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Filed under: Inscription

Are Bloodlust/Heroism drums incoming?

If you're a shaman you're familiar with the "grar grar grar grar" sound of Bloodlust or the "ktang!" of Heroism, its Alliance counterpart. For a long time one of the complaints has been that you absolutely had to have a shaman along in order to gain access to this buff. Even when leatherworking drums and inscription scrolls were created for lesser versions of buffs like Blessing of Kings and Prayer of Fortitude, Bloodlust/Heroism were still a unique buff to the shaman class.

Is that going to change? A discussion on the forums leads to Ghostcrawler revealing that yes, they are considering allowing Bloodlust/Heroism be a buff one can gain through an item. Now, I'm torn. On the one hand, NO! Keep your filthy crafter fingers off of my precious! My precious! I'll kill you! I'll kill all of you! But on the other hand, it really isn't fair at this point that Bloodlust/Heroism is pretty much the only buff we can't get a lesser version of through crafted items. A 25% speed increase for 30 seconds (or even 35) would be weak enough in comparison to real Bloodlust that you wouldn't have to worry terribly about being replaced by a drum kit. I suppose. Man, I don't want you to have my Heroism. Like I said, I'm torn.

So what do you think oh why am I even asking we all know you want my precious. My precious!

Filed under: Shaman, Leatherworking, Analysis / Opinion, Classes, Inscription

Blood Sport: Patch 3.3, part III


Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women? Blood Sport investigates the entirety of all-things arena for gladiators and challengers alike. C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in WoW.com's arena column.

We've come to a fork in our musical journey, where I'm going to start branching into genres and/or artists you might not have heard of (if you have, great, feel free to tell me what a giant douche I am for underestimating you). Today we'll be listening to one of my all-time favorite indie-folk tracks, Cold Cold Water, by Mirah. The Star Wars tribute video is a nice touch, if you're into that kind of thing (I am).

Last time, we went over hunters, mages, and paladins. This week, we're going to round out the classes with the exception of rogues and warriors (they're not getting any high-impact PvP changes at all). We'll also talk about some cool glyphs and enchanting changes. Next week, we'll start doing stuff other than patch notes. I'd like us to throw around more opinion and less analysis.

Read on to find out what's up in arena for priests, shamans, warlocks, enchanting and inscription in Patch 3.3!

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Filed under: Priest, Shaman, Warlock, Enchanting, PvP, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

The Queue: Blood and glory


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

I was going to kick off today's edition of The Queue by embedding Black Eyed Peas' I Gotta Feeling (slightly NSFW) since I mentioned it was a guilty pleasure of mine on yesterday's Moviewatch. Unfortunately, the official Black Eyed Peas Youtube channel disabled embedding and I'm not going to be a jerk and hijack it from somebody else's channel. So you get a Dragon Age screenshot instead. Hooray! Blood!

No, we're not getting paid to plug this game constantly. We're just nerds. Nerd gamers. This is what we do.

Ilmyrn asked...

"Any word on whether we'll ever see a non-Arena frost wyrm mount?"


Well, there's a frost wyrm model in patch 3.3, but I assume that's to go with the latest arena season. So I'm going to say... no. The Gladiators get Frost Wyrms, the PvE players get Invincible.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Inscription, The Queue, Cataclysm

AddOn Spotlight: Advanced Trade Skill Window

AddOn Spotlight takes a look at the little bits of Lua and XML that make our interfaces special. From bar mods to unit frames and beyond, if it goes in your AddOns folder, we'll cover it here.

For anyone that has tried leveling up a profession, you know that it can be a bit of a grind. This can be especially true with things like engineering or jewelcrafting that have little parts that you have to make in order to make the actual items. Even leatherworking has the ability to upgrade leather from one grade to a better grade and still make something out of it. All of this can be confusing, especially with the categories that Blizzard has setup in the normal trade window. Advanced Trade Skill Window can help out with that problem.

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Filed under: Mining, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Cooking, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, First Aid, Add-Ons, Jewelcrafting, AddOn Spotlight, Inscription

Blood Pact: Warlock glyphs to use, ignore or to dream for


Each week Dominic Hobbs brings you Blood Pact. The place where warlocks get to relax and reflect, to inspect their inner beings, meditate on their true self. The place were warlocks can, in quiet contemplation, realise just how truely awesome they are.

Glyphs are odd things. We're no strangers to bolting things onto other things to make them better. Gems for example -- you look about for the best one for your class and add them to your gear in the most beneficial way. Glyphs are much the same but instead of boosting the stats of your gear they modify your actual spells. This is something we locks have been thinking about recently what with the Soul Shard changes expected in Cataclysm -- boosting our spells and driving even more power out of them is going to be our thing. I can't wait.

In this article I'm going to take a journey through the glyphs available to us as we level up to 80 and then have a look at those we want to use while raiding. I must warn you that there is no mention of a glyph to make our fire green and I have refrained from any defamatory remarks concerning a certain Mr Belt. I hope this doesn't spoil this week's warlock moment too much for you.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Leveling, Guides, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Inscription

WoW Rookie: Bag it


New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic, and be sure to visit WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.

