Achloryn is a 29 year old gamer from Tennessee. He's been playing World of Warcraft since late in Burning Crusade, and started blogging about WoW in early 2010. His personal blog, warcraftoftheworlds.wordpress.com, is a small, raw, and sometimes abrasive (NSFW for language) view of what's happening from his point of view. Follow Achloryn on twitter, username: @Achloryn
Posts by Achloryn
With the imminent threat of the Cataclysm behind us, and Deathwing put to rest for good, the mortal races of Azeroth turn to another ever-lingering foe… each other. In doing so, they discovered a long lost race of spiritual creatures, the Pandaren, and disturbed something lurking just under the surface.
Blizzard’s lead systems designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street basically told the world that threat wasn’t going to matter anymore as of a soon-released hotfix. I believe his exact words were “…we’ve gotten over the concept that threat needs to be a major part of PvE gameplay….” (You can read his full post on the upcoming threat changes here) I’m still a bit conflicted with what I think about it, so bear with me while I consider some of the finer points of what this means.
DPS DKs and Warriors with no threat drops won’t be splattering themselves nearly as often. (Seriously, retaliation/bladestorm on trash packs is just unstoppable, and our warrior pretty much dies every single time he does it. Of course, he does so giggling like a madman so, whatever I suppose.)
Lower geared tanks won’t have to worry about throttling raid-geared impatient pugs nearly as much. It’ll still happen some, i’m sure, but not to the degree it’s happening right now.
Taunt-swaps suck for tanks as it is. “FFS, stop attacking so I can generate a bit of aggro!” is something I hear pretty regularly. I’m not a fan of just auto-attacking any more than DPS is, but I suppose it’s less of a big deal for me than it is for them. Just a kind of minor annoyance. In this same manner, i’m not sure how the proposed vengeance change will affect this. Maybe 1/3 damage-dealt-as-vengeance will be enough for this to be somewhat of a non-issue… It remains to be seen I suppose.
Whether blizz wants it to or not, there will come a point where DPS will outgear up and coming tanks so much that they’re going to have to throttle themselves, or become a blood-stained smear on the floor. That’s just the way it’s going to be. I have a story regarding that when I first started tanking that i’ll give later.*
I’m also unsure of this “more active role for tank’s survivability” stuff GC is talking about. This is less of an actual “con” than it is “cautious uncertainty”, but there’s not really a slot in a pros and cons list for that, so I guess it goes here for now.
Overall, the more I think about it, the more the change really doesn’t bother me. It’ll certainly be much easier for new tanks breaking into the scene, especially as it gets later and later into the expansion. I guess I am more indifferent than anything else about the change, because I play a tank who very rarely has to worry about threat being stolen from me. That’s not to say that i’m the end-all be-all of tanking, but it’s more that I overgear 95% of the pugs I run with, or I run with guildies who know how I tank, and know when they can safely go full throttle on a mob. Now, as to that story I mentioned earlier.
*I first started tanking, SERIOUSLY tanking, in late Wrath, well after ICC had been implemented. Even after the Arthas fight had been out for a while. One of my first times tanking on my druid (probably in the first 5-10 heroics I queued as a tank for), I zoned into Drak’theron Keep. A quick glance at the pugs I was running with showed 2 “…of the Ashen Verdict”, and 1 “Kingslayer” titles… Of course, they were the DPSers. My first thoughts? “……..f—.” Luckily, they were REALLY cool about it. I just told them ahead of time that I was pretty undergeared compared to them, so I hope they didn’t mind going easy on me. I think they *did* try to go easy on me, but they outgeared me by so much that it just really didn’t matter. I did everything I could to keep up with them (and did a pretty good job of it, in my opinion), but I just couldn’t NOT lose threat sometimes… okay, a lot of times. I was usually pretty quick with my taunt button though, and I don’t recall anybody dying, so it turned out well. At the end of the run I thanked them and went along my merry way, palms sweating and knees shaking at the trauma that they had just inflicted upon my green tanky self. BUT, I think this made me a better tank, overall. I had to react quicker, target switch more, and OMFG TAUNT YOU SONOFA…. AUGH a lot more than I had at that point, and honestly, it was STILL one of the most difficult runs i’ve ever had to keep threat off of everyone.
