Frost Mages and developer notes in latest WoW hotfixes
A new day means a new set of hotfixes in WoW. This latest set doesn’t have any particular thrills: it officially tells us the Kirin Tor Tavern Crawl is nixed (which we already knew), has some class tweaks for both PVE and PVP, and fixes a bug with Gul’dan in Nighthold.
What is interesting is the new communication strategy you’re seeing. If you look at the notes on Frost Mages, you’ll see each change is annotated with developer commentary explaining why the change was made. This gives us some context on just why these changes are happening and explain when something sounds like a nerf — fewer Brain Freeze procs — is actually meant as a buff — giving Mages time to use those Brain Freeze procs. CM Lore talked about it on Twitter yesterday in reference to the PTR development notes that have accompanied the latest patch 7.2 PTR builds:
general idea being "if we tell them what to expect, they'll understand it better, and be able to give better feedback on it."
— Josh Allen (@devolore) January 31, 2017
I’m all for transparency, and letting us see the logic behind patch changes — something the Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm teams already do — is a helpful look into what the developers are actually trying to do. Check out the full hotfix notes below.
- Infected Wounds now reduces the movement of targets by 50% (was 30%). The reduction remains at 30% in PvP situations.
- Brain Freeze procs gained while you already have a Brain Freeze active and unused will now be delayed slightly.
- Developers’ notes: The delay on the second Brain Freeze will give the Mage time to use the first Brain Freeze proc. For example, the Mage might cast Frostbolt (proc Brain Freeze), then Frostbolt (proc Brain Freeze again), then instant Flurry, then Ice Lance, then Instant Flurry again, then Ice Lance.
- Ebonbolt now travels slightly slower.
- Developers’ notes: This allows the guaranteed Brain Freeze proc/instant Flurry cast immediately following it to land first, providing the Winter’s Chill buff to that Ebonbolt. For example, the Mage might cast Frostbolt (proc Brain Freeze), then Ebonbolt, and fully use both Brain Freeze procs.
- The first missile from a Flurry cast should now hit sooner.
- Developers’ notes: This allows a Frostbolt or Ebonbolt cast immediately before a Brain Freeze Flurry to more consistently benefit from that Flurry’s Winter’s Chill effect, even if the mage isn’t standing at long range. This allows the Frost Mage who has an active Brain Freeze to cast Frostbolt/Ebonbolt, then an Instant Flurry, then Ice Lance while standing 15+ yards from the target. Previously, the Mage had to be about twice as far away.
- Atonement will now heal players who are out of line of sight of the Priest.
- Agonizing Poison application no longer increases Kingsbane damage by twice the listed amount.
- Crippling Poison, Pistol Shot, and Nightblade/Night Terrors now reduce the movement of targets by 50% (was 30%). The reduction remains at 30% in PvP situations.
Dungeons and Raids
- The Nighthold
- Resolved an issue that could cause Empowered Bonds of Fel to instantly detonate.
- The mages of the Kirin Tor made some arcane miscalculations when planning their Tavern Crawl. The Tavern Crawl is cancelled. Khadgar sends his apologies!
- Cache of Nightborne Treasures now correctly displays the difficulty it is associated with for non-Normal difficulties.
- Kil’jaeden’s Burning Wish should no longer be castable while Mounted or under the effect of crowd control.
Player versus Player
- Demon Hunter
- Rain from Above now provides a brief immunity to stun effects upon activation, rather than removing them.
- Mending Bandage will now remove bleed effects on targets other than the Hunter.
- Xuen summoned by Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger now deals 40% less damage in PvP situations.
- Hit Combo now grants 1% damage per stack in PvP situations (was 2% per stack).
- Heavy-Handed Strikes now stuns the target for 3 seconds (was 4 seconds).
- Holy Ward no longer triggers its cooldown when a crowd control effect is prevented, and instead triggers a cooldown when Holy Ward is cast.
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