Slowly is the only way to go

Thanks to a guildie (hello Tarc) I have completed the Nalak phase of the Legendary quest and am now killing bosses again in Throne of Thunder LFR for the x12 bling-things part. Twelve, that is better than Twenty; right?

Well yes and no. There is no indication that the drop rate is better or worse, unless you suspect that the change to an auto-drop from Lei-Shen might indicate that these little tokens were even more rare that the 20x odd of the previous type. I got the first one last night from Lei-Shen and I guess I’m ok with it taking 12 weeks to get the others. I like Legendaries to be hard and painful. Patch 5.4 will likely be out in production before I reach 12x drops, so I’ll hopefully be able to use the cloak in p5.4 content.

From a lore perspective I do not understand how it makes sense that Wrathion would ask for this many too. I mean there are 12 bosses, and these are rare things, and they drop from bosses only…and somehow we got 20x of them. No wonder Wrathion has us doing this, it is not logical in the setting. I bet he is amazed! Not a new theme though if I remember the Hand of Sulfuras correctly either.

Happy killing, TyphoonAndrew

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You want hardcore? Then burn

Divine Plea as a post about the QQ on Nurfs. I agree mostly. The qq on the nurf makes me mad too, especially when it comes from folks who were in no way even close to being negatively affected; so I commented:

How about this – Blizzard rolls back the nurfs on HMs, in fact they increase them. Make HMs so brutal that only 0.25% of the player base can stand it, and add a month long attunement to them as well. You want a way to prove how godlike you are, fine. I hope Blizzard gives it to you in spades.

You want hardcore? Where is the limit, and what about your neighbor’s limit? Oh, right, screw your neighbour…its all about you.

Mostly I mean that. But a little of me knows that there is a rational argument for why its not OK to just sweep the nurf bat around. I suspect it is mainly the timing and the lack of notice that is the real issue for some players. If they’d known about it sooner, or perhaps if it had happened at the same time as 4.3 they’d care a lot less. If their personal progression was a little faster, they’d be less bothered?

By no means am I having a bitch or rant, I’m actually finding this change to be a very interesting way to understand the players. People are coming out on all sides with great perspectives on the affects – this “drama” shows us more about the shades of grey.

Progression is somewhat an illusion. Some people fight to get 7/7, and others fight to get as far as they can, and others fight until they must sleep. It is relative. There are darn handy websites who track your exact progression relative to others, relative to every other bloody guild playing the game. You want an idea of your progression? Then track and measure yourself by your server ranking. Then Battlegroup, then Region, and then across the playerbase. Then you’ll know where you sit.

If you are 5/7 now, you’ll probably get 7/7 soon after the nurf, and if you are progressing based upon competition with others, or for some sort of experience validation – then this change should have no real affect.

…but then I know it will in the back of your mind, and I know that it still feels wrong somehow. Like an itch you just can’t scratch, it drives you to say and do things that are unusual. All I can offer to you folks is the advice that you’ll get another chance in patch 4.3.

All this talk of progression and difficulty also makes me think that along with an Easy mode for Raids, perhaps we could see a DEATH-MODE as well. There are the fights where the bosses are just bastards. They’d be like me as a DnD games master after too much sugar and not enough sleep. Giant blue lightning bolts from the sky…indoors!

Give me a Total-Party-Kill counter in the GUI.

A rolling debuff that must slay a team mate at a random time in the fight, so you don’t get to “save” a res.

An artificial latency increase by 500ms.

And fire…more fire than you’ve seen since the first rpgs were written.

and Burn.

I see nothing wrong with giving the really cutting edge guys quasi-impossible tasks that mere mortals are not meant to do. In fact don’t even give them a reward for it, the suffering and final completion are the reward.

Or just the suffering. Happy killing (now with 30% less hit points).

Easy mode raiding, why not?

Blessing of Kings has a nice post about a way to have more transient raiding – its a good read, and worth considering.The post is well thought out, comprehensive, and clear.

If not found in wow, it could be a feature of other MMOs that seek to entertain a more casual play style, which would be a draw card in my opinion. World of Warcraft has most of what would be needed already, or is coming soon in patch 4.3. Odd eh?

