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Posts with tag debuffs

Ebon Plague to get some multiple user loving, says Ghostcrawler

So there's a slight problem affecting Unholy Death Knights in groups and raids these days: When there's multiple Unholy Death Knights, only one can put Ebon Plague on a mob.

This wouldn't seem to be an issue at first glance. After all, Multiple Curses of the Elements from multiple Warlocks don't stack, right? Here's the deal though. The Ebon Plague counts as a third disease for the purpose of Death Knight abilities that count diseases to deal damage, such as Scourge Strike and Blood Strike. When only one Death Knight can have Ebon Plague up, the other Unholy Knights are left out in the cold and have a part of their damage stripped away.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Talents, Buffs, Death Knight

Debuff limit removed

Previously you could only have 40 debuffs up on a single mob. That might seem like a lot, but when you got in a raid with 25 other people all putting up their own set of debuffs and dots, etc... things tended to get a little full.

Daelo, the Lead Encounter Designer, announced today that the debuff limit has been removed*. This is a subtle yet important change for many raiding guilds.

He notes that the default UI won't normally be able to show all the debuffs, but that's just a bug in the UI. The debuffs are still there and working. We don't have any verifiable information yet as to if custom mods can display an infinite number of debuffs.

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Filed under: Patches, News items, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

Skill Mastery: Mark of Blood


While Blood is not quite as as powerful as it once was, it remains, at the least, a solid DPS tree and one quite a few Death Knights will probably choose to level with. The wide array of self healing abilities means that a Blood Death Knight has a very hard time dying, and nothing interrupts a good grinding session quite like a death.

In Skill Mastery today, we'll look at one of the Blood Death Knight's signature talent abilities, the 21-point talent Mark of Blood. Mark of Blood is placed on an enemy, and every time that enemy deals damage, their target is healed for 4% of their max health. It costs 1 Blood Rune. It lasts for 30 seconds, and has a cool down of 3 minutes.

It's a straightforward skill to use. Throw it on your target and keep fighting. Using it effectively, however, may take a little bit of thought. Here's some tips to figuring out the best way and time to make your mark:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Talents, Buffs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Check your raid comp


As you probably know by now, buffs and debuffs are changing significantly in patch 3.0.2, which is expected to hit next Tuesday, October 14. Most buffs that are only provided by one class are going to be provided by several, mana return from Shadow Priests is getting nerfed and spread out, you won't be able to stack Heroism/Bloodlust the same way, and so on. In general Blizz's goal was to make raid formation less about stacking the right classes, and more about bringing friends and good players.

However, all the new buffs and debuffs can make a raid leader's head spin, in case they do decide they want to organize a raid so as to optimize buff coverage (and surely some raid leaders will want to do that). Fortunately, MMO-Champion has made an outstanding web tool to help you figure out your raid composition. Just drag-and-drop specs into the raid groups, and check the right-hand column to see what buffs and debuffs you'll get.

It will also tell you whether you have the best buff in a given category; in my sample raid comp (my last Karazhan run), for instance, we only have Battle Shout, which is not as good of an AP buff as Blessing of Might. If you're missing a buff and want to see how you could get it, just mouse-over the buff, and it'll tell you what classes bring it. The one thing I really wish this tool had that it doesn't is a corresponding ability for specs: mouse over the spec and it'll tell you what buffs they bring. Overall though, this is really useful; I'm not a min-maxing raid leader (or a raid leader at all, actually), but I'm probably going to make use of it just to check what my raids and groups be getting. And because it's really cool.

Filed under: Raiding, Classes, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

Misery and company

Yes, this may be the third post I've made in a few days that mentions the Shadow Priest talent Misery. You got a problem with that? Previously on "Eliah talks about Misery:" Misery gets nerfed in the beta from +1/2/3/4/5% spell damage, where it is now, down to +1/2/3% spell hit. Eliah complains that this makes it either required or useless. OK, now that you're all caught up, let's move forward.

