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Posts with tag patch-3.2

Breakfast Topic: Patch frequency and you

How do you like your patch content delivered? Do you like it better when Blizzard holds off on patches and delivers lots of content in one go (the development cycle of Wrath saw several large patches, delivering raids and new quests and class changes in large chunks)? Or would you rather see patches come more often, spreading out the content delivery more? This is the current plan for Cataclysm. We saw the Zandalari dungeons drop in patch 4.1, and 4.2 will bring the Firelands raid and Hyjal daily quest hubs.

As an old fogey, I see the pluses and minuses to both. When Ulduar dropped, I was very happy; it was a good patch with a good raid. But when the following patch basically not only wiped out Ulduar in terms of raid attendance but also delivered a less satisfying experience, the big downside of content bomb patches was exposed. Smaller patches may not always deliver as much content, but at least we're not forced to wait as long for the next thing.

So how about you? Do you eat your content one bar at a time, or do you wedge the whole thing in your mouth and chew?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Arcane Brilliance: The Mage of 2009

The internet's magiest weekly mage column, Arcane Brilliance would like to wish you and yours a very magetastic holiday season. Unless you and yours are warlocks. In which case Arcane Brilliance hopes the holiday season comes to your Christmas party and punches you in the face.

Every year, as the end of that twelve-month block draws near, Arcane Brilliance likes to take an unbiased look back at the events that captured our collective imagination. Heh. Get it? "I-MAGE-ination?" Holy crap Arcane Brilliance is clever. And indefensibly fond of bad puns.

So what did the year of our lord 2009 hold for those of us who prefer the scent of barbecued sheep to pretty much any odor ever and think strudel is a perfectly acceptable meal choice for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a meal I like to call the "Evocation's-on-cooldown-snack?"

Join me after the break for all the highlights, presented in vaguely chronological order.

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

Blood Sport: Patch 3.2.2, the times they are a-changin, Part II and a half

I don't care for a lot of music that was made in the last decade. The Killers are something of a breather for me. They're one of those bands I'm glad exist. When I'm forced to listen to a terrible radio station, and hear change your mind sandwiched in between auto-tuned, unoriginal dross -- I'm satisfied there is still music being made that can intrigue. (Brandon Flowers has some epic bard tier 10 shoulders there too)

This is part two of part two of a three part article. Confusing? Join the fun! Surprising Patch 3.3 timing, i.e. wrenches in cogs, is a blast!

In our first installment, we covered pillars changing shape in great detail, and also mentioned a few other tweaks. Our second article dealt with five classes -- paladin, priest, rogue, shaman, and warrior. Warlocks were left out of the 3.2.2 patch notes. This article is going to talk about the other four classes - death knight, druid, hunter, and mage.

Being "TheArenaGuy" here at lends to forcing myself to a very balanced perspective on classes. It makes me feel guilty if I understand armor penetration less than spell penetration. Well, actually, it doesn't because ArP is confusing. The main thing I'm trying to say here is that I don't want to write anything that is opinionated without being grounded in something. I don't want to make any mistakes when it comes to reporting to our viewers what changes will impact arena games (and how).

I'm satisfied to critique changes instead of having the responsibility to make them. The developers have very difficult decisions to make with regard to arena balance and we should applaud them for making decisions in the name of equity, even if some of them might be unpopular.

With that, let's get into the juicy, juicy 3.2.2 patch notes.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

Blood Sport: Patch 3.2.2, the times they are a-changin, Part II

In keeping with our musical theme, here's David Bowie's Changes. Most of you have probably heard it, but most of us have not really listened to it. Take some time to enjoy one of Bowie's most renowned pieces with the article today.

Last time, I went over a few significant arena modifications that 3.2.2 brought us. Square pillars for line-of-sight, the armor penetration nerf, focus frames, flying in battlegrounds, and the Onyxia loot table can be found here.

