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 you’ll just have to deal with sadly-out-of-date Avvy welcoming you to the site.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…


/sigh

January 19, 2010

I thought I had won… I thought I was in the clear!

All signs were pointing to Xperl as the source of my rampant random disconnecting from WoW, so I merrily deleted it from my addons folder and downloaded the highly-recommended Pitbull. I went with Pitbull 4 (currently in beta) as it was touted as much easier to configure than the behemoth that was Pitbull 3. (As the developers put it: “Options will be much, much simpler. In 3.0, there’s about 200 panels that you can mess with, it’s overwhelming. I want to bring this down to somewhere around 10.”)

After an hour or so of tinkering with settings on my various toons and getting it all prettified the way I like it (screenies later!) I optimistically joined a guild raid to knock out the weekly quest and had no issues. Feeling sprightly and confident, I ran a few heroics on Avvy and then switched to my druid to attempt healing one.

This has been the bane of my DC problem, and the reason I am mostly terrified to heal instances on Nadeau lately – without fail I will DC at the most inopportune times, say, when the group is taking crazy damage, or in the middle of a boss fight. I have only run heroics with guildies on poor little Nade – I am far too terrified of not only ending up in a crappy pug, but then disconnecting and getting booted from the group. At least with guildies there is some measure of forgiveness inherent.

So I joined my guildies in the random heroic queue, cautiously optimistic about my lack of disconnections thus far in the evening. Up popped Drak’theron. Easy peasy! Everything was awesome until the hallway leading to the first boss when my screen froze. I heard my computer churn and felt that familiar exasperation-slash-rage feeling sinking through my midsection. BAM – disconnected.

I don’t really know what else to try at this point other than once again going through my addons one by one (I didn’t seem to have problems whilst running NO addons, but I didn’t test it in a raid, either). None of my other games boot me offline like this so I doubt it’s my computer… though I am fairly due for a new video card (I’m running this baby… I know, UBAR, right?!) If I can’t solve the problem I’m not sure what I’ll do; it makes me an unreliable and risky player in a raiding environment, especially in movement-heavy fights or fights like Rotface that rely on individual player actions to succeed.

/sigh… back to the battle!


Battling the evil disconnect boss

January 18, 2010

My nasty disconnecting problems of late came to an ugly head last Saturday in the ICC-25 pug I’ve been attending (due to conflicting schedules with guild ICC runs). I probably DC’d about 20 times over the course of the 3 hour raid and probably more, often at inconvenient times – Avvy has a slime on Rotface! DC! Avvy is disarming a trap! DC! The boss is at 5% and I’m one of the last DPS alive! DC! At one point the raid leader asked me why I was always saying “no” when he did a ready check and I had to tell him it was because I was usually going offline right as he did so.

So as you can guess, I’m pretty freakin’ fed up with it. To review, I’ve tried suggested fixes ranging from completely deleting my addon folder and re-downloading everything, deleting the patch.MPQ files and letting the repair tool re-download them, disabling certain bandwidth-hogging addons, and even put on my tinfoil hat and changed my password. (I have an authenticator [and you should too!] but figured I might as well anyway).

So last night I renamed my addons folder to keep the game from using it and booted up wow, forcing the game to create a brand new one. I shut it down again and copied over my “bare minimum” addons from the original folder – dominos, need to know, omen, DBM, decursive – and started up the game.

OMG my unitframes

Can I just say I loathe the default Blizz frames… sooo uglyyyyy

Anyway, I took Oyasumi on a trip to Scarlet Monastary to test the mettle of the DC gremlins. Aside from battling with my crippled UI it went fairly well, and I even got to witness a rogue in a dress (/facepalm) who rolled Need on mail items (to the delight of the hunter in the group) and then complained when he couldn’t equip them.

rogue in a dress

forgive my UI, I had Xperl disabled, amongst other things

sigh

this was followed by "wtf it wont go on"

Afterward I took my level 80 toons on their daily random heroic adventures and experienced nary a DC. As this has happened before – the game acting sweet and innocent during menial tasks and going all Jekyll and Hyde on me once in a raid group – I joined a group of guildies heading to Malygos to go after the speed kill achievement to further test my setup.

Fifteen minutes and one achievement later I was still DC free! \o/

I’m too jaded to assume I’ve definitey found the problem at this point, but if it IS fixed, that points to Xperl  as the likely culprit (and it seems other people have had this issue too, I just discovered!)… which means UGH, I have to find and configure a new unitframes addon. I tried Pitbull once and lasted about fifteen minutes before my eyes glazed over at the sheer massiveness of the config panel, but I hear a new version is coming out that’s attempting to simplify the process… so maybe I will give that a go. A few guildies suggested one called Stuf as well so I might check that out…

Assuming I don’t DC ten times in tonight’s raid, that is x_x

Arright, back to work!


Rogue nerf inc

January 7, 2010

Sigh…

As many of you have suspected, we think rogue damage is too high. We will be making hotfixes to lower the maximum damage output of Assassination and Combat rogues. The Combat nerf will be slight. Both specs should still do just fine on damage meters (assuming skill, gear etc.) but shouldn’t be beating out other specs to such a large degree. (from http://wowraid.com/?topic=836)

Blargh… we were finally in a decent place! Our damage was good, especially if said rogue knows how to spec/gear, but compared to other equally specced/geared/skilled pure dps classes we were fine – as has been said many times, rogues should have a slight edge on the damage meters because we don’t really bring much else to the table other than our dps, all of our other “buffs” (if you can call them that) are easily covered by other classes. Remember the beginning of WotLK, when the rogue population was at its absolute lowest due to our less than stellar DPS (we are still the least-played class in the game, by the way)? Not that I forsee Blizz nerfing us to the ground, baby! but this might mean your average rogue (not kitted out in all shiny BiS gear) will see quite a drop in DPS.

I just hope Blizz doesn’t tamper with the recent awesome Deadly Poison mechanic change… hopefully the muti nerf will come in the form of tweaking Hunger for Blood a bit more. Guess we’ll have to see… right now there’s more fear of the unknown than anything.

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Edit: and here’s the specifics:

The base damage bonus from Hunger for Blood has been reduced from 10% to 5%.

The bonus damage rogues gain from attack power for poisons has been decreased. This applies to Instant Poison, Deadly Poison, and Wound Poison.

Ughhhhh…. EJ has confirmed this is live, which I definitely saw during my guild’s raid tonight… I was wondering if I was just sucking at my rotation or what, but unbeknownst to me the nerf bat had already whapped me upside the head. The poison change in particular works out to 10% less damage from AP (per EJ). Considering how much of Assassination’s damage comes from poisons this could seriously hurt mutilate scaling and may potentially boost Combat up to the “best raid spec” pedastal.

<darth vader voice> NOOoooOoOooOoOOoOoooo</darth vader voice>

I went hunting for rogue news after I ran a heroic post-raid with my guild’s well-geared enhance shammy, who roflstomped me on the meters. (Granted I understand shammies carry a lot of their buffs around with them and rogues are more or less buff sponges that scale a lot more in a raid environment, but still, I do think that’s a slight failing of my stealthy class as well.) Struggling to break 4k in a heroic now is not so much fun.

Hopefully Blizz will be watching these changes closely and maybe undo some of the damages to Hunger for Blood and/or poisons if they deem the nerf too excessive. I gotta have faith!

the floating dead

this about sums up my evening