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Posts with tag Replenishment

The Light and How to Swing It: How to compare intellect and spirit in Mists of Pandaria

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

With Mists of Pandaria coming up on the horizon, many holy paladins are looking ahead to the changes that the expansion will bring. Most of the talent and ability info is still very malleable at this point, and as such, I haven't begun to worry or get excited just yet. One thing that we do know is that in Mists, intellect will finish the transformation that it started in Cataclysm. Intellect is going to become a throughput-only stat, as it will stop increasing our maximum mana.

Today, intellect and longevity are nearly synonymous. Replenishment and Divine Plea are two of our largest mana sources, and they both scale off of our intellect. Most paladins are sporting intellect gems and trinkets, and intellect flasks and food fill up our bags. Holy paladins have been leaning on intellect for a long time due to its versatility, and it seemed like the decision to roll spell power into intellect would permanently ensure intellect's role as our best stat. By decoupling intellect and mana, the developers are changing everything we know about gearing a healer.

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

Spiritual Guidance: Has mana regen become collateral damage in patch 4.0.1?

Spiritual Guidance's shadow-specced Wednesday correspondant Fox Van Allen recently got his performance evaluation here at WoW Insider, and it wasn't pretty. While his ability to recall distant pop culture references and melt faces has been deemed "adequate," his people skills "need improvement." Action item: "Stop ganking Dawn Moore in the hallways." Salary action taken: "Convert salary from U.S. dollars to old America Online CDs."

If you're a regular reader of WoW Insider, you may have noticed an interesting trend about patch 4.0.1 and the upcoming class changes it brings: Almost everyone's freaking out. It's bad enough that almost every other class columnist on here is telling it's readers not to panic. It's as if we're running some kind of Douglas Adams convention around here.

You won't hear all that from me, though. And it's not just because I'm too cool for books. It's because shadow priests aren't panicking, for the most part. There are disappointments here and there -- mostly regarding the mastery mechanic and the (currently) low value of the mastery stat -- but otherwise, things are pretty decent in this neck of the woods. So decent, in fact, that there's someone complaining on the beta forums that shadow priests are probably so overpowered because Blizzard reps all play shadow priests. (I LOLed.)

But that's not to say we don't have our concerns. My latest concern is mana regen. While our damage has actually been buffed in some of the latest beta patches (most recently, Dark Archangel has been buffed from 3 percent per stack up to 4 percent), our mana regen continues to get hit with nerfs. Granted, Blizzard is really trying to aim for healers, but with most holy and disc nerfs to regen affecting our abilities too, are shadow priests becoming collateral damage?

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Cataclysm

Arcane Brilliance: The services we provide


It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that come rain or shine, snow, sleet, hail, netherstorm or cataclysmic event is always delivered to your electronic doorstep by a mysterious robed man with a strange affinity for sheep. Perhaps you have wondered why Blink is distanced at exactly 20 yards? Because that's the exact number of digital yards between your internet yard and your neighbor's internet yard. This strange wizardly paperboy blinks onto your e-porch, unfurls this week's Arcane Brilliance, magicks it under your internet door, turns your internet yard gnome into an internet yard sheep, then poofs his way next door and repeats the process. He does this whether you've actually subscribed to Arcane Brilliance or not. It's all a bit creepy, but at least it's free.

Let's take a moment and talk about utility, shall we?

This week, I'm going to present the case for mages as the single best utility class in the game. Sure, druids bring their gifts of the wild, death knights bring their horns of winter, shaman bring their bloodlust/heroism, warlocks bring their evil little cookies and their obscene body odor, and rogues bring ... a tendency to stab things in the back ... but mages -- I think you'll agree after I pound it into your heads for the next thousand words or so -- are the kings of utility.

You may think of us (and many of us may think of ourselves) as simple purveyors of arcane destruction. We trade in damage, humble merchants of death, standing behind someone wearing more substantial attire, churning out our fireballbolts and frostmadoodads and whatnot until the boss keels over, like any good ranged DPS class should. While this is our essential function, I'd like to spend this week's column shining a spotlight of sorts on the other things we bring to the proverbial table.

Protip: one of the things we bring is a literal table.

