After being teased back at Blizzcon, Patch 7.1.5 has now arrived to the World of Warcraft test servers. There's a bunch of new (and surprisingly overpowered) Legendary items to collect, an improved version of the Brawler's Guild to test your skills in, a bunch of Micro Holidays to celebrate events long gone, as well as Mists of Pandaria Timewalking Dungeons for those with a serious case of nostalgia.
The official patch notes are still incomplete, and to be perfectly honest almost entirely useless, but thankfully the folks over at MMO Champion have managed to datamine pretty much everything of importance. Unfortunately, while the new content is quite exciting, the new Legendary items and class changes seem to be so outrageously imbalanced that I'm surprised Blizzard even needs to test them out in this state.
If you think I'm joking, just head over to the class specific patch notes and browse through the Mage, Hunter, Warlock, and Priest sections. Not only are some of these changes so overbearing they will entirely redefine how the class is played, but they are doing nothing to remove some of the clunkiness inherent in these specs. This is especially true for Fire Mages which are not just being nerfed, but are actually having their core mechanics dismantled and replaced. Mind you, Blizzard did come out to say that these datamined patch notes don't have the full picture and that they are still missing a couple of important changes, and I really do hope that is the case as the entire design principle behind Legion was to give players the choice of playing whatever the enjoy - with the full guarantee that their classes will never change in a significant way.
As for the Legendary items, I am of two minds about them. One one hand, I am grateful they are buffing some of the Legendary items so bad people actually felt like they were punished for getting them, but on the other I'm not exactly happy they're introducing even more overpowered ones. But first things first, here are the changes to the four neutral Legendary items:
• Prydaz, Xavaric's Magnum Opus - New effect: "Every 30 sec, gain an absorb shield for 30% of your maximum health for 30 sec."
• Roots of Shaladrassil - Heal now ticks every 2 sec, down from 3 sec.
• Sephuz's Secret - Now also triggers from interrupt. Now grants 25% Haste, up from 15%. Now has a 30 sec CD.
• Cinidaria, the Symbiote - Now works on enemies above 85% health, down from 90%. Now heals you for 100% of the damage done.
As a proud owner of Sephuz's Secret, a Legendary item so amazing I could never actually get its active effect to work in raids, I am rather pleased with these specific changes. They have taken what was once a pile of garbage and given it actual purpose, but the deep-seeded problem still remains - there are certain Legendary items with so much power behind them its nearly impossible to compete without them. For most people this probably isn't too big of a deal, but as someone that likes to compete for that #1 DPS spot in raids purely out of friendly sportsmanship, the presence of these types of items is incredibly annoying. It doesn't matter how good you are, if the person with an overpowered Legendary isn't completely asleep behind the wheel they'll be able to top the meters with ease. And for an item you gain purely at random, that's not exactly fair, now is it?
But these sort of complaints aside, I must admit I'm looking forward to the new patch and the improved Brawler's Guild. Its apparently going to feature co-op bosses, and given how difficult that place can get in one-player mode I can only begin to imagine the lovely chaos once multiple people get involved! As for the PTR itself, I'm not sure whether its going to be up and available by the time you read this, but it features such massive balance changes that its definitely worth giving a look. Happy testing!