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Posts with tag shields

Spiritual Guidance: A first look at patch 4.1 for priests

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers healing for discipline and holy priests, while her archenemy Fox Van Allen dabbles in shadow while knocking back "naptime potions." Dawn also writes for and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

Earlier this week Blizzard surprised the masses by releasing an early sneak peek at patch 4.1 on the PTR. Though the patch features no major raid content, it has made some tiny changes to the priest class that could have some big impacts!

Among the patch changes for priests are a nerf to Power Word: Shield, a buff to Divine Aegis, a possibly nerf to Dispel Magic, and a new animation for Holy Word: Sanctuary which I've included a video of after the break.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Totem Talk: The myth of the well-itemized elemental shaman shield

Guest hosting is serious business. Not everyone can live up to the challenge the way Alf did. Still, as part of a mission of mercy, shadow-priest-turned-elemental-shaman Fox Van Allen is rolling the dice and taking the helm of Totem Talk this week. How does mercy fit in, exactly? Well, have you seen what happens when rabid elementals invade the comment sections of Joe's resto version and Rich's enhancement version? Not pretty.

To get our children through their early days of life, we tell them little fictions to make things more magical and more fun.

Hurry up and get to sleep so Santa will bring you lots of presents!

You should take that tooth and put it under your pillow; the Tooth Fairy pays big money for those!

There are plenty of well-itemized spellpower shields out there for elemental shaman!
As you grow up, you learn the sad truth behind it all. That obese man coming sneaking into your house on Christmas Eve is actually trying to perpetrate a home invasion. Those who collect the teeth of others are most likely in need of serious psychiatric help. And for the longest time, we elemental shaman used to suffer the quiet indignation of carrying around gobs of useless MP5 on our shields, just because Blizzard didn't see it necessary to design shields around our specific needs.

Well, my totem-flinging friends, I have some good news -- not regarding Santa or the Tooth Fairy (sorry), but regarding that spellpower shield. You do have options. And there's more good news: With Cataclysm coming right around the corner, we're about to become proverbial kids in a candy store.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Elemental gearing for the new 80

Melee combat? Barbaric. Healing? How pedestrian. Let the elements do the talking. Totem Talk: Elemental. Brought to you by Mike Sacco.

Last week I took you through Elemental 101, a crash course in playing your elemental shaman. Now that we've got the basics out of the way and you understand your talents and rotation, it seems as good a time as any to talk about gear.

We addressed the main stats you're looking for on elemental gear last week, but here's a quick rundown again for those who missed it: Hit rating, spell power, haste, and crit. These are the only four stats we'll be looking for on elemental gear, besides the obvious intellect and stamina boosts that'll be on nearly every piece of caster gear anyway.

If the above sounds like a pretty reasonable set of stats to look for, well, you're not wrong. So I've got good news and bad news for you. The good news? There's definitely elemental gear out there. The bad news? Good luck finding it. Elemental gearing has a lot of issues unique to both the shaman and this specific spec. And you're not gonna like them.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Breakfast Topic: Has the upcoming release of Wrath changed how you play?

We've had a lot of talk here on WoW Insider about what you can do to prepare for Wrath of the Lich King. Stocking up on consumables, clearing out your bank, stuff like that. Some people have really drastically changed their play style to prepare for the expansion which is coming in just a few days.

Me? I've actually stopped doing things on my main, more or less. I stopped farming gold, I stopped worrying about consumables and gear. Just about the only thing I do on my main is raid since we're still doing Sunwell Plateau once or twice a week hoping for some weapon drops from Kil'jaeden. What I've been doing with the rest of my time in WoW is actually power leveling a new character to 70 as quickly as I can. Why am I doing that, so close to Wrath?

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Filed under: Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Warrior tanking shields in Wrath

Many people are wondering how long their Aldori Legacy Defender or Bulwark of Azzinoth will be lasting them in WotLK. While there will be no definitive answer until the official release of Wrath when items are more or less finalized, we can take a look at the various shield options now and at least get a feel for when they'll be replaced.

