Thursday, August 28, 2014

Initial thoughts on 6.0 Prot Warrior

It's the same as it was before.

But we lost Disarm, we lost Disrupting Shout, and I think all our (non-talent) damage cooldowns are gone but honestly I didn't notice. Shouts are now just mutually-exclusive 1-hour buffs fucking finally oh my god. Bladestorm and Shockwave are now on separate talent tiers so you can have both.

Dodge is gone. Parry is now called "Critical Strike" and now also increases your chance to crit with damage abilities. Mastery now also increases your total damage done (~40% of crit block chance iirc). Haste for prot warriors has been buffed from doing absolutely nothing to now reducing the cooldown on Shield Slam and Thunder Clap, increasing damage and rage generation.

I played a bit with the new Ravager talent-- 1min CD to place a spinning weapon as a ground effect and get 10% parry chance for ten seconds-- which strikes me as a really useful tool for making pulls, and a really weak defensive CD for every other situation.

Still, Warriors have been for years the only tank unable to place a ground effect (unless you count Heroic Leap) so it's good to finally get one.

I think that's everything. Something tells me that once all this stuff is finalised and balanced Haste will end up being the preferred stat for Warrior tanks. Just a feeling.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

25-player raiding is objectively terrible and if you disagree with me you are wrong.

All the mount achievements in WoW are now decided by unofficial Twitter poll.

I am now 100% sure that my opinion is being neglected by the WoW dev team because I'm not making stupid demands on twitter and threatening to quit if they are not met.


Am I the only person who doesn't assume that shoving in more and more players into a group somehow makes the game more fun?

It has been decided that my guild is now and retroactively always was a 25-man guild. This apparently pleased everybody except for me. I was looking forward to working on Heroic Thok; but our 25-player team could only kill a single heroic boss, and as much fun as wiping on Protectors for two hours was, I couldn't shake the feeling that I'd done it all before like six months ago.

It was explained to me that 25 mode is better because it's easier and has more loot and it's better loot and that should be enough for me.

So it's an easier goal, and my contribution has been reduced from 1/10 of the raid team to 1/25 of the raid team, and by some retarded fucking reasoning the game treats this as being worth more loot for me?

And it really is so much easier. 25-player raiding on a Monk is three spells: Renewing Mist, Surging Mist, Uplift. There is no point in using any other spells. Renewing chooses smart targets, Surging chooses smart targets, Uplift is a Chi dump that also happens to heal some of the people in the raid.

25-player reduces every healer to spamming their most efficient spell rotation and nothing else. Mana barely matters. Technique barely matters. Death barely matters because the rest of the raid was going to carry you regardless. You will always succeed as long as the number of stupid people you bring is fewer than the number of battle reses.

I maintain that unless you are in a world-class guild, 25-player is just an excuse to carry people who die too much to succeed in a 10-player raid.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Reading quest text

I downloaded the Warlords beta finally.

Orgrimmar keeps crashing, but that's not really unexpected. I had to set up my controls about six times though because I kept failing to /reload after updating my options.

I made a "Tanaan Jungle" premade 90 because I'm curious about what this modern tutorial looks like, choosing Druid; a class I've not played since early Wrath. Also because Battle.net was down so I couldn't copy a live toon.

As soon as I logged in I got a huge spash screen giving me the option to accept a breadcrumb quests to get to Tanaan. I was instructed me to speak with Khadgar in the Blasted Lands

While I try to figure out why the quest text I’m reading is telling me to meet an NPC on the other side of the world the game crashed again.

Half of me says that modern quests never ever include that much manual travel, the other half tells me I'm being a retard for not just following the quest text because why the fuck would the quest text specifically direct me to an NPC in a place on the opposite side of the world if this was not the place I was supposed to go. I checked my map and the quest objective marker is clearly there in Blasted Lands.

The first thing I tried was the Orgrimmer portal to Blasted Lands, which it turned out has been changed to go to the other side of the Dark Portal.

I had reached Draenor at last! Though I had apparently arrived too late-- the planet had been destroyed and seemed to be crawling with level 60 demons. Not to mention Amy had aged 36 years and refused to let me save her.

I tried the Dark Portal in what is now called Hellfire Peninsula, but it's now just a gigantic demonic sparkly blackish-greenish solid wall that does absolutely nothing. Though helpfully the dimensional gateway I had arrived through from Orgrimmar apparently allowed two-way travel.

I feel like we've come to that point in a long-running series where the writers have stopped caring about the rules that defined older storylines. Now the public service magi in our capital cities can easily break through the dimensional walls just like how Medivh did while he was corrupted and possessed by the god Sargeras.

So I went back to Orgrimmar, hit a crash once more while waiting for the Grom'gol zeppelin to take me to Eastern Kingdoms, flew across the continent to Blasted Lands, down to the quest marker on my map to find not Khadgar but a swarm of elites that mobbed me until I died.

Now I was getting annoyed.

I hearthed back to Orgrimmar. Apparently I should have known better than to read and follow the quest text instead of spamming whatever channel is at hand demanding someone else take their time to explain exactly how to play the game. An extremely helpful person in trade informed me that betas are supposed to have bugs but that was the extent of the advice.

Then the game crashed again.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Challenge Get!

Yesterday three of us completed our final Challenge Mode gold. Yay. Next: Warrior tank.

I feel empty. I don't know what I was expecting to feel... happy, I guess. Was I expecting something to change? It's an achievement, but it's also an ending. I was really enjoying healing CMs. I want to keep playing my Monk but all she has left to do now is rated PvP and Heroic raiding. And fishing, I suppose.