I’m not sure what my entire point of passing on that story is, but threat supposedly didn’t matter any in Wrath either, but there was still a point where gear played a major factor. Maybe vengeance will take care of this problem, maybe it won’t. I’m no mathematician, so I can’t say one way or the other. Either way, it’ll be something interesting to look forward to, at any rate.
I normally don’t write about anything personal here, but I thought I would take the time to share with you lovely readers an amazing chance to take what we do for fun, and use it to do something good. A friend of mine, Alicia, has signed up to do a benefit for Extra-Life, a gaming-charity organization. I recently decided to start a new character in WoW with the concept of levelling him completely through PvP, and she contacted me over twitter, saying she was doing something very similar… but she’s going to be doing it for the whole world to see! The way Extra-Life works is a person will play a game (or games) of their choice for 24 hours, and people can watch them live, online. They can chat with their viewers, and in some cases, even verbally communicate with them (which i’m not sure if she is doing or not). This event raises money through donations only, which is why I thought it worthy to bring to all of your attention. So, if you’re feeling a bit charitable, feel free to donate to my friend’s event here. Every dollar she raises will go to her local branch of the Children’s Miracle Network. I’ve donated to her cause, and I certainly look forward to watching her spending some time slaughtering some hordelings.
On another note, I promised long ago to keep you informed on any chances to win Blizzcon tickets for 2011, and i’ve kind of slacked on that. Sadly, I haven’t seen many giveaways skating across my news feeds, but in lieu of that, I thought I would offer the next best thing. If you can’t go to Blizzcon this year, why not take some of your creativity and get a chance to be portrayed at the event? Blizzard is hosting contests for fan art, movies, or original songs. All details regarding these contests can be found here. I don’t think i’ll be participating in any of those events, but I am sure there’s some creative people among my readers, so get out there and show us what you’ve got!
Yep, you read it correctly. Blizzard is officially putting in a hot-fix that will probably go live after today’s regular maintenance ends, allowing t11 raid bosses to offer VP again. There have been a lot of mixed emotions on this change, and I share in that feeling. On one hand, it seems against Blizzard’s previous stance of the best gear only being available from the current bosses. On the other hand, however, even if a guild goes and obliterates all 12 bosses from t11 content, that only offers 420 VP in 10 man or 540 VP in 25 man (that’s 35 and 45 valor points per boss, respectively). With the current cap being at 980 valor points per week, it’s not like you’re going to go in and cap out just from t11 raids. Let’s break this down into the different options offered on valor points.
120/140 VP (10/25 man) – Firelands Boss. 7 bosses total for 840/980 VP.
35/45 VP (10/25 man) – BWD/BoT/T4W Normal or Heroic boss. 12 bosses total for 420/540 VP.
140 VP – Random Zandalari Heroic. Can be run 7 times a week for 980 VP.
70 VP – Random Cataclysm Heroic. Can be run 7 times a week for 490 VP.
We will go with my current situation. I am in a strict 10-man guild. My guild currently has 2 bosses down in the Firelands (240 VP). If we were to go blister through t11 content (420 VP), that would give us 660 VP, still leaving us 320 short of the weekly cap. We could knock that out with a couple of Troll heroics, and one “normal” heroic to cap out for the week. Sure, this would probably be less stressful (and less time consuming) than running a full compliment of Troll randoms to supplement our 2 Firelands bosses, but does it really change the grand scheme of things? I don’t believe so. Most of us will be getting our valor cap one way or another, whether it be from troll heroics, FL bosses, or t11 bosses. The cap isn’t changing, and 980 is still 980, so it’s not like we’ll be able to purchase valor gear any more quickly to start “outgearing” the Firelands. In the course of my writing this, my own opinion has actually changed as well. At first I had mixed feelings about the change, but now I am completely in favor of it. It isn’t like they’re erasing the cap altogether, right? We still have to work for our gear, it’s just giving us a different avenue in which to do it.
Full details of the blue post outlining the change can be found here, once the maintenance is completed.
Blizzard has mentioned it before, but it seems to now be official… or at least in public beta. Blizzard is now allowing you to add people from RealID friends lists to a party, and go dungeon crawling together! The entire details can be found here, but allow me to give you a quick rundown of what this means.
