Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Filed under: Hybrid Theory

Hybrid Theory: Yet another spell power discussion

Yeah, I used this picture again. What are you gonna do about it?
Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.

Last week we talked a bit about gear and spell power, and various related things. I mostly approached it as supplying my personal experiences, but a lot of people wanted numbers. Specifically, how your current gear will translate into the new spell power mechanic.

A kind fellow named Dan helped us out with a little bit of that in the comments section last week, so let's expand upon it somewhat. Again, this will focus mostly on the Healer and Caster aspects of the Hybrids. You Melee guys don't really need to worry about how spell power will change your gear.

Alright, so the question is this: If you have a choice between taking +Damage gear or +Healing gear in the current game right now, which would be a better choice for taking with you into Wrath of the Lich King leveling? Let's make liberal use of Wowhead, shall we?

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Hybrid Theory, Wrath of the Lich King

Hybrid Theory: Healers, gear, and entering Northrend

Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.

Remember a few weeks ago, I mentioned how if you want to be extra-cautious about preparing for Wrath of the Lich King, you should figure out a calm, easy way to farm gold that won't burn you out? After having hit the current level cap on the beta realms... I still recommend that, if you want to be extra prepared. If you're a very casual, don't worry about it too much, really. It's not that big of a deal. Leveling will get you enough for the bare necessities. If you're the type that wants to start leveling professions and gearing up immediately upon hitting the level cap though, think about going into Wrath with at least a couple thousand in your pocket, which really isn't that hard of a task.

Moving past that, though, a lot of people have asked about gear across all classes, but mostly Hybrids. Hybrids have asked because all of the Healing classes are amongst them, and if you're a Healer you may not necessarily have a set of DPS gear. My first comment on this: Don't worry. Really.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Expansions, Hybrid Theory, Wrath of the Lich King

Hybrid Theory: State of PvP in the Wrath beta

Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.

Before I start, while you read this remember that the Wrath beta does not currently allow you to hit the level cap. Everyone is level 77, and there's a lot that is unfinished. This is more anecdotal about the state of things, and not really analyzing how things will look in the end. You still with me? Good.

I decided to try out incredibly, insanely buggy Lake Wintergrasp when the beta realms went up yesterday, and later on I gave the new Battleground a whirl, too. Through all of this, there was one constant: Holy crap Ret Paladins are OP. No, really. I know, it blew my mind, too. Retribution Paladins. Overpowered. Hell has frozen over.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Expansions, Hybrid Theory, Wrath of the Lich King

Hybrid Theory: Spell Power hands on


Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.

We've chit-chatted about the new Spell Power mechanic off and on, but we've never gone into serious detail about it yet. Why? Well, we didn't really know how it worked. We knew what it does but very few of us had a real hands-on experience with it. That has since changed.

Spell Power has done very very good things for the Hybrid classes, pretty much across the board. Obviously it will not drastically change Feral, Enhancement or Retribution, but it actually does add to those last two as well to some extent. Primarily it changes the Healing and Caster specs of the Hybrid classes, obviously. It brings back a lot hybridiness* to classes that... really haven't felt that way in quite awhile.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Hybrid Theory, Wrath of the Lich King

Hybrid Theory: Gold and the road to Wrath


Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.

It's a little early to get nervous about not being prepared for the upcoming expansion, but it's never too early to start the preparations. If you start ahead of time, you'll never even need to worry about it coming down to crunchtime. Plus, if you finish getting ready ahead of time, you can take those last few weeks before Wrath nice and easy. Something I noticed a lot as we neared The Burning Crusade, everyone and their mother spent eight hours a day in battlegrounds that final month before the expansion, and by the time we could go through the Dark Portal most of them were burned out on playing WoW.

The absolute number one thing we can be sure you'll need in Wrath is gold. It doesn't matter what they do to your gear or your class, gold will be needed. Even if gold won't be worth as much as it is right now, you'll need it. You can be sure of that. Heck, even if you don't need gold for anything at all in Wrath by some miracle, it's cool, don't worry. 10,000g can buy you roughly 6,666,666 bottles of Moonglow when the Lunar Festival comes around. Think about that, man. Moonglow is awesome.

...Hm, I hope that math is right.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Making money, Hybrid Theory

Hybrid Theory: PvP viability

Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.

A pretty substantial point of debate when it comes to Hybrids is their place in PvP. The thought that only one spec is viable per class is most problematic in the context of Hybrids for a couple of different reasons. Some argue against every spec being arena viable, some argue in favor of it.

