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WotLK Mage Mana Longevity Buffed

October 6, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Blizzard has been talking about the issue with mage mana longevity for as long as I can remember. It has been a crucial issue for the class throughout burning crusade, specifically in PvP. Now, it looks like the class may finally be getting the buffs it has been asking for.

We think mages are still having mana problems and don’t want to reduce Evocation’s cooldown anymore. Nor do we want to buff mage armor too much more or using e.g. molten armor seems pointless.

Instead, we reduced the mana cost on Fireball, Frostbolt, Frostfire Bolt, Arcane Blast, Arcane Missiles, and Arcane Explosion. (source)

There’s been tons of changes during the patch 3.0.2 PTR, but I think this one eclipses them all. So long as an appropriate reduction is implemented this should solve many mana problems for the mage class. No exact value reduction has been announced yet, but I would expect to see a finalized version on the next PTR build.

WotLK Rogue Talents Q and A with Devs

September 29, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

Before we get into all the rogue Q and A below, I think it’s worth giving an e-high five to the best damn blue poster there’s ever been, Ghostcrawler. GC has gone well beyond the call of duty to help answer questions and concerns for every class. She’s meticulously explained the reasoning behind changes, received feedback, and truly listened to player concerns regarding WotLK balance.

Without his fine work and dedication I don’t think we’d have a WotLK looking nearly as good as it is. That said, let’s get into these rogue changes!

Rogue Raid Utility

In terms of the big raid buffs, the ones we consider rogues bringing are Expose Armor, Wound Poison and Mind Numbing Poison. There are plenty of others more along the lines of Kick and Sap that are harder to quantify.

It’s really great to see blizzard is taking a serious look at improving raid utility for rogues. I could definitely see expose armor stacking with sunder armor in WotLK, and potentially being changed to a percentage armor reduction…a change which nearly made it into TBC.

There are lots of ways Blizzard can add raid utility to the class and I’m very excited to see how they work poisons, EA, and other rogue abilities into future lich king encounters.

With that in mind can you tell us any plans that you have to better close this PvE to PvP gap that we’re seeing with certain trees? How do you plan to make all three trees viable across the board?

Yes, this is definitely a priority. It is a lot harder with classes in which all specs are still focused mostly on dps. We understand that some specs are just going to be better for 5-mans, for PvP or for raiding. We’re trying to equalize as much as possible, but we’re also trying to be realistic about our chances.

How do you plan to deal with talents which were still considered all too needed by rogues, particularly in the case of Relentless Strikes? Is there any possibility of making Relentless Strikes a core class ability we can all train?

Mandatory talents are tricky. There are certainly plenty of them in every tree. Every warrior spec without Cruelty is pretty experimental, as is every druid spec without Omen of Clarity. Part of the problem is we keep offering new character levels along with new talents, so each expansion ends up constraining you more and more to one tree. The real red flag, for me at least, is when a spec has so many truly mandatory talents (which is a funny thing to say, since it’s still a little subjective) that they don’t have any optional talents. Instead of a cookie-cutter build being something like 20 plus your choice, they become you must get these 24 talents. If that makes sense.

I wish GC would have just answered the question here instead of beating around the bush. To me this sounds more like a cop out for…no, we aren’t making them core abilities, deal with it until we figure out what to do later in the expansion. Either way, all 3 talent trees are looking pretty damn good.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to create anything but carbon copies of abilities in each of the 3 trees and not have SOME variance. If you want the highest DPS there will ALWAYS be a max DPS…even if by 1 or 2% one spec will ALWAYS be better.

I think it is very likely there will be a theoretical max dps build. However:

  • It will probably vary from boss to boss.
  • It might depend a lot on the skill of the player.
  • Because there are so many variables (by design) it may be really hard to “solve the equation” for which actually is the highest dps build.
  • For 90% of players (maybe more) that kind of damage difference is in the noise. Very few players can do 2500 dps one night and then 2525 dps another night (a 1% difference). Usually the delta is much larger than that because of random elements including things as non-gamey as Internet lag, how tired you are and just bad luck. If taking the most optimal build can’t guarantee you dps higher than the random element in the equation, it may very well not be worth taking. Now if the dps gain is significant by taking the best build, then I agree with you.

