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Posts with tag mists-of-pandaria-talents

Lichborne: Reviewing death knight talents for patch 5.4

Lichborne Reviewing death knight talents for the patch 54 revamp
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street has indicated that Blizzard is pretty happy with the new Mists of Pandaria talent design, and I have to agree with him. While it does suck to wait 15 levels between new talent choices while leveling a new alt, otherwise the new talent system allows real flexibility and interesting, meaningful choices, arguably more than we had under the 51 or 31 point talent systems, where almost every tier had a clear best choice for whatever role you were playing.

That said, there's always room for improvement, and the devs have mentioned they plan to use patch 5.4 as another opportunity to go over talent trees and bolster talents that see less use or otherwise feel underpowered. With that in mind, this week we'll look at the death knight tree and pick out some candidates for a patch 5.4 redesign.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

WoW Popular, a way to keep an eye on the Joneses

WoW Popular, a way to keep an eye on the Joneses DNP
While the plural of anecdote is certainly not data, it does provide some interesting observations. WoW Popular is a site that compiles tons of data about talents, glyphs, gear, enchants, gems, and even reforges for each class and spec and ranks them all based on their "popularity."

The site's author states that the purpose behind the site is to provide a "one-stop-shop for... players who don't have the time to fully research what talents, enchants, glyphs, gems or gear to work on next," but this pill is a bit hard to swallow. As Albert Einstein once said, "What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right," meaning, in our case, that just because a majority of players use one talent or glyph does not mean that it is the right one to use in all situations, or that any of the data aligns with what theorycrafting has calculated as "optimal."

Does that mean the data the author has collected is without value? Not at all -- watching the trends of what the site claims to be "top players," a designation I assume is assigned based on their level of progression, can provide many valuable insights into the community as a whole. Blizzard collects a ton of data like this to make sure that any single talent or glyph doesn't pull ahead of the others. Similarly, if a certain trinket or other piece of gear is suddenly being used by a large group of people, there has to be a reason behind that. Is it the mechanics of the gear that is edging out competitive options, or is it just sheer availability that is making it so ubiquitous?

I encourage you to check the site out and draw your own conclusions -- just remember to take your skepticism with you!

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Tanking in Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Tanking in Mists of Pandaria
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

I tank a lot. I moved back into tanking around March or so of this year, because a tank was needed, and I know how to tank. I've stayed a tank in Mists of Pandaria so far because the last thing anyone needs is another melee DPS, because I generally like tanking, and because the new tanking system has actually given me something to learn. What have I learned tanking so far? Well, lots of things, actually. Here's a few highlights.
  • People will always want to be told what stat to stack. Saying "You should try and balance your mastery, dodge and parry, while keeping hit and expertise reasonable" is possibly the least popular thing you can tell people outside of telling them who to vote for.
  • Shield Barrier is a lot easier to use than Shield Block, and especially in five man dungeons where you may not have a lot of rage to throw around on a pull. In a raid, you can usually time your rage acquisition to use Shield Block followed by Shield Barrier to smooth out incoming damage, but in a five man you're often tabbing around, gathering up adds, and in general using Revenge as your main rage acquisition move so you'll end up hitting Barrier for a cheap and easy damage absorb over Block. When I find myself with enough rage to hit Block, I do, but even then I usually follow it with a Barrier as soon as possible.
  • I like the Glyph of Unending Rage a lot more than I expected to. Sure, it's a major glyph, but that extra 20 rage can actually come in handy. I like having the ability to bank rage in situations like Feng the Accursed and using it to blunt big damage spikes with a full rage bar Shield Block/Barrier combo.
  • One of the biggest changes to tanking has nothing to do with the tank classes at all. The change to healer mana pools fixing them so that healers can't stack up a bigger mana pool means that we have to be more reactive than ever to incoming damage. The active mitigation system cannot be ignored: the more difficult the encounter the more you need to be on the ball with your Block and Barrier use and paying attention to cooldowns and mini-cooldowns like Demoralizing Shout and Demoralizing Banner.
So let's talk about tanking in Mists of Pandaria.

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Filed under: Warrior, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Mists of Pandaria

Arcane Brilliance: Tips for leveling your mage from 85 to 90

Mage casting Alter Time in Pandaria
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we take a break from pet battling to actually level our mages. Seriously. Put down that Armadillo Pup for a second and let's get to level 90. I'm talking to myself as much as you. I want you to know that.

