I’m in the middle of writing a post about Ret palas but thought I should quickly go over something that hasn’t been mentioned on this site before – the changes to Smoke Bomb last patch.
Patch 5.2 introduced a useful buff to smoke bombs – 20% damage reduction to friendly targets.
Smoke Bomb now reduces damage taken by allies in the area of effect by 20%, in addition to current effects.
What wasn’t mentioned in the patch notes however was a nerf to the spell, something I only found out about a couple of weeks ago while chatting with Hildegard. The topic came up again while talking to another rogue yesterday so I think it’s safe to assume it’s still not common knowledge. It turns out the ability was changed to allow the other team the chance to react to your smoke bomb – from pressing the button there’s a short delay before the bomb blocks enemy visibility, according to Hildegard’s extensive research this delay is around one second (give or take lag).
So how does this change the ability? Massively – with the introductions of addons like GladiatorLosSA which announce important spells, enemy healers can react instantly to abilities like Smoke Bomb and get through big heals (or even worse, Leaps of Faith) before the smoke takes effect. After initially thinking my countless failed bombs were caused by either lag or bad luck, I started to think there was a mod or hack which instantly performed an action as soon as smoke bomb was detected. My teams were getting frustrated with what they thought were my slow reactions (my partners normally call for smoke when they have big burst lined up) but it turns out you now have to take into account a one second delay.
Luckily this change isn’t too game-breaking – all you need to do is drop your smoke bomb a second before CC wears off the enemy healer, rather than at the same time. This isn’t always possible if you’re going for a sudden kill without CC on the healer, so in those situations you’ll need to wait a second before committing to burst (you really don’t want to pop CDs then see your target fly across the map to their priest).
Here’s the Podcast where Hildegard talks about this change;