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Posts with tag mastery-system

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

Cataclysm Beta: Spec masteries

The latest beta build (12759) included the new mastery system. In addition to the specializations gained when you choose your spec, you also gain access to a mastery bonus specific to your spec. Mastery is a skill that can be trained at level 78, at which point you unlock your mastery bonus and can make use of the mastery rating stat on gear.

The mastery stat will increase the bonus you receive from your spec's mastery (but not the other specialization bonuses). Continue reading after the cut for a the mastery bonuses for every class and spec.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

Encrypted Text: Why good rogues take bad talents

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 discuss the effect of utility talents on a rogue's psyche.

If you've been reading my column regularly, you know that DPS should be the main focus of any raiding rogue. As a "pure" DPS class, we're really required to do amazing DPS or risk being sidelined for more useful classes. We're designed around the concept of maximizing DPS, and using spreadsheets and theorycrafting has become a core part of our class culture. I love putting my new gear upgrades into one of Aldriana's sheets and figuring out how to flex my gems and balance various stat caps. I know that there are a ton of rogues who feel the same way.

So why are rogues in the Cataclysm beta wasting talent points on Improved Gouge and Blade Twisting then? Why has the development team chocked our talent trees so full of fluff that we're forced to pick up junk talents just to progress down our trees? We don't need talents like Reinforced Leather if our healers are doing their jobs, and why make raiders pick up PvP talents like Improved Kick? Does this mean that Blizzard failed when trying to streamline the talent trees? Actually, it means exactly the opposite: they've succeeded in every possible way.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Gameplanet interviews Cory Stockton and Greg Street

In the flood of Cataclysm news that went live recently, Gameplanet got the chance to sit down with WoW's Lead Content Designer and Lead Systems Designer (you'll know them better as Cory Stockton and Greg Street, a.k.a. Ghostcrawler) and discussed a number of subjects likely to be affected by the expansion. Both interviews are great, and I've highlighted a few points past the cut if you're trying to avoid spoilers (in which case I must respectfully question your choice of website reading material).

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Filed under: News items, Interviews, Cataclysm

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

Cataclysm Leak: Mastery formulas

Update: The Nihilum Wiki is currently password-protected, but the mastery information is available here.

The Nihilum Wiki has been making some great discoveries in the Cataclysm alpha client files, including new UI elements, factions, and titles, but here's some of what we know you really like: math. They've broken down how each talent point you spend in a tree will bolster your spec's three mastery bonuses.

Brief summary for those who haven't been following: each talent point you spend in your "main" tree will give you three separate bonuses that benefit your class, scaling up as you get more points. The first two are basic bonuses like spell power or melee haste, while the third is one specific to your class, such as a chance for your healing spells to splash to nearby targets.

Formulas after the break.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

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

Cataclysm Class Changes: Discipline and holy priest analysis

By now I'm sure you have read the priest class preview for Cataclysm and, assuming that you have any feelings toward the priest class, felt a multitude of emotions toward it. Whether you stayed up late with the rest of us last night or swallowed it all this morning, the announcements are certainly shocking. I don't think anyone expected us to be cloth-wearing death knights in the next expansion. I will get to that later, though. If you didn't already guess from the title above, I will be providing a full assessment of the class preview for healing priests.

Having already browsed at reactions on the forums, I want to assure you that I am going to stay mostly level-headed with my review. I of course do this because I'm in no way bitter about waiting 15 hours for Blizzard to give me a winky-face at 2:58 a.m. EST, saying it's still the 7th of April in Anaheim, California. Anyway, whatever your feelings on the preview have been so far, hit the jump and I promise I won't spare you any variety of perspective.

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Filed under: Priest, 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

Updates and clarifications on the mastery system

We posted yesterday about some of the aspects of the mastery system, a new feature in Cataclysm that will allow players to obtain bonuses to whatever talent tree they choose to follow. Today Eyonix answered a few questions to clarify the system and how it will work with regards to specific classes and abilities:
  • 1. 28/28/20 spec. Does mastery on gear affect both highest trees or give no benefit at all?
  • 2. How are ferals and Dks as tanks working with mastery system in place? Are they to care about it for threat or do they have separate bonuses.
  • 3. How are the non-pure classes going to be balanced against those with a full 76 point passive benefit? Balance, enhancement(not so much), shadow, feral, ele, resto, holy and Ret all have this issue.
  • 4. Hybrids who use spells not improved by their spec on occasion such as heals or the extra lava burst are feeling that their non-specced spells are going to be extremely weak as compared to now.
Check out the answers after the break!

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Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

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