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Raid Rx: Help! How do I start organizing my healers? - Thu, 05 Feb 2009 21:00:00 EST

Raid Rx has returned from retirement! Every Thursday (usually), Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. This week I explore a few questions that new healing leaders have.

This is a question that caught my attention on the Plusheal forums. Julanna just became their guild's de facto healing lead and had some important questions to ask.

So, I have become our de facto healing lead. We have very little structure. We need some. I am not sure how to get some coordination going between our healers.

How do you communicate with your healers? How much do they expect from you in terms of instructions or advice? Is it before the raid? During? How can you get the raid leader to understand that healing assignments other than "don't let people die" are important and make things go better (especially if it is a tank with a healer alt)?

I am not positive about assigning other classes of heals, and I am the only holy priest.

Any resources out there I should look at? That may inform me of other classes basic skills, spells, etc?
Or any advice you may have from a newb officer, newb healing lead, newb progression raider from a new guild?

I'll break up these questions individually and answer them based on my own experience.

Continue reading Raid Rx: Help! How do I start organizing my healers?

Raid Rx: Help! How do I start organizing my healers? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 05 Feb 2009 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sapphiron and Malygos hotfixes - Thu, 05 Feb 2009 20:30:00 EST
Just in time for everyone's raiding tonight, Lead Encounter Designer Daelo has announced two important hotfixes that have gone live.

Sapphiron and Malygos both should now be working as intended.

Sapphiron's Frost aura has been hotfixed to return to levels that we've all seen previous to patch 3.0.8. This means there should be 1200 damage every 2 seconds in the 10-man version, and 1600 damage every 2 seconds in the 25-man version. Note however that the tooltip is incorrect, in that it says the damage occurs every second. According to Daelo this will be fixed in the next client patch (and no, there is no indication of when that is).

As for Malygos...

Continue reading Sapphiron and Malygos hotfixes

Sapphiron and Malygos hotfixes originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 05 Feb 2009 20:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Pronouncing character names correctly - Thu, 05 Feb 2009 20:00:00 EST
Sylphine suffers from a problem that's very close to home for me: her character's name is often pronounced incorrectly by others in game. And while it's close not only because I routinely mangle names on the podcast (both accidentally and sometimes, I'll admit, for comedic purposes), but my own name is of questionable pronounciation. When I was creating my very first character ingame, I was stumbling around for a creative name, and I ended up going with a variation of the word I saw on the "Random" button in front of me: Rande. Truth be told, I have no idea how to pronounce it -- I guess I prefer "Rand" over "Randey," only because the second sounds so close to "Randy," so usually I'll just go what whatever someone says in the game. But I can see Sylphine's issue: it's probably a pain to spend so much time on a name only to have it wrecked daily.

And of course, this epidemic isn't only connected to character names -- being that this is a virtual world where text is the usual form of communication, it's very common to see place names and NPC names mispronounced more often than not.

In the end, you just have to do what I do: try your best and hope you get it right. And from the other side of it, don't be too angry when people mess up your name. There are 12 million of us out there, and nobody's going to get everything right.

Pronouncing character names correctly originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 05 Feb 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Dough, a deer: engineering a Little Fawn - Thu, 05 Feb 2009 19:00:00 EST

Given my history as one, you'd imagine that I have a fondness for ungulates. You'd be right! And by introducing a baby deer pet as an achievement reward for collecting 75 pets, Blizzard has effectively doomed me to a life of waaaant. I mean, I like achievements well enough -- I'm not as crazy about them as some of my guildies are, mind you-- but I seriously hate farming, and a lot of pets require rep grinding or luck of the RNG. No thanks. I'll admire from afar.

I'm not the only person who wants a deer anyway, though (who wouldn't!), and that desire's resulted in some creative tinkering by those under the recently-lowered achievement cap and still fawning over the, ah, fawn. Some have even been kind enough to share their tricks of the trade for grabbing Baby Deerest.

Foreverdarkness over on the venerable wow_ladies LiveJournal community relayed her admittedly creative way of grabbing that final pet -- dropping her beloved Skinning and picking up Engineering to farm herself up a Bombling. The pet's only available to engineers, as it's BoP, but you can still summon it even if you're no longer an engineer, so she set to work grinding through the skill points necessary. There was another problem, though--you can only get the pet as a random reward when you renew your membership as a Goblin Engineer. So, she repeatedly renewed her license at 2 gold a pop, which, given the history of RNG, could have resulted in a lot of dough for a little doe. She was lucky, though, and (achievement in hand) was soon able to bring her diminutive deer along for a trip to scenic Naxxramas.

