A lot of people overlook the importance of battlegrounds when trying to get better at a class. The truth is, almost all problems with your play style
can be worked on without tanking arena rating. A lot of people unde
restimate the skill level of other players in battlegrounds but,
“it’s like walking into a subway in New York, you don’t know who you are going to meet” (Azzamat).
Let uneven match ups benefit you. If you can, this is probably the best way to get valuable practice. A lot of people in BG’s are only there to gear up alts, this is why having an uneven battle will benefit you more. Some common problems to focus on would be:
Survivability vs. mana conservation: I know this was a big reason I went back into battlegrounds on my shaman. The situation Earth Shield vs. Water Shield. Obviously tanking with Earth Shield will give you a lot more survivability but you will eventually go oom. As a Paladins you can work on the same issue of timing your Diving Plee after their cooldowns.
Healing Multiple Targets: If you only play 2v2 this usually isn’t as important for you, but finding a cast rotation that will allow you to keep 2 targets up will usually help against lock teams.
Doing damage while taking damage: A lot of casters have the problem of not being able to do any damage with melee on you. Learning to juke Kicks or Mind Freeze while still setting up your shatter combos or burst is important in arena. Just remember, you do less damage locked out then spamming instants.
Crowd control under pressure: In arena, most mage/lock combos rely on CC. If your main role is to CC you should still be able to control 1 target with DPS on you. Practice setting up teleports to get off a fear or sheeping focus targets after a blink.
Being patient: For rogues, making sure you have almost full energy before the full kidney shot on the kill target. DK’s/Warriors build ruinic power or rage to use with your interrupt to provide a nice burst.
Don’t miss: If you are going to use the energy to kick or the rage to pummel. Make sure you
don’t miss. If you are going to miss the interrupt it would be better to let the heal go through and get the next one.
Goals and you.
If a person is a casual gamer than they have to realize that they can either be mediocre at a million things or amazing at one thing. Setting realistic goals as a casual gamer will keep a person upbeat moreso than trying to do everything all the time like their 100 hours of playtime a week friend is. I personally get to play video games 10-15 hours a week. Keep in mind I have a 360, a Wii, college classes and a baby and wife to worry about. So how do I play
WoW and still have fun? Goals. With 10 hours a week do I expect to be in a 2400 rating team with Season X gear and all the ladies I want, no I don’t. What I expect is to be a solid player and an asset to a team. So what if I’m rated 1800, I may wait a couple of extra weeks for my chest piece, but I still got it. Hardcore gamers in WoW are just like billionaires in RL, they both have too much time, look way better than you or me, and laugh at everyone below them. Don’t let this dishearten you, realize that you don’t live in a basement, have friends, and see the sun on a daily basis. Setting reasonable goals is the only way a casual gamer or casual anything will ever feel a sense of accomplishment.
Cookie Cutters are OK!
I love to experiment with ridiculous specs and strategies that will probably never work, but are a blast to play. However, if you are on time restraints working out the kinks of these ideas will take forever(almost take me literally there). Don’t be afraid to use cookie cutter builds, they are cookie cutter builds because they work. You can be assured they work because someone with an infinite(take me almost literally again) time on there hands has tested them a ridiculous amount of times.
The term cookie cutter should not have a negative connotation to it, it should have a safe productive connotation to it. Look at it this way a Christmas tree, snowman, or jackolantern cookie cutter is there for a reason; people use them, they work, and they fit a specific purpose, the only difference between real cookie cutters and arena ones is that the real ones taste good!
Forums are our friends.
Every forum post whether it be from some idiot complaining about needed nerfs or the super elite ZUG himself has something to be learned from it. If nothing else read the guides for your class that Blizzard stickies on their forums. I promise they will enlighten you. Unlike fractions forums really are your friends.
Practice makes near perfect.
Lastly, practicing is the most important learning tool there is. Losing or winning a player of any game can learn from practice. At the end of every match win or loss, don’t focus on the other teams gear, or l337ness level, but on the strategies used and the class/spell combos used against you. A crappy geared player who knows how to play can beat a well geared player who doesn’t.
