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Daily Blue Posts – DoTs, Glyphs, Balance and More

October 16, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

DoTs Critting?
Originally, we liked the fact that dots didn’t crit. It’s one of the things that made them different from other types of spells. In turn, it meant that classes and specs that focused on dots cared about different stats than other classes. We think it’s interesting when say a ring drops, and the group has to speculate about who would get the most benefit out of it.

We are changing our minds about that design though,
because it does make it hard to keep everyone scaling well with gear. A lot of raid buffs are based around adding things like crit and haste, which not everyone cares about to the same degree

Inscription Glyph Implementation
Glyphs are the product of a trade skill so we want to slowly release more over time.

Balance…70 vs. 80
L80 is our first priority, but we’ll respond to anything that we think needs attention at L70 over the next few weeks. No need to fill up the rest of this thread with what *you* think needs attention.

Experience Rewards for Battlegrounds?
No answers available. These are features we would like to implement in the future. Queuing from anywhere would likely be the first to come, though I could not say when at this point.

Paid Character Transfer News
The paid character transfer and name change services have been temporarily taken offline to relieve database stress. We hope to reactivate them in the next few hours.

Brewfest Achievement – Binary Brew
It will remain a part of the meta-achievement for Brewfest. As I said, some achievements take time to complete. This is one of them.

Heroic Violet Hold Fixes
The issue where Xevozz would hit the party for huge amounts of arcane damage has been resolved. We also added a behind the scenes spell that will give the tank of Ichoron some additional threat to keep the healer from pulling aggro quite so easily.

Shadow Priest Buffs Coming

September 29, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Unless I’m mistaken this is the first time we’ve really seen confirmation that the idea of the “utility” class is going away. Personally I say good riddance. Utility class for always just seemed like a subtle word for “bad”. More from a design perspective than actually being a waste of space during a raid.

Assuming you are a Shadow priest, the answer is you are a dps class. We’re trying to back off the whole utility class thing, which is absolutely what you were in BC. While the mana battery functionality is still something every group is going to want, there are more ways to provide it now. The tradeoff for losing that unique niche is your dps going up.

Why are shadow priests being out performed by other classes who, in terms of functionality at this point in time, fit into the same niche as shadow priests do?
Because we’re not done.

A few weeks ago Blizzard announced vampiric touch is being reduced from 5% to 2.5%. A change which at the time left me wondering just what Blizz was thinking. Though, based upon this recent post it looks like there are still some major buffs imminent for the shadow priest.

The general feeling I get from all these changes is a complete shift in what a DPS class is. More and more these changes seem to lean towards a “leveling of the playing field“, so to speak, in the way that each PvE DPS spec seems like they are all going to do around the same damage. Prior to the Burning Crusade there was this notion that rogues always had to be the highest DPS class no matter what, since they brought zero utility to the raid. This type of thought process was still present in BC, note Sunwell geared rogues doing close to 2700 DPS while equally geared shadow priests were lucky to break the 1500 mark.

Overall I think these changes are going to make for a very interesting raiding dynamic in the Wrath of the Lich King. Each class will bring a certain degree of utility, but more than that each archtype (tank, healer, DPS) should be very similar in overall effectiveness.

Rogue / Priest Strategy: Position Discussion Audio

September 15, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

One of the most important, yet most overlooked aspect of playing rogue / priest 2v2…or for that matter any arena team comp, is without a doubt positioning. Too often I think players and teams get so caught up in the ideas 100 other factors that they completely forget about their positioning.

Being in the right place at the right time isn’t an accident, in many ways it’s the only true strategy in arena. Knowing the type of strategy your opponents are going to attempt will allow you to develop a strategy to appropriately counter your opponents.

This is the very essence of arena position strategies, but believe me, learning how to do this is no easy task. It takes a lot of experience and practice, but by simply being aware you’ll have a keen eye for areas where you can exploit your opponents position and quickly take advantage of their mistakes.

I say all of this in preparation for the very first Zug Gaming audio strategy discussion. A few weeks ago I had a brief conversion (relatively speaking!) with a member of the Zug Gaming community. He had a some questions regarding different strategic aspects of rogue / priest as well as overall positional awareness factors in arena.

The following recording includes:

  • Priest / Rogue strategy discussion
  • Positional strategy points
  • Healer / DPS movement factors of arena
  • Among other points

Rogue / Priest Strategy: Audio Discussion

I’ll try to get an actual player up later this evening.

