Monthly Archives: July 2009

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WoWScrnShot_072909_215359

Ok I have been reading all of the Blue Posts about how they have been working on some sort of solution to this issue.  As a programmer I understand that changes can not just be made on the fly often.  Especially when it deals with the underlying architecture.

However on Elune we have been dealing with this BS on and off, since January.  If you want to run an instance after 8PM EST you will most likely be dancing in and out of the instance portal for 10-20 minutes each time you want to run an instance.

7 Bloody months.

I really hope blizzard is not planning on getting new players often anymore.  I will tell you that if I was a new player and wanted to run an instance, maybe my first instance and ran into this problem I would be canceling the next day.

I bring this up because I have run into this the past 2 nights while I was trying to run a new player through Dead Mines.  I recruited them to the game and was planning on helping them out.  We ended up running the instance but this has got to end.

WoWScrnShot_073009_222215

The server upgrades had damn well better be in place when the patch hits or else there is going to be hell to pay on the forums.  Given that the new patch will again add incentives for running normal and heroic 5 man dungeons.  The massive amounts of people complaining would be like nothing we have seen before IMO.  But then I did miss things join right around the time of the original Naxx patch.   The instance servers as we know it will most likely melt under the load, hopefully only figuratively speaking.

Don’t get me wrong I know Blizzard is working on the problem and they want to get these issues resolved I guess a little more transparency as to how the servers are set up in general would at least help some of us understand the issues.  Then we can explain it to the rest of the community that have no clue about hardware and or software deployment.

Posted in World of Warcraft

Crafting in World of Warcraft – WotLK (Part 2): Consumables and Cool Downs

Consumables

Continuing from my post yesterday on to more about Consumables and Cool Down items.

Consumables of Yesterday

Early and Before Burning Crusade

  • Food
  • Scrolls
  • Multiple Potions/Elixirs/Flasks
  • Weapon Upgrade
  • Chain Pots

Later Burning Crusade

  • Food
  • 1 Scroll
  • 1 Battle Elixir
  • 1 Defense Elixir
  • Weapon Upgrade
  • Chain Pots

Consumables of Today

  • Food
  • 1 Scroll
  • 1 Battle Elixir
  • 1 Defense Elixir
  • 1 Potion

As I mentioned at the end of my post yesterday I am torn between liking and approving of the consolidated buff/consumable system and lament to the extent that it is enforced.  I guess it is just that IMO I have always seen buffs as a crutch and not a requirement.  However Blizzard in their wisdom decided that if all of the top raiders and because of the herd mentality that occurs in raiding, all raiders were buffing themselves to insane levels, then they would have to tune encounters such that it was assumed that you had them.  So since they did not want to tune encounters in such a way they decided to codify their beliefs rather than just let the twitchy hardcore burn themselves out.  I would be of the opinion to let them burn.

So now the only professions that create real consumables for raiding are Inscription, Cooking and Alchemy.  The only profitable items that sell on the auction house are consumables.  Everything else that is somewhat worthwhile have such painful crafting requirements that when you take the cost of the materials as based on the Auction House and craft an item you are lucky if you can sell it for 80% of what it costs to make.

This leads us to the next part of the topic Cool Down crafted materials.

However before continuing onto Cool Down crafted materials I am going to take a moment and pontificate about a possible solution for this market imbalance.

All crafting professions need to create a raiding consumable.  I realize this can and will cause balancing issues but it is something that needs to be done to balance out the earning potential discrepancies between professions.

  • Jewel Crafting – Ioun Stone Like item, essentially a temporary modification to helms.
  • Black Smithing – (Old Sharpening and Weight Stones) or a more generic weapon modification set of items.
  • Enchanting – The Old +spell power oils, or a wider array of effects from the oils.
  • Engineering – Some Armor augmentation items also usable by more than just engineers.

In addition to all of these modifications the bonuses they grant would have to be bonuses that have a set duration and are not affected by death like how the current Flask system works.