I imagine I'm not the only slow-poke out there who's taking their sweet time getting to level 90. My playtime since the expansion hit has been almost non-existent until recently, and in fact I only just dinged max level this week. Still, even though time-constraints kept me from playing as much as I wanted to, it still felt like I was getting to 90 slower than I should have been. What can I say? I like to read the quest text, watch the cutscenes, listen to all the dialogue, explore the countryside. Oh, and I may have indulged in the occasional pet battle. We all have our vices. Though in this case, I'd hazard to say we all have the same vice.

But I did eventually get there, late or not. And for those of you who are still enjoying the journey rather than the destination, I've compiled a few of the thoughts and observations I had along the way into this week's column. For those of you for whom this advice comes too late, I'll start hitting the post-90 content next week. Pinkie swear.

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

Totem Talk: Restoration shaman two weeks into Mists

Totem Talk Mists, restoration two weeks later Tuesday
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and content creation at InternetDragons.TV), shows you how.

Can you believe it's been a whole two weeks since Mists of Pandaria launched? The time just seemed to fly right by. I don't know about you, but I've been incredibly busy between leveling to 90, exploring the gorgeous new zones, pounding out my daily quests and getting ready to raid. It's been a learning experience in some regards, and I'm happy to finally be getting to test out some of the theories and ideas I've been kicking around in beta in an actual live environment.

A lot can happen in two weeks time, and I thought it would be good to give you a run down on some of the findings I've had using our toolkit in heroics and raids, and some tips and tricks that I've learned along the way.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Arcane Brilliance: Mists of Pandaria mage guide to stats and reforging

Human fire mage
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we talk about how awesome mages are. But did you know that you can make your mage even better? I know! It's like chocolate-covered chocolate. Or a cheesecake that also grants you three wishes. Or an Avengers movie that is also directed by Joss Whedon. Or a warlock that is also dead.

With just over a week of this pre-expansion/post-patch limbo to go, it's high time we covered one last piece of patch 5.0.4 mage business before we turn our eyes almost exclusively toward the impending influx of pandaren and monks and ... pandaren monks. But good news! Most, if not all, of what we discuss here today will also apply in Mists. Though there are always small shifts in stat weight at endgame, we're still quite far removed from knowing exactly how things will shake out when we're all doing hard mode raiding.

This expansion brings some major changes to our stats, radically altering the benefits they do and don't provide. Before we get to each spec and its stat weights, let's look at each stat and familiarize ourselves with its Mists of Pandaria version.

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

No nerfs, no lockouts, no consumable restrictions for Challenge Mode dungeons

No nerfs for Challenge Mode dungeons

Blizzard's Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas, a.k.a. Watcher, has taken to the forums a few times lately, along with Community Manager Zarhym, to provide clarification on Challenge Modes.

With all the bad air swirling around Blizzard from certain minority groups within the WoW community about catering to casuals, challenge modes are something they seem very keen to stand firm on. When asked if challenge modes would ever be nerfed, Ion replied as follows:

If at all feasible, we're not going to be adjusting the content itself. Persistent leaderboards are the backbone of the system, and if we make the dungeon easier, then your 14:13 time last week might actually be more impressive than my 14:05 clear today, but there would be no way of knowing that. It's conceivable that we might adjust the actual Gold/Silver/Bronze cutoff times slightly if it turns out we were badly off the mark with the tuning, but we're pretty confident in our numbers.

Zarhym also weighed in with his own input on the nerf question.

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Talent exclusivity and the new talent system

Easy to learn, hard to master Synergy and the new talent system
When discussing the new talent system, one of the things that always fascinates me is how, if you could take two talents from the same tier, you absolutely would. Imagine if you could take Second Wind and Enraged Regeneration. You'd be unkillable. If you could take all three talents from the healing tier at level 30, you'd really be unkillable. Seriously, in order to kill a warrior with all three talents you'd have to do a ridiculous amount of damage and CC to prevent the use of ER and Impending Victory. This is of course why you can't have all three, so that all three can (in theory at least) be designed to be strong, compelling talents. I really like ER for tanking, and am currently using it as my tank talent, while I have yet to settle between Second Wind and Impending Victory for my DPS specs.

