Monday, December 29, 2008

Sitting PvP Out For Wrath

Sorry, you won't be seeing any complaining about PvP from me for quite a while on here... If you haven't already noticed, burst damage is completely dominating the PvP right now, and Blizzard seem pretty okay with that judging by the majority of the blue posts I've seen on the subject. Sure, they might tone it down. Sure, more Resilience might lower DPS overall. I just don't feel like screwing with any of it when the most likely outcome is a slightly less bursty environment than the current situation where Affliction still won't be viable because the pewpew is too strong.

I'll stick to raiding this time around. At least it's at least somewhat supportive of sustained DPS (though I've even got my gripes there...) Maybe next expansion Blizzard will cater to those with an attention span greater than an 8 year old's.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Re: "Rolling" Corruption/SW:P Ticks

As seen in this thread.


I thought I'd bring this subject up under favorable terms for discussion rather than wait for the potential nerf cries later.

Essentially, we've got two talents: Everlasting Afflictions (http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=47205) and Pain & Suffering (http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=47582) that auto-refresh our primary "big DoT" - Corruption and Shadow Word: Pain, respectively. The kicker here isn't the saved global cooldowns, which while nice pales in comparison to being able to keep a very large tick "rolling" similar to the Lifeblooms and Ignites of yore. IE right now I pop Hex Shrunken Head, cast Corruption, and for as long as I can cast Drain Life or Haunt every 18 seconds to keep it refreshed I keep that big tick.

Right now it's only worth around 100 DPS or so- not so large a sum. I'm not too worried about it because it doesn't have nearly the potential that rolling ignites did (rolling ignites kept getting bigger and bigger each proc for near infinite potential only limited by aggro) but Corr/SWP don't ramp up at all- they merely sustains a tick at the highest Spellpower value you could muster when you cast it. Nor does it have the impact of rolling Lifeblooms as it isn't an integral part of keeping a tank alive, just a slight DPS boost. That being said there is potential for this to get much larger in a "if the stars aligned" situation where you have a few procs active at the same time as well as activate a trinket. This would be fairly rare to get everything to fall together perfectly.

My point here is I think this is a very interesting mechanic to watch procs for, save trinkets/potions/etc for to try and get a large tick sustained through fights where keeping the debuff going is feasible. It really adds another level of fun/metagaming which makes thing much more engaging. Also, if this were "fixed" the only way I could see it working would be to have it take the spellpower at time of reapplication into account, which while feasible on paper would practically neuter DPS because not only would the Corr/SWP ticks not be able to "roll" any longer, but they would immediately lose any "natural" spellpower boost obtained from a trinket that would otherwise be maintained over 18 second duration of the DoT as soon as Haunt/Mindflay deals damage. IE a Corruption cast midway through a trinket doesn't even get a full 18 seconds worth of bonus spellpower as it would have before EA/P&S were implemented.

So in conclusion I'd like to say this is a very interesting and enjoyable mechanic and I'm asking now while Warlock/Spriest DPS is low relative to other classes to please take these talents into account as-is when balancing/buffing us in the future. "Fixing" this (assuming it's not intended to begin with) would hurt just as much as it would help in addition to ruining any fun factor and reward for exceptional DPS management. Balance us around having said perpetual Corruption/SWP ticks (on fights that support it) while also keeping in mind that this won't actually be sustainable on many/most fights simply due to general required encounter interactions/stuns/silences/debuff wipes/etc that won't even allow to keep said DoTs rolling.


Looking forward to further discussion on this matter!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

450 Tailoring!

So...17k gold later I'm 450 Tailoring! Server first feat of strength no less! While that's a hefty price tag I also got a nifty Flying Carpet mount as well as a pair of Ebonweave Gloves. Will post screenshot later.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tailoring...Ugh

So I'm trying for the server first 450 Tailor feat of Strength...and oh boy am I spending the gold. So far I'm at 430 and have gone from 26,000 gold down to 19,400. This is so expensive I'm weeping. But what's the point in having a stack of gold if you aren't going to put it to use? Right?

Right now I'm skilling up on Frostsavage Boots and Frostsavage Gloves which are fairly expensive to make but I'm hoping I can resell them to earn back at least a portion of what I've spent... I'm dreading 440, however, at which point these go green. There really isn't anything even remotely reasonable to skill up on from 440 to 450- all of it requires mass eternals + Frozen Orbs, or lots of Ebonweave/Spellweave/Moonshroud. At this point skilling up on the previous green items looks like the best option...

I'm tempted to halt all production and wait for prices to come down, but that will take weeks and I've already dropped so much gold into this it would be quite painful to stop now and not get the server first...but oh so painful to go on as well!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Making Affliction Less Stressful...

...but without dumbing it down!

There has been much discussion of Affliction being too difficult for many players, and I can certainly see how that would be so especially in complex boss encounters. That being said there are many players who are drawn to this spec for that very reason, complexity. I don't want to rain on anyone's parade but most classes/specs in a raid setting are quite simplistic and uninspiring. Affliction offers something requiring a little more attention and requires you be a little more engaged than your average raider. I, for one, don't know what I'd do if Affliction were dumbed down as there's really nothing else both as interesting and engaging as Affliction. Lets just say it will be a sad day for many if Affliction is dumbed down to the level of other classes/specs.

I'm all for making Affliction flow better, however, as long as it doesn't come at the cost of dumbing it down. It can remain just as complex but play more intuitively and less stressfully.

A few things that I'd support changing to reach this goal:

-Increase the duration of Shadow Embrace from 12s to 15s. Give us a little more time to refresh the debuff before it falls off. Some fight have a lot of movement or require changing targets so that reapplication may not always occur every 12 seconds.
-Make UA instant. This would allow for quicker reapplication should you be doing something else when it falls off as well as letting you reapply it while moving.
-Add Shadowbolt back into Everlasting Afflictions. More frequent reapplications lead to less chance of it falling off at an odd moment in a fight and the worrying that occurs of trying to keep it up.
-Change the base UI to better display debuff timers as to accomodate people without mods such as DoTimer. Have it display your debuffs all together on the first line, sorted by time remaining so the very first debuffs are the ones with the shortest duration left.


All of these things would allow Affliction to play more intuitively, and be less stressful making one worry about one or more of the more passive debuffs from falling off while still maintaining the management of the more active debuffs (UA, Immolate, Siphon, CoA, Haunt) while not dumbing it down by making all of the DoT share the same duration (as GC volunteered), removing DoTs from our rotation, etc.

There can be a solid middle ground between stressfully convoluted and pleasantly complex.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Leave Affliction Be

In case you haven't been following the forums lately there is a big push by many, many players to make Affliction more...well...easy. Ghostcrawler has even expressed thoughts of maybe making the spec easier by making more of the DoTs have the same duration, IE watering it down. If you haven't guessed by now I'm 100% against this and the following is my response...


I've tiptoed in several other threads regarding this but I figured it deserves it's own. That being said I'll get right to it.

There are plenty of other, easier options for you to respec/reroll to if the difficulty of Affliction is such an issue. I understand that those of us that like Affliction how it is, or would even like to see it become more involved, are by far in the minority. Most players like to keep things simple, pewpew the boss, get loot, have a cheer, good day! There's nothing wrong with that per se, but in your attempts at convincing Blizzard to make Affliction more manageable by dumbing it down for the average joe you're completely ruining the game for a very dedicated minority who revel in the complexity of the spec. What's left for those of us who like ultra involved gameplay? Nothing.

Boss encounters? The glorified synchronized herding of cats. I'm big into raiding due to the challenge of maximizing DPS. Optimal DPS rotations, especially on multiple targets is an incredibly fun game within itself. But most of demands of the encounters themselves are either RNG in nature, or simply waiting for one of the 3 morons in your raid (Seems like there's always 3...) to not screw up this time.

Arena? If the match isn't decided the moment the doors opens due to class imbalances or countercomps then it's decided, again by RNG factors. Even if it were more skill based one can only stomach so much "you cannot do that while stunned/silenced/assist trained" before getting fed up with it and logging out.

The only real issue at hand is simply that of the game lacking a proper base UI to support multiple DoTs with varying durations. It's quite enjoyable if you have DoTimer, and if you still don't enjoy it or can't handle it then maybe Affliction isn't for you? Affliction is a bastion of sorts for ultra attentive/involved players. There's really nowhere else to go for us but to another game, and even those that claim to cater to "hardcore" gamers cater only to hardcore in the "if you have no life..." meaning: camping world boss spawns, massive level grinds, etc. Not the hardcore in the skill intensive "you have to actually be good" meaning. There's really not a whole lot left outside of Affliction as most other specs in the game are nearly every bit as mindless as 0/21/40 was, are only moderately more engaging than such, or are only challenging in a solo environment. Affliction is all that's left. Please, please don't push this. Don't ruin it because you can't handle it. I'm sorry to say that, it is somewhat rude, but it's the truth. There's other specs, other classes where you can have your fill of easy rotations. Every class should truly have such a complex and attention demanding spec where good players can thrive and have a good time doing it.

Please, leave Affliction be.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Greatly Concerned With Mage Armor

Reposting from here http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=10971908989&sid=2000


First of all I completely agree that Mages needed a leg up against Warlocks. Master Demonologist: Felhunter, and just the Felhunter in general has given you guys quite the rough time against us. You needed some love and you got it.

