Blargle

April 29, 2010

I’m sure you’ve all heard about Blizz’s planned change to 10 and 25 man raids for Cataclysm. If not, scoot over here real quick and check it out.

I’m fairly certain… nay, 99% sure this means my guild will never run another 25 man again come Cataclysm. Even now, we are forced to fill the last few spots in our 25-mans with pugs, not to mention we currently have only one 25-man ICC raid day scheduled per week, and about 3 separate 10-man ICC groups that run throughout the weekdays as well. Hello 10-man cliques! Hello fewer buffs (and as a result, lower DPS numbers overall)!

The other thing I’m afraid of with the new system is a repeat of what happened at the beginning of BC raiding with Karazhan. You’d have the group of guild members that would level up to 70 very quickly and begin running Kara, only to get far ahead of everyone else in the guild on progression and not want to wait around for everyone else to level up to move on to 25 mans. This is essentially the effect that broke apart my original vanilla guild Restrained Chaos and reduced us to forever circling the revolving door of Kara, never able to get  enough geared people to run 25-mans as our more accomplished and impatient members continued to leave. That could happen in Cataclysm – the people who level to 85 quickly and start raiding will have a progression jump on their slower guildmates and will not likely want to sit around waiting for everyone else to catch up in order to progress on. Having experienced this once, I’m none-too-excited about the potential prospects of it reoccuring.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past 5 years, it’s that wow players (well, most of them) are inherently lazy and will typically go for the path of least resistance… and that will most definitely be 10-mans come Cataclysm. How will 25-man guilds teeming with players survive? I’m not so sure they will.


Chomping at the bit

April 23, 2010

Heh, I just realized banner!Avvy up above (and some of the other alties in the pic as well) is wearing old gear that I have  long since vendored – however, since I’m too lazy to update my banner every time I get new gear (well… at least new shoulders, heh, I could be like a pantsless TV anchorman for all you know!) you’ll just have to deal with sadly-out-of-date Avvy welcoming you to the site.

I also just realized my gnome mage is the only toon I have the helm displayed on… but that’s because engineering goggles are so AWESOME LOOKING >_>

Anyway!

I’ve been a bit… frustrated… as of late with state of raiding in my guild. We seem to be stuck and/or constipated with our raiding lately – the 25-man schedule has dropped from 2 times a week to 1  (which seriously hinders progression right there in my opinion) and we typically steamroll the first 4 ICC bosses with ease before beating our heads against festergut and/or rotface a few times and then calling it for the night. It feels like we SHOULD be able to down these bosses easily and I’m not sure what’s holding us back (aside from the aforementioned lackluster raiding schedule).

I have a coworker who took an extended break from wow shortly after WotLK came out. In the last 2 months, he reactivated his account, geared up through heroics, joined an up-and-coming ICC guild that was just starting to learn the Deathbringer fight when he joined, and is now knocking on the Lich King’s door with that same guild. All in the space of a little more than a month. (He doesn’t cease to rub it in on a daily basis, either ;P)

Meanwhile, my guild has paused time and floats ethereally in the plane of stagnation, repeating the same old dance week after week after week and not getting anywhere with our progression.

There may be an attitude issue at play here as well – raiders start to drop out like flies when we reach the “progression” fights (rotface and fester at this point) and I’m almost beginning to think they mostly want to tag along for the fights we can down easily and avoid wiping on learning attempts… which is incredibly frustrating to me. I WANT to progress! I WANT to learn new fights and experience the joy of downing a new boss for the first time with the guild! We’ve already lost several of our better-geared members to further-progressed pugs (they haven’t left the guild, but they don’t raid with us, either) and I have to say, as much as I hate to admit it, that option is looking pretty tempting these days…

I’ve talked to a few of my longtime friends from the RC days (some of whom are officers in the current guild) and they’ve expressed similar frustrations. I’m not sure what it will take to change this but having at least 2 raid days a week again is the first big step… heck, one raid day a week isn’t even casual… it’s more like pug status.

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In other news, I blew ten bucks and picked up the Lil-XT pet. My new favorite thing is to bust him out when someone sets down one of those annoying train sets, as Lil-XT will immediately exclaim “NEW TOYS?! FOR ME!?” and run to the middle of the train set, then proceed to smash the crap out of it and blow it up. He then slurks back over to you with “I THINK I BROKE IT…” hahah. Clever Blizz, very clever!


