Friday, March 29, 2013

In Raid Rares - The Raid Weekly.

Twice now my raid has had a run in with a rare mob in the new throne of thunder raid.  Twice now we wiped, laughed, and searched for some help trying to get the scoop on these bad boys.  They are from the weekly raid quests and I did not even know about them.  Have to love a surprise.

What?  You have not seen any of these rares yet?  Don't feel bad.  Last week when we ran into our first one we asked around for help in the form of advice from some people in the more advanced guilds on our server and were surprised to hear that no one, not one single guild we asked, which included every alliance side guild above us on our server, has ever seen one of these before.  We have been the only one, that we spoke to at least, that has gotten a raid weekly quest so far on our server.  Cool, huh?  Guess you can tell how far behind in raiding my server is when even the top guild on the server has not seen a weekly quest for a rare yet.

The top guild on the server asked my friend who asked them what they were smoking.  They said that there are no rares in the new raids and if there were they would have seen one.  Guess what, they were wrong.  There are rares and they will be real fun if you do not know what to do.

They are not particularly hard, not at all, but they will surely take you by surprise if you do not know what to expect.  Just like the first one we ran into on the bridge between the first and second boss.  We ran up and got knocked off instantly.  At least half the raid did, and the other half followed shortly after.

So I did a little research on this rare, after seeing that no one we could find on our server had seemingly ran into one, or at least this one, or had any clue what we were talking about.

It is a weekly quest, like the ones that used to be in ICC.  There will always be one rare up somewhere in the raid.  Being no guild on our server has finished normal yet that could explain why even the top guild has not seen any of the rares yet.  Their weekly might be further in and my guild just happened to get lucky and have the weekly as the one between the first and second boss.  We have killed that one twice now.

Some information you might want to know, besides what these mobs do, is that you get a baggie for completing the quest you get to kill them.  In the two times, I know, really small sample size, we have done the raid weekly, no one has gotten anything worth mentioning.  One flawless battle stone, which was the best thing anyone saw, and a couple of gems.  Otherwise, just gold and some motes at best.

These quests also do not give you reputation of any sort.  Would have been nice if they gave some shado-pan assault reputation, being we are in their raid doing their thing and the weekly is for them, but nope, no reputation rewards.  I am not sure about any of the other rares as I have not seen them but I can tell you from the one I saw, twice, it is not something you can skip.  It must be downed.  I am going to guess they are all like that.

So what do you think of this, the return of the current raid weekly quests?

Admitted, the bags we received were all worthless, but I like them being there.  I also like that the ones my guild got were early on and I am also looking forward to running into one later on.  While I can only guess at this point, I think it will be like ICC, where there is one per week guaranteed.  But will you get to the one your lock out offers, that is the question.

I just wish they gave some extra valor like the ICC quests did (frost back then actually), or like the isle rares do.  That would make them better.  Valor and reputation, now that would make them much better.  As for now, all they are is a little spice but I like them. 

What do you think of the new weekly quests with in raid rares?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What If Pets Could be so Much More?

For this edition of what if I want to delve into some hunter specific what ifs.  Namely our pets and what if they were more useful than they already are.  With 20 new slots to keep out furry, feathered, and fluffy friends coming in patch 5.3 maybe it is time for our pets to do more as well, being we can have more of them.

What if Pets could heal?

I don't see why an AI can not be added to have pets heal.  There is already a very good AI in the game for smart heals.  While smart heals will not save a tank when they are about to go down and can not hit a major healing cooldown on their own they can surely heal the person that most needs healing at any given moment.

That would be the perfect AI for a pet healer.  Just like the pet damage dealer is not the best damage dealer all on its own, but it is good at it, and just like the pet tank is not the best tank, but it has its moments when it could rock it, like solo tanking Sindragosa while it was current content.  Why not have a pet healer that just casts heals on the player most in need?

The pet healer could have three heals that it rotates and casts based on the AI that is written for it.  It would work on energy just like they do now, and cooldowns.  A standard heal, a big heal and an AoE HoT on a one minute cooldown.

The pet healer would never be able to replace a healer, not in a million years, but it could work nicely for some fights I am sure.  Sort of like for those two and half healer fights.  Or how about those dungeons when the healer goes AFK.  There is really not that much damage going out, all you would need is a little patch work healing, have a hunter switch to a healer pet and roll with it, no healer needed any more for a 5 man with a decent group otherwise.

Would people use the pet healer in some way if there were such a thing as a pet healer?

What if the pet healer worked like the disc priest.  All the damage it does bounces exactly like atonement heals do.  That might even be better pet healing design.  What if indeed.

What if your Pet tank could gain vengeance?

Could you imagine the doors this would open to soloing if your pet tank benefited from vengeance.  It would basically remove the DPS loss from running with a tenacity speced pet when the pet is actually tanking.  Imagine even further in our what if scenario that the vengeance scaled on raw damage and did not count that the pet only takes 10% damage from AoE based spells.  The vengeance a pet would gain could be insane.  You would see pet tanks doing 200K+ DPS on certain solo fights we currently use it on.

And would that make pets in tenacity spec the choice of PvPers?  Could it replace a cunning pet because it would take away the easy to kill aspect as soon as someone started to beat on it and it started to beat on them even more.  Perhaps it might make people think twice about attacking the pet unless they know it is 100% out of the line of sight for heals because the more they beat on the pet, the more the pet beats on them.  Land a few good hits on the pet and that next kill command might hit you for 400K thanks to vengeance.

Oh the possibilities of how great it would be if a pet in tank spec gained vengeance.  What if indeed.

What if you could merge with your Pets?

One of my favorite ideas that I posted some years back was a new hunter ability called "One with the Beast" where the hunter would become the pet he controlled.  What if we could do that and the pet we became had more abilities than it would normally have when we were at one with the beast.

A tank pet would have all real tanking abilities, cooldowns, self heals and stuff like the previously mentioned vengeance.  The ferocity pet would have more damage dealing abilities and cooldowns and do a rotation as if they were a hunter, but within range of course.  With energy burning abilities, energy generating abilities, and need to keep DoTs up on the mob.  A cunning pet would have all the abilities to control, and of course do damage, but their real strength would be in their control.

Make it so that each hunter merge gave something specific to the team, something they do not already have, while bringing along what a group has always been used to having, that awesome hunter damage.

The tank pet would bring a 30 second cooldown that would share their 90% immunity to all AoE damage the raid or party for 6 seconds.  The damage dealing pet would have a focus fire type ability that when five stacked would fire off a 10 second 20% haste buff to the entire raid or party.  The cunning pet would become the master of all control having three separate interrupts and three separate stuns, all on 10 second cooldowns, along with a slew of snares and slows, meaning that if a mob was susceptible to stuns, you could effectively lock down a mob for 6 out of every 10 seconds, at the sacrifice to DPS by doing so of course.

What if that healing pet ability was put in and there would be a healer one as well with more healing abilities so when you were at one with the healing beast you would be a fully functional healer.  A hunter could really fill any role in the game just by being one with the beast.  Hunters are already pretty awesome in what they can do, but what if their pets were that awesome too, what if indeed.

What if there were a barber shop for Pets?

We can transmog our appearance, why not do something for our pets as well.  Of course there would need to be some restrictions on what colors you can change your pet, to keep some unique skins in the game and all and to make sure the spirit look was only for spirit animals.  Also, lets face me, fluffy (see above) would not really be that intimidating in pink.  And I think making him have a pink skin might be akin to animal abuse.

Otherwise, wouldn't it be nice to be able to make fluffy black or grey or even white.  Now that would be cool.  I am sure there could be various degrees of color changes they could offer us hunters and while it would become an unfair gold sink that only we had to pay if we wanted, it would only be if we wanted.  I am sure having the option to change the appearance of mans best friend a little more to our liking would be worth a few coins.

And for those people that are transmog fanatics they would get the added effect of having a pet that matched their armor at all times.  If everyone else can transmog their weapons, why can hunters only transmog one of our weapons, the ranged one.  Why not allow hunters to transmog, so to speak, their other weapon, their pet.  Just no pink fluffy for me.  He would never forgive me if I did that to him.  But I could see having a fox with a cute bow in its hair.  I am sure that would go over really well with many of those pet people out there.

Speaking of bows in their hair...

What if we could accessorize our Pets?

Add a bow, add ankle bracelets, add a collar.   I am sure my furry friend would not mind getting a new collar, he has been wearing the same one for the better part of 5 years at least.  He deserves something better.  A nice gold collar, with some kick ass spikes just a little longer, so they dig in on the enemy while he is shaking them left and right.

Could you imagine if we could give our pets some sort of jewelery or body armor or sorts.  Sure, there would need to be some limits on the way we could accessorize them.  The last thing we need to see is a spider with a giant white top hat running across the battlegound, but outside of the initial laugh we would get it would be rather silly.  But King Krush running at you with body armor and spiked bracelets and collar would be downright awesome don't you think?

