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Posts with tag patch-3.3-wow

Ghostcrawler on AoE tanking: "The paladin probably too good"

In a follow up to the thread we discussed recently, Ghostcrawler discusses where the buff to protection warrior DPS will come from (sorry, guys, but it sounds like a buff to Devastate to me, yay for spamming) and a whole lot more. The discussion indicates that while they're interested in single target DPS increases over AoE increases that they don't think tank DPS is that big a factor in boss fights (and to be fair, he's right, it isn't a major factor although the fact that players will overreact to minor factors and stress out their tanks over their DPS, that is) and moves on from there.

The discussion about Devastate (that it's an easy ability to adjust) is fair enough but ignores the even easier solution of simply reducing the defensive stance penalty. To be honest I'd like to hear why there's still a penalty there when abilities like Righteous Fury and Frost Presence suffer none. I find the idea that buffing defensive stance would cause big problems for PvP balance kind of absurd. Battle stance grants 15% ArP and Zerker grants 3% crit, at most people would pop into d stance when focused, like they do now anyway. But we're likely to see buffs to Devastate, so just get used to it. My suggestion? While we're buffing Devastate, also have it queue Heroic Strike for us so that's one less button to spam and I can retire my macro.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Death Knight, Cataclysm

It's a trap! Traps are back in Icecrown Citadel

By now, those of you that have slowly progressed throughout the initial part of Icecrown have witnessed (or at least triggered) various traps. Some traps seem to show up after your group has cleared out a room or killed certain mobs or met some other condition like the ones before Lord Marrowgar.

But wait, there are more of them!

Dinaer at Forever a Noob
demonstrates that there are more traps as you progress through the levels of Icecrown Citadel.
  • Spirit alarm: Trip these to bring in the big skeletons. Great for reputation. There are four of these in the two chambers leading up to Lord Marrowgar.
  • Mist trap: Not exactly a trap per se, but it can catch the unwitting raider off guard if they run into it. Either have a rogue disable it on the side, or activate the teleporter on the other side and beam in. You'll run into it after you've downed the Deathbringer and zone in behind him.
  • Geist trap: You'll find these littered in the hallways of the Plagueworks. Have a tank behind the raid to intercept them as they appear.
I wonder what other traps we'll see in the remaining parts of Icecrown. I can't remember the last instance that had traps on the scale of Icecrown.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Blizzard says no to skipping to the last boss

Poster Sennshi makes a post to the general forums questioning why we have to run the whole dungeon to get the two frost emblems for completing our first random dungeon of the day. Thankfully, Crygil comes in and makes sure it is known that skipping to the end isn't something Blizzard has in mind for heroics. It's kind of sad that it even needed to be said, but at least they've said it.

I have to say, and keep in mind I'm one of the bitter sour curmudgeonly tanks who constantly gripes even when things are going well, but if you can't endure a 20 minute instance run to get 2 frost badges, you need to reconsider running random heroics. Even the longest heroic dungeon is hardly so huge an imposition that you can't get through it without asking for some kind of magical backdoor that summons the boss to you. We've seen changes to dungeons like Oculus to give players an incentive to run them or streamline them, going to some weird Thunderdome of boss summoning would be a step backwards in my opinion.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Wrath of the Lich King

You won't get a pony, but prot will get sustained DPS increase

In a forum thread discussing the recent prot warrior block changes and Warbringer nerf and the state of prot warrior DPS (it's basically acknowledged as the lowest DPS among the tanks) Ghostcrawler chimes in that they intend to buff sustained prot DPS while reducing burst in PvP. However, he quickly comes back to point that at this stage in the expansion they don't want to make any sustained mechanical changes and so, don't expect one. The sustained DPS increase will come from buffs to existing abilities.

While I can understand the trepidation from prot warriors at this statement (no one is terribly excited about a buff to Devastate, not even me) it's an unfortunate but valid point he makes here. You really don't have the time to make drastic mechanical changes this far into the cycle. We might like a more drastic solution, but with Cataclysm looming on the horizon you don't really want to see too much tinkering with the base mechanics.

Still, please don't just buff Devastate. Please. I'm begging you here.

Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

Icecrown Citadel: Crimson Halls hotfixes

Even though Crimson Halls has been open for about half a week, a series of hot fixes have been applied today. Most of the fixes posted by Bornakk are applied to Blood Queen Lana'thel. I have to admit though, the bug where the Kinetic Bomb could trigger Blood Queen Lana'thel during the Blood Prince Council encounter did make me chuckle. I'm glad that's been resolved as well.

  • Blood Queen Lana'thel will only be available after the Blood Prince Council is defeated.
  • Blood Queen Lana'thel's Essence has a longer duration.
  • Kinetic Bombs no longer aggro Blood Queen Lana'thel during the Blood Princes encounter.
  • Blood Queen Lanathel should no longer cast Vampiric Bite on pets.
In addition, Daelo posted another set of fixes for the Blood Princes encounter:
  • Prince Keleseth will no longer melee players. So if you get knocked into Keleseth or happen to move by him, he won't swipe in between his casts and kill a non-tank.
  • The first Shadow Resonance should appear earlier in the fight, which will allow the Keleseth tank to have more orbs on him or her if Keleseth is empowered second instead of third. We didn't want which Blood Prince was empowered second to be a major element of the difficulty in the fight.
  • We reduced the melee damage for the Princes by 10% for the 10 player difficulty. They were doing less damage than the 25 player before the hotfix, but this change lowers the damage further.
  • Empowered Flames will now run out of power after shooting fewer firebolts in the 10 player difficulty. We did not change the initial impact damage.
Valnoth states that the Essence duration was lengthened because the developers didn't like the idea of sacrificing a player to get through an encounter. As a healer, I'm inclined to agree. I hate it when I have to stop all heals on a player in order to progress through a counter. It just goes contrary to everything my character stands for.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Raiding

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Plagueworks

Matthew Rossi, who brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors every week, apologizes for his remarkably unimaginative screenshot skills. But hey, at least this week he's dancing! Just like you all will when you start trying to kill Putricide. This achievement should grant a title in my opinion.

I want Last Word. Yes, I know everyone hates the proc. I look at it and say "remember Heartpierce" and keep on wanting it. (I've actually considered picking up a Heartpierce for tanking heroics with but they didn't buff the rage gen when they buffed the energy and daggers have crappy coefficients for warriors.) I half expect to see that mace get buffed to add 200 str when it procs. If not, not. I still want the great ugly thing, even if I'll probably pick up a rogue offhand axe to use as a threat weapon.

None of this has much to do with what we're here for today, namely clearing out the Plagueworks, hopefully with as few attempts on Putricide as possible so we can save them for Lana'thel over in Crimson Halls. (No bets on what next week will be about.) I'll probably also mention some loot they drop, but don't expect a comprehensive loot list, this is more about the strategy and tactics of killing some really rather disgusting bosses.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: That little bit extra

Sometimes a boss just seems to get lucky.

You know what I'm talking about: you just see 1% wipe after 1% wipe and you don't know what else you can do to get over the edge. Do you need more DPS? Are the tanks dying? Are the healers going OOM, or people standing in stuff that's killing them? What's the important thing you're doing or not doing to get that last little bit of performance out and kill that big loot sack on legs in front of you? You tweak strats, and then tweak them back, you play with raid comp, you change positioning... sometimes you get that little click and it all falls into place and some times you don't, nothing seems to work. Whether it's a PuG wiping on Garfrost or a raid working on the Blood Queen, things don't always go our way.

So what do you do? Are you the 'stomach it out' type who won't leave until it's dead or someone else pulls the plug? Are you a tinkerer always coming up with new strats and new approaches? Are you the "this is what I read on Wowhead" guy? How do you move past failure to success?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Raiding

What effect does the Dungeon Finder have on smaller servers?

For a few days now, I've been mulling over a point raised by Spinksville in a blog post concerning the Dungeon Finder's impact on smaller servers. It was her contention that, although the Dungeon Finder makes getting 5-man runs faster and easier for people on underpopulated realms, the new tool was contributing (or likely to contribute) to the depopulation of realms without a lot of options for raiding. It's never been easier to gear up a character, she observed, and someone with a geared character is increasingly likely to want that toon raiding. However, smaller servers rarely field the array and depth of PuG raiding opportunities offered by larger realms. Her conclusion? "Being on a smaller server has never been less attractive for a casual player."

