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Posts with tag echoes-of-doom

Recruit-a-Friend levels fizzle in Patch 3.0.2

So much for power-leveling to 60 in under 20 minutes. Tipster Chopstix pointed out that the much awaited and celebrated Echoes of Doom patch borked the bonus levels obtained through the Refer-a-Friend program stashed away by some players. Players hoping to zip towards the end game were surprised to find that the free levels gained before the patch could no longer be conferred to characters after the patch.

Even more surprising was a dismissive response by Game Master Issuntril that basically said, "they're gone, sorry for the inconvenience." Naturally, there was an uproar over at the forums over this as the free levels are one of the most appealing benefits of the program (no, it's not the Zebra, really). Subsequent responses from other GMs were more sympathetic and advised a wait-and-see attitude stating that Blizzard was aware of the problem and were looking into solutions on how to fix it. Hopefully this problem gets resolved. While it's understandable that intangibles such as free levels might be harder to restore, these are arguably as important as gear. Considering how swiftly Blizzard hotfixed the issue with pets and mounts (not the selling part yet, unfortunately), there's hope for a resolution yet.

Filed under: Patches, Bugs, Blizzard, News items

Beast Mastery: Bats

My very first pet was a bat. As soon as my white-haired Troll turned Level 11, I hied off to Tirisfal Glades and sought out Ressan the Needler, one of only two tameable all-white bats in the game. Of course, some people mistook him for those semi-albino bats found in the Eastern Plaguelands, but true pet connoisseurs knew better. Even when Hunters started turning to those 1.0 speed bats from Zul'Gurub, I stuck to my white bat. All pets were eventually normalized but now in the Echoes of Doom, each pet has its own ability, making our choices of pets even more special and important.

In Patch 3.0.2, all bats now have Sonic Blast as their unique, bat-exclusive ability. It's a 2 second stun with negligible damage on a one-minute cooldown. As far as Hunter pet abilities go, Sonic Blast is pretty run-of-the-mill and isn't significantly great to merit taming a bat for. It pales in comparison to the Ravage skill of Ravagers, for example, which is on a 40-second cooldown. Ravage is melee range ability while Sonic Blast has 20 yards -- an irrelevant bonus considering our pets are almost always at melee range. It's only a little better for chasing and stunning, but otherwise, I would much rather have it available every 40 seconds than have some extra range.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion

6 Achievements for the Warsong Gulch Holiday

In the days since Echoes of Doom went live, I've spent pretty much every minute of my play time in the Battlegrounds. Alright, that's probably not too different from how I used to spend my time pre-patch, but this time it's different. Instead of playing the Battlegrounds intending to earn Honor, I would go in looking to complete Achievements geared towards my end goal. Here are six relatively easy Achievements you can pursue during this Warsong Gulch holiday while playing solo.

Capture the Flag

Even if you're not a Druid, you have every right to go and grab that flag. This one should be easy enough to do with a little luck and cooperation from your teammates. You know the drill -- grab that flag and bring it home.

Quick Cap

This one is more difficult than the previous one if you play a class with no special means to move around like Travel Form or Blink. This also requires that you travel virtually unmolested, so any attempt by the opposing team to stop you or possession of your team's flag will likely cut your attempt short. You'll just need a little perseverance here. You should probably travel through the tunnels to try and get both speed buffs and pack some Swiftness Potions for that necessary boost. Keep your fingers crossed.

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Filed under: PvP, Battlegrounds, Achievements

Arcane Brilliance: Post-patch madness

Each week Arcane Brilliance shows you what happens when Mages stop being polite and start being real. This week, Arcane Barrage gets all up in Living Bomb's face, and fireworks ensue when Hot Streak hooks up with Combustion. Can Netherwind Presence and Missile Barrage learn to live together? Will Arcane Blast come to terms with the fact that it got raped? Will Deep Freeze finally reveal that it has Aids? Find out in this week's Arcane Brilliance.

Anyone else's head spinning like that chick in The Exorcist? I'm not saying I need a priest to come and cast patch 3.0.2 out of my body or anything, I'm just saying that holy crap. That was a lot of stuff, all at once. Even though I've been playing the beta, and constantly scanning this site and various others for information to prepare myself for all that was changing when the patch finally went live, it was still overwhelming to log in when my server finally came back up late Tuesday night and see how crazy everything had gotten. To be quite honest, I'm still adjusting.

