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Posts with tag spells

Addon Spotlight: RankWatch

Author Gronzig emailed us a note about this new addon of his called RankWatch, which serves a simple purpose: it alerts you if anyone is using downranked spells. I'm sure we've all seen the player who forgets to train, put on their bars, or update their macros with new ranks of important spells. Heck, I was using rank two of Binding Heal well into Naxxramas, since I had it bound directly to a key with Dominos.

If anyone in your party or raid uses a rank lower than the maximum for their level, RankWatch will tell then about it in a whisper. The only exception is for Life Tap, which warlocks will often use rank one of to proc effects without taking much of a health hit. Back in the day, healers would commonly downrank heals as a mana-saving measure (if I recall correctly, Heal rank four was a staple in classic raiding), but this strategy is long-gone (since patch 3.0.2), because downranked spells now cost the same amount mana as top-rank spells (or more).

Configuration options include turing off the auto-whisper and ignoring certain players, which are both vital for a potentially-annoying mod like this. Overall RankWatch looks like a useful little tool, if only so I no longer have to worry about checking up on myself.

Download RankWach at Curse

Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Increase threat in five easy steps!

It sounds like an infomercial, but actually Righteous Defense has a great post on how a pally (or any class, really -- his advice is for pallies, but it's common sense enough that any tanking class can use the tips) can step up and increase their threat as far as it will go. I always enjoyed tanking when I did it (and now that I'm leveling up a pally, I'll hopefully be bashing heads in and taking damage again soon), and the key to tanking is just awareness: awareness of where the mobs are, who they're targeting, and where they should be. Increasing threat is really a passive kind of upgrade -- as long as you're hitting your spells right, using the glyphs designed to keep you at the top of an aggro list, and specced and hit-capped for the gear and abilities you're using, keeping threat up is pretty simple. It's just the positioning and dealing with surprises that can be hard.

The last point on RD's list is worth repeating for everyone: use your trinkets, as often as possible. Imagine that, in the next patch notes, you saw a spell under your class listing that did what your trinkets did (added a ton of spellpower or increased armor by 500) and went on to say (infomercial style again) "... at a cost of no mana, focus, rage or ." Wouldn't you be spamming that sucker as often as possible? Get your gear straight, use the right abilities, and break out your trinkets whenever you can, and keeping threat should be no problem at all for any given class.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Tips, Virtual selves, Raiding, Bosses, Buffs, Death Knight

Ghostcrawler: Haste-y DoTs and HoTs for Priests


Nope, our good friend Tiberius isn't starting up a new ice cream company (though that would be good) -- he's posting on the forums about a new idea that Blizzard has for using Haste to affect Damage- and Heal-over-time spells. In the past, Haste hasn't been a very useful stat for spells that are instant cast and then have a HoT or DoT component -- they don't affect the initial instant casting, and once the spell is out, Haste does nothing. Until now -- Ghostcrawler says that they're thinking about making Haste actually lower the time between ticks on spells that do damage or healing over time.

There is a tradeoff here -- if your ticks come faster, then the HoT or DoT component will end earlier, which means you'll be casting the spell more often. GC isn't sure (and neither are we) about how that will balance out yet -- on the one hand, it means that within a certain period of time, you will be able to do more damage or healing... but then again, you'll be spending more mana to do it. So instead of throwing this into talents, they're starting it up with glyphs. In the next patch, priests would get three glyphs that make their instant cast spells have their DoT components affected by Haste (Mind Flay's glyph is likely being moved into the base spell, and they'll use that one as an extra glyph choice). GC says if it works there, it may be spread out into talents or even base spells.

Will it work? It's an interesting idea, but mana cost seems to be the toughest problem to deal with -- any time you're casting spells more often, you'll be going through more mana. But it does seem like a good way to make Haste a little more worthwhile, and especially with the stats refinement coming up in Cataclysm, Blizzard will have to even out all of the stats they can. What do you think?

