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Posts with tag spells

How to learn what you're doing on a boosted 90

Look, it's okay to admit that in some cases, players who've pre-ordered Warlords of Draenor or even bought the level 90 boost are on level 90 characters that they don't actually know how to play. In some cases, this isn't the case -- if I used the boost, for instance, I'd probably know how to play that 12th warrior I boosted to 90. But if I were to boost my hunter, there would suddenly be 29 levels of huntering to absorb and take in, and if I were to use the boost on a rogue I'd hate myself for it and quit playing in a storm of recriminations. Also, I would have zero idea what I was doing on a rogue for the ten seconds before I realized what I'd done.

Now that I've had my fun, let's get serious - how would I play a rogue at 90? Or a mage, or a priest, or another class that I'd never played before? Well, there are resources out there -- WoW Insider has a rookie guide, for starters -- and there are other sites like Wowhead and Icy-Veins that can and do give you an overview of what your new class does.

There's also a very useful resource built into the game itself. Your spellbook has a great deal of information for you about what your class can do and how to go about playing it, that can get you pointed in the right direction to begin play. We're assuming you're a returning player who has not played in a while or a new player just getting started with this article - established players starting a new alt may already know much of this.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Arcane Brilliance: Next steps for playing a fire mage at level 90

A draenei mage holds a fireball while surrounded by a field of fire.
Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. Stacey Landry is the resident mage here, bender of space and time, conjurer of delicious confectioneries and expert at dressing well while setting things on fire.

Congratulations! You've always wanted to play a mage alt but somehow never find the time, or perhaps you're considering a new main for Warlords of Draenor. Either way, you've decided to boost a mage to level 90 or re-spec your mage and you are faced with a decision. What spec would you like to play? We're going to talk eventually about all three excellent specs, but for now we're going to start with fire.

Being a fire mage has always represented the somewhat reckless side of wizardry. Fire mages used to take talents that would increase their damage done in exchange for damage taken. (Nothing ventured, nothing gained!) Modern fire maging is a little less risky than that and comes with many advantages. You might enjoy playing a fire mage if you want:

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

WoW Archivist: Spells we've lost

Ghostcrawler zaps a gnome
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Back in June, Ghostcrawler identified "ability bloat" as a major issue that he'd like to address in WoW moving forward. GC later confirmed Blizzard's intention to cull spells, but admitted "there will be many tears." Since the tweet, WoW Insider and many others have speculated about which spells will disappear forever and which will remain.

While I agree that bloat is a problem, it's not the first time that Blizzard has looked at reducing our endless action bars to more manageable proportions. Many beloved spells have already vanished, along with many strange and pointless ones, too. Let's look back at some of these spells from bygone days.

Shaman

Most missed: Cleansing Totem
In Wrath, the original Poison Cleansing Totem and Disease Cleansing Totem merged to become Cleansing Totem. It attempted to cleanse a debuff of each type every three seconds. Shamans loved this "fire and forget" method of cleansing, but Blizzard killed the spell because they wanted removing debuffs to require the active attention of a player.

Least missed: Windwall Totem
This totem had a cool name, but the narrowest possible application. It reduced damage from ranged attacks. Only attacks made by bow/gun-type weapons and thrown weapons counted -- not spells. Because wind affects bullets but not fireballs?

Weirdest: Sentry Totem
Long mocked as "Screenshot Totem," Sentry Totem allowed the shaman to switch camera views to it to keep an eye on a distant location. It had some strategic applications in battlegrounds, but given that it took up the air totem slot, few shamans used it. The totem did, in fact, help players to get great screenshots of boss kills, though. Never forget!

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Talents and abilities you never use

mage talents
Any given class in WoW has a ton of different spells and abilities. More than I can reasonably hotkey to my decidedly un-fancy two-button mouse and $5 thrift shop keyboard, in any case. I do my best with keybinding and click modifiers, but inevitably there are some things that just aren't going to make the cut. Fortunately, these abilities usually present themselves without a whole lot of deliberation.

For example, on my druid, I don't remember the last time I used Soothe. The other ability I find gathering dust in my spellbook is Hibernate. I know I used Hibernate to help with crowd control for trash packs in Ulduar and Ruby Sanctum during Wrath of the Lich King, but since then? Nope. Hibernate does not live on my bars.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: What WoW spell would you most like in real life?

Zen Flight
We recently tackled the Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: What spell would you most want? The question was meant for your class in game, but reader Andrew wanted it to be about having spells in the physical world. So here we are.

For my part, my answer would be exactly the same: Zen Flight. This minor monk glyph won't be released until Mists of Pandaria, so you can't find it in game yet. But you can see my monk Krikkit above being all zen-like in the beta.

Wouldn't it be great to float in line at the grocery store, looking all relaxed and glowy? Sure, people would look at me funny, but they do that already -- I have shocking pink hair. Oooh the Zen Flight colors would look great with pink, wouldn't they? Hmmm ... maybe a bit too 80s.

