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Posts with tag movement

To gauge your fellow gamers' ages, watch for jumping

When trying to figure out just who we're playing with in virtual spaces like World of Warcraft, we often watch how they talk for clues. Common knowledge suggests that gamers who are more mature -- and therefore older -- will be more grammatically correct, typing in complete sentences with proper punctuation rather than leaning on acronyms and slang. However, a recent study on gaming chat by a Colorado State University researcher suggests our common knowledge might just be wrong -- because while phrasing can certainly give us hints at a typist's age, Millennials are better at grammar than we think.

In a study of players in Second Life and World of Warcraft, research concludes that the more definite indicator of age is how players move. Younger players jump about twice as often as older players, as well as moving more in general (15% more) and moving backwards more often (30% more). So before calling out your fellow players for immature kids, you might keep an eye on how often they jump -- if they don't, they may just be straight-up immature.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

What will raiding be like in Warlords?

When discussing how the changes coming in Warlords of Draenor will affect raiding, we're of course looking at an incomplete picture. We don't know what new spells and abilities might come, we just know to an extent what won't be there - abilities like Skull Banner will be gone, as well many CC abilities, and healing will be greatly changed - casting on the move will also see a significant decrease. What we therefore need to consider is that raiding itself will have to change to embody these changing philosophies. It would be a disaster to alter class abilities and leave raids designed around the same high damage, high mobility kit we see in modern raiding.

But what will raid design entail? Well, I'm not a raid designer. If I was, I'd be super busy designing some raids. What I am is a guy who raids a lot, so I can give you my perspective as a dude who has seen every fight in the game at this point. What are we in for in Warlords, based on what Blizzard has said is changing, and what they intend to try and do?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Blood Pact: Multitarget DPS and situational awareness

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill discusses how to handle one, some, or many whelps.

Before BlizzCon, I left off with the beginnings of how to put together your UI. While it would be easy to generate a post of macros and Weak Auras import strings, that wasn't my intent. User interfaces in WoW are varied and can be unique to the player, so I think it's a greater lesson to learn how you can design your UI to help you, rather than to help patchwork import settings together for you.

So while the setup of unit frames may have seemed incredibly basic to some readers, knowing where some set frames are helps you take control of how your targets are presented to you. Much like healers considering a raid frames grid to be a central part of a healing UI, having damage targets at the ready is a central if often subconscious part of a DPS UI. Today is another basic topic, but it too has a subtle effect on how a proper UI setup can aid in DPS.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact: Inner demons in our talent selection

Blood Pact Inner demons in our talent selection MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill thinks it's too difficult to convey moving while casting in a static screenshot, so, instead, have the Scholomance potion guy in front of a Demonic Gateway.

We covered Karazhan's pets, mounts, and fun last week, so this week, we'll cover Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep in the continuing quest to colle--

No. Sorry. If you really thought I was going to skip this past week's bombshell of warlock PTR patch notes for collecting pets from retro raids, I will scold you later for having no faith in me. Let's talk level 90 talent problems.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Could free movement in combat become a baseline mechanic?

Breakfast Topic Does free movement in combat need to become a baseline mechanic
Get out of the fire! Get into the healing! Strategic movement is a key precept in today's World of Warcraft. Encounter design for even everyday zone mobs scritch-scratches at the wool of player tunnel vision, nudging players to make haste out of various sizzling, glowing, steaming puddles of bad. But if we players are to remain light on our feet, we need to be effective even while we're in motion. Over the years, WoW has given us more and more ways to do exactly that. Yet even as mobility becomes a baseline expectation, casting or using skills on the move has not become a baseline ability. In an era of gameplay exemplified by Guild Wars 2's constant dodging, half of WoW still has its feet tangled in cast times and channeling and positioning.

Like WoW and its puddles of bad, GW2 expects players to avoid certain damage -- but with much greater alacrity. In GW2, you hop sideways and leap backwards to dodge blows and spells, rather than hoping your stats will help you "dodge," mitigate, or absorb some of them. Dodging becomes a compelling mechanic that's fairly simple to adjust to for a WoW player who's used to moving out of the bad. Readjusting to WoW after a session of GW2, however, is more problematic. I find myself juking my own character (yes, I think you could call interrupting yourself to the point of inaction "juking") when I return to WoW after playing GW2, strafing and jiggling and double-tapping in a vain attempt to dodge my opponent's wrath. My hyper-twitchiness is only complicated by the fact that WoW wants you to move away from some but not all attacks. It's a difficult halfway point to come back to.

