January 9, 2013

Raid Finder drop rate will increase in patch 5.2

Blizzard Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street tweeted today regarding raid finder loot drops.

As the OP opined, this will be welcome news indeed for players worried about gearing alts after the appearance of patch 5.2. The introduction of the new raid tier so soon after the current tier likely leaves many players worried about the time investment required to catch up to a relevant gear level.

Given Blizzard's desire not to introduce new 5-man content at this stage in the gearing curve, the main gear progression will continue to be via raid finder, requiring players leveling alts for 5.2 raiding to gear up through 5.0's raid finder. The increased drop rate will, therefore, surely be welcomed. Nonetheless, it seems likely that a new 90 will have to work their way through gearing via the three current raids before being able to progress too quickly into the 5.2 tier. This seems a fairly high demand, given how easily players were able to gear alts in Cataclysm. Is the contrast between this expansion and the last too great?

With 5.2, Blizzard have certainly hinted that alt catch-up will be on the table. What else could the be doing to help players progress several characters without spoiling the fun of those who only want a main?

January 8, 2013

New rogue talents and other rogue buffs coming in patch 5.2

If you follow rogue news, you know the class is in a bit of a funk. The developers are certainly aware of the class's low representation and they're aiming to fix it. Two new rogue talents have been datamined from patch 5.2: Hit and Run and Marked for Death. Where these new talents fall in the talent trees, we aren't yet sure. One of them is surely replacing Preparation, which has now become a baseline ability.

In addition to the new talents, great changes have been made to select existing talents and abilities. For example, Deadly Throw no longer requires a full 5 combo points to interrupt an opponent's spellcasting, but rather only 3. Shuriken Toss, when used beyond 10 yards, turns all of your auto-attacks into ranged shurikens with a 30 yard range for 10 seconds. Do keep in mind, however, that this is the PTR. So sayeth Ghostcrawler:

Everything on the PTR is subject to change. Get excited, but cautiously so.

World of Warcraft Patch 5.2 PTR patch note preview

A preview of the notes for the patch 5.2 PTR has just been released on the official blog. While the PTR may not be open until January, Blizzard certainly isn't wasting any time with getting the information out there and readily available to players. The trend of speedy patches in Mists of Pandaria seems to be continuing as hoped, which should make players very happy, and far less apt to run out of content to do. Highlights from the patch include:

  • The new raid, Throne of Thunder, which includes 12 new raid encounters and an additional 13th foe unlocked upon defeating Emperor Lei Shen in Heroic mode.
  • New daily quest hub: The Isle of the Thunder King -- the Kirin-Tor Offensive and the Sunreaver Onslaught face off to lay claim to Emperor Lei Shen's island stronghold and the treasures contained therein.
  • Two new world bosses, Nalak the Storm Lord and Oondasta
  • An option to purchase Sunsong Ranch to make it a resting point like an inn. Work orders will come in from various factions, and completing the work orders will grant you reputation with the issuing faction.
  • All world bosses are now Tap to Faction. This new system offers every eligible player of the same faction that engages a boss the chance to earn loot.
Read on for the full list of patch notes for Patch 5.2.

Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft PTR Patch 5.2

  • New Daily Quest Hub: The Isle of the Thunder King.
    • Here players can join the assault to conquer Emperor Lei Shen's island stronghold, unlock new questlines and daily quest hubs, participate in special events, earn the right to visit the fabled Treasure Room, lay claim an arsenal of powerful Mogu artifacts for their faction, and more.
    • Each faction's finest are spearheading the assault: the Kirin-Tor Offensive led by Jaina Proudmoore and the Sunreaver Onslaught led by Lor'themar Theron. Earning reputation with these new factions offers heroes the opportunity to receive new quests and reputation rewards, including powerful items and an intimidating new mount.
    • After both the Alliance and the Horde have eked out a foothold on the isle, players can choose to perform quests that are PvE or PvP focused. PvP quests will direct players against opposing faction NPCs, but slaying opposing players will grant credit as well.
    • As the heroes conquer the Isle, they will unlock the powerful Lightning Forge, which will allow Blacksmiths to forge mighty raid-worthy items, as well as classic weapons from the past.
    • Players on the PTR can teleport to the Isle of the Thunder King at their faction shrines in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. While the Isle of the Thunder King will be unlocked progressively by each realm based on participation in the war effort, initially only some of the Isle's features will be unlocked. Future updates will include the Shipyard and the Main Courtyard. Some features, including the Treasure Room, will not yet be available.
  • New Raid: Throne of Thunder
    • Emperor Lei Shen, the Thunder King, has returned to wreak his vengeance on Pandaria. It falls to the heroes of the Alliance and the Horde to stop the newly resurrected tyrant and his Zandalari allies in the massive new raid: Throne of Thunder.
    • Throne of Thunder is a sprawling citadel housing 12 new raid encounters, and players that defeat Emperor Lei Shen in Heroic mode can earn the opportunity to face an additional 13th foe.
    • The Raid Finder version of the Throne of Thunder will be divided into 4 different wings.
    • Join the Shado-Pan Assault in their singular drive to see Lei Shen, The Thunder King defeated once and for all, and gain access to impressive Valor reward items. Reputation with this faction can be earned only within the Throne of Thunder raid dungeon.
    • Please note: During the 5.2 PTR, this raid dungeon will only be available during a limited testing window. Keep an eye on our PTR Discussion Forum for details.
  • The Legendary Quest Continues:
    • Wrathion must know the origin and source of Mogu power, and Azeroth's mightiest heroes will aid the Black Prince in finding out what it is. The search for information will take players into the depths of the Thunder King's Palace, and pit them against trials of perseverence and skill. Along the way, they'll unlock the secrets to a new headgear enchantment, the Crown of the Heavens.
    • Please note: Initially this quest is not available on the PTR, but will be coming soon.
  • New World Bosses: Nalak, the Storm Lord and Oondasta
    • Nalak, the Storm Lord
      • After the Isle of the Thunder King has been conquered, the gate guardian of the Thunder King's citadel will appear: Nalak, the Storm Lord. Players will frequently have the opportunity to test their mettle against him.
    • Oondasta
      • Found in a place that has been lost in time, the great devilsaur lord Oondasta has been outfitted for battle with weaponry and armor by the Zandalari, and awaits players brave enough (or foolhardy enough) to seek him out on the mysterious Isle of Giants found in the seas north of Kun-Lai Summit.
  • Buy The Farm
    • Players that have grown attached to working the land at Sunsong Ranch can now purchase the land from Farmer Yoon. Once the farm is owned by a player, it becomes a rest point like an Inn, where the player can bind and instantly log out. Work orders will pour in to the farm from factions across Pandaria, and completing a work orders will earn a reputation boost with the issuing faction.
    • Please note: The new Sunsong Ranch features are not available on the PTR, but will be coming soon.
  • New World Boss System
    • All world bosses are now Tap to Faction. This new system offers every eligible player of the same faction that engages a boss the chance to earn loot. Under the new system, players will only be able to earn loot from each world boss once per week, but bonus rolls apply. Bosses will now respawn more frequently as well.