A way to balance this system would be to take the buff that a flask currently gives and make an item set where if everyone had 100% of the bonuses they could get from the above then it would be equal to some multiple of the current flask.

For example if a flask give +60 spell power, then between JC, Weapon, Off Hand, Engineering and the original flask bonuses grant 150 or 2.5 times the current flask bonus.  Yes this will mean buffs scale a bit more, but if you weaken flasks a little bit you could get it down to 2 or 1.5 times.  However I do not want to suggest that we Nerf flasks just to make the other professions happy.  I would rather see more options implemented.

Back to the materials issue.

Cool Down Materials

On this topic for those of you that are not familiar with them there are 3 common Cool Down materials in WotLK at the moment.

  • Titansteel – Mining
  • Specialty Cloths – Tailoring
  • Eternal or Titanium Transmutes shared cool down – Alchemy.

For mining and alchemy this results in a 20 hour cool down, so once a day each profession can perform 1 smelting and or 1 transmute, with the exception of the meta gems.  When I was skilling up alchemy I was really surprised to discover that there was no cool down on the meta gem transmute.  For tailoring each tailor can perform 1 transmute for each type of cloth once every 3 days and 20 hours.

So what is the result of this?  Well every material that has a cool down is kept at about a 10% return if you were to craft it from buying the materials.  However because of this 10% return the result is that it makes crafting the epic items from these items worthless for resale.  The profit that the player crafting makes is destroyed due to the small inflation from cool down items.  As the auction house is currently set up this issue will be next to impossible to fix.  Other than just removing the cool down and then moving the profit from the intermediate step to the gathering step.

In a few days when I get to my Auction House post I will get into this topic again in greater detail.  Specifically solutions or at least improvements to the whole transaction process.

This is a good place to take a break.  My next post will be looking at the crafted Epics that do not require raiding and compare them to entry level raiding items.

Posted in World of Warcraft

Crafting in World of Warcraft – WotLK (Part 1): AKA a waste of time and Gold

This is a topic that is usually the fuel for one of my long winded rants.  I will attempt to keep it organized and not go off on many tangents.  I have a separate rant for Auction House, even though they are interrelated I will keep the threads as isolated as I can.

Background:

The Past, Day 1 -> The Burning Crusade

Looking back there were several really nice items that could be crafted in this era.   They were all very long and arduous to obtain usually requiring materials out of the raiding instances.  I did not have any level cap characters at this time let alone max skill professions.  Leveling skills through 1-300 which covers this time is still painful and a waste of resources.  The only thing you get for skilling through this hell is several professions is access to the next level of crafting.

The Burning Crusade -> Wrath of the Lich King

It was during the Burning Crusade that I got my first character to 70 or level cap.  The character was my Mage and the guild that I was in did not raid.  We were a leveling guild and most had more than one alt and we had fun.  We ran 5 man dungeons as we could as people leveled and essentially those that climbed to the top went and helped power people through older dungeons.  During this time my Mage was a Miner/JCer, origionally a Miner/Engineer.  I had gone with a Firefly theme for my naming convention and my mage ended up modeled after Kaylee Frye the ships engineer.

However after getting to 70 and having no where to go I started to get burn out while endlessly leveling alts.  This is when I went to Vanguard for about a month because they were promoting a crafting progression system.  It sounded appealing so I checked it out.  Turns out Vanguard has found a new way to bring meaning to the word Grind when it concerns their crafting system.  A theme I will expand upon in the Auction House post is that in Vanguard as in almost every MMO you are screwed if you attempt to make money through crafting.  The only viable and sustainable way to amass generic in-game resources (gold, isk what ever the currency is called) is through gathering and selling everything.  EVE-Online this is not as true but to really get good and able to make any money manufacturing takes months if not a years worth of experience in a separate path other than gathering.

