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Posts with tag raid-buffs

5 ways to get rich off an agonizing grind

Skyshards are a bit like leprechauns: Some people never see them, and some -- usually the heavily inebriated souls awake at 2 am -- see them all the time. You need 10 for a Sky Crystal which brings Alani crashing out of her route around the Vale. Because that's the only way to get the Thundering Ruby Cloud Serpent, and because some of us are working on Mount Parade and will barf the next time we see the Argent Tournament, sometimes you just have to resign yourself to a long and boring grind. However, if you've got to kill thousands of mobs anyway, you might as well make the most out of it and improve your hourly genocidal "wages" with a few things:
  • Helpful Wikky's Whistle A rare drop off Major Nanners. While definitely the least helpful item on this list, the Whistle isn't expensive to use and doesn't use a trinket slot. Blow it, and a tiny hozen will appear. Talk to him, and he'll run off to forage for you while you kill mobs. Once you get to around 50, Wikky will reappear with a Bag of Helpful Things. Warning: He vanishes fairly quickly if you don't talk to him, so keep an eye on the emotes in your chat screen. He'll always announce his presence.
More past the cut!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Economy

Cataclysm Beta: Engineers provide new version of Great Feast

The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the humidity is down to a comfortable percentage. It is truly a beautiful day for a raid. What do you say we break out the picnic tables, slam down a Great Feast and then fire up the ol' goblin barbecue. Wait, what? Goblin barbecue?

Datamined from the next beta patch, engineers will now be able to craft a Goblin Barbecue, an engineering version of the chef's best friend, the Great Feast. Giving well fed group and raid members 60 stamina and another 60 points in another useful stat, this barbecue promises to be delicious in all the right ways. In my opinion, engineering has been getting some amazing love this expansion, truly cementing the profession as the utility-focused trade. I cannot wait for the graphic to show up. Sing it with me, engineers: Engineering, best profession.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm, Goblin

Breakfast topic: Your favourite patch 3.3.3 change?

You psyched about the latest 3.3.3 changes? In case you need a download mirror, check out our sister site over at Big Download. I'm not looking forward to fixing my addons but I know there will be a few issues with it. For me, there are good number of updates that I'm extremely happy about:
I'm a little disappointed about:
  • The changes to the healing priest tier 10 4 piece bonus. (Redesigned. This bonus now increases the effectiveness of the caster's Power Word: Shield by 5% and Circle of Healing by 10%.)
But my favourite change of all?
So what's been your favourite change so far in the latest patch?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Ready Check: Raid buffs for great justice

Last week, we talked about the core buffs just about every raid needs to get by. I included the 3% damage buff provided by some folks like retribution paladins. While ample raids get by without that buff, it's so straightforward that I felt it merited inclusion. It affects physical DPS characters, tanks, and magical DPS characters all alike, so is fairly universal.

Of course, I didn't mention a lot of other obvious buffs like Arcane Intellect. While I'll certainly admit I can't recall having been on a raid in while without that buff, I'm pretty sure at least a few 10-man groups have gone without a mage. But that's why, this week, we're picking up the remainder of the raid buffs that provide so much synergy for raids.

As Brian Wood pointed out, raid buffs are some of the most drastic increases available in raid performance. Every class's power soars while under the effects of raid buffs (and while their targets are getting debuffed), and it's this synergy that makes raids successful. That's by design: Blizzard wants us to be exponentially more powerful while grouping with other players. The power of two players in a group is greater than the sum of their parts.

With all that in mind, let's jump behind the cut and start going down the other important raid buffs.

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Filed under: Ready Check (Raiding)

Patch 3.3.3 PTR: Shaman changes

Patch 3.3.3 will bring some interesting changes to shamans.

  • Flame Shock: The damage-over-time component of this ability can now produce critical strikes and is affected by spell haste.
  • Talents:
    • Elemental Oath: This ability is now always on as a passive aura.
    • Unleashed Rage: This ability is now always on as a passive aura.
Turning the talents Elemental Oath and Unleashed Rage into passive auras is a bonus for leveling, soloing, and PvP. Instead of waiting a few GCDs or strikes for that first crit, the aura is up for you (and your team in PvP) immediately. In a raid environment these talents tend to be up continuously so the change for raiders is less significant.

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Filed under: Shaman, News items

Blood Pact: Using SimulationCraft for gear selection

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast." ~ Leonardo da Vinci

As warlocks, we're used to delving into the mysterious depths of the occult to seek the knowledge that brings us power. This week I'm going to attempt to lift the veil of mystery that covers what is possibly the most powerful theorycrafting tool at our disposal. SimulationCraft is a tool that anyone who has frequented the Elitist Jerks forums will no doubt have run into at least once. In my experience many people take one look and run screaming from all the "maths" that starts to intrude on their game.

