Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Picking Apart the GC Twizzcast

Ghostcrawler left us a nice collection of comments from the twizzcast yesterday and as always I found a bunch of things I would like to comment on.  You can check out a summery of them over at mmo-c here but I'll just quote the ones I want to talk about.

Valor Points will not be converted to Justice Points for Patch 5.4. "Players who want to stockpile their 3,000 Valor before Patch 5.4 hits will be able to do that, and probably should start thinking about that."

There are two specific things I grabbed out of this by reading between the lines.  First is the obvious one I am sure most will pick up on and that is him saying we should think about capping now.  Being today is a reset day (tomorrow in the UK) does it mean that three weeks from this reset that 5.4 is coming out?

He did say to "think" about it, so that might mean it is close but it is not three weeks.  Maybe it is four weeks and that is why he said we should "think" about it.  Or perhaps he is just covering his ass, just as I would do the same, and the intention is for it to be out in three weeks but he said "think" so if they need to delay a week or two he can't be held accountable for saying it was going to be three weeks when it wasn't.

I think that is most likely what he meant.  It is expected to be out in three weeks, he gave us fair warning, but he did not guarantee it would be out in three weeks.  This is basically perfect customer relations at its best.  Perhaps good ol' GC has been taking lessons on how to say things.  Give people the warning, but do not promise them.  Nice touch there crab boy.

The other part of the comment that made me think of something was the first part.  Valor will not be downgraded to justice.  Usually when new valor gear comes out and older gear becomes justice gear and the valor points become justice points.  This is usually done to keep us from getting a head start on valor gear.  I never really agreed with it since they added the cap to valor.  Who really cares if I get one piece (or 2 small ones) faster because I had valor.  It always came off as rather petty to deny the people that worked for it a tiny head start in my opinion.

However, with that said and the fact I do not recall seeing any posts about new valor gear I am thinking that unless they add something last minute we will have absolutely no new valor gear next patch.  Basically this seems to be blizzard reenforcing the feeling I have said many have since the beginning of the expansion.  It is "raid or die".  When there is no way to get current level gear except raiding it is a raid or die design.  Bad move blizzard, really bad move.

I raid, so no huge deal.  Even my characters that do not raid it is no big deal as I will begrudgingly do the LFR for some gear.  But for non raiders, or for raiders with bad luck, those valor pieces were not only nice, they were required.  No valor gear is a huge slap in the face to every person that plays the game, raider or not.  You have three weeks, rethink this one blizzard.  Add valor gear.

It is easy for your character's level to advance much faster than your profession skill level. Fixing this will take a significant amount of developer time, as what to do with all of the recipes have to be considered.

No shit Sherlock.  Are you telling me it took you this long to notice what everyone with a brain figured out the first time they took a character through these new faster than lightning leveling processes since cataclysm? 

Oh wait, I forgot that one word there, brain.  Yes, it would have required someone with a brain to notice that when you speed up leveling you should speed up the professions too.  Because the things were so well designed as to be leveled together changing one should have meant you changed the other as well.  But no, that type of logic flies way to far over blizzards head.

Beside the fact that it took them well over 2 years to notice a problem that hundreds, thousands even, have posted about on forums, blogs, and twitter about they now say it will take significant developer time to fix it.

Who do they have working on the development team, the the puppets from sesame street?  Let me fix this for you blizzard.  No serious developer time needed.  Just read the following.

Make high chance skill gathering give 2 points instead of one per herb picked, node mined or animal skinned.  Lets normal chance give 1 skill point and let low chance give 1 skill point every other.  This will help speed up gathering professions so they keep up with the increased leveling speed.

For crafting professions, decrease the number of items you need.  Having leveled 4 leather workers since the change in cataclysm I can say with absolutely no doubt that it is 100% impossible to keep it leveled with your character because of the demands of each pattern.  When you need 12, 14, 16 or 20 leather per pattern at some points and you might only get a total of 60 of that type of leather while leveling before you out level the zone, if you even happen to be doing quests that allow you to skin something that is, there is no way your leather working can keep up.