In a ton of ways, what we're logging into today is an entirely different game than the one we logged into five days ago, even though our levels are still the same, we're still doing the same quests, and playing the same end-game content. Our mounts are still there, but in a different place. The bosses we're fighting still look the same, but are now way easier to kill. Many of our talents have the same names, but now do completely different things. Spells that were previously good are now bad, and some that were useless on Monday are perfectly serviceable today.

With the information overload we've all been presented with, I have found it best to focus on one or two things at a time, instead of attempting any sort of larger view. I look at each change as I notice it, rather than trying to address them all at once, purely out of fear of my head exploding. If you missed them in all the chaos, Arcane Brilliance did a two-part preview of the major changes, and you can find those here and here. After the jump, I'll go over some of the sparkly newness I've noticed but haven't covered yet in this space, both documented changes that managed to surprise me as well as those that flew a bit more under-the-radar.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Expansions, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Classes, Talents, Buffs, Enchants, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

Patch 3.0.2 primer for Retribution Paladins

Let's face it. Retribution blows.

Blows things up, that is. Out of all the trees -- and I mean all including the other classes -- no tree got more love than Retribution in the Echoes of Doom patch. For many of us, it's been a long time coming. No other class spec has been the butt of more jokes and the target of such derision as Retribution. Not anymore. Not in Patch 3.0.2 and the days leading up to Wrath of the Lich King. Retribution deals so much pain that we've sent the rest of player base running to Ghostcrawler crying for a nerf. And we're getting nerfed. To the ground.

Don't panic. The changes are really, mostly aimed at PvP Paladins -- okay, that's me -- but will largely leave Paladin PvE damage output the same. That's excellent news. Because I've grown accustomed to the idea that quite a lot of you guys prefer PvE to PvP, we'll take a look at a PvE Retribution build that will make you the darling of your Heroic runs and more than welcome in raids. Let's bring on the pain after the jump.

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: A pile of my enemies' bodies

Welcome back to The Care and Feeding of Warriors. The carnage you see above you is the entire Scarlet Monastery Cathedral (and all the mobs before it, too!) except for the ones who died before we got this far. (I stole this idea shamelessly from a commenter named Brian Arnold.The video he linked is pretty much exactly how it went down for me.) Damage Shield, you complete me. Well, you and Shockwave, and the new limitless target Thunder Clap. This is my build: I skipped over Anticipation because, while an excellent talent, I want to be hit instead of dodged. I'll pick it back up again once we start leveling. A couple of fun screenshots from my character panel:

This is my admittedly gimmicky shield block value set. Pretty much every piece on it has block or str, I hover at around 16000 health in it. What I find really fun (and what allowed me to pull the entire Cath as well as both bosses onto myself) was this next trick. Nothing up my sleeve but Shield Block.

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Filed under: Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, PvP, Instances, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

WoW Insider Show goes live on Ustream tomorrow

Yes, it's a time of change for the WoW Insider Show -- just a little over a year ago, we started out as a partnership with WoW Radio, but time has passed, we've grown bigger and bigger, and now it's time to move out on our own. What does this mean for you? Nothing much -- it only means that tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm Eastern, instead of joining us on WoW Radio, you'll be joining us on our brand new Ustream channel, where you'll be able to listen to our podcast live, chat with everyone else listening to the show (no IRC required), and even try out some fun new features we've baked into the festivities.

Other than that, nothing else has changed -- we're still providing news and views on the World of Warcraft, and yes, Turpster is still along for the ride. Tomorrow on the show, we'll ask him why he couldn't find a ship captain to carry him across the ocean to BlizzCon, and we'll welcome WoW Insider blogger Adam Holisky (who was at BlizzCon), and our good friend Patrick Beja, who not only attended nearly every panel at last weekend's BlizzCon, but has actually been inside Blizzard HQ as well. Plus, we don't know if you've heard of a little thing called patch 3.0.2, but we'll take a look at what Echoes of Doom has given us, including achievements, glyphs, and all the strange things you've been discovering this week. And we'll even look at what it hasn't given us quite yet.

Oh, and did we mention the giveaways? We'll be giving away not one or two but three different loot card codes to live listeners, which is more than we've ever given out before. Remember, instead of WoW Radio, come visit us at our new Ustream channel, tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm Eastern, for the revamped WoW Insider Show. Same time, same people, same fun, different URL. See you there.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, WoW Insider Business, Odds and ends, Contests, WoW Insider Show

Scattered Shots: Getting started with talents in 3.0.2 as a Beast Mastery Hunter

Welcome to Scattered Shots, where Daniel Whitcomb is doing a special happy dance over that whole Aspect global cooldown removal thing.

