Of Heroes and Villains Part 3

Of Heroes and Villains Part 3

daredevil109

In Part 1 we took a look at hero classes and made some speculation as to the next expansion. In Part 2 we took a look at how the Death Knight hero class was introduced into the game. In part 3 here I’d like to talk a little bit about the hardest part of the hero class, balance.

When designing classes for any game, balance is always an issue. Even years after classes have been established sometimes things need to be tweaked. The goal is to make sure no one class is so powerful that it becomes the only one anyone plays. Essentially trying to keep the class from becoming a “Mary Sue” of the game. We’ve seen this over the years with balancing and re-balancing of all the classes, as well as in burning crusade giving the faction specific classes to both factions (Shaman and Paladins playing for both teams). When you add a hero class to a game it’s really hard not to make it into the favored child. At the same time a hero class should add a new mechanic or do something in such a way that people stop and go “oh, that’s just cool” . With Death Knights this was the addition of Runes and Runic Power.

When Wrath of the Lich King beta went out, I could not get my grubby hands on a key fast enough, I was dying to try out the new Death Knight class. I rolled my toon and found myself climbing the levels. Each build of the beta Death Knights got what some of us refer to as “Flavor of the Month” builds. In these builds one tree was emphasized over the others to test that tree out. The idea is if you make the first two sub-par, everyone will play the third. This is an old technique in beta testing to gather data. For example, in one of the Wrath builds Scourge Strike was hitting for close to 6k damage at level 65. This happened several times and each time players dutifully left their feedback and devs took it all in.

When wrath went live, Death Knights were good. Scary good. They had superior mitigation, better cooldowns and better DPS it was hard not to love them. As a healer I loved healing them, it took a lot less effort then the other three tanking classes. But therein lay the problem. When listening to all the feedback and launching it’s first hero class, Blizzard arguably made them too good. Look at all the patch notes from Wrath’s launch to now. Death Knights have been revised several times in an effort to bring them closer to the other classes, including recently where the cooldown on Icebound Fortitude is being increased to match other tanks.

It’s hard to find that sweet-spot. You want the class to feel epic and new and shinny, but you don’t want people to stop using the ones you’ve already made. It’s a very fine line to walk and it’s very difficult to do it right. With Death Knights even after they’ve been normalized I still love playing them. I love the way the Runes and Runic power system works. It’s incredibly intricate and allows for a free flowing rotation that let’s you be reactive rather then just spam a key sequence or a one button macro. It’s fun so I’ll always like to play it.

If Blizzard introduces another hero class, they are going to have to be careful to make sure it’s properly balanced. Let’s say they introduce a new healing class, it would have to be balanced so that it did not over power the other four healing classes. At the same time the mechanics of it would have to be something innovative or new to keep it fresh and exciting. Same goes for another ranged physics DPS class. If one was added it would have to be balanced as to not overshadow hunters, and at the same time provide a new way to deal that damage that is fun. (for the record I really like the idea of another ranged physical DPS class!)

It’s a tough to add new classes without overlapping or overshadowing the ones you’ve created before, but I have faith Blizzard will be able to do it again and will do it better then they did Death Knights. Death Knights just had the bad luck of being first out the gate =D

So what do you think? Do you think they can balance another class in? What would you like to see as a new mechanic?

That’s it for today, Until next time,

Sig

Image courtesy of Marvel.com

Wrath of the Lich King: First Impressions

Wrath of the Lich King: First Impressions

While some of us (ahem, Matticus) are already level 80, most WoW players are still in the thick of the leveling process.

I thought it might be interesting to share some of my impressions so far with all of you, and of course to invite everyone to add their own thoughts and ideas.

Here’s what’s been going through my mind so far.

1. The art is amazing! Everything feels sharper, more rich, more detailed than previous versions of the game.

2. I love the shadows. The world has a depth that it never did before.

3. I really appreciate quests where I don’t have to kill 6 of this mob and 8 of the other. The more inventive, the better.

4. I still don’t like robot-themed areas. Fizzcrank airstrip gets a big thumbs down.

5. I’m enjoying all of the prehistoric-ish animals and humanoids. It makes me wonder if the designers read Jean Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear while they were working on the storyline for the Vykrul. If not, it occurs to me that they would probably like it.

