Posts Tagged ‘wow’

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What’s this mean for me?

June 16, 2010

So now that we’ve heard a bit more about Cata and what we can expect. Some are feeling pretty down about the expansion now. Alot of friends I’ve talked to have said that they don’t feel like Blizzard is giving them enough to warrant an expansion, at least at full price. Let’s take a look at what Cataclysm offers a Level 80 raider.

Cataclysm

  • Level cap increased 5 levels
  • Re-designed talents (and two classes)
  • New dungeons
  • Some new spells
  • Mastery system (seems to add about as much as a glyph at this point)
  • Medium glyphs
  • 2 new PvP BGs with similar objectives to old BGs, also, rated BGs
  • 4.0-4.9 worth of Raid patches
  • Heroic Deadmines and SFK
  • Guild Talents Guild Levels..
  • Path of the Titans
  • Archeology will be a secondary profession like fishing and cooking
  • Underwater mounts

Now, you may saying.. “Umm, hey buddy, you kinda missed some stuff.” Well, actually I didn’t. Cataclysm offers the above to a current Level 80. Nothing more.

Why did I decide to list it this way instead of the full feature list? Because there are some folks out there who simply don’t care. They have their main and don’t plan on levelling any more toons. This isn’t unheard of, even though Blizzard promotes multiple characters.. some of us are quite fond of our mains and, well, that’s why we play the game.

So.. is this actually an ‘expansion’? I would have to say no. Many of whats listed above is added into other games usually by free content patches. With the exception usually being raid content and/or increased level cap.

“But they are revamping the entire old world!?!?”

Yes, they are. But players who don’t pickup Cata will be able to see all the revamped zones and complete all the quests, sans Goblin and Worgen stuff. It has not been determined yet if you will need the expansion or not for Azeroth flight.

Normally, a MMO that has been running as long (or longer) than WoW comes across a problem over time. Old content not being used. So, the devs decide to revamp. It’s not a bad thing and makes for interesting story-arcs. However, typically this is done one or two zones at a time, and givin’ for free to the playerbase. Blizzard is revamping a very high portion of the old world. Taking out much of the old content and adding in new. It’s been toughted that there is over 3,000 quests added.

But.. everyone will get to play at least (rough estimate) 1,500 of the quests, regardless of if you bought Cataclysm or not. Blizzard has obviously spent alot of time on this. That’s good, getting people back into old/new content is a good thing.

But.. there is an issue. What about the decent percentage of your playerbase that is really only here for Raiding.. or high end PvP. A player who has no interest in levelling a new Goblin, or playing through the new Cata revamp quests? Does this person just get the short end of the stick?

Let’s backtrack a bit. All expansions up until Cata have only extended the high end of the game. It wasn’t until Wrath that added something (DK) for non-maxxed out players.

Now.. it’s the other way around. If you’re a raider, and you only have a desire to play one character, you may feel like you are getting hit in the head with a baseball bat for shelling out $50.

New raids are always good.. no complaints there. But now you’re only going to be able to do half the raiding you normally would have with the new raid/lockout system.

5 more levels.. meh, sweet deal.

If you’re a pvp’er I’m sure you have something, bad or good, to say about the new stuff.

Medium glyphs? *scoff* We don’t know what these are yet, but the entire Glyph system is kind of a joke. At least from what it was supposed to be. (Even GC says they screwed it up)

Guild levels? Cool, but not really a expansion highlight in this dwarf’s opinion.

Is all of this worth $50 though? Depends on the person. To me.. sure. I got money to burn. More importantly though.. is Cataclysm going to keep people around?

It’s all too personal to say. For me.. I’m just not sure if there is going to be enough in Cata to keep me around for 1 patch cycle. It really all depends on the difficulty level of the expansion. If I gear out within 4 weeks of hitting 85 (like I did in Wrath), I will be sorely dissapointed.

The doomsayers have already come out and said “This is WoW’s version of Luclin.” For those who may not know, Shadows of Luclin was an expansion for EQ1 that changed the game alot. Many people left, but the mass exodus wasn’t until a few years later with Gates of Discord. Luclin did have a large effect on the game though. It put a dent in the population.

Will Cata bring WoW down a notch? At first I don’t think so.. but as we can see now, there is a major lull in the WoW-verse. Some are trying to stay positive, others negative.. and then there are the people who just don’t even know what’s going on.

Personally I fall into the category of “Just hanging around here to keep myself somewhat occupied until something better comes out”

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Musings on the WoW news over the weekend.

June 14, 2010

In case you’re unaware, Blizzard had a press even over the weekend and released a lot of information about the current status of Cataclysm and also answering questions that the players have been confused about. I wont kill you with a wall of text of recap. Just highlight some points that I found interesting. If you want the full news head on over to your favorite WoW news site.. the details are everywhere. Let’s dive in..