Before we get into the meat of this week's column, I have a confession to make. I was tempted to make a very short column that consisted primarily of a recording of me making squealing noises that you would generally only expect to come from a giddy schoolgirl, punctuated by a bit of gibberish that might sound something like "Aspect of the Dragonhawk."

But that said, there's a lot of other things I could talk about, and I won't leave you hanging. It's a busy time in WoW, and Hunters have a lot of stuff to do now that 3.0.2 is out. By now, hopefully, your server has calmed down enough for you to get on, play around with learning all your companions and mounts, and start trying to figure out talent specs. Hopefully by now, you've seen some of our articles on the subject, such as Big Red Kitty's Hunter and Pet Talent overviews, and David Bowers' guide to exotic pets currently available in game. They're great resources, so I'm not going to attempt to replicate them here. Instead, I'm gonna focus on a quick and pertinent question:

You've finally found some time to play WoW, your server's stable enough to let you play WoW, and you've just logged on your Beastmastery Hunter for the first time since 3.0.2 went live. What do you do?

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Expansions, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Elemental Shaman talent builds for Patch 3.0.2

So you logged in on Tuesday and all your talent points were gone. (Let's hope you noticed this fact before you went out to attack someone or something.) If you're looking at the new Elemental tree and wondering what talents to pick, here's a little help for you from someone who's been speccing and respeccing almost pure Elemental on the beta servers for several months now. (That would be me.)

The first thing you should do is go read what our resident shaman expert, Matt Rossi, says about the overall changes to our class in Echoes of Doom, just to make sure you still want to stay Elemental (Part 1 and Part 2). For my part, I leveled to 70 as Elemental and saw no reason to switch as I worked my way up the new Wrath talent tree. Since we've already been over the new spells, the point of this post is to simply recommend a build for you. So let's get a-buildin'!

Tier 1
Both the PvE and the PvP specs start the same way. Take all 10 talents on the first row of the Elemental tree (Convection and Concussion) and put 5 points in Improved Healing Wave on the Resto tree. This is probably no different than your spec before Echoes of Doom.

Tier 2
PvE and PvP are the same here too. Max out both Call of Flame and Elemental Warding, which will improve both your DPS and your ability to survive. (That's right, elemental shamans are all about FIRE now.) Raiding shamans, on this tier you should also put 3 points into Ancestral Healing so that when you off-heal, your targets can reap this potential armor-increasing benefit.

Tier 3
On the third level, both PvE and PvP should take Elemental Focus and all 5 points in Elemental Fury, which are both talents you probably had before the patch. PvE can take all 5 points in Reverberation, but PvP should save 3 of these points for later.

Tier 4
Both play styles should max out the points in this tier for Eye of the Storm (familiar talent) and the new Improved Fire Nova Totem. Now some of you will say that PvE shouldn't be using Fire Nova totem and I'll partially agree with you. No, you shouldn't be using it in raids or instances. However, you can use it carefully in PvE and questing (which I've done) and it can be extremely useful because of its slowing effect if you get mobbed.

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Talents

Totem Talk: Echoes of Doom Enhancement review

Hi. Welcome to Echoes of Doom. I'll be your host, gibbering over in the corner that I suddenly have an extra 300 AP. I'll have even more once I re-gem for agility. My crit rate did drop. Hunter mail, let's never fight again.

I'm still playing with specs and what my stats are now, so I'm not sure what advice if any to give on that score: despite having been in the beta for a while now, coming up with a level 70 spec that has everything I need is harder than coming up with a level 70 spec that's good enough to get me those extra 10 talent points for some reason. I ended up going with this build for pure PvE, as I don't PvP very much, but I'm seriously considering getting the Enhancing Totems and full Improved Windfury even if it costs me my elemental points. I guess it depends on if I want to buff the raid or my own personal DPS more.

So far I've only really played with enhancement: not only is it the tree I like best, it's the one that we happened to need the most when I logged my draenei on. My orc is fullbore resto and will be taking that spec out for a spin soon to see how much no more downranking affects my healing in raids, but that's still in the future. After that, it will be elemental's turn, probably on the same shaman as he has the best caster gear in the new scheme of things.

