I always enjoyed tanking as a DK in Wrath – you had a few different specs to play with, each of which was more or less viable – and you pulled pretty awesome threat with some excellent survival cooldowns. You could tank as Blood and get Vampiric Blood for boosted healing (and back then it increased Death Strike healing so it was amazing), Frost for Lichborne to heal yourself with Death Coil, or Unholy for Bone Shield and Anti-Magic Zone so you could get Realm-First 3-Drake Sartharion. It was great to have different options, but more importantly they were all fun to play.
Then Cataclysm showed up and fucked everything up.
I had been really excited when Blizzard had initially announced that Blood was to become a dedicated tanking tree for DKs in Cata. While the three trees offered some fun options in WotLK, DKs were missing some valuable tank benefits. We had no way reduce a mobs attack speed and you ultimately couldn’t get all the tanking cooldowns collectively, you more or less had to pick one. “Fuck yes,” I thought, “DKs are finally going to be fun AND fully viable as tanks!”
Due to the fact that we tried to raid as a 10-man guild at launch of Cata, I was called upon to fill a more or less full-time tanking role in the guild. I was happy to do so because I had liked tanking so much in Wrath and I was excited to check out how a full-blown tanking spec would perform in Cata. I quickly realized, however, that there were a few problems:
I had shit for avoidance, I sat around forever waiting for runes to be off cooldown, and Blood Shield was a steaming piece of shit
I went to the WoW armory for the first time in probably 2 years today and found that the thing has gotten wtfhuge.
All my characters are flashy 3D, I can post and search auctions, I can even look at my pet and mount collections. Perhaps the coolest (and saddest) thing I saw was that I can even find out which pets/mounts I don’t have, as well as where to find them. I say it was sad because it was really exciting to me.
Here all along Blizzard has been building a home away from home for WoW players and I didn’t even notice because I was too busy playing the actual GAME. Now I come to find out that even if I manage to pull myself out of Azeroth, I can still stay immersed in the whole thing while I am outside or at work. This armory combined with the new mobile guild chat means I could theoretically never ever have to be totally removed from the game.
I’ll say it now, Blizzard is the herald of the rapture. Eventually the armory will offer services that will let you level professions remotely, maybe go fishing. Next maybe they’ll have wed-based daily quests you can complete towards actual achievements in-game. Some of those Molten Front quests are so basic they could easily replicate them.
Eventually the armory will be able to play the game for you and then what? Then it realizes it probably can do all the other stuff you do too. Next thing you know, the Armory is self-aware and building giant orc robots to break down your door.
It could happen, just saying.
News flash, right? The only time frost was considered a good raid spec was at the outset of vanilla raiding when everything you pulled was immune to fire damage. Still though, Blizzard has made long strides since then in attempting to make all specs viable in both end-game PvE and PvP – so why is frost the seemingly lone remaining bastard child?
Anyone who has read the blog since I re-launched and cares to remember what I wrote for longer than 45 seconds might recall that I recently embarked on a new journey as a gnome mage. The intent was to give me an avenue to check out all the revamps to 1-60 brought by Cataclysm, and hopefully give me new things to rant about.
When I hit level 10, I thought long and hard about which tree I wanted to lock myself into until level 70. I ultimately decided to go with the frost tree just because my original mage had never been frost spec since the release of The Burning Crusade.
With heirlooms and a 50% slow on my main nuke, its pretty much faceroll to level as frost. The pet is next to worthless except for the extra freeze, but thats fine because that’s usually all I need anyway. I can easily down 5-6 mobs at a time with the ranged freeze + talented Blizzard slow – its mind-numbingly simple.
What I’ve realized from playing the spec though is that the same thing that makes it great for leveling is what makes it awful for end-game PvE. Frost is a spec that has a very specific “flavor” to it – it favors roots and slows, as you would expect, because frost is something that is cold. Without those mechanics, it wouldnt feel like a frost tree anymore.
The problem with it is that the damage has to suffer to give all those spells the “frosty” feel they come with. Why would you use Fireball if Frostbolt hit just as hard AND slowed an attacker? Why would you use Blast Wave for a daze if Frost Nova did equal damage and rooted? I get that, and thats probably a trade-off that people are happy with. It’s worked out for me so far in my leveling experience, and I can certainly see the appeal from a PvP standpoint.
That said, given that everything in raid content that counts (trash doesn’t) is immune to slow and root. Even the bottom tier frost talent has to have incentive to use it against mobs that are immune to freeze effects. You’re left with your gimpy damage that is being offset by utility that you literally cannot take advantage of. Fingers of Frost goes a little ways in mitigating it, but even then Ice Lance is never going to be your primary source of damage.
So what could they do to make frost raid-viable? They could probably sort it out with some creative glyphs – something that allows you to remove the slow effect from your frostbolt and increase its damage. But if they did that, what’s the point of being frost? As it stands, the slows/roots are what defines the class. Take those away and bump up the damage and you might as well be playing a fire mage – you’d be using the same basic rotation with procs thrown in (mind freeze may as well be hot streak as it is). Even then it would still be inferior because fire offers better options for getting dps on adds without having to fully abandon the primary target.
I guess what I am really saying here is that the leveling experience has given me an appreciation for something I thought was completely terrible. It’s actually fun being able to kite around elite mobs and solo shit I probably couldn’t burn down with the glass cannon approach of the other mage specs. I feel though that the aspects of the frost tree that make it unique will ultimately prevent it from ever becoming a fully raid-viable spec.
And maybe that’s fine. After all, it’s not like being the black sheep is something new to the Mage class…
Where was this shit when I had to start a paladin at level 1 in Burning Crusade?? Seriously, leveling is actually fun now.
I guess this is something most hardcore players totally write off as one of the features of Cataclysm. Hell, I did. I had already leveled all my alts to at least 70, the promise of new 1-60 content didn’t really appeal to me as a feature to list on the back of the box.
