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Posts with tag line-of-sight

Encrypted Text: Smoke bomb vs. joke bomb


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, we talk about our upcoming Cataclysm ability at level 85: Smoke Bomb!

I've been poring over our Cataclysm class review over the past few weeks, trying to glean any hidden information out of the developers' commentary. I am glad to see an emphasis put onto more active defenses and several changes that should take our survivability to the next level. Most of their ideas are pretty simple: Combat Readiness is going to let us survive being focus-fired and force our opponents to choose another target instead. I still have one burning question about rogues in the next expansion, and it's one that I may not be able to answer until the beta testing begins. How powerful is Smoke Bomb?

When first saw it, my initial reaction was surprise. Blizzard was really adding yet another cooldown to my already taxed keybinding setup? However, after reading some of the developer feedback on the ability, I have the feeling that this could be the sleeper ability of Cataclysm. It's got the potential to do something truly unique: no other class can prevent targeting. While I had hoped for a Death Grip clone like Scorpion's Grapple, I think that once we learn to true potency of this spell, we'll be satisfied with our level 85 ability and its usefulness. The question still remains: What will Smoke Bomb be capable of?

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Blizzard previews new Arenas


Old news if you paid attention to our liveblog of the PvP panel at BlizzCon (or if you read through Zach's great analysis of the news we got there), but Blizzard is adding two new Arena spaces to the game, and they've created an official page to show off the new designs and mechanics in each.

The Ring of Valor is a new space in Orgrimmar -- it features an elevator that rises up to a starting position that leaves players in close proximity, and then there is a set of fire obstacles and two moving pillars that can be used to as many tactical advantages that you can come up with. The other space, the Dalaran Sewers, also mixes in a few line-of-sight tricks, including a periodic waterfall that blocks LoS and a raised platform in the middle that can only be reached via two sets of stairs on diagonal sides.

Personally, I think the new mechanics are exciting, but then again I've played maybe four Arena matches in my life -- word I'm getting from most of the Arena players I know is that these changes add a little too much RNG to the maps (considering the all the obstacles are timed, they're not really random, but that's just what I think). What say you, Arena players?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, PvP, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

Scattered Shots: It ain't over till it's over


Scattered Shots occasionally wanders around collecting arrows and bullets when they totally miss the target.

The key to understanding hunters in the beta is to look at the big picture. This is something affecting all classes currently, but I'm going to discuss it in relation to hunters in particular. Beta testing buffs and nerfs ultimately come down to a matter of perspective -- do you see your class changes happening in isolation, for now and forever as long as you and your pet shall live? Or are your particular class changes happening as part of an ever-evolving system involving you, me and everyone else over time?

As you've probably heard, hunters got some nerfs in the latest beta update, and some people are understandably upset about them. I'm not worried about it though -- and now I'll tell you why.

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

Things don't look pretty for PvP Hunters in 8926

The best thing you can say about Hunters in Wrath in this Beta build is that we still have the new Disengage, at least for now. In this build, most of our new PvP tools have had much of their new functionality removed or greatly scaled back in this build.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

Blood Sport: Arena for dummies II

So you want to get into Arenas, eh? You're a bit late coming into the game, but that's alright. Whether you want to be truly competitive or just try Arenas out for fun, maybe even with friends, it helps to have a little bit of knowledge about what you're getting into. Before anything else, however, we'll take a look at some commonly used terms in the Arenas so you can insert some your vent communications so you can sound like a Pro... or at least not get lost in the discussion.

2345
A team comp (composition) consisting of an MS Warrior, a Discipline Priest, a Holy Paladin, an Elemental Shaman, and a Mage, usually Frost-specced.
This is a 2-healer 3-DPS cookie-cutter composition that supposedly originated from the Bloodlust Battlegroup (BG9). Unlike basketball, where the numbers refer to positions (or classes) on the team, 2345 actually refers to the head-rolling-on-keyboard reference of mashing the buttons 2, 3, 4, and 5 repeatedly throughout the match. Roughly, this translates to unloading all offensive abilities based on, or during, the Shaman's Bloodlust / Heroism.

The basic strategy is to assist off the Warrior who applies Mortal Strike on a target and burst damage coming from the Shaman and Mage with Shatter combo often with Nature's Swiftness, Elemental Mastery, and Chain Lightning. The Shaman and Priest also work off offensive dispels, removing shields and immunities, while the Paladin plays main healer. This composition can and does switch targets often throughout the course of a match.

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

Scattered Shots: How do you make sense of all the beta hunter changes?


Is the tauren above about to cut off his own head -- or lunge forward to attack? Perhaps he's just feeling confused about upcoming changes to hunters? Would you, too, like to know just what's going to happen to your class? Well, you can rest easy now, because Scattered Shots has all the answers to your most urgent questions.

The short answer is: You don't; at the moment there is no making sense of all the Wrath hunter changes. We find ourselves at the mid-point of Blizzard's mysterious scheme for hunters, right in-between significant changes already in-progress and vague changes which they've promised or the future. We remain uncertain about which ones are going to make it live, which will be changed again, and which will be removed or added later on. Any analysis we do right now (and indeed much of the analysis we've already done) may or may not be completely out of date in a matter of days or weeks, and if your head hurts from all the ups and downs of turbulent beta-zone theorycrafting, rest assured that Scattered Shots feels your pain.

