Archives For Strategy: Cataclysm

Cataclysm: 5 Beta Myths Debunked

Morynne —  September 11, 2010 — 1 Comment

This post will contain Cataclysm spoilers.  If you do not wish to read them, please disregard this post.

1. Beta’s been out for a few months now, it’ll be like playing on release!

Bull.  It’s buggy.  It takes 4-5 clicks to accept anything in the Worgen starting area, and for some users it actually crashes the client.  Some quests are bugged out where you can’t interact with the items you’re supposed to, and some areas of the game are instant-disconnects.  If you think beta is just there for you to play with before release, you’re very wrong.  They really are getting all the kinks out before release day.  I’ve only been in beta for 24 hours, and I’ll tell you now, it’s not ready.

2. OMG the Worgen starting zone is soooo lame compared to Goblin!  Blizzard should just /wrists and start over.

Wrong.  It’s different, and a matter of opinion.

First off, the Goblin area has some very fun quests.  I’m a big fan of the quest chains.  It’s colorful, lively, and very exciting to progress from quest to quest.  A welcomed departure from the grim grey and blue overall theme of Wrath of the Lich King.  There’s a bugged quest for my little goblin, but I know once you get shipwrecked, and end up on an island, it’s gorgeous and loads of fun.

The Worgen starting area is bleak and dreary, very Victorian and old fashioned.  It’s chocked full of lore.  Your character effectively starts out helping King Greymane try to save Gilneas from the Worgen attacking the city — when you get changed yourself.  It’s a very deeply rooted lore, so take the time to read through it, and spend some time with the Worgen.  It might not be flashy and shiny, but it certainly has a very deep history that’s rewarding if you take the time to appreciate it.  Not to mention the phasing in the Worgen areas is breathtaking.

Friday I have the day off, so I intend to go through the new Gnome and Troll starting areas as well and give them their once over now that Gnomeregan is back, and Echo Isles have been retaken.  I should be able to do write-ups for both of them, as well as the Worgen and Goblin.

3. Cataclysm release date is set in stone for November 1st! Gamestop told me so!

Wrong.  That’s a placeholder.  Until you see the release date on worldofwarcraft.com, control yourself.  It’ll be okay.  November 1 is very aggressive as the Blizzard staff (all of them) will be recovering from Blizzcon.  More than likely we’re looking late November, early December release.  Again, all of that is speculation — we all might be very surprised.

4. Everything is unbalanced! Blizzard will have to do lots of patching post-release to fix how broken it is!

Yes and no.  Yes things need balancing still, no, they’re not done yet.  Those of you that have been around for awhile probably remember how unbalanced things were when the 3.0 patch hit — For heaven’s sakes, Retribution Paladins were… good (/gasp) again. ;)

Blizzard is constantly re-balancing classes, so seeing them do lots of patching when Cataclysm comes out shouldn’t be a shock to anyone.  It doesn’t mean they’re doing it wrong, or the beta testers aren’t giving the right feedback — sometimes it takes a much larger population to really see the impact of something that might seem small to a controlled group, like beta users.

5. Quest implementation is finished! I should be able to figure out the fastest way to level now in Beta.

While it’s true you’ll be able to figure out some of the fastest ways to level, it’s choppy still.  I went through an entire zone, and came to a dead end in leveling already, so they’re not done, and there’s not a logical progression to the next zone.  It should be coming though!

So far things have been great in Beta.  I’ve reached level 82 on my main, and have several lowbie characters. The last beta patch allowed me to race change into Goblin, so that’s what you’re seeing above.  The hunter changes are pretty slick, and I’m hoping to get a post together for some of them soon.  For now, I’ll leave you with a screenshot of the most awesome mount ever.

Hunter Tier 11 Concept Art

This post contains Cataclysm spoilers.  Please disregard if you don’t want the surprises ruined.

So tonight I get home from work… I called my husband and asked him to check and see if a character transfer had actually gone through.

