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Posts with tag GCD

Encrypted Text: Combat and the GCD

t15
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.

The three rogue specs share many common mechanics. They all follow the same formula: generate combo points, use finishers, activate your cooldowns when they come up. The real differences between the specs only show up once you start playing them. Assassination is well-known for being more relaxed and favors pooling energy over spamming attacks. Subtlety rogues have a knack for massive burst damage via their complex cooldown, Shadow Dance.

Combat is arguably the simplest of the three specs, and is often characterized by its fast-paced gameplay and high actions-per-minute rate. Adrenaline Rush, which has been combat's signature cooldown for years, is designed to let you push buttons even faster. Assassination's Vendetta lets you hit harder, subtlety's Shadow Dance lets you use openers, and Adrenaline Rush doubles the numbers of buttons you can push. Unfortunately for combat, the concept of "push more buttons" can't scale forever.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Five macros every rogue should know

macros
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.

Macros are designed to allow a player to combine commands and modifiers (targeting, non-GCD abilities) with regular abilities in a quick and efficient manner. Macros can't make decisions for you. There is no macro that will automatically switch between Mutilate and Dispatch for you on the fly. There is no macro that will use Revealing Strike when it fades and Sinister Strike otherwise. Macros aren't intelligent – they have to be told what to do.

Pure classes tend to have fewer abilities than hybrids, and after the merging of spells like Envenom and Eviscerate, our action bars are sparse. The average raiding rogue might only need a dozen or so abilities per encounter, and that's including defensive cooldowns. A typical assassination rotation consists of Mutilate or Dispatch, Rupture and Envenom, and a few Feints or Cloaks per fight. Rogue macros tend to focus less on day-to-day rotation assistance and more on strategic abilities and cooldowns.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Examining our tier 15 set bonuses

rogue tier 15
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.

The Nine-Tail Battlegear is our new tier 15 raid set, and it's beautiful. The nine-tailed fox is a famous Asian mythological creature. The animal is known in many cultures for its trickery and cunning, both of which are famous rogue attributes. They're also known for frequently running from hunters and their pets, which is another one of our pastimes. I think that our opponents are likely to find the sharp-toothed fox snout on our helms to be quite imposing.

Our tier 15 set bonuses are very interesting, and much more exciting than our tier 14 bonuses. I've never been a fan of the simple "Ability X does Y% more damage" set bonuses. Our two-piece bonus is unlike anything I've seen before, and our four-piece bonus has already been the topic of much discussion between the rogue community and the developers. All three rogue specs are receiving sizable buffs going into patch 5.2, and with some fresh new set bonuses to look forward to, exploring the Throne of Thunder should be a good time.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Examining the tempo of our rotations

rogue tempo
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.

In StarCraft, my favorite RTS, there's a common term known as APM. APM stands for actions per minute, which refers to how many commands a player is able to enter per minute. If you have fast fingers and you're incredibly skilled, your APM can soar into the hundreds with your flurry of multiple commands per second. If you're an average player, you will probably stay under 100 APM for the majority of each game. APM isn't a direct indicator of player skill but rather a measurement to describe the way the player is interacting with the game via a keyboard and mouse.

The tempo of our rogue rotations is a topic that I love exploring. Subtlety feels fast to players, while assassination rogues often complain that their rotation is slow. By applying the concept APM and a few other input metrics, we can try to quantify exactly what makes a rotation seem fast or slow. Rogue rotations are constantly evolving between expansions and even as we acquire gear, and math can help us examine the net effect of these changes.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Lichborne: The DPS presence issue in Mists of Pandaria

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

In Cataclysm, there were many hot-button death knight balance issues, but one of the biggest was Unholy Presence vs. Frost Presence. Frost Presence fell out of vogue very quickly in Cataclysm, since all DPSers found themselves running into a global cooldown wall pretty quickly. We were producing resources so fast, we needed the 1-second GCD provided by Unholy Presence to have any hope of spending them all.

This issue has come to the forefront even more in Mists of Pandaria beta testing. This is because a loss of runic power generating talents have put the dual wielding frost style at a disadvantage, enough that it needs the extra runic power regeneration from Frost Presence. Unfortunately, when it loses the 1-second GCD of Unholy Presence, it starts to stutter, with many testers using the dread descriptor "clunky" to describe the resulting rotation. Part of this could be trying to adjust going from Unholy Presence to Frost Presence, admittedly, but it feels like a problem.

