Idea: Release Mists with No Raids?

Idea: Release Mists with No Raids?

I can’t take credit for this idea. All I remember is someone tweeted me the link to a forum post on a prominent WoW community and I can’t for the life of me remember which thread/poster/tweeter it was. If you’ve seen the thread before somewhere and you got the link handy, do me a favour and link it in the comments.

This is why you should never trust memory. Or at least, never trust mine.

The basic premise is to launch Mists without accessible raid instances right away. You can still PvP, do heroic instances, and all the other end game stuff available.

But don’t open up raids right away.

Why would you do this?

Because it helps even the playing field across the board for raid progression. At the start of expansions, the most progressive guilds tend to be the ones that hit cap immediately and get into raids as soon as they can. Let’s make it a little more interesting. Open raids up after week 2 of release. This gives time for players that can’t take the 72 hours off straight from work or school to level to max at a more forgiving pace.

Then when the raids do become available, there’ll be a little more competition for assorted boss firsts for server and world.

Would make things livelier, that’s for sure. It wouldn’t be the first time some form of artificial gated content was implemented.

Yeah? Naw? Wanna get in there ASAP and leave everyone else in the dust or do you favour a fair start for as many players as possible?

EDITntzolev saw it here first – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGx92MoaWEA

Updated Tier 3 Priest Talents – Power Word: Solace

Updated Tier 3 Priest Talents – Power Word: Solace

A big beta update today with changes to classes. Priests received some extra love in the tier 3 section of talents. The tier 3 row consists of abilities that help restore mana.

Archangel has been removed from the talent system and has been folded into Discipline only, so no worries for Disc Priests there.

From Darkness, Comes Light received no changes.

Mindbender

Mindbender receives a slight change to the mana return and cooldown.

Old

Cooldown: 3 minutes
Mana: 4% whenever Mindbender attacks

New

Cooldown: 1 minute
Mana: 1% whenever Mindbender attacks

When I used it on beta, it returned ~40080 mana. Each swing from Mindbender returned 4008 (10 swings). I like the cooldown change the most. Even though we don’t get as mana whenever we use it, the shorter cooldown helps offset that. On an 8 minute encounter, you could use Mindbender 3 times:

0:00
3:00
6:00

But since you can use every minute, you’ll be able to take advantage of it more often. Shadowpriests are going to love it since they’ll get more opportunities to line up their cooldowns in conjunction with it.

Power Word: Solace

This is the new talent replacing Archangel.

Power Word: Solace
Level 90

40 yd range
1.5 sec cast

Strike an enemy with the power of the heavens, dealing 1978 to 2219 (+ 40% of SpellPower) Holy damage and restoring 2% maximum mana.

The damage from that spell is peanuts. You’re not going to be using this spell for DPS, that’s for sure. Reminds me of Telluric Currents. I’d switch to Power Word: Solace if I run into encounters with periods of there being little to no healing being needed. Gives me time to go all out with intense healing before switching to Solace to help restore my mana back.

Apparently, Shadow has a version:

Mind Siphon
Level 90

30 yd range
1.5 sec cast

Call upon the shadows to siphon energy from an enemy, dealing 1978 to 2219 (+ 40% of SpellPower) Shadow damage and restoring 2% maximum mana.

Which is weird because the in game talents say that if you switch to Shadow form, Power Word: Solace actually turns into this:

Shadow Word: Insanity
Level 90

15.0% of base mana
40 yd range

Instant

Blasts the target for 664 to 700 (+ 65% of SpellPower) Shadowfrost damage, and causes your shadow damage-over-time spells to erupt, dealing up to 100% additional damage per damage-over-time spell on the target but removing them in the process.

So I’m not sure what the final word on it is, but I don’t think Shadow needs a mana regeneration spell with the other tools they have available (Shadowfiend, Dispersion, Hymn of Hope). I’m more inclined to think Shadow Word: Insanity is Shadow’s answer to the loss of access to Evangelism and Archangel.

Professionals in your Guild

If you’ve been around in a guild long enough, you’ll be exposed to people with a diverse array of hobbies and people who work in varying fields.

I’ve raided with two Doctors (Ph.D professors).

I’ve raided with soldiers.

I’ve raided with politicians.

Policemen, Firemen, and ambulance personnel (EMT, I think?).

