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Filed under: Tricks

Lichborne: Death knight leveling 68-80


Welcome to Lichborne, WoW.com's column for all things deathly, knightly, and death knightly.
So, death knight. You're through with Outland. You just dinged 68 in Nagrand and want to move on to whiter, snow covered pastures. Maybe those pastures are in Northrend. Maybe those pastures are in Alterac Valley. Either way, let's discuss getting through those final levels and pushing you through to the end game.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Walkthroughs, PvP, Leveling, Guides, Death Knight, Battlegrounds, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Breakfast Topic: It's Brewfest Time


Good Morning, and welcome to Brewfest, everyone! All aspiring Brewmasters, brush off your Ram riding skills and prepare for some fun. If you need a refresher on how to race those Rams, check out our Ram racing tips from last year. This will be one of your main sources of tokens, so you'll want to make sure you're good at it. For a quick rundown of how to get each achievement, you can read up on our Overachiever's guide to the 2009 Brewfest.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Events, News items, Breakfast Topics, Guides, RP, Mounts, Achievements

Encrypted Text: Rogue tips for raiding Trial of the Crusader, part 2

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 discuss some of the tips and tricks to remember when raiding the third and fourth bosses in the Trial of the Crusader.

Not even a full week had passed, and already not one, but two guilds were able to clear their way through the heroic version of Trial of the Grand Crusader. While it may have been due to soulstone exploits or spamming Holy Wrath, either way, one of the Lich King's most powerful warriors and oldest companions died to the might of the Horde (or maybe some Alliance cowards got lucky).

I've had the luxury of fighting my way through and also defeating Anub'arak, though only on normal difficulty so far. This week, I'll cover some of the tips and tricks that I've picked up in my clearings of the Trial of the Crusader, with a focus on the next 2 encounters in the instance.

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Filed under: Rogue, Tips, Tricks, Raiding, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Keybindings and how to change them


Xella has a great post over at WoW LJ about keybindings, and it got me thinking. I play with what I thought was the "standard" way -- with the left hand sitting on the home fingers of Shift, A, W, D, and the spacebar, and then jumping up to the 1-6 (or further down the number line if necessary, though truth be told, I usually mouse-click those when I have the time to do so) to hit various abilities. But xella does it very differently -- she maps her fingers to the top abilities keys, using only her ring finger for movement. I would probably never have come up with that on my own (my habits come directly from FPS games, where the 1-6 keys are mostly for weapon switching, something you don't do quite as often as casting abilities), but it does make a lot of sense, even if xella says her ring finger, with all of those movement motions, is getting somewhat worn out.

And then she hits on something else I've been dealing with lately, too: changing what you've got. Setting up your keybinds is one thing, but actually changing them can be tougher.

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Filed under: Tips, Tricks, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, Hardware

Scattered Shots: So you want to be a Hunter - Part 3 Levels 10-20


Welcome back to the Scattered Shots, So you want to be a Hunter series. This guide is intended to help new Hunters better understand how to play the best class in the game. So join me, Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington from the Hunting Lodge as we explore the ins and out of how to be a Hunter.

Welcome back my Hunter compadres! We've made it to Part 3 of So you want to be a Hunter. I know we have had lot's of things happening of late with BlizzCon and Cataclysm, so it's probably a good time to give a quick recap on what we've done so far.

Part 1: We reviewed racials and their impact on the Hunter class. Going over each of the factions races and what the benefits were of each racial. For now we haven't talked about the new races that will be added to the Hunter class in Cataclysm (Worgen and Goblins). We'll have to address that when the new expansion is released.

Part 2: We discussed each of the Hunter talent trees and their basic playstyle. We talked about Beast Mastery being the partnership between Hunter and pet. We also reviewed the Marksmanship and Survival trees and how they are more about the individual Hunter, their offensive power, utility and flexibility.

