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Posts with tag aoe

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

Crowd Control to return in future instances

This opinion probably isn't shared by everyone, but I have to say: I miss crowd control in PvE. Nowadays, thanks to Death Knights or Blizzard or whoever you want to blame, instance runs are more or less zerg affairs -- everyone runs in on a cue, targets whatever the most dangerous mob is, and then lets the rest die off from the incidental damage thanks to their glyph-ed up, AoE abilities. But I long for a more civilized time when CC was used as a more elegant weapon, when a successful group was based on teamwork rather than gear, and when you needed a sheep, or a trap, or a banish, or all three, to make it through the instance.

Fortunately, crowd control isn't dead forever -- GC confirms that while Blizzard doesn't want every pull to take "months of planning" (and obviously they want you to bring the player, not the class, so requiring a Warlock or a Mage along isn't always the best policy), "there will be more CC in the future." Of course, whether that means raids only or future expansions, we have no idea. He does say that "Noxromulous" was made to be accessible, so you might think raids, but one instance players always mention in terms of 5-man difficulty is Magister's Terrace, and let's not forget that that one also came in a content patch.

Despite the bad rep that CC has gotten in PvP, it plays a significant role in the strategy of PvE, and lots of that interesting gameplay has really been lost lately. Hopefully in the future, we'll see Blizzard able to bring back sheep and traps in a way that will test groups without leaving anyone out.

Filed under: Hunter, Mage, Warlock, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Bosses

How have the role forums shaped up?


When Blizzard first introduced the idea of the role forums, players were generally unenthusiastic because the original plan was to dissolve the cherished class forums as well. People warmed up to the idea once Blizzard decided to keep the class forums intact while still warning that they would probably devote a lot more developer attention to the role forums. With the addition of a new class, that made sense; being able to give more attention to just 3 forums is a lot more efficient than trying to spread individual replies around 10.

I genuinely like the Tanking forums. Many of the people posting are sincerely helpful, and take the time to answer questions posed by people new to the job and nervous about their performance. There have also been a number of interesting threads sparked by changes to general tanking practices, what tanks hate most, the ongoing debate concerning Blessing of Sanctuary and Druid AoE threat, Warrior viability on a 3D Sartharion, and concerns over Death Knight tanking weapons. The forum is usually a pleasure to read even if a few threads are kind of off-base, and I think the back-and-forth between four different tanking classes serves to take the edge off concerns that players might otherwise have been convinced were unique to their class (which, let's be honest, is probably one of the effects Blizzard wanted).

I don't spend as much time on the Damage Dealing and Healing forums because my main spends most of her time tanking, and things are a little more volatile over there (mostly because of current PvP concerns). Were the role forums ultimately a good idea? Are they -- shall we say -- working as intended?

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

Shifting Perspectives: So. Um, do bears suck?

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we shelve the column we originally intended to run due to a rather pressing matter.

OK, folks. I have a confession to make. This week's Shifting Perspectives was originally meant to be a full guide to gearing your Restoration Druid at 80, and I'm still going to post that, either this week or next. A lot of people have (correctly, I think) observed that this column has historically paid more attention to Feral than to Restoration or Balance, and it's my aim to balance (har!) that out a bit. Part of it is just that the people who play Druids on staff here at WoW Insider are usually feral, and part of it is that -- at least as of the last numbers we had on it -- most people playing Druids are also feral. I confess I would love to see the demographics on Druids post-Wrath, because I get the sense that Balance in particular has become markedly more popular.

But the Resto post is going to have to wait a few days, not least because my eyes are swimming from so much Wowhead. We found out today that Swipe's threat is getting a significant buff, but over the course of reading the pertinent forum thread and some back-channel discussion here, I ran across a few things concerning bear tanking that really made me sit up after the hell of tanking last night's heroic Old Kingdom and go, "Wait. It's not just me?"

Personally whenever I encounter serious problems in a dungeon I tend to chalk it up to the fact that I suck. I find this to be an efficient and typically accurate means of pinpointing the source of an issue. However, my fellow Druids, our problems may actually be more wide-ranging than that.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Expansions, Features, Classes, Buffs, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Druid's Swipe now generates 50% increased threat

Ghostcrawler mentioned last night that the Druid ability Swipe was on their radar for a fix. Blizzard, and many Druids, felt that when you combined Swipe with the global cooldown it wasn't generating enough threat. There have also been extenuating issues concerning Swipe's effectiveness in picking up mobs in a uniform manner, often requiring the druid to have near perfect positioning.

That's now been "fixed" today via a hotfix.

Swipe's threat has been increased by 50%.

Previously the limitation on the number of targets swipe could hit was removed, along with other classes AoE tanking abilities like Thunder Clap.

The immediate effect of this won't be known beyond "it'll let Druids AoE tank better." There might be some backlash from the other classes that Swipe will now cause too much threat compared to their abilities (thus tipping the scale in favor of a Druid tank). There also might be some concern that people will just spam Swipe.

