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Posts with tag Global-Cooldown

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: 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: 3 death knight tanking changes to watch out for in Mists of Pandaria

Lichborne 3 Death Knight tanking changes to watch out for in Mists of Pandaria
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.

On the surface, blood death knights seem relatively unchanged in Mists of Pandaria. With Bone Shield and Vampiric Blood off talents and back to being blood specializations, we have our usual toolkit in place. Death Strike still serves as our main source of damage absorption.

However, an expansion always brings with it unexpected changes, and there are a couple subtle little tweaks that may affect blood tank death knights more than you realize. Overall, of course, it's looking like we have at least another month of the Mists beta to go, so any of this could change at any time. Still, it's always nice to have the heads up. In the end, the large changes are the ones you see coming and the ones you can easily adapt to, but sometimes it's the ones you don't expect that can throw you off balance.

Today we'll look at a few of those changes, how they may affect your tanking style, and what Blizzard may or may not do before the expansion goes live.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: The DPS presence issue in Mists of Pandaria

Image
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

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 BlizzCon death knight wishlist

BlizzCon crystal ball
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.

BlizzCon
's just around the corner, and while we discussed bandaid fixes last week, the recent winding down of the class feedback threads and the existence of a class talent panel at BlizzCon itself suggests that we may be getting so more long-term information soon, if not on the death knight class, on the general focus of class development in general. With that in mind, this week I wanted to discuss some of the possible long-term changes the death knight class could use to keep it fresh, relevant, and fun to play in patch 5.0 and beyond, some of which we might just expect to hear about or ask questions about this coming weekend.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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: 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

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)

WWI '08 Death Knight Demo: Unholy spells and talents


Unholy was originally touted as the PvP DPS tree. What it appears to do rather well, though, are diseases and minions. If your vision of a Death Knight is close to a Diablo 2 Necromancer type, leading an army of undead minions and spreading plague and exploding corpses across the land, Unholy is probably going to be the tree for you. Of course, your crowd control is probably going to be a little peeved at you with all those DoTs, but that's what AE spells like Death and Decay and Unholy Blight are for, right?

Unholy also seems to include quite a bit of utility, including the ability to resist lots of spells and status effects, and some debilitating debuffs, so it could be called a utility tree of sorts as well. Here's a list of some of the Unholy spells and talents available in the WWI Demo:

Unholy Spells:

Death Gate
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
10 second cast, 15 minute cooldown
Description: Returns you to Ebon Hold (Note: Since Ebon Hold is not yet implemented, in the demo it returned you to Tirion Fordring).

Death Grip
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
Instant cast, 35 second cooldown.
30 yard range
Description: Harness the unholy energy that surrounds and binds all matter, drawing the target toward the Death Knight and forcing the enemy to attack the Death Knight for 3 seconds.

Plague Strike
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Blood Rune and 1 Unholy Rune
Instant cast
Melee range
Description: A vicious strike that deals weapon damage plus 37 and plagues the target, dealing 350 shadow damage over 12 seconds.

Raise Dead
Requires level 56
Costs 2 Unholy Runes
Instant cast
30 yard range
Description: Raises a ghoul from a corpse to fight by your side. if the target corpse is not humanoid, Corpse Dust must be supplied to complete the spell.

Death Strike
Requires level 58
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
Description: A deadly attack that deals 60% weapon damage. if the target dies within 6 sec and yields exp or honor, Death Strike heals the Death Knight for 406 damage.

Death and Decay
Requires level 60
Costs 1 Unholy Rune, 1 Blood Rune, 1 Frost Rune.
30 second cooldown
30 yard range
Description: 100 shadow damage modified by Attack Power is inflicted every 2 seconds to all targets in the affected area for 10 seconds. Has a chance to cause affected targets to cower in fear

Degeneration
Requires level 62
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
Description: Instantly attack the target, dealing 60% weapon damage and inflicting a disease dealing 91 damage over 21 seconds. Any existing heal over time spells on the target become corrupted, dramatically increasing the damage done by the disease and removing the healing effect. Stacks up to 3 times.

Unholy Presence
Requires level 70
Description: Imbues the Death Knight with unholy fury, increasing attack speed by 15% and reducing the global cooldown on all Death Knight abilities by 0.5 seconds.

Anti-Magic Shell
Requires level 75
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
20 second cooldown
Description: Surrounds the Death Knight in an anti-magic shell, absorbing 75% of the damage dealt by the next harmful spell. Damage absorbed by anti-magic shell energizes the Death Knight with additional runic power. Lasts 5 seconds.

Army of the Dead
Requires level 80
Costs 2 Unholy Runes
10 minute cooldown
Description: Summons an entire legion of your best ghouls to fight by your side.

Unholy Talents:

Lichborne
Requires 10 talent points
Instant cast, 5 minute cooldown
Description: Draw upon unholy energy to become undead for 30 seconds. While undead, you are immune to charm, fear, and sleep effects, and your horrifying visage causes melee attacks to have an additional 25% chance to miss you (Will of the Forsaken, eat your heart out!).

Corpse Explosion
Requires 20 talent points
Requires Runic Power
Instant cast
20 yard range
Description: Unleashes all available runic power to cause a targeted corpse to explode for 3.6 nature damage per 10 runic power to all enemies within 20 yards.

Improved Corpse Explosion
Requires 25 talent points, Corpse Explosion
Costs up to 2 talent points
Description: Exploded corpses cause 25% additional damage and have a 50% chance per point to cast a disease on enemy targets that deals 36% of the explosion Damage over 9 seconds.

