Apr 262014

female gnome approvesAs with everything else in the Warlords of Draenor there are race changes coming. Warlords is removing Hit and Expertise so any racials dealing with those stats are being removed or replaced. Similar things will be happening to various class abilities.

These are the changes as of  4/24/14 and it’s at least 6 months until WoD is released, so changes are quite possible, even likely. All of these changes will have to be poked and prodded in the alpha and beta testing. One might guess that racial changes might be more set in stone than ability and class changes, but we’ll see.

So here they are, as they stand now. The actual changes are marked in bold. The rest of the racials are added just to be able to see the whole picture. Abilities not linked are not (yet) in WoWhead‘s database.
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Mar 142014
Warrior Proving Grounds Guide

Arms and Fury Warriors will both be able to handle the Proving grounds with little, if any, change in techniques or gear. Stats, gems, etc. willbe the same for both specs.

As you may know, one of the requirements for LFR (Looking for Raid) and for random heroics in the Warlords of Draenor expansion will be a Silver Achievement in the Proving Grounds. One might guess that the reason for this is all the complaining about “the bads” in both of those groups. Anothing might be the “insta boost to 90” system that WoW has implemented, which people feel will flood the world with boobs who have not the slightest idea of how to play their characters.

So, with that in mind, I’m putting up a series of guides on how to get that silver achievement (and higher level achievements) in the Proving Grounds. Some classes and specs will find it easier than others, but everyone should be able to do it.

The Proving Grounds have three areas of expertise:

  • DPS/Damage – where you, all by yourself, have to destroy all opposition
  • Healing – where you and your team work together to destroy all opposition. Your team is, ahem, not necessarily highly skilled.
  • Tanking – You tank and burn down all opposition. You will have a healer who you have to keep alive.

After Silver you can go onto the Gold achievment and then Endless. This is where you fight wave after wave until you get bored of the whole thing. Gold has ten waves, ending with a boss type Sha. Silver has eight, with no major boss.
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Mar 102014

A Silver Achievement will be required to enter Looking for Raid (LFR) and for random heroics in Warlords of Draenor, coming “on or before” Dec 20, 2014. The Warlords of Draenor expansion pre-order has just been announced and along with it comes an “instant 90” token.

Hopefully this page will help you Fire Mages to burn you way to that silver and beyond. (Also see our Fire Mage DPS and Fire PvP pages and our Mage leveling guide if you’re not yet 90.)

How do you get to the Proving Grounds? Just ask your trainer. What are the rewards? Just the achievements and possible bragging rights.

Proving Yourself: Gold Damage AcievementThe big weakness for Fire is getting enough Crit to allow enough Pyro procs to do the damage. It might be helpful to pray to the Fire Gods and offer up sacrifices to be able to get some crit streaks. While this page won’t help with the prayers it will lessen the need for them a bit. Fire can get the Gold and can make headway through at least a few of the Endless Waves. Yes, Frost might be better for the PGs, but where’s the challenge in that? 😉

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Mar 042014

Some days back it was discovered that Blizzard would, in fact, be offering an insta-90 boost for $60. This is in addition to the boost that will come with the Warlords of Draenor expansion. Whether it will be available before the expansion is anyone’s guess. Naturally there has been some discussion as to what the value of the boost is, whether it’s “pay to win” and so on.

Goblin with a pile of gold wants to get leveled, now. My view is that it’s cool. People constantly complain about leveling and how long it takes to get to 90 (and soon, 100.) Especially if what they really want to do it get into the end-game stuff. I recently rolled new characters on a new server because that’s where a friend was hanging out. An insta-boost to 90 there would be great, considering that I don’t have a ton of time these days.

$60 will be a barrier for many and it’s likely a bit less than buying a whole new account and all of the expansions. Besides, you save a trip to the store and you get your extra 90s on one account and one server, esp. if you’re nicely set up on that server.

I expect they will get a fair number of takers. Heck, there are people buying multiple accounts already for use with Recruit a Friend or Multi-boxing. I’ve heard of several who multi-boxed ten accounts, and rumors of some who did many more.

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Feb 262014

Human Death Knight, ready to be provenOne of the better ways for your Death Knight, or any other tank, to learn tanking skills is through the Proving Grounds, introduced in patch 5.4. It’s a safe place to experiment with rotations, dealing with multiple targets, reforging to get the most out of your gear, and so on. No one will know whether you took one try or 100 (or more) to get your gold achievement.

If you can get at least a silver achievement on your Death Knight (or any other character,) then you’ve probably got a clue.

