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Posts with tag versatility

Explaining Versatility

As we've said here plenty of times, it's not real until it goes live, and that goes for the new stats being designed for Warlords of Draenor. Last year we discussed Amplify, Multistrike and Readiness - since then things have changed. As always keeping in mind that this is still subject to change right up until the point of release, we now have an entirely new stat, and both Amplify and Readiness are no longer stats. Instead, Versatility. What is Versatility and how will it work?

Versatility is pretty simple: 1% Versatility grants a 1% increase to your damage, healing, and absorbs, and reduces the damage you take by 0.5%. It's a straightforward, obvious upgrade to your primary role's performance, but also gives significant boosts to secondary role performance and survivability. The healing increase it provides does work on self-heals, such as Recuperate, for example. We won't be tuning it to be anyone's highest throughput secondary stat, but it'll be close, and it'll give you a nice boost to how versatile your character is in the process. It'll be especially attractive to hybrids who want to feel more "hybridy."

I reproduced the explanation from the Dev Watercooler because I wanted to highlight how this works, and more important, how it is still a stat which can be tuned. On the face of it, 1% Versatility is incredibly simple - just as 1% Critical Strike Chance increases your chance to critically hit by 1%, 1% Versatility increases your damage, healing and damage absorption by 1%, which also reducing your damage taken by .5%. How does this differ from the proposed effect of Amplify? Why, in other words, is Versatility a worthwhile trade for the previously proposed stat?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Encrypted Text: The rise of the ranged rogue

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 original Shuriken Toss never made sense. Why would rogues, a purely melee class, want a single ranged attack? We don't have the supporting toolbox to make the transition into a ranged DPS spec. Melee uptime is our top priority. Because of our reliance on our melee attacks, mobility is our most requested feature. Why would a class want Shuriken Toss when they can have Shadowstep?

Patch 5.2 is turning a one-off ranged ability into everything a rogue needs to attack targets from range. If you use Shuriken Toss on a target that is farther than 10 yards away, your auto-attacks gain a 30-yard range for 10 seconds. The auto-attacks turn into tiny shuriken that you throw at your target. These shuriken have several special properties, but the extended range is obviously the most important aspect of the ability. With Shuriken Toss, ranged auto-attacks, and Deadly Throw, rogues suddenly have a ranged repertoire.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Breaking the rogue rules

rogue mace
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.

Rogue rotations haven't changed significantly since Cataclysm. Each of our three specs has a new element or two added to the mix, like Blindside and the revamped Revealing Strike. The combo points and energy systems keep on ticking, enabling our familiar rotations in yet another expansion.

Rogue mechanics, on the other hand, have had several significant tweaks. While each change is significant on its own, what's really interesting is how they fit into a larger story. The "quick offhand" paradigm that has lasted for years is breaking down. Rogues are bringing significant buffs and debuffs to every environment. Combo points are more fluid than ever. Rogue rotations may not have evolved since Cataclysm, but the class as a whole certainly has.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Mists of Pandaria: Guide to Rogues

glowing rogue
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.

While Mists of Pandaria is still actively being developed and patches are dropping regularly, the rogue of tomorrow is starting to take its final shape. The amorphous blob of shadow that we see on the horizon is congealing into something resembling a functioning class. In fact, rogues have been receiving fewer changes these past few weeks than any other class. I'm not surprised by this fact, as there's really not much to improve upon when we're already a model class.

With talent choices reduced to a half-dozen easy decisions, there's really not much you can mess up while playing your rogue in Mists. I like to think that you can break a class down into three basic categories: customization, enhancement, and execution. You need to pick the talents and glyphs that best suit your situation, gear up with the right gems and enchants, and finally push the right buttons.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Mists of Pandaria

The argument for paladin stances

Righteous Defense lays out an intriguing argument for an idea that I still personally can't get behind: paladin stances. The recent changes around patch 3.3 have shined a light on paladin versatility, and basically, paladins are forced to pay the hybrid tax three times over -- because they can do it all without limiting themselves, they can't do anything as well as other classes. So RD makes the suggestion: instead of letting paladins have all of their spells under any aura, it's time to narrow things down a bit. Devotion Aura becomes tanking stance, gets Righteous Fury's threat bonus added to it, and enabling it makes pallies lose some other abilities (Avenger's Shield is RD's suggestion). Retribution Aura becomes a DPS "stance," with added benefits and costs, and so on. By forcing paladins into a playstyle, you can give them extra power, because you've taken away versatility.

