Archive for the “Patch News” Category
Just a quick update, on my last blog post I specifically rushed to the awesome idea of a Rogue being able to go back, get the Warglaives, and finally raid with them.
A Blue commenter has specifically remarked that Legendary weapons will NOT be allowed to either have their image be changed, or to supply their appearance to another item.
My editorializing will now begin.
How completely frakkin’ stupid! If the whole point is that you have to possess the item in your own inventory, then why in the hell would you NOT want to be able to display that you have a legendary? Why?
Are Legendaries SUPPOSED to rot unused and unseen in a bank?
Just… on top of the greatest news I’ve had in a few weeks about the game, to drop that bombshell of just STUPID is amazing.
And I don’t even have a Legendary!
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I don’t even know where to begin, but since that’s a beginning, let’s roll.
Today, we are told, I’m still not believing the words I’m typing, that patch 4.3 will include Gear Transmogrification.
You’ll be able to change the current appearance of your gear to match the appearance of any other comparative type of gear.
Plate shoulder to plate shoulder, leather chest to leather chest. Possibly even two-handed staff to two-handed staff, and one-handed swird to one-handed sword.
This feature, no I swear to you I am not kidding it’s been confirmed by Blue post on the official forums, goes hand in hand with the new Void Storage, which apparently is intended to have about 150 inventory spaces… for the storage of your old gear.
Items you put in Void Storage, according to Blue posts, will have enchants, gems and crafting identifiers removed. It will be put in the digital equivalent of long-term cold storage.
The subtext here? You will have to possess, currently, an item of gear in order to be able to apply that gears’ appearance to your currently worn gear.
Maybe it will have to be placed in Void Storage to have the pattern be available at the Transmogrifier Vendor, that sounds very reasonable to me. It would make Void Storage a form of “recipe list” for appearance patterns.
Holy shit. Just, holy shit.
Do YOU want to PvP or raid in the armor sets, the MATCHING armor sets of yesteryear? Do YOU love role playing and having cool outfits, and regret having to wear a cobbled-together clown suit to achieve performance?
Well, kiss the clown suit goodbye, my friends, and say hello to a whole new game of planning your special outfit and then going out there and GETTING IT.
Did you always want the twin Warglaives from Black Temple, but once Cataclysm came out and the Legendaries were obsolete as effective gear, you lost the fire in your belly to get them?
Have you always loved the Blackened Defias set, and wished you could wear the whole thing and still be as effective as everyone else?
Just… holy shit.
I know that my first thought, my very first thought was, “I need to transfer my Rogue to my new server, so when this change goes into effect I can be wearing my full Dungeon Set 2 while raiding. With the twin Season 1 PvP swords.”
I know it probably seems stupid to you. Maybe I’m one of the odd ones, getting excited about this.
But just holy shit! I am!
I am excited as hell to go back and review the appearances of every set in the game, decide which appearance I would LOVE to have for my character, and then go out there right the hell now and start working on building it.
How about you? Are you like my Rogue, and have a freaking insane kick-ass set ready to go for your favorite character, just waiting for this to go live? Do you have twenty?
Are you like my Warrior, who intentionally leveled Blacksmithing and acquired every single recipe and built the full Imperial Plate set and kept it, just for a “Worgen about town” outfit, but it’s really nothing all that special?
Or are you like my Druid, who has nothing waiting in the wings, because I was always in forms and it didn’t matter if my gear looked like I failed clown school?
It’s such a simple thing, and yet, our view of the game is what we see around us. We see other players around us, all the time.
When every player you see will be able to look exactly how that player wants, I think it’s going to have a major effect on the world. Instead of people wearing random crap, everyone will have a choice, and who among us doesn’t want to make our own decisions and USE those choices?
Kick ass, Blizzard.
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From out of the blue yesterday came a new Dev Watercooler blog post from Ghostcrawler, where he revealed that Blizzard has decided tanks shouldn’t have to worry about generating enough threat to hold mob aggro against crazy DPS.
Specifically, tanks on the starter end of the gearing grind shouldn’t be crushed under the weight of trying to hold aggro against raid-geared DPS going balls-to-the-wall in a pick up group.
Ready? This isn’t some “we think it would be nice to someday…” announcement. The hotfix apparently went live today, August 16th, and right now all tanks in their tank mode will have their threat generated from damage boosted, going from 300% threat from damage to 500%. They’ve also ramped up the rapidity by which Vengeance builds in the first few seconds of a pull.
When the announcement went out yesterday, folks I talked to had a wide range of responses.
Among them were that this was the end of the game as we know it, tanks will no longer have to know how to do anything, skill is dead, everybody dance now or quit in disgust, blah blah blah.
Say what now?
I’ll admit, I thought that the days of there being anything tank-related for me to talk about here were gone, what with the high levels of knowledge and awareness I see among the players I run into every day, but I guess I was wrong.