While I go back and forth on that point -- lots of people will just gear a toon for its own sake without necessarily planning to raid on it -- I don't think she's entirely wrong, and I also think the larger point concerning the Dungeon Finder's potential impact on server communities is probably accurate.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances

Patch 3.3: Crimson Halls opened in Icecrown Citadel raid

Crimson Halls, another wing within Icecrown Citadel has been unlocked this week. The Icecrown Citadel raid overview here on has been updated accordingly. Summaries of the Blood Princes Council and Queen Lana'thel are available along with links and resources. Just starting out in Icecrown CItadel? Don't worry as information about the bosses in both the Lower Spire and the Plagueworks are still available

Good luck! Guess you'll be playing for Team Edward for one fight.

Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to Arthas.'s Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Walkthroughs, News items, Raiding

Reminder: The Crimson Halls open tomorrow

As you heard earlier today, tomorrow morning we're being hit with a maintenance period from 3:00 AM PST until 11:00 AM PST. While we're not expecting a patch tomorrow morning (that's next week), tomorrow's maintenance does herald the opening of another wing of Icecrown Citadel, the Crimson Halls, assuming all goes as planned.

The Crimson Halls highlights the San'layn, the undead blood elven lieutenants of the Lich King. We'll be facing off against the Blood Princes Valanar, Keleseth and Taldaram as one cohesive unit as the first 'boss' before facing down the Blood Queen Lana'thel. Knowledge of these encounters is currently extremely limited, but you can check out our impressions of the Blood Queen encounter as it was on the PTR.

The opening of a new wing also means we'll be getting 5 more attempts at the major bosses in the zone (Deathbringer Saurfang, Professor Putricide, and the Blood Queen) which brings us to a total of 15.

Filed under: Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King

Raid/PuG habits should be kept separate

I want my frost badges. At this point, I'm working on completing my T10 set (so close) and waiting for the gates to come down in ICC is so slow and maddening, I basically run the daily random every single day on my three dedicated Alliance side 80's (my Horde toons are again in a neglect cycle, my tauren cries at night when no one can hear) for primordial saronite and of course, that annoying Tier. Then of course the non-set gear that has crazy high armor on it to switch in for specific fights. And of course after that there's DPS gear for offset. So basically, I need a lot of emblems and ICC just doesn't provide enough running it on 10 and 25 weekly. Imagine me as a bitter old man sidling up to the emblem bar and yelling "Hit me!" at this point.

Last night I and a couple of guildmates signed up for a frost run and we ended up with two DPS and popped into Azjol-Nerub. I'd got myself a new fist weapon on my shammy and wanted to punch things in the face. Half way through the run, the healer sent me a tell asking me to inspect the DPS warrior we'd picked up. And yes, he was DPSing in Prot, with all of his talent points in the protection tree, in a mix of tanking and PvP gear. Yes, his DPS was low (I believe the proper phrase would be 'ridiculously low') and yes, he ran and pulled Hadronox instead of letting the person signed up to tank do it, and brought all the adds over as well. I was all set to blow a gasket at him, when I realized that this was a PuG. I'd never see the guy again. I was putting out enough DPS to cover for him, as was the hunter in the group. We burned down Hadronox, I briefly explained to the guy what the adds did, he apologized as this was all still very new to him and it was his first 80.

This led to a brief discussion while we were heading down to kill Anub'arak.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Raiding, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King

Developer Twitter chat transcript for January 15th, organized by category

After the break is the complete transcript of the developer Twitter chat with Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street and J. Allen Brack. They talked a lot about Cataclysm and upcoming class changes, and reflect on some of the inner workings of patch 3.3. Unlike the last twitter developer chat, this chat was much more substantial and actually provided useful information for us all.

We've broken up all the answers into the following hyperlinked categories for your browsing pleasure.