- For now, this feature is free. They have not determined if it will be a premium (paid) service in the future, and will have that available at a later date.
- ANYBODY on your RealID friends list is available for invite, provided they are of the same faction (no horde/alliance intermingling folks. Sorry :’( )
- You are not limited to RealID friends only for a group. You can have any mix of guildies, RID friends, or even use the LFD queue to fill in any gaps if you wish.
- No daisy-chained (friend of a friend) invites. They must be YOUR friend to invite them to a group.
For now, there’s no definitive time frame on how long this trial will last, and given their earlier discussion I could see this becoming a paid feature. Even so, this seems like a great reason to expand your friends list, and play with some friends you didn’t think you’d be able to play with. For me? This is a great way to play with some of the (EXTREMELY large) blogging community I have inundated myself with on Twitter. I certainly hope to see some of them in the dungeons.
On Februay 3rd, 2010, a guild by the name of “Ensidia” took the world first kill of Arthas in 25m, normal mode. The next day, they had their kill stripped from the records, and the 25 participants recieved a 72 hour ban for “exploitation of mechanics.” If you’re unfamiliar with the story, i’ll give a very brief rundown. There is a part of the Lich King encounter where the outer edge of the platform crumbles away, and there are random adds that will pick up players, attempting to drop them off the sides. Now, the “exploit” in question was really more of a bug on Blizzard’s part. Members of the raid were using Saronite Bombs (an engineered item) in their rotation. These bombs caused siege damage to the Lich King’s platform, which for some reason, caused the crumbled outer ring to rebuild. The end result was that when the adds would pick up players in an effort to drop them off the sides, they would merely land on the rebuilt edge of the platform, and be able to continue the fight.
Fast forward to last week. A Taiwanese guild by the name of “Stars” was one of many to clear all 7 bosses of the Firelands in the first week of it’s existance. After killing Ragnaros, they each paid money to faction transfer, which resets a member’s raid ID, but keeps their kill history, and started working on heroics. Now, under normal circumstances, a guild has to kill the last boss in a raid (Ragnaros, in this case) to unlock heroic modes. With the raid lockout system that’s currently in place, the very earliest a person SHOULD have been able to work on heroic modes would be today, July the 5th, after the server resets took place. “Stars” effectively bypassed this by intentionally exploiting a loophole in Blizzards system, and were given the world first kill of Shannox on heroic.
Now, it seems to me that Blizzard should have erased that kill from the books, and given the offenders the same treatment as “Ensidia” got a year and a half ago. However, Blizzard simply went “Whoops?” and locked out all heroic modes until the reset today. Now don’t misunderstand me, these are both issues that Blizzard should have taken care of before they were able to make it live, but it seems to me that what “Stars” did was far worse than what “Ensidia” did, simply becaues Ensidia didn’t do anything different than what they always do. They were playing the game like they had been doing (and showed several recounts, and WorldofLogs parses to prove that they had been using Saronite Bombs on other boss kills, rotationally). “Stars” on the other hand went OUT OF THEIR WAY to exploit a loophole and get world first on their Shannox HC kill. Admittedly, I don’t have all the details, but something definitely seems fishy in the water there.
I don’t normally do more than one post a week… let alone two in the same day, but some BIG news just broke through the wire. There’s no sense in creating too much dramatic buildup, so lets get right to the big announcement.
World of Warcraft is going Free to Play
Sort of… Here’s how it breaks down.
- Any new WoW accounts are free, unlimited play, up to a level cap of 20
- These new “Starter Edition” accounts, are able to play any of the races that were available in Vanilla AND Burning Crusade.
- There is no longer a 10 or 14 day time restriction. Play as much as you want, up to level 20!
- The original Battle Chest is now available in a new, revamped Digital Battle Chest in the Blizzard Store for $19.99 US. It includes World of Warcraft, and the first expansion The Burning Crusade.