Heroic Shadowfang Keep and Heroic Deadmines should be shipped in Patch 4.1

Seriously? All I was expecting was a 85 heroic scaled version of the same instance. That shouldn’t take very long to do. So why the delay until 4.1? Could be that they are completely re-designing the dungeons, or it could be that they are trying to refrain from releasing too many dungeons at once. I don’t really know, but I think that this is pretty stupid. Not a big deal though.

Path of the Titans Removal
Okay.. now it just seems like they are cutting features all together. Instead of this we’re now getting “medium” glyphs. Which will be in between Major and Minor. These glyphs are “for fun” only, so they *should* have no effect on your character’s output.

Much more boring but serves almost the same purpose and takes 1/2 the time to develop. Sure.. cool by me. Give me my Libram graphic dangling from my hip!

Guild Talents are gone

Makes it much more boring, but I can understand why. They have enough trouble balancing the class talents. To make sure the guild talents weren’t too over-done they just got rid of them all together. Now we get abilities handed to us based on our guild’s level. Much as in other games. It’s basically the same thing, they just took choice out of the equation. *shrug*

Raid Changes

Here’s the bread and butter (to me) of the press release. We knew 10’s and 25’s were going to be equalized but we didn’t have the details really. Now we do. You can break down your 25 man raid into 3 separate 10m raid ID’s if you choose. Also, a change to how the lockouts work. Basically it doesn’t tag yourself to the zone, it tags what bosses you have killed. Therefore streamlining managing your Raid IDs. Especially if you do a lot of PUG raids.

25’s will drop approx. 50% more loot than 10’s. Which is good. Most of this 50% was strongly hinted at just being extra emblems. That’s kind of boring but ah well.

It’s been stated before that 10’s will be brought up in difficulty to be along the same challenge of 25’s, now we have official confirmation that this IS in fact the plan. This makes me giddy. Being someone who simply doesn’t want to deal with attendance issues, or that one bad player that just wont get better no matter how much you talk to them.. this is an awesome thing for me. 10 man cuts down on the stupid, which is good for my blood pressure. Up until (seemingly) now 10 mans have always been insanely easy compared to 25 mans. A good majority of this comes from the simple fact of their being less people. Less chaos.

If they are ramping up the difficulty on 10m, I’m curious to see how far they take that. Will it be easier because there is less people? Or will they tune the content right and make 10/25 equalized in difficulty? It’s hard to equalize something that gets harder the more players you throw at it. No matter how hard a boss hits, things will always be easier if you only have 10 people to worry about vs. 25.

The ONLY thing I can see as a downside here is the confusion that could come about with the 25 lockout being split in to 3 different 10 man lockouts. I’m not quite sure I understand how this works. Does it take groups 1 and 2 and give them a lockout, 2-4, 5-6, and such? If it does, that could be a raid balance and administrative nightmare.

Also.. in your typical 25m raid you generally have 3 tanks and 4-5 healers. Split the group up into 3 10’s and you don’t have proper raid balance for any more than 1, maybe 2 teams.

Basically, how I see it, is.. someone’s going to get shafted every week. And while Blizzard is implementing this for guilds like mine, who have full raids on Tuesday, but then struggle Wednesday and Thursday to get numbers. I still don’t think this is a good option for that type of group. It’s basically no different from how guilds handle 10/25 now. You have your 25 team, and an “A” 10m team, and possibly another “B” team.

But this causes a lot of animosity as we’ve all seen in the past in various different guilds. My guild has an “A” team that runs 10m on the weekends, they’ve killed LK10 and are working on heroics (and we have yet to kill LK25). It’s typically always the same people. We don’t have enough support/attendance to gather a “B” team on the weekends. So.. half of us that would like to raid usually end up sitting out. Bad policy imo.. but.. what else are bored people gonna do?

What I don’t understand is.. instead of Blizzard jumping through all of these hoops with the Raid IDs and coming up with all this crazy stuff. Why not just have the raid instances scale up or down based off of how many people you have?

10 people = 10m difficulty

14 people = 10m difficulty scaled up a tad

25 people = 25m difficulty

23 people = 25m scaled back a little

..you get the idea I think. This seems more easier to me than what they’re doing. Surely it’s not an easy task, but I don’t think it requires too much more work than what they are doing now.

I guess what I’m saying is.. make a raid just that. A raid. Minimum 10 players, max 25. Have the instance(and loot) scale off the number of people you bring in. There is quite a many games that use (or have used) some sort of auto-scaling (or manual scaling) for their instances. It’s worked out pretty well for them. Why wouldn’t it work in Azeroth?

The last thing I would like to touch on is the happenings with rated Battlegrounds. I’m no PvP’er.. but even I notice that not many people make pre-mades anymore. Or if they do, teamwork is usually pretty scarce. I like teamwork. If there was more of it in BGs I would enjoy them a lot more. Thats why I like the idea of making a BG team.. it sounds awesome and maybe.. just maybe.. it will turn my view of WoW PvP around.

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Healer C-c-c-combos!

