maandag 14 april 2014

Strange encounters of the Third Cloak.

The character that reached level 90 as tenth, somewhere last december, has finished her quest. The long waits on all the random drops is finally over. Her battle with the Black Prince was quickly over (one-shot). The only problem was a saturday-evening hunt on four different Celestials, I think it took me three hours, but after that it was of to Cho and the little dragon;

Fiery Lorinthe hovering.
So, I now have cloaks, and since this weekend, also 11 level 90's. Although I was expecting my mage to be there next, last two weekends, I went full with an old Death Knight of me. I did all the Jade Forest and Kun-Lai quests, and reached level 89.6, so some quick Klaxxi-quest later, this traveler on Sha'Tar/Moonglade joined my other level 90's

I am actually in the same guild on that server, as an old friend of mine, by pure coincidence. I did noticed that he was playing around a little on The Sha'Tar, which probably, unconsiously let me made a priest there. Ynyr was happy leveling, and I had me normal share of random guild-invites. Then I got a guild-invite from a guild with a name which didn't put me off right away, so I did a /who, saw 15 online and thought, why not.

 A few days later, I was playing him again, or rather learning some professions, when the next thing happened;

So, after a big laugh, I gathered myself together, it seems we always end up in each others guilds.

woensdag 9 april 2014

...and Time, is ticking away.

I gotta do something that's what they say, because time is ticking away
           - Heideroosjes - Time is Ticking away

I recently joined  Blog Azeroth. I have known about them for ages, but somehow never joined. Now one of the things they have is a bi-weekly common topic for your blog. This weeks topic, which you can find here, is about what you actually do on the Timeless Isle.

The timeless isle is now live for 7 months, let that sink in...we have been there for SEVEN months, and still each week, people go there to do stuff. It seems a little bit more quiet now...but only a little bit. And I am one of those still going.

Lorinthe against Ordos, just before she wins her new Helmet.
It is simple, every week, at least two of my alts are heading towards the Timeless Isle to kill some World Bosses. That lootpinata called Ordos drops nice warforged gear, and my alts really want some of that. The Celestials where actually lower on my list, considering that most of my alts have two tier-pieces, but with the Ilvl-550 PvP gear, they again are a target of opportunity.

Verulani standing in green stuff.
All my alts have been there, getting their timeless gear, and their burdens (mostly used on feet). But Mardah never goes there anymore. Their is nothing their for her. At the start, I was running her there every day, for gear, for coins, for valor and for leather. But there is nothing left for her there, although maybe I could go for some reputation, but not now.

I do go hunting rares with other alts though, sometimes for the quick charms to get the seals later, but sometimes just to spend some time whacking things, while still getting stuff I could use. But wait, doesn't Mardah needs those charms?  Not really, those first few weeks gave a lot. One thing though, you can now send BoA-stuff all over your account, so, I have this lvl1 warlock on The Sha'tar server.... with enough timeless gear for 8 new level 90's.

Gagh, and his timeless bank.
Luckily I am on a PVE-server. The few times I was transported to a PvP-realm was...well.. I didn't liked it. Imagine materializing between a pack of Horde...  yeah.. that didn't went well.

I do think the timeless isle was fun. It was a quick way to get you characters up to date at the end of an expansion. The mobs that you have to kill have interesting abilities. And stuff dropped everywhere. But, it has been seven months now, I would not mind doing something else now, like leveling a death knight to 90 or something like that.

vrijdag 4 april 2014

Changes are always.

Overall, I am not unhappy with the Alpha-patch notes. Most of it was already known. The garrisons, the healing, stat-squishing, to name a few. The notes released today did give us a first list of abilities that will be lost, and something called Draenor perks...right.

Most of the removing of abilities, is not actually removing, it's more like assigning them to one specialization. Arcane Blast for example, is now usuable by all mage-specs, and abused at lower levels.. but it seems it will be a arcane-only spell coming Warlords of Draenor.

Especially with the 'pure' DPS-classes, a lot of abilies have been put into the array of only one spec.  I think that will work, making different specs feel different is easier this way. Sometimes it does raise an eyebrow though; "Devotion Aura is no longer available to Tankadins" is one. During TBC, the fact that you had Devo-aura actually meant that you where Protection, and not Retri or Holy.

And some abilities are completely gone. There will no longer be enormous Hunter marks on Void Reavers. Shamans loose their tanking-abilities. Warrior's Cleave is being removed, and the Druids Headache-spell Symbiosis will be gone, to name a few.

But, we will get new stuff, probably to make things interesting while levelling, every level gained between 91 and 99 will give you a random new (passive) ability. Most of these are just simple 'more-damage'-abilities, some however seem more complicated.

Of the 9 abilities Moonkins get, 4 are plain damage-increase one gives more armor, one a chance on instant, two do strange things to energy, and one is a mushroomgrowfarm, basically turning your mushrooms into shrooms of doom for sustained AoE.

