Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Don't judge me. You do this too.

For many, the lull between the last raid of an expansion and the start of a new one is a very special time. Some relish the freedom from hardcore raiding and pursue other activities like sunlight and dating. Others love getting caught up in the development news fever and become excited with every blue post or datamined tooltip. Then there's me, and for the super serial no-lifers, the next few months are all about PEPCHECK...

Pre-Expansion Preparation CHECKlist.

Be a loser. Check. Be a loser. Check. Be a loser...

One never knows what Blizzard will remove from the game or what activities will become more difficult or impossible with a higher level cap and new spells, but one can guess and prepare beforehand. Though the item squish undoubtedly fixes the increasingly unbalanced scaling between levels that has occurred over many expansions, their assurance that players will still be able to solo old content suggests that once we are level 100, we'll be killing things from MoP with ease. That makes redoubling my camping efforts on the Timeless Isle number one on my to-do list. With Siege ilvls, there isn't even a point in calling out rares anymore unless you want Gen Chat to berate you for either two-shotting it before anyone gets there or not waiting half an hour for the entire Isle to arrive before you start attacking it.

Also, since only three BoA weapons have thus far dropped from Garrosh and our Ele Shaman has gotten two of them, I'll need to focus on trying to get some LFR and Flex kills on him before the leveling process begins. It's been a few weeks, so people have to know what they're doing by now, right? Right?

Though it might to too early to be shopping now, it's never too early to start making a list of required food and sundries for that first week of leveling and heroic dungeons. One needs plenty of microwave burritos, toaster pastries, chips, and caffeinated soda all placed in easy access of one hand. It might be a good idea to put the numbers of local restaurants on speed dial as well. The delivery guy can wait at the door until the boss is dead.

And there was something else... Something about... family? Or the holidays?

It's probably not important.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Blizzcon 2013 Round-up

I'm going to sound like a negative nancy, which is a bummer since last year I was so excited for all the MoP changes to the talent trees and specs and was really looking forward to their development. But Blizzcon 2013 is now over, and almost none of what they have announced has impressed me much at all. Let's do this as compliment sandwich.

Compliment: The new character models are pretty cool.

Criticism: I'm getting pretty sick of time travel and alternate dimensions. They are great concepts to wrap your brain around, and every time that they are introduced, it adds layers to Warcraft universe in a unique way. However, they seem to pop up constantly, and by now whenever patch notes mention the timeways, I can only think, "What got messed up this time by who?"

Yea yea, the devs said that it's not a "time travel expansion" and that we don't have to worry about affecting the past. Then why do it? When I heard the name "Warlords of Draenor," I actually though we were going with the draenei back to Argus to take their planet back. Going through some loophole to the old Draenor seems to me like a way to rehash old content without worrying about continuity.

Also, I'm not too pleased with the new Mythic difficulty. Though the four-tier gradation of difficulties will be exactly the same as it is now, a big difference is that raiding guilds will have to progress through Normal, then Heroic, then Mythic. So rather than keeping Flex, they're making it so that the content lasts for a longer period of time before they're pressured to release more by the speed at which top guilds progress. That's a cheap tactic to me. Mythic difficulty has to expand on the mechanics of Heroic in meaningful ways for it to be worth it, and that doesn't mean that Heroic can merely be a higher DPS requirement version of Normal either.

Compliment: The garrisons look pretty cool, too.


P.S. Since everything is based on what information has been released so far, all of this is subject to change. Thankfully.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

My guild is still stuck on H Thok.

How many ways are there to die to H Thok? Probably just as many as LFR, but as my guild hit over 100 wipes last night, it seemed we were out to find every interesting, unique, and completely idiotic way to die possible. Long past are the attempts where we simply wiped from lack of healing or dispels. I could reminisce about those days.

Let's do a quick overview of the fight for anyone who isn't familiar with Thok. If you are close to his mouth, he Chomps you and you die. If he is chasing you and anyone else is in the path of his mouth, they will get Chomped and die. It sounds simple, but he can get speedy, and then you are running for your life with a giant dinosaur's teeth nipping at your cloak like UNNNNNNNGGGGGHHH!

Our strategy calls for everyone to gather in a specific place until Thok fixates, and then the fixated player moves away from everyone else. It works great... unless s/he makes Thok path too widely and then you get this:

The easy solution of course would be to set up by gateway to help people escape, but aside from the annoying bug that makes it disappear if I'm not standing directly on top of it, its usefulness is also combatted by people who walk right past it instead of clicking on it and others who don't bother checking which end they're clicking and teleport directly into Thok's mouth. Chomp.

If Thok is fixated on a class with movement abilities like Blink, it can also be very helpful for escaping. That is... unless s/he blinks the wrong way directly into Thok's mouth. Chomp.

I know! We'll get a priest to lifegrip the fixated person when Thok is getting too close! That's brilliant! Except when the lifegripped person gets confused and turned around and lets Thok catch up to him/her anyway! Chomp!

And even when it's not the Chomp phase, the solo tank could forget to use a CD at high stacks, take a Deafening Screech hit for over 1 million, and have Thok turn around and cleave everyone to death. Or we could stay in the phase too long and all get one-shot. Or we could phase him too early and die to soft enrage. 2-heal? 3-heal? 4-heal? Everyone go tank? Cry for eternity?

If we don't get this boss tonight, I'm going fetal.


Edited on 11/10/13: We finally got it today. US 10m 89th.