Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New talent trees up for patch 3.1

Hey folks,

MMO-Champion has the new talent trees up from the PTR.. these are subject to change but I'm linking the new one below.. followed by the current live one so you can compare the difference.
and live

Now when I made the tree I immediately saw some differences; a few which I had to dig deep to figure out, I'm going to list them here.

Blessing of Kings - Full 10% BOK is now a base spell ability. So any of you keeping points in that can now allocate them elsewhere. Oddly enough it's not going to make a huge difference in my Ret Build as I couldn't afford points for it anyway... But it will be nice to give out to folks.

Improved HOJ - This has been reduced to two levels, BUT now only reduces the cooldown of HOJ by 20 seconds, the old one was 30 seconds for 3 points. Frankly, even though we get one more talent point to spend, this will be a nerf to Ret.

Divine Guardian - New icon, also says "damage reduced by 30% up to 300% of paladins total health". The current version doesn't give a maximum.. i don't know if there was a max before or not but I noticed the tool tip change.

Improved Ret Aura - Is now gone, the talent was folded into sanctified retribution, which makes it a great 1 point talent, plus frees up 2 talent points in the Ret Tree!

Fanaticism - Now only stacks 3 times for a maximum of 18% increased crit. Down from 25% for 5 points. Actually not as bad as it sounds for me, as ret PVP build doesn't really allow 5 points in fanaticism, 3-4 is more common. Technically you'll receive an extra 3% crit if you were speccing 3/5 in your current build.

Righteous Vengeance - Same as above, now stacks only 3 times for a total of 30% as opposed to 5 times for 40%. Buff in terms of damage per talent point, and for me as I had zero in RV before.

Overall? Except for loosing 10 seconds on HOJ (which is a huge PvP downer for me). I'm pretty happy with the rest of the stuff. Again, this was mmo-champoin's pull from the game files and is subject to change. But Now I'll be able to gain a 0/17/54 build (or /19/52) and gain a bit of DPS in the process.

Other classes are getting worked around too.. I'm sure their survivability is up, so doubt this will actually help me beat other classes, (did I mention the HOJ nerf :) but it should be a nice DPS increase.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Back to RET and it feels soooo good.

Well I respecced back to Ret over the weekend and immediately felt "home" if that's the right word for it. Things were back to the way I knew them.

BUT... with patch 3.1 aka Dual-Spec hitting the PTR tonight (or so people say) I still need to build up my holy gear for my off-set. With that in mind I started doing heroics for badge gear.

I did about 4 different heroics and got a spiffy set of PvE legs from Violet Hold. It was actually my first time ever running not just heroics but 5 mans of any kind for the most part. I find I'm able to easily keep up with most groups DPS, although in a very geared PvE group I'm anywhere from 100-300 dps under the group average. In a typical PUG I keep up the average. Anywhere from 1600-2000 depending on the buffs and type of fight. I was concerned about keeping up since I had never run these dungeons, fortunately a guy named Cityhunder0505 had some excellent video guides that gave me a good idea of what to expect when doing the instances. I'd highly recommend checking out his video guides for any instances you need help with.

Lastly, I've upped my badge count from 8 emblems of heroism to 31. Leaving me 4 short of my protective barricade of the light I'm going for on the holy set.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Crossing over to the LIGHT side?

Hey folks.

I've always thought of Ret as being a pretty "dark" talent for paladins. I mean your whole purpose is cripple an enemy. Sure you CAN heal others but you usually don't; saving your mana for more damage instead. What's an extra 1,600 health when you can throw down a 4.5k Hammer of Wrath instead.... Frankly aside from the names of the spells I find Death Knights and Ret Pallys very similar. We now roll for the same gear, their runic power is our mana, we both have limited healing abilities and DK's even get a sort of a bubble from anti-magic zone

I made the conscious decision to stay in this dark tree in TBC and refused to respec. Frankly I love BRINGING THE PAIN and killing others. However I see the writing on the wall and I'm starting to build up a set of holy gear....yeah i'm moving to the fluffy light side (at least temporarily) and here's why:

1) Dual spec is coming in the next patch. You're going to be picking up a secondary tree anyway if you can take the time to gear up NOW you'll beat the rampant inflation on your server for items.... I expect all titansteel items to rocket up in price with patch 3.1 These are horribly expensive already don't wait untill they rocket up to begining of WOTLK prices.

