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Posts with tag wrath-beta

Ask a Beta Tester: Lordaeron, epic quests, and other things


Welcome back to Ask a Beta Tester, where we answer your questions about the Wrath of the Lich King beta! Let's get things started with Chris's question...

I really enjoy the Epic quest in Nagrand to bring Thrall to meet his grandmother. Is there anything like that in Wrath where you have to complete all the quests in one zone before you get an epic quest to complete?

Well, there are a lot of quest chains. Maybe not that long, but certainly not less epic. That doesn't mean the chains are short, either. They just don't necessarily require completing every other quest in the zone. Some of the stories start the moment you step into a zone and last straight through until you're ready to leave it again, but there are plenty of other quests you do on the way. They're less of a prize for 'beating the zone' and more an everpresent story.

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Filed under: Hunter, Paladin, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

Ask a Beta Tester: Heirloom items, class trainers, and more

Another day, another edition of Ask a Beta Tester. Today, as a special treat, I am going to answer your questions while blindfolded. And on fire. And covered in bees.

...actually, I don't really like that idea so I'm going to answer your questions like I normally do, starting with Naraxus's question...

Something I was thinking about was how much of an important stat "Hit" was on endgame gear in BC. A couple of patches ago a lot of the lower level gear was given a hit stat to it and I was wondering if the 70-79 gear in WotLK has "Hit" or is it just basic stats and spell power, attack power etc?

There's some Hit on leveling gear, but not enough to keep you capped right to 80 in my experience. I actually didn't really try, I concerned myself more with survival and longevity. In the case of a Priest, that meant stamina, spirit, and spell damage. Leveling gear is a bit more simplified. Raw stats, and some attack power/spell power in most cases.

You'll also find some crit, hit, and haste, but your leveling gear isn't going to have as many random stats slapped on it as you see on some raid gear.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

The Light and How to Swing It: Something's gone terribly wrong


So, having fun yet? I know I am. The changes to the class are great and I don't think I've had a more enjoyable time playing the game. Of course, it has a lot to do with the new, cool stuff brought about by Patch 3.0.2, most notably the Achievements system. I know I complained about them, but I'm really enjoying them, particularly the PvP ones. It's a good time to be a Paladin. Actually, it's a little too good.

The truth is, something's wrong with Retribution. There, I said it. I'm embarrassed to say it because I'm supposed to be celebrating it. I've waited for Retribution to be viable for so long that when the time finally arrives, I'm disgusted at myself for not being happy about it. Well, I'm really happy. But not happy about the fact that very nearly every Paladin is now specced Retribution. I'm certainly not happy about the fact that even undergeared Retribution Paladins are blowing things up in the Battlegrounds left and right. When a Retribution Paladin in blues can burst down a player with over 400 Resilience with some RNG -- and I've seen this happen -- there's something terribly wrong.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Wrath of the Lich King

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Itemization in Wrath part three


If you are a fury warrior, rejoice. Some of you were wondering where I was during the initial discussion. Frankly, I I was bodily assumed into what I can only assume was heaven. Sorry about that. Turns out it's really nice. I honestly don't have a real lot to say on this score (amazingly) aside from noting that I'm very pleased, it was exactly the change I was hoping they would make. It will be much easier to gear your fury warrior as he levels and when he reaches 80 for prepare for raiding. Admittedly, I'm not thrilled with the increase to armor for bosses, but it hits all physical DPS about the same.

I've wanted to discuss gearing in Wrath since we were interrupted a couple of weeks ago. Granted, we've been interrupted by awesome news like the above, but still it seems like a decent time to get back into looking at what gear we'll be picking up as we level through Northrend. And frankly, if we don't start talking about that again, this entire column will probably be me typing "Titan's Grip aarrgh 5% ahmina kill everything gaaaaa" and nobody wants that. Well, maybe you do, I don't know what you're into. But I'm pretty sure that I should try and move past "You will know I am the warrior when I lay my vengeance upon thee" ranting aside and get on with the column.

