Thanks to reader Fade for pointing me at this AJ post. Affx, a long-time WoW board hero, did some testing of various aspects of 4.1 that went above and beyond that I found interesting.

First, he suggests that RoV only has the fire for the first few moments of an arena match to try and quell zerging. While I can get behind this idea, the implementation is awful.

Second, he also reminds us that guild rep and xp are rewarded for arena wins as of 4.1. I had completely forgotten about this and it is a reason to do more than the base arenas again (which he hinted at may require 10 wins a week instead of the current 5; hard to tell, but I'm sure I'll have an update on Wednesday).

Third, he suggests that the new defensive cooldown, Soul Link Totem, is essentially the best cooldown in the game. A 3min cd that is essentially a guaranteed no-kill for a short period that also scales with the number of players affected. If you are in a 2s situation where you are about to die at 1% hp and you are standing next to your partner at 100%, you pot SLT and you are both instantly at basically 50%, and it rebalances your hps every 1s for 5s... woof.

Third, he suggest that FMP and RMP are going to be two of the strongest comps in the game as long as the DR category change to Cone of Cold does not end up being really painful because Mages can actually play an outlast style with glyph of frost armor.

Last, he makes a bunch of speculations about the classes affects in this patch. Mostly, he talks about Warriors not really having changed except against plate classes (which I think is an overstatement; armor scales strong early and weak late - you might go from 40% damage reduction on a pally to 0% with 100% armor ignore, but after the patch you will go from 28% dr against leather to 10%).


When I see comments like I got in the last post, I know I am not doing an adequate job here on my blog discussing changes. I will get more into that in a moment, but let us discuss the patch notes being as they are likely locked in place and will be going live tomorrow.

Take a look at this video. I am filled with rage; essentially, Blizzard said "man, RoV is awful; let's remove it," saw that basically no one was upset by RoV being removed from the rotation, then said "okay; let's break RoV even more and reintroduce it in 4.1." Here are my list of gripes: first, it starts you at opposite ends of the map and no longer brings you up via elevators (which is good), but starts the match with all the pillars down; second, the pillars still move up and down; third, what the fuck... fire... it is back and deals damage and is random again. I honestly am unsure if this is just Blizzard trolling me or what, but this shit has got to stop.

Okay, something that has crept by unnoticed, or perhaps merely unmentioned, is the fact that 4.1 means the end of battle-group matching in Arenas. Apparently, and details are hazy on this so bare with me, this means that we will be able to be matched with teams from battlegroups other than our own for the arenas in an attempt to shorten queue times. My biggest concern about this is that Blizzard will have said "fuck it" entirely and made no effort in trying to set you against a team with reasonable latency to an arena server. I really am worried that I will end up playing against someone in New Jersey and have 1000ms against a 1700 team who gets a lucky kill while we are waiting for Guntir's heal to register. I am at least reluctantly hopeful that Blizz may have done some research on this and made it so that we can only be queued against the same data-center when match-making (which would make sense because that would simply mean that we're physically in the same building as our opponents so the number of teams queuing will have increased at roughly no cost).

Let me tackle a misconception that people are seeming to have - resilience is not going to have a soft cap. The way resilience works now is that at any point except 32.5% damage reduction, the scaling of resilience rating versus damage reduction is non-linear. That is, if you gain 100 rating at 25% damage reduction, you will gain less damage reduction than you would had you been at 35%. Today, if you gained 100 resilience at 25% damage reduction, you would go to maybe 26%, but if you gained 100 resilience at 35% you might go to 36.5%. The only thing changing with 4.1 is that non-linear scaling. Tomorrow, you will have 32.5% damage reduction if you have 32.5% damage reduction today. If you have less than 32.5% damage reduction today, you will have slightly more tomorrow, and if you have more than 32.5% damage reduction today, you will have slightly less tomorrow. If you have 4,000 resilience today, for example, you will have something around 38% damage reduction tomorrow instead of 41%. THERE IS NO CAP.

The class changes going out are pretty much where they were weeks and weeks ago when I first talked about them. Frost Mages are getting some "much needed" burst damage buffs; DKs are getting some changes that will make Blood specs less prevalent (though I remain unconvinced that these changes are enough); Warriors are getting hyper-mobile but losing a lot of stun control via Charge (but it won't DR with anything... so who knows) and losing a ton of burst in CSmash; RShams are getting nothing but nerfs and a survivability totem which might actually be decent in 3s or 5s (it scales with the number of players affected, so it might not be amazing in 2s); Priests are getting more burst via Holy Fire.

Holy Fire being buffed is kind of interesting. There was a thread on the Arena boards where Mackenzii (sorry if I misspelled the name) came in and gave pointers on how his team played FMP (Monster's 2900 feral+mage+disc team). At one point I noticed that he had a spec with Archangel in it and I asked him about it. He said that he was going to try out Archangel to see whether it is decent for PvP given the new Holy Fire. Essentially, the reason that no one takes Evangelism and Archangel as Disc is because it is extremely difficult to land offense in 2s (for one), and that is three points spent in an already tight-for-points spec. Additionally, Holy Fire is pretty awful today, but with the change tomorrow it will actually be some really nice damage.

It may be a non-issue in 2s, still, because of how much pressure most opposing teams can put out while keeping Guntir in his healing role. Currently, the only times it seems like Guntir can get offensive is once or twice a match when we are going for a kill. Now, maybe it is only because we are going for a kill and we usually get said kill that I only see it once or twice a match, but unless the Priest is keeping a 5s of Evangelism rolling throughout the entirety of the match, that talent is largely useless. It will be interesting none-the-less to see Holy Fire back into the role of damage-dealing once again. Since it is extremely cheap to use, it might actually bring back to the use of the Glyph of Smite for 2s; I can already see Rogue+Disc taking off again simply from the additional pressure that Priests will be able to dish out next patch, and with RShams and RDruids getting nerfed ever so slightly, we may see this comp take off again.

Tomorrow, I have to find a new keybind... since Stampeding Roar might actually be worth training since it will have the capacity for breaking roots and it will actually provide a speed buff. Bah... it may have to be ctrl+z since my Dash is bound to shift+z at the moment. Hard to tell... I'll let you know what I find tomorrow.