WotLK Spellpower Change

September 8, 2008 by · 1 Comment 

As many of you know I’ve been watching these WotLK changes come pouring in for weeks now, however one change did happen to slip through my radar, and it’s a pretty big one. As some of you may have read, +healing and +damage will be merged into a single stat called “spellpower” when patch 3.0 is released. The spellpower on your current weapon will be determined by the following formula.

Spellpower = +Healing * 0.532

The .532 value for this formula was derived using an average of the top 10 +healing items in the game. Fellow WoW blogger Phaelia from resto4life.com included this table in his recent post on the druid implications of these spell power changes.

+Healing
Before
Spell Power After +Damage Before Conversion Ratio Spell Damage Gain
[Nightstaff of the Everliving] 348 185 116 0.532 59%
[Rod of the Blazing Light] 348 185 116 0.532 59%
[Exodar Life-Staff] 364 194 122 0.533 59%
[Crystalheart Pulse-Staff] 382 204 128 0.534 59%
[Staff of Dark Mending] 407 216 136 0.531 59%
[Ethereum Life-Staff] 415 221 138 0.533 60%
[Staff of Immaculate Recovery] 443 236 148 0.533 59%
[Apostle of Argus] 486 259 162 0.533 60%
[Crystal Spire of Karabor] 486 259 162 0.533 60%
[Golden Staff of the Sin'dorei] 550 293 183 0.533 60%
Average 0.532 60%

As you can see, the spellpower changes will completely revamp the way healing and damage are calculated. In order to compensate for the spellpower changes healing coefficients will be adjusted to spellpower changemake up for the difference. You shouldn’t notice any reduction in your effective healing.

However, it’s happy days for caster DPS! Currently it does not look like blizzard has any plans to change damage coefficients for +damage spells…meaning all casters should receive a 60% damage increase.

Though don’t get to excited, I would expect the inflated damage values to level out by the time everyone hits level 80. This change should make healer hybrid’s lives much easier as all your gear will be centered around a single stat.

Nagrand Arena Position and Line of Sight Breakdown

September 5, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

arena strategy line of sight, positioning and kitingWhen I think about Nagrand arena position strategies one word comes to mind…pillars. If you’ve played arena for any stretch of time then you are probably more than familiar with this mechanic.

That said, learning to effectively use line sight in combination with proper positioning is no easy task. It requires a lot of practice and a bit of know how, which we’re going to discuss below.

Mastering The Pillar Kite

The first and most important factor in Nagrand Arena is going to be mastering the pillar kite. As you can see on the map to the right there are 4 pillars in Nagrand arena. Which we’re going to use both as LoS positions and kiting locations (aka “pillar humping”).

If you’re a healer this is where you live in arena. Sticking near the pillar allows you to quickly move in and out of line of sight and run circles around the pillar to avoid damage. The green squares represent your prime locations for maintaining healing LoS on the arena floor.

You will need to continually change your position around these pillars so that you can…

  1. Adjust your position so you can maintain healing / dispel LoS on your partners
  2. Kite opposing DPS in a circular manner around the pillar. If things are really bad you could have your team mates help you by snaring / crowd controlling the DPS that’s chasing you. Giving you additional time to catch up heals.

DPS Positioning

Most of the time people associate kiting and line of sight purely with healing, but even DPS, both ranged and melee can do their part to take advantage of line of sight positions. First off we need to consider the effect that these positions are going to have on our healer’s position.

  • Your healer will always want to be LoS’ing around / behind a pillar.
  • Knowing this we want to position so we can still do damage, but also allow the healer to avoid taking damage / being crowd controlled.

Secondly, let’s talk about the defensive role of using the pillars as a DPS. Just like your healer uses the pillars to dodge cc and damage you should be doing the same. Granted, you aren’t going to be pillar humping as excessively as your healer may be it is still important to take advantage of this strategy. This will save your nagrand arenahealer mana and buy you one very important thing…time. Time to drink, time cast, and time to catch up on heals. Sometimes even just a few short seconds is enough for your team to gain a mana edge and ultimately come away with the win.

General Nagrand Position Strategy

Of all the arena maps Nagrand is certainly the most simplistic. What ever way you look at it you’re going to be using pillars in your position strategy. As a healer most of your role with LoS is centered around using them to avoid damage and CC, while also turreting up to well positioned heals in the locations I’ve listed above.

As a DPS class you need to focus on always understanding where your healer is, thus allowing them an easier time to heal you. Additionally, using the pillars to LoS behind to prevent damage and / or kite melee classes will allow your healer additional time they may need during high burst damage periods.