I amnot happy with one of the 'perks'; Enhanced Storms. This one will give you 10 energy/sec while you are channeling Hurricane/Astral Storm. The current idea of those two spells is to actually not leave the current solar/lunar state.

But.. as with all pre-release patches we will have to wait till the real launch. Blizzard has shown us their thinking though; less spells, less cooldowns, more diversity between specs.

dinsdag 1 april 2014

A word for reforging

So, there you are, a new piece of loot. You quickly equip it, and then you find out that you are below hit-cap. You think it over, and try to remember if you have another piece of gear in the bank to raise your hit cap again. But for now, you leave it unequipped. And a lot of times that new piece of loot stayed in our bank until we found another piece, to offset the hit-loss.

That's how we used to raid, before Cataclysm. But Cata introduced Reforging, and there was much rejoice. No longer would we need to leave new gear in the bank, because we needed that 'lesser' gear for a cap.  I don't remember hearing one voice that said; "Mmm, wait a minute..."

Now I must admit, that after the ICC-summer, my own theory crafting was low. I was not raiding, just playing around for fun. And I really liked the mantra; " change unwanted stats in wanted stats..". No more useless hit over the cap, no more useless crit as Boomkin (how things can change). 

Little did I foresee the snake that hissed below.

This snake actually wouldn't be much of a problem during Cata, maybe at the end. The stat-numbers where a lot lower, then now in Mists of Pandaria. In my memory, I did reforge, but not in excess. It would take a website called Ask Mr. Robot and the stat-increase from Mists to really rear its ugly head.

Up to this point there where some complaints about stupid reforging and using add-ons, and such, but the stat-numbers weren't that high to actually make much of a difference. But after a few bosses in Mogushan Vaults, when people where getting more purples, the complaints where rising, an they all where the same;

What happened was simple, you equipped your new piece of gear, checked MrRobot (or any other add-on), and you found out that you had to reforge at least 10 pieces of gear (not to mention gems/enchants), and all the rejoice was gone.  Reforging now became something to be afraid of. Every time I hit that optimise button, and only had to reforge 5 pieces of gear, a sigh of relieve escaped me.

So, when the news came that reforging would be gone, I didn't wept a tear about it, hurray no more endless hitting buttons to get you your caps/breakpoints. But in the past few months since that news, more news cam out, and I am starting to think that maybe axing reforge is actually not that needed.

Now why would I think that? Well, as mentioned before, it was introduced to change a 'lesser' stat for a 'better' stat. I think they even used the example back then about you really don't needing Crit, so why would you go for a Crit-piece, but now, you could change some crit to say, Haste, and it would not be absolutely bad. So more gear would be used. the problems where the caps/breakpoints.

As far as I know, there are no caps on Mastery, Spirit or Critical Strike. There maybe some caps on Dodge and Parry, but who cares, most Tanks don't actually go for those anymore, or the caps are out of reach (102.4% dodge anyone???). But Hit/Expertise (hard caps) and Haste (Breakpoints), now there is the problem... combine those three with the higher stat-ratings from Mists, and you have your problem.

The fun part is, that with Warlords of Draenor, all those caps and breakpoints will cease to exist. Dodge, Parry, Hit and Expertise will be gone as stats on gear, and the Damage-over-Time and Healing-over-Time effects will be changed such that the main Idea of Haste breakpoints (getting one more tick in) will be gone. Even the stat-increase will be lower because of the squishing of stats.

So why would you still need to remove Reforging, if all the things that actually made it bad, are removed? Couldn't we just keep it in, to actually do what it should have been doing, changing some of that unwanted mastery into crit? Now, it seems Blizzard is in this making-all-things-simpler-mode, less enchant/gems, so having an option open to change all your hear seems a little strange, but still, having an option to change a little bit of your gear seems to nice to throw away.

And then I am not even talking about spirit...  and I may be completely wrong about this, considering we have not yet much clue about how healing will be in Warlords, but in the past, all the first months of a new expansion were hard on healers. Not much regen of mana, so they were having mana-issues. With keeping Reforge in for spirit, healers could reforge to more spirit at the start of an expansion, and to less later...

And for that matter, Tanks could reforge more into their less-squishy-stat at the start of expansions, and dps into, well..dps maybe lucky then..  still, as a Boomkin I'd rather have crit then mastery, so even for dps it could mean a little.

I know this opens up a whole new aspect of reforging, to actually compensate for the lack of useable stats, because all stats are low. But wasn't this maybe one of the ideas why we all liked Reforge at the start of Cataclysm???

Maybe we should not throw away Reforge that easy, and with the announced changes, you actually only would need to change that One piece of gear that just dropped, and then only to make it better than it now is, so you could equip it right there, at the spot, without reforging, and reforge it later when you have time, to make yourself a little better. Which is what we all want?  Isn't it....?