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Archive for December, 2010

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We’d just hit 84 and were off in Uldum, helping Harrison Jones, when suddenly, the world went red.

What’s going on?

 

Wait… what’s that heading for us in cloud and shadow and flame? That’s the biggest dragon I’ve ever seen and he’s heading right at me!

 

Your World Will End in Flames.

 

And, of course, in an achievement. Sweet! Even dinging 85 wasn’t as much a rush as seeing that giant dragon of doom coming toward us. How are we going to kill this guy? I can’t even imagine..

 

And a bonus screenshot of the best thing since RocketBare:

 

CamelBare!

 

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So let me set the stage… A few days before that Cataclysm dropped I got my warrior to level 80 (yaah). So I queued for a few runs because I was bored. Most of them were normal mode. Here I am, fresh dinged 80 with no gear to speak up and I got in a couple runs with raiders that were helping an alt get a trinket. One of those runs was a normal PoS run and I think all the DPS were averaging over 5k dps. It was some of the hardest tanking I have done. Why? Because I challenged myself to hold all the agro. Sure those guys could take the hits. I probably could have gone AFK. But nah, I like a challenge. So I tanked it. And while I did not so much ‘hold’ agro, I did juggle it so that most of the critters hit me most of the time. Really I pulled out all the stops, hammered keys, bounced around like crazy, and in the end really impressed myself with what I was able to keep up with.

There is a point to this, and it is not to brag. Right after that I got in a Heroic PoS and, despite again really pulling out all the stops and stretching that little gnome warrior, I just could not get Tyrannous down. At some point you hit a wall of ‘gear’ where the tank can’t take the hits and the healer (who was good but also under geared badly) can’t heal them.

So that is the stage going into Cata. We started leveling our main druid pair first and it went well. I knew bear swipe had been nerfed 20% according to the patch notes. I also knew I was losing my 20% swipe 10 set bonus. Also I knew that healing was nerfed and everything was going to be hard again. All that means I expected it to be somewhat challenging in places, and in places it was.

And then we ran instances. Yep, challenging, very challenge. I marked stuff, our very good DPS friends (like RepGrind) CCed stuff. We usually had good DPS levels. Almost 100% of our runs were with guildies. And it was hard but it went ok. Love the new instances, love the new mechanics, but this post is not really about that. I ran a few runs with another tank in the guild and we did less CC on those. I also ran with one of the other raid leaders and he commented how the other runs he was on they CCed less and stuff. Honestly it really pissed me off. How dare anyone think these Cata runs were easy, they were HARD.

Finally I noticed something…. Some adds were quite simply ignoring my aoe threat. They would run right through it when no one else should have had much threat on them. Hmm.. strange. Maybe I need to get Thrash fired off more often. Maybe move a few abilities around. So I went looking for some macros and stuff. Had to Google around to see how they changed the syntax on a swipe macro…

Then, just as I was almost done tuning my macro I ran into a link to this on wow-head’s swipe entry:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1127127739

[Analogue edit: this thread is an even more detailed "whodunit" sorta rundown for number muncher types: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1118442888]

I checked the numbers they posted against what my meters were saying and it is pretty much right. Bear swipe got somewhere around a 75 to 80 percent nerf.

80% reduction? To swipe? EIGHTY PERCENT??!?!!!

Holy freaking crud no wonder those runs were so dang hard. I have NO AOE threat. How did we even get through those? Why did it take me that long to notice?

Well that last question I could figure out. I had just been on that warrior, for the last few runs before cata. Really compared to those runs it was almost easier. It took me getting my bear to 85 before it really sank in that the runs had been nearly has hard as having the whole party with vastly better gear. I had literally run every other instance in the expansion and was starting the last one (Grim Batol) when I figured this out.

Bears are broken. I hate to say it be they are. Bliz needs to fix this bug ASAP.

