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Posts with tag Mists-Beta

Arcane Brilliance: Your mage's new spell rotations in Mists of Pandaria

Troll female mage
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we realize that everything we know is wrong, and learn how to make it right again.

Last time we had an expansion release, it was all about an actual Cataclysm, and when we made jokes about the end of the world and chaos descending and the impending apocalypse, those jokes were appropriate. This time around, we've got cuddly pandas and fun pet battles and ... I don't know ... Eastern philosophy? Jokes about impending apocalypses aren't as apt this time around.

Still, if any expansion has the potential to usher in mass chaos and confusion, Mists of Pandaria may be the one. Never before at any one time have our spellbooks and talent trees undergone such sweeping change. On Tuesday, the servers will go down, and when they come back up, the pre-expansion patch 5.0.4 will be in place (barring unforeseen maintenance mishaps), and everything we know about how to effectively wield magic will be completely different. Our current spell rotations will be gone, and we will need to go about the tricky business of learning our new spell rotations.

Which brings us to the reason I called you all together today. There's magical cake in the back of the room, and later on we'll be doing trust falls with warlocks where they fall and we hit them in the face with an Arcane Barrage. But for right now, our agenda has only one item on it: our new spell rotations. It's time we learned them.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Mists of Pandaria

Arcane Brilliance: Mists of Pandaria mage glyph guide

Blood Elf Female Mage
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we're talking glyphs and the mages who love them. Question: where do we keep our glyphs? Are they semi-permanent tattoos? Are they inscribed upon our clothing somewhere? Do we carry around a piece of paper with all our runes scrawled upon it? And if so, what happens to that scrap of paper when we forget to take it out of our pants before we run them through the laundry? The practical mechanics of inscription intrigue me.

As time marches forward, I find myself staring intently down the barrel of my wand at the approaching pandaren invasion, realizing with each passing moment that I am entirely unprepared. So much to cover! So little time. Good thing we can Alter and Warp time, right?

It's high time we discussed glyphs. I know Josh Myers previewed glyphs during my absence a few months back, but a whole lot has changed since then. This particular system has changed a bit from what we're used to. Gone are prime glyphs. Now it's just majors and minors. And the majors have been redesigned in an attempt to make them more situational and utilitarian, and this attempt seems to have been largely successful.

Instead of being forced to choose between damage increase glyph A and damage increase glyph B, you will now find yourself choosing the glyphs that appeal to you most or fit your playstyle best. Cookie-cutter, must-have glyphs are by and large a thing of the past, and I submit that this is a positive change.

Still, each spec will find that certain glyphs work better for them than others, and in the guide that follows, I will endeavor to advise you as best I can on which glyphs look most attractive for each school of mage.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Mists of Pandaria

Arcane Brilliance: Mists of Pandaria talent spec guide for mages

Arcane Brilliance Mists of Pandaria talent spec guide for mages
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we're looking at the overhauled talent system in Mists of Pandaria and figuring out which talent is best for killing warlocks. My initial impression is all of them. All of the talents are good for killing warlocks.

So with the expansion less than two months away and patch 5.0 looming on the "any week now" precipice, it's time we stopped messing around. I promise to stop skipping weeks of this column for trivial things like "family," or "crippling work schedule," or "violent and possibly terminal illnesses," because, damn. The time is short. The end of the end of the world is nigh, and the coming panda apocalypse is nearly upon us. We need to get down to the nitty-gritty here, guys.

Look forward to some extra mage content in between Arcane Brilliances as we ramp up in the coming weeks, in the form of basic class 101 guides for all the stuff you need to know before the expansion hits. I'll save the Saturday columns for more detailed analysis.

This week, we're wading neck deep into the new talent system, since it's probably the single biggest change our class is undergoing in Mists. It's a bona fide shock to the system and a radical departure from the status quo, and believe me when I say that it will take all of us some getting used to before it begins to feel even remotely normal.