Blizzard has already shown a desire for inappropriate body armor to be added to the game, just check out the boomkins cod piece and tell me if you have ever seen anything worse in the history of wow.  The only thing that could have made that appearing more disturbing is if they gave everyones favorite feathered superstar a brasserie to match, for the female feathered ones at least.  Makes me shutter just thinking about that.

With that said, if a boomkin can wear a cod piece I see nothing wrong with my direhorn wearing a few pieces of well placed body armor to look more bad ass than he already looks.  White direhorn for me baby.  I would add some completely black, trimmed with silver, body armor to that bad boy and get killing.

What if we could mount our Pets?

No, not that way you sick person.  Now go clean your mind off and come back to finish, I'll wait.

Better now?  Okay, lets get on with this what if.

Outside of the fact that the entire warcraft community would scream bloody murder if hunters had the slew of unique mounts that no other class could get it would be something that seems fitting. Why wouldn't a hunter be able to mount their pet.

I can ride a turtle that looks just like my turtle, so why not my turtle itself?  I can ride a cat that looks just like my cat, so why not my cat itself?  I can ride a wolf that looks just like my wolf, so why not my wolf itself?  You get the idea.

We could have some free sea mounts, the turtle, some free flying mounts, could you imagine flying on a seagul, we could have some of the most unique mounts in the game and we should have them.  We are hunters, we have made a connection with a beast so close that it would be willing to fight to the death by our side but we can not ride it.  It just does not make a great deal of sense.

Sure, some pets would seem a little odd as mounts, as the seagul shows.  Imagine a tauren on that poor thing.  Porcupines would also pose an interesting dilemma that can only be solved by the fact we are heavily armored and smart enough to use a saddle.

This what if is a real stretch like all other what ifs I have mentioned but I do believe there is a possibility that we could see something like this, in a way, in the future. While we would never be able to ride our entire stable of pets I can see that some day hunters will be allowed to ride their starting pet.  Warlocks have a class mount, paladins have a class mount, death knights have a class mount and worgens have a race mount, even if that mount is themselves.  So why not have hunters have a class mount, which would be their races starting pet.  Now that what if, is possible.  Maybe.

What if our pets could do so much more, what if indeed.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

5.3 Makes Me Wonder

Has blizzard went overboard?  5.2 is barely starting.  The vast majority of players have not even touched base on everything that 5.2 offers.  I know I haven't and I play a lot, or at least I used to believe so.  Now looking at all there is to do and not having enough time to even do half of it, I am starting to think I don't play enough to keep pace.   When you are a completest like me that can be rather unsettling at times.

Now we have announcements of a 5.3 PTR and data is coming out about what is being added there.  Don't get me wrong, I love things being added, but I am feeling a bit overwhelmed.

There are new pets out that I have not even gotten yet.  My alts have just started their gearing process because I had not done them earlier thanks to that, beyond retarded, reputation wall.  So I was so far behind to begin with.  I still have my paladin, warrior, monk and warlock to get to 90 on my main server not to mention a few other 85s on other servers and my slew of hunters all over the place.  Not to mention an inactive second account with some 85s I would love to start up again one day but don't see me ever having the time to do that when blizzard is releasing content at a break neck pace.

My guild, and it seems all but two guilds on my server, have barely even stepped into the new raid and downed a boss.  Never the less made any progress in it yet.  The two guilds that are further than one boss in aren't really on any earth shattering pace either to be finishing it on normal any time soon so what about a lesser guild like mine? With the 5.3 stuff pouring out it makes me have a feeling we are so behind when we really aren't.  For arguments sake, most guilds that had not done heroics last tier have not even started this tier yet.  They have had no time.

Too many other things to do and they want to shove more out?

I think they are pushing too hard and too fast and they are going to burn themselves out.  Or burn me out trying to keep up with everything.  That is where the problem lies.

Their self imposed burn out will come from pushing things too fast.  Like adding the new raiding with leashes II achievement for raid pet drops in BC raids.  Why so soon?  Sure I will get them, sure I can solo all of them, but is it really needed.  Why not make that content for next expansion?  Why rush it out now?  Why burn out all the possible additions of the new pet battle system to the game so soon?  They could extend the content and make it last.  Make BC raid pets next expansion, wrath raid pets the one after, you get the idea.  No need to throw everything under the sun at us as soon as possible.  They are going to burn themselves out and leave no room for more to be added later.

If tri-spec is coming I will be one happy camper.  But I feel for the druids of the world.  They will be the only class that will actually still have a need for respec.  Otherwise there is no need to ever visit a trainer again for all other classes.  Makes me wonder what classes I would really like tri-spec on and what others I would not even bother buying it with. 

For my hunter I would get it of course.  Besides the fact he is my main I have often switched back and forth, even in the days when MM seemed all but useless, because despite what people said, MM did have its places sometimes and I like the spec.  At least now I can go MM and survival and still have beast mastery for pet purposes.

For some other classes I do not think a tri-spec will even be used by me.  My DK, while it did dabble in unholy for a tiny bit in wrath, has been blood and blood only and that is all it ever wanted to be.  I only just played with frost because I did not want to tank the LFR and blood, as much as I love it, is not the DPS spec it used to be back when it could be one.  So would I need three for my DK?  Nope.  I need one, blood.  I only need a second to "fake" DPS for the LFR.  Even when I DPS with my DK, I am still a tank.  I am just a tank that won't tank for strangers so I do my best DPSing in mostly tank gear.  Sad part is that is still better than half the people in there can do.  Sad, isn't it?

Same goes for other classes.  I never needed a third spec for my mage.  I only play two.  But I could see me making a third just for the sake of having it.  My rogue would be the one I think I need it on the least, outside of my DK.  I've never played subtlety, never even had the desire to attempt it.  Not sure why.

For some classes I think it would be a huge addition.  Think priests.  They need shadow to quest now, so if they are like me, they have it even if it is not their main spec.  I play shadow in my healing gear, which is why I actually like it sometimes, no need to change gear.  But that ruins a lot of people that used to be disc/holy and changed based on the fight in raids.  Now that they had to have a shadow spec they could only be one or have to respec before each raid and then again before they went out to quest.  So a third spec is a dream for them and long over due.

This tri-spec thing is a nice addition, something that will be welcomed by everyone.  Can't really see anyone complaining, except druids of course.  But it makes you think, will they add new specs for some other classes now that there is a tri-spec, so we would all be like druids and have something we would choose to not take?  Like I said, without a forth spec, trainers are basically useless in game.  Some classes need a forth spec.  Mages need a healing spec and rogues, locks and hunters need a tanking spec.  No more pure DPS specs.

I have yet to ever do even one PvP pet battle.  I knew I would, if I could ever find time with all the content they are throwing at us at discount prices like it were a going out of business sale.  So I never had the time to get into the PvP achievements for pet battles and that turns out to be a good thing, a very good thing, from the achievement standpoint at least. 

They are adding achievements for doing them with a full level 25 team.  So now I can do them with all 25s and get double credit for achievements, the level 25 ones and the any level ones, both at the same time.  But that leaves me feeling bad for the people that worked their butts off to grind out the 5000 win achievement from PvP sooner, now they need to do it all over again?  Bad move blizzard. 

If I were one of those people that worked my ass off and then you added an achievement I basically already did but now I need to do it again I would be really pissed and I completely and 100% back up anyone who has the 5000 PvP battle achievements if they are pissed they have to do another 5000 because undoubtedly blizzard did not keep records of your previous ones to see if they were with all level 25 teams.  I feel your pain and I share your rage even if it not my rage.

In the end it makes me wonder if 5.3 coming, or at least the information coming, is way to soon.  Could this be a huge mistake pushing things too quickly?  Even if them pressing is not a bad idea and 5.3 being moved along is not a big deal as it is not a raid patch, it sure has shown some bad decisions already.  The pet battle achievement thing for one, the adding BC raid pets when they are not needed and could serve as content for next expansion being another, things like that are just bad ideas.  All because they are trying to push as much content as fast as possible. 

The way I look at it is this.  I play a lot, a lot more then I should even, and if I am not completely up to date on everything, it is too soon.  I play more than almost everyone I know, and if I can't get it all done, what makes them think others are?  They went from leaving us with complete boredom in cataclysm to overload in mists.  Someone at blizzard really needs to balance things.  Not push everything too fast or too slow.

5.3 makes me wonder, is this blizzards last hooray?  I love all this new content and I do think it is a fantastic and bold move that is great for the game, but they can not keep up this pace or they will crash and burn really fast.  They need to pick and choose what they add, not just add for the sake of adding and it is starting to feel as if that is what they are doing.

So do you think that 5.3 is adding stuff just for the sake of adding it or do you think that blizzard can really keep up this break the speed of light pace of patch releases?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Random Thoughts

- Once again my random thoughts have a lot to do with the LFR.

- Maybe that is because the majority of my time this weekend was spent doing it on various characters.

- More and more I am sure that the new LFR is WAY over tuned for the audience that it is aimed at.

- They could do a blanket 25% nerf along everything on all the bosses and it would still be WAY to hard for half the people that are in it.

