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The Queue: You can't take Spell Power away from me


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

There's a great question about the mechanics of spell casting when a proc / buff is or is not active. It's a very fine point that most people don't consider, and it's a mechanic that has been reiterated by Ghostcrawler and company recently. Take a few minutes to read it, you'll be glad you did.

Today's reading music is Frank Sinatra and Natalie Cole singing They Can't Take That Away From Me.

I love the way we dance 'till three.

Mortur asked...

"Now that the Battle.net conversion has been released for a while and bugs have been being dealt with, do you feel that there is much reason anymore for holding off on converting your account to Battle.net? Have the authentication issues after a patch been going away?"

I would recommend you upgrade at this point. Things have definitely been getting a lot better, and lately if there are authentication issues the problems have been affecting every form of authentication. It's assumed that Blizzard will eventually "force" the upgrade on everyone, although there is no indication they'll do this soon. If you want the new Mountain Dew Battle Bot pet you're going to need to upgrade your account to Battle.net, so you have some more incentive there.

Veliaf asked a long but very good question...

"I know that, if you cast a spell that has to physically travel to reach the target (i.e. Shadow Bolt) and a SP buff (or similar) procs between the time it leaves your fingers and the time it hits the mob, the buff won't affect the damage of the spell.

My questions are:

1. If the SP buff procs during the time you're casting the spell, will it affect the spell's damage?"

No. It will affect the next spell for which the proc could apply.

"2. If the buff procs and you have DoTs on the mob, for example, will the ticks of the DoTs during the period the buff is active for be affected by the added SP, or will they do damage as if you had the SP you had when you cast the DoT?"

No, effects must be active prior to the spell being cast for the effect to be applied.

"3. If you start casting the spell with the buff active and the buff is lost during the casting time, does that spell still gain the extra SP?"

Yes, the buff is applied to the spell at the beginning of the cast time.

"4. If you cast the spell with the buff active and the buff is lost between the time the spell leaves your fingers and the time it reaches the mob, does the spell still gain the extra SP?"

Yes, because the buff is already applied to the spell.

Discolando asked...

"Considering Blizzard has put in considerable effort to make all specs viable, could we see an effort to make non-standard specs more viable? Specifically, I am thinking of the classic Shockadin spec (ie, Holy/Ret caster based DPS). BC and WotLK have both brought remarkable improvements in the potential output of Shockadins and the only significant things we're lacking now to be viable in end-game raiding is gear specific to the play style (plate with spell hit) and a small buff to bring us to the level of other hybrid dps classes. I for one would instantly change my Paladin to a Shockadin spec full time if it were possible to bring this specific kind of reliable dps and healing to a raid with one spec."

Anything is possible. I would be surprised to see this level of class balancing however. Look over at the official forums, look at the number of posts on WoW.com, look at the comments here: everyone is already complaining about some balance issue in all the given specs already. Combination specs like a Shockadin would be hell to balance around, and would take up even more of Blizzard's time – when it's clear they already have their hands full balance the current specs.

This isn't to say that gear and minor adjustments won't be made to make such a spec choice viable for end game raiding, I just wouldn't see it getting as much attention as a pure Ret build.

Nobag80 asked...

"Why is it that the majority of people I see and read about online play Horde? Why does it seem that Alliance is a joke to the crew of WoW.com and the majority of readership as it seems. Every time someone says something about an Alliance player it's "reroll Horde". And how come I see horde stickers everywhere on peoples' cars but no alliance..... anything?"

There is really no bias here. People percieve Horde / Alliance and class biases everywhere they go. The Alliance people think that Blizzard loves the Horde, and the Horde thinks that Blizzard only cares about the Alliance. Paladins think that Ghostcrawler only loves Hunters, and Hunters think that Ghostcrawler only loves Paladins.

When in reality Ghostcrawler only loves ponies, and I still haven't gotten mine.

Bpow asked...

"I am looking to get a new Mac Book Pro and wondering if 2gb of RAM will be enough to run WoW smoothly. Any thoughts?"

It's going to run WoW great if you have your settings at mid-level. Max level settings probably will cause your frame rate to drop to unacceptable levels, but they do that on most machines that don't have really good graphics cards.
Have questions about the World of Warcraft? The WoW.com crew is here with The Queue, our daily Q&A column! Leave your questions in the comments and we'll do our best to answer 'em!

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