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Posts with tag spell-damage

Arcane Brilliance: Statistically speaking



Arcane Brilliance is a Mage column on a weekly spawn timer. It shows up all of a sudden on your computer screen or your iphone and starts wandering about, waiting for somebody to come shake it down for loot. What does this rare and wondrous column drop, you may ask? It drops a magical potion that, when imbibed, grants the magical ability to waste about 15 minutes of your employer's time reading a column about Mages. Hurry up and tag it, before the guy in the next cubicle does!


I'm listening to a playlist full of old NES chiptunes as I write this, Zanac, Ninja Gaiden, Mega Man, Crystalis, Shatterhand, Tecmo Super Bowl, Legacy of the Wizard--just some awesome old stuff, some of which comes from composers who went on to become even more awesome. I love the game music from that era; I find it absolutely amazing what those guys could make that tiny sound chip do. And yes, I am a massive and unrepentant dork. Why do I bring this up? I have the playlist on shuffle, and the overworld theme from Dragon Warrior just played, and it got me thinking about this week's subject: stats.

Dragon Warrior was my first role-playing game. It was my first exposure to such concepts as experience points, and leveling up, and hit points. Stats in games of that era were pretty simple. You had strength, which affected how hard you hit things, and agility, which...made you more agile? Who knew? That was about it. Hit points measured how many whacks you could take before you died, and magic points ran out as you used spells. There wasn't a whole lot to it.

When I first started playing WoW, knowing which statistics were important to my Mage and which weren't was comparatively simple too. As you leveled, you looked for intellect and spirit. At max level, you learned the value of a few other stats, like spell crit, spell damage, and spell hit rating. Generally, if it said "spell" in front of it, your Mage wanted it. Now, though, we have so many different stats--one covering every aspect of every spell we cast, and so many different ways to customize the amounts of each that your Mage's gear has--that it can be quite daunting trying to decide which ones to prioritize. Follow me through the break where we'll discuss the various caster stats and the relative value of each to our class.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Raiding, Guides, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Hybrid Theory: Healers, hit, and homogenization


Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.

Brace yourselves, ladies and gentlemen. Today's Hybrid Theory is purely guesswork and speculation. In no way will I pretend that these are facts, and you should not take them as such. It's a topic that grabbed my interest, and it's something I really enjoy trying to figure out despite the missing pieces of information we don't have yet. I welcome all of you to add your thoughts on it in the comments section below. Perhaps we can get a decent idea of what's to come.

Let's get started, shall we? In the previous weeks of Hybrid Theory, we've discussed all we knew about some of our favorite classes. During this discussion, matters of itemization often came up. Most notably, the new Spellpower mechanic. This would allow healers and DPS classes to use the same gear, but Healing spells would get twice the benefit.

First thought is that DPS and healers will share gear. Right? Well... maybe. Possibly. There are a lot of factors we don't really know yet. While it isn't always the case, for some classes there is a pretty large divide between gear that is good for a caster and gear that is good for a healer, and the deciding factor isn't how much damage or healing is on that item. In some cases you'll be able to switch seamlessly from DPS spec to Healing spec and not need to change your equipment, but trying to optimize your gear in both cases is not going to be so easy.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Hybrid Theory, Wrath of the Lich King

Midsummer Fun: The Midsummer Merchant

So by now, you've done some of the Midsummer quests, desecrated a few flames, and you have a bunch of Burning Blossoms burning a hole in your pocket. The question now is: What are you going to do with all of those? Sure, you can throw them in the nearest Festival Bonfire for the sweet buffs, but you can also spend them at the Midsummer Merchants and Midsummer Suppliers located next to every Capital City's fire.

After the break, we'll look at exactly what you can buy and what they do.

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Filed under: Items, How-tos, Events, Guides

Phat Loot Phriday: Golden Staff of the Sin'dorei


Yup, that's it. This baby is pretty much tops if you are a healer who wants to max out Spirit and healing and all of those other good stats that help you keep others alive. This is the kind of staff that even makes Tanks go all Keanu: "whoah."

