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Posts with tag buff

Phat Loot Phriday: Delicious Chocolate Cake

Seeing as food has been on our minds this week at WoW Insider (with both the new Well Fed Buff column and Maureen's World of WarCrafts), I figured we'd give the foodies in the audience something to pine for this week. Expect more big pointy sharp things only available from late game raids next week.

Name: Delicious Chocolate Cake
Type: Food
Damage/Speed: N/A
  • "If you spend at least 5 seconds eating, you will become Very Happy for 1 hour." What does Very Happy mean? Nothing, except that you get a buff that lasts for one hour.
  • Does the buff do anything? Nope, nothing percievable. Does it at least kick off a negative debuff? Nope. Does it replace one of your current buffs? Nope. Is there any reason to eat this cake at all, besides that it gives you a useless Happy buff? Of course! It's cake!
  • If you are the kind of person who leaves comments on a Phat Loot post complaining that a useless piece of food is not Phat Loot, go eat some of this cake. Hopefully it will make you Very Happy, and then we'll all be that way.
How to Get It: This recipe is actually new in 2.3-- it's a reward hidden in the food given to you by the cooking daily quests in Shattrath. When you finish the daily quest, you get Crates of Meat and Barrels of Fish, and this recipe, which is BoP, will be randomly hidden in one of those from time to time.

And despite coming from a high level daily quest, the cake is actually only level 1, so it's pretty easy to make: you need your Simple Flour (8), 4 Ice Cold Milk, some Mild Spices (4), 8 Small Eggs, a whole Flask of Port (yowza! you can get those from most of the bartenders in the major cities), and 3 Mageroyal. Which means that there is apparently no chocolate in this cake at all, and that means that, even though I shudder to say it (as much as I like Portal, I think the meme died about a week ago), the cake is indeed a lie.

But it is tasty. And who doesn't want a Very Happy buff?

Getting Rid of It: A vendor will give you 1s 25c for it, but a better option would be to just go around passing them out, or give them away to guildies as birthday presents for the next year. I've heard rumors that people don't know what they are, and that they've been selling on the AH for hundreds of gold, but if you were unlucky enough to sell out for one of these, just remember that there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying 'till you run out of cake.

Filed under: Cooking, Items, Odds and ends, Humor, Phat Loot Phriday

Doomguard & Infernal getting buffed

Yesterday, a player posted on the official WoW forum asking about the current state of the Doomguard and Infernal Warlock pets. It's a hassle to learn how to summon these demons, requiring the completion of multiple quests for each, and summoning them requires reagents, including the death of one of your party members (for the Doomguard at least). With all these requirements, one would think the pets would be worthwhile, but their cost and unpredictability (they have to be continually enslaved, which is on diminishing returns and may break at any time) make them worse than the normal Warlock pets.

Eyonix answers the original poster, saying that the devs are concerned about these pets and will buff them sometime in the future. That "future" may be the next expansion, but this is a better answer than the class has received on the subject in a long time. To the best of my knowledge, previous answers were something along the line of "These spells may have situational uses and will not be changed from that role". Now there is once again hope that these cool and iconic (watch the original WoW cinematic, if you don't recall) Warlock pets will become more than simple novelties.

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Filed under: Warlock, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

2.3.2 patch notes updated

Earlier today, Salthem posted updated patch notes on the European WoW site and Teza has reposted them at World of Raids with all the changes highlighted. From my quick scan of the list, it appears that resto druids are getting nerfed, mages' Mana Emeralds as well as rogues' Hemorrhage ability are receiving some rather neutral changes, and rogues' Shadowstep is getting buffed.

From my understanding, tree druids are currently able to maintain a high level of healing per second through careful upkeep of Lifebloom on their targets. This is due to the fact that a druid can pop all his trinkets to maximize his +healing and then cast the spell. As long as he keeps refreshing the HoT before it "blooms", it will maintain that maximized level of +healing, thus making for a very efficient and powerful spell. As I understand the new patch notes, this will no longer be possible since the incoming Lifeblooms will overwrite the +healing value of the previous ones. I don't play a tree druid, but I'm sure some of my guild mates will be ranting over this in tonight's raid.

