WoW Roundup: Luck Tested, Player Wealth and more

Exciting times in WoW right now, between the new raids and the upcoming patch! And blog activity’s reflecting that – there’s a lot of good writing out there.

At the same time, it’s not all happy – but whether you want to read scientific (ish) testing of WoW superstitions, or a well-considered essay on why one veteran player’s quitting the game, it’s all here:

  • We don’t usually link to “I’m quitting WoW” posts, but Kurn’s epic discussion and analysis of the game and her relation with it is fascinating reading – FAR from the usual “I quit” post (earlier parts here“I didn’t just become a raider. I became a raid leader. I became a healing lead. I became a guild master. I became a WoW blogger. I became a WoW podcaster. World of Warcraft has been a great place for me to hang out for seven years. “
  • Saxsy writes a very useful guide for any AH player to the uses or lack therof of MoP gems“A lot of gems here reflect the primacy of hit and spirit. Like the blue ones above, I expect these to become less popular as gear gets better and these stats become less useful. For now, though, these gems actually sell pretty well, which is a refreshing change from Cataclysm, where the best price you could get for a green gem was from the vendor.”
  • The Grumpy Elf wanted more luck – so he tested out some of the methods that other players swear make WoW’s RNG kinder“So many people relay stories exactly like this, so is it possible that there is something to it? It seems to work the same with BoP patterns in raids. If a blacksmith BoP pattern drops from the raid and there are no blacksmiths in the raid expect to see a lot of them. If there are a few, expect to see none.”
  • The Godmother writes a really great post about the impact when your play isn’t up to scratch, and how we – and she – copes with it“There is a very good reason why L2P can be as abusive a phrase as it is. If you can, then it is likely you will never understands the issues that arise if you can’t. Knowing you can’t, and admitting that fact is often very difficult.”
  • Beruthiel channels Dr Seuss for a parable about the current state of the healing druid“The Lorax said, “Sir! You are crazy, my friend. There is no one on earth who will use them in the end!”. The crab laughed at the Lorax, “You poor stupid guy! You will use them, and like it, or just manage to get by”.”
  • And Eric Dekker reveals the results of his 2012 Warcraft Wealth survey in a long, fascinating post“Given the results of this year’s survey the calculate Gini Index, the measurement of inequality where 0% is perfect equality and 100% is perfect inequality, for the World of Warcraft population is 75.9, a raise of 10.4 points over 2011’s results. To give some scale to the disparity if Azeroth was a country it would have the most inequality in the world, doing even worse than Namibia which has a 74.3. “

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Weekend Roundup: Guild Wars 2

It’s been a very busy weekend in the MMOsphere, and so today we’re rounding up the must-read posts by category rather than anything fancier – there’s a lot of really good stuff to read this weekend!

First up, Guild Wars 2, where it would appear much of the discussion has centered around the game’s economy, which may be Less Broken Than It Previously Appeared… But there’s more, too:

  • MMO Gamer Chick has entered Guild Wars 2’s first dungeon, and writes an extensive and very interesting look at the gameplay and the different mindset of a GW2 instance run” I thought I was going to hate this aspect of GW2′s dungeon fights, but in the end I found myself strangely fine with it. As one of my guildies said, “EMBRACE THE ZERG!” That became my mantra.”
  • Syl looks at the gold-gems exchange rate, and finds its economic premise unconvincing and potentially flawed“What will keep the balance from shifting further in favor of gold farmers or “gem hoarders/speculators” (buying cheaper gems now, waiting for demand to raise)? “
  • Tobold has been experimenting with the GW2 Auction House, and appears to be finding little niches of profit, even within the massive global Auction House“With everybody on the same auction house, there aren’t many opportunities for quick money without much effort or thinking. But with a careful study there is money to be made, even in the deflationary market of Guild Wars 2.”
  • Stubborn applauds GW2’s approach to levelling and non-linearity, calling it the first non-linear leveling experience for some time“This hearkens back to old school WoW, where even though you needed an exhausting amount of experience, you didn’t have to do every zone. “
  • And Ravious looks at GW2’s economy as a whole, from gold sinks to gem sales, and is ever-more impressed with its design“So far I am very impressed with the economy in Guild Wars 2. It is clear that time has been taken to interweave a lot of big moving parts in something on the order of the Eternal Alchemy.”

How’s your GW2 experience so far? Are you managing to make gold? Are you enjoying it?

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Discipline Priest Quick-Start Guide For WoW Patch 5.4 – Stats, talents and spec, glyphs, rotation, reforging and gems, priorities and healing strategies

See! We knew Smite Priesting was the way to go! Yes, in Mists of Pandaria (WoW Patch [patchnumber]) the Smite playstyle is fully included with every Disipline Priest’s spec choice – along with a bunch of more recent changes! So, to get a quick heads up on how to play a Disc Priest as we all head off to kick Garrosh’s oversized ass, here’s a Quick Start Guide for your stats, talent build, abilities, glyphs, rotation (such as it is), reforging and gems. Enjoy!

Updated [guideupdated] for [patchnumber]

Disc Priest changes in [patchnumber]

Minor changes, stat priorities updated.

Discipline Healing “Rotation” and Priorities

Of course, we don’t really have a rotation – we’re a healing class, dammit! (Well, not unless you count the low-level dungeon rotation of Smite, Smite, Smite, Smite…). But here’s an intro to how best to use your abilities to keep everyone else up.

