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Guide : Retribution (3.3)

June 8, 2010

So you want to learn how to Retlol? It’s a little bit more than just facerolling on the keyboard.. but not much! : D Since it’s 3.3, Cataclysm is on the horizon and everything is going to change again I’m not going to waste time with an “official” and “fancy” guide. Going to throw some links up here to already well done guides, and also give my 2 copper on some points covering the Ret play style.

Retribution Links

Retribution Thread at EJ – Honestly, this guide pretty much covers everything. The first page is current and accurate and has all the info you need not be a Retardadin.

My own thoughts

Just some general tips/expanding on the EJ guide.

– We don’t have a rotation, we have a priority list. The priority changes depending on how you’re geared or the encounter. EJ guide goes into this more in-depth.

– Stat priority goes: Hit(to cap)>Str>Exp(to cap)>Crit>Agi>AtkPwr>Haste>ArPen. Once you cap out Hit, Strength becomes our main stat and our primary gem. You want your STR as high as possible, but without neglecting the expertise cap. You shouldn’t gem for exp though, it comes naturally on gear and it’s not that difficult to get capped.

– Weapons : We want to use the slowest, hardest hitting 2 handers we can find. Enchant with Berserking.

Abilities and Tactics

Sacred Shield : For fights where it’s mostly the tanks taking damage, if you don’t have enough Paladins in your raid for every tank to get Sacred Shield then keep it on whatever tank needs it. If the tanks are covered do what you want with it. For heavy raid damage fights I like to keep it on myself, and for more focused damage fights, or fights with spawning adds, I’ll keep it up on a healer or a clothie.

Art of War : Don’t be afraid to use it as a heal instead of just waiting for Exo to come off cooldown and/or once you get your 2pc T10 (Exo becomes lowest priority at that point). We get this buff ALOT. If you find a “dead spot” in your rotation, take a glance at the raids health bars. Top someone off real quick, or hit yourself so you can take some stress off the healers. Your #1 priority though is Damage, so use your utility wisely.

Consecration : Watch where you scorch the ground with your holy powers. If your tanks aren’t smart enough to stack up all the trash mobs usually when Cons comes up in your rotation you can “back off” from your current target a little bit and make sure you drop Cons in the best possible spot to hit all the baddies. Same goes for Divine Storm.

Seals : Seal of Wisdom and Light you should never be using, unless you want to while leveling or some such. Remove from hot bars imo. Seal of Vengeance/Corruption, Righteousness, and Command are the only 3 you’ll be needing. (I miss Seal of Blood)

Use Righteousness when it’s a single target fight and the mob is not going to live longer than 20 seconds. Use Vengeance for single target fights lasting over 20 seconds. Use Command in situations with 2 or more mobs near you. Don’t be afraid to switch seals in combat. For example.. when fighting Emalon, and he charges up one of the elementals, while you’re running over to the adds you may as well throw up Command. With gear levels what they are, and how easy Emalon is.. it doesn’t really matter so much if more than one happens to die. Unless the add tank just sucks at picking up spawns. Anyways, when the elemental dies and you’re running back over to Emalon, don’t forget to switch back to Vengeance.

Judgements : Wisdom for PvE, Justice for PvP. Holy Paladins should take care of Light. In raid situations, usually it doesn’t matter as you will most likely always have 3 or more Paladins. If you don’t however, use Light, the other classes in your raid should be able to fill-in for Replenishment duty.

Cleanse : Seriously.. do it. Don’t let it drop your DPS, but cleanse when you can. Healers will love you for it.

Righteous Fury : Don’t forget about this ability. We wont be using it often as Ret, but there are some fights where strategies call for us to do strange jobs and RF can do wonders for kiting mobs around.

Hand of Reckoning : Yeah, it’s a taunt. No, you shouldn’t ignore it. 2 reasons. Say an add spawns and it’s headed straight for a clothie and the tank is pre-occupied, or just being a baddie. Save the clothie’s life by taunting that add and let it hit you. You wear plate, you’re not going to die as quick as some prissy Mage. It may be a thankless job too, since people may not notice during the chaos of the fight. But at least you can let it beat on you for a few seconds while the tank pulls his head out of his ass. The second reason I say don’t ignore this ability is it does damage! On certain bosses, very few rather, you can throw this out while waiting for other abilities to come up. Use this wisely though and make sure you know the thing you’re taunting isn’t going to turn around and whack ya dead. The only few fights I can recall this working on is XT heart phase, Mimiron 2nd phase, Faction Champs (doubles as a clothie save too), and the Gunship battle if you jump to the other boat. It’s a great ability and has a great range. Don’t neglect it.

Useful Macros – This block was taken from my Guild forums. One of our other Ret’s typed this out. So thanks to Maxxik for letting me be a thief 🙂

AW + Hand of Salv on myself:

#showtootip Avenging Wrath
/cast Avenging Wrath
/cast [target=Maxxik] Hand of Salvation

The nice part about this macro is if I hit it in between GCD’s then it doesn’t salv myself, so I can keep it free in case I need to salv a fury warrior or whoever later on.