The whole basis behind this talent system revamp is to eliminate cookie-cutter specs and provide us with six distinct choices between talents that serve roughly the same function as each other with slightly different mechanics. The idea is to provide freedom of choice by removing the need to pick the best talent at each tier. Each of the three choices at each tier is designed to be a good choice depending on playstyle, and no specific talent is supposed to provide measurably better DPS than another, so we can all hold hands, smoke the peace pipe, and pick whatever we like.

And now's the part where we all decide which of these equal talents are more equal than the others.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria: Druid Symbiosis updated (includes tables)

Mists of Pandaria Druid Symbiosis updated
The latest beta build includes the most recent changes to the druid Symbiosis spell. Symbiosis, as you may know, is essentially a spell swap between a druid and any other class. It's not done automatically, so if the druid is in a class-run raid group -- a group where there are no duplicate classes -- the druid can choose to give it to any raid team member.

In return for this generosity, the druid receives a spell back from the target, which appears on the druid's bars and is currently usable with all the usual restrictions of that spell, such as cooldown, range and similar.

The spell distribution follows after the break -- first, the spells that other classes receive from their druid friends.

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Mists of Pandaria Dungeon Journals and loot tables at Wowhead

All Mists of Pandaria Dungeon Journals and loot tables at Wowhead
Wowhead has all of the loot tables and Dungeon Journals for the raids and the 5-mans that are new to Mists of Pandaria. The journals are already in the latest patch, and Wowhead has them all up for reading if you don't have access to the beta.

Some of the loot highlights include: Does the globule attach to the ear via freezing to it, or is it sticky because of the rosin? /shrug

The Dungeon Journals for two new world bosses are there to peruse as well, but they don't include the loot tables. Head on over to Wowhead for the details on the MoP dungeons and loot. Remember that all facets of the beta are subject to change without notice.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Totem Talk: Restoration update and preparing for Mists

Totem Talk Restoration update, and preparing for Mists Tuesday
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and cohost of the For the Lore podcast), shows you how.

Did you miss me? I know I missed you! I know you were all super excited about the update to restoration shaman on the beta a couple of weeks ago. I was. We got some good information to mull over. Clarification on one of our new talents along with some numbers for estimated proc rate was a good starting point, and we even got our first glimpse of the tier 14 raid set bonuses. I still believe that the four-piece bonus needs to be revisited, because I think that it will wind up wasted on us for the most part. I'm holding out hope that we'll get an update sometime soonish.

That said, we haven't had a whole lot in the way of updates the last few weeks for restoration shaman. Things are starting to slow down, at least for right now. I'm guessing that will change as soon as more raid data gets parsed and verified. We'll see some tweaks, whether it's to spell coefficients or mana regeneration. While it's been slow, there has been at least some news and some blue responses to the current restoration position.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

5 things you need to know about Mogu'shan Palace

5 things you need to know about Mogu'shan Palace
So, the last time your friendly five things you need to know correspondent stopped by, it was to give you five pieces of useful information about the rollicking barrel of fun that is Stormstout Brewery and its emo sister dungeon Temple of the Jade Serpent. And now we're back, with the first of the level 87 dungeons: Mogu'shan Palace! Well, I say the "first"; you actually get Mogu'shan Palace at the same time as you get Shado-pan Monastery, but Mogu'shan is the easier of the two, in my book. I would argue that its also the more fun one of the pair.

As ever, this is not intended as a walk-through. It's more a set of tips so that you can head on into the dungeon armed with just enough knowledge to be dangerous. My aim is to let you explore the dungeon for yourself without spoiling your fun while still alerting you to some useful bits of information.

That's enough introducing -- let's get going! We've zoned in, and we're in a square room with some very fancy decoration. There are lots and lots of guys wandering around here. What do we do?

1. Look at your map! Um, yes. Most obvious advice ever? Well, sure, but the reason I'm saying it for this dungeon is that if you're there for a speed run, you can really skip a lot of trash. As long as you're careful about patrols, you really only need to take out about two packs of the seven-ish in the first room, for example. Navigation is a bit complicated in parts of this dungeon, and you can save yourself a lot of time and wiping by watching your map to see where your dungeon party are off to.

