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Posts with tag runic-power

Stats 101: Your character's resources and attributes

If you've been around the game for a while, you know World of Warcraft's system of resources and attributes so well that it seems like it needs no explanation. However, for players diving into their first MMO or even just switching classes, the basics of WoW's resources and stats -- otherwise known as the jumble of numbers listed on your character sheet (just hit "c" to see what we're talking about) -- may as well be a foreign language.

So if you're trying to get started and you're a little lost as to what all of these numbers mean, how they affect your game, and the kind of gear you should equip to play your best, this guide is for you. Read on and we'll walk you through the numbers in plain English.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Lichborne: Death knight class achievements

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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.

Like just about every Blizzard fanboy these days, I have been playing a lot of Diablo III. And while playing it, I have indeed been looking to complete achievements whenever I can. A lot of Diablo achievements are similar to WoW achievements, but one category Diablo III has that WoW doesn't is class achievements.

This is understandable. There are a lot of reasons WoW doesn't have class achievements. It's harder to level multiple characters and get them all. It's harder to implement flashy achievements that could force you to put a group at a disadvantage. People could focus on gaining achievement points rather than winning a battle. That said, I still think there's some merit to the idea.

One of the best reasons to have class achievements, I think, is as a possible teaching tool. There's still not a really solid, in-game way of teaching you how to play your class, but a few achievements that rewarded you for using certain skills in certain ways might just be a good start. Sure, you could just cheese them anyway, but if you tried to get them legitimately, you could very well find yourself learning how to play along the way. This week, we'll brainstorm a few death knight achievements and see how they could help a lot of people play the class better.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

The Art of War(craft): Must-have PvP talents for death knights in 4.0.1


Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Art of War(craft), covering battlegrounds and world PvP, and Blood Sport for arena enthusiasts. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? Battlemaster Zach Yonzon, old-world PvP grinder and casual battleground habitué, rambles on about anything and everything PvP.

So the bomb finally dropped. As expected, Patch 4.0.1 finally made it to live realms and players are scrambling to get used to everything new. For most players, that first free respec is used for PvE to enable them to join the latest PUG looking to down the week's raid boss. This is when reality bites -- that spec you've been fiddling around with over at Wowhead or wowtal.com isn't delivering the way you thought it would. That's OK. If you're doing some PvP, understand that there are a number of bugs out there, so things aren't behaving exactly as they should. Add to that the fact that the game is balanced around being level 85, that stamina is low, and resilience has taken a hit ... things are going to be somewhat wonky. So don't write off that spec you've theorycrafting on for weeks just yet.

Since specs are pretty complex and fluid at this point, we'll take a look at vital PvP talents instead. The fun thing is that at this point in the game, all specs are good to go for PvP -- although your mileage may vary. There isn't much room for variation, unlike before, when players could reach deep into two trees, especially for PvP. But inevitably, there are talents that are extremely useful in a PvP environment. Today we'll take a look at core PvP talents for each spec for death knights, just in case you were wondering what to do with those last few talent points. For this exercise, we won't bother discussing any 31-point talents because, well, you're supposed to pick those up, anyway.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Death Knight, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

Encrypted Text: The energy resource system

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the rogue class. This week, I'm talking about my experiences in as a beta tester.

I love energy. Of the three different resources in WoW at level 60, energy was definitely the best around. While death knights may argue that runes are more fun, they suffer from up to 10-second lockouts on some abilities once a particular rune is used up. Some hunters in the Cataclysm beta have claimed that focus is the best thing to happen to their class since pets. That's fine, but energy doesn't require us to play the regeneration minigame to ensure that we're producing enough.

Energy is simple to model and even simpler to use; no ability is more than 6 seconds away. The system has seen constant upgrades since its humble origins, though its core functionality has remained unaltered. It's become a crucial part of our mindset, and it defines the experience of playing a rogue. I had an old friend that used to say that all true rogues set their watches to only tick every 2 seconds. What is about energy that keeps it marching on so reliably?

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Cataclysm Class Changes: Death knight analysis

I'll be completely honest: If I were to describe the death knight update with three words, it would be these: We need more. PvP-focused death knights will likely be pleased with the new revealed skills, but for PvE death knights, all three hold little to no PvE applicability. The new rune system's original explanation is somewhat convoluted, and while I think I have a handle on it after some extensive testing and theorycrafting, we really can't say much about how well it will work until we know more about how our abilities will be rebalanced. The talent discussion mostly focused on telling us what we learned a few days ago when we were told blood will be the only tanking tree.

