Azeroth Choppers Finale – Predictions!

Paul+Teutul+Jr.+Rachael+Biester+married+3atDm1ewT0Tl

So the bikes appear to be complete, and the show’s finale is rapidly approaching. They have releases recaps of the brief season that was, and have even showed behind the scenes for each team’s process. All the while, we are under the guise that the “voting” we have been doing will be our way of joining the struggle to help get our favorite bike in the game.

Some of you have voted because you play exclusively Alliance. Some of you have voted despite this, because you prefer the Horde bike in terms of quality and appearance. Many of us have voted, but we have all of us been deceived.

I apologize in advance if I sound like a conspirator or come off as condescending, but I believe I have deciphered exactly what this entire series has been.

Horde Bike

Horde Bike

At face value, of course it has been a way for Blizzard to cross promote their product. Regardless of what you think about either the company or Paul Jr. designs, they both have a lot of pull. I can’t speculate how much each party has benefited from… wait actually I can!

Based on what I have seen recently, I assume Paul Jr. approached blizzard, instead of the other way around. I would assume that it was his intent to enter a new reality theme, but couldn’t find potential suitors because of the trend moving away from his style. Of course, Blizzard was happy to accept his request, and after much brainstorming they came to the agreement we have been viewing for 7 weeks now.

I would go as far as to say that this means Paul Jr benefits the least of this, potentially even losing money in order to keep Blizzard on board with this project. Especially considering there is no corporate advertising past the meager effort Youtube make, what was there to gain from Blizzard’s part?

I’ll tell you!

This entire “webseries” has been one giant advertisement for a product they will unveil very shortly. Here comes the prediction, so pay attention!

The final episode will wrap up the show and they will reveal the winner.  But like everything else, this has all been pre-recorded and the winner was never really in our hands. Our vote was for a much different reason!

By issuing a vote, Blizzard has learned what distribution of people prefer which bike, and how many actual people do for both. This may seem arbitrary, it was done for a specific reason.

I presume their intentions will be to implement the least popular bike, and place the remaining on the Blizzard store. By doing this, they have maximized their exposure and profits in multiple ways.

First of all, as mentioned, the ENTIRE series was on giant advertisement for the bike that would be sold on the store. Everyone was getting hyped up over the weeks and engaged in the process, so much so, that when the bike we want doesn’t get implemented, we will of course consider paying just to see it do so. This is as effective as marketing can get, and I am frankly surprised it took me this long to realize it.

Second of all, the vote confirms what we already know. Horde is typically the more fervent populace, so its not surprising that they would win the vote. By making it appear that Alliance voters came through in the clutch for their team, Horde will rally even harder at the concept of seeing the bike implemented. This, once again, is as effective as marketing can get, as everyone from day 1 assumed the Horde bike would win, so when it does not, they will be more implored to make a purchase.

On top of this, its commonly considered that there are more adults on the Horde side, which equates to more likelihood of disposable income, thus increasing sales on this product.

Finally, this concept has generated a ton of publicity and revenue through Youtube as well as potential through Paul Jr. fans and association. I stick by my original idea that Paul is the primary benefactor, but would examine a possibility where they chose his meager fame to help boost what was never about actual success in the first place.

When you examine it from my perspective, you immediately see just how smart the entire thing was. For weeks, everyone said how lame the reality show concept was, and how short each episode was. For weeks, we talked about the “show” to a point that it became ritual. Welcome to marketing 101.

We, the viewers, played right into the hands of the market. It was never about whether the show was well received, or if the bikes were developed in an interesting manner. No, Blizzard did not care about how many views they got on each episode, or whether not the expectations were met by the fans. All they cared about, for as long as this project was conceived, is whether or not they saturated the ears of every able body with the hope of seeing a bike they were even remotely passionate about enter the video game they most certainly were passionate about.

warcraft-bike-1

Alliance Bike

When you advertise in this effective of a fashion you simply can not lose. Its equatable to those who believe the entire NFL season is advertisement for the Super Bowl and its billion dollar per second time slots.

Up until now, I would have simply laughed at this premise, but after not only watching, but being engaged in the very way they intended, makes things very very clear.

To conclude, I will say that this is very clever. It was entertainment, and it was well done. The series was lame at times, but the bikes are incredible to behold. I hope they look as good in game as they do in person, but I state my final prediction right now.

The Alliance bike will be chosen as the winner, and in response to the “overwhelming requests” Horde fans spurt out, the Horde bike will be issued as well, for 25 USD. Maybe even more?
And at the end of the day, it will set record sales for a Blizzard store product, and we will all scratch our heads and wonder why.

Heart of the Valorous – One Word: Why?

Purple Heart_custom-10fde2038924f09550400fb2a3c44bd819e1882e-s6-c30

Before we go anywhere, let me catch you guys up to speed for the sake of impact. About a month ago now, I wrote an article on this topic when we all assumed it was going to be an implemented buff to help expedite the Legendary Questline.
Now, as of May 30th, we see this is no longer the case.

Instead, we were granted a “limited time” game-wide buff to valor gains by 100 percent. The window this is offered in is today, May 30th, and will last until June 10th.

Now the point of me making an article on this is simple. This is utterly pointless. So much so, it HAS to be leading to something else, or some elaboration on the concept past this.

Besides being implemented, its use is further degraded by its timing, especially given the patch we just had released. Why on God’s green earth would you release this NOW, and for 12 days. Even worse, its first day is on the weekend!?

I’ve been capped on valor since 1EST on Tuesday, and spent all the valor I received minutes later. Maybe if it was introduced on a Tuesday, and lasted multiple weeks, it could remotely be considered worth its salt. But instead, we get it for essentially 1 week, as anyone who isn’t capped already by this point in the week just isn’t trying.

More so, the fact that it just speeds up a process that takes barely any time in the first place is laughable. It takes like 2 hours max to get the 8 or so Heroic Scenarios done, and now with the timeless coins, it can even all be completed the previous week. I have simply prepared the 30k coins I need for the upcoming week, log on, do the weekly to get even more coins and valor, and then turn in what I need after that.

What really confuses me is this lonely post that accompanied it. Here, have a read via the official website. Its such a short and brittle thing that it makes me wonder if this is the same Blizzard I have come to know over the years. Usually, their announcements are over the top and obtuse, so much so that you think its about some grandiose implementation that everyone will talk about for the rest of the week. And it works, which is the funny part! Usually it DOES have people, including myself, talking about it for the rest of the week, as well as making articles and videos on each.

But instead, we have this. A glorified rant about nothing. Not nothing in the case of my lack of inspiration. Don’t get it twisted! The “nothing” here refers to the fact that this is such a silly and wasteful concept that its essentially nothing. But as Arya would say, Nothing isn’t better or worse than anything. Nothing is just nothing.

And in this case, she would be very correct.
So I know what you are thinking about now. Something along the lines of “Well if you are so smart, what should they have done bigshot?”
There are two ways to implement this, that would actually make sense.

1. Make it permanent. Facts are, a lot of people are growing more bored with this patch by the day. I am NOT one of them, as I recognize the insane amount of content MoP has introduced and realize I have done very little of it successfully, but we can’t ignore this just because I have my eyes actually open.
By making it permanent, it helps players who want to raid and compete still get enough valor to cap without further repetition and burn out. It won’t get better either, because now that its 4/4 upgrade, an entire week needs to be accrued and then spent to upgrade any single piece you get from here on out. This means, that unless you are FULL BIS or simply don’t care to get any more gear, the only way the Heroic Warforged piece you received is an actual upgrade over the Heroic non-war4 piece is with that 1k worth of effort. This means doing Blood in the Snow another 8 times to get it there as well.

It also helps those that are only mildly serious about getting the valor they need, or even people who have time constraints. Now they can easily get their cap in no time at all. And as mentioned earlier, this wont change, so why would the buff go away?

