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Posts with tag death-knight

GuildOx player analysis highlights the warlock decline

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The folks at GuildOx have gone through their database and done some simple filtering that reveals some fascinating things about who is raiding heroic Dragon Soul. GuildOx started with level 85 characters, filtered for characters with ilevel 400 gear, and then filtered out anyone with PvP gear. What you see in the chart above is the result of that work -- a representative sample of who out of the over 13 million level 85 characters in the GuildOx database is raiding heroic Dragon Soul.

If you remember the post about the complexity of systems and player retention that I made a couple of weeks back, you'll remember that I mentioned Cynwise's excellent posts about the warlock decline. Well, here it is again reflected in GuildOx's data. Warlocks are the least played class in heroic raiding.

Warriors aren't doing much better, really. Most other classes seem fairly healthy, with classes that have healing specs doing fairly well and rogues absolutely ruling heroic raiding despite being one of the least-played classes in the game overall. It gets even more interesting once we get to look at the GuildOx spec-by-spec breakdown.

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

A priest's guide to class romance

It's a troubling yet underpublicized fact that four out of five shadow priests respecced shadow for the first time after experiencing a romantic break-up. Recent studies show that priests are 63% more likely to respec shadow within 72 hours of a break-up, while a separate poll found that 78% of healing priests had seriously considered respeccing to shadow after having an argument with their spouse or significant other. To the tenderhearted healing priest, shadow probably seems like a quick way to steel yourself and mend a broken heart; unfortunately, too few priests realize the two points they're putting into Masochism 'til they're staring down into an empty bottle of Volcanic Potion and wishing they could do the same DPS as a warlock.

The simple way to avoid all these drastic courses of action is, of course, to skip getting your heart broken in the first place. Easier said than done, you think? Perhaps, but knowing the battlefield of love will certainly help you avoid the more obvious pitfalls. Want to know what your best match is? What about your worst? This week, I've got the answers in a special guide to the classes.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Raegwyn and friends claim first all-death-knight Firelands

Raegwyn, one of WoW Insider's favorite blood death knights (sorry, Daniel!), is at it again. The blood elf death knight of Onyxia (EU) holds a stunning array of previous solo kill achievements including The Lich King, Kael'thas Sunstrider (at level 80!), and two of the four bosses in heroic Stonecore. Now he's released a new video highlighting the ridiculously cool self-healing power of blood death knights -- except this time, rather than riding solo, Raegwyn brought along nine other blood death knight friends for an epic romp in Firelands. No healers, no DPS ... just 10 tanks.

Part 1 of their adventure has the band of blooders facing off against heroic mode Rhyolith, Alysrazor, and Baleroc. My favorite moment of the video is at 7:30, when all 10 players simultaneously pop their Army of the Dead right before the pull. Part 2 includes normal Beth'tilac, heroic Shannox, normal Majordomo Staghelm, and the fiesty firelord himself. Some of the fun moments here are watching the sole surviving death knight tank Shannox for his last few hundred thousand hit points, and marveling at the talent of these 10 players on the incredibly high-magic-damage fight that is Ragnaros.

As an enhancement shaman whose preferred form of making money is soloing old raids like Caverns of Time: Mt. Hyjal, Raegwyn's videos constantly both amaze and humble me. I get excited when I can manage to down Karazhan's chess encounter weekly, but Raegwyn is a player who constantly manages to push the boundaries of traditional playing, and I'm always excited to see what he has in store for us next. If you'd like to read more about Raegwyn's approach to soloing and what he considers to be the hardest aspects, check out Lisa Poisso's interview with him.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: Machinima, News items, Death Knight, Cataclysm

How could tanking design be changed?

Tanking is designed around holding threat and using abilities to stay alive. The current paradigm, wherein tanks work hard to passively gear themselves for predictable incoming damage in order to make healing them easier, has its drawbacks. Tanks usually ignore stats that contribute to threat generation (to a degree that baseline threat generation has repeatedly been increased, currently sitting at five times damage dealt by the tank), which has led to the discussion of active mitigation in the tank design of Mists of Pandaria. The goal is to make tanks desire threat generation stats such as hit and expertise by making them not just threat stats, but also to tie them into survivability.

