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Posts with tag hit-cap

Arcane Brilliance: Mists of Pandaria mage guide to stats and reforging

Human fire mage
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we talk about how awesome mages are. But did you know that you can make your mage even better? I know! It's like chocolate-covered chocolate. Or a cheesecake that also grants you three wishes. Or an Avengers movie that is also directed by Joss Whedon. Or a warlock that is also dead.

With just over a week of this pre-expansion/post-patch limbo to go, it's high time we covered one last piece of patch 5.0.4 mage business before we turn our eyes almost exclusively toward the impending influx of pandaren and monks and ... pandaren monks. But good news! Most, if not all, of what we discuss here today will also apply in Mists. Though there are always small shifts in stat weight at endgame, we're still quite far removed from knowing exactly how things will shake out when we're all doing hard mode raiding.

This expansion brings some major changes to our stats, radically altering the benefits they do and don't provide. Before we get to each spec and its stat weights, let's look at each stat and familiarize ourselves with its Mists of Pandaria version.

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

Encrypted Text: Lifestyle of the Pandaria rogue

ogre dance
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

After writing Encrypted Text for nearly four years now, I have gotten into the groove of writing about how rogues will handle upcoming expansions. The upcoming Mists of Pandaria expansion looks to repeat most of the last two expansions' changes: a complete poison revamp, talent trees slashed to the core, and no news on our missing Swirly Ball. Wait, Swirly Ball is back? Everything I know about rogues just went out the window.

The developers avoid implementing major class changes via patches, preferring to deploy them via expansions. There's a natural separation between expansions that softens the blow of redesign a class mechanic. While rogues weren't fundamentally altered during Cataclysm's patches, there are already several changes brewing for us in Mists. We're gaining more raid utility, dropping a few outdated mechanics, and becoming more flexible with our abilities. How will these changes affect your day-to-day lifestyle?

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Mists of Pandaria

Encrypted Text: More rogue poison news from Ghostcrawler

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

Two weeks ago, I asked you to throw out everything you knew about rogue poisons. I was being silly, because I know that would be a lot to ask. Many of us have spent years learning the intricacies of the poison system, studying PPM charts and evaluating our options. Unfortunately, it looks like there was actually no hyperbole in my original request. With the latest round of info we've received, every single poison mechanic in the game will be overhauled in Mists of Pandaria.

We already know about the new lethal/non-lethal designations and how we'll be able to have two poisons on both of our weapons at all times. We already know that poisons will be critting for double damage in Mists and that their crit chance will be calculated based on our melee crit rate. These improvements are just what we needed to increase our utility options and to boost crit's viability as a secondary stat. In addition to these sweeping changes to poison crit mechanics, we've learned that poison's hit mechanics are also being revamped.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Spiritual Guidance: 8 reasons why your shadow priest DPS sucks

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Every Wednesday, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen rains sheer purple destruction down on all who oppose him (such as those who dress cats in outfits).

It's pretty much a known fact that we shadow priests are looked up to the world over. (Especially by Tyler Caraway, but that's mostly just because he's very short.) The reasons behind the admiration are many, but one seems to be more compelling than the rest: Shadow priests are capable of doing stunningly awesome DPS. Big numbers are sexy. There's no denying it.

The unfortunate reality, however, is that not every shadow priest gets to realize their true potential. Tiny problems and mistakes hold them back. And though some of these problems are easily fixed, the fact that they're damn near impossible to guess at and diagnose on your own leaves a lot of shadow priests frustrated.

Without a doubt, there are an awful lot of potential pitfalls out there. If you follow me after the break, we'll talk about eight of the most common ones. More importantly, though, we'll suggest ways to overcome them and get your priest back on the path to greatness.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Arcane Brilliance: Do mages need to be hit-capped?

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we're discussing a topic near and dear to a caster's heart: the problems associated with reaching the hit cap. Because when you conjure a flaming boulder from the ether and hurl it toward the hideous walking nest of claws and teeth that's currently eating your tank, you don't want to miss.

