Archive for February, 2010

by Christian Belt

In a game that is–stripped to its most basic components–about obtaining better and better gear, it’s natural that eventually, you’d begin wondering what the holy grail is. What is the ultimate goal? Which piece of gear is actually, finally, at the end of the day, the best? And how long until the next patch takes it from best in slot to third or fourth-best in slot?

In most cases, this isn’t especially difficult to determine. Which item has the best stats? If one cloak has 80 spellpower, and another has 90, chances are good that you can identify the best option of the two. Programs like Rawr can make it even easier. Plug in your character’s information, and viola! Here’s the robe that’s best for you. But where things typically get hairy is on those final two slots: trinket #1, and trinket #2.

Unlike most of your other gear, trinkets are often more…subjective. Here are two excellent trinkets:

Reign of the Dead

Talisman of Resurgence

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WoW Druid Guide: Balance 101

   Posted by: free-wow-guide   in WoW Druid Guides, WoW Raiding Guides

by Tyler Caraway

Balance druids themselves are quite an amazing bunch, but balance druid alts are a completely different story. In all honesty though, even the veteran balance druids cannot agree on talents from time to time. I figured, after a few threats of maiming, that a beginner’s guide would actually be a really good thing; providing the caveat that some of the more controversial talents be explored more in-depth.

This is mostly going to be a post geared towards players that have limited knowledge of the balance spec but cannot resist the allure of having the single best dance in the game that other players can only dream of competing against. This is a light guide, not a Holy Bible for balance damage dealing. Although the basics of the balance rotation are not as complex as, say, a cat druid’s; there are intricacies within the play-style that can be used to boost DPS in very minor ways. If you happen to be a long standing balance druid, you will probably know most of this, or even have developed a differing way of doing things. That is fine, the one great thing about balance druids is that there are multiple ways to achieve the same goal, but please understand that some topics may just be glossed over.

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WoW Warrior Guide: Arms 101

   Posted by: free-wow-guide   in WoW Raiding Guides, WoW Warrior Guides

by Matthew Rossi

1This week, we’re talking about arms. We defined fury last week as the spec for people who want to kill things, and that’s fair, but if fury is that, what’s arms? Well, fury is the ‘kill it kill it kill it until it’s dead and then kill it some more‘ spec, defined by Blizzard as the ‘screaming barbarians in woad’. Arms, however, is the finesse spec. Yes, that’s right, I’m defining the spec that relies on using a great whacking axe, polearm, sword or mace as ‘finesse’. Welcome to the warrior class, where the fanciest Dan at the party is still a hulking madman in plate. As the class Q&A put it:

However, we would like to reinforce a little more the kits of Arms and Fury. Everyone (I hope) gets the difference between Frost and Fire mages. Arms is supposed to be about weapons and martial training and feel “soldierly.” Fury is supposed to be about screaming barbarians in woad. You get a sense of that, but it could be stronger.

Indeed it could, and for my money, eventually will be, but that in a nutshell is arms. Fury is about grabbing anything big enough and beating on things until they’re paste. Arms is aboutstyle, about finesse, about perfect control of your weapon, and about taking advantage of openings for huge, devastating blows that get around normal conventions and defenses. If you like the idea of being really, really good at hitting people with a sword the size of a barn door, then arms is for you.

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by Rich Maloy

If I told you the enhancement shaman basic spell rotation was: SR, FE, SW, MW5_LB, MT(0), LS(1), ES_SS, SS, FS, ES, LL, FN would you run away screaming?

What if I told you that was just for single target boss encounters and there’s a different priority for boss fights that require changing targets, another priority for boss fights with heavy adds, and yet another priority for trash mobs. Scared yet?

It’s OK. Please come back. This is what we Enhancers have bouncing around in our head. I’ll make everything alright by breaking it down into a few easy-to-remember chunks. Because we all like chunks.

Thankfully we enhancers have math geniuses calculating the theorycrafting and supercomputer geniuses writing the code to the simulator to help us tweak our output at any level for any given situation. However, this article is not for theorycrafting and not about running simulations.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-EnhSim. Just this week I went through a detailed iterative sim on Stoney’s gear to recalculate optimal gemming and then maximize my output with a new rotation. EnhSim is a seriously awesome tool — and we’ll get to it in a later post — but using it is a process. In fact at progression/end-game levels of play it’s practically required for optimization. But for the Totem Talk enhancement columnist to say “sim it” is just a huge cop-out, and doesn’t exactly make for good reading.

Today’s article isn’t about the utmost optimal and ideal rotation, nor is it about how to get that for yourself. It’s about simplifying a complex rotation. This is to help the new-to-80 (or thereabouts) enhancement shaman wrap their head around a basic core spell rotation.

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WoW Shaman Guide: Thunderstorm

   Posted by: free-wow-guide   in WoW Raiding Guides, WoW Shaman Guides

by Michael Sacco

Elemental is one of those specs. The kind of spec whose 51-point talent is more of a fun, situational ability than one you stick in your regular rotation. The kind that you’ll love and everyone in your party will hate.

That’s right. We’re talkin’ about Thunderstorm today.

In terms of the normal WoW ability “kit,” Thunderstorm is a pretty unique snowflake. What makes it so special?

  • It’s free. Unlike nearly every damaging spell in the game, all Thunderstorm costs you is a global cooldown.
  • It gives you mana for nothing. Not mp5, not lowering the mana costs of spells — this is a straight 8% mana return every 45 seconds if you so desire.
  • It’s got knockback. Twenty yards of it, in fact. Wrath added the knockback ability into the gestalt WoW experience, but it’s still fairly unique, shared only with a few other spells like Typhoon and Blast Wave. And twenty yards is a long way to go.

