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Posts with tag mastery-stat

The Light and How to Swing It: No more avoidance caps


Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Please send screenshots as well as any comments to my email at gregg@wow.com. Oh, and I still love the Grand Crusader proc graphics even though they're unrelated to today's article.

One thing that we've been taught as tanks throughout most of World of Warcraft is that you had to be capped at something in order to not be insta-killed by bosses. Back when I started playing, this was referred to as reaching uncrushable. You would have to stack up 102.4 percent avoidance in order to push the dreaded crushing blows off of the boss's list of possible attacks he could hit you with. This also meant that all incoming hits were avoided or mitigated in some way, shape or form. That primary form was blocks, and abilities like Shield Block and Holy Shield at that time were custom tailored to this environment.

With the release of Wrath of the Lich King, crushing blows were deemed a thing of the past and bosses would no longer be employing them against tanks. However, we quickly had a new cap to deal with instead of that called the defense cap, aka reaching uncrittable. This meant accumulating 540 defense skill against raid bosses in order to remove bosses of being able to hit us with a critical melee attack. In early raiding tiers, this was a constant balance between gems, enchants and trinkets, as each piece of gear we accumulated could change how the scales tipped.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Spiritual Guidance: What few shadow priest highlights BlizzCon 2010 could scrape together

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Even weeks when your shadowy messiah, Fox Van Allen, is nursing one heck of a headache -- along with, presumably, everyone else who's still suffering from the non-stop party atmosphere of BlizzCon 2010.

Let's start by saying that BlizzCon 2010 was an absolute blast. I met most of the WoW Insider crew, got to smell Mike Sacco's hair yet again, got some amazing swag and got to eat at Jack in the Box no less than five times. The best part, though, was probably meeting Orkchop (pictured above with WoW Insider's moonkin blogger Tyler Caraway, who can only aspire to be as amazing as Orkchop). The dude is an internet celebrity. For real.

But enough about how awesome Orkchop is. Let's talk shadow priests, and how awesome they are.

Now, I'm not good at sugar-coating things, so I'll just come out with it: BlizzCon 2010 was pretty disappointing in terms of World of Warcraft-related content. The biggest news out of the convention was the new loading screen for Cataclysm. Really. That was the big news. Seriously. And it's just a palette-shifted version of the Sindragosa loading screen.

Despite the lack of earth-shattering news, I made sure to take note of all the shadow priest action. There wasn't a heck of a lot of it, but what little ground was covered was hugely important to the future of the spec. The good, the bad and the non-answers -- we'll go over it all after the break.

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

Totem Talk: Elemental stats and reforging principles in 4.0.1


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.

The lead-up to Cataclysm represents an ideal opportunity to take the time to get re-acquainted with with the new principles around which a class revolves, without the pressures of normal progression raiding or leveling. I've always felt that the puzzle of perfecting a character can be absorbing even if you are not particularly inclined toward numbers and spreadsheets. Knowing the principles also makes it easier to adapt the common knowledge to your personal playstyle and circumstances. The new 31-point talent trees and three-tier glyph system make it much harder to go wrong with a basic spec these days, with glyphs so easy to swap in and swap out. I've found the past few weeks have been stressful, but there has been a wonderful sense of freedom in many of the discussions I've participated in.

In case you can't tell, my maudlin draenei is being supplanted by a very cheerful dwarf shaman with a much more optimistic persona! Despite my grumpiness about Panquakes of Doom, and the lack of aesthetic pay-off for Fulmination, despite the bugs with Reincarnation and the expected stealth nerf of the elemental T10 two-piece bonus, I'm really enjoying this tremor phase of the Cataclysm buildup. The more I investigate and test things, the more I grow to like them. Even Earthquake is starting to look good, albeit in a chocolate chunk kind of way.

Right, I was talking about shaman wasn't I? Ah yes. So there's a lot to cover this week, from reforging, to haste and mastery, to dots and totems and damage modifiers. It seems that the devil is in the details.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution in 4.0.1


With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and soon, an entire flight of black dragons. Please send screenshots as well as any comments to gregg@wow.com.

A couple weeks back, I covered the changes to protection for the 4.0.1 pre-Cataclysm patch that usually goes out a month(ish) or so before release. The point of those patches is so that everyone can play with the new class features and get everything figured out before the chaos that is the actual expansion release. Now it's time to do the same sort of coverage for ret pallies. If you haven't been following the changes thus far, it's going to look odd. There are new class concepts and skill/buff consolidations.

First off, picking your spec now has a lot more meaning from the get-go. You receive most of the passive buffs that you'd have to spend 40 talent points getting in the past for free at level 10 that are responsible for making your chosen spec usable. As an example, you get Sheath of Light, Two-Handed Weapon Specialization and Judgements of the Bold. That provides your attack power-to-spellpower conversion, your weapon damage bonus and your mana regeneration. All of this just for picking the spec. In addition, you get a new attack called Templar's Verdict that we'll get into later.