2. Increase the cap either instead of this, or in tandem with this.
Obviously in tandem is optimal, but regardless, if you increase the cap, it will further the reward players have who put the time in getting it, but keep valor rolling in for those who are active mildly. This leverages the problem in the other direction that number 1, and honestly is better in my mind. This allows us to now get all the gear we still have yet to finish completely upgraded, and makes the process back to what it once was. If it takes 1k to upgrade a full piece now, then if the cap was 2k, and we receive 100x more, literally nothing is different. The math equals out, and we are now in the exact same situation as we once were, only we have much strong gear and the nerf to SoO is completed.

 

Either of these is totally fine by me. Of course, maybe they have their reasons, and maybe this is just some type of trial run before they ultimately include it permanently, or increase the cap as well. Now that these ideas are on paper, when they go ahead and implement one of them, I can now say it was my idea! :D

Valor

If I got this, THEN it would be worth it…

Mythic’s Seperate Gear Models – Too Little, Too Late?

justoutofarmsreach

Usually I don’t play the skeptic when it comes to a video game I have been playing for coming up on 10 years, but this time I thought it would be fun to dance around this topic like everyone else.

For those not aware, the newest difficulty in Raiding will also feature entirely separate gear models. This comes in on the news that LFR will suffer the same fate, leaving 3 separate models for each tier alone, and that’s still per class past LFR. There will be 30 plus unique models (not just recolors) for each tier, which already sounds like a burden on the art team that is apparently struggling to push out the character models, but that is not the argument here.

What I will carry forward on is the premise that they are doing this to help niche players out, and prove that LFR is for the common folk, real raiding can be done by anyone, and Mythic raiders deserve a truer reward than just item level. At face value, I couldn’t agree more. A LONG time ago, in Classic and even until Cata really, you could tell who on your server were serious players without having to examine their health pool. The gear they wore could not be masked, so seeing the main tank of the top 40 man in full dreadnaught really meant something, and often inspired those less accomplished to reach for the stars. I make no qualms about saying this is single-handily what got me into raiding. Seeing a select Warrior tank who would find a way on top of the structures in Ironforge in first full D2, then full Might Set, and finally full Wrath set. It was at this point that I decided I want to raid as well, so I contacted the GM of this man’s guild and let him know that I was top in my class, rank 8 FFA eastern wc ladder 2, and a quick learner. He chuckled, noticed my greens and likely invited me as a joke. By the time I was able to figure things out and get some Wrath gear, our main tank was getting full Dreadnaught and my eternal admiration.

Ahem, anyway enough of the trip down memory lane. The point is that gear rewards used to be what made a player stand out from others. Today, this can still be the case, especially if coupled with a tremendous healthpool and flashy entrance, but with there is one inherent flaw that this entire argument is predicated upon, and I will end this sentence first before unveiling it for dramatic effect. Here we go, are you ready? The issue is… Transmogrification!

Yes, it has become so rampant that anyone who plays a toon seriously puts sets together, even if its mismatched pieces. I personally can not live without my Firelands Heroic tier on top the Reins of Galakras. The colors of the gear and the mount are literally perfect together, and there is nothing even remotely competing in my mind. This is all the reason I need to assume this mythic separation of gear is too little and indeed far too late.

The parallel example would be their Challenge Mode endeavor with gear, and the fact that so many of the sets were indeed as epic as they come. Sure, at one point it really showed an accomplished player, but this was an entire set made to be transmoged to, and with a lot of work put into it.

Will the same happen with Mythic? Even now, in the 582 item level I have, if I untransmogged my entire set, the gear I was wearing would not be a complete match. Is this enough to deter people from showing it off, or does it encourage more unique combinations of the pieces we do actually have.

Regardless, I stand firm when I say that, while I am all for this addition to the game’s gear and cosmetic landscape, what they hope to achieve is something extinct in the minds of most players. Any one who is any one has a plethora of transmog set options, and even those who do choose to use the new pieces to display their prowess will likely do so in mixture, making its effect just that.

There is no easy way around it, but facts of the matter are that if you are spending resources on all these different gear sets just to add separation into the game, and in turn a very low percentage of Mythic raids end up displaying the set, then you have wasted some amount of resources.

Unless of course, the sets are that amazing…

Only time will tell!

I’ll leave you with this image, and you can decide for yourself.

gear

Courtesy of MMO-champion dataminers.

Take note of the massive difference in shoulders, helm and belt from the Mythic (top) to Heroic (bottom.)
Also notice the lack of difference in boots, legs, etc.
Its still very early though. But what do you think? Does this strike you as something you’d shatter your transmog for, especially just to show off yourself as a Mythic raider?

Play Like a Pro! – Survival Hunter Weak Aura / Information!

transmogrification-hunter-pve-tier-14-challenge-mode

Hello and welcome to our newest series inspired by our third Podcast (http://wow.stratics.com/interviews/wow-stratics-podcast-3-spotlight-disadvantaged-gamers/) where Metro discusses how simple UI elements can make a world of difference and helps players looking to take their character to the next level do just that. As mentioned in the Podcast, if you aren’t playing with proper Keybinds, Macros, or Addons, you might as well be missing a hand compared to players who are! These guides will be focused on players who already understand the class/spec and are looking to elevate their game to the next level. The experience I have with each spec is almost purely through Challenge Mode dungeons, and can say these design elements can make or break your play and will tell you if / when you are ready for that next step. Let’s get started!

Today we will examine Survival Hunter Weak Aura set up and show how a few simple indicators can take your play from moderate to exceptional. This one will be especially important, as from my experience, I literally have never played a DPS spec at any high level. Yet with this combination of Auras, I am able to hang with anyone!

The Weak Aura set-up we will be examining today is once again wholly different from the Tanking and Healing ones I have posted, mostly because the spec and playstyle is quite different. As a DPS, you have one real focus, but its more about maximization than anything. In order to do this properly, you want as many tools as possible helping you with your rotation, CDs, and procs. Doing this helps you focus on the more important things, especially in small group content such as Interrupts, Dispels, and AOE stuns. A lot of people play a DPS spec to be the ultra dps machine, but I promise you that if you focus more on your own survival and those around you, you will be helping your group more than if you stand still, eat all the mechanics, and do one point hundred kay dps. Let’s move on to how you can do that easily with this weak aura set up!

Hunter Weak Aura

Clink to Enlarge!

At face value, there is a lot going on in this screenshot, but by the end of this, you should understand exactly what you need, why you need it, and how it can benefit some like me who does NOT have the DPS mindset already ingrained in their skull.

Rotation Helper -

Compared to the Frost Mage cluster, this is as basic as it gets, however just as effective when dealing with the Survival Hunter rotation. There is little complicated about ability usage, therefore there is little complicated about the string.

Hunter Weak Aura

You’ll see two icons in the screenshot, hopefully both of which are familiar! On top we have the Hunter’s Mark warning indicator, which will simply appear if your target does not have Hunter’s Mark. Its set up so that any hunter’s application will count, so you should get used to pretty much never seeing this while doing anything serious.

The icon on the bottom is of course for Serpent Sting, but is a dynamic icon that will rotate through the ability selection preferable. The list of abilities and priority are as follows:

1- Serpent Sting (If not applied)
2- Kill Shot (If Available)
3- Black Arrow (If not applied)
4- Lock and Load (if Procced, explosive shot 2x)
5- Explosive Shot (If available +focus)
6- Glaive Toss (If Talented, and higher priority on CD)
7- Thrill of the Hunt Proc (If talented, and everything  else on CD. Note for AOE!)

Of course, those who have played the class for a long time will find flaws or say this isn’t necessary, but as mentioned before, the more tools you have to guide you the better you can play!
The Weak Aura String for this set is part of the CD set as well, so keep reading!

Major CD Set -

Nearly as important as any rotation tracker, you’ll find the major CD tracker to be your best friend in 5 man content especially. Lynx Rush can be extremely important for AOE, so knowing its precise CD can mean big things. Of course, even in raids its very important to be aware of exact timers, but you’ll notice when pulling bosses 200+ times, the CD timers become more muscle memory than anything. Regardless, this will help guide you along your path.

