Month: April 2014

Monk – Legacy of the Emperor

monk

“When the pandaren were subjugated by the mogu centuries ago, it was the monks that brought hope to a seemingly dim future. Restricted from using weapons by their slave masters, these pandaren instead focused on harnessing their chi and learning weaponless combat. When the opportunity for revolution struck, they were well-trained to throw off the yoke of oppression.” WorldofWarcraft.com

Monks were first introduced in Mists of Pandaria (September 2012), and have quickly become everyone’s favorite alt. They are also considered to be a hybrid class, rivaling Paladins and Druids in versatility, however they are not as popular amongst end-game raiding teams as Blizzard had hoped. Their dps and healing are overall rather weak in comparison to other classes that have been around longer. I actually believe that they appear to be weak because most players only play Monks as an alt (alternate character) to their main, and thus do not put in as much effort into being as good on a Monk as they could be.

Class Information

Class info is obtained from WoWPedia.org
Class :Monk
Available Races : [A] Dwarf, Draenei, Gnome, Human, Night Elf | [H] Blood Elf, Undead, Orc, Tauren, Troll | [N] Pandaren
Role : Melee DPS, Tank, Healer
Specializations : Windwalker (Melee), Brewmaster (Tank), Mistweaver (Healer)
Gear Type : Agility Leather (Tank/Melee) & Intellect Leather (Healer)
Resources : Energy, (Melee/Tank), Mana (Healer), & Chi (all specializations)
Useable Weapons : Fist Weapon, Staff, One-hande Sword, mace, Axe & Polearm

Rating

Levelling Speed : 10/10
Survivability : 7/10
Gameplay : 9/10
Utility : 5/10
Soloing Capability : 8/10
Transmog Options : 5/10
Overall : 7/10

Review

Monks have definitely won my heart over in the short time I have played them. They require a lot of skill and patience to play well.

Leveling Speed

I also love the fact that you can level a monk SO quickly. Starting at level 20, monks receive a daily quest to give them a 60 minute buff to increase all experience gained. This buff can now be stacked up to 24 hours. There used to be no cap, but to even out the leveling experience for all classes, Blizzard has enforced a cap. If you are fortunate enough to have Bind on Account (BoA) gear which also increases experience gained, plus the monk daily buff, you will soar through the levels faster than anyone else. It is so rewarding!

In addition to the buff, Monks are also considered hybrids so that means you can tank heal or DPS your way to max level. This makes questing and dungeon ques go by a lot faster!

Survivability

Monks survive very well during the leveling process…..at least they do up to about level 86. Around 86 I started to struggle to keep myself alive, as I often had to choose between the tank specialization to survive and do no damage, or the melee dps specialization to try and kill things before they killed me. I have read that a lot of monks easily solo encounters and do well in pvp, but I personally do not have much experience on the matter!

In fact after some research on the official Warcraft forums, it appears that a lot of players view monk survivability as excessively low in comparison to other classes. However the original posters of those threads were also met with a lot of conflicting statements, so I will let you decide for yourself.

http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7921982296
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7199640523

Gameplay

Monks, despite their low survivability, are very fun. I am a personal fan of Brewmaster and Mistweaver due to the fact that you can summon statues to aide you in your job! I will explain more about the statues in the Utility section. For now, let’s just talk about their neat abilities, like Xuen or Spinning Crane Kick (I prefer to call it spinny-shit, but that’s just me).

Below is a photo of what I think is like the absolute best monk ability in the game…Spinny-shit! In addition to that image, I will also include what Xuen looks like when summoned. I personally love the graphic, let alone his abilities.

monk2monk3

Utility

Unfortunately I don’t personally like a lot of the Monk utility. Outside of the statues, Monks are lacking in raid-wide utility. They have a few personal cooldowns to reduce incoming damage, but as for helping the raid as a whole, they offer very little. Legacy of the Emperor is a Monk-only buff that provides a 3% stat increase for all party members. Similar to a Druid’s Mark of the Wild or a Paladin’s Blessing of Kings.
The one ability I do like is the Brewmaster’s Black Ox Statue, which places an absorption ward around party members. For more information on Brewmaster abilities, be sure to check out this awesome guide on WoWhead.com

Mistweaver Monks have a similar ability to the Brewmaster’s statue, but instead of an Ox, it is the Jade Serpent! This statue basically replicates 25% of direct healing done to random players in the monk’s party. Pretty nifty healing ability if you ask me! Mistweaver monks also have the ability Revival, which is a raid-wide mass dispel in addition to a massive heal.

