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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: , ,

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: , , ,

3.3 is Here

December 8th, 2009 Comments off

3.3 is here.  Blizzard is currently working hard getting the servers all patched up and ready to go.  I am looking forward to this patch.  Not so much for the Paladin, but for the DK.  I feel this is the perfect opportunity to leg him catch up.  The 3 new 5 mans seem like they will be a wealth of gear for all classes of all levels.  This should make the gearing of alts even easier and better then it has ever been.   This might make just rejuvenate some of my feelings for the game as they have been very static as of late.

I do not like the gated content.  ToC was gated, that was to extend some relatively easy content.  I hope this is not the same in ICC.  Although I doubt it.  It seems to be a way to level the playing field for realm and world firsts.  Blizz knows the only answer – I think it is they dont have the encounters completely done and balanced, yet didn’t want to lose subscribers over the coming months as we wait.

I look forward to the runs tonight.

Thanks for the present Blizzard!

Categories: 3.3 Tags:

We still get a dress…T10 Preview

November 5th, 2009 Comments off

I like the look.  I really do.  I am happy to see the pink chin guard bug corrected.  I was really beginning to think Blizzard really did hate Paladins and wanted them to go play DK’s.  Anyway here is the full screen shot of it (click to engorge)

huge-pa

Tier 10 Preview

I do think the shoulders and helm are pretty badass.  I do not PVP however, the look of that set is flamboyent and awesome!  (I never thought I would say those two things together)

Season 8 Preview

Season 8 Preview

Categories: 3.3, General Tags: ,

My Apology to GC

October 29th, 2009 Comments off

So Ghostcrawler updated the post.

My response was not about the topic. I was responding to the classy “DIAF” part of the post.

You’re welcome to whatever opinion you want to try and support in these forums. Telling the developers to die in a fire when you don’t agree with them isn’t something that is going to lend strength to your argument.

If you get amazingly upset because Blizzard nerfed your class or doesn’t agree with your point, feel free to stand on a mountaintop and scream, post epithets in your guild forum, or go butcher Pygmy Surf Crawlers in Durotar if it makes you feel better. Don’t bring it here.

Original – Response in page 3

and

With that said, we’re just not sure a Lay on Hands change really accomplishes much from a balance perspective, while it feels bad to lose such an iconic ability. We just don’t think the bang for the buck is there on this change, which is why we reverted it. But I’m not going to promise we won’t touch it.

Original

To break it down – Lay on Hands is still in the game, it is in the current PTR as only on others, however it will return to it’s original glory.  GC’s comments were directed towards a flame poster telling him to die in a fire.  So this is why a lot of people could not find the notes anywhere.

My reaction was the typical reaction of any class with one of it’s iconic abilties on the verge of going away.  They saw the problems realted to this and have decided to reverse it.  Since that is fixed, get a new PTR build out with it corrected and fix the exit game crash on the PTR.  Thanks, Bye!

Categories: 3.3, General Tags:

Blizzard wants me to Quit

October 28th, 2009 Comments off

So the 3.3 patch notes popped out and Paladin’s got “nerf’d to the ground”, again.

Paladin
Holy

The LoH nerf is pretty big.  It has been this way pretty much forever, but now they are changing it and I blame PvP.  I am tired of their e-sport watering down and changing the PvE landscape of this game.  It was built as a PvE game and evolved.  They need to make two games, PvE and PvP.  Then adjust abilities for those games.  These changes are big.  Some are massaging out changes from older patches, some are just down right nasty and out of the blue.  LoH is huge, so huge in fact that if it makes it to the live realms it might mean an auto quit and just wait till SWtOR.  I do not mean to sound like a QQ paladin, however when you make fundamental changes to a class ability they have had since the beginning, you are really starting to mess with play style.  As a Paladin Tank, I always know when to use my LoH.

If it is so bad for PvP, make it a talented point deep in Prot.  This will prevent it from being used in BG’s.  It will also allow tanks to keep that prevent raid wiping cool down.  Blizzard needs to decide what they want to do with this game and take in that direction.
In other news, I know I am against the majority when I say this, I like Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street.  I like his attitude, I like most of what he says.  He makes sense and understand the classes and direction they need.  He wants to make it balanced.  I see what they are trying to do and the need for the balance.  In relation to this he said the first thing I really took exception too.  With these changes, he said:

Dear OP, Bye. Hugs, GC.

This upset me for the reason of, here we are in 3.2 and they decide that that LoH is OP and decide to make the change.  Here we are approaching 3.3, a lot of retuning has been done since launch and now they look to re-tune it.  That is down right bad.  Well…

Dear GC, My money is yours no more. Adios, Judicar

Update:  And to those sites out there claiming this is not live on the PTR, check your facts download a client and see, that in fact, yes it is live on the PTR.

Categories: 3.3, General Tags: ,