Tank healing

When you’re healing the tank, you’ll be using:

  • Power Word Shield: One of your primary damage prevention abilities. Re-cast it whenever it drops. Note that when it drops you get mana back!
  • Penance Fairly powerful and efficient. Use whenever it’s off cooldown.
  • Greater Heal Primary healing spell if the tank’s taking more damage than Heal can cope with.
  • Heal Your “spam healing” spell. Use whenever the tank’s taking damage, but if his or her health is going down even with Heals, it’s time to switch to something more powerful.
  • Flash Heal Your panic button. Will run you out of mana FAST, but will also heal the tank FAST.
  • Prayer of Mending Will bounce around injured targets healing them. Use on your primary target during moderate or high damage phases, on CD.
  • Power Word Solace Use on CD unless you’re in an ntense damage phase. Smart-heals nearby players.

You can also use Smite to smart-heal the tank if no-one else is injured, but most of the time it will be too random to use. However, use it in very low-damage phases to build Evangelism stacks.

Keep Grace running on your primary target with Penance and your Heal spells.

Raid/group healing

  • Power Word Shield: Also very useful for raid healing. Cast on people you know or suspect are about to take damage. Fast and high healing.
  • Prayer of Healing: Your primary group heal. Use whenever it will be useful for healing at least 3 people.
  • Prayer of Mending: The “Bouncing Heal”. Cast on cooldown – as a smart heal, it’ll go where it’s needed (hopefully).
  • Power Word Solace: Use on cooldown (on the mobs, obviously), as it’s a smart heal that restores your mana.
  • Other healing spells: Use Penance when it’s off cooldown, and Greater Heal to spot heal as needed. Only use Flash Heal if someone’s about to die and you can’t use Power Word Shield. Whenever you don’t need to cast anything else, be casting Smite to build Evangelism stacks and do low-powered healing.

Cooldown spells

For when it’s all gone or is about to go a bit pear-shaped:

  • Power Word: Barrier :Best used when the raid’s stacked and you know they’re about to take a lot of damage. Note: this is a powerful CD and can save your raid if used right.
  • Pain Suppression: Powerful damage reduction – coordinate with your healing target as to when to cast this if possible, as it duplicates the effect of many tank cooldowns.
  • Archangel: Frequent-use cooldown powered by Atonement stacks from Smite. Use whenever you need a bit more healing punch.
  • Hymn of Hope: Use during low-damage phases to restore mana to you and nearby casters.
  • Spirit Shell: Use whenever there’s high damage coming in.
  • Leap of Faith: Useful for two things: moving slow, DCed or otherwise distracted people out of the Bad, and annoying your fellow raid members!
  • Inner Focus: Short cooldown, and gives your next Flash Heal, Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing 100% crit chance. Useful frequent-use cooldown. Also grants 5 sec immunity to Silence.
  • Void Shift is an extremely powerful heal if you’re on high health – but it has a very long CD. Assume it can only be used once per encounter.
  • Cascade: Use on cooldown or when you know the raid’s going to take heavy damage.

Buffs

Keep Inner Fire or Inner Will up (the latter helps with mana costs), remember to cast Prayer of Fortitude, and cast Shadow Protection if appropriate.

Discipline Priest Talent Choices

The new 5.x talent system means that you may well want to change talents on a per-fight basis. However, if you’re looking for a general-purpose talent build that’ll get you started quickly, we recommend:

  • Tier 1: Void Tendrils (not very important)
  • Tier 2: Angelic Feather – grants a movement speed increasing effect on the ground.
  • Tier 3: Solace / Insanity
  • Tier 4: Desperate Prayer – powerful self-heal.
  • Tier 5: Twist of Fate
  • Tier 6: Cascade – another powerful group-healing CD.

Stats, reforging and gemming for Discipline Priests

Intellect is your most important stat, boosting your healing, followed by Spirit, which controls mana regeneration. Mana pools are now fixed in size. In MoP, you’re likely to find you need to reforge for additional Spirit until you’re comfortable with your new mana regen.

Crit is our most useful secondary stat.

Gemming: Gem for socket bonuses (Purified in Red sockets, Sparkling in Blue sockets, Misty in Yellow sockets).

Reforging: Reforging depends on your mana. Reforge to Spirit if you need mana regen, which is very likely. Then reforge to Crit.

Disc Priest Glyphs

Glyphs are much more situational in WoW 5.x than before – however, here are some solid general choices:

Major: Glyph of Penance, Glyph of Binding Heal, Glyph of Mass Dispel.

Minor: Whatever you want – they have no performance effect.

Discipline Priest enchants and item enhancements

You should almost always use a profession enhancement item if it provides appropriate stats instead of a general enchant.

  • Shoulders – Greater Crane Wing Inscription
  • Back – Enchant Cloak – Superior Intellect
  • Chest – Enchant Chest – Mighty Spirit
  • Wrist – Enchant Bracer – Super Intellect
  • Hands – Enchant Gloves – Superior Mastery
  • Belt – Living Steel Belt Buckle
  • Legs – Greater Pearlescent Spellthread
  • Feet – Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step
  • Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Jade Spirit
  • Off-Hand Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Major Intellect

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Today’s Quick Links – New to a guild? Or making cash on gems?

