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Posts with tag Threat-Meter

Arcane Brilliance: The threat hotfix and you

Jim from Threat Level Midnight
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we're applying a hotfix to Arcane Brilliance. Beginning now, any warlock who reads Arcane Brilliance will be overcome by intense feelings of self-loathing and an irresistible urge to reroll a mage. The column's actually been functioning this way for some time now, and we thought we ought to just make it official.

I figure it's about time we discussed the threat hotfix, mages. And before we go any further, I should point out that from now on, the threat level is always midnight. The hotfix has been in the game for a few weeks now, and I would have brought it up long before now but I got kinda sidetracked daydreaming about the whole transmogrification thing. Now that I've spent a few weeks going through all of the pretty dresses in my wardrobe and deciding which one I want to wear on my next date with Ragnaros (he's a passable conversationalist, a snappy dresser, and the dates are so much more fun now that he's bipedal ... but he tends to shout a lot, and he's a lousy tipper), I'm ready to talk about what amounts to the complete removal of one of the most basic MMO battle mechanics from the game.

Now, removal isn't the right word, I know. Threat is still technically in the game, but it no longer really matters much.

It's been sort of difficult to wrap my mind around, to be honest. It's as if I woke up one morning and discovered that I no longer needed to wear pants. For so long, pants (or a reasonable pants equivalent) were pretty much a requirement when leaving the house, but now, pantslessness is considered the style. Do I still have pants in my closet? Sure, but I only keep them in there to hide my porn beneath.

So how does this new status quo impact us as a class? And is the change good, bad, or does it lie somewhere along the spectrum between those two extremes?

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

Arcane Brilliance: The mage survival guide, part 1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week and next, we look at the time-honored tradition of mages dying whenever something looks at them funny and discuss a few ways to break that tradition. Way #1: Stand next to the warlock, pull aggro, cast Frost Nova, then Blink away.

I'm just kidding; that's a terrible idea. Funny, but terrible. Only do it once, purely for the humor value, then concentrate on downing the boss. Okay, maybe twice.

If you've run a heroic in Cataclysm, you may have noticed something: Nobody's healing you. In Wrath, when I'd take my holy pally out for a spin, everybody got heals. I was healing the tank, the off tank, the off-off tank, the DPS, the other healers, the hunter's pet, the death knight's ghoul, the guy standing in the fire ... they all got heals. Now? Not so much.

These days, healers spend 75% of their time healing the tank and the other 25% praying that their mana bars will go back up. That leaves exactly 0% of their time to spend on keeping your mage alive.

We're on our own, guys. When you see your health bar start to drop in a Cataclysm heroic or raid, just know that it won't be going back up any time soon. Our survival as DPSers is squarely our own responsibility. And what's the first rule of magehood? That's right: Dead mages do terrible DPS. We need to stay alive, our raid needs us to stay alive, and the only way that's going to happen is if we do it ourselves.

"But Christian," you might be saying, "I'm a mage! I wear a dress into combat! A particularly vigorous sneeze could kill me." Those things are all true. But you do have a few tricks up your sleeve that can help stave off death, if not forever, then at least long enough to pump out a few thousand more points of damage before you port up to that last great mage table in the sky.

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

AddOn Spotlight: Skada

AddOn Spotlight focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience - the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond - your AddOns folder will never be the same! This week, we do some mad-deeps.

Before I start my first Addon Spotlight, I wanted to quickly give a primer on my Addon/UI preferences and the way I hope to spotlight and review addons here at WoW.com. World of Warcraft is over five years old now, and in such a short period of time a ragtag bunch of Addon coders and modders fashioned thousands of addons, making the game playable. Over five years the addon environment has evolved so greatly that now, in addition to discussing form and function, we can judge addons from an aesthetic approach. Addons that allow for greater customization and tailored appearances are now the norm. I strive to help players find not only the most useful and functional addons but also the most aesthetically pleasing of the bunch. I hope everyone reading will appreciate the mix of form, function and aesthetics, creating a better UI for everyone.

