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Posts with tag cooldown

Insider Trader: Gadgets for the modern Engineer


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Engineering has quite a few useful tools in addition to their famous repertoire of toys, but not every player knows how to make the most of them. There are many reasons for this, including:
  • Not being informed on the latest improvements. Consumables may be less cost-prohibitive, for example, than the last time you checked.
  • Believing the "Engineering is useless" hype that lingers from darker days, and feeling creatively blocked after an expensive and tedious leveling process.
  • Being an irrational yet strangely normal cooldown and consumable saving individual. Awkward Zombie illustrates the latter nicely, and we've talked about stingy cooldown use in the past.
This week, Insider Trader is going to discuss a handful of the Engineering tools that you really should be using to the fullest, and why.

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Filed under: Engineering, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Features, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions)

Ready Check: Cooldown Management



Ready Check is a twice-a-week column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Vault of Archavon or Ulduar, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. Today, we're going to look at a specific tactic for speeding your success through each encounter -- cooldown management.


The proper use of a raid's cooldowns is pretty key to maximizing your damage output. (Cooldown is one word. Yes. it. is.)

One moment, you are a meager Retribution Paladin. You struggle to maintain your place on the DPS chart. Your weak blows are the stuff of ridicule and angsty blog posts. The Death Knight next to you merely smirks at your DPS, his condescending unibrow peering at you from within his dark, dark helmet of angst. Try as you might, you can barely generate a cooling wind as you struggle to perform for your raid leader.

And then you blow wings. Suddenly, your damage is the stuff of legend! With those golden heralds of power and magnificence unfurling from your broad, manly shoulders, there is no enemy who can stand before you! You speak in all exclamation points! Women and men in Leia-costumes hurl themselves at your feet, while you swat away weaksauce Rogues and OP Warlocks with the barest of effort! Ghostcrawler is forced to resign, offering you the ultimate power in World of Warcraft design! You are fantastic!

And then it's over, so very, very much too soon. You are left to wait until your next cooldown is up to once again recapture that former glory, and remember what it was like to be the quarterback.

Okay, I exaggerate. But the idea that cooldown use increase your performance should be obvious. They don't put a spell in your Spellbook because they don't want you to use it. (Well, they rarely do so, anyway.) But cooldown management is a challenge for every raider. While a lot of folks have their cooldown management well under hand, there's still plenty of folks out there who could use some handy tips.

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Filed under: Ready Check (Raiding)

Raid Rx: 5 Factors to consider for Rebirth

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a new WoW blog for all things UI, macro, and addon related. This week, we look at Rebirth and what to consider before using them.

There were a few comments from last week's Raid Rx in regards to raid saving abilities. One of the abilities mentioned was the Druid's Rebirth (and to a lesser extent, a Shaman's Reincarnation). Both have their uses.

What's the difference between these two spells and the ones mentioned last week?

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Filed under: Druid, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

The high cost of rez sickness

Lotonero got his thread locked because he posted it in the wrong forum, but he makes an interesting point: rez sickness costs are higher than ever. Death costs are already pretty high -- when you're dressed in greens and blues it's not much of a problem, but get yourself down to red on some high-level epics, and see if you don't wince when you hit up the repair vendor to pay the piper. But rez sickness costs are even worse -- they affect durability on all of your items, even those you're not wearing, and so when a dual-specced healer or tank with two or even three sets of gear goes rez-sick, the amount they have to pay goes through the roof.

Now, you might think what I thought: if you're carrying around that much epic gear, then a) why are you dying, and b) why are you rezzing from a spirit healer? But Wryxian, right before sending Lotonero packing to the suggestions thread, throws in his own two cents: "Maybe not." Maybe Blizzard might consider it -- dual specs wasn't around when they originally thought up the cost of rez sickness, and maybe since many players are carrying around two sets of gear now, it's due for another look. I didn't think the Hearthstone cooldown needed a nerf either, but we got that anyway.

So maybe it's something for Blizzard to think about. My guess is that most players will not think it's worth the change -- gold is flowing so freely nowadays and the death penalty is so cheap (back in the EQ days, we used to lose XP or even levels) that it's not a big deal, especially when you choose to go rez sick. But it's true that this is one of the game's oldest mechanics, so maybe it's time to take a critical look.

