Posts Tagged ‘ PTR ’

Pipe Dreams

I’m sure most everyone has heard the rampant speculation about the Worgen and Goblin masks that the fine folks over at MMO Champion were able to uncover.

Everyone has their own pet theory. I believe the most popular one being that Alliance will get Worgen and Horde will get Goblins. This makes sense when you try to think of ‘balance’. Long have the horde gnashed their teeth as they attempted to target those squirrely-tiny gnomes. In the same token alliance have glared at the gigantic tauren who, astride their great kodo take up more than their half of the road.

Large Worgen for the Alliance, and small Goblins for the Horde would fix this long-standing issue quite nicely.

That doesn’t mean I have to like it.

I have my own pet theory and, like any other pet theory author, thinks it’s the best. I think it’s good because it’s sound, but I think it’s the best because I really, really really really want it to be true.

My hypothesis prediction hope is that the Worgen and the Goblins will be WoW’s first-ever cross-faction races.

It’s being hypothesized right now that the Worgen will be calling Gilneas their home. (You know, that place south of the Greymane wall that you always banged your head against and swam all around the entire penninsula because you were just burning up with curiosity to know what was in there?) Goblins, it is said, will call some of the central sea’s Islands home. Not nearly as exciting or mysterious as Gilneas, but there you have it.

My proposition is that both areas will be closed to outsiders, except perhaps a dual-faction capitol city for each, similar to Dalaran and Shattrath. In each city Horde and Alliance will have sent envoys to recruit young Worgen and Goblin adventurers. At a certain level (perhaps 10), a young adventurer will be able to sign up for a certain faction, maybe permanently, (though with cross-faction character transfers, probably not).

Of course, those races could be presented as the (rumored) two new heroic classes. I can imagine a race that starts at lvl 55 (65?) and only has one class available to them. Personally, I don’t think that’s likely.

The main thrust of my daydreams and desires for these two new races focuses intently on the possibility of cross-faction races. It’s plausable lore-wise, but…

most of all…

I really, really want it.

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I Don’t Need To L2P, I Need To L2Target Dummy

I was finally able to sink my teeth into some PTR goodness over the weekend!

I’d logged Tigerfeet over to Broxigar (the PvE server) and romped around for a while in cat and bear form. The Orgrimmar barber shop was teeming with druids and there was much fun to be had in /s while we gamboled about with new forms.

During this time I gallantly answered a plea for guildies and found myself in a decently-sized guild with decently competent people.

I say decently competent because our 10-man foray to the new Vault boss didn’t go too well. Grouping problems aside (I’m now immensely grateful for well-organized guilds) we tried to 9-man the guy with no luck.

Long story short, there’s fire everywhere and we didn’t have enough people sticking it out to actually start to LEARN the encounter to actually be able to… well… learn the encounter.

The vast majority of the people were, in fact, pre-made characters. Now, pre-made characters come equipped with the best of the best from Tier 8 content. Over by the Argent Tournament there’s tier 9 available for purchase for about 50g apice. It looks goofy as all get-out (go go placeholder graphics!) but the stats aren’t anything to sneeze at.

So, we get into vault and start whomping on things and I find myself in a curious position. Me, in my Tier7 BIS with the odd T8 upgrade, am sitting comfortably at the top of the DPS meter. The closest contender was a pre-made rogue who was only 2-300dps behind me. Barely keeping ahead of the tank were a mage, a hunter, a warlock, and an arms warrior.

They were all fighting to keep 3k dps.

I was rolling comfortably in the mid to low 5k range.

On live, for a 10-man encounter, I usually see numbers in the upper 5k range, so my damage was right where I expected it to be considering the feral nerfs.

Well, as can be expected, a hue and cry arose about my dps. What’s wrong! I was cheating! No way should a live-transferred character in Tier7 be out-dpsing pre-made characters wearing BiS Tier8 gear with Tier9 upgrades!

Hax Hax Hax!

So, I knew I wasn’t cheating, but is what they say true? Was there a bug that prevents premades from doing their proper damage, or was there a bug that kept the nerfs from affecting live-transfers?

To the Target Dummies I went!

I was able to steadily break 4k on live, but just barely. You know, just me and the target dummy, no mangle bot, no nuthin’.

On my live-transfer I was doing 3.5k. It’s a sad drop, but much more difficult to tell considering the amount of use the target dummies are getting. (on another note, I got the ‘track others’ debuffs’ to work with RPB!)

Then I tested it out on a pre-made druid. I kitted her out with all armor-pen gems (naturally her crit was about 53% in full tier 8), got her glyphs (I started testing without them and was wondering what was wrong) and set to work.

The result? 3.8k with spikes up to 4k.

