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Posts with tag aoe

Cooldown possibly coming to CoH, Wild Growth

As a player who recently fell in love with Circle of Healing, this news hits me pretty hard: Blizzard is considering adding a six-second cooldown to CoH and its Druid analogue, Wild Growth. Basically, they're not happy with the fact that CoH often provides upwards of 70% of the healing done by a Holy priest in a raid. The design, according to Ghostcrawler, is for Holy priests to be versatile healers: we have a fast heal, a slow one, a HoT, and several group heals, as well as a couple of unique tricks. But the new, smart CoH sort of blows this out of the water, making Circle the answer to almost every situation, and making AoE healing Holy's de facto speciality (GC's phrase is that it makes our other heals "look like poo").

I'm not sure what I think about adding a cooldown to CoH as a solution to this, though. Initially, I hated it; it looked like Blizzard brute-forcing us to play the way they want us to, instead of making it more attractive by buffing other spells or pushing less AoE damage on us. On the other hand, there is talk of reducing AoE damage necessary. And the more I think about it, the more I think a cooldown might actaully feel good. I do sort of miss my other spells; I don't think I used Greater Heal more than a dozen times the fist raid I did after getting Circle. With a cooldown I could save Circle for when I really needed it. I do like the skill involved in selecting the right spell from our arsenal to deal with the incoming damage - it helps keep me awake during those late raids, and it brings an element of strategy that is missing when I'm just spamming CoH three out of every four GCDs.

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Filed under: Druid, Priest

Shifting Perspectives: State of the class, part 1 - Balance


Every Tuesday, or possibly Thursday when the writer votes on Tuesday and spends Wednesday screaming and beating her laptop over formatting errors, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week Allison Robert steals John Patricelli's column once again, secure in the knowledge that she will never be forced to atone for her crime as long as she writes something nice about ferals and keeps a respectful distance from Dan O'Halloran's whip.

I hate Tauren cat form.

Good. I got that out of my system and can write something productive. Although, believe me, if I could get away with it, an entire Shifting Perspectives would be devoted to just how much I hate Tauren cat form. I mean, just look at it! Look at the angle on the horns! The cat can't bite anything! Christ, I just -- hi, Dan. Yes, I'm totally writing the column! Look at me go!

This week, mindful as always of American election-year politicking, I'm going to borrow a page from presidential duties and write a little something I like to call "State of the Class." Druids have undergone a number of changes in the transition to Wrath of the Lich King, and will acquire even more as they level to 80. We are one of Blizzard's primary targets for both gear and role consolidation, which raises a few questions over how comfortably we're going to scale in relation to pure classes and what we can realistically expect on the march to a new level cap.

The TL:DR version of this article -- I believe our future is generally bright, the Druid community continues to have a few concerns over certain aspects of the class, our focus in PvP seems to be changing the most, and I hate Tauren cat form. This is a three-part post, so let's get started with balance. However, if you want to jump ahead to feral, you'll find that here; and the third part, restoration, is here.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Instances, Expansions, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Buffs, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena

Ask a Beta Tester: Dalaran coins, environment effects, and AoE tanking


I ran into two common questions last night on the Dalaran coin post, so I thought I'd start off by answering those here. I apologize if we haven't yet gotten to everyone's questions; most of them, like Gurluas' question concerning The Missing Diplomat and the high elves in Northrend, we're just not 100% sure of the answer to yet, but I'll keep trying.

Keyra asks...

Just curious...the gold coins all have "Use: Throw this coin back into the Dalaran fountain", yet I've seen people commenting (as well as the author) that they'll carry the coin in their packs. What happens when/if you throw the coin back in?

When you toss a gold coin back into the fountain, you gain the "Lucky" buff for 2 minutes, increasing your chance to fish up any and all coins from the fountain (rather than fishing hooks or goldfish). You don't have to toss them back in if you don't want to, in which case they'll just occupy a bag slot like anything else, or you can sell them to a vendor (not for much). But most people throw the coin/s back in because fishing the coin up is enough to give you the Achievement for getting it. Particular coins would be carried solely for personal or sentimental reasons, i.e. I can definitely appreciate the irony and RP value of grimly hunting Arthas down like a dog while carrying a symbol of Sylvanas' wasted hopes.

Rexigar asks...

Question though, do we have to keep the coins for the achievement or does it count when we throw it back in?

