Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Filed under: Guides

Blood Pact: Meet the minions, part 3 - the succubus and crowd control, page 1

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "A succubus is a devourer of souls, destroyer of hearts, tempter of men. A creature of profound evil and of singular mind. It cannot be brought into our world without a stimulus." ~ Gan'rul Bloodeye

Previously in 'Meet the minions' we have looked at the imp and the voidwalker as well as how to manage your minions and your threat. In this installment our demon of choice is the succubus and the game mechanic is crowd control; fear, seduce, howl, banish and a svelte demon with wings. But before I delve in I need to clarify something to Blood Pact readers.

For a while now I've had a demon trying to whisper words of doubt into my ear. He's been telling me that Blood Pact readers want PvP info in the column, that they cry out for it, they yearn for it, they need it; and that I can't deliver any. It's true that my knowledge and experience of PvP pretty much extends as far as being able to smell it early enough to avoid it. Don't get me wrong, I love researching for Blood Pact but in this case I'm not going to try, and for two reasons. First, nobody who cares about warlock PvP wants to have me school them on it, and second we have some first rate PvP experts at WoW.com who can do it better.

So I've sent the demon packing (literally; don't be surprised if you find more than the normal number of broken biscuits in future packets) and have started a campaign to convince our arena and battleground columnists to get with some lock love. So enough with the preamble, lets get on with the show.

Read more →

Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Leveling, Guides, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Pilgrim's Bounty FAQ

Around the feast areas, at least on my own server, I've seen the same questions keep popping up about the new holiday, Pilgrim's Bounty. I thought it might be helpful to try answering them here. By necessity, these are a little general; if you want a closer look at getting the holiday achievements, please read our updated guide to Pilgrim's Bounty achievements.

Help! Where do I go to get started?

Go to any of your faction's major cities and find the feasting area. For Alliance, head to Stormwind, Ironforge, or Darnassus: for Horde, head to Orgrimmar, Undercity, or Thunder Bluff. While you can start the holiday in either the Exodar or Silvermoon, it's a little faster to start in any of the "classic" cities because you don't pick up any quests in their BC counterparts.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Events, Guides, Achievements

Arcane Brilliance: Mage leveling guide, 59-68

It's time once again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that would like to thank its readers profusely for the deluge of screenshots it received last week. Arcane Brilliance sent out the call, and you guys responded in droves. There were so many, in fact, that it was an impossible task to select just one for the column. Arcane Brilliance finally went with this one, apparently of an undead pimp of some type, simply because it made Arcane Brilliance chuckle. Also, the column this week is about leveling through Outland, and this is a pretty good representation of how your mage will look throughout that leg of the journey: like the mutant love-child of the entire cast of Saved by the Bell.

Seriously... you guys are awesome. Sooooooo many good pictures to use. I may have to start writing like 12 of these a week, just to have an excuse to use all of them. Thanks again, and keep them coming. Even if I don't get to use them, I just enjoy browsing through them. So many mages, so little time.

Last week, our mage leveling guide hit level 58 and fled vanilla WoW for the alien landscapes of Outland. This week, we'll tackle the 10 levels your mage will be spending there, amongst the hellboars, sporebats, and ravagers.

Read more →

Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Quests, Expansions, Features, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Guides, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

The Art of War(craft): Absolute beginners' guide to Alterac Valley


Zach is a huge fan of the Battlegrounds. He loves those instanced mini-games where you bash other players' faces in almost as much as he loves Pringles Screamin' Dill Pickle. That's a lot of love right there. So much love, in fact, that he writes these weekly Battleground and world PvP columns just for you (and also because he greatly fears the lolcat hell controlled by his bosses).

Alright, newbies, it's time for today's Battlegrounds primer -- Alterac Valley. This huge, 40-player-per-side Battleground was an ambitious project by Blizzard intended to give players a sense of epic battles. In it's original iteration, Alterac Valley had more NPCs roaming the battlefield, including a massive troll in the Field of Strife who has since packed his bags "for greener pastures". Those greener pastures turned out to be Zul'drak in Northrend, as Korrak the Bloodrager shows up in the Ampitheater of Anguish as the penultimate boss. It's a sweet nod to old school players, and his yells never fail to tickle my old, nostalgic bones.