Decrease the amount of leather needs per pattern to 2-6 pieces each.  Same for blacksmith patterns.  Tailoring can just a tiny turn down also.  Alchemy seems fine, as long as you do not get CRZed to death and go 20 levels without seeing one herb, which has happened to me.

And those special patterns in leather working, the ones that need turtle scale or scorpion scale.  Lets get real here blizzard.  Of the four leather workers I have leveled since cataclysm I did not collect enough of either of those to make one of those items, combined.  As in 4 characters skinning while leveling did not collect 20 turtle scales.  Lets lower those special case items down to 1 per pattern, maybe 2 at max.

That is how you fix it, lower the requirements needed for the patterns.  I did not need hours upon hours to come to that conclusion.  Just logic.  If I level 4 times faster than I did when the professions were created to develop hand in hand with leveling then the professions need to be decreased proportionately if I want to keep them tied together.

What type of developers do you have working there that it would take them significant time to figure that one out?  Seriously, I would like to know.  I understand what you said there is a customer relations thing just like the "think" in collecting valor was.  The difference is one was a hint (think) and this was an outright disrespect to the players reading it.  It would not take significant developer time to fix it, you just do not want pay someone to edit all those numbers to fix it.  Two completely different things.

The heirloom weapons are also intended to make Mists of Pandaria a little more alt friendly.

There were many lines in the raid portion I could comment on, all of them I could actually, but this one has to go first because I found this to be particularly humorous.

Alt friendly?  If they dropped in the LFR, which they do not, I can see your point about them making mists a little more alt friendly.  But to complete the actual raid to have a chance to get them it is not really all that alt friendly.

Lets forget for a moment that I am a weirdo that has a billion alts and will most likely finish the raid on at least normal difficulty.  Most alt-a-holics are not raiders.  They might be part time raiders, fill in raiders, some time raiders, but if anything they are more likely to be looking for raiders.

If you are making something for alts don't you think it would be best to make them available easier to the people that would need them the most?  People that just have an army of alts but not really a dedicated raid schedule.

There is no valor gear this tier, how about making those BoA weapons available for valor.  Now that would be alt friendly.  Do not say something is alt friendly and then put it in a place where most people that are just alt levelers will never see it.  I look forward to gearing my non raiding alts from my mains doing it as I am sure many others are as well.  But the difference is I am a casual raider with lots of alts.  I am not an alt-a-holic that happens to raid sometimes.  It will help many alt people, sure, but it will not help the people that actually would need it most.  The people that do not raid and just level alts mostly.

They are not being put in the game to make it a little more alt friendly.  They are being put in the game so that the main raids have something special in them that the LFR does not.  I think they could have put something special in the main raids a lot better than that and let that go where it should be, somewhere that everyone can have access to them.  Just another case of the "raid or die" mists attitude.

Siege of Orgrimmar has a little bit of branching in paths and ideally raids in the future will have more, allowing you to skip a boss or do bosses in a slightly different order.

After the success of the wrath raids that had options on how you do them, like naxx, OS, ulduar, ICC,  and the continued requests from the players for more path driven content, it took you this long to figure out that options are good?

Now I understand why you say changing professions would take significant developer time.  You people can not make a decision and move with it.  Everything needs to be months or years of discussion before you do it.  There is no reason it should have taken you this long to realize that one straight line in a raid can lead to burn out faster than anything else, even more so when the second boss is something like horridon and you have no other options.  Which leads us to...

The first three or four bosses shouldn't be too hard for most raiding guilds, allowing them to have bosses they can use to gear up with as they progress.

In theory this if fine but I've heard it before.  Stop talking about it and do it.  And do not take forever to fix things if there is a problem.  There are still guilds stuck at horridon as hard as some might find that to believe. I've watched multiple guilds disband on my server because of horridon, and even if you did make nerfs you never made them enough to even out the playing field.  There us no reason the second boss should be one of the three hardest bosses in a 12 man raid.  And if it so happens that it is, fix it ASAP.  Don't "wait til next patch" like you do now. 