With this article I would like to reduce the "fear factor" of SimulationCraft and show one way in which it can be very useful. Many of us put together lists of upgrades that we would like to get our hands on and we all do that by comparing the stats on each item. We may also use lists produced by others or even give different values or weights to an item's stats by using scores we find -- these tend to be based on theoretical 'model' warlock's gear set. What I want to show you is how you can generate these lists and scores for yourself based on your own gear.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Give Bloodlust to Rogues

The idea behind "Bring the player, not the class" is that raid stacking shouldn't be as big of a deal as it was during, oh, say, Sunwell. For each buff and debuff, we have a few different classes that can provide it, so raid leaders don't have to go too far out of their way to get good coverage.

However, what single buff was the biggest factor causing guilds to stack a particular class in Sunwell? Ten points if you said "Bloodlust/Heroism." And that is, irritatingly enough, one of the few remaining buffs that no other class has; if you want Bloodlust, you need a shaman, period.

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Filed under: Rogue, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Buffs

Loot, rationality, and the Sunwell effect


Here at WoW Insider we don't always agree with each other. Whether it's debating the merits of various tanks on different encounters, the damage difference between pure and hybrid DPS classes, the ideal function of a particular healing class in raids, or the superiority of cake over pie, our back-channel discussion tends to be pretty interesting.

Eliah Hecht's article "25-man gear should not be better than 10-man gear" sparked a lot of great discussion with our readers and, I think, some illuminating poll results as well. The majority of responders believed that giving 10-man and 25-man raids the same loot table would result in a significant drop in popularity for 25-man raiding. Overall, I tend to agree with this, but I also think that Eliah touched on something that speaks to Blizzard's evolving sense of game design, much of which is evident in the transition between late Burning Crusade and Wrath.

I would like to call this the Sunwell effect, or "ingame rationality." To wit: don't incentivize players to behave in a manner contrary to your actual design interests. I believe this played a huge role in the differences between BC and Wrath raiding, and that it underlies why the 25-man loot table has to remain superior to its 10-man counterpart.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Features, Raiding

Insider Trader: All about flasks in 3.1


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Patch 3.1, for all of its grand changes, has also dedicated itself to imposing smaller tweaks aimed at making some mechanics more convenient, logical, and fair.

The application of applying a glyph is one of the latest in a line of positive changes that we'll be seeing on patch day. While the old (current) process is an annoying charming ritual, the new method is better for the Azerothian on the go.

Currently, applying a glyph requires that the player be standing in front of a Lexicon of Power, usually found in main cities. With patch 3.1, this will change, and we will be able to re-glyph at will.

This means that if you asked your buddy to hook you up for the raid that night, and it arrives in the mail a few minutes before go time, you can just switch it in without having to hearth and be re-summoned. Heck, I'll just be happy to be able to do it from the mailbox rather than having to ride through the city!

While some may complain that this makes the process less special, it might be wise to consider the glyphing change that is accompanying dual specs. Once we glyph our main and off-spec, we will not need to glyph again unless we change our minds on which glyph we want, or spec to our third spec.

The only hitch is that you cannot switch them during combat, in Arenas, or in Battlegrounds once the fight has started, which sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

Another major, and welcome change, relates to flasks, which brings us to our topic of the week. I will be addressing the new mechanics of flask creation, and discussing the benefits of the new system.

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Filed under: Alchemy, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Raiding, Buffs, Insider Trader (Professions), Inscription

On the edge of change Pt 2: Shamans in patch 3.0.2

If you're like me, you're writing a guide for shamans explaining how the class will change when patch 3.0.2, the Echoes of Doom patch, goes live tomorrow. Hi, I'm doing that too! Right now, in fact. By the time you read this, I will have finished it and the blistering, searing array of changes will have stopped erupting in my poor, addled brain.

One of the interesting effects of Echoes of Doom is what won't be accessible: the long awaited and somewhat controversial shaman CC, Hex, will not be ours until level 80. The new fire-based spell Lava Burst will also not be attainable, which was even listed as a reason for a nerf that didn't happen to our lightning spells. Many of the changes to our class will still be in the future when this Tuesday's patch rolls around.

There's still plenty to comment on, though. Spell coefficients, the unified spell power system, and specific talents and spells aimed at changing how you spec and how shamans feel to play. Earthliving Weapon is just one change, but it's one of my favorites... a useful imbue for resto shamans and anyone forced to emergency heal. There are still concerns (well, okay, I still have a few concerns, I can't speak for everyone) about how things will look as we all level up, but none of that will affect you when patch 3.0.2 hits, since 70 will still be max level and you'll still be in the gear you have now.

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Expansions, Classes, Talents, (Shaman) Totem Talk

PvE winners and losers in patch 3.0

I'm putting together a class-by-class prediction post on how the changes we'll see in patch 3.0 and beyond will wind up affecting PvE gameplay in Wrath, but it's probably a bit premature to make specific guesses while talents and skills are still being overhauled in the beta. Still, I think a few general trends (at least for 3.0) are pretty clear.

