My girlfriend wanted to watch the Laker game at a friend's house last night, so instead of Arenas, that is what we did. I am pleased that this was the call. For one, Guntir is nearing the end of his masters semester and has a lot of work on his plate; for two, there are tons and tons of bugs in the game that made it to live! Time to list some of the more fun ones (UPDATED):

1) DK Runes were not going on cooldown (SPAM THAT NS FTW)
2) Omen of Clarity (Druid) sometimes isn't consumed (hilarious; I'm hearing Ferals doing something like 7-8 Shreds before OoC falls off, then they have a full energy bar)
3) Warriors had an error with CS where they would get HUGE multipliers against low armor targets (screen shots of 200k MS crits, etc).
4) DKs can use their newly created Battle Rez in the arenas.
5) Cycloning someone in the arenas sometimes teleports them to the nearest graveyard to where they queued.
6) MMR is different per person now and shifts wildly from one win/loss to the next.
7) Wins and losses don't always result in Conquest Points or rating change.
8) Warlocks have no push-back protection (which I find myself caring very little about because...)
9) Warlocks can get Shadow Bite (Felhunter) to HIT for ~25k.
10) PvP gear is "refundable" in the sense that if you hit "Yes, I'd like to refund this item" it will take the item from you and not give you any Conquest/Honor back.
11) Resilience might not be working *NOTE* I haven't tested this, but people with 3800 resilience are showing MS crits doing ~50k in arenas, which seems high.
12) Guntir tells me that Lifegrip will work on a Cycloned target even though it claims to fail and the target says "immune".

I will continue adding to this list as I find stuff.

These sorts of things should really be pruned out before hitting live, but what are you going to do? Anyway, they hotfixed numbers one and three, but the Omen of Clarity bug seems to still be happening for people. To be honest, I have not logged on for 4.1 yet because I figured I would end up training Stampeding Roar and the devs would immediately hotnerf the Feral Swiftness change to only be Dash (paranoid much!?). I plan to hop on today and take a look around and maybe do some BGs or something since Guntir will be indisposed with schoolwork.

Another change that Blizzard finally announced that really chaps my ass (although maybe not... more on this later) is the following:

In patch 4.1 the amount of Conquest earned for both Arenas and Rated Battlegrounds has been changed to a flat amount regardless of team rating, to 135 and 335 respectively. This change should of course have been in the patch 4.1 notes, but due to a fairly straight forward error, was not included.

The current reward now in 4.1 for winning an Arena match is 135 Conquest Points, and for Rated Battlegrounds it's 335 Conquest Points. We're currently evaluating these amounts as we believe they are potentially lower than they need to be, and we'll of course let you know if they need to be changed.

So, my Conquest cap is something around 2700 Conquest Points per week. If my maths are right, and they usually are, that means that to hit the cap, I will need 20 wins. What the hell Blizz... 20 wins? Even if I manage a 2:1 ratio that is going to be 30 games for the point-cap on one toon. Bah... and our bad weeks end up going 1:1 which would mean around 40 games per toon. This MAY force us to start running only Feral+Disc again and leave that Shammy by the wayside for a while; presumably, we would leave him where he is at until they change the amount of points generated per win to something a little bit higher.

The one thing I like about this is that Blizzard is actually forcing me to play more arenas, which is somewhat odd but not all that unwelcome. I actually enjoy playing Feral+Disc quite a bit because at the very least those matches never go to the stalemate; we either win rather quickly or we lose rather quickly. This may all be something in the past given that we are going to try out the Evangelism build for a bit to see if it is viable, and while I thought that a build where Archangel was second to a five-stack of Evangelism for burst damage, Guntir believes that he will be nuking once or twice in a burn phase and if that does not land a kill, Archangel will be there to restore some mana on a 2-3 stack. We will not know until we play some games, but I am thinking that landing a Holy Fire every ~15s to keep a 5s rolling for nigh-free will be somewhat trivial particularly when he is also trying out Atonement which will provide all that damage as a heal on the lowest hp friendly around the nuked target (usually me).

Let me talk a little bit about maths here... I feel that I have not done this in a while. Guntir and I were testing out Smite to see just how hard Holy Fire would end up hitting a resil'd target once they buffed it. We took from the patch notes that HF would end up dealing roughly 30% more damage than Smite, and Smite was hitting me and my ~3300 resilience for right around 5500 (plus or minus a few hundred; my memory is waning in the morning). We did some napkin-maths and figured that Holy Fire would end up being around a 7-8k nuke against a resil'd target after 4.1 dropped. As a 1.5s (talented) cast for basically no mana at all, that is some rather strong damage, and we were considering the matter closed and test-worthy for 4.1.

However, some things that I never really took into account are talents. I was in a thread with Mackenzii (again, sorry if I butchered the spelling) who runs FMP around 2900 on BG-Rampage and he had a spec that had taken Archangel. I inquired and he responded that he was going to try it out in 4.1 to see if it is viable. So, I got to looking into Priest specs and came up with an Evangelism spec that looked decent to me. The one thing I had forgotten about is that Evangelism increases the damage of both Smite and Holy Fire, even though prior to 4.1 it was only proc'd by Smite, which was why no one spec'd it for PvP; it was too difficult to keep a 5-stack rolling when you were relying on a 2.5 or 2.0-talented nuke that cost a lot of mana and you were being trained. Incidentally, most Priests had given up on Evangelism prior to a lot of the buffs they had received in 4.0.6 and 4.1, which has greatly increased their survivability and mobility while healing and therefore opens them up more often to nuking.

Anyway, back to the issue at hand - Evangelism is a good talent now because it procs off of Holy Fire (simple to use regularly) and Smite (good damage when bursting), and it is easier to get and keep up. So, Guntir is also going to try Glyph of Smite in his build to see how strong of a nuker he can become. Again, I looked at the maths to see what we could expect. So, if Guntir can get up a 5-stack of Evangelism then his Smites and Holy Fires will be hitting for ~6600 and ~9000 respectively. Well, now we are talking about real numbers, and if you factor in that Glyph of Smite after dropping a 9k Holy Fire HIT, then you are talking about 8k Smite HITS as well. Additionally, Guntir has also put the Glyph of Shadow Word: Death into his arsenal for red-zone help (with which I am usually in need of desperately). Lastly, he is taking 2/2 Veiled Shadows (which I thought was called "Improved Fade" until I looked it up for the tooltip just now) in the shadow tree to get his Shadowfiend down to a 4m cooldown (which seems long to me... but those two talent points account for roughly 20% off of Fiend's cooldown... so that's not too bad).

We probably will not get games in until the weekend, but I will try and keep the information rolling as I come across it.