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Posts with tag debuff

Voting requirements for the AFK debuff

One of the choruses we heard at BlizzCon was that Blizzard knows about the AFKers in Alterac, and justice will be handed out. The plan, we've been told, is that it will be handed out in the form of a no-honor debuff, that breaks on combat. In other words, if enough people report you for sitting in the Peace Cave, you don't gain any honor until you get moving and start fighting.

The problem, however, is that we don't know exactly how many people it takes to hand out that debuff. Thunderbein tells the story of an AV where only 20 out of 40 players were actually playing, and so if the number of players that have to "vote" for the debuff is anywhere over 20, no one's getting the debuff in that BG. Hortus replies and says that it's not as high as 30, but how high is it? Can you give someone the with two people? With ten?

And then there's the question of whether we should know at all. What if we learned it was 10 people (in the interest of clarity, I should stress that we don't actually know what it is yet), and a group of 31 AFKers joined up to the BG? Then, nothing is solved at all-- those guys could sit in the Peace Cave all they wanted and gain honor the whole time.

The AFK debuff sounded like the best solution at BlizzCon, but every system can be gamed. Blizzard is going to have to be really careful about setting up the numbers on how the reporting works. And because we'll likely find out whether they tell us or not what the number is, they'll have to watch out for other ways AFK players can get around the punishment.

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

No Man's Land debuff returns to haunt explorers

It looks like an old idea from the TBC Beta has returned to the game. Ever since patch 2.1.2, when you enter "unreachable" areas like Mount Hyjal, you receive a debuff called "No Man's Land" that tells you "You are where you should not be" and teleports you out. Rumor is that it also reports you to a GM for account actions, but that hasn't been corroberated with any evidence.

People who enjoy exploring unreleased/rare content are upset about this change, and have posted threads on both the US and Euro forums. The explorers make some pretty persuasive points. There are no mobs in the unreleased areas, so the players aren't getting any material benefit out of being there. And since most of these areas are found by cliff jumping and regular game mechanics, Blizzard could automatically make them off-limits by changing the terrain or putting in instance gates. It's not like explorers are removing walls to sneak into other areas. Plus, exploration gets us great movies from Noggaholics that help give us an insight as to what Blizz is planning for the future.

I'm a bit of an explorer myself -- I swam around both the bottom of Kalimdor and the top of Eastern Kingdoms before BC, spent a long time cliffwalking to get into Hyjal and see Archimonde's skeleton, and used to lead expeditions to the Caverns of Time and got to watch as certain reckless mages blinked themselves into the abyss ("Summon me quick! Summon me! Summon ... too late.") It makes me sad that you can't do that anymore. If they have to do something about exploring, can't they just bring back the Guardians of Blizzard? Then at least we'd get to watch poorly-informed raid groups attempting to take on invulnerable bosses.

What do you think of this change?

Filed under: Tricks, Bugs, News items

Blood Pact: What is a Warlock?, part 1

Every week Elizabeth Harper contributes Blood Pact, where she tries to share the joy of the Warlock class with her fellow players, Warlock or not.

When I first started playing World of Warcraft, I rolled the ubiquitous Night Elf Hunter. The pet angle appealed to me, and in all the games I'd played previously, I preferred to stay away from close combat and pelt my victims with spells or arrows from a safe distance. However, with so many classes available to me, I couldn't stick with just one -- my second character was a Mage. I spent my first weeks in Azeroth cheerfully hopping between these two characters, but I must admit that neither of the characters made it past level 20. Why? I found out that a friend of mine played on another realm, so I rerolled to join them -- this time as a Warlock.

I didn't know what I was getting in to at the time, I only knew that Warlocks had pets like Hunters and cast spells like Mages. But I've got to tell you, despite the first-glance similarities between the classes, they're not at all alike -- which I learned while leveling mine to 60. (And before you ask -- I played this Warlock prior to the class changes that turned them into tiny gods. Yes, I was a Warlock back when Warlocks were the underdogs.) Perhaps you're not quite sure what to expect from Warlocks -- whether you play with them, are trying to kill them, or are thinking about rolling one yourself. If so, read on as I attempt to explain the essence of the Warlock class.

Read more →

Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Turning up Fade for Priests

Though this idea was put forth before yesterday's tease of a mystery buff, I still think it's a good one. A lot of priests are supporting the idea that when Blizzard looks at fixing Priest spells, Fade should be front and center.