Essentially, given this update, a large part of me wishes they had just held off until the beta. Right now, we just don't have enough information to make anything more than vague educated guesses about how the new rotations and abilities will play off of each other. That said, it's still worth a look at what's going down, so let's start it up and see what we can surmise.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Cataclysm

More Cataclysm change details for death knights

As is customary for the Cataclysm class previews, we get more details on all the changes death knights can expect in Cataclysm from our friendly neighborhood CMs and devs. Will there be a two-hander style for frost DKs? How will the new rune system play out? Will you have to spend runes on everything? All of these and more can be found answered within.

Zarhym
Here are a few points of clarification:
  • We want to provide a 2-handed style for Frost since we recognize that pets are an acquired taste. We think we have the design space to do that now that we don't need to support Frost tanking. We're definitely committed to making Frost work as a dual-wield tree though -- that isn't going away.
  • Outbreak is free with a 1-minute cooldown. It's not supposed to completely replace Plague Strike and Icy Touch.
  • We're not sure how we're going to handle presences yet. We recognize the oddness of Blood death knights playing in Frost Presence and Frost death knights not playing in Frost Presences. We might rename the presences or take some other action.

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Filed under: Death Knight, Cataclysm

Speculating on a new resource system for Hunters

As we said on the podcast this weekend, one of the most interesting things to come out of the Hunter Q&A last week was that vague about "long-term plans" to "[remove] the need for hunters to rely on a different resource system then mana." That one kind of came out of nowhere, and the answer was even more vague: basically, they promised to talk about it at BlizzCon. Of course, that's what our attracted our attention: is Blizzard planning on getting Hunters off of their mana system completely?

That would be quite a change -- since the beginning of the game, Hunters have relied on mana as their "resource" -- Warriors have Rage and Rogues have Energy, but Hunters somehow got looped in with the other DPSers as mana users. That doesn't make much sense -- not only does it depend on Intelligence (a stat which Hunters don't really have a reason to go after anyway), but it's lead to the problem of keeping Hunters powered up. Hunters are almost continually out of mana, and Blizzard has made some wacky mechanic tweaks (with both AotV and Replenishment) to try and keep them up and running.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Classes, BlizzCon

Lichborne: Patch 3.2 Death Knight changes in-depth

See how nerfed I am?
Welcome to Lichborne, the Death Knight column, with your host, Daniel Whitcomb.

On my first read-through of the Patch 3.2 Death Knight patch notes, I had to chuckle a bit. If the theme of the Retribution overhauls was making Retribution DPS a bit more complicated, it was definitely very much about the simplification for Death Knights. Simplification is a relative term, of course, given that rune rotations are still in full effect, but there has been some streamlining of techniques and adjustment of cooldowns that will lead many of us to do some tuning up on our rotations. Let's take a deep look at the changes and see what they'll mean for us going forward into Patch 3.2.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Classes, Talents, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: It's been one week (of 3.1)

It's been one week. The barenaked ladies. Get it? Get it?Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly Death Knight column. This week, Daniel Whitcomb continues to make sense of just what the heck they're doing to us on the PTR.

So we have one week down in the PTR. We've had a chance to get more familiar with the Death Knight changes, both the documented and undocumented, and to see how they'll affect the way we play once 3.1 goes live.

Of course, by the time 3.1 goes live, they could be changed pretty extensively, but for now, it's a good idea to check out where they are right now, and not only predict where they might go, but let the developers know by our feedback, based on testing, where we think the class should go. With that in mind, let's take a look at the current state of the class on the PTR, where we're going and where we want to be heading.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

The Wrath of the Lich King Death Knight roundup


Good Thursday morning, everyone. I'm sure by now that many of you rushed home from your midnight openings, installed the game, and started up a new Death Knight. Many others may, like me, be expecting to do that tonight after work or school, while others are looking at rolling a Death Knight in a few weeks or months after the rush has died down or they get a main to 80. Whatever your plans, if you're playing a Death Knight anytime in the future, you'll want to read on. We have a nice selection of some of the best news, information, and analysis of the Death Knight class after the break, including a lot of information that the new Death Knight will find useful.

