Monthly Archives: July 2010

Looking Ahead to Cataclysm’s PvP Talents

Southshore slowly comes into view, much like Cataclysm’s talent builds.

I’m idly following along with Cataclysm news.  I’m not in the Beta.  I’d like to experience the story without knowing what’s going to happen.  And while I’m not actively avoiding Cataclysm news, I’m not actively seeking it out, either.  (Well, except for news on the BGs.  I’m actively looking for news on Twin Peaks et al..)

One thing I have seen, though, has been a big shift in the philosophy behind talents, particularly the split between PvP and PvE talents.  The trees are smaller (41 points at level 85, as opposed to 71 points at level 80), talents that just flatly increase damage have been (mostly) removed, and there’s an emphasis on ‘fun’ talents.

Ghostcrawler’s post on the matter, “A Few Words On Talent Tree Design,”  covers it better than I can.

… We don’t consider “bloat” a bad word. Players typically say that when there are more talents than they can possibly get. That’s the whole idea. When you run out of interesting talents, then that’s when we think we have a problem.

Related, if we do our jobs right, you are going to run out of dps talents (or healing talents if you’re a healer, or mitigation talents if you’re a tank). We don’t want every talent to feel mandatory since you are prohibited from getting them all. We want you to have choices. …

…We don’t consider every talent that doesn’t directly lead to higher dps to be a “PvP talent.” Survivability is a big deal in Cataclysm. In that vein, talents that keep you alive (or help healers conserve mana) are indirectly dps talents. :) We aren’t designing PvP vs. PvE trees. Ultimately, we consider a talent specialization to be a stylistic choice. However, given the challenges of nailing both PvP and PvE balance, as a consolation prize it’s nice when at least there are no dead trees.  …

I’m a little wary about quoting just part of his post.  It’s good to read things in their context whenever possible, and this is no exception.

WARLOCK PVP TALENTS

I was intrigued by what Ghostcrawler said, so I headed over to Wowhead’s Cataclysm Talent Calculator and fiddled around with it, trying to see how I would build Cynwise’s talents through the Warlock trees.

The results are probably not surprising.

The trees are smaller, but the philosophy I articulated for warlock talents in Wrath remains the same: take a core of Demonology for survival, then dive into your chosen tree.  Focus on talents that give you control and survivability, and then pick up DPS talents.

There are some new things in there that look very interesting – Bane of Havok, Jinx, Soul Swap – but there are also a lot of things that are missing.  Some PvP staples, like the anti-pushback talents Fel Concentration and Intensity, are now defaults.  Range extension talents like Grim Reach and Destructive Reach are gone, which, if applied uniformly across all classes, don’t present a problem.

That last part is important, don’t skip it.  Removing talents from one class while leaving them in for a different class is unfair, and could easily be considered a nerf.  Removing that talent type from all classes, however, is just rebalancing the game.  Extended range talents were inconsistent at best — mage talents extended by a certain number of yards (6, if I remember correctly) while warlocks got a percent increase (10%).  You couldn’t afford to skip these talents in PvP because the other person would probably have them, leaving you at a disadvantage, leading to an arms race.

Ghostcrawler talks a bit about this:

Related, many trees lost a lot of true PvP talents, such as dispel resistance or mechanic duration reductions. These are the kind of talents I describe as “arms races,” where you need a counter to the ability someone else is using to try to counter you. We’d rather reel the whole thing in a little and make things like crowd control or dispels as powerful or as weak as they need to be baseline rather than assuming you have talents that make them less powerful.

I approve of this kind of change.  One of the joys of low-level PvP in Wrath is that there aren’t a lot of counters available to different abilities, so those abilities actually work.  As you level this changes into moves and countermoves and counter-countermoves, all trying to get something to stick.

Don’t get me wrong – some of these changes are going to suck.  Crowd control is going to become more powerful.  Dispels are going to become more necessary.  Things are going to be different.

But different doesn’t mean worse.

PVP VS PVE

One of the ideas that filtered through my Cataclysm news defenses was that there were no longer going to be PvP-only trees, that this was never a deliberate design decision and that any tree should be viable in nearly all situations. Personally, I like that goal and hope they get there, though balancing the different trees against each other in PvE is certainly a challenge I don’t think they’ll get correct out of the gate.

