Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Patch 3.3.3 is Incoming

Patch 3.3.3 is incoming.  Tuesday morning for the American realms (or tonight for us Oceanics), Wednesday for the EU. Wow.com sayeth, so shall it be done.

In case by some chance they are misinformed, at least here's a heads-up for a week or two's time, right?

The full PTR notes can be found here, and as soon as the patch officially drops, the 3.3.3 live patch notes will be found here.

As always, MMO-Champion have a thorough analysis on the changes, and wow.com's guide to 3.3.3 is full of useful information.  I just wanted to highlight a few changes that I thought were important.

The big news is for Balance Druids.
  • Talents
    • Balance
      • Starfall: The damage done by this spell has been significantly increased.
If you read some of the analysis of what's going on the PTR, Starfall is now a significant dps contributor. Moonkin should use [Glyph of Starfall],[Glyph of Starfire] and [Glyph of Moonfire]. Replacing [Glyph of Moonfire] with [Glyph of Focus] if you don't have the 2pc Tier 9 bonus that buffs Moonfire is a DPS increase, but don't do it if you think reducing the range of Starfall is going to be a problem.

Restokin and Sunfyre's Nest have more information, and as usual there's a load of theorycrafting at Elitist Jerks.  Graylo talks about glyph choices and spell rotation changes in this post. I'll be updating the Balance Cheat Sheet after the patch drops.

Feral Druids are also buffed.
  • Talents
    • Feral Combat
      • Mangle: The debuff from this talent now lasts 60 seconds, up from 12 seconds.
  • Glyph of Mangle: This glyph now provides 10% increased damage done by Mangle instead of increasing the duration of the debuff.
It should be a decent buff to Mangle damage though - more information at the Fluid Druid. On bosses your Mangle key won't get so much of a workout and will free up energy for other abilities.

Interestingly, the only metion of the ICC pity buffs is here:
  • Hellscream's Warsong and Strength of Wrynn now provide their bonuses to player pet health and damage, as well as the absorption amounts of Power Word: Shield and Sacred Shield.
There's no mention of increasing it to 10% - we'll see tomorrow if the buff has been increased.

The most awesome change (apart from the Starfall buff):
  • Culling of Stratholme
    • Players may now skip the initial introduction dialog to this dungeon once they have completed it at least once.
Hoo-bloody-ray!  This first time, this dialogue was made of Awesome and WC3 flashbacks, but after the ten millionth time we can practically act it out, as these people did in Ironforge.

We've been hearing about this for a few weeks already, Frozen Orbs will now be used as currency.
  • Frozo the Renowned has moved into the Dalaran Magus Commerce Exchange and will be trading your Frozen Orbs for various other trade goods.
Basically he will be taking Frozen Orbs in exchange for items such as Eternals, Frost Lotus, Crusader Orbs and Runed Orbs.  Expect Auction House prices of these items to crash soon after the patch, and Frozen Orb prices to rise.  There's more information about this guy at MMO-Champion.

There are huge changes to PvP and also quite a few tweaks to the Looking for Dungeon System - I'm not going to list them all here but I do suggest you read through the notes to check them out.

There's also a lot of small, neat changes that I see being very handy, such as taking away the ability to roll Need on Frozen Orbs, the ability to see different building/city layers in a map, and having uncomplete quests show up in dialog windows as a grey question mark instead of yellow.  It's almost like someone at Blizzard went through the suggestion box and fixed up a few little things that were bugging people. I'm looking forward to seeing this stuff in action!
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