“Yes!” he says.

I think to myself that I’m going to go home and have a good night of starting to level my main to 85, right? Wrong.  Foiled again.  Turns out they’re doing some maintenance tonight at 6:30pm EST, which, guess what time I get home? Oh yeah. 6:30pm EST.

So no leveling for me for a bit while they do maintenance, but I did find some news from MMO-Champion regarding the Hunter T11 set bonuses and some concept art, which you see to the right.

I scroll through my reader a bit more, and holy cow, they also have the Hunter T11 set bonuses.

  • Item – Hunter T11 2P Bonus – Increases the critical strike chance of your Serpent Sting ability by 5%. / Instant
  • Item – Hunter T11 4P Bonus – Your Focus Fire ability grants 1% additional haste per application of Frenzy, your Chimera Shot ability has a 10% chance to immediately refund half its focus cost, and your Black Arrow also deals instant damage to your target. / Instant
  • So we know that Serpent Sting can crit regardless come Cataclysm.  We don’t need the T9 2-piece set bonus anymore.  Now with the T11 2-piece bonus, we’ll just crit more with Serpent Sting.  Keeping in mind I haven’t had a chance to see any of this, I think that’s pretty slick.  The 2-piece bonuses tend to proc quite often, so this is probably a pretty decent bonus.

    With not having been able to test it, it’s difficult for me to have an opinion on the 4-piece set bonus, but it seems like this is going to easily keep a very solid Focus managed rotation going.  Anything that will refund half of its focus cost is good to me.

    So I kept reading on MMO and there’s even more Hunter stuff.

    Hunter (Forums3.3.5 Talent CalculatorCataclysm Talent CalculatorBeta Skills/Talents)
    Beast Mastery

    • Aspect of the Fox now procs from melee attacks you receive instead of whenever you take damage.
    • Kill Command now requires your pet to be in combat.
    • Tame Beast no longer reduces your armor by 100%.
    • Envenomation renamed to Killing Streak and revamped – When you score two Kill Command critical hits in a row, your third will deal 15/30% more damage and have its cost reduced by 5/10 focus.
    • Cobra Strikes now has a 5/10/15% chance to proc from any Arcane Shot instead of a 20/40/60% chance to proc from a critical Arcane Shot or Kill Command.

    Marksmanship

    • Multi-Shot now deals 55% of weapon damage to all enemies within 8 yards of the target.
    • Chimera Shot revamped – An instant shot that causes ranged weapon damage plus [ 24% of RAP + 401 ], refreshing the duration of your Serpent Sting and healing you for 5% of your total health.
    • Careful Aim now affects target above 80% health, up from 60%

    Survival

    • Traps had their description modified, apparently the restriction of “Only one trap can be active at a time.” no longer exists.
    • Cobra Shot is now a Survival skill (Old – Beast Mastery) and now deals weapon damage plus [ 8.6% of RAP + 276.81 ] in the form of Nature damage.
    • Frost Trap is now Ice Trap
    • Black Arrow now only shares a cooldown with Explosive Trap and Immolation Trap.
  • Improved Tracking revamped – now Increases ranged haste by 1/2/3%.
  • The Beastmastery changes are pretty logical to me. Nothing overly earth-shattering, and nothing that screams overpowered either.

    The Marksmanship changes are pretty much expected.  The changes to Multi-Shot were incoming, since we knew Volley was going away.  The damage has been more normalized (again, unsure by how much since servers are down at the writing of this) and will likely be a good replacement for the previous iterations of Multi-Shot. I’m most excited about the changes to Chimera Shot because they changed the mechanic a bit.  It still refreshes Serpent Sting, but also now heals the hunter.  This will come in handy during leveling, I’m sure.  Once beta servers come back up, I’ll be able to give a bit more insight into this.

