31 August, 2006

Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence


Blizzard are fast.

Damn fast.

This morning we got some changes in the Protection tree...already! Flibble posted all about it. Changes are to Redoubt, Improved Devotion, Holy Shield and Reckoning. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Suicidal Zebra.

Weird, I was fooling around with the tree about three hours ago and didn't notice the changes. That's funny.

While he was on it, Flibble also made a post critiquing the new Pally trees and layout very constructively. While some of the changes probably will never happen, much of it make total sense.


Feldoth noticed that Divine Illumination (our new 41st talent in the Holy tree) could possibly be overpowered in combination with Illumination. Why? Because Divine Illumination halfs the mana cost of all spells, whereas Illumination gives the base mana cost back per every heal you crit. So in essence, you can gain mana while healing if you have an high enough spell crit. Cool, eh? The big question is whether this was intended or not.

Aura Cooldown..or rather, seperate cooldown.

Check this thread out. I've always supported removing global cooldown for auras, and instead giving them their own seperate one. It just...makes a lot of sense. It would definetly persuade me to switch auras more liberally. I hope Blizzard will realize this small change is for the better, as I can't think that it'll be in any way overpowered, really.

29 August, 2006

Blizzard Releases Official Preview

We can all smile now, as Blizzard has met the recent barrage of leaked information with its own official presentation. You can even try out expanded talent calculators for 6 of the 9 classes. View it here.

Here's some juicy bits to chew on, not previously revealed:

Seal of Justice - Rank 2
Requires Level 70
225 Mana
Instant cast
Fills the Paladin with the spirit of justice for 30 sec, giving each melee attack a chance to stun for 2 sec. Only one Seal can be active on the Paladin at any one time.

Unleashing this Seal's energy will judge an enemy for 10 sec, preventing them from fleeing and limiting their movement speed. Your melee strikes will refresh the spell's duration. Only one Judgement per Paladin can be active at any one time.

Seal of Blood - Rank 1
Requires Level 64
210 Mana
Instant cast
Horde Only
All melee attacks deal additional Holy damage equal to 30% normal weapon damage, but the Paladin loses health equal to 10% of the total damage inflicted.

Unleashing this Seal's energy will judge an enemy, instantly causing 445 to 488 Holy damage at the cost of 148 to 163 health.

Seal of Vengeance - Rank 1
Requires Level 64
250 Mana
Instant cast
Alliance Only
Fills the Paladin with holy power, granting each melee attack a chance to cause 80 Holy damage over 12 sec. This effect can stack up to 5 times. Only one Seal can be active on the Paladin at any one time. Lasts 30 sec.

Unleashing this Seal's energy will judge an enemy, instantly causing 86 Holy damage per application of Holy Vengeance.

Burning Crusade Spells and Talents

27 August, 2006

Do you like Burning Crusade information?

Check these screenshots out, or check them out here (/poke Leord). Most likely these pictures were sent to a magazine and then leaked, because they look set up and and there's no fog, for example.

The only other class besides the Pally skills that are leaked, which I find interesting, must be the Priest spells. Click here and scroll down to post #617. What the heck is Proclaim Champion? Interesting nevertheless.

Update: Anonymous reported on a cool ability, which made me search for some more. Curse-Gaming has an awesome spell and ability database. I did some searching, so check these out...

