Classes with cooldown resetting abilities probably won't find one of Ghostcrawler's most recent tweet all that surprising. The abilities (Preparation, Readiness, etc.) have been targeted by several nerfs and changes this expansion. Ghostcrawler wrote the following in reply to a tweet that said it may be time to stop adding cooldown resetting abilities to the game if they're constantly going to be nerfed.
@Divine_Namjoo We agree. I'm not sure that design angle has payed out well.
The abilities are particularly problematic in PvP, where players can chain several attacks or crowd control abilities together within a short period of time. What do you think? Do cooldown resetting abilities belong in the game? Are they overpowered?
Dalaran remains one of the shining jewels of Azeroth. Many players make their homes in this glittering city in the sky. Horde and Alliance players alike have traditionally enjoyed the hospitality of the historically neutral Kirin Tor, who were content to cloister themselves to focus on matters of magic and learning.
But Jaina Proudmoore's politics have pulled the Kirin Tor into alignment with the Alliance. The peaceful face of Dalaran is no more. The Kirin Tor have ejected the Sunreavers from its ranks and the city itself, throwing them into the Violet Hold or killing them outright (though some managed to escaped to Silvermoon).
Roleplaying behind this volatile facade is one of WoW's most unique concept guilds, Moon Guard's Magus Senate of Dalaran. Comprised almost entirely of mages and other magic users, the guild turns magic to reflect upon arcane politics and the fireworks of world battle.
While it isn't quite the PvP watercooler post that some of you have been looking for, Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas, the Lead Encounter Designer for the World of Warcraft team, published a blog post earlier today regarding encounter mechanics. It offers excellent insight behind various decisions to nerf or buff bosses. He went on to deliver the reasoning behind hotfixes to Heroic Gara'jal earlier in the expansion and how the Ring of Frost talent for mages made Heroic Will of the Emperor easy.
In addition, Ion covered:
Creative use of ingame mechanics vs exploits
Adjusting the difficulty of encounters
How mages make life difficult for encounter designers
Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mathew McCurley will be your host today.
The portals are gone! Run for your lives! Actually, I don't really care -- that's what mages are for, right? To boss around and hound for hours until they take me to the Undercity? What's that? You want a tip? Oh, come now, it's just pressing one button, and I'm thrifty and mean. Start casting, slave! Hey, it's Queue time!
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: Modeselektor's Tetrispack. Allison Robert offered a challenge to our most beloved columnist last week. Ms. Roberts has chosen a clever and palatable piece with Richard Shindell's On-A-Sea-Of-Fleur-De-Lis. And now we come to my retaliation. My wife recommended our musical selection today -- it just happened to be on the absolute opposite end of the spectrum. How fitting. We love this song, albeit mostly for the intro. Upon your first listen, if you correctly predict the timing and type of shift in the first thirty seconds, serious e-props to you.
To wit, Robert: pan flute > no pan flute. Your move.
Last Week: part two of our beginner's arena guide. We featured the cute ukulele kid who pretty much controls the internet right now. After that, we discussed frequently asked questions from new arena players. We talked about how to spec and what team composition to choose, with two different types of answers (easy and long).
Today, we'll be talking some very basic class strategy. If you know your class inside and out, you'll know what I'm going to say when it comes to your class and arena. You can still learn about other classes here. I've written over 2500 words about individual class perspective inside arenas, that's a lot. Full article after the break.
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. David Byrne and The Talking Heads are a personal favorite. Miles Fisher seems to love them as well. His cover of This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) is homage to one of the most beautiful, striking melodies I've ever heard, and as such, it will be your listening music for the day. (NSFW Warning: The video is a parody/reenactment of American Psycho, so view carefully.)
Last time, we went over the Will of the Forsaken nerf, 100% pet resilience, death knights, and druids. The patch looks to be a very interesting bag of surprises for arena enthusiasts, we're getting major changes to the way some races work, as well as nearly every class is getting a pretty substantial change or two which will probably help them in PvP. We don't normally see patches where most classes are buffed, but this could be one of them.
Read on to find out what's up with hunters, mages, and paladins in Patch 3.3!
