Patch 3.3.3 PTR Notes, Mages, and More

The PTR notes for Patch 3.3.3 are out. Let’s have a quick look, shall we? In the order in which they were presented? Excellent!

Culling of Stratholme
Players may now skip the initial introduction dialog to this dungeon once they have completed it at least once.

This, as the bard says, is rocking good news. Though I must admit I haven’t run into this dungeon a great deal on the randomizer it’s pleasant to know that it can be done forthwith instead of waiting for the introduction every time—which is just wasteful.

Several raid buffs have had their ranges increased to 100 yards, up from 45 yards, to prevent select buffs from repeatedly getting applied and removed during highly mobile encounters. Some buffs, such as paladin auras, totems, shouts and Blood Pact are intentionally meant to have shorter ranges and remain unchanged.

I must admit that if I’m running around then I’m too busy running around to notice when I pass in and out of this or that buff. I know my Kings doesn’t run out and that’s really all I track. Sorry, buffing classes (but if you’re one of them then you’re probably not reading this so I’m totally talking behind your back!.

And now the part we all care most about: Mages!

Frostbolt: Spell power scaling on this spell has been increased by approximately 5%.

What’s that you say? More power? Anything more power is good, so I support and endorse this product or service. Now, I’m not precisely sure what “power scaling” means and I’m sure there are some nerds out there who’d be happy to elucidate, but I’m fixated on the “more power” part. Which I assume this means, so yay!

Forgot what Arcane Empowerment is? Here’s a refresher:

Increases the damage of your Arcane Missiles spell by an amount equal to 45% of your spell power and the damage of your Arcane Blast by 9% of your spell power.  In addition, when you score a critical hit with Arcane Missiles, Arcane Explosion, Arcane Blast, or Arcane Barrage all party and raid members have all damage increased by 3% for 10 sec.

And the change:

Arcane Empowerment: This effect is now passive instead of being a proc off of critical strikes. The self damage buff remains unchanged.

So that means it’s helping everyone all the time? Can’t complain about that.

Incanter’s Absorption refresher:

When you absorb damage your spell damage is increased by 15% of the amount absorbed for 10 sec.  Total spell damage increase cannot exceed 5% of your health.

And the change:

Incanter’s Absorption: This talent now only grants additional spell power when damage is absorbed by Mana Shield, Frost Ward, Fire Ward, or Ice Barrier. The limit of 5% of the mage’s health on the spell power buff has been removed.

So, this is a total buff, yes? The buff comes from the 5% limit being removed. It turns out that I have zero ranks in this talent. Hmm. I wonder why that is…

Burning Soul: Threat reduction is now 10/20%, up from 5/10%.

“Up” is good. Always!

Brain Freeze refresher:

Your Frost damage spells with chilling effects have a 15% chance to cause your next Fireball spell to be instant cast and cost no mana.

And the change:

Brain Freeze: This talent now allows your next Fireball or Frostfire Bolt to be instant and cost no mana. There is a small internal cooldown to keep the Frostfire Bolt from immediately triggering Brain Freeze again.

This means fire spec gets to play too, what with their cute fireballs and everything! Yay!

Seriously, does anyone use the Fire spec any more? I’m asking.

Glyph of Fireball refresher:

Use: Increases the critical strike chance of Fireball by 5%, but removes the damage over time effect.

The change:

Glyph of Fireball: No longer increases critical strike chance of Fireball. Instead, it now reduces the cast time of Fireball by 0.15 seconds.

Hmm. I think this is a buff since it means more fireballs, and when you have more of anything—especially of something that can proc something else—then you’re enjoying life.

Dalaran Life

Frozo the Renowned has moved into the Dalaran Magus Commerce Exchange and will be trading your Frozen Orbs for various other trade goods.

I saw a screenshot indicating that he’ll be selling the “eternal” components, such as Eternal Earth, Eternal Shadow, and so on. This benefits me because I use those things for tailoring patterns. And I have a ton of Frozen Orbs sitting around doing nothing. Now I get to spend them on something!

Sew What?

Glacial Bag: Creating this item now invokes a 7-day cooldown.

Huh? On, wait, this makes sense with the next note:

The cooldown and location requirements have been removed from creating Moonshroud, Spellweave and Ebonweave.

