Thursday, December 18, 2008

Librams for the Purpose of DeePeeEss.

With the start of the new PvP Season, number 5 for those counting in the back, we've finally got to the stage where making gear suggestions isn't likely to have me labelled with fair accusations of 'but it's not out yet'. Indeed it's a good idea I didn't post this last week, as I would have been wrong in a couple of small but crucial ways.

Librams

Okay, to Retribution Librams. There really isn't a lot to choose from in this slot, in keeping with the tradition of weakness in the Relic slot for all Hybrids. There are 5 you will have to choose between in PvE/P:

1) Venture Co. Libram of Retribution


73 Crit rating is ~1.6% Crit at 80, and the Libram optimally has an uptime of 80%. On the flip side Divine Storm is fairly low down in priority within the Ret DPS rotation. It's a fairly strong minimum for Heroic and Raid Librams. You can get one for 30 Venture Coins from Venture Bay, but if you're reading this you probably already have one ;).

Update: This Libram is due to change in 3.1. It will instead increase Divine Storm damage by 81, a substancial nerf. Keep a hold of those Furious Blow Libram's ladies and gents!

2) Libram of Reciprocation [Goes Live in new form with 3.0.8]


Currently this Libram has been significantly buffed on the PTR, providing Crit Rating rather than (*nnnrrrr*) Haste Rating. This Libram will provide a boat-load of Crit rating (~3.8%) from Judgement, your highest priority attack. Unfortunately the buff is predicated upon using Seal of Command, your second best DPS Seal for PvE. Furthermore, did you notice the 'chance to proc' clause? Well, WoWhead lists that chance as 15%, which is certainly less than stellar. The math indicates that this Libram, even if you are using SoC exclusively, is inferior to Venture Co.

As things stand, even with the change from Haste to Crit, without an improvement in proc rate this Libram is the least useful of those available from 70+. If you want one, perhaps for PvP, you can buy them for 15 Emblem of Heroism from the Relic Vendor's in Dalaran.

3) Libram of Radiance


Libram of Radiance adds 115.5 damage, before modifiers, to your Crusader Strike ability. This is 19.25 DPS before modifiers, a not inconsiderable amount. The Math is somewhat complicated, but it's generally accepted that this Libram is better for PvE than the Venture Co. Libram of Retribution, though this of course will depend upon your overall gear level. As far as PvP goes it's an interesting proposition, with no buff to dispel and a significant boost to your second (IIRC) most damaging attack it may see a place in the Arena at moderate Rating brackets.

The Libram of Radiance is available as a zone drop from Naxx-25.

Update: In 3.1 this Libram will be available for 25 Emblems of Valor.

4) [Assumed to be active with 3.0.8] Savage Gladiator's Libram of Fortitude.


Now we're getting somewhere. This Libram's proc has a 100% chance so long as Crusader Strike connects, and affects all your attacks. Though 94 AP may not seem like much it certainly adds up, especially given that CS is your second highest priority attack. It's nip and tuck, but this Libram is probably better than the Libram of Radiance for PvE, which is kinda sad when you think about it.

The Savage Gladiator's Libram of Fortitude is available from the Lake Wintersgrasp Vendor for the price of ~6K Honour and 175 Arena Points, so you will need to participate in the Arena to get this item. Note that this item isn't currently Live, but for now it is assumed that it will become active with the release of 3.0.8 some time in the New Year.

UPDATE [3.0.8]: This Libram was not included in the latest Live build, and hence is not in the game at this time.

5) Hateful Gladiator's Libram of Fortitude. There is no Hateful Gladiator's Libram of Fortitude.

5a) Deadly Gladiator's Libram of Fortitude.


If you can get to 2030 Arena Rating, this Libram is by far the best Libram for PvE. A 120 AP Proc beats the heck out of any of the Libram's from other sources. As usual, the down-side is definitely the rating requirements - the vast majority of Ret Paladin will come nowhere near being able to buy it.

The Deadly Gladiator's Libram of Fortitude is available from the Veteran Arena Vendor for the low, low price of 1200 Arena Points.

Update: In Season 6 this Libram will require 1350 Arena Rating. Depending on how Arena Rating calculations change this may be a very achievable way to get the best PvE option.

--

So there you have it. Unfortunately it's yet more evidence that Relics in general need some real love from the itemisation team while the ranged weapon slot continues to out-strip them in stats, relative value and range available at the top end. I still like my idea of allowing Librams to imprint a Glyph, but with the current state of affairs in Glyphs it would be of diminishing value to have a major glyph slot beyond the third.

