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Posts with tag shadowstep

Shifting Perspectives: So. Um, do bears suck?

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we shelve the column we originally intended to run due to a rather pressing matter.

OK, folks. I have a confession to make. This week's Shifting Perspectives was originally meant to be a full guide to gearing your Restoration Druid at 80, and I'm still going to post that, either this week or next. A lot of people have (correctly, I think) observed that this column has historically paid more attention to Feral than to Restoration or Balance, and it's my aim to balance (har!) that out a bit. Part of it is just that the people who play Druids on staff here at WoW Insider are usually feral, and part of it is that -- at least as of the last numbers we had on it -- most people playing Druids are also feral. I confess I would love to see the demographics on Druids post-Wrath, because I get the sense that Balance in particular has become markedly more popular.

But the Resto post is going to have to wait a few days, not least because my eyes are swimming from so much Wowhead. We found out today that Swipe's threat is getting a significant buff, but over the course of reading the pertinent forum thread and some back-channel discussion here, I ran across a few things concerning bear tanking that really made me sit up after the hell of tanking last night's heroic Old Kingdom and go, "Wait. It's not just me?"

Personally whenever I encounter serious problems in a dungeon I tend to chalk it up to the fact that I suck. I find this to be an efficient and typically accurate means of pinpointing the source of an issue. However, my fellow Druids, our problems may actually be more wide-ranging than that.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Expansions, Features, Classes, Buffs, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Scattered Shots: Space

Scattered Shots + reader eyeballs = hunter infos input to brains.

Lots of classes are very much "point-and-click" when it comes to battle -- you just pick your target and start using special abilities. The artistry of playing your class usually has to do more with the particular order you use these abilities in than it does with actual positioning and usage of the space around you (with the exception of raiding boss battles which require people to be standing in the right place at the right time).

More than any other class, however, hunters use space itself as a weapon. For us, the usage of space is so much more than just "getting in close" or "keeping a safe distance." Our traps, combined with our totally different abilities depending on how close we are, mean that our strategy completely changes depending on the spacial circumstances we help to create.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Tales from the Lion's Pride Inn: The first step

I really like today's new page. Kat accidentally discovers that she has a natural ability for something that takes most people years of training. Of course, right now she's too busy getting away from Naga to give it much thought, but you can be sure she'll get around to it.

Will she get away? You'll have to read today's page to find out. Click the image above to view today's page, or the gallery below to read from the beginning.

Filed under: Comics, Tales from the Lion's Pride Inn

Encrypted Text: Examining your spec

So yesterday on Build Shop, I mentioned that I'd gotten an email this past week from a Rogue who wanted to know about the viability of a 30/0/31 build for casual instances, raids and PvP. The short answer is OK, not very, and sure. The long answer is slightly more complex, so this week on Encrypted Text I'm examining exactly where a non-conventional hybrid build like could work, and why there are usually better specs available for both PvE and PvP.

First of all, I'm a big supporter of non-standard specs. I think that your own play experience should help determine where you spend your talent points. However, I do think that you should at least examine why certain specs are tried and true, and how certain talents outperform others. If you never play in any type of group (instance, raid, battleground, arena, etc), then how you spec only affects you. Once you start spending time with other players, though, the way you play and spec starts to directly impact your teammates. Raids especially are all about teamwork, and if you're not contributing 100% in all the ways that you could, you start to become a liability. You become less of a liability in dungeons where fights are generally shorter, but you're still not living up to your potential.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Upcoming Rogue changes

This week on Encrypted Text, I'm going to go over some upcoming changes to the Rogue class that everyone should be aware of. Rogues have some nice tweaks and some serious changes in the pipeline, so let's get to it.

As a long time fan of the Subtlety tree, I've been really enjoying the last couple changes Blizzard has made to Rogue abilities. In patch 2.3, Hemorrhage was buffed to deal 125% weapon damage, Shadowstep became usable out of stealth, Cheat Death became more reliable -- all great changes. Although the next patch will nerf Hemo down to 110% weapon damage, there's also a talent in the Subtlety tree to increase it's damage by 10%, so heavy Subtlety rogues won't feel the pinch quite as bad.

Another important change that we reported on indirectly a few days ago was a new tweak to Shadowstep -- once activated, it grants a 3 second, 70% speed increase. What does this mean for rogues? Read on and find out.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Return of the Hemo talent builds

For the sake of other rogues out there who are pretty excited about the return of Hemo, Deadeight has complied his own list of favorite Hemo builds for us to try if we want to use the ability but aren't really sure how it should fit with our other talents.

