Beta post!

Okay, folks, don’t click if you don’t want to know about the WotLK beta.

First things first: I’ve uploaded a metric assload of screenshots. Most of them are self-explanatory. About a third are Death Knight related, about half are me on Kurnmogh (the hunter), exploring and questing, snapping shots of quests and their rewards. Then we have a few miscellaneous pics. No shots from Madrana (the paladin) as of yet, though, apart from the Stormwind Harbor stuff.

Gallery

I expect to have a few posts of this nature. Note that since this is beta stuff, it’s all subject to change and the things I talk about may work very well in the new environment/encounters and in conjunction with new spells, buffs and items.

In other words, don’t panic. :)

That said, let’s take a look at some stuff from the beta.

1) GEAR REPLACEMENT
(or, How Quickly Are My Epics Gonna Get Replaced??)

My thoughts on this — not that quickly.

For the purposes of testing thus far, I’ve had Kurnmogh (my hunter, who doesn’t raid) do a bunch of quests. In this time, I have replaced precisely three pieces of gear that I regularly use on Kurn.

a) A ring:

Lightwarden’s Band (from Aldor Revered)

with:

Scout’s Signet Ring (reward from solo quest in Borean Tundra)

b) A trinket:

Bladefist’s Breadth (from a group quest in Hellfire Peninsula that I did on something like day two of TBC)

with:

Death Knight’s Anguish (from a solo quest in Borean Tundra. They changed this to a new, second on-equip. Initially, it was 330 (?) AP on use as well as the first on-equip.)

c) My ranged weapon:

Wolfslayer Sniper Rifle (from Opera event in Karazhan)

with:

Fury of the Raging Dragon (from a 3-man quest in Borean Tundra that I two-manned with a warrior. Click the 3-man quest link to see the quest and other rewards.)

Given our level of progression (Kara done, Gruul done, Mag done, SSC pretty much done, TK mostly done, ZA clear several times, Hyjal nearly done), I would IMAGINE that it would be around level 76-77 that we’d really have most of our gear replaced.

Example:

A level 75 group quest:

Group Quest

One of the rewards: Links of Righteous Persecution.

That’s the first actual upgrade from my CRAFTED Ebon Netherscale Belt.

Let’s look at Madrana’s Pearl Inlaid Boots off of Naj’entus. With the new spellpower system, this is what they look like:

Pearl Inlaid Boots

And the only boots remotely close to them are:

Greaves of the Blue Flight

And eh. Only has more int (granted that’s 16 more int, but anyways) than my current boots. So I’m not terribly concerned about replacing stuff unless it’s for a new spec or a new type of stat that we need. (ie: apparently, prot pallies will need more strength than they traditionally have had.)

2) Potion Sickness

Unable to consume potions until you rest out of combat for a short duration.

What does that mean? That means you may take ONE potion, yes, ONE potion per combat encounter. Like the change to consumables in the early part of BC, it appears that Blizzard is trying to ensure that people do not rely on chaining mana potions (or health potions) and that people actually think about when to use a mana potion.

I just tested it with a mana gem and a mana potion — mages can rejoice, you can still use a mana gem without potion sickness. But haste potions, destruction potions, ironshield-type potions, they all proc the debuff. You only have to be out of combat for a second or two before it goes away.

However, they seem to be compensating for this by granting some classes new mana-recovery spells.

Example: Level 71 paladins get:

Divine Plea

It’s a trained spell, not a talented one.

Plus some hunter pets will get:

Roar of Recovery

So they’re seeing what they can do to not completely nerf the players into oblivion if they can’t chain mana pot, but they’re definitely moving away from mana potions/etc as a crutch.

Perhaps relatedly, mana is constantly being regained, not just in ticks. Like, I’m watching my mana bar right now and it’s climbing quickly — I see every mana point coming back to me. So instead of seeing 60 mana every 5 seconds, I’m seeing it go up sixty within five seconds.

3) Naturally, as an alchemist, I think the above news is bad news. No more potion mastery for me come the expansion, and that’s even if I keep alchemy. What prevents me from all out dropping it in the beta right now is:

Alchemical Blood

Looks to be about 25-33%, although is still kind of buggy. And still not quite as good as the alchemist’s stones, the effects of which still do not stack.

A quick test using super mana potions (1800-3000 mana):

3686 mana from a mana potion with Redeemer’s Alchemist Stone equipped on Madrana, who has Alchemical Blood.

2630 mana from a mana potion without the stone equipped on Madrana, who has Alchemical Blood.

2501 mana from a mana potion on Kurn, who has no stone and is not an alchemist.

I think you’d have to test several hundred mana potions in order to get a fair reading on the alchemical blood, mind you. The social scientist in me just cried at the fact that I’m basing anything on consuming 3 mana potions.

4) Related to Potion Sickness… Tinnitus.

Tinnitus
Cannot receive beneficial effects from drums.
2 minutes remaining

No more chain-casting drums, it appears. So you get one haste/destro potion per encounter and one set of drums per two minutes. What next, changing Heroism/Bloodlust to prevent chain-casting of that by various shammies in the raid?

5) Another note for pallies:

Forbearance duration increased from 1 minute to 3 minutes.

BUT… Remember our old, crappy, 6-8 second bubble, named Divine Protection?

Old Divine Protection

Yeah, that’s changing:

New Divine Protection

Hi, there. You’re our equivalent of Shield Wall. And you’re usable every five minutes. Granted, you only absorb 50 instead of 75% of damage and you don’t last as long, but that ain’t half bad. That said, prot pallies may NOT want to spec into Divine Guardian, which redirects 30% of incoming raid damage to members within 30 yards back to the paladin whenever Divine Shield OR Divine Protection are active. (The WotLK wowhead has two versions of Divine Guardian, though — one of which only says Divine Shield, the other says Divine Shield and Divine Protection.)

So it’s definitely interesting. I can’t wait to level a bit and can’t wait to do a couple of instances, too.

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