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Posts with tag mana-regen

Spiritual Guidance: Shadowfiends retire, more priest talent news from Mists beta

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers the healing side of things for discipline and holy priests. She also writes for LearnToRaid.com and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

Do you want to know the greatest and most amazing new thing priests are getting in Mists of Pandaria? It's a squid. Well, it could be an octopus, but I think it's a squid. It's called a Mindbender, and it's our new level 45 talent. The Mindbender is a flying, shadowy squid that serves as an improved version of (read: replacement for) our old pal, Shadowfiend. Our new squid friend does double the damage of Shadowfiend and thus returns twice as much mana. I can only assume the reason he can do this is because he latches onto the heads of our enemies and sucks out their brains, sort of like a Mind Flayer, the squid-faced monsters from Dungeons and Dragons with telekinetic powers. Mindbender, Mind Flayer ... That's right, Blizzard, I'm on to you.

Anyway, I imagine Squiddy will become the prime choice for healing priests in MoP because 1.) mana is mana, and 2.) the other level 45 talents are a bit lackluster. That will unfortunately mean leaving Shadowfiend at home, which is awfully sad, but I've painted up a scenario in my head where Shadowfiend tells me, "Look, Dawn, we've been raiding together for a few years now, and it's about time that I caught up on all the prime time television I've missed. There's Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and I've still only seen one episode of Game of Thrones. I need a break."

"OK, Shadowfiend," I say to it, "you can stay home this expansion."

"Thanks, dollface," it responds with Don Draper-esque charm and winks an eye at me I never knew it had.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Raid Rx: A new balance for intellect and spirit in Mists of Pandaria

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

One of the proposed revamps coming in Mists of Pandaria is the way intellect and spirit interact with each other in regards to healers. For the new healer, understanding the current formula for mana regen can be a little daunting. To make it really easy, let's just say that it plays off both your spirit and your intellect. However, your intellect has a gradually increasing impact on how much mana you gain back in combat situations as your gear improves.

It appears that will no longer be the case heading into the next expansion. Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer) helped shed some light on the issue in a blue post earlier in the week.

The highlights?
  • Intellect becomes a sheer throughput stat
  • Spirit controls the rate of mana regen
  • Mana pools will remain fixed

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raid Rx (Raid Healing), Mists of Pandaria

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

Spiritual Guidance: On the subject of Shadow Word: Death

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Every Wednesday, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen provides stellar, thoughtful advice ... when not sabotaged by Tyler Caraway.

Over the past few weeks here at Spiritual Guidance, we've been talking a bit about the simple mechanics of shadow priests, ultimately exposing them as anything but simple. In April, I put the inner workings of shadow priest mastery on display, spending over a thousand words to explain a concept that some other specs can wrap up in a few sentences. Last week, we talked about shadow priest spell haste and DOT mechanics, something so complex that even I messed up a bit when explaining.

Today, we're giving Shadow Word: Death the same treatment. No other single spell generates so many questions in the shadow priest community, because no other single spell has so many complicating modifiers. You can improve it through three different talents and two different glyphs. The spell's effect changes depending on whether the target's health is above or below 25%. And, if that wasn't enough, the effect also changes depending on whether the target dies as a result of your SW:D cast.

Oh, and unlike all your other spells, Shadow Word: Death can kill you. That seems important to work in there somehow.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: The ups and downs of the 4.0.1 shadow priest

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Your shadow-specced host Fox Van Allen encourages you to enjoy this, the Wednesday shadow version of Spiritual Guidance, for the world may end tomorrow night when he and Dawn Moore meet in person for the first time. Matter and anti-matter will collide, but with what result -- complete annihilation ... or karaoke?

For a few brief hours on Oct. 12, when patch 4.0.1 first went live, shadow priests were gods.

That's what it felt like, anyway. It was an interesting aligning of the planets: Shadow priests (and really, most spellcasting classes) were churning out impressive DPS numbers. Melee classes were lagging far behind, underpowered. Such imbalance was destined to be short lived, but it was damn nice while it lasted.

