Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blizzard, can you give me some more LFR options??

So, I was going through my Armory profile and was thinking back to why I hadn't finished some of the Cata raids. Sure, the Deathwing fight was odd and quirky, but I would like to say that I completed it. Sadly, at level, I couldn't ever see the first fights. OK, I landed at Ultraxion once, but due to it being first week of release, LFR failed miserably. After that first attempt, I never landed in any other fight than the hoping, madness fight.

Blizzard, with the new "Flexible Raiding" proposed in 5.4 (at least last I heard), how about opening up some older raid content. No, wait, that's not really what I am thinking. I know, I can already pre-make a group and run older content, if I get myself to the entrance, blah blah blah.

Existing Raids:

  • LFR priority option - "first available or entire raid only?" I'd like to make this option changeable where I don't need to re-queue (and wait a new hour). Only want the valor, let me queue to fill any (first available) spot. If I want to see the raid, I'll queue to entire raid only. Tired of waiting, I'll drop into the first available spot.
  • OR Alternate priority option - bring back the  'This raid group has 3 of the 4 bosses down. Do you want to join? (yes/ no - put me back in the queue)"
Legacy Raids:
  • LFR challenge-mode raids - my gear level will be changed to match the raid age. Equalize my gear to match the what it would have been at that expansion/patch level. Sure, I'll be level 90, and have my 90 talents, but with level 85 stats on gear and health??  The boss can stay the same..
  • LFR flexible raiding - opposite of challenge mode where my gear scales down, the raid scales up to 90. This may be 'easier' to balance for the users. Instead of Deathwing having 82 million health; he'd have 300 million health like Lei Shen. (Of course, his damage would be increased 4x as well to match health). 

Speaking of opening up more content, whatever happened to seeing the scenarios of the opposing faction? Sure, I don't do a ton of scenarios, but checking out my list available, I don't see anything new. Alliance Threamore? Nope. Maybe they realized that there aren't that many worth it?

Lastly, the holiday boss, what a disappointment. After 40 minutes in the queue, he drops only 480 ilevel capes, a staff, and a satchel POSSIBLY containing a pet. Sure, my priest is still wearing her 480 Love neck and this back would be a great upgrade, but with level 522 gear out?! Sigh, not going to draw a lot of players in..

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Oh, Yes, Please!

WoWJuJu just posted a short teaser about Virtual Realms coming in 5.4. This feature will basically allow multiple low-population realms to be combined into a new virtual realm. Toons will be able to interact, trade and even sell/buy things off a shared auction house. WoW Insider pointed out that this could, in fact, allow you to mail items to your own toons between realms (assuming your realms all join together).

With Blizzard's new push for pre-made groups, I see this as a saving grace for these realms. I sat for about an hour in Orgrimmar last week waiting trying to build a 3-man Heroic Scenario team. Malfurion-US is a medium population Central time zone PVE server, so there isn't a ton of people on mid-day of a week-day. Merging the population of a number low to middle population servers would be wonderful.

As with the speculation, I am curious how they intend to do this? My current battlegroup, Shadowburn, contains 18 realms; 13 PVP (and RP-PVP) and 5 PVE. I'd HOPE that my new virtual realm wouldn't become a PVP realm. Personally, I wouldn't think so. I believe that Blizzard is simply applying their same 'low pop zones' phasing (aka CRZ) to the entire realm.
  • Realm type - match PVE to PVE, PVP to PVP, RP to RP
  • Time zone - within 3hrs of your current realm's timezone. Malfurion is Central time, so I should see players from all of North America. 
  • Language - same language set as default
With the new Flexible Raiding and Heroic scenarios requiring pre-built teams, I am totally looking forward to this change.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Warlock Quest-line, Fail #2

Saturday night, after equipping my new gear (bought bracers, got bulging heroic quest drop belt, equipped non-tier items), I thought, why not, and continued the Warlock quest line. You know the one for green fire. I am stuck on the first meta boss, that big floating head. (feel like I am in Wrath dungeons again...)

(video is a play-through so if you're not wanting spoilers, don't watch).
skip to 39min 30sec

Viewing this video, I think maybe I am making it too complicated.