We've come a long way from the days of plunking our butts down at range to plow through rotation and mana micromanagement. But have we come far enough? Does WoW need to lighten up even more, freeing players to cast and act freely with a more natural flow of action, rather than juggling discrete movement and action phases? Maybe you believe that the mix of both types of abilities presents its own interesting challenges. It certainly has become the foundation of boss encounter design and strategies, and it's a pillar of PvP balance as well. Taking away the yin and yang of movement and stillness would tear apart the whole.

What if we could gain the ability to move with complete freedom during combat in WoW without destroying encounter and game balance? Would we also benefit from the more dynamic dodging mechanics of games like Guild Wars 2? Or do you like WoW's blend of movement and static elements just as it is?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Arcane Brilliance: The mage survival guide, part 2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we continue our discussion of ways to avoid dying horribly. This week's tip: Roll a death knight.

Yes, the sad reality of being a mage is the ever-present threat of a swift and ignominious demise. We're like every character in The Walking Dead: We could go at any time, and our only consolation is that God willing, we'll be able to blow up a few zombies on our way out.

Last week, we discussed a few methods for surviving to pew pew another day, namely aggro drop and damage mitigation. This week, we turn our attention to two other lifesaving techniques: movement and crowd control. Just remember as we go forward that every time a mage survives a fight, an angel punches a warlock in the face. Have I used that joke before? I may have. Doesn't make it any less true. Angels hate warlocks. So does Jesus. And me. And, I pray, all of you.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Guest Post: Long exposure WoWtography

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to

Long exposure photography is an intriguing photographic technique that involves slowing a camera's shutter speed, thereby allowing light more time to strike the film. The technique often produces otherworldly images in which there is a sharp contrast between stationary and moving objects -- perhaps you have seen long exposure photos of cars at night, their headlights melting into long streaks of color. Because long exposure photography often reveals hidden patterns, its applications can go far beyond generating simple eye candy.

Last summer, I had the opportunity to do research on interactive digital media (read: video games) at the University of Rochester, and I thought it might be fun to try some long exposure photography within my favorite game, World of Warcraft. Rather than do real long exposure photography, however (difficult when one has no camera!), I opted to emulate the effect using video clips captured with Fraps and processed with a program called Exposure. Both of these programs have free versions available.

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Filed under: Arts and Crafts, Guest Posts

WoW Rookie: Effective movement and camera use

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. For links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's, visit's WoW Rookie Guide.

Does your numbskull pet always seem to come between you and the object of your affectionate (or not-so-affectionate) clicking? How can you get turned around and react more effectively when something smacks you from behind while you're drinking up? Wouldn't it be nice to see something besides your own rear end? And speaking of which, is it your camera angle or do you think your character been putting on a few extra pounds?

What you need, my friends, is better movement and camera controls. As the challenges and skill level ratchets up over the levels, clunkier styles of viewing your game field and moving your character may eventually cause you to fall behind the performance curve. Our advice: Find out what the best practices are, and then try them out sooner rather than later. Let's face it, changing the way you see and move around the game world can be completely disorienting. You feel as if you're starting all over again, just learning the controls. (Bottom line: It's true. You are.) But the payoff is more efficient, more effective play that ultimately makes your character more enjoyable to play.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

BlizzCon 2009: Hands-on with Razer's Naga MMO mouse

We posted last week that Razer had released an MMO mouse fittingly called the Naga (technically after the Sanskrit word for "snake," but c'mon, who plays WoW and doesn't know what Naga really means, right?), and when we did that, we mentioned it would be usable on the floor at BlizzCon. Sure enough, when we ran into the hall (hey, had to get to the store before those plush murlocs sold out) in Anaheim, there it was. We sat down with Travis Wannlund, community manager for the mouse and accessory company, for a quick demo and hands-on.