    Careful Aim was re-written to increase crit chance for Aimed, Chimera, and Arcane shots on targets above a certain health.  This talent will help the Hunter’s early burst damage on a boss, down to 80%.  The previous revision of this talent had the health percentage at 60%, which typically represents the turning point of a fight, making the hunter less likely to push huge numbers as the fight persists.  I’m going to have to test this one as well and see how it impacts DPS.

    So for now, we’re sitting around twiddling our thumbs waiting for the servers to come up.  I’m anxiously awaiting the opportunity to level my main and see what we can all expect going from 80-85.

    Cataclysm: Fair Warning

    Morynne —  September 7, 2010 — Leave a comment

    Here’s the line in the sand for those of you who don’t want Cataclysm spoilers.  If the title of my blog post starts with “Cataclysm” it’s safe to assume it’ll include spoilers, and can safely be skipped.  I do intend on continuing to write about current content, but I have lots of catching up to do now that I’ve been invited to Beta.

    When all hope was lost…

    Morynne —  September 6, 2010 — 9 Comments

    A tiny light shined in the distance.

    That’s right, I finally got my beta invitation.  I’ll pull some updates together once I get logged in, and hopefully copy over my main.  That copy process seems to do nothing but fail right now, so we’ll see.

    The future’s in the air…

    Morynne —  August 25, 2010 — 1 Comment

    I can feel it everywhere blowing with the wind of change. – Scorpions, “Wind of Change”

    Nope. Still not in Cataclysm Beta.  That’s okay though!

    There’s been lots of news that’s come out of the last few Beta Builds that I haven’t talked about, mostly out of anger in not being in the Beta, but I digress.

    Before I dive into the most recent Hunter changes for Cataclysm, wanted to give you all an update on where I’ve been lately, and why so sparse posting.

    Awhile back, I mentioned that I’m now on the Horde side, running as an Orc with one of the top guilds on my server.  I’m not in their main runs, but that’s fine by me… real life needed a bit more attention than usual, so raiding only once a week is no big deal.  I’ve now cleared 8/12 Heroic 25-ICC.  Only things I have left are Lady Deathwhisper, Professor Putricide, Sindragosa, and Lich King.  I’m reasonably certain we’ll be doing Deathwhisper in the next couple weeks, so you can expect some more Heroic strategy from me soon.

    I can’t say I’m especially happy with my new guild, but it lets me raid, so I’m okay with it — I’d much rather be back with Controlled Anarchy in the long run.  That’s where the news comes in.  It sounds like with Cataclysm, CA is intending on getting the gang back together at least for 10-man raids, so I’ll be back to raiding where I want.  Still not sure if it will be Alliance or Horde, but I’m excited about this.

    Now, on to the most recent Hunter changes for Cataclysm….

    Volley removed from the game (And of course when I don’t report a missing skill because I think it’s a bug, it’s actually gone for real)
    It’s gone. We want to make Multi-Shot the spell hunters use for AE.

    Channeling a spell that makes arrows fall out of the sky doesn’t feel like a hunter ability and doesn’t even really match the name of the spell.

    Only class with a minimal range and now without volley only class without an aoe /shakes head
    You realize “only class” claims are viewed as a success by the developers. The classes are too similar as it is. (
    Source)

    Most seem to think they simply removed it & that we will be using multishot instead.
    Yep. Volley was edging out Mult-Shot, even though we think the latter is the more interesting ability. Volley felt too much like a magic spell and not something a hunter was doing with her bow or gun. (
    Source)

    I know I’m going to regret posting in this thread again, but I think it’s the right thing to do so I’ll take one for the team. 

    We think Multi-Shot is a more interesting ability and can fill the hunter AE niche (along with Explosive Trap). We’ll have to change Multi-Shot from the current version to get it there. I’m very sorry if for some unusual reason Volley was your favorite spell as a hunter. We’ve been trying to consolidate abilities and free up some bar space and having multiple AEs that competed with each other seems like a good area to hit up. The Volley and Multi-Shot niches were very similar, which resulted in the latter being dead. We wanted to pick one and we though Multi-Shot felt more huntery and less “clunky” (to use a favorite Wow forums term).

