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Tips for raiding faster - Fri, 24 Apr 2009 19:00:00 EST
I am definitely an advocate of the fast instance or raid -- when I played a tank, I pulled pulled pulled (according to the healer's mana, of course), and even now, mostly as a Hunter, I still get impatient. When the healer's mana is full and the tank is not /afk, I sometimes just throw a Misdirect up and go. That's probably why I really liked Naissa's tips for speedy raiding -- she lays out a few really practical things you can do to get your raid moving faster, from only marking skull and X when necessary to only worrying about the healer's mana. It's not the end of the world if the Mage or Hunter has to drink for a second after the pull. While you should always get back to full before a boss pull (and as she says, that's a perfect time to break down the basics, only the basics, of the fight), usually as long as you've got the tank and healer ready, a quick pull will give you time for aggro to settle down as well.

I don't completely agree with her DPS meter remarks -- I do think that beating the raid is much more important than trying to win the DPS meters, but as a DPS player, I like viewing the meters as good feedback on where I should be. If I'm super low in the meters, it's time to look at my gear and rotations and try to figure out why so I can get better, and I think it's valuable for DPS, as long as they can keep their attention on the raid, to do the same thing.

But all of the other tips are great, and in general, "pull pull pull" should be the order of the day. Some groups are better at rolling through content than others, obviously, but as long as you've got a solid tank and healer in play who know the instance and know how to handle what comes, most raids and groups can move through the content pretty quickly.

Tips for raiding faster originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 24 Apr 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Replenishment hotfixed, changed for arena play - Fri, 24 Apr 2009 18:30:00 EST
The developers are continuing their hotfix spree, this time targeting Replenishment in the arena. While in an arena, any class that procs Replenishment will only proc it for themselves. It does not apply to the entire party while in an arena. This is something that a lot of people have expected would happen eventually, and it's good to see that they didn't wait for another major content patch for something like this. It had to be done, so they did it. I'd love to see that trend continue.

The arena community has been asking for this for awhile, and if you want to know their reasoning, Serennia discussed it just the other day. I strongly suggest giving it a read. Replenishment is a game changer in the arena, and in a format with teams so small, you can't really expect every team to find a Replenishment to slot like you can in 10 and 25 man raids. Replenishment essentially being a requirement in the 3v3 format would be a disaster, and it's been made pretty clear that teams with a Replenishment have a severe advantage over those that don't.

A post-Patch 3.1 world seems to be one where broken things get fixed quickly, rather than just sit there broken for months until the next content patch. As long as that holds up for more than these few weeks immediately after the patch, I'm a fan of it.

Replenishment hotfixed, changed for arena play originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 24 Apr 2009 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Val'anyr stats discovered [updated] - Fri, 24 Apr 2009 18:00:00 EST


Like Boubouille, I'm pretty surprised to find that Val'anyr, the legendary healer mace from Ulduar-25, is up on the Armory, but there it is [update: it's been removed from the US Armory; still up on the EU Armory], and that means we now know all the stats on it. Just on the off-chance that someone considers this information to be a spoiler, I've put it behind the cut, so click on if you want to know what the Hammer of the Ancient Kings has to offer.

Continue reading Val'anyr stats discovered [updated]

Val'anyr stats discovered [updated] originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 24 Apr 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Paladins, and Shamans, and Roombas, oh my! - Fri, 24 Apr 2009 17:00:00 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.

I'm very glad today is Friday. It means that... well, all it really means is that we'll work on weekend content for WoW Insider tonight. We should have some great Noblegarden content coming out on Saturday and Sunday, so keep an eye out for that. And then of course there's the constant bug fixes and hoopla around patch 3.1.1abc. Talking about bug fixes everyday is a blast I tell ya, a blast.

Catiya asked...

"Is there any reason that JC, fishing and cooking are the only professions with daily quests? I love those dailies and I feel more profession specific dailies would enhance the professions themselves."

Continue reading The Queue: Paladins, and Shamans, and Roombas, oh my!

The Queue: Paladins, and Shamans, and Roombas, oh my! originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 24 Apr 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The pros and cons of autolooting - Fri, 24 Apr 2009 16:00:00 EST
Gnomeaggedon has a really insightful post about one of my favorite "hidden" features in patch 3.1. The first time I ran Naxx after the patch, I was a little worried on the first boss that I couldn't loot my badges or Stone Keeper's Shards. But of course, I'd missed it in the patch notes: all of that currency stuff now works like currency should. Whenever one person in the group or raid loots it, everyone gets their own as well. No more forgetting to loot your Badge, as it all goes automatically into the currency screen. Very nice change.