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by Messiah @ tentonhammer

Since the implementation of escalating badges in Heroic instances many players have found that running a huge number of heroics is a great way to get near end game raid quality gear.  This running of chain heroics grants huge quantities of badges that can be used to buy gear only one level removed from the current end game raid drops. For some players this is the best gear they will ever get since they don’t raid, for others it is a great way to gear up an alt so that they can get in on raids, and for others it is just for profit by selling off the gems they can purchase.

No matter your reason for running the instances there are several ways to make the most out of them. The most important thing when running chain heroics for badges is to make use of the random heroic tool.  Even if you have a preformed group you can still queue for a random heroic and therefore get two frost badges for the first heroic you run that day or two bonus triumph badges if it is the second or later heroic that you run that day.  This really adds up since most heroics grant you 3 or 4 triumph badges, so this gives you a little better than 50% extra badges over time.

Before you actually run any heroics though you should make sure you are geared for it.  Rather than provide gearscore recommendations since what is effective varies so much between classes here is a list of the basic stats you need based on class type.
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by caleb @ Ensidia

When people whisper me in-game and I don’t answer there is usually a good reason for it. Please take no offense if it happens to you. I’m probably afk, or just busy with something else. I’ll try to answer questions on the forums (at least the ones that haven’t been answered already).

Some parts of this guide are taken from the previous guides, obviously the ones that apply for marksman as well in Icecrown Citadel. These are in italic, so you can just skip over it if you read the previous guide and got a general understanding of the appropriate section. This should make it easier if you are only interested in marksman specific information for the Icecrown Citadel dungeon. .

Hunter Guide for Icecrown Citadel


Welcome to the Hunter guide of Icecrown Citadel’s pre heroic mode stage. The guide will only cover raiding related concepts, such as:

-{ I } stats
-{ II } gems, enchants
-{ III } talents, glyphs
-{ IV } shot rotations

• { IV/1 } Kill Shot
• { IV/2 } Serpent Sting
• { IV/3 } Chimera Shot
• { IV/4 } Aimed Shot
• { IV/5 } Silencing Shot
• { IV/6 } Steady Shot
-{ V } a bit of gear selection
-{ VI } buffs, debuffs, consumables
-{ VII } macros
-{ VII } addon recommendation

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by cazerX

To start out:

Click the  image to open in full size.

Do you want this mount? Well, you’re in the right place! Just follow this simple guide, and it’ll be yours in no time.

1. Prerequisites
2. Guide
3. End Note

Part 1 – Prerequisites
You will need to meet three requirements to properly follow this guide:
1. Wrath of the Lich King Expansion
2. A level 80 character, preferably a plate wearer or something that can prevent too much damage from being taken
3. Time and perseverance

Wrath of the Lich King is required to have an 80 character. Time and perseverance may seem “frightening” at this point, but it only took me around 4 days of 1-3 hour farming to get exalted.

Part 2 – The Guide

This section of the guide will be the most expansive, simply because it is the guide. There will be a lot of information here, but don’t let it overwhelm you. Just keep reminding yourself that once it’s done, it’s done

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by Kelly Krehbiel

It’s a known fact that we DPS are a dime a dozen. If we leave an instance (or are kicked), another waiting DPS immediately steps in and the fight goes on. For us, things are a little different. We’re waiting several minutes to run heroics, hoping to close out our dailies before the ‘Enter Dungeon’ button finally arrives.

While it’s true we’re easy to replace, there’s no question we bring value to the fight. If we weren’t around, it would take a significant amount of time for the tanks and healers to get the job done. Thankfully, enrage timers keep us in business we’re handy to have along, so it behooves us to ensure we’re doing our part.

From the way we carry ourselves, to the very mechanics of our class, there’s a few tips we can use to make sure we’re getting the most out of our heroic runs. After the break, we’ll show you how to do just that.

Know Your Manners

Nobody likes a troll.

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by Chase Christian

Dragons. We’ve been hunting these flying lizards for years immemorable. From the first slain whelp of our rogue infancy to the most powerful reptiles in the land, we’ve made our bones by assassinating these majestic reptiles wherever we can find them. No phase in WoW was complete without a dragon (or several) to take out, and Northrend is no different. We’ve faced a variety of dragons already: black, blue, undead, and more. Our axes are strong enough to tear through their scales, while our daggers are adept enough to slide between their armored hides.

The dragon encounters that we face in ICC are of a different breed than what we’re used to fighting. For instance, the first encounter actually has us teaming up with a green dragon to combat Arthas’ corrupting power. The second faces us against the undead brood mother, the largest and most powerful dragon we’ve faced to date. While Deathwing awaits us in Cataclysm, Sindragosa is clearly the ultimate dragon encounter we’ll face at level 80.

Valithria Dreamwalker:

In a change from our typical reaction to seeing a giant dragon inhabiting a roughly boss-sized room, we actually aren’t trying to kill Valithria in any way. She is one of the few inhabitants of ICC that is still in possession of free will, and the job has fallen to us to save her from captor, Arthas. This captured green dragon remains mostly passive throughout the fight, besides opening portals to the Emerald Dream realm for your healers to take. The real fight consists of a serious amount of add control: focusing down high priority targets while also making sure to keep the boss and your healers safe from attackers.

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