- A 480 item level for people that know how to play, even if they are only barely decent, makes it easy.

- When one in ten people, at most, is barely decent or better, it makes it hard.

- Did the first ToT one on my shaman yesterday and I should have known to drop the second I zoned in.

- I zone in to mid wipe on the first trash pack and turn and run out ASAP.

- I should have stayed out, but figured, what the heck, lets see if that was just a mistake.

- I get back in, with people leaving, yes after that first pull people were leaving, we have one tank and four healers.

- Tank runs right back in and starts pulling.

- The first pack, the pack after with all the little guys, and all this with only 4 healers and one tank.

- This is the type of group I always seem to get when I do not go with guild.

- I thought that the LFR was meant for people that did not have the time to raid with guild?

- I thought that the LFR was meant for people that did not have raid ready skills?

- The trash is not even pugable at the LFR level when stuff like the next pull happen.

- When we get another tank one tank pulls the roaming mobs, the other tank pulls the guy at the door, still with only 4 heals.

- Once again we survive, with some serious healing from yours truly and the other healers.

- That was not meant to toot my own horn there, those other healers were awesome.

- Found where the one in ten good ones were in this group, they were the healers.

- At the boss at least they let us get a fifth healer before they pulled.

- Now for today's episode of (said in a booming voice like a TV announcer) "Who's... fault... is it?"

- We wipe.

- One tank died 3 times, but until the end, that was the only death.

- The entire room fills with puddles and we have no place to go, but the healers keep everyone alive, even in the center for a massively extended period of time before people start to drop.

- We wipe when the boss still has 105M hit points left.

- So enter your guess on "Who's fault is it?"

- According the the raid, there were three people at fault but the underlining factor was it was the healers fault.

- The main tank was at fault for pulling with only five healers.

- The off tank was at fault for dying three times and not using enough cooldowns to help our woefully bad healers.

- And of course it was the healers fault because we did not do enough healing and that was why we wiped.

- WTF?!?!?!

- Everyone was alive when we reached full coverage.

- Everyone was at full health when we reached full coverage.

- Everyone was kept alive through some insane damage output at the end for a fair amount of time.

- The off tank died because he was a bad tank, not because of healer issues, as told by the fact that no one else died.

- How exactly is it the healers fault that you get to full coverage with the boss still having over 100M life?

- It was the fault of the damage dealers for sucking in proportions of suck I do not think I have ever seen before in my life even in the LFR.

- They sucked so much that those horrible healers had to constantly keep everyone up through people getting hit by the lightning in places they shouldn't.

- And everyone lived.

- That had to be the single most amazing healing performance I have ever seen in the LFR with the amount of damage that was going out.

- Everyone was taking every single bit of avoidable damage.

- Tanks were not switching fast enough causing more damage.

- And yet we still kept everyone alive through the whole thing.

- When I was doing 102K HPS with a 481 item level leading the pack and the last place healer was over 85K HPS, the healing was just fine.

- Honestly, there is no reason you should need 5 healers all doing over 85K HPS on that fight, ever.

- Healers fault my ass.

- But the raid went on and on how the healers suck.

- Thank you blizzard for this amazing addition to the game, and you wonder why there are so few healers, because of stuff like this.

- The system needs to add something that points out errors to the raid.

- When the fight was over the game should have announced that the tanks and damage dealers better kiss our asses and hope we stay because they all suck and the only reason they made it as far as they did was because of us.

- Next attempt we have a 6th healer for and we down it.

- Again, when the entire area is covered and from some huge heals keeping us up at the end as we started to lose a few people here and there.

- All because the DPS was that low.

- And when we downed it, you will never believe the balls someone had.

- They said, See, I told you if we got another healer it would be easier.

- The tank, the one that didn't die, finally spoke up.

- The healers were just fine, the problem is with the DPS, you guys suck, good luck on the next boss, I am out.

- And he left.

- I should have followed.

- Wiped on the next boss a few times before I just gave up after 2 plus hours of hell.

- I should have left after I zoned in to them wiping on the first trash pull.

- When will I ever learn.

- With all due respect I would like to ask 13 of the 17 damage dealers a question.

- How exactly is it possible to have a 480 item level and do under 50K DPS on a fight with a damage buff?

- Even if you are ungemmed and unenchanted and unreforged, you should be able to do more than 50K on that fight at a 480 item level.

- Eh, doesn't make a difference anyway, it was the healers fault.

- I will say one thing that was good about all that bad however.

- It made me get some serious practice in cooldown usage, mana management and moving while healing on a character I had not yet healed this expansion with.

- So even with bad there was good.

- Actually, bad groups are better to learn healing with.

- You run with good groups too long you get spoiled and forget how to heal under pressure circumstances.

- Don't know about other healers out there, but I love those high pressure healing moments.

- It is what I find fun about healing.

- Now to step away from my favorite ranting points lately, even if only for a moment.

- And on to the island.

- Got the achievement for the chamberlain by waiting until the weekend to do it.

- Was super easy, did it in 4 minutes and 14 seconds.

- Can't see anyone having any problems with that achievement.

- It was simple with multiple characters.

- Did it on one first, then did it on another to get the achievement.

- First one I saw where the 4 were that day, second one I chose where to start it and ran a preplanned the route.

- The first one I almost did it on as is, without trying.

- Got in a lot of fights along the way while looking for them and only missed it by 2 minutes.

- Did not even get caught in one fight on the time I did it for the run the second time.

- One straight run from one to the next and to drop it off, easy peasy.

- My death knight took their first venture on the island this weekend.

- It was really early sunday morning and the place was empty, so no help for rares really.

- So I decided to try and solo them, I mean, I am a DK right?

- I can tell you that at a 460 item level a DK can solo every rare on the island with no problem what so ever.

- Because I did and I am not really all that skilled with soloing on mine.

- So it should be super easy for any DK with skills, even at a lesser item level.

- I also learned another thing about my DK.

- I can not solo anything as frost.

- I decided to spec frost for the LFR, being I refuse to run as a tank.

- I then made the mistake of pulling a rare as frost.

- I did not last long at all.

- Note to self, ouch, do not try to solo as frost until you learn how to play it.

- Reading up on the DPS rotation alone was not enough to solo mobs.

- Oddly enough I soloed Prog on my shadow priest this weekend.

- A shadow priest?  Soloing?  I have to be delirious right?

- Nope, I did it, I swear.

- Had someone join me sub 5% but still I consider myself as having soloed it.

- I was actually amazed.

- I figured worst case would be I jump off and levitate if I get in trouble.

- Never came to that.  Cool.

- Took my DK into the LFR for the first time, could only do the first two because of the item level, but six bosses and six coins, with the increased drop rate should get me something right?

- Who are we kidding, you know me better than that.

- I did win one piece, a weapon, so now up to 462.

- First time ever doing frost, not gemmed, not enchanted, gear that has parry and dodge on it, and basically no clue.

- I stunk it up as a melee DPS on will, getting hit by 3 out of 5 usually.

- Really don't know how I have no problem avoiding it as the tank but as a melee I never can.

- Guess it is because as a tank I know he is always aiming for me, so I know how to avoid it, but as a melee, with dancing tanks, I never can get a hang of it.

- One of those things that if I did it a few times I would probably get it.

- But the end of the fight I was down to only getting hit by one per five.

- I pulled 34K-39K on the bosses, high and low marks of course.  The dragon was 54K but that does not count as it has a damage buff.

- I was usually 8th in DPS, or around that.

- Not sure if that shows I am a fast learner, or how bad the people in there really are.

- I will lean toward it showing how bad the people in there really are.

- If someone with tank gear in a DPS spec they never once played and only read about that day and only spent a few minutes on a dummy with, and one violent death to a rare with, can beat them, they really are that bad.

- Given time I am sure I could get okay with it.

- Seems to be a pretty simple rotation.

- Then again, after playing a hunter this expansion, everything seems like a simple rotation when comparing.

- Don't think I will ever be able to do the dance as melee on will.

- At least not in LFR with an unpredictable tank.

- If you know where the tank will be, you know where the blows will be, you can avoid them easier.

- At least for me it works that way.

- Like I said, no problem on my tank, massive problems on my DK.

- Noticed I had another problem with my DK.

- I was constantly moving in front of the mob, out of habit.

- Oops.

- One trash pull the tank goes down I pop blood presence and go offtank, being they were on me anyway, and go down faster than a thai hooker.

- Guess frost does not do well off tanking either, even if only for a few seconds.

- Either that or I just need to learn how to play it better.

- Now for a tale of two snakes, so to speak.

- Megaera, LFR, one super easy mode, one nightmare mode.

- And my new perfect example of what is wrong with LFR design.

- One run, get in, green head, red head, and back and forth.

- Nice and easy, no problems, kill is as it should be in LFR, push over mode.

- Another run, nightmare.

- People not agreeing which heads to do, so everyone on different heads.  Wipe.

- 5% buff.  People still on different heads, we wipe again.

- 10% buff.  Finally get people to agree on heads, but they do blue red and back and forth.  Wipe.

