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Class guides and resources for Mists of Pandaria

Class guides and resources for Mists of Pandaria
In the interest of providing a fast, easy-to-use resource for every class, we've gathered up our favorite guides, best lists, and most relevant posts into a convenient list. Check back often, because we'll keep these resources up to date throughout the last days of the Cataclysm and deep into the Mists of Pandaria.

Check back as we add more guides, more resources, and the best links. If your favorite is missing, we'll be adding it soon.

Death knight Druid

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Death Knight, Monk

Breakfast Topic: Shirt of choice


Out of all of the things we've broken down and discussed on this site, I don't think we've ever really dug into this one: what's your character's shirt of choice? The shirt slot on your character screen is really the last customization-only slot we've got left, ever since the tabards were allotted to earning reputation. So today's discussion topic is: what shirt do you have in there?

Unfortunately, the Shirt of Uber is only a PTR item, so no one is wearing it on the live realms, or else obviously that's what we'd all be wearing. The Epic Purple Shirt is probably a favorite since earlier this year, if you've been lucky enough to get the TCG code. I'd bet the Swashbuckler's Shirts are popular, and the Red Linen Shirt has always been one of my favorites. I'm sure the Tuxedo Shirt has its share of fans as well.

So what are you wearing underneath that armor? It'd be cool if Blizzard actually beefed up our choices there a bit -- maybe they could put stripes on the sleeve to show rank, or have some special color or model for people who have met certain achievements (and come on, a Three Worgen Moon shirt? I'd wear that). Then again, maybe it's better that the shirts stay pretty low key -- every other item on our character screen has gotten a purpose lately, so maybe we're better off wearing whatever shirt we want.

Filed under: Tailoring, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

"Because I don't play" isn't an option on Blizzard's quit page

Jason Burns points out, pretty insightfully, on his blog that of all the various options Blizzard lists for quitting the game, simply not having the time to play it isn't one of them. Whenever you decide to cancel your subscription, you get a little survey to fill out, with two lists of options to explain why you're leaving the game. In the past, we've found some pretty silly options in there (and actually, it looks like they've changed quite a bit since we posted about the Will of the Forsaken nerf on the list), but Jason says that as many varied and different reasons as there are for leaving, Blizzard didn't include his: he likes the game, he just doesn't have the time to play it and justify the subscription.

Which is what he eventually typed in. Like so many things with Blizzard, it would be fascinating to see the stats behind the information they're getting here -- do they see a little bump in quitters every time new patch notes come out? Is customer support really the biggest issue people have, or is harassment a major reason for people leaving as well? Just boredom with the game seems like it would be a huge reason to me, but there's not really a clear option for that either.

Unfortunately, we'll probably never know the real stats behind this -- Blizzard isn't going to be revealing why people are leaving their game anytime soon. But it does seem strange that some of the biggest reasons you'd expect aren't on their list of possibles at all.

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

Breakfast Topic: What sides have you picked?


Some people who play World of Warcraft really closely identify with one of the two factions, the Horde and the Alliance. They care about the ongoing lore of the divide, they argue back and forth about which side is in the wrong and who is doing what, or when which side committed a particular wrong or another. Now, we here at wow.com are no different in that regard, as you saw when you followed those links. We're passionate about the game, and that includes the lore.

However, I've always been less a factional player (I have and love Horde and Alliance toons pretty equally, and I think both sides of the Horde/Alliance enmity have good and bad points) and more of a class partisan. I pretty much love shamans and warriors and don't really like playing other classes. I'll defend my chosen classes, gush about them, rant about what I think needs fixing, and play those classes to the exclusion of others even when I know that objectively those other classes might well be just as much fun. I just can't bring myself to support other classes, play them, or even in my heart embrace them as fully as shamans and warriors. I'm not pretending my behavior is anything more than the strange mental quirk of a particular player, but it got me wondering: what other strange divisions are out there in active play? My lovely wife, for example, won't tame a pet unless it has a unique skin or is harder than normal to get. She just loves the challenge.

