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Archive for August, 2008

Goooo DAMAGE

I thank the stars I rolled a hybrid again, my third time around.

One of the reasons I gave up being a hunter, was being pigeonholed into one role. Despite spec, your role as a pure dps class is to, er, dps. BM? You and your pet DPS. Marksmanship? You DPS moar, your pet DPS’s less. Survival? You DPS and provide somewhat improved utility and crowd control. But DPS is your game. You will live it, breathe it.

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It’s gonna be a short rant.

Moving Out Of The Fire is probably the single most important skill in 25man raiding. Here’s why it’s stupid.

-Difficulty becomes less focused on the correct use of abilities and more focused on positioning
-Those with less responsibility are punished LESS than those with important jobs like raidhealers.
-Class defining long casts become worthless, most classes and specs are reduced to spamming 1 or 2 abilities as a result.
-Tank healing, once a noble pursuit, is marginalised. Raid healing becomes absolutely critical. Classes like Shamans and Druids become your most important healers, when the Main Healing job SHOULD still be priests and paladins.
-Efficiency rather than reaction. Big heals become rather pointless. Spamming quick, small heals/hots and/or AoE heals takes centre stage.
-In short, raiding turns into a case of running around and pressing 1 button. The difficulty moves from maintaining good rotations and using the best tool for the job, to using 1 tool over and over and over again, and making sure you don’t explode in a conflagration.

Dodging fire CAN be a fun mechanic. But turning it into the sole, defining ‘challenge’ in raiding is monumentally stupid. Sure, occasionally Blizzard throws us a bone with Brutallus, and thank God for at least THAT small favour. I believe there should be more gear checks and resist fights, more progression walls based on more than solely your ability to dodge green fire. Seriously now. Talk about flogging a dead, flaming horse. Try something ELSE plz Blizzard, kthx.

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The healer demand curve

Blessing of Kings raises a point relating to my recent Healing rant.

Somewhere along the line between healing Zul Farrak or Ramparts or Heroic Mechanar, to healing Black Temple, the ratio of healers for PVE content jumps from 20%, to 30% and even in some cases close to 40%. So the question is, where do we suddenly find that extra 10%? One thing that I’ve realised by now, if people are levelling hybrids in a dps role odds are that’ll be the role they prefer at 70, so you can’t rely on hybrids respeccing if they don’t want to.

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I’m a longtime RPG’er. World of Warcraft is simply 1 vehicle on a long road already well travelled, and one I intend to travel for some time to come. I’ve enjoyed my fair share of singleplayer and multiplayer games, computer and pen ‘n paper and, for the most part, the rock paper scissors archetype works in most of them You have damage dealers that are squishy (thieves, wizards etc), tough classes that take more hits but generally deal less damage and/or have fewer ‘tricks’ (fighters, rangers).  And somewhere in there you have support characters that, well, heal and/or buff (druids, clerics, bards).

For the most part WoW gets the same kind of ‘balance’ working. For the most part.

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Beta Resto breakdown

Moliu’s blog has a great breakdown of the current state of resto in the Wrath beta.

For the most part I agree with his synopsis. Resto is undergoing some huge changes. Blizzard clearly wasn’t happy with the class being rather piss poor at single target healing.

I’m intrigued at the change of direction. Despite yesterday’s rant, there are times when I do enjoy healing. But being the type of player who enjoys dabbling in more than simply 1 aspect of the game, being a PVE raid healbot with pretty lousy PVP ability simply wasn’t doing it for me. The changes to resto and moreso casters in general – I’m talking about the spell pushback buff, which is sure to upset PVP melee’s happy place – look great. Will it be enough to sway me from speccing Elemental or switching over to Warlockry? Time will tell.

My own analysis of the changes, talents and spells after the break

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Why heal?

This is an issue I’ve been wrestling with for a while now.

World of Warcraft, like any MMO, has a PVE synergy based around three roles. Tanking, Healing, and DPS. I’m pretty sure we all know the differences between the three by now. My issue is that, I’ve been DPS, and I’ve been tanking, and I’ve enjoyed those roles for various reasons. Tanking because it’s pretty absorbing being the one taking the hits out front, calling the shots and generally being the lynchpin in a raid.  DPS because it’s competitively challenging, great to provide utility and cc and, well, fun to kill shit. But when trying to analyse why I’m healing in raids these days, I drew a blank. Why indeed.

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