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Posts with tag abilities

Player reaction to the 5-man Trial

All right -- patch 3.2 has been out for a few days now, and I would say that most people who are interested have had a chance to go in and run the brand new 5-man instance. Of course it's not the only change in the patch (far from it), but it's the one I was most looking forward to, and unlike the raid instances, it's all in there and doable, ready for our judgment. So what did we think?

I tried it yesterday, and my first impression was "underwhelmed." I definitely don't feel that way about 3.2 as a whole, but the instance itself seems less than impressive, a one-room fight with almost as many boring moments as there are exciting ones. The fights themselves are actually pretty commonplace for a Heroic -- the jousting fight is probably the least-liked among the playerbase (seriously, whoever really loves the jousting mechanic over at Blizzard needs to take a good long look in the mirror for some self reflection), while the best is of course the Argent Confessor, who summons a random figure from our "past memories" to fight. I got Illidan and Onyxia the first few times I ran the instance, but of course Hogger and Van Cleef and Heigan the Unclean also have a chance at making an appearance. I did like the fight, but I was kind of bummed the old memories didn't bring any of their abilities with them -- they all have the same three abilities to throw at the group.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Lore, Bosses, NPCs

Behold, the power of macros

I don't PvP that often (especially not with my Hunter), but I still found this list of Hunter macros over at Huntman's Lodge really awesome. Whether you just want to make some common tasks easier (the one-button target/Hunter's Mark/pet attack/start attack is a macro every single Hunter should have), or you want to cut out some keystrokes (the /use [target=player] Heavy Frostweave Bandage is a macro that's great for every class out there), macros can provide a lot of solid support to your game in any situation. For some reason, we all use addons, but macros are generally overlooked, despite the fact that the system Blizzard has built in for macros can be pretty powerful all by itself.

Garwulf has even more macros for Hunters on a special page, and of course there are lots and lots of suggested macros and macro guides available online. Especially since macros started being saved to the server instead of your individual machine at home, if you're still using regular abilities on your bars, looking over the available macros for your class should help you out a lot.

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Fan stuff, PvP, Leveling

Tamed Worgen have become Winterskorn Worgs

And here lies the final chapter in the Taming of the Worgen saga: Mania reports that, just a little while after the troublesome Worgen Garwal was hotfixed to be untameable, Blizzard has magically changed all of the already-tamed Worgen to level 68 (or Hunter's level minus five) wolves. Why level 68? Because, Mania says, they've all been turned into Winterskorn Worgs, a level 63-69 NPC that wanders around the Howling Fah-jord.

So that's the end of that. Obviously, no one really expected to keep those pets as their own, and especially with all of the Worgen-as-playable-race speculation flying around, it wouldn't do for Hunters to have one of those humanoids at their beck and call. Some Hunters who went to the trouble of taming probably won't be too happy. But the good news is that the new white wolf in your stable is completely fixed -- it has all of the normal talent trees and abilities that wolves are supposed to have. Guess you and your pet Garwal were just never meant to be.

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, NPCs, Cataclysm

The sin of Tab targeting

I'm not a keyboard turner -- my steady diet of FPS games growing up made sure of that. And while I do occasionally point-and-click abilities, for the most part, I do use hotkeys. But, just like Tank Like a Girl, there is one control-scheme sin that I'm definitely guilty of: I am definitely a Tab-targeter. I guess the issue is that sometimes you do have to use Tab to choose your different targets -- sometimes, you can't quite click on the thing you need to target, so instead you hit Tab to flip through all the available targets until you get to the one you need. But that's a no-no. Flipping through the targets takes more time than you should (if you happen to miss your target, you need to flip through all of them yet again), and, as I know from personal experience, Tab targeting often ends you up on the wrong target. Not that CC is so much of an issue anymore, but let me tell you: the first time you happen to pull that one dragon your group has cast sleep on, it'll be embarassing.

So how to get it right? TLaG suggests this post from TankingTips, which hints at using the mouse instead of the keyboard to target (you can choose friendly targets easier that way), but doesn't offer any real suggestions of how to make the switch. Moving the camera back is one, getting your positioning right is probably another. And learning to use focus and macro targets is probably the best tip you can have: anything that's more specific or direct than either Tab or click targeting is probably better. Addons like Promixo will help in the Arenas as well.