It counts as of the moment you've fished it up. No matter what you do with it afterwards, the Achievement's yours. The same mechanic is true of everything else; once the game "knows" you've done something and an Achievement's gained, nothing can take it away.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Fishing, Blacksmithing, Analysis / Opinion, Economy, Expansions, Features, Factions, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Death Knight tanking overhaul


The ever-helpful Ghostcrawler hit the forums late yesterday with a slew of changes to Death Knight tanking in the form of both bug fixes and buffs. The single biggest "buff" is actually a fairly significant bug fix; Death Knights had half the untalented, ungeared dodge of a Warrior or Paladin, and that was definitely never intended. Between that and a change to Blade Barrier (it's currently activated with all runes on cooldown; it's being changed to activate with only Blood runes on cooldown), Death Knights should see a significant improvement to their avoidance. Threat generation is also getting a nice boost, as Blizzard recognized that Death Knights suffered badly whenever key moves failed to land. Rune Strike is becoming a reactive ability like the Warrior's Revenge, and Frost Strike can no longer be dodged, blocked, or parried. Death and Decay has also been changed to be more competitive with Consecration and Thunder Clap, which is consistent with the overall trend toward AoE tanking effectiveness.

I've healed a number of Death Knight tanks in 5-mans now (you'll be hearing from my grumpy self about this soon) and recognized a few early versions of these issues, certainly in the form of Blade Barrier's often-spotty uptime. While I'm glad that DK's are getting more consistent threat generation, I have to admit that my real concern is the amount of burst they seem to take (something others have noticed as well), so I'm keeping an eye on the tweaks being made.

Thanks to Doug for writing in!

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, Buffs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

Blizzard leaning toward AE Tanking for all

You may recall earlier yesterday that we reported on Thunder Clap losing its target limit, thus quite suddenly making Warriors have a very good chance of being viable AE tanks. One thing that you might have also noticed is that the Druid's Swipe is getting the same treatment (no word on whether it will also be getting the ability to go 360 degrees, but it seems likely, if it's going to be a Thunder Clap/Consecrate equivalent). In addition, Death and Decay, the Death Knight's AE mainstay, recently received a bump to threat gain. That means that all 4 tank classes, in theory, will have the ability to do some Protection Paladin style AE tanking should they want to.

This all seems to be in line with the tanking philosophy Blizzard has been pushing for Wrath, one which Ghostcrawler recently reiterated: Blizzard wants to make sure that all tanks are as equal as possible. There should be no reason to take one class of tank over another, all things being equal, and no reason to sideline your tank because he or she is not the right class. Certainly, if this is to be realized completely, you do have to give every tank a good amount of AE capability, and this latest round of announced tank changes seems to be tailor made to do just that.

As the former player of a Druid tank and the future (current beta) player of a Death Knight tank, I'm very pleased to see these changes. I know that there was nothing more fun that running through a dungeon like Shattered Halls as a DPS with a Paladin Tank leading the way, and the idea that every tank class might be able to do that to some extent in Wrath makes me incredibly excited. It also allows groups to be more flexible in what DPS they take, including DPSers that traditionally have had a hard time getting groups due to having poor CC abilities, such as Cat Druids and Retribution Paladins.

If this change is handled right, it will go a long way toward solving the tank shortage for PuG groups, and, in fact, make the 5-man dungeon run fun again in general.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Skill Mastery: Mind Sear

Mind Sear, one of the new baseline abilities for Priests in Wrath of the Lich King, is an unusual beast. It's a Shadow-based AOE spell, which is fantastic, but it's a little trickier to use than we might like. It looks super cool, so that makes up for some of its issues. Let's ignore the issues for a moment though. Let's take a look at the tooltip, and then I'll explain how the spell works.

Mind Sear Rank 2 - 30 yard range
Costs 28% of base mana - Channeled
Causes an explosion of shadow magic around the enemy target, causing 212 to 228 Shadow damage every 1 sec for 5 sec to all enemies within 10 yards around the target.

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

Ask a Beta Tester: Northrend, tanking, and pop culture


Step off the zeppelin or boat to Northrend and you're in a new world. Even when there's not snow, Northrend simply feels cold. Piano playing in the background in Dragonblight even sounds like ice should feel. It's a brave new world of strange sights, unusual architecture, and unheard of beasts. Curious about what you should expect? Read on.

Nizari
asked....

Have you seen much of the Nordic influence that Wrath is supposed to have? I know you've discussed the Vrykul and the Val'kyr before, but I'm wondering if you've seen any more esoteric or obscure references? I'd find it mighty entertaining if there was a baker who sold Kransekake, or a cooking recipe to make Lutefisk.

