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Posts with tag class

Ol' Grumpy and the return of class-based quests

Hi, I'm Ol' Grumpy. You may remember me from such posts as every single other post with "Ol' Grumpy" in the title. Today, since I have this incredibly uncomfortable rocking chair to sit on, I figured I'd grump about class quests and why I think they should come back.

Back in the day (that day being 2004 to 2005), I leveled the first of many warriors to the experience cap of level 60. At that time, one of the things that set the warrior class (and other classes) apart was a long, involved quest line that sent you all over Azeroth to gather materials and finally face and defeat Cyclonian. As a result, you gained one of three iconic weapons. (Most people took the axe. As a human at the time, I took the sword.) This extremely long quest line took you from Fray Island to the area north of Tarren Mill and then to Arathi Highlands (giving them a reason to exist) and Stranglethorn Vale before bringing you back to face Cyclonian. It was a rite of passage for a leveling toon. As a 60th-level, 70th-level and then an 80th-level warrior, I would often go back and help warriors on the quest to defeat Cyclonian, who posed an extreme challenge to anyone attempting to solo him.

I lamented the removal of class-specific quests at the time it was announced. Now, over a year later, I still think removing them was a mistake. Being soaked in ancient wisdom like a turkey soaked in ancient wisdom, here are my reasons.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Crowd control basics by class

So, crowd control. Contrary to the name, it isn't really a good way of controlling crowds; rather, it's a great way to control the size of the crowd of mobs mercilessly attacking your tank. Crowd control in this post means abilities that can be applied prior to a pull. We'll get to abilites like Psychic Scream, warriors' Intimidating Shout and Shadowfury a bit later, but they're not our primary concern right now. There are some situations, particularly in the Rise of the Zandalari dungeons where pre-pull CC isn't possible (such as the adds on the way to Nalorakk in Zul'Aman) where you'll need to CC on the fly, but this is rarely the case.

Not all classes have crowd control abilities of the type we're talking about here. Warriors and death knights have a few stuns, fears and Hungering Cold, all of which can be put to excellent use but aren't really crowd control in this sense as they can't be cast prior to the pull.

So which classes have these pre-pull crowd control abilities, and what are they?

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Blood Sport: How will patch 4.3 impact PvP?

WoW Insider covers the world of player vs. player action in Blood Sport for fans of battleground, world PvP and Arena play. Steering you to victory is Olivia Grace, who spends most of her time in Azeroth as a restoration shaman turning people into frogs.

With patch 4.3 imminent and Arena season 10 due to end Nov. 29, it seems reasonable to assume the patch will appear in early December. While you're racing to get your team into title range, get that last piece of gear, or just running laps of your capital city, you might be thinking forward to the arrival of the patch and wondering what your fate will be in PvP as the nerf bat winds up for another swing. Firstly, let's deal with some housekeeping.

Conquest points, the PvP equivalent of valor points, will now be far, far easier to earn from ordinary Battlegrounds. The first daily Battleground win will now award 100 conquest points, up from 25, and wins after that will award 50 conquest point, up from, well, none! The conquest cap will remain, so while it will still be far quicker to reach it through Arena, it will also be attainable via Battlegrounds of the non-rated variety. This makes it far easier for solo players to build up the resilience numbers people often demand (fairly or otherwise) for access to Arena and Rated Battleground teams or just to gear for Battlegrounds.

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Filed under: PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Breakfast Topic: What is your favorite class ability?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

With all this focus on new disasters, races, and abilities coming in Cataclysm, it's easy to forget about all the awesome things our characters can do right now. Mages can teleport, fury warriors can dual wield two-handed weapons, shaman can turn into a Ghost Wolf. Ghost Wolf --- that even sounds cool.

