Friday, July 31, 2015

What Was Your Favorite Part of Warlords?

I would like to believe that even the most jaded person about the current expansion would surely have something that they like about it.  While it seems that I have seen more hate for this expansion than any before it, there has to be something about it worthwhile, something blizzard did right, to even the most anti warlords person out there.

For some people it could be the raids, for some people it could be tanaan and the great gear grind where everyone can get randomized 695 gear if they put in the effort, for some people it could be the new pet and pet battles, for some people it could be as simple as the cats in laps, for some people it could be ashran.  Well, maybe not ashran for anyone, but you know what I mean.  Each of us likes different things and each of us might have one part of warlords we would label as the best thing in it. Heck, even if you hate everything there has to be something you hate the least which would make the the best thing right?

For me I think the best part of warlords was the questing experience.  I had done the whole thing on beta twice before it was even released.  Did it on live 12 times already and liked it on each one.

I liked the speed of it and actually if anything I might have called it too fast even.  But given the option too fast is always better than too slow.  I would rather think I was enjoying it and am sorry it is over than think, boy this is really dragging, so being too fast is not a bad thing.  It was so fast that with the exception of my first character I leveled on day one I think I hit 100 in spires on most of my characters.  The rested experience really helped in this matter, something my main did not have on day one and that is the only reason he made it deep into nagrand.

What made it even better, speed wise, is if you wanted to make it faster you had that ability by buying a potion in your garrison to speed it up even more.  So whether you are the type that liked questing or the type that hated it, you could make it through relatively quickly.

It was not just the speed of the questing that was nice.  It was the fact that the quest hubs were in decent packs.  I didn't get that feeling that I was going all over the place for one quest hub.  Remember some of those old quest hubs were you would pick up three quests and one would send you north, the other would send you east into a cave and the third would send you so far south you thought you were in another zone?  None of the quest hubs were like that this expansion.  If you were given three quests all three of those quests were done in the same exact area.

If ever you were given a quest to a different area it was to direct you to a new hub, so you could either just turn it in and move on, or turn it in and pick the stuff up at that hub, if you decided to do them.

The flow of quests was pretty darn good.  There were an ample amount of quests that gave you a pop up when finished so you did not have to go back somewhere and then those few that had follow ups continued instantly when you turned that one in, you did not need to go all the way back to continue along with that quest line.  No, this is not a new advance to using this questing technology, not at all, but it was done a lot better this expansion than it had been before.

The quests themselves where good too.  Of course all the standard things, nothing special and nothing that I would consider as insanely awesome as rolling a giant ball over a thousands gnomes in uldum (even if rolling the iron star over orcs was fun but not as fun because lets face it gnome death screams could make even the most hardened person laugh), there were really no quest hubs I could really say I actively avoided.

I avoided some in the sense of I am a high enough level so I did not do them and moved on to the next zone, but not avoided as in "I hate having to do this quest".  Your mileage may vary of course, as we all have things we like and dislike and some people just dislike questing in general so they hate everything about it, but for me it was fine.  No bumps in the road were I was stuck doing a quest I really really hated or doing quests in a zone just so I could get high enough to get to the next zone.  It flowed nearly perfect.

I also liked doing the quests hunting for the followers, made my own pattern while leveling where I just do the quest lines that get me followers and do them only.  The experience from doing those quest lines, with rested on alts, was so perfect that when I was done getting all a zones followers I was ready to move to the next zone at nearly the same exact time.

It works so perfectly that I get them all while leveling and just need to get the one from a quest line in nagrand, if I so wish, because I hit 100 before it.  The other 2 in nagrand did not require doing a quest so they do not count.  I think that adding something like that to questing, almost as a guide line of "this is the least you need to do if you want the followers" was a nice way to make an outline for questing and the fact that it moved at the perfect pace as moving from zone to zone did make it 10 times better.  No spending more time in a zone than you had to and not time wasting time in a zone doing stuff you really did not want to.

Add to the already well designed and very smooth questing experience the other things we encountered while questing and it made it that much better.  The pop up quest zones, the rares in the world, and the treasures you found all while leveling also added a little break in the quest quest quest action to make it not seem so monotonous.  Which is the number one complaint I hear from people that dislike questing.  It is not a be all end all fix for those people, but it was a great way to mix it up. I hope blizzard keeps up those things as part of questing in the each and every future expansion, because it really spiced up the questing experience.

And then there was the story.  For the few that probably read it, there were a lot of good story lines.  We had a little interaction with new races and got to learn something about them.  We had some interaction with the bosses we would later face, even if minimal.  The story of warlords might have not been the best, but the stories of the quests were more then well enough for what they were, quest stories.

The number one best thing about warlords, hands down in my opinion, is the questing experience.  For as much as we might complain about things warlords did wrong, for me, warlords did questing right.  It was the best blizzard has ever handled questing in my mind.

What was your favorite part of warlords?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

X6 To Be Announced at Gamescon

Well done blizzard.

Those are words I do not often get to say this expansion.  It was very important, in my opinion, for blizzard to announce the new expansion at gamescon. If they had not done so and waited for blizzcon to do so instead than that could have meant they were behind on development again.  After the long drought at the end of mists and a rather lack luster and fairly poorly received warlords being on top of things, or at least giving the appearance of being on top of things was very important for blizzard and the health of warcraft as a whole.

I will still say cataclysm was their worst expansion to date but warlords gave it a run for its money.  In truth, it if were not for the fact I had so much dislike for cataclysm I could say warlords is worse.  It gave us less to do and cost us more.  That alone should rank it lower than cataclysm in the ranks.  But there is one thing that can save warlords from taking that space from cataclysm as the worst expansion and that is if it does not last very long.

Perhaps with the announcement of the new expansion at gamescon that might mean that we will not be spending over a year in one raid.  It still seems rather unlikely that will happen however, and that could push warlords past cataclysm on my worst warcraft expansion list if it does happen.

In the past blizzard usually releases the new expansion near a year after its announcement.  If it is announced next week than that means, unless they really are developing faster like they keep promising they are trying to do, that we will have hellfire for over a year, like it or not.

Either way, it is a much better thing for us at players to see it announced at gamescon.  This means that at blizzcon there will be a lot of work already done and probably beta will being at that point.  We should also have a better feel for what the expansion will look like from there.  Unlike what was announced at blizzcon for warlords and so much was changed, they will already be deeper into work on it when blizzcon comes around this time so perhaps they will give us a more accurate assessment of what we will end up with.

I hope that blizzard plays it right this time around, even just using certain wording so it does not appear as a "promise" to people.  Like they said they were "promised" the capital cities that never happened for example.

With the announcement at gamescon and three months development time, on top of however far along they are already on it, when we see a full flesh out at blizzcon it should be a better representation of what we will end up with than the warlords presentation was.

I think the smartest move on blizzards part was the ditch the idea that warcraft can only be announced at blizzcon and instead they are announcing it when it should be announced instead of trying to stretch it out to fit their own convention schedule.

To that I say, well done blizzard, well done.

Now let the rumors begin.  If you read here often, you already know what I think it coming, and I will be playing a shadow hunter (even if I think it should just be a 4th hunter spec instead).

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

You'd Be a Good Player if You Had Some Gear

The title was something that someone whispered me the other day in an LFR.  He was in mostly mythic HFC gear and I was keeping up with him on the fights with my awesome 670 tier set.  One day I would like to get gear, I want to be the good player he says I can be.  That line was sarcasm if you had not guessed, well, not the wanting to get gear part.

It was after the second boss when he said that.  He was rocking the charts.  Did 88K on the first boss, I did 68K.  Second boss he did 96K and I did 83K.  During the trash to the next boss he sent me that whisper "You'd be a good player if you had some gear".

I was not exactly sure what to make of it.  Was it an offhand insult because he beat me?  Was he saying that if I had the same gear he had I would have beaten him?  Was he saying because I do not have good gear it means I can not be a good player?

I inspected him to see his gear and that is where I saw his gear was pretty sweet and made me a little jealous, well, a lot jealous really.  He had three mythic tier pieces and one heroic warforged one with a gem slot.  I have one normal tier piece I can not even use until I get three more.  Insert sad face here.

I was trying to think what I could reply to the guy without sounding like a jerk.  If I wanted to be honest I could have replied, "I am already better than you" because with his gear lead he should have been beating me by a lot more than he was.  But that was when I thought he meant it as an insult.

I saw that there were other people from his guild there and they were all doing fairly well, so maybe he was making an offer.  Heck, I've recruited people I found in an LFR before, so maybe that is what he was doing.  Maybe he wanted to talk to me to try to recruit me.  Not saying I would go, but I would entertain the idea if it were bought up.

In all truth, recruiting from LFR is a great way to recruit.  There are often some good people in them that just never found a raid team.  If you can grab one of those people and get them into a raid you could get yourself a new regular sometimes.   Not saying it always works, it doesn't more than it does, but it could, and has for me in the past.

I ended up replying, "Thanks, I am doing pretty good today, thought I could take you that first fight but you pulled away at the end."

I had him for almost the entire fight.  He jumped past me and skyrocketed at the end.  have no clue how but he went from being behind me the whole fight to moving over 100K and settling at the 88K mark he ended at.

He did not reply again.  The rest of the trash passed by, the boss died.  At the end of the run I hung around in the group a bit to see if he said anything, as he was hanging around too, same with his guild mates.  But he said nothing.

Maybe he did say it as an insult, a shot at me of some sort, or maybe I came off as arrogant in my reply.  Either way our exchange was just those two things, the line he said to me and the line I said to him.

