I was left with the strong feeling, this morning when I woke, that last night I was dreaming that Trolls were ganking folks at the Troll bridge and folks should be careful. Of course that’s an amalgamation of the two MMORPGs I play, WoW and WAR.
First off, there are no Trolls in WAR. Not player races anyway, and NPC’s never gank. It takes a black and twisted soul to gank, and those are reserved for season pass holders, and those with lifelong memberships, to eternal damnation. ;) (Well, ain’t those some nice non sequiturs.)
So there’s this War Camp in Troll Country. The Tier 2 Empire scenario area in Warhammer. That’s where you can fly into from elsewhere. What’s handy is there’s a Public Quest immediately below it. Arrive and go kill slavering ghouls. Spend a little time with it and get all the influence rewards. Three loot bags later and I’m wearing new shoulders and sporting a new sword. The first and only Swordmaster Helm drop I’ve ever seen on any character goes to another Swordmaster. (I’ve got no luck.)
Anyway, like I said, this Public Quest is right below a War Camp. Now if you wander into this camp, looking for a vendor, say, you will flag yourself. And I don’t see a mechanic that turns that flag off. It seems to last the duration until you log out, leave an RvR scenario, or die. Well, ain’t that handy for the level 20 Chosen who’s hanging around this particular Public Quest, more so that most folks are level 12-14, flagged. Didn’t take much to take this level 12 Swordmaster out, no siree. But I got better, and I did knock out the rest of my influence, and then we took you down, you running like a dog for your kennel, the tail between your legs your only indication of masculinity. And then that Marauder, killing a Dwarf before turning to the Archmage. I guess he didn’t expect me running up the road, thinking, “Heck, I’m flagged, what’s the worst this could come to?” I absolutely love collision detection in the pvp fights. It lets a tank really be a tank. And, you know it, that 40% movement speed debuff is in my swing rotation. That would be a dead Marauder left on the road side. At least he didn’t run like the Chosen had. Took it like a man.
Oh, yeah, Trolls. Apparently, north of the War Camp where this Public Quest is, where you kill the slavering ghouls, in Troll Country, there’s this bridge that passes over a river. Apparently there is a Troll in the neighborhood who’s death will unlock a tome and you’ll get a pocket item. The bubbly spite is in one pocket already, I’m curious what the troll’s got for me.
So my Swordmaster made it to level 12. He really got nice upgrades reaching Rank 10 renown and that was from a lot of pvp in the Nordenwatch scenario. As a tank/dps type my constant goal was to press to the Fortress flag and survive. And once the Light House and the Fortress were secure it was then to harry the Barracks. Destruction can’t really go on the offense if it’s playing defense. And, folks, the Bridge is not a victory objective. You get nothing for fighting on the bridge between the Light House and the Fortress.
What I noticed, if you don’t have many tank types, your group tends to stay at a distance. You can’t do that. You have to fight on the flags in order to flip them. I know because when I came out with my Bright Wizard, level 8, I tried to stay at range. Well, “at range” is not good enough to turn a flag. Now, exactly like Alterac Valley and taking the Relief Hut or Aid Station, you have to move to, and past if you’re trying to pull defenders away, those flags. So I made a point of finding bushes in “flip range” of those flags and then unleashed what fire power I could. And if I were going down, I made a point to rush past and to the opposite of the flag. If I can pull some folks my way, maybe my teammates will take the opening and advance.
It’s funny, but when I played my Swordmaster Empire mostly won Nordenwatch. When I played on my Bright Wizard we mostly lost.
And if you play Warhammer, have you noticed that most drops are for alts, or for other people in your party? I assembled a full set of good Witch Hunter gear last night. Four things while on my Swordmaster, a level higher than he can use now, and one while on my Bright Wizard, a level below, but blue.
In other news, Greenclaw and the lovely Itarilde played in the Shadow Moon Valley. Later, Greenclaw picked up more AB marks and now has 1/2 of the Arathi Basin marks he needs for the chest armor. He’ll grab what remaining honor points he needs in Alterac Valley and pick up the 5th and final piece of the gladiator’s kit.
One point I’m seriously annoyed with Blizzard about: I read somewhere that they intend to require both Battlegrounds *and* Arena points to acquire the pvp gear at level 80. I’m a trooper. Give me big battles to fight in. I’m not a gladiator. It hasn’t been welfare epics. I didn’t need 9 or 24 other folks to help me get my gear, but the time I’ve invested so far hasn’t been any less than that of any raider in a proper guild. And I’ve stayed somewhat competitive through my own devices and without ever having to rely on anyone other than the lovely wife. But to make me go to the Arena for access to gear? Thanks, no. Unless decent crafted gear is more boe than bop at the end of the game, the journey to 80 will probably spell as much interest as I’ll be able to muster at that point. I’ll choose not to perform in your Colosseums. (If I wanted that kind of game I’d have been playing Guild Wars for the last three years.)
