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Posts with tag 3.0.2

Training Dummies in capital cities

If you've been exploring your capital city, you may have noticed something new. Grandmaster's Training Dummies now hang out in the cities, casually waiting for enterprising player characters to come and beat them. (I don't judge their lifestyles, I'm just reporting the facts.) If you're looking at the picture on the right, you're correct in your keen observation -- the clever training dummies even carry the flag of your opposing faction.

The dummies are level 80, obviously in preparation for Wrath's release on November 13th. We were fortunate enough to get them in the content patch, but it does lead to a few questions. What are these masochistic constructions for? What is their purpose? Do they give you anything?

Dr. Boom in Netherstorm was a staple of Hunters', Warlocks' and Mages' theorycrafting. The analysts of the communities would park themselves on a crate, and fire away at the goblin. Using AddOns likes Recount, or combat log parsers like WWS, they'd leverage the information to draw conclusions about which damage rotations and talents yielded the best results.

Target Dummies fulfill the same role, but are a little more universally accessible. (Melee had problems with Dr. Boom, since they could find themselves getting blown up by adds.) They also have benefit of not being out in the field. While safe and protected in your capital city, you can fire away until you feel confident in the data you're seeing.

There's a caveat to the dummies, however. Some spells (like Siphon Life) don't seem to give accurate results. Also, since the dummies aren't the specific bosses you'll be fighting, you're not going to get the exact same numbers as you would against the real thing. They're intended, after all, characters to practice on, not simulate the actual fights.

Edit: As some commenters have pointed out, there are level 70 and 60 dummies to be had also, in the same general area as the level 80 versions.

Filed under: Tips, Tricks, Odds and ends

Raiding has never been easier than in 3.0.2

Karazhan isn't exactly cutting edge content. It's had a few nerfs in its time. That being said, walking into Medivh's home-away-from-evil with a collection of random alts, sightseers, and new-to-raiders can sometimes prove interesting. And by interesting, I mean "repair bill" and "love of all that's Holy, just kill the dang flares!"

Last night was one of those nights. My Guild has spent the last few weeks helping folks prepare for 25-man raiding in Wrath. The gear from Karazhan won't be applicable in the expansion, sure, but the skills and habits you learn now will help you be successful in the future. We had some particularly green folks with us, and while we knew the changes from 3.0.2 would make it easier, we weren't quite aware how easy.

We were breezing along. Who doesn't breeze past Attumen, Maiden, and even Opera? When we hit Curator, we started to really feel the difference. The chap barely made it to his first Evocation. We skipped on past, slapped Aran around, and went up to Prince.

Prince got down two infernals before dying. Confused, I checked the raid's gear. Had our all-in-greens Rogue somehow been replaced with a Warglaive-wielding maniac? Did the new specs really make that much difference?

And then we recalled -- every raid mob in the Burning Crusade got nerfed. So, now, for the next few weeks, we have an odd nirvana in which to help folks learn to raid.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Raiding

Scattered Shots: Getting started with talents in 3.0.2 as a Beast Mastery Hunter

Welcome to Scattered Shots, where Daniel Whitcomb is doing a special happy dance over that whole Aspect global cooldown removal thing.

Before we get into the meat of this week's column, I have a confession to make. I was tempted to make a very short column that consisted primarily of a recording of me making squealing noises that you would generally only expect to come from a giddy schoolgirl, punctuated by a bit of gibberish that might sound something like "Aspect of the Dragonhawk."

But that said, there's a lot of other things I could talk about, and I won't leave you hanging. It's a busy time in WoW, and Hunters have a lot of stuff to do now that 3.0.2 is out. By now, hopefully, your server has calmed down enough for you to get on, play around with learning all your companions and mounts, and start trying to figure out talent specs. Hopefully by now, you've seen some of our articles on the subject, such as Big Red Kitty's Hunter and Pet Talent overviews, and David Bowers' guide to exotic pets currently available in game. They're great resources, so I'm not going to attempt to replicate them here. Instead, I'm gonna focus on a quick and pertinent question:

You've finally found some time to play WoW, your server's stable enough to let you play WoW, and you've just logged on your Beastmastery Hunter for the first time since 3.0.2 went live. What do you do?

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Expansions, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Breakfast Topic: Last minute preparations

When Wrath comes, I'm pretty much abandoning my Druid. He's served me well through Battlegrounds, Arenas, and 10,20, and 40 man raiding, but be it burn out on Druids in general or just the need for the change of pace, he's fallen by the wayside. My Hunter is my main now, and my Death Knight will be a co-main come Wrath of the Lich King.

