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Posts with tag spells

Latest Beta build kills spell downranking [UPDATED]

Note the mana drained versus the mana costA new build has hit the Wrath Beta server tonight, and while it's minor enough that it doesn't even fix quite a few bugs from last build, it does have a doozy of a change: Blizzard appears to have killed downranking, the practice of using a lower rank spell (usually, but not always, a healing spell) to save mana, prevent overhealing, or apply an attached buff or effect.

They've done this by making all lower levels of a spell cost one high mana cost, sometimes more than 100 mana higher than the highest rank. Right now, it's looking like all these spells are now a percentage of base mana.

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

Spell pushback mechanics changed on Beta

Pushback has always been the bane of spellcasters and Hunters everywhere, be it in PvP or PvE. The slightest bit of damage, even the environmental kind, can make a quick 1 second cast somehow stretch into eternity. However, as of the latest Beta build, the eternal cast time may be a thing of the past thanks to some new spell pushback rules.

When you're casting a spell, the first two hits will add .5 seconds each to the cast time. Every other cast will have no effect. For channeled spells, the first 2 hits will take 25% each off the total duration, while all subsequent hits will have no effect.

This sounds like it should be a pretty awesome change overall, especially for solo or small group PVE, where one who has drawn aggro or otherwise lost control of their target can rest assured that it will take them only a single second longer to get off a heal or cast a crowd control spell. Here's hoping this is one change that makes it to the live servers.

Of course, it's probably still worth taking that pushback protection talent if you can. There's no use tempting fate, and that 1 extra second can be a surprisingly long time when you're under pressure.

Thanks to everyone who pointed this out!

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

Forum post of the day: Pushback on Pushback

I remember the day that patch 2.3 was released. I got out of work at six PM as was stoked to get home and try some of the glorious improvements. I had a 25 minute commute then, north on I-15 right past the Las Vegas Strip. Usually by six most of the traffic had cleared and it was pretty smooth sailing- except that day. Some genius decided that it was a good idea to reduce the four-lane freeway to one. My left leg aching from working the clutch and blood pressure rising from impatience and a bit of road rage, it took me about an hour and a half to get home. I should be used to pushback though; I play a caster in WoW.

Debigmacca of Aman'Thul believes that Wrath would be a good time to do away with spell pushback. His argument is based on the number of stuns, fears, and assorted other of immobilization effects that abound in the current state of the game. There was some agreement with the original poster that spell pushback is unnecessary as casters often quickly fall prey to melee DPS. There's only so much a trinket can do.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums, Battlegrounds, Arena, Forum Post of the Day

Totem Talk: The Wrath of the Shaman part 3 - Restoration and Synergy


As I promised you, our look at Wrath talents and skills for Shamans (started here and continued here) concludes with a roundup of restoration talents and skills and then a discussion of what all these new abilities mean for shamans in the expansion. I know how much you guys love discussion. For instance, the picture accompanying today's post is most likely of a resto shaman who is, for whatever reason, attacking a shovel tusk. Now, with the changes to spell power that are coming, that resto gear probably packs a good deal more punch than it currently does with the healing/damage rates it has now. Nevertheless, resto shaman, attacking defenseless wildlife, I have no idea why. He looks cool doing it, though.

First off, of course, I will talk about Earthliving Weapon. Now, we all know I love this (despite a lot of naysayers who look at it as similar to the Fel Reaver's Piston and call it undesirable) but let's be fair: we have no idea how good it will be at 80. All of the current ranks are the same as rank one. The reason I linked to the comments was to show user defektunge's estimate for how it will look at rank 6. Assuming he's in the ballpark, at rank 6 it will be an extra 102 healing plus a chance to proc roughly 1400 healing over 12 seconds. Depending on how high stamina values are on gear by then, and how often the proc really contributes to healing, the HoT of Earthliving could be a gimmick or it could be pure awesome. It's definitely an attempt by Blizzard to address the shaman's lack of any kind of heal over time while remaining true to the Windfury 'random proc' mechanic.

I personally hope that this estimate is low. By level 80 I expect stamina values to be significantly higher (a well geared T5/T6 tank can have well over 22k health, as much as 26k on some right now, so I expect tanks in blues to be easily pushing 19k by the time we're all 80) so I'd hope for double both those numbers. But I'm still excited for Earthliving, especially for leveling shamans or shamans who need to heal in a pinch. Throw on your healing weapon and imbue it for extra oomph.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Leveling, Talents, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath Beta patch notes: Paladin part III - the Holy tree


Finally. We get to the most exciting -- albeit also most likely to change -- part of our Paladin abilities analysis. The new Wrath of the Lich King talents! Readers who have been keeping watch on the expansion's Alpha and all the rumors and leaks know only too well that Paladins have had nothing significant throughout the entire Alpha stage. That all changed with the sudden release of the Beta yesterday, however, and a flood of overwhelming Paladin information came streaming in. You can read the list of changes in my first post, and a general review of baseline abilities and existing talents in my follow-up post.