With the excitement his week focused on the all-new, 22-slot Onyxia Hide Backpack, it seems anticlimactic to think that many players are struggling simply to maintain enough space in their bags for quest items and a decent amount of loot. It's easy to throw down big money for big bags when you're max level and rolling in gold from dailies – but new players must walk the line between overspending for convenience's sake and having enough bag space to get the job done.

Let's make one thing perfectly clear: bigger bags are a savvy investment. There's definitely a point of diminishing returns, though, which will be obvious to even the most naive of WoW rookies searching through the Containers section in the Auction House. (Really. You'll know when it's time to stop upgrading. We promise.) Getting wise to what's available and where to find it will help you squeeze out those last few precious bag slots without going broke in the process.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Mining, Skinning, Engineering, Tailoring, Enchanting, Tips, Jewelcrafting, Features, WoW Rookie, Inscription

Insider Trader: Patch 3.2.2 madness


The shining feature of patch 3.2.2 will be Onyxia's return, and of course, the already infamous Ony mount, but there are some profession changes coming too. As always, they can be found in the latest patch notes, although you'll have to scroll past the Brood Mother to find them.

This week's Insider Trader will analyze these changes and tell you what they mean for you.

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Filed under: Mining, Blacksmithing, Cooking, Engineering, Leatherworking, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Insider Trader (Professions), Inscription

Arcane Brilliance: Making your Mage raid-worthy, part 2

Welcome to the latest Arcane Brilliance, the weekly Mage column that believes there's no such thing as a wrong time to turn something into a sheep. Unless it was already a sheep to begin with. Then it would probably have been better to turn it into a pig or a rabbit or something. Or maybe just hit it with a Pyroblast. Mmmm. Lamb chops. What were we talking about again?

If you missed last week, here's a link to click on so you can catch up. If you can't be bothered to read the first part of this column, let me summarize the idea here: we're discussing ways to get your Mage all decked out in epic, raid-worthy gear without ever actually entering a raid instance. Now, more than ever before, we have so many options for obtaining raid-quality gear that actually raiding for it seems almost...old-fashioned.

Last week we talked about 5-mans in both their normal and heroic varieties, focusing on Trial of the Champion, because duh. But maybe you don't want to do 5-mans. Maybe your guildies aren't on, and maybe you hate pugs. Maybe you are a Mage, and because there are eighty-four DPSers looking for group for every one tank or healer, you threw your hands up after an hour of trying to get a group and went off to do dailies.

Well good news, everyone! Doing those dailies can get you epics too! Yes, it is entirely possible--even if you happen to be the guy on your server who ninjas gear in pugs and sucks at everything to the point that nobody invites you to groups anymore--to fill just every slot of your gear with sparkly purples without doing any instances of any kind. Isn't that wonderful? It tends to take a bit longer, overall, but these alternative methods for obtaining gear can be perfect for those of us who simply don't have a lot of time to commit to a group. Simply log in, craft an epic cloak, do a daily quest or two, blast out a couple Arena matches, and then repeat for a few weeks, and eventually you'll have epics too. Anyway, nice talking to you, see you next week! Wait...what's that? You want details? Oh fine. Clicky clicky.

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Filed under: Mage, Blacksmithing, Tailoring, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Quests, Jewelcrafting, Features, Raiding, Factions, Guides, Classes, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Inscription

BlizzCon 2009 Insider Trader: Cataclysmic professions part two


A week has passed since BlizzCon 2009 and we're still digging up more news, getting clarification from the blues, and analyzing all of the panels. Last week, Insider Trader discussed some of the major professions-related features coming up in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the next expansion pack.

Pass through the break to learn all about:
  • Profession racial abilities and how they will be changing.
  • The new direction for Alchemy.
  • A totally revamped Fishing system!
  • Archaeology details and speculation about the leveling process.
  • The evolution of Inscription.
Then, continue on to part three of this discussion to learn more about:
  • Reforging and (not) repairing our own gear.
  • Woodworking.
  • Profession specializations and the new direction for differentiation.

Read more →

Filed under: Fishing, Alchemy, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Features, Insider Trader (Professions), Inscription, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin, Archaeology

Class specific buffs become craftable items



The developers mentioned at BlizzCon 2009 that they wanted groups to be a little less reliant on specific classes for the buffs which are considered to be "must haves." Good examples of these include Blessing of Kings, Gift of the Wild, and even Power Word: Fortitude. These buffs are so commonplace in most raids that the lack of them feels wild and strange. Not to mention, you feel downright underpowered.

