Started update, gone fishing…

I got up on Wednesday morning (Australian time) and started the World of Warcraft update. Like many folks I had to kick the updater in the guts a few times (started multiple times) so that it would work.

Then I saw the updating file message and was frustrated that after 20 minutes it had not moved from 0%. What in hell?

So rather than staring at the screen, I went to work. I don’t know how long it took, but the game tells me that its done and its 6 hours later. I won’t login until after I get home, eat, say happy things to the family, and then maybe eat more.

Would have been nice to see this start when patch started, but really has zero effect on my gameplay. I’m pleased that the Theramore event is not starting day one of patch 5 either, as I’d be feeling like the delay/outage/issues might rally create a backlash. As it stands now I’ll just read about it.

I was also very confused by the game loader when it replaced the Cata branding with Mists branding. That is silly – I have not purchased Mists as yet so why show me the title? Anyway I’m happy that it should be ready when I am.

Grumble.

Compelling talents, real choices, and diversity.

Stubborn at the Dead Good Tanking Guide posted a great response to the request for class feedback. What impressed me the most was the comment:

Compelling talent choices not on offer elsewhere, mobility other melee dream about and unique utility that can change the face of an encounter.

Oh hell, he said it so bloody well.

To me this mean keeping the play styles of the tanks different. Keep each tank type as different and we’ll see choices again. Those choices might might one class better than others for specific encounters, but overall we’ll have an interesting diversity. The same can be applied to Heals and Dps too. Choice empowers and supports class selection, where limiting controls prohibit it.

That does not mean that classes should not have some parity in abilities though. We do not want a scenario where a single Tank class is so much better (unless its the dks -joke!). Each tank class should have principally the same set of core controls, but the implementation of those controls can be different.

Think of it as the difference between a Requirement and and Solution. The Requirement is a statement of need, typically based upon on a set of broad goals. The solution is the specific method whereby that need will be satisfied.

In Stubborn’s example there is a goal to provide competitive dps, a requirement to allow Warriors to move through the battlefield efficiently, and a requirement to maintain the movement style of the Warrior class. The solution is to grant Warriors a set of abilities and talents that have them charge and leap amongst the melee. That is a key part of the feel of the Warrior way. Some other classes also have charge abilities, or leap abilities, but not all by a long way.

Paladins by example seem to call opponents to them. The Avengers Shield, Consecrate, and such play like a more stoic class. They might be “slower”, but that could also be seen as less “jittery” as well. Your mileage will vary.

Bears have a range of abilities that imitate many of the Warrior abilities, although they have a sub-set that is slightly better suited to AoE. Death Knights are again different, and that is excellent. I’d hate to see Warriors get a Death Grip style ability, and likewise it would not make sense.

Now that my third Tank is level 85 I’m seeing enforcement of my previous opinion that each is totally viable and very different. They all have taunts, AoE capacity, facing issues, movement considerations, cooldowns, resource shortages, and special tricks. Each is pretty darn good at a base level, yet diverse.

I’d like to see an expansion in the diversity, so that the choice of what to do and play remains (or returns to) a valid and powerful choice.

Happy gaming.

Tanking as Blood mandatory in expansion

There will be blood.

Looks like the writing is on the wall for Death Knights who are not using a Blood spec to tank. Blood will be the Tank tree in Cataclysm expansion.

In Cataclysm, death knights will have a dedicated tanking tree, much like the other three tank classes. That tree will be Blood.

This is something that I did not think they’d do, but is easy to understand why. The differences between the tank classes were enough that giving them a semblance of parity was hard; and having DKs witk 3 talent trees just makes that harder still.

In Cataclysm, Blood will be the death knight version of a Protection tree. It will have passive talent tree bonuses that reflect tanking. It will have tools, such as a Demo Shout equivalent, necessary for tanking. Several of the more fun tanking talents from Frost and Unholy will be moved into Blood. We will be able to revise (or even remove) clunky mechanics like Rune Strike and focus on letting DKs generate threat with their normal Blood tanking rotation.

