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Posts with tag speed

How to choose between the same pets, but different stats

Same battle pets, different stats
Something I was surprised to notice when I began collecting battle pets was that the stats were not always consistent within the same pet type. While Mr. Wiggles is always Mr. Wiggles, a rare Mouse does not necessarily have the same stats as another rare Mouse. The inconsistency of stats applies to both purchased pets, like Undercity Cockroaches, as well as wild pets, such as a Cheetah Cub. (Have you killed a cheetah so that you could capture her baby? I have. We are bad people.)

At this time, many of us have more than three of quite a few battle pets. Extra quest pets, like Winter's Little Helper, can just be caged and sold (when cageable, of course), since they all have the same stats. but how do you choose which purchased pet you should keep? And what about the wild pets?

I'll show you my favorite stat, and you can show me yours.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Arcane Brilliance: Enchanting your mage


Welcome to another Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that firmly believes the frozen throne simply isn't frozen enough. Frankly, we don't think the Lich King was trying hard enough. And so we applaud the efforts of the enterprising young mage pictured above. Way to show Arthas how it's done! Also, we will miss you.

So 3.3 has been live for several weeks now, and a great many of us have farmed up more Emblems of Frost and Triumph than we know what to do with. We, as a nation of mages, have bought ourselves a whole set of really nice new gear, possibly far nicer than anything we've ever had before. And what do we like to do when we get something really nice? Why, make it even nicer, right?

We get the nice video game system, we want a nice controller, and a selection of top-shelf titles to play on it. We get the HDTV, we want the shiny Blu-Ray player so we can watch Firefly in glorious high definition. We get the new car, we want to get a nice alarm system for it so that nobody can steal it. Unless you're that dork from my high school who bought the high-tech alarm system for his mom's 1976 Volkswagen Rabbit. Oh how we mocked him. Maybe someday you can get a good car to go with that sweet alarm system, we'd say, and laugh as he would hang his head in shame. Somewhere, he probably has all of our names on a list of people to kill, which he stares at while he puts on lipstick, Steve Buscemi-style.

But for most of us, this shiny new gear stirs within us the primal urge to trick it out even more. Which of course means that business is booming for Enchanters and Jewelcrafters. We discussed gemming last week, and this week, we're moving on to the fine art of enchanting your mage's already quite magical wardrobe.

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Filed under: Mage, Enchanting, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Guides, Classes, Enchants, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

A video guide to faster raiding


This video is entitled "Pull! A Guide to Faster Raids," and it's been produced by Kyth, of Fusion (US-Turalyon H). Set to the backdrop of (part of) a Naxxramas speed run, the video presents some easy tips for raiding faster. It's mostly addressed towards raid leaders, but I certainly plan on bringing some of the concepts here forward in my next raid. You should watch the video - it's well made and fun - but here are some bullet points I've taken away from it:
  • Pull fast. Have impatient pullers, have your plate DPS off-tank trash if need be, and don't wait for rebuffs if one or two people die (just do it on the fly).
  • Loot fast. Whether you use /roll, DKP, or loot council, make someone in charge of it, and do it fast.
  • Set high expectations. Initially, your raiders might have difficulty keeping up with an increased pace if they're not used to it, but within a night or two they'll get used to keeping moving all the time, and you'll have more fun because you won't be standing around constantly.

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Filed under: Tips, Raiding

15 Minutes of Fame: PvE players on a speeding frenzy

15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

This subject of this week's 15 Minutes of Fame officially rates a mere five minutes of fame – they just blast by that fast. Not that you'd have time to notice. Fusion-H of Turalyon (US) has zipped onto the record charts for speed runs of PvE instances, along with a growing number of U.S. and European guilds that are bored with taking things at the same old pace.

  • Karazhan 11/11 53 minutes, 17 seconds -- Slashcry, EU Kazzak
  • Zul'Aman 6/6 29 minutes, 27 seconds -- Pugnas Rache, EU Alleria
  • Mount Hyjal 5/5 1 hour, 7 minutes, 20 seconds -- Showdown, EU Kazzak
  • Black Temple 9/9 1 hour, 48 minutes, 15 seconds -- Clarity, EU Ravencrest
  • Gruul's Lair 2/2 5 minutes, 57 seconds -- Fusion, US Turalyon
  • Sunwell Plateau 6/6 2 hours, 15 minutes, 52 seconds -- Pugnas Rache, EU Alleria
  • Heroic 16 5 hours, 21 minutes, 52 seconds -- Equinox Prophecy, EU Al´Akir

It all started with a speed-run thread on the EU forums, where players devised set rules for 10-man, 25-man and all-heroic content. Then the speeding frenzy spread to the US servers. We caught up with Bazz, GM of Fusion, which holds the current record for clearing Gruul's Lair in a ridiculously brief 5 minutes and 57 seconds, for peek at how one of WoW's top speed-demon guilds makes short work of PvE instances.