CD group

In case you need this level of explanation, The top left icon is Rapid Fire, the top right is Stampede (aka zoo), and the bottom left is Lynx Rush. I currently do not run Dire Beast, and only do CM on this toon, so likely never will. If you need to add it, you can copy and paste the coupled icons for each CD and simply change its ability target to be Lynx Rush instead of whatever it is. Then just place them where you want, and enjoy!

It should be noted that the space on the bottom right is typically occupied by a Aspect tracker, which will be separate from these pieces, and will be explained shortly.

To implement the Weak Auras described as the Major CD Set, as well as the Rotation Helper, copy from the pastebin!
http://pastebin.com/RfEHweHH

Focus Bar -

Focus bar

Even more basic, but even more important for some one learning hunter. This bar will track exactly how much focus you have and display it in both a progressive bar, and as a finite number at the end. As before, the more you play the less you will need something like this, but its helps tremendously when attempting to pool Focus for upcoming aoe or even Black Arrow Global.

Find the Weak Aura String for this here!
http://pastebin.com/Vb8BvUY1

Aspect Tracker -

Aspect Tracker

As mentioned previous, please take care to note that the bottom left symbol is the only one relevant to this section. I show them all to denote the slight size increase in the Aspect tracker, to help it always be your eye’s focal point. This is important, because if you are ever accidentally in the wrong aspect, it could be disastrous for your group. Especially in Challenge Modes, you should constantly be switching between speed aspects and DPS, to assure both you and your group are being maximized. Using Aspect of the Pack at every safe availability can save a LOT of seconds, especially in the larger dungeons.

In terms of display, it will simply show the icon for the aspect you are in. As depicted, shows Iron Hawk as well!

Not shown is the indicator for when you have no aspect up. This is obviously just an oversight, but if something causes it, an icon will appear towards the middle to help you immediately resolve the issue.

Find the String here!
http://pastebin.com/Cp8YAyXd

Pet Isn’t Attacking!? -

Most annoying thing ever about the Hunter class. Its a real issue as well, especially on some raid encounters and Challenge Modes. This icon will help discern where your pet is, and will help you know when Lynx Rush is actually possible.

Pet attacking

You’ll see that when your pet isn’t doing damage to something that matters, the cute little bear icon will be jumping up and down. This will help you notice it, and also remind you never to hit your pet. They aren’t children for ever, and its important to cherish the time you spend together.
Please not that this is only for combat purposes. If for some reason you do not have a pet altogether, there is another weak aura for that.

Find the Weak Aura String Here!
http://pastebin.com/behnknT2

No Pet Currently Out! -

Whenever you pet is actually alive, but you do not have it out, this icon will appear.

No pet whistle

If your pet is dead, this will not appear though. This is only for alerting you that you have a living pet that isn’t active.

No tint, Fishbowl. It ain’t hard to spot ‘em.
http://pastebin.com/msWAsdJi

Potion CD -

Just like with Frost Mage, potion maximization is extremely important for Hunters in Challenge Modes. I wouldn’t imagine you will need an aura like this for actual raiding, but it is more valuable than all the rest when you are a spec that doesn’t require an invisibility potion to make most skips. There will be some that are risky with Camo, and for those, you can either intentionally pull, disengage, and then Feign once the group has passed, or you can simply go Engineering.
Regardless, the options are very important to your success, and should be used to their fullest.

Potion cd

The potion Tracker consists of two separate trackers. I use both for CM, but only 1 for actual raiding, as having a potion icon on your screen when you are intentionally saving it for 5+ minutes is really distracting. Get both, and activate each separately, if need-be.

Potion is Ready!
PotionCD Tracker!

 

Well that’s everything, so if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the forum attached to this topic, or contact me in game.
As always, I am not fluent in the program, and usually find people who ARE fluent and modify their work. Most of this was assembled from two separate concepts. A few was taken from the Huntman’s Lodge blog and some other pieces were taken from this thread on the official WoW forums.

Either way, it’s important to remember that you are the best person to help yourself improve, but with tools and help from those already experienced you can transform yourself into a top-tier player near instantly.

Discuss this Topic at:
http://stratics.com/community/threads/survival-weak-aura-set-up.316376/
See the set-up in action:
Soon to come!
Check out my Hunters’s Armory:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/firetree/Metrohahaha/advanced
Download Weak Auras Two:
http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/weakauras-2

Why Challenge Modes are the Best Content Ever!

CM checklist

There still seems to be some non-believers so I’d like to help put this in perspective for players that have yet to try them and put things in context. I’ll do what I can to cover all the available arguments and discuss everything surrounding them. We will start with bulleted reasons why Challenge Modes transcend a single type of content and enrich the entire game over all.

melting-desk-clock-1

Melting Clock shows Time Trial Appropriately.

- Gear normalized.

There is a reason this is the top of this list. When you play with normalized gear, you are forced to play the game at an equatable level to everyone else doing so. This means you can not hide behind gear or set bonuses. You can never out-gear these. You have to understand your class, and how to play it, otherwise it will be very noticeable.
Because of this, this not only challenges you, but will help you grow immensely better. A friend of ours who we did Challenge Modes with started off completely clueless doing like 30k single target. After a few sessions, we worked with him, helped him learn how to play his class and spec better, and taught him not only about position and rotation, but also about utility. By the end of the 9/9 he was easily our best dps in the group that had all consisted of first-timers, and took that knowledge outside the runs as well. Now he is always one of the top DPS in and Flex raid we bring him to, despite only being 520~ ilvl.

- 5 Man content.

To clarify, 25 man heroic progression is still my one true love, but five man content offers a much more interesting dynamic that makes things a lot more engaging. When you are doing 5 man content, you expect the trash to be as difficult as the bosses, and need to thing about how to play, when to use CDs, and when to use what utility. In raids, nine out of ten boss encounters don’t require DPS to actually use their utility spells like Binding Shot, or Leg Sweep. However, in 5 man content, being able to fully function as a spec rather than just as a turret DPS, is so much more useful.
To go even further, having to actually worry about buffs and debuffs is also very interesting for me. For example, a hunter knowing what pet they need can make or break the time, as well as a warrior using Shattering Throw at the right time. In raids, its easy, because its a 10 minute encounter where you blood lust and use all your CDs at the start to minimize DPS drop-off. In CM, however, you need to calculate your usage, because if things aren’t used at the right time, they are entirely wasted.

- Time Trial.

I’ll cover this again in the “con” section, but for now you should understand this is what makes them fun. I once believed that the slow and steady CC-then-pull BC method was far superior, but once I tried these I realize where I was mistake. You see, they aren’t any different! Going back to BC, no one wanted to wait anyway, and once you had done the five mans a few times, even the tank didn’t want to wait. Having that prepared feel was fun, but it was mostly because of how Healer mana worked, and how AOE threat was handled that slowed things down – things that aren’t actually fun mechanics.
Now, in CM you are forced to move at a brisk pace if you want to get the best time, but either way if you are still learning, you can take your time and practice. You already want to move at this elevated pace anyway, so instead of messing around with hard CCs, its now on the group to use AOE stuns, something that wasn’t even in the game back 7 years ago. This is MUCH more engaging than the previous method, because if done wrong you will know immediately, but doing right requires communication and understanding of class abilities around the table. Not just “Sheep moon.”

- Leaderboard.

This goes hand-in-hand with Time Trial, but has its own separate section for a reason. I’m not one to choose to play this as a main content, but if you did, there is tremendous room for expansion. It should be obvious if you have ever seen people complete it in under 10 minutes, let alone those that can do it in under 5. Some people even challenge themselves and do it with 3-4 people, and still beat times easily. That’s what this is all about. Its an extra level of challenge that wasn’t present in previous five man iterations, and really encourages group play above pugging so as to constantly improve. Especially since the improvement is measured in seconds across the world!
TBC five mans were well done, but once you completed them and got what you wanted, there were very few people considering ways they could do them extremely fast or even challenging themselves to do them with less players so as to carry someone.

- Alt Friendly.

