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Prior to build 9014, if you cast Shadow Word:Pain while using a trinket or some other damage boosting ability (as I mentioned with the old Dispersion mechanic), when you refreshed SW:P by casting Mind Flay (with the Pain and Suffering ability), your SW:P would carry that boosted/trinketed damage the entire fight, or until you manually refreshed it.

Build 9014 changed that.  Now, when you refresh SW:P by manually casting it or by refreshing it with Mind Flay, the SW:P ticks are recalculated.  So if you pop a trinket, cast SW:P, when the trinket wears off, the SW:P ticks will continue at their trinketed damage level until you cast Mind Flay.

This isn’t really a nerf, though – it’s a bug fix.

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You remember those books where you made decisions that affected the outcome, right?

There are a couple cases in Warcraft where you can push yourself harder than required to get a greater reward:

Blizzard is taking these “challenge yourself” instances to new heights with Obsidian Sanctum. In the Black Dragonflight wing of the Chamber of Aspects, you’ll encounter three black drakes, and one bad-ass big dragon – Sartharion.

Here’s where the Choose Your Own Adventure piece kicks in. You can either kill those black drakes first, or you can leave them up, and deal with the consequences. For every drake alive when you pull Sartharion, he will get an extra skill you have to contend with, and it will make things much more challenging. Your reward? An extra piece of epic loot for each of the first two black drakes. If you go to fight Sartharion with all three drakes still alive, he’ll drop the Black Drake Mount. It’s rumored that in the 25 man version of Obsidian Sanctum, he’ll drop a Twilight Drake Mount instead.

SMEXY!

Remember that whole Hardcore vs. Casual thing? This is yet another example that you can push yourself, and have a “hardcore” attitude about completing something in the most difficult manner for the best reward, without necessarily being at the cutting edge of the raiding game.

It’s like a ZA bear mount remix. Those guilds that can really push themselves to excel beyond the required will have their raiders flying around Dalaran on their mounts, preening. I know I would! Add to the rumored mount-collecting achievement, and you’ll have the completionists running this every reset.

I really love the idea of being able to choose your preferred level of difficulty. I had a lot of fun on ZA timed runs (never did get the bear /sadface), but I also had a blast when it was just me and nine buddies, killing animals for the hell of it (sorry DEHTA). It allows people who have a little less time, or who aren’t in a 25 man raiding group, to have visible proof that a challenge was met.

I, for one, am looking forward to flying around on my new drake.

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Priest Racials Removed

See that icon? I’ve never seen it before. But I will as of 3.0! According to Koraa, priest racials are being retired. However, some of the racials are being reworked.

Desperate Prayer – This is now the 11-point talent in Holy, Holy Nova is now a base ability. Cooldown also reduced to 30 seconds.
Devouring Plague – Now a base ability. Cooldown reduced to 30 seconds, mana cost greatly reduced.
Symbol of Hope – Now a base ability. Now restores 5% base mana every 2 seconds for 8 seconds to your party. Renamed “Hymn of Hope.”

Now, I’m a human shadow priest, so I didn’t really lose anything except for Feedback, so I’m sure that flavors my response.

I like the change! I had no idea about “priest racials” when I rolled my first toon, and when I got Desperate Prayer, I thought it was just another regular ol’ priest spell. None of the other classes have to consider class racials when rolling their toon – why should we?

What’s Going Away?

Since I didn’t really know about the other race’s special abilities, I had to see for myself what would be lost.

  • Starshards (Night Elf) – Rains starshards down on the enemy target’s head, causing 785 Arcane damage over 15 sec.
  • Elune’s Grace (Night Elf) – Reduces the chance you’ll be hit by melee and ranged attacks by 20% for 15 sec.
  • Touch of Weakness (Undead/Blood Elf) – The next melee attack on the caster will cause 80 Shadow damage and reduce the damage caused by the attacker by 35 for 2 min.
  • Consume Magic (Blood Elf) – Dispels one beneficial Magic effect from the caster and gives them 120 to 154 mana. The dispelled effect must be a priest spell.
  • Hex of Weakness (Troll) – Weakens the target enemy, reducing damage caused by 35 and reducing the effectiveness of any healing by 20%. Lasts 2 min.
  • Shadowguard (Troll) – The caster is surrounded by shadows. When a spell, melee or ranged attack hits the caster, the attacker will be struck for 130 Shadow damage. Attackers can only be damaged once every few seconds. This damage causes no threat. 3 charges. Lasts 10 min.
  • Chastise (Dwarf/Draenei) – Chastise the target, causing 370 to 430 Holy damage and Immobilizing them for up to 2 sec. Only works against Humanoids. This spell causes very low threat.
  • Feedback (Human) – The priest becomes surrounded with anti-magic energy. Any successful spell cast against the priest will burn 165 of the attacker’s Mana, causing 1 Shadow damage for each point of Mana burned. Lasts 15 sec.

This seems all over the board – offensive and defensive, built for PvP or PvE. How was I supposed to know about all this when I built my priest? What if I found out later I made the wrong choice? Would I be compelled to reroll?

WoWWiki even says on their “Staring a Priest” page, “When choosing a race for your Priest, the most important gameplay concern is their racial spells. Each race of Priest gets two spells that other races may not have access to. In the Alliance, arguably the best choices are Draenei for PvE, with their occasional heals being a slight benefit, and Dwarves for PvP, as the Dwarves’ Stoneform is useful in escaping from Rogues and the like.”

Sure, there are calls that this is homogenizing the game, but it’s really just bringing the decision to roll a priest into line with the decision to roll any other class.

Blogger Response

Check out the following for some responses from my fellow priesty types:

Several of the above have mentioned a suggestion on the forums where a priest could declare their Faith, and basically choose which of the racial spells the would like depending on their gaming style (PvP vs PvE, healing vs dps). It’s a really interesting suggestion. It removes the “oh noes, I picked the wrong race!” potential, and still leaves priests some flavor.

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As posted on WoWHead!

/debates taking vacation time

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