zondag 15 maart 2015

Soft-nerfing BRF

Blizzard put out a sunday-message giving a stetement about more Ilvl's on BRF-gear. The Idea behind it is that for players coming out of Highmaul, the new gear of BRF is a lot of times not really an upgrade. The extra 5 Ilvl's also extend to the tier4-crafted gear, and the apexis-gear...who even uses that?

There are several things I think about this. First up, I do like this. There some Highmaul gear in my bags, that I do not use, because of Tierpieces. Euipping the 2pT is a very big upgrade for me, even if one of those is Normal, and not heroic. Basically, my Normal Tier-shoulders are better than my Mythic Highmaul shoulders.

Wait...why are you doing Normal BRF, when you did Heroic Highmaul?  Training people. Innovation is doing the Normal versions of bosses before we try them on Heroic. That works best for us. So for Innovation, this is a great change.

The biggest problem what I have with this, is not the extra Ilvl's, but how this happened. 4 different levels of raiding, two different raids that are current, and each of them dropping normal gear, warforged stuff, gemmed stuff.... I can no longer see if a lower-Ilvl piece of gear with a socket, is better or worse than a higher Ilvl piece.

These days I have Mr Robot open during raids to quickly check if a drop is actually worth going for, and most of the time, it is not. If the piece is not WF, or gemmable, it is mostly useless. These 5 Ilvl's may just be enough to make it clear from the outset which is better.

It just feels like this Monstrosity of Item-levels Blizzard has created, and it only looks like it is spiraling out of control. Considering that in the first Tier of raiding, there is a 70 Ilvl gain, at this rate, we are going to need an item-squish every expansion...

donderdag 5 maart 2015

The Gold must Flow

My mind is still thinking about the ramifications of the gold-token. Blizzard has stated that they will probably change their policy with the Black Market Auction House prices, I guess they will be higher after the introduction of the wow-token. They have to do that else, who would buy a token for real money in the long run?

The normal AH will probably fluctuate a little after the introduction. There well be some new gold in the market, and some prices of high end drops may go up, but that will not contimue indefiantely. Most of the time, in what I see, price is not really determined by how much people want to pay for it, but mostly by availability. The more of something special there is on the AH, the less it will cost. The tendecy of sellers is to undercut everyone else.

And even IF people have more gold, who knows if they really want to spend it on something they have seen cheaper before? I wouldn't in real life, so I would probably won't in WoW either. But that's on the normal AH, where supply (mostly) and demand is in order. The BMAH is something differently.

On the BMAH, the startprice is set by Blizzard, which will be higher when the token comes. And this is the only place where buying a token for ingame gold makes sense, because the BMAH has a very low supply, of very rare items. And by making the startprice higher, Blizzard actuallly puts in place the part of the system why people would buy a token. The normal AH itself would probably not make enough havoc to make it work, but very rare stuff..well.

But I am still a little 'worried' about the whole system itself. I still think there will be more people wanting to use gold for gametime, then vice-versa. Taking myself as an example, I would probably buy one at the start of patch 6.1.2(or whatever it is going to be called), just to see how it works...and get an achievement probably....

But, in my example of this monday, I used 15 euros for 30k gold. It is actaully not that difficult to get that amount of gold during a month while just playing. Some gold-scavengers with your followers. The income of the salvage yards. Doing an old raid. Gold comes from everywhere.

Finding that treshold where the euros match the gold will be a hard trick to master, and will go upwards. If I buy a token, and get 30k in return. A second 30k will be less worth for me. A third even less, and there comes that point, very fast, where the euro-gold transfer will not be in my satisfaction.

But, it will be nice for people with some gold on their accounts, who haven't played in a while, they can come back for a month with goold from ages past, although I wonder, if there is much 'frozen'gold on defunct accounts.

What will happen according to my non-economic mind?

The first few months it will work nicely, but than the supply of tokens on the AH will become lower, the original sellers now have enough gold, so they are not using their euros anymore. So, to keep the system going, more gold for less euros is needed, but that will mean the gold-price will be to high for some of the people. So, it's waiting on that month, where to few people actually bought a token from the AH, so the supply is high.

The sellers of the tokens will then feel the impact. Not only did their token not sell, and in their mind that is a waste of real money. The next month the euro-gold conversion is lower.  You get less gold for something that may not even sell... so why would I do that? The believe in the system is gone, doubt rises...And you have the beginnings of a real WoW-commerce-crash.

maandag 2 maart 2015

Gold, Gold, Gold everywhere??!