One of the builds is quite a bit like my rogue's new leveling build (as well as Chris's latest Build Shop rogue build), so I guess that means a number of other players love the new Cheat Death too, and not everyone thinks Shadowstep is a waste. I'm not a high-end raider going for the top damage, or a PvPer going for the ultimate skill combination. I just like zipping about all over the place every 30 seconds while questing or doing normal instances, and I figure whatever I lose in damage in order to get that is more than made up for by the "wheee! teleport!" factor.

So if you're the type of rogue who suddenly feels tempted to cause lots of hemorrhages, this guide could be a handy starting point, or else a nice way to measure up your own personal build against what other people thought would be good.

Filed under: Rogue, PvP, Raiding, Guides, Talents

WoW Moviewatch: Loz's Shadowstep

I came across this video over on the official Rogue forums. As the author, Loz, clearly states -- this isn't meant to showcase PvP skill, only large crits, so don't expect to find anything but one-sided fights. He's well geared, he's got a mean dagger, and I found the video extremely entertaining. The video also makes me more anxious than ever to try out Shadowstep again in Patch 2.3.

But, if you enjoy watching lesser opponents getting their faces melted in 1.6 seconds, this is the movie for you.

Previously on Moviewatch...

Filed under: Rogue, PvP, WoW Moviewatch

Build Shop: Rogue 16/3/42

Welcome to another edition of Build Shop! This week, we're going to examine a Rogue build (something that hasn't been done since this column began way back when). Subtlety has long been labeled as a Rogue's "utility" tree, but there are so many goodies in there... talents that buff your attack power, your agility, improvements to stealth -- the list just goes on.

Patch 2.3 is bringing lots of changes to the Subtlety tree, so it's as good a time as any to examine a build I can't wait to try out!

Read more →

Filed under: Rogue, Build Shop

PTR patch notes for Friday, Nov 2

World of Raids is reporting lots of small fixes in the latest PTR build of Patch 2.3, but with a few surprises as well. There's a good amount of class changes along with some Badge of Justice loot tweaks and a new Hunter volley animation seen above.

Highlights for the class changes include: Feral Druids getting their single target and group based taunts buffed by their +hit rating; Rogues getting Hemorrhage buff as well as a redesign of Shadowstep; and Priests receiving the Focused Will buff as well as Druids getting the Natural Perfection buff even buffer than we reported on earlier.

Chest spawns in Hellfire Ramparts, Karazhan: Chess Event and The Mechanar will not be lootable by anyone absent for a significant amount of the boss fights near the chests. On the upside, Heroic Ramparts and Heroic Mechanar chests will contain a Badge of Justice for every member in the party and the Karazhan cache will contain two! I can tell what two Heroic dungeons are about to get very popular.

Finally, special Engineered goggles are no longer necessary to see the gas clouds in Netherstorm for mote extraction. However, the goggles will now allow the gas clouds to be seen on the minimap in addition to whatever other tracking the player currently has up.

With Patch 2.3 background loading this week, one can only hope Zul'Aman will be available for all of us to enjoy soon and Patch 2.4 introducing the Sunwell Plateau will be served up on the PTR right after.

[Thanks Calypso!]

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Classes

PTR Notes: Shadowstep slightly buffed, repair bot cheapened

It looks like a few more changes snuck onto the patch 2.3 PTRs that didn't quite make it to the last round of patch notes, and here they are.
  • Rogue
    • Shadowstep (Subtlety) can now be used at any time, not only while stealthed. Now increases the damage and reduces the threat caused by the next damaging ability. Cooldown increased to 30 seconds. Range changed to 8-25 yards. Note was updated to reflect the most recent version on the PTR.
  • Engineering
    • Engineering potion injectors no longer require engineering skill to use.
    • Jumper Cables XL is no longer a trinket.
    • The materials required for the Field Repair Bot 110G have been simplified [and it now has 5 charges].
  • World Environment
    • Gas clouds in Nagrand now produce motes of air.
    • Gas clouds in Zangarmarsh now produce motes of water instead of motes of life.
So if I'm reading everything correctly, Shadowstep has been changed to reduce the threat on the next subsequent move no matter what it is (previously it was just Ambush, Garrote, or Backstab), and the cooldown has been lowered from 40 to 30 seconds (still up from 15 on the live realms). How does that sound?

And being the intrepid WoW investigator that I am, I jumped on the PTR to find the new mats on the Repair Bot. They are: Adamantite Frame, Khorium Power Core, Primal Earth (3), Handful of Fel Iron Bolts (8), Adamantite Bar (6). Additionally, the bot now seems to have 5 charges, which I don't remember from before. The previous mats were Adamantite Frame (2), Khorium Power Core, Primal Earth (4), Handful of Fel Iron Bolts (6), Fel Iron Bar (18). Here's how it compares in raw materials: the new bot requires 32 less Fel Iron Ore, four more Adamantite Ore, and two less Primal Earth. That's a nice reduction in mats, especially considering it now has five charges, which effectively makes it five times cheaper on top of whatever the mats change did.

