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Posts with tag builds

A chat with Check Six, WoW Arena team

The official Microsoft Sync blog (apparently the blog isn't official -- they fooled me) has posted a video interview (which you can see above) with Check Six, one of the high level World of Warcraft Arena teams showing up in tournaments lately. The video is somewhat tame, but that actually works in its favor -- this high-level Arena play can be complicated and hard to follow, and so simplifying it a little bit actually makes it more palatable. You high level Arena players won't get to hear their opinions on the latest builds or balance tweaks, unfortunately (for that, you can check out our Coliseum column), but the rest of us can at least put some faces to one of these team names floating around, and hear a little bit more about how these guys run these tournaments.

They've been playing together for about two or three months, and they practice quite a bit: together, they do about ten or twelve hours a week, but I'd assume they play outside of the team as well. They say that WoW has a pretty "easy skill cap to reach," but after that, it's a matter of getting the right team members together, because they say teamwork is more important in Arenas than even a game like Counter-Strike ("CS"). And they kind of surprised me with how young they are -- it's a big deal to go running around the world and playing in tournaments when you're probably dealing with school and an early career at the same time. It's not the most well produced Arena interview you'll ever see, but I liked the frank look at the guys and what they're like away from their computers.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Interviews, Arena, Rumors

QuickArmory's Stats tool lets you browse and inspect popular talent builds

We've been covering quite a few different ways to see what players are up to in terms of talents after dual specs have been released (both 3D Armory and TalentChic have good information if you're looking for it), and here's another: Erorus at QuickArmory sent us some info on how to pull some talent demographics out of his site as well. He's created a Talent stats page that needs a little explanation, but is actually full of great info on what kinds of builds players are choosing. First, choose a class at the top, and then you'll be taken to a screen where you can see, in percentage points, the given percentage of players of that class who took those points on the tree. In other words, if you look at the Mage page, 62% (as of this writing) of Mages surveyed by the application took at least one point in Inceneration (and 61% took all the points), but only 1% of Mages put any points in Blazing Speed (probably because it sucks -- oh snap!). You can also see the percentage points by spec (by clicking the tabs at the top) and even some general distribution statistics on how people chose to spec within the dual spec system. And the main page for each class includes some percentages on glyph choices as well.

But it gets wilder -- you can even compare populations by clicking on the talents, so you can look at, for example, all the Warlocks who specced Felguard (they're using Glyph of Felguard, duh), or all of the Hunters who specced both Explosive Shot and Aimed Shot.

Very impressive. Of course, keep in mind the population here: these are only level 80 characters already in the QuickArmory system (about 12k as of this writing), so it's far from a representative sample of the entire WoW population. But then again, they're also self-selecting -- people who have put themselves into QuickArmory are likely to be more on top of good talent and glyph choices anyway. At any rate, even with the small selection, there are lots of fascinating ways to look at this talent data.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Talents

Save your specs with Talented


Respecs have been flying around lately like Prayer of Mending during a Sapphiron fight (healing priests, you know what I'm talking about). Several commenters have expressed annoyance at having to remember where exactly they placed those 71 points, and at having to click each of them back into place again. Heck, I would be annoyed myself, with three level 80s and various alts to manage.

However, I don't get annoyed, because I have something that many of you apparently don't: Talented. Talented is an addon for managing talent specs, with several nice features:

Read more →

Filed under: Add-Ons, Talents

Forum Post of the Day: Great Warrior literature

This thread, sent to us by reader Talmar (thanks!) is probably the best QQ thread I've ever read. Not because it's full of substantive criticism about the class, but just because it's got lots of references meant for literary nerds like me. The styles of Kafka, Shakespeare, Camus, Wilde, and Douglas Adams (who fits in that crowd, right?) all make appearances as players combine old literary quotes with the plight of Fury Warriors.

And when Pynchon shows up on page 3, then the rails really go off the tracks. But it is a lot of fun. Because if you're going to QQ, you might as well do it in style, right?

