Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What would you change in the UI with Cataclysm?

I don't know about you, but I run a ton of add-ons. I run add-ons for fighting, I run add-ons for rep tracking, I run an add-on for auto-selling grey items and repairing when I go to a vendor. Blizzard, in the past, has taken some of the favorite add-ons and rolled them into the game (loot window follows to mouse, integrated quest map).

One thing that has always bugged me was the "looking for" interface. When out on my warlock in old zones, I like to search for 'low-level quests' in addition to pick herbs. On the current interface, this is an either/or option. You can't do both, while logically, my orc could.

If you could provide input into the game, what would you have added to the Cataclysm interface?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

New Music from Irdeen

and now for something, I think, you'll really like...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hi Dreadsteed, What's happening?

I was sitting there in the Ledgermain, enjoying some ale, when in stumbles the human Strumwulf. He's go on and on about his Blazing Hippogryph. Of course, it was all in human, so heck if I know what he was saying:

blah blah blah
(points excitedly at mount)
blah blah blah
(walks over and hugs his hippogryph)
...

Sure, it's a beautiful mount, it flies, it has flaming feet, but personally it cannot compete with my dreadsteed. This is the original, epic, flaming mount. As you all know only warlocks, the masters over the demons, can ever acquire this mount. In the old days, it wasn't simply acquired for a few gold from the local trainer. When I got him, you had to actually pull them from their home planet of Xoroth, and beat them into submission, simply to earn their trust.

The whole incident in the Lounge reminded me of a dream that I had soon after I had tamed and was linked with my steed.

By Sandara on DeviantArt
 I am running on a foreign planet. The land is charred black by a constant flame, my home. It is amazingly hot, like I am running on the Azerothian sun, but it does not bother me at all. Running is easier than I am used to, I don't feel like myself. Looking down, I see that my orcish feet have left me and I now have hooves, but my hooves are also on fire. The spikes of my armor are visible, I am a dreadsteed.
 
In the distance, I see my one. She is waiting for me. I bend down to run faster, and notice a glow forming around me. This white light envelopes me and my one disappears. Next all I feel is cold. It's completely dark around me, and I am freezing.  

I awake in a large concrete room. This angers me deeply and I find the individual that pulled me here. It is myself. I want to destroy myself for pulling me from my home, my one, my warmth. After a short fight with myself and friends, I realize this is empowerment. The Burning Legion have come to this cold, cold planet and helping this orc will kill them. The ones who have destroyed Xoroth.
I awakened with a start, frightened and thrilled by what I learned. My bed clothes were soaked and I was both freezing and sweating. Since that time, I have made it my best effort to appease my dreadsteed and kill as many Burning Legion as possible.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dehydration!

I just completed this achievement the other day. It's actually quite easy.

When the Ichoron splits, someone runs over to one of these light fixtures and clicks it. This will cause the room to electrify (like at the start) and kill all his spawns. Repeat this 2, maybe 3 times, and you should have him down in no time.

Now, do these fixtures also work for regular mobs? Like with the groups spawn? Could someone stand there clicking this fixture to do DPS? Like say the healer? :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Why it's fun playing a healer?!

sometimes a lock can feel insignificant
when lacking useful raid buffs.
Don't get me wrong, playing a warlock is a lot of fun. What other class do you get to serve your minion a toasty, flame broiled enemies? On the other hand, what I've always wanted, is buffs. Since running through the Barrens on my warlock, I've wanted to be like the cool kids and pass out some random buff to every friend I pass. Hi, try my power word!.

Why am I having fun? I am responsible for the group. As a healer I am not worried about DPS, I am worried about keeping you alive.  
Tank, please don't try to out-run me, you probably will!! Yes, with your BOA gear, you'll probably last longer, but if you go an aggro the entire room; sorry, I can't heal that fast. 
I pass out buffs instead of curses; useful buffs, that everyone immediately benefits from. In addition, as a (low-level) healer, my spell cycle is short, Shield and Renew on tank. Most other players never get hurt. I am barely going to wear out two buttons on my mouse! (Thanks Vuhdo!)

Now, to be honest, before the random dungeon finder, this would have been tedious, if not impossible. Leveling a healer via questing is like, well, killing your enemies with your voidwalker. Bluey don't do DPS. Looking at the Armory, she's ran 29 five-man dungeons and 6 battlegrounds to date. Of these, I'd say about 8 dungeons and one BG where total failures.This means that she's leveled 13 levels simply through running 20 something dungeons and maybe a quest here or there.

