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Posts with tag epic-gear

Is PvP gear good enough for heroics?

I don't really PvP these days. In vanilla, I had plenty of fun with my priest, running around and healing people who were on the mad dash for High Warlord. Back then, there wasn't really much in the way of PvP-appropriate gear -- in fact, when the honor system began, the most effective and deadly people you ran across in Battlegrounds were those who were raiding and collecting tier gear.

I remember that fact particularly infuriated a friend of mine, who over the course of vanilla did nothing but PvP, although at the time that meant basically running around Southshore and Tarren Mill. When the honor system was introduced, there was a contest held by Blizzard for those who engaged in PvP, and the top characters on the realm who got the most amount of honorable kills were rewarded with a special tabard. My friend spent weeks in Tarren Mill, happily murdering Alliance until his fingers bled, and he won his tabard handily -- after all, nobody really did as much PvP as he did. Then the Battlegrounds came out.

When he stepped into Battlegrounds, he discovered that despite the fact that he did nothing but PvP, he couldn't hold a candle against those people who engaged in raiding. The gear and weapons that they got from raiding were too powerful. And that's when he threw up his hands, said he didn't want to have to raid to be good at PvP, and promptly stopped playing the game.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP

Arcane Brilliance: Level 80 mage gearing road map, part 2

The dawning of another Saturday brings with it another edition of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column delivered direct to your driveway by a paperboy who blinks from house to house, fending off overprotective guard dogs with the occasional conjured ball of flame and constantly demanding his two dollars (I really, really wish I could have found an actual clip of that, but yet again, YouTube has failed me). It's all pretty impressive, especially when you consider that this paperboy is also wearing a dress.

Okay, after last week's part one of this topic, many of you disagreed with my assertion that a fresh level 80 mage should attempt to upgrade his gear prior to jumping into random heroics. I understand this point of view. Farming random heroics is by far the fastest way to gear up initially, and it is true that if you find the right groups, you and your pathetic new-80 DPS may be viewed less as a liability and more of a charity project. Thinking about it, I too secretly enjoy having someone in the group who's needing on blue drops because they're honest upgrades for him. As long as we have a decently geared tank (or a healer who's capable of keeping him up even if he isn't), even a dungeon run with terrible damage dealers can go relatively smoothly.

If you wish to gear up as rapidly as possible and you don't mind the idea that you won't quite be pulling your own weight at first, then by all means, skip my first few suggestions for gearing up and head directly for the random heroics. Better yet, get together with some better-geared guildies and queue together. That way you'll always be in a good group and one that doesn't absolutely require you to be up-to-par right away.

This week, regardless of the path you've taken to get there, I'm going to assume that you've been industrious and spent a significant amount of time gearing through drops and collecting emblems in those random heroics. Here's the general road you should be following ...

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Level 80 mage gearing roadmap, part 1


Welcome to another installment of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column of choice for mages who hate warlocks, warlocks who secretly want to be mages, and everybody else who likes their mage discussion sprinkled lightly with random and inappropriate references to Lost, Flock of Seagulls, Lufia, and KFC's new "Double Down Sandwich," or as I like to call it, "population control." I mean, seriously? Who greenlit this? "I have an idea, guys. Let's offer a bacon and cheese sandwich where we remove the bun and replace it with two slabs of fried chicken! Ooh, and then, instead of offering drink sizes, let's work on a way to allow customers to hook themselves directly into our soda machines intravenously. They'll be mainlining Dr. Pepper! Because if there's anything America needs more than ever during these tough economic times, it's more ways for people to kill themselves via food!"

Lately, a lot of you have been asking for gearing advice for the new level 80 mage. It seems that a good number of people (myself included) have been making good use of this pre-Cataclysm lull to level their alts, and I'm proud to learn that many of you have chosen to level a mage as one of your alts. For many of you, the gearing landscape probably looks very alien when compared to the way it looked when you were gearing up your last character. New opportunities abound, with the promise of epic gear dangling around every bend. What path should you take?

Fear not, young magelings. This week, Arcane Brilliance has decided to draw you a roadmap. Now, a warning: Arcane Brilliance can't draw. Seriously, when Arcane Brilliance was 5, he drew a picture of a "horse" for his mother. As horse pictures go, it was apparently quite disturbing. Arcane Brilliance had to spend some time at a hospital for "special" children, and mom started drinking heavily. So, you're going to have to use your imaginations about the "map" part of the roadmap. It's mostly going to consist of words, something Arcane Brilliance can produce largely without upsetting medical professionals. Largely.

