In and out of game chat now enabled in the Battle.net Launcher!

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Untitled-1An exciting day overall at Blizzard, with the announcment of Warlords of Draenor Alpha beginning just moments ago we also got news that the Battle.net Launcher has received and update. This update allows you to chat to your Real ID and Battle Tag friends In and Out of Blizzard games. Whether you are in WoW and they are just idle on their desktop or you are both on your desktops you will be able to communicate with them as long as you have the Battle.net client open! It doesn’t matter what game you or they are playing you will still be able to communicate through the Battle.net Launcher and you can chat to multiple friends at once. A well needed feature to the Battle.net Launcher and I am interested to see what else they are able to do with it in the future.

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You can also edit some chat related settings by clicking on the Battle.net icon in the top left, going to “Settings” and then “Friends & Chat”.

 

The update was activated today and if you can’t access it just restart your Battle.net Launcher application and it should be ready for use!

Warlords of Draenor Alpha Testing Begins!

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It has been a slow year in terms of Warlords of Draenor news but finally we are getting the WoD news we have waited for so patiently for. WoD Alpha testing has begun which means it will be very very closed and generally just for Friends and Family of Blizzard employees but it does mean we are closer to a Beta Testing phase which would be more open to the general player base. Now that Alpha has started we should begin to hear more information on WoD so prepare to get hyped! Make sure to update your Beta Profile Settings in preparation for WoD beta beginning!

We’ve been hard at work on World of Warcraft®: Warlords of Draenor™, and today we’ve entered the Alpha phase of our expansion testing. As part of this, we’ll begin using public servers to host the data, which means you may begin seeing some datamined information show up in the usual places.

One of our goals for this very early stage of the Alpha is to test out some new technology in the wild with employees and friends and family, including a new file format called CASC (more on that below). As such, the expansion content available during this first phase will be quite limited—many of the expansion’s major features, such as Garrisons, won’t be available until a later point in the testing process. This early phase of testing will help us ramp up for our larger beta phase later on, when we’ll be inviting more players.

Introducing Our New File Format: CASC

For nearly 20 years, Blizzard games have used a file format called Mo’PaQ (MPQ for short) as a way to compress and store game files. We’ve been able to introduce some great new technology using MPQ, such as our streaming client, but we’ve really pushed the file format far beyond what it was ever intended to be used for. Today, it’s become the source of a number of technical limitations for World of Warcraft.

To address these limitation and help us develop new technologies that will improve everyone’s game experience for years to come, we’re introducing a new proprietary file format that we call CASC (Content Addressable Storage Container). We’ll be using this new format in the Warlords of Draenor alpha and beta tests, and our intent is to convert everyone to the new format in a pre-expansion patch.

As geeky as it may sound, we’re extremely excited to be moving to this new file format. It provides a ton of benefits not only for us and our ability to support and patch the game, but also for players. Here are just a few of the benefits of the new CASC file format:

  • File Corruption—File repair tools are a thing of the past. The file structure maintains itself, helping to prevent errors during installation.
  • Speed—Real-world game performance should increase for many players thanks to a non-redundant file structure—in layman’s terms, the game can find the assets it’s looking for more quickly.
  • Patching—Updating your game files should be faster and more reliable. Patch data is integrated seamlessly, and no longer requires double the installation size on-disk when patching.
  • Client Hotfixing—CASC allows us to be able to hotfix client game data, similar to server hotfixes, giving us the ability to address client-side issues that would normally require a patch.
  • Streaming—The new format provides better support for streaming data and gives us greater flexibility to define how content updates are delivered and released.
  • Expandable—The file structure is built to allow easy integration of new technologies in the future that we haven’t even thought up yet.
  • . . . and more!

We’re already using this file format for Heroes of the Storm’s Technical Alpha test, and we’re looking forward to reaping its benefits for WoW. As we mentioned, the first big step in transitioning all WoW players over will be converting everyone’s World of Warcraft installs to the new file format prior to the expansion. Our goal is to make sure that’s as seamless and painless a changeover as possible, using as much of the existing installed data as possible to reduce additional downloads. We’ll have more info on the file conversion process as we get closer to the launch of Warlords of Draenor.

Signing Up for Beta

We’re still early in the Alpha testing process, but if you’re interested in opting in for a chance to participate in the Warlords of Draenor beta test later down the line, let us know you’re interested by creating a beta profile. To do so, log in to your Battle.net® account, go to Beta Profile Settings to download and run the Battle.net System Check tool, and submit (or update) your computer’s specifications. From the Beta Profile menu, make sure that Warcraft is checked, and update your beta preferences. You’re now eligible to be randomly selected for a Warlords of Draenor beta invite at a later stage of the testing process.

Account Security Reminder

As interest grows for the upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion, please be aware of phishing attempts. Unscrupulous individuals (possibly working for the Iron Horde) may send out falsified emails purporting to be from Blizzard, but are in fact meant to steal your login credentials. For more information on how to identify these emails please refer to our Battle.net® Account Security site.

Stay tuned for more information as development and testing progresses for Warlords of Draenor™. This is just the beginning and we’ll have more information to share with you in the near future!

