Posts tagged Cataclysm
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.
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.
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 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!
The summer slump has officially hit. If you’re in any kind of raiding guild out there, you’ve probably noticed it as well. Signups start slacking, people sign on less and less, recruitment slows to a crawl, and it’s just generally harder to get anything done. I think I started REALLY feeling it over Memorial Day weekend, last week. We barely had enough people to make our 10-man raid, and this week it looks like we won’t be able to pull it off at all without dipping into alts or something horrifying like that. The problem there? We were looking at poking a hardmode (Halfus), and DEFINITELY planning on putting time in Nefarian as well.
My guild only raids 2 days a week, and in spite of that, as well as a VERY late start to the raiding game (the last week of January was our first week of raiding) we have managed to go 11/12 in normal modes. This week, the plan was to poke at Heroic Halfus on wednesday, and then start chipping away at Nef on thursday, but as it stands right now, one of our healers is going to be an alt, and we’re switching out one dps over another between days. Chances are, heroic halfus isn’t going to happen this week. As far as Nef goes… well.. we’ll just have to see from there.
Anyway, i’m not writing this week to just gripe about my raid leading woes. I’m actually curious how a lot of people deal with this. I understand that real life ALWAYS should come first, but how do guilds who aren’t at the top of the heap, progression-wise keep afloat amidst all the summer activities? Do 25 man groups drop to 10s? Do you simply overrecruit in the spring in hopes of retaining enough to keep things going? Especially with the Firelands looming on the horizon, I am desperately trying to keep from putting a temporary freeze on raids until then. I would love nothing more than to be able to have all the normal mode content clear before 4.2 comes out. It would be a big personal success for me, as a raid leader, but it would also be a huge success for the guild as a whole. Anyway, I would love to hear how you deal with summer retention in the comments. Have a great week everyone.
I hope you all enjoyed the long weekend. With the upcoming patch, of course comes new gear listings. The last couple days I have spent a few hours putting together a sort of wishlist out of the new gear that’s been datamined so far. One thing that has bothered me a little bit, and has also sparked a decent discussion on twitter for a little while, is the fact that the new crafted gear is at a lower item level than the items that drop out of the Firelands, or the new faction Avengers of Hyjal.
I can understand that Blizzard doesn’t want crafted gear to become Best-In-Slot, but if that’s the case then they should take a serious look at the Darkmoon Cards. They are ilvl 359 (equivalent to the first raid tier, non heroic levels) and are legitimately the best in slot for almost everyone that can use them (except maybe the tanks). They’re even better than some of the heroic trinkets (ilvl 372), as far as I know. Heck, there’s even a lot of talk of those trinkets lasting well into the next tier. Now maybe it’s just me, but it doesn’t seem right that blacksmiths, leatherworkers, and engineers new items aren’t equivalent to gear we can get from raiding, alchemists don’t even GET a new set of stones to make, but scribes have one set of trinkets they can make that are by far better than most of the ones currently out, and will probably outlast many of the new ones.
Back in Wrath, the crafted items were the same level as at least the 10-man raid drops. Now, admittedly, there isn’t separate gear levels between 10 and 25 man raids anymore, but wouldn’t the more obvious solution to be make the crafted gear the same item level, but KEEP them without sockets like the first group of Cata crafted items were? I don’t quite understand what Blizzard was trying to accomplish with this setup. The 365 crafted items will most likely be overlooked, except by people gearing up their alts, or raiders who aren’t able to work out Firelands raid bosses for a while.
Sorry about the unexpected week away from posting. Last week was incredibly crazy, and I honestly couldn’t find all that much interesting to write about. That’s not something I admit very often, but we all have those moments where we’re just completely stumped, right? Anyway, moving on…
After having announced it months ago, Blizzard is finally implementing an “Encounter Journal”. The encounter journal is a mixture of a loot table, and a sort of strategy guide. I have to admit, I was a bit intrigued at the initial prospect of this being put in-game. As a raid leader, knowing the abilities a boss has before ever having seen him is a *huge* benefit–as seen by the popularity of Tankspot, Learn2Raid, et al. While these aren’t quite the same as the step-by-step instructionals as you would find on the videos, even knowing the abilities a boss can be REALLY key to devising strategies to help work past a boss fight. I have to admit… i’ve found myself strategizing in my head for the Ragnaros encounter, just based on the bits i’ve seen posted on mmo-champion.
