Raid Finder is not for old raids…

From a Q&A session:

Q: Will the Raid Finder allow access to lower raids?
A: Probably not for 4.3, but it’s something we’d like to do.

Honestly why bother adding the feature without lower raids? With Transmogrification this was a no-brainer feature that could really help.

They’re trying to add cross-realm too – which is another basic feature that makes sense. If they are afraid that old content would be run too often with the RF tool (huh?), then restrict it to the server only.

Or even better, just restrict it to within your guild, that way it will never get used at all. Grumble. Continue reading

Tanking for Money

This is a simple one – When you tank in LFD you get around 80g extra, some points that you may not need (so convert to BoE gear) and the chance at a pet. I’ve been selling the pets for a reasonable amount of cash, and making some ok gold.Thus far a few more common Alliance pets (30-50g), a few rares (1000+g), and two Horde pets that hopefully sell for a reasonable amount (3-5k each?).

So the daily grind is not so bad in tank land. It is not a 1000-2000g per hour strategy, but being paid a little extra to suffer through the LFD is good. Pity the lowbie tanks don’t also get the reward – my mid 70s Warrior could use some extra cash too.

Happy Killing.

Transmogrify – Old Rep Gear

shield of the shattered sun offensive

With the whirlwind of news about reusing gear models, I though a mention of the cool old-ish rep gear, like the gear from Shattered Sun Offensive from The Burning Crusade. When you’re pondering gear for that special set – consider the old reps you’ve already earned but don’t offer traditional tiers – they’ve got some great stuff.

Patch 4.4 in Expansion Prep

A note in an mmo champion post indicates that patch 4.4 will a prep patch for the next expansion. It has some confirmations from the rumours of the patch 4.3 Deathwing events, including the next 5 mans – but really the idea that 4.4 is a prep for the next expansion is the bigger news.

Patch 4.4 will bring a world event before the next expansion. The next expansion should be released with a “meaningful difference” in the release timeline compared to previous expansions.

Now if it takes ages to appear then its kind of a moot point, however I think this indicates that Blizzard are far closer to the next expansion that they would normally be.

I expect them to compete in some way with Star Was because of the number of folks who have declared that they will be leaving or have already left. Makes me ponder though – perhaps they would be better waiting 1-2 months after the SWToR release, so that the people know that the new expansion is coming, and those who are not happy with SWToR will return.

Cross-realm Raid Finder thoughts

Generally speaking this is another quality of life feature that I could see being useful. For folks missing achievements, gear and such its great. I can’t see many XR-raids being regularly successful in the current content, but might be for older raids. Like Nef, BWD, etc.

Hopefully it can be used for all previous raid content, not just the current expansion. Sunwell, BWL, AQ, etc all will be useful to run again – especially as people will be looking for gearsets.

Goal: cross-faction, real-id, and cross-realm, for both raids and dungeons.

Basically let us group up for anything, with anyone, and set some simple rules in place to make a forced balance, just like the LFD tool now. I see no reason to not allow cross-faction for runs, except that some look is faction specific. That is solvable via a rule that says the faction of the leader is dominant, and offer a vendor to switch it over if you get the incorrect faction loot.

Bad Guild Apps

We see guild apps now and then without knowing the person beforehand; and there have been a few more since the guild got to 6/7 in Firelands. Often I am reading this:

Basically skilled player with too many alts, seeks 9 or 24 other people to carry me through the content until I have either too much homework, a girlfriend, or am grounded.

I prefer communication via chat, and won’t talk on vent unless you’re into lowbrow dick jokes. Given how wonderful my mother thought I was until I reached puberty, I reserve the right to ninja the loot I want, and bitch if not taken on raids, granted loot, or if the guild’s female members don’t reciprocate my clumsy flirting enough with me.

Please have no other high maintenance players.

My plan is to get geared up via your runs. Please also change your Wednesday raid night to Thursday, as that better fits around my schedule.

regards,

Lolazorin, Champion of the Murloks

Based of a comment I made at Matticus blog. Happy recruiting.

Gear Transmogrification makes RP sense

There is chatter on the wow-internet about the transmogrification service coming in patch 4.3. Some like it, some dislike it, and most are curious what it will mean.

I like it. It is one of the best RP style game features I’ve heard of in a very long time.

Consider the Circle of Flame. One of the best helms for clothies, and it has a mail equivalent model. Both drop in Molten Core.

Consider that some characters in stories are personified by their gear. There are npcs in WoW that are known by their weapons, characters in films and books (etc) that are linked to the weapons they wield and the equipment they carry. Indy’s whip & gun from the Indiana Jones films, Elric’s sword from the novels, all sorts of Final Fantasy memes, and pulpy stuff like Krull which are all about the weapon. Do you remember that elf from Hawk the Slayer? What a bow!