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

Neutral Auction houses (and putting them in Northrend)

You've probably heard, by now, the reason why there are no auction houses (or class trainers) in Dalaran or Shattrath. Blizzard doesn't want the old world towns (like Ironforge and Orgrimmar) to become ghost towns. Ghost towns like, for example, Shattrath -- have you been there lately? But as Gnomeaggedon pointed out last week, there's another option: neutral Auction houses.

We haven't talked about the Neutral Auction houses in the game for a long time -- they exist only in Winterspring, Booty Bay, and Tanaris, and pretty much have only served the purpose of trading items back and forth between the two factions (or scamming between them). But Gnomeaggedon has a new idea: why not reintroduce them to the newer cities, and create another option for people rather than having to go all the way back to the old world (and waste a hearthstone cooldown)? Not only would you bring people back to the Neutral Auction houses (they really are empty right now), but you'd bring the auction house back to the people, at a slightly higher cost.

I like it, and so does Mend Pet, though she sees a few issues: even with the higher cost, you might still get people forgetting about the normal Auction houses and then you've just switched where the problem is (not to mention that people leveling wouldn't see anyone in the big cities when they went). And Dalaran is laggy and crowded as it is -- creating another mess of characters won't help. And finally, this is a solution without a real problem: we're getting the Hearthstone cooldown lowered anyway, so it's not that big deal to go back home occasionally (or just use a bank alt). Still, the Neutral houses are just sort of sitting there. Giving us more access to them might be worth it.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Tanks, "Wrath," and crushing blows


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we examine the roots of the uproar over the proposed Heart of the Wild nerf, and also ask ourselves if it wouldn't just be easier to reroll a Death Knight and have done with it.

"Why would you title the column this way?" you ask, as you reach for your "Please fire _______ from WoW Insider" form letter. "Crushing blows are out of the game, dipwad."

Well, yes. The crushing blow is technically out of the game, but another and worse mechanic has taken its place.

In this article I'm going to try to explain the source of "shield tank" frustration over health pools -- and why they are correct to see it as a problem -- and the Druid tank's unhappiness over the nerfing of Heart of the Wild -- and why Druids are also correct to see it as a problem.

Why the crushing blow was important

One of the biggest differences between pre-Wrath and Wrath tanking is the absence of the crushing blow. If you're unfamiliar with the term, then as a very simple explanation: any given raid boss had a 15% chance per melee hit to perform a 150% damage attack, which was also known as the crushing blow. It was typically a big damage spike and could lead to a wipe on progression content, with healers struggling to compensate in the small window of time before the boss' next attack landed. Burst damage is very unwelcome as it's often the greatest contributing factor to tank death. This is why reaching crit immunity is still so important to all tanks, and why the ability to avoid or absorb crushing blows was a fundamental part of pre-Wrath tanking mechanics.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Classes, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

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

Wrath of the Lich King: Priest roundup


Cheer up and be optimistic! Try not to be too worried about the Priest class. True we haven't changed all that much, we are still the most diverse healing class in the game. Even Elizabeth Harper and Phaelia agree that we still remain the best healers (for now). Don't be disheartened! But the challenge starts now. Hitting 80 will be a bit slower for us Holy specced players in comparison to other classes and specs. We can still hold our own against Arthas' minions! So where are we at then?

State of the Game

Talent Trees

General Tips

Having fun is the most important thing you can do. If the quest givers or mobs are overloaded, find a few guildies and lock yourselves into Utgarde Keep for a while.

Filed under: Priest, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

More Runeforging weapon enchantments unveiled

We've already shown you screenshots of some of the new Runeforging abilities for Death Knights. Now, we have them all via MMO-Champion. As expected, they should let you customize your weapon for whatever role you expect to play, whether it be tanking or DPS, and what type of enemy you expect to go up again, be they undead, spellcasters, or melee. It looks to be an exciting system.

Read on for a full list of the Runeforging Enchantments.