Hey, y’all. Rebecca found a couple of cool links, so I thought I’d share them from my virtual beach hut.

First up, if you’re joining a new guild, or if you have just had someone join your guild, Dwarven Battle Medic has a truly excellent guide on how to make the process smoother. I particularly like the bit on how to welcome people to a guild.

Second, there’s a fascinating piece about gem prices up on I Like Pancakes. I’d go so far as to say this is a must-read for any jewelcrafters out there – she’s using about two and a half months of her auctioning experience to give recommendations on the best gems to sell, with lots and lots of Dataz. I Liek Dataz.

Enjoy!

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Patch 4.3 Frost Death Knight (DK) Quick-Start guide – stats, spec and talents, glyphs, enchants, gems, reforging, and rotation / priorities

It’s cold outside, there’s no kind of atmosphere – no, wait, that’s Red Dwarf. In Frost Death Knight land, there’s an atmosphere of hideous chilling death. And ridiculously high DPS meter totals. So, if you want to get a’frostin’ in Patch 4.3, we’ve got your spec, talents, glyphs, gems, reforging, enchants, and priorities right here!

Updated 29th November for Patch 4.3

Frost Death Knight Changes in Patch 4.3

Not much has changed for Frost – it was great in 4.2, and it’s still great in the new patch. We’re the beneficiaries of the new global melee DPS buff – giving us an extra 10% attack power – and, well, that’s about it for Frost DKs in this patch.

Our Tier 13 set bonuses are solid, but won’t change how we play.

Rotation / Priorities

Frost DKs, like most DPS classes in Cataclysm, do not have a ‘rotation’ as such. Instead, they work on a priority system – use the most important abilities whenever possible before less important ones.

Single-Target

Top Priority: Diseases. Apply or reapply diseases as first priority. Use Outbreak, or Howling Blast and Plague Strike, for this.

Second Priority: Obliterate IF Killing Machine has procced. Frost Strike if you’re approaching maximum Runic Power and you can’t use Obliterate with Killing Machine.

Third Priority: Howling Blast IF Freezing Fog (Rime) has procced.

Fourth Priority: Obliterate or Frost Strike if you’re on low Runic Power and Killing Machine hasn’t procced.

Remember that Howling Blast hits multiple mobs – use Icy Touch instead if there’s danger that you’ll break crowd-control.

Multiple Targets

Only use this for 3 or more targets.

Top Priority: Howling Blast.

Second Priority: Death and Decay if it’s off cooldown, Plague Strike to apply disease to each mob if not. Don’t use Pestilence to spread the disease here.

Third Priority: Frost Strike. Although if you’re on high Runic Power, you can also use it as Second Priority.

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Best Frost Death Knight Spec / build

The optimal Frost DK spec depends on whether you’re heading for a single two-handed weapon spec or a dual-wield spec. The two specs are very, very close in damage, so it’s up to you which you chose based on available weapons.

Dual-Wield Spec – 4.3

Two-Handed Spec – 4.3

In both, you have a small choice of which Tier 2 talents to put points into. If you’re going to be interrupting, or like interrupting, chose Endless Winter, otherwise Icy Reach is your best in-combat option.

Stats, Reforging and Gems

Strength is by far your most important stat, followed by Hit to the Hit Cap (961 for anyone except Draenai, for whom it’s 841), then Expertise to the Expertise cap of 26, Haste, Mastery, and finally Crit.

Gems: Always choose a Bold Inferno Ruby unless a socket provides 20 or more Strength or 40 or more of another important stat. In the latter case, use either Fierce Ember Topaz or Etched Demonseye as appropriate.

Reforging: Reforge to Hit up to the hit cap, then Expertise to the Expertise cap. Then, reforge to Haste, or Mastery if that’s not possible.

Buffs: Stay in Unholy Presence. Sorry, but it’s better than Frost Presence. Use Rune of the Fallen Crusader if 2H and Main Hand Rune of Razor Ice, Offhand Rune of the Fallen Crusader if DW. Keep Horn of Winter up whenever possible.

Frost Death Knight enchantments

Remember, your profession may offer better enchantment options – check against the stat priorities above.

Head Arcanum of the Wildhammer (Alliance) or Dragonmaw (Horde)
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Jagged Stone
Back Enchant Cloak – Greater Critical Strike
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Major Strength
Hands Enchant Gloves – Mighty Strength
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Dragonscale Leg Armor
Feet Enchant Boots – Haste or Precision if you’re not hit-capped
Weapon Rune of the Fallen Crusader

Glyphs for Frost

Prime: Glyph of Howling Blast, Glyph of Frost Strike, Glyph of Obliterate

Major: Glyph of Dark Succor, Glyph of Anti-Magic Shell, Glyph of Hungering Cold

Minor: Glyph of Horn of Winter, Glyph of Blood Tap, Glyph of Path of Frost

  • Elitist Jerks Frost Guide – It’s a toss-up between this and Son Of A Lich’s Frost guide for the most complete – they’re both ace. Not updated for 4.3 yet, although there aren’t many changes, as we mentioned.
  • Son Of A Lich’s Frost guide Fantastic guide from a really great DK site. Check it out.
  • #Archerus IRC channel on irc.coldfront.net – GREAT DK community.

