Survival Nerfs

The patch isn’t finished. Our intent is to bring Survival DPS down to the level of some of the other dps specs while making Marks and BM more attractive in PvE. With pure DPS classes it is probably impossible to engineer a three-way tie on all encounters. However, we think we can make them close enough so that players can choose to play their favorite without feeling like they are a burden on the rest of the group.

For an overall approach, we made a few changes that will buff Survival, or even hunters in general. First, focus generation was lower as a result of a bug with haste buffs such as Hunting Party. We’ve fixed that bug, so focus generation will be higher now when that buff is present (presumably all the time for Survival). Second, we made Steady Shot scale with haste, which will let hunters get more attacks in overall and have more focus with which to do so. These changes would have been a net buff for Survival without additional nerfs to compensate.

Bottom line is that Survival does too much damage right now on live. The damage needs to come down. We’ll be working to make sure the final numbers take into account all the other various changes that are going in to the patch to ensure it remains a viable spec, ensure the other two specs are competitively viable as well, and in-range of what we expect the damage output of the class to be relative to others.

We’re evaluating hunter DPS even now, and if it turns out the changes go too far we’ll make adjustments.

Night Elf Hunter

Night Elf Hunter

PvP changes

On PvP, we don’t think high damage is the key to hunter success. The Deterrence and Master’s Call changes are intended to help to that end and make some defensive mechanics a little less tricky to use. Again, we’ll continue evaluating the changes. The patch isn’t going live tomorrow.


Frost “buff”   unbelievable but true

We did buff Frost Bolt. And we did buff Ice Lance when Fingers of Frost is up. However, we’ve decreased all Frost damage to Frozen targets by about 15% from previous values. The net result is intended to be that Frost Bolt is a little better against non-Frozen targets, and about the same versus Frozen targets. Ice Lance with FoF is still good, but Ice lance damage against Frozen targets is down a bit.

The intent isn’t to nerf PvE frost at all, but instead reward Frost Bolt use in PvP a bit more, and reduce the damage and effectiveness of Ice Lance in PvP.

The important take away here is that datamined changes from pre-release builds and tests are not accurate ways for you to get information on intended game adjustments. Take it with a grain of salt, and approach it with a giant cup of curiosity.

Sin and Punishment diminishing returns
Thanks for pointing this out, Ecnad. We’re aware of the issue and will be hotfixing this bug with diminishing returns and Sin and Punishment in the near future.

Lightwell / Priests Changes

This was, indeed, a correction to the tooltip and not a change to Lightwell. It has not been nerfed in the next patch and while there have been some changes done, they should predominantly result in better healing overall (in relation to priests).

The change we are making are a little bit like balancing scales. We trim a little on one side and add to the other. If you look through the PTR notes  closely, you’ll see this within them.

Currently, Holy has a lot of mana on live, but to counter the change we’re making to Prayer of Healing, we’re buffing Circle of Healing. We’re making Chakra easier to use. We’re also giving you the option to make Prayer of Mending a little better. Holy on live is pretty strong overall.

As we said in the Wow, Dungeons are Hard blog,  any Holy priest with 1700 to 1800 Spirit shouldn’t have mana problems. If they do, something else is going on such as dps being too low or players taking too much avoidable damage. You can reach those numbers without ever stepping into a raid. Finish Twilight Highlands. Get the Cord of the Raven Queen epic belt from being Exalted with the Guardians of Hyjal – you’ll be Revered just by completing the Hyjal quests. Max out your Tailoring and make yourself some better gear or just buy some from another player. Get the Mandala of Stirring Patterns trinket from Tol Barad (the quest area – it doesn’t require setting foot in the PvP area). Look for Sprit enchants. Reforging is your friend. Reforge everything to Spirit until you feel that you won’t run out of mana.

Keep in mind, you’re not alone in the dungeon and the dps and tanks also need to take responsibility for what they are doing and how much of your mana they are requiring you to use. You also don’t need to keep everyone topped off. You just need to anticipate the damage and adjust accordingly.

We want people to pick and choose the spells and abilities they need to use in correlation to the events going on in the game. If someone still has Prayer of Mending on them and they haven’t taken damage yet, do you need to recast it? Does someone need a shield or renew vs. a full heal? Can you use something else in your bag of tricks that you normally would just bypass as “useless” that would instead by useful in a certain situation? Can you use binding heal? You may just need to cast a high expense spell to get the job done, but if you have the mana to do so, why not? Those spells are meant to have use.

I’ve also looked into Discipline in light of the change to Prayer of Healing. In general, there shouldn’t be a time that there is so much AoE damage that everyone is going to need it immediately. Raids may be a little different, but you should have plenty of support from other healers as well at that point.

The cost of shield may have gone up, but so has the damage mitigation for it, though in light of Cataclysm, damage mitigation isn’t all a Discipline priest needs to do anymore. They need to be in there, mixing it up and healing versus just using a few spells. Don’t forget you also have Power Word:Barrier if you can convince people not to run away from the glow y dome of goodness.

Divine Aegis was also buffed a bit and with Inner Fire should help with Prayer of Healing.

Keep in mind, this is just a short list of changes, and the rest can be found on the PTR notes and more are being added practically daily at this point. Changes are still ongoing as well. Continuing to provide constructive feedback on these changes and how you’ve been experiencing them (for those that go on the PTR) is always very helpful.