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Posts with tag blizzcon-2011

Insights and observations on early Monk DPS mechanics

Pandaren monk posing on pole.
Here at WoW Insider, we're somewhat known for our crock pot, tin foil hat theories. Anne Stickney and Matt Rossi are definitely the best-known for this, as both of them possess levels of lore knowledge that can only be bested by Red Shirt Guy. Personally, I'm not a lore buff. My tin foil hat theories have relatively little to do with wondering if Elune is secretly a Naaru but instead with class balance, generally within the DPS role. With last week's announcement of the monk class in Mists of Pandaria, I've kicked my brain into overtime to figure out just how this class -- and specifically, the windwalker spec -- might come out.

What do we know about monks?

We know that monks will be agility-based melee DPSers (and tank and healer, but I'm focusing on DPS today). We know that they'll be able to use staves, polearms, fist weapons, and one-handed maces, axes, and swords, which means they'll need to be balanced with both two-handed weapons and dual wielding in mind (that is, unless Blizzard restricts dual wielding to DPS and two-handers to tanking, which is a possibility).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, BlizzCon, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

The Queue: Back in the land of weather

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Today is my first day back in Wisconsin post-BlizzCon, and I have just one word to describe how it feels to be back home: cold.

Phoenix asked:

Alex, you've been saying for years how much you hate pandas. Are you going to quit in MoP?

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Filed under: BlizzCon, The Queue

Spiritual Guidance: The priests of BlizzCon 2011

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers the healing side of things for discipline and holy priests. She also writes for and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

This past weekend, BlizzCon 2011 brought a plethora of announcements for World of Warcraft. Players can now look forward to pandas, a dramatically new talent system, a Pokémon-style minigame, and lots more. Priests in particular are in for radical changes with the new talents, and while I suspect some of you would like to hear my perspective on things, I'm going to wait a week and see what else unfolds from the blues as they respond to some of the more obvious questions the community is asking. This also gives me the opportunity to follow through with my original plans of introducing you guys to some of the priests I met at BlizzCon 2011.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Faces of BlizzCon: Guildmates tighten bonds at BlizzCon meetups

Fail Squad
Couldn't make it to California for the convention? WoW Insider takes you behind the scenes at BlizzCon 2011.

Face time -- it's an indispensable part of the human equation of forging bonds and getting on the same page. Friendships that used to rely solely on guild chat and forums deepen under the influence of voice chat, Facebook, and instant messaging. Today, we know our guildmates better than ever, but nothing can replace coming face-to-face, shaking hands, trading bear hugs, hanging out over days' worth of gaming and dinner and drinks ... and of course, endless discussions about WoW.

We talked with three of the many guilds that met up at BlizzCon 2011: Fail Squad, a 10-man raiding guild celebrating its first anniversary; Chatcon, a group of players who came together via chat room with a common goal of handling trolls on the official Blizzard forums; and Crisp, a U.S. top 100 raiding guild bonding in game over hard modes and out of game over BlizzCon drinks.

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Filed under: Interviews

Gold Capped: Pokemon pandas, the economy, and BlizzCon 2011

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Fox Van Allen and Basil "Euripides" Berntsen aim to show you how to make money on the auction house. Feed Fox's ego by emailing him, tweeting him at @foxvanallen, or by participating in your city's Fox Van Allen 5K Walk to Support Leg Tension.

Any time a new World of Warcraft expansion is announced, a flurry of information and speculation comes with it. For us auctioneers, the announcement of Mists of Pandaria at BlizzCon 2011 was no different. Pets, professions, and more -- Mists of Pandaria will going to bring plenty of major changes to the game's economy.

To be sure, the Auction House wasn't the most talked-about aspect of WoW at this year's BlizzCon, at least directly. But when you consider how major the announcement of non-combat pet combat was and start considering how these pets will be fully tradeable ...

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Filed under: News items, Economy, Gold Capped, Mists of Pandaria

Totem Talk: Post-BlizzCon restoration shaman thoughts

Shaman Class Icon
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and co-host of the For the Lore and Raid Warning podcasts), shows you how.

It has been a very exciting weekend for every World of Warcraft fan. BlizzCon is that one yearly event where news unlike anything else we've heard all year comes out. We were treated not only to the announcement of the next expansion, Mists of Pandaria, but a plethora of changes for every class and spec.