Bubble:

#showtooltip Divine Shield
/cast [nobutton:2] Divine Shield
/cancelaura [button:2] Divine Shield

Left click bubbles yourself, right click dismisses it so you’re not gimping your dps for 12 seconds or however long it’s not needed.

Exorcism:

/startattack
/cast Exorcism

Just starts your auto-attack when you cast Exorcism. Basically if you have an AoW proc up and your switching to a new target to dps starts your white attacks, whereas Exorcism by itself won’t.

SoC/SoR seal and libram:

#showtooltip Seal of Command
/cast [button:1] Seal of Command
/cast [button:2] Seal of Righteousness
/equip Deadly Gladiator’s Libram of Fortitude

Left click for Seal of Command, right click for Seal of Righteousness. Also equips the deadly libram when either seal is selected.

SoV seal and libram:

#showtooltip Seal of Vengeance
/cast Seal of Vengeance
/equip Libram of Valiance

Obviously brings up SoV, but also equips the libram for use. Keep in mind for the above two macros, if you use them in combat they will burn a GCD, but since you’re using these macros the libram swap GCD and the seal GCD are being used at the same time, thus actually saving you one GCD if you need to swap in combat for whatever reason.

Sacred shield on yourself:

#showtooltip Sacred Shield
/cast [help,target=target] Sacred Shield
/cast [target=player] Sacred Shield

Basically the way this works is if you have a hostile target, when you hit this it’ll cast SS on yourself, but if you have a friendly target it’ll cast it on them.

Addons (Note: Everyone has their own way of tweaking their UI, I’m not going to list ALL of the ones I use here. Only the ones that pertain to Paladins, in this case, Retribution.)

Serious Help In Timing – Much like the old face-roller addon. Gives you a handy, scalable, movable bar that has 3 icons. Left icon is AW and gives a cooldown timer. Middle(Big) Icon is the highest ability in your priority list that is not on cooldown (I.e. use it) and the right Icon is what ability you should use next. It’s very easy setup, 5 minutes to position and setup your priority list to your liking. Alternative includes clcret. This addon was developed by the handy people on EJ and though I’ve never used it, it’s very similar to SHIT.

Grid + Clique

This is a must have for almost anybody, yes.. even Tanks. Grid gives you one of the best raid frame options out there, combined with the power of assigning spells to mouse clicks (requiring no targeting) streamlines the healing and/or cleansing process so much. For example, I have Shift+R-click set to Cleanse. So all I have to do is Shift+Rclick on someones raid frame and I never lose my target.

PowerAuras

A highly customizable addon that allows you to do a lot. It can be applied numerous ways to Ret pally’ing. I personally have it setup to show me “when the stars align” meaning I have it set to display icons when I gain certain buffs like Greatness and Berserk. When I see all my procs and buffs light up its AW time. PowerAuras can help you by showing you when things happen. It’s hard to see when you gain buffs mid-raid fight, so this addon can help you increase your efficiency and DPS and help you with timing your cooldowns.

PallyPower

If you’re a Paladin, and not using this addon. Please do. It makes managing blessings and auras SO much easier. If there is only one addon in this list that you pick, let it be this one.

Omen (Or Skada)

Threat meter.. gotta know your threat. Omen has done us well for years, Skada is a lightweight DPS monitor like recount, but has a built-in threat meter. So you can knock out two birds with one stone if you like Skada.

Class Timers (or ForteX)

For monitoring buffs/debuffs. Has timers for Player, Target, and Focus windows. Handy to have as Ret, better for other specs though. I’ve never tried ForteX, it sounds similar to Class Timers but there seems to be a few more options and configurations. CT is more simplistic I think.

Misc.

As I said, I’m not trying to write a complete guide just to have it all goto waste in a few months. When it gets closer to 4.0 and we have our mostly finished talent trees and info on new spells and such I will write-up and brand new, complete guide. So, some final notes to close this out with :

Don’t forget about your utility. Learn how to use it while still being effective in combat. Make macros (Clique or Buttons) for BoP, Freedom, even Sacrifice. Saving your LoH for emergencies is great, but not using it is just a waste of an ability. With the shorter cooldown there is no reason you shouldn’t be using it more often, even if it’s not totally necessary. Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse. Keep Sacred Shield up on someone at all times.

Last but not least is to really, really know your abilities. Spend some time making friends with the Training dummies and trying out new addons, gear, rotations.. whatever. Find out what works best for you. Grab a guildie or two and go into Molten Core to get a “live feel” for testing purposes. If you want to be good at your class you have to first know your class inside and out. And always, ALWAYS be sure to test out any changes you’ve made to your interface PRIOR to raiding with your guild. Go join a pug 10 man real quick and use them as the guinea pigs. There is nothing worse than getting into a raid, or just starting a boss fight to find out one of your addons is screwing up. Or you haven’t had enough practice using the new tools, so you fail your guildies. Test first!

So, until 4.0, I hope this has helped clear some things up for any of you curious Rets out there. Use the EJ thread. The first post is the wealth of info, and the discussion continues. So much valuable information in that thread for us. Including encounter specific strategies specifically for Rets.

Thanks goes to the EJ forum geeks, all the writers who keep the addons we use updated, and Maxxik the Lumberjack.