  • Death Knight
    • Death Siphon now heals for 150% of the damage dealt (was 100%).
    • Conversion now costs 5 Runic Power plus 5 per second thereafter (was 10 Runic Power plus 10 per second).
    • The Bloodworms summoned by Blood Parasite now have 200% more health.
    • Unholy
      • Reaping now also applies to Icy Touch.
      • Summon Gargoyle no longer costs Runic Power.
      • Gargoyle Strike now deals Shadow and Nature damage (was Nature only).
      • Ebon Plaguebringer now causes Plague Strike to inflict Frost Fever, in addition to its other effects.
  • Druid
    • Cyclone now has a 30 second cooldown for Feral Druids. In addition, it will now share diminishing returns with Banish, Seduction, Bind Elemental, Hex, Freezing Trap, Wyvern Sting, Gouge, Sap, Hibernate, Paralysis, Polymorph, Ring of Frost, Repentance, and Quaking Palm.
    • Symbiosis
      • Shattering Blow now has a 1.5 second cast time to align correctly with the Warrior version of this ability.
    • Displacer Beast has been redesigned. It now triggers Cat Form and grants 50% increased movement speed for 4 seconds after teleporting, and no longer activates Prowl.
    • Cenarion Ward now grants 100% increased healing.
    • Frenzied Regeneration now scales 10% more efficiently with attack power.
    • Tooth and Claw now scales 10% more efficiently with attack power.
    • Mastery: Nature's Guardian now provides 20% more armor per Mastery rating.
    • Rejuvenation now costs approximately 9% less mana.
    • Revive and Mark of the Wild now cost 55% less mana.
    • Faerie Swarm can now snare more than one target at a time.
    • Mass Entanglement now has a 30 second cooldown (was 2 minutes).
    • Typhoon now has a 30 second cooldown (was 20 seconds).
    • The Treants summoned by Force of Nature now deal more damage and healing, and the Force of Nature tooltip will report the capabilities of these summoned pets.
    • Soul of the Forest
      • Balance: Now generates 40 Lunar or Solar energy upon leaving Eclipse.
      • Feral: Unchanged.
      • Guardian: Generates 3 additional Rage per Mangle.
      • Restoration: Now grants 70% Haste on the next spell cast after the Druid casts Swiftmend.
    • Nature's Vigil now has a 90 second cooldown (was 3 minutes), and now increases damage and healing done by 10% (was 20%).
  • Hunter
    • Bestial Wrath may now be activated when there is no line of sight to the Hunter's pet.
    • Silencing Shot now has a 24 second cooldown (was 20).
    • Binding Shot no longer has a Focus cost.
    • Wyvern Sting no longer has a Focus cost, and its cooldown is now 45 seconds (was 60 seconds).
    • Glyph of Marked for Death has been removed, and its effects are now baseline.
    • New Glyph: Glyph of Liberation. This glyph now causes Disengage to heal the Hunter for 5% of maximum health when used.
  • Mage
    • Invocation now removes Evocation's cooldown and reduces its channeling time and duration by 50%. A completed Evocation now grants 15% increased damage (was 25%) for 1 minute (was 40 seconds) after an Evocation is completed. Passive mana regeneration is reduced by 50% only while Invoker's Energy is active.
    • Greater invisibility now has a 90 second cooldown (was 2.5 minutes).
    • Frostbolt cast by Mirror Images now deals 50% more damage.
    • Improved Counterspell has been removed.
    • Glyph of Fire Blast has been replaced with Glyph of Inferno Blast. Glyph of Inferno Blast causes damage over time effects spread by Inferno Blast to spread to 1 additional target.
    • Blazing Speed can now be triggered at will.
    • Cold Snap now heals the Mage for 15% of maximum health when used (was 30%).
    • Ice Floes now has a 45 second cooldown (was 1 minute).
    • Scorch now costs 3.5% of base mana (was 0.1%).
    • Arcane
      • Arcane Blast's mana cost has been increased to 1.66667% of base mana (was 1.5%).
    • Frost
      • Frostbolt now deals 24% more damage, but its debuff no longer increases subsequent Frostbolt damage.
      • Water Elemental
        • Freeze no longer does damage, and only provides Fingers of Frost on a successful freeze.
  • Monk
    • New Level 60 Talent: Ring of Peace
      • Ring of Peace forms a 8 yard sanctuary around the target for 8 seconds, causing all enemies in the area of effect to be silenced and disarmed.
    • New Windwalker and Brewmaster ability added at level 30: Nimble Brew. Nimble Brew removes all stun, fear, and root effects, and reduces the duration of those effects if they are re-applied by 60% for 6 seconds. It has a 2 minute cooldown.
    • Chi Wave now does 100% more damage and healing, and no longer costs Chi, but now has a 15 second cooldown.
    • Zen Sphere now has a limit of 2 (was 1), now detonates when either the recipient reaches 35% health or the Zen Sphere is dispelled, and no longer costs Chi.
    • Chi Burst now does 100% more damage and healing, no longer costs Chi, and now has a 30 second cooldown.
    • Path of Blossoms has been removed.
    • Deadly Reach has been removed.
    • Paralysis is now a physical, non-magical effect, and can no longer be dispelled, grounded or reflected, and its base range has been increased to 20 yards.
    • Tiger's Lust and Touch of Karma no longer have a Chi cost.
    • Tiger's Lust can no longer be used on targets that have other temporary speed increases active.
    • Charging Ox Wave now has a 30 second cooldown (was 60 seconds).
    • Dampen Harm can now be used while stunned, and its cooldown will now begin when used, not when the effect ends.
    • Healing Elixirs now heals the Monk for 15% of maximum health (was 10%).
    • Chi Torpedo now deals 15% more damage.
    • Healing Spheres now have a duration of 1 minute. Healing Spheres generated by Mastery: Gift of the Serpent now have a duration of 30 seconds.
    • Mistweaver
      • Life Cocoon can no longer be dispelled.
      • Zen Focus, the 4-piece Mistweave set bonus, is now more responsive.
      • It is no longer possible to use Thunder Focus Tea while silenced.
