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Posts with tag focus

Stats 101: Your character's resources and attributes

If you've been around the game for a while, you know World of Warcraft's system of resources and attributes so well that it seems like it needs no explanation. However, for players diving into their first MMO or even just switching classes, the basics of WoW's resources and stats -- otherwise known as the jumble of numbers listed on your character sheet (just hit "c" to see what we're talking about) -- may as well be a foreign language.

So if you're trying to get started and you're a little lost as to what all of these numbers mean, how they affect your game, and the kind of gear you should equip to play your best, this guide is for you. Read on and we'll walk you through the numbers in plain English.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Focus and Macros: The key skills you need for PvP

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WoW Insider covers the world of player vs. player action in Blood Sport for fans of Battleground, world PvP and Arena play. Steering you to victory is Olivia Grace, who focuses on making with the stabby and turning people into frogs.

Focus in PvP can have a few meanings. If you're tired, or a bit stressed out, it's something you can lose. Trust me on that! Your focus can also be the target you pick to burst down or of course your main objective -- and lastly and principally for this column, focus is a secondary target.

A secondary target? Didn't you just say it was the target you pick to burst down? Well, I may be teaching my grandmother to suck eggs here, so bear with me. We all know how to select a target, I assume, but you can also have another target set in addition to your main target. Depending on your UI setup, this will appear in various places on your screen. Some UIs and addons are more customizable than others with regard to a focus target, and for all the screenshots in this post, I use a tailor-made edit of TukUI.

So a focus target is another target? Yup. Why would you need another target? Well, we'll get to that! Patience, young padawan. One basic use for focus includes doing Battlegrounds with friends. As long as you have the map set up to allow it, your map displays your focus target with a thick ring highlighting their position. If you head into a Battleground with a buddy, you might want to set them as a focus so you can see where they are and help them out!

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Filed under: Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Is it time to kill mana?

In your heart, you always knew we were coming here.

Mana is one of WoW's biggest sacred cows. Paladins, shaman, druids, mages, warlocks, priests all make use of it, and hunters were once also on the mana teat, as it were. Every healer uses it, and when the monk class is introduced, they'll heal with mana as well. Every ranged caster uses it. It's the resource system the majority of WoW players are most familiar with, a pool that starts at full and empties as you use it. Over the course of its existence, stats like spirit and MP5 have filled it back up during combat, keeping those classes that rely on it supplied. Since it's the lifeblood for all healers, it effectively is the same for all tanks, even though only one tanking class actually tanks with it. Two classes use it to melee DPS, both hybrids, and these two classes effectively ignore the regeneration of the mana pool via talents and class abilities that make mana regeneration a non-issue.

Mana is fairly easy to understand. You have it, you use it. There are various systems built in to make regenerating it easier. With the addition of runes and runic power for death knights and holy power for paladins, secondary resource systems (similar to the combo point system of rogues) have also been introduced to the game. Holy p-ower in particular is interesting to this discussion because it is a secondary resource added to a mana class and one that works for healing, tanking and melee DPS. (Everyone has their own opinion of how well it does so.)

This leads us to the subject of this post. Do we need mana at all? As my intrepid coworker Michael Gray pointed out to me when discussing this article, mana serves many uses. It's not just that it's a resource for healing and DPSing, but the finite nature of the mana system serves to limit encounters in both PvP and PvE. Doing away with mana could have as many negative effects as positive ones.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Haste bug squashed by hotfix

Patch 4.0.6 brought with it a rather nasty bug that primarily affected non-mana using DPS including hunters, feral druids, rogues, and death knights. The client was disagreeing with the server on exactly how much haste refreshed the regeneration time of focus, energy, and runes, causing the client to report that certain resources were ready for use before they actually were, which then caused the player to press the button and the ability to not fire.

CM Bashiok has been keeping us up to date on the status of the bug and just recently reported that it should be fixed via a hotfix that was applied late last night. You can read the full text of his post behind the break.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Rogue, Bugs, News items, Death Knight

Blood Sport: Seeing the big picture in PvP, part 2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Sport for arena enthusiasts and The Art of War(craft) for fans of battlegrounds and world PvP. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more.

It's natural to observe what we're doing with our target (and maybe our focus).

We all started playing WoW by having our character jog up to some oblivious animal and obliterate it with spells or steel. We watched intently as that boar flopped over after we clicked our mouse a few times (or pushed 1,1,2). We then decided we would run straight towards its corpse (shortest distance from A to B is a straight line, after all) and happily right-click to loot some sweet gray sword. Over time, boars became bandits, bandits became basilisks, basilisks became banshees and the banshees became bosses. Eventually, we're slaying dragons and throwing around high fives like they were baseballs.

However, notice throughout this scenario of improving our characters that we're not looking around suspiciously at other players, trying to learn where other enemies would flee to or attack us (or, more importantly, why and how they attack us). Of course, this is to our detriment, once we step inside an arena or battleground.