Titan's Grip.

Oh, come on, you know I had to!

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Expansions, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Wrath of the Lich King

Ask a Beta Tester: This and that

You can tell the Wrath beta is winding down, because Ask a Beta Tester has been getting a lot fewer questions lately. Because of that, we're going to be pretty short and sweet today. If you still have questions, though, keep em coming!

Let's start today off with dfsnow's question...

What's happening with Alchemy and Alchemist's Stones in WotLK? Alchemist's stones have been like enchanting rods where you need the previous one to create the next one. Are new players going to have to grind Sha'tar and then SSO rep to create the reagent they need to create their level 80 Alchemist's Stone? I don't have to tell you how hard it will be to grind Sha'tar rep with no one running BC instances any more.

The new Alchemists stones aren't tied to the older ones at all. All the new ones will require to make is the appropriate Alchemy skill, some herbs, some eternals and maybe some oils.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Ask a Beta Tester: Factions and reputation


Welcome back to Ask a Beta Tester, wherein I sigh at names like fungus and then answer their question anyway. Questions such as:

Will we be able to do the BC heroics for the achievements after Wrath comes out?

Yep! Just like you can still earn achievements for the Classic dungeons in The Burning Crusade, you'll be able to do the BC dungeon achievements in Wrath.

Beath asked...

Does Culling of Stratholme grant Keepers of Time reputation? If not, is there a new faction associated with this instance?

Last time I ran this dungeon, it wasn't awarding any reputation at all. That may have changed since then, but a peek at Wowhead and Wowwiki doesn't show any associated reputations.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Factions, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Disengage buffed, raid damage nerfed for hunters

It's good news/bad news time for Hunters in the Wrath beta. I'll give you the good news first. There are some upcoming buffs to Disengage, primarily for PvP:

  • The cooldown is being lowered from 30 seconds to 25 (16 with talents).
  • It no longer requires you to have a target selected; now you can slam it as soon as you see someone getting close without pausing to click on them. It does require you to be in combat, to prevent this becoming some kind of crazy Hunter Blink.

Bad news: you're getting nerfed for PvE. It seems that hunters were simply doing too much damage in level 80 raid situations, so the following steps are being taken to address that:

  • Raid boss armor is being raised by 10%. This will affect all physical damage dealers, though Ghostcrawler says classes will be buffed back up as necessary (like the recent Fury buffs).
  • Windfury Totem and Improved Icy Talons will no longer benefit ranged attacks.

If that's what they had to do to get Hunter DPS in line, fine. But I'm not really happy to see increased separation of what works on melee and what works on ranged; I'm still irritated about when ranged AP and melee AP were split and no-one knew what items and enchants affected which classes.

Filed under: Hunter, PvP, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

Titan's Grip hit penalty down to 5%

Titan's Grip, in case there are any of you in the audience who are not familiar with it, is the Fury Warrior 51-point talent. It allows the warrior to wield two 2-handed weapons (or a 2h and a shield, I guess, if they wanted to). Pretty awesome, right? Yes. But as a counterbalance, to make sure Fury isn't doing overly insane DPS, it imposes a penalty in the form of a decreased chance to hit with "damage-dealing abilities that require a weapon" (i.e. most special attacks). That decrease started out at 15%, and was changed to 12% before 3.0.2 went live. Ghostcrawler has now announced that they're changing it again, to only 5% decreased chance to hit with special attacks.

This is a massive buff. Part of it is in response to raising raid boss armor by 10%, but this goes well beyond correcting for that. GC says that this probably makes TG a bit overpowered for a 51-pointer. I have, though, seen many, many Warriors complaining about the huge miss chance when the talent is picked up, so hopefully those complaints will be put to rest now. Oh, and the attack power coefficient of Bloodthirst is up too, from 45% to 50% (i.e. it will scale better as you get more AP). But man, TG is going to be crazy good now.

Updated for accuracy.