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Filed under: Features, Raiding, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Phat Loot Phriday: Torch of the Damned


We've been a little husky the past few weeks here at Phat Loot Phriday, so this week we're aiming to fix that, and get back to what this column is all about: gigantic spiky, glowy things that you can kill with.

Name: Torch of the Damned (Wowhead, Thottbot, Retribution)
Type: Epic Two-hand Mace
Damage/Speed: 396-595 / 3.80 (130.4 DPS)
Abilities:
  • +51 Strength, +45 Stamina
  • Improves crit strike rating by 38, improves haste rating by 50.
  • Great for Paladins, and any other class that uses weapon damage for certain abilities. Warning: this gets into some deep math, and you guys know I'm bad at that, so expect to see some more number crunching in the comments. Basically, Seal of Command, a Ret Pally talent, gives a chance to add 70% of the weapon's damage to any normal attacks, and since most weapons trade off speed for damage (as in, the slower the weapon, the higher the damage), slow weapons are better -- you'll get more damage output when SoC procs. And since this weapon is very slow and very powerful, you'll get more damage overall out of Seal of Command.
  • The Haste rating is also good for Paladins, not because it will help with Seal of Command (SoC is a procs-per-minute talent, so no matter how many times you hit, you can't get it to proc more often), but because it'll let you hit more often, which means more white damage. Any class that benefits from big swing damage (Windfury is awesome when it procs with a huge weapon like this) will love this mace.
  • Oh, and anytime we mention a two-handed weapon, Matthew Rossi's eyebrow twitches until we mention Titan's Grip. Imagine seeing a Warrior wielding this baby... and something else at the same time. Yeah.
How to Get It: Drops from the Essence of Anger, which is part of the Reliquary of Souls in the Black Temple (which, trivia for you, was influenced heavily by Sinistar, an old arcade game). Essence of Anger is the third phase, so get your 25 man raid up to that point, be one of those silly Ret Paladins (silly Paladins -- DPSing is for Hunters, Locks, Mages, and Rogues!), and spend your DKP or win the roll, whatever you need to do. Then you too can haul around this big purple spiky Mace, swinging it at will and bringing your enemies to their knees with just one proc.

Getting Rid of It: You probably won't, for a while. But it does disenchant into a Void Crystal, and vendors will buy it back for 18g 43s 86c

Filed under: Paladin, Shaman, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Phat Loot Phriday, Bosses, Classes

When the going gets tough

A few friends and I have begun leveling alts in the interests of having a few more 70's around for Wrath, and I got a comment on my Warrior after she dinged 29. "We'll need to get you some good blues," said a buddy, a 70-Paladin-turned-10-Shaman (in hindsight, probably cringing over said toon's Armory profile). "Warrior 30-40 is kinda tough."

It didn't mean much to me at the time, but I started thinking about it while contemplating the possibility of starting a Hordeside Hunter. A 1-10 Hunter without a pet is a fairly unpleasant (if mercifully quick) experience, but that one is pretty obvious while others seem less so. There's a strange alchemy of level, quest drops, scaling, gear, dungeons, and skills that seem to combine to make life tougher in certain level ranges.

A 2005 guide to classes' relative leveling speed insisted that classes alternately sped and slowed as they aged and that the difference could be tracked statistically, and while I'm not sure I trust all of their math (and the information's outdated anyway), you can't fault the amount of work that went into it. Moreover, as the commenters point out, someone who picks a Rogue as a main is not necessarily playing the game with the same goals in mind as someone who picked, say, a Priest. A less scientific, but more detailed, look at leveling speed and class difficulties was written by Breanni of WarcraftPets.com, and her experiences seem to gel a bit more with conventional wisdom, particularly with respect to the speed of Hunter and Warlock leveling. That being said, Druid 1-20 was pretty ugly, Shaman late-30's is a parade of mana inefficiency, and I'm not looking forward to getting another Hunter to 10.

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Leveling, Classes, Alts

Phat Loot Phriday: Rifle of the Stoic Guardian


A gun... for tanks. But that speed makes things a little weird. Maybe some of the theorycrafters in the crowd can come up with some good reasons for that one (or just debate my own) in the comments.