Side note: That sentence of alliteration took me like ten minutes to write. Do you know how hard it is to think of mythical creatures starting with B? (I came up with beholder and brownie too, but WoW doesn't have many of those).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Encrypted Text: The energy resource system

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the rogue class. This week, I'm talking about my experiences in as a beta tester.

I love energy. Of the three different resources in WoW at level 60, energy was definitely the best around. While death knights may argue that runes are more fun, they suffer from up to 10-second lockouts on some abilities once a particular rune is used up. Some hunters in the Cataclysm beta have claimed that focus is the best thing to happen to their class since pets. That's fine, but energy doesn't require us to play the regeneration minigame to ensure that we're producing enough.

Energy is simple to model and even simpler to use; no ability is more than 6 seconds away. The system has seen constant upgrades since its humble origins, though its core functionality has remained unaltered. It's become a crucial part of our mindset, and it defines the experience of playing a rogue. I had an old friend that used to say that all true rogues set their watches to only tick every 2 seconds. What is about energy that keeps it marching on so reliably?

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

WoW Rookie: Keep your key targets in focus

New around here? We've got your back! See all our collected tips, tricks and how-to's for new players in the WoW Rookie Guide.

Better keep an eye on that guy: the furbolg you're escorting through the crowd, the off tank you're in charge of healing, the add you're supposed to keep locked down ... The problem is, you also need to click over here to -- argh, lost him in the crush! Now you'll have to tab ba -- whoops, passed him again! OK, start stabbing with the mouse ...

If this sounds anything like the chaotic chatter in your brain during a typical encounter, you need more than mere help; you need a focus target. A focus target is a secondary target that helps you keep track of an additional unit other than your current target. Essentially, it's a second target that you can set and unset at will. Focus targets are a great way of keeping track of an escort mob you need to locate in a crowd, an NPC you need to crowd control, a key healing assignment ...

Once you set a focus target, it's right there on your screen. You can freely change your main target and turn your attention elsewhere while still being able to monitor your focus target's health, mana and casting bars. You can also create macros that let you apply spells and abilities to your focus target with a single press of a button.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Blood Sport: Resource mechanics in arena, Part I


Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women? Blood Sport investigates the entirety of all-things arena for gladiators and challengers alike. C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in WoW.com's arena column.

Listening Music: Roger Waters and the classic combination of Pink Floyd's "The Happiest Days of Our Lives + Another Brick In The Wall, part II." I hate when the radio only plays half of this piece. Even though Floyd split the piece into two on the album, I find it hard pressed to do the latter half justice by dropping the epic "intro." The helicopters and interlude scream is the best part, be honest with yourselves.

Last Week: We addressed the issue of protection warriors in arena. We talked a bit about a few of Ghostcrawler's posts dealing with the most annoying specialization to face. After that, we discussed some of the problems with both perception and design.

This Week: Before getting back to the beginner's guide to arenas, we'll be discussing energy, focus, and rage. Each have individual benefits and detriments in an arena setting, often very different from one another. More after the break!

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Filed under: PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

Raid Rx: Sometimes you just need to Focus

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI, macro, and addon related.

I received a plea for help via email from a discipline priest. Here's the gist of the email:
Hi Matt

Basically I use grid and clique. I target my tank and have no issues with this. However, when it comes to dispelling Jaraxxus for example, I need to tab target to find him, and then use raid frames to get my tank back.

Do you know of a way either by another raid frame or macro where I can consistently target the boss and heal the tank? I use buttons for Prayer of Mending, Power Word: Shield and Penance, and the other spells through clique and grid.

Any help you can give would be appreciated

Thanks!

Bizkit
Well Bizkit, there is something that can help you out. All you need is a little focus!

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

The sin of Tab targeting

I'm not a keyboard turner -- my steady diet of FPS games growing up made sure of that. And while I do occasionally point-and-click abilities, for the most part, I do use hotkeys. But, just like Tank Like a Girl, there is one control-scheme sin that I'm definitely guilty of: I am definitely a Tab-targeter. I guess the issue is that sometimes you do have to use Tab to choose your different targets -- sometimes, you can't quite click on the thing you need to target, so instead you hit Tab to flip through all the available targets until you get to the one you need. But that's a no-no. Flipping through the targets takes more time than you should (if you happen to miss your target, you need to flip through all of them yet again), and, as I know from personal experience, Tab targeting often ends you up on the wrong target. Not that CC is so much of an issue anymore, but let me tell you: the first time you happen to pull that one dragon your group has cast sleep on, it'll be embarassing.

So how to get it right? TLaG suggests this post from TankingTips, which hints at using the mouse instead of the keyboard to target (you can choose friendly targets easier that way), but doesn't offer any real suggestions of how to make the switch. Moving the camera back is one, getting your positioning right is probably another. And learning to use focus and macro targets is probably the best tip you can have: anything that's more specific or direct than either Tab or click targeting is probably better. Addons like Promixo will help in the Arenas as well.

