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THE WAR WITHIN SEASON 1 CLASS GUIDES

[US] WoW Classic Season of Discovery Phase 4 PTR Development Notes – Updated 6/28/2024

Home » Bluepost » [US] WoW Classic Season of Discovery Phase 4 PTR Development Notes – Updated 6/28/2024

[US] WoW Classic Season of Discovery Phase 4 PTR Development Notes – Updated 6/28/2024

WoW Classic Season of Discovery Phase 4 PTR Development Notes – June 27th, 2024

Build: 55348patch1.15.3
Testing Focus
We’ve made some adjustments to Mage, Hunter, and Warlock in this week’s initial PTR release, but we intend to Hotfix additional adjustments to other classes onto the PTR sometime before the weekend. Below you’ll find notes for our current round of changes, and we’ve included developer commentary on the adjustments to help give some insight into our current thought process around the changes.
We’ve also made some fixes and adjustments to the Blackrock Eruption event, including spawns, environments and ambience, and other aspects of the event, so we encourage you to check it out.
Read on to find out more about what changed.
Mage

Brain Freeze chance to trigger increased to 20%

Developer’s Note: Brain Freeze has hard competition with the passive of Spell Power. So we’re buffing it to make it a slightly more competitive option for Frost Mages.

The Balefire Bolt ability now counts as Frost damage in addition to Arcane and Fire.

Developer’s Note: Balefire Bolt hasn’t seen too much usage so far, with most mages favoring the passive of Molten Armor. Making Balefire Bolt now have synergies with Frost Talents opens it up to all Specs as an interesting option. We’re comfortable with increasing the power on Balefire Bolt as it’s unlikely to act as a full replacement for the other abilities in your rotation… unless you want to cast it 10 times within 30 seconds at which time your rotation will most certainly end. We don’t recommend that, however.

The cooldown of fireblast has been increased to 15 seconds with the overheat ability

Developer’s Notes: Moving Hot Streak to the helm alongside the new Overheat rune has helped improve firemage gameplay, but they are getting Hotstreak slightly more frequently than we intend, so we’re pulling back a little bit of Overheat’s power via the frequency but keeping the 100% crit chance. We’ll continue to evaluate mages after this change.”

Warlock

Soul Siphon: Causes Drain Soul to now inflict its damage once per second rather than once every three seconds.

Developer’s Notes: One of the big issues with Drain Soul in oOiginal WoW is that its ticks occur every 3 seconds, which means it is always competing with Shadow Bolt as a filler ability. So making it tick faster allows it to be used in situations where you wouldn’t finish a Shadow Bolt cast.**

Soul Siphon: Causes Drain Soul to now have a chance to trigger Nightfall if the Warlock has that talent learned.

Developer’s Notes: Feeding off of the previous note, Drain Soul having a chance to proc your Nightfall talent will ideally make Warlocks feel a little less loss aversion when they not hard casting Shadow Bolt as filler.

The Shadowflame Rune has been redesigned:

Shadowflame is now a 2 second cast single-target ability that burns the enemy for Shadowflame damage and then an additional amount of Shadowflame damage over 15 seconds. Shadowflame triggers and benefits from all effects that modify or interact with Immolate, or with Affliction, Destruction, Fire, or Shadow spells, but only one of Immolate, Unstable Affliction, or Shadowflame per Warlock can be active on any target.

Developer’s Notes: We’ve found that this rune was not picked as often as other runes in the slot, and one of Affliction’s Highest DPS DoTs is its Fire DoT (Immolate). We’d wanted to create an analog to Immolate that will benefit from Warlock’s shadow damage and spell hit increases.

Backdraft no longer consumes the Immolate damage over time debuff.

Developer’s Nootes: We’ve recieved lots of feedback that it can be frustrating to cast Immolate and then be required to cut off its remaining DoT just to maintain your Backdraft buff. An opener of Immolate → Conflag → Immolate feels like wasted time on your Haste buff as well, so this will address the recasting of Immolate and immediately consuming it, just to cast it again.

Hunter

All hunter traps are now usable in combat in Season of Discovery

Developer’s Note: Hunters in original wow have always been able to trap in combat, but its often times not something that can be depended upon due to spell resists. This functionality is even more unwieldy if you don’t have macros set up to assist with it. Allowing all hunters to place traps without having to rely on that extra step feels like the right move for them in PvE, and opens up a lot more gameplay and rune combinations by decoupling this from trap launcher. In PvP, trapping without first CCing will still have the risk of your target just walking away from the trap and now having your trap on cooldown.

The Rapid Killing rune now also causes rapid fire to increase melee attack speed as well.