Blizzard is going to sell game-tokens for real cash (euros for me). These can than be sold on the auction house (not traded, only sold). The selling price will be determined by Blizzard. No undercutting.

 A quick google-scan learned me that 1000 gold sells for about a half euro. My current subscription is 12.99 euro/month. Now, I am not sure blizzard is going to sell these for 12 euros. It will probably be a little bi more expensive. Lets go with 15 euros for a game-token.

Question: Would you buy a month of WoW for 30k gold?

No, I have a decent job. I don't feel the need to buy gametime with gold.

Question: Would you buy 30k gold for 15 euros.

No, maybe. The problem here is the need for gold. At the moment I have sufficient funds.

The maybe is because I am not only playing on Argent Dawn. I am also playing on The Sha'Tar, where my funds are considerably lower. So, a one-time infusion of 30k there would not be bad. But that is a onetime-thingy.

For myself, it is the fact that I am not going to buy expensive 100k alliance-bikes. I don't have the gold, and it is just a mount. Would I pay 40 euros for that mount? No way. Now, there are enough people out there who might do that.

My gut-feeling says, there are probably more people with excess gold who might use it for some game-time then there are people who would buy the actual tokens for real money. And then Economy kicks in... but I am a Science-guy, so I am not going to delve into that too much.

Although, more buyers then sellers would probably better for Blizzard, it means tokens will always be sold. The moment it goes vice-versa, more sellers then buyers, the whole system collapses..for a time.

I am not a fan of this new (possible?) token, but also not really against it.

Sometimes it is too much?

I should have played much more last week, I had a vacation. But when I logged on on wednesday, I found out that the new recipes where sold by traders who only spawned sometimes. Even worse, no trader spawned on wednesday itself. I was not amused.

Although I didn't play in Vanilla, the first year of TBC was almost the same looking at recipes. A lot where not always available from the seller, or in faraway places. I remember just sitting in Everlook and clicking the seller every 10 minutes orso, hoping the ecipe was available. There was also this trader in the desolace, which only spwaned after someone did a quest.

I never found that fun, so I actually didn't play that much last wednesday and thursday. It even affected my raidmentality last thursday, I was not really in it. I did my stuff, but that's all. Lucky, on friday it went better again, and I even did some LFR's with some alts.

I suppose I just had a little WoW-overload last week, happens sometimes I guess. After Friday, I went into overdrive. Doing all the stuff again. What I do miss, is a continous guildchat while logging. I sometimes miss parts of conversations due to alting.

A lot of my alts are now using the new heirlooms. I have a full strength-plate and cloth-set for my alts. I did not go for the mail and leather, considering I only have one monk, and another hunter to level. The rest are clothies and plate-wearers.

..and I was reminded that I completely forgot about the new pets somewhere this weekend. Something for next vacation I guess.

Two discussions popped up for me last week, which I may need to delve into a little more in a later post. The first was a guild-discussion about reforging. Some people are seem to hate it so much. The other was about the Holy Paladin weapon in BRF.

Yeah, there is none. Which was a discussion on some boards, with most people just going for the 'is just LFR' or 'join a normal raid' camp. Being a 'free'raider in Wrath, I have objections to those two. Not that I think that every slot should be available in an LFR, but again, later post.

vrijdag 27 februari 2015


Sometimes, I'll step outside of WoW on this blog...

A life is like a Garden.
Perfect moments can be had,
but not preserved,
except in memory.
            -L. Nimoy (last tweet)

vrijdag 13 februari 2015

Gruul Heroic - the numbers

Yesterday evening, Innovation went Heroic Foundry, and our first target was Gruul. Smashing, ceiling-collapsing, petrifying Gruul. And after a long night of running around, on attempt 15, we did the sacrifice-our-bear-tank-as-often-as-possible-strategy, and he went down. Yes, yes, the healer-rotation also worked.

Innovation beats Heroic Gruul
Now, I wanted to analyse my performance that night. And I normally did that with warcraftlogs, but last night I used the more graphical enhanced tool from Mr. Robot. I needed Microsoft Silverlight for that, and a upload-program. Which was installed fast.

I was actually running it during the raid, which meant I could look at the results after each wipe. That's more for Raidleaders I guess. To look at my own performance I need a little bit more time, although I now know where to look. Let's look at some screenshots I took from the logs.

The above picture gives a quick rundown of the actual kill. There are 6 buttons, with some colors around it. Now, Mr. Robot compares the numbers of your raid with all the other numbers they have. Now the DPS seems low, but that may have to do with other factors than only our performance. If we are compared with Mythic Guilds who ran HC last week, our numbers will be lower.

