"Ask a Beta Tester" took a short break during patch 3.02 madness, but we're back!
What happened with the glyphs that turned (Druids) into a polar bear or a lynx?
This is a question I asked constantly in the beta for about a week. As much as I was excited about the talent changes and new skills, I was even more excited about form customization, because I hate Tauren cat form. I love my class dearly, but all of the form models have basically been unchanged since the original game went live, which is very hard for those of us forced to live with the unadulterated suck of Tauren cat form. It's kind of a bitter pill to swallow wandering the beautifully rendered landscapes of Northrend and seeing the quantum leap of Blizzard's artistic touch while using an ancient, low-polygon model like Tauren cat form. I found out that Glyph of the Red Lynx (and other Druid-form glyphs) hadn't actually gone live, which was a devastating blow to those of us with Tauren cat form. The glyphs exist in the game files, but none are trainable or discoverable; the developers apparently came to the decision that forcing Druids to use a glyph slot to customize their forms wasn't a great idea, and they're leaning toward the idea of patching in the ability to get the hell out of Tauren cat form using the barbershop. Frankly I think most Druids would agree that's a much better option, especially if they have to use Tauren cat form. Or see it. Or occupy the same game with it.
In the days since Echoes of Doom went live, I've spent pretty much every minute of my play time in the Battlegrounds. Alright, that's probably not too different from how I used to spend my time pre-patch, but this time it's different. Instead of playing the Battlegrounds intending to earn Honor, I would go in looking to complete Achievements geared towards my end goal. Here are six relatively easy Achievements you can pursue during this Warsong Gulch holiday while playing solo. Capture the Flag Even if you're not a Druid, you have every right to go and grab that flag. This one should be easy enough to do with a little luck and cooperation from your teammates. You know the drill -- grab that flag and bring it home. Quick Cap This one is more difficult than the previous one if you play a class with no special means to move around like Travel Form or Blink. This also requires that you travel virtually unmolested, so any attempt by the opposing team to stop you or possession of your team's flag will likely cut your attempt short. You'll just need a little perseverance here. You should probably travel through the tunnels to try and get both speed buffs and pack some Swiftness Potions for that necessary boost. Keep your fingers crossed.
Now that the patch has been out for several days, players are slowly getting accustomed to various specs and talents. They're trialing them now in raid situations to get a future handle for them when they hit raiding at 80. How well did they hold up?
Here's a brief summary of the 3 raid specs I suggested:
14/47/0 (Traditional with CoH): Here's the spec many Holy Priests are used to. Key talents include Meditation, Improved Power Word Fortitude, Surge of Light, Circle of Healing, Serendipity, and Improved Holy Concentration (up to 2 ranks). The emphasis is on trying to maximize your mana return as much as possible.
4/57/0 (Guardian Spirit): Only 4 points invested into Discipline for this spec. You're nabbing all the upper tier ones including Guardian Spirit. Even though the cheat death effect isn't as useful right now, raiding with this spec will serve as good practice for those that do want to master it. At level 80, the 10 additional talent points can be used to snag Meditation and Inner Focus. Right now, the one thing going against this spec is the mana regeneration. I get a nice healthy 800+ mana regen out of combat. But if I'm in combat I only get about 125 mp5. So experiment with this spec if your raid DPS is insanely overwhelming. The race is between the damage your raid dishes out and the mana resources your healers have.
56/5/0 (Penance): Key talents include Focused Power, Rapture, Divine Aegis, Pain Suppression, Grace, Borrowed Time, and Penance. A reader brought up a great point in comments last week. There's no realistic reason to grab Reflective Shield. That was a mistake on my end and has been taken into consideration. As a result, I've adjusted the Disc tree spec accordingly. I get to jump into Black Temple again tonight and I'm going to switch to this and give it a shot.
Note that none of the specs above have any points invested in Silent Resolve. Especially with the latest patch and the way threat is, there is no reason to grab any right now. The tanks I play with generate an insane amount of threat. However, please keep in mind that these are suggested specs. Your actual mileage may vary. If you're encountering threat problems, then by all means feel free to pick up Silent Resolve.
Our weekly podcast will be going on the airwaves at 3:30pm Eastern (for about an hour and a half or so), and since we've recently uprooted to a new venue, we're trying something new today -- after the jump, we've put an embedded stream of the podcast, which you can listen to right here on WoW Insider.
If you like, you can also just go over to the Ustream page itself, and there'll you'll be able to jump into the chat room, and answer some live polls and other things during the podcast. Plus, we'll be giving away some loot codes during the show as well. Patrick Beja will be on with us to talk about his experiences at BlizzCon, and Turpster and Adam Holisky will join us as well. If you're around this afternoon (maybe playing the new patch or just reading up on our latest posts), click the link below to check it out.