June 11, 2010

Blizzard released previews of the Cataclysm talent changes for a few classes yesterday. I haven’t gone over any of the trees in-depth too much so far except the Druid and Priest healing trees. It seems to me like healers may actually have something resembling a rotation. Some of the new talents they’ve added or changed give you certain stackable buffs after using a certain spell or spell type, and both classes have a way to “release” stored up power.

To me, it appears that they are trying to make healing more about choice and less about spam.. which is a great thing. What remains to be seen is if these abilities are/will be tuned correctly in order to make them worth using over spam tactics.

With the talks of inflated HP numbers across the board for players in Cata.. maybe healers will have more thinking to do and less “Oh crap heal, heal, heal”

I am pleased so far. The new expansion excitement continues!

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How to Holy

June 9, 2010

So you wanna be a healer? If this is your first time playing a healer type, know that it can get pretty stressful. Often times in a raid when the tank screws up.. people tend to just shrug it off and continue. DPS is always laying on the floor so no point in talking about them. Healers, the thankless job. Being a Healer in many MMO’s I’ve played is one of those “Puts in a ton of work for little recognition.” In WoW Tanks get recognition when they do their jobs well because they are in the spotlight. DPS gets recognition based on DPS scores (bonus epeen too) Healers however have a lot riding on their shoulders, but nobody (except other healers, and maybe raid leaders) is paying attention to your performance. You have one task. Keep people alive. If the raid wipes and it wasn’t an obvious reason, 9 times outta 10 the raid leader will be saying “Healers gotta step it up” even though we’re all probably mashing the crap out of our keyboards already.

A great Healer though can stand out and get recognition, but it takes time to prove your worth to your guild. I was Holy in BC and Wrath up to TotC. When we were pushing through Naxx at level 80 nearly 2 years ago, we weren’t having much troubles. Not many guilds were lol. Half the time in raid I would either be meleeing or tabbed out reading something else. There was just nothing for me to heal, and I’m not a fan of overhealing… it’s a waste.

So as time went on I got more and more bored, and started chain pulling for the tanks. The raid leader hated it at first, but once he understood that I was trying to get us to move faster he let me go. I knew what I was doing. What does that have to do with healing? Nothing. But, it showed my Raid leaders that I (and we, as a guild) are capable of more. After time building a relationship and trust with my tanks and leadership, I was able to convince them to let us try more tricky setups and strats.

I convinced them to let me solo-heal. All of our other healers went DPS and we started charging through the wings. We cleared all 3 wings, only leaving Military. The only fight I needed help from another healer on was Loatheb. It was that day I knew that I was a skilled healer. Yeah, cool story bro, what’s this got to do with being a Holydin?

The point I’m trying to make is that a good healer will always try to push his or her raid to use the least amount of healers possible. Maximize the DPS, and run your raid as efficiently and quickly as possible. In order to do this, you have to build trust with your leadership. We don’t always need 5 healers for 25’s.. as you progress you should (In my opinion) try to cut down on the amount of healers, and increase your amount of DPS classes.

Now that my little epeen introduction is complete, we can continue with the actual guide. Just as with my guide to Retribution, I’m not going to go into serious detail for two reasons. EJ’s already got all the info you need, and 4.0 is going to change a lot of the content in this guide. So I will give a link, and then just chime in with a few of my own words of wisdom.

Holy Paladin Thread for 3.3 curteousy of Elitist Jerks

First and foremost, there is two different ways to play a Holy Paladin. You have your Holy Light builds or your Flash of Light builds. They are equal in ability, but vary in play style is all. The FoL build concentrates on inflating Spellpower as high as possible and typically assigned to raid healing w/ Beacon on the tank.

The Holy Light build is for a Tank healing position. Though you can still raid heal with HL build, it’s less efficient than an FoL build. Chances are also that if you’re an FoL build, you wont have the HPS required to keep a tank alive. So your first decision should be what position you’ll be taking in your raids.

Stats

These are going to change based off of the build you choose. Priorities are pretty simple though:

HL Build – INT>INT>INT>Haste to cap>Crit.. you won’t be needing Mp5, so avoid it as best as you can. Gem for INT, strictly, unless it’s to nab a socket bonus of 4 int or higher, then you should use int + haste or int + crit gems, depending on what you need. You’ll get all the spellpower you need just by picking up gear.

FoL Build – SP>Haste>Mp5>INT>Crit. You want to stack as much SP as you can possibly get. Stack haste until AT LEAST your FoL’s are down to 1.0 second cast times. Rely on MP5 vs. large mana pool due to the efficiency of FoL.

A few things to clear up about the builds before we continue. Whichever build you choose, that is pretty much going to be your primary spell. Either way your going to be spamming 1 spell for the most part. It’s just up to you which spell you like to use more. If you’re the only Holy Paladin in your raid group, avoid the FoL build. Holy Paladins are arguably the strongest Tank healer in the game and should be a priority over a FoL Pally until you have one.