My hope is that the converse is true, that there will no longer be PvE-only trees.  I’d like to see more Demonology warlocks in battlegrounds.  I’d like to see more Fire mages and Arms warriors.  The fun talents that are getting added in to the trees could help with the viability of PvP specs within them… but only time will tell that.

One of the complaints that Ghostcrawler is addressing in his response is specific to PvE – namely, that in order to get to the more advanced talents in their spec, they have to take talents that would have been previously considered PvP talents, or talents that don’t directly contribute to the main specialization of the class.  DPS raiding builds are taking survival talents just to get to the next level of DPS talents, which is very much not the model used in Wrath.  The trees are big enough that you can — and probably should — spend every last talent point on maximizing your DPS.  Those few places where you don’t have any DPS options in your build (like level 3-4 of Deep Destro) forces you to take a talent that enhances survivability or control — felt like a waste.

But in Cataclysm, raiding builds will have survival talents.  There’s no way around that with the ways the trees are structured — you can pick up all the DPS talents without a problem, but you have to get some others along the way.  This feels weird to us now because it’s so antithetical to the current raiding mentality.

Consider the difference between PvP and PvE priorities here.  In PvP, you pick up survival talents, defensive talents, control talents — and then throughput talents.  A PvP Warlock goes and gets Improved Howl of Fury and skips Death’s Embrace.  The DPS talents are not an afterthought, but they’re also not a priority.  You don’t sacrifice everything else to get to them.   A Warlock should not give up Soul Link for PvP to pick up Improved Shadow Bolt, for instance.  But in raiding?  If you’re a Destruction Warlock who takes Soul Link instead of buffing your Imp’s damage, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

So while PvE’s talent builds will require a shift in thinking, not much has really changed in PvP.  A lot of talents are gone, but they’re either rolled into other abilities or no longer necessary, but the philosophy is basically the same.  The new abilities look fun, but they need to be tested in combat to see how well they’ll work.

Cataclysm won’t bring us some kind of nirvana where the same spec will perform well in both PvE and PvP.  You’ll still need to make choices to focus your talents in one direction or another, and those choices are going to be challenging ones for PvE builds.

But for PvP builds, the changes look like they’re all for the better.

Let’s see what they look like when Cataclysm launches.

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The Twink Graveyard

Leaving Teldrassil after a long day of herbing.

Cynwyn, the mage pictured above, was my very first twink.  I had an absolute blast leveling her up through Elwynn and Westfall, and given how much fun I’d had with that, I decided to try my hand at twinking on a mage.  I froze her XP and worked on gearing her up.

We had some fun, she and I.  Not a lot of fun – mages are actually pretty frustrating to play at level 19 – but some fun.  Not as much fun as I had while leveling her up.  Leveling was cool.  Slowing FCs and trying to polymorph everything in sight while not getting killed?  Less fun.

And dungeon runs with her were painful.  I’ve mage tanked SFK (though not with the style and finesse of Psynister) because the quality of tanks is so variable in low level LFD.

I lost a lot of fights in Warsong Gulch with her – I think I went 6/20?  She was really well geared, though not quite as well geared as Cynderblock (who could run dungeons to her heart’s content.)

So, not very much fun, after all.

What do you do when a twink stops being fun?  You’ve put a lot of time and effort into making them great.  This isn’t just about twinks, by the way, but for any character — twinks just have more effort and gold poured into them at a specific level than others.  (All those bandages ain’t cheap!)

I suppose if I’d been having more fun with Cynwyn, leveling her would have been an option.  I took my banker — who was a level 19 rogue twink — and leveled her when I decided I wanted her to have better professions.  I’m having fun leveling a rogue.

But I wasn’t having fun, so I deleted Cynwyn.

Deleting characters is really liberating.  Every character has something unfinished about them.  At the endgame it’s a perpetual grind, but at least you know what you’re getting into when you hit the level cap.  Leveling characters have a lot of things to finish up — quests, getting decent gear (not even BiS, just decent), and the process of leveling itself.  All of these can be enjoyable if you have fun playing the toon.

But if you don’t have fun anymore?  Rid yourself of the obligation.