My first Addon Spotlight is a great example of what I love about a good addon. Skada is a DPS meter following in the footsteps of Recount, the current ubiquitous DPS meter and bragging device currently in WoW. Recount, however, always gave me memory problems and felt sluggish. And, as a personal pet peeve, I never liked the bugle. We'll get to the bugle later. Recount does the job, however, and most of us never look back. So why switch to Skada?

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Blood Pact: Meet the minions, part 2 - of voidwalkers and threat

Each week Dominic Hobbs brings you Blood Pact. A journey into the shadowed side of your magical being, taking in all the sights from the dark heart to the withered soul. Where we learn the true price of power.

In the last 'Meet the minions' we looked at how to control your summoned demon and had a good look at the imp. This time we are showcasing the voidwalker and learning what threat is all about. Knowing how to make sure the enemy leaves you alone and hits someone (or something) else is a key ability in the game and the voidwalker is the ideal tool for learning it.

Your voidwalker is a tank. You usher him to the fore and while he keeps your target busy, you destroy them with shadow and flame. I tend to think that the image of a voidwalker is pretty bland, the other demons are much more evocative. Despite this the voidwalker is probably the most evil of minions to use on your enemies. It will reach into their minds and cause such anguish that they will desperately try to beat away this monster. This affords the warlock all the time he needs to safely curse and corrupt their bodies with exquisite slowness and care.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Leveling, Guides, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Breakfast Topic: Do you wish we didn't have to use AddOns?


AddOns are great. We all use them and they enhance game play. Indeed as we've seen from sites like Curse there's a thriving trade. The thing is a lot of newer MMOs, most notably Aion, have everything that AddOns provide and a bit more built in. While Blizzard is starting to cotton on with the introduction of their own threat meter and quest tracker, there's still a long way to go. Perhaps the most notable change in this direction is the promise of a somewhat basic quest helper in 3.2. Now I've been using the actual QuestHelper for quite a long time (indeed it's one of my essential AddOns) and from what I've seen of Blizzard's version, they have a long way to go.

But, it's a start. In the past year Blizzard seem to have finally realised that their player base like the perks of AddOns and the way they enhance the game, but not the frequent updating which is required with every major patch. So readers, what are your thoughts on the whole Blizzard/AddOn thing? Do you think they are just taking the best ideas and adapting the most popular AddOns into their own versions? Do you prefer using AddOns like Omen and QuestHelper? Do you see yourself using them for a long time yet? What would you like to see AddOn-esque feature would you like Blizzard to implement next?

Filed under: Blizzard, Add-Ons, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Quests, Raiding, Leveling

Breakfast Topic: Are you using Blizzard's addon replacers?

One thing Blizzard likes to slip in every few patches is a new UI function that "replaces" a popular add-on or set off addons. They've done it with Scrolling Combat Text, Threat Meters, and most recently, with Equipment Managers.

The New Equipment Manager is nice, but it's also pretty basic. You choose to save a set, choose a name and icon for the set, and there you go. You can drag the new icon onto your toolbar for quick changes, at least, but there's not much else. You can't synchronize it with a talent change. You can't set events to automatically change sets. Because of this, or even because of straight up familiarity and the issue of remaking all your sets in the new system, I'm sure a lot of people will stick to addons like ClosetGnome and Itemrack (if it ever updates).

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, Breakfast Topics

BlizzCon 2008 UI panel liveblog


12:00 PM: The gang just showed up on stage. Hellos answered with... silence.
12:02 PM: Tom Thompson and Derek Sakamoto introducing themselves, lots of applause.

Check the rest behind the cut!

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Filed under: BlizzCon

Ask a Beta Tester: Mounts, threat meters, and tabards

We'll jump right into things in today's Ask a Beta Tester, because destiny waits for no man!

andyjay220 asked...

How have people liked the new threat meter? I have tried PTR but I don't really understand it as I am used to Omen. As far as I can tell the only information it gives you is "YOU NOW HAVE 100% AGGRO" which isn't very helpful. I want to see a meter showing how far away from pulling aggro I am so i can gauge my attacking accordingly. Any way someone could explain it to me?

