Tiger Palm cost no Chi.
  • New Mastery: Bottled Fury — Increases the damage bonus provided by Tigereye Brew by .2% per Mastery per stack.
  • Tigereye Brew now increases damage by 1% per stack (was 2%), but is now improved by Bottled Fury.
  • Tigereye Brew now gains 1 charge after spending 2 Chi (was 4 Chi).
  • Tigereye Brew will now stack to 20, but only 10 charges can be consumed per activation.
  • A user interface alert now displays upon reaching 10 stacks of Tigereye Brew.

This was hugely needed, as mastery was getting completely devalued by high haste (running out of GCD’s means free abilities don’t mean as much). Not sure about the other TB changes; at 1 charge per 2 chi spent, the uptime is going to be really high. Becoming more of an Inquistion/SR type ability?

  • Brewmaster
    • Mastery: Elusive Brawler now provides 25% more Stagger per Mastery rating.

Also hugely needed, as mastery wasn’t effective enough vs. Stamina for building tank EH.

Great changes all around.

Dec 172012
 

No news to talk about this week, so let’s get to the links!

General

  • As promised, I wrote up a longer column exploring the math behind Ascension, which is here. TLDR: Good for windwalkers, but will run into massive scaling issues as people gear up (especially next tier); average for brewmasters, mediocre for mistweavers. That said, there’s lots of criticism about the mediocre for mistweavers part; I suspect lots of people are not using their Chi heals as often as they should.
  • I never realized this, but apparently the cooldown for Power Strikes starts when you get the buff, not when you consume it. This means you have 20 seconds from getting the buff to consume it before you start cutting into the efficiency of the talent, not immediately. This is cool.
  • updated my brewmaster guide for 5.1; mostly focused on reworking the stat weights, since the thinking has evolved significantly there. Still need to get to windwalkers, mistweavers, and the general pages.

Brewmasters

  • I liked this post by Kisho over on MMOC where he talks about scrutinizing your debuffs on World of Logs to see the uptimes on your stagger debuffs. Good coaching tip.
  • This post by Xarmon recommends a different playstyle for a mastery/stamina build (heavy focus on Shuffle uptime, PB constantly) and the bosses that need it (H WotE/Empress/Sha). Lots of good discussion immediately following about whether it’s worth it to do mastery/stamina at all. That may be the topic for my monk column next week (stat weights in general).

Mistweavers

  • Unfortunately, the MMOC thread on mistweavers has degenerated into a flaming war about whether it’s viable to not stack spirit as MW; very little good discussion there or on EJ this week. My TLDR thoughts: By not stacking spirit, you risk a lot to gain a little. Sure, it’s a throughput gain, but you have to be very vigilant of your mana use to ensure you don’t become useless. (There’s some fun games you can play with Mana Tea and Jade Spirit, I’d imagine.)

Windwalkers

  • nice post from Crevan over on EJ where he uses Simcraft to explore the DPS gain of various combinations of set+offset gear for windwalkers. End result: The set bonuses are terrible, so you’re generally best off not worrying about them too much and just using the best pieces (meaning haste/crit) you can get.
  • The general consensus seems to be emerging that you want to shoot for about 4k haste (with ascension) or 5-6k haste (with power strikes) then go for crit instead. This tracks with my observations that higher levels of haste sim well but are difficult to play optimally.

As an aside, I’m still looking for other sources of intelligent monk discussion; please leave a comment or send an email if you’ve got a blog or something, and I’ll add it in.

Dec 152012
 

Really not too much to update.

  • Added discussion about Ascension.
  • Removed bit about Black Ox Statue being bugged (that got fixed a while ago)
  • Minor fixes/changes
  • Completely reworked the stat weights: rather than summarize, here’s a cut/paste.

Gear, Stat Weights and Reforging

I was planning on doing a gear list: they take way too much time. Just check out wowhead‘s sorted list, and generally grab the highest ilvl stuff you can, excepting trinkets which need some more thought (TBD).

Stat weights are…complicated. Agility is clearly the best stat, but the importance of secondary stats varies dramatically depending on how effective Gift of the Ox is for you and the level of content you’re doing.