2) The top 100 arena teams are stuffed full of holy paladin / DPS combo. (Mostly DK, but others are there too). If you want to PvP and you're already RET - Holy is the way to go.

Now don't misunderstand me, RET is my main spec I'm just setting up holy now as my off-spec for arena. I already tried a few games with crafted blue gear and it went about as well in 2's as RET in my current gear. I can only hope that better gear and more experience will enhance my 2's rating.

In the mean time if anyone has links for good holy pvp guides link them up. I'll let you know how things go next week as I plan to run both my 2's and 3's team as holy plus maybe even a VoA.... boy will I be pissed if a piece of ret gear finally drops and I"m sitting in holy spec.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

/ gquit part 2

So, as you know from my previous post, I quit my guild over the weekend. Specifically to join GOON SQUAD, the predominant alliance PvP guild on the server.

Doing PvP as much as I do I've run across a handful of their members during my time in WoW. Some have helped me with arena, others have done pre-mades with me, etc etc. So I whisper one of them asking if I can join up.... "Sure" I'm told "but only the guild leader can join you, I'll talk to him next time he's on".

Okay, so a day passes and I get a whisper... "I hear you'd like to join Goon Sqad thru xxxx" (name blurred out to protect the innocent lol)

"Yes" I reply and proceed to give him a short history of my pvp experience. I guess I just assumed I'd be let in, my old guild was very relaxed when it came to folks joining and it's not like I was asking to be carried in an arena team just to join the guild.

WELL I WAS WRONG...."Let's get some duels out of the way" says the leader. So I meet him outside the IF (he's a frost mage in mostly Deadly Gladiator Gear). Not a great matchup considering i'm in Savage gear for the most part... but we start the match. It was close, I bubbled at the right time, threw down HOF and instant healed as much as possible. He was dishing some serious damage but I win. I'm thinking "YEAH I ROCK!" but instead I type "CLOSE ONE".

I figure that's showing off my awesomeness enough, NOPE WRONG AGAIN... "Looks like i'll have to use my CD's on you to win, that's good"......WTF? So I barely manage to beat this guy by the skin of my ass popping everything I had and he didn't bother to use any of his large abilities man I'm in trouble.

We duel a couple more times and the closest I get to beating him is him going down to about 30% Most times he just wipes the floor with me as we wern't waiting for CD's to refresh. Once that was done I had to duel another ret pally. I lost, but again was outgeared.

So the guild leader says "I need to see more let's head into a WSG".... Now I don't like running WSG without a premade, but I'm the initiate. So we hop in. I'm not realy sure what he's hoping to see, but I'm not kept guessing long.

We're going to play this with a special set of rules... don't worry about win/loss I want you to get in the top 3 kills at the end of the match. Not just overall kills I'm talking Killing Blows; if alliance suck you just need to be in top 3 for alliance.

Ah, well this is interesting, I don't usually play middle of the field in WSG... normally I assist the flag carrier, dropping HOF, stuns, etc as needed. In fact I've never tried for top kills in WSG.... but this wasn't up for discussion he wanted to see me on the board so it was my job to deliver.

I was nervous, I know my own skillset but I'm not used to having people evaluate me like this. The first few minutes I keep switching to the scoreboard to see where I'm at. After a little bit though I settle down and get to work. Since I knew I was going for top Killing blows I tried my best to be smart about it and time it so my HOJ caused the killing blow.... Problem was there were 4 healers on the team and they liked to stay in a pack. More then once I had to disengage when after 2-3 minutes I realize I was going a ton of damage but two healers combined to out heal me, thus not helping me get those much needed kills.

I pretty much dominated the match top kills, top damage, 2nd healing, and most importantly tied for 1st in Killing Blows. The stats were decisive enough I was given permission to join right after and was able to skip their "trainee" rank and go to regular member.

