Something said at Be MOP reminded me of somewhere else that I had read of a hat-based business model.
So this probably happened at Blizz:
Note: this webcomic is by the same team that does Penny Arcade, plus one, which may turn some people off. So, avoid if you are ethically inclined to do so.
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So, as posted on the EU community website, Cosmetic helms are now for sale in the cash shop Blizzard Store. And if you’re into gaudy, they’re not bad.
First of all: 15 US dollars is not a microtransaction. I don’t care what your favorite omnibus WoW website says, I don’t care what your favorite MMO forum site says. The cost of a month’s game time is not a microtransaction. So don’t call it that, and we’ll get along fine.
Next item: will it affect the game at all? I can’t really see how, other than consuming precious frame rate. Seriously, what would a 25-man raid look like with these on everyone? Will a new Alliance battleground strat involve wearing these and lagging the Horde out? Considering that it’s gotten zero beta time, these are actually kinda relevant questions. But I’m SURE they’ve gotten EXTENSIVE testing in-house.
Item the third: when will this hit the US? Days? Hours? Before this post goes up? Update: I found out at 2 PM (two hours after publish) that they’re now available in the US.
Item the fourth: what next? Will we see matching robes, shoulders, cloaks? And sidebar: will the WoW punditry also insist on calling those other items "microtransactions" if they cost 15 bucks?
The big one: how long until we see pay-to-win items? And does this indeed signal the final death rattle of WoW?
Oops, sorry, accidentally plugged in to a forum.
The personal one: I’d almost buy the Firelord helm for Flora if she was into gaudy baubles. But in general none of this stuff speaks to my nature. I seriously doubt that they’ll ever introduce a mog set that says "I work for a living" rather than "I’d like to think that I raid stuff you can’t even imagine."
The thoughtful one: It’s not just this stuff. So much WoW raiding tier and its predecessor gear looks so hideous to me. It’s covered with horns, and glitter, and flanges, and glitter, and orbs, and glitter, and ropey things, and glitter, and then they add glitter. SOME of the old vanilla tier stuff is okay but for the most part, Blizz is in love with its art department, and its art department all apparently majored in "Ming the Merciless’ Court Trappings".
But the thing is, they wouldn’t keep getting more ridiculous with every tier if it weren’t for the users wanting, or at least encouraging it. Those of us that want a more functional approach to awesomeness are not as vocal or as profitable.
I am very much of the opinion that awesomeness is not a function of frills and special effects. The most iconic weapons are often very much, shall we say, to the point.
Rather than …
Maybe Ming wasn’t at fault after all.
If you can’t please everyone, the best you can do is give them choices, and that’s where mogging came in in the first place. You may recall my own mogging preferences are somewhat more functional than what my armor actually looks like. And there are others that go the other way – well, I can certainly see the attraction of some Ulduar and Icecrown gear.
The Cheap One: What I would love to see with this sort of throwaway mog fodder is for it to (also) be sold for in-game currency of some sort, especially near the end of an expansion when people have piles of tokens and nothing to blow them on. It would be a great JP dump, or Greater Tokens, or Halfhill Tokens, or what have you.
An even better approach would be to (a) make the items purchasable for a new special token type, (b) make it so you could buy that token in the cash shop (e.g.Neverwinter Zen), and (3) then also make that token purchasable for varying amounts of other in-game tokens, such as JP, Darkmoon tokens, etc. That way, if one particular faction grind was "your thang", then you could, oh, I dunno, enjoy yourself while playing a game.
Because here’s the bottom line for me: they could make the perfect Hunter garb of all time available, and I’d not buy it for cash, not ever. I’m paying that much a month already. I’m not even sure I’d pay for it if it was F2P. Virtual items are pretty much gone as soon as you stop playing the game. Game time, for all its ephemeral nature, gives you a month’s worth of enjoyment, whereas a hat isn’t even usable unless you pay more money.
But I might grind for it.
The Final One: The Godmother over at Alt:ernative had an interesting thought (or a dozen) about the cash shop, one which was the sale of armor dyes. I do want armor dyes. I especially want one like the one in Diablo III that makes your shoulder pieces go away. But I categorically do not want them to be part of the cash shop. Special colors? Possible. In general? Not. It might be close to a deal-breaker for me, a last sign of cynical money-grubbing from a company that swore up and down that Activision wouldn’t do that to it. I can only swallow so much hypocrisy, and that would probably mark the high water line.
Doing so would also eliminate one of the potential fun elements in-game: making of dyes. I personally think this would be a great product for Scribes to make since they already have all sorts of dyes in the bank. I think it would be great if they managed to exploit ALL of the herbs from Peacebloom to Golden Lotus to make different armor dyes. They could just keep adding different shades of dye as new herbs came into being. Heck, Ghost Mushrooms would be perfect for making armor invisible!
I kind of doubt that will happen, though. I could be wrong, but they seem to be pushing down hard on the crafting game, and it’s starting to look like there is either a paradigm shift about to happen, or they’re starting to dismantle crafting as an mainstream part of the game. Certainly, it has problems.
It’ll be interesting to see where this goes. At least the potential cash mounts will give us more people to admire as they preen on the bank steps and RP walk around Stormwind.
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In part one of this mini-series, I worked up to a more-or-less raid-ready user interface. In this part, we’ll fill in the blank spots with the UIs that make your life less tedious and/or boring in-game.
