Obviously there are several more posts to come about 7.1.5 and how WW is looking, those will come in the next few days. This will specifically deal with the fixes to Storm, Earth, and Fire. DPS balance and testing through sims will come in the next day or few as improvements to the APL and updates to SimC will need to be made before they will be valid. You will get all of that on here, just need to be patient.
So the day that we’ve all been waiting for has finally come.
So, a few weeks ago, Pandanaconda made a great post outlining the issues with Storm, Earth, and Fire: What is up with SEF and Serenity? This post outlined the issues and the bugs existing in Storm, Earth, and Fire and why it was not being used. We then took the the forums with a concentrated campaign, as a last ditch effort to abide by Blizzard’s preferred methods of reporting issues and giving feedback. After a few long weeks, and a few of us pestering the CM’s on Twitter, we got the answer we wanted. If the fixes that Blizzard claims are happening this coming Tuesday, January 10th, occur and go off as they say they will. They pretty much have fixed all the issues that plagued Storm, Earth, and Fire. I’ll cover the changes they’ve mentioned and discuss their impact.
“Clones’ Fists of Fury now channels faster with Haste, plus an additional 25% faster, to further eliminate any chance of it being clipped due to tight timing.“
This was a major issue for Storm, Earth, and Fire, as it caused you to lose two ticks of FoF any time you used it during Storm, Earth, and Fire. This fix will likely make it even harder to clip the end, so the clones will finish before you will. This means, even if you mess up and miss the last tick, its possible that the clones don’t.
“Clones now travel much faster between targets.”
A concern that people had was the fact that sometimes the clones would be travelling such a great distance that they would miss casts. By making the clones faster, this should be less impactful.
“If a clone is not in range of their target when an ability is used, they will leap to the target and then use the ability (instead of not using the ability).”
This, and the next one can actually be somewhat problematic depending on how they work. If clones use then ability after they reach a target, then they will be using it after you used it. This increased lag time could mean that they skip the next ability, clip the end of one ability, or are perpetually playing catch up. All of those different options have different implications. We don’t know enough about how this will work to make any guesses yet.
“Clones now choose a target within 15 yards of themselves (was 30 yards), to make them more responsive and give you tighter control of them. You may still manually re-target them, or summon them in a location closer to your intended target.”
This is, arguably, a nerf in some situations. There will be less lag time between targets, and less chance of pulling other things, but they will have a smaller pool of possible targets. Its likely that this is just a necessary “nerf” to help address:
“Clones will no longer target Immune enemies, or crowd-controlled enemies, or enemies you aren’t in combat with.”
This was a big issues, primarily in a few dungeons and areas where enemies were in combat with each other, resulting in the spirits going flying off into the distance to pulling more mobs. This should minimize the danger that a rogue spirits poses.
“Clones will now only re-target when you use an ability that applies Mark of the Crane, and their current target already has Mark of the Crane.”
I’m honestly not sure if this was previously an issue, as I thought this was how it worked, but its possible that this is just fluff, that I am wrong or just didnt notice, or that its a necessary change or minor tweak to help with the above changes. Its pretty straightforward and should minimize any weirdness.
“Clones now inherit your stacks of Transfer the Power when they are summoned. They now generate and benefit from these stacks.” and “Clones now inherit your stacks of Hit Combo when they are summoned (and continue to generate and benefit from it).”
These were kind of a big deal, and pretty noticeable buffs to the damage Storm, Earth, and Fire will do. It was an enormous thorn in our sides that they did do this, so its nice to see it rectified.
“They now have 100% of your health (was 50%), and they now inherit your Dodge chance.”
Spirits had the tendency to melt quickly when targeted by abilities, which is most applicable to M+ dungeons during Skittish. This should help them survive a little bit longer.
“Storm, Earth, and Fire no longer reduces the damage/healing of spells and abilities that the clones do not mirror (such as trinket procs).”
This was, in my opinion, the biggest thing that was wrong with Storm, Earth, and Fire. It prevented damage procs, potion, and food, from their full potential, which was going to be a big issue with the strength of Draught of Souls. This means we won’t have to worry about desyncing our cooldowns from Storm, Earth, and Fire, making everything easier to use. My interpretation is that damage procs/potions/etc will do 100% of their damage, so they are neither increased nor decreased by Storm, Earth, and Fire, but that will have to be confirmed later.
Obviously these changes are all, or nearly all for the good. They haven’t been put on the PTR for us to test, so we may have to wait for them to go live to check them out.
Its important to understand that this came as the direct result of a concentrated and maturely handled community action, not screaming and ranting on the forums mindlessly. This was also not just me alone but many members of the community. Finally, Blizzard did a rather good job with this situation and communication, which was something that we had asked for. It wasn’t perfect, but we can all breath a sigh of relief. I know I’ll sleep better tonight…. just kidding I have a 9 month old.
For information on how to use Storm, Earth, and Fire, check out the Spotlight Guide that was written a few months ago, but should remain applicable. Any changes that need to be made to the guides should be made when all the changes are made. Information on how these changes effect legendaries, stat weights, talent rankings, and all that will be compiled in the next few days (hopefully), so remember to be patient. Asking questions doesn’t make me work faster, money does :-D.
Hopefully, this answers more questions than it creates. As always you can find us on Discord to answer questions, and if you liked what you read don’t hesitate to scroll down or to the top and subscribe and support WtW.