mandag den 20. juni 2011

A peak back before 4.2

Looking back on the the content which we have encountered from the release of Cataclysm, and what I think of the content and design of them so far.
First I will have to say that it has been a massive and possible a little too much content released in the beginning, and I am fairly glad that Firelands was postponed simply because it would only have been the the top 200 guilds which would have had any “farm time” of all the content.

Blackwing Descent (BWD) – Beside a few bosses which proved to be unkillable without bugging it (Hello Atramedes) or a boss which required class stacking to an extreme (Hello Kitty, I mean Nefarian). But all in all I am pleased with the 6 bosses in BWD and they do all require that one has to move away from the tunnelvision while pressing ones 1 1 1 3 4 rotation, which I personally think is a good welcome. And with the changes to healing I think it is quite fun that you now will see a far bigger difference between a good player and a bad player. An example - In WOLTK a bad shaman would use Chain Heal and Lesser Healing Wave and a bad shaman would use Chain Heal and Lesser Healing Wave and there would not really be any difference, and even if you played very well it was hardly noticeable if you were better than the guy who was clueless but was just spamming CH. Now you are able to see a difference between a shaman who knows what he is doing and one who just pushes his buttons randomly. I am a firm believer in that it is a good thing that the game has become more challenging and that it didn’t matter if you pressed 1 1 3 or 1 2 3 4 you would still do decent enough to get through. I do understand the need for Blizzard to show everyone their content, but there is just a far to big playerbase to make everyone happy, and you could argue that “Hey, top guilds are a minority so therefore the focus should be on the people who couldn’t move out of damage in spite of their lives depended on it” and it is a valid point. However, I do also believe that if the “top level” was removed and made far too easy it would remove a very, very large playerbase simply because people talk about Paragon, Ensidia & Method and look towards the players in the guilds for tips and ways to improve their own gameplay. Furthermore, if that aspect is removed and made to “common”, yes I am aware that this might sound like I am an elitist jackass, and a requirement to a) Understand more than 50% of your class, b) Being able to minimize the damage you as a player takes and finally c) Work as a team. If those were removed or made less important there would hardly be any challenge or fun in the game, the fun part is that a lot of people who sit and yell “The game is too casual friendly and easy now, I wish everything was like in Vanilla” usually have forgotten the dull and annoying grind for pots, elixirs, flasks as well as the problem with 40 people – Some of the will be AFK, Unfocused or just plain baddies and that was one of the reasons why people look at Vanilla WoW to be more challenging. Another and I must say that it is quite important is that some bosses were so bugged that they virtually were unkillable.
Finally, and what I think is one of the key things is – We have improved and the players which play today are for the majority more skilled and better players than people who played in Vanlilla, and they got more experience now. I am fairly convinced that the content that Blizzard has given us in this expansion is some of the hardest and most challenging that we have ever experienced, and I think that it is the way to do it. The content so far is also far more demanding on every single player an example is Council in BoT – If a person fucks up with Debuff he is likely to die, if he does so with Lightning rod he is likely to wipe the raid. If he fails to get the Frost Orb to the fire – He will wipe the raid, and all of these things has one simple thing in common – They are all about movement and how you place yourself when you know certain things will occur, and you are in control of 98% of it – People who say “Raped by RNG”, sorry but that is just b#llshit you made a mistake – Admit it and let us move along and hopefully you will learn from it.  

 Bastion of Twillight (BoT) – I like the ideas of the instance, but I really, really hate that many people tend to play WOLTK style meaning: I do not need to move from this thing, which will do 30-50K damage to me and is completely avoidable or I have an ability which will remove 50% of it, nah – I will get a heal” and it is so frustrating because a 30K heal is for a paladin a Divine Light which is 7k mana and if you have to spend that amount on more than a few people, well – you will drain your mana and in the end your tanks will suffer.
Halfus – Honestly I have given up with melee, if the Fireball  Barage will hit – they will all get hitted every single time. If the tank does a countdown you can be sure that a caster will have finished his cast the instant the tank says 1, and thereby already giving us a semi optimal start in the name “herp ti derp ti diipiiis”.

