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Posts with tag mop-talents

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

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

Arcane Brilliance: Mists of Pandaria mage glyph guide

Blood Elf Female Mage
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we're talking glyphs and the mages who love them. Question: where do we keep our glyphs? Are they semi-permanent tattoos? Are they inscribed upon our clothing somewhere? Do we carry around a piece of paper with all our runes scrawled upon it? And if so, what happens to that scrap of paper when we forget to take it out of our pants before we run them through the laundry? The practical mechanics of inscription intrigue me.

As time marches forward, I find myself staring intently down the barrel of my wand at the approaching pandaren invasion, realizing with each passing moment that I am entirely unprepared. So much to cover! So little time. Good thing we can Alter and Warp time, right?

It's high time we discussed glyphs. I know Josh Myers previewed glyphs during my absence a few months back, but a whole lot has changed since then. This particular system has changed a bit from what we're used to. Gone are prime glyphs. Now it's just majors and minors. And the majors have been redesigned in an attempt to make them more situational and utilitarian, and this attempt seems to have been largely successful.

Instead of being forced to choose between damage increase glyph A and damage increase glyph B, you will now find yourself choosing the glyphs that appeal to you most or fit your playstyle best. Cookie-cutter, must-have glyphs are by and large a thing of the past, and I submit that this is a positive change.

Still, each spec will find that certain glyphs work better for them than others, and in the guide that follows, I will endeavor to advise you as best I can on which glyphs look most attractive for each school of mage.

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

Mists of Pandaria: Guide to Rogues

glowing rogue
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

While Mists of Pandaria is still actively being developed and patches are dropping regularly, the rogue of tomorrow is starting to take its final shape. The amorphous blob of shadow that we see on the horizon is congealing into something resembling a functioning class. In fact, rogues have been receiving fewer changes these past few weeks than any other class. I'm not surprised by this fact, as there's really not much to improve upon when we're already a model class.

With talent choices reduced to a half-dozen easy decisions, there's really not much you can mess up while playing your rogue in Mists. I like to think that you can break a class down into three basic categories: customization, enhancement, and execution. You need to pick the talents and glyphs that best suit your situation, gear up with the right gems and enchants, and finally push the right buttons.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Mists of Pandaria

Arcane Brilliance: Mists of Pandaria talent spec guide for mages

Arcane Brilliance Mists of Pandaria talent spec guide for mages
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we're looking at the overhauled talent system in Mists of Pandaria and figuring out which talent is best for killing warlocks. My initial impression is all of them. All of the talents are good for killing warlocks.

So with the expansion less than two months away and patch 5.0 looming on the "any week now" precipice, it's time we stopped messing around. I promise to stop skipping weeks of this column for trivial things like "family," or "crippling work schedule," or "violent and possibly terminal illnesses," because, damn. The time is short. The end of the end of the world is nigh, and the coming panda apocalypse is nearly upon us. We need to get down to the nitty-gritty here, guys.

Look forward to some extra mage content in between Arcane Brilliances as we ramp up in the coming weeks, in the form of basic class 101 guides for all the stuff you need to know before the expansion hits. I'll save the Saturday columns for more detailed analysis.

This week, we're wading neck deep into the new talent system, since it's probably the single biggest change our class is undergoing in Mists. It's a bona fide shock to the system and a radical departure from the status quo, and believe me when I say that it will take all of us some getting used to before it begins to feel even remotely normal.

The whole basis behind this talent system revamp is to eliminate cookie-cutter specs and provide us with six distinct choices between talents that serve roughly the same function as each other with slightly different mechanics. The idea is to provide freedom of choice by removing the need to pick the best talent at each tier. Each of the three choices at each tier is designed to be a good choice depending on playstyle, and no specific talent is supposed to provide measurably better DPS than another, so we can all hold hands, smoke the peace pipe, and pick whatever we like.

And now's the part where we all decide which of these equal talents are more equal than the others.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Weighing the level 90 mage talents

Rune of Power
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we're looking once again at the mage of the future. And just like the mage of the right now, the mage of the future needs two things in abundance: mana and spellpower. Fortunately, the mage of soon™ only has to get to level 90 to get a new way to gain both.

You've traversed the wilds of Pandaria. Your mage has decked himself out in shiny new quest reward greens that are better than the purples he farmed Deathwing for months to collect. You've killed X number of mobs, collected X number of inexplicably difficult-to-locate vital organs from those mobs and returned them to people with increasingly tough-to-reconcile reasons to want said organs, killing a potentially genocidal percentage of the warlock population along the way. Now, you're level 90.