I was hoping she'd keep her engineering skill, as skinning is hardly a skill that our Little Fawn would approve of, but alas! The appeal of Master of Anatomy is too high. Can't win 'em all!

Dough, a deer: engineering a Little Fawn originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 05 Feb 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Wear shoulder pads like it's 1989 and get The Immortal title - Thu, 05 Feb 2009 18:30:00 EST


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

Salutations and fond wishes everyone. Today in the queue we'll spend a moment looking at shoulders you can get for your alts. Shoulder padding, if you will... Remember shoulder pads? I hear they were popular in the '80s. Along with Ghostbusters. And Ghostcrawler is popular now. So therefore Ghostcrawler is only two steps removed from the fads of the '80s.

Bet ya' didn't see that one coming.

Be sure to submit your questions about patch 3.1 in the comments. We'll try to answer as many as possible in the next few days.

Jared Daniels asks...

"Would you recommend getting the inherited plate shoulder pads solely for the purpose of leveling my Death Knight and Warrior from 70-80? My main is a Mage and I am coming close to being able to buy the ones from using Stone Keeper Shards. If no, then what would you recommend I do with the shards?"

Continue reading The Queue: Wear shoulder pads like it's 1989 and get The Immortal title

The Queue: Wear shoulder pads like it's 1989 and get The Immortal title originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 05 Feb 2009 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Two Bosses Enter: Ormorok the Tree-Shaper vs. Meathook - Thu, 05 Feb 2009 18:00:00 EST


Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.

Leaving Drakkari Colossus licking its wounds from Week Two's tussle with King Ymiron, Two Bosses Enter moves on to the next matchup in our current season: Ormorok the Tree-Shaper (The Nexus) versus Meathook (The Culling of Stratholme).

The basics: Assume that each boss has approximately the same level, health and damage output as the other and that they're fighting in neutral territory. We're out to debate the three S's: Style, Story and Scale. Don't get caught up in game dynamics of each in-game encounter. Consider the flavor each villainous gladiator brings to bear, and cast your vote for who you think would come out on top.

Continue reading Two Bosses Enter: Ormorok the Tree-Shaper vs. Meathook

Two Bosses Enter: Ormorok the Tree-Shaper vs. Meathook originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 05 Feb 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW, Casually: Tips for keeping your account safe - Thu, 05 Feb 2009 17:00:00 EST

Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Amaxe suggested in the comments of a previous column that I cover addons for casuals, which I think is a great idea. But that will have to wait until next week, because I think that we should first make sure that you all practice safe internet use before sending you off to find addons. There are different security camps that always argue in the comments about what operating systems, browsers and browser addons are best for keeping your computer secure, but I'm going to keep this very simple and assume that you are not willing to run out and buy a new computer with an unfamiliar operating system. Here are some tips for making your account more secure.

Continue reading WoW, Casually: Tips for keeping your account safe

WoW, Casually: Tips for keeping your account safe originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 05 Feb 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Two Bosses Enter: The Wrath season lineup - Thu, 05 Feb 2009 16:30:00 EST


Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.

With two matches under our belts already this season, it's time to lay out the season's preliminary lineup of bosses from Wrath of the Lich King's five-man instances. Two Bosses Enter, One Boss Leaves is our series of fantasy death matches between the game's infamous PvE villains.

The central tenet of a Two Bosses matchup is an assumption that the bosses are of approximately the same level and health. It's fighting abilities and style we're debating here - so don't get caught up in actual game mechanics. Consider the flavor each villainous gladiator brings to bear, and cast your vote for who you think would come out on top.

Join us after the break to see the first round of pairings for this seasons' five-man Wrath boss death matches.

Continue reading Two Bosses Enter: The Wrath season lineup

Two Bosses Enter: The Wrath season lineup originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 05 Feb 2009 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW in 3D doesn't work so well - Thu, 05 Feb 2009 16:00:00 EST
3D seems to be making a reemergence lately -- there was a 3D commercial on the Super Bowl last week, I'm going to see Coraline in 3D this weekend (Neil Gaiman and stop motion for the win), and Nvidia's 3D Vision cards have recently been integrated with World of Warcraft. But not so fast there: apparently while the system does make WoW stereoscopic (sends a different picture to each eye), and while it does work for some media (apparently watching 3D HD content with the system "feels like your monitor is a window"), analyst Rob Enderle over at TG Daily says WoW in 3D isn't all that amazing.