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My armor smells of onions and cheese

June 7, 2010

The look of your avatar can sometimes have an impact on how you feel about your avatar. Say you’re wearing a full Tier set (pick your favorite), and you just so happen to find an upgrade for one of those slots. Sure you equip it because it’s better, but part of you doesn’t want it because it will throw off your “style”

Doing some dungeons with guildies last night this was mentioned, and well… we couldn’t figure out why Blizzard wont put something like an appearance window in the game.

Then this morning there was someone asking about the armor textures in The Queue at wow.com. The question was basically why we have all these crazy looking armors, and if there is any chance Blizzard would implement items that don’t have completely “out-there” models, but are still Epic quality. Alex Ziebart responds..

“No, probably not. The Warcraft aesthetic is all about those huge shoulders, the random spikes, the intricate little decorations on each pauldron. In Azeroth, bigger is better. Bigger is much better. Having that massive gear is prestigious. The stripped-down gear is for nameless schmucks that haven’t fought a proper battle in their lives.

If you’re looking for a simpler aesthetic, you’re really better off looking at a different game. I don’t mean that in a rude or smug way in the slightest. It just isn’t Blizzard’s style. It definitely isn’t Warcraft‘s style.”

What a way to answer the question. A flat-out no. While, yes, it’s Blizzard’s style to go for crazy shoulders and items that just look outrageous. It’s obviously not the only style, otherwise why would they have normal looking weapons and armor as you level up, or even grey/green items at level 80 as the player asking the question stated.

Since Massively(wow.com) is probably one of the most read blog/news sites for MMOs. Instead of just answering a question by saying “No way” or “Go find another game” To me… that’s just not productive at all. I wonder if the reader who asked the question wanted to throat-punch Alex when he/she read the article. I would have.

Yes, Alex has a point. But, instead of stopping there why not offer up an example of how it could be changed. Since it is the big news site, has a ton of readers of all walks of WoW life, and Blizzard employees probably pay attention to it as well. Offering up a change, new feature, or even just opinions could possibly sway the almighty Blizzard to.. change something.

Not the armor models, keep going with the “Blizzard” style. Whatever fits the expansion. Throughout WotLK there have been people who really like the armor design, and people who really don’t. As I say a lot, why not just give the option?

Unlike with talents (which I spoke of earlier today), if you’re wearing no gear, chances of you leveling all the way to 80 are laughable. There is no choice right now except to either equip, or not equip the piece. As with most everything in the MMO world.. someone’s already perfected a design option. Appearance slots.

If you played Everquest post-PoP, chances are you remember armor dyes being implemented. A very cool feature.. except they gave you a photoshop style color pallet to choose from. Which is actually awesome, until you run into an Ogre Warrior who decided he wanted to dye every piece of his armor a different, vibrant color. Rainbow Ogres.. *shudder*

Then EQ2 implemented the Appearance window. Basically it was just an extra inventory window. When you put a piece of armor in one of the slots, it didn’t matter what you were really wearing. The item in the appearance slot is what showed on your avatar. Though you kept all the stats from the armor you’re “actually” wearing. There is NO downside to doing this. It doesn’t change the game, it doesn’t appeal to the casual player base more than the hardcore player base, or PvP vs. PvE. Other games have adopted this as well. Why not WoW?

While doing some quests in classic zones this weekend, and an MC run for fun, I realized that there are quite a few items that I would prefer to be wearing. Then I looked in my bank, and found that I’m quite the packrat. I hold on to gear that I think looks neat just in case I get bored and want to play dress up.

Blizzard gave us the dressing room, which was a very nice feature. They also gave us various clothes to wear, like the Tuxedo suit. So it’s not SO far out there that they shouldn’t think about adding a way for players to customize what they wear, without effecting stats. If anything, this would be more awesome because it gives the game more of a variety.

When I stand next to another Dwarf Paladin in Dalaran, there’s very little difference visually. If we had a way to change our armor without gimping ourselves, we’d all have a bit more of a unique look.

I’d stray away from adding weapons into the appearance slots though, as a Warrior holding the Chalice from TotC-25, and beating the crap outta mobs with it would look pretty silly. But armor customization is;

1) not terribly difficult to implement.

2) would make players feel more unique

3) would create something else to do in the game (go hunting for gear you think looks awesome!)

4) something that I think the WoW community would appreciate

Is your T10 gear getting that “battle-funk” smell? Or, do you have some T6 sitting in the bank that you just think looks awesome and wish you could still wear it? This would solve those two issues.

Hell, Blizzard probably wouldn’t even have to do much. Write the code to enable the feature and let the Addon community take care of the rest. It couldn’t seriously take that much time. EQ2 was able to push it out within 1 patch cycle… and they have far less resources than Blizzard.

Side-note : *sigh* a simple post turned into a book.

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Talent talk

June 7, 2010

We like Shadow Bolt being the nuke for both Demonology and Affliction. That isn’t likely to change. Talents don’t have to be in “your tree” for them to be good talents for your build. We generally consider 0 / 0 / 71 builds to be a failure.