We also discussed what stats you will want to consider as you level. Though this might seem a bit out of place, knowing what to expect early on will hopefully help you make better decisions later on. However you shouldn't worry, we'll make sure to give a refresher course later on.
Now we are in Part 3 of our weekly series. We will continue reviewing leveling your Hunter from level 10-20. We'll talk about taming your first pet. We'll also review some of the more interesting pets and where they can be found. Having a unique is one of the perks of being a Hunter.

We'll also talk about placing those first talent points. Building on the lessons we learned last week. We'll be able to make a decision on how to craft a solid leveling talent build. One that will offer us enough power to down mobs, but also enough bonuses to help protect and keep our pet alive as it plays the role of tank.

As a reminder, here's some guidelines for using this guide.
  • So you want to be a Hunter is for the new player and/or a new Hunter.
  • This guide is not a "How-to get to 80 in less than 3 days" leveling guide. It's more of a "What to expect as you level" guide.
  • Except where highlighted, this guide does not take into account Recruit a Friend or heirloom bonuses.
  • Since most players tend to level by themselves, all talent build suggestions will focus on a solo leveling/grinding build.
  • This guide focuses on the leveling the PvE Hunter. We will discuss PvP and raiding in other guides.
One of the joys of being a Hunter is being able to run around with your best friend right by your side. And believe me, your pet is truly your best friend. I can't tell you the number of times that my turtle FatElvis has charged back and rounded up several elite mobs giving me the crucial few moments I needed to survive. The only drawback to having a pet is you can't tame one until level 10. What's up with that Blizzard?

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Leveling, Guides, Classes, Talents, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Speeding up Trial of the Champion


Trial of the Champion, the latest dungeon, has quickly become a popular daily destination. It's no wonder why; in under half an hour, with little difficulty, you can begin outfitting your character(s) with epics of Ulduar quality!

At first, I wasn't sure if I agreed with Blizzard's decision to start handing out welfare epics again. Surely we can't be that close to the next expansion, Cataclysm!

Then I realized how easily I could now gear one of my alts, which was something previously impossible to me. Being a main healer, I knew I would never have the opportunity to bring an alt to a raid, so my favorites have not even hit 80 yet. Now that I know I could get them Ulduar-ready in such a short time, I have renewed interest in leveling them.

I can also see why Blizzard would want to help players gear up at this point in time. In Burning Crusade, so few people got to see Sunwell and experience what the expansion was all about, that this time around, they seem to be gunning for the general raiding population to reach Arthas (Icecrown Citadel).

Having accepted this acceleration in "progress," I was left with one major qualm.

The introduction to Trial of the Champion, which must be endured each run, is way too long. Unbearably long. Go and make a triple-decker sandwich long.

Then a few guildmates and I discovered that there is indeed a way to hasten the process.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Alts

Spiritual Guidance: A Lightwell primer

Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a UI and addons blog for WoW. What exactly is Lightwell? How is it used? Why does no one use it?

Oh Lightwell. The things you could have been. Misunderstood by many and under-talented by a large number of Priests. Will you ever see raids?

Perhaps not. But we can try!

Lightwell

The first thing Lightwell novices need to understand is the purpose of the spell. It creates a Holy Lightwell wherever you want it that any player can interact with. A player who uses it gains a charge that heals them for more than 4500 health over a period of 6 seconds. It's got a 40 yard placement range. Be sure you pick up the Lightwell glyph for it. A 20% boost to Lightwell ticks go a long way and will help make this talent even more worthwhile.

There is a slight downside. If the player under the effect of a Lightwell charge takes a hit that's 30% of their total health, the effect disappears.

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Filed under: Priest, Tips, Tricks, Raiding, Talents, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Those fragile Venomhide Ravasaurs

Here's a great tip from WoW LJ on the Ravasaur quest. Like me, many of you probably headed for the new Ravasaur mount on the Horde side the first chance you had in patch 3.2. But there's a hiccup in the quest: while you have to get poisoned by the raptors, the Ravasaurs die pretty easily. You need to attack them for them to poison you, but if you kill them before they sting you, you're out of luck.

