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Posts with tag val-anyr

The Light and How to Swing It: Illuminated Healing still no Val'anyr

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 Val'anyr was totally a hunter weapon.

When playing a healer, there's no single "right" way to play. Tanks can adjust their gear and strategy to boost their threat or avoidance, but both of those statistics are easy to track and monitor. Damage classes are obviously optimizing for one thing: DPS. Healers, on the other hand, can both get to the same point while taking completely different paths. Checking your healing per second on a healing meter won't show all of the times that you saved someone's life or made a great decision, and it never tells the whole story of an encounter. The best example is how your total healing done will plummet as your raid group gets better and better at avoiding damage on a particular encounter.

Healing meters do have a few useful purposes. They allow us to empirically test different strategies and gear choices, and we can monitor the effect of changes that we make. They also allow us to evaluate talents and individual abilities, which means we can make educated decisions about our talent and spell selection. When reviewing my healing done, I can figure out exactly what works and what doesn't. One thing has consistently stood out as negligible to my overall healing: Illuminated Healing. How did our mastery bonus end up so impotent?

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

The Light and How to Swing It: The Val'anyr effect

Every Sunday, Chase Christian of The Light and How to Swing It invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. This week, we discuss how our new mastery bonus will affect the class.

Every class was designed with a specific flavor in mind. If you read Blizzard's official descriptions of the classes, you'll see that skills and abilities were not assigned at random. These paradigms of thinking for each class pulled from fantasy archetypes and characters from Warcraft's rich lore. Each class had a purpose, and those purposes were what made the game diverse. With 40 people in a raid, you could easily assume that every one of these crucial roles was filled. Unfortunately, that doesn't carry over to today's raiding scene. With the seemingly constant shrinkage of the de facto raid size from 40, to 25, to 10, it's become more and more difficult for the developers to ensure that we'll have all of the tools and abilities available in the game.

Blizzard's faced with the tough challenge of trying to ensure that each class stays unique, but also allowing for enough overlap that you're not forced to raid with a perfect mix. Bloodlust has always been the posterchild for this war between uniqueness and homogenization. Shamans have claimed that Bloodlust is their right alone, but the developers decided to give the ability to mages as well. Discipline priests, the sleeper healers of Wrath that went from useless bubblers to raid-shielding gods, were next in Blizzard's sights. Luckily for us, the devs chose paladins to be the recipients of this socialist disbursement.

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

Breakfast Topic: A few of your favorite things

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

Every once in a while, Blizzard truly raises the bar in designing a raid. My personal favorite is Ulduar from patch 3.1. The boss encounters required strategy, while still remaining unique, and the graphics in the zone are some of the coolest things in the game. However, one of the only things that a character can permanently keep from a raid is the loot.The legendary mace Val'anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings and the Starshard Edge off Algalon the Observer are by far some of the coolest item graphics I've seen in this expansion.

Even in Icecrown Citadel, few items can measure up to the epicness of these stellar designs. After all, one can only see so many bone-spiked maces before they begin to get old. While a few items like Bryntroll the Bone Arbiter are pretty exciting and unique, Blizzard didn't even create new item models for the climactic boss in the Lich King: only two of the 28 weapons (excluding heroic versions) that the final boss drops are unique, and one of those is repeated between 10- and 25-man. In my opinion, Blizzard could have taken a few more days to design some really exciting and unique weapon designs before releasing the Lich King. While I'm no hardcore raider, I would really love to sit in Dalaran exhibiting a one-of-a-kind weapon from the hardest boss in the expansion, just as the Ulduar raiders could back in 3.1.

What do you think? Is there an item that sets the bar in graphic design? Do you think Blizzard should spend more time on item graphics so there aren't as many repeats for end-game encounters, or does a simple recoloring make the item cool enough for you?

Have you ever wanted to write for WoW.com? Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions for articles via Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com. The next byline you see here may be yours!


Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Val'anyr destroyed after lost bet



As you may have noticed, there was no patch 3.3 this week, which means the guesses are starting to be wrong. Way back in October, we guessed that the patch would drop sometime in the next three weeks (on Tuesdays, of course), but Matt "Matticus" Low was an outlier -- he said in the aftershow of this podcast that the patch would drop on December 1st. In fact, he said he was so sure that he'd shard his legendary mace Val'anyr if it didn't.

Of course, as you now know (since you're logging into the realms and the patch isn't out yet), he was wrong. And so, as you can see above, we made him delete (since you can't disenchant legendary items) the mace. He's bummed, but he'll get over it, we're sure. That's what you get for betting on patch dates.

So when will the patch drop? Next week (the 8th) is an excellent guess, and I believe it's Turpster's guess as well. In fact, in the same podcast linked above, I believe I bet $20 (or 50 levels, but surely T wants the money) that it wouldn't drop next Tuesday.

Filed under: Patches, Items, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Contests, Humor, Leveling

The Queue: Trinket-Palooza 2009


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Allison Robert is your hostess today again (our condolences).

I'm in an autumnal sort of mood, hence today's picture. Yes, I know that Barrens trees always look like that. We got a really interesting question about trinkets the last time around that really caught my attention, so a lot of today's Queue is going to be comprised of an Enjoyable Stroll Down Memory Lane and Into Holy ^$*# Look At That Trinket From AQ40 How Has That Not Been Nerfed Yet.

