10 Years 10 Questions

August 10, 2014


So here I am, sitting at Sunnier’s dining room table, writing this blog post. I feel like this epitomizes one of the questions I’ll answer here in a second, but really I just thought it would be a fun thing to do. Plus hopefully I’ve convinced her to do it too (it takes a lot of prodding with that one). Anyway it’s 9pm here (only?!) and I felt like writing.

Plus Dayani did it too, so now I feel kind of obligated. Therefore here’s my version of 10 Years 10 Questions.

Why did you start playing Warcraft?

My brother told me in April of 2005 that he had found a new Warcraft game at Wal-Mart. Given that we lived in the boonies at the time (or pretty much anyway) I hadn’t heard a peep about this new game. However we had both played the ever-living-shit out of all of the previous Warcraft games – in fact I used to spend hours playing UMS games in War3 – and loved the lore and the universe the games were built on. So we were both pretty excited and started playing together. He had a Rogue, and I had a (Protection) Warrior.

These days he’s still a melee DPS, and I’m still a tank.

What was the first ever character you rolled?

The first character I rolled was a human Warrior on Suramar named Katarn. Bonus points if you get the reference. I levelled him to 60 as Protection (horrible, horrible idea at the time but I didn’t know better). Unfortunately I wasn’t able to start raiding until I started university, but I did do many a 5-man dungeon on my horrible dial-up connection. Rather well I might add.

Which factors determined your faction choice in game?

I can’t speak for my brother, but we did want to play together and neither of us really liked any of the orc characters from the previous games. So Alliance it was.

What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?

Singular most memorable moment in the game? This is going to sound silly, but probably when we killed Heroic Garrosh. It was the first time I had successfully cleared a tier while it was current – Dragon Soul doesn’t count – and I did it with some of my very best friends. While you don’t get that feeling every day, I hope to have more, similar moments in the next expansion.

What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?

Inside the game the obvious answer is raiding. The fact that I can connect with a bunch of my friends from across the continent and kill dargins is still so cool to me.

Outside the game there’s another obvious answer: Theorycrafting. I absolutely love it, and I’ve made even more friends through TCing than I otherwise would have if I had just stuck to raiding.

Do you have an area in game that you always return to?

Not really, no. I mean I like to imagine that Ari hangs out in Stormwind a lot with her friends (Sunnier, Silanah, Thurne, and Lissanna), but there’s no special spot to me as a player.

How long have you /played and has that been continuous?

None of them have been continuous, although Ari has by far the longest continuous streak.

  • Arielle: 208 Days, 16 hours.
  • Katarn: 59 Days, 1 hour.
  • Mdnite: 50 Days, 10 hours.

Those are the top 3. Nothing else breaks 25 days. All told it’s probably close to a full year of continuous play.

Admit it: do you read quest text or not?

Fuck no, are you kidding me? Well, at least not when I’m levelling Ari. On whatever my 2nd character is I usually will though, because by that time I can stop and smell the roses.

Are there any regrets from your time in game?

Not a one. I mean sometimes I think I could’ve spent my time more productively, but then I realize that the sheer amount of things that I now have means that I don’t think about it twice.

What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?

I figured the intro would’ve made this really obvious, but I’ve travelled to places that I wouldn’t have otherwise visited. This year alone I went to Colorado, Texas, and Toronto. All places I’ve never been to before. Why?

Because that’s where people that I met in the game live. They’re my friends and I wanted to visit them. So I did. Next year I might go to even more crazy places like New York, or Edmonton. All because of people that I’ve met through this game, and are now friends with.

Lazy Bear is Lazy

I’ll be honest, I’ve been kind of – OK I’ll be honest, really – slacking on writing. There are a number of things I want to talk about, but just don’t have enough information to do any sort of detailed analysis yet. Specifically?

  • What happens when Mastery scales through raid tiers?
  • Will we armor cap again (maybe)?
  • Will TDR get to a point where EH becomes worthless?
  • What happens to Rage generation?
  • How do the L100 talents compare?