So there you go, I'm the newest member of GOON SQUAD. We'll see how my new home works out :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

/ gquit

Yep the title says it all. But let me give you the story of how I came to quit my guild this weekend after two years.

I started playing WOW in January of 2007. Being a complete noob with no idea of end game content, talent trees, racial abilities or much of anything else I rolled myself a human paladin. Somewhere in my teen levels I'm running thru westfall and someone asks if I want to join a guild.... "what's a guild for?" I ask. "A group of people to help out with leveling, questions, etc" I hear back.
"OK sounds good" and I'm invited to Legion of Light.

At the time I was about 10-20 levels beneath most of our guild and it seemed like all the core members had a ton of info and were always willing to help out with hard quests and such. It was a very supportive group.

Eventually I reached 60; but by that time The Burning Crusade expansion had come out and most of the guild was well into it, so again I make my way to BC 5-10 levels behind most folks and one day I finally hit 70.... I'm all decked out in greens and I think to myself "yay I finally beat this thing" probably nothing left to do, maybe try a new character.

Man was I wrong lol !

Turns out I really got a kick out of PvP...My guild however was all PvE. This is where the first crack appeared. Folks would ask me to raid with them, I'd rarely go instead focusing on arena matches and battlegrounds. Occasionally I'd get a few guild members together for 5v5 arena but their gear wasn't right and they had no idea of valid combo's classes, strategy etc.

Season 2 came and went, Season 3 was in full swing... I was content to do my pvp thing and my guild was content to not push me into pve. However there was a problem with the guild.... Our leader was getting frustrated with people not showing up to raids, lack of progression etc. After a month or two he left the guild and took some people with him.

More cracks developed. In fact this was the slow spiral of death for the guild. Turns out our leader was the driving force behind putting groups together, keying for instances etc. Without him progression slowed considerably. This pattern continued thru Season 4. More people trickle out. This is where I start giving serious thought to finding a PVP based guild but I had my regular arena partners in place and it was easy enough to find the occasional person to help you get a rating you needed. So I left things alone

WOTLK hits and for a while the guild has more people on then I've seen in months, but this soon dwindles and another large chunk of people leave the guild looking for more active PvE content. During the last couple months I found just 3-5 people on at any given time. A few weeks ago I found myself the only guild member on almost every night. I found out that the majority of active level 80's had transferred to the new Borean Tundra server and merged with a guild there.

Loyalty had kept me with the guild for a long time, longer then it should have probably. But it's one thing to not participate a ton in a group and another for there to basically NOT have a group.

So last week I managed to find 3 long time members online at once and took the time to explain that I would probably be leaving for a pvp oriented guild, and my reasons for it. They understood, and frankly I think they knew the guild was about dead.

So on Saturday I bid a fond farewell to my guild with the little used /gquit command, ending two years with Legion of Light.... What happened after? Am I solo, did I join a new guild? Check back tomorrow to find out.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Huge, Long, complex...but informative blue post for PVP

Hey guys,

Scratching your head and what's going on for arena ratings and gear, wondering why a 10 man NAXX pug is giving out the equivalent of level 2 hateful gear that you can't even get because season 5 arena is just crazy?

Well, here's Kaglan answering a ton of arena questions, including ratings backed up by actual team's win/loss numbers AND hidden rating numbers....Also included is info on Season 6.

Blue link here

I'm going to list out some of the bigger changes coming up; definitely starting at season 6, but some may be happening before.

1) New teams will NOT start at 1500 - rather some lower number and work their way up to 1500

2) Gear rating requirements change, deadly gear including trinkets will all be accessible at 1500's

3) Win loss #'s are completely different then before, don't go trying to make sense out of it, just accept it. The new matching system is very complex and isn't as easily understood as the old one for the common player.

