Archive for the PvP Category

More talent previews

Posted in News, PvP, Raids and Instances, Shadowpriest, Theory with tags , , on June 10, 2010 by Natarumah

MMO-champion has released a new look at the talents here, and although all of this is still subject to change, it is both interesting and worrying. A lot is subject to change, and I do hope a bit a lot will actually change, because the direction the talents are taking still has a few glaring holes.

Spirit Tap (Redesign)

Spirit Tap will, triggered on a kill, provide 30% increased Mana Regen and will instantly regenerate 15% of our mana. Lovely at low levels or in PvP, and it’s certainly more fitting now that Spirit will not be our stick anymore, but in raids this is likely to do not much for us. I kill 1 in 5 adds or so at most, so this is a very unreliable (RNG) source of mana. But hey, we need to stick our points in something.

Dark Thoughts (New talent, replaces Improved Spirit Tap)

This talent reduces the pushback suffered from damage while casting Shadow spells by 35%/70%. This effect used to be in Improved Shadow Form (who now has our “crit aura” effect instead). A bit of a strange move to place this here, since while leveling as a Shadowpriest, you actually don’t use Mind Blast or Vampiric Touch much. And while we use Mind Flay, you should be shielded and thus not lose any casting time by damage as long as the shield holds. This will likely be one of those talents we leave until we are about level 50, as we then have Vampiric Touch.

Improved Shadowform (Redesign)

In addition to its normal effect of removing snares by using Fade, it now increases the Spell Critical chance of party and raid targets within 100 yards by 3/5%. This is interesting, but we were promised a Haste aura, which is actually useful. We get Crit talents, a Crit Mastery and now a Crit aura – more Crit than any Shadowpriest needs really.

Conclusion

Looking at the current setup of the talent trees, we see a lot of Crit, removal of Improved Spirit Tap and the like. This seems to me like a really weird design setup, since we love Haste much more than Crit. Critical strikes used to give us the Improved Spirit Tap, which it no longer does, so the value of Crit has lowered even further (it is not only damage, nothing more). And with the Crit value going down, we get even more bonuses to Crit. Why? It’s like giving nothing but Parry bonuses to a Protection Paladin. Sure it’s useful, but not needed and not really in the spirit of the class.

Also, my concern is with the amount of talents we have. Looking at level 85, I filled in the talent tree a bit, as you can see here. With our dependency on Discipline severely reduced, we now need to put in at most 11 points (granted, the new Martyrdom reducing Interrupt effects s pretty badass, so I put it in). Which means we can take every friggin’ talent in the Shadow Tree except useless threat mitigation. And if Threat becomes an issue, I will just put points from Fear and Silence into it, and done. We need more stuff to put points in – cookie cutter will now be 11/0/65.

And finally, mana regeneration will be a major issue for us by the looks of it. Replenishment is still in there, but that’s probably going to change. If we actually kill stuff we get a lot of mana from the new Spirit Tap, but in raids that’s not very likely. We don’t get mana regen from Meditation anymore, nor is it in our masteries. Our old standby Shadowfiend and the judicious use of Dispersion should now cover it, I guess, but until we get our mana pools up after just hitting 85 I think we will be struggling hard for a while.

My initial Feedback

As Ghostcrawler asked for feedback in the forums, I see that as the liberty to voice my opinion regarding the current talents.