6. I really miss flight form.

7. I’m not a fan of land mounts that jiggle too much–they make me dizzy. That means you, Amani War Bear and Black War Elekk. Either I’ve got to take Dramamine or I’m sticking with the Talbuk.

8. I can’t believe I got to ride on a mammoth for a quest. It was a shame that it was even more wiggly than the War Bear! At least I know not to save my money for the Grand Caravan Mammoth now.

9. I can’t believe I have more gold now than when I installed the x-pac.

10. I never thought I would say this, but I love being a laser chicken, if only for a little while. Go Go Hurricane!

10 Tips for Extreme Leveling to 80 (without denting your wallet)

10 Tips for Extreme Leveling to 80 (without denting your wallet)

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I hit level 80 last night around 8:45 PM. Most of the player curve is around the 74-75 area so I’m considered “ahead” of the curve. Although I could credit my leveling speed to my “Asian racial (25% extra stamina when really focused on a goal, cooldown: once every 365 days)”, there’s a few things to keep in mind if you really want to get to 80 as fast as possible.

Note, you’ll miss out on a lot of the lore and the story. But I’m proceeding on the assumption that it is not a primary concern.

  1. Accept all quests in the area without reading the backstory. 4 out of 5 times, the quest involves you killing something or picking something up. Read what you have to do, and go do it. You don’t need to know about the circumstances behind the objective.
  2. On quests where you need to pick up items off the ground, keep looking for others. It takes a few seconds to loot one anyway. Use the time to spot.
  3. Forget professions. Worry about them when you’re 80.
  4. Train at every 2nd level. Unless there is a specific spell that you feel you really need, it takes a lot of effort to fly down to the port and boat or zepp back to your capital cities.
  5. Keep the autorun handy. Read up on WoWhead or your favourite leveling guide to find out what you need to dow hen you get to your destination.
  6. Chunking. Just like how I sometimes write my posts in massive chunks or blocks, do all the quests in an area. I’ll usually do 7 or 8 quests at a time per hub and do a gigantic turn in.
  7. Know your damage rotations. Find out the fastest way to kill things even if it means being inefficient. You’re trading efficiency for speed. Find out what the “execute” range is. A typical Smite and Shadow Word:Death will kill any mob with around 3000 health remaining. Holy Nova will clean it up.
  8. Blow your cooldowns. You’re not fighting a raidboss. Everytime Heroism is up and you have to level an entire camp of Gnolls, do it. If Power Infusion is available and you get to blow up Murlocs, use it. Maximize the useage. If it involves you killing 60 Rhinos for Nessingwary, it’s a green light to pop trinkets and just nuke the place.
  9. Consumables. Chances are, you still have still have some Mana Potions and food or flasks left. Use them as you’re leveling. They’ll provide a slight edge.
  10. Know how much resource it takes you to kill a mob. For example, I know it takes me ~3000 mana to bring a whelp down to its knees. For most mobs, its around 3000 – 3500 mana. If I can squeeze off one more kill before drinking, I’ll do it.

What other tips would you suggest for players that want to level fast?

Know what the Worse Thing in Wrath Is?

Know what the Worse Thing in Wrath Is?

serious

Nevermind that Retribution Paladins are overpowered.
… of that class balance is non-existent.
… or that herb prices are off the charts.
… or the mount and pet disappearing bug.
… or messed up UI’s.

There is one major problem that trumps them all. Did you know this issue has been prevalent since the era of Molten Core? It wasn’t an issue then, sure. But it always represented a thorn on the side of raiding Guilds everywhere.

In Burning Crusade, Blizzard has proven yet again they glaze over severe problems. They addressed many mistakes since Vanilla WoW and showed some savvy in raid design in Burning Crusade.

When I went into Wrath with the intent of beta raiding, I prayed long and hard that this monstrous issue would be fixed. To my utter dismay, I have discovered they have not. Do you realize what this means? This could potentially kill Guilds everywhere before they even get off the ground!

The colossal problem that I’m referring to?

chest-loot

It is the looting of chests.

In Molten Core, it wasn’t a problem as raid leaders could master loot items.

