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Posts with tag easy-mode

Arcane Brilliance: The two-button mage myth

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we dispel mage-related myths, expose wizardly untruth, and separate magical fact from fiction ... just like the Mythbusters, only with more Fireballs.

You may not believe this, but lately I've been finding something more annoying than the continued existence of warlocks. I know, I know. Crazy, right? What could possibly be more annoying than our emo-loving, Hot Topic-frequenting, mascara-laden, parent-hating nemesises? Nemesi? Apparently the dictionary says "nemesis" is its own plural, which is just ... boring.

Anyway, the answer to the question that I just pretended you asked is this:

"Mages are a two-button class." -- The internet

These days, you literally can't post the word "mage" anywhere on the web without someone, usually multiple people, posting some poorly spelled, perplexingly punctuated amalgam of the above words. It's usually intended as an indictment of the class, a dismissal of what non-mages feel is the simplistic nature of of our major DPS spell rotations. The assumption is that mages are an easy, boring class to play, that one could be a successful mage simply by drunkenly alternating pressing two buttons.

For a very long time, it was easy for me to ignore this. It was stupid, and false, and perpetuated by non-mages who were either clear trolls or outright ignorant. But lately, I've been hearing self-deprecating versions of this same phrase from actual, honest-to-goodness mages. Are we really buying into the ignorant assumptions of the rest of the community? It was at that moment that I realized that it was time I addressed what I call the two-button myth.

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

How the 3.2 Emblems changes will affect the game

As we've heard, patch 3.2 will seriously streamline the Emblems system, allowing players to pick up Ulduar-level Emblems even just by running Heroics. Though lots of the other patch 3.2 changes have taken the spotlight lately, the Emblems change is definitely still a big deal, and while lots of "hardcore" players are up in arms about the changes (they had to raid for the same gear that people will now be able to get just by running Heroics, and even the brand new Emblems of Triumph gear will be attainable through Heroic dailies), other players are just confused by the whole thing. Fortunately, if you haven't yet wrapped your head around what all the changes mean, Clearcasting has a really excellent, thorough writeup about the Emblems changes, both explaining what you'll be able to get from where, and why Blizzard has decided to do things this way.

The biggest fear seems to be that players who have never raided before will start walking around in Ulduar- or even Coliseum-level gear, and they'll get invited to raids based on their gear, only to find that they're clueless about what to do. But I like Arioch's point there: does that mean we don't have clueless raiders now? Of course we do -- the gear you're wearing doesn't say anything about what you've done now, and it'll say even less after the patch. Players are already requiring achievements, and even that doesn't necessarily guarantee you're a good player.

Will there be bad PuGs after the patch? Of course, and there are bad PuGs now, too. But this is definitely a helpful change for anyone with alts, and while yes, it will allow non-raiders to get better gear, and it will probably bring raiders back into Heroics more often, it still won't affect those who are raiding at the highest levels. They'll still get the best gear earlier than everyone else, so if that's what's important to them, they've got nothing to complain about.
Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Blizzard, Raiding, Bosses

Is Wrath too easy, or are we just better?

In the eternal question of whether Wrath of the Lich King is too easy, Our Girl Friday posits an answer that I've often wondered about myself. Is it really that WotLK is so gosh-darned easy, or could the issue actually be that maybe, just maybe, the players have gotten better?

The wealth of knowledge about the nuts-and-bolts of theorycraft has never been more available. New players and old veterans alike have resources like WoW Insider, Wowhead, WoWwiki, or that juggernaut of theorycraft, Elitist Jerks. There are strategy videos, stategy manuals, and even a few strategy comics. The forums themselves have never been more informative, especially when you consider Ghostcrawler laying down wisdom all over the place. The information about how to play is out there for the taking.

And, c'mon. It's been about half a decade and near 12 million subscribers. Once you've done Nethekurse or Zereketh, you should know that you're not supposed to stand in pink, black, or red circles. Really, just don't stand in stuff. Is that really such a deep and meaningful skill that you have to relearn "Don't stand in stuff!" for Kel'Thuzad? So, if the Wrath raids aren't demanding a gear-based progression (meaning, it's all a gear check), then we should entertain the idea that we've gotten pretty good at not standing in stuff. That's certainly not the only raiding skill, but I'm using it as an indication that we're meeting the basic "skill" requirements.