Patch 3.2.2 is going to help raids out with that issue. Three items will be making their way to Azeroth, each of which mimics a class-specific buff. MMO-Champ posted them, but I've transcribed them for you below:

  • Runescroll of Stamina (Inscription) - Snowfall Ink, Resilient Parchment x 5 - Increases Stamina by 165 for all party and raid members for 1 hr. This is an obvious replacemeent for Power Word: Fortitude.
  • Drums of Forgotten Kings (Leatherworking) - Heavy Borean Leather x 8, Icy Dragonscale x 8 - Gives all members of the raid or group the Blessing of Forgotten Kings, increasing total stats by 8% for 30 min. This is your new Blessing of Kings when you don't have a Paladin.
  • Drums of the Wild (Leatherworking) - Heavy Borean Leather x 4, Jormungar Scale x 20 - Gives the Gift of the Wild to all party and raid members, increasing armor by 750, all attributes by 37 and all resistances by 54 for 1 hr. Going Druidless, and lacking Gift of the Wild? Drums of the Wild will get you there.
Note that all of these item-based replacements perform equal to the class version. Only the Paladin buff is stronger than its profession counterpart but I expect the others to get weakened before this goes live. However, you shouldn't feel quite so naked without a Druid, Priest, or Paladin. Of course, this makes me wonder if a Tailor-specific Banner of Heroism or something is on the way, which would help lessen the reliance on Shamans in every single 10 man. (Though it's fair that it shouldn't be that hard to find a single Shaman.)

There's no official or even unofficial word about whether these items will be useable in the Arena. However, it would really, really surprise me if they were. They obviously seemed focused on enabling 10-man raids to get by without too many required classes, without handing these three buffs out to other classes.

Filed under: Leatherworking, Analysis / Opinion, Inscription

The Queue: There is a Cow Level


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 is no cow level.

Repeat that three times.

But if I was designing WoW I'd make sure there'd be some kind of cow level. After all who doesn't want to slaughter some bovines from hell?

Osul asked...

"What's a good reputation to grind for a newly 80 Ret Paladin?"

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Features, Lore, Leveling, Inscription, The Queue

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Scribe

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the thirty-sixth in a series of roleplaying guides about how to roleplay various aspects of the lore and gaming elements of WoW.

What is inscription anyways? I mean, we all know that it's the newest profession, added in Wrath of the Lich King, and it lets you make these "glyphs" which allow you to modify or improve your various class abilities in interesting ways. In gaming terms all that makes perfect sense, but when it comes to telling a story with your character, there are a lot of details missing.

Technically, a glyph is a character or symbol, like a heiroglyph or a pictograph, which we can see to a certain extent when we click on the glyph and put it into our in-game glyph interface -- it looks pretty cool with all those circles and lines and stuff. But what does it really mean? Are you pasting these symbols into a book of some sort? Are they getting magically tattooed onto your skin somewhere?

And where did inscription come from to begin with? Has it been around in Azeroth all along somehow, or was it some sort of ancient knowledge only discovered recently, around the time in the Warcraft lore when the Wrath of the Lich King begins? If it was discovered, then who discovered it and how? How exactly does a scribe learn these glyphs? Does he or she pore over ancient tomes that haven't been read in thousands of years, trying to decipher ancient texts? Or is the art and magic of it more in the artistic calligraphy of it rather than any difficulty in discovering or interpreting the symbols themselves?

There are far more questions than answers when it comes to roleplaying a scribe, and to a large extent each roleplayer is free to choose his or her own approach. What follows is the just one suggestion as to how you might work out a plausible solution -- please feel free to read it and improve upon it in whatever way you like.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Guides, RP, Death Knight, Inscription, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Patch 3.2: More profession changes


We've picked up some more details about professions in Patch 3.2. Some of the changes were covered a few days ago by Eliah. The notes made today elaborate more on engineering, alchemy, fishing and cooking changes.

Alchemy

  • Stackable potions now stack to 20.
  • Five new epic gem transmute recipes are available from the Northrend trainer. The recipe for transmuting a Cardinal Ruby can be learned from a quest, given by Linzy Blackbolt in Dalaran.
  • Rage potions can now be used by druids.

I have an entire guild bank tab filled with nothing but Mana Injectors. I was both saddened and delighted when I heard that potions now stack to 20. Big plus to Potion of Speed and Potion of Wild Magic since those will be stackable now. But are they going to be completely useless? Nope! Wait until you see the Engineering changes. It means I don't have to make any more injectors! New epic gem transmutes are on the way too!

More profession changes after the jump.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Fishing, Alchemy, Cooking, Engineering, Leatherworking, Enchanting, Patches, Buffs, Inscription

Epic gems and profession changes in Patch 3.2

With all the things I'm waiting to hear about in patch 3.2, completely unforeseen news takes me by surprise. Bornakk just revealed that epic gems are coming in that patch, as well as some changes to other professions.

Jewelcrafters will be able to buy epic gem cut patterns with their Dalaran Jewelcrafter's Tokens. Raw epic gems will be available from prospecting Titanium Ore and alchemy transmutations, and will also be buyable with both honor and Emblems of Heroism.

Given that the availability of epic gems raises the value of the Blacksmithing perk (extra sockets), other professions are having their perks buffed. Details after the cut.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Mining, Skinning, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, Patches, News items, Jewelcrafting, Inscription

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

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