Talent exclusivity is nothing new in WoW, of course. We're used to 31 (and before that, 41, and before that 31) point talents that we can only get one of. But the original talent system was built with a lot more synergy in mind - it was expected and possible for people to choose talents based entirely on other talents they had and how those talents would work together.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Lichborne: Guide to PvE unholy death knights in Mists of Pandaria

Lichborne Guide to PvE unholy death knights in Mists of Pandaria
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

With Mists of Pandaria less than a month, it's a good time to get caught up on your chosen class' mechanics and playstyle in order to get a good start in the new expansion. With that in mind, we've spent the past few weeks discussing the various specs and how they'll play. This week, we add to the collection with a guide to unholy death knights in PvE. As a reminder, the following guide is for the basics of the class and spec.

Unholy basics

Unholy, much like its sister trees, remains more or less unchanged in basic look and feel. Of course, there's enough tweaks that there's stuff to learn, but if you liked the way unholy played back in patch 4.3, you'll like the way it plays in patch 5.0.4 and Mists of Pandaria. The biggest change you'll notice is that the new version of Ebon Plaguebringer no longer has the magic damage debuff or the third disease. They have upped the damage on our strikes to compensate, but it's one more little piece of unholy look and feel that's gone.

Unholy is, of course, played with a two-handed weapon enchanted with Rune of the Fallen Crusader, as you will need its power to get the most damage from your strikes, and in Unholy Presence. You will also want to make sure you have your ghoul out as much as possible, as it makes up a not insignificant amount of your damage. If you don't want to deal with a pet or want to dual wield, you're better off switching to frost DPS.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Arcane Brilliance: Your mage's new spell rotations in Mists of Pandaria

Troll female mage
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we realize that everything we know is wrong, and learn how to make it right again.

Last time we had an expansion release, it was all about an actual Cataclysm, and when we made jokes about the end of the world and chaos descending and the impending apocalypse, those jokes were appropriate. This time around, we've got cuddly pandas and fun pet battles and ... I don't know ... Eastern philosophy? Jokes about impending apocalypses aren't as apt this time around.

Still, if any expansion has the potential to usher in mass chaos and confusion, Mists of Pandaria may be the one. Never before at any one time have our spellbooks and talent trees undergone such sweeping change. On Tuesday, the servers will go down, and when they come back up, the pre-expansion patch 5.0.4 will be in place (barring unforeseen maintenance mishaps), and everything we know about how to effectively wield magic will be completely different. Our current spell rotations will be gone, and we will need to go about the tricky business of learning our new spell rotations.

Which brings us to the reason I called you all together today. There's magical cake in the back of the room, and later on we'll be doing trust falls with warlocks where they fall and we hit them in the face with an Arcane Barrage. But for right now, our agenda has only one item on it: our new spell rotations. It's time we learned them.

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

Lichborne: Guide to PvE frost death knights in Mists of Pandaria

Lichborne Guide to Mists of Pandaria PvE frost death knights
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

With patch 5.0.4 barreling down on us and the release date for Mists of Pandaria itself a mere month away, we've probably seen our new class specs and mechanics get about as solid as they're going to get. With that in mind, we'll start in our guides for all death knight specs. Note that these guides will cover primarily the basics of group PvE for each spec.

This week, we cover frost DPS.

Stat weights and other basics

Frost hasn't changed much mechanically from Cataclysm, at least on the surface. We still have the same strikes and spells serving the same basic function. You can now switch more freely between dual wielding and two-handed frost, as you get both Threat of Thassarian and Might of the Frozen Wastes by default. Frost Presence is now the best DPS presence for frost death knights, in a move that should make literal-minded death knights happy. In addition, the runic power regeneration on Frost Presence helps make up for some the runic power generation talents we lost in the revamp. Your stats priorities are also more or less in the same order they were for Cataclysm, with a few minor changes and caveats.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Patch 5.0.4, the new talent system, and you

Patch 504, the new talent system, and you
In a little more than a week, we're all going to be experiencing patch 5.0.4, also known as the pre-expansion patch or Holy heck everything is different now aaaah panic aaah riot in the streets aaah. We here at WoW Insider are dedicated to preventing rioting in the streets when it is related to World of Warcraft, and we can do so without actually leaving our homes -- hence this post, which explains the new talent system to you. Remember, unless you wake up and your pets are wearing clothing you have never seen before, do not panic.

