Friday, February 29, 2008

General Things

I don't have anything big to talk about but I do have several smaller things that I can share.

Guild Update:
Things aren't to bad. It has been a bit of a bumpy road, but things seem to be moving in the right direction. My raiding week has been a little frustrating because I haven't been able to raid much due to personal stuff, and the guild has seemed to have had a few issues while I was gone. Tuesday they decided to work on VR, and apparently it was a very frustrating night, only getting him to just under 50%. I think we can chalk most of the issues up to growing pains. We have a lot of new people that are not used to a more serious level of raiding and we have some people that are relatively new to guild leadership positions not doing/knowing what is expected of them. These thing resulted in long waits between pulls and relatively poor performance from DPS. We have also had issues with the number of healers showing up or raids, and have had to bring in an alt or two to get a raid started. On Wednesday, they did Gruul's and apparently it went really well, then the went to Mag and apparently it was a lot like Tuesday so the raid was called early.

Thursday night was great. We went to Mag and three shotted him. The first two attempts went well but little things like someone DCing wiped us. After that we headed to SSC. We didn't really have a good group to try VR, and we didn't want to call it so we decided to give Lurker a try. In our first night of attempting him as a rebuilt guild we three or four shotted him. He also provided some great gear that was desperately needed by dropping the Tanking Mace and The Cord of Screaming Terrors. If you have read my blog for I while you know that I really wanted the The Cord of Screaming Terrors. I still would like it since it is a great belt, but I couldn't bring my self to take it from one of our new members that needed it a lot more. Plus with 2.4 around the corner I will probably be swimming in spell hit soon.

Anyway, Thursday was a great night for us. On Monday we will be trying VR again and I am sure we can get him down. Hopefully we will be able to get a few of the other SSC and TK bosses down soon so that we can try Vashj again.

Patch Update:
Not a whole lot here that I want to talk about, but there are a few interesting topics.

- Players will no longer need the Master’s Key to enter Karazhan. The gates to Karazhan will still require the Master’s Key to be unlocked. - Basically this means that it will be easier to get alts into Kara. Not a bad idea, but not that big of a deal in my opinion. Getting the Master's Key can be a little time consuming but it isn't hard by any means. I will tell you this right now. I will not run with anyone that doesn't have the key unless I know them. Kara isn't all that bad, but people that are very new to it and without a decent level of pre-kara gear are going to have problems with it.

- Many gameplay elements of the encounters in Magtheridon’s Lair have been changed to decrease their overall complexity and difficulty. - This has been in the patch notes for a little while but the specific changes where unknown to me until the new Blizzcast that came out. I am like most of the changes they made but I worry that they may have nerfed it two much. Nerfing the adds is a great idea. I have always thought that the first two minutes of this fight are the hardest and after that it is just a tank and spank. The one change I am a little iffy about though is reducing the amount of mental exhaustion from clicking the cubes. Personally I think that that rotion is really what gives the Mag fight its flavor. If one person can sit at cube and click it then it really is just a tank and spank, bosses like Netherspite and Prince will be harder.
On a more positive note the adjusted loot is great. Getting 25 gold per kill, a 20 slot bag and some epic gems is very nice. It will be interesting to see how we distribute the new gems though.

- An Upgradeable Alchemist Stones (link) - I and several other people have suggested this on the WoW Forums many times and it is great to see that they are doing something about it. The current Alchemist Stone is nice but not really good for anyone since its stats are so spread around. Being able to upgrade it to something that is specific to your roll is awesome and could finally give us a reason for having Alchemy on our mains.
While I like the concept, I am disappointed by the execution so far. The healing trinket is great, and my guess is that it will become the most sought after healing trinket in the game, but the other three trinkets leave a lot to be desired.

The Caster DPS trinket has 54 hit on it. Spell hit is a great stat and this has a ton of it on it, but once you hit the cap its worthless. Most casters I know don't have a big problem getting to the cap with just crafted and lower level raid gear. As it is, it is only useful for raiders, and most raiders will give it up fairly quickly for Spell Damage Trinkets when the can get better gear with hit on it. This trinket will work best for someone that is new to raiding and doesn't have a lot of gear yet, but they wil probably stop using it fairly quickly. If I had my say, I would change it to give you 61 Spell Damage instead of 54 hit. It would compete with other Spell Damage trinkets but not pass it from a DPS standpoint, and still provide a significant amount of mana.

The Tanking trinket has 54 Defense on it. This trinket has the same problem as the Caster DPS trinket. It provides a tone of a stat that is not hard to cap. Most tanks I talk to want one thing: Stam. If they put a ton of stam on this trinket instead of defense, then every tank you know would want it.

The Melee DPS trinket also seems to be underpowered. I will be the first to admit that I know little about melee dps, but most of the things I have read say that 54 crit is no all that valuable. Some have gone as far to say they would prefer the 15 Stam, Strength, and Agility on the original stone then the crit on the new stone.

Toon Update:
Graylo - Again not much to say here. I told you how raiding was going above and there is not much I can do with Graylo that is new until the patch comes out or we start to raid some content that is new to me. I have been doing a lot of daily quests with him. I am trying to get the money for an epic flying Graypal. I am not that far off. a few more days of dailies and I should be good.