Patch 4.0.1 was -- and still is -- an unpolished work in progress. There's still a lot of rebalancing going on, and that often means, unfortunately, getting hit with nerfs. We got hit with a couple of them, and they both concern Shadow Word: Death. We'll talk about that -- and about the reality of 4.0.1 mana regen -- just beneath the fold.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Cataclysm

Totem Talk: Elemental mana management for Cataclysm


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Get some Fulmination with your Lightning Bolts! Sort the shocks from the flames with Totem Talk: Elemental, brought to you by Sarah Nichol, otherwise known as Pewter from The 'mental Shaman and the Obscurecast, and founding member of TotemSpot.
Before I get stuck in this week, I'd like to take a moment to share some sad news -- Zamir has taken the decision to discontinue his elemental DPS spreadsheed, ZAP!, which has been invaluable for many of us for the past year. Zamir has been something of a catalyst for the elemental theorycrafting and blogging community, so please send him some good vibes. You can still find Zamir at his Planet of the Hats blog, and he is also involved in running TotemSpot. We salute you, Zamir! (No need to panic, though, there are several projects in the works to fill the void.)

Last time, I discussed what the impending patch 4.0.1 meant for my beloved class. The original plan for this week involved heroics, sims and walls of numbers, but the issues with EU premades have rendered that hope a distant dream. Eleven-day queue, I bite my thumb at thee.

As for changes to the class, well, every time I see a changelog, I scan for shaman blue and feel a faint twinge of disappointment. Our totems have had some minor edits, such as a reduced cooldown from 30 seconds to 20 seconds for Stoneclaw Totem and a needed mana cost change from 7 percent base mana to 5 percent base mana for Searing Totem. Does this mean elemental is largely finished, or are we in store for some focused attention in future builds? A lot can change in two months, but with patch 4.0.1 on the horizon, I think our spec is likely to remain static for now. So this week, I'm taking a quick look at mana management, something that many of us have not worried about since Naxxramas.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm

Spiritual Guidance: Has mana regen become collateral damage in patch 4.0.1?

Spiritual Guidance's shadow-specced Wednesday correspondant Fox Van Allen recently got his performance evaluation here at WoW Insider, and it wasn't pretty. While his ability to recall distant pop culture references and melt faces has been deemed "adequate," his people skills "need improvement." Action item: "Stop ganking Dawn Moore in the hallways." Salary action taken: "Convert salary from U.S. dollars to old America Online CDs."

If you're a regular reader of WoW Insider, you may have noticed an interesting trend about patch 4.0.1 and the upcoming class changes it brings: Almost everyone's freaking out. It's bad enough that almost every other class columnist on here is telling it's readers not to panic. It's as if we're running some kind of Douglas Adams convention around here.

You won't hear all that from me, though. And it's not just because I'm too cool for books. It's because shadow priests aren't panicking, for the most part. There are disappointments here and there -- mostly regarding the mastery mechanic and the (currently) low value of the mastery stat -- but otherwise, things are pretty decent in this neck of the woods. So decent, in fact, that there's someone complaining on the beta forums that shadow priests are probably so overpowered because Blizzard reps all play shadow priests. (I LOLed.)

But that's not to say we don't have our concerns. My latest concern is mana regen. While our damage has actually been buffed in some of the latest beta patches (most recently, Dark Archangel has been buffed from 3 percent per stack up to 4 percent), our mana regen continues to get hit with nerfs. Granted, Blizzard is really trying to aim for healers, but with most holy and disc nerfs to regen affecting our abilities too, are shadow priests becoming collateral damage?

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Cataclysm

Spiritual Guidance: Let's talk about mana, baby

While Mr. Van Allen is getting his waistcoat pressed, Dawn Moore presents her weekly book club Spiritual Guidance, a healing guide for priests. Here you can expect some optimism, some cynicism and absolutely no Regency period clothing.

So, supposedly mana is going to be an issue for healers in Cataclysm. It's the word on the street, ya know? Everyone is talking about how we're not going to be able to spam this or that, and that we'll need to make better decisions with our spell selection. "Triage" is this year's vocabulary word. That old, busted spam style of healing is out, and the new "do damage, get mana" mechanic is supposed to be the new hotness. Of course, we priests are bound to be the superstars* of the next expansion; it's all pretty exciting, don't you think? Well, maybe not everyone feels that way, but that's why we have cake and counseling. Dawn motions to the door behind her.

So, in the short time I've written for WoW.com, I've noticed that the mana question is one that continually comes up. Is mana a problem? Is it not a problem? It seems like there isn't a single satisfactory answer I can give to everyone, but knowing mana might be a hurdle in the future for all of us, I figured now would be a good time to look back and ahead. So, let's talk about mana.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for spirit and MP5

One of the challenges for many novice level healing druids and priests is figuring out what provided more mana: X MP5 (which stands for mana per 5 seconds) or Y spirit. However, in Eyonix's post about Cataclysm stat changes, MP5 will be completely removed from the game. Healing paladins and shamans normally relied on slight amounts of MP5 on their gear. Instead, their gear will now pack spirit which will affect their mana gains.