Paladin talents have been greatly reworked, with some talents jumping from one tree to another, and other talents scrapped completely. The general vibe from the new talent trees is that Blizzard, after so long, has finally given the class some much needed love. I don't think I've gotten this excited about the class -- or heck, about the game -- in a long time. We'll take a look at each tree, the new talents, and what they could mean for Paladins in Wrath after the break.

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

Controlling multiple minions and how it might work

We were lucky enough to get an Azerothian ton (they're like twice the weight of normal tons, don't you know) of news about Wrath of the Lich King at Blizzard's Worldwide Invitational this weekend, and hidden in the Death Knight hands on, there's a ton of great information about the way the class' summons will work. Most of the summons seem to be in the Unholy tree -- Death Knights will not only be able to summon the ghouls we heard about earlier, but will also be able to bring down a gargoyle and summon an insect swarm. But the ghouls are what we're most interested in -- Army of the Dead is a level 80 spell (with a 10 minute cooldown!) that will summon a "legion of your best ghouls to fight by your side."

And our question is: how is this going to work? Obviously the ghouls won't actually work as pets as in the way Hunter or Warlock pets work, but surely they'll have a little more control implemented than the Druid's treants or the Priest's shadowfiends, right? As far as I can remember, we've never actually controlled multiple pets before -- are we going to have one bar to control all three with, or will we mark a target as they're summoned? It would seem that with a tanking class like the Death Knight, more focused pets would be a necessity in some cases.

Or maybe our ghouls will be as mindless as ever, and after we hit a button to summon, they'll just head for the closest thing that looks like it might have brains to eat. Hopefully the Death Knight's ghouls will be a bit more interesting than that (there was a rumor a while back that you'd be able to raise your fallen group members as ghouls, though I don't see that spell in the hands on), and if not, I guess there's always other Hero classes to improve upon the pet mechanics.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Talents, Death Knight

A refreshing change in spells

I missed the Wrath of the Lich King alpha explosion, but looking over the proposed spells and talents, I noticed an interesting proposed change. New talents and spells are available that refresh the duration of Damage-over-Time effects, such as Corruption and Shadow Word: Pain. While some of these effects are delivered by direct damage spells, the interesting and impacting change that struck me was its inclusion of channeled spells.

With the proper talents, Mind Flay would refresh Shadow Word: Pain and Drain Life would refresh Corruption. This gives more utility to channeled spells, which normally require its full duration to run for optimum effect. PvP, in particular, requires constant motion which gimps the use of channeled spells. If the proposed changes push through, this means that channeled spells can be used for a short duration in order to refresh existing debuffs. This is an incredible trend that I hope makes it into live as well as extend into other, channeled abilities.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Expansions

Alpha: Changes to existing abilities

Some kind soul just dropped by the Wrath alpha wiki and posted a whole slew of purported changes to existing spells and talents, slated for Wrath. I trust these changes even less than the usual alpha information I see floating around (hence the "rumors" category on this post), but other people on that wiki's community do seem to be verifying them. And they do jive with what you can see at this site, for what that's worth. Of course, even if they are really what's showing up in the alpha, they have a long ways and a lot of change to go before Wrath goes live.

There's a lot of interesting, strange, and flat-out unlikely stuff on there. As usual, for the full list of alleged changes go look at the wiki. Here are some of my reactions:

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Filed under: Classes, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King, Rumors

Priests in Wrath: Analysis of Alpha talents

I would like to take a moment to talk about the leaked Priest spells and talents from the Wrath friends and family alpha. We have decided not to keep this information on the site for legal reasons, but there are many other places on the internet to find it, such as this wiki (which, by the way, seems to have been semi-locked to prevent recurrences of Tuesday night's rampant vandalization).

Note that these are alpha leaks (for those not conversant with software testing, alpha comes before beta, and beta comes before release), and most of these talents and spells will change before Wrath goes live. Some of them will probably not be recognizably the same, or even there at all. Nevertheless, it's certainly something to talk about in a game that, in my opinion, has had far too little change over the past couple of years.

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Filed under: Priest, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Psst...want some WotLK alpha talent info?

As you may have noticed, Blizzard sent us a request that we remove unreleased information relating to spells and talents in Wrath of the Lich King, and we have chosen to comply with that request. However, obviously that cat is out of the bag (and was before we got there), and if you want to find that information, one good place to look for it is the Wotlk leaks wiki.

From flight paths to pictures to spells and talents (including those for Death Knights) to profession information, that wiki is a great resource for unreleased information. Obviously this is stll alpha information, and everything is unfinished and changeable -- if any of you were playing WoW in alpha or beta, you know how much things changed before release (and after). Still, it's nice to get a glimpse of what's in store.

