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Posts with tag Armor

WoW Archivist: What has never changed?

Party fights a dragon
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

With WoW's tenth anniversary fast approaching, one thing is clear: virtually everything in this game has been changed, updated, or replaced at one time or another. The UI, the stats, character creation, raid systems, class abilities, questing -- all have undergone necessary overhauls to keep the game relevant and modern. A question for the Queue last month asked a very interesting question: What in WoW has never, ever changed?

You might think so, but no

Many aspects of the game seem like they have never changed, but they have.

The act of gathering: Sure, Blizzard added bonuses to the professions in Wrath such as the crit bonus for skinning or the HoT from herbalism. And as of Cataclysm, you can now earn XP by gathering. Gathering no longer requires tools. Yet the fundamental mechanics have always been the same: you right click stuff, get the stuff, and skill up so you can click on better stuff. Right?

Back in classic, gathering actually had a chance to fail. Orange difficulty nodes would not cough up their resources to anyone who wandered past with the minimum required skill. Failing three or four times on a node before a successful gathering attempt was not unheard of.

This led to some interesting "PvP" gathering scenarios, even on PvE realms. If two players converged on the node, the first to click it didn't necessarily get the goods. This situation sometimes led to a hilarious "duel" in which both players failed at gathering over and over again. It became a matter of luck, persistence, and rapid clicking. Mining was especially bad, because it used to take multiple strikes to clear out a node. Two players could spend minutes trying to outmine each other on a single rock.

Racial bonuses, enchantments, and items that boosted gathering skills all mattered much more, not just to save time from the failed attempts, but to beat other players to the punch.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

How do you like your armor sets?

How do you like your armor sets
It's been a long, long time since the days of Magister, Dreadmist and Devout. With each expansion, we've seen the release of new tier sets of armor -- but the design style has changed a little from the days of old. There was a pretty interesting thread over on the EU forums regarding tier sets and their progression over the years, pointing out that earlier armor sets were far more visually distinctive and iconic, something that seems to have waned with each successful armor set.

The original poster suggested that perhaps the transmog feature has made the artists and devs unwilling to push the boundaries of dazzling creation. This prompted several responses to the thread by Community representative Vaneras that shed some light on how armor design is looked at.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Transmogrification

Is it time to remove all transmog restrictions?

panda mog
I think an experience along these lines is pretty common for WoW transmog enthusiasts: "Fantastic, I finally got the Talon of the Phoenix! I'm gonna transmog it to... wait. I'm using an axe for raiding." Or maybe this one: "Yes! This is an amazing upgrade! ...Oh I can't transmog a two-handed weapon into a main and off-hand, so I have to redo my outfit." I use weapons as examples because they often have the most limited transmog options, despite the fact that Blizzard did lift a lot of their restrictions in patch 5.2. Polearms and staves can be transmogged into each other. One-handed maces, axes, and swords can be transmogged into each other. Two-handed maces, axes, and swords can be transmogged into each other. But two-handed axes, swords, and maces cannot be transmogged into staves or polearms. Fist weapons cannot be transmogged into one-handed swords, axes, or maces.

In one view, the limitations make sense. As a druid, I can use staves, polearms, and two-handed maces. I cannot use two-handed axes or swords. If there were no restrictions, I could transmog my healing staff into a sword and be a resto druid with a sword. That seems odd to me. Then again, I can be a resto druid with a staff transmogged to a polearm, but I cannot be a resto druid with a staff transmogged into a two-handed mace, even though I can equip both those weapons.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Transmogrification

Should transmogrification limits be lifted?

Image
I love transmogrification -- it seems like every week I have a new arrangement of armor. But there are limits to what I can and can't do with this feature, limits that simply can't be worked around. As a rogue, I'm limited to leather items -- and there aren't a ton of really fashionable leather items out there. Some of the best sets I've seen and craved have been druid tier, or druid restricted PvP items. As for weapons, as an assassination rogue, I'm limited to daggers. I can't use any other weapon in that particular spec choice, and that's frustrating.