Interestingly I had noticed that my ‘how to work your bear in 4.0.1-4.0.3’ post from the other week had been getting a lot of google hits. Now I know why.

For those not yet leveling in Cata who hope Thrash will fix it for you, it will not. It does similar damage levels as swipe, and only adds a tiny little bleed effect. For those of you that are not 85 and were hoping max level would fix the issues for you, it will not.

But hang in there. It IS possible to tank everything here as a bear, you just might need a tiny bit more gear than your pally friends (may they and their three target taunts and their ranged multi target silences and their non-nerfed aoe dps all die horribly in a fire). But you CAN do it. Some of the fights are going to be so hard as to challenge you. Remember to use tab and spread around some other threat besides Swipe. And mark targets for your DPS. If you don’t at least give them a skull to shoot at you will have much much more trouble.

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Trading Spaces (Corporate Raider)

This one has been in the “ready to go” folder for a while, but posted today in honor of Pugnacious Priest’s post.

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The title refers to what might be the best quest in game that I’ve encountered so far. It’s in Hyjal. You throw baby bears out of trees. To save them. Or the quests where you’ve got a small turtle following you – and fighting for you! It was so cute.  We’re level 82 and probably 95% through with Hyjal and I must say Blizzard has shown once again why the only ones who can kill WoW will be them, and they haven’t screwed up yet. I love the mix of standard “Kill 10 Cultists” and “Collect 4 Livers” quests with the interesting ones using vehicle mechanics to do something cool, like give  a speech or save baby bears. And the jousting quest in Hyjal? Tons of fun, IMO, though I can see other people disagreeing.

So we’ve spent two evenings in Cataclysm so far, gotten our mains to 82 as I said already and dabbled a bit in other things (I did a little archeology, super fun, must do more). We ran Blackrock Caverns and Throne of Tides Tuesday night with guildies – Repgrind on her mage, my brother Logarithm on his warrior, and then first Sharelore and then Multipurpose from guild as a boomkin and shaman, respectively. That was fantastic. We went in blind and figured things out as we went. We wiped on the forge boss in BC, twice, figuring out his gimmick but man did we have a sense of accomplishment when we did. It took us the first wipe to figure out about the transporter, heh! We ran all the way back on foot.

BC was cool but Throne was cooler. The enviroment was awesome, the bosses felt really unique. So nice after Northrend to get those vibrant colors. We very nearly wiped on the last boss, because it went into the final phase and we couldn’t figure out what we were supposed to do and the damage was stacking. Fortunately, just as we lost all three dps, my brother announced “I have something targeted but I can’t see it”, and Reversion was able to use assist to figure out there was a giant squid outside the room shooting at us! That was cool. I brezzed Rep’s mage and managed to keep us alive for long enough to kill it, although if Reversion hadn’t thrown all this cooldowns it would have been a wipe. I died at the end but Reversion rezzed us. So much fun.

So far I’m finding healing to be even more spiky than Wrath healing. Yeah, the constant AOE damage is lower but the hits are huge. I assume we need more gear because ow, Reversion got one shot on trash at least once but then we were able to kill the pack while he was running back (and this was  a group where CC was not an option; what the heck are Faceless Ones anyway? They don’t seem to say). But it’s fun. I know that if things are too hard Blizz will tweak ‘em, they’re pretty good about being balanced.

Anyway, so far, total thumbs up on this expansion. We’ve got a three day weekend and hope to have a pair of level 85 druids at the end of it. We’ll see!

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not bored…

How come no other bloggers are posting anything?

You can’t all be home playing… can you? Bah! Why do I have to be stuck here by myself? Where is the solidarity? Where is the community?

You all can rot! The servers are probably down anyway.

I bet the game sucks anyway. It would serve you all right for me being stuck here… alone…

*wimper*

Hello? Anyone?

/cry

I am sorry Bliz. I did not mean it…I am sure it is great. Please have the servers up when I get home.

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Rejected Cataclysm MiniGame

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