Archive for the ‘WoW Instance’ Category

by Dawn Moore

Everything you thought you knew has been defenestrated.

At least, with Chakra it has. The big news of the build is that Chakra got redesigned. Probably not a surprise to some; it was a bit of a surprise to me. (I regret never getting to try out the original incarnation of it for myself. Sigh.) Anyway, here is the redesigned Chakra from the patch.

Chakra

Instant, 1 min cooldown
When activated, your next Heal, Renew, Prayer of Healing or Smite spell will put you into a corresponding Chakra state. Lasts for 30 sec.

  • Heal — Increases the critical effect chance of your Heal spell by 10%, and your Heal refreshes the duration of your Renew on the target.
  • Renew — Increases the healing done by your Renew spell by 10%, and reduces the global cooldown of your Renew by 0.5 sec.
  • Prayer of Healing — Increases the healing done by your area of effect spells by 10% and reduces the cooldown of your Circle of Healing by 2 sec.
  • Smite — Increases your total damage done by Shadow and Holy spells by 15%.

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by Brian Wood

As the Cataclysm beta continues, the different hunter specs are finally beginning to settle into place. There are still a lot of bugs, a lot of things not working or working oddly, and some talents that clearly need tweaking — and of course, focus regen is being tuned weekly at this point — but the overall PvE feel of each spec is becoming increasingly solid.

Today we’re going to start by looking at the MM spec in Cataclysm, which seems to be the most polished spec at the moment. We are not forgetting SV or BM, which we’ll hit up next week (though BM, as the most changed spec, is also the least finished, with big stuff not working right now). Join me after the cut for rotations, key abilities, how those talents really work and to bask in the awesomeness of the Cataclysm hunter.

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by Allison Robert

5. The Coin Master

There are a lot of truly brilliant touches in this game, and I’ve long held the opinion that the coins in the Dalaran fountain constitute some of Blizzard’s best and most creative work. Their existence is equally subtle; the only clue that they’re there at all is tucked away in three fairly high-level fishing achievements. One has the eerie sense that, lore-wise, the population might have walked past the fountain in Dalaran for years without ever realizing that (evincing the sort of self-aware magic that characterizes the Harry Potter universe) it had quietly preserved the wishes of dozens of major and minor players on the world scene.

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by Allison Robert

Tanking on a bear feels like it’s turning in the direction of protection warrior tanking, which is a good thing, but I’m not sure how close Blizzard is to being done with the tree. As such, don’t take this as anything other than a few observations specific to the current beta build, and a limited few at that. The dungeon finder’s broken at the moment, so groups aren’t as easy to get.

How good is Pulverize?

Pulverize, on the outside, is a pretty sweet deal. It provides instant threat, an indirect threat buff in the form of additional crit, additional Savage Defense uptime and — for now — more rage generation, although that’s likely to be changed (which means Primal Fury in its current form won’t survive). But it does have a problem, and that’s that it turns Lacerate into something within shouting distance of the current incarnation of Swipe. In other words, it’s a skill that you wind up spamming, not because you want to, but because you kind of have to. And Lacerate is a much clumsier tool than Swipe for that purpose.
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by Matt Sampson

This time around, I thought I’d cover a question of increasing frequency: how will elemental scaling work in Cataclysm? After the rollercoaster ride of changes through Wrath of the Lich King, most shaman are a little worried about how things are looking. Since we’re still in the early days of the beta, and since we can’t get to level 85 yet, it’s a bit difficult to do any in-game testing or experimentation.

However, that’s never stopped me before. Rather than building a complex model on things we don’t yet know the mechanics for, what we can do is look at how Lightning Bolt is going to work. Since LB comprises 70-80 percent of our damage, it’s a useful measure of how damage increases with spellpower and critical/haste rating. So for some baselines, we’re going to assume all the raid buffs are present, that the spells can’t miss or resist, and that we’ve got 2.2k intellect, 15 percent haste, and 25 percent critical strike chance. I’m also going to assume a 5 percent mastery value, for when the mastery bonuses come into effect.