I’d made a preliminary post on the PTR forums about the seeming discrepancy between live-transfer characters and pre-made characters. The general consensus was that people playing pre-mades are generally terribad and suggestions to me to check my buffs and make sure they’re consistent.

I think a little of both were responsible. Many people take the option of pre-made characters to test out the playstyles of a new class without the drudgery of leveling (I myself have a max-level shaman waiting to be transferred). The high-useage of the target dummies on the PTR goes a long way to making testing difficult.

The feral cat rotation is subtly different when a mangle-bot is present as opposed to when you have to apply your own D@mn mangle. When there’s randomly a mangle bot for maybe 20 seconds out of a 5-minute test period, it can just throw the rotation into complete chaos.

Needless to say, testing’s a little difficult, and I’m not very scientific about it at all. I’m sad to see my DPS down, but I know it had to happen.

On another note – I downloaded and installed Feral By Night. I spent some quality time on live with it and a target dummy.

The result? I did everything the addon said, pushed every button exactly how I should have, etc, etc.

I did on average 3.5k dps with spikes up to 3.8k.

Remember? I’d clocked myself on live as rolling in at a solid 4k dps.

So, with a program telling me what buttons to push I did LESS dps than I’m able to do when I’m driving!

Why don’t you stick THAT in your pipe and smoke it?

(PS – smoking’s bad, k?)

Pink Putty-Tats On Parade!

If you didn’t know already, the PTR is up. I’ve copied over two druids and a shaman and I’m going to try to make Fraps vids of each of the new forms. In the mean-time, the Druid forum is exploding with helpful folks throwing up screenshots and there’s already one vid up (though it doesn’t show all the forms and is a little hard to see.

But, lest you accuse me of a liar… Have at!

Both01Both02Both03NE01NE02NE03NE04NE05Tauren01Tauren02Tauren03Tauren04

Personal Thoughts?

Well, I think the ‘big butt’ problem for bears is being made a touch worse, and these forms will take a little getting used to. Regardless though, They’re a definite improvement, and I’m thrilled to be able to look different from the next druid!

I hope you enjoyed this image-spam.

Have you ever heard the love-sick yowls of a lady-cat in heat?

After reading the patch notes I hopped on over to the Druid official forums and….

yeah…

It’s kinda like that.

Chill, everybody, we’ll be fine.

I’d go into more detail, but better and faster minds have already done it for me. 🙂

I’m Sorry, I Majored In Art, Not English

My sister, on the other hand, is all over that crazy grammatical stuff, and will be getting a shiney new degree in less than a month to prove it! *grats sis!*

Too bad she doesn’t play WoW.

What I’m talking about is a recent change to the Ulduar versions of Undying/Immortal. The tooltip has been adjusted. It now reads:

  • Champion of Ulduar – Defeat each boss in Ulduar on Normal Difficulty without allowing any raid member to die to that boss at any point during that raid lockout period.
  • Conqueror of Ulduar – Defeat each boss in Ulduar on Heroic Difficulty without allowing any raid member to die to that boss at any point during that raid lockout period.

The underlined portion is the new part, and this was pasted directly from This Post on MMO Champion.

When I first read it I got myself into quite a tizzy, thinking that now Ulduar Undying/Immortal will need to be completed (all bosses) within one lockout period. But then, the legendary <Unemployed> shoutbox ran to the rescue.

“… at any point during that raid lockout period” is an adverbial modifying the object “boss”, but not the subject itself. Hopefully that’s intentional.

Meaning that, this change in the wording was implemented to make it necessary to kill the boss, without anybody dying, the first time you try. in laymen’s tearms this is a 1-shot.

HOPEFULLY this isn’t a return to the Naxxramas Undying/Immortal mechanic where every boss must be 1-shotted, without anyone dying, in the same lock-out period.

Hopefully.

BEARS : Now With Divine Fur!

So, this whole hullabaloo about bears’ health and armor nerf coupled with the addition of Savage Defense has had me vaguely concerned for a little while now. I’ve never been one to fly off the handle at proposed changes to game balance, but this one has had me keeping my eyes open.

I’ll admit, I’m very sad to see my big health numbers going away. I love nothing more than getting into little, light-hearted e-peen contests with our other two tanks when they start bantering back and forth about health. Shift to bear, pop Survival Instincts and ain’t no one touching my 57k health.

But that’s all they are though, numbers. In the course of a fight it’s very rare that I’ll even use Survival Instincts. It’s one of my emergency buttons, and our healers are doing such a good job that I rarely find myself in an emergency-producing position.

I don’t know weather Savage Defense will be enough to make up for our health and (more worrying) armor nerfs, but we’ll have to see. Extensive testing by Kalon over at Think Tank shows that it’s buggy as all get out, but does block attacks from behind, and appears to have no internal cooldown. Oh, and apparently it lets rage through too, so my worries about becoming rage-starved are (so far) unfounded.

