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Posts with tag expanion

Cataclysm Class Changes: Enhancement Shaman Analysis

Today is a good day to be a shaman. Actually, it will be an even better day when Cataclysm hits, based on the initial changes we were shown today. There are some very exciting things coming down the pipeline for us enhancers. While I'm not keen on all of the changes, the stuff that I don't like is rather minor and everything else looks like it will be fun.

Let's dive in and see what they have in store for enhancement when the world is torn asunder!

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Filed under: Shaman, News items, Cataclysm

The Queue: Facts of life

Welcome back to The Queue,'s daily Q&A column where the team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

To celebrate my most recent level 80, a protection warrior, I was going to use a screenshot of it in the header of today's edition of The Queue. Unfortunately, I'm writing this on my laptop and when I play WoW on this thing the character models... well, let's just say they mutate a little bit. It's not pretty. So instead, I'm using a screenshot of one of Matt Rossi's warriors and we're all going to pretend it's a white-haired female draenei. Sound good? Great. Now let's move on.

Kar On E asked...

"If you could trade out one of the new race/class combinations coming to us in
Cataclysm for one that will not be there, which would you trade out? Which would you instead trade in? Why?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Breakfast Topic: Preparing for the storm

This Breakfast Topic is brought to you by's guest blogger program! Want to participate in a future call for guest posts? Read up on how to contribute, and keep an eye on the site for program announcements!

When faced with warnings of imminent change, what do you do? Do you stockpile and organize, or do you let it just happen? Cataclysm is fast approaching and preparing for it in-game can be as much a part of the process as pre-ordering a copy of the game in real life. There's several new things coming in the expansion that certainly may go smoothly if you take the time to plan for it -- two new races (worgen and goblin), new level cap, and a lot more classes opening up for the existing races. In the past, people also stockpiled things like cloth for bandages or mats for new tradeskills that were being introduced. Some players have given up doing anything in general and stopped playing WoW until Cataclysm hits.

I myself tend to be more of the planning type, especially now on the horizon of my third expansion -- I am stockpiling a lot of gold in the event of some ridiculous new transportation cost. I also recently completed Loremaster on my main character as many of my favorite quests or zones in the old world might be changed or gone entirely by the time the expansion rolls around. I also might sink a little bit of money into buying a Traveler's Tundra Mammoth. Having a portable repair-bot and vendor will ease the burdens of leveling considerably. Some new character names might have also been reserved on my server in preparation for a cute little gnome priest or worgen rogue in the future.

So what have you been doing to brace yourself for another (possibly your first) expansion? Is it grinding out badges for BOA gear for a new toon? Perhaps you are sitting around Dalaran doing nothing!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

BlizzCon Roundup: Last year's fun and games

BlizzCon 2010! Anaheim! October! Players are buzzing about the new announcement, and already making travel plans -- but what can a person expect to see at BlizzCon? What kind of stuff is there to talk about? Last year's BlizzCon was all about Cataclysm -- a trailer, playable demos of the new races, lore information, and of course the usual cavalcade of costumes and dance routines. Here's a quick roundup of what you missed at last year's BlizzCon, to give you an idea of what to expect this time around:

Pre-show guides and activities:

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: Stop and smell the flowers before they're gone!

This Breakfast Topic is brought to you by's guest blogger program! Want to participate in a future call for guest posts? Read up on how to contribute, and keep an eye on the site for program announcements!

I just stepped through the Dark Portal, for the first time, a few days ago. Now, now, before the cries of "noob" get too deafening, let me share another secret with you: I started playing World of Warcraft on release day. I'll pause to admire the inquisitive looks...

On New Year's Eve this year, I reopened my account after a near 5-year hiatus. 5 years ago I partnered with the developer of the WoWCensus UI addon and launched (which was later sold off). Between November 2004 and April 2005, I was so wrapped up in creating an excellent service outside of WoW that I completely lost touch with the game itself. After the sale of, I couldn't enjoy the game for what it was -- a game, I was constantly looking for the next "big idea."