I'm calling it now; Paladins will fare best, but Shamans will be the hardest hit by the upcoming changes, especially with respect to raiding. I think this change is driven in no small part by Blizzard's realization that Sunwell-level raid guilds are hugely dependent on the party-specific buffs like totems and Heroism/Bloodlust that Shamans bring. The problem is that Shamans are still the least-played class, which has left raiding guilds desperate for a high-end population of Shamans that simply does not exist (especially Alliance-side). Making Shaman totems and Heroism/Bloodlust buff the entire raid (but heavily nerfing how often the raid can benefit from the latter) means the days of stacking Shamans (or trying to) are effectively over.

Paladin changes, especially for holy and retribution, are equally driven by Blizzard's experience with Sunwell. With absolutely breathtaking amounts of raid damage occurring, encounters were disproportionately weighted in favor of: a). healers with more raid-healing capacity, like resto Shamans and CoH Priests (something we heard from SK Gaming months ago) and b). DPS who brought raid-wide DPS buffs to kill the boss as fast as possible (e.g. Retribution Paladins on Brutallus and M'uru). Given the new skills I'm seeing on other healing specs, I'll make another prediction; prepare to see that same level of raid damage rear its ugly head in Naxxramas again.

I'll be launching a more extensive prediction post once talents and skills are finalized for Wrath, and then I'd like to do a follow-up post at some point after guilds start conquering level 80 raid content to see whether they were any good.

Filed under: Paladin, Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Raiding, Classes

Patch 3.0 PTR round-up


The public test realm has just gone live, and if you've got any characters on it (or if you'd like to go copy some), you can head on over to enjoy all of the patchtastic frivolity likely to descend sometime soon.

In case you're catching up to the rest of us, patch 3.0 is another large content patch specifically designed to transition the player base to the upcoming expansion Wrath of the Lich King. We won't be seeing Death Knights or Northrend (or at least, we're pretty sure we won't, unless they're planning on a big surprise). We will be seeing all of the 1-70 class changes, new features added to the default UI, barbershops, Inscription, a raid buff system overhaul, and more, in addition to four European servers closing due to Russian player migration. Read on for a quick guide to what you can expect:

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Patches, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Expansions, Mounts, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

Raid buffs overhauled for 3.0.2

Blizzard has been promising changes to raid buffs and raid stacking for a little while. Last night, they laid all their cards on the table in a giant blue post. Here's a run-down; all of this will be going live in 3.0.2, the pre-Wrath of the Lich King patch.

  • Almost all buffs and debuffs will work raid-wide -- Warriors shouts, Shaman totems, Paladin auras, and more.
  • There are approximately 30 categories into which raid buffs and debuffs fit. All raid buffs/debuffs have been put into one or more of these categories. Most categories have only one or two buffs in them; see the post for the category breakdown.
  • Buffs cannot stack within each category; only the most powerful one will apply. For instance, Battle Shout and Blessing of Might will no longer stat.
  • "Mana battery" action (such as Vampiric Touch) is changing significantly. It won't depend on damage done any more. Whenever such effects occur, the ten people in the raid with the lowest mana will receive a buff called Replenishment restoring 0.5% of their maximum mana each second. This buff will be provided by Shadow Priests, Survival Hunters, and Retribution Paladins.
  • Heroism/Bloodlust will now affect the entire raid, but you can only be hit by it once every five minutes.

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Filed under: Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

Addon Spotlight: PallyPower

Today I thought we'd look at an addon that many guilds require their paladins to use. To be honest, I'd never really understood why until I transitioned to 25-man content. Coordinating blessings with one other paladin (our Karazhan runs rarely had more than two paladins.) was never complicated, but when you've got three or more paladins, it can get messy and can waste valuable raid time.

As my guild continues its efforts in The Eye and Serpent Shrine Cavern, I've found myself somewhat frustrated by paladins who don't use this one. Granted, I was that guy until recently, thinking that because ZOMG Buffs played nice with buff assignments via PallyPower, that I was good to go. Now suddenly I'm taking a more active role in buff assignments and realize that like Omen, Healbot and logging for WWS, the more players using a utility, the better.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Add-Ons, Raiding, AddOn Spotlight, Buffs, Battlegrounds

Select group buffs going raid wide in Wrath

Between the Shaman portion of the Class Panel and the Q&A session at WWI08, raiders have some great news (in my opinion). If you're a reader of Hybrid Theory, a few weeks back I discussed the possibility (and necessity) of certain group buffs becoming raid buffs. The devs have confirmed that yes, many of these things are becoming raid buffs.

The examples given were Totems and Unleashed Rage from Shaman, and Battle Shout for Warriors. This will greatly lower the need to stack Shaman so every single party of your raid has totems, but there's still the Bloodlust/Heroism issue. Taking 4-6 Shaman for Heroism is the single largest buff to your DPS that you can supply, so we'll see what happens. Either way, this is fantastic news, and something that has been sorely needed. Figuring out class balance for a raid can be fun, but not when your determining factor over who gets cut is "who won't fit in the Windfury group?"

Filed under: Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

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