Graypal - I haven't played him much but when I did play him it mattered. Graypal went into kara for the first time last night. The run was full of alts so it didn't go great but we did get Attunmen and Moroes down. I mainly wanted to go for badges and rep so that I could get the rings but I ended up walking away with [Handwraps of Flowing Thought]. It also taught me that Graypal needs a lot of work. His DPS wasn't bad but mana was an issue. I really need to update my gear so I get more mana from VT and I need to work on keeping VT up on the boss.
Grayfel - As I had mentioned earlier my playtime was limited this past week, and since I was doing more dailies Grayfel didn't see any action. I will probably try and work on him a little soon just to use the rested XP.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Progressive Whiplash (another 2.4 post)

It was said that this was a "progressive" patch and the changes are happening pretty quickly. Waiting a week to post another blog entry is proving to be not a good idea. I now have a ton to cover.

Also, I have copied both Graylo and Graypal over to the PTR but haven't checked it out yet. When I tried to download the cliant my compluter woundn't let me for some reason, and I haven't been motivated enought to figure out why. So, everything I post is second hand knowledge.

Magister's Terrace:
I said last week that I would cover the new instance and its loots. I don't have any first hand experiance but it sounds like a pretty standard dungeon and the bosses are fairly similar to other bosses we have done before. Basically, it doesn't sound all that special gameplay wise.

From a loot stand point it is looking awesome. In normal mode, all 4 bosses drop your standard blue items, but the final boss Kael will also drop a low level epic. These normal mode epics are equivalent to lower level Kara boss gear like Attunmen. In heroic mode all 4 bosses drop epics and they are equivalent to higher level Kara boss gear. The Kael drops are actually equivalent to Prince drops. I love this change. Those of us who have run Kara quite a bit know that their are wholes in the gear it provides. For example, there are no good caster shoulders in Kara. Now casters can pick up the [Fel-tinged Mantle]. There isn't a whole lot of stuff that Graylo would want but this could be a great way to gear up Graypal. Listed below are some of the loots that I am most interested in.

[Timbal's Focusing Crystal] - A heroic drop of Pure Awesomeness. This is probably the best item I have seen for both Graylo and Graypal. Most of the talk around this item as centered on Locks and Spriest but this is a pretty nice trinket for Moonkin also. Keeping our two dots rolling will give this trinket 10 chances to proc in just 12 seconds. I am not completely sold on it since there is still some debate as to how it works exactly but as long as there isn't an excedingly long internal cooldown, this trinket will be awesome.

[Gloves of Arcane Acuity] - Drops in normal mode and heroic mode off of Kael. A great pair of gloves for Graypal. Spell Hit, Spell Damage, and Sockets, what more could a new Spriest want.

[Cudgel of Consecration] - Drops off of Kael in Heroic mode. This is a great drop. It plugs one of the biggest holes in all of the T4 instance gear. Until ZA there were no raid quality Caster DPS maces, and this will be a great item for Graypal.

There are plenty of other good loots to check out. You can check them out at World of Raids, MMO Champion or WoWhead.

BT level Badge of Justice:
Some people doubted its existance for a little while because it didn't appear right away on the PTR. However, it did turn up the other day with more of the Sunwell contact being unlocked. There are 3 moonkin focused items and I am sorry to say I expected a little more. As individual items they are upgrades to T5 set items but its not huge. When you take into account the T5 Set bonus I am not sure they are upgrades at all. Here they are with a comment on each. I have also listed two general caster items.

[Barbed Gloves of the Sage] - These are a bit of a no brainer for me. They are a significant improvement over the T4 gloves I am currently wearing and have pretty good stats on them already. The real question is what do I do when I get an opportunity to get T5 gloves. Individually these are still an upgrade, but T5 may be better with the set bonus. Plus, at only 75 badges it isn't as expensive as some of the other items.

[Crystalwind Leggings] - It will probably be the last item I pick up if at all. Since I am wearing T5 legs the upgrade is slight and I have to consider the set bonuses. Plus, the are more expensive at 100 badges/

[Embrace of Starlight] - Upgrading to this chest is a little more complicated than the other items. Since I am currently wearing T4 it is an upgrade in every stat except spell hit. If I can make up for the lost spell hit with upgrades to my other equipment then this is a great upgrade. If I can't make up for the lost spell hit then the two chests are about even. Since, I would get about 19 hit from the gloves and the ring below has another 28 spell hit, I will probably get this chest eventually. However, due to the lost of hit and its cost of 100 badges, it will not be a top priority.
Edit: After reading some stuff on the forums I compared this chest to the 2.3 Badge chest. I must say that that is very disappointing. It is a very slight upgrade at best, and i would consider it more of a sidegrade for 25 less badges.

[Scryer's Blade of Focus] - First off, it does not sound like you have to be Scryers to get this item. This is an awesome item for Shadow Priest. Items with only damage are exactly what they need. Unfortunately for me, the chances of Graypal every getting it are very slim. For Graylo, it is a question of can I make up for he lost spell hit. With out making up for the lost spell hit this is actually a down grade for me. Plus, it costs 150 badges wich is way to expensive in my opinion. Why should a caster weapon cost the same as a two-handed weapon. Why should Melee classes get an main hand and and off hand for 150 badges while casters have to spend at least 175 badges for the same. It doesn't make sense.

[Fused Nethergon Band] - This is a great ring and at only 60 badges it is a great deal. I can't see why I wouldn't pick this up eventually.

New Patch Notes:

When they said this would be progressive patch they were not kidding. There have been some major changes since my last post. Also, as many other bloggers have pointed out some of these new patch notes are very similar if not exactly the same as some of the "fake" patch notes I listed earlier. I think this is a pretty good sign for me since it could mean that Moonkin will get some much needed changes. The fake patch notes didn't really go far enough for me to think moonkin would be completely fixed but it is a step in the right direction.