The big news outside of the expansion was the announcement of the new talent system. In patch 5.0, a new talent system will come along and replace the one we have grown to know right now. It came as a bit of a shock, especially after we were bumped down to the 31-talent point system we have now. The system has a lot of exciting things that will have an impact on our healing; probably most important is that talents will no longer be a key factor in determining a character's power.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

WoW Moviewatch: PvP by Ken Ashcorp

PvP won the BlizzCon 2011 song contest. This isn't Ken Ashcorp's first song, but here's hoping this is the one that turns into a breakaway hit for him. On the BlizzCon floor itself, we only heard a few second of the music -- a disappointment, since you could instantly hear what a catchy tune it must be.

This isn't much of a video; actually, it isn't a video at all. While we don't normally cover non-videos like this, PvP is more than good enough to make up the difference. It's hard to believe this is a battle anthem, considering the lighthearted, fun style, but PvP clearly speaks to antagonistic, heavy-breathed combat. The lyrics are clever and fast-paced, relying on alliteration and poetic timing to convey a sense of anticipation.

Here's hoping someone reaches out to Ken and offers to turn this into some machinima. It's wonderful music with fun lyrics, worthy of all the attention it can get.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Faces of BlizzCon: We asked Ask Mr. Robot

Ask Mr. Robot
Can't make it to Anaheim for the convention? WoW Insider takes you behind the scenes at BlizzCon 2011.

WoW Insider has scored an exclusive interview with the intellect behind the gear optimizer Ask Mr. Robot -- Mr. Robot himself. The elusive Mr. Robot is rarely spotted in the wild, let alone in places as packed with unaugmented humanity as BlizzCon. While we'll be bringing you a more in-depth interview soon with the dev team of Ask Mr. Robot (how the tool will be handling the upcoming new talent system, the inner workings of spec scores and stat weights, what's ahead with new apps, service levels and games), we felt it was vital to bring you this binary code translation straight from BlizzCon and Mr. Robot himself.

WoW Insider: What is the most challenging aspect of working with WoW-playing humans?

Mr. Robot: The most challenging aspect of working with WoW-playing humans is feelings. Everybody has a feeling about everything. How can you feel about numbers? About gear? There's nothing to feel about that.

What is the best class?

Not rogues.

What steps can we take to become favored vassals after the robot uprising?

That is a very good question. There's a lot of things that you can do.

First, use the website, because that offers you basic protection. Having the mobile app offers another layer of protection. I've been developing all these layers of protection specifically to save humans from the robot apocalypse. We're going to be releasing even more features; the more you use, the more you are protected.

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Filed under: Interviews, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2011: Early monk abilities and the dark side of the force

I was able to sit down at the Pandaria demo stations at BlizzCon 2011 over the weekend and play a Pandaren monk two times in a row. (It was a short line.) I came away with the impression that the monk class may be one of the most interesting and dynamic classes to play in the game. Similar to the death knight, there is more than one resource to manage, and it makes the class enjoyable and engaging.

This is how it works. The basics are very similar to playing a rogue except that there is (currently) no auto-attack. You have a bar of chi that mimics the rogue energy bar. You also have a bar with slots for four light orbs and four dark orbs. The basic level 1 attack, Jab, consumes 40 chi (out of 100) with every shot and grants you both a light orb and a dark orb.

Also at level 1, you get an attack that consumes one light orb that does twice the damage of Jab. If the target is over 50% health, it inflicts three times the damage of Jab. At level 2, you get a kick that inflicts three times the damage of Jab and consumes two dark orbs but returns one if the kick kills the opponent.

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Faces of BlizzCon: It's a long way to BlizzCon

Blizzard fans from Denmark
Can't make it to Anaheim for the convention? WoW Insider takes you behind the scenes at BlizzCon 2011.

It's a longer teleport to BlizzCon for some groups than for others. Guild groups from across the United States and Canada knit BlizzCon into epic road trips and shout across the aisles of flights packed with players comparing specs and progression. Still, it's not as uncommon as you might think to discover that the fan next to you in line is from another continent entirely.

BlizzCon is the trip of a lifetime for 21-year-old Christian Olsen and 22-year-old Mickey Exaudi of Roskilde, Denmark. The best friends are spending nine days here in America. Yes, they're planning to hit Universal Studios and the other Southern California tourist standards -- but Blizzard and BlizzCon is where it's at for this focused duo.

"I don't believe in religion -- I'm an atheist -- but this is the closest thing to me," Christian says with utter earnestness. Mickey laughs, yet he agrees with the sentiment. One of the first things the pair did after arriving was a pilgrimage to Irvine to see Blizzard headquarters. "Yeah, we could only just drive by and see the outside," Christian admits, "but wow. That's where it all happens. Wow."

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Filed under: Interviews, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2011: Day two round-up

BlizzCon 2011 rolled into it second day with players excited about Friday's revelations and eager to get in front of the panel microphones to complain about their classes. You know, in these troubled economic times, if you want to be a jerk to the developers, it really makes more fiscal sense just to use the forums where you can do it for free. Fortunately for the rest of us, that wasn't all that was going on.