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Cataclysm tanking cooldown feedback wanted

Nethaera hit the forums this morning, asking for feedback from tanks around the globe. Ghostcrawler has been having a lively discussion with tanks (most specifically protection warriors) recently, and now they seem to be formalizing the discussion for the wider audience.

We're currently working on the tanking cooldowns for tanks in Cataclysm. We're interested in feedback from the community on what makes cooldowns fun and useful. For example, what is the sweet spot in cooldown duration between an ability with such a short cooldown that you must mash it constantly versus an ability with such a long cooldown? Which current abilities are fun? Putting aside any rose-colored glasses, were there cooldowns in Burning Crusade or classic WoW that you miss in Lich King? What, in your minds, should the role be for talents and glyphs. For example, if glyphs shouldn't reduce cooldowns, what can they do?

Nethaera goes on to remind people that this thread isn't the place for balance discussions necessarily, and certainly not a place to debate who's overpowered. This feedback also won't dictate exactly what the developers will do, it will simply help them make the right decisions. Do you have an opinion? Then head on over to the forums and make it known! Politely, of course.

Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

The Queue: The dating game

Welcome back to The Queue,'s daily Q&A column where the team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Today's edition of The Queue is one part off-topic and two parts on-topic, but each and every part is worth it. Trust me on that one. Oh, and there's a couple more bad words than usual. You have been warned. I hope none of you are too scandalized by it.

Windswept asked...

"There is this girl I like that works at the mall, I want to ask her out but I don't know how. What would YOU do?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue, Cataclysm

Blizzard releases official Gnomeregan and Echo Isles Cataclysm information

Blizzard has released a series of background information pages on the Gnomeregan and Echo Isles campaigns to be happening with the coming Cataclysm expansion. We've known for a while that this pre-cursor world event will be happening, and it's nice to see some official information come out about it.

For those looking for the datamined material, check out the following heavy spoilers:
Of course, it's important to remember that these transcripts were taken from the PTR and could easily be changed in upcoming patches. Nothing is set in stone until it happens.

The full Blizzard announcement is as follows:

Nethaera -- An Assault on Two Fronts
High Tinker Mekkatorque, betrayed by Mekgineer Thermaplugg and forced to flee the irradiated city of Gnomeregan with the few of his fellow gnomes who managed to survive, is preparing to reclaim his once glorious city. Meanwhile, in distant Durotar, Vol'jin of the Darkspear trolls is determined to exact revenge upon the witch doctor Zalazane for dividing the Darkspears and seizing the land bestowed to them by Thrall: the Echo Isles. Read more about the ongoing struggles of the gnomes and the trolls... and their plans to seek redemption.


Regarding "Patch 3.9": The URLs above point to these events happening in patch 3.9. It is possible there will be a patch 3.9, however it is also possible the "9" simply stands for "the very last patch before 4.0" (patch 4.0 is the Cataclysm content patch). No one outside of Blizzard knows the right answer, and don't read too much into URLs.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

PC Gamer UK gives you 50 reasons to play Cataclysm

WARNING: This post contains spoilers for Cataclysm, the upcoming expansion to World of Warcraft. If you'd like to keep everything a surprise, don't read any further. If you'd like to know more about the upcoming content, read away!

Issue 212 of PC Gamer UK has hit the stands, and includes a fascinating six-page article with fifty reasons why lapsed subscribers should probably return to Azeroth. Forget the lapsed subscribers, there's enough information in here for current subscribers to drool over with unbridled glee. For those of you on this side of the pond, some highlights from the article. We requested comment from PC Gamer as to whether this information came directly from Blizzard, but we haven't yet received a response, so keep that in mind as we cover the highlights:

Reason number twelve: Cataclysm chooses fun over efficiency. The talent trees will be completely redone, something we've covered a little with previous posts on the new mastery system that will be made available. A quote from Tom Chilton states "I'd expect to see a further pruning of critical class buffs and debuffs, because it's still a little more restrictive than what we'd like to see. A lot of what Mastery and the talent changes are about is making sure that the choices players make about their character are interesting. Hopefully that will add character depth without making the game more complex."