So you've hit level 80 with your mage. Your gear slots are likely filled with a random assortment of quest rewards, heirloom gear that suddenly doesn't look so good anymore, and stuff that dropped in normal Nexus ten levels ago. You'd like to start running some of the level 80 content, but your DPS still hasn't cracked a thousand. You're not geared enough for a trip to heroic Ramparts, let alone heroic Trial of the Champion. So what do you do? Where do you begin?

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

Arcane Brilliance: Gearing up after the glorious patch 3.3


It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that loves nothing more than to gaze down upon the whole of Northrend from one of the floating chunks of stone around Dalaran and realize that at some point, a mage has probably killed every living thing down there. At least the targetable ones, anyway. And the ones you can't target? I'm sure more than one mage has certainly tried.

So I'm officially nominating patch 3.3 for "best patch ever" status. Here's a short list of the highlights of this patch:
  • Three highly challenging, fun, lore-filled 5-man instances, full of sweet loot
  • A massive new raid, with four gated sections, 12 bosses, and the promise of eventually being able to shove a Fireball up the Lich King's tailpipe
  • The incredible, game-changing Dungeon Finder Tool, which is responsible for peace in the Middle East, has brought an end to the recession, and has cured cancer
  • A few choice mage buffs, including a PvE viable Frost spec
  • Quest Tracking without the need for an addon
  • Quel'delar and Shadowmourne
  • A swiftly approaching new Arena Season
  • Weekly raid quests
  • The Kalu'ak Fishing Derby
  • Perky the Pug
  • A host of little changes for low level characters
  • Rocket bare
Not shabby, right? And best of all, Blizzard has managed to deploy the majority of this new content without also deploying a host of bugs, glitches, and instability, or otherwise making the game unplayable for awhile as we've come to expect from patches this large. There were some log-in issues and bugginess on day one, but by day two, everything was running relatively smoothly by day two. I'm being relatively conservative when I say that Blizzard, in my personal opinion, has hit this one out of the park.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Instances, Features, Guides, Classes, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Requiring epic achievements for normal runs

Leafshine echoes a concern I've heard a lot around the community and even here on WoW.com lately: why are some Naxx pickup group organizers requiring the epic achievement on characters joining the raid when they're only running Naxx 10? Sure, we'd all love to have raids full of epic characters, but when you consider that to even get that gear, you have to topple Naxx 25, it seems a little silly to require a raid full of characters that don't actually need the run you're going on.

Then again, you could (and probably do) subscribe to the "free market" theory of PuGing: if you think that's silly, don't join that raid, and eventually people who want those requirements won't have anyone to run with (and if they do have people to run with, then apparently even those who have conquered Naxx 25 still want to go back and run 10, for fun or badges or offspec gear or whatever). But that does leave out people who really do need to (and can) run the instances -- just because you don't have a character full of gear from Naxx 25 doesn't mean you can't perform respectably in Naxx 10.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Raiding

WoW Rookie: Pre-Burning Crusade endgame reputations


WoW Rookie is brought to our readers to help our newest players get acclimated to the game. Make sure you send a note to WoW Insider if you have suggestions for what new players need to know.

For the last couple of week's we've been discussing reputations here on WoW Rookie. By leveling up reputation with factions you will open yourself up to special content, rewards, and discounts. Last week we examined some of the factions encountered while leveling from 1 to 60 in Azeroth. Some people still rep up with these factions, but for the most part these NPCs have been pretty lonely since the expansion.

When the level cap was at 60, prior to the Burning Crusade, players spent a most of their time at level 60 repping up with PvP and raid factions. Many players gain reputation with these factions for the right to purchase crafting patterns from their vendors.

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Filed under: Instances, Raiding, Factions, Guides, WoW Rookie

Breakfast Topic: Yeah, what Eyonix said


The other day Mike wrote about how he considers the Headless Horseman event to be too easy, how giving away epic gear equivalent to those found in Heroics somehow cheapens the epics others have to earn. Evidently he's not the only one with that concern. Posters on the forums were complaining about this very issue, and Eyonix had this to say in reply:

Players have a chance to participate in a fun holiday event and get a nice ring (or helmet) two weeks out of the entire year. The drops are great items, and upgrades for many, but they are certainly far from the best in-game. I'm sorry but this event doesn't undermine anything you've accomplished. Are you sure your complaint doesn't stem from the fact that your epic raid loot makes you feel like you're better than others who have lesser gear?

I'm not accusing, just asking.

He makes a valid point, that Eyonix. While some of the gear from the Headless Horseman encounter is very good, this is something that happens for only two weeks out of the year. Much like the epic loot dropped from bosses for a limited time last year (I can recall a faboo belt I got off a Lich in undead Stratholme) during the fall, these items are only available for a limited time, so act now! Really I see it as a great way to gear up those that can't run Heroics, and currently I think this is the best holiday event we've had. The items are good, but are they so good that they're worth making a fuss over?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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