[via World of Raids]

Filed under: Rogue, Engineering, Patches, News items

The latest changes on the PTR

World of Raids once again has the latest breaking news on the latest Patch 2.3 Public Test Ream changes! Today's class changes seem to be mostly happy buffs, especially for hunters and rogues and paladins, as well as a slight nerf to warriors beyond the jump. Also read on below for Guild Bank prices, New Arena Season 3 weapon models, a Field Repair Bot change, as well as a few new engineering toys.

  • It looks like hunters get their version of Mortal Strike after all: Aimed Shot now reduces all healing done on the target by 50% for 10 seconds, in addition to the regularly increased damage.
  • The dead zone has not been eradicated, but it has been reduced to just about 1 yard. Why not just get rid of the dead zone and be done with it? Is Blizzard paranoid about the possibility of using melee and ranged abilities at the same time through latency bugs or something?
  • The rogue talent "Aggression" is being improved so that its damage bonus applies to Backstab as well as Sinister Strike and Eviscerate (at +2/4/6% with each rank).
  • Shadowstep now has a 30 second cooldown in addition to being usable out of stealth. Its range has been changed from 0-20 yards to 8-25 yards, and its +20% damage bonus now applies to whatever special attack you make next (i.e. Sinister Strike, Hemorrhage -- even Eviscerate or Rupture). Could this make it beneficial to non-dagger rogues as well?
  • Hemorrhage has received a huge buff: It now increases physical damage dealt to its target by up to 36 (increased from 10!), but its number of charges has been reduced from 30 to 10. This should make hemo rogues more desirable in groups, and also increase the benefit from having more than one in a raid -- but is it really enough?
  • The "Fanaticism" talent in the retribution tree now reduces the paladin's threat by 30% at the highest rank in addition to 15% increased critical strike chance with all judgements.
  • The protection talent "Precision" now gives a +3% chance to hit with spells in addition to melee attacks.

Read more →

Filed under: Hunter, Paladin, Rogue, Warrior, Engineering, Patches

Shadowstep: Do rogues need more threat reduction?

Celene has an interesting point: "Who in their right mind thought that the Subtlety tree needed additional threat reduction? Even the rogue class as a whole?" Indeed, she points out multiple ways that rogues already have to get rid of all the threat they can possibly build up: Feint, improved Fein (via the Sleight of Hand talent), Anesthetic Poison -- not to mention Vanish! And now, in patch 2.3, the Shadowstep talent is set to give an extra 50% threat reduction on the next attack the rogue makes after using it. (This is on top of the change to make Shadowstep useable regardless of whether you are in stealth or not.)

But the 5000-gold question is: Why? As you can see, rogues are buffed up with threat-reduction options already. Is Blizzard blind to the actual needs of the rogue class? Bornakk shadowsteps into the thread to point out, basically, that we ought not to look a gift horse in the mouth: "Rogues with Shadowstep will probably be attacking mobs at some point and this will help them use the ability and not pull aggro."

The problem here, as I see it, is that players sometimes assume that devs are handing out some abilities and buffs at the expense of others. A player sees a reduction in threat gained after using Shadowstep, for example, and thinks that the devs are opting to put that in rather than look at the class's real problems and get around to fixing them. In reality, I believe, the devs take their time with the small changes, and wait and wait for the big ones; they do a lot of internal testing to make sure that they don't mess up the class even more by trying to apply a "fix" to whatever problem is presented to them. If there are going to be sweeping changes that revolutionize the class, they'll either come bit-by-bit, or else they'll coincide with the release of an expansion, which is really the only time when huge changes make sense.

Personally, I'm all for more threat reduction, but it's really not that big an issue for me. I'm more excited about being able to teleport about out of stealth as well as in. This and other changes coming up for rogues might actually make me go back to playing my rogue alt again.

Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Forums

BC beta changes for rogues

Shadowstep talent text
The 41-point talent for rogues in the subtlety tree, Cloak of Shadows, never really impressed me. However, while I can't see myself spending that many talent points for it, I can certainly see its uses, and I know I'll be using it frequently if the change in the Burning Crusade beta -- making it a trainable skill -- makes it to the live realms. And before you think it's too good to be true and start pointing out that Cloak of Shadows is still listed as the 41-point talent in the official talent calculator, you should know that Tseric seems to have confirmed the change -- or at least, in his posted response to the thread about the change, he doesn't deny it -- only talks about reasons for making trainable high level talents.

Of course, if the 41-point talent is trainable, that leaves the question of what the new talent might be -- and I believe the above screenshot is legitimate. The Shadowstep ability is getting too much discussion on the beta forums for it to have been a fabrication by a single person.

Filed under: Rogue, News items, Expansions

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