So as promised, here is my commentary to the patch notes. Like I said earlier, I can only comment on what I play. I play a Bahmi 33 Paladin/ 18 Reaver / 15 Warlord tank build. It is pretty much the tank build I always wanted from other games. Combination of survival, self healing, and movement, the only big thing it is missing is a bunch of “oh crap” buttons. However it feels the way I have always wanted my tank characters to feel, so I am extremely happy. I will more than likely have 3 total tank builds, but this one will always be the showcase.
* Balance of Power: Now deals 25-75% of weapon damage.
Honestly that one little line, that looks so innocuous in the notes, adds up to a massive nerf in paladin survival. Let me explain why this matters, since it doesn’t seem that big of a deal. Balance of Power currently in game, deals 120-160% weapon damage to a target anytime you successfully block. This itself does generate a ton of threat of the Paladin which is nice, and does a good job at holding aggro on casters that have yet to be pulled into the group.
Were a loss of damage the only thing, it would not be that big of a deal. Balance of Power however feeds the talent above it, Tip the Balance which when maxed gives back the paladin 100% of this damage as healing. So for 5 talent points, the paladin effectively received 160% weapon damage in healing each time they block. This currently represents the bulk of our self healing and at least in part feels like a good chunk of our survivability.
Currently in my gear, even though a good chunk of it is sub-tier1 my survival is good enough that while doing non-dungeon content I will be just fine. However this will probably make leveling a paladin considerably harder, or at least more touch and go in those heavy spawn areas. I am hoping that this gets dialed back a wee bit before going live, because cutting our self healing in half seems a bit extreme.
* Soul Sickness, Flesh Rot, Necrotic Wounds, Blood Fever: The damage on additional targets when using Plague Bringer has been lowered. The Threat generation has been increased to keep overall threat gain of the abilities the same.
* Grisly Works: Moves up two tiers, now unlocked at 26 points. Now increases the healing of Soul Feast by 30-90% for 15 seconds after killing a target the Reaver has engaged.
Adding insult to injury, my survival will be going down even more since my two means of getting healing from the Reaver tree are both getting nerfed as well. Soul Sickness has always felt like the only time I made a significant difference in my survival was when Plague Bringer was active. With the damage to additional targets being lowered it also means the healing you receive from the talents that use it, will even be less than it was.
The big nerf here however is to Grisly Works. The entire reason why I went 18 deep into reaver tree was to get 3 points here. How it works currently, is that anytime a mob that you have damaged dies you receive 9% of your health in healing. I cannot count the number of times while leveling this saved my bacon, and when doing large packs of mobs it really helps increase your survival. However with the change, it feels like Grisly works is completely useless.
Currently I pop Soul Feast almost anytime it is available to try and keep a ticking hot on me at all times, but with this change it feels like you would need to save Soul Feast until a mob dies to gain the maximum benefit, leaving you without any added healing the majority of the fight. Like with the paladin changes, for day to day non-dungeon interactions this probably wont effect me personally much, but it feels like this is another general purpose nerf to survival for another of the 4 warrior tanking trees.
* Pure-Endurance ‘Of the Fortress’ items will no longer drop above level 13.
* Going forward, randomly generated two-handed weapons will come with DPS stats rather than tanking stats.
Those are without a doubt my two favorite patch notes. Even as a tank… Of The Fortress gear is horrible. Every single cairn and puzzle I have looted, has produced… you guessed it… Of The Fortress gear. I kinda regret going ahead and doing the level 50 puzzles, but can’t take things back. I just know that I will be waiting until Wednesday before I do anymore on my alts.
* Rift events no longer track player contribution against other players. You are checked for participation in the event and given rewards appropriately. It’s still important to participate in as many stages of a Rift or event as possible to receive the best rewards.
I really hope this will also address the way that epic shards are handed out as well. Currently, as my friend has figured out, the only way to receive an epic shard reliably is to participate in a major invasion, aka the ones that have objectives that are different from closing rifts and defeating invasions. Problem is that those of us who are level 50 have likely not seen a major invasion since leaving Stonefield/Gloamwood.
This means for 25 levels at least we have not had access to some of the better items available in our level ranges. This same issue will start effecting Freemarch and Silverwood sooner or later as the crop of players rolling alts slows down. So while the contribution system was greatly skewed towards a scant few classes, I do hope they address the way the harder to get shards are awarded.
Big Take Away
* Increased the amount of Plaques of Achievement needed to purchase first and second-tier Expert Dungeon items.
No idea what the increase will be, but this means at the least it will be harder to get those items you have been wanting. I know personally I just started running experts so I only have about 20 plauqes, but with these changes impending it means two things. Firstly run as many experts as you possibly can to get those last few pieces of gear, and secondly make sure you buy the items you want as soon as possible. I know in my guild we have already talked about a weekend of back to back expert dungeon runs to try and gear out as many folks as possible before the change goes in place.