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Posts Tagged ‘cataclysm’

I’d been working on some ideas for Blood tank trees for Cataclysm, but after last weeks other bit of news, no not the RealID fiasco, the bit about talent trees being severely pruned, it’s a bit pointless. The Beta talents right now are going to be nothing alike what they’ll be at launch.

First off, each tree is being pruned down to 31 points deep rather than 51. It’s basically 2 tiers less. Second, we’re getting about half as many talent points total, so where we get 71 right now, we’ll probably only have points in the 30’s to play with by the time we ding 85.

At first this sounds like a massive nerf and simplification, but the reasoning behind it is that we spend so many talent points on must-have junk-talents like +1 to hit here and +1 to crit there, that most of those 71 talent points are being spent on boring talents. This makes a hell of a lot of sense. I know I drop otherwise awesome, fun and flavourful talents like Lichborne to instead pick up something dreary like one percent to dodge. Ho hum.

It will be farm more fun to be able to focus on grabbing ‘unnecessary’ talents like Mark of Blood or Blood Worms than minmaxing cookiecutter builds focused purely on stats. Especially the DK class, which loses out on a lot of versatility in the way cookiecutter builds spec in order to maximize dps or eh/threat. And it’s versatility that was supposed to be this class’s strong point. Something we had to sacrifice in trying to keep up with all the other classes. We lose out on so many ‘toys’ that are baked into other classes, and it’ll be refreshing to be able to haul out something super cool like Hungering Cold in a dungeon or raid instead of sinking that 1 point into getting 5/5 Black Ice.

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I’ve tried a lot of different classes, roles, archetypes in WoW. Started out tank, tried dps, back to a tank/dps hybrid, then a healer, again a tank/dps hybrid, a short stint as ranged dps and now primarily back to melee dps/tank hybrid.

After 4, nearly 5 years of doing this I’ve realised I only really excel at dps. Every time I pick up this role, I do well. I do decent numbers, I do what I’m told, I don’t die in fire. Healing never really gelled, and tanking, while fun, has always been more of a side project.

It’s with this final realisation that I decide to choose to walk into Cataclysm as pure DPS. Sure there’s a glut of us, sure the lack of flexibility and options is sometimes paralysing, sure 15 minute queue times is going to be a tough nut to crack. But on the good side it’s only one set of gear to work towards as opposed to two or even three, and it’ll give me a lot more free time to do other things.

I was really, strongly considering picking up the tanking role for Cataclysm. Demand will, as always, be fierce. Or even perhaps giving healing a shot again. But in a small moment of self-realisation the other night, I realised I’m a competitive person. And the only real way to be competitive in PVE, is to be DPS. I like being at the top of the charts, and living with hybrid tax is punishing. I no longer want to be hovering around the number 2 or 3 spot. It was with a bit of chagrin that I realised, had i stuck with my mage rather than picking up my DK again, that #1 spot could very likley have been mine today.

Ah, well. Better to realise your true calling late than never. Now the choice, for Cataclysm, hovers between Rogue? Or Hunter. Hmmm.

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I was browsing MMO Champion‘s veritable buttload of new screenshots and whatnot today – and a comment struck me as interesting. It was, simply,

“The game looks like Crash Bandicoot”

Which is quite true, really. The screenshots look incredibly crisp, clear and cartoony.  Of course, that’s the way WoW has always been, hyper stylised and colourful, but with increasing tweaks to the aging engine it’s looking more and more like a console platformer. There are some who’d say it even plays that way.

Most really popular games, though, use colour to great effect. The human brain is attracted to vibrancy. I’m sure Northrend’s icy monotone chased off quite a few magpies. Cataclysm looks set to rectify that, and being able to blow up and rebuild the world appears to have given the developers an excuse to inject as many high contrast greens and reds and purples as possible.

Be sure to have a gander at MMOCs’ frontpage over the next few days as it looks like we’re set to be continually barraged by a deluge of images from the F&F Alpha.

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