I hadn’t finished gearing up Cynwyn, nor Cynwagon, my hunter twink.  They both got deleted.  Cynwine, the warlock?  Gone.  My level 64 druid, Cynli?  Also gone.  I have one left, Cynderblock, the warrior, and she does both PvE and PvP.

It’s good to roll lots of alts.  It’s good to experience other classes, to see how they work, to see if they are a good fit.

But it’s also good to have focus.  To work on one thing at a time.  Trying to manage 4-5 twinks was too distracting, too much competition for attention.  I can look at Cynderblock and go: okay, you need a hat (done), a ring upgrade, faction change for another ring upgrade and a shield, and then the AGM trinket.  That’s all that’s left.

I have no regrets about deleting Cynwyn, or any of the others.  I thought I would at first, but the regrets never came.  Instead, I have a nice, clean login screen with space and only a few projects to work on.  Work on my main, my twink, or my bankers?  That’s all I have left.   And that makes me happy.

So, thank you, Cynwyn, for getting me into twinking.  I’m grateful, and hope you enjoy your well-earned rest.

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Lucky Fishing Hat

Ready to fish!

The Lucky Fishing Hat is the best helm you can get for your level 19 twink, no matter what class you play.  With a whopping +15 Stamina, it’s almost double the health bonus of the Green Tinted Goggles, and casters should use it over Shadow Goggles.  150 Health vs +5 Int/+6 Spirit?  No contest for PvP.

The Lucky Fishing Hat can only be obtained by fishing in the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza and catching a rare fish, Keefer’s Angelfish, from one of the pools of Tastyfish that spawn all over the zone for the duration of the contest.  You turn in the fish to the Fishbot 5000 in Booty Bay and it gives you the hat.  You aren’t in the competition to win, just to catch a rare fish.  Sounds easy, right?

Well, it is, if you prepare for it.

  • You will need to be able to fish in STV, so train your Fishing to 125 -150.  While you should be able to fish from pools with Fishing 1, you’re better off fishing efficiently and not wasting casts on junk.
  • The safest way to level up your fishing is at the Dalaran fountain.  You can get to 100+ pretty quickly there.  Check with Marcia Chase periodically and grab a Strong Fishing Pole if she has one in stock, it gives you a bonus to your Fishing skill.
  • While the pools spawn all over STV, the mobs there will eat you alive if you don’t have protection.  There’s only one place you can fish without being molested: Yojamba island off the northwest coast (at 15,16), home of the Zandalar tribe of trolls.  These trolls are neutral and will not attack you.
  • Get your twink into position the night before the contest.  The easiest way for Alliance to get to Yojamba island is to go to Westfall and swim south from Longshore.  Horde can take the boat from Ratchet to Booty Bay, or the zeppelin from Orgrimmar to Grom’gol, and then swim north.
  • Setting your hearthstone in Booty Bay makes it easier to turn the fish in when you catch it, but is hardly necessary.  The contest runs from 2-4 pm Sunday afternoon (server time), but you can turn your catches in to the Fishbot 5000 until 5pm.  So you can swim south to Booty Bay in plenty of time.

Practice makes perfect.

I’ll admit, I was nervous about my first STV fishing tournament.  In hindsight, it was really pretty easy.

  • I logged in around 2:30, right around the time that the winner was announced.  The zone emptied out at that point, and I had no competition on the island.  I have no doubts that the island could be crowded with other twinks, and on a PvP server that could get exciting.  But I had the island to myself each time I fished there.
  • The pools spawn around the island and up the coast towards ZG.  There are crocodiles up and down the coast that can be troublesome for some of the pools, but I found that parking my DK nearby allowed me to switch to him, clear out the mobs, and then go back to my warrior to fish.
  • You’re fishing from a limited set of pools around the island.  Sometimes I’d be running laps waiting for one to respawn.  A better strategy was to hop over to my main and fish out some other pools I couldn’t get to with my twink, then come back for the respawns.
  • It took me about 3 hours fishing total to get my hat, over two separate days.  The drop rate is low, so you may have to fish a lot more than that to get it.  Or you might get it right away!  Random chance is random.

Finally, a fashionable hat for the jungle!

