Saturday, July 19, 2008

Balance Patch Notes

Took a little bit of digging but it seems Wow Insider DOES have some commentary on the WotLK beta patch notes for balance druids here.

Main thing: Entangling roots INDOORS now. Increased treant damage which means my 3 points invested in brambles becomes even more awesome. And let's not forget, more aoe, and hurricane apparently has no CD now (!?). Makes us more mage-y I guess but I've always felt inferior only having one aoe so to now have 3 makes me happy.

I'm still unsure how I feel about this new spellpower gig they've got going on, but since all my stuff is X + dam, X + healing right now anyway I'm kind of thinking I might not see too much impact.

The main complaint in the commentary (and the comments on the commentary) seems to be that it's more difficult to pick a general spec, now you kind of have to pick a spec geared to PVP *or* PVE instead of having a more utilitarian one. I'd noticed a little of that anyway, but I guess it's more exacerbated now? I'm not sure I see it, but if that's true then my answer is that you should stop whining. Just how you have to get different gear sets if you want to be truly successful PVP *and* PVE, that may be the case here too now with specs. However I'm not sure it's as big a stress deal as people are making it -- I've read some things that said blizz was trying to get those two fields closer together, for example by putting some high-quality resil gear in raids, or the well-known statistic that walking into your first raid your weapon should probably be a PVP reward. So I'm not sure how much credence should be assigned to somethign that on first glance looks like blizzard doing an about face and heading back in the opposite direction. Guess we'll see more about that as things develop.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Here we go again :

Another day, another blog. But since I love WoW so much, maybe I'll do better at regular updates for this one.

It's Friday, and I suppose that's as good a time as any to be posting a blog. My guild's running Kara as they usually do, and as usual I am left in the cold because of my work schedule, le sigh. I was going to pursue one of two alternate plans tonight: 1) Do the maximum 25 dailies, which I've never done before, or 2) Get some peeps to help run me through Durnholde, Slave Pens, or Underbog, which I need to clear out the last two quests in my log and finally achieve my long-awaited 70 present to myself, a completely clean log. Yes, some of you are saying, couldn't you just abandon all the quests and do it that way? I could...but that feels unethical somehow. Anyway that plan fell through because my connection is fritzing *again* and I don't have the work ethic to go downstairs and reset the router again.

Since I actually got into a 5s team this week for arena (gasp!) I was more free to play around with my 2s. My usual partner's been suspiciously AFK and I think he's found new and better friends to play 2s with until I am better geared. True that; still, my resilence is at 304 right now which is certainly not negligible, and the spell dam is at something like +760 since I went exalted with scryer's and got a pretty ring for my trouble. That is also the cause behind goal #1 -- I bought like 550 signets to push to exalted, and the ring was another 63, so I basically splurged like 600g and am therefore down to around 500 and in what you might call the "70 poorhouse".

But back to the subject at hand -- with the freedom to play on my twos, I borrowed my RL friend Melvant, a frost mage, and headed over to the arenas. That went up and down, we tended to get smashed on the non-rated skirmishes, mainly because I think there's no rating match-up on that one so you can get wildly disparate groups. So we tried a couple rated matches and tended to get clobbered for our trouble, coming out I think about 1-4 and splashing our (slash, my) team rating down to about 1275. Our one win came against a warrior/pally combo that we faced a couple times but other than the first time couldn't seem to beat. I find I'm usually very happy when I face warriors because they can be rooted and then they're a stationary target I can back away from and destroy at my leisure. The problem is that Melvant, while pretty well-geared for Kara, seems to be moving away from PVP. When I initially showed him the S1 gear he could get just for BG-ing (the so-called "welfare epics", though I don't approve of the term as it still requires a lot of work to get), he was thrilled and all gung-ho. I think that's worn off though, and his only PVP gear remains his s1 pants, and the s2 staff. Now he seems to be shifting back towards PVE again which I think was always his first love and that may mean trouble. Anyway his resilience is if I remember correctly a truly pathetic 59, on top of being a mage and therefore incredibly squishy. People quickly learned to just smoke him first and then I'd be left in a 2-1 gang-up situation.

What frustrates me is that I've heard boomkin / frost mage is an excellent 2s arrangement with serious potential. Unlike, say, boomkin / resto shammy which is the one I'm running with right now. I mean at some level, it's a moot point. I don't seek to be the best of the best, and the fact that there's likely to be a ceiling to my current 2s team doesn't really bother me because the ceiling is probably around 1800 or so and that's enough to get me tricked out with Brutal Gladiator's gear anyway. The only benefit to pushing past that rating is getting a pretty title on my name at the end of the season ('Duelist Ihrayeep'! Woot...not) and that doesn't matter to me so much.

(Finished on Saturday morning:)

Also my shammy's eye has been wandering over to a better 2s team where they actually win, unlike ours. Thinks I should join them, only then it seems to me there's four people on a 2s team which doesn't make a whole lot of sense, especially since it was originally 2 teams of 2 anyway. Why not just go back to that? The only sense I can see in it is the desire to mooch off of a team that does better, thus getting us a better ranking and therefore better gear. Call me a naive idealist but I have this loyalty concept about "let's just stick with one team and make it as good as it can be", instead of shopping around for the best combo. I mean, yes, that sounds bad and it is, I am admitting it's a fault, not a bonus; really you should get the best combo you can *first*, and *then* make it the best it can be. So anyone who reads that as a slight on my current partner, be aware that it's not. He's probably thinking about this better than I am. *shrug*.

And if that's true, maybe the best way to arrange this is to not claw tightly to him like someone who sticks with a bad marriage because they have nowhere better to go. Maybe I should just let him go and be happy over there, and just start advertising for a new partner more in line with what complements me -- because to be honest I was just happy to *have* a partner, without having done a whole lot of research on what the best choices for me were. And now I'm in a better place as far as arena familiarity is concerned, plus with 300 resilience I probably wouldn't be laughed out of general channel when I went looking.

In other, brief aside kind of news -- somewhere somehow our appeal was granted by the Blizzard gods and we got our original guild name back. So...HA. I thumb my feathered boomkin nose at whatever RP jerk decided we were wrecking the experience for him. *Thumb*. Cheers to "Kakegijo's Guild", may it never return as our guild name ever again.