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Posts with tag aoe

Blood Pact: Multitarget DPS and situational awareness

ponerya-rain-of-fel-fire
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill discusses how to handle one, some, or many whelps.

Before BlizzCon, I left off with the beginnings of how to put together your UI. While it would be easy to generate a post of macros and Weak Auras import strings, that wasn't my intent. User interfaces in WoW are varied and can be unique to the player, so I think it's a greater lesson to learn how you can design your UI to help you, rather than to help patchwork import settings together for you.

So while the setup of unit frames may have seemed incredibly basic to some readers, knowing where some set frames are helps you take control of how your targets are presented to you. Much like healers considering a raid frames grid to be a central part of a healing UI, having damage targets at the ready is a central if often subconscious part of a DPS UI. Today is another basic topic, but it too has a subtle effect on how a proper UI setup can aid in DPS.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact: WoL, 'locks, and damage done

Blood Pact General damage done on World of Logs MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill wants to coin WoL'lock, but isn't sure if she should.

Last week, I started off with some basics of World of Logs (WoL) regarding warlocks. I started to write a column to go spec by spec, but later I realized that might become a game of find and replace with the different buffs or DoTs important to each spec. So instead, this week is another general World of Logs lesson with a little more specific caster DPS focus with warlock flavor. We'll just build up to the nitty gritty spells next week.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Pro Tip: Damage meters don't tell the whole story

Pro Tip Damage meters don't tell the whole story
Some people /ignore others in random raids or dungeons for language or bad play. I add to my instant /ignore list those who spam the meters in raid chat.

Anyone who cares about whose bar is the longest is already measuring on their own screen. Not only is the reporter almost always on the top (and conveniently never reports when s/he is below), but displaying the damage done for a fight to the same raid who's on the meter is just pure epeen spill. Asking for a damage meter is just laziness (or, in rare cases, a really crappy computer paired with a log-intensive fight).

Let's not forget that problem of boiling a player down to a single number. All three roles of the holy triad have a complex set of abilities for every encounter.

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Blood Pact: Share the love of dead mobs with MoP AoE

Blood Pact Light up the room with your AoE spells MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill enjoys exploding things, whether by smashing mobs to gore splats as a Diablo III barbarian or by chaining together multiple Seed explosions.

A bugged Nightfall won't stop me from enjoying the new Seed of Corruption. I am completely willing to channel Drain Soul on full-health trash just so I can get a 'burned Seed and 'burned Curse combo off on the next pack. Chaining Seeds together is too much fun to pass up.

With this new beta build, Mannoroth's Fury received a little nerf, and I thought about all the new AoE abilities for warlocks. Every spec has multiple AoE options now, both small-scale and large-scale. Even better, no spec feels like a mindless spamming anymore. Even affliction's constant casting of Seed requires a little setup.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Encrypted Text: Rogues need to be number one

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or topic requests.

Back towards the end of Wrath, Blizzard shared with us a lot of information about the then-upcoming Cataclysm expansion. The new 31-point talent trees were unveiled, along with the mastery bonuses for each tree. The mastery bonuses were heralded as the ultimate balancing tool: Developers could tweak these numbers without touching a tree's talents. Mastery would ensure that any given spec could be tuned independently of the other specs.

The concept made sense, as buffing individual talents had a tendency to cause players to just cross-spec into those newly powerful talents. The other option at Blizzard's disposal is buffing talents that are deep in a talent tree, which works well since we can only go 10 points deep into our secondary trees.

In order to buff rogues in the upcoming patch 4.2, the developers have used both approaches. Our assassination and combat masteries are both being buffed by 5%. Deep talents in each tree, like Vile Poisons, Savage Combat, and Sanguinary Vein, are also being improved. Finally, subtlety rogues will see Hemorrhage's base damage improved by 40%, although it remains to be seen how this change affects the spec's viability.

