Showing posts from April, 2010

A Cataclysmic Announcement

I’ve been sitting on this post for weeks, trying to find the right time to post it. I didn’t want to post it on a Monday, but I could never find the right time to do it. I want to go ahead and get this out there now. It seems like major announcements about Cataclysm are coming at a faster and faster pace. I don’t want anyone to think some announcement by Blizzard has prompted this decision so I’m going to go ahead and put this out there. Come Cataclysm, I am a Tank, no more. This is not some rash decision on my part. I've been debating this for several months. I'm usually a person who hems and haws over decisions, thinking and over thinking them. I'm very susceptible to paralysis by analysis. Yet, this decision hasn't been like that. Once I started thinking about it, I've only gotten more sure its the right the thing to do. The natural question is why? Let me state my reasons. This doesn't have anything to do with the state of Paladin Tanks right now. Palad

Do You Believe in Caesar?

I am often asked how I can believe in the Bible. I find it to be a very odd question. Usually I respond by asking if the questioner believes in Julius Caesar. When discussing the reliability of an ancient document there are two important factors that historians consider. First, the number of manuscript copies still around and, second the time between when it was first written and the oldest copy still in existence. For comparison, let me show you some well known ancient documents and how they rate on these key areas. The Gallic Wars , the work detailing Caesar’s major conquests, was written over a 56 year period. We have 10 copies, the closest to the original is 1,000 years removed. In other words, the oldest copy we have of The Gallic Wars was written nearly 1,000 after the events happened. Most kids read The Iliad   by Homer in either Jr. High or High School. We have 643 copies of Homer's Iliad and there is a 500 year span between the original and oldest existing copy. I hav

This Song Hits the Wrong Notes

What I am about to say may come as  a bit of a surprise to you, but, as a Tank, I’m really not digging like Hellscream’s Warsong. Now that’s ironic because I’m pretty sure we would not have killed Arthas without the buff. Let me give you two reasons why I’m not excited about each incremental increase in the buff. Threat Every time the buff increases, my job gets harder. The buff increases damage dealt. Nowhere in there does it talk about increasing Threat. Now I would figure that since Paladin threat is just our damage times our Righteous Fury modifier, that our threat would be increased as well, but it doesn’t seem to be enough. For pretty much all of Wrath, the only times I’ve had threat problems have been gimmick fights like Malygos or Hodir Hard Mode. Now it’s like I’m back in tBC. In those opening moments of a fight, I can and have lost aggro to just about everyone in our Raid Group. This is especially true on a fight like Sindrigosa where I have been wearing Frost Resist gear.


After writing about my Warrior in the class previews, I decided to go log in to him again. He was decked out in crafted and dungeon blues, along with some Naxx10 stuff. He didn’t have a single Emblem of Triumph. I decided to run a normal to see if I remembered how to play him. I decided to just ignore Heroic Strike. I’d do as much TPS or DPS as I could without worrying about it. So I ran Normal Trial of the Crusader and it went pretty good. I had expected to be laughed out of the group and kicked on site, or at least to have had the Paladin or Death Knight suggest they do the tanking. None of that happened, and we proceeded to clear the instance. It was weird to see Horde enemies in there again. The Warrior was actually pretty fun to play. I didn’t receive any upgrades, but I wasn’t worried about it. The next night I tried again, but this time went for a Heroic. After a 15 minute wait as DPS, I decided to add Tank and badaboombadabing, instant queue. This time it was Heroic Halls of

Raiding Equity

Since I’m sure the Blogosphere is about to erupt over the recent announcement about Raiding in Cataclysm, I wanted to get down my thoughts before I read any of the other fantastic entries from my colleagues. In case you missed the announcement, let me recap it quickly ( from ) 10- and 25- man raids in Cataclysm will share the same lockout Normal versus Heroic mode will be chosen on a per-boss basis in Cataclysm raids, the same way it works in Icecrown Citadel 10- and 25- man bosses will be close in difficulty 10- and 25- man bosses will drop the exact same items 25-man bosses will drop a higher quantity of loot, but not quality For the first few raid tiers, our plan is to provide multiple smaller raids. Instead of one raid with eleven bosses, you might have a five-boss raid as well as a six-boss raid. Content will continue to be gated First Cataclysm raids will be tuned for players in dungeons blues and crafted items The first thing that strikes me is how similar