For more information about monks in general, head on over to MonkMeditation.com

Soloing Capability

Despite their low survivability, Brewmaster monks are actually extremely overpowered. With the combination of their minimal self healing and incredibly high damage due to vengeance, they are able to solo a lot of content that a lot of people wouldn’t think they can solo.

Here is a video of a Brewmaster Monk soloing Stone Guard 10-man Heroic in Mogu’shan Vaults

Transmog Options

Monks have a lot of awesome options for transmog. But unfortunately since they are new to the game, they only have 3 tier sets to choose from, making collecting gear to transmog a lot more time consuming. I personally like how the Pandaren look in monk gear, though I have included a picture of a Human female wearing the exclusive Challenge Mode set. Since monks are leather users, they can use any non-class specific leather piece they can get their mits on. I often see monks looking like rogues.

monk4

Overall

I really enjoy the monk due to the fact that their playstyle is so different from the pre-Mists of Pandaria classes. They are definitely unique and have their own place in my heart, but I would not main switch to one any time soon. But if you are looking for a new alt, or a character you want to get to max level FAST, then I would most definitely recommend leveling a monk!

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Shaman – Call of the Elements

thrall-1

I personally really love shamans. They are a lot of fun, can do a lot of damage, and are just plain epic in the lore of the game. Thrall (pictured above) is a fan favorite of Horde Warchiefs. Unfortunately he no longer holds that role, but many Horde players wish he would return. So pick up your totems, call out your ancestors and get ready for a thunderstorm. (Shaman joke…you’ll get it later)

Class Information

All information is obtained from WoWPedia.org
Class : Shaman
Available Races : [A] Dwarf, Daenei | [H] Tauren, Troll, Orc, Goblin | [N] Pandaren
Role : Melee DPS, Ranged DPS, Healer
Specializations : Enhancement (Melee), Elemental (Ranged), Restoration (Healer)
Gear Type : Agility Mail (Enhance) & Intellect Mail (Ele & Resto)
Resources : Mana
Useable Weapons : Dagger, Fist Weapon, One-handed & Two-handed Mace, Axe and Staff

Rating

Levelling Speed : 8/10
Survivability : 8/10
Gameplay : 8/10
Utility : 8/10
Soloing Capability : 8/10
Transmog Options : 9/10
Overall : 8/10

Review

Shamans are pretty awesome. They are extremely powerful even at low gear levels. Elemental AoE (Area of Effect) abilities…well…ability…has made many other classes jealous. They get to spam one button, look like a Sith Lord, and watch everything die. What better reason could you need to play a shaman?

Here is a fun fact! Shamans were originally a Horde-only class, but in the Burning Crusade Expansion of 2007, Blizzard decided to grant the Alliance access to shamans, and in return the Horde was granted access to Paladins. WoWPedia.org

 Leveling Speed

Shamans level pretty quickly. If you haven’t noticed a theme in my blogs by now, I like healers….a lot. So naturally I leveled my shamans as healers for the instant dungeon ques. Fortunately while leveling, if you pick elemental and restoration as your two specializations, your gear is identical and you can que as a healer and then go back to dps for your quests! Pretty awesome.

Survivability

Shamans have a unique ability to self-heal….ok so it’s not THAT unique, but it certainly does make hunters jealous! Despite the specialization you choose with a shaman, you will always have access to Chain Heal, Healing Surge, Healing Stream Totem, Healing Tide Totem and Healing Rain. That is a lot of heals to keep you alive during your adventures through Azeroth! Here’s what a healing rain looks like if you’re interested! If you thought that was awesome, check out these 5 shamans playing with Chain Heal.

healing rain chain heal

Gameplay

Experiencing the game as a shaman is..well…hard to put into words. Depending on what spec you choose, your life will be very different. If you want to PvP, remember the saying “if it’s blue it’s glue.” To clarify, the ‘class color’ for a shaman is blue. You will be treated like glue in PvP meaning people will try to kill you first.They just feel threatened! But it’s mostly because of all those lovely healing abilities I just mentioned. Not only are they a big deal on keeping you alive, but even if you are a DPS shaman, they can keep your friends alive as well.

