Patch 4.3 eh?

Patch 4.3 eh?

I am currently blogging with this song playing in the background.

Anyway, a whole plethora of patch 4.3 stuff about to debut soon. I’m on the PTR again (Anasterian, Matticus, Alliance side) so if you’re bored or want a place to hang out, feel free to look me up.

Patch 4.3 in general

First thing I did when I logged in was look for the Transmog guy. Converted the tier 12 level stuff I was wearing into the Avatar set. The short hand term for Transmogrifying is now apparently known as ‘Mogging. You can find the Ethereals providing this service in the outer ring of the Cathedral Square. 100 gold for me to drop individual cloth items into void storage. Interesting gold sink. Remember to Mog your stuff first before dumping it into storage.

mog

Favourite character ever. Kupo!

Patch 4.3 healing

I feel for the Resto Druids but healing output was a little high. This’ll probably be the first on the list of Druid changes anyway. Didn’t see the glyph change coming though. We’ll have a few weeks to see how that plays out. Resto Shamans and Holy Paladins received a major amount of changes.

Resto Druid

    • Wild Growth healing value has been reduced by 20%.
    • Glyph of Wild Growth now also increases the cooldown on Wild Growth by 2 seconds.

I can feel every non-Druid healer just pumping their fists. Anyone else have the feeling that there might be more on the way?

Holy Paladins

    • Divine Plea now grants a charge of Holy Power.
    • Holy Radiance has been revamped – Imbues a friendly target with radiant energy, healing that target and all party or raid members within 10 yards for 50 to 61 and another 683 every 1 sec for 3 sec and grants a charge of Holy Power. 40 yd range, 40% of base mana, 3 sec cast
    • Seal of Insight no longer restores the paladin’s mana.
    • Clarity of Purpose now also affects Holy Radiance.
    • Infusion of Light now also affects Holy Radiance.
    • Judgements of the Pure now also increases your mana regeneration from Spirit while in combat by 10/20/30%.
    • Light of Dawn now heals up to 6 targets, up from 5.
    • Paragon of Virtue now reduces the cooldown of Divine Protection by 15/30 sec, up from 10/20 sec.
    • Speed of Light no longer reduces the cooldown of Holy Radiance.
    • Tower of Radiance got an extra effect – In addition, casting Holy Radiance will always generate one charge of Holy Power.
    • Glyph of Light of Dawn now lowers the number of targets to 4, instead of increasing targets to 6, but increases healing by 25%.

Holy Priests

    • Divine Hymn now heals up to 5 targets, up from 3. Maximum of 20 heals, up from 12.
    • Atonement will now account for the target enemy’s combat reach when calculating proper range, enabling it to be used on large creatures such as Ragnaros and Ala’kir.
    • State of Mind has been replaced with Heavenly Voice Increases the healing done by your Divine Hymn spell by 50/100%, and reduces the cooldown by 2.5/5 minutes.
    • Glyph of Circle of Healing now also increases the mana cost of Circle of Healing by 20%.

While I was hoping for another cooldown, I’m cool with a really buffed Divine Hymn. FIVE TARGETS!? Yeesh! Liking the new Heavenly Voice talent. Had to figure out how to retalent a little. I came up with something like this:

43-spec

But I suppose I should find room for Lightwell with that tier 13 set bonus. Perhaps I’ll axe a point from Surge of Light. I wonder if I need to rethink the Circle of Healing glyph.

Resto Shaman

    • Ancestral Healing got an extra effect – heals you cast increase allies’ maximum health by 10% of the amount healed, up to a maximum of 10% of their health.
    • Cleansing Waters – The heal effect can only occur once every 6 seconds.
    • Riptide healing effect has been increased by 50%, from 3725 to 5585.
    • Wind Shear now has a 25 sec cooldown, up from 6 sec.

Won’t be able to count on Resto Shaman interrupts on demand anymore. This looks like it will cripple PvP shamans (and they mentioned it in their explanations post). But a numbers buff to Riptide and the extra effect to Ancestral Healing looks real cool.  Have a feeling that this is a better change for 10 man raiding shamans.

Tier 13

Love it! I may not Mog this at all! Helm itself looks pretty stellar. I believe the female Priests have only half of the mask covering their face.