Source http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/12405830492

AddOn Overview and Setup Guides! – AutoTurnIn

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What’s up guys, Syiler here and today we are taking a look at an AddOn that is a personal favorite of mine! The AddOn is called AutoTurnIn and allows you to instantly pick up quests and dailies along with instantly handing them in making the questing and daily experience a lot smoother. It has some great features such as it can choice the quest reward for you and even equip it for you if it is an upgrade which saves tons of time during leveling!

Installing

You install AutoTurnIn the same as you would with any other AddOn, download it here – http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/autoturnin once it’s downloaded extract the contents into your AddOns folder. If you aren’t sure where that is located then do a search for World of Warcraft, then go inside the Interface folder and finally the AddOns folder!

Setup

Once you have it installed, log in, press Escape and click on Interface. A new window will open and click on the AddOns tab at the top, then click AutoTurnin to reach the AddOns options. Ensure the “Enabled” box is ticked. Under the Quests to handle section set it to whether you want it to handle just Daily quests or All quests (All quests being normal “Yellow” flagged quests). To the right you can tick the “Accept ‘grey’ quests” if you are doing low level quests for Loremaster or other goals.

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The “Quests with rewards” section you can set to either “Don’t turn in” which will not automatically turn in quests which have rewards, “Loot most expensive reward” which will choice the reward which will vendor for the highest value or “Loot by parameters” which will loot the quest reward based on the parameters you can set up for it to go from.

The “Tournament” section is for the Argent Tournament dailies in Northrend, you can make it select either the Champion’s Purse or the Champion’s Writ.

Tick the “Equip received reward” box if you want the quest rewards to be automatically equipped to save you time, generally it will check against the items Ilvl before replacing it but it does sometimes function strangely against Heirlooms so keep an eye out for that!

The other important area here is the “Enable/disable key” this allows you to no longer automatically turn in or pickup a quest if you hold a specific key. This is useful if you want to read a quest before it is picked up or turned in!

 

Reward Parameters

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With that section setup how you want it, click the small + box next to AutoTurnIn in the AddOns list and click “Rewards” this will open the Reward parameter options.

The first box is “Weapons” here you will want to tick any weapons that your class can use. For example as a Hunter you would only tick Bows, Guns and Crossbows as the other weapons are useless to you!

The next box is Armor, the drop down allows you to select the armor type you would like to loot so once again as a Hunter you would choice Mail but this will function strangely at lower levels where Mail gear is not an option so keep that in mind. The Jewelry box is if you want it to loot Rings, Necks and Trinkets. The Offhand box is if you want to use offhands same with Shields tickbox and finally is the Back tickbox if you want the AddOn to loot back pieces and equip them if they are higher ilvl.

The next box is for Attributes, tick the boxes that your class and spec would use so as a Hunter you would just tick Agility. As a Priest you would tick Intellect AND Spirit.

The last section is Attributes 2, this is secondary stats so choice things your class uses as a stat. A Hunter would take Crit, Expertise, Mastery, Haste and Hit as these stats are useful! You wouldn’t tick Spell Power or Dodge as those have no benefit to a Hunter.

Just underneath here is a small tickbox “Greed if nothing found” this will choice the item of the highest vendor value if nothing is available as an upgrade based on your Reward loot parameters!

That is it! The AddOn is now setup and good to go, this AddOn is a must in my opinion for leveling or even doing dailies, you don’t realise how much time you actually would save from instantly handing in and accepting quests! Credit goes to Lurkerrr for developing this AddOn – http://www.curse.com/users/lurkerrr http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/autoturnin

What is the “Item Squish?” – WoD Patch 6.0

Item Squelch
Look how many others don't know!

Look how many others don’t know!

Recently it has come to my attention that this topic was not a clear one, and that there were multiple levels of misunderstanding over it. Many people simply don’t understand the term, while many others don’t recognize what is actually happening. Then, of course, there are people who aren’t even aware this is a feature in the upcoming expansion! So for those of you who are in any of these situations, don’t fret as all your answers will be divulged!

Before we start, its important to understand what has happened in MoP. Coming off Cataclysm and Dragon soul, we had an ilvl of low 400’s common between 85-90. Let’s break down the ilvl comparison from start to finish of MoP, as its important to use as a gauge for why this is happening.

463 ilvl – Heroic Blues (Challenge Mode Item level normalization).

489/496  ilvl – MSV/HoF Normal

510 ilvl – HoF Heroic

522 ilvl – ToT Normal

535 ilvl – ToT Heroic

~

580 ilvl – Heroic Warforged SoO 2x upgraded

600 ilvl – Legendary Cloak.

Long story short, we see the immense jump from the start of the expansion to the end, spanning nearly 200 ilvl from leveling gear to the pinnacle of Raiding gear. This is because of the introduction of LFR and Flex, as well as the “Thunderforged” concept as well as the valor upgrades. With this much variation, its no surprise we see an astronomical stat jump as well. Examine the two images below of my Paladin.

576 equipped ilvl / stats.

576 equipped ilvl / stats.

463 ilvl Challenge Mode Scaled.

463 ilvl Challenge Mode Scaled.

