Thursday, 22 October 2009

Trial of the Crusader 25 Man Gear Guide

Following on from the 10 man version, here is the 25 man version of the gear guide. I have made some more adjustments to the styling, so please comment on your thoughts regarding these. These changes include adding notable mp5 or spirit gear, colour coordinating the items to show as red and blue (for Horde and Alliance versions) rather than purple for epics (Note: They are ALL of epic quality).

Northrend Beasts:

Lord Jaraxxus:

Faction Champions:

Twins Val'kyr:


Tribute Chest (Heroic Only):



Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Trial of the Crusader 10 Man Gear Guide

My usual approach to gear guides has had to change due to the new format of raiding with heroic versions of loot and the fact that Horde and Alliance no longer use the same loot. As such, the table is arranged by bosses, then Alliance Version (and heroic equivalent) / Horde Version (and heroic equivalent).

Northrend Beasts:

Lord Jaraxxus:

Faction Champions:


Tribute Chest (Heroic Versions Only):

I have been FAR less lenient on what I put in this time; absolutely nothing with Spirit or mp5 made the list. Only purely useful stats were permitted, so keep eyes open for Resto shammy gear that may be an upgrade still.

I hope the new format is easy enough to understand. 25-Man version incoming...


Friday, 16 October 2009

New Totem for 3.3; Reincarnation Changes

Back on tuesday MMO-Champion released the new totem slot items that will be available in 3.3, along with the Death Knight, Paladin and Druid equivalents. It has become commonplace to release a new totem for each spec every major patch for Blizzard since Wrath's release.

The new totem, which as I write this appears to still be unnamed, was initially announced to have the following attribute:

Your Earth Shock, Flame Shock, and Frost Shock spells grant 73 critical strike rating for 15 sec. Stacks up to 3 times.

This was jumped on quickly by the online community, due to the fact that as it stood it was going to be near useless for us and overshadowed by the previously released totems of WotLK. A thread was soon put up on the Damage Dealing forums and, to my surprise, got a very quick response from Ghostcrawler who stated it would be haste rather than crit and the time would be extended to 30 seconds.

This changes things quite a bit. It took it from being awful to being slightly better than our current best in slot, the Totem of Electrifying Wind. We will have an almost constant 219 haste, although the stacking time will factor in slightly. It may become habitual (depending if there is an internal cooldown) to spam a couple of extra shocks on cooldown at the start of bossfights to build up your stack. The 30 second timer is a nice addition as well in that it gives us a little more lenience in movement intensive fights that is currently given by Electrifying Wind. Overall it looks to be the new BiS, but not by much. Like a deluxe version of what we are already using; few more bells and whistles but essentially the same thing.

The other change that has sprung up was the reduction in cooldown on our Reincarnate spell. It currently stands at 60 minutes, although it can be talented to reduce by 20 minutes via the Resto tree which we don't spec into. The PTR patch notes showed it being reduced to 50 minutes, and GC came out saying they are considering dropping this to 30 instead. This is to keep it fair with the buffs to other 'back from the dead' abilities like Druid's Rebirth and Warlock's Soul Stones, which had their cooldowns halved also. I will update on this once it is confirmed but I expect this to be the case.

Due to a hectic week I didn't get the ToC 10 Gear Guide out but I will be working on it every chance I get. The 25 man version should follow shortly thereafter.


Thursday, 8 October 2009

Tier 10 Announced

It is that time again! With a new major patch comes new tier and subsequently new tier bonuses. I don't need to explain to most of you how dramatic these announcements are; they tend to unleash a sea of complaining and arguing over which are good and which are bad, which need nerfing and which need buffs.

As I write this these are now offical.

Elemental Shaman Tier 10 Set Bonuses:

2-Set: Your Lightning Bolt spell reduces the remaining cooldown on your Elemental Mastery talent by 1 sec.
4-Set: The cooldown on your Lava Burst ability is reduced by 1.5 sec.

There was announced ones earlier that were seemingly incorrect and most people assumed they were 'placeholders' until Blizz finalized the changes. These has the 4-set bonus listed as a 15 second reduction, which was illogical considering it only has a 8 second CD initially.

I will leave the floor open for discussion at the moment, and will post my thoughts later. This announcement made me realized how behind I am on talking about tier 9, so expect to see a Trial of the Crusader gear guide and tier 9 analysis to be posted soon.


Monday, 5 October 2009

Chain Lightning; Patch 3.3

I know what you are all thinking: How is the new totem models for Dwarves, Trolls and Orcs not the headline for this post? Thanks to MMO-Champion as always for the screenshots.

A bit over a week ago there was a conversation floating around the Damage Dealing forums regarding Chain Lightning. Due to the 3.2 change to Shamanism (that allowed it to now recieve the Spell Power benefits that previously only went to Lightning Bolt), Chain Lightning was made considerably more powerful even in single target situations. Binkenstein over at Elitist Jerks, who does a lot of theorycrafting and is generally seen as one of the major authorities in such issues, claimed that integrating CL into a single target rotation was now viable and the DPS increase was forseeably worth the additional mana. Liax, a well known figure amongst eles on the official forums presented this finding on the DD forum in this thread, questioning if this was intended or if it was an attempt at making CL a more competitive form of AoE that produced this as an unforeseen result. Ghostcrawler responded quickly but didn't seem to confront the issue comprehensively, basically claiming CL is not intended to be a single target spell but if it works for you then go for it. You can read the succinct version through MMO-Champ's Blue Tracker here, just including the two posts mentioned.

Now, I honestly haven't done the numbers to the level I am sure Bink has, but generally conclusions coming out of Bink and EJ's shaman forums are pretty reliable. I still use 4 set tier 8 so the effect will be a little less in my case, but what these results show and what GC was trying to express (at least how I am reading it) is that using CL sparingly is going to be a good thing, and a smart player will use CL to complete a rotation more smoothly in situations where due to moving or not a 'neat' amount of haste rating may not give you time to get a full LB cast off. Whether you choose to subscribe to the CL spamming every chance it is available is up to you, I haven't tested it to be able to verify Bink's claims. If any of you come to a conclusion feel free to post a comment and let us know.

The other news recently is the excitement building over patch 3.3, the release of Icecrown and what will probably be the last major patch of this expansion. It seems like it is going so fast, doesn't it? The PTRs are already in full swing and a few rounds of patch notes have already been released. Unsurprisingly, due to the large changes in 3.2.2 we are not getting a huge overhaul, but the primary change announced is interesting:

Fire Nova Totem: This totem has been replaced with a new spell, Fire Nova, which is available at the same ranks as the old Fire Nova Totem. Existing characters will automatically learn this new spell in place of the totem. With a Fire Totem active, shamans will be able to use Fire Nova (fire magic) to emit the same area-of-effect damage as the old Fire Nova Totem from the active Fire Totem, not consuming the totem in the process. Fire Nova will activate a 1.5-second global cooldown when used and has a 10-second spell cooldown. The caster must be within 30 yards of the totem to use this ability, but does not need to be within line of sight of the totem.

Those of us willing to spec for it in the elemental tree will also get:

Improved Fire Nova Totem: Renamed Improved Fire Nova. This talent now provides an additional 10/20% damage to the spell and reduces the cooldown by 2/4 seconds.

I am unsure of what this means for us. At the moment, I am only seeing it being useful in PvP or for enhancement specs. It still means we are limited to running in and out when wanting to AoE, but until the patch goes live it is tough to know the extent of its use.

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