Knocking Out Hard Modes

With the Lich King good and dead, we’ve started working on Hard Modes, including some we have been neglecting for a long time. We started out with Marrowgar. The first boss in the instance seemed like a logical place to start. This fight was a wake up call. We figured since we had downed the Lich King, the first couple of Hard Modes would be pretty on par with the final normal mode fight. We were wrong. What changes in Heroic Marrowgar is the normal stuff like more damage, and more boss health. The gimmick change is that the spikes keep coming throughout Bonestorm, and the fire lasts much longer. The spikes coming during Bonestorm doesn’t sound like a big deal at first, but with everyone spreading out because Bonestorm actually hurts in Heroic, it can be hard to get the spikes down before someone dies. This is especially bad when you are running two healers and one of your healers get spiked. The fire persisting also presents problems. Tanks have to move much more and in a wider a

The Cataclysm Shaman

As I’ve gone through the different class previews, I’ve moved from the classes I know very well like my Paladin and Hunter to the ones I know less well like my Druid and Warrior. In my final look at the preview, I’m going to tackle a class I essentially know nothing about, the Shaman. If I start talking out of my hat, please excuse and offer kind corrections. The Shaman would have been the next class I would have leveled, but I abandoned the project because I wanted to wait for Cataclysm and have a new class to see the new lowbie content with. Primal Strike (available at level 3) : Primal Strike is a new weapon-based attack that every shaman will learn very early in the game. Healing Wave (level 4) : While the shaman already has an ability called Healing Wave, we're adding another spell to the class's direct-healing arsenal and giving it a familiar name. The current Healing Wave will be renamed Greater Healing Wave, and the intent is for the 'new" Healing Wave to be

Warrior Cataclysm Changes

As I mentioned during my post on the Druid changes, I have shelved my Warrior. He was actually the 3rd toon I took to 80, and the Druid was the last. The reason that I shelved him was Heroic Strike. I couldn’t stand having to spam Heroic Strike to do decent Threat or DPS. But the larger reason was that I made him as sort of an insurance policy against the Devs continuing with the Burning Crusade design and making Warriors the premier tanking class. When they got serious about tanking equality in Wrath, and Paladins were buffed to stand toe to toe with any Tanking class, I shelved him. He’s my lone 80 on Alliance side since he didn’t make the trip over to Hordeside. Inner Rage (Level 81) : Whenever the character reaches a full 100 Rage, he or she will gain a buff that causes attacks to consume 50% more Rage and do 15% more damage for a short amount of time. This is an interesting change. Warriors have been dealing with the issue of stuck on 100 for a long time. The Devs have said they

Druid Cataclysm Changes

I’m about halfway through my look at the various classes that I’m interested in. I’m done the Paladin and the Hunter. Now I want to look at the Druid, Warrior, and Shaman. But really we’ve only got half the picture. The new talents are still to be released and they are another important part of the puzzle. The Druid took over my 3rd Alt position after I shelved the Warrior, but I’ll talk more about that when I look at the Warrior changes. My Druid is primarily Boomkin/Resto, but I’m working on his Feral set as well. I have him Boomkin because I can do reasonable DPS even in mostly Resto gear. Let’s look at what Druid’s get. Thrash (Level 81) : Thrash deals damage and causes all targets within 10 yards to bleed every 2 seconds for 6 seconds. The intent here is to give bears another button to hit while tanking. Talents will affect the bleed, such as causing Swipe to deal more damage to bleeding targets. 5-second cooldown. 25 Rage. This looks to be a decent addition to the Bear threa

