BlizzCon 2010 Announced!

March 25th, 2010 Comments off

BlizzCon 2010 Announced! 03/25/10

If you’ve been holding your breath waiting to find out when and where the next BlizzCon would be held, then… you’ve probably passed out by now. But if you’ve just been patiently watching for an announcement, then we’ve got good news for you: BlizzCon will be returning to the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, October 22 through Saturday, October 23! Just as in years past, BlizzCon 2010 will feature an exciting mix of discussion panels, tournaments, hands-on gameplay, contests, and much more. Check out the announcement press release, and keep an eye on www.blizzcon.com in the months ahead for further details, including ticketing information.

Pack your bags and head out to sunny California.  I went last year.  I stayed with some friends, that I met through WoW, and had a really good time.  So get your costumes crafting going.  Glitterbumps, get your voice acting practice started. And do not hold your breath, you might not even get tickets.

Categories: BlizzCon Tags:

Shoot first, ask questions later.

February 5th, 2010 Comments off

Blizzard again in their infinite wisdom have chosen to out of the blue nerf paladins again via an immediate hot fix.  Last night paladins sacred duty was dropped from 4%/8% stamina increase to 2%/4%.   I do not understand why paladin fixes are hot fixed right away.  They never wait till the following Tuesday, when they can release a mini-patch that would include updated talent descriptions and give players a heads up.  I was already off of the game when the rolling restarts took place.  It is my understanding based on various forum reading that this had many a tanks looking at gear trying to figure out what is going on.

Is the nerf bad?  Not really, I lost ~1K health.  It is the fact that they continually patch first and tell later with paladins.  I do not know how many other classes have been tinkered with and tweaked on the fly with no heads up to the player base.  I feel this is a bad practice that if continues will leave a horrible taste in many a players mouths.

Here is the blue post

Quote from: Crygil (Source)

We are making some adjustments to tank survivability based on what we’re seeing in Icecrown Citadel. We feel this is particularly important in preparation for upcoming Heroic attempts. This is tricky and occasionally subjective, so we might very well make more adjustments as we get even more data.

Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator)

  • Sacred Duty now provides 2 / 4% Stamina, down from 4 / 8% Stamina. The cooldown advantages of the talent remain unchanged.

Death Knight (Forums / Talent Calculator)

  • Frost Presence now provides 8% Stamina, up from 6% Stamina.
  • Icebound Fortitude now provides 30% base damage reduction, up from 20% damage reduction. For a geared tank with high defense, this translates to 50% damage reduction, up from 40%.
It’s important to note that we aren’t trying to single out paladins here. We like the tank balance of warriors and druids at the moment, and we have a larger sample size of warrior tanks that we can compare. Another solution would have been to buff warriors, death knights and druids and then increase boss damage accordingly. Obviously, that would have been a much larger change with greater risks and a longer delay.

Though Ardent Defender is always a possible target for changes, we like that this talent provides such a distinction between warriors and paladins. Rather than have all the tanks have the same health, armor, avoidance and cooldowns, we’d rather have four unique tanking classes rather than just superficial or artistic differences. Yes, that design is harder to balance, but we think class distinction is ultimately more interesting, which is better for the long term health of the game. The goal remains to have all four tanks be viable for any encounter, assuming sufficient gear and skill, and any differences in performance on individual encounters to be minor. “Minor” is obviously a subjective term.

Please note that the death knight change will result in a small survivability increase in PvP, which we think is appropriate. We chose it partially with that in mind.

As you can see DK’s actually had gotten a buff. My DK tank, under geared, now has more health then my ICC geared paladin.  Granted, that comment is misleading,  my paladin has more effective health.  However in ICC, with the debuff chill of the throne, I do not know how much my shield stopping 2.5K makes a difference when the DK has 4 emergency abilities to be used regularly on short intervals.

Categories: General Tags:

Yup…That’s Me!

January 22nd, 2010 Comments off

I love the new recording format for The Instance, they have been consistently recording the last few weeks at around 2PM CST.  I tune in while at work and it certainly helps make the time go by.   As a result, I won the authenticator they gave away today.   You can hear my named called out at 1:28:12 on ep #175.

Thanks for the authenticator guys, it will be put to good use as we have had some bad luck with hacks lately.  We can arm one more officer.

ICC Impressions

January 14th, 2010 Comments off

Well ICC has now been out, the new wing opened and our face has been smashed in.  We have cleared the first wing of ICC a few times here is my thoughts on the wing.