Rogue Talent Tree Conclusions

Rogue talents are hard because the class is ultimately very mathy. Without a finite resource like mana, it’s easy to analyze every possible move for its cost efficiency and ultimate damage delivery. This is coupled with the fact that it’s really easy for a rogue to move among trees. By contrast, before the advent of Frostfire Bolt a fire mage could mostly ignore frost. A shadow priest wants almost nothing in Holy. But having an emphais on poisons or stealth in a rogue tree doesn’t make a tree unattractive to a Combat rogue. I’m not trying to make excuses, but perhaps more than any other class, I find that rogues can evaluate a talent’s utility pretty easily. It’s a cool thing about the class, but it makes talent design challenging.

I think I mentioned this in another thread, but our team has a really amazing rogue theorycrafter who stays really in touch with the community (anonymously). We have a surprising number of really good players on the team in general, but I always feel really safe about his conclusions on rogues. But that has also meant fewer blue posts than you deserve, so I’m trying to make up for that.

Top 7 Kick Ass WotLK Achievements

September 29, 2008 by · 7 Comments 

7. The Explorer

Tired of the generic pick up 5 of X, kill 10 of Y? Yeah…me too, which is why I’m pretty excited for the challenge of The Explorer! Those who think they are up to the challenge will become a regular Magellan as they sail the seas and explore every zone, every nook and cranny of all 4 continents. For accomplishing this feat you’ll be awarded with a new title, The Explorer.

6. Make Love, Not Warcraft

Even blizzard has a pretty good sense of humor every once and a while. All you have to do to complete this achievement is shoot off a quick /hug on a player you’ve just killed. Personally I think this will be one of the easiest achievements I’ll have to do, especially considering all the /gloat and /spit practice I’ve got in over the years.

5. Leading the Calvary

This achievement isn’t for the casual gamer, not by any stretch. To Lead the Calvary and ride above mere mortals on your Albino Drake you’ll have to acquire a staggering 50 mounts. That’s, right…50! Don’t worry though, you can use 60% ground mounts, 100% ground mounts, 60% flying mounts, and 100% flying mounts to reach that total. If you try to complete this in patch 3.0 you’ll be in for a tough grind, there’s only around 85 total mounts available for TBC, and this includes all rare / trading card mounts / arena drakes / other things you probably won’t have.

Once the Wrath of the Lich King is released there will be a host of new ground and flying mounts, making this achievement much easier.

4. Leroy Jenkins

What would this top list by without a mention of the legendary Leroy Jenkins. The video made popular shortly after WoW’s release and launched the legend of Leroy is now its own achievement! Succeed where Leroy failed and slay 50 dragon whelps in under 15 seconds in Upper Black Rock Spire.

If you haven’t seen the video make sure you check it out! Leroy Jenkins Video

3. Grand Caravan Mammoth

Nothing too complicated here…Obtain a Grand Caravan Mammoth from Mei Francis in Dalaran. No problem right? Or so you thought! Only professional Chinese farmers and Zuggy’s Gold Mastery Guide users will have any hope of completing this achievement (if they want to still have a life that is!).

The Grand Caravan Mammoth costs a mammoth…pun intended, 15,000g! Though it’s well worth the costs, you can carry up to 3 passengers on your mount, including vendors should you choose to invite them to hop on! I love this achievement because it’s the first true money sink that says nothing more than…

HEY LOOK AT ME! Anyone else ready for Mammoth trains in Orgrimmar?

2. Avast Ye, Admiral!

At long last all us bloodsail scallywags are getting our just deserves! This achievement isn’t one to be taken lightly, and for this reason it’s making my list. To complete this achievement and gain the title of Bloodsail Admiral you must get to friendly with the Bloodsail Buccaneers. Sounds easy enough, right? Not exactly, in order to get to friendly you’ll be killing thousands of booty bay goblins to increase your reputation, in doing so you’ll not only be tanking your booty bay reputation, but all Steamweedle Cartel factions. All the way to 0/36,000 hated with every faction of the Steamweedle Cartel.

This will prevent you from doing anything associated with goblins until you get your reputation back up. So, do ye think ye are up to thy challenge, matey!?

1. For the Horde! / For the Alliance!

Whether it’s raiding, battlegrounds or arena I love anything that brings people together for the purposes for domination, and domination is what these achievements are all about. In order to complete this achievement you must kill all 4 opposing faction leaders, a feat easier said than done. Most of these faction leaders will require a raid of at least 40 members.

Those who accept and complete this daunting challenge will be rewarded with a black war bear mount.

You’ve heard my top 7 now I want to hear yours! What achievements do you think should make the list?