The threat meter's UI is pretty simplistic. It displays yellow when you're close to pulling aggro, and red when you've done it. It's accurate, but hard to gauge how close you really are. It shows the percentage in your tooltip... but that's a strange place for it. It won't replace things like Omen (when it's updated for 3.0.2) but its addition will allow Omen and similar mods to be much more accurate.

Of course, for things like 5-man dungeons, you don't need to the nitty gritty numbers, really. There's very little reason to be at the max possible threat before pulling aggro, just take it a little easier. Raids, though? You'll want Omen.

Read on for more answers to your questions!

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Filed under: Wrath of the Lich King

The little mod that could

I'm not the world's most sophisticated interface tinkerer. In comparison to people like Taeo, my UI looks like it was a low-bid government contract job by Oog & Sons. I'll grant that Taeo's UI probably isn't a fair comparison anyway (I maintain that it's hands-down the most beautiful UI we've ever run on Reader UI of the Week), but the point still stands. I download mods I need. After reading Addon Spotlight and getting curious, I often download mods I don't need. I get them up and running while trying to navigate an oft-bewildering number of options. If they're movable, they're irritably shoved around the screen depending on the job I'm doing in a raid or just ignored entirely (e.g. Decursive while tanking). Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Where'd my screen go?

Man, it's a cruel world out there for the lazy. But every so often you find offbeat but amazingly helpful mods that just work, and best of all, work unobtrusively without having to be diddled with every day or between characters and specs. For my part, I am completely ready to nominate OptiTaunt for whatever Total Slacker's Mod prize might exist. It's a tiny mod for tanks that tells your group, raid, and the player you're trying to taunt off of when a taunt is resisted or when the target is immune. It can also announce when you've had to blow mega-cooldown abilities like Challenging Roar, Shield Wall, and Frenzied Regeneration. Best of all, it whispers cute class-specific messages to the player who's pulled aggro (e.g. for Priests: "Warning! My Growl was resisted! Time for a final prayer!"). And you don't need to spend time worrying about settings between characters or specs as the mod will simply never activate on a toon that won't have to (or can't) taunt anything.

I love Titan, Cartographer is amazingly helpful, and we all depend on things like Omen, but OptiTaunt still wins the proverbial desert island contest for me. Sean could probably name dozen of mods like it off the top of his head, but I find any mod announcing a thinly-disguised version of "YOU'RE ALL SCREWED NOW!" pretty tough to beat. With that said, I'm trying to level some taunt-free classes to 70 before Wrath hits, so I'm on the lookout. Any suggestions for, say, a Shaman?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons

Chilton: We want "to outdo ourselves in every respect"


Gametrailers hit up Tom Chilton for an interview at Leipzig and here's the video. His main point is that Wrath is bigger and better than before -- more, better, cooler content. Intercut with lots of cool video from the beta (though some of it was seen as far back as BlizzCon last year), he lays down what's up with the next expansion.

He says that Wrath is meant for high-end players, but that there's lots for lowbies as well: recruit-a-friend was actually designed as part of the Wrath feature set, and Blizzard thought it was better to release it earlier. Inscription is also seen as a "whole-game" feature, since you can pick it up right at level one, and Achievements will work for everyone as well.

He also talks about how the new gameplay features Blizzard is building in let them do all kinds of things with quests and instances -- he specifically mentions one encounter in the Oculus where you'll get to choose a ride with different abilities, so it'll be a different experience than your normal class play. There's some great footage of air combat in there as well, and even a little tidbit about the official threatmeter. Nice interview, and it sounds like Blizzard is rolling right along with their progress in the beta.

[via WorldofWar]

Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Mounts, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Achievements

Tank Talk: All about aggro

Tank Talk is WoW Insider's tanking column, promising you an exciting and educational look at the world of getting the stuffing thrashed out of you in a 10- or 25-man raid. The column is rotated amongst Matthew Rossi (Warrior/Paladin), Adam Holisky (Warrior), Michael Gray (Paladin), and Allison Robert (Druid). Our aim is to use this column to debate and discuss class differences, raid-tanking strategies, tips, tricks, and news concerning all things meatshieldish.