Despite this, I'm actually playing my Druid quite a lot these days. Why? Because I just have to get the Guardian of Cenarius title for him, and I'm still a few thousand points shy of Exalted with Cenarion Circle reputation. It may seem to weird to be putting so much work into a character I'm not going to play for quite a while once Wrath comes out, but I feel like I owe it to him. He still has a rich, ongoing roleplaying backstory, and he's still been through a lot with me. So getting him to the pinnacle of Druidism is easily the best tribute I can think of. So he's in Silithus, slaughtering Twilight Cultists by the bucketload, looking for those Encrypted Twilight Texts.

In addition, of course, I'm preparing for the 3.0.2 patch and Wrath in other ways. I already have enough Bog Lord Tendrils and Unidentified Plant Parts for my Death Knight to get a foothold in Zangarmarsh, and I'm gathering Arrakoa Feathers as well. If I have time, I may also gather a bunch of herbs and let my DK powerlevel inscription.

Now that we're probably about 10 days away from 3.0.2, how are your preparations coming? I know a lot of you probably chimed in with your goals for pre-Wrath a few weeks back.. Are you making any progress on them, or are you like me, scrambling for those last few points of Cenarion Circle reputation before next Tuesday?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Quests, Expansions, Leveling, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Bornakk confirms raid nerf

Blue poster Bornakk has clarified what many people were noticing yesterday: all Burning Crusade raiding mobs have had their health reduced (approximately 30 percent according to data collected). He also goes on to say that the mobs will be doing less physical damage, although the spell damage will remain the same.

As far my close and personal friend Illidan goes, he will no longer be casting Shear. While I understand the need for this, as a Warrior can no longer spam Shield Block come patch 3.0.2, I will miss this particular mechanic in that it truly provided a test of skill above the standard tank and spank mechanic.

The HP nerf to all of the raid bosses isn't sitting too well with me either. It makes me sigh in frustration at the weeks my guild spent getting the last 25% of Brut down to a science. Had this nerf been in place three months ago, we would have killed him on the second night of attempts.

But that is the life of these games, onward and upward towards Wrath of the Lich King!

Filed under: News items, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

Naxxramas gone from Plaguelands in 3.0.2

You've already heard that the Amani War Bear is disappearing from the live servers ahead of schedule in 3.0, but here's one more thing for you to hurry up on: 40-man Naxxramas. As of now on the 3.0 PTR, Naxxramas is gone from Eastern Plaguelands.

The whole of the Eastern Plaguelands has already changed, in fact. When you open your map, you can already see Archerus looming ominously over Light's Hope chapel and the remains of the Scarlet Crusade's holdings in Eastern Plaguelands. As a result, the entire map has shifted, but I still combed the Plaguewoods looking for the entrance to Naxxramas.

Due to the map shifting, the old locations for Naxxramas are rather off. At the original location coordinates for Naxxramas stands one of the old ruined villages that dot the area. The area where Naxxramas used to be relative to that Scourge ziggurat on the map is now marked by a plague cauldron. Regardless, It looks like the entrance is gone. Come 3.0, it looks like Naxxramas will have retreated to Northrend, and we'll have to bide our time before we can follow it.

So if you've been waiting on getting those last few splinters, or you've been thinking about picking up a Corrupted Ashbringer or what have you, you'd better get on it fast. When the 3.0 leaves the PTR and goes to live servers, 40-man Naxxramas will be gone indefinitely.

Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Items, News items, Raiding, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: What are you looking forward to in 3.0.2?

So we're expecting the new pre-Wrath content patch any week now, and with it a whole flood of new mechanics and abilities, such as raid buff stacking. It should be interesting to see how all this new stuff fits in to the current Burning Crusade end game, and how people adapt to it as they prepare to plunge into Wrath. Of course, many will probably get a head start on Inscription, while others may already have a new haircut picked out.

Myself, I'm looking forward to playing around with the new changes to my Hunter. Disengage and the new Freezing Trap mechanics are looking delicious enough to me that I may just see if I can get back into Arenas for a few weeks to check them out. I'm also pretty interested to see how the Aspect of the Viper changes feel on some big boss battles. It'll be nice to have to essentially have no mana regeneration worries ever again, assuming the current version stays as is.

What about you? Given everything we'll likely see in patch 3.0.2, what are you looking forward to doing while you wait for Wrath?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, The Burning Crusade, Classes, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

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