Which is why I can accept that something had to be done – but sheesh, it is a big call. Huge call, I expect to see some Death Knights who step away from the class due to this. Could be worth getting as much value from your non-blood tanking now. :)

So DKs will probably have a tank, pve, and pvp tree. I can see Unholy being the PvE and Frost as the PvP talent trees.

This is a tad too much of a change from the cool almost-any-tree which they have now; but then it would not be the first time a class has been totally re-worked during an expansion.

Does make me think that with Frost talents having dual wield, will we also see dual-wield as only viable in one spec, or will it be retained as a concept for both Tank and DPS, or even pvp and pve?

We’re just not sure yet on DW Blood tanking or 2H Frost dps. Certainly our main focus will be to make sure 2H Blood tanking and DW Frost dps work, but we’re not likely to crack down on alternate uses of those specs. We’re not sure that a Blood DW style could work without talents that allow for strikes with both weapons, but we’ll see. It should be a fun beta. :)

Like most posts this raises more questions for me than answers; and I can’t wait to see more. Can I get a beta key maybe? probably not, but one can wish.

  • Where will two weapon be used? I have 2x one hander ilevel 232 tank weapons that I’d like to take for a spin.
  • What happens to Frost presence as the Tanking presence?
  • Couldn’t the mastery bonus be based upon the presence that the DK uses, rather than the talent tree if they wished to keep 3 viable Tank trees?

Sourced from mmo-champion

80 Prot Paladin Talent Build

Now that Diamon (my Paladin) is 80 and patch 3.3.3 is live it is time to update the Protection Paladin talent build. Once again I’ve read through forums, and the base build is pretty steady, but there are a ton of variations for a Tank build.

Here is a Tank build I’m planning to use for Diamon. Like most builds it uses the Retribution talent tree for additional powers and that makes threat building easier.

Now no build is good without some explanation, so here goes:

  1. I’ve seen builds that have more points in Crusade and Seal of Command. This seems to me to be a build for when you’re never out of mana, and also looking for maximum threat. That is not my case as a new Paladin tank, so I’ve taken some points out of these areas.
  2. I did however put a point in Conviction, as a 1% crit chance is always a great thing.
  3. If I was being totally selfless as a new 80 tank, I would have taken at least some points in Divinity in the Prot tree, as it increases the healing that the Paladin receives. But meh, most runs have very over-geared toons, so and I’d rather match the pace of the run to the gear and spec of the characters than try to stay alive the most.
  4. On the flip side of that is choosing a Glyph for reduced cooldown on Lay of Hands. I can’t think of a handier ability for a protection paladin. The self heal is huge, and having that power more often is a godsend.
  5. Some builds will only have 1 rank of Spiritual Attunement, but I want and need both points.
  6. An alternate could also be to put some points into the improved Seal of Vengeance in the Holy tree, but I rate Crusade’s 2% to all and 4% to Undead as a better bonus.

Much of what is good in Tankadins is available for easy reading at MainTankadin.failsafedesign.com.

This post is an update to my previous post for a level 70 spec from October 2008.

Why not restructure Death Knight talent trees?

dk-symbol Over a quiet sandwich and cake today for lunch I pondered why Death Knights have three talent trees that each can tank and dps. In isolation I love the concept; it give a variety of choice and flavour to the the class. The choice of Blood, Unholy, Frost makes the Death Knights feel different.

Our choice of Presence already has such a great influence on what we can do – and I really appreciate that I can switch from an Off-tank to a Dps role at different stages in the same fight by switching my Presence. And if it all goes badly for the main tank, a DK can switch back to Frost Presence and be in Meat-Wall mode almost immediately.

But when compared to other classes it seems odd when I think of it. No other class can do this at the moment (although Druids get close by cat-bear). Now I realise that for some true hybrid classes the talent trees are how they specifically split roles, so a true comparison against Druids, Pallys, etc, is not really affective. But many classes have a Healing talent tree which is not suited to dps when selected.

Is the three tree all role potential perhaps part of the undefined “heroic” feel? Maybe, I’ve not really followed the bait-and-switch discussions on what is a hero class for a long time.