Filed under: Warrior, Wrath of the Lich King

Ask a Beta Tester: More on leveling, Alliance lore, and starting zone RP


"Ask a Beta Tester" took a short break during patch 3.02 madness, but we're back!

DM7000 asks...

What happened with the glyphs that turned (Druids) into a polar bear or a lynx?

This is a question I asked constantly in the beta for about a week. As much as I was excited about the talent changes and new skills, I was even more excited about form customization, because I hate Tauren cat form. I love my class dearly, but all of the form models have basically been unchanged since the original game went live, which is very hard for those of us forced to live with the unadulterated suck of Tauren cat form. It's kind of a bitter pill to swallow wandering the beautifully rendered landscapes of Northrend and seeing the quantum leap of Blizzard's artistic touch while using an ancient, low-polygon model like Tauren cat form. I found out that Glyph of the Red Lynx (and other Druid-form glyphs) hadn't actually gone live, which was a devastating blow to those of us with Tauren cat form. The glyphs exist in the game files, but none are trainable or discoverable; the developers apparently came to the decision that forcing Druids to use a glyph slot to customize their forms wasn't a great idea, and they're leaning toward the idea of patching in the ability to get the hell out of Tauren cat form using the barbershop. Frankly I think most Druids would agree that's a much better option, especially if they have to use Tauren cat form. Or see it. Or occupy the same game with it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Lore, Factions, RP, Wrath of the Lich King

Arcane Brilliance: Post-patch madness



Each week Arcane Brilliance shows you what happens when Mages stop being polite and start being real. This week, Arcane Barrage gets all up in Living Bomb's face, and fireworks ensue when Hot Streak hooks up with Combustion. Can Netherwind Presence and Missile Barrage learn to live together? Will Arcane Blast come to terms with the fact that it got raped? Will Deep Freeze finally reveal that it has Aids? Find out in this week's Arcane Brilliance.

Anyone else's head spinning like that chick in The Exorcist? I'm not saying I need a priest to come and cast patch 3.0.2 out of my body or anything, I'm just saying that holy crap. That was a lot of stuff, all at once. Even though I've been playing the beta, and constantly scanning this site and various others for information to prepare myself for all that was changing when the patch finally went live, it was still overwhelming to log in when my server finally came back up late Tuesday night and see how crazy everything had gotten. To be quite honest, I'm still adjusting.

In a ton of ways, what we're logging into today is an entirely different game than the one we logged into five days ago, even though our levels are still the same, we're still doing the same quests, and playing the same end-game content. Our mounts are still there, but in a different place. The bosses we're fighting still look the same, but are now way easier to kill. Many of our talents have the same names, but now do completely different things. Spells that were previously good are now bad, and some that were useless on Monday are perfectly serviceable today.

With the information overload we've all been presented with, I have found it best to focus on one or two things at a time, instead of attempting any sort of larger view. I look at each change as I notice it, rather than trying to address them all at once, purely out of fear of my head exploding. If you missed them in all the chaos, Arcane Brilliance did a two-part preview of the major changes, and you can find those here and here. After the jump, I'll go over some of the sparkly newness I've noticed but haven't covered yet in this space, both documented changes that managed to surprise me as well as those that flew a bit more under-the-radar.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Expansions, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Classes, Talents, Buffs, Enchants, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

Shadow Priest changes and glyphs in beta build 9095

A new beta build went live yesterday evening, and while it wasn't a massive patch, I don't think very many of them will be anymore. We're pretty close to the launch of Wrath of the Lich King, so I think a lot of the class changes will just be fine tuning from here on out. The glyphs coming in these beta patches look like they may be a little more exciting, though. With professions, especially something like Inscription, they can add new recipes whenever they'd like. You can't quite do that with new spells. I expect we'll be seeing new glyphs right up until the day Wrath launches and plenty afterwards, too.

