Happy Cataclysm Eve!

Whether you’re excited or nervous about the coming Cataclysm (the expansion that is, since Azeroth is already shattered), tonight it finally arrives. One of the most anticipated game releases — ever — is upon us at 12:00am December 7th, Tuesday morning. Some people will be in a mad rush looking for server firsts for leveling (though I hear that might not have an achievement this time) or professions. Personally, I’m going to take my sweet time with it. I have no desire to blow through the new content. I’m going to relish every moment I don’t have to farm Utgarde Keep or the Oculus. I’m sure I’ll miss my hunters 55% unbuffed crit and my Paladins ability to spam heals without caution once I reach 85, but I can’t lie; I’m pretty damn excited.

Even though I work tomorrow morning (the 7th) at 8am, I’m going to be at midnight release at my local GameStop and will be installing and playing (cross fingers/knock on wood/pray) tonight, likely far too late into the morning. So today, I read. I’m hoping to finish the Shattering novel and I’ve been reading almost all the guides that WoW Insider has up regarding the new content, professions, etc.

Speaking of that, you really should go here, to WoW Insider Cataclysm topic search. The have some good recent posts about the guild perks from guild leveling, some dungeon guides, class guides, and profession information. They also are running some great contests like THIS ONE for a 100$ Jinx coupon. I think they all end between tonight and tomorrow, so go check them out.

…and that’s all for today folks. Now I’m off to finish the book, maybe get my rogue to 80, and wait for the big release.

Hmm, that sounded worse than I meant it.

Daily Thoughts: Fear the Reaper

Yes, fear the reaper. My rogue hit 78 last night and although he isn’t the one-shotting-everything-that-moves powerhouse that he was through most of the leveling process, he is still a stealthy ninja-like force to be reckoned with. I can top the meters in instances in my combat spec, but what I really want to focus on today is the fun of the subtlety spec and the new PVP brackets.

PVP as a Subtlety rogue is fun. Sub is the spec that has always played the way I feel a rogue should. Sub emphasises effectiveness and deadliness from the shadows. We get the +30% to stealth movement speed in sub, which is absolutely essential to not being horribly frustrated trying to catch people in a battleground. Of course, we can’t forget to mention sub’s signature ability: Shadow Step. It is buckets of fun to teleport behind an unsuspecting victim and slash him with Ambush, using the increase damage bonus from SS. Further, SS gives a run speed bonus for a few seconds after it’s used, making it a mini sprint that talents to a 20 second cooldown. Not only does this make Shadow Step a great offensive skill, but it can be used when running away from a large pack of enemies by teleporting to the furthest player and then using the run speed to get away. Hopefully this gives you time for Vanish to come off cooldown. Sub rogues just have such a cool toolbox for pvp play, but they suck at PVE right?

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Daily Thoughts: Warrior 4.0.3a

Most warriors know by this point that blizzard, using their mighty nerf hammer, struck furious down the haughty warriors and nerfed their precious damage into oblivion, leaving warriors impotent and senile. Or did they? Check the patch that has sent many a search to this blog (and many others I’m sure, but I don’t have their statistic pages) asking, “fury warrior nerf 4.0.3”. Actually, about 50% of all the search terms used to find my blog since 4.0.3a are in regards to the Great Warrior Nerf of 2010. I must admit, I was even a bit concerned seeing a 17% nerf to most of the fury dps toolkit.

So how demolished was my warrior dps after all? Well…It wasn’t. That’s right, you can put your warrior fears to rest. At least fury ones, I hear arms is pretty bad again, but I don’t play that to test it myself. All in all my damage on a test dummy was between 5-10% lower so yes, a nerf, but not world ending. I saw a lot less of my attacks hitting over 10k, which isn’t surprising. On the other hand, I still topped damage in the 3 heroics I did, pretty much every pull. I have to worry about pulling threat from decently geared tanks still, which makes me happy.

So in short, Fury warriors are OK after all. You might not be quite as much of a beast as before, but don’t think you need to go roll a mage now in order to get a raid slot.

 

4.0.3a Hotfix Nerfs Dungeon Quest XP

Although I don’t necessarily disagree with this change from a designer/balance standpoint, I know all my leveling toons under 60 will be very disappointed. Oddly, this hotfix is not included on the list of hotfixes that blizzard links at the bottom of their post, as of now anyway. The original text can be found HERE.

We are applying a hotfix today to all level 1-60 dungeon quests for Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms dungeons which will significantly reduce the amount of experience they award.

While dungeons should remain integral to our evolving storylines, and great places to collect gear in cooperative environments, we need to make sure each player’s questing progress remains relevant as dungeon quests are completed. In many cases we’re seeing players enter dungeons to complete quests, only to come out ahead of the leveling curve for the zones they’re in.

This change should allow players the opportunity to reap the benefits of running dungeons, while not outpacing the leveling flow from levels 1-60. At this time there are no plans for making any adjustments to dungeon quest experience for Outland, Northrend, and level 80+ Cataclysm dungeons.

You can find a list of all of the latest hotfixes here: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/1232869

The Shattering: Before and After 4.0.3a

WoW Insider has a great selection of “before” screen shots available HERE

Some of my screen shots of changes can be found at the following Links:

Org:

Durotar/Northern Barrens:

Southern Barrens:

Stormwind:

*Updated* Ashenvale/Tanaris

I’ll try to add to this post as I get more of my own screens posted. I am having trouble finding a nice comprehensive collection of new screen shots, or even a handful of non-comprehensive collections to link. So I implore you to send me or comment links to blogs you have or know that have some of these screens

Postcards from Azeroth – as always another good place to find artistic screen shots.

Daily Thoughts: More Bad News For Scribes

I just read that Enchanting Vellum, used to put enchantments down on paper so the enchanter can mail/sell them, is now going to be available from the Exchanting Vendor. It appears to have a measly 9s 50c cost. This is officially the nail in the coffin on inscription’s vellum market. This is a little disappointing to me with the change to make all glyphs permanently learned, scribes have precious few things that will create repeat business. Even the level 81+ dust of disappearence (the new vanishing powder for changing glyphs) sells at the inscription vendor for 10g, effectively putting a cap on the potential profit that scribes can get from making it.

Fortunately, we’ll still have our darkmoon cards/decks. Check the following links for each type.

Str > Agi > Heal > Tank > Caster

A more optimistic opinion of inscription heading into cataclysm can be found HERE. That WoW Insider link has a few more of the things inscription will be able to make listed there as well.

4.0.3a – Some New Stormwind Screen Shots

I realized upon looking for the changes that I wasn’t that familiar. After my pictures I’ve included a link to a site that did a much more thorough job putting in before and after photo’s, but it’s from the beta not live patch. The huge broken city wall is one of the major highlights.

 

Ten Ton Hammer – Stormwind City Preview