This morning I was thinking about the line he said and how wrong it really was.  If you break it down it makes it sound like he was of the school of thought that gear makes the player.

I don't agree with that, never have and never will.  Gear increases a players potential.  Having good gear does not mean you are a good player and having bad gear does not mean you are a bad player.  So saying if you had some gear you would be a good player is actually wrong.  A good player is a good player no matter what.  Having gear just means you are increasing the potential of said good player.

It seems to be the thought that the higher the item level a player has the better that player is and that is flat out false.  It just means that the player with higher gear has more potential.  They still need to play the class to the best of their ability to get something out of it.  Sure, at some point even a piss poor player will beat a good player thanks to gear and gear alone, but that is not the point.  That person, even with gear, would still be considered a bad player.  So someone with less gear that does well should still be considered a good player right?

The time walker dungeons are the perfect place to test this theory out.  Everyone is equal in terms of gear and with the exception of if one person has some gem slots and the other doesn't, two players will be equals.  Skill matters more than gear there.

Two people in equal gear have a competition based on skill (and luck), but two people of extremely different item levels can not be compared looking at the numbers.  The one that did more should always be the one with the higher item level gear because gear increases potential.   The one with the better gear should do more.  It is simple math.  If someone in much lower gear is beating, or even competing, with someone that out gears them by more than 30 item levels that just means the person with more gear is not the better player.  Not even a good player.

Was it an insult?  Maybe it was, I will never know.  But one thing is for sure and that is this, the guy thought gear made the player, because he thought gear would make me a good player.  That right there shows he is not a good player.  A good player knows that gear increases the potential of the player, but the player still need to do well to get the most out of it.  Maybe he just phrased it wrong.  If he wanted to say what he intended to say, if it were not an insult, he should have said, "I'd like to see what you could do with more gear."  To me, that is a compliment, no misunderstanding that one.

Remember, what you do matters more.  Follow mechanics, avoid the avoidable, and rock the charts.  Even if you finish behind someone like that who really out gears you, know that you are still better than them.  Just do the best you can do.

Gear does not make the player, the player makes the gear.

Blizzard Lies

This will be an extremely short post, for me at least.  I also put it under the header of humor because I think it has to be one of the funniest things I have heard from blizzard all expansion long.

I saw a question and answer highlighted on the front of MMOC regarding the extremely long queue times for the LFR recently.  After reading it my mind was blown.  I had to read it a second time to make sure I did not misread it.

Someone asked on twitter
"time in queue 1h 30min.. this isn't very fun gameplay"

For this warcraftdevs had a two part answer
(1) We have a fix in the works that should improve LFR queue times
(2) We’re currently giving too much weight to class diversity in forming groups

I found this funny partly because they have a "fix in the works" because it should have never been like this to begin with and should not need a fix.  But the real reason this had me laughing was the second reason they gave, which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that blizzard lies.

Two weeks ago I queued up for the BFR wings on my horde hunter, I get into a group and it has 15 hunters in it.  You are aware there are only 18 damage dealer spaces to begin with right?

Last week, horde hunter again, BRF again, 12 hunters in the group.

Monday before reset, wanted to get the first two bosses on my druid, because I only tanked from the 3rd on, so I queue up as a healer for the first HFC.  Guess how many druid healers we had?  5 druid healers.  Let me give you a reminder how many healers LFR uses, it uses 5.

So I have to say "(2) We’re currently giving too much weight to class diversity in forming groups"  has to be both the most blatant lie blizzard has told us all expansion and probably the funniest one too.

If having 5 out of 5 healers being a druid and 15 out of 18 damage dealers being a hunter is diversity in the eyes of the people that work at blizzard, I now completely understand why they are having all the problems they are.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Things I Liked About Warlords... and Hope They Never Do Again

The title might hard to swallow.  How could I like something and not want to see it again.  I can most definitely see why people might consider it weird that I would even suggest something like not wanting to see something in game that I really liked.  But like it or not, there are some things in the game I really hope do not follow us forward.  Maybe after you see what I post you will understand better why I do not want to see these things moving forward and maybe you too might say, now I get it, and have something you liked about the game you would be happy to see not follow us forward.

Herbs and Ore For All:

What I liked about it:

What is there not to like about it really.  I could not even imagine the countless hours I spent out in the world farming materials for raid, for friends, for profit, what have you, in the past, it was a pretty big part of my game, time wise.  I used to spend near full days on weekends on my miner or herbalist gathering my heart out.

I loved the idea that I could just cycle through my characters now and get all the ore I could ever want and all the herbs I could ever imagine to have.  Thing is I have not picked from my garden or mine on any of my characters in months and I still have thousands of each.

Why I do not want to see it again:

And that is the problem.  They flooded us with them.  Not that I really mind having all those supplies and never needing to go farm them but that is part of the problem.  Farming them, like it or not, was content.  It gave me something to do as silly as that might sound.  Having them right there with no competition in your own little world whether you are a miner or an herbalist or neither flooded the market and made them worthless.  It also gave the feeling, at least for me, that I "had to" do it each day where in the past I farmed when I wanted to farm, not when I "had to" farm or I would lose  a days production.

In the future:

If they decide to do something like garrisons again I would not mind if my miners had the mine and my herbalists had the garden but for everyone else without those professions they should just be decorative.  Giving us some without competition or any major effort is fine and dandy, giving us thousands was too much.  People should have to go out to gather.

Professions at Level 1:

What I liked about it:

I took advantage of it to switch a couple of characters professions.  I usually level with 2 gathering professions and then power level the profession(s) I want on them when they hit max level.  This expansion I did not need to worry about that.  I could craft everything at level 1.  The skill of my crafter did not matter at all.   I could make everything and level my profession in the process, or not level them at all, because level did not matter.

Why I do not want to see it again:

I feel it completely devalued professions as a whole if any tom dick or harry could switch to a profession and craft the same things as someone who actually worked to level their profession.   It is not a case of "I worked hard to level so you should have to as well".  It is a case of you can switch professions whenever you want and there is no downside.  Professions mean nothing like this.

I could make my hunter an engineer, make the gun and level it up to max level, switch to leather working, make a belt and level it up to max level, then switch to inscription to make myself a trinket and level it up to max level before going back to whatever profession I feel like walking around with.  Sure, it sounds awesome to do that, but it completely devalues professions which I do not like.

In the future:

What I would like to see are some things being something you can catch up with.  Like the lower item level stuff and the reroll items.  Those are fine for level 1.  Also the daily cooldown I have no problem with being level 1 to do it.  As it stands in game now you could level your profession with just the things I mentioned, and I am fine with that, but the max level gear should be for max level crafters.  Or at least crafters with a professions level that is in that expansions range.  Which means for any of the gear this expansion someone should have needed to be 600 skill level to make it.  Make it low, yes, but low for the expansion, not low over all.

Bring Grounded:

What I liked about it:

It made the world seem a lot larger than it really is.  On my main, while I did not like it I could easily kill most things easily, sometimes in one shot and now at this gear level sometimes without even attacking it because my pet will one shot it.   As much as I hate being grounded I'll admit finding all the special places was fun, finding ways to get places you know you were not intended to go was also fun.  There was some game play to be had with being grounded.

Why I do not want to see it again:

But it got boring fast, really fast.  It got frustrating, even faster.  And on alts it was even worse.  While my main was fine killing anything that got in the way my alts were not always as lucky.  Even more so if I happened to make the mistake of being in healing spec, like on my shaman, and get dismounted as a train of mobs catch up to me and murder me.  Is this fun game play?  Not in my universe.

Not to mention what was lost, in terms of content that is better with flying, that content greatly outweighed the fun I might have had for a short time exploring on my main.  Flying around and then running to pet battle dailies, going from flight point to flight point and then having to run for archaeology digs, etc, are all better with flying.  Without flying they come off as time sinks, with flying they come off as content.  How things feel really matters and they feel better with flight.

In the future:

I would like to see something like pathfinder added when the expansion lands.  Something as simple as explore all areas and do all quests.  Maybe, just maybe, add the new reputations.  But that is it.  It should not ever require more work then seeing the entire world and doing all the quests.  Because after that is all done there is no logical reason to keep someone grounded.  Being account wide at the lowest level, as they are doing this expansion, will be a huge plus and make it even better.  But I would be content if it were just account wide at max level and you have to stay grounded when leveling.


What I liked about it:

I really like having a place to call my own.  It makes me feel like I am really a part of the world.  I own a piece of it, or at least control it.  It was a great addition to the game and really seemed to capture what we, as characters, have been building up to.  For so long we have been the killers of the big bads and we never had a place to call home.  It might not be player housing, but from a feeling standpoint, it was.  My garrison is my home.

Why I do not want to see it again:

It was a good idea poorly implemented.  It was mandatory, even if we were told it wasn't.  Leveling followers was fine the first time, even the second and maybe even the third, but on alts it got really tired really fast having to level them again on a new character.

The content was also not finished and I do not want to see them release "great" ideas that they did not finish.  There should have been options for different buildings race wise, different layouts landscape wise, and maybe even different locations like they suggested was the original intention.  Garrisons, for a much as I might have liked them, seemed unfinished, which left them feeling more meh, when all was said and done.

In the future:

A smaller parcel of land would be fine, something we can customize with a few buildings, maybe a few shops, and I love the idea of collecting stuff to build an auction house.  Have the call board as a central hub to offer quests from for your personal home but have it be completely optional, as it was originally advertised as.  Maybe some more customization as time goes on to turn it into personal housing instead of a garrison.