Abilities

Sacred Shield – Keep it on the tank you’re assigned to. When you see the shield proc try to throw a FoL at the tank with the shield to get the HoT rolling on him. This goes for both builds. FoL build just toss a quick one to the tank, HL build is a bit trickier. If you’re in complete spam HL mode, it will be hard to fit in a FoL to get the HoT up on the tank. Luckily for you the HoT wont matter that much compared to your raw HPS from HL spam. Still, if you find a opprotunity, take it.

Beacon of Light – When they introduced this spell with 3.0, it was a godsend. It’s one of the coolest parts about being a Holy Paladin and in my opinion is still largely overpowered. You can frikken heal 2 people at once! Overheal transfers as well. This is also why Holy Paladins make the best tank healers. Beacon the main tank, who will be taking the most damage, and HL spam the OT/Raid. Even if they aren’t taking any damage.

There are so many different and interesting things to do with this ability. It can transfer healing without Line of Sight. Meaning you can Beacon the tank and hide behind a corner and heal yourself while still keeping the tank plenty alive.

Or in a situation where things go wrong you can mix it up a bit. Beacon yourself and spam the tank/other party members. I’ve survived numerous almost wipes in 5 man dungeons (and some 10 mans) with just myself and the tank left standing because I was able to throw up Conc. Aura and just spam HL bombs on both of us at the same time. Another example is Faction Champions. I like to put my Beacon on a Resto druid during that fight because it always seems that that pesky Rogue is going after my trees.

It also works great while levelling if you like to have a partner around. Enough of Bacon though. Great ability, learn to use it smart!

Judgements of the Pure – You best be keeping this buff up on yourself, it’s a HUGE haste increase. You want to be judging Light, regardless of what build you are due to JoL proc heals scaling with Divinity.

Divine Plea – Another game changing ability we got with 3.0. Regens mana, scales off of INT. Decreases healing, so make sure you either use it during a pause in the fight, or use it in conjunction with Avenging Wrath to negate the healing debuff.

Holy Shock – Still pretty crappy. Good in a pinch because it’s instant, but it’s not efficient and doesn’t heal for very much more than a FoL. It’s great for 5 mans though, using the “Shock + Infusion” combo you can pretty much get through the dungeon just using that. Depending on your tank.

Divine Illumination – Yes, use it. As much as possible. Don’t wait to use it either, it can usually be used multiple times during a boss fight. Be weary of using it while tanks, or other healers are using their defensive cooldowns as it would be wasteful. Time it for when you’re going to be spamming for its duration.

Aura Mastery – 1 point for this talent? Yes. It does make a large difference too. It’s a defensive heroism. Pump up a tank’s armor, or the entire raids resists! Plenty of places to use this. Make sure if there is any other Holy pallies you coordinate.

Divine Sacrifice – Typically this will be taken by only Holy Paladins since it’s been changed so much from its original use. Not nearly as good as it used to be, but still a powerful ability. It should be fairly obvious when you should use it.

Seals – This is mostly a personal choice as it depends on which Glyph you choose. 5% increased healing with SoL glyph, or 5% mana reduction with SoW glyph. I think the SoW glyph is the best option due to being able to whack bosses with my stick and have infinite mana. There are quite a few fights where Paladins have infinite mana and most people don’t even realize it. Just a few.. Gluth, XT, Icehowl, Jaraxxus, Anub.. the list goes on. Pretty much if you can hit the boss a few times in between heals, it’s impossible for you to run out of mana. Always judge Light though.

Divine Favor – It’s a free crit, good to use in a pinch but, meh. If you’re a HL build, chances are you’re going to have pretty high crit ratings as is. I don’t keep this one on my bars, I feel it’s a practically worthless ability when you’re at 50%+ crit rating already, and spamming spells.

Gear

Short and sweet. The only Libram you will ever need is the Libram of Renewal. Yes, the T7 Libram. Best in the game by far. Get some good trinkets too.

Addons (Specific to Holy mostly)

Class Timers – For monitoring Beacon/Sacred Shields. There is a Paladin specific addon out there that does the same thing, but the reason I choose Class Timers is that it’s not specific to Paladins and it’s very minimalistic and customizable.

Grid + Clique – Before I started using Clique I thought my healing was fine. Then I started using it with Pitbull Unit Frames. I liked that a lot and it made me way more efficient and faster to react. Now I use Grid + Clique because Grid has a lot of different Plugins to show you a myriad of information. But Clique is the real key to healing success. It doesn’t matter which Raid Frames you choose.

A few examples from my Clique binds:

Left click – FoL, Shift+LClick – HS, Alt+LClick – HL, Shift+Rclick – Cleanse. I could go on, but I have nearly all of my abilities bound to mouse clicks as I like a minimalist UI, I only have 1 bar of abilities. The rest is hidden-keybinds or bound via Clique.

PowerAuras – This one isn’t as needed as the others are, but still handy to have. You can set up aura’s to follow Beacon, Sacred shield.. trinket procs, JotP.. anything.