Blessing of Spell Warding, awesome blessing! Like we've always wanted - a BoP but for magic
Aura Mastery.
Avenger's Shield, Captain America!
Blessed Life.
Blessing of Light Rank 4.
Blessing of Sacrifice Rank 4.
Blessing of Sanctuary Rank 5,
Blessing of Wisdom Rank 7, which is at 49.2 with Imp BoW.
Blessing of Might Rank 8, which is at 264 with Imp BoM.
Crusader Aura.
Devotion Aura Rank 8, still as boring as always.
Divine Purpose.
Empowered Judgement.
Exorcism Rank 7.
Fire Resistance Aura Rank 4.
Flash of Light Rank 7.
Holy Light Rank 10.
Holy Light Rank 11.
Improved Divine Shield.
Improved Resistance Aura.
Improved Sanctity Aura, ahh...finally! What was suggested for it to make it more useful. Excellent.
Lay on Hands Rank 4.
Lasting Defense.
Repentance, 12 seconds rather than just 6 seconds. Edit: Suicidal Zebra also noticed something else (that I missed); it's an AoE! Holycrap!
Retribution Aura Rank 6, which with Improved Ret Aura is about 35 damage. Not bad!
Sanctified Crusader
Seal of Rightousness Rank 9.
Seal of the Crusader Rank 7.
Seal of Light Rank 5.
Seal of Wisdom Rank 4.
Seal of Command Rank 6.
Seal of Vengeance, check this one out! As Anonymous was asking - if Seal of Blood is strictly a Blood Knight ability, is Seal of Vengeance then the Alliance version of it?
Seal of Blood, this might be a Blood Knight seal only. It makes a bit sense considering that the word "Blood" isn't used in any other context of this class other than Blood Knights.
Seal of Justice, pay attention to the judgement. It now prevents the affected target from fleeing or moving faster than their normal movement speed! OMG! Who says Blizzard doesn't listen to the community? This is something that has been asked and suggested lots and lots of times. This is going to be great!
Shadow Resistance Aura Rank 4, yawn! When you've got a Priest (which is nearly always) this aura is so useless.

What spec was Uther, really?

24 August, 2006

Paladin Talents and Spells

Yep. It's leaked now. They're in this thread on the Pally forums , but the user will probably be banned and the thread deleted later today when the mods get back to work. Check this thread's comments for the talents.
Update: the thread has now been deleted. No dispair! Just check comments.

My thoughts are that, first of all...it seems that Blizzard has listened to many of our suggestions:
- Avenging Wrath increases all damage caused by 30% for 20 sec and causes Forebearance, i.e. I remember before 1.9 it was popular to suggest a damage increasing ability that shared the cooldown with Divine Shield. Here ya go!
- Improved Resistance Auras and Improved Divine Shield also got thrown in to the Protection tree...good news as I know many had suggested something like that.
- Improved Sanctity Aura also got what people wanted, by increasing healing done to targets by 3 to 6%. Who said that Blizzard doesn't listen to the community?
- Blessing of Spell Warding is a reverse BoP. I know that's been asked plenty of times.

And...as I said earlier. I kinda expected it, Retribution just doesn't seem as good as the other two trees. Because Kaplain said our future class focus would mostly be at tanking and healing. Then again, all those +crit talents are going to go hand in and nicely with Vengeance. Just to be clear though...this is just my initial impression.

23 August, 2006

SotC unnerfed...or is it?

Grab your popcorn (and calculator) and read the thread. Wait....or is it?

Thanks Ghmou.

The "Secret Chat Log"

Update: The entire chat log is published in the comments below.

Anyways, there's a chat log that spills some info about new spells and abilities from the Burning Crusade. It's going around pretty much everywhere, so it's not that hard to find. And if it's true, then the guy is in deep trouble for leaking it. Blizzard will most definetly track him down and do something that's considerably worse than slapping his wrists. Maybe something involving punishment of father's employment at Blizzard.

I know I hate posting rumors, but here it is anyways...far too long to post in its entirity, so I just picked the juicy parts regarding Paladins. Also, make notice that...interesting enough, Savior's Blessing - our tank blessing, is conspicuously absent:
[22:48] : paladins get some weird stuff
Okay, that doesn't sound good...
[[22:48] : 10% of all healing done to them by other people is given to them as mana
That's..odd. Spell or talent? Who would heal a Paladin anyway...?
[[22:48] : I would assume to help tanking
...alright, I concede. Sounds like good stuff.
[[22:48] : blessing of spell warding, makes the target immune to magical attacks but they're silenced
Sounds a bit like a reverse-Banish. White melee damage for the lose...
[[22:49] : crusader aura, increases mounted speed of all party members within 40 yards by 20%
Yawn... Next.
[[22:50] : seal of blood, all the paladin attacks do an additional 30% weapon damage as holy damage, but paladin loses 10% health of the total damage inflicted
Probably the unique spell that only the Blood Knights will get.
[[22:51] : and Avenging Wrath, which is pretty much just Deathwish
Grats, Retnoobs!

Kinda feel a bit sad comparing these things versus what Mages get...according to the chat logs they got Water Elemental, Slow and Invisibility.