As an extension of BoK’s ideas – it would not be too much of a stretch to add Easy mode raids (let the hate fly!).

I know that people might hate the idea of dumbing down the content for casuals (just read the forums), and many raiders would be darn pissy with the idea. But think, if the rewards were less, achievements different, and the lockouts different – the easy mode raids would allow for learning, some side-grades, and a sense of theme and plot without a monumental increase in effort. Where is the difference between Easy mode, vs the Normal and Hard modes when the lockouts were separate for 10s and 25s. Some players thought 10 man fight on Normal were already easy mode. Same people probably hate this idea too – with potentially valid reasons from their perspective.

There would be no direct negative impact on the Normal and Hardmode raiders, except the nudge to their ego. To them the kids in the sandpit playing at war (and eating dirt) are happy, as they are playing a separate game. Yes, it would require tuning to make sure that easy was not trivial, but it would not impact the Normal and the Hard raiders.

An easier mode is different from the “Buff of Nerfage” that Icecrown had. That was an end of expansion way to ensure that everyone could play through content, and it was good too. The buff applied across all, whereas a Easy mode would allow more people time to fight and learn the bosses before the rush at the end. Some guilds may even just complete Easy mode and be happy – that content might be enough for some. For others it will be a step ladder into the content. It would also remove the need to add a “Buff of Nerfage” at the end of the content patches – why bother. If all you want to do is kill the boss, then switch to Easy mode and see the content’s theatrical style. No way in hell you’d be considered a Hardcore raider, but you’d still see it.

Even as I write this I have doubts too though. Who would use it? Would the achievement of Easy mode be considered more a brand of failure than none at all? Would enough people use it instead of Normal and Hard to justify the time investment?

The casualisation of wow has had an affect on a lot of players, and there are as many perspectives as there are players on what the right choice is. facts about subscriber numbers may influence the choices made in the coming patches and expansions too. We’ve already seen a change to threat that some folks don’t like, but others (such as myself) think are excellent. Is this casualisation? Probably, and it helps keep me paying my subscription every month.

One limiting factor that I don’t think was good in the end in Cata was the shared lockout for 10s and 25s. There were ways in Wrath to pug those odd 10s and 25s so that you had extra opportunities to gear. When the shared lockout was first described I thought it might have benefits, but I’ve come around to the opinion that having a wide range of options is actually better than having a strictly defined path. Perhaps the Easy offers a similar option, a separate lockout for Easy mode. This way a low geared toon (all those alts) would run the Easy mode to get basic rewards and confirm their literacy for their role, and then be able to migrate into Normals when they were ready.

For easy mode gear rewards it would make sense to me that the gear drops should not be any higher than the current 5 mans which are considered “hard”. As we’re in p4.2 that means 353 rewards if it existed now. The idea is not to use the gear as a reason to raid, but to offer alternatives to the basic 5 mans that expose the content. Training wheels? Yes, for sure.

I would also expect that Bind on Equip gear would not drop so as to not flood the market. And the gold rewards would be significantly reduced so that farming was not attractive at all. Likewise the quests that were needed for special story paths would not complete in easy mode either.

I would have also liked a Normal and Heroic mode for the ZA/ZG 5 mans too, but I guess the same time in tuning and scaling would have been needed – with a low potential audience. A scaled approach such as  ZA/ZG Normal offering 346 and Heroic with 353 is not a terrible idea. It changes nothing about the step up, but makes the ZA/ZG part of the runs that a PvE player uses to get geared.

So Easy mode raids…way off base, or something that you’d use? Let me know.

Death Knight 3.1.2 live – nurfed but not lost

dk-symbolThe 3.12 went from PTR to live, and before I ranted about it having an affect on DPS I thought it best to at least try an instance. After all we’re all used to and accept that 60% of blog posts are rants about something. (I want to save my rants for politics and clams changes)

Well after a 10 man run in Ulduar I can say for certain that the Tier set adjustment from 10 RP to 5 RP is a nurf, and had a noticeable affect on my Death Knight’s performance. Nurf confirmed.

Q. But how serious is the nurf?
A. Not breaking, but easy to feel.

I’m guessing it dropped approx 250 dps, but don’t have a wide enough spread of data to back that opinion.