Here are the highlights of the PTR changes from my perspective, but I may miss some things since it is all over the place and seems to be updated every day or two. Also, If you would like a more complete list of the changes, head over to World of Raids or MMO Champion.

- Lifebloom healing coefficient has been reduced. - I think this is ment as a PvP nerf, but I don't see how it doesn't have a significant impact on PvE as well. From a lot of things I have read and heard Lifebloom is the main thing that makes Resto Druids raid viable, quite a few guilds choose not to run with them already. With out other buffs this could cripple PvE resto druids.
- Natural Perfection: This ability will no longer be triggered by taking critical strikes while sitting. In addition, it is now affected by the Subtlety talent and reduces damage by 2/3/4%, down from 1/3/5%. - This is a straight up PvP nerf, that a lot of QQers will be happy about. I can't really comment to much since I don't play as a resto and I don't PvP to much.
- Nurturing Instinct increases your healing spells by up to 50/100% of your Agility, and increases healing done to you by 10/20% of your Attack Power while in Cat form. - This sounds like a pretty big PvP buff for feral druids. The old version of Nurturing Instict increased your healing by 50% of your Strength instead of 100% Agility and there was no buff to healing recieved. I don't see how this isn't a huge change PvP wise. Agility is a much bigger stat for Feral Druids then Strenght. This change will make them much more viable healers and greatly improve their survivability. It is also a small buff from a PvE perspective but I doubt it is enough to make raiding ferals pick up the talent. If the healing received buff also worked in Bear form it would instantly be come a must have talent.


- Chastise no longer disorients the target, but now is instant cast and roots the target for 2 seconds.
- Focused Will now reduces damage by 2/3/4%, down from 1/3/5%.
- Power Infusion: Infuses the target with power, increasing their spell haste by 20% for 15 seconds.
I don't really understand these changes. Ther first two are nerfs and the last is a buff. I didn't think priests were having a whole lot of issues in PvP but then again I haven't really paid attention. These changes just seem strange and unnecessary to me, but I could be wrong.

Other Changes:
- Badges of Justice have been added to all raid bosses who did not previously have them! - Great change. Kara will still be the primary way to get badges quickly, but this will make running kara less of a requirement. It also gives better geared raid members a reason to raid old content other than gearing up new members.
- Added Shattrath Flask of Pure Death and Shattrath Flask of Blinding Light to the reputation flask vendors in Shattrath. - Another great change. This will same me a ton of money in fel lotus since the Flask of Blinding light is the best flask for me. I am already exalted with the necessary factions so it is a straight up bonus for me.

- Nether Vortex are no longer Bind on Pickup and can now be purchased from G’eras for 15 Badges of Justice!
- Primal Nether are no longer Bind on Pickup! - These are great changes for Graypal and pretty good ones for Graylo. It will save me money and I will be able to get some great hear for Graypal easily. However, it will destroy the economy for both items. It sucks for people that make a lot of money off of nethers but I don't really care right now.
- Jan’alai will now only teleport players to him if they are too far away. - This isn't a huge change but I see it as nerf that I am in favor of. As it is now caster DPS looses a little bit of DPS every time he teleports people because we are disoriented and have to find a safe spot. We will still have to avoid the bombs but it should be a little easier since we will already know where we are. Plus we can finish that last spell before we are teleported.
- Druid Balance PvP Sets: The bonus movement speed for Bear, Cat, and Travel Form has been removed and replaced with a new bonus to Wrath and Starfire. - From what I've heard the new bonus is your Wrath has a chance to reduce the casting time of your next Starfire to 1.5 seconds. Basically, this gives you Starfire type damage in a Wrath casting time. Not a bad change, but not as good as it seems. I think most PvP moonkin use Wrath for its push back resistance if you have celestial focus. The reduced casting time and higher DPS are nice also, but being able to get the cast off while getting hit has to be a major attraction. Since Starfire has no push back resistance this change doesn't help a whole lot if you are getting hit.
- AV now has a Join as Party option. - A good change, but not huge. I always hated having to time my queue to get in with friend. I know that there are addons that help, but not being able to join as a group was kind of stupid to begin with.

Guild Update:
Things are going pretty well. We have recleared Gruul's and Mag, and got VR down to 2% on Monday. Recruiting has slowed down quite a bit but we obviously need some more of most classes. Some of the people we have recruited are turning out to be duds but most are doing pretty well and taking the time to work on their performance. As I said before we could still use a few more people, but we are much more able to look for quality now and don't have to blindly take anyone.

Overall, I am happy with the guild. I wish what the split hadn't happened and the new WA is a little more Casual then I would like. However, we are making progress. Hopefully we can get back to where we were quickly and I can see some of the higher end content.

Toon Update:
Graylo - Not much to say. Just raiding and getting badges.
Graypal - I worked on him a bit more. I did a lot of quests in Netherstorm over the weekend and got him the second Kara Key fragment. Now I just need to get an Arc run and a BM run. This is taking a little longer than I had expected but oh well.
Grayfel - I can't remember if I dinged 27 or not. If I didn't I'm very close. Leveling does seem to be easier now with the 2.3 nerfs but these first 30 levels weren't that hard to begin with. We will see how it goes when he gets a little higher.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Real 2.4 Patch Notes

The official 2.4 patch notes were released about a week ago and the WoW community is already foaming at the mouth over all of the changes. Most people seem to be happy with them. They primarly focus on the new content and such, but there is a vocal minority very upset with the patch notes. If you have taken a look at Blue Tracker then you have seen the outrage on the Shaman forums that their class didn't get any buffs, and infact got nerfed a little bit.