This is very awesome. I don’t use those materials to make Glacial Bags usually, I use them for actual clothes (and to sell individually in the AH). We won’t be able to sell these components for high prices any more, and I’m fine with that I guess, though I’ll miss the income.

I bet the Glacial Bag market is going to explode though, bringing prices way down. Yes, there’ll be a longer cooldown for the bags—but the overall cooldown will be less. It’ll take fewer days to make a bag than it did for the multiple cooldowns required to produce the materials.

Shiny!

All Alert pop-ups now have new and fresh Alert icons.

Yay! I’m sure they’re awesome.

Speaking of Money…

If the Auction House on a realm is unavailable for any reason, an alert will pop up informing players who attempt to access it.

Uh, so? The problem we encounter is lag, not outright unavailability. But does this mean we won’t be seeing any lag outside of the AH because before it was the AH causing lag problems (particularly item database errors)? But now instead of slowing everything down the AH will be offline entirely?

More information is needed.

Players can now Right-Click to place an item in the Auction frame.

Ye gods this is overdue. Severely overdue.

Stack Size: If a stack of items has been added to the Auction frame, players can select the size of the stack they wish to sell. If an invalid stack size is entered (i.e. a stack of 21 Saronite Ore), the Create Auction button will be grayed out.

So instead of organizing in your backpack you’ll organize in the AH window. Hmm. It still has to be done so I’m not sure what the benefit of moving it into the AH window is, to be honest.

Number of Stacks: In addition to selecting the size of a stack, players can select how many stacks of an item they wish to sell (i.e. if a player has a total of 43 Saronite Ore in the Auction frame, they can choose to list 2 stacks of 20, 4 stacks of 10, 8 stacks of 5, 43 stacks of 1, etc. If the number and amount of stacks listed results in a remainder, the left-over items will be placed back in the player’s bags automatically).

See above.

Price: Players can now choose to input the price of an item Per Stack or Per Item by selecting either option from a pull-down. If Per Item is selected and a player is selling a stack of that item, the Auction House will multiply the selected Per Item price by the amount of that item in the stack. If Per Stack is selected, the player can enter the total price he or she wishes to charge for each stack of that item being listed.

This is handy! We can look at the lowest price for a single and then sell the stack at X below that price. Very nice!

Auction Post Completion Bar: If multiple items or stacks of items are being listed at once by a player, a Posting completion bar will appear showing the total progress of each individual auction being listed once the Create Auction button is selected. The greater the number of individual listings being made in a single press of the Create Auction button, the longer this process will take. Players can still browse the Auction House while the Posting completion bar is in progress, but moving around will interrupt the progress, similar to moving while attempting to create multiple bandages with First Aid. Just as with creating bandages, auctions that were completed prior to the character moving or otherwise canceling the actions will successfully be listed.

What? I must admit I don’t quite envision what they’re talking about from this description. A little help?

Dungeony!

The Deserter debuff given to players who leave a dungeon prematurely when queuing via the Random Dungeon option has been increased to 30 minutes, up from 15 minutes. The cooldown for using the Random Dungeon option remains 15 minutes.

I guess they’ve been having some trouble with people deserting. i.e. Oculus is still a choice in the randomizer.

Anyone in a dungeon party can now re-queue their group for a dungeon, as players will still be prompted whether or not to accept their chosen role.

Handy! Many a time we’ve been waiting to re-Q only to find that the leader didn’t realize they were the leader.

Players who use the Vote Kick option will now be prompted to provide a reason for kicking a party member. This reason will be presented to everyone in the party except for the person voted to be kicked.

Yes. This. This has come up before in randoms, where someone will flip out and want someone kicked, but doesn’t discuss it with anyone and so we’re left wondering what the hell’s going on. I usually assume it was a mistake and vote No almost out of reflex.

When joining as a group, more generous level requirements will be used instead of Random Dungeon level requirements so that players of different levels joining together will be eligible for a greater number of dungeons.

And I’m perfectly fine with this. This helps people and I like helping. 🙂

World Event bosses (such as Ahune for the Fire Festival) will now be accessible through the Dungeon Finder. Players must use the Dungeon Finder to access these bosses.

Yay! Very good news!