That being said I can't help but just stare at the screen with a blank look on my face as one class-wide, undispellable ability essentially invalidates most of my entire talent tree, Affliction, by simply causing our DoTs to not be worth casting at all. UA isn't even worth casting- it ticks only twice (down from 5). Corruption ticks 3 times. Haunt lasts a mere 6 seconds...maybe boosting the damage of 2 ticks. Drain Life ticks only twice (down from 5) Immolate ticks only twice. Fear lasts half duration (I don't have a problem here, really, that's more than fair) Siphon Life is really the only one worth using. Shadowpriests, likewise see the same effect. The only thing is this doesn't have nearly the impact on other classes/specs.

I guess what I'm trying to say is it essentially removes the whole "DoTer/debuffer" playstyle when we're in the arena or battleground against a Mage. Please don't misconstrue my complaint as losing to a Mage- I get steamrolled over by Rogues, Warriors, Ret Paladins, Deathknights all the time- but that doesn't bother me even a fraction as much as fighting a Mage and not even being able to use the abilities that define my character, essentially turning into a Destrolock with zero points in Destruction who has zero interest in playing a nuker. I've stuck with Affliction through thick and thin, even raiding BT/Sunwell with it when Destruction is clearly god mode and Affliction even wimpier than Mages =P

Anyway, just putting in my $0.02 in hopes that this ability will be reworked to still bring Mages out of their funk, but without acting as a complete playstyle killer to Affliction and Shadow.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Latest Lock Beta Thoughts

I can't say a whole bunch has changed lately. Seems kinda like all three of the cloth classes are getting a lack of blue attention...maybe they're saving us for last? /shrug Here's my most pressing 5 issues:


Dark Pact
This ability simply doesn't offer enough to warrant being a 31-point talent. We briefly had the opportunity to test it at 200% and while that may or may not have been too strong I can safely say that 100% is most certainly not enough. Maybe 150% is a more appropriate amount, but I can tell you from experience that in PvE, and *especially* in PvP that we either use Dark Pact and get some mana or our pet gets to use its abilities- not both.

150%. Do it.


Everlasting Afflictions
Good talent but one minor gripe...Corruption often falls off due to not being able to even get a Shadowbolt in simply due to rotational variances that makes a bunch of DoTs needing refreshed in sequence- it can get pretty bad even just when I'm wailing on a dummy, I won't even get into how terrible it can be in an actual encounter with movement requirements... Could we see an ever so slight buff to this talent by letting Haunt refresh Corruption as well?


Haunt

Overall pretty good, but could we get a slight increase in the spread between the cooldown and the duration of the effect? A lot of the time, again due to rotational variances, we can't even begin casting Haunt until after it has already expired. Give us a few more seconds in the spread by either lowering the cooldown or increasing the duration of the debuff- preferably increase the debuff duration from 12 to 15 seconds. Or Maybe give us a Glyph for Haunt to increase the duration by 3 seconds?


Demonic Circle
Good idea but it doesn't work quite so well in practice. It suffers from the "I'm not psychic" problem where we don't necessarily even know where we're going to be fighting. Often enough when doing Strand of the Ancients I'll get jumped not but a few yards away from the circle because I had no idea the enemy was even coming.

IMO...

-Increase the range from 40 to 50 yards so we can stray a little father and recast the circle less.
-Don't let our enemies see the circle.


Fairly minor tweaks but they would help quite a bit.


Shadowflame
Incredibly weak. I just don't know what to say here. We've been harping on it for quite some time. What's up with this ability? Weak damage. No interesting secondary effect. Nothing. Needs a stun/knockback/knockdown/disarm/something!

Alternately bring back Atrocity in place of Shadowflame but make work on curses instead. "Your next curse also effects enemies within 20 yards of your target" 3 minute cooldown.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Prot Warrior = OMG

So I randomly decided earlier today to try and spec my (level 65 in greens) Warrior to Prot just to test it out with the beta changes. All I can say is- amazing! It's not the fastest killing thing in the world, but it's so very interactive and I really enjoy it quite a bit. I feel like I'm back in Vanguard playing my Monk with all of the reactive abilities and cooldowns and whatnot. The new Shockwave talent combined with Concussive Blow and the improved Revenge talent give you a lot of stuns. Sword & Board procs are a lot of fun as well, adding further to the reactive element.

In a way it's a lot like Affliction in PvE- kills slowly but has some survivability as well. It's refreshing after getting mowed over on the premade server on a Warlock. (Warlocks are all kinds of squishy on the beta)

Anyway, I would go so far as to state that I enjoy Prot more than I do my Deathknight. Deathknights kill in PvE way too quickly (although Leiah has been saying they're pretty low DPS in the arena) Even specced Unholy the burst is pretty high, though no more than any other standard DPS class, which I really don't enjoy. I suppose I enjoy the thrill of combat more than I do the thrill of the kill- which is why I never really cared all that much for Rogues/Mages/Destruction etc.

If you have a Warrior make sure to copy em over to the PTR server and give prot a spin!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Affliction Damage Dissected

I was curious to see how much less important Shadowbolt would become with UA having to be recast every 15 seconds, CoA working into our rotation, and Haunt having to be cast every 10-12 seconds. That being said I did two different tests on a dummy in Stormwind. Each were around 6-7 minutes in duration, the results of both came out very close to one another so I'll simply post one.

To be fair I'm just pounding on a dummy, I'm not in endgame gear, and I don't have any mana support (thus causing me to have to Lifetap a lot more which cuts into Shadowbolting thus lowering its % of overall DPS) so my Shadowbolt numbers should be lower because of those factors.

On the other hand Pandemic doesn't work on dummies, and there was zero movement required so I think everything comes out pretty neutral.

Anyway, here ya go. I think 20% looks pretty reasonable, we might see it being 25% of our total DPS in better gear, but comparing that to 40-50% like we see now it really diminishes the value of Destructive Reach, Ruin, etc. I'd love to be able to test it in a raid but I've been pretty busy lately with school so haven't had much time.




Anyway, after looking at the data and running a real sustained test I've come to a few conclusions.

1) Ruin and Destructive Reach are very overrated by the general beta Warlock community. Yes, my tests were done without Ruin, but even I had Ruin and had, say, 20% crit it would only boost the overall damage of Shadowbolt from 20% to 24%, although even then the extra crit would proc ISB and buff the DoTs more as well... Not so huge a deal for 5 talent points. Compare that to some of your alternatives in Affliction that might give you more bang for your buck.

2) Haunt needs to refresh Corruption in the Everlasting Afflictions tooltip. A few times Corruption fell off due to a string of needing to recast all the DoTs in one timeframe as well as haunt, and dark pact/lifetap. Haunt being added would smooth things out a good bit.

3) Dark Pact really needs to go back to 200%, 150% at an absolute minimum...blech.

4) The Affliction rotation is most certainly is fine. I've seen people gripe on the forums about it being too complex, but even just fighting a dummy I've found Affliction to be even more fun than before.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Things are looking better, but...

A bunch of nice changes have come around lately. Pandemic, Malediction buffed, Death's Embrace buffed, Fel Concentration condensed, etc. There are, however, a handful of changes I'd still like to see that would really streamline everything.


1) Contagion condensed to 3 ranks or removed as a requirement for UA. I don't like to use the word "bloat" but that's a major bloat-point in the tree. It's fine for PvP but for raiding that's a nasty 5 points to have to drop, especially after you've already likely unloaded 14 talent points in the previous two tiers alone.


2) Haunt: The damage/healing portion of the ability are really quite lackluster right now. I'd like to see the ability become more focused- Specifically? Remove the healing portion and make it instant-cast (IE a weak nuke + DoT boost)


3) Dark Pact: 200% may have been over the top a few weeks ago, but with the way Lifetap works now in conjunction with Spirit it's far superior to DP. That being said it's a little too weak now and especially in PvP I feel it's not really usable what with you using up all your pets mana so it can't even use its abilities. I'd love the chance to test Dark Pact at 150%- a nice middle ground between the current lackluster 100% and the maybe over-the-top 200%.


4) Improved Fear: Maybe this talent isn't intended for deep Affliction, because I can achieve the same effect with CoEx, but I don't like the current implementation of it. (Causes your Fear spell to inflict a Nightmare on the target when the fear effect ends. The Nightmare effect reduces the target's movement speed by 15/30% for 5 sec.) It would be nice to see the Warlock and Priest versions swapped, with the Warlock version reducing damage by 30% and the Priest one reducing movement speed. I don't know how favorably the Priest would see this, however. but I think they might like it since they lack slow effects.


5) Reach Talents: I'm agreeing with Bibdy in his post, particuarly in regard to the reach talents. In short, Grim Reach and Destructive Reach should be swapped with Soul Siphon and Aftermath respectively. Getting the reach talents on the second tier would smooth things out nicely, because as Bibdy put it: "All of these talents only affect the spells in their assigned Tree (with the exception of Elemental Precision!), but Warlocks do not use just ONE tree for PvE DPS. No matter which Tree we pick, we rely on both of the others for DPS. " And he's quite right. Frost Mages use Frost spells. Fire Mages uses Fire spells. Arcane uses other somewhat (not sure about them in Wrath) but ALL Warlock specs use Destruction spells, and to a lesser extent, Affliction spells. The reach talents really need to be within reach (pun intended) without having to lay 17 points in another talent tree.


