Archive for February, 2009

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This Week in Raiding: Sarth + 2 Drakes!

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

It’s been a while since I’ve done a “This Week in Raiding” post!  But now it seems I’m finally back to a regular raiding schedule, so I will hopefully be able to keep writing these, as long as something interesting happens.

And there were certainly some interesting things this week!

Tuesday was Naxx as usual.  However, your guild leader/master looter was sick, so I volunteered to take the role.  I figured out pretty quickly that having a separate chat window that displays only Raid Warnings and whispers is extremely helpful for keeping things organized.  Then I can see who said what without having to sift through everything else!  I’m pretty sure Pilsner does something similar already.

Luckily, most decisions were pretty easy.  Most people have the gear they want, so may things went to offspec (everyone just roles for offspec) or to the disenchanter.  However, when we killed Patchwerk… [Arrowsong].  I said at the end of last week that if I didn’t see a new ranged weapon to replace my stupid [Zombie Sweeper Shotgun], I would kill someone.

However, I wasn’t the only hunter.  I honestly don’t want to get into the details, but there was an issue and the other 2 loot council members put me in a really awkward position.  And meanwhile, the raid went on to kill the next boss without waiting for me, which I was pretty upset about as well.

In the end, I was forced to give myself [Arrowsong], and while I was so looking forward to getting a new ranged weapon, and I should be super excited right now… it was a bitter victory, and the weapon is tainted to me.  Honestly, I can’t wait to be rid of it.

Wednesday night was just more of the same ol’ Naxx, although we did managed to get [Heroic: The Hundred Club] and [Heroic: Just Can't Get Enough].  Kel dropped some pretty gear that most hunters would be glad to see drop, [Betrayer of Humanity], [Drape of the Deadly Foe] and [Crown of the Lost Protector], but I opted out of them because there were obviously people who needed them more than me (and I already have the helm).

Thursday night was a very short night.  Sarth+2.  We were determined to get it this week, we did pretty well in our attempts last week, but this week it was a certain thing!  The first two attempts were quite depressing, but our third had marked improvement and, well, 4th times a charm, right? :)   Unfortunately I ate a Flame Wave from WITHIN the stupid portal and that took me out right at the beginning of the second drake… so I was an observer for about half the battle.  But I’m really glad we got it… maybe we’ll get 3 next week!

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On Dual-specs: Changing on the fly

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

The idea of dual-specs hasn’t really been a huge concern for me.  When it was announced, I mostly just thought it’d be nice to have a second spec for my priest but didn’t think much of it.

But now that the PTR is live, the prospect of dual-specs is much more real.  I’ve had time to think it over, how it’s going to affect the game as whole, and specifically how it will affect me.

After reading /hug‘s post about Dual-specs, which lead me to Big Bear Butt‘s post on Dual specs, which then lead me to the post on Forever a Noob about the topic, I started to really develop my thoughts on the issue.  Or rather, on the issues within the issue.

Aurik‘s post was mostly in support, or at least, not against dual specs.  While I think his post was a little more self-oriented, about how they won’t encounter these specific problems himself – which is fine, and I am in a similar boat, I won’t personally be hugely affected.  But nevertheless, there are problems that will occur, and that can’t be denied.

Dual specs in general – I am a big supporter of.  If it means an easier method of switching between your PvP and PvE, or your raiding and grinding specs, I’m all for that.  It’ll make a smoother transition for those changes, with the new item rack and glyph swapping and bar swapping.  I’m all for making things more convenient.

What am I against?  Mid-raid respecing.  Being able to change your spec between one boss fight and the next.  And I have two main reasons for this.

1: Hybrids being pressured into a role they don’t like.

The closest I play to a hybrid is my priest.  He’s a healer.  However, given the choice and ease of dual-specs, I’d love to be able to go shadow for questing.  I find shadow really fun for grinding and questing.  However, I got to be shadow in an instance once, and it was not my cup of tea.

If I was in a raid, happily healing away, and the for some reason it was decided that we didn’t need the extra heals at some point and I was asked to switch to Shadow… well, I’d be upset.  That’s not what I enjoy, that’s not why I’m here.  Also, I just plain don’t know much about being a Shadow Priest.

Now I’m sure there are druids out there that love being a Boomkin.  But ask them to switch to kitty, and they aren’t that happy.  Hybrids are like several different classes in one – and it’s very possible to not like these other classes, even if they’re available to you.  Maybe they like kitty for soloing, that doesn’t mean they’ll enjoy it or be effective at it in a raid environment.

We’ve been surviving for years with single-specs.  Of course some people are quickly willing to change up their spec for a different raid night, and that’s all well and good.  But being able to have a completely different raid composition from fight to fight – it’s just not right.

2: Pure DPS classes becoming fillers, losing preference to hybrids.

While Bear Butt and Dinaer both focused on Mages and Rogues as if they are the only pure DPS classes, Hunters and Warlocks are in the exact same boat.  Sure, we have a pet to help us DPS and to make soloing easier, but in the end, all four classes have roughly the same job -  Kill things quickly.

Yes, we have three different trees as well, and there are differences between each.  But they do not fill different roles.  Unlike the trees for hybrids which focus on different roles that affect everyone, the 12 trees of these 4 DPS classes focus rather on different play styles and preferences about ways to kill stuff, which mostly only affects the player.

As a hunter, my options are: Have my pet help me kill stuff, have my arrows help me kill stuff, or have my traps help me kill stuff.

