Topics of the Week #5

Ok this is going to be a lot more than a topics of the week post as I have been slacking a little bit lately on the updates. Instead this will be more of a “topics since the release of 3.3.5” post as that’s how far back I went to catch up on my reading. For those who are keeping themselves up to date some of this information may seem old. My thoughts/comments in blue.

Q. Will there be account-wide Achievements? If so, can we expect to see things like vanity gifts for having multiple characters? (Source)
A. It’s an idea we definitely want to do, but it’s pretty challenging technically, so it’s not on the immediate horizon. We can’t promise anything obviously, but I wouldn’t feel the need to get difficult Achievements on more than one character on the same account.

Being as I am a huge achievement whore, I’m not sure I know where I stand on this. I personally focus 95% of my energy onto my druid which shows based on the quantity of achievement points I have on my druid and how little I have on my alts. In fact I bet nobody even knew I have alts (lv 80 pally/mage). Yes that’s how little I play/focus on them. Sure this above could increase the flexibility and reduce the penalty of wanting to play multiple toons but I could also see this allowing for cheesing achievement points by doing them on classes that make things easier. For example, you could do all reps on a human alt which will give 10% faster reputation gain. Another example is seeing DK’s with loremaster or having 40 exalted reputations, things like that make you think “wow wtf, thats insane, very impressive” but you’ll lose that with account-wide achievements.

Q: Cat and Bear builds are only off by about 3 talent points. Why not just consolidate fully at that point? (Source)
A. This is definitely one of our concerns. We don’t want a player to be able to have an optimal DPS specialization in Cat Form and be able to tank. We will definitely engineer the Feral tree such that being a viable tank, or even off-tank, will have some cost in terms of lost DPS while in Cat Form. The druid talent trees currently in beta are very rough and need more polish.

Good to know Blizzard, good to know. I’ll wait to reserve judgement.

Q. Why was the Feral druid’s mana reduction cost removed from King of the Jungle? And what happened to two combo points on critical strikes? (Source)
A. These are data errors that will be corrected. Neither is intended to be cut.

One of the bigger concerns addressed, but still more to go, seem my list in my previous post

This is a first pass (Source)
While this is a first pass on all of the talent trees, death knight, druid, paladin, warlock, Arcane mage, and Assassination rogue trees are not as far along as other specializations.

Good to hear, every druid I’ve talked to so far has had essentially the same comments about the weaknesses of the current trees, discussed further in my prior post.

Damage vs. Utility Talents (Source)
Those are actually the decisions we’re looking for. Trying to decide between dps and utility isn’t a decision (for PvE anyway) and choosing damage vs. damage is a decision most players make by going to third party sites. We want you to be able to get all of the damage talents you reasonably can, and be making decisions over the utility talents.

While I appreciate they are making this statement about their philosophy/ideology behind the new trees, it clearly isn’t quite applied yet. Let’s wait and see how the talent tree evolves.

Max out the Mastery Bonus (Source)
Furthermore, there should be no way to max out mastery. It’s only just possible to max out things like crit and haste today because of A) overly generous talents, and B) ratings that were never designed for current item levels. We’ve already built the theoretical Deathwing gear, so we can make sure the numbers are more appropriate.

Sounds like a good idea, I don’t particularly like the current system which essentially require you to 1) Arp Cap 2) Hit Cap 3) Crit Cap 4) everything eles after. I’d rather see some additional flexibility to focus on specific stats to cater towards a specific style of play.

Hit % in Character Panel (Source)
We will at least show “hit needed for a target of your level AND hit needed for a target of your level +3.” If we get fancy, we’ll let you pick the target level through UI and examine all of your stats in that context.

Less math = a good thing

Armor downgrading in Cataclysm (Source)
You will get a stat bonus of some kind if you wear “your” armor. You can still wear cloth, mail or leather of a lower armor type if it’s a big upgrade, especially if it would get sharded anyway. But the days of Holy paladins in cloth or warrior wearing leather are probably behind us.

Finally, no more “Sorry, blame Blizzard for bad itemization, I’m taking your items” bullshit excuses from Ret Pallies/Warriors/Hunters etc from taking our leather gear. We get it you want to be a feral druid, reroll then

Proto-Drake and Rare Mounts in Cataclysm (Source)
This is all tentative and could change, but we don’t really have a problem with protodrake farming. What we will probably do with really unusual mounts like Mimiron’s Head and Invincible is make them a rare drop. The 100% drop rate won’t make sense when you can overpower the content.

If you want to overpower the content for a drake though, go for it. Players who did it “legit” had the benefit of having the achievement and mount earlier than anyone else. The most prestigious mounts will change in Cataclysm.

If only they would start removing proto drakes that are extremely outdated (Ulduar). Considering how long the Ulduar protos have been in the game, it would have been nice if they had left the Naxx/OS/EOE drakes in longer too. I do agree that making Mimiron’s Head/Invincible as rare drops otherwise they will lose the “epicness” that they currently hold. With all content down (No, we’re not even bothering with Heroic Halion or Heroic LK) I’ve decided to start Mimiron Head farming groups, more on this later.