The real affect was the change in what abilities are used when. Previously I could sneak Death Coils in and keep Unholy Blight ticking easily, without too much stress. I could keep the Gargoyle well fed on RP at the same time as doing a normal set of strikes.

Not any more. Now I will learn to plan ahead a lot more in my Rune Power usage, and to accept that swinging with white damage hits is ok. Previously there was an ability to be clicked every time the GCD was available. Now I watch the regen of runes, to get my next best strike or power; and

I know that it was enough for me to think that I was not performing as well as I should and but good enough for me to still be worth taking along.

Planned 3.1.2 Death Knight change nurf

MMO Champion has the 3.1.2 planned changes, (which are on PTR?) and one thing in particular pisses me off. [Rant incoming]

Death Knights

  • Tier 7 DPS Bonus changed to : Your Obliterate, Scourge Strike, and Death Strike generate an additional 5 Runic Power when used. (Down from 10 Runic Power)
  • Tier 8 DPS bonus changed to : Increases the critical strike chance of Death Coil and Frost Strike by 8%. (Up from 5%)

Why in hell change the RP return from the Tier 4 DPS bonus?

This is an awesome set bonus, that was valuable for all DK specs. The RP generation was not overpowered. Consider that every Death Knight spec has to use RP in core abilities in whatever role that are doing. RP generation is pivotal. For Death Knights its the same as mana, except we don’t get it for standing still in a passive manner, we need to use abilities to get RP.

The RP buff helped the Unholy ability Gargoyle a lot. It made Gargoyle a good choice, rather than a somewhat difficult gimmick. With a RP reduction the likelihood of Gargoyle being up for its potential full duration is lower, and that means overall dps is reduced. Most fights have movement, unexpected stuff, strange affects and that makes RP generation a tad less easy.

So DKs get a nurf in our current best gear, which reduces our contribution to progression, and in no way changes the expectation by others that Death Knights should be able to be a solid dps class. Its a nurf to Death Knights just when we’re doing the hardest content, fucking stupid.

(And don’t bother with a QQ comment on the blog, you’ll get deleted. The asshat knows who he is, and knows his comments never see the light of day.)

Oh, but wait TyphoonAndrew – your T8 bonus is increased! Isn’t that OK?

No. It might be nice to raise the dps on a set that almost nobody has, and I have no idea how good the T8 bonus is. But I know exactly how useful and diverse the T7 is, and thats why I’m pissed.

I suspect that the reason for this is that we’re all reading that DKs are better off keeping the 4 set bonus from T7 instead of T8 – so now they nurf one, and increase the other. Now that would be a really shitty thing to do, and basically a screw up.

Can somebody tell me where the justification is for this change? In detail?

Some tooltip information got changed as well for Death Knights, but only to reflect what we already read about in the last patch, so no big deal..

Oh no, not again.

Seems that Ret Paladin are getting the nurf that the forums cried out for. And I don’t mean an adjustment, or a conservative change, or a series of tweaks. Its a fully blooded destruction of the class that reached beyond Ret pvp (where there were major issues), beyond Ret pve raiding (where there were adjustments needed), and right into Prot tanking (which was just getting good), and into Holy (which needed a dps boost).

Its right back to Blizzard saying they think they know where the class is going, and has a vision for it. Sure, I see your vision:

– Ret: melee dps without snare, cc, intercept, or flee abilities. Fun? maybe.

– Prot: tanking was really good, but being still grounded in abilities that are affected by every other spec change means that there is potential for damage to Prot in every other change. And then boosting aoe tanking of other classes (which needed it), and adding a new class to tank. Right, so who is looking for a Paladin tank when the other tanks are around?

– Holy: being a good single target healer. Same old story.

WoW Insider has a good post about this.

Continue reading

Hunter just need Healing

Reading the upcomming changes, it seems all classes are getting adjusted. As you’d expect. However there is one class that seems to be getting a heck of a lot of love, and very little in the way of downward adjustment. Hunters.

Dps when solo, dps in arena, dps in raids, battlegrounds, etc. Crowd control in many ways, and one of the best aggro dumps in the game, which doubles as a free “oh shit” button when a wipe is occuring. Mana return, so minimal down time, stuns, the list goes on. Continue reading