Anyone else's head spinning like that chick in The Exorcist? I'm not saying I need a priest to come and cast patch 3.0.2 out of my body or anything, I'm just saying that holy crap. That was a lot of stuff, all at once. Even though I've been playing the beta, and constantly scanning this site and various others for information to prepare myself for all that was changing when the patch finally went live, it was still overwhelming to log in when my server finally came back up late Tuesday night and see how crazy everything had gotten. To be quite honest, I'm still adjusting.
In a ton of ways, what we're logging into today is an entirely different game than the one we logged into five days ago, even though our levels are still the same, we're still doing the same quests, and playing the same end-game content. Our mounts are still there, but in a different place. The bosses we're fighting still look the same, but are now way easier to kill. Many of our talents have the same names, but now do completely different things. Spells that were previously good are now bad, and some that were useless on Monday are perfectly serviceable today.
With the information overload we've all been presented with, I have found it best to focus on one or two things at a time, instead of attempting any sort of larger view. I look at each change as I notice it, rather than trying to address them all at once, purely out of fear of my head exploding. If you missed them in all the chaos, Arcane Brilliance did a two-part preview of the major changes, and you can find those here and here. After the jump, I'll go over some of the sparkly newness I've noticed but haven't covered yet in this space, both documented changes that managed to surprise me as well as those that flew a bit more under-the-radar.
The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top Arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Netherdrakes.
If you've been following Arena since its inception, you're probably already aware of Megatf. A leading Hunter in the Arena, Megatf has written several guides for how to get by in 2v2. Megatf has a dedicated following in the official Hunter boards, and you can always rely on his advice being seasoned and experienced. He certainly cleaned up in the final days of Season 4, and continues to dominate the "skirmish Season" before Wrath of the Lich King.
The Colosseum caught up with him to ask about how a Hunter has done so well. Check out his answers behind the cut.
Shadow Priest talent build for Patch 3.0.2 - Sat, 18 Oct 2008 12:00:00 EST Echoes of Doom is here, along with all of its tasty new talent points. Things haven't changed very much for us Shadow Priests. If you enjoyed the Shadow Priest playstyle before, you still will. The numbers you put out in terms of Healing, DPS and mana regen are wildly different, but the buttons you push are pretty much the same. If you found Shadow Priest playstyle (not necessarily the numbers game) a little stale before patch 3.0.2, this patch and even Wrath itself won't change that very much. If you plan on sticking with Shadow, good on ya.
I'm going to lay out my current Shadow talent build and explain why I picked the talents I did. Keep in mind that this spec is not for every aspect of the game. It's not even for every player. I'm using this spec as a level 70, PvE raiding spec. It's not perfect, I'm not completely happy with it, but I think that's because our trees are currently meant for level 80 and not level 70. I haven't been able to come up with something I like better yet. When I plan ahead for level 80, it feels much more complete. We don't have the luxury of those extra 10 talent points yet, so this is what I'm using for now:
Tier 1 I skipped Blackout because its raiding applications are very limited. It works on some trash, but never bosses. That's a big 'meh' for sure. I went with Spirit Tap and Improved Spirit Tap, because that's going to act as a Shadow Priest's Meditation for now. Finally, Tier 1 of the Shadow tree has something genuinely useful to raiders!
No, only joking -- of course it's probably just some Northrend green vendor trash (although item level 73... that might be pretty good). Too bad we won't know until someone hits level 75, as lockpicking's general skill formula is five times whatever your level is. But apparently the last patch added at least some higher level loot to the world drop tables -- any of you seen any Wrath greens or other gear randomly drop yet?
Oh, Elune, what happened last night? My arm feels all fuzzy. Fuzzy and warm and soft. And moving! Aagh, I'm full of squirrels! And they've nested! My trainer told me that the Autumnal Acorn Ale was a bad idea, but I didn't listen, did I ... and now they've moved right in with me. Well, they haven't noticed that I'm up yet. Maybe I can gnaw off my branch and escape before they wake up and want breakfast. It's a small price to pay for my freedom. (Thanks to Pinkberry, who left this in a comment on the original Ale post!)
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With Hallow's End in full swing ghosts and pirates, ninjas and squashlings are running about. Orphans need chaperoning, Wickermen need burning and Headless Horsemen need, uh, unhorsing. Out of all the many activities available to you over the next two weeks (and the Hallow's End Achievement, oh the Achievement!) which one's are you most interested in accomplishing?