Because they only require 463 gear, this is one of my favorite cases for the “best content ever” award. I have done them now on ten separate toons, and must say its always an enjoyable experience. I only actually use the gear set on 3-4 of the toons I have, so don’t think I’m just about vanity. The main thrill is learning what your class and spec can bring to the run and maximizing every second. For example, after tanking on Paladin, Monk, and DK, going to Warrior was quite exciting, as I was able to coordinate Skull Banner and Shattering throw with our heavy-hitter’s burst to make them do even more insane numbers! Another great example is when I did DPS, I played a Mage first. I realized how OP having to not worry about Invis pots for skips was, and decided to get engineering on any other toon to assure potion usage. A final example is realizing how important aspect of the pack was when doing my hunter. Knowing when to use abilities like this changes everything, and really helps you learn a lot more about your class and the game in general.

- Skips and Invis pots.

I know a lot of people don’t like the invis potion concept, but I find it a nice “mandatory” component to separate those who are serious about it from those who are not. They certainly can be done without the potion, but if you are taking it serious, then you are sold out to the concept of “every second matters” and will do whatever it takes to make that a reality.
Besides invis pots, there are other really clever skips you can employ in places like Mogu’shan Palace or Shadow Pan Monastery. I’ve never been much of a speed runner, but for those who are, I’d imagine all these skips are thanks to them. It must have been truly rewarding the first time people discovered things like this, or the barov bookcase skip.

THE CONS?

So we have talked a lot about whats great, but I of course recognize that there are some pretty serious drawbacks that hinder people’s fun-factor. Let’s discuss them as well.

- “Must have 25 sockets noob”

This alone is my biggest issue with CM. They normalize gear, but people still find ways to claim you “are in shit gear for this.” I promise you, gear does not matter. It is ALL about the strat. People do this with 3 players, so if you have 5 and they are all maximizing their DPS, and have enchants and gems were applied, you can get gold. Of course, if you are trying to get world first times, then maybe we have more to talk about. But for your average, run-of-the-mill player, this is a non-factor. Its really annoying to see constantly, and hurts an already thin CM community.
Luckily, in WoD they are removing gems from almost every piece of gear. This, on top of a sweep to make all secondary stats situationally the best for each spec should mean CMs are even more normalized, which is great news.

- No Real Rewards.

A massive issue for me, and likely others. I personally love doing them, and am happy to get the hundred some gold you receive and maybe some valor, but very few others will feel this way. There is absolutely zero incentive to ever do these more than once on a given toon, and I hope this changes. This is the single most reason there is such a thin community for it, and the only reason in my mind that I might still say BC five mans are in the discussion. If people don’t actually need things from something in this game, then very few people will try them. The less people that try them, the worse they are portrayed in the scope of the expansion, despite being astounding content. We have seen impressive images of weaponry with 6.0 CMs, so I’m hoping that those are random rewards, and not the replacement for the gear sets from 8/8 6.0.

- “I hate Time Trials.”

I feel you, but hear me out. I have a slight nervous condition that really makes me pressured in time based events as well. I first noticed it when playing Final Fantasy 8, in some flashback where you have to evacuate the town and win battles within a certain time frame. I believe it was also featured as the demo for the game. Regardless, I typically can not function under these conditions, but want to refer you to the first time this was discussed. They simply do NOT play like a time trial at all. Everything in the video game is always rushed anyway, so its just feels like a dungeon done at an elevated pace. Its virtually no stress on the individual to rush, so I never feel like I am in one. Even if you miss gold, you simply restart and do it again. Once you get past that notion, you will find you love them as much as I do.

- “Two ez rofl.”

Nazgrim, STILL Upset we Killed his Tank, but also upset CM is two ezrofl

Nazgrim, STILL Upset we Killed his Tank, but also upset CM is two ezrofl

A new complaint has begun to surface that I find hilarious and ironic, so I will discuss it here. Through out the expansion, more and more gem sockets have become available on gear, meaning you can choose the stats you need much easier. Also, over this long period of time, a lot of specs have received quite substantial buffs. A lot of the specs like Frost DK, Survival Hunter, and Elemental Shaman, which were always strong in 5 mans, but weak in raids, have become even stronger with percentage buffs. This causes those with half a brain to make statements like “they aren’t difficult.” I agree, the timer is really a non-factor when you have a god-mode group with 5 players who have done these 100+ times.
But going back to the first example of our friend learning as he went, this is almost never the case for people on their first time through. I promise you, it is still a very sizable challenge for anyone taking these as they are, and not spending months putting a “BIS” gear list together for something they will do one time.

Even more hilarious is the fact that there is a leaderboard, yet people continue to say this. If they are so easy, then why not compete for sub tens, or even top 15 worlds? Didn’t think so.

- Melee suck by default.

The last true argument I can justify against them, and likely the greatest issue I have with them period. All the rest is non-sense compared to how bad Melee dps are in a world where mobs are constantly moving, and constantly dealing damage around them. Not only do more melee specs bring very little utility, but they usually scale poorly, and require a lot of standing still to compete. This simply will NEVER be the case in time trials like this.
Their answer to this, likely indirectly, is simply nerf cast-while-moving abilities for all ranged. This will help bring melee back into competition, but the more truer danger is the mechanics that are meant to be dealt with by the tank alone, also hitting melee. Couple this with a second melee, and you now have a group of three players that can die at a moments notice on some occasions.
I really hope to see some of these specs ironed out for a normalized item level, and pray they draw back the punishment of being in melee range. Its really a huge deterrent, and has become folk lore at this point. Most groups I pug with flat out refuse to run with two melee. They would rather not do them, which is ironic enough but, there are others out there who refuse to bring ANY. And I can’t say I blame them. Hunters, Warlocks, Mages, Shamans… these classes just reign surpreme compared to a poor ol rogue or ret paladin.

 

That’s everything though. If you have opinions you’d like to express, feel free to do so over at the attached stratics forum thread. Also, if you have a concern that stops you from doing CM please bring it up. I’d love to offer my experience and how to combat it.

Continue the discussion here:

‘Snow-Rathi’ Basin

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The strangest thing whilst exploring the files within the Warlords of Draenor alpha patch files was by no means the topic that presents itself today, yet is equally more interesting in the possible connotations it provides for the future or World of Warcraft.

events

Fundamentally, immersion is a key aspect of what makes WoW different from other MMORPG’s out there, with it’s rich lore and plots for each expansion rivalling even the best fantasy novels out there, but the limitations of the games set pieces, painted the same colours since 2005, are obviously an issue for full immersion. Seasonal events come throughout the year within the game, and the reflection of real life festivities carries through to the game world wonderfully. The addition of winter themed events for ‘Winters Veil’ for example wouldn’t be the same without the achievements that make you go into Alterac Valley; a place filled with snow, where you would ultimately engage in light hearted festive events and PvP. Places that players frequent in the game are instanced dungeons, home towns and ultimately PvP Arenas and Battlegrounds. It makes perfect sense then, that if you wanted to increase the feeling of that season, those events would be altered in some way to reflect the world outside. We’ve seen it before with ‘Ahune’ the frost lord in coilfang reservoir, and more recently with the Eggs changing to Easter eggs on the ‘Ji-Kun’ encounter within Throne of Thunder whilst Easter / ‘Noblegarden’ takes place. Within the many files of Warlords of Draenor’s expansive Alpha Patches, of which you can access via a download from the official Battle.net site, lies a re-textured map.

1

‘Arathi Basin’; this popular PvP Battleground has been in the game for many years and is frequented daily by the thousands worldwide who enter it. So what better place to perhaps start the revolutionary step towards more dynamic environments than one of the most visited battlegrounds around. The new textured version of the basin is completely blanketed in snow, from the Stables to the lumber mill; all areas of the once ‘autumnal’ setting are now pure white. It’s not simply a re-paint of the textures, akin to how you would expect, as if someone had imported the Basin into MS Paint and used the fill tool on the green areas with a white bucket of paint, but rather more intricately textured. Many of the trees hold icicles across their branches and the leaves themselves have been powdered by icing sugar, the lakes and rivers around the Basin are frozen solid, allowing then for travel across the once sluggish water areas you would ordinarily swim across. The fact is that this is a very simple art change, with virtually no impact on the battleground itself, other than freezing the lakes and changing the aesthetics of the whole place. The question is do I like it? and without question I think I love it. The fact that this could be a sign of the future excites me to no end, as one thing that remains an issue in World of Warcraft is the ‘samey-ness’ of the same areas you frequent most.