That said, the one thing I still have never done in 6 years of WoW is level a character to max level as Alliance. I noted Friday that my Gnome mage experiment had begun – and I’m not sure if it’s the heirlooms, the new faction, the new quests, or all that shit combined, but I am having a great time.
The revamped Gnome starting area was largely disappointing start (if they were going to give trolls and gnomes their own areas it would have been nice for them to last a bit longer than the 20-minute 1-6 stretch), but past that it’s been a lot of fun. Gone are the days of vanilla where you are sent back and forth between town and some random yeti cave, each time with a quest to go a little bit further in than you previously had. Gone also are quests that send you clear across the fucking world to talk to some guy and then go back where you came from.
Each now has more of its own story and quest flow, much like the Northrend and high-level Cataclysm zones. It makes for a more immersive leveling experience as you see how more or less every quest fits into the grand scheme of things in that zone, and more importantly it saves you all the hassle of going all over creation to get things done.
The best zone up to this point in my opinion has to be the revamped Eastern Plaguelands. Now a level 35-40 zone, EPL has been reclaimed by the Argent Dawn and Argent Crusade and the storyline follows two paladins aspiring to join their ranks as they ride a caravan from tower to tower. It’s designed to basically take you in a circle around the zone, and provides some cool bonus buffs to choose from as you add more and more members to your caravan. The story of the zone even culminates in a short cutscene where your fully assembled party bands together to take down a banshee. Really cool zone – nice flow, fun quests, lots of flavor.
In a way this makes me glad I no longer raid hardcore in WoW. I would likely have never taken up the task of leveling a new character from level 1 were I still committed to a full-time 5-day raid schedule. It’s nice to see this other side of the game that Blizzard assured us was so much better in Cataclysm than it was before, having previously not even seen it as a selling point.
Really the only downside I see to the 1-60 revamp (unless the upcoming 40-60 zones are a major drop in quality) is the fact that all I have to look forward to at the end of the fun is the soul-crushing wasteland known as Outland :(
So I know this is a little bit late to be posting about, but I just picked this up again so sue me.
Blizzard announced last week that 4.1 was going on the PTR and the dataminers immediately got to work pulling all kinds of cool shit from the game files. They found things like crazy firebird mounts, Firelands zone files, new pets, and ZOMG LEGENDARY STAFF! People were like, “Yay new content! I can’t wait to kick Ragnaros in his little polio legs!”
But it was all for naught, as the announcement quickly came that none of this stuff was coming in 4.1, but was being added in preparation for 4.2. Bummer.
So what do we get in 4.1? Let’s go to the Blue Post!
The main content features currently planned for 4.1 are:
- Zul’Gurub revamp
- Zul’Aman revamp
- New level-85 Stranglethorn quest line (phased) leading players into the troll dungeons
- New tier of Heroic dungeon gear (epic item level 353) to give players a slightly bigger boost going into raids for the first time
- New & updated flavor items, vanity pets, and mounts
- Guild Challenges (new guild quests)
And the Ensidia’s of the world collectively groaned.
Let me tell you how I read this:
- A new heroic that you saw 5 years ago. It won’t be as hard as it was then. It’s the one we removed in Cata so we could replace it with 2 quests for level 30s.
- Another new heroic you saw 3.5 years ago. It won’t be as hard as it was then.
- A couple “feeder quests” to actually point you to the entrance, in case you don’t want to use Dunegon Finder.
- Epic gear that is better than other heroics, but if you’ve done any sort of raiding then you probably won’t care.
- A snail pet. Also some reworked mounts from ZG and ZA that won’t be as cool as the ones that dropped originally.
- We stole the guild quest idea from Rift, so it’s at least on our radar.
Let me start off by saying I really liked the idea of reworking some of the original dungeons from vanilla. The new Deadmines is fun (though most people bitch about it taking too long). New Shadowfang is a bit less cool but at least it has a neat nostalgia factor to it. That said, I really don’t want this to be a well they return to throughout the course of Cataclysm. Reworking 5-mans as updated 5-mans is one thing – reworking raid instances into 5-mans is another. They’re already rehashing half the end-bosses from vanilla raids (Nefarian, Ragnaros) in new raid content, is it too much to ask for something (completely) new?
Given that I can’t raid hardcore anymore, I’ll probably take advantage of ZA and ZG despite my bashing of the idea. After all, Death Knights weren’t able to ever obtain the Bear mount from ZA and 10 months worth of ZG runs twice a week resulted in the one Tiger mount drop I ever saw being won by a rl friend. Still though, the mounts aren’t identical, couldn’t this have all been part of some new troll instance somewhere?
The bigger thing about 4.1 that kinda astounds me is that many (maybe thats an overstatement, maybe) people will be looking to this patch to determine whether they should stick with WoW or head to the greener pastures of Rift. I know in my last post I wrote about how I would ultimately not be staying with Rift, but the fact remains that it looks to be the best MMO to be released since WoW and could actually steal some subscribers. Blizzard should be responding to the release of Rift with something new and cool, something that says, “sure they have big rifts in the sky, but we have THIS!”
Instead they are saying, “here’s a lot of stuff you’ve already seen to some extent in the last 3-5 years with a new coat of paint. New shit will be here in June so please stay tuned!”
Maybe they are underestimating Rift, maybe they really think these smaller, more frequent patches will appear to more players, maybe both – I can’t say for sure. But it seems to me that, knowing many guilds blew through Cata release content a lot faster than Blizzard would have liked (unless you’re a 10-man guild – more on that in a future post), and knowing a new MMO just launched that actually provides an enjoyable experience comparable to WoW, now would be the team to present your best stuff.
In the long run, it probably won’t matter. It’s not like Blizzard is going to lose 50% of their subscribers overnight to Rift or any other game. They probably know that they’ll keep most of these folks either way. And maybe that’s the real problem.
Yep, we’re back. New, casual outlook on WoW, same shitty outlook.
