maandag 30 mei 2016

Legion Beta: Cheesing Mechanics

Disclaimer; This blog-post contains spoilers for Legion. Although I actively try not to actually spoil stories, sometimes a tidbit of information may leak through. Mechanics will be written about.

My first level 110 is a Troll Balance Druid named Morshando. For the first time, I actually levelled up completely on a Beta. I have been in all Beta's since Wrath, but this is the first time I actually had enough time to play it properly.

Morshando Dings near a strange questgiver
This has nothing to do with my own time though, more with the fact that on Live, I have hardly anything to do. I have enough Gold to probably be settled until we go back to Draenor to fight Yrel the Corrupted or something.

A couple of months ago I wrote that I really liked to have Beta-access, so I can actually test the new Balance. I have horrid memories of the Wrath-Cata transition with my Tankadin, and how I did level him first, but really couldn't like the Holy Combo Point system. After which I levelled Balance. Changing game-plays can be real frustrating, especially if you find out to late.

Luckily, there is the pre-patch, where you can figure stuff out.. a little bit. The problem this time around is your Artifact. That weapon everyone is going to get very soon, and has to upgrade all through Legion. After a little discussion last night in Innovation, I actually looked at all the Artifacts, and there is something fishy.

As far as I can tell, almost all Artifacts have a 45+ cooldown as their starting position. Something that you can use once in a while, maybe does huge things for your spec, but is not really altering how your spec works. Now comes the Balance starting Artifact-trait...which is in a whole different ballpark.

The Moon-Spell, not only has this spell the highest DPS of all your spells, it is also the best Astral Power generator. Both are more than twice as good as empowered Solar Wrath/Lunar Strike. And because they regenerate quite quickly, 3 charges/15 sec CD, the Moon-Spell is the Heart of your Balance-spell casting.

While other specs will be missing one cooldown during the pre-patch-phase, Balance-Druids will miss their core-ability. I had a little time to test it, in the Artifact Quest-line, which you have to do without Moon.

It was awful.

Because your are missing the big Astral Power-builder, you first hit the mobs with a piece of wet cheese (un-empowered Lunar Strike/Solar Wrath). When you finally have enough Astral Power, you cast Starsurge, and two Empowered spells..before using the cheese again. There are some talents (Astral Communion especially) which help with that, but that is a 1.33 min CD.

The only reason I could get through one piece of the quest-line, was by cheesing the mechanics, and go to flight-form (see, no lore-spoilers here). I just didn't have the power to subdue that part with the tools I had. The moment you get your moon-spell, it is a lot better. I am even starting to like be honest, letting a moon crash on your opponents is fun.

I also did all the other artifact-quests for druids, and for Retribution-Paladin/Combat Rogue, and those where nowhere near as difficult as the one for Balance..  fighting the trial against Deathwing all over again.

Morshando showing the new animation for Archaeology
For levelling as Balance, I really advice people to take Treants and Astral Communion. Having some more cooldowns can save you. Also... be carefull with casters, you can take several melee at once...but casters will wreck you. There is also the path to choose while upgrading your artifact, which deserves a seperate post. Resto-Affinity is also a must, your healing Touch is useless, so you really need some better healing options.

The questing is quite good. Although it did take me 2 days and 44 minutes to reach 110. But I was dalying around a lot, or doing Archaeology. Be warned though, if you have Professions..those quest will take up a lot of time, and most importantly, not reward reputation with faction, or huge Artifact Power boosts at the end of story-lines.

After doing nothing more than profession/druid-quests and Archaeology for the first few levels, I finally did a Zone, where I found out, that you get some nice Artifact Power boosts through questing, and there are a lot of rares and treasures around for more Power and Garr..rr..Order Hall Resources.

When Legion is live, I will probably just do the four starter zones, before looking at the profession-quests. More Artifact Powerrrrr... and you need a lot.

donderdag 26 mei 2016

Slower Levelling? Finally....

They reduced the XP you gain while levelling, which is a good thing in my opinion. At this moment I have to make sure my character is not using heirlooms and is not in a resting/area when logging out, to make sure I do not outlevel the zone. And still I sometimes skip quest/hubs. Not even starting on the fact that doing dungeons really screw stings over.