Still, those crafty folks over on LJ already have a solution. You can use things that work as weapons, but are still weak enough to keep the raptors alive, even in your uber-powerful level 80 hands. Lances from the Argent Tournament, low-level fishing poles, Blacksmith hammers and mining picks all work, along with anything else that can be wielded but has low damage. You can also level up any weapon specialties you don't have maxed out yet, but be careful there, too: anything that goes too high will kill the level 51 raptors off as well.

Good luck -- to the raptors for staying alive, as all you'll want is the poison. And good luck to you with the rest of the quest. By the time you're all done, the poison task might actually have revealed itself as the easiest part.

WoW's Patch 3.2 ushers in the Crusaders' Coliseum, the Isle of Conquest, flying mounts at 60, and much more. WoW.com has all the patch information your Worgen obsessed mind can handle in WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2!

Filed under: Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Quests, NPCs, Mounts

WoW Rookie: Look it up in the WoW Rookie Guide

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

Feeling threatened by brutish, hulking questions about the game? Confusion breathing down your neck? Feeling a little quivery? ... A little uncertain? ... As if you suspected you should have brought a group -- if you knew how to get one, that is?

Don't be intimidated by what you don't know about the World of Warcraft. Get savvy with WoW Rookie! We've built a brand, spanking new listing of topics to make sure you don't get spanked by guys like that guy over there to the right.

Well, ok. Maybe we don't have a Hogger strat in the guide. And maybe Hogger will probably spank you anyway. But you know what we mean. At least, we think you would, if you weren't so busy running back from the Spirit Healer after coming face to face with that ugly gnoll ...

Filed under: Tips, Tricks, How-tos, WoW Social Conventions, PvP, Instances, Quests, Features, Leveling, Talents, WoW Rookie, Making money

Behold, the power of macros

I don't PvP that often (especially not with my Hunter), but I still found this list of Hunter macros over at Huntman's Lodge really awesome. Whether you just want to make some common tasks easier (the one-button target/Hunter's Mark/pet attack/start attack is a macro every single Hunter should have), or you want to cut out some keystrokes (the /use [target=player] Heavy Frostweave Bandage is a macro that's great for every class out there), macros can provide a lot of solid support to your game in any situation. For some reason, we all use addons, but macros are generally overlooked, despite the fact that the system Blizzard has built in for macros can be pretty powerful all by itself.

Garwulf has even more macros for Hunters on a special page, and of course there are lots and lots of suggested macros and macro guides available online. Especially since macros started being saved to the server instead of your individual machine at home, if you're still using regular abilities on your bars, looking over the available macros for your class should help you out a lot.

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Fan stuff, PvP, Leveling

Drama Mamas: Of scrubs and terribads


Let the Drama Mamas guide you through the sticky business of dodging drama, toward becoming that player everyone wants in their group. Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players. And just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Sometimes, there simply are no words that do justice to our friends' lack of play skills. You know the people I'm talking about. We say, "He's a good guy, but ..." or "She's a real sweetie, for someone who ..." Argh! It's the last halves of those sentences that wipe the raid group every time.

So what's a player to do when his friends turn out to be scrubs, terribads, n00bs or any other variety of out-of-tune toon? Sometimes there's hope – but we'll be honest, sometimes things are beyond repair. Either way, you're going to have to decide: can you fix it, or can you grin and bear it?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Features, Humor, Drama Mamas

Encrypted Text: Fan of Knives mechanics deep-dive

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 Fan of Knives, and how to get the most out of it.

One of the great Rogues on my server recently released a video, showcasing some unique world PvP clips. All of them involved aerial kills using Killing Spree and engineering items to blow up a target on a flying mount. I showed this video to a few of my friends who also play Rogues, and many of them were surprised that you could successfully kill opponents in midair, and that Killing Spree was even usable while moving.

The conversation that followed revealed that they were unaware of several other Rogue mechanics that aren't typically covered in your average "how to Rogue" guide or even completely understood by veterans who've been playing for years. I decided to do some intensive testing and exploration into a few of these mechanical anomalies that still elude even experienced raiders and arena combatants alike. I focused on Fan of Knives in particular, as this is the newest spell added to our arsenal.