In Karazhan, there were only 10 players to worry about with everyone wanted badges.

But in Naxxramas, the 4 Horsemen drop a chest. With Badges (or Emblems). They’re lootable by everyone. That’s 25 players who want badges. 25 players that will be spam clicking the chest.

This is a serious problem.

25 players each taking 10 seconds to loot a chest.

That’s almost 4 minutes of pure chest looting.

Which means it’s 4 less minutes to save the world.

Something must be done!

Image credits: coolza

*** SPOILER*** Missed Dungeons and Raids? Screenshots if You Want to See Them

*** SPOILER*** Missed Dungeons and Raids? Screenshots if You Want to See Them

Mark this post as read if you want to remain in the dark.

For every one else, I had the screenshots in my library for quite a while.

It’s no fun listening to audio streams and listening to “Oohs”, “Ahhs”, and applause without getting to see it.

Check out the last shot, too. I don’t know if anyone’s ever mentioned that yet before. I found it interesting.

So here’s a few shots of Eye of Eternity, Obsidian Sanctum, Halls of Lightning, and Storm Peaks

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Left: Here’s a shot of Malygos in his humble abode. The raid instance is literally a giant disc with Malygos flying around until you activate him. It’s a 3 phase encounter. I haven’t successfully completed him yet so I can’t offer much at this time.

Right: Me in my awesome attempt to try and do something. Alas, Malygos is overpowered and promptly kills us a matter of minutes.

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Left: This is a shot of Obsidian Sanctum. Here is a shot of the party engaging the mini-bosses.

Right: You’ll notice the phasing mechanic put in play. Even though it “looks” the same, I get thrown into a different dimension. Here, I have to kill that shifted drake along with the Rogue or else something bad happens. I don’t actually know what.

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Left: We’re taking on Sartharion. The guy hits like a pansy. For the raiders, take a good look at positioning in terms of tank, boss, and group. There’s a good reason for it.

Right: … Because every so often, a big wall of fire is going to rake the island that we’re on. Notice there’s a hole. Right when the wall warning occurs, the entire raid needs to ensure they’re in one of the two “safe zones” (on the left and on the right, by his tail, if you look carefully). If you eat the fire, you get knocked back and take a non-pansyish amount of damage.

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Left: One of the old guys, I think. Wouldn’t dare hit a Dwarven brotha’ from anotha’ motha’. But I don’t dare test out my hypothesis.

Right: Another shot of the exterior. Place looks b-e-a-utiful.

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Left: Interior shot of Halls of Lightning. See those Dwarves on the left? It’s the Terra Dwarva army, baby!

Right: The roving boss that was mentioned in the D & R panel is this guy. We decided to set him up in the corner. There’s me with the lightning debuff (Pro tip: When you get it, don’t move. Trust me.)

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Left: Lastly, check out this interesting shot. It’s right after a wipe and after I released spirit. When you died in Tempest Keep, you’d automatically res to full health and life outside. But if you die out in the Halls, you seem to res in spirit form while mounted on Ghostly Gryphon.

4 Key Guild Related Tasks to do Before Wrath Hits

4 Key Guild Related Tasks to do Before Wrath Hits

Its Wrath Boarding time!

The Wrath plane has landed and passengers are boarding soon! Are you going to be taking it first class or taking the back seat in the economy section?

Veneretio wrote a hot post about dealing with the last few weeks before the new expansion hits and the game resets.

So what does Vene say is the most basic thing to keep in mind as time passes by? His number 1 is to continue to make goals for yourself. He admits that “a lot of what you get now [will be] replaced later”. I’m inclined to agree. Even the most equipped players will be hanging up their present armor and gear once they approach the upper level 70s.

For me, most of my hard work was done over the summer. My reputation has largely been grinded out. The last one was Sporregar (which I felt took forever, personally). I may not have enough gold to live and spend lavishly, it will be enough to function comfortably once raiding expeditions start up again. I’m not as invested in my alts as other players are. I level them and gear them to the point where I know I can switch healers if necessary for raids with different people. My Priest is my main and any fun stuff like Achievements and Titles go straight to him.

While Vene says to make goals, Matticus has another rule that’s more prominent:

Relax!

