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Posts with tag tier-15

Healer representation in Mists of Pandaria


Dedralie at Healiocentric has started a series examining how the 6 healer specs fared in Mists of Pandaria, and the first installment starts with a look at representation in raids. It's a fascinating article on the rise, fall, and sometimes stagnation of class fortunes, and toward the end there's a pretty cogent prediction on what mythic raids in Warlords of Draenor are probably going to look like if current trends continue.

This is a quick summary, but I'll provide more details past the cut. As Dedralie writes, while we're not really talking about healer balance or throughput here, there are a few obvious trends you can track from the Mists launch in September 2012 all the way to heroic Garrosh kills in January 2014:
  • Discipline priests and holy paladins ruled the expansion.
  • The absorption effects brought by these two healers is a huge advantage in heroic content (even more so in 10-man), and it may be too valuable as a mechanic.
  • Tier 15 (Throne of Thunder) was the most balanced with respect to representation. Tier 14 saw significant gulfs between class popularity that unfortunately returned with a vengeance in Tier 16 (Siege of Orgrimmar).
  • While monks and holy priests are still struggling for representation, it's instructive to look at the fights where they were significantly more popular.
  • Mythics will probably look like the "under-healed" heroics of MoP, which will prejudice heal teams toward synergies between absorption healers and those with strong throughput-based cooldowns.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Monk

Encrypted Text: Combat and the GCD

t15
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 you'd like to see covered here.

The three rogue specs share many common mechanics. They all follow the same formula: generate combo points, use finishers, activate your cooldowns when they come up. The real differences between the specs only show up once you start playing them. Assassination is well-known for being more relaxed and favors pooling energy over spamming attacks. Subtlety rogues have a knack for massive burst damage via their complex cooldown, Shadow Dance.

Combat is arguably the simplest of the three specs, and is often characterized by its fast-paced gameplay and high actions-per-minute rate. Adrenaline Rush, which has been combat's signature cooldown for years, is designed to let you push buttons even faster. Assassination's Vendetta lets you hit harder, subtlety's Shadow Dance lets you use openers, and Adrenaline Rush doubles the numbers of buttons you can push. Unfortunately for combat, the concept of "push more buttons" can't scale forever.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Resto druids vs. the world 2: War harder

Resto druids vs the world, round two War harder TUE
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we may hate numbers, but oh, they add so much to our lives.

Story time!

I first got a lesson on how to read healing meters while raiding Serpentshrine Cavern. One of our healers, an otherwise very competent holy priest, consistently ran OOM early on Morogrim Tidewalker and was next to useless during the final phase of the fight. The head of the heal team took an hour to look over the logs, and decided to give me a lesson on how to read them while doing so. It quickly became apparent that the priest was unwittingly covering for a resto shaman, who not only wasn't pulling his weight, but also seemed to take an unusual amount of damage.

"Why aren't you doing anything during the add phases?" asked the head, a paladin.

"Because our off-tank can't hold aggro for s$#t and I'm tired of dying to murlocs."

This was actually true. Our head healer pondered for a moment. "Can't you just Chain Heal after he's already gotten all the murlocs?"

"No, I die that way too. And we have to save BoP for the clothies who have to AOE the murlocs." Also true.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

The beauty of classic WoW's Molten Core

Ragnaros
Back in the days of WoW's original release, Molten Core was, in many ways, the raid. It wasn't the only raid, and it certainly wasn't the only raid that left a lasting impression on the consciousness of WoW players. Nonetheless, if you were raiding in classic WoW, you started with Molten Core, and that experience inevitably shaped the way raiding has been perceived ever since. What was it exactly about Molten Core? Was it the sprawling, maze-like dungeon (which didn't have a map at the time)? Was it the memorable boss fights and quotes? Was it the iconic gear drops? Was it dealing with the reality of trying to organize 40 players into their different roles and individual responsibilities?