Nooo… not my beloved tree form!

April 12, 2010

With the rush of new class info for Cataclysm dripping down from the mouthpieces of Blizz there were a lot of interesting, kind-of-meh, and “different” battle plans revealed, but I have to say the one thing bumming me out more than anything else is this little tidbit:

Tree of Life is changing from a passive talent to a cooldown-based talent, similar to Metamorphosis. Mechanically, it feels unfair for a druid to have to give up so much offense and utility in order to be just as good at healing as the other classes who are not asked to make that trade. We are exploring the exact benefit the druid gets from Tree of Life. It could strictly be better healing, or it could be that each heal behaves slightly different. You also will not be able to be banished in Tree of Life form (this will probably be true of Metamorphosis as well). Additionally, we would like to update the Tree of Life model so that it feels more exciting when you do decide to go into that form. Our feeling is that druids rarely actually get to show off their armor, so it would be nice to have at least one spec that looked like a night elf or tauren (and soon troll or worgen) for most of the time.

I love tree form. Absolutely love it. I love its goofy expressions and hilarious emotes. Jumping around as a freakin’ TREE is the whole reason I picked my druid to be my healing toon in the first place (that and he was a tribute of sorts to old friends that no longer play WoW who were also charmingly bark-covered in-game). I have many other toons I could play if I wanted to look at a character in “caster form” – the different appearances are part of what make druids so unique and fun. I mean there could have been more variety in the tree form – different-colored leaves based on hair color, or something like that, or at least a difference between Alliance and Horde versions – but to scrap the form altogether and turn it into a lame cooldown is pretty disappointing… so much so that I may retire the resto side of my druid entirely and embrace the boomchicken within.

SAVE THE TREEEEE!

Guess I’ll have to go fraps myself dancing in tree form before it’s too late!

In other musings on the cata changes, I’m mostly “meh” about the rogue info – it seems more PVP-orientated with not much to chew on in regards to PVE. I mean I can see SMOKE BOOOMB having its uses but it’s not going to go into my dps rotation. Redirect will be kind of cool, but again, not going to help much on single-target DPS races. Blizz wasn’t very clear on how exactly they were going to chuck all the “passive damage bonuses” from our talent trees (does this mean HfB will be interesting again?) so I guess I’ll have to wait and see what they replace all those holes in the talent trees with.

My shadowpriest is going to like the shadow balls of doom, though, I can already tell…


Goodness

April 7, 2010

Harro fellow players of wow… I apologize that I have been seriously slacking in the putting-thoughts-to-paper (or fingers-to-keys as it were) as of late… I have no idea where the time has gone! But as you can see by the nifty tattletale RSS feed of my wow adventures in the column to the right, I have actually been raiding lately (I managed to pull myself away from the lures of Dragon Age, which was a challenge as the expansion has just come out as well!)

Strangely, though, any burning desire I may have once had to play WoW has all but disappeared. I enjoy it while I’m logged on, I still get a kick out of downing bosses and chatting with my guildies, but I don’t think about WoW throughout the day; I don’t dash to my computer as soon as I get home from work and burst into Azeroth; I don’t worry about getting more emblems and the inevitable slight falling-behind my toon is enduring. (People in my guild who hit 80 nary a month ago are already outgearing my poor lil rogue – I must admit I do take a sly pleasure in still coming out on top of the meters on fights like Festergut or Deathbringer, though ;D)

I’m not sure what spurned that change – was it Dragon Age? A general loss of interest in devoting the entirety of my evenings to a game? I’ve had game obsessions before (my Sims phase in the early 2000’s was fairly timesucking) and after time they all passed on into the storage closets of my brain. I can’t say for sure that WoW is heading that way, but it’s definitely not gripping my attention like it once did.

Cataclysm may change that; my guild finally getting to face the Lich King might also get my passions fired up again; interesting rogue changes may get me playing consistently… I guess I’ll have to wait and see.

In other news the shammy preview for cataclysm dropped today and all I have to say is daaayyyummm, if rogues get changes half that interesting and awesome I will be pretty thrilled!