I’ve played this game hard for over 2 years with intermittent breaks. Realistically, the point at which we start raiding as a 25 man unit will not occur until the Christmas holiday arrives. This means that most raiders will be out of action due to Christmas and New Year parties. This pushes back our raiding until early January.

I don’t know about you, but I plan to take it easy as much as I can over the next few weeks. Outside of WoW, I have a few papers, several exams, and a presentation to deliver. The assignments are due within 3 weeks. The presentation is due 4 days after Wrath releases (and I want to finish constructing it first so I don’t have to over the weekend).

Now is the time to get all the real life stuff out of the way. Finish off your work projects. Get cracking on school essays. Bury yourself in the textbooks and take time away from the game where it doesn’t matter as much anyway. If you have goals to complete, then by all means, go ahead and try to get them done. But leave a bit of room for yourself if you’re a progression oriented player who wants to sky rocket to 80.

Revisit loot

Numerous guilds will be wiping their DKP systems and starting fresh. Take the time to examine your loot system. Find out what worked and what didn’t. What would you have changed differently? Try bringing it up as soon as you can. Work out any kinks or problems with the loot system so that you don’t have to do it later when it matters the most: In the middle of a raid.

Roster check

Examine your roster again. Try to ascertain who is likely to stay and who is likely to go. Find out if there’s any holes in there that need to be plugged. My guild has lost a Rogue already and we may lose a mage. We realize that we can always sift through and acquire replacements during the leveling process, its far better to find players now so that the guild can spend more time knowing about new players.

Promotions

Now is an excellent time for promotions. If anyone is stepping down or retiring from the game, its a good time to find players who have demonstrated veteran and leadership qualities to take their place. Raid leaders: Let others take over. See if anyone has expressed interest in doing so. Try to find alternative raid leaders to run your raids. It’s great to have alternate leaders in place in case your main guy needs to sit for a while. There are no less than 6 people in my guild who are qualified to run and lead raids.

One of my guild officers have stepped down and I’ve been promoted. If you do decide to promote someone, the most important thing you can do is outline their tasks. Tell them straight up front what they are expected to do. I signed a 2 month contract as an officer because I wasn’t sure if I was willing to do this long term. I’ve served in a leadership position before but I didn’t feel particularly effective at the time. In my case, I’m being asked to provide healer presence to officer chat and contribute to raid strategy. I also get a vote in what raid directions the guild should go in. I’ only agreed to do this on the interim. Between responsibilities with my blog, WoW Insider, and school I don’t know if this is a position where I can actually contribute to.

Wrap up loose ends! Get it done quick whether its real life related or in game related! Need a title? Hurry and join a group or form it on your own! Want to push reputation? Start soon before people stop running certain instances!

Quick leak: WoW Insider’s going to be doing a quick and comprehensive guide for the various classes when 3.0.2 becomes official. The brass wants us to outline major talents, and changes to the way we operate and other things of interest.

Help me out. I have to write something up by Sunday. I already wrote about healing at level 80. What would you like to know about Holy Priests at level 70 in regards to the new patch?

I plan on including stuff about:

  • Talent suggestions
  • Quick spell overviews
  • Game mechanics that affect us

Anything else you can think of?

Image credits: photos71

Bank of Matticus Goes Public

Bank of Matticus Goes Public

banking

Due to requests from certain Hunter bloggers, the Bank of Matticus Financial Group has decided to go public. As part of the public disclosure process, CEO Matticus Moneycus has decided to reveal various assets that the public needs to know if they wish to invest in this banking powerhouse. Matticus leads a syndicate of prominent WoW Investors who have entrusted him with their finances and assets.

Hydroponics

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This is but a fraction of the hydroponics sector of the Bank of Matticus. Herb specialists continue to acquire species of plants around the clock to invest in Inscription the moment it becomes available.

Consumables

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In a bid to stream line workers, over 1000 Gnomes were released with severance pay with the option to rehire within the next year. Simply put, there is too much supply of consumables and not enough demand for them.

Ore

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Efforts to equip the soon-to-arrive Death Knights are well under way. They’ve agreed to become Smithies in order to augment themselves. Here is a fraction of some of the Ore and Stone that’s been gradually accumulated.