Filed under: Priest, Blizzard, Leveling, Classes, Forums

Tips on using Recount for tanks and others

Just in case you missed this excellent post about how to use Recount to its full potential (we also snuck it in our Daily Quest column a little while back), it's definitely worth a look. Most players just use Recount to check their own damage numbers, but as 4 Haelz points out, there's definitely a lot more to it than just that. Not only can it be used to examine overall output on fights and instances, but you can use it as a tool to monitor what kinds of spells are producing the most for you, and how your damage or healing output changes over time. You can also have it track who you've healed the most, or which targets you've really gone to town on, and you can then make adjustments to your play style from there.

Now, Honor's Code has another great post about the addon, this one specifically for tanks. Recount will actually let you bring up a "Death Report" feature that will allow you, as a tank, to suss out exactly what went wrong on that last wipe, whether it was something you were late on, or whether your teammates should have done something that they didn't. You can even broadcast that Death Report, so you can show the person at fault (of course you have to be tactful with this -- you have to make sure the person you're "correcting" understands that you're just trying to get better, not attacking them) exactly what happened and when.

Recount is such an excellent addon, and so many of us just use the top level functions of watching the meters (sometimes to the point where it isn't helpful at all). But used in the right way, Recount provides a treasure trove of information on what you've done during a boss fight, and how you can make yourself and the rest of your raid even better.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, Raiding, Bosses

The Queue: Full of it

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Since today's first question in Maelstrom-themed, we've decided today's edition of The Queue was a good time to link the supposed leaked trailer of the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, to be announced at BlizzCon '09. We haven't embedded the video to try and dodge waking up to a DMCA tomorrow, so just check it out on YouTube. We'll let Google deal with the mess, eh?

Revan asked...

"What instances would you suggest for a Maelstrom expansion?"

All of the things you suggested yesterday would work pretty well. Nazjatar and the Tomb of Sargeras would definitely be raid zones in a future expansion. I suspect we would also have a hella fun time in The Eye of the Maelstrom, which is the center of the whole storm there. Maybe we'd even visit Mak'aru, which is where all the gross crab people live. It probably wouldn't be a raid, but I could see a 5-man there. That is, if we don't ally with the gross crabfolk. Did I mention they're gross? Gross. I'd also lay down money that we'll get an Onyxia/Gruul/Malygos-style raid with a sea monster of some sort. The Lurker Below v2.0, now with eye lasers?

Read more →

Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Blood Pact: Spelling test


With a flash of flame and a gout of smoke, Blood Pact appears again! It demands that columnist Nick Whelan make a sacrifice! Either he must write on a relatively simple subject this week, or be doomed to perform poorly during his finals! Left with no other recourse, Whelan submits to the will of the column.

Spells are the essence of playing a Warlock. Just about every part of playing the game, save role playing, has spell casting as a central feature for us. Fighting for control of Arathi Basin, dueling on matters of honor with some upstart Mage, questing and leveling, or any instance from assailing Defias scum in The Deadmines, to unlocking the secrets of Azeroth in Ulduar. Without spells the only things a Warlock could do would be run, jump, and weakly bonk our foes with our staffs. And there just aren't enough platforming sections in WoW to make that kind of thing fun.

Depending on our spec and in-game vocation, different Warlocks focus on different spells. And the decision of which spells to focus on is based on numbers. Such as the time required to cast the spell, potential damage output the spell has, or the amount of time that the spell will allow us to reign destruction on our foes while they run around screaming in abject terror. Understanding the mechanical uses of spells is essential if we're to be effective Warlocks. But as I've said in the past: Rain of Fire isn't just an area of effect spell channeled over 10 seconds which causes 2-3k non-crit damage every 2 seconds to enemies within a 15 yard radius--it's fireballs falling out of the sky!

Read more →

Filed under: Warlock, RP, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Addon Spotlight: DagAssist

Addon Spotlight takes a look at the little bits of Lua and XML that make our interfaces special. From bar mods to unit frames and beyond, if it goes in your Addons folder, we'll cover it here.

I love it when people send in tips for cool addons. There was a time when I could subscribe to the RSS feed for an addon site and check out each new mod as it came out, but the scene is too big now; I'd be at it all day. Today we'll look at DagAssist, which was submitted by Rodney earlier this afternoon.

