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The Queue: Where the Sidewalk Ends {WoW}

Feb 15th 2011 4:30PM Weapon and offhand are 359.
Armor pieces are 365.

I think I use weapon, offhand, and a couple other pieces of the 365 gear in my pve healing set. I've absolutely healed heroics in my full pvp gear entirely by accident and just not noticed a difference. Though to be honest I usually tank - I heal only when queueing with another tank.

The 359 weapon/offhand set are by and far the easiest epic weapon set to get for a healer.

I apologize if my not cleaning distinguishing the various ilvl's confused you. Likely a wowhead search would have cleared it up for you.

The Queue: Where the Sidewalk Ends {WoW}

Feb 15th 2011 11:43AM As a resto druid, you are completely wrong about your answer for pvp gear. We care about 2 secondary stats: Haste and Spirit. And with the haste break points, its pretty easy to get to the relevant one in pvp gear while having plenty of mana regen. You'll want PvE trinkets, but otherwise pvp gear is completely valid for heroic healing.

Its trivial to get enough of each haste and spirit in full pvp gear to do heroics. You can't do it just from the crafted gear, but a gemmed and enchanted restodruid in full honor and arena gear will have no trouble at all healing heroics.

I can't speak to other healing classes. But for resto druid pvp gear is completely valid for gearing for heroics.

Even for raiding, I'm using like 3 or 4 pieces of 359 pvp gear since its better than the 346 blue gear I've had access to. And I've not had the option to pick up raid drops yet in those slots.

The Queue: Road house {WoW}

Nov 9th 2010 11:49AM On the subtlety rogue question, while leveling with heirlooms, it might still make sense to not use a dagger in the main hand.

Ambush is:
Ambush the target, causing 190% weapon damage plus (330 * 1.9) to the target (274.93% plus (330 * 2.75) if a dagger is equipped). Must be stealthed and behind the target. Awards 2 combo point.

The mace and sword are 2.8 speed. The slowest heirloom dagger is 1.7. They both have the same average dps at a given level.

So using a dagger of the same speed as any other type of weapon does 2.75/1.9 -> 145% the damage.

However, the mace/sword is slow enough that it is doing 2.8/1.7 -> 165% of dagger damage on an instant hit. So in this case, using the heirloom mace will make your ambush hit harder than using a dagger.

Or to fill in numbers, assuming you are doing paperdoll 100dps. The scalar varies per rogue level, I'm going to call it 50 in this case since I think that was about what it was when my rogue hit the level where she was showing 100 paperdoll dps. An ambush hit would be:

Dagger damage before talents and other modifiers: 605
Mace/Sword damage before talents and other modifiers: 627

This really only shows up this way because the heirloom 1H weapons are so slow. For anything except heirlooms you almost always want a dagger.

Win sweet prizes from the new, new WoW Insider {WoW}

Sep 14th 2010 11:40AM So what's with the name change? What was wrong with

Also, comment. :-)

Cataclysm Beta: Druid specialization and talent analysis {WoW}

Jul 19th 2010 2:45PM I appreciate the need for frequent articles to be written. But the current state of druid is so rudimentary and broken I'm not convinced it is even worth looking at. Its pretty clear that Druid has not had attention paid to it yet.

Basically, any analysis or focus on attempting to analyze it as it is now is a waste of time. It will all change.

Balance has talents missing. Multiple trees had 5 point talents lopped to 3 point talents without updating them (going from 100% fully talented to 60%). Feral has 3 points different between bear and cat -- and blizzard has said that won't stay. Tree probably is the closest to a real talent tree -- that is because the talents ripped out are less relevant not because any work has been done on it.

Shifting Perspectives: Are DoTs worth it? Part 2 {WoW}

Feb 26th 2010 3:57PM So I'm going to start by saying their are a lot of bad boomkin out there. Its an easy seeming spec. And if you follow blizzard's lead in gear, you will end up with low/middle of the pack dps.

However, an intelligently geared boomkin who aggressively gears correctly is very competitive dps. You need to be as close to the hit cap as possible without being gratuitously over. You need to have as little spirit as is possible.

And you need to always be casting something. Always.

I've done 10 and 25-man raiding, both in a formal raid groups and in pugs. The only class that could consistently beat boomkin by a noticeable margin is rogue and feral cat. At the moment, I'm raiding only in ICC10. I'm hitting 8-9k dps on multiple bosses in ICC in 10-man-only gear. And there is definitely room for improvement both in my play and my gear. I'm hoping I'll be over 10k once we get the Lich King down and get to start on hard modes.