3Already the various fan-site and official Blizzard forums are rife with questions on what exactly this map is, and if they have any plans to do anything with it. The general consensus is that people love the idea of seasonal battlegrounds and that it would liven up the same old areas they are used to. Blizzard are yet to confirm anything to do with its actual integration for future iterations of the game, but I believe that this is a good chance to get early feedback on the idea. They did however say that this would NOT be a feature or inclusion in Warlords of Draenor. Ultimately I think that this was done intentionally as it has nothing to do with Warlords of Draenor in the slightest, but allows for almost instantaneous feedback and hype for an idea that they have obviously been toying with for some time. Knowing that of course people world-wide data-mine their products every single patch, to not test the waters with a ‘leak’ of an idea would be foolish, as if the idea was rejected, Blizzard don’t have to commit to anything people have seen in the unreleased and unannounced parts of the alpha files. What a change like this would actually require however, is time, and likely a lot of it, which poses various issues with past involvement in similar ideas and the age old argument of practicality vs. importance.

4Practicality is something that has to come into question and ultimately lies the biggest question of them all. Previously Blizzard has put down potential decisions to re-visit older areas of the videogame simply because of time management, with the understanding and reasoning given to the playerbase that if they spent more time on older areas, the likelihood is that it would take longer to add new content, and they would rather add to the game than change it repeatedly. This is likely to be a conscious hurdle for the art team then, especially considering the current effort to re-visit and upgrade all of the older race models, however I would argue that areas of the world we spend the most time in should be exempt from the prevention of re-visiting them, especially considering the dated look of some of the areas. I mean, we are not talking about re-designing how Bloodmyst Isle looks, or any other virtually isolated areas devoid of life, but rather where tens of hundreds of players play the actual game with their friends.

In one simple leak of a file within the WoD alpha this discussion has been sparked, with ultimately the most incredible prospect offered for the future of the game. Consider that many other MMORPG’s are bringing more immersive and powerful tools to the table, despite their inability to come close to the actual content and polished delivery of World of Warcraft, its somewhat likely that the game will need to evolve and accommodate similar methods to keep fresh and exciting.

Whether we will see the development of this area incorporated in the future is anyone’s guess, but I would really hope to see more experiments with this, especially with Orgrimmar and Stormwind. Imagine snowfall in Stormwind… On that thought I leave you with the following video; A full exclusive flyover of the ‘Snow-rathi Basin’ map, with some ‘chilling’ music. Enjoy!

New Blizzard “Crash Course DPS” Guides? – Metro’s Pontification!

Blizzard_pup

Interestingly enough, Blizzard has finally decided to take a more active role in the media community, this time by choosing to make their own beginner guides. I suppose one could say this all started with their use of Twitter as a choice of displaying a lot of thoughts and ideas instead of their previous official website.

Regardless of the source, this presents an interesting predicament for essentially everyone aside from Blizzard. Let’s first examine these videos, and then discuss my paranoia and why I feel its justified.

For those who haven’t read the post or article or whatever its considered, you should start there:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/14005221/leap-into-action-with-our-new-level-90-crash-course-videos-5-19-2014

Now hopefully you have returned from at least a gloss-over, and no doubt have some thoughts in your head already. I’ll expand on those thoughts with a few of my own, if you don’t mind!

The first thing that immediately strikes me is how much effort they have put into each of these guides. To speak clearly: they are extremely well made, start to finish. Even the thumbnail is amazing. I’m not sure where they are pulling the art for those class crests, but each is really impressive. Maybe they are recycled, but I’ve not seen them, so its pretty much assured that the people the video is targeting would not have either. This is a huge part of my worry, but we will touch on it later.

The second thing that immediately takes my attention is the lack of diversity. Unfortunately, pigeon-holed is the only way to describe this sort of tactic, and its quite unfortunate. The reason I am saying this is because they are essentially choosing to represent only ONE DPS spec for each class, regardless of options. This doesn’t seem like a big deal for a class like a Priest or Paladin, but its a major concern for two different reasons.

Reason 1 – Pure DPS classes
Rogues, Mages, Hunters, Warlocks.

This is the more simplistic reason, and even I can argue against it. I’ll start by acknowledging that when you first learn a class you pretty much stick to one spec, and then as you improve you learn the others. This makes sense, and its reasonable to believe that an exceptional mage can master all three specs and apply them for their best situation, while a beginner should start only with 1.

Guides

Hunters Are Excited!

While this of course does make sense, I find it to be entirely the wrong direction to send new players on. You might ask why, but the answer you receive is quite obvious, at least to me.

When you first learn to play a class like these, you NEED to be exposed to all the specs. It HAS to happen, otherwise you will never understand the depth of the class. People who ONLY want to DPS are incredibly different then those wanting to try their hand at them all. If people grow up ONLY learning combat rogue, then they will never attempt to learn the other specs, and likely write them off as “pvp spec” or something silly like that. This is especially concerning of those wanting to play a Mage for the first time. Its quite common to hear that Mage is the most prolific of the classes the game features, but if people only learn one spec they won’t understand why. Their absolute strength comes in the diversity of the specs and extreme niche each fills. They need to know that Arcane is incredible front loaded single target, frost is incredibly durable AOE, and Fire is most rewarding to those with flawless execution and gear.

Blizzard refusing to acknowledge this is not surprising though. They would feign ignorance and say its too much complexity, but if you are making guides for beginners, and only showing one spec, then its only going to make them less knowledgeable as they go. This is an issue, but not nearly as bad as the second reason.

Reason 2 – Hybrid Option Specs
Shaman, Druid.

THIS is the real concern here. Hopefully it is immediate obvious why; everyone should realize that the multiple damaging specs both classes have vary from ranged to melee. Why on this earth would you only show one!? A person picks up a shaman because he knows of Thrall or Goel or whatever the hell he is called now, and knows him to be up in the front lines battling like a warrior, but using the elements as his tools. This person wants to play melee, but they see this video of some ranged spec, and either entirely lose interest in the class or neglect their previous inklings and assume the melee spec is not worth playing. Enhancement is a brilliant spec and one of the most complex and engaging to learn! The same goes for Bombkin to Feral. They are entirely different, and the issue here isn’t just about establishing diversity…

Its about cementing the fact that this is the epitome of a Hybrid class and they SHOULD explore both, especially when they are first learning. Many players I know HATE bombkin, and only play Feral. If they were taught early that Bombkin was the only option, they probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the class at all, and might not even be playing the game.

Now once again, I recognize the antithesis to this argument, but must stand firm in impressing upon those learning the game to learn it fully before advancing. Too few people ever do, and its what exacerbates this “Gamez two ez” notion we have been prancing around for the past 6 months. Its absurd, and does not get addressed enough. Players like this are the future of the video game, and if we aren’t doing everything we can to better its future for them, then numbers will continue to dwindle.  Too many already refuse the game do to simplicity when they haven’t tried any of the content the expansions release…

Let’s wrap up with a more grand view, and discuss why this can effect not just players, but the media like ourselves.

A Grim Future:

Doom-saying, likely, but its hard to ignore from my position. Through the game’s early years, they let the community entirely handle this type of process, and left those without the capacity for learning or the thirst for it, to die a painful death at the hands of those who were more experienced. Of course, this is a horrible thing. Don’t get me wrong, hopefully you know me better then that by now. It was a HORRIBLE past this game had, and now that more technology is implemented into the game, it is much much better off. You can’t convince me otherwise.

