Patch 5.3 – Impressions & other thoughts

First of all, a very nice dps boost for me, both with the 10% damage increase to Savage Roar and (finally) getting all my Secrets of the Empire for my legendary meta, of which the proc is currently doing about 5-6% of my damage (yay!), and on top of that gear upgrading, which went to my weapon first up, so after being one of the lowest ilvl’s in the raid, I’m now 420, as there’s nothing worthwhile left to buy with valor so it’s all going into upgrading. Week before last our guild downed Durumu after fewer attempts than I anticipated (who said LFR isn’t practice?), and 1 shot it after we changed from 3 healers to 2, and then Primordius after only 2 attempts, so it seems he’s harder on LFR than normal, or just that basically LFR strat is all you need to know. Damage on him seems to largely hinge on how fast you can get your stacks up both at the start and the first time it wears off. Last week we didn’t get any attempts in as I was having problems with our phone socket which was causing extreme lag and disconnects. It’s not a nice feeling when everyone else has to show up and then give up a night of raiding because you can’t play.

I am still to get any loot from Lei’Shen on LFR, let alone the Rune of Re-origination I’ve been using a coin on every week since it opened, (sometimes 2 by re-queueing). No luck on shoulders either for 4 set. I would rant about LFR obviously having drops set too low, but then I have to recall that my priest had 2 set and several offpieces from ToT LFR before my druid even had any tier at all, plus I don’t do LFR on my priest every week, so I will just settle for believing my druid is very unlucky. The increased chances on coin rolls seems good, but it’s still disappointing that you don’t really have much control over when your bad luck streak will end. I’d want mine to hopefully end on Lei’Shen, but instead I got a belt from a different boss so yeah, we’ll see if that actually pans out.

On the subject of LFR, another interesting addition has been selecting the specialisation you want to receive gear for. At some point before 5.2 I gathered a pvp set of resto gear and was healing LFR at the time for faster queues and easier opportunities for tier loot (never got any after 5.2 though, even with a stockpile of coins of good fortune) and for Dungeon Finder to cap my valor for the legendary quest. For me, this new addition has been working really well, as it’s easier than the way I was doing it before. I don’t really like druid healing that much (I don’t hate it) but it’s an easy way to get into LFR, and I’ve never been able to get the hang of bear tanking. A thought occurred to me though, about how many people are doing, or will do, exactly what I am – have a very bad offset of healing gear (possibly PvP gear), queue looking for raid based on their DPS gear ilvl, to be able to roll on DPS gear, and possibly do sub-par healing. Tanks may be in a similar boat but it’s a bit harder to get away with tanking in sub-par gear, because unlike healing, there’s not always the option of someone making up for your poor efforts. Though the thing that shocked me when I first started doing this was that, even at 6 ilvls below the requirement in my resto gear, I was still 2nd or 3rd on the healing metres. What?! (first of course, is usually the Smite spamming disc priest.)

Next comes PvP. Wow, where to start? Removal of Resilience on gear. I’m not really sure what to make of this, and I’m pretty sure the pure PvP’ers are up in arms, especially if they’re to get beaten by someone in full PvE gear. I’ve read a few blue posts on MMO-champion about this though, and they do seem to make sense.

“There are many players that are skilled in both PvP and PvE but only have time to dedicate themselves to fully equip their characters into one of these roles, this patch means that such players will be able to enjoy much more content without feeling any huge competitive unfairness.” (Source)

The fact is, that when you start at no resilience, or even 40%, getting PvP gear is extremely painful, and most people don’t have the time to focus on both PvE and PvP gear. Even with a crafted set, you don’t start feeling you can survive in a BG until you have at least the 476 gear and some sort of PvP weapons. What this has meant for me personally, as I still have quite a few 483 pieces from last season, is that I can substitute my low ilvl offset pieces with PvE gear, which will just get scaled back to 496. In fact, the difference between all my resilience gems in my PvP gear with none at all is 1.25%. Switching out my lowest non-set pieces is about .25% off that. What it also means, is that just about anyone can do arena now; you don’t need to grind the full 476 PvP set before you can even think of trying arena. Good or bad thing? I don’t know. A post I read says this will make it better for people who are after high ratings:

“I’m hoping to see many more players jump into Arena after 5.3, this is actually a good thing, even for the most Hardcore PvP players, more teams usually means more stability and by mixing the PvE and PvP population, it will probably become a bit easier to reach higher ratings as well.” (Source)

Basically what I read this as is “here’s some PvE fodder for you to grind into a pulp and use their smooshed, lifeless bodies as stairs”.

But I actually did something this week I haven’t done in a long time – I capped Conquest on my Druid. I think we won a little over half, which is better than it was when we just got smashed by burst teams every time, and I finally have my Tyrannical weapon (the irony is that after doing almost no arena on my mage, she has a Tyrannical weapon this week too). And after playing my mage for a bit, I can appreciate the benefit of being able to keep constant pressure/damage on a target as Feral, with probably less burst but more consistent damage. I haven’t actually tested or read about whether PvP power is still worthwhile over a primary stat (i.e. Agility) now that you only get half as much of it, which is something I may end up doing. I think that overall I’m going to like this change, probably because I primarily concentrate on PvE and do PvP to mix it up and for achievements. It’s not going to be about who has the best PvP gear now; it levels out the playing field a bit, where skill or strategy comes more into play than just gear (but that still leaves class balance to just blow some people out of the water). But then, what will be the point of PvP gear at all? Or maybe, what’s the point of honor PvP gear, when the ilvl is so low compared to current PvE gear that it’s probably better to wear your raiding gear until you earn enough Conquest for 496 items.

Too early to tell how this will work out I guess.

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