Oh yeah….with Chain Lightning you can be a sith lord. Pretty neat huh?

chain lightning

Totems. Oh totems. They are so fun. You can summon two different types of elementals (which are also bound to a…you guessed it! TOTEM!). Here is a picture of the beloved Fire and Earth elementals that you can summon to fight FOR you. Wooo! Less work to do right? WRONG. This image is deceiving. A shaman can no longer summon more than one elemental at a time. Sadly totems are considered a cooldown, so you can only summon them twice every 5 minutes, with a 60 second delay between the two. Bummer I know, but they will charge into battle fearlessly defending your honor! For those of you that are interested, Call of the Elements is a shaman talent that instantly resets the cooldowns on all totems.

totems

Utility

All jokes aside, Shaman totems are extremely over powered. Here is a complete list of shaman totems and what they do. There are so many, that I would only suggest reading up on them if you are truly interested!

Other than the shaman totems being their utility, the biggest reason (let’s not lie pretty much the only reason) we want shamans around is for BLOODLUST…..or as the alliance call it “Heroism.” But since I am an avid Horde player, let’s go with the clearly more awesome name, Bloodlust. For those of you who are just like “omg another link to click” I’ll summarize what it says. Bloodlust is a buff that increases melee, ranged and spell haste by 30% for all party and raid members for 40 seconds. Bloodlust and Heroism are identical except for the names. You even get a nifty evil totem face over your head when it’s activated. Here check it out:

bloodlust

Soloing Capability

From the admittedly very little soloing I have done as a shaman, they seem to do alright. Since I am not very well versed in this field I provide you with a super awesome video of someone else doing the work for me. Make your own opinions on if you think a shaman can solo neat stuff.

Here is a video of an Elemental Shaman soloing 25 man heroic Lich King.

Transmog Options

I personally love shaman transmog. You get to look like a demented evil witch doctor. Pretty neat stuff right? Also the Mists of Pandaria challenge mode set lets you strap massive fire totems to your shoulders. That’s worth making a shaman all on its own, not to mention the fact that Siege of Orgrimmar has an EXCLUSIVE shaman transmog set available within the instance.

tier13 korkronshammy challengemodesham

Overall

All in all, I love shamans. They are so badass. You get to look like an evil witch doctor, use chain lightning to be a Sith lord, and be the first target in PvP. But in all seriousness, Shamans are an amazing class if one takes the time to master them. They are extremely rewarding and even more fun to play. So go get your level 90 shaman today!

Druid – Heart of the Wild

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Well since we have now covered Paladins, Hunters, Priests and Warlocks, up next we have Druids! Druids are awesome because of how versatile they are. They literally offer every role packaged into one class. Druids are one of my favorites because of their unique healing style, their play style options and simply how much fun they are!

Class Information

All information is obtained from WoWPedia.org
Class : Druid
Available Races : [A] Night Elf, Worgen | [H] Tauren, Troll
Role : Tank, Melee DPS, Healer, Ranged DPS
Specializations : Guardian (Tank), Feral (Melee), Restoration (Healer), Balance (Ranged)
Gear Type : Agility Leather (Guardian & Feral), Intellect Leather (Balance & Restoration)
Resources : Rage (Guardian), Energy (Feral), Mana (Restoration & Balance)
Alternate Resources : Combo Points (Feral), Lunar/Solar Eclipse (Balance)
Useable Weapons : Staff, Dagger, One-Handed Mace, Two-Handed Mace, Fist Weapon, Polearm

Rating

Levelling Speed : 7/10
Survivability : 7/10
Gameplay : 9/10
Utility : 9/10
Soloing Capability : 9/10
Transmog Options : 9/10
Overall : 8/10

Review

Druids offer a lot of unique abilities such as shapeshifting. Druids can take on up to seven different appearances. To learn more about druid shapeshifting be sure to check out the WoWPedia article for druids.

Leveling Speed

Because Druids can literally fit every single role in the game, they are often considered to be one of the fastest to level. I actually disagree with that. My experience with Druids has always been with Balance or Resto, which is just painfully slow. I have leveled once as a Bear (Guardian) but as with paladins, the tank spec is only good until roughly level 70. Kitty (feral) is also very squishy. They cannot take many hits and when they do take damage, it is a lot of damage. I struggled to find a comfortable leveling pace with a Druid simply because of their inability to take much damage.