Anyway, posted below are my comments on the new patch. I have ignored a lot of the stuff that doesn't seems fairly small, doesn't affect me significantly, or I have no clue about. I have also excluded stuff that I have discussed in prior posts.

On last thing, it is now obvious that the notes I commented on last week are indeed fake or at least long range plans as some other sources have suggested. Oh well. Now to the fun stuff.

The Sunwell Isle
* The Sunwell Isle is now available for play. This area includes a new quest hub and 5-player and 25-player instances. Join the Shattered Sun Offensive in shutting down Kael’thas’ nefarious operations. This new force is comprised by both the Aldor and Scryers and is led by the Naaru. Players will take part in claiming Sun’s Reach and setting up a larger base of operation to stop Kael’thas and the Legion.
Like most people this is my favorite part of the patch. I am not playing much attention to the 25 man since I probably won't see it anytime soon if ever, but hearing how one of the bosses was enslaved and let loose on the general publick was quite funny. The 5-man on the other hand I am paying a lot of attention to. The gear that will be available looks to plug some of the holes in the Kara left behind and it looks to be a great place for me to gear up Graypal. Anyway, there is so much to talk about on this topic that I will save it for a later post.

* A representative of the Keepers of Time has been spotted at the World’s End Tavern in Shattrath. Players in good standing with the faction will be granted ease of passage to the Caverns of Time. - Awesome, and it is about time.
* Spirit-Based Mana Regeneration: This system has been adjusted so that as your intellect rises, you will regenerate more mana per point of spirit. - Another good buff for high end raiders. I kind of wonder if it will have any affect on lower level players. From what I've read it should give Graylo another 21 mp5 while casting. Graypal will get about 4 mp5 while casting. I wonder how this will affect new 70s trying to get into raiding guilds, but since it doesn't seem to hurt Graypal I doubt it will hurt anyone.

Class Changes

Pretty much all of the Druid changes listed are bug fixes and I don’t affect moonkin much. So there really isn’t much to comment on. It appears to be the same for the other classes as well. The biggest change in this section that I could see was priests being able to cast Fear Ward in Shadow Form and I have already commented on that in a prior post.

However, despite the current lack of substance in this section doesn’t mean that their won’t be more changes. The Blizzard CMs have said that this is “progressive” patch and that they plan to include more changes including class changes. Just don’t expect anything huge.

* Added new PvP daily quests that send players to Halaa and the Spirit Towers of the Bone Wastes. These quests are available for Alliance and Horde at their respective local quest hubs. - Anything that gives more honor and promotes world PvP I am a fan of.
* When you first enter a battleground, messages about other players joining the battleground will be linked together for the first minute. You will see a message in AV like "28 players joined" rather than a line for each player that joined. After the first minute, it will work as it always has. In addition all of the messages about other players leaving the battleground and getting marks of honor once the battleground is complete have been removed. - Awesome. I always hated when I got crit by a wall of text entering a battleground. Not a huge change but it means less scrolling
Warsong Gulch

* When both flags are held, the flag carriers will receive 50% increased damage done to them after approximately 10 minutes and 100% increased damage after approximately 15 minutes.
* Flag carriers can now be tracked 45 seconds after picking up the flag.
- I am not a big fan of WSG. If I pug it I loose, and pre-mades are no guarentee either, but these changes are great. I should make the games go faster, improving one of the big problems with the BG.

* Alchemy - Gift of Arthas now stacks to 20. I realize it is a bug fix, but does anyone really care.
* Fishing - New Fishing Daily Quests! Visit the mysterious old man fishing at Silmyr Lake outside of Shattrath City to discover what treasures he has to offer. - I am not really impressed with the rewards I have heard about from this so far. I doubt it will encourage me to fish more.
* Herbalism
- Ancient Lichen now has a chance to drop a Fel Lotus where it used to drop a piece of random green jewelry. Finally, the random green jewelry sucked and didn't even DE into anything good.
- Black Lotus replaced by Fel Lotus in herbalism skinning tables for Outland creatures. - Another great change. I doubt anyone uses much Black Lotus anymore.
- Increased the chance that Felweed, Dreaming Glory, Ragveil, and Flame Caps will contain a Fel Lotus. - I was never upset with the current drop rates. I thougth they were pretty fair and made Fel Lotus a pretty good source of cash for non-raiders. However, it sounds like the QQers might have won and more will drop. I am not upset since it will probably save me money, but I don't think the change is necessary.
- Warp Splinter can now be skinned with Herbalism in heroic difficulty. - Finally, now can someone please work on doing the same for Quag in Slave Pens.
* Mining - Increased the skill up potential for most smelting recipes. - This is great for Grayfel. One of the main reasons I am leveling him is to get free gems so anything that helps me level mining is a good thing in my opinion.

* Dungeon and Group Quest Experience: The amount of experience awarded for dungeon and 5-person group quests in Outland has been increased in almost all cases. - Anything that helps me get to 70 quicker I am a fan of.