That is going to be the huge key to if you live by what you just said there mr crab.  If one of those first three or four bosses starts giving the majority of guilds fits, nerf is fast and hard.  It is supposed to be easier.  You just said that.  So make it so.  Don't let a whole patch go like you have this one where you leave one early boss too hard when comparing it to the boss that comes after it because the third one is a joke.  Where is the building up difficulty in that when the third boss is roughly a quarter of the difficulty of the second one?

I feel bad for the people that ended up seeing their guilds destroyed by him.  I feel bad for a few people I know that have still not gotten past him.  You should always start slow and build up with raid design.  Listen to nike, just do it.  Stop with the talk and just do it.  I've heard this line before and you did not come through so excuse me if I do not believe it when you say there will be a ramp up in difficulty.  You are the same people that thought added crush was a good idea for the LFR.  You are not always the best of judges when it comes to considering what is too easy or too difficult for your players.

Proving Grounds could even be used to replace item level as the gating requirement for Raid Finder or other things that use matchmaking.

I support this idea and while I am at it I dislike this idea.  I can do both at the same time can't I?  I think having someone past the most basic of basic ability tests is a fair idea.  However, I do not believe it should replace item level.  I think it should work in conjunction with it.

Lets face it, if you can get a gold in the proving grounds it shows you know how to play your class.  But will someone that just hit 90 and is in 435 gear actually be helpful to their SoO LFR?  Even if they are the absolute best player in the entire world they will still drag down the group.  A 435 item level tank would not be able to take the hits that would be going out in SoO even on LFR level.  A healer would be oom instantly trying to keep people up.  A 435 damage dealer will in no way be able to pull 80K, when that should be the absolute worst anyone should be doing in there when SoO comes out.

So while I do believe using the proving grounds as a gate would be a nice idea I could support, it can not be a gate alone.  There needs to be another gate with it.  Lets say you need a 500 item level to get into the SoO LFR when it comes out they can scale it based on the proving grounds.  As in, you need a bronze and a 500 item level or a silver and a 490 item level of a gold and a 480 item level.  But even in the worst case, you would still need a certain item level.  There is only so much that skill can make up for this expansion where gear is everything.  And even at that I would question if a 480 tank would be able to take the hits, even if they are a gold caliber player.

Yes to proving grounds being a buffer to enter.  No to it being the only buffer.  Just think about it before you switch, doing proving grounds only will spell disaster.

Most guilds should be able to make progress in Flex difficulty.

Nice in theory not so nice in implementation if you are delaying its release until after the normal and heroic are out.  If indeed flex is mean to be "progression for friends and family guilds" then they should be allowed to start their progression at the same time normal and heroic mode raiders do.

Unless something changed that I did not take notice of flex is not coming out when the patch comes out, it will be rolled out later.  As such, it will force the people that should be in it to dabble in normal until it comes.  Why not just let them dabble in flex on the same day if that is where they belong.

I am sure most people, even most people that only use LFR, will agree that we understand the reasons for the LFR coming out after the real raid does.  But if flex is meant to be a form of real raiding like normal or heroic but for a different skill level it should be treated the same as normal or heroic and not thrown in with the LFR as delayed content just to see it.

Let the friends and family guilds start their progression with everyone else.  It is only fair.  If you want people to feel like raiders, let them raid when the raiders start raiding.  Not afterwards.

The developers have to strike a balance between making too many changes and making the necessary changes.

Last but not least I post this one with oh so many thoughts in mind and sit here ready to type out my thoughts but sometimes I consider what I am about to say and figure it might be best to keep my mouth shut.  There have been so many changes this expansion that seem like changes for the sake of making change and there have been countless things that have needed changes and fixes and yet we sit waiting as they do nothing.  I could make a post on this comment all in itself, and I just might do that.

But for now I'll heed those words I'm sure everyone's mother taught them, if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything.  I will take that advice this time around and say to our friend the crab, I have nothing to say to you about that line.