Our toons will have the capacity to establish a personal style all of their own. We can select or create our own armour sets. That means all the eye patches, bandanas, iconic weapons, groovy shoulders, and sexy bikini plate breast plates are all up for grabs.

I realise though that it could potentially diminish the variance of character gear, and also has the potential to steal the limelight for new gear sets. It could be argued that gear is a point in time, and that is valid only if that is your set of values. Frankly I dislike most of the interim gear my toons have to wear and would prefer to pick a set that I could grow to love.

This feature limits us only if we let it limit us. People will use it to make expressive sets. Sets will be slutty, bold, clown-like, ugly, and very old school – and what that means is choice. I don’t care that it means a pvp player can’t tell how powerful my gear is just by looking at the toon model – that is not an experience I value.

If I’m looking at a character’s gear then I am looking for the visualised overall affect, not trying to remember which shade of purple or blue indicates what sub-tier of pvp shoulders some Undead Warlock is wearing while he fear-bombs my character.

I wish I had not trashed and DE’ed all my old tier sets and odd items. It is a great feature. Happy customising.

(edit: Blog Azeroth Shared Topic Linkage)

Thoughts on the Tanking Changes

There were some hotfixed in changes to Tanking yesterday. The big switch is a massive increase to the threat generation for Tanks to the point where the it is very difficult for a dps to pull threat of the tank now.

At least that is what the patch said. In practice it is mostly true too. I really like this change.

To test the change (and because it was one of my wow nights) I ran two instances last night, the first as dps and the second as tank. Both were the new Troll 5 mans, and both had me teamed with players who were in comparable gear (363+ ilevel).

As dps – I was still having threat issues.

On the surface it was much better, I was not pulling threat straight of the tank after three hits, but I still found major issues when I was lucky enough to get a string of crits on a single target pull. My suspicion is that (a) the tank in the group was not concentrating, (b) he still needed time for the threat to build on the target, and (c) I am a threat whore.

I guess this is the way of it for Frost DKs, and I can adjust playstyle accordingly. I will continue to hold off initially and will concentrate on the peripheral needs in the fight, just in case something goes wrong early. We also had an Elemental Shaman and Balance Druid who were keeping up with me on single target damage, and I think we all pulled off the tank at different points over the run. Overall it was a great run with no complete wipes.

To make the point very clearly – I usually die in every 5 man I do due to threat, sometimes 3-4 times, and last night I didn’t die once in that run due to threat. I dies due to no healing in the DragonHawk phase, but meh – the healer was busy keeping himself and the tank alive and its my job to die

As Tank – I still had threat issues, but tanking was so much better.

Previously I felt like Tanking was like herding cats. You had little to no ability to control where the mobs were going, and your own team’s dysfunction was a major driver in the frustration.This change has made the threat issues on packs much better, and the threat issues I saw in single target basically resolved. Only the most powerful and stupid dps would pull threat from my Death Knight now that I maintain a set based upon maintaining threat and staying alive in equal ratio.

However there were still issues – basically due to bloody stupid actions by the dps players, or situations where threat is not so much of an issue and the dps is meant to just burn through the trash mobs – the large waves of non-elite birds for example. You just burn them and for the most part the tank will do what they can to assist somebody in trouble.

This change is not an excuse for dps to go back to being idiots, and just hammering away regardless of the fight. Dps still need to think before they click.

So what is being solved here? Why is this better?

It was a pain to manage a tank’s Threat stats, Survivability stats (in two forms of mitigation and health stacking), and also then have the Tank responsible for a set of encounter based functions like taunts, interrupts and use of special abilities at strategic times. Fundementally Tanking is a hard job and most people do not like it.

A tank is also doubly burdened with the marking and instructions to the group, and I’ve seen many players join a random 5 man as the Dungeon Guide, but prove to be useless leaders with no real clue.

Taking threat out of the list of issues is a huge boon for 5 man dungeons and will probably do more to increase the player pool in the queues that the goodie bag did. Based upon my experience above I will be tanking more, probably all the time now. I am sure that some players will say that it is a hurtful change in some manner, but I like this adjustment.

Make note too that all the other jobs are still needed. Crowd control is still required, strategies must be followed, leadership is needed, and players can still wipe the group with bland stupidity; but the adjustment so that at threat is almost a non-issue is enough to get me to Tank again.

It has been a long break since I tanked in Wrath, but I’m in for another go now.

By way of refs and implications Tobold has written an outstanding blog post about what it means and why the choice may have been made.