Name: Rifle of the Stoic Guardian (Wowhead, Thottbot, Goblin's Workshop)
Type: Epic Gun
Damage/Speed: 120-224 / 1.90 (90.5 DPS, which is the highest on a gun, save for the Arena PvP guns in S3 and S4 -- except most of it comes from that low speed, see below)
Abilities:
  • +31 Stamina, which might make you think this is a PvP weapon, except for:
  • Equip: Increases your dodge rating by 20. Which is a weird little stat -- with the stamina added on to it, that means that this gun (named after a "Stoic Guardian") is basically meant as a Tank pulling gun -- it'll let you shoot bullets and give you about the bonus of a minor trinket to dodge and Stam.
  • But if that's true, what's up with that speed? You might think that a high DPS would mean this gun is good for a Hunter, but that's not quite true across the board -- especially for BM Hunters (a.k.a. Hunters that rely on their talents and abilities to do damage), a bullet pouch will often make this gun too fast to sneak special shots in, which will actually lower the DPS you can do.
  • But on the other hand, from what I understand, weapon speed doesn't actually affect what happens when you first fire the gun. So the idea here may be that a Warrior, pulling, should have a fast enough gun to get a few shots off during the pull, in order to build up more threat. Why else would Blizzard give tanks such a fast gun?
How to Get It: Drops from our old friend Teron Gorefiend, who we last killed for the Soul Cleaver. He's in the Black Temple, there's a Know Your Lore about him, yadda yadda yadda, you know the drill by now. Drop rate on this is about 15%, but the good news is that if you need this (as in, you're a tank who often pulls at the late endgame), you'll probably be able to get it.

You might have to fend a few confused Hunters off for it, though. But the dodge rating and the Stamina (not to mention, as we said, the title), should make it pretty clear that this weapon is for a "Stoic Guardian," not a "Pet-loving Peashooter."

Getting Rid of It: Sells for 10g 79s 6c. Will disenchant into a Void Crystal.

Filed under: Items, Odds and ends, Raiding, Phat Loot Phriday

WoW Insider's Guide to the Mounts of the World of Warcraft


WoW Insider has put together the ultimate guide to every mount in the World of Warcraft. From the first Pinto you'll get as a budding Human Mage, to the rare epic flying mount the Ashes of Al'ar, we cover every mount available to every race, faction, and class in-game.

A Warcraft mount holds a special spot in all of our inventories. It allows us to travel Azeroth, Outlands, and soon Northrend in blazing speeds rivaling those of the mighty Alliance Gryphons. Many people have names for their mounts and become uniquely attached to them. Others make it a point to try to get every mount available to them, often spending years collecting the necessary reputation with each faction.

And who doesn't like to go even faster on the fastest mount? For the speed demon in all of us there are several enchantments and trinkets that make our rides travel faster than before.

Check out WoW Insider's Guide to the Mount of the World of Warcraft for every mount in the game. And don't forget to check back whenever there is a new content patch - as the World of Warcraft grows, so will this guide.

Filed under: Guides, Mounts

Phat Loot Phriday: Precisely Calibrated Boomstick


Last week we did a high end raiding item, so this week we only do a piece of husky loot, but it's still pretty impressive. Why? It's the fastest gun in Azeroth, east or west. This... is my boomstick!

Name: Precisely Calibrated Boomstick
Type: Epic Gun
Damage/Speed: 48-56 / 1.50 (34.7 DPS)
Abilities:
  • +14 Agility
  • Ok you primitive screwheads, listen up! As far as I can tell (and it seems like whenever I make a blanket statement like this, our commenters always prove me wrong), this is the fastest non-magical projectile (not thrown) ranged weapon in the game.
  • There's good news and bad news on that one. The good news is that for hunters, firing this fast will mean that any abilities that proc (Improved Aspect of the Hawk, Go for the Throat) will do it more often. You'll also get more crits, which is always nice, and some twink PvP hunters say this can actually keep casters from casting-- it hits so fast that their casting bar slows way down.
  • But unfortunately, speed isn't everything-- as fast as this gun is, lots of hunters would rather have a slower gun that does more damage per hit. Not to mention that all this firing spends your ammo like it's going out of style-- more bangs means more money for new ammo. For BM hunters who autoshot a lot, this gun is nice at the level, but for most other hunters, it's probably not worth the time unless it falls into your lap.
  • Rogues could also use it-- the agility in the ranged weapon slot is nice for the level. But anyone who takes it around 45 or so will probably be passing it up for something better within a few levels anyway. But that's how it is with lowbie weapons-- first you want to kiss them, then you want to kill them. Blow.
How to Get It: It's a world drop, which means it could drop from almost anywhere in the world. So either you'll just get really lucky and have it fall into your lap while leveling or grinding, or you'll have to pick it up from the AH-- like other world epics, it is Bind on Equip. It's gone for hundreds of gold in the past, but even though I haven't priced it lately, I wouldn't imagine it being near that high these days-- 200g at the absolute most, and probably under 100g on most servers. You could probably get it cheaper, but only if you shop smart-- S-mart.