I tried replaying Endless Healer but got demoralised when my ranged dps died to the fucking ground fire halfway through the second round-- about two seconds after I had used a CD to top her off. Someone please inform Kavan the Arcanist that I'm replacing her until she can get her shit together. Also I suppose I can improve my lockdown sequence on the quad caster wave to reduce the amount of fire on the ground for my idiot party to avoid.


I tanked a dungeon to get a feel for the Warrior again, but tanking is so boring when you overgear the content. And I'm going to say it: Heroic Strike is the worst rage dump ever. At least Arms makes Heroic Strike crit a bunch. For Protection it does approximately twelve damage and makes you feel like an idiot for wasting 30 rage.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Three months

Warlords will go live in three months.

This information is so important that its communication demands a medium of its very own. I know I've been planning my "finding out the Warlords release date" blog since before Mists came out.

So three months is about 90 days, or three subscription periods, or another $45 for the same game you've been playing for the last year.

The months in question are September, October, half of August and just under half of November. September, October and November are named such because they began as the seventh, eighth, and ninth months respectively. According to Wikipedia; August was at one point called Sextili-- I have no idea why they changed it. In the Southern Hemisphere, August is the seasonal equivalent of February in the Northern Hemisphere.

Thirty days hath September and November, but October is going to be a slightly longer month than usual due to its thirty-first day. It's still unclear whether this extra day was intended by the devs.

I haven't watched the cinematic advertisement yet. I assume it will be pretty but pointless.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hype

How many days is it now until we learn how many months we will have to wait?

I guess I find stuff like this a bit demeaning-- being told to be excited about something, or being spoken to under the assumption that of course I'm excited about the new product that this company wants to sell me at some point in the future. Or possibly has already sold to me and is trying to keep me from thinking about them having my money and me having nothing to show for it yet.

Well, not nothing. My Blizzard Launcher gained the option to play "Warlords of Draenor" months ago-- but I still get Mists of Pandaria every single time I load it. Maybe I need to submit a bug report.


Some stuff I did find interesting has emerged over the last few days:

Blizzard is trying yet again to build a comprehensive group-finding tool into the game. Maybe people will use it this time. No seriously, people might actually use it. They really might!

A new 250-mounts achievement was announced, then a few complainey people all simultaneously quit WoW because the mount reward was not better than all of the previous 250, so we don't get that mount any more, but now we do get a green recolour of the Firebird from Firelands, which I think is pretty cool.

I've only got eight mounts left to go which should be a piece of cake. Actually only five mounts if you include the three free Phoenixes in 6.0. Or three mounts if I'm desperate enough to log onto a toon with class mounts to get the achievement. So yeah, piece of cake.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Announcement announced.

My launcher has been screaming at me that the 12th of August is when Blizzard intends to announce when they will announce the date of the next WoW expansion.

This is pretty good news for people who hope to play the expansion before the end of the year. Maybe it will arrive before Blizzcon. Or just after.

I keep hearing about Warrior's new Gladiator stance and the amazing things you can and can't do while using it and... I can't be the only one who hears "stance" as "gameplay restrictions."

Every now and again stances get a superficial make it a bonus pass where they rephrase the tooltip to  describe the stance change in a glass-half-full way, but stances alway end up becoming the cross nanny rapping your hand for daring to try to use the wrong combat ability at the dinner table and telling you to go stand in the corner for a GCD and cool off before you try again.


I finished my little Mistweaver spreadsheet. It doesn't do much, but I really wanted to "prove" this thing for myself. Also, I really wanted to make some graphs. I like graphs.

I should also note that I'm using Healiocentric's maths, but I added some extra stuff to take into account the small amount of crit granted by Intellect. I answered the question anyway; crit gems became more valuable above ~42k spell power. I hope I didn't make any mistakes.


I'm still tooling around with my hordies on Moon Guard. I rolled an Goblin Shaman years ago because I fucking love their mechanical totems and I had in my head the concept of a street-smart mechanical genius who is as clever at manipulating the elements as he is his business partners. He has scuzzy hair pulled into a greasy ponytail and jets around reclined in his personal rocket.

But anyway I sent him some heirlooms and ran around smacking things with my fire-tipped weapons for a bit. The randomness of enhancement fits a goblin character really well; he just throws everything at the enemy: fire, metal, electricity, explosives. I'm think I'm also starting to like my clattering fire totem more than any other pet.* It stays where I place it and just shoots, like an imp minus the constant whingeing.

Of all the classes I'm playing on Horde, Shaman is the one I don't also play Alliance-side any more. Might be a good candidate for a level 90 boost. Enhancement is really fun.

*Except Xuen, he's my cuddly kitty.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Stats

Icy Veins has updated their stat priority for Mistweavers to put crit at the top, so I guess that makes it official. Again, not a single word of explanation for this change, and as far as I can tell only that single line was changed. I'm pretty sure that only top research theorycrafters understand the science behind this new fact. Nobody is quite sure when it turned into fact but apparently a consensus has been reached now.

All I want is a chart mapping the boundaries and balance point between crit and intellect. I think I'm halfways there with this neato spreadsheet I made in google.

Years ago when I had first heard about Challenge Modes I set myself a goal of clearing all the golds on each of my “focus” toons for the expansion. At the time those were Warrior tank, Warlock, and Shaman healer. But I got bored with the Shaman long ago, the Warlock failed to capture my attention past mucking about with green fire during Throne, and even my very favourite class Prot Warrior fell by the wayside as I got swept up in the fun of Monk healing.

Now that I’m closing in on my first CM clear with the Monk, I can start imagining doing it with a second class, and Warrior is the obvious choice. I’m hoping that once myself and our tank finish all the Golds, we switch toons and go again from the start. In any case I reckon there is enough interest in the guild to keep this going until 6.0.

And depending on how slow Blizzard is to make Warlords happen, a third toon doesn't seem completely out of the question yet.