      • Healing Spheres will now heal for 50% of their original value if they expire without being picked up. This healing will factor in relevant Mastery.
      • Xuen will now fixate on the Monk's original target.
    • Windwalker
      • New Level 75 Ability: Storm, Earth and Fire
        • The Windwalker can summon up to two elemental duplicates that mirror damaging abilities that the Monk uses while they are active. For each spirit summoned, the Monk's damage is reduced: 1 spirit causes the Monk and the spirit to deal 60% of the Monk's normal damage, while 2 spirits will cause the Monk and both active spirits to deal 40% of the Monk's normal damage. Each spirit lasts until the ability is canceled, or that spirit's target dies or otherwise becomes unavailable.
      • Combo Breaker is now a passive ability granted at level 15 that grants a 12% chance to make the Monk's next Blackout Kick or Tiger Palm cost no Chi.
      • New Mastery: Bottled Fury -- Increases the damage bonus provided by Tigereye Brew by .2% per Mastery per stack.
      • Tigereye Brew now increases damage by 1% per stack (was 2%), but is now improved by Bottled Fury.
      • Tigereye Brew now gains 1 charge after spending 2 Chi (was 4 Chi).
      • Tigereye Brew will now stack to 20, but only 10 charges can be consumed per activation.
      • A user interface alert now displays upon reaching 10 stacks of Tigereye Brew.
    • Brewmaster
      • Mastery: Elusive Brawler now provides 25% more Stagger per Mastery rating.
  • Paladin
    • Hand of Purity now reduces all incoming damage by 10% in addition to its other effects.
    • Eternal Flame's periodic heal now provides 100% more healing when self-cast.
    • Judgment now costs 5% of base mana.
    • Protection
      • The base damage of Consecration has been increased by 789%, and it now scales less efficiently with attack power by approximately 11%.
  • Priest
    • Power Word: Solace has been redesigned.
      • Power Word: Solace replaces Holy Fire. It deals the same damage and interacts with other spells and abilities in the same manner, but is instant, costs no mana, and restores 1% of maximum mana on each cast.
    • Dominate Mind now has a 1.8 second cast time (was 2.5 seconds).
    • Angelic Feather now has a 6 second duration (was 4 seconds).
    • Body and Soul now has a 3 second duration (was 4 seconds).
    • Glyph of Holy Fire has been redesigned. It now increases the range of Holy Fire, Smite, and Power Word: Solace by 10 yards.
    • Discipline
      • Focused Will now reduces damage taken by 15% per stack, with a limit of 2 stacks.
      • Spirit Shell no longer benefits from Mastery, and now properly includes the benefits of Divine Aegis and critical effect chance.
      • Rapture now provides mana equal to 250% (was 200%) of the Priest's Spirit, but no longer benefits from Spirit provided by short duration bonuses.
  • Rogue
    • Preparation is now a baseline ability learned at level 68.
    • Versatility has been removed.
    • New Level 90 Talent: Marked for Death
      • Marks a target and instantly generates 5 combo points. When that target dies, Marked for Death's cooldown is reset. This talent has a 1 minute cooldown.
    • New Level 60 Talent: Cloak and Dagger
      • Ambush, Garrote, and Cheap Shot now have a 30 yard range, and will cause the Rogue to teleport behind the target.
    • Burst of Speed now costs 30 Energy (was 50 Energy), can be used in Stealth, and always grants increased movement speed in addition to breaking snare effects, but no longer breaks root effects.
    • Shuriken Toss now causes the Rogue to throw shuriken instead of autoattacking for 10 seconds after Shuriken Toss is used.
    • Deadly Throw can now interrupt spellcasting when used at 3, 4, and 5 combo points, and upon interrupt prevents any spell in that school from being cast for 4, 5 and 6 seconds respectively (was 5 combo points and 6 seconds).
    • Nerve Strike now reduces the effectiveness of healing provided by the target by 25%.
    • Shadow Focus now reduces ability energy costs by 75% while stealthed (was 100%).
    • PvP set bonuses have been changed:
      • Vigor is now the 4 piece set bonus and increases maximum energy by 50 (was 10).
      • Deadly Brew is now the 2 piece set bonus, and its effects remain unchanged.
    • Combat
      • Vitality now increases attack power by 30% (was 25%).
      • Blade Flurry now deals 75% less damage.
    • Subtlety
      • Sanguinary Vein now increases the damage the target takes by 20% (was 16%).
  • Warlock
    • The Felhunter ability Spell Lock is now an interrupt, and no longer applies a 3 second blanket silence.
    • Blood Fear has been redesigned. This ability is now cast on the Warlock, and causes melee attacks that strike within the next 60 seconds to fear the attacker. When cast, the ability has 1 charge, costs 20% health to activate, and has a 30 second cooldown.
    • Soul Leech now provides an absorption shield instead of healing.
    • Sacrificial Pact now requires the pet to sacrifice 25% of its health to activate (was 50%).
    • Kil'jaeden's Cunning is now a passive talent, and its activated ability has been removed.
    • The passive damage from Archimonde's Vengeance no longer has a visual effect.
    • Grimoire of Sacrifice now increases the damage of abilities by 20% (was 25%) for Destruction, and 45% (was 50%) for Affliction.
    • Grimoire of Sacrifice now provides the spell Whiplash instead of Seduction when a Succubus is sacrificed.
    • Glyph of Burning Embers has been removed, and its effects are now baseline for Destruction Warlocks.
    • Glyph of Soul Shards has been removed, and its effects are now baseline for Affliction Warlocks.
    • New Glyph: Glyph of Ember Tap. This glyph increases the healing gained from Ember Tap by 50%.
    • New Glyph: Glyph of Drain Life. This glyph increases the healing gained from Drain Life by 30%.
  • Warrior
    • Shockwave now has a 40 second cooldown (was 20 seconds), striking 3 or more targets will reduce its cooldown by 20 seconds.