- 15% buff. Switch the green red combo again but someone keeps dropping fire in the rally points.  Wipe.

- 20% buff.  Why am I still here?  Because at that rate it has to become a push over right?  Wipe.

- 25% buff.  Back to blue red because green red does not seem to be working, but some do not get the message.  Wipe.

- 30% buff.  Blue red and everyone is on the right ones, but some people just do not get that you run out of the group when you have the ice on you.  They just stand there, wipe.

- 35% buff.  How high can this buff go?  Well after more idiots dropping ice in the group and other idiots not moving out of it when they notice that someone that has it is not moving I can tell you it goes to 40%.  Wipe.

- 40% buff.  Now I can't leave, even if I wanted to, too much time invested, sooner or later the thing is just going to fall over at the start, wouldn't you think?  Kill.

- Woohoo, finally.

- I had already done the last boss on that character so it was not even a matter of considering it, I dropped it like it was hot.

- Maybe, just maybe, if things dropped loot more than once a week, I would have stayed, but to stay for 45 valor is just not worth it.

- They could have offered to mail me a check for 100 bucks and I would have not stayed.

- I've done this boss easy mode with a group of smart people, or at least not bad ones, and it is about as easy as easy can get.

- It is people dropping fire on the rally point that wipes us.

- It is people getting the ice on them and just standing in the group that wipes us.

- There should never be any ability in the LFR where one person can wipe the entire group like that.

- Never, ever.

- Seriously.

- It is like getting frostbite in the council fight.

- I try to get rid of it, to share it, and people run away from me.

- It makes me want to scream.

- Splitting this damage is good but people run from it, but sharing the damage from the torrent of ice is a bad thing and people just stand there with it, and in it.

- It really just makes me want to scream some times.

- May your tootsies not get frozen by all this ice talk.

- Have a great day all.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Warcraft: The Gathering

As a huge fan of Magic: The Gathering back in the day I am going to look forward to the addition of this new game.  It is a cash grab, make no doubt about that, selling packs for a free to play game will get people like me to foolishly spend money for nothing basically, but I'll still give it a shot.

I was an old school magic player.  Started in alpha, still have all the cards. I think the tempest block was the last time I played and I do not even know how long ago that was, which should give you an idea how long that was ago.  I do however remember when magic started to take off and I would go to hobby shops all over the area and tournaments in other states where people would come from all over to play.

I was ranked pretty high when I stopped playing having finished at or near the top in a few sanctioned events and basically destroying everyone in the local hobby shop ones.  What I loved about the game, more then the collecting which I admit was one of the things that originally attracted me to it, was the competition.

I would make a schedule of which events I would be able to attend, even trying to fit in every local event I could get to.  Being in new york that meant that there were always a lot of events to choose from, the biggest of which were usually hosted by neutral ground.  Anyone that has ever played magic competitively or is from new york will surely know where neutral ground is (or was, not even sure if they are still around).

See, that was the attraction of the game for me.  The getting out and meeting people.  The collecting and making decks by hand while I figured out strategies on paper.  The feeling the cards in my hand.  The seeing people I met at one event in another.  Making friendships and enemies. 

Even your rivals, whom you might call enemies, were your friends and some of the best trades I ever orchestrated were with them because they were hard fought trades that made me really think.  Would I be smart to let them build up their blue some knowing I have a counter for them if I run into them and there is someone else around I always have problems with that if I build them up I might be able to hope they can take the other person out for me?  Things like that made for a very cerebral type of environment.

I can go on and on about my times playing magic.  Having to adjust everything I knew when I could no longer use my mox cards, which I was one of few that even had them, and then dealing with them ripping apart my first real world beater deck that worked on the channel fireball theme.

There were many events I went to where I would destroy people as well as others where I saw myself sitting on the sidelines after only one round losing to something I never expected.  I would play side games for fun, or even bet, and still have a great time.  That was part of the excitement even when I lost.  Now I could see another type of deck I never saw before.  I was pretty much having fun in every way win or lose.

One of the largest local events which was held every two weeks I became a geek celebrity because of a win streak like none had ever seen before using different decks each week.  I extended my ultimate geekdom when being challenged by the person that finished second to me three events in a row to make a five color deck and win and then I did.  And I won in glorious fashion coming back from a huge deficit in most rounds because of mana issues, and playing with five colors meant I ran into that a lot.

In one of the last events I ever played in I was designing a new neck based on complete control and really no real way to damage the opponent.  I had great success with it by making it so the opponent could not even play a card, ever.  It would be like you being able to put a three hour stun on a level 90 with your level 1 rogue knowing it might take a while but you will win this.  That was that deck and it was amazing.  I would peck away one at a time while my lock basically kept them from ever being able to do anything.  One problem was that if I could not establish the lock fast enough I was dead.  The person that beat me loved the idea so much he asked me if I minded if he stole my idea, I said, go for it, and he ended up winning the next major event with a modified version of my deck.  That was really cool.

I have a ton of great stories of meeting great people while playing.  I satisfied my collectors urge by having cards in my hand and sorting them and trading them and collecting them.  I got to visit a lot of places I might not have ever went to if it were not for magic.  It was a wonderful experience and while I have fond memories of it I am not sad I stopped playing, I moved on and did other things.

It is those fond memories that makes me look forward to this new warcraft: the gathering game that blizzard is releasing.  But it is also my knowledge that what I love about magic was not so much the game and the competition, which I did like, but the travel, the tournaments, the people and the collection of actual physical items I owned.

I do not think this could ever bring back the amazing feel of fun I had while playing magic back in the day because it will lack every single aspect of magic that I loved about it.  No going to the store to buy packs.  No going to local centers to play and trade with other people.  No spending 1000 on new boxes and getting the excitement of opening the packs, sorry, doing that online just can not compare to them actually being in your hands.

The "real life" part of magic was what I loved about magic and if years of internet gaming and internet friendships has taught me, no matter how good things can be online, they can never replace, or even reach, the level of actual interaction with actual people and actual physical items.

So while I am interested in the new game I am already tainted and leaning toward not liking it, because it can not and will not be able to compare to the memory I have of playing magic even if I try not to compare them.  Plain and simple.  And even if that is not what it is, even if it is not a near knock off of magic, it is what it will feel like in the back of my mind, a cheap imitation of an amazing game that I had many great times playing and meeting people while doing so.

I am actually looking forward to it a lot.  I hope it is something I can play while at work, whereas I can not play WoW.  But I am not expecting all that much from it, how could I?  Nothing can ever compared to how awesome magic was and the memories I have from it.

Just writing this I can remember the smell of the new cards.  They had an extremely distinctive smell when you opened a new pack.  Ah, the memories, thanks for bringing them back with this announcement blizzard, even if that is all I end up getting out if, the memories this announcement bought back makes this a huge announcement to me.

Age in Warcraft

I was thinking about age in the game but not as you might think.  Not about the age of the people that play it but the age of our characters in it.

What would you consider the base ages of the characters we create?  Yes, I know the life spans of some are longer and you can easily say your night elf is 900, but thinking of it as we know age, what age would you think they are?

Human - Between 27-32
Dwarf - Between 48-53
Gnome - Between 48-53
Night Elf - Between 20-25
Draenei - Between 30-25
Worgen - Between 27-32
Pandaren - Between 17-22
Orc - Between 37-42
Tauren - Between 35-40
Troll - Between 20-25
Forsaken - Between 27-32
Blood Elf - Between 15-20
Goblin - Between 40-45

At least those are the ages, appearance wise, I would guess the races are supposed to represent.  I am sure your take might differ from mine, so what ages do you think the characters we play are supposed to be?

There are some races you can make look older or younger in the character creation screen of course.  Humans for example.  Based on their hair, or lack thereof when you make one bald, you can make a human appear older, same goes for the facial hair choices.  Done correctly you can make a human look in their 50s, but over all I would say body wise and from a wide array of their options that human are supposed to be in the 27-32 age range.

With the advent of new models coming some day, perhaps even as soon as 6.0, do you think we will ever be able to make races that appear of a different age group?

It would be nice to be able to make an orc male that did not have the body of a wrestler.  Could choose that option to make them younger, say 17, or older, say 55.  It would give a much wider degree of customizing your character if you if you could change their body size.  Imagine a muscle bound troll, or a scrawny tauren, or a well fit dwarf, or a slight taller gnome. 

All these things, body shape changes, could change the appearance the characters come off as age wise to us.  More than anything else, for me at least, I think it is the body shape that is most telling of the age of the characters.  Those most out of shape appearing are the ones I mark as older in my opinion while those with little or no real defined shape are younger.

A scale for size, making a character taller or shorter within a small margin based on race, would be a nice addition to character creation.  Something that adjusts body mass size would be nice too, so you could make a human male as thin as a blood elf or as rotund as a pandaren would be a good addition.

