OK. So we’re getting a new raid – the Firelands. We might even be getting a second new raid in patch 4.1, which some theorize is the War of the Ancients raid. My main, a Paladin, is finally going to see Divine Storm add holy power, which should solidify our ability to put out competitive AOE numbers. These changes and a host of others don’t excite me near as much as a pair of little changes for rogues. Did I say little? I meant supermassiveomgforpvpfuntimes.
I love alts. My characters other than my main have for a long time been a driving force in keeping my interest in WoW. I keep a stable of max level alts to gear up or for crafting. I often won’t feel like running more than one heroic dungeon on the same character per day, but a heroic on a resto shaman doesn’t feel like the same heroic on a ret paladin. One of the great things about WoW is the sheer variety of stuff to do.
Some days I feel like accomplishing, or working towards, an “end” character goal. This might be something like farming heroics in hopes for best-in-slot pre-raid drops or gear from points to rep farming for epics or actual raiding. This is gearing up my toon with equipment that should last it a while and help my end goal of a character – being raid worthy. Other days I just want to accomplish something. There’s really no guarantee to pick up a specific drop from a dungeon and sometimes you’re just too many randoms or quest away from having enough points or rep to buy something nice. On these days, I might take up one of my leveling toons. Especially at lower levels, but even closing on level cap, it’s only a matter of time to get a few levels. With each level comes new talents or spells and can feel like a little accomplishment for the day. This is especially great after a run of bad luck on a max level toon.
After my Paladin, who is now pretty much as geared as possible with the exception of valor point and raiding gear (and one piece of Earthen Ring rep gear for the Holy Offspec), I’m working on gearing up my fury/prot warrior. From a little math of my total justice points earned, I’ve killed about 50 bosses on him… and won 2 pieces of fury gear. An interesting bit to note, rolling greed only, I’d won 3-4 pieces of off-spec tanking gear before I had enough justice points to buy a 346 piece from the vendor. I simply have no luck attempting to get fury gear for this warrior. I bought the epic dps chest piece, got an epic belt from Hyjal Rep, won bracers and a trinket from heroics. Aside from those pieces, despite 50 boss kills, the rest of the gear is from regulars or, even worse, quest rewards. Sometimes the rolls just don’t go your way.
What I find most interesting about the warriors lack of loot, is that I haven’t lost rolls for fury loot. After 50 boss kills, only 2 pieces of fury wearable loot have dropped. So, ironically, the warrior could also be considered very lucky because I’ve won 100% of the fury drops. When wanting to call yourself unlucky, it’s good to look at the situation from as many views as possible.
A good friend and guildy of mine was asked by our guild to switch mains as our guild was fairly overburdened with plate dps classes. Fortunately, this (being only a couple of weeks ago) was still fairly early in the expansion. His warrior though, was already pretty much decked out in pre-raid gear. So with a little grumbling he began rushing his rogue to level 85. Within days of reaching level cap, he grabbed a couple of pre-raid best-in-slot heroic pieces and, in a unusual stint of good luck, 1 epic from each of the first two pulls in a Bastion of Twilight trash run. Effectively putting his rogue ahead of his warrior in terms of gear in probably 1/4 of the time. Luck is a funny thing, isn’t it?
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?
As of this writing, servers are still down, and I’m not on a computer with WoW anyway, so I can’t see all the massively redesigned zones in Azeroth. I can’t make a tauren paladin or personally check out any of the changes happening today. What I can see though, are the patch notes for patch 4.0.3a, which contains a ton of class changes along with the shattering of the world.
Good news for those who wanted to try out their new race/class combos along with the option to race change existing characters to one of the new pairings, as soon as WoW is live you’ll be able to do both of these things. This does not include worgen/goblin toons which won’t be available until Dec 7th at cataclysm’s release. Also, I’m pretty excited about the 20% reduction in leveling experience required for the 70-80 leveling bracket. I might get around to finishing up my level 72 rogue before cata after all. Join me after the break for more, including some class specific thoughts.
World of Warcraft Client Patch 4.0.3a
The latest patch notes can always be found at http://www.wow-europe.com/en/patchnotes/
The latest test realm patch notes can always be found at http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/un…testrealm.html
For those classes I left out of my blogging resource post the other day, I’m going to my best to provide you a link to a good read, just for you. Yes, you personally. Here is Pt. 2, Pt. 3 should be out in a couple of days.
Death Knight: http://runeforgegossip.wordpress.com/ – “A Death Knight’s perspective on raiding, guild-membering, and other World of Warcraft activities”. I believe a writer from this blog also took the time to correct my baddie frost rotation in a comment on another of my posts.
Druid: http://wow.danomatic.com/thedailydruid/ – This seems to be a pretty awesome collection of druid posts for all druid specs and is set up in an organized and very attractive layout.