Check out the post below, it might help you not waste your time with Rift!
My gift to you. Happy Tuesday.
Oh and check me out on twitter @mymagesucks !
From Half man, half amazing…
Like a bunch of my WoW buddies, I picked up Rift when it launched this past week and am currently stumbling through my free month of play time. The free month is a crucial time for any MMO – they basically have four weeks to present enough interesting content to you to make you want to slap down 15 bucks a month after that to keep playing.
For most people, this translates to whether or not they have an enjoyable experience leveling a new character to max level and maybe getting a brief look at some PvP along the way.
The tagline I saw in all the commercials for the game was “We’re not in Azeroth anymore” – an obvious “fuck you” to Blizzard and World of Warcraft. They threw down the gauntlet against a record-setting MMO juggernaut, but do they have the content to back it up?
What Trion has built to distinguish their game from WoW is also it’s namesake – the rifts. Rifts randomly tear open in the sky in every zone in the game, invaders pouring out of them in waves which must be defeated by large groups of players. If left to their own devices, more and more invasion waves will spawn out of each Rift and eventually overrun the various towns and quest hubs in the zone.
They smartly made the rifts a big part of the game right from the beginning. Once you hit level 6 or so, you enter the first “real” zone of the game where you’ll regularly encounter death and water rifts. They pop up all over the place, there are tons of people around, and its really a lot of fun banding together, kicking the shit out of mobs, and getting some shiny loot for your efforts.
The problem, though, is that everything just kinda goes to shit once you leave that first zone.
I’ve leveled up now to the point where I have seen all of the first three zones in the game and have just entered the fourth. Past the first zone, where everybody was completely gung-ho to tackle the rifts, they are largely ignored. The only time I see anyone actively battling the open rifts in these later zones is when the game forces you to do so with a “full scale invasion” which basically spawns 20 of them at once so they are impossible to avoid.
It’s a really neat concept but basically you are just tired of it by the time you reach level 20 – and that’s not even halfway through the game.
Aside from the rifts, the game is virtually indistinguishable from World of Warcraft. The UI is so incredibly similar I almost didn’t believe it. You might think this is a good thing because it would be easier to adjust to, but then you’ll remember anybody worth a shit in WoW has a custom UI anyway. Basically they are copying the UI to make it easy for the masses of drones they hope will migrate from WoW, except they won’t, because it’s WoW.
The questing system, the talent trees, the crafting skills, achievements, guild perks – it’s all taken directly from the design of WoW. The combat mechanics are actually more simplified, as everything either uses mana or energy/combo-points – no rage or runes here. There are four classes which each have eight talent trees, which lets you fill more roles with one character, but makes it largely pointless to play an alt. It’s easy to pick up but less varied, and therefore less interesting in the long run.
The game actually even manages to suffer by not copying a few things WoW has – and I feel like if you’re going to clone the game you should at least clone all the good stuff and leave out the dumb shit like archaeology (which they didn’t).
- There is one flight-path per zone. That’s it. You run all over aside from that. WoW used to be closer to this, but never this bad.
- There is no LFG system or dungeon finder – good luck getting a group unless you are a tank, healer, or bard.
- There is no incentive to level professions because you can never craft anything better than you’ll get via questing. There are patterns to make better stuff but they require reputations to purchase that you won’t have raised high enough until the items are no longer useful.
- It’s impossible to discern anyones role without just asking them. All you see is “Warrior”, “Cleric, “Rogue”, or “Mage”. Kinda dumb when any class can be one of eight specs and fill multiple rolls – why wouldn’t it just be in the tooltip!
I guess overall what I’m getting at is that, while I’m enjoying Rift for the most part, I constantly feel like I might as well be playing WoW. They are similar enough in structure that there’s really no incentive for me to abandon all the years of effort I’ve put into WoW in favor of starting fresh in Rift. The one distinguishable feature seems to be largely ignored by the playerbase after their first few hours in the game, which doesn’t make for a very good reason to rush to level 50 when all the raid content is just more Rifts.
I’ll enjoy my free month and then probably head back to WoW. Because while in Rift you might not be in Azeroth anymore, you may as well be.
From the latest PTR build:
Molten Armor now causes 170 Fire damage when hit for all ranks (Up from 75/130/170) and also increases your critical strike rating by 25% of your spirit.
LOL HEY MAGES YOU THINK YOUR SPIRIT ON YOUR GEAR IS WORTHLESS HUH? WELL YOU SHOULD HAVE KEPT YOUR FILTHY BLUE MOUTHS SHUT CUZ NOW YOU’RE REALLY GONNA GET IT. YEAH, THAT’S RIGHT! STACK SPIRIT OR ELSE YOUR FAVORITE BUFF IS WORTHLESS! HOW MUCH SPIRIT? OH, Y’KNOW, ENOUGH THAT YOU’LL NEVER GET UP TO THE LEVEL OF CRIT THE SPELL GIVES NOW! HAHAHAHAHA! BETTER GEM SPIRIT AND ENCHANT THOSE BRACERS YOU SORRY FUCKERS!
So glad I re-rolled!
Real Baddies of Badness
(Real Baddies of Badness)
Today we salute you, Mr. “Can’t AoE Tank in WotLK” Tank Guy
(Mr. “Can’t AoE Tank in WotLK” Tank Guy!)
Even when Blizzard eliminates the need for CC and gives you oodles of AoE threat gen, you still drop the ball.
(Ain’t need no Shockwave!)
Pull after pull, you sit idly by as DPS and Healers get smacked in the face.
(Didn’t seeeeeee that pat comin’!)
So go repair your broken weapon, Simpleton with a Shield, this rez is for you.
(Mr. “Can’t AoE Tank in WotLK” Tank Guyyyyy…)
I know this is a few days late, but I just wanted to point out that Mage was again the “Class Most Likely to be Shit Upon” in the first round of previews for the upcoming 3.1 content patch. Each class got a few interesting little morsels to chew – a few new things to look forward to in 3.1 be they ability changes or talent swaps or whatever. Mages, however, got this:
Improved Water Elemental – this talent has been removed and replaced with a new talent that grants Replenishment (similar to Shadow priests).