Let's not forget, of course, that this is a game going on four years old, and while it has a terrific art style, and has recieved multiple graphic updates since then, we're still dealing with old technology in terms of a graphic engine. So Enderle says that the 3D really makes you realize that there are no real physics in the game -- "the objects," he says, "look like flat cutouts fanned out in a 3D field." The physical limitations are there, too -- you need a special monitor, apparently, and it's only 22" big, which might seem fine for most, but anyone who works all day on a computer (like yours truly), is used to a little bigger screen.

Not to mention that, as he says, any technology that requires you to wear glasses isn't quite as cool as it could be yet. But 3D is obviously making progress, and the more popular it gets, the easier it'll be to make and experience. Maybe someday we'll all see Azeroth as a 3D world around us.

WoW in 3D doesn't work so well originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 05 Feb 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mana regeneration changing dramatically in 3.1 - Thu, 05 Feb 2009 15:35:00 EST

The devs have been telling us for some time that they're not happy with the current state of (most) healers having infinite mana, and it looks like the reckoning is going to come in 3.1. And make no mistake, we're getting hit hard.

Continue reading Mana regeneration changing dramatically in 3.1

Mana regeneration changing dramatically in 3.1 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 05 Feb 2009 15:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Searching for the Vanish bug - Thu, 05 Feb 2009 15:30:00 EST
Are you sitting down, Rogues? Ghostcrawler finally addressed the Vanish bug over on the forums, but not in the way you'd want him to: he says that while it probably is a bug, they can't seem to find it. According to Mr. Street, every time they sit down and try to recreate the bug issues with Vanish (aggro isn't lost when it's supposed to be), they come up short, like a mechanic who never hears that rattling in your car.

I'll echo what many players in the thread say: it is there. I've had it bite me many times -- given that I don't Arena much, it's usually when I pull aggro from multiple mobs while soloing, and try to Vanish away: one of them will strangely keep attacking me. But in terms of reproducing it, GC's got me -- I don't know when it happens, or what circumstances make it happen, I just know that it happens. And when it does, it's annoying.

He also says that like Onyxia Deep Breath-ing more, the Vanish bug has moved into a kind of legendary perpetual problem, so much so that they can't tell the real complaints from the jokes. So maybe for your favorite bug in the game (ahem, someday I'll get a Cower bug fix), it's not so much a matter of Blizzard just fixing it, as Blizzard finding out why it's happening in the first place.

Searching for the Vanish bug originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 05 Feb 2009 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Dual-spec disclosure distant? Denied! - Thu, 05 Feb 2009 15:00:00 EST

I know what you're thinking right now, WoW player. You're thinking "Boy, now that I've got a full set of offspec gear from running the only three raid instances available for the past two or three months, it sure would be nice if I could switch specs at will and make use of it with Blizzard's promised dual-spec system!" Then your cynical side inevitably kicks in, though, and you say "Harrumph! Blizzard has promised me many things in the past, on which they didn't deliver!" Then, you remember no one ever promised you player housing and it's a dumb idea anyway.

Dual-specs, though, are a fantastic idea, and cynical though you are, you may appreciate Nethaera's candor regarding just how soon we'll have info on this excellent new system sure to solve everyone's problems. Well, it's just "soon", but that's better than nothing. So stay strong, hybrids who want to DPS sometimes and anyone who wants to PVP and raid on the same day without going broke -- your day is coming!

Of course, wait ... the sooner this feature arrives, the sooner I can be asked to heal on my Elemental shaman without it being an inconvenience. Blizzard, can I ... can I have a quick word? No? All right then, how would you feel about discussing this with ... Mr. Franklin?


Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.

Dual-spec disclosure distant? Denied! originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 05 Feb 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blizzard responds to the Glider decision - Thu, 05 Feb 2009 14:30:00 EST
Blizzard (via Nethaera) has released a nice long statement on the Glider outcome over on the forums. She basically runs through the history of the case and why Blizzard is against what Glider is doing, and why going through the courts was the only route left to them. She says that Warden (though called only "security measures") was enabled in response to player concerns about bots, and that when the MDY/Glider people circumvented Warden, their only recourse was to seek an injunction through the courts, which, as we've reported recently, they plan to have soon.

She does say that Blizzard won based on the judge's decision that MDY did violate the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, but Neth doesn't go any further into the issue, and doesn't elaborate at all on what might happen if this case is used as a precedent against other types of Terms of Use violations. As you might expect from an official Blizzard telling of the tale, the case is seen as a victory for Blizzard and their players -- for them, it's all about keeping bots out of Azeroth, and this decision will definitely help them do that.