    • Second Wind now causes a Warrior that has been reduced to 35% health or lower to regenerate 2% of their health per second (was 3%), and now generates 15 Rage over 10 seconds (was 20 Rage).
    • Warbringer now reduces the target's movement by 50% for 15 seconds (8 seconds in PvP) in addition to its other effects.
    • Shield Barrier now scales approximately 10% less efficiently with attack power.
    • Storm Bolt now deals 125% weapon damage (was 100%).
    • Enraged Regeneration now costs 30 Rage (was 60).
    • Glyph of Death from Above no longer increases the damage dealt by Heroic Leap.
    • Arms
      • Taste for Blood has been redesigned. It now causes the Warrior to gain 2 stacks of Overpower (maximum of 5 stacks) when Mortal Strike deals damage or the target dodges, and no longer interacts with Heroic Strike. It now requires level 20 (was level 50).
      • Slam now deals 220% weapon damage (was 190%).
    • Protection
      • The base damage of Shield Slam and Revenge has been increased by 150%, but these abilities now scale approximately 10% less efficiently with attack power.
  • Shaman
    • Elemental Mastery now has a 1 minute cooldown (was 2 minutes).
    • Shamanistic Rage is now available to Elemental Shamans as well as Enhancement Shamans.
    • Conductivity no longer requires that the target be within the area of effect of Healing Rain.
    • Ancestral Swiftness now increases spell haste by 5% and melee haste by 10% (was 5%/5%).
    • Glyph of Purge now adds a 6 second cooldown to Purge.
    • Stone Bulwark Totem now absorbs 25% more damage.
    • Unleashed Fury Flametongue now increases Lightning Bolt damage by 20% (was 30%), and Lava Burst damage by 10% (was 0%).
    • Primal Earth Elemental and Primal Fire Elemental now deal 20% more damage.
    • Elemental Blast now has a chance to increase the caster's Agility for Enhancement Shamans.
    • Glyph of Flame has been redesigned. This glyph now causes the Shaman to heal for 50% of the damage dealt by Flame Shock.
    • Flame Shock's duration has been increased by 25%.
  • Warlocks can now undertake a solo adventure that culminates with the ability to change the color of their Fire spells to appear Fel green. The quest begins for those Warlocks determined or fortunate enough to have laid their hands on teh fabled Codex of Xerrath.
  • Zandalari forces have begun scouting the shores of Pandaria, searching for the perfect invasion point. The Zandalari can be found in Krasarang Wilds, Dread Wastes, Townlong Steppes, Jade Forest, and Kun-Lai Summit. Zandalari Scouts can be handled by 1 or 2 players, while elite Zandalari Warbringers will likely require a full party of 5 heroes. Defeat Warbringers to gain special drops, including crafting materials, reputation gains, an achievement, and even the chance to get one of three new rare mounts!
  • Galleon now respawns much more frequently, but players can only receive loot from him once per week.
  • Dire Horns have been added as a tameable species for Hunters that have learned the required skill. Aspiring Dire Horn owners should seek out clues regarding these auspicious beasts
Pet Battles
  • Supercharge now provides a 125% damage bonus (was 150%), and its cooldown is now 4 rounds (was 3).
  • Sprite Darter Hatchling – Evanescence and Arcane Blast have swapped ability positions.
  • Nether Roach is now a real roach and can now survive the apocalypse.
  • Battle Pet Bandages now stack to 25 and are Bind to Account.
  • Battle-Stones now have a chance to be awarded from PVP Pet Battles.
  • Pets whose color schemes change each time they are summoned have returned. Older pets with this behavior now have it back, as well as some newcomers.
  • Pet levels will now only display on the map when pets are tracked.
  • Taming the World now lists its reward correctly in the Achievements pane.
  • Level capped players will now have a chance to each Lesser Charms of Good Fortune after winning a pet battle versus a Pet within 5 levels of the highest level pet on their team. Higher level pets will offer a better chance to earn a Charm.
  • Winning a pet battle versus a team within 5 levels of the player's highest level pet will now award player experience.
  • Fleeing a pet battle will no longer despawn the pet that was being battled, but doing so will now inflict some damage on the fleeing pet battle team.
  • Disconnecting from a pet battle will once again respawn the pets you were fighting.
  • Any pet that has been killed in a pet battle will now never respawn.
  • A number of new pets can be found on the Isle of Lightning, including Rare spawn drops, wild pets, and raid boss drops.
  • Elite Battle Pets have been added to the game world. These rare pets will spawn alone against an entire team. A new quest has been added to track progress as these new pets are hunted down, and defeating that quest will award the new Red Panda pet.
  • Please note: Many of these changes have not yet come to the PTR, but will be available soon.
  • PvP trinkets that clear loss of control effects will now also clear these effects from the player's pet as well.
  • Skyshards are now Bind on Account.
Sunsong Ranch
  • Seed bags have been added, that allow planting of crops 4 plots at a time.
  • Yoon's Mailbox has been renamed to Sunsong Ranch Mailbox.
  • The yield from special crops has been improved to make farming them competitive with gathering these items out in the world.
  • Running the Master Plow across underground Virmen will cause them to pop out of the ground at 30% health and stunned.
  • Wild Crops will now occur less often.
Bug Fixes
  • Classes
    • Druid
    • It is no longer possible for a weaker application of Living Seed to overwrite a stronger one.
    • Paladin
    • It is no longer possible to refresh Inquisition to a lower duration.
    • Mage
    • The cooldown of Cauterize will now properly reset upon entering an Arena.
    • Warlock
    • Grimoire of Service now describes its special abilities on the tooltip.