    Do consider that you won’t be AE’ing yourselves through Cataclysm content the way you do currently. When you do need to AE, hunters will have the tools to do so. In situations where you do have to AE, you are probably not also trying to CC. When you’re back to the level of trivializing lower level content, nobody is going to say “Don’t bring a hunter. Their AE spam isn’t spammy enough.” We don’t consider easily breaking rogues out of stealth a good reason to keep Volley around.

    I think that hits most of the reasonable concerns. I care much less about addressing the unreasonable ones. 

    As always, those of you whose sole contribution is to post very inane or derogatory things will be banned.

    Man, have we come a long way from “AE is only for trash.” (Source)

    Here’s my thoughts:

    Volley is was a great AOE ability pre-Wrath.  The damage amount was not extreme, but if you needed to DPS more than 3 mobs at once, it wasn’t a horrible option, but clearly focusing on one target at a time would likely give you better results.  When the 3.0 patch hit, the amount of damage that Volley produced was ridiculous, and frankly still is.  The idea that a Hunter can keep up with a Mage or a Warlock for AOE damage on trash pulls is a bit ridiculous.  When I think of a Hunter, I’m not thinking of a person who can do lots of damage to lots of targets, I’m thinking of someone who can fire a gun or shoot an arrow with such precision to cause a lot of damage to a single target.  Volley, while I will miss you, I’m not sorry to see you go.  I’m glad they’re redesigning Multi-Shot to serve more as the Hunter’s AOE type ability, I just hope it doesn’t turn into Volley 2.0 that hits more than 3 targets.

    So for today, I think that’s all I’ve got.  Oh, and I ding’d 28 for real yesterday. 30 is a scary number. :)

    Thoughts on Guild Reputation

    Morynne —  August 2, 2010 — 13 Comments

    This is a Shared Topic over at Blog Azeroth as suggested by Anexxia at Bible of Dreams.

    Dislcaimer: By no means is this a leak from Cataclysm beta (something I’m not involved with just yet), this is merely opinion of how you can best gain/lose reputation with your guild.

    With Cataclysm it is bringing obvious changes — class changes, new races, and a myriad of others, but one that piqued my interest is Guild Perks and Guild Reputation.

    There’s absolutely no telling at this point what is actually going to impact your Guild Reputation, but I’m sure it will have to do with your participation in guild events — raids, instances, battlegrounds, etc.  From a developer’s standpoint, it’s very difficult to standardize what is a good contribution to the guild when it comes to materials, raid flasks, food, etc. because every guild wants different things and ultimately has different goals.

    Thinking a little outside the box here, Wikipedia defines “reptuation” as the following:

    Reputation is the opinion (more technically, a social evaluation) of the group of entities toward a person, a group of people, or an organization on a certain criterion. It is an important factor in many fields, such as educationbusinessonline communities or social status.

    So if you have good reputation with your guild, what does that mean? The hope is a guild will have active members who work toward a common goal – whatever that might be.  The easy measurement for a good guild member is activity levels — the investment they have in the guild, and the effort put forth. If a guild member is always trying to participate in guild events, helps out other guild members and plays well with others, they should have pretty good Guild Reputation. “Effort” is pretty difficult to define though from a sheer objectivity standpoint.

    The Looking for Dungeons tool has taught us that people who don’t try can be carried through 5-man heroics, but they queue up all the time.  Same thing goes for people who get into Battlegrounds all the time — there are some who just don’t try.  I have a hard time giving them credit for “effort” if they just stand there.

    I do think once Cataclysm launches though, negative reputation should be considered. I’m a big advocate of counting certain things against people, and GMs ought to have a simple interface where they can track this sort of thing and act on it accordingly — either through Guild Reputation or other means of their choosing.  Below are some examples.

