Archive for the “Class warfare” Category
As long as I’ve played, I’ve seen a constant flow of envy from other classes. They look at our magnificent demonic steeds, and say "Hey, why can’t we have one?" They gaze longingly at our portals and whinge, "why can’t we use them?" They even cried about healthstones so much that Blizz gave them a vending machine for healthstones. I imagine that somewhere out there, someone’s upset that they can’t summon Warlock pets, either.
The most recent outbreak has been over a new quest series in patch 5.2 in which Warlocks go to change our mundane orange fire for green fire, as it should have been all along. Apparently, some people are annoyed that we get to have all the fun here, and want something like it for themselves. Ignore the fact for a moment that there’s nothing about (for example) mages that gives them that "cool factor" like Warlocks, and thus no real REASON to have a special epic quest series. They just want it, because, reasons.
As always, Auntie Flora has worked long and hard to bring a solution to you.
You want all the warlock goodies? Here’s what you do.
- Log out.
- Select CREATE NEW CHARACTER
- Select class = WARLOCK
- Log in.
- Get your neat Warlock stuff.
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Resuming healing after two or so years’ idle time is a scary adventure.
There has been some semi-serious talk of me coming back as the team’s "main" on Alleria and letting our long-suffering GM return to her Mage – especially now that Frost is viable, and she’s a big Frosty-head. Nothing’s written in stone yet, but prior to The Patch, we ran a lot of Heroics to get me back into the groove.
It was utterly terrifying. I haven’t healed in anger for the entire Cataclysm expansion. Most terrifying of all was the mana regen, or lack thereof. It’s hard to get the hang of Smite Healing when that blue bar is the center of your existence. Back in the LK days, I could practically ignore it. Not so much, now.
Jasra 2.0 – code name "Jazreal" – is a young Night Elf priest on another server, rolled to run with some friends, and I’ve gone Disco with him as well. At his level, Smite Heals isn’t yet a thing – hadn’t gotten the talents yet – but the mana issue was still there.
Last night, Jaz made his first attempts at healing since the patch dropped, and the mana regen was amazing. That blue bar was almost irrelevant; the mana flowed like water. And – assuming your tank is not specced Feral – Disco priests don’t seem to have much trouble keeping everyone alive, either.
I’ve yet to go out myself since the patch, but the changes are very encouraging.
The only thing that bothers me is the whiffs of unhappiness that I am hearing regarding the mana cap at max level. So, the OP-ness of Disco sub 30 may not carry over to Disco at 90. Whether you need to conserve mana due to low regen rate, or due to having a very small mana "tank", makes no difference. You lose a lot of flexibility. In my guild, which usually two-heals, flexibility is a must-have.
The Disco healing skillset is very different now. A lot of abilities have been migrated to higher levels, such as Renew have been moved to higher tiers. Poor Jaz has Flash Heal and Penance and PW: Shield and that’s about it.
A log of healers are complaining about such changes; having to "learn it all over again, every single expansion" is a burden to some. A lot of people would probably complain if there WASN’T any change, either. "Blah blah blah Blizzard is just coasting blah blah blah". Blizz can’t win that game, so they shouldn’t play it, IMO.
I personally don’t mind the changes. These games are a series of puzzles to solve. That’s one of them.
If I only wanted to look at the scenery, I’d play Second Life instead.
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You may recall recently, a "blue" from "Blizzard" posted that he or she "had hopes" that "we" (warlocks) would be able to "run a quest" to "get green fire". And there was much rejoicing. Still, when someone that officially represents "Blizzard" uses words like "we hope to", it usually means that expectations should be set low.
After all, one must reason, an organization that can’t deliver on an ADVERTISED feature is very unlikely to deliver something that is described with such weasel-wording.
No doubt you see what comes next.
So we’ve obtained some additional insight about what exactly lies behind the use of the word “hope” in regard to our efforts to achieve green fire for warlocks.
"We’ve had our asses handed to us by Management for blurting out something that was totally unfounded, had no commitments, no timelines, no actual design in place, and no resources assigned to it – at all."
It’s fun to see the CM crowd portraying the Blizzard communications array as some sort of quest-like construct that they have to go through hoops to get anything out of, and occasionally getting the exactly wrong thing out.
Essentially, we want this updated information out so that we can better manage expectations, especially as the announcement created such a flurry of excitement.
"Please put the torches and pitchforks away. Also please stop talking about this."