In the comments on my last post, several people made the helpful observation that Misery isn't the only debuff that gives +spell hit against the mob. Balance Druids' Improved Faerie Fire is now going to give the same effect of +1/2/3% spell hit (the +melee/ranged hit is getting removed). And of course, in the new raid buff/debuff system, these effects will not stack. So you only need one Shadow priest or one Balance druid to give that +3% spell hit.

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Filed under: Druid, Priest, Raiding, Talents, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

GC on raid stacking

Raid composition is going to change in Wrath of the Lich King. A certain part of this is obvious and inevitable: they're adding a new class. But there is another major factor that's changing. Currently, buffs and synergy are a large part of the reason you might choose to bring one class over another. Shamans' awesome Bloodlust/Heroism, for instance, and their Windfury Totem, has made it often a good idea to bring many Shamans to a 25-man raid, and almost mandatory to have at least one. Similarly, the fact that Warlocks synergize quite well with each other (Warlocks cause other Warlocks to do more damage), due to effects like that of Improved Shadow Bolt, has contributed to Mages being much less favored for Sunwell Plateau.

How is this going to change in Wrath? Ghostcrawler made another rather long post yesterday on raid stacking, and this is the essence of what he said:

  • We want to limit the power of stacking raid buffs, like we limited the power of stacking consumables earlier.
  • "We want the challenge of the encounter to be the fight itself, not collecting all of the buffs and debuffs you need to succeed." They don't want to nerf buffs, but they want them to be "less of a burden."
  • Therefore, for most buffs, there will be multiple classes that can provide that buff, and they won't stack. For instance, you can get your magic vulnerability debuff either from Warlocks or from Death Knights; those two abilities will not stack with each other.

The ultimate goal of this is to cause raid leaders to want to bring players they like, or good players, and not feel like they have to bring certain classes to get certain buffs and debuffs; and also to help class balance. Of course, they recognize that certain guilds are going to strictly min/max in any case, but the idea is that the benefits of a few classes shouldn't be so overwhelming that you feel like you have to bring five of them.

It's an interesting move. Assuming they execute it well, and preserve class uniqueness and utility (as they are promising to do), I think it will be very good for the game. And as this is still beta, and they are actively collecting and implementing feedback, if it doesn't work well right now they'll have time to fix it. The Wrath development team seems (thankfully) much more responsive to feedback than the Burning Crusade dev team was.

Filed under: Raiding, Classes, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

Lichborne: State of the Death Knight

Welcome to Lichborne, WoW Insider's newest class column. Every week in Lichborne, Daniel Whitcomb will explore the ins and outs of Blizzard's newest class, the Death Knight.

It's Wrath of the Lich King Beta time, and finally time to meet the new Death Knight class. Unfortunately, we can't really guarantee you'll be meeting the same class that you'll see in the live game, per se. It's not that the class isn't shaping up well or isn't quite distinctive, it's more that there's just so much that's changing.

The next build that's scheduled to hit the Beta servers is a perfect example. Not only will talent trees be changing extensively, with some talents becoming baseline and some baseline abilities becoming talents, some talents switching tiers, and others even switching trees, but the very way we inflict and stack diseases will be getting some tweaking as well. In addition, many of the Death Knight's baseline abilities, especially related to disease and damage rotations, are changing as well.

So with all these changes, what can you say about a class that's changing drastically on a weekly basis, and may look completely different from how it does now by the time Wrath goes live? Is it really possible to speak about an overarching unifying theory of Death Knights?

Well, let's try. Welcome to the first annual State of the Death Knight address.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

WWI '08 Death Knight Demo: Unholy spells and talents


Unholy was originally touted as the PvP DPS tree. What it appears to do rather well, though, are diseases and minions. If your vision of a Death Knight is close to a Diablo 2 Necromancer type, leading an army of undead minions and spreading plague and exploding corpses across the land, Unholy is probably going to be the tree for you. Of course, your crowd control is probably going to be a little peeved at you with all those DoTs, but that's what AE spells like Death and Decay and Unholy Blight are for, right?