What is troubling is when Blizzard takes the media’s job and starts creating content such as this. A smart man would have already banked on this concept, and likely has completed an entire series teaching those who boosted the basics. But then Blizzard comes along and releases these, which likely puts that previous fellow right out of business. Not only are they well made, but they have the audience already. There is no google searching, or youtube filings. It is on the main Blizzard website, and will continue to be promoted likely in game and on their launcher.

I’ll leave the rest up the imagination, but I do quake at the notion. If Blizzard decides to start making full fledged guides, they would own the market entirely. They actually know what is happening behind the scenes, unlike some one like me who is just compiling information for a best guess.

Only time will tell…

Metro Responds – Blue Tweets about LFR/ Flex Raiding.

1892070-519pidove

Alright, everyone it’s time we sit down and have a chat. Before I say anything, let me express my love for this game, the people who play it, and its creators. I cannot say enough how blessed it has been not only meeting people who are also passionate inside the game, but also people through Youtube, and various other forms of media such as Stratics!

In fact, it is because of this that we have to have this talk. It is because I care so much about the game and its community that I can NOT sit here any longer and just watch this happen.

Every day I read more and more of it as well. Constantly I find my self looking at threads with 400+ responses about the game being “too easy” or “LFR killing WoW,” then when they bring out flex and push more people towards it you get the exact opposite. Is this real, or am I dreaming it all up? Is it possible that this many human beings, who are actually paying money to play World of Warcraft can be this clueless about things?

I suppose a learned man like myself should realize it’s a microcosm of the world. I imagine this is what politicians see every minute of their careers. Just droves of people complaining about things they clearly have never actually come in contact with, or arguing about policy they haven’t even read. Perhaps the issue with both situations is the media.

The media portrays all these things in glossy textures, and never really explains the meaning unless it benefits them. I’d imagine this certainly to be the case in the real world examples, but probably the unifying culprit for the video game world as well. Especially with large monopolistic sites, this shouldn’t be surprising.

Regardless, with all that said, its time we take a look at a few recent tweets that have actually received replies from people who work at Blizzard, especially our buddy the Perisian Torpedo Ion Hazzikostas. I would say that it’s pretty ridiculous to even reply to people this out of touch, but I suppose it’s his responsibility, so I’ll leave that one out of this.

What I will do is go though each of these, and omit the replies from Ion, and insert my own reply and reasons why this worth discussing. Once again, I apologize if anyone is offended by this. I know its opinionated and even belligerent of me, but it’s important for these people to realize they are wasting time and obviously do not understand what they are even asking about. Its likely none of them will ever see it, but it’s the best chance I have to clear my head on the topic.

I find it hard to get flex grps. Get 1 maybe every 2 weeks or so. Flex matching is bad. LFR is only reliable raid [Source]
My Opinion: What is this person even talking about. I can fill a flex group in less than 10 minutes. Literally the only thing that ever takes some time is finding two tanks, but to say it takes TWO WEEKS!? I must be missing something. Are they insinuating that they only ever see groups in trade ask for one every two weeks? Are they saying that their gear is so bad that its very rare anyone ever takes them? No clue, it’s just absolutely baffling to me.

What I would respond, if I were Ion: Perhaps you have missed our in-game raid finder feature added a few months back. By pressing O (the default keybind for Social Tab) and navigating to the Raid Tab, you can find the “Other Raids” section, which allows you to find any players interested in Flex, among other things. Shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, even at off peak, as its all cross battlegroup. If you are having trouble finding groups, put your own together!

the problem is, if you give exclusionary tools to the players many don’t even get a chance to even try. [Source]
My Opinion: If they don’t try then they are morons and have no right to complain. If this is the stance you take in life, just quit now. You will never get anywhere with that attitude, in game or otherwise. Imagine this situation in real life? Imagine if only those that fit the supreme niche could play sports, even at a low level. Do people actually say “Well if you aren’t 6’8 don’t even bother playing basketball.”
Like what? If you quit that easily just because you don’t think you meet the requirements of something, then this is the wrong game for you!

tweets

# you noob bro?

What I would respond, if I were Ion: Actual problem is we did not “give” anyone any tools! This is how the game always has been, and unfortunately, there is no sound action that can be taken. I encourage you, and everyone else, to look past those players with unreal expectations. However, if you do not actually find yourself prepared for the difficulty you are trying to complete, then take the initiative! Only you can fix this issue!

What are you doing to prevent players from having silly reqs like today 560+ to do normal SoO. [Source]
My Opinion: This is my favorite comment in the world and makes me laugh every single time I see it. I saw one even funnier where the person said 540 for normal SoO, but at least 560 makes some type of sense. Regardless, it cracks me up. The answer to this question should be “NOTHING” in all caps. First of all, 560 for Normal SoO is completely logical for me. Our guild was at least 560 if not closer to 565 when we first started Heroics, so if the group leader is looking to go deep, this is completely acceptable. Especially when you consider the fact that there is a 608 Legendary cloak that everyone should have, Normal SoO non-warforged 2x up is 561, and that there are warforged pieces from Ordos, what really is the point here? More so, if you are just close enough, no one is going to turn you down. This isn’t a friggin hard cap here people. It’s just a recommendation. These item levels are set so they know the people coming have experience here. If you have no experience, start your own group or find one that is more in tune with your skill set. Don’t expect blizzard to fix this.

My Response: Unfortunately, we don’t have any authority to prevent players from this type of action. It’s the same as someone selling a used car for 1 million dollars. If they want to, they have every right. It’s up to you, however, to realize this is a farce and find a group more in line with your skill set. I understand why you think it’s something we would take action on, but its just a product of the social development of the community. Having trouble starting a group? Make your own using the new group finder tool with 6.0!

Personal loot brought a breath of fresh air and new life to pug raids, I feel making it optional will hurt more than help. [Source]
My Opinion: I can see the logic, but the person is missing a HUGE part of the puzzle. I am hoping that they don’t realize that this loot system will transfer into difficulties that are important for progression as well, making this an absolute necessity. I understand why it might suck for Flex, due to ninjas and whatnot, but it’s simply not discussable. You cannot do what they are suggesting and force raiding guilds to suffer through it.

My Response: We hear you, but since personal loot and flexible difficulties go all the way through Heroic, we don’t have many options. There have always been greedy players, and while personal loot has deterred this, it’s not something that can ever be eradicated entirely. If you want to avoid it, be sure to run with reputable players and don’t stand for them going against their word. It’s on the community to make sure this runs smoothly!

To commit full time to raiding just because yall want to listen to the forum neckbeards will be terrible. [Source]
My Opinion: Then don’t dumbass. What is this person even talking about? Who is being listened to that something has changed for this comment to even be made? Is this person actually saying that the removal of tier items from LFR is FORCING them to commit to a raiding schedule? It is utterly unreal how confused some people are. NOTHING IS CHANGING IN LFR. YOU JUST NO LONGER GET SET BONUSES. WHO CARES? Is that clear enough for you?
Ion responds saying that they will make the difficulties easier to access with the new dungeon finder, and then they go on to respond:
That simply is wrong. Even with flex, you need a core group and a schedule.
My Opinion: This person has gone from dumb to braindead in my book. I don’t know what’s worse: this person, or the one who said it takes 2 weeks to find a flex group. Let’s do this. Raise your hand if you do flex weekly with a set group. If you do, I will give you 5 dollars. Contact me to claim your prize, and link your armory as proof. Didn’t think so.
Flex is for pugging. Nothing about it is scheduled, and nothing about it requires a core group. It can be done around the clock, doesn’t even have a lockout, and has been fully cross-realm enabled since day one. Stay clueless.

My Response: I’m sorry you feel that way, but I have to insist that it is you who are wrong! Flex’s difficulty is tuned so any players can complete it with the proper experience. More so, it is fully cross-realm enabled, and has no lock out, so there is no down side to pugging what so ever. If you are having trouble finding groups, I suggest using the current raid browser in the social tab. Look forward to 6.0, which will make this even easier to organize!

why will PuGing thru this tool be better than LFR? Harder content exacerbates issues with PUGing, doesn’t solve it [Source]
My Opinion: Flex isn’t actually difficult, LFR is just that easy in comparison. Flex is the difficulty raids should begin at, so pugging through this tool is better by default. If you want to sight-see, then do LFR. If you want to raid, this tool makes a decent system into a good one.

