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Posts with tag CDs

Encrypted Text: Readiness gone, Preparation next?

As part of the pre-Mists patch 5.0.4, in August 2012, hunters were given Readiness as a baseline ability. Readiness is a carbon copy of Preparation, which has been a rogue workhorse for years. While I am typically hesitant to give hunters any more ink, there's something interesting for them in the patch 5.4 PTR notes. Readiness is being removed from hunters entirely, and their cooldowns are being rebalanced to compensate. An ability that was considered so crucial that it was made baseline is being pulled completely just a year later.

Cooldown management has been an integral part of the rogue class since day one. Preparation has been our go-to PvP ability since its inception. The entire World of Roguecraft video series was predicated by how amazing Preparation is. A rogue with full cooldowns is a deity, a rogue without cooldowns is a pushover. When Preparation was made baseline in patch 5.2 (January 2013), I was certain that the once-optional ability would be a permanent part of our arsenal. Now, I'm wondering if Preparation's next on Blizzard's chopping block.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Learning the rogue calculus

rogue scribbles
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

You don't have to be good at math to play a rogue. Anyone can log into WoW and create a rogue. You can get all the way to level 90 and into raids without ever having to do any addition or long division. You can do dailies and dungeons simply by using the highest ilvl gear available and ignoring everything else. Rogues are played with a keyboard and mouse, not a pen and paper.

However, if you want to wring every last drop of DPS out of the class, you're going to have to get your hands dirty with numbers. I love when a class' design forces the player to make tough choices. The choices that we make as rogues, when you think about it, are really just math problems. The secret to making good choices is to do the math ahead of time. You don't want to be faced with an unexpected set of fractions in the middle of a tough raid encounter.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: The 4 unspoken laws of rogue duels

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

I used to read a rogue blog called World of Ming, where a rogue named Ming would explore our class' capabilities in the world of high-end PvP. My favorite posts were his deep-dives into dueling. Ming had the belief that the rogue class should be able to defeat any other class in a series of duels. If you wanted to fight Ming, you just needed to log onto the PTR servers to find him dueling outside of a major city.

Blizzard has often claimed that WoW simply isn't balanced around 1v1 combat. In fact, even the 2v2 Arenas are considered to be a lower tier of competition -- complete with lower compensation. The 3v3 and 5v5 Arenas are heralded as the truly balanced PvP platforms. In spite of Blizzard's disclaimer, the fact is that many people consider duels to be the ultimate form of PvP. The rogue-vs.-rogue duel has long been held as the truest test of skill between two brothers of the shadows. If you ever plan to engage in a rogue duel, you need to know about the sacred code of dueling conduct that every rogue should follow.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Ready Check: Cooldown Management

Ready Check is a twice-a-week column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Vault of Archavon or Ulduar, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. Today, we're going to look at a specific tactic for speeding your success through each encounter -- cooldown management.

The proper use of a raid's cooldowns is pretty key to maximizing your damage output. (Cooldown is one word. Yes. it. is.)

One moment, you are a meager Retribution Paladin. You struggle to maintain your place on the DPS chart. Your weak blows are the stuff of ridicule and angsty blog posts. The Death Knight next to you merely smirks at your DPS, his condescending unibrow peering at you from within his dark, dark helmet of angst. Try as you might, you can barely generate a cooling wind as you struggle to perform for your raid leader.

And then you blow wings. Suddenly, your damage is the stuff of legend! With those golden heralds of power and magnificence unfurling from your broad, manly shoulders, there is no enemy who can stand before you! You speak in all exclamation points! Women and men in Leia-costumes hurl themselves at your feet, while you swat away weaksauce Rogues and OP Warlocks with the barest of effort! Ghostcrawler is forced to resign, offering you the ultimate power in World of Warcraft design! You are fantastic!

And then it's over, so very, very much too soon. You are left to wait until your next cooldown is up to once again recapture that former glory, and remember what it was like to be the quarterback.

Okay, I exaggerate. But the idea that cooldown use increase your performance should be obvious. They don't put a spell in your Spellbook because they don't want you to use it. (Well, they rarely do so, anyway.) But cooldown management is a challenge for every raider. While a lot of folks have their cooldown management well under hand, there's still plenty of folks out there who could use some handy tips.

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Filed under: Ready Check (Raiding)

Activision exec: Videogames will eclipse other entertainment

Activision-Blizzard exec Mike Griffith also made a showing at last week's CES, crowing about an industry that he and his company are heading towards the top of. He said to a crowd there that videogames would "eclipse" "movies, recorded music and TV" as forms of entertainment in the future. He claimed that media such as films and music were passive, and that games are moving ever closer to becoming "a legitimate story-telling medium that rivals feature films."

Which all seems true, except that it's coming from someone who stands to make a lot of money off of just that happening. Still, for all of the bluster of Activision-Blizzard's hotshots, they've got a few of the most popular franchises in gaming behind them -- Blizzard (of course), the Call of Duty franchise, and Guitar Hero, which has made over a billion dollars for Activision. Especially in a time of declining CD sales, Griffith's words ring truer than ever.

But let's not forget, of course, that you can't have great stories without great storytellers, and the folks at Blizzard are definitely that. For all of Activision's bragging, they can't forget that these franchises, all of them, came from strong and talented studios -- Call of Duty was crafted by Infinity Ward, Guitar Hero by Harmonix, and obviously all of Blizzard's properties were put together by the company formerly known as Silicon and Synapse. Griffith can brag that his media is taking over the world, but we hope Activision doesn't forget who helped them get there.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Economy, Making money

Echoes of War music set out now

Blizzard has released the Echoes of War music set we posted about a while back, and they've got a nice new site to go along with it. The site features a trailer of what you'll hear on the CDs (and the included DVD, which has a feature length documentary, among other interviews and features): music from all of Blizzard's universes, from World of Warcraft to Diablo III. Pretty awesome. We originally said there'd be 70 minutes, but it turns out there's over 90 minutes of music to go around here. At $50 for the whole set and $30 for just the CDs, it might be a little pricey to pick up yourself, but it would make a great gift this holiday for a Warcraft fan (hopefully one close to you, so you can burn the CDs after you buy them, too).

And even if you don't want to buy the set, the new site has sample tracks which are definitely worth listening to. Blizzard gets a lot of praise for their art design and gameplay, and while their music isn't the most memorable in videogaming (Mario's theme, Final Fantasy's music, or the Zelda tunes are probably much easier to recollect for most gamers), all of Blizzard's tunes are definitely epic enough to fit nicely in the games they're written for.

[via WoW LJ]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances

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