"Ghostcrawler believed in the perfect Fury build, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter -- tomorrow we will run faster, stretch our arms our further... And one fine morning --

So we grind on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Humor, Classes, Talents, Forums

Scattered Shots: Dual specs mean double the fun for hunters



Scattered Shots is your weekly guide to improving your Hunter skills, brought to you by Jessica "Lassirra" Klein of The Hunter's Mark, covering a variety of Huntery topics. Today, we'll be diving into what hunters will have to look forward to from the world of dual specs.

So far the uproar about the dual spec feature coming to us in patch 3.1 has been predominantly from classes that are able to fill multiple roles in a raid environment, giving them more flexibility to swap between tanking, healing and dealing damage based on the needs of their group at the time. The 1000g price tag on this feature may seem a bit daunting to some, but the benefits of being able to swap between tanking and healing at a moment's notice without costly respec fees or inconvenient trips to the nearest not-so-nearby trainer are obvious. This all begs the question, though: what's in it for us pure DPS folks?

The easy answer to that is being able to swap seamlessly from a PvP build to your raid build when invites start going out for the night. And lets not forget that Survival Hunters are the new Shadow Priest, right? If you're missing one of your friendly neighborhood mana batteries one night, you can swap into a spec for that at the drop of a hat. There are also plenty of opportunities for enterprising young Hunters looking to farm old world raid bosses solo, and there's a spec for that, too. There's plenty of fun to be had for us Hunters, and this new dual spec feature will make the transition from conquering the wilds of our world as a lone tracker to wiping the floor with the deadliest of raid bosses that much easier.

Read more →

Filed under: Hunter, Tips, Talents, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Forum post of the day: Great idea, poor implementation

I'm still moderately excited for dual specs on my level 80 characters, it should be handy for switching between raids/instances and dailies. Cvarto of Proudmore began a thread about poor implementation about only allowing level 80 characters to use this feature. He fears that players will level as a single spec and have to relearn the other options for their class once they hit level 80.

GC's reasoning is that MMOs are overwhelming for new players to learn without working with two specializations. Cvarto contends that it still more difficult to learn a completely new aspect of the game, such as tanking, at level 80. I'd like to add that most players have little patience for inexperienced tanks and healers at max level.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Leveling, Talents, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

TalentChic updates for Wrath


Remember TalentChic from a couple months ago? They mine Armory data to show the most popular builds for each class and playstyle (playstyle being determined by what kind of gear is equipped, which is slightly iffy, but it's hard to do better with Armory data). Anyway, whether you remember them or not, they're now updated for Wrath, with level 80 and Death Knight builds.

There isn't a lot there that surprises me much. I wasn't expecting 51/13/7 to be the most popular DK build, though; everybody seems to be talking about dual-wield builds, which this decidedly is not. Balance comes in much lower on the Druid specs than seems to be the case on my realm, but my experience might just be biased.

As tipster Waluigi mentions, DPS specs dominate for many classes (notably Paladin and Priest). However, Resto is the most popular shaman build, and a tank build is most popular for druids, so this is not the case for all classes. It'll be interesting to see how this develops as more people hit 80 and get to endgame activities.

Filed under: Talents

The healer shortage and how to fix it

The Tank Shortage is a topic that's come up a few times before, though thankfully, since the release of Wrath, Death Knights have more or less solved the situation. But the issue facing us now is just as dire: a Healer Shortage. Ghostcrawler acknowledges that there may be such a shortage on the forums, and he gives two reasons: first, lots of people are still working their way up to level 80, and the majority of healers may still be leveling through Northrend. And second, they've beefed up and changed a lot of DPS builds lately, so many pre-Wrath healers may have respecced DPS to try it or to level a bit, and haven't gone back yet.

Later, he backpedals a bit -- not everyone is experiencing a healer shortage, and while he's already told us Blizzard is working on ways to make healing more "fun," he also points out that some people enjoy the whack-a-mole game. Still, just because a problem isn't affecting everyone doesn't mean it's a problem: it's true that lots of groups are having trouble finding healers, and lots of healers would rather not watch health bars all day.

