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Posts with tag rotations

What ability would you rather not say goodbye to?

Game Designer Celestalon had an interesting question posed to Twitter earlier today -- what ability are you afraid Blizzard will get rid of, in its quest to defeat button bloat? Obviously each class is incredibly different and the answers are colored by personal opinion, but it's still a question worth asking. I think what struck me as odd was that I couldn't really come up with any kind of reasonable answer. As a rogue, there are very few abilities I can safely say I love -- Burst of Speed, Shadowstep, Fan of Knives -- but those are all situational abilities that I don't use with every raid encounter.

As for the rest of the rogue toolkit, I'm decidedly ambivalent about the whole thing. The rotation for an Assassination rogue isn't what I'd call particularly complex, it's simply a matter of watching timers to make sure you're performing the right moves at the right moment. Mutilate, Rupture, Envenom -- they're all abilities I use regularly. There's nothing really remarkable about them. I like that Envenom refreshes Slice and Dice, but that's not really liking an ability so much as liking a side effect of using that ability.

Which is really kind of weird, when you think about it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Encrypted Text: Learning the rogue virtues

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. If you have any topics you'd like to see covered, send me a stealthy email.

So many years ago, I picked up a copy of World of Warcraft. It was my first MMO, although I had played my fair share of RPGs. Once I started my rogue, I found myself leaning on Sinister Strike to kill everything. Eviscerate didn't seem very potent, and Slice and Dice was just some dumb buff. Other games had taught me that damage now was better than damage later, and so I focused on simply hitting my targets with Sinister Strike as often as I could. Stealth only slowed me down, and so I would just run up to my enemies. The learning curve of WoW isn't exactly steep, and so I was able to level pretty easily even though I was playing poorly.

Looking over our talent trees today, it's clear that Blizzard has spent quite some time refining the rotation of each build. In the past, we relied on diligent theorycrafters to guide our every move. Now, the talents themselves tell us how to play. How can you read Master Poisoner's tooltip and not realize you should be using Envenom? Improved Sinister Strike clearly points combat towards Sinister Strike, while Energetic Recovery makes Recuperate a staple of the subtlety builds. As I've mentioned before, each spec really has its own combo point generator and finisher priority. Figuring out what abilities go with which spec isn't rocket science; it's merely common sense.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Ghostcrawler on the evolution of rotation complexity

Yet again, a forum discussion of a singular topic (blood DK tanks and their diseaseless rotation, as discussed by our own Daniel Whitcomb last week) has led to some really fascinating perspectives on how the game is designed, how "intended" rotations were and will be discovered, and how much room there is to allow or discourage variant builds and rotations. Poster Deathsaint opened the discussion with the subject of relearning rotations, something we discussed last week in terms of DPS spec design. Things got interesting fast.

Ghostcrawler - Re: GC: Blood Tanking Instructions?
You are missing the point of that quote. It is not "players shouldn't have choices," as many of you are inferring. It's that "there should be more thought on the part of the designers for how various abilities are supposed to be used and those roles should be more apparent to players."

There has never really been a time in the game when you could just do whatever you wanted with your class and be equally effective. Then, as now, smart players doing a lot of homework would figure out the most optimized way to play. You can choose to follow their recommendations, try to find an even more optimized way to play, or just do your own thing because that's more enjoyable for you, knowing that you may pay the price of being less optimized.

What's interesting here is the change in emphasis.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Ret rotation and cooldowns in 4.0.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Please send screenshots as well as any comments to my email at

A couple of weeks back, I covered the basics of things that changed for retribution paladins. At the time, I was putting off any information about rotations, because our class has drastically changed and I wasn't sure if there were any more changes coming down along the lines. Now, 4.0.1 is here and locked in.

I'll be honest. Some of you might not like the direction the class has taken. I do ask you all to at least give it a try for a week before getting upset. A lot of classes have been revamped and I expect a lot of class-swapping before the expansion. However, those of you who are looking at these changes and drooling should find much more depth to the class.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

GC says good things coming for Warlocks

Ghostcrawler said some things over at the forums that should make our year start brightly. Or grimly, depending on what makes your Warlock smile. I mentioned something about the problematic Soul Shard mechanic, which was on top of Ghostcrawler's to-do list for the class. He says that Blizzard is looking at making it "more interesting and less of a hassle," which should be music to our ears. They're exploring two models -- one is a major change in gameplay, but is "very cool", while the other would be a quick fix. The clunkiness of Soul Shards have been around for four years, so I think we can all wait just a bit longer for something very, very cool.

Another big thing he mentioned was the simplification of Affliction's rotation. It's not something I'm completely sold on, considering I actually have a lot of fun with Affliction, but the stuff is a bit of a headache to keep track of and I do need AddOns to help me monitor all those debuffs. Ghostcrawler also notes that Warlock DPS -- mostly Affliction, at least -- is built up over time, but since fights don't last very long, they're looking at how to fix things. Although he also says it might fix itself in Ulduar, which won't be the ez-mode players have been treated to in early Wrath.

Blizzard will also be improving demons, which is totally awesome considering they're worlds better now than they were four years ago. Finally, Ghostcrawler gives a nod to PvP, knowing that Warlocks do need a bit of work there, too. Very encouraging words to kick off our 2009, don't you think?

Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Forums

Scattered Shots: Shot rotations

Scattered Shots is for hunters. 'Nuff said.