Developer’s Notes: Melee Hunters enjoyed a bit of an attack speed increase from the Sunken Temple 3 set bonus and we think having a medium/long cooldown button to press at key points in an encounter adds to the fun and skill expression of a class. So, it only made sense to extend Rapid Fire with this rune to affect to Melee attacks and give Melee Hunters a Head Rune with some throughput.

Cobra Slayer has been redesigned:

Mongoose Bite now has a 5% chance to activate on each of your melee attacks and a 100% chance when the enemy dodges. This chance accumulates, with the chance rising by 5% from each subsequent attack it does not reset. Mongoose Bite also deals additional damage equal to 40% of your Attack Power.

Developer’s Notes: Our first step with addressing Melee Hunters was to increase the cooldown on Raptor Strike so that the rotation opened and you weren’t pressing it every other GCD, or every GCD if you were lucky. Mongoose bite is something we’re introducing to break up the rotation and we’re overall going to be adding more fillers to the rotation of Melee Hunter. The problems initially was that Mongoose Bite does almost no damage, and it also has a very hard time being activated. So this rune is now better at providing a bit of “bad luck protection” to smooth that out. The nature of this Proc is deterministic so you should expect Mongoose Bite to activate every handful of swings. This favors Dual Wielding, but we also have runes that will fill the rotation more for two-handed Melee Hunters.

The damage bonus for not having a pet with the Lone Wolf rune has been increased to 40%

Developer’s Notes: This rune has been very tricky to balance. Having a pet is technically ‘more complex’ gameplay. So, when Lone Wolf is stronger than other options, it becomes the premiere way to play. That being said, Lone Wolf has still consistently seen much lower pick rates than other runes in this slot, since it has to make up the damage lost from your Pet, and any other rune you would’ve taken on this slot. This should still not be the best rune in every situation, but we are experimenting again with making it more appealing to those who like playing without a sidekick that can pull an entire instance if you lose sight of them….

The Cobra Strikes rune effect may now also be triggered with critical hits from “strike” abilities (Raptor Strike and Wyvern Strike)

Developer’s Notes: We want to enable both Pet and Non-Pet play with Melee Hunters. This Rune is for those who want to play a more pet focused style, opening it up to more versions of Hunter makes sense to us.

The Cooldown of Wyvern Strike has been reduced to 8 seconds and the damage over time effect is no longer considered a sting and is now a bleed effect.

Developer’s Note: Wyvern Strike being on the same slot as a Dual Wield means it is a prime candidate for giving some life to the two-handed melee approach. Because two-handers will activate Mongoose Bite less often via Cobra Slayer than Dual Wielders, this is being positioned as two-handed hunters non-proc filler on top of Traps, Raptor Strike, Carve, and Flanking Strike/Kill Shot. While we expect Dual Wield to utilize the Cobra Slayer Rune as their filler more often than a 2hander would, we felt the need to give them an ability to add more consistency in between the gaps where you don’t get a proc of Mongoose Bite.

The Chimera Shot interaction with Wyvern Strike has been removed.
Carve has been redesigned:

Carve now requires a target and deals 100% weapon damage to the Hunter’s Primary target and 65% weapon damage to secondary targets.

Developer’s Notes: It is our hope that Carve will now be a better filler on single target.

Flanking Strike now increases all damage done by 5% per stack instead of 10% for Mongoose Bite and Raptor Strike. It now has a 33% chance to reset from pet basic attacks instead of Raptor Strike hits.

Developer’s Notes: With Kill Shot having no Dead Zone, we wanted to rework Flanking Strike to be more pet focused and less melee specific. Flanking Strike will now allow melee weaving hunters who don’t want to stand still with Sniper Training to pick this up. Not only because it works on all damage now and not just Raptor Strike and Mongoose Bite, but because this now resets when your pet procs a reset. So, it allows a Melee Weaver to activate this without being in Melee constantly. We hope to see this change open this rune up to more styles. Additionally, because Melee Hunter is no longer locked into just playing with a Pet due to Lone Wolf buffs and the fact that Kill Shot has no minimum range.

Kill Shot will now induce a 15 second cooldown on the ability when an item with this rune engraved on it is equipped.
The Hit and Run rune now grants the hunter 15% additional movement speed for 8 seconds (up from 4 seconds).

Developer’s Note: Because of the change of allowing all Hunters to trap in combat, Resourcefulness is now a potential throughput increase due to the lower Trap Cooldown. So Hit and Run will now have a longer cooldown than Raptor Strike’s, allowing a player to chase, reposition, or kite for longer.