6) Shadowflame: With the latest damage reduction on it I don't see why anyone would even put it on their action bars. It was mediocre before- only really useful for soloing and acting as a Conflag-primer. But now it's even worse! After thinking about it I believe Shadowflame should be re-tooled to be our PvP defense since it surely won't get any use raiding due to the short range, but that short range can be used to address our excessive melee weaknesses.

Shadowflame (Rank 2)
25% of base mana
Instant cast
30 second cooldown
Targets in a cone in front of the caster are bathed in dark flame, causing their weapons to become extremely hot to the touch, disarming them for 5 sec, and taking an additional 212 Fire damage over 8 sec.

(IE cooldown doubled, DD removed, disarm effect added)


7) Paired with the Shadowflame change I would alter Demonic Circle to act as more of a DPS timer skill. Specifically, remove the whole teleport aspect of the spell and make it something similar to the concept of the M'uru trinkets.

Demonic Circle (Rank 1)
15% of base mana
0.5 sec cast
3 minute cooldown
You summon a Demonic Circle at your feet. While standing in this circle you gain 400 additional spellpower. Lasts 30 seconds.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Shadowflame Feedback

To be blunt: Shadowflame really doesn't add a whole lot to the class. I don't think I'm the only one who feels this way. Sure, it's a nice spell for soloing but it doesn't have any real use in serious PvP or raiding. It's good for a quick Immolate primer for Conflag, but even that's only for deeper Destruction. It just seems to lack an overall usability.

What about attaching a stun/daze/knockback effect and increasing the cooldown as necessary? I don't think this spell can be retooled to be useful in raiding, but it would be nice if it were at least more useful for more than one spec in PvP. Even if it had a 1minute cooldown with a knockback that would be better than 15 seconds when you may not even be able to use it every 15 seconds due to LoS, range, etc. It needs some added utility or otherwise it will just take up one of two new ability slots...

A Couple of Arena Gripes (IE Nerf The Fucked Up Metagame)

Can we please look into removing some of the aspects of the arena that create a sort of twisted metagame that we experience particuarly in 2v2? I'm not talking about specific class balance here. Everyone knows the general gripes about every class but I'm talkin' bout some of the general tactics which I feel are at least somewhat against the spirit of the game.

For example:

-Healers running away non stop with nothing more in mind than getting OOC to drink. As a pet class I have a much easier job of being able to keep them in combat than most (I feel bad for non pet teams in 2s) - But even then it doesn't feel like we're even fighting one another. It's a screwed up minigame as far as I'm concerned. If healers need buffs to mana regeneration then by all means give them their buffs. It seems like solely due to being able to use water in the arena it twists the entire strategy around this one facet. Not something I feel is in the spirit on the game. You may of course disagree...

-Similarly, the "kill the pet" strategy and the "run the pet across the arena and intentionally cause it to despawn" strategies. It's fairly screwy that teams can get rid of pets so easily and yet remove such a large portion of your ability to play your character. Once the pet is dead if you can't resummon the match is pretty well over. The coin has two sides, however- If pets are deemed so powerful that they need to be focused then by all means nerf the pets. I'm lobbying neither for buffs or nerfs, but rather a removal of the twisted metagame they create.

I have other gripes of course, but I'll stick to those two. It's not a matter of winning or losing in either case- it's how certain strategies that are available ruin the sense of fun and cohesion that the arena system would otherwise possess- things that can leave me seething at the end of a match- even matches we're victorious in.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Funny Observation

You may not totally get this if you don't frequent the Warlock forum, but it seems like everyone who "should have" gotten a beta key due to high amounts of great feedback on the live forums- has gotten one. Bibdy, Skellum, Devorick, Socio, Themorrigan, Kyth (the list goes on) have all gotten in. Either they all lucked out or managed to get in contact with someone who had a key, etc. I'm sure some slipped through the cracks. Maso is one in particular that isn't in yet- but by and large somehow things have worked out like they should have and I'm glad to see the system work.

Or maybe they all got in touch with Leiah when he had extra keys like I did >_>

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Scaling Is In!

Pandemic: Each time you deal damage with Corruption or Unstable Affliction, you have a chance equal to your spell critical strike chance to deal 33/66/100% additional damage.

Not quite what I was expecting but it gets the job done!


Also, I put up a post earlier about some of the changes as well as some of the existing issues that have yet to been addressed. The list is shrinking, however, which is great.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Storm Peaks = Awesome

I only got a brief chance to look around the zone several days back when they first opened it up. The next day when I logged back in the zone was closed again (due to some leveling exploit I believe) Now it's open again and I'm totally in love with this zone. It's like Winterspring and Dun Morogh on crack. The mountain peaks are high, the mobs are awesome, and the quests are great as well. It has a very Nordic theme. In fact (spoiler alert!) a good bit of it revolves around the relationship between two giants:Thorim (Thor) and Loken (Loki) who are brothers and are locked in a war with one another. You even go undercover at one point and do quests for otherwise hostile Brunnhildar clan- a bunch of frost skinned all female Vrykul and help them deal with their enemies, the Sons of Hodir (male vs female thing) and the Valyries (former allies who have sold out to the Lich King) I won't spoil any more for you but this zone is just GREAT.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Democratic National Convention

Not a politics blog but I thought I'd chime in on this since it's fresh in the news and all.

I just got done watching several clips from the Democratic National Convention and it struck me as so odd just how touchy feely the whole thing was. The audience was enthralled as if taking part in a hardcore baptist revival- hooting and hollering and screaming and even some tears here and there. And listening to the speakers just sickened me. They play fully on the emotions of the viewer- Not on arguments or hard facts, but rather acting as a stimulus to induce an emotional reaction among those who are too blind to see it for what it is. Even Obama himself, a guy that seems pretty sharp IMO, has in the past said things that just make me scratch my head in wonder. Paraphrasing here, but when asked a question about taxes and how a certain policy of his regarding the taxing of upper income brackets actually hurt those in lower brackets he replied with "Well, it's just not fair." He didn't dispute the studies, or qualify how the poor would actually be better off with said policy, or say anything that even resembled a logical response to a perfectly legitimate question. No, just vague reply resembling an emotional comment I would expect to hear from a small child, not a man running for president. I was surprised I didn't see someone handing out Kleenexes and antidepressants at the DNC...because that's who it seemed they were pandering to.

Now, don't get me wrong. The Republicans certainly are no saints. They have their own list of issues to deal with... That being said I'll take a heartless, out of touch old businessman who won't change a thing running my country before I'll take a crybaby, head in the clouds upstart who would rather play to your emotions and make you feel good regardless of the factual reality of the situation.



Disclaimer: Draele is affiliated neither with the Democratic nor the Republicans party and is in fact a Libertarian, which has stances on issues shared and opposed by both parties.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What's With WoW Insider?

I'm not sure how many of you read WoW Insider but lately I've been getting kinda irked by some of the articles I've read on there. Don't get me wrong, I'm not really trying to bash them or anything, hell, I have them linked on the sidebar, but the problem is so many of the articles are full of fallacies, generalities and overall give me a sense that they haven't done their homework on whatever they're writing about. IE maybe an article written by some guy in beta that makes you think "Is this guy *really* in beta?"

I seem to get a sort of vibe that many of them are journalists with a passing interest in WoW rather than WoW players who like to write about WoW. And you know what? There's nothing wrong with that, but as a very detail oriented guy it tends to grate on my nerves a little from time to time. I like to think everything I post on here is totally accurate and any opinion I venture has sound reasoning, but I do have it a lot easier since my subject matter is so very narrowly focused on one class. They have to write about several subjects so perfect accuracy perhaps isn't a luxury they can afford.

Just my thoughts for the day.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Couple Of Graphs For A Forum Post...

Ignore this. Just uploading these to make a point on the beta forums.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Affliction & Demonology Videos

Affliction The Haunt graphic kinda sucks right now...hopefully they'll do something else to it.

Demonology Demon form is fun. Health funnel is crazy OP right now @ 700+ ticks per second.

Unholy/Frost Deathknight Video

I tried to show off a few things about the class, or my spec at least. Your standard ability rotation, kiting, unloading a full runic power bar into them before they even touch you, and using Death Chill's 100% crit frost crit chance a couple times in there. Ultimately the focus of it is more on spell damage, especially in building runic power up through basic abilities, having Chill of the Grave and Dirge increase the amount of runic power you get, and Runic Power Mastery making all RP abilities cheaper. Overall it's really fun.

My Spec

A few things...

1) Server was a bit laggy so things are a bit off at points.

2) Quality of the video is pretty bad, make sure to use fullscreen so you can see the tooltips.

3) Sometimes the runic power might seem off, but there's currently a bug that doesn't show runic power decay out of combat.

Video

More To Come!

I realize I've been a little scarce here lately. Between finals, catching up on sleep after finals and beta I've been pretty busy the past week. Some time in the next couple of days I'll put up some video of my Deathknight as well as a Demonology video. I made an Affliction video but scrapped it since it's pretty much the same as TBC just with bigger numbers. I'll make another Affliction grinding video once I get Shadowflame next level- which should be a little more interesting.

