While waiting for the login issues to clear up, I noticed something a little odd. It involves Genn Greymane.
In the opening cinematic, Old Wolf is in his canine form during the battle; counseling Anduin, getting beat up, getting major healz, that sort of thing. We get a few good close ups of ol’ snaggle-puss, and then I noticed it.
See it? I circle’d and arrow’d it in case you miss it.
Old Wolf has tusk jewelry, like an Orc might have.
So what happens to it when he changes back to human form? His big goofy duster coat stays the same. What about the jewelry? (and noting a lot in his hairy earlobes, too).
And he’s what, around 100 years old now? Pretty spry, isn’t he?
I’m telling you, there’s something a bit OFF about Genn Greymane.
Today, WoWHead released a guide to changes that will take place in each class in the BfA pre-path on July 17. Not all guides are created equal, and by that I mean that the rest of the guide owners are probably PISSED at Bendak, who pretty much overachieved on all levels for the BM Hunter guide.
The Disco Priest guide is a little less thorough. I’m not hating – Bendak sets a high bar to clear on any occasion. That aside, I feel like a little bit of fleshing out is in order.
Light’s Wrath is gone, of course (I actually approve of this as it means we’ll get more choices on weapons and stuff), and with it are its abilities. That means that our massive healing nuke is gone.
The other biggest change you will notice is that the Global Cooldown now applies to a number of spells. What this means is that you won’t be able to cast a spell on Global Cooldown until the Global Cooldown cools down. This is not true for all spells, so pay attention to the spell descriptions.
Another significant change is that only three spells will lay down Atonement now. We also lost one spell (Plea) that applied it instantly.
Before this expansion, my favorite rotation was more or less this:
- PW: Shield on myself; then PW: Radiance to spread out Atonement; then again, to get another 5 people covered, then Evangelism to extend Atonement for all 11.
- Keep DoTs up on the boss (SW: Pain and Shadow Squid), hammer the boss with Penance and Smite until it was time to lay down PW: Radiance again
- PW: Shield where it was needed, mindful of its cooldown.
It was a pretty simple rotation, but it got me through LFR fairly well.
The new rotation will be changed due to changes in the various spells used.
- PW: Radiance is relatively unchanged. It is one of our Atonement spreaders.
- Evangelism is relatively unchanged.
- PW: Shield doesn’t have the limitations we had before; it is now our defacto spam. It applies Atonement to whatever it shields. In effect, Rapture got baked right in.
- Shadow Mend is relatively unchanged. It also applies Atonement.
- Penance is relatively unchanged, however, is now generally better spent as a direct heal than Atonement healing. Unfortunately, it does not spread Atonement when used directly.
- SW: Pain (or Purge the Wicked) is relatively unchanged, and I think that Penance still spreads it when used for damage. This of course will also increase your Atonement healing.
- Smite is still Smite, with its damage component and its shield component.
- Halo is unchanged, and is still an optional damage / heal AE spell.
- Holy Nova is now also a Disco spell, giving us a ‘native’ AE spell that relieves us of having to choose Halo over something more interesting. It also applies to Atonement healing, but only the FIRST target struck does so – additional targets struck by Holy Nova do not provide Atonement healing. I think this is rather shabby.
- Rapture now increases the duration of all bubbles by around 7 or so seconds. In my opinion, this improves it massively.
So basically it boils down to:
- PW: Shield on myself; then PW: Radiance to spread out Atonement; then again,
to get another 5 people covered, then Evangelism to extend Atonement for all
- Keep DoTs up on the boss (SW: Pain and Shadow Squid), hammer the boss with Smite until it was time to lay down PW: Radiance again
- PW: Shield where it is needed. Cooldown isn’t so relevant now, so anywhere you see a need, drop it. Use Rapture on CD to extend that.
- Save Penance for big heals unless fairly certain that it won’t be needed for that, in which case share the love via Atonement.
You may notice that Shadow Mend isn’t top of the list. I tend to only use it in emergencies. The long cast time and odd pain/pleasure dynamic makes it far less than a winner to me.
As before, Spell Power is the primary component of all of our spells. Only PW: Shield varies on that, in that it also improves on Versatility. I’m pretty sure Crit will feature in a lot of the calculations, but those are your two main stats of interest.