The long answer is: Even though the jigsaw puzzle isn't complete, it's still a pretty neat picture to look at. Today isn't the day for point-for-point talent analyses plus spreadsheets of sting/shot-damage coefficients -- what a headache that would be. No, today is an opportunity to stand back and look at how all this is beginning to fit together, to see how the path our class is trekking through the wilderness of beta-testing ambiguity solves some of our long-standing problems, gives us more of what makes hunters great, and leaves us with several crucial questions mysteriously unanswered.

What follows, ladies and gentauren, are the X-files of hunter beta mysteries, a fuzzy look through the crystal ball into the future of our class, the thrilling buildup to the surprising twist that comes just before the epic climax of the Hunter Saga season finale and leaves you hanging on the edge of your seat, biting on the tip of your fingernails, and gasping for air in the thrall of cliffhanger suspense.

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Filed under: Hunter, PvP, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: The dev team takes on PvP

Welcome once again to Scattered Shots, WoW Insider's spot for all things Hunter, except for the stuff Big Red Kitty covers. Daniel Whitcomb will be your host today (a day late, for which he apologizes) as David Bowers tries to shake off some extra aggro.

The state of Hunters in PvP is perhaps one of the most debated subjects in WoW PvP. Some call Hunters overpowered for their dispelling Arcane Shot (which is going away in Wrath, to be sent to the non-damaging Tranquilizing Shot), while others point to their low Arena representation and the ease of using line of sight to negate most of their DPS and Abolish Poison to get rid of their main PvP utility as proof that they need buffs. Regardless, even the devs acknowledge that Hunters probably need some help in PvP, and class designer Koraa recently spoke on the subject on the Beta forums. In his post, he covered the problems he sees Hunters having, and how Blizzard will be helping with those moving forward into Wrath.

Unfortunately, his solutions seem confused in and of themselves. They involve giving Hunters more melee attack power (instead of more way to break from melee so they can use their ranged weapon) and a variety of talents scattered around many trees in such a way that it will be difficult for a solid PvP build to get them all. And, as I mentioned in a post yesterday, they still aren't giving pets resilience.

Other Hunters such as Megatf have done an excellent job responding to some of Koraa's points in the thread itself, but I'd like to address and respond to the post myself in this week's column, and see how they stack up to the problems Hunters face in small scale Arena PvP.

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Filed under: Hunter, PvP, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Hunter problems and predictions

Scattered Shots is for hunters. 'Nuff said on that topic. The Freezing Trap David was stuck in last week also wore off a little bit, thanks to Daniel, permitting him to write once more without his fingers snapping off from the cold.

In the wake of the recent confusion regarding Scare Beast, once again some hunters have gotten to complaining a lot about the state of their class. While on one hand, there are certainly problematic issues hunters are having, it's really not fair to say that the class is broken. It isn't -- being a hunter is more fun than its ever been, and it looks like this class will only get better in the future.

Nonetheless, looking at the problems we do have might give us a clearer sense of where we're going in the future. With more and more information coming out about Wrath of the Lich King, and especially since Blizzard started asking for feedback from hunters, it's worthwhile to have a look at what holes do exist for our class, and how future changes might seek to plug them up.

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

Scare Beast Change: Does it make Hunters the new anti-Druid?

In what could be the biggest change in 2.4.2, Hunters are getting a pretty generous buff to the spell Scare Beast. Not only is the range ballooning from 10 yards to 30 yards, but it will have an instant cast time as well. Well it does have limited application in PvE, this will be huge in PvP, for one simple reason: It will work on Druids in forms.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Arena

Scattered Shots: The line of sight between hunters and the Arenas

I'd like to take a break from the hunter leveling goodness we've had the last few weeks in Scattered Shots to take a look at where hunters stand as a class in Arena PvP, and where we might be going in the future. Blizzard developer Kalgan's measurement of how the different classes are faring in the Arena got me thinking quite a bit about the state of hunters -- currently functioning at the lowest place with 50% or less representation in the three Arena types at high rating brackets, followed by mages and shamans, in the 2vs2 Arena especially.

What in the world is causing such a huge discrepancy between hunters and other classes when it comes to high-rating arena representation? When I play in Arenas and Battlegrounds, I don't feel like my class is somehow deficient or underpowered. My team's Arena rating is average -- we're not the best, but not the worst either. When I get beaten, I usually feel like the other team actually played better (or outgeared us, at least), so it's rather hard to see what's so messed up about hunters.

The most obvious issue I can think might be the issue is that of Line of Sight. Hunters obviously have a rough time shooting at things behind sort of obstacle. In battlegrounds there are more wide open spaces, so it seems less of an issue there, but in Arenas it can get fairly annoying. Classes like warlocks and shadowpriests can just put a damage-over-time spell on you, and then hide behind a pillar, while druids can move freely around obstacles to give them plenty of time to heal themselves between your attacks. Warriors and other melee classes can hide for a bit, then get in so close that you can't use your best ranged abilities on them for a few seconds until you can somehow get away.

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Filed under: Hunter, PvP, Arena, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

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