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Filed under: Druid, Mage, Rogue, Patches

Elemental buffed

Hello, saga of Shamans in patch 2.3! We haven't had a post about you in, oh...a day or so. Time for an update, don't you think? And this one ought to be pleasant to most of you readers. But first, a recap.
  1. Blizz promised buffs for Elemental DPS in 2.3.
  2. It turned out to be a nerf on the PTR (for anyone over +200 damage).
  3. Shamans got very upset.
  4. ???
  5. Blizz realized they'd made a mistake, and buffed Elemental DPS!
Yes, it's true. Eyonix has recently made a post in the Shaman forum promising an imminent hotfix to the PTR, to the tune of a 5-6% increase to the damage coefficients of Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning. According to the whelp, this works out as follows:
  • <1100 +damage: slight buff to DPS (as compared to 2.2)
  • 1100-1200: no change
  • >1220: slight nerf
Well, it hardly seems to be the buffs that were promised back in the day, but hey, it beats a nerf! How about it, Shaman players? Are you pleased now, and ready to go back to your regular totem-dropping lives?

Filed under: Shaman, Patches, News items

Mage buffs on the horizon

Here's some more good news today for mages. On top of Hypothermia going back from 45s to 30s, Kalgan has stopped by the mage forums to promise some additional buffs in person. These probably won't make it into 2.3, but he says they'll go in "in the near future." My guess is that translates to 2.3.X or 2.4. It looks like Blizz is basically in a "buff" swing recently, which fits in with their general design philosophy -- start underpowered, and then build the classes up as necessary. Buffs make far fewer people angry than nerfs do.

What are these buffs, you ask? Trainable Ice Block, and "to-be-finalized improvements to mana issues in longer fights" (source). We've been seeing more and more skills moved to trainable as the game has matured, from Evocate to Holy Fire to Improved Sap. Ice Block mades good sense to add to that list. Kalgan's reasoning is that IB is something they want to be able to design PvE encounters around all mages having, and that it helps open up the range of viable specs for PvP. As far as the "mana issues" improvements, it's hard to comment too much on that without any details, but efficiency is good. Any speculation on what they're going to do there?

Oh, and in a later post, Kalgan lets slip that mana gems are also slated to be buffed. Let that be a sort of after-dinner mint of buffage.

Filed under: Mage, Patches

Patch 2.3 and you: Elemental Shaman edition

Earlier today, the up-close-and-personal Enhancement shammies got some boosts, and Elemental improvements were promised for patch 2.3 as well. And here they are! Eyonix delivers:
  • Being a level 70 elemental shaman myself, I'm particularly excited as currently I feel the class is in good shape, but in need of a few minor tweaks. I'd say the one I'm most pleased with (especially after seeing the results of change on an internal build) concerns lightning overload. When 2.3 launches it will have a 4/8/12/16/20% chance to occur, though the additional spell will cause half damage, still ending up being a noticeable increase to overall dps
  • Also, the additional spell will cause no threat whatsoever.
  • [Regarding] the mana spring totem. Previously it restored 12 mana every two seconds at maximum rank, for your entire party. As of patch 2.3 it will restore your groups mana by 20 every 2 seconds.
    This equates to 50mana/5 for each member of your party without the talent points in restorative totems.
  • The second change impacts water shield. This spell will no longer cost any mana to cast (which also means the five-[second] rule will not be affected) and the mana granted per globe has been substantially increased. Additionally, the spells duration has been shortened to one minute and at the end of its duration it now grants mana for any remaining globes.
  • Elemental Focus will now reduce the mana cost of the next two damage spells by 40%. Now before theorycrafting begins, this is actually a buff except in cases where your chance to land a critical strike with spells was extremely high.
  • Frostshock will no longer be subject to diminishing returns which I'm sure players will find useful, especially in pvp.
  • Lastly, we are making a change that will cause a reduction in dps, however, the elemental shamans overall dps will still be improving with the change that we're making to lightning overload. We're reducing the casting time of Lightning Bolt to 2.5 seconds (from 3 seconds), and chain lightning to 2.0 (from 2.5 seconds), causing benefit from spell damage to be reduced appropriately. The mana cost for these two spells are being lowered as well.
    The lightning mastery talent's cast time will now be reduced by .1/.2/.3/.4/.5 seconds. So, casting time for the spells ends up being the same as before. (All of the above from this Eyonix post)
  • We're increasing the additional mana granted by water shield for both the Tidefury Raiment and the Totem of the Thunderhead. (Eyonix)
Now that is what I call a lot of changes. Well, my LB-loving friends, are you happy with this stuff? Not all of these changes are Elemental-specific, of course; the mana spring totem change, for instance, helps everyone, Shaman or not. How do you think these changes will interact to help or hurt Elemental shamans?