  • Because two of our trees are healing trees, and only one (Discipline) has any use for us, we simply have no need to spend more than 11 points out of Shadow from a raid perspective. In PvP, I can see a Disc/Shadow Hybrid going much deeper into the other tree. Otherwise, the Shadow Tree is simply too empty, and you simply get to pick (almost) everything, including talents that are for PvP, without having to make any real choices.
  • The Shadowy Apparitions are a very interesting talent, and has the proper feel for a Shadowpriest. However, depending on how slow they will actually be, it is possible this talent will be skipped simply because it never reaches the target in time (we are ranged, after all) or the boss is moved too far away, or (in PvP) someone sidesteps them.
  • Mana management will be an issue if replenishment is altered. It is currently a large portion of our personal mana regains, as well as part of our Raid Utility (the other, Misery, having been removed). Unless spells at level 85 will be considerably cheaper for us, or we get more options to get a reduction in the mana cost, we are going to go out of mana hard until we have enough raid gear to support us.
  • Our aura (from Improved Shadowform) was rumored to be 5% Haste. We rejoiced. Now it is Crit instead, which does not make us very happy. We gain damage from Crit, but not as much as from Haste. In fact, when coupled with our Crit bonus Mastery, we will have gained so much crit we likely will always pick Haste gear over Crit gear. Unless of course the intention is for us to stack Intellect now. A Crit aura will give us back some raid utility, but I can’t get over the feeling raid leaders would much prefer it when it was tacked on a person with Bloodlust/Heroism/Time Warp. ‘Nuff said.
  • I agree that the Shadow Tree is looking solid, but it’s “100% complete” only with regards to the Alpha. It needs to be fleshed out and thought over again for the Beta. Remember the maxims “Haste>Crit”, “We need Replenishment too” and “Don’t make us pale warlock copies”.

I am anxious to see what the next iteration of the talents will be, and how our Glyphs will be altered to fit in with the new scheme.

Guilds 103: Trial, Objection, Irrelevant!

Posted in Guides, PvP, Raids and Instances, Shadowpriest, Theory with tags , on May 25, 2010 by Natarumah

You have succesfully passed any application forms, made your way through an interview and/or trial run with your new guild, and have been accepted as a trialist. This stage is usually found only in Raiding and PvP guilds, and it is a time of anxiety for more than a few people. I know from experience that the first few days can be a bit unsure, as you know few people and a lot is expected of you.

What is a trialist?

A trialist is a new member who has not achieved the full “member” status in a guild. Usually this is done to gauge your performance and how you act in the guild. Not unlike the trial period in real-life work contracts, it allows both parties to say goodbye to each other if things don’t turn out the way that was expected.

Trialists usually have a more strict requirement on signing up for raids or PvP battles, in order to be able to see what they can do. Likewise, they have a more restricted access to the guild bank (to prevent people who came in just to swipe the GB from having their way).

What can I do as trialist?

The simplest answer to this is to be yourself.

There’s nothing to be gained from being especially nice, since doing this will only lead to raised eyebrows once you show your true colors, after you became a member. It also does not allow for the guild to accept you as you really are, which is the core of being in a guild in the first place.

It is important, however, to participate in guild activities. Don’t be shy and join their heroic runs, random raids, and spontaneous Wintergrasp events. If none are happening, try to get one going if you like. This shows your interest, and is a good way to get to know your fellow guildies.

For raids, it is good to be on time and prepared, as usual. It is even more important because you will be watched, and being “the new guy who keeps standing in fires and mooching flasks” is not a great way to leave an impression. Do your best, but if things do go wrong, don’t go on the defensive too much. Raids and Arenas are all about synergy, and it takes a bit of time to get in the same flow as the rest. Be patient, accept honest criticism, and remain yourself at all times.

Mentors

Some guilds place you under the wing of a mentor, usually a more experienced member of your class and often the class leader. This person’s role is to explain you any things that are guild-specific, or special tactics used by the guild. He also monitors your skill, and will give pointers and advice where needed. In turn, you can always turn to this person for help if you need it.

This helps to make sure that your questions are answered by someone who’s “in the know”, and that you get a quick answer to any questions. Remember to also ask about anything you are unsure of, or which confuses you. Knowledge is power, and being quick on the uptake and willing to learn endears you with the rest of your team.

What is that irrelevance thing in the title?

It’s about gear and experience, to be honest. As an example, when I joined Unity I had Naxx gear and experience but joined an Ulduar progression community. I was there when Unity had their first kills on the watchers, even though I was lagging behind in DPS and had never seen the fights before. I had only read about them and watched a few videos.

Key here is that if you can follow commands, be as prepared as you can be, and stay out of the fire, you will do fine. Don’t be nervous when your performance seems lower than that of the rest at first (they often have more gear and experience with the fights) because the people who will judging your performance will keep this into account if they are fair.

This also goes in reverse: your gear and experience are irrelevant if you don’t make use of it. Being underperforming even though you claim to have a lot of experience (and have good gear for the instance/arenas) will mean you will have a hard time convincing the guild that you are an asset, no matter how nice you are.