BetterFont does one thing – gives you a better default font to use in the game. People with bad eyes such as myself are usually quite grateful for little visibility tweaks like this.
eAlign is one of those addons that you don’t use a lot, but is very useful for tweaking sessions. It puts a grid up on the screen against which you can align your UI elements so that they’re in a straight line. One chat command brings it up, and banishes it again when you’re done.
Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text is a replacement for all scrolling battle text; if it only did that, I wouldn’t use it, though, since I prefer to keep the default battle text (damage appears over the head of your victims, rather than in one place, which MSBT does). I turn off the scrolling battle text overrides but keep the additional features that it adds, such as telling you how much of a thing you have in your bags when you collect one (such as herbs).
Que’Level just sticks the level of a quest in front of its description, so as to help you sort out which ones to do first (like, before they go gray).
TipTac totally replaces the default tooltip feature of the game, expanding it so that NPCs will also display debuff and buff icons and so forth. One of those generally invaluable tweaks.
Finally, kgPanels doesn’t do much in the way of functionality, but it does help you spruce up the appearance of your UI. I presented one example here.
There are many auction-specific addons, but I prefer AuctonLite to others due to its smaller footprint and quantity-specific buying features. However, it lacks a number of advanced features, which others bring to the table. I’ve taken a different approach will be explained later. For the time being, keep Auctionator and Auctioneer in mind if you need more powerful features.
Trade Skills / Professions
Big in MoP is farming, and Farmhand brings very useful features to the table, affording one-click planting, trouble crop tracking, and auto-discard of farm implements when you leave Halfhill. The trouble crop tracking annoys at times because it always only marks ONE example of any particular trouble type, rather than ALL.
Hand in hand with farming is fishing, which is used to get raw materials for cooking along with your garden vegetables. Fishing Buddy offers several convenience features, such as auto-lures, easy casting, and stat keeping. Its only real weakness is that it doesn’t know how to work with the new feature that allows you to fish without having a pole equipped.
Archeology Helper offers many convenience functions that speed up surveying and digging; however, since I haven’t done any archeology since MoP launched, I don’t know if it still works.
Gathermate2 and Routes go hand in hand to help you manage your herb, fishing, and ore farming. Routes … doesn’t appear to be actively maintained, but it’s hanging in there for now, so fingers crossed.
Reagent Tree is great for figuring out what recipes you and your alts know, what mats you need, where they are, and how to get them.
Skillet, and its relative Advanced Trade Skill Window, provide means to queue crafting tasks, determine what you can and cannot make, and otherwise make the trade skill window a lot less painful to use. I started using the former when the latter developed serious lag-inducing behaviors.
Postal automates a lot of the tedium of opening lots of mail, mailing it off, etc. For example, when I cancel all my glyph auctions that have been undercut, I generally have 400-500 mails in my inbox; this automates opening them and sorting them into the bags.
TradeSkillMaster is a suite of tools that makes it easier to auction things off, find mats on the AH, track where items are, how much they generally bring, and so forth. It’s a complex little beastie but our glyph business would be dead without it.
Finally, The Undermine Journal’s addon provides you with up to date prices on items, what they’re actually selling for rather than what they’re vendoring for. There is a general purpose version available on Curse, or you can download a realm-specific version that updates many times a day, guaranteed to have the most accurate prices of all. We’ve created a Python script to automate this task.
Managing bag space is always a joy, right? And addons that make it easier, moreso.
AdiBags is my current weapon of choice. A while back we reviewed this addon and were not as impressed, but we got feedback and gave it another try. If it stopped working, I’d quickly go back to TBag.
One of the things that AdiBags was missing at the time of its review was a way to view other toons’ inventories. BagSync provides this utility in a bag-addon-agnostic fashion.
Finally, failing to keep consumables stocked up can be embarrassing, though not as much as it used to be with Warlock shards and Hunter bullets and other reagents. Steal Your Carbon automates the task of buying these whenever you open up a window at the appropriate vendor. Do note: it is not 100% reliable, so make sure it works reliably. My experience is that it fails on a per-character basis, rather than pre-account.
Rating Buster come to my attention when it was recommended by BRK back in the day. It’s a tool that compares an item’s stats with your own gear’s. It’s still trundling along, though it’s not current with MoP (last update was for 4.3.4). I use it for rough estimates, with custom weights, and my own tool for final decisions. The beta version is more up to date, so if you use the Curse client, you can select that.
Pawn is a more current addon, but doesn’t directly interface to the tooltips like RB does. It uses weights from WoWHead or allows for custom weights. When an item that’s a definite upgrade for you appears in a loot roll, it makes real sure you know it with bright colored arrows. Naturally, it doesn’t agree 100% with the other tools, so you’ll need to use your judgment. It also provides guidance on reforging, gemming, and enchanting.
VendorBait is useful when leveling; quest rewards that are an upgrade are highlighted. If no upgrades are available, then the one with the best vendor price is highlighted. Unfortunately it doesn’t offer an option as to which would DE to a better enchanting mat, but there are addon for that if you need them.
MogIt is more a social app in that it merely allows you to browse different gear and model it on your character for purposes of finding the best (for you) transmog set. I usually disable this unless I’m in search of mog fodder.
There has been nothing even close to the legendary Cartographer for map managment, but Mapster plus TomTom (or TomTomLite) provide a lot of its features. I haven’t found anything else to fill that gap.
