Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Class Balance, Clueless Blues, Alts and More

I did not post a random thoughts yesterday so figured I would touch on a few topics today in my standard long winded way instead of bullet points.  As usually, don't mind my rambling, sometimes it is more just thinking to myself out loud so to speak.

Class Balance:
I am not talking about the DK tanks that can beat me on AoE or the warlock that did almost 250K burst damage and I can't figure out how.  I am talking about hunter to hunter class balance.  Heck, I am not even talking about hunter to hunter class balance I am talking about my very own hunter vs my very own hunter.

I noticed something odd while doing my dailies, all 257 million of them, and I decided to take to the dummies to check out if what I was seeing was true.  My abilities all seem a little off.  Not off as if they seem too low or too high, just off.

After roughly an hour of testing yesterday I notice the high and low range for abilities showed no rhyme or reason.  I made sure to take off my agility proc trinket so I would not skew results as I wanted a base to work on.  While all abilities seem to have what I call extreme ranges there are two that stood out more than the others.  Kill command and glaive toss.

Usually all abilities have a high and a low mark.  Like something would hit for between 10K-12K and when it was a critical hit it would be between 20K and 24K, just as an example.  If you pound a target for a 5 minute chunk the low will always be around the same and the high will always be around the same.  Anyone that has ever done testing will tell you this.  There is a bit of luck on hitting the high end but hitting the low end all that often might lower your DPS but not insanely so.  There was always a small range between high and low.

Enter mists and now class balance means a whole new thing.  After testing I've noticed there is no such thing as a high and low any more and if there is one I have no clue what it would be.  During my test I saw the following highs and lows for kill command and glaive toss respectively.

Kill Command Low Critical: 22K
Kill Command High Critical: 109K
Glaive Toss Low Critical: 12K
Glaive Toss High Critical: 138K

I am not kidding about those numbers.  They are 100% accurate and actual numbers I saw.  So unless my recount was broken this is what we are seeing, a huge range of high and low and now it seems that playing a damage dealer is all about luck.  Remember, I did this with no proc items so nothing could have influenced the damage done by these abilities and even if they did there should not be that much of a difference.

So, all you hunters out there that sometimes are wondering how you did 68K on a fight one day and only 23K the next day I have the answer for you.  You got lucky and were getting 130K+ glaive tosses one day and got unlucky and were getting 10K glaive tosses the next.

This needs to be fixed ASAP because luck should never play that much of a factor in how well you play your role.  I am known for being amazingly unlucky and if this is not fixed I am going to be forced to retire my hunter.  Not because I don't like it or can't play it, but because with my luck I will never get the most out of my class if DPS is all about being lucky.  I would better serve the community as a tank or a healer.

It is not something that is just tied to a hunter either.  While asking around if anyone else noticed that the numbered seemed weird I had a feral druid, a holy priest, a fury warrior and a protection paladin all say they noticed the same weird spikes in damage, or healing, all over the place.

Even leveling my guardian druid I noticed it as well.  Mind you, all these other cases were out in the world while questing or in dungeons, but that does not change the fact that the numbers are off, extremely off.  There is no reason a holy priest should be getting a wide range from heal, the small healing spell, that goes from 25K to 260K.  Even with buffs and procs and everything you can imagine there is no way in hell the smallest heal a priest has should spike up to 260K.  It makes it all based on luck.

If something is supposed to hit it should hit between a range.  If something is supposed to crit, it should crit between a range.  The range should not be so big that is it 12K to 138K or 25K to 260K or the game becomes all about luck and that game is not for me.

Clueless Blues:
Day after day I read more of the dribble that comes out of the mouths of the blues and wonder if they even play this game.  They all seem to be living in another world and have no clue what they are talking about.  Nothing shows this more clearly than this weekend when there was an extra 3 hours down time after rolling restarts.

The general forums had no less that half of the posts on the first page about people not being able to get in.  The technical support section had 9 of the first 10 topics about not being able to log in and the customer support section had 8 out of the first 10 devoted to it.  No word at all from any blues what so ever until we finally see one speak up in a thread where someone posted they can not connect and this is what they had to offer.  Source

This morning?  Not seen any other reports here.

Have you tried rebooting or recycling your modem?
Note: I did not realize that this was a necro that day and not a fresh blue post after the downtime.  It was before the downtime.  I will leave this part of it however because while I did not notice it was a necro my gripe about clueless blues still is a real one as they are clueless.