Order of Value for PvE:

1st) Deadly Gladiator's Libram of Fortitude - Requires 1200 Arena Points and 2030 Rating.
2nd) Savage Gladiator's Libram of Fortitude - not implemented in 3.0.8.
3rd) Libram of Radiance - Zone Drop from Heroic Naxx (25-man Raid).
4th) Venture Co. Libram of Retribution - Get one at lvl74 for 30 Venture Coins. Well worth the investment.
5th) Libram of Reciprocation - 15 Emblem of Heroism. Even buffed to Crit Rating in 3.0.8, this is by far the lowest value Libram. Of more potential value in PvP, YMMV.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Judgement Bug Fix; Season 5 Begins.

ADDED:

Ghostcrawler posted a little while ago to say that the hotfix has been implemented. I understand that the US realms have been down for some time so it may not be possible to test it just yet, but report your feedback in the same thread.

--

Just a quickie.

Following some sterling work by testers in this thread it seems that the cause of the Judgement bug (a Judgement failure - mana cost and cooldown triggered but no damage, debuff or 'miss' notification) was narrowed down. It was previously thought that a non-crit Judgement following a critical Judgement was causing the problem, but the following reproducible method was generated which indicated another cause:

I believe I have pinpointed the issue!

I was correct in my thinking that when a debuff wears off while judgement is up it will become bugged out. This happens when ANY debuff from ANYONE wears off when you have a judgement on the target.

Here is what I think is happening:
Target has X debuffs on it
You use Judgement of Wisdom, which is now debuff position [X+1]
Target loses 1 debuff, moving Judgement of Wisdom to position X
You use Judgement of Wisdom, which tries to refresh buff [X+1]
Debuff [X+1] is not Judgement of Wisdom, Judgement of Wisdom fails

It seems like its a simple pointer error. Hope that helps!

Edit:
I failed to mention that this in fact DOES include other players debuffs. Like a warlocks haunt could fall off of the boss and suddenly all the judgements cant be refreshed. I hope this gets fixed soon!

Also, This has NOTHING to do with if judgement crits or not. I've tried having a target lose 2 debuffs and then use HoJ then Judgement of Command, and it still failed.

(Source - Ralcour of Maelstrom US)


GC posted

Okay, we think we have been able to isolate this bug and put in a fix that prevents Judgements from failing any longer. Assuming a little more testing supports this conclusion we plan on hotfixing this.

Sorry you had to endure it for so long. :(


Fingers crossed for a hotfix soon, and if anecdotal evidence is anything to go by this should be a rather large fillip to our DPS and mana efficiency. Thanks GC :D

In other news, Season 5 is due to start tomorrow in the US (possibly Wednesday, or later, in the EU). Check out this great post by Tom at Blessing of Might for the skinny on obtaining Honour and Arena Tier gear for PvP. In addition, this post by Blue Bornakk provides a more general overview of how to obtain PvP gear, and also notes the quality of off-set gear (rings, amulets etc.) and that they will be available with Honour and a minimum rating requirement.

Good luck with your PvP!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Updated III: Paladin PTR Patch 3.0.8 Notes.

Update 3: Item updates on the latest PTR build.

Glyph

* Glyph of Flash of Light - Your Flash of Light has an additional 5% critical strike chance. (Old - Your Flash of Light heals for 50% less initially, but also heals for 140% of its inital effect over 12 sec.)
* Glyph of Holy Light - Your Holy Light grants 10% of its heal amount to up to 5 friendly targets within 20 yards of the initial target. (Up from 10 Yards)
* Glyph of Hammer of Wrath - Reduces the cost of Hammer of Wrath by 100%. (Old - Increases the range on Hammer of Wrath by 5 yards.)


Items

* Libram of Reciprocation now gives Your Judgement of Command spell a chance to grant 173 critical strike rating for 10 sec. (Old - Haste Rating)


The value of the new Libram of Reciprocation vs the PvP Librams (which grant an AP buff via Crusader Strike) is very much dependant on Proc rate. It is definitely not the pure suck it was, however it seems a little bizarre for a ostensibly PvP Libram to be provided by Heroic/10-man PvE tokens and yet no decent PvE Libram can be obtained from the same source.

The Glyph changes are all awesomsauce, though how long the HoW one remains in the game remains to be seen.

--

Update 2: New Patch Notes on the official site (more up to date than the ones that came with the PTR download, but don't feature all of the datamined information below). The new taunt spell is in these patch notes but MMO-Champion hasn't logged it yet.

Hand of Judgement renamed Hand of Reckoning and is available at level 16 from the trainer. [Much better name, those I'm not sure that the 'Hand' label really fits].

Update: Datamined changes from MMO-champion included.