Dungeons and Raids
* Players will no longer require an attunement quest to enter Hyjal or Black Temple. - I would have liked to get their before they dropped the attunement but it means that I will probably get a chance to see at least some of both instances. Now if they would just drop the attunement for the preBC raids. My friends keep running them for fun but I can't because I am not attuned and I don't want to spend hours getting attuned.
* Players who have completed the attunement quests for Black Temple and Hyjal will be granted the title of “Hand of A’dal”. - I am a fan of titles .
* You may now fight Prince Kael’thas and Lady Vashj without first killing all the other bosses in their respective dungeons. A good change in my opinion. Before WA fell apart we would spend a good amount of time doing old raids, now we will be able to focus on the new bosses when we get back there.
* Caverns of Time: Heroic Black Morass - Rift Keepers and Rift Lords now have reduced hit points. - Is it just me or do they seem to nerf HBM every patch? Not that big of a deal though.
* Caverns of Time: Mount Hyjal - The Vials of Eternity quest is no longer necessary for entry to Hyjal. This quest is still required for faction rings. Those rings are awesome so I definately will want to get Vashj and Kael down if I can.
* Hellfire Citadel: Magtheridon’s Lair - Many gameplay elements of the encounters in Magtheridon’s Lair have been changed to decrease their overall complexity and difficulty. - Another fight they seem to nerf every patch. I would like to know what the spicifics are here but I don't really think it needs a nerf. On the bright side though it will make it easier for WA to gear up new people.

* Heavy Netherweave Bandage & Netherweave Bandage: It is no longer possible to have two players bandage the same target simultaneously using this item. - Was this really a problem. I have never heard of 2 people bandaging the same target. I only use mine on my self.
* Black Temple level BoJ gear. - This isn't in the actual patch notes yet but one of the CMs posted it. I can't wait to see it. Nobody has found the vender for it yet. I assume that it will be released with some stage of the Sunwell event that they havent gotten to on the PTR yet. Two new cloaks and a Trinket are all available from the Shatt Badge vender but they are all PvP focused. Needless to say I am already saving up my badges. Hopefully we will hear some good stuff soon.

Druid Idol Changes - They have buffed a lot of the Druid Idols. It seems like Blizzard is finally realizing that wands are far superior to our idols and are trying to make some changes. Below are the two changes that affect moonkin.
* Idol of the Raven Goddess: The bonus healing, critical strike rating, and spell critical strike rating from this item have been increased. In addition, it no longer sometimes fails to apply the healing bonus. - It increases the added spell crit from 9 to 20. It is a pretty significant change but I doubt it is enough to make me wear it. I will have to do some math to see.
* Idol of the Unseen Moon: The cooldown added in a previous patch has been removed. - Another good change. I heard that they originally nerfed it because people would Moonfire spam untill they got a proc. If that is the real reason then its kind of stupid. You would drain all your mana doing it and/or you would waste a lot of casting time due to the repeated global cooldown. The big advantage of this idol is casting Starfire right after it, since starfire benifits greatly from additional spell damage. Basically, if someone wants to moonfire spam a lot, let them they are an idiot.
* Weightstones and Sharpening Stones: The bonus damage from these temporary enchantments now works while shapeshifted. - A feral buff that I haven't seen talked about anywere. I think this is a pretty good change for ferals and for Blacksmiths since not many feral druids would take up blacksmithing on their main.

Guild Update
I was turned down by Legacy. Not that supprising since they already have several moonkin. Not a problem though it is probably for the best. I have desided to stick with WA. I know I have said that before but I am more optimistic about WA now than since the collapse. We have started raiding 25 mans again. We are clearing Gruul's weekly and doing very well on Mag. Much better than I had expected. There are several other guilds falling apart on the server and we have picked up a few really good people. Also, I did find a guild off server that was looking for a moonkin. I thought about apping but I desided that I really didn't want to leave my friends on this server and step into the unknown. It is a really big risk that I wouldn't be able to fix for 3 months if it went bad. So, here I am in WA. Hopefully I will have more positive updates soon.

Toon Update
Graylo - Not really much to say here. I have been raiding to help gear people and get badges but there aren't many significan't improvements I can get for him untill we start raiding higher level stuff again. I do hope to get his Champion of the Naruu title soon though.
Graypal - Oddly enough I haven't done much with him either. I still need the second and third Key frag for his kara key, but haven't had much luck getting groups. Its funny, now that he is 70 I have lost a bit of interest in him, but I did do some quests with him in Netherstorm to make some money.
Grayfel - This has been my focus lately. I got him from 20 to 24. He has his Succubus and his two professions are coming along nicely for a level 24 toon. I am giving him a little bit of a rest right now to build up a little more rested xp, but he may level quickly given the state of my guild. Then again Graypal went from 1-40 pretty quickly then slowed down quite a bit.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Fake??? Patch notes.

The few weeks before the release of new patch notes is always very interesting. Everyone has changes that they would like made to their class or another class. Some players deside to make ultimates like "Nerf Warlocks or else" and "Buff Moonkin or else." Quite a few who play Alternate Specs like me get their hopes up hoping that significant changes will be made to their class so that they are suddenly more viable. They see a spec like Shadow Priest go from laughing stock to raiding necessity and hope that things can change that quickly for their charicter. However, they are usually disappointed even when their spec did get significant buffs.

Another interesting aspect of new patches are "Unreleased/Fake" patch notes. Theres are either hopeful suggestions or supposidly from some secret source inside blizzard, but almost always are far from the actual patch notes. However, some sources are better than others and they can provide some interesting talking points. Here is a list of some of the "leaked" patch notes. I think the original post was on Elitist Jerks but I found them on MMO Champion.