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Filed under: Rogue, Tips, Tricks, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

The sin of Tab targeting

I'm not a keyboard turner -- my steady diet of FPS games growing up made sure of that. And while I do occasionally point-and-click abilities, for the most part, I do use hotkeys. But, just like Tank Like a Girl, there is one control-scheme sin that I'm definitely guilty of: I am definitely a Tab-targeter. I guess the issue is that sometimes you do have to use Tab to choose your different targets -- sometimes, you can't quite click on the thing you need to target, so instead you hit Tab to flip through all the available targets until you get to the one you need. But that's a no-no. Flipping through the targets takes more time than you should (if you happen to miss your target, you need to flip through all of them yet again), and, as I know from personal experience, Tab targeting often ends you up on the wrong target. Not that CC is so much of an issue anymore, but let me tell you: the first time you happen to pull that one dragon your group has cast sleep on, it'll be embarassing.

So how to get it right? TLaG suggests this post from TankingTips, which hints at using the mouse instead of the keyboard to target (you can choose friendly targets easier that way), but doesn't offer any real suggestions of how to make the switch. Moving the camera back is one, getting your positioning right is probably another. And learning to use focus and macro targets is probably the best tip you can have: anything that's more specific or direct than either Tab or click targeting is probably better. Addons like Promixo will help in the Arenas as well.

No one's perfect, and no one way to do things is perfect either -- depending on your situation, Tab targeting might be better. But it's important to have as many tools as possible, so if you, like me, find yourself depending on the Tab key more often than not, it might be time to mix up your toolbag a bit.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, Raiding, Hardware

How to: Five Amber drakes in The Oculus

After yet another Cracked Egg with nothing but a Cobra Hatchling in it, and the bigtime raiding proto-drakes constantly getting dropped out of the game, there's really only one other option: the Red Proto-drake, a reward for the Glory of the Hero meta-achievement. It's not easy: you've got to not only beat all of the heroics in the game, but all of the hard mode achievements for each of them. Guides like our OverAchievers can help, and a really great group to go along with helps more, but some of the achievements are so tough they need extra attention.

The Oculus' achievement, however, is one that needs an even closer look. And 4 Haelz kindly provides exactly that, with an in-depth guide to toppling two achievements in one, both the Emerald and Ruby Void, by doing the boss with five Amber drakes. The Amber drakes are usually meant as DPS, which makes this fight extra tough: you can't take much damage at all, because you can't get any damage back without healers. So what it requires, instead, is communication and coordination. Basically, you use the drakes' Time Stop ability to slow the fight down, and then try to do some coordinated kiting while DPSing like mad, all the time hoping that you can bring him down before he takes one of you out.

As Bell says, once you get the idea (and have wiped a few times -- you should probably be riding the drakes naked, since not only does your gear not affect their performance, but it'll save you repair costs), the fight's not actually that hard to pull off, but it's the learning that's going to hurt.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Instances, Bosses, Achievements

WoW Rookie: 20 tips for PvP realm leveling

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

There's no doubt about it: it's trickier and twitchier to level a character on a PvP (player versus player) realm than it is on a "Care Bear," PvE (player versus environment) realm. Some players thrive on the electric anticipation of the unexpected ambush; others wilt under the unrelenting stress. Being an experienced gamer and having the proverbial "friends in high places" can make the experience a lot more enjoyable – so is leveling on a PvP realm beyond the reach of a WoW rookie? Absolutely not!

But make no mistake, it's war out there ... and only the savvy will survive unscathed. Sounds ominous, eh? Let's knock off some of the mystery. First, we direct you to Zach Yonzon's insightful introduction to the PvP attitude. Zach explains exactly what is different about playing on a PvP realm, as well as the basics of concepts such as "flagging" and "honor." Soak up the basics, then join us after the break for 20 tips to help you survive your time as a WoW rookie, PvP style.

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Filed under: Tips, Tricks, PvP, Features, Leveling, WoW Rookie

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