So after coming back to from my brief rest in Vanguard, I gave into all of the advise I had received from other players in my guild and Lissanna.  I dropped engineering and picked up Tailoring.  I then spend the next 1-1.5 months grinding to get to the top of Tailoring and to gather enough resources to make the Spellfire 3 piece set.  This was as good as the first tier of raiding gear and took many times longer to obtain.

Current:

Currently I have a 450 JCer, Enchanter, Black Smith, Alchemist (LoL Transmute Spec) and nearly an Engineer who is at 449.  I have not bothered to make the last few Gnomish Army knives I would need to push it to 450.  I have a few others that are in the 400-435ish range of Leather-working and Tailoring.  This is not counting the gathering professions as my Hunter was 450 in skinning after doing the Nexus quests.

There are several things wrong with profession in this expansion.  Some of the issues come from people over using some of the benefits that were introduced in the Burning Crusade and Blizzard made those profession a new form of torture to skill up.  This is one reason I hate with the heat of over 9000 Suns the top end raiding guilds that have to have every possible min/max bonus so they can possibly get a boss kill before another guild rather than doing the instance another week or 2 for better gear all around.

Now part of me really likes the fact that blizzard nerfed all raid buffs to hell so that one would not need to farm for hours just to get enough consumables for the next week of raiding.  On the other hand it completely and utterly destroyed any chance players could make a reasonable profit from selling crafted items.  I was a bad raider and did not raid with all of the best enchants and buffs when I raided Kara, TK and SSC.  I only did it if we wiped and it looked like we only needed a little more overall.  But the first time or 3 attempting a boss the buffs are a waste.  My opinion was if you need all of those buffs to complete the content then you should not be attempting the content.  Come back in a week or 2 and try again after some gear upgrades.   Now the only consumables usable in raids are a flask and food.  Well that is good for the Flask/Elixer Spec Alchemist and Cooks but is a mighty extended middle finger to all of the other professions.  One time gear enchants and modifications do not occur often enough to make a sustainable economy.

With the length of the set up here I am going to break this into multiple posts.

Posted in World of Warcraft

Shamans and Warlocks

As I mentioned in my Rogue and Feral post the other day I have been bouncing between characters that I have been playing.  One of the changes that I made while leveling my Warlock was to try out Destruction.  I went with one of the popular Demo/Destro builds.  I had tried Destruction prior to WotLK and just could not get into it.  At the time I was still running around with my Mage as Fire and it just felt like a Fire Mage with a pet.  My favorite talent build for Warlocks is still Affliction and I went back to it yesterday.

Anyway, comparing Shamans and Warlocks does not usually occur because the melee and healing aspects of Shaman sort of blur the comparison a bit.  However comparing the Elemental build/rotation to a Warlock focuses the issue a bit and surprisingly there is a bit of similarity between the Elemental Shaman and Destruction Warlock build and play.  Now it could also be argued that Fire Mages and to a lesser extent Arcane could also be included in this comparison but the key point of overlap does not hold out.

By now you must be wondering what the hell I am talking about.  The similarity I found was in the opening and basic rotation.

Open with Fire Damage/DOT -> Direct Damage cool down spell -> Spam quick cast spell until cool-down while maintaining the DOT.  Now both classes have varying talents to increase and modify critical strike chance but when I was spamming the basic rotation on the warlock while questing this similarity occurred to me.

Now the variation that is similar with the Arcane Mage is the reverse.  Spam Arcane Blast until Arcane Barrage procs or 3 stacks of AB buff/debuff.  Cast Missile Barrage and start the Arcane Blast spam.  Now this is a very mana intensive rotation but the damage is good.  I will not say it is the best, I believe the current theory-crafting max damage rotation for mages is a fire/frostfire build.

With patch 3.2 coming soon, improvements or other observations could be rendered moot so I will revisit these 2 classes after the patch as well as have some other stuff to talk about I am sure.  The core rotation similarity between the two I thought interesting enough to point out.

Posted in World of Warcraft

Rogues and a little Feral

While leveling my Paladin I have been taking  breaks every now and then by working on my Rogue and Warlock.  I will be posting about the Warlock at another time because this post is focused on the Rogue.