What has me all kinds of giddy and excited though, are the changes to Swipe.

If you’ve been reading me for a while I’ve gone on at length about my frustrations with swipe.

Now, however, on the PTR Swipe has become un-targeted (oh joy, oh rapture, or unbridled glee) and un-coned.

What that means is we now have super-ultra-spammable-omni-swipe. Last night I tanked the zombie chows on Gluth and had my usual scramble to make sure I was picking them up. I wiggle-wormed my way all over the room, turning to swipe those behind me, tab-targetting to get those in front and wiggling around to do it all over. The whole time I couldn’t help but think how much more amazing this was going to be when 3.1 hit and I had my omni-swipe.

The new swipe, coupled with Savage Defense (which procs off of critical strikes) is going to make bears rival paladins in the category of utility. I don’t think we’ll overtake them by any streach of the imagination. Swipe is on the GCD and must be pressed while Consecrate is like one of those ‘fix it & forget it’ crock-pot meals; similar to Death & Decay for the Death Knight.* But I can definitely see myself being asked to tank lava blazes and whelps on Sarth while our warrior takes care of the drakes. It’s currently the other way around.

I’m still concerned weather Savage Defense will make it to Live in a de-bugged state and weather or not it will be enough to make up for the health and armor nerfs. I think AoE trash tanking we’ll be fine, but single-target boss tanking might start to get painful, but we’ll see.

* PS, Corpse Explosion freaks me the hell out.

/slobber

Now, I know for a fact I’m not anybody’s first choice for bleeding edge content information (and if I am ur doin’ it wrong), but I just HAD to talk about this!

New Achievements are up for Ulduar! Hurrah Hooray oh Happeh Day!

I really like Achievements.

I also LOVE the fact that when a guildie gets a new one you can see it in guild chat. It’s so wonderful to be able to congratulate someone else for what they’re doing, to see what everyone’s up to. Of course, a couple weeks ago when we knocked out 10-man Less Is More, The Dedicated Few, Subtraction, Shocking, and others we suddenly got a lot more interest from everyone in Glory of the Raider. Success does breed success after all.

But anyway, Ulduar Achievements. The full list can be found HERE, but I’ll talk about some of my personal highlights.

Heroic: Nerf Scrapbots – This one is extra special to our guild, and I think this will be one of the first actively worked towards just because of how pertinent it is. You see, if you’ve ever gone to the Naxxramas Construct Quarter you’ll notice that there’s a room full of slimes. You’ll remember that these slimes need to be AOEd down from range or they’ll destroy everything. You’ll also remember that they respawn ridonkulously fast.

Don’t drop a scrapbot in that room. Yeah, they pull aggro. We were merrily working our way through the trash on our way to Patchwerk when dps and healers started winking out like little squished lightning bugs. It was the scrapbot in the construct quarter with the slimes!

Heroic: I Choose You Runemaster Molgeim! – I’m a child of the 90s and, as such, I have many fond memories of long road trips sitting next to my sister, our Game Boys clutched in our little hands, connected via a purple sparkly link cable (c’mon, we’re girls, we’re allowed purple sparklies) duking it out via Pokemon.

Yeah, back in the day? We only had 150 pokemon and we LIKED it. And each pokemon only had ONE type and they couldn’t CARRY anything and we had to walk to the trainer in the SNOW up-hill BOTH WAYS.

Now get off my lawn.

Heroic: But I’m On Your Side – I don’t have anything funny or clever to say, but I do have a pile of concerns. No, make that one concern.

FIX DRUID COSTUMES! This is going to be STUPID unless they allow Druids to wear costumes while in forms. As it is, I hope you don’t have to spend the WHOLE fight dressed up. As long as all druids can be free to go into ‘caster’ form and don the costume at 5% or so to get the achievement it wouldn’t be so bad. We’ll have to see.

Heroic: Getting Cold In Here – So put on all your clothes? /snrk

Heroic: Deforestation – I think our new copse of trees will be objecting to that! (PS – When you’re packing resto druids, one is a stand, two a copse, and 3 or more a forest)

Heroic: Crazy Cat Lady – Ok, obviously some of these are still placeholders. I’m sure my definition of ‘cool’ would match quite nicely with others’ definitions of ‘lame’. HOWEVER, I move that this achievement come with a title.

And yes, I own every noncombat pet cat in the game.

Yes, all of them.

Did you know that if you pull out a Black Tabby and someone else pulls out Stinker you’ll get a nice little rendition of some classic old Merry Melodies flicks?

It’s true.

My poor little kitten been gettin’ gang-banged.

Heroic Drive Me Crazy – Oooh oooh! Like no one e-eeeeelse, ooh oooh! She drive’s me crazy and I can’t he-elp mah-saaayllllf! *ahem* I mean what?