PallyPower – A Paladin without this addon is just a DK in disguise.

General Tips

– Currently, no matter what healer you play, it’s just like a game of whack-a-mole. Health bars go down, you fill em up. The default interface doesn’t give you the proper tools to handle the load put on healers, so you have to be sure to make use of the tools available to you via addons.

– Try to train your eyes to watch the raid frames with your peripheral vision and keep your main focus on the other important aspects of the fight. This takes time and good UI positioning. Try to put your raid frames in the center of your screen, towards the bottom, or top.. whichever is easiest on your eyes. Practice on not looking directly at the raid frames. This will keep your eyes available to dodge things like fire on the floor, or malleable goo’s.

– If it’s time to move, it’s time to move. Remember that. If you’re mid-cast on a big heal that a tank needs, and a fire spawns beneath you, you have to make the choice and make it quick. You have to use your judgement on whether or not to finish the cast and move, or just move. BIG TIP: This goes for everyone. If a fire or some such spawns underneath you, DO NOT JUMP OUT OF IT. Just run out of it. The reason for this is the servers don’t register that you’ve left the fire until your feet hit the ground. Which means you could take an extra 1 or 2 ticks of fire.

That’s about that. I’m sure I’m missing a few things, or possibly have got a few things wrong seeing as I haven’t been main spec Holy since late Ulduar. So, I urge you to refer to the EJ thread if you have any other questions.

I will do a full re-write of this guide once we have more solid information on Cataclysm.

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Guide : Retribution (3.3)

June 8, 2010

So you want to learn how to Retlol? It’s a little bit more than just facerolling on the keyboard.. but not much! : D Since it’s 3.3, Cataclysm is on the horizon and everything is going to change again I’m not going to waste time with an “official” and “fancy” guide. Going to throw some links up here to already well done guides, and also give my 2 copper on some points covering the Ret play style.

Retribution Links

Retribution Thread at EJ – Honestly, this guide pretty much covers everything. The first page is current and accurate and has all the info you need not be a Retardadin.

My own thoughts

Just some general tips/expanding on the EJ guide.

– We don’t have a rotation, we have a priority list. The priority changes depending on how you’re geared or the encounter. EJ guide goes into this more in-depth.

– Stat priority goes: Hit(to cap)>Str>Exp(to cap)>Crit>Agi>AtkPwr>Haste>ArPen. Once you cap out Hit, Strength becomes our main stat and our primary gem. You want your STR as high as possible, but without neglecting the expertise cap. You shouldn’t gem for exp though, it comes naturally on gear and it’s not that difficult to get capped.

– Weapons : We want to use the slowest, hardest hitting 2 handers we can find. Enchant with Berserking.

Abilities and Tactics

Sacred Shield : For fights where it’s mostly the tanks taking damage, if you don’t have enough Paladins in your raid for every tank to get Sacred Shield then keep it on whatever tank needs it. If the tanks are covered do what you want with it. For heavy raid damage fights I like to keep it on myself, and for more focused damage fights, or fights with spawning adds, I’ll keep it up on a healer or a clothie.

Art of War : Don’t be afraid to use it as a heal instead of just waiting for Exo to come off cooldown and/or once you get your 2pc T10 (Exo becomes lowest priority at that point). We get this buff ALOT. If you find a “dead spot” in your rotation, take a glance at the raids health bars. Top someone off real quick, or hit yourself so you can take some stress off the healers. Your #1 priority though is Damage, so use your utility wisely.

Consecration : Watch where you scorch the ground with your holy powers. If your tanks aren’t smart enough to stack up all the trash mobs usually when Cons comes up in your rotation you can “back off” from your current target a little bit and make sure you drop Cons in the best possible spot to hit all the baddies. Same goes for Divine Storm.

Seals : Seal of Wisdom and Light you should never be using, unless you want to while leveling or some such. Remove from hot bars imo. Seal of Vengeance/Corruption, Righteousness, and Command are the only 3 you’ll be needing. (I miss Seal of Blood)

Use Righteousness when it’s a single target fight and the mob is not going to live longer than 20 seconds. Use Vengeance for single target fights lasting over 20 seconds. Use Command in situations with 2 or more mobs near you. Don’t be afraid to switch seals in combat. For example.. when fighting Emalon, and he charges up one of the elementals, while you’re running over to the adds you may as well throw up Command. With gear levels what they are, and how easy Emalon is.. it doesn’t really matter so much if more than one happens to die. Unless the add tank just sucks at picking up spawns. Anyways, when the elemental dies and you’re running back over to Emalon, don’t forget to switch back to Vengeance.

Judgements : Wisdom for PvE, Justice for PvP. Holy Paladins should take care of Light. In raid situations, usually it doesn’t matter as you will most likely always have 3 or more Paladins. If you don’t however, use Light, the other classes in your raid should be able to fill-in for Replenishment duty.