As has been the case for ever, my main concern is in how clumsy healing can be. It requires a lot of direct or mouseover targeting, which means one hand mousing while the other is keying the commands required. During high-movement fights, healers are at a huge disadvantage when compared to others. PW: Radiance was a good step in the right direction in this regard, giving us a way to propagate Atonement without making it about as clumsy as an elephant on a high wire.
However, it appears that Blizz did not expand on that theme, and instead moved us away from that mode of operation. I mean, I’m kinda glad that we’re moving more towards bubblePriest mode, but it does require a lot of mousing around to get the shields distributed around, which is dependent on a lot of things, not the least the clumsiness of the wielder
I am also bitterly disappointed that yet again, Disco priests don’t have the Frisbee. I mean, what is Disco without the Disc? In my mind, I see the Frisbee as method #4 for spreading around our Atonement Goodness.
But overall, this looks like a very viable spec going into the new expansion. As always, it will require a bit of play time to learn for sure where we stand.
Oh, and also? New expansion, new mog. While I loved the look of the silver haltertop and skirt I affected in Legion, it had a couple of real issues.
- It was a skirt, making running problematic. Remember, sometimes it isn’t whether you’re faster than the monster. But it matters if you’re faster than at least one other person in your party. As Flora and Illume have proven before, nothing beats a good pair of jeans for adventuring.
- No pocketses, precious. What is this, anyway?
Five weeks from now, the new expansion will drop, and that means that somewhere in between now and then, we will be getting the “pre-patch”, which will introduce the new expansion and stuff. More importantly, it will introduce the new game systems to all and sundry, whether you buy the expansion or not.
During Legion, I’ve been keeping afloat partially on sales of glyphs, but also some other stuff. This expansion hasn’t been great for Scribes, so I’ve supplemented with enchantments as well, but the upshot is that on the strength of glyphs alone I can play the game entirely on in-game currency. With additions, I can buy other things in the Blizz shop such as time for my sweetie if she’s in the mood to play. But it hasn’t been raining cash. You gotta hustle.
- Legion glyphs are the main money makers, to a limited extent.
- Older glyphs sell fine, but don’t bring in much cash compared to the cost to make them.
- Vantus runes and other sops that Blizz tossed to Scribes were worthless. I fire-sale’d all but Antorus a while back and it looks like I’m going to eat them anyway.
- One herb was by far the best for this business model – Dreamleaf, which also generated Nightmare Pods, which yielded great quantities of Sallow pigment. The Argus herb, on the other hand, was worthless for Scribes.
Overall, fairly lackluster. I think that applies to most professions, though.
On to new things.
New expansion, new inks
- Crimson Pigment –> Crimson Ink
- Ultramarine Pigment –> Ultramarine Ink
- Viridescent Pigment –> Viridescent Ink – returning once again to a “rare” ink for certain items, such as Darkmoon cards, codices, Vantus runes, off-hands, etc.
- All inks now require the use of Distilled Water. All BfA inks thus have an additional 2s 50c tax.
- Viridescent Ink also requires Acacia powder, an additional 2s 50c tax on that ink.
Yields, what herb gives what, and in what quantities, is not yet known.
New expansion, new herbs
- Akunda’s Bite (Vol’dun)
- Anchor Weed – appears to pop in all zones
- Riverbud (Drustvar, Zuldazar, Tiragarde Sound) – found along rivers
- Sea Stalk (Tiragarde Sound) – found along coastlines
- Siren’s Pollen – found in trees in swampy areas. In a way similar to Foxflower, picking one can create a swarm of them to pick up.
- Star Blossom – found on the sides of buildings in Kul’Tiras and Zandalar.
- Winter’s Kiss – found in snowy areas (Drustvar)
It should be noted that the locational information is far from accurate at this time. Also, there are three levels for each herb for gathering, so similar to Legion in how it works this time.
There will also be three tiers to milling, and mass milling will become available for all herbs.
Very few new glyphs have been added. In many ways this seems a lot like Cataclysm where we got one whole new glyph to use the pigments on – essentially, any pigments you grind will probably be exchanged for older inks or pigments at the ink trader, so find out who that is and go there.
The exceptions are, of course, the ones listed here. These are all Druid glyphs.
- The Dolphin – requires Revered with Tortollan Seekers
- The Humble Flyer – appears to be a discovery from Grumpy Grimble in Tiragarde Sound. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it’s what I got.