You also get a direct rundown on how the raid did with damaging abilities. We did well on Avoidable damage, which should make our healers happy, our potion usage..well...   under that line is an interesting line, especially considering Innovation killed Gruul on the 15th attempt.... although we had at least two 90%+ wipes, as in accidental pulls. (Yes, it says 9th attempt, but the first 5 are in another log, I was experimenting).

This picture is more personalized, it does what it says. What is your DPS compared to all the other Balance Druids (for me) that we can find on Mr. Robot. This time taking in account Ilvl though.. which makes me sad. Looking at earlier attempts, I saw myself Hovering around 75%, but I had a petrify less on me, and some luck with crits it seem...and I still had a 655-weapon during the kill, not after that though.

So, I dived a little bit more into the numbers, and here I find the two things I 'dislike/miss' so far. I would like to know what my performance was before a wipe is called. In the logs from the wipes I would like to exclude the part of the fight after a wipe is called. Our 6th attempt had a badly Inferno-slice at 3:10. I would like to know how I performed up to that, especially because I jumped into avoidable damage after that to speed up the wipe.

The second one I found when I looked at my Starfires. As you can see above you get this nice graph with the buffs various Starfires had. However, you cannot see if I was in Lunar or in Solar at the time of the cast. I know for sure I had some casts end up in the wrong cycle, that is not that bad if they are empowered, but an unempowered Starfire in Solar, yeah, I like to know how often that happened.

With this list, and the standard dps-list you get for all spells, I did find out that I probably had casted 8 starsurges while there was already an empowered buff active for that cycle. Now that is probably because I was running and my procs where about to reach 3, or just proc-ed to 3, but I should train myself to use a Starfall at that point. It does a little bit more damage. The rest seemed alright, now I hope my next numbers will be better, with the Gruul-staff

vrijdag 6 februari 2015

Phase 2

What a week.

First WoWinsider closed shop (see last post), but magically did a Phoenix on us, and transformed into a crowd-funded website called Blizzardwatch, scooping up everything they hoped for and more before most of us actually figured out this transformation. So, the magazine-website is back.

On Wednesday the new phase of Patch 6.0 happened. New raid, and new world-boss, Rukhmar, a fiery bird that flies around Spires of Arak, with a chance to drop a mount, and also some 665-gear. My first kill of it was very smoothly with Gwaednerth, who scooped up some pants. The next three kills where messy, very messy.

There is this spot where all groups I was in pulled it down. It is very close to the graveyard. So it becomes a race in most PuG's to kill the boss before to much people are looking at a res-timer of two minutes. One of the kills had the bird being pulled all the way to the close-by neutral fly-path, and back again. Giving everyone time to res again I guess.

Thursday night, Innovation went into Blackrock, after finding out where they put the entrance, we went in, and cleared the trash with two drops. This was Normal, just to look at it, and how it goes. The first boss stood in his big room, Gruul.

Gruul, the not-so dragonkiller.

Gruul, again... sort of. He still drops ceiling on you, and petrifies a part of the raid, but it wasn't that hard of a fight. First try he went down. For me that is a good thing, he does drop a intellect-mastery staff. I will probably get many chances to get that one...but not last night. My normal-tectus staff has to do the job longer.

Next up was Oregorger. We did one pull before the break, and found out that stacking is really stacking, because the puddles are big. During the break, people hearted to garrisons..  and started to disappear. At the end of the break, a third of our raid was swallowed by the black hole called garrison, not to return. And then one of our tanks decided to do a relog.... not a smart move.

We did continue, but with our force crippled a lot, it was more of a training-run. I found out that starfall hits everything, no LoS on anything. The big middle-puddle was not hindering me. But when we tried to use that, we found out that gnomes are to little, they do have LoS-issues with the dirt-piles. At the end of the night we had a 3% wipe, but it was decided to return there on sunday.

Forak an hour after his level 100 building-spree.

This is the fourth raidingweek for Innovation since the start, we still have people with warforged blues, and some with legendary cloaks (these tend to be better than the 640-cloaks). So, Innovation will do a Highmaul run again this week for the gear, although I doubt Imperator will go down, we already did a almost-full clear on heroic once before.

Tonight, it is Horde-night. I guess Beyond Redemption will also go to Normal Gruul... which brings me to a strange thing. If BR kills another boss tonight, I guess my Horde Guild is further in progression than Innovation...

Should we prepare for this?