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Posts with tag world-of-warcraft-class-guide

The Light and How to Swing It: In defense of Inquisition

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 with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

When your paladin first hit level 81 and you visited your trainer, I bet you had no idea how much of an impact that little ability called Inquisition would have on your future DPSing career. OK, maybe if you read the tooltip you could have had some idea, but I will fully admit that I completely forgot it was in my spellbook until a short while after I hit 85. And to be fair, at the time it was a really lackluster ability. Sure, Exorcism hit like a truck thanks to the new version of The Art of War, and Hammer of Wrath still hit decently hard, but other than those two abilities, Inquisition didn't really buff a whole lot. One of the main selling points of Inquisition (if not the main selling point) came when Blizzard changed our mastery from 3 free holy power to X% extra holy damage off your most used abilities in patch 4.0.6, allowing Inquisition to boost an even larger percentage of our damage by 30%.

So, thanks to our mastery, Inquisition is here to stay. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? In case my own opinion wasn't made clear in the title, I have been a long-time supporter of this ability. However, I know that there is a very large group of players with a dissenting opinion, and that's OK. Some preferred the Wrath model of retribution to the current model, and for others, it's just the opposite. In an effort to make my reasoning clear, I'm going to pick a few of the most common complaints I have seen or heard. Hopefully, my responses won't make me seem like I'm a masochistic freak who loves to stare at a countdown and plot in advance exactly when to refresh it.

Because I'm totally not -- my therapist assures me that I'm a completely normal person.

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

Encrypted Text: No'Kaled makes its claim for the throne

rogue daggers
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.

If you're frequenting any of the rogue community sites, you've seen the question: Should I be using No'Kaled? While assassination and subtlety rogues can blindly equip the legendary quest daggers at each stage, combat rogues have to make a decision. As I've said for years, rogues spec for their weapons. You need to round up all of your available weapons, and then mix and match to find the right combination.

There are three different levels of No'Kaled, and there are also three stages of daggers we receive from Wrathion. Between all of these weapons, there are nine different possible combinations that you could have today. Your personal arsenal of weapons is dependent on your Elementium Gem Cluster acquisition rate and your luck with Madness of Deathwing drops, but chances are that you have at least one version of both the quest daggers and No'Kaled.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

A priest's guide to class romance

It's a troubling yet underpublicized fact that four out of five shadow priests respecced shadow for the first time after experiencing a romantic break-up. Recent studies show that priests are 63% more likely to respec shadow within 72 hours of a break-up, while a separate poll found that 78% of healing priests had seriously considered respeccing to shadow after having an argument with their spouse or significant other. To the tenderhearted healing priest, shadow probably seems like a quick way to steel yourself and mend a broken heart; unfortunately, too few priests realize the two points they're putting into Masochism 'til they're staring down into an empty bottle of Volcanic Potion and wishing they could do the same DPS as a warlock.

The simple way to avoid all these drastic courses of action is, of course, to skip getting your heart broken in the first place. Easier said than done, you think? Perhaps, but knowing the battlefield of love will certainly help you avoid the more obvious pitfalls. Want to know what your best match is? What about your worst? This week, I've got the answers in a special guide to the classes.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Lichborne: Divining the direction of death knight lore in Pandaria

Forsaken Death Knight in Ebon Hold
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.

Let's face it: We had it pretty good in Wrath. Since that expansion was our grand debut, we were everywhere. We had an opening experience where we connected with our origin and found out that our own factions, for obvious reasons, barely trusted us. We were instrumental to the battle in Northrend, doing things other factions wouldn't do, with a clear goal of destroying those who wronged us. We were perfect tragic figures with some robust story and great characters in the form of Thassarian, Crok Scourgebane, and Darion Mograine, among others.

In Cataclysm, things have been, to say the least, a little bit sparser. With Arthas dead, do death knights have a purpose in lore anymore, or are we just around because it'd be sort of silly to remove the class and have everyone reroll? I tend to think death knights are still a pretty interesting and dynamic class, story-wise, and this week, we'll look at where we are at the end of Cataclysm and where our story might go in Mists of Pandaria.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Worgen druids at the end of Cataclysm

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, the claws come out.

In November 2010, before Cataclysm hit, I wrote a series of articles on why (or why not) to play a particular druidic race for theorycrafting, lore, and roleplay purposes. These articles turned out to be a really big hit with readers, and you can find them here:
This week, we're going to tackle the worgen, the strangest and most predatory of the four druid races -- and the one with the least sense of responsibility to any bit of territory that doesn't fall under the appellation of Gilneas.

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

Totem Talk: 5 ways to look like a bad restoration shaman

styling shaman
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and cohost of the For the Lore and Raid Warning podcasts), shows you how.

