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3.3.3 goes live

It’s Tuesday, and that means…IT CAN BE PATCH TIEMS NAO?  WoW patch 3.3.3 drops today, no doubt bringing with it the usual headaches of extended extended maintenance, broken addons, and crippling lag.  I guess you have to think of it as the pain we go through to get our new toys.

And for those of us of the warrior-ly persuasion, there are a few new toys in the box this time.  Straight from the talbuk’s mouth, here’s the last set of PTR patch notes for 3.3.3, which should be pretty close to, if not exactly the same as, what’s hitting the servers today:

  • Revenge: Damage done by this ability (base and scaling) increased by 50%.
  • Thunderclap: This ability now counts as a ranged attack, granting it double damage on critical strikes instead of 150% and ranged miss chance, and still cannot be dodged or parried.
  • Talents
    • Arms
      • Bladestorm: Warriors can now be Disarmed while under the effects of this ability.
      • Trauma: The debuff from this talent now lasts 60 seconds, up from 15 seconds.
    • Fury
      • Rampage: This effect is now passive instead of being a proc from critical strikes.
    • Protection
      • Improved Revenge: This talent can no longer trigger a stun, and instead causes Revenge to strike an additional target for 50/100% of Revenge’s damage.
  • Vitality: Now boosts Stamina by 3/6/9%, up from 2/4/6%. Strength and expertise benefits have not changed.

That’s a nice little set of changes…and if you’re an old-school warrior like me, you might be shocked to see that they’re all positive except the Bladestorm change.  Only one nerf out of a bunch of changes that big is not something I’m used to.

Of course, we’ll talk about the Prot warrior changes first, starting with Revenge.  Revenge post-Wrath has always hit like a truck.  For some combinations of gear, especially while leveling, Revenge is a Prot warrior’s hardest-hitting ability, outstripping Shield Slam.  In the endgame, however, with the recent big boost to Devastate damage, Revenge fell a bit down the priority list.  One Devastate, with nothing other than the global cooldown, could hit almost as hard as a Revenge, with a five-second cooldown.  Plus Devastate was always available, while Revenge requires a block, dodge, or parry in order to activate (which means, practically, it’s almost always available).

Well, call this patch Revenge of the Revenge.  A flat 50% scaling damage buff is big.  Very big.  Old Revenge hit for ([1454 + AP * 0.207] to [1776 + AP * 0.207]) damage at top rank.  New, improved Revenge hits for ([1635 + AP * 0.310] to [1998 + AP * 0.310]) damage, according to WoWHead’s PTR site.  Now that doesn’t look like a complete 50% damage buff to me because the fixed portions of the equation only went up about 200 points, so take these numbers with a grain of salt…but the scaling factor off of attack power indeed went from 0.207 to 0.310, a 50% increase.  And considering that a raid-buffed Prot warrior is going to have high attack power (Linedan, in ICC-25, buffs out over 7000), even if we don’t see a 50% damage increase, we’ll see a substantial one for sure.  I expect it’ll be quite possible to get close to five-digit Revenge crits…off a talent that costs two points of rage if you’ve taken 3/3 Focused Rage, which you should’ve.

This is combined with a change to the Improved Revenge talent to make it useful again…maybe.  The old 2-point talent had a 25/50% chance to proc a 3-second stun.  The new talent instead functions like a Cleave, and spreads 50/100% of the Revenge damage to a second target.  Obviously, this is Blizzard’s attempt to assuage those of us who continually mumble about Prot warriors’ worst-in-role AoE tanking capability.  But it’s really not a big help.  Yes, the ability to drop a big whammy on two targets at once is nice, especially for an economical 2 rage.  But we can already do that with Cleave, albeit at a much higher rage cost.  One extra target doesn’t help us that much when we’re fighting to handle a four-mob pull, or (even worse) one of those humongous trash packs in the Lower Spire in ICC.  I’ve found the stun to be very handy while leveling Latisha, and it’s literally saved her life more than once (including a fight in the Wintergarde Mausoleum just yesterday, in fact).  But you have to admit, this is smart on Blizzard’s part.  It provides a damage and two-target control buff for PvE Prot warriors, while removing one of the control mechanics (the stun) that had PvPers up in arms over PvP Prot warriors.  It’s a win, I just don’t think it’s a very big win.

The Thunder Clap change might sound odd, but here’s why this is important.  Thunder Clap has apparently always been considered a spell, not a ranged attack.  That’s meant it uses the spell hit cap, which is over 100 points higher than the melee hit cap of 263 hit rating.  It also used the spell crit rule of 150% damage on crit, not 200% as for melee and physical ranged attacks.  With it being classified (finally!) as a physical ranged attack, it will use the same hit and crit percentages as all our other attacks.  It will crit harder.  And, we may finally be able to use TC while silenced.  That’s a nice buff.

Finally, there’s Vitality now giving Prot warriors an extra 1/2/3% stamina boost.  I think this means that Lin should be able to buff out around 58,500 to 59,000 health when we hit ICC this week, if Hellscream’s Buff of Pity is still at +5%.  If it goes up to +10%, which is not in the patch notes?  60k, baby.

Arms warriors get one good and one bad in this patch.  The Bladestorm nerf is, obviously, a PvP nerf.  Why it’s needed, I don’t know; Lin’s offspec isn’t Arms anymore and I never PvP’d with it anyway.  (I wonder if the Bladestorm-happy Arms warrior in ToC’s Faction Champions can be disarmed now.  Hmm.)  This is made up for by having the Trauma bleed-enhancing buff last 60 seconds instead of 12.  Druids also get this change to Mangle, which makes my wife happy; that will slightly simplify her hellishly complex feral DPS rotation.

The Fury warrior change, making Rampage a passive aura, is in line with what Blizzard has done with other similar “on-hit” or “on-crit” abilities.  I don’t believe this stacks with Leader of the Pack; it didn’t used to, and I can’t see that changing.  Still, if you don’t have a bear or kitteh in your group or raid, bringing an always-on passive “4 to 5 percent” (huh?) crit buff is a happy thing.  Rampage is generally up almost 100% of the time with a high-crit Fury warrior anyway, but I can’t complain about them removing the “almost.”

So as always, enjoy crashing the addon sites, and good luck in your office pool for “when will my server be back up.”  Tonight should be an excellent night to sit around and roleplay!  It probably won’t be an excellent night for doing much else.

2 responses

  1. Des

    I’m happy about the Beast Mastery Steady Shot damage buff and the fact that Clayburn will now get Hellscream’s Karaoke of Pity applied to him. I’m more than a tad aggravated at being told my spec’s damage is now “almost as good as Survival’s”…in BiS heroic-mode gear that just about no raiding beast master will ever have a chance at. So we’ll have to see how things play out.

    March 23, 2010 at 08:27

  2. A side-effect of the patch change:

    Revenge has shot up to the top of my overall damage meters (8k double-crit? Ouch). I think this might bring a few problems later, with people using Revenge damage as an excuse for saying Warriors are fine in AoE situations. On the other hand, I’m now waiting for Glyph of Vengeful Cleavage– I mean, Cleaving, bringing extra targets for Improved Revenge! 😛

    I wonder if it’s too hard to just bump Thunder Clap damage/threat up a tad? We don’t need 5k hits with it, but at least put it roughly on par with Consecration in terms of threat/cooldown. Are they thinking such a change would make Arms Warriors start blowing the top off Recount in AoE fights? As in, while Blenderstorm is on cooldown?

    Great post, though. =)

    March 25, 2010 at 09:26

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