In other Shaman news, Eyonix has said basically "no cc 4 u", at least until Wrath:
  • If we give shaman a cc abillity it won't be until Wrath of the Lich King.

Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Forums

Breakfast Topic: What one buff would you give your class?

Dolarhyde of the Boulderfist server posed a simple, but interesting question on the official forums today: what one buff would you give your class?

The reason I almost always choose druids in the multitude of MMORPGs I play has less to do with RP and more to do with versatility. I love hybrid classes, especially the more offensive ones that can still heal (hello shammie alt!) So when it comes to what's missing from my class, it's hard for me to put my finger on it. Hybrids tend to do so well, but to give them another major ability could water down other classes.

Many fellow druids believe this class is missing some serious crowd control ability, though we have it in limited forms through Cyclone, Entangling Roots, Force of Nature (aka treant pets), Hibernate (beast and dragonkin only) and off tanking in bear form. I'm not sure we need a Priest level AE fear or a Rogue sap. Other players have called for more aggro tools for druids, especially Balance druids. But the class is built to survive a beating and isn't as squishy as those with better aggro management abilities.

I'm stumped on what buff I would give druids, but I'm interested to see what our readers would give their own class. Let's hear it.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Classes, Buffs

Insider Trader: Dope raid-doping (or, consumables for raiders)

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Now that the furor over patch 2.1 changes to elixirs has died down, most raiders have settled into a routine with their favorite fix of consumables. A few reluctant players are still debating whether pots, flasks and elixirs should be expected for raiding at all, but most have come to accept consumables as part of the raiding experience. Flasking up and "chugging" pots every two minutes is widely accepted as common practice when learning new encounters: healers chug mana pots, tanks chug for armor, DPS casters chug destruction pots, melees chug haste ... Once content is on farm status, most raiders ease off the throttle and drop pot-chugging and routine flasking.

Raid consumables lists used to resemble literary epics. The sheer variety of possibilities and combinations was overwhelming. Players felt whiplashed by the increasing speed of the treadmill and accelerating investments of farming and gold, as growing awareness of these performance-enhancers drove expectations higher at all levels of raiding. Patch 2.1 changed all that, standardizing the types and timers for elixirs and limiting the number of performance-enhancers that could be used at any given time. This simplified the possibilities for frazzled raiders who were lugging bags stuffed with a virtual cornucopia of consumables.

Still, for new raiders, figuring out what to bring and what to use can be a daunting task. A huge proportion of these boosters are player-made items from various professions. Insider Trader is here to help you comb through the possibilities, bringing you an outline of the basic principles of raiding consumables plus links to an exhaustive list of performance-boosters. Read on for the most dope performance-dopers for raiders.

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Filed under: Tips, Raiding, Buffs, Insider Trader (Professions)

Escape Artist facing raised cooldown?

Are they toying with the Escape Artist cooldown? I sure thought this thread, after reading the first post today, would get closed down but quick, but instead, after a player asked for Escape Artist to be removed from the game, Drysc offered the compromise of a cooldown.

