Patch, Token, and Guild

It has been almost a week between posts, as a deliberate strategy to not smash a few folks in the head using text, to calm down a bit, and to reflect on what we’re about to get from Wow’s patch 5.2. The stupidity indicator in my mental framework was flashing warning yellow all last week, and moved to match the aggro indicator in red on Friday and Saturday. Nothing to post here except that I have maintained my intolerance for liars, thieves, and real estate agents (do real life things get an interest here from readers? – I’m not sure).

In good news our guild’s raid team is getting stronger again thanks to some players returning from hiatus and also switching back after looking for greener pastures. That is a minor compliment of sorts as I do not think many folks quite a guild then return, and it also shows that the remaining players are good enough to accept them back. Kind of proud of what our GM and the officers have built. Kudos to all folks, and welcome to the recent arrivals.

[ … The angry part of my lizard-brain wants to suggest that some of these folks left guild for a reason and we’re still the same people, and that it might open us to more drama. Well yes, you lizard bastard, shut it. I choose to see this as positive and good. Circumstances and people are not the same between two different days of the week. Do I judge a person once and keep that sentiment forever? Sounds like a path to a boring and unhappy life.

Lizard-brain is a term I stole from a sci-fi novel where the storyteller explains basic animalistic reactions we have like attraction, anger response, survival, and such as being powered by the lizard-brain rather than the reason. I really like it. Eat, food, lunch… ]

For the raid team it means strength and diversity. We are stronger is a very practical sense as I am hoping that the more casual players (myself included) will be able to be slackers again. I love raiding, but hate that I let the team down with an early finish time each raid. It is a pain for everyone. The advantage of having 12-13 players in a raid team vs 8-10 is irrefutable. I still plan to be online and sub-in when needed, but can slip away when I need to in prep for the early starting work day.

We also get diversity from (hopefully) adding more classes to our mix. We lack a regular Warlock and a regular Paladin in the raid team, two classes of the three on one of the tier tokens. This means that our resident Priest is bloody well geared in main and offspec. Good for him too I say, but sheesh we had a lot of Mages, Druids, Death Knights in the runs. We don’t have a lot of Rogues, but then does anyone?

Tokens – T15 tier tokens seem to be reusing the classes of the T14 Tokens. Well shit, that’s just poor. I was hoping against all historic precedent that it would be switched around for each Tier in Pandaria. yes, I know that is a bitch for some teams, but for us it means we’re over saturated in a few classes for the entire expansion.

The class mix is:

  • Token A – Rogue, Death Knight, Mage, Druid
  • Token B – Warrior, Hunter, Shaman, Monk
  • Token C – Paladin, Priest, Warlock

I maintain that the tokens should be for any class, and let the raiders divvy them around. But hey, I’m just a casual and don’t understand what “real” raiders want. Sarcasm.

Appearance wise I maintain that the DK tier set looks dumb. I’ll revise that in game when I see it on screen – for now the teeth look lost. The human figure looks like it is half eaten. The armour is also inelegant. Did the designers run out of skulls for Death Knight gear and have a heap of Hunter teeth left over? Perhaps they ordered too many.

A positive is that the models match our spec choices, which makes transmog use somewhat appealing. There – I said something positive about the dental mistake that T15 is for Death Knights.

T15-DK-Helms-nom-nom-nom-nom

(Help! I’m stuck inside this abstract sculpture of teeth, and all I have is floss)

Looking forward I am anticipating the T15 raids to be good. The hype machine has certainly been telling me that they are fantastic, and I’m happy to take that expectation to heart. The content devs have even been doing the promo interviews amongst the big blogs and shows to demonstrate how much of a push T15 has. It had a promotion vid and also an official video too. Effort has been made by Blizzard, will it be enough?

The smaller changes in Patch 5.2 are interesting too.

Old patterns becoming available from Blacksmithing is meh, as it added no additional raid patterns (meaning ilevel 476+) out of the gate. I have no use for an ilevel 463 item now, and now also cannot upgrade that item as the upgrade vendor has left. That means it’s LFR or nothing for the quick upgrades. Whatever – don’t argue it, I get it. It shits me that the system was offered in the first place to act only as a patch jump.

When we see T16 replace T15 the gear divide from new level 90 to raider will be even wider, and there is a likely scenario where new patterns and the upgrade vendor will return. A telling mistake in previous patches was the time to get from newbie through to raider very late in the expansion’s life. Plans can be made to mitigate that.

I’m also a bit underwhelmed by the Archaeology changes for the Klaxxi. Here is a race that used to serve and worship the Old Ones as gods when they were active on the planet, and the archy material is a few new items and some achievements? Lost opportunity to do fantastic stuff right there.