  1. I raid so i don't have a lot of time for alts. Heirlooms, alt friendly for me.
    I only do alts and don't raid, so all my time... I do alts. So...
    What's the problem?

    1. It depend on how you look at it.

      You could argue that because you dedicate most of your time to raiding you would need it for faster leveling of alts as you do not have time to spend on it. I can see that part of it. But I try to look at the big picture. Not just one aspect of it.

      The heirlooms are for leveling, to an alt-a-holic having those will boost leveling all those characters next expansion. They can't get them without raiding. So it is not alt friendly for them.

      If you are a raider and do not have time for alts, what are you supposed to do with a bunch of heirloom items you will never use because you do not do alts?

      Heirloom weapons should be for all. Raid gear, raid titles, raid pets, raid achievements, are all for raiders. Alt stuff should be for everyone. That way, both get it.

    2. There is no big picture, it's complaining for the sake of complaining.

      As a raider I can bring my alt to raid-level. That's the point. I only just managed to bring a bunch of alts to level 90 and that's what, we'll be in the last raiding tier soon, no way can I catch up.

      As an altoholic with no raiding, what I do is level alts. Same people who complain leveling is too fast.

      The point of being alt-friendly is for those who don't have time for alts anymore. Mostly because of all the 'mandatory' things they have to do on their main to be raid ready. A non-raiding altoholic has nothing better to do so all the time is leveling stuff from ground up. Level faster for what? To get to the next?

      Heirloom gear helps where it should, people complain because it's there. Just like raid rep gear and all that.

    3. But I am good at complaining. :P

      We will have to agree to disagree.

      If I am raiding I want raid gear, I do not want heirloom gear. Let me buy my heirloom gear for justice points or darkmoon faire tickets like all other heirloom gear.

      If they want to drop the heirloom gear in raids so it saves me the expensive of buying it, cool, I will glad it take it for free. But do not make it count on the loot table, it is bonus goodies for the sake of bonus goodies, and that is why they should be available to everyone.

      Sure, I will be raiding on my main and on alts in flex. Sure I will probably end up with at least one of every one of the heirlooms. But it is not about me, it is about the people that need them.

      I can level to max level in crap gear because I know how to play. I do not need "over powered" weapons to help me. But other people do and if they lock it to the last raid boss the people that actually need that gear will never get it.

      You can disagree but while it is true I can be swayed with a good argument, as my mind has been changed on things by you before, there is no way you will sway me on this one. Heirloom gear should be given to the people that need the boost.

      Raiders will not need the boost, raiders will not need the extra power, raiders will have the better gear already when the next expansion comes out and will be level capped the same day the new expansion hits heirloom or not, so it means nothing to raiders. Let the players that would get the most use out of it have access to it. That is how I see it.

    4. Since you linked to here I'll respond here. :)

      "But it's not about me, it's about the people that need them."

      You're confusing needs and wants and frills. Heirlooms are somewhere between a want and a frill. Nobody NEEDS heirlooms. Nobody NEEDS anything, really, but especially heirlooms. I'm leveling a toon on a new server, has zero infrastructure... my only toon there. No heirlooms. I don't miss them. I actually like replacing gear as I level, that's something I miss when half my slots (or more) are heirlooms.

      Also, sounds like they won't be on the loot table, they'll be separate personal loot even on normal/heroic. All subject to change, of course, and assuming I read the datamined info correctly.

      And to counter your last point, raiders will be replacing all the best 5.4 gear before they hit the next level cap, probably much sooner. Except the heirloom weapon. Isn't that a nice perk? Get a nice weapon from raiding and be able to use it to max level in the next expansion. I actually gimped myself by leveling all the way to 90 with DS weapons on at least a few toons (rogue legendaries, the 1H Str weapons that steal life and one other that I can't recall off-hand). They hurt to replace, it'll be nice (but absolutely not necessary) to not have to replace a weapon earned in MoP until the next expansion end-game.