We've discussed this before. But this is a new expansion, and a new crop of players seems to be playing it, and I just had to berate a holy pally in Zul'Gurub for like 15 minutes about how he doesn't want the Hakkari Loa Drape that just dropped because he doesn't need the hit rating on it and he should give it to the elemental shaman instead -- and did I mention it took 15 minutes to convince him of this? Needless to say, the run was long, yeah, and lo, it was also full of wiping.

So the facts are these: The game has been out a long time, but the playerbase is constantly rotating. It may be hard for old-timers to accept, but even the most basic of gameplay concepts still need to be explained, and ignorance of a thing doesn't constitute a bad player, necessarily -- just a new one or one who is returning after an extended absence.

All of this is the long way of answering the many emails and comments I've gotten lately about hit rating, its importance, and whether or not mages still need to worry about capping it.

The short way? Cap hit.

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

Spiritual Guidance: The calculus of shadow priest hit in Cataclysm

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Every Wednesday, the shadow specced Fox Van Allen takes over Spiritual Guidance, doing all the hard work so you don't have to. So you can spend more time ... I dunno, trolling trade chat or something.

NOTE (Feb. 8, 2011): With patch 4.0.6 now having gone live, I recommend all raiding shadow priests cap at 17% (1,742 points of hit).

Every once in a while in my heroic PUGs, people get talkative. That can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing. It depends entirely on the person talking.

See, I've learned a lot of good information about bosses and strategy from complete strangers. I don't play a warrior, so it never occured to me that disarming Forgemaster Throngus would make the encounter so much easier on the healer. It was a pretty good day when an impatient healer showed me a shortcut around the Lockmaw trash in the Lost City. And it took me far longer than I'd like to admit to notice the slipstream teleporters in the Vortex Pinnacle.

But for all the good advice, there's been just as much bad advice. The worst of it came from a healer who said, in a copy-and-paste that he likely shared with every random group he was thrown in, "Cataclysm heroics are hard. If you are not hit-capped, you do not belong here. Please drop group, re-gem, and re-enchant until you are at the cap and re-queue."

That's bad advice for shadow priests on multiple levels. Managing hit caps in Wrath was easy -- get to 263 (or 289) points of hit and you were done. Cataclysm is a whole different animal, though. There are a number of important hit cap numbers to know. And getting to the ridiculously high new raiding hit cap doesn't improve your DPS. But you should probably cap out anyway. Unless you're running heroics.

Shadow priest hit in Cataclysm is a complex beast. Let's ... discuss.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Arcane Brilliance: Random postpatchery


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, Arcane Brilliance brings you a random collection of thoughts, impressions, half-baked ideas, and unprovoked hatred for warlocks spawned in the wake of the single most significant patch in the history of WoW. But then again ... except for the patch part, that pretty much describes every Arcane Brilliance, right?

I thought I'd throw that picture of the tier 11 mage set up there to start the article because it looks so awesome. Someone in the comments section last week suggested I spend an entire column waxing poetic about how cool our tier 11 looks, and I want you to know that I gave the idea serious consideration. Could I come up with a thousand words on one set of gear? Yes, yes I could. Would it be worth reading? No, probably not. But did I want to do it anyway? Yes, yes I did. Let's leave it at this: I really, really want to put that flaming skull mask on my mage's face, and I don't care how many warlocks raid bosses I have to kill to make that happen.

So now that the insanity of patch week has come and gone, how are you coping? Got your mage's specs all sorted out? Comfortable with your new spell rotation yet? Updated all your addons? Disconnected a few dozen times trying to summon the Headless Horseman? If you're still looking for a bit of help, check out last week's column on mage specs, glyphs, and spell rotations for a basic primer. This week, I figure I'd just spend the column going over a bunch of stuff I ran out of room to mention last week, along with a few new things that have occurred to me during this week's play.

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

Totem Talk: Enhancement 101

Axes, maces, lightning, fire, frost, and wolves, and best of all, Windfury. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy (aka Stoneybaby) loves it and lives it. His main spec is enhance. His off-spec is enhance. And he will be penning the enhance side of Totem Talk.

It seems 101 guides are all the rage these days, which makes enhancement shaman 101 a convenient place to start with my inaugural WoW.com post. Playing an enhancement shaman, and playing it well, means dealing with the most extensive spell rotation in the game, having two caps to hit in gearing, and a dozen cooldowns to track. Not to mention the need to run out of fires, avoid whirlwinds, and generally dodge all that hate on melee. It's safe to say enhance is one of the most complex specs to play. It's also one of the most fun.