When Squeenix finally kicked the bucket, Chinchilla Minimap was more than a replacement, and a lot less “weighty” than some of the other minimap replacements such as SexyMap.
Ara Broker Guild Friends is an addon that puts two displays up on your LDB display (such as ChocolateBar) and shows how many of your friends and guildmates are online. Hover over either display, and a dropdown panel appears showing details related to your friends and guild. A lot more convenient than the full-on friend and guild displays.
Friend & Ignore Share basically propagates your friends and ignores across all of your toons; friend someone on one toon, and it automatically friends them on your alts when you log in.
Chatter is one of two good chat replacements; I was using Prat until it broke, then changed to Chatter because I was impatient (Prat’s back up to date again). Both offer similar features, such as colorization based on class, guild rank, faction; timestamp and level tweaks; chat tab management and filtering.
WIM is a small IM-like window for private chat, including your battle.net and RealID friends. It can even notify people when you’re in the middle of a fight.
Rares and Reputation
NPCScan (and its map overlay companion) notifies you whenever you come within range of a rare spawn, and optionally marks it with a symbol. Hunters of rares will use this or Silver Dragon, depending on your preferences.
Ara Broker Reputations provides a convenient drop-down interface to the reputations panel, providing a quick overview of where you stand with various factions.
Pets and Mounts
I haven’t touched battle pets since Cata first came out, so I’m not going to pretend to know what’s good in this regard any more.
GupPet is a random pet and companion summoning tool; it allows you to filter out those mounts or companions you don’t want to summon, if you feel so inclined. It does tend to lag behind the state of the game with regards to what is available to summon, so you may need to hack it yourself. We have a guild on how to do that.
Addon Control Panel (ACP) helps you keep addons turned off until you need them, or turn them off when you don’t need them any more. It also provides useful information such as how much memory the child addons of an addon suite (such as all 40 parts of Pitbull) are consuming when loaded.
Better Blizz Options is a quiet little addon that just tweaks the Blizzard option panel a little, such as making it movable and resizable.
BugGrabber will intercept those error windows that appear when one of your addons dies; BugSack will collect them and let you browse them at your leisure.
WoWHead Looter is part of the WoWHead client, and basically collects stats on what you loot, gather, or otherwise come across. It does nothing for you directly, but does feed back to WoWHead, thus making it more accurate, which benefits us all. Consider it a way of paying WoWHead back for the years of useful data you’ve pillaged.
That’s a Wrap
Aaaand that’s all! Probably around 80 or 90 addons accounted for. I hope this has proven useful to you. I don’t think I’ll try this again!
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Two objectives here: (1) share with you, Gentle Reader, the addons that help me through the day, and (b) solicit recommendations for better. Simple enough?
Quick Definition: what’s an addon?
Addons are little programs written in a language called LUA that interface to the WoW game client using a carefully exposed API (Application Programming Interface). It is not intended to take over playing the game for you, and in fact that sort of addon is explicitly forbidden by the Terms of Service (ToS) for WoW.
Thus, these addons have a narrowly defined purpose and functionality; usually cosmetic, though often the cosmetics are pretty far out.
The purpose of using them is to make your WoW life nicer, easier, more enjoyable. However, some have become nigh-required in certain situations. I will point those out as I go along.
We’ll work this from the most essential to least; working up to a raid-ready UI in part 1 (this part), and then covering the less-necessary convenience addons in part 2 (the other one).
I apologize, but I won’t be doing PvP addons. I suck at PvP and would have very little to offer in useful advice.
Unit frames are those little panels that have a character’s stats, such as health, mana, level, name, and so forth. Illume did a whole series on unit frame addons two years ago, but the essentials are still the same. You’ll need to do some research on which ones are still supported, but the big names are still active. Right now I’m using Shadowed Unit Frames, which covers what I need covered, rather than something a little more involved like PitBull.
Another useful addon of this sort is a Heads Up Display, or HUD. So happens we did a review of those as well, back in 2011. For most people I’d recommend IceHUD, but for myself I’ve gone with a modified version of CircleHUD, which is worth it if you’re up to hacking some config files.
Finally, for my healers, I use Grid 2; this wasn’t part of the above Unit Frames overview, but its predecessor, Grid, was. Grid2 implements a lot of the additional addons that Grid required to be really useful, so it’s a net positive.
The default UI has several default button bars, and a few that you can turn on as well, but button bar addons take it to a new level, allowing you to change the shape, appearance, and position of all your buttons. They also allow you to shoot yourself in the foot, so you need to be careful. For example, button bar 7 is actually used by the default UI for stance changes; you don’t normally see it as a button bar on its own, but if you mess with it in an addon, you can really get confused when you stance-dance. Cautious tweaking is advised.
For my own modding I use Dominos, which actually does more than just the button bars – it also lets you reposition the loot roll panel, cast bar, XP/Rep bar, and more.
Bartender 4 is also a fine alternative. I ended up on Dominos after Bartender3 went AWOL for an extended period of time. Just me being impatient.
OmniCC puts cooldown indicators right on those buttons, and is so useful that you can almost use your button bar as an aura tracker in some cases.