The old Alterac Valley didn't have the resource mechanic, which I'll explain shortly. Instead, the only way to end it was to kill the enemy General, which sometimes took quite a while. Back in the day, it wasn't uncommon to have Alterac Valley, or AV, games that lasted for hours and hours or even more than a day. There were numerous quests which included turning in race-specific enemy player drops which could be turned in for reputation with a particular Horde or Alliance faction.

It was also one of the game's highlights to summon elemental lords into the battle -- an Ice Elemental named Rokholar for the Horde and a Forest Elemental named Ivus for the Alliance. Those elementals can still be summoned in the current version of Alterac Valley, but rarely make an appearance in today's fast and furious environment. The game has changed quite a lot since its inception, so we'll go through the AV basics right after the jump but make sure to read the Battlegrounds primer along with beginners' looks at Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Guides, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Battlegrounds

Scattered Shots: Picking the right hunter loot, part 1

Welcome back to the Scattered Shots, the weekly hunter class column. This week we begin our series "Picking the right hunter loot." Where we will review what truly makes something qualify as hunter loot, and not just loot hunters can use. We'll also review the drops off of each major raids starting with Naxxrammas and ending with the PTR Patch 3.3 raid, Ice Crown. So join me, Eddie Carrington, aka Brigwyn from The Hunting Lodge, as we explore what loot we should put on our watch lists.

Things on the patch 3.3 PTR are getting closer and closer to wrapping up, so I thought it might be a good idea to review hunter stats and how they help you select the right gear for you. In the past we have talked about how to use iLevel to do a gear check. Also, we've talked about how to use the different hunter tools and resources out there to select an upgrade for your hunter.

What we really haven't talked about was what makes up good hunter gear, and in each of the different raids in Wrath of The Lich King makes up some good hunter gear. And a recent comment on the Damage Dealing forum from Ghostcrawler got me thinking that it might be a good idea to make sure to first review how stats impact our gear choices, and how they impact both our and our pet's raid performance.

Just like the hunter leveling guide, I'd like to set a few discussion guidelines.

Read more →

Filed under: Hunter, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Guides, Classes, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Lichborne: Death Knight tips for Trial of the Crusader, Part I

Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly foray into the news, strategy, and zen of being a Death Knight, with your host, Daniel Whitcomb.

So. You've conquered Ulduar and Naxxramas. Or maybe you've just collected a lot of badges and got some nice shiny gear. Either way, you're ready to go humor that old codger Fordring and fight and die in his silly little Arena. Even if the whole thing is obviously a waste of good time that could be spent killing the Scourge, the Ebon Blade's agreed to cooperate, so you'd better be ready too, death knight. So today, we'll give you a few tips about surviving the first few bosses of the Trial of the Crusader the death knight way.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Blood Pact: Patch 3.3 raid build roundup

Each week Dominic Hobbs brings you Blood Pact. "Oh how I love the feel of it, the way it burns your skin and weaves evil thoughts through the mind..." ~ Impsy

With patch 3.3 looking evermore imminent and the changes to warlock talents and spells seeming to have settled down, it's a good time to take a look at what we can expect from the next expansion. This isn't going to be a review of the fights and encounters in Icecrown -- though I'm sure we'll get to that at some point -- this is a look at how our various raiding builds have changed.

I've already reported on most of them as they hit the PTR in previous articles, so I'm not going to dwell on the changes themselves. You can read up on this detail here, here, here and here. I wouldn't say that lock talents are broken at the moment but it certainly seems as if we're left little option when it comes to raiding. You have destruction for damage and a demonology bi... err... buff spec. The overriding impression I have looking at the patch 3.3 changes is that there will be more choice to play the spec you like. Something we've not had for a very long time.

After the break I'll list the changes from the patch notes for reference and then we'll get down to how that shakes out.

Read more →

Filed under: Warlock, Patches, How-tos, Raiding, Guides, Talents, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Arcane Brilliance: Mage leveling guide, 41 to Outland


And so we find ourselves at the threshold of another Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that conjures the very best the world of magic and mystery has to offer, then sets it on fire and hurls it at a warlock.