I’m glad I went ahead and upgraded my Green Tinted Goggles.  It’s a little strange looking at Cynderblock’s eyes again, but for both tanking and PvP the hat really is awesome.  My only complaint is that it gives her hat hair in the back – her long spinny braid has been tucked up neatly into the hat.

One side effect I hadn’t considered is that getting the Lucky Fishing Hat obsoletes your Engineering.  Twinks get Engineering because it’s the easiest way to get a good helm; the bombs are an extra bonus!  But with the LFH, you no longer need it as a profession and you have to evaluate your options all over again.  Should you go with Herbalism’s powerful HoT, Mining’s stamina boost, or the crit bonus from Skinning?  Or should you keep it around for the bombs?

Given how big a fan I am of Engineering in game, I’m really loath to drop it for something else.  But the benefits of other professions do outweigh the benefits of bombs, no matter how much fun they are to throw.

But for now, I’ll enjoy my additional 70 health and natty fishing hat.

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A Belated Introduction to Warlock PvP in Wrath of the Lich King

As the Wrath expansion winds down, I find more and more friends are spending time in the battlegrounds.  There’s not a lot of PvE content to keep people raiding, and the impending gear reset in Cataclysm is discouraging folks from grinding out gear on their alts.  So players go to where things are interesting, and battlegrounds are always interesting.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve fought 300 battles on that map, the next one is always going to be unique.

So a lot of folks are leveling new characters and getting them ready for Cataclysm, and that includes playing BGs.  If that character happens to be a warlock, then this post is for you.

I know that with each expansion, classes change, sometimes dramatically.  But — unlike the Emblem grind, which I think is honestly futile at this point if you’re not actively raiding — I think learning how to PvP on a class gives you a solid foundation upon which to build in the next expansion.  Generally speaking, the focus and playstyle of a class won’t change so radically that the time spent learning how to PvP in one patch is lost in another.  Yes, there are some major changes coming to Warlocks.  But Affliction locks are still going to dot dot fear run away and Destruction locks are still going to seduce nuke their way out of trouble.  Demo locks… well, they’re actually going to change a lot.  But I don’t know how to play a Demo lock in PvP yet, therefore I’m not worrying about it now.

So, while it might seem a little late in the expansion to start, here’s an introduction to Warlock PvP in Wrath of the Lich King.  Why?

Because it’s never too late to start being awesome.

TALENTS

Most of what I wrote early on in the expansion about Warlock PvP talents still holds true.

If you have chosen the path of AFFLICTION, then go 54/17/0 to start with.  There is a little wiggleroom in this spec, basically between how much you put in Shadow’s Embrace versus Eradication vs Improved Felpup, but it has all the bases covered.

If you have chosen the path of DESTRUCTION, you have choices:

  • 0/20/51 (Improved Succubus) gives you a very fast Seduction.  This is good for 1v1 or Arena.
  • 0/17/54 (Soul Leech) gives you self-healing, good for BGs, but no Seduce nukes.
  • 3/17/51 (Suppression) gives you hit, freeing up your gear to hit a bit harder.

If you have chosen the path of DEMONOLOGY, well, I’m not sure if I’m the right person to advise you.  I love playing Demo in PvE, but in PvP?  Haven’t been able to make it work.  I’d go with a 0/58/13 deep Demo build to start off with and see how that works.

GLYPHS

There’s some flexibility in your glyph selection.  Here are some good ones.

The only Minor glyph you should take is Unending Breath.  This gives people with your Unending Breath buff a 20% swim speed increase, which can help in AB and Twin Peaks.

If you want to know what I specifically use, I use:

  • Quick Decay, Life Tap, and Soul Link for Affliction, and
  • Incinerate, Chaos Bolt, and Soul Link for Destruction.

I used to run Incinerate, Conflagrate, and Shadowflame back in 3.2.  You may find Conflagrate better to start with instead of Chaos Bolt until you’re used to the spec.