This article is going to talk about five of the nine classes discussed in the 3.2.2 patch notes (warlocks were left out). The reason we won't be talking about the other four is sheer article size. I'm not getting blamed for breaking anyone's scroll wheel today! We'll go over death knights, hunters, druids, and mages in the second part of this part II (which should be in a day or two).

I'm giving analysis on class changes; I hope we will agree on most things, but if you disagree or decide I don't understand a mechanic properly, please let me know in the comments below. I read all your comments and am often stunned with how gracious our readers have been towards me. Thank you for all the kind words, those of you who took the time to write them!

Please don't assume that I don't care if I don't write a large amount about the horrors of nerfing or the glories of buffing your main character's class (triple negative hooray). I probably don't know enough about the intricacies of the change to make an educated prediction, and would say little rather than proclaim "this will gimp class X vs. class Y" and have it fail to come to fruition.

I'm going to be ignoring all non-pvp related notes. If you think I left something out, please post a comment below and I will (most likely) edit the post accordingly.

Also, 3.3 patch notes are out already! Next week, part III will be merged with the 3.3 patch notes that are coming; there's a lot to talk about!

So, without further ado, here's what 3.2.2 is cha-cha-cha-cha-changing in the arena world.

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Filed under: Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior, Patches, News items, PvP, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

Breakfast Topic: A lot of catching up to do

I took quite a break from World of Warcraft. Just as it happens to a lot of people, things in real life get in the way and we put the game aside, either suspending our subscriptions or only having to occasionally log in. Of course, the inevitable happens and we get left behind on gear. Just like fashion in Milan (I wouldn't know, as I've never actually been to Milan), old gear is so last season. Trial of the Crusader gear, as the phrase goes, is the new black.

It's not just gear, either. Mostly, I took a break from the game also because our mega-awesome guild leader took a break to prepare for his wedding this October. He left the reins to a decent bloke, but someone who simply wasn't of the same caliber as a guild and raid leader. Fast forward a couple of months later, I log in and things are different. I mean, sure, Patch 3.2 dropped, and suddenly I'm wearing epics more suited for fresh Level 80s running PUG raids. But the guild itself was different... new faces (or names, anyway), and suddenly I'm the one getting the "who's this dude?" raised eyebrow. It's unsettling.

Oh yeah, good morning. Since I've got the coolest community of WoW players starting the day off with me, here's something to chew on -- how do you catch up? How do you jump-start your gear? Do you make friends with all these new guild faces? Jump ship (or server)? If you took a long break from the game, how would you come back? It's kind of like a fresh start, and even though Blizzard has made it easier for players to catch up, what would be the first thing you would do? Where would you start? My first instinct is to jump into a Battleground, but then again, that's my first instinct even if I didn't take a break. So you're playing again. Uh... now what?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

WoW, Casually: PvP leveling

Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Patch 3.2 introduced PvP leveling and even though Patch 3.2.2 made Alterac Valley a bit less lucrative experience-wise, the Battlegrounds are still a really great way for those of us with limited playtime to squeeze some leveling time in. Before we go any farther, however, let me just say that PvP leveling is only for those who actually enjoy Battlegrounds. If you think BGs are a chore, then leveling in them will be a chore. Really, you should only be playing WoW if it's fun, so just skip this column if Battlegrounds aren't for you and we'll see you next time.

Ok, so if you are still reading, you enjoy BGs. On the flip side of the coin, if this is your main character on this realm, then I can't recommend PvP-only leveling unless you only want to PvP on this character. You will miss out on a lot of cash and gear if you skip questing entirely. Of course, if you have a sugar daddy main to feed you gold and heirlooms and are done questing before Cataclysm, you are already hanging out in BGs all day. Or you are playing Aion or Champions Online.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Quests, Leveling, Guides, WoW, Casually, Battlegrounds

The Art of War(craft): Guide to the Isle of Conquest

The Art of War(craft) strives to bring you anything and everything related to PvP. Well, mostly anything that isn't covered by Arenas, anyway, since that's kind of Colby's territory. And stepping on Colby's territory can get Zach into trouble. I mean, have you seen that guy? Those beady eyes and razor-sharp teeth? Yikes! Oh wait, that might've been a shark. Or it could've been Colby after someone drank from his Chai Tea Latte in the office fridge. He's just kind of a monster that way.