Supplementary

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The supplementary portion of the bank has largely been liquidated or is still in the process of being liquidated. Epic gems have largely been sold as well as a significant number of normal gems. Food consumables still remain as do other high performance consumables.

You’ll notice the gold count looks unimpressive. There’s a good reason for that. Bank of Matticus finances are spread out through a network of Dwarven and Goblin banks. In the event of a security breach, it will not result in the complete loss and destruction of BMF. Rest assured, hard currency sits at the 5 digit level. But that information cannot be disclosed here for the time being. It’s a result of Enchanting mats and numerous amounts of cloth being liquidated. The fifth bank tab has been hidden as it contains sensitive items and materials. Negotiations are currently underway Ironforge International Bank of Commerce for rights and access to a 6th tab. This is expected to happen within a year as assets continue to accumulate.

Is Lifebloom Obsolete? Another Look at Resto Druids in 3.0

Is Lifebloom Obsolete? Another Look at Resto Druids in 3.0

Restoration druids have been through the wringer of late, and many otherwise content stalks of broccoli, me included, have even thought of rerolling in the face of severe nerfs to Lifebloom and Flourish. However, the developers have, as it were, turned over a new leaf (yuk yuk yuk) and have modified both Wild Growth (the new Flourish) and Nourish to make them more attractive to the Restos of Wrath. This article takes a look at healing druids now, as of October 2, and speculates about our future as competitive PvE raiders.

First, the Nerfs

What was wrong with druids, you ask? After being strong early in Beta and getting one of the things we’ve always wanted, an AoE heal, Restoration druids got hit up one branch and down the other with a big, nasty nerf bat. Both Wild Growth and Lifebloom, two spells that druids had planned to put in heavy rotation for the expansion, received reductions to their healing done and had their mana cost raised. We were, however, left with a strong Regrowth, and a particularly overpowered glyph which increased the effectiveness of the initial burst heal by 50% if the Regrowth HoT effect were still on the target. The Regrowth glyph has, incidentally, been nerfed as predicted to a 20% bonus, and to add insult to injury, build 9194 also included a nerf to Nature’s Splendor, reducing the duration of a talented Lifebloom to 9 sec. instead of 10. For another perspective on the druid nerfs and buffs, take a look at Phaelia’s post on Resto4Life–as always, Phae has an interesting–and beautifully illustrated–take on things.

The nerfs brought out many high-quality posters to the Beta forums, many of whom posted hard numbers from raid encounters in Beta. I even joined in the pleas to Ghostcrawler to re-evaluate the druid class for effectiveness in end-game raiding. GC reassured forum posters time and time again that druids would be fine for 5-mans or entry level raids, but I remained worried. My focus has never been entry-level or casual content. I want to be competitive in 25-man raiding, and I want to remain strong as my guild progresses through tiers of content. I’m not the best druid healer out there (in my opinion, that’s Bonkers, CD’s other tree and my personal hero), but I do have the skills to handle a 5-man or a heroic even if my class is not optimized for it. I don’t need any new talents for 5-mans–I’d like those abilities to help me in the more difficult raid environment. As the healing lead of a raiding guild, I always want to see my team make smart choices in terms of play and rostering. I have to admit, I did think about rerolling, and I took a serious look at shamans, pallies, and priests in Beta. For what it’s worth, priest is looking very good to me at the moment, as are shamans, despite the mana issues. I would–and I still will–change mains if it turns out that taking a restoration druid or two to endgame raids handicaps the group. I do have a paladin at 70 now, and so that might be a more realistic option for me than for others.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

However, before I could log into my 20-something baby shammy and take her for a spin in Ashenvale, Ghostcrawler made another series of posts. First, on October 1, there was hope:

We are going to “run the numbers” again on Wild Growth and Nourish. What I mean by that is we’ll do some tests and compare them to similar heals and to other druid spells.

Wild Growth was nerfed pretty hard and I have some confidence that we can bring it up, though probably not as high as it was before. We’ll have to see about Nourish.