Shadow Priests got a few good changes, a few bad changes in this patch. Let's take a look at the Glyphs first, then the class changes:
  • Glyph of Shadow Word: Pain - Increases the damage done by your Mind Flay spell by 10% when your target is afflicted with Shadow Word: Pain. Changed from: Reduces the mana cost of Shadow Word: Pain by 20%.
  • Glyph of Mind Soothe has been removed. Replaced with Glyph of Shadow: While in Shadowform, your spell critical strikes increase your spell power by 10% of your Spirit for 10 seconds.
Woohoo! It looks like our glyphs are on the right track finally! The new Shadow Word: Pain glyph is so much better than its previous incarnation, my mind is nearly blown. Glyph of Shadow looks downright fun. I was looking at Warrior glyphs the other night and wondered why their glyphs were so fun while most classes get straight bonuses or even punishment in their glyphs. Things like Glyph of Shadow is what I like to see from glyphs. Things that are fun and exciting. Something beyond 'more damage' or 'longer stun.' I min-max like crazy, but that doesn't mean I don't like my min-maxing to sparkle, you know? Eh! On to the class changes:

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

Elemental Shaman talent builds for Patch 3.0.2

So you logged in on Tuesday and all your talent points were gone. (Let's hope you noticed this fact before you went out to attack someone or something.) If you're looking at the new Elemental tree and wondering what talents to pick, here's a little help for you from someone who's been speccing and respeccing almost pure Elemental on the beta servers for several months now. (That would be me.)

The first thing you should do is go read what our resident shaman expert, Matt Rossi, says about the overall changes to our class in Echoes of Doom, just to make sure you still want to stay Elemental (Part 1 and Part 2). For my part, I leveled to 70 as Elemental and saw no reason to switch as I worked my way up the new Wrath talent tree. Since we've already been over the new spells, the point of this post is to simply recommend a build for you. So let's get a-buildin'!

Tier 1
Both the PvE and the PvP specs start the same way. Take all 10 talents on the first row of the Elemental tree (Convection and Concussion) and put 5 points in Improved Healing Wave on the Resto tree. This is probably no different than your spec before Echoes of Doom.

Tier 2
PvE and PvP are the same here too. Max out both Call of Flame and Elemental Warding, which will improve both your DPS and your ability to survive. (That's right, elemental shamans are all about FIRE now.) Raiding shamans, on this tier you should also put 3 points into Ancestral Healing so that when you off-heal, your targets can reap this potential armor-increasing benefit.

Tier 3
On the third level, both PvE and PvP should take Elemental Focus and all 5 points in Elemental Fury, which are both talents you probably had before the patch. PvE can take all 5 points in Reverberation, but PvP should save 3 of these points for later.

Tier 4
Both play styles should max out the points in this tier for Eye of the Storm (familiar talent) and the new Improved Fire Nova Totem. Now some of you will say that PvE shouldn't be using Fire Nova totem and I'll partially agree with you. No, you shouldn't be using it in raids or instances. However, you can use it carefully in PvE and questing (which I've done) and it can be extremely useful because of its slowing effect if you get mobbed.

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Talents

Shifting Perspectives: Moonkin in 3.02 and beyond

Every Tuesday, or possibly Thursday when the writer realizes that nobody writing about moonkin DPS on the internet agrees with each other, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week Allison Robert, having Hibernated John Patricelli and run away as fast as her laser-chicken legs will carry her, examines the new moonkin talents and glyphs in 3.02 and Wrath.

I do apologize about the wait here, folks. There's been a lot of contradictory information from both the beta and an array of Druid bloggers on how moonkin are shaping up for Wrath. While a lot of this is just the normal ebb and flow of changes in the alpha and beta, most of it is fueled by a few new talents and the set of glyphs that will become available. All of these have the potential to seriously impact your gameplay and rotation choices, so Balance DPS is going to be (at least, from current appearances) a lot twitchier and more proc-dependent than its counterpart in the feral tree. In addition, you'll probably have to make a few hard choices that will be affected by what your raid's going to need from you (although there is a truly amazing talent deep in the balance tree that, no matter what else you pick, is going to be a significant raid DPS contribution). As Balance is the only spec that I haven't gotten to raid on, I didn't want to go live with this until trying to figure out which pieces of information were accurate and which ones weren't. Bear in mind that Blizzard is still tinkering with Balance as I write this.