But as Gnomeaggedon says, there are still a few kinks in the program (aren't there always?). Quest items still don't get auto-looted, and since Badges do, that's even less encouragement to go check the loot to see if there's anything you need. He'd also like it if items got autolinked while Master Looter is on -- right now, it's the responsibility of the Master Looter to link and give out items that get looted, and that doesn't always get done clearly. That second one is kind of a good point -- my raid looter does pretty well with showing off items, so I don't really have much of an issue with that, but it would be helpful to see for sure what's in there.

But back to autolooting: the flip side of this is that if Blizzard uses autolooting too much, the game becomes that much more simple -- they already show you where the monster is and how to kill it, and now you want them to give you the loot automatically too? While it would be easier to have quest items sent to your backpack automatically, let's not forget that mobs with loot on them are shiney. It might make sense in raids to do autolooting (since everyone is grabbing for the same quest item), but autolooting while soloing might be a little too streamlined.

The pros and cons of autolooting originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 24 Apr 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Dual Spec Salvation - Fri, 24 Apr 2009 15:00:00 EST
Another week, another series of raids into Ulduar.

I'm not going to talk about it this week... I'm waiting for more T8 level gear (just got my pants last night) but in general, I'm moving from 'mild discontent' to 'frothing nerd rage' at the state of fury right now. The main reason isn't even my own DPS, which is going up... it's that other classes and specs that aren't 'pure DPS' are now bumped up to where my spec was before patch 3.1, when the reason for my spec's nerfs was stated as that level of DPS being 'too good' for a class that had options besides DPSing. If a class can tank, heal and DPS why is it okay for them to do the damage I used to do when I can only tank and DPS?

But that being said, I've discovered a unique joy in the past week, and that's the Dual Spec system. Ironically, I still respec about twice a week. In fact, I may even respec more now than I did before dual specs were available.

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Dual Spec Salvation

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Dual Spec Salvation originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 24 Apr 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Friday's in-game fixes - Fri, 24 Apr 2009 14:00:00 EST
Self: "Self, I wonder if there's any more in-game fixes for today."

Self: "I don't know Self, let me go look."

Self looks around.

Self: "Why look at that self, there is!"

It's not weird that I'm talking to myself in a disconnected third person voice, is it? Perhaps all these fixes are getting to my head.

The changes announced late last night are not as prevalent as other days, but are still important none the less. Some of the more interesting fixes for today include:

  • The damage of XT-002 Deconstructor's Gravity Bomb ability has been reduced.
  • The trash mobs before XT-002 Deconstructor have gone through additional changes that should make them a little easier to get through.
  • The Rogue talent Savage Combat should now properly be removed after leaving an arena match.
The full list of changes after the break.

Continue reading Friday's in-game fixes

Friday's in-game fixes originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 24 Apr 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Forgetting to hit the "Need" button - Fri, 24 Apr 2009 13:00:00 EST
Kalon at ThinkTank touches on a subject near and dear to my heart -- missing out on loot upgrades because you forget what you're supposed to want. While on an Ulduar-10 run, he passed on the Kologarn drop Mark of the Unyielding, which is close to being the best-in-slot neck for bear tanks, for one good reason (the other tank raids more than he does at the moment) and one bad one (he couldn't remember just how good the piece really is). Particularly galling, he notes, is that he recently wrote an excellent guide to tanking upgrades in Ulduar in which Mark of the Unyielding was singled out for especial commentary. Ouch.

For myself, I don't think anything quite approaches the sheer agony of having accidentally passed on Idol of Worship from Grand Widow Faerlina just because I wasn't paying attention at the time. I don't do much cat DPS, but losing the best-in-slot idol directly affecting the attack (Rip) that contributes the largest share of feral DPS is...again with the ouch. I still ask myself what was so amazingly enthralling about tanking Maexxna trash that night that I could have zoned out to that degree, and -- naturally! -- the idol never dropped again. While I guess it's possible that there are players out there who are practically perfect in every way and have never missed a drop, I have the sneaking suspicion that most of us still find a reason to kick ourselves.