Welcome to the club

After some time, usually a month or in some cases up to three months, you will be promoted to a full member. This means you have earned the guild’s trust, that your performance is adequate, and that you are now part of the team. Good job!

Now is the time to continue on as you’ve been doing, and not slack because you “made it”. If you were being yourself throughout the trial period, this shouldn’t be too hard. Just remember to talk to your class/raid/guild leader if you have any issues, avoid making conflicts worse (there will always be a conflict somewhere, it’s Human nature) and have a good time!

Of course, there’s always the chance that during the trial period you will be asked to leave. It could be your performance, not meshing with the team, or you might have actually been naughty and broken a rule or two. Take it with pride, and don’t start making a fuss about it. Thank the people involved for their effort, and start your search again for a guild to fit in with. The same goes if you feel the guild is not your place to be, be honest and open about it, and it will cause the least amount of friction on either side.

Guilds 102: A job like any other

Posted in Guides, PvP, Raids and Instances, Theory with tags , on May 19, 2010 by Natarumah

Guilds that lean heavily on group activity and success (such as raiding and PvP guilds) rely on a system of requirements and trials to make sure that those who join their team have the skill and experience required to contribute to their success, rather than depriving it.

When you seek to join a guild like this, there are a few hurdles to take, and sometimes things you will have to do or achieve in order to make it in. This post takes a closer look at some of these hurdles, and how to overcome them.

Guild Requirements and Manifesto

Guilds who advertise on trade or the realm forum for members usually include their website. This has a few reasons besides showing to the public what they have achieved. It also allows for them to explain their rules and expectations to prospective members before they seek to apply, meaning less administration.

Usually called “raiding requirements”, “about us” or “what we expect of you”, these kinds of posts explain to you beforehand what the guild expects of you in terms of experience, conduct and gear. It usually also details if there are any required programs or addons (like DBM, Proximo or Ventrilo) you will need, what times the raids will be run, as well as an overview of their loot system.

Go over this information carefully, make sure you understand it and can agree with it. Nothing hurts you and your credibility more than applying without knowing the rules, arguing about the rules with the guild management, or breaking these rules after reaching member status. It may sound simple, but many applicants never read it, and proceed to make a fool out of themselves.

Application

Applications are like applying for a job interview, and you have to make the most out of it. That’s also why WoWinsider, HDO, and Hots&Dots all supply great tips when filling in your application, with a view from both sides of the fence.

Is it really that important?

Well, if you make an application with spelling errors, l33t speak, rants or even blatant lies you are not likely to be accepted. But you will also lose credibility with the people who read your application (at least guild members, but many guilds’ application area is public) and may get called out on the forums.

Like with the news, good news you never hear of but bad news makes the front page. Don’t be bad news.

This is also a great opportunity to ask questions. If something’s not clear in the guild charter or raiding requirements, ask it. This does not only give you the information you need, it also shows you pay attention and have read them. I know guilds who place a grievous, terrible sentence in the middle of their guild charter, and ask in the application form whether they have read the charter. Everyone says yes, but when that particular error comes up, they draw a blank.

The Interview

Usually when your application appeals to people, you will be contacted by an officer or class leader of said guild to have a chat. This could be through email, ventrilo or in-game, it matters little for the actual content. This is where the people of your prospective guild try and get a measure of you, how you think and what kind of person you are. Not only to filter out the lolbois, GBthieves and Recount/loot whores, but also because when you join a cooperative team effort like raiding or PvP you have to work as a team, and having an incompatible or disruptive person in the team can spell danger for the continued existence of the guild.

Think I am kidding?

Guilds have fallen because of minor arguments, single loot incidents or differences in philosophy. It takes an alert and diplomatic team of officers to successfully run a guild, it’s really a work of art to see it in motion. People have arguments, or differences of opinion, which is quite alright. But when people start holding grudges, fail to communicate or start cutting the guild up in cliques, it becomes an uphill battle. It has happened before, and it will happen again.

What does this mean?

Raiders and PvP guilds are not just looking at your achievements, gear and Arena Rating. They want to know whether you will mesh in with the team they already have. This is why your reputation is quite important, as a bad rep makes it harder and harder to get into the guilds you want. If an officer has to make a choice between you and the team, you will have to go (or at least, won’t be coming in).

