3.0.2: Initial Impressions

16 10 2008

  I was up pretty late into the night messing with everything that got scrambled on me; everyone has been re-talented but the lowbie Warriors presently. Unfortunately, i haven’t had much time to field-test, as that goofy new profession has taken up a lot of my time. Still, here’s what I’ve seen so far:

  Ribeye – Covered most of this yesterday. Rocket Cat is awesome fun for soloing, though. I bet it would have been a hoot for levelling a 30-something Druid. I love that I got another HoT from Herbing – essentially, a second, separate variant of Frenzied Regeneration for the tight spots. Nice that the 30% cat speed bonus is indoor now, too.

  Manchego – boy oh boy, did she score. Pre – patch, I was healing with a few DPS pieces, the Netherstrike chest and Hurricane Boots (and, at times, the Netherstrike Belt as well). I did this because they were obtainable and efficient pieces for me to use… and (short of 100 / 60 Badges, or Mags / Lurker, respectively) there wasn’t a lot else available for either slot. Yes, I know Netherspite drops a Shammy chest. We *never* do Spite, though. Anyhow, after re-tooling my talents, and with the resultant changes to gear from the Spellpower switch, she’s got some moxie now! I had to log onto Ribby and equip his Healing gear (which I already knew to be at 1960 pre-patch) for a frame of reference, and discovered that she’s right there with him. I was a bit disappointed to learn that the previously mentioned Shaman Glyphs that I was coveting – Chain Heal and Healing Wave – aren’t immediately available, but they will be in time, I’m sure. Overall impression, Resto Shaman 3.0.2 is serious business.

  Eltoro – Happy to see the RAP result and Crit % with a nearly full-survival build. From the looks of it, I’m not compromising much of my soloing ability at all to go this route, and DPS would appear to be quite manageable still. I think that I’ll miss the old “Readiness” skill, whereby I could reset all of my timers for Feign Death and Freezing Trap in a pinch – but it’s encouraging to see that I can function in a Raid support role with the Mana battery effect, but still contribute good DPS numbers. Really fun to fill out a pet tree for Chompy, too. I still need to venture out and tame some new beasties; I think that the aforementioned Corehound and Devilsaur are on my (and everyone else’s) short list, likely a Gorilla as well. Skinning bonus to critical strike is a welcome addition.

  Hiltzaile – tested briefly in some world PvP at Thunder Bluff today, but (as I’m teh suck at PvP), this wasn’t necessarily the best indicator. I get all panicky in PvP and forget about the level headed decisions that I make in PvE, so I didn’t even tap Killing Spree. What *was* nice to see was that the guards in town aren’t such pushovers anymore, as a full-blown Ally raid was repulsed and wiped before they even got to engage Cairne. I don’t know that the bosses are very doable anyhow at this point if they’re being considered as level 83, as nobody has enough +hit to legitimately handle them from a DPS standpoint, much less the rest of it. Happy to see Cairne standing tall for once, though!

  Bubba – The more I look at it, the more I’m comfortble with the 18/43/0 build that I put in place for him. Again, it doesn’t feel like much new happened… but it’s not a big deal as he’s fairly well down my list of alts anyhow. Haven’t had a chance to review his Jewelcrafting recipes to see what effect the consolidation has had on him, but I’m sure that the dynamic has changed a lot.

  Noobz – Wound up with a 9/0/52 Destro build. I may have to go back and readjust it slightly to my liking, but there are things to like here. Specifically, the part that was most welcome to me wasn’t the change in spec or abilities, but gear. The Frozen Shadoweave set no longer giveth and taketh away like it used to, when spell damage to 2 schools (one completely useless to whomever was wearing it) got buffed heavily, and the others not at all. I did her spec before I noticed this change, so I went lighter on Fire related talents… but the long and short of it now is that FSW is a flat + Spellpower boost, with the set modifier for health return being tied into only frost / shadow schools. Pretty excited about the Shadowbolt Glyph here, too (until something better comes along).

  Euskogudari – I love the fact that itemization got easier here. Damage mitigation seems only slightly improved, but mana return – WOW. Tanking with Seal of Wisdom now is hilarious. The mana numbers keep spinning up like a slot machine payout, it’s awesome. I used to venture out with three stacks of water and two of food. Something tells me, that’s about to go down to 1 and 2. Given that you can now judge it for some health return, and then tank with the seal up (2 minutes, lol) for mana return too? It borders upon fantastic. I’m also happy that Avenger’s Shield can be cast on the run as well, hooray for easier pulling when trying to gather 4 or 5 mobs up and draw them in for the consecrate! I’m positively thrilled to see that Stamina = Spellpower (fractionally, at least). No more concerns about threat, though you can load the snot out of it with the instant shield + mana return mechanics. Additionally, with the changes to pushback, it’s now entirely possible to run Consecrate, Holy Shield, Seal of Wisdom and tank away, and intersperse liberally with Holy Light to self-heal once a sufficient threat lead is built. In fact, given the mana regen mechanics and the spellpower -> healing conversion, I think that I’ll be able to stand in an AWFUL long time against quest elites while the wife’s Mage blows ’em down. When the expansion finally DOES arrive, it appears that the future of Protection Paladins is very bright indeed.

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