Now if I had to describe the 3 trees associated with Rogues I would describe them with these few caveats.  Now these descriptions will only be basic generalizations as specific combats or fights could skew the results.  Also they are only PVE/Soloing generalizations, in PvP the opening sequence appears to be crucial no matter what spec.

Assassination: Back ended burst damage.  Burst damage built around using Mutilate and Finishing Moves.  The set up or opening is semi important but does not really determine a fight in general.

Subtlety: Front loaded burst damage.  Burst damage built around opening moves and locking down the target.  Improved stealth to make them harder to detect to make the it easier to set up the opening.

Combat: Constant steady damage.  The finishing moves are not really boosted like they are in Assassination or the opening moves as in Subtlety.  However it combat has some of the best energy regeneration of the 3 specs so it can SS spam for extra damage.  Also stacking some of the cool down abilities really make this spec very powerful.

Now I do also have a level 80 feral druid.  I usually end up tanking as bear and when I get around to dual specing I will be changing one spec to be bear focused and the other will be cat focused for melee dps.

No when playing the Rogue and the Druid, the cat spec really feels like a Mutilate build Rogue.

  • (Hunger for Blood and or Slice and Dice)~ Savage Roar
  • Mutilate ~ Mangle
  • Sinister Strike ~ Claw
  • Poisons ~ Rake
  • Back Stab ~ Shred

There are also parallels between the opening and closing moves for both.

Ok now that we can see the similarities between the 2 here is the question.  Is there room for improvement for Rogues and  Cat Form?

In my opinion yes there is.  GC has already stated in various places that they are happy with the complexity in the rotation or DPS management associated with the 2 classes.  I will leave this dead horse alone for now.

The area that I really think would help both classes would be to make combo points stack up on the character and not the target.  Yes this will make the DPS management a little easier but not so much so.  It will make the management more consistent especially in areas where there are multiple targets, and even a little boost in PvP.  I have no opinion if the buff for PvP is needed.  I just wanted to throw out this one small modification that could improve the classes.  As a side effect some of the abilities may need to be adjusted but I am not sure on that part.

I don’t have many improvement to suggest for the Rogue because as with all classes they have their weaknesses but nothing is really glaring.  My only problem on the Rogue is I sometimes take on more than I can handle.

Now with Feral Cats there is one place that I do think they need a little improvement.  This would be energy regeneration.  Rogues through their trees either get energy cost reduction, extra energy 100 -> 110, energy on event and or better energy regeneration.  Now most of these are not tied to any cool down ability.  The energy savers for Feral cats are only a reduction on a situational ability or through a cool down ability.  Cats either need the 100 -> 110 base energy like their closest Rogue analog receives or an Energy on Event most likely Crit.

Anyway it was just something I have mulled over from time to time and since I have been playing my Rogue a little more lately it popped to the top of the stack of things to post about.

Posted in World of Warcraft

Instances and Raiding

So for the most part I have not raided in WotLK.  The few raids I have been in have been mostly PUGs.  I have yet to focus on raiding as I want 9 level 80s, 1 of each of the original classes first.  It was a goal I set for my self shortly after launch of tBC.  I got 5 to 70 before the expansion hit and I have 5 now, interestingly enough only 3 of the my current level 80s were 70 before WotLK.

I started to dive into raiding in September/October of 07 so tBC have been out for 7-8 months, I also had taken a little time off from WoW that August and played Vanguard a little bit.  I will save my rant about crafting profession for a full crafting profession post because it would derail what I want to talk about here.

I have listened to a some commentary from others around the inter-web about raiding comparing and contrasting Vanilla, tBC and WotLK instances.  Even though I did not get farther than Lootreaver before getting burned out of raiding due to guild drama and other things, from what I can tell raiding was at it best in tBC.