I’m almost positive that I’m not the first to have raided with someone who’s in IT in some capacity. Actually, I’d argue just about every guild had someone who’s worked in IT, or some related position.

Take advantage of their knowledge outside of the game. I once clogged a toilet and had a plumber guildie who taught me how to unclog it. My lawyer guildie gave me some helpful pointers helping me ace my US law class years ago. There’s no harm in networking with your own guild because you never know if they can hook you up with something or get your foot in the door somewhere.

Now if I could build a dream team of guildies based solely on their real life jobs, here’s what I would pick.

Lawyer

They might not be able to represent you or officially give you legal advice, but they can help you with suggestions and what’s right or wrong. Alternative: Police officers.

Mechanic

Totally not a car person.

Travel Agent

I like planning trips and vacations, but it gets a little overwhelming at times. Would be great to tap into the insight and tools of a travel agent.

Plumber

Really though, any person with a tradeskill would be a plus. They can give you pointers on home improvements or helping you troubleshoot problems.

Chef

Having a foodie on hand who can throw in tips about meals or getting started would be nice. Bonus points if they’re stars on the grill, too.

Bartender

For the times you need to loosen up and need drink suggestions. And they make great listeners.

Accountant

Someone to help with taxes every year!

Philanthropist

That’s just self explanatory :).

Retail

This one’s a little more common then you think. Nothing wrong with the occasional family and friend discount here and there. I’ve seen guildies hook up other guildies with tech hardware just to help boost their computer performance in game.

IT

Can’t forget these guys. They’re the ones that can help you resolve any computer issues and give you tips on upgrade suggestions as you need them.

Now if you do take advantage of the skills, you should show appreciation somehow. If they’re a player in the same area and they offered you a discount on something, use the money you saved and take them out to lunch. That’s just one example.

What about you? Have you ever tapped into the expertise or field of a fellow guild member? Or on the other side of the fence, have you offered benefits to your guild?

Raiding Needs an Off Season

It’s that time of year again.

Hockey’s over and congratulations to that-team-that-must-not-be-named for taking out my boys in blue in round 1 and then taking out the second and third seeds en-route to the cup finals before winning. Now it’s going to be another few months before hockey picks up again. This is the time when players, agents, and GMs start figuring out what kind of deals to make to bolster their teams for next year.

If WoW were to have a raiding off season, I’d say it’d kick in effect in the month leading up to Mists of Pandaria. But, the sooner there’s a release date, the better. Raiding activity seems to be at a low. Even in my guild, I’ve lost 2 players to Diablo 3 or other games because they needed a break (However, one of my legendary wielding players is coming back off reserves so that’ll help).

Like it has been in previous expansions, I’m expecting activity to pick up in that crucial month. That’s when many players will slowly start trickling back in after they find out that [flavor of the month MMO] wasn’t quite the game they envisioned it to be. It’s when players will be leaving and joining new guilds and jockeying for a good, stable position once Mists debuts.

And it needs to get here soon.

Priest Talent: Divine Star

Priest Talent: Divine Star

We looked at Halo the other day and here’s the other level 90 talent: Divine Star. If you play League of Legends, you’ll notice it’s eerily similar to one of Ahri’s abilities. The Priest shoots out a glowing ball which returns after a short distance. Whenever it passes through someone, it heals or injures them depending.

I haven’t noticed an AoE healing cap on the spell. But then again, I haven’t been able to use it in a raid environment or anything. Still, it’s a way cool spell. Can’t wait to put it through it’s paces.

Pointers

  • This spell connects twice. Make sure you’re close enough to your targets so that Divine Star double-hits. It appears as if only one heal is applied if the target is at the peak of Divine Star (Need to confirm).
  • Divine Star will always follow you on its return path. Work on your movement and strafing.

Social Cost of Leading

Mistborn trilogy came in the mail. Thank you everyone that made the recommendation, I can’t wait to dive into it.

Today I want to address any would be or wannabe GMs out there. On this blog, we’ve mentioned the different aspects to consider if you plan on going for the job. Yeah there’s some cool perks and being able to set a direction and manage your own team is cool. But there’s something I like to call the social cost that seemingly saps the strength and will out of you.

It’s hard to keep friends.

