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Posts with tag crowd-control

Lichborne: Blizzard tackles death knight DPS utility in patch 4.1

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.

Judging by some of the most recent changes on the patch 4.1 PTR, I'd guess that someone at Blizzard has been listening to player complaints about the difficulties in bringing classes that do not have crowd control or other major non-damage related utility to dungeons.

Unfortunately, I wouldn't say they've responded in the way some of us were wishing they would, by giving death knights and warriors a simple humanoid crowd control spell. They have instead, added some tweaks that address the issue in some unexpected ways that may or may not solve the problem and in some cases feel a little bit unwieldy or unconventional.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Addon Spotlight: LoseControl

Each week, WoW Insider brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which 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, take back control of your life with LoseControl.

Give me an A! Give me a -ddon! Give me a Spotlight! What's that spell? A half-assed attempt at an engaging introduction for this week's Addon Spotlight! Does that lame joke make you want to charge my office and do physical harm to me? Well, good, because this week's addon is a PvP-centric tool that can help you regain control of your character and potentially your sanity.

One of the worst feelings is losing control of your character. In fact, as a design decision, many MMOs including WoW limit the amount of player abilities that cause a player to lose control of their avatar. No one likes losing total control for a long time -- it just isn't fun! Balance reasons aside, there is a reason that most stuns, CC options, and other abilities are on short timers.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Lichborne: 3 things death knights need in patch 4.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. Join World of Warcraft's first hero class as we head into a new expansion and shed the new kid on the block label.

Now, before you get too excited about the title, we still don't know when patch 4.1 is dropping, much less when it's coming to the PTR, so don't think this is any sort of announcement. That said, it's never too early to wish and speculate. I won't deny it, I love death knights and I love balanced classes, but not everything I want for death knights is ironclad. A lot of what I want would probably turn them into horribly overpowered machines of death and destruction, powered by the tears of lesser classes. That said, as I've played my death knight day by day, there are a few things I've noticed time and time again, quality of life issues that could really use some TLC from the dev team -- things that I am relatively sure wouldn't overpower us if fixed up.

This week, I'm going to discuss three death knight issues I've noticed in Cataclysm and how I think Blizzard should fix them with the next major content or class balance patch.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Arcane Brilliance: The mage survival guide, part 2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we continue our discussion of ways to avoid dying horribly. This week's tip: Roll a death knight.

Yes, the sad reality of being a mage is the ever-present threat of a swift and ignominious demise. We're like every character in The Walking Dead: We could go at any time, and our only consolation is that God willing, we'll be able to blow up a few zombies on our way out.

Last week, we discussed a few methods for surviving to pew pew another day, namely aggro drop and damage mitigation. This week, we turn our attention to two other lifesaving techniques: movement and crowd control. Just remember as we go forward that every time a mage survives a fight, an angel punches a warlock in the face. Have I used that joke before? I may have. Doesn't make it any less true. Angels hate warlocks. So does Jesus. And me. And, I pray, all of you.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

WoW Rookie: Effective crowd control basics

New around here? WoW Rookie has your back! Get all our collected tips, tricks and tactics for new players in the WoW Rookie Guide. WoW Rookie is about more than just being new to the game; it's about checking new areas, new styles, and new zones.

Ladies and gentlemen who run dungeons in 2011, if I could offer you only one tip for the successful instances, crowd control would be it. The healing and tanking benefits of crowd control have been proven by thousands of PUGs and guild groups, while the rest of the internet's sea of elite advice is the theoretical ravings of armchair quarterbacks. They will dispense that advice daily. Some is true, some is probable, but not all of it is absolute. But trust me on the crowd control. There is very little you can do to improve your dungeon experience than execute crowd control and not stand in fire. Today, we will focus on crowd control.

In the days of yore, crowd control mostly meant Sap and sheep (which is to say, Polymorph). But as content patches and expansions grew over the years, the concept of crowd control has grown as well. Now, you have slows, snares, traps, debuffs, fears, and every combination you can imagine. Every class has some form of crowd control.

Essentially, the job of crowd control is to slow down or keep a mob from doing the damage it wishes to your group.