I am certainly not going to say raiding has failed in WotLK but it almost seems that Blizzard learned form some mistakes last time around with removing some of the inane barriers to entry that made recruitment hell in the mid-later stages of tBC raiding.  However this time they went back and made the same mistakes that were in the Vanilla.

The problem is sprawling single instance raids.

Now when I ask people tell me their favorite 2-3 instances, especially if I limit it to Vanilla wow the instance that is almost always on that list is Scarlet Monastery.  When I ask why the reason in the end boils down to the wings.  You could run any of them at any time after you get the key from the library.  Why if this instance has been around for so long has the structure not been reused?  Naxx could have been retooled into 5 instances with 5 separate raid IDs  at the end of each wing you get a fragment of the key to unlock the last 2 bosses.  So once you accomplish each wing and get a key to unlock the last the next week you could start with Kel if you wanted to.  I think if there had been 5 discrete entry points each week it could have helped some of the burn out.  Then each wing/part would be just a little bit longer than the OS and eventually EoE raids.  This would have been 7 small discrete raiding opportunities, rather than the 1 monolithic and 2-3 short runs if you also include VoA.

Patch 3.1 comes out and we get the next big installment of raiding Ulduar.  Yay another 10-14 bosses of linear hell that has no breaks or true wings.

In the future especially for Icecrown citadel what we need are 2-4 discreet raiding opportunities per raid tier, like how TK and SSC were in tBC.  Hell as with the description of an improvement for Naxx would be acceptable.  Make it so that to attack the Keep you have to raid first the Dungeons to get the first half of the Gate Key, then you have to Raid the wall/towers to get the second half.  Finally you have to raid the courtyard to get at the Keep.  Now at the end of each of these you find/attune to a phased secret passage so that next week you can get to the Keep without having to repeat the previous wings to take on Arthas eventually.  Now what this also means is that each layer can get progressively harder.  Even though you can continue on it is not always the wisest decision.

The more discreet the raid instance the greater opportunity for more styles of play to partake of the content.  In the end I really think Raid IDs are the source of the problem.  I have suggested ways to improve them in the past and I will again here on this blog at some point or at least my spin on the issue.

In the end PUG-able and or Casual accessible does not need to mean easy and or face-roll wins.  It just means that the content must be designed intelligently so that it can be attempted in more discreet elements.  I do not use small because that is not necessarily the case, I use discreet to imply time rather than size.  Karazahn needed to be a winged instance as well.  It felt like 2-3 instances in one.  From the map Blizzard has for Ulduar it as well should have been 2-3 winged instances.

All I can say is that at least I have had much more fun running VoA and OS in one night than to run and grind away at Naxx.  Even if we wiped a few times in both it was less soul crushing than wiping half-way through Naxx.  Because in Naxx after a wipe you think: “oh god what have I got myself into we are only X bosses in out of 14 what the hell are the rest going to be like?  Well shit there goes my raid ID for the week.”.

I apologize for the somewhat broken stream of thought here. I may come back and re-edit it a few times.  There has not been any new posts for a few days and I wanted to get something out.

Posted in World of Warcraft

On a lighter note, a good joke.

Well as any backseat developer or couch quarterback would like is to have the things on the screen they are yelling at actually listen to them.  This can be seen by all of the troll posts on the various forums begging for a Blue Post.

Well, instead I took matters into my own hands.  With the Hunter pet changes that occurred in patch 3.1, I went out to get a proxy of our favorite developer for my hunter.

WoWScrnShot_Crab_Pet_Ghostcrawler

When leveling and soloing I prefer Tenacity pets and with Thunder Stomp now a talent rather than family ability I could not resist the urge to do this for LoLs.

Anyway I keep on meaning to post about this picture every time I see it and then forget about it.

Posted in Uncategorized

Talent Trees and The Graph

Talent tress and character progression through leveling is something that jumps to the front of the queue from time while I level in WoW or other games.

So after reading a response post by Ghostcrawler quoted below I thought I would bring this subject up.

For context the post he is responding to in the thread: Least favorite 3 talent trees by design?