Hunter: http://www.warcrafthuntersunion.com/ – Pretty much THE definitive hunter blog. If you’re a serious hunter, you should be reading this.
Rogue: http://pverogues.blogspot.com/ – A blog with rogue PVE as the main focus, as if the name didn’t make it obvious. Looks like it’s a pretty active and current blog.
Pt.3 will have Warriors, Mages, Warlocks, and Priests (in no particular order). To that end, feel free to comment any good blogs you know for these classes, even if it’s a self plug or shout out for a friend. If you feel there’s a particular blog for a class I’ve already covered that absolutely should get some face time with the readers here, also don’t hesitate to leave that blog link in a comment.
I’m probably taking my fury warrior to RS and ICC10 HM tonight, so I should have a post up with some feedback on that over the weekend. See ya!
I didn’t too much max level content last night with the exception of a couple of weekly quests for some Justice points. I do have some thoughts relating to that, but I’ll get to it at the end of this post.
Lowbies are OP
You read that right. Low level characters are crazy over powered right now. I’m going to extend this to all the ones I played with or encountered last night; warlocks, priests, warriors, rogues, shaman, and especially paladins. On my warlock I queued up with a priest healer friend of mine and we tore up 7-8 instances last night. As healer, the priest was completely bored the entire time for lack of anything to do. All the runs were fast paced chain pulls and he barely had to drop an occasional bubble or renew. As a lock, I could pull ahead of the tank and eat the aggro without worry because most mobs would die before they ever got to me. Keep in mind, we’re not overgeared, twinked or even using heirloom gear. At level 22 we have only 1 ring each, no trinkets, no shoulders, no head-piece, and I’m using a melee dagger cause I’ve gotten nothing better from our chain runs. I do 100 dps at level 20 in destro. My immolate DoT can crit for 150+ and the initial damage has hit for 250. I’ve seen over 300 damage hits from my Searing Pain spell (which I can make automatic crits with my soul shards ability).
So Define ‘Overpowered’
One of our runs had a pally tank in full heirloom gear. I say tank because of the role but he was running in ret gear/spec. At level 20 he was averaging between 200-250dps. His Templars verdict ability that uses his holy power never hit for under 700. I saw it hit over 1100, almost one shot an elite mob and easily enough to one shot anyone in the group. I think being able to do 50-100% of a potential PVP enemy’s health in one move is overpowered. Of course, the priest with me could do 50% of our best geared tanks health in one crit. The relatively geared rogues in our groups between levels 16-18 were already doing 100 dps and could do finishers for 250+, or half of their health. Each instance, be the characters geared in heirlooms or mixed questing greens, was a mad chain pull with no deaths or wipes or breaks needed. We plain destroyed the content. Admittedly, it’s possible that every player in all the groups were total pro’s with 8 alts they’ve run through the content before, but that seems unlikely. More likely, is with the new level 10 talents and bonuses for picking a spec, lowbies are just OP compared to level appropriate content.
Outside of the instances, a level 1o shaman wearing heirloom gear that dueled me could do half of my level 18 health in 2 globals. Fortunately I didn’t lose, but a level 10 who can do 175 damage earth shocks is pretty intense.
Maybe it isn’t just low levels
Last night I joined a random group to do the weekly quest which was XT-002 The Deconstructor. This of course required us to do the vehicle boss fight vs Flame Leviathan. FL, as it has been for months, was terribly easy even with half of the players hardly doing anything. My issue comes up on our fight with XT. For those who don’t know the fight, there is periodically a phase where his “heart” is exposed and if you kill the heart during its timer, hardmode is triggered. Here we have a group that had enough gear to easily kill the heart, a feat which was considered a gear check at the time it was relevant because of the high dps required to do it, yet lacked the skill or experience to know they shouldn’t kill the heart. With gear inflation and boosts from talent points and scaling recently we’re able to hit harder and do more damage than our skill would otherwise represent. After the group killed the heart, even with at least one dps (myself) stopping and possibly another, the hardmode easily bested us as only two people there had any idea what the mechanics were at that point. Sounds like a case of “with great power comes great responsibility”. The characters are more powerful than the players know how to handle or when to slow down.
With such a host of changes in the 4.0.1 patch, a lot of little things can get missed as we talk about larger or more specific issues. Here’s a few of my thoughts that I think I’ve missed in previous articles so far.
- AoE – Blizzards design goals for the future of WoW is to limit the mass AoE pull fun-fest that Wrath has become. Most of their relevent changes reflect this. Paladin’s Divine Storm needs 3 stacks of HP before it does much damage, even then doing less per target that before, making it only very useful in large pulls. Hunters have lost their EZmode AoE trick – volley. Now multi-shot hits all targets but at much lower DPS (aside from maybe a SV hunter with key talents/glyphs). Warriors cleave and whirlwind now have a stacking buff that increases their damage done the more you use it, to the point that cleave is comparable single target damage to heroic strike even. Wait? How does that fit into the design goal? On my poorly gear warrior alt, cleaves can hit multiple targets for upwards of 13k each. Whirlwind is hitting about as hard as DS when both are buffed to 3 stacks, yet after WW gets its buff, its at full power til the trash is dead. So why is other AoE getting nerfed, while warriors AoE got buffed and most other classes (casters particularly) stayed the same.