The highlight on these images is that fact that, when comparing the two item levels, you will see I have less than HALF the health and stats! Whenever you travel that far in one expansion, obviously things are going to get out of control!

So now that we understand that, we are on the same page about WHY the item squish needs to happen. But you may still be wondering what exactly its going to do?

In theory, the concept revolves around bringing stats on items down about 10 fold. The point of doing so is to keep bloated numbers away from the game like the 1.5million burst we see from Syiler’s Enhancement Shaman. Numbers like that just don’t feel fun or realistic, but also flat out don’t operate well. In a game with potentially billions of data are being processed per second, the higher the number the more the game has to work. So its a 50-50 mix of functionality and cosmetic improvement.

Most players would agree that the smaller the number the better, and of course, the less 6 billion crits we have the smoother the game will run. If you haven’t been around raiding in MoP you have missed some pretty brutal lag on the pull, as everything is rolling in from the hundreds of pets and other sources. Unfortunately, this has lead to unnecessary changes having to be made just to actually be able to play the game in these situations. By keeping the numbers in line via Squish, we assure that there is no client or server side complications and any lag is solely on the person playing – which also should be minimized with these smaller numbers!

A big concern most people have is how it will effect the early game and leveling, as well as soloing older content. Blizzard has assured us that the amount of time it takes to kill something now will remain constant, despite the large difference in numbers. To understand this, you must understand that everything is effected logarithmically. There will be a fixed curve that will be followed for all content that has simply been extrapolated upon as things are now. It may seem difficult to understand, but all they are doing is reducing everything 10 fold, as easy as it gets mathematically. They will follow this curve down to the lowest number until it is no longer significant, so perhaps early levels may see some abnormalities, but everything with at least some normal-sized health pool should be easily converted.

The final thing to understand is that this is very much a “feature” of this expansion. This is the first time World of Warcraft has done this, and is a very important step in ensuring the longevity of the game. On top of this, it has also been stated that this will not be the only instance we see of the Item Squish. They intend to reexamine the situation every time its needed, allowing them to continue the big gaps in item level that are required with 4+ difficulties, yet keep us from doing one point twelve trillion dps unbuffed!

So to recap:

The “Item Squish” is a concept being employed in the 6.0 patch prior to Warlords of Draenor’s launch that will reduce the stats of everything in the game by about 1/10. Despite this, Blizzard assures us that no content will be any more difficult or easy, as its simply a matter of dividing by a fixed number across the current inflation trend. As long as the trend is predictable, the squish will be as well.

This process was deemed necessary after seeing the rapid exponential rise of all numbers through Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria. It will be performed in order to preserve the respectability of the game’s stat and DPS correlation, but also to help minimize technical complications derived from massive numbers happening thousands of times a second. No one wants to see 1 million DPS being the norm, and even less people want to experience the lag that is inevitable when having a 10 year old client communicating trillions of digits a second to a server system, all while 25 people spam a multitude of spell effects.

As we aren’t even in beta yet, we can only speculate on the specifics, but hopefully you now at least have an understanding of the theory the subject contains. Stay tuned to WoW Stratics for more information and full coverage of everything coming with Warlords of Draenor!

WoW Stratics Podcast #4 ~ Recent WoD News Recap!

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Hello ladies and gentlemen and welcome back to the official WoW Stratics Podcast!
The project is a joint effort by everyone here at the WoW Stratics writing team, and challenges topics regularly with special guests, interviews, news, community integration and much, much more!
Our Hosts include:
Metro; a 25 player heroic raider and raid leader of the guild <ONE> at Firetree Horde US,
Meoni, a fellow 25 man raider and resident timekeeper here on the show!

Our other normal members could not be around this week, but look forward to their return shortly!


 

This episode features a recap of all the big news that has broke within the last month, while Metro and Meoni give their opinions on such. Some of the topics include:

Expansion Price
Level 90 Boosts implemented
Other Blizzard Titles and their competition with WoD Beta
Potential Release date / Controversy?
No Flying in WoD
Newest Character Animations and Trailers
Racial Changes
MASSIVE Healing Changes!

The Podcast is available on the site as a stream and on our official Itunes channel, available free to download for your listening pleasure, no matter where you are!
So what are you waiting for? Go listen in today!

If you have any comments or opinions on the shows content please do head over to our forums for an in-depth discussion!

CM Lore Discussing PvP in Warlords of Draenor!

CM post

Community Manager Lore stopped by a thread on the World of Warcraft forums that discussed what good changes will be coming to PvP in Warlords of Draenor. He gives us a lot of solid information that helps clear up any misunderstandings players may have and reassures us that WoD will be one hell of an expansion for the PvE and the PvP players!

 

He first goes on to talk about (Marked in blue) some of the features and changes that will be happening in Warlords of Draenor while reminding players that this is just what has currently been revealed and discussed and more will come as development continues.