We're very curious to see what changes Blizzard might have in mind for healing -- we discussed quite a few on the healer podcast a while back, including making healing spells a little less attention-intensive, and giving healers some UI ways to keep their eyes on the fight rather than their party members. And of course, if the rumors are true, we'll hopefully have a new healer Hero class to come and fill in the blanks. GC says this isn't a matter of tweaking things in one patch, so we are definitely a few patches away, but there is hope for healers on the horizon.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Raiding, Classes, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

Find popular builds with TalentChic


Since the patch hit, we've been flooded with requests for cookie-cutter builds for various classes, specs, and roles. We're working on it, but our bloggers only have so many hours in the day (if only haste rating worked in real life). However, I do have a new site to tell you about that might help with these types of questions. TalentChic is a web site that aims to determine what the most popular talent builds are for all nine classes, and it's very well made, in my opinion.

The site makes use of Armory data, so it stays relatively up-to-date. Builds are organized by class and by primary tree, and you can also filter for playstyle (Raid/PvP for instance). Playstyle is determined by what kind of gear the player was raiding when their data was cached, so it's not foolproof (a raider could have been wearing their PvP gear and thus counted as PvP), but it's about as good as can be done with Armory data.

As far as the information displayed goes, it seems reasonable to me. I'm a little surprised that Combat is still so dominant with Rogues, given that I've heard Mutilate got significantly buffed. And I'm very surprised that 0/61/0 is the most popular Holy Priest build; I haven't seen people talk about that one very much, and I certainly wouldn't want to be without Meditation. It does drop to only second most popular if I look at raiding Holy Priests. Are your own talent builds popular? Does TalentChic give you any ideas on how to spec?

Filed under: Patches, Talents

Encrypted Text: Combat in Wrath

Every Wednesday, Encrypted Text explores issues affecting Rogues and those who group with them. This week Jason Harper, the new Rogue feature blogger, discusses the Wrath Combat expansion tree.

Ahh Combat. The cornerstone of the end (and mid-) game PvE Rogue. While not perfect, the Combat tree can be hugely satisfying and bears with it none of the positional damage dealing that the other two trees require, at least in part. Getting in people's (as well as creature's) faces and crushing them is all just part of the experience of the combat spec. Many a Rogue has popped a pleasing-sigh-inducing Adrenaline Rush to burn through the last tasty bits of, well, whatever stands in its way.

Although things do tend to change quickly in beta, I'm going to take a look at the five new expansion Combat tree talents. The most important question I had when looking at them, as well as all the discussion surrounding them, is "are they worth it" and "do they reflect the kinds of changes or improvements that players have been asking for." This is especially important in raid settings where Rogue vs Caster DPS and overall damage done can mean the difference between getting another invite or not.

I'd like to subtitle this column: "The Expansion Combat Tree, Now in PvP Flavor!"

Read more →

Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Classes, Talents, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Wrath of the Lich King

Addon Spotlight: Talented

Welcome to another installment of Addon Spotlight, the quiet home of mod enthusiasts amongst the whirlwind of breaking news that is WoW Insider. Reader Kyle "strongly" suggested that I profile Talented, an addon that replaces your talent interface and opens up some extended features for talent planning.

Considering the tone of his suggestion, I would venture to say that Kyle has grown frustrated by his fellow players' tendency to screw up their builds or they're taking too long to respec. This can, indeed, become an issue when one is respeccing for raiding, arenas and different roles for hybrids.