End Time instance

I really hope they’re not done here yet. It seems a little undertuned. We killed one of the bosses in there and Jaina’s Staff dropped. Looks like this place will be dropping 378 items. Nice way to reset the gear floor and get players caught up. I’m going to do a little more runs in there but it just didn’t do anything for me. The instance is still incomplete but so I’m looking for more stuff.

So, how’re you feeling on the changes, the tier, and the new instances?

Firelands Nerf, a day later: Lodur’s thoughts

When we first received news of the incoming nerf, I was already on edge. I hate nerfs. I made it a point to help push my raid teams through boss fights before nerfs. Kael’thas died the night before he was nerfed into the ground. Sadly though, I didn’t get to accomplish this goal with firelands. This isn’t for lack of trying mind you. For the last several weeks I’ve been working with the guild trying to sure up lines and push through the content. I’ve been a busy shaman, to say the least.

So, the day of the great nerf has come and gone, and in the aftermath we’re left looking at what was done. Conquest mounted up and dove into firelands yesterday, and toppled every single boss, save Raggy, in just about an hour and a half. Seriously. Raid started at 9pm est, by 10:30pm we were already looking at Rag. This includes a few breaks to make roster adjustments to get in some new recruits. That’s just insane. We had the numbers, but you have to actually do the content to appreciate exactly how much the nerf bat hit firelands. I’ll be honest at the end of the night, I was quite a bit saddened by it.

Nothing is quite as demoralizing as walking into a raid and just breathing on bosses and having them fall over. While this seems like a bit of an exaggeration, I assure you that’s how it felt. Sure you can still die to mechanics if you don’t know what you’re doing, but it just felt weak compared to a day before. I sat at my computer afterwards and I was just kindda looking at the computer screen and my character. Things have changed, certainly in Cataclysm, but sometimes you just have to sit back and look at it. I mean really look at it.

In ICC, when things were getting “nerfed” we had the option of actually turning the buff off and going about the content as originally intended. It was something that I know my group utilized. We allowed the buff for farm content but turned it off if we had a progression boss or a new recruit we were trying to break in. The point is that we had the option to utilize it or not. I thought it was a fantastic way to go about it. Giving your players the choice as to whether or not they want to get a sweeping buff that helped topple content. After all, as a player I value nothing higher than choice. Choice of what bosses to do, in what order, choice of spec and gear, and honestly choice on whether or not to deal with buffed / nerfed content.

So after the raid and again this morning I’m sitting here wondering why Firelands didn’t get a similar style of handling the nerf. The flat reduction in boss health, boss damage and add health was fairly substantial. Substantial enough that each boss kill felt a bit hollow to me. I would have loved to have had the option to turn the nerf on or off, but as it stood looking at the last boss at an hour and a half into the raid was just a bit much. Mana was not an issue, not even close, I don’t think I used my Mana Tide Totem more than twice the entire night. Healing was such a non issue that for a good chunk of the night we were running 5 healers on a 25 man raid, and even then I spent more time throwing lightning bolts than having to heal. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to stop raiding or anything like that. I’m eagerly waiting for patch 4.3 and the next raid tier. I just felt very contemplative over this nerf.

So a day later what do you think about it?  How did it affect your raid? 

The Great Nerf and Matt’s New League of Legends Blog

Hello nerfs!

As announced in the Firelands Raid Changes Incoming’ blog post, we’ll be making the below hotfixes which have gone into effect during today’s raid reset.

Normal difficulty

  • Shannox, Beth’tilac, Rhyolith – health and damage reduced by 15%.
  • Other bosses – health and damage reduced by 25%.
  • All adds’ health and damage have been reduced in the same proportions as bosses.
  • Hellhounds and Unstable Magma deal much less damage.
  • Alysrazor’s Fiery Tornados move slower.
  • The Wings of Flame buff duration on Alysrazor is now uniformly 30 seconds.
  • Alysrazor drops 1 additional feather for 10-player mode and 2 additional feathers for 25-player mode in all cycles.
  • Wrath of Ragnaros in Stage 1 now knocks targets up, but not back.

Heroic difficulty

  • Boss health and damage reduced by 15% (Heroic Ragnaros’ health has not been reduced.)
  • All adds’ health and damage have been reduced in the same proportions as bosses. However, Heroic Ragnaros adds have been reduced by 15%.
  • The Wings of Flame buff duration on Alysrazor is now uniformly 30 seconds.
  • Alysrazor drops 1 additional feather for 10-player mode and 2 additional feathers for 25-player mode in all cycles.

