I haven’t done one of these series in a while but I thought it would be fun.
|Osul Peak Pauldron||429||+487|
|Mantid Exterminator's Cloak||440||+404|
|Azure Serpent Chestguard||435||+693|
|Osul Peak Belt||429||+487|
|Leggings of Forceful Instruction||430||+662|
|Treads of Fixation||450||+592|
|Band of Sudden Dreams||437||+393|
|Band of the Faithful Scout||429||+365|
|Ban's Bag of Bombs||429|
So let’s get started.
I haven’t blogged here in quite a while so I thought I would start off giving an update where all my characters are.
On Aerie Peak, I have 3 90s – Melvyl, of course, because he was my primary focus on getting to 90. I have kind of given up on Holy for now – so he mainly Retribution when I play him.
After that, I finished leveling Pearlbuck, my new Pandaren Monk. I wanted to try her primarily as a Healer so I leveled her pretty much through the Dungeon Finder from 15 to 80. After that, she soloed the next 5 levels still as a Mistweaver but I found it increasingly annoying. So at 86 she switched to Windwalker for the last 4 levels.
Oh, and Encyclopedia – I wasn’t really enjoying the dailies so I thought about which class I would want to do them on and Death Knight came to mind. She is actually the only character I have gotten ready for the Dungeon Finder.
Earthen Ring – I haven’t gotten any character higher than 86.
Bronzebeard – I got invited to join a Friends and Family guild by someone I know pretty well in game. And their primary need was a healer. So Exemel made the jump and leveled to 90.
So 4 of them. A bit less than I had at this point in Cataclysm and things really haven’t gone as well as I had hoped. I actually had a few days in January when I didn’t bother to log in at all because I didn’t feel like grinding anything.
More on that in my next post.
What I did do…
I haven’t played Aacr much since she got to 85. I had a bad experience healing during the Fire Festival and while I did break her out for the must shorter Brewfest and Hallows Eve encounters, she has mostly sat. But I thought I would try taking getting her gear and maybe take up healing again. So last night she got to go up against Archbishop Benedictus as Balance – I am still not great, but I think I am finally beginning to understand the playstyle.
Virtua progressed from 65 to 66 tanking Auchenai Crypts and Underbog. It was my first try at what Matt Rossi calls one of the hardest pulls in the game: the trash at the entrance to AC. We did have one death but otherwise things went okay and it was smooth sailing afterward.
Eladrand is still in the Temple of the Earth. I am really having trouble generating enthusiasm for doing Deepholm again but I am sure I will get it together soon.
All in all, not a bad night.
So, yesterday, I had some time and with the imminent approach of 4.3, I was trying to decide what to do with my valor points. I decided to pickup the Giantform Bracers. Only one problem – I didn’t quite have enough… I was going to have to run some Heroics. Now you may remember my recent theory:
I have a theory that if you do enough of them and get enough gear that you will tend to be grouped with people with better gear and have smoother Heroic runs, but that is still just a theory. – Tuning Cataclysm Heroics
Now was my chance to see.
Throne of the Tides – I zoned in and thought it was the beginning because the person with me was running in. But actually the group had just wiped on Lady Naz’jar. We successfully got her down and really had no issues after that.
Blackrock Caverns – I zoned in and found myself at Corla again coming off a wipe. Again we were successful and got through the rest of the instance okay. I actually died while kiting the final boss but that was more an issue of the tank going before I was ready than anything else.
Vortex Pinnacle – Everything went fine until we got to Asaad. Both of the other two DPS died from Supremacy of the Storm because they were nowhere near the grounding field. Fortunately, though, with the tank and healer still up, we just wore him down through attrition.
So, nearly a year into the expansion and either PUGs still can’t get through Heroics intact or they die on annoying Boss Mechanics. I really hope this serves as an object lesson in the MoP dungeon designs.
For the first few months of Cataclysm, at least, there will have to be more of a focus on skill and execution than numbers. Switching targets properly, not breaking CC before it’s called for, and using your abilities at the right time will be rewarded. – Matthew Rossi
So the question is, were Cataclysm Heroics tuned correctly?
Should Heroic dungeons be tuned down so failure is rarely a real possibility? That doesn’t sound like interesting design to me, nor would it act as a good catalyst for compelling, strategic, and social gameplay. – Zarhym
Back during 3.3, Heroics were my favorite part of the game. Sure you got a bad group at times, but most of the time you didn’t, and the success rate was pretty high.
Ultimately, we don’t want to give undergeared or unorganized groups a near guaranteed chance of success, because then the content will feel absolutely trivial for players in appropriate gear who communicate, cooperate, and strategize. – Ghostcrawler
I really haven’t run very many this year. I had some good runs after Melvyl got geared up, but most of them were exercises in frustration. And the two Zandalari instances introduced in 4.1? I completed both of them. Zul Gurrub in April, Zul Aman in May. And honestly I thought they took everything that was wrong with Cataclysm Instances (too large and take way too much time to complete) and doubled down. At that point, I decided to go back to leveling alts and pretty much ignoring endgame.
We want to provide content that players can consume in smaller quantities of time because — most people don’t have four hours a night to devote to the game. – Frank Pearce
I was hoping 4.2 would improve things. The ability to get gear through dailies certainly helped, although not as much as I had hoped. The Argent Tournament Seals in 3.2 were time-consuming to get at first, but as soon as you got them, you could pick out the gear you wanted. You didn’t spend weeks unlocking the vendors. The thing is, though, they were kind of time-consuming. When it time to decide to run a Heroic for badges for 359 or lower gear or running dailies for 365 gear, the choice was pretty easy.