This is where Talented, and its companion Talented_Data, can save you time and a little money if you're prone to selecting the wrong talents when you're in a hurry. This addon allows you to build talent templates, which can be applied via one click after a talent wipe. I do this when I switch from a PvE Retribution spec to Holy for progression nights or arenas. I have to say, it helps reduce the risk of mistakes, which can leave me free to spend more time remembering to grab the correct gear out of the bank.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight, Talents

Wowhead releases Wrath talent calculators

For some of you, it may strike you as a little early to be thinking about your level 80 talent builds - especially given that Wrath is still in alpha and everything we think we know about it may change - but I say, it's never too early to theorycraft. That is why I'm pleased to report that Wowhead, having gotten a chance to play some Wrath at WWI, made talent calculators for the Wrath alpha talents, including Death Knights. Now we can play with our shiny new builds to our hearts' content. Paladins and Hunters have not had their talents implemented in the beta yet, so you won't find them there, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.

Inveterate priest fan that I am, the first thing I did when I got my hands on this was make a build for my holy priest, and this is what I came up with: 14/57/0. Yes, I'm finally excited enough about Holy to spec away from Improved Divine Spirit; Guardian Spirit just looks too good to pass up, at least in its current form. As far as my Rogue goes, it depends on how Murder Spree ends up working, but I'm thinking either 21/50/0 (Cold Blood combat, yay!) or 20/51/0. Death Knights I still can't quite get my head around, but it sure is fun to play with their talents.

Filed under: News items, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Build Shop: Shaman 18/43/0


Today on Build Shop, we're going to take a look at a Shaman build that's a little different from the usual since we've already covered the basic cookie-cutter specs of Elemental, Enhancement, and Mike Schramm's personal variant of Restoration. The Enhancement spec that we'll tinker with will try to focus on the built-in synergy between some Elemental and Enhancement talents, as opposed to the more familiar complement of Restoration talents. This Enhancement build is focused on dealing damage, with less focus on the raid or party utility that Restoration talents provide. You can take a quick look at the build here.

Shock and awe

For optimum DPS, an Enhancement Shaman's spell cycle should be punctuated by shocks, which are instant cast damage-dealing spells that don't interfere with a Shaman's swing timer. The biggest problem with utilizing shocks as part of an offensive spell cycle is the prohibitive mana cost, which can make a dent on an Enhancement Shaman's relatively low mana pool. To alleviate this , we take 5/5 Convection from the first tier of the Elemental tree, which reduces the cost of Lightning and Shock spells by 10%.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Build Shop

Arcane Brilliance: Speccing for AoE


Last week in the leveling 1-20 guide I promised that we would spend some time today talking about the specifics of the AoE spec here on Arcane Brilliance. AoE grinding is a skill that I have only recently put to good use, namely in my desire to raise some cash for an epic flying mount. A mage friend of mine spent some time sifting through Bangy's guide on the European Forums, and built a spec that maximizes talents for AoE grindage. He pointed me to the core talents required for the build, and explained that he routinely is able to gather large crowds and burn them down with ease. Intrigued, I tried it myself, and was surprised and happy with the results.

We've been told that mages are supposed to be the kings (and queens) of AoE damage, so why not take advantage of our strengths to maximize our potential for destruction? There are several talents that are very important in this particular spec, but more interesting are those talents that can completely ruin your build. First, let's look at the talents that will help you own with AoE:

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Filed under: Mage, Tips, Leveling, Making money, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Build Shop: Priest 14/0/47 (interview with Skosiris)



Welcome, talent fans! This time we're going to try something a little different with Build Shop: an interview. We've got Wowhead co-founder and primary website developer Skosiris to talk a bit about his priest build, so check it out and let me know what you think of the format. For the uninitiated, Wowhead is an excellent WoW database site for looking up information on equipment, mobs, quests, spells, etc. I recently started playing Dungeon Runners, and Wowhead is possibly what I miss most about WoW. It's that good.

Skosiris is getting his Shadow on with this solo/5-man oriented spec. He's a relatively casual player, having never raided, and doesn't have time to play tons. I like the build well for its intended purpose.

Eliah Hecht, WoW Insider: Hey, want to talk about your build?


Skosiris of Wowhead: Sure thing. It's been a little while since I last played my priest, but this should be fun.

Likewise. So, do you have a link for the build?

14/0/47, Amory profile here

Read more →

Filed under: Priest, Fan stuff, Talents, Build Shop

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