The argument in favor of each spec being viable that I feel is the strongest is the fact that each Hybrid spec is vastly different from all of the others. In the arena, an Enhancement Shaman isn't doing the same thing as an Elemental Shaman. They are doing similar things like dropping totems and casting Shocks, but the role they play is different. Enhancement is in your face, Elemental throws lightning at your face, and Restoration is healing your face. This is not like Rogues in which all three specs are about hitting you until you fall down, just in different ways.

Why is it a problem that all three of them aren't viable? It essentially feels like a forced block on your chances at success. "Just spec Resto" isn't really a valid answer, because it means you are not able to play your preferred role. Someone who rolled a Shaman to Stormstrike people's faces off are told to go get some Elemental gear, and that isn't very fun. To be successful in the arena, they are more or less forced out of how they want to play the game.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Hybrid Theory

Hybrid Theory: Healers, hit, and homogenization


Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.

Brace yourselves, ladies and gentlemen. Today's Hybrid Theory is purely guesswork and speculation. In no way will I pretend that these are facts, and you should not take them as such. It's a topic that grabbed my interest, and it's something I really enjoy trying to figure out despite the missing pieces of information we don't have yet. I welcome all of you to add your thoughts on it in the comments section below. Perhaps we can get a decent idea of what's to come.

Let's get started, shall we? In the previous weeks of Hybrid Theory, we've discussed all we knew about some of our favorite classes. During this discussion, matters of itemization often came up. Most notably, the new Spellpower mechanic. This would allow healers and DPS classes to use the same gear, but Healing spells would get twice the benefit.

First thought is that DPS and healers will share gear. Right? Well... maybe. Possibly. There are a lot of factors we don't really know yet. While it isn't always the case, for some classes there is a pretty large divide between gear that is good for a caster and gear that is good for a healer, and the deciding factor isn't how much damage or healing is on that item. In some cases you'll be able to switch seamlessly from DPS spec to Healing spec and not need to change your equipment, but trying to optimize your gear in both cases is not going to be so easy.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Hybrid Theory, Wrath of the Lich King

Hybrid Theory: Shaman and the Wrath Alpha


Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.

The seedy underbelly of the internet continues to supply the goods. Just in time to follow up on our look at Druids and Shadow Priests, we're supplied with some potential Shaman information. Let's hope Paladin timing will be as convenient, though it seems unlikely.

As usual when discussing Alpha information, it's always wise to remember that much of it will likely change by launch. Stay optimistic, but cautiously so. That way you can get excited without your hopes being crushed later on. Now, with the disclaimer out of the way, let's dig right into the Shaman talents and abilities. A lot of the previous weaknesses of the class are being addressed (much like they were for Shadow Priests) with a few new interesting things tossed in, accompanied by a side of itemization band-aids.

Read more →

Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Raiding, Talents, Buffs, Hybrid Theory, Wrath of the Lich King

Hybrid Theory: Shadow Priests and the Wrath Alpha


Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.

I really thought my excitement over Wrath of the Lich King would fade after the initial onslaught of alpha information and just come back around launch time, but that hasn't really been the case. It's been a pretty consistent type of excitement, and I pretty much devour every piece of information I can find.

We've talked about Druids already, but while I love Hybrids in general, my Shadow Priest is my main and my first love. Yes yes, I'm sure some of you still disagree with Priests being Hybrids, but I'm of the opinion that they are so I shall continue. If you want to disagree, do so in the Comments section below.

I adore playing my Shadow Priest, but I think all Shadow Priest players agree with me when I say there are some definite issues with the class on some level or another. Why don't we take a seat and see what might be on the devs' minds, eh?

Read more →

Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, Talents, Buffs, Hybrid Theory, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

Hybrid Theory: Is it too much?


Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.

Here on Hybrid Theory, we've done a lot of glorifying the group utility that Hybrids provide. It's one of their strongest points, and the factor that could make or break their raid spot in a setting of pure recruitment. Recently, I discussed the direction this concept of utility is going with a few raidmates of mine, and some interesting points were made.

The synergy between classes in The Burning Crusade is powerful, but moving in a direction in which the classes and specs become too reliant on one another, or you have to decide which hybrid is more important to you than another hybrid in the same role. Some class/spec combinations simply can't perform in a raid setting without a specific hybrid class alongside them. Some hybrid classes can't perform without other hybrids in their group. This poses a problem for the pure classes, and even though we don't know the exact details of the Death Knight, adding another class may only make things harder.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Paladin, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Hybrid Theory, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Hybrid Theory: Druids and the Wrath Alpha


Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.

