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Posts with tag buffs

Class tuning hotfixes

Yes, turns out they're still at work adjusting class tuning before we go into Warlords of Draenor. Some classes saw buffs, other classes saw another round of savage nerfs. Death knights and balance druids saw some buffs, as did elemental shamans, while mages saw a 20% nerf to frostbolt's damage (rolling back a buff from October 17th) and warriors got pummeled.

A complete list of the class changes will be posted after the jump.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Death Knight, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: The changing face of buffs and debuffs

One of the changes that will have a pretty significant impact on how we play both in PvE and PvP is that many buff and debuff spells are being changed or removed. It can all seem a bit complicated at first viewing, what with all the class specific changes, but it's really fairly easily broken down and it won't directly affect how you play all that significantly. We're going to go over the changes and explain what they are and how they'll change how you play, if they do.

First up is the Weakened Armor debuff. Essentially, this is the old-school Sunder/Expose Armor affect. It's gone entirely. Rogues no longer have Expose Armor, warriors no longer have Sunder Armor and the Devastate prot warrior ability no longer applies Weakened Armor. In addition, the druid ability Faerie Fire now applies Physical Vulnerability instead, increasing all physical damage taken by its target by 4% for 30 seconds. This is because it was thought that having both Weakened Armor and Physical Vulnerability was excessive, since they did basically the same thing. What this means in terms of how we play? Almost nothing. If you're a rogue, you won't use Expose Armor anymore because it's gone. A warrior tank will hit Devastate the same as they always did. Druids are still going to use Faerie Fire to debuff things. Hunter pets that had similar abilities will no longer have them.

Next up is the Weakened Blows ability that almost all tanks had - it reduced incoming damage. The abilities that provided it still exist, they simply don't provide it anymore. Thunder Clap is an example of an ability that currently provides the debuff, but won't in Warlords. Since all tanks applied this debuff, it basically wasn't very meaningful, and instead monsters will simply be tuned to do less damage to compensate for its removal. What changes for players? Nothing. You won't apply the debuff, but you'll still use those abilities that did once apply it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Speed up level and reputation gains today by stacking holiday buffs

If you're working on picking up levels or reputations on any characters, today there's a confluence of holidays that will help you along the way. But you'll have to act fast, since Pilgrim's Bounty and the 9th Anniversary event end today. Here's what you need to do to get the most out of your grinding:
  • The Pilgrim's Bounty Spirit of Sharing buff grants +10% reputation for an hour. Get it by going to any Pilgrim's Bounty table and chowing down on each type of food 5 times.
  • The Darkmoon Faire WHEE! buff grants +10% experience and reputation for up to an hour. Just visit the Faire and ride the carousel until the buff stacks up to an hour. Alternatively, you could use the Darkmoon Top Hat to get the same buff -- but bear in mind the two buffs won't stack.
  • Use your 9th Anniversary Celebration Package for +9% experience and reputation for an hour.
The downside, as you may have already guessed, is that these buffs are limited duration, and the Pilgrim's Bounty buff and Darkmoon buff (unless you use the top hat) both require you to visit places to get them. Still, an hour of bonuses isn't bad. Plus, these can stack with other excellent leveling buffs like the monk's Enlightenment daily buff, heirloom buffs, and the Guild Battle Standard buff. So hurry up and get leveling!

Filed under: News items

Yes, we need no new classes

classes
In The Queue the other day, an intrepid reader asked about opinions on a new type of mail-wearing class. I can see the appeal of certain types of new classes, for sure -- one to wear mail armor, as suggested, or another one to wear intellect plate -- but to be perfectly honest, I really, truly hope that we are forever done with seeing new classes added to WoW.

I've talked about this with a few other people, and as expected, opinions are mixed. Some people are horrified at the idea of never having a new class again in WoW, and other people, like myself, are relieved. I really, truly do believe that adding more classes to WoW would only create headaches for everyone, developers and players alike. I'd much rather see the required resources in design, development, and maintenance go to other aspects of the game such as dungeons, raids, scenarios, quests, and events, than to creating and continuously balancing still more classes. So, without further ado, I present three arguments as to why there should be no more new classes in WoW.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Are passive buffs a bad thing?

Are passive buffs a bad thing
Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street posted an interesting tweet today, in response to a question about warrior and DK buffs:

The original question was asking why Warrior and DK buffs are only five minutes in duration, referring to spells such as Horn of Winter. His original response was that these buffs also provide resources, and therefore ought to be refreshed more regularly than things like Blessing of Kings. For example, Horn of Winter grants 10 runic power on use.

So the question is whether buffs like these should be given a longer duration, or whether they should be passive altogether, like Ghostcrawler's Trueshot Aura example, or the shaman Grace of Air. While these are certainly convenient and, obviously, extremely easy to use, they do lack some flavor, some skill, and certainly some interest. Particularly as a shaman, where in the space of an expansion, we went from being able to replace just about any buff with an admittedly often slightly lesser version of our own, attached to a totem, to having just a passive buff. The old system was ridiculously complicated, but fun, and part of me misses it.