Also, it might be a little later in the week but I'll throw up some info about Venture Bay/Blue Sky Logging Camp, a couple of really fun PvP areas in western Grizzly Hills. Expect to see some pretty maps!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Beta!

So I was given a beta key last night (yay!) Big thanks to the guy who got it for me!

I only got a chance to play around for a couple of hours but things are looking great so far, both for Warlocks and Deathknights.

I did throw up some initial feedback on the beta forum, however. Check it out here.

Let me know if you guys have any questions in particular about Warlocks or Deathknights and I'll try to answer them if I can!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Beta Thoughts

All Warlock specs look pretty strong in their own right. I have gripes about individual talents or mechanics, but on the whole I think they've taken everything in an appropriate direction.


1) Soulshatter needs to be unresistable. With Cataclysm now adding spellhit in addition to Suppression Blizzard is steering us towards running 13% hit instead of 16%. The problem lies in that Soulshatter is neither Affliction nor Destruction- requiring we run 16% hit anyway... For an aggro wiping ability with a significant cooldown of 5 minutes I don't think Soulshatter being unresistable is at all unreasonable.


2) Felguard/Ruin looks to be THE premier raiding spec. They really went all out to make Demo viable. Fel Synergy will be great for keeping the FG alive without having to waste time with Health Funnel. Demonic Empowerment looks quite nice as well- though the duration for the effect remains to be seen. My guess is ~10 seconds. Need I even mention how nice Demonic Pact looks to be. Definitely going to want one Demo lock per raid.


3) Destruction got kicked in the junk with the Demonic Sacrifice nerf...but in the long run I think the old DS being gone is good for the development for the class. It remains to be seen how well Destro will stack up in the raid game but I'm betting that it will be the #1 DPS spec so long as the imp can stay alive. That being said Phase Shift needs to be changed from a total damage immunity to a 100% AoE avoidance. This will allow him to DPS in raids and act as a mana battery for Affliction, but keep him from being able to attack with impunity in PvP as he will be vulnerable to single target attacks.


4) Affliction looks pretty strong overall. I would have done a few things differently but on the whole I'm satisfied with the changes.

a) Fel Concentration is still a very bloated talent that either needs to be brought down to 2-3 ranks, or affect all Affliction spells.

b) The new Amplify Curse is in a word...interesting, although I can't really hop on board with the implementation simply because CoA/Doom really don't get a whole lot of use in the arena/raid game what with us using CoT/CoX in PvP and CoE/CoR in raids. I'd scrap this implementation and bump the cooldown back up to 3 minutes and have it allow your next CoA not count towards the one curse-per-target limit. (sure it's an old rehashed idea of mine but a sound one if I do say so myself)

c) I'm still not the biggest fan of Death's Embrace as thematics go...but I can live with this one I suppose =P

d) Haunt. I love the new implementation. It's viable for both PvE and PvP and fits with Affliction quite well. However, to address the issue of DoTs not scaling with stats other than spellpower I would tweak it. Currently it increases DoT damage by 15%. I would instead make it increase DoT damage by 10% *plus* 50% of your crit chance. This would effectively allow crit to effect DoT damage. So at 10% spellcrit you would break even at 15%, at 20% spellcrit you would hit 20%. It would be an easy way to work crit into some usefulness. Still, Haunt seems to be very strongly implemented. Thumbs up.


5) Pet Scaling. Maybe we'll see more of it. Rumors are floating around that Hunter pets are getting seriously looked at as far as scaling off stats is concerned Maybe our pets will inherit our spellhit, penetration and more of our stam/int/spirit. If we're really lucky, Resilience, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.


6) Finally, the Fel Armor/Demon Armor changes. I'm all for them, actually. I like the fact that they're creating a distinct PvE/PvP armor type. Fel Armor in particular, giving a base amount of spellpower, 30% of spirit to spellpower, and 30% spirit regen while casting makes a great deal of sense. Homogenizing gear will be a great thing- if any only if Blizzard does a good job at making everyone want the stats that are on said gear. This will do that for Spirit. They just need to work on Crit...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Undispellable Fel Armor

So I get home, patch up and immediately go into an AV. Fel Armor didn't get dispelled every time I encountered a Hunter. It was a wonderful feeling and I'm sure Mages feel the same way. I'll admit it will royally suck when Mages have an undispellable Mage Armor that reduces the duration of all magical effects by 50%...but it is what it is and I think it's a change for the better.

On that note I truly believe the undispellable nature of self buffs needs to be extended to other classes. Any long term (which I would consider 5 minutes or longer) self-only buff should be undispellable. Why? Well, as I see it if a buff is of a long enough duration and is only able to be cast on oneself then it is an aspect of that class that should be considered permanent. These types of abilities are intended to cover up glaring class weaknesses or buff up a class strength in order to effectively compete. To simply be able to remove one of these abilities is just silly.

Water Shield
Lightning Shield
Inner Fire
Omen of Clarity
Etc.

Wouldn't that negate the ability to dispel for other classes? I don't think so, really. Dispelling will still continue to be a valid tactic for short-term and non-class specific buffs. PWS, PWF, Paladin Blessings (on that note Paladins would do well to get a self only version of BoW since they really *do* need it) Earth Shield, MotW, BoP, Innervate, Eradication, etc.

Again, I simply feel that the long-term self buffs are far too vital to a class' performance be so easily removed. I would not, however, be opposed to Mass Dispel effecting them as it does require significantly more effort than spamming Purge, Devour Magic, Arcane Shot, etc.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Fall Of Affliction? (Alternate Title: Die Shadowbolt, Please, Please, Die)

Okay folks, it looks like Blizzard cleared several websites to release alpha based talent/ability information so I'd like to take the time to post what I've wanted to for several weeks now. If you haven't had seen already go check out WoWhead and get a look at the new talents- but make sure to come back!

For a few weeks now I've been discussing with various people (covertly of course!) the inadequacies of the Wrath of the Lich King (alpha) Affliction talents. I've talked with several big names in the Warlock community, guildies, and even random locks on my server. Most have agreed with my points- if not fully then at least partially. Some might say I'm a tough sort to satisfy but it seems in this case these thoughts reflect those of at least a handful of players.

The current dilemma is that Affliction Warlocks are dumped as guilds go into Sunwell due to very poor damage output as DoTs gain no DPS from Haste or Crit- both stats that are very prevalent on endgame gear and necessary to multiple off spellpower and one another to create increasing levels of DPS like you see from most classes/specs. Even considering the added raid utility Affliction brings with Malediction and Shadow Embrace Affliction is deemed not worth the raid slot. Let's see how Blizzard has fared in the alpha and if they've fixed the problem...

Eradication: Admittedly not a bad idea in concept. DoTs proccing a Haste buff is pretty cool. But what is that Haste going to be used on in raiding? Shadowbolt. Last time I checked Shadowbolt wasn't the focus of Affliction- DoTs, Debuffs and Drains were. Shadowbolt is filler. Poorly scaling filler at that. This talent alone wouldn't be too bad if it were accompanied by several other strong and purposeful talents- but that's unfortunately not the case.

Death's Embrace: This talent needs the axe. Yet more Shadowbolt. +15% crit chance on targets below 20% health. It may look potent, but keep in mind this only affects Shadowbolt/Shadowburn- not UA, not Siphon Life, not Corruption. Plus add into the fact that other classes/specs have similar "sub 20%" effects and so that 20% starts to go by really quickly since raid DPS rises so much when the 20% mark is breached.

Everlasting Afflictions: Okay, this is what I'm talking about! Boosted DoT coefficients is just the type of thing Affliction needs. It fits the theme and it fits the function. A perfect addition! Too bad all this does is counteract Improved Shadowbolt no longer effecting DoTs...That's right! ISB only effects nukes now. Let's not forget the secondary portion of the talent: Corruption refreshing itself when Shadowbolt hits. Aside from the fact that this could be a very dangerous effect on encounters with aggro drops(Corruption tick = aggro) it's another blow to the gut by further divorcing us from our DoT rotations.

Cripple: I've read that this talent is being removed in favor of something else yet to be announced. This is certainly very Affliction worthy theme-wise, however it would appear to offer very little in the raid game. Hopefully when Blizzard thinks up it's replacement they will consider something more like Unstable Affliction- useful in both the PvE and PvP game.

My thoughts in a nutshell? Blizzard is attempting to shove Shadowbolt down our throats- maybe they're encouraging a 50/0/21 raid build but I can't help but sneer at the thought. It just doesn't fit with the style of Affliction. I realize this is veering further from math and towards opinion but c'mon Blizzard! If we wanted 70-80% of our DPS to consist of Shadowbolt wouldn't it make sense to spec Destruction, not Affliction? You're taking the lazy way out- rather than fixing DoT scaling you're diluting the differences between the two talent trees. More Shadowbolt spam. Less casting DoTs. Less overall DoT DPS. It all feels oh so poorly inspired. I could sit here for hours and spout off ideas that would work better but the fact remains: Blizzard is ruining the identity of the Affliction tree and we can do nothing but sit here and hope that someone at Blizzard reads this and takes note.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Tweakified WotLK Talent Affliction Tree

Just did Affliction, Kyth. I don't wanna suggest anything that wouldn't vibe well with Destro again =P

http://www.war-tools.com/t55507.html

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Another 51pt Affliction Idea

Curse Mastery- Grants each of your curses a secondary effect as follows:

Agony: Gives a chance when dealing damage to afflict the target with chest pains, stunning them for 3 seconds.
Doom: Reduces the time for the damage to be dealt by 10 seconds.
Elements: Additionally increases damage done by DoT effects by 10% (Magical DoTs, Bleeds, Diseases, the works)
Exhaustion: Immobilizes the target for 2 seconds whenever Curse of Exhaustion ends.
Recklessness: Causes the target to damage themselves for 5% of the damage they deal for a maximum of 20% of your total health per attack/spell.
Tongues: Increases mana cost of spells by 10%
Weakness: Increases Rage/Energy/Runic power ability costs by 10%

Sounds fitting, no?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Cripple Goes The Way Of Atrocity...