First off, let's talk about the biggest change to our class in the expansion: holy power.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Arcane Brilliance: Great balls of fire

It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that asks the question: Which balls are the best? The answer, of course, is also provided by Arcane Brilliance: balls of fire. Balls of fire are the best. Wait, what kind of balls were you thinking about? That's pretty gross. But Arcane Brilliance likes where your head is.

When the Cataclysm class previews were announced by Blizzard lo those many months ago, my initial reactions were a decidedly mixed bag.

Arcane scared the crap out of me. Mana Adept? It took several weeks and many hours of therapy before I could envision any sort of scenario in which that idea didn't sound like a terrible, terrible idea.

Frost struck me as kind of meh. I gradually became more excited after I thought about it for a while, but Deathfrost and Wall of Fog simply weren't all that thrilling as initial concepts.

Fire, on the other hand, sounded awesome.

A giant ball of conjured flame that travels along a set path, sending out tendrils of destruction that incinerate anything in its path? Sexy.

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

Spiritual Guidance: Ghostly aspects of our shadowy hatepower


Every Wednesday, Fox Van Allen climbs atop the Shandor Building to summon Vinz Clortho, the keymaster, and Zuul, the gatekeeper. Once gathered, all three sit down at a computer keyboard and take control of Spiritual Guidance. Subcreatures! Fox the Van Allen, Van Allen the destructor, Foxus Van Allenarian, the traveler has come. Choose and perish.

My not-so-gentle Spiritual Guidance readers, I have a confession to make. I'm filled with hate.

I hate cats. I hate Hummel figurines. I hate trifling gnome Wilfred Fizzlebang. I hate the taste of whatever brand ketchup they use at McDonalds. Lots and lots of hate. Oh, if only there were a way to channel this magnificent ... shadowy hatepower.

Ask and ye shall receive, my brethren! Not from me, mind you -- from Blizzard. (I mostly just give out shadow priesting knowledge with the occasional nod to pop culture.)
This week, Spiritual Guidance is tackling the changes to the shadow priest spec that currently exist within the Cataclysm alpha. If you're adamant on being surprised and don't want anything spoiled, I recommend you stop reading now and instead invest your time in the following YouTube video. I feel it provides a respectable alternative.

But if you want to take your loathing for the formulaic CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men and channel it into a spiritual agent of death, and you just can't wait until later this year to find out how ... follow me past the break.

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

Offspec gear and Cataclysm raiding

One of the things I haven't seen discussed much concerning the 10-man/25-man split in Cataclysm is how hybrid players are going to gear offspecs.

This is the situation I'm in, and I suspect it's one that a lot of other hybrid players would recognize
; I play restoration in most guild 25-man and 10-man raids, but I tank just about everything else. On easier content, or on nights when we have too many healers show up, it's not unusual for a few people to haul out their DPS sets and go DPS for the evening.

As such, hybrid players (and particularly hybrids who have dual-specced into a role requiring a completely different set of gear) have an interest in keeping their offspec set up to date, and the best way to do this has typically been through 10-man raids where there's not much gear competition. I got 3 Sanctified feral pieces from heroic 10-man ICC, and I'm still using a few ToGC-10 pieces to tank as well. When you only have 10 players in a raid, the number of players angling for a given piece is necessarily small, and items go to offspec quickly.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Leak: Spec-specific mastery bonus info revealed


With the release of the Friends and Family Alpha version of Cataclysm, information about the new expansion is spilling forth like water from a broken dam. MMO-Champion's latest leak concerns the new mastery system, the bonus Blizzard is implementing to encourage players to deep dive into their spec and to wear their class-specific gear.

Standard spoiler alert -- more details and links after the break.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

Lichborne: Rune cooldowns, tank mastery, and Cataclysm

The devs have been speaking a little a bit about the new mastery system coming with Cataclysm, and while they've kept most of the specific numbers vague, there's been a surprising amount of information one can read between the lines about death knights. Of course, it started with the frost death knight stats. The stats were solidly DPS oriented, providing damage, haste, and runic power generation. This lead to two major concerns: What would frost tanks do for mastery? And for that matter, even DPS don't need runic power generation that much, considering we can only use so many frost strikes (or death coils for other specs) before we need to spend our runes anyway.

The Blues actually gave answers to these questions, answers that managed to both answer the question and provide a whole new level of speculation and questioning. On the question of the new runic power bonus, Ghostcrawler and Eyonix revealed that death knights would find their rotation less constrained by the global cool down and rune cool downs, and that changes such as that would make the runic power generation more desirable. On the tank front, they're actually being deliberately coy about what they have planned for death knight tanks, but they at least seem to know the issue's on the table.

This week, I figure it might fun to take a look at these statements and mull over some possible ways they might implement them.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for resto shaman

Cataclysm is right around the corner, and with it comes sweeping change for every class whether it is talents or itemization. Restoration shaman are no exception to the rule and several of the changes will affect us and how we choose gear. Take some time to read through all the stat and system changes happening, but for right now lets talk about how this affects restoration shaman.

