Posts Tagged ‘hotfix’

Throughout the Mists expansion, an unaddressed quirk had allowed rogues to cause trouble while stealthed for much longer than was intended.

No more.

From the March 18 Patch 5.4.7 hotfix list (though it appears to have been live for at least a day prior):

Resolved an issue where Vanish modified by Glyph of Vanish was incorrectly causing the Subterfuge effect to trigger twice. Vanish will now cancel its effect when the duration of Subterfuge expires.

In other words, what was happening here was that a rogue would cast Vanish, which would activate Subterfuge. Normally, both the “improved stealth mode” granted by Vanish and the Subterfuge buff last for three seconds, meaning they drop off at the same time. But the Glyph of Vanish makes that “improved stealth” last a total of five seconds. So it caused Subterfuge to actually proc twice — once when the rogue first hit Vanish, and then again when the five seconds wore off, extending their stealth by an additional three seconds.

(Correct me if I’m wrong, but if a rogue used Preparation after this, they could theoretically do everything all over again with an additional Vanish, actually giving them 16 seconds of stealth while still actively wreaking havoc.)

From what little I know about this bug, the value of exploiting it was not tremendous, particularly in PvP. Players had known about it for quite some time, but because it requires PvP rogues to burn a hugely valuable Vanish for somewhat dubious benefit, its relevance in competitive environments (specifically arena) was pretty limited.

It was probably utilized much more frequently among Subtlety raiders who were very serious about optimizing their DPS rotation, since its use during raid fights would have yielded more Ambushes (and, I’m assuming without actually pondering numbers here, better Find Weakness uptime).

But! Not anymore. :)

But but! There’s at least one upside:

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On March 11, this hotfix was posted:


  • Darkflight’s movement speed increase no longer stacks with Burning Rush or Burst of Speed.

Almost immediately, rogues started noticing. And it wasn’t just the worgen-only Darkflight-BoS combo — which had reportedly allowed worgen rogues to briefly experience run speeds of up to 425% — that had apparently been affected. Burst of Speed no longer appears to stack with any other movement-speed enhancing spell, including the engineering perk Nitro Boosts.

This, in and of itself, appeared to cause only a small amount of grumbling. Worgen players have long been able to stack Darkflight with Burst of Speed, giving them a huge advantage in select situations — for instance, as a flag carrier in Warsong Gulch. Establishing better balance, even at this late stage in the expansion, is hard to argue against, particularly when the change is ultimately such a small one.

Regardless, though not explicitly laid out within the hotfix, the change appears to be “pretty much” intended:

What may be less intended is a side effect: While Burst of Speed is active, rogues appear to be locked out from using any other movement-enhancing spell, including Sprint. This prevents a rogue from, say, hitting Sprint just as BoS is about to wear off to maintain their 70% speed buff without interruption. Instead, BoS must actually drop off, briefly slowing the rogue, before Sprint can be activated.

Whether this is part of the intended changes or not — and whether it’ll be tweaked or not — remains to be seen. But it looks like at least the design team is keenly aware of the complaints.

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Sorry for two things: 1) the delay on this post (this hotfix is at least two days old) and 2) the fact that I pretty much have no clue what it’s about. I am posting it late at night (on the right coast, at least) in hopes that I’ll be able to alleviate my OCD-ish need to report this while still ensuring that almost nobody reads it.

The Oct. 7 update to the official Patch 5.4 hotfix notes (not to be confused with the Oct. 9 update, which is the day I’m writing this post, but not the day to which I’m referring, because that would make too much sense) included this:

Corrected an issue with Cloak and Dagger that could allow Rogues to bypass some targeting and line-of-sight restrictions.

Yep. So. That happened.

I was away from gaming and blogging for virtually all of the past week-plus, so you guys may have more clue than me what this was about. My educated guess is that it was meant to bring Shadowstep’s and CnD’s mechanics closer together. For instance:

  • In PvE: Meanwhile, on the Siegecrafter Blackfuse fight in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, one of the tasks us damage-dealers need to perform involves jumping into a pipe so we can be transported over to a conveyor belt where adds spawn. Adds spawn on the belt every 30 seconds, but we can only use the pipe once every 60 seconds (thanks to a debuff placed on us). A few of you clever roguetypes realized that you could use Cloak and Dagger (but not Shadowstep) to bypass the debuff and teleport directly to an add on the belt. I wouldn’t be surprised if the hotfix resolved that little issue as well.

If I’m wrong about any or all of this, please yell at me and cast aspersions in the comments.

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Well, this’ll probably make a few people unhappy. :)

A new batch of hotfixes was just posted on WoW’s official site, and it includes a whole mess of balance changes to nearly every class.

These are the rogue bits:

  • Assassination: Assassin’s Resolve now increases the Rogue’s damage by 20% (down from 25%).
  • Subtlety: Sanguinary Vein now causes the Rogue to deal 35% additional damage to targets afflicted by Rupture, Garrote, or Crimson Tempest (up from 25%).
  • Subtlety: Tier-16 4-piece set bonus should no longer incorrectly activate from attacks other than Backstab.

