Smoke Bomb now lasts for 5 seconds, down from 10 seconds. When I first read this, I thought to myself, "Wow, this nerf is pretty huge; that cuts the duration in half." Then I thought about it and realized it's not really much of a nerf at all. People usually don't stay in the Smoke Bomb for more than 5 seconds anyway. Five seconds is still much more balanced on this ability, however.
Elusiveness now reduces the cooldown of Cloak of Shadows by 10/20 seconds, down from 15/30 seconds. This was needed. Cloak of Shadows on a very short cooldown gives rogues just a little too much slipperiness. Even with the extra 10 second window, it's a very powerful talent.
Preparation no longer resets the cooldown of Evasion. Same philosophy as above -- this nerf is far more harsh, however. I'm all for giving rogues more passive survivability and nerfing their active cooldowns to make them feel more like an actual class rather than a gimmick machine, but this patch doesn't seem to give them much passive survivability in exchange for the Evasion nerf.
Purge now dispels a single effect instead of two. Shaman didn't use Purge a ton in the first place anyway, and it seems offensive dispels are being phased out to be less powerful anyway. This might be overkill.
Tremor Totem has been redesigned. The totem is now usable under Fear, Charm, or Sleep effectsand pulses much more rapidly but lasts 6 seconds and has a 1-minute cooldown. Talk about overkill. While Tremor Totem definitely needed a nerf, this is downright nasty. 10% uptime if the opponent doesn't kill it is just miserable. Moreover, it doesn't even make you immune to Fear, Charm, or Sleeps -- it just pulses more rapidly. It also has the same health as before, so a single Fel Flame or Ice Lance will take it out.
Earthquake damage has been increased by approximately 10%.
Lava Burst's damage has been increased by roughly 10%.
Elemental needs more help in the survivability department than its damage. This is probably a PvE change.
Cleansing Waters no longer fires its heal effect twice when a shaman removes a Magic and a Curse debuff with a single cast. In addition to the Tremor Totem nerf, warlocks should be very happy about this change. This is not a huge nerf (shaman can still remove a magic and curse debuff with a single cast), but removing a bit of healing is a nice change.
Earth Shield can no longer be dispelled. Necessary. Survivability buffs should be very difficult or impossible to remove.
Mana Tide Totem has been redesigned. The totem no longer multiplies the spirit of those affected by it. It instead gives a flat amount of spirit equal to 400% of the casting shaman's spirit, exclusive of short-term spirit buffs affecting the shaman when the totem is dropped. In addition, its effects are now raid-wide. From what I've been hearing, this is a giant nerf. Instead of using other people's spirit and making mana bars go sky high, shaman will now have to sacrifice the gains from this ability or stack spirit, sacrificing itemization in other areas. I guess that makes sense; occasionally we've played a restoration shaman that just can't go OOM, largely because of Mana Tide Totem.
Curse of Exhaustion now reduces movement speed by 30%, down from 50%. Its range has been increased to 40 yards, up from 30. A full 50% was just too good, particularly in rated battlegrounds. Increasing the range helps a good deal -- with the glyph a warlock should be able to exhaust an opponent from 45 yards away.
Drain Mana has been removed from the game. I talk about this at length in last week's Blood Sport. I'm less than thrilled at Drain Mana's departure.
Fel Armor has been redesigned. It now surrounds the caster with fel energy, increasing spell power and causing the warlock to be healed for 3% of any single-target spell damage he or she deals. Self-healing around the board for all classes requires some hefty nerfs. Changing Fel Armor seems to be not very well thought out, however. Warlocks who are being attacked in PvP often put up Demon Armor (which increases their healing taken by 20-30%) while rolling Corruptions for Siphon Life. Drain Life also heals for a very large amount at the moment (and you can Soulburn it).
Fel Armor is a quality of life spell that allows the warlock to not eat when out of combat more than anything. I'd rather see Siphon Life or Demon Armor get nerfed than Fel Armor.
Unstable Affliction's silence effect has been reduced to 4 seconds, down from 5. Four seconds is the perfect amount of time for Unstable Affliction's silence effect. Five is too much, 3 is too little. I was actually asked about this change from a few people in the WoW Insider war room before they reverted the 3-second change to 4. I replied that I thought 4 was perfect for it -- lo and behold, it's 4 seconds.
Charge now shares diminishing returns with stun effects. Whoa, whoa, whoa. This makes classes that depend on stuns much worse with warriors. Rogues already didn't want to bring warriors to the party, can you imagine how much less valuable they are now?
Recklessness now increases special critical strike chance by 50%, down from 100%, but lasts the full 12 seconds instead of allowing only 3 charges. I, for one, welcome our new fury warrior overlords. No, just kidding -- but honestly, 12 seconds is pretty crazy.
Juggernaut no longer increases the cooldown on Charge, but instead increases the duration of the Charge stun by 2 seconds. In addition, Charge is usable in all stances, however, the talent now causes Charge and Intercept to share a cooldown. Yet another reason many warriors are talking about going fury for PvP when the patch rolls around.
Quick summary of PvP winners in patch 4.0.6
- death knights
- discipline priests
- mages (by virtue of little to nothing being done about them)
- fury warriors
- arms warriors
- shaman, particularly restoration shaman
- feral druids
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