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Spiritual Guidance: A guide to Mind Control for shadow priests (and tanks)

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. The shadow-specced Fox Van Allen returns every Wednesday to denounce the evils of truth and love (and healing) in an overwrought effort to extend his reach to the stars above. And yes, that makes our healing priest columnist Dawn Moore Jessie.

Cast Mind Blast on targets afflicted with Vampiric Touch. Keep Shadow Word: Pain refreshed by casts of Mind Flay. Cast Shadow Word: Death as a finishing move. Rinse and repeat.

I love shadow priesting, but it can get a little repetitive at times. It doesn't have to be, though -- shadow priests hands down have access to more abilities than any other class in the game.

How is that possible? Through Mind Control. It opens up an entire world of new abilities to shadow priests. By controlling our enemies, we can control what they do. Sure, you've cast Devouring Plague. But have you ever cast Disease Breath? You've boosted your tank's maximum health through Power Word: Fortitude, but have you ever done it through Renegade Strength? Like some kind of shadowy blue mage, we have access to hundreds of our enemies' abilities through Mind Control.

Mind Control is the most misunderstood crowd control ability in the game. It's also the most powerful, hands down. Shadow priests and tanks, take notice -- if you're not utilizing Mind Control, the way you run Cataclysm heroics is about to change forever.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Arcane Brilliance: A friendly introduction to mage crowd control

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, a public service announcement:

An open letter to the guy who keeps breaking my sheep:

Please stop.

Sincerely,

Christian

P.S. -- Listen. I know it's Christmas and I should probably be doing a puff piece on things I want for my mage for Christmas or something like that. But I Simply can't stay quiet. We wiped 20 times in that heroic Grim Batol run last night, and though I know not everybody who plays this game reads this column, I have to do what I can. Evil triumphs when good men do nothing, or something like that.

I know The Burning Crusade happened like two years ago. I'm well aware that there's a distinct possibility you started playing the game during Wrath. Perhaps you either don't remember or don't have any idea what a "Polymorph" is or why it's not in your best interests to immediately begin whacking whatever I just cast it on as hard as you possibly can. I'm willing to allow for ignorance.

Mages, I can even understand it when you don't sheep things. Polymorph doesn't do any damage; in fact it heals its target! Why would you want to use a spell that doesn't blow things up when there are so many other delightful spells in your spellbook that do? It seems counter to everything we got into magecraft for.

Wrath was a long expansion. For the better part of two years, we spent the majority of our time chain pulling and AoE-farming our way through every instance in sight, concentrating on one thing and one thing only: DPS. Recount gave us a number at the end of every boss fight, and if that number was higher than the warlock's number, we had done a good job. Sure, the fights sometimes had mechanics we needed to pay attention to, but they mostly involved moving from one place to stand and shoot to another place to stand and shoot. We forgot a very important part of our jobs as mages.

We forgot how to sheep.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Things I'm thankful for

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, Arcane Brilliance is feeling especially festive. Pyroblasting a turkey will do that.

So apparently it's the holiday season. I'm still burping up cranberries and stuffing, my wife has started forcing Christmas music upon me (and frankly, if it's not Mannheim Steamroller, I don't want to hear it), and I've reached the point in the year when -- for my own mental well-being -- I refuse to look at a bank statement until February. To those of you who survived yesterday's annual gladiatorial bloodletting and emerged victorious from the front doors of Walmart or Old Navy, hoisting your hard-won set of hand towels above your head like a trophy: I salute you. To those of you who, like me, stayed home and bought stuff on Steam and Xbox Live: I also salute you, only I do so from my chair, by typing in an emote. Because, really, we're all pretty lazy. But damned if I don't feel well rested.

In deference to the spirit of the season, we here at Arcane Brilliance thought it might be nice to spend a column thinking about the things we're grateful right now. You'll find the mage-related stuff behind the jump, but here's my non-mage-related short list of awesome things:
  1. flatbread chicken sandwiches
  2. getting randomly tagged on Dragon Quest IX while walking through the airport Tuesday night
  3. troll druid cat form
  4. The Walking Dead
  5. Mumford and Sons
  6. discovering the brilliance of Arrested Development and Friday Night Lights on Netflix
Taco Bell, Netflix, Square Enix, etc. ... feel free to make any and all endorsement checks out to Christian Belt, care of WoW Insider. Also, screw you, AMC, for canceling Rubicon. I was just starting to enjoy that one. And screw you double, FOX, for putting Fringe on Fridays, where all good FOX shows go to die.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

The Light and How to Swing It: Bringing utility in Cataclysm

With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and soon, an entire flight of black dragons. Please send screenshots as well as any comments to my email at gregg@wow.com.