Let’s talk about what this really means for you and me, mmm’kay?
Tank threat generation has been increased. Not just by a little, but by a metric shit-ton. Threat from tank damage has almost doubled. It’s close to TWO metric shit-tons now, and that’s a lot.
So, it’s all crimson blood spraying and rolling in the clover for tanks now, right? We run in, lay down a few quick swipes, then we can go stagger away from the keyboard looking for a Guinness while the DPS finishes the pull.
Well, maybe a teeny bit, but not really.
The big reason that it’s not going to work that way is that encounter design, even on trash pulls, has changed a lot over the years.
It used to be that the bread and butter, meat and potatoes pull (it’s lunch time, I’m hungry) was the tank runs in and hits the mob, the DPS burns it down. There would be minor variations on that theme, a few extra adds maybe, a healer or ranged spellcaster that wouldn’t come along for the ride, but that was pretty much it.
These days, just as GC points out, the design has changed.
Now, most fights in high level instances and raids have some kind of mobile component, a multi-mob component, and also what my wife Cassie refers to as a gimmick.
The mobile component is simply something to encourage people to move around. Tornados swooping in and out, rocks falling from the sky, mobs that start cleaving/flaying wildly, stomps that you have to jump to avoid being hit by, green or red shit to move out of, electrical fields to pull mobs out of, the list goes on and on.
A mobile component; Blizzard designing fights where the player needs to think about moving your ass instead of just standing and mindlessly pushing buttons in a fixed rotation.
The multi-mob component. This doesn’t just mean that there was more than one mob standing there.
This is where during the fight you need to be aware of the area around you, including behind you, because there may be roaming packs of adds wandering around, there may be adds that spawn periodically out of nowhere and come running in that the tank has to grab on the fly, there may be adds just like the old days that heal others or do evil debuffs and poisons that need to be killed first or locked down with interrupts, and there may even be adds like in Stonecore or Zul’Aman that, if not stopped, will run off and bring a LOT of friends to your fight.
And finally, the gimmicks. Ah, the gimmicks.
It seems like every encounter has some kind of thing that’s different. Bosses that will fixate on a target and charge them. Mobs that are frozen that need to be drug through fire, mobs that are on fire that will destroy you unless you hit a frozen mob first to get chilled out, mobs that will bubble and you have to go jump around flipping levers, all sorts of stuff.
Gimmick. It’s an unkind term for unique encounter mechanics, but it’s accurate.
Tank threat is buffed now. A lot.
So, how does this change the game?
It doesn’t. It simply smooths out the flow.
If adds come running in, the tank still has to tag them and do damage to them to generate threat. End of story. You will not suddenly, miraculously grab adds and hold them automagically without doing anything to make it happen.
You will not be able to charge in, blast up and tune out. You as the tank will still have to be mobile when necessary, be aware of your surroundings and actively grab adds and distribute damage/threat amongst them, and you will still have to handle the gimmicks of each encounter.
What you can expect to change is that, if you are already doing everything you are supposed to, you will have a much stronger chance of holding aggro on all members of an AoE group, even if you are focusing on Skull, and the DPS are ignoring your marks to blow up whoever they want.
This change would normally encourage you to prioritize AoE threat generating abilities more. Since most AoE is on some kind of cooldown cycle now, you’re probably already using your AoE abilities whenever they’re up anyway, so, well, no big change there. Right?
It’s not like you can do Swipe spam, no matter how much you would have wanted to. But you can pop it every time it’s off cooldown, and expect it to have tastier results.
Likewise, for DPS players, this does not signal the death of Vanish/ Feign Death and Misdirection/Fan of Knives. Adds will still come in from wierd directions, and being able to send them off to the tank is always a good thing. Likewise, having an emergency “Get them the f&*(^ off of me” button never loses it’s value.
In conclusion…. I don’t know where the hell all the panic I saw came from, or the rage about dumbing down the game, but I for one welcome our new threat overlords, and invite them to come tank at the pug table.
My Warrior and Hunter alts will be sure to make you feel RIGHT at home.
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The answers to Ask the Devs #9: Tankin’ went up this morning.
I’m gonna preface what follows by acknowledging that I am grateful that the developers take the time to tell us anything at all. In the early years of World of Warcraft, all we had were prognostications from tea leaf readers and drunk hoboes off the street as far as what the Devs were thinking, planning, or their reasons for changing things. I much prefer the amount of information they share with us now. I don’t want to go back.
On the other paw, when something like Ask the Devs comes along, and the membership is asked to submit their questions for consideration, this is an exciting moment.
The Developers are knee deep in the gore, they swim in the chum-slicked waters of “what is, what may, and what will never be” all week long. They are engaged in the active process of updating and improving the game all the time. They consider new ideas, revisit old ideas, continue forward progress and face obstacles all the time.