Your reward is two new abilities. One is Alter Time, which we've already discussed at length. The other is entirely up to you. There are three new choices in your talent ladder to select from. They range from a fresh and infinitely more useful version of Mana Shield to a crazily improved buff for Evocation to a rune of wizardly sparklesauce that you place on the ground and then set up shop there, serving up magical deathfire to all customers forevermore, amen.

They sound quite different, but have one thing in common: You press a button, and you get mana and spellpower. I think we can all agree this is a button we want. The question is, which of those three buttons do we want the most? And the next question is, do we want any of them as our capstone talent?

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

Arcane Brilliance: Which spec will be best in Mists of Pandaria?

Undead fire mage
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we endeavor to answer that age old question: Which spec will other people insist my mage needs to be? We will try not to resort to that age old response to that question, which tended to involve punching those other people in the mouth.

One constant, no matter how hard I've tried to ignore it, that has always existed in WoW is that one spec is always "best." The class designers are constantly tweaking the numbers and trying to keep things balanced, but once we all sit down with our collective calculator and spreadsheet, one spec always emerges to rule them all.

It has been a sad reality that while we have always had freedom to choose a spec and personalize it to fit our preferences, when it comes time to raid at high levels or take part in PvP at high levels, that freedom essentially vanishes. You can make arguments for utility over damage or for certain specs in certain fights, but in most cases, under most circumstances, you're going with whatever cookie-cutter spec the internet has agreed upon that week, or you're not getting an invite.

Well, now we have a fresh expansion to leverage our calculators and spreadsheets upon. It's still early in the beta process, and hard numbers are in short supply. Still, the overall design of the specs seems to be fairly well-defined, even if the actual percentage points are still in flux. What conclusions can we draw at this stage? Which spec looks to put out the best damage? And most importantly, which spec will let us kill warlocks most efficiently?

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

Lichborne: 3 more death knight issues that need fixing soon

Lichborne 3 more death knight issues that need fixing soon TUESDAY
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.

Last week, I talked about three quick fixes death knights should get before the Mists of Pandaria beta is over. This week, I'd like to discuss three more death knight issues. These aren't necessarily any less urgent or problematic than last week's issues, but they're complicated enough that we probably can't expect them to be fixed before the expansion goes live. Still, they should probably be dealt with sooner rather than later.

1. Tier 5 talents have got to go. I have to admit, the level 75 death knight talent tier had me pretty excited when it was unveiled. Finally, anyone could choose their flavor of rune regeneration. At optimal balance, it seemed like everything could turn out great. People could choose how much control they wanted, people could avoid rune tetris if they wanted, and everything would be cool.

In practice, it hasn't worked out like that. It's become more and more obvious that it will be nearly impossible to balance the three types and that Blood Tap is the clear winner for any death knight DPS player, with Runic Empowerment nearly equal and Runic Corruption taking up the distant rear. The level 75 tier, in other words, doesn't pass the basic litmus test for the new talent system. There's no real choice. Min-maxers will feel forced to take a specific talent on this tier in all situations, and it will, in fact, almost always be Blood Tap.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Arcane Brilliance: 4 things I'm going to miss the most in Mists of Pandaria

Flame Orb
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we're discussing a sad topic: loss. Not that this is a new feeling for mages. We've loved and lost before; everyone pour one out for Wand Specialization. You were too beautiful to die.

Every time there's a new expansion, we get some new toys to play with. We tend to focus on these shiny new abilities or revamped mechanic -- and rightly so, as they are often pretty spiffy. But I fear we sometimes forget the casualties. For when Blizzard giveth, it also tends to taketh away. Spells are replaced, redundant talents vanish, and mechanics change, and as a mage, I always feel somehow diminished when I see a blank page in my spellbook -- even if it's a page that used to be occupied by something as useless as Arcane Fortitude or Amplify Magic, those ancient relics of fail.

Mists of Pandaria will be no exception. We're gaining some awesomeness but losing a few things too. And some of those things, I'm really, truly going to miss.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Bombs and tempests on the Mists beta

Frost Bomb
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we're discussing my favorite kinds of mage spells: the ones that blow things up real good. Namely, warlocks. I like the spells that blow up warlocks. This should not come as any sort of surprise to anyone, ever.

I don't know about you, but I didn't roll a mage for the free strudel. I'm not going to lie; the prospect of magical baked goods didn't hurt. Unlimited pie is something of a draw for me. But when I chose mage for my first character lo those many dead warlocks ago, I did so because I wanted to make pixels explode in spectacular fashion.