I realize the Assassination nerf may instill within you a deep desire to wail and gnash your teeth, but before you grind those molars down to nubs, let me show you these:

One Spec to Rule Them All?

These are Raidbots’ DPS graphs (top 100 average; 25-man normal mode). That line up at the top is Assassination. On these three fights, it’s not even close — we’re talking a 10%-20% gap between Mut and the next-best spec.

Now, Raidbots’ trend lines and DPS averages always need to be taken with a healthy dose of salt, because any number of biases can potentially come into play that skew the data and make gaps look larger than they are. Our theorycrafter extraordinaire Fierydemise, for instance, offers that Mut’s quicker learning curve compared to most other specs/classes may be partly to blame.

But also keep in mind that the new raid has been out for two weeks now. Blizzard’s designers have access to a far deeper, far more informative array of data on raid performance than we do, and are notoriously (and understandably) reluctant to nerf specs after a patch has launched. It takes a *lot* for them to decide it’s worth it; clearly, in this case, they felt the cumulative evidence showed that Mut was blatantly overperforming — and that its overperformance was consistent, if not increasing, as more and more players began to progress through the new raid.

If the charts above hold true, the nerfs about to hit the spec (which likely won’t actually take effect until Tuesday’s restarts) won’t seriously affect its dominance on fights like Norushen. They’ll just temper it a bit.

Meanwhile, as you can also see in the above charts, Subtlety continues to be dragged through the mud in end-game PvE. The spec’s horrible performance overall may be less about its actual DPS potential and more about the fact that most raiders still won’t touch it with a ten foot e-pole, but regardless the designers clearly felt something had to be done to encourage folks to give Sub a shot. (Personally, I’m increasingly feeling like removing Backstab’s positional requirement would go much farther toward achieving that goal than any DPS adjustments would.) I’ve also seen a handful of complaints that rogues’ sustained damage in PvP feels a little low, so this may well help on that front as well.

Lastly, the final hotfix note refers to reports from players that the new Tier 16 four-piece set bonus for Subtlety — in which every Backstab has a chance to turn your *next* Backstab into an Ambush you can use outside of stealth — wasn’t just proccing off of Backstab, but off of all sorts of other abilities, including Fan of Knives and regular Ambushes. That issue should be cleaned up shortly.

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Really quick note on a Patch 5.4 hotfix posted this evening:

Evil is a Point of View should no longer incorrectly cause Turn Evil to affect targets that are immune to loss of control effects.

This refers to the new level-30 paladin talent that allows pallies to join the ranks of classes with an option to use a fear against enemy players. Since Patch 5.4 went live yesterday, pallies with that talent were able to use Turn Evil to fear rogues (among others) at any time — including while they were in the middle of a Killing Spree, an ability that should be impossible to stop.

And now, assuming the hotfix works, it will be impossible again.

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Just over a week ago, the Vicious Talisman of Shado-Pan Assault — a PvE trinket purchased with Valor points — was nerfed, after many players expressed concerns (and Blizzard agreed) that it was too strong in PvP. The nerf reduced the strength of the trinket’s proc by 21.5%, in hopes of curbing the amount of burst damage it granted. (The same change was made to the Strength version of the trinket.)

But it didn’t take long for Blizzard to start to feel like the proc nerf might not be enough. So, as of a newly implemented hotfix, they’ve further reduced the value of the proc in PvP situations only — but they’ve doubled the proc’s length. The end result should be the same amount of damage, just more consistent and less bursty. The tooltip doesn’t appear to have been updated to match yet.

For your reading-what-official-people-write pleasure, I’ll dump all relevant tweets and Community Manager forum/blog post quotes below.


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[UPDATE 4/18: More changes were indeed coming. And then they came. And now they're here.]

Last week, a Patch 5.2 hotfix reduced the Agility proc on the new PvE Valor trinket, the Vicious Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault, by 21.5% in PvP situations. (This was *not* a Patch 5.3 PTR note, incidentally; the change is actually live.)

The change was intended to reduce the amount of burst that DPS classes/specs were able to deal to other players while the proc was active. But was it enough? Was it even… maybe… dare we say… too much?

HeckifIknow. But WoW PvP master Brian Holinka has been fielding a lot of tweets about the trinket since the hotfix. Here’s a dump (in date order) of all of them to date, for you to peruse and ponder at your temporal preference.


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[UPDATE 4/18: Further changes to the proc were implemented in a subsequent hotfix a little more than a week after the change covered in the post below.]

The lamentations of the dead have been heard!

Vicious Talisman of the Shadow-Pan Assault now grants a reduced bonus of 6908 to Agility when the effect is activated in PvP combat, down from 8800. The bonus remains unchanged when the effect is activated in PvE combat.

(Please note: Though this change has been made, we’ve been warned that it won’t immediately show up in tooltips yet. Also, yes, that’s a typo in the official hotfix note: The name of the trinket is “Shado-Pan,” not “Shadow-Pan.”)