Valliona – I do like the idea of tank switching and two realms, and I do remember that our first kill was pretty tight, as a first kill should be! But when we land on “farm” people tend to ignore Twillight Blasts falling from the sky and is avoidable. People with engulfing goes “ ZOMG MOAR DAMAGE NAU” smashing between 2-5 people down at 50% before they realize “Ehm, perhaps I ought to move”. People “forget” to move when they are target with Metorite or doesn’t bother to move into our gathering point when we get a blackout, and thereby putting additional pressure on the healers and on the raid. However, I do think it is a fun fight – beside the RNG of CD stacking on Blackouts and the outcome.

Council: FUFUUFUFUFU, debuffs -. Movement, buff / debuff, Lightning and if we manage all this perfectly we are likely to have someone going “WUT IS DAT BLUE THING DAT IS FOLLOWING ME – I WILL CHARGE IT RIGHT ON” and bam – You just wasted 5 min. And the trash before Council what on earth were they thinking ? Something along the lines (I believe a French accent would fit nicely) “How can we make this unbearable and annoying like nothing ever before?”
And I will say that I believe that it is either the hardest HM or the 2nd Hardest because it requires everyone to be on their toes and not make any mistakes because it is quite hard to kill the boss with 24-23 or less people even if you got them all perfectly at 23-24ish%  HP.

Cho’gall – First we tried to morph a mage, but since we failed miserably at interrupting people which in the end gave Cho’gall an average of 2-4 stacks it was simply impossible to keep the mage alive for long enough to benefit from it. Instead we just used the CDs we would have used on him on the Shadow AoE which would be absorbed with 9 or 10 stacks instead, and it worked quite nicely. However, when my guild hits the “dis is farm” … seriously, interrupts on MCed people seems to have lower priority than taking a direct hit to the genital area or ignoring Blaze until you finished 3-5 casts. However, it is a fun and challenging fight and when we reached it for the first time we had quite a lot of optimizing to do, and I would highly recommend that people used WoL to compare other peoples logs with their own. We found out that our damage output was much higher, until we the add spawned and then it fell a lot because we used a suboptimal movement tactic and when we changed it we didn’t drop nearly as much damage.
Sinestra – A fun fight and as a paladin I just love to heal Calen with Avening Wrath + Divine Favor and when he hits 60% pop Guardian of the Ancient Kings and see a HPs which just sky rocks. Sadly, the last time when I was able to keep a 56k HPs until our wipe at 5.30 min a healer had to go and I was de/promoted to dispel duty – Horray, I am now the 6th dispeller we have used for this. The sad part is that people fail just as much to the Cutter than to Wreck going south. Furthermore,  I cannot stretch how important it is for people to use their defensive cooldowns and for priests and druids to use Divine Hymn and Tranquility. And on the same time how important it is for healers to throw a dot or two up on the boss whenever they just are throwing out overhealing anyway. Sadly, many are stuck in the old idea that I am a healer and therefore I only heal as well as DPS saying: I am a damage dealer hence I cannot use my healing spells or defensive CDs, and that is sadly just plain stupidity and is shows that you aren’t making the most out of your class.

Conclave of Wind – I hate it, I really really hate this boss, but I guess that is mainly because I get the honors of kiting the damn adds on my Death Knight because we only have one person in the guild who plays a DK, and he has been busy with IRL stuff à Hey, you got a DK alt right ? Kite ! They are a fucking pain to kite, and do require a bit of practice because if you make the circle to big you will most likely have very big difficulties with picking up the 2nd wave, or if you make the circle to little it is the same story. This can be helped with a Warlock to Stun the adds or a Mage to put down Ring of Frost, but you cannot always depend on it – Or if people can control their trigger happy fingers à BAM, an add is raping the raid because someone just had to whore 100 more DPs … Brilliant… idiot.
Al’akir – Phase one is all about movement – making the right decisions and minimizing the damage that you take. Phase 2 is about controlling the adds and is a DPs race, and it is very wize to let the classes who can cancel the Acid Rain aura do it at 11.12 debuffs – And that is Mages, Paladins, Rogues and Death knights (AMS <3) . Phase 3 is again movement, and can be  pain if people “forget” about the Lightning Rod debuff.

Overall I do think the content is quite fun and challenging, but it does also require that you play with people who know what they are doing and not just die every 25 second and then blaming it on RNG or bugs. There will be some bugs, but RNG – It should be named “Random Error 40” since it is usually YOU who makes a mistake.

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