My main toon is a holy paladin. Although I did level most of the first 60 levels as holy (yes, it went very, very slowly), I blasted through the last 20 levels and the instances that fill them as retribution. At level 80, I wanted to get into raiding. A friend somehow got me in one of the better raiding guilds on my server and -- guess what? -- shortly after, I got volun -- told to go holy if I wanted a raiding slot. I admit, at first, I wasn't a great healer. I was using a very small portion of my toolbox. I took Holy Light spam to a new level and did almost nothing else. After a time, I discovered Beacon of Light and spent much of the next few weeks declaring it was the best spell in all of WoW. Two tanks taking damage? No problem, 'cause now my Holy Light spamming was twice as effective!

Now I'm leveling a rogue and falling in love with a brand new skillset. Cheap Shot and Kidney Shot are fast becoming some of my new favorite character abilities. Are you more partial to the biggest damage/healing/threat increase button, or does pushing someone off an edge with Typhoon just make your day? What abilities do you enjoy the most?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Cataclysm class and mastery systems explained

Everything we knew about talents have changed. Some highlights:
  • You choose one tree at level 10 and then can only add talents to that tree until you have put 31 points in it. Then the other trees open up.
  • At level 78 and above, items will start dropping with Mastery as a stat. Once Mastery is learned from your class trainer, the stat will give bonuses based on the tree specialized in.
  • The Mastery bonuses will be flat percentages and will no longer be based on the number of talents spent in a tree.
  • Talents will alternate with skills when leveling. So you will get a talent point "about" every other level.

The full blue post is after the break.

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Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Are set bonuses outdated?

Well now, here's an interesting thought to consider this weekend: Zemeny on Barthilas suggests that maybe it's time to do away with a gear mechanic that Blizzard has used since Diablo. He thinks that set bonuses deserve to be put out to pasture. He doesn't go into his reasoning much, but we can probably fill that in; not only do set bonuses tend to either be overpowered or too weak (as in, you usually need to have a specific set bonus to make or break a class), but they make gear choices uneven, usually leaving you to choose between an upgrade or a set bonus. Zemeny suggests we do away with the whole thing -- create one set bonus per tier, leaving upgrades for the gear itself, or just turn the set bonus into an extra gem or inscription slot and give us more power that way.

Ghostcrawler shows up in the thread and says that the game would be pretty boring if set bonuses weren't included -- I presume he means that you'd just upgrade your gear according to iLvl, and that would be that. He even says that he wishes the tiers varied more, but players really want to see "unambiguous upgrades" to their items. People need rewarding when they move up, so GC can't mix things up with the various bonuses as much as he might like.

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Filed under: Items, Blizzard, Instances, Bosses

Patch 3.3 PTR: Shadow Word: Pain not affected by haste

We heard a little while back from Ghostcrawler that haste would soon affect Heal-over-Time (HoT) and Damage-over-Time (DoT) spells, and sure enough, soon after that, Shadow Priests -- who use DoTs all the time -- saw a nice buff. But of course this is the PTR, and everything is subject to change, and so last weekend, Blizzard removed Shadow Word: Pain from that equation -- right now, it's not affected by haste at all. GC says that sure enough, Blizzard thought shadow priest DPS was too high with all of their DoTs given a boost, so SW:P got the boot (for now -- remember, this is all still on PTR).

Misery, my go-to shadow priest, has some good insight on the change, and says that sure, if shadow priest DPS was too high, it was too high. But it's too bad that Shadow Word: Pain had to take the nerf, especially since you get it so early on in the class and it's such an iconic spell for the spec. The reason these guys are so happy about the hasted DoTs is that DoTs as cast don't really scale with your gear -- they just sort of do their damage on their own. When haste got put into the equation, shadow priests became happy that they could go after more haste to increase the DoT part of the damage. They could tailor the spec and spells the way they wanted to use them.



Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Classes, Talents, Buffs

Rent seeking (or lack thereof) in WoW

Elnia continues posting some interesting (and complicated) insight into the World of Warcraft over at the Pink Pigtail Inn. This time, it's about what she calls "rent seeking," which isn't about trying to find the money to pay for your apartment so much as it's about individuals petitioning authorities (the government, or in this case Blizzard) for their own income. The post dabbles with some complicated market theory, but in the end, the conclusion is this: while players have definitely petitioned Blizzard for changes to their own class, they have generally stayed away from asking for more money, or changes to the rules that would grant it to them. In general, players are fine with Blizzard staying hands-off of the various in-game economies running in Azeroth.

As the commenters over there say, there's a good reason for that, and it's because most of the economic play in WoW is completely optional. Aside from repair costs (which can be high for raiders, but for everyone else are fairly inconsequential), you don't really need money at all; given enough time, you can collect whatever you need from somewhere in the world, either by simply collecting ore or herbs, or by running instances and doing quests. But that doesn't mean that the "rent seeking" comparison isn't valid.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Economy, Making money

A new blogger survey, this time for DPS

Last weekend we spotlighted the big healer survey that went around the blogosphere a little while back -- it was chock full of information straight from healers about their classes and abilities and what they thought of them. Now, Death Goddess is aiming to do the same thing for DPS classes. She's only got a few blogs who've answered so far, but they run a good range, from hunter to warlock to mage, and maybe getting the word out like this will encourage a few more DPS-style bloggers to put their answers in the pot.

As long as we're going to keep encouraging this meme (or non-meme, as they may be saying), I'd love to see some of this stuff quantified a little bit more. It'd be interesting to put into numbers which kinds of classes like their roles best, or which situations each role likes to play more (do healers prefer raiding over 5-mans, or do DPS prefer to play solo rather than PvP?). The healer survey was a treasure trove of raw anecdotal information, but it'd be good to see this put into a spreadsheet or graph, and maybe give us a more quantified look at what people think of their class. We'll keep an eye on the DPS data and maybe try hashing it out once the list of those surveyed becomes pretty substantial.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Raiding, Classes

Breakfast Topic: Which class am I again?


Tonight, after Trials of the Grand Crusader (four down, bug to go) we decided to hop onto some alts, which led to back to back TotC 10 on my DK and Shaman. Then back to back Ony 10, also on the DK and Shaman. And because I'd spent hours in TotGC 25 on my warrior before that, by the end of the night, I had no idea what class abilities I had anymore. Between popping Army of the Dead when they called for Heroism (it's bound to the same key) to trying desperately to use Chains of Ice when asked to Frost Shock the Ret Pally, I was in rare form. And it wasn't just me, either: the druid healer is usually a mage, the warlock raids as a priest, and the holy paladin healing the second Ony attempt has something like 10 alts at 80. I'm surprised he even knows where he is. We got it all done, mind you, but you can really tell the difference in smoothness between our mains and our alts, even as well geared as the alts often are.

So now I put it to you, gentle readers. Do you ever suffer from class bleedover? Are you ever on your druid finding yourself mashing the Consecration button, or on your Mage trying to use Hymn of Hope? Or do you find it easy to keep it all straight?

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Death Knight

Pandaren Monk pet has moves


MMO Champion has datamined up some video of the new Pandaren Monk vanity pet that's been floating around, and as you can see above, it's pretty darned awesome. Just like the Grunty the Murloc pet, this one comes with some fun animations, and they look terrific. Blizzard has been pretty coy about getting the Pandaren into the game, and they're teasing big here, too -- this little bear's got moves that would make the Diablo III Monk hang his head in shame.

However, the question remains: how do we get it? At this point, it's just speculation and rumor -- some say it might be a special anniversary pet for people who've been subscribed all five years of the game's life, some suggest it might be part of the Cataclysm collector's edition (past CEs have had a pet in each one, including a Diablo figure in the first box), and still others suggest that the Monk will be a new pet in the upcoming Brewfest holiday. How do we get it, really? We won't know for sure until we hear it from Blizz.