This week's Tank Talk is a little bit of a public service. Recently huddled around the ticker-tapes of WoW Insider, we came to realize that your intrepid Insider lacked a particular resource: a basic guide to aggro.

Certainly, this most important of subjects is old hat to us meatshields ... but maybe not quite so much to everyone around us. And gosh, who better to talk about this subject than your devoted Tank Talk tanks!

And, really. If your team doesn't know aggro, then you're going to have a hell of a time as a tank. So, let's Tank Talk about aggro. What it is, where it comes from, why you want it, and why they don't want it.


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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Instances, Guides, Tank Talk

Built-in threat meters implemented in Beta

The built-in threat meter that Bornakk hinted at yesterday has made its way to the latest build of the Wrath Beta. Tipsters John and Hugimbory point out that the Beta now shows the percentage of threat on the target, updating as it changes relative to other attackers. MMO Champion also reports that the % of threat is shown on the scrolling combat text based on the party or raid member with the highest threat. Mob tooltips also show threat percentage, all indicating simple data forwarded to the client.

WoW Insider reported Nethaera saying that built-in threat meters were coming "in a future patch" back in February. It now appears that the 'future patch' she referred to will probably be Patch 3.0. It remains to be seen whether this implementation of threat monitoring will stay in the game as is, although it's more than likely that the system will still receive some polish.

Filed under: News items, Wrath of the Lich King

Bornakk hints at upcoming threat meter

This isn't the first time we've heard about putting a built-in threat meter in the standard World of Warcraft interface. The idea came up back at Blizzcon 07, and Neth confirmed plans to include such a meter in February '08. But there's not been much discussion about the idea since then. Today, Bornakk confirmed they're still working on it, but there's obviously no details to be shared yet. ("Soon," and all that.) So, while we don't know that we'll be seeing the threat meter with the release of Wrath of the Lich King, at least we know it's probably still coming eventually.

Threat meters are almost entirely a mandatory requirement for most raids. The two big ones are KTM and Omen, of course. It lets your DPS know when to let off the gas a bit, before they pull aggro off the tank. Or, maybe, tells the tanks they need to push the pedal harder and build up more of their own threat instead of limiting the DPS. I can't imagine raiding without one, and if that's the state of things for enough players, I expect Blizzard will take it over themselves soon enough.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Interview with Antiarc, author of Omen

Even if you don't use Omen, it's likely you've seen it or heard about it here on WoW Insider, in WoW itself, or somewhere else in the WoW community. Patch 2.4 and the redesign of WoW's combat log called for a complete rebuild of many mods, and Omen was far and away the highest in demand.

There were certainly some issues with Omen the day 2.4 launched, but the one man army behind the mod worked endlessly to get the addon in working order, while somehow making time for a chat mod, too. I think it's fair to say we know a thing or two about the mods, but what about the modder behind them?

Luckily for all of you, Antiarc(aka Adrine) is open to bribes(not really) so I've managed to sucker him into answering a few questions for us, many of which are taken from you, the readers! We'll go through a series of three categories. The Man, in which we delve into Antiarc's personal and professional life. The Mods, wherein we ask a few questions about his experiences in mod-writing. The Miscellaneous, where we ask Antiarc random questions that hold no bearing on absolutely anything! Hooray! Read on!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Add-Ons, Features, Interviews

Upcoming interview with the author of Omen

We've talked about Omen(a lot) and now we've talked about Chatter, but what else does the author of these mods have planned?

That's what we're going to try and find out in an interview with Antiarc, which will be coming soon to WoW Insider! Here's the special part, though: I'll be taking many of the questions from you, the readers. If there's something you want to ask the author of one of the most widely used mods in WoW, just submit it in a comment at the bottom of this post.

I'll comb through them and pick out the best questions to present to Antiarc in addition to my own questions, and we'll see what he has to say. Have you ever been curious about the modding community or the development process of Omen? Want to know a little about the man behind the mod? This is your chance!

Filed under: Add-Ons, Interviews

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