The body shape is what makes me guess those ages for those races but perhaps it is slightly influenced by the people that play said races as well.  Lets face it, I do not think I have ever met someone that played a dwarf, or dwarves, almost exclusively that was under 40.  Same goes for blood elves, I would say the vast majority of players I've met that play a blood elf, or blood elves, almost exclusively are all under 20.  So perhaps that skewed my view a little, but I think not.  The dwarves just have the body of someone we would consider older and blood elves just look like the type of body of someone that has not yet reached maturity.  Don't you think?

Body shape could really dictate age.  Facial features too. With new models it would be nice to see new body shapes and new facial features so we can play around with our ages a bit when creating a new character.

So what ages do you think the races are?  And do you think when they recreate models that they should give us more variables so we could make our choices different ages?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

What if There Were no Such Thing as Soulbound?

I remember when I first started playing the game and got this really great item while soloing Blackfathom Deeps.  That is a story in itself, long story short, I was new and did not realize that it was a dungeon meant for 5 people and thought it was just some really challenging content that was optional.  I decided to take up that challenge and started my effort to solo it around level 20 or so and I downed that first boss and got this awesome shield that, of course, my hunter could not use.  So what is a hunter to do?  Sell it of course.

I soon learned I could not sell it because it was soulbound and was forced to vendor it.  The first thing I thought back then, and still think up to this day, is that is stupid.  This is a great shield and someone out there could get a hell of a lot of use out of it.

Flash forward many years to when Diablo 3 came out and I saw their loot system for the first time.  Nothing was soulbound.  I could even sell that legendary fist weapon my demon hunter had no use for.  The words that passed my mind were "this is f'n awesome, warcraft should be like this".

So what if it were?  What if there were no such thing as soulbound gear?

There are a few downsides that people will immediately bring up.  People having gear they do not deserve.  Someone in all raid gear that never stepped into a raid, stuff like that.  Another downside would be that the gold sellers would all become gear sellers and the game could very well become a game of who can spend the most money.  Both of these are reasonable arguments, I'll give them that, but does it really matter in the end?

If people really wanted to spend money for gear there are already enough places they can buy BoE items from online and there are even places they can go to by a carry, places that will drag them through content and let them get all the gear.  So the money thing really is not much of an issue.  The people that would buy gear straight out might be slightly higher than the number of people that would server transfer for a carry but who cares?  I know I don't.  The gear won't make the player.  Even if they are in all heroic gear if they are a shitty player they are a shitty player.

The fact of people getting gear that don't deserve it is already in game.. Do you know how many hunters I see walking around in better gear than I have yet they are not capable of pulling 50% of the DPS I do?  They did not deserve that gear because they don't know what to do with it but they got it.  So nothing will change.  Or maybe something would.  Now they would get it because they deserve it.  They purchased it.  Being they made, or bought, the gold to buy it, they deserve it because they paid for it and I too can get it just as easily if I am willing to put in the effort of earning enough gold to buy it.  Or if I decide to go the easy route and buy the gold online or buy the item online.  That might seem like the cheap and easy route but gold or cash, you are still paying for it which means you deserve it and did not just luck into it.  Either way, it actually removes the people getting gear they do not deserve thing because now the playing field would be leveled and anyone can get it, if they have the gold.  Everyone has a 100% equal chance at gear now.

The one biggest side effect I could see coming from it is the lack of high end enchanting materials if everything could be sold.  Who would disenchant that new chest piece that dropped that no one needed if you can sell it for 60K on the auction house.  Lets see, 60K for the chest piece or 500 gold for the sha crystal.  Hard choice right?  Let me think about that one for a bit.

For all the bad things that could come from gear not being soulbound there are a dozen great things that could come up with from it not being soulbound.

Things like my raid needing a third healer for the fight we are on tonight and I am the only person that has a ToT capable healer ready at the moment that is scheduled to be on.  I can now go on my healer but announce that I am rolling as if I were on my hunter.  It would further what they were trying to accomplish with shared achievements.  Making people feel as if they could do things on any character and not be tied to a main.  Now I could roll on stuff for my main while not playing my main.

Or how about T11 when we did not have a holy paladin and it seemed every single boss dropped some sort of intellect plate.  We could have sold that, traded it for stuff the people in the raid could use, or saved it for the priest healer that was leveling their paladin alt to heal so they would be all caught up the second they had hit 85.  Instead we just ended the expansion with everyone in the guild having 100s of crystals.

No soulbound items would also mean all those great transmog type items you got while doing your solo runs or fun runs could be traded to the character that actually needed it.  I like to solo on my hunter and so often I see things and think, that would be awesome on my paladin or wouldn't my priest look awesome with that.  Now you can just send it over to them.

What about the bad luck many people have with drops and how something you need never drops when you are on the character that needs it but always seems to drop when you are on one that doesn't.  How many times did you run the mechanar on your tank trying to get the sun eater only to go there once on another character and it drop?  No more if items were not soulbound.  Get it on your priest, send it to your warrior.  Woot.

Sure, for randoms there would need to be a new, smarter, roll system so people don't just need on everything for their alts or to sell.  But that can be accomplished.  If it is something that could be used, and is an upgrade for you, the need button will be lit, if not, it won't.  So if I were to run gate of the setting sun on my hunter and the 476 epic drops at the end even if my hunter can equip it and it is specifically meant for a hunter I would not be able to need on it as I have something better.  I could only greed and hope to win it so I could send it to one of my alt hunters that does not have it.  Something along those lines.  Just like if a shaman can use intellect leather, they still can not hit need on it.  Sure, it might even be an upgrade in a sense, but it is not specifically meant for them, so they can not hit need on it. 

I think this sort of smarter roll system should also include spec.  If you are an elemental shaman you can not need on enhancement gear.  Even if your offspec is enhancement.  Even if it would be an upgrade.  That is not what you are there for so all you could do is greed it and hope you win it for your offspec.

If they are going to expand the LFR loot system they could also expand it so people can choose not only which spec they get loot for but what class and spec they get it for.  So I can run the LFR on my priest, for instant queue of course, and get my DK their DPS gear by checking that is what I wish to receive loot for, if I should be lucky enough to win something that is.

That would be required with things not being soulbound, a new roll system.  Lets face it, people will hit need on everything they can just to sell it, so you would need to change the need to mean really really need and the system will double check you actually need it and it is meant for the spec you are currently in before allowing you to hit need.

I think the game would be leaps and bound better for everyone if the diablo loot system were added as such but that would not be just the non-soulbound loot.  It would be everything.  Like great loot being able to drop off anything, anywhere, at any time.  The random nature of secondary stats would just be higher off the drops in higher difficulty situations.  Just like it is in diablo.

What if there were no such thing as soulbound?

I'll stand by my original assessment, "this is f'n awesome, warcraft should be like this".

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

LFR Changes I'd Like to See

The LFR is the future and it seems there is no way we can escape it.  So might as well make it better for everyone wouldn't you say?  Here are some changes I would like to see that I believe would make the LFR better for everyone.

10 Man Option:

I've written about this many times and even explained why there will never be a 10 man option.  Doesn't mean I don't want one and it doesn't mean I don't think it would be a good addition.  Sure, the middle of the pack guilds like mine that can blow through the LFR with ease with equally skilled players will choose to do 10 man only and go with all guild, thus making it harder for the lesser skilled players because there is no one there to help them but it would also give those lesser geared players more of an incentive to get better.

If they can not even do the LFR they will have one of two choices.  Get better, or stop doing it.  As long as people with any degree of skill, even middle of the pack normal only guilds like mine, continue to go in there and do all the heavy lifting for them there is no incentive for them to get better.  If they can sit back and do bad and collect loot, why do better?  If they can stand in stupid and get healed through it, why move?

Without the better players in the 25 man version the player base will do one of two things.  Evolve into something worse than it can already be or get better.  Either way it would be a bonus to anyone that is already one of the better players that LFR is a push over for.  We would not need to deal with those people that want everyone else to do the work for them any more and the bad attitudes that follow them as well as having the added bonus that others might actually learn in the environment because they have to learn to get it done because there is no one there carrying them.  This would mean more beginners might actually become raiders because they had to learn.  As it stands now, beginners are being taught this is what raiding is and that is a scary thought.

There would need to be some restrictions of course such as you can only queue for the 10 man with all 10 players.  It would not be a "finder" so to speak.  But it would be a quick way for 10 people scattered all around to go in, collect some loot, have a few laughs and earn some valor and then go back to where they were.  It would be fun.  Fun and LFR are two words that are not often used together but with the 10 man option it could be something you begin to hear all the time.

A 10 man LFR would also have the added effect that smaller guilds from smaller servers could better teach new raiders from that.  I think that would be a huge plus.  I often bring new people along to the 25 man but being we are not really most of the 25 people, there is only so much we can do to control things and test their abilities.  10s would allow that to a much greater degree.

So yes, adding 10 mans would, or could, be very bad for the game, but it would, or could, be very good for the game.  Only one way to find out, and that is to add it.

Walk Ins:

Or at least the ability to queue up and not want outsiders to join.  If we have a guild group of 18 and want to do it with 18 let us do it with 18.  Let us walk into the LFR version of the raid with just 18, collect our loot and valor, and go about our day without having to wait in queue or have others that might actually make it harder with more people because those added people have no clue what they are doing.