When you’re up to your ass in alligators, it can be real hard to remember that you were hired to drain the swamp, and a whole bunch of folks are waiting behind the construction fence, wondering how you’re doing getting their new swimming pool finished.
The players are enjoying the game they’ve got, but they can see your blueprint for the proposed structure, and they’re curious how things are going on the other side of that big fence. They can’t see the alligators the Devs are fighting, so it’s possible they have a different vision of where things are now, and might come up with surprising questions on what the pool will finally look like, and what features they hope to see.
Asking the players to submit questions is awesome, it gives an opportunity for the Devs to really see what people are thinking and wondering.
So, questions got asked. The Devs chose which to answer.
In that context, question #2 and it’s answer pissed me off. Yes, I am a Grumpy Bear right now.
Q: Have you considered normalizing initial Rage for feral druid tanks? For example, when a warrior uses Charge, it generates 15 points of Rage, which lets them use another aggro generating ability quickly, something that Feral druids tend to be a bit short on. Why in Cataclysm was the bear bonus health pool was reduced, as well? Their survivability always depended on the amount of health since they don’t have parry or shield block. Do you have any plans to improve bear tanking in the future? At the moment, it’s considered to be the weakest tank. Have you considered giving druid tanks an additional tool to pull casters at range? It’s the only tank class that doesn’t have a talent or spell to help in those situations. – Pødêrøsø (LA), Вирко (EU-RU), Амелья (EU-RU), Condenacion (EU-ES), Whitewnd (KR)
A: Bears are getting a significant mitigation buff in 4.2 and we’re retuning their damage such that it’s a little easier to hold aggro at low gear levels, and a little harder at higher gear levels. While we definitely don’t expect the community to ever agree on anything, we’ve seen little evidence of a widespread concurrence that druids are “the weakest tank.” There are plenty of druid tanks out there, handling everything from Grim Batol to Sinestra. Tank balance overall is in a really good place. Players may focus on potential problems that could arise in the future but we also have ample time to address those problems should they occur. Gone are the days when we would just release a class into the wild and refuse to touch it again until the next expansion.
Oh, that irritates me so much.
First up, the question was a bad question to answer in one wall of text. That is not ONE question, there are four questions in one paragraph, each asking something different. But it was presented as one question, and so the answer was provided as one big rolling answer.
Let’s break that wall o’ questions down some and insert the applicable answers with my comments.
Q1. Have you considered normalizing initial Rage for feral druid tanks? For example, when a warrior uses Charge, it generates 15 points of Rage, which lets them use another aggro generating ability quickly, something that Feral druids tend to be a bit short on.
A2. (and) we’re retuning their damage such that it’s a little easier to hold aggro at low gear levels, and a little harder at higher gear levels.
This tells us there will be changes to how fast we initially build Threat, but the way it’s phrased implies that whatever they do will NOT be giving us normalized tools to build initial/instant Rage as was asked, but instead will be some kind of change to the threat generated by our instant cast abilities that start strong but don’t scale with AP on a 1 to 1.
Q2. Why in Cataclysm was the bear bonus health pool was reduced, as well? Their survivability always depended on the amount of health since they don’t have parry or shield block.
A1. Bears are getting a significant mitigation buff in 4.2
This does seem to be how they are answering Q2. I’m willing to believe this is meant to acknowledge that Bears need a little tweaking to improve mitigation, possibly because our health is normalized but we can’t Block or Parry. I do wish that the reason for the ‘significant mitigation buff’ was more clearly revealed. I don’t feel there is an issue, myself. If they feel Bears need some buffing, I’d love to know why or what the data says as a cause.
Q3. Do you have any plans to improve bear tanking in the future? At the moment, it’s considered to be the weakest tank.
A3. While we definitely don’t expect the community to ever agree on anything, we’ve seen little evidence of a widespread concurrence that druids are “the weakest tank.” There are plenty of druid tanks out there, handling everything from Grim Batol to Sinestra. Tank balance overall is in a really good place.
If they have seen “little” evidence, then I’m going to trust them. Anything I’ve seen personally would be anecdotal evidence unsupported by server-wide research. A solid, non-waffling answer.
Why non-waffling? Because for the little evidence they have seen, they have announced they are implementing significant mitigation buffs in 4.2 and a change to low level initial threat generation. So maybe there is a little evidence, but they’re doing something about it. Can’t ask for much more than that. I still haven’t seen problems. Only thing I heard people bitch about was the Swipe cooldown issue, and they fixed that. Matheo who raids as a Bear says it’s made a huge difference.
Q4. Have you considered giving druid tanks an additional tool to pull casters at range? It’s the only tank class that doesn’t have a talent or spell to help in those situations.
A4. Players may focus on potential problems that could arise in the future but we also have ample time to address those problems should they occur. Gone are the days when we would just release a class into the wild and refuse to touch it again until the next expansion.
