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Filed under: Enchants

Arcane Brilliance: Enchanting your mage


Welcome to another Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that firmly believes the frozen throne simply isn't frozen enough. Frankly, we don't think the Lich King was trying hard enough. And so we applaud the efforts of the enterprising young mage pictured above. Way to show Arthas how it's done! Also, we will miss you.

So 3.3 has been live for several weeks now, and a great many of us have farmed up more Emblems of Frost and Triumph than we know what to do with. We, as a nation of mages, have bought ourselves a whole set of really nice new gear, possibly far nicer than anything we've ever had before. And what do we like to do when we get something really nice? Why, make it even nicer, right?

We get the nice video game system, we want a nice controller, and a selection of top-shelf titles to play on it. We get the HDTV, we want the shiny Blu-Ray player so we can watch Firefly in glorious high definition. We get the new car, we want to get a nice alarm system for it so that nobody can steal it. Unless you're that dork from my high school who bought the high-tech alarm system for his mom's 1976 Volkswagen Rabbit. Oh how we mocked him. Maybe someday you can get a good car to go with that sweet alarm system, we'd say, and laugh as he would hang his head in shame. Somewhere, he probably has all of our names on a list of people to kill, which he stares at while he puts on lipstick, Steve Buscemi-style.

But for most of us, this shiny new gear stirs within us the primal urge to trick it out even more. Which of course means that business is booming for Enchanters and Jewelcrafters. We discussed gemming last week, and this week, we're moving on to the fine art of enchanting your mage's already quite magical wardrobe.

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Filed under: Mage, Enchanting, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Guides, Classes, Enchants, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Disenchanting in dungeons in patch 3.3

Enchanting is probably the number one most complained about thing in patch 3.3 (or at least was until last night's nerf bat got the undead and paladins in an uproar). But hopefully this is all going to cool down a bit with what Bornaak just posted a short while ago.

His full statement is after the break. But the key line from the release:

To maintain the importance of the profession itself, the disenchanting UI option will only be available for groups that have a character with the necessary level of Enchanting to disenchant the items that are obtained.


More after the break.

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Filed under: Enchanting, Patches, News items, Enchants

Patch 3.3 PTR: Death Knight patch notes and undocumented changes


Given the massive amounts of death knight changes in the last few patches, Patch 3.3 almost feels like a drought. Of course, that may be good news if you're a bit tired of adjusting your rotations and glyphs every patch. Then again, don't rest yet. Sure, there's only a few changes to Death Knights (so far), but they're big enough that they deserve some discussion. Let's look at them one by one.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Talents, Buffs, Enchants, Death Knight

Insider Trader: Gadgets for the modern Engineer


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Engineering has quite a few useful tools in addition to their famous repertoire of toys, but not every player knows how to make the most of them. There are many reasons for this, including:
  • Not being informed on the latest improvements. Consumables may be less cost-prohibitive, for example, than the last time you checked.
  • Believing the "Engineering is useless" hype that lingers from darker days, and feeling creatively blocked after an expensive and tedious leveling process.
  • Being an irrational yet strangely normal cooldown and consumable saving individual. Awkward Zombie illustrates the latter nicely, and we've talked about stingy cooldown use in the past.
This week, Insider Trader is going to discuss a handful of the Engineering tools that you really should be using to the fullest, and why.

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Filed under: Engineering, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Features, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions)

Solo Hunters can also get phat lootz

I have to confess something. I'm a sucker for hearing stories about someone playing their Hunter in offbeat ways. What do I mean? Well, take for example that fabled Hunter Tank Gweryc.

Last week I got a great tip from Darth Solo over at WoW Alone about another offbeat Hunter idea. Seems Darth is a fan of solo play. At first I thought as you that this probably isn't completely original. We Hunters tend to just run with our pets anyways. But something kept nagging me to go check out WoW Alone and see just what Darth was doing.

Turns out he's put a lot of thought into how to get the most out of your World of Warcraft experience without having to worry about the drama associated with PUGs or even some guilds.

Of course I would be the first to admit that this kind of play style isn't for me. But if you want to find ways of enjoying your Hunter, getting loot all the while avoiding the drama associated with PUGs. Go check out his Hunter Solo Guides for gear, glyphs, and suggested specs for the Solo Hunter.

Filed under: Hunter, Fan stuff, Classes, Enchants, Alts, Battlegrounds, Achievements

Insider Trader: Profession-specific buffs part 3

Mining
Miners are given Toughness, an ability that at max rank, awards +50 stamina. This is a lovely bonus for tanks! A tank's talents will take this well beyond +500 hp, and stamina is also multiplied by buffs and talents such as Blessing of Kings (and not all stats are). This is also going to be helpful in PvP, where stamina is especially important.