Source

We’ve had about 10 weeks in Firelands. During Tier 11, we had 6 months. Doesn’t 10 weeks seem a bit short to you? But I guess if they want to keep up with their expansion release cycle for one a year, it has to be this way. The next question to ask is how long are we going to have Firelands for before 4.3 comes out. I think we’re going to see clips of 4.3 stuff during BlizzCon (Late October) and then the patch itself will come out right after it. We’ll find out how nerfed everything is going to be now. I can’t help but look at the stark contrast between the amount of time we had to work on this content compared to tier 11. Some of us are lamenting because of the lack of time and others are ecstatic because it’ll free up more of the game for them.

I promise, I’m not getting burned out or anything. I just go through these phases where I hibernate for a bit. It gets difficult at times to come up with new blog topic ideas. Every time I come up with an idea, I realize that I’ve written about it last year, the year before or at some point on some different site. While I don’t mind revisiting certain topics every so often, the trick is to do so from a different angle or some way which adds additional value.

To avoid blogging burnout about WoW, I’ve turned to blogging about… League of Legends! Similar in vein to this blog, it’s aimed at helping newer players get into the game. I’ll also be detailing my experiences into going from a casual LoL player into a slightly more competitive one. I’m also giving away an Arctic Warfare Caitlyn skin.

Minion Spawn: League of Legends blog

Already have several posts created. For players that are new to the game, here’s a few highlights.

Back in Front of Ragnaros

Back in Front of Ragnaros

It took us a while, but we’re finally here! The first phase seems to be easy overall. My actual level of experience is goes to the final phase with around 40% left. The struggle for me now is to transfer the knowledge that myself and some of the other veterans to the players who are just seeing him for the first time. We’re able to get to the sons phase and it seems as though we can handle any of the hammerfalls that occur off center. But once the center hammer strikes, we have a 50/50 chance of busting through. I think it would help our efforts if we had an additional knock back as we only have one Balance Druid right now providing the positioning knockbacks we need. On a few attempts, I’ve jumped on my Elemental Shaman instead of my Priest to help provide the knockbacks. I’m not exactly in my element (get it? Element?) but at this point, my goal is for us to consistently get past the first transition sons phase and into the later ones so that the team is exposed to it more.

I’d like to shore up the sons phase a little more though overall. I was shown an interesting video on streamlining that process to the point where it’s considered trivial. I just hope we can pull it off.

Thanks for the emails and support guys. I’m not going anywhere. I’ve just been working on a side project for some time which has gotten me all fired up again. With an increasing number of guildies and friends getting into and trying out League of Legends, I decided to help consolidate my thoughts and advice into one central location.

You guessed it. A League of Legends blog.

lol-blog

From 10 Mans to 25 Mans. What Would You Do?

Hey everyone, I’m still in Seattle for the Labor Day long weekend. Needed to unplug and try to decompress myself for a bit. Got a great question in the email today.

What advice would you give a GM and their leaders who wants to make the jump from 10 man raiding to 25 man raiding?

I’ll add my thoughts to this in a later post. I’ve personally never had to engineer that type of jump before since I have mostly been in a 25 man raiding environment.

Just Some Thoughts on the Game

Just Some Thoughts on the Game

Good friend and fellow Matticast host Borsk has called it a career. Whether or not he’ll Brett Favre his way back in after another WoW expansion, who knows? After reading his thoughts on the game and his guild plans, I reflected a bit on my guild and what it’s long term plans are. I’ve recently made the transition to go from a “simple” WoW guild to a multi-gaming organization.

Let’s be real. These days, players aren’t confined to just one game anymore. Might as well harness that and set up a base that encompasses the interests of other players within reason. The community site’s being slowly revamped to include sections for WoW, League of Legends and The Old Republic. I am debating of getting into Battlefield 3. I know I’ll be snapping up Counterstrike: GO (and most likely investing in a public server for it because I love pub servers).

There’s something about Conquest where people that have quit the game or explored other guild options years ago decide that they want to come back. Even now, I’m sitting on several applications from former players who were part of our roster during Ulduar and Trial of the Crusader. I’m not the best or the greatest when it comes to this stuff. But you can damn well bet I’m the most motivated. The drive to keep working and keep going with all this management stuff hasn’t gone out despite the efforts of individuals who continually try to get me to throw in the towel (Sorry kids).