For the guide to feral in 3.02, head here; for the guide to resto in 3.02, head here. You'll probably want to be familiar with the resto changes, as balance has traditionally depended on a few key talents in that tree, some of which have changed. Otherwise, read on for a comprehensive look at balance's new talents, updated skills, and glyphs!

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, Guides, Classes, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Divine Providence buffed, still worthless

Many classes have interesting five-point talents immediately preceding their 51-point talents. Heck, two out of the three Priest ones are pretty good. Discipline has Borrowed Time, which brilliantly capitalizes on the new Power Word: Shield-centric healing method of that tree. Shadow has Twisted Faith which, alright, is not the most exciting, but at least it improves Shadow's main damage spells considerably, as well as letting them get a bit more out of spirit.

In Holy, we're stuck with something called Divine Providence. Basically, every heal that can hit more than one target is up by +2/4/6/8/10%. Not only is this boring as heck, but it's not even good. For it to meet the benchmark of 1% improvement per talent point, fully half of your healing would have to come from these heals. I can't speak for everyone, but I'm willing to bet that at least 70% of my healing will come from Greater Heal, Flash Heal, and Renew, gimmick fights aside. These are heals that this talent does absolutely nothing for.

The devs "are sympathetic to the notion that Divine Providence feels like a second Spritual Healing but with less effect" (which is exactly what it is), so they're buffing it. It will now, in addition to its previous effect, reduce the cooldown of Prayer of Mending by 6/12/18/24/30%. 30% off is 3 seconds, so PoM will be on a 7-second cooldown with 5/5 in Divine Providence. This is...nice, I guess, but I'm in agreement with the Dwarf Priest here: I'm still not taking it. 3 seconds off PoM's CD and a 10% boost to 30% of my healing is not worth 5 points at the deep end of my tree; this is the sort of stuff I expect from a tier 4 talent, not tier 10.

Filed under: Priest, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

The truth about Ret fixes

Rumors and unsubstantiated news have been floating through the ether like confetti since last night, when Ghostcrawler predicted Ret was going to be nerfed. Today he's finally out and said what they've hotfixed in and what's coming in the future:

  • Nerfs:
    • Divine Storm now does physical damage instead of holy (live).
    • Repentance down to 6 seconds in PvP (from 10, live).
  • Buff:
    • Righteous Vengeance now applies a DoT "similar to Deep Wounds" instead of upping crit damage. GC calls it "a significant buff to the ability to make up for the damage lost to Divine Storm, but is also less bursty." The DoT will not break Repentance. (coming before Wrath) Update: "It should end up at something like 10% of the crit damage each tick for 4 ticks of 2 seconds each (+40% and 8 sec total)."
  • Neutral:
    • Art of War improves damage done by Judgments, Crusader Strike, and Divine storm, instead of upping crit rate. GC says "net dps should be about the same but less bursty" (coming before Wrath).
    • Glyph of Crusader Strike now reduces mana cost, since the devs felt pallies were able to do too much damage on stunned targets (coming before Wrath).
    • Fixed a bug with Seal and Judgment of Light that would result in too much healing. Technically a nerf, but since it's a bug fix I can't really put it in that category. (live)

Overall, GC assures us that sustained Ret DPS remains the same as before this storm of changes; it's just less bursty at the front end of a PvP fight. He also says "if we overdid it, we'll be happy to back off some of the changes," so we'll just have to see how it works out, I suppose.

One more thing. This isn't directly a Paladin change, but it will primarly affect Paladins, I think: the damage reduction Warlocks get from having their Felguard out with Master Demonologist is being extended to include Holy.

Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Wrath of the Lich King

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