The problem is, I need more itemization (specifically about item levels) before I can attempt any of these. This means that in typical Arielle fashion I’ve been ignoring things I could talk about in favour of things I can’t. However watching my good friends Hamlet, Dayani, Sunnier, and Theck put up posts this week has made me feel guilty. So I’ve decided to come back to the topic I left with. Rotations and Rage generation.

Push Buttons, Victory?

Over the past month or so feedback has been rolling in from Beta to a number of different sources. There are Guardian specific threads on the Official Forums, MMOC, and of course right here at TIB. One of the items that I see mention repeatedly in all of these places is how simple the rotation is now that the cooldown has been lifted from both Lacerate and Thrash. If we’re looking at a standard rotation this is completely accurate. We lost Faerie Fire since it (a) no longer resets Mangle, and deals less damage than Lacerate. On the surface this is fine, and cements Faerie Fire‘s place as a pulling tool, rather than a rarely-used rotational ability.

However that means we also lost 25% of our rotational buttons.

I’ll be the first to admit that this is – probably – at least partially my fault. I campaigned long and hard to remove the cooldown from both Lacerate and Thrash. My intention was to move our rotation closer to what it was in Cataclysm, except without the stupidity of Demoralizing Roar and needing to maintain 3 stacks of Faerie Fire. Unfortunately with Thrash having such a long duration the “rotation” just devolves into Lacerate spam with a Mangle every 4th GCD. Yes, the button presses get “faster” thanks to us gaining Sanctity of Battle – and as an aside this is a good thing, since it allows you to customize how fast your GCD is with Haste – but it’s still effectively only two buttons. So how do we make it more fun to play, especially since the most common complaint is that Guardians are boring – even on live?

Enter Pulverize

I’ll be the first to admit that I thought the (re)-addition of Pulverize was a good thing. We had that 4th button we so desperately needed to keep our rotation interesting. Unfortunately the more I played with it on Beta, the more I came to agree with those that disliked it – like Ahanss (sorry buddy) – it’s really braindead. It turns out that all Pulverize really does is replace Thrash in your rotation, which doesn’t even remotely solve the problem. Actually, the problem gets worse:

  • Pulverize doesn’t synergize with Incarnation at all.
  • 10 seconds is way too short a duration to fit in anything other than what is required to maintain it.
  • It’s really just another version of Thrash, except with a bigger downside to not maintaining it, and a higher upkeep cost.

To me the answer seems obvious (admittedly after thinking about it for several hours). Why not make Pulverize almost a direct clone of Revenge, except maybe with some sort of bleed hook? Maybe it could do more damage against bleeding targets, or generate a bit more Rage against bleeding targets or something. This solves:

  • Getting us back to 4 rotational buttons.
  • Lets Pulverize interact positively with Incarnation.
  • Removes what could be considered a boring, maintenance-heavy buff.
  • Forces Blizzard to revamp our L100 talents.

I’m not really seeing a downside here.

What do you think? How do you find the rotation in Beta? Do you pine for the Cataclysm days like I do?

Part Deux

Hello Guardians!

I probably should have put this up last weekend, but I got distracted by Heroes of the Storm. In any case in my last post I talked about what kind of RPS levels we could expect in Warlords. As we found out it appears that our base Rage generation is going to be substantially higher than it was in Mists.

But what happens if a Guardian chooses to talent into Pulverize? Is there any kind of change to Rage generation? Let’s find out.

Assumptions of Play

As with the basic rotation, in order to come up with an estimate of the Rage generation for a Pulverize rotation you have to come up with a set of assumptions. Obviously being able to simulate the rotation will give the most accurate result, but we can’t do that yet.

  1. 1 Pulverize every 10 seconds.
  2. Given the previous assumption, at least 3 Lacerates every 10 seconds.
  3. The number of Mangles won’t be appreciably affected by when a Pulverize is used.
  4. Any remaining GCDs are filled with Lacerate.

The obvious question that follows these assumptions, is can they be proven? Well, not very easily it turns out. The first two are pretty obvious, in order to maintain the buff from Pulverize you need at least three Lacerates. Simple. For the second assumption however, it is not very likely that you will end up using Pulverize in the “free” (and by “free” I mean that it can’t reset Mangle) GCD. That means it’s pretty likely that it will negatively impact the number of times you can press Mangle within a 10 second window.