So sayeth one of the newly-posted-but-dated-April-10 additions to the official Patch 5.2 hotfix notes. This change follows a great deal of complaint (even by WoW-players-on-the-Internet standards) that the Shado-Pan trinket, which is a PvE rep reward purchased with Valor Points, offered way too much burst potential in PvP settings (particularly when coupled with other burst cooldowns, which we rogue types do so love to use).

That super-specific Agility number difference mentioned in the hotfix amounts to a 21.5% nerf to the proc. As lead PvP designer Brian Holinka noted in a tweet (below), this will keep the Talisman’s burst potential higher than its PvP counterpart, but its overall damage will be lower.

And now, for the sake of putting all this somewhere relevant, I shall dump upon ye most of the tweets that Holinka has sent out in the past couple of weeks in response to people asking about this damn trinket. (These have all been living in the home for wayward rogue tweets for a while; it feels nice to give them a more permanent home. Yep. Feels nice.)


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Today’s new batch of official Patch 5.2 hotfixes includes this quality-of-life change for raiding rogues:

Assassination Rogues should no longer be receiving non-dagger agility weapons from bonus rolls and Raid Finder.

The good news: If you looooove raiding as Assassination and would never even consider Combat in a million bajillion years because you hate it with the passion of a thousand burning telenovelas, now you will never even have to *look* at another stinking one-handed axe, fist weapon, mace or sword.

More importantly (and less snarkily), you won’t find yourself winning a loot roll only to be given something you have no use for. This can be particularly annoying when a boss has a chance to drop, say, both a piece of leather armor and a one-handed +Agility weapon, and you win a drop — but then the system decides to give you the weapon instead of the armor, and then you fling it into the air in anger, and it eventually lands on the head of your healer in the middle of the next raid fight, and you wipe. Which would all be very unfortunate.

The bad news: If you like Combat but you happen to be doing a particular fight in Assassination spec, this appears to guarantee that you will never get a main-hand weapon drop from that boss (unless you’re doing a regular/heroic-mode fight and the weapon drops for the entire group). That’s not so cool. I’m surprised that this hotfix doesn’t appear to take that likelihood into account.

[UPDATED 4/2 AND 4/4:] The best news: Although this appears to be a happy change for Mut-only rogues and a not-so-happy change for Combat-plus-Mut rogues in 5.2, when Patch 5.3 drops, it looks like *everyone* will be happy, since for each raid fight we’ll have the opportunity to select which *spec* is the one we want to receive loot for, regardless of the one we’re using to kill the boss:


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This just in from today’s round of official Patch 5.2 hotfix notes:

Blade Flurry now has a range of 8 yards, up from 5 yards, and will only hit targets that are within the Rogue’s line-of-sight.

For anyone out there who’s still as steamed as a well-pressed shirt over the fact that Blade Flurry in Patch 5.2 does much less damage in two-target fights than it used to… well, no, actually, for those of you who are still angry about that, shut your faces already, because BF is still the strongest of the three specs on two-target fights, it now has solid DPS potential against 3 to 5 targets, and the originally planned nerf was partially reverted THREE TIMES to ensure that BF would still be a strong ability.

But I digress. For anyone out there who IS still annoyed over the BF changes, this tweak will hopefully turn that frown upside-down. Five yards is melee range; as Chase Christian pointed out just this week on WoW Insider (and many rogue players have noted in forums), that’s just small enough to make it extremely difficult to use BF to its maximum effect in most raid situations. The 60% bump in range may be all Combat rogues need to be competitive with Assassination in less-than-6-nearby-target situations (which accounts for most raid situations in which rogue AoE is helpful).

But why turn the dial up to 8 yards instead of 10? Not entirely sure. I don’t know other classes’ abilities well enough to compare all the ranges, though iirc warriors’ Cleave is only 5 yards. [Edit: As Señor Christian notes, warriors' Bladestorm also has an 8-yard range.]

(Actually, now that I think on it: Eight yards, as it so happens, is the same range that Fan of Knives used to have during the previous two expansions. We also used to have a glyph that extended the range from 8 yards to 12. In Mists, though, the glyph went away — FLASH TRIVIA: What glyph replaced it in WoW’s database? Hint: It’s lethally kinetic — and FoK’s range became 10 yards.)

I assumed that if Blade Flurry were going to be buffed, it’d be buffed to match FoK’s range. But this may well just be a case of the class design team taking an abundance of caution: They’ve already seen the kind of backlash that one Blade Flurry nerf caused, and they likely don’t want to overbuff it now only to have to dial it back down again in the future if 10 yards proves to somehow be too strong. However, don’t be surprised if you see another uptick to 10 yards in Patch 5.3 if Blizzard doesn’t see Combat DPS improve on multitarget fights as much as they’re hoping.

One closing note, on the line-of-sight change: <shrug>. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even realize BF ignored LoS in the first place. My best guess is it has to do with a desire to avoid potential issues in arena PvP, where a rogue could potentially chill next to a pillar and beat on one target in front of them, while also transferring some of the damage to an enemy caster on the opposite side of the pillar. How thick are those pillars, anyway?

Ew. That question sounded dirty. Like comparing a person to a sleeping bag filled with tent poles.

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