Happy Patch Day!

New character model and new transmog to celebrate!
New character model and new transmog to celebrate!

6.0 has finally launched and it feels like early Christmas! I’ve already sunk my teeth into the new dungeon (easy peasy) and lolled around in Crane Stance (while admiring my new character model). Mostly of it feels pretty comfortable for me since I’ve already gotten accustomed to the changes by playing Beta. Not so for everyone though. Many questions has been raised in Trade Chat about what’s happening. Most of the answers can be found in the patch notes, so why won’t we go through them?

This is a list of changes I have shamelessly copied from MMO;

  • New Character Models– Often requested, finally here!
  • Stat Changes– The stat squish is finally here. Yes, you can still solo old raids.
  • Item Changes– Reforging, Hit, Expertise, Dodge, Parry, all gone!
  • Auction House Changes– The Alliance, Horde, and Neutral auction houses have all been merged. The BMAH has moved to Draenor.
  • Currency Changes– Justice and Valor? Gone! You can still buy most items (other than Heirlooms) for gold.
  • Toy Box– The toy box is here to hold your novelty items and free up some bag space.
  • Reagent Bank– More storage space for profession reagents has been added. Most also stack up to 200 now as well.
  • Void Storage Size Increase– Another Void Storage tab has been added. Try not to fill it up in a week.
  • Guild Changes– Guild levels? Gone! Most perks? Gone!
  • Group Finder– The Raid Browser is gone and the much improved Group Finder is here.
  • Siege of Orgrimmar Changes– SoO is giving out Heirloom weapons and now uses the new Warlords raid size system.
  • Level 90 Upper Blackrock Spire– You can grab some item level 550 gear and preview this dungeon for the next month.
  • Blasted Lands Quests– The Iron Horde have invaded the Blasted Lands and have a short quest line for you.
  • New Login Screen– The Dark Portal is back in this new login screen.
  • Arena Skirmishes– Proving that persistence pays off, the ongoing request for skirmishes has been granted.
  • UI Improvements– The default UI has received several upgrades, including Raid and Battleground specific graphical settings.
  • Darker Nights– A few areas such as Redridge and and Elwynn Forest are now actually dark at night.
  • Old World Dungeon Revamps– Blackfathom Deeps, Razorfen Downs, and Razorfen Kraul have been updated.
  • Undelete Character Feature– You can now restore characters above level 50 forever.
  • Server Responsiveness Improvements– The sever now processes events much faster, which should make gameplay feel even more responsive.
  • Anti-Aliasing– MSAA had to go away to move the client technology forward, so we only have FXAA and CMAA now.
  • Addons– As always, we need your help collecting data from in game by installing the WoWDB addon. Many other addons are also already updated for Patch 6.0.2.

These are the general changes you can find in the patch notes (I suggest you read them thoroughly). While this is all well and done, I think what we’re really interested in are the Monk/Mistweaver patch notes. If you have read my previous post about the subject, you’re up to speed. But it can be nice to dig into the nitty gritty of patch notes and discover all the nuances. By the way, have you noticed that your statue’s soothing mist doesn’t lock to target anymore? Happy days! Now here are the notes which I also shamelessly copied from WOW EU;


Monk

The brand-new class for Mists of Pandaria, Monks, turned out to be a ton of fun. Brewmasters stayed fairly solid all expansion long. Windwalkers needed a few tweaks here and there, especially to their Mastery, and still have a few shortcomings that we hope to improve, but overall worked quite well. Mistweavers had a bit of a rollercoaster ride, veering between weak and strong over the course of the expansion. Most of our changes to Monks will focus on Mistweavers, to try to get them just right.

Ability Pruning

See the Ability Pruning section above for discussion of why we’re pruning class abilities. For Monks, the pruning focused on niche abilities. One removal of note is that of Healing Sphere. The active ability to place a Healing Sphere was particularly awkward to use, but overpowered if used perfectly. So we removed it, and replaced it with Healing Surge for Windwalkers and Brewmasters.

  • Avert Harm has been removed.
  • Clash has been removed.
  • Dematerialize has been removed.
  • Power Guard has been removed.
  • Sparring has been removed.
  • Spinning Fire Blossom has been removed.
  • Stance of the Sturdy Ox now replaces Stance of the Fierce Tiger for Brewmaster Monks.
  • Stance of the Spirited Crane now replaces Stance of the Fierce Tiger for Mistweaver Monks.
  • Swift Reflexes has been removed.
  • Zen Meditation is no longer available to Mistweaver Monks.
  • Healing Sphere has been removed. Abilities that can summon Healing Spheres, Mastery: Gift of the Serpent (Mistweavers), Gift of the Ox (Brewmasters), and Afterlife (Windwalkers) can still summon Healing Spheres.
    • Surging Mist is now available to all Monk specializations. It costs 30 Energy in Ox or Tiger Stance, and continues to cost mana in Serpent Stance and Crane Stance. However, it only generates Chi for Mistweaver Monks.

Ability Consolidation and Refinement

Monk ability consolidation is fairly straightforward. It includes merging of some passive abilities, and removing unneeded abilities that didn’t create the gameplay depth they had been intended to.

