Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ret's Mastery

We have actually changed Retribution's mastery. Having both it and Inquisition boost Holy damage was giving too much power to things like Exorcism (over which you have very little control) and not enough to things like Templar's Verdict (which is supposed to be the centerpiece of your rotation). The new mastery will emphasize Templar's Verdict more.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Leveling the same class?

Did it felt boring doing the same stuff you did last time? Did you had more fun since you know your class a lot more? Each time you level a character, your knowledge of the game increases. So, even if you were to level one character to 80 and then immediately level another in an identical fashion—same faction, class, race, quest progression, etc—I imagine that your experiences would still differ greatly. If anything, the second time around, you'd have a better understanding of your class' mechanics and could melt face with awesome efficiency. Who could argue with that?
Speaking personally, though, I've leveled a number of classes more than once and I enjoy the process immensely. There's so many different ways to play a single class, and it can be a fun challenge to discover them all. It's a novel sort of familiarity—even if think you know everything there is to know about priests, or shaman, or rogues, since you're playing at different experience level and in different environments, there's always the opportunity to learn something new.
Like Kaneka noted, so long as play what you enjoy, it's hard not to have a good time. In the end, though, you won't know how you like leveling a class more than once until give it a try. :)

Operation: Gnomeregan Canceled?

The plans for the operation are ongoing. Do not fear. We'll let you know when the call goes out. Then we shall see what heights the gnomes can truly rise up to!

Now when Valnoth said ALL dungeons...

Aigle 09/01/2010 10:58:32 PDT Re: Q u o t e:
Heroic SFK/Deadmines are not being released with Cataclysm, but with a patch after it goes live.

Heroics are not ready for testing.

Heroic Shadowfang Keep and Heroic Deadmines WILL be released with Cataclysm. You will not have to wait for a later patch.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tell your friends!

Heya guys, please spread this around to everyone you know.

I kinda have a huge ego and it'll make me really happy to see lots of followers :)

Raid Rx: What's up with these location healing spells?

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand pooh-bah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related. If you're looking for more healing advice, check out the Plus Heal community.
That's what the current Holy Word: Sanctuary looks like on beta, if you were curious.

I haven't really thought of a cool name for this new type of spells yet. Maybe someone else can coin a better term for them. Of course, what I'm referring to are the new AoE spells that all the healing classes have gained:
Efflorescence Power Word: Barrier Holy Word: Sanctuary Light of Dawn Healing RainThis is going to involve a new set of healing tactics for healers to learn and get accustomed to. I predict that there's going to be a bit of a learning curve, not just for the healer but for the rest of the players, as well. I had a strange dream the other night. You know how some players have difficulty moving out of fires or void zones? Well, I dreamed that those same players would somehow be able to miss standing on healing circles.

So what is the best way to utilize these new abilities?

Let's start with a quick breakdown and analysis of these spells.

Efflorescence The latest beta build nerfed this ability. It went from having a larger radius (which was 15 yards, I believe) down to 4 yards. But if you think it about it, that nerf may have been warranted. Just imagine crit-healing multiple targets. If anything good were to come out of this, though, I think it'd be a pretty good way to teach players how to really stack on top of one other (like our melee class friends). Light of Dawn Paladins get to be fairly unique here. They don't really get a location-type spell. The position of the paladin and the direction he is facing is the key factor here. In the past, I've often had healers face the opposite direction to watch for incoming projectiles or other threats. Paladins will need to be quick on the ball here to whip around and unleash a Light of Dawn in the direction of players who need it. Healing Rain Finally! Shaman get an additional area of effect spell, meaning I won't have to ask mine to just Chain Heal and pray it hits the right players. For this to be effective, players need to stand in the shower. It can be cast instantly, it has a 10-second cooldown and it lasts for 10 seconds. Power Word: Barrier In true discipline priest style, this large bubble will help shield the damage players take as long as they stand within the area. I've tried it out in a few instances, on rare occasions that my party manages to group for some reason or other. It seemed to burst in a matter of seconds. Either way, it is pretty awesome to time it so that a large bubble appears, followed by a massive strike by the boss and then seeing it vanish without the health bars of the party moving. Holy Word: Sanctuary This is like an inverse Consecration for priests. Anyone who stands on the blessed ground gets healed accordingly. You have to activate the Prayer of Healing Chakra first; only then will Holy Word: Chastise morph into Holy Word: Sanctuary.
There are a few things to mull over, and I haven't gotten the chance to figure it out yet. Is there a limit to the number of players that can be affected by these heals? I know that Holy Word: Sanctuary affected everyone in my party, but I didn't get a chance to check it out in a raid environment.