Of course, even Ghostcrawler has acknowledged that Naxxramas is somewhat the new welfare epics. We know that Ulduar's going to be noticeably more "difficult." But until then, we could probably accept that the current accessibility of content owes some part to us getting better as players.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Blizzard, Guides

Officers' Quarters: The hard-mode mambo

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes
Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

Arriving with the upcoming 3.1 patch, Ulduar will be ground zero for hard mode raiding -- complex encounters rewarding the best loot in the game, presumably a hardcore raider's dream. There's only one problem: Hard mode is hard. Some people don't like hard. They like easy. Easy bosses, easy loot, and everybody wins, right? But other players enjoy a challenge. This week, one reader wonders how he can get his guild to dance the hard-mode mambo with Ulduar's finest.

Hey Scott,

With the release of Ulduar on the minds of most players, I thought this might be a timely question that ties in a current issue our guild's been having with what I see becoming a serious problem for us in the new 3.1 instance.

The current problem:

After clearing all available 25-man content and having it on farm for over a month, a line seems to have been drawn in the proverbial sand. Half of our raiders consider multiple drake Obsidian Sanctum the next step in guild progression. However, the other half seem to be content farming the content that is "easy" for us and are happy not logging on when we schedule attempts.

Furthermore, whenever we do get enough people for a "progression" raid, we run into the same problem. After a few attempts (I have seen as few as 2), we inevitably get the one or two raiders planting the seed of doubt.

"We don't have the DPS for this."

"Our healing is weak."

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Ghostcrawler on dual specs and loot tied to achievements

So sayeth the Ghostcrawler and so we shall listen. He spoke today regarding a few issues that are of prime importance to many players. However instead of long rants or detailed analysis on the issues of raiding difficulty, dual specs, and achievements he presented them in bullet points.

First dual specs, a topic hot on everyone's mind. He provided some new insight into how things will work. In particular he said that "It will be trivial to do in town. You will also be able to do it out of towns, but not as trivially." This is new information and should make everyone tingle with gleeful anticipation at how trivial it might be to switch specs while in Dalaran.

He also makes mention of things we already knew. They are aiming to allow people to swap glyphs and action bars with the dual spec feature, and that it should be along ideally in the next major content patch.

That patch cannot come soon enough.

In addition to the dual spec information, Ghostcrawler went into some points on raid difficulty. While there isn't any really new in terms of how difficult the raiding environment is (or isn't) and what may lie in store for the future (a harder Ulduar raid zone), there is some new news about loot tied to achievements.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Raiding, Talents, Mounts

Is Wrath too easy?

Wrath of the Lich King has been out for a week. In that time, we've had the world's first level 80, the first complete and total clear of all raid encounters, and what seems like a billion "realm firsts." That didn't take long, did it? So, Tevri from Shandris dropped by the forums to question whether Wrath "is too easy."

Zarhym showed up, in his classic witty manner. He points out that the folks who're doing this immediate clearing are, in general, the same folks who've done every raid encounter in WoW for like . . . ever. In a sense, they're pretty high on the "pro" scale. (For the record, they are 25 people out of 11 million subscribers. Certainly, others have done the content by now, but it would take 110,000 people having completed the raid to say even 1% has "beat the game." ) Zarhym also cautions about relying on "truthiness" to judge the content -- which is to say, going with your intuition when the facts are still out.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Forums

Forum post of the day: The challenge

As a whole was as WoW players are a pretty tough crowd to please. This is probably because of the diversity of the player base as well as the variable goals that we set for ourselves. We range from casual PvPers to hard core raiders. We all have our fair share of complaints, but judging by the games massive popularity, it seems Blizzard has done a decent job of responding to the competing demand of its subscribers.