So you are saying that the countless amount of threads, many over 20 pages long and a massive amount even in the section you answered this in and you had not noticed it?  Even if you just showed up for work there was no known issues bulletin for you to read?  The game had rolling restarts and has been down since then and you noticed nothing?  Did you just log in to get to work and go to the first post without even looking at anything else and come up with this amazing answer?

Clueless is actually too nice of a term for this person.  But clueless sure does it them.  For whatever reason they did not notice all the posts or did not read some office memo which I am sure a company that big had sent to all mods and they made a bonehead statement.

We have all been guilty of that from time to time but I think the fact that they went on that day and answered other posts asking people to reboot or recycle the modem moves from the bonehead statement category into the absolutely clueless one.  And this folks, was the first blue response we saw to the problem.  Nice work blizzard.

It does not stop there with their bonehead statements.  Like the blue that said people would rather walk through mists content instead of adding flying earlier for alts like they did later on it wrath.  Have you ever played the game?  First time it is awesome, second it is okay, third it is a breeze because you know where everything is, by the forth time it is frustratingly annoying to have to run all over the place.

I've been there and done that, I do not need to do it again.  There is an achievement for getting three characters to max level just make the heirloom flying book require three maxed characters to buy and there you go, problem solved.  Saying people would rather walk on alts is a clear case if being completely clueless and makes me believe that the blues do not even play this game.

They are also all hung up on this daily grind thing.  Mind you I love them but sometimes too much is too much.  There is no way in hell I can do my dailies and raid if I want to try to get them all in.  If I want to unlock things to buy with valor it becomes a choice of raiding to earn valor or doing dailies to unlock things to buy with valor.  I play casual but I play a lot casual and if I can not keep up how are others that play less supposed to if I can not keep up on a 7 day play schedule?

Yet reading the blues they think it is completely fine to cap valor to three thousands when someone that only logs in for a few hours a few days a week at most will easily have 10K valor by the time they unlock anything they can spend it on.  They say the cap is fine, it is not, and it is proof once again that no one that posts in blue has a clue or even plays this game.

If you do quests to unlock stuff and other things you will cap valor quickly.  The cap needs to be removed or the requirements for those that do not play often needs to be removed.  It does not effect me as I have everything open but for a vast majority of players this is becoming a huge problem and blizzard chooses to ignore it just like they do with everything else in the game.

I got my second character to 90 now and started gearing them up.  I've tanked a bunch of heroics and my luck on my druid is roughly the same as on my hunter.  I've got none.  At least my druid hit 90 heroic ready with a 441 item level.  Kind of hard to believe that my main needed to try to get to 440 and an alt was 441 without even trying.  I wonder if it is true that some classes just get better quest rewards.  I did everything on my hunter and only barely got to 440 from just quest rewards and I did only enough to hit 90 on my druid and had 441.  Makes no sense to me.  Glad it was lowered to 435 however, because that seems to be a bit more inclusive.

Not to mention tanking heroics was a breeze.  It was a hell of a lot easier than DPSing them.  I got to be #1 on DPS often, use my cool new tanking cooldowns often, and did not have to deal with all the problems I did on my hunter where I could not stand still long enough to get even one cobra shot off.

If I have to take a break from damage dealing until they fix the luck factor, see class balance above, then tanking might be the way to go.  It was definitely more fun tanking the dungeons than it was DPSing them and it was easier.  Perhaps that could be chalked up to the fact I already knew the dungeons which made it easier.  I am almost tempted to actually queue as a tank alone this expansion.  There is only one dungeon I fear with a passion.  Niuzao Temple seems to be one of those dungeons that people will avoid because of the active mechanics that can actually wipe people.

I now have to consider doing dailies on this character but being I do not have enough time to do them all on my main this character will have to wait.  It makes me think that reputation should be account bound as well like mounts and pets and achievements.  I do not mind being locked by reputation on my main but on my alts it sucks.  Big time sucks.  I do not want to have to do this all over for many different characters.  There is a thin line between fun and annoying.  Fun is doing it once, annoying is having to do it on every character as a requirement.

I now need to get all my other characters reputation too for patterns, so even if I said screw it and would gear up only with dungeons and raids I can not get the new enchanting recipes or leatherworking patterns or blacksmith patterns unless I get reputation first.  I call bull shit.  Let them be BoA once you hit exalted if you are not going to share reputation so I can at least buy them with the person that made exalted and send it to the crafter.

