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Posts with tag group-buffs

Group buffs should last through death

Wrath of the Lich King is fixing a lot of minor annoyances that have been present in the game since launch. Things like Entangling Roots being changed to work indoors, or clams stacking. They're also introducing a system to selectively modify spells: glyphs. Most spells seem to have a glyph that makes them better in some way, including the group buffs Prayer of Fortitude, Gift of the Wild, and Arcane Brilliance (there is no glyph for Prayer of Spirit right now, and Prayer of Shadow Protection has never been taken seriously).

The group buffs are all simply more convenient versions of single-target buffs the classes possess. The single-target buffs hit one target and last for half an hour, while the group buffs hit the whole raid (up from one group in BC), last an hour, and require a reagent. The glyphs for the group buffs that have them all reduce their mana cost by 50%, which is a reasonable benefit for a minor glyph.

However (and now I'm finally getting to my point), I think it would be better if the glyph let the buffs last through death, instead of or in addition to its mana reduction. It's annoying to have to rebuff everybody after a wipe, and while the buffs hitting the whole raid will help that a lot, it's still a bit irritating. I don't think it would be imbalanced to only have to rebuff once every hour, and it would make me a lot less irritated on those progression raids or bad pugs. Think of it like flask buffs. And isn't the point of group buffs convenience?

Filed under: Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

Select group buffs going raid wide in Wrath

Between the Shaman portion of the Class Panel and the Q&A session at WWI08, raiders have some great news (in my opinion). If you're a reader of Hybrid Theory, a few weeks back I discussed the possibility (and necessity) of certain group buffs becoming raid buffs. The devs have confirmed that yes, many of these things are becoming raid buffs.

The examples given were Totems and Unleashed Rage from Shaman, and Battle Shout for Warriors. This will greatly lower the need to stack Shaman so every single party of your raid has totems, but there's still the Bloodlust/Heroism issue. Taking 4-6 Shaman for Heroism is the single largest buff to your DPS that you can supply, so we'll see what happens. Either way, this is fantastic news, and something that has been sorely needed. Figuring out class balance for a raid can be fun, but not when your determining factor over who gets cut is "who won't fit in the Windfury group?"

Filed under: Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

Group buffs as solo buffs and when to use them

Rufus over on WoW LJ brings up Commanding Shout, the Warrior group buff that increases maximum health of party members for two minutes within 20 yards, and comments that it doesn't work so well in solo play. Which isn't necessarily true-- there are cases when you need as much health as you can get. And he got me thinking about other buffs like that -- buffs that are really meant for group play, but that can sometimes help in solo play.

The first one that jumped to my Shaman mind is the Mana Spring Totem -- it's really meant for group play, but every once in a while I'll pull too many, need some extra mana, and drop that to pick up a little blue. Also in the Shaman's Resto tree is Earth Shield, which can be helpful in solo play, too. And while Power Word: Shield is really too mana intensive to regularly be used in solo play (it's really meant to be used in groups), there are lots of times when it's helpful with solo priests.

Usually, you should only use these things when absolutely necessary (and when you've got the resources to use them -- Commanding Shout, for example, doesn't actually give you any health, so using it in the middle of a fight doesn't help). But Blizzard has made sure we don't just have group buffs and solo buffs -- some group buffs are occasionally really useful in solo play. Can you think of any others?

Filed under: Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Blizzard, Buffs

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