Do I have a group of friends and guildies to run with? Sure. Would they wait for me to play? Most definitely not. What would happen would be like what happened with Elkagorasa. Let's drag elk through Scarlet Monastary night. When Cataclysm finally comes out, I am considering taking 2-3 days off work (mini vacation), in order to level with my co-workers.

Going forward, I will keep building this toon out, level by level, point by point. I just picked up a few new healing spells, like the AOE Prayer of Healing. Ready to give this another spin at Scarlet Monestary, maybe tonight. Wednesday is looking to be a raid on ICC, so Elk isn't going to gather dust. Wishing for Muradin's Spyglass (seen it 3 times now and lost everytime) to replace my older trinkets.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cataclysm - emotes

In case you hadn't seen this youtube video from Tankspot, here's a sample of the voice acting coming up in Cataclysm. The /flirt and /silly for both male/female goblin and male worgen. The male goblin looks like a warlock with that spell bar..


Friday, July 16, 2010

A Different Kind of AH Manual

Take an out of work Human Death Knight, empty his pockets, with tenacity to learn and you get, Cynwulf. His sister, Cynwise (see battlefield manual ), get's him an apprenticeship with Waylan.

”You must be Cynwulf.  You’re taller than I expected, honey.”

I raised an eyebrow in response.  She laughed again.  ”Oh, this will be fun.  I’m Waylan.  And you’re my, er…”

“Apprentice,” ‘wise chimed in.

“Right.  Apprentice.”

Check out his fun, rather player centric start at 0 gold, working up to riches!

(note, start at the oldest post, it reads blog-style, oldest on bottom)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

PVP Status Update - Destro Build

2 days ago, I respec'd my PVP build from a deep affliction build, into a fairly popular destro build. This new build relies heavily on the stun, burst damage, and armor penetration and less on dots, fears and health mitigation. So far, I have ran 5 different battlegrounds and have noticed a bit more survivability. Why? Basically stuns can't be resisted.

 As I run (middle mouse button) up to a skirmish at a flag, I arm my Shadowfury(1) and target the reticle over the opposing forces. As soon as it turns green, I blast them! I target the one closest the flag, and fire off a chaos bolt (shift+wheel down). Next a quick run down of the fire spells Immolate(2), Conflagrate(3), maybe Corruption(4). If they are still alive, I have Shadowburn(7) or can cast Chaos Bolt again if they're far enough away. (BTW, 5 is incinerate and 6 is always life tap). If need be, I can still spam fear or howl of terror on my attackers.

Haven't had a chance to try this build yet in the arena. Hopefully this coming Monday, I'll get with my team again to test drive it. I did get a pleasant surprise receiving 260 arena points (the consolation prize) for our 10 attempts (3 wins). I am now only 75 points away from the Relentless Gladiator Cowl. Just need 3 more BG wins, or arena again this week.

I need more practice going back to Destruction though. Reviewing my talent tree, I can already see I am missing my proc on Backdraft. Gotta watch my power-auras... Wasn't it, Immolate, Conflag, Inc, Inc, CB? If only 9PM would roll around again, so I can get more practice in before Monday. So far, my bursty damage is bringing me into the 10k damage (per BG), up from the 3k I was doing last week.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Battlegrounds vs Arena

Last night, after our 10-man ICC run, a guild DK and I created an arena team, Volaticum Letum (2v2). Neither of us had any prior Arena experience before last night, so it was more an experiment of what to expect. After our ten fights last night, I expect that I will be respeccing my PVP build.

In Battlegrounds, my current PVP build has function. The faster fears, the slowdown on CoEx, the instant Howl of Terror and Master Demonologist for instant minion while in combat, all work wonderfully. The problem is (I believe) that they rely on other people to kill. I've slowed them and distracted them, so the masses can attack them. Great for WG, where flag runners hate to be slowed down! On the otherhand, I am seeing my damage during battlegrounds is low, at least compared to other players. If I can still dot, but also stun and use Chaos Bolt to penetrate defenses, I'd last a bit longer. Hmmm, worth consideration.

