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Posts with tag control

Hearthstone: Know when to fold 'em

Hearthstone Know when to fold 'em
Hearthstone matches can be won or lost depending on the cards in your opening hand. Thankfully, you have the option to mulligan specific cards out. I used to be an avid poker player years ago. There's this old catchy song where the main verse goes something "Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em"! That logic also applies here. Each class has it's own unique strengths and cards and you need to know which cards will help you against them early or late. You also need to know your own deck.

We'll go over a few example matches against assorted classes. Today, I'll be using a shaman control deck and I've included a quick video at the bottom narrating a match against a priest. But first, a few concepts to go over!

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Scattered Shots: Scatter-trapping with grace and ease

hunter wins blizzcon arena championship
Frostheim appears to be decimated, unable to write this week, over the loss of the most recent raiding gun from the patch 4.3 PTR files. As someone who PVPs to get my first raiding weapon of most patches, I can choose whichever ranged death-dealing machine I want. Of course, as a Worgen (not to mention someone who is generally the butt of many of Frostheim's jokes on our podcast), I usually choose a crossbow after buying, returning and screenshotting the gun.

Today, Scattered Shots will be all about a very basic hunter PVP survival skill: scatter-trapping. All hunters of all specs can scatter-trap, and whether you're being ganked doing dailies, trying to win Baradin Hold, or doing competitive Arena, it's one of those skills that can really set you apart.

Traps on their own are only useful for people you can force to cross through them. Mostly, this means melee, although you can sometimes force a ranged player to cross a trap if you're humping a pillar properly. What do we do when we want to freeze someone who isn't chasing us, though? Freezing Trap is really our most effective crowd control ability. We'll often want it to be used on someone that matters like a healer. Unfortunately, short of stepping up to a healer and dropping a trap on them, there's no way to force them to cross our path.

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Filed under: Hunter, PvP, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Encrypted Text: Controlling tempo in PvP

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Please email me with any topic requests or questions you have!

PvP is hard to discuss in writing. (I'm not talking about how to properly 4-gate your opponent on Shakuras Plateau, but rather about WoW's player-vs-player content.) It's a relatively easy task to distill a PvE encounter into a list of salient points, but that's because raid bosses aren't random. Magmaw is going to do the same thing against every single raid group that encounters him, and so our strategies for countering him are fairly unilateral. We're playing rock-paper-scissors with the developers, except that we know they're going to throw paper ahead of time. All we have to do is successfully become scissors, and the raid bosses will fall over and explode with purples -- they're just loot piñatas.

PvP, meanwhile, is impossible to condense into a single strategy. In a raid setting, most classes use less than a dozen simple abilities on any given encounter. In an arena or battleground, players will be drawing from the deepest, darkest pages of their spellbooks to gain any advantage. I can't tell you what that warrior on the opposing team is going to do, because he can literally do anything. Instead of trying to make some sort of overly complicated flowchart in an attempt to remove all decision-making from PvP, you have to adjust and react on the fly. The key to surviving in this volatile environment is to maintain control of the tempo -- you need to fight on your terms.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Drama Mamas: Control freak


Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

We continue to receive the results of advice that we have given over the course of this column. But we're greedy and we want more! If we have answered a letter from you and you want to participate in our roundup column, please email us at DramaMamas@wow.com.

We received the following letter a couple of months ago. It is impossible for us to answer every letter in a timely fashion, unfortunately. Still, we hope that this can still be of some help. Note: "Control Freak" was the subject of the letter writer's email and that's why we chose it as the title, not to be judgmental.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Addon Spotlight: Satrina Buff Frames

Addon Spotlight 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, Satrina Buff Frames takes your buff and debuff frames to a whole new level.

A lot has changed since the early days of buff and debuff presentation. Back in the early days, we were limited by very basic buff and debuff trackers. These days, however, one addon truly stands tall and proud, a giant among men. I speak of the impeccable Satrina Buff Frames, a wonderfully customizable and skinnable buff and debuff frame that can give any user interface awesome amounts of flexibility.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Drama Mamas: Don't let others control your fun


Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

The great thing about playing massively multiplayer games is all of the wonderful people you get to meet and hang out with, no matter your respective locations. And the bad thing is all of the inconsiderate people who forget that you're a real person with other things to do than be his/her playmate on his/her schedule. This week, we talk about taking control of your fun.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Features, Drama Mamas

Defensive pets a little more jumpy

A guildie of mine discovered this last night, and reader Theronis sent us a note today about it -- after patch 3.0.2, defensive pets act a little differently. Before the patch, they would only attack an enemy automatically if they attacked you first, which made things a little tough with casters -- pets in defensive mode wouldn't actually move to attack until the first spell actually hit you. But after the patch, pets are a little bit quicker: now, they'll move to attack as soon as you attack something, so you won't have to wait around until you get hit before your pet springs into action.