CC Disarmament: there’s a lot fewer CC spells, especially instant and auto cast CCs, and more shared DRs among the ones that remain.
Health and scaling rebalance: means little to no Base Resilience or Battle Fatigue are needed, and classes that aren’t as reliant on gear to perform. Also does wonders for PvP class balance.
Ashran: our new open world PvP zone, which we’re not quite ready to share details on yet (but what I’ve seen so far looks awesome!)
Skirmishes: unrated Arenas that can be queued for either solo or in a group.
Spectator invites & Tournament gear: additional tools to allow tournament organizers to run high-quality tournaments without needing direct intervention from Blizzard.
Our new built-in Group Finder: much easier way to find party members for rated BGs or Arenas.

 

All of the current features sound great, CC is being toned down so that an arena match doesn’t consist of one person being unable to control their character for a prolonged period, making CC more of a tactical decision  instead of players just using it when it is available. Base Resilience is being scaled down as well meaning that the games gear, hp and damage is a lot more balanced in Warlords which is always great news. Ashran is going to be an ongoing PvP world zone unlike that of Tol Barad or Wintersgrasp the fight will never actually end and a player will be able to make a difference to the overall battle depending on their contribution! Skirmishes return, this is a feature players have wanted back for a long time and it allows you to queue into unrated Arenas with either a premade team to test out a certain comp etc or be matched with a random player just to practice and play for fun. The Spectator mode is one that has me very excited, I enjoy watching communities and fansites setup PvP tournaments but the game currently makes it very difficult to do, with the changes anyone would be able to setup a PvP tournament which will help the PvP community overall, so I can’t wait to taste this feature out in the WoD beta. Finally their will be a Group Finder for Arena and RBG’s, for those players who find it difficult to get an arena or RBG team can now queue for rated PvP and get matched with random players. Obviously not many of the more series players will use this feature but I feel its great for those who haven’t had the chance to do rated PvP due to not having experience in rated PvP.

 

Lore then goes on to talk about how current gear and stamina scales in MoP

Currently, in Mists, level 90 characters have a relatively high amount of base health, and a relatively low amount of base damage or healing on their abilities. As a result, your health from Stamina doesn’t increase as quickly as your damage or healing from Attack or Spell Power. To use some made up numbers for perspective, your gear might account for 80-90% of your damage, but only 40-50% of your health. That’s why, as the quality of your gear increases by hundreds of item levels over the course of an expansion, we see such a high swing in damage output compared to health pools.
For Warlords, we’re simplifying that by making health and spell effectiveness scale a lot more linearly. Base health is being lowered dramatically (and the effectiveness of Stamina increased) to the point that as damage or healing goes up, health pools go up alongside them. That lets us ensure that PvP game play at low gear vs high gear feels relatively similar.

On top of that, we’re increasing health pools in general — they’ll be much larger in comparison to the damage players are able to deal to each other than they are today. Resilience and Battle Fatigue were added because without them, an attack or heal would account for massive chunks of a player’s health bar. With higher health, that same spell doesn’t have as big of an impact.

Here he was asked about scaling WoD as currently in MoP we have seen huge jumps in damage and healing outputs as players advanced in gear. Currently our damage scaling is higher then our health pool is scaling which is why base resilience and battle fatigue were brought into place as a current fix without having to change the actual stats we are getting on gear. Although not perfect this solution has helped keep it in check for the most part although by what is said things will scale a lot smoother in WoD due to the overall stat squish!

(It’s worth noting that all of this is after the item squish, so it’s all relative. The actual numbers, including health pools, will end up much smaller compared to how things are today.)

That’s exactly what I meant when I said we’d be increasing the effectiveness of Stamina. You will get significantly more health per point. I don’t have the exact amount per point handy, but the jist of it is that the Stamina on your gear will be enough to increase your health pool at roughly the same rate that everything else increases your damage/healing output

Players then become concerned with how this will affect geared veteran characters and freshly dinged 100 characters as it could go both ways, the geared character completely overwhelms the fresh 100 due to the stat difference or the fresh 100 can put up a close fight against the veteran player.

Here are shades of grey here. Of course, someone who is fully kitted out in Conquest gear should have no issue taking out someone whose first action at level 100 was to queue for a battleground. Building up and improving your character is an important part of World of Warcraft gameplay, including in PvP, and we have no intention of changing that.

However, the player who immediately queues for a battleground at level 100 is probably pretty excited to get into PvP, and it’s heartbreaking to suddenly find out that you’re not just disadvantaged, you’re completely ineffective. The level 100 shouldn’t be on equal footing with players that have spent time and effort gearing up, but they also shouldn’t feel like they can’t contribute to their team’s success — and their teammates shouldn’t feel like they’re essentially down a player.

A fresh 100 should absolutely, categorically, 100% be completely aware that they’re going to need better gear to go toe to toe with the big cats, but they shouldn’t feel like litter in the meantime. Follow?

Lore explains that a new 100 character won’t feel completely useless and burden to their team by taking part in PvP which is how it currently feels in MoP if you have entered a BG on a low geared character you feel pretty helpless. While he does say that geared veteran character won’t feel they are on equal grounds with the fresh 100, they will beat them with ease unless they play badly or have no cooldowns while the fresh 100 has everything ready to go is the general vibe I get from Lore’s explanation!