22 August, 2006

The "Bubble" Explained

Something to ponder while downloading your patch...

The "Bubble" is technically an Electroluminous Chronodesynchronous Modified (ECM) Phase-shift Barrier. It's inner workings are far too complex to explain here, but in quasi-laymen's terms the field it erects works like a basic diode circuit - allowing flow of energy and matter in only one direction. Because it is generated and sustained from within, it is not susceptable to the usual gamut of countermeasures such as those crudely referred to as "Purge" and "Dispel Magic" in the common tongue.

The reason for the attack speed decrease lies in the "modified" part of its name. The ECM phase-shift barrier is an upgraded version of the EC phase-shift barrier commonly referred to as Divine Protection - in which no melee combat is possible. Improvements to the EC allow the ECM to extend and envelop matter linked to the generating core thus permitting melee combat, with a speed penalty due to the energy and processing power required to warp and manipulate the energy field (without the modification, attempting to melee through the barrier could result in the loss of a weapon or even a limb when seeking to pull back through).

An explanation should be given for the Electromagnetic Interdictor Phase-Shift Barrier known as "Blessing of Protection," which draws its power from the magnetic fields generated by the Azerothian planet core. The EI barrier is able to halt physical attacks by gravitationally counteracting mass-based weapons as they attempt to penetrate the field. It is unable to stop energy-based attacks that ignore the influence of separted polarities. Because its inner-workings depend on external forces, it is vulnerable to disruption and removal.

With the impending arrival of the Naaru (an advanced race much more in tune with the energies and technology that allows for such abilities as the EC/ECM), the Church has commissioned the research and development of an Electroluminescent Chronosynchronous Dynamoreflective Phase-shift Barrier. The ECD Mk III would not only provide the benefits of "Immunity" to energy and physical-based attacks, but allow full-speed melee from within, as well as reflecting energy-based attacks back on the assailant(s).

UPDATE: Something Mastgrr left out of the "cool improvements" that I noticed on the test realm - Blizzard added a "keyless selfcast" option to the UI. You will still be able to bind a key to enable self-casting if that's your mojo, but now you can set it to automatically cast beneficial spells (heals, blessings, etc.) on yourself by default unless a different friendly player/npc is targeted. This is something I, personally, have been waiting for over many moons. Until now, I've had to rely first on a separate addon, and then the CT Mod built-in selfcast.

1.12 Notes (with comments)

Well..here it is (no link yet, have to download it to read it). Perhaps the last major patch before the Burning Crusade. However, there will be a large patch around the time when the expansion is released so that all players regardless whether they have the expansion or not can see the new spells, weapon models and so forth.

But 1.12 brings some good news for Paladin players everywhere. Probably the best update for our class in a long time. If you can't comprehend my straight-forward sarcasm, let me prove it to you:
- Divine Shield: Due to the haste effect change, the tooltip has been changed to 100%.
...that's it! Funny thing is that if they hadn't implemented the haste changes, we wouldn't even be on the list of 1.12.

To be fair though, there are a couple of good changes. Here are a sample of those that I like:
- +30 Spell Damage Enchantment: Fixed a bug with this enchantment which was preventing it from benefiting healing spells.
For the win! Finally makes this enchantment more worthwhile. Good enchant now on Aurastone Hammer and the likes.
User Interface
- V key functionality has been improved in several ways. V key now shows summoned monsters (such as the gargoyles in Stratholme.) V key now shows both monsters and player enemies. V now shows enemies only (no longer shows friendly targets.) Shift-V now shows friendly targets only, not enemies (with a new bindable hotkey.) Control-V shows both friendly targets and enemy targets (with a new bindable hotkey.)
(emphasis mine) Finally! I've been begging for this feature for over a year...this is awesome!
- New floating combat text has been added to the game with a number of options. You can see when you take damage, when you are healed and how much, when you acquire and lose auras and much more. You can turn on the new options in the newly revised options screen.
Sweet stuff. I love that they integrate good mods in to the UI as I try to limit myself with them.
- The player inspect range has been increased to 10 yards.
Praise the light!

And one of the cooler features that many I know have been waiting for:
- Added support for controlling iTunes from within World of Warcraft. You can bind a set of keys for play/pause, next track, back track and volume up and down.