I'd say all of the above, to an extent. The first time you do anything new, be it visiting a city or raiding in a video game, there is a certain significance to the occasion that can never truly be replicated. As the first big raid most classic WoW players experienced, Molten Core has had a special place in our collective hearts for a long time now. Let's take a trip down memory lane with a look at some of the unique and fun aspects of Molten Core, many of which I miss but honestly would not want to have to deal with again.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Encrypted Text: Examining our tier 15 set bonuses

rogue tier 15
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 you'd like to see covered here.

The Nine-Tail Battlegear is our new tier 15 raid set, and it's beautiful. The nine-tailed fox is a famous Asian mythological creature. The animal is known in many cultures for its trickery and cunning, both of which are famous rogue attributes. They're also known for frequently running from hunters and their pets, which is another one of our pastimes. I think that our opponents are likely to find the sharp-toothed fox snout on our helms to be quite imposing.

Our tier 15 set bonuses are very interesting, and much more exciting than our tier 14 bonuses. I've never been a fan of the simple "Ability X does Y% more damage" set bonuses. Our two-piece bonus is unlike anything I've seen before, and our four-piece bonus has already been the topic of much discussion between the rogue community and the developers. All three rogue specs are receiving sizable buffs going into patch 5.2, and with some fresh new set bonuses to look forward to, exploring the Throne of Thunder should be a good time.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Gear up in 5.2 with these awesome guides

tc-tidal-header
The release of a new raid tier means new challenges to face, new bosses to crush, and of course, new loot to covet. If you weren't already familiar with it, Wowhead user Hhalle567 has a brilliant guide to the PvE gear of Mists of Pandaria, including tier 15 iLevel 522 drops. You can sort by slot, boss, class, and spec so that you know exactly what you're looking for -- and where to use a Mogu Rune of Fate.

Note that the guide doesn't yet seem to include all the loot from world bosses Oondasta and Nalak. Oondasta, at least, is known to drop items that are unobtainable in the Throne of Thunder itself. Until those bosses get added in, you can check out other Wowhead guides for the missing pieces. Hats off to Hhalle567 and Perculia for these great references!

Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Wowhead interviews Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas

Wowhead interviews Lead Encounter Designer Ion 'Watcher' Hazzikostas
The slew of developer interviews continues! Wowhead guru Perculia interviewed Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas earlier this week, quizzing him about all things patch 5.2. Included in the discussion was the Ra'den encounter, which is not only hidden behind a heroic kill of the final boss of the raid, but also features limited attempts. Also included were plenty of questions about Tier 14 content and how the developers felt it worked out, as well as the question of just what kinds of progression paths are in store for raiders that have yet to complete Tier 14 content.

Perhaps most interesting to me, however, was a discussion regarding Challenge Modes and the lack of new 5-man content. So far we're at the second patch for Mists of Pandaria, and while we've gotten plenty of scenarios, we have yet to see any new dungeons added to the game. While Hazzikostas stated that no details were set in stone as of yet, there were plenty of dungeons that Blizzard has done in the past that would be fun to revisit.

The idea of suddenly making old dungeons relevant to players is honestly something I think could be really fun. There have been plenty of dungeons over the years that I've completely fallen in love with -- but as the game wends on and new expansions are launched, there's little reason to visit any of those prior dungeons. And while transmogrification usually leads me back, the dungeons themselves are easily soloed at this point in the game. What would it look like if the dungeons of old were suddenly a challenge all over again?

Check out Wowhead for more from Hazzikostas, including discussion on Feats of Strength, legendary weapons, those intriguing new Thunderforged items and much more.

Filed under: News items, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.2 Gear Previews: Season 13, tier 15, and Throne of Thunder

Patch 52 Gear Previews Season 13, tier 15, and Throne of Thunder
If you've been waiting for some new WoW loot to drool over, today Blizzard posted previews of season 13's "Tyrannical" PvP armor sets. Season 12 will be coming to an end on March 5, making the Tyrannical sets your new PvP goal. Though we have to say, the paladin set looks kind of dangerous, like you might put someone's eye out accidentally with those giant blades attached to your shoulders. (It reminds us of warrior's tier 2 Wrath set, which also seemed like tempting fate. What if you tripped?) So, PvP paladins, please be careful and try not to run with scissors -- or those huge shoulders -- okay?

