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Posts with tag valanyr

Legendaries for Everyone: What could it mean?

Our friends over at Wowhead datamined up news that could be a game-changer if it goes live. It seems possible that the Wrathion quests datamined last month offers eight varieties of legendary, including a shield and a gun. This could mean that this will be the first legendary that any class -- and potentially, any spec -- can equip and use.

The quests seem to involve multiple tiers of raiding, meaning that you won't be able to get a legendary at the end of the first Mists of Pandaria raids and will have to be in it for the long haul to acquire one. This avoids the problem of early legendaries (such as Dragonwrath or Val'anyr) being adjusted in later patches. However, the very possibility that this will be a legendary that anyone can get means we need to consider the effect it's going to have on your raiding group.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, News items, Raiding, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Legendary Weapons: Story chains or class quests?

So last week, the first rogue in my guild got the Fangs of the Father set, and I started working on my set. Right now, I'm about a third of the way to stage two, and then I'll have stage three to contend with. Though there are fewer pieces to collect for the daggers, unlike the items for Dragonwrath, only one rogue can proceed on the chain at a time. That's OK with me -- I don't mind the wait, and I know I have fun stuff to look forward to in between stages. I wasn't expecting a cutscene after starting the chain, but I was absolutely delighted with the fact that I got a bit of story to play through instead of "You killed Illidan and you're very lucky -- have a Warglaive!"

However, there was another, slightly more bothersome difference between Dragonwrath and the Fangs of the Father, one I'm not quite sure how I feel about. When our first raider got his Dragonwrath, everyone rushed to Orgrimmar and watched Kalecgos appear and deliver the staff in front of everyone that happened to be idling in town at the time. It was a moment of sheer excitement, joy, and fun, both for the player who got the staff and the guild who had helped him along the long road to getting it.

We didn't get that with Fangs of the Father.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Would removing legendaries be a benefit for the World of Warcraft?

Tarecgosa, Dragonwrath's namesake
It's very hard to imagine a Cataclysm without legendary items. Despite the fact that it wasn't introduced until six months into the game's existence, Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest has become a staple item in every progression raiding guild's repetoire. The Fangs of the Father, Golad and Tiriosh, have only recently started to actually appear in game, but every week from now on will see more and more being finished.

Coming hand in hand with these legendary items are the issues of imbalance that they cause. In PvE, terminology has started to crop up that puts legendary and non-legendary DPS into two separate categories of competitiveness. Concepts exist such as "enhancement shaman are currently one of the top non-legendary DPS specs..." -- a category that encompasses only 10 of the 22 DPS classes in the game. In PvP, concerns about burst damage have arisen, which was a big factor in the nerf to DTR that came in 4.3.

The issues with legendaries

Legendaries cause a balance problem, and that's a problem that's been exacerbated by two things in Cataclysm: a horrifically wide spread of specs that can use them, with 12 specs or five classes in total having access to legendary weapons right now, and incredible ease of access to legendaries (for the heroic raider).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

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

Debunking another hacked authenticator story

One of our readers, Bill, sent us a tip about a WoW account issue on The Consumerist. It seems that the ownership of Anonymous's friend's account is under dispute and Blizzard won't let him use it in the meantime. The ownership became disputed after the account was allegedly hacked, even though there was allegedly a mobile authenticator on the account. His friend has given up on the account, complete with Val'anyr, and has created a new one.

We can't confirm any of the facts in this case. I am willing to believe that Anonymous is truly upset and believes the story he tells to be true, even though he is posting anonymously. There are some serious red flags, however, that seem to point to Anonymous not having all of the facts:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Account Security

The Daily Quest: Icecrown, tunnelvision, and something more

We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Daily Quest

Breakfast Topic: Are legendaries good for the game?

Sunsmoon on WoW_ladies makes an uncomfortably accurate observation concerning legendaries -- people tend to get a little nuts around them. Anyone doing Tier 6 back in the day doubtless remembers the fistfights over who was going to get a Warglaive, WoW players worldwide were in shock at a rogue getting Thor'idal over two hunters, and the annals of classic WoW are rife with nightmare stories of /gquits over Bindings of the Windseeker and arguments over Sulfuras going to a druid. Nowadays (as someone on my realm remarked in a moment's pique), of the six Val'anyrs that have been assembled on our server, only one remains in its original guild. A reasonable person might be forgiven for thinking that the little orange text accompanying what's usually a decent weapon with a great proc is a lot more trouble than it's worth.

A good point is brought up by Amiyuy in the thread -- the process of creating a legendary, or having to keep farming for an extremely uncommon drop, tends to wear people out. A healer on track to build a Val'anyr can't reasonably expect to take any time off for fear of missing one of the inconsistent shards, and my guildmates and I continued to farm Black Temple well past the point that anyone was getting even offspec gear upgrades because we just couldn't get a main-hand Glaive. With another legendary coming out in Icecrown Citadel, guild leaders are facing the headache of figuring out who'll get it, and we've already fielded questions on our tip line on which class gets the most from Shadowmourne and whether Blizzard could have nixed the stamina on it to discourage death knight tanks from picking it up (!).