I end with a goal.
I will end this guide with one goal for every player who reads this guide. The next time you lose an arena match do two things. Don’t blame your teamate(s) and then ask them how you could help them win. I hope this guide helps at least one casual gamer, if it does then I have accomplished my gal in writing it.
Season 4 Ends, Season 5 Start Date Announced
We wanted to remind everyone that Arena season 4 is coming to a close. During next Tuesday’s maintenance, all arena teams, as well as ratings, will be wiped and arena charter NPCs disabled. Thus, arena points will, unfortunately, not be rewarded for rated games played this week.
The next Arena season will begin on December 16th, and once that happens players at level 70 will be able to participate in rated matches against level 70 opponents and gain Arena points for item purchases but will not count towards the end of season rewards. At the same time, level 80 players will be able to compete in rated arena matches where they can gain arena points which can be used to purchase level 80 arena gear, as well as compete for end-of-season rewards. Additionally, players at level 70 will continue to be able to play skirmish Arena matches against other level 70 opponents even after Wrath of the Lich King launches. It’s also important to note that two new skirmish brackets (71-75, 76-80) will be available for players who wish to hone their Arena skills while leveling in Northrend.
Why should you specialize?
Because you don’t have time to do everything! I could end the article here, but you might be disappointed.Â Specializing in WoW is quite possibly the only chance a “casual” player has at accomplishing anything other than some Halloween candy and maybe holiday fruity cake. The point is there are two main ways to go here, three if you enjoy wreeking havoc on the in game economy.Â However, I intend on briefly discussing PVP and PVE here and then will later write guides to help all the students, married to someone who doesn’t play wow, works five jobs, and has twenty-seven kids person(small exaggeration).
Player vs Player, Pwnzor vs Pwnzee, Nub vs n00b, call it what you will, but it is all we gamers have in the way of excising some sort of force and power over another person. In WoW PvP comes in the form of Battlegrounds, World PvP(ganking until WOTLK), and the amazing Arena.Â The beautiful thing about BG’s and Arena is that each helps the other.Â A player needs gear from both, experience from both, and bragging rights from both so play both.Â The PvP forums will become your closest ally other than maybe your fellow teammate or energy drink.Â After memorizing every forum post about your preferred class, a player must practice!
Practicing is where every PvPer casual or hardcore gets his edge and his ability to pwn nubs. However, it’s never enough to just play and play and play, a player must learn, observe, and understand why they lose a match and even why they win matches.Â It’s true a person may lose since their gear is lame and Mr and Mrs Season 4 just slapped the *#%! out of them, but most of the time it’s because they had no idea what to do against the combo they faced and just assume it was a fluke or the other classes are OP.Â ….STOP….BREATHE….Start recording your games, start doing Arena and BG’s when you would normally waste time playing on the AH.Â Lastly unless some other portion of the game is requires your attention PRACTICE! You are a casual gamer and an hour to you is a month to the hardcore.
Player vs Environment, or Player vs WORLD, OK I don’t have fun titles for this, but just the same READ THE FORUMS! Yet again gear from PvE is made for PvE, so if a player wants to raid then raid.Â No One logged into to BC one day and went to Black Temple with level 70 greens and lived. Blizzard has made phenomenal improvements on game progression.Â Please do 5-Mans, Then Heroics, Then 10′s and then the 25 MAN RAID! Oddly enough they increase in difficulty as the gear gets better.
In case you didn’t notice the same steps apply on each area, practice, do the events/games, and read the forums.Â However, you may have not noticed the part where I discussed wasting your time and gold on Epics in the AH, reading about nerfs and who is OP, jumping around IF or UC spamming trade chat, or even trying to be amazing at everything.Â THATS BECAUSE I DIDN”T MENTION IT SO DON’T DO IT!
Bill Tripod(aka Kohrin 70 Warrior-Uther)
Well WOTLK is going to hit US stores in ten days and I can’t say more than 1-2 days later for places all across the globe. There’s been a bit of talk of preparation for the expansion, so I thought why not sum it all up here?
