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Posts with tag silence

Scattered Shots: Scatter-trapping with grace and ease

hunter wins blizzcon arena championship
Frostheim appears to be decimated, unable to write this week, over the loss of the most recent raiding gun from the patch 4.3 PTR files. As someone who PVPs to get my first raiding weapon of most patches, I can choose whichever ranged death-dealing machine I want. Of course, as a Worgen (not to mention someone who is generally the butt of many of Frostheim's jokes on our podcast), I usually choose a crossbow after buying, returning and screenshotting the gun.

Today, Scattered Shots will be all about a very basic hunter PVP survival skill: scatter-trapping. All hunters of all specs can scatter-trap, and whether you're being ganked doing dailies, trying to win Baradin Hold, or doing competitive Arena, it's one of those skills that can really set you apart.

Traps on their own are only useful for people you can force to cross through them. Mostly, this means melee, although you can sometimes force a ranged player to cross a trap if you're humping a pillar properly. What do we do when we want to freeze someone who isn't chasing us, though? Freezing Trap is really our most effective crowd control ability. We'll often want it to be used on someone that matters like a healer. Unfortunately, short of stepping up to a healer and dropping a trap on them, there's no way to force them to cross our path.

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Filed under: Hunter, PvP, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Shifting Perspectives: The bear's wish list


Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. Today we gnaw on Alex until he's convinced that we tank, and then restrain ourselves from penning a letter with the salutation, "Dear Santa..."

Today, druids, I crave your indulgence for wading into a potentially volatile topic, but I think the time has come to address an issue that's divided the druid community into two embattled camps:

Can beast mastery raid?

I kid. I don't know who beast mastery is, and whether he raids or not is a matter between himself and his God. So, rather than pestering some poor bastard over his existential crisis in ICC, I figured our time might be better spent with some observations on how the druid class has fared in Wrath of the Lich King, and more particularly on the things that haven't worked out so well for us. Before Cataclysm's beta starts, I figure it'll be cool to air a class wishlist and get some feedback. UPDATE: And Blizzard has pre-empted me on this.

To be frank, there's something a bit fool's-errandish about the whole enterprise, because we have no idea what kind of content awaits us in Cataclysm, and today's problems may not even exist there. It's an old saw that generals like to prepare their armies to fight yesterday's war, and I'd be lying if I said there weren't an element of that here. I guess it might be more accurate to describe this article as "Things I wish I'd written two years ago" -- when Wrath's beta was on the horizon -- but one of the irritating things about hindsight is that things actually need to be behind you.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Cataclysm

Silence!

Something we may not always think about what our spells and abilities actually do in the setting of the game. Sure, for us, the tooltip tells us the basic information and we go on from there, but what are we actually doing? How does Arcane Shot work? Does the hunter just have a special magic arrow they shoot me with? Do they somehow wave the arrow around and it becomes magic, say a few words in Darnassian or Troll or whatever? Some abilities are pretty obviously spells, like almost everything a mage does, but for other classes the border between magic and skill can get pretty blurry... moves like Cloak of Shadows really beggar the imagination to explain in a non magical way.

A recent discussion on the forums about Thunder Clap and its being suppressed by silence effects (it always has, or at least has for so long that I've just accepted it) brings out Ghostcrawler to explain the reasoning. Quite frankly, it's a pretty reasonable explanation: if you're silenced, no one can hear the Thunder Clap going off, and thus, it doesn't do anything.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

WoW Patch 3.1 PTR Shadow Priest changes

The PTR patch notes have hit, and while we don't have the entire spread of changes yet (they'll be coming in waves), we do have a lot of pretty good material to look at. Personally, I think the Shadow Priest changes are pretty great this time around. PvP Shadow Priests might feel a little disappointed, but PvE Priests should be fairly happy with how things are going so far.

Even PvP received a few good buffs, but while it's a step in the right direction, it simply isn't enough. It feels as if they're trying to approach some of the big issues carefully, when they really do need to go in there and start making pretty sweeping changes to the PvP-centric talents of the Shadow Priest. A lot needs to change to make the Shadow Priest relevant in PvP again without strapping a Warlock to their hip at all times.

Enough of that, though. Let's look into the changes, shall we?
  • Shadowfiend: Health scaling increased. Now receives 30% of the master's spell power. Mana return increased to 5%, up from 4%. The Shadowfiend now receives mana when its melee attacks land, rather than when it deals damage. Movement speed normalized to player movement speed. Tooltip revised.