For more position strategies check out the full guide on Line of Sight Strategy and Positioning!

Mage / Rogue vs. Warlock / Priest 2v2 Arena Strategy

September 4, 2008 by · 3 Comments 

mage rogue 2v2Rogue Arena Tactics

The strategy for the rogue is pretty basic here. If at all possible you want to sap the priest. This will allow you to get a solid start on the warlock and in many cases fill him outright. If you must use shadowstep to pull off the sap, it’s crucial you get it off quickly and cleanly.

Once you’re on the lock you need to be very watchful for fears. The mage cannot afford to burn his CS on the lock, so it’s up to you to kick / kidney shot any single target fear or howl of terror. Additionally, be ready to use your blind on the priest to assist the mage in his crowd control rotation.

I highly suggest using a focus blind macro to make this cc transition as seamless as possible. In an ideal game your rotation might look something like this. Sap –> Sheep –> Trinkets the sheep. Blind –> Sap –> CS — Sheep. While this always isn’t going to work out perfectly like this knowing your CC rotation from the beginning will be a huge aid to your success.

Mage Arena Tactics

While the mage is certainly going to be adding damage your primary role is still to crowd control the healer. Most mages are very confident in their own sheep / CS rotation, but don’t forget the fact you have a rogue. It will be very important for you and your rogue to successfully communicate through the match to maximize your collective crowd control.

Just like with the rogue’s blind, using focus sheep or focus CS macros can be very helpful. Not only do they allow you to quickly pull off your various forms of CS, but many times they can catch your opponents off guard. Many players watch for you as the mage to target them, often this is a dead give away to an incoming sheep or blind. Using focus macros you never actually have to target them, so they have zero idea what’s coming!

Looking for more strategies? Check out the complete rogue / mage 2v2 arena strategy guide!

Mage / Rogue Vs. Paladin / Warrior 2v2 Arena Strategy

September 4, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

Much like most warrior / healer teams, your opponents will probably have to try harder than you.

Rogue

Get a sap on the warrior and open on the paladin going full out dps to force his bubblmage rogue 2v2 strategye. Once he bubbles reset the fight via vanish. If you and your partner are having trouble CC’ing the warrior while forcing the paladin to bubble pop Evasion and Ghostly Strike as needed to avoid unwanted bleed effect when resetting the fight. Kill the paladin, and get away from the warrior if you have to.

Mage

Crowd control the warrior as best as possible with sheeps, frost novas, Rank 1 Frost Bolts(to Frost Bite snare him). These are all able to be cleansed by the pally, so tell your rogue to dodge it up if you’re having trouble controlling the warrior. Assist dps, and once the pally bubbles hit iceblock to reset the fight and wait it out. You decide when you want your rogue to blind, but I recommend while going for a kill on the pally or after killing the pally one of you has to get away.

Looking for more strategies? Check out the complete rogue / mage 2v2 arena strategy guide!

Blade’s Edge Arena Strategy and Positioning

August 6, 2008 by · 1 Comment 

Often I hear of team’s and player’s who struggle on Blade’s Edge arena. This is in part because its’ the most complicated of any arena map and doesn’t offer the clear cut protections of a pillar or coffin to LoS around. That said, learning to LoS and positioning properly is still an attainable goal.

blade's edge arena

For the purpose of this guide I’ll be referring to all position references from a healer’s point of view, and the ideal locations team’s should attempt to position both DPS and healer positions in order to maintain LoS for heals, but avoid being relentlessly attacked.

To the right I’ve detailed a small map of Blade’s Edge arena with various positioning options you have available.

  • Red lines – these are short range positions that take advantage of the pole extensions on the 4 corners of the bridge. Ideally the DPS would be centered in the bridge while you heal from the top ramp positions.
  • Purple lines – these are long range heal positions where you’re simply trying to take advantage of healing range over the range of other casters. Same thing as above, heal from the ramp, fight in the middle.
  • Position swaps – the green dots represent a few of the possible positions you could choose to stand at. None of these are set in stone. A healer or a DPS could stand in either one of them since the line of sight continues regardless.
  • Ground level pillars – I’ve indicated them with red circles, you can use these just as you would use a pillar in Nagrand arena. In addition, while I have not indicated it on the map you can also use the pillar posts that hold up the bridge in the same manner. This can be a disadvantage though (discussed in next point).
  • Plane of Interaction – there are 2 planes of interaction in blade’s edge, one on the ground level and another on bridge level. Generally speaking the bridge level plane is superior in every way. You have both position and distance LoS easily at your disposal, and you can quickly reposition to heal teammates on the bottom. For this reason choosing to fight on the ground level may not be an option. If your opposition sticks their healer or a ranged character up top you could be in a lot of trouble. At this point the advantage is 100% into their favor, especially if you are unable to completely avoid being attacked by the players on the ground you’re attempting to kite.
  • Bridge Overhangs – there is one other location that can be particularly devastating from a LoS perspective if used correctly (and with the right classes). It’s positioned directly underneath the bridge right as the ramp part begins the bridge. There are small obstructions that jut out here, allowing a healer or DPS class (typically hunters) the ability to stick themselves in there and avoid most LoS. This is because it’s so difficult to find continued LoS to attack them, since you can move to either the left or right side of these small obstructions in these locations.