  • Hit and Expertise increase chi generation and GotO procs. They also significantly increase DPS (much more than any other stat). If you’re tank swapping, though, Expertise becomes less good (since you can attack from the back when off-tanking, and still build up your Shuffle duration).
  • Crit directly boosts Elusive Brew, which is great for “must-dodge” encounters, and makes GotOX/EH healing more effective.
  • Haste is great for AoE encounters since it decreases the channeling time of Spinning Crane Kick (which directly translates into more GotOx orbs). In general, it increases your energy regen and indirectly helps accumulate Elusive Brew stacks and Shuffle uptime.
  • Mastery is generally mediocre, but shines when you’re facing bosses while undergeared, similarly to armor/stamina. Really, though, if you’re going up against bosses that have a possibility of bursting you down, you should be stacking stamina, not mastery.
  • Parry/dodge is kinda meh. It’s helpful, but I’d never consider stacking it in any situation.
So, yeah, my advice:
  • 5-mans or sharing gear with a windwalker set: Hit/Exp to 7.5% cap, then haste, then crit, though all the stats are very close in value. Here, you’ll want stats than can boost your DPS to power through trash. Reforge out of mastery/parry/dodge, in that order. Agility is worth almost exactly 2x the other stats in this scenario, so your choice on gems, really.
  • Raiding, solo-tank fights: Same as above, though agi is no longer 2x as good as hit/exp/haste/crit so you’ll want to focus on gemming those stats.
  • Raiding, tank-swapping: Agi drops in value dramatically, as does expertise. You now have agi slightly above haste and hit as your best stats, with crit and then expertise much farther behind. Basically, you’re stacking haste so you can get as many stacks of EB and super-long duration on Shuffle while you’re off-tanking, to then focus chi on Purifying Brew while on-tanking.
If you want specific numbers for stat weights, download Venyasure’s spreadsheets and plug in your own numbers.
 Posted by at 10:30 pm
Dec 102012
 

I’ve struggled with writing lately. It’s not the typical writer’s block of having nothing that I want to write about; it’s more  the feeling that anything I write isn’t good enough to publish. Basically, I have to get my groove back(TM). As such, I’m going to take a page from a few other blogs and try to stick to a designated posting schedule: henceforth, Monk Mondays! I’ll recap the last week’s news and posts, and see what develops from that. For this first week, I’ll be reaching back a bit, so apologies if I cover anything that’s old hat at this point.

Patch 5.1

So, yeah, there was a big patch and stuff. :) I wrote a brief post summarizing my initial thoughts on Patch 5.1, and then expanded it to include some of the follow-on hotfixes for an article at WoW Insider. TLDR: Mistweavers got nerfed bigtime, enough so that there’s already been a blue post about possibly re-buffing them to bring them back up (though that may be a PvP thing). I agree with Dayani (though I can’t find the thread now) that mistweaver mechanics were, to some extent, designed around them having higher throughput than other healers (due to them being less able to target heals). Unfortunately, now that mistweavers got whacked, they’re in a similar position to resto druids. For the vast majority of players, that’s fine, but for those pushing heroic content, the inability of MW’s to effectively raid heal will likely get them exchanged for a priest or shaman.

For everybody else, there wasn’t much. Windwalkers got a ton of bugfixes, which in turn is impacting theorycraft (also Ascension, below). Lots of discussion about haste vs crit at the moment. Brewmasters were pretty much unaffected, though there was a Keg Smash hotfix some time ago that limited it to 5 targets. You can thank Ta’yak for that one. Err, Mel’jarak. Dammit, Blizz, why is the boss with Blademaster adds the Wind Lord and the boss who does tornadoes the Blade Lord? Isn’t that a little backwards?

Ascension

I’d like to take a closer look at the new Ascension theorycraft.  The current consensus is that it’s recommended for windwalkers, but not for the other specs. In my brief trial run with it, it felt inferior to Power Strikes for windwalkers; that said, the majority of my playtime right now is killing things that die quickly, which naturally hurts a passive talent.

Guide Updates

I plan to update the spec guides for 5.1 (both here and on the forums) as I get time and I can pull myself away from playing Borderlands 2. :) Once I finish them up, I’ll post again here. In the meantime, if anyone has seen any good 5.1 patch roundup analysis, please drop the link in the comments, and I’ll cite it when I can.

Anybody done Brawler’s Guild on a monk yet?

 Posted by at 6:48 pm
Nov 272012
 

Still not actively playing, but the 5.1 changes have stirred my theorycrafters’ heart, so let’s take a look. :) (Much love to wowhead for compiling all this so I can just cut and paste.)

Nice change for Windwalkers here. Previously, you had to slow DPS to ensure you’d have enough energy to interrupt; now, you don’t need to worry.

Quality-of-life change.

  • The energy cost of  Healing Sphere has been reduced to 40, down from 60.
  • The healing provided by the  Healing Sphere base spell has been increased by 20%.

Healing Sphere still doesn’t put out enough healing to be significant for non-mistweavers, but it’s now significantly easier to heal yourself now if you’re not talented into Zen Sphere.

This hurts Mistweavers the most; WW and BM mostly use it for self-healing, so the HS buff helps there, but Mistweaver AoE took a hit across the board (see below).

  • The Tiger Power provided by  Tiger Palm now reduces target armor by 30% with a single application and no longer stacks.

No more stacking, yay! This doesn’t really affect Brewmasters at all (TP remains filler) but it definitely helps Windwalker ramp-up time, and even helps Mistweavers do some Eminence healing if they choose. (I’m 99% sure that the wording here is just bad; you don’t actually reduce the target’s armor, you just reduce the target’s armor effectiveness against your attacks.)

  •  Stance of the Fierce Tiger now increases the Monk’s movement speed by 10% in addition to its other effects. This movement speed increase stacks with other effects.