How an Arena battle begins:
  1. Queue up and get rolled into 1 of 5 random arenas. For us, queue time was typically less than 2-3 minutes. 
  2. When you accept, your character is 'wiped clean' of all raid buffs, pets and  long spells
  3. You have 45 seconds to rebuff, summon minion and apply spellstones. No shard costs for anything. You can mount up now too.
  4. At start, or maybe 1 second before, you can see what you are up against. I had name plates showing, so I'd just highlight to see what each was. Assuming one or both are not invisible. 
  5. All 10 teams we played had a less than 100 arena score, like us. 
What did work:
  • Communication was key. We were able to chat via vent and talk about who to attack first. When we coordinated to take out the healers first, we typically lasted longer.Of course, on the shaman/pally groups, the healer wasn't always obvious.
  • GUI worked great. Didn't feel like I was stumbling to hit my spells.
What didn't work:
  • As a DK + Warlock combo, we had no direct heals. I couldn't use my Endless Health elixir, and hadn't thought to buy arena pots. "only conjured and arena pots" are allowed inside, all else is disabled. :(
  • DOTS are great, but they are slow. Destro build that includes stuns could be a bit more effective.
  • Using my signature abilities too quickly. Death Coil and Howl of Fear have such a long CD that they were not likely going to be available for a second use. This is a training thing.
  • Minions. I am still running my minions on auto-attack. To really make use of their abilities, I need to either macro or click their abilities when I need them.
Going Forward:
One more respec. It can't hurt to try out a destro spec. It's only gold and I can always come back.
More finger training (or a new mouse?). I really need to get better at using my minions at opportune times. Heck, I am going to be having to learn a new spell rotation again.


Useful Resources:
  • ArenaJunkies - Updated regularly talent builds.Nice description and discussion on builds. Also a good number of useful macros on this site.
  • RealmHistory.com - details most popular class builds, including warlocks. Unlike TalentChic, I can't seem to pull details on these builds. 
  • Wowhead - Warlock's with 1400+ 2v2 Arena points and 1000+ gs
  • Forums on warlock+dk teams 2v2DK, AJ
Great Video series by zUkuu that covers Destro Dueling. I've linked to it before.

Macros used and more from video info here

Monday, July 12, 2010

What I'd like to see come out of RealID.

Fulgaris posted a link from the forums that Blizzard is NOT going to force you to use your RealID when posting to their forums. It sounds like going forward, we'll have nifty voting buttons to downgrade dumb posts. Great! While I am not cruising the Blizz Forums everyday, it would be great to have rated forums, so I can find answers quicker.

OK, one function that Blizzard and Battle.net promises is improved chat functionality.
We believe that the powerful communications functionality enabled by Real ID, such as cross-game and cross-realm chat, make Battle.net a great place for players to stay connected to real-life friends and family while playing Blizzard games.
I think there are some very cool possibilities of this. [start tangent]Professionally, I am an email administrator. In non-geek speak, I make sure email is flowing correctly and end-users can access it.[end tangent] This leads me into thinking about communicating in and out of game. Often, I've thought wouldn't it be great to send my bank toon a materials list for creating (like a mechano-hog??). Or send in-game letter to a guildie about our possible arena team.

Taking that one step further, how about a Blizzard chat (aka IM) client, that would allow me to chat with people on my in-game Friends/Guild list or (I suppose only) other RealID friends. Step back, that last one's not so cool, I already chat via IM with these people cuz, I know them IRL, why would I want to carry around my authenticator to do that(?).

Blizz gave us the offline auction house. Why can't I have offline mailbox too??

Saturday, July 10, 2010

From the Screen Shot of the Day



It appears that in Cataclysm, that Orgimmar has sunken lower into the lands of Durator.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What do you think of the Cat talent announcement?

Blizzard has peeled back a few more layers on what will be Cataclysm. Today we get a peek at what they are planning for the talent trees and what will be the mastery system.

Review of Aff tree:
black = improves
green = pvp
blue = boring
Reviewing some of their upcoming changes, it sounds like Blizzard is trying to teach people to level. Focus on a talent tree and build it up. Picking a tree will immediately come with new core ablities. Once you've hit 70 or used 31 talent points, you can spawn into the other two. At 85, you'll have a maximum of 41 talent points to spend, so possible  10 points in another tree. Smaller talent trees, so at 31 you should have reached the super cool talent specific to your specialization. They're also hoping the trees will be so simple, that you won't need to run a different PVP talent spec.

Mastery won't come into effect until approximately 75, when you train for the passive talent. You'll find it on level 78+ items, probably only in cataclysm zones(?). We'll stack it like hit on our gear, heck, maybe instead of hit.

Personally, I like what I hear. Remove the Grim Reach-type talent points and make them passive specialization buffs. Remove the Improved ____(Corruption/Fear/Life tap) type spells to thin down the tree. PVP-ish skills like Fel Concentration could easily be removed as a buff. It also sounds like (IMHO) that they'll remove some of the "must spend 5 points in affliction to get ___" limits. Leveling up a new lock should be easier as once you choose a tree, you'll focus on it. No longer spreading into Destro to get improved shadow bolt or demo to get better health stones.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Harmless Alt Fun

It all started off as innocent leveling of my bank toon. Running a level 12 toon from the bank/auction house in Orgrimmar all the way around to the inscriptionist trainer is painful! So, during the Fire Festival last week, I had my priest do the 2 dailies (in BOA gear). Well, from that spawned using the fire-pole buff to get another 5% buff when killing monsters, so I started questing. That went really, really quickly. Collectively gaining +25% additional xp (gear + buff) then 9 months of rested bonus added up to some quick leveling. Heck, I went from 12 - 16 in no time flat. 4 levels to go from there. At 20, I'd be able to train apprentice riding and mount up my pretty pony.