Wait, what? Was he joking? Escape Artist, the Gnome racial ability that allowed them to ditch any roots once per minute, got a nice buff and was made instant cast at 2.0, but I hardly think it's overpowered enough that it deserves a cooldown. Drysc's comment seems a lot like a joke (and an MVP shows up later in the thread to "deny" the change), but could the ability be facing a nerf in the form of a longer cooldown?

Advocates for it point to Will of the Forsaken, another "break free" racial ability (it allows Forsaken to break fear once every two minutes, and if EA is nerfed, it would probably be given a two minute cooldown). But WotF also provides 5 seconds of fear immunity after being used, and EA doesn't provide any immunities at all.

Hopefully this is all a moot point, and Drysc was just messing with Gnomes (a hilarious pastime to be sure). But it could also mean that the little kneebiters are looking at an upcoming nerf.

Filed under: Gnomes, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP

A Druid with 122k health? She must eat her Wheaties.

As I was browsing the WoW forums earlier, I came across this little gem of a thread. A Druid named Scarmbrena from Boulderfist managed to obtain over 122,000 health (yes, you read that right) by stacking a buff called Mol'dar's Moxie.

Mol'dar's Moxie, for those that don't remember the good old days of Dire Maul North "Tribute runs," was a buff given to you by Guard Mol'dar that grants an additional 15% stamina for 2 hours.

Scarmbrena describes in the thread how she was able to stack this buff a total of 15 times, bringing her total stamina to 11,896 and her health to a whopping 122,394! Just to put that in perspective, Pathaleon the Calculator (the last boss in the Mechanar), has 130,000 health.

Obviously, this qualifies as an abuse of game mechanics (albeit a creative one), but even more surprising is that the patch notes for 2.1 state that the Dire Maul Tribute buffs shouldn't work on a player over level 63, yet in the screenshot linked in the thread, Scarmbrena is level 70.

I can't say I recommend that anyone try this since Scarmbrena almost got banned herself for it, but it is interesting to see a player amass that much health!

Filed under: Druid, Bugs, Buffs

A case for patience on the PTRs

You'll forgive me for trying to inject a little reason into a nerf debate (an impossible task, probably), but that's what I'm about to try and do anyway.

Yesterday, mages, warlocks, and shadow priests were up in arms about the changes on the test realm to the tailoring epic outfits. Blizzard was experimenting with adding ability stats to the armor while nerfing spell damage, and tailors went ballistic over the changes. And so, within a matter of hours, Eyonix announced on the forums that the changes had already been reverted and would not go to the live servers.

Now, yesterday I said the nerfs weren't that big a deal, and since then, I've seen some good points that say they were-- lots of people spent lots of time and gold getting just these recipes together (some even leveled tailoring for just these pieces), and it definitely presents a problem to make serious changes to gear that people have already sacrificed a lot for.

On the other hand, there were good reasons behind the changes as well. As even a few tailors have said, these crafted pieces matched up to the Tier 4 and 5 pieces, and I see problems with basically requiring clothies to be tailors to be competitive in the endgame. Many warlocks cried the most about the changes, but because +spell damage doesn't translate directly to most of their DOT spells, in many cases, they would actually be the least affected (Update: In hindsight, I shouldn't have judged how affected anyone was by this change. But that's not the point of this article-- read on.)

But my point now isn't to argue whether these sets should have been changed or not. What I want to point out now is that being outraged on the forums and yelling at Blizzard about something that's happening on the test realms will actually impede the developers' abilities to make good changes on the live ones.

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Filed under: Tailoring, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Breakfast topic: Hand out some buffs

theantipoet asks a great question over on Livejournal:

If "you could buff any class -- any class but your own (your main or mains if you've got multiple) -- which class would it be and how would you buff them?"

I'll say that if you want cool points on this one, you should stay away from any classes you play regularly-- for me at the moment, that'll be shaman, rogue, and hunter. I really like anti's answer of priests-- they are QQing a lot, but there is no reason they should be DPSing while paladins heal in raids.