Masque allows you to apply “skins” to your buttons, changing the shape, size, and appearance in a uniform manner. Masque isn’t limited to your button bars, either – among the addons it’ll dress up are GupPet and Bison (both which I’ll cover later). ButtonFaçade is the predecessor to Masque and shouldn’t need to be installed unless you have an older addon that requires it.
Clique makes binding actions to your mouse and buttons so easy it’s amazing. I use it to bind, for example, my healing spells to various mouse buttons for the hover target, or the hover target’s target. I would rank it much more critical than the button bar addon, in fact.
Auras are things like buffs and debuffs, and tracking these are a really big deal, especially when you get into raiding. The default Blizzard interface is decent enough, but Bison takes it to a new level, allowing you to move things around and split them up. It also supports Masque skinning, so you can make this part of your UI consistent with your button bar.
NeedToKnow is another popular addon for aura tracking, but I did not have a positive experience with it.
WeakAuras is my weapon of choice when it comes to really powerful tracking options. Where Bison displays common buffs in a manner consistent with Blizzard’s default, WA expands what it will track and gives you powerful notify options. I use it to track many things, such as missing buffs (well fed, fortitude, etc) when critical actions are available (cooldowns and so forth), and when certain conditions exist on the target (needs reapplication of a debuff, for example). It is a well-rounded and capable addon.
PowerAuras predates WeakAuras, and was my weapon of choice up to the point that PA started to balk on tracking certain pet-related conditions. It is under renovation so I may go back, eventually, if it proves lighter on its feet. TellMeWhen has an interesting interface, but it didn’t allow me to define certain auras for tracking across multiple alts.
Status / Info Displays
Display bars have been common for quite some time, such as FuBar and Titan Panels. Later technology now involves something called the LibDataBroker API, so some of the older display bar systems eventually broke. At that point, I moved to ChoclateBar, as it natively supports LDB.
Attached to it, I have several little tools and displays.
- Broker Currency – displays various currencies on my toon, also tracks alts. What currencies to track is configurable.
- Broker Equipment – Swap between equipment sets, show which one’s equipped.
- Broker Garbage – shows what items in your bags are garbage, automatically dumps garbage when you talk to a vendor.
- Broker DualSpec – Shows what spec you’re using, swaps you between specs as needed.
- Repair Broker – Shows overall equipment durability status, automates repairs when you talk to an appropriate vendor
- shPerformance – shows latency, memory consumption, frame rate
Skada is a DPS/HPS/Threat meter combo. It automatically swaps between these modes based on the circumstances. An alternative DPS/HPS meter is Recount, and in that situation you will need something like Omen to track threat.
I use Skada over the other two for two reasons: 1) it takes less memory, and 2) the DPS meter seems to give lower numbers, which I prefer. I’m looking at the DPS meter for opportunities for improvement, not e-Peen. The lower number ensures I don’t get complacent.
Okay, you’re outfitted with all the right mods to do your best, now we step into raids and encounters.
The defacto standard for this kind of addon is Deadly Boss Mods, or DBM as most call it. It tracks encounter events, event-specific buffs and debuffs proximity to harmful things (such as your fellow raiders), and has a number of ways of presenting this information to you. It focuses on current raid content but offers modules for older raids, heroics, and other encounters such as world bosses and holiday events. It’s huge, but also modular, so it doesn’t have a gigantic download profile every time a raid boss is updated.
Alternatively, BigWigs (and its 5-man consort, LittleWigs), presents a lightly more modern interface, but doesn’t seem to keep up as well with the changing endgame boss situation, or at least didn’t so much during Cata, so I landed back in DBM-land.
Boss Notes lets you create information specific to boss encounters in a way that you don’t have to dig for it. For example, you could write up which spec, glyphs, and talents were needed to best perform on a per-boss basis, and use that as a guide to prepare.
Raid Checklist might sound like something similar, but it’s far more generic in that it simply lets you know which buffs are missing / needed. Hunters especially find this useful for helping pick out the right pet for buffage purposes.
Finally, GTFO is a general-purpose early-warning system that lets you know when you’re about to get in trouble – standing in bad, low mana, low health, etc. Useful in and out of raids.
To be Continued
In part 2, I’ll cover the convenience-based side of the coin: bag mods, professions, social, and so forth.
See you then!
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When I get ranty, I tend to pound out around 2000-3000 words of pure snark and outrage, then spend several days tweaking and adjusting and, yes, most definitely, deleting. Because even though a good rant is a thing of beauty, my rants tend to lean in a hurtful direction initially, and I have to go back and trim out the potentially offensive stuff (well, if it’s not deserved …).
I mention this not to emphasize the fact that I have trollish tendencies, but to illustrate why, so many times, these sort of things get posted so late in the rant cycle. In fact, I’d say a good 60% or more never get posted at all, simply because I can’t de-toxify them fast enough to keep them relevant.
As it turns out, yesterday’s rant came in just under the wire, though I had no idea at the time that that would be the case. As a rant, it stands on its own, but as a meaningful comment on the current state of the Hunter, it’s already obsolete.
Late in the night last night, Lore posted a few changes to the class that directly address concerns in the post I lined in MMO-C.
Regarding Stampede: We’re happy with the damage it’s currently putting out in PvP. For PvE, we’re planning to buff its damage pretty heavily, so it becomes a substantially more potent DPS cooldown. We don’t want to give it any more utility than it has now, for reasons we’ve explained at length already.
