Introducing Cataclysm

Spoilers!!!!!!

MMOChamp put together a list of what is *probably* the most likely stuff to be announced regarding the next expansion.

As always, until Blizzard actually says something in blue, take this with a grain of salt. And even then, wait for it to hit live.

I will be posting the entirety of the MMOChamp post for those behind web filters and I will probably spend the rest of the week dissecting this stuff.

If you’ve been living under a rock, you may not be aware that Blizzard trademarked the word “Cataclysm” back on June 26th.

Conspiracy theories abounded: new expansion? new MMO? new something else entirely?

It’s looking like it will be announced as the new expansion at BlizzCon (which I will be streaming, yay!).

So, here’s what MMOChamp had to say, original post can be found here. Continue reading

Breaking in 3.2

Quick shout out to my guild for our Naxx 10 run last night!

We were scheduled to run Naxx 10 with a full compliment of people… but life happened.

We lost one of our three healers and our off-tank.

My hubby was bringing his undergeared DK in as DPS to collect gear for tanking but we shoved him into what tank gear he had and he was the new OT. Instead of the luxury of 3 healers when we needed them, we were going to 2-heal it all.

We cleared Spider and Plague wings with only 1 wipe. Apparently poison totems only work for the party that the shaman is in… so that made Grand Widow a little tricky the first time. We nailed the bitch on the second go.

Half our raid was undergeared or under-experienced (our little hunter has only been drug through Naxx 25 once, she’s never seen Naxx 10) and we pulled it off. Two wings, anyway.

Big woot for us!

So patch 3.2 has arrived.

I spent the first part of Tuesday night not knowing what to do – once I was able to log in.

I wanted to be on every character at the same time checking all my neat new things (trying very hard to overlook anything that could be considered a nerf).

Load my out of date add ons so my eyes don’t bleed looking at the standard UI.

Started on the mage, of course. Checked with all class/profession trainers to make sure nothing new had popped up. Admired my new +23 Spellpower on my rings (up from +19). Picked up a bizarre little dead-end quest in Dal to deliver a shield to Thunder Bluff. Was anyone able to take that quest anywhere after that?

In TB, saw the new portal to the Dark Portal. Then promptly saw someone in trade chat requesting a port to Stonard. Fool. L2read patch notes.

Picked up the new BoA chest for my priest and sent that off.

ZOMG Continue reading

Nail-biting suspense

So will 3.2 be up when the maintenance is over?

Wow.com and MMO Champion both seem to feel pretty strongly about 3.2 going live today. Of course, they can’t name their sources or those individuals would be drug out into the streets and beaten, drawn and quartered, beaten some more, dipped in boiling oil, and then forced to watch Gigli. Or something.

Let’s ponder.

Patch 3.2 calls for major changes to how 2s teams in arena will be handled. Rating from a 2s team cannot be used to purchase the weapons or shoulders, nor can it be applied to any arena titles. (Note that this is a slight backpedaling from their original change to fuck over 2s teams entirely with no purchase of ANY rated gear.)

I can’t find any notice anywhere of Blizzard announcing the end of the arena season. Amend that, I can find a forum post from Zarhym saying that the current season is NOT ending tomorrow. He doesn’t say when it will end, just not on the 4th.

There is the possibility that they are loading those arena changes for NEXT season, and the rated players from this season will be able to get their weapons and shoulders. Apparently this was done around Sunwell era.

This may have led to a problem where there was a gap between the power of raiding and PvP weapons – arena teams were using the new PvE weapons while they waited for the PvP weapons to be released. General consensus seems to be that this was a clusterfuck and should be avoided.

The phased approach to the new Coliseum, where a new boss is released each week, may be the answer to that. By the time the last boss is released, the new season will be ready to start?

Another oddity is that rumor has it that the PTR is still accessible as of 9:45 PDT on the 3rd. However, for release 3.0 the PTR was kept up past the release…

The PTR has been labeled “RETAIL_BUILD” since sometime around July 28th, but several builds have been added since. Some people swear by the retail tag, but what use is that if they add multiple builds after it goes retail?

But… if it doesn’t come out today… we also have BlizzCon coming up on the 21st and 22nd.

I can’t imagine that they would release a major content patch right before they pretty much shut down shop to host that event. Nor would they want to release it right after…

Maybe today is the best day before sometime in September?

/end ponder

And to really end all the supsense:

Patch 3.2

And lo, the mobs have been heard

I’m not talking about the mobs in game that we slaughter in droves, I’m talking about the mobs of players that had issues with the upcoming emblem changes.