Filed under: Blizzard, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Warrior Talents in Wrath of the Lich King

Warriors can rejoice today, basking in their newly leaked talents from Wrath of the Lich King. This information has been first obtained through a [redacted] but has since been independently confirmed by WoW Insider staff. Note that the information you're seeing here is correct, while the wiki page you're seeing now could be updated with false information. However, that's where our confirmation of the data comes into play.

Read on after the break for the full list we have so far. This is a spoiler, so don't look unless you want to!

Update: At Blizzard's request, we have removed the information from our site.

Update:
Please don't post notes or references to notes in the comments. We're just going to remove them. Thanks.

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Filed under: Warrior, Wrath of the Lich King

Death Knight talents revealed

DeathKnight.info has posted, and our independent sources confirm, a first look at the current state of the Death Knight talents. These come covered in caveats, most especially that they're from the Friends & Family Alpha and will almost certainly change in the coming months, and that this is only the two deepest tiers of talents. However, if you're as desperate for this sort of information as I am, you won't mind. Let's get right into it.

For some of you, this may be considered spoilers, so in case you don't want to see the talents, I've placed them after the jump. If you do want to see, click on!

Update: Blizzard has asked us to remove the information.

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Filed under: Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Arcane Brilliance: A squishy year in review

With so much to look forward to in patch 2.4 and WotLK, Arcane Brilliance would like to take one last look back at the road behind, mostly to see if there's a Rogue back there waiting to stab us. It's a little late, perhaps, but here's a look at the year that was, from a Mage's perspective.

2007 was a splendid year. Someday, when our children's children are grown, we will bore them with stories of 2007, and perhaps refer to it as "back in the day," or "the year I dinged 70," or "the year I learned never to mix chili with microwavable burritos in the hopes that their powers will combine to form 'Chilitos,' the perfect food." Here at Arcane Brilliance, we like to think of it as the "Year of the Mage." We also like to think of 2006 as the "Year of the Mage," and frankly we think of 1902 the same way, so take that in whatever way you wish. Basically we like Mages here, and 2007 was a fun year for those well-versed in wizardry. Not everything was magelicious, though. The highlights--and lowlights--after the jump.

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Filed under: Undead, Mage, Patches, Events, PvP, Expansions, Humor, The Burning Crusade, Classes, BlizzCon, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription, Arena

"Make them bleed blue"

Screwface on the forums has an interesting idea about a PvP tweak, even though his implementation isn't quite right. He says that since healers are so overpowered in PvP (well that's his first problem), abilities like Rend and Garrote should not only bleed blood, but also bleed mana off of casters. Of course, simply making all bleed abilities also take off mana would make them overpowered on their own, so his plan of making a sweeping change like that doesn't quite compute.

But the idea of more abilities that directly affect mana is an interesting one. Right now, there are only four "mana drain" spells in the game (warlocks can steal mana for themselves, priests can turn mana into damage, and hunters can sting mana off of a target). But as much as mana pools and regen have grown in the last patch, it's true that there hasn't been a balance in the opposite direction. No, warriors don't need another buff, but what if shaman were given a mana drain totem somewhere in the next ten levels? Or Boomkins got a spell that negated mana over time?

It's nothing to play around with lightly. But Blizzard does have to come up with ten more levels of abilities and talents for the next expansion, and messing with mana is something they haven't done much of lately. In Northrend we might not only be worried about health and DPS, but mana draining and mana attacks might become another piece of the class balance puzzle.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Talents, Making money, Buffs

All the World's a Stage: Roleplaying with class


All the World's a Stage is a column for classy minds, playing with roles every Sunday evening.

You want to roleplay a character with style, pizzazz, panache -- and class! No matter what race or faction you are, your class is going to have a big impact on who you are and how other people perceive you. How you integrate it into your character can, in turn, give you something distinctive to share with other people.

Usually when we think of roleplaying a certain class, we do so with that class's lore in mind. But our WoW characters all have many spells and abilities that they rarely take advantage of in roleplaying. Admittedly most class spells are geared towards combat, when roleplaying is hardest -- you seldom have time to type out interesting phrases while fighting for your life. Unless you get an addon like RP Helper 2 to help you utter pre-planned phrases automatically (and sparingly enough that it doesn't get annoying), roleplaying during combat just isn't very feasible. So, sadly, roleplayers usually leave their sparkly spell effects totally unused while interacting with other roleplayers outside of combat. Even with the game mechanics as they are, however, it's not always so difficult to use some of these spells in roleplaying as one might think.

Although people have a tendency to separate the video-game and the roleplaying into two mutually exclusive activities, in fact each of these aspects of WoW can greatly enhance the other. Roleplaying gets a whole new visual excitement when it transcends the same word balloons and talk animations we use every day. When someone comes along with an innovative use for a spell or character animation that we had never thought of before, it gives you a memorable impression of who that character is. In fact, using spells like this is a special way that online roleplaying sets itself apart from every other sort of roleplaying, and it is an essential skill that every WoW roleplayer would do well to master in his or her own way. In this article we will look at the different ways that druids, hunters and mages could use their class spells to greater effect in their roleplaying.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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