Do you find youself making a choice, whether it be Horde vs. Alliance, a specific class, a race, a profession, or a style of play that draws a solid line of demarcation for you in game? Roleplayers vs. non-Roleplayers? Will you only raid 10 man? Are you a partisan for PvP and barely even bother with instances? What do you cleave to in WoW, and what do you reject?

Filed under: Hunter, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

A random pet macro for your noncombat buddies

This is pretty simple (I know there are a few versions floating around), and just a few minutes with the macro API will probably get you something just like this (or probably better), but if you, like Bornakk, have so many noncombat pets that you don't know what to do with them, this macro that a guildie gave me a while back might help. Plug this text into a macro, save it as "Critter" and throw it on your toolbar.

/run CallCompanion("CRITTER", random(GetNumCompanions("CRITTER")))

As you've probably surmised, it'll choose a random critter from your noncombat pets and bring it out for you to play with. As I said, this is super-simple -- you could add /dismount on to the front of this and use it as a one-stop "dismount and summon pet" macro, or I'm sure our commenters (who are much better at this macro stuff than I am) will have lots of other ways to play. We posted a more complicated one a while back, and you can still replace CRITTER with MOUNT, but this one's even easier than that.

But like Bornakk, I tend to collect way too many noncombat pets and I can never choose which is my favorite. A random macro like this helps pull out a friend I haven't seen lately.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Mounts, Achievements

Speaking up for what's right

This is a pretty insightful thread, from all sides, on what the forums and customer feedback are really for. Rekker on Detheroc makes a good point, and that is that while people will complain about anything, almost no one speaks up when things are working right. We talked a little bit about this on the podcast this past week: are Blizzard's decisions based on a player base that never seems to be happy, no matter what you throw at them, or on some arbitrary design guidelines that Blizzard has stuck with from the beginning?

Ghostcrawler, as you might expect, says it's a little bit of both. Blizzard doesn't just do what players say -- they consider player feedback and then make decisions from there. But at the same time, they can't ignore what players say, either. GC agrees that the forums are not the best sample of feedback, for the same reasons that Rekker gives: players go there because something is bothering them and they want it changed, not usually because they really love something in the game and want it to stay the same.

Of course, forums are not the only form of feedback from the community, and there are many places Blizzard can get feedback about things in the game that players like (ahem). But just like Blizzard does, whenever you look at the forums, you have to realize that you're looking at just a slice of the feedback. People don't make QQ posts about the stuff they appreciate and like having in the game.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Buffs, Forums

On Blizzard and caving

Players complain that dual specs are available only at the highest level, and Blizzard drops them down to level 40 (and removes the reagent, to boot). Engineers complain they don't have a self-buff, and they get one. Hunters are finally getting that last bag back. Even after the Love is in the Air holiday ends, Blizzard decided to nerf the achievement so everyone can get it anyway. And when ghetto hearthing, a much-loved exploit, is removed from the game, Blizzard decides to nerf, of all things, the hearthstone cooldown. Is it just us, or is Blizzard doing a lot of spelunking lately?

Not that it bothers us -- most of those changes are welcome. The good thing about Blizzard caving is that at least it'll make somebody happy. But on the other hand (just to play devil's advocate here), this game is great because the devs made it, not because the players did. If Blizzard caves in every time players throw a fit on the forums, won't that hurt the game?

It's not happening, says Zarhym. He says the Hearthstone change, as well as presumably all of the other changes above, came about not because of constant pestering of the devs, but because they sat down and made the decision that it was right for the game. He doesn't say they never cave (we can probably all agree that the dual spec at 40 change likely came about from player feedback, even if it was very insightful feedback), but Zarhym says the devs won't move on stands they believe in. Given that patch 3.1 is like an early tax return with all of the bonuses we're getting back, we wonder what exactly those are.
Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.

Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, News items, Instances, Forums

Breakfast Topic: To re-customize or not

Paid customization has come to the game, and with it, some big decisions for a lot of players. We've asked for a long time to be able to change our gender or look in the game, and now that we can, we have to decide if we will or not.