However, this can be a drawback as well -- while Theronis says it's a good change and that his pets are smarter, my guildie had a problem: whenever he wanted to pull one mob out of a group, the pet would run in and pull them all. Anything you attack will get pounced on by your pet in defensive, and that might bring some unintended adds along for the ride.

Personally, I always keep my pets in passive -- it only takes a split second to hit CTRL-1 to send them attacking, and I can much better control, both soloing and in instances, what my pet is up to at any given moment. It can hurt my DPS a bit if I'm not careful (since I'm a BM Hunter, my pet is a big part of my DPS, so if I forget to send him, that's a bigger loss), but the tradeoff is that I can be careful about pulling adds and I have control of my pet all the time. If the "smarter" defensive works great for you, good, but if you find your pet springing in a little too early, you might try switching back to passive and just staying there most of the time.

Filed under: Hunter, Warlock, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King

Gamestop listing for "WorldofWarcraft Gaming Mouse"


We got sent this picture by a rogue Gamestop employee -- he says he found a listing in their computer not only for the upcoming Zboards for Warhammer and Wrath of the Lich King, but as you can see, there's also a listing for a "WorldofWarcraft Gaming Mouse." There's no company listed, so we don't know who might be making it, and no other features are listed except the price, which stands at a hefty $99.00. There have been WoW mice available in China for a while, but with the price on this one, we're guessing it'll be a little less colorful and a little more "professional." Hey, if it's got extra buttons on it to help me level up fishing, I'll give it a look.

Our tipster also says it's listed as a November release date, and as you can see above, it looks like we can expect it around November 3rd (a week before Wrath's release). If your mouse is looking a little old and busted lately, and you've got some of that tax refund check still sitting around waiting to be spent, it could be just the thing to help you run around Northrend.

Update: Intrepid commenter Folinger found a cache of a Gamestop page for the mouse -- apparently it's also from Ideazon, and comes adorned with WoW art and 15 programmable buttons. Hopefully one of them will help me with my current goal of powerleveling fishing.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Wrath of the Lich King, Rumors

Blood Sport: All aboard the drain train


PvP in its purest form is a beautiful thing. Amanda Dean, always obsessed with the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat brings you news you can use in the Arena.

When I first started the arena, I thought "Hey, me and my friends can just get together and play." And we can, but there are limits to success based on composition. Some of the most successful teams are based on archetypal compositions such as Rogue, Mage, and Priest (RMP). These typical compositions are based on synergy among classes. Focused mana draining is another fairly successful team structure.

The key to successful arena play is usually to control the playing field. Drain teams deny their opponents the ability to attack or heal. Drain teams focus on characters that have mana depleting abilities, plus have a few other tricks up their sleeve to pull out when necessary. Your main contenders are Hunter, Priest, and Warlock.

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Filed under: Hunter, Priest, Warlock, PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

CC: How to run instances without a net

Running 5 man instances is the bread and butter of gearing up any PvE character. There are some short instances, and some longer ones. There are some bosses that are ready for fun, and others that like to die fast. Many people consider it a universal truth that all you need to do these instances is solid crowd control. When you're faced with a pack of six or seven level 70 elite mobs, the last thing you want is one or two of them running loose.

But what can you do if you don't have any CC available? Are you just out of luck? Nope! There are a few tricks to running instances without CC, and if you pay close attention, you won't miss the lack of sheeps at all.

In fact, you might just start preferring to run without crowd control entirely.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Instances, Guides

A "meta" class for WoW

Draele over at Rantings of the Afflicted asks if WoW could ever have what he calls a "meta" class. He lists the examples of Mesmer in Guild Wars or a Psionicist in Vanguard, and I'll add to that the Sorcerer class in Dark Age of Camelot-- classes that depend on manipulation and mind control rather than direct damage or healing.

I'd say that it's possible, but extremely unlikely. Why? Because WoW is based on an RTS game, and in RTS, there's not a lot of complicated manipulation going on-- either you're attacking or defending, or some mix of the two. There hasn't really been any precedent (that I can think of or stretch to) in the Warcraft universe for a Bard or "Mesmer" class, and that's why it's pretty unlikely that Blizzard will try to break out past the trinity of usual MMO archetypes. Not to mention that, as Draele says, a meta class is a complex thing to create and play, and WoW tends to be more casual than complex.

Of course, never say never. There's a lot in this universe that hasn't even been hinted at in the game yet, and as was mentioned in last week's podcast, Death Knights will likely only be the beginning of hero classes, so who knows what Blizzard could come up with.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Classes, Death Knight

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