See, even Blizzard says that they consider 0/0/71 (in any class tree) a failure. But wait a minute.. they also contradict themselves in a post just a few days ago.

1) For more casual players (i.e. the ones not posting in this forum), we want there to be less difference in power between an optimal and sub-optimal spec. It’s okay if the optimal one is still better, but not so much better. Casual players should feel fine just spending points with a small amount of consideration and not feeling like step one is to go to the Internet to find the right build. The passive bonuses help with that.

2) For those players that do take optimization very seriously (and I’m assuming most of you are in that category), we just want to see more cookie-cutter builds that say things like “spend the last 5-10 points wherever you want.” If those points would give you survivability or a massive threat bonus or even utility that’s hard to live without (say Warbringer for a Prot warrior), then you’re not really spending the points where you want. But we think there is room to have some of those choices that don’t really exist now

I’m not saying I don’t agree, 71 points into any tree is a dumb move. For anyone. But how come Blizzard is now encouraging cookie-cutter builds? I thought the idea was to try to tweak the trees to the point where it mattered.. but you didn’t have to have the same spec as “Rogue_01234”

I know right now I can glance at a talent calculator, and without even mousing over I know what Paladin talents are “must have”, “filler”, and “don’t even bother”, for all 3 specs. I’m sure there’s plenty of others out there who are like this as well with their class, or multiple classes. It sort of negates the point of even having talents.

So.. why do we have them?

The original intention of adding the talent trees was to give classes “specialties” and give everyone the choice to play their chosen class as they want to play it. Did Blizzard succeed in doing this? Yup.

We still have the choice to pick our talents, we don’t have to follow an EJ thread or a cookie-cutter build. But, you’ll be less effective at your job than someone who is using the “optimal cookie cutter build.” I could level 70-80 completely un-spec’d, with any class. Anyone can. Sure it will take longer, but you can do it. That’s exactly why Blizzard didn’t and isn’t technically failing at the original goal of the talent trees. You DO have the option to put them wherever you’d like, and you can still play the game with 71 points dumped into a tree.. for the most part.. just fine.

It wont effect your dailies, or your questing, or your mount farming. Try to grab a PUG raid though and be prepared to get laughed at repeatedly before getting the boot.

In order for Blizzard to really flesh out the talent trees and give us more options for successful builds, rather than just one mega-optimal build, they would have to completely tear down the talent system and re-build it from the ground up. Considering we’ve seen how much Blizzard just loves to develop things.. we might see this happen in 2018. Maybe.

For now though, there is nothing terribly wrong with the talent system. I know we’re all just dying to see at least the Beta form of the Cata talent trees. Hopefully it will get rid of some of those more worthless talents and put in some ones that will actually make you think about your choice. While cutting the bloat out of some other trees so the class actually feels like it has enough points to get everything he/she needs/wants.

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Weekly Happenings

June 6, 2010

Since I don’t have much of a reader-base yet I can’t be cool like Tobold and have an Open Sunday Thread : ( So Sundays will be the day when I go over what I’ve been up to over the week, as well as any news in the mmo-space.

This week

Well I’ve been slowly completing quests for Loremaster between raids. It’s a grind now, and very mind-numbing but I’m glad to be doing it because I get to see some quests that I’ve never seen before. Read some decent lore and actually appreciate Vanilla WoW more. I’d rather be doing these quests at level though, some of them are very good quests and doing them at 80 just feels like I missed out. But, gotta take it all in before the Cataclysm!

There is an upside to the quest grind (besides the title) That is, it’s getting me more and more excited for Cata. As I ride around the old zones, I can’t help but wonder what ‘this’ or ‘that’ will look like in a few months. It really makes me want to start a baby Worgen, or a Dwarf Shaman when the xpac does get here. But I hate alts. Most likely I will do what I did when WotLK came out. First make sure my Paladin hits level cap and gets everything he needs from 5 mans. Then I made my DK, played through the starting area, thought it was very cool and well done. After they released me into the rest of Azeroth.. /delete.

So when Cata comes I’ll probably do the same thing. Create a baby Worgen, level to 60 and stop. With the massive amounts of Phasing (a feature which I love and hate at the same time) I’m very curious to level again. But once that’s all over with and it’s time to head to Hellfire, I’ll stop playing that toon.

Guild news! This week we killed Putricide on 25 for the first time. Yay us! Only 3 more to go! This week was also the first time I’ve done Gunship on 25, and it was also Heroic. It was also probably the dullest encounter ever. There was never a time when I felt like myself, or the raid was in any sort of real danger and the fight itself was just.. silly! On a side-note, why does Blizzard always feel it neccesary to put something in every raid zone that’ll just piss people off. I’m not talking about Frogger. I’m talking about that evil train in Ulduar. There’s always someone that falls, or misses the train. TotC, some yutz always starts the events before anyone’s ready. And now Gunship. Let’s put the two NPC’s you need to talk to for two completely different reasons RIGHT next to each other. That way when we’re on our 50th time through it and people are just on “autopilot” someone runs up and starts the event instead of grabbing a rocket pack. Oh look, 4 people are on the boat. Great. And it’s gonna be like 20 minutes before everyone gets back inside the instance because the damn boat takes so long to reset. /bird @ Blizzard

Ok, enough of WoW. Let’s talk about some other games.