So this emphasizes what GC was saying about the intended purpose of Stampede in the first place – it’s intended as a DPS cooldown, not a utility cooldown, and thus they’re upping the damage to make it “worth your while” My opinion, of course, is that any insta-cast ability that bring even a sliver of additional damage is worthwhile anyway. But more is always welcome.
Readiness is still under heavy discussion, and we haven’t made a final decision on what we’re going to do with it in 5.4. At the moment, we’re leaning towards just removing the ability entirely and giving the affected abilities shorter cooldowns or charges to compensate. If we end up taking that route, we will buff Hunter damage (most likely across the board, not just specific abilities), but as I mentioned, we’re still discussing.
I’m good with removing it, as it reduces the clutter of my startup anyway, and it never worked across the board for all abilities in a consistent way (e.g. Stampede). However, adding “charges” to abilities looks fraught with possibilities, mostly negative. There’s the potential for bugs that don’t get caught on the PTR, and there’s the potential for complicating an already complicated rotation.
Demonology warlocks, for example, will already know one of these pitfalls with Hand of Gul’dan; it has two charges, both available initially, and both with separate cooldown timers. Do you put both down immediately? Do you stagger them, and if so, how much? And so forth.
Ponder-worthy as we move forward.
Murder of Crows vs Blink strike is also still under heavy discussion. Our goal (with all talents) is that active abilities used properly will outperform passive ones. We haven’t decided yet what adjustments we’ll make to achieve that in 5.4.
Generally speaking, an explicit action when compared to a passive ability usually involves some sort of cast time, which is where a passive becomes so attractive for classes with very crowded rotations. In this case, there is no cast time involved, so the passive is actually less attractive if it doesn’t bring damage commensurate with the active ability. I think here they need to shoot for parity rather than supremacy.
I also like the phrase, “talents used properly.” That has to be a dig at someone – who, we may never know.
Scatter/Silencing Shot: We don’t consider interrupts to be mandatory in PvE.
Now, to clarify, what I am pretty sure Lore means here is that they don’t consider interrupts to be mandatory for hunters. Anyone that’s raided anything at all knows that interrupts of some sort are absolutely, positively, without any doubt, mandatory for the raid.
If a Hunter would rather not take the Glyph of Scattered Thoughts, there are plenty of other players in the raid who could take on the responsibility.
We like Silencing Shot as a Marksman perk overall, but we’re still discussing things. We may end up making a baseline Interrupting Shot that gets upgraded to Silencing Shot if you spec Marksman.
In fact, this has already shown up on the PTR – it’s called Counter Shot. Currently an NPC ability, but available to a PTR Hunter near you starting immediately.
Speaking of spec differences, we agree that Hunter rotations feel cooler when your signature shots do a lot more damage than other shots, and we’ll discuss that some more. That’s part of the reasoning behind the Arcane Shot changes – our hope is that saving up more Focus for a bigger hit will feel better than firing off smaller shots more regularly.
This seems strangely disconnected from my experience as a Hunter, in that I rarely need to “save up” focus for anything, and I rarely lack focus to use my signature shot, thanks to appropriate use of Cobra Shot to keep focus above a certain point.
Besides, reducing the cost of Arcane Shot seems to be counter to encouraging the preferential use of OTHER abilities. Unless they mean that by reducing the cost here, they’re making focus available for other shots so that they get used more often. Again, I hardly ever delay the cast of my signature ability over focus costs, so I’m not sure where this is coming from.
What I WILL say is that I feel like “Arcane Shot” is a bizarre ability for Hunters, period, now that we don’t use mana.
As to overall Hunter performance and utility, we don’t think the issues are with the Hunter class specifically. Instead, we think that certain other classes are overperforming (in both) at the moment. Fixing those outliers will, in turn, make a good Hunter more attractive for their raid spot. You may have seen some (but not all) changes along those lines on the PTR already.
OH JUST PUT A “KICK ME” SIGN ON OUR BACKS.
Realize that every nerf from now on out will be blamed on Hunters.
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I know Hydra gets around, but this is a bit more than most people.
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Welp. Post-moving, we’re still playing catch-up with the bills. A gigantic phone bill was settled at the expense of cable and internet. It’ll be back on in a couple of weeks, and things should be better from there on out.
Still, I’ve got network of a sort, via a nifty personal hotspot device. And while 4G may be fast enough to play, I fear that would eat up our bandwidth allotment, and I need that for job hunting and snarky blog posts.
Oh, yes, there’s snark, of a huntery sort for once.
This little gem posted on MMO-C provides an exemplary example of hunter tears and forum logic. And Ghostcrawler … well, he answered. I find there to be snarkable material on both sides of this argument.
I want to be up front about something – I’m not attacking the individual that posted this thing. I am attacking the common mindset that generates such posts. It’s a further illustration of how forums disease the mind.
So let’s go.
With the recent 5.3 “adjustment” to stampede, you have removed any kind of utility from the talent. Simulating my character with the “normal” settings (all buffs on, 5 min fight, 93 target, yada yada) I would lose 1229.7 (-0.52%) DPS in Beast Mastery spec and 2077.93 (-0.93%) DPS in Survival spec.
That’s “interesting”. Choosing to sim in a 5-man configuration? As a PvE-er concerned with raid encounters (see below, “Silencing Shot”), HONEST results can only be gained from simulating a raid encounter . This stinks of chicanery and fitting the data to match a theory or preselected opinion. Meesa no approve.