Personally, I'd hook up prot warriors a little bit-- right now, their DPS is such a joke that the only way they can really play is in instances. I'm not saying that we should give them tons of DPS-- that would mess everything up in PvP-- but just a little extra DPS would let them solo, and wouldn't unbalance PvE groups that much (since it's likely that if the group makeup is right, the prot warrior's DPS will still pale in comparison to your regular DPS class's hits).

A buff like that isn't really necessary, but it's an interesting thought experiment to see where you might make positive changes that don't actually affect you. So if Blizzard suddenly gave you the chance to buff any class except your own, what would you say?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Classes, Buffs

When it comes to nerfs, maybe change is good

Here's a fascinating post over on Terra Nova. Joshua Fairfield has been playing a lot of Arena PvP, and he suspects something very interesting: that the developers might not be trying for equilibrium in PvP at all. They may actually be trying for imbalance.

Our assumption, he says, is that with every nerf and/or buff, the developers are trying to reach a nirvana of balance-- a game where every class has an equal chance to win when all of their abilities are used correctly. Keep in mind that the "chance to win" could only involve a percentage of the time-- Blizzard has already stated that they're working for a "rock, paper, scissors" solution, where rogues beat casters but warriors beat rogues, and so on. But we've assumed that the main goal is a balance, where as long as every class is played well, every class will win a certain percentage of the time.

But Fairfield suggests the opposite-- that "games that seek permanent engagement by communities," i.e. MMORPGs like WoW, are actually working against equilibrium, and fighting to keep things constantly interesting. Mages are winning because of Pyroblast's high damage? Nerf it to make Mages use other spells. Warriors are being kited around? Give them a way out of it, so other classes have to learn new strategies.

That's a wacky way of looking at game design, but it works for games like WoW because we're already expecting the rules to constantly change. Chess has an established balance-- rook moves a certain way, queen moves another way, and every game they will always move those ways. But WoW is dependent on the rules changing every patch-- if players maxed out their characters and learned all possible strategies, they'd quit paying the monthly fee. So in that strange sense, Blizzard should be happy when lots of players cry foul over a nerf-- the more players they affect with a change, the more they can keep interested. "Any change disrupts the current equilibrium," and forces players to figure out new ways to win.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Blizzard, PvP, Classes, Buffs

Druids get a hotfixy gift

From a hotfix that is now live on the servers:
  • The Druid ability Lacerate will now land a small amount of instant damage, causing it to generate threat against bleed-immune creatures.
  • The Druid ability Mangle (Bear) will now generate 50% bonus threat
So good news for druids who tank. Blizzard isn't completely giving them back all of their DPS-- Lacerate's debuff doesn't affect "skeletal" creatures (as it shouldn't, since they can't bleed), and Mangle doesn't give any more damage, but Blizzard says they realize Mangle works best as a "snap aggro" tool, and with the bonus threat, it should do that. I'm sure droods will still have their problems, but these are two nice buffs for tanking druids, no question.

More are on the way, too-- Blizzard says they plan to up the armor on many high end Bear Druid items, "particularly raid sets," as many druids felt that those pieces didn't scale as well as warriors' did. Those changes, says Blue, won't be coming until 2.1.0, but they are coming.

Filed under: Druid, Patches, Blizzard

Mystery buff incoming for priests! [Update 2]

Yep, a mystery buff -- doesn't that sound exciting? We have no idea what it is, because the CMs don't have the go-ahead to tell us yet, but Nethaera claims it's "a positive change." And though she's trying not to overplay it, there are a lot of hopes riding on it being something good. Nethaera hopes to have more information for us on Tuesday -- but until then, it's speculation run wild! Do any of you have predictions for the priest's mystery buff?

Update: Nethaera is currently telling us that we may get news tomorrow, Wednesday the 28th. Sorry to get everyone's hopes up, but hopefully we'll have some official news soon.
Update 2: I believe we have the final word on improvements for priests this patch via Nethaera.

Filed under: Priest, Patches

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