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June 15, 2011

Getting Your Arse in Gear for 4.2

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Written by: Vixsin
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ragnaros

Amid some speculation and lots of anticipation, the announcement came last week that Arena Season 9 will be coming to a close as early as June 21st. And while PVPers frantically fill their last days trying to get that last bump in ranking, PVEers will be ever looking forward to PTR testing winding to a fast close. Because this means that as early as June 28th, we can expect the release of Patch 4.2:  The Firelands, complete with new quests, a new legendary, new loot, new factions, and the newest raid instance. (Imagine me doing a happy dance here …) So, today’s post is a compilation of everything that a you need to know about 4.2, with a Resto Shaman perspective on gearing, stat changes, new factions, new dailies and the other changes that Blizzard (and Ragnaros) have in store.

Gear

With the release of the new Molten Offensive / Regrowth dailies, players will gain access to a whole new tier of gear, to be progressively unlocked as they unfold the story of Rag’s invasion. Those who venture into the Firelands will also be rewarded for their efforts with new faction rewards and two new levels of loot. We’ll also be seeing a number of new crafting recipes, both epics and blues, to fill in where rep items and instance drops leave off.

  • All current Valor Points will be converted to Justice Points. Any converted points over the 4000 Justice Point limit will be converted into currency; 47s per point. (Likewise, Conquest Points will be changed in Honor, and will adhere to the same 4000 point cap).
  • Valor points will be earned through Random LFD queueing, Firelands normal and hardmodes, and BoT/BWD hardmodes, with a new weekly cap of 980 total points.
  • Two new Leatherworking recipes will be introduced for Resto Shaman. Given the expensive nature of the mats and the only slight gain from 372 gear, the only reason I’d consider swapping to these items would be to make up some haste in my current set and reach the next haste breakpoint. But they are both good options for shaman who don’t have HM/Sinestra loot in those slots:
  1. Footwraps of Quenched Fire
  2. Gloves of Unforgiving Flame
  • New valor gear will be released, and will be upgradable to heroic-level equivalents using a Crystalized Firestone (while excellent additions to a gearset, especially because they can be upgraded to a heroic ilvl, I doubt I’ll be spending Valor points on these items until after I’ve picked up my tier):
  1. Bracers of Misting Ash (1250 Valor)
  2. Firemind Pendant (1250 Valor)
  3. Soothing Brimstone Circle (1250 Valor)
  4. Singed Plume of Aviana (700 Valor)
  1. Jaws of Defeat – Although this item will be better for Resto Druid /Disc Priest, because of their shorter cast times, the +383 Intellect is nothing to scoff at and the on-use is much more beneficial than from Eye of Awareness.
  2. Eye of Awareness now: Eye of Blazing Power – An upgraded version of Althor’s Abacus . Last week, the proc, “Blaze of Life” was hitting for about 3800-4200 non-crit, with a frequency of 1 every ~45 seconds. As of the most current PTR build, the proc has been changed to 15,000 – 18,000 non-crit (16,200 base) with a frequency of 1 every ~45 seconds.
  3. Fiery Quintessence – With a pure spirit boost, this trinket actually boasts less of a +Int gain than Mandala, but with a shorter CD.
  4. Mark of the Firelord – With a hefty amount of Crit rating and a +Int *on use* effect, this could be a viable option for Resto Shamans to use as a pseudo-CD (think of the healing boost this would give to a spell like HR or CH).
  • New Tier becomes available—“Erupting Volcanic” for shaman, purchasable for:
  1. Hands – 1650 Valor Points
  2. Chest – 2200 Valor Points
  3. Legs – 2200 Valor Points (Changed to a skirt/kilt as of the most recent build!)
  4. Helm – Helm of the Fiery Protector
  5. Shoulders – Mantle of the Fiery Protector
  6. Total Valor Points needed: 6050 (= 6.2 weeks of max weekly points, so really 7 weeks total)
  1. Quicksilver Signet of the Avengers (Exalted)
  2. Rune of Zeth (Revered)
  3. Fiery Quintessence (Revered)
  4. Firemend Cinch (Honored)
  5. Flowing Flamewrath Cape (Friendly)
  • Mark of the World Tree Rewards will also open up as you collect … you guessed it … Marks of the World Tree. Bear in mind that these rewards are all ilvl 365, which is in between normal and HM Tier 11 gear:
  1. Fiery Treads
  2. Spirit Fragment Band
  3. Globe of Moonlight
  4. Nightweaver’s Amulet
  5. Relic of Elune’s Light

