Getting trolled by Blizzard

I’m not much for QQ posts but in this case I am making an exception cause I think this issue has potential for causing a lot players to get very bored in the long run. What follows is an open letter to Blizzard if you will and secondly it is also an investigation to see if others share my opinion.

The problem with having two dungeon tiers

Since patch 4.2 came out I have been running heroic dungeons on a weekly basis to reach the Valor Point cap for that week. While I do love the new system of not having to do one each day and instead being able to do them whenever you like during the week, I really am not enjoying the Valor Point reward difference between troll heroics and regular heroics.

Here’s the problem: Troll heroics (Zul’Aman and Zul’Gurub) reward 140 Valor Points upon completion and the other heroics reward 70 Valor Points upon completion. To reach the weekly cap (980 Valor Points) you need to do 7 troll heroics or 7 regular heroics and 4 troll heroics (since regular heroics cap at 490, meaning you have to do 4 troll heroics regardless).

What’s the problem with that you might ask? “Troll heroics are harder so they reward more points for the effort”. I disagree, they aren’t all that difficult and to be honest, dungeons in general are never THAT difficult. One troll heroic does not equate two regular heroics in terms of time and effort. But still, I could be fine with that. My main problem is really only this: I have to run the same two instances over and over and OVER AND OVER again! There are several perfectly fine heroic dungeons out there which are now not being used at all because everyone is going to the troll heroics to get their Valor Points more efficiently.

I really do like these troll dungeons, they are excellent instances with some challenge, fun and interesting mechanics. But please Blizzard, you have to change this. Because very soon these troll heroics are gonna become the new “Trial of the Crusader”. Remember? 4 lockouts per week? The same repetition is going on here. 7 troll heroics on your main character per week and maybe 7 more for your alt… and no other dungeons.

The solution

I suggest upping the regular heroics reward to 140 Valor Points or lowering the troll heroic reward to 70 Valor Points. Either way, it needs to be the same to avoid this issue of effectively removing the other heroic dungeons from the game.
I still think a lot of people will go for the troll heroics for their non-Valor Point rewards, so I don’t think they’ll be left out of the rotation and cause people to just leave the instance when they notice “oh it’s one of THESE again… /leave”. I mean, in the troll heroics you have; epic gear, maelstrom crystals, additional gold and possible mounts. These rewards are enough to justify the slight increase in difficulty.

Please Blizzard, I want my Cataclysm dungeons back.

Update (2011/07/19): Since this post, Blizzard has made one change to help alleviate this problem. They have added small Valor Point rewards for all Tier 11 raid bosses, 35 valor for each 10-man boss kill and 45 valor for each 25-man boss kill. This means you can earn 420 – 540 valor points each week by clearing old content. This will reduce the amount of weekly troll heroics you have to do by 3.

While this still doesn’t solve my main problem with the current system, it does make things a little bit less painful and it means more people will want to keep doing older content, which is always a good thing!

Perhaps the greatest thing about this development however is that they acknowledge that players were exclusively running ZA/ZG for valor points and that all the other dungeons were getting ignored. This could mean that we will see a fix similar to what I have suggested sometime in the future.

Totally unrelated self-congratulatory picture

Aeonaxx bites the dust, after months of hunting!

Interesting posts

Cheers,
Gav

Posted in General, Reflection | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Patch 4.2 Hunter changes

Patch 4.2 now just hit servers in the US and thusly we in the EU can expect to be downloading the patch tomorrow and hopefully raiding Firelands already by nighttime (most likely though things will go wrong, as usual – but we’re used to that by now!).

So this seems like a perfect time to re-cap some of the changes going in and what us Hunters need to know for the next patch.

Taken from the official Patch 4.2 notes by Blizzard:

Crowd Control

  • Many crowd control abilities no longer cause creatures to attack players when they are cast. The creature will not attack the player when the crowd control wears off, and nearby creatures will not become hostile to the player either. However, if a visible player gets too close to the target creature, the creature will remember and attack the player when the crowd control effect wears off. The intent is to make it easier for dungeon groups to manage crowd control assignments and pulling packs of hostile NPCs. The abilities affected by this change are: Hibernate, Entangling Roots, Wyvern Sting (will still cause hostility when it begins to deal damage), Freezing Trap, Polymorph, Repentance, Shackle Undead, Blind, Hex, Bind Elemental, Banish, Seduction.

