Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Filed under: Buffs

Moonkin may receive a buff soon

Balance druid performance has been noticeably lagging in raids. While moonkin have long had a problem being too easily +haste-capped with Wrath, there's another issue on the not-too-distant horizon in the form of the "lunar +crit cap." Essentially, when a lunar eclipse procs and the player turns to the Starfire portion of the rotation, the combination of raid buffs, gear, and procs make Starfire crits all but inevitable. While this may sound like a welcome DPS increase, it does have the unhappy result of the spec seeing increasingly less benefit from the +haste and +crit that exists in abundance on Icecrown raid gear.

Blizzard has known about this for a while, but the issue with Nature's Grace and the soft +haste cap isn't easily fixable without impacting both Restoration and Starfire (where the NG proc is still useful), and the +crit cap is the effect of unintended stat inflation in Wrath. Enter Zarhym on Wednesday to announce news of a possible change to the Earth and Moon talent in a future mini-patch, granting 2/4/6% spell damage to the moonkin, up from 1/2/3%. While this isn't set in stone (and Balance players are already aware that an overhaul to the Nature's Grace issue probably won't happen until the Cataclysm content patch at the earliest), it's been greeted as a decent short-term fix. It's also a means of improving the scaling of what remains the moonkin's best stat (+spellpower).

Zarhym did warn that the change may not go through in this form, and we're also waiting for news on when this mini-patch will hit. Stay tuned for future announcements.

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Classes, Buffs

Totem Talk: Patch 3.3 and shamans, part 2 -- How not to PUG


Totem Talk is the column for shamans. With the new Random Dungeons and Dungeon Finder, healing has never been more in demand, and shamans find themselves faced with the dilemma: do I wait 10 minutes and go as DPS, or get instantly invited by being willing to heal? Matthew Rossi is impatient and terrifyingly willing to heal random strangers.

Ah, the Pick Up Group. Long a staple of our gameplay in WoW, patch 3.3 revolutionized the way we do it with the new dungeon finder, giving us incentives to put up with fury warriors who rush the tank, ret paladins who forget to turn Righteous Fury off, and runs consisting of two DK's, a paladin, a warrior and a shaman where people ask the shaman if he's tanking. (Hint, he wasn't.) Other things the shaman will not be doing in a PUG include making a summoning portal, a mage table (it's got mage in the name what is wrong with you), casting combat res on the tank when he dies, summoning Army of the Dead (seriously, I can understand being frustrated that someone cast that and it dragged the trash around, but shamans do not generally summon forth armies of walking corpses), washing your laundry (that's just gross), making a pinhole camera, performing a complicated medley of Andrew Lloyd Webber's greatest showtunes (unless you catch me in a really good mood), or casting Divine Intervention.

Sure, I realize these are all fine things, and it's a shame that the shaman or shamans in your group won't be able to do them. That being said, shamans do bring all sorts of fun things to PUG's. Things like hybrid magical/physical DPS, caster DPS, or healing, a plethora of totem buffs, a cornucopia of ancillary benefits like Unleashed Rage, Totem of Wrath, and of course Sentry Totem. I know that's really why you bring us, it's okay.

Read more →

Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Odds and ends, Instances, Bosses, Guides, Classes, Buffs, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Wrath of the Lich King

One Boss Leaves: Xevozz buffets Chrono-Lord Epoch

Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. This season's combatants come from the original five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.

Could the Chrono-Lord not kite? Xevozz moved through the Two Bosses Thunderdome with ease this week, overcoming Chrono-Lord Epoch with 62% of the spectators' roaring approval. Just how one-sided was this match? "This fight is so one-sided, it should instead be a vote to see if Xevozz makes it past Epoch fast enough to get a drake as well," smirks Stone_Rhino.

Of course, not everyone agreed. "Come on, guys!" protests mtwcmarsh. "You're talking about a gangster thug who got himself locked away in the Violet Hold fighting a freakin' Chrono-Lord! You seriously think his little ethereal balls mean squat to someone who can stop time?" Adds Clydtsdk-Rivendare: "Time travel > all (except, of course, LOLDRAIN). Also, nobody said bosses can't kite -- that's a game play mechanic (threat), not lore. MG kited Arthas the whole flippin' way to Northrend, so to speak. (Okay, that one's a joke, but srsly ...) Xevozz hardly stands a chance, with that in mind."

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Features, Lore, Buffs, Two Bosses Enter

Arcane Brilliance: WoW patch 3.3 primer for mages

It's time again for another Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that loves mages and all things magey. Take this picture, for example. That's a mage right there. If I'm not mistaken, she's getting ready to do something magey. Like plant a Fireball deep in the fertile soil of a warlock's grill. Arcane Brilliance loves everything about that.