Parties randomly created via the Dungeon Finder will always be arranged in the party interface from top to bottom in the following order: tank, healer, damage, damage, damage.

Yet we can’t arrange our own characters in the Character Selection Screen in any order at all. Lame. But anyway I’ve never found the order that everyone’s listed in to be of even the slightest problem. I look for whoever the healer is and give them Focus Magic and we’re off to the races!

If a random party is created via the Dungeon Finder and a player cannot roll Need on an item, a reason will now be provided.

Hasn’t come up really but it’d be nice to know if it happens.

Authenticator Frame: If a player has a Battle.net Authenticator attached to his or her account and selects Remember Account Name at the login screen, the next time that player logs into World of Warcraft, a field to input the Authenticator code will be displayed below the password field.

Good. It’s jarring to have it appear as a secondary item. It looks out of place and I’ve always wondered why login wasn’t all at once.

The World Map will now provide an option to display different levels of a multi-layered dungeon, zone, or city (i.e. players can view the map of the Dalaran Sewers without having to be in that location).

Oh, this is awesome! Very awesome indeed! No more looking at the map wondering where in the world the person who wiped and is running back has gotten to.

The Quest Tracking Objectives Frame can now be widened via the Interface Options menu.

Thank the gods. The add-on for the Razer Naga mouse (which I highly recommend) interferes with this frame if I have too many quests at once. I’m most anxious to widen the window and this save some space.

The short description for a tracked quest is now displayed on the Map in the quest pane. But this won’t affect my ability to use the map? Hmm. Sounds like a clever trick—I’m anxious to see how it works.

Quest items in a player’s inventory which begin quests now each have an exclamation point overlaid on their icons to make them more easily identifiable.

Bonus!

If a players selects Track Low Level Quests, the quest objectives will no longer appear dim on the Map, nor will the exclamation points appear dim over NPC heads or on the Mini-Map.

I didn’t have a problem with this before, but I guess other folk did, so I’m happy for them!

The Objectives Frame will now list the number of quests displayed at the top. In addition, players can now click on the word “Objectives” at the top of the Objectives Frame for a list of sorting and filtering options which will determine how quests are ordered. Any quests or achievements filtered or sorted out of the Objectives Frame are still being tracked and are simply hidden in this frame.

  • Sort by most difficult quests.
  • Sort by least difficult quests.
  • Sort by quests closest in proximity to the player (this will automatically update as players travel around).
  • Manual sorting: This allows players to Right-Click on each quest name in the Objectives Frame and determine in what order they should be placed.
  • Toggle achievement tracking.
  • Toggle completed quest tracking.
  • Toggle tracking quest objectives in other zones.

Oh, this will be very fantastic and awesome. Cannot wait for this feature, let me tell you.

Players can now Shift + Click on a quest objective or check the Track Quest box on the Map to track a quest in the Objectives Frame.

Excellent. Very nice.

I’m quite pleased with this round of patches. There are improvements that’ll contribute to our daily lives and, thus, will increase our basic enjoyment of the game. Things like being able to right-click to add something to the AH is a good example. It’s not radical but it will make playing the game easier and, thus, more fun for everyone.

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Geek. (But so are you!)

Posted on February 19, 2010, in World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. According to Critical QQ, http://criticalqq.wordpress.com/2010/02/19/patch-3-3-3-mages-and-pvp-and-batman/,

    the change to Incanter’s Absorption is actually a nerf. As the talent is now, I believe the damage absorption can come from anything. If you have willing disc. priest, you can get sick amounts of spellpower. Not so post patch.

    I changed to an Incanter’s Absorption spec after my first Marrowgar fight. I figured that, since I wasn’t going to get out of the coldfire fast enough, I might as well make it work for me. I haven’t necessarily gotten sick amounts of spellpower, but I do see a nice boost. Like Euripedes, I suspect the talent might still be worthwhile if you talent and glyph your frost and fire wards.

    I’ll be very curious to see what comes out of the test realms and what the theorycrafters make of it.

    For all the other changes, I can only say “w00t!”

    • Ah, I see now why I didn’t consider that—’cause no priest ever bubbles me. 😉 That was a clever idea though—very clever indeed!

      I’d forgotten about that talent but now that I’m reminded I just might have to see if it’s worth picking it up. Have to do a lot of re-figuring though… :/

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