Horde front, the guild has been having borderline attendance issues recently. I was not raiding because of work, but I don’t make or break our guild. A flurry of medical emergencies, power outages, and connection difficulties, and we don’t have enough to go after Kael in The Eye on Saturday. And folks aren’t interested in anything less. Though a few folks did show up to take on Blackwing Lair where Dragon killing was the night’s highpoint. Vael in 1 minute 30 seconds? Last night was to be our Mount Hyjal night. Except we’d go for Kael if enough logged on. Mount Hyjal it wound up being. Where we killed a boss, and for the 2nd boss we lost enough AoE to call it. You know, in 8 days we’re going to be playing with new rules. Level 51 talents. And then a month later the expansion itself. Is the current season of raiding at an end?
And do you remember Molten Core raiding? We raided with 40 people, and we had numerous folks always on standby. As Shaman Class Leader I always had folks who had to sit the raid out because we had more than enough Shamans. That old guild, come the BC expansion, made a guild called “Kara Killed My Guild”. They fractured and fell apart. MC, BWL, Naxx, and then Blizzard crushed them. 40 was too many. Make it 25. But first make it 10. Remember the days of the guild “Main Tank?” Gone. He rolls for loot like everyone else. How is it possible that 40 man raid guilds were tighter than 25 or 10 man raid guilds. And the future means nothing can’t be 10-manned. Guilds aren’t done getting their faces kicked.
Anyway, I’ve messed around a bit with the expansion, and here’s what I think from the perspective of playing a Warrior, Shaman, Druid, and Hunter.
My Warrior’s going to go Protection. Even if I don’t raid, even if I don’t instance, I have always liked the concept of the warrior with a shield. Someone else said “think 300″ and you’ll know what a shield can do. Shield slams, reactive damage, and charge at any time, make me happy.
My Shaman. I have no idea. I’ve got really good Elemental gear. I’ve got almost as good Enhancement gear. I’ve tried both specs in the beta, just out killing stuff, and there’s been a change? There’s a difference here somewhere? Ghost wolves? The cooldown is long enough you know you don’t use the ability a lot, which means you won’t use it at all. C’mon, give the Shaman’s two ghost wolf pets something useful to do. Reduce the damage they do, but make them act like a “damage shield” like a Druid’s Thorns. Always on, always on defensive, or at least be able to attack what the Shaman’s attacking. I think it would be cool watching level 60+ Enhancement Shamans running around with a pair of full time ghost wolf guardians. Elemental felt identical to what it is now. Otherwise, I didn’t feel there’s anything new about Shamans as the expansion hits. (Afterall, the 51st talent is available to anyone level 60+. There will be nothing new from that point to 80.) And I have a vested interest in this class. It was my first to 60, first to 70, and he’s raided end-game content twice now. I don’t need two tourists taking in the beauty of Northrend. Or four. One will be enough.
Druids. Kitty pounce and bear tank nerf. I went from 60% damage mitigation to 40% with changes coming in 3.0. There was talk about adding a percentage of increased mitigation based on the number of party members. In a 25 man raid, that’s fine. In a two person party, that’s negligible. Somebody said cat dps is going way up, that’s great for cats, but, still consider there is a Dire Bear form for a reason. It’s just been blown out of the water, turned into a rug to lay before the fire and cry on. Not that I mind, I play a cat. But I don’t like my wife’s bear getting nerfed. And I bet a whole lot of the bear community is up in arms. Up in paws, dammit. There’s changes with the Druids, some good, some bad. Kitty charge, oh yeah.
Hunters. Mechanically the same. But I like that some Hunters can tame special pets, and that they finally gave pets their own talent trees. And not every pet is identical except for shape and size anymore. Pets are very differentiated, and some pets are tanks, some dps, some utility. I think Beast Mastery Hunters are very pleased with the changes.
But, hey, that’s just me. Your average Joe and his thoughts about stuff. Your mileage may vary, and I’m certainly not the definitive source of theorycraft!
And Death Knights. I love the intro story. There’s one incident that just hits the ball out of the park, that gives me goosebumps just remembering it. I love it. But I absolutely hate the fact that once you’re through that story, done in a couple of nights, or a couple of hours really, you’ll find yourself facing the prospect of leveling through the Outlands, again. Death Knights should not have to leave Azeroth. Blizzard could not have added two more zones, as a transition to Northrend? From a pure mechanical, go through the motions because you have to point of view, a Death Knight will enter Outlands at 58, and graduate to Northrend at 68.
Anyway, I’ve rambled on enough for today.