Shaman Healing and Stat Valuation Changes

Patch 4.2 will also bring in some healing and stat weight changes for Resto Shaman and healers in general. Based on the normal-mode testing that I did and the shift in valuation caused by the increase of Crit to a 2.0 multiplier, I would expect that we’ll see higher performance of crit-favored builds and gearsets. Mastery will still be important, but less so because the Crit-Mastery threshold have shifted downwards, and haste might pick up in value some as it will allow for more crits per second. So, important Resto-shaman changes to keep in mind will be:

  • All healing critical strikes now heal for 2 times a normal heal (+100%), up from 1.5 times a normal heal (+50%). So expect to see much more value coming from Crit, as your Crit-Mastery thresholds will be shifting downward as a result of this change.
  • Improved Water Shield will become Resurgence, which will give you a set amount of mana back for every critical strike (based on the spell you crit with). This is another change that will push the valuation of Crit slightly higher, since WS returns are guaranteed for every Crit instead of being a function of RNG.
  • As of my last round of testing, the Enhancement talent Improved Shields was not changed from its current iteration (of providing an increase to WS gains), so it appears that it will offer some boost to the mana return seen from WS.
  • Water Shield has had its internal cooldown reduced to 3.5 seconds, and the amount of mana restored when Water Shield procs has been reduced by 50%, so letting a mob or player whack away at you is no longer as viable a source of regen as it once was.
  • Healing Surge was nerfed by 20% in a recent hotfix, so the RT+HS snipe healing that we saw put up good numbers at the start of Tier 11 will be diminished.
  • GHW constituted a significant portion of my healing while testing Firelands (both in 10-man and 25-man modes) largely because of HS’s decreased performance. Also, for major tank healing moments when that tank is sub-50%, there’s no better “long bomb” spell out there. That’s right, GHW > Divine Light when our Mastery comes into play.
  • Mana Tide will now only restore +200% of Spirit per drop (instead of 400%). This is going to significantly reduce the value of additional Spirit stacking and the raid benefit of MT, presumably to balance out the stat surge in the next tier.
  • Unleash Elements will now be classified as a Nature spell and will thus be on the same CD if you are interrupted or locked out of your healing school of spells.

Changes to your raiding teammates

The #1 Reason to be a druid in 4.2 …. /jealous

Among the numerous changes being made to each class, there are a few that you will probably need to be aware of as they will have a definite effect on your raiding team:

  • New Druid Mastery: Harmony increases direct healing by an additional 10%, and casting direct healing spells grants an additional 10% bonus to periodic healing for 10 seconds. Each point of mastery increases each bonus by an additional 1.25%. Healing Touch, Nourish, Swiftmend, and the initial heal from Regrowth are considered direct healing spells for the purposes of this Mastery. All other healing from druid spells is considered periodic. (What this means to Resto Shaman: expect to see druids who are “doin it right” have a slight increase in direct single-target healing outside of Swiftmend).
  • Holy Radiance can now be used once every 20 seconds (so expect a little more raid help from Holy Pallies’ amazing AOE heal).
  • Innervate now grants an ally target 5% of his or her maximum mana over 10 seconds, but still grants 20% of the druid’s maximum mana over 10 seconds when self-cast. (For Resto Shaman: the gain from an Innervate will be paltry but incredibly good for Resto Druids who time their Innervate with their own +Int procs).
  • Hunter Intervene has been redesigned to be (GASP) a CD like Hand of Sacrifice: the hunter’s pet runs at high speed toward a group member, reducing the damage done by the next melee or ranged attack made against them equal to 50% of the pet’s total health. (For Resto Shaman and raid leaders: add this to your list of available external tank CDs).