It’s a little late to be starting a new profession at this point, but if you currently have a profession around 250-300 I’d say finish it up for awesome perks for level 80 stuff. What perks might you ask, well you can find them here:
This will become a top dog money maker for level 80 when arena season 5 hits. It’s very possible to powerlevel this profession quickly; however, if you were late of stocking up on herbs your wallet might be hurting.
WotLK Gold Farming
At this point I’d say stock up as much gold as possible. If you haven’t gotten your epic flight mount though I would make an investment there. Why a 5200g mount? Well Northrend is going to be huge from what I’ve heard on the beta, so why torture yourself on a 100% ground mount or 60% flight mount? For gold farming you’ll want to take a look at Derek’s guide, I have a review in the forums but the overall summary is I am one happy consumer. You can find it here(YES, it will be revamped for WOTLK so you too can make ridiculous amounts of cash at 80)
WotLK Bank, Bags, Etc.
SELL, SELL AND SELL!!! You’ll want fresh bags and a whole lot of bank space for the vast amounts of items you’ll be gathering on your way to 80.Â You’ve got time for this particular preparation step, but don’t procrastinate to the point where your items aren’t worth crap.
WotLK PvP and PvE
At this point in arena you’re probably just messing around with 3.0 talents and probably grabbing a few pieces of gear from the arena vendors. This isn’t a bad idea as the gear will last you about 3-5 levels before replacement. Now as for all you raiders out there you’re going to want to grab as much T6/Sunwell gear as possible. The stat inflation won’t be as ridiculous as Pre-BC to BC so that gear will last you ’til about level 68.
Not a huge thing to be worried over, but you also don’t want to hinder yourself of time just because you didn’t want to drop a measly 50g. Basically once wrath drops respec to the talent spec that will allow you optimal PVE killing and dungeon crawling. You’ll probably grab a 51-point talent, but it’s more of a personal preference call.
Make Illidan eat his heart out by you BEING PREPARED and ignoring him for 10 levels lol.
This will probably be my last written site post before level 80, as I mainly wrote on pvp so I’ll seeya fellas Season 5! :)
Warriors around the world are going to be drooling when they see this…
Ghost is out for the rest of the evening so I thought I would make a quick post regarding a new warrior change. Berserker Rage will now be usable in all stances.(source)
While this change isn’t “major”, it’s still pretty big in my book. This will definitely help to further solidify the potential PvP protection spec, as well as offer tanking warriors extra rage throughout a fight.
Most PvP and DPS warriors are going to be in berserker stance anyway, basically meaning nothing…but for those few times when you’re in battle or defensive stance and need the extra rage in addition to the fear / sap immunity from this buff should be a dramatic improvement.
There’s been a lot of discussion recently regarding tanking, specifically how each tank in the WotLK will be able to effectively handle AoE pulls. Druids in particular are probably the worst off in this respect, but a major change to druid’s swipe ability should help quell some of these concerns.
Swipe Limit Removed – Ghostcrawler
We are going to remove the target limit on Swipe.
Swipe should not be limited by targets. This goes for Thunderclap too.
Any LK encounter really. We know the BC encounters were not designed to be tanked by any tank.
In a surprise move Blizzard announced earlier today that the damage on hunter’s aimed shot will be reduced. This after revealing just yesterday that aimed shot will become an instant cast in in patch 3.0.2.
Aimed Shot Damage Reduced
We’ll have to tone down the damage of Aimed Shot actually, probably in the ballpark of less than what it is now but more than what multi-shot does to a single target or arcane shot. We have not yet settled on the appropriate number.
In terms of their duration and cooldown, I think those are pretty in line with the Warrior variant. The idea behind this change is that the Hunter was intended to be a source of the “mortal strike wound” in group PvP, but keeping up the debuff is too difficult with a cast time. (source)
After blizzard’s initial post announcing instant cast aimed shot I was left thinking…what the hell, how can it possibly be balanced! Turns out there is a God after all, and it’s good to see Blizzard taking appropriate action to balance the new aimed shot. Overall I think this will be a very positive change for the hunter class, allowing them to function more like a warrior or a rogue, at least from the aspect of healing debuff utility.