Trash farming is fun – however annoying.  It is nice to get upgrades on the rings.  Those are great free loot and in many cases become BiS items.  We even saw Rowan’s Rifle of Silver Bullets, which not really having a end game raiding warrior we sold on the AH to help with the purchase of future items.  The benefits are nice, the gold is decent, however there can be some time sinks and bad wipes.  When an alarm is triggered, which you want, that is 75 – 82 rep, many times, people will die, not a big deal.  You can do a few resets in a bit.  We did 2 clears of trash in about an hour.

Lord Marrowgar – I used to like Lord Marrowgar.  He was challenging at one point.  The fact that he could not be taunted put a lot of pressure on tanks and DPS to watch their threat.  It made the encounter have a sense of challenge.  He has since been nerfed and has become routinely boring.  Both of us tanks have gotten Bonebreaker Scepter, we are still waiting on Marrowgar’s Scratching Choker.

Lady Deathwhisper – I really like this fight.  It is challenging, requires good communication and heads up by all parties involved.  Even when we have it going right we have run up close to the enrage timer.  This was due to some bad shields and lack of casters.  The managing of caster and melee – with the ability to repel various attacks, having to DPS down a mana shield.  This is lots of fun.  Us tanks have not seen Ghoul Commander’s Cuirass.

Gunship Battle – Love it.  This fight is lots of fun.  I love bringing new people into it.  We spend about 10 minutes to play with them every time we start.  The fact that the mobs aggro a little different every time they come out of the portals makes the managing of adds fun.  I personally have not had to leap to the other ship, however it seems to be tons of fun.  This is the loot pinata fight – however it is lots of fun.  Still waiting on the tank loot – Abomination’s Bloody Ring and Neverending Winter.  I am really looking forward to both of these, however minor upgrades.

Deathbringer Saurfang – This is another good fight.  A unique mechanic.  Took some trial and error to figure out how to handle the blood worms.  We have opted to, thanks to the Disc Priest Zek, keep them on the stage aggro’d to the tanks.  The respective sides DPS down their worms then switch back to the boss.  Our last time fighting him, this work so well, we did not get a Mark of the Fallen Champion until about 13% left on his health bar.  It then became the DPS race.  We are cheating the encounter a little.  Mechanics were to try and get ranged to kill the blood beasts while kiting.  This however proved to be difficult at times.  Us tanks are still waiting on some kind of loot here too – Deathforged Legplates and Gargoyle Spit Bracers.

Needless to say DPS and healers saw a lot of loot in here.  In fact our lock received all the drops off of the first 3 bosses one week (or at the very least, one drop).

Now onto the new wing – full of 3 bosses and 2 mini-bosses.  The first two bosses are mini versions of Gluth from Naxx; Stinky and Precious.  We would kill Precious first, since she seems to be the most deadly of the two.  Both of these mobs have the Decimate and Mortal Wound abilities, Precious however has Awaken Plagued Zombies which summons a ton of undead adds and Stinky has Plague Stench.  We kite Precious down and around the stairs – once Stinky is out of range, they will howl to try and call each other.  We stop now and again to open up DPS.  Our hunters continually drop their frost traps to slow the Plague Zombies, these do not heal Precious, however they are the mini-enrage for the mini-boss.  We had issues AoE’ing down these adds.  So we constantly kite Precious until she is dead, then clean up the adds.  This entire time, the tanks are swapping from the ever quickly stacking Mortal Wounds.  Stinky is a little easier, yet more intense on the healers.  We tank this dog at the T intersection of her patrol.  So he AoE will not affect the healers tucked away safely in the corner – Range stand in the middle of the intersection and unload on the ugly puppy.  Range stands on top with the tanks so that they can receive heals.  These are fun, however frustrating – the amount of planning and effort it takes to kill them is either a gear check or a bad prank.  They should drop a emblem of frost between both of them.  We had more fun with the Zombie parades though with Precious, so that was a welcome laugh.

Festergut – Whoa – I don’t know what to say.  This has to be the most boring and intense fight I have ever been in.  I start out as the OT.  Just dps’ing away watching the other tanks stacks of Gastric Bloat.  No big deal, when he gets 9, I taunt, then the fun begins.  I have to generate as much aggro as I can.  He has also been inhaling gas the whole time so he is hitting like Mike Tyson in his prime driving a pick-up.  I am managing cool downs and doing everything I can to help out healers.  Once I hit my 9th stack I have to now, Salvation myself, click of righteous fury, and watch my aggro as I go back to DPS.  Meanwhile going back to watching the other tanks stacks.  Easy at first, towards the end I have to remember to turn RF back on and start gathering threat, all the while getting ready to tell the healers when I am about to swap, because – did I mention, he hits hard when there is no gas on the ground.  There is a part of this fight that is luck, if melee or ranged have to move to much to help with the inoculation then you might not have the DPS to kill him in the STRICT enrage timer of 5 minutes.  We ended up bringing in out Shaman healer (Zek’s alt) for heroism.  That proved to be a bit of the difference – we down him at 5 minutes and 1 second.  The loot did not include Cloak of Many Skins which I was really hoping for.