That being said, it’s really hard to quantify what that effect is within a spreadsheet. I know that the RPS of Mangle as it is represented in this version of the SS is actually a bit higher than it should be. But there isn’t enough of a possible discrepancy that it changes the results.

You’ll notice here that I didn’t mention Thrash anywhere. There’s a couple reasons for this. The first is that in order for Thrash to be Rage positive in a normal rotation – or at least enough of a difference that it’s worth using – it needs to be used during the “free” GCD mentioned earlier. The second is that in a Pulverize rotation, a Lacerate has extra benefit in that it pushes the next Pulverize forward. This also increases Rage generation beyond the original chance to reset Mangle.

At higher Haste levels we will have more of these “free” GCDs within a given 10s window. However this number won’t increase significantly enough to allow the use of Thrash in any amount that significantly affects Rage generation outside of an AoE scenario.


These results will look familiar to anyone that read my previous post. The essential conclusion to be drawn from these results – just like the previous ones – is that if you choose Pulverize you will still be swimming in Rage. At best you will actually have more Rage than a regular rotation, and at worst you’ll have an about equal amount. Anyway time for pictures!


You can clearly see that Haste is far and away beating Crit already, and we haven’t even put any gear on.


At something similar to dungeon levels of gear Haste is still far-and-away killing Crit.


I feel like I’m just repeating myself here, but this is what it looks like at 1000 Haste and Crit rating.


And here we can see the GCD cap causing Haste to level off. However it’s unlikely that we’ll approach that amount of Haste at all during the expansion, given the push for other secondary stats as well.


The conclusions here are identical to what we saw previously. Namely that Haste far, far, far outperforms Crit and we’re probably currently generating too much Rage. I expect we’ll see changes that address both of these issues in a future pass on the Guardian rotation.


It’s been a while since I’ve done a legitimate theorycrafting post. We’ve had everything in MoP figured out for so long that there hasn’t been much incentive to do anything further. However now that we’ve started getting information about Warlords, there’s new things we can do! But first, a story.

A while ago I wrote a little story about how I got into theorycrafting. Normally this wouldn’t be pertinent, but part of this story was about making sure things are accurate and how to do that. One of those ways is of course, to ask for someone to look at your work. Kind-of like proof-reading.

Something that you may also not know (well some of you will) is that while I’m pretty decent at algebra, I’m really terrible at calculus. So I’ve had people review my stuff before, and did so again today. Thankfully both Theck and Ahanss made sure I wasn’t totally off my rocker. Theck may have also implicitly questioned my intelligence (he’s my friend, he’s allowed). I kid, I kid.

In any case, I’m here to talk to you today about Guardian Rage generation in Warlords of Draenor. At least, what we know about it from the alpha patch notes. Well, the first half of it anyway.

Spreadsheets and Simulations

In the current iteration of Guardian development, there are two different distinct possible rotations: With and without Pulverize. Today’s post is going to focus on the latter, more simple version of this rotation. Now, before we get into anything specific it’s important to understand that the most accurate way to investigate this kind of thing is through simulations which replicate gameplay. However it’s very possible – and usually much easier – to get most of the way there using a simple spreadsheet. Enough in any case, to pick up on any potential problems that might occur as gear improves throughout an expansion.

You may have seen me mention on Twitter that I want to get into working on SimC. I originally thought I would simply re-teach myself Java and build my own simulator, but Theck convinced me otherwise. Until I manage to teach myself C++ (or whatever they use) to a degree that I’m able to do anything productive, I will approximate situations using spreadsheets as best I can. That’s what I’ve done here. In order to do that though, I made a few assumptions.

