Archive for the ‘PTR’ Category


Some follow-up


Even here on my blog, people are pretty up in arms about what I’ve written about the changes coming with the expansion.  I find it pretty hilarious that people are so defensive about it.  Let’s just break it down into very simple truths here.

Truth #1:  People want the best loot in the game without having to deal with the “RL work” of 25-mans. Those are the people that rejoice over these changes and the ones that have convinced Blizzard to make these changes.  The majority of the WoW community want things faster and easier.  If only for logistical reasons, that means 10-mans.

Truth #2:  Without the “carrot” of only getting the best loot in the game from 25-mans, recruitment for those raiding guilds will be more difficult. People who say this isn’t true are just fooling themselves.  Go to your realm forum at the WoW website.  Read some of the posts there.  How many of those people do you think want to deal with the longer raid times, more wipes and general herding of cats that has to go on for 25-mans?

Truth #3:  Even the most stalwart of 25-man groups will die when they can’t recruit enough people to make up for those they lose through attrition (RL stuff like new jobs, marriages, having a baby, moving, etc.). If a group’s members are stalwart in their support of their 25-mans to a person, unless they can find equally committed and skilled players to replace those they lose to RL events the group -will- die.

Truth #4:  25-man raiders have every right to be upset about Blizzard killing off our raiding groups while trying to hide it behind a false “choice.” Even if I choose to raid 25-mans, if 24 equally skilled and driven people don’t make the same choice, then my having any sort of choice in the first place is negated.

Truth #5:  Telling people that being upset is “wrong” or that they are just mad as “losing epeen rights” is immature, untrue and dickish.

A couple more interesting reads on the changes here, here and here.  Vixsin has a very rational analysis of the situation and keep himself emotionally removed from his arguments, which is nice to see. Cassandri goes the other direction, calmly explaining how a 25-man raider is being effected by this emotionally.  Excellent reads, all of them.

As for myself, I’m tired of having “pro-10s advocates” stomping all over and ignoring Truth #5 up there.  Guess what?  My raiding group made up of 25+ friends is going to break up, if not at release of the expansion then whenever RL situations pulls enough people away and we can no longer get the people to fill our spots.  It’s Blizzard’s doing and totally out of our control.  I think that gives me the right to be at least a -little- hurt and angry, don’t you?


Expansion announcement – My view on it


For those who don’t know, there was an announcement of progression raiding changes for the expansion.  A very quick summary, stolen from MMO-champion:

  • 10-Man and 25-Man raids will share the same lockout.
  • 10-Man and 25-Man raids difficulty will be as close as possible to each other.
  • 10-Man and 25-Man raids will drop the exact same loot, but 25-man will drop a higher quantity of items.
  • Normal versus Heroic mode will be chosen on a per-boss basis in Cataclysm raids, the same way it works in Icecrown Citadel
  • For the first few raid tiers, our plan is to provide multiple smaller raids. Instead of one raid with eleven bosses, you might have a five-boss raid as well as a six-boss raid.

Not listed, but 10s and 25s will have the same achievements as well, including realm firsts.

I will quit raiding if these go through.  If I don’t like the PvP changes, I will probably quit the game.

There have been some very interesting reads in regards to this post, but I call your attention to this one by Larisa and this one by HP.  I think they are both spot on about the direction Blizzard is trying to go, to make 25s look more tempting because it will level your guild faster.

I am not in a guild.  I am part of a raiding coalition.  Therefore any sort of “temptations” they try to give through that system is meaningless.

25s are harder, logistically.  The LK fight, for example, is many multitudes harder on 25 than on 10s simply because there are more people to screw up and wipe you.  When we killed him on 10s, it was actually not very difficult.  We had 10 skilled people who learned quickly how to deal with Defiles.  On 25s, you will always have those 5 or so people who are just not as skilled or who keyboard turn or whatever.  So you wipe more.  Raids are more stressful.  They are more difficult to organize.  You have a larger range of skills.