Unholy also seems to include quite a bit of utility, including the ability to resist lots of spells and status effects, and some debilitating debuffs, so it could be called a utility tree of sorts as well. Here's a list of some of the Unholy spells and talents available in the WWI Demo:

Unholy Spells:

Death Gate
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
10 second cast, 15 minute cooldown
Description: Returns you to Ebon Hold (Note: Since Ebon Hold is not yet implemented, in the demo it returned you to Tirion Fordring).

Death Grip
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
Instant cast, 35 second cooldown.
30 yard range
Description: Harness the unholy energy that surrounds and binds all matter, drawing the target toward the Death Knight and forcing the enemy to attack the Death Knight for 3 seconds.

Plague Strike
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Blood Rune and 1 Unholy Rune
Instant cast
Melee range
Description: A vicious strike that deals weapon damage plus 37 and plagues the target, dealing 350 shadow damage over 12 seconds.

Raise Dead
Requires level 56
Costs 2 Unholy Runes
Instant cast
30 yard range
Description: Raises a ghoul from a corpse to fight by your side. if the target corpse is not humanoid, Corpse Dust must be supplied to complete the spell.

Death Strike
Requires level 58
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
Description: A deadly attack that deals 60% weapon damage. if the target dies within 6 sec and yields exp or honor, Death Strike heals the Death Knight for 406 damage.

Death and Decay
Requires level 60
Costs 1 Unholy Rune, 1 Blood Rune, 1 Frost Rune.
30 second cooldown
30 yard range
Description: 100 shadow damage modified by Attack Power is inflicted every 2 seconds to all targets in the affected area for 10 seconds. Has a chance to cause affected targets to cower in fear

Degeneration
Requires level 62
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
Description: Instantly attack the target, dealing 60% weapon damage and inflicting a disease dealing 91 damage over 21 seconds. Any existing heal over time spells on the target become corrupted, dramatically increasing the damage done by the disease and removing the healing effect. Stacks up to 3 times.

Unholy Presence
Requires level 70
Description: Imbues the Death Knight with unholy fury, increasing attack speed by 15% and reducing the global cooldown on all Death Knight abilities by 0.5 seconds.

Anti-Magic Shell
Requires level 75
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
20 second cooldown
Description: Surrounds the Death Knight in an anti-magic shell, absorbing 75% of the damage dealt by the next harmful spell. Damage absorbed by anti-magic shell energizes the Death Knight with additional runic power. Lasts 5 seconds.

Army of the Dead
Requires level 80
Costs 2 Unholy Runes
10 minute cooldown
Description: Summons an entire legion of your best ghouls to fight by your side.

Unholy Talents:

Lichborne
Requires 10 talent points
Instant cast, 5 minute cooldown
Description: Draw upon unholy energy to become undead for 30 seconds. While undead, you are immune to charm, fear, and sleep effects, and your horrifying visage causes melee attacks to have an additional 25% chance to miss you (Will of the Forsaken, eat your heart out!).

Corpse Explosion
Requires 20 talent points
Requires Runic Power
Instant cast
20 yard range
Description: Unleashes all available runic power to cause a targeted corpse to explode for 3.6 nature damage per 10 runic power to all enemies within 20 yards.

Improved Corpse Explosion
Requires 25 talent points, Corpse Explosion
Costs up to 2 talent points
Description: Exploded corpses cause 25% additional damage and have a 50% chance per point to cast a disease on enemy targets that deals 36% of the explosion Damage over 9 seconds.

Magic Suppression
Requires 25 talent points.
Costs up to 5 talent points
Description: You take 1% less damage from all magic per talent point. In addition, your anti-magic shell absorbs an additional 5% of spell damage.

