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Posts with tag threat-generation

Arcane Brilliance: The threat hotfix and you

Jim from Threat Level Midnight
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we're applying a hotfix to Arcane Brilliance. Beginning now, any warlock who reads Arcane Brilliance will be overcome by intense feelings of self-loathing and an irresistible urge to reroll a mage. The column's actually been functioning this way for some time now, and we thought we ought to just make it official.

I figure it's about time we discussed the threat hotfix, mages. And before we go any further, I should point out that from now on, the threat level is always midnight. The hotfix has been in the game for a few weeks now, and I would have brought it up long before now but I got kinda sidetracked daydreaming about the whole transmogrification thing. Now that I've spent a few weeks going through all of the pretty dresses in my wardrobe and deciding which one I want to wear on my next date with Ragnaros (he's a passable conversationalist, a snappy dresser, and the dates are so much more fun now that he's bipedal ... but he tends to shout a lot, and he's a lousy tipper), I'm ready to talk about what amounts to the complete removal of one of the most basic MMO battle mechanics from the game.

Now, removal isn't the right word, I know. Threat is still technically in the game, but it no longer really matters much.

It's been sort of difficult to wrap my mind around, to be honest. It's as if I woke up one morning and discovered that I no longer needed to wear pants. For so long, pants (or a reasonable pants equivalent) were pretty much a requirement when leaving the house, but now, pantslessness is considered the style. Do I still have pants in my closet? Sure, but I only keep them in there to hide my porn beneath.

So how does this new status quo impact us as a class? And is the change good, bad, or does it lie somewhere along the spectrum between those two extremes?

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: The mage survival guide, part 1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week and next, we look at the time-honored tradition of mages dying whenever something looks at them funny and discuss a few ways to break that tradition. Way #1: Stand next to the warlock, pull aggro, cast Frost Nova, then Blink away.

I'm just kidding; that's a terrible idea. Funny, but terrible. Only do it once, purely for the humor value, then concentrate on downing the boss. Okay, maybe twice.

If you've run a heroic in Cataclysm, you may have noticed something: Nobody's healing you. In Wrath, when I'd take my holy pally out for a spin, everybody got heals. I was healing the tank, the off tank, the off-off tank, the DPS, the other healers, the hunter's pet, the death knight's ghoul, the guy standing in the fire ... they all got heals. Now? Not so much.

These days, healers spend 75% of their time healing the tank and the other 25% praying that their mana bars will go back up. That leaves exactly 0% of their time to spend on keeping your mage alive.

We're on our own, guys. When you see your health bar start to drop in a Cataclysm heroic or raid, just know that it won't be going back up any time soon. Our survival as DPSers is squarely our own responsibility. And what's the first rule of magehood? That's right: Dead mages do terrible DPS. We need to stay alive, our raid needs us to stay alive, and the only way that's going to happen is if we do it ourselves.

"But Christian," you might be saying, "I'm a mage! I wear a dress into combat! A particularly vigorous sneeze could kill me." Those things are all true. But you do have a few tricks up your sleeve that can help stave off death, if not forever, then at least long enough to pump out a few thousand more points of damage before you port up to that last great mage table in the sky.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Ghostcrawler talks tanks and threat

Hey everyone, having fun in those heroics yet? In my own personal (PUG) experiences, things go wrong far more often than they go right. While healer longevity is a major issue, effective crowd control and threat management is growing to be another. Some tanks are just ill-equipped to handle generating threat on supercharged mobs, and some DPSers are just unable to understand the basic rules of threat -- or ignore those rules entirely.

Perhaps it's timely, then, that Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street posted a blog entry about Blizzard's philosophy with regard to threat. The piece is something of a follow up to his previous blog entry on Vengeance and threat. A few of the key takeaways of his latest post include:

Threat Needs to Matter
"We don't think it's too much to ask for DPS and healers to wait a couple of GCDs for the tank to get the enemy under control ..."

"... if someone is nuking or cleaving a random target on a group pull instead of assisting the tank, that's not the tank's fault."

"... overall, we'd like to present threat better since we're asking you to take it seriously in the PvE game."


The post, "Threat Needs to Matter," is worth reading regardless of whether you're a tank or not. The full text is after the break.

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Filed under: News items

The Light and How to Swing It: The Tankadin for Dummies Again


Where were we? Ah, yes, tanking. Last time, we took a look at some basics of Paladin tanking, namely a few things about survivability. That's just the tip of the iceberg. When I said tanking was the most technical play style in the game, it's because tanks have to look at more factors and study more things than healers or DPS. Aside from working towards important gear requirements, a tank more than any other player must understand how a fight works. While many encounters are survivable with a few DPS not knowing too much about the fight ("get out of the void zones!"), a tank who doesn't know anything about a boss is likely to wipe the group or raid.

In many ways, a tank is the most important member of a team. The cornerstone, so to speak. Because even though healers are indispensable, there's never really a 'Main Healer' position the way there is a 'Main Tank'. That's why a tank's responsibility goes above and beyond what players in other roles have. We've already examined for a bit how to build up your survivability. Today we'll look at three things: generating threat and the tank spell rotation.

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Filed under: Paladin, Guides, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Druid's Swipe now generates 50% increased threat

Ghostcrawler mentioned last night that the Druid ability Swipe was on their radar for a fix. Blizzard, and many Druids, felt that when you combined Swipe with the global cooldown it wasn't generating enough threat. There have also been extenuating issues concerning Swipe's effectiveness in picking up mobs in a uniform manner, often requiring the druid to have near perfect positioning.

That's now been "fixed" today via a hotfix.

Swipe's threat has been increased by 50%.

Previously the limitation on the number of targets swipe could hit was removed, along with other classes AoE tanking abilities like Thunder Clap.

The immediate effect of this won't be known beyond "it'll let Druids AoE tank better." There might be some backlash from the other classes that Swipe will now cause too much threat compared to their abilities (thus tipping the scale in favor of a Druid tank). There also might be some concern that people will just spam Swipe.

Only time and everyone's reaction will tell.

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Filed under: Druid, News items

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