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

Changes coming to Paladins in patch 3.1


As I'm sure you've seen already, Eyonix dropped more class changes, Paladins being amongst this latest batch. Not many Holy changes, only minor Ret changes, but a whole crapload of Protection changes. Delicious, delicious Protection changes. A lot of the Protection changes serve a dual purpose- the changes are pretty good steps toward making Protection Paladins PvP-viable like Protection Warriors are becoming, but those same changes make the tree even stronger in PvE than it already is. It's beautiful.
This is very, very awesome. It's a wonder this didn't happen earlier, actually. I think many of us expected this to happen back in the Wrath beta, but instead it was turned into a 5 point talent in the Protection tree. The unanswered question is whether or not we'll get the full 5 talent points baseline, or if we'll still need to spent talent points to improve it. Personally, I'm going to assume we'll get the 10% BoK baseline, it's the only way this would even remotely make sense.

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

Spiritual Guidance: What each type of Priest can do and arena musings


Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. This week, Matticus looks at what a Priest can do and reflects on his experience so far in arena.

I managed to get myself into a pickup heroic Naxx group the other day. No, it wasn't on my Priest. The Priest is my baby and I can't lock him into such raids while we're still raiding. It was my Shaman that I took into heroic Naxx. After Flame Shocking and Lava Bursting my way through both Spider and Plague Wings and the first two bosses of the Military Quarter, we came across the Four Horsemen.

(Yes, there is a point to this, keep reading!)

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Classes, Buffs, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Arena

Spiritual Guidance: Dispersion just wants to love you


Welcome to Spiritual Guidance, where each week Matt Low talks about the ins and outs of the Priest class. Now and then one of our resident Shadow Priests, Alex Ziebart, hits Matt over the head and hijacks the column. This is one of those occasions.

Dispersion is a talent that Shadow Priests talk about a lot. The vocal majority hates it. The vocal minority loves it. The general populace... uh. Who knows. They don't talk. Me? I'm not awed by it. I also don't hate it. In fact, I've spent talent points in it and will continue to do so, and I find it fairly useful. It just doesn't amaze me.

Dispersion definitely has a PvP slant to it. If you arena or BG, you're going to see it as much, much more awesome than people who PvE almost exclusively. In the arena, it's just a good talent, especially once they changed the talent to be able to be used while stunned, feared and silenced. Foiling a stunlock or an assist train can be enough to take the wind out of your opponent's sails. Obviously it requires your partner(s) being able to play off of it as well, but I'm fine with that. PvP should be about the team, even if you're just in a battleground.

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Wrath of the Lich King

Shadow Priest talent build for Patch 3.0.2

Echoes of Doom is here, along with all of its tasty new talent points. Things haven't changed very much for us Shadow Priests. If you enjoyed the Shadow Priest playstyle before, you still will. The numbers you put out in terms of Healing, DPS and mana regen are wildly different, but the buttons you push are pretty much the same. If you found Shadow Priest playstyle (not necessarily the numbers game) a little stale before patch 3.0.2, this patch and even Wrath itself won't change that very much. If you plan on sticking with Shadow, good on ya.

I'm going to lay out my current Shadow talent build and explain why I picked the talents I did. Keep in mind that this spec is not for every aspect of the game. It's not even for every player. I'm using this spec as a level 70, PvE raiding spec. It's not perfect, I'm not completely happy with it, but I think that's because our trees are currently meant for level 80 and not level 70. I haven't been able to come up with something I like better yet. When I plan ahead for level 80, it feels much more complete. We don't have the luxury of those extra 10 talent points yet, so this is what I'm using for now:

Shadow

Tier 1
I skipped Blackout because its raiding applications are very limited. It works on some trash, but never bosses. That's a big 'meh' for sure. I went with Spirit Tap and Improved Spirit Tap, because that's going to act as a Shadow Priest's Meditation for now. Finally, Tier 1 of the Shadow tree has something genuinely useful to raiders!

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

And now here's Koraa with the Shaman forecast


Thanks, Koraa! Musolini of Uldaman-US posted a thread in the Shaman forums that is... well, pretty hilarious if you're familiar with the Ollie character they parody alongside their Shaman class. You might want to read through it just for that alone.

To discuss the actual change, which I assume is a change in Wrath (but may come sooner since Koraa didn't specify), the few Shaman I've spoken to about it seem pretty excited. It seems minor, and may be minor in the long run, but this change would allow totems to be used through Spell Lock and Silence effects. When your Shaman gets Counterspelled in the arena, they'll still be able to drop Totems at least. It certainly won't fix everything, but you'll still have some of your defenses(and offenses) available to you, and you won't be completely shut down. There's still a long road ahead, but this is a step in the right direction.

Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Humor, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

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