The latest PTR patch notes are now posted on MMO-champion. The patch designation is 3.0.8 (no, I don't have any clue why it has this numbering). The changes are pretty much as expected for Paladins:

Paladin Notes:

Skills
Protection

* Divine Protection The penalty has been removed.
* Divine Shield The penalty has been changed so that all damage done is reduced by 50% in place of an attack speed penalty.
* Hand of Protection now Cannot be targeted on players who have used Avenging Wrath within the last 30 sec sec.
* Avenging Wrath now Cannot be used within 30 sec sec. of being the target of Divine Shield, Divine Protection, or Hand of Protection.
* Hand of Reckoning(NEW): Available on trainers at level 16. It’s a 30 yard range taunt that causes Holy damage.


Retribution

* Judgement of Wisdom now give each attack a chance to restore 2% of the attacker's base mana. (Old - 1% of the attacker's maximum mana)
* Judgement of Light now also procs from ranged attacks.
* Seal of Blood now deals 27% of normal weapon damage. (up from 22%)
* Seal of the Martyr now deals 27% of normal weapon damage. (up from 22%)


The Seal of Blood/Martyr changes are both tooltip clarifications. The 22% value never made it to Live; it has been 27% since 3.0.1 hit the servers.

Talents
Retribution

* Seal of Command now Gives the Paladin a chance to deal {0.45*Min Weap Damage+0.45*0.23*SpellPower} to {0.45*Max Weap Damage+0.45*0.23*SpellPower} additional Holy damage. (Old - Didn't scale with Spell Power)
* Vengeance now stacks up to 5 times. (Up from 3)
[I don't normally make retroactive changes to these sorts of posts, but as this is such a big change I guess it's warranted. Vengeance, as of PTR build 9464, once again only sstacks 3 times.]

There is some doubt over whether the SoC change is tooltip or a real change. Smart money is on it being a tooltip change. As the Vengeance change is undocumented you should be aware that it may be 'un-buffed' at any time. Hopefully this won't be the case, but it is a PTR after all.

Holy

* Judgements of the Pure now Increases the damage done by your Seal and Judgement spells by 5/10/15/20/25%, and your Judgement spells increase your casting and melee haste by 3/6/9/12/15% for 1 min.

Protection

* Sacred Duty no longer reduces the attack speed penalty on Divine Shield and Divine Protection. Rank 2 now increases total stamina by 8%. (Up from 6%)


--

* Glyph of Holy Light now affects friendly targets in a radius of 10 20 yards (previously 5 yards, see top).

(Source)


Curiously there is no mention of the new ranged taunt spell, Hand of Judgement, nor of bug fixes to Judgement. The latter tallies with them not knowing just what is causing the bug... I have my suspicions.

Large boost to Vengeance, allowing it to go up to 15% again (though stacking x5 rather than x3). I'm not sure if the Seals are tooltip clarifications to current values or genuine buffs (most believe it is the former), but I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. Either way it's a good change, and they'll be some frantic calculations going on to re-weigh the pro's and cons of SoC and SoB wrt the Spell Damage.

Still no news on whether or not Forbearance remains in the game. As I mentioned before it seems rather hamfisted to keep it in with the new mutual lock-out, but you never can tell.

The change to Glyph of Holy Light *may* be nice. Even an increase to 10 yrds would be of huge significance.

There may well be features in the Build being deployed to the PTR than are listed in the patch notes, so keep your eyes open for further undocumented changes.

Friday, December 05, 2008

*Attempts to cast Resurrection on Freezer*

In random real-life news, my freezer just died after being on what appears, in retrospect, to have been its last legs for the past week. According to the engineer getting replacement parts for one 10 years old would cost far more than a totally new one, which in today's increasingly disposable society I can readily believe.

It's not the ideal time, but it could be worse. It could have been during mid-summer, or a couple of weeks from now, but it's going to be around 3-4 days before anything starts to go off and there's plenty of time before the pre-Christmas madness.

So, why is this topical for a WoW-Blog? Well, it's my WoW-Blog for a start, but it also means that I'll probably have to continue to defer my purchase of Wrath for a bit. Because I'll be very much out of the loop with regards to WoW and my own experiences becoming continually less relevant I'm considering stopping blogging, for a little while at least.

I've got one more post on Libram's and Meta Gems due at some point this weekend, but don't be too surprised if you don't see much in this space after that ;).

Anyway, this post if a bit of a downer, so here is a cool astronomy link:

Smiley Face in the Sky.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Haste and Ret.

Like: Haste provided by a group buff. Free for everyone... who cares if someone gets more benefit than someone else?

Example: Swift Retribution.



Don't Like: Haste on Tier Gear. Autoattack is a significantly lower proportion of DPS with Wrath mechanics than at any time during TBC and so Haste is awful.

Example: Paladin Tier 7-10 and 7-25.



Haste - Just Say NO!

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