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Posts with tag ability

Rediscovering Alts: A private Cataclysm

I've been playing an enhancement/resto shaman since The Burning Crusade. I like my two shaman because they're not warriors; they have a different playstyle and instead of tank/DPS hybrids, they're healer/DPS hybrids. (Admittedly, they once kind of tanked, if you squinted.) Even to this day, I read Josh and Sarah and Joe every week.

Once Cataclysm came along, I was forced to put my shaman on the back burner for a while. Raid needed tank. Me tank. Me tank hard. (Okay, so I neither write or speak like that.) I also got to enjoying messing around with the various warrior DPS specs. But with the passing of time, as my warriors got geared enough to perform the roles expected of them, I got to missing my shaman.

My orc, I may never level again (at least not until I finally break down and buy a race change to tauren -- you can thank Garrosh "Where did my neck go?" Hellscream), but my draenei, I still enjoy a great deal. I know a lot of Alliance shaman players went dwarf, but I'm fond of my big blue. So I went back and started leveling him and quickly discovered a few things.
  1. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. A lot of the essentials of the class are still there, but a lot really has changed. Fire Nova works entirely differently now. Stat weights are entirely different. We have whole new abilities, and our older abilities were either redesigned, moved around, or in some cases removed entirely.
  2. Sentry Totem is gone. I won't lie: I cried.
  3. We have two forms of CC now! Two! Holy crap, I remember when Hex was barely even viable. Now, it's pretty solid.
  4. Mages have stolen Heroism. This also made me cry.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Guest Post: Vetting puggers -- beyond GearScore and achievements

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

How can you tell a good raider from a bad raider?
  • GearScore? NO. Often times, people will rely on a numerical gear score, but this is not a good way to judge player quality. Very good players will have low gear scores when starting out, and very bad players who have been persistent or been carried can have very high scores. GearScore is not an indicator of goodness or badness; it's purely an indication of how much time and luck the person has had on that character.
  • Achievements? NO. Some group leaders request, "Link achievement, please," but this is not a good method, either. All this indicates is that the person was in the raid when the boss died. You don't know if they were No. 1 DPS or died three seconds into the fight, the same as they do during every fight they've ever been in.
So before you can determine how tell a good player from a bad player, you should understand what makes a "good player."

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Filed under: Raiding, Guest Posts

Argent Tournament rewards found

MMO Champion has posted some of what are believed to be rewards from the Argent Dawn Tournament coming to the servers, and they are pretty awesome. All of the rewards will apparently be purchased with a new currency called Champion's Seals, and those will be earned from doing dailies, some instanced activity (likely a type of mounted combat -- think PvP-esque, but against mobs), and all of the other various tasks the Argent Dawn is lining up for us. The Tournament itself will appear in 3.1 (and Alex has already posted a great gallery of what it looks like on the PTR), but other activities won't appear until a later content patch.

There are epic weapons for everyone (right now priced at 25 seals, though that may change -- the weapons seem to be a little higher 5-man Heroic level), as well as blue boots, belts, gloves, and neckpieces for most classes and specs (all just 10 seals -- about equivalent to the Revered options the endgame reputations). Additionally, you can get tabards for each faction city (at 50 seals, that seems expensive, but they could have a special proc or ability granted with them), you can buy specially colored faction mounts for 100 seals, and at the top of the heap is an Argent Hippogryph for a whopping 250 seals. Seals, it seems, will also be able to be exchanged for reputation commendations, so if you just want to rep up with a certain old faction rep, you can do that, too.

Pretty enticing. We have yet to see how exactly seals will be earned or how easy they'll be to come by, but it seems like Blizzard is planning to make this a catch-all option for endgame in terms of picking up rep, mounts, or gear. Just like the champion tabards let us choose just how we could earn rep for the endgame factions, the Argent Tournament appears to be a chance for folks at level 80 to pick up whatever rep or options they like by doing whatever the Tourney offers.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Instances, Factions, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

Spiritual Guidance: What each type of Priest can do and arena musings


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 PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. This week, Matticus looks at what a Priest can do and reflects on his experience so far in arena.

I managed to get myself into a pickup heroic Naxx group the other day. No, it wasn't on my Priest. The Priest is my baby and I can't lock him into such raids while we're still raiding. It was my Shaman that I took into heroic Naxx. After Flame Shocking and Lava Bursting my way through both Spider and Plague Wings and the first two bosses of the Military Quarter, we came across the Four Horsemen.

