Sheven, my tree druid, is now 85 and this week I was running quite a lot of heroics as a healer. Also, it turns out that skipping Mount Hyjal wasn’t the best idea for a healer, because even though the head enchants are now Bind on Account, they still require revered reputation with a faction to use, making the BoA part totally pointless. At least my boomkin spec gets hit rating from all the spirit, so I can quest through there pretty fast.
I’ve also had to quest through the entire Harrison Jones questline in Uldum to get a proper helmet (unlike most other dungeons, Halls of Origination quests are not availaible at the start of the instance), which I then replaced with a drop from the first heroic run I did. Yay for spending 400 gold in gems just for one run. I also still don’t have any decent bracers – anything good for this slot is awfully painful to get in this expansion. I had the same problem on Vrethir (was running with the pvp ones for a while), and I’ve seen the same problem on a paladin as well. I’m using the pvp ones right now, because they’re better than some quest green I have otherwise.
Healing on a druid is pretty cool now – if people don’t break CC and follow the tactics, I hardly run out of mana thanks to all the Clearcasting procs. Most boss fights in heroics I finish with very low mana though, but I usually won’t get OOM unless something goes wrong and I have to spam heal people to save them. Or unless I forget that I shouldn’t spam everyone with Rejuvenation all the time.
What makes my healing adventures feel like a really heroic journey though, are the tanks. Elune save me, there are so many BAD tanks out there. I never imagined.
I’ve had one guy, a death knight. We join Stonecore as a random dungeon and the remains of the group are on Ozruk – apparently their last tank sucked, as we get a new one as well. So one of the dps asks the new tank if he knows what to do on this boss. He answers something like “first time hc tanking” and runs at the boss before any of us can say anything. And promptly gets oneshot by a Ground Slam just a few seconds later. Why am I not surprised? Okay, we run back, buff up, explain the fight for him… He manages to somehow avoid the Ground Slam this time, but dies to the Shatter afterwards. Honestly, if you don’t know the fight just say so, we will explain it to you. In fact, we were in the middle of doing so when you decided to facepull the boss…
Then I had a Lost City of the Tol’vir run. Same deal – the previous tank sucked so we get a new one with us, and they’re before the first boss. The new tank apparently has an awesome tactic for running this boss – without a word of explanation what he’s going to do he starts kiting him around the whole room, while I lose range and line of sight and I’m totally unable to heal him. Eventually I die to some mines after trying to run after the tank and he’s asking me why didn’t I release and run back to heal him. Well no thanks, you suck and kite the boss out of my range and LoS, so just don’t do that and lets kill him.
Apparently for Polish players from Burning Legion this is the proper tactic to do this boss though, because he and one other Burning Legion DPSer tell me “bad healer nub dont know tactic” and leave the group. I breathe with relief. See, that’s why I play on Deathwing, not on Burning Legion, and never admit to being Polish when in a group with someone from there. I couldn’t be bothered to deal with these kind of morons on a daily basis. I know I’m kind of unfair to some of them which are decent players, but yeah.
Unfortunately the next guy did the same thing, but only for the second half of the fight. I have no idea why. We finished that instance with him with some mistakes like pulling the extra pack on Barim or not taunting the crocs off me on Lockmaw.
Speaking of Lockmaw, I have no idea why people insist on standing on the statues. The crocs are tauntable, just run to your tank and let him take them off you while the group burns them down. It’s not hard at all, I do it all the time when I’m tanking this boss. It boggles my mind that the same community that despised Exodus for evading the mobs on Yogg+0 actually suggests exploiting a fight when they have to do it themselves. It’s nothing new, though – I remember the tactic for Prince Malchezzar in Karazhan as well, the one that avoided all the infernals by having your raid stand on some kind of rubble near the door on his platform.
I also noticed that you don’t see a lot of druid tanks in the dungeons for some reason. I suspect that might be their AoE threat (or rather the almost complete lack of it), but that’s only an observation after I could easily pull mobs with healing aggro off the two bears I encountered.