Fire mages are ablaze with joy over today's patch 3.3 PTR build, frost mages are a little iffy, and arcane is... pretty much completely untouched! Let's skip over any additional preamble and dig right in. Do note, however, that some of this is so far unconfirmed and comes from datamining. Considering these changes come from the PTR, any of it could change before patch 3.3 goes live.
Improved Scorch: The debuff from this talent no longer stacks, and instead can apply the full effect from a single cast of Scorch.
This is going to make a lot of raiding mages very happy. It essentially normalizes the debuff to match equivalent debuffs, like Improved Shadow Bolt. Streamlining an unnecessarily complicated debuff is a great thing. It'll lift a needless burden from mage DPS. And yes, there are mages getting drunk in celebration this evening. It's somewhat disturbing, really.
Welcome to another installment of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that dares to ask the question: how much mage is too much? Then Arcane Brilliance slaps itself in the face, because that's a stupid question. You can never have too much mage.
So, your mage is leveling nicely. You've wandered out of the starting area and into the wider zone beyond, done a bunch of quests, learned a rudimentary spell rotation (Frostbolt-->Fireball-->Fireball-->Fireball-->Conjure Water-->Drink) and now you've gone and hit level 10. This is a milestone for a number of reasons:
You can now begin doing PvP in an actual battleground against players in your level bracket (as opposed to doing PvP against bored 12-year-olds who think it's fun to run around the starting areas with their level 80 death knights ganking lowbies).
Your first talent point!
Let's discuss the second two of these three things before we move forward.
I don't care for a lot of music that was made in the last decade. The Killers are something of a breather for me. They're one of those bands I'm glad exist. When I'm forced to listen to a terrible radio station, and hearchange your mindsandwiched in between auto-tuned, unoriginal dross -- I'm satisfied there is still music being made that can intrigue. (Brandon Flowers has some epic bard tier 10 shoulders there too)
This is part two of part two of a three part article. Confusing? Join the fun! Surprising Patch 3.3 timing, i.e. wrenches in cogs, is a blast!
In our first installment, we covered pillars changing shape in great detail, and also mentioned a few other tweaks. Our second article dealt with five classes -- paladin, priest, rogue, shaman, and warrior. Warlocks were left out of the 3.2.2 patch notes. This article is going to talk about the other four classes - death knight, druid, hunter, and mage.
Being "TheArenaGuy" here at WoW.com lends to forcing myself to a very balanced perspective on classes. It makes me feel guilty if I understand armor penetration less than spell penetration. Well, actually, it doesn't because ArP is confusing. The main thing I'm trying to say here is that I don't want to write anything that is opinionated without being grounded in something. I don't want to make any mistakes when it comes to reporting to our viewers what changes will impact arena games (and how).
I'm satisfied to critique changes instead of having the responsibility to make them. The developers have very difficult decisions to make with regard to arena balance and we should applaud them for making decisions in the name of equity, even if some of them might be unpopular.
With that, let's get into the juicy, juicy 3.2.2 patch notes.
No, it still doesn't work going into or out of the flag rooms in Warsong Gulch.
Places it does work:
Going into and out of most other doorways. Up stairs. Through a great many smaller objects. Over unusual terrain, far more frequently than it used to. Overall: it works a lot more often than it doesn't work.
See, in case you missed it (as I did until helpful tipster James pointed it out to me this morning), Ghostcrawler dropped by a thread on the Damage Dealing forums (ironically titled "Blink Will Never Be Fixed") to drop this bombshell on us:
"There was a fix to Blink crossing terrain (such as indoor to outdoor) in 3.2.2."
I don't know about you, but I've been vigorously combing the book of Revelation for other signs of the coming apocalypse to be on the lookout for, just so I'm ready. Details after the break.
Welcome to another installment of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that thinks nothing goes better with strudel than a warm ball of fire.
Ok, so last week, we all clicked the "Create Character" button and selected a mage. We picked a race for that mage, gave him or her facial features, a skin tone, a hairstyle, possibly even a lower jaw, and chose a non-stupid name for our fledgling master of the arcane arts. This week, we're backing our new mage out of the garage and taking him for a spin. Interesting fact: mages actually appreciate in value the more mileage you put on them!
The first few levels can be a trying time for a new mage. A couple things you'll notice:
You're wearing a skirt and wielding a stick.
