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Posts with tag ranged-dps

Is it time to kill mana?

In your heart, you always knew we were coming here.

Mana is one of WoW's biggest sacred cows. Paladins, shaman, druids, mages, warlocks, priests all make use of it, and hunters were once also on the mana teat, as it were. Every healer uses it, and when the monk class is introduced, they'll heal with mana as well. Every ranged caster uses it. It's the resource system the majority of WoW players are most familiar with, a pool that starts at full and empties as you use it. Over the course of its existence, stats like spirit and MP5 have filled it back up during combat, keeping those classes that rely on it supplied. Since it's the lifeblood for all healers, it effectively is the same for all tanks, even though only one tanking class actually tanks with it. Two classes use it to melee DPS, both hybrids, and these two classes effectively ignore the regeneration of the mana pool via talents and class abilities that make mana regeneration a non-issue.

Mana is fairly easy to understand. You have it, you use it. There are various systems built in to make regenerating it easier. With the addition of runes and runic power for death knights and holy power for paladins, secondary resource systems (similar to the combo point system of rogues) have also been introduced to the game. Holy p-ower in particular is interesting to this discussion because it is a secondary resource added to a mana class and one that works for healing, tanking and melee DPS. (Everyone has their own opinion of how well it does so.)

This leads us to the subject of this post. Do we need mana at all? As my intrepid coworker Michael Gray pointed out to me when discussing this article, mana serves many uses. It's not just that it's a resource for healing and DPSing, but the finite nature of the mana system serves to limit encounters in both PvP and PvE. Doing away with mana could have as many negative effects as positive ones.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Guest Post: Confessions of a noob death knight

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

Here's the thing: I've been a mage from day one, when I first started playing WoW a good two years ago. I always liked being a mage in Dungeons & Dragons, so I figured I would like being a mage in WoW. I was right. In fact, I love being a glass cannon. (OK, I don't love the glass part so much, but I really dig the cannon part.) I'm not a great mage; age and fingers that were broken by judo or baseball have slowed me some. Still, I am a good mage. I hold my own, doing anywhere from 7-12k DPS depending on buffs and what I am watching on TV.

The thing is, as much as I love being a mage, making my own food and teleporting all around, I hate taking forever to queue. I also started thinking, "Hey, there must be more to simulated life than just standing back and blasting things." I decided to try a new character. Not having the patience to level a character from 1 to 80, I figured I'd go the death knight route. After all, DKs are mage-killers; they are the anti-mage. So after two years of being nothing but a ranged DPS machine, I rolled a DK.

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Filed under: Mage, Death Knight, Guest Posts

The dying Hunter?

The folks over at Ten Ton Hammer have a post with some anecdotal data about Hunters -- they claim that Azeroth's ranged DPS pet class is on a decline lately, and they've got only some guild application numbers to back the theory up. Mem over there says that there are a few diehard Hunters still floating around, and lots of alts, but that as a class, it's fallen off in terms of popularity for sure.

Is he right? Fortunately, there's a site that tracks numbers (as reliably as you'll find for public information, anyway -- certainly Blizzard has access to much more information) on exactly that. WarcraftRealms' list of classes over time does prop the "declining Hunter" theory up -- as you can see (from both Alliance and Horde totals), Death Knights took a nice bite out of all the classes for a little while, and Hunters have been on a pretty steady slope down since mid-January, when patch 3.0.8 hit the realms. That, of course, was the harsh Beastmaster nerf, and ever since then, Hunters have had some real trouble recovering (not to mention that all class playtime is declining in general -- despite their slope downwards, Hunters are still in the top three classes played anyway).

Is this the end of Hunters? Not at all -- Blizzard has already said that they are cyclical about balancing classes, and a heavy set of nerfs on one side of the cycle is usually accompanied by a burst of buffs on the other. Not to mention that the most interesting Hunter changes, the ammo revamp, hasn't yet found its way to the game. Reworking of ammo (in addition to some likely buffs there), will probably bring lots of Hunters back to the stables, so to speak. But it's true, Hunters are on a downward turn lately.

[via WoW LJ]

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Classes, Talents, Buffs

Big changes for Hunters in patch 3.1

Not quite as unique as it was before.No more quivers, no more pouches, no more bullets to make us slouches. Ok, so I'm terrible at poetry, but you get the picture. This has been on a lot of Hunters' wish lists for a long time, but it's finally here. No more ammo.

Or rather, ammo will be an item more like a relic or a wand that modifies our ranged weapon damage without being consumed. Engineers, that means you better make hay while the sun shines. Soon, we'll be buying our last crate of Mammoth Cutters ever.

This is far from the only changed announced tonight -- or this morning, depending on where you are. Let's look at them all one by one.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Talents, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

Mage class not being removed at this time

In a startling announcement, European CM Vaneras has confirmed that Blizzard has no plans to remove the Mage class from the game. "Current plans," the CM later clarified. "Please remember that the expansion is still in the middle of extensive beta testing, and many aspects of the game are being balanced. If we find that a crappy talent or class is not working, we will remove it."

The statement was met with mixed reactions among the playerbase, as many have agitated for an existing class to be cannibalized and its sweet innards redistributed in order to preserve raid balance in Wrath of the Lich King. Other, less pointless ranged DPS classes saw much debate concerning the issue. While Hunters could regrettably not be reached for comment as it was dinnertime and Mom was calling, the Warlock community, found at their collective den of iniquity, replied, "Nerfing us is not the answer. Buff other classes." When asked about Mages, they thought for a moment and said, "Classes worth buffing."

WoW Insider has thus far been unable to confirm with a developer that Mages will indeed remain in the game through patch 3.02. Reached at his office late Tuesday afternoon, Jeff "Tigole" Kaplan responded, "The what class?"

Disclaimer: the author of this post may possibly be bored and prone to making things up about expansion hysteria.

Filed under: Mage, Odds and ends, Expansions, Humor, Classes, Forums

Choosing a class for raiding with low FPS

NSDragon wants to know over on Livejournal: what's the best class to raid with on a low-end system (as in, one that gets only about 3-10 FPS during raid boss fights)? First of all, there's no reason you should be raiding with a system like that anyway -- even a cheap PC will run World of Warcraft better than that, and even if you can't afford a new computer, odds are that you can at least add some RAM in there and speed things up a bit. But let's assume that you're a great person and you've given all your money to charity, so there is no way that you can afford to buy anything faster.

In that case, as most of the commenters on the thread say, ranged DPS is probably your best bet. You won't be able to pour out as much aggro as someone who isn't lagging, but at least you'll be able to use your 3 frames per second to do some damage, and you're sure you won't draw aggro and wipe the raid. As for which ranged DPS class, though, I'm not sure -- Hunters have autofire, so you can be sure that you'll be pushing out DPS constantly. Mages aren't too hard to raid with (most Mages will actually tell you that they just press one button over and over again). Warlocks might be easier with their DoTs, but even that relies on timing in a way that Hunter DPS really doesn't. I'd say Hunter.

Some people are saying Healers, which I originally thought was a bad idea, but if you combine their recommendation of just looking at the floor (to speed up the FPS) and watching the healing meters, you might have something there. Wouldn't be very fun (whack-a-mole FTW), but you'd be helpful to the raid in situations where you wouldn't have to move around much. So healer might be a viable choice for a low-end computer user as well.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Raiding, Classes

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