Sometimes knowing how to do well at something relies on knowing what not to do. Over time, we can accumulate some pretty bad habits, and if we're not careful, they can make us look like a terrible healer or a complete and total noob. There's nothing worse than that feeling of being the cause of a wipe or looking like you don't know what you're doing.

That's sometimes the hardest thing a new restoration shaman faces when starting out healing groups in instances and the Raid Finder. It's OK, though -- just because you're a beginner doesn't mean you have to look like the world's worst healer. I've compiled a list of things you can and should avoid doing.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

The Light and How to Swing It: New tools for evaluating holy paladins

wol parse
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.

DPS classes have it easy. Their only goal is to deal more damage than the other guys. Their existence revolves around a single, immutable metric: DPS. There's no ambiguity when comparing two damage classes, as their DPS speaks for itself. As a DPS player's gear and skill improve, it directly increases their damage done, allowing them to evaluate their performance clearly and instantly.

Evaluating a healer is much more difficult. As their group's damage and skill improve, their healing numbers will actually go down. Healers are relied on the most when a raid is attempting a new encounter and gradually become marginalized as the fight moves toward farm status. As a healer, your best HPS performance might be the very first time you down an encounter. If you're killing heroic Ultraxion in four minutes, your raid simply isn't taking enough damage for you to parse highly. In order to properly evaluate a holy paladin's play, you have to dig deeper.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Top 5 things my mage is looking forward to in Mists of Pandaria

Kung Fu Panda Cannonball Scene
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we look forward to our bright post-Cataclysm future. May it be warlock-free and panda-filled.

That Super Bowl commercial that inexplicably featured the guy from The Darkness singing that song that I loved back in 2003 reminded me of one thing: The end of the world is coming. We all know it. I mean, come on. When have the Mayans ever been wrong about anything? These are the people who invented basketball! Only instead of baggy shorts, tattoos, and millionaires who can't hit free throws, Mayan basketball features decapitations. I'm fully prepared to declare the Mayans right about everything ever.

So with the world coming to an end, what else do we have to look forward to other than a new World of Warcraft expansion? Well, Diablo III, I guess, but we all know that's not going to release before Armageddon (Blizzard's claiming Q2, which we all know is Blizzard-speak for "after the zombies rise up and civilization descends into chaos"). So let's just assume Blizzard's release schedule will somehow outpace the coming apocalypse, and set our sights on what may very well be the last game we'll ever buy: Mists of Pandaria.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Single-Minded Fury redux

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

In my first draft, I started this article off with a detailed explanation of what my main problems with Single-Minded Fury are. I still want to talk about those. But first, I want to say this about the talent.

It's crazy-fun. I've been raiding, Raid Findering and 5-manning with it all week, and frankly I love how smooth the rage generation is. If you ever played fury back in The Burning Crusade or even vanilla, before TG was a gleam in a designer's eye, SMF will be familiar and yet different to you. What's changed? Well, you don't use Whirlwind as your second attack anymore; it's purely a trash ability now. Raging Blow and Bloodsurge instant-cast Slams give you more to do but take the concept of rotation and shake it up, meaning that you're watching for procs more than ever. Colossus Smash gives you a very-long-cooldown ability that you're always going to prioritize. But for all those changes, the talent is still you dual-wielding smaller, faster weapons.

If you were the fury warrior with the Vanir's Fists in late BC, you'll recognize what this talent does for fury. If you leveled a fury warrior in Cata, it's exactly how levels 1 through 68 went. It's a fairly simple concept to grasp. You're not the warrior crushing everything in his path with raw power, and you're not the one using discipline and weapon control to make precise strikes, either. No, you're the one with speed and relentless assault over finesse.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Cataclysm

Shifting Perspectives: Are druid abilities getting a trim in Mists of Pandaria?

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Balance news comes at you every Friday -- learn how to master the forces of nature, and know what it means to be a giant laser turkey! Send questions, comments, or requests to or @murmursofadruid.

Stop the presses, guys! There's eventually at some point in the distant future going to be a new expansion on the horizon for WoW, and in it, Blizzard is going to completely redesign the ability system again. We saw it happen for The Burning Crusade, and then it happened again for Wrath and once more for Cataclysm. Now, it's going to happen again for MoP.

Every expansion has come with some amount of trimming of useless abilities (hello, Sentry Totem) and even more so, the addition of new abilities to fill in the missing gaps that classes still have. What about optimizing the abilities that we already have first?

