There was a new build on the PTR aimed at Honor Talents which will effect Windwalker PvP & War Mode. Currently these are not showing on the wowhead database but you can log into the PTR to check them out for yourself, in the meantime Mickey has put together an Imgur album.
The goal of these changes seem to be a push for a more diverse and impactful talent build not only within the Honor Talent tree but also by adding synergy with talents like Ascension & Energizing Elixir and more playstyle choices.
Old Spells (8)
- Ride the Wind – No Longer increases the cooldown of Flying Serpent Kick by 10 seconds.
- Grapple Weapon – Cooldown decreased from 1 minute to 45 seconds.
- Tiger Style – Removed.
- Control the Mists – Removed.
- Fast Feet – Removed.
- Eminence – Removed.
- Heavy Handed Strikes – Removed.
- Yu’lon’s gift – Removed.
New Spells (5)
- Pressure Points – Touch of Death also applies fatal wounds to the target, and if the target dies from Touch of Death’s damage or with Touch of Death active, the cooldown is reset. Sharpened isn’t a bad mechanic and It’s not bad for monks to have. It’s more effective against classes reliant on self healing rather than damage reduction, and a nice option to have. However, putting on ToD is not the greatest choice.
- Reverse Harm – Heals a friendly target for 8% of their maximum health and causes 100% of the amount healed to be instantly dealt to the nearest enemy as nature damage. 40 energy , 10 yard range, generates 1 chi, replaces Vivify. Stand alone chi generation is incredibly useful, it’s extremely overtuned right now on the PTR for the energy cost if it deals damage. It could do nothing and I’d still consider taking it.
- Alpha Tiger – Attacking new challengers with Tiger Palm fills you with the Spirit of Xuen, granting 30% haste for 8 seconds with a 90 second cooldown on the same target. It’s a cool mechanic that has small lust effect as a reward for switching targets however WW, like DK, is a duel resource class capable of pooling prior to a switch so it rewards nothing that wasn’t otherwise accomplishable. In the 8 seconds the buff is active you’ll get a shorter GCD, shorter cooldowns on your primarily abilities, and an energy refund of a little under 40. Very reminiscent of an old ability we use to have known as Energizing Brew, which would restore 60 energy over 6 seconds on a minute cooldown.
- Turbo Fists – Fists of Fury now deals full damage to all targets hit, reduces all targets movement speed by 90%, and you parry all attacks while channeling. Beneficial against melee cleaves in a more significant way than Heavy-Handed Strikes was but now you lose the ability to reduce the damage of casters, or stop burst on your teammates, and not being a stun, will still allow them to use sprints to escape. This talent is a big throw back to one of the three glyph’s of Fist of Fury that allowed us to have 100% parry in the past, the other two being a 5 yard increased range, and the ability to move while channeling. Looking forward to playing with this one when we’re given the chance too.
- Wind Waker – When you or allies with Windwalking are snared, the snare is instantly removed, and they become immune to snares for 4 seconds. This effect can not occur more than once every 30 seconds. Anything that increases WW mobility is both offensive and defensive, and runs the risk of everything becoming very unhealthy for the game. This is largely uncontrolled by the player outside of being aware of your range and trying not to be within 10 yards of your friends, which is going to be unavoidable often times, and on a lengthy auto proc cooldown. It seems like its going to be really clunky or really rewarding when used correctly. You’ll have opportunities to shine as the “Anti-frost mage” spec, you’ll be able to Transcendence back to your healer, or even have them Wild Charge to you for some controlled way to make effective use of this trait. It is going to be pretty awkward though to use in a game, in my opinion.
While these are all subject to change some concerns still remain with the Windwalker PvP community. Honor talent changes help but don’t touch on some of the more serious issues Windwalkers face such as survivability and crowd control. The talent changes, while interesting, also leave many questions open regarding their implementation such as Alpha Strikes being tied to “a new challenger” rather than a target and the bigger question, when will have an opportunity to use these new talents? Will Reverse Harm become an auto-lock along with Fortifying Elixir giving us only one slot to select a talent that will change the course of the game? I support these changes because I feel like they’re reevaluating what it means to be a monk and given our current state, I do like that. While I acknowledge and share the concerns that everyone has I personally do not feel that It’s beneficial to give “fixes” through the addition of talents because your only ever going to benefit from a small selection of those fixes at any given time.
Before I end this post I’d like to revisit a concept that many players might remember if they were around in the MoP / WoD times. [Mobility] was a form a currency that was spent one of two ways. This was the concept that pushed some aspects of monk design forward. The idea behind this gameplay philosophy regarding mobility & defensive’s was that some classes would inherently be richer than others, some would generate currency faster than others, and the rest would be a mixture of the two. The strength of the currency was your cooldown strength. The honor talent changes to 8.1, from my perspective, seem to be strengthening the concept of mobility is a currency as one of the core design goals for Windwalker.
This is hopefully a first step towards better gameplay and a more engaged playstyle in PvP but that can only happen if players give feedback and share there thoughts and opinions on the state of changes. So drop by the forums and make a post, start a discussion, let us know what you think. This is only the first iteration of changes for the 8.1 PTR and there is still time to push for changes that will have a big impact such as a shorter cooldown on paralysis or a longer duration on Inner Strength.