For one thing, all the heroics has been nerfed repeatedly, and the gear level has overall increased multiple times. That means it’s not as cutthroat as it was at the beginning of Cataclysm. The groups are also generally more knowledgeable as to fight and class mechanics. There aren’t a lot of people still trying to figure out the basics of their class and the new systems that Cataclysm brought forth. This means less screw-ups and more power playing. – Adam Holisky
I guess my experiences are different than others. Since getting Searsia to 85, I tried running both Searsi and Searsia through Heroics. And frankly, it was awful. They both had runs in Stonecore that had more than 10 people in the party because of people dropping out everytime there was a wipe and having to be replaced. It would have been comical if it hadn’t been such a tremendous waste of time. I finally settled on the answer: Don’t do Heroics. There is enough gear available right now between Justice Points and Vendors that there really isn’t a need to run them. It means running the same three instances over and over again but they go by pretty quickly, are pretty much wipe-free, and don’t have massive repair costs when you get done. I have a theory that if you do enough of them and get enough gear that you will tend to be grouped with people with better gear and have smoother Heroic runs, but that is still just a theory.
I still do miss running Heroics, though. And in case you are wondering what the next expansion will bring?
Not planning on having level 90 normal dungeons at all (interesting). Challenge modes allow them to circumvent some issues. Extra difficulty will be challenge modes, rather than necessarily heroics. They wound up not liking having difficult endgame normal dungeons. – Dungeons and Raids Panel
I am not sure exactly what that means, unless they are referring to the three you get at 84 and only get at 85.
We will have 9 normal mode dungeons at launch for Mists of Pandaria. 6 of those will be on Pandaria and 3 will be classic heroics (Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery). All of these dungeons will have a normal, heroic and challenge mode version. We are currently planning to not have any max level, non-heroic dungeons. Most players never found a good niche for dungeons at that tuning level. – Mumper
In the meantime, I am interested in seeing what the 4.3 Instances are like. They definitely seem shorter, but it is still a little unclear on just what the required gear level is going to be.
We have no plans to implement the old portals back in the game, but thank you for you reasons as to why they should. – Bashiok
Well, at least he was nicer about it than the last time I read a portal thread.
I was in a guild run of AQ last night (we did 40 and then 10) so a guildie could get exalted with the Cenarion Circle. I was on Searsi so I ported back to Dalaran afterwards to log. And while it has been quite there lately, it was more than quiet. At first, I couldn’t find anyone there. And then I noticed a lone Blood Elf Priest fishing in the fountain.
I understand the reasons for encouraging people to see the new content, but I am still unsure of the reasons for not wanting anyone to see the old content.
So, like most people, I have been working on gearing up one of my characters. In my case, Melvyl, who I still consider “my main” hence the name I use here. My basic plan is to do what I did with 3.3 – gear him largely as Retribution, than take up healing when I am satisfied that I am geared enough to avoid the average disaster. While it was a little easier back then, it has been going okay thus far. Now here’s the point of this post: He is wearing four pieces of PVP gear – not counting the relic (which I consider a huge upgrade over the ilevel318 quest piece).
So I either wait or buy the shoulders and just grind out the rest of the rep and/or hope for Heroic drops – which I actually haven’t started running. But I guess maybe I should start.
I ran across this post recently, forgot where I saw it, and just found it again. First, read this:
Early in World of Warcraft’s history the PlayOn blog made a census and determined that the average player took 21 days, or 500 hours to level to 60. But their latest count has people leveling to 70 in 15 days, because of players now being more familiar with the game, there being more spoiler sites, and because of all the twinking going on. Wrath of the Lich King raises the level cap to 80, but makes leveling up through the mid-levels faster, so time to level 80 will probably stay below 500 hours. 500 hours or less to level cap is rather short. – Tobold
It seems so bizarre now to expect people to spend 500+ hours to level an alt. But apparently that wasn’t what they were thinking about.
Back then, we had much more of a notion of two classes of players — hardcore, and not-hardcore. Not-hardcore players, they’d level up to 60, and then either be done with the game until an expansion came out, or start up another character and level up to 60 and do quests again some unknown number of times. It was really only the hardcore players that would want to have endgame content. Most of our design for how endgame content would work was very much aimed towards the hardcore EverQuest type of player’s mindset. They want stuff to be really challenging, they want it to take a lot of organizational effort, and they want to wipe a lot, but when they finally win, feel really good about it. At that time, we had very little concept of casual players caring about endgame content. – Tom Chilton
My primary guild hit level 9 last night so we are on the verge of picking up the new heirloom helms. But even without those, I leveled Brinlondo, my Worgen Rogue, up to level 62, in pretty much no time. I got him from 31 to 61 in two weeks but even then I was only playing him part-time. I bring this up because I think one of the weakest parts of WoW is the social aspect. That was improved a bit with Guild Leveling, but I think it has a long way to go. And I am not thinking about RealID – that really is more of a chat system than anything else (although it has a lot of unrealized potential).
But the social aspect of the game is what Blizzard really didn’t anticipate. I hear over and over again, ‘I would quit except this is where all my friends are.” I hope Blizzard keeps that in mind.
What was the secret of Blizzard’s success?
Most of the other MMORPGs (Everquest etc) require group play and rely on the hassle of scheduling play time together. – Paul Sams
And how do they plan to sustain that now?
World of Warcraft supports a lot of solo play. However, we want dungeons to be a group experience. In fact, we think the game is more fun overall when you play with friends, which is why we put so much effort into encouraging players to join guilds for Cataclysm. – Ghostcrawler
I realize that I may be oversimplifying just a bit. But I do find it odd that I can queue for any dungeon from 1-80 and can get in within 15 minutes or so. But any Cataclysm instance is an interminable wait … apparently, by design.