Popular content observation


I read recently that WoW will be concentrating on scenarios rather than 5 mans. It started a pleasing debate over on the wow forums.It is worth a read through.

Quick thought – I think that the only reason people do scenarios and even 5 mans more than a few times is because they reward Valor points. The time/valor point is good, the experience is repetitive in the extreme. I know this is how I play, because as soon as I cap my Valor points each week I stop doing 5 mans and Scenarios.

Not true? So test this by removing the Valor reward from Scenarios and 5 mans for a patch and see how many people do them every day. Just because people are doing the content does not mean it is good, it means it is a means to an end.

(this was interesting from that thread – Sharmarli):

At this point I’m not really doing Scenarios or Heroics.  I have never done heroics this expansion (total of 9 I think when I got drug into guild runs) While I did a large number of scenarios initially to help gear up this Char the only reason I’ve been running since about the end of  November has been for quick valor points.

With the release of 5.2, however, I haven’t even been doing scenarios for the most part.  If I need extra VP I just go and kill the Isle rares for the 15VP books (made 135 VP last night in about 30-40 min of actual play time:  killed 6, went and made dinner, came back and killed 3 more).

Building new content should be an inbuilt part of the expected dev cycle. I know there is less money in the pot then before, but 8.5 million players is still a heck of a lot of players by any stretch of the imagination.

The devs have done great things by giving players more choice on how to earn these points, but we still need them. The old statement that Valor grinding is not “mandatory” is as silly today as it was before, we just have a wider range of ways to perform than grind.




Guide to Temple of the Jade Serpent

I’ve created an idiot’s guide to Temple of the Jade Serpent, so that I can remember the important stuff and look less silly. Over time I’ll add/update more guides on that page too; no promises on time frame though. Enjoy.

Honest note: This information is from reading pages and watching videos rather than playing through the instance, and as such it is a starting set of notes. I expect there to be errors and information missing. My goal was to not go in totally blind.

If you don’t like half-baked summaries then Ten Ton Hammer has a summary with much more lore and detail, see the link at the bottom of the post. I think Kill Adds ASAP is often all you need to know.

Of course when I find glaring errors I’ll update them here.

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

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.

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Warcraft’s Dungeon Difficulty

I’ve been trying to write a post about the difficulty of heroic 5 mans for a very long time, but kept deleting them as they ended up being too much of a rant (even for my standards – sheesh).

With the initial release of Cataclysm expansion, then the exposure to Heroic modes the dungeons felt fairly tough, and at the many in the community saw this as good and a return to the difficulty of The Burning Crusade. Then the Trolls were released and they made the other dungeons seem friendly. There was a slow softening of the mechanics in the old dungeons too.

As its still on my mind this post has two parts; the first was my initial impressions when the cataclysm dungeons were released, and the second is where my head is now that we’re about to get the last 3 dungeons for this expansion. Continue reading

Are the 5 mans fixed?

The original basis for this post on 5 man difficulty was drafted well before 4.2 was released, in fact it was just after launch of Cataclysm. In that first draft I was very angry and frustrated with the encounters, and could not name a single boss fight which I found challenging and entertaining at the same time.

As the content was tweaked in the early days of patch 4.0 it did not get much better, but when 4.1 was released (ZA/ZG 5 mans) there was a substantial change in the staging of the older 5 mans to make a progressive path through the gearing process. I re-edited the draft with less anger, adjusted for some of the changes, and then added back in the frustration and disappointment when I pondered ZA and ZG as experiences themselves.

ZA and ZA felt like mini-raids, which were designed to push players and punish them hard when execution was not perfect. Even if the actual encounter mechanics were partially random, the players were still punished. Poor design in my opinion, and something that I hope more than just a few in the Warcraft community have experienced and would agree with.

Now that 4.2 is live we have a range of small changes to some aspects of the 5 mans, and also easier access to gear, which in turn helps mitigate the poor encounter design. As you might be lucky enough to have a team that partially over gears the encounters, you can somewhat reduce the impact a mistake has, and potentially not outright wipe. This is no replacement for good encounters, it is just a happy side effect of players getting better gear.

Today I’ve decided to post this reflection on 5 man runs, as the feeling has been consistent throughout the Cataclysm expansion in a way I have not experienced before. TBC and Wrath did not feel like this. It is a personal taste on how you view the content, and also how well you feel the”curve” is being handled.

The main angst I feel toward the 5 man content is that to continue my goal of gearing up I must do these, yes they are frustrating at times. My goal of gear is conflicting with my sense of entertaining play. So once again we have two factors: Gear & fun as key parts of the discussion.

Continue reading