In that demo, we learned that Razer has actually developed their own WoW addon for the mouse's use, allowing you to map your abilities right into on-screen slots that correspond to the 3x4 touchpad of buttons on the thumb side. He also let us in on some of the design reasoning for the mouse itself, and what they've got in store for the device's future. Read on to learn more.

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Filed under: Items, Add-Ons, BlizzCon, Hardware

Hellfire Fortifications grants an Insignia

Reader Zanthix of Gul'dan let us know, and I just confirmed, that the Hellfire Fortifications PvP quest in Hellfire Peninsula now grants a little extra welcome gift to Outland when you do it. In addition to the Marks of Thrallmar or Honor Hold that you get as a reward, you also now get an Insignia of the Horde or Alliance, to get you started on PvP.

And yes, it is just a start -- the Insignia removes all movement-impairing effects, but it doesn't have any extra resilience like the epic PvP trinkets you can get from turning in honor, so if you're doing lots of PvP, you'll still want to grind for the other trinkets. It is equivalent to the trinket sold for ~2800 honor (that used to be a class-specific trinket, but is now basically faction-specific), just a little easier to get.

I also checked the Halaa PvP quest in Nagrand, but there's no extra trinket reward there, just the usual daily gold and the extra honor. The Armory shows that this is the only place you can get it, save for the usual honor vendors. So if you haven't nabbed a PvP trinket yet, go take some fortifications in Hellfire.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP

Lichborne: PvP, grinding, the Unholy tree, and you

Every weekend in Lichborne, Daniel Whitcomb will take you through the ever-changing (Beta) world of World of Warcraft's first hero class, the Death Knight.

With a new Beta Build on the test servers, Death Knights have received a massive amount of talent changes. Many of them have been hinted at on the test servers for eons, and I've covered much of them in last week's Lichborne. The new disease changes are in, as is the changing of Chains of Ice's Snare component to an undispellable physical effect. You can check out the full list of changes here.

Among the new changes is a very extensive revamp of the Unholy tree, which features quite a bit of talent consolidation and quite a few new and interesting mechanics and abilities. In fact, I'd have to say that the current build may very well mark the rise of the Unholy Tree, with the changes making it an amazing tree for grinding and PvP.

As a disclaimer, there's still lot of bugs in this build. Many abilities don't seem to be working quite right, especially Blood Caked Blade (which only hits for 1-4 damage based on the number of diseases instead of 60% weapon damage per disease), Raise Dead, and Night of the Dead. Because of that, it's often hard to say how or if an ability would be better or worse if it actually worked. Therefore, I'll be discussing the abilities based on if they actually did work, backed with some feel for them from Death Knight play on the Beta Servers.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Expansions, Leveling, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

WoW Rookie: Keyboard shortcuts

WoW Rookie is brought to our readers to help our newest players get acclimated to the game. Make sure you send a note to WoW Insider if you have suggestions for what new players need to know.

Accept this fact: to be good at playing WoW, you need to learn to use your keyboard at least some of the time. You don't have to bail on your mouse, but it's very helpful to learn some of the very basic keyboard shortcuts that will make your life in the game that much easier. (Easy is good, right?)

Using the game interface
There are hotkeys for almost everything you do in-game. You can find most of them by just hovering your mouse over the icons that you click -- as no doubt you may have already noticed. Let's start with the button bar that you use to bring up your Quest Log, Spellbook and other things. You'll see that when I hover my mouse over the gold cup icon, a tooltip pops up. The L in parentheses after "Quest Log" means you can just press your L key to bring up the log instead of clicking the icon. (Don't worry that it's a capital L, just press lower-case L. When a keyboard command is capitalized, it's written as "Shift-L".) After the break, you'll see a list of keyboard shortcuts for the game interface.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

WoW Insider's Guide to the Mounts of the World of Warcraft

WoW Insider has put together the ultimate guide to every mount in the World of Warcraft. From the first Pinto you'll get as a budding Human Mage, to the rare epic flying mount the Ashes of Al'ar, we cover every mount available to every race, faction, and class in-game.