In other hunter news, there were a few more changes announced by blue posters this afternoon.
Pet Health for WotLK Increased
We still are working on bumping the base health of the pets up. (source)
WotLK Beta Hunter Bugs
We’ve actually fixed that bestial wrath bug recently, should be in the next build.
Lock and Load
It isn’t 100%, its more around 2/4/6% on periodic damage from Serpent Sting. Its proc chance is in the ballpark of Shadow Trance (Nightfall) for Warlocks, though 2% higher (since Nightfall is 4%).
Seems like a tooltip bug.
Edit: Nm, seems like its really bugged.
All in all things are looking more promising for the hunter class. Blizzard has a much better vision for the class now than they did during the first half of the Burning Crusade and I believe they will be a much more engaging and balanced class come wrath of the lich king. I really would like to see the class take more of a damage and snare role, as opposed to just mana draining and running in circles.
Major hunter aimed shot changes – Now Instant Cast!
I have some good news, and some bad news. First, the bad news. Unfortunately we won’t be able to do the Aspect of the Viper change I discussed yesterday (passive instead of requiring you to attack the target) at this time because of technical limitations and its potential to shake up our current balance goals. However, we will evaluate it as an option for a future patch.
Now, the good news.
- Aimed Shot – This shot will now be instant cast, its damage/effect/cooldown will remain unchanged.
- Scatter shot – This will now be an 11-point Survival talent.
- Readiness – This will now be the 21-point Marksmanship talent.
- Trap Mastery – This will now be the 41-point Survival talent. Granted, not very sexy for a 41-pointer but we’ll do some changes there in a future patch (after WOLK ships).
These changes will be live in an upcoming beta build.
Wow…just wow, I’m at a loss for this change. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with buffing hunters for wotlk. There are certainly some areas where the class needs some help, but making aimed shot an instant cast seems “excessive” at the very least.
6 second cooldown, mortal strike debuff, and instant cast? I just don’t see how this can ever be balanced for PvP without some additional and major adjustments to hunter shot rotation.
PvP consideratios left aside, I think this will be a great buff for marks hunters in PvE. Hopefully bringing the spec closer to that of beast mastery once all the changes are finalized before wrath of the lich king.
If you’re a druid and not using focus macros then you’re not not playing at your maximum potential. Focus macros are the easiest way to quickly improve your play, both from PvP and PvE perspectives. If you aren’t already up on focus macros I strongly encourage you go ahead and read my fundamentals for focus macros guide, this will teach you how to setup and use focus macros.
Additionally, make sure you check out my druid macro guide for non-focus druid macros.
Crowd Control Druid Macros
Focus Cyclone Macro
/cast [target=focus] Cyclone
Focus Root Macro
/cast [target=focus] Entangling Roots
Focus Feral Charge Macro
/cast [target=focus] Feral Charge
Focus Hibernate Macro
/cast [target=focus] Hibernate
In my opinion the above 4 macros are absolutely crucial for all druids, particularly PvP druids. These will allow you to efficiently crowd control and / or heal multiple targets since without having to worry about constant target switching. At the very minimum you should be using the focus cyclone macro or arena / pvp purposes.
Modifier Crowd Control Macros
Focus Cyclone Macro + Modifier
/cast [target=focus, modifier:shift] Cyclone; Cyclone
Focus Root Macro + Modifier
/cast [target=focus, modifier:shift] Entangling Roots; Entangling Roots
Focus Feral Charge Macro + Modifier
/cast [target=focus, modifier:shift] Feral Charge; Feral Charge
Focus Hibernate Macro + Modifier
/cast [target=focus, modifier:shift] Hibernate; Hibernate
I prefer this second set of focus cc macros above the first. These will allow you use the focus version of the spell with a regular button press, or a standard target=target spell with a shift modifier. Note: you can change the “shift” to control or alt, or any combination of these three.
Healing Druid Macros
Nature’s Swiftness Focus Macros
/cast Nature’s Swiftness
/cast [target=focus] Healing Touch