Oh, and after the first boss, head to the western side of the room. There's a crescent-shaped secret staircase that appears after you've looted the chest. Run down it, and the mobs will most likely give up attacking you and go back to arguing about which clan is the greatest. You can thank me later.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Arcane Brilliance: Weighing the level 90 mage talents

Rune of Power
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we're looking once again at the mage of the future. And just like the mage of the right now, the mage of the future needs two things in abundance: mana and spellpower. Fortunately, the mage of soon™ only has to get to level 90 to get a new way to gain both.

You've traversed the wilds of Pandaria. Your mage has decked himself out in shiny new quest reward greens that are better than the purples he farmed Deathwing for months to collect. You've killed X number of mobs, collected X number of inexplicably difficult-to-locate vital organs from those mobs and returned them to people with increasingly tough-to-reconcile reasons to want said organs, killing a potentially genocidal percentage of the warlock population along the way. Now, you're level 90.

Your reward is two new abilities. One is Alter Time, which we've already discussed at length. The other is entirely up to you. There are three new choices in your talent ladder to select from. They range from a fresh and infinitely more useful version of Mana Shield to a crazily improved buff for Evocation to a rune of wizardly sparklesauce that you place on the ground and then set up shop there, serving up magical deathfire to all customers forevermore, amen.

They sound quite different, but have one thing in common: You press a button, and you get mana and spellpower. I think we can all agree this is a button we want. The question is, which of those three buttons do we want the most? And the next question is, do we want any of them as our capstone talent?

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Mists of Pandaria

Gold sinks and entitlement in WoW

Gold Sinks and Entitlement in WoW
I recently published a news piece about the price hike of the Grand Expedition Yak from 60,000g to 120,000g in the Mists of Pandaria beta. I was not overly surprised by the reaction to the piece at first; I had expected something of an outcry, as there often is at the introduction of gold sink items.

But then I began thinking about why. Why do gold sinks promote such ire in the WoW community? I first approached the question from the angle that it's hard to earn that sort of gold. Whatever you think, for the beginning Auction House player, it is. It's hard to transform 500g into 120,000g. And it's hard to imagine that such a transformation would ever be feasible when you're the person with 500g across all their characters or even the person who's always sat at about 30,000g -- no more, no less -- despite having a go at playing the Auction House.

That latter one is me, by the way. I do try at playing the Auction House; I'm simply not very good at it or very dedicated! Worrying, really, when you consider I used to work for a hedge fund. I was managing real estate, in my defence.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Mists of Pandaria Beta: New mounts in the latest build

Mists of Pandaria beta New faction mounts
Wowhead has unearthed more than 1,000 new items in the latest Mists of Pandaria beta build, including some new mounts, that will all be account-wide.
The Shado-Pan are a faction in Townlong Steppes along with The August Celestials, who also reside in Krasarang Wilds.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Arcane Brilliance: Which spec will be best in Mists of Pandaria?

Undead fire mage
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we endeavor to answer that age old question: Which spec will other people insist my mage needs to be? We will try not to resort to that age old response to that question, which tended to involve punching those other people in the mouth.

One constant, no matter how hard I've tried to ignore it, that has always existed in WoW is that one spec is always "best." The class designers are constantly tweaking the numbers and trying to keep things balanced, but once we all sit down with our collective calculator and spreadsheet, one spec always emerges to rule them all.

It has been a sad reality that while we have always had freedom to choose a spec and personalize it to fit our preferences, when it comes time to raid at high levels or take part in PvP at high levels, that freedom essentially vanishes. You can make arguments for utility over damage or for certain specs in certain fights, but in most cases, under most circumstances, you're going with whatever cookie-cutter spec the internet has agreed upon that week, or you're not getting an invite.

Well, now we have a fresh expansion to leverage our calculators and spreadsheets upon. It's still early in the beta process, and hard numbers are in short supply. Still, the overall design of the specs seems to be fairly well-defined, even if the actual percentage points are still in flux. What conclusions can we draw at this stage? Which spec looks to put out the best damage? And most importantly, which spec will let us kill warlocks most efficiently?

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Mists of Pandaria

Arcane Brilliance: 4 things I'm going to miss the most in Mists of Pandaria

Flame Orb
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we're discussing a sad topic: loss. Not that this is a new feeling for mages. We've loved and lost before; everyone pour one out for Wand Specialization. You were too beautiful to die.