Likewise, this is the chance for you speak of what you like, and what you wish to achieve. Purposeful guilds require motivated, hungry people to gain greater success, and members who are motivated to achieve what they want are worth their weight in gold.

It is also the chance to determine for yourself whether you would mesh in with the guild, and can be happy playing and raiding or PvPing with these people. Don’t feel bad if you decide that the guild does not happen to be what you were looking for, or feel pressured to join anyway. Simply state your decision in a polite and respectful manner, and there will be no hard feelings. You are then free to move on in search of what you look for, while the guild has avoided unnecessary drama down the line.

For those who do decide to join, remember that there is always the trial period to confirm whether this is the place for you.

Conclusion

Make sure your application is correct and well-written. Have it proof-read by a friend, or leave it for a day or two and then read it to yourself again. Be polite, but firm about what you want, and make sure you will mesh with the guild you wish to join. Remember that your reputation precedes you, and that if you’ve done bad things, people will have heard. Do not ever lie when applying or in an interview – you will be declined and your reputation will be all the worse for it.

Next post will be about Trial runs and the period as a trialist in a competitive guild.

Guilds 101: Foundation and types

Posted in Guides, PvP, Raids and Instances, Theory with tags , on May 18, 2010 by Natarumah

Many people in World of Warcraft join guilds, and often without actually having knowledge of what a guild actually is, or what this means to them. Common reasons for wanting a guild is because people wish to be involved in a social group, want to achieve goals parallel to a guild’s goals, or because having a guild tag above your head makes you more respected.

A lot also choose to remain unguilded, sometimes because they are intimidated by the idea of being part of a guild, or out of anxiety of interacting with people they don’t know. I decided to dedicate a few posts on guilds and guild matters. For additional advice on building and maintaining a guild and resolving dilemmas and conflicts, I refer to the excellent guides over at World of Matticus.

What is a guild?

A guild is a group of people with common goals who gather together, sharing a single guild name, under the leadership of a single Guild Leader. The Guild Leader often has trusted people who assist in keeping the guild running smoothly, called Officers.

How to join a guild

Guild invites can be done by the Guild Leader, and anyone who has been given invitation rights by the Guild Lader, often the officers. Joining one can be simple or complicated, depending on the type of guild you wish to join. Raiding and Roleplaying guilds are typified by stringent entry requirements and interviews, with an invite after successfully passing this stage. Other guilds invite anyone who wishes to join.

Finding information on guilds on your server is usually very easy. The realm forums generally have messages or stickied posts detailing the various guilds that are open to recruiting, while the guild recruitment and trade channels are usually full of people spamming recruitment messages, detailing the kind of guild they represent and what they are looking for in players.

Guild types

There are many kinds of guilds, catering to the different needs of their members. Make sure that you join a guild that has common goals with what you like to do ingame, or you might face serious disappointment later on.

Social Guild
A social guild is primarily centered around hanging out together and being friends. While they can PvP, raid or run heroics, the focus of the group as a whole is enjoying their time together. Usually such guilds don’t advertize much, relying on people to bring in people they have met and whom they enjoyed playing with. You will find many people in these guilds are groups of real-life friends as well.

A subtype of this kind of guilds is the National guild, which functions the same way but restricts who can join based on their nationality/language. This happens most often on English EU realms, where people from France, the Netherlands and certain Scandinavian or Balkan countries band together so they can speak their native language in /guild. I imagine that on US servers something similar would happen with Spanish-speaking guilds.

Raiding Guild
One of the most famous kinds of guilds is the Raiding Guild, focusing on doing content at the highest level available. Some focus on 10- or 25man specifically, while others will raid both. Expect this kind of guild to put some demands on your gear and quality of play, as well as requirements on attending raids, learning tactics and having signup and loot distribution systems.

PvP Guild
These guilds focus on Battlegrounds, Arenas, raiding enemy capital cities and/or world PvP combat. Gear requirements here will be present, but skill is generally counted higher. Like raiding guilds, there will most likely be an interview and some sort of test in a PvP environment to gauge your skill. Depending on the leadership, this guild could be a competitive hierarchy or a helpful group of PvP specialists.

