Archive for the 'Blizzard' Category

Petition: Let Transformation Items Persist in Druid Forms!

Dear Readers,

With 4.01 and Cataclysm on the verge of being deployed, I feel this is the perfect time to bring this to the forefront. By now, most major changes have already been implemented/tested and perhaps (just maybe) Blizzard will now have time to look into something that may not have game changing effects but will be a significant effects for druids. While this blog is primarily a kitty blog, this is something that affects all of us druids whether you’re a Kitty, Bear, Chicken or Tree.


1. Problem

Throughout the history of WOW, Blizzard has done a fantastic job of creating all sorts of fun items which I will (for the purpose of this discussion) call “transformation items”. Transformation items are items that will change the physical appearance of your character for a short duration of time. Not only are they fun to use, but they are also fun to collect. Personally have invested many hours into obtaining these items and they are with me at all times in my bags. They do not increase one’s ability to PVE or PVP and for all intents and purposes, they are just fun things to supplement and improve your WOW experience. Below are examples of what transformation items are currently available in game:

 

From Top Left to Bottom Right - Iron Boot Flask, Orb of Deception & Orb of the Sin'dorei, Frenzyheart Brew, Super Simian Sphere, Time-Lost Figurine, Rituals of the New Moon, Dartol's Rod of Transformation, Muradin's Favor

 

The problem is that with druids we by class design, use shapeshifting forms. Whether it be cat, bear, tree, chicken in all situations 99% of time time we are in some sort of form. The only time we are not in a form would be when we are not participating in PVE or PVP (in other words, afking in Dalaran). If we use the transformation item while in shapeshifted form, we are instantly shifted out into caster form. Or if we use the item while in caster form, we’ll instantly lose it once we shift into a form. This naturally, for all intents and purposes, prevents us from being functional, whereas this is a stark contract to any other class who can use transformation items and continue to play without interruption.


2. The Why’s and Why Not’s

The Why Not’s are perhaps not as clear to druids as they would be to other classes.

I’ll play devil’s advocate and pretend I’m the opposition to implementing, who might say:

  • Druids have the ability to “change” their appearance
  • Druids just got a revamp of their shapeshifting forms
  • Druids inherently already have the ability to change into 6-7 different looks
  • Druids are the only class that has a flying form (instant cast too!)

So with so much flexibility in changing looks, why should druids be allowed to use transformation items too? My rebuttal to that argument is. If I am a kitty I cannot switch (for fun) to bear and dps. If I am a boomkin, I cannot switch (for fun) to kitty and dps. It just is not possible. I can stay in caster form and heal or boomkin dps but that is not the most ideal and limits my contributions. Transformation items are inherently designed to provide no benefits/disadvantages to your gameplay. I should not have to limit my ability to play just to have a different look.

The Why’s, on the flip side are as follows:

For 6 years we have not been able to utilize transformation items and its time we were given the chance to do so. I understand that we already have unique abilities such as shapeshifting but that is part of the class and we should not be punished for that. The way I see it (and this is strictly from a person who has no developing experience) how hard would it be to implement said change? Deathbringer’s Will already shifts us into forms whenever the proc occurs which means to me, that it is possible to make this change without much difficulty. If we (druids) put in effort in collecting these fun items we should be able to utilize them just like any other class.

*Edit: More discussion on why/why not in comments, will update once I have time. Link


3. Petition

I, Rarren of Auchindoun petition that transformation items persist in all druid forms regardless of shapeshifting so that we can enjoy, like all other classes in World of Warcraft.


4. Call to Action, Make Our Voice Heard!

So there you have it, I am putting this out there and looking for support from my readers, fellow bloggers, and the blogosphere so that hopefully, just maybe we can garner enough support and awareness that Blizzard will read this and make a change. Perhaps this is something that has been brought forward in the past but hopefully with the support of the blogosphere, our voice can be large enough to push this change into Cataclysm.

To support this petition, add a comment to this post, pass it along to your friends, and move the message along the blogsophere. The more comments we get, the more of a chance Blizzard will read and possibly make a change.

Is WOTLK dragging on too long?

WOTLK was released in November 2008 and here we are today, September 2010 almost two years later. Many are well into the pre expansion blues with guilds falling apart, people quitting and all sorts of other random discontent about anything and everything. Most will blame stale content as a result of WOTLK being dragged on way too long. But has it really? Lets actually sit down and take a look at the timing of Blizzard’s expansions and see if there is any validity to said complaint.

First, lets compare length of expansion as a starting point:

So really, we are right on track in terms of expansion length, so why does this one feel so much longer? Well lets consider the timing of final content patches. Specifically, lets compare the release of Naxxramas, Sunwell Plateau and Icecrown Citadel against the end of the expansion pack. NO, Ruby Sanctum does not count as real content and will not be used in this comparison!