Patch Day Tuesday

PTRs are down + extended maintanace = 1.12 tomorrow. Lets hope the queues are shorter now...my worst feeling is that things won't make that much of a difference.

Update: More.

20 August, 2006

Good Philosophical Question

Ever think about the Pally abilities a tad too much? This guy has. Regardless, I find the question funny.

18 August, 2006

Are you in to roleplaying...

...as much as this guy?

Eyonix Explains the Difference

So, what is the difference between Pallies and Blood Knights? A couple of spells and the in-game lore text. Otherwise they're exactly the same.

Oh, at another note. A friend of mine said that at ComiCon he got to hear that Blood Knights will effectively get a spell that increases the damage (or something like that) of the Judgements. It would be called "Blood Sacrifice" or something similar. Sounds feasible.

17 August, 2006

Tigole Sets Direction for Paladins in BC

A post on the Paladin forums by Evilcarrot draws attention to this article on Joystiq.com. Within, Jeff Kaplan is interviewed and reveals more of the behind the scenes thinking that contributed to the tankadin blues. Here's the relevant bit:
What went into the decision to adding a Paladin choice for the Horde (Blood Elves) and a Shaman choice for the Alliance (Draenei)?

Our reasoning behind that is we had a conflicting design vision going on with World of Warcraft. Our class design goal was that every class had to be completely unique -- really unique mechanics per class. And, we felt like our Shaman and Paladin were pretty unique, but as time progressed in the game, players would become outraged anytime you gave something to the Paladin and didn't compensate the Shaman.

The classes had a totally different vision behind them, but we tried to balance them out all the time and make them equal. It's not fair to the classes, they were becoming homogeneous. We really wrestled with the idea internally and we finally decided that the lore could justify with Blood Elves and Draenei putting the Paladin and Shaman on each side for the first time. We feel like because we made this decision, we're finally free to make the classes be what they were originally supposed to be. We wanted the Paladin to be more tank oriented, that holy tank that heals. And, we can focus the Shaman more on his DPS and utility roles.
This begs the question, of course, as to what will happen to the Retribution tree in BC. Will our damage plateau continue from it's leveling out in the high-50's forcing us to party up for the 60-70 grind? One can only speculate until more information is released regarding our new core abilities and talents.

16 August, 2006

A Paladin In the Thick of Things!

As mentioned by Snow, the European guild Core has a video of a Paladin maintanking Patchwerk. Kudos to that! Download it here.

15 August, 2006

The Future is Already Written

Schwick is at it again! He's made a new version of his comprehensive Burning Crusade guide. I strongly suggest that you check it out as it might answer many of your questions. And if you haven't gotten any questions, just go there for the popcorn value!

Open Redesign Thread

Advance comments here.

Tigole's Thoughts

A friend of mine directed me to this thread on the Elitist Jerks forum, which contains some interesting comments by Tigole on the debuff limit and 25-man cap. A sample:
...the change to raid size was debated and decided a long time ago. So long ago that there was talk about Naxx being a 25 person raid (with the same difficulty and loot). However, this would have been too harsh a change mid-stride in a live game.

It's not over, yet...

Shieldhearth complains about the Pally community's flack about that our Savior's Blessing (preliminary name) is the only thing we will get, and begs a CM to explain this. So Drysc responds:
Every class will be obtaining new abilities, along with new ranks, and new talents up to level 70. It's inevitable that some people are going to jump to conclusions, theorycraft, and either maintain that a change is positive or negative while working from a minimal amount of information. Until that additional information is made available though, we could only make vague implications that they are incorrect, and that is generally not a very effective way of changing someone's opinion.

We will be providing more information on new class abilities as our release schedule permits, and making their old ideas and arguments obsolete while creating a bunch of new ones.
I'm a bit peeved at that we're getting yet another PVE only ability. What kinda sucks is that, as the limit of spells the classes are going to get is around 5, most likely an additional one will be yet another aura. In my opinion they should just diversify the existing ones and make them more special. Especially the Shadow Aura which is only useful if you don't have a Priest around (not very often, especially in raid settings).

Anyways... Rambling on. My point is, is that, Bloodlust seems like such an absolutely awesome ability. Savior's Blessing not so much. I hope our other 4 upcoming spells are cool, unique and awesome and not just yet another PVE spell.