Jumping Puzzles:

What I liked about it:

I did them all on beta before there were any addons, before there were any guides, I and a friend found them all our own and figured out how to get them all on our own and it was great fun.  Even when it went live and I needed to do it all again I still had a lot of fun with it.  The fun was showing everyone in guild how to get them, even more so the ones in Nagrand that were a lot more involved.  It was really fun the first (two) time around.

Why I do not want to see it again:

Doing them on my alts however, was not.  I knew how to get to them, done it twice already.  But it was one of those been there done that sort of things.  Jumping puzzles have no repeatability.  None what so ever.  It is fun finding them and figuring them out.  It is not fun doing it over and over again.  And it loses any fun it might have had for some people with addons and guides.  Figuring it out was the fun part.  Doing it was not.  This is not that type of game and there is no need to add more stuff like this in it.  At least not lots of it.  One or two per zone would be fine, anything more is overkill.

In the future:

Keep the treasures in game.  Keep the platform game aspect out of it.  Stuff on the ground, fine, it is fun to find goodies laying around.  On top of a building you need to jump from another to get to, maybe, it is fun getting stuff like that because it only takes a few seconds and, you know, goodies.  Running all over creation to get to a kite to fly to the treasure and then you might miss it, definitely not fun and even less fun when you go through all that trouble for 14 garrison resources.  I never want to see stuff like that in game again.  If I want to jump around like an idiot I will go play nintendo.

New Character Models:

What I liked about it:

Tauren females.  No really, I do like the way they turned out as well as many others.  But over all there is nothing I liked about them.  Some look great, some look a little weird, odd or changed in a bad way, but new graphics are always nice either way even if they were not entirely needed in my opinion.  But I do like them.

Why I do not want to see it again:

I do want to see stuff like this again.   Not upgrades themselves but what I do not want to see is it being used a selling point for an expansion again, calling it a feature, something that is part of the expansion package, something I am paying for being there instead of other content I would have preferred.  I do not want them to pack it up like content like this did this time around. 

Graphic updates should be covered in our monthly fees, they are general game maintenance, it should not be used as a selling point for an expansion as if it is something special because it is not.  We pay a fee monthly for a game to be accessible and upgraded.  We should never have changes like this packaged as content so they can say an expansion has more content than it really does.  I am not against changes like this coming, I welcome them but I am against them causing our expansion price to raise what we pay for it.  We pay for stuff like this monthly and it is graphical update.  It is not content and it is not a selling point for a new expansion.

In the future:

If they make graphical updates, just add them as they make them.  Do not want until you have a lot and bundle it as new content.  It is not.  I would like to see upgrades to the graphics more often, I just don't want us to have to wait for it until they have a bunch of it to release all at once and call it content.  We pay monthly, we should be seeing upgrades to the game monthly.  Graphic updates fit perfectly in that category of something they can update and release a little at a time.

Randomized Upgrades:

What I liked about it:

When the first follower I ever got on my druid, the one you get when learning about followers, turned out to be purple I was excited.  Whenever I clicked to finish a quest I knew rewarded a follower I would be staring at the screen saying "upgrade, upgrade, upgrade" over and over, as if me saying that might actually help the RNG.   Hint, it doesn't, but I still do it.  Getting an upgraded follower that should be common but comes rare or epic was awesome.  Getting a quest reward that is supposed to be 610 that gets the epic upgrade treatment and turns 640 is a great starting piece for when you first hit 100.  Having things randomly upgrade feels awesome, what is there not to like about it?

Why I do not want to see it again:

After getting an upgraded follower, for example, on one character it always feels like a let down on all the others.  When my druid got an epic of the first follower it felt awesome but each and every other character that I bought over to draenor that did not get that first follower epic felt like a let down.  It felt as if I was starting from behind.  Sure I understand I got lucky, sure I understand it is only a bonus on that character that got it, but once I got it on one each and every other character that did not get it felt like a let down.  In the grand scheme of things I would rather the follower be whatever the follower is than have one out of 20 feel like it got lucky and 19 out of 20 feel like they got screwed. 

In the future:

Some things work as random, other things do not.  I wish blizzard would realize the impact that random has on people.  While getting them feels good, not getting them feels worse, and in the grand scheme of things you will not get it a hell of a lot more often than you will get it.  I do not want to see anything like this in the future, in any aspect what so ever.  The joy I felt on my druid can not ever be worth the feeling of being let down on every other character that followed after.

How about you?

Now that you see what I am talking about, is there something you really liked in warlords you are hoping blizzard never does again?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday Random Thoughts

- I like to do soloing for fun, I am sure I have mentioned that before.

- Been doing ToT for a chance at the mounts.

- But I can't get up to the Ji-Kun yet.

- Admittedly I have not really tried that hard.

- It is more a healing issue.

- Might have to try some more well timed FDs, that is how I get past a lot of stuff.

- At least I can try for the horridon mount.

- Just not that one yet.

- I could check youtube to see if some other hunter has done the bosses I am stuck on.

- But what fun is that.

- I'll do it if I get frustrated and give up.

- Just have not reached that point yet.

- If I get the horridon mount and still have not managed to get up to Ji-Kun by then, I'll look it up.

- Or I could just start gearing up my DK.

- DKs are absolutely sick soloing things with high healing requirements.

- Hey, mounts are shared right, so who cares what I do it on.

- But I like soloing on my hunter, so I always try it with him first.

- I'll admit, I am a little upset soloing horridon is so easy.

- After the hell that boss put most guilds through when it was current, would have never expected it to be the easiest boss in there to solo.

- My alts are running into oil issues lately.

- I guess I need to do at least the one daily once in a while on them.

- Or get to revered and get the oil platform.

- Which also means I need to do some dailies on them to get to revered so I could buy it.

- Blah, blizzard found a way to force me to play my alts.

- Funny part with alts are when I could play them whenever I wanted, even if rarely, I loved having them.

- As soon as I started to feel like I "have to" do things on them I hate having them.

- I used to love having an army of alts, now I dread it.

- I have a post in mind about the "alt issues" I am having.

- Each person is different.

- One person in guild loves having to log into alts to do this stuff.

- He likes that he feels like he "need" to do something on his alts.

- It makes him feel like he is accomplishing something on them.

- Like I said, each person is different.

- He is also unemployed and playing is all he does every day.

- 6.2 was a patch for the unemployeed.

- At least if you want to play alts.

- Even doing LFR is an all day adventure.

- When it was a nice 30 minute or less run with a 20 minute or less wait time, LFR was close to being bite sized content.

- Now with 2 or 3 hour wait times, doing the LFR on multiple characters is like having a part time job.

- Except with much less reward and much less fun.

- Blizzard put all their bets into LFR, pushed everyone into raiding with it, and then went and did everything they could to try and kill it.

- Who the hell is running blizzard?

- Why do you push all the focus of the entire game into raiding and then destroy the "easy access" system for it?

- Wonder if blizzard notices what is going on, or are they just playing blissfully ignorant about it.

- The earning call is Aug 4th I believe.

- I wonder how much rushing 6.2 out saved them.

- You know it did save them.

- If not for the reversal of the flight decision and pushing 6.2 out as fast as possible, even with enough testing, they did everything they could to stop the bleeding.

- If they did not change their mind on flight and release 6.2 when they did at the end of the quarter I am sure that another game, FF 14, could have passed them in active subs.

- It is all about business however, not about quality.

- I do not mind that 6.2 was rushed so much.

- Except when I think we will be stuck raiding HFC for the next year or more because it was.

- They did say that they have no intention of adding another raid.

- So they could have waited another two or three months with it.

- And filled it out a bit more so the end of expansion gap would not seem as huge.

- After all, 6.2 will end up being the only content patch we have all expansion.

- It could have been bigger and they could have waited to make it so.

- And do not say 6.1 is a content patch.

- Even blizzard employees say that 6.1 was not a content patch.

- And these guys routinely take bullets for being the face of bad decisions in the front office.

- So if they will not tow the company line calling it a content patch, it was not a content patch.

- Had an argument with a guild mate about that.

- He said it was a content patch, but he just did not like any of the content in it.

- I said, no, it was a bug fix patch with adding a few things that should have been in game at release.  It was 6.0.5 or something, not 6.1.

- I never said it was bad, I just said it was not a content patch.

- I might have no use for the twitter or the selfies, but I see nothing wrong with adding them, they are just not for me.

- I don't say they are not content because I do not use them, I say they are not content because, for the sense of a content patch, they are not.

- They are the added things to a content patch, not the heart of one.

- And that patch had only them as content, so it was not a content patch.

- Just because you order something off the appetizer menu and eat it for dinner does not make it a dinner, it is still just an appetizer.

- Twitter and selfies are appetizers only, just because you liked them does not make them dinner.

- I get a kick out of some people in trade sometimes.

- They even amaze me or confuse me at times.

- Sure most of the time they are morons and I feel myself losing brain cells even reading it, but sometimes they are just funny.

- Saw and argument in trade that started when someone said they were having trouble with the proving grounds as a destruction warlock.

- Of course there had to be someone that said destro was easy and the guy sucked.

- But that was expected right?

- People insult everyone else in trade, that is just the normal.

- That is not what I found funny.

- What it turned into was unexpected and that is what was funny.

- After that they all went off with how everyone else's class is so easy and theirs was so hard.

- Am I the only person that found my own class easy?