By making threat gen stats also generate resources that are used to actively mitigate incoming damage, the goal is to make tanks want those stats, rather than simply aiming as close to complete coverage of the combat table as they can get, reducing incoming damage to something as reliable and easily anticipated by healers as possible. Tanks currently value dodge, parry, and their mastery stats well over any potential threat generation from hit and expertise.

Since we've already seen quite a bit of the Mists of Pandaria talent calculator, we know that design of the new tanking system is probably fairly well advanced. We also know that the monk, another tank/DPS/healing hybrid class, will be debuting with the expansion. Therefore, it's worthwhile to examine tanking changes that could be implemented, even to stretch our vision of tanking significantly past where it is now and most likely past where it will go in Mists.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Death Knight, Monk

Patch 4.3 PTR: Replica armor, heirlooms, and death knight starting gear

The Darkmoon Faire is offering old sets as promised! Vendors Barum and Baruma currently sell replica armor -- that's armor with old models but no stats. For now, only Dungeon Set 1 and Dungeon Set 2 models are available to choose from, but perhaps we'll see other models added to the vendors' inventory over time.

There's a bonus to that replica armor: It's not restricted by class. Though Dungeon Set 1 was never restricted, Dungeon Set 2 originally could only be obtained on a per-class basis. That's not all, however. Right next to the replica armor vendors is an heirloom vendor who sells all heirloom items for Darkmoon Tickets. Heirlooms that were only previously available through points are now available for playing games and racking up tickets at the Darkmoon Faire.

And if that weren't cool enough -- hey death knights, remember how you wanted to get your hands on your old starter gear sets? If you hit Acherus on the 4.3 PTR server, Quartermaster Ozorg has all death knight starting armor sets and weapons available for purchase. For those who are not death knights -- no, you cannot purchase the death knight starter gear. It's for death knights, not for you!

Check out the gallery for the full array of items on the heirloom, replica armor, and Ebon Hold vendors.




Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: Cataclysm, Transmogrification

World of Wardrobe: More plate look-alikes for death knights

Heading back to pick up some awesome armor sets from vanilla WoW or that dazzling weapon that'll have your enemies cowering in fear? Transmogrification makes it possible -- and World of Wardrobe shows you how.

The Burning Crusade was the first expansion for World of Warcraft, featuring a wholly foreign landscape to traverse and all-new armor to pick up and proudly wear. Well ... sort of. Though the zones, dungeons and quests were incredibly detailed and entertaining, the gear itself was a little lacking in variety. Green gear drops were simply recolored versions of existing models, and nothing really went together -- which led to the infamous Burning Crusade "clown suit" effect that most people experienced while leveling through the expansion.

That didn't mean there was a complete lack of matching gear, however. Burning Crusade dungeons contained plenty of recolored tier sets from classic World of Warcraft, to the delight of many players who simply didn't raid in vanilla and therefore didn't have access to that tier. The other nice part about the tier recolors was that they weren't class-restricted, so any class could pick up the look of another class with relatively little difficulty.

This turned out to be very good news for death knights, who didn't appear on the scene until Wrath of the Lich King. Though a class call was added to Nefarian over in Blackwing Lair for our death knight friends, tier sets were not. Last week, we covered a few of the recolored plate offerings that death knights can pick up -- but don't worry, death knights. Last week's offering of plate tier goodies was only part 1! There are a few more plate tier look-alikes to be had out there in The Burning Crusade.

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Filed under: World of Wardrobe

World of Wardrobe: Plate tier look-alikes for death knights

Heading back to pick up some awesome armor sets from vanilla WoW or that dazzling weapon that'll have your enemies cowering in fear? Transmogrification makes it possible -- and World of Wardrobe shows you how.

I feel kind of bad for the death knight class. While every other class in the game has had tier sets galore, death knights got a late start. So all those lovely tier sets from vanilla through The Burning Crusade are specifically for all the other classes, while death knights are left in the lurch with nothing to call their own. But that's not really the case, actually -- scattered throughout The Burning Crusade are recolored versions of most of the old sets.

For death knights, these sets have to be plate, but other than that, they don't really have a requirement. Death knights can look like whichever class they prefer, paladin or warrior ... only dead. Since all prior World of Wardrobe columns have been focused on every other class, we're going to give the death knights out there a little love -- and a little advice on where to go if you want some cool old-school gear. Paladins and warriors, if you'd like a little plate variety, this one is for you, too!

