If you’ve been playing retail World of Warcraft lately, you’ve probably realized that Blizzard has been patching like crazy. Now, 3.0.3 can not even be found on the Blizzard website. My only guess for this is just because the patch had several “bugs”. In that, certain classes were nerfed and certain classes were viciously overpowered. The new patch is meant to at least partially fix this problem, however I doubt that all classes will ever be completely balanced in the World of Warcraft.
Since I’ve already focused on primarily the patch’s effects on classes, I’m going to do my best to explain everything that happened to all of the different classes in the game in adding the patch. There have been other changes, but most are minor and are irrelevant to the individual player who wants to learn about the changes to their class and to their competition.
For a complete patch list in a more compact form, visit http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/test-realm-patchnotes.html
Death Knights DK’s are a class that are almost always going to be deeply affected by the new patches, since they were still sort of a test class when they were released. I would say that this patch mostly increased the capabilities of the DK, however most of the classes were overpowered by this patch. The dark command ability has had its range increased to 30 yards, death pact now has double the healing bonus, the pestilence cooldown has been completely removed, raise dead has been conveniently split into two abilities. However, bone shield has been debuffed along with a few other abilities.
Druids Druids are up for debate when it comes to patches. Feral druids pretty much completely died out before the release of the 3.0.3 patch, because they had a terrible time doing any damage in player versus player. I would definitely say it’s possible to be a feral druid again. The most significant change to druids is that now attack power can be increased in feral forms just by the addition of weapons that add DPS. Therefore, higher DPS items can be used by druids now instead of just weapons that add attack power, agility, strength, and so on. This is a significant change to feral druids and will greatly improve their abilities. Also, the aquatic form is now available at trainers at level 16; you no longer have to go through a grueling quest. Growl’s range has also been dramatically increased, to 30 yards. One bad thing is that starfall is now no longer included in balance form.
Hunters Hunters were definitely buffed by the patch, as they well deserved. Hunters have been getting worse and worse in PvP ever since the release of the game. Hunter aspects have been improved, hunter pet abilities have had their cooldowns reduced, and the talent trees have been sort of buffed for both marksmanship and beast mastery. Also, tracking has been improved, and now is easier to use. Hunters are finally starting to turn into more of a PvP class!
Mages I would say that mages are almost always nerfed in new patches. They’re a really high damage class that can’t hardly take any damage at all, I say Blizzard should just leave them alone. However, this patch has actually improved them in quite a few aspects. Blizzard has been greatly improved, and now the ability slow fall is castable on others. Arcane flows also reduces the cooldown of evocation significantly, giving a great mana-gathering ability in PvP. The ability mirror image has been added and is wonderful in PvP. Mages are still a great PvP class, but I think they’re starting to get more and more balanced.
Paladins Paladins are a sufficiently balanced class, and are also changing with every patch quite a bit. Avenging wrath has been significantly debuffed with fixed cooldowns. Divind shield instead of reducing attack time by half now just reduces damage by half. However, there is a completely new ability available to paladins by trainers at level 16 that causes holy damage at a 30 yard range. Awesome! Judgement of wisdom has been debuffed, it now affects base mana instead of maximum mana, no longer affected by powerful gear.
Priests No one really hears much about priests anymore, and I think they’re sort of a dieing class. Abolish disease and cure disease have now been added to shadowform! Circle of healing cooldown has been dramatically reduced to 6 seconds. Levitate is also now castable on others. Not much more to say about priests, they have been more buffed than debuffed for sure though!
Rogues Ahh the dreaded rogue buffs. I’m not one to be against rogues, but I don’t think they deserve any more buffs or cooldown decreases. Cheap shot has been debuffed! Fan of knives has been drastically improved; there is no longer any cooldown and the damage is increase to 150% when daggers are used. Feint has been improved in that it now decreases damage from area of effect damages by 50%.
Shamans I’m glad to hear that shamans are still getting better. I don’t play a shaman, but I’ve always loved the complexity of this class. For starters, all talent points have been refunded for all Shaman class characters. Fire nova totem now no longer generates threat, and this is great because now you can use these totems in instances without off-tanking. Searing totem (rank 4) has also had its damage increased to make it proper damage for its level. The duration of the Tremor Totem has been more than doubled. Shamans also recieved various other buffs, and very few nerfs.
Warlocks Locks are probably one of the most up-for-debate classes. Some people believe they’re “cheap” because of fear and what not, but I can definitely say that they’re more fair when it comes to PvP than the way rogues tend to play their PvP. The armor bonuses from Demon Armor and Demon Skin have been improved. Summoning portals can now be used to port multiple players/objects for up to 5 minutes.
Warriors The amount of charges of the bloodthirst have been decreased, however there has been a bonus added to each charge. There used to be a higher chance to miss with the use of titan’s grip. This has now been removed and greatly increases the power of a fury warrior. The taunt range has also been increased all the way to 30 yards.