(Yes, there is a point to this, keep reading!)

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Classes, Buffs, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Arena

Freezing Arrow and you

Aspect of the Hare has a great post up about "Freezing Arrow for non-Hunters" -- of all of the new Wrath abilities, Freezing Arrow seems right up there with Death Grip as a game changer during instance pulls. But as great as it is (a Hunter can now trap a mob at a distance, which means trapping casters is much, much easier), there are drawbacks that you other group members need to know about, hence AotH's post.

First and foremost, chain trapping is out. On a normal trap, a Hunter can lay down a trap early, and get past the extra 10 second cooldown on getting the trap up again, which means they can have another trap pick up the same mob when the first one finishes its duration. But pulling with Freezing Arrow means you can't lay down the trap early, which means that the 10 second cooldown will always be in effect: there will be ten seconds after the trap comes up before the Hunter can Freezing Arrow again.

There are loopholes, as AotH says: Resourcefulness can help Survival Hunters with the cooldown a bit, and Readiness means a Hunter can throw out two Arrows in a row (but no more than that). And of course positioning helps a lot -- if a Hunter can lay down a Freezing Arrow early and then kite a mob into it, chain trapping is theoretically possible (though with casters, it's going to be really tough, just because you have to move so much to get them to move after you). But non-Hunters beware: Freezing Arrow is good for trapping a mob for about 20 seconds. After that, you're on your own.

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Instances, Wrath of the Lich King

Death Knight's Death Grip as crowd control


I haven't played a Death Knight on the live realms yet (I leveled one through the starting experience during the beta, and am only 79 so far on my main), but I have grouped with quite a few of them now, and the ability that real stands out to me and others seems to be Death Grip. A lot of the other Death Knight abilities are just new versions of other classes' spells, but Death Grip is a pretty new mechanic -- instead of charging or jumping away from a mob, you're bringing the mob to you. And with all new mechanics, players have found new ways to play with them. As you can see in the video above, Death Grip, when chained by a few Death Knights, can even be used as crowd control.

I've seen it used in a few other wild ways, too -- it works great as an interrupt, and when combined with a Hunter trap, it's finally a reliable way to trap ranged attackers and casters. And most of the Death Knights I've seen use it for pulling -- they suck the caster in from a group, and the rest of the mobs come with, and group right up for AoE. And I haven't even been to any PvP matches with Death Knights yet -- I imagine the uses there are even more hilarious, not to mention that I'd be yelling "Get over here!" every time I hit it. Very fun mechanic for the new Hero class.

Thanks, Michael!

Filed under: Fan stuff, PvP, Humor, Raiding, Classes, Buffs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Scattered Shots: Addons for shot timing, threat tracking, and pet training


Last week, Scattered Shots hit the bull's eye on which professions are best for a hunter. Today, we take aim at some interface problems hunters have, and the addons we can use to eliminate them.

A user interface is an ever-evolving work of art. You can use it one way for a long time and then suddenly find one simple addon that lets you change everything and make it much better. Especially with all the problems that show up every patch, I've begun to look at my interface as a constant work in progress. As such, I'm usually in a constant state of getting rid of old addons, enjoying the ones I use now, and looking for new ones that might help me even more in the future. Every choice of what to put in or what to take out is a conscious decision about what will help make my game play smoother, more successful, and more visually interesting.

As hunters, there are a number of needs that we have which other classes don't have - and special hunter addons are there to help in many of those cases, while in other situations, one of the more generalized addons might fit our needs best.

Today I'll cover three of the most glaring interface problems for hunters and show you how I deal with them at the moment. In the comments section, feel free to share your own different interface issues, as well as your own solutions, for the benefit of our readers. Keep in mind that a user interface is an extremely subjective thing, and one solution may not work for everyone. Nonetheless, often times just sharing your idea will inspire someone else to vary it a little and make their own thing out of it, which is even better.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Add-Ons, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Sticks and stones...

Yesterday a player on the WoW forums pointed out that the Warrior skill Demoralizing Shout would be interesting to see in action. According to Undamian's interpretation, essentially, the skill involves insulting your opponents to throw them off balance in combat. Taunt, Challenging Shout, Piercing Howl and Intimidating Shout could also be viewed in a like manner. Unlike similar skills in other classes, warriors aren't considered magic users, so they must have an extensive vocabulary and a lot of creativity in order to affect their foes with mere words and body language.