Assumptions of Play

The results I will describe shortly are based on a set of assumptions of how a Guardian would play while tanking a boss. These are:

Fortunately I can prove all of these assumptions – with a reasonable degree of accuracy – using math. First, we know that Thrash‘s duration is 16 seconds. We also know that the chance of not getting a Mangle proc on 2 consecutive Lacerates is 75%*75% = 56.25%. Bare nekkid our GCD is 1.42857 seconds (5% Haste raid buff). That gives us 16 / 1.42857 = 11.2 GCDs every 16 seconds, or almost 12. That means the chance of not being able to use a Thrash on the 3rd GCD after a Mangle is only around 3% ((1-0.5625)^4).

Second, we know that the RPS to maintain 100% SD uptime (for 42 seconds) is only 6.6666~ if you bank 100 Rage before swapping. Since Mangle and Lacerate together generate at least 10 RPS without considering Mangle procs (60/6) or Haste, then that is definitely possible. I also assume around 10% base Dodge from Agility, which is about what we had at the start of the expansion after suppression.

My third assumption is pretty obvious, since Mangle does the most damage and generates the most Rage. As is by extension, the fourth. The actual formula for calculating the number of Mangles is something I re-purposed from Helistar by removing the “miss” and changing it to a variable GCD based on Haste. We know this formula is accurate to at least 3 sig-figs because of Tangedyn’s simulations during MoP Beta.

The fifth and final assumption is implied from the wording of Primal Fury although never confirmed.


The “TLDR” version of the results is that we’re going to be swimming in Rage, and Crit is worse than Haste in the current build until you reach GCD cap. The longer version has a bit of exposition along with visual aids. For example, this is what the graph looks like when you are completely naked and only have raid buffs.


We start at just over 18 RPS with this rotation. To provide a relative example, this is approximately the same amount of RPS we have now in heroic SoO gear. The obvious difference between the two examples is that Tooth and Claw is now free. This liberates an absolutely huge amount of our Rage for Frenzied Regeneration. But what happens when we add around 500 Crit and 500 Haste, an amount you might attain in Warlords dungeon gear?


Haste is still better, and our base generation has grown to 19.5 RPS. What about 1000 Crit and 1000 Haste, something you might see in the first raid tier?


We’re nearly hitting 21 RPS, and Haste is still clearly the superior stat. But what if we choose to purely stack Haste, since it’s clearly objectively better than Crit?


Over 21.5 RPS, and Haste still generates more Rage than Crit until the GCD cap.


There are two very clear conclusions visible.

  1. Crit is objectively worse than Haste until GCD cap. Even if the two generated similar amounts of Rage, Haste would still win because of the mitigation benefit from Tooth and Claw, and the increased uptime of Ursa Major.
  2. We are potentially generating too much Rage simply by executing our rotation.

In order to fix (1) Crit needs to either generate substantially more Rage than Haste, or also contribute to our survival in some other manner. However even if you simply increase Crit’s contribute to the Rage pool, I’m not convinced that the additional benefits of Haste won’t continue to outweigh it. Especially given how much base Rage generation we have.

(2) is something that is impossible to evaluate without knowing what Blizzard’s targets are. The concept makes sense from a high level though. The higher our base Rage generation is, the more incentive we will have to seek out secondary stats that do not contribute to Rage generation. I’m just really worried that our base generation will be too high, especially after Tooth and Claw becomes free.

If you want to play with the SS yourself, the link is available under “The Maths Corner” above.


Hello Guardians! Earlier this evening Blizzard posted a first cut at their alpha patch notes. In this post I’m going to dig deep into them and dissect the changes as much as possible. As per normal (even more so) remember that these changes ARE ALPHA AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE. That being said, let’s get started.

Some of these changes we’ve already seen at Blizzcon, but a lot of the Guardian specific ones are new.

General Mechanics Changes

Agility no longer provides an increased chance to critically strike with melee and ranged attacks or abilities. The base chance to critically strike is now 5% for all classes. There are no longer different chances to critically strike with melee, ranged, and spells. There is a new passive, named Critical Strikes, which increases chance to critically strike by 10%. It is learned by all Rogues, all Hunters, Feral and Guardian Druids, Brewmaster and Windwalker Monks, and Enhancement Shamans.