Even with these buffs, combat and assassination rogues are still slated to be well behind most other classes. Rogues are generally middle-of-the-pack in DPS for most tier 11 bosses, and these changes will just make us "less behind." Other classes might ask us why being "average" is so bad. Average might be okay for a hybrid, but rogues need to top the meters -- not for our egos, but by design.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

"Fast patch" 4.1.0a patch notes

Just when you think you're used to the way things are going, Blizzard releases something new. Today's notes aren't a list of hotfixes; they're a "fast patch." This means when you log into World of Warcraft, you're going to have a mini-patch to download -- and it also means that some major issues are being addressed, including one that's been bugging raiders and anyone trying to use AoE spells since 4.1:
  • The targeting reticule for AoE spells and abilities like Magmaw's chains should no longer disappear when players cast spells.
  • Animations while mounted should work normally again. Say hello to your ponies, they're now moving correctly!
  • Character legs should move properly when the character is moving.
See the rest of the notes for 4.1.0a after the break.

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Filed under: Bugs, News items, Cataclysm

Arcane Brilliance: Patch 4.1 PTR for mages, (very) early edition

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we discuss the upcoming patch 4.1, which hit the PTR in the wee hours of Thursday here in the North Americas, sending WoW bloggers everywhere into an early morning, sleep-deprived fit of feverish typing, followed by a deep and possibly fatal sugar and caffeine coma. For those who were lost, we mourn you -- but not for long because we gots deadlines, yo.

So yeah. In case you've been stranded in some Mesopotamian nation or another without internet access for the past few days, we've got a new patch on the PTR. It's not the most earth-shattering patch we've seen, but for some reason I'm just inordinately excited about it. I woke up this morning with dreams of raptors, tiger/panthers, and armored bears fresh in my mind. I was quite sad when Zul'Gurub vanished from the game, but every time I flew over that part of Stranglethorn Vale and saw that the ancient troll city was still there, empty and tigerless, I felt a surge of hope that until the structures themselves vanished, the instance wasn't truly gone.

Just the idea that Blizzard is willing to take old raids and turn them into heroic 5-mans for me to churn through in my daily valor point farming efforts is a cause for celebration. Though old 5-mans get new life whenever you level a new alt through the old content, no single part of the game falls into misuse more completely than obsolete endgame content. To see some of it repurposed in such a relevant way, well ... I'm just giddy. Like a schoolgirl, only male and 30ish. Similar outfits, though. Cough.

So there's a lot there to look forward to, you may be saying, but what about mages? I come here to read about magecraft and also to hear about how warlocks drink their own urine. Where's the info on the parts of the patch that are specific to me? I hear you, reader who I just made up. Read on, and we'll talk all about the few but significant mage changes we can expect in patch 4.1.

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

Spiritual Guidance: Cataclysm heroics vs. Wrath heroics

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Fox Van Allen, your shadow specced host for the Wednesday version of SG, once again finds himself suffering from an IRL version of Devouring Plague. This means three things: 1.) This version of SG was written under the influence of cough syrup; 2.) this version of SG is likely to be a disjointed mess; and 3.) Fox fell asleep on the keyboard three or four times in the middle of writing it.

This past weekend, I've been playing around a little bit with my druid. It's the first I've really played it since patch 4.0.1 went live, and it's really amazing how much has changed. I'm casting Wrath to buff Starfire, and then I'm casting Starfire to buff Wrath. There are a couple new "faux power auras" to learn, too. I kind of like the new mechanic, but the feel of it is just so different than what I was used to back in the days of yore. (For those keeping track, "yore" means, like, September.)

Shadow priests are somewhat fortunate in that our spec worked well enough in the world of patch 3.3.5 that it didn't need some kind of Lunar Eclipse/Solar Eclipse gimmick. Cataclysm plays a lot like patch 4.0.1, which plays a lot like patch 3.3.5. That doesn't mean there aren't notable differences in the way the game plays, though, especially when it comes to something so seemingly familiar as your daily heroic.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Arcane Brilliance: Mage AoE in Cataclysm, part 1

It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column known for its special five-alarm chili recipe. It's a delicate blend of three different conjured beans, spiced up with Fireballs, Scorches, and slow-cooked over a smoldering Flamestrike, loaded with lamb, bacon, and the occasional roasted monkey, glazed with a dusting of Frostfire, then lit aflame with a Pyroblast. And the secret ingredient? Warlock tears.