Hrmm, very interesting, so again it seems we are right on track again, sure its slightly longer than Naxx or SWP but really its not extremely completely out of line. So what is it about wotlk that makes it feel so tiring and stale? My personal take is its the normal vs heroic strategy Blizzard has employed for wotlk. The complaint of prior expansions was that a very small percent of the population ended up seeing the end of Naxx and SWP, so as a result they implemented normal/heroic modes so that everyone could see the Lich King die. Problem with that? Most people saw Arthas take a dirt nap many months ago. In my case it was 7 months ago, so really is there incentive to keep pushing forward knowing you’ve already seen the fight and the rewards are things that will be replaced within a week into Cataclysm? Not really. So back to the original question, is Blizzard really dragging wotlk out? guess not.

With that being said, when is Cataclysm coming? The Beta is well underway and the most recent changes have allowed players to hit the level cap (85) and test a significant portion of the expansion. So here is my prediction and the logic behind it. Blizzcon is slated for Oct 22-23 so definitely nothing will be released before that date. So really it comes down to whether it gets released at end of year or beginning of year aka Late Nov/Early Dec or Late Jan/Early Feb. My feel is they want to release late 2010 but if they can’t complete on time it’ll be early 2011. So for an overall prediction, I will say the 1st week of December!

Attempts Removed from Normal ICC

In an interesting turn of events, Blizzard has made an announcement in preparation for this week’s raid lockouts.

Quote from: Daelo (Source)

After each region’s maintenance this week, raids will no longer lose attempts on wipes in Normal mode for Professor Putricide, Blood-Queen Lana’thel, Sindragosa, and the Lich King. There will still be limited attempts in Heroic mode.

We will continue to monitor developments in Icecrown Citadel in the future, especially since the Heroic difficulty has been unlocked by a significant number of raids.

I would call this shocking for a few reasons (As of Tuesday, February 9th):

  1. Only 32 Guilds worldwide have killed the Lich King in 25 Player
  2. Only 60 Guilds worldwide have killed the Lich King in 10 Player
  3. It’s only been 1 week since the release of Frozen Halls + Arthas were released
  4. Blizzard has already stated that there would be zone wide buffs to help guilds struggling on content

To further elaborate on point #4:

Quote from: Daelo (Source)

In the weeks and months after all twelve encounters are unlocked, additional attempts against the final four boss encounters become available. This represents the Ashen Verdict growing more powerful and gaining a stronger foothold in Icecrown Citadel. To further help raids, Varian Wrynn and Garrosh Hellscream will begin to provide assistance by inspiring the armies attacking Icecrown Citadel. This is represented as an additional zone wide spell effect applied to all players that will increase their hit points, damage dealt, and healing done. This effect will also increase in effectiveness over time. Players may opt out of the spell’s effect if they so wish.

Blizzard already had plans in place to assist guilds struggling with ICC content while at the same time providing an environment for more hardcore guilds to prove their skill via the attempt system. I’ve always been a fan of the attempt system as it proves quality > quantity. In fact, I would say that this system has truly shown that there is no #1 guild in the world, as we’ve seen the #1 kills being snagged by a multitude of guilds from various regions. So if the attempt system is working and things are in place to assist guilds struggling in the near future, why eliminate this system in normal mode?

After I calmed my e-rage over this I tried to think logically. Currently we (Daybreak) are probably on the bubble or slightly ahead of the bubble, we’ve killed Sindragosa in 10 man and probably will kill her in 25 man this week as well. But what if we weren’t so progressed? What if we were a guild that was struggling to kill Putricide and getting to Blood Queen with only a few attempts a week. I could see this being frustrating.

My concerns with a move like this are reverting back to a quantity > quality mantra again. Where being able to afford to raid 5-6 days a week means suddenly you’re the best guild on the server or even the world. Not only does it not reward efficiency it also tends to promote a more lackadaisical attitude to progression where “oops we wiped, oh well lets try again”. Having attempts helps to drive focus and intensity knowing that you only have X more attempts left. A prime example from the good ol days was Loatheb in Naxx60, it was so difficult that we would world buff (ZG, DM, Onyxia, Nefarian, Flasks, Potions etc) just to max out our dps/health/survivability. The fear of being the person to screw up alone drove everyone to play their best and we never once wiped as a result.

I will say that I am glad that there are still attempts on Heroic mode bosses and I truly hope that they don’t remove these restrictions too quickly because I am very interested in seeing who gets the world firsts. While the attempts are now gone, I’m still going to keep track and see how we are progressing. Best of luck to everyone in the new week.

Loremaster, Proto-Drakes and ICC!