What's your take? Do you prefer active, interesting buffs that have the inconvenience of complication or a regular need to re-cast, or do you think passive buffs are the way to go? And if we all have passive buffs, why bother with buffs at all?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Addon Spotlight: Buff monitoring with Weak Auras

Why PvP balance is a big problem
Way, way back in the last Addon Spotlight, we talked about addons to monitor your debuffs on your target, and after a lengthy hiatus, we're back to look at buffs. Why is buff monitoring a good idea? Well, think of DoT classes. The way the game works is that when you cast a DoT, it will take a snapshot of your current situation, so, if you have a buff up that increases your intellect for a few seconds, such as a weapon enchant, then that intellect increase will be applied to your DoT. If you refresh that DoT without the intellect proc active, the second DoT will be weaker than the first. The same applies to healing, to general damage, to so many things, so monitoring your buffs is really important. Regardless of what class you play, there will be buffs you want to look out for to make the best of what you're doing.

So how do you watch them? With addons, that's how! We're going to take a look at several addons that monitor buffs, and we're going to start with the one I prefer, which is the oddly named Weak Auras. Weak Auras was originally created as an alternative to Power Auras, which, alas, has rather fallen by the wayside of late. Weak Auras is, therefore, the one to look out for. We've talked about it before here at Addon Spotlight, but Weak Auras is just so good at tracking buffs we thought it was worth dedicating an article to that specific role. Setting up Weak Auras seems daunting at first, but I promise you that this is really, really easy. You just need someone to tell you how to do it.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Blood Pact: Buffs and debuffs for warlocks and logs

Blood Pact Buffs and debuffs for warlocks and logs MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill is almost free for summer. Almost.

The last two weeks have been on simple topics like glancing at a raid parse on World of Logs (WoL) or looking at the various graphs WoL has. Before we dive into the actual combat log itself with the expression editor, I'm going to take a stop at what buffs and debuffs are going on in the fight. This information is still broad in scope and can apply to almost anyone, but it's still important foundation knowledge for warlocks and logs.

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

Ghostcrawler and Dave Kosak switch jobs for an evening on Twitter

Ghostcrawler and Dave Kosak switch jobs for an evening on Twitter
When the Ghostcrawler is away, apparently the Kosak will play -- or at least, take over Ghostcrawler's job for a few days. Those following Dave "Fargo" Kosak or Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street on Twitter may have caught a flurry of tweets from the two. It all began with an innocent enough notification from everyone's favorite crustacean, letting followers on Twitter know that he would be fairly quiet over the next few days. Dave Kosak decided to respond and note that he would be taking over class tweets in the interim. Chaos, of course, ensued.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Humor

Addon Spotlight: Mists of Pandaria Beta UI upgrades

Each week, WoW Insider's Mathew McCurley brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same.

As one of the fortunate few with a Mists of Pandaria beta invite at this time, I have been excitedly snapping screenshots of some of the UI changes coming in the next expansion. While we still have not yet seen the Pet Battle system interface, arguably the biggest UI reveal this go-around, there are still a few tweaks to the game that are deserving of being pointed out. More quality of life improvements than anything, the changes to WoW so far in the Mists beta have been straightforward and welcome additions.

I figured that since this is the beta process that we as a community can provide some feedback even if you haven't had a chance to see these tools in action. Since the tools are mostly quality-of-life improvements and not "boots on the ground," experience-dependent changes, these changes are something we can discuss and hopefully make better before the launch.

Since this is the beta, things can and will change dramatically. This is only a quick look at some of the features and changes coming in Mists of Pandaria. As new features open up, like the aforementioned Pet Battles, I will be more than happy to show them to you. If you are in the Mists of Pandaria beta and want to help me out with some UI testing and screenshots or you're an addon developer looking to talk about your new Mists of Pandaria addons in the works, send me an email at mat@wowinsider.com.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight, Mists of Pandaria

Totem Talk: Enhancement buffs and debuffs in Mists of Pandaria

A crab holding a sword with a wizard's hat and flavor text.
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Once a lonely tauren shaman in a bad Scarlet Crusade-themed transmog set, Josh Myers
is now a female dwarf shaman with pigtails who raids as all three specs on a regular basis. He kept the same transmog set, though.

I'm doing my best not to be excited for Mists of Pandaria yet. This is partly because we've not even seen a hint of the beta starting yet and thus have a few more months of patch 4.3 to play before MoP comes out. This is also partly due to the fact that my new guild just started heroic Spine of Deathwing attempts, and I'm not sure I'm ever going to look forward to anything ever again. Ever.

Even though I'll never be excited for anything ever again, Blizzard has released some juicy new MoP information over the past two weeks, and a good chunk of it pertains to enhancement shaman. If you still have the ability to be excited for things, this something you want to read. If you're also progressing on heroic Spine of Deathwing, you probably still want to read this ... if only to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Mists of Pandaria

Ghostcrawler discusses Mists of Pandaria buff and debuff design

Ghostcrawler has continued his series explaining some of the system changes coming to World of Warcraft in Mists of Pandaria. The newest blog post discusses which buffs players will be bringing to groups as well as which debuffs certain classes can inflict on enemies. Blizzard is giving a variety of classes each category of buff and debuff in order to make setting up 10- or 25-man raids a breeze.

