How patch 5.2 going for everyone?
This is my busiest time of year in my life outside the game. My son’s baseball season is in full swing. My work responsibilities are more significant in this part of the year than during other seasons. I can barely find time to sit at my desk at home.
I’ve logged on enough to do the Isle of Thunder dailies once and have two nights of raiding in MSV and HoF. That’s all the time I’ve spent in WoW so far since the patch. I had to figure out a lot of changes by trial and error since I have not had time to keep up with them.
Right away in MSV, I noticed that my Combat spec did less damage than normal on Stone Guard. That’s because of the change to Blade Flurry in the patch. It now hits for less damage, but affects more targets. On Stone Guard, when you’re hitting two or three dogs, you’re not getting the most out of Blade Flurry. Damage is good, but not as spectacular as it once was.
I also noticed that my single target damage in Assassination spec was a little higher, but not much. Assassination got buffed a bit in the patch. I hear that Subtlety got a small buff as well. I expect Blizzard to keep giving us small buffs until more people play rogues. For those of us who still play our rogue mains, it just makes us that much more awesome. However, I will also note that I wasn’t as far ahead on the damage meters as I usually am on some MSV fights, like Elegon. I suspect that other classes got buffed as well, and maybe more than we did.
I was really surprised when I went to use Ambush as an opener and I teleported to directly behind the target without using Shadowstep. That’s when I remembered that there were talent changes in the patch. Preparation was removed as a talent, and now all rogues have it as a baseline ability at level 68. Instead they added Cloak and Dagger in Prep’s old spot on the talent tree. It works like Shadowstep built into your stealthed openers. It essentially gives your openers a 30 yard range.
A change that I noticed while I was fighting Elegon was for Cloak of Shadows. It now has a shorter cooldown (1 minute), but its no longer reset by Preparation. That surprised me. I usually use Cloak-Prep-Cloak to mitigate damage at the end of the fight when we’re burning Elegon down. Didn’t work this time.
I was, as usual, dismayed when our raid got to Will of the Emperor. I don’t like that fight. At some point in that fight, I always end up far from my target with Vanish and Sprint on cooldown. This time I specced into Shuriken Toss. This gave combo points and also made my autoattacks into ranged shuriken throws. I don’t think it was very effective, but it was fun.
Also on the Will of the Emperor fight, when we all grouped up to AoE heal through the Titan Gas phases, I threw down my Smoke Bomb. It was just given a new ability – reducing incoming damage by 20% on everyone in its range. I have a defensive raid cooldown! That felt good.
There’s another talent change that I tried. Versatility was removed as a top-tier talent and replaced with Marked for Death. This gives 5 combo points to start with on the fight, so its much like the Premeditation ability on steroids. A major difference is that when your target dies, Marked for Death resets. That makes this good for burst damage in target-switching situations, since you can start with 5 CP on each new target. Its not useful on most boss fight in PvE, but good in fights with a lot of adds that need to be bursted down. That said, I tried to use it on Garalon’s legs, and the cooldown never reset when a leg died. Is it because the legs don’t really “die”? Is this a bug? (not Garalon himself, but the lack of cooldown reset).
Most of the changes were not very noteworthy, although a lot of rogues are affected by the alterations to the talent tree. The Smoke Bomb change is nice – I wonder how long it will take everyone to realize that it is there, so that raid leaders call for it at times of high incoming damage.