Monday Midnight Musings (Patch 3.2 and Exploits)

It’s not often I do late night posts. They usually come out all funky and misunderstood or full of typos and other clerical errors. At the same time, the evening is when my mind is at it’s most active. This is going to be a fairly decent sized blog post about some big changes that have been announced.

Yogg Saron

Tonight we managed to kill Yogg-Saron on 25. It took us around 6 weeks (or about 12 hours total) to clock him out. Previous weeks involved the melee clicking and the ranged DPS still struggling or some melee players having portal difficulties and the ranged just killing tentacles one after the other. I’m proud to say that everything came together tonight. I believe that this was one of our most complete attempts and kills. I felt like a hockey GM in the week leading up to the trade deadline. Trying to add the pieces and classes that would help us cash in on a playoff run (Raid bosses are my playoff series). Syd did a beautiful job looking for diamonds in the rough. It took us two shots tonight. I’m extremely proud of the players in the raid tonight and grateful for the players who weren’t there but helped contribute to the learning process over the past few weeks.

Hard mode attempts begin this week. Leaning towards Flame Leviathan first. Just found out that it’s possible for a Demolisher to have a driver, a gunner, and a player loaded and ready to fire at the same time. This presents some intriguing possibilities.

One buys all

Universal armor tokens. I’m surprised this wasn’t reported earlier. My wow.com colleague Mike Sacco mentioned this during the day and it took me a few seconds to realize what it meant. You won’t have to fight specific bosses for specific tier tokens anymore. As in, there is no more head token, chest token, or shoulder token to cash in. You get one tier token of your armor set (Protector, Conqueror or Vanquisher) and then it can be used to buy whatever piece you like.

And I know someone’s going to come in here and say something about catering to the casuals. But hell, this caters to everybody. Loot council’s going to have a fun time assigning these tokens. Sacco presents some great arguments in his post that I will reiterate briefly here:

  • Upgrade sets at your own pace: Several players in Conquest have held out on tier pieces until they acquire a certain amount stating that they wouldn’t use them right away because their current items were better. This change allows players to specifically target which pieces benefit them the most.
  • No wasted tokens: Mix and match your 10 and 25 man tokens. You don’t have to feel empty for replacing your Valorous gloves with Conqueror gloves.
  • You’ll get your 4 piece… eventually: At the rate you’re organization is going, it really is going to be possible to get it.

Many of the Triumph and tier tokens are functioning as a partial gold sink. Not only do the tier 9 pieces require a Regalia token but you’re going to have to shell out some coinage to pick them up. They’re in the neighborhood of the 50 to 70 gold range. Doesn’t seem like the gloves have a monetary cost.

But, it’s the PTR and nothing’s ever finalized.

Priest tier 9 pieces

I wrote about that on wow.com. You can find my thoughts on it (and a history of the names) on there. Wyn seems disappointed at the 4 piece bonus.

Triumph vendor items

Here’s a few screenshots for you to check out. I think images are worth a thousand words.

shoulders-triumph trinket-triumph

Pair it with the Intellect trinket from Mimiron (Pandora’s Plea) and you’re good to go.

helm-triumph

Hit rating helm, I know. BoE though. If it wasn’t for the hit, it’d make a fairly juicy helm for Discipline Priests.

ret-libram

(Am I going to want that Libram on my Ret Pally if I have the one from Naxx that increases my Crusader strike damage or should I pursue other items with badges?)

rings

I managed to replace both of my rings tonight. Packing both Radiant Seal and Lady Maye’s Sapphire Ring now. I wonder who Lady Maye is.

Exodus exploit thoughts

Ingenious. The method used to down the boss was absolutely brilliant! The idea calls for something like a Warlock and a Paladin entering the brain room. You’re relying on healing aggro to cause the outside mobs to evade bug. So the Warlock soulstones the Paladin, the Paladin DI’s the Warlock upon transition from phase 2 to phase 3. Paladin pops up, warlock clicks off DI, starts casting Life tap like crazy while the Paladin bomb heals him for an insane amount causing the outside mobs (the ones that are piling up) to immediately aggro on to the Paladin (who is untouchable as he is inside Yogg) and trivializing the encounter.

There’s some comparison to the method that Ensidia used to exploit for their Hodir hard mode kill. It involved kiting and tanking plant trash from Freya to Hodir. Mages would spell steal that buff and proceed to use it in the encounter. While it wasn’t exactly causing mobs to bug out, it’s still an unintended side effect. Of the two exploits, I have to admit that the Hodir one is a little more impressive.

These upcoming weeks are only going to get busier. Actually, the next few months are going to be flowing with news and features. If the faction change is something they announce in a blue post, it makes me wonder what else could possibly be announced at Blizzcon.

Heading to bed. It’s 2 AM.

Why Emblem Changes are Great

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Let’s cut to the chase.

Badges of Heroism and Valor are going to be phased out. Every raid instance and 5 man dungeon is going to be dropping Conquest emblems.

I like this change from a raid leader perspective! Here’s why:

Raising the floor – The minimum standard is being raised. During Burning Crusade, many guilds were either starting on Karazhan, Gruul’s Lair or Magtheridon. Other guilds were wrapping up in Mount Hyjal, Black Temple and Sunwell. There weren’t a lot of guilds working on SSC and TK. But this change will help shrink the gear gap between upper end guilds and lower end guilds. The minimum gear standard is going to go up.

Less time spent gearing – Are you a skilled player? Your gear just doesn’t show it right? Good, then this is another change. I’ve met many “skilled” players who wanted to apply to Conquest. Unfortunately, their gear level did not meet the minimum requirements to enter Ulduar. I’ve had to turn them away. Now those same players can come back and reapply. Since gear won’t be as big of an issue, they can demonstrate their skills in a raid environment. The fact that gear sucks won’t be much of an excuse.

