Archive for September, 2010

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.

Val’anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings

We started going back to Ulduar with a primary goal in mind. Farm as many Mimiron’s Heads as possible before the end of WOTLK.  However, I also had a few other side objectives as well:

  1. Obtain Formula: Enchant Weapon – Blade Ward
  2. Get a Val’anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings

The first to do on the list isn’t bad, just a matter of waiting for it to drop. I unfortunately missed it the first time around when we did Ulduar so was really hoping I’d see it again. I’m somewhat of a perfectionist (as some people may have noticed) and I’ve been working on collecting every enchanting recipe available. I believe this dropped on Week #9 of our Ulduar adventures which pushed me up to 287/296 or 96.96% complete. Now if I could only see some world drop recipes on the Auction Hall.

The second item on the list of obtaining a Val’anyr as everyone knows is not such an easy task. The drop rate on fragments were low to begin with and combine that with the speed in which shards drop in ICC it feels even slower. I think most guilds ended up with 2 Val’anyr’s by the end of Ulduar whereas I think we’re probably up to 4-5 Shadowmournes for more high end guilds. Regardless it was one of those pipe dreams where I was hoping for a second legendary (Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros being the first). So starting from July 18th, we went to Ulduar each week and after 11 weeks (9 raid ID’s) I finally collected all 30 fragments and now am the proud owner of a Val’anyr! I started with 4 fragments to begin with so the drop rate was less than 3 a week (awesome no?) So, to commemorate this I decided to take some screenshots to show the questline.

I will share an interesting timbit of information in that on the last quest, the objective is to throw the Unbound Fragments of Val’anyr into Yogg-Saron’s mouth when he is performing Deafening Roar. So here is my train of thought during our YS kill this week.

*Enter Phase 3 & 1st Deafening Roar*

So I did it, nothing happened quest didn’t complete. Did I do it wrong? Guess so, no problem I’ll wait for the next roar.

*2nd Deafening Roar*

Did it again, still no luck.. Hrmm what am I doing wrong? Oh well I guess I’ll just wait for the 3rd roar.

Wait, hold on YS is at 2% shit… hold on guys I’m not sure…

*YS dead*

Oh fuck… Did I just fail the quest? Do I have to wait till next week?

*RAGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE*

Oh.. It’s a quest item you loot off YS.. oh…

So there you have it, my /facepalm moment of the day. Enjoy!




Bubbles!

Val'anyr Closeup

Topics of the Week #9

My oh my kitty fans, so many timbits of information, so many things to cover, lets get to it!

Badge/Honor Conversion

Blizzard announced their conversion system for badges & honor into justice & honor points. MMO-Champion being awesome put together a calculator to identify what you will have come 4.01. I thought I’d share with you what I’m looking at come 4.01.

I’ll probably start looking to cap my JP before 4.01 which will require an additional 1515 JP. At a conversation rate of 1 JP per 2.75 Conquest/Frost badges, looks like I need 551 badges. Also, I’m way over the Honor Cap of 4000 points (with 15858) so that’ll be converted into 4150.30 gold (11585 *.35s per). Meaning I’ll be looking at a total of 5803g to add to my coffers (neat!).

Guild Chat to Armory Premium Service

Just announced today, Blizz will be implementing guild chat to Mobile Armory. This will be a supplement to the existing Mobile Armory premium service which allows a user to use the AH remotely. So good on Blizzard for further improving the current premium service vs making up an excuse to say this is a separate function which would require a separate fee. While the remote AH does not “remotely” (har har) interest me, having the ability to chat with guild remotely is kind of a neat feature. At $2.99 its not that expensive ($35.88 a yr) and who hasn’t been in a situation where they wanted to pop on and communicate with a guildie about something when you’re out. Then again, $35.88 will buy a lot of diapers…

Realm Firsts

A really interesting timbit that was announced was the shared FOS for realm firsts.

Originally Posted by Mumper (Source)

They are available to both 10 and 25 player raids, whoever does it first.

The interesting thing is, we all know that 10 mans have traditionally been easier than 25 man, and while Blizzard has stated that they want to keep 10 and 25 difficulty equal in Cataclysm it should still mean that 10 man will be easier. Why? Because its easier to rely on 9 people vs 24 other people. How many of you have felt that “oh we could have killed that boss” if it werent for the fact that person A is inconsistent or person B stinks and if we had X more dps it would be dead. Ya all those arguments. Its much easier to field a competent 10 man group vs a 25 man group.