So readers, I ask you -- are legendaries good for the game? If your guild was on a position to get one, did they ultimately help or hurt you more? And is the painful process of getting a Legendary the real source of the trouble, and not the item itself?

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Raiding

Spiritual Guidance: The Val'anyr effect


Every week (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a UI and addons blog for WoW.

Over the past weekend, I've managed to accomplish three fairly important goals.

  1. Watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  2. Watch Princess Bride
  3. Get Val'anyr crafted

It took me nearly 7 months from my first fragment drop until the death of Yogg-Saron with 3 keepers up before I finally managed to forge one of these maces. It's a good thing since I'll be able to wield Val'anyr against heroic Val'kyr Twins and against the armies of Arthas in Icecrown. Val'anyr grants a buff called Blessing of Ancient Kings. It's a 15 second long buff where your healing spells drop a shield that absorb damage equal to 15% of the amount healed. And yes, the shield does stack up to 20000 damage absorbed.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

The OverAchiever: What Feats of Strength can you get now?

One of the easier ways to distinguish an older character from a reroll or alt is the presence (or absence) of a Feat of Strength. Feats of Strength, remnants of "the past glories of Azeroth," are among the most difficult achievements to get, and that's when they're even possible at all. Most, like the presence of an old-school PvP title, one of the original 100% mounts, or the Vengeful Nether Drake, are impossible to get these days, and are a sign that the person who has them is an experienced player. But with a little luck and a lot of elbow grease, even a new player can accrue some of these supposedly "past" glories.

I started playing WoW shortly after Burning Crusade launched and didn't expect to have a shot at most Feats, but a surprising number of them are still available. After getting The Fifth Element recently and being surprised to discover that: a). It's a Feat, and b). The original quest isn't even in the game anymore (man, I'm glad I'm such a quest packrat), I started nosing around the list of Feats to see what else a player could do even if they're new to the game. Moreover, there are two achievements you can get right now that will become Feats in 3.3, so let's get cracking.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, The Overachiever

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

Val'anyr being scaled up in patch 3.2

In an unexpected turn of events, the latest patch 3.2 build on the PTR is giving Val'anyr a buff, and something of a nerf to accompany it. If you didn't see it in the official notes, here's the detail regarding Val'anyr before I dig into it:
  • Val'anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings: This item's stats and level have been increased to match the power level of healer weapons coming from the Coliseum 25-person normal difficulty instance. In addition, each time Val'anyr is equipped, Blessing of Ancient Kings will be placed on a 45-second cooldown before it can occur.
Well, now! What is this? Blizzard scaling up a Legendary? Unheard of... until now! You could call it a pleasant surprise, but it's more pleasant than surprising. Val'anyr's raw stats were never very impressive. In fact, when the weapon stats were first revealed, a lot of people were rather underwhelmed! The proc is downright incredible, enough to give it more longevity than you'd ever expect, but the stats themselves were only a bit better than other weapons you found in Ulduar. Considering the weapon is a Legendary, that's more than a little bit odd. Legendaries are often (but not always) heads and tails above the competition in their tier of gear stat-wise. I could be completely off-base, but I'm pretty sure that's what they're trying to fix. A legendary weapon shouldn't last you forever (or even an entire expansion), but it should probably last you at least half a tier of raiding, shouldn't it?

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion

PTR build 10083 official patch note updates

The Patch 3.2 PTR has been updated to build number 10083, and with it comes a list of interesting changes to the official patch notes -- some not-insignificant class changes (Wind Shock not sharing a cooldown with other Shocks, Earth Shock no longer interrupting), a buff for Val'anyr, and lots more. Thanks to MMO-Champion for nabbing these.

Some samples are below, and the rest of the notes are after the jump.

  • Arenas
    • Beginning with season 7, players will no longer have access to the newest season's weapons or shoulder armor and will not qualify for the Gladiator title/rewards with ratings from the 2v2 bracket alone. Ratings obtained through 3v3 and 5v5 game play will be required for these rewards, while the rest of the newest season's items will remain available to players in all brackets (standard rating restrictions still apply).
  • Items: General
    • Resilience: No longer reduces the amount of damage done by damage-over-time spells, but instead reduces the amount of all damage done by players by the same proportion. In addition, the amount of resilience needed to reduce critical strike chance, critical strike damage and overall damage has been increased by 15%.
  • Death Knight
    • Blood of the North: Reduced to a 3-point talent. Increases Blood Strike and Frost Strike damage by 3/6/10%. There is now a 33/66/100% chance whenever you hit with Blood Strike or Pestilence that the Blood Rune will become a Death Rune when it activates.

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Filed under: Patches

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

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