And that's obviously not a bad thing -- most players will agree that MDY was allowing players to cheat (by letting the game play automatically without them in control), and thus preventing the client from being used in-game is a good thing. It's just that DMCA issue that might be a nagging problem -- we'll have to see what happens with that in the future.

Blizzard responds to the Glider decision originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 05 Feb 2009 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rolling restarts on all realms - Thu, 05 Feb 2009 14:00:00 EST


Bornakk broke the news earlier today that all realms will be going down, saying that Blizzard needs to perform urgent rolling restarts today, Thursday. He notes that all realms will be down for approximately 15 minutes and that the procedure, slated to start at 10:30am PST, will last approximately one hour.

However, reports indicate that restarts have taken on a different form than expected, as many realms went down several times for a short period several hours earlier. These rolling restarts, lasting no more than a few minutes per realm, occurred much earlier than Bornakk's announcement. Blizzard did not indicate what problems they will be fixing with these emergency restarts. We'll keep you posted as we learn more.

Rolling restarts on all realms originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 05 Feb 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Analysis of Warlock changes in 3.1 - Thu, 05 Feb 2009 13:30:00 EST

By now, Warlocks, you've probably had a chance to take a look at the announced changes for patch 3.1. If you're late to the party, come in, I'll take your coat; Blizzard have announced some of the changes they'll be making to the Warlock class in the upcoming 3.1 content patch. Keeping in mind that this list is incomplete (they'll be making more changes, count on it) and subject to change (on the PTR, etc.), let's talk about what they've revealed so far.

Improved Shadow Bolt - this talent now provides a 5% spell critical strike buff (similar to Improved Scorch)

This goes along with what they were saying about Imp Scorch being too much of a "unique snowflake." It also restores group utility to a talent that had it stripped away in 3.0. I like it, a lot. This is also early enough in the tree that almost any warlock can pick it up if their raid needs it.

Improved Soul Leech - this talent now provides Replenishment (similar to shadow priests)

Has Blizz been reading my posts? I'm really glad that they're spreading Replenishment around. And Destruction could use a little bit of mana-back utility itself. Warlocks have always been the utility caster, and this is just stacking that higher and higher. Keep it coming, I say.

Continue reading Analysis of Warlock changes in 3.1

Analysis of Warlock changes in 3.1 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 05 Feb 2009 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Analysis of Druid changes in 3.1 - Thu, 05 Feb 2009 13:00:00 EST

Earlier today, Eyonix released some details on some changes that we can expect in patch 3.1. They're not exactly earth-shattering like some classes' changes, but there is still some interesting stuff in there. Let's get down to analysis.

Savage Defense - this is a new passive ability. When a druid in Dire Bear form deals a melee critical strike, the druid gains a damage shield equal to 25% of their attack power. The next hit completely removes the shield regardless of how much damage was done.

Survival of the Fittest has had its bonus armor reduced to compensate for the above increase in damage mitigation.

I'm going to take these two points together, because they're inseparable. Savage Defense is interesting, and you certainly can't call it a direct copy of some other class's ability (an issue that's plagued us in the past).

Let's look at the numbers involved, since it's hard to make sense of the ability straight off the bat (at least for me). In Dire Bear form with my heroic and crafted blues and epics, self-buffed, I have right around 4,000 AP. So when I crit with a melee ability (I have a 27% crit chance), I get a shield that absorbs up to 1,000 damage from the next hit.

Continue reading Analysis of Druid changes in 3.1

Analysis of Druid changes in 3.1 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 05 Feb 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Analysis of Warriors changes in 3.1 - Thu, 05 Feb 2009 12:30:00 EST

Hello, my fellow warriors. Change is at hand. How does it affect us, you may ask? Well, let us break down the changes.

WARRIOR
  • Changing stances now has a much reduced cost: you lose a maximum of 20 rage (10 with Tactical Mastery). For example, if you have 100 rage and change stances, you will have 80 rage remaining. If you have 10 rage and change stances, all of your rage is lost. In addition, we may change the penalties associated with some stances.
  • You now gain rage when damage done to you is absorbed, such as through a Power Word: Shield.
  • Blood Frenzy now causes 2/4% physical damage done.
  • Sunder Armor (and similar debuffs) now reduces armor by 4% per application, and is now a single rank. Creature armor has been globally reduced so that debuffed targets should take about the same damage from physical attacks that they did before this change. The net effect should be that this debuff is slightly less mandatory in PvE and is not disproportionately more powerful against cloth targets in PvP.
  • We are also adding increased damage to Arms, possibly through Overpower or Slam.
  • We are also looking at granting rage when the warrior blocks, dodges or parries.