I am excited for this new addition, especially as a raid leader. It’ll help me plan strategies that I feel like would work for my specific raid’s composition without necessarily having to wait for Tankspot, or going off of PTR videos. Don’t misunderstand me, PTR videos are great, and Tankspot (among others) do amazing things with their instructional videos, but if I feel like my group is ready to step into the Firelands in our first week after 4.2′s release, then I want to be able to have some things planned out ahead of time. I’m definitely looking forward to the new patch, and the new raid content. My guild is now 10/12 bosses, so i’m hoping we have enough time to get Al’akir and Nefarian down before the end of it.
Friday evening, Blizzard released a preview of the upcoming Tier 12 armor sets, thematically attached to the upcoming 4.2 content patch and the Firelands raid. Six different classes were previewed–paladin, mage, rogue, hunter, death knight, priest–and between those sets there is only about 3 really different armors. Helmets not withstanding of course, they are usually dissimilar. You can see the actual preview here.
I have got to say that I am extremely underwhelmed. Rogue armor looks pretty much like it always does, for better or worse. Paladin, Mage, and Hunter gear looks pretty identical. The DK armor is reminiscent of an older tier of warlock armor (kind of like tier 6 maybe?). The hunter gear looks… well… He looks like a pirate. Maybe i’m being exceedingly critical, but REALLY Blizzard? I understand you want everything to be firey for the raid’s theme, but that doesn’t mean they should all look the same. Not all fire is created equal. And what is up with the goblin-faced pirate-hunter? I think that’s even worse than the murlocstalker set, and I really wasn’t a fan of THAT either. And why does the paladin headpiece look like a c1950′s scuba helm, or possibly Warlock t7?
I think this is why I am disappointed over the gear previews. Through most of the tiers (t9 not withstanding, but I can at least understand a rationale behind that one), gear looked like it belonged to a class. Warlock gear felt distinctly warlocky. Rogue gear has always had that sort of subtle, shadowy type feel too it (but the tentacle-shoulders in t8 were boggling and creepy in a fun sort of way). Although, to be fair, I still feel like the rogue gear conveys “rogue” to me more than the other sets convey their particular class.
I think, maybe in the long run, the look of gear is maybe a small complaint, but if I am going to spend the all this time raiding to get these pieces, I want them to make my characters look like the champions that they are… and I am certainly glad that I don’t raid on my hunter anymore. Poor hunters. On the plus side, at least, the bosses they’ve released look amazing. Just look at that firey-cat, for example.
It’s pretty much all but academic at this point, that patch 4.1 will be coming out tomorrow. I have already done a run-down of this patch, and you can see the entire long list of patch notes here. I found myself kind of lacking for a topic this weekend, since I had already gone at length over some parts of the patch. I griped about the upcoming tank-bribery, cheered over the new (rehashed) dungeons, and glazed my eyes over the parts that don’t affect me much.
So what is it I am looking forward to the MOST when I log in tomorrow afternoon? I’ve been thinking about it a lot. The conversion of Justice/Valor to Honor/Conquest points, the new dungeons, the DK battle rez, the unmissable spell interrupts, the guild challenges… all of these came to mind when I thought asked myself about it. However, without a doubt, one change stands above the rest for changes that I just can’t wait to sink my mouse into.
“Players will now get bonus rewards 7 times per week (while earning less than 980 Valor Points) instead of once a day when using Dungeon Finder.”
That, right there, has me absolutely overjoyed. I don’t necessarily have a REALLY busy schedule, but sometimes I just don’t feel like logging into WoW that day. Or maybe I feel like spending a few hours on one of my (numerous) alts, and not running a heroic dungeon to get my valor points for that day. Being able to log in when I feel like dungeon grinding, grabbing some guildies and just hitting it for a few hours and being done for the week… Man that’s just awesome, and is a LONG overdue change, I think. Coming in a close second, for me, I think is the new dungeons. I plan on running them with some guildies until I learn them pretty well, before queueing with a bunch of pugs. Tank-bribery or not, I don’t feel like spending hours replacing impatient pugs. You know it’ll happen as well as I do, folks. Cya on the other side of 4.1.