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Mists of Pandaria

The Light and How to Swing It: 2 tanking wishes for Mists

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 24 other people, obsessing over his hair (a blood elf racial!), and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

We're still a ways away from Mists of Pandaria and certainly months away from the beta, but nonetheless, everyone's eyes are firmly affixed on the horizon that is the next expansion. Dragon Soul will drag on into the near future, and so around the umpteenth time one has defeated Deathwing, one cannot help but daydream of a brighter future of new landscapes, new enemies, and a revamping of one's favorite spec.

Tanks in particular have much to look forward to with Mists of Pandaria and WoW 5.0. We're due for a major reconstruction of our playstyle through active mitigation. Cataclysm proved eponymous with regard to how it changed tanking during its lifespan (some would rightfully argue that it was not entirely for the better). The hope is that MoP will be equally shattering but in a much more positive way. Where Cataclysm in many ways simplified tanking and made it less interesting, hungry eyes gaze upon the next expansion in the hope that it will reverse this course.

Myself, I have three wishes for Mists of Pandaria. Each would make tanking once again more compelling and far more interesting.

A new, more interesting rotation

In the Cataclysm beta, for a time, Crusader Strike was on a 4.5-second cooldown, which has the side effect of leaving gaps in the rotation. Beta testers raged against this, complaining that the gaps made the protection paladin rotation a snore, as well as hugely frustrating when you had nothing to fill a GCD with. Rather than fixing the issue by lowering the cooldowns on various filler attacks, the devs lowered the cooldown of Crusader Strike to 3 seconds.

This eliminated the gaps but at the cost of making the rotation horribly rigid. At least in Wrath's 969 rotation -- widely accepted as the most boring tank rotation in the game -- you weren't constantly hitting the same button every other GCD. The new rotation, snarkily dubbed 939, was in some ways a step forward, in other ways a step back.

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

Scattered Shots: 5 things other classes can learn from hunters

Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. Frostheim of Warcraft Hunters Union and the hunter podcast uses logic and science (mixed with a few mugs of dwarven stout) to look deep into the hunter class. Mail your hunter questions to Frostheim.or ask him on Google+.

All classes have their secrets -- their little tricks of the trade that are passed from player to player in the hidden hangouts of the class. I can imagine the warlocks in their lush boudoirs explaining to eager-faced new 'locks about the real benefits to the succubus. Or mages in their mirrored enclaves admiring dresses and explaining to stricken young mages the real benefits to sheep.

Hunters are no different. When we gather in the wild, high places of Azeroth, we pass our own tricks around the campfire, the secrets that let us survive to see another boss.

Many of these tips are not specific to hunters, and every class could benefit from what we have learned the hard way. These are deeper truths and mechanical tips we've learned through the specific roles hunters often fill or through the hardships of our class design. In the interest of inter-class cooperation, we now share five of these secrets with you.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Spiritual Guidance: Diagnosing bad shadow priest DPS

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.

Shadow priests are in a glorious place right now, just as they've been for most of the Cataclysm expansion. We top the DPS charts on a number of different fights. We're no fire mages, but shadow priests are all over the Warmaster Blackhorn and Madness of Deathwing top 10 DPS lists. Unless you're in a raid with one of the best fire mages in the country, there's no reason why you can't be at the top of the DPS charts too.

If you're not, though, there's hope. The website World of Logs (and its equivalents) offers a lot of great ways to analyze your own personal performance and the performance of your fellow raiders. But how do you use it, what should you look for, and what metrics actually matter for shadow priests? Let's take a look.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Encrypted Text: Examining the rogue's assassin ancestry

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.

If you start looking into the history of the rogue class, you end up reaching several dead ends. The reason is that a rogue who's easy to track or trace isn't much of a rogue at all. We specialize in disappearing, which makes rogue family trees notoriously difficult to map. Garona Halforcen is often considered to be the mother of the rogue class, executing one of the earliest and most daring acts of assassination and regicide in Azeroth's history.

The truth is that if we want to find our spiritual beginnings, we have to look back even further than Garona and even further away than Azeroth. The true ancestor of today's rogue class first found life eons ago, in another realm, known only as Sanctuary. There, the assassin class stood against the three Prime Evils, defeating the Burning Hell's greatest powers with elegance and subterfuge. The rogues of WoW were inspired by the assassins of Diablo II, and that influence can still be felt today.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Tauren druids at the end of Cataclysm

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, there is a cow level.

In November 2010, before Cataclysm hit, I wrote a series of articles on why (or why not) to play a particular druidic race for theorycrafting, lore, and roleplay purposes. These articles turned out to be a really big hit with readers, and you can find them here:
This week, we're going to revisit the tauren, who are in a truly unique position among the druids. They don't represent the class' old guard (exclusively night elves), but neither are they truly among the new.

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

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