You also might find the rest of MMO Melting Pot interesting – we scour the blogosphere daily looking for the most interesting discussions and posts about WoW and other MMOs and deliver them straight to you, all in one place, right here. See what’s on the Pot today!

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Patch 4.3 Unholy Death Knight (DK) Quick-Start Guide: stats, spec and talents, glyphs, gems, reforging, and rotation

Ah, Unholy. After a brief and unpleasant interval at the bottom of the tree in 4.1, it’s going from strength to strength as it heads into Patch 4.3, and the Fight with Deathwing’s Appendages. So, get your stats, specs, glyphs, gems, reforging priorities, rotation and all that other stuff sorted out right here, and let’s get on to the slaying.

Updated Nov 29th 2011 for Patch 4.3

Unholy Death Knight changes in Patch 4.3

Unholy only has a few changes, but they’re good ones. Unholy Might now offers 25% additional Strength, up from 20%. In addition, all DK pets now properly inherit Crit and Spell Penetration stats from their master, and Unholy’s gargoyle will now always use its ranged attack, which will make it more effective. Finally, we’re the beneficiaries of the global 4.3 melee DPS buff, giving us an extra 10% attack power.

Unholy set bonuses in T13 are strong, but don’t significantly change gearing or rotation once achieved.

Rotation / Priorities

Unholy DKs, like most DPS classes in Cataclysm, do not have a “rotation” as such. Instead, they work on a priority system – use the most important abilities whenever possible before less important ones.

Single-Target

Top Priority: Diseases and Dark Transformation. Apply or reapply diseases as first priority, preferably using Outbreak, and use Dark Transformation whenever it’s available.

Second Priority: Death and Decay or Scourge Strike if Death Runes are available. Use DnD even on single-target fights. Use Scourge Strike if DnD is on cooldown.

Third Priority: Death Coil IF Sudden Doom is up or Festering Strike. Only use Festering Strike here if it will extend your diseases.

Fourth Priority: Death and Decay or Scourge Strike. This is your bread-and-butter.

AOE

For standard dungeon packs, you still want to use the single-target rotation above. Only use the AOE rotation here for LARGE packs of mobs. Switch to Frost Presence when using this.

Follow the same priorities as for Single Target – however, ignore Festering Strike, and use Pestilence to spread your diseases.

Other abilities

For the love of Pete, remember that you can use Raise Ally to combat-res! Other abilities to bear in mind are Icebound Fortitude (to not die), Death Strike (to not die) and your various interrupts.

As far as your damage cooldowns go, Empower Rune Weapon, Gargoyle, and Unholy Frenzy should be used together, ideally. Army Of The Dead is best used on a pull or a phase transition – and be SURE that your ghouls won’t taunt anything important before using it. Seriously. Or you will be very unpopular.

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Best Unholy DPS Spec

The unholy forces of Elitist Jerks and #Acherus on IRC align to agree that this build (Patch 4.3) is the best option.

At Tier 3, you’ll have to spend a point in one of two places – either Unholy Command or Desecration. Unless you have a specific need for mob slowing abilities, take Unholy Command.

There are also 3 points left at the end of the talent build that you can spend in a variety of places. Good options include:

  • Improved Blood Tap (Second Tier, Blood) – can be used to increase your DPS with more runes. Not always useful, but a handy option.
  • Runic Power Mastery (First Tier, Frost) – increases your maximum Runic Power. Useful, but less so than you might expect because you’ll usually be below 100. One point highly recommended.
  • Magic Suppression and/or Anti-Magic Zone (4th and 5th Tier, Unholy) – very useful survival talents with some DPS application. Anti-Magic Zone is very situational, Magic Suppression generally useful.

Stats, Reforging and Gems

Strength is by far your most important stat, followed by Hit to the Hit Cap (961 for anyone except Draenai, for whom it’s 841), then Haste, Crit, Mastery, Expertise to the Expertise cap of 26

Gems: Always choose a Bold Inferno Ruby unless a socket provides 20 or more Strength or 40 or more of another important stat. In the latter case, use either Fierce Ember Topaz or Etched Demonseye as appropriate.

Reforging: Reforge to Hit up to the hit cap. Then, reforge to Haste, or Crit if that’s not possible. Never reforge Haste to anything else, including Hit.

Buffs: Stay in Unholy Presence and use Rune of the Fallen Crusader. Keep Horn of Winter up whenever possible.

Enchants for Unholy

Remember to check if your profession offers better enhancement options for a slot!

Head Arcanum of the Wildhammer (Alliance) or Dragonmaw (Horde)
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Jagged Stone
Back Enchant Cloak – Greater Critical Strike
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Major Strength
Hands Enchant Gloves – Mighty Strength
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Dragonscale Leg Armor
Feet Enchant Boots – Haste or Precision if you’re not hit-capped
Weapon Rune of the Fallen Crusader

Glyphs for Unholy

Prime: Glyph of Death Coil, Glyph of Scourge Strike, Glyph of Raise Dead unless you want to focus on AOE damage, in which case replace the first two with Glyph of Icy Touch and Glyph of Death and Decay.

Major: Glyph of Anti-Magic Shell, Glyph of Blood Boil, Glyph of Pestilence.

Minor: Glyph of Blood Tap, Glyph of Death’s Embrace, Glyph of Path of Frost – all of these are actually useful!