I’d like to apologize to the readers out there for my lack of posts. Its’ been a busy couple of weeks in game prior to and post 3.3. I hope everyone’s been enjoying 3.3 so far (I certainly have!). Part of the reason behind my lack of updates is just being pure tired. We’ve been raiding about the same amount but I’ve been (are you ready for it?) healing a lot lately to assist the guild. I find healing a lot more tiring than playing as a kitty kat so I tend to just head to bed right after instead of blogging. With the hoilday season approaching that means more time off and more time for wow and blogging!

First update, we finally finished off our Ironbound Proto-Drake! I will admit it does feel a little cheesed in that we’re going back and doing 3.1 content in 3.2 gear but at least we finished this off before the release of 3.3 which is one less thing to worry about. I do think that Blizzard should have cut this one off a while ago especially with 3.3 out now.Even if it would mean that we would get screwed out of a proto drake I think it’s important that the gear doesn’t completely trivialize the hard mode achievements. That being said I think that if a cutoff had been announced we would have worked on this earlier but without a definitive date there was really no incentive. Either way, check out the pretty new proto!

Second update, Icecrown Citadel! The long awaited final raid instance of WOTLK has finally arrived and so far it’s been pretty fun. We went in on patch day on Tuesday and cleared the 10 man version with 2 healers and 0 wipes. Wednesday we went in and cleared the 25 man version in 2 hrs with 3 wipes total. Needless to say, the difficulty level wasn’t particularly challenging but again that’s the design that Blizzard is aiming for. While this won’t be as easy to pug like TOC, I would think that most people will at least be able to see the 10 man flavor. Unfortunately (and fortunately) the lockout until the next wing is 28 days away which is pissing off a lot of people. Blizzard has come back with a response:

Quote from: Daelo (Source)

As noted in game, the release of the Plagueworks in Icecrown Citadel occurs 28 days after patch 3.3.0 was released. After the Plagueworks is available, you will then wait less than 28 days for the next wing to become active. The extended length of the initial 28 day delay is simply due to the timing of the Holidays.

Again, good on Blizzard for taking dissuading people from ignoring family and friends during the holiday season! Here are some screenshots from my first week in 3.3

Where's the kitty? :(

Rocket kitty, nice job Blizzard!

Bear Calvary

Finally, I finished off The Loremaster this week after working on it on and off for the past few months. For those of you who have yet to start or are a little afraid to start, don’t be! 3.3 has been this extremely easy with the quest system which tracks objective points and with a nifty little addon that I found called EveryQuest. It has a new feature (new for 3.3) which actually queries the Blizzard servers and identifies what quests you have completed and which ones you haven’t yet done. So no more running around like a maniac trying to find quest hubs, all you need to do is run this addon and it’ll tell you whats left to do in each zone!

With ICC on “farm” for now, and our protos complete we’ve turned our focus over towards Anub’Arak heroic and Algalon. Hopefully I’ll be sharing some stories for both in the near future.

5 Years of World of Warcraft

5 years ago today, World of Warcraft was released. Prior to this game I would consider myself to be a casual gamer at best, never playing any video game longer than a month or two. However, proud or ashamed for 5 years now I have been playing WOW and essentially have loved every minute of it. I’d love to hear some of your thoughts and reflections on the past 5 years and what people’s favorite moments/things/events are. Here are some starter ones:

  • Favorite Instance: Karazhan
  • Favorite Boss(es): Four Horsemen (lv 60 version), C’thun, Mimiron (Firefighter Only!).
  • Favorite Tier Level: T3, best set ever!
  • How many legendaries have you seen drop: 3 bindings, 2 eyes, 2 glaives, and a lot of unfinished Atiesh shards/Val’anyr fragments!
  • Favorite World Event: Ahn’Qiraj, till this day I have never seen so many people in the same place at one time.
  • Longest queue to get into WOW: 3000+ (Thank You Warsong)
  • Average amount of time spend per year. (Take your /played  and divide by 5): 272/5 = 54.4 days per year (sadface?)

Feel free to answer mine or make up your own, I’d love to see a long list of memories from everyone. :)

*Edit*: Found some official Blizz 5 year celebratory info: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/wowanniversary/


I’m Retired!

As of 04/04/2011, I have officially retired from WOW. This blog will remain as a archived resource for those who know that CAT DRUID IS 4 FITE!

About Me

A blog for the ramblings and thoughts of Vallen, a full time raiding cat druid from Auchindoun-US with a passion for raiding & achievements. An avid wow player since 2004.

For any questions or concerns contact me via comments or e-mail

Achievement Points
12250
Flying Mount
Mimiron's Head
Mount
Amani War Bear
Shirt
Master Builder's Shirt
Title
Commander
Tabard
Tabard of the Lightbringer

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