General Hunter Changes

  • Multi-shot damage has been reduced. It now deals 120% weapon damage at level 80 or higher, down from 137%.
  • Careful Aim now grants additional critical strike chance against targets over 90% health, up from 80% health.
  • Black Arrow damage done has been increased by roughly 40%.
  • Traps now scale with hunter stats such as hit, expertise, spell penetration and attack power as intended.

Pets

  • The Aggressive pet stance has been removed and replaced with the Assist stance. This stance will cause the player’s pet to attack the player’s target. The pet will not change targets unless the master attacks a new target for a few seconds.
  • The Defensive pet stance will now only cause the player’s pet to attack enemies which attack the pet or the master.
  • Intervene (Pet Tenacity) has been redesigned. The pet runs at high speed toward a group member, reducing the damage done by the next melee or ranged attack made against them equal to 50% of the pet’s total health.
  • 10 new rare tamable beasts have been added, each of which provides a unique taming challenge. Will you be the first hunter to tame Deth’tilac, the rarest and most powerful of them all? Players will need to progress through the Hyjal Regrowth and Molten Front daily questing areas in order to unlock access to the full gamut of taming challenges.

As you can see there are some nice quality of life improvements here and then some straight-up nerfs. First off, trapping is gonna move from being a test of serious co-ordination in PvE to being super-easy and will in no way at all prepare you for PvP later on if you move into that. Also, handling pets is gonna get easier but at the cost of losing the ability to finding stealthed players near you in PvP.

Our AOE gets nerfed, for all three speccs. Marksman will feel the loss in dps the most and Survival, the least. Traps finally get bug-fixed but are still too cumbersome to use in PvP to compete with other classes CC’s.

Marksman also suffers a nerf to their (frankly, OP) Aimed Shot + Careful Aim combo, reducing the damage of the gain by half. This is counter-balanced for Survival by a buff to Black Arrow, BM gets no such luck. In fact BM, which could’ve used a bit of a boost, receives no changes whatsoever. For SV and BM it is doubtful if Careful Aim is a worthy talent choice in patch 4.2. eidotrope of OutDPS looks into this and gives us the scoop.

Unfortunately this probably leaves Marksman as the least desirable raiding spec. It is the most difficult to play and very reliant on being able to stand still to deal maximum damage. This was previously countered by superior dps, making it worth it. Now however we will most likely see SV delivering more dps, even though it is the easiest specc to play.

Other than that we get some fun and interesting new pet taming challenges with lots of new pets. You can check them all out here in this nice guide by HuntsmansLodge.

Other changes of note

MMO-Champion lists all changes. Here I list some I felt were interesting:

  • All races now have a /roar emote – Rejoice!
  • Blackwing Descent, Bastion of Twilight and Throne of the Four Winds have all been nerfed in normal mode by 20-30%. Making it a pug-friendly experience for alts or noobs.
  • Vanessa VanCleef in Deadmines now has a sweet, sweet voice to accompany her dialog.
  • The Reins of the Dark Phoenix, purchased from the Guild Vendor, has had its art improved. It’s now less transparent and indisputably more awesome.
  • If a player wins a Need roll under the Need Before Greed system on a Bind on Equip item, the item will become Soulbound to that player. The item will remain unbound if won via a Greed roll.
  • The Keyring bag slot has been removed to make room in the user interface for new features.
  • The Interface Options screens have changed size to match the Video and Audio screens. This allows for a larger Compact Unit Frames Profiles panel.
  • The order in which characters are listed at the Character Selection screen can now be rearranged and saved.
  • The Macros window and Spellbook can now both be open at the same time to allow for more intuitive macro creation. In addition, the Macros window has a Save/Cancel button.

Well, I thought they were interesting. :)

Links

Cheers,
Gav

Posted in Blue Posts, General, Hunter, Patches and Hotfixes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

PvP hater goes PvP

I’ve played this game since late 2008 and already from the start I had a big distaste for PvP. I did not like it at all. Not during leveling, not at max level, not with full set of gear and proper spec or heroic mode PvE gear to just burst people down like crazy. Nope, did not like it.

