Patch 6.1 has been around for a few days now. This is a summary of the class changes. All the other changes are on the Blizzard page.
As to the Why and Wherefore of the changes, here’s some Dev commentary:
Developer Commentary: A primary focus for class changes in Patch 6.1 is improving overall talent balance. Not every talent needs to be useful in every situation; and in fact it’s often better if they have strengths and weaknesses. But we do try to have each talent be useful in some situations, and make them close enough in value that if you really enjoy the gameplay of a talent you don’t feel like you’re dragging your group down by using it.
For these changes we focused primarily on tuning (tweaking numbers), and nearly all changes are buffs to underperforming Talents. The goal is to reach more variety of viable builds, without bringing down the existing popular choices.
Read on for the details.
You no longer need to have a level 55 character before you can create a Death Knight. DKs will still start at level 55.
Level 75: Death Siphon now heals the Death Knight for 400% of damage dealt (up from 335%.) This will make it more useful at higher levels, it’s always been good at lower levels.
- Breath of Sindragosa no longer has an initial Runic Power cost, but only applies the Mark of Sindragosa for Blood Death Knights. (Was 15 initial RP, now only Blood DK will get the heal.) Still costs 15 RP per second.
- Defile now only reduces damage taken for Blood Death Knights.
- Necrotic Plague damage has been increased by 20%, which is a much needed buff, but now only grants Runic Power to Blood Death Knights. Not a big loss for most situations.
- Glyph of Runic Power now generates 2 Runic Power every second for 5 seconds when struck by a movement-impairing effect (down from 3 Runic Power.)
- PvP 4-piece set bonus for Blood Death Knights now only applies Anti-Magic Shell to 1 additional ally within 15 yards (down from 2 allies.)
The Warlords (patch 6.0) changes for DKs are here.
More riping, tearing, and chomping damage, plus misc other buffs and changes. They didn’t exactly redesign the class, but you should quickly notice the changes.
Druids can now keep cosmetic transforms while shapeshifting. In addition, many Druid shapeshift forms now have attachment points on the head and back for cosmetic toy effects such as Blazing Wings or Pepe. Additional shapeshift forms may receive attachment points in the future.
- Ferocious Bite damage increased by 5%.
- Mangle damage increased by 27%.
- Shred damage increased by 20%.
- Thrash (Cat Form) damage increased by 20%.
- Moonfire‘s mana cost has been reduced by 55%.
- Healing Touch no longer heals for 50% more when cast-on-self for Balance Druids.
Level 15: Displacer Beast is now classified as an Arcane School ability and can no longer be used while silenced.
Level 30: Renewal now instantly heals for 30% of max health (up from 22%.)
Level 60: Force of Nature‘s Treants (the talent no one takes) have been buffed with a 35% increase to their health and spellpower, and an 80% increase to their armor and attack power. Will you be taking it now?
Level 90: Heart of the Wild (Restoration) now increases spell damage by 150% (down from 200%), and Agility in Cat Form by 75% (down from 110%.)
- Bristling Fur (Guardian) now has a 30-second cooldown (down from 1 minute.)
- Guardian of Elune (Guardian) now also reduces the rage cost of Savage Defense by the Druid’s base dodge chance percentage. Lots of Dodge, cheaper Savage Defense.
- Moment of Clarity (Restoration) now lasts 7 seconds (up from 5 seconds.)
- Rampant Growth (Restoration) now also increases the healing of Swiftmend by 20%.
- Stellar Flare (Balance) damage has been increased by 16%, and now has a duration of 24 seconds (up from 20 seconds.)
- Balance Druids now learn a new passive ability at level 38, Nature’s Bounty. which causes your Healing Touches to be Critical Strikes for 8 seconds after killing an enemy that yields experience or honor.
- Starfall damage decreased by 16.6%.
- Starfall and Sunfall now only hits targets affected with Moonfire or Sunfire by default.
- Glyph of Guided Stars has been renamed to Glyph of Untamed Stars and is now a Minor glyph. Glyph of Untamed Stars expands Starfall and Sunfall to hit all targets within range.
- Moonfire (Feral) damage increased by 5%.
- Rake damage increased by 5%.
- Rip damage increased by 5%.
- Swipe damage increased by 20%.
- Naturalist now also increases the damage of (Resto) Druid spells and abilities by 15%. Previously it only increased Healing by 10%.
- Genesis no longer requires a target.