Unfortunately for those in favor, I don't think it'll ever happen. First of all, we already have a class in the game that uses stances, and I think that this type of gameplay is too close for Blizzard's comfort to implement in the same way on paladins -- they want the classes to play different. Second, the paladin class design has always focused on the versatility of being a hybrid. While paladins may want to limit themselves to see buffs, Blizzard has never shown an inclination to limit pallies' versatility just to make them more powerful. I like the idea of Righteous Fury's buff getting linked up to something else (it definitely seems like it's out there on its own as an arbitrary tanking buff), but paladins getting a fully implemented stance system doesn't seem likely at all.

Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Raiding, Classes, Buffs

Totem Talk: You are the panic button

Totem Talk is the column for shamans. Matthew Rossi has, between his orc and his draenei, logged no less than sixteen Tempest Keep runs over the holidays. He got some loot (yay new 2.6 speed main hand fist weapon yay), which he assumes means that Blizzard doesn't think he was a bad boy this year. EIther that, or their naughty/nice algorithm isn't as sophisticated as we were all led to believe.

Howdy again and welcome to Totem Talk. I promise I haven't forgotten about the leveling guide again. But like I said in the header, I've been running a lot of instances on my shammies lately and I thought some of the experinces I've had over the week were worth a column.

First off, I'm still sad to report that enhancement shamans only get invited along on a PuG if the group is desperate for a fourth or fifth man or if someone you know is putting the run together. Someone you know could be you yourself, I'm not super-fast to judge, but I did find that once I did a few runs with people they would start asking me back, which is nice. Since enhancement is such a good spec for soloing, it's been hard to jog myself into the instance mode with the squiddie.

Meanwhile, resto shamans still get deluged in requests to heal runs. So that hasn't changed. The orc wasn't even logged on when I got asked to switch faces and heal Botanica and Arcatraz. One thing I've decided, based on all these runs, is that as a shaman you basically have a plethora of abilities to help restore a run that's about to hit the skids.

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Filed under: Orcs, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Draenei, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Shifting Perspectives: That special versatility

It's often been said that druids are the three-in-one class: we can mimic warriors, priests, rogues (and even mages), but can't fulfill their respective roles as well as they themselves can. While in recent times druids have been able to gear up and perform as well as their parent classes in many respects, we are far from "warriors with stealth" or "rogues that can heal" or "priests that can off-tank in a pinch."

Our problem as druids is that we cannot but neglect the full breadth of our abilities when we must specialize in only one aspect of our class. Of course, any class works best in situations where most or all their abilities might be needed to succeed, sometimes even in the course of a single fight -- it's just that for druids these abilities include tanking, damage, and healing all together.

If you're playing with an experienced group, each player is likely specialized to one of these three roles, and his or her whole purpose is to minimize the chance that backup tanks, healers, and damage-dealers will be needed. That leaves druids trying to compete with warriors, rogues and priests (and mages), trying to do just as well at the same task, but with fewer abilities to call upon in the fight. Locked into these smaller roles, we must gear up and spend our talents in such a way that even if we were to shift out of our main role into another when the need arose, we wouldn't be able to do very well at it at all.

This brings me to the adventure at hand: Today we will go on an journey of the imagination together, exploring the potential future of druids, considering how this problem of specialization versus versatility might be approached. Indeed, as I gaze into my crystal-ball-shaped paper-weight, I see two possible futures: one, called "The Path of the Pandering Pedant," seeks nit-picky perfection in a class designed for breadth and scope, while the other, "the Way of the Multitudinous Master" brings the full manifest of all our abilities into harmonious use with one another.

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

Breakfast Topic: I tank, you tank, she tanks

Quote of the evening last night: "we need war druids cant tank". (Of course, two druids proceeded to tank, presumably confusing this particular group member.)

What defines a 'good' tank? What do you look for when selecting which group member should take on the onerous duty of being hit a lot? As a tank, what do you look for in a group?

Having spent much of my time until level 60 in PuGs, I have something of a fear of tanking. Despite being a feral druid (for the most part), my experiences with random people have been universally dismal. To give you some idea, the best run I'd had for a long time was the Stockades, an instance which is loathed by many players.

From the tank's point of view, it really helps to have group members who understand -- and listen. Those who realise it takes time to build up aggro, and don't rush in immediately with killer DPS. Those who realise that sometimes the squishies shouldn't do all the pulling. Those who appreciate the problems of adds -- or too much to handle -- and yell if they're in trouble. I've encountered everything from crazy DPS shadow priests to tanking mages, and most of it puts me off tanking with strangers -- but it's a dirty job, and someone's gotta do it.

Filed under: Druid, Warrior, Odds and ends, Instances

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