The new 5 mans in patch 4.3 are very reasonable

I’ve now played each of the new 5 mans in patch 4.3 a few times and they are very reasonable; however the player base and loot mechanics are still problematic.

From a pace and visual style the new instances is excellent. The tasks needed are obvious enough that you get the idea quickly, the mechanics are not difficult to follow, but they need to be addressed properly (interrupts, fire on ground, proximity, special kill orders feature strongly). All in all, good stuff. Worth waiting for, and certainly feature rich in terms of game lore that the characters get to participate in.

However the two same aspects of running randoms remain frustrating, and they are related. Morons and rude mongrels still populate the queues just as frequently as average players. Great players are still rare. I’m an average player overall, and I have a sixth sense in detecting when somebody is a mongrel, which of the handful of runs so far I’ve seen a typical spread of douche-bags. Continue reading

End Time, thoughts

I played the first of the new 5 mans last night – End Time. It’s ok. For the first attempts at these instances I’ve decided to join as dps, so that I can at least not have full pressure for the runs. As dps the job is no different than before: kill, interrupt, avoid.

The trash was actually sometimes harder than the bosses, especially the initial shadow panther things. They just keep spawning till you get to the light – I like that.

Boss mechanics are straight forward (avoid bad, move on special, interrupt when casting X) and not so stacked together that we suffered. I think our wipes were more to do with having a group with no CC, an arrogant tank, and a sluggish healer, than the mechanics.

I enjoyed it, and am looking forward to the next one in the series.

Patch 4.3 is here, geez.

I’m not sure how I feel about patch 4.3 being here so much sooner than I expected. It certainly has not been quick for some players, but I expected it to drop next week.

dead dragon's head

Knife and fork is all that is needed now. Yummy.

Overall its not the end of the world that it is a week earlier than I planned, except I have dinner plans for Wednesday night – which means I can’t raid. Phooey.

I am looking forward to the change of pace, and while I didn’t get enough exposure to Firelands due to my (non) raid schedule, it is an exciting time in terms of Cataclysm for all raiders. This is it, lets make the big black mongrel pay for roasting half the world.

In character I’m tempted to go back and get a few of the odds and sods from the Twilight instances, and beat Deathwing to death with them.

Its too quiet on the 4.3 PTR for DKs

I’m not sure I like how quiet the news on Death Knights has been. The PTR built has seen chatter and changes for most of the other classes, set bonuses, and some spell affects, the odd tweak and change; but the DKs seem to be silent. The initial batch of information on changes was OK, and while I think the t13 bonuses were lackluster, they were posted.

Now if I was a Paladin (getting reworked) I might be happier if it was quiet, as it could be a good thing. Perhaps DKs are functioning on PTR as intended, and we’re just pending the best art design ever for the T13 Death Knight armor model (a guy can hope).

No updates, no t13 armor graphic models, no extra notes; it just feels too quiet for us at the moment. I hate waiting.

New gear, art, strats, and info on Patch 4.3 from MMO Champ

New gear, artwork, strategies and all sorts of lovely information has been data mined by MMO Champion for patch 4.3. There are some nice armor sets for us in Season 11 PvP, although I am reminded of the old Warrior set with the bladed helmet built for head butting Tauren.

dk PvP Season 11 gear set

DK PvP Season 11 gear set

There is also a stack of great new gear. iLevel 378 gear will drop from the 5 man dungeons, and some of it is rather wonderful. Like this Axe for 2H Weapon wielders.

Continue reading

Initial 4.3 patch notes for Death Knights

The first set of patch notes for 4.3 have been released, and there are some interesting things for Death Knights (source, mmo). A lot of things will likely change between now and the release.

Noteworthy is:

  1. Healing from Death Strike is automatic, and the damage is subject to a successful hit.
  2. Abom’s Might has the melee attack power increased, all other affects are the same.
  3. Blade Barrier is a base % damage soak reduction, which is a change away from being dependent on rune usage.
  4. Howling Blast’s base damage has increased, while the scaling from attack power has been slight reduced.
  5. Veteran of the Third War now also reduces the cooldown on Outbreak by 30 seconds.