    1. Signing up to an event you’ve been invited to and not showing.
    2. Standing in fire/void zones/whatever is trying to eat your feet this encounter.
    3. Leeroy Jenkins.
    4. Coming unprepared to a raid. (not repaired, no flasks, no food, no consumables, etc.)
    5. Clicking yes on a ready check and then going AFK.

    Is guild reputation best left at the discretion of the guild, or is it best left standardized by Blizzard?

    I think this question is very dependent on your guild and guild leaders.  I’m sure there are some out there who have the want to be complete jerks about guild reputation, and others who will give it out to anyone and everyone.  I think for the formalized system, participation measured by Blizzard is going to be best — it will be standardized across all guilds, so the expectation of how guild reputation is given out is the same for everyone.

    Guild reputation is currently handled through the Guild Rank system — where officers and Guild Masters can promote and demote members of their guild as they see fit.  I think how this system is managed is what is going to set one guild apart from another.  If you have to invest time and a significant amount of effort into becoming a member of a guild, chances are you’re going to automatically have good Guild Reputation.  If you’re in a guild that makes anyone an officer, then it might not mean as much depending on that guild’s system.  On Destromath for Alliance, Shadowmelded Moonkins is one of the guilds that will invite anyone and everyone and make them officers because they feel like it – not necessarily because the person truly earned it.

    In my current and past guild, people are promoted into being a member of the guild after a trial period.  Once you’re a member and you’ve proven your worth to the guild, you’re then made a Core member of the raiding team, and truly exceptional individuals may get to be an Officer eventually.  Putting forth the effort and contributing positively to a guild is going to get you where you want to go — just like you hope your job will do at some point.

    Bottom line, in Cataclysm, I see the Guild Ranking (member, officer, GM, etc.) system being the distinguishing characteristic of how a guild recognizes its members– it will truly tell you how you’re performing in a guild, provided there is some effort involved in gaining these ranks.  The Blizzard general Guild Reputation system will likely help you gain the bonus rewards of being a member of a guild just by playing the game — running instances, participating in Battlegrounds, raiding, earning achievements, etc.  Between the two systems, any guild will be able to provide bonuses to members who play all the time, but those guilds who want to recognize exceptional members will still need to show their appreciation through rank or some other means.

    I’m no online security expert.  I do consider myself to be rather well informed though. Blizzard is making a big mistake here, and it’s been a PR nightmare for the last 24 hours. The 350+ page forum threads on the EU and US forums seem to show that.  In case you missed it, here’s what’s been going on:

    (source)

    The first and most significant change is that in the near future, anyone posting or replying to a post on official Blizzard forums will be doing so using their Real ID — that is, their real-life first and last name — with the option to also display the name of their primary in-game character alongside it. These changes will go into effect on all StarCraft II forums with the launch of the new community site prior to the July 27 release of the game, with the World of Warcraft site and forums following suit near the launch of Cataclysm. Certain classic forums, including the classic Battle.net forums, will remain unchanged.

    The official forums have always been a great place to discuss the latest info on our games, offer ideas and suggestions, and share experiences with other players — however, the forums have also earned a reputation as a place where flame wars, trolling, and other unpleasantness run wild. Removing the veil of anonymity typical to online dialogue will contribute to a more positive forum environment, promote constructive conversations, and connect the Blizzard community in ways they haven’t been connected before. With this change, you’ll see blue posters (i.e. Blizzard employees) posting by their real first and last names on our forums as well.

    With the launch of the new Battle.net, it’s important to us to create a new and different kind of online gaming environment — one that’s highly social, and which provides an ideal place for gamers to form long-lasting, meaningful relationships. All of our design decisions surrounding Real ID — including these forum changes — have been made with this goal in mind.

