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"

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

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.


-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.