Cleanse : Seriously.. do it. Don’t let it drop your DPS, but cleanse when you can. Healers will love you for it.

Righteous Fury : Don’t forget about this ability. We wont be using it often as Ret, but there are some fights where strategies call for us to do strange jobs and RF can do wonders for kiting mobs around.

Hand of Reckoning : Yeah, it’s a taunt. No, you shouldn’t ignore it. 2 reasons. Say an add spawns and it’s headed straight for a clothie and the tank is pre-occupied, or just being a baddie. Save the clothie’s life by taunting that add and let it hit you. You wear plate, you’re not going to die as quick as some prissy Mage. It may be a thankless job too, since people may not notice during the chaos of the fight. But at least you can let it beat on you for a few seconds while the tank pulls his head out of his ass. The second reason I say don’t ignore this ability is it does damage! On certain bosses, very few rather, you can throw this out while waiting for other abilities to come up. Use this wisely though and make sure you know the thing you’re taunting isn’t going to turn around and whack ya dead. The only few fights I can recall this working on is XT heart phase, Mimiron 2nd phase, Faction Champs (doubles as a clothie save too), and the Gunship battle if you jump to the other boat. It’s a great ability and has a great range. Don’t neglect it.

Useful Macros – This block was taken from my Guild forums. One of our other Ret’s typed this out. So thanks to Maxxik for letting me be a thief 🙂

AW + Hand of Salv on myself:

#showtootip Avenging Wrath
/cast Avenging Wrath
/cast [target=Maxxik] Hand of Salvation

The nice part about this macro is if I hit it in between GCD’s then it doesn’t salv myself, so I can keep it free in case I need to salv a fury warrior or whoever later on.

Bubble:

#showtooltip Divine Shield
/cast [nobutton:2] Divine Shield
/cancelaura [button:2] Divine Shield

Left click bubbles yourself, right click dismisses it so you’re not gimping your dps for 12 seconds or however long it’s not needed.

Exorcism:

/startattack
/cast Exorcism

Just starts your auto-attack when you cast Exorcism. Basically if you have an AoW proc up and your switching to a new target to dps starts your white attacks, whereas Exorcism by itself won’t.

SoC/SoR seal and libram:

#showtooltip Seal of Command
/cast [button:1] Seal of Command
/cast [button:2] Seal of Righteousness
/equip Deadly Gladiator’s Libram of Fortitude

Left click for Seal of Command, right click for Seal of Righteousness. Also equips the deadly libram when either seal is selected.

SoV seal and libram:

#showtooltip Seal of Vengeance
/cast Seal of Vengeance
/equip Libram of Valiance

Obviously brings up SoV, but also equips the libram for use. Keep in mind for the above two macros, if you use them in combat they will burn a GCD, but since you’re using these macros the libram swap GCD and the seal GCD are being used at the same time, thus actually saving you one GCD if you need to swap in combat for whatever reason.

Sacred shield on yourself:

#showtooltip Sacred Shield
/cast [help,target=target] Sacred Shield
/cast [target=player] Sacred Shield

Basically the way this works is if you have a hostile target, when you hit this it’ll cast SS on yourself, but if you have a friendly target it’ll cast it on them.

Addons (Note: Everyone has their own way of tweaking their UI, I’m not going to list ALL of the ones I use here. Only the ones that pertain to Paladins, in this case, Retribution.)

Serious Help In Timing – Much like the old face-roller addon. Gives you a handy, scalable, movable bar that has 3 icons. Left icon is AW and gives a cooldown timer. Middle(Big) Icon is the highest ability in your priority list that is not on cooldown (I.e. use it) and the right Icon is what ability you should use next. It’s very easy setup, 5 minutes to position and setup your priority list to your liking. Alternative includes clcret. This addon was developed by the handy people on EJ and though I’ve never used it, it’s very similar to SHIT.

Grid + Clique

This is a must have for almost anybody, yes.. even Tanks. Grid gives you one of the best raid frame options out there, combined with the power of assigning spells to mouse clicks (requiring no targeting) streamlines the healing and/or cleansing process so much. For example, I have Shift+R-click set to Cleanse. So all I have to do is Shift+Rclick on someones raid frame and I never lose my target.

PowerAuras

A highly customizable addon that allows you to do a lot. It can be applied numerous ways to Ret pally’ing. I personally have it setup to show me “when the stars align” meaning I have it set to display icons when I gain certain buffs like Greatness and Berserk. When I see all my procs and buffs light up its AW time. PowerAuras can help you by showing you when things happen. It’s hard to see when you gain buffs mid-raid fight, so this addon can help you increase your efficiency and DPS and help you with timing your cooldowns.

PallyPower

If you’re a Paladin, and not using this addon. Please do. It makes managing blessings and auras SO much easier. If there is only one addon in this list that you pick, let it be this one.