For PvEers, Blizzard also has previews of tier 15, which will be arriving with patch 5.2 -- that is to say, soon. Thankfully, Blizzard has finally taken the preventive measure of putting bells on the priests so they can no longer sneak up on you. (Apologies to stealth-loving priests everywhere.)

And if that's not enough preview action, our friends at Wowhead also have Throne of Thunder boss drops from the PTR (if you're not seeing them, click to sort "By Boss"). Happy looting, everyone!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, PvP, Raiding

Blood Pact: Reputable sources of warlock loot in patch 5.2

Blood Pact Reputable sources of warlock loot in patch 52 MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill splits the warlock loot over two weeks to keep things light.

Various people have been referring to Throne of Thunder as Thund'uar, a name I fully intend to steal and use. It's just a perfect blend of the new raid and its supposed raid model, Ulduar, with the expected troll-like apostrophe thrown in for good measure.

But this week I won't be listing out the Thund'uar loot drops; I'll just drop in with a lighter piece covering gear miscellany and the new faction offerings. Next week, we can discuss how the PTR patch buffs and nerfs fit in with the expected performance of warlocks in Tier 15 while listing out the loot, instead of dropping a lump of lists in your lap.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Lichborne: Tier 15 set bonuses and other death knight changes for patch 5.2

Lichborne Tier 15 set bonuses and other death knight changes for patch 52 TUESDAY
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.

In the weeks since the patch 5.2 PTR has been up, death knight changes have held pretty steady. The announced unholy changes have stayed in place, and so far seem to be working out much as expected, making the spec a little easier to handle and overall promising to put unholy in a better place once patch 5.2 comes out. That said, there have been a few other tweaks added, as well as the revealing of the tier 15 raid gear set bonuses. Today, we'll dig into these changes and see how they're stacking up.

Tier 15 death knight DPS bonuses
I'm going to be honest, I'm a little bit in love with the current 2 piece DPS bonus, if only for the flavor. A few columns back, I mentioned that one of my wildest dream updates for death knights would be a Wild Imps style ghoul summoning, and the 2 piece tier 15 bonus is sort of probably the closest we'll come to that. We'll need more solid parses to see if stacks up damage bonus wise, but in flavor, I'm pretty excited for it. The biggest issue here may be if the summoned pets end up dying prematurely to mobs before they can do their damage.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Patch 5.2: Tier set names

Patch 52 Tier set names
The new tier sets for patch 5.2 finally have names -- well, most of the sets do. Wowhead managed to dig up the names for all of the tier 15 models, with the exception of the rogue t15 set. While rogue set items are currently using the t14 name, all other t15 sets have been changed over. However, the models for all of the sets are nearly complete, and some sets have some pretty neat animation on the shoulder models.
  • Death Knight Battleplate/Plate of the All-Consuming Maw. The shoulders for this piece are two sets of jaws that occasionally open and flick their tongues in the air.
  • Druid Armor/Regalia/Battlegear/Vestments of the Haunted Forest. This model features small fireflies that dart around the branches on the shoulders.
  • Hunter Battlegear of the Saurok Stalker.
  • Mage Regalia of the Chromatic Mage.
  • Monk Fire-Charm Armor/Battlegear/Vestments.
  • Paladin Battlegear/Plate/Vestments of the Lightning Emperor. This set flickers with blue lightning. Please note that the model for this set doesn't quite appear to be complete.
  • Priest Vestments/Regalia of the Exorcist. The hood for this model also appears to include a translucent veil over the eyes. Neat!
  • Rogue Battlegear of the Thousandfold Blades. This is a placeholder name for now.
  • Shaman Battlegear/Regalia/Vestments of the Spiritbreaker.
  • Warlock Regalia of the Thousand Hells.
  • Warrior Battleplate/Plate of the Last Mogu.
Take a look through our gallery for a closer look at all of the t15 sets, or head over to Wowhead and use the modelviewer there for a look at the unique animations.




Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution and the battle of the bonuses

Image
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

This PTR cycle of patch 5.2 has been pretty quiet on the retribution front, or so it seemed. The few changes we're seeing are mainly talent-centric: Regardless, I've always been a bit disappointed when we go through a patch unscathed. I suppose one could take it as a sign from the devs that they think ret is doing okay (whether this is true or not seems to be a matter of personal opinion), but it's a tad boring to not see any retribution news in with the list of changes.

Despite this lack of alteration, it seems there's still something we can get excited and/or worried over -- our tier set bonuses. Our tier 15 two-piece bonus, Exorcism putting a debuff on your target that makes it take 6% increased Holy damage from you for 6 seconds, seems to be fairly solid. With Exorcism's cooldown being 15 seconds (reduced by haste through Sanctity of Battle, of course), and Art of War giving us a 20% chance to reset Exorcism's cooldown on autoattacks, this buff should have a pretty high uptime. Personally, I don't really find it particularly appealing, but I don't hate it either. It's a two-piece bonus, it's not the star of the show.

Our four-piece bonus, however, has stolen the limelight and caused quite the stir not only within the ret paladin community, but apparently even at Blizzard as well as the blues ping-ponged between two ideas before finally (albeit momentarily) settling on one.

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

Examining the tier 15 priest set bonuses

Spiritual Guidance Examining the tier 15 priest set bonuses
WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore is a discipline priest by reputation, but still enjoys melting faces as shadow and bugging her raid to click the Lightwell as holy.

Last week, priests (and other less amazing classes) got a first look at the tier 15 set bonuses in the works for patch 5.2. The reactions so far have been mixed. Most discipline and holy priests seem to have had their interests piqued, while many shadow priests were seen grumbling discontentedly during the first few days. Have a look for yourself.
  • Healer two-piece Your Prayer of Mending heals for 10% more each time it jumps to a new target.
  • Healer four-piece Your Penance and Circle of Healing have a 40% chance to summon a Golden Apparition, which moves to a nearby ally and heals for an additional 92500 to 107500.
  • Shadow two-piece When your Shadowy Apparitions damage their target, they have a 65% chance to extend the duration of your Shadow Word: Pain and Vampiric Touch, causing each to deal damage one additional time.
  • Shadow four-piece Periodic damage from your Vampiric Touch has a 10% chance to trigger your Shadowy Apparition.
Blizzard has been fairly responsive to many complaints and inquiries made about these bonuses. For example, when shadow priests pointed out that Shadowy Apparitions were slow, buggy, and only a small portion of shadow DPS, Blizzard responded by letting us know that the cap was going to be raised for priests with the two-piece bonus, if not removed entirely. The developers also mentioned that work had been done to improve the AI on Shadowy Apparitions and get rid of bugs. Sound good?

Update: This article has been updated for build 16467, with changes notated in bold.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Patch 5.2 PTR: New notes from Ghostcrawler on tier 15 bonuses, other balance concerns

Ghostcrawler hit the forums and updated everyone on some stuff happening behind the scenes with the patch 5.2 tier 15 set bonuses, and just other system/balance things in general. It's important to keep in mind that this is the PTR and things can and do change relatively frequently, so if your concerns are not addressed, it doesn't mean they won't be at some point.

Ghostcrawler has also been saying on Twitter recently that he and his team are preparing a PvP post, which might be up as early as this Friday. According to El Crabo, in that post they'll address many of the changes happening to PvP in patch 5.2, as well as enumerate some of their future plans.