- Damage Balance – Most people will have noticed by now, even with the damage pass that nerfed caster dps and buffed melee dps, caster dps is ridiculous. I watched a warrior with almost 1k resilience get hit for 36k by some mage. Admittedly, I’m sure the mage was geared, but there’s no good reason for a mage one shotting a warrior in almost all pvp gear. At equal gear levels nearly all casters are doing 25%+ dps of their melee counter parts. There is a decent change that this wont get really addressed until cataclysm.
- Tanks – Where are they? People just don’t want to tank anymore. While trying to form a 10m group for the weekly quest last night our group, and at least 5 other groups in trade looking, had no luck finding a tank for over a half hour. We even had 4 people capable of healing in the group, and no tanks. Whats the deal?
- Subtlety rogues don’t suck anymore. They hurt. Watch out for those extra sneaky back stabbers.
- Although mana isn’t too much of an issue for healers now because we overpower most of the content, I can see how it will be in cata. With the mana regen changes characters of mine that wouldn’t go under 90% mana are now having to use special regen talents to keep going during an average boss fight.
- Overall it seems like Blizzard is following through with their stated design goals for the expansion. Expect lots of CC, healers going OOM, huge health pools, and harder instances/raids in Cataclysm.
See you monday!
As promised, I’ve come with a little information about subtlety rogues in pvp in WoW patch 4.0.1. One word – superfunawesomelolcoolshadowstep. This will be a little more geared towards people wanting to start a new rogue or are considering PVP while leveling. I don’t claim to be a rogue expert, for that I’d suggest checking out Elitist Jerks. Sub spec for rogues in PVP currently is so much fun in fact, that I’m considering making it my main pvp character over my long-standing main, the Ret Paladin.
Ganked – With decent gear I’m running around (well, by running I mean sprinting, and by sprinting I mean sprinting while in stealth with sub’s increased run speed in stealth) one shotting poor under geared folks and 2-3 shotting most anyone if I can land a couple good Ambush/Backstab crits. For those who are unfamiliar with rogue skills, shadow step teleports you a decent distance directly behind your target at which point, if you’re stealthed (and you better be) you can open up with an ambush for high damage or cheap shot for a decent stun. Follow this up with backstab spamming and they’re probably dead. At 5 combo points you can eviscerate and if they aren’t dead even still, you’re probably playing wow drunk and you’re actually attempting to kill a rock.
Vanish – A key factor in my 25 kill to 0 death AV tonight at level 69 is the new mechanic to vanish. As of 4.0.1 when a rogue uses vanish, it now has 3 second guaranteed stealth time that cannot be broken by damage or other annoying things, this was not the case in the past and everything AOE or otherwise would make you exit stealth. And did I mention you gain a 3 second sprint after using shadowstep. You can just taste the talent synergy. Vanish and the sprint component helps an aspiring rogue get out of tight spots after trying to make short work of an enemy [see Gank].
I’m pretty excited about seeing my rogue to 80 and eventually to 85 when rated battle grounds become the next big thing in PVP. I will most certainly keep you updated. As a quick comparison between sub and combat in PVP, the few times I forgot to change specs before accepting the battleground queue, I didn’t manage more than 4 killing blows in combat spec, everyone could see me without my improved stealth, and other rogues laughed at me while tea bagging my corpse. It was unpleasant.
Glyphs, gems, and the auction house.
Although it’s a little late for this information to help anyone, I wanted to talk a little about the money I’ve made on the AH since patch. Keep in mind, with auctioneer broken, I find myself far too lazy and frustrated using the default auction house interface so I’m only using the remote auction house which has a 200 per day transaction limit. A few months back I bought a ton of herbs to either mill for inscriptions or use for potions/flasks as I leveled alchemy on an alt. 2-3k herbs all in total, I’d guess. The night before 4.0.1, I milled the majority of my herbs into pigments for inscriptions and made somewhere in the range of 500-600 glyphs. 2 days into the selling of the glyphs and a few gems I made (will get into the gems in a moment), I’m up 200% profit with at most half of my glyphs sold. If you don’t have a good stock of glyphs made before 4.0.1 when 1 ink could make a glyph, spend some time farming the herbs which seem to be selling 2x their normal value now.
As for gem sales, epic gem costs are up 50% on both servers where my toons live. With the demand so high, an alchemist should be using every transmute cool down to make an epic gem to sell. I’m working on that now. I’ll let you know how it works it all works out. Tomorrow I should have some updates for Holy or Ret Paladins in ICC 10m.