Sorry, the above graphic really has nothing to do with today's column, but I wanted to feature more of the new built-in "power auras" that Blizzard added to the game.

As for today's message, I know the following is going to raise some red flags for those long-time paladins out there, but don't freak out. I'm going to ask that you start stepping up and bringing a bit more utility.

Relax, I didn't mean it in a vanilla or BC sort of way when you were sometimes just brought for certain buffs and nothing to do with your damage, tanking or healing. I mean it in a real sense that we do have some utility available to us in addition to everything else that we do, much the same way that hunters' traps bring utility to their class.

The coming expansion is going to be harder than we're used to. We've been just nuking things for so long that a lot of our utility abilities have slowly worked their way off of our toolbars, or we're getting new abilities in the expansion to fill roles we haven't had before.

Let's take a look at what we're going to be expected to start doing once the Cataclysm gets into full swing.

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

Encrypted Text: Cataclysm heroics from a rogue's perspective

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 discuss the new heroic dungeons in the upcoming expansion.

I remember what it was like to play a rogue in dungeons in vanilla WoW. Our only form of long-term crowd control was Sap, and it brought us out of stealth every time we used it. Subtlety rogues could spend three talent points on Improved Sap, which still left Sap knocking us out of Stealth a tenth of the time. Every mob had some sort of AoE or whirlwind-style attack, and rogues were often right behind tanks in terms of healing necessary.

We've come a long way since the old days. Tricks of the Trade, with its instant threat transfer, has become the crutch that supports even the greenest tanks. Fan of Knives is one of the best AoE abilities in the game and synergizes with our poisons for incredible potency. Improved Sap has been baked in to the ability, and we can use our CC safely on a wide variety of targets. Feint's new ability to reduce our AoE damage taken also allows us to survive most attacks. You might say that rogues are nearly perfect for running heroics. Unfortunately for us, Cataclysm's heroics have a thing or two to teach us about complacency.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Arcane Brilliance: Things I've learned while dying in Cataclysm heroics, mage edition

It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, weekly mage column of choice for dress-wearing, warlock-hating Frostbolt slingers the world over. Also, fans of the short musical films of Journey, Short Imagined Monologues, and the sublime, video game-based synth and fretwork amalgams of Sixto Sounds. Seriously, listen to this one. Holy crap.

So over the past few days, I've found myself a broken corpse lying in a spreading puddle of my own bodily fluids a bit more frequently than I'm used to. The reason for this is simple: heroics. No, not the ones on the live servers -- where you can throw together a random group consisting of a ret pally tank, a six-year-old playing a hunter his mom bought him on eBay the day before, a feral druid healer who for some reason came into the instance suffering from nine more minutes of resurrection sickness, a mouth-breathing rogue who may or may not be a serial killer, and an AFK shaman farming badges while auto-following the healer -- and still blast through the place. I'm talking about heroics in the Cataclysm beta.

They're absolutely brutal, guys. Now, granted -- it's still early. The testing process for these beauties is still in its infancy. We're tackling them using premade characters with talent builds we threw together by looking at the talents and thinking, "This looks nice." We're wearing gear that's barely entry-level for heroics (if we're lucky) and using spell rotations that we're basically making up on the fly. We're going into instances we've never seen before, doing boss fights nobody knows the mechanics for, and dealing with crippling, often game-breaking bugs. These places simply aren't finished, not by a long shot.

But then again, that's why we have a beta. We go in, throw our soft, cloth-clad bodies against the long claws of some horrifying beast or another, use the final droplets of our blood to scrawl feedback for the developers ("Landmines ... everywhere ... can't feel ... legs ... fading to black ... tell warlocks ... hate them ... so ... much ... "), and then come back for another round. Blizzard takes the data it gathers from our gruesome deaths and uses it to construct a better game.