I love the reputation grind, I think it is the best addition to the game in a while.  I just do not like doing it a second or third time and I doubt many do.  Yet blizzard thinks it is fine, see clueless blues above.

So my druid will not be buying any valor gear thanks to horrible design until I am completely maxed on my main on everything so I might actually have the time to do some dailies on my druid.  I don't think that is right.  There is so much to do and so little time to do it.  Do I really need to quit my job if I want to keep more than one character geared?

I guess in time this will be a moot point anyway.  Because once you cap out reputation needed at least you do not need to get it back up every single patch.  So it is a one time road block.  Once some time has passed and you have done it on all your characters it will be forgotten about.  So we can take some relief from that if we wanted to.  It is just making having multiple characters ready at the start harder if you do not have a lot of free time.

6 Hours of Dailies:
That is exactly how long it took me to do all my dailies yesterday.  I had the day off work so I didn't do them with any sense of haste, I took my time and I did get side tracked a time or two but 6 hours per day is just a little bit too much of an investment for a video game don't you think?

I did the big four, Klaxxi, AC, GL and SP as well as the serpents (now exalted), tillers and anglers.  For me when I want to do things quick I can just the AC and SP being both the other big four are revered already and unlocked the valor gear.  So I can cut it down some.  The other three are just for fun ones and if I miss a day I will not feel like I am missing anything.

The fact that when I decided to do them all it took 6 hours makes me think a little about how they thought this out.  In two weeks roughly I will be exalted with everyone and will not need to do dailies any more.  So they went for the front loaded grind that keeps you busy for a month and then figures you will move to alts and do it all over again.  A good idea really, but will we want to do it all again is the real question.

I am not sure I would want to.  I like the daily idea but I am starting to question if it will really serve the purpose long term for the lack of content to do.  I do not mind doing dailies on certain characters and I dread doing them on others.  Characters like my hunter, druid, warrior, paladin and death knight where I can pull whole zones at a time I love doing them with, it is a fun grind.  Characters like my priest and my shaman I would rather just heal with and not quest with and characters like my rogue, warlock and mage I can quest with but I just do not enjoy playing them.  At least last expansion I could just run dungeons with them and buy my valor gear that way.

I think it was better to put enchants like head or shoulder enchants behind reputations instead of gear.  At least in that case I could still gear up and just be missing an enchant or two and if you wanted to get serious with that character you could grind that one or two reputations.  That was perfect optional content.  Locking gear behind the wall is not optional content.  If you want gear you have to open the wall.  Again, not a bad problem on one character but on multiple ones it becomes a hassle.

I would like to level more alts to 90 but I do not want to do the 6 hour daily grind with them as well.  I just do not have that time.  I did it yesterday because I was off work but I do not have that type of time to play each day.  6 hours worth of dailies is just too much.

They could make us have half the amount of dailies offering us twice the amount of reputation and ditch the dailies with the horrible drop rates or slow spawn timers and turn that 6 hours into 2 hours and suddenly it becomes something you would not mind doing on your alts when you are done with your main.

Blizzard has a habit of doing things in extremes.  Either give us nothing to do, the entire expansion of cataclysm basically, or give us too much to do, the start of mists.  Do they ever consider doing things average?

Speaking of Extremes:
What the hell is blizzards problem with balancing things out in the game.  Lets not even talk about the attacks and quests like I already have but about cloth for one.

When I leveled my main I got enough cloth to max out first aid, get two tailors to max level and still have over 300 bolts left over.  That is just from leveling one character.  Think the drop rate was a little too high?  Hell yes.

So I leveled my druid last week.  From 85-90 I looted 83 cloth.  83 pieces of cloth in total leveling a whole five levels.  I know they said they were adjusting things but how the hell do you go from one extreme to another like that, it shows they have no clue what they are doing.   Lower the drop rate, do not remove it.

Do the designers of this game ever consider doing things right?  Don't go from too much to too few.  Try something in the middle.  Extremes do not work.  How can they continuously screw up like that?

What is worse than the fact they can not find a decent balance is the fact that they worked quick to nerf the drop to near nothing but they will make no efforts what so ever to bring it back up to a reasonable level.  If it is too much we have to fix it ASAP but if it too little screw the players, we will get around to it later.