Monks didn’t really need a speed boost, but I’ll take it.

  • The  Power Strikes talent now grants the  Power Strikes effect every 20 seconds, which causes the Monk’s next attack to generate 1 additional Chi.

The Wowhead wording appears wrong here. The duration of PS hasn’t changed, but now it can be triggered by Jab, Crackling Jade Lightning, or Soothing Mist. Moreover, you also now have a visible buff that pops up every 20 seconds, so it’s easier to plan around.

What’s more interesting, though, is the Ascension change, which isn’t mentioned in the notes at all. Ascension now grants +15% energy/mana regen in addition to the max Chi boost, making it a much more attractive talent. For Windwalkers, some napkin math shows that it’s still inferior to PS or CB, but only if you can trigger those abilities on cooldown. If your PS usage is around 2/min (or CB slips to every 2 min instead of 90 sec) then Ascension will win out. Brewmaster and Mistweaver optimization  will take a bit more in-depth theorycraft.

  • The  Healing Elixirs talent now grants the  Healing Elixirs effect every 18 seconds, which causes the next Brew or Tea consumed to heal the Monk for 10% of maximum health.

Nerfed from 15 seconds. Not entirely sure why, wasn’t really a desired talent in the first place.

Mistweaver specific stuff:

Ouch, that’s a big AoE healing nerf, which only serves to make the spell even more frustrating.

  • All healing spells which cost mana have had their mana cost increased by 10%.
  • You now have a chance equal to your crit chance to generate double the amount of  Mana Tea charges.

The second change helps compensate somewhat for the first. More evidence to stack crit, apparently.

MMOC has this listead as getting a 32% nerf, which appears wrong; probably just an artifact of the spell being available at an earlier level.

These changes suggest they’re really trying to push the use of Soothing Mist more; it did need a buff, as it was nearly outperformed by Eminence healing from CJL in its previous incarnation.

Feel free to share your comments! I’ll probably be digging into the new Patch 5.1 content in the next few weeks…I’m in no hurry, as I’ve still got ACIII and BL2 that I’m working through.

 Posted by at 11:57 pm
Nov 182012
 

(x-posted on TFD and WoM)

One of the perks of an enforced hiatus to any activity is the ability to gain some perspective. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve logged in or done any writing. I expected to feel compelled to come back; oddly, though, I’ve felt almost relieved at the lack of pressure. Why has WoW (which, y’know, is supposed to be fun) become funless for me?

Well, no matter how I slice it, I keep coming back to the same point: it’s a multiplayer game. (Duh.) While the game offers tons of singleplayer endgame content (and I include things like random 5-mans/LFR as singleplayer, because you’re not really interacting with anyone there at any serious level), let’s face it; most of those experiences are nothing more than time grinds to obtain stuff. Sure, it’s stronger stuff, or prettier stuff, which is nice, but that doesn’t change the fact that the gameplay itself to get there is mostly an exercise in tedium. Repeating content is fun once or twice, but that’s it.

The worst part: it didn’t have to be this way. Unfortunately, in the name of “fairness,” Blizzard has elected to balance single-player progression solely on time invested, and not player skill. Gone are the group quests, soloable by a good, determined player. Gone are the large gold rewards earned from running dungeons solo (yes, AoE looting compensates slightly, but only just). Etc. The only difficult challenge I’ve had this expansion has been rare elites, and their non-scaling nature means the difficulty curve for those drops off quickly as well. I’m holding out hope for Brawler’s Guild, but unless they do a complete 180 on their current stance, I won’t be seeing that content for some time.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m perfectly okay with Blizzard taking this stance, and agree completely that it’s my erratic schedule that’s at fault, not Blizzard, for why I’m not “playing like I’m supposed to.”  I’d love to do a few challenge modes, for example, but I’m still not at the point where I can agree to set aside 1-2 uninterrupted hours to learn and do one. And no, this isn’t an “I quit” post in disguise. I still enjoy racing the clock in scenarios, outDPSing people who outgear me in LFR, and, quixotically, farming. I also think I’m going to take another stab at battlegrounds (now that I have a good connection and a good PC to play on) and probably mess around with pet battles. The things I don’t enjoy, though, such as powerleveling professions on alts, VP capping every week, or random 5-mans; I’m going to stop feeling like I “have” to do them…because I don’t. Seriously. Dailies? Dailies can kiss my human/elven ass. The Shado-Pan can hate me, and I’ll go on hating them right back. (P.S. your monastery sucks too.)

In writing terms: I’ll still be kicking around, writing about what interests me, and I’ll still write the occasional guide post from time to time. My dreams of being the pre-eminent analyst for  druids and monks, though, died next to a hospital bed about six weeks ago, and I’m surprisingly okay with that.  I’m just going to keep on keeping on, probably making things up as I go.

Then again, I’ve been doing that for the past two years and it seems to be working.

 Posted by at 8:57 pm