- The Tideskipper – drop from Corrupted Tideskipper in Stormsong Valley
There don’t appear to be any research-oriented tasks associated with this expansion.
A few glyphs have also been dropped, no doubt due to class changes. In total, we end up with fewer glyphs than we had in Legion.
- The Blood Wraith (DK)
- The Bullseye (Hunter)
- The Skullseye (Hunter)
- The Unholy Wraith (DK)
- The Wraith Walker (DK)
My advice on these is to hang on to them until after the pre-patch.
In my experience, dead glyphs are transformed into something like Charred Glyphs which are usually worth 50s. Dump them now, and get 1s. It’s worth waiting to see. Of course, if you can dump them for more than 50s now, go for it.
I’ve seen one – Uldir – and that’s it. I’m not sure if we’re going to see more or not, but right now it looks like they’re attuned per-raid, not per-boss. If the latter, I don’t think it’s worth the bother. If the former, it MIGHT be. Start slow.
Other Wealth-Enhancing Features
Inscription has picked up a plethora of things that may or may not be of value in the days to come. Test each carefully.
- Codices – As before, we can make a Codex of the Clear Mind kind of thing that will allow you to change your talents outside of rest areas. This does require the rare ink.
- Contracts – A contract is with a specific faction, and while it is in effect you gain reputation with that faction, similar to how tabards worked in Burning Crusade. I do like this mechanic, and also suspect this will be a small but steady income stream. I assume only one can be in effect at a time.
- Scrolls – Scrolls are back as “War Scrolls” that can buff an individual or group. The odd thing is the wording of the description indicates that, say, an Intellect scroll affects all team members, not just the int-using ones. I suspect only one can be in effect. So this is very confusing. They’re not too costly to make, but they may have a limiting factor that makes them unpopular.
- Ink Wells – This allows your champions to bring back ink from missions. This isn’t really a money maker unless you sell it on the AH to other Scribes – which might be the case because the darned thing requires some mats that drop from mythic bosses only. The mats are BoP, but the Ink Well is not.
Conclusions, such as they are
We may see 8.0.x this Tuesday, or three weeks from now (I can’t believe they’d cut it any closer). Now is the time to prepare, because once the patch drops, in my experience, you run out of options to keep things operating. For example, the ink trader usually stops accepting the previous expansion’s inks or pigments (i.e. Roseate and Sallow) and instead requires the new expansion’s stuff (Crimson and Ultramarine Inks or Pigments). At which point you will have to go flower picking all over the place to keep making glyphs.
The good news is that glyphs that sell now will probably continue to sell. The bad news is that the ones that aren’t selling will still probably not sell.
Hope you did well this time around, it looks like more of the same, alas.
Oh hai! The good news is that I’m still around. That is also the bad news. I just haven’t had a lot to talk about since the BfA announcement – that goes a while back, I know, but there ya have it. What was that, BlizzCon?
I’ve started a number of posts, but ran out of gas before I got them up to our usual low standards of publishability. I haz opinions, but really haven’t felt like any of them were worth your time.
I’ve even gotten in on the Alpha – hard to say who hasn’t – though I haven’t actually done anything with it. Matters of theorycrafting and so forth seem to be beyond my grasp – I’ve barely figured out how to properly use the Best in Bags tool at AMR. That’s assuming I am, of course. AMR agrees with my own calculations enough to earn extra side-eye.
So anyway, watching all the news about BfA and our new
Associated Allied races has me wondering about future installments on this already popular feature. We all know about the Zandalari Trolls, some sort of Orcs from Outland (?), Dark Iron Dwards, and Big Chin Humans from Jaina’s Home Island. What else might they be cooking up? Here are some ideas!
I think that we’ve all seen this one coming from a mile away. The only thing holding them back has been the rather insensitive-to-lepers name, but now that we’re in the second year of the Trump administration, sensitivity is for the birds! Bring on the possibly radioactive Gnomes!
Probably still won’t end up in the next cinematic, though.
Similar to the Big Chin Humans, but these folk trace their roots back to when the Curse of Flesh was first weakening the races of Northrend. Smart folks, these relatives of the Vrykul got out of there before it got too bad, and also stayed hidden for thousands of years before revealing themselves. They’re cool like that.
Racial Bonus: they use regular sized humans for shoulder gear. Cool.
Somewhat related to the Really High Elves, these folks only appear in Winter, spending the rest of the year in communes in Northern Kalimdor.