As long as the history of this game is you would figure that drop rates should have been something they mastered by the second or third expansion at the latest but they still seem completely clueless about it.  I wonder where we heard that word before, clueless.  That describes blizzard.


  1. I play BM hunters, not great, but I play them. But I have never seen "glaive toss". Whats that? And, you got a 2nd toon up to 90? Heck, I still only have 1 at 86 - almost 87. WTF, over :D But, I have seen the cloth drop the first week, where I got 1st Aid up to 600, but now this week, hardly any cloth at all. Also, hardly any gems or these spirit motes. I have only 4 of them after what, 2 weeks or so. I'm not running instances, so maybe that is where I am missing. ah well, good hunting to ya Grumpy.


    1. It is a level 90 ability you can choose.

      The second character took no time. Knew where to go for everything and was on rested so it kind of speeds by. Even more so when leveling a tank and you can pull all 10 mobs you need for a quest at the same time. Makes for fast leveling.

      I am still having lots of luck with motes, I seem to get roughly 20 a day just when doing dailies. They seem to drop a lot more often in the 89-90 zones, so you will see a boost in them when you get there I am sure.

    2. ahhh, ok. Since I am not there yet, it makes sense I don't know about it. Thank you Grumpy! And as usual,another bloggy blog food for thought. :D Maybe I should stop trying to track the white tiger and start leveling again. Oh well, t'nights the night. PS- I just saw that I can use me google and not be a annodimoose. Sweet peas in the morning!

    3. Enjoy yourself leveling, no need to rush it. I have fun seeing how efficient I can level and do it quickly but that is how I have fun. To each their own. No need to rush it.

  2. I got to 90 on the Saturday after launch. I work full time (and then some since I'm salary) so I wasn't that fast but it still went pretty fast. I finished all the loremaster achievs that day as well and I was qualified for heroics because of that. I did some heroics the next day and got jack.

    I've been doing dailies and grinding up the secondary profs. Got them all to 600 this weekend but my rep is crap still. Friendly with SP. Honored with GL, Anglers, and Klaxxi. Revered with Serpent, Tillers, and Tushui. Exalted with Lorewalkers. I didn't do all the dailies every day so I'm behind.

    I'm already burnt out though. When I was raiding heroic DS at the end of Cata, I played maybe an hour or two every other day and then played a lot on the weekends (Fri/Sat were raid nights). I could do that; although raiding both Fri and Sat was getting to be too much.

    Now, I need to log in every damn day and play for 4+ hours to do dailies and run scenarios and heroics just so I can be unlucky with drops and grind rep to buy under-spec'd valor gear. Sorry, not happening. I didn't even log in yesterday because I didn't feel like it and I'll probably just log in tonight to check auctions.

    Raid leader wants us to raid this Friday night, but there's no way in hell that I'll have ilvl 460+ by then. I'll be lucky if I have that by the end of the month at this rate. I hate the gear grind. I wish I could just do all the quests (running a few heroics would be acceptable if I was guaranteed an upgrade each time) and be ready to raid.

    Honestly though, looks like my raiding career was short lived and it's back to soloing and achievement hunting. Maybe I'll take up Pet Battles! :S

    1. You are the perfect example of the person I said that all parts of gear should be available for purchase at all times. No luck in dungeons, limited time to grind reputation, having at least lesser powered alternatives for every slot would help you and millions of others a lot.

      There is just so much going on at the start. In time you will see that it dries up however, it is just because it is new there is so much. In 4 weeks I bet I am saying I am bored on my main now and just waiting on raid night. Once you finish that rep grind there is nothing else except doing it again on alts.

      It is content at least, even if I am not fond of it completely. Better than anything cataclysm offered me.

      And I know how you feel on gear. Did a guild LFR last night and found that only 7 people had the item level to get in there yet. Pretty sad state of things for the #9 guild on the server just a few short weeks ago.

    2. Just wanted to give an update. I'm 459 now... Killed Sha and got the 476 boots, bought a 489 VP ring, bought some 450 crafted items (couple of pvp items), using a crappy 463 arch trinket, got a 463 xbow from a heroic, and got a 463 shoulder from a scenario. Lost rolls on the brewfest AP trinket twice... once to a tank! and once to a melee dps. But just need one more 463 drop and I'll be 460 and can do LFR...

      Going from 440 to almost 460 increased my dps by like 10-15k, or so it seems... quite crazy... so I'm usually 2nd dps in 5mans now.