No one's perfect, and no one way to do things is perfect either -- depending on your situation, Tab targeting might be better. But it's important to have as many tools as possible, so if you, like me, find yourself depending on the Tab key more often than not, it might be time to mix up your toolbag a bit.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, Raiding, Hardware

WoW TCG: Arena Grand Melee expansion released

The World of Warcraft Trading Card game has released its latest expansion, but it's a little bit different than what's come before. It's called Arena Grand Melee, and it actually changes the gameplay of the TCG just a little bit, including some very different mechanics than those players have seen before. For instance, there's a card called "For the Fallen" that will grant additional cards to players when they act out their melee strikes in real-life. Another card called "Steamwheedle Casino" has players playing a quick game of Blackjack with their WoW TCG cards to win an extra card. Arena Grand Melee sounds it puts a very strange twist on the current TCG game.

The WoW TCG site has been highlighting some of the new cards in the game -- there's a new ability called Preparation, which allows you to use a card twice in quick succession, and there are cards that boost your hand size and beef up your allies, as well as cards that offer up some other new heroes and abilities. It sounds like an interesting addition to the game, but on the other hand, this doesn't seem like a pack for newbies -- experienced players will get the best thrill from these twists. Pick up the eighty card sets in either of the Horde or Alliance versions at your local gaming store.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Talents, WoW TCG, Arena

Breakfast Topic: High definition


There are some things that define us. The way we carry ourselves, our manner of dress, our tiny affectations... a lot of tiny things that make up who we are. The same goes for the game's classes... there are abilities and motifs that belong to a class' so-called kit. I mean, when I think of a Druid, for example, one of the first things that comes to mind is Moonfire. Blame it on the dreaded Moonfire spam made popular back in the day. Sure they probably use much more abilities now, too, but their reputation as Moonfire spammers is set in stone. Druids are also all sorts of leafy.

One ability that used to define Shamans was the dreaded Frost Shock, although it's fallen out of fashion lately now that Flame Shock is the precursor to a 100% crit Lava Burst. Still, I'm old school, and Frost Shock is still one of my favorite spells. Of course, Shaman are also defined by gear that hearkens to the elements -- and the Tier 8 looks like sheer amazing. Although the different classes have various powers at their disposal, what do you think are the defining abilities of each class? Just name one or two of the ones that stand out for you. What motifs fit the classes best? Skulls aren't just the domain or Rogues, but knives seem to be exclusive to those backstabbers. What abilities and themes define the classes best?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Datamined Ulduar boss information, with analysis

Yes, yes, we know you're curious about what the Ulduar boss encounters will be like, loyal readers. With 14 bosses, 11 hard modes, and an optional heroic boss, we wonder, too! We'll be able to test some of these encounters on the 3.1 PTR soon, but there are, of course, those of us who just can't wait to know anything about what's going on in Ulduar.

Luckily, ever-resourceful players and dataminers have acquired information about spells and abilities related to bosses in Ulduar from the 3.1 PTR files. There's a lot of of stuff in here -- some of it may make it into the live game, some may not, and some may be related to vehicles or other sundries involved with encounters. I'm going to go into detailed analysis of those encounters for which detailed spells exist.

It goes without saying that these will be huge spoilers to anyone who doesn't want their Ulduar experience to be anything but pure, so don't read past the jump if you don't want to know!

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King

Searching for the Vanish bug

Are you sitting down, Rogues? Ghostcrawler finally addressed the Vanish bug over on the forums, but not in the way you'd want him to: he says that while it probably is a bug, they can't seem to find it. According to Mr. Street, every time they sit down and try to recreate the bug issues with Vanish (aggro isn't lost when it's supposed to be), they come up short, like a mechanic who never hears that rattling in your car.

I'll echo what many players in the thread say: it is there. I've had it bite me many times -- given that I don't Arena much, it's usually when I pull aggro from multiple mobs while soloing, and try to Vanish away: one of them will strangely keep attacking me. But in terms of reproducing it, GC's got me -- I don't know when it happens, or what circumstances make it happen, I just know that it happens. And when it does, it's annoying.