We are also working on a way to give frost mages Ice Lance “Shatter combos” in PvE.
We are also working on more survivability for Fire spec in PvP.
We are also working on making Spirit a more useful and interesting stat for all mages.
Later, Ghostcrawler was quoted in saying “Hey guys we came up with some cool stuff for everybody else, but we’re just can’t figure out what to do with you yet. We’re kinda hoping you’ll just get distracted by your flashy spell effects. If not, we’ll probably just make all of your talents scale with Spirit so you have to gem for it. Cuz why not. Eat shit, bitches!”
So I’ve been gradually chipping away at the Accomplished Angler achievement for the last few weeks since I maxed out my fishing. This morning I was thrilled to finally see Bait Bandits pop up as the Outland fishing daily quest for the first time since I’ve started working on them. This finally knocked out my Old Man Barlowed achievement after nearly 4 weeks of waiting. With this one out of the way, it left me with only Master Angler of Stranglethorn and One That Didn’t Get Away yet to complete for my Salty title. The Stranglethorn achievement is a crap shoot, but One That Didn’t Get Away is truly, deeply, 100% based on luck. Read a bit about it and you’ll see that most catch counts put these fish at about a 1:2000 chance to be caught. I’ve logged nearly 3,000 catches in Northrend alone looking for a Dark Herring, with no success.
I then headed down to Stranglethorn for the Fishing Extravaganza, pretty confident that I could win the thing now that I was actually awake early enough on a Sunday to catch the start of it. Things were going according to plan, I was nearing the finish line, and then something incredible happened…
Yeah. I about wet myself.
PS – My condolances to Rektam, who lost by 15/10/3/.5 seconds (depending on when you asked him). You’ll get it next week, buddy :D
Just wanted to share with everyone a few experiences I had while traveling from Dun Morogh to Elwynn Forest by way of the Deeprun Tram today. It seems that Death Knights (especially those in good guilds with mostly best-in-slot gear) might still be a little bit too insane for the average “casual gamer” that Blizzard has taken to catering to.
The first leg of my adventure involved a Fury Warrior who jumped me in Tinkertown while my ghoul and I were playing with a handfull of Ironforge guards. This guy charged in and unloaded everything he could on me, so natrually I was at about 80% by the time IBF and Bone Shield were gone. Not only did this guy die, but he served as the perfect target for the Howling Blast which also finished off the last 3 guards my ghoul hadn’t finished with yet.
Next, I encountered a Warlock on a fishing dock in Stormwind who decided it would be novel to DoT me up while I was running down the canals minding my own business. This dude thought it was hilarious that he knocked me off my horse in the water while he was safely up on the dock and was amused to /laugh at me several times while his DoTs ticked away. His laugh-fest was abruptly stopped when he was Death Gripped into the canal with me, silenced, and subsequently killed in roughly 5 seconds. Oh, and the DoTs took me to something like 85% health because gg AMS.
The final and most hilarious encounter took place on the outskirts of Goldshire, where a Balance Druid and Enhancement Shaman decided to put an end to my foolishness. Now I realize Army of the Dead cannot be used in Arena matches, but damn if you can’t use them in Alliance starting zones. My undead minions destroyed Treant and Spirit Wolf alike, although granted they quickly died to the Druid’s starfall. The best part of this fight was, with all of their best cooldowns blown, my ghoul literally solo’d the balance druid (I may have helped him by telling him to wait to Gnaw until he tried to heal himself), while I beat the crap out of the Shaman. Again, IBF and Boneshield win, and being able to also use AMS on top of it pretty much means anything a Shaman can do to me hits for nothing. Both of these guys died, though I was around 20% by the time the fight ended. Here’s the best part though…
With the fight over, another random Druid shows up and begins nuking me while im bandaging, leaving me at about 30% HP. This guy gets yanked over to me, the ghoul leaps up his ass, and we kill this guy before he knows what happened. So essentially, i won a 2-on-1 fight, and then won another 1-on-1 starting at 30% HP, all without even popping my damage-increasing cooldowns.
No wonder kids bitch up a storm about DK’s in PvP…I don’t really Arena much (see: never), so I hadn’t really seen it first-hand until today. I can imagine we’ll be seeing more changes coming eventually, cuz even I have to admit some of this stuff just isn’t fair.
Funny as hell, but not fair :p
Excellent video guide covering the do’s and dont’s of Mages in WotLK.
Whether you’re new to the class or have been playing it since Molten Core, you’ll most likely learn something.
So 3.0.8 finally went live yesterday, much to the dismay of fans of Volley and Summon Gargoyle. One of the things a lot of people were really excited about were some changes made to a few of the achievements involving time limits, namely Gotta Go! and You Don’t Have An Eternity.
If you still bother to read this site, you probably recall that my guild has been working the 5-Minute Malygos achievement for the past couple weeks. Well, as luck would have it, we finally nailed it this past Monday (01.19.09) and killed Malygos in four minutes, eighteen seconds.
Naturally, we were thrilled. The achievement took us one step closer to Heroic: Glory of the Raider, as well as moved us closer to the top of the food chain. So Tuesday rolls around, it’s patch day, the timer is increased to six minutes and we figure getting the achievement for those that sat out on Monday night would be pretty simple to pull off.
From the 3.0.8 undocumented changes posted this morning on MMO-Champion:
You Don’t Have An Eternity – Both normal and heroic version of the achievement have been changed to 6 minutes. (Up from 5) The encounter has been changed and made slightly harder, the achievement isn’t necessarily easier to obtain.
The actual change is that the power sparks summoned from the portals now have a 90 second maximum duration. That’s 90 seconds from spawn to gone regardless of if the spark is rooted or already popped – after 90 seconds all traces of it despawn.