Dawntide

This MMO has been in development for a few years already and is in the Closed Beta stage at the moment Open Beta as of Friday, you can get into the OB by creating an account and following the download link on the official forums. This title is, out of the 3 that I’m looking forward to, highest on the list. It’s a sandbox MMO, skill-based, open-world and no instancing. Here’s just a quick snippet of the features it teases:

Dawntide is an innovative new freeform MMOG being developed by Working as Intended, an independent studio based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

  • Player Cities with shops, crafting, military and many more buildings – plus upgrades!
  • Handcrafted island world with many exciting places to Explore and Conquer.
  • Fully Conquerable world with safe areas for new players!
  • Skill based progression. No more levels or classes!
  • Complex and fun Crafting allows players to create unique items with a wide range of materials.
  • Laws and guards allow players to truly rule the territory they conquer.
  • Deep and exciting background Lore to be discovered.
  • Single, uninstanced world makes your impact on the game meaningful.

I have no idea what combat is like, and I don’t care. I’ve been waiting for a game that puts emphasis on player interaction with the world itself since Star Wars Galaxies went to hell (NGE) /bird @ Sony. But, I’m not letting myself get burned again. I’ve learned. It took me a few heartbreaks, but I’ve learned never give into the hype. If they can pull this game off, it wont be any sort of WoW killer. Not by a long shot. But, it will fill a niche in the MMO market and as long as the game isn’t utter crap and bug ridden at launch.. and things go even relatively smooth. It should snag up a decent subscriber base, probably similar to the numbers of EVE.

This game wouldn’t take me away from WoW completely, unless it had some amazing PvE raids. Which most Sandbox games don’t even have what we call “Raiding” these days. Usually it either involves PvP raids, or just grabbing a group of people and going cave diving looking for something fun to kill.

Moving on!

FFXIV

Not much news with this game in the past week. A few of my intarweb buddies have been starting to get Beta keys via email. I have not been as lucky : ( If you don’t know much about this game, it’s basically a sequel to FFXI. Well.. it’s what EQ2 is to EQ1. Only hopefully Squeenix doesn’t completely bork the launch. Being an Eastern based game it’s undoubtedly going to have more of a grind than we’re used to with western MMO’s. I’m fine with that. But the developers have also stated that they are in the process of “Westernizing” the game a bit more for us. They haven’t touched too much on what exactly that means besides less grindy, WSAD movement and Jumping (did they add jumping or not? I know it was a HUGE turnoff for alot of people 6 months ago)

I do believe that this game is still slated for release on the PC and PS3, and based on the videos I’ve watched it actually looks like a MMO I might enjoy playing with a controller. Though not on my PS3. MMO’s belong on PCs in my opinion. The game is being developed for the platform side-by-side, so it will not be a port. There will be a PS3 client, and a PC client and they are being developed by two different teams. Let me make that more clear. It’s the same game, but they are developing 2 clients to ensure that it runs flawlessly on the PS3, and the PC. A good thing.

Other than that, there are some videos floating around of some combat. It’s slower combat than what we are used to in WoW, and many of the other newer MMO’s. Someone told me that the combat speed was somewhere in between Everquest and WoW. Which.. to me sounds perfect.

The graphics look AMAZING, as do the animations, models, and world. Not cartoony, but not trying to be overly-realistic. Well.. it looks like a Final Fantasy game should. If you’re a fan of the series than you should be pleased with the art in this game.

Squeenix has also stated that it will be more solo friendly than FFXI, but still a high emphasis on groups. What I took this to mean is everyone will be able to solo just fine, but the best and most efficient way to get things done will be with a group. Flip flop that and you have what most MMOs are now /bird @ Blizzard. I think that MMO’s are about group experiences, so there should be more emphasis on grouping. We’ll see how that turns out though.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Everytime they release a new piece of news for this game I get a little less hyped for it. The more and more videos I see, and interviews I read make it sound more and more just like a multi-player version of KOTOR. Which isn’t totally a bad thing. I’ve talked about this in a previous post, and Syncaine at Hardcore Casual has written up a 2 part post about his feelings on SWTOR. I can’t really agree more.

It sounds like it’ll be a good play for a month or two, but I can’t see anything that would hold me (an possibly a good amount of others) to the game for any extended periods of time.

Bioware continues to try to hype the games storytelling more than anything else. Talking about it like it’s the new “end all, be all” feature of MMO’s. They claim to have something like “50 novels” worth of story content. Well.. so did Dragon Age. DA was a good game and alot of people agreed. What alot of people didn’t agree on about it was whether or not it was fun to replay to mix up the story. Which I assume is how SWTOR is going to fit their “50 novels” worth of story into the game.

It seems more and more that this game is geared towards the casual players, total Star Wars nerds who can’t get enough, and people who love to play multiple characters. I’m not doubting that it wont be a success (pending smooth launch), and I’m sure it will have a healthy number of subs a year after release. It just sounds like a psuedo-MMO to me though. I don’t need, nor want Bioware style conversations in my MMO’s. Alot of people do, and it’s awesome that they are (hopefully) getting what they want.

Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars is probably one of the only “Major label” MMO’s that I’ve never played. It’s heavy use of instancing originally turned me off from the game and I’ve just never really had any desire to check it out. Now, with what I’ve been reading about GW2.. I gotta say, I’m excited to see what they can pull off. The dynamic quest system they’ve spoken about sounds amazing if implemented well and has the possibility of setting a new standard for quests in MMO’s. The game world also looks beautiful. GW2 has made it to my watch list.

So that’s it for this week. Next week I think I’m going to try to cut down on my ramblings a little. Try to keep the posts under 1000 words haha.

~dorfeater

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Blizzard, you soul-crushing bastards!

June 5, 2010

“Bring your friends to Azeroth, but don’t forget to go outside Azeroth with them as well.”

A loading screen tip we’ve seen before. Let me ask you this though Blizz… what happens if we have no friends? Will you supply them for us?

Dicks.

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Please just stop already!!! (Pt. 3)

June 5, 2010

Today I said I was going to take you on a text-walkthrough of my rendition of PvE Arenas. So let’s get to it and hope I can keep this post under 1000 words.

Everyone say hello to our imaginary Rogue, Wunderbutts. He will be doing solo arena today on normal difficulty. He is currently wearing all ICC gear and his GS is 62 million. That means shit poop here.

This is not his first time in this Arena. His promoter’s are the Stormwind Lumberjack’s Union (?) and he is just a few points away from hitting Exalted with them. Hop to!

As he enters the arena he sees his first opponents for the day. A group of 5 non-elite Nagas. 3 warrior types and 2 of those evil caster ones that do that big blue circle explosion thingy on the ground. Zangarmarsh, ugh.

Wunderbutts scoffs at the group and charges in, dispatching the foes quickly as he is a skilled (i.e. non-tard) Rogue.

Next up is a single baddie. Doesn’t look too tough, an Ogre Shaman. Haha.. stunlock beoch!

What’s this? Icehowl had babies?!? Yep, Wunderbutts has just discovered Icehowl is asexual. Let’s deal with these 3 babies before they grow into something mean! Evasion go! /charge

Wunderbutt’s looks confused though, as the babies seem to have the majority of big daddy Icehowl’s abilities. Including that stomp/charge. How is Wunderbutts going to deal with all that charging? Skill, that’s how. Pure keyboard acrobatics. and maybe a little help from Sprint.

Ok, whew, they’re dead now. Another trash pack up next. This time they are elites though. Time for some fun! As the pack of stupid elite kobolds walks through the gates Wunderbutt’s takes Stealth. At least SOME thought is going to have to go into this fight he thinks. While making clever use of some CC’s and switching up poisons a little bit he is still finding it hard to take down this group. As one of the little terd geomancers lets loose a Fireball, our Rogue hears a chime letting him know his limit break is ready. He has already met his requirement to dodge 100 attacks, and his ability is off of cooldown. This one however requires Stealth to perform. VANISH! BUTTONSMASH! *amazed* Wunderbutts explodes into a dance of sharp things. 300% movement speed increase, 100% dodge, and a 5 second “Blade Storm” type ability. Only the character retains movement. At 300% movement speed and 5 seconds of whirling death most of the little kobold terds are done for. The rest is just mopping up.

So.. wtf is next? We can’t see anything but Wunderbutts covered in Kobold blood and breathing heavily. But we still have 6 rounds to go! Wait a minute. Wtf is that purple sh–… omfg. It’s Edwin VanCleef and he just sapped Wunderbutts! Roflcopter. This should make for a good 1v1 fight hehe. VC is elite, so he’s not going to be easy and a lot of Wunderbutts abilities are on Cooldown. As it turns out VC is beating the snot out of our friend. He’s at a healthy 70% health and our heroic Rogue is merely scratching by with 35% health left, and he already used the Kidney Shot>Bandage combo. It’s not looking good for Wunderbutts. Lucky for him he was smart and used some of his points to buy special toys. As he glugs down a “Back in the Fight” potion (40s cooldown), he’s brought back to full health, full energy, cooldowns refreshed and even has a HoT ticking on him!!

The fights continue in this fashion. Requiring more skill, smarts and planning than great gear. All the while our Rogue is collecting points, rep and stunning us with his killer moves.

Finally, Wunderbutts.. battle-weary comes up against his final opponent for the day. Oh em gee, it’s Grobbulous from Naxx! The last fight of the day gets a healthy pause to introduce the final match. (3 minutes) Wunderbutts is coming up with a strategy. He knows this guy’s moves, knows them well in fact. But without9/24 of his buddies to back him up is kinda wondering how he will beat this fat tub of lard. 3…2…1… FIGHT!

Wunderbutts decides to take the defensive stance at first and let Grobb come to him. This Rogue is no tank though, and the fat mutant bitch slaps our rogue for nearly 15% of his total health.. in one hit!

Vanish! Now we know how hard this bastard hits.. it’s lucky Wunderbutts stocked up on Gladiator Potions before coming in (Heals 20k hp, 10 second cool-down). Back into the fight! Wunderbutts, fighting for his life, burning all cooldowns he’s got and chuggin health potions like the town drunkard chugs the whiskey. And he’s barely putting a dent in the tubby golem.