We had a brief hint earlier this week that we might see some changes to transmogrification limits in future patches. Nothing set in stone of course, but the thought of being able to transmogrify weapons with similar animation styles is a pretty cool one. A sword and a dagger are fairly similar in animation style, right? Well ... maybe not so much. Still, it's nice to see that they are considering stretching the limits of transmogrification as far as weapon choices go.

But is that enough?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Patch 5.1: Upgrading your gear with valor

Patch 51 Upgrading your gear with valor
What do you do with thousands of Valor points when you already have all the gear that you can buy from the Valor vendors? Coming in with patch 5.1, one of the cool things is the ability to upgrade your own gear. In previous expansions, we'd reach a point where we'd have tons of Valor or Justice points and nothing to buy. Head on over to visit the local ethereals in the major capital cities and look for the item upgrade NPC.

The process for upgrading items is simple. Drag the item you wish to upgrade over to the item slot, then hit the upgrade button. Only items that are 458 ilvl or higher can be upgraded. Blue quality items can be upgraded once for an 8 item level increase for 1500 Justice or Honor points. Epic quality items can be upgraded twice with a 4 item level increase per upgrade for 750 Valor or Conquest points.

Once an item is upgraded, there's no way to get them refunded. Choose them wisely! If you're not sure what to upgrade first, I would suggest focusing on your weapons and trinkets. For most classes, you should notice a slight increase in your character's performance.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items

Tier 14 Armor Previews available

Tier 14 Armor Previews
Yesterday afternoon, Blizzard CM Kaivax posted the Tier 14 armor previews on Battle.net. Kaivax clarified that the item level of Tier 14 gear would be 496, putting it 7 levels ahead of the reputation-based epics, which sit at 489. It's streets ahead of the 463 and occasional 476 gear which has been datamined from normal and heroic dungeons so far. I'm really not convinced that players who want to raid at a decent gear level won't have to grind out endless reputations, but that's a grumble for another day!

If you head over to the previews on battle.net, you can see every class's set. What do you think? I'm... well, I have mixed opinions. I don't want to moan or rain on Blizzard's parade, but this shoulder size arms race is getting way out of hand! I can't help looking at the mage set and thinking "man, if a mage Blinked in that, he'd fall over!" Priests seem to have similar issues, coupled with what appears to be a pope hat, which I guess is fitting. The warlock set is cool, but it looks more like a DK set to me. Warriors are going to have to spend some time on the bench press to carry their shoulders around, and those tennis ball size beads are going to be a bother when monks are rolling.

On the good sides, though, the druid set is really great, I love the mask! And, as someone who's switching raiding mains for mists, I'm really relieved that I like the shaman set. I'm not completely sold on the mask, but the firebird look works for me, even if my dwarf shaman might have to have a trip to the barber so her red hair doesn't clash!

Naturally, all this is just my opinion, purely subjective, rather than any objective assertion. What do you think? What would you rate "wow!" and what gets a "what the...?" Are you a fan of the giant shoulders?


It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: New weapon and shield models

With great betas come great datamining, and we've got some splendid new weapon and shield models from the Mists of Pandaria beta courtesy of Disenchanting Azeroth. A lot of these models are potentially NPC only or lower level items, according to the site, and they are very detailed as we've come to expect from Blizzard's texture artists. Hit the link for more staves, axes, maces, and more from Mists of Pandaria.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: What's your armor design style philosophy?

Paladin armor
This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

It's safe to say that gear appearance is one of the most important (and most debated) topics in the World of Warcraft. Every major content patch, one class (or many) claim to have gotten the short end of the stick in terms of design. From paladin skirts to fish-headed hunters, everything is a matter of personal opinion when it comes to finding something that best suits your character.

