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Posts with tag tier-12

Spiritual Guidance: Is the tier 13 shadow priest bonus really worth it?

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen comes from out of the shadows to bask in your loving adoration.

I get a lot of email at my WoW Insider account. Granted, most of the emails I get are intriguing business deals from the African continent. But I get real mail too, and lately, I've been getting a lot of mail about our four-piece tier 13 bonus.

Oh, no! My Tier 13 four-piece bonus isn't as good as I thought it would be! My wallet's too small for my fifties, and my diamond shoes are too tight!

Signed,
Everyone

I haven't answered the mail publicly yet, because I couldn't imagine the concerns being valid. After all, could it really be worth it to keep two-piece tier 12 over four-piece tier 13? But with so many of you concerned ... hey, maybe there's something to this. Maybe it is worth keeping your two-piece tier 12.

I decided sit down with a pen and paper and find out for myself.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Totem Talk: 2011 in review for elemental shaman

Magmaw, the first boss of Blackwing Descent
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Josh Myers once only tackled the hard questions about enhancement but has recently expanded his sphere of responsibility to all shaman DPS specs. (And no, two-handed enhancement is still never coming back.)

It's hard for me to believe that Cataclysm has only been out for slightly over one year, especially given how we're already on the last raid of the expansion. It's been a turbulent year for the shaman class, and elemental as a spec is no exception. Between legendaries, highly fluctuating DPS, and more tweaks to AoE then I care to count, elemental has had more than its fair share of ups and downs this year.

Tier 11: The lows

Elemental was not a strong DPS class in the first tier of Cataclysm raiding. Fights like heroic Halfus, Maloriak, and Sinestra brought our lack of competitive AoE damage into the limelight, while Cho'gall, Conclave of Wind, and Ascendant Council all highlighted how elemental's mobile DPS was terribly low. With Unleash Elements and shocks being our only mobile cast -- not to mention low levels of haste that left us with terribly slow Lightning Bolt casts -- and we really struggled to pump out respectable numbers on any fight that wasn't Patchwerk-esque.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm

Spiritual Guidance: Besting Baleroc (and other shadow priest alliteration)

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen's soaks all Baleroc's Torment, while inflicting Torment of his own onto the heads of certain boomkin bloggers.

If you ask me, variety is what makes a good raid. You have different, unique bosses, with different, unique mechanics. Some have adds; some don't. Some send you soaring through the skies. Some have weird vehicle mechanics. And some encounters, bless their hearts, are Patchwerk-style simple.

That's sort of the niche Baleroc the Gatekeeper fills. There are some mechanics you need to know, of course -- it's not a mindless stand-and-DPS fight. There is one phase and there is one key DPS mechanic. And as far as that mechanic goes, we shadow priests are stars of the show.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: A shadow priest's guide to Alysrazor

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen's steals all your feathers to become a soaring blur of purple. Fox encourages all potential prey to follow him on Twitter.

Last week, I talked about the gimmickry involved in the Lord Rhyolith fight. It's interesting and unique, but for us shadow priests, largely irrelevant. If only there were a fight with a super-cool gimmick that puts shadow priests on center stage and ...

... oh, wait, there totally is a fight like that: Alysrazor!

The fight against Alysrazor is absolutely hectic, but in a fun way. Shadow priests get a stacking haste buff that will have you frantically mashing keys to maximize your DPS. We get a crit buff that guarantees near 100% Shadowfiend uptime. And, oh yeah -- we friggin' fly through the air.

That's right, Alysrazor is all about the z-axis. It's time to go grab your Super Nintendo out of the attic, shadow priests, because it's about to get all Pilotwings up in here.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Lichborne: The state of the patch 4.2 death knight

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

Now that patch 4.2 has been out for a few weeks, it's a good time to look at the fruits of our nerfs. Patch 4.2 saw a surprising amount of death knight changes, from the nerfing of Obliterate to the last-minute buffing of Unholy Might. Nearly as conspicuous was the near complete lack of blood tanking changes.

With all of this in play, we definitely expected some shakeups when patch 4.2 went live; now, it's time to take a look at how those shakeups have played out. Most stuff went more or less as expected, but there have been a few surprising twists. We'll tackle it all after the break.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Encrypted Text: The subtlety experiment

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions, or hate mail if you play subtlety.

Over the past few years, I've been accused of playing favorites with the rogue specs. During Wrath, I was characterized more than once as the ArP-mongering combat rogue who neglected Mutilate builds. In Cataclysm, I'm supposedly the devoted assassin who never gives combat or subtlety a fair shake. The truth is that I don't care what spec I'm playing, and I'll play whatever gives me the best results.