Anti-Magic Zone
Requires 30 talent points, 5 points in Magic Suppression
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
Instant cast, 2 minute cooldown
20 yard range
Description: Places a large, static, anti-magic zone which can protect any party members inside it. The anti-magic zone absorbs 75% of the damage dealt by the next harmful spell. absorbs up to 10000 damage. lasts 30 seconds.

Crypt Fever
Requires 35 talent points
Costs up to 5 talent points
Description: Your diseases also cause crypt fever, which reduces an enemies attributes by 1% per talent point. Crypt Fever lasts for 18 seconds and can stack up to 3 times

Ebon Plaguebringer
Requires 40 talent points, 5 points in Crypt Fever
Costs up to 3 points.
Description: Your Crypt Fever morphs into Ebon Plague, which increases vulnerability to magic by 1% per talent point in addition to reducing attributes by 5%. Ebon Plague lasts for 18 seconds and can stack up to 3 times.

Summon Gargoyle
Requires 40 talent points
Requires Runic Power
Instant Cast, 5m cooldown
30 yard range
Description: A gargoyle flies into the area and bombards the target with shadow damage modified by the Death Knight's attack power. Persists for 1 second per 8 runic power up to 1 minute.

Unholy Blight
Requires 50 talent points
Requires Runic Power
Instant Cast, 1 minute cooldown
Description: A creeping swarm of unholy insects surrounds the caster for a 10 yard radius. all enemies caught in the swarm take 34 damage and are plagued with a disease that can stack up to 3 times. persists for 1s per 10 runic power.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, News items, Expansions, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

Raid Rx: Unkicking butt (a Grid story)


Raid Rx is designed to encapsulate and cure the shock and horror that is 25-man raid healing. Ok, so it's mostly horror... Anyways, if you're a big fan of X-TREME Whack-A-Mole (or are being forced into it against your will) this is the column for you. See that up there? That's Grid. Honest. No, really. The names have been blanked out to protect the wicked.

Ok. Stop the QQ'ing right there. I know WoW Insider has covered Grid before and mentioned it last week, and even I've talked about it in passing. What's the difference now? I'm covering nitty gritty, the stuff you need to know to make your raiding life easier. We're talking a full-body assault on one of the most popular healer raid frame addons out there. And it's our secret, kk? 'Cause the Addon Spotlight people will prolly kill me if they caught wind of it. If there's no article next week, you know someone ratted me out.

Grid has long been worshipped as the ultimate compact raid frame, a place where all of the information you need to know about your raid is provided in a single display. In fact, Grid's raid frame so small only those with binoculars strapped to their head and serious affection for tiny squares have been able to use Grid right out of the box. For those that have neither, they tend throw in the towel at the first sign of the configuration menu. And that is what I intend to stop. Put your textiles back on their racks and prepare to become a... /insert dramatic music... MASTER OF GRID!

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Walkthroughs, Add-Ons, Raiding, Bosses, Buffs, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

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.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

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

Debuffs and the Debuff Priority System

If you don't often run raids, you may not realize that there is a limit on the number of debuffs that can be on any of the myriad of creatures in Azeroth.  A single player, or even a full party of five, isn't ever likely to run into the debuff limitation, but the magic number is 16.  When someone attempts to apply debuff number 17, well, the oldest debuff is knocked off.  Of course it could be worse - several patches ago the debuff limit was a mere 8 - but it can still pose difficulties when working with a large group of players, due to the fact that so many spells have a debuff component of some sort.  To simplify the management of debuffs, Blizzard has been working on a prioritization system that allow buffs with a higher priority to stay on while those with a lower priority get knocked off.  However, this feature has been in development, and it's hard to say when it might appear on the live realms. 

Until then, it helps to be aware of the debuffs your spells leave behind and their importance to your group.  I had started to make a list with suggestions on a priority order, but when I noticed a lot of warlock spells were coming out on top, I decided that my opinion might be biased...  And where these shared debuff slots are concerned, it's important to be able to step back and think about what gives the entire group the most benefit.

Filed under: Patches, Tips, Tricks, Instances

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