Last week we discussed Death Knights a little bit, and my personal stance is that their impending introduction to the game won't harm existing tank classes too much. Most likely, they'll have their own niche (magic tanking) but with some work be capable of tanking other things. Warriors, Druids and Paladins will still retain their own niches, even with the addition of a new tanking class.

I discussed that primarily because a lot of tanks, Druids especially, have voiced concern to me about losing their viability. How appropriate that Druids are the first pure hybrid class to have their new spells and talents implemented into the Wrath alpha. Before I start my analysis and slather my thoughts all over you, you can take a look at them on this Wrath wiki. To avoid spoiling those that want all of the expansion to be fresh come release, I've tucked all analysis behind the cut.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Hybrid Theory, Wrath of the Lich King

Hybrid Theory: Death Knight distress


Hybrid Theory returns after a month long hiatus. We could tell you a long and boring story about how Alex's computer suffered a horrible death during his relocation from Wisconsin to Michigan, but we won't. Just picture the battle scene from Braveheart, except replace the English with a PC. It was basically the same thing.

Last week, we were graced with a boatload of Wrath news. With the Wrath news came Death Knight news. With the Death Knight news came laments of, "my class is dead, noo!" from the WoW community. Yes, it is probably quite intimidating to add another class to the tanking niche for the tank classes, especially considering we've seen the incredible Death Knight abilities and not those of anybody else, but I think all of our classes will be quite safe come Wrath.

There are a few things that should be taken into consideration before we run in circles screaming of the apocalypse and mourn our forgotten not-Death-Knight-tanks. Head on past the jump to find out just what the heck I mean!

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Hybrid Theory, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Hybrid Theory: Performance Assessment

Last week we discussed the fact that raw DPS is not a good indicator of the strength of a hybrid. The quality of a hybrid, or a person that plays a hybrid, will not easily be seen by looking at traditional damage and/or healing meters the same way you would for 'pure' classes.

Before I go on, I'd like to reiterate my disclaimer on this topic: Just because your class or spec is not expected to top damage meters, that does not mean you should become complacent about your DPS or Healing effectivenessity(use it, love it) in a raid. You should always strive to be a better player and find ways to improve yourself. If you think you've hit the ceiling of what you can accomplish, work harder to break through it.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Bosses, Hybrid Theory

Hybrid Theory: Brutallus and You


Every week, Alex Ziebart comes to you with Hybrid Theory. A column with... theories about hybrids, I guess. I mean, that's what it says at least. I guess it could be something else, but probably not. Honestly, you should probably just read it and find out for yourself.

In the past here on Hybrid Theory, we've discussed what Hybrids are capable of doing in a raid, as far as beneficial talents and utilities. We talked about the fact that a few well-placed hybrids in your raid can take your DPS from 'good' to 'horrifyingly good.' All of this comes to the front again in a boss that many high-end raid groups are clashing against right now: Brutallus.

If you haven't read anything on this boss yet, it's the single largest gear check in WoW yet. It's Burning Crusade's Patchwerk, mostly. To beat Brutallus, you need roughly 29,000 sustained DPS across your entire raid. If you don't pull that off, you hit his enrage timer and he destroys all of you. Simple as that! If you're lucky you can burn off a final two or three percent of his health after the enrage, but that's about as far as you go. That three percent is about 300,000 health, so don't get too confident.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Bosses, Hybrid Theory

Hybrid Theory: Magisters' Terrace, stomping all over your comfort zone

We've been talking about Magisters' Terrace a lot. I have been talking about Magisters' Terrace a lot. Lucky you, we're going to talk about it some more!

Magisters' Terrace is the brand new 5-man that came with Patch 2.4, so it comes across as much harder than it actually is. It is hard, sure, but not the soul-rending pain we're all feeling right now. All new dungeons require a period of adjustment. I remember when Dire Maul first came out, way back in the day. Everyone thought it was utterly horrifying.

During this period of adjustment, you're going to run into groups being far more strict about group composition. Once the community has become accustomed to the difficulty level of Magisters' Terrace, things will ease up. Currently, a lot of damage specced hybrids are having a rough time finding a group consistently due to one pretty large factor: A lack of crowd control. There are a lot of things you can(and should) do to make up for that, and knowing those things will do a lot to contribute to speeding up the adjustment period.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warlock, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Hybrid Theory

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events


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