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Filed under: World of Wardrobe

BlizzCon 2011: Screenshots of the new Pandaria talents for all classes

If you wanted to look at the new talents that will be debuting in Mists of Pandaria, I would hope you followed our liveblog of the talent system overhaul. The short version is you get to pick 1 talent from a pool of 3 talents every 15 levels. By the time you hit the new level cap of 90, you will have 6 talents. Each set of talents does the same thing, more or less, in different ways.

Now, for your perusal, we present a class by class gallery of the new talent system as it stands today. Remember this is subject to change, alot, before Pandaria, launches.
Make no mistake, this is a significant game changer for everyone. This is the dawning of unparalleled flexibility in personal customization choice. Arms warriors with Shockwave, fury warriors with Bladestorm. This is the biggest change to the game since reforging.

There are no tree examples for the upcoming Monk class yet. Galleries of each class's talents after the cut.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, BlizzCon

Reader UI of the Week: Cruelblade pushes everything to the bottom

Each week, WoW Insider and Mathew McCurley bring you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which spotlights the latest user interface addons. Have a screenshot of your own UI that you'd like to submit? Send your screenshots along with info on what mods you're using to readerui@wowinsider.com, and follow Mathew on Twitter.

With BlizzCon only days away, you can imagine my excitement and the amount of chaos in planning and executing this week will bring me. Never fear, gentle readers. Reader UI will not get lost in the shuffle. Speaking of BlizzCon, if you're going to be around at the WoW Insider Reader Meetup party jointly thrown by Wowhead, Tankspot, and more, you should come say hello to me. If you can't find me, ask Twitter where I am.

Cruelblade is a man cut from my own cloth. When you take a look at his user interface, you'll understand why. Everything is so neat and tidy, packed in to the bottom of the screen, leaving as much view space on top as possible. Meticulously planned and simple, to boot, Cruelblade's setup is one of my favorites this year. I mean, really -- look at how awesome those embedded target and player frames are. Are you serious?

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

Zarhym: Death knight tier 13 coming "next week if we can"

Yo, death knights. Chill. Zarhym's got this.

It's no secret that the artists at Blizzard put a lot of effort and creativity into creating unique tier pieces for every class. It's a time-intensive process. But for death knights, it's been an uncomfortably long wait. After all, each and every other class had an official preview of their tier 13 set by the end of September.

Well, it turns out there was a good reason for that wait. Death knight tier 13 was completed "weeks ago," but because the finished product wasn't up to Blizzard's standard of quality, the original idea was scrapped and a new concept was conceived -- or so said Blizzard Community Manager Zarhym last night via Twitter and on the official Blizzard forums:

DK tier 13 revealed at blizzcon?
I'll give you a bit of the lowdown on why the death knight set hasn't come out yet, even in the 4.3 PTR files third-party sites are looking through. As with all sets, a concept art piece was done for death knight tier 13. When that was translated to the actual in-game look, we felt it wasn't up to par with the concept, and ultimately wasn't nearly at the quality level of the other tier 13 sets. But, that death knight set was completed weeks ago.


Zarhym (who is totally welcome to come to next week's WoW Insider Reader Meetup and buy me a drink) says that Blizzard would "love" to post it next week, but with BlizzCon 2011 starting Friday, that may not be a possibility. I'm sure that few people will be happy having to wait another week (or longer) to get a look at death knight tier 13. But ultimately, I think they'll be glad that Blizzard didn't rush to implement a substandard product just to beat a nonexistent deadline.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Is it time to kill tanking?

Please note I said "tanking" and not "tanks." If you know a tank, give him or her a hug. He or she isn't clad in cold metal or an angry bear that will tear off your face because of you; it's those pesky mobs.

The tanking system has long been somewhat problematic in World of Warcraft. While it scales to some degree, from 5-man dungeons to 10-man raids, the scaling falls apart when we get to 25-man raiding, which currently demands about the same amount of tanking as 10-man. You can get through most of Firelands with two tanks, no matter your raid size. Majordomo Staghelm only requires one tank, again, no matter your raid size. This means that the scaling from five to 10 works, but as soon as you go from 10 to 25, instead of needing 2.5 times more tanks, you need no more tanks.

The other problem is simply that there already aren't enough tanks for every 5-man group. When the Call to Arms feature was announced for the Dungeon Finder tool, it was created out of the simple fact that we're not seeing the distribution we'd expect in the playerbase. In order for the Dungeon Finder to work without significant group queues, we would need 20% of the people queuing up to be tanks (1 in 5 = 20%). This is not the case.