Removing dual-Crit scaling makes sense really. It was just really messy in reality to have to worry about multiple sources of Criticals. In return we get a baseline increase to make up for the difference. That’s fine.

Each point of Agility or Strength now grants 1 Attack Power (down from 2). All other sources of Attack Power now grant half as much as before. Weapon Damage values on all weapons have been reduced by 20%. Attack Power now increases Weapon Damage at a rate of 1 DPS per 3.5 Attack Power (up from 1 DPS per 14 Attack Power). Attack Power, Spell Power, or Weapon Damage now affect the entire healing or damage throughput of player spells.

I’ll be honest, the whole Attack Power and Weapon Damage thing was just getting really confusing for a lot of people. 1 AP per point of Strength or Agility just makes everyone’s lives easier, and I like the conversion of 3.5 AP to Weapon Damage as well. The nerf to weapon’s damage is likely just to accommodate the removal of base ability damage.

Celestalon later confirmed in a tweet that only the appropriate classes will benefit from Strength or Agility. That means we won’t have to worry about wanting Strength items after this change, or vice-versa.

The amount of Dodge gained per point of Agility has been reduced by 25%.

Nobody cares about the Dodge gained from Agility nowadays anyway. But it makes sense that they’re reducing the contribution of passive mitigation stats in favour of more active mechanics.

All players now have a 100% chance to hit, 0% chance to be dodged, 3% chance to be parried, and 0% chance to glance, when fighting creatures up to 3 levels higher (bosses included). Thick Hide now also reduces the chance for attacks to be parried by 3%.

We’ve known this was coming for a while, but now we know exactly what the changes are. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, and everyone is happy to see these stats gone anyway.

Weakened Blows was a debuff that mattered almost exclusively to tanks, and that every tank automatically applied. We removed the debuff and reduced creature damage to compensate.

Yay! It was a stupid debuff anyway that was a relic from Vanilla. Good riddance.

Weakened Armor and Physical Vulnerability were effectively redundant, both filling the role of increasing Physical damage taken by the target. So, we removed Weakened Armor and widened the availability of Physical Vulnerability a bit.

Yay! The difference between these two was actually quite annoying, and it was very critical to have both.

As part of a push to combine the different types of Haste in the game as much as possible, we merged Spell Haste and Attack Speed into just Haste, which benefits everyone.

And there was much rejoycing! Plus it’s an actual haste effect, which means GCD reduction (more on that later).

We like that tanks can provide meaningful DPS to their group, however, it swung wildly based on the fight, even surpassing the dedicated damage dealers occasionally. To solve this, we’re going to remove the offensive value of Vengeance, but preserve the defensive value, by making it increase the effect of your active mitigation buttons, instead of Attack Power.

Nobody saw this coming. Nope. Noone. Not a one. /sarcasm

In all seriousness this is a good change. Vengeance cheesing was probably the most common thing to take advantage of this expansion, and Druids mostly got the short end of the stick on that one. It’s a great boon to tank balance overall.

Resolve: Increases your healing and absorption done to yourself, based on Stamina and damage taken (before avoidance and mitigation) in the last 10 seconds.

Cool. Neat buffs to survival with a shorter window, which means more responsiveness to changes in incoming damage. Sounds fine by me.

Druid: Revive, Monk: Resuscitate, Paladin: Redemption, and Shaman: Ancestral Spirit now cost 4% of base mana (down from between 10% and 50%).



Guardians have gotten a bit of an overhaul in the latest set of patch notes. Mostly good changes, but a couple annoyances here and there. Let’s start with the perks as seen on WoWHead. Note that apparently these are earned randomly while you level, but you will have all of them by level 100:

  • Enhanced Tooth and Claw: Tooth and Claw now also makes Maul free, and can accumulate 1 additional charge. This pretty much solves any problem I ever had with T&C. In ToT you heavily modified your rotation around whether or not you had a proc, and if the next swing of the boss was already capped out or not. This outright solves that problem by removing the Rage cost, which means it’s always an advantage to press the button. The extra charge meanwhile basically makes it impossible to waste procs, given that they take so long to generate anyway (on average).
  • Empowered Berserk: Increases the duration of Berserk by 5 seconds. What’s not to like about this? It now becomes an even 15s (10 GCDs with no Haste), rather than the silly 10 seconds we have now. Great change.
  • Enhanced Bear Hug: You are no longer immobilized by using Bear Hug. Again, nothing not to like about this change. That was the single most annoying thing about that button in the first place, and now it’s gone.
  • Improved Mangle: Your Mangle deals 20% additional damage. Uh, sure. I guess.
  • Improved Maul: Your Maul deals 20% additional damage. Weeeeeeeeeeee.
  • Empowered Thrash: Increases the periodic damage of your Thrash by 50%. More damage. ALL THE DAMAGES.
  • Empowered Bear Form: Bear Form grants you an additional 20% Stamina. More EH? Sure, why not?
  • Improved Barkskin: Barkskin provides 10% additional damage reduction. It’s important to note here that there’s no reference to removing the buff to Barkskin’s cooldown that we received in 5.4. But it’s more likely to be a difference maker now.
  • Improved Frenzied Regeneration: increases the healing from Frenzied Regeneration by 10%. Can’t say no to more healing.



One of the changes mentioned is something I’ve alluded to for a very long time, both here and on various forums or podcasts.

Mastery: Primal Tenacity causes the Druid to gain a Physical absorb shield equal to 16% of the attack’s damage when they are hit by a Physical attack. Attacks which this effect fully or partially absorbs cannot trigger Primal Tenacity. Mastery: Primal Tenacity now also passively increases Attack Power by 12% (percentage increased by Mastery), in addition to its current effects.

Obviously our +Armor Mastery was very boring, and to be quite honest, mostly worthless. Our new Mastery gives us a shield of (2*Mastery)% of the last physical ability that hit us. It’s not clear what specifically qualifies as a “Physical Attack”, but I suspect the wording is general enough to imply that anything Stagger works on, our new Mastery would work on. This makes it very effective at smoothing out incoming damage not only from melee swings, but abilities that plagued us throughout this expansion (Blood Rage, Snapping Bite, Triple Puncture…..). The benefit is also low enough that it won’t be effective to stack pure Mastery or anything, but getting a little bit here-and-there will most certainly be beneficial….depending on the encounter of course.

The extra DPS bit is just to make it do something offensively, and therefore have tank DPS keep pace with your real damage dealers.

Rage Generation

Another one of our sore points this expansion was the almost complete passivity of our Rage generation. This has been significantly overhauled.

  • Auto-attacks now generate 5 Rage (down from 10.9 Rage).
  • Lacerate now generates 10 Rage, has no cooldown (down from a 3-second cooldown), but no longer has a chance to reset Mangle’s cooldown. and apparently still resets the CD on Mangle.
  • Thrash now generates 2 Rage every time it deals direct or periodic damage, has no cooldown (down from a 6-second cooldown), but no longer has a chance to reset Mangle’s cooldown.
  • Faerie Fire no longer has a chance to reset Mangle’s cooldown.
  • Primal Fury now generates 5 Rage (down from 15 Rage) when you dodge or non-periodically critically strike (up from only Auto Attacks and Mangle).
  • Mangle now generates 30 Rage, and its cooldown is reduced by Haste.
  • Bear Form no longer increases Haste and Crit from items by 50%, but instead causes Haste to reduce the global cooldown.

So close. Oh, so close. Each of these changes individually is a great change. Less reliance on Crit, a GCD that scales with Haste, more control over Rage generation, and AoE Rage generation. All good changes. The teensy problem is that our “rotation” is now even more boring than it was before. With the removal of FFF and proccing Mangles, our rotation is now 100% fixed – which is bleh. The only thing that changes is that you get to spam more Lacerates between applications of Thrash at higher Haste levels. /barf

You’ll see why I’m so salty in a second when we get to talents.

