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Posts with tag Echoes-of-Doom

WoW, Casually: Top 5 casual improvements in 2008


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime.

2007 truly was the year of the casual, but 2008 continued the trend of Blizzard developers to make more content accessible for those of us with limited playtime. The biggest patches for us (and everyone else) were 2.4 and 3.0.2. And there was that little expansion that happened. Overall, there is more for us to do in less time. Here is my list of the top 5 WoW improvements for us this past year.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, WoW, Casually, Achievements

Blood Pact: Destruction, my guilty pleasure


If you've been reading my Blood Pact posts in the past, you might already be of the idea that I'm not a big fan of Destruction. I'll be the first to admit that it just doesn't suit my playing style. I really enjoy DoTs because I like being able to move around, which is why I was a huge fan of SL/SL before Patch 3.0.2 broke it. I like Demonology, too, because it takes a bit of strategy to play well if you choose to go the route of utility. But I've never liked Destruction. Spamming nukes and not having a pet out -- I raided with 0/21/40 before Echoes of Doom -- didn't feel right. I felt like a Mage in Warlock's clothing.

But let's get this out of the way before I get (Shadow)flamed. I understand that some of you enjoy Destruction. I know that some of you like playing with Fire and Shadow. That's cool. I want to play with it, too. So I did. This whole week, all I did was muck around with a full Destruction build that went all the way up to Chaos Bolt, casting alien-like nukes, jets of fire, and burning things up. So how did it go? I surprised myself... because I actually had fun.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, (Warlock) Blood Pact

[UPDATED] Paladin changes in patch 3.0.3


Yeah, yeah, I know. You're sick of reading about Paladins. Don't shoot the messenger, I'm just here bearing some news and a couple of opinions. You can always skip down to the the next post, anyway. For those Paladin lovers (and even loathers), Patch 3.0.3 brings about some pretty interesting changes to the class. We got a lot more changes than other classes, but then again we've been getting a lot of attention lately, haven't we?

First, the bad news. We knew most of the nerfs since they showed up in the Beta a while back. Well, most of those nerfs made it live to Patch 3.0.3, so let's get this over with quickly so we can move on to the good news. Yes, there's actually good news for Paladins this patch. Seals all get nerfed to varying degrees, the general idea being that they no longer deal as much damage either as a Seal or as a Judgement. Don't ask me for the math, you can check out Boubouille's detailed notes on MMO Champion for the details. All Seals have been nerfed, period. Ouch.

[UPDATE: Thanks to Turkeyspit who reminded me about the change to Judgement of Light, which now awesomely affects spells and not just melee attacks. I told you this was a good Patch for us.]

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Talents

Paladins to receive some Blizzard love


Reader VyseV1 took some time off from lurking on the official forums to point us in the direction of a post where Ghostcrawler responds to some Paladin concerns... with love. Alright, I'm exaggerating, but at this point, after the class has been dealt some severe nerfs, his responses are more than encouraging. In particular, he mentions that the eventual plan is to put Divine Shield and Avenging Wrath on the same 30 second cooldown, indicating that the Forbearance hotfix was a mere band-aid.

Ghostcrawler also mentions that Divine Shield's attack speed penalty -- a remnant of the days when Paladins largely got majority of damage from auto-attacks -- will be revised to a reduction in total damage done. This means that Sacred Duty will likely be reworked to accommodate this change. One of the more interesting points that he brought up applies to all mana-based classes but is great news for Retribution Paladins who have paltry mana pools: Blizzard will be changing mana drain effects to take away a percentage of total mana instead of a flat number.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Forums

Breakfast Topic: A knock on knockbacks

The game-changing Echoes of Doom patch brought in a slew of new abilities and some of them included this nifty little feature called 'knockback', which effectively knocks back enemy players and NPCs. It's a whole lot of fun, particularly if you're knocking them off the bridge in Dun Baldar. I've been on the nasty receiving end of a knockback that sent me to my death in Eye of the Storm. I think it's a lot of fun, and it really does create some interesting conundrums in Arenas.

