20 January 2009

Our long patchless nightmare is over

All 3.0.8 posts

It's official: 3.0.8 is going to drop today. OK, semi-official. For whatever reason, Europe always announces maintenance and patches before the US. (UPDATE: it's now official, announced via the log-in screen.)

As I said yesterday, this patch is a bit unusual, in that there aren't any headline additions, but there are a huge list of minor tweaks that will add up to significant changes. I encourage you to check out the MMO-Champion 3.0.8 roundup for details, as they include a lot more than the official patch notes.

There is one significant caster druid change that I forgot to mention yesterday:

Shield Wall, Barkskin, Guardian Spirit, and Divine Protection are now off the Global Cooldown.
This is designed to aid tanks — our bear brethren will be able to pop Barkskin without stopping their threat cycle. However, it's a nice little buff for caster druids, especially when soloing.

The best time to use Barkskin when soloing is to aggro a herd of mobs, pop Barkskin, and start a Hurricane.Prior to today, that Barkskin would start the GCD, so you'd have to wait up to 1.5 seconds to start your Hurricane. That's significant because of their relative durations: Barkskin is 12s while Hurricane is 10s. So until now, you would essentially get off one Hurricane under Barkskin, but after the change you'll have a couple extra seconds to work with, allowing you to at least start a second Hurricane. I believe that will help; today it takes me a bit more than 2 Hurricanes to kill most level 80 mobs. So those two extra ticks will most likely save me a good bit of casting.

The other changes I'll point out is to cooking. We're getting a recipe for Fish Feast which will be a great group buff. From what I've read, the PTR recipe only requires 1 Northern Spice (not the 4 listed here), which makes the mats for this very reasonable.

The other recipe to watch for is Kungaloosh. It's available to you from an NPC in the Dalaran sewers, if you've completed The Taste Test quest in Sholazar Basin. The great thing about Kungaloosh is that the cost in mats is around half the cost for Honeymint Tea.

I'll update later today if any other significant changes show up. Until then, here's wishing for a short maintenance window and quick updates to all your addons!

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