The overall strategy we’re going for with these positions is the development of a fluid and constantly moving line of sight technique. As a healer not moving is just not an option. You need to continue the constant position change in order to effectively heal, regain mana, and avoid damage. If you can successfully accomplish this then you’re well on your way to becoming a top tier arena team.

For more position strategies check out the full guide on Line of Sight Strategy and Positioning!

Locking Down Warrior as Rogue

June 21, 2008 by · 1 Comment 

This post is in response to a question I received from a fellow rogue. It’s been posted here in the hope that it’s contents may be of assistance to other players who have similar questions.

Arena Strategy Questions…
Hey Zug, I’ve asked you questions here and there in the past, and there’s a few more that I’d like you to answer. My priest and I hit our highest rating of 2091 about two weeks ago, and since then have struggled a bit.

The warrior/healer teams that we seemed to have no trouble with have been really giving us a hard time. I find that in nearly all cases the warrior is sticking onto my priest, and I have a hard time keeping him locked down. They can break out of gouge, and I’m wondering if I should use my blind on the warr. (I feel like I should)

Another team, although rare, which we seemed to have no hope of beating, was the hunter/priest teams. Getting on the priest is out of the question, as doing that caused my priest to go OOM within a minute. We try to kill the pet, but when we can’t keep pressure on the hunter, my priest gets drained hard.

Is 41/20 the best priest spec?

Arena Strategy Answer…

As far as your first question is concerned, I find that it really is more of a 2 part solution. Generally speakingrogue vs. warrior arena guide you are going to be sticking to the warrior the entire time, making it as difficult as possible to get both position and line of sight on your priest.

However, your priest needs to be very aware of both your position and the warrior’s position. He needs to constantly reposition himself in order to allow you to do your job easier.

If the warrior is just relentless to get to the priest then this really opens you up to drop bombs on the warrior. Position yourself on his back and just lay into. Beyond that, just use everything within your power…including blind if necessary to prevent that warrior from getting on your priest.

Then again, even if he does get on your priest you’ve got reflective shield going for you, further increasing the damage output.

As far as hunter / priest goes…well, it’s just a rough match man. It’s so far one sided in their favor that even winning 1 out of every 10 of these matches is a good ratio. Our typical strategy just revolves around a gig strategy on the hunter with a lot of very early CC on the druid.

It’s very fast paced and risky, but it’s still the best strategy we’ve come up with at this point.

Shadow Priest / Rogue vs. Rogue / Druid 2v2 Arena Strategy

June 21, 2008 by · 4 Comments 

This match will be very similar to the Shaman/Warrior. Kill the healer, and CC the DPS if you’re allowed.

Rogue Arena Tactics

Alright this will come down to you finding the opposing rogue or not. If you find the druid do not open on him until that rogue is out of stealth too, he can make things hell for your partner! If the opposing rogue opens on your priest, then counter open(without popping CD’s), and the second you see the druid vanish and reopen on him. Lay out your damage, and CC the opposing rogue if racials allow it. Shiv Crippling is your friend! This is where a Shadowstep build with vile poisons really pulls through. Restrict yourself to blowing only one set of CD as Shadowstep as if you’re late on killing the druid it might come down to a 1 on 1 with the opposing rogue.

Priest Arena Tactics
Careful of the opposing rogue, if you’re a Human good luck finding him. Once you see the druid help your rogue take him out, and fear the rogue calling out the trinket if you can. Basically get the druid down within a 30 second window and it will be a smooth ride. Any later than that it might come down to rogue @ rogue and nobody likes a CD fight.

Need more strategies? Check out the full shadow priest / rogue 2v2 arena guide!

Strategy courtesy of S-Scythe

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