I played Mut/Prep, HARP, and even pure subtlety in the arena during The Burning Crusade. I've raided extensively as both combat and assassination, and I've leveled my rogues (plural) with each of the three specs, as well. I frequently swap specs. I love combat for solo PVE play, while subtlety holds a special place in my heart for ganking and world PVP. I currently raid as assassination simply because it's how I get the best results. I'm not alone in this philosophy, as most rogues will do whatever it takes, including a respec, to get the most out of their characters.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Totem Talk: A fresh take for elemental shaman in patch 4.2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Josh Myers once tackled the hard questions about enhancement, but has recently expanded his sphere of responsibility to all DPS specs for shaman. And no, two-handed enhancement is still never coming back.

Sarah Nichol, our most recent elemental columnist, has been kidnapped by patriarchal Daleks loyal to Lord Voldemort after losing the Game of Thrones. Due to this, I, Josh Myers, enhancement shaman extraordinaire, have agreed to take on the Defense Against the Dark Arts-esque position of elemental columnist. Please welcome me as your benign, bovine overlord.

Now for why you're really reading: Patch 4.2 hit approximately two weeks ago, and the game has changed for elemental shaman everywhere. Bringing us the Glyph of Unleashed Lightning, useful tier bonuses, and a legendary stat stick that would make Gandalf jealous, 4.2 is looking to be the best patch of the expansion for elemental. Not that that's hard, considering the competition.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm

Encrypted Text: A rogue's guide to patch 4.2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article topics you'd like to see covered!

Rogues have a lot to look forward to when patch 4.2 is released. If you spend most of your time in dungeons or raiding, you'll be happy to hear about the sizable buffs to all three of our talent trees. Unfortunately for rogues that favor PVP, there are some cooldown changes to Cloak of Shadows and Combat Readiness that won't be well-received. While I'm not completely satisfied with the size of our buff when compared to our relative position in the DPS pack, our potency in Firelands still remains to be seen.

In addition to the slew of balance changes, we can start salivating over the new gear that will be available. Our tier 12 set has some very fun bonuses, and also some great crafted gear coming up. Our caster rivals will get access to their first legendary weapon since Atiesh, so we'll have to do our best to keep up. The duration of Blind in PVE is going up to a full minute, giving us two forms of long-term CC in Sap and Blind. As proof that rogues are designed to be the best at what they do, most other CC effects in the game are going to start mirroring Sap. Polymorph and the rest won't aggro mobs that they're used on, which should make it far easier to coordinate CC in a PUG. Plus, even if the group manages to somehow mess up CC and starts combat early, we can just use Blind as a stand-in for Sap anyway.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

The Light and How to Swing It: Holy paladin gear in patch 4.2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

I'm not a big fan of patch days. I hate needing to update all of my addons, I hate the endless spam of "hay were's the new vender?" in trade chat, and I hate how overcrowded the new zones are.

While I think there's plenty to dislike, patch days aren't all bad. With patch 4.2's release date closing, we can look forward to Firelands and the new quest hub in Hyjal. The introduction of new reputations and raid bosses mean that there are both new challenges to be overcome and new rewards to be obtained.

The good news is that the gear we'll be seeing in patch 4.2 is much better itemized for holy paladin than what we saw in the first tier of Cataclysm raiding. Holy paladins are the only spec that uses plate gear with intellect on it, and so it's always a bit interesting to see gear that's not that good for us. Our potency should improve significantly from both the pure ilvl boost from the new gear, but also due to the better selection of secondary stats.

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

Official tier 12 armor set preview updated with warrior and druid

Blizzard has updated the community site tier 12 armor preview with the final 2 armor sets -- warrior and druid. Patch 4.2 is coming soon, as players prepare for the invasion into the Firelands to confront Ragnaros for the (potentially) last time. Each armor set for this raid tier has its looks originating from something in the Firelands, going for the instance motif over the class motif.

Warriors will dress themselves in the Molten Giant Battleplate, made in the image of the new molten giant model. You may remember molten giants and molten destroyers from the Molten Core. They also wander fields of lava in the Firelands, ready to lumber over to unsuspecting players.

Druids will be donning the Obsidian Arborweave sets, based on what appears to be the tree that Malfurion and the Avengers of Hyjal are growing in the Firelands as the foward base against Ragnaros. Maybe, as a restoration druid, you were upset that Tree of Life was not a permanent form anymore. Well, now you get to dress up like a tree. Compromise. Hit the jump for a pic of the druid set.

By the way, Obsidian Arborweave is the most "Blizzard" name for anything I have ever seen. I hope that guy got a raise.

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Filed under: Druid, Warrior, Cataclysm

Arcane Brilliance: The state of the arcane mage

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. Well, almost every week. Okay, every other week. Semiannually. Every leap year.