We talked about stance penalties this week, and frankly, this one change is the biggest and best news for warriors in quite some time. The rest of the changes are either positive or sort of neutral.

Continue reading Analysis of Warriors changes in 3.1

Analysis of Warriors changes in 3.1 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 05 Feb 2009 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Dude, Where's My Mount? Episode 8 -- Awww Nuts - Thu, 05 Feb 2009 12:00:00 EST

Some of the language in this movie may not be appropriate for work.

Apt-T Productions is back with the well-anticipated Dude, Where's My Mount? Episode 8 -- Awww Nuts. In terms of ongoing, serial machinima, the DWMM legacy has really been growing. Between DWMM and the Chronicle of the Annoying Quest, fan-film viewers are truly starting to get meaningful, full seasons of entertainment.

In this episode, our bewildered heroes return from the really real world (man), and land back in Azeroth. After a bit of confusion, they get chased around by dragons. And that's when they find the Elf Girl. Interestingly, the credits to this episode thank Felicia Day. (You might have heard of her.) Was the Elf Girl voice-acted by Felicia? I wasn't sure, and couldn't pick out the voice to be certain. Anyway, hijinks continue, and the pair of heroes find themselves in the midst of a squirrel army.

I really feel like DWMM is getting better and better. Like so many serial novels and fiction, the longer the characters exist to gain life and depth, the more interesting they become. The comedic stride is also clearly evolving, as I find myself smiling and laughing a little more with each episode.

Edit: Voice credits at the end conifrm Chelsea Sprauer performed the Elf Girl. Thanks Kincaid!

If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.

Previously on Moviewatch ..

WoW Moviewatch: Dude, Where's My Mount? Episode 8 -- Awww Nuts originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 05 Feb 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Upcoming 3.1 class changes: Warlock, Druid, Warrior - Thu, 05 Feb 2009 11:15:00 EST

This is part two in a promised three-part series from Blizzard going over class changes that are coming in patch 3.1. Part one dropped last night, covering Shamans, Priests, and Rogues. This morning's episode covers some changes that are coming to Warlocks, Druids, and Warriors. And just to be preemptive, don't say "that's it?!". It's not. This is just some of the changes that your class will be seeing, and they're subject to further change as the patch evolves.

Warlock

  • Improved Shadow Bolt - this talent now provides a 5% spell critical strike buff (similar to Improved Scorch).
  • Improved Soul Leech - this talent now provides Replenishment (similar to shadow priests)
  • Drain Soul now has a chance to produce Soul Shards even if the target doesn't die.
  • Siphon Life no longer as an active ability but the talent grants the old Siphon Life effect to Corruption.
  • Curse of Recklessness and Curse of Weakness have been combined into one spell
  • Consume Shadows - this Voidwalker ability is no longer channeled but has a cooldown.
  • Several other warlock talents have had their ranks reduced, their effects changed or removed. This list includes but is not limited to Demonic Empathy, Shadow Embrace, Eradication, Suppression, and Pandemic.
  • Additional new talents have been added.

Continue reading Upcoming 3.1 class changes: Warlock, Druid, Warrior

Upcoming 3.1 class changes: Warlock, Druid, Warrior originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 05 Feb 2009 11:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The role of the Priest - Thu, 05 Feb 2009 11:00:00 EST

Well, this is really a first for Blizzard (ever since the game was initially released and the class descriptions written, anyway). Ghostcrawler has noticed that there are a lot of questions saying people don't understand what the role of the Priest is right now. Accordingly, he has gone and written up "what [Blizzard] think of as the role of the priest class." I think it's interesting enough to reproduce in its entirety; I'll go through it one paragraph at a time.

The priest is a caster class that uses Holy and Shadow magic. Priests can only wear cloth armor and have a limited selection of weapons, but do most of their damage and healing from range. They make up for their low armor with spells that offer protection and healing.

This is obvious enough to anyone who has been a member of the Priest community long enough ("one tough cookie," anyone?). Still, it's nice to see it spelled out, I guess. And it does emphasize that our defenses are more in terms of "protection and healing," instead of in terms of escape skills like a Rogue (for example) has.

Continue reading The role of the Priest

The role of the Priest originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 05 Feb 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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