My original plan for this post was to blog about WoW as a racial issue, and then out of nowhere, patch 3.0.8 arrives without warning, at least a week eariler than anticipated.
The new patch offers a variety of changes and improvements, as well as the occasional nerf and one or two classic "THEY WHAT???"-moments. One of these are, of course, lifting the hit penalty on Titan's Grip. Having toyed around with TG on Naxxes 10 and 25, plus Sartharion 25, I grew quite fond of it in a humourous sort of way. When you get six Whirlwind crits on trash with that large weaponry in both hands, you're bound to go a little "Whoooaaaahahahaha!" in your chair. Numbers like that just aren't natural.
Until today. The patch went live, and the TG hit penalty removal became reality. And suddenly, a plethora of not very great players with not very great gear and not very great knowledge of why stats like Expertise and Hit Rating matter ("They don't do no damage fo' suh', I'm'a socket AP evarywhar!") are able to out-DPS seasoned combat rogues and enhancement shamans in decent gear just because the class they play let's them. Playing fury well demands finesse, skill, focus and reactivity. It also demands Expertise and Hit Rating capped. Playing fury poorly, on the other hand, just demands two huge conkers with big damage and AP. And who cares, really, as you'll still do tons of DPS? This is not a good move from Blizzard towards an already very, very powerful class.
And speaking of which - Deep Wounds (for now) remains at 30%. It has been both called for and confirmed that something has to be done with this, but so far, Blizzard seem unable to know just what. The prot warrior in me rejoices at this decline, of course - free threat on crits? Yes, please! - but from a balance point of view (especially after having raided as fury) I understand why other classes see this as insanely powerful. The amount of rage-free, ticking damage DW creates from a class that often crits 40-45% of it's attacks is more powerful than I can imagine was ever inteneded. My suggestion to solve the issue would be to simply make it a proc ability (like Bloodsurge's instant Slams or Revenge), costing 20 rage and a global cooldown, lasting 6-8 seconds, available for 5 seconds after a crit with an 8 second cooldown. It would still be worth it, it would still be powerful - but at least, it'd require a bit more finesse and concentration (though, with the current crit rate, you'd likely have constant uptime on it, making it a viable rotation tool).
On the prot side, we finally - and I do say finally! - get a 30 yard Taunt. Seeing as paladin's get the same, I suppose it's really just a matter of balance, but still, I remain pleased and happy. Should be good in timed Stratholme, with Arthas running off like a maniac after the third boss every time. Not to mention - now I can aggro Dann from an even greater distance!
The single most important change in this patch, however, adresses an issue I've been crying for over the last year or so:
As the lone rallying voice of the "Human females fit in Mechanostriders" humanitarian organisation, I can now raise my fists in the air and yell "RESULT!". With lifting the racial restriction on mounts, Blizzard opens up a lot of ridicule (I smell tauren on ostriches any day now, an aberration against the mind for sure), but on this day of celebration, all such ridicule must be allowed to pass. For finally, finally, we have proven once and for all - human females DOES INDEED fit in Mechanostriders.