Heck, the entire last Tier could be Klaxxi + Garrosh with aplomb. Imagine if T16 is a hash of old gods and the rejection of Garrosh by the Horde. It stinks of a good story. Even better if Garrosh is not thrown out because of being corrupted by old gods, but because of his own ambition. Let Garrosh raise alone to attempt to rule all of Azeroth, let him burn all before him, let his drive for power and absolute rule be the force that compels his followers and emboldens his naysayers.

Actually now that I read that, leave the Klaxxi/Old Gods out of it, and lets see a true natural menace appear in the world again. Garrosh can be the return to a true evil overlord in the story. No cop-out corruption, or misguided passion for purity. Give me a downright evil bastard and I’d consider switching factions to Horde just to feel the story of betrayal. Perhaps T15 bosses will open a few stories when they start falling…

Happy killing, TyphoonAndrew Continue reading

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New t14 set bonuses

Tier 15 death knight DPS bonuses are now (ptr): better.

Death Knight T15 DPS 2P Bonus – Your attacks have a chance to raise the spirit of a fallen Zandalari as your Death Knight minion for 15 sec.

Death Knight T15 DPS 4P Bonus – Your Soul Reaper ability now deals additional Shadow Damage to targets below 45% instead of below 35%. Additionally, Killing Machine now also increases the critical strike chance of Soul Reaper.

Thoughts are:

  • dps-2 – A freebie ghoul is cool, however the degree by which this is actually useful and effective is subject to each encounter’s mechanics. The base dps increase might be good, but that will be subject to stuns, movement, tricks, special roles, etc. It is a bit meh, but I can see some use.
  • dps-4 – An increase to Soul Reaper is great, especially with the crit chance increased. Sounds darn good.
  • Both – it is good that both abilities are not granting a special extra button/ability – I hate that. The change in play to use Soul Reaper is something that we’ll see wash up as a boost, and I suspect it will be a great boost. Fights where there are many things to sequentially kill (Garalon’s legs) really shine for SR.

Death Knight Tier 13 Set Bonuses

Death Knight Tier 13 bonuses, as published by WoW Joystick (or whatever that blog’s name is now):

  • Blood, 2P — When an attack drops your health below 35%, one of your Blood Runes will immediately activate and convert into a Death Rune for the next 20 sec. This effect cannot occur more than once every 45 sec.
  • Blood, 4P — Your Vampiric Blood ability also affects all party and raid members for 50% of the effect it has on you.
  • DPS, 2P — Sudden Doom has a 30% chance and Rime has a 60% chance to grant 2 charges when triggered instead of 1.
  • DPS, 4P — Runic Empowerment has a 25% chance and Runic Corruption has a 40% chance to also grant 710 mastery rating for 12 sec when activated.

Overall this looks interesting, and subject to so many smaller factors like up-time and usage that I can’t see any of these as great overall; useful, but not great.

The bonuses also seem somewhat different to some of the other class bonuses in the tier 13. Priests and Hunters specifically seem to have a direct damage increase here, and although I hate to be doing cross class comparison (as its often not at all valid), it does seem odd. Continue reading

T10 Tokens revamp is darn good

The system for the T10 gear has been confirmed a week or so back. Its a two step process, greatly simplified from the t8 and t9 method.

First you purchase the T10a using Emblems of Frost, then you upgrade this item with a special drop from the new instances. This means that causal layers can get the base t10 item, but you need the extra drop to get the best item. Basically 251 for casuals, and 264 for raiders.

I really like this. Two levels that expand on each other, and a way to get good gear for grinds, and then better gear when you get lucky, or spend your dkp.

This is the best thing I’ve heard about the new patch yet.

Old Tier gear and when to upgrade

Blessing of Kings wrote a good quick post on when to replace gear. It got me thinking that…

  • I’ll be breaking my 4xT7.5 set when I have at least 2, probably the 4 set of t8 or t8.5. Before then the bonus is just not worth it for Death Knights from what I’ve read.
  • A factor in that choice, but kind of an aside is a look at the Ulduar gear, and its mostly not impressive for Death Knights. Some of the weapons look great, but I really don’t like seeing Haste and Armour Pen on my gear. Pointless.
  • That said, I think we can get good use of the new and old Tier/gear items before the boss encounters, by using them to create special-sets.

I don’t need to be at the same hit cap on Trash as dps, especially if we’re talking about Heroic trash rather than Raiding trash. Or having an avoidance set for tanking as well as HP set. Those items, and even the old items we replaced with t7/7.5 can still be darn useful.

Tonight I’ll be creating a few strange/exotic sets. Maybe even one built for running low level toons through low instances too that costs less to repair, and has tons and tons of AP and Crit. I have a crappy crafted PvP set that is just filling up my bank, maybe thats the core of my “who cares” set.

This all goes back to being a Paladin and having a few Tank sets and some off-sets on the go at once. I didn’t miss those days, but then I kind of like the idea of getting more use from old-ish gear. Like recycling and re-use to help save pixels/bits and reduce digital pollution?

Nah, bullshit I know. Your thoughts? (have a read and comment at BoK too please)