Additionally, the explosion caused by the dragons breath has had it’s blast radius quadrupled, so melee needs to head for the hills after each breath if they don’t want the tank to blow them up.
If you read a few posts back about 5 Minute Malygos, you saw the basic strat was to stack up 4-5 sparks and then blow them all at once, reducing Malygos to nearly dead before P2 begins so he dies almost immediately when you enter P3. This strat proved to require the coordination of Druid roots and Death Knight grips to stack the sparks in place, as well as skillful manuvering of Malygos himself by the MT to ensure that the sparks get to the desired spot without first risking them being intercepted by the dragon.
Throughout our attempts at 5-Minute Malygos we routinely commented on how well-tuned the encounter appeared to be, something Blizzard has overall done an excellent job of on the vast majority of the achievements. The encounter was difficult and challenging, but most certainly doable with precise execution.
Conversely, the post 3.0.8 6-Minute Malygos at first glance appears to be a cluster-fuck.
The absolute best you can hope for is 2 stacks maximum at a time. By and large the largest drawback of the spark cooldown is that you now have no feasible way to get through P2 anywhere near fast enough to meet the timer, even with the extra minute. Granted, we only put in a handful of attempts last night, most of which were further hindered by crippling lag at the outset of P2 (which I could have sworn was supposed to be fixed…). However, I’ve now heard mumblings that Blizzard does not expect most groups to be able to actually complete the achievement now until better gear is available (ie. in 3.1 with the introduction of Ulduar).
So, ok, it’s harder now – so what?
True enough. It’s certainly still nothing compared to trying to execute fights like pre-3.0 M’uru or Kil’Jaeden, but that really isn’t the point and it isn’t why everyone was so irritated. What is so infuriating about this change is that it was just a cop-out change that hinders what was an enjoyable encounter “just because”.
No doubt, the biggest problem Blizzard probably had with the original incarnation of the achievement strategy was the “requirement” of four Druids and a couple Death Knights. Needing specific classes who bring specific abilities in order to defeat content is completely against their entire design philosophy at this stage in the game. Sure, that’s ok, I get it. They could have gone about it other ways…
If you don’t like the “requirement” of Entangling Roots, make the sparks vulnerable to other CC. Let a Paladin stop one with Repentance, let Mages sheep them, I don’t know, something. The argument that you “need” Death Knights is even worse, because a tank who can move the dragon quickly enough and to the right locations essentially can pull the spark to the desired location without Death Grip. Sure, it’s nice to have Death Grip to make it easier, but the point is that it wasn’t absolutely necessary like a lot of people thought.
Instead, we now have an encounter where less is less. The strategy is now limited by the encounter, not by skill. The encounter is now billed as harder, yet you get nothing more – still the same loot you’ve been disenchanting for the last 2 months. All you get is a lot more casuals who will get their achievement 3 months from now when they have gear to win a straight DPS race popping sparks whenever they want and blowing lust in P2.
“Hardcore” guilds, if you can even call them that anymore, will still pound away at it because it’s something to do and because they simply like to raid. But they’ll be having less fun doing it now because Blizzard decided to kill the encounter for the sake of letting your best friends tag along.
It’s really a shame that, in a game where Blizzard claimed the Heroic Achievements would become the new form of hardcore raiding while letting casuals still see all of the content, they now take steps to make the Heroic Achievements more casual-friendly – even if they are harder.
The fight has gone from one requiring careful planning and execution to one where you really just need to bring a big enough stick. And that really sucks.
It’s really a shame that I chose to excell at the class that is now officially the new Ret Pally of WoW. More brainless idiots have flocked to the Death Knight class than they did Paladins when they joined the Horde in TBC. And just my luck, I happened to be the highest level guy on my server at Wrath launch, so naturally I was the one getting all the questions from every other crimson name in /who. Stuff like…
Do you spec Blood or Unholy?
Why don’t you have Dancing Rune Weapon?
Do you use a 2h or dw?
Do runeforge-thingies stack with weapon enchants?
Do you have the spell that summons lots of ghouls? it sounds really cool!
How much spell damage should I shoot for?
Naturally, these fine young contributors to society eventually reached level 80 as I did. And zomg they’re all in Naxx now it’s soooo and there’s purples!!!!1
A few of my guildies took their newly-80 alts on a pug Naxx run this past weekend, a pug which featured 8 Death Knights. 8 Death Knights without a single piece of tank gear between them.
This inspired me. These people so eagerly sought guidance from me during their journey to 80, so why should’t I continue to guide them through the end-game content? As a result, as is my duty, I present…
Bajingobomb’s PvE Death Knight Best Practices Guide (aka How to Not Look Like a Total Fking Retard when you Group with Others).
Read these points, treasure them. And for God sake, stop embarassing yourself.
1. Pick up some tank gear, just in case.
I get it, you rolled a DK to do leet deeps, so did I. That doesn’t mean I don’t happily snatch every throwaway piece of gear the primary tanks in my guild don’t need. Here’s a news flash for you – when it comes to most raids, tanks are in much higher demand than DPS. Pick up some tank gear and offer to offtank if there is already too much DPS. The playstyles are virtually identical – use the same rotation you’d use for DPS, just use Frost Presence. Oh, and use IBF. It’s nice.
Blizzard designed our trees to be the first dps/tank class where all three trees can actually fill both roles well. Unholy currently has the best AoE threat, but that doesn’t mean Frost and Blood suck. Frost gives you some nice oh-shit buttons, but they certainly aren’t required.
Raids will find you invaluable if you bring some tank gear along and are willing to swap roles depending on the fight. Death Knights, more than any other class, can nearly seemlessly switch between DPS and tanking roles without a respec being absolutely necessary. The more you have to offer the raid, the more they’ll want to have you.
Stop making yourself look like a prick and pick up some defense gear ffs.