Wunderbutt’s is running out of options. He’s used his last “Back in the fight” potion, and he’s only got 5 Gladiator potions left. He’s managed to get Grobby down to 30% health by using the common tactics he learned in Naxx. Kiting him around the Arena. But what about the goo you say? Since its Solo mode there is only 1 goo being spawned, Wunderbutts just tabs over and continues. And how about the gas rings left by players who get diseased? Since Wunderbutts is only 1 person, he gets hit with it every time. But it’s negated since he’s already kiting Grobby. Our smart Rogue used his previous experience, combined with knowledge of his class and some of his own finesse to adjust the strategy of the fight to work for him. And now he hears a fun noise. That’s right, it’s “limit break” time! This particular ability is more geared towards single targets and boss fights, as every class would get 1 limit break for AE situations and 1 limit break for single target/Boss situations. Though our Rogue is not limited to just using one.. if conditions are met for both, he can use both.

For this ability the conditions were take 400k damage, deal 800k damage, and dodge 72 attacks. BUTTON SMASH! and now Wunderbutts is “chargin his lazor”. He dissapears from sight, both of Grobby, and us spectators.

A yell from one of the NPC spectators (what you don’t think they wanna see a good show?) indicates for everyone to look up! As you move your camera towards the rafters you see our lovely Wunderbutts take a leap from the rafters.. or fall outta the sky.. or something. But he looks pissed, his entire body glowing red. He thrusts his blades downwards into Grob’s back for a massive double-crit 157k points of damage. That took a whole 10% from the fatty! But Wunderbutt’s not finished, no way. That ability gave him a 200% attack speed increase, and half energy cost on all abilities for 15 seconds! He’s tearing this fat piece of gaseous crap down! The NPCs are hootin’ an’ hollerin’ as it comes down to the final few seconds of the fight. Wunder and Grob going blow for blow at each other. Face to face, no more potions to rely on. Butts throws everything he’s got! Another slime spawns.. no time for fighting this one. Here’s some dirt in your eye Mr. Goo, now your blind, go run around for 6 seconds while I finish killing this cow. And with the final strike Grobby falls to the floor in defeat. The representative from the Stormwind Lumberjack’s Union comes to greet our Rogue and announces that he has reached full Gladiator status. (Which happily comes with a package of PvE arena consumables, and a tabard)

Now that Wunderbutt’s has hit Exalted with his promoters, they offer him a quest. One that will take him to higher challenges in the arena’s, and possibly elsewhere.. to what end, what purpose? *shrug*

Ok, does that not sound like it would be fun? Sure there are mechanical, and balance issues out the yazoo. But it’s not something that’s going to be implemented anyways. It’s just an idea.. a stolen idea at that! But why can’t we have things *LIKE* this? Hell.. me personally.. I would pay extra for something like this.

As of now we have 2 PvP facets in the game, and only 1 PvE (unless you count questing/levelling, which I don’t) Something like this would just bring another option for us strict PvE’ers. I’m sure the PvP crowd would go nuts if they read this paragraph saying that PvE doesn’t need any MORE stuff. Hah.. crazy PvPers go play DFO nubs.

Also, just to tack this on at the end because I forgot to put it in two posts ago. In the Duo/5man versions you could also design group “limit breaks.” Pretty sure not much explanation is needed for this. It’d be cool. Other MMOs have things like it.. EQ2 and LotRO just for two examples.

Anyways, if you could withstand reading all of this 3 part post I thank you for your time and any comments are great! If you didn’t like the read, or the idea.. good thing it was just an idea right? And you never, ever have to come back to this blog again lol… but seriously. Please stay? : )

~dorf

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Oh god what is he suggesting (Pt. 2)

June 4, 2010

So yesterday I talked about “my” PvE Arena idea and stopped myself before I rambled on too much. I try to keep to specifics and not “overflow” my writings, but.. I’m not a writer. So, deal with it! Just kidding, I’d like to keep whatever readers I can get, so I will try to make my writing more sensible. It’s not something that’s going to come over night though ; ) On to the good stuff!..

We’ve already gone over the basic outline on the PvE Arena. Let’s dive into some specifics and analyze. First off, and I’m sure what most would be concerned about is how would this effect the game as a whole? The answer.. very little. Even less than PvP Arenas have. There would be no gear rewards, nothing that you could use in normal PvE combat, and nothing that would give you any sort of advantage over the current PvE content. Everything attained by the “PvE Arena Currency” is merely for show or use inside of the Arena.

“But you said this would add another form of progression to the game?!”

Yes, I did. By having different modes and difficulties you inherently create progression content. The key is giving the players motivation to progress, and since every players motivation is different, it makes it rather challenging. So, what are the carrots?

– Titles, achievements, pets, mounts, tabards. These are good carrots for some people, and we all know how much Blizzard loves to add new pets and mounts to the game. It’s not enough for some though, what else?

– Rankings! Just like PvP Arena. Of course here it’s nothing more than an epeen booster. But.. some people love any way they can inflate their epeen.