Overall PvP in Warlords of Draenor feels like it has been given a lot more focus then in previous expansions which is great as WoW maybe arguably a PvE game, it still has a huge PvP community and I feel solid changes to PvP will be welcomed.

 

 

Play Like a Pro! – Discipline Priest Weak Aura / Information!

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Hello and welcome to our newest series inspired by our third Podcast (http://wow.stratics.com/interviews/wow-stratics-podcast-3-spotlight-disadvantaged-gamers/) where Metro discusses how simple UI elements can make a world of difference and helps players looking to take their character to the next level do just that. As mentioned in the Podcast, if you aren’t playing with proper Keybinds, Macros, or Addons, you might as well be missing a hand compared to players who are! These guides will be focused on players who already understand the class/spec and are looking to elevate their game to the next level. The experience I have with each spec is almost purely through Challenge Mode dungeons, and can say these design elements can make or break your play and will tell you if / when you are ready for that next step. Let’s get started!

Today we will examine Discipline Priest and show how a few simple indicators can take your play from moderate to exceptional.

First order of business is explaining just how this spec operates, especially compared to other healing specs in the game. If you are going to play a Discipline Priest and try to cast heals every global, you won’t be very effective, especially in small group content. The strength of this class comes in its ability to double dip, and then shield in times where the former is not feasible. This will be the most important thing to get used to as a Disp Priest, and thus the biggest adjustment, especially some one like me.

In challenge modes and small group content, its essentially playing a DPS that can also dispel and do some other healing-based things. Challenge modes especially, you will want to prefer CD usage to deal more damage (conversely, healing more) than save them like a Paladin would for times of high throughput. Then when push-comes-to-shove, you have the three of the best reductive CDs in the game. With this string of auras you are about to see, you will realize just how many tools Priests have as a class, and hopefully have a better grip on just what you need to be able to succeed in any type of content.

 

Click to Enlarge!

Click to Enlarge!

In the image above you see essentially two strings. In the first string you will find every ability relevant to Discipline Priest healing. In the second string below that one, you will find some CD and Duration timers that can also be vital for the spec. This set seems like a big departure from the norm, but realistically its just much more compact. Because everything you need to know about this spec revolves around dealing damage, the best way to approach this is just have everything the class has on the screen. The goal is have as many of them on CD as possible, while saving Barrier, Pain Suppression, and Spirit Shell for the right time. Regardless of how simple it may look, let’s break things down individually so you can understand exactly what is present.

Cooldown Tracker -

As mentioned previous, its important to be able to concentrate on doing as much DPS as possible, especially in Challenge Modes, but also to a degree in raiding. Damage is your filler, and the cooldowns are your actual abilities. Things like Prayer of Mending, Level 90 Talent (divine star shown) and Penance can help you achieve the disp priest lifestyle, so its pertinent to know exactly when they are useable. Other things like Spirit Shell and Pain Suppression will make your life even easier and once again, can allow you to fill with damage. Here is a screenshot of all the CDs being tracked. Its important to note that this same string will work for Holy Priest as well, but that’s not within the scope of this article!

WoWScrnShot_031914_135935

You can click on the image to enlarge it to full size if you are struggling to see all the different icons, but you should now appreciate the magnitude of what it entails. I will address them one by one to help you have a better understanding of each ability. Starting from the Left:

Archangel: A small throughput increase. Also being tracked on the subsequent timer. Use this as much as possible, especially when DPSing.

Spirit Shell: 1 Minute CD that turns your healing into absorbs of equal value. Is the fundamental spell of Disp atm, and if you can predict the damage properly you will be a god. If not, you will suffer. Can also be used as a Tank CD!

90 Talents: For some reason the Cascade Timer is out of place but on this list we see Cascade, Divine Star, and Halo, and then the Cascade ready alert at the end. These talents each have a good use, but in content where most people are close together, Divine Star reigns. Use it on CD or save it for a few seconds if you expect big aoe healing needed.

Penance: THE spell. Get the glyph, and enjoy being a god. Will do amazing dps, amazing healing, and can be cast while moving to another location. This makes it all possible, honestly.

Prayer of Mending: A great heal when you know pulsing aoe damage is abound. I also throw it on the tank as much as possible on boss fights to make sure the primary damage target is still received heals while I DPS (as that healing may be random.)

Power Infusion: The only option on the 75 tier for Disp priests IMO. Use it as an offensive CD to boost the amount of burst dps you can do. Especially in Challenge Modes, this can EASILY make the difference between a gold medal and otherwise.

Pain Suppression: 3 minute CD that turns the tank into a slab of stone. Strongest external CD in the game, especially for small group content. Coordinate this with your group around big damage or huge pulls in CM.

Power Word Barrier: AOE reduction cd that is kind of limited in yardage. Consider using this as a Tank CD as it still reduces all damage taken by 25 percent no matter the number of people. Especially in CM, this will be its best use.

Mindbender: Level 45 talent choice, and once again, the only one I am considering. Its a great, versatile ability, and because of its immensely short CD it can really help with DPS as well going in between pulls of CM. This tracker I intentionally made larger. I will demonstrate why below.

The other stuff to the right of Mindbender are for Holy priests ONLY and will not be discussed.