I think that having a LFR walk in option would be a huge plus to the game.  Lesser guilds could use that for their raid night and make raid teams to just walk into it.  It would help build community by pugging the LFR version for alts on small servers like mine that have such a small selection of raiders even capable of normal modes.  It would be a great way to recreate the one thing blizzard is lacking more than anything else, community.

Walking in would not be like LFR as in you get 90 valor after three bosses, it would be 30 valor per boss downed.  So you could do 1 or 3 or 5 or 7 or however many you feel like doing.  Walking in would also not have any lockouts and could be reset as often as you like, however the one loot per boss per week would still stand but you would always get 30 valor per boss even if you kill the same boss 10 times in one week.  This would allow people that already did it to help out some under geared or under skilled guild members.

It would also work as an excellent catch up system.  If a guild wants to take my just hit 90 437 item level warlock into ToT LFR they can being they are just walking in.  It would create, as I mentioned, a tighter knit community because people would once again need each other, even if only for this easy content.

It would also allow people to go with the groups they want. Only have 17, screw it, lets do it with 17.  Not to mention all the fun you could have if you were one of those classes that like to solo content.  Being able to walk in would mean you can now solo some bosses you would not be able to solo until much later on normal due to mechanic or gear reasons.  Again, adding more fun to the game for some while not taking any fun away from anyone else in the process.  That, my friends, is the definition of an excellent move when you can add something without taking away from anything while doing it.

A walk in system would also mean you can walk into old LFR raids for transmog, fun or soloing adventures.  While there is only one (2 parts) old LFR in terms of level at the moment, next expansion there will be many of them, so why not let us go back to them instead of how it is now where once we pass it, it is gone, forever.

Functional Banning System:

There needs to be something that locks people out of certain parts of the game and it needs to be used.  Blizzard is so gun shy to ban people because they do not want to lose their subscriptions, so why not just ban them from certain areas.  You go crazy in trade calling everyone names and using every curse I've ever heard and a few I haven't, you get banned from trade, not from the game.  That is what I am talking about and it needs to be added for the LFR.

If someone gets reported multiple times for pulling when they are not the tank, ban them from using the LFR system for 2 weeks.  Make the ban account bound too so they can feel the pain when none of their characters can do it.  Someone goes on a rude tirade in the instance channel, ban them from speaking while in the LFR for a few weeks.  Someone continually comes in as a healer and refuses to heal, well now we refuse to let you queue at all for a few weeks or at the very least remove your ability to queue as a healer for a few weeks.  If you abuse it, you lose it, seems fair to me.

People break the rules because there are no real rules.  There needs to be real rules with real penlites that back those rules up.  If blizzard does not start taking action against the non healers that only queue as a healer because it is quick it is the same as them saying they are fine with that.

While one or two healers doing that might not kill your group, can you imagine pulling the boss with all six healers wanting to DPS instead of healing?  A friend of mine had an LFR where that happened.  I'll admit I did laugh but at the same time I thought this proves why there should be action taken against these people that abuse the system.  Because people see others do it and not get in trouble for it so more and more will do it.  You will agree with me if you ever get a group with all healers DPSing and you can not kick them because they all have kick protection from being kicked so often.

Blizzard needs to create a system to teach these people because no matter how many times we kick them they will just keep doing it because they can queue as healers and healers have a quick queue and sooner or later they will find a group that will carry their sorry asses and that is wrong.  They should not be rewarded for gaming the system, they should be banned, and blizzard is the only one that can fix it by creating a system that will ban them for it, only from using the LFR system, not from the game completely.

Older Raids:

How about adding the older raids to the LFR system?  With the walk in suggestion it would be interesting to start off with but those level locked characters and some leveling characters being able to do level 60 raids at level 60, level 70 raids and level 70, level 80 raids and level 80 and level 85 raids at level 85 would be beyond awesome.  It is hard enough to pug older raids as is, but pug them at level with everyone of the appropriate level would be 100% impossible, at least on most servers if not all.

Adding the older raids, even if they would be super easy with respect to it being LFR and you would expect people of that level to be in leveling gear and not end game gear, could be great fun.  Make is so 60-69 have access to the level 60 raids, 70-79 to the level 70 ones, 80-84 to the level 80 ones and 85-89 to the level 85 ones.

Would it get a lot of use, maybe not, but I am sure it would get some and it would be a nice upgrade to make the LFR system that looks like it is here to stay a part of the entire history of the game instead of something just added later.


If I've said it once I've said it a million times, the LFR is too hard for the people it is intended for.  While it is easy when I go in my guild groups, it is not intended for us.  We are a group of people that will make our way through normals slowly and that is where we should be.  For people like us, that communicate and do have to deal with mechanics that require said communication the LFR is nothing more then a minor obstacle to 90 valor points and filling out a few slots to make our normals easier.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Who it is created for are the people that I would never allow on one of my raid teams.   Like the mage we tested out and did an MV run with that never broke 28K on any fight, or the warlock we gave a shot because we did not have one and she could not break 25K effectively making the mage look good.  Just as a side note to give you an idea about my server, those two where the best of all the people we found when looking to fill the caster DPS role.  I was so glad one of our old players came back.

Those people are the ones that the LFR is made for, so make it for them.  Make it so people doing 25K can manage it with ease.  Make it so healers that can't manage to put out the healing numbered we did while 85 at 90 can heal it.  Make it so tanks that think all their job consists of is do DPS while being beat on and have no idea what mitigation is can tank it.

Honestly, that is who the LFR is meant for and it is basically not designed for them.  Right now I would say it is designed for my guild.  Middle of the pack average.  Just do normals, maybe a rare heroic here and there, so we can run in and have some fun one shotting watered down versions of what we just spent 2 hour wiping on the night before.  Sorry, it should not be like that.

If they lowered the difficulty it would not change a damn thing for organized groups.  We would still go in and one shot everything, no problem.  But it would allow the people it is meant for to have the chance to do the same thing.  How about you design the LFR for the people that the LFR is meant for instead of designing it so groups with communication?

Basically I have no real issues with anything difficulty wise with the exception of things that require communication.  If you need to tell people run from everyone when this happens, attack that one when the other thing happens, stack up for AoE heals, etc, anything that needs any sort of communication needs to be removed.  Everything in looking for raid should be, at the very least, manageable even with a complete group of people that never did the fight before and do not understand the mechanics.

That is the key to difficulty in the LFR.  If it is something you need to communicate you need to remove it.  Or at least make it like they did with crush, so it can not happen more than once every 30 seconds, so basically it just becomes part of the LFR, every 30 seconds it happens.  No fuss, no muss.  There should never be a need to communicate not to stand in the circle.  That is how they should remove the difficulty factor.  Put things that happen on a timer and just happen.  Do not make them depend on if the group communicated things correctly.


Anyone that has ever raided anything outside of LFR will tell you that the trash can be more deadly then the bosses.  Some of ulduar trash took us longer to learn how to clear then the bosses did to learn how to beat them.  Or those dwarves in BWD, we wiped on them 6 times our first time up to them only to one shot the boss the first time we faced it.  Trash in raids has always been a big part of the raiding experience.

But in the LFR is should not be like that.  You are not teaching budding raiders.  You are letting lesser players experience content, get gear and valor.  That is it.  Even the skilled players are there for the same thing, some quick fun, gear and valor.  Remove the entire trash being part of the experience aspect from the LFR.  There is no reason for trash to be anything more than round up mobs and mow them down, just like in a heroic dungeon.  Make it that way.


I think a new loot system for the LFR should be put in place.  This random stuff is annoying, at least to people like me with little luck.  Have a system where when you do not win something the chance to win on the next boss is increased.  So that way no person will ever go forever without a win like my poor priest did last tier doing all 16 LFR bosses three weeks in a row and never winning one piece.  One piece every 5 bosses seems reasonable.  If you get lucky you can get a lot more, but if you do not, you chance to win goes up each boss until the 5th boss when you have a 100% chance to win something and then it starts all over again.

The LFR, for many like myself, is a means to an end.  To fill some missing slots, to gear up alts should I ever decide to do anything with them, to get some valor.  There is no reason to make anyone go an entire tier of the LFR using coins on the same boss every single week and still never getting the item they want.  Yes, I am looking at you sha touched weapon.


A random raid finder would be a  good addition now being we have a nice selection of raids to choose from.  Offer a little more, say 30 extra, valor for doing them as a random.  Even if it can only be gained once per day it would mean that instead of people signing up for 9 different (soon) LFRs they will just do a random.  This will make it faster to assemble groups, using the people in the random to fill out the specific queue people.  You could even offer those incentive baggies, even if I always hated the idea, some people do seem to like it, so you can get people to fill in the role most needed, in recent times that would be a healer.  A random LFR finder might also help not only for faster queue times but when people need nothing from any of them it would make for better runs by possibly getting the higher geared people in the lower ones.

