Chapter IV – Wake up and smell the coffee

It was a quiet sunday morning and I was running through my usual WoW routine – checking the AH, making sure add-ons are updated and reading my favourite blogs/news sites – instead of doing actual stuff when I ran into this, the list of Tier 13 set bonuses.

Usually I am a bit skeptical towards these early announcements, especially when there’s nothing on the PTR yet. However, I fancied doing some commentary while the news is still hot for a change, so… here we go.

TIER 13 SET BONUSES PREVIEW – DRUID

Restoration, 2PAfter using Innervate, the mana cost of your healing spells is reduced by 25% for 15 sec.

Thumbs mildly up. I like the Cata model of having a mana regen ability as the two-pieces bonus for healers. You can get it reasonably early and it’s always useful, both at the beginning of the gearing process and later when you start reforging spirit away. The fact that it’s a set bonus means that it doesn’t take up precious itemization stats.

It’s interesting to notice that the two-pieces bonus for both Resto Druids and Shamans procs from a mana-regen ability (Innervate for druids and Mana Tide Totem for Shamans), while it procs from healing output cooldowns for both Priests and Holy Paladins (Power Infusion/Lightwell and Divine Favor respectively) instead. On the one hand, I like having it tied to Innervate as often the healing-intense part of a fight is not at the beginning; thus you can wait to Innervate before a heavy raid damage phase, when you have consumed some of your mana bar and will make good use of the mana discount.

On the other hand, Innervate is the only resto spell with a cooldown comparable to those abilites from other classes (only Power Infusion has a 2 mins CD, rest is 3 mins), which was a very simple reason for the developers to pick Innervate, I guess. Wait, Tranquillity has a 3 mins CD as well, but it wouldn’t make much sense to tie something like “After using x the cost of your spells is reduced by 25% for 15 sec.” to a channeled spell.

Restoration, 4PYour Rejuvenation and Regrowth spells have a 10% chance to Timeslip and have double the normal duration.

I am not sure what to do of this one. I will assume the exact meaning is that when you cast Rejuve or Regrowth you have a 10% chance that the HoT will last twice as normal. The one from Regrowth is pretty much irrelevant. If you get a proc when casting Rejuvenation, that means you will have a 24 seconds HoT which of course heals for twice as normal. A 24-seconds Rejuve on the tank doesn’t sound exciting but it’s not bad either – you will save one second of casting time and the mana needed to recast it, as you usually want to keep Rejuve rolling on the tank.

A 24-seconds Rejuve on a raid member does sound bad though. Even with the Cataclysm healing model, in fights where there is a substantial amount of raid damage you can’t afford to spend 24 seconds to top a player’s health out – you will have to supplement it anyway with Wild Growth, Efflorescence or something else. As much as a stronger Rejuvenation might sound good, it’s not very useful if it procs on raid healing – it won’t make the difference and will result in heavy overhealing. I’d rather have a chance to see Rejuvenation heal for twice the amount in the same time span, although that might be a tad too strong.

So… I guess that for the time being, this deserves a thumbs down. It would be nice to know how the 4-pieces bonus exactly works with Gift ot the Earthmother, by the way.

– – –

While I was at it, I took the time to look at the Warlock set bonuses. I still keep an eye on all things warlocky even after changing my raiding toon, and secretly hope for Mage nerfs which will not come.

BONUS TIER 13 SET BONUSES PREVIEW – WARLOCK

2P — The duration of your Doomguard and Infernal summons is increased by [15|45] sec and the cooldown of of those spells is reduced by 4 min.  (45 for Demonology, 15 for non-Demonology.)

Not a fan of the different duration/cooldown for Demonology. I love that spec dearly, but does it need a buff compared to Affliction and Fire, I mean Destruction? Four minutes less of CD means you’ll be able to use it twice in most fights. At least it makes sense with Demo being all about, well, summoned demons.

Anyway, unless there’s an incoming nerf for Demonology, I don’t really understand the reasoning behind this one. I do like the fact that you get a plain dps buff with two pieces, although I am not sure how much of a dps increase this will actually be, especially if you’re not demo. Btw, this just made me notice there’s a typo in Zharym’s post. >_>;

4P — Soulburn grants a 10% increase to your spell power for 10 sec.

At a first glance, I was all thumbs up for this. Soulburn clearly has not had the impact Blizzard expected it to have and is trying to make it more meaningful. Then I realized there are multiple issues with Soulburn-related procs.  Although the cooldown is fairly short at only 45 seconds, Soulburn is a dps cooldown with a finite number of ‘charges’ per fight. Demonology managed to find a use for Soulburn-powered instant-cast summons as doing so provides a notable dps boost under certain circumstances, while Affliction is still stuck with empowered Seed of Corruption.

That means Affliction players will have to start using an ability (soulburn) which is pretty much useless at this moment unless on an adds-heavy fight, while Demonology warlocks will have to gauge the impact of pet-swapping vs. 10% more spellpower for a limited time. To add insult to injury, Soulburn is the only way for the former to get their pet back up quickly in case it dies, while the latter can already do that at no cost thanks to Demonic Rebirth (feel free to notice how little I know about Destro *sigh*).

If Soulburn had no charges but maybe a longer cooldown, this set bonus would make more sense, although it still wouldn’t be balanced for all specs. Overall, while I like the reasoning behind the design (making Soulburn feel like it’s actually one of the signature Warlock abilities), I feel that this Soulburn ‘buff’ is actually a few months late, and not very well thought-out.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. The Discipline priests seem to be paying for the spell their 2 piece bonus is tied to having a shorter cooldown by getting a much smaller healing buff from it. Oh well, I’m sure if it doesn’t balance after a while it’ll get tweaked ;)

    Reply

    • Yeah, I thought about expanding on the other healers’ bonuses but then I realized I don’t know that much about Priests (despite having so many around me :-P).

      …and tbh, I wanted to rant about the Warlock set more than anything else. *ashamed*

      Reply

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