Forgetting to hit the "Need" button originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 24 Apr 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Nobody Like You episode 2 - Fri, 24 Apr 2009 12:00:00 EST


Oh my goodness. I can't believe that I just now got the joke. The main character in Ninth Batter's series is called "Nobody." The title of the series is "Nobody Like You." Get it? If it were Bob, the joke would be saying that it's a "Bob Like You."

Ninth Batter has released "Nobody Like You Episode 2." It's a short episode. The whole thing only runs about 3:00 minutes soup to nuts, including the final credits. According to the author, he just didn't feel that more material "fit" in this bite sized piece. I think that makes sense, since the jokes in this skit do pretty well when they stand alone.

Arthas continues his emo trend, though now he's coming across a little more like a distraught ex-boyfriend than a dark and gloomy master. Ninth has added a female to the cast, which I think will turn out well. Nobody needs someone to play off and interact with, besides just the tragic Arthas in the background.

Ninth has mentioned that he's not sweating the video art quailty, and trying to stay focused on his content. I think that's a pretty good call. The "simple" style is actually developing into a tagline for the series, a kind of visual style that makes it stand out.

Great work so far, Ninth. I can't wait to see episode 3.

WoW Moviewatch: Nobody Like You episode 2 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 24 Apr 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Loot, rationality, and the Sunwell effect - Fri, 24 Apr 2009 11:00:00 EST


Here at WoW Insider we don't always agree with each other. Whether it's debating the merits of various tanks on different encounters, the damage difference between pure and hybrid DPS classes, the ideal function of a particular healing class in raids, or the superiority of cake over pie, our back-channel discussion tends to be pretty interesting.

Eliah Hecht's article "25-man gear should not be better than 10-man gear" sparked a lot of great discussion with our readers and, I think, some illuminating poll results as well. The majority of responders believed that giving 10-man and 25-man raids the same loot table would result in a significant drop in popularity for 25-man raiding. Overall, I tend to agree with this, but I also think that Eliah touched on something that speaks to Blizzard's evolving sense of game design, much of which is evident in the transition between late Burning Crusade and Wrath.

I would like to call this the Sunwell effect, or "ingame rationality." To wit: don't incentivize players to behave in a manner contrary to your actual design interests. I believe this played a huge role in the differences between BC and Wrath raiding, and that it underlies why the 25-man loot table has to remain superior to its 10-man counterpart.

Continue reading Loot, rationality, and the Sunwell effect

Loot, rationality, and the Sunwell effect originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 24 Apr 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Of draenei and discipline - Fri, 24 Apr 2009 10:00:00 EST


Discipline-4-lyfe priest Mutsje of Wildhammer-EU was searching through her screenshot folder recently when she discovered this picture of her first forays into Northrend. Ah, remember back in the day? There was a whole new land to explore, full of mystery and wonder, and characters could take a moment to relax and bask in the glory that is a female draenei in Merciless Gladiator's without worrying about falling behind on their dailies. But at least we can relive the launch of Wrath through the recent server instability and random disconnects. The game may change, but the aftermath of major patches will always stay the same.

Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, double-mounts, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Of draenei and discipline originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 24 Apr 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Azeroth Idol - Fri, 24 Apr 2009 09:00:00 EST
In the absence of a ranged weapon or wand, Druids, Shamans, Death Knights, and Paladins all have an interest in filling the little slot directly to the right of their weapons with something good. You won't get the stats from idols, totems, sigils, or librams that pure classes will get from that slot, but with luck you'll significantly improve a core ability or two. However, because these items usually affect only one or two spells or attacks, they tend to be somewhat hit-or-miss in terms of usefulness, and many specs go for a while without having anything particularly good to put there.

Graylo at Gray Matter takes a look at the new idol available to Balance Druids from Ulduar-25, the Kologarn drop Idol of the Crying Wind. After running the math on its stats versus the Balance idols available for badges (Idol of Steadfast Renewal and Idol of the Shooting Star), he reaches the conclusion that this new i-level 226 item is a significant DPS loss compared to its i-level 213 cousins, even if the Druid in question is using Glyph of Insect Swarm and has the 2-piece Tier 7 bonus granting 10% additional damage to Insect Swarm. While I think it's probably a damage increase on very high-mobility fights, Graylo's math is pretty damning. It's hard to argue that a Tier 8 idol providing less than a third of the damage granted by a Naxx piece represents ideal gear scaling.