Oh, and recently I’ve had a very weird experience in Halls of Origination. We get it as a random dungeon – I think cool, there are still upgrades for me there (I even won two items in that run). Apparently the tank doesn’t think so, because the first one leaves instantly the moment the instance loads. I wasn’t even able to see what class he was. Then we get a second one, a death knight – and incidentally, this is a moment that one of our CC has to quickly go away due to a phone call. We stand there for a minute or so, and then the death knight just leaves without saying anything. So we get a third one, a warrior. He gets in, runs in a small circle a bit, sits down looking at the first trash pack… and leaves without saying anything. WHAT THE FUCK MAN.
So we get another tank, and this deserves a name and an armory link, because I doubt you’ll believe me otherwise. I present you Nogon of Sunstrider-EU. Yes, this is a tank that wants to tank heroics. With a surprising 116k health unbuffed, half the avoidance that he should have, level 80 epics, quest greens, pvp items, lack of enchants and dps items. I don’t know how he even got into a heroic in the first place.
Anyway, as I’m too annoyed and already went through 3 tanks earlier, I decide not to vote kick him until he gets splattered by some random trash mobs. He does suprisingly well as we have a lot of CC availaible, though I have to sit drink after every pack. What kills him though are the elemental adds before one of the last bosses, Isiset I think. They do a lot of damage and it’s just not possible to heal him through it. He finally leaves and again I breathe with relief.
Another moronic example from a different Halls of Origination – one tank repeatedly was running out of my range ignoring the fact that I’m drinking and even started to argue with me that it’s not his fault and not his responsibility to watch healer’s mana, as he has stuff to tank and has to protect the party and tank. Well, you don’t have to do any of these after the trash is dead, do you? I can’t sit and drink while I’m still in combat.
Needless to say, all of this crap doesn’t really make me want to run any dungeons at all.
Recently there’s a stream of very annoyed blog posts from almost every place I look. That’s quite normal, seeing there’s nothing bringing attention better than doomsaying. There are however some that either bug me greatly or are just straight crazy.
There is this one post from The Noisy Rogue, which at start sounded like I could potentially agree with it, but quite quickly descended into pure madness.
DPS find themselves in the situation where not only are their skills found in any other class, but with the introduction of dual specs many former tanks and healers are willing to jump in the queue as DPS when it suits them.
Now wait a moment. Is my dual spec a bad thing? How so?
Is me being able to switch from tanking to dps when needed – and believe me when I say that at each raid tier there are always fights that you only need one tank for – a bad thing? Should I be rather removed from a raid for that fight in favor of a real DPS (or have to teleport to the trainer, respec and be summoned for 10 minutes of a fight, then do it all over again to resume tanking trash leading to next boss – leading to extra 10 minutes break if I’m fast), or try to add my still quite awful prot damage as an unneeded offtank? I’ve already been in the offtank-in-a-one-tank-fight role in all my years of playing WoW far too many times and I’m very grateful that I can quickly switch my specs and do some real DPS instead. You just can’t imagine how much – probably even more so if all that you ever played is a pure DPS class.
Hell, if I could have one wish from Blizzard granted, it would be a third spec, so I wouldn’t have to spend around 200 gold every time I want to PvP successfully. Why 200? Because when you respec, you still have to change your prime and major glyphs and removing them costs 60 gold on top of the 33 or so gold price of the talent wipe itself. And I have to respec, because both my normal specs skip the PvP talents and are therefore useless for it. To be honest, the gold is mostly irrelevant here, however the time it takes to change is not.
Lastly, what bugs me the most – so me queuing as a DPS is a bad thing? Why? Because I have full tank gear, should I always queue as a tank? Because I have a tank spec, I shouldn’t take rightful place in the queue from the poor pure DPS classes?
As a consequence of antisocial behaviour, many players who play tanks in particular are now unwilling to tank a run for anyone but those already known to them or in their guild. As tanks in particular are easy to run through the LFG system, tanks can gear up quickly in comparison to other roles, thus giving them the quick option of opting out of the entire LFG system.