Magic Suppression
Requires 25 talent points.
Costs up to 5 talent points
Description: You take 1% less damage from all magic per talent point. In addition, your anti-magic shell absorbs an additional 5% of spell damage.

Anti-Magic Zone
Requires 30 talent points, 5 points in Magic Suppression
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
Instant cast, 2 minute cooldown
20 yard range
Description: Places a large, static, anti-magic zone which can protect any party members inside it. The anti-magic zone absorbs 75% of the damage dealt by the next harmful spell. absorbs up to 10000 damage. lasts 30 seconds.

Crypt Fever
Requires 35 talent points
Costs up to 5 talent points
Description: Your diseases also cause crypt fever, which reduces an enemies attributes by 1% per talent point. Crypt Fever lasts for 18 seconds and can stack up to 3 times

Ebon Plaguebringer
Requires 40 talent points, 5 points in Crypt Fever
Costs up to 3 points.
Description: Your Crypt Fever morphs into Ebon Plague, which increases vulnerability to magic by 1% per talent point in addition to reducing attributes by 5%. Ebon Plague lasts for 18 seconds and can stack up to 3 times.

Summon Gargoyle
Requires 40 talent points
Requires Runic Power
Instant Cast, 5m cooldown
30 yard range
Description: A gargoyle flies into the area and bombards the target with shadow damage modified by the Death Knight's attack power. Persists for 1 second per 8 runic power up to 1 minute.

Unholy Blight
Requires 50 talent points
Requires Runic Power
Instant Cast, 1 minute cooldown
Description: A creeping swarm of unholy insects surrounds the caster for a 10 yard radius. all enemies caught in the swarm take 34 damage and are plagued with a disease that can stack up to 3 times. persists for 1s per 10 runic power.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, News items, Expansions, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

Fear Ward and Spell Haste for facemelters

Yesterday's announcements brought two big notes that will be affecting Shadow Priests. The Fear Ward change and the fact that Spell Haste will affect the global cooldown.

The Fear Ward change, like I mentioned in my last post, is primarily a convenience change for PvE. Reupping Fear Ward every 3 minutes when you need to keep putting Shadowform back on afterwards is annoying, and a large mana drain over long encounters. However, it wasn't crippling, so not a very big deal. What this will help the most is PvP, especially arenas. Having an arena match last longer than three minutes isn't unlikely, so you will probably want to put Fear Ward back up at some point throughout the match. Being required to drop Shadowform to do it is sort of a pain, considering both the loss of damage and the mitigation Shadowform supplies you with, arguably one of the Shadow Priest's strongest defenses.

The Spell Haste change is what has me a little excited. I'll admit right away, I haven't crunched any numbers. I'm notoriously bad at breaking down raw stats, I usually just eyeball my gear and take a guess. I'm right or pretty close more often than not but don't hate me too much if my guesses here are completely wrong. If you want to see some raw numbers, you can probably check them out over at the ShadowPriest.com forum.

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Filed under: Priest, Patches, News items, PvP, Raiding, Buffs, Arena

Mashing buttons can cause cooldown problems

Ever since patch 2.3, a number of players have been having a lot of trouble with their instant abilities, especially in PvP. They're finding they get constant "spell is not ready yet" and "target is out of range" errors whenever they mash their buttons. The main source of this problem has to do with a change to the way your computer communicates to the server what your character is doing. It's not very easy to explain, but I'll do my best here. First, I'll explain how the change affects longer spell casts, and then afterward look at how it affects instants.

Here's how things worked in patch 2.2:
  1. I press a button to cast a spell or activate an ability.
  2. My computer says, "Hey! Realm server! David wants to cast Frostbolt!"
  3. The realm server says "Okay!" 300 milliseconds or so later (this round-trip communication time is your "latency").
  4. My computer then starts a 1.5 second global cooldown, and shows me the Frostbolt casting bar.
  5. I cannot use any other abilities from the time I press the button to the time my Frostbalt casting finishes, unless I manually cancel the spell (as with a /stopcasting macro), or unless the server tells my computer, "Okay the spell is finished already!" or "Whoops! That spell got interrupted!"
  6. Either way, without a manual interruption on my part, I'm waiting on the server to tell me the outcome of the first spell before I can tell it to start casting the second.
Here's how things work in patch 2.3:
  1. I press a button to cast a spell or activate an ability.
  2. My computer says, "Hey! Realm server! David wants to cast Frostbolt!"
  3. My computer goes ahead and starts the global cooldown for me, assuming the Frostbolt will succeed.
  4. The realm says "Okay!" 300ms later, and the casting bar shows up.
  5. Alternately, if there's a problem, then the realm says "No way, silly! David isn't finished casting Fireball yet! Wait a moment to try again, and cancel that global cooldown while you're at it!"
  6. Either way, I can send my commands to the server whenever I want, as long as my global cooldown isn't currently active -- and if it gets activated too early, I just have to wait for the server to tell my computer to cancel it before casting another ability.
Sounds fine, right? Before, we had to wait for latency between our computers and the realms in order for any spell to go through, but now we just have to wait if we press a button too early.

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Filed under: Rogue, Patches, Odds and ends, PvP

Don't mash in 2.3!

Your character can be less effective if you mash buttons in 2.3, according to Altitis. You can also stop using the /stopcasting command in most macros.

In the 2.3 PTR patch notes, "client spell cast requests are now sent to the server even if your player is already casting another spell. This eliminates the need for /stopcasting in macros to compensate for latency."

What this means in English is that outside of global cooldown, your computer will try to send a new cast command to the server when you press a button, no matter what.

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Filed under: Patches, Odds and ends, Add-Ons

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