Oooo! Just, grrr! Do you see what I see here? How is that in any way an answer to Q4? “Potential problems that could arise in the future”? It’s a problem that exists NOW, insofar as it is a problem. Was there any real mention whatsoever to Bears getting a method to deal with ranged casters in a group pull like other classes have?
NO. Completely ignored.
And THAT is the source of my irritation and general feeling of pissyness. Sure, the questioners stuffed the box full, but the Devs chose this questionwall to answer, cherry picked which parts of it to address, and then completely ignored the only bit of it I would really want a direct answer to!
Devs, If you don’t want to answer the question, then don’t put it up there in the wall o’ text! If you put it up there like that, and then completely ignore it, it feels like you are intentionally dodging a question like some politician accused of being a weinie wagger.
That just pisses me off. It shows us you know we’re asking the question, and tells us you aren’t WILLING to answer it.
What are the options here?
Either you know there is an issue and don’t WANT to address it, or you know there is an issue and you don’t know HOW to address it, or you know there is an issue and you don’t consider it important enough TO address for the cost in development time, or you don’t agree there is an issue there at all.
None of those seem like a shameful secret that must be concealed. This ain’t a stiffy in your shorts you want to hide in class, it’s a question on group management tool planning for the development team, and who else would you ask about that but the Devs?
Why can’t you just pick one and tell us!
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Amazingly, I’ve been so busy DOING things, I haven’t really had much of a chance to process anything into a blog post. Sorry about that.
Since I feel bad, I’m going to bundle up the last week into the cheesiest of the cheese; a first impressions post.
Hey, I said I felt bad, I didn’t say I was going to give you a quality post to make up for it!
My first impression of the expansion is that this totally confirms my original suspicions;
Mages, possibly with the connivance of a turncoat Priests’ Mind Control, have gained extraordinary power over the developers.
I’ve warned you of their dark plans before. Many of you doubted me, I know. When I told you of their plans to form a Supreme Mage Hegemony, you laughed.
Some might have even jeered.
But now do you finally begin to see?
If Kael’thas and Killrog trade chat is anything to go by, the removal of Dalaran and Shattrath portals are throwing the world into a tailspin of confusion.
The bleating of surprised players wondering where the portals went has STILL not ceased, and possibly never will.
We may be logging in next summer to find someone in Trade chat ask, “Where did the portals in Dalaran go?”, to be followed quickly with the reply, “They vanished when the Ice Stone had melted!”
It’s all about selling the Mage ports.
“Mage selling ports, will come to you for an extra fee, pst.”
At least this proves one thing; there are few things a Mage won’t do for money.
I warned you, and now it’s too late.
Okay, before the Mages start taking me seriously, there is a flip side to this.
My poor level 66 Mage can’t move two steps in a capital city without getting whispers demanding Mage ports somewhere else.
Normally, I don’t mind a whisper here or there. I am a Mage after all.
I do expect a complete stranger that comes to ME begging for a port to offer a tip. I don’t ask for one, and I won’t get snotty without one, but if I don’t know you, and you’re not approaching me to hang out or get to know me but just straight out wanting to use my unadvertised services as “generic portal machine 1 each”, then I expect the offer of reimbursement for my time and mats.
If you don’t offer anything at all, then I give you the portal and put you on ignore. One shot to be polite, you had it, bye.
I’ll probably refuse the tip when offered… the point ain’t the money, the point is that the person takes the time to show that they appreciate I’m helping them out at their request.
I do have one extra level of crankiness, though.
If the person whispering me literally mispells every single word in the request, then I’ll probably refuse.
I guess that makes me a spelling nazi, and if so, okay. But I’ve gotten whispers that look like “nead u 2 prt me 2 sw pl k”.
I wish I were joking.
If I see that come across my chat, I just add to ignore and move on.
I never did say I was a nice person, but sometimes life is just, ahem, “2 short”.
The whole situation does do exactly what I’d hoped it would. It’s made me appreciate my Mage that much more, and it’s encouraged me to think about how to travel around the world carefully and efficiently to get to where I want to go.
As for the rest of it… hey, leveling on both Horde and Alliance sides seems wonderful. The smoothness of the transitions between quest areas and even zones is great. I’ve been having lots of fun.
And next week, it all gets turned up to 11!
Isn’t this the best of all worlds? The folks that love to both play on alts AND raid get two weeks to mess around in the new leveling content before the draw to hit the new levels of end game quests opens up. Pretty cool.
I wonder just how many actual hardcore raiding guilds are still out there burning with the desire to blast through to level 85 so they can start pushing for a world first raid clear?
I hope most folks are going to get the chance to take the amount of time they want to level before hitting 85, because that first time through the zones only comes around once… and it’ll be a long time until the next content patch.
Enjoy it while you can!
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