If you want to see a comparison, switching to two-handed frost provides it. Thanks to the improved runic power generation on Might of the Frozen Wastes, two-handed frost can use Unholy Presence with ease, and its rotation plays nice and smoothly, very close to what it is on live.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Testing notes and goals for death knights in the Mists of Pandaria beta

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

With the Mists of Pandaria beta test under way, I'm reminded of an interesting discussion I've seen going around the death knight community. Coming out of Wrath, we were most definitely seen as overpowered, and starting a few patches later, we started off on a balance roller coaster we've never quite disembarked from, getting nerfs, de-nerfs, tweaks, and even the removal or redesign of entire spells and systems.

Some argue that we could have avoided this by being more thorough and honest while beta testing in Wrath. By not only advocating for what we needed but being honest that some stuff (such as, say, the stun effect on Death and Decay) was overpowered, we might have avoided a lot of heartache down the road.

Whether you believe this is true or not, it does highlight the importance of beta testing. Blizzard certainly has its own internal numbers and testing methods, but for those of us lucky enough to get hands on in the beta, this is our chance to help make sure our class gets through this great period of balancing. This week, let's look at a few things we'll need to focus on when we finally get those invites and get to beta test our death knights.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Is it time to kill the global cooldown?

OK, so I was playing some Diablo III beta last night. Since this is a site that covers World of Warcraft, I'll just say that the little snippet I managed to play through before passing out was such that I could describe it in superlatives. But one of the things I noticed when playing was that the barbarian class plays absolutely perfectly to me. There are attacks that gain you the resource (fury) that you then spend on larger, more punishing attacks. You can spam those fury-gathering attacks; there's nothing limiting you from making them. You could hammer the keyboard all night if you wanted to. And it felt good.

This is when I realized that I hate the global cooldown. I guess it's double kudos to Blizzard that it got me to accept the global cooldown for seven years and then got me to despise it with another of its own games. Looking over the list of class abilities not affected by it, I find myself starting to wonder if it even serves a purpose anymore. Or is it just a holdover from the game's original design?

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, BlizzCon, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Lichborne: A look at the death knight tier 13 set bonuses

Thassarian
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

We got a nice bit of weekend news a few days ago, as Zarhym unveiled the tier 13 class set bonuses for all to see. Tier 13, of course, will come to us with patch 4.3. They've definitely provoked a lot of discussion and debate, and the death knight bonuses are no exception. Unfortunately, the early consensus on the status of the bonuses leans toward "failed experiment." After the break, we'll delve in a bit deeper and discuss how the bonuses fail and succeed.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Haste and spell hit issues in patch 4.0.1 and beyond


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights.

Patch 4.0.3 and the Cataclysm expansion are approaching quickly, and frankly, we're in pretty good shape right now. Yes, there are issues you can point at in almost every tree that could be just a little better, but honestly, most of them are pretty minor. We're really solidly set up for leveling (if you don't mind leveling in a tank spec), dungeon running, and even the first tier of raiding, and for now we can feel pretty secure about ourselves (or at least about our class).

That said, there are almost always improvements to be made, and I do want to take a little bit of time to talk about the issue of the unholy tree's complicated love-hate relationship with haste. Now, you're still going to be stacking and gemming strength as much as possible when you gear up. Strength is still king, don't get me wrong, and you'll always want to get your melee hit capped out. But after that, haste pretty much rules for the roost for unholy. It vaults past critical strike rating and leaves mastery somewhere two or three miles down the road, it's so good.

This isn't too much of a problem at first glance. It's arguably a little boring stacking one secondary stat over others, but that's more or less a reality of gearing up a DPS. It's very rare that two secondary stats share equal billing. We did have a problem with reaching the GCD cap early on in the beta, but the addition of a GCD reduction element to Unholy Presence fixed that pretty handily.

That said, there's still two big problems, one of which primarily affects unholy, the other of which affects all three trees.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Spiritual Guidance: Reforging, gemming and GCD tactics for 4.0.1 priests

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Sundays, Dawn Moore covers healing for disc and holy priests while simultaneously battling her shadow priest rival, Fox Van Allen. This week, Dawn has been practicing her peacock pose so she can challenge Fox in Wii yoga.