The whole aura can be found, as it appears, at this link!

Mindbender Specifics -

I intentionally enlarged Mindbender from the size the others are to make it more obvious. This is an ability that if you do not use on CD you are wasting the talent choice. Conversely, it can be easy to forget about because its such a short CD. To remedy this, and without adding too much effort, I simply enlarged the icon when its active, but not when its on CD. This makes the rest of the bar sized wrong, adding black bars encasing the horizontal portion. In my eyes, this makes all the other abilities I have my eyes on also tell me about Mindbender! It works especially well, as its the last thing on the right for Disp. Its a brutish way of accomplishing this task, but made the most sense to me at the time. You can examine the difference here:

Black Bars = Use It!!

Black Bars = Use It!!

No bars?? It will be up soon :(

No bars?? It will be up soon :(

Non-CD Durations -

The second part discussed in the start would be the duration based trackers. While the first tracker indicates availability, the second will show the duration, particularly of a few key abilities that can really improve your DPS. The two go hand-in-hand so be sure to use them so.

WoWScrnShot_031914_143742

The breakdown here is quite simple, yet highly effective. Let’s examine each, starting at the top:

Evangelism: the stacking buff you receive whenever you are doing damage. This will track the number of stacks. When it reaches 5, its time to use Archangel! It also tracks the length you have remaining, so if you want to save Archangel or have to stop DPSing you can still be aware.

Power Infusion Active: Once again, extremely important to know. You want to line this up with all your other damage, so knowing exactly when it is about to expire can be huge for maxing our your potential.

Archangel: Already discussed in the CD tracker, this shows the duration, once again so you can plan around the loss of healing when it dissipates.

Spirit Shell: This shows when the ability is active, not when its shields are. This is extremely important as well, because you need to know how many shields you can get off and how much time remains.

Find this string by following this link!

Rapture Tracking -

This isn’t something I originally included in the main screenshot, but will discuss options here. A lot of people use an addon known as Ingela’s Rapture. If you’d like to use an addon instead, feel free to do so. You can download it here: http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/ingelasrapture

Past that, you can also use a Weak Aura to do the exact same thing. You can even include the silly noises if your eyes aren’t working well that day!
Regardless, the “rapture” concept is an important one. It basically allows you a free Power Word: Shield as long as its consumed wholly, but has an internal CD, so if you are just spamming shields you will OOM very quickly. This can be really useful in CM, as you will have essentially zero spirit, yet some shielding can be quite useful. This is a very “min-max” type concept though, and can easily be done without, unless you are doing progression raiding.

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Find the weak aura string here!

Either way, if the CD is on the screen, don’t use PW:S. Long story short.

 

Well that’s everything, so if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the forum attached to this topic, or contact me in game. Unlike other specs like Paladin or Shaman healers, you don’t need to directly place anything on players, so all these weak auras will do everything you need them to do. If you are going for crazy times as disp priest you can also use potions offensively. Head over to the mage thread and take the code for the Int potion CD and add it to this list and have it activate as a Disp Priest as well.

As always, I am not fluent in the program, and usually find people who ARE fluent and modify their work. The original source of this came from searching the internet and finding this blog!
Let’s all thank Derevka for putting the work in, and check out his blog and support him at How2priest!

It’s important to remember that you are the best person to help yourself improve, but with tools and help from those already experienced you can transform yourself into a top-tier player near instantly.

Discuss this Topic at:
http://stratics.com/community/threads/discipline-weak-aura-set-up.313389/
See the set-up in action:
Youtube Video!
Check out my Priest’s Armory:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/firetree/Youth/simple
Download Weak Auras Two:
http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/weakauras-2

 

WoW News Roundup – 17th March 2014

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Today news comes in the form of news about future events featuring Blizzard Entertainment, with interesting speculation towards a possible Blizzcon 2014.

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The Blizzcon Virtual Ticket page has recently seen changes to its terms of service page and in doing so changed the title to 2014, rather than 2013. This could be an error internally, however it could also be that we could see another Blizzcon this year, allowing for possible reveals for the new ip’s and post release for Warlords of Draenor and Heroes of The Storm. This comes as a suprise to me after the event finally returning after it’s hiatus, however i feel that people will be particularly excited by seeing this, and if it’s true then we are likely to have a very good year for Blizzard News. Such News does mean there would be certain reveals of information to be posponed until the event, as Blizzard does enjoy giving information exclusively on stage at their own event. Early predictions for such an event would be of a possible open beta for Heroes of the Storm or a release date, and possibly information on Diablo 3 and future patches after this months Reaper of Souls release. The event usually sells out instantly when tickets become available, so keep your eyes open and we at Stratics will try and give you the heads up as soon as anything comes from this. Whilst we wait for any noise from Blizzard themselves to either confirm or deny such an event exists for the year, one event that is sure to be taking place is Pax East, a yearly event featuring tournaments in all areas and genres of video and table top gaming, it also features some of the most prominent developers and development teams from around the world, here to showcase their latest and greatest products for early feedback and testing.