Herbalism
Herbalists get Lifeblood, a self-heal, that at max rank, awards +2000 HP over 5 seconds on a 3 minute cooldown. This can be used in or out of combat, and the spell effect entails flowers sprouting up from the ground all around the character.

It is difficult to gauge the actual benefit of this ability across classes and in different situations. In the last few seconds of a close fight, where it is you or them, even a small boost in HP could bump you up to victory. Then again, tanks benefit more from stamina due to talents that factor in your total stamina to then award you with extra stamina (Sacred Duty), increased power (Touched by the Light), and other benefits. It is also difficult to say whether an extra boost in damage might also be worth more than this small heal in a tough spot.

Almost all classes find this ability helpful while leveling and soloing. Raiders will often use it to top themselves off or buy some time until their next heal.

Skinning
Skinners become Masters of Anatomy, and gain 32 critical strike rating, which is equal to 0.70% crit. This is especially useful to classes who have talents that boost stats based on your crit rating, increase your crit by a %, or where your crit rating actually grants you other stats, such as mana for holy paladins.

The Skinning and Mining bonuses equate to about 2 gems worth of stats, and Lifeblood is all about how you use it.

Conclusion and Comparison
As you can see, for most of the professions, the benefits and stat increases are approximately equal. Let's use spell power to demonstrate this:
  • JC: +39.
  • Enchanting: +38.
  • Inscription: +37.
  • Tailoring: 250 SP for 15 seconds of every 45 seconds+. This averages to +83 SP in ideal conditions (meaning, it procs on your next heal after the cooldown is up). In fact, it will likely always be under, though somewhat near, this ideal. A more realistic average is +75 SP.
  • LW: +37.
  • Blacksmithing: +38.
  • Engineers: +18 and a parachute.
  • Alchemy: +37.
As you can see, the profession bonuses are basically equivalent, and this is true across each stat. There are some exceptions. As I noted earlier, the Engineering enchants are not only meant to increase your stats, but also combine your gadgets, absorbing them into your everyday armor. Without this absorption, the only way to use them would be to take off your super special raiding/PvP gear in favor of a piece of gear or trinket that you carry around for special occasions. Because of this convenience, they seem to eat up itemization points.

Still, there are several that are still worth taking, even over other options available for that slot. The Tailoring enchant noted above is currently being debated as OP, and may be subject to tweaking in the future. It is also worth noting that because this is a passive proc, it is not always going to be utilized. You might proc it near the end of a fight, for example, or when you're topping someone off between pulls, and waste most of the added spell power.
Each week, Insider Trader takes you behind the scenes of the bustling sub-culture of professional craftsmen, examining the profitable, the tragically lacking, and the methods behind the madness. Check out part 1 of this Guide to Profession-Specific Buffs!



Filed under: Herbalism, Mining, Skinning, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Jewelcrafting, Features, Raiding, Guides, Buffs, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions), Inscription

Insider Trader: Profession-specific buffs part 2


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Last week, Insider Trader discussed the profession-only bonuses associated with Inscription, Jewelcrafting and Enchanting. This week, I'm going to walk you through the rest of them, and include a final summary and comparison at the end.

Tailoring Perks

Tailors have the ability to enchant their own cloaks. Other players can get cloak enchants from Enchanters, although the Tailoring ones are superior in many cases.
  • Darkglow Embroidery: Chance to restore 300 mana on spell cast. There seems to be a 60 second internal cooldown, with a proc rate of 35%, which is equal to 25 mp5.
  • Lightweave Embroidery: Chance on spell cast to increase your spellpower by 250 for 15 seconds.
  • Swordguard Embroidery: Chance for melee and ranged attacks to sometimes increase your attack power by 300 for 15 seconds.
There seems to be a 45 second internal cooldown on Lightweave and Swordguard, meaning that for 15 seconds out of every 45 seconds (+, if you don't proc it on the next hit, but they do seem to proc within a hit or three), you have the effect. This averages out to 83 SP, and 100 AP respectively, in ideal conditions. Depending on your luck with procs, the average decreases the longer it takes you to proc it again.

For example, after 45 seconds, each spell has a chance to proc the effect. If you managed it at the 50 second mark, the average becomes +75 SP.

Casters who are not Tailors can currently choose between Enchant Cloak - Wisdom and Enchant Cloak - Greater Speed.

Wisdom grants you a measly 10 spirit, as well as a now obsolete 2% threat reduction. The +23 haste rating is nice, but provides neither mana nor spellpower.