Who, really, is going to put up with trying to run a 25-man when they can run it on 10s faster and cheaper?  Blizzard says that running 25s will make gearing faster due to more drops, but it takes more effort and longer time to clear a 25-man raid, meaning the reward/time and effort ratio lower unless they jack up the number of drops by a whole heck of a lot.  And the achievements being done in either means that all competitive raiding will be moved to the faster/easier 10-mans.  Just look at 2v2s!  It used to be -the- place to get your Gladiator title and mount, but now that you can’t get those anymore all competitive PvP is done in 3v3s.

“If you run 25-mans for loot or prestige, you’re a terrible person!  You should be in it for the fun.”  Can 25s be fun?  Yes, certainly.  Progressive 25s are not, especially when you’re in a position of leadership.  It’s about hard work and trying to coax people to play better.  Let’s face it, there is always one or two people who will annoy you in any 25-man group.  But you know, if I were just playing for nothing but fun, I’d probably never raid anything progressively.  I’d hang out on Vent with all my friends and PvP.  I play for the challenge and for the rewards that come from beating that challenge.

I would rather Blizzard do away with 25s the way they did 40s.  Trying to claim that DPS checks or gear checks are the things that make 25s more difficult is -insulting- and utterly full of it.


Updates on the paladin preview


Okay, so it turns out the FoL/HL thing was just a bad case of wording.  It seems they want paladins to go the way of priests with their three heals which, well, I’m okay with I guess.  I liked paladins being different, but what can you do.

The Beacon changes… they just need to stop talking about it.  It makes me more and more unhappy the more they talk about it.  All of the proposed changes will make it highly unlikely that Beacon will get used in anything other than specific fights.  They very much are moving back to the days of TBC and while I liked the -raids- of TBC better, I didn’t exactly like healing better.  They way they are proposing the paladin changes will make me back into a “single tank healer.”  So boring.


Paladin Preview – Thoughts


I’m not going to repost the entire preview (you can see it here), but here are my thoughts on what has been released so far:

Blinding Shield is either going to be incredibly overpowered or entirely useless.  I’m speaking in PvP terms, of course.  Being able to blind the entire other party as an -instant cast- is just insane.  Of course, if they have to be facing you, it’ll lose a whole lot of its power for healadins, since it’ll get interrupted or at best people will just spin away.

Healing Hands, I assume, is their answer to wanting healadins to stand in melee by the boss and raid heal.  However, it is a passive ability that will be hit every 15 seconds and then the healadin will just continue with their casting routine.  It potentially has a 2/5 uptime, which will be nice on AoE fights and I’m actually kind of excited to see what the graphics of it will be like.  Waiting until we see the HPM and the limits to this before getting overly happy.  It might end up having a very limited healing amount for a heavy mana cost.

Guardian of Ancient Kings is a an auto-healing pet?  (Those ancient kings, they be lovin’ me!)  That’s… fun, I suppose?  A fun thing to pop while hanging out?  I’m not really sure how this could -not- be overpowered in arenas and I’m not sure how we’re exactly supposed to use this in PvE.  Will it be another cooldown to have while we’re Pleaing?  The duration on it is really freaking long, too.  30 seconds!  That’s a 1/10 uptime, for gods’ sakes.  It again might fall into the “too much mana cost for too little healing” to be something we use often.

Cleanse changes and dispel changes are generally pretty boring.  No real comments on them until I see it in action.

Blessing changes mean that our 5-ish paladins will have even less buffing to do.  Heck, let’s just make it into a single buff called “Blessing” so that I can get rid of PallyPower and be lazy!  As it stands, I plan on never buffing during the expansion due to abusing my power.  Heh.

Crusader Strike being baseline will sure help things out for leveling.  It is -so boring- leveling a paladin…

Are they changing it so Holy Shock doesn’t do damage anymore?  That would rather suck.  Giving it as a spell to all paladins could lead into PvP healing in non-Holy specs again.  It might also put even more of a burden on dps paladins to help spot heal, taking their attention away from their job.  We’ll have to see.

If they nerf the Divine Shield duration, I’m going to be pissed.  If they shorten the duration, they had better take it off the GCD or else I’m going to be killing myself whenever I BoSac the tank.