...or so I've read. It's good to see that ideas that don't work really do go down the crapper. On the flip side apparently they are focusing more on the Paladin/Hunter talents right now so we won't see a replacement for Cripple for a while- Which is fine, give them time to sit on it and think up something really good. Can't wait to see what they come up with next!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Vanguard...Again!

I guess I've hit another WoW lull and it appears I'm not the only one. A few people in my guild have recently called it quits, at least temporarily, either due to boredom or spending the summer with the kids, etc. I haven't totally quit but I have dialed back the number of days I raid each week. Why? Well, two reasons.

Firstly- I'm just plain getting bored. When we killed Illidan I wasn't jumping up and down with joy like when we got Ragnaros, Vashj, Kael, etc. I hate to say it but I really didn't *care*. I'll partly blame that on general burnout. I've had 95% raid attendance for well over a year which is a recipe for burnout. I'll admit that some nights I didn't want to put down what I was doing to raid. It got to the point of becoming more of a chore than a hobby. Even having taken most of this week off and just raiding on Thursday I enjoyed myself much more than the previous week. Playing too much just numbs you...

Secondly- Future prospects. I'm losing interest because, well not to sound depressing, but the future looks grim. Sunwell brings new content, but even boss fights grow old after the first few kills. Affliction continues to fall further and further behind and the trend will only grow worse in Sunwell. I'm going to have to sit myself out on Brutallus because I won't be able to meet the required DPS. Also, Affliction isn't looking so hot in WotLK alpha. Most of the new talents are either entirely too PvP focused, or the mere concept of the talent is just 100% fucking stupid. There's no sign of any change regarding DoTs and Haste/Crit...maybe coming later, maybe not. Oh, and Deathknight totally isn't panning out to be anything like I had planned- I might make one as an alt, but the overall ability mix isn't what I was looking for.


All that down in the dumps stuff being said...I started playing Vanguard again and am having a blast! I tried a bunch of the classes up to level 10 and have settled in on just playing my Psionicist (which I had previously leveled up to 22) and my Monk, which I've been enjoying greatly. I'm going to get the Monk up to 22 and then level them up side by side, playing whichever the group needs. They are a stark contrast of one another:

The Psionicist is an extremely proactive "take-control of the situation" type class with the most CC/kiting options in the game(think of a pull in an instance where you can fear + banish + voidwalker offtank + Curse of Ex kiting + Mind control + mind controlled mob offtanking all in one character that still remains quite balanced) It's a micromanager's paradise playing a Psi, both solo and in groups. I've already talked about them on the blog before so I'll spend more time discussing my newly discovered Monk.

The Monk, in contrast, is a super-reactive damage machine. They're like a DPS Warrior/Rogue mix with some mystical flare added on top. They DPS well, are a suitable offtank, and have a bunch of fun abilities like Feign Death and Slow Fall. Monk attack chains *really* liven up the gameplay. When you crit you can choose between 3 different finishers, all useful depending on the situation. When you dodge an attack a counterattack opens up- which you can trigger by using "Swaying Step" making you dodge the next attack aimed at you. If you parry an attack you can use "Quivering Palm" to lower the target's damage by 50% for 8 seconds. Not to mention the stance system...which totally blows WoW's out of the water:

Warriors change stances, sure, but as a Vanguard Monk you change stances A LOT. Enter Crane Stance for increased Dodge/Parry chance to open up the Counterattack abilities. Crane stance also gives a reduction to attack endurance cost(sorta like Rage) so you can use more of the normal specials to build up "Jin" (sorta like combo points...sorta...) . Did a counterattack just open up? Switch to Tiger stance for increase crit chance, use the ability and go back to Crane Stance to build more Jin. When you're ready to use your built up Jin on your stronger attacks you Feign Death to wipe your aggro, switch back to Tiger Stance for increased crit chance as you dump all your Jin into a few huge "Ashen Hand" attacks which likely crit to proc a finisher attack which you then use, then back to Crane Stance again. When you leave combat you can switch to Harmonious stance to build up Jin while you're out of combat traveling, or studying a much stronger foe to build up your much needed Jin for the fight. Monk is a great class that really keeps you on your toes.

A mix of good and bad. As WoW wanes Vanguard comes into the picture. It makes me wish, again, for the millionth time that someone would develop a game with the depth, complexity and PvE focus of Vanguard with the overall polish and customizability of WoW. Sure, they're intended for two completely different audiences- WoW is the casual focused, mainstream, simple game developed by Blizzard, who have a legacy of the aforementioned "polish". Vanguard is more of a niche game with great focus on depth, immersion, and obviously for slightly more hardcore gamers with its more complex gameplay systems.

Why, oh why can't I have both merged into one? Vanguard had a chance but it's just too bad their funding fell through and they had to be bought up by SOE, who certainly do not have the best track record.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Cripple Eh?

Okay, so Atrocity is gone. Good riddance. The synergy with Haunt would have been kinda cool, but what's the trouble in manually casting Corruption? Less automation is the last thing we need.

What did they put in its place? Cripple. I gotta admit I like the idea of Cripple a hell of a lot better than Atrocity. Even though Cripple in its current form is pretty overpowered I do like it in concept.

That being said I've gotta be the wet blanket you all know me to be... It really doesn't offer a whole lot in the PvE realms of things. Maybe for kiting adds. Vashj, for example would be a good use- but really it's just a beefed up version of CoEx, and in most cases CoEx is enough.

I'd like to see cripple get a cooldown attached. 30 seconds (ballpark.) In addition to the slowing effect I'd like to see it boost your damage over time effects by a percentage as well. Not too much, but enough so it would be worth more DPS than 1.5 seconds of a Shadowbolt. 10 seconds of say.... +25%? Something like that? /shrug

I just hate seeing talents with limited PvP use or limited raid use. Why can't they design everything with both in mind? The last thing we need is another Shadowfury or Dragon's Breath.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Tweaks To Atrocity

I'm not posting unreleased content here, but if you've seen the alpha Warlock talents you'll know what I'm talking about.

Okay, the problem as I see it with Atrocity, the 51-point Affliction talent is it's just too situational, in a situation where we have another spell which already does a bang-up job. I will admit, the synergy between Atrocity and Haunt is not only effective, but just sounds awesome...even still, Atrocity is too situational and needs to be reworked.

I would like to propose the following:


Atrocity
30 second cooldown
Your next Corruption spell... {insert alpha Atrocity effect here}
*or*
Your next Curse of Agony does not count towards your one curse per target limit.

Voila! The talent becomes something of an amplify curse for Corruption and Curse of Agony, with Agony giving a nice single target DPS boost, and Corruption giving a nice {non single target} DPS boost. I feel that allowing Curse of Agony to be up alongside Curse of Shadows is important as we have so many talents that boost the damage output of CoA, yet our raids expect us to be the Curse of Shadows bitch. With this you end up with a versatile talent useful in both PvE and PvP, and in single target and {non single target} situations.

Thoughts? About the only thing I could see anyone taking issue with is the cooldown, but the 30 second cooldown allows the synergy with Haunt to work out just right.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Permabanned :O

So yeah. I'm normally not one to get banned, or even get a warning. I tend to play by the rules pretty well. So there's a 10 page thread on the Warlock forum on the WotLK alpha talents...it was up for a whole day...nothing deleted! I figured Blizzard knew the leaks were pretty widespread so decided to lay off. Boy was I mistaken! I made a thread critiquing the Affliction talents(of the 5 new talents only one was worth a damn...I had to!) Low and behold a couple of hours ago I log into the forum and am...permabanned! The odd thing is I haven't even had an infractions before and I didn't even post *what* the talents did. Others who were discussing in the same manner only got 1 week bans. I'm going to try to appeal this. I understand it's their rules, and respect that, but I'd like them to look over my post again to see that I didn't actually post unreleased content, but was just discussing it.

Until then I'll be posting on the character "Painez"

EDIT:
Hello,

After reviewing your account's forum record we have determined
that the appropriate actions were taken, and this account will not
have forum privileges restored under any circumstances. We
regret to implement such severe action, but at times it is
necessary to maintain a positive forum environment.

"A positive forum environment" WTF? They could at least shoot me
some line on Blizzard's intellectual property, etc. Not some canned
response totally unrelated to the actual case. Oh well...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Damn...I'm Fugly!