DagAssist puts a single, quite attractive button on your minimap that, when clicked, opens a pop-up menu containing things like:

  • Teleports and portals, for mages
  • Summons for warlocks
  • Profession skills
  • Hearthstone

You can see what it looks like for my warlock at right.

Read more →

Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight, Classes

Datamined Ulduar boss information, with analysis

Yes, yes, we know you're curious about what the Ulduar boss encounters will be like, loyal readers. With 14 bosses, 11 hard modes, and an optional heroic boss, we wonder, too! We'll be able to test some of these encounters on the 3.1 PTR soon, but there are, of course, those of us who just can't wait to know anything about what's going on in Ulduar.

Luckily, ever-resourceful players and dataminers have acquired information about spells and abilities related to bosses in Ulduar from the 3.1 PTR files. There's a lot of of stuff in here -- some of it may make it into the live game, some may not, and some may be related to vehicles or other sundries involved with encounters. I'm going to go into detailed analysis of those encounters for which detailed spells exist.

It goes without saying that these will be huge spoilers to anyone who doesn't want their Ulduar experience to be anything but pure, so don't read past the jump if you don't want to know!

Read more →

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

Lichborne: Howling Blast and other patch 3.0.8 follies

Welcome to Lichborne, WoW Insider's weekly Death Knight column.

Yeah, I definitely have to put out a mea culpa here. Alas, Lichborne is a little bit late again. I have a valid excuse, I swear. It involved a flaming plum pudding, a flailing geist, and a sudden snowstorm at the Shadow Vault over in Icecrown. But after an emergency eye transplant by a Forsaken Death Knight who used to be a member of the RAS, I'm back in the saddle and this week's column is only a few days late.

Anyhow, this week I thought I'd take a look at the deeper implications and meanings behind some of the Death Knight changes coming our way in 3.0.8. Our newest Mike has summarized and analysed quite a few of them, but I have just a few more things I want to say, especially about a new change that was added in a recent PTR update.


Read more →

Filed under: Blacksmithing, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Buffs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

BigRedKitty: It's hunter-pinata time!


"Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Hunter Nerf-Bat Directives. We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure lesser-class-ideology. Where each squishie may bloom secure from the pests of contradictory and confusing truths. Our Unification of DPS-Thought is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on Azeroth. We are one class, with one will, one resolve, one cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death and we will bury them with their own confusion."

"We shall prevail!"

We are so totally not slapping on a pair of red short-shorts and tossing a sledgehammer through your screen; everyone knows hunters can't equip maces. /pfft

And now, let's talk about what could be coming to hunters on the next public test realm as if we're not hopped up on Captain Crunch and a triple raspberry latte.

Read more →

Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Big Red Kitty

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Mage

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the sixteenth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself. It's also the first installment with a title that rhymes!

The Mage is the foremost master of magic in the Warcraft universe. Although all the other classes excluding the Warrior and the Rogue use magic of one sort or another with equally wonderful effects, the Mage is the class that's named after the stuff.

But what is magic? What does it feel like to harness it? Does the mage have to do a strange ritual or utter incomprehensible words in an ancient language in order to cast her spells? Other fantasy settings often have one or more of these elements together, but as far as I can tell, Warcraft lacks them.

Arcane magic in the World of Warcraft is an ever-present energy field surrounding the whole world. Mages access it by concentrating in the magic energy within themselves, feeling it rush through their body, and directing it as they please. Those spells that require reagents need an extra focusing item with magical properties of its own in order to bring about the desired effect, but for the most part, fireballs, frostbolts and arcane explosions can be created through the mere act of will on the part of a properly educated mind.

Read more →

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Human, Gnomes, Undead, Trolls, Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Draenei, Blood Elves, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Lichborne: A Death Knight statistics primer

Death Knight Itemization: This guy is doing it wrong.
Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly Death Knight column by professor Daniel Whitcomb, who totally has a PhD in Death-Knightology from Ebon Hold University. It's the truth, I swear.