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Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Mastery System Preview

Blizzard has released a rather detailed look into a new feature coming in Cataclysm that we first heard about at BlizzCon 2009 -- the mastery system. The system will "allow players to become better at what makes their chosen talent tree cool or unique." Mastery bonuses are passive and are tied to each talent tree for every class. The more talent points you put in the tree, the more your mastery for that tree will increase. Each talent tree will have three mastery bonuses:
  • Bonus 1: Increase to damage, healing, or survivability
  • Bonus 2: Increase to a stat that's relevant to the given talent tree
  • Bonus 3: A completely unique effect to the given talent tree
The mastery statistic on gear you'll get from 80 to 85 will increase the effect of bonus #3. Mechanically, the point of the mastery system is to remove talents like "6% more damage" and regulate those effects into the entire tree.

The entire announcement from Blizzard after the break. This includes some examples of the mastery bonuses for a few talent trees.

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Filed under: News items, Cataclysm Guest Post: What Cataclysm might mean for guild alliances

In this installment of's ongoing guest post program, we welcome Nico Deyo. Nico is a sometimes mage blogger and all-around nice gal who writes at Empowered Fire.

It's no secret that Blizzard is going to be changing the face of guilds in Cataclysm with guild talents, perks from being a collective entity, and rewards for using their new tools. While this benefits the majority of groups, what about those who have created something outside of the standard? They might not be a large chunk of the WoW playing population, but for the people who raid and socialize differently than the average player, the systems raise some new and troubling questions. Blizzard's particular idea of a guild is becoming the predominant social unit in Cataclysm, and those who don't fit into it might be all but left in the dust when it comes to new mechanics and rewards.

So who doesn't fit? I'm talking about two groups, mostly -- guild collectives/coalitions (several guilds who have banded together for a common purpose) or raid alliances (a very specific coalition or mixed group of people formed into a team for content). Both are two structures that have emerged socially and pragmatically to fill gaps that the traditional guild structures of yore haven't met.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Cataclysm, Guest Posts

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for DPS death knights

We've known for a while that we were getting some pretty sweeping stat and gear changes in Cataclysm. The other day, the blues over at Blizzard put together a nice little post that outlined all the big points of the revamp. As you might expect, there are a few changes that DPS death knights are especially going to want to watch out for. Let's take a closer look at the changes that are most likely to affect the DPS death knight.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Death Knight, Cataclysm

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for tanking death knights

We've known for a while that Cataclysm was going to feature some extensive changes to the stat and gear systems, and while we'd gotten bits and pieces of the whole picture before, the blues recently posted a massive breakdown of many of the changes. Death knight tanks will see a few things affect them as well, such as the complete removal of defense and a change to the workings of parry. Without further ado, let's break down the major changes that affect death knight tanking.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Death Knight, Cataclysm

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for enhancement shaman

Breaking news: enhancement shamans get the dumb in Cataclysm. Intellect is gone! Are we becoming rogues with mana?

No doubt you've read the big changes coming in Cataclysm. At this point there are a few confirmed points with the rest falling into the "confirmed they'll be changing" category. What do these changes mean for enhancement shamans? Read on.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for retribution paladins

Well, the devs have recently announced the stat changes for all classes in Cataclysm. Surprisingly, retribution paladins are going to be the model to which some other specs are being changed. Being the model for something like this also means that not much about our spec is changing as far as gear goes.

Overall, the ret paladin gearing method has worked fairly well in Wrath. We no longer worry about wearing things like spell plate, we don't worry about intellect, and we get to wield big two-handed weapons just as Uther intended. Occasionally, we run into gearing issues where a couple pieces of attack power leather end up being better for us than what our plate gives us, but generally that's not the case.

Let's take a look at some of the specifics after the break and see what changes there are.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

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