- Ironbark is no longer usable while silenced.
- Nature’s Cure can no longer be cast while in a shapeshift form and is now classified as a Nature School ability.
- PvP 2-piece set bonus for Balance Druids now has a visual effect to indicate when the Druid is unable to generate a Starsurge charge from Entangling Roots.
- PvP 4-piece set bonus for Balance Druids has been redesigned. When Starsurge hits a player, the cast time of Starfire is reduced by 30%, and the damage of Wrath is increased by 30% for 6 seconds.
The Warlords (patch 6.0) changes for Druids are here.
Level 45: Exhilaration now instantly heals for 30% of max health (up from 22%.)
Level 75: Stampede now lasts 40 seconds (up from 20 seconds.)
- Glaive Toss damage has been increased by 25%.
- Powershot damage has been increased by 62%.
- Barrage damage has been increased by 21%.
- Trap Mastery no longer reduces the cooldown of all traps and Black Arrow by 6 seconds.
- Black Arrow now has a cooldown of 24 seconds (down from 30 seconds.)
- Enhanced Traps now reduces the cooldown on all traps by 33% (down from 50%.)
- Basilisks now have a pet family ability. Stone Scales reduces damage taken by the pet. Previously, Basilisks did not have a pet family ability.
- Hydra pets should no longer be excessively large.
- Spirit Beast’s Spirit Beast Blessing now also provides a 5% increase to critical strike chance. Does not stack with other critical strike chance buffs. Previously, other exotic pet families provided buffs to 2 stats while Spirit Beasts provided only 1.
The Warlords (patch 6.0) changes for Hunters are here.
Level 15: Evanesce should now provide protection against many more effects, and function more consistently. Perhaps this means someone will actually take the talent?
Level 30: Alter Time now has a 1-minute cooldown (down from 1.5 minutes.) It still only resets position and health.
Level 75: Ice Nova (Frost) now roots the target instead of stunning them, but the root is no longer affected by diminishing returns.
Level 100: Comet Storm (Frost) damage has increased by 94% but deals 33.3% less damage in PvP combat.
- Deep Freeze‘s stun effect now always breaks on damage from Ice Lance or Ice Nova, but no longer has a chance to break from other damage sources.
- Glyph of Frostfire Bolt has been replaced with Glyph of Ignite, which causes Ignite to also reduce the target’s movement speed by 40%.
- Glyph of Splitting Ice effect can now hit targets up to 60% further away from the primary target, but no longer ignores crowd-controlled targets.
- Tier-17 4-piece bonus for Fire Mages is now approximately 0.7 procs per minute (down from 1 proc per minute.)
- PvP 2-piece set bonus for Frost Mages has been redesigned. Cone of Cold now leaves behind a patch of ice on the target area slowing any enemies caught within it by 50% for 6 seconds.
- PvP 4-piece set bonus for Frost Mages has been redesigned to increase Frostbolt damage by 30% against unsnared targets, and increases Frostbolt damage by 50% against snared targets.
The Warlords (patch 6.0) changes for Mages are here.
- Rising Sun Kick (Windwalker, Mistweaver) now causes enemies to take 20% increased damage from the Monk’s abilities (up from 10%).
- Level 30: Zen Sphere has been improved. Its detonation damage has increased by 97%, detonation healing has increased by 70%, but periodic healing has been reduced by 39%. Also fixed a bug that caused its damage and healing to vary based on specialization.
- Level 30: Chi Burst damage has been increased by 51%. Also fixed a bug that caused its damage and healing to vary based on specialization.
- Level 45: Ascension now increases Spirit by 10%, for faster mana regen, instead of increasing maximum mana by 20%.
- Level 60: Ring of Peace now incapacitates all enemies for 5 seconds (up from 3 seconds.)
- Level 90: Chi Torpedo damage has increased by 150% and healing has increased by 42%.
- Level 100: Breath of the Serpent (Mistweaver) healing increased by 50%.
- Level 100: Chi Explosion (Mistweaver) healing while in Serpent Stance is increased by 40%, and is now usable while channeling Soothing Mist. Healing while in Crane Stance is reduced by 33.3%.
- Level 100: Hurricane Strike (Windwalker) damage increased by 25%.
- Elusive Brew is now highlighted when the Monk has 15 stacks of it.
- Mana Tea now restores mana equal to 3 times the Monk’s unbuffed Spirit (instead of 4% of maximum mana.)