You're a huge wuss.
This can be quite vexing, especially if you're used to another class, possibly one that wears actual armor into battle, doesn't get a nosebleed from standing up too quickly, and isn't the dungeon master for the chess club's Dragonlance campaign. Well get used to it. You may have been on the football team before, sacking the quarterback and dating the head cheerleader, but that was before, when you were a paladin or a warrior or whatever. Now you're Bill Haverchuck. Intelligent and frail, mages are the geeks of the World of Warcraft. We might as well embrace it. We're the nerds, warriors are the jocks, and warlocks are the emo kids. The good news? Someday, they'll all be pumping our gas. At least that's what my guidance counselor always told me. Someday means soon, right?
Anyway, the fact remains that mages are wimps at low levels. Rest easy, though. It gets better.
I know, I know. And before you ask: yes, he is a moron. It's a flaw I've learned to overlook during the years we've known each other. His rationale for not using addons seems to be a combination of mistrust for anything that isn't part of the game right out of the box and a misguided belief that addons somehow equate to a form of cheating.
Now, I'll never convince him he's wrong--even though he clearly is--but I chalk that up to the fact that he is a moron. We both know and accept the fact of his moronitude, acknowledge that after 20 years of friendship, he probably isn't going to become any less infuriating, and move on to other topics.
You see, addons are awesome. I frequently assert to anyone who cares to listen (earning me more than a few strange looks, believe you me) that believing addons are cheats simply because Blizzard didn't program them into the default UI is pretty much the same thing as considering indoor plumbing a cheat because God didn't program it into the Earth when he originally created it. Addons are the community's way of grafting functionality into the game that Blizzard should have included from the start, and that's simply how it is. And yes, I am indirectly rebuking deity for not providing mankind with toilets from the beginning. I mean, how does it make sense that we had to go thousands of years without the option of peeing indoors? That's just poor design. I fully expect to be struck down at any moment as an example to smart-asses everywhere.
Disclaimer: I am in no way asserting that not using addons makes you a moron. I'm certain there are a great many of you out there who prefer not to use addons, and I'm sure you're by and large wonderful, fully functioning human beings. All I'm saying is that my buddy isn't one of those people. Also addons are awesome. That's all I'm saying.
Second up in the class Q&A (Shamans were first) are Mages, those lovable glass cannons. Or are they? The Q&A opens with Ghostcrawler discussing public perception of the class, with a prompt of "a lot has changed since the days when the 'glass cannon' description was applied."
GC describes the mage as "the iconic caster:" deals magic damage from range. They should be versatile enough to do single-target damage, AoE damage, and crowd control, and every group should want one. (I'm noticing a trend here -- GC also described Shamans as a class every group should want. I guess every group should want all classes.)
They like the different feel between the three trees is in a good place, with Frostfire possibly providing a fourth aesthetic. They have decided that "king of AoE" is no longer a good niche to put any class in, so now they're trying to give both AoE and single-target to all DPS specs (with "extra effort" to make sure mages do good AoE).
Each week Arcane Brilliance gets Blizzcon tickets. Yes, Arcane Brilliance always gets 1st place in the queue, and then buys as many tickets as it wants. Arcane Brilliance is just that cool. Also, Arcane Brilliance refuses to give me any. Stupid Arcane Brilliance. Stupid Blizzcon. Stupid Warlocks. Wait...what? Just go with it.
I know, I know. Two weeks ago I wrote about Arcane PvP. Last week, it was Fire. This week...I'm not writing about Frost. Why? Because I'm not ready.Seriously, I haven't played Frost PvP since Arena season 2. This week provided me with pretty much no time to respec and do some research, so Frost PvP will have to wait. Sorry, guys. Next week, I swear!
But don't fret: the PvP train is still rolling. This week, we'll tackle a subject that any Mage spec can benefit from in PvP: Addons. I've been meaning to write about these for a very long time, and since the planned column had to be put on the back burner this week, it seemed like as good a time as any to go for it. In PvP--where each second is a freaking eternity--the right addon (or lack of) can spell the difference between becoming a winner and becoming the vaguely Mage-colored liquid the Death Knight steps in on the way to kill somebody else.