He also says that like Onyxia Deep Breath-ing more, the Vanish bug has moved into a kind of legendary perpetual problem, so much so that they can't tell the real complaints from the jokes. So maybe for your favorite bug in the game (ahem, someday I'll get a Cower bug fix), it's not so much a matter of Blizzard just fixing it, as Blizzard finding out why it's happening in the first place.

Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard, Classes, Forums

Skill Mastery: Zombie Explosion!


By now you must know that it is inevitable. The zombies are here and they are growing in number. In time, you too shall become one of the Scourge, and Azeroth shall feel the icy tendrils of the Lich King's will. There are quite a number of ways to serve the Lich King, but by far the most insidious and shows the most loyalty is the self-sacrifice of a minion to Zombie Explosion!. If you are but to do one thing for the Lord Arthas, it is this. Explode and infect the world around you.

It's important to know that You're Infected!, the disease that turns unwitting players into subservient members of the Scourge, now has a 2 1 minute duration. This is a mere fifth tenth of the original duration and gives players very little time to rid themselves of the infection. The radius of Zombie Explosion! has also been increased greatly, allowing you, for example, to explode inside Orgrimmar's Auction House and infecting everyone inside it. Use this spell in Auction Houses, Banks, and in front of heavily crowded Mailboxes for optimum effect.

The best way to wreak as much havoc is to quietly get infected (you can kill a Plagued Roach or click on a Conspicuous Crate), and situate yourself in a densely populated area. Some players will try to rid you of the disease, so be wary of Priests, Paladins, and Shamans. The moment you turn, start casting Zombie Explosion!. Don't bother with anything else. It is a four second cast spell, with pushback extending that to five, so you must try to get it off as quickly as possible. There is nothing subtle about this ability... it is simple, it is devious, and best of all, you explode in a symphony of rotting body parts and noxious green gas. All hail the Lich King!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King

Making the Racial traits more individual

Hot on the heels of word about all the new changes to racial abilities in Wrath, reader Mike sent us a suggestion he thought up to give a little twist to racial abilities in game: Blizzard could unlock some of them from a few races, and instead give players the ability to choose a few on a peronal basis -- they could pick and choose certain abilities for their characters to have from the beginning. As in, each ability would get put into a budget, and instead of merely choosing a race, players could then choose one or two skills from the budget to give to their characters. You could end up having a Troll with Escape Artist and Diplomacy, or a Human with Hardiness and Magic resistance.

Of course, some abilities are pretty strictly defined by the races themselves, so not everything could be pick and choose -- Gift of the Naaru and Will of the Forsaken would have to stick with Draenei and Undead, respectively (they'd have to stay Racial traits, not personal ones). But abilities like Endurance and Quickness are so insignificant in the bigger picture of things that it would be nice to customize your character a little bit more -- match it up to your style of play rather than just want race you'd like to be. Character creation is quickly becoming the one thing in the game that's stayed exactly the same since launch, and for many reasons, from RP to theorycrafting, players would really get a kick out of customizing their characters that little bit more.

As Mike told us, each character has their own personal background and insights, so why shouldn't each individual character have their own personal traits to shine in? It's a little late for Wrath, of course, but it's something to think about in the future -- if Pets get their own choices about their strengths, why shouldn't the different ingame races?

Filed under: Human, Gnomes, Trolls, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Expansions, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

Scattered Shots: New and improved abilities


Scattered Shots: noun. 1. (Scatter Shot, singular) An ability used by Marksmanship hunters, especially to annoy other players in PvP. 2. (Scattered Shots, plural) A column at WoW Insider about anything even loosely related to hunters, except for high-level raiding and completely improper, sometimes libelous personal commentary.

Hunters are getting quite a few changes in Wrath of the Lich King, but so far haven't covered them all. Today I'd like to go through the newest abilities and discuss them in greater detail.

New Baseline Hunter Abilities:

Nope, no Camouflage. We talked about this before, but it looks like the devs read our article, "Do hunters need Camouflage?" and decided the answer was no. So, instead we have a couple other new abilities to look forward to:

Kill Shot:
This is the new level 80 hunter ability, and it provides us with a bit of utility that help us to stand out and perform better in various situations:

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Encrypted Text: Blizzard called and they want their OP back

Every Wednesday, Encrypted Text explores issues affecting Rogues and those who group with them. This week Jason Harper, the new Rogue feature blogger, discusses the state of the Rogue class, effects of the 2.4.3 patch and the news from the Wrath beta.