    3. The gear boost from quest items to dungeon gear is just insane, I have seen a drastic boost in mine as well with the gear. Seems like they are taking stat inflation to a whole new level now with how fast stats blow up.

      You are almost there, one more piece should do it. Not bad at all really.

  3. You can now count “Arms warrior” as someone seeing the bizarre numbers you describe. So far, my Execute critical strikes have ranged between 119k and 241k with the same buffs and conditions and that simply can NOT be right. Something’s amiss.

    As for dailies… You’ve probably read my post about them. It’s a fine line between “mandatory” and “optional”, but giving players no choice BUT time-consuming dailies is unfair; it’s got Greg Street and his incompetence written all over it. I find it very telling that one of the best MoP factions (Order of the Cloud Serpent) has seen absolutely no innovation, whatsoever, since Netherwing.

    I don’t agree that reputations should be account linked, but I have slowly come round to the idea that, honestly, tabards should be available for the Golden Lotus, August Celestials, Shado-pan and Klaxxi.

    1. DPS just seems like it is all based on luck now and I do not think that is right. Luck should never take the place of skill in my opinion.

      GC has a habit for going over the edge on many things. If they made it honored only with reputation I am sure no one really would have had a great deal of a problem with it. But the revered and needing to be revered with GL before you can do AC and SP is the main issue I see most having.

  4. Class balance is ridiculous at the moment. It's so messed up I haven't set foot in a battleground yet because of it.

    Somehow I don't think it's healthy to do 6 hours worth of dailies :/ Damn dude ... 6 hours?

    1. I went a little over board being I had the day off work. I do not have that type of time to play on a daily basis. It is just too much.

  5. While I agree with pretty much everything (except maybe that the first daily grind could be fun and dailies are a great idea), your example of the clueless blue post is a bad one.

    Posted on 9/28/2012, that post has nothing to do with the problems after the restart, it was just a stupid necro of another moron.

    And what the fuck is wrong with your captchas, I already gave up on a few comments in the past because I just couldn't solve them -.-

    1. Ah, so blame me for not noticing the date. I just noticed a blue post while looking for information when I was trying to find what was going on and only saw that one, not the date. I'll edit my post.

      Not sure about them, I do not make them but I know what you mean. I've commented on a few that took me 6 or 7 tries to figure out.

  6. The core problem is that they made bad Rep grinds (pretty much only, low rewarding Dailies) and latched it on to Badge gear, which used to be a different content type aimed at different players.

    Besides the issues Dailies bring especially for casual ie at own pace players (casual =/= bad/lazy) in general (you can't 'pig out' on progress when your time schedule allows, no, show up every day for what usually is as exciting as groceries - or suffer), this makes them unwieldy for players in general: it isn't a 'Wintersaber' (you need Instance badges), and it isn't an Instance Rep (as you can't get the Rep in an Instance).

    I do wonder wether the issue is only temporary for Instance people (the Tier Reset model would suggest it is, but I'm not sure wether they'll follow it in MoP), and Im 100% against them altering Reputations gamewide as besides another nail in the MMORPG aspect it takes away gameplay for those for whom rep grinds primarily exist and turns them into giant chumps for doing the content repeatedly as-is instead of waiting for the nerfs to roll in.

    No offense and I know where you are coming from (Professions have always been one of the fun things for me, and being from a Wrath-opened realm my friends and I basically had to built up Vanilla and TBC resources from the ground up) but Profession alts are a luxery, not a necessity, people should -and with current end-game offerings, almost always can - interact with others to get their Gear in a MMORPG (that's why you can have only two Professions on a character).

    So please, for the love of all that's holy, not even more Accountwide features, enough is enough already, pleasee retain at least some tatterings of a MMORPG.

    1. I have every profession maxed so I can take care of myself. I never want to depend on anyone else to make something for me and never want to let myself be subject to the auction house and the insane prices they charge there. It is just how I play. I do everything myself. Any old school gamer is the exact same way. They will make any efforts they can to do everything for themselves.

  7. You speak so much truth in this post that you could be my mind-melded brother. I rate this post 5 star!

  8. At work so cant look it up, but I recall seeing one that said if you are exhalted with one faction on a toon, you will recicve reputaion with that faction on other toons at a 50% increased rate.

    1. They said they are thinking of adding that, they have not yet to my knowledge.