A common joke in the Vanilla and Burning Crusade eras

A common joke in the Vanilla and Burning Crusade eras

Survivability

As I previously mentioned, Druids take a lot of damage. The resto/balance group can typically take even less damage than feral/bear. I personally think that because bear/feral falls into a melee classification, that they are given a little bit more armor or stamina or something. I’m not 100% on that one so don’t quote me, it’s just an experience opinion. As for being able to quest on my own as a Druid, balance was atrociously difficult. It was a mentally scarring experience that I would not wish upon my enemies. My second level 90 druid was leveled as Guardian. This process was painfully slow, but I did not take enough damage to make it as mentally taxing as balance was.

Gameplay

I have only personally spent a lot of time with Balance and Restoration with druids. I am not fond of feral, but I am also not a huge melee DPS fan. I did not really like Bear, but I think that’s more because I am just plain tired of tanking. It’s all I’ve been doing lately and having yet another tank was just not appealing to me. My favorite is Restoration because they have a very unique style of healing called Heals over Time (HoTs). Instead of direct healing where you cast a spell and bam, your target is instantly healed for x amount, Druids cast a spell and it takes about 10-15 seconds for their target to receive all of the heal.

Here is a photo of the cosmetic “Tree Form” for restoration druids. This cosmetic form used to be functional in that if the druid was in this form, he or she would do increased healing to their targets. However, Blizzard decided to put a cooldown on the increased healing, but allowed Druids to keep this form just to feel pretty. Also I have included an image of what the new “tree form” cooldown looks like. I think they look more like a piece of broccoli than they do a tree.

Old TreeNew Tree

As I said I personally do not know much about the other three spec’s for Druids, but if you are interested in finding out more about the other specs and how other people enjoy them, feel free to meander on over to The Fluid Druid blog!

Utility

Druids have an awesomely unique ability called Symbiosis. Symbiosis is a neat ability that when cast on a friendly target, gives the Druid a class-specific ability from the class they cast it on. The person receiving the Symbiosis also receives a Druid ability. The link mentioned earlier will tell you all the awesome abilities that druids give and receive with other classes.

Other than Symbiosis, Druids have a lot of great abilities that are a mixture of their own utility as well as group-wide utility. I won’t get too far into that as there are just soooooo many awesome druid abilities, but you can read up about them here!

Soloing Capability

I personally don’t like Druid soloing, but as I said previously I only really like Restoration Druids. Resto has very little soloing capabilities, so I have never really tried to solo anything on my Druids. But there is exciting news! There are druids that can solo encounters that I wouldn’t dare touch. Here’s a video of a kitty (feral) Druid soloing a boss in Firelands.

Also should mention the song in this video is one of my favorites from Two Steps from Hell

Transmog Options

I actually really enjoy a lot of the Druid Transmogs available in the game. My absolute personal favorite is the one offered in Mists of Pandria Challenge Modes, which are incredibly difficult to obtain. My own druid is only done with 5 out of the 9 timed challenges required to get the set. Maybe by the time you read this I can share a photo of my druid wearing it.

druid CM set

As for other Druid transmogs, they mostly seem to like making druids look like trees. Which is fitting for restoration, but if you are a cat or bear druid that wants to look deadly awesome, well……you’re out of luck unless you go steal some rogue look-alike sets.

mog1 mog2 mog3

Overall

Overall I really do enjoy druids. I wish I had the energy to collect another set of gear to try out Bear or Kitty druid playstyles. I am quite content with restoration, because if it is played properly it can be extremely powerful. I guess the only way to find out what type of Druid you like is to try them all out! Let me know which one is your favorite and why in the comments below!

Warlock – Curse of the Elements

lock-1

There is so much to be said about Warlocks. For the longest time they used to be one of the most difficult classes to play. Recently they have become easier and more appealing to the majority of the player base. Warlocks are without a doubt one of my most favorite classes to play in both PvP and PvE.

Class Information

Class : Warlock
Available Races : [A] Gnome, Human, Worgen, Dwarf | [H] Blood Elf, Undead, Goblin, Orc, Troll
Role : Ranged DPS
Specializations : Demonology, Affliction, Destruction
Gear Type : Intellect Cloth
Resources : Mana
Alternate Resources : Demonic Fury (Demonology), Burning Embers (Destruction), Soulshard (Affliction)
Useable Weapons : Staff, Dagger, Wand, One-Hand Sword

Rating

Levelling Speed : 9/10
Survivability  : 10/10
Gameplay : 8/10
Utility : 9/10
Soloing Capability : 10/10
Transmog Options : 8/10
Overall : 9/10

Review

Warlocks are another Ranged DPS. As I’m sure you can tell by my posts thus far, I excel at ranged and I enjoy classes that play at range more than melee.  Warlocks, in general, offer a lot of raid-wide utility as well as several damage reduction cooldowns.