2. Don’t Death Grip random shit just cuz lolz its funny
Trust me, this is annoying as fuck to most people. Yeah Death Grip is a lot of fun, but it also really pisses off tanks when you pop it just for the hell of it. If you’re acting like a retard and using it just for the lolz, chances are you’re pulling mobs out of AoE, not to mention getting yourself killed. A lot of idiot DKs I’ve seen seem to forget that Death Grip also serves as a mocking blow – forcing the mob to attack you for the next 5 seconds without anyone being able to do anything about it.
Seriously, just don’t use it if you’re not tanking or told to pull something. It’s annoying, its bush-league, and it will get you blacklisted by a lot of people.
3. Don’t rez people as Ghouls just for the lolz either, especially if you’re Unholy.
Currently the Raise Ghoul spell is bugged and sometimes a person can ultimately not be rezzed once theyve finally died after being raised as a ghoul. This pisses people off if you’ve raised a key member of the raid (like a healer or a tank) because they probably wanted them battlerezzed immediately anyway, and then they might not be rezzable at all.
Plus, if you’re raiding as Unholy and you have Master of Ghouls, raising somebody in your raid as a ghoul just for shits actuallty means a decrease in your dps – the person controlling the ghoul is not nearly as powerful as your pet with your talents figured in.
Again, mostly for the same reasons as with Death Grip, raising dead kids as ghouls generally makes people think you’re an idiot.
4. Don’t jerk off over haste gear, don’t even bid on it. HASTE = BAD.
Haste is the worst stat you get get as a DK, which is a shame considering there is so much of it in the game at the moment. If you’re wearing a piece without haste and a new piece drops that is a minor upgrade – skip it if it features haste. You don’t need any haste because auto-attacks are a small percentage of your total damage output given the number of instant attacks you’re constantly using.
Haste is not totally worthless to you, and granted you can’t completely avoid having it, but you certainly shouldn’t piss and moan over a piece of loot with a lot of haste on it over someone who gains a lot more benefit from the haste stat. This makes you appear to be both a noob and an asshole.
5. Avoid Rogue gear.
You’ll probably see a lot of DPS warriors happily bidding on Leather DPS gear. This is because it has AP and Agi, both of which are of good use to them. Agility gives warriors melee crit, as it does you.
However, a fair amount of your abilities (Icy Touch, Death Coil, Death and Decay, Pestilence, etc) are spells. Agility does nothing to increase the crit chance of these abilities. Don’t make yourself look like an idiot by bidding on this kind of gear, as it only increases the effectiveness of half of your abilities.
In addition to the reduced-benefit from Agility, Death Knights also suffer when taking attack power over strength. There are plenty of talents in the talent trees that increase your overall strength to the point where you get nearly 2.25 AP per 1 strength. This means that Str gear will translate to more AP for you than AP gear.
So what does this mean? Leather often has Agi/AP, Plate often has Str/Crit. Crit rating now affects both melee and spell crit in Wrath (same goes for Hit), which makes it worlds better for Death Knights than agility. This means you want to wait for the good plate drops, not the leather ones your fellow plate-wearers are happy to take.
6. If you spec Blood, cast Hysteria on somebody else.
Hysteria is disgustingly good, but not for you. Blood relies a lot more on physical damage than the other DK specs, but it still relies a fair amount on your spells, primarily Death Coil. This means you do not get 100% benefit from Hysteria.
So who does? DPS warriors and cat druids. Both are the only dps specs which rely entirely on physical dps. Most people still haven’t become keen on cat druids in raids, but you’re almost certainly going to have a DPS warrior or two in your raid (because their damage is insane). Stick Hysteria on one of these guys instead of yourself and you’ll look pretty smart.
7. Don’t have anything on your weapon other then Fallen Crusader or Cinderglacier.
This is speaking in terms of DPS specs, of course. If you have Razorice you might as well kill yourself. Same thing goes for Lichbane. Bad.
If you’re blood, Cinderglacier is also bad. But it’s arguably good for bother Frost and Unholy. You can’t go wrong with Fallen Crusader as any spec, it’s simply too good for words. It may not have the coolest glow effect of the available runeforgings, but you’ll get over it.
8. Don’t pop Army of the Dead because you think it will help your damage.
Army of the Dead can seriously fuck up a boss encounter. The ghouls don’t give a shit who the MT is, they just know they want it to be them. You’ll have 10 ghouls running around taunting the boss and turning it all over the place.
It’s most definitely a fun spell to pop, but once your ghould army makes Saphhiron breathe on the raid you’re gonna have a lot of pissed off people to answer to.
I’m not going to stretch this out to the point where it’s a full theorycraft thread, you can find that stuff on EJ. The point of this is to give you the basic things to do and avoid doing just to convince people you’re at least competant at your class. Yeah, I know I sound like a condescending prick, but I’ve seen A LOT of awful DKs the past couple months. Don’t take it personally, you guys need some help.
Thanks for reading.
So as you may or may not know, my guild <Devierum> is kind of badass. We’re the top guild on our server with the first-kills of Malygos (25), Sartharion + 3 Drakes (25), and most recently, Sartharion + 3 Drakes (10). Oh, and also we had the first DK on our server to 80 ;)
Anyway, the guild is now ranked somewhere in the top 100 worldwide, which we’re all pretty proud of. We discovered that if we bust our asses a little bit and knock out “The Immortal” and “You Don’t Have An Eternity”, we would be ranked nearly as high as top 20 in the world. So guess what we’re doing this week?
We won’t be attempting Immortal until later this week, but Tuesday and Wednesday were devoted entirely to 5-minute Malygos. For those unfamiliar, the basic idea is to save all the sparks up in a little clump until you have 4-5 of them together all held down with roots. You stop dps a bit before 50% (ie. when he enters Phase 2 and summons the adds), pop all the sparks at once, and unload on his ass doing something like eleventy billion % bonus damage. The goal is to get him down to 1hp before he summons the adds, so that he dies as soon as Phase 3 begins and you land on the drakes.
