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!


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


/sadpanda

January 5, 2010

Well, my victory over the dreaded Disconnect Boss was short-lived. I was feeling all sprightly and carefree, coasting through my dailies with nary a DC, and decided to test my mettle in a random heroic. I tossed my name in the hat and had time to eat dinner, do my fishing and cooking dailies, and putz around Dalaran for a bit before the LFG tool told me my dungeon was ready.

ToC 5-man! (for some reason I’ve usually had luck with this instance and get a group that can clear it effortlessly, so it doesn’t tend to strike fear into my heart like perhaps it should.) I zone in and pick up my lance. We beat down the mounted trash and move on to the final three. I’m charging the giant tauren and…

My screen freezes. Seconds pass. My computer makes churny noises of doom and I realize I am disconnecting again. BAM! Login screen. I shake my fists to the heavens.

I log back in and apologize to my group for the DC and am greeted with this little gem from one of the asshat 12-year-olds of the Whirlwind battlegroup:

asshat

In hindsight I wish I had left the group right there, but I had already waited half an hour just to get into a dungeon.

We move on. Suddenly I’m lagging like crazy, the screen freezes again and when it un-sticks I find myself dead in green goo. The asshat shaman from Misha calls me a “jew” again (seriously… what the crap?)  and I squash the growing urge to flip him the proverbial wow-bird. Alas, I still have the Ignore list bug and cannot add him to it, so I put his name on my craptard-list for future reference. Of course, at the end of the instance, he Needs everything he can and leaves immediately.

I switch over to my restodruid Nadeau for another random heroic, hoping in vain that the DC in my last instance was random bad luck and not related to my problems of old. Fortunately by this point some guildies want to run randoms, so I queue up with my friends Annabela and Brighthammer and a few others. We are assigned an instance immediately – AN! woohoo! Quick and easy.

Right after the first elder pull I DC again and my wow client completely flips out and won’t let me log into my server at all. I kill wow entirely, start it back up, and log back in whilst muttering rabidly under my breath. My guildies, uber as they are, have already killed the first boss, completely minus a healer. Go guildies!

Then the DC gremlins got bored with me, or wandered off to torture some other poor sap, and I was able to finish the instance in peace. Afterward Annabela wanted to run her new 80 tanky druid through normal ToC for the trinket and insisted I bring my brand-spanking-new-80 pally along with. As Nik still reeks heavily of that fresh-80 smell I was a little nervous about taking her in there (heck, the LFD tool won’t even let her queue for normal ToC! I think its exact words were “your gear is too fail, nub”) but my guildies are awesome and insisted I come along.

Sadly, Nikoel puts out more DPS as a wee 80 than I think my kind-of-crap-but-kinda-ok-geared shadowpriest does now (when not Mind Sear-ing her way to loldeeps). I leveled Nik mostly through quests and this first level 80 5-man experience was eye-opening. Titan Critline was having a heyday. NEW RECORD! NEW RECORD! I think she  hit 3k at one point – not terribly shabby for a toon attired almost entirely in heirlooms and quest greens. Wings + Divine Storm = weee!  Retadins are FUN!

Of course, the RNG not-so-subtlely dropped a ton of spellpower plate as if trying to lead Nik down the doomed tenuous path of healbot-dom. I will resist!

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I just heard there’s now a blue drake mount that drops from the last boss of Oculus. Well… at least you can say Blizz is making an effort to fix the group-dropping plague that seems to afflict at least 50% of the people that set foot in there.