Friday, May 29, 2009

Loltrains and 3v3 First Impressions

While getting in games last night to grind our 3v3 team up in rating (a.k.a.: QQueueing), we fought 2 predominant team compositions across the MMR spectrum from 2k MMR to 1300 MMR. Some we won, some we lost. In all, it was an incredibly angsty time with lots of heavy sighing.

That's MatchMaking Rating for you not in the 'know'.

The 2 teams were:

1) C
leave (2 melee, 1 healer)
2) RMP (Rogue, Mage, Priest)

We play Death Knight, Warlock, Resto Druid and games usually went like this:

Melee brings the pain train on Warlock or Pet
Warlock Dies
Game Over


Rogue opens on Warlock or Tree Druid
RMP forces either Barkskin or NS on Warlock
RMP reopens on Druid before Barkskin comes back up
Druid Dies
Game Over

The only time we were able to pull off wins was when I (Druid) was able to rotate cc's on both melee, but if my cc chain was interrupted, either I'd blow up post Barkskin, or the Warlock would be nuked something fierce.

I know we're definitely playing the comp wrong, but when the strategy in 3v3 is simpler than anything we'd try to pull off in 2v2, i.e.: train1 target until it blows up, there's something very, very wrong with the game design.

There's much work to be done in this here bracket, y'all, and come hell or high water, we're gonna git 'r done.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Druid News and PvP Related Possible Changes

Over the past few days, there's been quite a bit of news about Druids. If you subscribe to the various other blog feeds or WoW news feeds, I'm sure you already know, but let's list them out.

First off, Blizz announced that Druids will be getting different animal forms based on their hair color (Nelfs) or their skin color (Cows) at the next major content patch. Sadly, this coloration/art change won't be coming for a few months at the very least, as Blizz has mentioned that Icecrown (aka Arthas) and Season 7 will be the next major patch content. Seeing as though most Arena Seasons last about 4-5 months or so, we still have approximately 4 months to go, so look for the Rainbow of (Care) Bears around September.

Just an educated guess, people.

I'd like to make a request, however, to the Blizzard artists who are in charge of creating the various Tauren Cat Forms: Please change the Tauren Cat Form face. It has the same face as the flight point Windriders and looks flat out downsy. It's a wonder that I can sneak up on people in my tard-lion form without them hearing me mouthbreath across the Arena.

Secondly, there are some impacting changes across the board.
  • Improved Barkskin: This talent now also grants 80/160% additional armor while in Travel Form or not shapeshifted.
  • Improved Tree of Life: The armor bonus to Tree of Life Form from this talent has been reduced to 67/133/200% bonus armor. This is down from (80/160/240%).
Overall, I think this is yet another buff for PvP Resto Druids as 160% armor while not shapeshifted will encourage Druids to get into the mix and cast Cyclone/Entangling Roots more instead of spamming HoTs in ToL Form. Granted, its a loss of +40% armor (240% to 200%) at the top end of mitigation so that ToL won't be as good against melee teams, but keep in mind that Armor also has diminishing returns, so it grants less mitigation per point of Armor as your Armor value climbs. I will be gladly trading +40% of ToL armor for +160% Armor while running and casting.

Here are some pretty impacting nerfs that may change the PvP landscape:
  • Overkill: Talent redesigned. Now increases energy regeneration by 30% while stealthed, and for 20 seconds after breaking stealth. This talent used to reduce the cost of the opener and abilities used within 6 seconds of breaking stealth by 10 energy. This is a huge nerf for Rogue burst, effectively reducing their initial burst by 1 to 2 abilities.
  • Juggernaut: This talent now also increases the cooldown on Charge by 5 seconds. This is a pretty big nerf to Warrior mobility. It's not huge, but it will definitely slow Warriors down a bit. Charge has been nerfed quite a few times, ever since Juggernaut allowed it to be used in combat. This brings the cooldown up to 20 seconds, or perhaps to 18.6 seconds with the Glyph of Rapid Charge, though it's probably not worth it.
  • Death Knight PvP Gauntlets: The chance to refresh a Frost Rune when casting Chains of Ice has been removed. When equipped, these gloves now generate 5 additional runic power whenever Chains of Ice is used. Awesomely huge nerf. Death Knight CoI spam at range is/was/will always be ridiculous. With the current PvP glove bonus, a DK has a pretty darn good chance to proc a third CoI after the first two, but this will force DK's to manage their Frost Rune usage. This should help against DK/Resto Druid teams, where the DK could create huge openings for his Druid to drink and do silly Druid tricks.

I'm glad that Blizzard seems to be on top of completely overpowered class functions, although I'm a bit scared of when the time comes that Ghostcrawler decides that both of my classes are going to be utter crap.

Oh wait. That was Season 5.