Off Spec Loot:

Allowing people to choose what loot they get when they run could be a double edged sword but it could also help a lot.   While there could end up being fewer tanks and healers because they can go the route of the easier DPS role and still get their tank or healer gear some people might be willing to tank or heal for the quicker queue if they knew they could still get the DPS gear they actually wanted.


In the end all I want is the LFR to be fun and as it is, it isn't.  It is too hard for the masses which makes people bitchy.  It gives people bags of gold all the time which makes people bitchy.  It makes people feel like they have to carry other people which makes people bitchy.  It feels like you wait forever just to be subjected to all of this and getting nothing worthwhile for your time investment which makes people bitchy.  There is no fun factor to the LFR unless you can manage to assemble a group of 25 people to go into it together and do it as a group.  But that is too hard on most servers, hence the reason I go back to my first suggestion, 10 man option.

What changes, additions, etc, would you do with the LFR to make it better?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Thoughts on Valor, Gear, Alts and LFR

Fair warning, this is a post filled with lots of bitching and moaning and complaining and me being, well, grumpy.  After all, that is who I am, but remember this, I am grumpy with a smile because it makes me feel good to let off steam. 

When 5.2 came out I once again started to play my alts.  There were a few sitting around doing nothing for a long time such as my mage and rogue who basically hit 90 and did a few things here and there but nothing much else.

The scouts and warbringers coming out and dropping those tokens that can be used for 1000 reputation with different factions and my ability as a hunter to solo them, albeit difficult at times, made it so I was able to spend a little time killing them and collected tokens and baggies, and netting a mount in the process.

After 100s of combined kills between warbringers and scouts I was able to get most of my 90s on my main server to at least revered with every faction and thus opening the door to buy them gear without having to do the reputation grind on them.  This complete removal of having to do dailies with alts was perfect in my opinion.  There should have never been any reputation gate to begin with for alts so skipping it completely with these tokens was fantastic.

The new island also brought something else into the mix that had not existed before.  The rare mobs that drop books for valor, 15 each, made me want to actually play my alts and do dailies on them.  While doing my dailies I could hunt rares as well to further push my valor gain while getting reputation at the same time.  This is the type of thing that gets people out and questing, or at least people like me.

I could get my easy valor by killing rares and instead of standing there waiting for them to respawn I would do the quest hub.  I got questing done, reputation done, and extra valor.  Add to that the chance to get one key a week, collect stones, look for a treasure chest and content that encourages you to group up, and now my alts feel like they can actually play and advance, at least some even if I am not raiding with them, instead of feeling as if I am locked behind a wall unless I do dailies.  That forced designed never clicked with me.

I still believe that the way it should have been handled was that you were forced to get the reputation and open all the gearing options with one character and once that character had opened the shops all your alts would have access to it.  It would have been a lot more alt friendly.  If my healing, enchanting and tailoring alt wanted the AG patterns they could have bought them after my main had gotten to exalted and not have forced me to do it on that character as well.  Perhaps next time around they will use my idea which is, being bias as it is my idea of course, a much better idea.

While I like the valor of the ancients buff because it really gives a nice boost to alts I do not like the forced feeling of it.  I feel as if I want to get the most out of playing my alts I have to max my main first.  This is counter productive in my opinion because it burns out your main.  I can bust my ass capping on my main ASAP so I get it done in 2 or 3 days but then the rest of the week I won't play my main because I feel I am getting shafted.  Why do LFR, dungeons, quests, anything, if I am already capped?  I am not a fan of wasting time and if I am going to do something once capped on my main, unless my main is needed for it, I will do it on an alt now.

If not for the valor of the ancients I would play my main a little each day.  Capping is not hard if you do that.  And I would play my alts when they are needed, or when I feel like it.  I would not ever hear myself saying, I don't want to heal that run for you until I cap my hunter, once I cap my hunter I will get 50% extra on my healer and then I can heal for you.  Let me just cap this first.

That might just be me because of the way I try to get the most out of everything but I am sure there are many that have the same feelings I do.  If it were not for the valor of the ancient I would be like, okay, let me switch and heal for you.  Now it would be completely ineffective time wise for me to do that.

Some decent questions were asked via twitter:

Doesn't it seem like Valor of the Ancients should trigger when you achieve 1000VP on a realm in a week? Not a specific toon?
Debated that, but it makes you e.g. want to do first dungeon with every alt before playing your main. (Source)
Current system makes you want to cap one char before touching another. IMO that's worse.
We've discussed whether Valor of the Ancients was a good idea (its intentions were certainly noble). (Source)
Sadly, the answers were nowhere as decent as the questions themselves and show the detachment of the developers from the game players is greater than it has ever been.

Just look at the response to the first question.  I know you can only use 140 characters on twitter but really that answer left off in the middle of a thought and I would have loved to hear the rest of it.  "but it makes you e.g. want to do first dungeon with every alt before playing your main" and?

Really, and?

Why did your debate come to the conclusion that was a bad thing?  It is a partial thought and really no answer what so ever.  Telling us that we will just do the first dungeon on all our alts so we can max faster just means we are smart.  So why exactly is that a bad thing?  I am not being snarky asking that, I really want to know.  Being this expansion is all about giving us options why not have the option to do that?  So we cap a little faster, big deal.  So what is the whole "but it makes you e.g. want to do first dungeon with every alt before playing your main" thing about?  I'll give him a but, "but that is a good thing".

The second question had a better answer because in a way they admitted their fault saying that it was, as in past tense, was, a good idea.  Sure, it was.  If it were done the way the first question asked if it could be done it would be a better idea.

I think it is about time they just ditch the entire valor of the ancients idea as another failed idea.  As he said, it was a good idea as its intentions were noble, but it did not work, and just do what I said to begin with, increase the base valor to start off with.

All dailies 10 per.  All dungeons 80 (+ bonus for some) all the time.  All scenarios 40 (+ bonus for some) at all times.  No need for valor of the ancients if the valor system was not offering something so horribly low to begin with.  The only reason they needed to add the valor of the ancients was because there was no decent way to gain valor in a time efficient way.  Instead of adding that, they just should have addressed the problem by increasing valor gain.  Wouldn't that have been the more logically way to do it?  Wouldn't it have been a simple way to do it?  Why would blizzard ever do anything logical and simple when you can add unneeded complexity to it like some buff?

I also think it is about time, being there are 5 raids and soon to be more, for the random raid finder.  Queue up for a random raid and if you get the raid as a random, you get loot from each boss even if you had already looted it before.  You can only get loot from a raid once if you queue directly for it, but if you get it as a random you get loot each time.  Also, like I mentioned no depreciation like with dungeons either.  90 per, no matter what.  Heck, I believe the LFR should give 250 per for the current tier and 150 per for past tiers but I am willing to let them slide with 90 even if that is not even close to the reward we should get for subjecting ourselves to the worst addition ever to the game, the LFR.

Another twitter question really got my attention, mostly after my hour plus wait times for the LFR.

Are there any discussions about how to improve wait times on Raid Finder? Depends on other variables, but seems like 1 hr/Que.
It's often caused by lack of healers and tanks and our suspicion is those players are more likely to queue with friends. (Source)
Again ladies and gentlemen we have an answer that shows the complete detachment from the player base by the developers because they have no clue what they are talking about.

There is no lack of tanks in the LFR.  Do you know the reason I queue as a DPS on my tanks?  Because the queue time for a DPS in extremely low compared to my queue time as a tank.  The problem is healers and healers only.

Yes, people, tanks and healers more so, prefer to queue with guild for obvious reasons.  We did two guild runs last week of the new ToT raid.  One with 1 healer and two tanks in it along with about a dozen damage dealers on day one and we blew through it like it should be done in the LFR.  No problems, no wipes, no worries.  The other run with three guild healers and five dps was no problem as well.

See, we had a healer in the mix, three in one case.  The time we only had one we had both tanks in the mix.  So tanks being able to communicate lessened the work on the one healer, and the three healers could easily compensate for two tanks having some minor issues.

Any run where we did not have healers and/or tanks in, were wipe city.  I had one that I mentioned in my random thoughts that in about 4 hours only downed once boss.  I tried another with three other guild damage dealers and despite us all doing excellent DPS and moving from the bad and following mechanics, we could not get past the first boss and gave up after 4 tries.

It all comes down to healers.  No healers queue for the LFR because healing it is awful.  It should not be hard but it is.  Healing normals are easier than healing the LFR.  Damage dealers that do not know mechanics and stand in everything and drop damage on everyone else.  Tanks that do not know what the hell active mitigation is or taunt switching is.  No one dispelling, interrupting, stunning or doing anything an even remotely organized group would do.

No matter what, you name it, everything in the LFR when done wrong screams "the healers will fix it".  Dropping the bad where it should not be, no worries, the healers will fix it.  Not using your defensive cooldowns, no worries, the healers will fix it.

All crap like that is why there are no healers.  All crap like that is why we have to wait for them because no one wants to heal them because this is supposed to be a quick, fun and easy source of loot and for the tanks and damage dealers it can be but for the healers it can not be because they actually have to work their asses off unless they get lucky enough to get a group that can actually follow mechanics, play their classes and get out of the bad.  And yes, even in the LFR if you do not follow mechanics it hurts and puts all the pressure on the healers.