Patch 3.2 introduced a new 40-man raid Battleground, technically the biggest instance since old world Naxxramas. In Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King, raid dungeons were cut down to 25-players and the two Battlegrounds since then, the Eye of the Storm and Strand of the Ancients, were limited to 15 players per side. Isle of Conquest sees the return of epic battles not seen since Alterac Valley. Well, okay, epic battles with less lag not seen since Wintergrasp, anyway. If you're just hit Level 80 or are curious about the new Battleground, here's a quick guide to help you out.

What's the deal?

There are essentially two ways to win the Battleground, identical to the new and improved Alterac Valley -- kill the enemy General or deplete the opposing team's Resources. The Horde forces are led by Overlord Agmar, the orc after whom the Horde base in Dragonblight is named, the leader of the Kor'kron Guard who looks like he's wearing Northrend greens or blues, at best. On the other team is High Commander Halford Wyrmbane, the leader of the 7th Legion and whom Alliance players will typically first encounter giving quests in Wintergarde Keep in Dragonblight. He isn't any better off than his rival, as he looks like he's in Sunwell epics. Cool, right? Alright, now let's figure out how to kill them.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Battlegrounds

Raid Rx: Healing Onyxia

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI, macro, and addon related. Onyxia's the latest raid boss to challenge healers. Here's some phase-by-phase tips to help you get through the ordeal.

I finally managed to heal this fight through a lag infested night when patch 3.2.2 landed. Onyxia was a pain in the butt to heal at level 60. Have things changed since then?

No, not by much. In some of the pickup Onyxia groups I joined on my alts, I've seen tanks drop several times. I don't want to guess who the blame should go on to (tank or healer) but I'll provide some pointers and observations for all the healing classes to help streamline the entire healing process.

My colleague, Matthew Rossi, has written a fairly detailed piece on what the entire raid can expect throughout Onyxia's various phases. While the encounter is easy in terms of theory, in practice it can still be challenging for healers if they let their guard down. Do not take Onyxia too lightly.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Tips, Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

World of Warcraft Patch 3.2.2a is live

Being deployed right now across the live realms is Patch 3.2.2a. The patch is small and accounts for a handful of bug fixes which could only be made through the client. The patch file is only 8.01 MB for the US English PC version, so it downloads quickly and installs fine.

There should be no add-on problems with this minor patch, and it is by no means as extensive as Patch 3.2.2 which dropped earlier this week.

The biggest bug fix for me is that Wintergrasp walls will not display correctly. They weren't all showing up before exactly right, and it was more of an annoyance than a game-halting bug. But it's nice they fixed it. The other big thing that was fixed for many people, although I haven't experienced it on my systems, is the Mac client crashing often due to an ATI bug.

The entire patch announcement and "patch notes" after the break.

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Filed under: Patches, News items

WoW Patch 3.2.2: Impact on the Battlegrounds

Patch 3.2.2 has gone live and it has made a significant impact on World of Warcraft PvP. Most of the changes affect class balance, which greatly affect PvP, but there are some important changes to Battlegrounds, as well. One Battlegrounds-specific item in the patch notes is the way lower level characters can see daily Battlegrounds quests independent of quests for characters in different brackets. This means that players will always have a daily Battleground quest available, only that they will range from whatever Battlegrounds they are eligible to enter.

This is great news for leveling players or even twinks who can gain Honor and a bit of gold. The change also moderately offsets the undocumented change to Alterac Valley Battleground experience gain. Zarhym explains it with a little more detail, saying that the bracket changes were responsible for the unexpected shift in experience gain. He also adds that overall, Battlegrounds experience gain should be improved across the board so playing, say, Warsong Gulch will be as rewarding as playing Alterac Valley.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Battlegrounds

Patch 3.2.2 changes for Druids

There were only a few changes to the class in this patch, most of which we'd already discussed when they were on the PTR. Interestingly, most are concerned with buffing Balance and Feral PvP performance, which is definitely a good thing given that Resto still vastly outclasses both. However, I am not a PvP kind of person, so my take on this is necessarily going to be somewhat limited; if you think I've missed a potential effect from these changes, feel free to drop a comment.