And my mage certainly didn't disappoint. Over the years, I've thrown my share of Pyroblasts, Frostfire Bolts, and Arcane Explosions, and the resulting pixel explosions have been quite satisfactory. Still, I'm nothing if not greedy. In my opinion, when it comes to exploding pixels, more is always better.

And so, when I learned of the new talents, the ones I was secretly most excited by were the three bomb talents we were choosing between at level 75. The worst part? I had to choose just one.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Familiars, porcupines and Frostbolt healing, oh my!

Fiery Familiar
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we'll be discussing a few of the more recent additions and tweaks to our class on the Mists of Pandaria beta. Some of them are awesome. Some of them are silly. And some of them are porcupines.

You see that thing up there in the picture? That tiny little legless flaming elemental from vanilla WoW? That's one of our three new familiars. That's right: familiars.

I've actively campaigned for mage familiars in the past, even as far back as this crusty old post from 2008, in which I also wished for more portals, a Blink spell that actually worked, and a rumored new ability called Mirror Image, which I believed would prove to be a combination of a bacon double cheeseburger, the second coming of Christ, and a double rainbow out of a leprechaun's butt. So young! So naive.

I always imagined my mage running around with a tiny furry minion, maybe mouse with glowing eyes, or an ominous crow, possibly animated by Don Bluth, that would do my bidding and tell me which cottage in the forest Princess Aurora was hiding in. I imagined a wizardly pet that would be always by my mage's side, part of the persona, perhaps conferring a passive buff or something.

Well that isn't quite what we're getting here.

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

Arcane Brilliance: What the MoP beta means for arcane mages

Mage casting something very arcane-looking
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This column is usually brought to you by archmage and former Hogwarts headmaster Christian Belt, but rumor has it he's still stuck in an alternate dimension where playing World of Warcraft is state-mandated but only offers you 10 different classes of warlocks to play. Senior Understudy and Last Surviving Student Josh Myers is covering his class this week. Arm your spitballs.

Throughout Cataclysm, the arcane spec has been a strange beast. At the beginning of the expansion, it was solidly the worst mage spec due to the absurdly high cost of Arcane Blast. After some quick patch 4.1 fixes, it became our top-performing spec, especially if we had access to Shard of Woe. From that point on, arcane was a source of potent damage. While fire has become the vogue spec for Dragon Soul, arcane still is a very viable and desirable spec. Going forward into Mists of Pandaria, that all could change ... or the spec could be made even better.

Part of the source of arcane's potency this expansion has been due to how incredibly well the spec scales with intellect. While intellect provides the same spellpower to arcane mages that it does to every other caster, arcane mages' Mana Adept mastery makes the mana increase from intellect critical. Arcane Blast, the pivotal spell in arcane's rotation, has a static mana cost that is only based on mage base mana and not their mana after gear. Because of this, the more intellect you have means the more Arcane Blasts you can fit in at higher mana levels, meaning more damage through mastery.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: 4 holy talents I want to see in Mists

hand of freedom
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

When I look at our upcoming talent tree in Mists of Pandaria, I'm not blown away. Repentance and Divine Purpose are nearly identical to the versions in the retribution tree today. Pursuit of Justice and Speed of Light have been edited slightly but fulfill the same general roles. There are definitely some new talents in the mix as well, like Holy Avenger and the new Sanctified Wrath, but many of the choices are simply repeats of existing talents.

I have a few ideas on how to fix that. With equal parts of stealing talents from other classes and coming up with brand new ones, we could liven up our options quite a bit. I want to see more dynamic healing options available, rather than yet another cooldown like Clemency to manage. We spend most of our time in the trenches, pressing Holy Light and Holy Shock until our fingers are numb. Improving holy's style of healing will go a long way toward making the class more exciting to play.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Making life hell for groups with Mists of Pandaria druid talents

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we are delighted to discover that we are still able to create localized black holes in the next expansion.

To me, the best thing about Mists of Pandaria talents is how they benefit me so much more than the rest of my colleagues on this column. Tanks and healers do not, as a rule, care about anything that affects their damage. They care about survivability and a lot of stuff that looks suspiciously like what we call utility and -- perhaps most of all -- outrolling the hunters on Kiril. To see a talent tree full of things that do not improve anybody's damage gives me great pleasure.

After finishing this article, I realized that I had considered many of these talents largely in the context of how annoying I could make life for a 5-man group by using them. Hmmm.

We meet again, Mr. PuG. But this time, the advantage is mine.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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