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Posts with tag Burst-damage

Spiritual Guidance: What few shadow priest highlights BlizzCon 2010 could scrape together

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Even weeks when your shadowy messiah, Fox Van Allen, is nursing one heck of a headache -- along with, presumably, everyone else who's still suffering from the non-stop party atmosphere of BlizzCon 2010.

Let's start by saying that BlizzCon 2010 was an absolute blast. I met most of the WoW Insider crew, got to smell Mike Sacco's hair yet again, got some amazing swag and got to eat at Jack in the Box no less than five times. The best part, though, was probably meeting Orkchop (pictured above with WoW Insider's moonkin blogger Tyler Caraway, who can only aspire to be as amazing as Orkchop). The dude is an internet celebrity. For real.

But enough about how awesome Orkchop is. Let's talk shadow priests, and how awesome they are.

Now, I'm not good at sugar-coating things, so I'll just come out with it: BlizzCon 2010 was pretty disappointing in terms of World of Warcraft-related content. The biggest news out of the convention was the new loading screen for Cataclysm. Really. That was the big news. Seriously. And it's just a palette-shifted version of the Sindragosa loading screen.

Despite the lack of earth-shattering news, I made sure to take note of all the shadow priest action. There wasn't a heck of a lot of it, but what little ground was covered was hugely important to the future of the spec. The good, the bad and the non-answers -- we'll go over it all after the break.

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Filed under: Priest, BlizzCon, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Blizzard discusses the state of PvP


One thread over at the forums sparked quite a discussion when it asked what the problem was with World of Warcraft PvP. It's a pretty good question and definitely not something with a simple answer, but Ghostcrawler took up the task and addressed several issues in his usual forthcoming fashion. In a nutshell, Blizzard views the following issues as the primary problems of PvP:
  • Too much emphasis on Arenas and not enough on Battlegrounds.
  • Too much emphasis on 2s and not enough on 3s and 5s.
  • Not enough class / spec representation in Arena. Warlock, hunter and shaman numbers in particular are too low, but they're not the only ones.
  • Too fast-paced.
Ghostcrawler proceeded to explain the last point in detail, talking once again about burst damage and reiterating their intent that PvP should be a balance between damage, healing, and crowd control. He says that Blizzard plans to "add an extra GCD or two" in the small window where a player can either be healed to full or fall to enemy fire, allowing players to better use their full toolbox. Anyone who has ever played Arenas should know that that's a pretty tall order.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Forums, Battlegrounds, Arena

Shifting Perspectives: Tanks, "Wrath," and crushing blows


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we examine the roots of the uproar over the proposed Heart of the Wild nerf, and also ask ourselves if it wouldn't just be easier to reroll a Death Knight and have done with it.

"Why would you title the column this way?" you ask, as you reach for your "Please fire _______ from WoW Insider" form letter. "Crushing blows are out of the game, dipwad."

Well, yes. The crushing blow is technically out of the game, but another and worse mechanic has taken its place.

In this article I'm going to try to explain the source of "shield tank" frustration over health pools -- and why they are correct to see it as a problem -- and the Druid tank's unhappiness over the nerfing of Heart of the Wild -- and why Druids are also correct to see it as a problem.

Why the crushing blow was important

One of the biggest differences between pre-Wrath and Wrath tanking is the absence of the crushing blow. If you're unfamiliar with the term, then as a very simple explanation: any given raid boss had a 15% chance per melee hit to perform a 150% damage attack, which was also known as the crushing blow. It was typically a big damage spike and could lead to a wipe on progression content, with healers struggling to compensate in the small window of time before the boss' next attack landed. Burst damage is very unwelcome as it's often the greatest contributing factor to tank death. This is why reaching crit immunity is still so important to all tanks, and why the ability to avoid or absorb crushing blows was a fundamental part of pre-Wrath tanking mechanics.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Classes, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

The future of healing in the Arena

If you've been in the Arena during Season 5, you probably have noticed a particular change to the way gladiators fight. It can be summarized in a single word: "Damage." In the bygone days of Season 4, drain teams and Mortal Strike debuffs were all but an entry requirement to high ranked play. Without a strategy to reduce or nullify your enemy's healing, you were unlikely to produce sufficient burst DPS to actually kill anyone. A few double-DPS teams managed to thrive, but for the most part, a gladiator's number one priority was shutting down the healer.

That dynamic is all but dead in Season 5. Players output such a high level of damage compared to other players' health that healing is almost a non-factor in most matches. My friends, Ghostcrawler is aware of this dynamic, and is looking into it. (It turns out, Ghostcrawler mostly plays a healer in the Arena.) As stated by the crab himself, the Arena should not simply be about burst damage. (Nor, however, should it be solely about healing or solely about crowd control.)

Of course, Ghostcrawler does admit he has difficulty saying what the long terms plans are going to be. The design team hasn't had enough whiteboard time to say anything with complete honesty. But he also hopes that as more Resilience gear enters the PvP system, the damage might scale down to be more reasonable. (To quote, "It's mostly just math.") Still, there's hope that future teams will include more than just seeing which team can burst down the other first.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Forums, Battlegrounds, Arena

Blood Sport: RMP Rampage

PvP in its purest form is a beautiful thing. Amanda Dean, always obsessed with the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat brings you news you can use in the Arena. When last seen, former Blood Sport columnist V'Ming Chew was seen being chased by an angry pack of Gnome Warlocks in the farthest reaches of Outland.

In 3v3 matches, Rogue, Mage, Priest (RMP) teams have proven to be the ones to beat. Six of the top twenty Arena teams on live servers sport this composition. This team combines outstanding crowd control with abilities to survive until the end of combat. The team is not unbeatable, if caught without cooldowns available, this low-armor team falls prey to burst damage, especially if the Priest is dead or otherwise occupied.

The Priest's primary function in the group is dispelling both offensive and defensive abilities. It may also Mana Burn if there is no need for healing or dispelling. In practice, since the priest is often the first target, it spends a lot of time and mana staying alive with the Rogue and Mage work their magic (and stab things). The Priest is often the primary target in the composition because they are usually the only ones visible at the start of the fight and are the lone healer partnered with two pure DPSers. Pain Suppression is your friend and my enemy.

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Filed under: Mage, Priest, Rogue, PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

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