Name: Golden Staff of the Sin'dorei (WowDB, Thottbot, Wowhead)
Type: Epic Two-hand Staff
Damage/Speed: 146-338 / 3.20 (75.6 DPS)
Abilities:
  • +60 Stamina, +54 Intellect, +57 Spirit. Yeah.
  • Red and two Blue sockets, nicely fitted with some +22 healing gems and/or +10 Spirit gems and you're talking about some real power. +4 Spirit socket bonus.
  • Improves spell haste rating by 32
  • +550 healing, +183 spell damage. Yes, you read that right -- 550 healing. Not since right before the last expansion has there been a staff this nice in comparison to other gear, and even if you could match the healing on a one-hand/offhand combo (you probably can, if you get the right gear and enchants together), the Spirit bonuses on this baby are going to give that duo a run for the money. Take a good look, because this is the kind of stuff that's going to be dropping in endgame raids at level 80.
  • Sin'dorei, you should know by now (we're almost to the next expansion), means Blood Elves, or "children of the Blood" in Thalassian. And yes, the staff looks just like the one in the BC art, as seen above. This is very BC staff, if not the most defining staff of this expansion. Look for a lot less gold and green and a lot more blue and black in WotLK.
How to Get It: This is a Kil'jaeden item yet again -- it drops from the last boss currently in the game. And since we've seen so few drops from Killy Jay so far, we're not sure of the drop rate at all. Not that it matters much -- so few players comparatively are going to get loot from the fight with Kayje, that odds are you'll never see it.

You can drool, though. And in ten levels, when we're all working through Naxx again, maybe you can convince your raid to go back and help you get it.

Getting Rid of It: Sells to vendors for 20g 54s 93s and disenchants into a Void Crystal. But look how shiny! Have a good weekend.

Filed under: Druid, Priest, Shaman, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blood Elves, Lore

Combat stats and spellpower consolidated on Alpha

You may never look at this window the same way again.Sources are saying that a new Alpha build showed up on the WoTLK Alpha servers yesterday, featuring a few interesting changes. Kalgan's promised spellpower change we have mentioned, and it now appears to be on the Alpha servers. In addition, it looks like the dev team is working on consolidating even more stats. As of the latest build, all instances of haste rating, hit rating, and critical strike rating on gear will now modify both physical attacks and spells at the same time.

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Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

No pure +damage gear in Wrath, claims Kalgan

In an out-of-the-blue quote from an otherwise unremarkable PC Gamer interview, Tom "Kalgan" Chilton, WoW's lead class designer, was asked what might be changing in Wrath of the Lich King. He responded that they would be doing away with +damage-only gear, and adding talents that would convert +healing to +damage and vice versa, which would allow magic DPSers and healers to use "the exact same gear."

Hold on, what? If I'm reading this correctly, it means they basically want damage caster gear and healer gear to be identical.

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Filed under: Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

Addon Spotlight: DrDamage

You all know a World of Warcraft number cruncher. You may, in fact, be that person, the one who can spout of stats about your class or game mechanics. Although, in the beginning, I rolled my eyes at people who pondered the math of the game, today finds me holding a deep respect for you number junkies. You've all helped many of us become uncrushable, uncrittable and even understand how +spell damage and +healing work.

If you don't have someone around to crunch numbers, try recruiting DrDamage. Some World of Warcraft stats-fiends may not like this addon, as there are people who disagree with the numbers it produces. I would have to say that its done well for me thus far. (I rarely have the inclination to work the numbers myself.)

Enough rambling, let's talk about what DrDamage does. This addon does all of your in-game theorycrafting for you. It will work the actual values for your damage, +spell damage and +healing based on your gear and talents. It will display the average damage or healing done by a spell on the actionbar.

Come on back and we'll look at little more closely at what DrDamage does.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

The Light and How to Swing It: Three easy steps to Retribution PvP


Regular Paladin columnist Elizabeth was crit by an insane amount of work at, well, work and her co-columnist Chris is away completing his own epic quest, so like those duplicitous Blood Elves, I'll be stealing the Light for this week and swinging it around. Since most of the stuff I write on the site concern the one thing I really like to do -- PvP -- I think I'll get into character and write about something that some people find taboo... Retribution PvP. After writing about a few rules on healing in PvP, let's indulge ourselves with a little retributive mayhem. Despite being the most ridiculed spec in the entire game, Retribution can be a lot of fun -- and painful for your opponents -- once you get some fundamentals down pat.