The new talent system may seem daunting at first glance. But it's really not as complicated as all that. Let's cover what is and isn't changed.

For starters, while you no longer have to train abilities as you level, your class trainers do still provide several services related to talents. For a fee, your class trainers can completely reset your talents, allowing you to pick again from every talent tier you have available. They can also completely reset your glyph selection, allowing you to reselect your glyphs, and they still offer Dual Talent Specialization for 10g. They also allow you to reset each of your class specializations. The various reset services cost you gold up to what appears to be a cap of 59g, although that may change before the game goes live.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: The talent system is dead, long live the talent system

Breakfast Topic The talent system is dead, long live the talent system
We have a little more than a week until the talent system that we've had in one form or another since 2004 finally dies. It has had dizzying highs and terrifying lows, it has defined us and been the means we used to explain ourselves to others. There have been cookie-cutter builds and unusual, unorthodox builds. Cataclysm saw it get pared down after growing twice in The Burning Crusade and again in Wrath of the Lich King, but it was still basically the same fundamental system. Now, after all this time, it's going away.

Some old standby talents will be gone forever, others baked into our abilities, and still others have been made into specializations that inform our choice of role without requiring us to choose them directly. Our new talent system doesn't have a progressive tree, doesn't use a descending system, and doesn't give you a point every level or every other level to serve as a kind of carrot keeping you moving forward. For better or for worse, we've had this talent system ever since WoW went live, and this is the end of the road for it. When patch 5.0.4 goes live, we'll have a whole new talent system to kick around.

So share with us your favorite memories of the talent system that was or your fondest hopes for the talent system to come.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, The Burning Crusade

Arcane Brilliance: Patch 5.0.4 mage preview

Blood elf female arcane mage
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, I need to apologize profusely for last week's sad lack of warlock hate. This week, I will hate them twice as much to make up for it.

So now we know when the expansion is coming (Sept. 25), and we also know when patch 5.0.4 is coming (Aug. 28). That means we'll be living with this patch and all of its sweeping changes to the systems and mechanics we're currently used to for the better part of a month before we get a whole bunch of new content to distract us from how different everything just became. That's a substantial amount of time to play with the new talent system, new spells, and ... erm battles that the pre-expansion patch will bring. I think this is a good time to discuss those changes and prepare ourselves mentally for all the shiny new bounty we are about to receive.

New talent system

This is by far the biggest change on the docket. Forget everything you currently know about talents. Gone is the 72-tier tree of talents that until now defined your mage's effectiveness. Gone are cookie-cutter specs that you had conform to or lose damage. Instead, we get six successive choices that are balanced pretty much equally.

Most of the talents we're used to now have either become baseline spells, been rolled together into current spells, or vanished entirely. Every 15 levels, we get to select from three talents. None of these talents are obviously better or worse than the others, freeing us to to choose the one at each tier that suits our playstyle or the needs of a particular situation.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Mists of Pandaria Protection 101

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Last week, we covered fury; this week, we're moving to protection. Before I do, yes, I saw the most recent beta patches. This is what we have to expect and to some degree endure from the beta, continuous patch cycles that can follow hard upon each other. All we can do is wait for release, ultimately, and see where we stand then. The Vengeance changes will have an effect on several abilities including our scaling ones like Shield Barrier, but that doesn't really change their intended use, which is what this post will be covering.

Protection is the warrior tanking spec. Of the three warrior specs, it's the most "ready to go" spec in terms of how it feels to play on the beta right now, and I suspect it will launch with patch 5.0.4 feeling pretty good to most warrior tanks. It's not completely unchanged -- far from it, in fact, as rage for protection warriors has been fundamentally altered and new abilities have been introduced -- but warrior tanks in Mists of Pandaria will still be charging in combat, still using Heroic Leap to drop a huge burst of threat on certain pulls, still pinballing with Intervene and still slapping bleeds on multiple targets with their AoE. Some of it will even be easier now.

A lot of the stuff that's changed is under the hood change, stuff that will affect the game fundamentally but not in immediately obvious ways.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Mists of Pandaria

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