Trueshot Aura no longer grants melee attack power and now only grants ranged attack power.

The melee attack power granted by trueshot aura is now granted by Heart of the Lion instead.

Developer’s Notes: Something that has been a pain point for Melee Hunters is the fact that Trueshot Aura exists at the end of the Marksmanship Tree, and your group wants Trueshot. So, we’re adding the melee attack power portion of Trueshot Aura to Heart of the Lion to allow a bit more freedom for melee (or any type of) hunters.

The following talents now also affect melee attacks and abilities for hunters:

Efficiency – Reduces the cost of Shots, Stings, and Strikes
Lethal Shots – Increases Ranged and melee critical strike chance
Mortal Shots – Increases your ranged and melee weapon critical strike damage bonus

Developer’s Notes: As stated throughout these Hunter Dev Notes, we want to open more Styles for Hunter. Not just between Melee and Ranged, but 2handed melee, dual wield melee, 2handed melee with a pet, without a pet etc. etc. Another reason Hunters felt like they couldn’t abandon their pet and go Lone Wolf as a Melee Hunter, outside of Flanking Strike, was the fact that after placing 31 points in Survival – they had no gains in the first 20 points of Marksmanship, and therefore felt like they had to go down Beastmastery and without a pet this doesn’t make a lot of sense. We’re opening this up for players who don’t just want to be the Melee Hunter with their trusty pet by their side, and allow more ways to play with more meaningful choices between secondary trees.

Thank you for reading and thank you for your feedback on the PTR so far! We hope to get our second round of Class adjustments for this week out very soon. We will be posting those notes below in this thread as a reply.

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WoW Classic Game Producer

#4 – June 28, 2024, 6:42 p.m.
Blizzard Post

WoW Classic Season of Discovery Phase 4 PTR Development Notes – June 28th, 2024

Build: 55391patch1.15.3
Testing Focus
We have a new PTR build going up soon (55391) and we’ve included a few more classes’ adjustments today with that build. We again increased the damage and health of Testwerk for the PTR as well to help with more accurate testing. Lastly, we’ve also added a World Buff consumable to the Consumables vendor on PTR.
We still plan to deploy additional class adjustments today which we hope to get out before the weekend, barring unforeseen circumstances.
Paladin

Hammer of the Righteous damage has been increased to three times weapon damage (up from 2x weapon damage).
Art of War now reduces the remaining cooldown of Exorcism by 2 seconds on critical hit (previously was 1 second).

Developer’s Note: The old version of Art of war did allow for a playstyle that was unique to SoD where a fast two-handed weapon had a place in the game and while we’d like to move away from “exo spam” one button playstyle, we still love the idea of the build. The previous adjustments to Art of War also hit protection especially hard so we felt it appropriate to adjust this to still allow exorcism to be used rapidly without it completely dominating the rotation of both retribution and protection paladins.

The Divine Sacrifice rune has been replaced with Hand of Sacrifice:

Causes target party or raid member to transfer 30% of damage taken to the caster. Lasts 12 seconds or until the caster has transferred 100% of their maximum health. 2 minute cooldown.

Developer’s Note: The version of Divine Sacrifice we introduced to Season of Discovery has a lot of drawbacks, and it is very situational on a slot filled with other situationally good utility. We’re changing this to be more like the familiar Hand of Sacrifice from future expansions. Blessing of Sacrifice is rather weak in Vanilla WoW aside from avoiding CC in PvP with no cooldown, and it also removes the target’s Blessing. This should be more generally useful with fewer drawbacks than Divine Sacrifice (or Blessing of Sacrifice, for that matter).

Activating Holy Shield no longer provides attack power, but now provides 2 spell power per point of defense instead.

Developer’s Note: Protection Paladins gain enormous value from Sheath of Light, and Defense giving Attack Power only furthered the value of that rune. So, we’re swapping the bonus Defense provides Paladins from Attack Power to Spell Power to further enable and encourage the usage of other runes such as Malleable Protection, which has also been adjusted.

The Malleable Protection rune now doubles the spell power bonus granted when activating Holy Shield.

Developer’s Note: In the same vein as the last Dev Note, this is about having players feel less bad about taking their Defensive while adding value to the Defense stat. Spell Power is also a bit more thematic than Attack Power for Protection Paladin.

The Vindicator rune has been replaced with a new rune: Shock and Awe

Holy Shock now grants the paladin 1 additional spell power per point of Intellect for 30 seconds on use. (replace with actual tooltip text)

Developer’s Note: The Vindicator rune was just too strong in relation to the other options in this slot in its previous state so we’re adding a slightly different version of it to the Talent itself. But that left us with a Rune open, and an opportunity to give the “shockadin” playstyle another option for players wishing to pursue that niche.