Molten Core/Blackwing Lair/Thunderfury in Cataclysm (Source)
We aren’t removing MC or BWL as of this writing. We aren’t going out of our way to remove old legendaries. The only risk there in a case like Thunderfury is if we change a zone like Silithus so much that the quests become hard to keep intact.

Looks like those of you out there still farming for Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros can breath a sigh of relief (for now).

“If there is a quest item you really love, you might want to grab it now.” (Source)
Almost every quest reward in the 1-60 content will be changing. If there is a quest item you really love, you might want to grab it now.

For those who don’t have it already, go grab your Dartol’s Rod of Transformation now before its too late.  Any other awesome items from Vanilla WOW I’m missing?

Epic items in Cataclysm (Source)
We’re actually working on restoring the epic feeling to epic items in Cataclysm. Epic loot should be epic, and something to be very proud of. Our plan is to try and get the Heroic -> Blue Gear and Raid -> Purple Gear balance back.

I give this the Vallen, stamp of approval. I thoroughly enjoyed walking around in T3 back in Vanilla WOW when majority of the population were in blues. The differentiation of those who PVP, who PVE and who are casual are important. It can be considered egotistical or it could just be considered a way to display your success in game.

Q. Why was the Feral druid’s mana reduction cost removed from King of the Jungle? And what happened to two combo points on critical strikes?
A. These are data errors that will be corrected. Neither is intended to be cut.

11 Responses to “Topics of the Week #5”

  1. 1 Goodmongo July 20, 2010 at 10:18 am

    The one point I strongly disagree with is your comment on epic loot. The reason is simple. Its luck. Luck of the drop and luck of the roll. It has NOTHING to say about your true capabilities but instead says you got lucky. Heck maybe you got carried and it fell and you were the only class to sue it. I think epics should be granted for certain boss kills. Sort of a point system where you can turn in those points for the epic that would have dropped from that boss.

  2. 2 Goodmongo July 20, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Forgot to mention an example. I’ve tried for 138 times to get Anzu to drop the Reins of the Raven Lord. Some have tried even longer and some got it on their first try. None of it says one player is better then the other only just luckier. I have no issue with earning epics but I do want to remove luck from it as much as possilbe.

    And one reason to remove luck is that many raids are chains that require slightly better gear. I was with you when we killed final boss in raid 1 but can’t move on because of lack of dropped gear. This was a HUGH issue in vanilla. Blizzard went overboard in trying to fix it with emblems but they did sort of recognize it as an issue that somehow I hope Cata fixes.

    • 3 Vallen July 20, 2010 at 1:11 pm

      To requote Blizzard…

      “Our plan is to try and get the Heroic -> Blue Gear and Raid -> Purple Gear balance back.”

      This is a personal choice on how you want to experience WOW. If you are casual and you choose to run a dungeon here and there then no, you will not have access to epic purple items via dungeons. However if you choose to participate in raiding then yes you will have access to epic purple items via raids. The more effort you put in, the more “epic” you will be, the less effort you put in the more “rare” you will be.

      For a full description of the exchange on this topic check this link

      Now specifically your to your comments:
      1. Luck only has an effect on how fast you obtain gear, not if you obtain gear. If you are raiding on a consistent basis then sooner or later you will obtain the item/full “epicness”
      2. If you’re “rolling” on items, that is something that generally occurs in pugs, which by my definition is casual, which means your opportunities to get an item are limited which would warrant such concerns.
      3. If you’re only pugging a few bosses a week then you will not be as “epic” geared as someone who puts in a full raid week every week, which is what Blizzard is trying to differentiate in Cata
      4. Anzu is not a valid example as that is a rare (1% drop rate) item, no weapon/armor item on any loot table has ever had a 1% drop rate
      5. Killing the last boss of an instance generally is not a “gear” issue, its a skill issue. Not so much anymore, but previously final bosses were designed to be a challenge and they were designed not be killable by a large portion of the population. Gear only made it so that you could compensate the lack of ability and give greater leeway to mechanics of the fight (similar to the ICC % buff increases).

      I will be honest in that I don’t really see your point that you’re trying to make. Blizzard has already made extreme strides to eliminate the RNG of loot distribution with frost badge tier gear and tier tokens that are usable by any slot of gear. I think all that Blizzard is trying to do now is to differentiate those that gear via heroics vs gear via raids. Which I full agree with because again, if I am putting in a full raid week of effort each week, I expect myself to look different from a person that runs heroics every day. And no luck has nothing to do with that, thats commitment.

  3. 4 Goodmongo July 20, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    I got a 404 error on the link. But I think you miss my point. Let’s use Naxx -> Ulduar -> TOC -> ICC as an example. To get into Naxx Blizzard gives you blue gear. Now you finish Naxx and want to get into Ulduar but can’t because you don’t have enough gear drops from Naxx yet. You fall behind. You proved your skill in Naxx but was unlucky. Finally you get into Ulduar but same thing happens. Eventually no TOC or ICC for you. It does come down to luck. If Blizzard continues to give some type of base gear (blue/green/yellow I don’t care) that allows you to get into that content then fine.