  • Teachings of the Monastery has been removed. Its effects modifying Spinning Crane Kick has been incorporated into Stance of the Wise Serpent.
  • Brewmaster Training has been removed. Its effects have been incorporated into Stance of the Sturdy Ox.
  • Desperate Measures has been removed. Its effects have been incorporated into Stance of the Sturdy Ox.
  • Combo Breaker has been removed. Its effects have been incorporated into Stance of the Fierce Tiger.
  • Combat Conditioning has been removed. Its effects have been incorporated into Stance of the Fierce Tiger.
  • Fortifying Brew now lasts 15 seconds (down from 20 seconds).
  • Power Strikes now triggers every 15 seconds (up from every 20 seconds), and also triggers from Surging Mist (for Mistweavers only), but no longer triggers from Crackling Jade Lightning.
  • Resuscitate’s mana cost has been reduced by 80%.
  • Spinning Crane Kick now always generates 1 Chi, and no longer reduces movement speed.
  • Paralysis now always lasts 60 seconds against creatures, regardless of facing.
  • Disable is now available only to Windwalker Monks.
  • Uplift now follows standard area-of-effect capping rules, diminishing in effectiveness beyond 6 targets.
  • Zen Meditation is no longer available to Mistweaver Monks, and no longer redirects harmful spells cast against party and raid members.
  • Zen Sphere no longer has a target limit.

Mistweaver Changes

About midway through the expansion, it became clear that mana was not valuable for Mistweavers. We tried some adjustments to solve that, but it proved too large of a change to make at the time. We chose to just live with that problem for the time being, and tune them around not really caring much about Spirit or mana (once they reached epic gear).

Now that we have the time to tweak things for Mistweavers to acquire new gear, we’re making changes to get them in the right spot. Initially, we experimented with giving Mistwavers a 1-second global cooldown (GCD) akin to that of the Rogue to give them a faster combat feel. However, it’s proven difficult to balance. Haste is attractive to healers because it lowers not just cast time but GCD as well. Therefore, Monks valued Haste much less than other healers. We explored a few options, but ultimately landed on changing the core GCD for Mistweavers from 1 second to the standard 1.5 seconds, which you will be able to reduce with Haste. This will feel jarring at first, but we’re confident that it’s for the best, long-term.

  • All abilities available to Mistweavers now have a 1.5-second global cooldown (up from 1 second).
    • Stance of the Fierce Tiger now reduces the global cooldown of the Mistweaver Monk’s abilities by 0.5 seconds.
    • Stance of the Sturdy Ox now reduces the global cooldown of the Mistweaver Monk’s abilities by 0.5 seconds.
  • Focus and Harmony is a new passive ability for Mistweaver Monks, causing Haste to reduce the global cooldown, and causes Attack Power to be equal to 100% of Spell Power.
    • Stance of the Wise Serpent no longer provides this Spell Power to Attack Power conversion.
  • Crackling Jade Lightning’s throughput has been increased by 100%, but it no longer generates Chi for Mistweaver Monks. Additionally, it is free in Stance of the Wise Serpent.
  • Chi Brew now grants 1 charge of Mana Tea (down from 2 charges).
  • Ascension now increases maximum Mana by 20% (up from 15%).
  • Detonate Chi is a new spell available to Mistweaver Monks, instantly detonating all Healing Spheres, and causing each of them to heal a nearby ally within 12 yards of the sphere with a 15-second cooldown.
  • Healing Spheres now heal an ally within 12 yards (up from 6 yards) for 100% (up from 50%) of their normal healing, when they expire.
  • Gift of the Serpent chance to trigger has increased significantly for various Mistweaver spells, conferring a larger percentage of the maximum value.
  • Renewing Mist now jumps to the most injured target in range.
  • Soothing Mist‘s healing has been increased by 100%, its GCD has been reduced to 0.5 seconds, but no longer heals immediately, and no longer generates Chi.
  • Stance of the Wise Serpent no longer increases Haste from items by 50%.
  • Summon Jade Serpent Statue now has a 10-second cooldown (down from 30 seconds).
  • Thunder Focus Tea no longer costs Chi, causes the next Renewing Mist to jump up to 4 times (instead of causing the next Uplift to refresh the duration of Renewing Mists on all targets). Its effect on Surging Mist remains unchanged.
  • Jade Mist is a new passive ability for Mistweaver Monks, causing them to gain 5% more of the Multistrike stat from all sources, and also causes Renewing Mist and Rising Sun Kick to have a chance equal to Multistrike chance to not go on cooldown when used. This effect cannot trigger on the next Renewing Mist or Rising Sun Kick.

Another issue with Mistweavers is that of Eminence, which has never really played out how we had hoped. The intent with Eminence was to create an alternate play style to fulfill the fantasy of healing through dealing damage, since we knew a lot of players had that fantasy, and a new class was the perfect opportunity to satisfy that.