We work on it. And work on it. And work on it. Part of the problem is you have to depend on RNG to a point, because if you get poor spark positions it’s a real pain in the ass. Myself and the other DK use a Death Grip rotation to get all the sparks pulled to the right spot, but even talented the cooldown is too long to pull two consecutive spark spawns.
Anyway, last night, things are going VERY well. We have a few close attempts that we purposefully wipe at the beginning of phase 3 because we’ve exceeded 5 minutes by 10 seconds or so. Finally, the stars align, we get incredible spark spawns, we demolish his HP, make it through Phase 2 with about 25 seconds left on the timer and…
Malygos uses the next 25 seconds to talk before he breaks the platform.
At this point, its impossible for us NOT to kill him (as he only has 1hp left and we’ve dotted him up before the floor shattered). So that’s it, he’s dead at 5 minutes, 4 seconds.
Whether it was lag, which we suspect might play a role as Phase 2 always hangs for about 10 seconds (gg instance server shared with Naxx) or just bad luck – Malygos and his stupid speech can eat a big fat one. Anyone in the guild will tell that I’m probably one of the biggest lore whores we have, but this was just ridiculous. We’re sitting on Vent screaming and he’s just chattering away, and the platform takes an ETERNITY to fall. See what I did there?
Ah well, maybe next week…
Yep, that’s right. I hated my mage so much that I leveled my new toon as fast as I could. So fast, in fact, that I was the first DK on my server to reach level 80!
But fear not, loyal readers…the hate will continue! With assistance from Pyth and Chunga (who both decided to stick with the Mage like idiots), this blog will still be the place to be for all things awful about mages – plus some DK love thrown in for good measure!
Thanks to all who kept reading while the blog has been on hiatus (even the idiots who don’t get the joke), it’s really cool to still see new comments popping up every week while I haven’t been writing.
See you soon!
If there’s one thing Blizzard has shown that they like about the Mage community over the past few years, it’s fucking around with them. There was that HUGE mage review back in 1.9 (or something) that ended up being a HUUUUUUGGEEEE disappointment. Then there was the whole “jaw-dropping damage” debauchle in TBC.
But more than anything else, Blizzards longest running joke and blatant showing of how little they care – changing Mage spell icons for no reason.
Patch after patch following the original WoW release, Mages would get new icons all the time. Warlocks were completely awful at launch? We’ll work on that over a few patches. Shaman could completely own everyone by spamming Frost Shock? We’ll take care of that. Mages have problems? Change their icons or something, that’ll shut them up.
The situation eventually became a complete mockery when Blizzard released the infamous “Evil” Patch Notes for v1.11 on April Fools Day in 2006. The only mage change listed in the JOKE patch notes:
Mage Armor – Now has another new, unique icon.
Rumor has it that the joke notes originally listed several changes that would actually make them a good class, but Blizzard ultimately decided this was incredibly cruel and opted to simply shit on everyone instead.
Anyway, what’s the point of this history lesson?
The latest build of the Wrath of the Lich King beta features a HILARIOUS addition to the game, directed right at Blizzards favorite red-headed step-children:
GET IT?! NEW ICONS FOR YOUR SPELLS! YOU CAN PAY FOR THESE! YOU CAN PAY FOR NEW ICONS FOR THE SPELL YOUVE BEEN USING FOR FOUR YEARS!
Heaven forbid they add some damage scaling back to the class or at least come up with a different mechanic besides giving us oodles of crit since it’s just gonna make us go OOM faster. Nah, hell with it…let’s throw in some cute little jokes and a few more Polymorph spells.
I really, really try not to end many posts with a big “Fuck you, Blizz” but…
Fuck you, Blizz.
Blizzard has really outdone themselves with the new Inscription profession. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Inscription is a new for Wrath of the Lich King and allows the scribe to make scrolls (which don’t stack with buffs aka are useless) and to create glyphs. Glyphs modify your existing spells and abilities to increase their power or add new effects.
Yeah, I know, 99% of you know all this already. But you’d be surprised how many people actually don’t read anything about the upcoming changes to the game, so shut up already.
Despite an overall lack of attention throughout legacy WoW and TBC, Mages ARE technically a player class, and therefore Blizzard had to come up with some glyphs for them. I thought it would be fun to check out the Mage glyphs and discuss all the one’s that are awful (there are many, but these are my top five). Here’s a sample of the absolute worst:
1. Glyph of Evocation – In what way is this NOT useless? 15% of your health? You’re a mage, a couple of renew or lifebloom ticks is 15% of your health. Not like you’re gonna be hurting for HP and suddenly realize you can get 15% of your health over EIGHT SECONDS. Seriously, you know what would have been amazing? If this instead gave some percentage chance for Evocation to not lose 80% of its duration when the wind blows on you.
2. Glyph of Ice Armor – A Major Glyph that applies to a useless spell. Moving on…
3. Glyph of Ice Block – Ok, I understand how this MIGHT be nice to have in PvP, like, one out of every 1000 times. Even if you are a frost Mage, you still cannot double up IB anymore, you’re stuck with a 45 second minimum cooldown. Frost Nova has a 20 second cooldown, so if you can’t cast Frost Nova again by the time you pop out of that seocnd Ice Block, God is likely out to get you. What’s more, if you’re sitting in Ice Block for 8 seconds and waiting on the Frost Nova cooldown still, chances are you blew your existing cooldown at a pretty lousy time. So good job, this glyph is there to counter-balance you being bad.
4. Glyph of Improved Scorch – This one is just like Blizzard slapping you in the face with their collective dicks. The last post (I know it was three weeks ago, I’m busy, sorry) outlined the complete and utter raping of the Improved Scorch talent, and now Blizzard goes and hands us this glyph. The problem with this glyph is that it does not help you at all past the first 8 seconds of any fight. Whether you’re stacking Scorch five times on the pull or twice, you’re still casting it again every 30 seconds to keep the buff up. Couldn’t they have made this something that improves the duration of Improved Scorch? Or something that refreshes the buff when you cast another spell? SOMETHING WORTH HAVING? Using a major glyph slot to save yourself at most 4.5 seconds of cast time in a boss fight is completely retarded.
