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Posts with tag Axes

Enhancement shaman itemization and the end boss effect

As you may or may not be aware, I've started gearing up my enhancement shaman and have been having a really good time playing him. I enjoy enhancement for a lot of reasons, including how different it feels from playing a warrior or feral druid, the other two melee classes I'm familiar with.

However, finding weapons can be a bit of a pain. The best weapons for me outside of a raid are the two fist weapons in ZG, which drop from a randomly summoned boss. So you may not even get the boss who drops them, and the off-hand doesn't even drop from the same boss as the main-hand -- and in either case, it means I'm leveling archaeology on a fourth toon because half the time, no one can summon any of them.

As annoying as this is, for raiding, it can get even worse. Getting a 2.6 speed agility main-hand weapon from raiding means killing Nefarian and praying that this week he drops your axe. (You can get an off-hand from trash, but you can't use it in your main hand, meaning you need at least one Neffy axe). Blizzard has come out and said it's fine with this for now.

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Filed under: Shaman, Raiding, Cataclysm

Phat Loot Phriday: Touch of Madness

Since Rogues will be able to break out the Axes in patch 3.2, here's one for you stabby-stabby types to start aiming for now.

Name: Touch of Madness (Wowhead, Thottbot, WoWDB)
Type: Epic One-hand Axe
Damage/Speed: 297-552 / 2.60 (163.3 DPS)
  • +24 Agility, +52 Stamina
  • Improves hit rating by 34, crit strike rating by 26, and attack power by 92

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Filed under: Rogue, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Raiding, Phat Loot Phriday, Death Knight

Totem Talk: Patch 3.2 PTR

Patch 3.2 has been announced, and shamans saw some changes. That's the short version.

Well, we've had the big patch notes bomb dropped on us, and they weren't kidding about changing restoration around, were they? Of course, if you're an orc shaman, you also got expertise with fist weapons added on to your racial, which is pretty neat all told. We also finally saw the debut of the new totem interface, which I can't say enough good things about. The ability not only to drop up to four totems in one GCD but to have up to three customizable sets of four totems for different uses (I plan on making a set just for when there's no DK's around and I can finally use Strength of Earth totem instead of freaking Stoneskin) just made the clouds part and a host of glorious angels descend upon me. Turns out they wanted some money, but still, for a moment it was pretty keen.

Before we get rolling, though, I want to remind people: I want your horde screenshots! Otherwise this column is just going to be goat-men from the Twisting Nether, and I know you don't want that. I personally don't care, but you guys get so upset, and while that orc racial does make leveling my orc shaman appealing, I don't really think I have the time.

I should probably also mention that rogues got axes in an attempt to give the design team more freedom to actually put some axes into the content. (Yay for one 1h DPS axe in all of Naxxramas, EoE, the Obsidian Sanctum and Ulduar!) I can only look forward to the host of axes in Argent Coliseum that are too fast for shamans to use effectively. On the up side, goodbye, totem stomper macros! We hate you!

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Talents, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Wrath of the Lich King

Ask a Lore Nerd: And two stealthed rogues

Real rogues use daggers
Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week Alex Ziebart answers your quests about the lore in the World of Warcraft. If you have any questions, no matter how big or small they might be, ask them in the comments section below and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

We'll start off with Cole's write-in question...

Why can Rogues use Maces but not Axes? What's so sneaky about hammers but not about edged blades of death?

Well, this is likely more game mechanics than anything. They need to split up which weapons can be used by what classes evenly, or you get a severe loot imbalance. If you want to justify it in-character, maces are really, really good at stopping your opponent, rendering them unable to fight back, or fight ever again. A cut leaves a scar, a shattered bone leaves a cripple.

The Mace Spec that everyone hated so much in PvP? That's pretty much how it goes with maces in real life. You thonk someone on the head, and they're out of it. I could see a Rogue playing dirty like that. Coming up from behind, cracking someone over the head, then swinging low and shattering the next guy's kneecap.

Why can't they use axes? Probably no compelling reason besides game balance, though I'm sure they would be harder to use in a Rogue-y fashion than swords, daggers or hammers. Axes are probably the most unforgiving of all of the bladed weapons. You want a hard swing, not so much an elegant stroke, a well-placed shiv, or a busted joint. Axes tend to be more about being heavy and using momentum to cut, rather than sharp edges. Not always, but that's their tendency. Maybe they weren't graceful enough to make the cut*? Who knows.

Eternauta asked...

Why did they retcon the Draenei lore from WCIII to WoW BC? What was wrong with the original lore (ugly, thin, primitive Draenei).

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Draenei, Lore, Ask a Lore Nerd

Main hands and one-hands after 2.4.2

I only slightly mentioned this back on the podcast, I think, but there was a fairly interesting change that snuck in the patch notes on 2.4.2: lots of formerly main hand weapons have become one-hand weapons. There are a couple of theories poking around about why this could be -- dual wield is first and foremost, of course, as this change allows classes who dual wield, including Rogues and Enhancement Shammies, to have a little more choice as to what weapons they can use. Death Knights will also be able to dual wield in the expansion, and this will open things up for them a bit as well. And Blacksmithing weapons were apparently changed as well (in addition to losing their "unique" status), so Blacksmithers have a little more leeway, too.

But there is one thing that, according to Blizzard, will always keep weapons in one-hand status. Caster stats, according to both Drysc and Hortus, will mean that weapons will always stay one-hand. So feel free to do as much switching around as you want in terms of speed and melee damage, but there'll be no stacking of healing or spell damage bonuses (with Shamans or Death Knights).

Which isn't really a big loss -- it means that Blizzard has much more leeway in creating healing and spell damage weapons than they do while making melee weapons. But it does mean that if you want to play around with weapon combos, you have to go melee -- healers and casters get to choose one and stick with it.

Filed under: Hunter, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Talents

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