Anyway, I could use it everywhere. Waiting for mass transit? Yes. Crossing the street? Yes. Disneyland? Yes, please.

What spell would you most want in the physical world and why?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: What spell would you most want?

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic What spell would you most want
Each week, Blog Azeroth hosts a Shared Topic for bloggers to answer on their own blogs and then link to in the forum. This week, Arvash from The Crimson Hammer asks:
In the new Mist of Pandaria expansion, Druids will be getting a new spell called Symbiosis, which will allow them to "trade" a spell with another player, based on the player's class and combat role and the Druid's specialization.

So my question is, if you could have any spell you want from any other class, current spells or new ones in MoP, what would it be? How would you work it into your rotation, gameplay, etc.?
Arvash gives a good overview of Symbiosis, but here are some details for those who don't already know:
  • The druid doesn't get to choose which spell to receive or trade.
  • The Symbiosis recipient also doesn't get to choose the spells.
  • You can't use it on enemy players or any NPCs -- just one member of the party or raid.
  • Wowhead has more details and the spells that get traded.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Warlock green fire spells spotted in MoP beta files

Image
Green fire is coming, again! Maybe. Side effects of speculation may vary.

Not only has the Codex shown up in recent datamining, but curiously also warlock spells with green fire as icons. Conflagrate, Fel Hellfire, Rain of Chaos, and Fel Immolate all have minimal descriptions and could very well be just creature or boss spells. But Fel Incinerate gives me hope, for it has not only the range and cast time, but the base mana that the real warlock Incinerate does. What boss would need to know the base mana cost, hmm?

After the original flurry of excitement, Wryxian noted in the subsequent denial of green fire implementation that the devs wanted green fire "to be an epic accomplishment" for players. With the beta appearance of The Legacy of the Masters (Part 1), players are speculating among other things about a Quel'Delar-like quest line again.

In the end, nothing might happen and green fire will stay unfulfilled on our warlock wish lists. But I for one haven't been so excited since I got my Dreadsteed the old way.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Warlock, Mists of Pandaria

Raid Rx: An overview of druids in Mists of Pandaria

Image
Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

Last week, we covered some of the more notable monk abilities along with the expected playstyle. Recently, the level cap on beta has been raised to level 87, allowing every class access to their new level 87 spell. Much of the talk this week on the major sites and blogs is about Symbiosis. We touched on it several times, but now we get to take a closer look at it in further detail.

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Filed under: Druid, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Breakfast Topic: What's your favorite ability in WoW?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

One of the greatest strengths of World of Warcraft is its awesome sense of progression. Players level up and gain better and better gear as they progress through the game. Some people live for the raiding content, constantly striving for gear upgrades and stat optimizations. However, my favorite aspect of WoW's progression was and still is training new abilities. Leveling my warlock back in The Burning Crusade, I was amazed by every flashy ability I learned. Upon training Hellfire at level 30, I ran to the front gate of Orgrimmar and proceeded to ask a well geared level 70 character to duel. Amused, the 70 accepted and prepared to watch my futile efforts. I immediately popped Hellfire and died within a few seconds, all while laughing maniacally.

"Wow, you suck," said the 70 and rode away on his epic mount.

My lack of skill aside, the fun I had discovering these new abilities is unsurpassed by any facet of the game. Be it the terrifying Thunderstorm, the dumbfounding Disengage, or the hair-raising Heroic Leap, there are many cool abilities out there. And while some of them may have little to no practical application, every time I use one of them, I always think "Man, that's cool!"

So what's your "Man, that's cool!" ability? Did you discover it leveling your first character, or did you see another character use one of those nifty abilities and become inspired to level that class?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: What is your favorite class ability?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

With all this focus on new disasters, races, and abilities coming in Cataclysm, it's easy to forget about all the awesome things our characters can do right now. Mages can teleport, fury warriors can dual wield two-handed weapons, shaman can turn into a Ghost Wolf. Ghost Wolf --- that even sounds cool.

My main toon is a holy paladin. Although I did level most of the first 60 levels as holy (yes, it went very, very slowly), I blasted through the last 20 levels and the instances that fill them as retribution. At level 80, I wanted to get into raiding. A friend somehow got me in one of the better raiding guilds on my server and -- guess what? -- shortly after, I got volun -- told to go holy if I wanted a raiding slot. I admit, at first, I wasn't a great healer. I was using a very small portion of my toolbox. I took Holy Light spam to a new level and did almost nothing else. After a time, I discovered Beacon of Light and spent much of the next few weeks declaring it was the best spell in all of WoW. Two tanks taking damage? No problem, 'cause now my Holy Light spamming was twice as effective!

Now I'm leveling a rogue and falling in love with a brand new skillset. Cheap Shot and Kidney Shot are fast becoming some of my new favorite character abilities. Are you more partial to the biggest damage/healing/threat increase button, or does pushing someone off an edge with Typhoon just make your day? What abilities do you enjoy the most?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Are those 4.0.1 spells shiny enough for you?