While it is a consequence of antisocial behaviour, it’s not a consequence of the LFG tool itself. We don’t blame gun manufacturers for wars and massacres, do we? It’s completely possible for a player to not be a dick towards the random people found by the system for your heroic dungeon run. Neither Blizzard nor the game tell you to be a dick at any point, it’s your bloody choice. However, we still get morons like the ones I wrote about in my last post. Is it Blizzard’s fault that a stupid melee dps with raid epics can’t run out of an AoE and dies in it? Is it Blizzard’s fault that ignorant morons try to push their failures on the tank or the healer?
One might argue that it is actually Blizzard’s fault, because they’ve implemented the LFD system and without it we wouldn’t have these problems. Really? You’ve never once encountered a bad player/ninja/jerk under the old system, while making a trade PuG? Unless you ran dungeons exclusively with people from your guild/friend’s list, I can bet that you probably did – after which they went on the ignore list and you never had to see them again. Exactly like now.
However, in the end it’s still the players that are jerks, not Blizzard employees or developers. It is the players fault if they piss off a tank or a healer to a point where he just doesn’t want to tank/heal anything for people he doesn’t know. If you want to change that, start trying to change the players thinking, to not be dicks to others. That’s all of incentive I want, to run a heroic and be told “good job healing/tanking” – if I do a good job at it of course. Too tank a heroic and not be kicked just before the last boss for no reason other than because someone didn’t like me.
Do we see it more often now that we have a larger pool of jerks to choose from? We do. But often enough in the LFD PuGs I run, I encounter good players, nice people and generally have fun in the dungeons I run. And it actually enables me to run them at all, because usually I’d do them late at night (or early in the morning if you prefer to call it that). The chance of me getting enough people in /trade at 4 in the morning to run a heroic? On a low to medium populated realm like Deathwing-EU is? Zero. The chance to get enough people in an entire battlegroup to do so? Much better, thanks to the LFD tool.
There is also a gem of madness in the comments to that post.
“Tanks all became copy pasted versions of each other with different colors and “themed” names to their skills.”, says one enlightened commenter that – coming from a quick read of his site – apparently doesn’t play a tank. I could be wrong, though, because one of his talent specs suggests he does (not that I have much idea about feral specs, mind you). Either way, seriously? Dude, have you ever seen other classes’ tank talents and abilities, and what they actually do?
So my warrior’s mobility, spell reflection, dispelling buffs and a ton of stuns and interrupts are apparently nothing else than different versions of other classes’ abilities. Is this guy even serious? Show me these on any other tank. You can’t, because – what a surprise! – all tanks are not blobs with lots of health and just different names and colors of their abilities.
Madness. I don’t really know where it’s coming from.
I get now what people had against runs with guild groups. I just had one of “these runs”. Heroic Deadmines, easy stuff if people don’t fail. But if no deaths are my fault and I still get kicked just before the last boss for nothing, I just get pissed.
So I’ve jumped into a daily heroic run and I get 3 morons from the <Pros N Cons> guild on Twilight Hammer-EU, namely Ryoo, Freeper and Chanos. And yes, I know that is going to be totally googleable, that’s the whole point of it. They actually even have a guild rule about being a dick in pugs, heh. I’m too lazy to contact their GM since they don’t have any contact info on that page and making an alt there is too much work. So, being totally searchable will have to be enough.
- fail on Foe Reaper 5000 by not moving out of the Harvest path;
- fail on next Foe Reaper 5000 try by standing in Overdrive as a melee;
- repeatedly pull mobs without waiting for me or the healer;
- don’t bother to click on the rotten food on Cookie or move out of it;
- want me to use Revenge on Foe Reaper that never once procs on that fight due to all of the boss’ attacks being magic AoE with physical damage, and no, I can’t bloody dodge or parry AoE attacks even if I really wanted to;
- and what’s best, who piss on me for having non-tank gear – especially [Cookie’s Tenderizer], [Silenced Blunderbuss] and, what was the best one, [Elementium Earthguard]. I can see the surprise on reader’s faces now, but fear not cause I even have a screenshot.