What sort of gear do you think best represents your character or class? Does your shaman look best in glowing orange Earthshatter gear, or would you prefer something humbler, like the hooded, bead-bedecked garb that Go'el/Thrall now wears? Does your rogue strike a pose in the Al'Akir-esque turban of phosphorescence, or a more utilitarian concept such as the Assassination Armor?

What would you like to see for classes other than the one you most identify with? A gleaming set of pristine armor for the paladins? A razor-edged, dingy, but deadly-looking set of plate for warriors? Perhaps something a bit more traditional and humble for priests? Perhaps you think that the designs have become over-ornate, eschewing substance for frills.

Are some classes more suited to something a bit plain, while others should have over-the-top with effects? Does there need to be parity in special effects within a tier, or would you prefer armor that makes sense for each class, rather than being visually comparable?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Patch 4.2: Crystallized Firestone makes gear heroic

The folks at Wowhead News have found a very interesting new vendor outside of patch 4.2's Firelands raid. Lurah Wrathvine, who is also riding on a Flameward Hippogryph for maximum pizzazz, will upgrade various normal tier 12 raid and valor point gear for the low, low price of a Crystallized Firestone. This is an item that drops off of the bosses therein when they are killed on heroic difficulty.

What's interesting about this system is that it affects items that don't even drop in the Firelands, especially the difficult-to-upgrade relics like the Hardheart Relic that makes my shaman scream "Me want!" like a caveman. Since relics are usually a valor point purchase, this makes them difficult (if not impossible) to upgrade, in comparison to other items. In general, this whole system is currently only in place to upgrade 21 items, but with some of those items being weapons or armor pieces, we may see more soon. It makes me remember Sunmotes and the Sunwell Plateau's exchange system. Crystallized Firestone definitely seems like the next iteration.

Also new on the test realms: The Avengers of Hyjal have a new strength DPS trinket. Looks like new itemization is being implemented as we speak.

The news is already rolling out for the upcoming WoW Patch 4.2! Preview the new Firelands raid, marvel at the new legendary staff, and get the inside scoop on new quest hubs -- plus new Tier 12 armor!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Raiding, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: Not my rainbow gear!

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Blizzard attempted to change the leveling process on many fronts -- easier XP, quests for dungeons at the beginning of said dungeon, and better quest flow. One of the more lively changes was quest loot being given more useful stats -- and more importantly, being made part of an overall more "matching" set. This meant that people who predominantly quest will find themselves looking put together, rather than wearing whatever scraps of material they roll over while trying to collect 20 bear bottoms. The sets may not always work with random "- of the X" drops, but overall, they look nicer and have a easily identifiable style and color scheme.

I'm quite impressed with this change. The strange mish-mash of leveling gear from questing was not only hideous to look at, it never matched and often had really terrible models with garish textures. The new questing gear looks regal and not prone to as much strange skin-baring, either. It looks like you're moving up the ranks of badassery as you are leveling up. This is a good feature! For those who are more inclined to roleplay, it gives you access to some easy outfits that you can wear around Stormwind or Ogrimmar and look trendy.

While I know this trend is going to stop dead in its tracks at Outland (which I will overcome by putting my heirloom gear back on), it is fun to see it present in the Azeroth leveling experience and further on in Cataclysm content. Are you happy about this change, or do you feel that the garish clown vomit outfits of years past were essential to people's game before the level cap?

Will you miss mismatched clown armor during leveling?
No, absolutely not.7418 (66.7%)
Yes, I liked the nutty factor.2043 (18.4%)
Yes, I liked having a progression into high-end sets.1661 (14.9%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Cataclysm's best leveling improvement: no more clown suits

One of the many nice things that Cataclysm is doing for the low-level quester is finally getting rid of the level 1 to 60 "clown suit." Every 10-level range has its own specific set of matching quest rewards, giving you a unique look every handful of zones. And they don't look half bad! In fact, some of the sets look pretty darn cool. Speaking from experience, leveling from 1 to 60 in the beta was a lot more exciting, not just due to the new quests and mechanics, but also because I couldn't wait to see what my new gear would look like when I hit a new leveling milestone.