Leveling Guild
These guilds are always in flux, as they consist of characters of all level ranges assisting each other with dungeons and quests, or questing together in areas. Most people who join such guilds linger some time after reaching 80, but most often will “graduate” to one of the other guild types soon after.

Roleplaying Guild
On RP servers, you will find many of these guilds, usually arranged around a common theme. Such themes may include playing a group of Scarlet Convertors, a band of thieves or guardsmen, a clan of Magi or an order of Paladins. If you have a character that matches the guild’s story and you enjoy RP, joining a guild like this can be a great experience. Note that most of these guilds require you to have at least some knowledge on roleplaying, and willingness to stay in character. Invites are usually out-of-character, but interviews and any form of initiation or promotion in the guild will most likely be in-character.

Banking Guilds
A specific kind of guild usually run by one or a handful of players to take advantage of extra bank space offered by having a guild bank. These guilds normally do not have invitations, and usually provide no service other than storage. The reason I include it here is mainly because many people like the guild name and ask to join, and then are insulted that they are replied with “this is a banking guild, we do not invite”.

Conclusion

Know you know what kinds of guilds there are, try and see what kind of guild fits best with your way of playing the game. Check the realm forums and friends you have online what guilds there are within that category, and see if (and how) they are recruiting new players.

Next post will discuss applying to a guild with entry requirements (such as Raiding or PvP guilds) and a rough overview of a guild’s social dynamics. I will also make a comparison with similar games who have guild structures, and try and point out the differences (positive and negative) compared to World of Warcraft.

Any questions, ponderings and feedback are greatly appreciated to increase the quality of this post, and flesh out what is yet to come!

Shadowpriests in Cataclysm – Darkness Incarnate

Posted in News, PvP, Raids and Instances, Shadowpriest, Theory with tags , on April 8, 2010 by Natarumah

Alright, let’s face it – when the Warlock changes were announced, butterflies happened. I knew that since they were getting some nifty things, and having similar mechanics, we might be in for a treat as well. So, are we? Let’s take a closer look at the changes and revamps we will be receiving. Note that I will focus only on Shadowpriest-specific items in the list, hence why I posted this review separate from the general notes before.

Mind Spike (Level 81)

This spell deals Shadowfrost damage, which harkens back to the old Deathfrost enchant from TBC and the promise we would not need to rely solely on Shadow damage. Since lock-outs will not affect both schools for multi-school spells, this one is very good for PvP. It has a 1.5 second cast, 30 yard range and no cooldown.

Each Mind Spike you cast enhances subsequent Mind Spike damage. In other words, a bit like an Arcane Mage who uses Arcane Blast to set up, this is really a “Spam” spell. This is not for rotations, as Blizz pointed out, but is a filler (like Shadow Word:Death) or spammable to the extreme (for heroics and frantic PvP I guess).

So far, that looks very good, but a bit bland.

Inner Will (Level 83)

Like Inner Fire, with which is is mutually exclusive, this is a self-buff. This one gives us an increased movement speed (12%) and a 10% discount on instant cast spells. Interesting, since this will be very good for Discipline priests, but us as well. Fires can be ran out of all that quicker, and it will be a good “run back to boss room” spell while rezzing after wipe.

Our instant vs. Cast-time spells are closer to 50%, so it won’t be our standard buff. Inner Fire still gives more damage, and I doubt we will see a “Inner Fire/Will Twisting technique” – at least I hope not.

Leap of Faith (Level 85)

An instant-cast spell that draws a party or raid member to you – the reverse of Death Grip. Besides being awesome to save people as a healer, I can also see uses as a Shadowpriest to make sure people are where I want them to be, as well as complicated tank-positioning tactics.

But even better, it allows for mischief. With only a 45-second cooldown, it’s fun in downtime to play Priest-Pong with fellow raid members right? And when that AFK-er in that Heroic won’t go away? Just levitate over a cliff and “Life Grip” the guy.

DoTs Reign Supreme

Crit and Haste will affect Dots baseline now, and will add additional ticks within its duration. This is powerful, and also makes sure we won’t be wasting mana by getting more Haste. This is good on all levels.