  • Elitist Jerks – Unholy Guide – Unusually well-written and easy to follow for EJ, this is a superb guide. If you want more detail than this article has given you, go here. Updated for Patch 4.3 already!
  • Son Of A Lich – from the people who also write the EJ Death Knight guides, a superb site for all DKs.
  • #Archerus IRC channel on irc.coldfront.net – GREAT DK community.

You also might find the rest of MMO Melting Pot interesting – we scour the blogosphere daily looking for the most interesting discussions and posts about WoW and other MMOs and deliver them straight to you, all in one place, right here. See what’s on the Pot today!

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Patch 4.3 Discipline (Disc) Priest guide – stats, spec and talents, glyphs, gems, reforging, changes and healing spells

It’s time to do some bubbling! Yep, Disc priests are back, and whilst we can’t spam soap bubbles of invulnerability like we used to, we’re still awesome healers. So, as we face up to Deathwing’s Bits, if you want to know what spells to use, what gems and glyphs to buy, what talents to spec, or how to reforge in Patch 4.3, read on.

Updated 6th Dec 2011 for Patch 4.3

Disc Priest Changes in Patch 4.3

Very little has changed for Discipline in 4.3. The main change has been a fix for Atonement, meaning it will now work properly when used against large bosses like Ragnaros or Al’Akir.

However, of course stat increases mean that your style of healing may change, and this guide has been updated to reflect 4.3 levels of gearing.

Spell Usage/Rotation

Disc priests, like all healers, don’t have a “rotation” as such. Instead, each spell has a different ideal use, and you’ll use them depending on situation:

Tank healing

  • Power Word Shield: One of your primary heals. Cast when the tank’s about to take significant damage, and generally whenever you can.
  • Penance Fairly powerful and efficient. Use whenever it’s off cooldown.
  • Greater Heal Primary healing spell if the tank’s taking more damage than Heal can cope with.
  • Heal Your “spam healing” spell. Use whenever the tank’s taking damage, but if his or her health is going down even with Heals, it’s time to switch to something more powerful. Becomes increasingly less useful with better gear – if your mana can handle it, consider using Greater Heal as your spam heal on harder content.
  • Flash Heal Your panic button. Will run you out of mana FAST, but will also heal the tank FAST.

Raid/group healing

  • Power Word Shield: Also very useful for raid healing. Cast on people you know or suspect are about to take damage. Fast and high healing.
  • Prayer of Healing: Your primary group heal. Use whenever it will be useful for healing at least 3 people.
  • Prayer of Mending: The “Bouncing Heal”. Cast on cooldown – as a smart heal, it’ll go where it’s needed (hopefully).
  • Other healing spells: Use Penance when it’s off cooldown, and Greater Heal to spot heal as needed. Only use Flash Heal if someone’s about to die and you can’t use Power Word Shield.

Cooldown spells

For when it’s all gone a bit Pete Tong:

  • Power Word: Barrier :Best used when the raid’s stacked and you know they’re about to take a lot of damage – Red phase on Maloriak, for example. Note: this is a powerful CD and can save your raid if used right.
  • Pain Suppression: Powerful damage reduction – coordinate with your healing target as to when to cast this if possible, as it duplicates the effect of many tank cooldowns.
  • Divine Hymn and Power Infusion: Your other two “Oh, crap” buttons. Best to not use both at once, to maximise your ability to react to The Bad.

What about Evangelism/Atonement/Smite Priests?

You may have heard about the so-called “Smite Priest”, an alternative Disc build that heals by using DPS spells.

It’s a very fun build – use if you want to try it out. However, it’s more complicated than a non-Smite priest.

If you decide to try Smiting your way to victory:

  • Tank Healing: Proceed as above, but use Smite instead of Heal if you ever get time for it, and try to use Holy Fire if you get a chance. If healing gets hairy, you should have enough stacks of Evangelism built up to cast Archangel, which is a decent cooldown on a very short timer.

  • Raid Healing Use Holy Fire on cooldown, as it’s a powerful smart heal. As above, pop Archangel for heavy damage. Use Smite where you’d be casting Heal otherwise.

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Discipline Talent Spec

The standard Disc talent spec looks like this 4.3 spec

Here’s a good Atonement spec: Atonement/Evangelism spec for 4.3

Stats, Reforging and Gems

Intellect is your most important stat, boosting your healing and mana pool, followed by Spirit, which controls mana regeneration. Haste, Mastery and Crit can all be useful in different circumstances, but are all less useful than Int or Spirit – see below.

Gemming: Gem for socket bonuses unless the socket is a yellow socket providing 10 or less Mastery, Crit or Haste – gem those for Intellect with Brilliant Inferno Ruby.

Reforging: Reforging depends on your mana. Reforge to Spirit if you ever need mana. Otherwise, reforge to a balance of Crit and Mastery, or Haste if you’re really sure you won’t run out of mana on the content you’re healing. (Haste increases your healing power but also means you consume more mana).

Discipline Priest enchants

Several professions have “superior” enchants – use them if the stats are appropriate. Felfire Inscription on shoulders from Inscription, for example. Note – a few enchants can be swapped for Spirit enchants, like Chest, and so if you’re having mana problems, Spirit enchants are decent alternatives.