Obviously if seasonal Associated Races don’t work out, this will be the only ones we ever see.
Nocturnal by nature, Nasty Orcses have a racial bonus when fighting stupid hobbitses. Precious.
Limited to Warriors and Paladins. Obviously.
A somewhat embarrassing chapter in The Lich King’s campaign in Lorderon; these are the people who’s relatives gave up on them before they were actually dead. Arthas took them into the Scourge and never heard the end of it.
Made for some awkward war councils, too.
“I remember you. You told them I was dead!”
“Didn’t turn out so well, for me, either.”
“If you think that makes it okay, let me tell you …”
“People, can we focus on the counterattack from Alterac?”
An offshoot of the Highmountain Tauren, these folks really rock.
Probably hinting at the eventual introduction of the Bard class. You know how Blizz is.
I’m guessing this offshoot of the Pandaran race will line up directly opposed to the Gitauren. This might even be the basis for the conflict in the expansion that introduces the Bard class. I’m calling it now – “World of Warcraft: Battle of the Bands”.
There’s no sound reason, lore-wise, for this to ever happen. Therefore it will happen.
You get a Furbolg, and you get a Furbolg …
The perfect cross-over from Erfworld, these highly avaricious and clever subterranean creatures will replace the mobile auction house. Their native resource, Juice, will replace Mana / Energy / Rage / etc for all supported classes.
(Image from the WoW Trading Card Game, whose body is buried in Hearthstone’s back yard)
It’s a bit more than a week since the big reveal at Blizzcon – Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth will be a thing. The theme to this expansion will be that of faction warfare between the Horde and Alliance. I, on the other hand, just call it The Jaina Expansion.
(Image from Blizzcon 2017 key art. Cosplay by Taylor Swift)
The theme of this one is that for some reason, the Horde has decided, after working with us for some time to save Azeroth from countless nasty things, that the time has come to wipe us out. Word has it that Sylvanas has a thing for Stormwind, which is why she turns around and burns down Teldrassil. You’d expect Silvermoon’s finest Ranger to have better aim than that, but there ya go.
(By the way, it’s been officially confirmed that Sylvanas shot first.)
As a result, the Alliance strikes back at Lorderon. I won’t spoil it for you, but who won this one has also been officially confirmed.
(I’m not a member of the undead night elf fetish club, but the way, but the vice actor for Sylvanas has one of the most interesting voices in the genre. I could listen to her read the phone book.)
Aw, hell, I can’t get away from giving it away a little … the upshot is that Alliance ends up with exactly one base in Kalimdor – the Exodar – and Horde with one in the Eastern Kingdoms – Silvermoon. Sorry, haters, but it’s kinda fundamental to discussing what we know, ya know?
(Image from Ulduar announcement cinematic. I always liked big-nose Jaina the best.)
First things first. We don’t know yet how much this affects contended areas like Gadgetstan or Booty Bay, but I seriously doubt it will affect them at all. They were contested before, they still are now. Fine. That also means that I suspect that little outposts, such as what’s left of Theramore and Revantusk Village, will remain largely unchanged, though security might get beefed up. I doubt there’s a good lore-related reason for this, but in terms of game mechanics, I imagine it would be a lot more work than they have time for, unless release date is sometime in 2020.
They already have enough to do. The losses of two major capital cities is going to likely re-arrange the political geography of much of the two continents.
Teldrassil’s loss will likely lead to the loss of Darkshore and Ashenvale. Which is a shame since it seems that all that Horde does with woods is cut them down. Don’t get me started.
Lorderon’s loss will likely lead to re-integration of the two Plaguelands (already partially integrated, but maybe they’ll remain contested), Hillsbrad, Alterac, Silverpine, and Tirisfal. It is also likely that Gilneas will be fully restored, and I suspect that this will become the new capital city of the Worgen and Night Elves, since the Night Elves hosted the Worgen up to now. I have no idea where the Forsaken will end up hosting, but I suspect they might be pushed into the Ghostlands (somewhat appropriate), thought that might involve Blizz having to rework a BC zone, which they seem very reluctant to do (which is probably also why the Exodar and Silvermoon are left alone in this expansion).
(Image from BfA announcement cinematic. Is it just me or has she been working out?)
As always with these expansions, there must be land to … expand into. This time around, it’s Kul Tiras – Jaina’s homeland – and Zandilar – home to nasty trollses. As you can imagine, the former has me more interested than the latter, but there are a few things that the announcement cinematic revealed about both.