See, at 15, you can start running dungeons. Yep, and the beauty of it, they give you a satchel of goodies just for doing it via the RDF. So, I queue'd my priest up DPS (warlock at heart and all! Note, a shadow priest at 15 to 19 plays a lot like a affliction warlock. Dot, damage then wand.)  20 minutes later, I am running Ragefire Chasm. Best of all, I am in a group and we all run it 4 times, until we all ding at 17. I net a nice new pair of pants, new cuffs and 4 satchels containing blue cloaks. The next day, I don't log on until after midnight local (which is 2am server) and find a 35 minute wait for a group. A group that fails to start because someone went afk or fell asleep. Requeue for another 15 minutes to even start.

This get's me thinking about healing, and the short queue time. A friends plays a healie priest. He's told me about this addon that he absolutely loves for healing, called Vuhdo. At the heart of it, Vuhdo is a panel on my display that shows my parties health. (check out this youtube video) I assign mouse-keyboard combinations and simply click on the panel, i.e. left click = instant-cast heal, right click = long heal, mouse wheel = HOT, etc.. I queued up Heal and DPS (5 minutes instead of 30), and got my first gig as healer running Shadowfang Keep. It went absolutely beautiful. No deaths at all. Happy with myself, I respec out of Shadow and into Holy/Disc (Ner suggested this) Queue up last night, ran Deadmines (3 bbles from 20) surprisingly as DPS (cuz they kicked a rogue), then requeue and get Shadowfang Keep. Two people drop group, our Tank and tank's healer (spouse, it sounded like from party chat). So, Pally, a good-for-nothing-afk mage and myself start clearing trash. Pally did an excellent job aggroing mobs, I shield and healed him then dot'd and wanded the mobs. Just about the time to go into the courtyard (grab quests?) our tank and heals join up. End the night one bubble from 21 (taxi to barrens to get last 700xp)

OK, now the lock part. As a lock, we don't do buffs. We don't cast friendly spells on our party members (detect invis or unending breath anyone?). I would love to use the Vuhdo on the attackers. Click, click, click to apply curse. right-click on each to apply corruption. Then I find the tank's mob and go through and start regular casting with 1,2,3 keys. I'll let you know what I find out. Soulstones, just don't sound like a good enough reason to load it.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

More Videos from Cataclysm Alpha: Warlock Soul Burn Preview

Yep, here's another video from the F&F Alpha for cataclysm. This short is on warlock spell changes based on the new Soul Burn spell. I sure hope that we don't have to actually drain soul each time after a fight. I am (was) hoping that they respawn like health and mana.



Enjoy

Friday, July 2, 2010

Are you a WoW Lore hound?

I recently found the WoW Forum post, where the Creative Developers are asking for our questions.
Creative Development wants to know what you want to know!

While many excellent questions are posted to this board each day, CDev would like to consolidate the most common questions into a single thread, allowing them to more easily see what the most pressing concerns of the community are (lore-wise, that is). There’s no restriction on the subject of your inquiries for this experiment, we only ask that you ask only one question per post – a post with more than one question in it will have only the first question considered. You are welcome to post as many times as you like, however, as this request is merely to help CDev with their tallying of questions.

by Airuko
There are a lot of VERY interested people. Questions coming off in rapid fire succession. Ok, maybe they are part of the RP crowd, reading all the quest text, the books and comics(?). As you've seen on my blog, I am not that deep into the lore. Like a good forum reader, I am hoping to read through all 33+ pages. (Up to page 19 as of now). I am hoping no one has asked my questions. So you don't need to search, they are:
  1. Why did the Alliance shun the infected Undead, but are all open arms for the infected Worgen? A little bad feelings there for their treatment of Lady Sylvanas and her forsaken.
  2. Now with Archeology coming into Cat, will we see more of Indiana Harrison Jones
 What sort of things would you like answered in Cataclysm?

    Thursday, July 1, 2010

    Goblin Mount?

    Spotted this little video claiming to be from the F&F Alpha. If so, I know that I am gonna want to get exalted with those goblins quickly.

    October Update

    Class mount for Elkagorasa - completed. I am actually more excited now that I've completed it than when I wrote about it during...