Only time and everyone's reaction will tell.

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Filed under: Druid, News items

Forum post of the day: A Rogue without a cause

Maximogu of Firetree posed the question "Why bring a Rogue to an 80 heroic?" in the general forums. He claimed that at this point there CC is unnecessary for most tanks that rely on AOE. Most of the trash pulls are handled by AOE classes now, making the Rogue's single target focus obsolete. He argued that Rogues are best suited with Druid tanks that do not handle multiple mobs as well as other tanking classes do.

Here are some of the reasons given for bringing a rogue along:
Anushka of Kel'Thuzad: There's a lot of nasty things that can be interrupted in most heroics. Though I wouldn't take more than one rogue.
Khadros of Frostwolf: To listen to the sound of theirs daggers going schlick schlick schlick.
Morgrimm of Korgath: Because one of my friends is a rogue.
Owari of Frostwolf: To DPS, of course.
Mypetgoat of Bladefist: It's one expendible DPS that won't roll on my gear.
Madia of Maelstrom: They need loot and stuff too.

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

Name one thing you'd change about your class

Ghostcrawler is known to recite this line here and there. He mentions often that the purpose of saying such a thing isn't to get them (Blizzard) to change just one thing in a class the next patch, but to get people to zone in on a real problem.

A real problem is something like "Fury Warriors do not have enough survivability and therefore are less effective in terms of spike PvP and PvE damage."

A non real problem is something like "Blizzard hates Shamans and doesn't pay enough attention to them."

So as an exercise this evening let's see what the WoW Insider readers think. Name one thing you would like changed about your class.

As a full time PvE Protection Warrior, I think that we have a problem with obtaining the hit cap and would like to see more +hit gear drop in heroics and 10-man raid instances. I think an inclusion of items that have both +hit and +parry would help solve this wonderfully.

I've also been known to dabble in Holy Paladins once in a while.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

A Death Knight's first dungeon: Dos and don'ts, part one

Since day one of Wrath of the Lich King, people have been rolling Death Knights. While many seem to be getting along just great, many others are in need of guidance.

This will be a two-part article, and will focus on the things that you will need to know when working with others in a dungeon setting.

Today, I will be discussing the basic things that any meleer should know when entering a dungeon.

Many Death Knights have never had a melee character, and may not know how to avoid aggro while dealing high damage and staying out of the tank's way.

In part two, I will discuss your AoE abilities and their place in a dungeon setting, as well as covering the buttons you should never, ever push while in an instance.

I will also run down some very basic rule of thumbs for your gear and talents, as well as including a discussion about some of the group-oriented talents that you could acquire.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Expansions, Features, Guides, Classes, Alts, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

The Queue: Death Knight jamboree


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.
Yesterday the topic of profession daily quests came up, and there was a little confusion around it. The way the question was phrased combined with how my response was phrased made it sound like most professions have daily quests in Wrath of the Lich King with a couple of exceptions. That is, unfortunately, not true. Of the primary professions, I believe only Jewelcrafting has daily quests. Of the secondary professions, only Cooking has daily quests. Skinners can sometimes skin an Arctic Fur off of beasties in Northrend, and those are used as tokens to purchase recipes. Enchanters do something similar with Dream Shards. They have no normal daily quests, though.

Now with that cleared up, the Q&A! We'll start with Stormscape's question...

Does Crusader Aura or On A Pale Horse affect vehicle speed?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mounts, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue

Changes to AoE in patch 3.0.4

Ghostcrawler let us all know today of a few changes for classes that are being left out of the "AoE fun." He's only talking in relatively broad terms right now, and will give specifics later when things are more locked down.

Some of the changes include:
  • Shaman: Removing threat from the Fire Nova Totem and Magma Totem, and increasing the damage done by the Magma Totem.
  • Rogue: Fan of Knives cooldown removed. Daggers more useful for Fan of Knives.
  • Druid: Swipe will now be a baseline ability.
He mentions that these changes will be seen in the next minor content patch. Ghostcrawler also hints that they will be available in the next PTR push (which we're expecting relatively soon)

Filed under: Druid, Rogue, Shaman, Patches, Instances, Classes

Fan of Knives CD probably gone, Feral AoE coming

I'm currently working on leveling my priest right now (78 at the moment), so I haven't played with this ability first-hand, but Rogues get a fun tool to look forward to at level 80: Fan of Knives. This significantly helps address one of Rogues' long-time weakness: AoE damage. Sure, we're great on a single target, but it's very difficult to build up CP and use them effectively on poly-mob pulls, and Blade Flurry only goes so far. Hence FoK, which is well-timed given how much AoE there seems to be in Wrath. It also gives you something to do when you need to be at range, which happens from time to time.