Feast your peepers on this little tidbit of blue:

The Heroic dungeon daily quest will now reward 2 Emblems of Triumph and the normal daily dungeon quest will reward 1 Emblem of Conquest.

(Found on MMO Champ and here’s the WoW forum thread.)

So the normal daily will no longer reward an Emblem of Triumph.

While I’m sure that this will not appease those hardest against the emblem changes, the removal of Emblems of Triumph from the normal daily does mollify me a little bit. Remember, I’m not really worked up about this… just the tier pieces! But I will point out I made this suggestion back here… maybe one of my lurking readers is a Blizzard employee? I doubt it, but that would be cool. =)

It made no sense for players to have the option, no matter how time consuming, to earn Coliseum-level epics by doing NORMAL daily dungeons. I don’t think it even makes sense to earn Triumph off of the heroic dailies, but I’ll take what I can get.

MMO Champ is predicting a possible release of 3.2 as early as next week.

Are you ready?

I know I’m looking forward to my priest getting Journeyman level riding and new quests opening up at the Argent Tournament.

Now that drakes in Occulus will scale with gear I might set foot back in there again.

Curious to see how the reduction in mana cost for Arcane Blast will play out with the reduction in replenishment. I’m thinking it will be a buff for me as I can never count on having replenishment.

I’ve been watching MMO Champ as they follow the changes on the PTR, but I’m seeing all sorts of stuff on the official forum that I somehow missed. So many things to look forward to!

For the Alliance, don’t say I never did nothin’ for ya:

My first toon was a night elf warrior, mining and blacksmithing. This is almost enough to make me want to visit him again:

Mathiel in Darnassus has finally earned himself enough money from your repair bills that he was able to buy himself an anvil.

And that makes 100 posts!

