Thursday, February 5, 2009

3.1 Preview Thoughts.

These preview notes made me laugh. To the masses, these 'highlights' can probably give cause for celebration, but in reality, to many who understand their class roles well enough to see through the smokescreen, many of these changes are quite lackluster.

The biggest prize in these notes for Priests is the self cast Penance. Unfortunately, selfcast Penance is far more of a PvP buff than a PvE buff. Yes, PvE'rs, if you are in a bad situation where you have to heal yourself right now, Penance can solve that issue. However, the bigger issue in that situation is letting yourself get that low. Positioning and communication can usually prevent that bad situation from even happening and even if it does, Binding Heal is often a better self heal since you know that the tank is also taking damage.

Discipline is definitely getting a huge boost with Power Word: Barrier, aka AOE PW: Shield. Talent synergy-wise, I hope that Rapture works on PW: B. That could be some sick mana regen on a fight like Thaddius, Malygos or Sarth with Drakes up. If Blizz ever gets around to fixing Reflective Shield and linked it to PW: B along with Borrowed Time/Improved PW: Shield, that would be class changing. Chances are, it won't synergize with any other talents a la Divine Aegis. But that's okay, too.

Looking at the possible utility of PW: B from a PvP perspective, it seems like a 3's and 5's tool, especially with quick dps teams where burst prevention is often worth more than healing. PW: B's performance will probably be lackluster in 2's, but we'll see what the details of the spell are before we make that final judgement. I do foresee that the mana cost will be extremely high, as it should have the same final outcome as a Prayer of Healing or two since PoH is spammable.

It's about time that DS became baseline. Having to waste talent points on that BS was a joke.

One thing I am quite amused about with the other changes is that Prayer of Healing will be changed to behave just like the old CoH because it will be Group Based with no cooldown. With enough Haste, Holy Priests could viably just spam AOE heals, which would, again, defeat the intentions behind whole CoH nerf. The silly thing about the PoH change is that Blizz recently said that they wanted to eventually get rid of the Groups within a Raid and this change to PoH essentially forces additional group shifting. Think: healing melee on Sapphiron would make it easier if they're all in the same group. Same thing with KT's Ice Tombs. If anyone ever comes up with an 'on the fly group switching' tool to rapidly switch holy priests around to groups that need aoe healing, the game will have reached a new low.

On the Holy end of things, the Serendipity change is kinda 'meh' as Holy Priests don't really cast Greater Heals anymore because of the glyphed Flash Heal efficiency. Of course, if there's something really wrong and you happen to have several seconds to cast a gHeal, I could see it work. Maybe Uludar will bring back bomb healing, but I see this talent change as just fluff. If there is a ton more healing to be done in future instances this could be a class changer as well, but one thing's for sure, we're going to need numbers to truly determine their end value.

As these are preliminary notes, I'm not holding my breath, but unless 3.1 raiding brings alot more AOE and raid damage, I probably won't be impressed.

But, I am happy that I will soon be able to cast Thorns while in Tree of Life form!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

On Achievements and The Underpowered Duo

A few quick points and thoughts regarding them before getting into some PvP discussion.
  • My Druid is now known as Elder Moochu. I figured the since the title had some sort of Asian flair and the fact that I didn't celebrate the Lunar New Year this year, that I had to, at the very least, show a bit of recognition towards my heritage.
  • The guild has finally achieved a full guild clear of Naxx25, complete with guild screenshot! (We sat on the throne instead of hanging by KT's little black corpse/ball) This is a good thing, as it gets people excited about Sapph/KT drops so they show up and bring their 'A' game. I get excited when I know that we have a solid group stepping into a boss fight because I know it's not going to take us forever to finish the content. Remember doing 2 day Kara clears at the start of TBC? Yeaaaaah.
  • My Priest's PvE gear is almost done, with a Ring, Trinket and Boots to go. I find myself working more and more on the Druid's gear lately, but that's because of reasons below.
  • Warlocks are 9th on the SK100 list. Druids are dead last. What's the SK100? Well, it's a list of the top 100 arena players in the world by adding up each player's ratings across all three brackets. It's easy to see which classes are currently favored/overpowered through this list.

Fun Stuff...

As for PvP, I've started collecting gear for the Druid that I recently leveled to 80. I initially wanted to go Feral, but Resto keeps luring us back into the fold, even with it's crappy forced play style. What's this crappy forced play style you ask? Here you go:

Due to the increased burst damage, low survivability and the nerf to Lifebloom as the 'go to' spell for survival, sitting in Tree Form and spamming hots on everyone is essential for survival. In addition, due to this decreased life expectancy, Gems/Enchants are focused towards Stamina/Resilience, and as such, Druids end up with tiny mana pools and will easily go oom if they are forced to spam casted heals (Regrowth, Nourish, Healing Touch). The finesse and mobility of the class is largely lost due to exorbitant shifting costs and the movement of Feral Charge further down the Feral talent tree. Lastly, leaving tree form to CC only opens one up to a massive, usually game ending, swap.

TL;DR: PvP Resto = Tree form + flinging green shit everywhere while going oom in 30 seconds.

Yes, it sucks. It sucks badly, but you know what? I still enjoy it.


Well, due to the superior amount of CC available, there are rare opportunities, even being so incredibly under geared, to completely outplay people.

We must have looked silly a few nights ago, my Warlock buddy and me, showing up in the Arena with our Brutal Gladiator gear on, representing our gimp classes. Combined, we probably couldn't have pulled off 2300 Spellpower and 900 Resilience and I sincerely hope that someone got a chuckle out of watching us hump pillars with our Vengeful Gladiator shoulders. Little do they know, mine are socketed with 2 Solid Dragon's Eyes.

There IS something to be said about having 21k+ unbuffed hp.

Yet, even with all of our gear and class issues against us, we actually won some games we had no business winning. Double Rogue, Warrior/RestoShaman, Priest/Lock wearing PvE gear all succumbed to our level 70 gear and we came out of those fights with puzzled looks on our faces. Naturally, we got destroyed by anyone wearing any semblance of gear or having half of a brain, but winning games against such a gear and class differential was incredibly invigorating.

I think I know my lock buddy pretty well and it's safe to say that w
e're definitely looking forward to some more games in the future ... and if burst damage gets nerfed, it's only going to make the push even easier.

I've already started raiding on the Druid to get me some PvP gear.