If there's one thing mages have been known for during the course of this fine game we all play, it's mass murder. We have at our disposal a wide array of spells that wreak havoc over a large area, perhaps more so than any other class. When it comes to killing things in large numbers, mages are remarkably adept. It's a role we embrace wholeheartedly.

AoE has evolved quite since the inception of the game. In vanilla WoW, AoE was a great way to get yourself killed in an instance, a method of attack that was mostly limited to solo farming and certain trash pulls. These days, with the ability tanks have to hold multiple mobs with relative ease, AoE has morphed into the go-to way to deal with multiple-mob pulls of all shapes and sizes. Crowd control has gone the way of Wand Specialization; it simply isn't required in most situations in Wrath.

Cataclysm is bringing with it some fairly sweeping changes to the way we utilize our AoE repertoire. The developers have stated their intention to return us to a time when we actually had to worry about things like crowd control and pull-sizes, and though we're not reverting completely, pulls on the beta certainly feel more like vanilla or Burning Crusade pulls than anything we saw in Wrath. Join me after the break and we'll go over how our AoE spells will work in this coming era.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Cataclysm

The Light and How to Swing It: Less AoE


With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and soon an entire flight of black dragons.

Paladins have changed a lot over the course of the game. Originally, we were intended to just be healers with some additional specs for leveling. Then we were suddenly able to tank and everything was about reflective damage with a dozen or more things hitting you at once with a DPS spec that was usually relegated to the PvP scene instead of in raids. Finally, we've reached a point where all three specs are pretty viable in both PvE and PvP content. That isn't to say that they're the most phenomenal things to ever appear for those particular parts of the game but that we can still be competitive no matter which spec we choose.

The problem with our class is a lack of tools. While our melee components were slowly built out of what was intended to be a healing support class, we've still got a lot of vestiges of the old days tacked to us. Sure, we had a fairly large overhaul in how a lot of our mechanics worked at the start of Wrath of the Lich King, but that isn't to say we're perfect yet. In fact, we need a few more tools in order to make it in Cataclysm.

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Filed under: Paladin, Cataclysm

How not to aggro your tank with AoE

Reader UnstØppable writes in with a question I thought would benefit others: "Does the Bladestorm aggro problem ever get better? What I mean is, I've seen it countless times, the arms warrior enters the dungeon, the tank lets out a sigh (sometimes it's me), we pull the first group and everything goes fine, until he hits that Bladestorm button. That's when somehow he manages to pull aggro from every mob and their mom and makes both the healer's and the tank's lives hell or usually ends up dying within seconds."

Part of the problem here is that certain classes/specs have no aggro dump or reduction ability and as a result their big DPS moves generate a lot of threat. Arms warriors, most DPS death knights (at least the blood and unholy specs I've used) and retribution paladins have limited aggro reduction at best (pallies at least have Hand of Salvation but that's a band aid at best) and while tanking threat (especially AoE tanking threat) requires ramp up time, it's very easy to hit the Divine Storm, Death and Decay, Pestilence, Whirlwind or Bladestorm buttons. (Enhancement shamans with Spirit Weapons seem to be okay, I rarely pull aggro even when I go nuts with Fire Nova.)

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Filed under: Paladin, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight

Lichborne: A death knight primer for tanking 5-man dungeons

Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly death knight column. This week, your host is in a bit of a tanking mood. Those Emblems of Frost don't earn themselves!
So when the Dungeon Finder came out, it was pretty cool even for DPS. A 10 minute wait for a DPS slot for a 5-man dungeon is pretty insanely awesome. If nothing else, it was certainly faster than the old way of sitting in Dalaran for 2 hours picking your nose and watching the LFG channel.

