Patch 4.0.1 was applied exactly a month ago today and we’re just about a month away from the release of Cataclysm. In other words we are right in the middle of the short patch 4.0.1-era. Today, instead of reflecting on the past like Corath and Emerald Sanctuary, I’d like to talk a bit about how raiding is on the live realms right now.
Everything is new!
This patch redesigned every class from the ground up. The talent-trees, spells, rotations and there were many classes who got new resource mechanics. Heals got crazy big but cost a lot more mana, tanks are doing more dps than the top dpsers during the Naxxramas and Ulduar days while at the same time doing less threat than they did during patch 3.3.5. Casters are doing crazily overpowered damage. My moonkin with 232 gear is doing a lot more dps than she should in comparison to my 277 geared hunter for example.
Since the beginning of the patch everyone has had to relearn their class, some more than others (hunters). This has caused raiders performance in general to take a bit of a hit but this doesn’t mean we can’t accomplish great things (because we can), but it does mean that things are a bit bumpier than usual and that people screw on up on simple things more often because they are still getting used to everything being different.
Dpsers overaggroing the tanks has become a lot more common since the patch. Before it was almost unheard of that a tank would lose aggro in a raid right at the pull or in the middle of an encounter but now it seems to happen fairly often. This happens because tanks don’t have the same threat output they used to have and for the TPS they do have, they have to work more for it. On top of that, misdirection and tricks of the trade’s threat redirection isn’t a permanent threat for the tank anymore, it just falls off after awhile.
Lack of motivation
When you’re one month away from a brand new expansion it is tough to get people excited about raiding and the game in general. Everything that is associated with raiding now will soon be irrelevant and outdated. Pretty much everyone are geared to the teeth and even if you aren’t, you don’t care that much to get those last few upgrades that will net you another +100 dps. Also, the gear that used to be the right gear for you probably isn’t anymore due to all the stat value changes. For example, I just replaced my Whispering Fanged Skull back to my old Greatness card and the ever-elusive heroic Zod’s Repeating Longbow (that never ever dropped for us on heroic mode) is now craptacular and much worse than my Njorndar Bone Bow.
Anyway, all our epics will soon be replaced some tasty fresh blues.
The solution to the problem of lack of motivation among the raiders is to stop raiding Icecrown Citadel. We’ve been there seemingly thousands of times the last year and we’ve had enough. Achievement and mount-hunting raids is the name of the game at the moment. The last two night’s the guild and I were raiding Ulduar 25 and Naxxramas 25 for achievements and it was a lot of fun, apart from all the technical difficulties.
The technical difficulties
Before patch 4.0.1 I had about 10-15 fps during an encounter in a 25-man raid, now I have closer to 2-6 fps and it is very difficult to adapt to. Mostly because I cannot use the game audio as a guide anymore.
The sound you hear in a raid lags behind by about 1-2 minutes, making it quite useless for quickly reacting to DBM warning sounds or Omen aggro warnings. It’s actually just confusing to hear it now so it’s best to leave it disabled.
But disabling sound doesn’t save you from the worst problem. On random occasions, while idling in Dalaran or in the middle of a raid encounter, totally out of the blue will a super loud random sound effect appear and loop indefinitely. It’s usually a horrible sound effect too, like a scractchy noise that makes you just wanna rip your ears off.
The only way to get rid off it is to go into the sound options and check “Hardware sound” or unchecking it to cause the sound engine to restart. If you do this in the middle of a raid encounter you will be greeted by a 10-30 second freeze-frame and you will most likely die to something random that you were supposed to react to.
And last but not least; disconnections. Since the patch I’ve been disconnecting regularly a few times per raid and then gotten greeted by a endless loading-screen when I try to get back in. Usually it takes a few minutes but sometimes it just won’t get back in at all.
Still going strong
Despite all the troubles, the guild and I have managed to progress through the last hurdles in 10-man (not in 25-man since all the technical difficulties are much worse there) and got our first Lich King heroic kill and Halion heroic kill on 10-man during this patch.
How has raiding during this patch been for you? Personally I’m just hoping for 4.0.3 to arrive as soon as possible, hopefully sneaking in some extra fixes (other than the new content) so that raiding gets more bearable.