I think this question pretty much floored most of the team -- because none of us really experts in Norse mythology. Your friend and mine, Alex, had this to say about Norse influences in the expansion: There are the jormungar, of course, and the Avatar of Freya in the Sholazar Basin. The Avatar of Freya is a vaguely Druidic being that is battling the Scourge and Freya is one of the Titans. The Titans themselves are heavily inspired by Norse and Greek mythology.

For more of your questions -- and our answers! -- read on! But if you're the sort who wants to avoid spoilers, turn back now. We're aiming to avoid major story spoilers, but this feature is all about beta content and we can't talk about the beta without giving a few things away.

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Filed under: Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Spiritual Guidance: Shadows of Wrath


This Sunday, Spiritual Guidance, a haven for Holy Priests, has been bludgeoned with a large rock and shoved aside for the Shadows. Your host this week is Alex Ziebart, who is neither Matt Low nor the the grand poobah of World of Matticus. No worries, though. Matt will be back next week. Probably. Assuming he wakes up.

We haven't had a lot of Shadow love lately, so I figure it's about time we check out our new spells in Wrath of the Lich King. With the level cap currently 77 in the Wrath beta, it's a little hard to gauge just how effective the new Shadow spells really are. You can't see Dispersion in a raid setting or a competitive arena setting, and Mind Sear just doesn't seem balanced for the level you receive it.

I'll start off with Dispersion. Before I was able to use the spell myself, I was really doubtful of its usefulness. This is because for a PvE scenario, it largely just seemed like Evocation for Priests since it Silences you. I've heard time and time again that high-end Mages don't use Evocation at all because it's wasted DPS time when you can just chain potions (which can't be done in Wrath now), or all of the environmental damage break it anyway. Yeah, I can definitely understand that. Sunwell is brutal.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Why we Mage

Hi there! Yes, after a long hiatus, Arcane Brilliance is back. Snack tables all around! Anybody ninjas the biscuits, they get a Fireball in the face. Nah, just kidding. Even ninjas are welcome here. As long as they're mage-ninjas.

I've been a Mage since day one with WoW, and until a few weeks ago I had never really questioned my class choice. I liked the idea of being a caster, a back row fireballer with robes and a pointy hat. When I came over from FFXI I asked my WoW-playing buddy (the aforementioned shammie) which class I should be. He asked what I was into, and I said something like "I want to be a huge caster-tastic wizard in a dress who sets things on fire with his mind. Is there a mage-type class?" He said. "Yes. It's called...Mage." And that was it. I rolled my undead Mage and began conjuring flaming death and croissants. I happily leveled my Mage to 70.

And then...the bubbling, Healthstone-critting warlock happened.

After the jump: Shameful self doubt, soul searching, and finally...sweet redemption! And more Mage-talk.

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Filed under: Undead, Mage, PvP, Features, Humor, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Arena

Beating the Zul'Aman gauntlet


So far we're hearing that most guilds are slowly working their way through Zul'Aman-- while some guilds waltzed in and took over the place, others have had a few bumps in the road, but if you've taken down Karazhan, progression seems to follow about as easily as Blizzard expected.

The toughest part so far seems to come right before what most guilds traditionally take on as the second boss-- Akil'zon, the Eagle god. We ran through boss strategy the other day in our Zul'Aman guide, but the problems people are having are coming from the trash mobs before the encounter-- there's a Suppression Room/Gauntlet type of run that some players are having a hard time with.

So far, the strategy seems to be, first of all, to keep moving. Just like in the other gaunlet areas (the aforementioned Suppression Room, the Lyceum, and the Shattered Halls gaunlet), slowing down will get you mobbed to death. Two tanks seems to work well (one to take elites, the others to take Warriors), and a Paladin tank will not only keep mobs off of clothies, but help out with AoE as well. Keep the group together, get those eagles down first and then focus on the other targets together, and it should be a piece of cake.

Have any other good suggestions for people trying to make it through the gauntlet in Zul'Aman?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding, Bosses

Around Azeroth: AoE damage


Nick sends us this screenshot with only the briefest of notes on Paladin AoE damage by way of explanation. And while I appreciate AoE damage as much as the next person, it's very rare that any AoE results in an image quite this perfect.

Do you have a unique shot of Azeroth or Outland that you'd like to show off to the rest of the world? Tell us about it by e-mailing a copy to aroundazeroth@wow.com, with as much or as little detail as you'd like to share with the world!