My setup:

  1. Demonic gateway on either side of the dungeon
  2. Demonic portal immediately behind gateway (use port - face gateway).
  3. Void lord on boss
  4. Shadowfury, and brimstone front and center as giant buttons. 
I did:
Dance with boss and use voidlord as tank and terrorguard. When Lost Souls spawn, run for portal and jump across dungeon. AOE lost souls. Shadowfury on boss during his AOE stage. Repeat. Sadly, the best I've seen is him down to about 30% health. I usually get overwhelmed by Lost Souls near this time and can't recover. 

Problems with my method. 
  1. Clicking on the gateway is sometimes nearly impossible when surrounded by lost souls. I get the fight icon, and not the use. Lose a bunch of health when it doesn't work just right... 
  2. If I cast Chaos Bolt, it uses my embers, then I can't AOE the souls. 
  3. Running from lost souls doesn't help. They stun and slow me down...
  4. Pet on Assist means sometimes he runs over, dragging the boss with him, to attack the souls.
Maybe I should:
Avoid gateways, or look into the Gateway Attunement glyph so that I don't need to click on them. 
Put Voidlord on Attack and not assist. That way he keeps the boss in the middle of the room. 
Stop using Chaos Bolt on him, make it a slow burn and use embers for adds. 

Any other advice?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

So Long Cynwise, We'll Eagerly Await your Return..

Sadly another Warlock blogger is taking a break from WoW. Cynwise posted on his/her tumblr page the other day that he has put a hold on his subscription for medical reasons.

I’ve cancelled my sub until my hand is better. 
It’s not a permanent thing, but I’m going to take 
some time away from Warcraft and let myself get better.
Cynwise has been the driving force keeping me involved in WoW PVP. Early on, he provided super simple diagrams (and in BG emotes) to help us 'think' about each BG and reminded us that fighting away from the nodes is just dumb.

"Wars are not just won with the flesh and sinew of troops, they are won with the mind, with intelligence and knowledge!" (deployment)

Recently he's been working a deep dive of warlocks, leading into all classes of the game. I'd like to think that this has brought about some dramatic changes by Blizzard to how Warlocks are played. They may not directly attribute the simplification of the talent trees or the diversification of warlock play style to him, but I believe they are listening. (see April Fools 2011).

Here’s the conclusion I was hoping to avoid: people simply don’t like playing warlocks. It’s not that they don’t try them; they do. (Where did all the Warlocks go?)

Finally, he's indirectly involved in getting me off the gaming chair and into the gym. Sure, with two pre-teens in the house, it seems like I hardly ever get to sit down and when I do game, it's late at night (9PM ->??). The point is to make an effort to exercise.

I exercise not to lose weight, but for mood control. I have found that it’s one of the few things that can reliably improve my outlook, settle my nerves, relieve stress, and help keep me positive. (Grinding Calories)

Get well and we'll see you when you get back...

Friday, June 7, 2013

Elkagorasa the Blood Elf?

and other services includes race change and name change.
In the past, I had thought that my choice of Elk as an orc was wrong and considered doing a paid race change. The orc racial, blood fury, is helpful, but is there another Horde race that would have made for a better warlock?

Hey look at the health of Cata-Beta Elk!
See while leveling and first getting into a new expansion, the Blood Elf Arcane Torrent comes in extremely useful to regain a quick fix of mana, but after mid-expansion, it would only really be a filler spell. Troll Berserking would be useful on any DOTs, as we warlocks can always use more spell haste. Undead healing and no-fear racials always look useful in PVP, but for PVE I am not so sure. Finally, the Goblin alchemy bonus or rocket barrage could be useful in certain situations, but once leveled up, what does +10 alchemy give you but a bump into the next expansion. Bank access could be nice in rare situations where I am questing and left something there. (If only my mammoth had another seat, or I could switch who rode with me.)

I guess, Elkagorasa the Orc Warlock has a nice ring to it, but hmm, maybe a name change? Shorten it to "Elk" the Orc, anyone?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

And there it is... The NEW BIG thing...

[W]e’re in the process of developing a new Flexible Raid system, which includes a new difficulty that sits between Raid Finder and Normal difficulty, while still allowing friends, family, or pick-up groups to play together. This difficulty will be available for premade groups of 10–25 players, including any number in between. That means whether you have 11, 14, or 23 friends available for a Raid, they’ll all be able to participate.