This is *huge* news. In a day and age where other MMOs are going F2P on a weekly basis (it seems), the fact that Blizzard is changing their trial account policy this radically is enormous. Is World of Warcraft in trouble? I sincerely doubt it. They are simply trying to get their product out to a wider range of people, and sometimes 10 or 14 days just isn’t enough for someone to decide. I think this is an absolutely brilliant move by the MMO leviathan. Letting people play unlimited time, and make unlimited characters (as far as I can tell, anyway, up to the normal account’s character maximum of 50) will let them try every aspect of the game, on their own terms. Sure, level 20 isn’t very far when you consider the cap is at level 85, but think back to when you first started playing. Even if you started in Vanilla or BC, when the caps were 60 and 70 respectively. What would it have done for your desire to play if you were allowed to do as much as you wanted for the first 1/4th of the game? What about people who quit the game long ago, and are considering a return? Doesn’t this seem like it makes a lot of sense, to test out the new talent trees, and the new questing scheme? I think you’ll find this new “Starter Edition” to be extremely popular, and a great way to bring in new accounts to the world’s most popular MMO.
I will come out on record and say it… I absolutely hate the troll dungeons. They make no sense to me. They’re way over-tuned, require you to be raid geared, give weirdly itemized gear that’s lower than raid-level drops, and they have some of the most unforgiving mechanics in the game. As i’ve stated several times before, I raid weekly. My guild cleared all 12 of the normal mode bosses, so we may not be cutting-edge progression wise, but we’re not incapable or new either. (Please don’t mistake that line as “if you haven’t cleared at least 12/12 then you’re incapable”… this tier is very difficult, and i’m just trying to give a point of reference.) Now, in order to get into the troll heroics you need an average ilvl of 346, which means every slot is from heroic dungeons or better. I went into Zul’gurub the other night, with all guildies (the lowest of us being at 355 ilvl), and we could not down the first boss. Now I will admit that maybe we were having a bad night, because it happens to the best of the best, but come on… the first boss?
When a group of regular raiders, that are raid geared, struggle THAT MUCH on one boss, then there’s a problem with the tuning of a dungeon. As a tank, I simply refuse to throw my hat in the queue for the troll dungeons. I won’t even run it with my guildies anymore, because it’s just too insanely frustrating. I’m a little sad to come out and say that I absolutely refuse to run dungeons anymore, because it just shouldn’t be that way. The closest thing I can compare it to is Halls of Reflection towards the end of Wrath. That dungeon was brutal and unforgiving, but even THERE, I never had the kind of issues I have in ZG and ZA. Also, y’know where the other difference was? Halls of Reflection was 1 in a listing of about 14 heroics. The troll dungeons are in a listing by themselves. If I queue for a troll heroic, i’m gonna get a troll heroic. What’s even more messed up about it is the fact that these two dungeons, being separated from the other heroics, offer more Valor points for completing them randomly. Also, they run on a separate VP cap than the other heroic dungeons do, so I can point cap this week on “normal” heroics, and then go run a few troll heroics and get more valor points (provided I actually complete them). With the patch dropping today, am I going to be forced to run these dungeon abominations, JUST so I can gear up quicker to help out the raid as we move into the Firelands? Honestly, right now I think I would rather just gear up a bit slower.
Blizzard… I have been an outspoken and vocal supporter of just about everything you’ve done. I’ve even tried to understand your point of view on things I *did* happen to disagree with, and generally I can. With these two dungeons though… I just can’t wrap my head around it. They’ve been out for 2 months now, and they just haven’t gotten any easier, no matter how much we overgear them at the moment. Maybe I need heroic t11 gear to get there, but if that’s the case raise the bloody gear requirement, and improve the drops.
Patch 4.2 is coming. It’s not coming tomorrow, as originally thought, but next week (June 28th, for those of you playing at home) instead. There isn’t a whole lot of actual news this week, so here are a few things to keep in mind over the next 8 days.
- Valor and Conquest points are being zeroed out on patch day, and rolled into Justice and Honor points respectively. They are NOT letting you go over the cap, so if you’re in danger of going over the respective caps on patch day, I would buy whatever it is you need to buy before patch day.
- Melee dps in general seem to be getting nerfed. for some reason. Unless your class starts with an “R”, in which case Blizzard still loves you more than the rest of their children.
- Normal mode t11 raids are being nerfed into oblivion. They are doing this to make the first tier more accessible to people who were stuck on certain fights, or people who just didn’t raid much at all. If you’re closing in on a boss kill, get it done before the patch. (Side note: My guild is now 12/12 normal modes. /cheer)
- This is already implemented, but a change has been put into place regarding the authenticators. Now, if you sign in from the same location regularly, you won’t need to authenticate every time. I will discuss this at another time when I have more information (and coherent thoughts) on the subject.