So apparently patch 3.3 could literally drop any moment. I'm not even kidding. It might have happened while I was typing that last sentence. I don't know. More likely, though, is that it will come (as per the usual deployment-method) during the upcoming Tuesday maintenance. This means we've only got a little time left before we can enter Icecrown Citadel and begin the patch-long process of shaking its inhabitants down repeatedly for loot. I, for one, cannot wait to place an Arcane Missile or five directly up Arthas' frosty tailpipe.

But what, exactly, does this patch bring to the mage class? I'm glad you asked. Though this patch is admittedly a bit heavy on the new raid content and light on class changes, mages are one of the few classes that are getting some pretty significant new junk. From increased raid utility for Arcane, to buffed-up AoE for Fire, to actual, honest-to-goodness competitive raid DPS for Frost, 3.3 is delivering a little of something for everybody. Join me after the break for a full recap of all the newness we can expect come patch day.

Read more →

Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Classes, Talents, Buffs, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Patch 3.3 PTR: Shadow Word: Pain not affected by haste

We heard a little while back from Ghostcrawler that haste would soon affect Heal-over-Time (HoT) and Damage-over-Time (DoT) spells, and sure enough, soon after that, Shadow Priests -- who use DoTs all the time -- saw a nice buff. But of course this is the PTR, and everything is subject to change, and so last weekend, Blizzard removed Shadow Word: Pain from that equation -- right now, it's not affected by haste at all. GC says that sure enough, Blizzard thought shadow priest DPS was too high with all of their DoTs given a boost, so SW:P got the boot (for now -- remember, this is all still on PTR).

Misery, my go-to shadow priest, has some good insight on the change, and says that sure, if shadow priest DPS was too high, it was too high. But it's too bad that Shadow Word: Pain had to take the nerf, especially since you get it so early on in the class and it's such an iconic spell for the spec. The reason these guys are so happy about the hasted DoTs is that DoTs as cast don't really scale with your gear -- they just sort of do their damage on their own. When haste got put into the equation, shadow priests became happy that they could go after more haste to increase the DoT part of the damage. They could tailor the spec and spells the way they wanted to use them.



Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Classes, Talents, Buffs

Rawr updated to 2.2.25 [Update: 2.2.27]

Rawr is a great third-party app (it's open source, and doesn't interface with the game at all) that's designed to help you figure out everything you need to know about your character, including how to best buff, enchant, and gem up your gear and set up your stats for whatever you'd like to do. It started out as an app strictly for tanking druids, but recently, it's grown to include pretty much all classes and stats. Our good friends at sister site Download Squad just recently found out about it, and they've got a nice basic writeup posted that serves as a good overview if you've never used the app before.

They also mention that the app just got another update, to version 2.2.25, and all of the release notes are posted over on their site. They're also looking for help -- if you're a C# developer, or know one who can work on their rogue and hunter models, be sure to let them know. Since the program is open source, anybody who knows the code can jump in and add their own features, or fine-tune the class choices, which then helps out everyone who uses the software. Rawr is definitely an excellent resource for anyone looking to get their gear perfected -- it's a free download for Windows on their site right now.

Update: Since this post was written, the app has been updated to 2.2.27. That was fast!

Filed under: Items, Tips, How-tos, Classes, Buffs

The argument for paladin stances

Righteous Defense lays out an intriguing argument for an idea that I still personally can't get behind: paladin stances. The recent changes around patch 3.3 have shined a light on paladin versatility, and basically, paladins are forced to pay the hybrid tax three times over -- because they can do it all without limiting themselves, they can't do anything as well as other classes. So RD makes the suggestion: instead of letting paladins have all of their spells under any aura, it's time to narrow things down a bit. Devotion Aura becomes tanking stance, gets Righteous Fury's threat bonus added to it, and enabling it makes pallies lose some other abilities (Avenger's Shield is RD's suggestion). Retribution Aura becomes a DPS "stance," with added benefits and costs, and so on. By forcing paladins into a playstyle, you can give them extra power, because you've taken away versatility.

Unfortunately for those in favor, I don't think it'll ever happen. First of all, we already have a class in the game that uses stances, and I think that this type of gameplay is too close for Blizzard's comfort to implement in the same way on paladins -- they want the classes to play different. Second, the paladin class design has always focused on the versatility of being a hybrid. While paladins may want to limit themselves to see buffs, Blizzard has never shown an inclination to limit pallies' versatility just to make them more powerful. I like the idea of Righteous Fury's buff getting linked up to something else (it definitely seems like it's out there on its own as an arbitrary tanking buff), but paladins getting a fully implemented stance system doesn't seem likely at all.

Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Raiding, Classes, Buffs

Hallow's End was exactly random enough

Now that Hallow's End is over for another year, it's time to settle up. We already asked whether you got what you wanted, but according to the informal polls (and the feedback I've been hearing), quite a few people didn't actually get everything they were trying for. As we mentioned on the podcast the other week, many people who said they did everything they could probably didn't (did you really go trick-or-treating every hour of every day during the holiday?), but it's not too far a stretch to suggest that maybe the drop rates for some of the hardest items to get (the Horseman's helm and the Sinister Squashling pet seem to be the toughest, though I heard a lot of stories about hard-to-find toothpicks, too) are a little bit lower than they should be for fairness.

Not so, says Bornakk -- he said while the holiday was ongoing that the drop rates were fine, and now that it's over, he says they're still fine. That doesn't mean Blizzard won't change it for next year, but it does mean that they don't have any current plans to change the holiday at all. "The randomness," as he says, "can win sometimes."

Our condolences if you were trying for an item and didn't get it -- even on a 50/50 coin flip, there's still a chance to see one side 1000 times in a row. We sincerely mean this one: better luck next year.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Blizzard, Buffs, Forums

Healer survey contains a wealth of information about healing

If you've ever wanted a close-up look at the game's healing zeitgeist, Miss Medicina has it -- she recently started up a survey/meme of healers around the WoW blogosphere, and the answers are now in and posted on her site. They make for some interesting weekend reading, especially if you're interested in healing and what healers think of it. I'm sure there's lots of conclusions that could be drawn out of this (I'll let you all come up with some in the comments as well), but just reading through them on my own, it seems like there's a few threads between them. The majority of healing seems to be done in 10-mans, which probably isn't too surprising, given that's where most of the endgame players are right now as well. There's no clear winner on class or spec (all four healing classes are represented pretty evenly, though I didn't really crunch the numbers), though there are quite a few priests, and of those, things seem to be split between holy and disc.

In terms of a favorite spell, there's almost no crossover at all -- people are all over the place, from Beacon to Penance to Circle of Healing. To hear these guys tell it, healers have all kinds of fun spells to play with. In terms of a weakness to healing, two main answers appear: mana regeneration (always an issue with mana-heavy classes like healers) and mobility. Shamans and druids have problems with big burst healing, and paladins say they need more group healing strength, but almost everyone mentions either mana or movement. There's a lot more to look through, too, in terms of how healers evaluate their performance and addon recommendations from everyone. As a look inside the healer "scene," there is a ton of information in there about what healers are up to out on the realms.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Classes, Buffs

Ghostcrawler cleans up two dev chat questions

As you probably noticed if you watched along with us, yesterday's developer chat (with Blizzard's J. Allen Brack and Tom Chilton taking questions from Twitter and answering them on the forums) was a little light to say the least. Rather than answer questions about game balance seriously, the devs chose to make fun of hunters taming druids and do a lot of hinting and winking. Fortunately, we have Ghostcrawler -- he's responded to concerns about two of the questions yesterday over on the forums.

The first is in response to some feedback about what the devs yesterday called "binary" hard modes -- they said that instead of providing multiple levels of difficulty (as in Sarth and his drakes), they'd prefer to have a hard mode either on or off (you'll be able to toggle between the two in Icecrown). This relates to what we just said recently, with different types of guilds looking for different types of content to play. GC replies that the "in-betweens" in terms of difficulty will come with later bosses in normal mode -- if you want to play a challenge without stepping into the hard modes, Blizzard will do their best to make sure that the last bosses on normal give you that challenge. Which makes sense -- bosses should ramp up in difficulty as the instance goes along, and no one would suggest, for instance, that Yogg was nearly as easy as Flame Leviathan.

And GC also talked about one of my favorite (and missed) game mechanics: crowd control.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Bosses, Classes, Buffs

Patch 3.3 PTR: Consolidate buffs and debuffs in the default UI

Elkano's buff bars

One of the big UI changes coming in patch 3.3 is an option to Consolidate Buffs. It appears that when the feature is enabled, specific short term buffs like Replenishment and longer duration buffs like Gift of the Wild or Arcane Brilliance will be tucked aside and hidden in a buff box. When you mouse over it, the box will expand and display the buffs within. In other words, we can get more real estate back!

On the other hand, certain important buffs that may be critical to the operation of your class will always be displayed. For example, Art of War procs on my retribution paladin will always show up so I know when to slam Exorcism. (Don't hate on me because I have ret paladin now!) Heroism (or Bloodlust) and other similar cooldowns will be shown as well as range limited buffs like totems and paladin auras.