Either way, Stampede now gives us ZERO utility (micro-managing your pets in order to provide buffs your raid did not have during stampede or giving out minor healing through spirit beasts, etc).
- Real hunters micro-manage their pets, period.
- Assuming you did bring the spirit beast, I have one word: “macros”.
- Regardless of the snark, Spirit Beast is actually simming as a high DPS, so if other buffs are covered, and if you’re BM, look into it.
It is, quite simply, a button we press every five minutes in order to do 0.5-1% more DPS.
A button. Talk about impersonal.
You tell us that you want to deal with hunter’s bars being bloated by too many abilities [...]
Actually, they didn’t. We did, and they said, “maybe, maybe not. We think you’re having trouble counting that high.” Well maybe not that last part. But it would have been funny as hell.
In point of fact I think we need fewer buttons, too. But I don’t recall anyone saying they’d do me a solid on that.
[...] – yet you take one of our DPS cd’s, make it pretty much worthless, and call it a day. We don’t even gain anything from making sure we use Stampede during haste buffs anymore, because the pets do not use their specials (energy) attacks anymore. It’s a mindless, and completly unnessecary button.
Fascinating. Having five pets out at once doing DPS of their own – insta-cast, by the way – is considered a net loss to this bloke. I’m no min/maxxer, but even I know that part of a DPS increase is better than no DPS increase at all. It’s math!
1.0 > 0
0.1 > 0
GhostCrawler had a thought on this:
Stampede was never intended to provide utility. It’s a DPS cooldown.
But the thing is, I remember distinctly how the Blizz team (including GC) trumpeted the fact that Stampede would *add* the special abilities from the pets as part of the action’s effect. In my mind, they should say instead:
We screwed up. We went overboard. Sorry.
That’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re wrong and trying to fix it.
But also, this.
You may recall that I have complained in the past that making pets into portable buff machines was a bad idea, something that de-characterized the pet and diminished the Hunter class. Read the above with that in mind, and you begin to see the ultimate trajectory of that change to pets. In WotLK we chose pets based off which did the greatest damage. In Cata and later, the buffs were the thing. Then they added the five-slot stable so that we didn’t even have to make hard decisions on which pet we brought to a raid.
It’s a very sad end result, really.
And here’s the stinger. Crab Man and his ilk comment over and over again how they want to make it so you choose a pet based on how “cool” it is, how it fits in with your idiom and personality. Read between the lines and reflect on past changes, and the ultimate outcome may be this: pets will have no special abilities, and all do the same DPS, no matter what. I hope not, but it’s starting to appear that way.
In 5.4, we no longer have an interrupt, unless we go Marksmanship – the “weakest” of all 3 specs, from a PvE point of view. For a hunter in a guild like myself, the choise between BM and Survival is currently a 4% difference, and if there is not something that makes Surv better on a specific encounter (pet dying to AOE dmg is one – I’ll get to it in a moment), [...]
Let me stop you right there.
You let your pet die? And you have the nerve to complain? Get with the program first! Your pet is your responsibility. If the raid’s healer is too busy elsewhere, it’s your job to keep the pet up. If you can’t heal it, get it out of there. “Micro managing” again. It’s what leet hunters do.
[...] I will be BM for that increase. Currently, MM is 6% behind survival – a full 10% difference between MM and BM. There’s just no way I’d go MM, even if we needed an interrupt. Taking in any other player would be better, as (and once again, I’ll get to it!) hunters are far from the “top dog” damage wise.
Given what I read, I wonder who IS “top DPS” since so far, every DPS class has had that exact same complaint. What, is it ret pallis and they’re just being quiet about it?
Currently, five of the twelve revealed (out of 14) encounters has interrupts incorporated in them somehow. Is it really fair that hunters will not have an interrupt for this?
You can DPS or you can interrupt. Pick one. The role of the Hunter, as BRK once defined it, is to deliver Massive Quantities of Ranged DPS. Period. You MUST accept that anything else will diminish that. And a true team member will accept that gladly, if it helps the team out.
I remember a vid that I constantly tried to live up to: BRK using Hobbes as a tank on the Moroes fight. I actually got to try that, and it’s not as easy as it looks. That’s giving up the DPS in order to be a team player. That’s what it’s about. Not “I must have moar DPS than the other members”.
Back when I was raiding with the Effers, we had a new mage DPS come in to test with us on Dragon Soul. We were on Blackhorn, and still working on getting the strat down – which requires that DPS switch off to alternate targets during the first phase. For some reason, his assigned targets weren’t dropping, yet his DPS was high. Eventually we figured out it was because he wasn’t handling his targets, and he resented that we insisted that he do so. Had he not quit the guild because “he just didn’t feel comfortable”, he’d've probably been kicked – if not that first night, the following time he failed to pull his weight.
But that’s the thing. They’re not always Patchwerk fights. Sometimes you take the hit.
If you really don’t want to give hunters a silence, atleast give us a PvE interrupt – no silence effect, just an instant interrupt. Spec MM, get the silence? Either way, hunters being the only DPS-class to not have a baseline interrupt is just absurd.
“Just absurd” is not checking up on what other classes have. Hunters are not alone in this. But guess what? With, say, six DPS and two tanks, you have quite a few interrupts that can be brought to bear. 25-mans even more so.