Okay so the picture you normally see of Draele on the here is pretty badass, right? I mean, I got some nice lookin' gear, everything kinda matches. It's got a good vibe- ya know?. Lately though? I'm outright fugly. Throw on the T6 gloves, T6 shoulders and a new weapon + offhand combo. Nasty. Just scary. Totally unappealing. Blizzard really needs to let us dye our armor. I'm not normally one to care a whole lot about what my gear actually looks like, but I am pretty particular of the colors they come in. I don't like bright colors...at all. Give me your blues, greens, dark purples, browns or any grayscale color and I'm a happy camper. But for the love of god keep red, yellow, orange, & pink the hell away from me...

And without further ado I present to you the new and unimproved "Fugly Draele":

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

To Dwarf Or Draenei?

...Not the kind of thing I normally post on here but yesterday I saved my two potential Deathknight names. One Dwarf and one Draenei. (Certainly not your standard fare Human, Undead or pink-pigtailed female gnome that everyone else wants to make) This is going to be a tough choice for me. Dwarves just wreak of badassery and are my favorite fantasy race. 'Nuff said. Draenei seem like they might make a terrible DK, what being the Naaru brown-nosers they are- but if you give them just the right features they can look pretty dark too- and let's not mention two very nice racials with Gift of the Naaru and Heroic Presence. They clearly have the advantage as racials go compared to Stoneform and Treasure Tracking. The tail is what's got me, though. Damn distracting wiggly thing...

Here's Krigus:


And Daerdric:


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Some Thoughts On The Recent Lich King Information

Well, that certainly was a sudden flood of information, wasn't it? I caught wind of the news coming on WoWinsider just before heading to bed last night. Let's just say I ended up going to bed at 6AM instead of 3AM...

I'll touch on my personal highlights of all the new media and info...

1) The whole 10/25man version of every dungeon news. I'm all for it. I never understood how people could be so against something that's just letting other players enjoy the game. So long as the 25-mans have better loot I can't voice a single concern. Hell, since Blizzard won't have to create different dungeons for different crowds it really let's them make the most of their development team talent, which hopefully means new content will roll out quicker! To anyone still against it: It sure beats Blizzard trying to find some middle ground between casuals and raiders that won't suit either group and make everyone pissed. I think with this change the only people who will truly be upset will be raiders who take themselves and their egos *too* seriously.

2) Deathknight information. A few things were clarified about the class mechanics. Notably the "Runic Power" mechanic which acts as another resource type that builds up as you use runes, effectively allowing stronger moves to be charged up over time. This really adds another level of depth to the class that I wasn't expecting. Another interesting tidbit of info was the whole "Presence" mechanic, which functions similarly to Warriors stances. Frost Presence increases your mitigation and threat, Blood increases your damage output, and Unholy increases your movements speed/"other PvP stuff".

I really like this concept as it adds a lot of choices to how you play your class. What spec? Which runes do I put on my blade? What presence will I be using? Add Runic power on top of that and you've got what *appears* to be a pretty intricate and customizable class. I just hope the Unholy talent tree isn't necessarily just PvP focused like the Unholy Presence would infer... I hate how they did that to Warriors with Arms=PvP, Fury=RaidDPS, Prot=Tanking. Each talent tree should be raid and PvP viable, not be pigeonholed...

Krigus, the Dwarven Unholy Deathknight raider may never exist if this is true. =(


3) Visuals. I'm in love with "The Nexus" dungeon. Check out this video of the Borean Tundra that shows The Nexus. Holy crap that's pure awesome. I've wanted an icy style dungeon ever since that blue dragon cave in Winterspring! Really looking forward to this one!


All in all it was nice to get some clarifications and get some new info, but my appetite simply will not be sated until I can get a look at the Deathknight talents/abilities, and the new Affliction talents/abilities. I'm dying to see these, discuss them, theorycraft them, and maybe even get in the beta and get a chance to try them out an offer feedback on 'em.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My UI




Had a few requests to see it so here it is. This is one I took to show off how high my shadow gets when the Hyjal ring, Hex Shrunken Head and 2pc t4 procs. Everything I have keybound isn't on screen- all the buttons you see are clicked.

Per request here's the mods I run...I left off some... The ones I have listed here are either cosmetic or functionally useful.

Apeture: The big big black bar at the bottom of the screen.
DoTimer Suite: The DoT timers on the right side of the screen and cooldown in the bottom right of the screen.
Bongos2: My button bars and keybindings.
Clearfont2: My different than normal fonts for most things. Baar Sophia is the font for everything but target's damage you see.
Closetgnome: The gear sets.
eCastingbar: My cast bar, target's cast bar, and fatigue bars.
eeShards: Shard display plugin for FuBar. Also, automatically deletes excess shards above any number you set.
FuBar: The bar at the bottom. Clockfu, Bagfu, Durabilityfu, Moneyfu, Questsfu(which is the quests in the top left too)
Good Damage Font 2.0: The damage font. It's Adventure.
Itemprice Tooltip: Not seen on screen, but this adds the vendor price to the tooltip of every item.
Onebag/Onebank/Onering: Just combines all my bags into one big bag and changes the background.
Pitbull: My unitframes.
Prat: My chat mod.
Ratingbuster: Shows percentage equivalents to spell hit rating, etc.
Scrolling Combat Text: I think most people have this =P
SharedMedia: Shares fonts, textures, etc across several addons and saves memory by doing so.
Squeenix: My square, borderless minimap.
Visor2: My "move stuff" addon. Nifty for shifting things around that aren't covered in other mods. Like the tracking menu, buffs frame, etc I've moved around.
Xloot: Very nice loot mod. Just makes the looting window look really slick, adds a quick link all items to guild/raid/etc and expands the size of the looting window based on how many items are on a body.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Swap Demonic Sacrifice & Dark Pact?

Apparently one of the ideas I put forward in the post I linked to in the previous entry is quite popular. That being the idea of swapping Demonic Sacrifice & Dark Pact combined with a change to Mana Feed.

Demonology's idea would be that Mana Feed would be changed to act as a source of mana renewal for the demons. The demons, gaining back their mana would both act as damage/utility *and* as a mana battery for the Warlock. This synergy between the Warlock and their demon is simply paramount to the Demonology tree so why not extend it? Demonology should thrive on having it's demon out and having synergy with it, not sacrificing it!

Affliction would get an altered Demonic sacrifice, because, well Affliction already has improved Lifetap, and having the best health leech abilities is better suited to sacrificing health for mana. This Demonic Sacrifice would only be a 10% damage increase(down from 15%) but also bestow a 10% increase to health/mana received, further reinforcing Affliction being the health/mana sponge.

Destruction, finally, would gain both a buff to Conflagrate and Shadowfury, with Conflag being changed to both a burst and sustained damage ability which would renew, rather than consume, Immolate giving Destro a new ability to use in raids, help their sustained damage in PvP and make Fire Destro just that much more appealing. Shadowfury wouldn't actually get a buff in damage, but rather would debuff the mob/player to take more damage, in PvP helping to focus train target(s) with both a stun and damage debuff, and in PvE would give Destruction some utility.

http://www.war-tools.com/t50549.html

In conclusion, Demonology would become more synergistic with Dark Pact/Mana Feed and not have a nearly wasted 21 pt talent in DS, Affliction would have it's damage and mana/health stealing capabilities increased by DS and Destruction would move away from being forced to pick up DS just to spam Shadowbolt ad nauseum, and would begin to use DoTs(Immolate+Conflag) and debuff the mob more(Shadowfury) making it much more of a Warlock and much less of a "Shadowmage."

Thoughts?

Monday, April 14, 2008

DS Forum Post

I think I got a pretty strong (and dramatic!) discussion going on involving Demonic Sacrifice here. Heading to bed now, it should be interesting to read tomorrow afternoon!

Talent Tune-up: Suppression

So I figure I'd write something about talents that just don't seem "right". Not in interest of trying to get buffed(Hell not many people read this Blog anyway for me to have much effect), but rather from a design/mechanical perspective things that just don't make a whole lot of sense... The backseat game developer is sneaking through!

Today I'll talk about Suppression. Yes our friendly tier 1 talent. I guess my gripe here is that it doesn't seem all that focused. For raiding even deep Affliction Locks need to cap their Spellhit for Shadowbolt, Immolate & Soulshatter. Its usefulness there fails. For leveling you generally won't be fighting mobs over +2 levels(8%) so Suppression exceeds this cap. The only real purpose it serves is to pad your hit cap while gearing up for that 16% hit for bosses, though this is a very brief period.

Ultimately I'd change this talent in one of two ways: A direct change to Suppression itself or making all that hit useful in some other way. Both tie into existing phenomenon which I will go into detail about...

Changing Suppression: Change Suppression from 2/4/6/8/10 Affliction Spellhit, to 1/2/3/4/5 Shadow Spellhit. This would cover everything but Immolate(no biggie) effectively lowering the real hit cap to 11%. Not nearly as nice as Shadowpriests and their 6%, but a much nicer change from Suppression's current incarnation. Secondly, it would be a very nice tier 1 talent for both Demonology and Destruction to pick up.