First, Ghostcrawler outlined the main design goals of the new buff and debuff categories, saying that making the player feel more powerful in a group as well as making group-building easier were two of the biggest reasons for the changes. DPS classes should be excited to know that buffs and debuffs will vary per role rather than spec, so a DPS warrior will bring the same utility whether he is arms or fury.

After discussing the design goals, Ghostcrawler gave some notes with regards to the new categories of buffs and debuffs, with the new categories as the big finish. Check out all of the categories in Ghostcrawler's post after the jump.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Mists of Pandaria

Addon Spotlight: Adding on to the Blizzard Raid Frames

Each week, WoW Insider's Mathew McCurley brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same.

One of the great joys of writing Addon Spotlight is watching the evolution of addons and their relationship to World of Warcraft over time and how the effectiveness and usefulness of certain addons wanes and waxes like the phases of the moon. Blizzard's new raid frames have not replaced my own custom job, but they have been getting progressively closer to a complete package, as I discussed only a few weeks ago. But there are ways, friends, of adding on to even the Blizzard default raid frame setup to give them just a bit more substance.

Today, I've got three little additions to the default Blizzard raid frames that can help you with targets, marks, and debuffs. If you like options, these addons will add a ton of them to the Blizzard standard setup, making the entire package look a little more like Grid. So sit back, relax, and check out these new additions to the Blizzard default raid frames.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Addon Spotlight: Utilities with Bliky

Each week, WoW Insider brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same. This week, Bliky will never, ever get his heroic bow.

Addon Spotlight is a collaborative effort on occasion, when you fine community folks send me addons in my email or over Twitter to use for the column. Sometimes, a guildmate or Mumble compatriot will fire off some addons that they find particularly useful. One such compatriot is hunter extraordinaire and begrudging worgen Bliky. We have a special relationship; Bliky gives me misdirects, and I send him awful and weird whispers. It's a balanced relationship.

When I asked Bliky for a few of his favorite addon utilities that might be able to help out my readers, he was happy to oblige, since he scours my columns each and every week to see if I made another terrible hunter joke about him. No, there will be no hunter jokes or snipes today. Instead, I will celebrate these recommendations, since they are some pretty cool utilities that everyone can benefit from.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Raid Rx: Patch 4.0.6 healing thoughts

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand pooh-bah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related. If you're looking for more healing advice, check out the Plus Heal community and the new healing, raiding and guild management podcast Matticast.

Even though I wasn't responsible for it, its nice to believe that my little story in last weeks column might have influenced the Mana Tide change. What is the change, you ask?
Mana Tide Totem has been redesigned. The totem no longer multiplies the Spirit of those affected by it. It instead gives a flat amount of Spirit equal to 400% of the casting shaman's Spirit, exclusive of short-term Spirit buffs affecting the shaman when the totem is dropped. In addition, its effects are now raid-wide.
It won't be an overpowered mana reset ability anymore. I have to admit, I do miss having that synchronizing aspect that all the healers share. Having a shaman give a 3-second warning that he is going to drop a Mana Tide cued the rest of the healers to activate their spirit trinkets. I thought that was a neat little interaction. I wouldn't mind seeing more of it somehow later on -- little ways that help promote (but not so much require) healing coordination would be a cool addition. I'm just not sure what other ways methods can be explored.

On the bright side, I don't need to figure out which players have the lowest mana regeneration in order to stack them into the healing group.

But hey, enough about resto shaman already! Some additional healing changes (both nerfs and buffs) will be coming soon. No idea if any of this stuff is going to stick. Tell me what you think.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Ghostcrawler reveals upcoming class changes in Cataclysm

Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street has posted the blog post I think most of us have been waiting for ever since Cataclysm went live. It features a summary of where the dev team sees the PvE and PvP games at this point, including some analysis of various classes and specs, and some planned changes for those specs that are underperforming and overperforming.

In PvE, Ghostcrawler mentions that Blizzard is mostly happy with the tank classes and notes that while healers do have it a bit hard, this is intentional. Heroics are meant to be a challenge. As for DPS, he offered that some classes, such as arcane mages and marksman and beast mastery hunters, are too low in their damage, while others, such as shadow priests and fire and frost mages, are being watched closely before final judgment is made on their numbers.

In PvP, Ghostcrawler says Blizzard is satisfied with the decreased emphasis on healing prevention and burst damage. Crowd control and dispel mechanics, especially offensive dispels, may see some PvP nerfs, and priests will specifically be getting some PvP buffs.

Stats also got some mention. A lot of stats are being neglected by some classes, and the dev team wants to fix this. Mastery will be either buffed or completely revamped for many specs, such as unholy death knights and retribution paladins. Haste may be made to scale with more attacks, such as Lacerate, Slam, and Steady Shot, in order to make the stat more desirable to certain specs.

Check after the break for the complete text of Ghostcrawler's post, including a list of specifically planned (but not finalized) class changes for future patches.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Cataclysm

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