The original poster's idea, of course, led to a slew of suggestions as to what it is that warrior's actually say when they use these abilities. Community Manager Nethaera even proffered a suggestion, and as the thread progressed, other skills, such as Commanding and Battle Shout were included. Some players even posted catch phrases that they have bound to their abilities in game via macros. What do you imagine your character would say when using these skills? Please keep it clean.

Filed under: Warrior, Humor, Forums

Void Reaver exploited, brought down in 53 seconds


Word's flying around about a Void Reaver exploit that involved mind-controlling a Tempest-Smith, and then blasting the heck out of him with the bomb ability. One guild, as seen above, has brought VR down within a minute-- apparently the ability has no cooldown, so VR can come down as fast as your mind-controlling Priest can click. However, Blizzard has said this is an exploit, and it is not recommended that you do this on the live realms. Blizzard will definitely be watching VR raids-- avoid the banhammer!

But still, a fix has got to be incoming as fast as possible. The question is: how? The most obvious answer is that they have to simply make the Tempest-Smiths not be mind-controllable, but I'm not sure how it works-- in order for the groups to go down right, most raids will sheep or trap these guys, so they do have to still be vulnerable to some kind of CC. The other option is to put the bomb on a cooldown, but even then, that kind of DPS will still help the raid against VR.

At any rate, Blizzard will think of something, and probably sooner than later. Interesting exploit, but an exploit just the same, and a definite no-no.

[ via WoR ]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Fan stuff, Bugs, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Bosses

Breakfast Topic: Abilities you'd like to see in the Warcraft movie

I was recently playing my hunter in a situation where I could not use my pet because I had to use a special item to mind-control a demon in the Netherstorm, and apparently having a pet and mind-controlling at the same time isn't allowed in the game mechanics. As a beast-mastery hunter, I'm pretty weak without my pet, so I had to use Feign Death a lot to get into position next to the demon. Suddenly I imagined my character as a star in the Warcraft movie, feigning death left and right, and laughing at the demons who fell for it every time.

In a movie, certainly, it couldn't be so simple. The plausibility of the plot would require the monsters to figure out something was fishy when the hunter got up from apparent death the first time. Still, I thought if the ability was used once or twice in particularly appropriate moments, it could be really funny and also make the fans go wild, because they would recognize the game mechanics making a cameo in the film. Imagine: the hunter character in the movie is separated from his pet, surrounded by monsters, shot by an arrow and appears to die, only to be fine later on when his friends come to pick up his dead body. Then maybe towards the end, the bad guy feigns death too, and tricks the heroes with their own trick.

What other in-game abilities would it make you jump with glee to see get a cameo in the movie? What place do you think it would take in the story? The first abilities that come to my mind are Polymorph, Vanish, and a paladin's bubble shield -- anything with a strong visual impact that could play a significant part on the story.

Filed under: Hunter, Fan stuff, Breakfast Topics, Classes

Druid epic flight form is live with patch 2.1

Patch 2.1 brought many treats to the adventurers of Azeroth, but one of the sweetest is the Epic Druid Flight Form quest. Unlike its predecessor, Flight Form, this ability isn't handed out to every high level shape shifter with the appropriate riding skill.

The quest to fly at epic speed is long and complex. Revered reputation grinding, Heroic instance running, escort quests, exploding foliage and much more await the intrepid druid. Oh, and they have to pay the 5000g riding skill upgrade before they can even start the quest.

When they finish, druids not only get the Swift Flight Form ability, but also a relic that works for any druid spec: Idol of the Raven Goddess - Increases the healing granted by the Tree of Life form aura by 20, adds 9 critical strike rating to the Leader of the Pack aura, and adds 9 spell critical strike rating to the Moonkin form aura.

An excellent walkthrough, Wiki style, can be found here at the Servants of Seagis guild site.

EDIT: Another reward received in the quest chain: Charm of Swift Flight, Trinket, Equip: Increases speed in Flight Form and Swift Flight Form by 10%. Thanks to Felixia from the Uldum Server for the heads up!

Filed under: Druid, Walkthroughs, Quests, The Burning Crusade

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