Reduces the links in the progression chain – Currently, the order of operations in which players go through to get loot is:

  • Heroics/Badge gear
  • Naxx/OS/VoA
  • Eye of Eternity
  • Ulduar

Similarly, let’s look at the projected badge drops.

  • Emblem of Heroism
  • Emblem of Valor
  • Emblem of Conquest
  • Emblem of Triumph

What’s essentially going to happen is that the game will be reset so that Conquest badges are going to be at the bottom of the ladder. Who knows what the Triumph gear will be. Right now it takes players a lot of time investment to work their way up from zero to hero.

People have a reason to do stuff again – Hard time finding healers for Naxx or DPS for an instance? Fear not. Trade chat will rev up again and you won’t have to spend hours trying to find a player to fill that spot. From my perspective, once my Priest hit a threshold in gear, I never went back to Naxx. The badges meant nothing to me. I didn’t need the items anymore. I had no reason to go back into Naxx. I know other players feel the same way. Why participate in an activity when there’s no reward for the time invested? Now there is. Conquest badges give players an incentive to head back in. That’s a bonus to everyone. Epic gems, right? With Triumph badges dropping from heroic daily quests, I think they’re going to raise the cost of new Triumph level items. I remember some of the stuff we got from Sunwell vendors. That was over 100 badges for several of the items.

Alts – This makes it really easy to gear up alts now. I’ve got a Ret Paladin and an Elemental Shaman that I like to mess around on from time to time. This will help hasten the rate at which I can join Ulduar pickup groups or other raiding alliances.

Yes, I am very much in favor of this change.

SYTYCB: An Open Letter to the Badge of Justice

SYTYCB: An Open Letter to the Badge of Justice

sydera-post

This is a SYTYCB entry from Sydera, one of the top 7 finalists.

Dear Badge of Justice,

I hate you. You ruined my virtual life. You made me dread logging in to my favorite video game, and you even made me resent my in-game friends. You made me wish 5-mans had never been invented. Because of you, I heard Aran’s voice over and over again in my dreams, saying “Torment me no more!” Now I understand exactly what he’s talking about.

At first, you didn’t seem like such a menace. There weren’t many of you. Before Patch 2.4, I didn’t find you on every piece of road kill I came across. When I did manage to collect a few of you, there was usually something I could buy. But one fateful day, we heard that a foxy new Draenei, Smith Hauthaa, was coming to town with a bag full of goodies. On that day, the World of Warcraft changed forever.

mobadgesI used to think I was in a normal guild. We ran SSC and TK three nights a week, and we looked pretty damn good in our Tier 5 gear. However, when the official news about patch 2.4 arrived, everyone’s priorities suddenly shifted. On off nights, everyone used to level alts, PVP, do pre-mades, or even make the occasional run on Halaa. We used to have fun.

Patch 2.4 produced gear spreadsheets and a magical number called “total badges needed,” which for me was 485. Suddenly, O Badge of Justice, we needed you! Everyone began to bemoan how far behind they were in collecting you. The guild turned into a virtual Beverly Hills where everyone watched everyone else to see who was ahead and who was behind. Our three-day raid week turned into seven, and suddenly the officers had to schedule heroics every day, all for love of the mighty Badge of Justice. After raids ended, at 1:00 a.m. EST, we started running the daily heroic, forgoing blissful slumber to tangle with Underbats and Tempest-Forge Patrollers in the darkest watches of the night.

hauthaaFinally, that witch Hauthaa agreed to take you, precious Badge of Justice, in exchange for purple pixels the likes of which had scarcely been seen outside the walls of the Black Temple. Set bonuses were broken and the beauty of Blizzard’s tier designs were scarred by mismatched thread, metal, and baubles. Badge of Justice, you made me ugly, worthy of the fashion disaster page in US Weekly. Just take a look at the skirt you made me wear – it’s made of skunk hide, latex, and paper clips. At least I can mask its hideousness with my tree form.

But your foul deeds did not stop there. After our guild’s greed was finally satiated by hundreds of those twisted blue tiles, we turned to hills of Mount Hyjal and the dark corridors of the Black Temple for our next challenge. We killed bosses, and we wanted new rewards – but guess what? Because of you, Badge of Justice, we disenchanted the items won from guild first kills. The great pieces of T6 loot, once the stuff of legend, were left to rot. My heart wept for the Kilt of Immortal Nature, for the Guise of the Tidal Lurker. Their beauty went to waste while you triumphed.
Meanwhile, I continue to find you on nearly every raid boss in the game, mocking me. Endless copies of you fill my bags without purpose. I can no longer sell the gems you would procure. I need no Moonkin gear, and you won’t let me transfer you to my warlock alt, who might appreciate your charity.

gerasAnd now, what do I hear? In Wrath of the Lich King there will be not just one descendant in your cruel lineage, but three, one for each new tier of raiding. Can it be true that we will have to collect your kin at each level of our future play? We raiders do not need you. We could get the regular gear out of 25-man instances. Yet, some will always look to you to gain an advantage, and as long as I feel any loyalty for my guildmates, I will be in your thrall, for what group can succeed without a healer? I will run Naxxramas until my branches fall off, even as my guild kills Arthas.

Badge of Justice, I curse you and all your relatives. You wasted all my free time and took the “casual” out of my casual raiding guild. Now, just when I have almost recovered from your foul influence, I hear that you will again blight the landscape of the much-anticipated Northrend. I, for one, will not be glad to see you.

Love and kisses (not),
Sydera