Filed under: Items, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Humor, NPCs, Achievements, Cataclysm

Encrypted Text: The Rogue Q&A in review

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we talk about the Rogue Q & A recently released by Blizzard.

Last week, Blizzard released the long-awaited (at least by me) Rogue Q&A series. Ghostcrawler and the rest of the community team answered many of our long-standing questions, and gave us some insight into where Rogues are headed as a class. You can read the full details of the Q&A that Eliah posted for us.

After reading the questions and answers, I breathed a sigh of relief. No hints or indications of any nerfs coming our way, and Blizzard actually acknowledged several longstanding flaws with the class. Not only that, but they actually provided possible solutions; I'll be taking them with a grain of salt. New Rogues are excited about our class' complexity and diversity, while experienced Rogues are proud that we are now respected as damage dealers instead of being seen as second-class DPS.

The highlights are after the cut.

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Priest Q&A Released


The priest Q&A has just been released. This is the final Q&A in the entire class Q&A series, and has some answers that many in the Priest community have been looking for. The Rogue Q&A was also released this afternoon.

Some of the highlights of the Priest Q&A include:
  • The Shadow tree needs to have more talents which affect overall damage, and less on DoT only damage. This is so the Shadow Priest isn't penalized during encounters in which DoTs are not usable.
  • Dispelling DoTs is not too easy right now.
  • Regarding the Glyph of Mind Flay: "...at this point we don't think it would be a problem if the glyph just bumped the range without the penalty. It's probably too conservative a glyph."
  • Blizzard is considering removing the backlash from Shadow Word: Death if the target is within Execute range.
  • Blizzard recognizes the disparity between Greater Heal and Flash Heal, but doesn't really offer any solid solution.
  • There are no concrete plans to change Lightwell into something useful.
  • Blizzard is not happy that Dispels can miss, but they don't have an easy fix for it.
The full Q&A after the break.

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Filed under: Priest

The Queue: RaF'd dailies are delicious


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

I have to admit, o' faithful Queue readers, that I considered pawning off answering questions today to someone else so I could have more time to catch up on other work. Patch days can get quite busy around the WoW.com head quarters.

Last night for example. Alex, Mike Sacco, and I had heard that there was a new raid lockout extension feature in place, so we rushed onto the Patch 3.2 PTR to grab some screenshots. Of course that meant we had to deal with the thing crashing every few minutes. And once we finally did make it into ZG to get a quick boss kill, Sacco disconnected and the server announced a shutdown in 5 minutes. But hey, we got the kill off and the screenshots captured with 15 seconds left until the shutdown. We won!

Aideros asked...

"When are more "hero classes", like the Death Knight, coming out? What are the speculations? Has anything been said about them since WotLK?"

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, The Queue

The opposite of Heroics

Reader Malos on Nagrand sent me an interesting idea that I thought was worth some discussion. For a long time now, I've been a big fan of the idea of turning the old instances into Heroic versions -- I think it would be really fun to play Deadmines as a level 80, or roll through Scarlet Monastery for badges. But obviously the problem there is that Blizzard already has enough to do -- they're focused on creating new content, not revamping old instances that people have already played.

So Malos has a solution: instead of tweaking the instances to us, how about tweaking us to the instances? He suggests a set of gear, much like the Heirloom gear, that matches your character to whatever instance you happen to step into -- if you enter Deadmines, it powers down your level 80 character to an appropriate power and level for the instance. That way, all Blizzard has to do is make one set of gear per class (that could even scale upwards, so they never have to make it again), and boom, every instance could be played at the standard difficulty by any character any time.

Will it happen? Probably not. But I really like the idea of tweaking the players, not the instances, and I think there's a lot of possibility there for Blizzard. They've had such a tough time trying to balance out content for all kinds of players (including all of the hard modes and extra gameplay in Ulduar), that it might be interesting to try and measure the difficulty by going the other way -- balancing players out for all kinds of content.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances

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