My favorite part is that we're right up front making a mess of things with both physical and magical damage–to deadly effect. You want to play enhancement? Let's dive right in to get you started!

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Filed under: (Shaman) Totem Talk

Spiritual Guidance: Playing catch up with shadow priests


Fox Van Allen steps out of the shadows every Wednesday to take control of Spiritual Guidance, telling you all you need to know to melt faces with expert precision.

The era of patch 3.2 held some dark days for a shadow priest. The fights in Trial of the Crusader were definitely not built for shadow priests, especially in heroic mode. We scaled terribly with new gear. Our tier 9 gear was questionably designed. Every class has their own problems, but the problems that besieged shadow priests were bad enough to negatively effect raid performance. It wasn't hard for shadow priests to get left behind.

Patch 3.3, though -- this is our time. The changes to the spec have already been detailed: buffs to our glyphs, talents, and haste-affected DoTs gave us a ten-to-twenty percent boost to our damage right off the bat. Our tier 10 gear gives powerful two- and four-piece bonuses. And best yet, the fights in the new Icecrown Citadel five-man dungeons and raids seem as if they were built for us. We add tremendous value to an ICC raid in almost every fight.

Actually seeing those fights, though -- that can be a challenge. Patch 3.2 did a lot of damage to the shadow priest class's reputation. An increased emphasis on "gear score" in the game can (unfairly) get an average-geared shadow priest written off. We can't just take playing for granted -- past problems with the spec means there's a higher bar for us.

If you got left behind in the last patch or even if you're a newly minted level 80, don't worry -- you can catch up quick. Here's how.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Increase threat in five easy steps!

It sounds like an infomercial, but actually Righteous Defense has a great post on how a pally (or any class, really -- his advice is for pallies, but it's common sense enough that any tanking class can use the tips) can step up and increase their threat as far as it will go. I always enjoyed tanking when I did it (and now that I'm leveling up a pally, I'll hopefully be bashing heads in and taking damage again soon), and the key to tanking is just awareness: awareness of where the mobs are, who they're targeting, and where they should be. Increasing threat is really a passive kind of upgrade -- as long as you're hitting your spells right, using the glyphs designed to keep you at the top of an aggro list, and specced and hit-capped for the gear and abilities you're using, keeping threat up is pretty simple. It's just the positioning and dealing with surprises that can be hard.

The last point on RD's list is worth repeating for everyone: use your trinkets, as often as possible. Imagine that, in the next patch notes, you saw a spell under your class listing that did what your trinkets did (added a ton of spellpower or increased armor by 500) and went on to say (infomercial style again) "... at a cost of no mana, focus, rage or ." Wouldn't you be spamming that sucker as often as possible? Get your gear straight, use the right abilities, and break out your trinkets whenever you can, and keeping threat should be no problem at all for any given class.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Tips, Virtual selves, Raiding, Bosses, Buffs, Death Knight

Why Hit is a "sexy stat"

This post on Gray Matter has some pretty insightful thoughts about the much-maligned Hit stat. We've posted quite a few times about Hit with the various classes, and yet it's still fairly hard to get a handle on -- most people know their class has a "hit cap" that they have to reach to keep any of their swings or shots from missing, but other than that, they haven't really tangled with the stat much the way they might have some of the more core stats for their class. But Grey Matter argues that "Hit is sexy" -- despite the fact that, unlike other stats, Hit is required just to make your class do the right thing (rather than doing it better), Graylo still likes the idea, and actually likes the balance that Hit requires. No matter what ilvl your gear, you still need a certain amount of Hit on it, and the balancing job of keeping your hit cap met versus providing other stats on your gear is what Gray seems to like about Hit. While other stats just go up and up, Hit is the great limiter -- having more of it frees up space on other gear for more pressing stats, but you still have to balance out the pieces you wear to try and meet the cap.