With not having to frantically juggle ever-shortening DoTs (especially during Bloodlust, ouch!) and having our new SpamNuke we might have a little more time and might develop more of a flow, rather than having to adjust our timing after every upgrade.

Blizzard also wants to make Shadow Word: Death really a finisher after 25% health, so I imagine it will be limited to ONLY work after a mob has reached 25%.

Talent changes

We will lose half our talent tree, since the shift from a healer class to a DPS spec requires a lot of passive damage increases. Blizzard recognizes this and wants to play off our new mastery (see below) – I can smell the return of the old Shadow Orbs Shadowguard Troll racial. Could it really be?

Misery will no longer affect spell hit chance. So, this will sadly mean that one of our main “raid spot attractors” will be gone. It was expected, so I can only hope we will get some utility to make up for it rather than say “but life grip’s awesome right?” It’s only other effect was a passive increase on damage from spellpower, so I can see this talent being completely redesigned anyway.

Mastery

Our first mastery is Spell Damage, our second one will be Spell Crit. Our special ability will be Shadow Orbs, which is triggered off casting Shadow spells, and increases Shadow damage done while they hover around.

This can go either way, to be honest. I love the floating orbs idea, and I am seriously glad this is in. I am just worried that these orbs will not stack or will not stack as high as we generate them, meaning we might waste a lot of potential.

The possibilities are many though – Orbs trigger damage when hit, Orbs could be consumed for a self-buff on Shadow damage, Mana or Health regeneration boosted through orbs. Sky’s the limit with this one.

Conclusion

Our new abilities are interesting, but very situational. I think I won’t be using Inner Will except after a wipe or in PvP, Leap of Faith is more of a “nag my raid” tool than that I’d see any use for it. Let’s face it, if people stand in the fire why should I save them? What will they learn from it? Mind Spike is welcome, but it has already been relegated to “either spam it or use it as filler” by Blizzard, which doesn’t make me feel comfortable to be honest.

And finally, our awesome special Mastery is announced with the words “to make Shadowpriests feel like Shadowpriests at early levels, before they get Shadowform”. What? This is our Mastery – this is what is our reward for being Shadowpriests. I want it to make me feel good about being a Shadowpriest even after I attained level 85, thank you very much.

Still, if our Mastery would become central to our new talents, and we could use the orbs to power a variety of spells (offense, defense, self-healing, mana regain, etc.) it might become a very interesting mechanic indeed. This aspect is what I am most excited about.

It feels a bit “One step forward, two steps back” – we lose half our talent tree and Misery, we gain a SpamNuke and much better DoTs. To be honest I am not all too impressed after seeing the Warlock changes, but we have a history of being understated for a large part of development, so I have hope yet!

Priest preview for Cataclysm

Posted in News, PvP, Shadowpriest with tags , , on April 8, 2010 by Natarumah

Below is the copy of the Priest preview posted today by Blizzard, which can be found here. This will just be a direct rendition of the news itself, my own analysis and feelings about the changes will be contained in a separate post. As always, none of these are final – the proposed changes and abilities can change at any time.

In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, we’ll be making lots of changes and additions to class talents and abilities across the board. In this preview, you’ll get an early look at some of the changes in store for the priest class, including a rundown of some of the new spells, abilities, and talents, as well as an overview of how the new Mastery system will work with the different talent specs.

New Priest Spells

Heal (available at level 16): While priests already have a spell called Heal, the existing version becomes obsolete at higher levels, which is something we intend to change in Cataclysm. Introduced at a low level, the “new” Heal spell will functionally work much like a down-ranked Greater Heal did in the past, adding more granularity to your direct-healing arsenal. If you need to heal someone a moderate amount and efficiency is an issue (making Flash Heal the incorrect spell for the job), then Heal is what you want to use. Heal is intended to be the priest’s go-to direct-healing spell unless they need something bigger (Greater Heal) or faster (Flash Heal). We will be following a similar philosophy with all the healing classes.