Emblems of Easymode

OK, every one is on the bandwagon talking about the emblem changes.
Before I get too far into this, I want to say I don’t have a very strong opinion about the whole mess. I’m a little irked about it and have a couple beefs, but I can also see how this will benefit me. I’m trying to find the silver lining here.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s what Blizz has up their sleeve:
quote
Emblem System Changes
Both the 10 and 25-player instances of the Crusaders’ Coliseum drop a new Emblem of Triumph.
Any dungeons that previously dropped Emblems of Heroism or Valor, such as Naxxramas or Heroic Halls of Stone, will now drop Emblems of Conquest instead. Emblems of Conquest can still be converted to Valor or Heroism.
The Heroic dungeon daily quest will now reward 2 Emblems of Triumph and the normal daily dungeon quest will reward 1 Emblem of Triumph.
The existing achievements to collect 1, 25, 50, etc. Emblems of Heroism, Valor, and Conquest have been converted to Feats of Strength since Heroism and Valor Emblems are no longer attainable.
New achievements have been added to collect various amounts of any combination of emblems.
end quote
So today:
Heroic 5-man = EoH
Daily Heroic = EoH
VoA 10 = EoH
Naxx 10 = EoH
Naxx 25 = EoV
Uld 10 = EoV
VoA 25 = EoV (Archavon only)
VoA 25 = EoC (Emalon only)
Uld 25 = EoC
Emblem exchange is roughly like:
EoH = Tier 7/ilevel 200/heirloom items
EoV = Tier 7.5/ilevel 213
EoC = Tier 8/ilevel 226
And in the possible future:
Heroic 5-man = EoC
Daily Normal = EoT
Daily Heroic = EoT
VoA 10 = EoC
Naxx 10 = EoC
Naxx 25 = EoC
Uld 10 = EoC
VoA 25 = EoC
Uld 25 = EoC
Coliseum 10 = EoT
Coliseum 25 = EoT
Emblem exchange should look like:
EoC = Tier 7 – Tier 8/ilevel 200 – 226/heirloom items
EoT = Tier 9/ilevel 232+
I think Blizz’s intention is to remove gear as the obstacle for people seeing content. Mind you, Naxx and Uld are going to be old content by the time this happens. (And let’s face it, this is from the PTR notes, this may never see the light of day.)
Beef #1: Why have the dailies give EoT? I do feel those should be EoC. When the content is older, say the next patch after this, then I probably wouldn’t care,but it seems like a bit of a jump to go from Heroic to Tier 9.
What seems to be the problem?
The problem is that a fresh 80 can run heroics until his fingers bleed (or be carried through them) and purchase some snazzy Tier 8 and possibly Tier 9 gear, without having to bother with that pesky Tier 7 or even ilevel 200 crap.
This not-quite-so-fresh anymore 80 (it will take many, many runs to get enough emblems to gear this way) could then enter LFG for the Coliseum.
A quick armory shows that he’s Ulduar-level geared, so he gets invited.
He then causes a massive wipe because he’s never cleared Naxx but he’s run Heroic Nexus every day for 3 months.
What is the real problem?
Evaluating a player’s gear will no longer be an effective method of determining skill.
But you know what?
It’s not effective today.
I’ve been in plenty of PuGs where people meet the gear requirements set by the raid leader and still die in the fire. Other players in greens and blues are blowing them out of the water.
As I said several posts back,
quote
Gear makes a player prettier. It does not automatically make a player better.
end quote
Euripedes said it another way in one of his comments:
quote
I mean, if someone who’s never been outside of a heroic instance rolls into Ulduar with all his new shinies, he’s not going to magically apparate the skill needed to raid there.
He’s just going to look cool when he wipes.
endquote
So if we can’t use gear to exclude people, what do we use?
Comparing achievements is probably going to be the smarter way to go about weeding out baddies.
Beef #2: On my server at least, about 2 days after content hits all the LFG looks like: “LFM for InstanceX, link stats and achievement.”
This could make it even harder to get around the achievement requirements.
Are there any other problems?
Well yeah, the people that have Tier 8 now won’t be special snowflakes because all these other scrubs also have Tier 8.
Except those players that were cutting edge to Tier 8 are now going to be cutting edge to Tier 9. They shouldn’t care about Tier 8 anymore.
Will scrubs be able to get Tier 9?
Yes, it looks like they can slowly accrue enough EoT through the dailies to get a few Tier 9 pieces.
So we’ll call those “welfare nines” and we’ll look for the BoP items that prove you were there and did that.
If a baddy slips through the cracks, he gets booted. Keep note of who did well and who didn’t. Ya know, same as we do today when we pick up someone that has been carried through content.
I don’t have a beef with this.
So where’s that silver lining?
I’m leveling an alt. Other people are leveling alts.
Ever had a situation like, “Oh noes, so and so (top healer or tank) is going away foreva and we need someone to fill their place. Quick! Everyone level a healing/tanking alt!”?
And everyone groans because this means that the Ulduar-raiding guild now has to slog through Naxx again to get the gear for the alt to progress.
Or… now you can bust out some chain heroics, run a raid or two, and fill in the missing pieces with badges.
The alts won’t be top-of-the-line geared, but it will be good enough to get them back into a raid and let the player show that skill can make up for some discrepancy in gear.
I don’t see this change benefiting BRAND NEW players that are making the climb from 1 to 80. The really good players will steamroll through everything, just as they would have before, maybe faster. The mediocre players may see a little benefit since they have decent, tangible goals to shoot for in gear. This may keep them in the game long enough to pick up the missing piece in play or mechanics and become a decent raider. The baddies… will still be bad. They’ll have gear, but they won’t have titles and achievements. At least, no more than they do now.
For ALTS, I see this as a massive benefit. My guild won’t have to grind Naxx repeatedly just to get me geared enough to run in Ulduar on my priest. I’ll be able to PuG heroics (much less painful than raids) and get caught up. I will still have to run some content to get the badges, so I will still have the opportunity to learn the nuances of my new class. Blizz is not just mailing epics to people – you still have to have the time/patience/skill to run enough of something to get the badges. Or sucker enough people into carrying you through, but how is that different from now?
For people that BUY ACCOUNTS, this will come back to bite them in the ass, sort of like it does now.
Suggestions:
Drop the dailies from EoT to EoC to avoid that huge ilevel jump.
Add something like a Raid Weekly that would reward EoT for things like taking down specific bosses in Naxx/Uld/VoA/EoE/OS. The 10 and 25 versions can reward different amounts of emblems. Maybe toss in a couple EoC or an extra EoT if the kill was made on a hard mode or within a certain amount of time. Maybe even have a collection of daily/weekly quests that focus around earning achievements in the heroics that award EoT.
If we can’t already, add in the ability to compare statistics between characters in game. Seeing that someone has completed Naxx once via an achievement posting isn’t quite the same as seeing that they’ve downed every wing 30+ times.
Instead of screwing around with the emblems, keep them the same and add BoA gear to purchase with them – level 80 BoA stuff, not the heirloom items. Equip an alt with level 80 gear.
TL;DR
I won’t go as far as to say I think this is a “good” thing, there are a few points that I think need to be tweaked. I think new gear is being made too easily available, even with the amount of time it will take to “earn” that gear. I also think that with gear being even less of an indicator of skill, it will be harder for small guilds to see the new content in anything resembling a timely fashion since everyone will want achievements posted for invites.
Personally, I plan on abusing the hell out of this to make gearing my alt as painless as possible for me and my guild.