We know a few things with regards to Kul Tiras. (1) It’s Jaina’s homeland. (2) It’s nautical. (3) Jaina’s dad is dead (Jaina sorta let that happen). (4) Jaina’s mom is still alive, and they have probably had “one of those talks”. (“Jaina, have we learned not to let ravening Orcs have their way with our parents now?” “:: sigh :: Yes, mother.”) I really hope they don’t go for the all too predictable trope of “Jaina’s mom is mad with loss and will be a raid boss” or something like that.
Speaking of expanding, Stromgarde Keep is coming back, being rebuild, just in time to be repeatedly attacked by the Horde. This seems odd since I could swear we were kicking the bums outta our turf, but maybe Hillsbrad turns into a pocket of resistance or something? Hard to say, but the fact remains that without a foothold, it makes zero sense to see Horde attacking someplace that is so far within the heartland. I mean, sure, there’s a pirate cove nearby (not gonna be touched, I can pretty much guarantee), so Southshore is the next closest point of entry. (I wonder if there is a corresponding Alliance stronghold in the middle of Kalimdor?)
And this brings up the main gist of this expansion – the two factions fighting. There will be a lot of focus on PvP-like activities, but there’s good news for us care bears. All the PvP-like activity is against (apparently) NPCs. So they might be flying the flag of the enemy, but they’re really just innocent bots that take pleasure in being slaughtered by the thousands by us god-like players.
(Image from Blizz’s old fan art site, no attribution provide by them, sadly.)
And that brings me to what I don’t like about all this. We’ve spent a couple of expansions now being told that we are the greatest thing since sliced bread by every friendly NPC that we meet. In Draenor we were elevated to military commanders, up to Admiral / General in the end. In Legion we were given command of our entire order. Set aside for the moment the massive danger there is in granting one supreme authority in both the military and religious spheres (that’s as close as I can come to describe what we are to our orders). The real issue here is that we keep getting more and more preposterously powerful amongst our peers.
And now – we’re foot soldiers in a number of PvP skirmishes? What a downer.
The whole theme of this thing, really, comes across as some seriously weak tea. Even the reason is weak. Why would Sylvanas suddenly want to go after Stormwind? And why would she then go after Teldrassil instead? Seems kind of random. The Alliance’s motivations seem more obvious – looks like they’re retaliating for this random violence on their shores. But Sylvanas has never, even once, come across as being a randomly violent entity? Did we get it wrong all along? Is Sylvanas the Dreadlord instead of Jaina?
The more I look at the set up – and I concede that “set up” may be entirely too accurate – the less engaged I feel. Many on the interwebz have called this a “filler” expansion done by “the B team”, and there are times when I have no ammunition with which to refute that. This seems to be rather drab and uninspired (even the logo is washed out).
I dunno, what do you think?
(Image from naptime (sometime in 2012))
Yeah, I’ll probably play, and hopefully rejoice in the restoration of our lands after all this time. On the other hand, visiting Kalimdor is likely to be heartbreaking.
So, there was a lot going on at BlizzCon 2017. I wasn’t one of them, but that’s probably for the best. I’ll have more to say on other topics from that event, but if you’re impatient there are, well, about a zillion other actual blogs (and falling), and an exponentially increasing number of Twitch streams, you tube channels, and vlogs that will be more than happy to blurt out their thoughts, as well.
But one thing that jumped out me was at one of last night’s Q&As. Someone asked the very reasonable question, would Blizz be considering options for clothies other than robes going forward? The answer was something that sat me back on my haunches – “Whenever we find a way for clothies to look awesome wearing pants, we’ll do it.” Or words to that effect.
Well, okay, I’ll admit that they nailed it for healing cloth in Legion.
But there’s nothing wrong with a good pair of sturdy jeans, and warlocks can pull it off without even trying very hard.
As can fire mages.
One assumes that Arcane and Frost can pull it off as well.
Just because I haven’t found an outfit that screams “Disco” and isn’t robe-based yet doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. And I hate to say it, but what I heard in that pull quote from the Q&A was “We haven’t figured out how to make that happen”. Here’s a hint – try to move away from the clown suit esthetic. Imagine your wife / girlfriend / sister wearing it.
Which rules the Mageweave stripper pants out, and I’m good with that.