Catclysm Changes Part II

The next class I wanted to look at was my Hunter. He was my second 80 and is the best geared of my alts. Let's get right to the Hunter changes. Cobra Shot (level 81) : A new shot that deals Nature damage instead of Physical damage. This ability will share a cooldown with Steady Shot. This will give hunters an alternative to Steady Shot on heavily-armored targets, and we will have talent incentives in the Beast Mastery tree to make this a signature shot. This will become BMs shot like Chimera for Marks and Explosive for Survival. It will be interesting to see if it's instant like Chimera and Explosive or has a cast time like Steady. Maybe that will be part of the BM talents so it will be instant for BM, but has the same cast time as Steady for Marks/Surv. Trap Launcher (level 83) : When used, the next trap can be shot to a location within 40 yards. This provides the current Freezing Arrow treatment to all traps and, as a result, we will be removing the current abili

Catacylsmic Changes

I'm going to start my Cataclysm previews articles with the Paladin. Then I'll cover some of the other classes that interest me like Druids, Hunters, Shamans, and Warriors. Then I'll end the series with a major announcement. Let's get right to it. Our 3 New Spells Blinding Shield (level 81): Causes damage and blinds all nearby targets. This effect might end up only damaging those facing the paladin's shield, in a manner similar to Eadric the Pure's ability Radiance in Trial of the Champion. The Holy tree will have a talent to increase the damage and critical strike chance, while the Protection tree will have a talent to make this spell instant cast. 2-second base cast time. Requires a shield. This baby is for Prot Paladins. Ret need not apply (requires a shield). I could see maybe a PVP Holy Paladin wanting to use this, but with a 2 second cast time, that's just asking for a school lock out. It will be nigh useless in PVP. Look guys, the P

Long Live the King

We have been slowly working our way through mastering the Lich King fight. We started out with Phase 1 and got the nuances of that Phase down. Then we struggled through and mastered the transition phase. That brought us to Phase II which started out as a complete gong show and still posses some problems when the Val'kyr and Defile happen very close together. There is a large component of RNG to the fight in who the Val'kyr will pick and who the Lich King picks for Defile. But by Thursday we had made it through Phase II a couple of times successfully, only to be stomped down by the transition phase. The area of the platform that you need to stand on to be safe from Remorseless Winter doesn't exist when Arthas starts the cast so you have massive raid damage going out. We would suffer casualties in the transition and never get very far in Phase 3 before the Vile Spirits just destroyed what was left of our raid. We had a little better group make up Monday night with 2 Range

Let's Do The Time Warp Again

As I was perusing the Cataclysm information, one of the items that really stood out to me was the new Mage spell, Time Warp. Time Warp (level 83) : Grants a passive Haste effect much like Bloodlust or Heroism to party or raid members. It also temporarily increases the mage's own movement speed. Time Warp will be exclusive with Bloodlust and Heroism, meaning you can't benefit from both if you've got the Exhaustion debuff, though the movement-speed increase will still work even when under the effects of Exhaustion. Basically, the Devs plan on giving Mages Bloodlust/Heroism. I find this to be a very interesting choice. I blogged about the need to give Bloodlust/Heroism to another class before and suggested the Warrior to be the recipient, but the Devs decided to give it to Mages. Bloodlust/Heroism is a raid defining buff especially in 10 mans where you can't count on having one of each class. It is a change changer. The Devs have downplayed its role throu

Into Phase 3

I got home from my Business Trip/Vacation and returned to the team on Monday. They had successfully cleared everything except for Sindi and Lich King. So we would be starting with Sindi. Everyone was really in a groove and we somehow managed to one shot her. It was a great job by everyone on the team. Then we ported up and got ready to throw down with his Highness, the Lich King. Phase 1 feels pretty comfortable now, as long as someone doesn't pull threat. It has gotten progressively harder to hold off our DPS on the threat meter each and every week. It is almost enough to make me long for those halcyon days of Naxx when threat was a non-issue. But overall, Phase 1 is pretty much cake. The transitions are getting better. We generally have all but the last Raging Spirit down before the phase is over. We are now getting some quality time in Phase 2. We can handle Val'kyrs, and we can handle Defile. What seems to be the bane of our attempts on Arthas is when the cooldowns fo

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone has a very nice Easter. Remember this day the one who loved you, who chose you, and who came to rescue you by giving His life for you. - Honors