Something I wanted to throw out there before we begin:

I'm lazy. It's difficult to find pictures every week for this column. Thus, I no longer wish to do it. Therefore, I am extending an open invitation to you, my fellow mages everywhere, to do my job for me. I formally request--nay, demand--your screenshots. That's right: if you ever had the desire to see your mage featured prominently at the beginning of a sentient, warlock-hating mage column, this is your chance. Ground rules:
  1. Mage-pictures only. If you try to slip in a picture of a warlock and pass it off as a mage, I will hack your Twitter account and then make a series of embarrassing tweets on it, like "My genital fungus really burns today...I wonder if I've been scratching it too much," "Quick tip, everybody: bacne + shaving back-hair = an awful way to spend a weekend," or "I firmly believe that Michael Bay is the genius of our time."
  2. In-game screenshots that you personally captured only.
  3. No character names visible, and no hud, please. Use Alt-Z before you take your screenshot.
  4. Nothing vulgar. No matter how much I'd like to see a picture of you doing something obscene to the corpse of that warlock you just killed, I can't use it. Also, I have a wife and two small children. Try not to send me anything that will scar them permanently should they be in the room when I open it.
  5. Send all screenshots to the following email address: arcanebrilliancepics@yahoo.com. Also, title them with something simple and appropriate, like "mage screenshot," so I don't think they're spam.
  6. Other than the above limitations, I don't care what you send. I can use just about anything. Low-level mages, high-level mages, cool looking spells, action shots, funny stuff...chances are I can find a use for just about anything you send me.
And with that out of the way, we're ready to begin this week's installment of our ongoing mage leveling guide.

Read more →

Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Features, Leveling, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

The Art of War(craft): Absolute beginners' guide to Arathi Basin

Zach loves the Battlegrounds. He could probably play World of Warcraft entirely though the Battlegrounds, because he's kind of lame like that. If he could have the word 'Battlegrounds' tattooed on his rump, he totally wouldn't... because dude, that's just wrong.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote up a basic look at the Battlegrounds for all the new players who don't know anything about it. From the looks of it, Blizzard expects an influx of new players, too, so newbies will always be on the lookout for 'For Dummies'-type information. Because we're such awesome folks over here at WoW.com, we're ready to oblige. Last week we answered some basic questions about the game's first Battleground, Warsong Gulch. This week, we'll answer some beginner's questions about Arathi Basin, the next Battleground leveling players are eligible to enter. Hit the Read More button to, you know, read more.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Guides, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Battlegrounds

Scattered Shots: So you want to be a hunter - Levels 71-80

Welcome back to the Scattered Shots, the weekly World of Warcraft Hunter class column. This week we wrap up our "So you want to be a hunter" leveling series as we look at Levels 71-80 and see what makes up the best class in the game. So join me, Eddie Carrington, Brigwyn from The Hunting Lodge blog and podcast, as we explore what's in store for us hunters.

Hey gang! Welcome to the last installment of the "So you want to be a hunter" leveling series. It's been a long and windy path through grassy plains, sweltering tropics, and fractured planets to finally end up in the frozen wastes of Northrend as we prepare to face the Lich King and hope to get a flying horse when PTR Patch 3.3 is dropped.

As we do every week, we'll review the skills you'll learn. Suggest talent builds for both you and your pet. And help you with finding some solid gear choices by recommending some of the Northrend 5-man instances to run through. And what trek through new territory and levels would be complete without identifying rare tamable beasts along the way?

If you've missed a previous edition, I've outlined below what we have covered in the 7 previous installations of this leveling series.

Read more →

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, Leveling, Guides, Classes, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Lichborne: The care and feeding of pets


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly peek into the world of the death knight from WoW.com's resident undead slave, Daniel Whitcomb.

While we're not strictly a pet class, per se, no-one can deny that we probably have the largest menagerie outside of Hunters and Warlocks, depending on how we're specced. It could stand to be a bit more diverse (where's my glyph of the geist, Blizzard?), and it could stand to smell a bit nicer, but it does the job quite admirably. As a long time lover of the use of death knight pets, I've decided that this week is as good as any other to take a peek at those pets, both the common and the talented.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Guides, Talents, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Totem Talk: Leveling on the 68-80 express


Totem Talk, the column for shamans, finishes up its roundup/overview/update (it's all these things and more!) of shaman leveling with a look at what you'll be doing once you get off the boat to Northrend. Matthew Rossi is tired now, but would like to thank Steve again for the screenshot accompanying today's article.