Here's the list of things we need to be aware of:
  • MP/5: Gone
  • Spirit: Now the regen stat of choice for all healers, gear with spirit is specifically healer gear.
  • Spell Power: Gone from all items except for weapons, marking specific weapons as caster items.
  • Intellect : Spell power is now derived from intellect, making this stat very important
  • Haste: Still around.
  • Critical Strike Rating: Still around.
  • Spell Ranks: Gone, Spells will now grow with you as you level. Levels at which you can learn spells will be changing.
  • Mastery: This is a specialization stat found on gear. Mastery allows for you to be better at your defined role
  • Existing gear: Your existing gear will be updated to fall in line with these changes before Cataclysm is released
What does this mean for us exactly? More about that after the break.

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Filed under: Shaman, Cataclysm

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for mages

I have to say, there's an awful lot in the just-announced Cataclysm stat and system changes to take in. But if you're anything like me, you're able to cope with that dense heap of information by narrowing your focus to what's really important: what does all this mean for mages?

Here's the short list of specific things we need to be aware of:
  • Stamina - Like all clothies, we'll be seeing a bunch more of it on our gear. The aim is to have our max health be similar to that of plate-wearing classes.
  • Spirit - We won't need it anymore. It'll be a healer-only stat, and we'll be getting our mana regen some other way. In other news, there is a God.
  • Intellect - Now grants spellpower, but will provide less mana than it does now. I assume this is to balance out our mana pools with all that extra intellect we'll be seeing on all our gear.
  • Spellpower - Gone from most gear, the only place we'll now be seing straight-up spellpower that isn't tied directly to intellect will be on weapons, and only to distinguish caster weapons from melee weapons.
  • Haste - Still around.
  • Critical Strike Rating - Still around.
  • MP5 - Gone.
  • Spell Ranks - Gone. Every spell will now have only one rank and will scale with level. The levels at which we learn many of them will change, to fill in the gaps.
  • Mastery - New stat that will be tied directly to your talents. Supposedly, no matter your spec or class, getting more of this will always, always make you better at whatever it is that you're best at. For me, this means getting more mastery will make my mage incrementally better at making fun of warlocks.
  • Existing gear - All of it will change to reflect this new statistical system, but we're being assured that the gear we have now will still be good for us. I have concerns about this, though.
Brief (as brief as you're going to get with me, anyway) analysis after the break.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Encrypted Text: Patch 3.2.2 updates and BlizzCon news

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 the Rogue news from Blizzcon and the latest PTR build.

Due to a bit of luck on BlizzCon ticket day, I was able to score a pair of tickets for one of this year's most desired events. I had a great time at the WoW.com reader meetup, and getting the opportunity to play as both a Goblin and Worgen Rogue really highlighted the weekend for me. I'm also excited at how Diablo III and Starcraft II are coming along; I am eagerly awaiting their releases.

However, it wasn't all fun and games. I had serious business to attend to, I had to use this opportunity to spend time with the WoW developers and ask some of the more important questions facing Rogues today. During the 2nd Class Discussion Panel, I got the opportunity to ask Ghostcrawler one question in front of the crowd. What'd I ask? About Vanish, of course! As expected, there's no timeline for a possible fix, but they don't want us to have to wait until Cataclysm for our most unique defense cooldown to provide more reliable protection.

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Filed under: Rogue, Classes, Interviews, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Cataclysm

BlizzCon 2009: Mastery system and talent trees

Following their comments during yesterday's Class/Items/Professions panel, the Game Systems team explained the mysterious "mastery" system in the Systems panel today.

Looking at talent trees for all classes, the Systems team felt that players were spending too many points on things like flat damage or healing boosts; talents like Cruelty or Fire and Brimstone are uninteresting but necessary for players due to the bonuses they provide. On top of that, talent trees are bloated with all kinds of talents that are trying to do three things at once, which makes for confusion among players who might not be at the top of the min-maxing game.

What the Systems team wanted to do was make it possible for players to only use their points on "fun" talents -- ones like Body and Soul, Lightning Overload, or Juggernaut -- and make the passive bonuses that used to be in talents your reward for investing points into a tree.

Examples were given for Rogues. A Combat Rogue might see his Mastery bonuses include passive increases to melee damage, hit chance, and armor penetration as he moves down the tree, whereas a Subtlety Rogue might see increases to melee damage, melee haste, and energy regen.

But how does the new Mastery stat tie into this? Ghostcrawler says that the Mastery stat on gear will increase the bonuses you receive from the tree into which you've invested the most talent points. It'll also have other passive bonuses depending on your class and spec -- for example, Mastery will lower the cooldowns on Ret paladin abilities.

This seems like a fantastic change for everyone, and it makes me incredibly excited to think about the fun and interesting talents that'll replace my myriad of spell damage boosting talents. Can't wait for the beta!



BlizzCon 2009 is here! WoW.com has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out WoW.com's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!

Filed under: BlizzCon, Cataclysm

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