I think I've got a pretty big job ahead of me as the new Rogue columnist here at WoW Insider. Sitting here, freshly unwrapped, I know I'll have to both balance the need to fairly represent "real" issues and not get too lost in "rah-rah-rogue" points of view. I'll need you, dear reader, to keep me honest and call-out the unintentional errors or oversights. We're a community and I absolutely want to know what you are thinking, what you love or hate and what you'd like to see me bring to this column that represent your needs.

Like a "do-not-toast-in-the-wrapper" warning on your box of PopTarts, I'd like to point out that any references I make to skills or talents in the Wrath beta should be taken with a grain of salt since they are subject to change at any time.

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Features, The Burning Crusade, Classes, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Battlegrounds, Arena

Wrath Beta patch notes: Paladin part II


When Ghostcrawler mentioned on the closed Friends & Family Alpha that Paladins were the last to receive changes because the entire class was being majorly reworked, he wasn't kidding. The patch notes from the recently opened Wrath of the Lich King Beta revealed massive changes to spells and abilities as well as a shuffling of talents among the three trees. I covered an overview of the changes as well as the new Hand nomenclature for old Blessings in the first part of our beta analysis. It's now updated with the new Paladin talents in all three trees, so be sure to check it out.

Before we get into the really juicy things, namely the new Wrath Paladin talents, we'll take a look at the changes to baseline spells and current talents. In some cases, these were totally reworked, and in others they were significantly improved. The first spell that leaps out with a huge buff is the change to Avenging Wrath, which no longer causes Forebearance. Its damage increase has been reduced to 20% (down from 30%), and now increases healing done by 20% (up from 0%).

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Wrath of the Lich King

Forum post of the day: Rogues are unhappy

The patch went live today, and Blizzard wasn't kidding about the Cheat Death Nerf. In case you missed it, here's how it reads:

Cheat Death: This talent has been rebalanced significantly. Killing blows are no longer 100% absorbed. If the Rogue is below 10% health, the killing blow is still completely absorbed; if the Rogue is over 10% health, enough damage will be absorbed to reduce the Rogue's health down to 10%. For the following 3 seconds, damage is not always reduced by 90%; it is now reduced by a maximum of 90%, depending on how much resilience the Rogue has. The damage reduction will be four times the damage reduction resilience causes against critical strikes.

Needless to say, Rogues are pretty unhappy, especially since Blizzard hasn't taken much interest in fixing the "vanish bug." Skudo of Altar of Storms takes this as proof that Blizzard hates Rogues. On top of that this must mean that Blizzard favors Druids since they rescinded their decision to make Scare Beast an instant ability.

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Filed under: Rogue, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Talents, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

Controlling multiple minions and how it might work

We were lucky enough to get an Azerothian ton (they're like twice the weight of normal tons, don't you know) of news about Wrath of the Lich King at Blizzard's Worldwide Invitational this weekend, and hidden in the Death Knight hands on, there's a ton of great information about the way the class' summons will work. Most of the summons seem to be in the Unholy tree -- Death Knights will not only be able to summon the ghouls we heard about earlier, but will also be able to bring down a gargoyle and summon an insect swarm. But the ghouls are what we're most interested in -- Army of the Dead is a level 80 spell (with a 10 minute cooldown!) that will summon a "legion of your best ghouls to fight by your side."

And our question is: how is this going to work? Obviously the ghouls won't actually work as pets as in the way Hunter or Warlock pets work, but surely they'll have a little more control implemented than the Druid's treants or the Priest's shadowfiends, right? As far as I can remember, we've never actually controlled multiple pets before -- are we going to have one bar to control all three with, or will we mark a target as they're summoned? It would seem that with a tanking class like the Death Knight, more focused pets would be a necessity in some cases.

Or maybe our ghouls will be as mindless as ever, and after we hit a button to summon, they'll just head for the closest thing that looks like it might have brains to eat. Hopefully the Death Knight's ghouls will be a bit more interesting than that (there was a rumor a while back that you'd be able to raise your fallen group members as ghouls, though I don't see that spell in the hands on), and if not, I guess there's always other Hero classes to improve upon the pet mechanics.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Talents, Death Knight

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