- They also didn’t like my trinket, which was at that time [Might of the Ocean] with some of the hit reforged into expertise. This I admit I can partly understand as it’s not exactly a tanking trinket, but extra hit and expertise do help me in heroics more than a bit of health, especially now that me dying is rarely a problem and stupid dps that won’t wait 3 seconds on a pull definitely are.
So these three morons from <Pros N Cons> are apparently so much better than me because they are “hardcore raiders” and think that they can piss on me during the run and kick me just before the last boss, without saying a word.
Thanks for wasting an hour of my time, cretins. I’m just annoyed that I didn’t make more screenshots with recount Deaths and such. Next time I won’t forget to.
No release date yet, but the patch notes are steadily coming out and they’re getting better with every day. So, without dragging on – I’m sure everyone who reads it knows all of the changes anyway, so here’s my top 3 of each category. Not going to download the PTR this time, I’d rather work on my live realm characters first.
Quality of Life
These are things that will make my life in WoW much better.
- Rebuke being availaible to all specs of paladins. This is the best change ever, and I don’t even have to play a paladin to tell you that. It’s enough that I have to play a dps warrior and do heroics with one tanking.
- A socket has been added to all crafted epic armor pieces that did not already have one. Oh yes, yes, yes.
- Guild group for dungeons starts with 3 guildies (and the associated changes to rep and experience amounts when you have 3/4/5 guildies in a heroic). Good change, getting the guild rep to honored took me long enough, and there’s still a lot of things that require it to be revered.
There’s so many stuff I like here, it’s hard to choose only three of them. There has been
a few of annoyed reactions about these in the community (oh well… actually I thought there would be more, but from my list of blogs I could only find Larisa’s post. Sorry miss Innkeeper. ;] ), but really folks, just read through them. Half of the changes are making things more visible, how can that be a nerf or a bad thing? And some things are getting fixed or buffed, like the Lockjaw fight.
- The visual for Rock Borers spawning during the submersion phase is now different from the Thrashing Charge visual. Hell yes. And all other changes that fix spell visuals – my laptop isn’t the best, and I’d really like to see things that I shouldn’t stand in. Being killed because I missed a little patch of a ground moving (because for example, there was a ton of adds running through it and their healthbars completely obscured the screen) sucks.
- Players may still use spell and abilities while afflicted by Forgemaster Throngus’s Impaling Slam. Why yes, I’d like my healer to be able to continue to heal me through unavoidable damage from the archers.
- He now knocks away players standing too close to him when he retracts his Cyclone Shield, which now inflicts Nature damage if it touches players. Good as well. Right now every group just stands there and ignores the cyclones.
I won’t do other classes (apart from Rebuke, which just ROCKS), mostly because Vrethir is still the only one with 85 and running heroics, so I don’t really feel knowledgeable enough.
- Juggernaut no longer increases the cooldown on Charge, but instead increases the duration of the Charge stun by 2 seconds. In addition, Charge is usable in all stances, however, the talent now causes Charge and Intercept to share a cooldown. This one’s cool. I never really understood what was the point of increasing the Charge’s cooldown, it was just very annoying to wait that additional 5 seconds. Being able to switch to prot and still use Charge is nice as well.
- Inner Rage has been redesigned. It now reduces the cooldown on Heroic Strike and Cleave by 50% (to 1.5 second) for the next 15 seconds. 1-minute cooldown. It still cannot be used during Deadly Calm. Cool, as I’ve never really used Inner Rage, because using Heroic Strike was enough to make me not rage capped. Maybe now I will – at least when I will need some more aoe and have excess rage.
- War Academy no longer buffs Heroic Strike or Cleave. It now buffs Mortal Strike, Raging Blow, Devastate, Victory Rush and Slam. It’s a shame that Cleave will do less damage, I use it a lot while tanking, but maybe Devastate damage buff will be enough to counter that.
While clicking around in Analytics, I’ve noticed a metric ton of visits from keywords like “solo ignis the furnace master 85” or “can you solo onyxia at 85” and similar. Well, I haven’t done Ignis or Onyxia yet, but I definitely consider these a worthy challenge.