Having two play styles in one spec (Eminence, and traditional Mistweaving, healing primarily through casting heals) proved challenging to balance, because we don’t want players to take the best parts of both and stack them into an unintended superior spec. The most notorious of these cases was “Jab-Jab-Uplift”. In order to solve this problem, we’re giving Mistweavers two stances. Stance of the Wise Serpent will continue to be the stance from which to do traditional Mistweaving. The new Stance of the Spirited Crane will be the stance to use for Eminence. You can swap stances at will, with only the cost of a GCD and any current Chi that you’ve accrued. The intention is that Crane Stance allows Mistweavers to trade healing for damage; it should fall somewhere in the middle between being a full healer, and being a full damage dealer.

  • Stance of the Spirited Crane is a new ability for Mistweaver Monks, which replaces Stance of the Fierce Tiger, and provides the following effects.
    Chi-Chi approves!
    Chi-Chi approves!
    • The Monk gains Eminence, causing all damage dealt to also heal nearby allies.
      • Eminence now causes a nearby target to be healed for 50% of all damage caused by the Monk and includes auto attacks.
      • Stance of the Wise Serpent no longer provides this benefit.
    • Crackling Jade Lightning channels 150% faster, generates 1 Chi each time it deals damage, but costs 300% more mana.
    • Blackout Kicks grants Crane’s Zeal, increasing Critical Strike chance by 20% for 20 seconds.
    • Blackout Kick causes Eminence to heal 5 allies instead of 1, but heals for only 20% of damage dealt instead of 35%.
    • The Monk gains a stack of Vital Mists for every Chi consumed. Vital Mists reduces the cast time and Mana cost of the next Surging Mist by 20% per stack up to a maximum of 5 stacks.
    • Muscle Memory has been removed.
    • Serpent’s Zeal has been removed.
    • Vital Mists has been removed.
  • Rising Sun Kick is now available to Mistweaver and Windwalker Monks. However, it does not cause Mortal Wounds for Mistweavers.
    • Stance of the Fierce Tiger now causes Rising Sun Kick to cause Mortal Wounds, instead of it causing Mortal Wounds naturally.
  • The following abilities now require Stance of the Wise Serpent for Mistweavers:
    • Enveloping Mist, Renewing Mist, Soothing Mist, Uplift
  • The following abilities now require Stance of the Spirited Crane for Mistweavers:
    • Blackout Kick, Jab, Rising Sun Kick, Tiger Palm

Healing Spheres

Healing Spheres have been improved. You’ll no longer waste them when running over multiples at once when you only need a little healing. We significantly improved the Mistweavers’ Healing Spheres effect when they expire. We also made Afterlife’s Healing Spheres consistent with the rest of the class.

  • When a player runs through multiple Healing Spheres at once, only as many as needed to heal the player to full health will be consumed (instead of all of them if the player is injured at all).
  • Healing Spheres summoned by Mastery: Gift of the Serpent (Mistweaver) now heal an injured ally within 12 yards (up from 6 yards) for 100% (up from 50%) of their normal effect when they expire, and scales with Spell Power instead of Attack Power.
  • Healing Spheres summoned by Afterlife (Windwalkers) now heals for the same amount as other Healing Spheres (instead of healing for 15% of maximum health).
  • Healing Spheres generated from Gift of the Ox now heals the Monk if they are within 6 yards of the sphere when it expires.

Shared Ability Changes

There were several changes that affected multiple Monk specializations. We’d like to see Monks using Transcendence more often, so its usability has been improved (some baseline, and some in a Draenor Perk). For Touch of Death, we like that it’s a unique execute being usable only once, but found it impractical to use on bosses and have improved its usability. For Tiger Strikes, we buffed it to grant Multistrike ability which it was similar to already, and extended it to work with all Monk specializations. To better balance the damage of Brewmaster versus Windwalker where both share many of the same abilities, we removed the damage increase provided by Tiger Stance, and increased the damage of melee abilities to compensate.

  • Chi Brew now has a 60 second recharge time (up from 45 seconds).
  • Stance of the Fierce Tiger now also includes the benefits of Combo Breaker and Combat Conditioning, and is replaced by another stance for Brewmaster and Mistweaver Monks.
    • Brewmaster: Stance of the Sturdy Ox replaces Stance of the Fierce Tiger.
    • Mistweaver: Stance of the Spirited Crane replaces Stance of the Fierce Tiger.
  • Tiger Strikes is now available to all Monk specializations, and has a chance to trigger on successful auto attacks and their Multistrikes. It has a 10% chance to trigger while using a two-handed weapon, and a 5% chance to trigger while dual wielding.
    • When triggered, Tiger Strikes now grants a 25% increase to Multistrike for 8 seconds instead of a 50% increase to attack speed and double attacks for 4 attacks.
  • Touch of Death is no longer available to Mistweaver Monks, and is usable on targets that have 10% or less health remaining, or have less current health than your maximum health. The rules against players remain unchanged.
  • Transcendence: Transfer no longer has an energy or mana cost.

Some we already knew and some looks a bit weird. Touch of death no longer available to MWs? Think we missed the memo, because it is very available to us on both live and beta. It also says something about Ox Stance and Tiger Stance that aren’t available to us, so I don’t know. I think the patch notes need some editing!

But anywho, I hope you’re all out there having fun on your Mistweavers! I sure am!

Cheers!

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