We'll compare shields by selecting a few key statistics: armor, block value, defense, and stamina. There might be other statistical factors in each shield, however these four values are the major stats that define a shield's power. We also show the strength on the shields which are coming in Wrath, since that attribute will be playing a larger role for the Protection Warrior post patch 3.0.2.

Read on after the break for a statistical break down of shield options for the Warrior tank, and why the iconic Bulwark of Azzinoth won't be replaced until at least level 77, if not level 80.

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Filed under: Warrior, Wrath of the Lich King

Allow me to introduce my shield to your face

Ghostcrawler posted fairly heavily on the Warrior forums the other day, and while Warriors are not especially my territory, something the crabman said reminded me of something I've really liked about Wrath so far. Referencing Gladiator, "Watch how Maximus uses his shield -- he isn't cowering behind it -- he's bashing people in the face with it. Shields should be a viable form of combat, not the option to avoid combat." This was said in the context of Protection possibly being viable in the arenas in the nebulous future (not anytime soon), but it reminded me of general playstyles anyway.

To some extent, Warriors have fought like this for quite awhile. Shield Bash, Shield Slam, things like that. It wasn't just Shield Block. However, none of that stuff hit very hard. Sure, Protection Warriors shouldn't be able to rock the DPS with their shield, but Shield Slam was more like Shield Bump. The higher block values and thus higher Shield Slam damage is exciting, and the addition of Sword and Board puts even more emphasis on the shield.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King

Defense cap defined

Many WoW players (and several of our readers) often comment that there is no such thing as a defense cap. This is true in the strict sense that there is no upper limit on how much defense you can have, nor any statistical diminishing returns. However, that's not to say that there's not a point where the utility provided by more defense starts to fall off – so there is a point where the utility given by more defense actually provides a practical diminishing return, and that point is referred to as the defense cap.

What is the magic number? 490 defense for Warriors and Paladins, and 415 defense for Feral Druids. To come about this number, you need to do a little math. First, it's important to note that a raid "boss" mob is considered three levels above the player. This means that the math is based off the boss mob being a level 73 mob, and the player being level 70. A player's base defense is defined by the formula Base Defense = level * 5. A player that is level 70 would thus have a base defense of 350 (70 * 5 = 350).

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Shield me, my love

Warriors of all shapes and sizes have one thing in common, their need for a good shield. They are the life blood of any tanking strategy. They give us health, protection, and threat. For a protection warrior, the shield is often time the most important part of their inventory. This is both a blessing and curse. While a good shield can't help a bad tank become good, a bad shield can easily make a good tank bad.

There are a few key stats in a shield to look at. First, the armor – one of the most important stats for a tank. It lets us take less damage from each hit, which means our health lasts longer and our raid survives more. Block Value is another important stat, and helps determine how much damage a shield will outright mitigate when an attack is blocked. Finally, stamina and defense are also always present on a shield, and are again, a key stat for a warrior.

While these stats are beautiful all in their own way, their infrequency in upgrades presents a problem for some warriors. To show what I'm talking about, let's take a look at what shields are available for the protection spec warrior at level 70.*

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion

Who knew shields were so complicated?

Reader Mike emailed in to ask us a question that we've long contemplated on the vagaries of Shields. Specifically, he was wondering why he and a warrior buddy both had different multipliers for block on their character window, but both blocked for approximately the same amount. Well, since I'm a prot warrior and therefore love shields and want to make little shield babies with them, I figured I'd provide some information.

Using a shield means you have to keep track of two separate stats. The first is Block Rating, which is the percentage multiplier on the character window: it tells you the chance for you to block an attack against a mob at your level. The various Block Rating on gear like the Battleworn Tuskguard or Bulwark of the Amani Empire (both pictured to the right) add to your chance to block an incoming attack the same way that Crit rating adds to your chance to crit or Defense rating adds to your ultimate Defense score. You can even see that the nice folks at Wowhead have done the math for us on how the rating converts to chance to block. Block rating, however, only tells you half of the story.