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Filed under: Enchanting, Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Buffs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Insider Trader: Alchemy, the final stretch

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

While alchemy is certainly not the most flashy or popular profession out there, alchemists are an integral part of the game, and any guild worth its salt has at least one, preferably several, working to supply guildmates and fill the guild bank with stacks of consumables and transmuted items.

This week's leveling guide will feature the usual cheapest route, and the most useful, to 375 for solos and casuals.

For those of you who will be working for your guild (and hopefully are also being financed, or supported by herbalists), we'll show you how to reach 375 by making the most useful items. They might cost more, but your guild will be requiring them anyway, so you might as well get your skill points that way, rather than making stacks of items you won't be using.

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Filed under: Alchemy, Patches, Items, How-tos, Guilds, Walkthroughs, Economy, Features, Leveling, Guides, Making money, Buffs, Insider Trader (Professions)

A close look at the new changes to Bloodlust and Heroism

Tharfor (I can hear him purr, can you?) tells us today of two changes that we'll see on the PTR soon (Drysc announced this earlier):
  • Bloodlust/Heroism will, again, stack with Icy Veins.
  • Bloodlust/Heroism will not stack with [the new] Power Infusion, however.
He tells us the reasoning behind this is "...two spells increasing haste by a percentage will not stack if both can be cast on a target other than the caster..." So this appears to continue the trend we've seen of modifying haste based abilities, both in their power and stacking abilities.

For those that don't know about Shamans, Bloodlust and Heroism are Shaman abilities (Bloodlust is the name of the spell for the Horde, Heroism is the name of the spell for the Alliance) that decrease casting time by 30% for 40 seconds. It is often used in raids to get that extra "umpf" necessary to get a boss down quickly.

Icy Veins is a Mage talent based spell that decreases casting time by 20% for 20 seconds (and increase the chance the target will freeze by 20%). The combination of Bloodlust/Heroism and Icy Veins is a very potent combination.

Power Infusion is a Priest talent that will have some changes come patch 2.4. It will now decrease casting time by 20% as well as decrease the mana cost by 20%. It's interesting that Blizzard decided to allow the stacking with Mages, but not with priests. The difference in the two spells is that Power Infusion can be cast on other targets, while Icy Veins can only be cast on yourself. Indeed, this follows with what Tharfor said in his post (which Drysc left out).

What do you think of these changes? Any major issue with them?

Filed under: Mage, Priest, Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items

Mashing buttons can cause cooldown problems

Ever since patch 2.3, a number of players have been having a lot of trouble with their instant abilities, especially in PvP. They're finding they get constant "spell is not ready yet" and "target is out of range" errors whenever they mash their buttons. The main source of this problem has to do with a change to the way your computer communicates to the server what your character is doing. It's not very easy to explain, but I'll do my best here. First, I'll explain how the change affects longer spell casts, and then afterward look at how it affects instants.

Here's how things worked in patch 2.2:
  1. I press a button to cast a spell or activate an ability.
  2. My computer says, "Hey! Realm server! David wants to cast Frostbolt!"
  3. The realm server says "Okay!" 300 milliseconds or so later (this round-trip communication time is your "latency").
  4. My computer then starts a 1.5 second global cooldown, and shows me the Frostbolt casting bar.
  5. I cannot use any other abilities from the time I press the button to the time my Frostbalt casting finishes, unless I manually cancel the spell (as with a /stopcasting macro), or unless the server tells my computer, "Okay the spell is finished already!" or "Whoops! That spell got interrupted!"
  6. Either way, without a manual interruption on my part, I'm waiting on the server to tell me the outcome of the first spell before I can tell it to start casting the second.
Here's how things work in patch 2.3:
  1. I press a button to cast a spell or activate an ability.
  2. My computer says, "Hey! Realm server! David wants to cast Frostbolt!"
  3. My computer goes ahead and starts the global cooldown for me, assuming the Frostbolt will succeed.
  4. The realm says "Okay!" 300ms later, and the casting bar shows up.
  5. Alternately, if there's a problem, then the realm says "No way, silly! David isn't finished casting Fireball yet! Wait a moment to try again, and cancel that global cooldown while you're at it!"
  6. Either way, I can send my commands to the server whenever I want, as long as my global cooldown isn't currently active -- and if it gets activated too early, I just have to wait for the server to tell my computer to cancel it before casting another ability.
Sounds fine, right? Before, we had to wait for latency between our computers and the realms in order for any spell to go through, but now we just have to wait if we press a button too early.