The Molten Offensive

A large part of 4.2 will be dedicated to the Molten Offensive and their efforts to … uh … erm … lord I stink at lore. Suffice to say, there will be a load of new dailies that you’ll be able to unlock that will be similar to those you performed on the Isle of Quel’Danas and in the northern reaches of Icecrown.

  • Need to have completed the Regrowth chain (ending with Aessina’s Miracle)
  • New items and recipes will become available as you get deeper into the daily quest line
  • Complete all the Molten Offensive quests and your reward will be a new title: The Flamebreaker and a beautiful new mount
  • You’ll be collecting Marks of the World Tree to unlock Druids of the Talon and Shadow Warden dailies (although the good news is you don’t have to do both sets of daily quests when both factions are unlocked, only one)
  • A guide to the first unlockable set of dailies can be found on Wowhead (here)

Firelands (Avengers of Hyjal) Reputation

In addition to the Molten Offensive Rep items, Firelands will also grant rep similar to the Ashen Verdict, which will unlock items based on the player’s rep with the faction. It’s good to remember that the Molten Offensive quests and dailies DO NOT count for Avengers of Hyjal rep, so the only way to gain access to some of the amazing loot (which I mentioned in the above “Gear” section) is to make your way into Firelands normal and hard modes.

Miscellaneous

Buried within patch notes and releases, there were also a handful of other features and specialty items that will go live with this coming patch:

Raid Frame Configuration Options on 4.2 PTR

  • Dungeon Journal launch (Firelands Dungeon Journal Info can be found here)
  • New haircuts
  • New legendary: Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa’s Rest – while I don’t have much to say on this item aside from “Ooooh, shiny”, I’m sure casters the world over are all drooling with anticipation over just who will be able to wield the first caster dps legendary since Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian.
  • Blizzard raid frames have also been substantially improved to look and function more like the 3rd party raid frame addons that we’ve all come to love.
  • Guild experience gains and cap have been increased, so guilds who are still not Level 25 can make their way to cap much more swiftly.





36 Comments


  1. Vixsin I have been checking everyday hoping for this very post. Glad to see you came through for us.
    Surprisingly for me the biggest news was that last nugget of information about the raid frames. All those options look fantastic and more importantly I can get in 4.2 with my guild without having to worry about broken addons.

    PS: I’m having un-natural thoughts about Eye of Blazing Power


    • Vixsin,

      Thank you very much for your insightful blog :)

      I have a question about spirit that I have not seen really covered yet on the blogs that I read on resto shamans, and the question is – with crit affecting our mana regen more in 4.2, crit having increased potency for our healing, and mana tide having less regen with spirit is there a point where it might make sense to stack crit over spirit? Do you know of anyone who has looked into the stats yet?


  2. Voltigeuse

    Thanks for this Vixsin I really appreciate it.
    I was wondering how I would know ifI have done the activation quest? I presume I have because the phasing changed for thier now to be trees where there was burned ground before andI have the achievement for the number of quests done.
    The issue is that I cannot remember the specific quest but lore sorta bores me and it was a loong time ago.


    • If you have the quest achievement for Hyjal, that’s one indication. And the phasing of the Regrowth is another–if it’s green and lush, then you should be golden.


