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Posts with tag drums-of-battle

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Leatherworker

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the thirty-fourth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class (or profession!) well, without embarrassing yourself.

At the outset of this series on how to roleplay one's professions, Leatherworking struck me as the most difficult profession to write about, even more than skinning, herbalism, or mining. This was in spite of (and in fact maybe because of) the fact that it was the first profession I ever chose in WoW. My very first character, who was a druid, wanted to choose leatherworking in order in order to make her own armor as well as prevent the dead bodies of all those animals she had to kill during her quests from going to waste.

At that time I didn't know a whole lot about roleplaying, or how to play the game, and I knew even less about the background lore behind everything I was seeing. I originally roleplayed with my friends that my night elf had been born in Darnassus, only later to find out that would have made her about 3 years old -- a fact none of us had known, because WoW was our first exposure to the lore of Azeroth. This was actually my inspiration for writing these articles, so that our readers wouldn't have to go read pages and pages of books and websites or play old and (to me anyway) less enjoyable games.

As I played the game more and more, the leatherworking armor seemed less and less useful and seemed more and more difficult to make. I also started imagining what skinning all those animals and then stitching together parts of their dead bodies would actually feel like, and suddenly I felt more like a kind of Dr. Frankenstein than a peaceful druid. It turns out, however, that I knew as little about leatherworking back then as I did about the game itself.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Rogue, Shaman, Leatherworking, Lore, Guides, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Tinnitus: Leatherworking drums cause a debuff


Part of the allure of drums in raids has been the ability to overlap the effects of different types of drums by having several leatherworkers drumming at a time. One member might boost attack power and spell damage for party members in range, while another might restore health and mana.

With the new Tinnitus debuff, any targets affected by drums are immune to the effects of all other drums for two minutes. While this sounds like a nerf, it might actually have a balancing effect.

In fact, other professions are seeing similar changes. Potions will create Potion Sickness, which will prevent the consumer from using more than one in any given encounter. Players will have to rest out of combat in order to refresh the privilege.

So far, this also is affecting mana gems and similar items, although it is unclear if that particular effect is a bug or not. What does this mean?

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Filed under: Alchemy, Leatherworking, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Instances, Expansions, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

The drums of progress


Anyone watching Nihilum's recent achievement closely would notice a few odd things. It was notable that the kill was achieved without a single Rogue, or more appropriately, melee DPS class in the raid. Nihilum guild leader Kungen is renowned for his traditional views on class roles, although he is open to off-specs and has even taken a Retribution Paladin on a progression kill. But there's always a simple explanation behind each of their actions (no melee classes were on, can't have all Paladins specced Holy for this boss, etc.). Interestingly, my armory-trolling cousin pointed out something curious that a close inspection of Nihilum's raid make-up would reveal: only three members (including Kungen) aren't Leatherworkers. You read that right, that means even cloth classes dropped old professions in favor of Leatherworking. The thing is, this trend isn't restricted to Nihilum. The most dedicated, progressive guilds in the game have many of their members going for Leatherworking.

The explanation is simple: drums. In particular, the Drums of Battle, which increases melee, ranged, and spell haste. In an exclusive interview with WoW Insider last March, Neg of Nihilum remarked that the one thing that impressed him (and presumably Nihilum and their raid planning) was the effectiveness of haste. Haste is a statistic that became extremely prevalent in Patch 2.4, with many new items containing haste, including spell (currently AWOL) haste gems. Our raid specialist Marcie Knox wrote thoroughly about haste in a series of articles under her column RaidRX. It's a lesson that the top raiding guilds seem to know by heart. Nihilum was so impressed by haste that most of their core raid members leveled Leatherworking to be able to use drums, because it benefits the raid more than the individual unlike other professions like, say, Tailoring.

Before Patch 2.4 dropped, many members of the game's top guilds furiously leveled Leatherworking. With almost all raid members carrying the Drums of Battle, a raid can have an almost permanent haste buff that stacks with Heroism/Bloodlust. Having all your raid members level Leatherworking -- and basically for one item -- for raid progress is a masterstroke that shows the lengths that hardcore raiders will go to push the envelope. Clearly, it isn't the only reason Nihilum beat the Eredar Twins, but with a 6-minute enrage timer breathing down on every raid group doing the encounter, it certainly helps.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding

An "insightful and thoughtful" look at Hunter DPS from the forums

Despite the fact that my level 70 Hunter isn't technically my main, she's probably my favorite character. A lot of people will tell you that a Hunter is an overly easy class: sic your pet, turn on Auto Shot, and you're done. While having a built-in tank that you can even heal a bit gives you a pretty strong advantage when going it alone, I'd have to say they oversimplify things a bit.