Is it possible for a manager to be friends with a subordinate without showing any signs of favouritism? I don’t know, it seems like a fine line to walk. Maybe one of you management types can field that one. You know, you work so hard to be fair when it comes to all matters of policy and loot.

There’s times where you have to make that call that ends up going against the interests of your buddy. A good instance here is handling a loot dispute. Objectively, you can’t side with them because you know an item will be in far more capable hands. When you do render that decision, they’re not going to like you very much for it.

One could argue that if they really were friends with you, they’d  understand the tough spot and respect whatever outcomes you decide.

In the past, I’ve killed friendships.

Regrets? Oh yeah, you bet. But to stifle the whispers and the locker room talk, something needs to be done. It sucks because now you’re letting other players “dictate” who you’re friends with. Friends with the opposite sex? Man, that’s another can of tuna entirely. Being accused of doling out loot for BJs is quite a laughable stretch (the guys and girls in the guild would burst out laughing just thinking that, “Matt? No way!”)

In almost 5 years helming the guild, I have not once been prepositioned (propositioned?) with “favours” for loot. It’s one of the few things remaining on my GM checklist, actually (being propositioned, but not actually accepting). But, I digress.

Back to my main point, it’s difficult to be friends with everyone when you’re not able to side with them all the time. Not going to say impossible because I’ve bumped fists and (attempted to) get my drink on. Friends expect you to have their back, even if they’re wrong and it’s hard to consistently do that unless you can say with certainty that they’re never wrong.

Just keep in mind what you’re getting into if you still plan on doing it this upcoming expansion. Be prepared to live with any regrets. Best anyone can do is learn and move forward.

Level 90 Spell: Halo

Level 90 Spell: Halo

At level 90, you gain access to Beyonce-inspired spell, Halo.

It’s an AoE healing (or DPS) type spell depending on your spec. The healing scales depending on the distance between you and the rest of your targets. The biggest impact occurs to players that are 25 yards away. That’s going to be a little tricky for you to eyeball. Would be nice if AVR was still around so that you had a HuD telling you how far exactly 25 yards away was.

Halo isn’t a spell that’s targetable. It uses you as the main point before emanating outward.

You can see it in action below.

The Pandaria Plan

The Pandaria Plan

With the recent opening of level 90 and all the assorted events, you know that we’re drawing ever closer to a Mists release. All that’s left to do is tuning numbers of abilities, finalizing both PvE and PvP content, and polishing the rest of the glitches still in the game.

Personally, I’m ballparking the expansion to debut at some point late in the summer (or September). I hope they don’t shoot for a Christmas release again.

Every GM is thinking about (or at least, gave some thought) to what their guild is preparing to do for launch. Some have strict time tables, others a little more lax. After getting through two solid expansions, our raiding plans aren’t going to change much.

Every raider will be instructed to get to max level as quickly as possible. Those that can pull off the all nighter grind can and those that need a little more time can do so. Our bottom line is that the sooner we have 25 players available to raid (with a respectable composition), we’re going to raid.

The 10 man plan

Before that, we’ll dispatch the first 10 players into raids quickly. They’ll be able to gain two things:

  • Experience: A better understanding of mechanics. They can see and interact with various bosses. They get to be familiar with the little nuances and how to get through different phases and then pass that knowledge on to others as they level.
  • Gear: It’s all the same ilevel still between 10 man and 25 man encounters. If one of our healers gets a trinket or a weapon in 10 man, it’s one less item the raid’s going to need when we hit 25 man. It could also mean one less epic item to craft. Even if the drop isn’t the best in slot, at least it’ll be high enough that it can still do the job. No sense in replacing epics with epics so early on when the rest of the raid can benefit.

Realistically speaking, it’s going to take roughly a week to get everyone up to 90. It’s also going to take at least another week before the raid has the collective gear and stats. That’s the way it’s been for us in the past, and I don’t foresee that changing.

What about raid finder?

The raid finder tool wasn’t present at the dawn of Cataclysm. Here’s where it’s going to get fun. I can’t recall if raid finder was going to be enable at the start or not. My guess is that it’ll be available, but there’ll be some sort of cap or limitation imposed (as in, no access to end bosses or first half of instances only). Raid finder means that both 10 and 25 man raiding guilds have the option to provide their guilds with another avenue to get raid ready loot.

Obviously isn’t going to be as good as the normal quality stuff in raids. But it’ll be superior to the dungeon heroic items we get.