Table of Contents Look for more analysis and updates on these answers in the coming days on

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Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Destroyer

The Care and Feeding of Warriors is's weekly column for all things angry and clanky. Matthew Rossi writes it, when he's not busy being angry and clanky.

Dev Chat Update: While today's post is about fury, it's worth mentioning that in addition to nerfing Shield Block's contribution to Shield Slam, we will supposedly see a threat buff to the ability. Hopefully it's a scaling, and not a static, threat buff, something that adds X threat for every Y block value or something. They'd also supposedly like to add sustained damage to prot for PvE without PvP burstiness, which would be nice if it happened..

Lately I get plenty of tanking action in raids, to the point where I honestly don't want to do it in PuG's. When musing about it the other day I realized that I'm too used to hard modes and progression when tanking: I demand perfection of myself to such a degree that I get tense and stressed over the smallest error in execution. This is possibly admirable (when not taken too far) in a raid setting on a new boss where strategies are being tested and modified constantly and everything's on the razor's edge between being able to pass the checks inherent to the content.

It's not when you're PuGging Halls of Lightning for a couple of extra Emblems of Frost.

In fact, what can help you get past Rotface is downright madness causing when heading down to Loken. At this point, Loken holds no surprises, and neither does the trash. Being a tanking perfectionist just leads you to tend towards freaking the heck out over stupid crap bored people do, and that's turning the game from fun to a drag for yourself. (It probably does for them, too, but they can look out for themselves.) Lately, I've taken to running the random daily and any 10 mans I PuG on my own as DPS, just to get a break from my own self-imposed desire to try for flawless execution. (I'm not saying I ever accomplish that, by the way, just that I want to.)

And I have to say: fury got good again when I wasn't looking.

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Filed under: Warrior, Instances, Raiding, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

Totem Talk: Fire Nova

Totem Talk is the column for shamans. This week, Matthew Rossi talks about Fire Nova, his absolute favorite new ability in quite some time. Boom!

The hastily cobbled together screenshot above really only gives you a small taste of the awesome that is Fire Nova. The old Fire Nova totem was okay... you'd drop it on big AoE packs if you could do so, but for a lot of shamans, sacrificing their active fire totem to so so was a lot to ask. The genius of Fire Nova, the new ability, is of course that it works with any fire totem you have. You're a restoration shaman with a Frost Resist totem down up close to the melee on Sapphiron? Well, our first question could be "Why are you still running Sapphiron?" but we'll assume it's a weekly raid thing. Anyway, even that Frost Resistance totem can now provide some damage! I'm not saying waste your mana on DPS if it's a tight thing, mind you, I'm just saying that if you found yourself healing a fight you way overgeared you can pop a couple of FN's in there to liven things up.

Yeah, okay, this happened to me. It was boring!

Where Fire Nova has really shined for me, though, is running a modified Enhancement set-up. Now, granted, some of the DPS I'm seeing from this has also come from getting a few upgrades to my gear set, but in tight AoE situations I'm seeing Fire Nova as a solid 2nd on the DPS chart, just behind melee attacks.

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: The all-DPS Group

Oh, you know what I mean. There's five folks in your Dungeon Finder random group. One is signed up as a tank, one is signed up as a healer. Only, the 'tank' is in full DPS plate with nary a shield nor a ghoul in sight (nope, that there's a ret pally/arms warrior, sure enough) or the 'healer' is in full PvP gear and has Flametongue on his healing weapon. You all stand around, waiting for someone to equip gear that would allow them to tank the instance (preferably the tank) but he seems as content to wait it out as everyone else.

Often in these situations I'm unfortunate enough to have decided to DPS on a character that can tank, but luckily (or unluckily as the case may be) yesterday I was on my shaman and so could simply sit back and wait. It was mentioned to the 'tank' that, as the person who had signed up to tank the instance it might behoove him (or possibly her, hard to tell who's behind the keyboard) to slap on a shield and some tanking gear, but only the grim silence of the truly disinterested was our reply. Was he even at the keys? Hard to say. The wait extended to the point where we could safely kick him, and kick him we did. but that's ten minutes or so of my life I'll never get back. (And no, my shaman couldn't tank HHoR, I didn't even try).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Wrath of the Lich King

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