Every time there's a new expansion, we get some new toys to play with. We tend to focus on these shiny new abilities or revamped mechanic -- and rightly so, as they are often pretty spiffy. But I fear we sometimes forget the casualties. For when Blizzard giveth, it also tends to taketh away. Spells are replaced, redundant talents vanish, and mechanics change, and as a mage, I always feel somehow diminished when I see a blank page in my spellbook -- even if it's a page that used to be occupied by something as useless as Arcane Fortitude or Amplify Magic, those ancient relics of fail.

Mists of Pandaria will be no exception. We're gaining some awesomeness but losing a few things too. And some of those things, I'm really, truly going to miss.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Mists of Pandaria

Arcane Brilliance: Bombs and tempests on the Mists beta

Frost Bomb
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we're discussing my favorite kinds of mage spells: the ones that blow things up real good. Namely, warlocks. I like the spells that blow up warlocks. This should not come as any sort of surprise to anyone, ever.

I don't know about you, but I didn't roll a mage for the free strudel. I'm not going to lie; the prospect of magical baked goods didn't hurt. Unlimited pie is something of a draw for me. But when I chose mage for my first character lo those many dead warlocks ago, I did so because I wanted to make pixels explode in spectacular fashion.

And my mage certainly didn't disappoint. Over the years, I've thrown my share of Pyroblasts, Frostfire Bolts, and Arcane Explosions, and the resulting pixel explosions have been quite satisfactory. Still, I'm nothing if not greedy. In my opinion, when it comes to exploding pixels, more is always better.

And so, when I learned of the new talents, the ones I was secretly most excited by were the three bomb talents we were choosing between at level 75. The worst part? I had to choose just one.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Mists of Pandaria

Pandaria makes its appearance on the world map

Image
MMO-Champion has revealed that the latest beta build, 15739, will finally put Pandaria on the map. The fog of 10,000 years has lifted, and the elusive continent's position has finally been established, at least to the satisfaction of Azeroth's cartographers. (That really must have been quite some fog.) Beta testers on Pandaria will no longer appear to be somewhere in the swirling midsts of the maelstrom, which will likely be a relief.

While the zone map itself has been accessible to folks on Pandaria almost since the beta became active, its exact position relative to the other zones has not been established until now (although we've always known it'll be in the southern area of Azeroth). It's positioned opposite Northrend, occupying that conspicuously empty bit of the map. It looks, then, as if the continent might be accessible via ship rather than purely via portal, which would fit in well with Blizzard's ideas on increasing the time players spend in the world it's creating.

It does make me wonder whether any future expansions will create more continents in this area apart from those four or whether any future zones will be on an Outland-esque plane on a different map. Sure, there's room for more land mass either side of Pandaria, but then where would the pictures of ships go? Or perhaps a new zone will emerge in the middle, to the horror of the navigators of Azeroth's fleet.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Arcane Brilliance: Familiars, porcupines and Frostbolt healing, oh my!

Fiery Familiar
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we'll be discussing a few of the more recent additions and tweaks to our class on the Mists of Pandaria beta. Some of them are awesome. Some of them are silly. And some of them are porcupines.

You see that thing up there in the picture? That tiny little legless flaming elemental from vanilla WoW? That's one of our three new familiars. That's right: familiars.

I've actively campaigned for mage familiars in the past, even as far back as this crusty old post from 2008, in which I also wished for more portals, a Blink spell that actually worked, and a rumored new ability called Mirror Image, which I believed would prove to be a combination of a bacon double cheeseburger, the second coming of Christ, and a double rainbow out of a leprechaun's butt. So young! So naive.

I always imagined my mage running around with a tiny furry minion, maybe mouse with glowing eyes, or an ominous crow, possibly animated by Don Bluth, that would do my bidding and tell me which cottage in the forest Princess Aurora was hiding in. I imagined a wizardly pet that would be always by my mage's side, part of the persona, perhaps conferring a passive buff or something.

Well that isn't quite what we're getting here.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Mists of Pandaria

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