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth

PTR Notes: Pet in position

Mania's Arcania is at it again with the Hunter testing. This time, she heard in the 2.3 patch notes that pets will apparently always try to fight from behind their target (thus supposedly removing Parry and Block from the hit table for those attacks, but apparently that's not always 100% either), and she decided to test it out.

When her pet was tanking, she didn't see a change. That seems obvious-- if the pet holds the highest aggro, it would be pointless for them to run around in circles to try and get behind a mob. Unless the target was somehow stunned (Rogues use that tactic all the time, of course), but she didn't say that she was able to test that case at all.

But when she or someone else was tanking, sure enough, the pet slowly circled around to the side of the enemy (which, I believe counts as "the back" in terms of theorycrafting), and attacked there. The problem was that the pet did move slowly, and during the whole time spent positioning, wasn't attacking at all.

It sounds like Blizzard is trying to get some complicated code down here, and I wonder if the result is really worth the effort. But then again, for Hunters who raid, a buff to their pet's attack like this is probably very welcome. And the real reason for this change probably has nothing to do with attacking from behind anyway-- despite the short loss of DPS, keeping pets out of frontal AoE and cleave attacks is definitely a terrific benefit.

Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding, Classes

WoW Moviewatch: 20k DPS in Black Morass


Pretty incredible. Xetrov on Farstriders took a few friends (and a pretty good Pally tank-- never thought I'd say those words) into Black Morass, and trashed all the trash. At once. With AoE. Good lord, look at all those numbers. He says he cracked 20,000 DPS, which is pretty jaw dropping.

And this is also a really good example of how Blizzard has more or less crushed AoE when you're taking on more than ten mobs-- Xetrov has almost 800 spell damage, and yet his crits are hitting at around 150-200, because with so many targets, his spell damage is pretty much negated. He's still pulling down tons of DPS (and when are you really taking on more than 10 mobs, except in wacky situations like this?). But showing numbers like 150 and 160 coming off of a Mage with 800 spell damage show pretty clearly how weak AoE can get with this many targets.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, WoW Moviewatch

Trust me, everything is under control

Marilyn has an interesting point over at WoW Ladies: if you see her grinding Consortium rep and taking on three mobs at a time in Netherstorm, leave her alone-- it's all under control. I sometimes have this same problem as a resto Shaman-- onlookers don't always realize that even though my health is low and I'm almost out of mana, redemption for me is just a huge heal and a Mana Tide totem away. Things may look bad, but really, don't worry about it-- my Earth Shield just got refreshed, and I'm good to go for two more mobs, so no, I don't need saving.

On the other hand, I'm not sure I really want to discourage people to help in this game-- I'd much rather have them help me fight than really be in trouble and have them /laugh as I die. So I'm not sure I'd tell everyone to lay off.

Rather, the problem here is that when I pull a group of mobs, I don't want someone else stepping in and tagging them away from me in the name of help. So there are plenty of ways to help that don't include stealing my XP-- drop a DoT on something that's been tagged (I do this all the time on my Shadow Priest), or throw me a heal (always appreciated, even if my Mana Tide totem is off cooldown). And just paying attention is nice, too-- nothing burns me more as a Rogue than taking the time to sneak up on a mob, only to have them charged by an overzealous warrior who claims afterwards that they didn't see my Distract go off.

If it's legitimate kill-stealing, the best option is just to ignore and move on to a less populated area-- there's no dealing with those people. But if you do see someone fighting a bunch of mobs solo, there are better ways to help than grabbing one of their kills, and chances are they'll be more than happy to help you the next time around.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Leveling

How to AoE for fun and profit


I'm very suprised we haven't posted this video before, but I took a gander through the archives, and while we've touched on the magic of AoE mages before, I don't think I've seen it. If you want to know how to hit up a whole bunch of mobs at a time while playing your mage, this extremely thorough guide will teach you top to bottom.

And for everything else you want to know, you can check out also very in-depth text guide by Bangy posted over on the EU forums, who also references the video above. He covers everything, from spec to process to the best spots to do it at every level. Mage AoE is extremely powerful when set up correctly-- for grinding in the right places, it almost breaks the game. There are a lot of compromises that have to made in terms of how and where you can do it, but in the right place with the right abilities, there's no faster and easier way to crush whole groups of mobs at a time.

Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Fan stuff, Leveling, Guides, Classes

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