In fact, Blizzard agrees that the Proving Ground is a good test and it looks like they are at least considering making the Proving Grounds a requirement for random groups in Warlords of Draenor. There were some recent interviews with Blizzard Devs on this topic.
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Feb 042014

I asked the question “How Fast Did You Level?” in a G+ World of Warcraft Community. (Here it is. If you’re on G+ you can join that community here.) I have received some interesting responses, such as getting from 1-90 in 23 hours (or less.) That’s rather mind boggling to me, so I asked and received some details. Here is what I was told:

  • I farm the elixirs of wisdom ( +300% xp ) and I do not use RaF. (These Elixirs are going to take some time to farm.)
  • LvL 1-10 took about 22 minutes with heirlooms and the guild bonus.
  • 10-18 took 20 minutes from soloing RFC.
  • 18-25 took 14 minutes doing Shadowfang Keep + dungeon quests.
  • 25-30 speed leveled through Northern Stranglethorn
  • 30-35 went down to the Cape of Stranglethorn
  • 35-40 went to Western Plaguelands
  • 40-45 still in Western Plaguelands
  • 45-50 went to Badlands

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Dec 222013

So what ideas do you have for the next expansion? This is a topic that often pops up and people are always happy to discuss it. This time one of the heavy duty WoW sites, Joystiq, has put up a “Community Blog Post” idea: Community Blog Topic: Pitch your World of Warcraft expansion, which they posted about a week ago. As you might expect there are some pretty interesting ideas posted there and in the comments. Some people also took the ball and ran with it on their own blogs and I’ve linked to some of those website posts below.

Update 12/26: Here’s Joytiq’s list of the best expansion ideas: Blog Topic Results

An Ethereal Ponders the New Expansion IdeasThe author’s idea is a very Alliance centric expansion. I’m not sure why Horde would want to participate, since sabotaging the renewal of Gnomeragan would be more their speed. Of course, if the Gnome bosses were threatening Horde interests then I’m sure they could be persuaded to assist in some way. 😉

One of the comments (ZacharyBrandon) is Descent into Madness, which looks pretty cool to me. Another idea, The Path of the Titans (by Tott_Donetta) looks good to me. It adds no new levels, but has a lot of story and involves us (at level 100) with the Titans. 

Cartre offers Rise of the Damned where Sylvanas leaves the Horde (!) and makes offers to high level player to join her new faction. Several others have something to do with the Burning Legion.. There are a lot of good ideas in the comments. Hopefully the Powers that Be in Blizzard are listening!

I’m pretty easy as far as the story and lore, meaning that I’d be happy with any number of possibilities. Here are some features that I’d like to see:

  • Assaults by various factions and enemies. So Ok, the Burning Legion invades. I want to see them take something. A server wide event could have the BL, or some other invader, attack and take a particular town or area. The invaders then have to protect it against players. If players can react quickly enough they can repel the invasion. If they’re coordinated enough then can retake the town. If they ignore the situation then eventually bigger cities fall. This could also run with an NPC Horde or Alliance army. Players could join in. Naturally a system would have to be set up so that one site isn’t effectively locked out of the game.
  • Perhaps players with appropriate factions could get rumors from the bosses (eg: SI:7,) or themselves be the spies gathering info, and then warn the appropriate people of the upcoming invasion (spread the word to the playerbase.)
  • New races are fun, but maybe there are enough? I’d like to see Ethereals, perhaps as a neutral race. They could earn faction rep if they choose, which might lose then rep with the other faction. IE, get the Horde to like you and the Alliance will come to hate you. Much like the Aldor on the Scryers.
  • Ogres?? Maybe…
  • Some reason for players to be in the lower level zones, and be doing something useful rather than just ganking low levels. Maybe get missions form the faction bosses. Perhaps they get word that such and such town will be invaded and they heroes need to stop the invasion. That could be instanced or phased and would be different from the server events above.
  • Optional class quests for all classes. Completing the quests would give rep with a class appropriate faction and perhaps some minor perks. There used to be a number of these, I’d like to see them come back.


Some of the other ideas

These were posted on various websites.

World of Lae came up with some cool ideas in Secrets of Argus. She introduces a new zone, new races, a new Paladin spec, and some cool story ideas for several patches. Personally I think it also could easily be tweaked to fuel more war between Horde and Alliance, since the seeds of mistrust are already old and deep.

Power Word: Remix has Scarabs of the Black Empire.It provides a nice threat to both sides, gives the various Troll factions an excuse to shak4e hands and join up, And more. It also brings in some familiar bugs and an Old God…

“Opening Event: Messengers from the Ramkahen report that there are strange rumblings south of the Scarab Wall in Silithus. Investigating the Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj, adventurers discover the gateway to a monstrous new hive of the Silithid, the entrance to which is guarded by… wait, Nerubians? And Mantid? And led by a Qiraji prophet? What the hell is going on?”

The White Pine Journal suggests being able to change factions via an epic quest line. Since Pandas can be either faction, why not anyone else? To facilitate this Sylvanas goes a bit nuts and leaves the Horde. The Alliance wants her and so does the remaining Horde, for different reasons.

Sportsbard’s idea has the Explorer’s League and the Reliquary finding another continent, perhaps on the other side of the world. (It does make sense that they’d be sending people acorss the oceans…) Offered up are the new lands, Sylvanas effectively leaving the Horde (seems like a lot of people like that idea,) Bounty Hunter and Bounties, andother vote for Ethereals, and a new Battleground.