We don’t want to mess with Regrowth much more since it is now a button that seems worth pushing. We’re standing by our Lifebloom changes for now. It just felt like the solution to every healing situation that druids encountered. I suspect druids will still use it in its current form, but we’ll see.

Sorry I can’t offer anything more concrete than that. Making promises until I actually see the changes made can be pretty dangerous and just ends up frustrating the community in those situations where we can’t deliver.

And then, yesterday, a promise:

Here are the changes we’re making next patch. See how they feel.

Wild Growth: Coefficient and healing increased. Mana cost decreased. Cost should be about the same as Circle of Healing. It doesn’t heal instantly, but will heal for about double what CoH does over its duration.

Nourish: Reduced mana cost by somewhere between 15 and 20%. This is supposed to be your Flash Heal, but we recognize that it doesn’t have the same versatility — you can’t just drop one on a wounded rogue or something since you need the hot up first. Hence the lower price.

Druids have quite an arsenal of healing spells now, and it can be tricky to find niches for all of them. :)

I was very happy to hear this news, and I was particularly pleased that it came from Ghostcrawler. It has long been my opinion that this particular blue poster is a class act. She’s been fairly attentive to restoration druids, even while assuring us–up until last night–that our healing was just fine, even strong, while the numbers clearly said otherwise. I don’t think the devs are out to get us, by any means–I just think that misdirection and even a little truth-obscuring is part of the jobs. “Class balance” is mysterious, and the game company naturally has different priorities from the players. In any case, here’s my reactions to the promised changes to Wild Growth and Nourish.

1. Relief

I do think druids will be more effective now. If the change is significant, a Wild Growth build will become more attractive than a Dreamstate build at 80. This is a good thing, because I really didn’t want to have to dip that far into Balance. I like keeping the feel of my character consistent, and I’ve been 61 resto for several months. As for Nourish, well, I can see a use for an improved Nourish as a tank heal. If I am maintaining a now cripplingly expensive Lifebloom stack on the tank, I may choose Nourish over Regrowth in a situation where I need the extra half second in order to be able to refresh Lifebloom on time.

2. Puzzlement

Ghostcrawler stated that Blizzard stands by the nerf to Lifebloom, although her language leaves the possibility of future revision open. The post seems to recognize that the nerf was severe. “I suspect that druids will still use [Lifebloom] in its current form” is a very different statement from “You will need to use Lifebloom” or even “You will still cast Lifebloom.” Nuance is very key here. For myself, I am waiting for theorycrafters–and my own experience in raids–to tell me whether Lifebloom is now worth the cost. Most Beta forum posters agree that even triple-stacked, it heals for paltry amounts compared to max-level tanks’ health pools. And this is early in the raiding game–I’m waiting to see how the numbers work out when we get beyond entry-level raids.

Does Lifebloom Have a Future?

This is the question on my mind as I ponder my post 3.0 spell rotation. Lifebloom has defined the life of a druid in BC. At lower levels of +heal it was quite weak, and I know I certainly relied on Healing Touch back when I was in blues and running Heroic Mech almost every night so Briolante could get his Sun-Eater (it took 14 runs, by the way). However, in Karazhan and beyond, I’ve had to tune my whole playstyle around casting and recasting this one spell. Because of the nature of the stacks, I have learned to time seven seconds in my head with stunning accuracy. I can feel the seven-second interval as it passes, just as I can feel the 1.5 second GCD (and yes, haste messes with my internal timing and as such, gets on my left nerve). No other healer is on quite this strict a clock.

The numbers from Beta testers indicate that for Lifebloom to retain any value, we will need to stack it on less players (perhaps just the main tank) and refresh it with precision timing, i.e. after it has gone through its maximum number of ticks. This spell is much easier to use with a little slop permitted in the timing. Right now, there are no severe mana penalties for refreshing a stack early, and even post 3.0, early will still be better than late. However, druid healers are going to have to get much, much better at timing their refreshes. Right now, we’ve got bigger fish to fry, and little things like moving out of the way of AoE’s deserve more of our attention than precise timing on Lifebloom refreshes. So yes, if druids persist in using Lifebloom, a little L2P will be in effect. We will have a particularly difficult time at 70 if we choose Wild Growth over Nature’s Splendor. That’s not bad in itself, but it’s not exactly “fun” either. In fact, Blizzard is designing away from precision timing for tanks, who have had it pretty bad in BC where that’s concerned (Shear, anyone?). I am puzzled, then, as to why they would want to restrict their healers’ spell choices more? I’m not sure that it’s all healers though–somehow I think it’s just the Vegetables.