But FoK has a ten-second cooldown, which certainly limits how much you can use it - for now. Ghostcrawler recently popped his crabby head into the Rogue forums to announce that "We think we are going to remove the cooldown of Fan of Knives altogether." Yay! I would assume this is going to be coming in the next patch, which they keep saying is coming before 3.1, the Ulduar patch. Patch 3.0.4 Rogues, now with ten times the knife-fanning action!

And as if that wasn't enough nice news from GC, he also said "in case it gets asked, Feral druids we haven't forgotten about your AE either." Hmmm, I say. I have also faced this issue on my druid in cat form - I don't really want to go Bear to Swipe, because then I run a high risk of pulling off the tank, but cat form has literally nothing that hits more than one target. I wonder what they're going to give us. Any predictions?

Filed under: Druid, Rogue, Patches

The Queue: Cooking, gardening, and Riptides

Welcome to the second edition of The Queue, our new daily Q&A column where we, the WoW Insider team, try to answer your questions about the World of Warcraft. We won't delay getting into things much today, but please note that I'm saving the lore-related questions you've all asked for Ask a Lore Nerd, which will be coming just later today (every Sunday). With that said, let's start with Gristor's question...

One comment about the size of Northrend... Finally, please, an answer: Is Northrend bigger than Outland? How much bigger/smaller?

It's definitely bigger, but I can't say for sure just how much bigger. The starter zones almost feel twice as large as Hellfire Peninsula was, but I can't say 100% confidently that Howling Fjord is twice as large as Hellfire Peninsula. It's just bigger, and it feels much, much bigger. Northrend feels absolutely massive.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue

Wrath of the Lich King: Druid round-up


Welcome to Wrath of the Lich King, my fellow Druids -- and welcome, I hope, to another expansion full of great things for the class. In general I believe the future is very bright for each spec, and with dual specs coming to the game, it's going to be a lot easier to enjoy the Druid's versatility without having to finance your class trainer's boat payments.

THE DRUID CLASS IN WRATH

  • Restoration: Resto, covered here, has probably taken the biggest blow in terms of both PvE and PvP viability in the form of a Lifebloom nerf and the disappearance of now-classic PvP specs, but we still got a lot of big buffs. Tree of Life has been vastly improved and we've gained both a flash heal (at 80) and an AoE HoT. Unfortunately, Wild Growth may be facing a nerf in the form of a cooldown soon, but nothing's certain yet. I don't want to sound too down here. You will notice the Lifebloom nerf in the post-3.0.2 world, but resto's gained a tremendous amount of raw healing output coupled with its customary mana efficiency. Stay tuned; healing is likely to undergo some major changes soon.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Guides, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King

Spiritual Guidance: Wrath of the Shadow Priest

Each Sunday one of our resident Priests brings you Spiritual Guidance, looking at the ins and outs of the Priest class. This week is brought to you by Shadow Priest Alex Ziebart.

Wrath of the Lich King
is only a few days away, and as soon as we put those install discs in our computer we're back to leveling. There are some Priests who prefer leveling as Holy or Discipline or tri-spec or whatever, but as a diehard Priest of the Shadows, I think they're insane. For the next ten levels, this world is ours.

The Shadow tree is by far one of the best leveling specs, perhaps across all of the classes. I'd put it right up there with Frost Mages. Shadow is very well known for how well it solos, and how smoothly it grinds. This becomes even more true from levels 70 through 80. Some of our spells have been reworked, we get some fantastic new ones, and our new talents are pretty swank. Leveling is a much easier process than raiding or the arena, so we have a nice and calm next few weeks. I've gone over a basic leveling spec before, and now we're going to look at the new (or updated) tools we're going to be using on the way.

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Wrath of the Lich King

Ask A Beta Tester: Spirit, AoE, and raid loot


I'm going to start off this AABT by stealing a question that Alex actually took last time, mostly because I started laughing when I read it yesterday. I have, oh, conservatively, billions of Wrath screenshots on my hard drive at this point, but there's one I remember all too well.

Marathan asks...

Some time ago, there was a talk about new player character models for Wrath - and even some bugged pictures. So the question is, are they going live? Are we finally going to get improved graphics on our characters?

As Alex wrote, Blizzard used one beta build to test the ease of implementing new skins and some of them...didn't turn out too well. Imagine you're me and you get a beta key. Budget a few hours of anticipatory excitement while your main copies over. She's a 70 Tauren Druid who has been with you since day one, your sole 70, and you think she's the most beautiful thing in the game even if to everyone else she's an ungainly 8-foot heifer. Now imagine booting up the Wrath beta for the first time and being horrified to see your beloved character with a Glasgow smile, like the developers had seen the Joker in The Dark Knight and thought, "Hey! We could make that work!"

Holy water did nothing. Neither did crucifixes, garlic, a wooden stake, waving the Bible in the direction of the laptop, or sobbing quietly in a corner.

On the plus side, here was finally something in the game to which Tauren cat form was an actual graphical improvement.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Shaman, Mining, Tailoring, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Wrath of the Lich King

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