A Warcraft mount holds a special spot in all of our inventories. It allows us to travel Azeroth, Outlands, and soon Northrend in blazing speeds rivaling those of the mighty Alliance Gryphons. Many people have names for their mounts and become uniquely attached to them. Others make it a point to try to get every mount available to them, often spending years collecting the necessary reputation with each faction.

And who doesn't like to go even faster on the fastest mount? For the speed demon in all of us there are several enchantments and trinkets that make our rides travel faster than before.

Check out WoW Insider's Guide to the Mount of the World of Warcraft for every mount in the game. And don't forget to check back whenever there is a new content patch - as the World of Warcraft grows, so will this guide.

Filed under: Guides, Mounts

Center your tanking

While I'm pushing through Black Temple and Mount Hyjal nicely as my guild's tank, I am still trying to improve my style and playing elements. There's not much more I can do to build threat – the Devastates, Shield Slams, Revenges, Heroic Strikes, etc., are all going off at the right time. Gear is fine, I can pretty much tank anything in the game at this point and succeed. So why am I still dying? Why am I missing that critical moment when I could put up my Spell Reflect and live a second longer?

I think I've found it.

It's all about eye movement. Try this: focus your sight to the upper left hand corner of the screen, and now move your sight down to the bottom of the screen. If you have a large enough monitor, you completely lose focus of the text and items near the upper left corner. This is problematic for tanking in that the unit frames (those things that tell you who's in your group and who you're attacking) are by default located in the upper left corner, and the action bars are located at the bottom. So if you want to make sure you're going to hit something – or even look at your keyboard for a moment – you're moving your eyes quite a bit.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Odds and ends, Add-Ons

The Art of War(craft): Motion Theory Part III

Alright guys, you got me. Last week, I dissed Priests for their lack of mobility, but some of you, such as user thebvp pointed out that Priests are more slippery than I gave them credit for by pointing out their dispel abilities, among other things. With a little more thought, I really have to agree and re-assess Priests on the movement hierarchy. To kick off the final installment of this overly long review on class mobility, we'll start with a second look at Priests.


As pointed out by your comments last week, Priests have the first tier Discipline talent Unbreakable Will, which is a key PvP talent that increases Stun resistance by a massive 15%. This gives Priests more flexibility to move, although a Rogue spamming Kidney Shots every 20 seconds will probably still be a real pain to deal with. While Priests have no natural movement enhancing capabilities, they benefit from instant cast spells in the same way that Druids do. In PvP, particularly in Arenas, the ability to cast Renew, Power Word: Shield, or Prayer of Mending while on the go is critical. I cannot stress enough how instant cast is king in PvP, and Priests have it in spades.

Draenei and Dwarf Priests also have Chastise, which replaced Fear Ward. With a 30-second cooldown, it is a fairly reliable means of crowd control, arguably even better than the Paladin's 31-point Retribution talent Repentance. It is effectively a spell interrupt every thirty seconds, and the incapacitate effect gives the Priest a small window within which to move away from undesirable encounters. Of course, enjoy it while it lasts as Patch 2.4 reportedly brings a change to Chastise. It will no longer be a an incapacitate effect but a root. As far as movement goes, it's a winner, but will no longer be usable as a spell interrupt. The change also makes Repentance slightly less embarrassing.

Dispel Magic is an instant cast spell that Priests can use to full effect because it is like a mixture of both Purge and Cleanse, usable on both friend and foe alike. Against magical snares such as Entangling Roots or Frost Shock, Priests can remove the debuffs on themselves as well as their allies. This ability extends to limiting the movement of certain classes such as Shamans, whose Ghost Wolf spell is actually a magical buff rather than a physical form, or Paladins, who rely on Blessing of Freedom constantly in PvP. Lastly, I forgot to mention how Priests and their friends can be highly resistant to fear thanks to the now-usable-by-all-races Fear Ward and Shadow Protection. Since a good number of Fear effects are shadow-based (Vims, I'm looking at you), the latter ability provides excellent protection against CC in PvP. Of course, as far as CC goes, Priests have Mind Control, so they can turn enemies into friends for a short while until they can run them off the side of cliffs or until the cavalry arrives. Good times.

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Filed under: Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

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