Silencing Shot is tough. As a talent, it will always get chosen. But hunters don’t need more CC so we don’t want to bake it in.
Somebody will have to explain to me how “[Kil'Jaden's Cunning] will always get chosen, so it must be nerfed” squares with the above tweet. Using the same reasoning to get to two different conclusions for two different classes must make more sense when you have a PhD in Oceanography.
Pets – Survivability
From a high end PvE point of view, you have to realise that a hunter see his or her pet as a singletarget DoT with a travel time. In some cases, the pet provides a valueable buff for the raiding team.
Speak for yourself. I can assure you that’s not how “most hunters” see their pets. Though it might be a convenient way to conceptualize the damage a pet does, to a certain extent, it’s an oversimplification that doesn’t take into account pet management, situational awareness, or hunter skill.
This makes it so much more annoying that our “DoT”, as one of the very few, has the ability to die, making us spend precious time ressurecting it. Losing out on the valueable buff at the same time, is a kick in the groin.
Here speaks a bloke that has seemingly never played a DoT class. I imagine any dedicated DoT class player would gladly exchange a need to “maintain” a DoT rather than constantly refresh one. Or maybe that’s the same thing. Either way, the proper way to deal with this “traveling DoT” is to heal it, or keep it out of trouble. It’s easier to cast Mend Pet periodically than it is to cast Revive Pet. Hell, if you want to burn focus, macro it.
Pet survivability we can look at, but pets aren’t supposed to be free DPS with no management either.
This time me and the Crab are skoshe. Other classes have to manage their DoTs, and so do we. Our management is just a bit different than others. It’s a “DoT” that’s maintained by some other spell. Oh, wait.
If you’re in a scenario with constantly spawning adds, using Beast Cleave as an AOE is sure to get your pet killed, quickly.
The AOE-damage it does on mobs is simply IMMENSE, and if the tank does not instantly smash everything in the face, HARD, then the pet will get hit instead. Especially in random dungeons is this a common occurence. We can’t control our pet’s aggro – and frankly, I don’t think we should have to when we’re AOE’ing. Controlling the pets position is enough of a task already.
Pet control is a core feature of being a Hunter. This guy has no grasp on what it is to be a Hunter. To him, it’s a box. With his epic ego as in input, and epic epeen as a result. I swear to Mammon. This is the difference between leet DPS and leet Hunters.
Blink Strikes now makes our pets instantly blink behind the target if they’re close enough – this is great!
What is NOT great, is the fact that when I say instant, I mean freaking INSTANT. They teleport to the boss, get a 200K special-attack and a melee swing in, all before my first auto shot has even HIT the boss. If I lead in with a Kill Command, you can add another 150-200K threat hit to THAT (which does not get transferred by MD). Simply put, even if I were to misdirect the tank and spam arcane shot for the first 4 seconds of the fight, my pet would STILL jump to the target and hit it quicker than anything could react, and my MD won’t do jack !@#$ to fix it.
I guess nobody remembers the old days when you WAITED FOR THE TANK TO GET AGGRO FIRST AUGH /haet
THAT STILL BLOODY APPLIES, YOU GIT.
Then here are some tweets …
Please don’t buff hunter’s focus dump. PTR + T16 2pc will reduce value of special shots and homogenize specs.
Can you explain why it homogenizes specs?
It MEANS: “I haven’t got time to provide numbers, so I’m just gonna use words. Geez!”
Seriously, the term generally implies that one spec is indistinguishable from another. I don’t really see that, though. Each spec has a different “feel” to it – BM being lightest on its feet, MM being a bit more deliberate and ponderous.
This doesn’t really explain how the T16 2-piece will make the three specs operate the same, though.
Does it mean that one spec is better than the other? I suspect just the opposite. I think this guy’s pissed that he can’t find a perfect cookie cutter spec that lets him pwn the meterz. And I suspect that GC would call that Mission Accomplished.
Then there’s this guy, that REALLY gets what Hunter is all about:
Would you ever consider bringing back the arrows/bullets for hunters with an extra quiver just for hunters to store them in?
I love it! I absolutely HATED managing ammo and quivers, but I LOVE that there’s someone out there saying, “I think it made Hunters more Huntery.” Light bless you, sir, Light bless you!
We’d like to do a quiver just for the visuals. Ammo returning is unlikely. There wasn’t much depth to that system.
This is Engineer-ish for “JESUS H CHRIST ON A POGO STICK WHERE WOULD I FIND THE MEMORY FOR THAT??!?!?111”
I was really gob smacked by this though:
Readiness should do more defensive stuff. Masters call and traps and so forth.
Master’s Call, maybe. Traps were one of the big things we wanted to eliminate.
/wipes off monitor
I think it’s time to get the Crab off of the Hunter project. ELIMINATING TRAPS????? That is one of the most … unhuntery … things I can think of. Traps are a signature attribute of our class.
I swear to the Titans … I will reroll as a Monk ….
Okay, let me wrap up.
As you can see, there is intense tension between what it really means to be a Hunter … and what it means to “play the hunter class”, aka just a DPS that happens to be a hunter.
I would like to say that the epeeners and min/maxxers are making vain noises as usual and that the good folks at Blizz are holding the line, but it is patently clear that they are not holding. The possibility that traps are even being CONSIDERED for elimination indicates that there is something terribly wrong with the designers of our class. The continued decharacterization of our pets has lead to the mindset that “pets are a DoT”. This is not right.