Of the spells, only Power Word: Barrier has a cap on the amount of total "healing" (or damage prevention, in this case) that can be done. Other spells have a cap per player. Assuming the sky's the limit, any number of players can get healed up by being in the right position, whereas the barrier will shatter after a certain amount of damage is absorbed, whether there is only one person or five people.

But it's beta, right? Anything can change.

Finding the sweet spot

I've already started thinking ahead to how and where to drop Power Word: Barrier or Holy Word: Sanctuary. Should there be designated zones? Should there be times where healers have to yell out, "Stack up!"? Raiders are going to need to get accustomed to moving around to benefit from these spells. It won't be too far of a stretch to say that spreading out will continue to be a requirement in different encounters. At least you can drop the spells and place the onus on the raiders to stand on it. Personally, I had a hard time training raiders to use Lightwell. Maybe I'll have an easier time getting players to run and stand on the big, glowing disc on the ground or stand inside the large bubble instead. It is large and you can't miss.

Actually, the more I think about it, assigning heals might just all depend on the encounters. We've got these additional tools at our disposal now. They are an answer to any number of problems. Ultimately, the strategy will all depend on the fight in question.

I tried to think of different ways to apply these spells to the various Wrath raid encounters. There seem to be a limitless amount of possibilities. How about using heroic Sindragosa? My guild is working on her right now, and we're getting our butts kicked. Wouldn't mind putting some of these spells to use there.

It'll be a fairly big shift, no matter what. The expansion can't come soon enough. Right now, it's time to head back into beta so I can keep using and abusing these abilities.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Queue: I, Mike Sacco, smell terrible

Welcome back to The Queue,'s daily Q&A column in which the team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

This title is what happens when you don't title your own post and leave it to Alex to do it. You have all been warned.

Sumadin asked:

With Menethil Harbor flooded how do Alliance players get to Theramore and Howling Fjord? Has it all been moved to Stormwind?
As it turns out, docks float. Menethil Harbor is both a fully-functional quest hub and fully-functional port town. You can still get to Theramore and Valiance Keep from there.

Kavu asked:

I wonder about worgen form and combat -- I remember hearing that worgen would need to be in worgen form while in combat, but if you're in human form and, let's say, cast Moonfire do you then have to go through the few second transformation?

Transformation only takes time when you hit the Two Forms button. When going into combat or casting a spell, the change is instantaneous.

Mau asked:

While there was no internet today, I randomly decided to see the game's credits and the arts shown there surprised me. There was one landscape I didn't recognize though, in vanilla WoW's credits, a city built on a petrified nautiloid-looking thing (or is it a city on a hill that's been sculpted like a nautiloid?), any clue on what that place is?

It's uncertain for what the art was going to originally be used, but its untextured model is currently in-game on Designer Island. Also present on Designer Island: mining and herb nodes of every type. Weird.

ROB13 asked:

We already know that mounts will scale to the highest riding level I.E. Bronze Drakes going 310% if you have a Violet Proto Drake, but will the Sea Turtle scale to the new faster Sea Horse mounts we get in Vashj'ir?

At this point in beta, no, they don't. They might later, but it's unlikely -- getting that water mount is a rite of passage in the zone.

Crewdie asked:

So in the expansion, you get locked into a talent tree as soon as you pick it, right? Any chance this will affect the LFG system? As in "You aren't spec'ed to tank, you can't tank?"

As of a few builds ago, I was able to queue as healing on my elemental shaman. I haven't tested it recently.