Recently Blizzard has released a new version of the Mists of Pandaria Talent Calculator. Lots of new changes are slated on top of what was already in store for MOP since Blizzcon, and we're going to take a look at how some of these changes are going to affect PvP in the new expansion. The fine folks at MMO-Champion have compiled a nice collected change of all the changes and talents, so if you want to delve into the juicy details go ahead and check out the Mists of Pandaria Talent Calculator Feb 16 Update Changes.
Here's what I've managed to glean about the overall direction of the game from the changes to skills proposed:
- Melee Ability scaling across the board has been reduced by up to 50%. This means damage in PvP is not going to be frontloaded so much when melee classes connect, and staying in melee range of the target is going to be much more important since autoattack damage should take up a larger fraction of overall damage.
- Melee interrupt cooldowns increased to 15 seconds. Adjusting the cooldown of interrupts will change the power balance between melee and casters in interesting ways. With a 50% increase fake casting will have more dire consequences, but it seems that most melee classes have gained a bit more tools to stay in melee range. Wind shear is lowered to a 12 second cooldown, and caster interrupts remain at 24 seconds.
- Most Druid Feral abilities introduced in the expansion can be used in any form, and a few abilities automatically place you in the right form. This is a long due change. though Blizzard has not been completely been consistent on this, and it frees up a lot of required macro space for players that have known how to make complicated stance macros and would simplify the shifting aspect for newer players. This is something that should have been done a long time, and with Warriors too! For example, Warriors should not have to use a macro that automatically puts them in the right stance whenever they use a stance specific ability, but the abilities themselves should do it.
- Dispel abilities now have an 8 second cooldown. This is a massive change to the way most healers, especially Shamans, are going to be played. I do not foresee healers using Dispel abilities anywhere as much as we do now, but instead saving them for when Crowd Control effects are used on our teammates. This is something long proposed by some members of the community, and it will be interesting to see what the effect will be.
- Hunters have received a powerful new ability: Binding Shot - You fire a magical projectile, tethering the enemy and any other enemies within 10 yards to the landing arrow. Increases all damage they receive from you by 15%. If they move 15 yards from the arrow they are stunned for 10 sec (5 sec PvP). (30 yd range, Costs 20 focus, Instant). This surely will make squishy targets even more scared to come into the open against hunters.
- Rogue Poisons and Shiv have received an overhaul. Crippling Poison seems to be down to a 50% base slow, and Shiv applies stronger versions of the poison for a brief time.
- Crippling Poison – Reduces the target’s speed by 70% for 12 seconds.
- Mind-Numbing Poison – Increases the casting time of an enemy's next spellcast within 8 seconds by 100%.
- Wound Poison – Reduces the target’s healing received by 50% for 6 seconds.
- Leeching Poison – Instantly restores 5% of the Rogue’s health.
- Paralytic Poison – Roots the target in place for 4 seconds.
- Warlocks gain a number of on use healing abilities, and more abilities that use health instead of mana. There's so many different ones you're best off looking at them yourself here!
- Slam is finally an instant cast, and a lot of utility abilities such as Spell Reflect have had their rage cost removed. These are some of long due quality of life changes that Warriors have long asked for. Let's hope that they stay.
- The Druid class may be the most changed in PvP settings with the new Symbiosis skill. There are a lot of very life changing abilities that Druids might be getting via Symbiosis. If you do not know what Symbiosis is suppose to do, it's suppose to let the Druid exchange skills with a friendly player, receiving a duplicate skill himself and granting the player a spell from the Druid. This overall idea is really interesting, as it will make some team setups with a druid extremely powerful. Ice Block for Restoration? Sign me up! Some proposed skills are:
- Balance: Chains of Ice, Mirror Image, Mass Dispel
- Feral: Feign Death (Play Dead!), Frost Nova, Soul Swap
- Guardian: Ice Trap, Fear Ward, Consecration
- Restoration: Ice Block, Hand of Sacrifice, Leap of Faith
- Hunter: Dash
- Warlock: Rejuvenation
- Holy Paladin: Rebirth
- Arms/Fury Warrior: Enrage
- Enhancement/Elemental Shaman: Solar Beam
What's the general trend for PvP?
There are a lot of new class Talent Abilities, most of which cause you as a player make some pretty tough choices about what spells you are going to have. For example, Warriors get to choose between the buffed Enraged Regeneration, a talent that combines Second Wind and a stronger Blood Craze, or a talent that turns Victory Rush into a 30 second cooldown Death Strike like ability. Mages get to decide between Cold Snap, Cauterize and a new Greater Invisibility spell that works instantly, removes two DoT effects and briefly makes you take 90% less damage. A lot of abilities that classes get to choose are either complete game changers, such as instant Fear for warlocks via Blood Fear or abilities that are off the global cooldown, such as Temporal Shield, an ability that reverses damage you take in the next four seconds. These off the GCD abilities will help differentiate between players who are able to use them in the perfect time.
This is an interesting trend because a lot of these situational abilities are designed to shore up some weaknesses classes currently have. For example, Paladins get to choose between three abilities that increase their movement speed: A one minute cooldown 70% 8 second duration sprint, the current Long Arm of the Law talent that increases movement speed shortly after Judgement is cast, and a passive speed increase based on the Holy Power the Paladin has. The whole trend with these talents seems to move towards situational use, and I imagine in a lot of scenarios knowing who you're fighting in the Arena beforehand will grant great advantages to you if you're able to change your talents to cater to specific teams.
What are your thoughts on these upcoming changes? Does anything seem overpowered, what new abilities are you looking forward to try? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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