Shaman Guide

September 22, 2008 by · 1 Comment 

In this shaman guide you will find all current strategy guides related to the shaman class on Zug Gaming. This shaman guide will be continually updated to reflect patch changes, new content, updated strategies, etc. If there’s is an area you think this guide need improvement on please drop us a note on the Zug Gaming forums.

Shaman Arena Strategy

  • coming soon!

Shaman Talent Builds

Shaman Macros

Shaman PvP Videos

Other Strategy Guides

Patch 3.0 Hits Background Downloader

September 12, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

For those of you who use the launcher you may have already noticed the background downloader ticking away. Blizzard moved one step closer to releasing patch 3.0, the bridging patch between TBC and WOTLK, yesterday by moving most of the patch 3.0.2 data files to the background downloader.

The next major content patch is coming, and it’s big. In order to smooth the way, we will shortly enable background downloading of most of the data for this patch. People who use the Launcher and have background downloading enabled will automatically start getting the data. The Downloader downloads faster in general now, so you may want to adjust your background download settings. You can adjust these settings in the Launcher, by visiting the Options page. If you want the fastest possible download, check the “Don’t throttle background download”. However, note that this can affect the performance of other programs running at the same time.

Patch 3.0 and WotLK On The Way!

The patch is pretty damn huge, over 800mg, while this might be a slight annoyance it brings us ever closer to all the rewards of 3.0 World of Warcraft. Initially I was thinking it might be another 6 weeks or so before patch 3.0 finally released, but with this announcement in combination with the background downloaded I believe it may be sooner than we all thought, a lot sooner.

WoW Gold Making Strategy #3 – Changing Markets and WotLK Speculation

September 2, 2008 by · 1 Comment 

gold making tipsFor those of you who have been up with all of wrath of the lich king changes then you may already be up on this, but if not you should be! The expansion is right around the corner, and with it is coming a complete overhaul of the World of Warcraft economy. Bringing with it massive changes, market shifts and new product niches.

The only question…will you change with it? or go the way of the dodo?

In my most recent installment of my newest feature here on ZugGaming I detail a bit about some of these changes and how you can prepare yourself for the expansion. Take a quick look at the video below and get yourself prepared for the biggest gold making bonanza in WoW history!

WotLK Arena Change

August 26, 2008 by · 5 Comments 

Big news from the blue front this morning regarding arena in wrath of the lich king. As you may have expected there are various brackets for arena, so as soon as you level past 70 you won’t be able to compete or purchase items in the 70 bracket.

Furthermore, any arena points you may have had will be reset to zero once you leave this 70 bracket. Make sure you note this, once you hit 71 you’re arena points are reset to zero! So don’t be thinking you can save up for level 80 items, spend your points and enjoy them now!

Finally, there will be a new level 80 arena bracket, slated to begin sometime after WotLK launches. If it’s anything like TBC’s launch I’d imagine it’d be somewhere in the area of 3-5 weeks after launch, which should give sufficient time for even the slowest players to level from 70-80. This new arena will include a completly new set of updated armor, weapons, etc. and rewards for top players.

Check out the full post by Wyraxian’s full post on the subject below.

We want to provide some information about the direction of the Arena system. Upon the release of Wrath of the Lich King, players will find they are still able to access the Arena system at level 70 for rated matches. Those competing in the Arenas at 70 will still be able to attain items using Arena points and rankings; however, we do not currently plan to offer new items or titles for this bracket. Players who level past 70 will have their Arena points reset to 0 and be removed from all Arena teams in the level-70 bracket.

Two new skirmish brackets (71-75, 76-80) will be available for players who wish to hone their Arena skills while leveling in Northrend. Those who reach level 80 will once again have the opportunity to create new Arena teams and play in rated matches once a new season starts. New items, titles, and end-of-season rewards will be offered to the most successful teams at level 80. Additionally, the sets released for the Arenas in Wrath of the Lich King will no longer share aesthetic similarities with tiered raiding gear. We want those equipped with the best PvP rewards and those with the best raiding sets to stand out from each other. Players at level 80 will also have the opportunity to compete in two new Arenas featuring challenging new layouts, terrain hazards, and moving obstacles.

Wrath of the Lich King Launch?

July 17, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

Well, today it appears that we are moving one step closer to the official Wrath of the Lich King launch. Today’s “hint” of the approaching expansion comes in the form of a mistake made on the part of a Blizzard web developer. Take a look at this page which was mistakenly posted (it was quickly removed, but not before we got some screen shots!).

wrath of the lich king

wrath of the lich king death knight