- Seriously… Warriors and DKs? Your DPS is gonna drop… Sorry.
- Apparently feral druids are safe from this melee nerf. Good thing, cause their damage was coming up low towards the higher gear levels.
- Normal mode t11 raids will no longer drop Valor Points (note that this includes Argaloth in Baradin’s Hold). Heroic t11 bosses will, as will bosses in the new Firelands raid.
- They decided to do away with requiring a 12/12 clear in order to start the quest line for Tarecgosa, the new legendary. Instead you have to kill a Molten Lord inside the Firelands… Yep… Make of that what you will.
- They have given us new map opening and mail opening animations… Hooray?
- The amount of VP awarded from a boss kill in the Firelands (and Occu’thar, the new boss in Baradin’s Hold) has been significantly increased, to compensate for the lesser amount of bosses. 120 (up from 70) in 10m, and 140 (up from 90) in 25m.
- There are new dailies available in Mt Hyjal, to supplement the new raid. There’s also a new faction: Avengers of Hyjal, with new rep items for sale. Also, there will be new crafting recipes for almost every profession. Hooray things to do!
- Tier 11 pieces that required a token (head and shoulder slots) before will still require a token after the conversion.
I am *really* looking forward to the Firelands. I’ve basically been devouring PTR videos, both to prepare myself for raid leading against the new bosses, and just to see what they’re like. But even aside from the new raid content, i’m also really looking forward to the new dailies, and other things to keep my time freshly occupied with things to do in-game. Plus, it’ll be interesting to see how quickly one can gear up a toon to raid ready with the old VP gear being shifted down to costing JP. I’m kind of an altaholic, so i’m curious how that’ll work out… Anyway. See you in the realm of fire!
I don’t PvP very much. If you’ve read my column for a while, you probably aren’t very surprised by this. I live on a PvP server, so I do tend to get the occasional world PvP attack, or something like that, but on occasion I *do* find myself wandering into BGs just because I like to go and eat some face on occasion. We all have our moments, right? Well, I want to direct my attention to something that has ALWAYS really torked me off whenever I go battlegrounding… There are occasionally hopeless groups, and then some absolute *tool* has to pipe up and say “Stop fighting back, just let them win.”
Man… just thinking about it makes me want to rage. And then someone on the forums has to even make a bloody post on the official forums TELLING people to just “give up” in BG’s so they can queue even quicker. Read the entire thread, which even drew a blue’s attention, here. MAN this kinda stuff just really ticks me off. He even had the stones to compare it to calling a wipe in PvE encounters, which is absolutely ridiculous. For one thing, raiding usually comes with a time limit… like my guild only raids for 3 hours, 2 nights a week. On the other hand, when you go into a BG, you don’t say to yourself, “Okay, i’m only going to spend 10 minutes on this one BG, so I can move on to the next one, and get them all done before the night’s over with.” It just doesn’t happen that way. Also, all raid bosses have a formula to killing them. If you screw up the formula, you wipe. If enough people die, there’s no point in continuing because you won’t beat the enrage timer, or have enough healing, or y’know…. A TANK. Thus, you call for an intentional wipe to try it again. BUT, if you die in a battleground? Guess what, you’re ALIVE again 30 seconds later, MAX. And this goes for EVERYBODY in the BG, for as long as it’s going on. “Just give up” is the worst piece of advice anybody can give in a BG. I think the best reply to this post, is here.
By the way… Notice that the original poster was made by a level 3, most likely bank toon? It’s an automatic -50 seriousness anytime someone posts on a baby toon. Honestly, this level 3 isn’t running any battlegrounds, so why was he afraid of posting on his main? It’s obvious… because he knew what kinda sh–storm this post would create. Either this guy is just trolling for the sake of trolling (successfully, I might add), or he KNEW what an unpopular opinion it was, and didn’t want to be called out about it. So… I hope you guys can forgive my rampaging this week, but stuff like this makes me want to reach through the internet and smack someone. As a side note? Patch 4.2 is coming soon! Possibly even next week! I’ll have a quick wrap-up of the patch next monday!