- I would think everyone would find their own class the easiest out of all of them.

- And this one guy said shadow priest was the easiest of all classes.

- Shadow priest was the only one I did not one shot it on, changed a talent and did it second try.

- Sure it was easy with the right talent, but of all my classes I would say there is no way they would even be in the top three of easiest.

- It was funny because everyone was trying to make their own class sound like it was the hardest thing ever.

- To maybe make themselves feel better?  Who knows?

- I gladly say that for me on my hunter it was easy and I think hunters are the best class for it.

- But that is because everything is easier on a hunter because hunters rock.

- I did get a kick out of the one guy who was fighting that hunters were the hardest class to do it with.

- I got an even bigger kick out of the fact, no one argued with him.

- I am sure someone would have stepped up, even if as a jerk or to troll, and said something like hunters are the easiest class in the game.

- Like someone always does.

- But nope, never happened, some people even agreed with him.

- What?!?

- This is not the trade I know, what did you people do with my trade.

- I guess I got a kick out of it because it was like I was in the twilight zone or something.

- Usually trade is filled with people saying how easy every class is or insulting others classes.

- But now everyone was saying how hard all the classes were and agreeing that some classes were even harder.

- I, of course, did not say anything, but I did sit and watch for a while.

- Was paging through the group finder looking for something to do anyway, so trade kept me there longer than I might have otherwise.

- Wanted a group for heroic HRC and just could not find a group I liked.

- I really need to relax like personal restrictions.

- Because I could never find one.

- Was looking for specific bosses, could not find them.

- I don't join groups that phrase things disrespectful.

- Something like "no bads" I skip by, but "must know fights" which basically means the same thing, I am fine with.

- I figured if the guy is a jerk in his description, he will be a jerk leading the raid.

- I have no desire to play with jerks, or to help them down stuff for that matter.

- There were a few fresh ones, but they also did not meet my requirements.

- I do not want to sit and wait for a group to fill.

- If I see 1 or 2 people in the group, I skip right by it.

- If I see all DPS and no tanks or healers, I skip right by it.

- If I see stupid requirements, I skip right by it.

- I basically locked myself out of all groups because I could not find one.

- All because I am way to picky.

- I need to learn to loosen up.

- Too many bad experiences has jaded me.

- So I started paging through custom.

- Figured maybe something would tickle my fancy.

- Maybe a garrison invasion, a garrison raid boss, claw farming, what have you.

- I saw a level 91 needed help with an elite quest, so I applied and went to help him.

- Needless to say it took me a thousand times longer to get to him than to kill the mob for him.

- Call it my good deed for the day.

- Really could not find much more to do, so I popped around helping some people out.

- Hey, it gave me something to do right?

- My horde hunter finished the elemental runes part of the quest this week.

- Wow that was quick, it only feels like a couple of weeks ago when I started it.

- Actually, it was only a couple of weeks ago.

- I had no heart in me to wait 3 hours for the LFR however.

- So not sure how I am going to get the tomes done.

- They do not drop from missions, they do not drop from work orders, and I do not have the time to wait for hours and hours on end on an alt for LFR.

- My hunter and druid are fine, they raid the real raid.

- Even if I do not run on both each week and they do split time, they will get it done sooner or later, even if I did not do LFR.

- But without a raid team for my horde hunter any more, and without a guild for that matter, I don't see how I am going to manage it.

- And my gear is not good enough to pug with.

- At a 660 item level I could do better than half the people in pugs, but who would take me.

- Admittedly I would not even take me with an item level like that.

- I guess I could do some island grind and just upgrade any old piece to 695 for item level purposes only.

- As much as I hate the idea, I might consider it.

- Or I will not ever get the tomes part done on that character.

- Unless blizzard can do something to fix the LFR.

- I got an idea blizzard, make it worth doing again.

- Let me explain something to blizzard.

- If something is not worth doing, people don't do it.

- There is your answer why LFR participation is so dreadful low.

- Even non raiders do not want to do it any more because it does not feel rewarding enough.

- They did such a fantastic job of not making anyone want to do it that no one does it.

- How come the only thing blizzard can manage to do exactly what they intend to do with it is bad for the game?

- They need to add tier sets back into LFR to bait raiders in there to make the pool of players larger and make the runs faster.

- That and add back valor and valor gear, people did LFR because it was quick and easy and a nice decent chunk of valor.

- Have a few bosses drop pets, or even mounts on LFR only difficulty, and make it that those things could be sold.

- Keep the drop rates really low, but it would get people in there.

- People need some sort of incentive to do something, right now there is none.

- Heck, even many of my alts are better geared than anything the LFR can drop.

- If it were not for legendary quest line items I would not touch it with a 10 foot pole on any character, ever.

- The removal of raid gear from LFR and the removal of valor and the things it is used for are what I would guess to be the top reasons why I wait 3 hours now on a bad day.

- I almost feel bad now about complaining about the 45 minute waits.

- Now 45 minutes would sound like a godsend.

- You don't know what you've got until its gone.

- Maybe that phrase will ring a bell in blizzards mind when they continue to lose subs.

- Once most of them are gone maybe they will learn to respect the ones they have left.

- So who thinks that warcraft will be below 5M before the next expansion comes out?

- Which would mean it lost more than half of its players from release.

- I know it will be under 5M.

- Unless they make some serious changes and add more content before the next expansion, and good content at that, I am sure they will be under 5M.

- Heck, I would be willing to bet if they did not do that quick turn around on flight it would have been under 5M when they do their quarterly report.

- I am probably sure they fell under 5M after they announced no flight ever, and that is why they changed their mind so darn fast.

- The announcement of no flight was costing them money, money is all that maters to them, not content, not happy players, just money.

- The real question is, who the hell is running that place?

- They did not need to do all this.

- They did not need to upset players, possibly lose players, to test out some silly no flying idea.

- They could have listened to the players when they said they would, like they said they would.

- The players told them, loud and clear, if you remove flying we are leaving.

- So they removed flying and then were surprised when people left.

- It is like some idiot when you tell him, if you drop that on your foot it will hurt, so what do they do, they drop it on purpose just to see if you were right.

- Stupid people do stupid things.

- Seriously, who is running that place?

- Did they just say "they are just joking, they will not leave."

- They gambled and they lost.

- Someone needs to spend some time on the unemployment line in my opinion over that decision.

- Do you ever get the feeling like we were lied to about flight the whole time?

- Like they never intended to add it, ever, from the beginning.

- The whole, "we will see what the players think" was just a ruse.

- No matter what the players thought, even if they did a poll and 100% said they wanted flying, they were still going to remove it.

- Well, I have proof, or what I believe to be proof, that is the case.

- Okay okay, it is not proof, but it is a compelling argument at least.

- They never intended to give us flying at all.

- Think about it for a second.

- We know for a fact, because they said so, that some parts of the draenor are not capable of flight.

- This game was developed a long time ago.

- Don't you think if it was their intention to add flight that they would have built everything for flight in the first place?

- So it comes to one of two things.

- 1) They never intended to add flying and that is why they did not design for it everywhere and need to do that now.

- 2) The management of the game right now is really in that bad of a place that they could make such a huge mistake like that.

- As horribly mismanaged as warcraft has been these last few years I find it hard to believe that even they would be so stupid as to make a mistake of those proportions.

- Even if mismanaged if it was their intention to add flight, they would have created it capable of flight.

- So the only other answer is, they never intended to have flying, even from before beta was released, and that is why they did not design for it in many places.

- You have to figure that every place where conditions for flight were never put into the game were created after their decided to never add flight.

- Being many of those places are on the main land that was there at release, that means the decision to never give us flying was made while the game was still in development.

- Maybe even before beta came out for all we know.

- So how do you feel now that you know the decision of no flight was made before they even announced there would be no flight.

- How do you feel knowing that when they said, "we will see what the players think" they had already made their decision and they were just trying to appease us making us feel like we had a say in it?

- Blizzard really pulled a fast one, and everyone fell for it.

- They did not give a crap what the player base wanted.

- The game was designed without flight in mind from development and blizzard led people to believe they might get it.

- I am so glad so many quit and made them have to go back on it.

- I am happy they have to waste time fixing it.

- Because flight should have been in the game at release.

- Maybe they will notice that next time.

- I have a list of things I will do when I can fly.

- All things I want to do mind you, but it will not be enough.

- I would like to bring my alts into LFR to gear up once in a blue moon and not have to play them longer than I do my main most nights to do so.

- I would like to find a reason to do dungeons again on them, valor and valor gear were great for that.

- As it stands now most of my characters have never done a dungeon and the ones that have only did the ones needed for the legendary quest line.

- I would like to find a new and easier way to find pugs for things.

- I miss the old open raid with hundreds of people on all looking for different stuff all the time.

- Want a new raid, people there recruiting, want an old raid, people there recruiting, want a challenge mode, people there recruiting.

- Now... nothing.

- I will enjoy having flight back, doing more pet battling, archeology, exploration and more importantly freedom from stuns, roots, dismounts and annoyances.

- But that only is part of the problem with warlords as I see it.

- The game is broken right now.

- There is no other way to describe it.

- Can't wait to see if they intend to keep going on the wrong path.

- I expect an expansion announcement at gamescon.

- Or perhaps I should say I hope it is announced there.

- Because if it isn't, we are surely in for over a year of HFC.

- Heck, even if it is announced at gamescon I can see us having a year of HFC.

- A year with no new content is not so bad when you are enjoying the expansion, really bad when you are not.