Head Arcanum of Hyjal
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone
Back Enchant Cloak – Greater Intellect
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Mighty Intellect
Hands Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Powerful Ghostly Spellthread
Feet Enchant Boots – Lavawalker (the run speed is very useful)
Weapon Enchant Weapon – Power Torrent
Off-Hand Weapon Enchant Weapon – Superior Intellect

Glyphs for Disc

Prime: Glyph of Power Word: Shield, Glyph of Penance, and Glyph of Prayer of Healing. Swap one for Glyph of Power Word: Barrier if it’s vital for the content you’re doing.

Major: Glyph of Prayer of Mending and Glyph of Dispel Magic are the stand-out choices. The third is your choice – not vital whatever you choose – unless you’re Atonement, in which case you need Glyph of Divine Accuracy.

Minor: You’ll hate people who ask you to cast Levitate if you don’t have Glyph of Levitate. Glyph of Fortitude is also very useful. Glyph of Fade can be useful, and it’s not like there are other fantastic choices.

  • Plusheal’s Disc Priest guide – Excellent and thorough, if slightly strangely ordered. The Plusheal community in general are also great. Not updated for Patch 4.3, but it scarcely matters.

You also might find the rest of MMO Melting Pot interesting – we scour the blogosphere daily looking for the most interesting discussions and posts about WoW and other MMOs and deliver them straight to you, all in one place, right here. See what’s on the Pot today!

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Patch 4.3 WoW Holy Priest Quick Start guide – stats, spec and talents, glyphs, gems, reforging, chakras, and healing spells

Ah, Holy Priests. The priestliess of priests. The WoW priest that feels like a priest. OK, I’m going to stop that now before a Disc player removes my face – but nonetheless, Holy priests are awesome. And if you want to know how to spec or what talents to pick as you head into Dragon Soul to play “count the tentacle” with Deathwing, here’s our Patch 4.3 Quick Start guide to what glyphs and gems you should use, how to reforge, stat weights, enchantments, and how to use your spells – read on.

Updated 29th Nov 2011 for Patch 4.3

Holy Priest changes in Patch 4.3

The new patch has a couple of very significant changes for Holy Priests. Firstly, they’ve redesigned Spirit of Redemption to – no, just kidding. But seriously, folks.

The biggest change is a major buff to Divine Hymn. The State of Mind talent has been removed, and replaced by “Heavenly Voice”, which boosts Divine Hymn’s healing and reduces its CD. That’s going to mean you’ll need to move some talent points into what becomes a must-have talent now, particularly given Divine Hymn also now affects 5 targets.

The other play-affecting change, aside from a couple of minor buffs to Guardian Spirit and Holy Word: Serenity, is that Glyph of Circle of Healing now also increases the mana cost of Circle of Healing by 20%. It’ll likely only be useful in 25-man content now.

Spell usage / Rotation

Healers don’t have a fixed rotation as such – apart from anything else, you’re only healing when someone takes damage! However, it is important to know how to use your spells.

First thing: Chakras. The Chakra state is one of the Holy Priest’s signature abilities, and can look pretty complicated – however, it’s actually very simple.

Holy Priests can work in one of 3 “states” – either single-target healing, AOE healing, or DPS.

To go into a chakra state, you first cast the Chakra spell, which “signals” that you want to change state. Then, you cast either a single-target heal, AOE heal, or damage spell to go into the appropriate state.

Heal, Flash Heal, Greater Heal, and Binding Heal put you in Serenity, the single-target mode. Prayer of Healing and Prayer of Mending put you in Sanctuary, the AOE healing state. (Smite and Mind Spike put you in Chastise, the DPS state).

These state changes can’t occur more than once every 30 seconds – however, whilst you’re in each state, you’ll get a bonus to that type of healing, and your Holy Word spell alters to become a spell of that type – single-target, AOE or DPS.

Single-target healing

If you’re only healing one target most of the time, you’ll be in the Serenity chakra, putting up Renew to tick away merrily, then using Heal almost continuously to keep your target topped off without much mana cost.

If the target takes a lot of damage, you’ll use either Greater Heal, if you have time, Flash Heal, if it’s an emergency (but watch your mana pool!), or your Holy Word if it’s off cooldown.

If the group suddenly takes damage, pop Circle of Healing (your cooldown AOE heal) and use Prayer of Mending (which will heal your primary target when they next take damage) to pick up the single-target slack.

AOE/Group healing

First up, train your group to CLICK ON THE DAMN LIGHTWELL. *Lightwell *is the single most mana-efficient heal in the Holy Priest’s arsenal and delivers a powerful heal. You may want to use a macro or the RSA addon to announce when it goes down.

You’ll want to be in Chakra: Sanctuary when group healing, and put a Lightwell down somewhere accessible for the group. Your primary group heal is* Prayer of Healing* – use it liberally. Use Circle of Healing any time it’s off cooldown and is needed, in preference to Prayer of Healing. If the group’s taking damage irregularly, also use Prayer of Mending. Remember to use single-target heals too!

Don’t use Holy Word: Sanctuary unless you’re sure you need it – it’s very expensive. The best time to use it is 2-3 seconds before you know the group is about to take heavy damage – for example, from Electrocute on Nefarian.

Finally, if you need to move with the group and they need healing, use Holy Nova. If you just need to stabilise someone, Renew is also useful.