What I think I may do is gather as many max level characters as possible for a massive group queue into raid finder. Maybe do that on a Monday to buy people as much time as possible to get to 90. Good way to get in there and get the lay of the land and see at least some of the challenges we’re going to be up against, even if it is going to be slightly weaker than the real thing. After that, establish a group for 10s and continue to develop characters that way as well until we have enough players to run 25 man consistently.

The opening weeks are going to be interesting.

Can’t Wait

Can’t Wait

I’m 6 bars away from hitting level 90. Trying to get there as fast as I can so I can jump into heroics and do the cool level 90 stuff.  Woke up at 6 and just hit 90. Specced into Divine Star right away (you can see an image of it in action up there).

Can I tell you guys something?

I’m falling in love with this game all over again. Wish I could nail it down to one specific aspect to get really excited about, but I can’t because there’s so many things that I like. It’s not like there’s one really good part of the game that’s overpowering everything else. All the stuff that’s playable right now feels great – And it’s just the beta.

Can’t touch raids, heroics, pet battles, or PvP yet. But I’m just blown away by the other parts like the leveling, the questing, the atmosphere, and so forth. Haven’t been this enamoured with the game since Burning Crusade. Remember that feeling you got when you charged head strong into Nagrand and then looked up to see that belt streaking across the sky? I felt something similar walking into the   Valley of the Four Winds and just taking in the scenery (and the Brewery).

Mists doesn’t beat the story telling that SWTOR had. SWTOR spanked it when it came to the leveling and questing experience.

TERA and Guild Wars 2 are both way better looking games, of course. But there’s something appealing about the cartoony style of WoW. It started that way in 04 and it’s received upgrade after upgrade since then.

It’s like falling in love.

You have that goofy grin on your face while your head is tilted slightly to the side. Even though you can’t see it, there’s that little twinkle in your eye. Your mind can’t stop thinking about them and the different, fun activities available. You’re just super excited to be in that presence.

Not that I’d ever know what that’s like, of course.

I know a whole bunch of you guys quit. But give it another go when you can. It’s so easy to lose yourself in this world now.

Just Quit

To any raider who is coasting along and simply not trying,

Just stop raiding.

Quit the game for a day. Quit the game for a week. Or quit the rest of the expansion. I don’t care how long it is, but just stop.

You are doing zero favours for your WoW family. They need you to be there and at your best. If you’re not at your best, then don’t even go in at all. You are making things worse.

I take great joy in playing my best. I’ll still use cooldowns even if I don’t have to. I’ll call for help even if it might not be necessary. I’ll do everything I can in my power to ensure we get that kill and move on because it’s what I like doing. It kills me when I find players aren’t trying. It feels like disrespect to me and to the standard. You want to make fun of and disrespect me? Sure, whatever. But you don’t disrespect the battle standard.

What motivates me isn’t the loot.

It isn’t the PvE scores on WoW progress, either.

It sure as heck isn’t the boss encounters.

What really gets me going is knowing that I can look at myself and look at everyone else and say “I tried my absolute best and didn’t hold back.”

When I get wind that someone wasn’t trying, I don’t get pissed. It’s the feeling of a hot air balloon being punctured. You start sinking to the ground second guessing everything. You second guess yourself to see if there was anything else you could’ve done. You second guess the people around you wondering if they’re really the people you thought they were.

I want to go into the hockey rink with someone who may have missed shooting on the goalie, but at least can say they took shots.

Remember high school PE class? When you were playing sports? There was always that one kid on the side who just didn’t participate. Then at the end, your team won and didn’t have to do laps around the track as punishment. And that kid who did absolutely nothing got a free ride. I don’t want to be that kid that just stood around on the field and joined in on the celebrations after the win. I want to be a part of the reason the celebration occurred.

At Stanley Park in the summer, we used to rent one of these multi-seater bikes. Naturally, I took the rear seat. There were moments we were pedalling around the park where I felt super bagged and wondering what was going on. I’d lean to the side and yell up “What’s going on over there? My legs feel like lead!” “Oh, we’re just enjoying the scenery, keep pedaling”. I never did get on those bikes with my parents again.

So if you’re just going through the motions, your heart isn’t there anymore, and you’re just not trying, do everyone else a favor.

Just quit.