My mage:  Burn stuff, freeze stuff, or purply-pink explode stuff.

You get the point.

With the restriction of filling one role effectively being removed, why would you choose a pure DPS class over a hybrid?  Because the pure DPS classes put out more DPS than a hybrid ever could?  Given similar gear and skill, this isn’t necessarily the case.  Our Shadow Priests can easily top the charts over rogues and hunters.

In the end…

Again, the problem for me is not the ability to change specs – of course that is already a feature in the game, and always has been.  It’s the ability to change on a whim, or on someone else’s whim.  The fact that they are making it so easy that people will feel that no one has an excuse to not be an expert in two roles or trees.

These issues won’t affect me personally that much.  I have a pretty good guild, and my raid spot is pretty much a sure thing.  I don’t really PUG, and my hybrid class doesn’t really raid, so (as of yet) I don’t have to worry about being forced into Shadow.

But I know people who will be affected. And it will affect me as far as loot council goes.  We’ll have to make sure we know what people have as their offspec, and will have to know how often they use it and give them preference to others, possibly.

My Suggestion

Go back to the original plan: You have to go to your trainer to switch specs.  Make it no more than a more convenient method of swapping specs, which is already clearly a feature in the game.  Make it an improvement rather than a whole new feature.

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You (will) have earned the achievement [A Fool for Love]!

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

This is one of the most exciting undocumented changes on the PTR I’ve heard yet.

From Zarhym’s blue post:

The “Be Mine” achievement now only requires one to obtain six of the eight candies. This change will be retroactive for anyone who obtained at least six of the eight candies last time the event ran.

I’m so excited!  I tried every hour I was awake and home that weekend to try to get this achievement, but the RNG would just not give me that one last candy.  I think it’s a good compromise by Blizzard, saying that you still had to be lucky enough to get some, but you didn’t have to get all of them.

Now I know there’s going to be lots of “that’s unfair!” whining coming up.  “I worked so hard to get all 8 and now you’re making it easy for everyone else!” Blah, blah, blah.

Honestly, I HATE that kind of whining.

First of all, it was not a lot of WORK to get the title, it was a lot of luck.  Sure, you may have gotten up every hour to finally get your 8th candy.  But someone else may have gotten all 8 on their first try.  And someone else may have gotten up even more hours than you and still never saw that one last candy.

If you already have your title, it is not taking anything away from you.  It’s not like it’s a unique title, there are still already LOTS of people with the title.  All it’s doing is allowing more people to get the title.

While we’re on the subject…

If there’s one thing that really bothers me in this game, it’s this anti-sharing attitude.  It is ever present when Blizzard nerfs raids and dungeons when they are nearing the end of their lifespan, the people who cleared this content at full-strength chime in.

Yes, you worked hard and got your loot.  You downed a lot of extremely difficult boss fights.  You got to do it before a lot of people could, and you should feel a sense of achievement from that, and be proud of yourself. While there is obviously some competition in this game (PvP) it is mostly a TEAM game, especially when it comes to raiding.  Co0operative. Working along side others.

So why do people get so angry when someone else gets a chance at something they could not previous achieve? They aren’t taking anything away from you.  You got there first, you were able to do it on the highest difficulty.  Now this other person, maybe they aren’t as skilled or don’t have as much time, and they were unable to do it at the level you were.  But they still want to enjoy all of the game.

Why do you want to take that away from them?

How will that directly affect your game?  It won’t.

To those people, I say this: Do not be so weak as to let others’ progress affect your own self worth.  Be stronger than that.  Be happy with who you are and what you’ve accomplished, and be glad for others when they get the chance to have their own achievements.

I apologize for what was supposed to be a quick note about the PTR becoming a full on rant, but… that’s how it goes. :)

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New Pet Talents and “Portable Stable”

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

All jokes aside, while there may be no real changes to the BM tree itself, we do get a few new things that weren’t listed directly on the PTR notes.  Since I’m not on the PTR (and I’m at work), I can’t really outline these very well, but we do have new pet talents and the Call Stabled Pet spell (30 minute cooldown!).

Drotara at Less QQ, More Pew Pew has some good screenshots of the new talents, so check that out for details.

My thoughts?  I know that’s what you’re here for.

I am actually quite excited about the new Call Stabled Pet spell.  Right now, I don’t switch my pets up very much.  But now that I’ll be able to do it mid-raid, the different pet abilities will start to have a bigger impact.  I might grab an armor reducing pet when I realize the raid has a composition that would allow for it or something.  It’ll be nice to put those 5 stable spots to good use, more than just for my tank and DPS pets.

On the new talents – they look pretty darn nice.  On the one hand, I’m going to have to sacrifice Rabid, Call of the Wild or Heart of the Phoenix, but on the other hand… freaking sweet.

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Exciting Changes to BM in Patch 3.1!

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

BEAST MASTERY

  • Improved Aspect of the Hawk now has a new spell effect.
  • Improved Wing Clip: This talent has been removed.

Sorry, did I say exciting?  I meant nonexistent.

A new animation, and the removal of a talent which ISN’T EVEN IN THE BEAST MASTERY TREE.

But there is this sneaky little one, which is kinda BM, and it makes me quite sad:

Stampede (rhino) only affects 1 target, but adds a 25% bleed damage debuff (that does not stack with Mangle etc.) in addition to its knockback.

/sadface.

No more punting groups of people around in AV!  No more Rhino Bowling!  Well, it’ll empty up a stable spot for me… being able to knock stuff around was the only reason I had the Rhino.