Once you reach level 62 and learn Steady Shot, it's time to start getting a firm grip on this thing hunters must learn called "shot rotation." If you don't - just casting your shots willy-nilly, as soon as they come off of cooldown -- you'll end up wasting a lot more mana and doing a lot less damage than a hunter who has his or her shot rotations timed right.

The video embedded above is a handy example of two basic shot rotations which we'll look at in more depth here, and it can give you a basic sense for how the timing of all this is supposed to work. But if it still looks a bit confusing, fear not: today's Scattered Shots will help you to make your shots less scattered and more organized, with helpful charts and fundamental knowledge about how to do this rotation thing. It really ain't that hard -- just a bit of info can get you pointed in the right direction, determining the rotation which is best for you.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Guides, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Addons for shot timing, threat tracking, and pet training

Last week, Scattered Shots hit the bull's eye on which professions are best for a hunter. Today, we take aim at some interface problems hunters have, and the addons we can use to eliminate them.

A user interface is an ever-evolving work of art. You can use it one way for a long time and then suddenly find one simple addon that lets you change everything and make it much better. Especially with all the problems that show up every patch, I've begun to look at my interface as a constant work in progress. As such, I'm usually in a constant state of getting rid of old addons, enjoying the ones I use now, and looking for new ones that might help me even more in the future. Every choice of what to put in or what to take out is a conscious decision about what will help make my game play smoother, more successful, and more visually interesting.

As hunters, there are a number of needs that we have which other classes don't have - and special hunter addons are there to help in many of those cases, while in other situations, one of the more generalized addons might fit our needs best.

Today I'll cover three of the most glaring interface problems for hunters and show you how I deal with them at the moment. In the comments section, feel free to share your own different interface issues, as well as your own solutions, for the benefit of our readers. Keep in mind that a user interface is an extremely subjective thing, and one solution may not work for everyone. Nonetheless, often times just sharing your idea will inspire someone else to vary it a little and make their own thing out of it, which is even better.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Add-Ons, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Unleash the fury

The Care and Feeding of Warriors burns from within this week. Matthew Rossi has played a lot of warriors, and this week he dedicates the column to fury warriors, the spec which seems the most basic to the rage concept, really. It's a rage bar, after all. No, not a place you go to drink rage. How would that even work, rage potion cordials? It doesn't bear thinking about.

My first warrior leveled as arms, back in the dim past before patch 1.2. It's hard to explain to people just how bad playing a warrior was back then. We didn't generate rage on blocks, parries or dodges, executes took all of your rage even if they missed, and there was a bug that caused attacks that were dodges to be calculated as misses, causing you to miss out on a ton of overpowers. Berseker stance used to grant 10% melee haste, but no one really knew what that meant. (I wonder if warriors today would trade 3% crit for 10% faster attacks?) I managed to get him to 60 mainly through instancing with friends/guildmates. (To be fair, I was ahead of most of my guild, with the exception of a couple of hunters who'd started playing before I did.) So when I created a new warrior on a new server to play with some real life friends, I wanted to do things differently.

And so I went fury. Being the stubborn cuss I am, though, I didn't level fury with a dual wield build... I didn't like the way I'd miss so many attacks and at that early stage of the game there wasn't much I could do to prevent them, so I stayed with my beloved 2h weapons. I still remember when I got the Relentless Scythe and started to really understand how to output DPS with it. While most warriors were carrying Arcanite Reapers around, I was tweaking my gear for AP and crit and trying to figure out how to squeeze the most DPS out of a two hand weapon (although I also had a pair of Bone Slicing Hatchets enchanted with +15 agility to annoy my wife... as a hunter, she found it irritating that I got them before she did, and I did enjoy using them) - amusingly, just as dual-wield specialization was coming into the game, I was getting into raiding and the guild I was in didn't need a prot warrior, just an off-tank for various MC mobs. I picked up a Draconian Deflector cheap off of Drakkisath (he was very slightly dead at the time, he got better) and headed into Molten Core - you could tank as fury in those days, and I did.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Rage and how to use it

The Care and Feeding of Warriors is as always here for you, the reader, oh and also because Matthew Rossi is some kind of demented idiot who will do something like get out of tanking a raid and then spend two hours grinding on some Blade's Edge quests on his draenei warrior before logging onto his tauren for some PvP. We figure it's best to let him do all his rambling about the class in one place before he has an aneurysm.

Reader Arnold Luschin emailed in recently with what seemed to me a worthy topic for this week's column. Rather than mangle what he said, I'll reproduce it here.

Having played a druid to 70, and done a lot of tanking, I am familiar with aggro/rage etc, but I have a warrior specific question for you. Could you possible cover the basics of warrior tanking/fighting ability rotations (i.e. the names of the abilities, and the best time to use them in tanking and grinding/questing)? E.g. for warriors, one would use sunder whereas for us bear tanks the most equivalent ability is lacerate (which we incidentally don't get till about level 66 or so...).

And the answer is, sure, I can do that. The first caveat is that warriors tend to be the twitchiest tanking class, especially as you first learn the class. It can often feel like you have to mash buttons constantly in order to hold onto your aggro lead, and even then adds will often peel away from you when they'd stay right in place for a bear or paladin tank. It takes time to really learn and get comfortable with the somewhat frenetic style of the class, and to a degree this translates out into soloing or questing, depending on what spec you're using. I'd suggest checking out Tankspot and browsing the forums, although the theorycrafting can get pretty thick over there. This article is one of my favorites, though. Bookmark it.

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

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