- Glyph of Blackout Kick has returned. (It is not automatically learned.)
- PvP 2-piece set bonus for Windwalker Monks has been replaced by the PvP 4-piece set bonus. Touch of Karma‘s redirected damage can now exceed 50% of the Monk’s maximum health.
- PvP 4-piece set bonus for Brewmaster Monks now only applies Guard to 1 additional ally within 15 yards (down from 2 allies.)
- PvP 4-piece set bonus for Windwalker Monks is now the PvP 2-piece set bonus. The Monk now receives a 2% reduction to damage taken for each stack of Tigereye Brew consumed for 20 seconds.
The Warlords (patch 6.0) changes for Monks are here.
Level 45: Sacred Shield‘s (Holy) mana cost has been reduced by 34%.
Level 60: Hand of Purity now reduces damage taken by 15% (up from 10%.)
Level 90: Execution Sentence‘s healing dealt by Stay of Execution has increased by 100%.
- Empowered Seals (Protection, Retribution) has been improved. Liadrin’s Righteousness now increases haste by 20% (up from 15%.) Uther’s Insight now heals the Paladin for 2% of maximum health every 3 seconds (up from 1% every 2 seconds.)
- Final Verdict (Retribution) now increases the radius of the next Divine Storm by 50% (down from 100%.)
- Beacon of Insight (Holy) now increases healing received by the target by 40% (up from 30%) and moves to the next most injured ally when the target reaches 90% health (instead of full health.)
- Denounce damage has increased by 50%.
- Holy Shock damage has increased by 50%.
- Beacon of Light heals should no longer benefit or consume Glyph of Flash of Light‘s effect.
- Seal of Truth is no longer available to Protection Paladins. Seal of Command is now replaced by Seal of Righteousness instead of Seal of Truth.
- Glyph of Alabaster Shield has been removed.
- Glyph of Harsh Words is now only available to Holy Paladins.
- Glyph of Immediate Truth is now only available to Retribution Paladins.
- Glyph of Judgment is now automatically learned at level 25.
- PvP 2-piece set bonus for Holy Paladins now lasts 12 seconds (up from 8 seconds.)
- PvP 4-piece set bonus for Holy Paladins has been redesigned. Eternal Flame or Word of Glory now also reduces damage taken by the target by 5% for each Holy Power consumed (maximum of 15%) for 6 seconds. This effect only works in PvP combat.
The Warlords (patch 6.0) changes for Paladins are here.
A bunch of talent changes, but very little to other abilities, with the exception of:
- Power Word: Shield now absorbs 10% less damage.
- Insanity (Shadow) now also affects Mind Sear.
- Mindbender lasts for 20 seconds (up from 15 seconds.)
- Surge of Darkness (Shadow) now has a 12% chance to trigger (up from 10%.)
- Psychic Scream now has a 30-second cooldown (down from 45 seconds.)
- Void Tendrils‘ health has increased by 30%.
- Cascade may now hit the same target twice. This results in an increase to total healing, so its healing has been reduced by 35% to compensate (the total healing in a 20-player raid will be slightly higher than before.)
- Divine Star (Shadow) damage increased by 20%.
- Halo now displays an indicator on the ground to make it easier for the casting Priest see where the ability is most effective. Additionally, Halo’s visual effect has been synchronized so a character will receive the effect when the nova intersects with them.
- Auspicious Spirits (Shadow) no longer cause Shadowy Apparitions to not deal damage. Instead, it now increases Shadowy Apparition damage by 100% in addition to still granting 1 Shadow Orb.
- Clarity of Purpose‘s (Holy) healing has increased by 20%.
- Saving Grace‘s (Discipline, Holy) healing has increased by 50%, but now reduces future healing dealt by 15% (up from 10%.) Additionally, the talent is now Instant, but its effectiveness is reduced while in PvP combat.
- Void Entropy (Shadow) damage increased by 80%.
The Warlords (patch 6.0) changes for Priests are here.
Rogues will no longer automatically fail the Gladiator’s Sanctum coliseum scenario when they use the Death from Above talent.
- Burst of Speed now has a 3-second cooldown. This will gives Rogues a chance to be slowed for a couple of seconds.
- Death from Above‘s damage has increased by 25%. For Assassination Rogues, the talent now also increases the duration of Envenom. This should make it much more of the “go to” talent for the tier.
