Pre-patches are always a bit uncertain when it comes to ‘the best gear’ and ‘the best way to play.’ When a pre-patch launches, all of the new spell and class mechanics go live for our characters that aren’t exactly max level. And don’t forget we still have half of the old BfA mechanics that are going away, like Azerite.
The game isn’t meant to be balanced in this setting.
On top of that, simulations and theorycraft revolve around max level characters and require a lot of testing. The focus during a pre-patch is mostly on figuring out spell rotations and how they will interact with covenant abilities, legendaries, etc.
That doesn’t mean we can’t optimize you – we most certainly can. It just won’t be up to the usual near-perfect standards for pre-patch characters.
What is changing with the pre-patch?
Blizzard posted the full pre-expansion patch notes, and I’ve highlighted the major character and gear related ones below:
- Character level squish from 120 to 50
- Gear item level squish
- Class & spec talent and spell changes
- Corrupted gear no longer drops
- Existing corrupted gear gets cleansed
- You still get to use Azerite powers and Heart of Darkness no longer requires corruption to be active
Important note: If you get an error on your first visit to AMR after the pre-patch, it’s due to all of the changes to the in-game data. If you reload your character from our in-game addon, the error will go away.
How will Ask Mr. Robot support the pre-patch?
The pre-patch optimizer will launch the day of the release. It will do the following:
- Stat preference-based rankings for raiding and mythic+ for all specs
- Rough BfA trinket rankings
- General essense and azerite trait advice
- Upgrade Finder and Best in Slot are disabled during the pre-patch
- Guides are disabled during the pre-patch as we prepare them for Shadowlands
These should be used as a guideline and will not be perfect by any means. Use the optimizations as a starting point to play around with your Class changes. My advice is to focus on experimenting with your character instead of worrying about having perfect gear.
If you run into a problem, stop by our forums to let us know.
Essences & Azerite in Shadowlands
Corruption effects are cleansed with the pre-patch, however Essences and Azerite will still be available. In fact, this continues into Shadowlands. While playing in Battle for Azeroth content, characters will still have Essences and Azerite.
As long as your character is level 50 (or lower) and you have the Heart of Azeroth equipped, Mr. Robot will still show advice on how to optimize Essences and Azerite, even after Shadowlands launches.
- All of the spells and mechanics stay updated with the beta server changes (roughly within 24 hours)
- Rotations are general placeholders right now, they are not yet optimized for max-level raiding and M+.
- You can sim a generic character or import your own from the beta servers with our addon (get the addon from our site)
- The simulator wiki lets you edit anything from spell mechanics to rotations. To get started on rotations, watch this video on editing rotations or this one on the ‘guess & test‘ method. If you want help or have a fun rotation to share, this video explains how to share a rotation.
Shadowlands gear ranking (not quite yet!)
I know everyone is excited to see how the new gear stacks up. But we will not be ranking it during the pre-patch.
We need to run a much larger amount of simulations and play with different rotations to have a realistic first pass at rankings for new gear. We will have this buttoned up with the launch of Shadowlands and the weeks leading up to the raid.
That said, you can simulate Shadowlands gear, legendaries, soulbinds, and conduits on our Shadowlands beta simulator.
Hit us up on this forum thread.