Of course, not everyone is thrilled by them. Our very own Allison Robert, bear tank extraordinaire, has torn out about half her hair (poor Allie!) in frustration from knockbacks messing with tanking. She implores you to use these abilities with restraint for the sake of her sanity. It's a level-headed request that Blizzard hears. They've recently hinted at new Glyphs that will remove the knockback effect from certain spells such as Blast Wave, Typhoon, and Thunderstorm.

How's your experience with knockback effects? Have you used it to kill enemies in Battlegrounds? Used it to escape some pesky Rogue slicing and dicing your butt? Maybe you've even used it in *gasp* an instance and rearranged the mobs that the tank so painstakingly positioned through the pull. How have you been (ab)using knockbacks? What's your take on the new mechanic? Yay? Nay? Art-fay?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

The Light and How to Swing It: Uncle


Uncle.

I cry uncle.

Please, Blizzard, no more. I've been extremely understanding of the nerfs done to the Paladin class as a whole, intended to reduce the so-called "dominance" of Retribution in PvP. I've always said Blizzard was doing the right thing and was on the right track towards balancing the class. I celebrated the fact that Paladins were actively tuned and assessed -- it was a refreshing change of pace. When nerfs were done to the class, I supported it because I valued game balance.

But now this. I'm tired. I'm broken. This latest nerf -- intended for Retribution but affects the entire class -- has brought me to my knees. Blizzard has found a way to undermine Faith, and I no longer feel the comfort and safety of my Divine Shield of naiveté. In fact, right now I feel quite vulnerable with Forbearance, and the weight is quite heavy upon my shoulders. Right now, I just feel really disillusioned, disappointed, and lost.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Breakfast Topic: The month of the Lich King


It's November, the onset of the cool months, the time when winter's chill begins its fast approach. In less than two weeks, the World of Warcraft will be transformed completely with the arrival of one of the most anticipated games of the year. We've been given a teaser through the game-changing Echoes of Doom, but most of the good stuff is in Northrend. It's an entire new continent with more quests, more mobs to kill, ten more levels, and one totally badass bad guy we eventually need to kill.

There will be midnight launches all over the United States and select countries all over the world. Some of you have already pre-ordered, some will be lining up at the stores, while a few will wait out the initial rush of players who will be needing a bigger boat. Are you excited? How are you playing the game these last few days of The Burning Crusade? Are there things you wish to accomplish before Northrend opens up? Like reach Level 70, maybe? Well, you have about two weeks. Get hopping. The weather's about to get really cold.

Filed under: Events, Breakfast Topics, Wrath of the Lich King

Totem Talk: Elemental, my dear Watson

So, what's the score with Elemental as a spec? Why, Mister Rossi, have you been so assiduously avoiding any discussion of it?

Well, in part it's because I don't really like playing as an elemental shaman. It's a personal preference issue: when I'm DPS, I like to be up in mob faces, not standing back casting spells. My default spec for when I'm not enhancement is restoration, if only because I seem to be able to keep people alive fairly well with that spec and usually healing is at a premium. But I would have no difficulty in admitting that not only am I not particularly enthused with elemental (unlike Mike Schramm, one of our big elemental boosters) I'm also not very good at playing one. So speccing elemental this week and testing out the spec was to some degree like asking Wayne Gretsky to go figure skating: sure, the guy can skate, and skate well, but he's really not known for that particular kind of skating. Still, I did it, and I have to say that as is always the case when I do it I found the spec much less agonizing to play than I expected. It's actually pretty fun. (Yes, I use basically the same gear as I do when I go resto now, which means my crit sucks, but I'm not going to blow all my badges on elemental gear just to test the spec.)

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Expansions, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Wrath of the Lich King

Scattered Shots: Autocast bugs and other animal handling issues in 3.0.2

I shall call him Squishy, and he shall be mine. And he shall be my Squishy.
Welcome to Scattered Shots, where Daniel Whitcomb loves his Hunter Judgement, but wishes he got the cool looking shoulders too.

