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Priest Q&A: Tackling the Shadow Priest answers

Our resident Holy Priest guru tackled the healy bits of the Priest Q&A recently, and I've been mulling over the various Shadow commentary in the meantime. Going into the Q&A being fully aware that it wasn't intended to be a list of changes coming to the class, and more a look into the current design around the classes, I honestly wasn't too disappointed with the Shadow items. It's a case where, with a few exceptions, I think Ghostcrawler (and the other developers) actually know what's going on with the spec quite well. You can try and call me out on that, but hey. It's the truth. As far as Shadow was concerned, it wasn't too far off.

The general spec overview at the beginning of the Q&A was pretty spot on. It's easy for us to get momentum in PvE and lay down the damage, but the nature of PvP/arena doesn't really let us do that. Our long buildup time is harsh. We don't lend ourselves well to stop-and-go. We're pretty much all about the 'go' and a little bit of 'stop' sets us back to where we started. There's really no picking up where you left off. If the opposing team locks you down for a little too long, you pretty much need to start over. Your offensive momentum is irrecoverable. PvE usually doens't have to worry about that. Now, from this point forward, I'm going to address each Shadow-relevant quote point by point.

First question:

"Q: Since a lot of the damage a Shadow priest does builds with damage-over-time (DoT) spells, are you concerned about them being well-rounded enough to do adequate damage in shorter PvE encounters, 5-player dungeons, or in the Arenas?

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, PvP

Encrypted Text: Combat in Wrath

Every Wednesday, Encrypted Text explores issues affecting Rogues and those who group with them. This week Jason Harper, the new Rogue feature blogger, discusses the Wrath Combat expansion tree.

Ahh Combat. The cornerstone of the end (and mid-) game PvE Rogue. While not perfect, the Combat tree can be hugely satisfying and bears with it none of the positional damage dealing that the other two trees require, at least in part. Getting in people's (as well as creature's) faces and crushing them is all just part of the experience of the combat spec. Many a Rogue has popped a pleasing-sigh-inducing Adrenaline Rush to burn through the last tasty bits of, well, whatever stands in its way.

Although things do tend to change quickly in beta, I'm going to take a look at the five new expansion Combat tree talents. The most important question I had when looking at them, as well as all the discussion surrounding them, is "are they worth it" and "do they reflect the kinds of changes or improvements that players have been asking for." This is especially important in raid settings where Rogue vs Caster DPS and overall damage done can mean the difference between getting another invite or not.

I'd like to subtitle this column: "The Expansion Combat Tree, Now in PvP Flavor!"

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Classes, Talents, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Wrath of the Lich King

Scattered Shots: New and improved abilities


Scattered Shots: noun. 1. (Scatter Shot, singular) An ability used by Marksmanship hunters, especially to annoy other players in PvP. 2. (Scattered Shots, plural) A column at WoW Insider about anything even loosely related to hunters, except for high-level raiding and completely improper, sometimes libelous personal commentary.

Hunters are getting quite a few changes in Wrath of the Lich King, but so far haven't covered them all. Today I'd like to go through the newest abilities and discuss them in greater detail.

New Baseline Hunter Abilities:

Nope, no Camouflage. We talked about this before, but it looks like the devs read our article, "Do hunters need Camouflage?" and decided the answer was no. So, instead we have a couple other new abilities to look forward to:

Kill Shot:
This is the new level 80 hunter ability, and it provides us with a bit of utility that help us to stand out and perform better in various situations:

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Upper Deck introduces Traitor cards for the WoW TCG

Those of you who are fanatics of the WoW TCG have probably heard of the new Servants of the Betrayer expansion already, but even if you have, it's worth checking out this new article on the official Upper Deck TCG site. It goes into greater length about the philosophy behind the new cards, and introduces the basic ideas, mechanics, and lore behind the new Traitor Heroes. While "Servants of the Betrayer" rightly assumes you'll be able to control Vashj and Kael, they decided that they did not want to make those two central to deck building, since they already plan to release a new Black Temple raid deck later on. Instead, they will be possible allies of a new series of "Traitor Heroes."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, WoW TCG

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