Quick Thoughts – Mists of Pandaria Beta – March 31, 2012

The Mists of Pandaria beta has been ongoing for roughly a week and a half now and has over 300,000 participants (more than that, in fact). I’ve leveled my Shadow Priest to 86 (the current level cap) and have done the Temple of the Jade Spirit 5man instance a few times now. Here are my thoughts about Shadow and where it stands:

  1. Mana is a huge problem. The base mana at level 85 for all casters is 100k and is a flat 1250mp5 in combat regen (regardless of gear) for Shadow. This increases (it appears) by 20k per level, as I now have 120k mana at level 86 (1500mp5 in combat regen), and mana replenishment drinks are sold in two varieties: restore 100k over 10sec and restore 200k over 20sec. With standard DPS spells costing between 1% (Mind Flay) and 4.4% (Shadow Word: Pain) per cast, you will go OOM on trash and have to drink between pulls. On boss fights, you need to use Dispersion and Shadowfiend regularly and on cooldown just to maintain any DPS (wanding is pretty much a thing of the past now that we don’t have a ranged slot!). I’ll outline each Shadow ability and its mana cost in another post.
  2. There will be a very quick gear reset akin to Burning Crusade. The ilvl of items in the Jade Forest are very high. Greens from quest rewards are 372 to start and quickly rise to 384 (404 for blues). Boss drops from the Temple of the Jade Spirit are ilvl 425 and easily beat out even Heroic Dragon Soul items (for example, a staff with 631 Int, 457 Haste, 359 Crit, and 3615 SP). My guess is that most of our gear will be replaced mid way through the 86 -> 87 leveling progress (yes, even breaking set bonuses). Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa’s Rest might be the only exception to this, but it will probably be replaced by heroic 5man weapons because of the sheer increase in Int and SP.
  3. Hit has been normalized between melee/ranged/magic. Our new hit cap is 15%.

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