      Personal opinion - people who care about gear and will benefit from gear generally raid. I seriously believe that most people who don't raid don't really care about gear. Sure, it's nice to get and makes some things a bit faster/easier but I don't think non-raiders care. Hell, I haven't even gotten the i502 boots on all my toons yet, including on two that I could do normal ToT on right now. When I was a non-raider early in my WoW time (which lasted well more than a year), I didn't care about gear. I didn't care about blues or purples. I'm not sure why you assume that has changed now for non-raiders. The only way to know that these heirlooms even exist is to read about it... so you're trying to speak on behalf of the very limited population of non-raiding WoW players who read datamined info on blogs and on top of that, are assuming that those people will care about not having an heirloom weapon. I just don't see it.

    5. Okay, so everyone would want it. I still do not see what is wrong with letting them have it.

      It is a nice perk, and when you say it that way, if we can carry it into the first tier of the next raid, then maybe I can see it being for raiders only.

      I can see your point, you make many good ones, mostly the point that they might not even know they exist.

      I'll still fight the fight for the little guy. I believe they have as much right to have it, even in a lesser LFR version, that any other raider has. I am sure they would "want" it too.

    6. I don't even want to sway you any way.

      The question I put to you is: who complains about MoP not being alt-friendly? Non-raiding altoholics? Or the raiding ones? You know, those people who say - back in DS I used to have 3 raiding alts, but now I just have my main. I've never heard of: darn it it takes so long to level, I can't reach that 90 cap anymore on my 50 85s... so long, so hard.

      Step back. This is not a fight you need to carry.

    7. I believe both complain about it.

      At the start the casual player that had 3 85s geared for DS could not even keep up with one.

      Later on, it was everyone else. With the isle solo scenarios that were way to hard for the average player in crap gear they needed gear to get past it. If they gear is in a raid (as it will now be) and they do not raid, they will be stuck with nothing.

      I did the isle quests on all 11 classes and some as soon as I dinged 90 in 435ish gear. I only died once, on my mage, in any of them but while I am not a "great" player I am leaps and bounds better than the average player. And if I died, even once in 11 characters, they will never be able to do it.

      Then look at the barrens. I am sure you are like me, you went in and pulled as much as you could and mowed them down. Now think about the alt-a-holic that just plays for fun and wants to do this content but without gear. Do you know how long those things take to go down in crap gear. Even pulling one at a time? You do not want to know. I did it on a fresh hunter, and I do know how to play one, and it took me 3 hours to get the quest done. My pet died all the time, I almost did a few times too. It is not easy without gear.

      Everyone should have some access to gear. Be it me filling in for my bad luck raiding or the other guy so he can do the barrens mobs without almost dying every pull.

      Gear is good and there is nothing wrong with letting everyone have a little taste of it without forcing them into a certain content to get it, like it will be now.

  2. I didn't see these comments just the class changes one which was also super funny in parts of the hunter section. I have a few issues here one being if the weapon heirlooms were made to be alt friendly why not a hunter weapon for the heirlooms you find around Panda Land? And I agree if there is no Valor gear bad move it is the only way I got my hunter geared for raid makes me worried about gearing any alts.

    1. There's a BoA i463 Arch gun that you can get pretty quickly/easily with a max-level Arch toon. My hordie hunter has been enjoying that since he turned 85.

    2. The 463 arch gun was added recently, it was not there at the beginning. So if you leveled your hunter early it is useless unless you have 2 on the same server or really bad luck getting drops.

      Lucky for me I have three on the same server. ;) Have not leveled the other 2 yet.

      Valor is how I always filled in spots or kept by backup non raiding characters as close as I could to prepared. Not sure what use even collecting valor will be if there will be no way to get gear outside of raiding.

      Being I do not tank the LFR I only get my gear from valor or a real raid. This mean my tanks will now not be able to get any gear at all. Yeah, bad idea on their part, thanks blizzard.

    3. uhh couldn't you go do the new stuff on the island for gear? There's stuff there that makes 535 gear or you could do LFR as a dps and set your loot to tank?

    4. I am not very good at DPS in my tank gear on my plate tanks, it works for my leather ones. I don't particularity like to be the "baddie" in the LFR and going into the LFR in my tank gear doing arms or ret would make me that person.