Be careful with your relationships in WoW to other players. Guys who I had known for years would just leave without even a courtesy goodbye. Of the things that upset me the most, that ranks the highest. It’s a chilling reminder that people who you treated as friends and brothers will just as quickly abandon you.

Recruiting

There is an extremely limited recruiting window during content cycles. It is during this window when the amount of players looking for guilds are the highest. This is a time frame between a new content patch date and 2 or so weeks after a new content patch is updated. Your guild has that narrow window where there are a plethora of players searching for guilds. You have players who are unsatisfied with their raids or maybe their guilds broke up due to boredom or something. Everyone out there looking for a guild is posturing and deciding which organization looks the most promising to join.

So what happens after that week is up? Recruiting dries up again. The best way to secure a stream of players applying is to take down the end bosses. Sooner you do that, the sooner you are more appealing to others.

On GMing

I completely echo Borsk’s sentiments. Thinking about forming a raiding guild? Don’t do it. The typical chain of command has the GM on top of a pyramid (you have your officers, then your raiders and then friends and family or something).

I’d actually argue differently.

I’d say it’s the reverse with the leader being on the bottom of the food chain. Why? Because crap flows down. Everything is the GM’s fault.

Not enough recruits: My fault for not being able to bring an influx of players in.

Crappy play: My fault for not being punishing enough or having enough players to immediately replace the crappy players or for bad players not being able to do what they need.

Hurricane Irene: My fault for not having more players replace the ones affected by bad weather.

Progression: My fault for not being able to lift the play of everyone else around me and getting us further.

Depending on who you ask, some of these will be true and others not so. Either way, if you’re not prepared for the onslaught, it’s not for you. It’s one of the contributing factors as to why there aren’t as many 25 man raiding guilds today simply because the administrative headache of 10 mans is considerably less so than 25. The rewards of 25 man raiding with the additional gold, the loot, and valor points clearly does not appear to be enough to offset the efforts.

On the Dwindling WoW Population

Chalk it to boredom. Chalk it to the atmosphere. Blame the lack of friends. There’s a large variety of reasons as to why players are suspending their WoW accounts. I can’t say for certain there’s any one factor. There is a segment of the population that I’m happy to see go. It’s the players who had difficulty transitioning to Cataclysm. You know, the ones that had a hard time with healing or tanking or other mechanics. They’re the players that you dread finding in the dungeon finder. I suspect some of those players have also decided to quit playing.

To me, that’s a good thing. As much as I’m all for trying to help players improve and get better, I know it’s not the case for everyone. World of Warcraft isn’t meant for everyone. To not have to deal with such players in the game in pug raids and other areas is a blessing for me personally.

On skill and feedback

Heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect?

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled people make poor decisions and reach erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive ability to recognize their mistakes.[1]The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their ability as above average, much higher than it actually is, while the highly skilled underrate their own abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority. Actual competence may weaken self-confidence, as competent individuals may falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. As Kruger and Dunning conclude, “the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others” (p. 1127).

I did not realize there was a psychological term for this. However, this effect does not appear to be applicable in certain areas of the world. No where is this more prevalent in games like League of Legends. It’s baffling when you have an AD carry grab AP boosting items and then complain about how everyone else on the team is bad when their score is 1/16/4 (that’s 1 kill, 16 deaths and 4 assists). When trying to point out flaws in their build or the ability to play, an immediate defensive reaction occurs. Even some pointers and tips get blatantly shot down.

(To translate for WoW players, it’s the equivalent of a hunter gemming all Intellect and Stamina)

I’ve encountered many WoW players who also behave the same way and because of this, does not lead to any growth or improvement for them (and consequently, their guild). But what can you do? Nothing other than cut and recruit.

However, the effect does not appear to affect all cultures.

Regardless of how pervasive the phenomenon is, it is clear from Dunning’s and others’ work that many Americans, at least sometimes and under some conditions, have a tendency to inflate their worth. It is interesting, therefore, to see the phenomenon’s mirror opposite in another culture. In research comparing North American and East Asian self-assessments, Heine of the University of British Columbia finds that East Asians tend to underestimate their abilities, with an aim toward improving the self and getting along with others.

Clearly the solution is to recruit all Asians, right?

I’m sorry to see Borsk go. He’ll still be on the Matticast once we get back and going. By the way Borsk, I’ll be happy to take in any players of yours looking for a raiding guild *grin*.