If they want to fix the LFR queue time issues they have the answer right there.  Healers.  Make the healers want to heal it.  No, do not give them some stupid baggie that has a chance to give a pet.   Lower the damage done to the players in there.  Tanks can get by doing sub par in the LFR playing badly or being slightly under geared.  Same for the damage dealers.

While it is true that no class in the game should be doing less than 60K at a 480 item level you can have 3/4 of the damage dealers doing less than that and still down bosses.  Not to mention, those people doing that 30K are not only making it harder on the other damage dealers having to pick up their slack but they are the ones that are taking the extra damage and causes others in the group to take extra damage and are making the fight much longer than it should be which puts the pressure directly on who, the healers. 

The fix for the LFR queue problem is to lower all damage by 50%, maybe even more.  So bad healers doing poorly can still handle it, just like bad tanks doing poorly can still handle it and bad damage dealers doing poorly can still handle it.

You can down every boss in the LFR with two bad tanks, you can down every boss in the LFR with 17 bad damage dealers, but you can not down even one single boss with 6 bad healers.  And if you have all bad tanks and all bad DPS you might still fail unless you have 6 good healers.  Why put all the pressure on one part of the team?  That is why healers do not queue for it and that is why I only run my healers with the guild runs.

There is a reason that my guild runs have no problems and it is not that we are great or anything because we are not.  But we bring our own healers and while not world beaters they are at least playing at the level that makes it easy and the large selection of other members means we know we have people that know how to avoid the avoidable making it even easier on the healers.  Thus an easy run.

They are designing the LFRs as if they will be run by people that are raiders at a lower skill level.  They need to stop designing the LFR with that thought in mind.  The majority of people that run it are not lesser skilled raiders looking to learn or raiders that do not have time to run with the regular team, they are non-raiders.  Just because it is looking for raid does not mean the majority of people that run them are raiders.

Long story short, too late, let even bad healers be able to faceroll it the way bad tanks and bad damage dealers can and you will see a lot more healers signing up and the queue time will become that much faster.

Want to give healers even more incentive?  Let healers be allowed to get loot drops every time they run it, this would entice them to run it multiple times to get loot or valor or whatever.  Please, no stupid baggie bonus, that is just not incentive enough for most.

Well, that was a long side rant I did not expect to last as long as it did so now time to rant about something different, a question I have that was not asked and therefore not answered.  I really need to get on twitter to bug my good buddy GC myself.

Why do we still not have a 10 man LFR?  Seriously.  I would love to be able to make a few guild groups just to run through it and maybe grab one or two people here and there and not need to deal with these horrible groups sometimes.

I think I answered my own question however.  Those two mostly guild groups I did ToT with this week that were super fast, easy and fun, as it should be, had many people that were not part of my group.  Thanks to us, they had a good run.  If there was a 10 man, we would have never run those two and those people would now be left to fend for themselves and most likely end up having an experience like I had where I wasted 4 hours and only downed one boss.

There is no 10 man because blizzard needs people that know how to play in the LFR to carry the people that do not know how to play.

I say, who cares, give me 10 man, and design the 25 man LFR for the people it was meant for.  People that do not know how to play.  Make it so easy anyone can beat it and please do not say it already is.  While it already is for a group that knows what they are doing, it isn't when you get one that doesn't as my 4 hour one boss nightmare proves.

After that run I don't think looking for raid is the appropriate term for it any more, it should be called looking for nightmares.

Then there is the loot issue and why I said I refuse to ever heal a LFR without guild.  Why should I go through that hell when I have to deal with bad groups of bad players with bad attitudes and bad personalities and still not win anything week after week after week.

I should be rewarded loot just for putting up with their bullshit.  I swear I should be given heroic mode gear just for putting up with some of the stuff I've had to witness in the looking for nightmares I have had over the last couple of years.

I even had one run this weekend were we wiped on the first boss of the second half of HoF six times.  Six times.  Do you believe that?  How is that even possible?

Tanks blamed healers, healers blamed DPS, DPS blamed tanks.  We had a shaman healer that refused to heal because he was top DPS.  We had a DK that was tanking even if he queued as a DPS and the sad part is he was a better tank than the two tanks we had.  Everyone was insulting everyone else.  Had someone complain about the mobs not being marked correctly and instead of following the marks anyway, he followed the way he believed it was supposed to be.  Everyone else had no clue what a skull meant and they all just attacked whatever they wanted.

In the end I won no loot, no loot on the bonus roll and all I had was one hell of a repair bill for something that should be as faceroll as a heroic dungeon is by now.  I should have been given at least one piece of heroic gear just for staying as long as I did and helping these degenerates.

The looking for nightmares needs fixing, lots of it, and it only starts with making the healers life easier.  I think blizzard is attempting to make the LFR into a real raiding experience and that is noble, sure, but it is wrong and it will not work.  Not with random groups and not with people that refuse to communicate anything other then insults.  LFR needs to be what it was intended for, a super easy way to see content and collect some loot.  As it is now, it is neither super easy nor a decent way to get loot.

Again, 10 man please.  I know there are good reasons for there being no 10 man version but screw it.  Either fix 25 man or give us 10 man.  There really are no other options.  Making it harder and hoping the unwashed masses can figure out how to actually play is not working.

Someone asked me in a post last week why I thought that blizzard not making new five mans meant that those people would be put into the last raid and I said it only made sense.  Well, now GC confirmed what I said, sort of.

Hey Greg, why no new 5 mans until next expansion?
4.3 had 3 good 5-player dungeons, but the raid received its share of criticism. There is a connection. Always love to do more. (Source)
See, there is a connection.  They spent so much time making such fantastic five mans, and they were fantastic, the best part of cataclysm if you ask me, that DS suffered because of it.  There is a connection, those are his own words, and that is the connection.  If they spent more time working on the raid instead of those dungeons perhaps the first raid to ever have a raid finder version would have been a more worthy raid to have it.

DS was not horrible so to speak, it was just horrible when you looked at the five mans and saw how great they were with their new zones and new scenes and then we get a raid that went on for so long in basically all recycled areas from last expansion.  Last expansion.  What a huge insult to the player base.  The laid back lack of design would have been fine for an extra raid, a fill in raid, one of the initial three raids, but not for the end raid we would play the longest of every raid in the expansion.  Making the five mans were the reason for DS being that badly done, make no doubt about that.

Hopefully the last raid this expansion will be really epic on the level it deserves to be thanks to the fact that they will not be wasting the creative resources on making more dungeons.  An elf can dream right?

MMO champion mentioned that the estimated drop rate of loot in the old LFRs is now roughly 32%.  There sampling to find this is rather small but seems to fit what I recall reading somewhere once before that the old rate was 15% and the new was doubled to 30%.  So I will believe that number to be fairly accurate.

So who out there is working on something like a 70% loot table right now because my 4% loot would like to get its fair share.  I really hate the luck system.  30% sounds nice but with bad luck 15% or 30% means absolutely nothing.  When I am only getting loot 4% of the time it feels like the content is not even worth doing when I have to do it with random people that make it very unpleasant for me.

I wonder if I can report these people for something?  People that are rude and insulting to everyone in the group.  Can they be reported?  Would blizzard do anything about them?  They just add insult to injury.  I have to wait forever to get into a raid then I have to listen to them and still get no loot.

WTB single player ways to get more loot.  Seriously, they really need to add a way to get loot that does not require group content and does not require luck.

My poor rogue is in more than half 489 or better gear, a couple of 463, 476 and 483 aside.  Not so bad for an alt I play about once or twice a month at most.  But I have had no luck with weapons. I am still carrying around two 450 weapons.  I will most likely still be carrying around two 450 weapons forever.  Lady Luck likes to spit on my poor little rogue it seems and he never did anything to lady luck to deserve such treatment.

You know the worst part of it?  Even if I bust my ass and work for it, I will never be able to buy weapons for him with valor or justice.  Yeah, we need more ways to buy gear outside of the luck system.  Seriously.  It gets to the point of, why even try.  Run a dungeon that drops daggers but they never drop.  Kill LFR bosses and use coins, but never get weapons, please oh please would the makers of this game save those of us without luck and give us more gearing options.

I can go into a zone on better geared characters and pull three or four mobs at a time and not even break a sweat.  I can watch TV and down them at the same time but put more than two mobs on my poor rogue in the new island and he is toast.  Just that little added DPS from some decent weapons would mean the world to me.  So even if I am not raiding, I can still use them.  Some people say if you are not raiding you do not need gear, tell my rogue that when three mogu are beating his ass and vanish is on cooldown.  He can really use those daggers even if he is not raiding.  Not asking for free loot, I will earn them.  Just let me buy them because I am never going to luck into them at the rate I am going this expansion.

Well, I've ranted about this, that and the other long enough for today.  I will give your eyes a break, at least anyone that was capable of reading this all.

Have a great day.