      Could I do it? Yes. Would I do it? I'd rather not to be honest. Just because everyone else thinks "it is only LFR and I don't need to try" doesn't mean I subscribe to that attitude.

      I am hoping to use the island stuff to get some 535 items. That will be my main way to gear the plate tanks most likely.

    5. There's an easy way to get away with that... coerce an overgeared buddy to queue with you who wouldn't have come otherwise. That's how I get past my own guilt when I occasionally run an underperforming/undergeared toon in group content, I compensate by bringing a ringer with me.

      As for the Arch gun, if you leveled without it you obviously made do without it. This fits squarely in the "better late than never" category and I wasn't sure if the original Anon was aware of it or not.

    6. I would still feel bad. For the current LFRs I would like to do at least 60K to feel I am not dragging the group down too much.

      I guess if I really wanted to I could just make a DPS set instead of going in my tank gear. I think it is DPSing in my tank gear that holds me back on my paladin and warrior. My DK, druid and monk can do just fine.

    7. Far as I know the only tank class that doesn't directly benefit much from dps stats are warriors... monks and druids already are wearing dps gear, pallies mostly prefer dps gear (only crit is useless, I believe)and DKs can use DPS gear (dodge/parry are better than haste but only crit is useless). Only warriors get no defensive benefit from crit or haste but they do still want hit/expertise.

      Even on my tank toons I tend to gear up with dps gear aside from trinkets and I'll switch spec preference for a shield boss, too, on those toons. Hit/Exp/Mast/(Haste) gear is useful for pretty much all dps/tank specs. Maybe not BiS but more than good enough.

    8. I think that is partly why I like tanking on my druid, monk and DK more as I can tank in my DPS gear. With the exception of trinkets in some cases.

  3. Re: VP - I don't think I've seen anywhere that there WON'T be any VP gear. When was the last time there wasn't? I'm definitely assuming there will be, although letting us keep VP through the patch actually makes me a little less certain about it. What else would VP be used for, though? Upgrades? That's a tweaker option, not a primary one. It won't be weapons. I think there'll have to be VP gear.

    Re: Striking a balance - they've made thousands of changes to the game over time, they know better than anyone that some work out (some in ways that they don't expect) and some don't (some that would have seemed like no-brainer good ideas going in). So yeah, they have to balance what they do. Big software programs with big development companies mean that changes (short of obvious, quick bug fixes, and sometimes including them) take time. It just does. Development resources aren't infinite and developers (and their software) aren't perfect, changing one line somewhere could break 10 other things elsewhere. CONCEPTS can be simple, IMPLEMENTATIONS often aren't.

    Re: Proving Grounds - I believe they have a gear requirement but not sure what it is. Presumably the difficulty will be such that if you can get Silver or Gold for the PG of the current tier (I'm assuming they get updated with each tier) you'll be able to raid in that same gear. That's how PG can replace iLvl as a requirement. Plus, we've both commented before that our toons in sub-LFR required gear would be more than competitive in LFR... PG is a way for us to PROVE that, if we go into the PG undergeared but are able to get Silver or Gold due to skill, why shouldn't we get the full advantage of that skill? As long as the challenge is similar enough, comparisons can be inferred.

    Re: Heirloom weapon drops - Those are going to be fantastic for my alts, there hasn't been a viable BoA raid weapon since the Inscription weapons and they've been outdated for a while. Having alts implies having a main and in this case it requires having a main that's, at some point, capable of finishing at least Flex-mode 5.4. Those are extremely potent (and long-term useful) weapons, they shouldn't hand them out like candy, and they've never offered cutting edge primary weapons for VP, they aren't likely to start now. I'm still surprised they ever offered OH weapons for VP, I'd *love* to have that option right now.

    1. There has always been some sort of purchasable gear as long as I can recall. I don't think there has ever been a patch since the expansions started that did not have some sort of current gear item level wise (even before item level).