- Have a great day.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Is Too Much Choice a Bad Thing?

Choice is a good thing, I like choice, actually I love having choices, but sometimes choice can lead to confusion for people that are not reading all the websites out there.  For fun I decided to take a block of item levels and see how many chest pieces I could find for a hunter between the 690 and 700 item level block.  I counted all items that have a base item level between those numbers and did not count any PvP gear, which there were 13 possible options for on its own in that item level range. 

Guess how many different chest pieces fits into that category?

Would you believe me if I said 48? 

I know the level range I picked includes the empowered apexis pieces but it does not have the mythic dungeon pieces and the LFR pieces, so it evens out some.  I decided on this item level range because this is the range of items someone might be seeking if they want to begin doing hellfire citadel heroic.  That said someone might also try to get some of the mythic dungeon pieces or maybe even the LFR tier set, who knows, there could be even more options than just the 10 levels I decided to focus on.  But I am comfortable with saying that for someone looking to step into heroic HFC there are, at least, 48 options for a chest piece alone. 

This also does not even take into account the idea that some of these pieces can also have one random tertiary stat on them.  If I really wanted to push it and add them you could increase that number to have 112 additional possible outcomes bringing the total of non pvp pieces in the base 690-700 item level range to 160 different chest pieces.  But as they are not stats, I left them out and only focused on the 48.  Not to mention, the list would be way to long with 160, it is already too long with the 48.

  1. Chestguard of the Siegemaker
  2. Chestguard of the Siegemaker - WF
  3. Chestguard of the Siegemaker - GS
  4. Chestguard of the Siegemaker - WF/GS
  5. Chestguard of Unending Roars
  6. Chestguard of Unending Roars - WF
  7. Chestguard of Unending Roars - GS
  8. Chestguard of Unending Roars - WF/GS
  9. Empowered Axeclaw Chestguard of the Aurora
  10. Empowered Axeclaw Chestguard of the Deft
  11. Empowered Axeclaw Chestguard of the Feverflare
  12. Empowered Axeclaw Chestguard of the Flashfire
  13. Empowered Axeclaw Chestguard of the Harmonious
  14. Empowered Axeclaw Chestguard of the Merciless
  15. Empowered Axeclaw Chestguard of the Peerless
  16. Empowered Axeclaw Chestguard of the Quickblade
  17. Empowered Axeclaw Chestguard of the Savage
  18. Empowered Axeclaw Chestguard of the Strategist
  19. Hauberk of the Savage Hunt
  20. Hauberk of the Savage Hunt - WF
  21. Hauberk of the Savage Hunt - GS
  22. Hauberk of the Savage Hunt - WF/GS
  23. Jungle Flayer's Chestguard
  24. Jungle Flayer's Chestguard - WF
  25. Jungle Flayer's Chestguard - GS
  26. Jungle Flayer's Chestguard - WF/GS
  27. Ringmail of Madness Accordan
  28. Ringmail of Madness Accordan -WF
  29. Ringmail of Madness Accordan - GS
  30. Ringmail of Madness Accordan -  WF/GS
  31. Rylakstalker's Tunic
  32. Rylakstalker's Tunic - WF
  33. Rylakstalker's Tunic - GS
  34. Rylakstalker's Tunic - WF/GS
  35. Vestment of Illusory Might
  36. Vestment of Illusory Might - WF
  37. Vestment of Illusory Might - GS
  38. Vestment of Illusory Might - WF/GS
  39. Wayfaring Tunic of the Aurora
  40. Wayfaring Tunic of the Deft
  41. Wayfaring Tunic of the Feverflare
  42. Wayfaring Tunic of the Flashfire
  43. Wayfaring Tunic of the Harmonious
  44. Wayfaring Tunic of the Merciless
  45. Wayfaring Tunic of the Peerless
  46. Wayfaring Tunic of the Quickblade
  47. Wayfaring Tunic of the Savage
  48. Wayfaring Tunic of the Strategist
While the fact might be true that of all the options above, there is only 1 "best' piece and maybe a few other "good" ones, so it is not like we really have 160 options, we really do not even have 48 different options.  All that other stuff is filler, fluff, pieces added to make it seem as if there are more choices and all these additional choices do is make it harder for people that do not go out of their way to research which pieces are best for them.

Even for someone that knows what stats are best, like myself, I long for the simple days when there were just a few pieces of gear, the stats or gem slots that came on it were not randomized, and you knew exactly which was best for you without even thinking really.

Lets kook, in comparison, at a level range from wrath, I even tried to pull a cluttered level range from wrath, one that includes 4 raids and 4 dungeons that have gear that drops in that level range.  One that has 2 different tier sets, like the 690 to 700 did. So lets look at the item level 210 to 220 range and see what options we have that are not PvP based.

  1. Chestguard of Flagrant Prowess
  2. Chestguard of the Lasher
  3. Chestguard of the Ravenous Fiend
  4. Cult's Chestguard
  5. Tunic of Masked Suffering
  6. Valorous Cryptstalker Tunic
  7. Valorous Scourgestalker Tunic
As you see we only had 7 choices back in the day.  The choices were simple, each one had different stats (they don't now due to how stats have changed but they did) and you sought the one that had your best stats for you but were happy to get anything else while you were waiting for the drop you wanted.

There was no RNG to tell you which stats were on the gear.  There was no RNG to decide if it had a gem slot or not.  There was no RNG to see if it would be warforged.  There was no RNG to tell you if you had a speed boost, or an avoidance boost, or if your gear would be indestructible or give you the leech ability.   There was no RNG other than the RNG of the item dropping at all to begin with.

To me I do not see gearing today to be any "harder" than it used to be.  It is still the same, you seek the gear that is best for you and keep killing that boss until he coughs it up.  But to many a new players, with choices cluttering their screen, find themselves overwhelmed by all the options which leads me to ask, is too much choice a bad thing?

Or maybe a better way to phrase it would be, is the game better now because we have all this RNG and all these other options?

Personally, I do not think so.  I am suffering from major RNG burnout.  The number of choices do not matter to me, best is best and will always be best whether I am choosing between 7 pieces or 160 of them, but I would really like to see the RNG factor removed from loot.  Isn't the RNG of having it drop enough RNG to begin with?

I would welcome the removal of random stats.  I would welcome the removal of warforged.  I would welcome the removal of random gem slot.  And if they removed all that RNG guess how many choices we would have in the 690-700 item level range?  9.  Yeah, now that is more like it.

So yes, sometimes too much choice is a bad thing in my opinion.  It doesn't add anything to the game except RNG and I can live without that thank you very much.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Is That Piece of Gear and Upgrade?

In a recent post I mentioned that a piece of gear of a higher item level is not always an upgrade.  Someone mentioned that without me explaining it that I might be misleading people into making bad choices with gear.  After thinking about it I do agree with them.  Some people might draw the wrong conclusion.  So I figured a follow up post explaining how to figure out if a piece of gear is an upgrade or not was warranted.

It is really simple to judge a piece of gear as long as it is a simple piece of gear.  That is all I plan to show here, a simple guide to help show those that might not know how to evaluate if a piece of gear is really an upgrade.

Please read the tier and trinket section below for exceptions.

For this post we will be comparing gear that does not offer any additional bonuses such as tier gear or trinkets.  Just a simple comparisons to help you decide on which piece is better and if an item level upgrade is really an upgrade. 

How do you judge if a piece of gear is an upgrade?

1) Find your stat weights:

Go to google, if you do not already have your favorite class forum, blog, or resource bookmarked, and search for your spec stat weights.  Usually typing something like "Marksman hunter 6.2 stat weights" will be enough to find them.  You are not looking for a list of which is better, so you might need to click a few links.  You are looking for a list with numbers.

When I looked for marksman I came up with these results, thanks goes to Azortharion and Niix for their awesome hunter guide that supplied me with these numbers.

2.80 - Weapon DPS
1.00 - Agility
0.90 - Attack Power
0.71 - Crit to 53%
0.64 - Multistrike
0.60 - Versatility
0.59 - Mastery
0.58 - Haste

2) Use those stat weights to get a value for the item:

For this example I am going to use my necklace, the darkflight necklace from BRF heroic and compare it to another neck I recently received from the HRC raid on normal.

We will need to strip the stats off the pieces to compare them, then add the value of the pieces up into one total value, which will be the value we place on the item to compare the two.

Heroic Darkflight Necklace.
Warforged, with a Gem Slot. (Item level 691)

166 agility x 1.00 = 166.00
111 critical strike x 0.71 = 78.81
111 multistrike x 0.64 = 71.04
75 critical (from slot) x 0.71 = 53.25

Total value of that necklace= 369.10

Normal Chain of the Lidless Eyes
No enhancements (Item level 700)

180 agility x 1.00 = 180.00
166 haste x 0.58 = 96.28
74 mastery x 0.59 = 43.66

Total value of that necklace = 319.64

As you can see, the 691 item is actually a considerably better item for me.  This comes mostly from the fact I have a 75 stat gem in the gem slot, but even if I had a 30 or a 50 gem in that gem slot it would still be better.  As long as the gem slot is not empty, the lower item level piece, in this case, is much better.

Note: Many times items with gem slots are where these cases of the lower item being better than the higher item level come into play and these items are the ones I suggest you always check to make sure if the upgrade is actually and upgrade.

3) Keep the higher item level item:

Even if the higher item level item is not an upgrade for you in your current spec it is an item level upgrade. If you plan to pug the only way people have to judge you, if they do not armory, is to use your item level.  When you sign up for a group your item level that they see is your best item level, including those items in your bags.