Enchant Cloak - Major Agility grants you +22 agility to cloak. Agility is inefficient to everyone except rogues, hunters, shamans and druid cats, who would get +22 AP from it as well as the crit/dodge/armor. In terms of attack power alone, the Swordguard enchant is the clear winner.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Leatherworking, Enchanting, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Jewelcrafting, Features, Raiding, Guides, Buffs, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions), Inscription

Arcane Brilliance: Reaching the hit cap



Each week Arcane Brilliance chats a bit about Mages and all things Mage-related. You may wonder what Arcane Brilliance likes to discuss the rest of the week. Even if you don't wonder that, Arcane Brilliance is going to tell you: It's still Mages. Yes, Arcane Brilliance pretty much talks about Mages constantly, even when it is wildly inappropriate to do so: at the dinner table...during business meetings...in church...at funerals...off-topic on completely unrelated message boards...Arcane Brilliance doesn't get invited to very many parties, in case you were curious.

When people see me in public, they often ask me, "Christian, how can I get my Mage hit capped?" It's probably the most common question I get, right up there with "Why are you so awesome?" and "Where are your pants?"

Okay, that's a lie. Nobody ever approaches me in public, and nobody asks me any of those questions, except for maybe the one about the location of my pants. That's a whole other story, and my attorney has advised me not to speak of it. Still, reaching the hit cap is something every Mage should be striving toward, but far too many of us either don't realize how important it is, or don't know enough about how to get there effectively. Fear not. Arcane Brilliance is here to explain the mysteries of the hit cap to you. The good news? It isn't nearly as complicated as you may think.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, PvP, Draenei, Features, Raiding, Guides, Classes, Talents, Buffs, Enchants, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Insider Trader: Your guide to profession-specific buffs

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

The World of Warcraft's second expansion pack, Wrath of the Lich King, changed the way that we players, as tradespeople, view professions and altered the reasoning behind our choices to pursue them.

The driving factor behind this change was Blizzard's commitment to make each profession seem beneficial and dare I say, fun, to any player, regardless of class. While we did see some changes in this direction in The Burning Crusade, such as an Enchanter's singular ability to enchant his/her own rings, this new vision for trades really hit its stride in Wrath.

To accomplish this, Blizzard shifted focus away from bind on pick-up gear and added self-buffs and self-enchants, as well as some other incentives, to give players more choice.

It used to be, for example, that PvP characters would take Engineering. Leather and 40+ mail-wearers would take Skinning to feed their Leatherworking. Tailors would take Enchanting because it allowed them to recoup some of the costs of crafting gear, and so on.

In essence, we could choose between fun, PvP, gold-making, and the best gear. Now, we can purchase gear from the gear-crafters, and be free to pursue something else, should we wish.

Today, Insider Trader is going to break down the incentives offered by each profession to help you choose what is right for you. Rather than focusing on fun items, I will be addressing stat bonuses.

The purpose of this guide is not to tell you what you need to take in order to be the best raider, or make the most money, or have an edge in PvP, but rather to gather the information to one place and present it for your consideration.

Don't forget to read through the comments section at the end of this article, as there are sure to be tips and stories from our readers!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Expansions, Features, Raiding, Guides, Buffs, Enchants, Alts, Insider Trader (Professions)

Scattered Shots: Where to find Hunter information

Dwarf HunterWoW.com decided it was time to bring back some Hunter luvin'. It was that or they just needed a new Dwarf to pick on. So now you got me Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington from The Hunting Lodge. Make sure to drop by here every Thursday as we explore what it takes to play a Hunter.

Have you ever caught yourself wondering, "Hmm... where I should go for my next upgrade?" Or how about "I wonder what pet I should get for raiding?" Another favorite of mine is "What spec should I use for raiding?" (This is always a trap. Even if you give a solid spec, someone will always find a something wrong with it.) For these types of questions, I feel it's always better to follow the maxim "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

What's my point? Well, it seems that many Hunters don't know that there is a wealth of information out there. I would bet that there is probably a resource that can help answer all of your questions. You just need to know where to look.

For solid information, we all know about Elitist Jerks. But sometimes finding you can't help but say to yourself, "There has to be an easier way." Believe it or not, there is. There are many other resources and sites out there.

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Filed under: Hunter, Items, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Raiding, Guides, Classes, Talents, Buffs, Enchants, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Insider Trader: Jewelcrafting nerf incoming

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Bornakk just announced on the forums that Jewelcrafters are about to see a new nerf, and as a result, people are already beginning to weigh the benefits of switching to a different profession for min-maxing, or working out how they are going to re-itemize their gear.