QUICK TACTICS

As a Warlock:

  • Keep at range.  You’re probably the sturdiest of all the cloth classes (with Soul Link active) but you’ll still go down to a Bladestorm.
  • Keep moving.  ALWAYS KEEP MOVING.  Cast, move.  Cast while moving.  You can stop when you’re dead.
  • Fear.  Fear.  Fear.  Howl of Terror.  Fear.  Death Coil.  Guess what kind of spell you should be casting all the time?
  • You have Shadow Ward.  Use it.
  • You have Demonic Circle.  It will save your life many many times, but only if you drop the circle first.  Get in the habit of dropping one all the time.

For Affliction:

  • Your mantra:  Dot ‘em up, Fear ‘em away, Drain ‘em down.
  • Your tools of choice: Corruption, Unstable Affliction, Haunt, a lot of Curses, Drains, and Searing Pain.  Yes, Searing Pain.
  • Your demon of choice: the Felhunter.  Get a good pet macro and use your Felpup’s abilities.  Spell Lock will save your life, or kill a healer.  Lock healers down so dots can tick.  Devour Magic is awesome.  Learn to use both abilities.
  • Your voidwalker — remember him? — is AWESOME against rogues and good against other melee.  Sacrifice gives you an absorption shield you can trigger while stunlocked.
  • Corruption is your main source of damage.  With Siphon Life, you’ll get healing back too, so spread Corruption around to as many targets as you can in a BG.
  • Haunt and Unstable Affliction should be cast in rapid succession whenever you stop moving.  Keep in mind UA is no longer just a dot – it’s a dot that hurts enemy healers.  That makes it an AWESOME dot.
  • Improved Howl of Terror is for when melee gets too close.  Get them moving away from you and then RUN AWAY.
  • Curses should be chosen according to situation — Exhaustion for melee, Tongues for casters, Agony for general damage, Elements for getting through resistances.
  • The only time you cast Shadowbolt is when Nightfall procs.  Otherwise, Drain Life / Drain Soul / Searing Pain to fill in the time.
  • As soon as you get locked out of the Shadow school, switch over to Searing Pain.  Spam it – hard.

For Destruction:

  • Your mantra: Stand still, this won’t hurt a bit.  Oh wait, yes, it did.
  • Your tools: Immolate, then Chaos Bolt / Conflagrate / Shadowfury all at once.  Incinerate as secondary nuke.  Shadowfury, Seduction and Fear to hold them in place.
  • Your pet:  Succubus or Felhunter.  Use the Succubus’s Soothing Kiss on melee classes.  Seduce and Fear share diminishing returns, so think before you use it.
  • Destro excels at stacking burst damage and suddenly knocking 75% of someone’s health off in a GCD.  Timing combos to hit all at once puts tremendous pressure on enemy healers.
  • The most basic combo is CICD: Chaos Bolt, Immolate, Conflagrate, Dead.  Chaos Bolt has travel time, so after casting it you immediately put Immolate on the target.  Depending on range and Haste, Immo will land just before or just after the Chaos Bolt hits.  Follow up with a Conflagrate, and, for extra damage, a Shadowfury.  If they’re still alive, take advantage of Backdraft and hit them with hasted Immolate/Incinerates.  (If you have the Glyph of Conflagrate, Immolate is still on the target, so you can just Incinerate away.)
  • Keep Immolate on the target as much as you can.  Never cast Incinerate if Immolate is not present.  Use Shadowburn instead (or better yet, cast Immolate!)
  • Learn to weave your Seductions and Fears in with your nukes.  If you put Curse of the Elements and Immolate on a target, then Seduce, then CICD, then Fear, then Immolate and Incinerate, then Shadowfury, then Shadowburn… well, your opponent hasn’t had much of a chance to harm you, have they?
  • Curses: Elements gives you 12% damage bonus and lowers resistances.  Tongues can be okay against casters.
  • Use Corruption as a trash debuff to protect your Immolate.
  • When fighting pet classes, try to get the pet in with your Shadowfury.
  • Chaos Bolt cuts through all bubbles.  Bubbles hate Chaos Bolt.

For Demonology:

  • I… got nothing.  I have no idea how to play Demo in PvP.  Let’s revisit them in Cataclysm, because things are looking much better there.

MACROS

You’re going to want macros.  Lots and lots of macros.

I have a very popular post on warlock macros that is unfortunately starting to age a bit. Macro syntax has improved since I wrote that, and I’d like to revisit it in a lot more depth – but I’m holding off for Cataclysm.  So here are some quick updates, in no particular order.