I didn’t like PvP because:

  • Classes/specs are not balanced for 1v1 combat – This means you always have the upper hand on some people and others always have the upper hand on you. Which reduces the glory when you win and makes each defeat just feel pointless and annoying.
    For me this just made the whole act of PvP feel a bit like “Rocks, Papers, Scissors, Lizard, Spock“, without the ability to change your hand.
  • Gear makes a big difference – If you don’t have a full set of Resilience gear and you face someone who does, and you are both equally skilled, then the other person should always win.
  • People in random battlegrounds are complete asshats – I don’t feel I need to overexplain this one, you know it’s true!

It became a running joke in the guild, “omg Gav, why don’t you PvP? Hunters are awesome in PvP!” (pretty much never said by a hunter, only by people who got killed by hunters). Eventually it just became part of my personality and I just fueled on the hatred for PvP by trying it out now and then, expecting things to go a certain way and then not seeing those expectations met and raging.

The reason for going PvP

This went on for a long time, just getting worse and worse. Until eventually, just month or two ago I completely turned around and now I love the PvP madness! What, why? Why would I, such a total PvP hater start enjoying PvP all of the sudden?

Well, to be honest. It was only about achievements at first. I had completed nearly 100% of the achievements in every other category and the PvP category just stared at me with it’s 30% completion. This could not go on! I started doing some quick easy achievements and went strictly for them, trying to PvP as little as possible. Eventually I had to actually participate to gain more achievements though, so I started attacking people and tried to make a difference even though I knew it was a lost cause… I learned I could kill certain classes, but not others. I had no chance against warriors or DKs. Rogues? Maybe, if they didn’t stun-lock me down first. Casters went down easily however. Slowly over time I became better, better at killing people and better at kiting them. But I still had no chance against those frustrating warriors.

Then I saw this:

Taken from Tapington – 1v1 Guide – Warrior on WHU

And that really brought it home to me, even the class that I felt was the absolutely most frustrating to face and could never kill – I was supposed to be able to kill in a 1v1 situation, every time! This totally changed my perception of PvP. What I had believed to be set in stone, was in fact, not. I had just been a big scrub! Thank you Tapington, for making this game much more enjoyable for me!

The goal

Since I started a few months ago I’ve been furiously doing random battlegrounds, some rated battlegrounds with the guildies and even some 2v2 arena with some very tolerant guildies (I say tolerant cause it usually doesn’t end well). I’ve earned all but 8 achievements needed for Battlemaster (5 of those being 100 wins for each BG) and learned a whole lot. Instead of treating each loss as an annoyance and frustration I now treat it as a learning experience. I ask myself what I/we could’ve done to change the outcome in our favor instead of QQing or raging.

I started with the PvPing very late in this season so I’m not gonna get any title or achievement this time around but a new season is right around the corner and this time… I’m ready for it. I want the challenge! BRING. IT.

… Oh yeah, and achievements please?

Random factoid

My very long and cumbersome post about items with on-use abilities from classic World of Warcraft has been updated to be accurate with Cataclysm content.

Interesting reading

Cheers,
Gav

Posted in General, Hunter, Reflection, Videos | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Distractions & Magmaw heroic hunter kiting

I’ve been slow to update the blog lately and for that I can only blame the entire world, for being too interesting and full of activity! …No, not really. I’ve just been busy with work and WoW for the most part. But, point is, I haven’t been updating the blog and here’s the remedy for that.

I give you:

What? That wasn’t good enough? Oh ok, sorry about.

Magmaw heroic – Hunter kiting

Recently our guild managed to take down our second heroic boss. I imagine you think the boss was Chimaeron, after Halfus? Nope. It was Magmaw. And I put together a video showing how well a hunter in survival specc can kite the worms and for the most part totally handle them yourself.

We tried having our mage kiting the worms the first few nights and although that worked really well, the adds didn’t go down as fast as with a survival hunter on it.

As a survival hunter you have massive AOE damage, especially on targets you can AOE yourself since you can have your dots ticking on the adds for a long time. As survival you also have extra slowing ability via the Entrapment talent.

So, a quick how to: Put down an Ice Trap and Explosive Trap for each pack of spawning worms and quickly aggro them with Multi-Shot. Then continuously spam Multi-Shot with Cobra Shots inbetween to increase your focus. Try to switch to Aspect of the Fox when you’re regenerating focus with Cobra Shot (so you can move) and to always have Aspect of the Hawk up for Multi-Shot to maximize the damage.