Amgusrex of Moon Guard is concerned that play in Wrath of the Lich King will not be challenging enough. He feels that Blizzard does a disservice to players by nerfing the difficulty of content with progressive patching. His post is pretty inflammatory, calling others cry babies and pointing toward a "massive population that is bad at video games." Taking a look at the Original Poster's Armory profile, I have to assume that he is not posting on his main, because if he is he still has to over come many challenges himself before declaring the game "easy mode."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Expansions, Leveling, Forums, Forum Post of the Day, Achievements

Scattered Shots: Beloved complexity

This week on Scattered Shots, David provides a break in the rushing waves of Patch 2.4 news to wax philosophical about his love of being a hunter. To be perfectly honest, he hasn't had time to even try out the new patch yet, but he's really looking forward to waxing on and off about the patch at some point as well.

They say that being a hunter is WoW on easy mode, but in reality, the "easy mode" style of hunting is only the beginning of what a hunter can do. Sadly many hunters never really arise out of that stage - easy hunting can become like a rut in which one may not even realize that there is another way to do things. A player can rise out of this rut, however, either through an enterprising nature, or through acquaintance with a good hunter role-model. However one rises to it, the opportunity is there for hunters to do all kinds of things amazing things, mostly at the same time.

In fact, you could say that a fundamental mechanic of the hunter class, probably the mechanic I love most in the entire game, is that of controlling multiple characters at once: the hunter and the pet. You have the most control over your hunter character, obviously, and the pet functions as something like a yo-yo which is attached to the hunter. You can point the pet in the direction of an enemy to attack, or you can recall it to wherever you are, but you can't tell it, for instance, to kite an enemy around in circles in the same way you yourself could.

The limitations inherent in the abilities of the hunter and the pet, as well as the synergy between them, reminds me a bit of chess. Managing both the pet and the hunter to greatest effectiveness in different situations means you have to keep more than one thing in mind at all times. When you play most other classes, you can just pay attention to them and what they're doing, but being a good hunter requires you to be more aware of what's going on around you, just like chess requires you to keep track of the whole board, not just the little portion of it where the most action is happening.

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Filed under: Hunter, Tricks, Leveling, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Breakfast Topic: Easy Mode

Roadkillowns of Aerie Peak posed the question on the official forums, what is the easiest class to level? Hunter came up most frequently as an easy class to level followed by Warlocks. They usually have very little downtime. Protection Warriors and Holy Priests were often quoted as the most difficult to level.

Having leveled a Shaman, Paladin, Hunter, Priest, and Druid to level seventy myself I have to say that as a solo character, the Hunter was hands-down the easiest for me. Between my pet carrying agro for me and the glorious Feign Death ability, I was always good to go.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Leveling, Classes, Alts, Forums

Hardcore Casual finds himself "stuck in easy mode"

Hardcore Casual has a post up about how easy he says World of Warcraft really is -- just by learning your class, getting the right gear, and theorycrafting a bit, you can roll right through, and get to the point where even yellow or sometimes even red monsters don't give you trouble.

There is one viewpoint here (and it's not one that I necessarily espouse) that HC is just falling into the old "hardcore/casual" trap that Penny Arcade put so well this week -- he thinks that he's casual, when actually, if you're running higher-level-than-you're-meant-to five man instances with your friends (and theorycrafting a bit), you're actually what Blizzard would consider a hardcore player, and thus of course the game is easy for you. But while I think there's a little bit of that going on here, I don't think we need to go that far: the fact is that WoW is an easy game. That's how it's garnered such a big audience. And anyone who has ever beaten Diablo is going to find that yes, if you read a guide or two, run the right instances at the right times, and put some thought into your specs, you'll have an easy time.

So what HC asks for is the difficulty to scale -- instead of just Normal and Heroic, have three or four modes that players can choose to set their own experience. A few games have done this already, and indeed, Blizzard may decide that that's called for in future instances (though it seems unlikely that they'll do this on older content, considering how they've abandoned it so far). But for now, WoW is an easy game, and that's the way Blizzard wants it. After all, you don't get a 10 million subscriber base by beating players up.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Leveling

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