Totem stomping macros no longer work. You used to be able to send pets after specific totems, in order… but no more.  Sad warlock.  Use this mouseover petattack macro instead:

/petattack [target=mouseover]

As Destro, I modified my Chaos Bolt to shoot rockets if CB is on cooldown:

#showtooltip
/cast Chaos Bolt
/use 10

And changed my Immolate macro to include Soothing Kiss:

/castsequence reset=target/combat,2 Immolate, Incinerate, Incinerate
/use 13
/use 14
/cast [@pettarget] Soothing Kiss

While playing Affliction, I used the following extensively:

#showtooltip

/castsequence reset=target/combat,3 Corruption, Curse of Agony,  Fear, Frostweave Net, Drain Life
/cast [@target] Devour Magic
/use 13
/use 14

That lets me go dot dot fear, with an optional snare at the end.  I was of two minds about having the Felhunter’s Devour Magic in there; sometimes it worked great, other times it left DM on cooldown when I needed it.  The last two lines were to fire pump trinkets (I”m still using the Platinum Disks from WG, is that sad?)

Here’s the other mainstay of my rotation in Affliction:

#showtooltip
/castsequence [mod] Unstable Affliction; reset=target/combat,4 Haunt, Unstable Affliction, Searing Pain, Searing Pain, Searing Pain
/use 10

This is my “stand-and-cast” macro, applying the two important shadow spells and then spamming Searing Pain on the target.  It also fires rockets at the target.

As always, the official macro page and WowWiki Warlock Macro page are great places to go for inspiration.

ADDONS

Here are some add-ons I find helpful with my warlock.

  • NeedToKnow – lets you track buffs and debuffs in highly visible bars.  I use this to make sure that Immolate is on the target, check to see if Backdraft or Backlash have procced, and track my Shadowfury / Chaos Bolt cooldowns with it.
  • SaySapped – lets people around you know that you’ve been sapped.  Rogues, we hates them, we hates them forever!
  • OmniCC – adds a countdown to any ability that’s on cooldown.  Great for tracking mutiple CDs at once.
  • DRTracker – tracks diminishing returns on your Fear and Seduce.  Very important!

I’m a big fan of NeedToKnow.  Here’s what my setup looks like:

I put the buff/debuff timers below the casting bar, and cooldowns above it.

MORE

Ready for more?

  • My Warlockery page is a summary of the posts I’ve done on Warlocks, and there are a lot of them.
  • I must link Dusk’s Guide to Warlocks in Battlegrounds every other week on Twitter.  It’s awesome.  It’s the reason I never wrote a post like this before — he covers a lot of ground and gives great advice.
  • The Warlock Resources section of Murloc Parliament is a great collection of how-to posts for the various specs and styles.  Good collection there.
  • I’m still in love with the Destruction Duel video, and wish more videos like this got made.

All set?  Great!  Good luck, and happy warlocking!

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Filed under Cynwise's Battlefield Manual, Warlockery

Wednesday Reading

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Wednesday reading post.  I read a lot more than these posts indicate, honest!

Here are some great reads I’ve come across in the past few weeks.

  • Pugging Pally talks about her time in the battlegrounds with When I Asked If You Had BG Experience…
  • Ihra has some awesome advice on How to Run a Premade.  Bookmark that one for Cataclysm!
  • I really enjoyed Tam’s post on The Best Things In Life Are Free, though it has nothing to do directly with PvP.
  • One of the great things about being on the same server as Psynister?  He always knows what enchant my heirlooms need.  :-)
  • Pugnacious Priest sees a Hunger To Win in the low level BGs.  (This is one of the reasons I like playing the lower brackets so much, FYI.)
  • Cass talks about her State of Mind in the BGs.  Live or die, it doesn’t matter as long as you kill.  I can get behind that attitude!
  • Saresa at Destructive Reach is looking for a co-blogger!  Preferably a warlock with PvP experience! Surely you know someone like that!
  • Twisted Faith talks about The Burning Red Line and aggro in ICC, something that is near and dear to my hard.  (My guild note reads “WTF is Omen?” for a reason.)
  • Delerius finds his Voidwalker in Void Where Prohibited.
  • I know I’m a bit loony with my attachment to my bankers.  I’m glad I’m not the only one.
  • I don’t have much to say about the recent RealID discussions, but I will say that Shade’s Open Letter To Blizzard was the best post I saw on the subject.  It’s about INTERNET DRAGONS, people!
  • Gnomeaggedon hits it out of the park with Play the Way You Want to Play.
  • Also, a totally selfish link:  I am very happy my monocle question got answered in the recent Blizzchat.  Forget the talent trees, we need fashion!