Step one: gear up
If you are at all interested in PvP as a Retribution Paladin, you must get geared up. There are no two ways about this. Unless you have the proper gear, you will simply not perform as well as similarly-geared classes and your PvP experience will be diminished greatly. Retribution is one of the most equipment-dependent specs in the game, and you will feel it in PvP. Chris has written an excellent starter guide for all aspiring Ret Pallies, which is an excellent read for learning about the perfect Retribution gear. In order to do some PvP, we'll then need to take the next step and go beyond what Chris suggested and aim much higher as far as at least one piece of equipment is concerned -- your weapon.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Pimp My Profile: Pre-Heroic Protection Paladin


Welcome to the first edition of our new twice-monthly column, Pimp My Profile. Readers submit their Armory profile to us and every two weeks we pick one to review. We provide a Gear Check, Talent Tune Up, AddOn/Macro recommendations and more to help you reach your goals in the game.

For the inaugural column, I asked my long time friend Jon to submit his new Paladin for da pimpage. He had recently shelved his Warrior in favor or leveling a new Paladin to 70 to be the main tank for our casual group. Having played the class for only two months, he had a few questions and concerns. Here is what he had to say:

"I'm highly aware of needing to obtain the "uncrittable" defense numbers so far in order to get a defense anywhere near 490 I've found that I have to sacrifice too much spell damage which eats into my ability to hold agro. I abandoned a 63 warrior in favor of my Pally tank and the teary eyed joy that comes with being able generate lots of agro quickly on multiple mobs. Big spell damage is essential to my ability to tank for my trigger happy friends whose 5 man instance approach is more akin to "Who's Line Is It Anyway" rather than the production of Shakespeare most people reading this think their guild regularly produces."

Jon's goals as a new level 70 Protection Paladin on the verge of tanking Heroics are:
  1. To attain uncrushability by equipping more avoidance gear (+Dodge,+Parry or +Block equipment)
  2. Regain his threat generation through +Spell damage
  3. Retaining his uncrittable status by keeping his Defense at least at 490
Let's look at Jon's current set up and what he, or any pre-Heroic L70 Protection Paladin, can do to achieve those goals.

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Filed under: Paladin, Items, Add-Ons, Guides, Pimp My Profile

Arcane Brilliance: Adventures on the PTR

It's time once again to celebrate our mageness with Arcane Brilliance, and this time we're going where I certainly have not gone before: the PTR. I finally got my character transfers to go through, and my immediate thought was to slip on into the PTR and check out how the changes to mage spells and talents affected my character with the addition of Patch 2.3. A lover of experiments, I figured one was in order, and so happily spent the morning blasting things in the name of gaming science.

The parameters of said experiment were the following: I used the same spec on both the PTR and the live server, and decided that for simplicity's sake I would record data on three separate types of spell damage: using only Fireball, using only Scorch, and using my normal spell rotation. Now, you'll notice that my spec is a basic fire spec, newly reclaimed after some time spent as a blended POM/Pyro mage. I have decent gear, not the best, not the worst. I would say that I wear middle-of-the-road items, some Tier 4, Spellstrike and Spellfire, and the enchants and gems I have are also of the meh category. They aren't terrible, but I haven't had the opportunity to deck out this mage with all the snazzy +12 spell damage gems I would like. So the following are the experiences of a mage with some lower-end raiding gear, a fire spec, and a curious nature.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

More details on free Spell Damage for healers

One of the many exciting changes announced at BlizzCon was that free Spell Damage would be added to healing gear. The purpose of the change is to make it easier for healers to enjoy the solo PvE content in the uber gear they have picked up in groups and raids. Too many healers change to lesser geared alts after raids are over, for example, instead of being able to quest in their +Healing epics.

It was confirmed last week that the change will occur in Patch 2.3 and the extra Spell Damage will equal 1/3 of the +Healing stat on gear. So, for example, an item with +75 Healing will have +25 Spell Damage added to it without reducing any other stats.

Some confusion has occurred, however, about just how generous Blizzard was going to be with the free Spell Damage. Forum poster Bridge requested a link to prove that "this includes enchants, gems and set bonuses".

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Patches, Items, Enchants, BlizzCon, Forums

Arcane Brilliance: Statopia


Arcane Brilliance is back again, if belatedly so, to fill your day with more magey goodness. I thought that this week we would look into some of the finer points of magecraft. No matter how good you are as a mage, at some point you will have to shift your focus from your technique to your gear.

The bonuses to your spell schools can mean the difference between being at the top of the DPS charts and wallowing in your own caster tears somewhere near the bottom. But building up a huge amount of spell damage gear, although good, may not be the most effective way to epic out. There are two other stats mages need to look at, specifically spell hit and spell crit, and without knowing the proper balance between these three stats you will never be the best mage you can be.

First, let's look at the stats themselves.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

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