So between 3.0.2, the Scourge Invasion, and Hallow's End, my Hunter's seen a lot of play as I've been going after the title and the undead armor and playing with all the new changes on a live server and all, and in that time, I've had some chance to see how stuff works out when it's thrown into the crucible of live server playing. Most of my observations have ended up focusing around pets, which is probably to be expected. After all, they've changed quite a bit. Here's what's I've learned from 3.0.2 in the last few weeks about managing your pet:

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

Arcane Brilliance: Mage PvP post-patch 3.0.2



Each week, Arcane Brilliance delivers a serious burst of Mage content, a burst that can even out-damage a Druid's HoTs. How, you ask? Hax. Lots and lots of hax. What, you thought Arcane Brilliance was powerful enough to out DPS a Druid's heals legitimately? Sadly no. Arcane Brilliance cheats. Arcane Brilliance cheats hard.

Edit: Ok, Arcane Brilliance is lying. There are no mods that will allow Mages to out DPS the instant-cast HoTs of the most mobile class in the game. No matter how long we chase that cheetah around that pillar. Please excuse Arcane Brilliance while it casts Invisibility and goes into the corner to cry.


Though I enjoy burning down raid bosses as much as the next Mage (especially now that the raid bosses in question are so much easier to burn down), I make no secret about the fact that my first love has always been burning down other players. When patch 3.0.2 landed so forcefully upon our heads, bearing with it a plethora of new and revamped spells and talents, I have to admit that my first burning question was not so much "how will this help me down Kil'jaeden," as it was "how will this help me brutally slaughter the next Warlock I stumble across?"

Before the patch, Mage PvP could be distilled down to a couple of absolute truths. The first of these was: Spec Frost. The second was: You will lose to Warlocks, Druids, Priests, Hunters, and Rogues, and only reliably beat Warriors one on one. PvP was a known quantity. We knew based upon the matchup what our chances were, we knew our strengths and limitations, and we knew which spec worked the best (cough...17/0/44).

The patch turned all of that on its head. What spells work now? What talents should we be taking? Are we better or worse off now than we were two weeks ago? Join me after the break and we'll see where we stand.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Features, Classes, Talents, Buffs, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena

Voidwalker tanks Illidan, almost


Step aside, hunter pets. There's a new raid tank in town: Voidwalkers. The guild Hexed from Dragonblight-US got a little bored raiding the old fashioned way with all of the nerfs that have gone in, what with Killy J down already, so they decided to do things a little differently. They pulled out a Voidwalker and sent it a-tankin'.

Through liberal use of Demonic Empowerment (and its associated threat bug) and their awesome healers, Mister Voidwalker successfully tanked the Priestess mob in the Illidari Council encounter and most of Illidan himself. An incident with Parasites caused a little chaos, which ultimately spelled the voidwalker's demise. Illidan hits juuust a little too hard to live through a few of the healers scrambling away from parasites. Even if it had 23,000 HP.

It was also mentioned in the e-mail to us here at WoW Insider that they used the Voidwalker to tank the first three bosses in Mount Hyjal as well. I think even a baby kitten could tank the first three bosses of Mount Hyjal nowadays, but using a Voidy for it is still pretty dang cool. I hope to see more off the wall stuff like this before Wrath launches, so if you have it, please send it in to us!

Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Wrath of the Lich King

Totem Talk: Echoes of Doom Restoration review


Last week we talked Enhancement. This week, it's Restoration's turn as we move through patch 3.0.2, ward off angry zombies and get ready for Wrath of the Lich King. Last week I was hesitant to talk about glyphs, but it's clear that you guys want to talk about them, so we'll do that too. First off, behold in all his cobbled together glory my orc shaman, wearing a miz of Karazhan, PvP, badge and heroic gear (with the exception of a blue mail chestplate from a quest) - wearing this gear I have successfully healed heroics, Headless Horseman attempts (but let us be honest, the new DPS and tanking abilities make that fight a complete joke at 70), and a variety of PuG raids including a relatively successful Black Temple PuG.