Unfortunately, dear warlocks, those of you who retained a modicum of skepticism were right to, as it would seem that the chance of green fire for warlocks is even less as likely as the wording of the original information indicated.
"How many times does this have to happen until you just don’t believe us anymore?"
Since spell effects are not as simple to change around as — for example — druid forms are, we need some additional technology implemented in order to allow the use of red or green fire to be a player choice and not a permanent change that is put in place for all warlocks.
"Based on conversations overheard in the break room, we figured this was just an artwork change, and thought, ‘how hard could it be?‘ Turns out, there’s actual work to be done."
Also, technology aside, we want to do the introduction of something like green fire in the right way. Implementing it in “a quest” doesn’t really explain our stance here. We want something as substantial as this change to be an epic accomplishment for you.
"Nobody actually talked to the designers before blurting this out. And the designers had something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT in mind."
So though we have definitely heard your thoughts on the matter, and we’ve explained what we want to do from our side, green fire will not be available with the launch of Mists of Pandaria. And we haven’t a timeframe to commit to, or communicate about, at this stage.
"Nobody’s even working on this."
It is with regret that we were unable to clarify these details more when we first mentioned our intent — “our hope” — and we wish we hadn’t caused such excitement and raised expectations for those that didn’t instantly take the news with an “I’ll believe it when I see it” pinch of salt.
"Seriously, if you saw how pissed the boss was, you’d understand: we REALLY wish we’d kept it to ourselves."
It seems, as many of us said at the time here and on Twitter and fansites, the proof of the (green fire) pudding really was in the eating.
"We will not be deterred from abusing every metaphor we can get our hands on."
Had this been handled properly on Day One, when the whole "Fel energy is actually green" thing started up (late Vanilla or early BC?), it would have been a simple artwork change and a few minor mea culpas. Instead, a series of flimsy excuses were used until it’s now blown up into a sort of Kabuki theatre dance between the CMs and the designers and the coders. Now, it’s got quests, options, and complications. And that’s before its implementation has even been formally designed.
It was actually easier, turns out, to add a new spell or two (Chaos Bold, Fel Flame) that used green fire than it was to suck it up and take responsibility for a lore inconsistency.
Pride goeth before the fail.
A simple suggestion: being straight about this sort of thing from the start will always work out the best. Blaming lore for one’s mistakes is going to come back and bite you in the ass. Trying to make the Warlock fire color a lore issue has just complicated matters so badly that at this point, three different departments within the WoW live team can’t figure out what the hell to say. Now you have some CMs that have been reprimanded by management for attempting to give someone else something to look forward to. We have the nugget of a design for a programming project to change something that could have been fixed with artwork.
And we have a forum full of confused and angry warlocks. I won’t mince words, here – that’s never pretty.
Not that it’s likely, but before hinting at giving Paladins anything they’ve been asking for, Blizz might consider the lesson of the Fel fire in future.
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Pontificator In Chief what’s no longer doing MMO blogging Tobold went back to the well to pontificate, yet again, how DPS R Bad Peepuls, yawl.
If by the tone of my opening paragraph you conclude that I stand in direct opposition to his conclusion, one would be right in supporting your impression, for I certainly do.
In Tobold’s world, everything lives in a theoretical vacuum, a world in which the likes of Gevlon can be as correct as he, for neither of them really engage in what I would consider practical theory crafting. Gevlon’s world is one in which everyone is a total rat bastard on toast, out to get you and deflower your mum. Tobold’s word differs slightly in that everyone involved is somehow a robot following preprogrammed pathways that have no dependence on those around them.
When isolated in such a way from reality, conclusions such as "healers and tanks are the only responsible gamers" can be fully formed and realized without spending any amount of time reflecting on the premise that the problem is not the group dynamic, but, in reality, the LACK of group dynamic.
First of all, I wish to lay out some bona fides here. I prefer the DPS life because I like making things go boom, whether it’s a gun or a fireball. I have, however, also ran a toon through an entire expansion as a healer, two-healing my way through all the Wrath raids (which kinda explains the eventual burnout, but hey – BONA FIDES!). So I am INTIMATELY familiar with two of the three roles in this game. I’m not so certain about mister Tobold.
What I DO know is that Tobold’s over-simplistic view of the DPS role is as shallow as a Las Vegas lounge lizard, and only half as agreeable. His view is that the typical DPS player is the kind of person that sits around the periphery space-bar-jumping over and over and pausing occasionally to go "hurr de hurr durr" in between the occasional frostbolt and side trip to the nearest burning patch of fire on the floor.