What does that mean to the big picture? It’ll really be interesting to see how guilds react to this, specifically the big top end guilds that are loaded with 25-30 talented people which could now theoretically drop down to 3 x 10 man groups and have a better shot at a realm first. Drama Inc?

T11 Bonus & Graphics

Amazingly enough, T11 has already been mined out so here is what it looks like (eck) and it’s bonuses:

First off, 2pc awesome as usual, who doesn’t like more passive dps boost for the cost of nothing? As for 4pc, it looks somewhat sketchy if you ask me. Why? Mangle has a duration of 1 min and generally speaking, kitties have no reason to mangle more than once a minute. Yet here we have a 4pc which is telling us to mangle 3 times every 30s or 6 times a minute to get 3% more AP? Strange to say the least. Then again I haven’t been on Beta yet (where’s the key Blizz!) so perhaps I’m just missing something (any beta-er’s gimme a shout in the comments if you know something I don’t). Also, neat that there are 3 very distinct colour schemes, perhaps someone was reading.

From MMO-Champion.com

Shapeshifting – Worgen vs Druids

Originally Posted by Zarhym (Source)
Running Wild is indeed the new racial “mount” for worgen. Functionally the ability works exactly like a mount. This does mean the worgen are not bringing faction mounts to the table which other Alliance races can access. This is also of course very different from the original Plainsrunning implemented for taurens. We have no plans to try and bring that ability back in any form.

Ultimately, we feel Running Wild fits very well with the nature of the worgen race. Rather than getting a physical mount, they get down and sprint on all fours. When you’re playing a worgen, it just feels awesome.

Sweet! Looking at the Wowhead Beta site it shows Running Wild as having a 1.5s cast timer like all other mounts. But this popped another question into my head which is, with flying mounts now being usable everywhere come Cataclysm, does that mean that flight form works for an instant ground mount? (Can anyone on the Beta PTR confirm that?)

Patch Notes (12984 Code Name Puppy)

More druid ability changes, but nothing too critical to speak of:

To generalize (summarize), base mana cost of shapeshifting has been reduced which is a big bonus for Arenas but not really important elsewhere. Skull Bash range reduction isn’t cool but 13 and 18 yards which really does not matter from a PVE or PVP perspective since you generally should be up the mob/person’s ass anyways. Also apparently I missed it but Nom Nom Nom was already named and renamed again, curse you Blizzard!

PVP Update

After about a month of struggling in 2’s and essentially being stuck between 2100-2150 I decided to make a change and switch my spec to the more typical 2’s spec of 21/0/50. One Word, WOW it made such a world of a difference. The added pressure that IS provides made 2’s so much easier and put a lot of compositions we had difficulty with into a much more manageable means. You might ask why I didn’t I respec earlier and the simple answer is “I was too lazy to” Yes, a very contradicting answer considering how much time I spent breaking the 2200 barrier. However with that, Just the Two uf Us: 2200 was achieved and now only one bracket left to go. With the announcement of the arena season ending with 4.01 the pressure is on to try and finish before I lose the opportunity to. With the advent of revamped talent trees and all kinds of other changes that will inevitable break many things, its best I finish it before 4.01 happens.

Things To Do Before Cataclysm Hits

Good News Everyone! As Professor Putricide would say…

This week it was announced that Patch 4.01 has been put on the PTR and with that means the last patch pre Cataclysm. What does that mean? Probably a pre 2011 Cataclysm release date (yay). Boubouille over at MMO-Champion has given his guesstimate of Nov 2nd (which is a month earlier than my 1st week of Dec) but either way, still in 2010 and most likely welcome news to everyone. With that being said, many changes are happening on both the PTR and Beta so its time to sit down and figure out what your bucket list should be for the remainder of WOTLK. Many of the items below are things geared towards those who care about achievements but there are also a few things that non achievement whores would be interested in.

Farm 310% mounts for alts

Come Cataclysm 310% flying can be purchased for the paltry fee of 5000 gold. Not too expensive but if you have spare time, you can go out and farm yourself some drakes from Ulduar or ICC which will save you 5000 gold down the line. ICC may be a stretch for some alts but Uld 10 is extremely simple even for the turdiest of alts. This probably comes down to a classic time vs money argument. If you only have a few alts then maybe its worth it to just buy the flying skill come Cata. Or if you’re one that has one of each class than 9 * 5000g = 45,000g may be a bit much and spending a few hrs in Ulduar may be a good investment.