Okay, now it’s your turn.  What have I missed?

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Destruction Dueling

Kordwar from WTF Are You Survival pointed me to the Destruction Duel Guide 2, a seriously great introduction to playing a Destruction Warlock in PvP, with a rundown of how to beat a dozen classes or so.  It’s a long video, but very good — not only is it a great, clear instructional video, it’s bookended with a storyline that makes it stand out.

If you PvP on your warlock, or against warlocks, this is definitely worth watching.  The 1v1 class breakdown section is awesome.

Anyhow, as I’m watching this video I found myself becoming nostalgic for Destruction PvP.  I haven’t played Destro PvP since 3.3 came out and I switched from Destro/Destro to Affliction PvP/Demonology PvE.  There was a brief period when I rocked the dual Aff/Destro PvP specs, but I found it hard being proficient in both at the same time.  It’s like learning Spanish and Portuguese and trying to be fluent in both — you pick the wrong word because everything is so similar.

I love videos like this because they show you the potential for fun a class/spec has.  Watching people who are good at a class — any class — is a joy as a Warcraft player.

There’s a lot of excitement about Cataclysm going around right now.  (Notice I didn’t use words like “panic,” “consternation,” or “distress.”)  And with all that excitement, it’s easy to lose sight of that there are still fun aspects of the game to explore right now.  Maybe it’s an alt you haven’t played in a while, or a spec you’ve never tried.  Maybe it’s playing the auction house (*ahem*) or trying a different role.

For me?  I’m having a blast with my current Aff PvP/Demo PvE build, but maybe I should let myself go back to the bursty side while giving Aff PvE  spin in raids.

Sometimes, all it takes is a video of how much fun a spec can be to reawaken the joy in your play.

(Yes, I miss Shadowfury.  Like, duh!)

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Filed under Cynwise's Battlefield Manual, Links, Warlockery

Cynwulf’s Auction House Manual

I find the game of making money in Warcraft to be fascinating. Make no mistake – gold grubbing in Warcraft is a game. You’re not going to get kicked out of your virtual home if you don’t have can’t make a payment. There’s no inflation. You don’t even have to buy food because there are mages everywhere these days.

But, if your characters are active, they are going to need to spend gold while they play. Training, reagents, ammo, bags, mounts, flying, repairs — all of these things cost money. And it’s a real hassle having to stop your fun because you don’t have enough gold.

So the trick is to learn how to have fun while making the gold. Then you can make it part of the fun.

When I started playing Warcraft, I did most everything wrong when it came to managing my finances. I had no clue what I was doing. I didn’t have professions, then when I got them I didn’t level them up. I sold stuff on the AH for absurdly cheap prices. I went shopping on the AH every level or two for new upgrades, which was especially hilarious right before I hit Outland.

But I stuck with it. I got into the habit of making more money than I spent. I found things that made my time in the Auction House enjoyable. And eventually, the gold started rolling in. Who doesn’t like visiting their mailbox and finding it full of gold? Crazy people, that’s who!

I’ve found that there’s a lot I want to say about making money in WoW over the past year, but I’m also very wary of straying too far off topic with CBM.

*looks warily at all the Cyn’s Guides which have popped up over the past few months*

Anyhow,  I’ve enlisted Cynwise’s brother Cynwulf, her most public factor, to go ahead and start up his own weblog – imaginatively named Cynwulf’s Auction House Manual – on the matter.  This way, you can have your PvP over here, and your Auction House over there.

You can find ‘wulf over at http://cynwulf.wordpress.com/.  I hope you enjoy his take on making money in Warcraft.

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Filed under Cyn's Guides To Almost Anything, Cynwise's Battlefield Manual