Now that Blizzard has announced when Cataclysm is being released, we finally know how long we've got left in Wrath of the Lich King to finish what we want to get done (or twiddle our thumbs and play more StarCraft 2). The past two weeks, I've talked about getting ready for patch 4.0.1, and since we've got a bit more time than I expected to cover Cataclysm healing, leveling and more before the release, I'm going to go ahead and tidy up the last of my 4.0.1 advice by updating my recommendations for priest gems, and tackling reforging. I'll be paying some specific attention to the soft haste cap and GCD (global cooldown) so you'll know how to stay min-maxed for the last two months of the expansion.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Lichborne: Unholy and the state of the Cataclysm beta talent trees


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly source for news, guides, tips and opinions on the death knight class.

With this week's Lichborne, I was hoping to have run a few heroic Cataclysm dungeons so I could report back to you on how death knights play through them -- but alas, it was not to be, as my beta client refuses to log in to the game without crashing. Luckily, there are plenty of things to discuss apart from that. This week, I'd like to discuss our talent trees as they currently are in the beta and where things are headed for us as the release date draws nearer.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

The Light and How to Swing It: Beating the GCD


Every Sunday, Chase Christian of The Light and How to Swing It invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. This week, we examine how do deal with our biggest limiting factor: the GCD.

Playing a holy paladin is a lot like participating in illegal street racing. We drive as fast as possible, have no respect for law or our fellow man, and we live our lives a quarter mile at a time. Well, at least the last part is true. We play our class one second at a time, with only a moment's time to process our raid's status before making our next move. We play in a GCD-capped environment: limited by the game's own internal pacing instead of our mana.

It's because we're already capable of casting as fast as possible that our multi-target healing suffers. Most other healers can increase their number of spells cast per second to boost their healing output, whereas we're limited by the fact that we can really only heal one person per second. There are some tricks we can use to beating this GCD limit, and therefore raise our output over simply mashing Holy Light for five minutes a time. Knowing how to work efficiently in these short, one-second windows will ensure you're healing every last bit possible.

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

Lichborne: Rune cooldowns, tank mastery, and Cataclysm

The devs have been speaking a little a bit about the new mastery system coming with Cataclysm, and while they've kept most of the specific numbers vague, there's been a surprising amount of information one can read between the lines about death knights. Of course, it started with the frost death knight stats. The stats were solidly DPS oriented, providing damage, haste, and runic power generation. This lead to two major concerns: What would frost tanks do for mastery? And for that matter, even DPS don't need runic power generation that much, considering we can only use so many frost strikes (or death coils for other specs) before we need to spend our runes anyway.

The Blues actually gave answers to these questions, answers that managed to both answer the question and provide a whole new level of speculation and questioning. On the question of the new runic power bonus, Ghostcrawler and Eyonix revealed that death knights would find their rotation less constrained by the global cool down and rune cool downs, and that changes such as that would make the runic power generation more desirable. On the tank front, they're actually being deliberately coy about what they have planned for death knight tanks, but they at least seem to know the issue's on the table.

This week, I figure it might fun to take a look at these statements and mull over some possible ways they might implement them.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Insider Trader: Gadgets for the modern Engineer


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Engineering has quite a few useful tools in addition to their famous repertoire of toys, but not every player knows how to make the most of them. There are many reasons for this, including:
  • Not being informed on the latest improvements. Consumables may be less cost-prohibitive, for example, than the last time you checked.
  • Believing the "Engineering is useless" hype that lingers from darker days, and feeling creatively blocked after an expensive and tedious leveling process.
  • Being an irrational yet strangely normal cooldown and consumable saving individual. Awkward Zombie illustrates the latter nicely, and we've talked about stingy cooldown use in the past.
This week, Insider Trader is going to discuss a handful of the Engineering tools that you really should be using to the fullest, and why.

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Filed under: Engineering, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Features, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions)

Patch 3.0.8 bug roundup

My favorite time of the patch day is here – looking at all the bugs! At the time of this writing, we're about six hours after the patch and the majority of bugs have been found. We've counted six of them, and will go over each and when the fix is expected after the break.

Obviously some are more important than others. The Wintergrasp bug that is currently crashing servers left and right needs to be fixed "nao," as people are clamoring about in trade channels. The game is nearly unplayable for most people.

Interestingly there are no bugs about missing mail or other missing items, nor are there reports of extreme lag and other difficulties (other than the severs crashing).

The full list of 3.0.8 bugs, and information about their status, after the break.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, News items, PvP, Death Knight

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