Currently, Fade is meant solely as a PvE spell-- the only thing it does is within the priest's party, so it's useless both solo and in PvP. But Maxx of Jubei'Thos suggests buffing it to make it more viable across the board. Some players say it should, like Feign Death, "untarget" priests who activate it, but Blizzard says that's a no-no because it confuses players without indicating what's happening. Maxx's idea is even better-- make Fade cause magic and physical attacks against the priest to miss 50% of the time (kind of like a Rogue's Evasion).

For people who think that overpowers Fade too much, Maxx has a solution: Fade would also give a debuff. Either it would make the priest miss 50% of the time as well, or it could do something like an anti-shadowform-- nothing but healing spells while Fade is activated. I think it's an interesting idea, and it's worth a look by the devs at least-- Fade is useless in everything but PvE right now, and tweaking it a bit wouldn't hurt. A few priests, however, say there are too many problems already to be messing around with Fade, and I agree with that as well. Neth, fortunately, goes right down the middle-- she likes the Fade idea (and is passing it to the devs), and realizes there are issues with, say, Circle of Healing.

Especially with all the +healing to be found in Outland, Fade is losing its utility. It shouldn't be the first priority, but making it more useful would help the Priest class all around.

Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Buffs

Return of the Luffa

Answer honestly now: who actually kept the Luffa? The Luffa is a pretty much worthless trinket (except maybe for Rogues who often fight Druids or Warriors) available at level 49 from a quest in Searing Gorge. All it does is remove one bleed effect. It's not a bad trinket when you get it at level 49, but after that, more and more trinkets show up that do so much more that for most players, the Luffa ends up either in the bank, or, more likely, vendored away.

I know I sold it. But those of you who hang on to everything you find in the game have a reason to celebrate: the Luffa is back. Apparently in Karazhan, there's a rogue boss named Moroes who lays down a debuff called "Garrote"-- it's a whopping 1000 damage per 3 seconds for five minutes (or until he dies, as of 2.0.6), which is a lot of damage. And yet, while Stoneform, Divine Shield and Ice Block will all remove it, the only other way you'll get it off is, you guessed it, the ol' Luffa.

If, like me, you did vendor it, don't worry too much-- the Luffa only works sometimes, and the fight's not impossible without it anyway. But a few players are feeling a little regret at tossing away something they'd never thought they'd need. Maybe a future quest in Outland will someday grant us an extra absorbent Luffa for future use.

Update: And here's even more reason to keep it. Commenter Wari asks about Rokmar the Crackler's debuff in the Slave Pens (he drops a bleed that does damage until the player who has it is healed to full), and it looks like the Luffa will clean that annoying buff off too. Who knew the Luffa would be so useful?

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Raiding, Bosses

Debuff Limit to Change in Expansion

Back at the dawn of time, the debuff limit was 8. That means only 8 debuffs could be on a monster at any given time - which lead to severe restrictions when you had 40 players attacking the same thing in a raid environment. (You would either always have important debuffs being bumped off or you would have very strict raid rules which only allowed certain debuffs to be used by certain players.) And warlocks, whose DOT spells actually made up good portion of their damage done, were reduced to shadowbolting machines. The debuff limit was later doubled, and currently sits at 16, which allows for a lot more flexibility. However, recently the CMs dropped what I consider to be quite the bombshell: in the expansion, in addition to smaller raid size, the debuff limit will be increased again - to 40. Combined with 25-player raids, that's a heck of a lot of debuffs...!

Filed under: News items, Expansions

The Debuff Prioritization System

There's a limited number of debuffs that can be placed on any target - currently, the maximum is 16.  This is enough where it's not usually problematic, but in a raid environment it's not difficult to hit that maximum, and when you do, the oldest debuff on the target is bumped off in favor of the new one.  This becomes a bit problematic when, for example, the short-lived "shadow vulnerability" debuff left by a warlock's improved shadow bolt talent starts bumping off more important things.  To fix this, Blizzard has long been working on a system that prioritizes debuffs and leaves the most important ones on, while letting the less useful ones get bumped off.   However, Tseric informs us that the "basic structure" of this prioritization system will be going live in patch 1.11 - to much rejoicing.

Filed under: Patches, Instances

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