Does a Talent tree have a majority of passive percentile increase talents? 3% to this, 5% to that, 10% over here, 15% over there and 70% chance to prevent here etc.

If Yes, it’s a boring tree.

If No, it’s a fun tree.

I love talents that DO “stuff”. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an actual new spell or clicky, but it should have some actual gameplay changing effect. Speccing XYZ should mean I alter how I would play compared to if I didn’t spec XYZ.

It’s when you dump dozens of points into a tree just for raw throughput, that’s when things get dull. When the only difference between speccing and not speccing the tree is a mere increase or decrease in the numbers.

*********************************************************

We agree with this to a degree. We have put a lot of passive increases in for a few reasons, including:

1) It’s the main way for hybrids to distinguish themselves (otherwise Elemental heals as well as Resto).
2) They are popular in a wide variety of situations (other than “Oh that’s a PvP talent.”)
3) They are no-brainers, which to be honest, a game as complex as WoW could stand to have a little of.
4) They are very easy ways to tweak healing, damage or tanking when a particular spec is underperforming or overpowered.

But while all those are laudable goals, in the end we’re not sure it’s worth it. We wonder if the talent trees would all be more interesting with fewer passives and more interesting talents. Consider that even the situational talents wouldn’t feel so expensive if they weren’t competing against a 5% damage talent. Cherry picking talents in another tree wouldn’t be so scary either since you wouldn’t be sacrificing pure dps etc. to do it.

I’d actually look at the warrior Prot tree again, especially comparing it to the BC version. There are still several passive talents, but we combined many of them and got rid of really lame ones like Defiance (+ threat). We have ambitious plans to get more talent trees in that vein.

I agree with the philosophy that GC is discussing here, that the talent trees will not really be all active or passive talents.  There are just some cases that to differentiate out a spec you need to have passive buffs for feel.  The flavor is in the active talents, those that actually change game play.

What has me concerned when looking forward at the next expansion what ever it may be, is the depth of the current trees.

One of the reasons Dual specs are essentially required in WoW, is due to the depth of the trees.  Characters have to specialize into the end of a tree to really be worth a grain of salt.

Classic WoW you had the [31/20 | 30/21] specs, then with tBC we got the [41/20 | 40/21] now with WotLK we see specs like the following  [51/20 | 51/17/3].  There is one exception in WotLK which is a warlock spec that is [41/30].  In the next expansion do we really need to have another 2 tiers added to each of our talent trees?  When planning for the next expansion we have the perfect opportunity to do something different from what was done in the past but still similar enough so it does not need to be reexplained how it works.

What can be done in the next expansion to continue a progression path while leveling that does not involve making the talent trees deeper.  There are 2 obvious choices.

Tree Options

Broader Trees

Broader trees are almost a no-brainer, players complain about bloated trees but bloated does not imply broad nor does a broad tree imply bloated.  So what does broad imply without bloat, not as simple as the term but essentially that decisions matter and there is no real right way.   Due to the tiered nature of the trees this will be a bit more difficult than just adding talents but may be a good idea.

New Trees

Rather than making existing trees deeper or broader we add new trees to all characters.  This is essentially similar to the AAs in EQ.  I say similar because the AAs represent a generic set of skills that characters can learn to improve.  I have not seriously played EQ so can give details to the system.

For WoW I would think the new trees could come in 3 different flavors or even have several implemented.  The first type would be the Racial Tree, this tree would be available from level 1-10.  I would think the racial tree would be a simplified tree like those created for Hunter pets, except every character has one.  We would also gain talent points that are spendable only on this tree from 1-10, maybe even tie an extra 1 or 2 to the nursery to get it going.  This would not add that much undo complexity to a new player joining wow and it would be nothing for alts or returning players to pick up.

Another option for a new tree would be a generic tree that has nifty things available to all players.  This tree would most likely only be used by levelers and non-raiders, it really depends on what is put here.  Due to balancing issues I don’t think a generic tree not tied to race/faction/class would work.