I've seen a lot of people asking these questions as we've been getting into the expansion: Now that I am trying to gear by Death Knights, what stats should I get? What's good for a Death Knight? Which armor should I take. We've started getting in that somewhat in the last few columns, with advice on reputation gear and starting zone gear, but I figured today we should delve a little bit more into the why of Death Knight stats.

Today's column will double as a little bit of primer on how Death Knights get their power, and what stats you should be looking for on armor in general to make your Death Knight the best it can be. It's not completely in depth, but it should get you well on the road to understanding just how Death Knights get all that awesome power and sexiness.

We'll have 3 sections today. The Good are stats that are excellent choices for DPS, Tanks, or both. The So-So are stats which still do us some good, but are pretty situational or conditional in their usefulness. The Outcasts are those stats that you should avoid -- Well, I'd say avoid like the plague, but we're Death Knights. We like the plague around here. So I'll just say you should avoid them.

Read more →

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Raiding, Leveling, Guides, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Polymorph: Black Cat, Serpent found in Dalaran


I don't know how new this is but it's news to me, and great news to Mages looking for more Polymorphing fun -- reader Alassiel on Uldaman (thanks!) was poking around Dalaran in the beta, and in the Sisters Sorcerous shop, he found a new Polymorph spell, Black Cat, for... wait for it... 2500g. Yes, it'll cost you more than twice a Gigantique bag, but if you're looking for a new Poly spell and don't want to muck around in the waters of ZG, there you go. And apparently Polymorph: Serpent is also occasionally sold by the same character for the same price.

Both spells seem to be level 60 spells, strangely enough (Update: Because, I learned in the comments, the highest rank of Polymorph is obtained at level 60), so if your 60 Mage has 5000g just sitting around or has a rich alt willing to pay the price, you could be using them then. WoWWiki also says the prices are rep-related, so if you do a little grinding for the Kirin Tor, you might be able to pick them up for cheaper. And don't forget that this is Wrath -- 2500g is likely only a few days of dailies anyway. Polymorph on!

Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

Forum post of the day: No table for you!

There has been much debate over whether mages should always use their Ritual of Refreshment spell in battlegrounds. Shadowavatar of Boulderfist believes that this practice will become even less common because the cost of the spell is slated to increase from two arcane powder to five in Wrath of the Lich King. This brings the total cost of the spell to fifty silver per cast plus requires the use of additional bag space for mages who are not keen on restocking. Withunter of Arathor commented, "At least you know Blizzard is paying close attention to what players complain about. They identify problems with the game, and spare no effort to make them worse."

While some posters see this change as a major disservice, some point out that the is really quite justifiable. Darkintent of Bleeding hollow noted that the inflated reagent cost is reflective of the greater benefit of the spell. Many responders indicated that this difference will be negligible due to gold inflation in the next expansion. The amount of space it will take to carry reagents is of a greater concern to many posters.

Read more →

Filed under: Mage, Expansions, Forums, Battlegrounds, Forum Post of the Day

BigRedKitty: Channeling Larry King

Daniel Howell contributes BigRedKitty, a column with strategies, tips and tricks for and about the Hunter class, sprinkled with a healthy dose of completely improper, sometimes libelous, personal commentary.

Dear BigRedKitty,

WWWUUUAAAAAAAAGGGHHHH!!

Yours In Friendship,

The Non-WotLK Beta Hunter Community

P.S. WWWUUUAAGHHH!! Seriously.

So. Are you hunters suitably Wrath-Freaked yet? Now now, be honest. You've read articles, forums, and some bloggers. You've been skimming the talent lists, the spells, and the patch notes. And your world is spinning.

Aspect Mastery is nerfed! Lock and Load has been gutted! Did you see what they did to Expose Weakness! Cats got kneecapped! Too many pets! Sporebats don't suck? Where'd the crit go! Rogues can avoid Flares?! Haste is a Lie! A damn lie, I say!

Oh behave. We've been in the beta a long time, leveled as all three specs, tried just about every pet there is, had the game lock up due to lag in every zone available in Northrend, and we're still breathing.

So grab yourself a raspberry latte and come join us in a calm, cool discussion about what hunters are going to be doing in WotLK.

Read more →

Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Big Red Kitty, Wrath of the Lich King

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