From the debuff side of things, there's another option called Castable Debuffs. When it's enabled, all it will do is show debuffs that you apply. My elemental shaman will throw Flame Shocks and that's all that will appear. I won't see a shadow priest's Misery or a rogue's Rupture. It's an interesting way to cut down on screen clutter.


Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Patches, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

Increase threat in five easy steps!

It sounds like an infomercial, but actually Righteous Defense has a great post on how a pally (or any class, really -- his advice is for pallies, but it's common sense enough that any tanking class can use the tips) can step up and increase their threat as far as it will go. I always enjoyed tanking when I did it (and now that I'm leveling up a pally, I'll hopefully be bashing heads in and taking damage again soon), and the key to tanking is just awareness: awareness of where the mobs are, who they're targeting, and where they should be. Increasing threat is really a passive kind of upgrade -- as long as you're hitting your spells right, using the glyphs designed to keep you at the top of an aggro list, and specced and hit-capped for the gear and abilities you're using, keeping threat up is pretty simple. It's just the positioning and dealing with surprises that can be hard.

The last point on RD's list is worth repeating for everyone: use your trinkets, as often as possible. Imagine that, in the next patch notes, you saw a spell under your class listing that did what your trinkets did (added a ton of spellpower or increased armor by 500) and went on to say (infomercial style again) "... at a cost of no mana, focus, rage or ." Wouldn't you be spamming that sucker as often as possible? Get your gear straight, use the right abilities, and break out your trinkets whenever you can, and keeping threat should be no problem at all for any given class.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Tips, Virtual selves, Raiding, Bosses, Buffs, Death Knight

Patch 3.3 PTR: A little extra XP bonus


The sneaky database over at MMO-Champion has uncovered a little spell/aura/attribute hidden in the patch 3.3 PTR files that hints at some extra XP from future versions of heirloom gear. Currently, with two pieces of heirloom gear, you can get up to a 20% bonus (the chest and shoulders each give a stackable 10%, while heirloom weapons give nothing). But this Heirloom Experience Bonus +5% "spell" grants an extra 5% experience, so it could be that in the future, we'll see pieces of heirloom gear that have an extra bit of bonus on them -- maybe gloves, cloak, or a belt -- that will bring the total bonus XP up to 25%.

There's no base level or other identifying information on this attribute (we call it a "spell," but really, given its information in the game, it seems like a gear-specific ability), so we can assume that it'll be a full 1-80 bonus, just like the current heirloom gear in the game. Unfortunately, we haven't actually uncovered any new heirloom items yet, so we have no idea if this stuff will show up in patch 3.3 or the expansion. And of course, just because the bonus applies from 1-80 doesn't mean the gear can be worn that whole time -- it sure seems like Blizzard wouldn't necessarily want Worgen and Goblin alts speeding past Cataclysm lowbie content. But we'll see -- in the meantime, look for a little extra heirloom power, coming soon.

Thanks, Gene!

Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Leveling, Buffs

Phat Loot Phriday: The Mischief Maker

This one comes to us from @Aeire on Twitter, who said we should do this item, because it's "weird and different." True on both counts!

Name: The Mischief Maker (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Uncommon Consumable
Damage/Speed: N/A
Attributes:
  • It's a wand (though not really -- it's just an item you right-click to use up) that will sheep any friendly player or NPC, and unfortunately only in Dalaran. In other words, it's a party favor -- there's no real use to it, but if you happen to see your buddy wandering around Dalaran, you can sheep them for 15 seconds, and then wait for their "wtf?!" to roll in on guild chat.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Fan stuff, Phat Loot Phriday, NPCs, Buffs

GC clarifies ArPen's stat removal and others


Ghostcrawler's hoping this answer "gets read," so we'll help. A player asks why Blizzard is worrying about armor penetration with the Scourge Strike ability -- isn't, they ask, ArPen getting removed in Cataclysm like we heard at BlizzCon? The answer is basically no: Armor Penetration rating is getting removed from gear (along with Block value, Defense, Attack Power, and a number of other gear stats), but Armor Penetration as a stat is not getting removed from the game. Talents and other abilties will still depend on removing and penetrating armor, even if your gear selection won't revolve around it. They'll still be balancing it, but as players choosing gear, it won't be a part of our calculations there.

Make sense? Just because you don't see, say, Attack Power on gear doesn't mean you won't have an Attack Power number governing how much damage you do. It just means that the AP you have will come from stats like Agility and Strength (depending on your class and a number of other factors) rather than gear adding directly to AP. Of course, as Ghostcrawler says, these changes aren't even coming until patch "4.0" and the Cataclysm expansion, so there's still lots of gear choices and balancing to do before then.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Buffs, Death Knight, Forums, Cataclysm

Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories

Joystiq

Massively

Engadget