Chances are these are fake, but I have to admit that they are not out of the realm of possiblity. I am also only going to look at Druid section because I don't know much about the other classes.
  • Cyclone range reduced to 20 yards, down from 30. - This is would primarly be PvP nerf for resto druids but I doubt it would happen.
  • Lifebloom healing coefficient reduced by $ - I really don't like this. Resto may need a nerf in PvP, but I don't PvP much so I don't know. I do know that Resto does not need a nerf in PvE and this would result in a big PvE nerf.
  • Natural Perfection now reduces damage by 2/3/4% down from 1/3/5% - More PvP nerf.
  • Tree of Life: You may now cast any Restoration spell in this form. - This would be a good change. There is no reason why tree's should be able to cast healing touch.
  • Improved Tranquility: Now also reduces the mana cost of Tranquility by 10/20%. - From what I understand Tranquility is a very situational spell, but any buff is nice.
  • Nurturing Instinct: Increases your healing spells by up to 50/100% of your Agility, and increases healing done to you by 25/50% of your Attack Power. - The healing done buff is possible and probably intended for PvP, but the healing recieved can't possibly be true. I am not an expert on feral or healing but that would be huge.

Ok, Now to the two "notes" that matter to me most.

  • Moonkin Form no longer gains 150% attack power or mana returned from melee hits, but now refunds 2% of your total mana every time you critically hit with a spell.

I wouldn't be at all supprised if this was something that Blizz was playing around with. The Melee for Mana is widely regarded as useless and Blizzard has even admitted that it was a failed experement. Many people have been asking for it to be replaced with something that involves getting mana back when you crit. So it wouldn't supprise me if Blizzard was thinking about it.

However I would be a little supprised if it happened exactly as listed above. I did some quick calculations. My raid buffed mana pull is a little over 10k. My raid buffed base crit rate is above 21%. So, if I use the standard rotation of MF, IS, SFx3, my MF will have a crit rate of 31% and my SF will have a crit rate of 25%. Each crit would return 200 mana. I won't bore you with all the math but this change would result in about 95 Mp5 in ideal conditions. Even if you add two more seconds to the casting rotation for errors and delays then you still get 80 Mp5 from this change.

This sounds awesome, and I would love to see it implemented. However, I would expect to see some thing more modest from Blizzard. They would probably either reduce the amount of mana returned or would putt in some cooldown on how often mana can be returned, just like in improved Leader of the Pack. I would like to see it include party members also, I doubt it will happen but it would be a signifficant increase to a moonkin's raid viability.

  • Force of Nature: Treants now have a 15% chance to proc Entangling Roots on the target.

This would primarily be a PvP buff and probably not all that great of one. Most good PvP players I know can get away from the trees fairly easily.

Guild Update:
I am still with WA. I talked with some people from Legacy and it basically came down that they really liked my app but didn't know if they could use me. I am supposed to talk to them again soon to see what they deside. WA is taking baby steps. We downed HKM last night with a lot of new people, I had to leave after the first attempt on Gruul so I don't know if they got him down or not.

Toon Update:
Graylo - Without any high level raiding he has been on the back burner. He has mainly done some farming and helped other guildies with stuff that they need.

Graypal - WOOT!!!! He dinged 70 the other day but as most of you know there is still a lot of work to do. Here is a list.

  1. Work on my professions - My tailoring was already 375 but I need to finish making the Frozen Shadoweave set. Plus I need to get the mats togeather for the Spell Strike set. I still have a lot to do on enchanting but it is less important. His enchanting was at 353 when he dinged, but with a little work I got it to 360. I also did a little farming for some of the enchants that I need and got pretty lucky. I got the [Formula: Enchant Bracer - Spellpower] in about 10 kills and the [Enchant Weapon - Major Spellpower] in about 20 kills. According to Wowhead the drop rates for both patterns is about 0.7% or 0.8%. Since only Enchanters can see it drop the actual drop rate must be a little higher, but on the other hand, pattern farmers are probably he main people who kill these guys. So, the drop rate probably isn't all that much higher. Anyway, I feel very lucky. I have heard may stories of people having hundreds of kills without a pattern. I know how they feel. It took me hundreds of kills to get the Arcane protection potion in Nagrand, so I am glad I didn't have to experiance that again.
  2. Work on Kara key - I have the first key fragment, but still need to run SV, Arc, and then BM to get the key. This should be that hard once I get some time on a weekend.
  3. Work on Epic Flying Mount - I have been debating getting Graypal an Epic flyer for a while. I am fairly impatient and would like to have access to the Netherwing daily quests with him, but at the same time 5000g is a lot of gold for an alt. I may change my mind but I think I am going to get him the epic flyer. As soon as I dinged 70 a bought him is regular flyer. While it is nice to be able to avoid mobs and such by flying, I had forgotten how slow they are and it really bugs me. Luckilly I dinged 70 before I hit Netherstorm or SMV, doing all of those quests should net me some pretty good cash. Plus, I have a lot group quests left in all of he zones. Those will be a good source of cash also as well as enchanting mats.
  4. Work on my Reps - I am not revered with anything yet and most of the good enchanting patters rep rewards require you to be at least revered. The good news is that I am honored with most of them so I can possibly do heroics.

Public Service Announcement:
I had heard of this scam before but unfortunately one of WA very trusting officers had not. Someone posing as an alt for WA's GM asked one of WA's officers for a guild invite and then asked to be promoted up to Class Assist so that he could see officer chat. He then went to the guild bank, took all of the gold (+2000) and all of the valuable mats and such. He then must have mailed them to another charicter and deleted the toon. We opened a ticket and they are investigating it, so we might get some of it back. Anyway, I just wanted to warn you guys in case you get a similar whisper. Confirm an alts identity over vent or something before you give it access to the guild bank.

Monday, February 4, 2008

My thoughts on 2.4

The complete patch notes haven't been released yet, but some interesting stuff has been leaked by the CMs. Here they are with my thoughts in Red.