Mind Spike (level 81): Deals Shadowfrost damage and puts a debuff on the target that improves subsequent Mind Spike damage. The intent of Mind Spike is to fill a niche missing in Shadow DPS, though it may be occasionally useful for healers as well. Mind Spike provides a quick nuke to use in situations where the priest doesn’t have time to set up the normal rotation, such as when adds are dying too fast or you have to swap targets a lot. Spamming Mind Spike will do about as much damage as casting Mind Flay on a target afflicted with Shadow Word: Pain. The idea behind the debuff is that when you cast Mind Spike, we expect you to cast a lot of them; we don’t intend you to fit it into an already full Shadow rotation. It also provides Shadow with a spell to cast when locked out of the Shadow school. (School lockouts will no longer affect both schools for multi-school spells.) 1.5-second cast. 30-yard range. No cooldown.

Inner Will (level 83): Increases movement speed by 12% and reduces the mana cost of instant-cast spells by 10%. This buff will be exclusive with Inner Fire, meaning you can’t have both up at once. Inner Fire provides a spell power and Armor buff; Inner Will should be useful on a more situational basis.

Leap of Faith (level 85): Pull a party or raid member to your location. Leap of Faith (or “Life Grip”) is intended to give priests a tool to help rescue fellow players who have pulled aggro, are being focused on in PvP, or just can’t seem to get out of the fire in time. Instant. 30-yard range. 45-second cooldown.

Changes to Abilities and Mechanics

In addition to introducing new spells, we’re planning to make changes to some of the other abilities and mechanics you’re familiar with. This list and the summary of talent changes below it are by no means comprehensive, but they should give you a good sense of what we intend for each spec.

  • All HoTs and DoTs will benefit from Haste and Crit innately. Hasted HoTs and DoTs will not have a shorter duration, just a shorter period in between ticks (meaning they will gain extra ticks to fill in the duration as appropriate).
  • We want to bring back Shadow Word: Death as an “execute” — something you do when the target is at 25% health.
  • While we want to keep the priest’s role as a well-rounded healer, we also want to make sure the class is a viable tank healer, which is something priests moved away from a little in Wrath of the Lich King. Greater Heal will probably be the tank-healing spell of choice, though we’ve also discussed giving Discipline a second shield so that they have a small shield to cast on lots of different targets, and a big, more expensive shield to cast on a tank or anyone else taking a ton of damage.
  • Divine Spirit and Prayer of Spirit will be removed from the game. As Spirit will be the primary mana-regeneration stat, we don’t want it to vary as much between solo, small group, and raid play. Blessing of Kings and Mark of the Wild will not boost Spirit either.
  • Mana will be a bigger consideration for all healers. We aren’t trying to make healing more painful; we’re trying to make it more fun. When the cost of a spell isn’t an issue, then casting the right spell for the job is less of an issue because you might as well just use your most powerful spell all of the time. We are, however, getting rid of the five-second rule, because we don’t want to encourage standing around doing nothing. We’re also going to cut back on the benefits of buffs such as Replenishment so priests (and all healers) don’t feel as penalized when those buffs aren’t available.

New Talents and Talent Changes

  • We want to improve Discipline’s single-target healing capacity. One key is to make sure shielding isn’t always a more attractive option than healing.
  • We want to improve Holy for PvP healing. One way to do this is to make sure that Heal’s throughput is similar between both specs.
  • We want to improve Shadow for short fights and reduce its susceptibility to school lockouts.
  • Discipline will finally be getting Power Word: Barrier as a talented ability. Think of it like a group Power Word: Shield.
  • We want to make Holy a little bit more interesting to play. One new talent will push the Holy priest into an improved healing state when he or she casts Prayer of Healing, Heal, or Renew three times in a row. The empowered state varies depending on the heals cast.
  • Since the Shadow tree has a lot of passive damage-boosting abilities — something we’re trying to avoid in Cataclysm — we will need to replace several of the tree’s talents. One idea is to play off of the new Shadow Orbs mechanic (see Mastery section below), possibly allowing you to consume an orb to increase damage from Mind Blast or reduce Mind Spike’s cast time.
  • Misery will no longer affect spell Hit chance. We want players to be able to gear themselves around a Hit cap that isn’t variable depending on group composition.

Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses

Discipline
Healing
Meditation
Absorption

Holy
Healing
Meditation
Radiance

Shadow
Spell damage
Spell Crit
Shadow Orbs

Absorption: Improves the strength of shields such as Power Word: Shield, Divine Aegis, and Power Word: Barrier.