What he described was the average BAD DPSer.
If you’ve spent any time being any good as a DPSer over the past three expansions, you’ll have noticed something. You’ve got a LOT of responsibility going on. Soaking crystals. Pulling down drakes. Banging gongs. AoEing parasites. Run into the portal. DPS the brain, but not too much. Burn down the Sons. Hell, I don’t think many of the bosses in this last expansion ever allowed a DPSer to sit around and pew pew pew, though Ultraxion comes close. But you have to DIG to find something from Kara on forward that didn’t offer new challenges to the DPS team. Challenges that the healers were usually excused from.
So, you want to talk responsibility, Mister Tobold Sir, you go right ahead. All it’s really doing is making it look like you never set foot in Firelands, for starters.
There is a group dynamic in raiding and instancing that changes depending on the people you are with. LFD and LFR represent the worst-case scenario. You get the utter dregs from there. You can’t really judge the game in its intended form by those examples.
But if you take a group of repeat raiders and repeat dungeoneers, you get a different reality. In that reality, bad DPSers don’t come back if they don’t improve. In that reality, people talk about the instances and communicate who’s job is what. In that reality – the one in which people are people rather than asshatty robots – responsibility for failure is shared by the whole team, DPS, healer, and tank. It is, in reality, a team, and functions in a team dynamic.
Tolbold, apparently, has not instanced with anyone but total strangers, been required to carry the entire instance on his frail shoulders, and has never once been able to get DPSers to do anything but stand around and scratch their belfy butts. I’d be bitter in that scenario, as well. But I’d reach a far different conclusion, because I read more than my own blog and those like it. Every day I read about yet another group of my friends getting through another tough fight, in which everyone worked to get the job done and nobody was getting off on blaming one or the other particular role in the group.
The choice is yours, of course, but if you’re inclined to listen to this guy, I gotta tell you he’s about as wrong as a whistling fish. You can do better than he as a source of information when it comes to MMOs. Especially since, yaknow, he doesn’t blog about MMOs now.
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It is all the rage these days to disavow any regard whatsoever for damage meters. One is expected to denounce their use, purge them from one’s system, deny them access to your chat window, and make fun of those using them.
Well, I say, nuts to that!
If you are DPS, this is your instrument
Neil Armstrong did not land on the moon by looking out the window, he used instruments – and Buzz Aldrin calling out other instrument readings. Lindbergh didn’t even have a front window, he flew across the Atlantic on instruments. There are automobile races where the participants don’t even depart at the same time – they completely use instruments to determine who won.
In short, a reliable instrument is worth any number of other observations.
And a damage meter is the DPS role’s instrument of measurement.
You need to know if you are performing properly
The DPS role is dependent on its numbers, whether you take them subjectively or absolutely is irrelevant. But of the two, an absolute reference is much better than a relative one. Numbers are absolute. You can feed them into spreadsheets, save them off, compare them to each other. You can make multiple passes and chart your progress or lack thereof. Your damage meter is your friend. If you were doing 20K last week on a particular boss, and only 18K this week, you have something to look in to before you’re the cause of an enrage-timer wipe in the future.
Target dummies are liars
"Well, fine", you say, "turn it on for your target dummies, I got no problem with that, but using them in a live encounter is bad!" To which I say, pfah! Target dummies give you a baseline, but they don’t take anything into account that you get from a live boss. You won’t see all the group buffs, or group procs, or even be able to use your execute abilities such as Kill Shot or Decimate. You might as well just sit there with autoshot, the approximation will have the same level of accuracy (and much less variability!).
No, a live boss (or live trash, if that is your interest) is the only way to truly gauge your performance in a raid setting. And since things vary depending on raid make-up, procs, and the like, you will need multiple samples.
Well, you don’t need to run it for everyone
Yes, you do.
You are not a single unit. You are part of a team. And how you perform relative to the rest of the team is important, if for no other reason than that of self-preservation. For if you’re performing in line with the guys at Elitist Jerks, but behind that of your guild (what, you think that EJ is infallible? Lol.). You may be in danger of being sat without realizing it. Because if you’re part of a serious raiding guild, I guarantee that your Raid Leader is watching your performance.
The more you know …
But that’s what World of Logs is for!