Personally, I'm torn -- way back when I first started the game, I created a female Night Elf Hunter, thinking along the old classic lines of "if I'm going to stare at someone's backside for hours and hours, it might as well be a woman." But since then, I've gotten a lot of flak for being a dude playing a female character, and since I've played all male characters since then, I think I better identify with male characters anyway, even if the view isn't as good.

But on the other hand, I'm used to my Hunter now -- she's looked the same for almost 80 levels, and it would be weird to suddenly see a Night Elf guy on the screen in her place. So I'm torn -- change my character to a male and make being social in game much easier, or stay the same and keep my character familiar to me?

What do you all think? Are you facing the same situation or is the choice easier (or even harder) for you?

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: The leveling curve (and bending it)

This forum thread talks about a person who dinged 70 while still back in Nagrand, and while I didn't finish off the run to 70 that early (he probably did lots and lots of instances), it is possible to bend the leveling curve a little bit, especially in Outland, where there are so many quests to go around.

So how far have you bent the leveling curve? Early on, it's pretty clear where to go to level up -- there are only a few areas you can go into at each level, and while there are definitely more quests than you need to do (especially in the newer Dustwallow Marsh content), things are pretty laid out for you. In Outland, though, things get a little squished -- Blizzard really went overboard with quests, and so it's possible now to hit the last level without ever seeing one or two of the zones.

Fortunately, any XP that you would have gotten at 70 is translated back into gold on a quest reward, so even if you've finished early, there's still lots of reason to go back and see what's out there (and there is some must-see stuff later in the game). But how off has your leveling been? Anyone hit 70 even before Nagrand?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Leveling

Playing with your keyboard


Yesterday I talked about how to increase your game play by using all those buttons on your mouse. Today, we'll take a quick look at some theories on how to use your keyboard more effectively. Next week I'll present my complete keyboard map for tanking, and give lots of examples of why I have things where I have them. But for now, let's look at some basics.

I use a Logitech G15 gaming keyboard for main World of Warcraft computer. The keyboard is nice for a lot of reasons:
  • The keys are hard plastic and clean easily. I can often be found eating hot pockets (Mom! Hot pockets!) or pizza roles during raids, and it's nice to be able to easily clean the keyboard if I make a mess.
  • The keys light up. This is very useful late at night when I turn the lights off.
  • The LCD screen is very adaptable. I use the LCD screen to display who is talking over Vent. No more asking "Who just said they need a mob taunted off them?" (of course, if they wouldn't pull agro in the first place or DPS the right target, we wouldn't have that problem now... but that's another article.)
  • There are 18 additional programmable keys on the left side of the keyboard.
So the G15 is a nice choice for a gaming keyboard. We all know this, of course. Most of us play with one, or something similar. There are a few good and basic strategies for making the most of your G15 or other keyboard.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Guides, Hardware

Mass Murder 101: How to be a hero

It's a fact that the majority of what we do in World of Warcraft is kill things. Nearly all the supplementary activities we engage in, from shopping to crafting, are all basically to help us improve the effectiveness of our violent capabilities. Many players have noted that if WoW were at all real, then nearly every one of our characters would be considered a genocidal maniac for all the people and creatures we have killed, and yet we view ourselves as heroes.

The idea is, of course, that most of the lives we take are really evil anyway, so we're actually doing the real good guys a favor. We kill tons of demons, ghosts, zombies, dragonkin, giants, and rabid beasts -- even most of the humanoids we kill are bandits or wicked cultists of one sort or another. This way we do lots of killing, but still feel as though we are heroes.

There are some situations in the game, however, that turn things around for us, in which our character is not the hero. While there are some higher-level instances such as the Black Morass, or the new Caverns of Time: Stratholme, in which one could argue either way whether what we're doing is good or evil, most of situations in which you are clearly the bad guy, as far as I am aware, have to do with the undead, and to a lesser extent the blood elves as well. Of course, you can argue that in general, undead are just misunderstood, and the blood elves are just tragically misled, but as in the case of quests in Hillsbrad that ask you to go slaughter human farmers, or help develop a new plague, there's really no denying that your character is doing something "morally wrong."

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Filed under: Undead, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blood Elves, RP

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