Say again?

Yes, you heard right. MP5 is being removed. It will be gone. Fist pumps and high fives all around!

In any case, when the next expansion comes around, everyone will need to relearn the entire mana regeneration mechanic. Thankfully, it should be much easier this time around. Spirit is the main stat which will contribute to mana regeneration since intellect provides spell \power. It is too early to provide any advice or guides since we can't actually see the changes in action just yet, but the basic idea is that healers will be stacking a combination of intellect and spirit to increase healing throughput as well as mana regeneration.

Lastly, for the druids and shamans:

Eyonix
If you are a Balance druid or Elemental shaman:
  • You will still share gear with Restoration druids and shaman.
  • Your gear will have Spirit on it. It won't have Hit on it.
  • You will have a talent that converts Spirit to Hit. We will adjust talents accordingly so that you want about as much Spirit as, say, a warlock wants Hit.
  • Hit on rings and other such gear will still benefit you.
  • Raid buffs will no longer boost Spirit, so you shouldn't find yourself unexpectedly over the Hit cap because of buffs.

I wonder if this means Prayer of Spirit will be removed. All in all, I'm very excited about the regeneration changes. It'll make things much easier for players to understand (like me)!

Anyway, the line of thinking here regarding the removal of raid spirit buffs is this: Since spirit will be providing elemental shamans and Balance druids with hit due to a talent conversion, any raid buffs which boost spirit will presumable bump their hit and put them over the hit cap which isn't a good thing since any surplus points will be considered wasted.


World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Cataclysm

Replenishment's wild ride

Ah, Replenishment. No buff might be more welcomed in raids and reviled in theorycrafting. Ever since Ghostcrawler told us it was a necessary buff earlier this year, Blizzard seems to have twirled it around and around, taunting us like the proverbial carrot on a stick. It's been passed out to many classes, buffed a few times, nerfed even more (that Arena nerf was particularly strange), and in patch 3.2, soon headed to the PTR, it's getting nerfed again, even while MP5 (mana per five seconds) is getting a boost. What's the deal?

Merlot, the Shadow Priest behind the Misery blog, has a good breakdown of just why Blizzard is so schizo with Replenishment. The whole point of the buff was to have Blizzard have some control over mana during fights -- instead of worrying about each class' mana separately, they'd just have this buff that gave mana like a big spigot, which they could then control as they saw fit. But players are so different across the board that putting them all under one big buff umbrella hasn't worked so well: a buff to Replenishment helps some and hurts others, and a nerf does the same, meaning Blizzard is flipping back and forth on turning the spigot on or off nearly every patch.

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Filed under: Paladin, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Buffs

Patch 3.2 Druid changes


3.2 approaches! Sort of. The PTR itself isn't up yet (at least, not as I write this), but nonetheless, 3.2 approaches on little cat feet.

I'm going to examine the 3.2 PTR patch notes line by relevant line, just because there are several changes that impact Druids while not being class-specific. If you want a quick summary without being massively spoiled, Balance is getting a huge and welcome change to the functionality of Eclipse, Cats are getting bonked by the nerfbat, and PvP-Restos are really getting bonked by the nerfbat. Bears, well...not much is going to happen to bears this patch, which is a little demoralizing given the improvements being made to Pally tanks, but that's OK. We still have our, uh, amazing Tier 8 set bonuses and...um...the best -- sort of -- tanking cooldowns in, uh, the...uh...

...Oh, screw it, just stack the hell out of stamina and pray to the gods of RNG if your guild's dumb enough to try Ulduar on hard-mode. Congratulations; you have now done all you can possibly do to prepare yourself for modern tanking.

Sad lolbare is sad. But cough syrup for everybody! Is nise! Now let's take a look:

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items

Patch 3.2: Replenishment nerfed, MP5 buffed

Mana regeneration was a much-discussed area for change in patch 3.1, but when the patch went live, it turned out the changes hadn't been all that massive; most healers are still not putting a high premium on regen stats or watching their mana bars too closely, fights like Vezax excluded.

A big part of the reason why mana regen has been so extreme in Wrath is Replenishment; as of right now, any of five DPS specs (Shadow Priest, Survival Hunter, Retribution Paladin, Frost Mage, and Destruction Warlock) will provide the ten lowest people in your raid 0.25% of their maximum mana per second. Among other things, this makes Intellect a prime regen stat.

