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Posts Tagged ‘Guide’

Dear Mr. Gnomeaggedon, Sir

I’ve had several pleas from the various far flung corners of the internet for help, regarding fire PvP. So without further ado, I will try my best to answer those questions.

First, gearing questions.

  • Ignore haste, crit and spellpower all the way

Haste is the best friend of frost and arcane PvP specs. Not so for fire! As a fire mage, the only spells with a cast time you will ever be casting are Polymorph and Scorch. Literally every other spell you ever use will be instant cast; you simply do not need to use haste for anything.

Instead, gear for crit. Your base PvP set has all crit, aim to get crit on every single piece you use. Buy the crit necklace, the crit cape, the crit rings, and so forth. If you end up with some haste from, say, your raiding weapons, that’s fine, just make sure your actual PvP gear is haste free.

Gem for spellpower and spell penetration. It might be tempting to gem for, say, crit, but don’t give in! Primarily you’ll want to gem Mysterious Dreadstones, and you’ll want to end up with around 120 spell penetration. This should nullify most of the resistances you meet in general PvP. Naturally, once you have enough spell penetration, fill everything else up with raw spellpower. (more…)

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The Lies of Lag

One of the top excuses ever used for bad performance or other various screw ups (right behind “blame the healer”) is lag.

More guilds have wiped to lag than any other boss, more players have died to lag than any other enemy. It’s an inconceivably (go on, do it, I dare you) powerful monster, capable of slaughtering thousands in one fell swoop.

It’s also something a large number of us combat on a daily basis. Some of us (like the awesome DK tank mentioned last post) get alarmed and call their ISP when their ping exceeds 100ms. Some of us (like me) are overjoyed if we experience anything less than 400ms.

A brief tangent: Blue Ulduar proved that gear can’t hold you back. “I don’t have the gear” is not a valid excuse.

Well, if you’re green head to toe, chances are you aren’t going to be able to tank Crusader’s Coliseum. But get reasonable gear, well itemized, well tweaked blues and the world is your oyster (even while mounted!).

Lag is treated the same way. “I shouldn’t raid, my latency is so bad” or “I can’t PvP properly”, blah blah blah.

This isn’t a valid excuses. Lag, even heavy lag, is just another challenge to overcome, another hurdle to… well, hurdle. (more…)

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Ask Jeeves

Not dead yet!

The amount of mail I get is inversely proportional to the amount I post. Lots of posts, very little mail. Few posts, and I get so many e-mails that getting through them all is a half hour ordeal every day. And that’s if I don’t respond to any of them.

It’s actually flattering the number of mages who seek me out and ask for my honest assistance. It’s a big step, exposing yourself to a stranger for criticism.

Well, a virtual self that has no relation to the real you, anyways.

Naturally, the primary question I get asked is “halp my dps is crap!”

I’m noticing that the vast majority of you (you here used to refer to those mages who seek out my infinite wisdom) seem to be making the same mistakes over and over again.

Allow me to try and address those mistakes here and now, in an effort to help your fellow mages from repeating these same errors. (more…)

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Five Facts About Mages

The most powerful weapon you have in WoW is knowledge. Knowledge of classes, of game mechanics, of enemy mobs, and how they all work together.

In an effort to fight ignorance, I present to you a list of things that all non-mages absolutely must know about us and how we work.

1. If you mark something with a Skull, we will kill it.

While this may not be hard-wired into the mind of every mage, for the vast majority of us veteran DPS players, we lose all control of our actions when we see something with skull.

We don’t have a choice in the matter. It’s like giving a man some explosives. No matter how restrained he normally is, he will find something to explode.

If you mark something with skull, our killing instincts will cause us to immediately swap targets, and we’ll be a full rotation into attacking skull (likely having blown half our cooldowns in the process), before we even realize we’ve done anything.

Whatever you’ve marked with skull will die a very swift and painful death. (more…)

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Raiding as Frost

Common Spec

18/0/53 is the best spec for frost mages. There is some variation, though with a spec that requires a minimum of 50 points in one tree and 18 points in another, there isn’t a lot of wiggle room.

Most mages in earlier gear levels will put three points into Brain Freeze for the extra damage that provides for them. Some invest in Ice Barrier, some in Blizzard talents… generally, whatever you wish to have.

See my detailed guides to specific talent trees for further information to choose your talents.

Abbreviations

BF – Brain Freeze, a talented proc that gives you a free fireball.

FoF – Fingers of Frost, a talented proc that allows to to treat any target as frozen.

FrB – Frostbolt. FB typically stands for Fireball, so I’m using FrB (pronounced “furbie”) until someone tells me what it’s supposed to be.

IL – Ice Lance.

IV – Icy Veins.

WE – Water Elemental, your little personal squirtle. (more…)

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Raiding as Arcane

Common Spec

57/3/11 is, by far, the favored spec for arcane mages. There are some variations in the arcane tree, based on personal style and taste.