Moonkin Form: This form now also reduces the damage the Druid takes while stunned by 15%.

A buff to Moonkin defense, pure and simple, and a welcome addition versus the wide array of stuns available to enemy players. As Ghostcrawler's mentioned previously, their main concern related to Balance PvP is survivability, and this is an improvement to precisely that.

Typhoon: The daze duration has been increased from 3 seconds to 6 seconds.

Between this and the increase to Typhoon's knockback distance (20 yards to equal Thunderstorm), Typhoon should be a more useful ability for both offensive and defensive purposes. The knockback distance was so small previously that the addition of a Daze effect seemed superfluous. We'll see how this does.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

Ready Check: Onyxia

Ready Check is a column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Vault of Archavon or Ulduar, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses.

Hi howdy and hello, everyone. I'm Matthew Rossi, famous for being tail whipped into the cave on our first Onyxia 10 attempt yesterday. Twice. Despite having been a veteran of the original raid, which means I've heard this kind of ranting many, many times. What I'm getting at is, there are certain things you do not do in a successful Onyxia kill (then and now) and if you go in cocky, thinking that you're mister fancy pants Conquerer of Ulduar, then she's going to embarrass you. If, on the other hand, you just go in and kill her, it's much less embarrassing all told. As long as you keep her mechanics in mind, she's not a terribly complicated or hard fight, but she's been updated and tuned fairly well for an 80 raid.

Before we get to the meat of things, two caveats: one, she can hit very, very hard. On 10 man, as I dragged her back into position (we'll go more into that) I found that I went from 45k health to 11k health in two seconds. My healer actually screamed on vent. Later, we had a discussion about how mister tank doesn't go out of range on mister healer without warning. Secondly, I'm not sure if I'm just remembering it differently or if it has actually changed, but her hit box seems a lot smaller than it was at 60. It does not seem possible to melee her while she's in the air, for instance, and my melee DPS reporting having to come in fairly close to hit her.

Not to worry, though. You'll have plenty to do without being able to melee Ony. She brought friends! Oh, so many friends if you're not careful.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Odds and ends, News items, Instances, Raiding, Guides, Ready Check (Raiding)

Patch 3.2.2: Priest changes and bugs

Attention all raiding healing Priests, this is a public service announcement.

There is a serious bug regarding the Power Word: Shield glyph at the moment which appears to be an unexpected consequence of patch 3.2.2. Stratfu has managed to confirm the bug listed on MMO Champion.

This bug could wipe your raid. I urge raid leaders and guild leaders to inform Priests the Priests in your guild so that they're aware of it

So how does it work and what does it do?

The screenshot above is a World of Logs analysis on damaging spells I've cast. You'll see the standard Priest DPS spells on the left. But the right side shows abilities like Shield-Breaker, Swipe and Fireball. Sorry guys, unfortunately we did not gain every spell or ability that every class has access to in the game.

It's best if you read on to find out more details.

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Filed under: Priest, Raiding

Patch 3.2.2 changes for Shamans

No, technically they didn't just go ahead and let you race change your draenei shaman into a dwarf in patch 3.2.2. I guess Blizzard didn't get my letter. It's a shame, because I used glitter and star stickers and I drew a picture of a pink pony Frost Shocking a Rogue. Perhaps the graphic illustration on page 2 of the Rogue stun locking the pony to death wasn't to their taste. Ah well.

Let's assume that the next letter with the pony ankhing and hitting him in the back with a Flame Shock will be well received. For pony! What are the changes to Shamans in patch 3.2.2 to discuss? Let us look, cannot we? (Space Mutiny voice off.) For the changes follow us behind the jump please.

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items, Wrath of the Lich King

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