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Posts with tag reforging

Mists of Pandaria Beta: The evolution of itemization

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Let me introduce you to the Massacre Sword. It was, and still is, a solid leveling green with a rather good model. I point it out to you to show you the odds of getting one with stats you'd actually want on a warrior, paladin or hunter (the three classes that would be using the sword at the time the game launched) and how likely it was you'd get, say, a Massacre Sword of the Boar or Whale. Granted, you could get a few fairly useful combinations (one of Strength or Agility, say, or a good two stat combo like Bear, Tiger, Eagle, Monkey or Gorilla depending on your class.

This was a green drop, of course. It wasn't meant to be the best of the best, just something to pick up and use on your way to dungeon loot. It's hard to compare it to what it would be replaced by nowadays, because a lot of that gear was re-itemized when Cataclysm came out and the dungeon levels were adjusted up or down. I remember replacing it with Lord Alexander's Battle Axe, followed by a Demonshear and an Arcanite Champion, before forays into Molten Core and Blackwing Lair. It's fascinating to consider how itemization works as a tool in driving players forward. Bad itemization, while baffling at times when encountered in game, actually serves a purpose in the hands of the developers. An item with too good of a stat spread can actually serve as a hanging burr, sticking to your character long after it should have been replaced.

I mention this because, to my mind, Mists of Pandaria is the first expansion to really know this, forwards and backwards. This is the expansion that will use gear design to motivate you better, more skillfully, and more expansively than ever before.

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Filed under: The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Finally, a portable reforger

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Deep in the heart of Kun-Lai Summit, at The Grummle Bazaar, lies a vendor named Uncle Bigpocket who, at some point, will sell the Grand Expedition Yak, this expansion's version of the Traveler's Tundra Mammoth. It's a beautiful beast, but what caught my attention were the vendors on the side of it. One of them is named Cousin Slowhands, a NPC who seems like he probably sells water and food and the like. The second vendor, on the other hand, is named Mystic Birdhat, Arcane Reforger.

Many players have posted on the forums (we've even floated the idea), pleading for some type of portable reforging tool. Well, it seems Blizzard was listening! While the price for the mount would appear to be about 60,000 gold, the possibility of account-wide mounts makes this purchase worthwhile. Hopefully, someone in your raid or dungeon group has some deep pockets!

[Thanks to Runek for the heads up!]

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Is reforging a hit or a miss?

It's always the same. Just when I get everything all sorted out neatly, a new piece of upgrade gear drops. If I win the gear, the next half-hour or so after raid is spent digging up gems, cutting them to the appropriate cut, then nabbing enchant mats and making sure the item is enchanted properly. And after all that is done and I put the gear on, I log out and back into the game so that the armory updates. Then I alt-tab out of the game and pull up my reforge site du jour (rogues, Shadowcraft is an amazing, amazing thing), put the window on my second monitor, tab back into the game and reforge it all.

And hopefully when I'm done with all of that, I'll have precisely enough hit to cap without going over, and all of that useless crit will be a thing of the past. It's not a hugely complicated process, but it is a process -- one that I repeat with each new piece of gear I obtain. I generally get far more out of reforging than I ever did with simple gemming and enchanting from the Wrath era. However, I also understand all these different stats and which ones are good, something a new player might not be aware of.

So is the reforging process a hit with this expansion or a miss?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

A case for transmogrification and reforging engineering pets in Mists of Pandaria

I want to get this idea out there, in hopes that some friendly designer smiles upon it:

Transmogrification and reforging bots for engineers in Mists of Pandaria.

It might seem like a little trivial, given that these are just a matter of hearthing back to the city to do right there, but that's not always a good and viable option. When raiding, you don't have a ton of space to do things for only yourself, and you need to take into account the rest of the group's time.

Reforging pets, in particular, would be a boon for raiders. Often times, a new piece of gear can be quickly enchanted and gemmed (I know I always carry a few extra gems and enchanting mats on me when I expect to get a big new piece of gear); however, the reforging and "thinking time" (or Ask Mr. Robot time) that's necessary for high-end raiding isn't easily done. People can try to hearth and do it quickly during a scheduled break, but that's rarely practical.

Transmogrification pets would be less critical but would fit nicely into the engineering motif of providing unique gadgets and toys that provide at least some level of usefulness and/or fun. Engineers already have their own special teleportation generators and can make some fun pets and whirligigs. Letting them and others transmog their gear at a remote location, possibly through a Jeeves-like item, would be a nice addition to the engineer's toolbox.

So what say you, Blizzard, can we have some mogging and reforging pets, please? We promise to only transmog to look like Whitemane (and maybe the Stormwind or Orgrimmar guards).

Filed under: Transmogrification, Mists of Pandaria

Are pure DPS classes really just another form of hybrid in disguise?