Another style of new tree that could be added would be cross spec trees.  These extra trees would require X# of talents in tree A and Y# of talents in tree B to “unlock”, it could also be tied to specific talents as the perquisite.  For a warrior example have a small tree that requires Titan’s grip and Shield Mastery.  This would be the Tanking with a 2-handed weapon and shield tree.  A better example would be from the mage class and an actual viable elemental build.  Have it require Pyroblast and Icy veins and then open up a new progression path for walking the line between Fire and Ice.  Something with the warlock Demon/Afflic or Demon/Destro could change the type of demon you metamorp into.  The combination and capabilities when a path is created by combining existing themes in new ways are nearly endless.   Hell then Lissanna’s Restokin build which with another 10 talent points allows for both Moonking and Tree forms is at least available for leveling without some other help.  But some of this potential I fear is lost due to dual specs.   The only thing would be that the combo new talent tree would be as viable as specializing in only one flavor.

Now after all of this and my title being and the Graph what does a graph have to do with any of this.  Well that is where the next section and set of options comes into play.

New Structures

The Graph

A graph is just a set of nodes connected by edges.  A graph does not even need to be fully connected so in a sense we are already using a graph structure for our talent specs.  In game it just happens to be on 3 different tabs to filter out the other information that is not relevant to the specialization at hand.  Now my favorite example of a progression graph has to be the grid from Final Fantasy X.  I used and abused that system so wrongly when I use to play that game.  I had a save file from the game that I had over 150 hours on.  I got sick of the mini games to get the ultimate weapons and ended up farming the alternate uber boss for enough dark matter to make analogs of them for Titus, Lulu and Kimahri. I eventually got Titus’s real ultimate weapon, all I have to say is I hate those damn birds.

Anyway back to the graphs.  The unique thing that having a graph would allow is for a much better blending of lower tier talents.  We could even go farther by making some talents count for more than one tree as you get today.  So rather than 9-12 first tier talents we could reduce it to 6-9. For example in the druids you would make the following.

Furor = Feral & Balance points.
Mark of Wild = Resto & Feral
Nature’s Focus = Resto & Balance
Genesis = Resto & Balance
Thick Hide = Feral & Balance
Intensity = Feral & Resto

I know some of these are not tier one talents because there has been so much QQ about resto druids in PvP but if there was a paradigm shift in leveling progression some of this would need to be re-evaluated.  I think a graph structure would work well but there would need to be a lot more thought and discussion to make it fit.  Essentially I think looking forward at another 10 levels and trees 10 points deeper, we are going to see a lot more balancing issues.

Posted in World of Warcraft

Auction House [3.2] – Chaos and predictable Hell

Well I was looking at a thread on the wow forums in the professions section.  I will quote a few of the results listed in the thread.

Alicé of < Calm Down > on Daggerspine

Because the majority of my guild is lazy, and wanted 2 know, I thought I’d post here too. For those interested, I just prospected 20 stacks of Titanium Ore; Results

43 Powder=4 Daily tokens & 8g.

Epic:
6 Eye of Zul (green)
3 Majestic Zircon (idk)
4 Kings Amber (idk)
6 Dreadstone (purple)
4 ametrime (orange?)
3 Cardnal Ruby (red).

Blue:
10 Monarch Topaz, Orange
3 Scarlet Rubys, Red
4 Autumn Glow, Yellow
1 Twilight Opal, Purple

Green:
Who cares

Ive opened 3 prizims and have only gotten blues, so my guess is the epics are like Dragon’s Eyes. The vendor sells epic gems for 15 EoH or 10k honor.

Hidestuff of< Sedition > on Magtheridon
Just did 6.25 stacks myself: (edit: 25 prospects)

19 titanium powders

3 Cardinal Ruby (red)
2 Dreadstone (purple)
2 Eye of Zul (green)
1 Ametrine (orange)

2 Monarch Topaz
2 Forest Emerald
1 Scarlet Ruby

37 green gems

Turning in 10 Titanium Powder also gets you 1g32s in addition to the token, lol

So what is the predictable hell I speak of?