Shadow Priest changes and glyphs in beta build 9095 - Sat, 18 Oct 2008 06:00:00 EST A new beta build went live yesterday evening, and while it wasn't a massive patch, I don't think very many of them will be anymore. We're pretty close to the launch of Wrath of the Lich King, so I think a lot of the class changes will just be fine tuning from here on out. The glyphs coming in these beta patches look like they may be a little more exciting, though. With professions, especially something like Inscription, they can add new recipes whenever they'd like. You can't quite do that with new spells. I expect we'll be seeing new glyphs right up until the day Wrath launches and plenty afterwards, too.
Shadow Priests got a few good changes, a few bad changes in this patch. Let's take a look at the Glyphs first, then the class changes:
Glyph of Shadow Word: Pain - Increases the damage done by your Mind Flay spell by 10% when your target is afflicted with Shadow Word: Pain. Changed from: Reduces the mana cost of Shadow Word: Pain by 20%.
Glyph of Mind Soothe has been removed. Replaced with Glyph of Shadow: While in Shadowform, your spell critical strikes increase your spell power by 10% of your Spirit for 10 seconds.
Woohoo! It looks like our glyphs are on the right track finally! The new Shadow Word: Pain glyph is so much better than its previous incarnation, my mind is nearly blown. Glyph of Shadow looks downright fun. I was looking at Warrior glyphs the other night and wondered why their glyphs were so fun while most classes get straight bonuses or even punishment in their glyphs. Things like Glyph of Shadow is what I like to see from glyphs. Things that are fun and exciting. Something beyond 'more damage' or 'longer stun.' I min-max like crazy, but that doesn't mean I don't like my min-maxing to sparkle, you know? Eh! On to the class changes:
Blows things up, that is. Out of all the trees -- and I mean all including the other classes -- no tree got more love than Retribution in the Echoes of Doom patch. For many of us, it's been a long time coming. No other class spec has been the butt of more jokes and the target of such derision as Retribution. Not anymore. Not in Patch 3.0.2 and the days leading up to Wrath of the Lich King. Retribution deals so much pain that we've sent the rest of player base running to Ghostcrawler crying for a nerf. And we're getting nerfed. To the ground.
Don't panic. The changes are really, mostly aimed at PvP Paladins -- okay, that's me -- but will largely leave Paladin PvE damage output the same. That's excellent news. Because I've grown accustomed to the idea that quite a lot of you guys prefer PvE to PvP, we'll take a look at a PvE Retribution build that will make you the darling of your Heroic runs and more than welcome in raids. Let's bring on the pain after the jump.
Haven't done a Mace in a while, and there are surprisingly few melee maces floating around nowadays. Since Shamans can't wield swords, most of the really high end maces have spellpower on them. But here's one that's meant for cracking heads.
Improves hit rating by 19, improves haste by 27, and increases attack power by 40.
This isn't a weapon at the top of anybody's game (especially with the nerf to maces wielded by Rogues in 3.0.2). But it is good as a stopgap, especially for Fury Warriors in the offhand slot trying to spam Execute and needing a fast weapon to do so (at 1.50, this is definitely a fast weapon).
But don't get too angry, commenters -- there are definitely plenty of other weapons to use at this level and above. The only reason you'd really jump on this one is if you're melee DPS in need of a nice Epic mace in Black Temple, and you're not first in line to grab any of the really great ones that come from the bosses. Not everybody gets to wield Warglaives or the Syphon, not right away.
How to Get It: Drops from Black Temple trash, and seriously, have you been in there after the patch yet? It's a free-for-all. Blizzard's big solution to having no one see the endgame was to nerf it to oblivion before Wrath so everyone could get in there and get all of the Epic looting out of their system.
So round up 24 friends (you'll still need to be at least a little epic before you go in there, don't skimp on the SSC and TK runs), head into BT, and loot the place for all it's worth. Eventually, this one will drop, and if you're a melee-er who needs a mace, win the roll and it's yours. Of course, you can expect it to be replaced in Northrend eventually, but who cares? An epic is an epic, right?
Getting Rid of It: Disenchants into a Void Crystal, sells for 14g 1s 84c. Too bad you can't melt it down -- putting all your money into swiftsteel might actually be a pretty good idea in this economy.
Times are changing. Where previously you could merely craft epic swords and new-fangled flying machines, you can now craft success.
Achievement points, the latest addictive means of displaying your awesomeness, are all the rage, and can be crafted up in a jiffy. Well, maybe two jiffies.
As a level 70, there is one achievement you almost certainly have, and that is "Professional Master." This is awarded once you train the highest rank of any given profession, and serves as a little pat on the back for a job well done.
Ready to go further? Get ready to maximize your fishing, cooking and first aid skills!