The news is out -- we'll be playing Mists of Pandaria! Find out what's in store with an all-new talent system, peek over our shoulder at our Pandaren hands-on, and get ready to battle your companion pets against others. It's all here right at WoW Insider!

Filed under: BlizzCon

Breakfast Topic: That's all, folks

Whew. Well, those of us who were at BlizzCon 2011 are all on their way home today (except for Fox, who wandered off in the middle of the last panel and has not been seen since ... but we figure he'll turn up eventually). On behalf of all of us here at WoW Insider, we'd like to thank you for hanging with us, and apologize for the fact that this week's articles are all going to be written while sleep-deprived, hungover, or under the influence of copious quantities of caffeine.

So what did you think of this year's BlizzCon? This was definitely a more raucous convention than last year's, which was the calm before the Cataclysm storm. While readers have weighed in on what they're looking forward to the most (and the monk seems to have a clear advantage), there was still the rest of BlizzCon to consider. Did you watch the Foo Fighters concert? Did you order the annual pass? Do you have a favored pet picked out yet for battling other players? And what's up with that snake tail in Gundrak, anyway?

The news is out -- we'll be playing Mists of Pandaria! Find out what's in store with an all-new talent system, peek over our shoulder at our Pandaren hands-on, and get ready to battle your companion pets against others. It's all here right at WoW Insider!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, BlizzCon, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

BlizzCon 2011: Crafted wands returning to enchanters

During this afternoon's Open Q&A the topic of crafted wands was mentioned at the mic. Will we be seeing crafted wands again? The answer: yes! Wands were a bit of an itemization gap in early Cataclysm and managed to earn the ire of every caster world 'round. We've discussed the possibility of a return to the days of crafted wands right here on WoW Insider, and we're all pretty glad things will be going that way.

The deconstruction of the ranged weapon slot in Mists of Pandaria may have had an impact on Blizzard following through on this. Wands are the only weapon type that doesn't have some crafted item in Cataclysm, but wands becoming a primary weapon option for casters makes it that much more important to have crafted options available.

The news is out -- we'll be playing Mists of Pandaria! Find out what's in store with an all-new talent system, peek over our shoulder at our Pandaren hands-on, and get ready to battle your companion pets against others. It's all here right at WoW Insider!

Filed under: BlizzCon

Faces of BlizzCon: The honeymooners

Honeymooners at BlizzCon
Couldn't make it to California for the convention? WoW Insider takes you behind the scenes at BlizzCon 2011.

BlizzCon is for lovers. You'll spy plenty of couples strolling hand-in-hand through the darkened convention halls, seemingly as intent on gazing into each other's eyes as they are gazing into play-testing monitors for the upcoming Pandaren experience. Among them: newlyweds Tommy and Diane Wallace, freshly arrived in Anaheim from their Wednesday wedding in sunny Las Vegas.

While the couple didn't meet playing World of Warcraft, it didn't take them long to get there together. Tommy, a hardcore raider and player since the days of classic WoW, introduced Diane to the game not long after the two became romantically involved. She took to it like a duck to water, and it wasn't long before the two were raiding side by side. It looked like wedding bells would be inevitable before the year was out.

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Filed under: Interviews

New character models are in the works

One of the most interesting tidbits dropped during the World of Warcraft Open Q&A is a note concerning new character models for the game's older races. If you've played the game for any length of time, it's instantly obvious that not all character models are created equal, and the game's earliest races are in a pretty sorry state in comparison to their later counterparts. As we learned in the art panel, the male pandaren has 10 times the number of digital "bones" possessed by the game's older races, allowing them an unprecedented number of fluid and dynamic animations. As Milka, one of our commenters, just noted, "I heard that they're creating animated belts. My troll woman still can't blink. Result: My belt will be more expressive than my face."

Players have been asking for updates to older races as a result, and developers have confirmed that they are in the works and being actively designed by the character artists. However, they don't want to put something in the game that feels like a betrayal to a character that you've had for years, so they're proceeding carefully. There's no word yet on when we can expect to see them, but it's good news for everyone who'd like their older toons to look as good as their newer ones!

Edit: Zarhym has just posted on the forums clarifying the information given at BlizzCon, although there's no new information to share.

The news is out -- we'll be playing Mists of Pandaria! Find out what's in store with an all-new talent system, peek over our shoulder at our Pandaren hands-on, and get ready to battle your companion pets against others. It's all here right at WoW Insider!

Filed under: BlizzCon

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