So, Are They Going to Buff Lifebloom?

I’m going to disagree with Phaelia here and say no. I think they’re pretty determined to marginalize Lifebloom, or else, to make a Lifebloom stack the balancing point for a druid’s mana. Regardless of what’s said by Ghostcrawler and others, Lifebloom has only been problematic in PvP. In PvE, it was our bread-and-butter spell only because it had to be recast so often. That seems to have been an intentional part of the design. Now, I’m guessing that Blizzard regrets putting in the stacking mechanism. If I were the devs, I might strengthen Lifebloom considerably and stop it from stacking or blooming–I would make it an instant-tick Rejuvenation and nothing more. No shenanigans when you dispel it either! If you want to free your trees to cast other things while still using Lifebloom, this is the way to do it. Take us off the dreaded seven-second timer! (Hear, hear)

If a Tree Falls in the Forest . . .

I will say that I am glad that Resto is getting a little attention from Ghostcrawler. I believe that Blizzard has the best intentions as far as game balance is concerned, except that they might be overly stubborn about keeping mechanics for PvE and PvP the same. However, my experience from BC tells me that sometimes broken specs stay broken for months and years. Up until the Wrath Alpha, for instance, blue posters insisted that druids did not need an out of combat rez, even though it would certainly not factor into game balance. The only thing an out of combat rez does is make it easier for players to find groups and for healers to care for those groups. Boss fights are not affected at all, and the effects on pvp are marginal at best. The devs defended an aspect of design that was, in fact, just a punishment for hybrids. Moreover, as someone who’s played both Moonkin and Retribution Paladin, I know what it’s like to play an underdog character. There’s a very good reason I raised my warlock to max level–it’s nice to have a character in the lineup that gets a lot of development love. She’s my backup plan, just in case both Resto druids and Holy pallies become unplayable. I had, up until this point, though that Blizzard rather liked Resto druids. At least now, even with the nerfs, we are receiving some attention. However, I urge the Beta community to post, post, post, and to back up their complaints and suggestions with numbers when they can. Of course, that suggestion comes with the caveat that posters should always be respectful to the blue posters whose attention they covet and avoid out and out panicking or QQ. There is evidence that we have Ghostcrawler’s ear–so keep that constructive feedback rolling in.

Priests: Matt Needs Your Help!

My bosses at WoW Insider have commissioned me to write a piece on how Priests will change in Wrath. Specifically, how we can adapt to all the changes that are going on. But, I need your help. I’ve played Naxx and Obsidian Sanctum extensively. I’ve done a few 5 mans. Things have become second nature to me now.

Ask me questions. I’m giving myself 72 hours so I can have this piece for your Sunday morning consumption. 24 hours right now to gather as many questions as possible, another 24 to pick out the ones that I think are the most important, and another 24 to go in game, get the shots, get the techniques, and get the evidence I need to share with you what I’m doing and why.

Paladins, Druids, Shammies sorry, I can’t help you here. But feel free to ask anyway! Maybe you have some questions about synergy between other healing classes. It doesn’t have to be just Priests.

I’ve dedicated myself to helping this community. But I can’t do it alone. There’s no such thing as a stupid question.

I’ll be pulling questions from this Plusheal thread that Doug started and from any comments that I garner from here as well.

Matticus Interviewed

It all started with a PM from Blog Azeroth which exploded into a full fledge interview. Had lots of fun answering this one from the WoW Blogger. Go read it!

Most important question asked?

Will the blog still be going? For that matter do you foresee WoW itself still alive in a decade?

The blog itself will be up. I chose this name so that it wouldn’t exactly be limited to just World of Warcraft. It’s World of Matticus and whatever happens to be contained in that world will be up to me. Blizzard’s stories have been compelling in every game they’ve produced. If they keep up story telling and designing the games the way they are now there is no reason to see WoW even remotely slowing down at all.