Make sure you know the timing of when worms or a big add spawns since you might lose your trap cooldown on a big add if you aren’t careful. The first spawn will be a big add and after that a pack of worms. These two will alternate throughout the encounter but during Exposed Head phases you will probably only see big adds spawning, several in a row. So that’s where you can mess up.

Good luck! :)

Interesting reading

Cheers,
Gav

Posted in General, Hunter, Videos | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

R.I.P. Keys

Today Blizzard announced that in patch 4.2 you will no longer have a keyring next to your bags. This is the final nail in the coffin of previously beloved and hated feature known as attunements. Blizzard also hints that something awesome will take it’s place in the interface.

From the horse’s mouth (Source):

World of Warcraft has evolved quite a bit since the day the Keyring bag slot was added in patch 1.11. When implemented, this Keyring provided players with a convenient way of storing dungeon, quest, and other keys automatically. Back when the largest bag was a mind bottling 18 slots – rumoured to be bottomless – the Keyring helped save precious bag space. But as things tend to do, time went on, bags got bigger, and designs for gating content (literally and figuratively) evolved through the years.

In today’s Azeroth, keys don’t really serve much of a purpose except to take up physical storage space from the game (which could be used for other awesome stuff), and visual interface space on yours. Because of this, we’ve decided to get rid of the Keyring in order to free up some user interface space for exciting new features. This change could also potentially allow us to play around with the amount of default storage space you’re allotted down the road. So, what does this mean for you and the keys you might not have looked at in the last couple expansions or so?

We’re currently working on the implementation of a system in patch 4.2 which will handle the removal of the Keyring, while causing you as little hassle with keys as possible. Some keys which no longer serve a purpose in the game will automatically be removed from your inventory. In return, you’ll be compensated for them with their respective vendor sell prices in gold. You might also have random leftover quest keys from outdated quests, or quests which were removed in Cataclysm. Keys that fall into this category have no use and no sell price, as they are labelled as quest items, and will be automatically removed from your inventory. Any remaining keys that might still potentially serve some use in the game will be transferred into your regular inventory. If there is not enough space in your inventory to hold any leftover keys once patch 4.2 hits live realms, the keys will be placed in a backlogged storage system. Once space is made for a backlogged key, the key will take that space after you log out or switch to a new zone (i.e. changing continents, entering a dungeon or Battleground, etc.).

We are continuing to work on new ways of allowing you to better manage the storage of various items in the game, and it is our goal to make sure the removal of the Keyring causes as little inconvenience to you as possible.

I saw this coming when 4.0.3 had been released since Blizzard had started to remove keys that they didn’t feel belong to the game anymore and even took away the awesomely fantastic Keymaster achievement (and for whatever reason decided not to make it into a feat of strength).

Personally I am saddened to see the that keys, epic quest chains or long rep grinds to get attuned to dungeons are things of the past. Sure, the (mostly) very cumbersome ways for you to get attuned scared off a lot of new players and therefor many have just never done them. Or these attunements would be an annoyance for you when trying to get into a dungeon on your alt. “Sethekk Halls heroic? No I can’t help you kill that boss, I don’t have the rep or the key to enter there…”, etc.

But I liked it, damn it. In fact, I loved it! And guess what, I’m not a hardcore “vanilla” player. I started playing in Wrath of the Lich King when pretty much all the keys you found were just for old content and therefor should just have been a deterrent for me to go to that old content. But it didn’t act as a deterrent for me, instead the idea of having to do something arduous to increase my character’s access to the world seemed really appealing to me.

I mean, it makes sense that you wouldn’t be let into certain places immediately without proving yourself first. Okay, maybe the Searing Gorge key is a bit odd. But the Scholomance key, Karazhan key or Algalon key quests for example, they are long winded and fantastic! I mean, come on. Do you really think it makes sense to just gain access to Algalon’s room of space and mystery without having to prove yourself a little bit? I mean, if you fail, the whole world ends. I don’t think that key should be handed out too hastily…

I also like the more absurd rep grinds and attunements… “You’ve defeated a million boars? Well gosh darn it, you deserve the key to my outhouse young lad! Also, have this tabard!” – More of that please. :)

Maybe I’m just getting to be one of these grumpy old “get off my lawn!”-dudes. Well, it’s a nice shiny lawn and you’re ruining it!

Interesting reading

Cheers,
Gav

Posted in Achievements, General, Patches and Hotfixes, Reflection | Tagged , , | 7 Comments