So even if you get an item level upgrade that is not a performance upgrade, you should hold on to it if you plan to pug.  While you will be gearing smart wearing the better piece even if it is a lower item level, you having the higher item level shows up when you apply to a group and it could help you get accepted into pugs.  Once you are in the pug you will be judged based on your performance, so do the best you can do, abide by mechanics, and no one will ever know you actually have a lower item level.

The 6 Item Level Tip:

Without going into detailed break downs of every item for every class I will make a blanket statement that is more often then not true unless your spec has any stats that are dreadfully bad for them, as in under 0.40.  In which case the number could be higher than 6, but 6 seems to be the average, at least for hunters.

Usually anything more than 6 item levels higher is an upgrade for most classes, regardless of stats, if there are no gem slots involved.

Using the above example, even if it is a 9 item level difference, with the 691 neck with perfect secondary stats vs a 700  item level neck with my worst secondaries you will see, even if I take away the gem slot, that the 691 item level neck would be a 315.85 vs the 700 item neck's 319.64, making the 700 item an extremely minor upgrade, but an upgrade none the less, at 9 item levels.  This will, in most cases, be the case.

The 6 item level tip is a basic guideline and not to be taken as law even it will be true more often than not.  It works well for hunters as their stats are very close to one another whereas some classes do not have that benefit and have larger gaps between best and worst secondary stats.  If your stat gap is larger, the number would be higher.

The 6 item level tip is for the lazy person, like me with alts.  If the item you are wearing has your two best stats and the other item is only 6 item levels higher and has neither of them, do not switch.  If it is 7, switch.  Either way, I'd still suggest checking it out using the easy formula shown above to make sure if you even care a little but about getting the maximum potential out of your gear, but with the lazy method, you will never hurt yourself too much either way.

Tier Bonus and Trinkets:

You can not, and should not, ever use what I said above to judge tier sets and trinkets.  The reason for this is that the tier set bonuses could, for some classes, greatly outweigh the stats on a piece of gear that would seem like a large increase but break a tier set bonus in the process.

For example, the T17 hunter bonus for BM hunters is still wonderful if you have not snagged the T18 set yet.  And with the increase of bestial wrath to 15 seconds up from 10 seconds in an upcoming patch, it makes it even better. 

So even if you have 4 670 pieces for the tier set it would be much better than replacing it with a couple of 700 items you got out of a mythic bag and two 695 empowered apexis pieces you made on Tanaan.  Even if you would see a substantial item level increase from equipping those 4 pieces and a fairly decent upgrade from their base stats alone, having those extra stats does not (in many cases) make up for breaking what is a very good tier bonus.

I suggest you read your classes forums somewhere like elitist jerks, mmoc, or the battle net forums to see if and when you should break a tier set.  Do not use the above mentioned method to judge in this case.

Or, and I believe this would best, you could learn to use simcraft and play around with it some to help you decide if breaking the tier set will work for you.  There is no simple way to decide like I showed here.  Even a super tier set will eventually be beaten out by raw stats alone, if the gap gets great enough.

The same goes for trinkets.  Never use the base stats on trinkets to judge a trinket.  Trinkets often can be deceiving, in terms of item level.  Such as the trinket off the world boss with the tertiary stats on it.  Sure it is an item level of 705, but a 630 trinket from a heroic dungeon would, in many cases, be a better trinket than that one.

For trinkets I suggest you look at the previously mentioned sites, or your favorite bloggers suggestions, instead of using this formula or judging based on the face stats alone.

I hoped that helped some people learn how to judge which piece of gear is better for them.  It is not always about item level, but it is always about stats.  Whichever piece has the best stats for you, regardless of item level, is the best piece for you.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Adds, Adds and More Adds, Even My Adds have Adds

In raiding there are many mechanics that get used over and over.  It is why the longer you play the easier it seems to do new content.  It is not that you are a better player, it is just that you already know what to do so there is not much of a learning curve involved. 

Once you have learned to deal with the stand and stack, or the run out with the debuff, or the share the pain ability, it is just a matter of saying, oh this boss is like so and so.  As long as everyone in your group has done so and so, the fight is easy, otherwise, you have to teach them and along comes some wiping.  But that is part for the course with new players, no biggie, they will know for next time right? 

For those that have been playing however there is nothing new to learn with those abilities,  they are standard raid stuff we learn to expect and once you mastered the moving out of the group move it is not like you ever need to learn it again.  Mechanics are simple, once you learn them and as long as you can say and understand, oh this is like that was, got it.

Sometimes however it seems like blizzard gets into a rut with design and they rely too heavily on one type of mechanic.  This raid tier seems to be filled with over used mechanics like the run out and drop a debuff that stays there forever mechanic.  While it isn't on every fight, it sure as hell seems like it is over used this tier.  But no mechanic is more over used this tier than adds as a mechanic.  But not just adds as a mechanic, but in some cases it feels as if there are adds just for the sake of adds and not for the sake of mechanics.

No fight is worse for that than the first boss of the raid.  When HFC came out I did a quick explanation of the fight, very few had actually did any research on their own, as I have learned to accept more and more as this expansion goes on, but as we were fighting many people kept asking, when does the boss come.

There was a funny exchange that I want to share that happened with one of my warriors when he came in late after I explained the fight.  We had just finished clearing the trash and invited and summoned him before pulling the boss.  After the fight this exchange happened.

Him: "So did I miss any bosses, sorry I was late."
Me: "That was the first boss."
Him: "No, that was the trash, did I miss the boss."
Me: "No, the trash was the boss."
Him: "You're messing with me because I was late right."

When the fight ended some people asked, is that it?  Remember, we did this on normal with mostly heroic and partial mythic gear from the previous tier.  I really did not even need to go over mechanics being the first boss is so easy.  So it really just felt like a series of adds pouring out at us, no boss what so ever and in truth, even if we did not way over gear it, that is all it was.  No boss what so ever.

This fight set the pace for what HFC would be.  Adds, adds and more adds, with the occasional target switching.  Target switching could be considered adds as well in many cases.  Like target switching for tyrants ancients or kormroks hands, they are not really adds in the general sense of the word as we use it normally but when all the bosses seem to have are adds, even these target switching mechanics feel like just more adds.

Don't get me wrong, I do not mind adds.  If I am running an AoE based spec it is sometimes fun to pad the meters thanks to adds and even as a single target spec, like marksman right now, it is fun being the priority killer while I let others deal with the clean up of other adds.  Also, when I tank I have always loved add fights, call me weird.  My favorite fight as a tank in cataclysm was being the add tank on my warrior for maloriak.  I bet that is something you never heard any tank say ever.  Hey, I am weird, and I loved tanking the adds on that fight.  It was great fun, at least for me.

So it is not that I dislike adds in fights, I actually do like them.  As I said, they can be fun to tank, they can help you pad the meters if you are into that stuff, and they can make you the sniper super star being the class that is perfect for priority target killing.  So adds do not made a fight bad.

But when every single fight I describe to my raid team starts with the same line "adds are your top priority" it starts to feel like the "add factor" as a mechanic is being over used.

It reminds me of that meme, and maybe there is one out there already, but I can see one made about raiding this tier that goes something like "I heard you like adds, so I gave your adds some adds so they can have adds too."

It seems like add over kill and I am suffering from add burnout already.  Some fights have adds throughout, some fights have adds on phases, some fights have adds in phased areas, some fights have adds that move from one phase to another, some fights have adds that are more dangerous than boss, some fights have adds that are just target switches, some fights have adds spawn from portals, some fights have adds that need to be kited, and some fights have adds that just sit there but you still need to kill them.

Adds, adds and more adds.  The raid seems like a broken record.  I like add fights, I do, but anything used too much just loses its luster and guess what, adds have lost their luster for me this tier.

There are some mechanics we got to see again after a long absence, which is usually welcome, and some mechanics that are used rarely, which makes them more enjoyable, in my opinion, there are also some new mechanics that I liked to see, but some mechanics are over used this tier,  and using adds as a mechanic is more over used than all the others combined.

Do you think blizzard dipped into the add well too often this tier?

What standard mechanics would you have liked to see more?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Would You Play A Shadow Stalker?

I normally do not put a great deal of stock in leaks but being there was a recent leak about what the next expansion would be and it was by the same guy that leaked warlords originally, and was right, I will play with the idea a little bit.  Even if everyone laughed at his warlords leak, he was right.  So he has earned some trust points from me.  And some of the things he mentioned do line up nicely with some of the things I already know, or believe I know, based on some information I have received.

Admittedly this post could just end up meaning nothing, but it is fun to think about the possibilities.  As the new class, which I believe he mentioned, is called a Shadow Stalker and it uses ranged weapons which puts it in direct competition with hunters for weapons, I consider this sort of a sister class to the hunter.

When I first read about it the two things that popped into mind are as follows...

1) I do not want anyone else competing for my weapon.

I have not seen hunter weapons drop thus far all expansion.  I have not seen any hunters in my group coin a weapon.  So no drops of weapons, no coined weapons, and if it were not for crafted gear, no weapons at all this expansion for hunters makes me really dislike the idea of adding another class that would use the same weapon as mine.

It is already damn near impossible to get a weapon as is, the last thing the hunter class needs is someone else competing for its weapon.  No thank you.