The Flexible Raid system is designed so that the challenge level will scale depending on how many players you have in the Raid. So if you switch between 14 players one week and 22 the next, the difficulty will adjust automatically. Keep in mind that unlike Raid Finder, no matchmaking is available, so you’ll need to make sure you invite people to attend—but if some can’t make it, it’s not the end of the world (or the Raid). You’ll also still be able to invite Real ID or Battle.net friends cross-realm. Who you choose to bring and what Item Level gear they’ll need to join your merry band is up to you, too—there’s no Item Level requirement for this Raid difficulty. (source)

Patch 5.4: Battlefield: Nagrand?

As Garrosh continues to gather precious resources for his war effort, only to be thwarted by rebellious Horde forces in the Barrens, he starts to look into alternate locations. He falls back to his, resource rich, former home, Nagrand.

Garrosh has already proven to us that he will do anything to progress his agenda. He has drilling operations, animal slaughter, clear-cut lumber operations and even strip mining to gather resources. Would the Mag'har align themselves with Garrosh and support his efforts? Or will we see Thrall's wife, Aggra get directly involved with the war effort and she'll take on the as leading resistance.

I see some favorites with Nagrand. Like B:B, it will get players back into older zones. Nagrand is already rich in resources (assuming Nesingwary hasn't killed off all the animals), plus already listed as a 'contested area'. Hitting Aggra's homeland may enrage Thrall and get him full-on engaged against Garrosh. (Why else would we have a Shattrath portal in Vale of Eternal Blossoms?)

Of course, this is all my own speculation.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

25 Warlocks vs Heart of Fear

"We used everyone's demonic gateways 
to minimize our threat. Using the gates 
almost every 15 seconds for the buff."
A friend shared this album with me. It is series of 12 screen captures from a 25 man raid team downing all 6 of the bosses from the Heart of Fear. The cool part, they are all warlocks!

I think this is pretty awesome that 25 clothies are able to take down current raid content with only our pets. Despite Blizzard saying that we won't be tanks, this shouldn't be possible if true. We should be squashed the first time the boss looks at us..

What made that run doable was the using of multiple voidlords tanking the bosses, and by tanking I mean taking a few hits and dying (+ of course all our survival and self healing abilities). Because locks can easily manage their aggro (through gateways and soulshatter), you could infinitely rotate pets tanking with no issue. (source)

Just to make our intent clear, the Glyph of Demon Hunting
isn't intended to turn Demonology warlocks into a tanking spec. 
You won't be able to queue as a tank for Dungeon Finder 
for instance and won't have the survivability 
or tools of say a Protection paladin.
So, we can't queue as a tank, but can take the tank role for short periods of time. Over the weekend, I was helping a level 84 priest level up via dungeons. It would have been really nice to be able to actually queue up for these ("Elkagorasa's level is too high"), queueing up as tank would have been awesome! 

Still awesome that with 25 warlocks, they were able to finish the raid. I hope to see this done more with newer content.

Monday, June 3, 2013

When Should I Break Set Bonus?

In my drive to break the mystical ilevel of 500, I ran 2 different LFR raids. In each, I was lucky enough to get a new loot drops that are upgrades a current item.

Hands: Sha-Skin Gloves(483) -> LifeDrainers Sordid Grip (502)
Chest: Sha-Skin Robes(483)  -> Robe of Midnight Down (502)

502 in my bags, not on my back.
I haven't equipped either piece yet, because they'd break my 4 piece set bonus (and because AMR doesn't say to). The way I currently use Dark Soul: Instability is to buff my Chaos Bolt spells. Build up 4 full embers, trigger DS, then fire off 4 Chaos Bolt, watch for crits! (Saw one crit for 900k damage, awesome!) This increases the CB damage typically by about 30% (250k to 400k damage each time).

So, when does the overall gain of jumping from ilevel 483 to 502 outweigh the gains from the set bonus? Or am I way over due and now that I have 2 better items, I should replace them both?

Taming MOAR Pets

WFH means Work Warcraft From Home Monday was a work from home kind of day, so I worked on a little project of my own. I saw this on Twit...