    The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Titan's Grip

    So as I predicted, I did not get a second weapon for SMF. I've decided this is the universe telling me that my fury spec is to forever be Titan's Grip, and I'm okay with that. What with the holidays raiding itself was slow over the past two weeks, so I jumped onto the beta and messed around with some older content to test out my theory about Second Wind, and I was right - it's a significant kick in the teeth to our ability to solo older content. Granted, it mostly means we need help with Wrath era raids, but if you were feeling cocky about being able to solo, as an example, Trial of the Crusader 10, adjust your expectations.
    So far in Mists raiding, TG seems to be on par with SMF for the most part. I've had days where I handily beat the SMF warriors in our raids, and days where they beat me just as easily. I raided with Shockwave instead of my customary Bladestorm/Dragon Roar last night and it worked out fine, but in the end I switched back to Dragon Roar for its being useful both as a single-target and a multi-target ability. In general, I feel fairly confident in saying that fury warriors can raid with either TG or SMF, depending entirely on the combination of personal preference and what drops for you. That being said, four piece tier 14 is pretty much essential for parity as a DPS warrior, and even more so for fury with its desperate need to crit on pretty much every Bloodthirst. Since TG swings on average a full second slower than SMF, it seems exaggerated.

    Keep in mind that SMF sims better at present, so all things being equal it might be the best possible choice for a DPS warrior min-maxing obsessively.

    The Care and Feeding of Warriors Titan's Grip Saturday
    Of course TG rewards the best possible weapons, which at this stage of the game is whatever flavor of Shin'ka is available to you. There's no maces at all this tier of raiding and only one sword, so if you're raiding you're either using Shin'ka or trying to get one. (For players running heroics, there are several 2h weapons available in heroic dungeons and a crafted axe at the same ilevel) There's really not much else to be said about weapons for TG - there are two of them, and Shin'ka is by far the better option.

    Right now, in terms of itemization, once you get hit and expertise in the right general ballpark of 7.5% apiece, get crit. Crit crit crit as much as you can get. All fury, indeed all DPS warriors love crit, but TG loves crit like a mouse loves a teddy bear. (Trust me, mice love teddy bears.) You should be gemming for crit unless you need to gem for hit/crit to make a cap, you should be slapping the crit enchant on your cloak, you should be reforging for crit or choosing crit gear whenever possible. We talked before about how crit interacts with Bloodthirst, so I'll just summarize it - your critical hit chance is doubled for Bloodthirst, so if you're looking at your character pane and seeing a 31% crit rate, what that means is that you have a 62% chance to get enraged every BT. Since enrage gives a 10% damage buff for 6 seconds, the more crit the better until you hit 50% raid buffed. Since you can hit BT every 4.5 seconds, the higher your crit rate, the closer you can get to being enraged more or less constantly and getting a flat 10% damage buff.

    The Care and Feeding of Warriors Titan's Grip Saturday

    I really can't say enough how good the four piece set bonus is. Beingh able to use Recklessness every two and a half minutes is huge for fury, since it will push you very close to 100% crit on Bloodthirst while it's active.

    After crit, most sources will tell you mastery over haste. This is in part because of how bad haste is for us, and in part because mastery has good synergy with crit because of how our mastery works. The closer you get to that complete uptime for the Enrage damage buff, the more mastery does to increase that damage buff. Mastery is a distant second to crit, it's absolutely true, and you'll want to get hit and expertise around those soft caps first. I'd put strength ahead of mastery as well, although behind crit (I'd recommend gemming for crit over strength for TG warriors). As for weapon enchants, Dancing Steel if you've got the money or mats for it, with Windsong as the backup enchant.

    I personally love Bladestorm, but unless you're expecting to really need AoE damage (say, the adds that get summoned by Heroic Feng's shield throw or during Shek'zeer) Dragon Roar and Shockwave are probably better. Shockwave is annoying for DPS due to its 20 second cooldown (to become 40 seconds in 5.2 unless adds are up) which means that for me Dragon Roar is the talent I take for bosses. For level 90 I tend to prefer Bloodbath due to its low cooldown. It's easy to use Bloodbath both in conjuction with other cooldowns and by itself to increase overall DPS, while Avatar seems lackluster in comparison. Is the 20% damage increase of Avatar over 24 seconds worth losing the 30% extra damage over 36 seconds you'll get with three Bloodbaths? Storm Bolt can be used every 30 seconds, but the admittedly impressive extra damage it does to targets that can't be stunned doesn't really make up for the ability to pop Bloodbath and have it buff everything you do for 12 seconds.