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Filed under: Items, Tips, Leveling, Guides, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Lichborne: Unholy Blight, or I spent 51 points for this?

Welcome to this week's edition of Lichborne, where Daniel Whitcomb is totally bumming out that he won't be getting a sweet axe on his Death Knight.

I know a few of you have been asking for some good solid builds for powerleveling your Death Knight through Outland and through to Northrend, and I'm hoping to deliver soon enough, but unfortunately, it's hard for me to recommend something when it could very well change another couple times before release.

We're getting down to the wire, though, so it's likely the trees will solidify soon, and I'm hoping to have some recommendations on good Death Knight builds in the next week or two. For now, I've decided to take a look at one of the 51-point Death Knight talents to give you a taste of how things change in Beta. Specifically, I'm talking about Unholy Blight.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Leveling, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

BlizzCon 2008 UI panel liveblog


12:00 PM: The gang just showed up on stage. Hellos answered with... silence.
12:02 PM: Tom Thompson and Derek Sakamoto introducing themselves, lots of applause.

Check the rest behind the cut!

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Filed under: BlizzCon

Skill Mastery: Horn of Winter

Horn of Winter is a Death Knight skill that was added in a recent build. Much like the Shaman's Strength of Earth Totem, this skill will give a strength and agility buff to nearby party or raid members -- 155 at the highest rank, to be exact.

It has advantages over Strength of Earth to be sure. It lasts 2 minutes like the totem, but unlike the totem, it's quite a bit more mobile, being a straight-up buff. If there's one drawback to the skill, it's finding the time to cast it.

A Death Knight nearly never sits idle while DPSing. Every global cooldown is precious as you strive to use your runes as soon as they refresh and shed runic power as soon as you have enough for your chosen runic power dump. Some Death Knights think that shoehorning Horn of Winter into there might be asking a bit much, and want it to, at the least, not cost any runic power.

Still, it's a very nice "upgraded" version of the Shaman's Strength of Earth totem, and 20 runic power (10 with a glyph) isn't that bad a cost, so if you're in a physical DPS heavy group or raid, and any Shamans aren't putting out that specific totem, it's worth using it. Any slight hiccup in your damage rotation is probably worth all the nice extra AP and melee critical strike rating you'll get from the buff. Just skip a couple Rune Strikes and cast it already!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Expansions, Guides, Buffs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Lichborne: Death Knight glyphs

Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly weekend look at the first hero class, the Death Knight. Daniel Whitcomb is back after dealing with some light administrative work back at the Ebon Hold.

Inscription seems to be coming on to the beta server in bits and pieces, especially when it comes to the much looked for glyphs. One or two classes seem to trickle in each build, and in the latest build, it is the Death Knight's turn. Today, we'll take a quick look at the new Death Knight glyphs, and figure out how useful they'll be to the various playstyles and specs of the Death Knight. As always, it's worth noting that these are beta numbers, so things could change by the time Inscription and Death Knights see the light of day on live servers.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: PvP, grinding, the Unholy tree, and you

Every weekend in Lichborne, Daniel Whitcomb will take you through the ever-changing (Beta) world of World of Warcraft's first hero class, the Death Knight.

With a new Beta Build on the test servers, Death Knights have received a massive amount of talent changes. Many of them have been hinted at on the test servers for eons, and I've covered much of them in last week's Lichborne. The new disease changes are in, as is the changing of Chains of Ice's Snare component to an undispellable physical effect. You can check out the full list of changes here.

Among the new changes is a very extensive revamp of the Unholy tree, which features quite a bit of talent consolidation and quite a few new and interesting mechanics and abilities. In fact, I'd have to say that the current build may very well mark the rise of the Unholy Tree, with the changes making it an amazing tree for grinding and PvP.

As a disclaimer, there's still lot of bugs in this build. Many abilities don't seem to be working quite right, especially Blood Caked Blade (which only hits for 1-4 damage based on the number of diseases instead of 60% weapon damage per disease), Raise Dead, and Night of the Dead. Because of that, it's often hard to say how or if an ability would be better or worse if it actually worked. Therefore, I'll be discussing the abilities based on if they actually did work, backed with some feel for them from Death Knight play on the Beta Servers.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Expansions, Leveling, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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