Notable in this post is the following:
  • Restro druid healing is being buffed slightly across the board
  • Monk's Spinning Fire Blossoms' nerf is intentional
  • There's a new retribution paladin 4pc bonus
  • They're redesigning the priest's Shadow Word: Insanity
  • More changes to priest healing: "We are going to nerf Divine Aegis for Prayer of Healing, but also lower the cost of Power Word: Shield (for Disc only) and increase the healing and damage of Penance"
  • New 4pc PvP bonus for priest: "Reduces the cooldown of Chakra by 25 sec and during Spirit Shell, Flash Heal costs 50% less mana."
The full posts is as follows:

Ghostcrawler
Hunter
- Aimed Shot's cast time has been lowered from 2.9 to 2.5 sec.

Shaman
- The Elemental 4pc does count Lava Bursts cast while in Ascendance.

Paladin
- The Protection 4pc counts damage after all mitigation, and does count absorbed damage.
- The Retribution 4pc set bonus has changed. It now has a chance for Hammer of the Righteous or Crusader Strike to cause your next Divine Storm to cause extra damage to your target. The idea being that you might swap from TV to DS when you get the proc, so that the RNG is something you can actually do something with rather than it just being RNG for extra damage.
- Retribution now does 50% extra healing with Flash Heal. The Selfless Healer talent has been reduced to 20/40/60% bonus healing.
- Sacred Shield's absorb effect is now dispellable, but the periodic effect is not.
- Blinding Light has a 1.8 sec cast for Holy only. We think Holy's CC chains are too strong at the moment, but we don't think Ret or Prot need the nerf.

Death Knight
- I said above that the Zandalari from the 2pc benefited from Unholy mastery. That was a bald-faced lie. It deals physical damage, like the ghoul.
- There is a good chance we're going to redesign the 4pc DPS bonus.

Priest
- The Golden Apparition from the Healing 4pc heals the lowest % health friendly target within 40yd. Note that it has no visual yet, but will not work like Shadowy Apparitions. It is a simple missile, not a summoned unit.
- Further clarification on the Healing 2pc: the Glyph of Prayer of Mending will only boost the first heal. The glyph effects won't be carried over due to the set bonus. It will be 160% -> 110% -> 121% -> 133% -> etc.
- We are going to redesign Shadow Word: Insanity.
- We are going to nerf Divine Aegis for Prayer of Healing, but also lower the cost of Power Word: Shield (for Disc only) and increase the healing and damage of Penance. In 25 raids, Disc is using Prayer of Healing almost exclusively and we don't think the Spirit Shell change will be sufficient to change that. We actually want Disc to get back to using PW:Shield a little more, along with Penance. Disc's throughput is overall too strong in PvE, not even counting the fact that absorbs are often more beneficial than heals.
- Angelic Bulwark and Spirit Shell can no longer be dispelled.
- The 4pc PvP bonus for healing priests has changed: Reduces the cooldown of Chakra by 25 sec and during Spirit Shell, Flash Heal costs 50% less mana.

Druid
- The Guardian 4pc is currently a 50% increase to rage generation while Enraged.
- We are going to slightly increase Resto druid healing across the board.
- We still like the DR change to Cyclone, but we are going to increase its range to 30 yards, and the PvP glove bonus for Balance and Resto will be to increase Cyclone duration by 2 sec.

Monk
- Spinning Fire Blossoms' damage now scales from weapon damage rather than attack power. This will result in an intended nerf.



Filed under: News items, Raiding

Patch 5.2 spell changes and tier 15 for warlocks

Blood Pact Patch 52 spell changes and tier 15 for warlocks MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill thought the druid T15 was the warlock tier originally, and she thinks that the Season 13 warlock gear looks like a cross between Shannox and a Faceless mob.

My apologies, fel-slingers and fiendish friends. I stepped through the Dark Portal to visit family and when I returned, my hard drive had dead clusters, almost as if someone came by and Frost Nova'd the lot of it. Maybe dropped a few Nether Tempests while he was at it.

I blame the mages. I've already had my flu shot, so they must've realized they had to get at the latest Defender of the Dark Arts electronically. Silly mages -- I'm a warlock, so of course I backed up my stuff.

But Patch 5.2 wasn't going to wait for my new hard drive, so let's look at the changes so far.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

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