    The Care and Feeding of Warriors Titan's Grip Saturday

    Rotationally, you're going to want to hit Colossus Smash so that you can follow it with a Bloodthirst and a Raging Blow if possible. Prioritize Bloodthirst to proc Raging Blow, which is your highest damage strike, and Raging Blow over anything while it's lit up, but keep in mind that Raging Blow consumes your Enrage so you may want to delay it if you get a Wild Strike proc to keep your Enrage. Hitting Raging Blow just before your next Bloodthirst gives you a better chance to try and keep Enrage up as long as possible. So in terms of priority it's Colossus Smash, then Bloodthirst, then Raging Blow, then Wild Strike after a Bloodsurge proc, with HS and Cleave as rage spenders. Keep in mind that the Glyph of Raging Wind means that in AoE situations your Raging Blow will hit multiple targets after you use Whirlwind.

    That should cover the basics of Titan's Grip right now. Here's hoping I get something for SMF for next week, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

    How to find a World of Warcraft guild

    There's so much more to joining a guild in World of Warcraft than clicking an uninvited newbie zone popup or replying to a random whisper while you're trying to quest. We wouldn't go so far as to say there's a science to getting it right; joining a guild is more of an art, an intersection of careful screening and social serendipity. While it's true that you can successfully fumble about in the relatively unpopulated leveling zones or run the dungeon and raid finders on your own, you'll enjoy a richer, more complete game experience if you play with other players as intended.

    This guide is not about figuring out what type of guild might best suit you. (We've cover that in a future guide.) If you're unguilded or dissatisfied with your current guild but not quite sure how to describe the kind of group that would make your online gaming experience feel just right, consider this week's pointers as food for thought until we can analyze your own guild needs.

    If you're ready to find a new guild right now, read on for the best ways to connect with a quality organization.

    Drama Mamas How to find a World of Warcraft guild
    Looking for Guild: Dig up some likely prospects

    Your search for a guild home should incorporate a combination of web and in-game tools to help you narrow down the possibilities.

    Be wary of newbie guilds. It's not the end of the world to join the guild of the guy who spammed you with a random guild invite in Stormwind or the group of rag-tag beginners that somehow fell together in The Barrens. You may meet folks who'll remain fast friends for years to come. In general, though, you'll get a more lasting (and organized) experience if you look for a more established group with leadership, structure, and purpose.

    Get social. The single most effective way to find a good guild fit on your own realm is to meet people. Group up for quests, ply your trade and make purchases from other tradesfolk of similar levels, run level-appropriate instances, or help someone who's struggling with adds as you pass by. Make a special effort to get out there in the type of content you'd like to enjoy with your future guild.

    Check the in-game guild finder. Yes, people really use this tool now. It's a solid way to make first contact with likely groups. (And hey, guild officers -- polish up your listing!)

    Visit your Blizzard realm forum. Look for recruiting threads, of course, but also keep an eye out for social drama that sheds light on a guild's attitudes and behavior. Get a feel for the guild's general reputation, and observe how guild members conduct themselves on the forums.

    Review the Blizzard guild recruitment forum. This forum will be more useful if you're seeking a particular playstyle, progression point, schedule, or niche -- and, of course, if you're willing to play on a different realm.

    Google "WoW guild [realm name]" -- yes, Google. You'd be surprised.

    Listen for recruiting messages in public chat channels. If you spot something that sounds especially likely, whisper the recruiter for more information. Posting your own Looking for Guild messages in these channels is a fairly outdated, needle-in-a-haystack strategy that might set you up for more razzing from other players than helpful contacts from guilds.

    Drama Mamas How to find a World of Warcraft guild
    Research the frontrunners

    Once you've determined a guild has a broadly compatible playstyle and hours, dig for details.

    Look up guilds on the Blizzard site. Type the guild name into the search box at the top right of the page. Browse the progression chart, activity feed, and profiles for a handful of members to get a feel for how the guild actually plays.

    Look up guilds on their independent guild websites. If you can find a link to a guild's website, you'll get another fantastic window into its schedule and personality. Check out the forums. Do members seem serious, immature, friendly, rude, humorous, crass ...?

    Do a /who on guilds that interest you. See who's online during your normal play times and what members are typically doing during those hours. If you're new to the realm, you can create a level 1 character to do this.

    Scope out the field. Keep an ongoing eye on the behavior and reputation of guild members around town and out adventuring.

    Talk to current guild members. Ask about their ultimate guild goals, how long they've been together, average player age, typical play times, regularly scheduled events. Find out if there are any geographic or other commonalities that might exclude you ("We're all from Yuma, Arizona" or "We all go to UofM").

    Try it out. If you're able to raid or group with potential guildmates, see if you can't come along as a guest for a guild event or two. Anyone who's gotten stuck in the wrong group will understand and respect your caution.

    Drama Mamas How to find a World of Warcraft guild
    Help! I need more ideas!

    If you're still having a hard time finding guilds and players who sound like a good fit, try these ideas from Robin:
    • Contact members of guilds you've belonged to in the past to see if anything's changed that might make it a better fit for you today.
    • Join local realm events or raids to see if you hit it off with anyone participating. Maybe someone there can recommend their guild.
    • Ask members of a group you belong to in the physical world if anyone plays WoW. You may be surprised that your gym acquaintance also plays or that someone in your book club is hiding a secret World of Warcraft habit.
    • Look at online forums for your other interests to see if anyone there hangs out in Azeroth, too.