Bears in Ulduar-25 are looking forward to their first upgrade since the i-level 128 (!) Idol of Terror, but I'm not too sure about other classes. Do you have some hard choices ahead of you, or do you plan on using an older piece?

Azeroth Idol originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 24 Apr 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Size does matter - Fri, 24 Apr 2009 08:00:00 EST


I like Ulduar, I really do. I mean, the place is huge. I don't think we've ever seen a raid so massive. While it has about the same number of bosses as Naxxramas or Karazhan, give or take a few, the scale of Ulduar really dwarfs me. The very first encounter is epic -- it feels like some sort of Mad Max sequence, with throngs of enemies rushing at you. Despite my misgivings about vehicle fights, I thought the concourse to Flame Leviathan was a lot of fun. I think Blizzard outdid themselves with the scope of the zone. When they say that Titans built the place, you see and feel it.

Sometimes the game really makes me feel small. Flying over Storm Peaks gives me a rush and a feeling of grandeur -- the mountains are so high! When I head over to Icecrown, the armies of undead can be truly intimidating, and it provides but a glimpse of the promise of Icecrown. When I first entered Hellfire Peninsula back when the Burning Crusade launched, it felt truly epic because I'd never seen anything so vast before. And who didn't shudder at the first sight of a Fel Reaver? Heck, even the humongous caverns of Maraudon still amaze me, and that flatulent little Princess will always be one of my most epic experiences.

Blizzard has always put a few encounters that dwarf us. Dragons are certainly appropriately huge, and it works. It feels grand. It feels epic. That's why I thought Mount Hyjal was fun -- aside from being steeped in lore, everything was whimsically oversized! But the experience was just improved by it. Ulduar's size just reminded me that sometimes, big is better. What were your most epic adventures in Azeroth? What big things in the World of Warcraft have amazed you?

Breakfast Topic: Size does matter originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 24 Apr 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Scattered Shots: Ranged weapons from Ulduar - Thu, 23 Apr 2009 21:00:00 EST

Scattered Shots is your weekly guide to improving your Hunter skills, brought to you by Jessica "Lassirra" Klein of The Hunter's Mark, covering a variety of Huntery topics. Today, we'll be taking a look at the new ranged weapons available from Ulduar.

With new raid instances comes new gear to covet, and Ulduar is no different. Normal and Heroic modes both have new guns and bows available to help give your shots that much more oomph, and today I'd like to take a closer look at these weapons to help you compare potential upgrades. Before we dive right into the new stuff, let's do a quick recap of the older ranged weapons so we'll have a point of reference to start from.

Continue reading Scattered Shots: Ranged weapons from Ulduar

Scattered Shots: Ranged weapons from Ulduar originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 23 Apr 2009 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Two Bosses Enter: Maiden of Grief vs. Prince Taldaram - Thu, 23 Apr 2009 20:00:00 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.

On the heels of a Zuramat the Obliterator (Violet Hold) victory this week over Hadronox of Azjol-Nerub, we bring you this week's fantasy deathmatch: the Maiden of Grief from Halls of Stone versus Prince Taldaram of Ahn'Kahet: The Old Kingdom. Can you predict the outcome?

The usual rules apply: Assume that these foes share similar levels, health pools and damage output. The battle will take place in neutral territory; Prince Taldaram will not be protected by a force field that must be taken down before battle. Focus your debate on the three S's: Style, Story and Scale. Don't get caught up in game mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter. Consider the flavor each villainous gladiator brings to bear, leave your comment on what you think would happen and why, and then cast your vote for who you think would come out on top.

Continue reading Two Bosses Enter: Maiden of Grief vs. Prince Taldaram

Two Bosses Enter: Maiden of Grief vs. Prince Taldaram originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 23 Apr 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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US Arena qualifier results in - Thu, 23 Apr 2009 19:00:00 EST


Blizzard has announced the final results of the qualifier rounds on the US Arena Tournament realms, and there they are -- you can see that Death Knights are probably the most dominant class in the lineup. Their teamup with a Paladin and a ranged DPS (specifically a Warlock, though there is a Hunter in there) is pretty devastating so far. Shaman have made a nice comeback as well, serving both as utility and healing on a few teams. And of course the old Arena standby of PMR finishes out the top ten.

