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Posts with tag class-101

Lichborne: A guide to leveling your death knight in the Cataclysm era

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

So the news that pandarens can't be death knights in the new expansion is a bit of a bummer, but it does mean you can start a new death knight right now without worrying about missing out on a new race choice. If you've read my guide to death knight racial abilities, you probably have a good idea of what race to roll, too. With that done, you've already taken the first step into a larger world.

Death knights, of course, start at level 55 and have that starting experience, which for the most part is pretty intuitive. You'll get more talent points as you finish quests, which can be fun in that you get your goodies a lot faster than other classes, but frustrating in that you don't have as much time to get used to everything. Luckily, we're here to help.

This guide isn't about maximizing your DPS at the raiding level or even the dungeon level; it's about getting you to level 85 as smoothly as possible. With that in mind, let's look at each talent spec and what they have to offer, starting with my favorite leveling spec, frost.

Frost is a great leveling tree (if there's a best leveling tree, this is it) because not only does it have On A Pale Horse, which allows you to move between mobs and quest objectives faster, but it has Lichborne for emergency heals and Howling Blast for superior AoE capability.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Unholy tanking 101


Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly death knight column. This week, we're refusing to say goodbye to a dying friend.

Unholy tanking is both a unique and endangered form of tanking in WoW. Unique, because of Bone Shield, which makes unholy uniquely suited to be an avoidance tank, and endangered, because it's going to go away in Cataclysm. That said, there's still reasons to be an unholy tank, whether it's one last hurrah for your favorite playstyle, wanting to try the playstyle before it goes away or wanting to get used to Bone Shield before it moves over to blood to become a core tanking talent for all tank death knights. Whatever your reason, read on. This guide is meant to provide you with the basic talenting, glyphing and technique for starting out as an unholy tank.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Glyphs, gems and enchants for the blood tank

Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly peek into the latest news, tips and strategies for the death knight class.

Last week, we went into the basic outlines of what makes a blood tank: your talent choices, your gearing choices, your threat rotations and things such as that. Once you've got all that down, though, the next thing you can do to take your tanking to the next level is to get some decent gems, glyphs and enchantments. They'll separate an adequate 5-man tank from a tank who's ready to step on and start taking on the game in earnest.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Blood tanking 101


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly journey into the world of the death knight. This week, we're getting ready for Cataclysm in our own round about way.

While sometimes less considered by the WoW population at large, blood tanking has long been known to serious players and theorycrafters as an incredibly dominant raid tanking spec, thanks to incredibly high health pools. It will also be the sole tanking tree for death knights in Cataclysm. While it is certain that the tree will change extensively under this new system, it is likely to have a lot of the same elements in place that make it distinctively blood tanking, even in the new expansion, so it might not hurt to start practicing with it now.

Whatever your reason for trying blood tanking, this guide is here to help you take the first few steps along that path. Remember as this is a 101 guide, we won't necessarily being doing hardcore theorycrafting, and we may simplify a few basic concepts that can be a bit more nuanced for an experienced, high-end blood tank.

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Filed under: Raiding, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Blood Pact: Demonology 101

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "The time has come! Gul'dan, order your Warlocks to double their efforts! Moments from now, the gateway will open and your Horde will be unleashed on this ripe, unsuspecting world." ~ Medivh

You might think that you could always tell a demonology warlock on sight, its minions being bigger and more powerful, to reflect his greater dominion of demons. This isn't really the case though, every warlock's minions look the same irrespective of build. If they are over level 50 then they become easier to spot as you'll find that they'll have a felguard following them about. To be fair, he is bigger and more powerful than all the other minions.

If you're drawn to demonology so that you can summon a greater variety of demons, or maybe more exotic ones like those beastmastery hunters, then you're going to be somewhat disappointed. You'll have and use the same demons until you learn to summon the felguard then you'll have him. That said, the demonologist has an array of talents that really amplify your minion's power and also boosts your own by drawing on the power of your demon. If it is synergy with an embodiment of evil ripped from the nether that you are looking for, then this is the place for you.

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Filed under: Warlock, Raiding, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Totem Talk: Restoration 101


Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration will show you how. Brought to you by Joe Perez, otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and the For The Lore podcast.

