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