EDIT: This has turned into a 4-part series! For the full story, read all 4 posts:
Emblems of Easymode
Badges, and Emblems, and Carrots Oh My!
The Carrot Complex
The Radish Reward

EDIT #2: Just found out yesterday (7/28/09) that the NORMAL daily dungeon will no longer award an Emblem of Triumph, it will now award an Emblem of Conquest.

OK, every one is on the bandwagon talking about the emblem changes.

Before I get too far into this, I want to say I don’t have a very strong opinion about the whole mess. I’m a little irked about it and have a couple beefs, but I can also see how this will benefit me. I’m trying to find the silver lining here.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s what Blizz has up their sleeve:

Emblem System Changes

  • Both the 10 and 25-player instances of the Crusaders’ Coliseum drop a new Emblem of Triumph.
  • Any dungeons that previously dropped Emblems of Heroism or Valor, such as Naxxramas or Heroic Halls of Stone, will now drop Emblems of Conquest instead. Emblems of Conquest can still be converted to Valor or Heroism.
  • The Heroic dungeon daily quest will now reward 2 Emblems of Triumph and the normal daily dungeon quest will reward 1 Emblem of Triumph Emblem of Conquest (updated per blue post).
  • The existing achievements to collect 1, 25, 50, etc. Emblems of Heroism, Valor, and Conquest have been converted to Feats of Strength since Heroism and Valor Emblems are no longer attainable.
  • New achievements have been added to collect various amounts of any combination of emblems.

So today:

  • Heroic 5-man = EoH
  • Daily Heroic = EoH
  • VoA 10 = EoH (Archavon only)
  • VoA 10 = EoV (Emalon only)
  • Naxx 10 = EoH
  • Naxx 25 = EoV
  • Uld 10 = EoV
  • VoA 25 = EoV (Archavon only)
  • VoA 25 = EoC (Emalon only)
  • Uld 25 = EoC

Continue reading

Blizz Patch Notes Faked?

I ask this for one reason: Mages are mentioned and it’s not a nerf or change to an icon image.

It’s that time again, the patch notes for the changes on the PTR are out; our first comprehensive glimpse of what patch 3.2 may hold in store.

As always, the current PTR notes can be found at: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/test-realm-patchnotes.html

OMG SO MUCH STUFF!!!

I’m highlighting the stuff that interested me, and often in a disjointed manner. If it doesn’t make sense, go read the damn patch notes yourself.

General

  • It looks like we’re going to have to make some adjustments to our vocabulary. The raids formerly known as “heroic” will be referred to as “25 player normal.”
    Why?
    Because they are getting crazy.
    There will be “heroic” versions available of 10 AND 25 man raids. The LFG screen may get confusing… 10-man heroics and 25-man normals. /head scratch
    And some new tribute system that makes it sound like there will be a “Get out of fail PuG free” card that will allow you to (maybe?) attempt the new Coliseum raid multiple times in a lock out period. EDIT: Was talking with hubby about this tribute thing and realized I must have been snorting the arcane powder when reading this the first time. It looks more like a “you have X amounts of times to even TRY to drop this boss this week” sort of thing. Not at all what I was thinking. Good for great players. Sucks for my guild, but it will be ages before we see it anyway.
  • Isle of Conquest
    I haven’t even gotten around to SotA yet. I’m a slacker. This appears to have much potential.
  • New Argent Tournament goodies
    OMG more pets, mounts, upgrade your squire, and a new HEIRLOOM CHEST that will STACK the XP bonus with shoulders. Get cracking on your Argent Crusade rep now.
  • New druid skins.
    I may actually pick up my druid again. Of course the colors I like in the different forms don’t match up… so I have to figure out what form I will be in the most and change my hide color accordingly.
  • Portals to the Dark Portal
    /cry
    No more charging out the ass for a portal to Stonard.
  • New Orgrimmar to Thunder Bluff zeppelin.
    Because when I was your age, sonny, we ran to TB. Naked. In the snow. Uphill. Both ways. And we liked it.
  • Postal service is lazy.
    More mailboxes. More dipshits with mammoths on mailboxes.
  • Children’s week in Dalaran
    Only comment – this better give me another damned pet. Continue reading