Normally, WoW Insider brings me in to wax poetic (or at least punny) about elemental shaman -- but today, I had a grouch. I am dazzled by the new sparkles emitted by paladin friends, and I cheer on my mage friends as they try out Flame Orb and Ring of Frost. There is a gorgeous array of new spells on offer in patch 4.0.1 ... So why do I feel so underwhelmed by my new elemental rotation?

The dust of patch 4.0.1 is not settled and won't be for some time if Deathwing has anything to do with it, but now we start to see the shape of things to come. I've had a chance to settle into the new abilities. I've annoyed more than a few fishers with my Earthquake. I've gleefully retrained my fingers to become reactive, in order to enjoy the full benefits of Fulmination and Lava Surge. My guildmates tell me I am too happy about Totemic Wrath and Rolling Thunder. Good times, all in all. However, I am still a grumpy shaman. I am mostly happy with the new spells, but the effects feel like an afterthought.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

Spiritual Guidance: A shadowy work in progress

The Spiritual Guidance duo, Fox Van Allen and Dawn Moore, haven't always gotten along so well. While some attribute that to the natural way that the shadow abhors the light, the real reason is the time they were on The Price is Right together in 2003. I mean, two hundred dollars for a grandfather clock, Dawn? What were you thinking?

Some days, I wish Spiritual Guidance was a TV show. Not only would the world be better able to appreciate my own physical beauty, but I'd be able to do one of those "Last time, on Spiritual Guidance" opening montages, filled with dramatic clips that tell you exactly what happened last week.

"Fox, we need to get to level 10, and fast! Before the orphanage explodes!"

"But if you're the Priest trainer ... then who's that?"

"You're not casting Smite enough! Faster! Faster! More Smite NOW! Hurry, there's not much time!"

KABOOM!


"The orphans, they're on fire! Quick, cast Renew!"

Things are often a lot more awesome in my head than in real life, I'm afraid. Still, last week, we did address the process of starting a new priest, getting him geared up with heirlooms (or heaven forfend, green items) and the basics of the early spells (Smite, lol). This week, we're digging a bit deeper, getting to 20, rocking some instances and doing some PvP -- that's right, life as a priest is finally ready to begin.

Follow me after the cut. And don't mind the random explosions and orphan debris -- they're just there for next week's opening montage.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Breakfast Topic: Design a unique healing spell

There has been quite a bit of talk on the forums about the various spells each of the healing classes have available to them and how those might be expanded in Cataclysm. One poster asked when we'll see healing variants of some various DPS spells like Cone of Healing or Rain of Healing (which was actually announced for Shaman). This led to a fun little conversation here at WoW.com between Dawn Moore, Chase Christian, Elizabeth Harper and myself.

We came up with ideas like Holyfiend, a pet that healed people. You could either target it or set it to "aggressive" and it would heal people at random. Another idea was a talent turning a paladin's Consecration into an area healing effect that ticked when stood in (standing in stuff on the floor is good?). There was also the idea of creating a healing wand similar to the healing rod from Final Fantasy VI that did healing instead of damage on the target you attacked.

What would be some interesting mechanics you'd like to see turned into a healing ability? Would you turn the moonkin's little treants into mini resto druids? How about something like Pestilence that spread your heal over time spells to the rest of your party?

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Breakfast Topics

Spiritual Guidance: On rotations, and having a good time


Welcome to the darker side of Spiritual Guidance. Each week, Mr. Fox Van Allen teaches the craft of shadow priesting to new players and end-game raiders alike through the clever use of a sports training montage.

A wise ski instructor named Thumper once said, "If you french fry when you pizza, you're gonna have a bad time."

Let's put that in Warcraft terms: You need the right spells for the right situations. Soloing, five-man instances, raids -- they're all different and require different mind sets. If you Mind Sear when you pizza -- let's say Mind Flay -- you're gonna have a bad time.

In the context of skiing, a bad time means crashing through the wall of a ski lodge. In the context of Warcraft, a bad time means pulling aggro, putting out lousy DPS, and getting yourself berated by a "leet" fourteen-year-old who recently learned the phrase "l2play" and is just dying to use it.

It all happens when you french fry when you should have pizza'd.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Raid Rx: Are you doing enough?

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI, macro, and addon related.

I hope you're not falling asleep on the job. Is healing getting a bit boring for you? Are you not happy with the way you're playing? Quite simply, the speed at which healers do stuff can lead to raid success or raid failure. Its no secret right? The more things you can do in a minute, the better. For DPS players, this is a fairly accepted fact. The more spells or abilities they can squeeze out, the higher their DPS goes. But what about healers? It all boils down to making the right decisions. Some healers are excellent at healing. Some are excellent at running. There are many that have a problem doing both at the same time.

So this week I wanted to introduce a term called actions per minute and what it means for healers. In the end, its all about being efficient. Are you a healer who waits around for stuff to happen or do you make stuff happen?

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Filed under: Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

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