Just a few things, since the real meat of tank changes will be revealed in the upcoming class blogs.
Artifact weapons were released on the official WoW site. One of my predictions for the brewmaster was correct! Here’s the summary:
Brewmaster Artifact: Fu Zan, the Wanderer’s Companion
Brewmaster Monks wield the staff Fu Zan, the Wanderer’s Companion. Crafted from the first of Pandaria’s forest, its journey through the ages has imbued it with untold power in the hands of these clever masters.
Long ago, as the titanic watcher Keeper Freya set out to populate the world with life, she placed one of the first seeds in Pandaria. From it grew Fu Zan, the first, and all of Pandaria’s forests descended from it. Before populating the rest of Azeroth, Freya fashioned a walking stick for her travels from one of Fu Zan’s branches. Eventually Freya passed her staff to the Jade Serpent, Yu’lon, who later gave it to a uniquely clever hozen. The Monkey King, as he was called, hung his most prized possessions from the staff, which he carries with him to this day.
Vengeance Demon Hunter Artifact: Aldrachi Warblades
Vengeance Demon Hunters stand strong against all incoming threats. Their weapons of choice are the Aldrachi Warblades, which are infused with the might and incredible resilience of a lost people.
In ages past, the dark titan, Sargeras, offered the mighty aldrachi people a place in his Burning Legion. But the aldrachi proved incorruptible: they slew innumerable demons before their race was wiped out. Sargeras personally killed their greatest champion and seized his weapons. Much later, a demon hunter willingly became the servant of Sargeras’ lieutenant Kil’jaeden. Pleased, Kil’jaeden bestowed the warblades on her, that she might wield a portion of the aldrachi’s bygone might, and devastate the mortals of Azeroth with it.
General Tanking – What we know
The only place tanking (and brewmasters) was specifically addressed was in the Community Ampitheatre in the Darkmoon Faire area, which was a small seating area not presented on the virtual ticket. Arielle and Hinalover got some interesting answers to their questions:
- Resolve is going away. Abilities that depended on resolve for scaling will change, either by scaling with a different mechanic (maybe with health) or by adjusting the effect.
- Boss movement issues (where smaller bosses will over adjust to slight tank movement) will be fixed in the next patch. It was a difficult engineering issue to solve, but the end is near!
- They want tanking to be easier to approach. Overall, active mitigation was too powerful. They want beginner tanks to still live, so they’ll reduce the effectiveness of AM. AM should be more about timing and less about resource management.
- They want good tanks to be able to do good damage, though they didn’t specifically mention defense/offense tradeoffs. You should be able to do your max dps rotation while playing for survival.
- Talents will open up many opportunities for tanks to increase their damage. Guardian druids will be able to bearcat again through talents.
- More big cooldowns, like Shield Wall, will count as “active mitigation” in fights that require it.
Brewmaster – What we know
What info we got for brewmasters was tantalizingly vague, though we know more specifics will come out in a number of days or maybe even hours. Here’s what I gathered so far:
- Brewmasters will have a new active mitigation rotation: one ability that significantly increases stagger, and one that purifies stagger.
- Guard is probably going away because an absorb doesn’t fit the fantasy of a swift and agile tank.
Demon Hunter – What we Know
Wowhead summed up the demon hunter experience better than I ever could, so please read that.
Most relevant to my interests are the tanking specialization abilities, which the didn’t cover at all in the systems panel. I suspect that Vengeance is still in flux, so these previews are far from whatever the final product ends up being. That said, here they are for posterity:
- Hateful Strike: An instant weapon strike that causes 4,987 Physical damage, increasing as the target’s health gets lower.
- Fel Blood: Your blood boils, redirecting 40% of damage taken to Fury. Lasts 5 sec.
- Voidblade: Deals 10,686 Shadow damage and heals you for 100% of the damage inflicted.
- Metamorphosis: Transform to demon form, gaining maximum Fury and health. While transformed, damage taken is reduced by up to 60%. Damage reduction increases as your health decreases. Lasts 15 sec.
Vengeance’s theme seems to be using hits taken from the enemy against them. Fel Blood converts damage taken into a resource, Metamorphosis and Hateful Strike are more effective the lower the health on the recipient. Voidblade is basically Expel Harm. Note that Hateful Strike, a purely dps ability, as a different resource: Pain. I don’t want to speculate too much on that, since we have a very incomplete picture, but it is interesting.
I played the demo at Blizzcon five whole times (there wasn’t much of a line), so beyond the stuff that is talked about in the Wowhead post, here’s what I noticed:
- Demon Hunters have their unique set of /silly and /flirt. They mostly have to do with being blind, seeing through things, and eating demon souls. My favorite was “You. Me. Let’s go.”
- You start out as Havoc and get to officially choose your spec once you’re through the first area, about 20min in. Of course, Vengeance was broken so it wouldn’t let me choose that.
- Havoc’s mastery increased chaos damage and movement speed.
- Spectral Sight shows you demons and treasures through walls.
- There was a ground item that removed the cooldown from Fel Rush. With this 2 minute buff, you could zoom around anywhere very quickly, and since you could use it while double-jumping and gliding through the air, you could basically fly.