Rotface – I have no opinion on.  We tried him a few times then – ALL THE TRASH RE-SPAWNED!  Which sucked, but we did fight through it, rep and a nice 264 mail piece dropped that was a huge upgrade for the Holy paladin in the group.  The best we did on him was 75% or so.  It will just take some time to get the kiting mechanics down along with the meet up with the DPS that gets infected.  Not a huge deal, will just take practice.

I am looking forward to getting back in there this Friday and Saturday and seeing what damage we can do.  Should be cool and fun.  Hopefully we tear through the first half again – people get the needed upgrades and Festergut and Rotface treat us kindly.  I do plan on writing up a detail start for each of these bosses a little later, once I get a better feel for some of the later ones.  Hopefully that will help with some of the questions smaller strict 10 mans come up upon that cannot find the assistance they need.

Categories: 3.3, Raiding Tags: , ,

WoW Mobile Armory Updated

December 15th, 2009 Comments off

The mobile armory has been updated today. They added an interesting new feature – “Find and Upgrade”.  Aside from that, there are various bug fixes and streamlined features.

It seems pretty much the same.  Those that want their WoW fix on the road, here is an update.

Categories: Blizzard Tags: ,

Well, at least it wasn’t all me

December 11th, 2009 Comments off

3.3 has been out for a while now and I have been tanking them fairly regular.  I have been noticing one huge problem while tanking, mobs seem to be running around me.  I have been dancing with them.  They recenter on top of me, I adjust, they adjust.  It felt as if I forgot how to tank over the last week and a half.  This had really been bothering me.  Luckily…this…

Tanking bug in 3.3
There is a known bug that was introduced in 3.3 that can cause tanked mobs to move around in unpredictable and frustrating ways. A fix is incoming. (Source)

They will hotfix a friggin’ overpowered scourge strike, but a legitimate issue for tanks has to wait for an incoming fix.  Blizz needs to start getting priorities straight, this PvP burst damage is starting to ruin the regular PvE.

Categories: 3.3 Tags: ,

Fail of the Lich King?

December 9th, 2009 Comments off

FallofTheLichKing

Well, patch 3.3 has dropped and those of us lucky enough to get on early have had some immersion into the new instances and quests.  I started the night out very happy and ended it in almost complete nerd rage.  The picture above, seems to look like “Fail” instead of “Fall”.  Look again, a quick glance and you see fail and that is how I feel as of now.  I have a laundry list of things I am not pleased about – the new camera follow is AWFUL! – they replaced the wall of yellow “Additional Instances Cannot be Launched” with a load screen, then a lovely debuff that does not allow you to run instances again for 15 minutes.  That is AWFUL!  The pinnacle of the 5-man dungeon “Halls of Reflection” crashes upon finishing it, so you are unable to get the loot you deserve or hand in the final quest.  I played on the PTR almost the entire time it was up.  I used the random dungeon feature and saw a finished HoR run.  Blizzard seems to have ZERO scale prediction.  And this to me leads me to the big problem.  This company makes millions a month on subscriptions, yet they cannot seem to plan for capacity.  Plan ahead, scale more then you need, I am sure you have the money, or is that cutting into the Bobby Kotick yacht fund?  You always know you have an influx of returning/new subscribers per patch and this boost of users is ruining the subscribed experience.  This just has bad planning written all over it.  Were they prepared?  Did they adequately test?  I do not know these answers.   I seem to think it was pushed early.  This allows them to address issues under stress prior to the holiday, however it allows them to not lose more users to holiday dull drum.   I think they pushed it to help the experiences of new holiday subscribers.  We now are beta-testing the events for the people that will log on Dec 25 and beyond compensation, in fact we are paying for it.  Finding out that the Lich Kings final confrontation will not be until sometime in April – if the 28 day lock out per wing is consistent.  Way to draw out the patch.  These problems are inherent to MMORPGS, it is just a fine line to walk, we want information, then admitting that the problem is load and heavy traffic.   We want the info, we don’t want to hear it was something that could have been prevented.  You know your subscriber numbers and you should be prepared for all those users to log-in at any time.

To put it bluntly, “You were not prepared!”

Categories: 3.3, Blizzard, General Tags: , , ,