We then need to split things up into how they affect the spell. First we look at spellpower bonuses, damage bonuses based on passive talents, buffs and debuffs, which all need to be handled separately. Then we top everything off with critical damage multipliers, factor in Elemental Overload, and top it all off with haste.
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by Chase Christian

Our mastery bonus, according to the latest word from the Cataclysm beta, will place absorb shields on targets of our heals. The shields will absorb 8 percent of the amount of the original heal, with that percent scaling higher as we get the mastery stat on our gear. Currently, priests are the only healers with any sort of absorption effect. They’ve got both Power Word: Shield and Power Word: Barrier, though these are actively-cast absorption spells. Discipline priests also produce shields when they critically hit with a heal, via Divine Aegis. Our effect is clearly different from these, and actually has more in common with a few items than it does with an existing spell or talent.

Absorption bubbles are nothing new

You’re probably familiar with Val’anyr, the only healing legendary and the symbolic healing weapon of Wrath. It has a proc that allows for our heals to produce bubbles on our targets, which is exactly what our new mastery bonus will accomplish. Val’anyr may be the example most embedded in recent memory, there was actually an item long before Ulduar that yielded the same effect. One of the optional bosses in the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj, Viscidus, dropped a trinket called the Scarab Brooch. It produced the same messianic effect, turning healing into bubbles right before our very eyes.

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by Christian Belt

Another beta build hit a couple nights ago — as they tend to do — and it brought a number of class changes. A quick glance at the new talent trees revealed the expected (some talent position swaps, a few talents vanishing, some tooltip alterations, the occasional loss of a rank here and there) and the … unexpected. Three changes in the fire tree, particularly, caught my eye:

  • Critical Mass
  • Molten Shields
  • Oh, and Impact.

Yes, the tooltip for Molten Shields really is “Redesign!” With an exclamation point. For emphasis.

So clearly the fire tree is in a certain amount of flux? I became instantly excited. The fire tree, perhaps more than either of the other two trees, really has been due for some focused attention.

Let’s get started.

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?by Tyler Caraway

I’d like to take you back into the downward spiral that is my life as a beta addict as we take a not so quick gander at how our lovable Moonfire and Insect Swarm are holding up their end of the bargain thus far in the next expansion.

Before that, let me say that I haven’t done any testing of the new instances as of yet, mostly because I’m scared to — very, very scared to — so everything I’ve been doing is limited to questing and work on target dummies. These are nice tools, but they aren’t quite the same as seeing how everything works out within a boss setting. Movement and other caveats to every boss encounter can heavily sway the importance of any single ability at the drop of a hat, so I am saddened that I haven’t been able to actually get in and try my hand at any real encounter.

Anyway, back on point of DoTs — let’s get right into it, shall we?

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by Allison Robert

15. Well Read

Like its considerably more evil counterpart Higher Learning — not an achievement that’s fun to do if your server doesn’t have a specific chat channel dedicated to it, or if the channel that exists is inactive — Well Read requires you to read a number of books. Unlike Higher Learning, the books you’re looking for never disappear, reappear, spawn dummies or break your heart with a despawn a second before you reach them.

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by Allison Robert

This week, we’re continuing our series on Pulling 101 with a look at what happens during the dungeon itself. I was surprised to discover exactly how much of this advice concerns rage management, but shouldn’t have been; any discussion concerning how to pull as a rage tank invariably touches on how to get the most out of an eccentric resource system. A good chunk of this advice will become obsolete as of the Cataclysm content patch, but if you’re leveling and gearing a bear through the dungeon finder, there are still an awful lot of 5-mans between yourself and this fall.

Set the tone

You, as the tank, are the de facto group leader and have more power than anyone (barring the healer) to determine how the run goes. If you’re a nice person, you set a standard for the behavior you expect to see during the run. If you’re an asshole, players are often reluctant to drop because that means going back to a lengthy queue.

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