Omen (Or Skada)

Threat meter.. gotta know your threat. Omen has done us well for years, Skada is a lightweight DPS monitor like recount, but has a built-in threat meter. So you can knock out two birds with one stone if you like Skada.

Class Timers (or ForteX)

For monitoring buffs/debuffs. Has timers for Player, Target, and Focus windows. Handy to have as Ret, better for other specs though. I’ve never tried ForteX, it sounds similar to Class Timers but there seems to be a few more options and configurations. CT is more simplistic I think.

Misc.

As I said, I’m not trying to write a complete guide just to have it all goto waste in a few months. When it gets closer to 4.0 and we have our mostly finished talent trees and info on new spells and such I will write-up and brand new, complete guide. So, some final notes to close this out with :

Don’t forget about your utility. Learn how to use it while still being effective in combat. Make macros (Clique or Buttons) for BoP, Freedom, even Sacrifice. Saving your LoH for emergencies is great, but not using it is just a waste of an ability. With the shorter cooldown there is no reason you shouldn’t be using it more often, even if it’s not totally necessary. Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse. Keep Sacred Shield up on someone at all times.

Last but not least is to really, really know your abilities. Spend some time making friends with the Training dummies and trying out new addons, gear, rotations.. whatever. Find out what works best for you. Grab a guildie or two and go into Molten Core to get a “live feel” for testing purposes. If you want to be good at your class you have to first know your class inside and out. And always, ALWAYS be sure to test out any changes you’ve made to your interface PRIOR to raiding with your guild. Go join a pug 10 man real quick and use them as the guinea pigs. There is nothing worse than getting into a raid, or just starting a boss fight to find out one of your addons is screwing up. Or you haven’t had enough practice using the new tools, so you fail your guildies. Test first!

So, until 4.0, I hope this has helped clear some things up for any of you curious Rets out there. Use the EJ thread. The first post is the wealth of info, and the discussion continues. So much valuable information in that thread for us. Including encounter specific strategies specifically for Rets.

Thanks goes to the EJ forum geeks, all the writers who keep the addons we use updated, and Maxxik the Lumberjack.

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My armor smells of onions and cheese

June 7, 2010

The look of your avatar can sometimes have an impact on how you feel about your avatar. Say you’re wearing a full Tier set (pick your favorite), and you just so happen to find an upgrade for one of those slots. Sure you equip it because it’s better, but part of you doesn’t want it because it will throw off your “style”

Doing some dungeons with guildies last night this was mentioned, and well… we couldn’t figure out why Blizzard wont put something like an appearance window in the game.

Then this morning there was someone asking about the armor textures in The Queue at wow.com. The question was basically why we have all these crazy looking armors, and if there is any chance Blizzard would implement items that don’t have completely “out-there” models, but are still Epic quality. Alex Ziebart responds..

“No, probably not. The Warcraft aesthetic is all about those huge shoulders, the random spikes, the intricate little decorations on each pauldron. In Azeroth, bigger is better. Bigger is much better. Having that massive gear is prestigious. The stripped-down gear is for nameless schmucks that haven’t fought a proper battle in their lives.

If you’re looking for a simpler aesthetic, you’re really better off looking at a different game. I don’t mean that in a rude or smug way in the slightest. It just isn’t Blizzard’s style. It definitely isn’t Warcraft‘s style.”

What a way to answer the question. A flat-out no. While, yes, it’s Blizzard’s style to go for crazy shoulders and items that just look outrageous. It’s obviously not the only style, otherwise why would they have normal looking weapons and armor as you level up, or even grey/green items at level 80 as the player asking the question stated.

Since Massively(wow.com) is probably one of the most read blog/news sites for MMOs. Instead of just answering a question by saying “No way” or “Go find another game” To me… that’s just not productive at all. I wonder if the reader who asked the question wanted to throat-punch Alex when he/she read the article. I would have.

Yes, Alex has a point. But, instead of stopping there why not offer up an example of how it could be changed. Since it is the big news site, has a ton of readers of all walks of WoW life, and Blizzard employees probably pay attention to it as well. Offering up a change, new feature, or even just opinions could possibly sway the almighty Blizzard to.. change something.

Not the armor models, keep going with the “Blizzard” style. Whatever fits the expansion. Throughout WotLK there have been people who really like the armor design, and people who really don’t. As I say a lot, why not just give the option?

Unlike with talents (which I spoke of earlier today), if you’re wearing no gear, chances of you leveling all the way to 80 are laughable. There is no choice right now except to either equip, or not equip the piece. As with most everything in the MMO world.. someone’s already perfected a design option. Appearance slots.

If you played Everquest post-PoP, chances are you remember armor dyes being implemented. A very cool feature.. except they gave you a photoshop style color pallet to choose from. Which is actually awesome, until you run into an Ogre Warrior who decided he wanted to dye every piece of his armor a different, vibrant color. Rainbow Ogres.. *shudder*

Then EQ2 implemented the Appearance window. Basically it was just an extra inventory window. When you put a piece of armor in one of the slots, it didn’t matter what you were really wearing. The item in the appearance slot is what showed on your avatar. Though you kept all the stats from the armor you’re “actually” wearing. There is NO downside to doing this. It doesn’t change the game, it doesn’t appeal to the casual player base more than the hardcore player base, or PvP vs. PvE. Other games have adopted this as well. Why not WoW?