A lot of people are complaining about this, ´We don´t want to level longer´ , but you have a choice, equip Heirlooms, and outlevel everything fast enough. Although I would wish that if you have no heirlooms, your damage would scale up in dungeons, so you at least have the idea you are doing something meaningfull..that, or reducing the power of the heilooms, not the XP-gain.

But new players will..STOP there.. they are new players, do not speak for them, and let them eperience the game at their own pace. And don´t give me that stuff that the game does not start before max. World of Warcraft does not start at level 100-110 anymore. There is so many to do outside end/game stuff.

But now they cannot play with their friends that are max/level? Wait..what? Why can't they do that? This is more a problem of not helping your low level friends, than not the option to do it. Be in the same guild already makes you play together more. Or start levelling a low-level character yourself to help your friend. Playing with friends goes two-ways people...

And then some so-called altoholics come by, and proclaiming that no one wants to slow level because you want to be max-level at all alts... well..boohoo... I am an altoholoic, and I actually like doing lower level dungeons..once in a while, although strong heirlooms take away the fun.again, do not talk for everybody  /sigh. And having multiple alts was never meant to be easy.

At the moment I have 15? level 100's...and guess what? Even before the Beta, I was hardly playing them, because you only have so much time.. and it doing the same daily on 15 characters after each other... well, hello burnout?

You know, I actually don't mind outlevelling a zone that much, as long as there is a story to end. To make a choice is not a problem, and I would not mind skipping half the quests, Problem - is, that all zones have story-lines that are hard to break up, on big story per zone. Which makes me do the odd not-logging-out-in resting-zones-and-no-dungeons.

I think Blizzard did not go far enough, they should really scale down the heirlooms to their level, The raw power is so big, that, as mentioned before, doing dungeons as non-heirloomed characters really is not fun. Actually, as a heirloomed Char it mostly not fun..suff dies so fast, not even starting about all those rolin tanks. And for that matter, increasing their XP-gain would also help. People who really just want to level, would do so faster, and you would have the choice to go without more XP... but with the same power.

TL;DR  Good Job Blizzard, now, scale down the power of Heirlooms and increase their XP-gain (So the levelling-time takes about the same time)

dinsdag 17 mei 2016

Legion: Beta first steps

I was away the whole weeekend, but I still managed to do a little beta. And before I continue, I will (try) not to spoil Lore.

I made a Trol Druid, Boomkin, and logged in. After all the normal stuff you do with a new character, like figuring out what spells to place where, changing keybinds, allocating talents. I walked around a little bit, did the first quest, which gives you a ring.... and tried out some of the new spells.

Basically you have 6 spells.

Moonfire and Sunfire, the Dot's, MF is stronger Single target and SF is for Multi-target, like it is now, but they are two different spells again, I guess I have to keep them both rolling on main target. Those two spells give Astral Power.

Solar Wrath and Lunar Strike are your big spells.. and replace Wrath and Starfire. It seems you use SW on a single target, and LS when multiple. When to switch to LS is not sure yet for me. I guess three, but maybe two or more. These two Spells give Astral Power.

Starfall and Starsurge. These two spells cost Astral Power to use. StF is for multiple targets, and SS is for single target. Starfall is now a placed spell, like Blizzard/Death and Decay. No longer casting it and hitting everything in 40 yards.

Starsurge gives a buff to your next Solar Wraths, and Lunar Stirkes. That is an AND. So I gues that after casting SS, always cast SW and LS even if not normally cast, like casting LS on a single target.

Now, there are some talents which give more spells, and effects (like casting on the move when you are moving inside your starfall), but these are the 6 basic spells you have to use to kill stuff. The rest is ice on the cake, so to say.

After all this, I tried some things on request of guildies. There was a question about the respec cost, which I tested... although Blizzard removed that cost altogether now. And someone was sure the Affination-Boomkin-form had a Cooldown..which it hasn't, it works as a normal Moonkin-form.

Having done all that, I trained Skinning/Leatherworking and Archaelogy, couldn't find where all the glyphs went... put my primary spec on boomer...and tried the second quest... The one that brings you to the new continent.

I tried it 5 times...  but was disconnected on varios stages through this quest, and transported back to Orgrimmar Docks.....  so..very buggy. Beta-happiness I guess.

woensdag 11 mei 2016

Here we go....

What is this on my account?