"What about DS/Destro? They won't ever have room in their build to get Suppression." To that I say: Demonic Sacrifice is flawed, especially given the placement in the tree. Blizzard will be extremely hard pressed to create a 51 point Destro talent that rivals DS for two reasons. A) DS is a very strong talent. +15% damage or 3%mp4 are both very appealing buffs. B) What use do Destruction Warlocks even have for their pets in raids anyway? There is no real opportunity cost with DS because giving up your pet means is but an afterthought for Destruction, making the talent all the more desirable. IMO Demonic Sacrifice should be nerfed and made into a trainable ability as it will only cause problems whenever Destruction spec choices/balance are involved.

Making All That Spellhit Useful: What if Affliction had its own "spam" attack that took advantage of Suppression? I'll admit I've never been the biggest fan of the concept that even as Affliction the spell I cast the most is Shadowbolt, a Destruction spell. But even still, what if Drain Soul actually was *actually* good for doing damage? With the 15 second duration and 50% "Drain coefficient" it's far from useful as DPS. Simply remove the 50% coefficient cut, and then make a talent in Affliction increasing the tick speed, and reducing the overall channeling time from 15 seconds down to 10, thus artificially raising the coefficient much like Bane does and making it tick every 2 seconds instead of 3. It would be competitive damage then, and Suppression would actually see use past a couple points.

Either one would work. I'll admit I'm partial to #2, but #1 is far more simple and elegant. Either way, this is a flawed talent and I'd love to see it somehow changed.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Respec Time

So I did a slight respec the other day. From 43/7/11 to 45/5/11. Dropped 1 point in Improved Lifetap(with the new spirit changes a raid buffed Imp can nearly sustain me) and 2 points in Demonic Embrace(I'm a little burnt on arenas ATM, so why not?) and used those 3 points to fill out Shadow Embrace from my former 2/5. Hopefully the raid will appreciate it and it'll even help a little when doing dailies! GG 3% less damage.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Don't Bother With Forums On The Weekends

I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but do yourself a favor and completely ignore the Blizzard forums between Friday night and Sunday. The level of stupid(not ignorance, ignorance is quite forgivable) on the forums on the weekends is simply atrocious. Between thread necros, trolls, and morons you've got better chances of having an intelligent WoW conversation with your grandmother. Right.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Finished Atlas Shrugged

So I finished Atlas Shrugged. Actually, I finished it a couple weeks ago but forgot to write anything about it. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who identifies themselves as (fiscally) conservative. It's definitely the longest single book I've ever read, and I'll admit it had some rather dull parts to it including a 50 page speech I read only 30 pages of, but I feel I gained a lot out of reading it and if you can dedicate the time to reading it you will too.

Gives Us Infos...

A bunch of us were talking on vent about WotLK earlier. We're just dying for infos, especially those of us considering going Deathknight(Not so much personally, but I'd still like to know about them) It looks like Friends & Family beta is starting soon so maybe we'll get some info in a couple months but cmon... Speculation is only fun when we're at least getting a steady stream of tidbits! One of the CMs said some info might come out in the next Blizzcast but we don't know when that will be.

I feel like such a consumer fool. Goes to show there's still much room to be filled in the entertainment industry. When you have people like me rabidly foaming at the mouth awaiting the next game, book, or movie you know you've got more profits to rake in. And I'll gladly give you your profits, but god damnit it push your content faster!

Friday, April 4, 2008

A Not So Longwinded Post...

So this post is actually pretty short and to the point. It's not regarding sweeping changes or anything like that, just a few little tweaks to remove some unnecessary annoyances...

Check it out!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Timbal's Finally Dropped!

So after much frustration and seeing far too many Vials of the Sunwell destroy my hopes and dreams- Timbal's Focusing Crystal finally dropped for me last night. I haven't gotten a chance to test it in a raid setting yet, but I'm looking forward to it Tuesday.

...So my assortment of trinkets is now:

Hex Shrunken Head
The best by far. I'll always have it equipped.

Darkmoon Card: Crusade Definitely a little bit better than Timbal's but only on fights where continual casting with no interruptions is guaranteed. I'll keep using this guy on Shade of Akama, Teron Gorefiend, and other similar fights.

Timbal's Focusing Crystal Just a notch under Crusade but without the effective "must not stop casting" restriction. A great passive general use boss fight trinket and one less thing to worry about on some of the more intricate boss fights. (Worrying about the Crusade buff dropping off is a minigame in itself!)

Icon of the Silver Crescent Not for boss fights, but better than Timbal's and Crusade for soloing, trash, 5-mans, etc. If you're going to have significant breaks in the action the cooldown on this trinket effectively shrinks. Plus this is just great fun on large trash pulls. Activate Hex, DoT everything, activate Icon, DoT some more. That's a lot of added damage when you have 40 seconds of ~+200 damage applied to all your DoTs on several targets.

Fetish of the Sand Reaver Gotta love how this trinket still kicks ass at level 70. It's my best buddy for AoE pulls, especially in Hyjal!

A nice little collection if I do say so myself. Now I can drop my prejudices and start running Magister's Terrace with Shadowpriests to help them get theirs. Yes, I was an evil bastard and wouldn't run Terrace with a Shadowpriest...but hey I'm more than willing to help them now that I have mine. =D

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Yet Another Longwinded Post...

So yeah. I've made yet another TLDR worthy thread on the Warlock forums. All in interest of Affliction and a little procrastinating studying for a test (well...mostly procrastination.../cry I really do my best writing while I'm putting off something else...)

Here it is. Just go read it on the forums. I don't like posting short novels on here, it really clutters the place up!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

An Interesting Theory...

So today I stumbled upon this thread, and I tend to see similar discussions of that sort every so often. Essentially, WoW addiction becoming a problem with one ignoring real life responsibilities, time with a significant other, etc. I see these threads, I see players in guild sometimes get "wife aggro" etc, and combined with my own experiences and I can't help but feel that the problem, or at least the majority of it is *not* the neglect of any sort of responsibility, or spending less time with your significant other, but rather *why* you aren't, and in many cases, even when you do "take care of your shit" it's a problem.

Imagine some random guy who is labeled by his significant other as a "WoW addict" were to drop WoW and go join a local bowling league, or and spend the same *exact* amount of time away from their responsibilities. I guarantee 90% of the time hey'd get less flak about it. The issue isn't necessarily that responsibilities are being shirked, or that they're not spending time with their significant others, but rather that they're spending time with a "silly game"

It seems like the label of "addiction" is being thrown around a little too liberally by people who just lack a fundamental respect for certain hobbies, IE gaming, simply because they either don't understand it or reject it as it's not socially sanctioned as a "proper" hobby.

Personally? I'm single. Rather happily. But even I get crap from friends for "wasting my time" with WoW when all they're doing is playing
some X-box game or going to get drunk and play poker. Now don't get me wrong- addiction is a very real problem- but it just seems like like much of the anger/frustration surrounding PC gaming "addiction" labeling stems not from neglecting ones life, but rather the ignorance of the accuser. PC gaming does tend to be a little more complex and difficult to "get" at a glance like many console games, or even a sport or other hobby, so it's quite easy to develop angst towards these games that one might not understand.

Is ignorance the driving force that makes people in your life take issue with your gaming hobbies? I think so.


(As an aside I fully admit being addicted to the computer. Not to any specific game, chat program, forum, email, or anything really, but I am addicted to the sum of the parts of the experience of being on the computer. Being able to communicate, play games, do school work, listen to music, shop, learn, etc. I am very much addicted to that but I think most of us are and just aren't willing to admit it...Plus what with the advent of AIM/myspace/etc being on the computer so much is quickly becoming, or already is, an acceptable addiction of sorts)

Friday, February 29, 2008

Rogues, Spies, & Assassins

So I type this after playing a few games of TF2 today...I dare say that I truly hate Rogues, Spies, and Assassins- that whole archetype across all gaming genres. Not because they're too strong, or too weak, or their playstyle is/isn't fun, or anything like that. Why? Because they always go after people behind the lines of combat. "What's wrong with that? That's what they're for." you say? Well, that's perfectly fine and all except when you consider that it completely nullifies the entire purpose of playing conservatively. Consider the reason I'm not on the front lines in the middle of the frag fest. It's because I don't want to die. I'm totally fine with getting less kills if it also means getting killed less myself. The monkey wrench in this whole risk/reward scenario is that these classes by default are going for the folks way behind the lines and making them pay either way.

I felt compelled to make a chart since I've been staring at portfolio mix scatter plots with risk/return all week. (Damnit, why can't I diversify my risk away with negatively correlated highly risky stocks in WoW & TF2) Anyway...



*inserts Ben Stein voice* As you can see, chart number one represents the standard risk/reward(kills vs deaths) function. Chart number two, however, interjects said "sneaky" classes into the equation, thus drastically reducing the lifespan of said conservative player.

All joking aside, it's just really fucking annoying. I'm not going to point at any game and say it's a problem, so much as a major annoyance as I do tend to play pretty conservatively. Most of the time I don't die too much for playing cautiously(Affliction Lock & Demoman FTW) but occasionally there will be a good Rogue or Spy that will literally make me want to just leave the server or quit the BG. Props to them, I respect their skill for sure and they earn their kills, but at the same time it ruins the whole concept of playing conservatively for the purpose of avoiding deaths.

