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.

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