Leveling Speed

Leveling a warlock is very similar to leveling a hunter. You can use a pet (called minions) to take all the damage for you or deal extra damage. I personally prefer using a DPS pet over a tank pet because warlocks do not take a lot of damage. You can learn more about warlock pets at ElitistJerks.com

In general, leveling a warlock is a fairly speedy process if you quest and que for dungeons at the same time. The dungeons will provide a break from the questing, but you will still gain the most experience from quests. Warlocks also do a LOT of damage, even at low levels. I personally prefer leveling as Demonology to 85, then switching to Destruction for 85-90. Affliction is not really a favorable option to level with due to the amount of haste needed to do decent damage.

For a leveling guide for Warlocks for 85-90, be sure to check out Icy-Veins.com

Survivability

Warlocks have a lot of personal survivability cooldowns that I am particularly fond of.  They have Soulshatter, Unending Resolve, Dark Regeneration, Sacrificial Pact, Dark Bargain and healthstones. Oh! And Destruction also gets Ember Tap. For a detailed explanation of what each ability does click here. From my experience, warlocks take very little damage in comparison to cloth wearing counterparts. They are definitely cannons, but not as much of a glass cannon as say a Mage would be.

Gameplay

Warlocks are incredibly fun to play. You can either have a minion summoned to aid you, or you can sacrifice it for a damage increase for just yourself.  If you choose to play Affliction, you can blanket all of your enemies with damage over time spells, also referred to as DoT’s. These DoTs or curses do an incredible amount of damage, but are very annoying to keep up on multiple enemies at once. I am personally not very good at multi-dotting (the act of putting DoT’s on multiple targets). Because of that I choose to play Destruction, which has a basic rotation with a TON of damage output if played correctly. It’s always fun to see a 1.5 million Chaos Bolt critical strike.

Below is what a Chaos Bolt looks like!

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Utility

Warlock pets in general are pretty awesome. You have the Imp who likes to throw fire at your enemies, the Voidlord that can tank, the Fel hunter that can silence your enemies, the Observer who licks your enemies to death, the Succubus who charms and sleeps your enemies so they stop attacking you and if you choose to play Demonology, you get the Wrathguard. Warlocks also have the option to summon an Infernal or Doomguard every 10 minutes to help.

Warlocks also provide raid-wide utility with the conjuring of Healthstones. Healthstones grant 20% of the user’s health back instantly with a 2 minute cooldown. You can carry up to 3 charges of 1 healthstone. Everyone in the group can use these, and they are primarily what makes a warlock a necessity when raiding. Warlocks also offer a teleportation device for both themselves and the entire group.

Here is an image of the Soulwell, the item that warlocks summon to grant healthstones to their party members.

soulwell

Warlocks are also able to create summoning stones, which allow players in a group who are not currently present to be brought to the warlock’s location. This ability requires 3 people to create the stone and 2 to summon.

For more information on Warlock Utility, check out WoWPedia.com

Soloing Capability

Because Warlocks have a tank pet, like hunters do, their soloing capabilities are equal to that of a hunter. Warlocks produce a very high amount of damage, take very little damage, have a lot of self healing, and a pet that can take the damage for them. Warlocks are one of the few classes that are able to solo content that most classes cannot at the time. They are usually the first ones to figure out how to solo things.

For example, the Immerseus fight in Siege of Orgrimmar is considered to be current content, meaning this is the instance that most players are currently working on and gearing for. Here is a video of  a Warlock soloing this encounter.

 Transmog Options

Warlocks have some of the creepiest looking transmog in the game. You will either end up looking like a demon or you’ll be a grave or crypt robber. To be honest it’s pretty sick. I love warlock transmog. Here’s some examples of my favorite tier set’s that a lot of warlocks choose to use. For more Warlock transmog options, be sure to check out


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Overall

I think it’s safe to say that overall, warlocks are one of my favorite classes to play because of their transmog options, ability to survive almost anything, and because I mean come on. How awesome is it that you can summon demons and look like a badass and do a lot of damage? Not to mention all the great utility they offer. So if you’re up for the challenge of mastering a warlock and collecting all the spiffy demon-y transmog gear, I’d suggest you go for it!