While doing some quests in classic zones this weekend, and an MC run for fun, I realized that there are quite a few items that I would prefer to be wearing. Then I looked in my bank, and found that I’m quite the packrat. I hold on to gear that I think looks neat just in case I get bored and want to play dress up.

Blizzard gave us the dressing room, which was a very nice feature. They also gave us various clothes to wear, like the Tuxedo suit. So it’s not SO far out there that they shouldn’t think about adding a way for players to customize what they wear, without effecting stats. If anything, this would be more awesome because it gives the game more of a variety.

When I stand next to another Dwarf Paladin in Dalaran, there’s very little difference visually. If we had a way to change our armor without gimping ourselves, we’d all have a bit more of a unique look.

I’d stray away from adding weapons into the appearance slots though, as a Warrior holding the Chalice from TotC-25, and beating the crap outta mobs with it would look pretty silly. But armor customization is;

1) not terribly difficult to implement.

2) would make players feel more unique

3) would create something else to do in the game (go hunting for gear you think looks awesome!)

4) something that I think the WoW community would appreciate

Is your T10 gear getting that “battle-funk” smell? Or, do you have some T6 sitting in the bank that you just think looks awesome and wish you could still wear it? This would solve those two issues.

Hell, Blizzard probably wouldn’t even have to do much. Write the code to enable the feature and let the Addon community take care of the rest. It couldn’t seriously take that much time. EQ2 was able to push it out within 1 patch cycle… and they have far less resources than Blizzard.

Side-note : *sigh* a simple post turned into a book.

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Talent talk

June 7, 2010

We like Shadow Bolt being the nuke for both Demonology and Affliction. That isn’t likely to change. Talents don’t have to be in “your tree” for them to be good talents for your build. We generally consider 0 / 0 / 71 builds to be a failure.

See, even Blizzard says that they consider 0/0/71 (in any class tree) a failure. But wait a minute.. they also contradict themselves in a post just a few days ago.

1) For more casual players (i.e. the ones not posting in this forum), we want there to be less difference in power between an optimal and sub-optimal spec. It’s okay if the optimal one is still better, but not so much better. Casual players should feel fine just spending points with a small amount of consideration and not feeling like step one is to go to the Internet to find the right build. The passive bonuses help with that.

2) For those players that do take optimization very seriously (and I’m assuming most of you are in that category), we just want to see more cookie-cutter builds that say things like “spend the last 5-10 points wherever you want.” If those points would give you survivability or a massive threat bonus or even utility that’s hard to live without (say Warbringer for a Prot warrior), then you’re not really spending the points where you want. But we think there is room to have some of those choices that don’t really exist now

I’m not saying I don’t agree, 71 points into any tree is a dumb move. For anyone. But how come Blizzard is now encouraging cookie-cutter builds? I thought the idea was to try to tweak the trees to the point where it mattered.. but you didn’t have to have the same spec as “Rogue_01234”

I know right now I can glance at a talent calculator, and without even mousing over I know what Paladin talents are “must have”, “filler”, and “don’t even bother”, for all 3 specs. I’m sure there’s plenty of others out there who are like this as well with their class, or multiple classes. It sort of negates the point of even having talents.

So.. why do we have them?

The original intention of adding the talent trees was to give classes “specialties” and give everyone the choice to play their chosen class as they want to play it. Did Blizzard succeed in doing this? Yup.

We still have the choice to pick our talents, we don’t have to follow an EJ thread or a cookie-cutter build. But, you’ll be less effective at your job than someone who is using the “optimal cookie cutter build.” I could level 70-80 completely un-spec’d, with any class. Anyone can. Sure it will take longer, but you can do it. That’s exactly why Blizzard didn’t and isn’t technically failing at the original goal of the talent trees. You DO have the option to put them wherever you’d like, and you can still play the game with 71 points dumped into a tree.. for the most part.. just fine.

It wont effect your dailies, or your questing, or your mount farming. Try to grab a PUG raid though and be prepared to get laughed at repeatedly before getting the boot.

In order for Blizzard to really flesh out the talent trees and give us more options for successful builds, rather than just one mega-optimal build, they would have to completely tear down the talent system and re-build it from the ground up. Considering we’ve seen how much Blizzard just loves to develop things.. we might see this happen in 2018. Maybe.

For now though, there is nothing terribly wrong with the talent system. I know we’re all just dying to see at least the Beta form of the Cata talent trees. Hopefully it will get rid of some of those more worthless talents and put in some ones that will actually make you think about your choice. While cutting the bloat out of some other trees so the class actually feels like it has enough points to get everything he/she needs/wants.