Now that the dungeon finder has been around for a while though, things are getting a bit stickier for DPS. My server averages around 15-20 minutes for a level 80, and I've heard some battlegroups are up to 30-45 minutes, even at prime time. To make matters worse, tanks and healers can continue to boast instant or near-instant queues almost everywhere, leaving the poor DPS green with envy.

Now technically, this is how it's almost always worked. Tanks and Healers get groups pretty quick, DPS has to wait around. And all told, the dungeon finder system is still pretty cool, and you still get a group faster than the old way. That said, now that we've had a taste of true power, I'm sure we're all loathe to lose it. Luckily, death knights have an out: We can go tank.

Whether you're a DPS DK considering going tank for shorter queue times, or a 5-man DK tank newbie looking to up their game, this column's for you.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Guides, Talents, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

The Queue: There's more than one way to skin a worgen


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's (almost) daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky be your host today.

So my thought process Monday morning goes like this. Kubien asks a question about skining worgens. My cat is next to me vying for my attention, and after headbutting me for a few minutes decides to pounce on my arm. Luckily I'm a fatty so all is good and he just bounces off harmlessly to the floor, but it makes me think for a minute about punishing him. Then I remember the old saying, "There's more than one way to skin a cat."

And from cat, to lolcat, to lolwowcats.

I'm sorry Warcraft community, I really am. But what's done is done. Let's just move on and go have some tea and crumpets.

Kubien asked...

"While killing Worgen in Silverpine Forest the other day, it occurred to me I can skin them. When Alliance play Worgen, can I skin them? Please!"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Economy, The Queue, Worgen

Patch 3.3 PTR: Area-of-effect damage cap change


The area-of-effect damage cap is something that doesn't get talked about a whole lot. The first time I noticed it having a real effect on gameplay was in Mount Hyjal ("Hey, warlock! Wake up and throw us another Seed of Corruption!"). So what is it and what is patch 3.3 doing with it?

When you hit a single mob or player with a spell, or some kind of crude inertia-based impact utensil, the game will work out how much damage that target takes. This is based on the various offensive properties of you and the spell or utensil, as well as the defensive properties of your target. The same is true for area-of-effect (or AoE) abilities, though these tend to do less damage to a single target. Add in some more targets and, while it's still fun to do lots of damage to one of them (with the casting and the poking with sticks), you may have a chance to do damage to all of them at once. Let's say that you can do 2500 damage to a single target with one spell or stab, but can only do 1000 damage to a single target with your AoE ability. If you have five targets that you can hit with your AoE, then that will do a total of 5000 damage. Already we're having more fun than just beating on the one target.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Death Knight

The lost art of crowd control

The emblems changes are driving traffic back to the Heroics, and I love it -- 5-mans are my favorite thing to do in the game, and there's nothing more fun to me than sitting down with a group and trouncing a Heroic, reeling in all of the gold and loot we can carry. But there's something missing, still, even in these glory days of achievements and Stone Keeper's Shards and Emblems of Conquest. Yes, it's crowd control. Groups are still gung-ho on AoEing everything in their way, and Blizzard hasn't shown any indication, even in the design of the new instances, that crowd control is anything they want to keep around. I can't remember the last time I trapped something in a group on my Hunter, and I'm sure that the last time I did, some Death Knight broke it right open, Death Grip-ped it back into the group, and then AoE'd it down to nothing.

Bornakk actually replies in the thread that we're just being nostalgic for nostalgia's sake, and that even when CC was required, people whined that they needed to have certain classes in their groups. But what class doesn't have CC these days? Even Shamans got their CC, just as it wasn't actually needed any more. Crowd control added some semi-serious strategy even to trash fights in instances, and while we originally heard that it would come back at some point, Blizzard certainly seems to be done with it.

But we can be patient. The new instances in 3.2 are light to completely empty on trash, so maybe they're waiting for Icecrown to really put our CC skills and coordination to the test. I play a Hunter at endgame currently, so I might be biased, but I do love 5-mans, and I do miss the extra coordination and teamwork that a big CC-required pull provided. Hopefully they can find a way to mix that back in without requiring certain specs or classes to be along for the ride.

Filed under: Hunter, Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding

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