Welcome back to The Care and Feeding of Warriors. The carnage you see above you is the entire Scarlet Monastery Cathedral (and all the mobs before it, too!) except for the ones who died before we got this far. (I stole this idea shamelessly from a commenter named Brian Arnold.The video he linked is pretty much exactly how it went down for me.) Damage Shield, you complete me. Well, you and Shockwave, and the new limitless target Thunder Clap. This is my build: I skipped over Anticipation because, while an excellent talent, I want to be hit instead of dodged. I'll pick it back up again once we start leveling. A couple of fun screenshots from my character panel:
This is my admittedly gimmicky shield block value set. Pretty much every piece on it has block or str, I hover at around 16000 health in it. What I find really fun (and what allowed me to pull the entire Cath as well as both bosses onto myself) was this next trick. Nothing up my sleeve but Shield Block.
Yes, it's a time of change for the WoW Insider Show -- just a little over a year ago, we started out as a partnership with WoW Radio, but time has passed, we've grown bigger and bigger, and now it's time to move out on our own. What does this mean for you? Nothing much -- it only means that tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm Eastern, instead of joining us on WoW Radio, you'll be joining us on our brand new Ustream channel, where you'll be able to listen to our podcast live, chat with everyone else listening to the show (no IRC required), and even try out some fun new features we've baked into the festivities.
Other than that, nothing else has changed -- we're still providing news and views on the World of Warcraft, and yes, Turpster is still along for the ride. Tomorrow on the show, we'll ask him why he couldn't find a ship captain to carry him across the ocean to BlizzCon, and we'll welcome WoW Insider blogger Adam Holisky (who was at BlizzCon), and our good friend Patrick Beja, who not only attended nearly every panel at last weekend's BlizzCon, but has actually been inside Blizzard HQ as well. Plus, we don't know if you've heard of a little thing called patch 3.0.2, but we'll take a look at what Echoes of Doom has given us, including achievements, glyphs, and all the strange things you've been discovering this week. And we'll even look at what it hasn't given us quite yet.
Oh, and did we mention the giveaways? We'll be giving away not one or two but three different loot card codes to live listeners, which is more than we've ever given out before. Remember, instead of WoW Radio, come visit us at our new Ustream channel, tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm Eastern, for the revamped WoW Insider Show. Same time, same people, same fun, different URL. See you there.
Karazhan isn't exactly cutting edge content. It's had a few nerfs in its time. That being said, walking into Medivh's home-away-from-evil with a collection of random alts, sightseers, and new-to-raiders can sometimes prove interesting. And by interesting, I mean "repair bill" and "love of all that's Holy, just kill the dang flares!"
Last night was one of those nights. My Guild has spent the last few weeks helping folks prepare for 25-man raiding in Wrath. The gear from Karazhan won't be applicable in the expansion, sure, but the skills and habits you learn now will help you be successful in the future. We had some particularly green folks with us, and while we knew the changes from 3.0.2 would make it easier, we weren't quite aware how easy.
We were breezing along. Who doesn't breeze past Attumen, Maiden, and even Opera? When we hit Curator, we started to really feel the difference. The chap barely made it to his first Evocation. We skipped on past, slapped Aran around, and went up to Prince.
Prince got down two infernals before dying. Confused, I checked the raid's gear. Had our all-in-greens Rogue somehow been replaced with a Warglaive-wielding maniac? Did the new specs really make that much difference?
And then we recalled -- every raid mob in the Burning Crusade got nerfed. So, now, for the next few weeks, we have an odd nirvana in which to help folks learn to raid.
The book starts with Arthas as a ten-year-old prince, and then obviously follows his path through what we saw in Warcraft III, including all of that bad business at Quel'Thalas, and Arthas' past with Jaina and Kael'thas (you don't think Blizzard would bring KT back again in WotLK, do you?). Golden promises some good looks as the High Elves, too -- "two very pivotal characters are elven," she says. Including Sylvanas? We can only hope.
Enter the fabled fish of Ironforge, stage left. [Old Ironjaw] is spoken of only in whispers, deep in the dwarven taverns. Rumors speculate that he is uncatchable, but this will not deter you. After all, you rival the legendary Nat Pagle, Angler Extreme with your fishing prowess.
Getting down to business, it is important to set out prepared. If you are a member of the Alliance, all you will need to do is cast your rod into either the waters of the Mystic Ward or the Forlorn Cavern in Ironforge, and expect to be there for awhile. Don't worry about your actual fishing level; skill is for chumps.
For the Horde, the achievement Old Ironjaw will be much more difficult. Preparation will require the affectation of humility. You must accept that you will die and that you will probably have to grovel. Try donning your best fishing or fancy holiday garb to appear as harmless as possible.