Radiance: Your direct heals add a small heal-over-time component to the target.

Shadow Orbs: Casting spells grants a chance for Shadow Orbs to be created that fly around you and increase your shadow damage. This will help lower-level characters feel more like “Shadow priests” before they obtain Shadowform.

We hope you enjoyed this preview, and we’re looking forward to hearing your initial thoughts and feedback on these additions and changes. Please keep in mind that this information represents a work in progress and is subject to change as development on Cataclysm continues.

3.3.3 Profession ho-down

Posted in News, Professions, PvP, Raids and Instances, Shadowpriest with tags , , , on February 22, 2010 by Natarumah

Now that WordPress is up and running again, time to stop slacking and start posting! Blizzard’s got a lot of goodies hidden in the bag for the last part of Wrath (because they probably want to get some things out of the way to give everyone a solid start when Cataclysm hits) and the next patch promised has some really interesting changes awaiting.

Profession changes

  • The cooldown on the Ebonweave, Moonshroud and Spellweave tailoring will be removed – this means quicker and easier cloth farming to get those epic outfits required to get your alts geared up for raids and high-level heroics quicker and cheaper.
  • Smelt Titansteel will have no cooldown anymore either – so your plate-wearing companions (and alts) will not have to prepare months in advance to have nice kit waiting at 80. I know my baby paladin’s chomping at the bit for that!
  • Glacial Bag will now have a 7 day cooldown. They wanted to drop the prices on the cloths, but without a cooldown this also means that 22-slot bags would suddenly be the standard issue for everyone. Hell, most alts would be swimming in them from day 1! To counter this, they added a cooldown which is still less than if you’d have had to wait for your cloth cooldowns.
  • Frozo the Renowned, a Gnome in Dalaran, will be selling the stuff he joined from his guildbank…errm, Blizzard made available I mean, and you pay for it in Frozen Orbs. He will sell Eternals, Crusader Orbs, Runed Orbs, and Frost Lotus to crafters who need them and have spent excessive time in the LFG tool. Also, tailors will find that he sells a very nice Frosty Carpet tailoring recipe!
  • The “Monsterbelly Appetite” fishing daily was changed to “Disarmed!”. It will still require you to fish up an arm but can now be done not far from Dalaran. This is good, since no one bothered to go down south all the way just to fish up one quest item…

Changes to craftable epics

  • In a few words – after 3.3.3, all Ulduar crafting recipes seem to have their Eternals and “common” mats (saronite, heavy borean leather, etc.) mostly cut out. All you’d need are the orbs, half of the current cost in “expensive” mats (titansteel, tailoring cloth, arctic fur) and you’re good to go! This keeps these recipes relatively attractive to fresh 80s, since the difference between them and the ToC patterns is usually only in the Crusader Orbs, really.

For Gnomeregan!

It seems that this patch (or 3.3.4) might see the start of the Gnomes moving to reconquer Gnomeregan. Enlist Gnomes, clear a (probably updated) dungeon and voila! Cataclysm will see happy Gnome (priests).

Trolls are not forgotten, it seems that they might be moving to gather enough support to reform their own kingdom. New Gurubashi anyone?

Dungeon Tool

  • As stated before, you will be able to queue for a random Battleground as well, and the first each day gives bonus honor. All PvP items which required marks will now require only honor to acquire. Maybe this will liven up the BGs a bit, and reduce botting.
  • The Vote-to-Kick option will no longer have a cooldown, meaning that AFK’ers, botters, /follow losers and other vermin will now have to fear the wrath of the dungeon group even after the first kick.
  • Also, seasonal bosses will from now on only be available through the Dungeon Tool. I am not sure why this is, but it will make groups to these quest mobs much easier!

Miscellaneous useful stuff

  • If you have an authenticator and logged in with it, the next time you log in, a field to input your authenticator code will be displayed below. This should severely increase the speed of logging in after a lag-DC (which happens all too frequently these days in ICC).
  • On the AH, right-clicking an item in inventory will put it in the auction frame. You can now also input stacks and stack size (mimicking the useful feature from Auctioneer).
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