    More tips:
    • Contact old friends and former guildmates who've moved on to other guilds or realms. You might discover a compatible group.
    • Don't categorically rule out a realm transfer. A transfer might be an especially solid solution for a character you have specific goals (such as progression raiding at a specific level) with. It's not difficult at all in today's economy to establish a beachhead on a new realm. Nothing says you have to bring your whole stable of alts with you; peaceful solo questing or running the dungeon finder will be just as fun for them on your old realm.
    • If you are considering a realm transfer, Robin advises, don't spend the money on a transfer until you've researched the guild and server. This may mean leveling a character for a bit to get a good feel. Better to waste a few hours on a character you'll never go back to than to discover you've spent money to become even more unhappy.

    Drama Mamas How to find a World of Warcraft guild
    Special Situations: When you're looking for a particular type of guild

    Specific playstyles and niche interests in the game often have their own communities, sites, and forums, and these are exactly the places you should be haunting when you're looking for a new guild home. Cleave to thine own, to thy own heart be true, all that stuff -- your goal is to find your tribe.
    • Roleplaying Roleplayers face a whole different set of challenges when they're seeking a new guild home. We've got a whole article with advice for roleplayers.
    • The local connection To find WoW players who live near you in the physical world, try Meetup.com. Google gaming groups to find players with compatible interests.
    • Scheduling issues Work around an odd schedule by searching for realms by time zone; choose a realm whose peak evening playtime most closely matches your own play time (or the reverse, if you want peace and quiet).
    • Retro play Google is your friend here, as well as WoW Insider retro raiding posts and article comments. Also try well-known iToons on Korgath (US), currently focused on level 80 content and moving into Wrath raids.
    • PvP twinking Check out Twinkinfo.
    • Raiding Before you hit the major specialty sites and forums, make sure you know what to look for in a raiding guild and are prepared to submit a strong application.
      • The raid finder The raid Finder is a great place to shop for a raiding guild, reminds Robin. "Many guilds use the raid finder together, and you can witness their personality types, how they work together, and how they treat others outside of their group. Also, Captain Obvious says that if they are playing while you are, your schedules are compatible."
      • World boss pickup groups Similarly, world boss PUGs spotlight guilds that work well together and with others (or not so well), Robin notes. So sign up for the Sha runs being advertised in trade for more hands-on guild research.

    Wow Patch 5.2: No gear to be upgraded!!!

    Wow Patch 5.2: No gear to be upgraded!!! One thing that we won't be seeing with wow patch 5.2 is the ability for the new gear to be upgraded via valor points. As Ghostcrawler explains in a tweet from this weekend:

    This makes sense in many ways; the primary focus of the "grind" should be acquiring new gear across all slots, not making minor incremental changes to the gear that you've already seen dropped. Valor points also will continue to be useful in the mid-patches with this philosophy (5.1/5.3), versus just becoming something you've got and are never going to use, which often happens during the later end of a raiding tier.

    We're assuming here that Ghostcrawler's note will just apply to wow patch 5.2 gear, and not the total system. It would seem quite odd to just switch off the entire upgrading mechanic all the sudden.

    What Is World Of Warcraft?

    World of Warcraft, usually abbreviated to WoW is an ‘MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role play game)’. It is similar to other games such as Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Spellborn in its genre. These are the new gaming craze; they are hugely popular worldwide with massive fan bases and thousands of websites. Since it was released, there have been numerous extensions to the game and extra map packs. ‘Wrath Of The Lich King’ is the latest expansion to be released and there is quite a buzz about it in the MMORPG community. Due to the fact that it is so popular and there are such great expectations, the market is flooded with WoW WotLK guides offered by various guide providers or even individuals. Many WoW gamers have started to take advantage of available guides in order to advance in the game as quickly as possible. The only issue would be making your choice between the so many different WoW WotLK unofficial guides available in the market. Besides unofficial WoW WotLK guides, there are also many unofficial Death Knight guides already available for the new class which comes with the expansion. Some unofficial guides you can get for free. A few weeks before the release of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, Killer Guides also released a free Death Knight preparation guide to the general public. Judging by the content offered in their free guide, Death Knights and other WotLK fans look forward to the release of the complete unofficial guide. Any one who already got their WoW guide since a long time back are the lucky ones, given they would be getting the unofficial WotLK guide and Death Knight guide for free as well. A World Of Warcraft WotLK game guide is a good investment because when you are playing with millions of people online, you need an edge over them especially when there is a new map. Thus, by getting a guide, you can learn all the best places to go and all of the best weapons to use. Once you have done that, you'll find yourself ahead of almost everybody else in the game. You might find that other players start to regard you as one of the best characters and begin asking for your advise, tips and recommendations. Game guides are a highly competitive business nowadays. There are literally hundreds of guides flying around online so you need to get a recommendation from somebody before you buy one to make sure it is reliable and up to scratch.