Still, there is much we can learn -- even in this unfinished state -- from the first incarnations of these heroics. Join me after the jump, won't you?

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Cataclysm

WoW.com's Weekly Comic: Byron, the Tauren Rogue!


Welcome to another edition of the WoW.com Weekly Comic, Byron the Tauren Rogue!

We meet our esteemed security system in today's comic. Time for Byron to do a little bit of ... "evaluating" (if you catch my drift).

Check out the full version right here, and tune in next Tuesday morning for a new page. You can also see all the previous pages in the gallery below.

Filed under: WoW Insider's Weekly Comic

Arcane Brilliance: The Mage of 2009

The internet's magiest weekly mage column, Arcane Brilliance would like to wish you and yours a very magetastic holiday season. Unless you and yours are warlocks. In which case Arcane Brilliance hopes the holiday season comes to your Christmas party and punches you in the face.

Every year, as the end of that twelve-month block draws near, Arcane Brilliance likes to take an unbiased look back at the events that captured our collective imagination. Heh. Get it? "I-MAGE-ination?" Holy crap Arcane Brilliance is clever. And indefensibly fond of bad puns.

So what did the year of our lord 2009 hold for those of us who prefer the scent of barbecued sheep to pretty much any odor ever and think strudel is a perfectly acceptable meal choice for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a meal I like to call the "Evocation's-on-cooldown-snack?"

Join me after the break for all the highlights, presented in vaguely chronological order.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Blood Pact: Meet the minions, part 3 - the succubus and crowd control, page 1

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "A succubus is a devourer of souls, destroyer of hearts, tempter of men. A creature of profound evil and of singular mind. It cannot be brought into our world without a stimulus." ~ Gan'rul Bloodeye

Previously in 'Meet the minions' we have looked at the imp and the voidwalker as well as how to manage your minions and your threat. In this installment our demon of choice is the succubus and the game mechanic is crowd control; fear, seduce, howl, banish and a svelte demon with wings. But before I delve in I need to clarify something to Blood Pact readers.

For a while now I've had a demon trying to whisper words of doubt into my ear. He's been telling me that Blood Pact readers want PvP info in the column, that they cry out for it, they yearn for it, they need it; and that I can't deliver any. It's true that my knowledge and experience of PvP pretty much extends as far as being able to smell it early enough to avoid it. Don't get me wrong, I love researching for Blood Pact but in this case I'm not going to try, and for two reasons. First, nobody who cares about warlock PvP wants to have me school them on it, and second we have some first rate PvP experts at WoW.com who can do it better.

So I've sent the demon packing (literally; don't be surprised if you find more than the normal number of broken biscuits in future packets) and have started a campaign to convince our arena and battleground columnists to get with some lock love. So enough with the preamble, lets get on with the show.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Leveling, Guides, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Ghostcrawler cleans up two dev chat questions

As you probably noticed if you watched along with us, yesterday's developer chat (with Blizzard's J. Allen Brack and Tom Chilton taking questions from Twitter and answering them on the forums) was a little light to say the least. Rather than answer questions about game balance seriously, the devs chose to make fun of hunters taming druids and do a lot of hinting and winking. Fortunately, we have Ghostcrawler -- he's responded to concerns about two of the questions yesterday over on the forums.

The first is in response to some feedback about what the devs yesterday called "binary" hard modes -- they said that instead of providing multiple levels of difficulty (as in Sarth and his drakes), they'd prefer to have a hard mode either on or off (you'll be able to toggle between the two in Icecrown). This relates to what we just said recently, with different types of guilds looking for different types of content to play. GC replies that the "in-betweens" in terms of difficulty will come with later bosses in normal mode -- if you want to play a challenge without stepping into the hard modes, Blizzard will do their best to make sure that the last bosses on normal give you that challenge. Which makes sense -- bosses should ramp up in difficulty as the instance goes along, and no one would suggest, for instance, that Yogg was nearly as easy as Flame Leviathan.

And GC also talked about one of my favorite (and missed) game mechanics: crowd control.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Bosses, Classes, Buffs

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