The largest area where the complexity of the Hunter class shows is in end-game DPS. If you want to be the most effective DPSer possible, it takes quite a bit of work. The way that you must weave shots in between your auto shots is a complicated dance that requires split second timing that can mean vast differences in DPS totals between Hunters. Cheeky of the Khadgar-US server (author of the famous Cheeky's Spreadsheet) posted a very concise and well-stated summary of some of the problems with Hunter DPS on the official US forums here a few months back. The post was originally written by Lactose of the Talnivarr-EU Server, who posted it on the EU forms here, where it got some blue love today a while back.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Raiding, Talents, Forums

Ghost Wolf: The newest, rarest pet

"Ghost wolf" is usually a term you associate with shamans, but now it might just become the keyword for the newest, rarest, most difficult to tame, and most visually unique hunter pet in the game. As the Mistress of Pets Mania's Arcania reports, some of the new Dustwallow Marsh content in Patch 2.3 involves some Grimtotem shamans who summon tamable ghost wolves. For most hunters, however, these ghost wolves will be impossible to tame, because a few seconds after they appear, they just die, regardless of how much damage they take. The only way to tame them involves using various items or abilities which can shorten the casting time of your "Tame Beast" spell down to a fraction of its original 20 seconds. Here's a list of what you might find useful, listed in approximate order of how important they are to your success:

  • [Mystical Skyfire Diamond] -- This metagem can cut the time it takes to cast Tame Beast in half, and you can't tame this beast without it. You have to repeatedly cast various aspects until its special proc goes off.
  • Heroism or Bloodlust -- The same ability with different names for Alliance and Horde shamans; having a friend in your party use this will further reduce your taming time by 30%. If your latency is good, this should make your taming just barely fast enough to succeed.
  • Mind Control -- Bring a priest friend along too, and he or she willl be able to take control of one of the Grimtotem NPCs to summon the ghost wolf whenever you're ready.
  • A handy macro -- To save time in getting your casting going, just type "/target grimtotem spirit guide;" on the first line of a macro, and "/cast tame beast" on the second. Then drag it to your action bar so you can hit it repeatedly just as you ask your priest friend to summon the wolf. [Thanks Grunde!]
  • [Drums of Battle] -- It's also very helpful to either be a Leatherworker, or have one in your party who will use this for you just before you start your taming, in order to shave a few more moments off your taming time.
  • Be a troll -- Trolls get a Berserking ability, which might just be the final little bit you need in order to cut down the taming time enough to snatch this ghostly wolf pet. A lot of non-trolls have succeeded in taming this pet, too, of course; but if you happen to be a troll, feel free to use this ability to make it a bit easier.

After all that, you need a macro or something to immediately target the wolf and start taming the very moment it appears. Then, you can pray for a few seconds and hope everything works. It may be very hard, but it has been done before -- though one person on Mania's site said that her new ghost pet died a second after she tamed it, possibly as a residual effect of its otherwise very limited lifespan. So if you want to try it, be patient, and don't get your hopes too high don't worry -- even if your pet dies, once it's tamed, it's yours. Just revive pet, and proceed. Oh, and get ready for an extremely long leveling grind to get it up from 30 to 70 (though it's soon to get a bit faster). Hunter alts passing through Dustwallow as you level up: Don't even dream about it.

[Update]: I've edited this post to include some of the other helpful information from commenters and other sources that came out after we originally published it. Be sure to check out our other resources on the Ghost Wolf pet, including a video showing the taming in action, a story about how Matthew Rossi helped his wife get one, and proof that the Grimtotem Sririt Guide will remain tamable in the future.

Filed under: Trolls, Hunter, Priest, Shaman, Leatherworking, Patches

Insider Trader: Bang a drum

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


If you missed out on playing a bard in EverQuest, you can still get your drum on in today's World of Warcraft. Beginning with The Burning Crusade expansion, leatherworkers can create and use a handful of charged drums that create short-range AoE spells affecting party members or enemies. While some players rail against their utter uselessness and others rave about their OP-ed-ness (let's add that to the dictionary, shall we?), players who are slaves to eking out that last bit of buffage and leatherworkers who are slaves to eking out those last few skill points turn to banging the drum.

First, a few banging basics: Only leatherworkers can make drums, and only leatherworkers can use them. Druids are at a slight disadvantage here, since drums are similar to potions in that they cannot be used in feral form (although they're fine in Moonkin and Tree of Life forms). Also like potions, drums do not work in arenas. Drums affect all party members within range but do not affect raid members not in the drummer's group.

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Filed under: Leatherworking, Insider Trader (Professions)

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