It is possible, that there is a paradigm shift about to take place. There were a couple before, and maybe we’re due another in 6.0 or even earlier. But what I am hearing is not true to the core of what it means to play a hunter.
Hunters are more than what we bring to a raid. It’s a way of life. Ask a hardcore warlock, you’ll see we’re not alone in this mindset. There is, for lack of a better word, a lifestyle that goes with the class. That lifestyle will, however, be ejected if you substitute raiding or PvP in place of all else.
It should never be that Warlock = Hunter = Mage = Ranged DPS. They should not be interchangeable. The whole stated reason for the rework in Cata was to make tweaking the classes easier. So, tweak. Don’t redesign.
We are gamers. We adapt, we overcome. But sometime our patience is tested.
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Maybe you heard. Them busy datamining gnomes done went and found something interesting.
If what they found is to be believed, in 5.4 or at some point in the not too distant future, you will be able to buy a potion that will double your XP from killing mobs and doing quests.
Two things come to mind.
- If it costs a significant portion of your subscription fee (or more!) then it is not a microtransaction. Just stop calling $25 companions and mounts a "microtransaction", for Light’s sake. You just look like you have no idea what you’re talking about.
- Blizzard still has issues coming to grips with the problem.
That second thing needs a bit of explaining.
The entire goal of things like this supposed elixir are to bypass the leveling game. Other devices like the Scroll of Resurrection and so forth do this as well – by increasing your XP gain rate, they shorten the amount of time you spend leveling. They’ve also beefed up the XP gain rate for the content of entire expansions in order to achieve the same thing. Entire zones have been revamped to make it easier to level through them, more efficiently.
So what’s wrong with this is that there are plenty of people that like the leveling game. There is the original game and four expansions’ worth of content that can’t all be experienced organically by one character. Things like these potions don’t really impact it, but any time Blizz does something to marginalize an entire zone, it DOES impact people that enjoy the older / earlier zones.
But as long as Blizzard fails to acknowledge and act on the ultimate problem, they’ll keep doing this. It’s wasteful and annoying.
What they need to do is just sell pre-made level 90 characters.
Things like this elixir have that in mind, they just don’t go far enough.
What they’ll tell you is that they want to make things easier on people that want to bring a new class to raiding. Fair enough. So just short circuit the whole leveling game and give them a 90. Charge 25 bucks and the leetsauce raiders will just lap it up.
So, no, I don’t have a problem with you if you want to ignore 95% of the game content on your frantic climb to 90. I’d just prefer they spend fewer resources getting you there.
Leave the old zones alone. Stop selling elixirs. Stop treating the leveling game like it’s such a chore, and just give people what they want. You’ll be happier, I’ll be happier, and we’ll all have somebody new to lump in with "e-bayers".
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Along with the change to how we’re stocking the blogroll around here, I’m also making a change in what goes into the blogroll. This requires a slight peek behind the curtain to see the machinery.
Prior to this change, I had five reading folders for WoW. WoW blogs, Inactive WoW blogs, 404′d WoW blogs, WoW bloggers that had moved on, and private WoW blogs. I shared the first four in the blogroll, but not the latter.
Within that latter folder went the blogs that insisted on running gold ads, video ads, or in some other way offended my sense of propriety where bogging etiquette is concerned.
Rather than continue to police this sort of thing, I’m restoring these sites to visibility in the blogroll, though most of them will end up at the bottom of the page anyway. If you, dear reader, do see something offensive on one of those blogs that I don’t catch, please do drop me a line. I can always flip the "private" flag if they’re really offensive (i.e. porn ads, gold seller ads, etc).
A brief note to bloggers that run ads
You need to take personal responsibility for what appears on your site. I’ve been told by one popular blogger that he couldn’t POSSIBLY police the vast number of ads that are served on his site. Problem with that is: it’s always the same three gold sellers. You can review three ads, can’t you?
Please don’t use unwillingness to review as an excuse. It’s your blog, and ultimately you are responsible. Plenty of sites serve up ads without resorting to gold or video ads. Maybe you should get advice from them.
For sites that run unoffensive ads, I always turn off the ad blocker.
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Not that I condone fascism, or any -ism for that matter. -Ism’s in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me." Good point there. After all, he was the walrus.
I could be the walrus. I’d still have to bum rides off people.
– Ferris Bueller
It is often considered fairly lame to quote movie stars or characters to make a point. But that often misses the point. A lot of times, people are quoted because what they say is actually good, and the above example includes not one but two examples of that.
Isms remove the essential power of any argument and package it into a meta package that you have to be knowledgeable of in order to defend your own opinion, or leave the field to your adversary.
Isms rely on shorthand and inside knowledge of the topic to hammer a point home without actually explaining the thought process behind the point.
Isms rely on labels that may or may not be slanderous, but who can tell if one doesn’t understand it? Quite often, the person using the labels relies on that befuddlement to win a cheap victory.
It doesn’t matter what the ism is – conservatism, liberalism, feminism, Catholicism, atheism, nationalism, etc – when you rely on the ism to form your opinions for you, you cease to matter as a spokesperson for it.
When engaging in an argument about something you care about, TREAT it like something you care about and give it its full measure.
If you don’t, then don’t expect it from your adversary, either.
You surely won’t deserve it.
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