Starlin asks...

So, what's up with Brewfest this year? Anything new or updated?


Fortunately or us, Kisirani posted on this same question yesterday. To summarize, there are no major changes to the holiday, but Coren Direbrew has been updated to level 80, the mount drop rates haven't changed (nor are they now required for the Brewfest meta-achievement), and no new pets or mounts have been added. You can reasonably expect a beefed-up holiday boss with a new loot table (most likely of ilevel 200 items, possibly 219 if they want to match the gear from heroic Trial of the Champion), but otherwise the same experience as last year. I'll have an OverAchiever for the good folks seeking Brewfest achievements up on the site soon.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Features, The Queue

15 Minutes of Fame: Legendary appreciation for a job well done


15 Minutes of Fame is WoW.com's look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes - from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

When the Duranub Raiding Company of Argent Dawn-US got its first Fragment of Val'anyr, they handled the decision on who should get the drops with typical aplomb. The group put the matter up for a vote. Appreciative raiders unanimously selected healing lead Elnore to receive the 30 precious fragments that she will eventually combine to create the legendary healing hammer, Val'anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings.

In the wake of the decision, Belghast (Duranub co-founder and GM of Elnore's guild) invited Elnore to write a guest post at Tales of the Aggronaut explaining how she felt about the group's momentous decision to award her the legendary weapon. "Often times we don't think about the emotional experience certain raid decisions have," he noted. "In this case, we can take a step inside her head."

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Filed under: Items, WoW Social Conventions, Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

World-first Val'anyr formed by Avant Garde

If you're a raiding healer, you almost certainly know this already: Ulduar-25 contains a legendary healer mace, called Val'anyr. To craft it, you have to gather 30 Fragments of Val'anyr, which drop from both normal and hard-mode 25-man Ulduar fights (though they always drop on hard-mode, and only have a chance to drop on normal). You then have to throw the combined collection of fragments at Yogg'Saron while fighting him when he uses the "Deafening Roar" ability, which he only uses on hard mode. After that, defeat Yogg, and Val'anyr is yours.

Well, someone has now completed all of the above steps: Snuggleme, a resto druid of Avant Garde on Kil'jaeden. Congratulations on what appears to be the world-first Val'anyr! We know exactly what it does already, but I'm still curious what it feels like to use it in a real raid - hopefully Snuggleme can give us some insight in weeks to come. Also congratulations to Impervious of Stormreaver, who collected their 30th Fragment last week on a hard-mode Yogg-Saron kill, and will be forming the hammer this week.

Filed under: Druid, Items, Guilds, News items, Raiding

Val'anyr explained


In an unusual move, Blizzard has spelled out exactly how the proc on Val'anyr, Hammer of the Ancient Kings works. There are probably one or two of you who consider it a spoiler, so I'll put it after the cut.

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Filed under: Items, Raiding

How to decide who's getting Val'anyr


With Ulduar due to hit in the near future, Tales of a Priest addressed a pretty timely subject for 25-man raiders yesterday with a blog post on Val'anyr and how you're going to assign it. As it's a constructed Legendary like Atiesh rather than being a dropped item like the Warglaives and Thori'dal (sudden thought: why do the caster Legendaries have to be assembled, whereas the melee/ranged Legendaries just drop?), you're going to have to put some time and thought into which one of your healers is going to get this baby first.

It's not exactly the world's most comfortable question for a guild leader, but I like how Derevka lays the issue out so matter-of-factly, and then goes on to address an interesting point concerning Val'anyr's proc. Your ideal candidate is a good healer with great attendance who plans on hanging around for a while, but then there's the question -- which class gets the most use out of the proc?

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Classes

The Daily Quest: Dave Arneson rolls a 20


D&D co-creator Dave Arneson passed away earlier this week. While you might not have played D&D, know that he and the late Gary Gygax were the pioneers of this genre of games. I would not be surprised to hear from Blizzard on this in the upcoming days.

On a personal note, I ran into him around the age of 10 while in a St. Paul, Minnesota comic book store (Schinders, for those of you wondering). I was looking at Magic cards mainly, but he was browsing around and came over and talked with me when he saw I had turned my attention to one of the D&D 2e books. The clerk later told me as I was checking out who he was.

Filed under: News items, The Daily Quest

Legendary mace coming in patch 3.1


A brand new legendary weapon is coming to the game in patch 3.1. Val'anyr, the Gavel of Ancient Kings will be a new Atiesh-like weapon, formed from 40 "Fragments of Val'anyr," likely found within Ulduar. MMO-Champion also has the tooltip of what happens after the fragments are assembled -- you get a "Shattered Fragments of Val'anyr" that starts a quest, which will eventually reward a Paladin, Priest, Shaman or Druid with the hammer itself.

We don't, however, have an actual tooltip of the mace itself, so while these tooltips suggest a healing mace, this could work the same way as Atiesh, where you could finish the quest to reassemble it by choosing one of four options, each with different stats for classes and specs. So while these tooltips show healers, there could also be a DPS and/or tank version of the mace as well. In fact, I'll say it right now: this is probably a Hunter weapon.

But either way, there'll be another Legendary item in the game soon. to 5.

Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.

Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, News items, Raiding

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