So far, I haven’t done much solo raiding since Cataclysm launched – I’ve got the expansion pretty late in December and have been busy with leveling, putting together a decent tank and dps gear, doing current heroics and Archaeology. I did went through Outland heroics for the reputations though, and they are now all even easier than they’ve been on level 80. You pretty much breeze through all of them without ever stopping to eat. Which is obviously not surprising at all.
Even the Magisters’ Terrace, which still posed a bit of a problem when I was level 80, is now totally farmable. I’ve just done it and it took me about 12 minutes from entering to looting Kael’thas. You still should watch out for his gravity phase, as the orbs can kill you if you stand in them for too long, but otherwise it’s a joke. You can avoid most of the trash packs as well.
Speaking of prot spec, I have a slightly different one for soloing – 2/3/36, with points in Blood Craze, Field Dressing and Impending Victory. Out of all of these, the Impending Victory is the most useful talent here – because the mobs I’m killing are so low level, they don’t give experience and don’t normally enable Victory Rush to be used. Generous spam of Devastate fixes that, and Victory Rush procs from Impending Victory heal me for about 13k. That’s plenty. Blood Craze is less useful, healing for some 2.5 – 5k health at a time, but it goes off often enough to be around half of healing done – it’s just hard to proc Victorious on old mobs that have very small health pools. Oh, and of course don’t forget the Victory Rush minor glyph, since you’ll be using that a lot. Rest of the glyphs are standard, and the minor glyph is not necessary – since you don’t have to sit and wait for mana, you just charge to the next mob and heal up.
Gear is also more or less standard. What I’m using is a mix of my prot and arms gear from heroics, but it doesn’t matter much at this point and you don’t need any fancy healing trinkets – at least not until we get to the harder parts.
Which will come in a few days, when I’ll finally go through Wrath heroics and see what’s possible there. See you in a few days after I’ve done it.
… but I really didn’t starve any of them to death on purpose, I swear! They already were like this when I found them!
I like Archaeology. It provides me with something to do while I’m waiting for heroics to pop up (and if I sign for them as a DPS, there is quite a lot of waiting to be done), and most of all – it’s a source of cool stuff. I’ve already got a skeletal raptor pet from it, and now I’m quite close to finishing the raptor mount.
At last I will have a raptor mount on Vrethir. I always wanted him to ride a raptor.
With all this running around and digging in the ground, I needed an easier way to see how many fragments of each artifact I’ve already got. Using the default Blizzard’s UI for this is extremely annoying and requires way to much clicking; and the existing addons weren’t exactly what I was looking for. I don’t want a frame that is always somewhere on my screen, and I don’t want to use a slash command to show it, that’s barely better than the default UI. I also don’t really care about silly arrows pointing me in the direction of the next digsite – this game features a map, you know, and I have no problems with using a map, and the sites are even marked on this weird and complicated map thing. Crazy, I know.
So, I wrote my own.
As it’s a very small addon, it doesn’t really do much. It’s not a problem, because I prefer my addons to be simple but useful. It will show you a tooltip, and in that tooltip there will be a list of the artifacts you’re currently working on. Each of them will have a simple progress counter that includes whatever keystones you have in your bags. Here’s a screenshot.
And that’s all it will do, at least for now. I have plans to extend it a little – like change that useless “Archaeology” text into something useful, and maybe to have a way of clicking the artifact name and going to the relevant artifact page to solve it (or maybe solving it without going there, not sure yet). But for now, it’s only an informational tooltip.
I’m doing the leveling thing again on Vaeria – to see the Horde side of things, and to visit Vashj’ir. What I’ve noticed recently is that there is now more variety in the quests. While most of them can be still categorized into the general types of Kill Ten Rats, Go There and Bring Me A Shrubbery (Or Twenty) – the developers at Blizzard somehow managed to make some of them cool and interesting. Some, because obviously there is a lot of generic “there are these creatures there that annoy me greatly, go kill 12 of them” quests, but I guess not every quest can be new and exciting.