Cooldowns

Divine Hymn is a powerful AOE heal on a short (3 min) cooldown – use it on very heavy damage phases. For mana regen, use Shadowfiend and Hymn of Hope – ideally, these should be used at the same time. Guardian Spirit is a powerful spell to save a single person – particularly if they’re about to take a damage spike you can’t heal. Oh, and remember Leap Of Faith, aka Life Grip, for those times when someone stands in what they shouldn’t have stood in!

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Holy Talent Spec

Batman. (Sorry)

The standard Holy talent spec looks a lot like this, and that spec will serve you well in raids or dungeons.

It leaves you with 2 points to spend where you will – a few good choices are:

  • Veiled Shadows at the top of the Shadow tree is a nice utility talent. It reduces your Fade cooldown – nice – but the key element is a reduction in your Shadowfiend cooldown, meaning more mana regen. Particularly useful early on with less mana available.
  • Darkness, also at the top of the Shadow tree, grants up to 3% Haste. Haste is probably the most valuable secondary stat for a Holy priest unless mana is a problem – once you aren’t running out of mana, highly recommended.
  • Rapid Renewal, in the third tier of the Holy tree, should be taken if you find yourself using HoTs a lot – another close-to-mandatory talent.
  • Surge of Light, in the second tier of Holy, is a good talent if you’re having mana problems.
  • Desperate Prayer is a great “Oh, S—t!” button, particularly if you tend to find yourself standing in the Bad a lot.

If in doubt, Darkness and Rapid Renewal are good choices. If you find you’re having mana problems, swap to Veiled Shadows and Surge of Light.

Stats, Reforging and Gems

Unlike DPS classes, there is no set best way to gear and reforge – instead, there are a few options, depending on what you most feel you need as a healer.

You care most about two stats: Intellect, which boosts your overall healing power, and Spirit, which controls your mana pool and mana regeneration. You should gem and enchant for these two stats.

Beyond this, you want enough Haste to get 12.5% haste, as shown on your character sheet, and Mastery is your next most useful stat, above Crit, which is close to useless for Holy priests.

Reforging: reforge everything to Spirit until you no longer worry about running out of mana in dungeons. Then, reforge to Haste until you have 12.5%, and after that, reforge to either Mastery for better mana efficiency through a lingering Heal Over Time or Haste to speed up your spells, as you prefer.

Holy Priest enchants

Several professions have “superior” enchants – use them if the stats are appropriate. Felfire Inscription on shoulders from Inscription, for example.

Head Arcanum of Hyjal
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone
Back Enchant Cloak – Greater Intellect
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Mighty Intellect
Hands Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery or Enchant Gloves – Haste – either / or
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Powerful Ghostly Spellthread
Feet Enchant Boots – Lavawalker (the run speed is very useful)
Weapon Enchant Weapon – Heartsong or Enchant Weapon – Power Torrent – see below
Off-Hand Weapon Enchant Weapon – Superior Intellect

Enchant Weapon – Power Torrent will tend to be superior for a mainhand enchant once you have mostly iLevel 378 gear and beyond. Below that Heartsong is probably better. See this post for more math on that.

Glyphs

  • Prime Glyphs: Glyph of Renew and Glyph of Prayer of Healing. For the third glyph, choose Glyph of Lightwell if you play with people who remember to click on it, or Glyph of Guardian Spirit otherwise.
  • Major Glyphs: Prayer of Mending and two others. Circle of Healing is potentially useful in 25-man, particularly if you don’t suffer mana problems. Dispel Magic is useful on Dispel-heavy fights. There’s no other must-have third Major glyph – use whatever you like. It won’t matter too much!
  • Minor Glyphs: Glyph of Shadowfiend, Glyph of Levitate, and Glyph of Fading are good choices.

Sadly none of these guides are updated to Patch 4.3 yet.

You also might find the rest of MMO Melting Pot interesting – we scour the blogosphere daily looking for the most interesting discussions and posts about WoW and other MMOs and deliver them straight to you, all in one place, right here. See what’s on the Pot today!

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Patch 4.3 Shadow Priest Quick Start Guide – stats, gems, glyphs, reforging and DPS Rotation / Priorities

It’s time to melt some faces! I’m not entirely sure why shadow priests are so associated with faces and the melting therof, but it seems to be a Thing, so hey. In any case, if there are faces in your future which you wish to melt, here’s a guide to the shadow priest glyphs, gems, stat weightings, and rotation you’ll need, plus advice on enchants, reforging, and more, for World of Warcraft Patch 4.3.

Updated March 6th 2012 for Patch 4.3

Shadow Priest Changes in Patch 4.3

Short version: None.

Long version: absolutely, totally, utterly nil, nothing, nada, nuts-all.

Our Tier 13 bonuses are fun, but they don’t change our rotation, gearing, or anything else.

DPS Rotation / Priority

Shadow Priests don’t have a strict DPS rotation – instead, they operate on a priority system.

Absolute first priority is to keep all your Damage Over Time spells ticking on the target: Vampiric Touch, Devouring Plague, and *Shadow Word: Pain *. Use an addon like DOTimer to track these.

Next, cast Mind Blast whenever it’s off cooldown, unless your Empowered Shadow buff is about to drop off or has dropped. If it is or has, carry on with your priorities but wait for a Shadow Orb to proc before casting Mind Blast.

If the target is below 25%, also cast Shadow Word: Death whenever it’s off cooldown.

Finally, if everything else is on cooldown and your DOTs are still ticking, cast Mind Flay. This will also refresh your Shadow Word: Pain.