Where those final points are spent vary from mage to mage and what they deem to be the best options for themselves. Ones concerned about pushback invest in Arcane Stability, ones that cannot depend on a slow from a tank pick up Slow, some pick up Magic Attunement for the extra range, some fill out Student of the Mind…

You get the idea.

See my detailed guides to specific talent trees for further information to choose your talents.

Abbreviations

AB – Arcane Blast, your bread and butter nuke.

ABarr – Arcane Barrage, the end tree talent.

AM – Arcane Missiles, Captain Pew Pew himself.

AP – Arcane Power, a talented cooldown vastly increasing your damage dealt in exchange for a higher mana cost.

IV – Icy Veins.

MB – Missile Barrage, a talented proc that greatly reduces the cast time of AM.

MBAM – An Arcane Missiles casted under the effects of Missile Barrage.

PoM – Presence of Mind, a talented cooldown allowing you to make your next spell instant. (more…)

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Common specs

Fire: Something along the lines of 18/53/0.

You need 18 points in the arcane tree (deep enough for 3/3 Torment the Weak) and 51 points in the fire tree (for Living Bomb). The details are largely up to you. Some mages skip Imp. Scorch, some mages get 2/3 in Arcane Meditation for a 20/51/0 build.

Frostfire: Something along the lines of 0/53/18.

Again, the details are largely up to you. Living Bomb is needed, and you also need to get Ice Shards from the frost tree. Getting Piercing Ice, Icy Veins and Frost Channeling is also highly recommended.

See my detailed guides to specific talent trees for further information to choose your talents.

For both specs, Combustion is a very useless cooldown. Highly recommended to not take it.

Abbreviations

FFB – Frostfire Bolt, compare FB for Fireball.

HS – Hot Streak, that proc that gives you an instant Pyroblast.

LB – Living Bomb, the end tree talent for fire.

Spell Rotation

Fire and Frostfire mages have essentially identical spell rotations. Just replace the word “nuke” with Fireball for Fire mages, and Frostfire Bolt for Frostfire mages.

As with most casters in today’s world… of warcraft, fire/frostfire mages do not have a proper spell rotation, merely spell priorities. These are those: (more…)

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Gear Guidelines

Basic Stats

Spellpower is typically your strongest stat, superior to everything else, with hit a close second (until you are hitcapped). If you have higher values of spellpower and aren’t hit capped, hit is your strongest stat.

The relative worth of crit and haste depend on spec and the strength of the other two main DPS stats.

*Note*

Don’t take this to mean “ignore hit rating”. Just don’t go overboard trying to get hit capped, don’t socket everything with hit, and above all, don’t let your other stats (especially spellpower) suffer just to get some hit.

You do still want to get hit capped, you just don’t want to make sacrifices to get there.

For Frostfire based specs.

Spellpower is superior to hit until roughly the 1600-1700 spellpower range. At that point, they are about even, and higher values of spellpower (1700+) result in hit being the superior stat.

Haste and crit are nearly even, though relative to the other. If you have twice as much crit rating as haste rating, then haste is more valuable. If your haste rating is twice your crit rating, then crit is more valuable.

Spellpower is generally better than, point for point, haste and crit. Both of them are roughly at 2/3 strength compared to spellpower at lower values (1200, 1400).

They become even at a very high level of stats (2600+ spellpower, with both haste and crit sporting numbers over 500). Don’t expect haste/crit to outshine spellpower until you have more than 3000 spellpower. (more…)

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You and fifty thousand people just like you on your server are going to be aiming for the Merrymaker achievement.

Just like them, you have to complete the achievement “‘Tis the Season.”

Just like them, this means you need to get your hands on a hat.

But, of course, you’re a mage. That means you wear red. Capisce? Mages don’t wear green. EVER.

So. You need to get the Red Winter Hat, just like everyone else.

However, unlike everyone else, as long as you are level 80, you can go get it by yourself.

As usual, the special winter items only drop from certain humanoid bosses in certain instances. As usual, all the old school bosses no longer drop them to prevent said bosses from being killed solo. As usual, they can be killed solo anyway.

Here, then, is your guide to getting the Red Winter Hat, all by yourself. (more…)

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Arena: Basic Philosophy

The important things are always simple

There is no perfect magic trick to winning an arena fight. There isn’t a certain combination of spells that requires a warlock specced exactly 40/0/31, a fury warrior, and the mage trinket from Heroic Whatever that guarantees a win every time.

The advanced strategies are merely the basics, just with macros attached to them.

The simple things are always hard

That isn’t to say it’s easy; not by a long shot. Is it hard? Blimey, of course it is. It’s difficult to pull off a proper CC train. It’s difficult to pull of a target swap at the right time. It’s difficult to counter a CC train. It’s difficult to survive a target swap.

Yet the strategies you need to win, you probably learned before you acquired your first mount. You need only master them. (more…)

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