* The summoning restriction in Netherstorm has been lifted - Awesome, at least for now. I just wish it was sooner. I was hoping to get my Kara key before I hit 70 then I learned that I couldn't be summoned to Arc. The down side of this is that their will probably be a lot of people that want to go before they are ready.
* Characters will now retain talented spell ranks so when they retalent they do not have to relearn the spells from trainers. - I am not a respec junky but anything that saves me money is a good thing. Plus nothing slows down a raid more then people respecing for fight but for getting to train spells.
* Spell Haste: Spell haste now reduces the global cooldown on spells, down to a minimum of 1 second. This change does not apply to melee and ranged abilities. - This is a very interesting change. I have long tought that Haste was an overrated or expensive stat for casters. How this will change that I don't know. This seems to help holy paladins the most but I don't really know what I am talking about. From a Moonkin perspective it will be interesting to see if this affects the Natures Grace talent for Wrath.

* Players will now be able to purchase level 70 Superior quality PvP items from reputation vendors in Outland. - This really doesn't seem like much. The only real benifit I can see from this would be to get alts a good starter pvp set, but then it depends on what rep level you need to get the gear. If it is exalted this is almost useless, Revered would be ok but still difficult, honored would be nice.
* Diminishing Returns have been removed from the Honor System. This now means that killing someone worth Honor will reward you with that Honor instantly, rather than each night during Honor calculations. - I like the idea of being able to spend Honor right away.
* A player under Resurrection Sickness is worth no Honor. - Good idea but won't prevent people from being dicks
* A player who has died 50 or more times in a particular Battleground is worth no Honor for the duration of that Battleground match. - This is just exploit prevention.

* Lacerate will now scale with Attack Power, causing it to deal additional damage. - I don't know much about feral but anything that buffs druids I am a fan of.

* Players can now only carry 80 Conjured Mana Biscuits at a time. - Anything that prevents people from being dicks I am a fan of.

* Items intended for Retribution Paladins have had their stats adjusted. Retribution Paladins should see an increase in dps as a result. - Since I play an off spec it's always nice to see an off spec get some love. Hopefuly they will come to moonkin soon.

* Fear Ward is now useable while in Shadow Form. - Awesome, Fear Ward was just way to mana expensive for Shadow Priests otherwise.

* Ritual of Summoning can now be used to summon players into instances. Provided the player meets all entry requirements, they can be summoned in from anywhere in the game world. - I love this change. It will save so much time for raiders. Think of the possibilities. 1. Waiting list people wont have to sit outside an instance anymore. You can actually do something productive while you wait. 2. If the raid leader or someone forgot that robot in the bank, they can get it and be back in less than a minute. Even better, if you don't have an engineer in raid you can summon one in really quickly. This in my opinion is proably the best change in the patch so far.

* Added a recipe to convert a void crystal into two large prismatic shards, it can only be used once every 24 hours. - I am a fan of lowing the cost of Large Prismatic shards.

* New Fishing Daily Quests! Visit the mysterious old man fishing at Silmyr Lake outside of Shattrath City to discover what treasures he has to offer. - More daily quests arn't a bad thing but I will hold my judgement until I see the reward. If it is something good enough to encourage me to fish then I am a fan, otherwise I will probably ignore it.

Dungeons and Raids
* All 25- player raid bosses that drop set tokens will now drop an additional token! - Anything helps me and my guild get Teir gear quicker is good.
* Gems obtained through Heroic difficulty instances are no longer Unique-equipped. - I always thought that these being Unique-equip was a little stupid. It was basically having an epic item giving you only a 1 or 2 point stat buff. This will now give me a reason to start running mech again to get some of those +hit and +dam gems.
* Loot dropped by Doomlord Kazzak and Doomwalker has been changed to Bind on Equip. In addition, the cash dropped by these bosses has been significantly increased. - Lets face it, this is pretty much a gold give away to the higher level raiding guilds. I will admit that I was annoyed by hearing Kazzak yell for hours in HFP. However, the guilds that could really use the loot won't get a lot of it since the guild that can one shot it will, and then sell the gear for hundreds of gold.
* Scale of the Sands reputation will now be awarded in Hyjal at a much higher rate. - I am a fan of anything that make rep grinds shorter.
* Gold rewards from 25-player raid bosses have been increased. - Who isn't a fan of more gold?

User Interface
* GM messages now appear with a Blizzard icon near their name. - I didn't realize that identifing GMs was a problem, but I can see the potential for fraud without this icon.
* When looting Bind on Pickup items, the confirmation dialogue now lists the name of the item in the dialogue. You can now verify that you are picking up the correct bind on pickup item. - My guilds tend to not use master looter, so this will hopefully releave a little stress when picking up Items off a boss.
* Bind on Pickup items that only you can pick up (Heroic Badges for instance) will no longer bring up a confirmation dialogue. - I don't know about you guys but everytime I go to loot my badges I get a little worried that I am looting the wrong item. This is a smart and over due change.
* The profession UI search field has been improved and now allows for searching of more types of things. For instance you can search for items by socket color, by effect ("Critical Strike" for instance) or search gems by their effect ("Strength" for instance). In addition, the searching of items by level has been made more intuitive. You can now search for items by level with "15-20" to search for items that you can make that have a minimum level required of 15 to 20. - The Profession seems to be screwed up as it is. When I try and do some of the BC enchants on my Priest I can't find them unless I actually search the name. I wonder how this fix will change all that. However, I am a big fan of anything that will allow me to ignore all the low level pots and elixirs Graylo can make. You know know how much I hate scrolling through all that stuff.