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Patch 3.0.2 guide to the new Gathering Profession Abilities

The new gathering profession abilities were undocumented in the patch notes, but they are definitely live in Patch 3.0.2. I was very pleased to discover that my Herbalist Druid has a new self heal and that my Skinner Rogue and Miner Paladin also had some unexpected goodies. Over the summer, Blizzard experimented with some abilities for all of the professions, but all that are live in the patch are the ones for the gathering professions. At least Mixology is trainable, and other ones may be available, though undocumented in the patch notes. This will be covered in a later post.

Each ability can be found in your Spellbook under the General Skills tab. They have 6 ranks, with 5 being the maximum you are able to achieve before Wrath of the Lich King. The first rank is acquired with Journeyman or the skill of 75 and scales with your profession's rank. So, for example, a Master Herbalist will have Rank 5 of Lifeblood. Details for each ability are after the break.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Mining, Skinning, Patches

Patch 3.0.2 primer for Holy Paladins

This was supposed to go up before the servers did, but as you probably already know, Patch 3.0.2 wasn't quite what we all expected. Now that servers are starting to go back up online, I can better write up this handy guide for the brave new world. Let's try to get as much of this right as possible. If you were as excited as I am -- and you should be -- you probably logged on as soon as your Realm went up, picked out all those cool talents you've been drooling over these past months, and went off reveling in your newfound power.

Good for you. Even though Patch 3.0.2 had a few hiccups, most of the important class changes made it through. I had to delete a lot of my macros and change a few. For one thing, Judgement and a Seal can no longer be cast within the same macro. This is because Seals aren't consumed by Judgements anymore, so they now share the same GCD. If you have macros for your Blessings of Freedom, Protection, and Sacrifice, you should edit them to cast Hands instead of Blessings. Lots of little things. I'll probably talk about that in The Light and How to Swing It. For now, we'll take a look at the talent trees and how we'll settle into the 3.0.2 world.

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: Unexpected Changes in Patch 3.0.2

There's a mailbox missing in Silvermoon! I know, I know. There are a lot of mailboxes in Silvermoon City, but I really liked this one near the bank in The Bazaar area. I must have missed this in the patch notes. And why would they get rid of it anyway? If anything, I think they should add more mailboxes to the old world cities. But I'm lazy. Running on mountless/travelformless alts is a chore.

On a good note, I seemed to have totally missed that Marks of Honor were going to be on the Currency tab in the character screen instead of taking up precious bag space until i actually logged in yesterday. Yay more bag space!

My favorite surprise in Echoes of Doom, however, was discovering that my Herbalist now has a new self-heal over time spell: Lifeblood. It's instant cast and has a 3 minute cooldown. There it was just sitting in my General Skills. A guildie had to point it out to me. I should probably take a closer look at the patch notes.

What changes did you not expect to find in Patch 3.0.2?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Patch 3.0.2: Primed and ready

For the last few days, the WoW Insider staff members have been writing up a storm to help prepare you all for patch 3.0.2 and the changes it is bringing this afternoon. Unfortunately, the patch was not ready at the time we were originally given, and we're looking at roughly another hour (4:30 pm PST) before the realms come up.

Despite an earlier announcement made by Ghostcrawler that not all of the changes we anticipated will make it into the patch, most of the information you will find in the class primers will be live as of today. For more on today's patch, dubbed "Echoes of Doom," check out our round-up page. If you're planning to raid before Wrath comes out, then you might want to check out Jennie's guide!

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Classes, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Why are the servers down and other questions

For many of us, realms excitedly went up for a few minutes but quickly came crashing down. Reader Venorize was kind enough to send us a link to an F.A.Q answering all the pertinent questions about our realms... and why they're currently borked. Important questions like why our loading screens take forever to load (answer -- thousands and thousands of other people are logging in at the same time) and why our screen is cluttered with all sorts of incomprehensible gibberish and weird images (hint -- turn off your AddOns first).

If you're having trouble logging in, experiencing difficulty in playing the game, or simply can't access of play World of Warcraft post Patch 3.0.2, head over to the F.A.Q., there are a lot of good answers to important questions. Even those not answered by our very own F.A.Q. assembled by Eliah. If you've got a question that isn't addressed here at WoW Insider or there, that's probably when you can head on over to the forums and bug Blizzard. Or... you can try and see if your realm's back on. A little patience goes a long way.

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard

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