To that extent, I agree. I do think that Hit is a relatively arbitrary stat (we know what it means in real life to be Stronger or have more Intelligence, but Hit is really just designed to keep game levels in line), but on the other hand, Gray's right -- because you need a certain amount of hit in your gear, it does become an interesting balancing game of "do I need this more powerful piece of gear, or this weaker piece of gear with some extra Hit on it?" It does a nice job of mixing things up as an endgame-balancing mechanic.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Classes, Buffs

The Queue: Waterfalls


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

There's a bunch of good questions in today's Queue: gold cap (including a little extrapolation by yours truly), boss level hit cap design, and voicing of a certain King of Stormwind.

(In my Casey Kasem voice) As for today's reading music, take a listen to the 1990's classic by TLC, Don't Go Chasin' Waterfalls. They totally turn into water elementals too, around 3:40 in the video.

Outdps asked...

"Is the gold cap per character or per account? Is there a gold cap for guild banks?" Bonus question: "What should the gold cap be?"

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Filed under: The Queue

Arcane Brilliance: Reaching the hit cap



Each week Arcane Brilliance chats a bit about Mages and all things Mage-related. You may wonder what Arcane Brilliance likes to discuss the rest of the week. Even if you don't wonder that, Arcane Brilliance is going to tell you: It's still Mages. Yes, Arcane Brilliance pretty much talks about Mages constantly, even when it is wildly inappropriate to do so: at the dinner table...during business meetings...in church...at funerals...off-topic on completely unrelated message boards...Arcane Brilliance doesn't get invited to very many parties, in case you were curious.

When people see me in public, they often ask me, "Christian, how can I get my Mage hit capped?" It's probably the most common question I get, right up there with "Why are you so awesome?" and "Where are your pants?"

Okay, that's a lie. Nobody ever approaches me in public, and nobody asks me any of those questions, except for maybe the one about the location of my pants. That's a whole other story, and my attorney has advised me not to speak of it. Still, reaching the hit cap is something every Mage should be striving toward, but far too many of us either don't realize how important it is, or don't know enough about how to get there effectively. Fear not. Arcane Brilliance is here to explain the mysteries of the hit cap to you. The good news? It isn't nearly as complicated as you may think.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, PvP, Draenei, Features, Raiding, Guides, Classes, Talents, Buffs, Enchants, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

From our readers: Is my Ulduar-clearing guild holding me back?

I'd like to take a minute to address the concerns of one of our readers. Since my return to WoW Insider, I've been focusing on sanity, progression, and congruence.

Dear WoW Insider:

I need help, and I figure between me and that guy in the last Breakfast Topic, I'd have more than a good chance of you guys having suggestions to my current dilemma.

I'm fairly new to WoW, having started in December 2008, after a long stint on FFXI. I was glad I made the move, and I haven't looked back. I toyed with a few classes before settling on a blood elf rogue. I zoomed through classic, Burning Crusade and have now made Northrend my home.

I hit 80 a couple of months ago, and although many guilds have offered for me to join along the way, I always replied that my brother's guild was going to take me in as soon as I turned 80. I've been with them on a few heroics and even saw the inside of Sunwell as my first raid ever, although I must confess all that left me feeling a little bit bewildered as I didn't really know what was happening most of the time. I was constantly asking for help, asking where I should stand and what not. While most of the guild was really nice and understanding (and still are), I'm feeling a little bit out of my depth. Most of the guild members are very experienced, as you can imagine. Some of them are on their second or third alts clearing Naxxramas, and most of the guild are working on Ulduar progression.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Fan stuff, Guilds, Raiding

Phat Loot Phriday: Stormedge


This one's by request this week -- Twitter's own @Random_Tangent recommended it to us. We've done a few Ulduar items lately (we'll have to go phat next week), but here's another nice one.

Name: Stormedge (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Epic Two-hand Axe
Damage/Speed: 594 - 892 / 3.50 (212.3 DPS)
Abilities:
  • Um, it's badass?
  • +106 Strength, +125 Stamina. Which means this is a straight-up 2h DPS weapon -- the Strength adds a huge damage bonus to Warriors, Death Knights, Feral Druids (edit: well nevermind then), and Paladins by giving them a +212 attack power just from the weapon alone, not to mention other places Strength is used. Shamans also get a buff -- not quite as big, but still nice.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Raiding, Phat Loot Phriday, Bosses

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