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

Arcane Brilliance: The difference between good and great

It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that believes frost mages shouldn't be the only mages to experience the joy of pet ownership. Reader Doidadetanga, aside from having more syllables in his character name than is reasonably necessary, sent in this picture of his very own Arcane Elemental, which (if Blizzard listens to my nightly prayers at all) will be a new spell in Cataclysm ... along with Anti-Warlock Bolt, the new 56-point talent in the Arfrostfirecane tree.

I'm about to make a bold statement (literally; it's in bold typeface):

I'm a good mage.

My GearScore is adequate. I am fully capable of putting out an acceptable amount of damage over an acceptable timespan. When folks want free food and water, I somehow manage to provide it for them. My dress is appropriately pretty, and my staff is sufficiently formidable in terms of both size and the manner in which I employ it.

I'm about to make another bold statement:

Anybody -- absolutely anybody -- can be a good mage.

I can, you can and yes, even that defecting warlock who has finally outgrown his dark eyeliner, Taylor Lautner posters and hating his parents can be a good mage.

The problem is, not nearly enough of us manage to move beyond that particular tier of magehood. I know I'm still working on it, five years after I started playing this wonderful game, and chances are you are too. There are a whole lot of good mages out there -- but not a whole lot of truly great ones.

But fear not, my fellow mages. Though I have not yet attained greatness, I can recognize it when I see it. I'm willing to bet a good number of you can, too. Follow me past the jump and we'll discuss the fine line that separates a good mage from a great one. Because I'm going to make one final statement, and this one isn't even bold:

Every mage can become great. Every single one.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

World of Warcraft Patch 3.2 Mage Guide


WoW.com has covered patch 3.2 extensively. Everything from the surprising changes to flying mounts, to the latest and greatest loot, and all the changes in between. In our patch 3.2 class, raiding, and PvP guides we take a look at exactly what changes and how the changes will affect your playing.

So...a patch happened or something? I guess it's a big deal. People are excited or whatever. I'm way too cool to show any kind of positive emotion, so...meh. Meh, I say.

Ok, I can't keep that up. Patches always make me happy. I've been known to break into song and engage in impromptu yet highly choreographed dance routines on patch days. This time around it was a little number called "Living Bomb is Castable on Multiple Targets Now...Yay!" The lyrics are actually quite clever. They go like this: "Living Bomb is castable on multiple targets now...yay!" repeated several times, and sung to the tune of whatever Wiggles song my kids happen to be listening to in the background at the time. Or sometimes to the Knight Rider theme. Don't ask me why. I'm a musical genius and I don't have to explain myself to you.

Anyway, let's take a quick look at the ways this patch will be affecting Mages. Here's a five-word preview:
  • Living
  • Bomb
  • Multiple
  • Targets
  • Yay

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Classes, Talents

Speculating on a new resource system for Hunters

As we said on the podcast this weekend, one of the most interesting things to come out of the Hunter Q&A last week was that vague about "long-term plans" to "[remove] the need for hunters to rely on a different resource system then mana." That one kind of came out of nowhere, and the answer was even more vague: basically, they promised to talk about it at BlizzCon. Of course, that's what our attracted our attention: is Blizzard planning on getting Hunters off of their mana system completely?

That would be quite a change -- since the beginning of the game, Hunters have relied on mana as their "resource" -- Warriors have Rage and Rogues have Energy, but Hunters somehow got looped in with the other DPSers as mana users. That doesn't make much sense -- not only does it depend on Intelligence (a stat which Hunters don't really have a reason to go after anyway), but it's lead to the problem of keeping Hunters powered up. Hunters are almost continually out of mana, and Blizzard has made some wacky mechanic tweaks (with both AotV and Replenishment) to try and keep them up and running.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Classes, BlizzCon

The Light and How to Swing It: Patch 3.2 and the Paladin


Ok, we've got quite a bit of information on Patch 3.2 now, and even though this major content patch isn't introducing too many new things to the class, it does shake it up a bit. Nothing too big, but it should keep everyone on their toes. But first we'll talk about one thing that isn't related to class skills or nerfs or anything like that... first I'd like to encourage everyone to get chummy with the Argent dudes. Do their mind-numbing daily quests and all that, get the Crusader title if you want... and along the way collect 100 Champion's Seals.