Bornakk:
In the next major content patch we will be removing the prismatic quality of the jewelcrafter-only Dragon's Eye gems. Like other gems, they will have to match the socket color to receive a socket bonus. When this change occurs, players with qualifying jewelcrafting skill will be provided a yet to be determined amount of Dalaran Jewelecrafter Tokens as compensation.

This probably won't be enough to entice players to drop the profession, but it is a bit of a blow. Stratfu points out that because Mage T8 is equipped primarily with yellow and blue sockets, the only way to actually meet socket bonus requirements will be to use sub-par gems.

The JC-only Runed Dragon's Eye offers +32 spell power, and currently fits into any socket, conforming to meet the necessary color requirements. This is compared to the +19 spell power that the rest of us folks get from Runed Scarlet Rubies. While Jewelcrafters will still be able to use these gems, they won't be able to stick them just anywhere.

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Filed under: Mage, Paladin, Enchanting, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Economy, Jewelcrafting, Features, Raiding, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions)

Insider Trader: Assessing the gear-crafting trades


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

In the World of Warcraft, there are three types of craftspeople: those that gather, those that enhance, and those that create gear. They are not mutually exclusive. For example, Scribes can create off-hand weaponry in addition to glyphs and Jewelcrafters can prospect gems from raw materials.

Gathering professions are known to be money-makers, and in addition, when asked, many players will also list the enhancement professions as well:
  • Inscription, although it is currently suffering from a lack of demand created by the introduction of dual-specs with patch 3.1.
  • Jewelcrafting is on the list, not because of its ability to create gear such as rings, but mainly because of the Prospecting and gems, cut or raw.
  • Enchanting is often stated, not only because of the enchants that can be created and even auctioned, but also because of the Disenchanting ability.
To balance this out, one would assume that the gear-crafting professions of Leatherworking, Tailoring and Blacksmithing must be incredibly useful, if not lucrative. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily the case. This week, Insider Trader will be discussing the state of these professions. For a similar assessment of Engineering, check out The state of Engineering in 3.1.

I am especially interested in reader input and brainstorming, so don't forget to read through the comments section at the end of the article!

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Filed under: Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Leveling, Making money, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions)

Scattered Shots: Fixing your Hunter's dps

Scattered Shots is your weekly guide to improving your Hunter skills, brought to you by Jessica "Lassirra" Klein of The Hunter's Mark, covering a variety of Huntery topics. Today, we'll be talking about how to fix your Hunter's dps!

There are a lot of factors that play a part in making up your damage output: your gear, your talents, your gems and enchants, your glyphs, your ammo, your consumables, your shot rotation, your pet, your pet's talents, and even your latency and frame rate. Today I'd like to spend some time talking about all the pieces that make up the Hunter dps puzzle and offer some ways to help you figure out where you might be going wrong. After all, we've all had those nights where our numbers just weren't what we were expecting, and it's important to know how to identify the problem so you can find a solution.

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Filed under: Hunter, Items, Tips, Raiding, Guides, Talents, Enchants, Hardware, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

The state of Engineering in 3.1


In case you missed the memo, the short list of changes to the Engineering profession that have been posted for patch 3.1 are all you are going to get come patch day, like it or not. Bornakk confirmed that Blizzard feels that the "perks work out" compared to what other professions offer, and that they "have no changes planned at this time."

The relevant forum thread has grown to over 1300 replies and more than 50,000 views, suggesting that while Blizz might be satisfied, much of the Engineering community is not.

In fact, many are threatening to drop the profession and take up Jewelcrafting, which is something I hear about a lot. Of course, if your profession is really, honestly inferior to all others, then why is everyone trading up to the same one?

Pass through the break for a list of the upcoming changes, the major gripes, and a comparison of Engineering to other professions in order to put this all into perspective.

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Filed under: Enchanting, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Jewelcrafting, Features, Buffs, Enchants, Forums

Time is Money: Selling vs. Disenchanting


Kebina Trudough here, offering you the best gold making secrets they don't want you to know about! I was like you once, poor and homely, before I discovered my patented system. Now you too can fill your pockets with the good stuff without ever breaking a sweat! Why spend all your time toiling when you could be vacationing in the Hot Springs? I'm not offering these tips for 100 gold, or 90 gold, or even 50 gold! No, not even 20 gold! My system is yours for FREE! Satisfaction guaranteed or I'll give you a full refund (handling charges may apply).

Today we'll be discussing the benefits of disenchanting items, and weigh them against your other options, such as vendoring and auctioning.

For the purposes of this discussion, I am going to assume that you aren't using the materials to level, but rather, are interested in making the most gold possible.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Features, Making money, Enchants, Time Is Money

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