      While I do understand where you are going that changing one line can mess up lots, as I have coded before and see how that can screw things up, I don't believe that changing 20 leather to 4 leather would be connected to anything other than making that one pattern. If it is that is a case of bad coding, which then makes it a huge undertaking.

      Proving grounds are scaled. The gear you are wearing makes no difference. So it will not work as a gate for LFRs.

      Let me explain. The scaled item level is 463. So getting a gold in 463 would be perfect for MV, as that was a 460 raid. Once the next tier came out it is 470 gear, the one after 480. Yes the PG is still scaling at 463 no matter what gear you wear. So saying you can do well at 463 is fine for 460 content as long as you actually have 463 gear.

      But lets say I hit 90 today and have 435 gear, step into the PG and get a gold, scaled at 463 of course, and then queue up for ToT. Do I deserve to be there just because I did good in 463 gear that I don't even have? Absolutely not. I should still need to be 480.

      So if they use PG as a gate they need to use it AND item level combined as a gate. Not just the PG. Because getting gold in the proving grounds does not mean I am geared to do the content, even if it might mean I am skilled enough to do so.

      BoA stuff now. You are under the false assumption that most people raid. Or that most people are of the skill level that could finish at least a flex mode raid. They don't and they aren't.

      Most people never step foot into a raid, even with the LFR. More than 50% of the player base will never step into a current raid and that includes LFR. That is a fact. A real number.

      So what do those people do? They just play and level and have fun. And unlike ever other heirloom in the game, they will never be able to get these unless they learn to raid in an organize way. That is "raid or die" design and that is why I say it is bad design.

      Let us raiders have the "better" versions, but at least let them have the LFR versions so if you are going to force them to raid you are forcing them into something that can queue up for and blend in and hide to get instead of having to actually raid, which the numbers prove, they DO NOT want to do.

      I am with you on the offhand, my poor priest can't even get a 483 one from LFR never mind a 502 or 522. :(

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    3. Yes, proving grounds are scaled and when they're first released they won't be high enough difficulty / high enough iLvl scaling for SoO gating but that's why I mentioned that I assumed it would get updated with each tier. If Blizz intends to use that as a gating mechanism they'll *have* to have a way to scale the PGs in some way, preferrably in a way that either lets us choose what we're trying to prove or where new ones are released with every tier of content. I'd be okay with either solution. If PGs are never more than a competency check for first-tier raids each expansion then I think it's a big missed opportunity. Either way, though, they wouldn't use PGs as an exclusive gating mechanism unless there was some scaling up involved. Just wouldn't happen.

      As I said, in this case it requires having a main that's capable of finishing flex-mode 5.4... we're not talking an heirloom for PREVIOUS content (as all previous heirlooms have been, you've never been able to heirloom your way to the end of an expansion at time of release that I can recall), we're talking an heirloom for FUTURE content. And a weapon, no less. That's big and looks like it's going to be a reward for those who can finish non-LFR raids so they don't have to replace their raiding weapons with the first green they come across in the new expansion. Sure, this won't be something that 100% (or maybe even 20%) of the playing population will have access to but not everything needs to be available to everyone... and those players can go back and run the raid in the next expansion when it's trivial and get them at that point. It'll still be useful for alts at that point.

      I actually agree with you in general that LFR isn't "real" raiding but you're taking the opposite argument here and I'm not sure why. I don't think that running LFR should get players access to everything that normal raiders get. I think LFR should also exclude tier but apparently Blizz disagrees with me on that. A perk like an heirloom weapon? I'm more than good with that, too. And if I end up not raiding and don't get it in 5.4? Won't bug me a bit, I'll just level with greens as I always have.

    4. If they update it then yes I can see it as a gating tool but I do not believe that is their intention from everything I have read. It is meant to be like challenge modes. It is what it is. Scaled at 463 today, tomorrow and 15 years from now, it will be the same thing.

      They did mention they might make some other versions at lower levels if it is successful and wanted, but that is all it will ever be, an at level test. They will not be updating it to a higher gear level with each patch that comes out. It is set it and forget it design. Once made that is what it will always be.