However, maybe with a new class they will increase the drop rate of these weapons, which is entirely possible too.  This would be a good thing, but even if you double 0 drops this expansion, it is still 0 drops this expansion.  So given the option, I would rather not have someone else compete for my weapon thank you very much.  Guns, bows and crossbows are hunter loot, no pun intended.  We do not need to share them.

2) Why not just add a 4th spec for hunters.

The shadow stalkers are basically caster hunters.  It will have 2 DPS specs and a healing spec.  Is this really needed?  No, not at all.  Two of the three hunter specs already have the option to use no pet.  So they are basically like casters.  Also we do not need more ranged classes, there are enough as is.

However, adding a 4h spec to allow hunters to heal could be interesting.  Not exactly the choice I would have went with as I could see a hunter being a tank way before I could see hunters healing.  I think it would be much more reasonable to add a 4th spec, call it a shadow stalker if you wish, and make it a hunter healing class.  There is absolutely no need for a new class.

This idea would be much more preferable to adding another class to the game in my opinion.

With all that said, would I play a shadow stalker?

Absolutely I would.  I could dig the wildstar gunslinger healing model.  Would like to see how blizzard manages it.  I've always played any new class they added, always made any new race they added, so why would this time be any different.

I just question the reasoning behind this class being added if it does indeed turn out to be true.  Why add a new class no one wanted, no one asked for and there is no need for in game?

If they wanted to test out the wildstar gunslinger model they could very easily, as I mentioned, add a 4th spec for hunters to do so.  Just look at people that are in game that are already hunters and healers, people like Vol'Jin whom this will be based on and Tyrande.  Both hunters, both with healing capabilities.  And they are not alone.

There is precedent for adding a 4th spec already, there is reasonable lore behind a hunter having healing capabilities, and there really is no need to clutter the classes even more with more of the same. 

I'd think blizzard should spend more time trying to fix what they already have before adding more.  Just look at hunters right now, they have one completely broken spec.  Wouldn't their resources be better spent fixing a class that is already in the game than trying to create a new class that is basically the same thing and using the same weapons and the broken class that they are completely ignoring as is.

I actually trust this rumor that was released.  I think the leak has some validity to it.  The sad part is, I do not like what I see knowing they are adding a new class when there are so many broken specs being completely ignored already in the game.

If this does turn out to be true, it is not looking good for me staying around for another expansion.  If blizzard has the balls to thrust a new, unwanted, unwelcome and not required class on us while other specs remain broken, they do not deserve my money any more.  But... if I did stay around, sure, I would play it.  I am a fool that way.

Historical Revisionism: The Wrath Time Walker Dungeons

I really enjoyed the time walker wrath dungeons but I think I enjoyed them a little too much for the completely wrong reasons.  It is sort of like the entire game has had collective amnesia or just decided as a whole to write a historical revision of what wrath dungeons were like.  I was starting to think I was the only one that remembered the truth.

It is not like this came completely as a surprise for me being I have been hearing for so long how wrath dungeons were just mass pull AoE fests that had no mechanics and nothing that could kill you.  It seems every time a conversation about dungeons comes up on any forum system out there it always falls into how easy the wrath dungeons were.

It always made me wonder what these people were smoking.  And why were they not sharing.  If you were to ask me if the wrath dungeons were easier than the cataclysm dungeons I would surely say yes, but they were harder than anything we saw in mists and harder than anything we saw in warlords.  Not like the people that read and post on the forums would ever agree with that.  The manta that wrath dungeons were easy has been going on so long that people just repeat it without thinking.  They do not realize that they are making up a new history for them, that they were never actually as easy as people remember them to be.

I think what happens is that people remember what it was like when the group finder was first added to the game.  Having quick access to dungeons we all already knew and all greatly out geared gave the impression they were easy.  You could get 5 random people and do them nice and easy.  Well lets see, getting into one in 20 minutes was new, being able to spam them every 20 minutes was new, and being able to group with a massive pool of people whom, most likely over geared it and knew it like the back of their hand, made them super easy.

Anything is easy when you over gear it.  Even cataclysm dungeons were easy once you knew the fights and over geared them.  Yes, even before they gave some slight nerfs to them, yes, even in that first week, cataclysm dungeons had already reached easy mode.  If you found a group in all dungeon gear that had done all the bosses before, they were no problem what so ever.  But if you managed to get a group that had new people, or a new tank or even more importantly a new healer, cataclysm dungeons were still hard.  Just like wrath dungeons.

Yes Virgina, wrath dungeons were harder than people remember them to be.  And this time walking weekend was a complete laugh fest for me because of that fact.  Sadly I took way to much enjoyment out of watching others die.  Tanks mostly, lots of bad tanks.

Either with people that were new to the game and never did them and only knew what they read on the forums, or with people that forgot the fights, or with people that never did them on release, they all walked in there thinking they could just run hog wild all over the place and it would be no problem.

Oh the deaths, the repair bills, the sudden change to asking for CC, asking what the tactics were, it was all worthy of a hearty laugh.  I have been proven that my history, the real history, not the historical revisionism that seems to have taken a hold of the people that do not know better, has won out.

And the biggest beauty is that we massively over gear these dungeons.  And people are still wiping.

We are doing the numbers we would be doing at the end of wrath in these dungeons while scaled to a 160 item level.  Let me tell you first hand, from someone that had been there and remembers it, there was no one in the game doing 15K in a dungeon at a 160 item level.  Nope, not even close.  When they first came out and you first went in there if you had a group were everyone was doing 1500, not 15000, you would most likely have a nice and smooth run as long as everyone knew the fights already.  In all honesty all you needed to do wrath dungeons was 1K DPS from all the damage dealers.

If you manged to get someone doing 2K in a wrath dungeon and they were paying attention and not doing stupid stuff or standing in bad, you were running the dungeon in god mode because things died so fast with huge numbers like that.  Even if the other two damage dealers died as long as you had that one person you could do the bosses.  So seeing people do, even on the low end, 5K, in these dungeons, keep in mind we are still over gearing them.  Over gearing them by a huge margin, and people are still wiping and I am loving it.

These groups that are wiping with us doing these insanely high numbers, I would love to see them actually do these dungeons as they first came out.  I bet they would not be able to.  They would need too much coordination, they would need too many line of sight pulls, they would need people to interrupt, to cleanse, to dispel.  They would need people to actually know how to play their characters.  Bottom line is wrath dungeons were not the face roll dungeons people talk about all the time.  Even when you were in your full ICC 25 heroic gear you could still wipe to bosses in there and you were doing 15K like you are now.

The dungeons were only a laugh fest to groups that knew the dungeons and over geared them.  Any dungeon, even on release, was always easier with a competent group that knew how to play.  They were not like that otherwise, and maybe some of the people that got suckered in by the false mantra that wrath dungeons were easy will finally realize that they weren't.  Or maybe now they will learn the fights and know what to do, and being they are doing end of wrath numbers at beginning of wrath item level it will become a laugh fast once more.  But at least for a moment, even a short lived one, they realized, wrath dungeons could kill you.  Even when you over powered them like we do now, if you do not follow the mechanics.

Now to some of my funny stories, please feel free to share some of yours, because I have never had so much fun wiping.  I got a kick out of these people thinking "this is so easy" and then having it shoved in their faces, "no it is not".  Was even better when the person that called it easy realized their errors of their way and admitted it is not.

The First Five:

My first five time walking dungeons were on Friday night on my main, the hunter.  It was with a guild group that did not have a tank so we needed to get a tank for each run.  Two of the players, myself and the healer, were vets, we had been there and done that and we both knew what they could be like when wrath first came out.  The other two were new, so we had fun explaining everything to them and sharing some stories.


First dungeon we get a DK tank, it is halls of lightning.  He seemed like he had never been there before, or at least never tanked it.  Or at least that is the conclusion I came to after the first boss.

The tank ran straight in and started to pull even before everyone zoned in.  I had entered first, him second, and he took off like a bat out of hell.  He did survive on the first pack long enough for the healer to make it in and started to go down the road.

He then pulled the boss, the bosses his adds, the two adds leading up to him and the entire pack of, what is it, 5, mobs that are in that first corner.  He was taking massive hits, the healer was doing the best he could.  We could make no headway on any mob as the healers were all over them.  I had the DPS focus on one at a time and we managed to get a couple down but the healer was oom trying to keep the tank up and we wiped.

I said to the healer, bet you this guy never did these dungeons before because if he had he would have known you do not pull the boss until the adds are clear.   Second time, he does the same exact thing and we almost wipe, at least we had killed some last time.  The healer mentioned to him he can not do pulls like that, he will wipe the group.  His only line that whole dungeon is, these dungeons are so easy, they're wrath dungeons, just keep up.

A few times during the run the tank went all crazy pulling, each time we stood behind as a team and revived him when he died.  He never got a clue.  The last room before the boss he pulled three packs and with their knockbacks, fears, and other fun stuff, we wiped again, multiple times.  He could not keep aggro on any of them because they were all over the place.


Group 5 was also the halls of lightning, I am skipping 2, 3 and 4 for a moment to stick with the same dungeon.  We get another DK tank that had me laughing the entire run because I kept ripping aggro off him.

I said, wow, these really are wrath dungeons when I have to watch everything I do or I get to tank the mob.  And remember, in wrath if you pulled a mob you were most likely dead.  The trash did not mess around in there if you screwed up on aggro.

Every single pull I would do my first shot and the mob would come to me.  Even with a misdirection the mob would come to me.  I started to joke how long I can wait and still pull a mob off the tank.  I waited 5 second, hit misdirect, hit one shot, then stopped, and a couple of seconds later, boom, mob was on me.