Right now, I'd say Restoration is a powerful healing spec, but the problem is, it's hard to tell how powerful when all the content has been reduced to the point where fights that used to be hard can now just be muscled through. Prince Malchezzar, already a pushover once you're in Tier 5 or better gear, died so fast on my most recent Kara run that I barely had time to cast a few Riptides. Phase 2? Oh, yeah, that already happened? This makes the effects of the downranking and potion changes on mana efficiency rather difficult to determine as we progress forward. For now, I have no mana issues whatsoever, because everything dies before I can even look crosseyed at my mana bar.

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Recruit-a-Friend free levels restored (if all goes well)


Tipster vpr pointed our way to the forums where Blizzard poster Orlyla acknowledges the issue about Patch 3.0.2 removing the levels that could be granted from the Recruit-a-Friend program and says that the issue is being addressed by today's maintenance. It's a reassuring and appropriate response to the issue which makes up for Game Master Issuntril's initial unsympathetic "sorry for the inconvenience" remark.

As many of you readers pointed out in a related post, Blizzard could open themselves up to a potential class action lawsuit if the levels aren't restored. The free levels gained are part of the appeal of the Recruit-a-Friend program or product, and is one that I suspect really gets a lot of conversions. Of course, Orlyla is keeping his (or her... you never know with these Blizzard people...) fingers crossed, too, saying that the levels should be working fine once the servers are back up "if all goes well". As Dan pointed out a couple of times, all has not been going well in Azeroth lately.

I'm hoping to see this issue fixed, and even though some of you guys have expressed disapproval of the free levels feature, I personally think it's a great and much-needed way to reach the endgame quickly. I already have several 70s, I seriously don't want to go through the pain of leveling through the same zones all over again. Some people might enjoy that, but I don't. I just wish I actually had friends to recruit -- pretty much all of them already play the game!

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard, News items

Tuesday Morning Post: The Headless Horseman burned down my server

Happy Hallow's End, everyone! So it's been one week since the Echoes of Doom patch hit live servers. It's been a lot of fun playing around with all the news toys, if you can actually log on. Servers have been unstable across the world, and even those that allow people on have been having tons of problems. My own server has been hitting the instance limit, disallowing the creation of new dungeons, thus preventing people from holding raids. Some people are unable to log on to certain characters on their account. It's a bit of a mess in some quarters.

With the downtime from 5 AM - 11 AM PDT this morning, we can hope that a solution is forthcoming. It's not quite enough to apply a new patch, but hopefully Blizzard is using this downtime as an opportunity to kick start the servers a little bit.

Still, once you get past the server problems, this patch has been pretty enjoyable for the most part, although some people are starting to think it may be a bit too easy. If you're still getting into the swing of the patch, this is the perfect time to browse WoW Insider and check out all of our guides and information about the new features in the 3.0.2 patch. Here's some highlights of the past week's news from the patch and beyond:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Wrath of the Lich King

Alchemists can train Mixology in Patch 3.0.2


The Gathering Professions got some undocumented love in Patch 3.0.2. But what about the Crafting Professions? If you scour the patch notes, the only thing you find about professions is a brief note about Inscription being in game and how it affects enchanting. Unlike last year, there was no Professions panel at BlizzCon 2008 and they only briefly mentioned professions in the Q&A session.

After much research, the only new ability I was able to find that is similar to what the gathering professions got is Mixology, which Alchemists can train at the Master any Alchemy Trainer. in either Honor Hold or Thrallmar. Our Alex Ziebart and friends tested it out in the beta and determined an approximate 25% bonus when drinking flasks and elixirs. It's a nice little bonus and I'm happy to have it, I just wish the patch notes had told me it was in the Echoes of Doom patch rather than having to find out from a helpful commenter.

Are the other crafting professions getting abilities in Wrath? The Q&A panel said they were going to make sure all professions were valuable in the endgame. Does that mean more Mixology and Lifeblood-like abilities or other self-only benefits? What abilities do you think the other crafting professions should get?

Filed under: Alchemy, Patches, Buffs

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