My Response: Flex is a challenge, but should be accessible for everyone! Its tuned so that all players with some knowledge can complete it. The big issue that seems to persist in LFR is the lack of actual leadership. When everything is done by committee, you see these issues clearly. In reality, you will use the group finder to find something you already wanted to do. You will do LFR if you want to do LFR though.

LFR changes will gate raiding away from avarage players and return it to a toy for elite players only. Thanks for nothing [Source]
My Opinion: I hate you. Anyone who has the balls to say “Thanks for Nothing” to the man who essentially in charge of all things PVE should have his account banned. What a clown. Can’t even spell “average” correct, and has the nerve to make a comment like that. On topic, what are you even talking about? No one who raids seriously gives a damn about LFR for any reason. Furthermore, “average” players don’t do LFR either. This is such a retarded notion. If you want to do real difficulties, you can do it. It’s not defined by birthright. Nothing is stopping you except your own ineptitude. I mean, we raid 2 nights a week and have killed all but one heroic boss this tier. Just go out and do it!
“Organized” raiding is still not a thing for many of us – LFR *is* our endgame. And the so-called epic loot won’t be tier loot.

tweets

#hashbrowns

My Opinion: This is from the same guy who said the previous, and it makes it even more laughable. Organized raiding is not something you are born into. It is a “thing” for every player, if they choose to make it such. If they choose to make LFR their target, then nothing has changed. I can’t stomach people who act like they have been somehow delegated to ONLY do LFR. If you can play enough the hours a week that it takes to do LFR, you can do Flex or better. In my experience, LFR takes far longer than it takes to do actual wings of Flex.

My Response: I’m surprised the tier set bonus is such a sticking point for so many people! LFR will still drop the same ilvl loot compared to how it is today, and will have unique gear sets, as well as heavily increased drop rate. I understand why a lot of people are upset, but I promise once the expansion is out, you won’t feel like LFR has changed at all. If you chose to do LFR you will sympathize with those who choose to do Mythic, and do not wish to have to do 4 difficulties in order to get their set bonuses!

Increasing loot yield=LFR players not interested in stepping up unsubbing sooner once they have all their gear. Sound business? [Source]
Honestly, I’d rather someone take a break until new content rather than leave frustrated after grinding for loot that doesn’t drop but of course we want to offer diverse content to appeal to players, that isn’t tied to just ticking off a list of raid drops. – ION
There you go LFR people, if you’re not interested in stepping up Blizzard are happy to see you unsubscribe, you have your answer.

My Opinion: I hate you as well. Once again, if you aren’t interested in “Stepping up” and doing real raids, then you have no place in this conversation. LFR is still the same as it always has been. If you are that upset about gear in it, then you should be doing higher difficulties anyway, ESPECIALLY now that the group finder concept is in.

My Response: Sorry you feel that way, but our content is designed as a set of stairs. If the first step is leveling, and the last step being Mythic raiding, then you’d find LFR somewhere in the middle. It’s not designed to get all the gear from it and then consider yourself BIS and quit the game. If you enjoy LFR, you can do it. If you enjoy gear progression, then keep progressing into normal and heroic. They are much more accessible now, with the group finder.

I will NOT be able to raid in #Warlords now. Thanks for that. Every1 is getting bumped up except LFR raiders. my core fun = gone [Source]
My Opinion: There have been some dumb ones, but there is a reason this is at the end of the list. This is akin to “I will quit WoW because of no Flying.” These people are so out of touch with the game, its systems, and the actual purpose of the things they are complaining about, they should be banned from Twitter so people don’t see this and think it’s a valid concern. This is another prime example of a person who thinks there is this supposed blood right that people who do raids weekly have. I just don’t understand it. Even if you do find LFR now undesirable, just do normal or anything else really? Why are so many people saying “LFR is my only option, so now that game sucks because you changed its gear drops slightly?” They must have low goals in life as well.
Do you at least understand/care that for many, LFR was the tops and that taking that (tier gear) away feels immensely shitty?
My Opinion: NO. NO. NO NONONONONONONO. LFR is NEVER “tops” no matter who you are now that “flex” or WoD Normal are available. ESPECIALLY in WoD with the dungeon finder. It takes me the same amount of time to do a wing of LFR and a wing of flex now a days, and with the group finder feature going in, it will probably be quicker to find a group as well! Just try it! Why are so many people fighting this… It’s so silly. Regardless, if you are choosing to ONLY do this difficulty, then you do not acknowledge the gear pyramid in WoW and thus have no place complaining. It still drops gear, and I imagine it will be as good as anything else has been in LFR.

My Response: I quit.

 

So there we go. What’s the message to take away from this mess?

TLDR:
LFR is not end game. Stop selling yourself short and go try other difficulties. There will be a new group finder feature that will make doing everything so much easier. You will realize that when raiding has actual mechanics and people who want to be there, it’s a lot more fun. Don’t blame time, or schedule. It will take less time than LFR will, and you can still leave when you want. There are no lock outs. Saying things like “My endgame is LFR” is just you being lazy.
However, if you still want to do LFR though, you can continue doing so. There will still be a LOT of great gear to be had, but we had to remove the set bonuses because they are too strong for Mythic raiders early on. Sorry, but the truth is, if you ONLY do LFR for gear you are ignoring the gear progression in the game, and shouldn’t be so upset in the first place.

tweets

LFR Caliber player.

5.4.8 Legendary Catch Up + “The Future of Legendaries” Discussion?

legendary changes

Five point four point eight. Side by side with the gear upgrades, this change to the Legendary quest line appears  incredibly small in scope, but there are essentially two other changes we can look forward to, which should actually make a world of difference when helping alts get the legendary components.

As it stands now, there will be a buff known as “Heart of the Valorous” that helps you earn valor 2x faster, earning 2 points for every one previously. Now we can make an assumption (and it may

Legendary

Heart-Shaped Box of the Valorous?

not be accurate) that this will only help you collect valor faster each week, not double your cap. Extending the cap seems a bit game-breaking, so it’s likely that it just works like the Valor buff for alts, which I would imagine would stack with this and make capping a joke. I can easily forsee two heroic scenarios giving the entire cap or turning in 3k timeless coins giving you 4oo valor!

The second buff we appear to receive is known as the “Gaze of the Black Prince.” This one is even more useful, first increasing all Prince rep gains by 100 percent, and also increasing drop rate of all the collectables including Sigil of Wisdom, Sigil of Power, Secrets of the Empire, and Titan Runestones. Its actual wording makes me think that just every boss that could drop one, will do so near 100 percent of the time. This is pretty useful, but the buff has already been dropped, so I would have rather seen a chance at 2 from some, to counter act the hard math involved with these collections. Either way, a boon.

Unfortunately, after exploring the PTR as of May 9th, 2014, there does not appear to be any hint of this or how it works, even when on the Valor and collection parts on my characters. It’s likely that you will simply receive the buff overhead, just like the cross account valor buff when capped, but only time will tell.

Another complication I foresee with this is people simply keeping the Valor portion to remain cap-capable for subsequent weeks, but then I immediately realize anyone who cares this much about valor maximization already has the Cloak completed, so I’d imagine we won’t run into too many meta-gamers for this.

The Future of Legendaries

So now that we likely have our final alteration to the Legendary line of Mists of Pandaria, it’s time to think a bit about the future. Not over think it, just think a little bit. I plan to do a g2ez on the entire line and its concept… that’s when we will over think it, ok? Just pay attention for now.

Anyway, ya. So what do we think about this whole concept? In terms of fluidity, I would say it was quite well paced. The ToT components took quite some time, and REALLY dragged on for a few of our raiders, so that would be my only complaint. They need to make it easier to regulate so some people aren’t done week X and others aren’t still working on it week X+10. Regardless, some luck is important, especially when considering everyone has access to it.

