Post-patch Demo – First Impressions

Ok, will revise this tonight after playing some more, but after a session on the dummies here’s my first impression of post-patch demo.

AAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGHHHH!

It’s an unforgiving bastard of a rotation, borderline difficult while standing still beating up a dummy, so lord knows what it will be like under pressure. I’m really quite worried about tonight’s ICC25HM run.

The issue is using Hand of Gul’dan to refresh Immolate. Immo lasts 15 seconds, HoG has a 12 second CD, and 2 second cast time, and ALSO has a travel time of maybe quarter to half a second as it falls from the sky!

That leaves a not-so-generous 0.5 to 0.75 second window for casting (assuming zero lag). The dps penalty for Immo dropping and having to recast it is significant (a combination of lost immo ticks, lost chances of MC procs, loss of a filler shadow bolt dps, loss of that sb’s chance to proc impending doom – it all really builds up).

Get caught mid cast as HoG comes off CD? You’ve just screwed up. Get caught with a lag spike as HoG comes off CD? Bad luck. Movement will obviously screw things too, but that’s par for everyone’s course.

With such a tight margin, haste makes a huge difference. Going from around 1200 to 1500 after regemming/reforging shaves enough of a chunk from the HoG cast time to at least counteract some lag. Even so, I found myself having to watch the HoG cooldown timer tick down, stop casting as it got close, then spamming the HoG key. Given the undercity lag last night, this was far from consistently successful, but enough to make me think it might be doable in a lower-lag environment.

I’m going to be so dependent on lag that I can easily see myself getting all OCD about it – screaming at folks for having a vanity pet out and ranting at the gearscore users (I know who they are, Spamalyzer sees all!).

It will be worth it though. When the rotation all comes together the baseline damage is jawdropping – around the 9.5k mark self buffed with no consumables. It may still be low compared to some specs, but that’s baseline damage, without the big cooldowns and execute. Chuck meta, immo aura, decimate, an infernal, an instant soulfire, etc, into the mix and there’s huge potential.

Mind you, that’s the other issue at the moment. There are now so many extra mid to long cooldowns. I need more buttons, and I’m already using 30+ keybinds on a speedpad! Not only that, but tracking them is getting crazy – my TellMeWhen field is bloating to fill the centre of my screen monitoring about 20 different things to keep track of.

So anyway, overall first impressions are that it’s the most difficult spec I’ve ever seen in WoW. Much worse than the pre-extended-mangle feral cat spec (my previous contender for most difficult spec). There’s a huge amount to keep track of, a moderately large number of short-rotation abilities to juggle, including one with the most insanely unforgiving timing possible (to the extent where having a medium to high lag connection pretty much rules you out of playing the spec). BUT, it’s going to be a beast. I think the potential is there for some monster dps scores from the best players – the scope for stacking cooldowns and judging the fight timing is huge. It certainly feels like it will be a challenge to master.

Onto ICC tonight, where I’ll see how it stacks up against some familiar enemies.

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