Blizzard will invite the winners from the qualifying round into regional finals -- they will invite the top eight teams, but apparently, according to a few commenters in the forum thread, both "well then" and "GET TANKED" are somehow the same players on the same accounts (but different characters, even though they're same classes), and the same is supposedly true for The Phuox Den and Almost Eighty on Live. So we're not sure who they're inviting -- either these two teams will get to play twice in the tournament rounds, or Blizzard will pull in some more teams to fill in the spots.

Or maybe Blizzard will have to come up with something else: we're not entirely sure about which players are on those teams, but certainly Blizzard can check that very easily. At any rate, congrats to all of the winners so far, and we'll keep an eye out for the next round of Arena battles.

US Arena qualifier results in originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 23 Apr 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: The Hunting Lodge and Child's Play - Thu, 23 Apr 2009 18:00:00 EST


We here at WoW Insider are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

The Hunting Lodge is running a charity auction for Child's Play next week. There's a compelling story to read over on Brigwyn's site, and I humbly suggest that everyone takes a moment to go over there and read how this great charity was able to help his family out. While games and gamers can get bad press, all anyone needs to do is to look at the story Brigwyn posted (and others have echoed around the net at various points) and be convinced otherwise.

And after you've visited the Hunting Lodge, there are some other great stories to check out around the wownet:

The Daily Quest: The Hunting Lodge and Child's Play originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 23 Apr 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hotfixes for Hunters over the last few days - Thu, 23 Apr 2009 17:00:00 EST
Mania's got info on a few Hunter pet-related hotfixes that have found their way into the game recently. There's nothing really earthshaking in there, but there are at least two points of interest: because players can no longer flick the "at war" switch on for the Sunreavers with the Horde in Dalaran, that means Hordies can't pick a fight just to tame the Sunreaver Dragonhawks, which unfortunately were the only "already 80" Cunning pets in the game.

And a bug with Hunter pet talents was fixed -- supposedly now, when Hunters switch talent specs, Hunter pets will get their talents refunded. That's surprising to me -- though I kind of appreciate the chance to respec our pets whenever we switch specs, I sure would have thought that our pets would just get two trees as well. But then again, people might want to mix and match pet talents and talent specs, so I guess though it'll be a pain to re-punch in those talents (and remember to do so), it's the better way to go right now.

Great insight from Mania as always. And yes, outside of the Hunter domain, I, like many of Mania's commenters am slightly tired of the talent resets. With Hunter talents and all of the shots we learn from each tree, and pet talents and all of the decisions to make there, I'm pretty talent-ed out. Hopefully this 3.1.1 refund is the last one we'll see for a while.

Hotfixes for Hunters over the last few days originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 23 Apr 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Raid goes up, boss goes down - Thu, 23 Apr 2009 16:00:00 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. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

I was going to follow up Adam's cute cat picture with a picture of my own pets, but since my landlord doesn't let me have any, I figure you're not interested in pictures of my roomba. It's quite cute in person, but unfortunately it comes across as a bit lifeless in pictures. It's a bit camera shy.

jet242 asked...


"I was wondering whats the best way to make money off of copious amounts of cloth, I have around 600 pieces of Frostweave sitting in the bank."

Continue reading The Queue: Raid goes up, boss goes down

The Queue: Raid goes up, boss goes down originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 23 Apr 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Totem Talk: Patch 3.1 Shaman Gear Part 3 - Thu, 23 Apr 2009 15:00:00 EST


Haven't gotten a chance to raid this week on the shaman, we've been pushing 25 man content pretty hard. Did manage to put 10 man Freya down (not on hard mode, holy heck that's going to be insane) which killed me when I didn't stand under a mushroom and was quite confused about being unable to cast spells while the raid leader yelled on vent about standing under the shrooms. Still, we got it done despite my total noobishness. As a healer, I've so far noticed that I somehow enjoy Kologarn for some reason. Something about the death rays and his screaming "OBLIVION!" all the time amuses me.

Ulduar has quite a few weapon drops to consider for us shamans, especially as more and more gear is being discovered every week. So let's take a look, starting in 10 man and then moving up to 25 man, at the various staves, fist weapons, maces, daggers and axes of Ulduar. We'll probably end up having to come back to cover more, as I mentioned they're constantly discovering new gear in this raid.

Continue reading Totem Talk: Patch 3.1 Shaman Gear Part 3

Totem Talk: Patch 3.1 Shaman Gear Part 3 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 23 Apr 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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