So to the people who say boomkin are lousy dps - yeah, sometimes they are. But that is the player's gearing choices and play style, not the class. And it doesn't help that blizzard puts so much badly itemized leather gear in game.

If there were other glyphs to use, I suspect insect swarm and moonfire would fall completely out of the dps rotation. But with glyphs, moonfire is useable.

One of the real advantage of the dots is that you refresh them while moving. They are something to do during movement and almost all the fights in ICC require movement. So even if they scaled worst than our nukes, they'd still see some use.

Shifting Perspectives: Bear 101, part 3 {WoW}

Feb 17th 2010 3:29PM Yeah - I know that. It is still that good.

We tend to have more armor than other tanks. And the more armor you have, the more valuable extra armor is.

Shifting Perspectives: Bear 101, part 3 {WoW}

Feb 17th 2010 11:38AM So you have a couple things not quite right.

Omen of Clarity is not a mandatory bear talent. Its not even a good bear talent. In general, you are swimming in rage as a bear. Making things free rarely is not actually useful. (If you could trigger it at the beginning of a pull, it'd be useful. But you can't.)

Defense isn't a horrid stat for bears. It is a much better stat than crit rating. Defense gives dodge and miss chance.

You also failed to mention extra armor on rings and necklaces. Pretty much any item with extra armor on it ends up being exceptionally good for us. (It takes an ilvl 232 ring to upgrade from the ilvl 200 ring from heroic Drak.) The armor trinket is incredible though admittedly for about half the raid fights you'd rather have a trinket with stamina because the "survival check" ends up being a burst of magic damage. For heroics it is incredible though.

For survival:
armor>sta>agi >> defense > expertise >> crit

For single target threat:
str > 2ap > haste > expertise > hit >> agility > crit (at some point haste becomes better than str when you get enough AP)

For AoE threat:
str > 2ap > expertise > hit >> agility > crit

Also, since so much of bear threat is scaled off of attack power and our weapons provide huge amounts of attack power, it is worth pointing out that any bear having any threat issues should prioritize getting the highest ilvl weapon she can pick up. As much as half your attack power can come from your weapon.

For single target, maul is your most important ability to use. It will be like 70% of your total threat. If you did nothing in a fight except spam maul and faerie fire, you'd be at like 80% of your theoretical threat (assuming you have a class putting a bleed on the target).

70% of trial players quit WoW before level 10 {WoW}

Feb 11th 2010 2:02PM They don't need to make the first levels easier. They need to make them more interesting. At this point, I think they'd be better off if they could find some reasonable way to start everyone off at level 40-60, with a full set of abilities and gear. Make their starting experience be like that DK starting experience.

I mean, leave the low level leveling as an option, but please don't expect people to see that as their only interaction with WOW and think it is an interesting game to play. 1-2 button spamming, while wearing crap grey clothing you scavenge off cats and boars, is just not that interesting.

Brainstorming: maybe make their be a "fast start" or "hero" option where you pick a class and focus -- it gives you a level 55 character and a phased starting area that takes 2-4 hours to play through, and by the end of it an appropriate set of gear to do your focus. Have the "tanky" focus include a set of defense gear and a chunk of quests that teach you basic tanking. Have the "healy" focus give you a bunch of resto gear and a chunk of quests that teach you how to heal. Have a "damage" focus teach you about threat and quests showing you how not to pull aggro. Maybe a quest or two per class that teaches you about your dps cycle. Possibly even have these characters start with their talents prechosen, but include a free talent respec at the end of the quest chain. Hopefully at the end of this you'd end up with a bunch of people who have seen the cool stuff their character & spec can do, have a bit of clue of how to play in a group, and have a moderately geared character to go play with successfully.

Thoughts on Icecrown Citadel and gating {WoW}

Jan 28th 2010 4:31PM As a member of a 2 night per week raiding group, this will be the first and only week where the limited number of attempts will be a gating issue. Next week it will go to 20 attempts -which when combined with 1-shotting everything leading up to the limited attempt bosses takes more time than we spend raiding in a week to use (we had 2 wipes on non-attempt limited bosses this week, and I suspect will have 0 next week).

This is not friendly to the hardcore 3-4 night per week groups who want to grind through hoping for a kill via many repeated attempts.

I much prefer this sort of gating to the BC style do an epic long quest chain to get unlocked.

I think the bigger issue is they are doing loot incorrectly for 10 vs 25. They should be having the same ilvl gear. If you go and analyze fight difficulties use worldoflogs you'll see that 10-man is on average as hard as 25-man. As an aside, some fights are much easier on one size or the other. If anything 10-man is probably harder than 25-man, and having the difficulty masked by people in 25-man gear effectively over-gearing the instance.