Well, Replenishment is getting a bit of a nerf in patch 3.2: instead of 0.25% max mana per second, it'll be 1% maximum mana over five seconds. That's a 20% nerf. This applies to all sources of Replenishment. At the same time, all items with MP5 on them are having the MP5 buffed by about 25%. These two changes will probably even out for the MP5-based healers (Paladin and Shaman), while making them value MP5 gear a bit more. Druids and Priests will feel a regeneration nerf, but I think they can afford it.


Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Patches, News items

Insider Trader: All about flasks in 3.1


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Patch 3.1, for all of its grand changes, has also dedicated itself to imposing smaller tweaks aimed at making some mechanics more convenient, logical, and fair.

The application of applying a glyph is one of the latest in a line of positive changes that we'll be seeing on patch day. While the old (current) process is an annoying charming ritual, the new method is better for the Azerothian on the go.

Currently, applying a glyph requires that the player be standing in front of a Lexicon of Power, usually found in main cities. With patch 3.1, this will change, and we will be able to re-glyph at will.

This means that if you asked your buddy to hook you up for the raid that night, and it arrives in the mail a few minutes before go time, you can just switch it in without having to hearth and be re-summoned. Heck, I'll just be happy to be able to do it from the mailbox rather than having to ride through the city!

While some may complain that this makes the process less special, it might be wise to consider the glyphing change that is accompanying dual specs. Once we glyph our main and off-spec, we will not need to glyph again unless we change our minds on which glyph we want, or spec to our third spec.

The only hitch is that you cannot switch them during combat, in Arenas, or in Battlegrounds once the fight has started, which sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

Another major, and welcome change, relates to flasks, which brings us to our topic of the week. I will be addressing the new mechanics of flask creation, and discussing the benefits of the new system.

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Filed under: Alchemy, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Raiding, Buffs, Insider Trader (Professions), Inscription

GC: If you're OOM, tell your guildies to get out of the fire

Ghostcrawler did battle with the forumites this weekend, and the topic of discussion was the recent mana changes. Players are saying that the changes (including the BoW and Mana Spring change last week) are basically forcing them to bring more healers along to larger raids, and GC in return expounds on the raid balance that Blizzard is aiming for lately. Interestingly, it's not the 5 healers / 5 tanks / 15 DPS that you might think it would be -- Ghostcrawler says that if they aimed for that makeup, bringing more healers would often make the fights inconsequential.

He goes on to say that the way the fights are designed, you aren't supposed to run out of mana, as long as you're dodging the AoE and are geared up correctly. Making mistakes in gameplay digs into your mana reserves, and so when Blizzard nerfs mana regen, they aren't just trying to make things harder, they're trying to take away that extra breathing room that you get around errors. They don't want healers just healing through damage -- they want people trying to avoid it in the first place.

And, if guildies won't get out of the fire, and your healers keep running out of mana because of it, it's time to weed out the ranks a bit. Finally, GC adds what we've heard before: those looking for a tough battle in Ulduar likely won't find it right away -- the instance is designed to be only a little harder than Naxx. But the hard modes are where the difficulty will really ramp up. If short, says GC, if you don't have enough mana on the easy modes, it's not Blizzard's design: it's the way you and your guildies are geared and playing.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Classes

Insider Trader: Patch 3.1, profits and preparation

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Patch 3.1 is looming ever closer, and things are about to change in a big way. Today I'll be discussing how the patch is going to affect your professions, and how you can take advantage of this by maximizing your profits on the Auction House.

Players have become increasingly bored with raiding because the content that was released with the expansion pack, Wrath of the Lich King, was too quickly conquered. Across the board, players are showing up to raids on an inconsistent basis, and many people now spend much of their time on the Public Test Realm playing through Ulduar.

This has contributed to falling prices on the Auction House for raiding materials and consumables, because not only have many people stopped raiding, many others have decided to save their gold and raid without being buffed to the gills.

What should you do in these tight times? Aside from the things for which you are currently saving, the patch will bring with it a 1000g bill to learn how to dual spec, costs to fund raid wipes, bring new consumables, and enchant and gem new gear.

By learning what to sell and purchase and when, you can minimize your post-patch costs and make some gold while you're at it.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Fishing, Mining, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Cooking, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, First Aid, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Economy, Jewelcrafting, Features, Raiding, Guides, Making money, Buffs, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions), Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

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