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Filed under: Paladin, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Talents

Patch 2.4 laced with Elixir of Giant Growth

The latest build of patch 2.4 on the PTR bucks the trend of the ever-shrinking orc and draenei shoulder pads by treating us to monstrously large weaponry. Truly, this is a sign that Blizzard loves us and wants us to be happy. There is not a thing in this world that comes to mind when I try to think of something that makes me squeal in delight as much as a gigantic sword swirling through the air, or my enemies slamming into my massive shield and bouncing off uselessly.

In all seriousness, this is probably a bug and some of it actually looks pretty ridiculous. When I first noticed it, I almost wondered if my paladin had actually shrunk because I had long ago adjusted to her Crest of the Sha'tar being amusingly small. It would be nice to have a shield that wasn't tiny like a bean, but an increase in size on everything in the game just doesn't seem intentional.

To give you a better idea of how much of an increase I mean, I've included a side by side comparison after the jump. I apologize for the difference in quality between the shots, I've forgotten how to change the format WoW screens are saved in. Hooray!

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Filed under: Patches, Items, News items, Humor

Shield specialization suggestion? Serious!

Sharkantos, a level 67 paladin from the Netherlands, wrote us with a question about blacksmithing specializations yesterday. "As you all know you can specialize in armorsmithing and weaponsmithing," he wrote. "Isn't it a bit odd that you can make epic chestpieces etc., but no shields? Shieldcrafting would be a 'normal' option, I guess...."

This brings up a subject that has always interested me. How come some professions have much better specialization options than others? There are three types of weaponsmithing with wonderful upgradable weapons, but all armorsmiths get is a semi-crappy breastplate that tries to do too much for too many specs. How come you can't craft a wonderful BOP tanking shield, or for that matter, some decent tank armor sets?

I figure that the best type of specialization is the sort that gives you little bonuses instead of forcing a chocie that will cut you out of half your recipes. That's why I love the alchemy specializations more than tailoring/engineering/leatherworking. But there are two specialization-less professions out there -- enchanting and jewelcrafting. These could easily accomodate "bonus" specializations like alchemy. Here are some ideas:


  • Disenchanting spec: Givesa greater chance to get the most valuable materials from disenchanting. Alternatively, it could give you a chance to proc more of whichever shard/essence/dust comes from the disenchanting.
  • Thriftiness spec: Gives you a percentage chance to get all the materials back from doing an enchant. Kind of like transmute spec, in that it'll proc lots of arguments in trade channel.
  • Potency spec: Gives your enchants a percentage chance to be stronger than usual (for example, Major Healing could give you 90 plus healing to a weapon instead of 81.)


  • Prospecting spec: Gives you a greater chance to prospect rare gems, or alternatively, lets you prospect with only 4 ore instead of 5.
  • Gemcutting spec: Like transmute spec, this can (rarely) proc to give you multiple amounts of whatever gem you're cutting, or it could give you a chance to cut slightly more powerful gems.
  • Jewelry spec: Gives you access to much more powerful necklace and ring patterns. I know, I know, but the necklace and ring patterns kind of suck and there need to be better ones somehow.

What kind of specs would you like to see in your professions?

Filed under: Blacksmithing, Enchanting, Jewelcrafting, Making money

Yet more size changes on the PTR

Once again MMO Champion comes through with more size changes on the PTR. It's the Night Elves taking the biggest hit this time, not just in their shoulders: now their weapons and shields have also shrunk noticeably. Orc shoulders are back up to their previous sizes and their shields have actually gotten even larger, which I frankly don't think was necessary.

Wow, my night elf is going to be one unhappy dude when he sees how much smaller his weapon just got. Cue the legions of jokes about night elf genitalia, but don't blame me for not playing along, as I am one of the ones stricken by this malady. Luckily, so far my tauren and human haven't been affected by this scourge, but it's really only a matter of time until you see a great white tauren sobbing inconsolably on the steps of the Lower City, his once majestic shoulders and massive sword now itty bitty.

Filed under: Night Elves, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items, Humor, Screenshots

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