For DK Tanks this is a change toward a more consistent inbound damage, a reduction on replacing our diseases. The change in Abom’s might will be reflected elsewhere in identical buffs, so that melee dps is bumped. I am not sure if the HB change will increase or decrease the damage. Overall its good, I feel that we’ll be less spikey.

In other news:

  1. A few enchants for Tanks are slightly increased, not overly huge change, but welcome.
  2. You’ll be able to dethrone an inactive GM, so play nice.
  3. GC has posted a summary and some background thoughts on the patch changes.
  4. And yes, the artwork for the Priest and Hunter gear has been released. The Priest helm looks incredible. Where are the Death Knight models?
  5. Archaeology areas of interest will now show on the mini-map, in addition to the World Map.

Happy killing, Typhoonandrew.

Lore question: Why the Dragon Soul?

A long time ago I read the books where the Dragon Soul (later called the Demon soul) was used by Deathwing to fight and subjugate the other dragon aspects, the puny elves, and the hordes of the Burning Legion.Then after much heroic effort a human destroyed it using a scale from Blackwing.

What I remember was that Deathwing was immune to the dragon/demon-soul’s abilities, as he chose to not add his own power to it when it was forged, as he wanted to have the talisman for nefarious deeds. This is why it was his scale that was able to destroy the talisman.

Why then would Deathwing be vulnerable to the Dragon Soul now? I don’t get it.

p4.3 Rogue only legendary? Balderdash

There are a heap of posts around today about a Rogue legendary in patch 4.3.

If you believe the rumors the lore is still being worked out, the plan is draft, and they’ll work out the details soon. Then the post, which was originally from the Escapist Mag got pulled.

Sorry you leather stealthy guys, I call balderdash on this.

To release any Legendary into the game this quickly will seem rushed. The caster staff was telegraphed well in advance. As were the Hammer in Ulduar, the Axe from ICC, and basically all the other Legendary items were not added on a whim. Warglaives of Az anyone? Don’t Rogues already have access to a weapon that is darn useful for them (at the time).

Some have said that it is due to the lack of Rogues participating in raids, but hey – news flash – this won’t change that now in a way that will “fix” it for patch 4.3.

Also to release a Legendary for a single class is totally odd to the previous design behaviour too. Its so out of character that I’d bet a warm dinner that this is not true.

Conversely if this is true, what does this say about the planning and development methods? Words like rushed, decided, patch, are not what players wish to read, and I think there would be a better response to the Rogue population, and an overall better acceptance of this if a Rogue weapon was planned for the 5.0 game. In the next expansion I can see a weapon usable by Agi melee being viable.

DMF adds new Heirlooms?

Ah what a good rumor – so much so I hope its true. Psynister Notebook is blogging that their will be new heirloom rings and legs added as part of the Darkmoon Fair. He has already written a comprehensive guide to heirloom items, and with these our alts and twinks should be even better geared. Or is that overgeared?

New Rings and Legs for 1-85 are most welcome. I couldn’t see the declaration specifically in the Wowhead post he’s referenced, but there are links to Rings and Legs within Wowhead, so it is not beyond the call at all (eg. New Tanking Legs). Far more likely than the next expansion being based upon Pandas at the very least.

Do we have enough Heirloom gear now though?

A typical character can be outfitted already in a brutally powerful set of items, to the point where they are typically well above the power of a character not using them. Now I don’t have an issue with this at all, but wonder if the plan is to eventually give us a full Heirloom set that is a matched style and function. Boots, bracers, added in, and then revise (or upgrade / trade-in) the older heirlooms to function from 1 to Max level.

I’d personally love to see it, and think that the slow addition of extra gear is another way we’re being encouraged to stay in the game. It is not a bad strategy – don’t over nurf the content or XP too much, but instead offer players a tool to accelerate through the content should they choose to. No free levels, but certainly fast levels.

It just remains to question what the currency for the heirlooms will be. I hope it stays as Justice points, but could see those pesky darkmoon tokens being used too.

I’ll be reading the patch notes specifically for that now.