Content patch ahoy!

Eyonix confirmed that there will be a major content patch before the release of Wrath of the Lich King. Of course, as exciting as that is, there will be a few things that I am holding on to my hat for…because although I applaud (most of) the new talents and spells, I cannot but feel worried about unleasing it upon a world that is not ready for it.

As it stands now, many raiding guilds suffer from apathy in their ranks, due to the impending release of Wrath. Just as with the release of the Burning Crusade, people feel all their hard work will be for temporary gains, it will no longer be end-game. The effort would go unnoticed, the gear replaced by blues in weeks.

As a Shadowpriest, I feel excited that the new spells Dispersion and Mind Sear will enhance my raid viability and survivability. I am jubilant of the fact that our talents will increase our DPS significantly.

But what I am most worried about is the reduction of Vampiric Touch from 5% to 2% currently. If this change is made before we Shadowpriests have been able to make the required changes in gear and thus DPS, we are going to return significantly less mana in a raid situation than we do now. And while the new content will be adapted to this, current content such as Black Temple and Sunwell are not.

This means that encounters that are currently on farm will be a bit more difficult, but will also put a big dent in the progression of T6/SP guilds who were stacking Shadowpriests for the mana regeneration.

This will be less of an issue if they do decide to make VT raid-wide, because then stacking Shadowpriests as usuall will result in roughly the same raid-wide mana gains as well as an increase in personal DPS.

Some (simple) math

25-man raid, of which 15 members are mana users. Assuming 1 shadowpriest per 5 (1 per group) that means that we return 5% of our DPS to 5 people (including ourselves). At 1000 DPS, this would be 250 MP/5 to every member of those groups. Total mana regen over 15 members is 3750 MP/5.

Assuming the changes go live, but VT becomes raid-wide, and without increasing DPS:

25-man raid, of which 15 members are mana users. Assuming 1 shadowpriest per 5 that means we return 2% of our DPS to 15 people (including ourselves). At 1000 DPS, this would be 100 MP/5 to all 15 people. Total mana regen over 15 members is 1500 MP/5.

But because we now stack 3 Shadowpriests, the total raid-wide regen will be 1500*3 = 4500 MP/5.

In short, if these talents go live without VT becoming raid-wide, we will drop from giving 250 MP/5 per group member to 100 MP/5 per group member, a substantial nerf.

If we get our VT raid-wide, however, we will give 100 MP/5 to all mana-users in the raid, which will actually increase our raid viability. And this number will increase as our DPS is supposed to increase from new talents and gear. The amount of MP/5 we will regenerate will be equivalent to what we do now, but raid-wide instead of limited to the group.

Inscription

Inscription will be implemented! Yes, that means that you will be able to take this profession before Wrath goes live, and will be able to skill it up to 375. The capital cities will house trainers for the new profession.

I can only guess that Blizzard wants to prevent the ridiculous run on powerleveling Jewelcrafters we saw in TBC, and allowing the profession to stabilize before actually releasing the new expansion.

You will still need Wrath of the Lich King to raise your profession level above 375, but most people will have become familiar with the profession already. This also means that we won’t see quite such a storm on the auction house, where the materials for leveling the profession go for insane prices.

Good news for all of us, bad news for the AH investors.

Barber Shops and Stormwind Harbor

The physical locations will be implemented in the next content patch, which is logical because these features are avilable to everyone, not necessarily people who have the expansion. Also, by patching these features early, Blizzard can lower the burden on the actual release day.

Racing you to the barber shop to get a new do!

Conclusion

I am looking forward to the changes that come, and while I am slightly saddened that we don’t get a cool new “Shadow Angel” form or visually more imposing spells, I pray for becoming a raid-wide power company and charging per KWH.

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