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Today’s press release unveiled the presence of Blizzard Entertainment at the convention, where they are allowing visitors from 10AM-6AM on both Friday April 11th and Sunday April 13th to get hands on playtime with the Warlords of Draenor playable demo we have seen earlier last month. Visitors will also be able to visit various Q&A sections of the Blizzard schedule, including Developer talk for Diablo 3 : Ultimate Evil Edition for the Playstation 4, a brand new demo for Heroes of The Storm, with the developers present and on hand for interviews and questions.

Expect information from these Q&A sections and events to be reported on here on Stratics when new information becomes available for discussion, I’m fairly certain the amount of time players will have to access the demo, we will be sure to see more footage and screenshots float around the internet that we will be sure to collate into readable information for you. Heroes of The Storm’s demo will feature heroes never before seen or played outside the event and will be the first stage of hands on feedback before they are included into the technical alpha which is also presently being sent out to press and streamed over on Twitch.tv channels. It could also be a time for Blizzard to send another wave of access out for the technical alpha but don’t hold your breath.

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Not to forget that Pax East also provides certain rewards this year, in the form of Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft exclusive content, presumably in the form of the exclusive card backs we saw leaked earlier in the month, or possibly Pax exclusive cards that we may of not seen, many of the card packs have been confirmed for in-game rewards and achievements, however the card featured to the right has not, and it wouldn’t be suprising if this small cosmetic addition was the reward they are talking about. With the various press events and featured demonstrations of Warlords of Draenor in full swing over the past few weeks, we can be sure for more information on the beta soon, with our previous predictions in out bi-weekly podcast coming to an end and our estimates changing every week, we have to get news on even a closed alpha for the game at some point soon. This year does however look to be a wonderful time for both Blizzard Entertainment and those who play Blizzards games! If Blizzcon 2014 is confirmed at some point it would certainly be the icing on the cake for this year.

You can find more here about Pax East and a full schedule for the event. CLICK HERE

This about wraps up today’s World of Warcraft and Blizzard news, we expect information on future beta / alpha events and unveilings further this week or next, so be sure to become a part of WoW.Stratcis today! Fantastic rewards from the Sites with Benefits feature on the side of the screen, along with monthly giveaways on our forums and a great place to talk about all of the topics we feature. We are always open for guests and your questions on our bi-weekly podcast, so if something makes you opinionated, make a post and Get your voice heard today!

25H Seigecrafter Blackfuse – Metro’s Healing Guide!

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Welcome to Metro’s 25 man Heroic Healing guides for the Siege of Orgrimmar! It is important to understand that these guides are
first aimed at helping healers understand their role, and then helping them maximize their play.
Each will feature a general overview of the mechanics that matter to the healers, and conclude with a class-specific discussion. Let’s begin!

A common depiction of the encounter, but very deceiving as a lot of this is avoidable.

A common depiction of the encounter, but very deceiving as a lot of this is avoidable.

Understanding the encounter –

First of all, congrats on making this far, especially at a 25 man level. From here on out, the fights becoming incredibly more difficult than the first half and it won’t always be something direct that will result in the wipe. This is important to understand as both a healer, and a raid leader. The quicker you and your raid realize that you are all part of the same team and are working together, the less you’ll hear “this guy is really killing us here.” At some point, every one of you will get targeted by the blade or the fire, and have a bomb hit you. It’s unavoidable, so all you can do is give your best effort and keep your raid’s mind focused on the task.

That goes hand in hand with why this fight is a challenge as a healer, because the only real damage that you will receive from this boss is from mistakes. If your raid were to make zero mistakes, you could EASILY 2 heal the encounter, but as you likely guessed, this is a fight where you pick your poison, choose what mechanics you want, and deal with them the best you can. You will NEVER do it flawlessly; you are just doing things the best you can each time. As healers, it’s your job to help those who make a few too many mistakes recover.

Like a few fights in SoO, your job here is pure support, not necessarily max HPS. There will be two major things that can be done as healers to make the fight ten times easier, so get in this mindset now. I will discuss class specific stuff below, but let’s speak in general about what the fight will bring to the table.

Understanding the Healer’s Role –

First of all, you should really be considering not bringing as many healers as you can. A lot of guilds I’ve followed 3-4 healed it, but we chose to stick with 5, as we have a really strong core of 5 healers that all deserve the kill, and enough dps to get the job done anyway.

Once you have decided who to have step out, the healers that are in progression need to play a versatile game, and not just stand there and heal. I will walk you through each mechanic that happens and why it demands your full attention, and not just reaction to who is taking damage.

>DPS component – I would impress this as a vital part of the fight for every healer, especially if you are staying near 5-6 healers. The most important part of this would be the very start of the encounter. You will be all stacked up, have bloodlust up, and have virtually no damage going out for a good 30 seconds, so make sure you rail into the boss with everything you have. If there could be a case for prepotting intellect as a healer, this should be it. It could be the difference between a kill or not, especially if you are a priest or monk. A Resto druid with Heart of the Wild could be a good option as well, as it’s going to contribute a LOT more than another other 90 talent on this encounter.