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Filed under: Rogue, Patches, Odds and ends, PvP

Void Reaver exploited, brought down in 53 seconds


Word's flying around about a Void Reaver exploit that involved mind-controlling a Tempest-Smith, and then blasting the heck out of him with the bomb ability. One guild, as seen above, has brought VR down within a minute-- apparently the ability has no cooldown, so VR can come down as fast as your mind-controlling Priest can click. However, Blizzard has said this is an exploit, and it is not recommended that you do this on the live realms. Blizzard will definitely be watching VR raids-- avoid the banhammer!

But still, a fix has got to be incoming as fast as possible. The question is: how? The most obvious answer is that they have to simply make the Tempest-Smiths not be mind-controllable, but I'm not sure how it works-- in order for the groups to go down right, most raids will sheep or trap these guys, so they do have to still be vulnerable to some kind of CC. The other option is to put the bomb on a cooldown, but even then, that kind of DPS will still help the raid against VR.

At any rate, Blizzard will think of something, and probably sooner than later. Interesting exploit, but an exploit just the same, and a definite no-no.

[ via WoR ]

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

Cooldowns are meant to be hot!

http://wowhead.com/?spell=34692
Super-power gamers probably know this one already, but for my part I know this is something I always struggle with. If I have an ability or item with a cooldown of more than one minute, I find myself always hesitating to actually use it; I keep wanting to save it for that emergency moment when I'm really going to need it. The problem is that those situations don't come once every minute, or even every 5 or 10 minutes. They come unexpectedly, and often that one cooldown you've been saving for that situation isn't really enough to save you.

So, as Matticus says, "Use them. Please." It makes a lot more sense to use the cooldowns on a regular basis (like, roughly every time the cooldown is up) than it does to hardly use them at all, or only in situations where it's too late. Now, if you're like me and you think about this for a while, and reluctantly agree that yes it does make sense, then you come up with another problem that you want to use these cooldowns only at moments when it'll be most effective. On my hunter, for example, I hate to use "Bestial Wrath" (and "Beast Within") unless I believe there's at least 18 seconds left in the fight, because I hate seeing myself and my pet all Big and Red with nothing to kill!

But the plain and simple fact is, people like me need to be less stingy with cooldowns. I don't mean we should blow them at moments that don't matter, of course, rather we would do better if we used them much more often, especially when they're not absolutely necessary to succeed. They can help the various sorts of grinding, farming, and trash-mob fighting go by a bit faster, and sometimes in long boss fights you can use them more than once!

Can you think of any cooldowns that you think should be saved for that somewhat rare panic-button moment (such as a rogue's "Vanish," perhaps)? Can you think of cooldowns that you see people often forgetting or hesitating to use?

Filed under: Tips, Classes

Escape Artist facing raised cooldown?

Are they toying with the Escape Artist cooldown? I sure thought this thread, after reading the first post today, would get closed down but quick, but instead, after a player asked for Escape Artist to be removed from the game, Drysc offered the compromise of a cooldown.

Wait, what? Was he joking? Escape Artist, the Gnome racial ability that allowed them to ditch any roots once per minute, got a nice buff and was made instant cast at 2.0, but I hardly think it's overpowered enough that it deserves a cooldown. Drysc's comment seems a lot like a joke (and an MVP shows up later in the thread to "deny" the change), but could the ability be facing a nerf in the form of a longer cooldown?

Advocates for it point to Will of the Forsaken, another "break free" racial ability (it allows Forsaken to break fear once every two minutes, and if EA is nerfed, it would probably be given a two minute cooldown). But WotF also provides 5 seconds of fear immunity after being used, and EA doesn't provide any immunities at all.

Hopefully this is all a moot point, and Drysc was just messing with Gnomes (a hilarious pastime to be sure). But it could also mean that the little kneebiters are looking at an upcoming nerf.

Filed under: Gnomes, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP

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