People simply don't want the perceived group responsibility of tanking. It's why changes were made to CC mechanics that allow groups to CC on the fly without pulling. It's why Call to Arms exists. And yet, despite both of these changes, tanking was still so unattractive to players that threat itself needed to be redesigned. All of this work to try and get people to tank. Maybe the problem isn't the players here, though. Maybe it's the role.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight

Official tier 12 armor set preview updated with warrior and druid

Blizzard has updated the community site tier 12 armor preview with the final 2 armor sets -- warrior and druid. Patch 4.2 is coming soon, as players prepare for the invasion into the Firelands to confront Ragnaros for the (potentially) last time. Each armor set for this raid tier has its looks originating from something in the Firelands, going for the instance motif over the class motif.

Warriors will dress themselves in the Molten Giant Battleplate, made in the image of the new molten giant model. You may remember molten giants and molten destroyers from the Molten Core. They also wander fields of lava in the Firelands, ready to lumber over to unsuspecting players.

Druids will be donning the Obsidian Arborweave sets, based on what appears to be the tree that Malfurion and the Avengers of Hyjal are growing in the Firelands as the foward base against Ragnaros. Maybe, as a restoration druid, you were upset that Tree of Life was not a permanent form anymore. Well, now you get to dress up like a tree. Compromise. Hit the jump for a pic of the druid set.

By the way, Obsidian Arborweave is the most "Blizzard" name for anything I have ever seen. I hope that guy got a raise.

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Filed under: Druid, Warrior, Cataclysm

Ask the Devs Round 9 wants your tanking questions

At precisely noon today (that's right now!), Ask the Devs Round 9 will be up on the official forums. This time, the devs want to know what you want to know about tanking. Are you interested in the incoming 4.2 change that strips dodge from agility for warrior, paladin and death knight tanks? I'm personally interested in why they bothered to do that. Maybe you're more curious about the general direction of tanking in 5-mans, raids and even tank specs in PVP, or you're wondering about how good mastery is going to be for your paladin tank in 4.2.

Whatever your questions are, now is your chance to answer them. So go! Go, my legion of the tanks, go and get the developers' aggro and do not let it go until your questions are answered!

The news is already rolling out for the upcoming WoW Patch 4.2! Preview the new Firelands raid, marvel at the new legendary staff, and get the inside scoop on new quest hubs -- plus new Tier 12 armor!

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Death Knight, Cataclysm

Patch 4.2 Preview: Tier 12 armor sets

Blizzard has been on an information release kick this week for Rage of the Firelands, the next content patch for Cataclysm. World of Warcraft has been known, for better or for worse, by its armor design choices. Some of the armor sets in WoW actually have transcended the game itself, becoming part of a healthy nostalgia for players old and new.

Firelands is not going to have any shortage of cool raid gear. The tier 12 armor preview has just been released and contains images of the paladin, mage, rogue, hunter, death knight and priest sets. Warlocks, warriors, shaman, and druids are currently absent, though we can bet druids will also have a fire motif, considering Fandral Staghelm's role in the Firelands raid.

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Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Reader UI of the Week: Ozmorgius' UI and simplicity for tanks

Each week, WoW Insider brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which spotlights the latest user interface addons. Have a screenshot of your own UI that you'd like to submit? Send your screenshots along with info on what mods you're using to readerui@wowinsider.com.

Since Reader UI of the Week is written before (obviously) the date of publication, my opening remarks about the present are actually predictions from a past devoid of clairvoyance. However, today (yesterday), I can say with the utmost confidence and fact (prediction) that patch 4.1 went off without a hitch, children are playing in the streets (of Azeroth), and sunshine and rainbows (of the double variety) have graced our presence. Truly, we live in an age of kings and men. Speaking of that, I need to watch the second episode of Game of Thrones.

Enough of this! Enough, I say. You're here on business, aren't you? A stalwart soldier in the fight against UI clutter and an investigator of all things creative. This week's Reader UI of the Week comes from reader Ozmorgius, whose bottom bar-based user interface is simple enough to take care of clutter but advanced enough to be an effective death knight tanking user interface that facilitates rather than hinders. Let's take a look, shall we?

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

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