- Leeching Poison has been redesigned. It now grants 10% Leech while active and no longer applies a poison effect to the target, thought it still counts as your “non lethal” poison. Its Shiv effect remains unchanged. It’ll still be only useful for leveling.
- PvP 4-piece set bonus for Combat Rogues has been redesigned. Using Vanish instantly generates 5 combo points and the next Ambush, Eviscerate, Revealing Strike, or Sinister Strike will be a critical strike.
The Warlords (patch 6.0) changes for Rogues are here.
Grounding Totem now protects both party and raid members (up from only party members). Additionally, fixed an issue where Grounding Totem was incorrectly redirecting Provoke (Monk), Growl (Hunter Pet), and Defile (Death Knight.)
Level 30: Frozen Power should no longer cause Frost Shock to trigger a new Mastery: Molten Earth (Elemental). Note that this does not stop Molten Earth effects that are already in progress or in the process of being triggered.
Level 60: Echo of the Elements has been redesigned. Echo of the Elements now causes Earthquake, Fire Nova, Lava Burst, Lava Lash, Riptide, Spirit Link Totem, Stormstrike, and Unleash Life to have 2 charges. Other abilities that reset the cooldown of these abilities will instead grant 1 charge.
Level 75: Ancestral Guidance now triggers from all damage or healing dealt, including Multistrikes, instead of only direct damage or healing.
Level 100: Storm Elemental Totem damage and healing has increased by 30%.
- Telluric Currents (Restoration) causes Flame Shock, Lava Burst, and Lightning Bolt to cost no mana and deal 100% more damage.
- Enhanced Chain Lightning now makes Earthquake instant cast, and increases the damage done by the next Earthquake by 300% when Chain Lightning or Lava Beam strikes 3 or more targets (instead of increasing Earthquake damage by 60% for each target struck.)
- Restorative Waves now increases all healing done by 40% (up from 30%).
- Tier-17 2-piece bonus for Elemental Shaman now increases multistrike damage by 1% per stack (down from 2% damage increase per stack.)
- Tier-17 4-piece bonus for Elemental Shaman now requires the Shaman to consume 18 Lightning Shield charges to trigger (up from 15 charges.)
- PvP 2-piece set bonus for Restoration Shaman now grants 975 Versatility after dispelling a harmful Magic or Curse effect from an ally (up from 780 Versatility.)
- PvP 4-piece set bonus for Restoration Shaman now triggers when the target of Earth Shield drops below 50% health (up from 35%) and Earth Shield will immediately consume up to 4 charges (up from 3 charges.)
The Warlords (patch 6.0) changes for Shamen are here.
Only a few talent changes/tweaks.
- Level 75: Grimoire of Sacrifice (Affliction, Destruction) now increases damage of affected spells by 25% (up from 20%.)
- Level 75: Grimoire of Service now summons a second demon for 25 seconds (up from 20 seconds.)
- Level 90: Kil’jaeden’s Cunning now has a 35-second cooldown (down from 1 minute.)
- Level 100: Cataclysm now also applies Unstable Affliction for Affliction Warlocks.
- Level 100: Charred Remains (Destruction) now reduces Incinerate damage by only 50% (down from reducing Incinerate damage by 60%.)
- Level 100: Demonbolt (Demonology) damage decreased by 25%. Additionally, Demonbolt no longer deals reduced damage in PvP combat, reverting the hotfix from January 21 in Patch 6.0.3.
The Warlords (patch 6.0) changes for Warlocks are here.
- Avatar now lasts 20 seconds with a 1.5-minute cooldown (up from lasting 24 seconds with a 3-minute cooldown.)
- Second Wind now increases Leech by 25% (up from 10%.) I guess no one was taking that talent?
- Siegebreaker (Arms, Fury) damage and knockback distance has increased by 50%.
- Slam (Arms) damage has increased by 43%.
- Execute damage (for all specs) decreased by 11.4%. (Sob.)
- Shield Barrier now absorbs 24.4% more damage. (Nice.)
- Thunder Clap‘s (Arms, Protection) snare effect now lasts for 10 seconds or 8 seconds while in PvP combat (up from 6 seconds.) (That works.)
- Improved Defensive Stance now increases armor by 10% (up from 5%).
- Tier-17 4-piece bonus for Arms Warriors now causes Colossus Smash to generate only 20 rage (down from 30 Rage.)
The Warlords (patch 6.0) changes for Warriors are here.
Expect more changes as Warlords of Draenor evolves. 6.2 will have quite a few.