If you're reading this, you've most likely decided that healing is going to be one of your two possible specs and you're looking for information before you jump right into healing. I can think of no better place to start my inaugural post of Totem Talk: Restoration than to provide the basics to get you started on the path of one of the strongest healing types in the game.

This is not the definitive Restoration guide this is just the basic overview, the more complex stuff will come later on.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Lichborne: Unholy DPS 101


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly peek at the world of the death knight. This week, we're looking at what may be the most volatile, versatile, finicky, and powerful of the death knight dps specs.

1. What is unholy DPS?

Unholy DPS is one of the biggest roller coasters you can step on as a death knight DPSer, in that almost every major patch has bought huge changes to the tree, sometimes making it totally overpowered, sometimes slamming it down into the dirt, sometimes making a basic unholy spec look like a convoluted Escherian nightmare. In Patch 3.3, it's leveled off into a solid, dominant powerhouse that combines stronger diseases and physical damage with the added bonuses of a cool pet and a very powerful magical debuff. It's essentially the choice for any death knight DPSer who wants to maximize their DPS.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Blood DPS 101


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly look into the bloody business of being a death knight. This week, said business is especially bloody as we take a look at the most popular death knight tree.

According to recent armory analysis, blood is the most popular death knight spec. It's not hard to see why, it's a simple yet robust tree that provides lots of power with a minimum of fuss. If you're interested in getting in the DPS side of the tree but aren't sure where to start, or if you're just looking to brush up on the basics of the tree, this is the Lichborne for you. While this guide doesn't necessarily cover some of the more advanced aspects of the tree, it does covers the basic ways to get the most out of your gear, rotation, and spec as a blood DPSer.

1. What is blood DPS?

Blood is the death knight tree that focuses the most on pure physical damage. It also has superior health regeneration. Like all three trees, it can be used for both tanking and DPS, but we'll focus on DPS for this guide.

2. Blood DPS Benefits
  • Superior single target damage.
  • Superior self healing and health stealing abilities mean you probably die less and can survive through a less than stellar healer or tank more consistently than many other DPS.
  • Some very nice group and raid melee buffs in the form of Hysteria and Abomination's Might.
3. Blood DPS Drawbacks
  • Not quite as much AoE potential as the other two trees.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Scattered Shots: Beast Mastery 101


Welcome to Scattered Shots, written by Frostheim of Warcraft Hunters Union and the Hunting Party Podcast. Each week Frostheim uses logic and science mixed with a few mugs of Dwarven Stout to look deep into the Hunter class.

When you're looking at stepping into the hunter class for the first time there are three key concepts to keep in mind: guns are finely crafted machines of death while bows are primitive contraptions better suited to butterfly-humpin' hippies; dwarves are solidly-built, better looking, and better able to handle the sweet nectar of life (alcohol) than other races; and finally beast mastery is the ideal entry point into the hunter class.

No spec is as widely useful and easy to learn and master as BM. Today we're going to walk step-by-step through everything you need to know to get started on your BM hunter. Don't worry, they're baby steps. Even the aforementioned butterfly-humpin' night elves will be able to understand.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Arcane Brilliance: Arcane 101

Welcome to another Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that is the only place I know of where a gnome in a dress with glowing hands hanging out in the middle of the forest isn't so much creepy as it is socially acceptable.

Since I see a growing trend among the other class columnists, and because I crave the approval of my peers, I bring you Arcane 101. This is intended to be a relatively basic overview of the spec; I won't be delving into much in the way of the more complex mechanics here. This will also be a PvE-centric column. We'll revisit arcane PvP at some future point, but sadly not today. So without further ado:

1. What is arcane?

The leftmost of the three mage specs, this tree focuses on magic that is neither fiery nor frosted. It is (for the next five minutes or so, at least) the current single-target pure DPS champ, as far as mage specs go.

2. Arcane Benefits
  • Extremely high damage
  • Simple rotation
  • Low hit cap
  • Provides good raid utility
  • Missile Barrage is awesome
3. Arcane drawbacks
  • Highly dependent on timely procs for mana efficiency
  • Cannot sustain highest DPS rotation
  • Rotation is fairly boring
  • Sub-par AoE

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

The Light and How to Swing It: Holy 101

Every Sunday, Chase Christian of The Light and How to Swing It invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. This week, we examine the basics of a holy paladin, from gems and enchants to talents and spell usage.