      Here is the reply I made to someone else about my heirlooms on this post. Better than typing out how I feel again.

      I too agree that regular raiding should have something that random raiding does not. I just do not think that something should be heirlooms.

      Maybe if they had additional set bonus stuff for normal, kind of like in PvP where there are double set bonus options. Like 2 piece for my hunter would increase my agility by 500, 4 piece would increase it by another 500. Something to make real set gear just a little better than LFR set gear.

      I do not need anything special from doing normal, I already get better gear from it and that is enough. (that is assuming I win something of course, which I don't, but you get the idea.)

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    1. He actually does quite a good job with all the crap he has to put up with is fans on his back all the time. I do not envy him.

      But I do think sometimes that the stuff blizzard does and makes him have to justify is unjustifiable. I can't see how we can even fake it. They must be playing him a butt load of cash to deal with it.

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    3. Yeap, he dances around things but never actually addresses them. Lots of words come out of his mouth but he never says anything.

      Gear does truly make the world go around this expansion. Sadly for you next patch it seems to be "raid or die" which means non raiders are screwed. Sorry my friend.

      I can see a lot of people like yourself, who enjoy the game a lot but do not raid saying good bye. Quite honestly, even as a raider it has me contemplating saying goodbye too.

  5. --Valor points
    Yeah, I heard that and said "crap... now I need to start valor capping again..."

    There will be chances for 535 gear on the Timeless Ilse, I think. But otherwise, I have not seen any new valor gear datamined.

    So maybe I don't need to worry about getting totally valor capped.

    Ditto what Grumpy said. We've all mentioned many times what GC finally stated.

    --Heirloom weapons
    I think they are testing two things with these items.
    1. They've never had heirlooms that worked into the future. To limit it a little bit in case they don't work out well, they are restricting it to raiders.
    2. They are trying to encourage people to step from LFR into Flex so they needed an extra carrot.

    Honestly, I'm fine with them. I want to try to do Flex so I hope to get an heirloom weapon or two, but it won't make a huge difference in the leveling process for next expansion since it doesn't give bonus XP, just faster killing.

    --Proving grounds
    Agree with Grumpy. Require both iLvL and "proven" competency

    Also, gear will scale down to 463; it won't scale up to 463.

    I understand why Flex won't be out at the same time as Normal and Heroic. It's on a different lockout so everyone will feel that it is mandatory to run both Normal and Flex (and LFR if it's out too). Obviously, people don't need to do that and Normal/Heroic raiders should quickly run out of reasons to do LFR/Flex as long as gearing up isn't stupid.

    Regardless, I'd probably do something like:
    Week - Raid
    1 - Normal
    2 - Heroic
    3 - Flex1
    4 - Flex2, LFR1
    5 - Flex3
    6 - Flex4, LFR2
    8 - LFR3
    10 - LFR4

    Assuming there are 4 wings.

    I doubt Blizz will spread them out that much though.

    Yes, Mists has been a roller coaster of changes, especially related to PvP.

    On a brighter note, they nerfed Arcane Shot and buffed all the Hunter signature shots in the latest PTR build!!! :D

    1. Seems like you will just need valor to upgrade items. Seems they are really dead set on making everyone raid no matter what.

      I like to raid, sure, but I do not want to drag all my characters through there with no options.

      Not sure if that is the brighter side. Unless you were being sarcastic. It works out to be roughly a 2% boost but we still end up paying more for the arcane shot that no longer does more damamge, so it feel more like a rebalance or a nerf, but not a buff. I am still waiting for our readiness compensation but I don't see that coming.

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    3. @Grumpy: Yes, it's a balancing thing.

      @Roo: Arcane shot has been buffed several times over this expansion and it has become so strong that you can almost ignore your signature shots. It'd be a dps loss to do an AS rotation, but not a significant one. Arcane shot needed to be nerfed in comparison to the signature shots.

    4. Just added a new post about the pass that gives all my opinions.

      Still wonder why the marksman signature shot was completely ignored.