Ability Pruning

A number of buttons that we kind of expected to die have in fact, become deceased. These are:

  • Enrage: Not surprising. Became mostly irrelevant after T15 and was annoying to use anytime other than the start of a pull because it costs a GCD.
  • Innervate: YAY! I was sick of seeing this button my bar. For srs.
  • Swipe: I don’t particularly care about Swipe. We’re gaining AoE Rage generation anyway, plus this button would just feel absolutely horrible to press with the other Rage changes.
  • Symbiosis: This one I wasn’t expecting, but am not surprised by. I’ve previously referenced a tweet from Holinka indicating that it was going to be changed to be defensive CDs only. But think about that for a second. How would a Guardian having Cloak or Deterrence not be the most fucking overpowered thing in the universe? It was impossible to balance, and I’m glad they finally figured that out.

In return for losing Symbiosis, we gained something else:

Survival Instincts is now available to all Druid specializations. Survival Instincts now reduces damage taken by 70% (up from 50%) with a 2-minute cooldown (down from 3), and for Feral and Guardian specializations can have up to 2 charges (up from 1).

I literally have nothing bad to say about this. Literally 0. I actually think it’s probably way too overpowered to be completely honest. Of course that 100% depends on encounter design, but taking that at face value and putting it into SoO mechanics I’m like “welp I guess I literally just never die? mmmk”. We’ll see what happens though.’


I’ll admit, there’s some doozies here.

Heart of the Wild no longer provides an increase to Hit chance or Expertise while active, and no longer increases Stamina, Agility, and Intellect.

I don’t have a problem with this change, at all. We were always the ones that benefited the least from the “main role boost” to begin with, so that’s not really a loss. We also retain the best parts – the ability to assume another role for a period of time when we’re not tanking. Fine by me.

Dream of Cenarius – Guardian: No longer increases the critical strike chance of Mangle.

This is now way way way way way too expensive. You’re essentially costing yourself 10 Rage every time you use an HT, and since they’re no longer boosted by Vengeance/Resolve (except when you use them on yourself) there’s actually 0 incentive to press the button except when you’re not actually tanking anything at that very instant. It remains to be seen how it specifically ends up being balanced against Frenzied Regen, but I just don’t see that happening. This talent is basically dead to me until the HT becomes off the GCD.

Nature’s Vigil, while active, increases single-target damage and healing caused by healing spells by 16% (down from 25%), and all single-target damage spells also heal a nearby friendly target for 35% of the damage done (up from 25%).

Once again Nature’s Vigil will probably turn out to be the clear winner in most encounters. Splash healing with no extra thought required. Granted it won’t be as “smart” as it is now, but at least you can use it while tanking something.

Guardian of Elune – Savage Defense now lasts 4 seconds, and increases your chance to dodge by 100%.

I actually think this is pretty neat. Imagine how awesome it would be if you were guaranteed to dodge every single Snapping Bite? That would be really awesome. Obviously this will purely be a choice made based on encounter mechanics, but it’s a pretty neat talent that plays into our active mitigation. I like that.

Bristling Fur – You bristle your fur, reducing all damage taken by 50% for 3 seconds.

Much improved over the previous incarnation (huehue) for sure. Having an extra major cooldown is nothing to shake a stick at, and I would be very surprised if this doesn’t see at least some use.

Pulverize – A devastating blow that consumes 3 stacks of Lacerate on the target to deal 500% weapon damage, generate 30 Rage, and reduce damage taken by 20% for 10 sec.

And now you understand why I’m so salty. This is literally the perfect missing piece to the new rotation. I expect most Guardians will end up with this purely for the rotational engagement, when there’s no very specific reason to pick one of the other two. It’s just so terribly disappointing that Pulverize is a talent, when it should quite clearly be part of the core rotation. Heck, you could even scrap the damage reduction if you wanted. Just please please please please please make it a rotational ability.

And then Celestalon had to go and tell me they re-added the chance for Mangle to reset on Lacerate hit. Ok. The entire previous paragraph is worthless now :|

It actually makes Pulverize more tricky to use than first appears, since you have to balance Mangle procs vs Pulverize uptime. I almost think that the duration should be extended to maybe 12 or 15 seconds in order for you not to feel like you’re in panic mode when trying to manage Rage generation and Pulverize. In any case, I feel significantly less negative about it now.