No one's perfect, and no one way to do things is perfect either -- depending on your situation, Tab targeting might be better. But it's important to have as many tools as possible, so if you, like me, find yourself depending on the Tab key more often than not, it might be time to mix up your toolbag a bit.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, Raiding, Hardware

BRK taking a break from World of Warcraft

Our good friend and colleague Daniel "BigRedKitty" Howell has announced on his blog that he is taking a break from World of Warcraft. He's taking time off of the game and his blog to, as he says, "rededicate myself to my family." He thanks readers for their attention and kind words, and hopes that everyone will understand his decision, as well as examine their own lives to make sure that they focus on what's most important to them.

We of course wish him well -- BRK was an excellent contributor to our site and podcast, and we commend him on making the decision to do what's right for him and his family. We hope that everything turns out OK. And as many of his commenters have said, we wish him the best of luck in everything, WoW-related and otherwise.

Phaelia of Resto4Life, you'll remember, also closed her blog down recently, also choosing to focus on her family (and the sapling about to grow into it). Trying to figure out a good balance between your free time and your work and family life is a tough thing -- our Azeroth Interrupted column has covered exactly that battle. And as even Blizzard says, if any other part of your life is suffering because you're choosing to play this game or be a part of this community, it's time to make a break. Raiding the wilds of Azeroth is a lot of fun, and it's possible to do it while leading a healthy life. But if that balance ever gets thrown off, it's time to take a step back and do what's right for you and those closest to you.

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Classes

Arcane Brilliance: Preparing your Mage for patch 3.0.2, part 1



Each week Arcane Brilliance patches itself with new Mage content. These weekly patches are always full of buffs, and never any nerfs. They never contain any changes made for the sake of class balance. There are no bug fixes; because Arcane Brilliance has no bugs (or at least no bugs that can't be retroactively called "features"). This week, the patch notes read as follows:

Mage:
  • New spell: Polymorph: Corpse - 1% of base mana, instant cast, 50 yard range, transforms the target into a corpse, making it dead. While dead, the corpse cannot attack or cast spells. Lasts however long it takes for the target's ghost to run back to their corpse.
  • Mages can now equip plate armor.
  • Mana no longer goes down when casting, it instead goes up.
Next week, I'll complain about this patch. It's totally not powerful enough. Also, Warlocks are OP.

All signs point to this coming Tuesday being the day patch 3.0.2 arrives and turns the game on its head. Up will be down, left will be right, dogs and cats will live together, mass hysteria will ensue. We need to prepare for this coming insanity, if only so that we're able to give snarky answers to the many questions that will pop up in trade chat after we all log back in. I expect lots of "LOL WUT HAPPEN TO MY TALENTS?" and the occasional "I used my mount and it disappeared! Bug?"

This week will be the first of two columns in which we'll go over the changes most important to Mages that we can expect come Tuesday. We'll begin with general changes, and move on to the altered trainable spells. The second part will appear Monday, and will cover the three talent trees and review the many changes we'll find there. Jump on past the break and we'll get started.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Guides, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King

Scattered Shots: Pet talent trees in the Wrath Beta

Welcome to another edition of Scattered Shots, the other WoW Insider weekly Hunter column. Daniel Whitcomb is your guest host again this week.

So, we theorized about talented pets a bit quite a few installments of Scattered Shots ago, but now we have the actual trees live and testable on the Wrath Beta, and they seem to be firming up nicely. There's a few promised changes yet to come, such as the removal or lowering of focus costs on many major abilities and talents, and it's still very possible that Blizzard may make changes here and there before live, but I think they're solid enough at this point that we can look at each tree and make some solid predictions about how people will use them and how various talent builds might look.

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

Hunter Beta News: Tranquilizing Shot explained, pet focus system adjusted

Good old Tranquilizing Shot seems to be getting a lot of attention in the beta world yesterday. Ever since it was bought back to prominence when it inherited Arcane Shot's old dispel mechanic and the ability to dispel PvP enrage mechanics, people have been wondering what exactly it will be able to do in PvE.

Lead encounter designer Daelo clarified the other day with some information on how enrage type effects will work in Wrath:

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

Blood Sport: Tips and Tricks

PvP in its purest form is a beautiful thing. Amanda Dean, always obsessed with the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat brings you news you can use in the Arena. When last seen, former Blood Sport columnist V'Ming Chew had defeated a pack of angry Gnome Warlocks and had decided to take up retirement in a lovely chateau overlooking the Ring of Trials in Nagrand.

So thanks to the new point requirements for Battleground gear in Arena Season Four, many people who are not as familiar with the arena will be forced to queue up. When I first started playing arenas, I didn't see it as tremendously different from battlegrounds. After several hard-learned lessons I found that I had to be much more flexible. I've also picked up a few tricks along the way.

You have to count on all of your opponents using every tool available. If you're not already doing these things, give some of them a shot.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

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