Exalted with Zandalar Tribe

It’s already been announced that Zul’Gurub will be removed by Cataclysm so with that being said, if you want to get exalted with Zandalar Tribe, better get cracking now. WoWWiki identifies a full ZG run as giving 2500-3000 rep with all bosses giving a total of 800 rep. Throughout the instance coins (3 for 25 rep) and bijous (75 rep) will drop which also give rep so its not such a bad rep grind. ZG is on a 3 day timer.

Exalted with Cenarion Circle

Similar to Zul’Gurub, Temple of Ahn’Qiraj (or more well known as AQ20) will be removed as well to be replaced as a 10 man Cataclysm instance. How this will affect Cenarion Circle reputation is unknown but seeing as both AQ20 and AQ40 grant CC rep it is probably safe to say that some new sort of reputation will be introduced instead come Cata. So while you can get CC exalted outside of AQ20, it still is the easiest way to solo grind that rep without having to require help from others. If you have time, its worth doing now. Again, similar to ZG, this is on a 3 day timer.

Farm Rare Mounts

As mentioned above, Zul’Gurub is being removed and with it, means the Swift Zulian Tiger and Swift Razzashi Raptor will be gone. These are definitely fantastic mounts you want to have and hopefully everyone out there that has been or is working on these will get one before its too late. If you haven’t started yet and you want some thoughts on how to do it, check out my Pimp Your Druid series for articles on how to solo both.

The next step up from farming ZG mounts is farming WOTLK raid mounts in Mimiron Head/Invincible. If you’re fortunate enough to be in a guild that can down HLK25 then best of luck to you in obtaining the mount. If you’re not in one of those premier guilds then maybe YS0 is the more reasonable goal. For those of you who are farming Mimiron Heads (like us!) keep pushing and farming. Blizzard has already stated that they did not know if they would remove the 100% drop rate come 4.01 but it would be likely that it would happen come Cataclysm. So if you’re counting, using Boubouille’s date of Nov 2nd that leave us with 8 weeks (or 12 if you use my early Dec date). We’re up to a total of 7 so far, all we can do is hope that everyone that has worked hard in farming will get one.

Loremaster

The Old World is getting a complete revamp and with that means completely new quests. No one is completely sure exactly what will happen to the Loremaster achievement but most think (and me as well) that it will turn into a Feat of Strength with a new Cataclysm Loremaster being put in its place. If you’re an achievement nerd, then you’ll want to get working on this one as soon as possible as this is a huge timesink and does take a lot of effort. Everyquest is a great addon to help identify what quests are left in each zone so you know what areas to hit up.

Obtain Quest Related Items

Same reasoning as above where old quest and questlines rae disappearing, its best to get some of those fun flavour items that exist now before its too late. Specifically of interest, there is Dartol’s Rod of Transformation from a questline in Ashenvale and also the Sprite Darter Pet from a questline in Feralas. Also, there is the Green Hills of Stranglethorn questline which gives an achievement, no idea how that will be affected but hell might as well do that one too.

The list above is only things that I know for sure will change in somewhat shape or form that will prevent you from being able to obtain said item/achievement come Cataclysm. There are also a tonne of other items that exist in vanilla content that will still exist in Cataclysm but in a different format. No word as to whether these items will still exist. Just to name a few things, Deathcharger’s Rein, Sawbone’s Shirt, Master Builder’s Shirt or the pets from LBRS.

Operation: Gnomeregan

The world event for the gnomes and trolls is out so make sure you take advantage and get your Gnomeregan Pride and as well as your Feat of Strength. The transformation item is pretty cool in that it lasts for 30 mins (4 hr cooldown) which is a lot longer than most. Naturally still does not persist in forms. Remember this is a limited time engagement so make sure you get it as soon as possible. The alliance version has an extreme tendency to bug out so don’t expect to get it on your first try. It took me 6 tries before I decided to do it at an odd hour of the day without others around to bug the event.

I’m sure there are many more things to consider but these are the things I can think of, whats on your bucket list?



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!


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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