  3. Thank you Vixsin, this is very very helpful!
    I’m checking your website every day as well.
    Looking forward to patch 4.2 :)
    Jolix´s last post ..Heroic Magmaw 4-13H


  4. In terms of stat weightings for playing with Ask Mr Robot, how do you think Crit, Haste, and Mastery will stack up relative to each other in early Firelands raiding? Because my guild is still doing mostly Normal modes while working on the earlier Heroic modes, I’ve been running with a semi-balanced setup where I leave all Haste and Mastery on my gear untouched and reforge out of Crit into Haste. I’m wondering, though, if perhaps I should consider undoing my some, if not all, of my Crit reforges after 4.2 goes live, and perhaps even reforge out of Mastery into Crit.

    @Voltigeuse — if you have “the Regrowth” instead of “the Flamewake” on your Hyjal map — if you have green trees and falling rain instead of burning trees and cultists in the section of the map between the Grove of Aessina and the Sanctuary of Malorne — then you have completed the necessary questing to have unlocked and be able to jump right into the new quests.
    Kamalia´s last post ..gratuitous art post- young Night Elves at play


  5. “Hunter Intervene has been redesigned to be (GASP) a CD like Hand of Sacrifice.”

    I could be wrong but I believe this is a nerf. I think on live it is much more potent as there is no limit to how much is taken by the pet. Of course in the new version, the pet won’t die which makes both the pet and hunter happy. :)
    Alacran´s last post ..Resto Shaman raid boss drops from Firelands- 42


    • Yeah, I’ve heard both sides of the debate on this one. But I do think the fact that the pet can no longer die means that this ability is a great tool for mitigating spike damage without adversely impacting the hunter’s dps. Granted, it’s not a Guardian Spirit, but a 40-60k absorb is no small amount, especially when every bit counts. Not to mention, as I understand it (and I could be wrong here), the new Intervene works on all kinds of incoming attacks including magic, whereas the previous version only worked on physical attacks.


      • The hunters in my guild complain about their “dps loss” when they bring anything other than a ferocity pet. It’s like pulling teeth to get them to bring a cunning pet for the 8% increase to spell damage taken debuff.

        I can’t even imagine trying to get a tenacity pet out of them. Nonetheless it is a good cooldown and could be great when used on a number of HM bosses (especially in 10’s sized) tier 11.
        Alacran´s last post ..Resto Shaman raid boss drops from Firelands- 42


  6. Shamonyu-ER

    Vixsin, the Valor points required for all the Tier 12 pieces will take 6 weeks + 1 day of grinding Valor; 6050 total Valor needed divided by 980 is 6.1. I think you were going by the old Valor cap.


  7. airheart

    “Hands – 1650 Valor Points
    Chest – 2200 Valor Points
    Legs – 2200 Valor Points (Changed to a skirt/kilt as of the most recent build!)
    Helm – Helm of the Fiery Protector
    Shoulders – Mantle of the Fiery Protector
    Total Valor Points needed: 6050 (= 5 weeks of max weekly points) ”

    “with a new weekly cap of 980 total points”
    Your math is off. you will need just over 6 weeks for the 3 peices you can buy with Valores.


  8. Interesting. “Crits per Second.” Never heard that term until this post but it is certainly something I’m going to consider evaluating and speaking to. Sure, I’ve been reading all of the posts (yours and others) regarding the crit/mastery/haste but the term alone puts a whole different spin on it.

    I am in a mastery build at the moment (as most shaman are, I dare say), but I STILL hold the firm belief that mastery is largely situational. The situation at hand is trying to finish off some T11HC where mastery shines.

    It will be fun to watch how we change our stats as we adjust to the new instance.
    Nastiest´s last post ..Welcome!


  9. Thanks Vixsin, more good stuff as always. I haven’t been on the PTR, so do you know if Avengers of Hyjal will be “farmable” through trash runs like you could do back in ICC to get your exalted rings? Or does rep only come from downing bosses?