I desire a thing, bring me it!
We all know that type of quest – kill creatures and bring X things from their corpses. Or loot Y of the things from the ground. Or go and click on Z things lying on the ground. Of course, all these quests are still very present in Cataclysm, but some are trying to escape the standard a bit. A minor example would be getting food for the dwarves in Twilight Highlands – the food items are not generic crates this time, but look like normal food lying around instead – and different types of food. It’s a small detail, but it definitely counts for a good impression.
A much better example would be rescuing the gryphons. When I got that quest I thought I’d have to fly around and use a provided item on 8 gryphons. Wrong! Some of the birds are trapped and you have to kill a trapper and destroy the trap itself. Others are wounded and you need to heal them (bandages work if your class can’t heal). And the rest of them is indeed flying around waiting for you to come and use your item on them.
It’s really a shame that this kind of thing isn’t more common, because that’s what I call a quest in an RPG done 100% right – if it would be introduced to most of the quests, that would provide the illusion of choice some people think the game lacks.
Kill that big one!
There was a lot of “boss fights” all over the place in the previous expansions. All tanks from Burning Crusade should remember killing Dimensius for [Dabiri’s Enigma], or getting the key to Shattered Halls and forging it in a Fel Reaver’s corpse; and the newer players should be familiar with killing Admiral Westwind for example. A culmination of a storyline – a boss fight.
Before Cataclysm, all of these quests would require a full group, tank and a healer included, to complete. While this isn’t completely bad in itself – we’re playing a MMO after all – I think it’s a little strange that I can’t see the ending of the storyline if I don’t get 4 other players involved. I can go through all the previous quests alone and then for some reason I can’t finish it. It’s just stupid.
Enter Cataclysm. The only group quest I’ve found so far when I was leveling Vrethir, and now Vaeria (all 80-85 quests cleared between the two of them) was the Twilight Highlands’ arena – the Crucible of Carnage. All other quests which definitely would be group quests before, are now possible to complete by yourself. The best example of this is probably killing Iso’rath at the Maw of Madness.
Iso’rath’s brain that you have to dispose of has 1.5 million hit points. Even at a level 85 or 84 that’s still a lot to burn down by yourself – it’s about the same amount that your average dungeon boss has on normal difficulty. The point is that you’re not alone – you’ve got a helping party of four NPC shamans to aid you. They will heal you (even by casting Earth Shield on you) and help to dps down the boss.
This is much better for me, who wants to see the stories behind this game. In TBC and Wrath I would either just do the quests myself anyway (prot warriors > 3-man group quests), or leave them in my quest log if they were 5-man ones and impossible to solo. Or if I couldn’t get a group for them I’d abandon them and go somewhere else. That’s not how a storyline should work.
You want me to do WHAT?
And finally there are the random quests that are completely different. I was making a song with a dwarf, inventing a submarine bio-fuel by mixing different types of animal oil together to get the right proportions of ingredients… That fuel quest is an example of a completely awesome questline by the way – the goblin says the current submarine fuel is quite dangerous to the local wildlife, and we should be more environmentally conscious – so he sends you to kill some more specimens of the three local types of wildlife to get oil, and then make the fuel itself. From only two types of wildlife oil. I’m simply amazed.
There’s also a very simple RTS minigame in Uldum, where you have to click where your units need to go and issue commands via the vehicle command buttons. There’s a clone of Joust (another thing to read the Wowhead comments and laugh at all the RAGE) and shooting things from a cannon.
And, of course, Peaceblooms vs Ghouls. I honestly didn’t expect that you could force the WoW engine to do that. After all, it’s a completely different type of game, and unlike the addon-based Peggle or Bejeweled, it works completely ingame.
On the other hand, I found one typical escort quest – you know, you get a NPC and they start RUNNING, not stopping at all unless they’re directly attacked. Fortunately for us it’s a daily quest, so we won’t ever forget how painful type of quests the escort ones were.
So how it fits all together?
There was a paragraph here on generic things, but it started to become just as long as the rest of the post, and it’s going to be a separate post now. Soon.