Now this is just my personal theory here, but it APPEARS that for the casual player in Season 6 everyone's numbers will be 100-200 less then in Season 4. Since the new starting value of teams hasn't been given this is just a guess, but as an example in S4 I was sitting pretty around 1550 - 1650. Now It's consistently 1450-1550. I think the farther you travel away from the median the higher your difference will be.... So a team that could barely make 1400 in S4 will probably drop around 1100-1200 in s6... Teams at 2400 in S4 will probably be closer to 2k.

Hope that makes sense... again not confirmed but I'm reading between the lines as it were....just look at the highest rating requirement in S6 - 2100 (for the shoulders) used to be 2200 in S4

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Leading the 25 man VoA Raid

Hey folks,

So Sunday night I'm in wintergrasp looking for a 25 man raid, plenty of people are asking for 25 man, but no one's inviting to a raid. I even see shouts of "create one". Well, I was pretty eager to run 25 man, (for the chance of some sweet deadly drops). So i went ahead and formed one.

I'd like to take a minute to mention that I've never led a 25 man raid. I've never lead a successful 10 man raid, and only a handful of times have I bothered to lead a 5 man dungeon, heroic or otherwise.

Oh sure, I've joined enough in my day that I know what's supposed to be done to get a successful group going. But it turns out leading is a little different.

1) Instead of sitting around contemplating my own navel while the raid filled up, suddenly I was responsible for making sure it filled up AND making sure no one was saved to the instance AND making sure the proper amount of tanks, healers and DPS were present. I had to port to Dalaran TWICE before it was all said and done, to recruit enough players

2) I'm the one initiating ready checks and setting the pace of the raid (and for once people actually listen to what I'm saying)

3) I had to distribute the loot I DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO DO THIS. I had to ask a member of the raid to walk me thru the steps. Turns out it was pretty easy, just select an item, have people /roll for it and then use a drop down menu that appears to manually give it to the person that rolls the highest.

One thing I never did wind up figuring out was how to do one of those yells that shows up in big letters to everyone in the raid... About 4 minutes in i wanted to encourage everyone to pour on the dps I just typed it in like regular.. if anyone knows how to make those raid wide announcements let me know!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Changes made to arena ratings liast night

Here's the blue post... I didn't arena last night so I can't say how big of an effect this will be for folks. I'll have more to report on it as the week goes on.

Quote from: Kalgan (Source)
We made some adjustments to the rating system last night that are now in effect.

  • 1. Personal Ratings will now always trend toward Team Ratings (instead of the internal matchmaking rating). This should eliminate the odd behavior players noticed of seeing their PR change in ways that seemed bizzare. It also eliminates the possibility that you can play every game with your team, yet be ineligible to get items when the team qualifies for them (or ineligible to receive full points).
  • 2. You will now gain or lose around 12 points when winning or losing to teams of roughly equivalent matchmaking rating to your own team (previously this number was 8 ).
  • 3. The rating scale has been extended to a range of 240 to about 2800 to more accurately reflect what was possible under the old system. This means that most players over 1500 will experience some slightly easier than expected rating gain as their team adjusts upward to the new scale.
  • 4. Players with less than 1500 rating will still get the same number of points as players at 1500.

It is now easier to get higher ratings
It is easier to get higher ratings due to the scale adjustment. However, I'd still expect a very small percentage of the population to get the arena master achievement, by no means would I call it trivialized.

Is hidden rating wiped on character transfer?

What determines hidden rating besides win/loss? Resilience, damage, healing?
Only winning/losing determines the rating

What is the min/max amount of points able to be lost/won now?

Is the TR/PR cap still 3000 with these changes?
Yes TR/PR do still have a hard cap at 3k, although we don't expect players to get that high regardless.

Is any of the rating affected by your gear?
None of the rating systems have the slightest clue or are in any way affected by what gear you have.

How can the ratings not get that high if numerous teams get to 2700+? Are there diminishing returns on the amount of rating you can gain off another team despite team ratings being similarly high?
It certainly is possible to get that high legitimately, although it would be unusual. There's about a 2% chance of seeing a 3000 rated team in a population size of 20,000 teams... about a 5% chance of seeing one in a population of 50,000 teams. So, with the number of battlegroups in existence it wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility to see a 3k team. Grats to them. =]