Seriously, sorry about the inconsistency lately. Family illness struck last week, and though the situation made it impossible for me to write a column, I still feel bad about leaving you guys in the lurch. I'll do everything in my power to keep the column weekly going forward. Because if I don't, the warlocks win. And they can never win, you guys. Never.

With that out of the way, we're at the point in the expansion when most of what I said about the various specs early on is now almost completely false. I feel it is time again for me to address the mage nation about the state of the mage. This time around, though, I thought I'd tackle each spec separately, since the state of the mage is quite different depending upon what sort of mage you happen to be. Over the next three weeks, we'll take a hard look at the state of the three mage specs, focusing on PVE, and see where we're at as a class.

We start this week with the left-most mage spec: arcane.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Patch 4.2 shakes up our heals

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

I wasn't very happy with the first round of notes for patch 4.2, as they contained several holy paladin nerfs. I had originally thought that Blizzard's developers were just trying to keep holy paladin mana in line, but it looks like they actually had a few other changes up their collective sleeves. We've learned about several new mechanics that shift the balance of power between our healing spells and even offset much of the expected loss of power.

Our new set bonuses help us recover some of that lost mana and also boost the effectiveness of our expensive heals. While Blizzard states that class power is not designed around set bonuses, our potency is still affected by them. In addition, some key talent adjustments have the potential to completely change the roles of our heals, including letting Flash of Light be instant-cast (with a proc) and significantly bolstering the effectiveness of Holy Light when used in a Beacon of Light environment (which is always). These are the type of exciting patch notes that I can get behind, as they are aimed at adding diversity to our relatively stale lineup of direct heals.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Patch 4.2 changes, clarifications and legendary staves

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we discuss the perils of writing about the PTR, which stands for "Public Test Realm." For a very long time, I thought it stood for "Pirate Taco Restaurant," which I thought sounded more fun, frankly.

Yes, it's always a good time when I write something and the testing process immediately renders almost every word of it completely moot. Testing is testing, I guess, and absolutely everything that pops up on the PTR at pretty much any stage of the testing cycle is entirely subject to change. So remember what we talked about last week? The whole tier 12 set bonus thing?

No longer true.

Well, okay, I guess some of it still holds true, but not the really interesting part. Gone is the moving Arcane Missiles. To me, that was the single most significant bonus being offered by the tier 12 set for mages, but it's been removed entirely in the latest PTR build. The other bonuses remain, in slightly altered form, but mobile missiles is apparently out.

Still, I'm not perturbed, other than my simmering rage at having a thousand or so of my words -- wrung from my brain only a week prior, sweat out over a hot (or at least lukewarm, perhaps slightly moist) keyboard, painstakingly arranged into mildly pleasing, competently conjugated sentences -- become instantly irrelevant. You see, I actually think this could end up being a good thing for mages, and I promise that in a minute or two I will tell you why I think that, and the answer will not be "because of all that paint I huffed."

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

Encrypted Text: Breaking down tier 12

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. This week, we'll be discussing the upcoming patch 4.2 and our new tier set. Feel free to email me with any article suggestions or feedback!

In case you haven't heard, the upcoming patch 4.2 is currently on the PTR. The patch notes currently include a ton of important rogue changes. First of all, Blind is getting buffed. In PvE situations, it will now last up to a minute. Also, Blizzard is unbuffing Stealth for rogues a bit, as Stealth will start its cooldown upon leaving Stealth, not entering it. I had always assumed that was an unintentional change, anyway. In addition, most crowd control abilities are going to be just like Sap, so that the casters can use them without pulling aggro. Like I said, there's a ton of major changes coming for the rogue class!

In all seriousness, I am a bit cheesed off that we didn't see any damage improvements with the patch. You've all heard my spiel about how rogues are the only pure melee DPS class and how that necessitates our having higher DPS than anyone else. Rogues are very "middle of the pack" right now, with the abominable hunters and warriors typically surpassing us in equal gear. In particular, our effectiveness drops sharply in heroic raids, where it can be downright dangerous to be in melee range. Either way, our raids need someone soak up all the rogue gear, so an analysis of the upcoming rogue tier 12 set is in order.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Lichborne: A look at the latest patch 4.2 news for death knights

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

As I mentioned last week, there was one big issue that the patch 4.2 PTR hadn't addressed: the discrepancy between frost and unholy death knight DPS. Just like that, Blizzard seems to have heard and has in fact both changed the tier 12 set bonuses and added a few changes to the patch notes that mostly seem tailor-made to address that gap. Let's take a look at the changes and how the death knight class is shaping up in patch 4.2.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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