I have always been of the belief that the paladin is a healer at heart, with their hybrid nature simply an extension of their healing capability. In vanilla WoW, paladins were the Alliance's healing all-star, with our tier sets and raid utility focusing on the restorative arts. Retribution and protection both have abilities that heal in some way, and their talent trees even have pro-healing options. If you want to experience the purest distilled essence of the paladin class, you have to try holy.

This is intended to be a guide to the holy paladin's basic principles and tenets, not an in-depth guide into high-end raid healing or specialized gearing choices. If you're new to the holy paladin or want to discover what the spec is all about, read on.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Protection warriors 101

The Care and Feeding of Warriors is WoW.com's weekly column for warriors. This week, we jump on the bandwagon. Matthew Rossi tends to miss jumping on bandwagons, fall, and hurt himself, followed by a lot of swearing. It's actually somewhat entertaining to watch.

There is, ultimately, only one thing warriors actually do.

We hit things. We don't poison them, we don't electrocute them, we don't burn them or freeze them or hit them with diseases or the Holy Light. We just hit them.We don't turn into anything, we don't stand back and let an animal hit things for us, we just plain hit things. We hit things and get angry, and we get hit and get angry about that, too.

That being said, warriors can specialize in one of two ways to hit things. One is to heft a big two handed weapon (or two of them) and hit things to death. The other is to put on the heaviest armor we can find, strap a car door to our arm, and get things to hit us as hard as they can, and then hit them back.

This week, we look at protection, the "Is that all you got? Is that it? COME ON!" spec.

1. What is protection?

Well, read the above. Now we'll go into more detail. The warrior protection spec is the oldest actively used tanking spec in World of Warcraft. Tanking is the role in a five man, 10 man raid, or 25 man raid (and originally 10, 15, 20 and 40 man raids as well) where one player deliberately attempts to hold a mob or multiple mobs attention so that they do not attack the healers and/or damage dealing players. To do this, tanks need to work on two separate but equally important aspects of play.
  1. They must hold aggro. Aggro (derived from aggression) is the hostile attention of the mob or mobs in question.
  2. They must survive the damage inflicted on them by the mob or mobs long enough to be healed.
  3. No, really, you need to do these two things. Otherwise, you're not tanking, you're just a greasy stain on something's fist and/or other means of killenating.
  4. Yes, I said killenating. What, you're too good for made-up words?

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Filed under: Warrior, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

Shifting Perspectives: Restoration 101

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, a quick and dirty guide to raising one's tree from a young sapling to a mighty oak, or other suitably impressive arboreal species.

Whenever other columnists here write really good columns, I sit at my computer and swear a blue streak, for I am a jealous god. Sacco, damn him, turned out a great article on the basics of elemental shamans, and for a while I've been kicking around bits and pieces of 101-esque columns for all four druid specs. This was the last shove I needed to get that done. While I expect our new balance blogger (a.k.a. Murmurs, the person I will be forcing to do all my number-crunching in the future with bribes or, when necessary, threats) will address moonkin, I'll cover bears, cats, and today, trees.

A quick note on what I want to accomplish here: I'm addressing this to people with no prior knowledge of the spec who want the tools to become reasonably competent healers quickly. By necessity, that means we're going to gloss over a few finer points; this is a cheat sheet, not an encyclopedia. When I say (for example) that Improved Tranquility needs to be dragged out behind a barn and killed with an axe, I'm not going to spend paragraphs explaining why that is, or examining situations where you could actually get some use from it. If you think I've glossed over something truly important, please drop a comment and I'll direct readers to anything they really need to know.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Totem Talk: Elemental 101


Melee combat? Barbaric. Healing? How pedestrian. Let the elements do the talking. Totem Talk: Elemental. Brought to you by Mike Sacco.

If you're here and reading this, you've probably decided that elemental will be one of your shaman's two possible specs and you want to get a good grasp of how it all works before you dive in. The maiden voyage of Totem Talk's Elemental edition is intended to tell you everything you need to know to get started as one of the game's simplest specs, from mechanics to gearing to rotation.

What it isn't intended to be the is be-all-end-all of Elemental theorycrafting. We'll delve into more complex stuff later on.

Let's get started!

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

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