On that topic, do we like this? Do we like that literally everyone in the video game can get this cloak without any real trepidation? No real raiding is even required!

Well, I for one am a HUGE fan. I’ll explain why some day, when I make the full article on this topic, but in brief I will say how much more comfortable it was this expansion without having to make those hard decisions.

Explore this with me, and you will understand its merit, even if you don’t find this to be your position as well.

As a guild leader of a 25 man heroic raiding guild in Cataclysm we had two sets of Legendaries to create for the group. In Firelands we had a rocky tier, but our select few casters seemed to be our staple. We were able to give out three staffs during actually progression, but went back and finished 2 more throughout DS. The three went to a
Shadow Priest, the Guild Master at the time.
a Warlock, a raider since Cataclysm’s launch, and active player in the guild.
and a Bombkin, a raider since ICC, one of our best DPS, but a quiet player who wouldn’t interact much unless forced to.

Now, take a guess how many of those players went into Dragon Soul Heroic with us. Pounds, Tons, Ounces? It doesn’t matter, the answer is the same. ;)

Zero. All three of them were gone, and for different reasons. The Shadow Priest and then-current GM had to take care of some IRL issues and had to quit raiding. The other two had apparently been greased an offer with a more attractive guild recruiting only casters and rogues to stack legendaries, and took the bait.

So now, walking into DS you see the pressure we were under. That incident will haunt me forever, honestly. Even in ICC when we had clear choices for Shadowmorne, our first choice broke his hand a few weeks after getting it!

These are the things that really make the old system absolutely suck. People get big-headed when they are granted something like this, and it’s not always an easy choice. It often leaves many other people really upset that they weren’t chosen, or even causes people to leave the guild.

Its all petty nonsense, and I hope to never ever see it again.

Now, for the future of Legendaries, what do we think? After hearing that story, hopefully you agree with me when I say that it has to stay the way it is. Regardless of personal interests, I think this is unavoidable. Once you open a can of worms like this, its impossible to go back to the old model and keep players happy. BUT

BUT

I think there is an inherent compromise that they missed a huge opportunity on for MoP, and they will most certainly capitalize on with WoD. Even the Perisian Torpedo Ion admitted that the final tier was a bit silly in that entire rosters had a 608 legendary cloak before walking in the door of SoO.

Concept Art for new WoD Legendary Leaked?

Concept Art for new WoD Legendary Leaked?

What SHOULD have happened is all the parts up until SoO should have remained personal, but to get the final cloak affix, it should have then gone on distribution basis. To keep in the spirit of things, I would settle for there being enough from 1-2 weeks of a full clear to give a player the full upgrade, thus allowing all 25-30 people in the guild a chance to get it after only a few months.

Either way, it needed to happen and it didn’t. I can’t see how they can do anything but this, knowing what they know about how SoO was inherently nerfed before it even launched.

I would be in full support of something like this, because early on, everyone can get it. Then, when it really matters, the choice can be made, but in the long run everyone still gets what they want.

Do we agree?

5.4.8 Siege of Orgrimmar Nerfs! – Maximization Guide!

tJ6NixX

Well there we have it. You ask, and you receive. These nerfs are not what you would expect though, so let’s discuss why I am calling it a nerf, and how you can maximize your potential here.

First of all, the nerf comes in the form of item upgrades being further extended. How it will work, is when 5.4.8 launches, ANY peice of gear from 5.4 content will now have 4/4 upgrade slots, up from 2/2. For those wondering, this counts for Timeless Isle gear, and any gear from LFR, Flex, Normal, or Heroic SoO.This means another EIGHT item levels for each peice total, on top of the 8 you have already gained. If an entire 25 man heroic guild gains 8 average item level, even if it takes many weeks, this acts as a SIGNIFICANT nerf to the raid, especially considering its turned for less than 570 item level. I can EASILY anticipate getting to 585 item level with these changes, making me nearly 15 item level over whats recommended, even for the last few encounters.

The ultimate goal then, will of course be to upgrade your gear as fast as possible and now we will discuss how to facilitate this.
I realize this may not be the case for every players, but its likely that if you have been raiding weekly for the past many months, you are already very close to the 3k valor cap, because you simply have nothing to spend it on.5.4.8 siege of orgrimmar nerfs calculator

This was the case for me about 3 months ago, and I decided to just upgrade all my off spec tanking gear, spending 2500 valor doing so. I’ve managed to get back to 3k just from raiding and doing like 4 challenge modes along the way, so while it may not be likely, I am expecting that in this time, you can get very close to, if not at 3k. We will continue to operate under this premise.

Now, the second crazy change in the patch is the implementation of an item known as Deeds of Valor.
This may not sound that important to you, but what it will do is allow you to make a big play and combo multiple types of preparation for your extreme benefit.

The way the Deeds of Valor token works is, you purchase it on the Timeless isle for 3k Timeless coins. Once you have it, you consume it for 100 valor points. This will NOT exceed the cap, but what it does do is allows you to stockpile coins now, and then get an instant 1k valor on a Tuesday before raid, extending the nerf even greater the first week.

So basic math tells us

100 valor x 10 is the cap, 
While 10 x 3000 coins = 6.

Wait no, that can’t be right. Hold on let me use the WordPress Calculator function.

OK, its 30000 (30k) coins, got it!

So ya, that means you can stock pile 30k coins for the week 5.4.8 drops and have an immediate 4k valor, if we are assuming the first part is still true.

For those who haven’t figured it out past that, this means you can upgrade 8 pieces the extra 2/4 that remains for your item.
Proof:

250 Valor per 1/4 = 500 per completed item (assuming 2/4 previous.)
4000 Valor / 500 = 8 pieces total week one.

Knowing this, we also know our character has 16 slots, unless you have a staff or two handed weapon, then you only have 15. On top of this, we learned that our Legendary cloaks will automatically get the 4/4 completion, as they did when we first purchased them. This makes it so, with a staff, you have 14 slots to upgrade. So when you do so, your first week you will upgrade 8 out of 14 slots which means:

8/14 = 0.57, where
0.57 x 8 (ilvl gained) = 4.57 average item level!

I can not express how amazing gaining this much stats is, especially for certain classes. Just the extra health alone will be a HUGE nerf to the raid, and the extra damage?! Forget it, its unreal. Especially when you can get the full set done, the extra 4~ average item level gained will be a massive nerf.

Many people would also ask what pieces they should upgrade first, so let’s discuss that as well while we are here.
Your first priority should be BIS pieces, if any.
This will mostly only include Heroic Warforged items, but its best to examine your current scope of progression when discussing things like “BIS.” For example, if you are in a guild that will only kill 4-5 Heroic bosses, and you have a heroic warforged piece from Immersius, then treat it as Best in Slot, as the version that would replace it in an ideal world may never be yours, or will be yours after having enough valor to start over.

Past this, I would recommend Trinkets, Chest Pieces, Weapons, and legs first. They give the most stats per upgrade, and are typically some of the most important pieces you will get anyway. From here, Off-hands, Shoulders, and Helms are my next choice, followed then by Boots, Gloves, Belts, and Bracers. Rings round off the final peices to upgrade, as you will get the least stats from each 500 valor increment. A general rule to follow is simply examine how many stats each piece has. The more it has, the more you will gain. Always do the pieces with the most stats first, unless you expect to immediately upgrade it.

Also, trinkets can vastly out weigh anything else, depending on the spec. IE Black Blood for Affliction or Shadow. This will be on you to figure out.

Anyway, this is a really important topic, so I’d like to continue the discussion in the forums. If you have any questions at all, or want to give your comments, please feel free.
The topic can be found by following this link:
http://stratics.com/community/threads/5-4-8-siege-of-orgrimmar-nerfs-maximization-guide.315829/

 

Hilarious, Unrelated Image.

Hilarious, Unrelated Image.

 

UPDATE #1 – Cloaks are off the list and no longer have 4/4 by default. You’ll still get around 4 average item level though! Upgrade your cloak and trinkets first now!