Once upon a time, my guild was trying its hardest to down 25-man heroic mode Lich King. It was the very end of Wrath, and we were running out of time to put an end to the boss before the inevitable launch of Cataclysm. I had been playing an assassination spec since some point between Ulduar and ToC, having given up on ever obtaining a really good combat weapon (I was partial to fist weapons; something about punching people in the face with knives appealed to me), and I was really good at it. I spent forever poring over stat caps and best-in-slot items and had just gotten the perfect set of items that capped every stat that needed to be capped.

And then it happened -- the prep patch for Cataclysm. Do you know what the best stat is for an assassination rogue in Cataclysm (other than hit, of course)? Mastery. Do you know what wasn't present on any Wrath gear? Mastery. My DPS went down, and due to sup-par burst DPS, I was sat for the realm-first 25-man heroic mode Lich King kill. I watched all my guildies ding the achievement and get the one title I was really excited about. And later, one of the officers, a druid, asked me flat out -- why didn't I have a backup combat spec?

Oh ... if only he knew.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Have reforging demands become too complex?

Have you ever cringed at the idea of picking up a new upgrade because you knew it meant you were going to have to reforge almost every single piece of gear you wear? Do you actually consider picking up more than one of the same item so that you can have it reforged differently for different specs? Do you ever want to punch that smarmy, overly reverbbed ethereal in the face after you dump several hundred gold reforging all your gear because there was no negotiation? (You just charged me a flat fee, you jerk!)

That last one may just be me.

Reforging gear has become a huge part of optimization. It is at least as important as gemming and enchanting. Sites like WoW Reforge and Ask Mr. Robot (to name just two) are heavily consulted by players looking to squeeze every last erg of performance out of their gear. Is it too much? Has the minigame of stat tetris gotten out of hand?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: 2011's warrior in review

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

In the past, I've done Year in Review columns and liked them well enough. The first one I wrote was in 2007 and discussed rage normalization, which to my eyes was the biggest and worst change the warrior class had undergone in The Burning Crusade. Flash forward four years. Here we are in 2011, and rage normalization has been with us for a year and the sky didn't fall. This has me in a contemplative mood. The future is Mists of Pandaria and a new talent system, but right now, it's time to look back at what were the biggest developments for the warrior class.

I don't necessarily mean good or bad, here. These are simply profound changes, things that may have also affected other classes but which definitely affected us. While 2011 was a year we made contact (because we're melee, we have to make contact) it was also a year of a great many changes.

Mastery

I've talked about it before, but mastery really has been a game-changer for warriors this past year. Fury warriors got so much out of the stat before patch 4.1 that the amount of mastery they have at base was nerfed from 8 points to 2 points. It worked, after a fashion, because until patch 4.3, it became impossible for fury warriors to assemble enough mastery to make them interested in the stat again. It may be possible with Dragon Soul gear for TG fury, but with arms the dominant DPS spec for warriors in Dragon Soul raids right now, it's not likely to be tested exhaustively.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Cataclysm

Patch 4.3 PTR: New interface for reforging

I know that there's wisdom in the adage "if it's not broken, don't fix it," but there are times when I'm very glad that Blizzard doesn't adhere to that philosophy. Case in point: the new reforging interface on the 4.3 PTR this week.

I'm a chronic reforger. I've spent many a lonely night at Godan's Runeworks in Orgrimmar, turning crit into hit and haste into mastery. The reforging interface on live is a boring brown and black box, with pulldown menus to help you choose the stats you want to reforge to. While the reforging interface served its purpose well, Blizzard has made some excellent changes to it for 4.3 to make it significantly more user-friendly.

Whereas on live, you use a pull-down box to choose the stat you wanted to reforge from and then another pull-down box to choose what you want to reforge into, the PTR reforger has all your options presented in the same frame, making reforging faster and easier. It also is now a shiny purple color, much preferable to the drab darkness of the live version. It now features a reminder on your reforged items that you'll need to undo the stat change to reforge again, which is helpful for the airhead in me who sometimes accidentally restores the wrong item.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Addon Spotlight: ReforgeSaver lends a hand

Each week, WoW Insider brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same.

Few times in my World of Warcraft existence am I truly stunned when an addon does something so simple and effective that a happy laugh emits from my dropped jaw. Truly, hyperbole is necessary when we talk about ReforgeSaver, a wonderful utility from addon creator Jordans. Pressing one button and making many things happen, almost like magic, is a good thing in my book.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Lichborne: Gemming, reforging, and other gear tweaks for blood death knight tanks

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

Last week, we discussed the basics of death knight tanking, including finding your perfect spec and figuring out which stats to aim for. This week, we're taking it one step further. Once you're all geared up, you need to put the finishing touches on your gear. Today, we'll look at how you can use gems, reforging, and enchants to bump your tank gear up to the next level.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Encrypted Text: Deftly handling your dual-spec rogue

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions you have or awesome screenshots you'd like to see featured.