– New/Different abilities. For use in PvE arena only. I could type out 3 paragraphs explaining what I mean by this, or I could just say two words. Limit break. How neat would it be if your had (for example) an ability on a 3 min CD AND minimum damage taken cooldown (ooooh something new??) More on this towards the end.

– The last carrot I can think of at the moment (aside from crazy fun!) is possibly once you attain the higher(est?) ranks of Gladitory combat your promoter will offer you an Epic questline (oooh?) This epic questline has nothing to do with Raiding, though it does go outside of the PvE arena. Mostly a Solo-5 Man quest, but not easy. Very long and will take a while to complete. Rewards a special title and possibly a Legendary, yes, even for use outside of the PvE Arena. (Can’t make it TOO special though or the Hardcore raiders would have a mental breakdown)

Ok.. enough carrots. Next.

Spectator mode! Yeah, that’s something new new (I think). If you’re heading into the PvE Arenas to show off your skills, you can invite your pals to come sit in the bleachers and watch. Or maybe you’re trying to give the new recruit in the guild tips, instead of just telling him. Let him watch! Or, take them in as a Duo and teach! This spectator-ship would be by invite only, and have a limit of 10 players (lets not try to kill Blizzards instance servers) Spectators would be able to talk, so they can cheer you on, give you tips.. or just be general asses hehe.

“Okay.. and what about all the classes? Rogues can’t tank a boss for long, and what would a Healer do if he went in solo? You did say this was supposed to be for everyone”

This is where things get a bit harder. Without changing all the class mechanics completely for PvE Arena (which Blizzard already stated they wouldn’t do for PvE/PvP, so they wouldn’t do it for this either)

With the randomness of the encounters there is no way to ensure that class a doesn’t have any advantage over class b. Some classes rely on gear to do their jobs more than others. While some simply just don’t have the ability to solo as well as others. We don’t want to give an advantage to the Rogues over the Priests.. as prestige and prizes are the carrots. If all the Rogues were able to do it faster and better than the Priests.. watch out Blizzard forums!

There are two ways I can think of that could work around this. A) Have the solo “bracket” divided up amongst the 3 archetypes. Basically.. an Arena for tanks, one for Healers, and one for DPS. Remove some encounters from the “random” list that a particular archetype just wont be able to defeat. There are two problems with this option though. It’s alot of work for Blizzard to do that, and.. as we can imagine the DPS “bracket” would probably be the most interesting.

The second idea B) design the “limit breaks” around the classes weaknesses. Let’s get an example for each archetype.

– Tanks : You could have limit breaks on shorter CDs, but with higher “Incoming damage” requirements. Something like this… 1 min CD, requires 20k Damage taken before able to be used. Once used, completely heals the  tank and give him a 20 second “Super-heroism” like buff. +haste, +damage, +defensive skills. At the end of the 20 seconds of “Super-heroism” the tank leaps high into the air and crashes down into the dirt of the Arena creating a shockwave damaging all enemies in the arena, stunning them for 2 seconds and dazing them for 10 seconds. Okay.. that sounds like one that would be fitting for Warrior tanks. A super flashy-cool version of Thunderstomp.

-Healers : This is a harder one to deal with because the damage output is lower than even the tanks, for most healers. But, even still, with some creativeness you can come up with a way for this to work. One thing about Healers is they can stay up for quite a while. So let’s play to that strength. For this “Limit break” we’ll go with 30s cooldown, requires 10k damage healed and 30k damage taken. When activated the Priest levitates off of the ground, and gains a “super shield” around them (make it look cool). 10 second duration, all damage the Priest absorbs while levitating is stored and released after the super bubble duration is complete. Also, upon explosion of holy-sauce has a 50% chance to make a random mob of the encounter a combat pet for the duration of the encounter or until it dies. Only 1 “pet” can be controlled at a time. If there is only 1 mob you will not get a pet, but the mob will get a 200% attack speed debuff for 15 seconds. If there is 2 mobs, they will gain debuff “Holy Confusion”, and square off against each other for 10 seconds.

– DPS : Since DPS classes obviously have the damage and killing speed advantage, the abilities given to them must be weighed properly as well. For this, lets use a Mage as an example. 3 min CD, requires 20k damage done, a minimum of 1k damage taken and maximum of 10k damage taken (meaning once you take more than 10k damage the ability is rendered not-useable) Upon use of this ability the Mage gains “Mana form”, Damage taken decreased by 70%,  movement speed slowed by 30%, and allows the Mage to take flight. This lasts for 5 seconds. During this time the Mage can “queue” up to 12 spells. Maximum – 4 Fire spells, 4 Frost spells, and 4 Arcane spells. Can queue spells while on the move. No GCD. When the 5 seconds is up the Mage releases all 12 spells at once, mana and cast time free. After the Mage uses this ‘limit break’ he is in a weakened state for 10 seconds. Suffers a 10% damage debuff, but gains a 80% Dodge rating.

Whew.. looks like this is gonna be a three-parter. Remember, these are just rough examples I came up with off the top of my head.. I’m sure REAL game designers could come up with much better things.

So for tomorrow’s post I will give you a rundown on how a standard PvE Arena run would work.