    I’m not a pugger but we do use rolls. My current guild is 8/12 hard mode so while not super advaced I wouldn’t call us pugs. And in 5 months I have yet to win DBW and as only dropped 3 times in 5 full months. So please don’t tell me luck isn’t involved. We have proven our skill on normal by killing LK so it isn’t a skill thing. We extend our raids so the chance at DBW is even lower. And as you know every stinkin tom dick and harry wants DBW.

    What I don’t know is if Blizzard will require epics to get into further advanced content. If they do then it sucks. If you can get into advanced content in blues then no biggie, as skill decides if you defeat the boss in there. So it all boils down to what is the requirement for progression. If gear is that requirement then Blizzard must continue a way to provide that gear. Emblems were an OK method but they did given them away to freely. I would propose less from historic 5 mans and more from actually bosses in raids. Kill a boss get 5 for the gear required for next content level.

    • 5 Vallen July 20, 2010 at 3:43 pm

      Sorry, I didn’t hotlink it correctly, I fixed it now if you want to check it out.

      Again, I will iterate that if you’re raiding week in an week out, you will have enough gear to do any raid content. You may not have the rare items like DBW but that will not stop you from killing new content. A good example is I never got a Death’s Verdict in TOC, but that didn’t stop me from doing ICC. The only way for you to fall behind is if you stop raiding and are trying to get back into it after a break. If that is the case then yes I see where are you going with this which I will point you back to the link that I shared which essentially states that the badge system will still exist but in a different form which has not yet been announced which I am sure will address that.

      In reference to your specific situation, you not getting a DBW, this is not Blizzards fault but can be blamed on how your guild operates. Most guilds run by Loot Council, DKP hell even pugs run by EGKDP, some sort of commitment scale which increases your chances at items over time. If you’re committing week after week and you’re having to roll for loot then I would suggest your guild needs to change its policy. Using some form of commitment scale removes luck out of the equation. Also extending to progress is a choice that your guild makes to progress further. However its actually counter to your whole argument since you’re not gearing your raid which prevents you from progressing further. Also, I took the liberty of looking at your armory (at least I assume it is you since its the only goodmongo) which shows that you’ve only killed Saurfang 25 9 times and if you’ve seen 3 DBW in 9 tries then that’s a 33% drop rate which is well above the 22% expected rate shown on wowhead, you could say you’re lucky to see it that often.

      In closing, one or two specific items you cant get will not hold you back from experiencing and killing content. There are few and far fights that have such strict requirements that require you to maximize your gear in that fashion and if you were doing said fights, you would be extremely committed to raiding and this whole conversation would be moot. While the badge system has not yet been announced I still suspect that it will provide gear just not in the same speed/fashion that it does today. Perhaps (just my own personal thought) the badge system will provide blues (instead of purples) that will give you sufficient gear to progress into new content.

      Dont forget, Blizzard wants everyone to experience content. All they are saying is they want to bring back the blue/purple epic feel.

    • 6 Tinderhoof July 22, 2010 at 2:08 pm

      To suggest that you needed epics from Naxx to do Uldaur is incorrect. There is a project being done by Grevlon over at Greedy Goblin to prove that case. The project is to have a 10 man raid in all blues, nothing over ilvl 200 and no pruple items even ilvl 200. They have cleared Naxx, Uldaur (not alagon), ToC, and are like 8/12 in ICC. Thats with no set bonuses, no resist gear, just skill (+ICC buff) alone. Now they may not be able to finish all of ICC in that gear, but they have gone a long way in proving once and for all Skill > Gear.

  4. 7 Bear Pelt July 21, 2010 at 2:23 am

    Probably going to get flamed for this and such, but I definitely agree with the need to put ‘ranks’ among players to reward them for their efforts. Many people who play this game feel proud of their hard-earned raiding/ PVP/ vanity items and—though commonly perceived as epeening—thoroughly enjoy being admired for it.

    Honestly, what is so bad about feeling good about earning something? Some people treat this like some kind of mortal sin. You play this game to get a sense of enjoyment, which can be attained by performing feats not easily done. Why do you do it? Because there is a reward at the end of it. A reward that will make it all worthwhile.

    If there is no carrot in a stick, why would you do it?

    • 8 Vallen July 21, 2010 at 9:08 am

      No flaming allowed on this blog 🙂

      Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. You can try and present a different pov but in the end nobody is right or wrong (at least that’s how I see it). Its always good to hear what other people are thinking.

  5. 9 Mitch July 21, 2010 at 8:47 am

    My druid was my first character and has continued to be my main. That said . . . I finished the quest chain for Raene’s Cleansing when I first started 😦

  6. 11 Goodmongo July 23, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I thought titles were just like ranks. Isn’t Kingslayer title also considered a rank? So they do have it in there. Plus mounts and other stuff.

    BTW last night in a pug 25 icc DBW dropped and I won the roll with a 68. Earlier when I said it I was also including my alliance NE druid. But now I’m happy.

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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!

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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.

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