    • Trash does give rep, but I would imagine that it cuts off at some point. Per Lylira:

      “… we are adding a separate reputation for the Firelands raid currently called the “Avengers of Hyjal.” It’ll work a lot like Ashen Verdict, except players won’t be able to grind their way up to Exalted simply by farming trash mobs.” (Source)


      • I never understood why Blizzard didnt just have a Gatekeeper boss then have the trash mobs WITH rep behind it. It would at least eliminate many of the good player’s who wont want to be saved and hey if a pug can clear the first boss at level, then the encounter is broken
        Turtle´s last post ..Heroic Maloriak


  10. Bell

    Thanks for this, Vixsin! It’s a huge help as I get ready for Firelands with a brand-new guild that’s still deciding what kind of 10-man roster we want. XD

    Also, I would LOVE to see more streams from Pie Chart. I was watching the PTR testing/PvP fighting this week and realizing how few PvE streams I see nowadays with top-notch resto shaman doing something other than Arena. Those live streams are excellent learning tools for raid addicts like myself.


  11. alex

    “Also, for major tank healing moments when that tank is sub-50%, there’s no better “long bomb” spell out there. That’s right, GHW > Divine Light when our Mastery comes into play.”

    Is this a fact even if taking into consideration that paladins’ mastery gets buffed in 4.2 ?


    • On average, it’s comparable when you take Paladins’ Mastery shield into account, but slightly skewed in Shamans’ favor when the tank starts to dip into the sub-50% range. (I’m approximating, because it’s difficult to tell from logs just what the % is, but I can assume when an ~80k GHW lands with 0 overheal, that the tank was likely sub-60%). Looking at our PTR logs, Divine Light and GHW were pretty equal on higher HP targets (in other words: times where GHW had high overheal), but when you started to get into the range where GHW was doing no overhealing, then on crit, the output was a 10-25k difference, in favor of the shaman.

      Now, if I was to set those GHW’s up with a UE or the bonus from an FI-shock, and score a hit on a tank at low HP, I could easily get that GHW number up near 90-100k. And, that doesn’t even take into account AA’s added healing on crits. Thus, the basis for my statement. In the end, I don’t think it’s a difference that should cause anyone to suddenly switch all their pally healers off tanks, but I wanted to mention it to underscore just how powerful GHW can be.


  12. Thank you so much for writing this…I was thinking yesterday “there’s so much information in 4.2 and I feel like a wave is crashing over me…I wish someone would summarize it!” And whaddaya know. BRB need cinnamon rolls and milk before I sit down to read :)


  13. voltigeuse

    I realise that there is no gatin on the Firelands boses but is thee a suggested order that you sould take them in?


  14. […] was going to do a Resto Shaman loot list, but Stand In The Blue Circle by Alacranmex and Life In Group 5 by Vixsin have taken care of that. I highly suggest you check out either […]


  15. […] shaman 4.2 info ,check out Life in Group 5, and Totem […]


  16. […] shaman 4.2 info ,check out Life in Group 5, and Totem […]


  17. Jessica

    I love this blog…


  18. […] nous offre une feuille de route globale sur les nouveautés du patch 4.2 avec un aperçu très rapide de l’équipement à acheter, des principaux trinkets, des […]


  19. Voltigeuse

    I was in ZUL late last night and landed a GHW on a nearly dead paladin and I could have sworn it hit for 114 000!!!!

    I wasnt running any logs so was I dreaming and is this even possible?


    • Absolutely possible. From some of our tests on Alysrazor this week:

      [22:49:33.971] Vixsin Greater Healing Wave Odín +*136318* (O: 8934)

      That would be a total heal of 145,252. It was preceded by an RT + UE and it almost made me fall out of my chair.


  20. Naturalchaos

    So any thoughts on the Tier and off-set item is going to look like?

    Judging from what I’ve seen, looks like our DMC:T is still going to be near BiS.


  21. Tolimar

    I don’t know if its just me but it seems to even try and compete with druids and paladin healers now it seems like I’m having to push everything I have and still end up coming up short. Does it seem like once again shamans are behind in the numbers?



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