I am not calling for a nurf. Far from it, I’m wary of anything where downward adjustment can occur. But I think this is something that might make Death Knights stronger. A more concentrated and solidified talent structure.

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Patch 3.1 spec for Shadow Priest

priest_iconThere is not a huge list of talent changes for the Shadow Priests in 3.1, which means that the standard choices remain almost unaffected. I will not be initially buying dual spec, as I have to save up the cash. So when I have a 2nd spec to worry about I’ll post that. I’m thinking a heavy Disc build, but will have to see what the community thinks of the Holy changes.

My Shadow Priest is wearing crappy gear, and in no way represents the typical gear level, stats, or itemisation needs. Thus if you are well geared you will want to consider some serious changes. This spec is more for a Shadow Priest who is still getting to, or just questing at 80.

DPS: 14/0/57 Shadow with Inner Focus and no Shadow Affinity

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Cat (Feral) Druid Talent Build

Update 4: The infomation here is not current for Cataclysm, as I have not played a dps Cat yet. The best advice I can give you to find an effective definitive starting point is to read the Druid – Cat EJ forums, and then use a tool like Mr Robot or Rawr to load your character and optimise.

Pay close attention to the discussion on Hit and Expertise requirements, as these have changed and sometimes the tools will not reflect the updates. And gem for strength (just kidding – don’t).

In an effort to respec now that we’re live in 3.0.2, here is the build that I will initially be using for my Druid, who is a cat dps role.

The huge question I have is this build gimp’ed because of the choice to still use Omen of Clarity?

Update 3: I’m tooling around with my Druid again, which means more Cat specs will be looked at and updated. Tanking has more appeal than Cat at the moment, but as a Level 75 Cat, no way I’m changing to a proper Bear spec when a hybrid feral build will do the trick.

Update 2: In light of some feedback, and general tooling around I have a new spec. Omen of Clarity is dropped out for Bersek. Still not sold on some of the differences between mine and other specs, but as yet I have not raided pve with a Cat.

Update 1:   As 3.1.1 is here, consider this spec out of date. I’m sure the basics will be ok, but I’m not claiming this is accurate anymore. Instead go have a look at Altosis’s DPS build for Cats. It has a breakdown of talents, a build link, and he’s playing Cat far more than I am.

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Shadow Priest Talent Build

An attempt at a Shadow build for level 70s. (Edit: As 3.1 is fast approaching, consider this spec out of date. I’m sure the basics will be ok, but I’m not claiming this is accurate anymore).

I wanted the Silence ability, but need to know if it is worth sacrificing the points from other areas; at the moment its not.

Dispersion is not worth the last point in a tree as far as I can tell (Dispersion is wonderful, I was wrong), and I’m happy to be wrong later. It would be a far more affective ability if it also reduced the Threat the Priest has on the target too. Then I can see it as a great way to ramp up your damge, then take a short breather while your mana pops up 36%. That will hopefully stack with the mana return you’re normally getting and the Meditation and TV abilities. In its current form its crappy.

Update: Adding the spec I’ll go with till further notice. Whats different?

- no reduced threat, my gear is not putting me anywhere near threat capped and unless you’ve broken +1000 damage you won’t be either from what I can tell.

- no increased range on shadow spells, mostly in runs its ok to be far away. Only in a few fights I can think of its a real issue, and in those you just need to move like the melee dps (murmur, prince, etc).

- added back in Silence, and so happy about it. Doing the Sunwell Attack Plans against casters is easy mode with silence. I can see why people roll Blood Elves.

- Added back in Dispersion, as its proven to be a good toy and I think I’ll get real milage out of it.

Affliction Warlock Talent Build

Looking at the Affliction tree for Warlocks at 70, its seriously fun times. The tree has gained some potentially powerful spells, and the opportunity is present for Affl-Locks to construct strange and bizarre spell rotations. Much like the Paladin build earlier I’m taking a punt on a build. This setup was copied from a L80 setup for Afflict raiding, and I can see easily why its potent.

Edit: As 3.1 is fast approaching, consider this spec out of date. I’m sure the basics will be ok, but I’m not claiming this is accurate anymore.

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