Guild Update:
I am still swinging on the pendulum. As I said to a friend over the weekend, it seems like everytime I make a choice something happens to throw my thoughts for a loop. Here are the examples.

1. The guild as a whole desides to go to Musa. Right after someone steps up to run and rebuild WA. Plus raiding with Musa doesn't go all that well. Really long pull times, really early raid time, and a general clash of personalities made Musa less than ideal.

2. So, I leave Musa to go back to WA and help rebuild. I also hope that my leaving will encourage other old WA people to come back. Right after I return to WA the new GM starts to show up a lot less. Last time I checked he hasn't logged on in 3 days. Also, I was the last person to come back from Musa. One old officer says that he is staying so that he can continue to play with his brother. Others just want to raid and don't know what to do. WA trys to put some raids together with the new people but have a hard time even getting a Kara group together. Plus, Musa downs Solarion, so they are making a little progress.

Here is the update:
3. So, I deside that WA is pretty much done and I app to Legacy. I realized my app to Legacy was a long shot but I figured if nothing else worked out I could go back to Musa. As soon as I long in after the App I see that most of the WA people still in Musa have come back to WA. Even the guy that wanted to play with his brother came back. Apparently the personality clashes at Musa where getting worse. There two main tanks left the guild and from the last I heard hadn't gone back. Plus, two of my old WA and FoC friends are talking about coming back from Avarice (*See Below*).

So what do I do now? WA starts to look up a little but now I have this app hanging out there for everyone to see. I don't want to drive anyone away because they think I am leaving, but I also want to give Legacy a shot if I get the opportunity. So far, I have not gotten any response from my app either in game or on their forums, but they did turn down another application from a well geared applicant. I could take no response as a good sign since they responded to another applicant telling him no. I could take it as a bad sign since there hasn't been a response after 3 days. I think I will give my app another day or two and see what happens. If nothing comes of it then I will ask for it to be deleted and stick with WA a little longer.

(*Avarice is the guild that formed out of WA by Mem. I hadn't posted the name before because wanted to be fair and not look like I was bad mouthing them. However, time has passed and I doubt any of my few readers are crazy enough to go and harass them. Plus, given all of the Armory issues lately it would be easy to figure out which guild it was. If you do fell like harassing them please don't. Also, If you don't know what Avarice means click the link above. I got a little chuckle out of that.*)

Toon Update:
Graylo - Just farming. I ran part of Kara to help the guild out but didn't get any loot.
Graypal - He is now 3 bars from 70. I ran a few instances including SL to get the first key fragment. He will be 70 in no time. Now I just need to get all the cloth for his craftable epics.
Grayfel - Sitting there doing nothing.
Graytom - Did a little bit, but not much. I did give him some Netherweave bags though because I was tired of not having any space.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Still Adrift

I think my days at WA are done. I know that it has only been two weeks but I don't many see signs of it coming together. First off, some of the key people didn't come back from Musa. Second, the new GM isn't showing the type of dedication that I think is needed to rebuild the guild. Some of the other officers are doing a lot of work and trying really hard but the results just aren't there. Finally, recruitment isn't going all that well. I didn't expect to pick up 20 raid ready recruits but I expected their to be interest and atleast a lot of people that we could gear, but it is going much slower than I expected.
To be fair, I haven't been all that available lately also. I have had family in town, and my wife as been extra busy. So, I have been responsible for the kid more often then usual. However, I have been checking in to see how things are going and it doesn't appear well.

So that brings up the question of what do I do now. My first choice would be to join Legacy on my server. Assuming that I was invited and got into raids this would be a near perfict solution for me. They have been making a lot of progress lately and have cleared both SSC and TK. They have a later raid time to make my home life a little easier, and they are moonkin friendly. The down side is I know they are moonkin friendly because they already have a moonkin. Two of them infact but one appears to be an alt. I doubt I will get, but you never know. Maybe the other moonkin aren't all that active, or they might be interested in running two moonkin.

There are a few other guilds that might be interested in me that have acceptable raid times or progression but none of them look like great options. If nothing else works out I will probably go back to Musa. They are making a little progress, and maybe they can get into BT after some of their people get more experiance.

Toon Update:
Graylo - If he isn't raiding there isn't a whole lot he can do to upgrade his gear. I haven't even gotten him into Kara this week because of family obligations. He has been very active though. Over the past weekend he was a farming machine. I want to build Frozenshadoweave set for Graypal which requires a lot of primals. So I farmed up the necessary 13 primal fires and 13 primal shadows. Due to my Alchemy I have all of the requred primal water, so all I need now is a few more pieces if Imbued Netherweave and some people willing to make the Shadoweave cloth while mine is on cooldown. I also plan on having the Spellstrike set made for Graypal which means Graylo will need to farm another 20 primal Fire and 9 primal mana. Fun Fun Fun.
Graypal - He is now level 69, and he has rested XP the rest of the way up. I hope to get him into a lot of instances over the weekend since I would like to save the quests for earning money to get the epic flying mount. I also need to run SL, and SV for the key fragments. I will have to run arc also but that will obviously have to wait until I get a flying mount. Luckily I have some friends that say they will help me with those things. Hopefully he will be level 70 and keyed for Kara by the end of the weekend.
Grayfel - Now he is just waiting. All of my focus has been on Graypal lately. I am sure I will go back to him eventually.
Graytom - Got him a couple of levels this week when I didn't want to be bothered by guild stuff, but he still very low.