The Exodar Sisters raise the level cap to 110 (and add an insta-level to 100,) the Vrykul as a playable race (works for me,) moe dungeons and rads, a race based Garrison system. The hook? Death Knight Lore. The DKs split into factions, with the Ebon Blade becoming very unhappy with the new Ebon Insurrection.

Still Searching makes a good point about “why the devs job is so difficult. People don’t just want different things, they want opposite things.” His expansion idea takes advantage of the fact that the heroes have been gone for awhile, in another time and place. While they’ve been gone Sylvanas and others have been busy. There’s lots of tension remaining and both sides need to get some things sorted out. They’re also in need of resources and so are exploring. Some neat ideas here.

Check ’em out and leave your own thoughts about expansion ideas. Maybe give this post a like and/or +1, etc?

Dec 102013
Frost Mage Damage Guide

The Frost Mage has been the Mage PvP Spec for some time now. With proper use of your abilities you can throw out a lot of damage. Changes that came in patch 5.4 made your pet more valuable and changed your Mastery. Your pet’s freezes and your Frostbolt slows give you added PvP utility over that of Fire or Arcane.

See below for your attacks, cooldowns, and how to put it all together for maximum damage.

Stats for the Lethal Frost Mage

  • Spell hit at 6% > Int > Haste > Crit > Mastery > Resilience & PvP Power
  • See our Frost Mage PvP guide for details on gems, enchants, etc.

Haste is your #1 stat as it reduces the cast times of your spells and makes for faster Living Bomb ticks. You get faster polymorphs, faster CCs, faster globals, etc.
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Dec 032013
leveling from 90 to 100

As almost everyone knows by now the World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor expansion (unknown release data) will, among other things, raise the level cap from 90 to 100. With lots of new quests, new stories, new NPCs, new dungeons, and so on leveling from 90 to 100 should be a fun experience, at least the first few times. 😉

level 1 gnome rogue cheers for insta-levelingAs WoW says…

All level-90 players will begin in the Tanaan Jungle, and for newly boosted level-90 characters, the experience will be tailored to help you get up to speed and ready for taking on the challenges to come. Instead of gaining all of your skills and abilities right away, you’ll be able to unlock them as you progress and learn your way around your more powerful character—and you’ll need every ounce of your ability to stop the Iron Horde and continue your campaign on Draenor.

Once the threat at the Dark Portal has been (temporarily) dealt with, Alliance and Horde players will take divergent paths. Each will answer the call of their new allies to engage the native threats of the world and mount a long-term defense against the Iron Horde.

Read that post here.


One common piece of feedback we’ve received from new players and those who’ve taken an extended break from the game is that World of Warcraft requires a significant time investment before they’re able to “catch up” and play with high-level friends. Design changes such as speeding up the leveling curve and features like the popular Scroll of Resurrection and Recruit-a-Friend system have proven very popular, but the issues’s only getting more challenging with each patch and expansion we release. By giving players the option to boost a character to be ready for the latest expansion content, we hope to remove some of these entry barriers and make it so anyone can pick up and enjoy Warlords of Draenor right away, no matter how much World of Warcraft they’ve played in the past.

From WowHead, on their “What We Know about WoD so Far” page

Want to play someone new? You’ll be able to get one character insta-leveled to 90, even if you don’t already have one, and you can’t enter the new zones with that character. There might be an option to pay real money for additional levelings, but that remains to be seen. And let’s face it, even with something like Zygor the 1-90 trek will take awhile. So I think this insta-level thing will be pretty popular.

Blizzard Discusses Leveling

They cover some of the issues and concerns with leveling from 90 to 100. As for new abilities, they’re looking at upgrading a core ability. Some of the upgraded abilities will probably be along the lines of the old “spell ranks” and many will be passive. While a new level increases your power anyway they’re thinking of giving an ability a significant upgade. He mentioned 20% to Execute as an example. At about 2:00 in the video he lists some other example awards that they’re thinking about. Of course, none of these are set in stone.

Reddit has a MegaPost on Warlords:

The thread covers the high points of the expansion and has a few hundred comments to check out. Some will be QQ, but there are some good ones in there. Also on Reddit is our link on the level 100 talents pointing to our post here.

And now you know about as much as anyone else (other than the Dev, who are all locked into secret bunkers, deep underground.) 😉

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Nov 302013

Holy Priest PvPHoly Priest PvP in patch 5.4.7 is working quite well. You have lots of survivability, especially with the new resilience changes (now 77%, plus the trinket bonus) and some pretty serious healing ability. You should have no problems keeping yourself and your team up while they kill everything.

On this page you’ll find stats, talents, gear, rotations, and more. Hit the “like” and “+1” buttons and feel free to add a comment if something needs to be added or changed or you want to just add your piece.

Holy PvP Contents

Also see our Priest Leveling Guide and
the Holy Priest PvE page.
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