According to the PTR, the new Paladin-exclusive Argent Charger is available on the Tournament Grounds for a mere one hundred seals. Of course, Blizzard is also giving away Tier 9 gear for free during the testing phase, so that cost could still change. Still, here's that pony that Ghostcrawler promised all of us. It's a fitting item for an entire faction run by Paladins, right? Anyway, enjoy that pony because not everything in Patch 3.2 is as nice a ride.

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

Replenishment's wild ride

Ah, Replenishment. No buff might be more welcomed in raids and reviled in theorycrafting. Ever since Ghostcrawler told us it was a necessary buff earlier this year, Blizzard seems to have twirled it around and around, taunting us like the proverbial carrot on a stick. It's been passed out to many classes, buffed a few times, nerfed even more (that Arena nerf was particularly strange), and in patch 3.2, soon headed to the PTR, it's getting nerfed again, even while MP5 (mana per five seconds) is getting a boost. What's the deal?

Merlot, the Shadow Priest behind the Misery blog, has a good breakdown of just why Blizzard is so schizo with Replenishment. The whole point of the buff was to have Blizzard have some control over mana during fights -- instead of worrying about each class' mana separately, they'd just have this buff that gave mana like a big spigot, which they could then control as they saw fit. But players are so different across the board that putting them all under one big buff umbrella hasn't worked so well: a buff to Replenishment helps some and hurts others, and a nerf does the same, meaning Blizzard is flipping back and forth on turning the spigot on or off nearly every patch.

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Filed under: Paladin, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Buffs

Patch 3.2 Druid changes


3.2 approaches! Sort of. The PTR itself isn't up yet (at least, not as I write this), but nonetheless, 3.2 approaches on little cat feet.

I'm going to examine the 3.2 PTR patch notes line by relevant line, just because there are several changes that impact Druids while not being class-specific. If you want a quick summary without being massively spoiled, Balance is getting a huge and welcome change to the functionality of Eclipse, Cats are getting bonked by the nerfbat, and PvP-Restos are really getting bonked by the nerfbat. Bears, well...not much is going to happen to bears this patch, which is a little demoralizing given the improvements being made to Pally tanks, but that's OK. We still have our, uh, amazing Tier 8 set bonuses and...um...the best -- sort of -- tanking cooldowns in, uh, the...uh...

...Oh, screw it, just stack the hell out of stamina and pray to the gods of RNG if your guild's dumb enough to try Ulduar on hard-mode. Congratulations; you have now done all you can possibly do to prepare yourself for modern tanking.

Sad lolbare is sad. But cough syrup for everybody! Is nise! Now let's take a look:

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items

Spiritual Guidance: Did we need the patch 3.2 nerfs?


Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a new UI and addons blog for WoW. Patch 3.2 nerfs here we go!

Where do I start? There are several intriguing changes impacting the Priest class (specifically those of us that heal). On the one hand I'm partially disappointed by some of the changes. On the other hand I'm relieved because the changes could have been worse.

Let us get to it then, shall we?

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Filed under: Priest, Patches, Raiding, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Patch 3.2: Replenishment nerfed, MP5 buffed

Mana regeneration was a much-discussed area for change in patch 3.1, but when the patch went live, it turned out the changes hadn't been all that massive; most healers are still not putting a high premium on regen stats or watching their mana bars too closely, fights like Vezax excluded.

A big part of the reason why mana regen has been so extreme in Wrath is Replenishment; as of right now, any of five DPS specs (Shadow Priest, Survival Hunter, Retribution Paladin, Frost Mage, and Destruction Warlock) will provide the ten lowest people in your raid 0.25% of their maximum mana per second. Among other things, this makes Intellect a prime regen stat.

Well, Replenishment is getting a bit of a nerf in patch 3.2: instead of 0.25% max mana per second, it'll be 1% maximum mana over five seconds. That's a 20% nerf. This applies to all sources of Replenishment. At the same time, all items with MP5 on them are having the MP5 buffed by about 25%. These two changes will probably even out for the MP5-based healers (Paladin and Shaman), while making them value MP5 gear a bit more. Druids and Priests will feel a regeneration nerf, but I think they can afford it.


Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Patches, News items

GC's happy with healing in Ulduar

Ghostcrawler has appeared in two different threads talking about healing today, and the gist of it is that he's happy. He's happy with healing and the way it works in Ulduar: there's a good variety between boss fights and phases, there are intense moments and pauses in the action, and he says they've got things to a point where they like them. Later, he says that while in Naxx, you don't really have to warn the healer too much (you can basically tell them to heal the MT and leave it at that), Ulduar requires healers to get into the rhythm -- sometimes go all out, and sometimes hold back. He does say that too much mana is still an issue for them, and if anything gets nerfed in that department, Replenishment will. But he doesn't expect too many nerfs for a while.

That doesn't mean, of course, that the big healing update is out the window -- GC still hints that there are more changes in store for healing, and we'd bet coppers to gold that there are both mechanic changes and possibly even a hero class due for healers soon. But for now, healing is where they want it in the current content, and it sounds like most players agree.

Now, there's just PvP...

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Bosses

Replenishment hotfixed, changed for arena play

The developers are continuing their hotfix spree, this time targeting Replenishment in the arena. While in an arena, any class that procs Replenishment will only proc it for themselves. It does not apply to the entire party while in an arena. This is something that a lot of people have expected would happen eventually, and it's good to see that they didn't wait for another major content patch for something like this. It had to be done, so they did it. I'd love to see that trend continue.

The arena community has been asking for this for awhile, and if you want to know their reasoning, Serennia discussed it just the other day. I strongly suggest giving it a read. Replenishment is a game changer in the arena, and in a format with teams so small, you can't really expect every team to find a Replenishment to slot like you can in 10 and 25 man raids. Replenishment essentially being a requirement in the 3v3 format would be a disaster, and it's been made pretty clear that teams with a Replenishment have a severe advantage over those that don't.

A post-Patch 3.1 world seems to be one where broken things get fixed quickly, rather than just sit there broken for months until the next content patch. As long as that holds up for more than these few weeks immediately after the patch, I'm a fan of it.

Filed under: Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Arena

GC: If you're OOM, tell your guildies to get out of the fire

Ghostcrawler did battle with the forumites this weekend, and the topic of discussion was the recent mana changes. Players are saying that the changes (including the BoW and Mana Spring change last week) are basically forcing them to bring more healers along to larger raids, and GC in return expounds on the raid balance that Blizzard is aiming for lately. Interestingly, it's not the 5 healers / 5 tanks / 15 DPS that you might think it would be -- Ghostcrawler says that if they aimed for that makeup, bringing more healers would often make the fights inconsequential.

He goes on to say that the way the fights are designed, you aren't supposed to run out of mana, as long as you're dodging the AoE and are geared up correctly. Making mistakes in gameplay digs into your mana reserves, and so when Blizzard nerfs mana regen, they aren't just trying to make things harder, they're trying to take away that extra breathing room that you get around errors. They don't want healers just healing through damage -- they want people trying to avoid it in the first place.

And, if guildies won't get out of the fire, and your healers keep running out of mana because of it, it's time to weed out the ranks a bit. Finally, GC adds what we've heard before: those looking for a tough battle in Ulduar likely won't find it right away -- the instance is designed to be only a little harder than Naxx. But the hard modes are where the difficulty will really ramp up. If short, says GC, if you don't have enough mana on the easy modes, it's not Blizzard's design: it's the way you and your guildies are geared and playing.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Classes

What they really meant by "bring the player, not the class"

We here at WoW Insider and others around the WoW community have talked so much about the term "bring the player, not the class" that I'm a little surprised we haven't started shortening it to "BTPNTC." But apparently I, at least, have not really understood what Blizzard meant by it when they said it was part of their new philosophy of balancing for raids.

Ghostcrawler basically QFTs another forum poster who said the following: "Blizzard has repeatedly stated they didn't mean any class will be identical to all other classes in effectiveness for your last raid slot. Blizzard has provided a bunch of options you can choose from to get Replenishment, but expects you to choose one of those options. If any choice were a valid choice, there would be no incentive to think about the choice you make. Blizzard wants you to think about your group composition."

As you may have gathered, this is in the contest of "A plea to remove Replenishment." What Blizzard, then, apparently means by BTPNTC is that it's now easier to get your (semi-)required buff and debuff coverage, not that you can do it with any old group. Sort of like threat for tanks, the mini-game of group composition has been made easier, but not made a non-issue. Honestly, I do think Replenishment should be removed – I don't see how requiring my 10-man raid to bring one of five specific DPS specs, or face the consequences, makes the game more fun. But it's good to have some insight into the developers' mindset.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

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