Next pull I did it without a misdirect, waited a full 10 seconds, targeted the tanks target, not some random add, did one shot, mob came flying at me.  We were all laughing like crazy on voice chat, had a great old time.

The tank was taking it slow, letting us CC, seemed to have done it before, but he had some massive aggro issues just like I remember every tank in wrath having back then.  If it were a paladin I would have guessed his RF was not on, but the tank was in blood, not exactly sure what happened, but it was really funny.  We were placing bets on if he would keep aggro on any given mob.  Lots of laughs to be had from everyone.


Utgarde pinnacle here we come.  I remember running this countless times trying to get that damn drake.  Used to solo it in wrath on my hunter, yes a hunter could solo it, every chance I got to try and get the thing.  I must have done it well over 800 times before I got it to drop.  A couple of weeks later a healer of mine gets it out of a bribe bag.  Son of a...  Makes me feel like I wasted all that time farming for it if I got it without even trying from a bribe bag.  The least they could have done it allow me to sell it, but that is another story.  I was sure the mount would drop being I did not need it any more.  This was my first time stepping foot into it since I got the mount.

The tank surely was new on this one.  He started to clear the entire first room.  We just went along with it.  No biggie really, but we would tell him about things later so he does not make any mistakes.  Well, two things in particular.  To run down the hallway to the end, and to LoS the mobs in the last room out.

He managed the first part just fine, second, I don't think he understood how to do a line of sight pull.  He ran in and aggroed them, he got feared out toward us, they aggroed on us, more fears, more people all over the place, and wipe time it was.

Second attempt did not go that well either, maybe a blood worm got feared.  Can that even happen?   He only pulled it to the doorway, not through, and the middle pack came out, but at least he was getting better at it.

Third attempt he did it right and we manged. He said in chat.  This is not what I expected.  I thought these were easier.  This seems like it has harder pulls then mythic dungeons.  He laughed, we laughed, it was a fun wiping experience.  Still not exactly sure how someone makes it to level 100 and still does not know how to line of sight pull, but that is another story all together.


Third run was nexus and story time again.  It was not only the first dungeon I ran on heroic, it was also the first dungeon I was able to solo on heroic.  My first time doing it on heroic we had a warlock tank.  Nope, not shitting you.  Remember, you needed to assemble your groups by hand back then and tanks were few and far between.  So we did it without a tank.  Remember that doom lord thing you needed everyone to click on and it tried to kill someone when it was summoned?  Made for a good tank.

Either way, we had a paladin tank that made it clear he had no idea what he was doing when he entered, he said so, no guessing here.  He moved slowly because he had to, at first at least.  Once his confidence level went up, which did not take too long at all, he started to over pull.  More so in the room with the first boss in ice blocks.  He pulled the whole room right away before I could even type that there was a boss there.  We wiped.

Second time he over pulled it once again and we wiped once more to people getting feared further down the hall.  I refused to die, I wanted to take out some of the adds first because we did some serious damage to them so I started kiting.  Not used to doing it without a pet because I could always use the taunt on the pet to get one off of me if it got too close and I was running lone wolf MM, but I did manage to take out 4 mobs before I died.  Tried to hit FD but was a little to late.  I wanted to get that last shot off.  Either way, we killed him the next time.

So he takes the next trash up the hill without looking and did not realize there is a pack of 4 and a patting pack of three and ends up with all 7.  The healer gets eaten alive pretty quick, we do manage to stay alive, he was doing well rotating cooldowns.  The healer gets back just as he died, uses a battle res on him and then dies again instantly.  But we do finish them off.  Does the tank wait for him to get back?  Of course not.  He charges ahead to the next pack in the boss room, I tell the DPS to let him die.   We revive him after he dies and the healer finally makes it back.

Then for some odd reason he goes straight ahead, not into the boss room like he did originally, and pulls the side pack and drags them back to the room pack.  Oh hell, we got a lot of mobs.  The healer goes full on crazy mode and manages to keep us up, but he pulls the boss instantly even though the healer wasted nearly all their mana keeping us up.  We kill it with only one causality, the tank.  Good for him.

The entire run he does the same thing.  Takes it slow for one or two pulls, gets some confidence and pulls a ton and kills us.  Clearing packs we can skip, trying to skip packs we can't.  I am thinking this guy was not just new to the dungeon, he must be new to tanking to not understand what can and can not be skipped.  Knowing stuff like that is usually one of the first skills a tank develops.  I think we wiped, or came close to wiping, 10 times in that dungeon.


Gundrak was the 4th one I did.  Never did manage to get old kingdom on any of the characters I did this with, would love to see how bad tanks dealt with the spell flingers and their 80% hit.  Back in the day every new tank that thought they were god mode would run in there trying to pull three of them only to die instantly to 240% max health damage.  I guess now is no different, but all I can do is guess as I did not get it.

Gundrak never made me think of it as the type of dungeon that had a lot of instant death mechanics but it sure seems like it does now.  We did not wipe, often, but we did lose people on nearly every single pull.  Had a warrior tank that thought he was in a race and of course it was our job to cover his ass when he over pulled, again and again.  We were getting better at covering for poor tanks now however as it seems there are only poor tanks running this.

A few times however he went too far.  Like I said, seemed someone died every single pull.  We wiped a couple of times on trash but had no issues with the bosses.  Last boss was just two people alive, the tank and the healer.  I do not remember that rhino charge being a one shot kill but when he charged me I died and I was at full health when that happened.  Overtuned much?  Maybe not.  Maybe I too am misremembering it to be easier than it really was.  Maybe it was a one shot mechanic at 160 item level and I just never got hit by it to remember.  Maybe you remember.

Summation of the First Five:

It was a guild group and even with two complete noobs to the content it went a lot better than it might have otherwise.  Us doing huge numbers compared to what we should be doing in there, which should have been between 1 and 2 K, made up for a lot of the errors that the tanks made, but nearly every error was a tank error.  All because they probably read the forums and thought, oh I can pull whole rooms.  Ah, no, you can not, you never could in wrath dungeons, at least not until you over geared it by 100 item levels.

Funny Statements:

On my horde hunter in a gundrak, one of the damage dealers says "I hate this, I used to do 30K in these and now I am doing 5K".  I said, "Sorry, you were never doing 30K in these, 30K in dungeons did not come until cataclysm"  He swore up and down that he used to be able to do 30K, and the best part is when he said, the only reason he is doing so low now is because he has crap gear.  That was good for a laugh.   He was a level 100 in mostly normal mode gear, better than my hunter who is not even LFR geared, yet I quadrupled him.  Guess scaling works better for hunters huh?

On multiple characters, in multiple dungeons, by multiple tanks I heard something like this.  "It is only a wrath dungeon so I am going to be pulling big and pulling fast".  It always, yes each and every single time, ended with a dead tank and the group following shortly after.  Each time I laughed, even more so when I was on a hunter or rogue that could drop aggro.

Last boss in halls of lightning, on my rogue, paladin healer says to the ranged, "don't worry about standing on top of him, I can heal though this easily".  One ranged dies, the other ranged dies, I die, healer dies tank dies.  One DPS, "I thought you said this was easy to heal"  Paladin says, "It used to be easier they must have increased the difficulty."  Both me and the tank say, at the same time, "these are actually a hell of a lot easier than they used to be".  BTW, we wiped again a second time with everyone stacking that time too.  The healer swore up and down it used to be easier.  I did it early on, and no, it was not.  If anything that boss was probably the hardest boss in a heroic I ever faced if you have a fresh max level healer with you, and heck, even some well geared healers could not handle it.  The guy is lucky we were doing over 7K each instead of the 2K each we might have been doing at best when it was at level, or we would have never managed that boss.

Gundrak, horde hunter, DK tank, he has never been there, we all jump down, he hits path of frost, we all die.  He says, sorry, did not know the fall was that far.  I died, but I found it very funny.

Frustrated DPS when I enter a halls of lightning.  "Not this one again.  Please be able to do this, I have spent hours wiping here in different groups.  I will server transfer a character with 1000 gold to each of your servers if we can finish this".  Not sure why I thought this was so funny but it made me laugh.  I'll laugh even more if I end up with 1K gold in my mailbox, I really am not expecting it.

I think most of my favorite moments were when tanks died because they over pulled.  I am not sure which room I think of as the best.  It is a close tie between the knockback guys in HoL or the fear guys in UP that they always refuse to light of sight pull.  Both rooms can quickly mean death with a bad pull and from this weekend there is one thing I know for sure, tanks do not learn how to pull any more.  Those rooms were rooms of death over and over and each time it was fun laughing at the cocky tank.

In the end Wrath dungeons are easy.  If you know what you are doing.  Or as it seems, if you have a tank that knows what they are doing.  With the scaling down we already over gear it.  So all you need is a tank that did not fall for all the hype that wrath dungeons were easy and you will have no problem with any of them.  They are easy.  When you get a group that knows what they are doing.

To end this I will quote a healer on voice chat from one of his runs.  "This damn druid tank can not take even one hit, why does he keep insisting we pull entire rooms, I hate these dungeons."  Yeap, seems like the wrath dungeons are all about the tanks.  Just like they were back in wrath and where the tank ego started to really get inflated.  So they might have messed up the scaling, but they nailed the importance of tanks perfectly.  Maybe the fact they all seem to suck will put their ego in check a little bit.  But I doubt it, they will just blame the healer, or the DPS, or the price of tea.

I had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs at the expense of others this weekend, how about you?