Sacred Shield going to a 30 minute buff is pretty boring.  They’ll be increasing the mana cost of it substantially, I assume, which means that switching it to tunneled people in arenas isn’t going to be as handy.

I just have to quote this about the New Bigger Heal:  “We want to add to the Holy tree a nice big heal to correspond with Greater Heal. Flash of Light remains the expensive, fast heal and Holy Light is the go-to heal that has average efficiency and throughput.”  …WHAT?!  Holy Light is an -average heal- to them?!  Flash of Light is an -expensive heal- to them?!  I don’t even know what to say to this.  Do they know what spells they are talking about, here?  It boggles my mind, it really does.  Hilariously, though, this coincides with my joking that paladins are going to get a 10-second cast time Complete Heal.  It’s like the cycle of my videogame healing career is complete…  Join me in my prayers to Tunare, brothers and sisters!

Beacon of Light will be changed to work with Flash of Light. We like the ability, but want paladins to use it intelligently and not be constantly healing for twice as much.”  Why, hello there, TBC, how are you today?  Hilarious.  This will work out in one of two ways: 1) healadins will all go back to casting only FoL or else 2) healadins will go back to healing only the tank.  This goes hand in hand with the Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses: Healing, Meditation, Critical Healing Effect.  Yup, looks like it’s back to FoL spam.  Ah, Hyjal, how I’ve missed you…

Overall – The new things they are adding seem gimmicky to me, especially as they are both passive abilities.  They are replacing a spell we have to cast every 30 seconds with one that will be cast every 15 seconds, so that isn’t exactly very interesting.  The new spell they are adding will most likely not be very much used and will probably turn out the way that Greater Heal is for priests at the current moment.  The really big hit is going to be if they go through with Beacon only working for FoL.  That added to the changes they are making to how tanks take damage (a steady stream instead of huge chunks) means that healadins are going to go back to casting nothing but FoL.  Because -that- isn’t boring or anything.


GotEM – wuuuuut?


Normally, I don’t read nor care about changes that are being played with on the PTR.  Well, okay, I like to peek at what new armor and weapons look like so that I can start planning for RP outfits, but that doesn’t really count.  However, all the changes to GotEM has made me just freak out, so I need to discuss.

As it currently stands, Gift of the Earth Mother is a Restoration Druid talent that reduces the GCD on HoTs.  It’s a very, very powerful talent that allows Trees to stack far less haste than other classes to get their GCD down to 1 second.  Having a 1 second GCD is extra important to a Tree because they throw around so many instant spells.

Blizzard has been looking at the throughput numbers on Trees and have decided that it’s far too high.  (More on -that- later.)  Originally, they were going to reduce the healing on Rejuvenation by removing one of the HoT’s ticks.  They called it a “bug fix” originally, as all ranks below max tick for 15 seconds, while max rank ticks for 18 seconds.  I found it truly hilarious when they finally ‘fessed up that calling it a “bug fix” was a PR move.  Call it by what it is, people, we can handle the word “nerf.”

They decided against this move, as they wanted to do something with GotEM anyway and that would be a Tree nerf enough.  So they left Rejuv as it was and changed GotEM to give 2/4/6/8/10% haste.  The nerf would mean that Tree would need -twice- as much haste to get to a 1 second GCD.  Pretty crazy, but I was prepared to deal with it.  It would nuke my crit rating down to about nothing, but dropping my T9 4-piece bonus when I upgrade to T10 would cause crit in general to be worth a lot less to me.  It was a logical nerf to me.

Now they’ve tacked on a little something else!

….really?  REALLY?  The reason the talent was changed in the first place was because they didn’t like how wonky it made haste for Trees.  At least, that’s the reason they told us!  This change it going to make haste even more complicated, with the GCD of Lifebloom now being calculated all on its own.  The equation to figure out Lifebloom is going to be more math heavy, too, for joy.  So much more work for me with so little pay off.

I guess they figure that we don’t use the spell anyway, so they might as well just throw that on there.  😛