    Now the “too long-didn’t read” summary:

    1. With Cataclysm’s launch, your Battle.net first and last name will be used on the forums. No more hiding behind a character name.
    2. Blizzard posters will be doing the same. (Ghostcrawler will now be known as Greg Street)
    3. If you post to the forums, you MUST use first and last name.
    4. Blizzard is viewing the forums as an optional social enhancement to the game.
    5. This is an attempt to remove forum trolls and spark real meaningful dialog on the forums.
    6. This is being implemented first with the SCII forums when that launches later this month.

    Now for what I think…

    Continue Reading…

    Cataclysm Beta officially launched yesterday, which means there’s a huge flood of information that has been released out to the public.  I’m still trying to digest all the information, and as I get through it, I’ll put in my $0.02.

    mmo-champion.com has a very comprehensive list as of right now, albeit messy.

    Now, call me selfish, but I sincerely hope that the guy to the right is the Blizzcon mount — just remember that we were seeing builds of the Wrath beta that showed the mount reward from 2008 — here’s hoping we get another sneek peek!

    This is a shared topic over at Blog Azeroth as suggested by Spinks.

    GDIAF or… more commonly known as Go Die in a Fire.

    Cataclysm obviously is bringing around lots of changes… some good, some probably not so good.  Either way, if we’re going to keep paying our $15 a month to play, we’re going to have to deal with it.

    Change isn’t ever something people embrace off the bat.  The typical response to a drastic change is “this sucks, and so do you.”  At least, that’s been my experience around the workplace when something comes down the pipe. I want to examine some things I wouldn’t mind seeing die in a blazing ball of fire.

    1. Arrows and Bullets.  This is something that I think Blizzard missed the boat on a long long long time ago.  The dependency of a ranged weapon on a consumable item that costs significant amounts of money to produce at end-game levels is a little bit hard to swallow.  Sure, some other classes have to carry Candles, Symbols, and Seeds to do some things, but realistically, their damage or healing on a target is not reliant on carrying a certain number of these things.  Hunters are really the only class that had to manage an additional consumable to be able to kill something.  Those other consumables? Those are for buffs or rezzes — not damage.  Thank goodness they’re fixing this in Cataclysm.

    2. Pet talent trees by pet-type. I just want to be clear here, I’m fine with having 3 different pet trees, but don’t make me choose a pet I don’t want because it’s the “raid optimum.”  In my opinion, part of being a hunter as they’re designed right now is to teach your pet how to work with you.  That is what the talent trees are supposed to be.  What if I wanted to have a Moth that could do just as well as a Wolf in raid? What if I wanted to run with my purple tallstrider named ‘Nurple?’ Some pets will always be better than others for certain raid situations.  That’s why their abilities are the way they are.  I just really think that being able to choose the type of pet you want, and give it whatever tree you want.  What if I wanted a Ferocity gorilla? Monkies can DPS too! What if I want a spider to tank for me? They have tough shells! (that’d be a scary spider by the way)  You get the idea.  Not sure if this one is going to come to light, though I know they talked about it a little bit.

    3. Dalaran Lag Yes, I know this should be a simple fix — expansion comes out, people get out of the main city hub — but with everything returning back to the home world, people should set their hearthstones back to Ironforge, Orgrimmar, etc.  I don’t think that’s going to happen though.  It’s too ridiculously convenient to have ports to all major capital cities, and Shatthrath all in one place.  I would like to see Blizzard separate Horde and Alliance.  Both factions combined in a tiny space makes for horrendous lag.

    No, not the USA series. The place where you can't pew pew.

    4. The Dead Zone.  What is that, you ask? Well if you don’t play a hunter, you’re not familiar with it.  It’s the place between melee range and the shortest ranged dps distance.  There are so many boss fights you get into where you have to collapse into this “dead zone” or into melee and it handcuffs one class: hunters.  Please fix this one!

    Those are probably the top 4 that come to mind first for me.  I’m sure there are more that I’ll think of as soon as I hit “publish”  What do you hate and want to see die in a fire for Cataclysm?