Dual talent specialization used to be an expensive upgrade reserved for players with good money management. As time has passed since its inception, its level requirement and cost have decreased dramatically. Everyone can afford dual talent spec now, and the benefits are easily recognized for hybrid classes. What once was a 30-minute trip to a capital city to respec between roles has become a short cast that can be performed anywhere. Pure DPS classes can still use dual spec to their advantage, and rogues are no exception.

I'm going to be honest and tell you that subtlety is still not competitive in PvE. While its unrivaled survivability does come in handy on a few heroic encounters, its damage output is simply not strong enough to warrant regular use. Combat and assassination are our two most potent talent trees, and so most rogues will be sporting these specs in raids. While assassination still holds the DPS crown on most encounters, combat's Blade Flurry can be useful for dungeons and even raid bosses like Halfus Wyrmbreaker. By properly planning our rogues, we can play both specs with a deadly efficiently.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Even rogues have homework


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any screenshots you'd like to see featured here or any questions you might have!

I hate homework. When I was in school, I was always finding creative ways to turn my assignments in as late as possible. I completed most my English assignments the night before they were due, and I've solved a few calculus questions in the car on my way to class. No matter how important the assignment was, there was always something more interesting that I would rather do. When it comes down to a heads-up match between playing Warcraft 2 and studying biology flashcards, there's really no contest.

Playing a rogue successfully in the endgame of World of Warcraft requires a lot of homework. We've talked before about the very math-centric natures of rogue theorycrafting. Without a spreadsheet or other mathematical tool, it's almost impossible to create a working model for testing DPS and checking gear. Boss abilities are constantly changing and being added, and they often interact with our abilities in non-standard ways. Blizzard's developers are implementing fixes on a daily basis. In order to keep up with the pace of WoW's development, you simply have to do your homework.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

WoW Rookie: Reforging 101

New around here? WoW Rookie has your back! Get all our collected tips, tricks and tactics for new players in the WoW Rookie Guide. WoW Rookie is about more than just being new to the game; it's about checking out new classes, new playstyles, and new zones.

As the story goes, the ability to reforge magical items was introduced to Azeroth by the Highborne. We don't really know the in-game lore of how, when, why, or where, but we do have it fairly clearly that the knowledge came from the Highborne.

Reforging allows you to customize your magical items by substituting one secondary stat for a different secondary stat. The stats that are eligible are the ones in green text at the bottom of an item, such as critical strike, mastery, expertise, and so on. (We'll do a full list behind the cut.) You can only swap about 40% of a single secondary stat, and the item must be at least item level 200 or higher. (Items have levels similar to player characters, and those levels help determine how much of each stat bonus that item can provide.)

The stats that are not eligible to be reforged are stamina, intellect, strength, and agility. These stats are considered set in stone and have very little variation in the amount of each stat, even on different items of the same item level. Since that's the case, you can probably see why you're not able to re-allocate those points.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Encrypted Text: The rogue guide to gear customization


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Email me with any good screenshots or questions you have!

Back in the good old days, rogues were stuck with whatever leather gear that happened to drop. It didn't matter if it had spirit or strength on it, as we really had no other options. We could augment our pieces with a few different enchants, but even those were better suited for warriors. While sometimes it seemed as if there were a random number generator churning out tier loot, we happily scooped it up anyway. The class, and everyone else, was at the mercy of the itemization gods of Blizzard.

Times have changed quite a bit since those days. While we're still not able to craft custom pieces of gear tailored to fit our every need, we're not stuck with caster stats anymore. With the number of dungeons and bosses available, combined with the addition of justice points, there are a ton of options for nearly every slot on our character sheet. Enchanting has grown to encompass most of our gear, while reforging and the gem system have taken gear customization even further. Not only is there more gear to be had, but the gear we do get is much more malleable, allowing us to pick the perfect combination.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Slicing up hit and expertise for Cataclysm rogues


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me, especially if you've been playing subtlety lately!

I love hit and expertise. While their mechanics and nuances can be complicated, I enjoy the diversity they bring to our gear options. We have stats like critical strike chance, which give us a chance to hit harder; haste, which lets us hit more often; and of course, hit and expertise, which let us hit our targets more often. The interaction between all of these different gear stats is one of the most interesting parts of theorycrafting for me. Think about it, would you really enjoy picking gear if you were just choosing between haste, mastery, and crit?

Unfortunately for us, hit and expertise are also our only two remaining stats with tangible caps on their potency. While we were able to cap out on critical strike chance and armor penetration in the past, one of those stats has been rebalanced and the other completely removed. Because of the caps in place, hit and expertise's value drops off immediately after reaching that golden value, and so we're left always keeping those caps in mind.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

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