This week on FAZ, Manny and Joce talk about 8.1.5 PTR testing (without lore spoilers), including the Crucible of Storms raid testing, and the new M+ affix, Reaping. They then talk about how secondary stats work in World of Warcraft, and then take an email.

Get Your Crit Together is looking for a few good players!
Looking for a dedicated healer and ranged dps to round out the roster.
Raid Times: Tuesdays and Sundays from 10:30 ET – 12:30 ET
Contact: @SivPlaysGames or @JocePlays

8.1.5 hits the PTR

This week Blizzard unleashed the first features of 8.1.5 on the PTR and FAZ jumped on to see what’s coming in the future patch.

  • Naga Invasions
  • Xal’atath quest that lead into the Crucible of Storms raid
  • New Allied Races FINALLY Unlocked!
    • Requires Tides of Vengeance War Campaign to be completed; as well as Zandalari Forever/A Nation United achievement and exalted with the correct faction.
    • Zandalari Racials OP and then nerfed
  • Battleground updates
  • Portal Rooms
  • Raiding with Leashes

Not Yet implement on the PTR but coming:

  • New War Campaign quests
  • New quests and quest lines focused on Magni, Hati, and the eight non-gathering primary Professions
  • Warlords of Draenor Timewalking dungeons
  • New Brawl in Arathi Basin vs. AI
  • Wintergrasp coming to the Epic Battleground list
  • New Brawler’s Guild update
  • New Darkmoon Faire roller coaster
  • New Micro-holidays and updates to Children’s Week
  • Official Blizzard Developer Notes

Crucible of Storms Raid Testing

This past Thursday the first encounter in the upcoming, 2-boss, raid was tested: The Restless Cabal – Heroic Crucible of Storms.

Hot fixes for pain points in IE and PvP

A recent hotfix brought low Balance Druids, Elemental Shamans and Mistweaver Monks and also nerfed some of the more obnoxious enemies players came across in Island Expeditions.

  • Nerfs for PvP
    • Damage reduction Balance Druids, Mistweaver Monks, and Elemental Shamans in PvP situations
    • Surging Mist (PvP Talent) mana cost nearly doubled going from costing 2% base mana to 3.8% base mana.
  • Newly introduced Azerite-theme enemies now avoid using similar abilities at the same time and have had some of their more disruptive moves changed.

Reaping Revealed

The season 2 affix, Reaping is now available for testing on the PTR. Following our discussion from last week, Mythic + runs with a difficulty modifier of 10 or above will have this affix after January 22nd.

  • Each non-boss enemy killed leaves behind a ghost at the location it was killed.
  • There are 3 types of ghosts based on the mob from which it spawned.
    • Melee enemies spawn Risen Souls which melee there target and leave a Reap Soul DoT which deals 2% of a players max health every 3 seconds.
    • Range enemies spawn Tormented Souls which cast Grave Bolt. This is a 5 sec cast that deals damage equal to 25% of the targets max health.
    • Elite enemies will spawn Lost Souls which have a frontal cone that deals damage to anyone hit equal to 10% of that players maximum health. They will also cast Expel Soul upon dying. This will send otherworldly bolts at areas on the ground. Any player standing in the areas when the bolt lands will gain a debuff which reduces healing and damage you do by 10% and also will be knocked back.
  • At 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100% enemy forces cleared the ghost of non-boss enemies you have defeated will swarm the dungeon group.
    • This activates all ghost you have not previously defeated.
    • The ghost do not interact with any other affix other than fortified and teaming.
    • If you die to a reaping wave the ghost will stay where they killed you.
    • The ghost have a larger aggro radius than typical mobs.
    • They do not have true sight.
    • If you kill all the bosses and then trigger the 100% reaping wave the dungeon will complete and you will not have to actually fight the last wave.

Understanding Secondary Stats in WoW

For many players secondary stats are something that we look up on class guides and then don’t look into much further than that; however, blindly following these guides can actually make you gear suboptimally for your specific situation. Previously on the show we talked about Raidbots, Pawn, and simming your own personal stat weights. Today, I would like to talk more about how the value of stats can change dynamically even in the middle of a fight.

Attribute Value and Combat Rating:

Gear gives a static value of attributes that we commonly refer to as stats. However that value has a different effect on your character based on your characters conversion of that value to a percentage combat rating. Your combat rating is determined by your level and specialization. As you level, you require a higher value of a the static attribute to convert into the percentage combat rating you see in your character panel. This is a hidden reason why your gear gets weaker as you level up at the beginning of each expansion and the reason why legendaries and tier sets often turn off above a certain level.

Basic description of the general secondaries in BfA:

  • Critical Hit (Crit): The chance for any damage or heal that can crit to deal bonus damage or healing. By default characters have a 5% chance to crit and agility classes have an additional 5% base on top.
  • Haste: Increases attack speed and spell casting speed. Also increases the tick rate of DoTs and HoTs, reduces the CD of some spells and abilities and can reduce the dreaded GCD!
  • Versatility: Increases damage and healing done by a percentage and decreases damage taken by half that amount.
  • Mastery: different for every class. Consult a class guide to determine how this attribute functions for your class.

Tank secondaries:

  • Bonus Armor: increases the armor of the player allowing the tank to absorb additional physical damage.
  • Dodge: gives a chance to evade an attack and take no damage.
  • Parry: gives a chance to negate the damage of an attack coming from the front.

Attribute conversions:

  • Many classes especially tanks convert one stat to another. Warriors convert Strength to armor through their Vanguard passive; and convert Crit to Parry. There are also less overt conversions. The rate at which paladins gain holy power is not directly affected by haste; however, haste decreases both the GCD and the CD of holy power generators and in this way increased haste can provide a more holy power to spend on finishers over the course of an encounter.

Diminishing Returns and Hard Limits:

There are points when you can have too much of a good thing. In general, there are less sources of secondaries in BfA and it may not come to pass that we are able to amass so much of a stat that it loses some or all value. Blizzard has also introduced changes to the rating for armor, parry and dodge that also creates diminishing returns on those attributes.

  • Soft Cap: This is a point of diminishing return when you have so much of an attribute that additional amounts of that attribute has less of an effect but still has some effect on your combat performance.
  • Hard Cap: This is the point when additional amounts of an attribute have absolutely no value.

Synergies between attributes:

Attributes can have strong relationships caused by the interaction of your abilities.