Check out the full picture with all of Cataclysm's low-level armor sets, courtesy of reader Frez, after the break.

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Patch 4.0.1: Armor mitigation values nerfed

If you've been tanking since patch 4.0.1 dropped and noticed you were taking more physical damage, it's not just a case that you lost armor in the class changes. Armor also does less now. Poster Valen performed a test on the first boss in Forge of Souls and reported some changes observed with the way damage was mitigated. Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer) soon responded that yes, the formula for armor value and its mitigation had been changed for Cataclysm. Furthermore, those changes are in place as of now, meaning that if you feel like you're suddenly taking a lot more physical damage in ICC, well, you probably are.

Ghostcrawler - GC, physical mitigation changes intentional?
We looked into your findings, and the armor numbers reflect an intentional change meant to cover the armor increases players would get between levels 81 and 85. We should have been more explicit with the rest of the announced Cataclysm changes that physical damage would go up. (It only affects creatures higher than level 80 -- bosses in this case -- so this change has no current PvP ramifications.)

Now that our live class balance changes are slowing down* and players are starting to learn their class changes, we can get a better idea of whether players are struggling more on content that they used to be able to clear. We've made some Icecrown and Halion changes already and we may need to make more.


Nice job on the analysis.


No word yet if boss damage in ICC will be tuned down to reduce the streaky factor on incoming damage or not. But it's nice to know we're not all insane.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion (available Dec. 7, 2010), from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Death Knight, Cataclysm

WRUP: My favorite things edition

Once again it's the weekend, which can mean only one thing -- it's time to catch up on our gaming. Surely you know what it's like: during the week we have work or school or other obligations that may keep us away from our favored pastime. But with the week over, it's time for play. This week in addition to asking the WoW.com team what they're playing this weekend, I've also asked them to include a shot of their character in their favorite set of gear. And, though it's hardly a scientific poll, from the answer I've recieved it seems safe to conclude that the paladin's tier 2 armor set is a crowd favorite. So without further introduction, read on to see what the team is up to this weekend -- or to let us know what you're going to be playing.

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Filed under: WoW Insider Business

Gold Capped: Crafting for disenchanting

Want to get Gold Capped? This column will show you how, and is written by Basil "Euripides" Berntsen, also of outdps.com, the Hunting Party podcast, and the Call to Auction podcast.

Enchanting mats are a strange business. They are in constant massive demand, and can be made in a variety of ways. Every Tuesday, thousands of guilds get thousands of upgrades that need to be enchanted, every day, hundreds of thousands of players run PUG and PvP content that gives them upgrades they want to enchant, and every day, thousands of players buy things like Bolts of Imbued Frostweave, which require enchanting mats to make.

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Filed under: Economy, Gold Capped

Totem Talk: Elemental gearing for the new 80


Melee combat? Barbaric. Healing? How pedestrian. Let the elements do the talking. Totem Talk: Elemental. Brought to you by Mike Sacco.

Last week I took you through Elemental 101, a crash course in playing your elemental shaman. Now that we've got the basics out of the way and you understand your talents and rotation, it seems as good a time as any to talk about gear.

We addressed the main stats you're looking for on elemental gear last week, but here's a quick rundown again for those who missed it: Hit rating, spell power, haste, and crit. These are the only four stats we'll be looking for on elemental gear, besides the obvious intellect and stamina boosts that'll be on nearly every piece of caster gear anyway.

If the above sounds like a pretty reasonable set of stats to look for, well, you're not wrong. So I've got good news and bad news for you. The good news? There's definitely elemental gear out there. The bad news? Good luck finding it. Elemental gearing has a lot of issues unique to both the shaman and this specific spec. And you're not gonna like them.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

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