Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Slow Nerf

Well, the latest PTR patch notes are out and I have to say I'm not entirely surprised by one particular note that has generated a bit of discussion:

Raids, Dungeons and Scenarios
  • To encourage Raid Finder groups to persevere, each time an Raid Finder group wipes on a boss fight all players in the group receives a stacking buff that increases health, damage dealt, and healing done by 5% (up to a maximum of 10 stacks). This buff is cleared once the boss has been killed.

Unlike some, I actually don't mind Blizzard catering to casuals. In fact, I definitely enjoy the fact that I've seen every bit of the game, even though it's only at "easymode" level.

The one problem I do have is that by catering to casuals, it makes it easier for everyone to be lazy and just do the "easymode" level rather than joining a guild and raiding normal or heroic... which makes it harder for the more casual raiding guilds to recruit, fewer guilds that want to raid, fewer people willing to start PuG groups...

It's a vicious cycle, really. Blizzard's playerbase has changed; there are a lot less hardcore gamers and a lot more casual gamers, and I suppose it's actually better for them monetary-wise if there were more players that played less, rather than fewer players that play more, but I can certainly understand why a lot of hardcore raiders have quit over the years.

Fewer chances to be challenged, fewer opportunities for an adrenaline high... I'm starting to get complacent myself, meaning it's probably time to try and solo old content again!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Triumphant Return

...well, kind of.

Southern Wardens finally made the move into guild raids last night. Yes, an extremely late start, but better late than never!

Unfortunately our return was less triumphant than "LOL how we do this again?", but given that we were running with 2 heals instead of 3, were melee-heavy and one of our tanks was new to WoW in *this* expansion (inorite?), we felt pretty good just getting the Stone Guard down past 50% before calling it a night.

Not to mention, our raid leader confirmed to me what I had suspected from watching tanks in LFR: tanking is a lot more complicated now. Making a mistake as a tank is quite a bit more costly than it was before, which I don't particularly like. IMO the tanks and healers have enough on their plate to worry about - it'd be better for there to be more pressure on DPS!

Some of our DPS were also expressing opinions that it was a huge jump to actually pay attention going from LFR to normal mode and I suppose I agree, but personally I didn't find it too hard to convert at all.

Perhaps it is because I do tend to notice things going on around me (possibly a forced habit from not using addons that yell at me to get out of fire?), but the only ability I had to get the hang of were the chains... and since hunters can stand in melee range now, it was pretty easy to follow my partner. Plus, since I'm the most mobile person in the raid, I always had control over when to let the chains tick, meaning I could plan to use Exhilaration immediately to help with healing.

All in all, I'm definitely looking forward to next week - I have a feeling that once we get going, we can really catch up to the raiding scene.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Encounter Tuning Watercooler

If you're into raiding and haven't read Blizzard's latest Developer Watercooler on raid encounter tuning, I highly recommend doing so.

I had only intended to skim it, but found myself reading the whole thing and appreciating the thought that goes into designing encounters and punishment (or lack thereof) of players for finding bugs and finding creative ways to kill things.

It really appealed to my sense of logic - *this* way of killing bosses is wrong because of X, *that* way is OK because of Y. Makes me wonder whether Blizzard have some kind of raiding handbook somewhere of do's and don't's.... some huge tome they probably need to add to every year, since you can never predict what new situations will come up!

Oh, and props to Blizzard for releasing a PvP article (also an excellent read, and something that should be very welcome to a lot of PvPers) at the same time... that'll keep everyone happy :P

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Crumbling Hell

After a helpful guildie mentioned that The Crumbling Hall was up as one of the Golden Lotus dailies, I immediately started going about getting that half of the achievement done.

Initially I'd thought the quest would be easy, since everything I'd read about the Achievement said that The Thunder Below was harder. However, I tried going slow, going fast, using Camouflage as much as possible, shuffling my pet ahead of me, starting the quest with a random person sharing it with me at the first wall so that I wouldn't have to go through the front part of Guo-Lai... and found after numerous restarts that it really *isn't* easy at all.

Also, unlike Roll Club, which I also had an incredible amount of difficulty completing (although to be fair, it was mainly due to motion sickness and Aussie latency rather than any lack of skill I happen to have), I only had that day to do the quest before it reset... meaning that if I missed it, I'd have to wait until the next time the quest was up.

As luck would have it, I finally managed to follow someone on the same quest through the halls, letting them activate statues ahead of me and hearthing out to hand the quest in at the end with only 20min to spare before daily reset.

I suppose after all that, it was actually a really good challenge... which makes a change from doing the same dailies over and over. I really should look at the achievements list more!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Happy New Daily

Well, it is 2013 and I've had a bit of a holiday IRL (nothing too interesting, but a break is a break), so I have a renewed interest in finishing all of my daily rep grinds as soon as possible.

....OK, maybe not. This is me we're talking about. :P I *did* manage to finish off Klaxxi and I'll probably start on another group, but really, in no rush, particularly as my guild is still shaking off the holiday confetti and gearing up to do our first raid.

I *do* find it annoying that I still have Achievements for both Klaxxi and Golden Lotus dailies, which means I'll still have to go back (and in the case of the GL Achievement, I'll actually have to do a full round or several considering you can't tell when the quests will be up).

On another note, because I only started back in on a Monday, I was in a bit of a rush to try and get the 2 LFRs I still need gear from done for the week; something I don't tend to like doing since I feel that Monday LFRs are full of lower-geared players.

To my surprise, I didn't wipe on any of the bosses, although Lei Shi was rather amusing - tanks dead at 15% with no battle rezs, 7 people alive at the end just as the boss enrages. Did I mention how much I love Exhilaration?