5. Glyph of Polymorph – Congratulations mages, you can take up a major glyph spot to counter-balance all those idiots in your raid who put dots on your sheep! You struck the glyph jackpot here! Why not make a Warlock glyph called “Glyph of Don’t Be a Retard and Put Curse of Agony on Sheep”?
Now yes, I know there are good ones. Although they even nerfed the ones that were good so they arent quite as good now. Most notably, they changed the Glyph of Fireball to give 5% increased critical strike chance instead of 5% additional damage. Remember kids, Mage damage scaling in any way is ALWAYS unintended.
Seriously, what the fuck. Just when I thought this blog might have to shut down because they were making some honestly good-looking changes (new living bomb is pretty sick, ive tried it :D), they go and fuck everything up again with this shit:
Yeah, that’s right. No more damage increase, just a crit buff now. In case you’re too retarded to understand why this is retarded, let me break this down for you…
Back before TBC came out, Jeff Kaplan (Tigole, Grand Wizard of WoW) posted the following on the official Mage discussion forum:
In test after test, our jaws are consistently dropping at the sheer damage output we’ve seen from the mage at level 70, so I do think that some of the panic here is unwarranted. These results are directly what have led to some of the changes such as the one to elemental precision. Damage = zomg.
What he ACTUALLY meant was:
In test after test, our jaws are consistently dropping at the sheer damage output we’ve seen from the mage at level 70 in Karazhan, so I do think that some of the panic here is unwarranted. These results are directly what have led to some of the changes such as the one to elemental precision. Damage = zomg in Karazhan.
In short, Mage damage scaling in TBC is among the worst in the game. It’s bad and everyone knows it.
Enter Improved Scorch, which gives you a 15% bonus to fire damage in its current, live server implementation. This is a good thing. What it means is that, while our damage scales poorly, we basically get a second level of scaling potential in the form of this buff to kinda lessen the degree of shittyness the class has been saddled with.
Come Wrath, Improved Scorch will instead give a flat bonus to spell critical strike chance. So what does this mean? This means that we lose our second degree of damage scaling while gaining nothing to offset the change. It COULD be argued that Burnout makes up for it, but that’s bullshit too because it’s still directly related to the shitty scaling of your Fireball AND it drains your mana. So before you even point your finger to Burnout, shut up.
In short, Blizzard has successfully fucked us again. It’s as if they realized they were doing some halfway decent stuff with the class and were like “Oh crap, we forgot this is the Mage, we gotta shit on this somehow!”
Thanks guys, really appreciate it. Hey, at least Imp Scorch will lead to more procs of Hot Streak though!
Yep, no mages in there! Why? Cuz mage dps is roughly 180 degrees off from world record dps!
Hard to argue with the best guild in the world, isn’t it? Isn’t it?
Yeah, yeah, it’s been a while since there’s been a new post. What can I say? Work gets busy sometimes, gotta earn that paycheck so I can afford to play this shitty class, after all!
At any rate, this morning we were treated to a startling bit of information concerning the mage class. If you’re like me, you probably had no idea that Mana Shield was even still implemented in the game. After all, why the hell WOULD it be? It’s one of those fantastic spells mages get that would only be awesome if they were debuffs that you could cast on other people.
Well, good news everyone, they’re making it a little bit less shitty! That’s right:
Mana Shield now drains 1.5 mana per damage absorbed.
Oh wait, you’ll still be OOM and dead anyway. GG.
Blizzard unveiled a whole slew of changes for the WotLK beta again yesterday – like, a lot of stuff.
Notably, mages saw some changes to the fire tree which appear to relegate it to the red-headed step-child pvp spec, tugging at the robes of frost begging for attention and one of the cookies.
But we’ll leave fire for another time. Today, we’re actually going to discuss an interesting Paladin change which is actually an indirect ‘fuck you!’ to the Mage class straight from Blizzard:
Yup, that’s a shiny new version of Evocation for Paladins. Oh, wait, my bad… I meant it WOULD be Evocation if it wasn’t better.
Evocation – 60% mana return, 8 second channel, 8 minute cooldown.
(7.5% total mana returned per second, 0.93% mana returned per minute)
Divine Plea – 50% mana return, 6 second channel, 5 minute cooldown.
(8.33% mana returned per second, 1.67% mana returned per minute)
Yup, nice big middle finger.
Let’s take the healing class which gets 60% refunds every time they crit (which is often) and give them better mana return with less downtime than the class which gets 30% refund on crits (if you aren’t specced retarded for raiding) and needs a shadow priest to even stay in the fight.
Oh, and by the way, you’re all gonna be raiding Arcane in WotLK, so have fun waiting out that Evocation timer.
By popular request, this post highlights the universally retarded spec used by one Cyntil, a mage in the guild <Valhalla> on the Malfurion server. I mention the server, of course, because every server has a creatively-named <Valhalla> guild so it can be difficult to track them down and laugh at them if I don’t specify.
Anyhoo, have a look at this young fella’s spec. Can you say 2% chance for a free cast? Certainly better than picking up those extra AoE spells. After all, its not like a shadow priest plus gems/pots/molten armor/etc is enough or anything, you most definitely need that extra mana conservation every once in a while!
It’s worth noting that Cyntil’s guild has only successfully killed Kalecgos three times, begging the question – what does Cyntil do with the mana he saves through 1/5 Clearcasting if he’s obviously not using it to decurse?
**Update (08.01.08): After seeing this blog and being lambasted for his sheer idiocy, Cyntil has not only respecced to the standard Deep Fire raid spec, but also transfered to Blackhand in utter disgrace**