And so we arrive at Northrend, able to take the quests and explore the new zones. We've talked about faction rewards and instance gearing for shamans in Northrend before, and for the most part that still holds true. Here's a look back at the posts about the various five man instances and zone rewards:
The only real changes in terms of 5 man instances are the introduction of Trial of the Champion and Heroic TotC, and to my astonishment I've never done a gear list for shamans from TotC. That really is kind of astonishing. It's possible I simply lost track since I was in the middle of a vast discussion of Ulduar gear when TotC was on the horizon, but it's still a pretty big oversight. With another set of new five mans dropping alongside the Icecrown raid in patch 3.3, TotC/Heroic TotC 5 are instances any new 80 should be running to get geared up in anticipation of 3.3. So we'll talk about that gear today.

Read more →

Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Guides, Classes, Alts, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Wrath of the Lich King

Encrypted Text: Armor penetration and the crit cap demystified


Every Wednesday,
Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the rogue class. This week, we talk about the armor penetration and crit caps, and what they mean for rogues.

The topic of Armor Penetration and how it plays into a rogue's gearing plan is definitely the topic I've received the most requests to cover. It's been well-researched by the great folks at Elitist Jerks, and even though it will be completely gone in Cataclysm, there's still a lot of interest in how it works. The terms 'hard cap', 'soft cap', and 'arp cap' are thrown around a lot and can be confusing if you've never done a deep-dive into the mechanic.

I also received a question regarding the rogue crit cap on the WoW.com podcast the other weekend, and decided to include it in this investigation. While a few high end rogues are already brushing up against it, many rogues are wondering how the crit cap will affect them come Icecrown's plethora of high ilvl loot. Like any of the other caps, the crit cap needs to be seriously evaluated when trying to choose upgrades. Read on for details of both mechanics.

Read more →

Filed under: Rogue, Guides, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Blood Pact: Meet the minions, part 2 - of voidwalkers and threat

Each week Dominic Hobbs brings you Blood Pact. A journey into the shadowed side of your magical being, taking in all the sights from the dark heart to the withered soul. Where we learn the true price of power.

In the last 'Meet the minions' we looked at how to control your summoned demon and had a good look at the imp. This time we are showcasing the voidwalker and learning what threat is all about. Knowing how to make sure the enemy leaves you alone and hits someone (or something) else is a key ability in the game and the voidwalker is the ideal tool for learning it.

Your voidwalker is a tank. You usher him to the fore and while he keeps your target busy, you destroy them with shadow and flame. I tend to think that the image of a voidwalker is pretty bland, the other demons are much more evocative. Despite this the voidwalker is probably the most evil of minions to use on your enemies. It will reach into their minds and cause such anguish that they will desperately try to beat away this monster. This affords the warlock all the time he needs to safely curse and corrupt their bodies with exquisite slowness and care.

Read more →

Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Leveling, Guides, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Arcane Brilliance: Mage leveling guide 31-40

Welcome to the latest Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that is your absolute best source for all things mage. Leveling guides? Talent spec guides? Loot guides? PvP guides? Profession guides? Random, vindictive, mean-spirited, and wholly superfluous warlock-bashing? Check, check, check, check, check, and CHECK. Arcane Brilliance has all your mage needs covered.

And the leveling parade continues! Your mage is level 30 and you've grown in your mastery of the magical arts. Your Fireballs are now significantly more likely to set your enemies aflame than they are to go off in your face, you now arrive at your teleport destinations with your extremities more or less intact, and small children no longer cry at the sight of the pastries you conjure.

In celebration of our new-found competence, we'll be changing the content of these leveling columns a bit. We'll no longer be giving each two-level gap its own blurb. Instead, we'll be covering each new spell as it comes, and every major milestone at the appropriate point. If that means that more than two levels go by without a specific shout-out in the text, so be it. Enough preamble. Read on and we'll see how it goes. If it's terrible, we all know I'll just blame warlocks.

Read more →

Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Features, Leveling, Guides, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events


Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

Death Knight Tier 13 and Retrospective
BlizzCon 2011 Floor Show
BlizzCon 2011 Costumes
BlizzCon 2011: Dungeons and Raids Panel
BlizzCon 2011 Class Talents Gallery
BlizzCon 2011 Reader Meetup
BlizzCon Bingo 2011
Firelands DPS by spec
Patch 4.3 PTR: Season 11 PvP sets

 

Categories