>Crawler Mines- This is as much your job as it is the DPS, and if everyone makes an effort, these will be a non-factor; the less people who contribute, the more difficult the fight becomes. Let’s talk about the variety of options each class has. *NOTE – The Engineering EMP belt affix is op as hell. If you are an engineer, make sure you are using it for this fight! It will stun them on no DR and if multiple people chain it, the bombs will never move!

These guys shouldn't be a huge issue. Use the EMP belt as Eng!

These guys shouldn’t be a huge issue. Use the EMP belt as Eng!

Holy Paladin – Couple a CD with Lights Hammer, and throw it every opportunity. This will triple dip Healing, Damage, and the slow! The slow alone is enough to justify using it, but if you use wings or favor, you can do a really nice amount of DPS as well. Use Fist of Justice to pick off ones that spawn too close to ranged.
Resto Shaman – Cap totem can be projected towards the spawn point for high efficacy, but this is a really bad fight for resto shaman all around. If you can drop a healer, I would recommend it being a Shaman. Earthgrab Totem can also be projected with high efficacy.
Resto Druid – Druids have the best utility in the game for this position, and you can make a case for either Mass Entanglement or Typhoon, but in my mind the decision is already made for Typhoon. It can literally save a wipe, were as mass entanglement’s true strength can only be used immediately. Save Typhoon for those situations where 3+ mines are getting too close, and watch as the group wipes the sweat off their brow. There are plenty of snares and roots to go around, but not many knockbacks! On top of this, Ursol’s Vortex can work as well if used properly. Get in the habit of using both!
Holy/Disp Priest – Void tendrils are the way forward, without question. This, on top of the actual DPS you can dish out with your 90 talent that will double dip makes priest a great option for this encounter.
Misty Monk – We do not currently have one on our progression team for this encounter, but can imagine leg sweep and the aoe double dip they can do would be quite effective. If you have anything you’d like to add here feel free to let me know.

>Electrostatic Charge Stacks and Protective Frenzy- The most important part of this encounter will be helping the tanks do their job successfully. This is particularly of note as they literally cannot survive some of the later stacks without real aid. The options you have are Pain Suppression -> Guardian Spirit > Hand of Sacrifice -> Ironbark -> Life Cocoon -> Spirit Link, in that order. You will want some type of focus on the tank after each stack is being cast, but it’s up to you when you need to start using externals. We begin around the 5th stack, and each tank receives a maximum of 7 stacks. For the 7th, we always use either Pain Suppression or GS, Depending on your strategy, the tank may often be far out of range of the group, so be ready for this. It happens all the time during our attempts, at least once an encounter, depending on some luck factor, but if you have beacons on the Tank you should be alright.

Another factor in this encounter is the attack speed increase the boss gets whenever the shredder is killed. Because of this, I would really recommend keeping one healer permanently affixed to the tank’s health pool. Both will be taking immense damage, and since the rest of the healing is random lot, it’s not a bad idea to send most globals at a tank instead of padding your aoe.

>Helping the Belt Team - As the belt team is the most difficult job to consistently pull off, I am hoping you have your 5-10 best players handling it. Hopefully, they are smart enough to use their personals when needed, and use self-heals and healthstones as much as possible. However, even if they are doing so, there is a pretty solid need for them to receive some sort of healing. Because of this fact, we send our Resto Druid over once every two belts to give them a full round of hots as they board. This is especially useful as we have 3 players that can repeat the process without worry, being 2 hunters and a windwalker monk. Giving them a buffer allowing them to say near full health helps them focus on their dodging and DPS, and makes the job a lot less stressful. I would recommend either a Resto Druid or Priest to be in charge of this, especially if they are Holy. Lightwell can be clicked as well for times when no healer is present.

>The Remainder – Past the previous topics, that’s all there really is to do on the encounter. Depending on what strategy you employ will dictate whether or not you need to worry about each mechanic so I can’t give specific details. The only other thing I can warn you about is the Magnetic Crush phase, as it will be the most healing intensive. Its 55k physical damage every second, so Devo is all but useless on this fight, but the more intense element here is that the other mechanics will likely be picking people off throughout. It’s important to use your classes’ big through put CD here, otherwise you can sit on it until a bunch of bombs go off if you have enough healing going around. Just by wary, as towards the end of the kill, the dps will begin to panic a bit, and let a few mechanics slip through their hands. Patch up the holes, and congrats on the kill!

TLDR Recap –

Don't be intimidated! Its tough, but nothing compared to Thok for a Healer!

Don’t be intimidated! Its tough, but nothing compared to Thok for a Healer!

 

Unfortunately, one of the more disappointing fights as a healer, despite how amazing the fight is overall. Expect to 4-5 heal, and volunteer to sit if you are a Resto Shaman or are under-performing in general, especially if fights with a lot of movement screw with you. Always keep an eye on the tanks, it’s very possible to have them get 1-shot, even by the 4th or 5th stack. Refer to the ways your class can help the raid with the mines, and do as much DPS as you can at the start – normally the class section is at the end, but I included it in the body instead!

As always, this guide is from the perspective of a Holy Paladin in 25 man heroic raid leadership perspective. Experience is limited when it comes to priest and monk healers, so if you have input feel free to join the conversation! Otherwise, if you have any questions feel free to ask! Enjoy SoO!