DO NOT worry about Shadow Orbs (one of the Shadow specialisations) unless Empowered Shadows is about to drop or has dropped. Mind Blast does so much damage that you should cast it whenever it’s off rotation, regardless of how many Orbs you have. DO NOT cast Shadow Word: Death when a target is above 25% health.

Cooldowns: Use Dark Archangel and Shadowfiend as soon as you need the mana, unless you are sure you won’t run out of mana in the current combat, in which case use them on cooldown. Whilst it’s not a cooldown spell, you can also use Shadow Word Death (provided you’re specced into Masochism, as our standard spec is) to regenerate mana reasonably quickly.

Shadow Priest Talent Spec

The theorycrafting experts consider this talent spec to be overall the best option for Shadow Priesting in 4.3.

That spec leaves 2 spare points. Good options for those two points are:

  • 1 point for 33 in Mental Agility, bottom tier of Discipline. Reduces your mana cost for instant cast spells, potentially increasing DPS in longer fights.
  • 1 or 2 points in Inner Sanctum, 2nd tier of Discipline. The bit we care about here is that it boosts your movement speed by an additional 2% or 4% whilst you have Inner Will up, and movement speed is likely to boost DPS in many situations.
  • 1 point in Psychic Horror, 2nd from top tier of Shadow. A short CC/disarm. No DPS benefit, but VERY useful against bosses like the 2nd in Grim Batol which are affected by disarm. Your tank will love you.
  • 1 or 2 points in Phantasm, 3rd Tier in Shadow. Gives you a 50% or 100% chance for Fade to remove movement impairing effects. Primarily PvP oriented, but useful in some circumstances.

For raiding, Mental Agility and Inner Sanctum are probably the way to go.

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Stats, Reforging and Gems

Intellect and Spellpower are FAR more important than any other stat. Gem and enchant for them whenever possible unless a single gem will enable you to reach haste cap (see below).

Reforge Hit, Spirit, Crit and Mastery to Haste if you can. If not, reforge Crit (by preference) and Mastery to Spirit (not Hit) until you hit 17% hit cap (Spirit also boosts Hit for shadow priests). Finally, reforge anything left to Mastery.

What, you’re saying don’t go for Hit Cap? Yes. There’s a fair amount of debate about this in the Shadow Priest community, but it appears that both Intellect and Haste are more valuable than Hit.

Shadow Priest enchants

It’s worth checking to make sure your own professions can’t provide better buffs than these, by the way!

Head Arcanum of Hyjal
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone
Back Enchant Cloak – Greater Intellect
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Mighty Intellect
Hands Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Powerful Ghostly Spellthread
Feet Enchant Boots – Lavawalker
Weapon Enchant Weapon – Power Torrent
Off-Hand Weapon Enchant Weapon – Superior Intellect

Glyphs

At last, a simple choice!

Prime Glyphs: Glyph of Mind Flay, Glyph of Shadow Word: Death, Glyph of Shadow Word: Pain

Major Glyphs: Glyph of Fade, Glyph of Psychic Scream, Glyph of Spirit Tap

Minor Glyphs: Glyph of Fading, Glyph of Levitate, Glyph of Shadowfiend

Yes, Shadow Priests actually have useful minor glyphs!

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Druid cat DPS stats, glyphs and gems {Cataclysm}

This guide is outdated! To get the latest on how to play a cat druid in Patch 4.2, including glyphs, rotation, gems and reforging, check our new 4.2 guide out!

UPTODATE FOR CATACLYSM

I know how it is. You’ve just used Cat Form and while your DPS kitty form might look very nice, you haven’t got a clue how to make your cat do lots of DPS. Well, ponder no more. There are some practical things you can look at to help you get your kitty right in more ways than just the fur colour.

If you’re not sure on at DPS stats, feral cat glyphs or druid cat DPS gems, relax. We’ve put it all in one simple article so you have time to fit in a catnap.

I want to do more damage as a feral cat! What is a druid cat’s stat priority list…?

  • Weapon DPS > agility > strength > mastery > crit rating > haste
  • If you’re raiding, stack hit rating up to 961 and expertise to 781 then stack other stats
  • Weapon DPS = your weapon’s DPS, not speed, now contributes to how much damage you do. Look for weapons with a high DPS value.

…And what stat should I gem/reforge for as a feral cat?

  • First you need to be hit and expertise capped. To achieve that you need 246 hit rating and 200 expertise rating (26 expertise). You can achieve these either with gems, reforging or a mix of both.
  • If you are capped then priotise GEMMING agility with Delicate Inferno Ruby. In yellow and blue sockets look for gems that combine Agility with Mastery or Strength.
  • If you are capped then REFORGE spare hit, expertise, and haste into Mastery stat.

What glyphs should I get for a cat druid?

Prime glyphs:

Glyph of RipGlyph of Shred —  Glyph of Tiger’s Fury

Major glyphs:

Glyph of Faerie Fire. After that your choice, though Glyph of Feral Charge is generally shiny and Glyph of Rebirth is good for utility.

Minor glyphs:

The recommended ones are:

Glyph of Unburdened RebirthGlyph of the WildGlyph of Dash

_Did you find this useful? Maybe you’ll also find our articles on druid cat DPS spell rotation and druid cat DPS  tips useful._

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