The Vindication talent now reduce the target’s attack power by 70/140/210 and grant 3/6/10% additional attack power to the paladin when it triggers. Lasts 30 seconds.

Developer’s Note: The original intent of Vindicator was to add some value to a Talent that was functionally unusable in PvE in Original WoW. As a result we’re moving the portion of attack power reduction and the AP increase to the actual Vindication talent itself.

Shield of Righteousness now causes damage equal to two times the paladin’s shield block value plus an additional amount of damage based on attack power.

Developer’s Note: The damage scaling on this ability was not satisfactory so we doubled the contribution that shield block value adds to the damage.

Rogue

Slaughter from the Shadows: Now reduces Backstab and Ambush cost by 30 (up from 20) and now also increases damage Backstab and Ambush do to non-player controlled targets by 60%.

Mutilate is dominant in PvE and we know some players have a deep fondness for backstab so the intent here is to bring Backstab up with new synergies. This rune may be niche and situational due to the fact that it competes with Deadly Brew but we’ll keep an eye on usage.

Unfair Advantage now also triggers on Parries, always hits your current target, and grants 1 combo point when it triggers.

Developer’s Notes: This is to give tanks a way to get Combo Points to maintain their 2 maintenance finishers without having to completely rely on Honor Among Thieves. This accomplishes two things: 1) allows you to feel like Avoidance further increases your damage output. 2) Increases the potential for Rune combination diversity. You can do Honor Among Thieves + Carnage (with the Carnage change later on) or Combat Potency/Focused Attacks + Unfair Advantage to have a way to gain combo points, and a way to keep the energy flowing.

Shiv has been replaced with a new rune: Cutthroat

You no longer need to be behind your target to Backstab, Ambush, or Garrote, and you have a 15% chance when you Backstab to make your next Ambush not require being in Stealth.

Known issue: These abilities still trigger an error stating you must be behind your target. This is visual only and we will correct that in a later update.
Developer’s Notes: With the change to Poisoned Knife to have no dead zone, Shiv stood to fall even further behind compared to the other runes in this slot. With Saber Slash and Mutilate having their identities locked in with damage over time effects, we wanted to add a “Big numbers” option to this slot for those who enjoy Backstab and Ambush.

Main Gauche now grants 100% Parry chance until you next Parry an attack instead of 10% Parry. Now also reduces the Energy cost of Sinister Strike by 20 for the next 10 sec. Combo points granted reduced to 1 (down from 3).

Developer’s Notes: In line with theme of glove runes and dominance, we understand Mutilate has been essentially the default choice for many builds, and we want to open that up more. Creating a synergy with Sinister Strike made sense to us here, since Main Gauche is a longer cooldown and we don’t feel comfortable increasing the rate at which a Rogue will able to avoid attacks and accelerating rogues reaching a full avoidance cap which could prove problematic. We think this version of Main Gauche allows the player to control their avoidance, creates more energy play outside of just Adrenaline Rush, and may allow more builds to open up. This additionally keeps the efficacy against bosses with 2.0 attack speed essentially allowing the rogue to avoid 1 extra attack every 10 swings (10%).

Carnage now also heals the Rogue for 40% of all damage done by Rupture (or Crimson Tempest).

Developer’s Note: Adding some sustain to Rogue could be problematic, but we also feel like Rupture has two uses in an Envenom World – stop another Rogue from restealthing, and to bleed down a Plate wearer. Outside of that, Rupture doesn’t have a ton of great application. So instead of adding more damage to it, we want to push its identity out in a way it doesn’t compete 1 to 1 with other finishers. This also gives Tank Rogues an opportunity to opt into Carnage over Unfair Advantage and adding Rupture to their rotation.

Fan of Knives damage reduced to 50% weapon damage (75% with daggers).

Developer’s Note: Fan of Knives is an incredibly synergistic ability and there are more synergies than before for Rogues. This version may look weaker than say the Wrath of the Lich King version, but Focused Attacks is 50% more energy restored in SoD than in Wrath, Deadly Brew will apply Deadly and Instant Poison from both weapons on Fan of Knives, and occult poison will increase the damage of your instant poisons when you stack it up with longer AoE pulls. So, we feel very comfortable taking down the base damage of Fan of Knives without negatively impacting AoE threat or damage relative to similar AoE abilities. The three cloak runes are similar ways to do AoE damage, and with Carnage now working on Crimson Tempest for healing off AoE targets it now has distinct identity as well. We’ll continue to monitor these three runes and adjust as needed.

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