Getting Rid of It: If you had it drop and don't need it, sell that sucker on the AH! Otherwise, a vendor will give you 2g 45s 40c for it, or it'll DE into a Large Radiant Shard. Hail to the king, baby. Gimme some sugar.

Filed under: Hunter, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Humor, Phat Loot Phriday

Experience is going to get faster sooner

Blizzard's plans to speed up the old Azeroth leveling experience 1-58 have been pretty vague so far, about some additions to Dustwallow Marsh and some kind of general speed increase at some point in the future. Drysc has made things a little bit more clear though: we can expect to see a "pre-expansion change to the experience curve and gain." You won't have to wait until the expansion comes out to finish leveling that alt you've always wanted to play but couldn't make time for. Exactly when "pre-expansion" this will be isn't clear of course, but it's nice to know it shouldn't take as long as some had feared.

In addition, Drysc goes on to add that they are interested in "refining (?)" a couple of the old-world instances, namely Gnomeregan and Uldaman, because apparently those dungeons tend to get more people more often during the leveling process. "Refining" those dungeons could mean anything from changing some of the trash mobs to really reorganizing parts of the instance, and the effect could be for better or for worse -- several of my friends tremble with hatred at the mention of those two instances, and would much rather Blizzard removed Gnomeregan and Uldaman altogether than encourage us to go back to an "refined" version anytime soon.

For my part, any refining of old-world content is a good thing. It would be good to speed through content that most of us have already seen before, and it would be refreshing to revisit some old dungeons with new twists for those of us who haven't already done them to death. Some players, however, are crying bloody murder -- apparently ones who enjoy repeatedly slogging through hours and hours of the same old content and think that everyone else should have to also.

Filed under: Instances, Leveling, Alts

A supersonic land mount

One of the most interesting (and most mysterious) things we heard at BlizzCon was that, when the next expansion comes around, Blizzard wants to do things to make the level 1-70 experience "faster." What that might mean is still anyone's guess right now (although my money's just on tweaks to XP numbers), but we know what it won't mean: literally making epic mounts faster.

Bwah (nice name) of Undermine asks, since we've already heard that flying mounts in Azeroth is not a possibility, if epic mounts around, say, 300% speed are. If we were able to zoom that fast across the landscape, it'd be almost like flying, and it would definitely make the experience of leveling faster. But Neth says no-- Blizzard wants the world to "feel" big, and making travel even faster would reduce that epic size of the landscape.

Unfortunately, that's a bit of a cheat-- slowing players down just to make the land "feel" bigger isn't as good as actually crafting a big land itself. Which Blizzard did, I think, and I doubt 300% mounts would "shrink" the land that much.

Of course, saying 300% mounts would make leveling go faster is a cheat, too-- sure, they'd be fun, but do we really need them? A better solution would be to work on making the content so good that we don't want it to go by faster in the first place.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Leveling, Mounts

To click or not to click?

Flipping through the forums I came across a post by Taithleech where he was asking why everyone seems to think clicking is bad. It's only been recently that I knew about this debate, but I can't really call it a debate if it's one sided, can I? A lot of players seem to believe that using keybindings is the only way to play. When I started playing World of Warcraft I was actually taught by a friend to use the mouse to click on my spells as a way of improving my speed in the game. Since hearing about the keybinding argument I have recently tried using them more than my mouse in instances, and I do find that my speed has greatly improved. Now, being the frost mage I find I spend a lot of time spamming Frostbolt, so that's a situation where I don't think clicking the spell with my mouse hinders me in any way. There are even fights, such as Warlord Kalithresh, where I use a combination of keyboard and mouse to maximize my speed.

Many of the posts on the forum thread made reference to something I hadn't considered. They say that in order to play WoW properly, you need to approach it like an FPS. I guess this argument is particularly valid if you spend a lot of time in the arenas. I personally have little FPS experience, and so this viewpoint makes me a bit uneasy. I see the advantage of working your keyboard to its full advantage, but I'm just not sure I've got the reflexes to play like that. In the end I will have to agree with one poster who said that clicking isn't wrong, it's just slower. Where do you side on the keybindings/clicking debate?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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