Just the predictable over inflation of certain crafting items that occurs with every patch.  Now that Titanium is now able to be prospected for epic gems this is going to push the price of everything made from it up even further.   This would be ok if everything in Engineering and Blacksmithing did not already require a ton of Titanium and or Titansteel to craft.   By that I mean anything worthwhile that you just don’t DE or vendor because it was trash made just to get a point of the profession.

On the suggestions forums in August of last year while the Beta was still running I posted a long and involved proposal to improve crafting and the Auction House in General.  Since then I have had further ideas and given my last post about the Who, What, When, Why and How of Players; there are a few things I want to update and or rewrite.

I use to post a lot in the suggestions forums on my various characters this was about 6 months ago and before.  Actually since WotLK beta the forums have gotten so bad that it just is not worth decending into that cess pool very often.   Now I post my thoughts here and occasionally post in the forums about something I write here or Google Docs as I did before starting a blog.
Posted in World of Warcraft

Player Motivations – More than just type of Raider

Well since the issue of classifying raides is bubbling up to the surface again as we approach another patch, WotLK 3.2, I thought I would add my 2 cents to the cacophony of nerd rage that is the casual versus hardcore discussion.

The following are several recent posts on the subject that got me onto the subject for the moment.  I have been interested in this type of topic for sometime in the more general sense of what motivates a particular player at any given time.

My previous investigations into this area always in the end loop back to Bartle’s basic player types, Explorer, Socializer, Achiever and Killer.  For reference I have linked everything below.  Check them out at your leisure I will be referring to them in the rest of this post.

Blog Topic Reference

Research Reference

One thing that have changed since I last looked into this was that the basic 4 have been expanded into 8 different categories.

The original 4 were based on the 2 metrics of Acting/Interacting and Players/World.

Acting Interacting
Players Killers Socializers
World Achievers Explorers

The new adds another axis Explicit/Implicit.

Explicit Implicit
Killers Politicians Griefers
Achievers Planners Opportunists
Socializers Networkers Friends
Explorers Scientists Hackers

Now like all generalizations these still leave something to be desired and I can think of one extra dimension to add that is relevant to the WoW discussion about casual/hardcore raiders.

The Bartle breakdown of players deals with the who, what, why, where and how people play a particular game.  The missing extra dimension that is lacking and justly so since it is not anywhere close to a binary spectrum, is when.  When do people play a game and related to time how long do they play when they play?

This gets back to the very simple questions that need to be answered when writing a story be it non-fiction or fictional; Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. This also brings about a simple solution to explain why WoW is the 600K lbs. gorilla in the room. Compared to almost every other game WoW has the widest range in total to all of those questions.

Essentially it has something for everyone.

Actually another question that just occurred to me that is relevant to MMOs and not so much with creative writing, is how many, as in “How many players were involved?”  This last question is the biggest thorn to Blizzard and the Community.

  • Some like myself prefer to solo most of the time.
  • Others like a few of my friends prefer to play in small groups, especially when leveling.
  • Still others like like 10 man raid interactions.
  • And others like Lissanna and Old School raiders like the 25 man raids.
  • If we gave the option of Old School some would still like to run around in 40 Man raids.

I would expect there are current raiders that fit into all of these group size selections and this does not consider the time quotient either.  Now when all of these are considered the solution space for anything in WoW is so large that there just is some stuff that can’t be put into the game due to it being a waste of time.  I know this and I am sure other Bloggers out there realize this as well.  However there is nothing that says that we can’t still try and help improve the game and or community.

Now the other question that needs to be asked, do people raid for the raids or do they raid because that is the only path of progression available to there general playing preferences?

I know that the only reason I would raid is because everything else I like to do in WoW does not really give you anything for it.  I will get into crafting professions and ways to reward the different player types in another post.  This one is getting a bit long.

Posted in World of Warcraft

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