/shrug If they piss me off enough I just go Pyro and make their playstyle pointless as they have mine.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lifetap Changed on PTR

So apparently on the PTR there has been a change to Lifetap, and not for the better. Instead of converting a base amount of HP into a base amount of mana and it scaling with spelldmg, it will now simply convert 16% of your health into 16% of your mana.

What does this mean? It means Int is going to be a much more attractive stat, and gaining more Stamina is actually going to increase the amount of health you sacrifice with Lifetap without actually increasing the mana you get back. This I find to be quite counterintuitive. Shouldn't getting better gear be a good thing?

Either way, this nerf was aimed at the arenas for sure where SL/SL Warlocks stack large amounts of Stam and very little int, so they'll be converting a *lot* of health into minimal mana = major nerf. The impact won't be quite so severe in raiding as HP/mana ratios are much closer to 1:1, but it will still be a nerf. Even less of a nerf for Affliction as Dark Pact is unaffected by this change.

What I *am* concerned with, however, is that this change combined with the Emberstorm buff is that Destruction Warlocks will be moving over to Incinerate as it will be casting faster and already was a better damage-per-mana spell(thus decreasing their mana consumption). That will mean Improved Shadowbolt won't be up any more and Affliction & Shadowpriests will suffer(Not that I'm surprised...)

On the optimistic side we may see some buffs come from this. Perhaps some PvP survivability changes against melee? Maybe increased DoT coefficients? I know for certain now that the devs knows the PvP issues Affliction/Destruction have and the raiding issues of Affliction. Who knows what's to come but I'm putting my money on some positive changes before we see 2.4 go live.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Brief Descriptions of Sunwell Isle "World Event"


1-Flightmaster:
You initially land here after flying from Ironforge (flight path automatically unlocked) This is also where you take off when doing bombing run daily quests.

2-Shattered Sun Boat: This boat has the NPCs that you trade in tokens for tier loot and they also convert Sunwell drops into other drops. This is a new mechanic. You can pick up, say, a pair of cloth healing gloves and turn it in with 1 Sunmote(Heart of Darkness style drop) and can get a pair of cloth DPS gloves. Every item has its own matching piece.

3-Shattered Sun Staging Area: This is where all the initial daily quests are. Most are involved with achieving some goal linked to taking Sun's Reach Sanctum(4)

4-Sun's Reach Sanctum: Initially held by Kael's blood elves. After so many people do daily quests linked to taking this area are completed(it will likely take 2-3 days to take, maybe more) we officially take control of it. Shattered Sun NPCs move in, new quests associated with taking Sun's Reach Armory(5) open up inlcuding one in Outland associated with creating a portal from Shatt to Sunwell Isle. Some quests at Shattered Sun Staging Area disappear, while some remain.



5-Sun's Reach Armory:
Just like Sun's Reach Sanctum once this area is taken Shattered Sun NPCs move in, new quests open up linked to taking Sun's Reach Harbor(6). Vendors for t4 tokens -> season 1, and t5 tokens for season2 gear are inside the armory initially. Just outside an armory is a Blacksmith who has a daily quest to gather ore from Naga at Greengill Coast to complete her anvil. Once enough of these are completed the new badge vendors open up(~28% currently on the PTR with a LOT of people doing it. I will probably take a week to do this on live.)

6-Sun's Reach Harbor:
Currently no info on this as we're still trying to take it. Unknown what taking control of this unlocks and whether it's the last area to control or not...

7-Magister's Terrace:
The new 5-man.

8-Sunwell Plateau Entrance: The new 25-man.

Overall it's a really fun thing Blizzard has set up here. It's a lot like the AQ gate opening but not requiring lame material collections, but instead rather fun daily quests including bombing runs on demons, Kael's boats, kill quests, etc.

Very fun!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Flash Games

Sure, not WoW related, but here's a few very very fun flash games you guys might enjoy. Antbusters is quite silly if you have the volume on :D

Antbuster
Grid16
Vector Tower Defense

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Did They Fix It?

So yeah. I was kind of off on the Haste changes. The global cooldown addition is actually pretty nice. It still leaves Affliction behind in scaling but at least Haste can function as a nice secondary stat to gear for. +DMG will continue to be king, but Haste will represent a viable secondary stat to see on gear and hopefully muscle crit around a little bit.

So ultimately this change will get Affliction *close enough* but only with perfect itemization. I'm still rooting for 1 tier set for each talent tree in WotLK so each spec can get what they need. Appropriate set bonuses for the tree. etc.

IE-

-Afflicted Gloves of the Malefic: Pale Green/Blue "Deathmist Raiment" colored, with Affliction stats(high dmg, some haste, some hit)

-Demonic Gloves of the Malefic: Purple/Dark Green "Nemesis Raiment" colored with Demonology stats(moderate dmg, pet AP, some hit)

-Destructive Gloves of the Malefic: Red/Black "Corruptor's Raiment" colored with Destruction stats(little bit of everything, really)

We'll see! I the meantime I created a thread here to further discuss allowing Haste to effect tick speed.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Rolling The Dice...

So last night I picked up Waistwrap of Infinity. "Why? It isn't very good." you ask? Well it isn't very good right now but A) It was going to rot anyway and B) I hear from Leiah(who at this very moment is facing down an Elemental Shaman firing squad...) that there will be some sort of change to Haste regarding instant cast spells.

Ultimately I'm taking a chance here, rolling the dice on a piece of loot that hinges on information I don't really even have knowledge of. I do, however, have a few ideas how such a change might go down:

1) Haste will lower the duration of the global cooldown for instants and perhaps allow cast time spells drop below the GCD. If Blizzard thinks they'd be giving us anything with this then they're sorely mistaken. Maybe Mages might appreciate it for Scorch, it might help Resto Druids a little, but if this is their idea of making Haste more appealing I'd change my opinion of Blizzard from "slow to react" to "out of touch with their game." I'm banking on this not being the answer, however as I do have more confidence in Blizzard than that.

2) Haste will increase the damage/healing of instant cast spells. IE 1% Haste would increase the damage or healing of Curse of Agony, Rejuvenation, Ice Lance, etc by 1%. This seems much more reasonable and is what I'm thinking Blizzard will do, however will simply result in my making a big fuss on the PTR forums to try to get #3...

3) Haste will increase the damage/healing of instant cast spells as well as the damage-over-time portions of cast-time spells. Haste as it would be in #2 would not effectively increase the DPS of Unstable Affliction, Immolate, and maybe Corruption(depending on how they code it...) Spells that are not chained back to back simply don't reap any real benefit from Haste. If you're going to re-apply a cast-time DoT you will simply cast it so it is applied right after it expires (regardless of cast time) for no Haste driven DPS gain. The goal, IMO is to have 1% haste increase the damage of all spells by 1%(minus an obvious increase in mana consumption) This includes increasing the cast speed of Nukes, the damage of all instant spells, *and* the damage of cast-time DoTs.

If #3 does indeed happen it will totally change how Shadowpriests, Affliction Locks, and Resto Druids gear for raids. It will make currently trashy epics like the aforementioned Waistwrap of Infinity, Nimble Thought craftable bracers/shoulders as well a some of the Resto Druid gear with all but wasted haste already on it. According to Leulier's Spreadsheet (with some tweaks) 1 Haste Rating would = 1 spell damage at ~1200 spell damage, though with haste costing more itemization points it would result in a much better itemization environment for raid DoTers and HoTers. We'd have options!

Here's hoping!

EDIT: 2 Threads discussing the incoming changes on Haste. AKA me bitching that it's not effecting DoTs in any significant manner and does nothing to aid Shadowpriest and Affliction Lock endgame raid itemization dilemma.

#1

#2

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Where Is WoW's "Meta" Class? (And a bunch of other random shit)

So, I created a thread here questioning if a Mesmer /Psionicist (check links if you're unfamiliar) "meta" style class could fit into the WoW world as maybe a hero class? After playing Guild Wars some lately I've come to realize that these classes which are so unfortunately absent from WoW are a large reason why I'm so often drawn to other, ultimately inferior games.

They are truly interesting to play and really have a high learning curve and "scale with skill" quite well. Would a class like this fit in all that well in WoW's ultimately dumbed down MMO model? I'm not sure. I feel bad saying that because it is such a great game, by far the best on the market, but I can't help but feel that the developers cater to the least common denominator(AKA below average "casual" morons who don't even understand the game) too much. No doubt a large reason why it's so popular, but hey, I like complicated things!

It really is a shame that a hardcore yet high quality MMO hasn't surfaced yet. I don't mean hardcore in the grindfest/raid 7 days a week/suck the life out of you type of game, but just a game with very complex gameplay systems, LOTS of classes, choices, customizations, etc. Sure, it would be a tough thing to balance for sure, but my geeky interest in the genre always seems to focus more on the underlying system of the game than even playing the game itself. Does it surprise you that I always spent more time creating Dungeon and Dragons characters than actually playing the game? There's just something about the mechanical side of RPG games that's always caught my interest. It truly is a shame that the jobs of men like Tom Chilton and Brad Mcquaid aren't the types of positions you "apply" for...Who knows, maybe I'll end up working for some game company in their financial department and eventually work my way into a "game systems developer" title :P Maybe, the gaming and MMO markets are both quickly growing!


(One hell of a rant, eh? I think I managed to string together 3-4 separate ideas into something I had initially intended to be about WoW getting a new type of class)