13 August, 2006

Out with the old, in with the new

Yep. Here's the new design (no, I'm not kidding!). Please throw some comments of what you think of it!

I'm fixing some stuff that I couldn't see when tooling around on my harddrive.

Preliminary logotype (no title on it). I haven't asked for permission of it yet - going to replace it soon. Reason I took it cause it was a cool pic.

Also, just so you guys know, the website looks absolutely smokin' on a web browser that has CSS text-shadow support. I mean, it's like night and day! I've really, really, really abused text-shadow...

Redesign Soon Finished

I'm soon finished with the redesign...looks and acts much smoother now. No more extreme contrast between white and black that so many find a bit harsh on the eyes. Also, considering that our color now is "pink" I'll leave it up for you to imagine how it will look. I'll upload it probably tomorrow or Monday - I just need to polish some stuff out.

12 August, 2006

Paladins are pink

Eyonix regarding class color in the raid menu:
The World of Warcraft community can rest assured that the Paladins will be allowed to keep their pink. We've not decided upon the new Shaman color at this time, but we do know that it will not be...pink

Tankadins get what they want...in the expansion!

Check this out:
The Paladin class will see a class-defining ability of its own in an ability to pull aggressive creatures off of classes with a "snap-aggro" ability. That ability, Chilton explains as the equivalent of an AOE taunt, but instead of being cast on the enemies, instead, true to the Paladin's role of buffing and supporting players, it is castable buff on a party member. At that point, the mobs that were attacking the party member within an Area of Effect range will then turn and attack the Paladin. It continues to reinforce Blizzard's desire to turn the Paladin into a secondary tank and a healer, instead of the simple healer the class has been relegated to.
Overall VERY informative 1up article, with new stuff that we don't know yet.

Will write more later...after BWL:

10 August, 2006

The most useless builds out there.

These threads are fun because they push the talent trees to the test. I remember back in the day before 1.9 where it was ridiculously easy to make an absolutely junk talent build. This one makes me cry and laugh and the same time.

09 August, 2006

Blood Elves lookin' like Alliance

Nathanya asks a good question:
...the Dungeon Set 1 paladin armor set bears the alliance logo, don't you think that'd be a little odd for Blood Elves that are on the HORDE side playing paladins to be wearing such a logo?
And Drysc responds with:
It's not something we're currently planning to change. Players wield items that don't appear to be of their faction, or blatantly appear to be for a specific race not a part of their faction all the time. You can pick up pretty much anything from the battle field and use it to your advantage, and although the paladin and shaman were faction specific, their items aren't.

Plus, a race that has recently reasserted themselves in the world and obtained access to a new class of expertise, or one that has recently arrived on the planet, would probably not be finding armor specifically tailored for them laying around dungeons.

08 August, 2006

Shaman and Pally Combo

Thanks Brad - for alerted me to worldofwar.net's recently obtained info on Paladin and Shaman relations in the Burning Crusade:
We plan to allow most of the Shaman and Paladin buff effects to stack, with a few exceptions of course. This means that both will be extremely useful in regards to improving the potential power level of those around them. Be careful not to think in current "WoW" terms and only digest current end-game. When the Burning Crusade releases all classes will have access to new spells, talents and abilities, which will be taken advantage of (and play a large part in) grouping/raiding in the expansion's end-game.

It's also important to note that moving forward, we'll be able to design our raid and dungeon encounters to specifically draw out the strengths of each of these classes, whereas now we actually take measures to prevent an encounter from being too beneficial to only one of the classes.

We'd also like to mention that beyond raiding, we think it will be exciting for players who feel strong allegiance to one specific faction to have access to a class that has seemed unavailable to them.

07 August, 2006

Massively Preoccupied

I've been home a couple of days, and I've been massively preoccupied. When I first booted up WoW again, first time in over two months, I felt like Picard when encountering cake (with mint frosting!). Damn, plenty of stuff to do now...need that +FoL libram from Scholomance.

Anyways, work of blog redesign is under work still. Not sure when that's coming out.

Hopefully 1.12 will be out this Tuesday, right? It'll be interesting to see how much more PVP will be viable fun on my server.