It is indeed, and in my opinion it is a far more accurate instrument than Omen or Skada, provided all members contribute logs (if it’s just you, then it’s on par with the other two, not better). But you probably won’t have WoL for all of your Heroics, trash runs, and so forth. You need all the things. Else your dataset is incomplete.
A damage meter is always there.
People use them badly!
They do indeed. Jerks spam chat with them all the time. But not you, right?
And the damage meters don’t do that automatically, so if yours does, it’s totally your fault. You are misusing the instrument. Stop it.
What idiots do with damage meters is not my concern, and it is not the fault of the damage meter. Get over it.
I don’t need a damage meter to know how well I’m doing
Yes you do. You will always do better with solid statistics than you will with a "gut feeling".
But if you just want to use the Force, have I got a game for you.
It might also be that you’re a PvPer and see no need. I contend that you don’t even belong in this conversation. Fire up All Healers Must Die and go do that honorable thing you do.
There are valid performance issues.
Yes, there are. But not for me, and not for most people that I know of. If, however, you are one of those people, and cannot afford a computer made after 2001, then by all means don’t run with one, because for certain it does suck CPU cycles.
You already have problems and damage meters are the least of them, but, whatever.
Don’t shoot yourself in the foot.
In general, however, a damage meter is a valuable and useful tool for DPS self-improvement. Feel free to sneer at the idiots spamming party chat, and feel free to kick people that get hung up over somebody else’s DPS in a PUG. But don’t blame the instrument for these things.
After all, both Tommy Dorsey and myself play the same musical instrument. But nobody has ever proposed that the Trombone be banned because of me.
Your damage meter is your friend
If you’re serious about self-improvement in a raiding environment, you need to use your damage meter to its fullest to provide nice, juicy data from which you can draw useful conclusions, and then apply those conclusions in such a way as to improve your performance (or detect bad decisions of that sort).
This is my damage meter. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
My damage meter is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.
My damage meter, without me, is useless. Without my damage meter, I am ineffectual. I must use my damage meter wisely. I must DPS better than the boss that is trying to kill me. I must kill him before he kills me. I shall.
My damage meter and myself know that what counts in this raid is not the DPS we do, our meter dumps to raid chat, or the noise we make. We know that it is the overall damage that counts. We will do massive damage.
My damage meter is human, even as I, because it is our life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its range, its triggers, its filters and its scope. I will keep my damage meter prepped and ready, even as I am prepped and ready. We will become part of each other. We will.
Before the Light, I swear this creed. My damage meter and myself are the defenders of my world. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.
So be it, until victory is ours and there is no enemy, but peace!
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Giving the Affliction spec a drive around the block gave me much delight, but also confounded me. You see, I’ve long been of the opinion that Demonology is the quintessential Warlock spec, expressing best what makes warlocks awesome.
But when I started playing Affliction, something odd happened. I had this feeling of, I dunno, rightness as I went along, as if I had found my happy place. Was it me, or had I found the spec that "clicks" best for the class?
That got me thinking. Every class, I believe, has its essential spec, the spec that best illustrates what makes that class awesome.
Hunters, for example; Grimm would say, and I agree, that Beast Mastery, more than any other, illustrates the core awesomeness of that class. It’s all about the pets. Sure, a raid leader might tell you MM because s/he’s more interested in DPS on the charts, but I think most people, once they thought of it, would agree that BM is the signature Hunter build.
You can do this for other classes, too. Holy Priest? Feral Druid? Elemental Shaman? Sub Rogue? I’m not sure about some of those, but off the top of my head, that’s what I think about in relation to those classes.
So, for warlocks, I’m suddenly torn. Demonology has long been my favorite for this role. All about the demons. You even get to be a demon from time to time.
But long have I eyed Affliction. It’s inherent emphasis on the suffering of my foes has always been attractive to me. I’ve never played it for long because it’s never really held up to its promise for me – oh, how excited I was when Wrath came out, and oh, how disappointed I was when I tried it! – but I always had my eyes on it, secretly desiring its subtleties.
So the question comes down to how much of this is my desire for Affliction and my current enjoyment of it – and how much the Affliction playstyle reflects the true heart of Warlockery.
When you think of warlocks, do you think of demons, or do you think of DoTs? I guess that’s what it comes down to.
One last – unrelated – thing. A unforeseen delight of Affliction is the sight of my Felpup hopping into battle like the happy little psychopath that it is. If warlocks had hearts, that would warm them. If nothing else, I have that.
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